Friday, December 23, 2011

Fall TV -- winners and losers

So, to follow up on my previous post about fall TV, here are the shows that I am still watching.
Up All Night -- as expected, Will Arnet is funny and I like the relationship between Regan and Chris. Maya Rudolf is also really great.

New Girl -- I know some people think Zooey Deschannel is just a little too cute and quirky, which I get, but I think she's great. I like the relationship between her and the three roommates, and I think they are all great in their own way.

Whitney has been getting panned (at least by EW), but I kind of like it. I really only like Whitney and her boyfriend and enjoy their relationship, but find all of the supporting characters super boring. So I don't love it, but like it well enough.

I'm also watching Revenge and I like it. It's pretty silly, in a soapy kind of way, but since I was a big fan of "Dallas" in the 80s, I guess it's not surprising that there is something that appeals to me.

I didn't put Suburgatory in my original post, but this one has been a surprise. If you ever watched "Veronica Mars", it kind of reminds me of that show although it's a comedy instead of a mystery.

I gave up these new shows:


"Terra Nova"

"Pan Am"

"Two Broke Girls"

Returning shows:

Loving "Parenthood" (except for the boring plotlines with Julia and the annoying Max).

Loving "Parks and Recreation"

Getting sort of sick of "The Office"

Also getting sick of "Glee", but still love Blaine and that keeps me tuned in for now.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Other movies

The movie I was most looking forward to for the fall season was The Descendants, which was getting lots of buzz for a few months before it was even released and made it on a bunch of top ten lists and it just got nominated for a Golden Globe. The only thing I can say about this movie is that I don't get it. It did nothing for me. I did enjoy seeing Hawaii, however, since I have been dreaming of living there for years.

Another movie that I've been hearing about for years (literally) is My Week With Marilyn. The praise has been about Michelle Williams' performance as Marilyn Monroe. Again, I don't get it. I did not buy her as Marilyn Monroe and I did not think this story was interesting enough to make a whole movie about. I did quite like the guy, though. You know, the one who spent a week with Marilyn and then apparently wrote, not one, but two books about it, and then one of those books was made into a movie.

And the movie that is perhaps getting the most buzz this season is The Artist. If you have not heard of it, it is a silent movie... as in, a real silent movie with people talking without sound and sometimes they tell you what they are saying and sometimes you just guess because of the context of the scene. I was quite skeptical about this movie because I once saw a silent movie and it was the MOST BORING MOVIE EVER. So, despite the great reviews and talk of Oscar nominations, I had super low expectations. But I liked it a lot. The two main actors were great, but I especially loved Berenice Bejo. She was adorable and I could not take my eyes off of her. My only complaint is that it was a bit too long, but as I often say, that's my main complaint about most movies. I would definitely recommend this one to my mom.

Tonight, despite my negative experience with the original Swedish movie, I'm going to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Because nothing says Christmas like anal rape. (sorry, but it just had to be said and if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cupcakes -- St. Augustine

My efforts to find cupcakes in Orlando were thwarted (long story). When we drove to St. Augustine for the day, this was going to be my one chance. Thankfully with smart phones, it's easy to find cupcakes wherever I go, and we found this place called Luli's.

From the top right, Vanilla/vanilla (with sprinkles), Lemon, Gingerbread, Carrot, Banana/chocolate, Cookies and cream.

The regular cupcakes(chocolate and vanilla) were from a MIX. The others were dry. The lemon frosting was pretty good, though, as it was creamy and sweet, but the cake took away from that. The only really good one was the carrot cupcake (not from a mix) w/ cream cheese frosting.
Vanilla/vanilla and the lemon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Office quote of the week -- 12/8

Andy: " mistletoe is not an excuse for sexual assault."

The Office quote of the week -- 12/1

Quote from Dwight: Do you wish every exercise was strutting around the gym like The Fonz?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

cupcake cruise

I'm heading for a short trip to Orlando next week and started searching for cupcake places to visit while I'm there. I found this link to a cupcake cruise. Yes, you read that right. I have never been on a cruise, and although this seems a little crazy, it could be fun.

