February 28, 2011

And just like the movies, we play out our last scene.

The past week I kind of went on a movie binge. I had to catch up on my Oscar Challenge, and ended up watching another (not nominated one) for good measure :-)

First of all, can I just say I'm *in love* with Redbox? My parents have Netflix, and I use that occasionally, but Redbox is perfect for me since I don't really watch enough movies to justify paying every month. $1 everytime I want to watch something is ideal.

Now, on to the movies...

Last Friday, I invited some friends over to watch Inception with me.

It didn't end well-the movie was too involved and none of us really ended up watching it. Plus, we are all old and they ended up leaving before it was over. I watched it by myself the next night and it went much more smooth. I thought it was a good movie-the special effects were obviously awesome, and while the story was interesting, I thought it was a little lacking. Also, as much as I like looking at Leonardo DiCaprio, I feel like he's playing the same character in most of his movies recently. Which is a shame, considering he's pretty talented.

That Sunday, I went over to my parents for dinner and we watched the Social Network.

I didn't like this one as much as the others, but I still thought it was decent. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg was really good, but besides that I wasn't all that impressed. I thought that it was interesting, but only because I remember the creation of Facebook. I'm not sure, but in my opinion, this one might have been a streach for Best Picture.

On one of my days off, I watched Winter's Bone.

This was hands down my favorite of the one's I saw this year. I loved the score, I thought the acting was great and the scenery, costumes, etc, looked so real. I loved the story as well and thought it was perfectly paced. This one was definitely my pick for Best Picture.

Last night, I went to my parents and watched Toy Story 3 (I think I'm the only person on the planet who didn't see Social Network, Inception or Toy Story 3-ha!).

It was super cute-pretty dark for a kids movie, though. A lot of people told me it was really sad, so I was expecting to cry, but, amazingly, I didn't lol I teared up a little at the end, but nothing like I was expecting. The part I find the most amazing is the animation itself-it looks so realistic! I can't believe it sometimes!

Backtracking a little to Wednesday, my mom and I watched Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I probably shouldn't have watched it with my mother, but I thought it was hilarious! I mean, how can you not love Seth Rogan as the Loveable Loser? And Elizabeth Banks is pretty funny as well. The story was quirky, and pretty original. All in all, I really liked it.

As for my Oscar Challenge, I ended up seeing 8 out of 10, which I'm pretty happy with.

The List
  1. Black Swan
  2. The Fighter
  3. Inception
  4. The Kids Are Alright
  5. The Kings Speech
  6. 127 Hours
  7. The Social Network
  8. Toy Story 3
  9. True Grit
  10. Winter's Bone

The Oscars were on last night and I watched a little bit before I fell asleep. The Kings Speech won Best Picture and Colin Firth took home Best Actor. Like I said, my pick for Best Picture was Winter's Bone, but I thought Colin Firth was definitely the best actor in the films I saw. Natalie Portman won Best Actress and that was definitely deserved! She was so poised and graceful, yet kind of creepy and sad...I loved her performance!

I didn't stay awake for the whole ceremony, but I did get to see this and it cracked me up:

I guess I should rescind my statement from my previous post.
Me= HUGE nerd :-)

February 26, 2011

Take me for what I am, who I was meant to be.

Even though, on paper, my life looks only moderately busy, this week I've literally felt like I've been on hyper-speed. I've kind of wanted to pull my hair out everyday this week. I'm not even sure why. I suppose going to school part time, working full time, still trying to maintain a social life and fit some "me" time in, is more exhausting than it seems.

Maybe that's why I spent most of the week at my parents. Ha! I was supposed to house sit for a friend at work, but she got sick and ended up canceling her trip. I had told my roommate I'd be out of the house for most of the week, and she had invited her boyfriend and his puppy to stay for the week. SO between that, and my stress, staying at my parents was a much needed break.

Another source of stress, might be my seemingly endless car issues. On Tuesday, I met with my friend Ian for coffee. When I pulled into the parking structure, I noticed my brakes felt pretty mushy (i.e. my foot went all the way to the floor). I didn't think too much of it, but when I got back in the car after coffee, they still felt the same and when I was pulling out of the structure, the brake light on my dash came on.

I ended up taking it over the shop, driving super carefully (read: slow) the entire way. They called the next morning to let me know that the brake fluid hose was cracked so I needed to replace those. Ugh.

