Archive for January, 2010


Chuck to the Skies!

Last week’s episode of Chuck was great. It really feels like the show is back on its full footing after its hiatus. The first few episodes the creators seemed to need to work quickly to fill in gaps, but now that they’ve gotten over the hurdle, they’re cooking with gas.

As always, spoilers if you haven’t seen the episode. This time I’m gonna put it after the cut.

Chuck invites you to come in & get comfy.

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Prompt me- pt. 4

Today was a snow day! We had about 5 inches or more around the area and while the white was beautiful, the gross icy rain kept me inside. That meant pancakes and chicken noodle soup and mimosas and good movies and TV and just being comfy and lazy all day.

In case you couldn’t tell, having a reason to be lazy is great around my house. My parents were ecstatic not to have to do anything today, they’ve been so busy lately. A forced winter vacation was just what they needed. Also, I’m in a totally cozy mood and spent no time today thinking about what I should write about, so I’m gonna do a prompt.

Please enjoy!

I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn’t enough.

(Original prompt here)

I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn’t enough. Or, at least, that’s what it felt like. It’s weird, in class I feel invincible, but as an intern I’m all thumbs. Working for the firm has been… difficult. Until now, I’ve never felt like I’d be less qualified to be a lawyer then I do now, but here I am, completely blowing my shot by screwing up my internship. I’m trying. That’s obvious to everyone here, I’ve practically made my mark all over the office. I broke the stapler while I was filing, spilled coffee on my desk mate’s mouse, ordered the wrong food for the boss. Could there be a worse intern? But I am putting in the effort. I get all my research in on time, take the best notes at meetings… I guess I’m not that awful. Except for when my boss catches me daydreaming, like I was just doing. I’ll never make it.

Done!

I went longer than my five minute time limit, but I was weirdly distracted. Mostly by the fact that I wanted to do a fiction story about a law student intern.

Weird.

Anyhoodle, time for bed. Have a great day, y’all!

Whites Out

Alright kidlets I had to stay late at work today, only to have to leave at about 7:30 so that I could beat the snow.

Bottom line I’m mostly exhausted and have no idea what to write about… Except maybe about how crazy the full moon makes everything.

Any who, I though it’d be fun to do a snow day picspam of a snow day from about two years ago at Elon. Enjoy…

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Alright y’all, enjoy your snow day tomorrow if you got it!

Snow Way

There is a lot of grumbling about there being some snow/ice/wintery mix/crap sometime Friday night and maybe all day Saturday. They’re calling for obscene amounts of precipitation and around these parts that is never a good thing. Sadly for our area, rarely do we ever get 3 inches of nicely perfect snow. No, what we usually get is ice/rain/snow that turns into gray slush all over the land. It’s not that pretty. Last winter we had a few pretty days of snow, but that was such a rare occurrence I’d be shocked if it happened again.

Regardless of what ends up falling, my state does not handle it well. In fact I think the RTP might handle massive spontaneous wildfires better than it handles snow/ice. The January of my senior year of high school we had some snow which ended up being maybe about half an inch of ice in some places, which wouldn’t have been too bad had people not freaked out. Children had to stay overnights in schools, people were abandoning their cars on major roads because traffic was at a standstill, some people were stuck in traffic for about 5 hours on a route that normally would have taken about 45 minutes. This, of course, made national news and basically everyone in America made fun of us because we just couldn’t get our acts together. Yep, definitely a proud moment.

That having been said, lemme give a few tips for those of you who have a tendency to lose your mind if you see wet, cold stuff falling from the sky.

DO NOT GO OUTSIDE AND DRIVE IF YOU DO NOT NEED TO.

I don’t care if you have 4-wheel drive or not, stay inside. People tend to zoom around ON ICE like their cars can handle it, but it doesn’t matter what kind of car you have, if there’s ice it can be dangerous. If you need to drive, drive prudently. Be careful of wind, black ice and other nastiness.

Ok, that’s about it. Be safe, Carolinians! And please don’t embarrass me on national news any more, mmk?

No, really, its good reality

Obviously I’ve made no effort to hide my love for dumb reality television (love you, Tough Love), but I don’t think I’ve paid enough attention to a show that I think is actually good: The Biggest Loser.

The Host, Alison, and the two trainers, Bob and Jillian

My mom was the one who got me hooked on this show and I’m glad she did. It’s a show that has a ton of heart and manages to be uplifting and not exploitative towards the contestants. Its clear that most of the people involved want to see the contestants succeed(save for the producers inciting drama, but we’ll get to that later), which is really empowering and touching to see on a reality show (a medium that is often solely used to subtly humiliate those who would accept their fate for a short spot at fame).

First: the contestants. 90% of the people on that show are just there to get healthy and they have so much heart and genuinely good character. With any reality show there are some obvious “game players,” but for the most part many of the people on this show are positive and passionate about changing. Hearing some of their stories makes me cry. The contestants make this show great. They’re there to make a positive difference in their lives and they just seem so eager to do it and help each other out as opposed to tear each other down. And good people make me happy, darnit.

