Friday, January 30, 2009

90's Flashback

Do you remember several years ago when boy bands were all the rage? Well, I do. I also remember that we still a lot of had cassette tapes back then as CDs hadn't yet taken over the world. Back in the olden days we were big into Boyzone. They're an Irish band and we thought they were all that and a bag of chips. We picked out who we liked best and kept all of the "tapes" of each of their albums in a safe place. I have no idea why we only had their tapes and not the CDs. I guess it was just fate (you'll see why).

Around that time we starting moving around a lot. Putting everything into boxes was such tedious work (and we would do it so often), that in order to take the edge off we would turn it into a bit of a party. When I say "we" I mean my sister Meury, Larissa (her friend and exchange student), Gabs (my sister's friend), and myself.

We were pretty ridiculous back then - if I'm not mistaken we wore dark lip liner with light lipstick (yuck!). So, in order to make moving around all the time a little funner, we would crank up the music as loud as we could, have plenty of snacks and go to town packing for hours, and hours and hours. Then after the packing there was cleaning. OMG the cleaning!

Fukui-san and I had brought back a CD/tape player from our travels when we came back to the land of sugar cane and poverty, but our CD player broke early on and because this technology was not readily available yet, it was too expensive to fix. Instead we would listen to our cassette tapes. All we had was Boyzone and some other 90's disasters, so Boyzone it was. We would sing and sing for hours. Good times!

I think we must have moved 5 or 6 times, and every time we would break out the cassette tapes and player and listen to Boyzone. We never ended up getting that thing fixed because we got a DVD player and that plays music CDs as well so there was never any need. Eventually it became a "thing" with us and we never play any other music while we're packing, we only listen to Boyzone. We're really grateful to them as they turned a truly uncomfortable situation into a pleasant event.

I leave you with a clip of a very cool song from the soundtrack of the first Mr. Bean movie, and wish you a fantastic weekend! Cheers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A SAG Awards Moment

I watched the SAG awards the other night and frankly there were no surprises. Everyone you thought would win, won. I could go into detail about all the winners and get into who was this and who was that, but are you really interested? Probably not. This is why I've decided to spare you the details and show you my fave dressed of the evening.

Most of these images are from sites like SocialiteLife. I don't think she'll mind. Her blog is good for when you feel like you need a healthy dose of frivolous or mind-numbing stupidity. It's a great Saturday morning read.

Evan Rachel Wood. She's just so, so gorgeous. Her dress is more than stunning and I love that she paired it with purple shoes and clutch. Did you know that she's Marilyn Manson's girlfriend? Yeah. He's got pretty good taste, right? Either that or Rose McGowen, Dita Von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood all have really bad taste. I'm thinking it's more likely he has evil sorcerer powers and he hypnotizes them. He casts a spell on the most gorgeous women so that they have no idea what they're doing and they're madly in love with him. Once he tires of them he releases them from their spell and they're left reeling from the after-effects and have no idea what's up or down. Dita Von Teese recently said she's into better looking men now. She must have had one hell of a shock when she woke up one morning and realized who she was married to.

January Jones. If any of you watch Mad Men you'll see that she is always picture perfect. Like a Stepford wife. She's beautiful and her choice of dress is bold and stunning. She looks like she went for an exotic "Cleopatra" style dress and it worked. She doesn't have the face of a femme fatale, she has more of an "angelic" face, but that dress is killer!

The Indian actress from Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto, was stunning as well. The contrast of her sky blue dress and that ethereal fabric up against her mocha skin is amazing. Mark her face, because you can be sure we'll be seeing her a lot from now on.

Kate Winslet. I couldn't find a decent full length picture of her to show you her dress, but I think this is ok. At least you can see what color it was. Just picture it all the way to the ground and you're good to go. She is a great beauty, an English rose and I love to see her act.

This picture is not exactly a picture of my favorite dress, but it is my favorite picture. Do you see the way he's looking at her? My God! It's like she's his world. His face lights up when he sees her. It's a candid shot. The photographer wasn't trying to take a picture of them, he was focusing on the back of Angelina's dress, but what he captured on film was much, much better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reading with the Kids

The kids and I have been doing quite a bit of reading during their summer break. We've been reading about some cool teenage and child mutants who were experimented on by some wacky scientists who injected them with avian DNA. They've got wings and a number of other unique abilities. We're having a blast with it as it's written in a way that's very current and attractive. There's a bit of an edge to the way they speak, "tongue in cheek" if you will, and that makes it pretty funny. The books I'm referring to are Maximum Ride by James Patterson. He usually writes thrillers and super books for grown ups but this is his first attempt at something for the little guys and it's great.

