Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Governator Doesn't Appear To Care Much for Victims Of Domestic Abuse.

It seems that Governer Ah-nold has decided to scale back on his funding of state-wide domestic violence shelters. I'm sorry... scale back isn't the right term. More like COMPLETELY ELIMINATE as he has cut the Department of Public Health's Domestic Violence Program funding from from $20.4 million to $0. It's one thing to cut corners here and there, Mr. Schwarzenegger, but it's another to basically screw over the countless women, children, and even men who are abused daily and who are in desperate need of shelter and support systems so that they might be able to lead normal, happy lives again. Seriously, how much time did you put in to thinking this through? Was there no other possible way to save at least SOME of the money that you've taken away from these shelters (who, by the way, depend a great deal on government financial backing?) Maybe I should write a letter to Ms. Shriver, who might feel a little differently. Perhaps it'll take a day of sleeping on the couch for you to listen to reason (or maybe she only did that because she wanted Obama to win, but could care less about the rest of us? Who knows.) Seriously, though. Seriously? If you're in California, can you please let your lawmakers know that you are opposed to the Governor's decision and that you feel that we must continue to help these shelters out? It's without question that places like these saves lives every day. How many people should have to suffer alone and have nowhere to turn to before you listen to reason?

Oh, wait. There's more! He also appears to have cut Department of Aging by $6.3 million and the Department of Public Health by $7 million. Because, well, old people and sick people are expendable, right? I understand that the climate of our economy is not very good at the moment, but did you ever think of starting with yourself? I'm pretty damn sure that not only must you get a crap ton (yes, a CRAP TON) of money by playing governor, but that you no doubt have an even more substantial crap ton of money from all those movies you did (don't tell me that the Terminator series alone did not make you richer than hell.) You have money, Mr. Governor. You don't want for medicine or doctor's visits. No one is beating you up and telling you you're worthless or abusing your children or your wife. You have a good life in a position of privilege, and while I recognize that you got yourself there, not everyone is dealt the same hand in life. Some of us have to rough it harder or are faced with more obstacles because of x, y, and z reasons. Please take the residents of your state in mind and consider other options you might take so as to not severely screw the rest of us.

By the way, it sounds like a lot of this could've been taken care of if people were to stop crying about paying more taxes. Pay your goddamn taxes people. Stop being so bloody selfish.

The Gnomes Have Been Saved!

According to a recent article posted on the Australian Gnome Convention website (...yes, you heard that right), 1500 gnomes were in danger of losing their lives (or at least their places on your lawn) after an elderly gnome carer passed away. Luckily, the Lower Blue Gnome Rescue group were able to make the trek to where the gnomes were being held and saved them from imminent doom! The gnomes are going to be housed in the Blue Mountains and will be attending the convention next January (along with their new caretakers I assume). It seriously doesn't get any cuter than a gnome rescue story. Unless maybe it's gnomes being rescued by kittens or vice versa.

Totally Looking Forward to Farenheit 451 : The Graphic Novel!

Yes, you heard me right comic geeks and Bradbury fans! Apparently comic artist Tim Hamilton has just adapted Farenheit 451 and has made it in to a graphic novel some 50+ years after the book was originally published. NPR has a few pages scanned that you can peruse, which look very promising. I will obviously need to make a trip to my local comic shop sometime soon in order to get a copy. While I tend to get nervous when people make movies out of great classic books like 451, I'm pretty sure Hamilton won't disappoint me with his shortened but visually pleasing rendition of the timeless novel. By the way, if you've never read it before, please go pick up a copy! It basically deals with a futuristic society in which firemen no longer put out fires, but actually start fires in order to burn books which have been banned in order to keep the truth out. Mr. Bradbury wrote the novel after he witnessed book burnings during in Nazi Germany and how the truth was being held back from the general public. It's a very powerful novel and sure to be an excellent graphic novel as well.

Make sure to go to your local independent comic book store and pick up a copy, or if you are stuck somewhere without a comic shop, you can always order it off of Amazon.

Walk Scores!

Here's a handy dandy little website called Walk Score. Basically, you enter your address and it gives you a score from 1-100 based on the amount of places in your area that are "walking distance." I put walking distance in quotations because when I entered mine, it suggested a few places that, while they might be somewhat in the walking distance range, they would be incredibly long walks in very unfortunate weather (living in Miami is always without perks when it comes to the weather... except maybe in January.) However, it lists places that you might not even know you have in your neighborhood (or didn't realize were of walking distance.) It can also help you in choosing a future home in the case that you have no car, or prefer to walk/bike to the places of interest in your area!

PS. My neighborhood got a 66! Not sure if that's a good thing?

Girl Talk Thursday - How Do You Unwind?

As i've been on a vacation for the past, oh... 2-3 months, i've been dedicating a lot of time to unwinding before I have to go back and dedicate my entire life to school. It's been nice getting to do a lot of things I normally don't have time for. But even being on vacation, sometimes outside forces get the best of me and I need a vacation from the vacation. Here's a few things I do to unwind and de-stress:

- Yoga! There are very few things in life that will leave you feeling like new the way yoga does.

- Have a good, long marathon of any TV show of my choosing (lately it's been Twin Peaks, Sailor Moon, True Blood, and Breaking Bad.) It's nice to live vicariously through fictional people sometimes.

- Spending a day at the pool and warming up on the beach chairs. Especially when it's nice and hot out!

- Knitting while listening to This American Life. I haven't done this in a while, but it's always a lovely way to end a stressful day.

- Getting very immersed in cooking. I love to cook! And when I get really in to it, the entire world just kind of fades in to the background.

