Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's In The Cards

New Year! Wooooohooooo!

Not that 2011 was horrible but I'm ready for the new year. Why? Well because I'm all about starting things fresh and let's just say that I'm done with 2011. I got over the heartbreak (thank you Adele!), I got my ducks lined up at work, and I bought a new house.
It's like I'm standing at the starting line. On your marks, get set...
Yell "Go" already. Fire the gun.

Now I know that there are these rumors that 2012 will be a short-lived year for the entire human population. But seeing as though the end of the world has been predicted at least half a dozen times in just my lifetime, I'm going to be positive and just say that "que sera, sera."

On that same note, however, it's important to go forth with at least some clue as to where you're going.

Sidenote: Do you see how I've grown? The old me would've just gotten in the car and started driving. Good times :-)

So for this blog I've decided that instead of writing down the usual resolutions that I'd look to the cards to get a glimpse not of the future, but of what fate might have in store for me.

Here we go:

So let me start that I got mostly wands and pentacles which happens to me every time I've had a reading. Wands represent passion and pentacles represent health and money (yay). And also the card that I always, always get is a Queen. This time there are three.

First Card (General environment) - Queen of Swords upside down. This means that right now I'm having some communication issues. No kidding. Okay, let's see: I can't get my ideas down on paper, I get tongue-tied whenever I come across a guy I like, and, well, I let my hot temper get in the way of some very important things I wanted to say to certain people.
Yes, I'll agree this is true.

Second Card (Influences and Obstacles) - And we have another Queen. This time the Queen of Wands. So we can say that I am my own obstacle and influence. I totally have to get my shit together.
Small recap: this card represents having charisma and drawing people in, passion. Because she is positioned next to my other Queen, it means that these qualities are tyring to get to me.

**sigh** I really have to get my act together.

Third Card (Goal or Destiny) - Ten of Pentacles upside down. I am going to lose all of my money. Well, that's the worst-case scenario. It could mean an inheritance that I thought existed is really not there or that I will be involved in arguments over money. It also means that I should stay out of the casino.

Fourth Card (Distant Past) - This card is what has influenced me and guess what it is about: money. The Page of Pentacles means messages about money.

Okay, let's put these two cards into perspective for a second. I've been influenced by a good message about money (the car, the house, the spending). Yet, my destiny warns that hard times are ahead.

Fifth Card (Recent Past) - Hey look, money. Five of Pentacles upside down. This card actually is not all that great when it's right-side up, except that there is hope. So it seems that my recent past contains no spirituality and/or friendship. Just loss.

Hmmm... I have to mildly disagree. But let's continue.

Sixth Card (Future Influence) - Remember, the charismatic Queen is my immediate influence. This card is my future influence. Nine of Wands upside down. Oh boy, it means that all of the energy I'm putting into a final battle will be fruitless. I will lose.

And now for card seven (my present position) - Death. I'm sure everyone knows that this card doesn't always represent death but rather change or transformation. Now, it's really curious that this is the card I got as my present position. Because it is also associate with my sign, Scorpio. It's no secret that I've changed a lot this year. Physically and mentally I'm a different person than last January.
Why not? Getting your heart ripped to pieces makes you humbler, more aware, and eventually stronger. And subsequent rejection just adds to the muscle power (totally going to rise out of this one and I will end you family curse).
Plus, I have a new job that I'm very comfortable with. I mean, I haven't gotten the urge to leave yet :-)
Then there's the little things like buying my house, making a home and putting down roots for the first time in my life. I even had a puppy for two days which I took care of as if it were a newborn child.
And speaking of newborns, my nephew will be born in just a few days.
Yes, transformations are definitely happening.

Eighth Card - (Environmental Factors) Or rather how I influence you and how you influence me. Eight of Wands. This card represents energy and how to use it without wasting nothing. Things will get done quickly and with energy to spare.
So the next time you're in line at Starbucks for ten minutes do us all a favor and decide what you want BEFORE you reach the counter. Thanks.

Ninth Card - (Inner Emotions) Another Queen, of Pentacles this time. Meaning that my inner desires are to be successful. Successful in life, in exercise, in everything.

Wow, this one was no surprise. But let's remember that my desire for success can backfire if I don't think before I act.

Okay, now the final card - This is the final result once all of the other nine cards are taken into consideration and if nothing deviates from the plan. The Page of Wands and I'm glad to say that it's right-side up. This card means that I will be getting a message about a trip, my career, or something relating to passion (??) or spirituality.
So once I'm done with my inner struggle and I lose all of my money, I'm getting a message. That's actually really exciting when you think about it.

Alright, this is what's in the cards for me for the coming year (or maybe the coming months). Stay tuned and we'll see what happens.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Meaning of Life

It was a few weeks ago, while I was at the Taylor Swift concert waiting for her to take the stage, that the simplest answer to the most difficult question popped into my head. We were watching the second of Miss Swift's opening acts and just before the last song the lead singer (and I'm sorry I can't remember who they were) said, " has no meaning unless you have someone to share it with."
Well, you bet your ass that sparked a fire in me. Unfortunately, I could do nothing but simmer. Who did this guy think he was? How dare he tell me that my life had no meaning! I would've liked to go up to him and strangle him Homer Simpson-style.
Now, of course, you're thinking that I'm overreacting. This statement has been said a million times by a million people. Countless songs, films, books, and poems have been written about this. What made me so angry at that particular moment?
Maybe it was just the perfect time. Let me set the story up for you, let's pull back a bit. At that moment, I was in the middle of purchasing my first home. At that moment, my job was (and still is) in a very stable place. At that moment, my family was healthy and happy.
At that moment, I was watching the phone waiting for a phone call--text message, Facebook request, smoke signal--that wouldn't come.


Is my life really meaningless because there is a realistic chance that I'll never find The One?


Hell no. I've worked too damn hard. The thousands of hours studying for school and working; the money saved for my house and good life I've provided for myself; the concentration and commitment to be as good as I can be at what I set out to do.
Now THAT'S the meaning of life: To do your absolute best with the tools you've been given.
I was given an analytical mind and determination. I also inherited a great deal of pride, straight down from my grandparents and probably their grandparents. That's not always a bad virtue.
You're probably thinking that if I applied myself just as hard to being social then I'd be all set.
Well, yes, and no. It's not like I haven't tried. I'm fully aware that no matter how much I fill the rooms up of my house with my stuff, there will come a point (on a dark and stormy night) when it will feel so empty and quiet that screaming will be my only option to prove that there is life.
It's just that I don't understand. Grades are easy: you do the work, you get an A. Work is easy: you show up, don't screw anything up, and tomorrow you get to come back. But people? There's no analytical formula to people. As much as Cosmo tries to break down all of the rules, the fact is that there are no rules.

Sidenote: Actually, I've followed the rules and that didn't work (see above).

