Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In case you didn't realize it, today is National Pancake Day.  In celebration, four friends and I headed to IHOP around 8 to get some free pancakes.  All five of us rode in Anna's car to get there.  We spent about an hour eating our pancakes and eggs and boysenberry syrup, which were all delicious.  Stephen, Jeni, and Kate were also there so we talked to them some as well.  After paying, we walked outside to the parking lot.   Here's where it gets interesting.

1. Anna cannot find her keys.
2. She goes to the car, looks inside, and comes back to tell us that she has indeed locked her keys in the car.
3. When the rest of us go to inspect the situation, we realize that not only are the keys locked in the car, they are in the ignition.

I was not even annoyed or upset, I was too busy laughing.  I love you, Anna.  I'm amazed that that is even possible.  

We tried to remedy the situation ourselves with a broken off piece of an umbrella  (thanks, Stephen) but it didn't work.  Lee's idea of asking every person he saw in the parking lot for a coat hanger was not successful either.  The situation was eventually resolved when we called AAA, and they sent someone out to fix it.  Apparently Fat Tuesday is the most common day for keys to be locked in cars.  Who knew?

[ third place.  +1? ]

EDIT: I just remembered something else.  When Anna was on the phone with AAA, they asked her what phone number they could reach her at, and she forgot that she had a cell phone (that she was currently talking on).  Also she apparently could not remember what color her car was.  

Monday, February 23, 2009


upstairs party

i could not have written a more accurate portrayal of life at apartment #106.

the luckiest shopping trip ever? maybe.

Last night my friend Anna had a few of us over for an Oscar party.  I was in charge of making the ballots, which I did that afternoon.  I wanted to pick up some sort of prize for the most correct predictions, so at around 3pm I went to Party City, hoping they would have fake plastic Oscar statues.  They didn't, but this is what I found:  Hollywood-themed plates, napkins, and serving trays.  Marked down from like $4.00 to 50 cents a package.  100-foot string of gold and silver star decorations.  Marked down to $1.50.  I was ecstatic.  It's like they wanted me to come in and shop for my Oscar party.  

After I walked out, pleased with myself, I noticed that the Goodwill store was right next door to Party City.  The day before, I had looked at Target for a skinny red belt to wear with my black dress and they didn't have one in my size.  I thought to myself, "I'll pop into Goodwill and see if they have a fun colored belt I can wear with my dress.  Why not?"  So I went in, and began to peruse the belt rack, and there it was.  The exact skinny patent leather red belt I had been picturing in my head.  For $1.29.  I also found a cool beige-ish skinny belt that I decided to pick up as well for the same price.  I headed up to the checkout counter, which had no line.  On my way, though, I got distracted by the rack of CDs.  Among the various instrumental Christmas recordings by unknown artists, a cursory glance revealed a shocking discovery:  The Hold Steady's Stay Positive CD, still in the plastic shrink wrap.  For $2.29.  I'm so glad I didn't buy this two months ago when I wanted to.  

The only downside to this shopping trip was that while I was picking up the CD, two ladies got in front of me in the line to pay.  Each of them had an entire cart piled HIGH with stuff.  I was in line for probably around 15 to 20 minutes to buy my under-$5.00 purchase of two belts and a CD.  The pace at which the cashiers were operating (I would compare it to an apathetic snail) was borderline ridiculous.  But I guess they're allowed to be as slow as they want, because I waited it out (and so did the 5 or 6 people that began to pile up behind me in line).  

P.S.  If anyone wants a large table painted with a mural of the Chiquita banana girl for $15, it is at Goodwill.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


This is going to be short, because I do need to study at some point this afternoon.  But I just wanted to give a quick summary of Oscar Quest 2009 and offer my predictions for tonight's awards.  Here's a rundown of all the nominated movies I've seen.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 
I liked this movie a lot.  It's not perfect; the first half seemed to drag on endlessly, but it picked up a lot in the second half.  Cate Blanchett never ceases to amaze me, and the special effects and makeup in this film were astounding.  I almost kept forgetting to pay attention to the movie, I was so busy trying to figure out how they made Brad Pitt into a 5-foot tall, 80 year old man.  Another one of its merits is that unlike a lot of other Oscar picks, I think it's a movie almost everyone would enjoy.  It's sad but happy all at the same time, and it doesn't leave you with a depressed feeling the way a lot of movies do.  The way the story was told reminded me a lot of Big Fish, which is another movie I love.  This got the most nominations out of any film this year, and while I don't think it's the best picture of the year, it definitely deserves to be recognized.  

