Friday, October 30, 2009

Tripping Wire


Have you ever been to Chuck E. Cheese?

If you have, what do you remember?

Here's what I remember. I remember going to Chuck E. Cheese and going up front to the stage and my brother and other guy cousins going up to the female robotic character that dances around on the stage and looking up her skirt. No. Lie. Creeps. ;)

I also remember that I never really enjoyed their pizza. And that says a lot. Cause PIZZA is my weakness. And you know, they say that in your weakness, God is strong. And I gotta testify. In my pizza, God is strong! I love pizza. :D

I ate pizza today for lunch. I went to Pagliacci's pizza and ordered my pizza, got my pizza and stood in line to pay. Next to me was this chick who looked like she stepped right out of Sailor Moon. No. Lie. So naturally, I'm thinking . . . day before Halloween, office party, dress up, fun costume. I was a HUGE fan of Sailor Moon when I was a kid. So I did the only rational thing in my brain at the moment and I complimented her.

It went like this:

Me: I LOVE your costume! I was always a fan of Sailor Moon. You really rock the outfit. (all said with a goofy grin only a 6 year old could have)
Her: (looking slightly offended) Um. Thanks, but it's not a costume.
ME: (in an awkward attempt to recover) oh. sorry.

Luckily we were both paying at the time so it was a short conversation, after which I made a bee line for the door.

Okay. Let's get real. I've had awkward moments before. I mean, just last night some chick in a car next to me saw me sniffing my new coffee grounds from Cupcake Royale. I know I'm awkward and crazy stuff happens to me all the time. I get it.

But the look on her face seriously made me feel like I'd just run over her cat or something.

K.Rowe offered me solace. But a word to the wise, unless it's Halloween night, just let it go. just. let. it. go.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Wake Me

Wow. I tell you, these extra two hours each day are something else! ;) Granted, the nice early morning coffee buzz sure feels good :D The fact that my co-workers are ENTIRELY TOO encouraging and gracious towards me is quite humbling and refreshing as well. :)

I read online today that there are 4 new Chick-Fil-A openings coming up. None of them are in Seattle :(

Now, I DO love that Seattle has more locally owned business . . . i REALLY do. But I don't think it would kill the city to have one . . . just ONE Chick-Fil-A around. :D

Just sayin'

Please, please, please . . . if you are out there, and you are looking for a new adventure . . . PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE move to Seattle and open a Chick-Fil-A ;)

well would you look at that? ;) he he he he he!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Franz The Tailor

So I've been working here and there trying to edit my photos from the Owls To Athens show, and it's been slow going. Hopefully this weekend I'll post ALL of them up on Facebook. In the meantime, you can see them below:

The Venue

Obligatory bar shot

Female Guest Vocalist: Kendra

Strings/Keys/Vocals: Chris

Bass/Accordion/Vocals: Jon



Strings/Vocals: Matt


Drums: Tom



It was another fun show, and was extremely interesting because OTA is a folk band and the bands before AND after their set (Jettison Never & Smile For Diamonds) were these heavy rock bands, so the contrast was mighty fine. :D Also there was a heckler there that seriously had a beer in one hand and a mug with coffee in the other. And for the entire set of Jettison Never's, he kept heckling them and was like, "What is your band called?" literally like 5 minutes after they told the crowd their name for the THIRD time. It was so funny watching that guy.

So hopefully by this weekend I'll have more pics to add.

PS: Taking pictures at rock shows REALLY makes me want a 'spency, professional camera :D

PSS: You can check out the music of OWLS TO ATHENS at their myspace:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have I Told You Lately?

Man, it's been a long time since my last post. This whole holiday schedule work time configuration has left me with less time to do blog stuff, but I do want to keep this up, so I'm gonna work on scheduling some fun posts this weekend :D Some may be longer than others, so just bear with me. :D

For today, I was just thinking how I wanted to share some random things with you . . . you know, as if I don't do that ALL THE TIME. ;)

So here we go:

1. I've been listening to Christmas songs already! (I know, I know, shame. heap the shame) Most importantly, I've been listening to N*Sync's MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS. This song always reminds me of bringing hot chocolate over to the MC guys house as they decorated their house/s for Christmas. They would decorate it like so, clark griswold style:


Rich Wolter was the mastermind behind it all—He's my christmas lights hero ;) But anyway, they would decorate the house and then put a boombox by the window and would be BLASTING Christmas music into the front yard and anyone else within a 5 mile radius. Strangers would seriously stop by and take pics in front of the house. It was all a part of keeping Austin weird. ;) But part of that mix was this hippy hoppy song that i STILL get stuck in my head. But it's okay cause it always brings back the fun memories :D




2. I'm going to be a LADYBUG for Halloween! Now when I first thought of being a ladybug, all that came to mind was the ladybug man Francis from A Bug's Life. You know, this guy . . .