I took the day off of work because I wasn't feeling to well to begin with. So I basically sat around and waited for my car to be done. I got a call around noon and Leto came and picked me up to get my car. I bought him some ColdStone ice cream as a thank you (and had a little bit myself hehe)

Since Thursday and Friday are my regular days off, I ended up having a "three day weekend" of sorts. On Thursday my mom and I ran some errands and ended up at Value World (2 pairs of jeans for $3 each!) and Savlation Army. I rarely buy anything but jeans from thrift stores, but they had brand new, in the box little Crock Pots! I think they are like 2 qts.-perfect size for someone who's by themself. Plus, it was only $7.50! :-) I'm so excited to use mine!

The next day involved a lot of catching up on the DVR, watching the snow collect (back up to 8inches, ya'll!) and very little of anything else. But I did get to see this on Glee:

I was seriously so happy when I heard they were doing this-and I love it!


Today, I've been in kind of a funk :-( I'm back to work and after having three days off, I feel kind of out of the loop and things just haven't been going well today. I'm trying super hard to work on my temper and gossiping (not just today, but everyday) but today is *really* testing me. I'm really trying, but somedays, it's just really hard. Luckily, I only have one more hour and then it's home to restful night and hey, tomorrow's a new day, right?

February 20, 2011

Valentine's Day is over.

Whew! What an eventful week this has been! Even though I don't feel as crazy busy as I have in the past, at the end of the week, I look back and can't believe how quick it went. With. out. fail.

I had my friend John over for dinner last weekend. I owed him a home-cooked meal after he rescued me when my car broke down a while ago-such a sweetheart! He cooked for me a few weeks ago at his place in Royal Oak, and then last week, made the trek down to Ypsi on Sunday. I made butternut squash enchiladas and flan for desert. I also picked up some pimento cheese from the creamery and fresh made pretzels from the bakehouse-it was all so good!
The enchiladas were super easy! I made up the filling on Friday during my day off so when I got home from work on Sunday, I just had to fill them and bake them. I used a recipe I found online that is similar to the recipe used at a vegetraian resturant in Ann Arbor. I, of course, made too much and there was lots of left overs.

Prebaking with lots of yummy Mexican cheese on top

For desert, my lovely friend Sider at work, gave me her mom's recipe for flan. Oh my lord! It was a cinch to make and was perfectly, wonderfully creamy. It, again, made too much, but I gave some to my parents and brother and saved one for myself for later hehe :-)

I was a little worried about boiling the sugar because I haven't really done it since I worked in the kitchen, but it turned out perfectly. It doesn't take much to turn into the yummy, syrup-y goodness and it only took about 25 minutes to get to the perfect brown color.

Hot suga

I also chopped up my leftover pretzels that I made and baked them to make pretzel chips. They are SO addicting! I brought some over to eat with my mom and we just about devoured the entire bag. I'm in love with them, for realz.


Monday was a very uneventful Valentine's Day.

Cookie from work

I worked, did some homework and got coffee with Hannah. I did ask my friend Christie to be my long distance Valentine, though.

Me: Will you be my long distance Valentine?
Christie: Do you put out?
Me: Hells yea...you know how I roll.
Christie: Then I will be your long distance Valentine. I got a buy one, get one free coupon to Dunkin' Donuts. I will think of you while I eat the second one!
Me: I like the cream filled ones, just fyi.
Christie: That's what she said.

I *heart* her.
On Tuesday, my cousin Haley, my uncle David, Grandpa and his wife Judi, and I went to dinner for our belated birthdays. Haley's birthday was in November and mine was the beginning of the month, but since were so busy and Grandpa and Judi are often out of town, we decided to all go to dinner together. Since Uncle David just moved back up to Ypsi, Grandpa invited him to join in as well. We went to PF Changs, which is my grandfathers favorite-he takes everyone there for their birthday meal! It's not too bad, but the desert Haley and I got for our birthdays was by far the best part of the meal.

It was really dmily lit in the resturant, but it's a fried banana's foster wonton, with coconut-pineapple ice cream and fresh fuit. It was sooooooooooooo good! I couldn't stop eating it!
The weather this winter has been nothing if crazy unpredictable. First we had almost a foot of snow, now, less than a week later, it's all gone! The weather has been in the 40's for the past few days and even though I think they are crazy, I've seen people in short! Shorts in Michigan in February? Crazy!

View from outside my window at work.

Unfortunately, it's getting colder again. Apparently, we are going to have an ice storm tonight. Blah! I'm heading over to my parents to watch the Social Network, so I'll probably end up just waiting out the storm at thier house. It's kinda nice to stay the nice with my parents though :-)

February 12, 2011

When I wake up, in my make up, it's too early for that dress.