Anyone want to join me?

Monday, November 21, 2011

my latest fit of creativity

This is a quilt I finished over the weekend for one of my colleagues at work. I stumbled across this blog and loved this quilt pattern, so I got right to work and I was able to use up some of my scraps. Since I think traditional boy fabric is not as cute as traditional girl fabric, and there are all kinds of weird rules about what is okay for boys to have in a two-inch square of fabric, which I don't subscribe to at all but some people do, I did have to supplement a bit. But that's okay, too, because I do love our quilt shop.

"No pictures, please!"

Here's baby Jake with the quilt I made for him. We finally got some fall weather for him to enjoy being wrapped up.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Won't get fooled again

I saw He's Just Not that Into You, and although I admit that it was a lightweight film, I liked it. So I went to Valentine's Day with low expectations, but even then, was disappointed by how incredibly terrible it was. So... now New Year's Day has come along, but I won't get fooled again. I'll be sitting this one out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall movies

Tis the season for the best movies to be released. Here are some of them....

Moneyball -- I admit that the only reason I saw this movie is because (a) I have (at least) one friend who tries to be wholesome and pure (unlike me) and does not see movies that carry an R-rating, and (b) because Moneyball was the only movie that I wanted to see in that category, solely because it was on EW's Must List. But, I wasn't excited about it. As much as people kept saying, "You don't have to like sports to like this movie," I still kept thinking, "Well, it's a sports movie. How interesting will this be to me?"

So, all of that said, I loved it! As soon as the end credits started rolling and I saw that Aaron Sorkin was one of the writers, I knew why. I thought the story was interesting, the acting was good, and there was some suspense that kept me tuned in.

Ides of March -- I think because this one has been getting good reviews (also on EW's Must List), some people's expections may have been raised and therefore they may have been disappointed. However, I loved this movie. I thought it was really interesting and compelling. It was an interesting look at our political system, as well as my usual interest in interpersonal relationships.

Like Crazy -- One day in October, we had a conference that was over at 4:00 pm and I was so excited to have an early evening, so I went to see this movie with the matinee crowd. The acting was just as good as you've heard. It has been called an anti-romance and also "the most annoying part of relationships." I might have had my expectations a bit high, but still, really liked it.

Martha Marcy May Marlene -- This one is about a young woman who joins a cult and then escapes a few years later, so the story goes back and forth between her life in the cult and how she tries to make sense of those years afterwards. Naturally, I was intrigued by the charasmatic character who somehow draws these young people into the cult. And as we get little hints into her life before, it's interesting to speculate on what would have been her reason for being there. The Martha character was so well-acted and she was so real to me, as she reminded me of some clients I've worked with over the years (not that I've worked with people that have joined cults, but vulnerable people who get sucked into crazy situations). I would have trouble recommending this to very many people, especially people who see movies that I love and then come back to me and ask me, "Why did you tell me to see that? That was so depressing!" Although my mom is not in that category, you should definitely not see it.

This one is going back a bit, but Tree of Life is still in one theater here and may be playing near you (although I think it's already on DVD). It's everything you've heard -- strange, confusing, long, and visually stunning (I love the 50's-60's feel, clothing, furniture, etc.). I liked it a lot.

Next movie on my list is The Descendants.

Friday, November 11, 2011

the latest

I think these picture show that someone is taking a roadtrip. Maybe he's visiting my parents. And that he's trying to be Neil Young.

The Office quote of the week -- 11/10

I usually like my quote to be a little more succinct than this one, but what are you gonna do?
Pam and Dwight are trying to figure out if Jim is lying about saying that the temp isn't cute, Pam asks Jim if he has any friends to set her up with (obviously, this is Kelly Kapur's idea). So, they look up some guy online...

