Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Have Two Cents, Who Wants 'Em

It's the most wonderful time of the year: Oscar time!
That's right, February means Oscars Oscars Academy Awards :) Tuesday the nominations are announced. There are only a few reasons to wake up at 5:30 a.m. as is tradition, I am going to post my predictions for the top categories. Everyone is welcome to post their own predictions and/or yell at me.
Here we go:

Best Original Screenplay
(500) Days of Summer - Scott Neustatder & Michael H. Weber
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal
Inglorious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
A Serious Man - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Up - Bob Peterson & Pete Docter

No I'm not going to put in James Cameron because Avatar is just like Dances With Wolves therefore not really "original".

Best Adapted Screenplay
An Education - Nick Hornby
District 9 - Neill Blonkamp & Terri Tatchell
Julie & Julia - Nora Ephron
Precious - Geoffrey Fletcher
Up In The Air - Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner

Best Animated Feature
The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Best Director
Katherine Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Lee Daniels - Precious
Jason Reitman - Up In The Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglorious Basterds

I don't see anyone sneaking in because the category has been pretty much set for a few months now BUT the Coen brothers could take Jason Reitman's place which I don't think they will because mroe people saw Up In The Air than A Simple Man.

Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man

Since Mo'Nique is going to win the award the voters should reward all of the other good performances of the year and Anna Kendrick was very good in Up In The Air and she's the ray of sunshine in the dark, gloomy Twilight franchise. Same about Vera Farmiga (except for the Twilight reference) and she deserved to be nominated for The Departed. Julianne Moore can get nominated for reading the phone book. The last entry was a little hard but I went with Maggie since she's a) awesome; b) a great actress; and c) probably getting more attention now that her co-star is winning awards.

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Alfred Molina - An Education
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christopher Waltz - Inglorious Basterds

Same thing with this category as with the actresses. Christopher Waltz is going to take the award home everyone else is just filling the slots.

Best Actress
Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

The one I'm iffy about is Emily Blunt, although she's a really good actress. If not her then her highness Helen Mirren will take her spot.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

I didn't see Invictus but Morgan Freeman is a great actor so probably a good bet for an Oscar nod. Also, being directed by Clint Eastwood doesn't hurt either.

Best Movie
An Education
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
A Single Man
Up In The Air

This year there are ten films that can be nominated and I don't like it. Some years we need more than five but others...not so much. Up might not get nominated since it will almost very likely take home the Best Animated Feature award. In that case, my vote goes for District 9. Almost wish I didn't have to put Avatar here, but I guess you can't ignore that much money.
We'll see the results on Tuesday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wake Me Up When January Ends

It's been so exciting these past couple of weeks that I completely forgot to blog!

Not really. Er..rather, not exactly.