But lest you be deceived, I will NOT be that kind of ladybug. I will also not be dressing up as a "SEXY" Ladybug. Though I have contemplated making a sign that says "SEXY" around my neck just so i can tell people i'm a sexy ladybug. It could work. hmmm. nah. you're right. it wouldn't. Instead, I shall be a beautiful mexican ladybug and I MAY even bust out with a rousing rendition of LA CUCARACHA just to remain true to my roots without the grossness of actually dressing up as a cockroach.

3. Lately I've been debating between which song is sadder . . .

ENOUGH FOR NOW by The Fray, which details the strained relationship he had with his grandfather.


or

CAVES by Jack's Mannequin, which gives an account of going through treatment for leukemia during Andrew McMahon's battle with cancer.


They're both sad. But both beautiful songs. There's something so mesmerizing to me when you can take sad, tragic, harsh realities and make them beautiful expressions in art.

Speaking of Andrew McMahon (and let's get real, I could speak about him for a LOOOOONNNG TIME!) I've listened to ONLY ASHES by his original band, Something Corporate on repeat for the past hour. It's so good that I had the rock fist pumping while sitting at my desk. that's good. just sayin' :D

3. Kelley Rowe will be here in Seattle with me in a month! Wheeeee!!! She's amazing and I'm so glad she's going to be here to enjoy the city sights and sounds with me! Copious amounts of coffee and live music will ensue. Rest assured my friends, it's true. We're going to go see Parachute play at the WaMu Theater with Kelly and then we're going to go see Justin Nozuka play live with Sam Bradley at Neumos a couple days before she heads back to Austin! And we'll be sure to catch some live performances at Easy Street Records as well :D

Speaking of Parachute . . . Here's one of their new promo pics taken by Jeremy Cowart.


For those who aren't familiar with the band, that's (from left to right)
Kit French, Nate McFarland, Will Anderson, Johnny Stubblefield, and Alex Hargrave

it's STUNNING! Will is gorgeous, and not just cause he's good looking, but his voice, his talent, the glimpses of his personality you see in their Video Fridays and interviews, makes me wish I'd have gone to UVA four years ago to major in music like he did. ;)


I love it!

4. I ABSOLUTELY love fall in Seattle! It's so colorful and so accomodating to my personality. :D You know, sweet, breezy, and the perfect excuse for hot chocolate or coffee :D Just sayin'. I'm going to another pumpkin patch this Saturday with my small group, then I'm going to stop by another friend's house who has a holiday tradition of making homemade doughnuts, and then I'm going out with an ex-co-worker for dinner before she moves back to Reno where she's from. It'll be a busy, but sweet weekend and i can't wait to carve my new pumpkin on Sunday. One of our housemates is moving out :( and we're throwing her a going away party! The mexican food, chocolate, board games, and karaoke will be flowing people!

5. There's no place like home for the holidays! Thus, come hell or high-water, I will be coming home for Christmas! If you're in the ATX, mark your calendars now! I'll be home from December 24th (I fly in the 23rd so I'll probably get settled in that night) through the 1st of January (I fly out the 2nd) and then when I get here, hopefully my new friend, who i could've almost met at the Parachute/The Script concert will be in Seattle and we'll hang out before she & her friend leave back to Canada on the 3rd. One of the vacation days will be devoted JUST to shopping for gifts (probably the 24th) so if anyone wants to join me, please do! I realize I won't get to see everyone, but stay tuned to my twitter (on the right hand side of the blog) to keep up with where I'm at and give me a holla and we can join up quickly or you can join me for lunch, dinner, coffee, etc. :D it's gonna be so fun, especially since I probably won't be home again till next summer!

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more :D

Oh, and if you missed the video link from my tweet yesteday on how I get pumped up at home on Glee nights, here it is for your enjoyment!