Kelly: "Ew! I mean, guess he could be okay with hair. You should see if he would get hair plugs."
Pam: "I don't think Jim cares about his hair."
Kelly: "Well, I do, okay. It's called being a nice person."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sprinkles East side

There is a new cupcake store in town, but it's not new to me, since I was just there 2 1/2 months ago in San Diego. Sprinkles is now bi-coastal. After a long week, it was just what I needed. Plus... I had a coupon for four free cupcakes, so it was worth going to the Upper East Side.

(photo stolen from this blog)

clockwise from the top left, Black and white, Salted caramel, Pumpkin, and Milk chocolate. They were all good, but the Salted caramel was the hands-down winner of the bunch! Although I like these cupcakes a lot, I still like the cake to be a bit more dense. But they have a good cupcake/frosting ratio and both the cake and frosting are really good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

This is a slight exaggeration, but just picture me as Bob, and you will have a vague idea what my job has been like for the past two years. The difference is that Reagan and Chris take this guy's advice and no one ever takes mine.

I wish they really did offer PhDs in Peekaboo or Masters in "where's your nose" because I would totally rock that!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, now I know what happens when there is a bomb scare on your plane

I got a super cheap flight to Ohio for the Columbus day weekend. I left Saturday early in order to get there before lunch time and left at 6 am Tuesday and came straight to work. The fare was cheap enough to justify going for just two and a half days. However, the half day turned into a bit less because there was a random bomb scare on my flight. I'll preface the rest of this blogpost to say that, clearly, I'm fine and it wasn't a real bomb. Read on, if you are still interested...

About 20 minutes from our destination, we began to hear a ringing sound. Someone alerted the flight attendant and said that she thought it was coming from the overhead compartment. The flight attendant opened the overhead compartment, put her ear up to one of the suitcases and determined that it was coming from a brown suitcase. She asked around to the people in the immediate vicinity if the suitcase belonged them. (it was above seat 17, I was in seat 16B, so I was one of the people to say no.) She then made an announcement over the PA system for the person with a brown suitcase in the compartment over row 17 to speak up. No one did.

The noise continued to sound on and off for the remainder of the flight. We all assumed it was someone's alarm clock. It was not an ongoing ring, but kind of came in and out, which I think new alarms do. More annoying than the ring was the passengers around me saying, "Ugh! that's so annoying!"

When we landed, the pilot came over the PA system and said that there was a "mechanical problem" so we would not go directly to the gate, but a set of stairs would be brought to us and we'd be shuttled to the airport by bus. My paranoia kicked in and I thought I smelled smoke, which may or may not be true because Valerie said she saw some smoke somewhere, but it wasn't coming from my plane. A few minutes after sitting on the tarmac, a policeman comes on board to tell us to evacuate but leave our bags behind.

When we deplaned, we saw a bunch of firetrucks and a bunch of official people walking around. That is when I finally realized that this was not a mechanical malfunction, but they were concerned about this ringing suitcase. We stood on the tarmac for about an hour, were yelled at to put our bags on the ground so that the bomb sniffing dog could do his thing, and then told we would be shuttled back to the airport to be rescreened.

After they went through every bit of our stuff and we were totally felt up by glove-wearing TSA agents, which took about an hour for them to do all 57 of us, we waited for about another hour to get our next directions. Among those of us waiting was Elvis Costello, pictured below. I did a google search afterwards and found out that that night was going to be his first ever show in West Virginia. After this ordeal, I'm sure it was his last!

A woman with a clipboard came out and started calling peoples' names to be interviewed in pairs. The first group of four was called up -- and at least two of them were brown. I was indignant!! Until I was in the next group, and I'm as white as they come. I went into a little interview room with another man from my flight, and the firemen/bomb squad asked us what our experience was, which we described. Then one of the firemen pulled out a cell phone and played the alarm, and asked if this is what we heard. We both agreed that it was. He told us that it was an older man from our flight, who apparently didn't know it was his phone. He said that even though they were pretty sure that this cell phone was the mystery noise, the flight attendant had claimed that she heard it after we were all off the plane. Plus, the suitcase was not being claimed. So... the mystery continued. Our interviews were concluded with the fireman saying, "What can I say? We're all going to be old one day." I agreed.