So what do I have? What will have been the meaning of my life if I died tomorrow? All of the tangible things that I've worked so hard to acquire will be gone and the future that parents pass on to their children will not be passed on by me. Will it be counted as less successful because I didn't create a family?
Yeah, right. If I mention Steve Jobs you will think "Apple" (don't foget Pixar!), not "father and husband."

You want me to sort through pages of numbers and find out why the damn thing doesn't balance then I'm your girl. You want me to create a memorable impression on someone by just "being myself" then I'll give it a shot, but I can't promise any results.

Because the best with what I have is all I can do. That's all anybody can do.

Friday, September 16, 2011


It is with a heavy heart that I report that I have NOTHING new to report. Nothing new on the house hunt. Nothing new on the man (?) hunt. All I've been doing is working, reading, and watching Friday Night Lights which is an awesome show but I think I got all of my TV watching out of the way in my younger years.
The one silver lining is that although I'm no longer actively counting calories (it's just so much work and I don't always have internet and I don't have a gynormous phone with apps) it seems that I'm losing inches. Or that the inches have moved from one place to another. No weight lost, just inches.
Anyway...last four months of the year are coming up and that always makes for good blogging.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Second-date Update

Riddle me this Batman: How are house-hunting and dating alike?
Apparently, a lot.
I've made the grown up decision to purchase a house.
Also... I.... went on a date. Two, in fact. I know right? Crazy things are happening. Soon pigs will grow wings and fly! But I wouldn't count on hell freezing over just yet. As I write this I must inform you all that a) I have not purchased a house, and b) I'm back at square one on the dating "thing."
I know that my singlehood is legend and that there is even talk about a "family curse," but the reality is that a) there is no curse, and b) the legend is, as always, not as true as we'd like to believe (or not believe?). I am normal. I am part of a large group of people who are single. Actually, a very large group of millions and millions of people according to the U.S Census Bureau.
Although our single status doesn't stop us from waking up, going to work, and enjoying life, most of us would like for it to GO AWAY. Hell, some people will pay good money to have it go away.

Sidenote: I don't have cable but as I write this I'm at my brother's house watching "Millionaire Matchmaker" and it's awesome. I love this lady. She just burned a woman's "wish list"heh

The other legend about me that everybody knows is that, well, I'm part gypsy. I went to a dozen schools as a kid, I've lived in several states and two countries, and my attempts to escape from Arizona are as bad as Jim Carrey trying to escape his town in "The Truman Show." I just can't seem to stay in one place. Except now. I just passed the 6-year mark (on and off) of living in the same state. Hell, I've been living in the same neighborhood all this time. That's unprecedented. So since things are going well and my job is stable. I've decided to plant some roots.

And here's what I learned about my two mini-journeys.

First - you must gather information. "Buying a house is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly." Yeah yeah, tell that to the people who screwed it up for the rest of us. Look, I have a job, a social security number that is actually mine, and money. I'm ready to buy.
Don't blame me for the past. Yes, learn from it and be cautious but don't make the assumption that I'm out to screw you over. I have my shit together. That goes for both lenders and men.

Second - get a wingman (or a real estate agent). You need someone who will help you make wise decisions. Who will listen and understand what it is that you want and help you achieve that goal. Second opinions are always good to have but don't let them make the decision for you. Consider wingmen (or wingwomen, or compadres, or comadres, etc.) as a second pair of eyes, not a second brain.
My real estate agent has a list of essential things that I want in my house. If one of the homes clearly lacks what I'm looking for then we cross it off the list. If she sees potential in something she has me take a look and form an opinion. On the other topic: my bff patiently listens to me bitch hehehehe

Third - narrow down your choices. According to Zillow, there are 24,000 homes for sale in Phoenix. I'm not sure how many straight, single, men there are but for this blog's sake let's say 24,000.
Let me make one thing clear, there's no line of guys waiting outside my door wanting to ask me out. But, I'm not completely without choices. As I said above there have to be a few essentials that you're looking for. And the number one, non-negotiable essential for a guy to have is that HE MUST BE SINGLE. Don't give me any of that Ross Gellar "we're on a break" crap. Don't tell me that things "aren't working out" between you and someone else. Don't be give me the "well, we have an agreement" bullshit. In fact, I am declaring a three-foot radius around me as a "No Bullshit Zone." Done, basta, finito.

Four - once the search is narrowed down, you must explore further. So we went to see a total of four houses a couple of weekends ago. I only wanted one. The same occurred with the above-mentioned two dates. I know what I want, but not only that, it's a feeling too. A connection, if you will.
Now it's not that you automatically start putting in your furniture, knocking down walls, looking at color schemes. And you definitely don't start planning a wedding and thinking what your children will look like. Do we learn nothing from Cosmo, television, and movies? What I mean is that...I was interested.

Which leads us to step five, make an offer.


Okay, okay, that's not exactly how it happened. Don't get me wrong, that's what the end result was, but it wasn't that cruel. See the thing is it would be great if everything and/or everyone just bent to our will but unfortunately that's not how the world works. At least not for me. Remember that documentary about Michael Jackson? He went into that Las Vegas furniture store and pointed at what he wanted. Done and done. Yet, was Michael Jackson ever really happy? Look again and you see that the owner is just indulging him and the cameras. Who knows if that furniture ever made it to Neverland Ranch :(

Totally lost my train of thought.

Ah yes, the offer. A stressful situation if I may say so. Put an offer on a house, it gets accepted, and as my real estate agent pointed out: "This is the door you're gonna walk through every day for several years." Not the same thing as with the guys. With the guys it's more like "Do you want to continue learning about this person and seeing what can happen?"
Then comes that sting. Ouch. You get so excited about the possibilities, you've thought about things, you've made sure your Ts are crossed and your Is are dotted. So why the "no"?
Who knows. Actually, I do know because I had to give my own "no". What were my reasons? Sure it's a buyer's market, but that doesn't mean you just go in and get what you want.
You can try to to argue the situation, "But I'm a solid person, blah blah." You can try to re-negotiate, "Tell me what you want and we can work things out." Or you can just accept that it's not meant to be. Actually, you should just accept it because it's unlikely that you'll change a seller or a guy's mind. Let's be honest, you put up the best offer you had. If it's not enough, it's not enough.

There are still 23,999 other houses for sale :-)

The search continues.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Baby Steps


Whoa, it's difficult. I should've known this. I was warned many years ago but my ego doesn't let me listen to others' advice. At twenty-eight it's difficult to get out of any habit. These past six weeks I've concentrated on two: my nutrition and my anti-socialness.

As a card-carrying member of the Fat Kids of the World, not eating whatever deliciousness I want is like asking Paula Deen to cook a meal without using butter, mayo, or heavy cream: damn near impossible. Paula would have to re-learn everything she knew about cooking. Therefore, I set about to re-learn what I knew about food.

