Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's Been Awhile

Two months, actually, since I last had a blog post. You see, my laptop had the "blue screen of death" a little over a year ago. When I asked friends on Facebook for tips on new laptops, my friend Doug offered to let me use his until I bought a new one.

I borrowed it for over a year.

Then Doug wanted it back because he was having a garage sale and wanted to sell the laptop (I had already told him I would pass on his because I wanted something new; lame considering I used it FOR A YEAR! So I gave it back to him.

And didn't buy a laptop. You see, I had just bought a home and was in the throws of packing and all that. Did you know it's expensive to move? The rental truck and the hook-up fees for new services and all the new items I needed (and still need) for a bigger space. So the laptop just went on the backburner.

I missed blogging. But I also missed looking at a big screen for some of my tasks - checking routes on Google Maps, checking my budget, researching items, etc. My phone can get me by on most everything, but sometimes that big screen is nice.

So today I did it. I had asked around and decided that a Chromebook would be just the thing for me - I'm not a student anymore so I don't need my computer for writing papers/making presentations/making spreadsheets; I'm not a gamer; and I can watch Netflix and Amazon Prime on my t.v. I just need something fairly simply.

All this to say that I am now back in the blogging world. Most everyone who reads my blog is also friends with me on Facebook, so y'all know what's basically going on in my life. However, I like my blog as a place where I can go more in depth (especially with movie reviews! I have a lot to say about this summer!).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hamilton

Hamilton the musical is the hottest thing since sliced bread these days. It just won 11 Tonys after being nominated for a record-setting 16. It's kind of a big deal.

Back in 2005 I bought the Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow. I was extremely excited to buy this book. I have always loved American history, and this book was fairly popular at the time I purchased it. I even remember where I bought it - at the Sears Grand in Jordan Landing because I had a coupon. I started reading it. But never actually finished it. Not even close.

When I moved to New York, I was still quite taken with Alexander Hamilton even though I had not come close to finishing the biography in the year I had it. Even still, when we were in Philadelphia on our way to New York I insisted on getting my photo taken with the First National Bank.
The caption I put with this photo on Facebook: Big fan of Alexander Hamilton, so this was a big deal for me. 

While in New York, I took a couple opportunities to visit Hamilton landmarks. The first was a statue of him in Hamilton Heights and the home he lived in while uptown (where it's quiet).


A little bit later I took a day to travel the Staten Island Ferry and check out the grave site of Hamilton and Eliza in the Financial District.

 


I lost my interest in Hamilton and the biography has sat unread on my bookshelf. Lin-Manual Miranda, however, did not lose interest and read the biography all the way through. And then he created a fantastic hip-hop musical about the life and legacy of the bastard, orphan, son of a whore, Scotsman. I've taken the biography off the shelf, and have listened to the Broadway cast recording on repeat.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Love You

Last week 49 people went out for a night of fun and did not return home. They left behind loved ones who did not know they would not be seen again. I read stories about each and every one of them. And I cried. And I couldn't help but think about the things left unsaid, because we always think there's a tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. Or the next time we see someone.

Today an actor died in what can only be described as a freak accident. He was getting ready to leave to meet up with friends when he got out of his car for some reason and then got pinned to a wall when the car rolled. He was 27. I was 27 once. His friends were expecting to see him. He was expecting to see his friends.

These incidences have made me reflect on my relationships. I want to be better about telling my loved ones I love them. I am sentimental and loving, but am sometimes awful at keeping in touch. I let far too much time go by between communication with people I love. I am determined to be better, in honor of those 49 people who senselessly lost their lives in an act of violence. Because love is always the best choice.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Two-A-Days

Friday morning I had some things I needed to do that involved being outside. I started sort of early, 7:30, to beat the heat and humidity of the afternoon. It didn't matter though. I was dripping in sweat in five minutes. And it didn't get any better for the hour and a half I was outside.

I had to take a shower during my lunch break.

Today I spent the day in Dallas with friends. Another hot and humid day. And another day where I had to take another shower later in the day. A trend of two showers in the day.

I hope this doesn't become a trend. However it IS summer in Texas

Monday, June 13, 2016

I'm Not Joe or Max

This morning I woke to the sound of someone yelling outside my building. It started at about 6 a.m. and continued for a good 45 minutes. He'd yell out, "Joe!" then he'd yell out, "Max!" then he'd mutter to himself that this was "f*ckn' crazy". Yeah, I'd have to agree. He'd wait a little while, then do the whole thing again. And again. And again. At one point he asked if they could just open the door.

I thought about opening the door for him. However, I thought that if he didn't have a key to the outside building he likely didn't have a key to the apartment either. I didn't want him inside the building making a ruckus outside someone's door in the hallway.

