Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I didn't really want our photos to be very casual, so we all got prettied up and met Sharon, our photographer at a park near Bro's house. Sharon had checked out the park a few days beforehand to make sure that it would be a good place to shoot. The park was nice and quiet, and it wasn't very hot yet, so we were able to get our pics done without too much sweating, which was what worried us most, since Brady is like a little heater unto himself. Sharon did a great job of getting us to feel relaxed, and Brady, as usual, was a charmer and smiled well for the camera most of the time. At times, we had to bribe him, but as long as we get good results, we'll be happy. We'll probably get to see the photos by the end of this week, so I'm really looking forward to that.
Mom and Dad had an appointment to attend, so the rest of us went to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Several years ago, Bro, V, our friend Chun and I discovered this restaurant on a DCI trip to Buffalo, NY. We had also gone to the original buffalo wings place, Anchor Bar, but the neighborhood around Anchor Bar didn't give us the safest feeling, so when we found this place in a nice area, we made sure to return later in the week. Besides, they had Loganberry Juice available there, and we were addicted to it. First, though, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond for some items, and as we were leaving, Bro noticed that two of his buttons had popped off his shirt because he had been carrying Brady around. The two buttons were at the level of his belly button, so when he sat down, the shirt opened up to show his navelness. We couldn't find a safety pin, and Bro didn't want us to go BUY a box of safety pins, so he McGyvered my paperclip so that it would hold his shirt closed. We could not stop laughing at how ridiculous the whole ordeal was, because he wouldn't just let us go buy a shirt or a safety pin. The paperclip held on pretty well, BTW.
Our memories of BWW in Buffalo were really just of the great wings, the loganberry juice, and the fact that we played trivia games. We were excited to see that BWW had made its way out West, and made a pact that we would go there before they move. We were happily surprised that BWW has really grown into quite the franchise. In fact, there is one located near Bro's new residence! I guess we'll need to go there when I visit. Anyway, they had much more than wings there: ribs, salads, pulled pork sandwiches, just a bunch of yummy stuff. I ordered the Ribs and Traditional Wings combo with Asian Zing sauce for my wings. (You get to order the sauce in which the wings are spun. Yes, I wrote "spun."). I REALLY liked my wings, and my ribs had a good amount of meat, but a couple of pieces were cut in a way that there were a lot of little bones, so I didn't enjoy them as much as the wings. They did taste good, though. I had also substituted my fries for onion rings, and those were tasty. Bro and V kept raving about the yummy Pulled Pork Slammers. They also enjoyed the teriyaki sauce that came with the Naked Tenders that Brady had, as well as the Wings and Popcorn Shrimp that V ordered. (V also ordered the Asian Zing sauce for her wings). We had asked for the trivia game from the server, and she never brought it out. She also didn't do that great of a job waiting our table, and even gave us the wrong check. There were a LOT of TVs to watch, though, with various sports showing, and some tables had their own fancy contraption that seemed to have some kind of other games (not the trivia game). We enjoyed our food, though, and that's really what mattered in the end. If only they had that Loganberry Juice...
The next day, I went to Bro's house again, to help with some of the packing. When I arrived, Brady was blowing bubbles, so I joined him, and Cadence and Brady had an absolute field day just chasing the bubbles around. Cadence went all nutso about them, and was very tired after about half an hour of that. Brady sweated up a storm. Bro wanted to cook all of the food in the refrigerator before the move, so he grilled up some meat, as well as some onions and mushrooms, which was all quite good. So were the scallops that V had sauteed with butter and garlic. Just YUM! To earn my meal, I dismantled Brady's train table, with his assistance. "Oh, more!" he kept saying as I handed him more hardware to place in the bag. At one point, I gave him a slab of wood that weighed a little more than the other pieces, and I heard him grunting. I asked him if it was heavy, and he said in his cute way, "Yeah!" (Like, "Duh, Tita, why'd you give me such a big piece?!").
We went to Pasta Pomodoro, for dinner, and basically ate tapas-style, because we weren't incredibly hungry after all of the grilled stuff. When I noted that I'd be ordering the Ravioli di Zucca (butternut squash), Bro and V got all big-eyed, and said that they wanted to get in on some of that action. So we ordered that, the caprese, and the Cavolini. This is when I learned that V liked Brussels Sprouts, which should make a certain person smile when she reads this. Bro likes them, too, btw. We really enjoyed the ravioli and the cavolini. The caprese was OK, but the tomatoes were small, and it needed more balsamic vinegar or something, as it was a tad bland. We had also ordered soups and salad. Bro enjoyed his tortellini soup almost as much as Brady did, and I liked my minestrone. I was surprised that it wasn't really a tomato base, but it was still good. I think that V had the Mista salad, and I think she liked it, but I don't really remember because we kept talking about all of the other stuff.