This is my #2 pick for Best Picture, although I don't think it will win.  I went in expecting a politically charged biography/documentary and came out surprised.  Instead of being centered around history and politics and the state of a nation, the movie played out much more as the story of two men - both uncertain, both flawed, and both standing up for what they believe, however right or wrong it may have been.  Both actors provided insightful, practically flawless performances.  Even if you know nothing about Nixon (like me), I think you'll be surprised at how much you like this movie.  

I wrote a lot about this in a post a few weeks back. I'm going to predict that this will win for Best Picture.  It's a great movie and very well made, but I don't think it deserves the award.  I can't quite put my finger on why.  I think part of me feels that art should be art, and when its purpose is to promote a political or social agenda (regardless of what that agenda is) it loses something that makes it intrinsically beautiful.  I hesitate to make this statement, because I don't want anyone to think that I am opposed to the message in Milk (quite the contrary) or any other film that tells a story.  These movies are wonderful and they have their place.  I just don't think this one constitutes the best film of the year.  

The Reader. 
This was my absolute favorite of all the movies I saw in preparation for O.Q.'09.  The story is beautiful and creative, the acting is excellent, and the cinematography is subtle but perfect.  It's very sad, and I understand that some people don't like that; there is also a lot of sexual content at the beginning, so consider yourself warned.  It's absolutely beautiful, though, and I would see it again in a heartbeat.  My pick for Best Picture, hands down. (Although the Academy probably won't agree)  

Slumdog Millionaire. 
This movie has won about 38749382743 awards.  It's great.  The cinematography is amazing, the soundtrack is perfect, and the story is touching (albeit a tad predictable).  I would definitely watch this one again.  However, I'm not sure I understand why it's winning absolutely everything it can get its hands on.  I'm not complaining because it's a fabulous movie, but to me it wasn't significantly better than any of the other contenders.

Revolutionary Road.
"Sad" is not an adequate word to describe this film.  "Terrifying" might be more accurate.  After I walked out of the theatre, I felt physically sick to my stomach, it had affected me so much.  If you prefer happy endings (or happy beginnings or happy middles), this is not the film for you to see.  I'm still in shock that neither Kate Winslet nor Leonardo DiCaprio got nominated for their roles in this film, because the intensity of the performances both of them gave is unrivaled by anything else I have seen in recent years.  If I could write-in my own Academy Awards, both of them would win without any question.  

I'm a little disappointed that this didn't get a Best Picture nod, but I think I can see why.  While it's not on the epic scale of Benjamin Button, doesn't have the social implications of Milk, or the camera action of Slumdog, it's a poignant story told exceedingly well by an astounding cast.  It's almost directly based on a play (the playwright adapted his own script for the film version) and as a theatre lover I think that is part of why I loved it so much.  The cinematography is minimalistic, and it almost views more like a play than a movie in that the acting is what stands out the most.  Fittingly, though, it got four acting nominations: Meryl Streep for Best Actress, PSH for Supporting Actor (how on earth do they determine supporting vs. leading roles? who knows), and Amy Adams and Viola Davis are both nominated in the Supporting Actress category.  I wish them all the best of luck.

Animated short films:
"Lavatory-Lovestory."  ADORABLE.  I sincerely hope this wins.  
"Presto."  I love Pixar.  This is the short that played at the beginning of WALL-E (which I still haven't seen!).
"This Way Up."  I didn't really understand this one - I thought it was really weird.
"Oktapodi."  The shortest of the four, this is a cute and silly story of two squids (I think) that will definitely make you smile.  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This weekend, I received two pieces of amazing news.  

1. Friday night, Kara called me to let me know that she got accepted to medical school here at USA!  I'm so proud of her and excited!  She is awaiting a response from UAB before she decides where she will go, but I can imagine that she is so relieved to know that she will defintely be attending medical school.  And of course, I am putting in a good word for Mobile.  All the good words I can, actually.  (But seriously, she should go wherever she is happiest. Which would obviously be here.)

2. This afternoon, my best friend Erin called me to tell me that she is now ENGAGED!!  I am so happy for her and Gerrit, her awesome boyfriend who is now her fiancee.  (Weird.  I still feel like I'm not old enough to say that word.)  Anyways, I'm so so so happy for them!  I have known Erin literally my entire life, and ever since they started dating I think we all knew that this was the real thing.  Yay.  I just love weddings.  