Today, I'm trying something new and linking up to Kelly's Korner for "Show Us Your Life-Beauty Secrets"!

Let me preface by saying, it taken me quite a while to decide on the right combination of hair and beauty products. I have curly hair and have struggled with acne for a few years so it's taken a lot of trial and error. I used to buy only the most expensive products, thinking that those would do the trick. But at some point, I realized that a lot of the cheaper stuff works just as well and I don't have to break my bank account to look half way decent!

For hair, I have really fallen in love with:

TreSemme Flawless Curls. It one of the only thing that keeps its hold all day on my decently long and curly hair.

Sauve Hairspray. Because of my curls, I go through hairspray by the gallon it seems. This stuff has amazing hold, will last all day, and is the best for the price. I haven't find anything that really comes close to be honest.

Even though I wear my hair curly most days, I love my FHI straightener. This past summer, I broke down and bought a good (read: decently expensive) straightener and it was one of the best purchases I've made. My hair is is able to be transformed into stick straight locks (with the help of some hair oil, which is my life saver) and stays that way for a few days with only a few touch ups here and there. I love it, for realz.
As for make up, I do spend a little more money on this stuff because I adore Bare Minerals

I don't have anywhere near perfect skin, and this stuff covers pretty much any flaw and looks pretty natural while doing so.
My mascara and eye liner both come from the ULTA house brand. I've been really impressed with how reliable thier stuff is. The mascara offers great coverage and doesn't clump (I use the stuff in the orange tube) and the eye liner doesn't smudge too badly and comes in a really great range of colors (I have brown, sparkley brown and black, blue and green).

I rarely wear lipstick and usually just stick to my Burts Bee's.

I've been using it since middle school, so why stop now? haha

Those are pretty much all the things I use on a daily basis. I also have a decently large (and ever growing) collection of nail polish, along with way too much eye shadow to ever be used :-)

My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me. So won't you kill me? So I'd die happy?

On Monday, I ended up borrowing my mom's Netflix-ed copy of' The Kids Are Alright.

I liked it a lot, but I keep going back and forth about parts of it. Julianne Moore and Annette Benning were amazing (though I could've definitely done with more Mark Ruffalo, preferably shirtless as well hehe) but I think some parts of it were kind of predictable and I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. My mom loved it, so I'm thinking she may have a different view considering she has a family and all. Overall, I like it, but not my favorite so far.

Tuesday, my boss Jaison, my coworker Laura and I took a baking class at work. We made Barvarian Style pretzels and, oh lord, were they good! We got to taste a few right out of the oven-heaven! And we got to take about a dozen home as well (I didn't finish mine so my task for the night will be turning them into pretzel chips-yummy!)

I think I may have a future in the Prezel biz haha

Besides the wonderful pretzels, I think the best part of the whole experience was doing it with Jaison and Laura. Seriously, who did I end up with co-workers and a boss this cool? We giggled the entire time and talked about everything except work. I love my job to begin with, but that fact that I get to go and hang out with people who genuinely like me and who I like to spend time with, makes it that much better. Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world :-)

Thurday and Friday were my days off so I tried to be at least a little productive. I took a trip out to Westland to visit the produce market. I'm making dinner for a friend this weekend and had to pick up a few things. I was really good about spending money-even though I was right next to IKEA, I didn't stop in *and* I went to Target and didn't buy anything! I'm pretty sure it was a miracle!

But I needed to get some spending out of my system so I made an impulse buy...at the produce market. That's right, I bought a pineapple. I have no idea how to chop it up or when I'm going to eat it, but I bought it. My roommate thought that was just the funniest thing! Especially when I told her I didn't buy the pair of shoes I was looking at and opted for the fruit instead. I believe the phrase "old lady" was thrown around haha

Thursday night, Dan, Darin and I watched a movie at Darin's place.

The movie was Devil and was written (though not directed) by M. Night Shyamalan. I had never even heard of it when Darin suggested we watch it and even thought I'm really not a fan of horror movies, I agreed. I ended up liking it for the most part. It was pretty creepy-a fair amount of blood and guts, lots of things popping onto the screen and I definitely did my fair share of covering my eyes haha But it was written decently well and the story was interesting. As far as Shyamalan movies are concerned, I definitely think it was one of his better ones.

Friday I headed out with Dan to see a band some of his friends were in perform at teh Dreamland Theatre in Ypsi. It was really low key (there were probably only around 20-25 people there) but we had a really good time! We didn't stay too late (see the above mentioned "Old Lady" designation) but it was nice to hang out and do something new.