- Practicing belly dance moves. I miss my belly dance classes very much, but unfortunately finances have not allowed me to go back. However, doing belly dance videos makes me feel more in tune with my body, and boosts my confidence like nothing else.

- Playing Katamari games! It's cheesy. It's simple. It's goofy. It's fun. And it has a killer soundtrack.

- Writing! Because there's no better way to get something off your chest and off your mind than to write it all out and let it go.

- Having a nice glass of good wine. I stress good because a glass of bad wine would just annoy me and make me wish I had a good glass. I'm not a huge wine snob, but I know what I like and that usually rests in the $10+ Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Chianti area. This is all usually best enjoyed with some kind of fancy cheese and crackers.

- Sex and/or masturbation. Need I say more, really?

- Dancing! But I mean, really dancing. Whether it's a night out with the girls on the dance floor, or doing the Elaine in my living room in my undies, few things are better than letting loose to some good tunes and not caring what you look like!

- Singing! This is my dirty little secret. I love to sing. I don't do it as often as i'd like. It's usually to the tune of oldies hits on Magic 102.7 in my car with the windows rolled up tight. I instantly feel better after singing the words to a great song. And don't get me started with the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast soundtracks! Guilty pleasure-o-rama!

- Getting lost in a really good book. Haven't been able to fully lose myself in one in a while (I usually get either distracted or sleepy too soon), but when it does happen, it's magnificent.

How do you unwind?

Zooey Deschanel on Top Chef!

If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a big Zooey Deschanel fan. She's gorgeous and very cool and extremely talented and all kinds of not-Hollywood which I love. Anyway, the gluten and soy-intolerant vegan is going to be on Top Chef next week. While I don't really ever watch Top Chef (I may have seen a few episodes while recovering from miscellaneous hangovers in the past), methinks it's going to be awfully entertaining to watch these chefs squirm as they're given a real culinary challenge. Vegan is difficult as is, but I'm excited to see what they come up with for someone with gluten AND soy allergies as well! The episode runs next week, August 5th @ 10pm (and apparently again at 11pm!)

5 Thursday News Headlines You Might've Missed!

- The oldest potted plant in the world is being given a new home! This 240 year old cycad was discovered in the 1770s and resides in South West London. It is being replanted in to a new pot. This is news only a geek could love.

- Nature photographer Mark Moffett has a new exhibit at the Smithsonian depicting the intricate and complex lives of ants. Makes you think twice about stepping on an ant when you see it. Video report below:

- Infamous TV show host Jerry Springer has been doing a stint at Billy Flynn in the West End Live musical production of 'Chicago.' I've never seen the musical myself, or the film for that matter, but anyway, here's a clip:

- NPR has a nice little pictorial on the evolution of swim wear in the Olympics (a topic I was discussing with someone earlier this week when I heard about Michael Phelps' recent loss and how his swim wear from last year won't be allowed at the next Olympics.) I personally like Corinne Condon's outfit - i'd kill for an old school women's bathing suit!

- And finally... a woman has fallen in love with a rollercoaster. Not only that, but she plans to marry the coaster, whose name is 1001 Nachts who resides at Knoebels Amusement Park. Yes, folks. People are allowed to marry inanimate objects, but not humans of their same gender. That's the kind of country we live in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The "Meat" of The Problem?

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post wrote an article today about vegetarianism as could only be written by someone who isn't a vegetarian or vegan. While my initial knee-jerk reaction is to say "It's not enough!" and "Should I really applaud you for only have five meat-based dishes a month rather than none at all?", I can appreciate what Mr. Klein is saying and what he is doing. There is a rather judgmental little girl inside me that hates when people seem to be stuck in the belief that they would die (or would RATHER die) than go veg. As a vegetarian of almost 10 years, I don't see how anyone could possibly die, even if they were anemic, or had some other health issues, there are few dietary issues that can't be solved with upping your intake of certain fruits and veggies. Not being a vegan, I know it's rather hypocritical of me to get angry at people who won't give up meat when I won't give up cheese and eggs. But therein lies what Mr. Klein is trying to put across.

Whether you believe that animals were put on this earth because they serve a true purpose or if you believe they're simple there to be killed and then cut up on to our dinner plates (there I go again), the point is this: going veg at least once a week can help our planet from, well, imminent doom. The world might not end soon, but the planet as we know it needs our help. If you plan to have children, or even more so if you HAVE children, it is something to consider. And if you don't have kids, well, I understand what you're saying... "What does this have to do with me?" Well, okay. For one, let's stop being selfish assholes. Even if you don't believe that animals can feel pain and fear just as we can, you might be able to believe that eating them isn't always good for our bodies (because let's face it, most people who eat meat don't ONLY eat the super lean, organically-grown, cage-free poultry and catch their own lean fish, etc.) And if that isn't enough, read Mr. Klein's argument. The research he has done states that the greenhouse gas emissions coming from our livestock makes up about 18% of the total emissions released in to our atmosphere! It is actually better for the environment to go veg than to stop driving your car! Granted, it would be better to do both, but I understand sometimes life puts us in difficult situations.

And then think of all the grain that is produced to feed these poor animals. If we start cutting back on meat, and less cows and other animals are killed, it will mean that less of them are bred (or more to the point - less artificial inseminations will be going on), meaning that there will be less of a need to use the grain for them and more available grain to give to those who still go hungry in our country (and in our world, for that matter.) There's one thing to not sympathize with the animals (I don't understand it entirely, but I guess I understand part of it since we're not of the same species), but it's another to not sympathize at all with your fellow humans. So yes, there is more than one reason to go veg.