I've been working still but this week starts the end of the end of my corporate career. Which also means the end of my income but eh, you can't win em all. Started writing a weekly series here which will at the very least keep the writing going and hopefully get me practicing and the mind working and the hamster running in its little wheel. Besides that is a whole lot of nothing.
I went to California to visit my family, specifically grandma, and to attend my cousin's quinceƱera (you should all know what that is) which I only stayed for an hour because being the perfect, dependable sister that I am I drove my brother to the airport. You would think that this once-in-a-lifetime act of kindness would at least get me a date with one of the hundreds of single Marines he knows, but NO. Story of my life.
Saturday we stayed up til God-knows-what-hour watching the Critics Choice Awards mostly because I love awards shows and partly because there was nothing on at that hour. The best part was Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep sharing the prize for Best Actress (YouTube it).
Anyway, not having checked the weather report at all, Sunday I organized a little excursion to Manhattan Beach where I thought we'd spend the day. Everyone was up for it and then it pours rain. I still bought some new sunglasses though (and believe me that was the three-day highlight of my trip). We went back home and since it was raining we decided to gorge on deliciously greasy french fries covered in equally greasy chili and topped off with melted cheese.
Oh yes, one of my resolutions is to lose weight but I have months until New Year's come around again. No worries. A small portion of chili-cheese fries isn't going to kill anybody. Now a small portion of chili-cheese fries and an avocado bacon cheeseburger with a Coke...that can give you some serious heartburn ;)
That day we watched...I can't really say which movie we watched because I might self-incriminate myself but let's just say that George Clooney is hot and that girl from Twilight is a way better actress than Kristen Stewart. I used to defend Kristen Stewart because of the combination of liking Panic Room and hating Robert Pattinson but seriously Kristen YOU'RE KIND OF A DOWNER. I know it must suck to be in love with a perfect vampire and all but you do get the guy and he loves you. Do you think you could throw us a smile every once in a while?
You know what? If it's that deppressing finding the love of you life I want to stay single.
Sidetracked? Me?
After the movie it was still raining so we switched on the Golden Globes where at that very moment my lobster Leonardo DiCaprio was saying something probably great about Martin Scorsese except all I heard were birds twittering and violins playing and my heart pounding. Did you guys know he donated a million dollars to Haiti relief? It just makes him perfecter :)
At some point during the broadcast, I kid you not, we got a craving for ice cream. The options were Cold Stone or the Chinese Food/Donuts/Ice Cream place. Either way I was to wear a cowboy hat to the establishment to prove that I was "down like James Brown." We opted for the Chinese ice cream and then went back to watch the remainder of the Golden Globes and boy are you guys lucky I already bitched about Avatar for a whole week because this could've turned out to be a very long blog.
The next day. Monday. Martin Luther Kind Day. It was pouring rain. Again. Apparently this was one of three storms that were moving towards SoCal. I decided that waiting was going to prove futile (that means completely ineffective) and my sister and I ventured forth.
It took eight hours to get home. It was like driving through the very pit of hell. I kept expecting winged creatures to come out of nowhere and take us away and drop us into the pit of darkness. Don't know any prayers? Learn some just in case you have to endure times like these.
So it's been raining and cold but at least it's better than suffocatingly hot so I will not complain.
This week I start my Bum Week or hopefully my Wake Up Every Day and Stretch and Eat a Healthy Breakfast Week but I wouldn't hold my breath. Grammys also, don't forget to go to Target and get your 3-D glasses so you can enjoy the Michael Jackson tribute properly. You should also rent Whip It! cuz it's a good movie and it comes out this week and it has Ellen Page and was directed by Drew Barrymore :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

One step forward...two steps back

This week I got up early, went to work, came back home, took a shower, went to bed, and did the whole thing all over again. Five times.
I know, I went back to the old routine. But only for a couple of weeks. Really. I'm not joking. I have to go back because today I woke up with vertigo, and I think I have a rash, and my eyes are all dark, and I'm pretty sure I'm gaining weight. I might die if I stay! (No, seriously as soon as we got back my phone kicked the bucket. I'm taking it as a sign).
Apart from all of the above fun times, I also managed to go to a couple of movies and yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and watched Avatar. Mostly because I can't handle people knowing something that I don't. How will I ever be able to give an opinion, I have to be in on the times, right?
And what is my opinion?
Eh...I've had better.
In all honesty it's just Dances With Wolves with really good special effects. And I kind of liked Dances With Wolves better. Avatar was good but after a couple of hours I was like "Yes, I get it James Cameron, save the Earth. Respect nature." A little preachy. AND since I'd seen Dances With Wolves I kinda new how it was going to end.
So in the battle of the exes next week at the Golden Globes my vote goes to The Hurt Locker for best movie (and even Inglorious Basterds would be second).
Okay well next week I go to L.A., it's the Golden Globes, and 24 starts. Should be fun :)
I *heart* Jack Bauer

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On your mark...

Happy 2010 everybody!
This great new year has started well and I hope it at least keeps up the same way. Started the year on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, surrounded by family, a blue moon above us, and a bay-full of fireworks. We got to the beach about a half hour before midnight, there were people everywhere and we even got to witness a marriage ceremony a few feet away (btw, that's the second marriage ceremony I came across in two weeks. Sign?). No one was sure exactly when the countdown was happening but suddenly fireworks lit up the sky in vivid colors, we all hugged and cheered and were merry. For a moment all woes are forgotten and we don't care that just a few hours ago we were arguing. We went back to the apartment and there was a huge blockparty which lasted all night, and I do mean all night, because I heard drunken karaoke in my sleep until morning.
We decided to leave on the 1st, because who doesn't like to travel on a holiday? In my defense, I did wake up early and attempted to get one final tanning session before we left but the tide had risen and we decided to head back. After much cleaning :( it was time to say goodbye and drive back.
In case I didn't mention this before: the drive time is roughly 24 hours between PV and Phoenix. That doesn't include the time to cross the border (I'll get to that).
The drive went mostly withot incident except that I was super-tired and had to pull over twice or possibly run off the road.