Aside from reading the Maximum Ride series with the babies, I'm also doing some one on one reading with them so they can practice reading in English out loud, and they are doing splendidly. They were a bit shy at first, but now they're having a blast. Thing 2, aka Miojoboy, is reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and he's loving it. He cracks up at the old fashioned words and expressions used in the book like, lick and lam. You had to hear him laughing when Tom says to the cat, "Siddy, I'll lick you for that!"And he couldn't stop laughing when a little further down the page Tom said, "I bet you I'll lam Sid for that.." Now he's going around everywhere telling people he's gonna lick and lam them.

Samurai Jack is reading through a series of British books called Goosebumps. While it doesn't have much "nutritional" value, it is helping him with his reading out loud and I've noticed a significant improvement in the last couple of weeks.
They both run to the living room when I tell them it's time to read and don't want to stop even after we've been reading for an hour. This is a major change from what it used to be like. I was once so frustrated that I stopped trying to read with them altogether. They would always fidget and play and sneak toys in and I took it personally that they didn't want to be there reading with me. When I mentioned this to Angie's mom she suggested something truly revolutionary, enlightening, and to say the least novel: let them play while you read. I coudn't believe I'd never thought of this before.

You see, when we were kids, we weren't allowed to look at our hands or anywhere other than at our pages or the person who was reading. It was such a strict and hard-and-fast rule that I think subconsciously I was holding my kids to that same standard, not realizing that it was totally unnecessary. It never crossed my mind to just chillax and let them fidget and play while I read to them. You know what happened, eventually they stopped playing and started asking questions, participating and taking a real interest. Now I award points to the one who can guess what happens, who "it" is, where we left off, etc. Nothing actually happens with the points, no prizes or anything, but those points are still important to them (Heaven knows why). So, if you're reading this Julia, I thank you. Your suggestion was 36k platinum gold!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Choose a Good Trashy Romance Novel

As many of you know I'm an avid reader. I read many books on varied subjects, genres and authors. I read historical fiction, classics, poetry, thrillers, books about Law (novels of course, not textbooks), comedy, philosophical novels, and whatever else may interest me at the time. As a general rule I don't read self-help, business, textbooks, or any kind of non-entertaining reading. I hate true stories that concentrate on depressive tales of woe and lessons on unselfish love or war. In general, I like made-up stories that afford me a good number of hours to escape and adventures I can go on without leaving the comfort of my couch.

There is a special kind of novel that I find particularly entertaining and very, very funny: romantic novels. There are some that are more intelligent than others, but normally they're just fantastic fun because they're so out there. Completely loco. The most unrealistic ridiculous fantasy. When you need a good laugh, do what I do and read the back cover. OMG! There is nothing more hilarious than that. The covers, titles and the "synopsis" on the back are the best! The paintings of Fabio, Nathan Kamp, and any number of famous models, with their overly chiseled features and scary enormous muscles are to die for. The helpless damsels with their scantily clad frames, breast barely contained, flowing locks and sun-kissed skin kills me.

There are certain words I look for that can indicate the level of ridiculous the book will be. The more ridiculous, the better as far as I'm concerned. It's what I affectionately refer to as "pure gold". There's a certain vocabulary that is normally used by the writers who specialize in this genre. Do you remember that episode of Friends where Rachel tries to write a trashy novel and fails miserably? It's pretty funny. Anyway, I gathered some words together that I have good laughs at when I read the back covers. Gold, pure gold. I imagine this would be a very enlightening read and probably has a similar list.


Please, please check out this post, and this one too. I don't think I've ever laughed this hard in my life. Absolute, 36k gold!

By the way, the pic up there at the top is our dear Gerry Buttler. Is that a riot or what?

Monday, January 26, 2009

American Idol: Behold the Face of Evil

Kara DioGuardi..................... just joking. Here's her for real. Yirrh!
American Idol is off to a good start with hilarious auditions - really the best part of Idol - and snarky comments. Simon is being himself, which is really a good thing because - as one hopeful said - he keeps it interesting.

Paula is still acting like the comatose, drugged out, washed up 80's star that she is. Her sentences are only mildly incoherent as she is now forced to share the spotlight. "You, you are beautiful and your aura is so bright. You've got a sweet spirit and you, you're, fa-fabulous. You - your singing is - a melody - lullaby and calm - and you're just beautiful - but this competition - it isn't for you". She can't possibly be happy about that, which is one of the reasons I think she's saying less. Too bad. Her mumblings were entertaining and always gave us something to talk about. Yesterday she showed up in an old schoolmarm outfit, anybody else catch that? She had a blouse on that buttoned all the way up to her neck and a little higher, with - I kid you not - ruffles. She was wearing a bun - you can't make this stuff up - and glasses with those strings attached. You know those ones old people use so that they won't fall or get lost? If she was trying to tell us how much she hated being there, message received.