Turns out, though, that someone did let him in. Which allowed him to come knocking on my door. I was in the shower when I first heard the knocking. When I got out I heard the knocking a couple times. When the knocking got louder and more insistent, I went to my door and checked the peephole that it was him. Yep.

So through the door I asked who it was. "Austin." Sorry dude, I have no idea who you are and I am not Joe or Max." He quietly apologized and left. But he didn't leave leave, because he was back to yelling for Joe and Max when I left for work.

Living downtown is awesome for lots of reasons. But it also sucks for lots of reasons.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Superhero'd Out

I am officially superhero'd out. I started to feel this after the latest Captain America movie. I knew it was legit when I had no desire to see the latest X-Men movie. But I haven't stopped seeing movies. Far from it.

It started a couple weeks ago when I caught a showing of Zootopia, after reading a friend's impassioned status update regarding it. I remember seeing the trailer for it while experiencing The Force Awakens way back in December. I thought the sloth scene was hilarious, but was one of those scenes that would only be funny the first time you saw it, and I didn't think the entire movie would be able to live up to that scene. It DID! And not just because it was funny, but because the story was so timely and needed. I love the message it sends about going for your dreams, not giving into stereotypes,and that we are all in this together.

I also found it refreshing that the main character was a female and that a romance wasn't shoehorned in. Don't get me wrong, I like romance just as much as the next person and romcoms are one of my favorite genres. It's just that sometimes it's nice to see a story play out that is just about having friends. The female protagonist is not very common, considering that three of the trailers before the film were for cartoons that are populated by men and the token female voice. It's depressing.

My friend Rachel and I had a movie night last week. We generally focus on romcoms and this time around we watched Notting Hill as Rachel had never seen it. Notting Hill came out way back in 1999, and is the story of a regular ol' book-store-owning English bloke and the famous movie star he falls in love with. It sounds ridiculous, but in the deft hands of Richard Curtis and stars Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, it is wonderful. What I like about the film is that the characters are adults and act as such. They don't have any cloying, annoying misunderstandings that keep them apart before the end of the movie. There are no getting ready montages. No character types - "She's a stiff, he's a life-force" in the words of Joss Whedon - just regular people with regular, normal personalities. And the soundtrack is killer.

Last Saturday my friend Steph and I hit up the Angelika to see hot indie flick The Lobster. The premise is that couples are favored over single people. Anyone who is single is sent to The Hotel where they have 45 days to find a companion. If they don't they are then turned into an animal of their choice. The first half of the movie was clever and just the right kind of satire and commentary on society's fascination with pairing off. But then it veered wildly and was rather strange. The best part of the film was the experience when the film ended, the lights came up, and everyone in the theater awkwardly laughed and wondered aloud what had just happened. It was a shared movie-going experience that was both fleeting and everlasting. Steph and I have discussed the meaning of the film multiple times. I would only recommend this film to a small number of people; it's not for the masses.

Yesterday I went out to see Love and Friendship, another indie that's been pretty hot since it debuted at Sundance earlier this year. The film is based on a Jane Austen novella, however I hear this film version has been heavily adapted. I did not enjoy this movie. I found it boring and insufferable. I didn't care about any of the characters and is only the second time I wanted to leave the theater before the film ended (the first being X-Men Origins: Wolverine). I get what it was going for, but for me it fell really flat. However, my movie-going cousin loved it, so for another side of the story read her review.

Then there is Me Before You, which I have seen more than once in the ten days it's been out. I rather adore this film, and it was just what I needed in a testosterone-filled summer movie season. Before leaving for Seattle I had seen the trailer, and decided that I would make it my in-flight reading material. I purchased the book at the airport and read it on my four-hour there and back flights. I love the friendship between the two characters, and how they each provide what the other needs. Read this gentleman's write-up of it, and then make the blueberry scones he recommends (I just did and they are wonderful). My cousin also has a lovely review of it.

The Summer Movie Season isn't always the time to find small, character-driven stories. It's also not the time to find female-oriented stories. So I was happy to have found these, even if some of them I didn't like.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

You Look Like.....

Everyone has a celebrity look-alike. Mine is Kirsten Dunst, or at least that is what I've been told for years. Especially during her heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s. When I was purchasing the soundtrack to Spiderman 2, the cashier looked at the cover, looked at me, then said, "You look like her." Here she is in Bring It On.


The other day I was at Rusty Taco getting dinner. I have been here a lot, and I recognized the kid behind the counter as someone who had helped me before. He finished taking my order, and as he handed me back my card he said, "Has anyone told you you look like Bryce Dallas Howard?" No, I've never heard that. But obviously I was flattered, because Bryce Dallas Howard is beautiful.

Right? (I mean I clearly found the best picture of her to share)

I don't actually think I look like her, and I really don't think I did when that kid made the comment. But whatever, thanks for the compliment. 
 

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