In other news, I just watched the last of the Best Picture nominees.  Cutting it close, I know.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  I'm hoping to put up a post tomorrow with my predictions and a brief review of all of the Oscar nominees I saw.  But for now, it's time for an episode of 30 Rock, a bowl of ice cream, and my pillow.  I love bedtime.

P.S.  I should be banned from shopping.  Today I went to Target for groceries and came home with the latest Counting Crows CD and a new curling iron.  (It's really fancy!  And it was on sale!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why I was just not into this movie.

A few years ago, I read this book.  Normally, I don't like reading things that come recommended by talk show hosts and are subtitled things like "The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys."  Because honestly, that sounds so pretentious.  But it is not at all.  More so than anything I have ever read, this completely changed the way I viewed relationships.  It should be required reading for every girl.  So when I found out they were making a movie out of it, I was very excited and highly skeptical.  

I know that many of you, particularly those of the male persuasion, will never pick up this book or see the corresponding film, so let me quickly recap some of the points the book makes.  (Like I said, it's been a few years, but this is the general gist of it.)

1. Since the beginning of time, women have been lying to themselves and each other about the way they are being treated by men.  Random example: Jane is upset because a guy is not calling her when he said he would, and complains to her friend about it.  Jane's friend acts shocked and outraged at the mere idea that any guy would not worship at Jane's feet and assures her that either his phone is broken, or he got in a car wreck and is in the hospital unconscious, or he lost her number, etc.  Jane agrees wholeheartedly, becuase she wants this to be true.  

2. 99% of the time, these excuses are not true.  Yes, there are exceptions, and everyone has heard the story of someone whose boyfriend cheated on them but then did a complete 180 turnaround and now they're happily married, blah blah blah.  Do not treat yourself as the exception.  Treat your life as the rule.  

3.  When women believe these excuses, they fool themselves into thinking a guy is interested, when in fact, he's just not that into you.  There are a number of warning signs that show a guy is not that into you: he doesn't call, he doesn't take you on dates, he doesn't want to introduce you to his friends, he's cheating on you, he won't marry you, etc.  A guy will do anything to avoid telling someone he's not interested.

4. If women would pay attention to these signs and tell themselves and each other the truth, they would save a lot of heartbreak.  Because who wants to waste your time on someone who is not interested in seeing you?  You deserve someone who's the real deal, someone who really loves you and someone for whom you don't have to make excuses.

I was really curious how the transition from self-help book into romantic comedy was going to pan out.  The cast of the film is great, and the amount of big-name stars (Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, the list goes on) didn't hurt box office numbers, I'm sure.  It follows several different storylines that all vaguely intersect, and the ideas are clever.  I walked out of the movie with a general happy romantic-comedy feeling, but the more I thought about it, the more disappointed I was with the plot and script choices that were made.  

During the first 3/4 of the movie, they did a really good job of portraying the ideas I talked about above.  And for a romantic comedy, that's really impressive.  The film's major downfall, however, is this: the ending of several of the stories completely negate the points made in the film.  It kind of makes me mad, actually.  Out of the three major storylines, two of them end with the girls discovering in the final moments of the movie that they are, in fact, the exception to the rule.  Turns out he was just that into them in the first place.  What just happened?  It's like in the final 20 minutes of the script, the intelligent and empowered writers got tired and passed it over to the formulaic rom-com writers to finish it off.  

The book He's Just Not That Into You sends a strong and unrelenting message to women of all ages.  Don't lie to yourself, it says; believe the signs you see that HJNTIY and move on to someone better, because you deserve it.  The movie tries to portray the same message, but about 3/4 of the way through, it falls flat on its face and everyone lives happily ever after.  No, thank you.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

question of the day.

I have asked a lot of people this question before, but it's been awhile and I am curious to know what my blog readers will respond.  It's a three-part question:

1. In the movie of your life, what actor would you pick to play you?
2. Who would play your love interest?
3. Who would play your best friend?

My choices would be:
1. Laura Linney.  (I flip-flop on this one between her and Reese Witherspoon.  I can't decide.)
2. Jack Black (if you are confused about this choice, see The Holiday).  
3. Lauren Graham. 

I'm anxiously awaiting your responses.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

fashion designers are really attractive.

Betsey Johnson

Donatella Versace

Ralph Lauren

Diane von Furstenberg

Thursday, February 12, 2009


New Orleans.  Wow, where to even start?  It was kind of the most random weekend of my life.  It started out as a few of us planning to go to the Andrew Bird concert, and I think the final count of our group that went was somewhere around 15.  CRAZY.  