Randy, I don't know...whatever. He's his normal self I guess, which is not really very interesting or helpful. We've learned from experience that while he is an expert in his field, he's often way off base. It begs the question, what field is he expert in?

And then there's Kara DioGuardi. Annoying, attention needy, not at all funny, and over the top. She's trying to prove to everyone that she should be there and she's just making herself look like a fool. Yesterday she said something so mean to someone (thinking she was making a joke) and it was so hurtful even Simon was surprised. She sings along with people and tries to dance. She bangs the table and says things like, "I feel good!", making everyone around her - and millions of viewers worldwide - cringe. She's obnoxious, grating, and ridiculous. What were the producers thinking? That the 3 existing judges were getting too cozy so they would add a fly to the ointment? No one really cares about anyone but Simon anyway, so what's this all about really? Did the producer lose a bet? OMG! I bet that's what happened. Now that makes perfect sense!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sugar High Friday

You know what I think is cool about Friday? Everything. The day seems brighter, the sky bluer, the birds sing clearer, and food tastes sweeter.

There are certain things I look forward to today. For example, the Rio Show magazine that comes with today's paper. It always has restaurant reviews, food trends, theater and movie reviews. All the new releases are announced in this magazine and all the schedules are available there as well.

Friday means no extra study time for the kids, so my job is cut in half and that makes my afternoon much cooler. It also means we do our special Friday night activity with the babies. We either make pão de queijo (Thing 2's fave), chip 'n dip, popcorn and of course pizza or some such naughty goodness for dinner.

Friday also means I can make my super hard core lemonade (totally spiked with cachaça - a family fave), or pop open a bottle of wine, make screw drivers, have large amounts of beer, and moderate amounts of whiskey. In general we reserve the good stuff for the weekend and Friday heralds it in like trumpets announcing the arrival of the king.

The other thing Friday brings is that comforting feeling of knowing you can pass everything you don't want to do on to - you know the answer - Monday. What I usually do on Friday is I make a list of what needs to be done and I stick to that. I don't sweat the little stuff, not worth it. I leave what I can until Monday and make no secret of it.

The other cool thing is that if I'm in the mood to make anything sweet, this is the day I do it. This weekend for example, we'll be having my famous chocolate deluxe fudge brownies with extra chocolate explosions. Will kick this weekend off with a serious sugar high. Sweet!

I didn't want to leave you empty handed, so this is for you. It's a terrible copy of the skit, but it's hysterical, so it's worth it. This is a skit with the dynamic duo: Andy Sandberg and Justin Timberlake who are accompanied by a nameless ugly fat guy, Paul Rudd and Beyonce -or is it Sasha Fierce? I never know when she turns into her alter ego. By the way, anyone else think the "alter ego" biz is so way out there it's competing with Scientology? Ok, maybe not that far out there, but out there nontheless. Since when is - what can only be described as possession - something to brag about?? Check out this ludicrous statement made by one of her "personas" to see what I mean - cookoo!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Movie Review: Euro Trip

As far as super stupid time waster teen flicks go, this one's a keeper. For the most part you have relatively new actors who come together perfectly to add balance to their "team". Then you have the guest stars that show up randomly throughout the movie and deliver a memorable - while ridiculous - performance.

At the very beginning of the movie the main character (Scotty) finds out that his girlfriend gets around, a lot. She breaks up with him in time for him to show up at a party where one of her boyfriends (Matt Damon), sings a song he dedicated to her called "Scotty Doesn't Know". The song goes on to relate in detail where and how they "did it" while she was still together with Scotty. It's priceless. Not only is it a super catchy, clever song, but Matt Damon really lays it on thick. You can tell he had a great time doing it and it's great to watch.

There are numerous fantastic scenes in the movie, but one that stands out is the "Mi scusi" part. Ugly guy (SNL) is hilarious in it. I won't tell you any more, I'll let you see it. But I will tell you this, if you say "scusi" to someone in a really Italian accent, most of the time they'll know where it's from and say it right back at you.

This movie has earned its cult status right along with the first American Pie movie. All other movies have tried but fail miserably by comparison. Most of the time in trying to outdo the other one they get really gross and unnecessarily vulgar. This movie has all the right amount of gross and vulgar, thank you very much.

I will have to warn you though, there is a nude beach scene that is not for the faint hearted. They arrive at the nude beach only to find that it is overrun by ugly dudes and it's not pretty. Beware. Aside from that, go and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

US Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

I watched the whole Inauguration Ceremony yesterday and I have to say that I was impressed. I've never watched one before so I was looking at it with fresh eyes. One of the things that impressed me the most was the tradition and "pageantry" of the event. I like tradition. Don't know why. There's an old world charm to it. Sometimes I like a break from tradition too, I'm not a stickler for it generally, but in this case, it was special.