Gleekdom at it's finest? ;) from amanda martinez on Vimeo.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You Make It Real

I got to take a small excursion yesterday to West Seattle and came across some amazing art, both at Cupcake Royale and at Skylark, where Owls To Athens played live, along with Jettison Never and Smile For Diamonds. It was a great show, and I really enjoyed all the artwork at Skylark too! It got me thinking about some of my photography heroes—people that I would LOVE to learn photography skills from. So here are my top 5 thus far (you can click on their name to visit their site and see more!):

Audrey Hannah Photo
She's a friend, and a FABULOUS photographer! She specializes in weddings and engagements and I cannot tell you how many times I look at her pics and think, "Man, I need to HURRY UP and get married before her rates go WAY up!" She seriously has mad skills! One of my fave of hers is this one:



Nathaniel Goldberg
(no link available)
This is my guilty pleasure pick. He's got great work published all over the place . . . but my fave of his by far is this sweet little GQ pic of his:

I think we all know why. ;)

Jeremy Cowart
I must admit, I had never heard of Jeremy until Parachute tweeted about doing a photo session with him and so I immediately headed over to his site and was STUNNED by the beautiful artwork he does! His techniques and editing and creative staging is phenomenal!



Jenny Jiménez
She's a local Seattle artist who, much like Cowart, covers a wide range of styles. Her artwork was featured in Skylark and I was just mesmerized by the simple beauty of her photographs.


Chona Kasinger
I stopped by the Cupcake Royale in West Seattle and saw Chona's work featured. It gave me such inspiration! She features mostly photographs taken at live music shows, but also has others in her collection. The ones that I saw at Cupcake Royale were mainly band ones though. They were just so rich and had great angles! I am a new fan!


Seeing all these amazing photographs makes me want to just sell a kidney and buy a super high quality professional camera and just have at it! :D Alas, I will continue to enjoy art in it's finest qualities as a spectator and amateur. :D

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wait For You


This coffee thermos is not just ANY coffee thermos. Okay, so maybe it is. But it's also cause for a funny story :D I went to a Light In The Darkness Banquet last night with the Westside staff and it brought back so many memories. From being greeted by the girl with (by far) the largest smile I've ever seen to the white and black ensemble that each server was wearing, I was reminded of many a banquet where I'd helped set up and serve. Usually when you are serving at a banquet, you are taught that the front row of tables are super important because that's where a lot of the VIPs and other special guests are seated. We were in the far left table on the front row (if you were looking out from the stage). And I'm pretty sure all the waitstaff thought we were "Table Nine" even though we were clearly table 7. ;)

We had eaten our meals and noticed that every other table but ours had a coffee thermos on it. So we asked for coffee. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited (I know, I know, I sound like a super brat right now) . . . Alas, no coffee. So then we asked again—about 20 mins. later, Jay walked out of the auditorium to ask someone to bring us coffee. About 5 mins. later, one of the servers comes into the auditorium with the coffee and she's ALMOST to our table, like 2 tables back and she's looking around at the tables to figure out which one to drop off the thermos. I keep trying to make eye contact with her to no avail, and she gives up and walks away as we are left sans coffee. So about another 20 mins. later, we're well into the program and Jay finally gets up again and walks back in WITH the beautiful thermos you see above. It took forever, but man, it felt SO great to have that coffee! :D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

People Got A Lotta Nerve


I grew up watching people. No really, not just like, I'm a kid, I mimic adults and I watch them. But I definitely grew up intrigued by people—why they did the things they did. Why the cafeteria lady never looked happy; How my 2nd grade music teacher never criticized my poor piano skills; Why the boys on my baseball team in 4th grade were so trixy when it came to hiding the ball from me during practice . . . intriguing. I still people watch. I notice things and I wonder why people do what they do. I wonder if I sat down with a random stranger while they were just relaxing at a coffee shop, what would they say? Would we talk? What would we talk about?

I think it helps me as a creative to be able to explore these things, if not in real life, in my imagination. One of my favorite places to people watch is on the bus. It's like the melting pot of dysfunctional and crazy! I'm pretty sure thats why I'm on it ;) Anyway, here are some observations from riding the bus here in Seattle:

- Not all Twilight Saga readers are proud Twilight Saga readers. It's actually quite often that you'll see someone, young AND old included, reading a black coverless book. They are ever so strategically hovered over the book, and hiding the words on the spine, lest you think they're reading something other than Yeats. No no, it's Meyer. Stephanie Meyer. The sad fact is that I can spot the words on the page that I've read so many times and instinctively know which of the 4 books they're reading.