After our interviews, they came through and said that they still needed to identify the brown suitcase. They asked the group if anyone had a bag with a laptop and curlers. A few women said, "Do you mean a curling iron?" others asked "do you mean a flat iron?" the answer to both of these questions was "No" which led me to believe that they need more women in the fire department, because any woman knows that they could have just walked up to the three women on the flight that appeared over the age of 60, because those are the only ones that would be carrying curlers with them. However, still no one claimed this suitcase. Finally, they just said to forget the laptop, did anyone pack curlers. After about 10 minutes a woman remembered that she had indeed brought curlers with her on the flight. The laptop was in a neoprine case that someone placed on top of someone else's suitcase and they did not go together. Once the mystery of the curler-filled bag was solved, and they were able to conclude that the sound didn't come from the bag in the first place, but from someone's pants pocket which was not in the overhead bin but on his body, we were free to leave.... AFTER they brought all of our stuff in, everyone claimed their belongings which had been taken out of the overhead compartments and seat backs, and there were no discrepancies in claiming items. This is when everyone lost their sh** because some people argued that they didn't need to claim anything and they wanted to get on with their lives. Even though this was a concern to the people in charge, they decided to let it go because we had already been there for four hours on a false alarm and everyone promised that they would not come back the next day and claim that they had left an iPad behind.

So... to sum up, I lost half of my half-day, and we had to go through all of this because:
A. an old man forgot to turn off his phone and then didn't know what his own phone sounded like when the alarm went off.
B. an old woman didn't know what her suitcase looked like and/or what was in it.
C. a flight attendant was being overly cautious about something that clearly did not blow up our plane.

But it was worth it to see this adorable face...

and this one...

as well as this one...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parks and Rec

Here's a good quote from this week's show:

Tom to Ben: You've got to throw some cold water on the situation. Start talking about nerd stuff.

Ben: Nerd culture is mainstream now. So when you use the word 'nerd' derogatorily, it means you're the one that's out of the zeitgeist.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Glee quote of the week 10/4

1. Coach Biest: "I kicked a fire hydrant when I heard 'Ace of Cakes' was cancelled."

2. Emma, speaking about her parents: "They're Ginger supremacists."

Number of the week: Mr. Schu & company "Fix You".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New season so far

"Up All Night" is winning so far. I am not saying it's going to get a weekly spot, but it's up for nomination. Two quotes from this week:

1. "Don't shame spiral" featured in the scene where Will Forte is giving Will Arnet advice about how to keep his wife interested.

2. Reagan to Ava, after Ava finds out that her ex-boy band member ex-boyfriend is getting married. "Terrible people can get married, you know."

Because it's true, you know??

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glee quote of the week -- season premiere! 9/20

The quote of the week is not so much a quote as a scene with Emma giving out a pamphlet called "me and my hag." Which I loved because this is just the sort of thing that I have to do at my job. I just did an exhaustive search of pamphlets for a new client with one year old twins that needs some parenting help. Except none of the pamphlets I found had interesting titles like "me and my hag."

Speaking of hags...

My favorite number...was Blaine singing "It's not Unusual."

This is an episode that is going to do some time in DVR queue!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

an update

I've been hinting to people that I would be visiting them this fall because a new JM album would be released in October and a tour would follow. If you are saying to yourself, "Hmm... it's almost October and I haven't heard anything about this tour," finally, we all have some answers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Succeed in Business...

I was watching "Live from the Red Carpet" prior to the Emmy's tonight and Darren Criss said that he is going to be in How to Succeed in Business without even Trying. I never thought I'd say this, but I have to see this show!!

Anyone want to go with me?

Fall TV

A couple of the new shows began last week (for example, "Up All Night" started on Wednesday, presumably to get some of audience carry-over after "America's Got Talent" finale), but this is premiere week for most shows, old and new. Clearly, it's about time to get my Fall TV post up here!
If you want to see the whole line up to make your own schedule, check this or to read about any of the new shows, check this.