The day couldn't have been more beautiful if it had been made specifically for the event. It was cold but sunny at the same time which made the whole thing conservative (because of the winter clothing), but really cheerful and bright (because of the sun). People were dressed so smartly. Everyone had beautiful coats on, and the hats! Everyone had on fantastic hats, especially the men. In my opinion society should not have stopped wearing hats. There's something very charming and glamorous about the whole "Mad Men" attire and yesterday all the men were dressed just like that. Nice.

The rows and rows of America's equivalent of royalty impressed me. All the ex-Presidents, all the Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Governors, and so many elite, hoity-toity families there - it was like seeing the royal family in full. The Marines and different branches of the army that were there were very impressive as well because of their super smart uniforms and extremely correct posture.
The highlights for me were:
  • Obama's speech. He's just so eloquent, I'm always impressed. How about the fact that he used Abraham Lincoln's Bible? Very cool.
  • The quartet. The song they played was so very beautiful. They are the best in the world, and there was no doubt about that when they played.
  • Reverend Joseph E. Lowery's prayer. He was there when Martin Luther King had a dream, and yesterday he was there when the dream came true. That just blows me away.
The lowlights for me were:
  • Pastor Rick Warren's prayer. Who does he think he is? His prayer was so insencere it shocked me. I don't understand who made the decision to have him there. Wouldn't it have been better for the country to have someone get up there to say the prayer - prayer! - who is pure of heart? If he thinks his prayer made its way up as perfume, he's got another thing coming. IMHO, I think it would've been much better to get a humble, non-famous pastor from a simple church - or chapel - who dedicates his life to helping and bringing comfort to others, someone pure of heart and not chock-full of himself and his political agenda. Someone who can get up there and pour out his soul to God in prayer and ask humbly for help and blessing for Obama and his staff. They were obviously just making a show of the whole thing and that irked me to no end.
  • Elizabeth Alexander's poem. What was that? First off, I took a look at her credentials. She is more decorated than my Christmas tree. So, let me ask you this, if she's all that and a bag of chips, why was her poetry reading so lame? She read it to us like we were mentally challenged Chinese children in pre-school who didn't understand English. EACH - DAY - WE - GO- ABOUT - OUR - BUSINESS .........OR - NOT. There was something about wooden spoons and a lot more incoherent babble. I've never seen a woman talk down to an entire nation before, but I guess this is not the first time. Maybe she didn't feel that way, but it sure sounded that way. Furthermore, she is an apalling poetry reader. I've never heard a poem read so porely by anyone, let alone someone considered a poet of her calliber. Looking back I believe the style of poem she chose is partly to blame. It was difficult to piece the thoughts together because of the way she read it, and because she used so many random scenarios to say, what exactly? I don't know. Something about praise and wooden spoons. It was a confusing mess and left me - and I'm quite positive - millions of others totally perplexed.
Well, there you have it. The highlights and lowlights. Tell me if you differ from opinion in the comments.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Know When to Hold'em, Know When to Fold'em

One of my sisters is currently going through a painful breakup. Although she believes it was the correct thing to do, it still hurts. You see, although I believe that for the most part her relationship was not a healthy one, I also believe that she was very happy for a time. The relationship took a turn for the worse at one point and it just went downhill from there. No one put an end to it until it got out of hand and people got hurt.

This got me thinking about the relationships my sisters have. Bear with me here and see what you think:

How do you know when it's time to call it quits? We don't want to give up on it too soon, but it is equally as important to know when it's time to walk away. The idea is, if it becomes toxic, one sided, or wrong in any way, that that is when the relationship must be re-evaluated and a mature decision must be made. What happens if this does not happen is that the people involved end up screaming at each other for whatever is bothering them at the moment and calling it quits in a way that leaves a very bad taste in your mouth.

Breakups, no matter what the apparent reason, are indicative of a much greater problem and unresolved issue. Learning to love someone regardless of their faults is one thing, but making yourself miserable in order to stay with a person who is not right for you is another thing altogether. You may think it's love, but to love another person properly you must learn to love yourself properly. And staying with a person who humiliates, degrades and purposely hurts you is not love, it's Stockholm Syndrome, and the sooner that is understood the better for everyone involved.

This does not mean that the relationship was always bad. My sister had a lot of fun with her man for a good amount of time. They would go to the beach and do all sorts of cool things together and you could tell it was a blast for both of them. The issue came when the honeymoon for one of them was over and outside contaminants came into play and destroyed what was otherwise a perfectly pleasant union.