The trainers are awesome. I personally love it when trainers get all sadistic with the people they’re working with and Bob and Jillian really don’t hold any punches so to speak. They’re brutal with the group (Jillian, despite her teeny tiny size, ends up being the biggest “bully” of the two, but they occasionally switch off as to whose the bigger tyrant) but they do it because they really want the contestants to get better. Both of them are life coaches and they’re not only trying to get the players to shed pounds, but break down the walls and patterns that brought most of the people to over-eating and self-destruction. Bob and Jillian, despite they’re tough demeanor, are passionate about helping people live healthy lives. Nothing that they do is out of vanity; they work with people because they hate the idea that someone is not living the best life possible, which is pretty fantastic. Obviously, both of them are strong-willed and this can cause head-butting with some of the contestants, but overall the trainers do a great job.

Alison, the host, is also great. She clearly empathizes with many of the contestants and also wants them to succeed (she is always everyone’s biggest cheerleader when they’re in the middle of challenges), but she stays out of the drama, which is what you want in a host. She’s the objective eye, watching and reacting, but never voicing her opinion… Unless it’s to say something upbeat and sweet.

Overall it’s a great show with a lot of heart… Even if its clear much of the casting is done in an effort to create optimum tension for the cast. That plus some of the ridiculous challenges the contestants have to face, there is plenty of tension to be had. Stinking producers!

Ok, spoilers below, because I have to rant.

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Prompt Me- pt. 3

Ok, 5 minute timed writing prompt. The idea here is to spend five minutes writing, not editing and then just post it. Let’s go.

I’m beginning to feel that if we’ve got to go on, then we’d best get it over.

(Original prompt here)

I’m not sure I quite get what this prompt is referring to. Seriously, what’s “it” that we have to get over. But I love the idea that there’s a finality to one step then the next. At some point, you’ve got to close a chapter to get to your next part of your life. I guess some people like to hang on to things. Especially with relationships, people will cling to what they’ve already experienced, even if there’s a better opportunity elsewhere.

I also like the idea that the speaker is literally getting over something. It reminds me of those kids in Stand By Me that went on their adventure to find a dead body. You’ve gotta get over the physical obstacles in life to find your dead body.

Or something. The gym was fun tonight. And I know I’ve got to learn to get over the overwhelming cravings I have for donuts in order to lose weight.

Blah.

Time’s up. And my bedtime was long ago. Ok, kiddies, goodnight.


Austen’s Pretty Lights

Let me start off by being honest, almost quarterly, without any plan, I have this intense desire to watch BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. Keep in mind that this is a mini-series several hours long. I don’t care. I usually do laundry or eat some launch or what have you and sometimes it will get spread out over a weekend, but I have to watch it. This is borderline insane behavior, but whatever, Ehle and Firth forever!

Lovelovelove Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

But I guess what I really should be saying is that I adore the Austen universe. So naturally I’ve been pretty excited about PBS’s broadcast of BBC’s Emma. The miniseries seems to be very good so far and I can’t wait to see the conclusion next week for the story I already know the ending of.

Also in my ardent love for Austen’s romance I’m resolving to read and reread her novels this year… And because I ardently love to hate stupid romance chick-lit type junk (satire has to be balanced by saccharine), I’m reading Jane Austen Ruined My Life, which is also helping me keep in line with my resolutions (I’m reading). So far I’ve discovered that two people with PhDs in literature can have a casual conversation and make a joke about the irony of a situation… EVEN THOUGH THE EXAMPLE THEY USE IS NOT IRONY!!!

Do not start me on my irony v. coincidence rant, Lord, could I go on… Alanis Morissette.

But anyway, since I’m immersing myself in Miss Austen’s realm and embracing her passion for romance and frivolity, I’ll probably be a hopeless & wistful (mostly hopeless) romantic for a little while. I apologize if my posts sound sappy or sentimental.

But I will not apologize for using words like “thither” and suggesting that one “may be mistaken.”

Pull the Trigger, Chuck

Last week’s episode of Chuck seemed to be the official “conflict” kick-off for this season, which was nice. What works about the show is that Chuck is often confronted with the fact that no matter how ernest he is and how much he tries and how badly he wants to do well, there will always be a much better Hollywood spy. Not only did Chuck have to deal with the lingering reminder that Captain Awesome is better than him in every way (so much so that a professional spy thought it’d be illogical to assume that anyone else in the household could be working in espionage), but he has to deal with a new spy swinging in from the rafters ready to save the day.

Naturally, Chuck ends up getting up with Devon and he and the crew pull a debriefing to see what happened. This leads to the boss deciding they should follow the opportunity to discover more about the bad guys, which of course leads to Devon getting a bomb strapped to his ear. Because, well, that’s how evil villains work. Devon is then instructed over his spy phone to go kill someone, which Chuck and the crew end up doing for him (Chuck does not “stay in the van,” as the usual wont is for this show, but Casey and Sarah end up getting locked in the van by the bad guy girl and the NSA boss-lady, weird). When Chuck gets to the room where they’re supposed to kill the dude, Dude turns out to be very dapper and insists that  Chuck should kill him. Chuck can’t, Dude swallows a pill, there’s some gun handing over and then evil spy, Angie Harmon, comes in and continues to assume that Devon is Captain Awesome Spy and she exits stage left. Dapper Dude is revived and he joins the crew as per the instruction of NSA boss lady, because yea, he’s taking over this mission now.