The original plan was this: Hannah, Ruth, Patrick, Michael, Kara, Casey, Britt, and Jonathan were going to come down Friday night and spend the night in my apartment.  Yeah.  After about five seconds I realized that was not going to work.  So after some finagling we decided to leave the guys in my place and me and the rest of the girls would go sleep at Anna's because I don't even think I have enough square feet for all of those people.  Well, a kink got put in that plan when Hannah called me at approximately 10 pm to say that her car was broken down in the ghetto part of Montgomery.  She had hit something in the road and there was a hole in her radiator.  Also there were five other people in her car with her.  So by the time Kara, Britt, and Jonathan arrived here, they were hanging out at some sketchball McDonald's waiting for a tow truck and for another friend of ours to come deliver a car to them.  I'm still a little fuzzy on how this all happened, but at about 2:30 am they made it to Mobile.  I'm still in awe that it was not me that was on the side of the road having car troubles, and I'm sorry that Hannah had to go through that and pay a ton of money to have her car fixed, but it all worked out and everyone was okay so that's all that mattered.

The next morning, we woke up and went to Satori (which was mysteriously closed) and then to Carpe Diem to get coffee and breakfast.  Anna Foust, because she is rockin', drove my car (Phil) because I hate driving but we trusted my car a little more than hers.  It worked out quite nicely. 


We got a late start (one lost/found credit card, no big) but we got to New Orleans about 12:30 or so.  Hannah (who is awesome) selected our hotel sight unseen based on Internet reviews.  This is sometimes a good idea and sometimes not.  I still can't decide which it was.  It may have been in the dodgiest neighborhood of New Orleans.  However, the hotel was adorable.  It was called the Olde Town Inn and it was bright yellow and you had to go through this awesome courtyard thing to get to the room.  Inside, the room looked like it was built in approximately 1850, but it was charming and there were about 10 of us staying in it so it didn't really matter anyway.  And it was super cheap and we're all still alive so no complaints here.  We took some sweet photoshoots in the parking lot.  And by "we," I mean Britt Doss, aka Chanel No. 5 for all of you medical school readers.  He and Kara both have really legit cameras and they were snappin' all weekend long and I don't even know where the batteries for my camera are, so.... I stole his pictures.  I would have stolen hers but she hasn't put them on Facebook yet.  


me and Kara in front of some random blue trailer in the parking lot. things are very colorful in this city.

Kara, me, Anna, and Jonathan being really random.  I am talking to my mom on the phone.  

We met up with our super cool friends Mark and Sam who are from Hattiesburg and we all ate lunch at this cute place called Angeli's.  Apparently Brad and Angelina eat there all the time.  Also Miles (my super awesome friend who goes to Tulane and used to be my fake Facebook husband for like two years) came and met up with us and he showed me where they actually live which is right around the corner.  I was freaking out.  I wanted to stalk them and their sixteen little multicultural children.  Until someone pointed out that they don't really "live" in New Orleans that much because they are always making movies and doing Hollywood stuff.  So we didn't bump into them.  Oh well.  After lunch we kind of split up because we were obnoxiously large.  The group of us, I mean.  None of us were particularly large individually.  So me and Miles and Anna went in search of coffee (duh) and found some, in the form of a "granita," which is my new favorite beverage.  It's like a coffee slushy, which sounds gross, but it's like all the best properties of coffee (caffeinated, delicious, sweet but not too sweet) mixed with all the properties of a slushy (you get to drink it with a straw, it's cold and fun) and combined, there is a sort of multiplier effect so that it is infinitely better than the sum of its parts.  (Note: the fact that I was walking down the street in New Orleans in short sleeves on a 75 degree February afternoon probably made the beverage even tastier.) 

candid shot.  me and miles apparently coordinated our sunglass-adjusting.

Miles gave Anna and I the tour-guide version of the city.  I paid attention to about 30% of it.  It's a cool place.  Also we went into Urban Outfitters, where I didn't buy a scarf.  Soon we found Kara and Britt and Jonathan where they were sitting on the grass in Jackson Square.  (An aside: Kara was carrying my wallet in her purse.  In return, I carried around her neon yellow Frisbee all day.  I looked ridiculous.)  So we hung out there for a little bit and people-watched.  Then we realized that we should probably make the trek back to the hotel so we could stash our purses and stuff before the show.  Let me just say that the hotel was about 2.5 miles away.  I have never walked so much in one day in my life.  Also we were kind of confused about where we were going.  We passed a very nice looking gay couple wearing Gucci glasses and decided to ask them for directions.  This is how the conversation went. (This occurred at approximately 4:30 pm in broad daylight.)

