Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Madness


There is only one thing I love more than sweets and treats...and that's movies.

I have to admit that I don't watch the Academy Awards every year. This year I did.

Mostly because I had seen a good deal of the films up for nominations this year and a little bit because it was Sunday and I had nothing better to do. Yes, I am lame.

I wanted to list out my favorite movies, nominees and red carpet fashion picks.

But first I need to make it clear that I didn't get to see all the films being presented, so my opinions could be different if I wasn't a bit biased to the ones I did see. I mean, I can't be slinging $10 left and right to see every movie out there just in case it could be Oscar worthy.

So here are the ones I WAS able to see this year -

The Social Network, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, The King's Speech, Inception, Toy Story 3, Tangled, The Kids Are All Right, How to Train Your Dragon, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Films that are on my Netflix Queue and was NOT able to see before the Oscars -

127 Hours, The Fighter, True Grit, Biutiful, The Town, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Country Strong, and The Tempest.

There were others nominated, but I wasn't too interested in seeing them.

My top pick for the year won: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Original Screenplay.

My #1 was The King's Speech.

Colin Firth should have and did win for best actor, however the ever amazing Geoffrey Rush did not score the supporting role. I would have been more than happy had he won, instead of Christian Bale (for The Fighter), but unfortunately I didn't see The Fighter so I can't really make the call that Geoffrey was robbed. From the clips I saw, Christian Bale was in fine form.

Black Swan creeped me out and left me feeling a little uncomfortable, but I was not surprised that Natalie Portman was given the award. She did an amazing job in becoming an unhinged and obsessive ballerina. I was both riveted by the movie and disturbed.

The Social Network, Winter's Bone, The Kids Are All Right, and Toy Story were sort of in the middle of the pack for me. I thought there were so major highlights and performances, but they won't really stick with me as a whole.

My #2 was Inception.

This film won all of the most obvious awards: Sound Editing and Mixing, Visual Effects, and Cinematography. All were much deserved as this movie rocked my world this year. I had a 1999 Matrix moment after I saw this one.

My #3 pick was Tangled.

Yes, I am a 5 year old. I love most all Disney and Pixar and Tangled was a pure delight!

This one didn't win any awards this Oscar season, but it was nominated for Best Original Song sung by Mandy Moore. I look forward to adding it to my collection when it comes out on DVD.

My #4 (and last pick) was Alice In Wonderland.

This one won for Art Direction & Costume Design - rightly so.

This movie was not necessarily my favorite, but it had some amazing elements to it. The vivid colors, costumes, and visual effects were outstanding. One must also pay homage to Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter for their superb character acting. They really can transform into just about anybody.

OKAY! On to the fashion!

Here were the stand-outs to me - not all were Oscar nominees.

Anne Hathaway - stunning



Camila Alves - I want this dress


Celine Dion - classy


Gwyneth Paltrow - sleek and sexy 


My not so favorite looks...

Jennifer Hudson - I don't like the orange on her or how her boobs look in this style.



Cate Blanchett - beautiful woman, amazing actress, ugly dress.




Michelle Williams - Bland and too old looking for her trendy hair and cute face.


Marisa Tomei - love the color and the A-line tulle, but the top was ill-fitting and wrong.



There you have it friends!

I would love to hear your favorites too... What did you think?



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tech-no

Everyone knows that technology is taking over the world.

You see it every day.

5 year olds asking for a cell phone or laptop for Christmas...

People who are always 'ready to chat' on Facebook no matter the time of day or night...

Men and women sitting in their cars texting or reading their e-mail...

It's everywhere and it's gotten out of control.

Now, I like my cell phone and Netbook as much as the next gal, but it does not trump actual human interactions. I do not let the constant flow of information through technology interfere with my 'real life'.

I feel that there is a time and a place for everything. And most of what bothers me is directly related to others' lack of respect and courtesy.

We are SO connected to the net that people forget to give you 100% attention. It's all about multi-tasking for them and most of the time these people have no clue that they are neglecting the basics.

Person to person interaction.


For example: I was eating out with Mike and my mom the other night. We decided that our tummy's required Noodle Boat Thai cuisine. (And yes I am plugging the restaurant cause it's delish.) At the table next to us, four men sat waiting for their food to arrive. There were three teens/youngsters and one older man. They were all using their phones for either talking, texting, internet or games. All at the same time! I couldn't believe it. Instead of talking to each other (I don't think they were all from the same family), they were engrossed in whatever app. or online web page was most important to them.

This is just one example. I have MANY others!

One of my least favorite things is when someone you are talking to constantly texts or fiddles with their phone while you are trying to have a conversation. I can't tell you how many times I have had to repeat myself, because someone I was speaking to was on their phone distracted. It's aggravating.

I shouldn't have to tell someone at the movie theater to put their phone away after 20 minutes of texting (not that I would).

I shouldn't have to tell someone to pocket their cell phone in the middle of dinner or a trivia party.

And I should not have to take someone's phone away from them just to get their attention (Have I done this? Yes.)

It's about common courtesy people. It's about disconnecting yourself from the incessant stream of internet vomit to have a real conversation. It's about maintaining real relationships and connections.

I know that having internet on your phones is supposed to keep you more connected to people, but in reality it is only hurting us.

Just because you have e-mail and Facebook on your phone does not mean you should be checking it every 5 minutes.

I am not completely unreasonable about technology. I text a lot throughout the day, but it doesn't stop me from actually calling people.

And I find it perfectly okay if someone I am conversating with, asks me if they can take a call or return a text. As long as that person is being polite and keeping your feelings at the forefront, there is always room to make exceptions.

Texting during theater previews...fine.

Looking up information regarding what you are doing or where you are going...no problem.

There are always understandable situations, but don't take advantage.

I have not subscribed to the whole I-phone craze and I am not sure I ever will. Mike and I do not have internet on our phones and we don't need it. We both have computers at work and two at home so there is no real reason to spend more money to achieve 24/7 access.

I know that pretty soon it will be normal for everyone to be net-connected through their mobile devices, but I just don't think it's all that healthy.

Technology is making us more secluded and anti-social no matter how many 'friends' you have on Facebook. I know people will try to debate this point, but I have seen a trend in my own life and the lives of people around me.

I am not saying that it wouldn't be nice to be able to figure out who sings that darn song stuck in my head, while in line at the grocery store...

And it would be really helpful to have a GPS on my phone for when I am lost in Seattle.

But I give-up these things in order to avoid becoming "that girl".

No one should interrupt your conversation to talk to someone else. How crappy does that make you feel? To that person...you are now #2.

I am of course, not implying that I am above it all and have never become the rude person. I have been. It has become second nature to check text messages and respond, no matter the time or place. I have caught myself doing this many times. It's something you have to actively think about as you are doing it or better yet, before you do it.

And by the way, an apology or a "do you mind...?" goes a long way.

I am not telling you that you should sell your internet-ready phone or refrain from using it at all costs. I am just asking that, as a society, we make a more conscious effort to be polite when using our phones and put them away every once in a while.

You owe it to yourself and the people around you to stay an active participant in the physical world.

Has anyone seen The Net? - It's an old Sandra Bullock movie. It's makes you think.




P.S. If you are texting me please refrain from using abbreviations like U, R, 2 or 2-day, or any other half-ass word or phrase. I may forgive you for LOL, BRB, & BTW... but that's it! We are adults and should be using big-person language. If you write me with " R U going out 2 day?" I will call you a pubescent teen and refuse to reply. And if you are using those shortcuts in an e-mail to me, you may get a reply of "learn English you ass-hat!" Just for an example.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day With The Hubs

Our Valentine's Day was pretty uneventful, as we both had to work...but it was still nice.

After I got home from work and running a couple errands, I got ready for my 1st Zumba class.

They have one of these aerobics classes twice a week at my local community center. I had seen the class before and was interested in trying it out.

It's a combination of different ethnic dances to complimentary music and was supposed to really burn those calories. Now I am all for doing exercise that is 'outside of the box' and will keep me entertained for an hour. With my dance background I thought that this class just might be for me.

Well after trying it for an evening I can tell you that I was not very impressed. It would probably be great for non-dancers or people who are uncoordinated and need something simple to learn. For me, it was boring. But it's more than that...because I can see the purpose of repetitive movement in fitness classes. I just didn't work-up that much of a sweat and I was probably moving more than most of the women in the class (who I have to add were all over 45-50). I liked that I wasn't dancing with a bunch of in shape 20 year olds, don't get me wrong! I just felt that the class was too easy for me.

Also, a major factor was that the instructors didn't seem to know the routines that well. Often times I found myself stepping in place until one of them figured out what same next in the sequence of moves. Other times, they would be doing different moves and I didn't know who to follow. I am not sure if they were the full time instructors, if they were filling in temporarily (since it was V-day), or if they were just struggling with remembering what was next. Either way, it was annoying to have people leading who seemed as clueless as I was.

The dances mostly consisted of different types of Latin dancing, belly dancing and Bollywood. All of which I thoroughly enjoy! I just think that this particular group is not for me.

Ah well! I did sign up for a fitness center pass so I can get back in the gym. And I will have a good time watching the classes dancing it up while I pump iron.

After the class I ran home to get some veggies a-cookin' and set up the sushi and wine for our Valentine's Day dinner. It was a quick fix since we had both just gotten home around 6:30 and were starving.


Mike brought me home some some pretty red roses and we exchanged cards. Simple but thoughtful. And after dinner was over we shared a cupcake, looked through our wedding memory box and a scrapbook I made us back in 2000. It's fun to pour over letters, e-mails, cards and photos from 10 years ago and see how far you have come as a couple.

(yes, that is us in the Wedding Expo magazine!)




From there we simply sat together and watched Dinner for Schmucks. I can't even describe this movie very well or how I feel about it. Some parts were hilarious, but the majority of it was painful. Steve Carell's character is SO weird and clingy. I just felt uncomfortable and annoyed a lot of the time. Mike seemed to be enjoying it, but I could barely sit through to the end.



Well that's all I got folks!

Our Valentines Day in a nutshell! I hope yours was at the very least relaxing.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Si Sara La Mia

Well it's Valentine's Day and the best topic to discuss for today is L.O.V.E - & my hubby of course!

So in honor of my lovely (handsome) husband I will write a post completely about him. This is also a link-up to my sister's blog challenge You & Your Valentine.

1. How we met.

Michael and I met the first time through my sis Mandy. They were friends (in high school) and were at our house before a Tolo dance taking photos, as I was with my date/friend. Little did I know that HER date would end up being my husband! :)
The second time we met was during Track & Field practice where I realized that we were both competing in the Long Jump. We started talking and hanging out casually (I was getting over an ex) and just seemed to click. The more we hung out the more we liked hanging out and one thing led to another.
It was a little awkward at first since he was my sister's friend and I didn't want to be 'stealing' him away from her. But she was my friend as well and was sweet enough to understand and be happy for us. 
This all happened in the Spring of 1999, my last few months of high school. He still had two years left. Yes, you heard that right - I am older and a cougar.

2. Our best date.

It's hard to choose one. And I don't really think it was a date so much as a trip. 
We took a long weekend trip to the coast and stayed at Lake Quinault, spending time in the Rain Forest and exploring the seaside parks. It wasn't anything glamorous or exciting but we fit in some good quality time together. We had some good food, some good laughs and it was a relaxing trip for us both. There is even a video he made of the trip so we have it to look back on. We've taken quite a few trips in our time together, but this one was very memorable.

3. Proposal.

Mike proposed in New Orleans in April of 2005. We had been together for 6 years. I had earned a trip through work and everything was paid for. I took Mike with me and we absolutely fell in love with the city. It was SO much fun. I don't think the proposal was planned much, he just carried the ring around with him one day until the moment felt right.
We stopped by Pat O'Brians for their famous Hurricane drinks (which are very alcoholic by the way!), and chose a place out in the stone courtyard. It was around our anniversary so I wasn't surprised when mike gave me a gift - a little velvet bag of loose jewels/stones he had been collecting. (I had always said I wished I had a bag of jewels, like you would find in a treasure chest.) I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had my own bag of them! 
In among the jewels was a ring. My engagement ring. Before I knew it, he was down on his knee asking me to marry him. A nearby couple stole our camera and managed to take a few pictures while the people surrounding us clapped. It was a afternoon to remember.

4. Our Wedding.

We got married  a year later in May of 2006. There were about 120 guests and it was PERFECT. Okay, there were a couple small glitches, but all in all it was fabulous.
We had a Mardigras themed wedding (for obvious reasons) so there were lots of brightly colored feathers, masks & beads in place of flowers and candles. We were married in an old theater with New Orleans jazz music and Cajun food. I have never thrown a better party.
It was romantic, fun, and we had the best time. I only wish we had the funds to do it all over again. Maybe a renewal of vows is in order...in 5 more years... :)

5. Things I Love about my Husband.

-he always leaves the toilet seat down.
-he thinks its funny when I laugh so hard I cry.
-he likes to watch Rom-Coms with me.
-he is open and friendly and can be comfortable in any setting.
-he cooks for me.
-he thinks I am pretty no matter my lack of make-up or weight.
-he remains optimistic even when I have a hard time seeing the glass half full.
-he stuck out three years of long distance and remained loyal even through the hard times.
-he lets me sleep in on the weekends without bugging me a bit.
-he is protective of my feelings and how others treat me.
-he was supportive through my 'dad' issues.
-he will be a wonderful father someday. He will be playful, loving, and strict when he needs to be.