Chuck of course is worried for his family’s safety so he steals the secret baddie cell phone and convinces the bad guys to come to the Buy More under the belief that he’s the real spy (which, technically, yes, but also, very much, technically no). There’s about to be a fight and Chuck logically calls his backup crew to bail him out, but Dapper Dude says that this is against what he wanted so Chuck is on his own. Casey and Sarah see Chuck take a few licks over the security cam and eff the idea of letting Chuck “handle” anything and go in to save the day. Angie Harmon is shot and Devon is safe because the Ring operatives work in “cells” and blahblahblah plot contrivances, whatever. Chuck and crew can breathe easy. As the folks meet at Chucks for his bachelor pad “home sweet home” party, Dapper Dude Spy watches on longingly and then stares at a ring. To be continued.

Also great in this week’s show? Morgan was made Assistant Manager at the Buy More and ended up having to break up an insane Fight Club at the Buy More. It was too funny.

Ultimately it was a great set up for what’s sure to be a fun story arc for a few episodes. Dapper Dude provides intrigue and Chuck is still trying his hardest to not Get Smart the whole thing (an astute observation from my dad).

Same old fun quips and enough to get you ready for next week. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kristen Kreuk are set to guest star in the upcoming episode, so that should be fun.

This awards’ season movies that people have been talking about I’ve actually been able to see. Some have been getting comments for writing, visuals, acting and/or directing, but there seems to be some truly great aspects to all of these films. Let’s discuss some of these films, shall we?

Avatar is obviously the film getting the most press. It’s  decent movie, to be sure. Best picture, Hollywood Foreign Press? I think not. I saw it for the second time on Thursday and for the first time in 3D (and IMAX, for that matter). While the visuals are stunning in general, they are definitely enhanced in IMAX 3D. It was amazing to see the baby fine hairs at the crown of Neytiri’s forehead feel just as tangible as the arrow and dragon. Seriously, the detail in the aesthetics is… ballistic. James Cameron desires a lot of respect for taking his imagination and just pouring it onto the screen.  And the ending battle is fantastic. But the story and pacing are lacking. I know a lot of people have made a comments pointing out that it’s basically Ferngully/ Dances with Wolves/ Pochantas in space, which… well it is. And seeing it a second time really highlighted the obnoxiousness of some of the dialog. But if you want to see some really beautiful and breathtaking imagery and can stand the almost three hour run time with a story that you’ve heard a thousand times before, it’s worth checking out.

Checking out, not drooling over like it’s the most amazing piece of cinema to come into existence. There are much, much, much better films out there today. One film that touched my heart was Precious. For a film that carried such pain a heartache there was also this amazing hopefulness that was present during the film. The story was incredible and I don’t know how you could leave the theater not feeling something for the characters. All of the performances were so raw and incredible, if you’re interested in acting at all the film is a must see. Regardless though it’s a film people should see at least once to become more aware of different way of life.

Another eye-opening film that I just recently saw was The Hurt Locker. It was so intimate and so powerful. Again the performances by the key characters are superb. You feel so close to the soldiers as they work through their incredibly difficult mission, it’s almost claustrophobic. The directing makes a very difficult subject matter feel so… close to home. As someone who doesn’t have a close family member in the military and who has never served in the military, I felt like I knew so much about the experience. It was phenomenal. Also, it’s a film that’s great for guys. Seriously check it out.

Lastly, but definitely not least, (500) Days of Summer. Such a great film about heartache and hope (and I mean that in a completely different way then Precious). It will make you feel much better about life than the past two films and it’s very sweet, without being saccharine. The writing is great, too, evening if the ending is a smidge cheesy. If you’ve ever been hurt by love, empowered by love, impacted by someone else, this film will speak volumes for you.

All of the past three films are better works of cinematic story telling than Avatar, but they seem to not quite be getting the accolades they deserve. Which is an outright shame.

Ok, I guess that’s enough from me. Tell me what you think and what movies you’d give awards to.

Brain Dead

After an extremely stressful day at work and an awesome wind down with the folks, I’m brain dead. I watched The Hurt Locker and thought about blogging about it, Precious and Avatar, but I just can’t even function. I’ll do that tomorrow, promise.

But since I’m bread dead I can’t even think about writing something. I’ll just grab some points to talk about.

  • My dad, mom and I discussed the five best songs over coffee. We obviously could not come to any type of consensus, but we had a ton of fun discussing how impossible it is to think of your top five favorite songs of all time are.
  • The french very rarely use “w.” Their “wah” sound comes from “ou.” You know, like in the word “oui.” Just thought you should know.
  • I say “you know” way way way way way too much. I think I have a deep seeded paranoia that no one is listening to me babble.
  • Girl scout cookies help everything.

I need to stop temping and find a permanent job. I want to do something I’m passionate about.

Maybe I should figure that junk out. 22 is a weird place to be in. I hate transitional places. I’m gonna figure my life out soon.