Sidenote: I'm not a believer in "diets." I hear too many people complaining and being unhappy when they're on them and most of them regain the weight. What I set out to do was learn about calories and nutrition and thus make educated decisions about what I put in my mouth.

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID! (You were all thinking it)

So here's what I learned:

1) Even the tiniest food has a value. I used to wonder why I could work out and not lose any weight. Well that's because I was doing the "exercise" but not the "diet." You would think that someone who has watched so many seasons of The Biggest Loser would have learned this already. But no. As I said before: I like food. I like going to Paradise Bakery in the afternoons to get a chocolate-chip cookie. Or rewarding myself on a job well done with a greasy mushroom swiss burger and fries (Homer Simpson drool). Or, my personal Achille's Heal, a mocha frappuccino. Yeah...that had to stop. Everything has a value. I'm very conscious now of calories, fat content, grams of fiber, sodium, etc. Oh and most of all, I'm conscious of how long it's going to take me on the treadmill to eliminate those calories (usually a long time). BUT that fat kid inside me, the one that will be with me forever because I honestly love that huggable pork chop, still pokes me in the stomach sometimes and says, "c'mon, it would be a sin not to try it. Just a little bit." Nobody's perfect ;-)

2) Coffee and lattes are not the same. Hello, my name is Susana and I'm a Starbucks addict. I go there every morning. I have a gold card with my name on it. The baristas know what I want and how I want it. A couple of times the line was so long that I got my drink delivered in my hand and I was told "it's on the house." Yeah, I'm THAT person. Well, I WAS that person. You see, calorie-counting is exactly like keeping a budget: you have to cut the fat. Interestingly my financial budget had room for morning latte but my nutrition budget didn't, lol. I cut it out and now I walk every morning into the coffee place in my building and order their blend. It's very good and the barista has now remembered who I am and I don't have to tell her that I don't want a receipt. I miss my friends but I'm sure they'll understand. There are plenty more addicts for them to cater to.

3) Fruits and vegetables are bomb! Okay, this one I have to give to my mom because she's always tried to feed us, if not healthy, then at least not heart-attack-inducing meals. She's always taking the fat off of things and she uses grease as little as possible. But one of her tricks was to get us to eat fruits and vegetables without us really noticing. She purposefully mixes green beans with the corn so that we won't pick it out. She doesn't buy potato chips but instead cuts up fruit and puts it on the table, knowing that she raised four fat kids that can't resist anything. So when I read that when I get hungry between meals I should eat some berries or carrot sticks as opposed to a Kit-Kat Bar... well, that one wasn't so hard.

Of course I relapsed. As I write this I can still smell the french fries from this afternoon's trip to Jack in the Box on my fingers. I've also been lagging on my exercises (next blog) but that's what Monday's are for. The point is that there is a light in my brain that has been switched on and I will always be aware of the repercussions of ignoring that light. This isn't about weight. I've lost a lot of weight over these past few years and I am incredibly happy to say that I'm deeply satisfied with my body right now (that's a first). This is more about health and nutrition. Food and I are no longer lovers, we're really good friends.

So does my satisfaction in my physicality have anything to do with my tiny step into being more social? Consciously? No, it doesn't. Subconsciously? I'll leave that to you Psych majors to figure out.
I think that gradually I am losing my distrust in all of society and being more selective about who I just don't want to know/see/listen to. Some people are nice. Some people are honest. Some people of the male persuasion can be nice, honest, and cute. Granted it's like searching for the Holy Grail, but there'll be adventures and experiences along the way. With that being said: I am now taking a step towards being social, and perhaps it could ultimately turn into taking a big step towards reversing the curse. Because, just like with the diet and exercise, this stuff doesn't happen on its own. No one is going to knock on my door and say, "Hi, wanna be friends?" Geez, that didn't even happen in elementary school. I gotta make the effort. So here goes the baby step...

I feel a little dizzy and lightheaded. Does this go away?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Lake, a Snake, and Tiny Tim

It's taken me forever to write this blog and I do apologize to my fellow travel companion for my procrastination. Yet, it took her almost a month to get her film developed so I'm calling it even :)

Last month, Memorial Day weekend to be exact, my cousin and I decided to go on a road trip. I believe I can speak for both of us when I say that a few days of escape from the world were completely  necessary.
Leave behind the problems, the worries, the heartbreak, and get in a car and drive! (That might be my new mantra).