Anna:  Excuse me, do you know how far up North Rampart Street is?
Man:  (shocked look on his face)  Why on earth would you be going there?  For the parade?  (we are clearly heading the opposite direction of the parade)
Anna: It's where our hotel is.
Man:  (exchanging nervous glances with his partner) Well, okay... it's a few blocks up that way and turn right.  And STAY TOGETHER, girls.  Good luck.

A little more afraid than we had been, we completed the walk to the hotel.  After we finished getting ready, we turned right back around and started to walk down to the French Quarter.  The first Mardi Gras parade was occurring that night.  We were hoping to catch some of it before the show.  Well, the only problem with that plan was that we were also hungry, and we wanted a quick place to grab food.  Turns out that every place along the parade route was PACKED.  So we had to go super out of the way to eat at this sushi place called Wasabi, and while we were there we discovered that Jonathan did not have his driver's license.  He ran back to the hotel (again) and couldn't find it there either, so everyone was pretty frazzled.  Finally, at around 7, we met back up with Jonathan (still ID-less) and headed towards the House of Blues.  There was an obstacle in our way, however, in the form of the Mardi Gras parade.  We had to cross the street where the parade was happening, and that just wasn't going to work.  We got lucky, though, because it was the tail end of the parade and we only had to wait 10 or so minutes for it to pass.  

After we crossed the street, we asked some nice looking people which way we needed to go to get to the House of Blues.  Their response: "Are you guys going to Andrew Bird! Oh man!  Lucky dogs!"  I felt pretty awesome.  Also we hightailed it there, speedwalking through a massive crowd the entire way, and the 5 of us made it in like 10 minutes.  We might be the best speed walkers New Orleans has ever seen.  And we weren't even wearing fanny packs.  When we got to the HOB, we lined up outside to get our hands stamped.  (I got my hands stamped! And a bracelet! I'm so old!)  While in line we met up with the rest of our group.  There was a lot of ticket shuffling and random plans being made because a few of the guys didn't have tickets.  Ruth and Casey discovered that Joshua Radin was also playing at the HOB the same night and so they sold their Andrew Bird tickets so they could go to that one.  I was the tiniest bit jealous because I love Josh but I knew I was making the right decision.  Because let me tell you,  this was the most amazing musical performance I have seen in my entire life.  I am not even exaggerating right now.  I didn't really know what it would be like because Andrew Bird's music is really different than most other stuff I listen to, but I was seriously impressed.

Okay so when he first came onto the stage, it was just him - no band or anything.  He was holding his violin.  He began by plucking out a really simple phrase on the strings.  Meanwhile, he was pressing all these foot pedals.  I figured out in about 2 seconds that what he was doing was recording that phrase and looping it.  So he plucked a phrase, recorded it, played it on loop, then he plucked a different phrase and did the same thing.  Then he got out his bow and started playing phrases.  All of this got layered on top of each other until it sounded like a freaking orchestra was playing except nope, it was just him.  Then when all the violin parts were recorded he picked up his guitar and started doing the same thing.  I think all of our chins were about to hit the floor.  He played a few songs solo just like that.  Then his band came out and it was no less amazing.  The keyboardist was also the drummer, and the bass player also played saxophone.  No big deal.

Oh, and did I mention the whistling?  Because he whistles with perfect pitch.  I don't even understand how you can do that, but he would stand there for a second, bow poised above the violin, lost in thought, and then he would launch into a melody, simultaneously playing and whistling.  I think he might have had a flute hidden inside his mouth because I do not know of anyone who can make noises like that.  It was so weird and cool.  By the time he got a few songs into the set, his violin bow was shedding strings like crazy.  It was kind of funny to watch him playing and there were long strings hanging off of both ends of the bow.  

His stage had some pretty crazy additions to it.  This is just a picture I found off the Internet (there was no screen at the House of Blues, it's a really small venue) but check out these awesome megaphone things.  The white one in the back spins around and created a Doppler effect during the really intense songs.  

I would like to meet this Andrew Bird someday, because I think he would be a very interesting person.  He is almost certainly very weird.  I heard an NPR interview with him once where they asked him what other music he had been listening to lately.  He thought for a minute, and then answered something to this effect:  "I used to walk into record stores and just want to buy everything and listen to it.  But lately, I haven't been doing that very much.  The music that is going on inside my head is really more than enough for me."  And after seeing him, I believe it.  Anyone who stands on stage with a violin in one hand and a guitar strapped to his back, all the while whistling perfect melodies and operating multiple looping and recording foot pedals, has probably got some pretty intense music going on inside his head.  