- Not all crazy people are out to get you. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely some wild ones out there, but for the most part, they're just trying to get somewhere. My favorite is this one guy who has a strange form of turrets that causes him to randomly turn his head and make the Chewbaca sound. No. Joke. It's quite entertaining. :D But I've actually gotten to talk so some of the "crazies" on the bus and some of them are genuinely just mentally handicapped or just want someone to talk to. It's always a unique experience.

- Rosa Parks is very much still alive. Despite attempts at fighting the "minorities at the back of the bus" stereotype, it's sadly still quite a frequent occurance. I ride the bus all the time, and it's so odd that there are still people who would rather stand near the front or middle of the shaky bus, in the aisle hanging on to the OSBars instead of plopping down at one of the 3 or 4 open seats at the back of the bus. The thing they seem to not understand is that there's actually MORE legroom at the back of the bus.

- Riding the bus is like a bar of chocolate, you never know which bus driver you're gonna get. Half the fun of riding the bus is the bus driver. In Seattle, all bus drivers are REQUIRED to call out each stop along the way over the bus microphone. So most of them will call it out and be all cool, calm and collected . . . others, not so much. One of the morning drivers on the #13 to W. Queen Anne feels the need to lean in to the mic and it seriously sounds like what I imagine Satan would sound like. Every stop is like a stop on the bus to hell. I promise. Sometimes when I don't have the iPod turned up enough, I hear his menacing voice over the mic and I say the sinner's prayer, just in case. ;) Then there's the bus driver of the #16 to Northgate. She has printed out probably 100 pictures of dogs and posted them all over the front inside portion of the bus. She also has stuffed animal puppies riding with her as she drives. She is a fun driver. She makes comments over the mic as she's driving. Like if she sees an accident, over the mic she'll say, "Poor people. They should've taken the bus." Sad but classy. I dig it.

- City Bus is code for "speed dating." I cannot tell you how many times old dirty men have hit on me on the bus. What's almost AS surprising is the look they get on their face when I tell them "Thanks but no thanks." Look, I'm not TRYING to be hurtful, but really? the bus. the bus. Romantic flicks strike again . . . What would be better? If I told them, "Look, sorry but I'm really not into dirty old men."? Just sayin. The city bus is nice for a convenient hello or some small talk, but asking me to join you for dinner at your place, when I don't know you but I'm sure I saw you walking out of The Lusty Lady, isn't going to save you a space in my heart. Do people REALLY think this works?

- Seattle Metro is a Bark and Ride. It's so wild for me to see people bring their dogs on the bus with them. I'm just so not used to that. I enjoy seeing all the puppies, I just think it's funny when you walk onto the bus and there's a dog sitting on the bus seat next to it's owner, wearing it's little doggie clothes. I feel like sitting next to the dog and asking it to come to my place for dinner . . . uh. just kidding. ;) But it's really random. Cute, but random. What I find completely unnecessary is when owners get that pissed off look on their faces when someone asks to sit where the dog is sitting when the bus is jam packed with people.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Worlds Collide

It's Music Monday on Twitter! Basically, that means that people share some of their favorite music via Twitter. But I figure hey, I may as well just share it on here, because I'm long overdue for a big music sharing post!

Here are some new tunes for you to try out:

ANYWHERE BUT HERE by Mayday Parade


FIRE AWAY by The Swellers


14 TIMES by Marcus Foster


NO AIR (cover) by The Cast of Glee


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES by One Republic

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Free Fallin'

Saturday is beautiful! You know why? Cause you can stay up super late on Friday night and SLEEP IN on Saturday morning! whoo hoo! Unless of course, you have an incredibly adorable 4 year old niece who doesn't quite understand time zones and calls you at 6 a.m. to sing you a song. :D Part of me was like, "I JUST went to sleep 4 hours ago!" And the other part of me was like, "This sucks! I'm too incoherent to enjoy the moment!" I LOVE hearing her voice and as upset as I was that she woke me up so early, I was more upset with myself for not being fully present for her during the phone call . . . I'm PRETTY sure that after the song I was like, "Oh that's great. Good job." and I'm 99% I said it in a groggy "i just woke up" slur. ;) But she is too cute to be upset with, so after listening to her talk and responding with some groggy "mm hmmm"s and "oh. yeah. cool."s, my mom grabbed the phone back and said they would let me go back to sleep. :D

This is her singing the song to me:
video

Then I got a text from my dad at 10 a.m. and I couldn't go back to bed after that. But that's okay, cause I would have slept all day, given the chance. And I needed to get up, cause today, i got to go to my FIRST EVER Pumpkin Patch!! :D Cindy Jones invited me to tag along with her family and I am so excited that I got to go! :D I had a blast!