We started from South Gate (representin') in the early morning. Of course every time I go to South Gate I must stop at my favorite coffee place "Tierra Mia." For you millions of readers out there, you must go! It's delicioso. I hear rumors that there is one in Norwalk but SOMEONE hasn't taken me. I shall keep the name of the guilty party secret. For now.
So off we go towards Lake Havasu, a place neither of us had ever been to. We weren't sure what we were expecting to find. It is, after all, a lake in the middle of nowhere and it was a long holiday weekend. I do believe my cousin held the desire of getting in a bar fight, get me drunk, and get me to hook up with a boy. But more on that later.
We arrived (if memory serves correctly) at around two in the afternoon. The lake was visible from the highway but, swear to the Big Guy in the Sky, it took us like two hours to actually reach the water. We had no idea how to get TO THE LAKE.
We were so hungry that we parked by London Bridge (an actual bridge from London, duh) and had fish and chips at the first place we sat down. I suggested that before the festivities start we should find a place to crash, seeing as though the hard-core party people would be arriving soon. Thus we did two things: we drove all the way back to the beginning of town, entered WalMart and bought two chairs; and we found a hotel room.
And what a room it was.
A corpulent man (big word, I know) in charge of the Motel 6 gave us the key to our room, which was magnificently overpriced, and we lugged our things inside. Or at least to the door. The smell that hit us nearly knocked us over. It was...piss. Yep, no other way to describe it. It smelled like piss. We go back to said innkeeper and informed him of our little problem.
"They all smell the same," he says.
What? Did he personally piss in all of them so they could smell the same? WHAT?!
So he follows us to the room and walks in and he says...nothing. Because he can smell it. He then opens the door to the room across the hallway (which smells relatively better) and says, "This one doesn't have a bathtub."
Really? You think I care about a bathtub at this point? Thank you, we'll take it.
Finally we left our things and proceeded to find out how one gets to the actual lake. Sure, if you have a boat it's easy. Anyway, there seems to be some sort of beach-like thingy but there were too many people there so we drove (more driving) to the part that is owned by the government. True story.
We took out our chairs, unfolded them, and sat down to relax. There were only a few people, the water was clean, and the sun was setting right in front of us. It was great.
Of course we got hungry again. Time to clean up and hit the town *woot*
Okay, disclaimer: I care very little for bars, drinking, and "hooking up" and even less about putting those things together. Which is why I'm about to tell you about the best, most delicious friggin salad I have ever eaten in my life.
Okay, so we go to this place called..? Who the hell cares, it was pegged as a Mexican place. It was pretty  empty, most of the customers were being seated outside. The waitress seats us at a big round table with like seven chairs and I tell her there's no need for this since there's only two of us.
"Susana, sit down"
"No, why do we need this huge table?"
The waitress moves us all the way to the end and it's then that I find out that the table across from us was full of cute boys. Oh well, I'm hungry. Our waiter (because the waitress got huffy) was very nice and my cousin only ordered drinks while I, being a card-carrying member of the Fat Kids of the World, ordered a salad. A scallop salad.
From the balcony we can see some outdoor bar (??) and hear their fantastic DJ. Of course I'm being sarcastic because anyone that would take Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and mix it with Techno should be shot. Is there no respect anymore?
Anyway! Did I mention that my back is turned and I have no idea who is around us? This will be important later but in the meantime my salad arrives.
O.M.G. I'm not kidding, I want to drive the who-knows-how-many hours back just to eat that salad again. It had these gigantic scallops that were cooked perfectly. The greens were fresh. It had just the perfect amount of dressing and there were pieces of mango scattered about. *insert Homer Simpson drool*
So as I am having fantasies about kidnapping the salad chef, this guy comes up to us and starts talking. He needed to smoke (strike 1), he looked very young (strike 2), and his name was Tim (ball 1). Let me say this to the future mothers of America: Don't name your kid Tim. He will have to forever endure being called Tiny Tim and while it might be funny when he's young, it will not be flattering when he's older.
PS - I'm not the one who started calling him Tiny Tim, though I did think of it.
So Tiny Tim is smoking just outside our area and he starts talking in a Southern twang. Turns out he's from Asheville, North Carolina (one point for Tim). Had he been relatively sober and not thinking with the "other" brain we could've had a conversation. But, alas, Tim and his friends were not sober and were not interested in conversation. In fact he actually said "We're gonna go to BJs"
It's the name of a club.
"You should break your car in and hook up with Tiny Tim," is what I was told by the devil not on my shoulder but sitting right across from me.
"Umm... no," is what I answered. Though I will admit that the thought passed through my mind and stayed there longer than it should've.
Tiny Tim said goodbye and gave us his number in case we wanted to "go on the boat" tomorrow.
From there we left too to see if we'd get into a club but neither of us felt like paying $20 to get into a fight. Therefore we walked around and watched people grinding on the dance floor and this sad drunken creature hopping up and down to a horrible song. No one paid attention to her and it was pretty sad.
Drunks *sigh*

The next morning we went hiking. Again, the purpose was to start at the trail and reach the lake. We walked and talked and were generally having a good time until I hear a hiss!
It was a snake! A snake! Hissing at me!
Yes, I jumped about three feet in the air and yelled. The thing watched us walk away but we were more attentive after that and I think I counted about a hundred lizards and a rabbit because of it. There is a slight drop somewhere when you start to enter the "crack" in the mountain.
btw, the person who wrote the guidebook either has a great sense of humor or has no idea what double meanings are.
So we had to slide down this rock but to get back up (if we made it back) we had to hold on to a rope and climb. Ummm...I don't think so. I don't approve of climbing.
"One of us should try it first."
Yeah, the one of us that isn't me.
After about a half hour of debating and going back and forth, the one of us that isn't me slid down and climbed back up.
"It's really easy," she says a bit too enthusiastically. Why aren't we in Tiny Tim's boat?
So I slide down, fairly easy; and then I climb up, also fairly easy. The lesson: things are worse than what they seem.
Okay, let's keep going. Did I mention we were looking for the lake? Did I mention we didn't find it? Again. Who the hell knows how to reach this damn hole but once we reached the part where there was nowhere else to go but back, well we went back. Walk, climb, trudge. Wait, where are we?
We perhaps got a little bit lost. We perhaps came out on the highway a few yards away from where we parked the car.
Not only is my car a beautiful sight all on its own, but it also had water. Warm water, but water nonetheless.
On our way back we stopped at Dairy Queen to eat ice cream and plan the next leg of the trip which I will not relate because it has nothing to do with a Lake, a Snake, or Tiny Tim whom we never heard from again. I hope he found BJs.

The next post will come sooner, I promise. It's really exciting, I've been counting calories. Oh and there was also that other thing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sober May

I just read the last post and realized that only three people probably know what the hell I was writing about. The rest of you possibly thought I literally got drunk. My apologies. Sometimes I write these things so fast that I don't stop to consider that, well, you guys don't know what I'm talking about.

So let's see how I can word this - I've been listening to a lot of Adele, and I know how she feels. I also threw in a bit of Pink, Alicia Keys, a whole lot of Country, and, of course, Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" which I consider one of the saddest songs ever written.

Got it? If not, then look it up or ask your neighbor.

So with my drunken/foolish/stupid days behind me. I awake to nice little hangover in the beginning of May. As we all know, this hurts. Literally and figuratively. It hurts a lot (Yes, even for cold-hearted Scorpios). All you really want to do is throw up, take an aspirin, and get into bed. Then repeat. You're mood shifts from tired to grumpy to sad (could not have borrowed the Adele CD from Sarai any sooner).
My mom was talking to me about something today and she said, "It was a couple of weeks ago. When you were sick." Yes, yes I was.

"Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions." - Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.
**I would like to interrupt this blog to report that I just spilled a bunch of water over my table and it almost reached my brand-new laptop. Luckily it did not reach my new toy but that's because it was soaked up by the very important paperwork I had on the table. I want May to be over now!**

BUT... hangovers don't last forever.

**Let me interject once more to say that the last statement should also be applied to the current Hangover movie franchise. Really you guys? It's the same script except they've changed the location from Vegas to Thailand. I realize this has worked for the Fast & Furious franchise but I do think we're all burning an awful lot of good brain cells here. I'm just saying.**

As I pointed out in the last post, May is a stand-alone month this year. The decisions made this month have led me down a different path than if I had stayed in my drunken state. (I really hope you Psychology majors are having fun with my metaphor. Comments and analysis are encouraged). I could've kept drinking but that would've only postponed this blog and probably sunk me deeper into the hole I went into.
Obviously it took me a minute to crawl back up and I still have the sense that I'm off-balance (i.e. I can't listen to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now"). It might take another month or so to fully cleanse the system and that requires some focus. So for the month of June we (by 'we' I mean "Miss I-Kick-Ass-and-I'm-Going-to-Take-the-World-by-the-Balls" me and "Miss I-Want-Normal-and-Simple" me) are going to:
a) work out and focus on our health. Well, we do share one body;
b) be positive. Which could be fun given the difference in what both 'me's think is considered positive; and
c) regroup. Because, apparently, I've been ignoring a goal that--drunk or sober, one personality or two-- I should've never taken my eyes off of.