In her case, although the breakup is more painful than maybe it should be, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that it was good for a time, it was beautiful, it was fun and it was a blast. Now it's over. 'Ce la vie. We move on, we find another love, or fling, or whatever it is that you want, until it is time to make a permanent commitment to the right person. There is no shame in walking away. In fact, I quite admire people who know what they want and will stand up for that even if they know that in doing so they will cause significant pain to themselves and even perhaps to the person they think (or know) they love.

We cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater, as is the common practice when breaking up. This is the ultimate in immaturity and only makes it easier for the other person to get over you. At this junction her ex is acting in textbook fashion of how not to handle things. He's acting like a ridiculous male chauvinist pig, totally unreasonable, immature and infantile. While my sister can sit around and cry and lick her wounds at his most recent demented phone call or message - if she wants to - if I were her I would thank my lucky stars that I got out of it when I could and dodged that 6ft bullet.

I don't think it would be right of me to say that he represents the whole male species, but it has been my experience that men take it the worst and make real fool of themselves acting like ignorant beasts or stupid babies and overall make total asses of themselves. I say this not because I want to poo-poo los machos, but so that my sisters can understand that when they call in the middle of the night to scream obscenities, it's okay to hang up.

I'll leave you with a piece of country music wisdom by Kenny Rogers:

You gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em
Know when to walk away, know when to run
You never count your money when you're sitting at the table
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Movies I Look Forward To In 2009

I took some time to go through the movie releases for this year and came up with a list of the ones I'm interested in. Truthfully, there are some I'm anticipating more than others, some that will be a total bust, and some that I'll change my mind about. But overall, I think these movies will represent and give us all something to look forward to.

Here they are in no particular order, well maybe in order of release, not sure...:

Bride Wars - Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson declare war on each other once they get engaged (to other people, not each other), for no other reason than because they're crazy. You can see the trailer here.

Paul Blart - Mall Cop - Kevin James is funny, and that's all I'm gonna say about that. Okay, fine. He's a mall cop who wants to be a real cop but always fails the physical. He's given the chance to be a hero and rocks it. See the trailer here.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Brad Pitt and Cate Hudson are amazing and the story looks good. It's about a guy who ages backwards, so weird. Interesting thing here, too is that Julia Ormond is back. Where is frick did she go? Anyway, see the trailer here.

Outlander - Jim Caviezel and a way out there story. Could go either way,'s the trailer.

Pink Panther 2 - Steve Martin doing his thing. Need I say more? Check it out here.

Confessions of a Shopaholic - Read the book, will most likely love the movie. Can't see how I won't. The stars of this movie are Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy (be still my heart). Check out the trailer to see for yourself.

Fast & Furious - This is part 4 of the super franchise, only difference is it has all the original cast, which we love. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Skanky Rodriguez. I trust them to bring it in this latest addition to the crazy movies we've come to know and love.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - This one is going to be awesome! I haven't seen a really awesome Hugh Jackman movie in a very long time. It was about time. Be sure to check this one out.

Wild Child - I think this will be a cutie petutie movie. I still like Amanda Bynes, but Emma Roberts is the new teen romantic/comedy movie star and I love that. She was great in Nancy Drew and I'm positive I won't be disappointed. The plot is pretty straightforward: spoiled American teen has life changing experience while at British boarding school, at the same time keeping things light and peppy. Check it here.

Angels and Demons - I plan on reading the book first before watching the movie because the other way around sucks. From this teaser though, it looks like it won't suck a bit. Tom Hanks does it again. Thanks, Tom!

Terminator: Salvation - I'm a Terminator fan all the way. I love the new TV show and will really love the new movie with Christian Bale, hello?! I am not, however, a Linda Hamilton fan as I think she looks like one of the forgotten creatures, and I just wanted to make that clear. Regardless of her scary presence, the movies rule. Check out the teaser here.

The Proposal - I can hardly wait for August to come around when it will finally be released here. I can't believe we have to wait a full month after the US release. Whatever. Anyhow, this movie is a romantic comedy (my fave) with Ryan Reynalds and Sandra Bullock. She needs a green card to keep her job and bullies him into marrying her. Check out the trailer here.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - No trailer yet, but the same cast and awesome people making it. Should be as great as the last one, which for the record, I loved.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - All the funny characters and voices again. These movies are so much fun. Check out the trailer to this one.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - At first I thought no, but now I think I'm curious enough to give it a try. The main characters aren't here and this is a prequel. It's the story that was told in the first one about the Lycan and the Vampire and that horrible thing that happened, remember? Well, here it is. Check it out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - They're taking their sweet time on this. Well, it'll give me a chance to read the book, which I'm ashamed to say I haven't done yet. Check out the trailer here.