I had decided earlier [maybe a bit too early in the morning ;) ] that I wanted the saddest, most pathetic, underdog of a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. I call this embracing my inner Charlie Brown. :D So I did, and I named her EILEEN . . . cause she's a wee bit unsteady ;)

get it? ei-leen . . . *sigh* i know. i spout corny jokes like they're sonnets . . .

Here are more pics from the day:
This guy kept singing about "If I only had a brain." what a creep. ;)

no breakfast + no lunch = giant hot dog, pumpkin pie, and hot apple cider

Haaaaaaaay!

The cutest barnyard animals ever!

The Jones Family! I LOVE them :D

One of these was once Cinderella's carriage . . .

Joshua and Gareth picking out a wheel barrel for the pumpkins to go in

Attack of the GIANT pumpkins!

"Jefe, would you say I have a PLETHORA of pumpkins??"

Me + Eileen = love at first sight! Taking my baby home! :D

Friday, October 9, 2009

Globes and Maps


Fall is here!

After spending the evening hanging out with Jodi, I got a call from my sister and we had a really great time on the phone planning my niece's party and talking about Chick-Fil-A. Now I'm sure you're aware of my undying love for Chick-Fil-A . . . but in case you're unaware, I've been craving it for the past 3 months . . . since I last had it in Austin. ;) It's seriously DELICIOUS!! :D

So I was talking to my sis last night, trying to convince her to move up here with the family and open their own C.F.A. It would be BOOMING with business!! If not from others, definitely from me! ;) hahahaha!

So then she asked if I was safe cause I was taking the bus and I told her I was because Ballard is a really safe neighborhood. And then i tried to explain Seattle neighborhoods and how they each have their own little local shops . . . bread shops, record shops, art shops, etc. And she goes, "Oh, so you're living in the 80s then?" HAHAHAHA! I laughed so hard out loud! it was awesome!

She also told me that I should write to the government and demand that they put up a Chick-Fil-A here. She said that by them not having one here it was racial profiling! HAHAHAHAHAHHAA! She was joking of course, but I get a kick out of it every time the conversation plays over in my head.

It's always so fun talking to my sister . . . and for the record, those of you who don't believe it's possible, my sister is just as funny as me, and a LOT louder! hahahaha.

I'm going to my first ever pumpkin patch tomorrow with Cindy and I'm also going to go buy my Halloween costume tomorrow! :D I'm gonna be a ladybug!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

B-I-N-G-O

I went downtown today to take pictures of mannequins for this contest that Parachute is doing, which is a spin off of their new music video for UNDER CONTROL:



which . . . i LOVE the song and the music video is just the cherry on top ;)
So the contest is to find a 'mannequin date' for "Jeff" the mannequin from their video.

Got some good pics, and then got an even better creative idea. More to come on that. :D

But while I was out, I came across this artwork on display in a window and it really took me back to when I was younger. It's really a sweet work of art as well. Very accurate, very colorful. I like it :D

So why would this take me back you ask . . . (you were going to ask, weren't you??) Anyway. For those who may be unaware, the background part of the painting is of a mexican lottery card.



We used to play Loteria so much when I was a kiddo. :D We used to bust out the Loteria cards and dry beans, which we used to cover the ones that were called out that were on our card. It's the same concept as regular bingo, but we use dry beans instead of daubers. And everything is in spanish and has a corresponding picture. I'm thinking about buying a set of my own just for nostalgia sake. :D My favorite one on the card . . .

La Chalupa


It's so fun to say :D I remember we used to laugh so hard at the table playing Loteria. At one point, I remember me and my brother laughing so hard . . . and we kept saying "LOTTA!" in this really extremely hilarious mexican accent . . . which only made us laugh harder :D Now i REALLY wanna play :D

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Midnight Land

This morning started a bit rough. The good news is I went to bed WAY early, so that I wouldn't be sleep deprived. Nonetheless, I woke up with a scratchy, swollen throat. I tweeted about it, which updates my Facebook status. I thought for sure my dad would see the update and then give me a call and ask me #1 why I was up so early and #2 if I had gargled with warm salt water yet. Now, if it's one thing I strongly dislike (though I probably shouldn't, but eh. whaddayado?) it's gargling with warm salt water. Something about salty water is just not appealing. Now cold salt water that I accidentally swallow while swimming is one thing . . . warm, nay, hot salt water is gross. :( True story.