So stay tuned for... June Bloom (?) June-Never-Saw-This-Coming (?)Okay, I got a whole month to think about the title. But no worries my faithful readers, you do not have to wait a whole month for the next blog because there was a road trip this past week :-) Stay tuned for the details of our bank heist, hiding in canyons and fighting off deadly snakes, and meeting sexy-yet-dangerous men.

Disclaimer - Some of the details of the next blog may have been created by the author's imagination. By 'some' we mean 'all'.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mid-Year Update

It’s May. Usually I put up a mid-year blog post to see how things have progressed. I’ve always said that the most interesting things happen to me in the last half of the year. With the prospect of two weddings, a possible week-long vacation, and the usual celebrations, I’m sure the end of 2011 won’t disappoint. But this year I’m jumping the gun on my mid-year update because, quite honestly, it felt like the past four months were jam-packed. Also, I’m predicting that the month of May is going to be a stand-alone month. It may very well define the rest of the year.

Someone told me at the beginning of the year that I had too many resolutions:

1) Work hard and play hard

2) Volunteer/Be charitable

3) Write/Finish certificate program

4) Travel

5) Reverse the curse

Perhaps. It would also explain why January through April was so crazy. In February I took out the “Volunteer/Be charitable” resolution because it didn’t look like I could fit it into my schedule. Yet… I was pretty effing generous the last couple of months and, yes, it counts even though I’m not happy about it. So the resolution stays!

I also sent that $10 text message to the Red Cross 

The first resolution, I have to say, is the best one. I’ve gotten into a good groove at my job, the office is taking shape nicely (finally put up some stuff on the walls), and I have not feared for my job once in the past four months. I’d say that’s pretty darn good. It’s that confidence in the fact that I am good in at least ONE THING that really helps me get out of bed in the morning.

I also bought a sweet new ride and, well, let’s just say that life has treated me very well in the “work and economy” department.

Stay in school kids ;)

There hasn’t been much travel which is both sad and a relief. I went to LA in January to, once again, attend a taping of The Ellen Show. Once again, we left with a crappy gift (a Bruno Mars CD which is good an all but not up to the standard of say, an iPad). I think I’m done with The Ellen Show. I also went to Prescott to visit my peeps for a weekend and play Glee Karaoke (awesome!). At the end of May there is a road trip planned and I still have a week’s worth of vacation time (and a new car!) to plan something else. I think I hear the East Coast calling my name.

I have to admit that my other two resolutions took the biggest toll on me. January started off fine. I thought I knew exactly what to expect. What’s that saying? “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” A small tremor in February warned me that something was happening but it wasn’t until the next month that the earth really shook and chaos ensued.

I completely took it for granted that in March I was starting another class. (Insert sarcastic tone here) Excellent! Just in time.

In my novel writing class we learn that the key to a good story is to keep piling on trouble onto the protagonist.

By mid-March I knew I was in a novel.

What to do? What to do? This is the moment when one’s brain is so flooded with information and choices and dilemmas that it literally shuts down.

Therefore, one loses the ability to think rationally.

Therefore, one does stupid things.

No regrets. I think it’s healthy to do something stupid every once in a while: jump out of an airplane, get really drunk, jump off a cliff (that one’s a metaphor).

So let’s just say that in April I got really drunk and jumped off a cliff (I won’t jump out of an airplane cuz I don’t like to fly). During said drunkenness I also considered dropping one of my classes, which would’ve impeded me from obtaining my certificate :-0

With a slight hangover, I would like to give a warm welcome to Sober May.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome To Adulthood, Here are Your Keys

Wow, I went from one blog a week to one a month. That's amazingly pathetic on a couple of levels. Then again, if I had time to watch every Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode (again) you bet your ass I'd do it.
But, alas, I don't. I have become a full-fledge adult. It bites.
Here in these United States of America, people move to different levels based on age. At 16 you get your driver's license and thus become the newest errand boy/girl. Congratulations. At 17 you can go see rated-R movies without being accompanied by an adult. Said adult is usually your cousin or whatever but, hey, more popcorn for you. At 18 you can vote and, if you are male, be drafted. Again, congratulations. 21 is the year we all show our true IDs to buy liquor, but by this time we've already decided how much we can handle and what drinks we like. It's really not that fun, get over it. Finally at 25 your insurance goes down.
There are no milestones after that until you reach 55 and you start getting senior citizen discounts. Then there's retirement which changes all the time so who the hell knows.
ANYWAY... My point is that these are just numbers. Maturity comes to each of us at a different age. For example, I didn't get my license until I was 18 because I didn't have a car and I didn't want to pay. I'd been getting into R-rated movies since forever because I snuck in. I didn't vote until I was like 24 and I didn't have to get insurance until now, at 28, because that is when I bought my first car.
Yes, I bought a new (new) car.
It started when the Altima went in for her tune-up a few weeks ago. My trusty mechanic called me and said that blah blah blah (some kind of car-speak) I needed a new car. Basically the oil had engine parts in it. That's bad. So bad that he wouldn't even consider fixing the engine because it would cost me a lot and it might break again. I'm not gonna lie, I was very sad. The Altima and I have been "there and back again." I was almost at 170,000 miles. We crossed the country three times, almost made it to Chicago, and drove the Pacific Coast. First time I drove that car, I totally got lost and drove around Los Angeles for hours. It was the beginning of a beautiful journey, and now it's ended.
Of course the easiest thing to do was get a new Altima. Duh! But being the rational person that I am, I decided to look around first. For two weeks I asked questions, looked at car deals, checked out the financing, etc.
Since buying a car is a family deal I took my mom and sister with me to test-drive the cars. I thought it would be fast. Pick out a car, drive it, decide if I wanted it or not. Turns out that's not how it works. They suck you in. Like the mob!
We arrived at the Toyota dealership at noon. Immediately a very nice, handsome guy got us in. He had the Altima checked for a trade-in price while we browsed. First was the Prius because I consider myself environmentally friendly. Except that the Prius is kind of slow and it feels like you are inside a nut. Therefore we must screw the envirionment for a little while longer and find something faster and bigger :)
By this time we have another seller with us because it turns out our young man is on his second day at work. I really feel the pressure to help him make his first sale, but he's not that cute. Next is some crossover thingy that we all love but when the price-tag is shown to me I forget all about Mr. Fancy Four-wheels. Finally we drover Mr. Best Seller, the Camry. The Camry is a spacious car but it didn't grab me. If I'm going to spend the next ten years with something (or someone) I want to be able to say "I fell in love at first sight" or at least "It may not look like much but damn it's a good ride."
Now comes the hard part: escape. I don't know why car dealerships are out in the open when it feels like you are trapped inside a cell until you agree to sign a piece of paper. Granted, I was being really nice because they were being nice. Yet, every time I asked for the FINAL PRICE they kept leaving and muttering in silence. Does no one have Excel on their computer? Perhaps a calculator? Three hours after we walked in I walked out with a number (final?) and hungry as hell. The three of us went to eat and I received not one, but two phone calls from the dealership across the street. Something about the cars flying out of the lots. To which I asked "You have flying cars?"
Now let's move over to our friends at Nissan. There was no eager rookie waiting for us here. We met with a nice, no non-sense woman who right off the bat asked me how much I wanted to pay a month. When I told her my figure she gave me two choices. I immediately fell in love with her even when I pointed at a nice car and she said "that's not in your price range."
We have two options. A crossover (I already forgot the name) in black, very simple features, drives well, and good MPG. OR the Altima. Not just any Altima. An ocean-grey, brand-spanking new Altima. "It corners like it's on rails." Yeah, I still don't know what it all does but did I fall in love with this car? Yes. Is it a good ride? Yes. At least we know that if the curse continues I have a damn good car.
Now it's time to play hardball. That took about an hour which was unnecessary because if they had run my credit sooner then we all would've gone home sooner. By this time we are all exhausted so I send my mom and sis home in our old Altima because the trade-in was so proposterous that I am deeply offended and give them a firm "no" that I really means "fuck you."
You would think that deciding on a car would be the longest part, but it isn't. Turns out there's a shit-load of paperwork to read and sign. Of course they're expecting you NOT to read it. But n matter how tired I am I read ever line because a) that's what you should do and b) the finance guy was being a condescending douche-bag.
Did I mention that both dealerships sent in a Hispanic finance specialist. WTF? Both of them tried to sweet-talk me in "our community's language." Fuck off. I'm speaking the universal language of Money.
FINALLY at 11:00 p.m. I go home with a brand-new baby :)
Just like any new parent I can't sleep that night. What did I just do? Can I do this? I just made a long committment. What if something happens? I tossed and turned all night with nerves, stress, and worry taking over me. In the morning I look outside and check if everything is okay.
I just now, two weeks later, took the car out for it's first real drive. I was nervous and we haven't quite gotten used to each other but the trip went well. "Breezy" (as she was aptly named by my cousin) is cool, fast, and very smart. She likes the highway but moves easily on the streets too and she likes to play the radio real loud in both situations. She doesn't like dirt, which is something we have to work on.
Anyone else will tell you that nothing has changed. In fact, several people asked when the first road-trip would be. Although I'd love to do it, I also know that I can't. It's not that I'll never do it again (really? c'mon) but it's the very sudden sense of responsibility that I've acquired. Here is a piece of metal on four wheels that represents several aspects of my life. So tomorrow instead of a road-trip, it's off to work. When the paycheck comes I have to pay the bills first and then decide how much I can splurge. That's how adulthood works :-)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Press 'Pause'