Shows I'm most excited for:

Up All Night -- mostly because I have been a fan of Will Arnet since Arrested Development and his show from last fall tanked. I am also a big fan of Maya Rudolph and welcome the opportunity to see both of them each week in a regular show. However, to say that I'm excited for this show is an overstatement. It is potentially just another show about a buffoonish dad (possibly both parents) with a cute baby. I recorded it on Wednesday and haven't seen it yet, so we'll see. (Wednesdays @ 8:00 on NBC)

Terra Nova -- again, I guess it is an overstatement to say that I'm excited for this show. It has the potential to fill the gap that all of the networks have been trying to fill in their line-ups since LOST was so successful, and especially now that it's over. However, it appears that the main features of this show are dinosaurs and time travel, which may or may not play out so well on TV. Science fiction and fantasy are not really my things -- the reason that LOST resonated with people that are not into fantasy is because it was character driven. So if they can make this show look cool at the same time as presenting interesting characters, I think it has potential. (Mondays @ 8:00, FOX)

Pan Am -- Yes, it's clearly inspired by the success of Mad Men, and there is no way they are going to duplicate it, but it looks like it might have legs. (Sundays @ 10:00 on ABC)

New Girl -- I probably wouldn't even give this show another thought if it wasn't for Zooey Deschanel. It kind of looks like it's trying to be "Friends" or "Big Bang Theory" or a mix of the two, right? (Tuesdays @ 9:00 FOX)

Other shows I am going to try out:

2 Broke Girls -- EW gives this one an endorsement, but I feel like it's trying to be Paris Hilton's The Simple Life, but in a non-reality format. (Tuesdays @8:30 CBS)

Ringer -- described by Sarah Michelle Gellar as a cross between her characters from Cruel Intentions and Buffy. Neither of which I watched, but I'm going to give this one a shot anyway. (Tuesdays @ 9 The CW)

Returning shows :

Parenthood -- I seriously love this show! But in the season premiere, Alex gets arrested. Really? Can't we move on from this cliche? And what the heck did Haddie do to her hair? But most importantly Jason Ritter is back as Sarah's love interest?!?! I could not be more excited! In fact, I may just watch the parts with him again today! (Tuesdays @ 10 NBC)

Glee -- an uneven season two, but I'm sticking with this show for season three. I did watch The Glee Project over the summer and I am interested to see how they use these new characters. (Tuesdays @ 8:00 FOX)

30 Rock -- beginning mid-season, I'm counting on it being as brilliant as always! (Thursdays NBC)

The Office -- last season was boring, for the most part. I'm very interested to see what James Spader is going to bring to it. His character in the season finale was HILARIOUS and strange so it sould be interesting. (Thursdays @ 9:00 NBC)

Parks and Recreation -- so funny! I almost gave up on this show after the first season, but it keeps getting better! (Thursdays @ 8:30 NBC)

Modern Family -- I like, but don't love, this show. I know that puts me in the minority, and I'm fine with that. Basically, I only really like Cameron & Mitchell (but mostly Cameron), and Luke & Phil (but mostly Luke).

Shows that the networks are promoting so much, I can't figure out if they are that good, or that bad:

Revenge -- I wasn't really considering this one, but it did get an endorsement from EW's Must List. I will give almost any show with Emily Van Camp a shot.

Whitney -- I can't believe this is going to be all that funny, but there has not been a commercial break on NBC or an issue of EW that has not had some mention of this show.

Shows I won't be watching:

American Horror Story -- this show has three things going for it. Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, and co-creator Ryan Murphy. However, title says it all, and I can't do horror.

Two and a Half Men -- with or without Charlie Sheen, all I can say is Uff!!

I want to watch in theory, but probably won't :

Prime Suspect -- based on a British show, which I've heard about for years and is probably very good. But I'm just not that interested in detective shows anymore. (Thursdays @10:00 NBC)

A Gifted Man -- Seems a little too Ghost Whisperer or something. (Fridays @ 8:00 CBS)

The X Factor -- I watched American Idol for the first several seasons but got so sick of it, mostly because it was the same songs over and over, and it bugged me so much when bad singers stayed and good singers left. Apparently Simon Cowell thinks this is a different show, but I'm not so sure. I might be a tad curious. For a week or two, at least.

So.... I think that's it!! Am I missing anything? What are you excited to watch this season?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scandinavian finale

For day 10, we were back in Copenhagen. In the morning, we woke up and went shopping. I had told Julia that one of the things I wanted to bring home was a Helly Hansen. When I lived in Norway, all my American friends had one but me, so I thought it would be nice to have one after all these years. I told Julia about the Helly Hansen and she thought she might like one, too, so we went on a quest. After looking around for a few hours, she ended up with a jacket and rain pants and I had nothing. Once I was back home, I looked to see where I could get one here in the city and, low and behold, found that they available at Paragon Sports, which is about a ten minute walk from the office where I worked for 13 years.

Another funny-ish thing that happened is that Julia casually asked our world traveling friend, Trevor, if, by chance, he planned to be in Copenhagen at all in May. Guess what! He was. So we met up with him on our last day, had lunch, rode bikes, shopped a bit, ate fresh strawberries and danish.

Here are just some odds and ends...

A manhole cover in Tivoli Gardens....

Our favorite bakery. It's a chain so we could find them almost anywhere we were. The story is that the Germans came up with weinerbrød, but that the Danes perfected them, and now most people call them danish. No joke, they were amazing (they beat any danish we had in Norway or Sweden).

The Hans Christian Anderson statue. His lap was really well worn from lots of people sitting on his lap. Apparently the locals pose topless. We did not.

Julia and Trevor on Strøget.

A Danish elephant.

The next morning, we got up, gobbled down the rest of the ice cream that we had in our freezer, and headed to the airport.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scandinavia day 9

Day 9 began with a tour of the State house . Because it was on the way between our hotel and Gamla Stan, we walked past this place a million times so I took lots of pictures...
Here's a view of the State house from the ferry ride we took the previous day.

The three crowns represent the three Scandinavian countries...

View from inside the courtyard...

This is inside the buidling, and this area is where they have the Nobel prize winners' dinner. Except for the Peace Prize, which happens in Oslo, for some reason.

pictures inside the building didn't really come out, but here's just a few.

I loved these black pillars and the ceiling was painted in a very Scandinavian blue design.

after the tour, we looked around the city a bit more. Here are some pictures and I have no idea what they are...

a sign for ice cream that says "An ice cream makes you happy!"

After all this, we went to the airport, and split some meatballs. (No need to say they were Swedish meatballs, since we were in Sweden.)

and had a pastry...

Saw this display for the book "One Day" and decided to take a picture just for the heck of it.

Back in Copenhagen for the end of the trip.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scandinavia day 8

Wow.... we went to Scandinavia before Memorial day, and now it's after Labor day. I promise it's coming to an end soon...
Our one full day in Stockholm began with a tour of StorKyrka.

This is Saint George slaying the dragon....

This is a pretty bad picture of a really cool painting, called Vädersolstavlan...

Next we went to the German church ...

After these two churches, we boarded a little ferry to Drottningholm Palace...

Here's JuJu looking cute on the back of the boat...

and here's me trying to keep warm...

and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this guy, who we named Carl Svenson, or Sven Carlson, just because he looked so much like a Viking. Julia was making fun of me, but she's just jealous she didn't think of it first...

Views from the boat....

Here's the Palace from the boat...

and Julia in front...

the back of the Palace and the grounds..

After the Palace, we went back into town and looked for something to eat for dinner. Remember from day one when I said that Julia and I were eating some hot dogs? Well, this spurred a memory for Julia of a Swedish feast that she enjoyed way back when. A hot dog, smothered in mashed potatoes, wrapped in lefse. I was on board, but we had to find it first, and we finally did on day 8. I think Julia was happy.

And then we went for dessert... eplekake med vaniljesaus (applecake with vanilla sauce) !