It was so weird getting on the bus and going to work this morning. I guess I never realized exactly how PITCH BLACK 6 a.m. was in the Pacific Northwest. I wasn't able to see a lot of the landmarks that remind me which bus stop to get off at. So I kept my head plastered to the side of the crowded bus like a moron so I could try to make out little signs that were dimly lit along the way. Oh yeah, so, my bus was WAY crowded this morning. The first bus I took made it 5 blocks to the transit center and then we all had to de-board and wait for the next bus because the one we were on had a flat tire. :( Lame-ski. So now there's two groups of hostile non-morning people waiting to board another bus that's half full of other non-morning people trying to hurry to get to work. I imagine it's something equivalent to choosing to give a giant plate of steak to only ONE select lion in the den. It was madness.

I haven't eaten meat for the past two days. I think something's wrong with me. The carnivore inside of me declared war this morning, so I decided to eat a turkey sandwich at Quiznos. So I order a regular sandwich and the guy charges me for a large. So I notice for a second that the total is higher than i expected, but today i'm blaming everything on the drugs (it's just easier that way and i'm sure in some way it's true) so I use the swipey and go sit down to eat. Then the lady that made my sandwich comes to the register and calls me over because he OVERCHARGED me. So then she goes to fix it and he goes, "Why don't we just give her two cookies instead of going through all this hassel?" And i just smile . . . because i'm thinking how much i'd like to slap the guy in the face . . . just sayin'. So then she fixes it and gives me my money back and i was SO tempted as i left to go up and say to her, in a loud mexican manner, "Thanks for fixing my order total. You really deserve a raise. That other guy only deserves two cookies."

My day was made better by my boss. We are on a MAJOR deadline and things have been so hectic. But this afternoon, my boss came to my desk with the latest corrections and was seriously near tears. She was just saying how glad she is that I've been working so hard to get things done and that she's so proud of me for being part of the team and taking on such a big thing and just following through. She said she had been really stressed out about everything but that she was so thankful that I've followed through and haven't complained and that it's really made things easier for her to know she can depend on me. That really made my day. Here's why—my boss . . . is AMAZING. no. seriously. she is. she's not just this chick that barks orders. She is so giving and so loving and isn't afraid to give me a hug or a word of encouragement. She counts me as part of the team and she's just so fun to be around. She lets me talk to her about Parachute and about movies and pop culture and all sorts of stuff. And she is so understanding and so patient with me. I really love working with and for her :D

So now that I've given you a basic rundown of my day and I've hosed down my room in Lysol, I'm gonna call it a night.

Goodnight.
Sleep tight.
Don't let the bed bugs talk you into gargling with warm salt water.

Love always,
Amanda and the medicine ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oh Happy Day

I noticed I had mail in my mailbox today at the house, so I opened up the little envelope inside and lo and behold, the concert tickets for me and Kel to go see Parachute opening for Kelly Clarkson came in the mail!!!



YESSSSS!!! It is ON!!! :D I'm so stoked!

Since I don't get paid vacation till next March, I'm going to be working 2 extra hours each work day to make up time so I can have quality time for a Thanksgiving and Christmas break and THIS is part of my motivation! Getting to go to this show is amazing enough, but getting to go with Kelley is just SUPER DUPER FANTASTIC AMAZING!! :D

I'm so excited I could cry! . . . or maybe that's the lack of sleep setting in already. In any event, it's off to bed for me! Night folks! :D

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Boys Wanna Be Her


So I'm not gonna lie, it was so hard to watch WHIP IT tonight at the movie theater with an unbiased opinion. I mean . . .

1. It's set in Austin, Texas where I'm from and I got NOTHING but love for my hometown

2. It's about roller derby chicks, who I think are completely bad to the bone. Seriously. I know that I don't seem like it, but I'm totally an alternative chick. From the screamo rock music to the glam makeup to crazy hair colors—I LOVE the alternative tough chick gig.

3. It's about GIRL POWER! And as a screenwriter, one of my favorite things is making the girl the hero, as opposed to the guy. I dunno why. It's probably a subconscious thing, or my appreciation for strong women as a whole.

4. I HEART Ellen Page as an actress. It's so hard for me NOT to like a movie she's in. That chick just always does a great job, in my opinion.