It's simply the most compassionate choice you can make on a daily basis. Try it out. It won't kill you. Maybe you're afraid to try new foods (you won't know unless you try!) Maybe you're afraid you'll get made fun of (this is bound to happen, but the more of us there are, the more support you'll have!) Or maybe you're just plain stubborn. Start having an open mind. It would be good for your health, your loved ones, the animals, and the environment. Once a week, try to go a full day eating vegetarian, or vegan if you're more ambitious. I try to eat as many vegan meals as I can, although I do occasionally indulge in cheeses and eggs. But at least I do my part, as should you.

Thanks to Mr. Klein for addressing the root of the matter.

Viernes Culturales!

If the weather permits (and you happen to be in Miami), go connect with your Latin roots (and if you're not Hispanic, check it out just the same!) at Viernes Culturales in Little Havana. It's a nice (FREE) event that goes on the last friday of every month, which includes a gallery walk, concerts, street vendors, and more. This week, Malena Burke (see videos below) will be enchanting audiences with her powerful spanish ballads. And did I mention it's absolutely FREE? What can be better? It's sure to be a real taste of Miami, the Cuba of the North.

Aoi Hana

I first got really in to anime when I was in my early teen years. I'd been watching Sailor Moon since I was about 10 years old, and then I discovered other anime like Ranma 1/2, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Neon Genesis Evangelion (all of which I enjoyed, but none of which I ever finished.) I've been realizing lately, though, that I miss anime and have been wanting to get back to discovering new shows (as well as finally finishing the old shows I used to watch.) I've reconnected with Sailor Moon and now i've found another new anime thanks to The show is called Aoi Hana, and so far i've watched 2 episodes and am already hooked! Apparently AfterEllen and Crunchyroll have a deal going so that all the episodes can be played free on the AfterEllen website (meanwhile you have to pay for a membership at Crunchyroll) So far, it's about these two girls who were good friends as children, one moved away, but they've reconnected several years later now that they're in highschool. And, well, you'll have to watch to know exactly what happens... Take a look for yourself and if you have any other anime recommendations, let me know! You can watch the first episode fan subbed below:

Good-bye, Les Lye!

If you were watching Nickelodeon in the 1980's-early 1990's, you may have caught en episode of an amazing little show by the name of You Can't Do That On Television. YCDTOT was kind of a sketch comedy show in the same vein as Saturday Night Live, minus the celebrities, and with a cast of mostly kid actors (needless to say it was a bit PG-rated.) However, it was still pretty damn hilarious. Even if you didn't watch the show much and can't remember most of the cast (except maybe for Alanis Morrisette), it's almost positive you would remember Les Lye, who played a variety of adult roles on the show including Barth the Burgerman, the Principal, Ross Ewich, Snake Eyes, the Latin American Captain, etc. He was also the face behind the title of the show during the credits (see above.)

Sadly, it was reported today that Mr. Les Lye has passed away at the age of 84. The man with the many faces did a lot in his life, including working in radio as well as the show Willy & Floyd which ran for 22 years. My. Lye will be missed. Thanks for all the laughs.

Barth's Burgery has a Les Lye fan club website with plenty of pics and info as well as a very entertaining midi rendition of Hanson's MMm Bop! Oh, the memories.

And if you somehow managed to go through your entire life without watching an episode of YCDTOT, here's an episode I found thanks to the wonders of YouTube:

The rains are finally subsiding...

Inspired by MadCake!

Today I love...

...knowing that I'm just a few months away from decent weather again!
...losing weight and being healthy.
...being free.
...still being in love after 3 years.
...letting go of things I have no control over and accepting that.
...early morning stretches.
...writing. always writing.
...that they still give re-runs of Full House on a daily basis.
...drawing again.
...cardigan sweaters.
...pastries made with love.
...reading on the couch.
...the post-yoga feeling.
...oxygen filling my lungs, calming my heart.
...always having the option of being silly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Trailers!

Only - An indie flick about a romance between two school age children. Definitely seems worth the watch.

Crude - A documentary about the "Amazon Chernobyl" case. Looks sad and fascinating all at once.

Dorian Gray - Very much digging this teaser trailer! Plus, kudos to Colin Firth! Methinks I should read the book first though... Hrm.

Tron Legacy - Holy shit - this is just a teaser but it looks really, really good. I gotta re-watch the original since I haven't seen it since I was a kid. But damn, excellent graphics.

Extract - Check out the new Mike Judge flick! Doesn't look quite as amazing as Idiocracy was, but hopefully it still delivers.

My One and Only - Guilty pleasure time! Starring one of my personal faves, Rene Zellwegger (wish it was another Bridget Jones instead, though!)

I Love You Phillip Morris - It's been a while since Jim Carrey made anything I wanted to go to the theater to watch. He's always been a phenomenal actor (comedy or otherwise), but I think this new movie is really going to show the kind of chameleon quality he has to fit in to any role. Totally psyched to see this! Ewan McGregor also stars and looks to be in equally wonderful form!

I was going to add a few more but... after watching the Jim Carrey trailer, I don't think I'll find much more to be excited about. Til' next week!

Your Zombie Story of the Day

A mentally-ill woman says the devil told her to kill her baby, and so she proceeds to kill him with "a knife and two swords," decapitates him, and then eats part of his BRAIN and 3 of his toes.


...I'll let you digest that.