Julie and Julia - This is a movie that's based on a book that was based on a blog. A young recently married woman decided to fight boredom by making each one of Julia Child's recipes from her book about French cooking, I forget the name, in one year's time. Anyhow, the blog was fun, I imagine the book was too, though I won't buy it, so I'm thinking the movie probably will be fun too. Meryll Streep is in it as Julia Child, and Amy Adams (love her!) is Julie. So, yeah. No trailer yet as it's only scheduled to be out in August, but we still look forward to it nonetheless.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Simon Pegg is hilarious (Hot Fuzz) and this movie promises to be great. Check it out here.

The Boat that Rocked - This movie has all the funny and not so hilarious British actors in the world and promises to be as hilarious as it is over cast. This is a Richard Curtis movie, so, you know it'll be good. Want to see the trailer?

Bedtime Stories - Adam Sandler hopefully (fingers crossed) being funny again. Here.

The Ugly Truth - Gerard Butler (yay) and Katherine Heigl (okay, whatev) doing their thing in what looks to be a thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy. Check out trailer here.

Australia - Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in an epic. Movie theater worthy, I'm sure. Check out the trailer here if you haven't already seen it 1000 times on tv this last week.

Watchmen - OMG - yes! Check out the trailer here. I do love me a good superhero flick.

Monsters vs Aliens - 3D animation goodness! Made for kids and enjoyed by adults. Check out the trailer here.

New Moon - My heart will go on. This is the second part to Twilight. No trailer yet, but it's in the making and will be out this year.

You're welcome!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Movie Review: The Creature Wasn't Nice

One of the worst movies ever made had 3 redeeming scenes which made the whole thing worth it. Because of these hilarious scenes as well as the overall ridiculous story with no attempt at making it believable, it has become a cult classic. Fukui-san, Ezra, myself and some others watched this movie back in '98 and never forgot it. It's one of those spoofs on science fiction movies and has really, really bad special effects. Actually, I don't think any special effects were used at all, as you can see from the alien, it's clearly a man in a gummy candy or twizzler suit. The three scenes are the following: a song the alien sings called "I Wanna Eat Your Face"; the scene where the scientist is trying to prove the alien means them no harm; and a scene I wasn't able to find which is when they have a talent show. Leslie Nielsen (of course) has nothing to do, so he decides to show them how to stuff a turkey. It turned out to be one of the most grotesque and vulgar things I've ever seen and ridiculously hilarious. I just remembered another scene and I found it, so you're all very lucky today. It's called the "scream" and I'm not going to say anything else about it. I was unable to find this movie on DVD, so I'm afraid it's one of those "pearls of great price", but I don't think I'll spend my life looking for it - and neither should you. Here are the two scenes I was able to find -gold, pure gold!

Just saw it again. It is so funny! Good times!

Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

The past couple of days have been, to put it mildly. I've been sitting at home dressed in an old raggedy kanga and a white tank top that has strategic stains representing every meal I've ever cooked in it, and wondering to myself: why? Why were we chosen to live on the surface of the sun while others can enjoy all of the season in all of their glory without ever feeling like their face is melting off just because they exerted themselves by reaching over to get a cold glass of water? Were humans really made to withstand this amount of heat? Why haven't I already gotten rid of this disgusting shirt?

The other question burning on my brain is, when will there be a solution to our global warming situation. Because as far as I can tell it has escalated from global warming to global burning. I may or make not be making much sense here because it's still really hot and I honestly don't know how anyone can be productive when one's brain is literally poaching.

No wonder we have such lousy drivers and inferior quality - everything. When you can't think straight because either you're seeing mirages, you've lost most of your brain cells due to extreme temperatures, or all of your body fluid evaporated in the last hour, it's difficult to do things right. I believe I have unwittingly given all the stupid people in this country - the majority of the population - a way of excusing their ridiculous decisions and embarrassing behavior - the heat.

- Lawyer: Your Honor, my client is not guilty by reason of insanity due to prolonged exposure to extremely elevated temperatures.

I want to add a disclaimer here. If I do something bizarro and you're wondering, "How could she?", well, I'm not really myself these days. I'm a shell of the person I normally am and I blame it all on the fact that I cannot concentrate, or see straight, as sweat pours down my brow and into my eyes. I am not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.

I feel a bit envious of all of you sitting in your claustrophobic cubicles, breathing in the cold stale recycled air of hundreds of other employees some of whom are carriers for a number of unique diseases. Not so much because of the diseases, but because of the uber cold temperatures you get to work in. I've walked into some offices, under the pretense of having business there just to be able to get out of the heat for a bit, and have actually seen people wearing sweaters. In the middle of summer. How cool is that?