So yeah. It was tough. But I was able to watch it from a somewhat unbiased perspective. I still enjoyed it a LOT. Mainly because it was a chick flick, but it wasn't a TYPICAL chick flick with flowers and sob songs and sitting around a couch talking about how "He said he loved me . . . boo hoo . . . that homewrecker . . . boo hoo" business. It was a TOUGH-CHICK FLICK. Thus, I really really liked it.

However, there were things I didn't like. Let's start with what I DID like and then we'll go with what I didn't like and then I'll end with some notes about the soundtrack. Kind of that "lather, shave, lather" effect if you will (or if you won't).

WHAT I LIKED:
The Girl Power. Hands down. That was what made me enjoy the movie the most—the fact that it showed the power of friendships between girls and the fact that it shed some light on some of the more "socially acceptable" view of what a successful woman is and how wrong a lot of the stereotypes are.
The Scenery. Austin, Texas is and will always be my hometown. I'm not gonna lie, a GIANT smile spread across my face when I saw a shot of UNCOMMON OBJECTS on South Congress! And seeing the HI, HOW ARE YOU wall and all the other locations that reminded me of the quirkiness that IS the ATX was just wonderful.
The Actresses: They all did a great job. Even Eve was great as "Rosa Sparks." I must admit that when I saw her name on the cast list, I had my doubts. Most music artists are NOT good at acting. Eve's was a very likable character and she pulled it off well. Kristen Wiig and Ellen Page were phenomenal. Juliette Lewis did a great job playing the villain, "Iron Maven"—she made it easy to hate the villain, which is hard to do in a chick flick. I even found myself WISHING that Ari Gaynor had a bigger role.
Bliss' Journey. There are so many people from small towns that deal with the discouragement of always wanting to break out of the mold, but feeling they can never do it. That feeling that says you'll never make it. It was great following the main character's journey and feeling like you were right there with her.
The Portrayal of the Roller Derby Chicks. I LOVED that they gave insight into the lives of the ladies that participate in Roller Derby. It gives them a more "human" side, as opposed to being these tattooed, pierced, ragamuffin trash girls that most assume they are. I'm pretty sure that if I told my family I was going out for Roller Derby, holidays would get a whole lot more awkward. And my parents might disown me. Just sayin. ;) But yeah, I liked that the story went beyond just these chicks that hit each other.


WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:

The Choppy Film. As a disclaimer, I love indie flicks. It's true. I do. But more importantly, indie flicks that flow smoothly and don't leave the viewer wondering if the director took the term "CUTTING ROOM FLOOR" a little overboard. And I haven't read the script so maybe it's just written that way, but so many of the scenes didn't flow into one another and were just static jumps. And that kinda . . . okay, no. really annoys me. It's completely possible and beneficial that unless you are doing some intense action flick (see: Bourn Series) that you keep the scenes running smoothly in a preset order that doesn't confuse the audience.
The Love Story Arc. I get that she had to be in a relationship, but her whole relationship just seemed a bit too typical and awkward at moments. Mainly because I think the guy wasn't a really good actor. Sad, I know—but it's just my opinion. I just felt like there could have been a lot more developed into it in place of some of the more static film shots. I found myself not being able to fall in love with their love story.
The Supermarket Sweep. I felt like the movie tried to focus on so many little things that the few things that could have been BIG hit points were lost in the fuzz. It was almost like watching an episode of Supermarket Sweep, you know, and they have like 15 minutes to get as many things in the shopping cart as possible. That's just how I saw it. I think when you have a major motion picture, you should focus on 2 or 3 major points like: Adolescent Love, Fear of Living Up to Others' Expectations, and Fighting Past Stereotypes, as opposed to those 3 plus 15 other things.
The Pool Scene. Watching two people make out under water is a nice cinematic effect. Making it seem like they can make out underwater for 20 minutes without coming up for air is silly. I felt like it took away the realistic factor. I mean, unless somewhere just before, they both turned into merpeople. In which case, I take it back. But also, that would be trying to hard to add the sci-fi twist to the flick.
The Over-Girlyness. I get it. It's a chick flick. But really, it's a FULL BLOWN chick flick. And that was kind of a turn off at times. I'm glad that Drew Barrymore helmed the project. She did a pretty good job directing. But it's like when I try to make a brochure for a car company and involve one too many curly swoops. I think that some parts of the film could be toughed up and made a bit more "macho" if you will. There were certain parts where I was like, "Okay. This has gone from girl power to CHICK TOPIA." It just seemed so unreal at times. . . then again, it may just be a sign that I need to have more "girly girly girly moments." But then again, knowing myself, I'd probably run from that sort of environment.