Sidenote here: For anyone who is worried about driving through Mexico (and I read a lot of posts that say DON'T DO IT) I have to say that my experience was blissful, the roads were great, and we were never harrassed. The road felt the same as if I was driving through anywhere in the States (and I've driven quite a bit), there were plenty of gas stations, and lots to eat. My only complaint is that the bathrooms suck and on top of that you have to pay to get in. Bring your own toilet paper.

Story Time!
We stopped at a place along the road to eat some chicken as we were heading to PV and I asked the lady if there was a restroom I could use.
CHICKEN LADY: Do you only have to pee?
ME: Ummm, yes.
CHICKEN LADY: Well we don't have a bathroom but there's a room over there with a hole and you can go there.
ME: Thanks, I think I'll hold it.
This is why I don't go camping.

So the trip turned out fine until we got to Nogales which is the last city in Mexico before you are allowed to go into Arizona aka the US of A. There I was driving at a speed which I am not sure is legal or not, because the signs are in kilometers and I forgot how to convert that into miles and I don't have a calculator anyways, when I see a speed bump (and it's a pretty huge one) right in front of me. I slam on the breaks, burn the rubber off my tires, make a pedestrian spin around twice, and still fly over the bump. Given the fact that I leave a stench of burning rubber and a man unable to tell his left from his right, the police really have a right to pull me over. And they did. The federal police. Once again I'm on a road trip and a cop pulls me over and once again I look like a complete mess. I look like I've been drinking hard liquor all night and I smoked a couple packs of cigarrettes. And I'm not even wearing my good bra either. We are in deep shit here peeps.
Senor Federali asks me for my license which I oblige (American, strike one) and then he sarcastically asks me if I'm in some kind of a hurry. What I wish to say is "yes, I actually have to pee and I'd like to cross the border quickly to do that" but instead I calmly explain to him that the massive bump is the color of the road and I, being blind, didn't see it in time. This falls on deaf ears and then for some reason another cop comes and asks me the same question. ??? This guy says he should impound the car and make us wait until MONDAY to get it back, which sounds ridiculous because I didn't even do anything wrong except perhaps contaminate the environment a bit more with my tire's tread burning into the atmosphere, but since he's a nice guy (sarcasm right there) he's letting us go with a warning.
Um, thanks? I'll try not to jump over speed bumps that I didn't see next time.
For the record: We didn't pay these men a single peso and I kind of used the kids as I was explaining my story. Something like "do you think I would put my family's life in danger (point to children in the back)?"
My mom got pulled over a few days before for the same reason. She had a sweet old lady in the passenger seat and said "do you really think I'd be speeding if I have an elderly person with me?"
The moral of this story: When driving always have either kids, an elderly person, or a pregnant woman with you. You can get out of a ticket and, in the case of the pregnant woman, get a prime parking spot at the grocery store :)

We FINALLY reach the border but it's a border that is above Nogales and we think not many people know about. Well we were wrong and on top of that there is only like one lone border patrol agent. We sat for two hours (p.s. I still have to pee) and moved only about a quarter of a mile. My mom walked all the way down and half an hour later she says "they close at six (soon) and re-open at ten and then wait to cross. Should we leave?"
YES, I think we should leave! We may as well have had the car impounded at the rate we're going. I could've given that Federali a piece of my mind, gotten thrown in jail, used the bathroom, and then come back and we'd still be in line! I'm writing a letter, this is ridiculous. I've got a damn passport in my hands, that's the requirement. Why do I have to wait in line? Why?!

That was my rant for today

We go down to the OTHER crossing, wait ANOTHER TWO HOURS, and finally make it to Arizona. Ten minutes later we're at a McDonalds, everyone has peed, and we're eating. Good times.

Update on resolutions: Since I used the weekend to rest my "eating healthier, doing exercise" crap starts Monday. For the record, I currently weigh...175 lbs. (I don't know the conversion but it looks better in kilos).