Saturday was back to work as usual, except Laura wasn't here so Jaison was working with me today. And, because he is literally the best boss ever, he bought me lunch!

Why, hello there Mr. Patty Melt and Fries from the Roadhouse.

Seriously, luckiest girl in the world.

February 7, 2011

I wish I could have this moment for life, cause in this moment I just feel so alive.

Well, "Snow-pocolypse" ended up being a whole lotta nothing. I think we got between 6 or 7 inches. Some other parts of the midwest ended up getting a lot more, but on this side of the state, it was a lot of hype and not much actual storm. The worst part of the whole thing was thet everyone was a) driving like idiots (there is no reason to go 55, nor is there a reason to go 15. Can we find some sort of middle ground here?!?!) and b) though the world was literally going to end and bought out all the milk, bread, etc. in every store. Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me haha

The view from my office after round 2

But instead of panicking-I went sledding! haha Hannah, Darin, Leto, Dan, Molly, Sammy and I went up to the high school and enjoyed the freshly fallen snow. It was a lot of fun! I was surprsied that I was able to find people who wanted to go with me, but everyone ended up having a really good time. Sammy was born in New Orleans and had never been sledding and he was *so* excited! After we got some good sledding in (and did some doughnuts in the empty parking lot) we headed to Dom's Bakery to warm up with actual doughnuts and hot chocolate. Yummy! A pretty perfect end to the night, I think.

Friday was my birthday-I turned the big 2-3! haha I woke up and headed over to my parents and my mom made me waffles for birthday breakfast. After that, we got ready and headed out to see a movie.

I absolutely loved it. I don't think my mom liked it quite as much, though. I though Natalie was perfect-so graceful and confused and just amazing. Mila Kunis, besides from being strikingly beautful, was so twisted and played her part amazingly well also. As for my Oscar challenge, I've got a few more left to see:

  1. Black Swan
  2. The Fighter
  3. Inception
  4. The Kids are Alright
  5. The King's Speech
  6. 127 Hours
  7. Social Network
  8. Toy Story 3
  9. True Grit
  10. Winter's Bone

My mom got The Kids Are Alright from Netflix, so I'm going to try and watch that this after noon and I think we're going to see 127 Hours this weekend. I have untill the 27th to see them all :-)

After the movie, we went to the Creamery and got some birthday gelato and stopped by the Bakehouse to pick up some brownies for our Superbowl dinner. I also got a birthday doughnut and between that and the gelato, I was just about in a sugar come-so delicious! We also went to Kohl's and Target, where I broke down and got some jeggings and to be completely honest, I'm kind of upset it took me this long! They are so comfortable! I'm pretty much in love with them!

My mom and I stopped by Trader Joe's before heading home to take a nap and get ready for dinner. We went to Carson's American Bistro in Ann Arbor. We had never been there before, but it's owned by Main Street Ventures, so it couldn't be too bad. It was really good actually-I was pleasently surprised. We started with fried calamari and I got beef medallions and crabcakes for dinner, which was really, really good! Perfectly cooked-I had to stop myself from eating all of it that night! We got pineapple upside down cake for desert and I took my left overs home to eat the next day. My mother has been using the excuse of "It's for your birthday" to buy me things for the past 6 weeks, which ahs included the sequin tunic, a new chest of drawers, a few new nail polishes and a tank of gas (although I think that was a joke ha!), but she still got me a new shirt which is pretty cute and I'm excited to wear it.

I was so tired by the time dinner was finished, I fell asleep at my parents and had to get up and go to work the next morning. We got about 6 more inches of snow Saturday afternoon so between taking forever to get home (because of the aforementioned horrible drivers) and shoveling the snow, I wasn't really in the mood to go out on Saturday night. So I curled up with some reality tv and hot chocolate and was asleep by 10pm. I'm so lame! haha

Aside from the texts, phone calls and literal day-long barrage of Facebook messages, a few friends got me some treats, as well:

Pretty flowers from my wonderful roommate, Jen

Delicious cupcake from my sweet friend Sider at work (and the rest of the Cake Ladies, too :-)

Sunday after work, I headed over to my parents to watch the Superbowl. We had Buffalo Chicken Dip, Prosciutto and Carmelized Onion Pizza and Seafood Pizza with Shrimp, Crab and Scallops-seriously, I can only hope to be able to cook like my mother some day. It was all so good! We also had Brownie Sundaes for desert-yummy!