Moment of Geek: True Blood

I started watching True Blood on a whim. I was kinda iffy, what with all the Twilight hubub that had been going on (which I have yet to check out... if I ever decide to at all, that is.) But True Blood just looked like it would be better than that from the get go. After all, it IS written by Alan Ball, of American Beauty/Six Feet Under fame. I really dug the whodunit vibe of Season 1, especially because i've never been a fan of the mystery genre (but I guess I can dig anything if it involves vampires... or zombies too, actually.) Season 1 ended on a bizarre note and I was almost a little weary of Season 2 getting a bit too off the wall for my taste (note: shape shifters and crazy demon type lady.) But Mr. Ball and Ms. Charlaine Harris are totally proving me wrong because it all really, really works. The show is really getting good now. This last episode was better than any yet. Here's the preview for the next episode! Ahh, August 2nd is too far!

The Nightly News Power Block! Re-cap of recent highlights...

Just a few highlights of the past few days you might've missed (plus I'm catching up heh):

Rachel Maddow

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

I had several Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert clips for you all, but apparently Blogger doesn't like me posting those. If anyone knows how I can override this, please PLEASE let me know!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poetry in Pinecrest.

When I was in my early teen years, I used to write a lot of poetry. A lot of... bad... poetry. It was my angst phase, what can I say? Lot of talk about the rain and black roses and other goth-related imagery shone through all my poems and after a while, I grew up and realized that I was terrible at this. I've never really had a gift at poetry. At least I don't think. But as a writer, I like to challenge myself. I got a little inspired after reading about a local poetry group here in my neck of the woods, Pinecrest. They call themselves the Group 10 Poets and they meet monthly at the local library. They encourage each other and help each other make their work better. I've always wanted to join a writing group, but have always been way too shy. I may or may not check them out next month. Asides from my social awkwardness, I'm a little reluctant to go because it would be the only time that I could seeing as how I start school in last August. However, I like one thing that one of the members said in the article, about being persistent in trying to get your poem published. Eventually, someone's gonna bite. So although poetry is not my strong suit, I think I'm going to start up a poetry journal like in the heyday of my teen years and try to sit and write one poem a day. And then perhaps at the end of my venture, i'll be brave enough to post the best one i've got. Or if not, maybe submit it to a magazine or contest. I'll keep you updated...

Never Do Wrong To A Crow - They'll Remember You Forever!

NPR has a fascinating story about crows. It seems that crows have the ability to memorize our faces and store them in their memory banks for years! For anyone who ever said that animals don't think at all the way we do and won't remember something from the previous hour, the crows are now proving you wrong. These intelligent creatures can pick us out from a crowd if they've seen us before and act accordingly. And yet, we can see two crows and have no way of telling them apart. It's funny because I've always felt kind of uneasy around crows. They look at you differently and they seem very unafraid of people. Read more on the story at NPR's site and play the interactive game to see if you can pick a crow out of a lineup. My best shot was on the 4th try.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lonesome George Might Become Oldest Living Dad

Did you know that Lonesome George is the world's oldest living Galapagos giant turtle? As such, it's pretty damn important that he uh, spread his seed, so to speak. Apparently scientists have been working on this for a while, but Lonesome George has also been Rather Reluctant George, and has only mated once in the last few decades and unfortunately, it didn't take. However, it seems he finally got that Penthouse subscription and go in the mood again recently and now scientists are waiting to find out if something should come from it. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Lonesome George to be lonesome no more. And should he finally become a daddy, he would literally be the world's oldest natural living father. Read all about it over on NPR, it's great stuff!

Tribes Paying For Our Lack Of Concern/Care For The Planet?

There's a great (albeit unfortunate) article in the Times today concerning the effects of deforestation and global warming on tribes like the Kamayura living in the Amazon, and possibility that these tribes may eventually face some form of extinction if our planet continues on the path it's going in.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ancient Roman Shipwrecks Discovered By Archaeologists!

Very cool news on the archaeology front as several Roman sunken ships dating from about the 1st to 5th centuries BC have been discovered in the Mediterranean. Italian wine and metal ingots, as well as Spanish and North African fish sauces, are among the finds that have been made from the vessels. I'm more curious to know if they've found any human remains, but so far no word. An exciting time to be a part of the world of underwater archaeology! Read more about the graveyard of sunken ships @ Yahoo.

X-Files Nerdery

Someone posted this on the Livejournal X-Files community and I figured i'd share it because few things are cooler than two unknowns in pajama pants playing an acoustic rendition of the X-Files theme song. Without further ado:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Girl Talk Thursday - Weird Quirks

Well, well, well... where should I begin?

- I love plucking hair. Any kind of hair. This torments my boyfriend because I try to pluck any hair on him but he usually won't let me. I think I derive some kind of sadistic pleasure out of this.

- Whenever I see a coin on the floor in the street, even if it's just a penny (especially if it's a penny), I need to pick it up. I've walked back a block to go get it because I have a hidden belief that i'll lose money or have bad luck if I don't.

- I can't get out of the shower without drying my feet and standing on either my wooden mat or my slippers. Stepping on the floor gives me the heeb-jeebs.

- I don't like doing exams straight through. I need to jump from one page to another and back again or I get bored quickly. Plus I like to know what to expect by the end.

- After finishing a really good film, I need a few moments of silence. Sometimes I can't talk for a whole hour afterwards.

- I try to pretend I don't bite my nails anymore by just sucking and chewing on the side of a nail until it breaks and then I think "oh well, might as well bite off the whole thing!"

- Tony has gotten me in to the bad habit of smelling most of whatever I eat or drink before actually consuming it. It used to bother me, but now I just feel bad because I think I insulted someone by doing it once.

- I fold my shirts a specific way and it drives me crazy when they're folded any other way.

- I need to alphabetize my books and movies at all times.

- I drive very nervously when there is someone else in the car because I'm afraid they'll judge my driving. Unfortunately, everyone must think I am apprehensive behind the wheel at all times when it just isn't the case.

- I sneeze weird. Sometimes people think I'm coughing instead and offer me water.

- Whenever someone tells me they don't drink, I automatically feel I must get them drunk immediately.

- When I was a kid, I used to eat most of the frosting off the cake, and little of the bread. Now, I try to eat a little frosting with every bite of cake bread, usually resulting in my finishing the bread and throwing out the leftover frosting.

- I need my salad dressing to be on the side.

- Ice cubes: 2-3. But never necessary if the drink is already cold.

- I can't be around company for more than a day straight without getting a little out of sorts. I'm very fond of my alone time.

- I can usually squeeze myself (legs and all) in to any chair in such a position that I can sleep in it.

- I refuse to pick my nose unless it's a dire emergency type situation, and then only if I'm alone in a bathroom.

- I either like when my armpits and legs are shaved, or when the hair gets long, but hate the time in between.

- If I feel like I'm about to cry, I sometimes do two things to stop myself: stand in front of an a/c vent and keep my eyes wide open so the tears dry up, or go to a mirror and make stupid faces or smile until I can't cry because I realize how stupid I look.

- But sometimes, I like to cry uncontrollably until I'm about to throw up, and then I know it's time to calm down again.

- I like taking back roads to get to places, even if it might take a little longer.

- Whenever I go to an italian restaurant that specializes in pizza, I have to try the pizza and garlic rolls first. If I don't try it, I feel like I'm betraying something.

- I eat my pizza by alternating between bites of crust and bites of cheese, in a circular fashion, leaving the center with the most cheese for the very end.

- In fact, I eat all my meals strategically, usually leaving the center (or a very appealing looking corner) for the end.

- When at a restaurant, it really bugs me if they don't provide a straw for their drinks.

- I make a pretty big deal out of birthdays usually because I secretly want everyone to make a big deal out of mine... except I usually end up planning out my own birthday for fear that people will forget.

- It bothers me a lot when I put a food item away and then someone goes back for more. Drives me nuts.

- When in a public bathroom (or any bathroom that looks uncleanly), I need to wipe it down, put down a layer of toilet paper, and then hover over it in order to use it.

- I tend to grab things with my feet, or my toes to be more specific, such as pencils or pieces of paper, a lighter, a cord, etc.

- When I get pretty upset about something, I many times rub my eyebrows from the center on out repeatedly.

- I read the nutritional facts on as many food items as I can (unless I'm at a restaurant, in which case, I rarely go.)

Better to Drunk Dial than to Drunk Drive!

Okay, so i'll admit it. I've been a bad girl. I've broken the law before. I've not-so-soberly walked over to my car, put the keys inside, put my seat belt on, and driven out on to the empty Miami roads from time to time when perhaps I should have just slept on someone's couch. I'm not proud of this fact, and I recognize that it isn't a good thing. However, as one gets older, you realize it's more sensible to wait until sobriety kicks in before you get in your vehicle and run someone over or hit a wall. Apparently, though, one of our local artists wasn't so bright, as he was charged with a DUI and will now be paying up with both time AND money. Romero Britto is one of Miami's biggest artists. I'm not entirely sure why, to be honest. I'm neither a fan nor a major critic of his work. If you live in Miami (or if you've visited), it's more than likely you've seen either a poster or a statue or a painting or a flyer or SOMETHING with Britto's work on it. The bright, clashing colors and polkadots he uses in most of his work are pleasing to the eye. But honestly, there's nothing majorly innovative or life-altering in any of the work that i've seen. (Although that kitty is pretty cute!)

Either way, Britto should've known better than to be driving (er, swerving) his Bentley around South Beach after throwing back a few. You'd think a guy with that kind of money (hell, ANYONE with a Bentley has money in my book... I drive an old, used, beaten up 01' Saturn my folks gave me) would be smart enough to either ask someone for a ride, call up a cab, or have his own personal driver with him! Instead, he's looking at 6-months of having his license suspended, a $1000 fine, and 100 hours of community service. Let that be a lesson, kids! Even Mr. Miami Art himself has to go around and pick up other people's trash!

Perhaps if he'd had one of the latest iPhone apps that help you figure out how drunk you are, this may not have happened! Yes, that's right. I actually got inspired after reading about Britto and thought 'Man, wouldn't it be something if there was an app for that?' (as has become the trend.) Google led me to two different apps.

One is call the Last Call iPhone App, which basically calculates what your blood alcohol content is depending on how many drinks you had (ounces of alcohol) and how long ago you had them (times your height and weight I believe.) The pro about this is it gives you a cool line graph to figure out how trashed you are and how long til sobriety. It also has a button to call a local taxi service automatically if you won't be sober for a while. The con is... well, if you're really drunk, how will you remember to use it? Are you really going to know how many ounces were in those 3 long islands and 2 jager bombs? Did you forget to include that last martini? What about the beer you had in the afternoon? Chances are, you'll end up puking all over your iPhone before you figure out how drunk you really are (although that would be a good indicator not to drive home.)

The second app isn't really an official iPhone app. But basically, it's a breathalyzer attachment for your iPod (and I believe you can use it on the iPhone as well.) It's called the iBreath attachment and it works just like a breathalyzer, you blow in and it tells your your BAC. This would be awesome if it weren't about $70+. And unfortunately, you might not even remember to use it either (or how to.) Also, you would need to look up what the legal limit BAC is (it can very per state.) If you're in Florida like I am, check this website out to see our local DUI laws and the legal consequences you might face for driving drunk.

Lastly, Wikipedia has a chart that tells you more or less how many drinks results in what kind of BAC reading. I wouldn't exactly put money on the accuracy of Wikipedia ("But officer, Wiki said that if I only have 2 beers I should be under the legal limit!"), but it's a good way of kind of figuring it out if you don't have a breathalyzer. My limit is apparently, yes, 2 beers. But I would think I should still sit it out for a while before going behind the wheel. Some of us don't have a grand to blow like Britto apparently does...

Moment of Geek: Katamari Time!

I first discovered the Katamari games when I saw Tony's nephew and sister-in-law playing it. They seemed pretty psyched about it and eventually I gave it a whirl. This whirl became thoroughly addicting. It had everything I could possibly ever want in a game: bright colors, bizarre graphics, an even more bizarre plot, a kick-ass soundtrack, and required little of the user. It's one of the easiest games to zone out to. You don't do much except roll around in a ball and pick stuff up as you go. It's, well, genius!

(this is the intro for Katamari Damacy, in all its flying king/rainbow glory)

I think a year passed before I thought about buying the game myself. And then one day I walked in to GameStop (or was it EB Games?) and saw it there. Glowing. A used copy of Katamari Damacy for the PlayStation 2. I had to have it! And so, I snatched it up and whipped out my credit card and got the game. Tony and I were hooked for a few weeks at least, if not months - playing every time we got home from our respective jobs. Eventually, Tony beat the game as did I. We still had more to do in the game, like get a much bigger cow and the largest bear possible, or collect more crowns and fish and virgins. But it kind of lost its' luster. We play every so often, but now it was time for a new game.

(Tony holding our new copy of We Love Katamari!)

Tony had a dentist appointment today, so I wandered around the shopping center aimlessly. Eventually, I got to the GameStop and decided i'd see if luck was on my side. After perusing all the used PS2 games, I finally found it! We Love Katamari!!! I haven't played this one yet, but I'm already excited as hell to start rolling around and collecting random shit to a whole new catchy soundtrack. So forgive me if I disappear sometimes... Chances are I'm rolling around some alternate universe trying to get the biggest ball of crap before I run out of time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Save Our Pubs and Bars!

NPR just posted a story about fighting the recession by visiting your local pubs. In particular, British pubs are being especially hard hit, as they are closing at an absurd rate of 52 a week! It seems pretty insane that so many pubs are closing and it makes me think of all the little haunts we've got in our own town. If I could, I would hop on a plane now and drink all over the U.K. if I had well, the money. If you ARE in the U.K., however, encourage your friends to grab at least one drink at the pub before going home! Or else all your favorite haunts will be gone.

Here in Miami, we don't really have much in the way of pubs, but we've got our own little bars. I've only seen one neighborhood bar close in the last year (R.I.P. Hooligan's Pub! - Tony Roma's and Bennigan's don't count...), but I would prefer that no other bars/pubs close any time soon. Here's my plug for some of my favorite neighborhood haunts:

5501 NE 2nd Ave - Little Haiti

2200 S. Red Road - Miami

729 SW 1st Ave. - Brickell

5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd. - Coral Gables

9809 SW 72nd St. - Miami

626 South Miami Ave - Downtown Miami

6030 S. Dixie Hwy - South Miami

2108 NW 57th Ave. - Miami

1115 16th St. - Miami Beach

5850 Sunset Dr. - South Miami

10005 Sunset Dr. - Miami

1811 Purdy Ave. - Miami Beach

172 Giralda Avenue - Coral Gables

7221 SW 58th Ave - South Miami

100 21st St. - Miami Beach

12721 S. Dixie Hwy. - Miami

2212 SW 8th St. - Little Havana

7230 SW 59th Ave. - South Miami

3131 Commodore Plaza - Coconut Grove

Suggest some of your own favorites! And make sure to perform your civic duty and visit at least ONE bar/pub a week! Together, we'll get through these tough times, and more importantly, we'll get through them drunk.

Feminism on Mad Men

The fine ladies at have compiled a list of the Top 15 Feminist Moments on Mad Men. I haven't actually watched the show myself, I confess, but i've been having mixed feelings about sitting down and finally giving in. On the one hand, I can dig a show from a different era strictly for the kitsch. However, I have a good feeling (especially after watching those videos) that I would be incredibly pissed off during and after every single episode. Then again, maybe that's the point. To address the issues that used to occur and to realize that while the state of women may have improved to a certain extent (we can get better jobs than we used to, but we still get paid less; etc), things haven't changed enough. At least not to the point where I want them to be. But again, maybe that's the point. I'll probably give it a chance soon... almost done with Twin Peaks anyway. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Down the Rabbit Hole!

Take a sneak peek at the new trailer for Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland! (I tried embedding but the damn thing won't work on here.)

Apparently this isn't the original version of Alice, but more of the sequal wherein Alice returns for a second romp through madness. Which is good, because that explains more of why the Mad Hatter is such a prominent figure (he was important, but not THAT important in the original story.) Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to it. It looks like Burton's best in a long time (not that i've given much of a chance to his last few movies... I was disenchanted by Corpse Bride sadly.)

Here's to hoping March 5th comes faster than expected!

Comic Con Super Envy Attack!

Although I am a fairly new comic book lover (Archie comics and sunday strips aside, I never gave them much of a chance until about 3 years ago), I am a life-long nerd girl. Because of this, i've always had a deep love of conventions. Whether they be comic conventions, anime conventions, sci-fi conventions, even renaissance festivals, I love the all-out geek-a-thons that occur throughout this country year after year. However, I have yet to venture out to the Holy Grail of the Nerd: the San Diego Comic Con.

The San Diego Comic Con (or simply, THE Con), is well-known as the is-all be-all of comic conventions. This year, my friend Anthony is going to be in attendance (rather, his plane left for Cali on Monday so I'm sure he's been geeking it up at what I'm sure are numerous con-friendly events in the area.) I, unfortunately, am unable to attend this year. Should I start a collection to see if I can save up for the convention by next year? Maybe. Thinking about it... But for now, i'll be realistic in my poverty and instead make my fantasy list of all the things i'd do and people i'd wait in line for hours to see where I to go to this year's con. And maybe, just maybe, one of you will be fortunate (and financially stable) enough to attend and do all that I was unable to do.

Without further ado...

(It was only going to be 25... but I couldn't help myself. And I still held back.)

1. Watch the Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings of Human Target, V, and The Vampire Diaries just because you can.
2. Disney 3D Panel (they'll be showing clips of the new Alice In Wonderland and A Christmas Carol flicks!)
3. Archie Comics: Archie Marries Veronica Panel (because Archie will always be my first true comic love)
4. Dante's Inferno Panel (discussing how Dante's Inferno has penetrated pop culture... Just sounds interesting in general!)
5. Go see Ray Bradbury and get him to sign that old high school copy of Farenheit 451 you had to have loved as much as I did.
6. Wonder Woman: Female Power Icons In Pop Culture Panel (go swoon while watching alien ass kicking Sigourney Weaver discuss the role of bad-ass women in comics and pop culture! Too fucking cool!)
7. Sit in on the Underground Comix panel and thanks Denis Kitchen for creating Kitchen Sink Press.
8. Check out Hope Larson, buy one of her comics and get it signed!
9. Grab copy of Hellraiser and get it signed by Clive Barker!
10. The Myth and The Superhero Panel seems to promise some riveting discussions.
11. Go hang out with the cast of MythBusters! Or maybe get your dvds signed. Or a stick of dynamite perhaps?
12. Watch the Burn Notice Panel, but only when Bruce Campbell is talking (saw him a few weeks ago at a con down here and he's pretty hilarious in person too!)
13. Have Jim Caviezel sign your Shroud of Turin replica.
14. Have Adam West sign your straight jacket. Or ask him to hum the Bat Man theme song on your cellphone and make it your new ring tone.
15. Bill Plympton movie screening AND Q&A! Do it!
16. Go to the Robot Chicken panel and ask Seth Green if he's planning on doing a sequal to Airborne, and follow up the question by asking if he has any idea what ever happened to Garrett from Swan's Crossing (and a third follow up: did Seth and Sarah Michelle Gellar ever discuss the disappearance of Shane McDermott.)
17. BEG Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, and John Dimaggio to PLEASE go back and do the voices for the new Futurama or we'll surely go and die in a mass suicide booth.
18. Tipping Point for LGBTQ Portrayals in Comics panel will definitely be insightful!
19. TERRYGILLIAMTERRYGILLIAM OMFG TERRY GILLIAM!!! Seriously go see this neius of a man talk about The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus!
20. The Physics of Hollywood Movies panel - science geeks rejoice!
21. The Unlocking Arkham: Forensic Psychiatry and Batman's Rogue Gallery panel sounds like the stuff panel dreams are made of! Plus I get giddy whenever the word "forensic" is thrown in to anything..
22. Get a pair of silicone implants signed by Elvira! Okay, fine. Maybe just get her to sign a Halloween pumpkins or something instead.
23. The Anthropology of Star Trek panel WTF! As an anthro major, I would be thoroughly psyched by this. Rock on, social sciences!
24. I've been getting in to Korean film lately and as such, I would not want to miss a chance to watch the latest Korean vampire flick - Thirst.
25. Finally! A screening of Trick R' Treat! Front row and center, baby, yeah!
26. Friday is STAR WARS day at the con. I'm a recent convert (I know.. what took me so long? I don't know. But I finally had a marathon viewing early in the year and it was basically as awesome as everyone always made it out to be, and now I don't feel so out of the loop!)
27. Batman: The Brave and the Bold Screening and Q&A (plus a showing of the Batman animated musical... I'm just really curious...)
28. Get some Neil Gaiman time in at the Coraline panel. He's a pretty cool guy, or so his Twitter leads me to believe.
29. True Confessions: LGBTQ Slice-of-Life Comics panel is definitely of interest!
30. Say hi to Lucy Lawless at the Spartacus panel. Tell her she looked amazing on the X-Files!
31. Stalk Kiefer Sutherland before and after the 24 panel. Tell him you fell in love with him in the Lost Boys. And again in Flatliners. And definitely in Dark City. And make sure to take a lock of his hair and cast a love spell on him... Uhm. That is. Hrm. :x
32. Tell Kathy Najimy she rocked in Hocus Pocus.
33. There are several Comic Book Law School panels which should be of interest to anyone who might be interested in pursuing a career in comics and comic publishing!
34. The Graphic Novel panel should be good, regardless of the lack of a creative title for it, heh.
35. AVOID The Mighty Boosh panel at all costs. I saw an episode of this and knew the creators must have been lobotomized a long time ago. *shudder*
36. Go to the FEARClinic panel and see the scary man himself: Robert Englund (aka Freddy Kruger)!
37. Run in to James Cameron and ask him why he left us in the cold by not making Terminator 3 and 4, since obviously everyone else turned it to shit.
38. Attend the Eisner Awards! Feel privileged to be in a room of sheer genius (and Eisner rejects... since you know, they can't ALL win.)
39.Grab a beer and some vegan food with Jane Drano (aka Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's fame) if you get the chance.
40. Pull Peter Jackson aside and thank him for Heavenly Creatures and tell him that it should be part of the cannon of films for all young girls growing up with a brain. And then tell him you're mad he didn't just let Sam and Frodo make out the way you know they both wanted to in the film. And that he owes you at least $20 for those last 45 endings in the final Lord of the Rings.
41. Give Danny Devito a high-5 at the Blood Factory panel. Just cuz.
42. Watch the Owly movie! Because Owly is the fucking shit. And by that I mean, he is amazingly awesome!
43. Have your moment of zen at the Spirituality in Comics panel.
44. Stop at the Women in Manga panel. We need more women in the comics/manga/graphic novel world. Period! *giggle*
45. Tell Seth MacFarlane he really shouldn't be such a jerk to Lorelai Gilmore. It wasn't her fault Emily brought in a movie crew to their graduation. Then take him to your hotel room and tell him to talk like Brian and turn off the lights... and... uhm. Yeah.
46. Futurama: Life of Death?! panel might finally put to rest what the fate of Futurama will be. And maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of Hypno-Toad!
47. Drop in at the Steampunk Meet-Up and pick up some tips for your newest and boldest look! Steampunk is the latest in sexy.
48. Mike Judge has a new movie! Watch Extract and ask Judge if he can help you make the decision to have a child or not after watching Idiocracy. Having an intelligent child could mean saving the fate of the world. On the other hand... if you're the only one.. what a lonely existence, huh?
49. Simpsons Panel! Matt Groening! Need I say more??
50. I'm sure the Gender Poster Panel will really get you thinking...
51. Don't waste your con time watching Zombieland OR 2012. They'll be out soon anyway and I doubt they're that incredible (i'll watch them, but not when there are more convention-y things to do!)
52. Mike Mignola talks Hellboy (haven't read the comics, but Tony swears by them and I trust his judgement so why not?)
53. Buy COMICS! Sometimes people get caught up in the hubub and forget to buy shit.
54. Love Is In The Air: LGBT Romance Comics sounds like a lovely panel to swoon over.
55. TRUE BLOOD PANEL AND Q&A!!!!!! Do it! Make your own bottle of True Blood (O+ is best, I hear) and get it signed by the cast if you can! Tell Bill Compton you leave your bedroom window open at night just for him. And tell Lafayette you would probably stop watching the show if he ends up ever leaving! And tell Sookie that no one has ever made the gap-toothed smile look as utterly sexy as she has! And.. and.. and!!!
56. Say Hi to Kevin Smith. But don't get him started or he'll talk for a few days straight. Just smile politely and tell him he's best as Silent Bob for a reason.
57. Gays In Comics panel! Why the hell not?!
58. Watch the Venture Brothers panel... because well, they make me laugh.
59. I haven't seen Torchwood OR Doctor Who, but they're on my list of things to watch soon and since I hear great reviews, check out the screenings if you get a chance!
60. MYTHBUSTERS Q&A time! How DOES he get that mustache to curl no matter what?
61. Although i've been a bit remiss about Weeds as of late, i'd like to go and ask Jenji Kohan a thing or two at the Q&A... and maybe ask Andy is he's at all related to Harry Connick Jr. And see if Silas will smoke me out and give me a cookie after. *rowl*
62. Watchmen: Director's Cut, anyone? I STILL haven't finished the novel (I know, I know) but i'd still like to see it.
63. Saturday Night Comic Con Masquarade?! LOVE THIS!!!
64. There will be a plethora of anime playing every day of the con, so catch up on some of your favorites and learn about some new ones!
65. Meet cute uber-geek blogger Bonnie Burton and thank her for, one of the first female-run websites I ever saw that inspired me to get in to the world of blogging.
66. Dress up! Dress up because you can! And take pictures with people who are also dressed up! It's all about the CosPlay, baby!
67. Haggle on Sunday! While you're making purchases, you should always try to talk the price down. But this is especially true on Sunday when vendors are trying to get rid of as much as they can.
68. Buy some artwork! Add it to your collection. If you don't have a collection, buy your first piece.
69. Get as many freebies as you can! Conventions are loaded with vendors looking to give out free samples of comics, artwork, stickers, postcards, etc. Bring a big bag to throw it all in!
70. Promote yourself! Wear a tshirt with your website address on it or hand out cards/flyers to passers-by so they can check your work out as well!

Hope you enjoyed that laundry list of things to do. Now please, get off the internet and hit up the con!

Girl Talk Thursday?

Thanks to Melissa Dominic for posting about this on her blog. It sounds like a completely fun weekly blogging project and I look forward to participating tomorrow! Check it out at Mommy Melee's blog to see if you're interested in joining the fun!

Saturday Nights are All Right in The Grove!

While I'm obviously a little late with this announcement, it seems that Coconut Grove has been hosting a number of Summer Block Parties wherein they close the streets and celebrate good ol' muggy as hell Miami nights, complete with food, drinks, and live entertainment. There are still 2 left (one this Saturday, July 25 and the last one is on August 1st), so make sure you go and check this out! The illustrious Spam All-Stars will be performing this weekend from 8:30 to 10:30pm. The whole party begins around 6pm, so i'd suggest getting there around then or maybe even a little earlier to get good parking! ...And did I mention it's totally FREE?! Yeah, I thought that'd be a selling point during these crappy economic times.

Watch The Spam All-Stars in this latest video release with their song "Gallo Pinto" (which, if you live in Miami, you probably know it's the name of Nicaraguan-style rice & beans - YUMM!):