(at my sister's wedding)

6. To Michael -

I love you completely. I am so excited to be only months away from our 5 year anniversary. The last almost 12 years has been an amazing ride and I can't wait to see what else is in store for us. Thank you for being there for me and loving me unconditionally. We don't usually place much weight in Valentine's Day, but I do want to take this day's opportunity to make sure you are reminded of my love. To tell you that you mean a lot to me and I am lucky to have you. Thank you for being my partner in life and for choosing me. We may both be working today, but I am thinking of you and can't wait to give you a big Wifey hug. Being married to you is so much fun.

Yours lovingly, Liss


* The Title to this post means "Will you be mine?" in Italian. We both really love the language. ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good Times And Good Friends

I have been a slacker. Blogging has not been my priority lately, but I think it probably shouldn't be anyway.

I mean, we should all be trying to reach out to people in 'real life' before spending our evenings online right? I think so, thus less blog posts.

This past weekend, Mike and I had a few friends up from Vancouver, WA. They are close friends who we were really excited to see and spend time with. Yay for T, Pete, & Heidi!

Besides playing Rock Band and chatting with them, we also hosted a Wine, Cheese, & Trivia Party on Saturday night. And let me tell you, it was SO much fun! We ended up with about 20 people over to our little 2 bedroom duplex and everyone brought food and drink. Mike and I had a blast quizzing the 4 teams on topics that ranged from Entertainment and Pop Culture to Science and Literature.

A big shout out to the winning team Zombie Ninjas! 



As amazing as it was, I have some ideas for our second W/C/T party. Hi-Jack someone else's house (for more space) and get a microphone. Boy it can get loud during trivia!

All in all, it was a great success and we definitely plan on doing it again soon.

In other news, we are going out to dinner to celebrate Mike Sr.'s retirement tomorrow evening! It's been anxiously awaited and it's finally here, so we are excited to be able to celebrate with his family. I believe Sushi is on the menu!


I think it's a perfect time to insert another 'food I am learning to love' - raw sushi. I will try a couple different kinds and see if I can adjust to the texture. I already eat my fair share of sushi (seared) and rolls but have a resistance to the uncooked kinds. Here's hoping to change that and that it goes better than the eggplant did!

Oh! And I also spent some girl time with Heidi shopping for a new Coach purse over at the outlet mall! We found a steal and each got a little something to croon over. I got a 'satchel' type purse that will be perfect for shopping, vacations, and well anytime I want my hands free basically. Heidi got an adorable lime and white handbag and wallet!

And all of this goodness was after I spent some time with my new hairdresser updating my color and getting a trim. She was fabulous and spent way more time on me than I paid for. I will definitely be going back! Thanks Taylor!

For now, that's all I've got!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eggplant Had It's Chance - Now It's Banished

Eggplant.


I can't do it.

I tried.

I baked it with bread crumbs, threw some tomatoes and Parmesan cheese on top and drizzled it with Italian dressing.

It's still a NO GO.

Sorry folks. I wanted to like it and had high hopes for this recipe, but the texture of the eggplant makes me want to throw up.

I had about 3 bites and I seriously thought I might be chewing snot. It was disgusting.


Well! I tried. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to learn to like this vegetable. It didn't work, but I made the effort. And it's too bad really - it's such a pretty color!

So long eggplant! I will not miss you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Word Verification Retaliation

Okay Bloggies!


This whole Word Verification thing is driving me nuts!

You know what I am referring to (if you are a commenter). The thing where, after you are done composing your comment to someone's lovely post, it asks you to type a "word" to make sure you are human and not a hacker or computer spam.

Well I hate it.

I like leaving comments! I like letting people know I was there and enjoyed reading their post!

But I think twice every time, because it's too much work.

Yes, I realize that this is kinda lazy. I fully admit that I hate wasting the extra 30 seconds. And some of you may be rolling your eyes at me. It's okay, go ahead...

But if I may - could we all PLEASE turn that option off?! I am requesting that we trust that we won't get a large number of spam comments (and if you do, by all means, turn it back on).

Will you all join me in ending the Word Verification step in blog commenting?

If you love me or my blog enough to do this, here is how to get it done!

Under "settings" in your Dashboard (use the tabs at the top),
Go to "Comments"
And then scroll down to "Show word verification for comments" and set it to "NO".
Save.

That should do it.

I appreciate your cooperation in making the commenting process quicker and easier. Cause let's face it, every little annoyance adds up and this is an easy one to eliminate.

Thank you! I'm already breathing a sigh of relief.



(courtesy of Bing images)
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