Here are a few of my favorite songs he played.  I have tried to find youtube videos that capture what was happening because it's pretty mind-boggling.

a nervous tic motion of the head to the left

fitz and the dizzyspells



After the show, we went to Cafe Du Monde to get beignets.  They were amazing.  The rest of them ended up going out but Anna, Kara, and I headed back to the hotel because it was like 1:30 am and we were beat, and I have narcolepsy and that is way past my bedtime.  Nothing really eventful (thank goodness) happened on the way back to sketchville.  We did see two really drunk guys riding bicycles and yelling stupid insults at each other from across the street and it was pretty hilarious.  By the time we got back, we pretty much fell straight asleep and then we woke up at 10 and drove back in our pajamas.

It was a pretty awesome weekend if I do say so myself.  This post is also really long and I'm sorry if I bored any you, but you should definitely check out a couple of the videos and maybe you will understand what I mean about how awesome it was. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

briefly, a few things

1. New Orleans post coming soon, I promise. 

2.  I don't know how many of you have read my other music blog that I write with a couple other friends, but in case any of you do, it has recently moved because we were having issues with Blogger and the whole music-posting thing.  The new address is here:

I am hoping to get more regular about updating it.  Be sure to check it out because I posted the link to a really awesome album I found out about that is being released for free.  Get excited.

3. This very minute, Kara is interviewing for med school here!  Yay!  Pray it goes well for her!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Expect a post about my trip to New Orleans this weekend later today.  Right now, however, I just wanted to tell a fun little story from yesterday:

My friend Kara is staying with me for a few days before she has a med school interview here on Wednesday.  She and Liz were at my apartment yesterday afternoon and we were sitting in my living room.  I went into my bedroom because I had to make a phone call, and while I was laying on my bed, I noticed something strange in my pillow.  Not the pillow I sleep on, but the sham one.  The pillowcase is mostly white so I could kind of see through it, and there was something weird-shaped and brownish underneath it.  It looked like a dead bug, so I was kind of grossed out.  As soon as I got off the phone, I brought it in there and was like look at this, there's something in my pillow.  I figured it was a dead spider, and Kara (being awesome) offered to get it out for me because I was not sure I wanted to see my new friend that had been living inside my bedding.  As soon as she pulled back the pillowcase, however, an extremely shocked look came over her face.  

"You're not going to believe this," she exclaimed.  Well, now I'm even more freaked out.  "Is it a brown recluse?"  I asked.  Nope, it was not a brown recluse.  "Weirder," was the response.  Liz went and looked at it and was equally shocked.  Finally, I went to see what it was.  And friends... it was a lizard.  A dried up, dead baby lizard.  Inside my pillow sham.  It had been there for who knows how long.  I don't know why this grossed me out so much, because lizards are pretty harmless, and live ones don't freak me out, but I am kind of scarred from this one.  It was really creepy looking.  Its eyes were huge.  Kara got a picture of it on her camera, so I will upload it when I get a chance.  Also, I can't figure out how it got there.  This wasn't even a normal pillowcase where it could have just crawled in at the big open space at the end... the opening is on the back of the pillow and it's like an overlapping slit thing.  And the lizard was at the FRONT of the pillow.  So it would have had quite a journey to make just to suffocate to death.  What is going on? 

Friday, February 6, 2009


As part of Oscar Quest '09 I went to see the movie Milk last Thursday night.  Apparently Mobile has an indie movie theatre (who knew?  I like this city better every day) and it's showing for the next week or two.  Kacie, Shannon, Sarah Beth and I met a few second years and hit up the 6pm showing.  It was only 6 bucks if you went to the 6pm showing, and we figured that it wouldn't be very crowded on a weeknight, right?  Wrong.  It was packed.  We were about five minutes late and we couldn't even sit together it was so crowded.  Also, they don't show previews, so we missed the first few minutes, but it wasn't a big deal.

I honestly had no idea whether I would like this movie or not.  I was a little bit skeptical.  If you don't know what it's about, it's an independent film (documentary? I'm not sure) chronicling the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to become a city supervisor of San Francisco.  I didn't know the story, but from the historical photos and facts they showed at the end of the film, it looks like they pretty much stuck to the history.  I'd like to read a little bit about it, though.