Overall I really DID enjoy it. It made me laugh so much and I loved the acting. It definitely isn't one of those big award winning films (and I may just have to eat my words with some humble pie if it actually wins an Oscar) but it was a great Tough Chick Flick. And I DO have to congratulate the screenwriter and the director and all of them because this is SUCH a unique type of film. It's not Mona Lisa Smile. It's not Steel Magnolias. It's not The Next Karate Kid (which, by the way, should NEVER have been made). It's not Sleepless in Seattle. It's like MIRACLE for chicks. And I haven't seen a movie like that in a long while.

The music was great as well! The music supervisor did a great job! I loved that it involved a lot of different styles. I think my favorite song from the soundtrack is the LOLLIPOP remix. It's a perfect chick steeze 'get pumped up, ready to rumble' angle on that song. :D Also good songs from the album Har Mar Superstar's cover of Never My Love and Crown of Age by The Ettes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Creature Fear

The other night, I stopped over at Cupcake Royale to try out one of their tasty Fall Harvest Cupcakes :D The three new cupcakes they are featuring for fall are Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Maple, and Carrot Cake. I tried the Caramel Apple and it was delish! :D



Go ahead, you can drool. They're worth it.

But while I was there I noticed some beautiful new artwork hanging on the walls. The artist is Weston Jandacka. The artwork so beautiful and detailed. Here are some samples of the artwork there:





Amazing, yeah? I think so. For a moment it made me want to become an artist. But then I realized that I already am an artist. And that I can use my art to speak to others just like Weston does. In the meantime, I'll continue to look at those pictures and admire the beauty that they yield. :D

PS: I chose the title of Bon Iver's Creature Fear for this post, cause if you listen to that song and look at the paintings, they just GO together :D


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Swept Away



This blog post is WAY overdue, but things have been kinda busy, so here it is just a tad bit late :D

Me and Cindy Jones went to the Flyleaf listening party for their upcoming album, MEMENTO MORI. It was a really sweet set-up, and the first stop on their "Road to Memento Mori" tour . . . which meant that we were not allowed to take pics inside :( No cameras. No cellphones. Only mental memories. It was still a rockin' good time, AND Lacey and Samir showed up and did a short 2 song acoustic set. It was GREAT! For pre-ordering the album, I got an autographed lithograph print made by Pat from Flyleaf. It's black and white and will go quite nicely with the decor in my room, so that's a plus :D

The last time I was at El Corazon, was when I went to see Owls to Athens play with Bobby Long. The room was open and empty to prep for the crowd to move about. But at this listening party, the set up was SO different. Cindy and I were both amazed at all the effort put into making it so intimate and unique. As we walked in, there were individual high bar tables for 2 or 3 people to sit at. There were black candelabras with orange flame twinkle lights glowing on top of them as they sat on the shimmery black table cloths covered in white rose petals. The room was dimly lit and some of Flyleaf's music was playing lightly in the background.

The MC came up and told us that we would be listening to the album there that night and also we would have a chance to see some never before seen footage and music videos (hence the request for no cameras and cell phones, etc.). We watched a concert and raw music video footage loop play onscreen as they played the new album for us to enjoy. I LOVE the new songs they have on there. I think my fave thus far is AGAIN. It's been playing on my iPod every day since it was pre-released on iTunes :D Here is the song in youtube format:


We also got to see the music video for AGAIN, which, I LOVE! It's so creative and artastic. We also got to see the music video for Beautiful Bride, which was not my fave, but it was still pretty cool.

Then, the MC got up and said that Lacey and Samir were there to do a 2 song acoustic set. It was AMAZING! Lacey's voice is so strong and powerful, it's crazy to think it could come from such a small person. It was really a huge treat to be able to hear them sing AGAIN and BEAUTIFUL BRIDE—it made my night. After the set, I got to go to the merch table and pre-order the album (which I will get next week!) and as a bonus, got a huge lithograph poster designed by Pat. It's SO creative! And I got to meet Lacey and Samir and they autographed my poster.

What made the evening so much cooler was being able to share it with Cindy! She's so fun and I'm so grateful that she got to come out and experience it all with me. :D We got to talk about crazy strangers and my OCD tendancies and our moms and other stuff. It was a fun evening with fun conversation. :D

We weren't able to get many pics from the night, but here's what we did get: