Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ten in 2010

I really hate when people say things like, "Wow, this year just flew by!" or "Where did the year go." Although, it actually feels like this year just came and went faster than a cat can lick its own ass.

This year started out much like any other, with not to many prospects on the horizon. The beginning of 2010 was a bit rough; I lost a close family member and my life just felt very adrift and empty. Come spring, I made some very important and difficult decisions for myself that I'm now certain will benefit me in the long run. The last few months have been incredibly busy for me. Honestly, at times I felt discouraged and overwhelmed but that was all momentarily. I have a wonderful support system. I also have so many great things to look forward to in the future.

This year I decided I need to do more things for myself and stop being consumed with adversity. I started this blog in the beginning of 2010 which was an accomplishment in itself. I am no Salinger, but I do enjoy writing and sharing ideas. I am very grateful to those of you who continue to read these posts. I hope I can continue to engage you with my tales. I have put together a wrap up of some of my favorite events of 2010. I look forward to twice as many events in 2011.

MONSTER SQUAD is one of my favorite childhood films. It made me feel like there were other kids out there that felt the same as I did and that we did belong somewhere. It was scary, funny, and endearing all at the same time. In January, The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz held a special screening of the film with cast and crew in attendance. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd get to meet Sean and Rudy, but I did. Everyone was so pleasant and kind. It was an amazing experience!

Gals Panic reunion
Back home Gals Panic were legends. They were one of the first bands I remember seeing when I started frequenting punk shows in middle school. I can't say I've heard anything like them since. They broke up nearly a decade ago but have played reunion shows a couple times since and I have seen every one. The show in March at Emos was extra special because I got to share it with my dear friend Jeremy who was also at those old shows so many years ago.

Megaphone PA Show
My friend Chad and I used to do a podcast a couple years ago called The Bitter Pad. We'd mostly interview scorned friends who had recently been dumped. As Chad has been coming up in the local comedy scene, he got the opportunity to host his own show with a live studio audience. He graciously asked me to be his co-host and I eagerly accepted. We've had a lot of fun doing the show. There's been some great musical, alcoholic, and comedic guests. Tune in on ustream if you can't make it out.

Fantasy Basketball
I never really understood the appeal of sporting events. I never even understood the rules in the first place. I caught a couple basketball games during the playoff games for last season. Thanks to Ross and Yogi who patiently explained the rules, I have now found a new interest in basketball. I also joined a Fantasy Basketball League with some friends and my team(The Fighting Pugs) is not doing too bad. Fantasy Sports are the equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons for jocks. The only difference is that you get to be a bit more creative with D & D. I've attempted to play D & D but found it too meticulous for me so I will just settle for the Fantasy version. Wish me luck in the playoffs!

Human Centipede
I'll admit I was a bit disappointed when I actually saw this masterpiece. It was hyped up to be something completely disturbing in the vain of Salo`. Since then, it has definitely grown on me as something much more comical. This film has taken on a life of its own. Just the other day I had a conversation about Human Centipede with the cashier at Chik-Fil-A when he recognized my t-shirt that has the medically accurate diagram on it. Now you can buy cat toys, bracelets, and Christmas ornaments of the same image. You know a film has made it when there's a porn parody of it. I can't wait for the sequel!

forgetters double 7"
As most of you know Jawbreaker is my favorite band and Blake Schwarzenbach is my favorite songwriter. I had the opportunity to see his new band forgetters play twice in 2009 during FunFunFun Fest. When this little treasure finally came in the mail, it was like Christmas. I have been waiting for new music from Blake since the last JTB album that came out in 2002. The songs do not disappoint and I am anxious to hear more from this outfit.


Texas Stars vs. San Antonio Rampage
I've always been a bit intrigued by hockey due to its violent nature. This winter I had the chance to attend a real hockey game in Cedar Park. Let me tell you, there's NOTHING like eating nachos, drinking beer, screaming obscenities, and watching grown men beat the shit out of each other on ice. Between the fights, the giant flying hamburger, and the bizarre dancing I had the best time and even got a free blanket. I hope to attend more games in the future.

Eli Roth
I admit, I have a little crush on the one and only Bear Jew. I think I enjoy his sense of humor and passion for horror more than the actual films he directs. I guess I relate to him in a sense. This summer, he was in town to host an advanced screening of THE LAST EXORCISM at The Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar. I didn't get to make that event, but I did go to the midnight screening of PIRANHA 3D which in hindsight was a far superior film than EXORCISM. As we had pre-drinks at The Highball, we just so happen to run into Eli. We exchanged pleasantries and I watched him roll a gutter ball while looking remarkably stylish in cargo shorts. The director for EXORCISM, Daniel Stamm actually fell asleep in the seat next to me during PIRANHA. The Alamo Drafthouse continues to make dreams come true and I could never have a better movie experience than I do at their theaters.

I was excited to see DEVO at FunFunFun Fest 2010. When they cancelled, I was still excited to see friends and just have a good time at the Fest. Once the news came out of Descendents filling in as a replacement, all hell broke loose. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd get to see them again. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was able to see them on the Everything Sucks tour and it was one of the best times of my life. I also said before that your Descendents friends are the ones you want to keep forever. Even though most of us have moved on to different places and we don't talk very much, I still remember the great times we had. Kevin, Victor, Jason B, Robbie, Christina, Carlos, and Eddie, you guys are always in my thoughts. Seeing The Descendents again made me feel like that 16yr old girl who didn't have a care in the world.

"These days the people I love are spread so far apart."

I think it's safe to say I'm not a Hanson fan. My friends Yogi & Nicole, on the other hand, celebrate their entire catalog(and not in an ironic way). Their first dance as a married couple was to a Hanson song. Somehow the fates called down and Hanson was scheduled to preform on Yogi's birthday so I begrudgingly agreed to attend. Now after frequenting SXSW and Warped Tour for several years, I figured I've seen MUCH worse musical acts than Hanson(Good Charlotte at La Zona Rosa comes to mind). Surprisingly, the performance was quit entertaining and engaging. I did have a considerable number of drinks so that might have helped. Frankly, Hanson was a lot better than most of the bullshit hipster bands I painstakingly watched at FunFunFun Fest(Best Coast I'm looking at you). It was just nice to see my friends actually stoked about something.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Most Loved

Since my Festivus grievances have been aired, I figured I'd also share some things I absolutely love. So without further adieu:

You know how some people are baby obsessed? Well I'm dog obsessed. I love all animals in general (except cats), but I especially love dogs of all shapes and sizes. Every time I see a cute dog, I have to stop and pet him/her. I even love movies with dogs(WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, HOTEL FOR DOGS, I LOVE YOU MAN). I really didn't like the film DUE DATE, but I just loved the French Bulldog that co-starred. My heart also sank a bit when RDJ spit in his face. I do have a dog of my own and he is the love of my life. I plan on adopting more pooches in the future. Pugs happen to be my favorite breed. A fellow Pug enthusiast once told me that if you see a Pug, it means good luck.

Pumpkin might be the most delicious treat of all time. This is the time of year that I begin hoarding all things pumpkin. You name it, I love it: tea, beer, pie, bread, shampoo, air freshener, pancakes, ice cream, soup, muffins, shakes, and even seeds. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I will go to town on some pumpkin lattes. My friend Alexis once made me the most heavenly pumpkin cheesecake ever. I also welcome recipes with pumpkin, so if you have any, pass them along.

I wouldn't consider myself a fashionista; I'll leave that to all the hipster Austinites. I'm very frugal when it comes to buying clothes. I have managed to acquire some reasonably stylish clothing from places like Ross, Target, and Marshalls. However, I will spend some cheese on a nice hangbag. For me, the handbag makes the ensemble. On a recent shopping excursion, Kenny remarked, "I don't understand the handbag thing." At that moment, a woman yelled at me from across the make-up counter, "I love your purse!" A woman could be wearing sweatpants, but if she's carrying a nice, classy bag she is not to be taken lightly.

Most of you are aware of my Halloween obsession. My decorating process is beginning earlier and earlier as the years go on. This year, I started putting decorations up on Labor Day. I would probably start sooner if the stores carried seasonal items all the time. I only took down the last of the outside decorations a couple days ago. And yes, I do have stuff that stays up year round. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, hands down. I ALWAYS dress up, sometimes in multiple costumes. I love the smell in the air, the candy, the costumes, the TV specials, and most of all the movies. When I was a kid, I always helped my mother decorate. She had the same corny decorations each year. It was always laughing pumpkins, cutesy kitties, and smiling bats. She didn't want to scare the neighborhood children. Now that I have my own household, my whole goal is to scare the shit out of every and anyone including myself.

Taco Bueno
I'm not a big fan of Mexican food to begin with. Growing up in South Texas, you tend to eat more than your share of Mexican food, especially if that's the only thing your mother can cook. Some of you highbrow foodies might condemn me for this but I kind of enjoy Mexican fast food. Taco Bueno happens to be the cream of the crop. I have yet to find a bad selection at Bueno. I enjoy everything from the seasonal tamales to the potato burrito. The lime cilantro rice is to die for and the prices are very inexpensive. Even their smoothies are muy delicioso!

I love tea, hot and cold. In the summer time I brew a lot of sweet tea with my Mr. Tea machine. In the winter time, I consume a ridiculous amount of hot tea with extra soy milk & honey. I love all kinds of flavors (mostly black teas) but in the AM it's usually English Breakfast. I'm not an elitist tea drinker by any means. I've found some tasty flavors at anywhere from Big Lots to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Now there's a new store in the mall that exclusively sells tea. Could I have started a trend?

It doesn't get too cold in Texas during the winters but it is cold enough for me. I get bored wearing pants all the time so I gotta break it up a bit. That is why I have a bountiful of tights and leggings. I love all different colors and patterns. I happen to have a very short torso but really long legs and tights are great for that figure. They're perfect to wear with skirts/shorts and boots. Betsey Johnson and Forever 21 carry a decent array but some of the best pairs I've found came from the ghetto Dollar Store. Those last longer than the $5 pair I have from Target. Tights are also a fun way to add color to a mostly black wardrobe.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Most Hated

With Festivus rapidly approaching, I thought I'd get a head start on airing my grievances. Here are a few things I absolutely loathe. In no particular order:

LOL, epic, legit, FTW
I don't have a FaceBook account so unfortunately I have to miss out on so many mundane status updates. I do, however, have a twitter account so I read several compacted 140 character messages daily. Through twitter, I've learned how funny or incredibly boring my acquaintances are. I've also learned a lot about David Lynch, yet I'm more confused about him than ever before. These simple inane words happen to annoy me to no end. Now I'm no English major but I can think of a dozen more words that would be far more useful than these. My least favorite is FTW. Why would you wanna "Fuck The World?" It makes no sense. And "cheeseburgers FTW!" or "going to IKEA FTW!" makes even less sense. Epic and legit belong in the vocabulary of a 15yr old boy. Which means no one I associate with, has any business using either word.

James Cameron
Cameron is an arrogant asshole who deserves no recognition. He has become the new Michael Bay but way more douchey. I've never been a fan of his, but I have seen several of his movies and I think they're pretty mediocre. They are huge glitzy productions that merely conceal bad acting. I'll admit TERMINATOR 2 was entertaining, but it wasn't Oscar worthy. Nearly all of the filmmakers I admire have a very unique style that sets them apart from others. Cameron has no style whatsoever. All he has is a lot of money, some special effects, and an inflated ego. And for the record I have not see AVATAR, but I have seen FERNGULLY which is the same thing.

My problems with Glee may lie with the people who watch it more than the show itself. Being involved with theatre at one time has made me wary of people who spontaneously break out in song. It actually makes me cringe. Theatre people are some of the most self involved individuals I've ever come across. I also hate most contemporary pop music. Jane Lynch is becoming increasingly overexposed, she may be the new Jack Black. I feel like the people who watch this show are the ones who randomly quote Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss.

FourSquare, GoWalla, etc.
I'm referring to the mobile application that many people use to "check in." It's basically a way for people to mark their territories like dogs pissing on fire hydrants. I don't think people realize how irritating and hazardous it can become. Think about it: Bob & Sue just checked in at the football game. They will be gone for the next three hours which is plenty of time to rob their house. On the other had, 4SQ/GoWalla/whatever is like being in an abusive relationship when you have to tell your abuser where you are every minute of the day. By the way, if you become "the mayor" of your work place, you need to get back to work.

Los Angeles Lakers
Has anyone else ever seem such a collection of delinquents? I hate the Lakers, not because "they're champs," but because they're rapist, hoodlums, and most of all dirty players. The Lakers are like every villainous character wrapped into one team. Kobe Bryant is Lex Luthor, Gasol is Gargamel, and Ron Artest is Skeletor. Even their mascot is a villain, The Joker. By the way, anyone else notice that Pau Gasol resembles the buzzard from Looney Tunes?

Film Remakes
For an industry that was founded on creativity and art, Hollywood sure has dropped the ball with all these remakes. Instead of bastardizing someone else's vision, why not build your own? Most of the films that are now being remade work because of the language, setting, and period they were originally devised in. As good of reviews the LET THE RIGHT ONE IN remake received, I still refuse to watch it. What made this film beautiful was the language and the wonderfully dark backdrop of Sweden. The NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST remake was like someone stomping on my childhood. NIGHTMARE without Robert Englund is like Journey without Steve Perry. It just becomes a cheap facade. Other remakes I'm disappointed with include: GHOSTBUSTERS, HELLRAISER, FRIDAY THE 13TH, ARTHUR, BATTLE ROYALE, ,THE ORPHANAGE, TEEN WOLF, THE WARRIORS, THE CROW, and FRIGHT NIGHT. The list goes on but I will let you IMDB the rest. They're even remaking shitty movies like FOOTLOOSE and DROP DEAD FRED.