If I could wish anything for 2009 at this point it would be for moderation in all things, including but not limited to the heat. I'm melting, I'm melting!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dana Carvey: Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies

This show is priceless. I watched to whole thing on HBO, but this is the very best part. The clip is a little small for the space so it's not ideal, but the most important thing is to hear it, anyway, so...Enjoy!Oh, you can look up the rest on Youtube if you should feel so inclined.

Monday, January 12, 2009

An Anthropological Study of the Wattawik Tribe

The Wattawik tribe has unique tribal rituals to celebrate the blessings of warm weather and good company. The men hunt a large variety of meats to be rubbed, poked and then suspended on metal racks over a special flame that never gets too big. The Wattawik will eat the flesh as it starts to cook. The more mature and wise Wattawik will eat the flesh while the blood still drips, and the flesh is still a dark red. The younger members of the tribe and "cowards" will eat it when it is the color of soil and the consistency of the soles of their feet.

The women set up the feasting and ritual area to ensure the comfort of all the participants, while the children play with toys made by elders from a distant village. The games consist of swinging one's arms about in a dangerous fashion while looking at a magic box that mimics one's movements. The little ones jump up and down furiously as they watch their friends swinging the magic white stick. Sounds are made to express disappointment and success. The Wattawik children believe that the more sounds that are made, the better their friends will fare in the game. There is also the belief that if one is loud enough one will psych the other one out and thereby make their friend lose their concentration. The game is called Wii and the Wattawik children are experts.

While the men sear the outside of the hunted flesh and let as much of the fat and juices drip down into the flames, one of the women, or one of the men who did not hunt, will make the libations. These vary depending on the hunt. Generally the Wattawik prefer a fermented beverage that has been chilled to a perfect 0°C called Socol. It is made by the wise men and elders of a nearby village and is believed to contain the secret to happiness and the mysteries of the universe. The Wattawik drink is as often as possible in the search for spiritual and physical enlightenment.
Another popular Wattawik drink is Cachaka. This is not a fermented drink, but a carefully distilled beverage that can be mixed with fruit. It is amazingly refreshing and brings on enlightenment and happiness within moments. It's effects last for hours and the imbibed will be reminded of how much they drank the following morning. Some of the Wattawik will even be reminded of the sacred liquid a little later in what is called a "Pukefest" or "Holy Purge" as the Wattawik call it, which translated means " to puke one's guts out and think of death". Although this is not a favorite activity of the Wattawik, it seems to be one of the most common. It is mostly performed by the members of the tribe with weaker constitutions and the young ones who don't know yet how to "hold" their sacred liquid of enlightenment, or have no notion of when they are enlightened so they continue to drink long after they should have stopped.

The Wattawik believe in chance and trying their luck with cards while under the influence of the fire cooked flesh, Cachaka and Socol. They will sit for hours and shout at each other, throw random fits, laugh and share sacred moments. This is extremely popular with the elder Wattawiks, although the younger ones often participate and generally lose.

The Wattawik men will not clean after the celebration as it is considered beneath them and a form of "evil" and is reserved to be used as cruel and special punishment. The women in turn are expected to make sure the young children are well fed and happy as they clean and remove any traces of the celebration. This ritual is a minor form of slavery and is one of the more difficult ones to participate in.

The Wattawik are scattered throughout the world but are more commonly seen in the warmer regions of South and North America.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Snakes on a Plane - I wish!

Life is pretty funny sometimes. Take my sister's flight back home, just as a really random example. I've got to tell this story from the very beginning or you won't appreciate the situation. It all started when we were on our way out and we decided to make some coffee before leaving. There was no coffee powder so we decided to go to this place and have some treats with our coffee. No good. Why, do you ask? Well, because one of my sisters, let's call her Lary, decided it would be easier to get it at the gas station, and why go through all the trouble of getting it at the other place if the gas station has such a nice selection of goodies. Not.

Ah, yeah. After a lame attempt at a coffee break we headed out to the airport. The trip was uneventful there and we arrived with time to spare, found a parking space and made our way toward the check in counter. This is when we made the fateful mistake of walking into the public bathrooms there at the airport. I don't know how exactly I can put this that won't understate just how awful the experience was, so I'll tell you what I saw when I saw it and you can be the judge.

The stall door barely closed, the TP was dangling precariously on the back of the door so that periodically it would fall onto the festering bacteria laden floor that looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the first plane took off from the airport many, many decades ago. There was no seat protector, but there was urine all over the seat in a decorative pattern which begs the question: how did a woman manage that? On the back of the door hanging over the TP (when it's there and not on the floor), there was a sign stating quite clearly that you were to "throw paper in bowl and kotex in bin". Don't know if you've ever tried this in a third world (developing?) country but, yeah, it doesn't work. The paper made the water in the bowl rise and pour out all over the floor. Thankfully I made a run for it and was spared the humiliation of breaking into the American Airlines display case of what not to bring on board, grabbing the enormous 2L bottle of bleach (bleach?!), and pouring it all over my feet.

When that was said and done, my sisters Lary and Lunie, my headache (at this point it had become a separate entity) and I headed toward Delta. Someone (very wise and very beautiful) suggested that it would be best to go through immigration and into the international section early, just in case. Nothing doing. So the 3 of us and my splitting headache wandered aimlessly through what was once a decent airport but now serves only as an example to all struggling (developing?) countries of what not to become. To say that the airport is in a state of disrepair and disarray is the world's biggest understatement. Our airport here makes the Malawi airport look like the Hong Kong National Airport. (Which for your information is the nicest airport in the world). If you closed your eyes and randomly picked a destitute country, their airport would be nicer than ours.

What's ridiculous about all this is that part of our cities success rests on tourism. Hoards of tourists that come through at least twice a year for Carnaval and New Years, are met with a grossly inadequate airport where you need jungle survival training just to make it in and out of the bathroom unscathed.

Back to my tedious story. When we finally decided it was time to go through immigrations (when I say "we" I mean Lary and Lunie), there was a line that started with one of those little mazes, then stretched the entire length of the airport. Literally, as far as the eye could see. Daunting? Yeppers. Scary? For sure. Avoidable? Absolutely not. So, we waited and waited and waited. And like cattle to the slaughter just inched along until we finally reached the maze.
The story doesn't end there. Once my sister boarded she was blessed with an entire tour bus of little children who sat all around her. You know how they use this example in movies as the plane trip from hell? Well, she was on it. They make snakes on a plane something to look forward to. After scolding children, trying to get comfortable without much success, trying to read a book, and trying to relax, she finally arrived at her destination drained, wiped, spent and a little worse for the wear.

I want to take a moment to suggest to the airlines that they made another class distinction. There can be: 1st Class (Executive?), Economy, and Zoo. Anyone with children, babies, ladies that won't shut up, and teenagers with B.O. should be moved to the Zoo section of the plane, thereby leaving the rest of us to fly undisturbed and in peace. Can I hear an "Amen"?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Moon: A New Jacob

I've started reading New Moon which is book II of the Twilight Series, but there's just something I can't get my head around: Jacob. I think maybe it's because of the image the movie gave me of what he looks like that's just throwing me off. I'm sorry to say that it's become a major distraction and I just can't go any further without finding another Jacob for me to picture. So, after much searching (it was really hard actually), I've come up with some options I think I can get behind. Some of them I believe in more strongly than others, but everyone has their preference, so I didn't limit it to one. Bella is hanging out so much with Jacob that in order for me to enjoy the book, I had to do something, right? There are others that are more famous actors, like Benjamin Bratt, but, you know. Mostly, I found this to be a very challenging project and I hope you appreciate my efforts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Are You Up These Days?


New Moon - Twilight Series II


Hail Knight of the Woeful Countenance - no idea why, but it's stuck in my head. Drat!

Frequently Worn Outfit

T-shirt and Liz Claiborn shorts


I've been wearing very little (blush, mascara and gloss), but I've been dreaming of purple eye liner I used once that made my eyes look crazy green


Been craving something sweeter than I've been wearing. I smelled Kenzo Amour Le Parfum and am in deep love, the kind that lasts a lifetime and is mentioned on one's gravestone. The kind that defies everything and makes its own rules, like Highlander.


Still craving sushi, but since it doesn't look like it'll be coming my way any time soon, I'm pretty much giving up. Food is last on the list of what I think about these days, but when it is, there's always some form of cheese involved.


Hard core Sagatiba lemonade - my recipe. It's for real men and stupid women who think they can handle it.

Guilty Pleasure

That would be the Twilight Series. So silly, so good.

Bane of my Existence

Dishes - yeah, the kind without a dishwasher.


The return of my groove, mojo and kumbaya

Random Thought

Seems God is particularly happy with me as He has seen fit to send us a cold spell during what would normally be the eye of the summer hurricane of heat here in Rio. While I feel bad that others are not being able to get their much desired tans, I've been quite content to sleep with a quilt and a smile.

BTW, in case you were wondering, the picture above is of one of my many happy places. During this holiday season I found myself going there quite often in my mind.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's In a Name? A Dark and Dirty Secret, That's What.

During the holidays the Drumonds got together a number of times for different small celebrations. On one of those occasions a family secret was revealed involving one of us and a nickname. While most people would've been shocked to an awkward silence after such a revelation, we handled it a bit differently. It's moments like this that one is elated to have had a camera in one's hand, because when they started laughing, I started clicking. Behold, the most bizarre reaction to bad news, ever.

I know this last one's a bit fuzzy, but it's priceless nontheless, so I just had to include it.