Unfortunately, the Steelers lost to the Packers, 31-24. I didn't really have a vested interest in the game, but I would've liked to see Troy Palamalu and Heinz Ward win. I don't usually pay too much attention to the commercials, but this year there was one that stood out for sure.

But I think the E*Trade Baby was a close second hehe

February 1, 2011

In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right.

This past weekend was the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Each year, the festival is put on by a local concert venue to raise money. This was the second time I've gone. My work is a sponsor, so two years ago, I was able to snag a few free tickets and my and my dad went togther. It was really great! The seats were super close and we saw a lot of great bands that year (Old Crow Medicine Show, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Joe Pug, The Ragbirds, Ryan Montbleau Band, Katie Herzig, and Jeff Tweedy with Jim Lauderdale acting as MC).

I didn't get to go last year, but this year, a volunteer opportunity was offered and I was able to see the show for free. I had to help set up for the intermission, which wasn't too hard at all, and in return I got to hang out backstage and watch the show! Lucky me!

I had to be there around 6:15, so I left my house super early so I could get gas and some cash but the line at the ATM was hella long, so I skipped it. Big mistake! Of course, every parking structure downtown was "Cash Only" and it's next to impossible to find street parking on a good night in downtown Ann Arbor, let alone a Friday night. Long story short, I pulled into my parking space by the library, which is on the other side of downtown, at 6:09. I booked it to the auditorium and made it on time (which was nothing short of a miracle) but then went in the wrong door and got lost *inside* the auditorium! Only me, I swear haha I was supposed to be back stage and could not for the life of me figure out how to get back there! Luckily, a security guard helped me out and I made it back there only a few minutes late...phew!

We didn't have anything to do right away, so I was able to stand by the stage doors and watch the first half of the show, which included Theo Katzman and his band The Love Massive, Anais Mitchell, The Paper Raincoat, The Spring Standards, and Vienna Teng with Alex Wong. I use the word "watch" loosley, since, because of all the people and my lack of height, I wasn't able to see much. But I was able to hear everything and it was really great. I was definitely standing at the back of everyone, dancing by myself haha

After setting up and cleaning up intermission, we were able to stay and watch the rest of the bands. By then the back stage area had cleared out a bit so I had a little better view of everything :-)

I was amazed that out of the 7 or 8 people who were volunteering only 1 or 2 of us stayed till the end. I mean, how could you pass up free music to begin with, but great music that also happened to be free!?!?! Just plain craziness...

After intermission, Citizen Cope came out and did a solo set. I really, really like him. He has more of a hip hop vibe to him when he has his band, which I love and I was really stoked to see him do the acoustic set. A lot of people I talked to didn't like it as much, but I think maybe he was geared toward the younger people at the show. But for what it's worth, I was totally backstage singing (and dancing, of course hehe) along :-)

After that, the headlines came out. My dad had wanted to come and see them but didn't end up buying tickets in time. The Avett Brothers were *amazing*! They rocked the entire time-had so much energy, looked like they were having so much fun up there and played damn good music while doing so. If they come back to town, I would love to see them do a whole set.

I also had a few obersvations I made while there...
Folk Fest 34 observations
  • Sweating profusely is never a good luck (see my sprint across downtown A2)
  • Boys with guitars are cute.
  • Boys with drumsticks are cute.
  • Boys who wear hats are cute. (seeing a trend? hehe)
  • If you are opening a Tunisian resturant, don't wear a harissa shirt.
  • You and your friend can't wear the same dress, even if it's in two different colors. People can still tell, and it looks weird.
  • I'm probably too judgemental for my own good.
After they finished up, I headed back home and it was back to the grind up Saturday morning. I was a little bummed I could only go to Friday night-Mavis Staples was headlining the next night. I saw her a few years back at a local music fest and I still remember it, probably 10 years later-it was just that good.

As far an my normal life, it's been a pretty average week at work and with school so that's good.

Everyone is gearing up for "Snow-pocolypse 2011" tonight. I've heard predictions with anywhere from 10-24 inches between now and tomorrow, but considering it's almost 6 and I'm nto seeing any snow, I'm starting to doubt the likelyhood of that. Also, the winds are supposed to be 20-30mph and the term "blizzard conditions" has been thrown around a lot today. Apparently, it's supposed to start around 7, pick up around 10pm and do the bulk of the snowing between 10pm tonight and 10am tomorrow morning. I'm staying at my parents so I can use my jeep to bulldoze through everything tomorrow morning, so it would be really helpful if the county/city would stay on top of the salting/plowing tonight, althought I seriously doubt that will happen.

But hey, I can hope, can't I? :-)
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