This week felt like I was being chased by ten guards and I was running and jumping across rooftops. I am now standing on the edge. There are three possible outcomes: 1) I will jump and break my neck; 2) I will jump, land safely, and keep going; or 3) the guards will get me.
Yes, I've been playing Assassin's Creed II. But still, that's how this week felt.
First up is work. I'm not going to complain about work because, quite frankly, I have nothing to complain about (slightly true story). I'm also not stupid.
Moving on.
School. I just realized that I'm taking three classes this semester. Why did I just realize this? Because one was a late start and the other is my Portfolio class so I only see my professor once a month. And yet, it is still a full-time gig. I'm continuing to write the first draft (first of many, according to my professor) of my novel. Now I have "Intro to Non-fiction" where I must, at the very least, write in my journal three times a week (blogging doesn't count); read from our textbook; and keep up with group discussions. Plus the, you know, writing pieces.
There is a big part of me that is loving this adrenaline. It's like being back in college. Okay, it is actually being back in college but you guys know what I mean. Living on my own, eating unhealthy food, staying up really late and crammed with schoolwork. Ah memories!
Did I mention that I'm also organizing my mom's 50th birthday party? For May? AND IT'S MARCH!
I still have six boxes of books to put away, so that means that when I have a free second I must go to Ikea or Home Depot or somewhere and buy more shelves. I also got it in my curious brain that it would be great to go on and research my family tree. Plus, because I'm weird I have a bunch of financial statements to transfer into Quickbooks. This reminds me that it's tax season. That means I have to do my brother's taxes, my taxes, and I just remembered I haven't filed my mom's state taxes.
Ah, and then there is the curse. Last year we took San Antonio's baby away and turned him on his head for nine days (the saint, not the baby). Their was a prayer and a candle involved and... whatever.  Because that didn't work (for any of us, cuz it's a family curse), this year we are turning to our friends from the East and lighting these red, heart-shaped candles. I was told to point them to the North and light them. They are working in an odd way. It's kind of frustrating actually. I'm starting to wonder if the top is supposed to be to the North or the poiny bottom. Either way, they are about to burn out and I will have to try to some sort of African dance next.
I'm not saying that I want to run away from my problems. NO! What kind of person just drops everything and runs away? Like, not literally, but gets in their car and drives off. I don't know anyone who would do that.
*crickets chirping*
Alls I'm saying is that I'd like to engage each of these guards on a one-on-one sort of deal, not have them chase me around like I'm some sort of criminal who belongs to a secret organization.
Hmmm... I may have to stop playing this game.
PS - I just added one more thing to the list: my iPods are not organized the way that I want them to be and there is cover art missing :-(

Monday, February 7, 2011

Places Please

Holy sh*t it's been a while since I blogged. Not that you are all missing out on anything fantastic, but still.
Btw, for all of you that are still wondering when that unfinished blog will see the light of day... it's a tricky one that one. We'll see.
So we left off on me being quite the optimist which is unlike me. Actually that's not true, I am optimistic about the fact that I'm right. So when I point to two people and say, "That's not gonna last" it's just true.
So far the transition from my mom's house to my new apartment has been smooth. By the time I move all of my stuff out of her house it will be time to put it all back in a box. I rented a very nice studio with room enough for one. Because I am one. An army of one :p
There was a small problem with getting the DVDs all in one spot (that didn't work) but I've got them organized and that's what counts. On the bad side, it may be impossible for me to buy any more movies unless I want to build a fort in my living room. The situation with the books is becoming a headache. I don't think there will be enough room for them, I may have to build myself a library or start bringing boxes into my office.
Random co-worker: "Why is there a copy of The Shining in here?"
Me: "Because all work and no play makes Susana a dull girl"
I almost used the shelves in my closet but there isn't enough room :( It's only a matter of time before I bump into something and break a toe. It's a work in process this apartment thing, but it's nice and comfy. Eventually there will also be food in it. Beware that if you plan on visiting you must call first because I'm never home and you must bring your own food. And some for me.
Work has been interesting. That's all I'm gonna say :)
As for school, this is my last semester before I get my certificate. I'm taking two classes and building my portfolio. The hard part has been adjusting my schedule. I'm one of those people that has to take a step back and put everything in order. That's why I haven't blogged. It's the job, and the move, and school, and the driving to California, and the other stuff that is taking time out of my life and getting me nowhere (ignore that last part, I'm just releasing a bit of tension).
BUT it looks like I've got it down. Unfortunately one of my New Year's resolutions will have to suffer for this hectic schedule. Yeah, it would be easy for me to scratch off the "Reverse the Curse" one but alas it is volunteer work that will suffer. I can't do it. Not the way I wanted to, which would've been a continuous thing every week. Not that they called me back anyway. I'm just saying if a person is willing to do something for free, you could call them back.
hmmm... yes, you can read that either way.
So that leaves us with four resolutions, three of which I have kept up in the six weeks of 2011. We all know the fourth one. It's not my fault! I haven't been walking with my eyes to the ground, I make a daily attempt to be sociable (with my co-workers) and I look both ways before driving out of the parking garage. OH! and the other day I took the light-rail and my iPod's battery died so I was totally available for conversation.
Wow, it feels like these walls are just falling down. Like dominoes lol
So here's a preview of what you'll read next time...
Work, school, the Oscars, and just to make it interesting I'm going to attempt to break out of a tank of water while wearing handcuffs in less than thirty seconds!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Movie Review - The Fighter