Set in the 1970s, the cultural differences in this film were what shocked me the most.  The struggle for gay rights is definitely ongoing today, but there are completely different battles being fought today than there were thirty and forty years ago.  Regardless of where you stand on the gay marriage issue, the viewpoints of some characters (the Christians, go figure) in this movie are shocking.  Homosexuality is a complex issue that evokes a lot of emotional responses from both sides, and that fact is hyperevident here.  The crux of the film lies in Milk's fight against 1978's Proposition 6, a proposed California amendment that would have allowed the state's education department to fire any teacher for whom they had evidence of homosexuality.  The religious right's depiction of gays as predators whose sole purpose for teaching was to convert children to their lifestyle seems absurd, but it reflected the views of a large part of America at that time, and the fundamentalist Christians were at the heart of the movement supporting this amendment.  The Christians were the ones trying to prevent gays not just from getting married, but from shopping in stores, having jobs, and buying houses.  It's eye-opening, if nothing else.  

The film, I thought, was very well done.  Sean Penn looks a lot like the real Harvey Milk, which is kind of random but cool.  It's hard for me to compare this movie to, say, Slumdog Millionaire or The Reader because it's so different.  I will say that I don't think it is the best picture of the year, but the subject matter will definitely give it a lot of pull with the Hollywood crowd.  We'll see what happens.  I didn't agree with a lot of things in the film, and parts of it made me uncomfortable, but thought provocation is an indicator of a well-made piece of art and I think almost everyone could benefit from seeing this movie.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

celebrity blogs: top four

There are two things about me you should know.

A) I'm a stalker.

B) I love Google Reader.  Every day, new syndicated content in the form of blogs from across the World Wide Web is delivered instantly to my computer screen.  If you haven't used Reader yet, you should give it a try.  

The logical conclusion that one could draw from these two facts is that I love to read blogs of people that I do not know in real life.  This conclusion is correct.  I have come across many, but there are a few of these celebrity blogs that continually amaze me.  These are the ones that keep me reading day after day.  I have decided that it's only fair to share these with you.  
WARNING:  I am not responsible for any sketchy content that may or may not appear on these pages.  They're celebrities, after all.  They exist in an alternate universe.

Without further ado, and in no particular order:

1) THINGS I BOUGHT THAT I LOVE [http://thingsiboughtthatilove.com/]
If you are an avid Office fan like I am, you will recognize the name Mindy Kaling.  She plays Kelly, one of my favorite characters on the show, but she is also one of the show's writers.  She also writes possibly the funniest blog I have ever read.  She is a self-confessed shopaholic and writes hilarious discourses about various things she has purchased.  I highly recommend that you go read every entry.  

While not as entertaining as his novels (could anything ever be as entertaining as his novels?), one of my comedic heroes provides an ongoing dry and witty commentary of just about everything - books he's read, music he's listened to, stupid people he's encountered, you name it.  Notice the second post down entitled "I have just come back."  I am pretty sure I laughed out loud for a long time after I read that one.  Also, it keeps me posted on what he's up to; he wrote the screenplay for an independent movie called An Education that recently got picked up at the Sundance Festival for US distribution. 

3) THE CARDINAL CAVE [ http://cave.cardinology.com/ ]
An open letter to Ryan Adams: Unstable as you might be, I am simultaneously enthralled and creeped out by your constant life documentation on this blog.  I would say that it's where I found out that you were retiring from music next month, but by the time I got around to reading, you had deleted the post in a fit of fiery rage, leaving only a cryptic message behind.  Of course, this led me to peruse the rest of the Internet to figure out what was actually going on.  (For some reason, the detailed posts outlining symptoms of your medical condition didn't tip me off, but now I have put the pieces together.  Don't worry.)  Your photography skills are pretty rad as well -- this is what tipped me off that you were dating Mandy Moore.  This has apparently been old news for months, but I was unaware.  Good thing I came across that photo of her (codename: Bug) that you posted yesterday.  I guess what I'm trying to say, Ryan, is to keep on keeping us guessing.  Because now that you're no longer going to make music, what else will keep people talking about you?  

4) INGRID MICHAELSON'S TWITTER  [ http://twitter.com/ingridmusic ]
I guess this isn't really a blog, but it might be better.  Not only is she hilarious and her music's amazing, but she updates her Twitter more than most of my actual friends do, which always provides for some sweet entertainment.  Also, she just started a real blog the other day (entitled "Bliggity Blog"), which can be found at http://ingridmichaelson.tumblr.com/.  Read and enjoy.

I hope these provide at least one person with some entertainment for the afternoon.   Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


1. I am disappointed in the lack of response to my top-3-songs-for-the-rest-of-your-life post.  However, I would like to provide you with an update.  I have thought of some new contenders to hold the title of song #3.  

-"The Trapeze Swinger" by Iron & Wine.  This song is phenomenally wonderful.  It is also very long, which is a good quality to have in this situation. 
- "For Emma" (myspace version) by Bon Iver.  This one is really great too; however, it's super short (I think only 2 minutes) so I would have to listen to it many more times.  But that might not be a problem. 

2. Readers, you'll be happy to know that Motivated Allison was able to overcome the odds this morning after only two presses of the snooze button.  Not only that, but Motivated Allison went to the GYM.  At 7:45 am.  I'm kind of in awe of this fact.  I might brag about it a lot.  Perhaps it will become my new daily routine.  I feel very triumphant today.   

3. ALSO, this may be TMI, but I have super dry skin in the winter.  It's a problem.  While pondering this yesterday, I noticed that I have about a thousand types of lotion.  So as a service to the general population of all 5 of you that read this blog, I am going to test all the various lotions I own in a systematic, experimental format over the next couple of days and review and rate them on here.  If anyone knows of any amazing products they think I should try as well, please let me know and I will include it.  (As long as it's not super expensive.  I'm sure that there's some type of like, Chanel dry-hand-cream that costs $400 that is amazing, but you know, I just don't care quite that much.)  Also, I am still pondering what the conditions of this experiment should be, since I want to be fair to all products represented in the trial.  How should I do it?

Monday, February 2, 2009

waking up.

Some people love mornings.  When the alarm clock goes off, they jump out of bed, excited about the start of a new day.  I, on the other hand, do not like mornings.  Once I am out of bed, showered, and have coffee I am usually pretty good, but getting there is a huge challenge.  You know in movies when people have an angel one one shoulder and a devil on the other shoulder and they're arguing?  It's kind of like that.  Here's how the conversation goes.

6:15 - alarm goes off.
Motivated (and ridiculously optimistic) Allison: It's 6:15!  I'm so glad I decided to wake up early today, this will give me plenty of time to fix my hair, eat a balanced breakfast, and do my daily devotional before arriving to class in plenty of time to be ready to begin learning for the day.
Narcoleptic Allison:  I hate you.  Sleep.  (presses snooze button).

6:23 - radio alarm goes off again.
Narcoleptic Allison:  Has it really been eight whole minutes? 
Motivated Allison: All right! Time to get --
Narcoleptic Allison: (presses snooze and immediately falls back asleep)

6:25 - cell phone alarm goes off from the BATHROOM, where I have strategically placed it to make sure I have to get out of bed to turn it off.
Motivated Allison: If I get up now, I'll still be able to fix my hair with barely enough time.
Narcoleptic Allison:  Okay, we're getting up now.  (walks to the bathroom, grabs phone, gets back in bed, resets alarm with eyes closed, falls back asleep).  

6:31 - radio alarm goes off again.
Motivated Allison: I should definitely get up now so I can pick out my clothes for the day. I bought a new sweater and I'm really excited about wearing it!
Narcoleptic Allison:  I was going to get up this time for sure, but there's a commercial on the radio.  Who wants to wake up to a carpet commercial?  I bet there will be a good song on eight minutes from now.  (snooze again)

6:39 - radio alarm goes off again.
Motivated Allison:  I love this song!  Perfect motivation to get out of bed.  Let's go.
Narcoleptic Allison:  Class starts at 8:00.  It will take me approximately five minutes to drive there if I hit the traffic light.  15 minutes for shower and clothes, 5 minutes to make coffee.  So technically, I could sleep until 7:35. (snooze again) Note: Narcoleptic Allison is really awesome at math.  Even when asleep, she can figure out complex equations relating to timing of morning routines.  

6:45 - cell phone alarm goes off again.
Narcoleptic Allison:  Good thing the phone's in bed with me this time, turning it off is a lot easier. (snoozes the cell phone alarm)

6:47 - radio alarm goes off again.
Motivated Allison:  You are not pressing snooze again.  This is getting ridiculous.  
Narcoleptic Allison:  But - but - 
Motivated Allison:  Do not close your eyes.
Narcoleptic Allison: I'm closing them.
Motivated Allison: NO.

After several minutes of struggle, M.A. usually drags N.A. out of bed.  It's usually a close battle, but so far, M.A. has been able to prevail.  

Does anyone else have a similar morning routine, or is it just me?