Only one more film to go! Today I watched "The Fighter" which is barely playing in theaters anymore. It has been recommended to me by every one of my co-workers but I honestly do not like Mark Wahlberg so I've stayed away. But now that the Oscars have nominated it then I must. And I did.
Brief breakdown in case there's someone out there who still hasn't seen it: Mark Wahlberg is Micky Ward a boxer who has been trained by his older brother Dicky (Christian Bale) and has been managed by his mother (Melissa Leo) all his life. Dicky was a good boxer too (his claim to fame is a title fight with Sugar Ray Leonard) but now he's a crack addict and HBO is doing a documentary about him. That's where the movie starts, and then Micky is sold out by his family to fight with a much heavier boxer in order to get paid.
It's all a big family drama concealed inside a good boxing film. But this doesn't quite come close to "Rocky". The difference is that although Micky is the main character, the person who really catches our attention is Dicky. It's hard not to notice him since he's constantly trying to nab the spotlight, in one scene Micky is taking press fotos with his opponent and Dicky can be seen just inside the picture. His sisters love him, his mother loves him, his little boy loves him, and his kid brother idolizes him. Don't you just want this guy to get off drugs?
In "Rocky" Rocky has one dream: to be a somebody. Cuz he's a bum. Micky tries to convince us he's a bum but he's not really. He has a life that many people have and they don't get their dreams either (plus, his dream is not his but it's intertwined with his family's dreams now that Dicky is out). If not for Bale (and the rest of the supporting cast) I don't think this film would've made it this far. Bale is an incredible actor who can transform himself and get into the skin of his characters. Yesterday he was Batman, today he's crack addict Dicky, tomorrow he's back in the bat suit. Dicky is skin and bones with thinning hair and a constant need to move around, whether it's from being a boxer or from being on crack or both I have no idea. Wahlberg unfortunately is the weak link, walking and talking slow. How can you help yourself when Bale is right there acting his ass off? Wahlberg's always been an okay actor (he was nominated as a supporting actor for "The Departed) and he's a believable boxer but you always know that you're watching Mark Wahlberg. The same thing happens when you watch Will Smith or Tom Cruise, you always know it's them.
Sidenote: Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in the film "Ali" but it was his supporting actor, Jamie Foxx, who won the Oscar. Same thing with "The Fighter", although Smith gets kudos for attempting to play such a larger-than-life character.
Also in the supporting roles (and stealing their own scenes) are Leo and Amy Adams. Leo plays a mother who somehow manages to control the nine or so "children" she has and a couple of men. With a constant cigarrette between her fingers and killer heels on her feet, she keeps her husband in line and manages her son's boxing career. She's not quite the manipulative bitch I thought she'd be, she's just a mom watching out for her kids the only way that she knows how and the only way that it's ever worked for her. Enter Amy Adams who (mothers beware) whispers sweet thoughts into Micky's ears sprinkled with advice (mainly "get away from your family"). Adams is another actress who has managed to fight her way into heavy-weight status. She now has her third Oscar nomination in less than a decade. That's pretty frickin awesome! AND she is going to play Janis Joplin in a new movie :)
It's possible that the actresses with end up cancelling each other out come Oscar night but with a Golden Globe already, I think Melissa Leo has an edge.
As for Christian Bale... it's his to lose.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Party Time in Hollywood

Woo hoo! If I ever become famous I will beg for a ticket to the Golden Globes which I hear is quite the party. Of course I want the glitz and glam of the Oscars, but the Globes are all about fun. But they also hand out trophies and here are my predictions (and a bit of blabbering) for this year's Golden Globes.

Let's start with an easy one:
Best Animated Picture - Toy Story 3
I will confess, but only to you my friends, that I actually liked How To Train Your Dragon more than Toy Story 3 but the toys melted my icy heart and made me cry and wish for the days when we were young and innocent. Goodbye Woody and Buzz and to those little aliens *sniff*.

Best Screenplay - Inception by Christopher Nolan
Really? Did you witness a more unique idea all year long? No! Plus the guy has been working on this script for 10 years, give him something since it obviously won't be the Best Movie award.

Best Director - Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Or Christopher Nolan for Inception. But no, we will probably see David Fincher take the award which is well-deserved because to make a movie about a geeky guy going through two lawsuits interesting is no easy feat. But Aronofsky's work was stunning and Nolan was just damn great and c'mon, the guy has turned the Batman movies into classics. Don't believe me? Ask the Oscar people why we have 10 nominations instead of 5, because The Dark Knight got screwed! It's the man (or woman, but none are nominated this year) with the vision who deserves the award, and my vote goes for either of these two.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Christian Bale in The Fighter
I haven't seen The Fighter but apparently the performances to see are Bale and Melissa Leo (who plays his mom).

Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech
It's only because I love Helena, she's awesome. She's like a British version of Angelina Jolie if you think about it. Both are really good actresses but they also have some performances that are out there. Also, she's Bellatrix and unless you know a magical curse you best move out the way.

Best Actor (Comedy) - Kevin Spacey in Casino Jack
I haven't seen any of the actors except for Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland which was just whatever. I'm going for Spacey through a very complicated process of elimination. I'm also a bit angry at Jake Gyllenhaal for not returning my phone calls. I hope Taylor Swift writes a great song about you Jake!

Best Actress (Comedy) - Julianne Moore in The Kids are All Right
Why do I have to push for a Julianne Moore win every year? She will likely lose to her on-screen wife Annette Benning (love her too) but the question remains: When will Julianne Moore get some effing respect in this town? Btw, you should all watch The Kids are All Right.

Best Actor (Drama) - Colin Firth in The King's Speech
Colin was "robbed" last year (no disrespect to The Dude) so this year we're all gonna play nice and make it up to him. Personally, my heart belongs to Gosling and Franco. Gosling is so good in Blue Valentine and he does a very good physical transformation. The only thing that bothers me about him is that he always seems to be chewing something when he's onscreen (??). And James Franco, Mr. I-can-Act/Write/Teach/Etc., as a guy stuck by a rock over his hand. I mean, who wants to watch that unless you have an actor that can hold your attention? There's always next year boys ;)

Best Actress (Drama) - Natalie Portman in Black Swan
This is Portman's to lose and if she does I hope it's to Williams because I can't stress enough how effing good she is in Blue Valentine. I mean it's like a performance you watch in acting class or something (I'd also suggest watching Charlize Theron in Monster). But the beauty of Williams is there is no "transformation", no bells and whistles, she's just THERE! Nicole Kidman I hear/read is good but she's already got awards, let the new kids play. Oh and Jennifer Lawrence is also very good and deserves an Oscar nomination for a quiet but strong performance. Go away Halle Berry!

Best Motion Picture (Comedy) - The Kids are All Right
Ok so I've told you to see it but I haven't told you what it's about. It's about a family that kind of gets turned upside down and has to find it's balance again. The family is comprised of moms Annette Benning and Julianne Moore who have two teenagers. Each child was conceived by one of the mothers using the same sperm donor... enter Mark Ruffalo aka a whole lotta trouble (though, to be fair, the couple were already going downhill before he appeared on the scene).

Best Motion Picture (Drama) - The Social Network
I'm not even going to get into the fact that they didn't nominate Blue Valentine. I'm not. Let's analyze this, shall we? What makes a great film? Basic elements: good script, good director, good actors, and likeability. Then you get into these elements and it gets complicated. Of the five films nominated (I've only not seen The Fighter) my vote goes to The Social Network. Yes, I will tell you why (glad you asked). Because you have smart, quick dialogue from Aaron Sorkin; a good actor that is capable of carrying the film (Jessie Eisenberg, nominated); a director (David Fincher) that keeps the flow nice and interesting; and the story (semi-fictional) of the birth of Facebook. All of the other films have a weakness in them, tiny cracks in their foundation. The Fighter has a weak script, but is carried by strong performances; the opposite is true for Inception: strong script, some weak acting (Not you Leo! Never you my love). Of course that leaves Black Swan and The King's Speech. Black Swan, is a psychological thriller (darker than Inception) and doesn't play well for all audiences but luckily it played well enough to get Portman in the running. The King's Speech is the only picture that can stand a chance against The Social Network (boy am I gonna feel stupid on Monday if I'm wrong). Why? Well it has all of the elements and even a bit of the same fame that has carried its opponent. The king in the film is Prince William's great-grandfather, even his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is played by a young actress in the film. It's the kind of thing that makes voters pay attention. Just ask Helen Mirren ;)

No TV predictions because I don't watch that much television. Right now I'm catching up on The Tudors (hey, royalty again!) and apparently that show's been off the air for a bit. By the time I get to my Mad Men dvds John Hamm will have moved into a retirement home. Also, I'm still pissed Buffy was never recognized for a major award except an Emmy here and there for makeup. Grrr... arrgghh...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Movie Reveiw - Blue Valentine

So to start off the new year I am going to review every movie I watch at the theater (if I reviewed every movie I watched then that would take forever since I watch at least one a day). I was going to start a completely new blog for reviews but c'mon, movies are my life so they deserve to be in the blog with my life.
It is also time-consuming and almost pointless to start a new blog since I only have like 6 readers.
Ok, some stuff to get out of the way:
- I will not reveal any more than what you can see in the movie's trailer or anything that can be read in another review. However, trailers and review reveal a lot so don't get mad at me for "spoiling" the movie.
- I will very likely go off on a random monologue once in a while. I'm just saying.
- This is my opinion. You are free to go and pay $10, watch the movie yourself, and form your own opinion.

Let's begin.
First movie of the year is Blue Valentine starring Academy Award nominees Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain). Now, I've learned a thing or two from a really good teacher that I've had for about three semesters now and one of the most important things is this: A story is about one person, everyone else is a supporting character. Or the antagonist. So Blue Valentine is not the story of a couple whose marriage is falling apart, it's about Dean and the realization that his marriage is falling apart.
Dean is a balding house painter with no ambition. His wife,Cindy, is a nurse who no longer loves him. That's a fact. Why doesn't she love him? Who knows. Maybe because he's going bald. Maybe because he paints houses for a living and starts drinking beer at eight in the morning. Maybe because he has no ambition.
Maybe because she's selfish? (Blame it on the woman)
So to save his marriage Dean checks them in to a hotel where the rooms all have a theme. They have a choice between Cupid's Cove and The Future Room. The fact that Cindy chooses The Future Room should be a big fat sign of what's about to happen. From here we go back and forth between the present depressing day and the past where love was fresh and new and people believed in love at first sight. We see that Dean was once a young, handsome and Caring guy (yeah, I mean that with a capital C). And we meet Cindy, studying to be a doctor and dating a douchebag wrestler. During one family dinner, as her father belittles her mother, she wonders if they were ever in love.
That's the setting and if I say more then I'll give away the film (which I promise to never do). But I love the contrast between how these people met, fell in love, and became a couple and how they are now. In terms of the film and how it's shot most of the camera either focuses on Williams or Gosling and I do mean focus. We are right in their face during arguments, trying to read their reactions and expressions. You can't do this with just any random actors. Nope, you have to have people that are good and Williams and Gosling are effing perfect. In fact, Williams is so damn good that if I had a vote I'd give it to her over Natalie Portman. And I'm a Portman fan! But I'm a true believer in less is more and while Portman went all out and worked her ass off for months to do ballet training and whatnot, Williams just delivers. I can't wait to see her as Marylin Monroe.
The movie as a whole is good and sad and sweet. Originally it received an NC-17 rating which going in I thought I'd catch a glimpse of little Ryan but no such luck. In fact, the movie's pretty tame compared to other films I've seen. I can't quite understand the reasoning behind it and neither could Harvey Weinstein. That's why he got a team of lawyers and threatened to sue if they didn't change it to an R, which they did. Just so that you are not surprised I think there are three or four "love scenes" in the film and one joke involving a child molester and a little boy.
If you're a pessimist in terms of love and marriage then, well, this is the movie for you. If you're an optimist, well, let me recommend ANOTHER movie for you: The Kids are All Right. It's with Annette Benning, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo. It's fun, funny, and all that stuff put together. There are also about three or four scenes in that one too. So no matter which one you pick you get to see some action.