Full and tired, we went back to the house, and I stayed for a little while before getting on over to my own residence. I'm sad that I won't be hanging out there anymore, playing Rock Band and watching Brady get knocked over by Cadence and Presto (AKA "Stocky P"). I'll sure miss that place.
Thanks, everyone, for a fun-filled family weekend. Whenever I see a shirt missing its buttons, Bro, I'll think of you and that paper clip. :)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
This year is the 25th year since the movie "War Games," and it was shown for one night only in theaters nationwide, to promote the release of the DVD and its direct-to-DVD sequel, "War Games 2: The Dead Code." Since I have loved this movie for over 2 decades (I'm old), I've been looking forward to this event since I first saw it advertised. A few friends and I decided to watch it together at the AMC in Century City on Thursday night.
I hadn't been to the Century City mall in over 10 years, and am happy to say that it is now a Westfield Shoppingtown, and has a LOT of great stores. I met up with Jenn and we went to Bloomingdale's, where I introduced her to the Jo Malone fragrance line. Mmmm....smells nice! Jo Malone is a company that combines scents to make new ones, and you can also combine your own from their line. I can't decide enough from their line anyway, so I haven't done the combination thing. I absolutely love the Blue Agava & Cacao scent that I already have, and ended up buying the Lime Basil & Mandarin scent, and Jenn bought the White Jasmine & Mint. I think I've hooked her onto the brand, and we can both thank Liz for the wondrous aromas that will be wafting around us, as she is the reason that I know about JM in the first place.
We found Glenn, picked up our tickets, met up with Linda, and headed on over to the swankiest food court I've ever seen. They've got lots of fancy food, not your usual food court fare; although they did have a Panda Express. We opted for the Lawry's Carvery, which made us all think of maybe going to Lawry's proper one of these days. I haven't been there in over 10 years, but loved it, and I'm not usually a fan of steak. I had the roast beef, with horseradish mashed potatoes and broccoli, which was all excellent. Cindy arrived and opted for a salad from the Mediterranean restaurant.
While we were eating, George Takei walked by with his husband, and a few of us stared at him while he went to the Japanese food place. I'm not a Trekkie, but I think he's done a good job on "Heroes," and I've certainly known about him from ST. I knew that my other Trekkie friends would enjoy the fact that he was in the same room as me, so I texted them to let them know that I was having dinner with him. Yes, he was outside, and I was inside, but we were eating in the same general area, so that counts, right? We refrained from approaching him, and Jenn surprisingly refrained from taking something from his table after he left.
We went to the theater, and I was surprised that they didn't have "The 20" playing before the movie started. Instead, we were advised of special events coming up, like the Drum Corps International Big, Loud and Live event in August. This got me all excited, because, hello--it's DRUM CORPS.
Instead of movie trailers, we were treated to footage which will probably be on the DVD, which was short clips of the filmmakers and actors for the movie, reminiscing about their experiences while making the film all those years ago. Barry Corbin is still a hoot. Ally Sheedy was cutely naive. Matthew Broderick ended up studying Galaga (which they had placed at his residence so that he could practice) more than the typing that he was supposed to learn. Then they showed trailers of WG2, which made us groan, and I'm glad that they're not wasting their energy by trying to market it as a new big screen film.
Thoughts about the movie, 25 years later:
- I remember seeing this with my best friend David 25 years ago. I should email him to see if he remembers that. I think that someone else may have been there. Jennie L? I don't know. I think I'll ask him.
- Greetings Professor Falken
- Computers can stalk people.
- Wow. That really was the 80's: legwarmers, TAB, the photo of Ronald Reagan, the computer paper with the alternating green and white stripes, and those huge floppy disks!
- Perhaps my love for Galaga had a little something to do with this movie. Along with the fact that there was an arcade VERY close to my house at the time, and they sometimes gave me free quarters so that I could play Galaga all the time.
- Shall we play a game?
- I love that the guy who plays Melvin seems to only play geeks. Is it typecasting?
- Do people still use those back door passwords when they design programs?
- PENCIL made me think of "The Dark Knight" (shudder)
- "What kind of an as**ole lives on an island and doesn't even have a boat?!" I haven't heard this line without stupid editing for awhile. I like the original.
- "I would piss on a spark plug if I thought it would do any good." -- a slice of Barry Corbin's actual life
- I guess I never picked up on the fact that McKittrick vs. the General is the same as Computer vs. Man. I must have been too busy worrying that we'd get blown up because a couple of crazy kids decided to hack into a game company and play their games.
- OK, I also just got the line about "beef up" and "WOPR," but only because they talked about Burger King during the preshow.
- Global Thermonuclear War -- if only David had chosen Chess, this would have been quite a different film. Hmmm...unless it was like Wizard's Chess.
- How could we still hear the computer talk when we were no longer looking at the computer screen in David's room?
- Underachievers are future MacGyvers.
- I'm such a geek about the launch code that I noticed that the first shot of the code in the silo actually started with "JPE," not "CPE." GEEK!
- THIS IS THE MOVIE WHERE THE DAD BUTTERS HIS CORN WITH A SLICE OF BREAD.
I look forward to owning the movie on DVD, so that I can see more behind-the-scenes stuff.
Thanks, everyone, for a great time!
How about a nice game of chess?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Happy Nails is a chain of manicure spas, and I had been to the location in Huntington Beach, so I thought that we could try out the one at Paseo Colorado in Pasadena. We had made appointments, and arrived early, so we did a little bit of shopping first. I needed some stuff from Bath & Body Works, successfully declined buying all of the pretty shoes from Aerosoles, and then found out that Lo had never been to Harry & David, so we spent plenty of time tasting stuff and choosing items, since they were having a sale on everything (buy 3, get the 4th free). One of the best tasting goodies we sampled were Cookie Bites, which were little balls of cookie covered in some kind of confection. Evil.
We finally dragged ourselves out of the store and entered Happy Nails, where it was quite busy. We took a lot of our waiting time trying to choose our colors. They have lots of funky colors there, but I wanted to be a bit subdued for the pics, so I picked colors more subtle than the electric blue that I might try another time. They nicely sat us next to each other for our Spa Mani/Pedis, and Lo cracked me up by changing her mind about the color/design of her nails about 25 times. She ultimately decided on a dragonfly for each of her big toes. I finally relented and let the manicurist sell a French manicure to me on both my hands and feet, so the colors I picked had been a waste of time, though it was fun. Lo and I were amused by the different designs on the feet of the staff. The manager had alternating black/white toes with polka dots of white/black, respectively. My manicurist had a different color on each toenail, which matched her very colorful bracelet. They showed Lo a little pallette of nail design samples, which were really cool, and I might try one of those another time, like maybe the palm tree. The design on my toes is a little half-flower which, with the French manicure, is pretty and summery. My hands have a little line of glitter underneath the french tips. I keep staring at the sparklies. Everyone there was very nice, and they did a very nice job on our nails, and our hands and feet are nice and moisturized from the spa treatments. (Yes, Cindy and Jenn, I knew how much I'd be spending before getting into the massage chair).
Afterward, we enjoyed a yummy dinner at Tokyo Wako, where Lo had Fresh Water Eel sushi for the first time, and found it tasty. We also tried the Firecracker Roll, which was spicy and flavorful. Their tempura was perfectly done, and the chicken yakisoba was a good balance to the fried and spicy foods.
We had thought of going to see a movie afterward, too, but I was tired and needed rest, so we called it a day. Of course, since Brighton was still open, I just HAD to introduce that store to Lo before we went home.
Thanks, Lo, for the great evening! I hope that the polish on our nails lasts a long time, at least for a few weeks!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The theater was showing the movie on 9 screens, and it was also showing "Mamma Mia," but "The Dark Knight" is much more an event movie, and it seems that plenty of theaters were selling out their midnight screenings, since the take for that showtime nationwide was more than $18 milion alone. My goodness. I'd never seen the lines to the concessions stands there be so long, nor had I seen such inefficiency. There was a sign at the stands that said that due to the Gotham curfew, concessions would stop selling at 12:20 a.m., but patrons could come back for refills. They must have been banking on the fact that not only are their cups already huge, but nobody would probably want to leave such an exciting movie. Not that soda costs them more than a nickel anyway.
So on with my thoughts about "The Dark Knight":
- Christian Bale is Drool-worthy. YUM. Again. He's even drool-worthy when he's all bruised up.
- Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker has got to be the best-played villain EVER. He scared me, he made me laugh, he kept me in suspense, he just outright...killed.
- Loved that motorcycle-thing that came out of Batman's self-destructed vehicle, and loved the wheelie/180 it popped up against that wall.
- Maggie Gyllenhall was a nice recast after Katie Holmes' Rachel. I liked that they kept the character to be strong, instead of just the regular damsel-in-distress.
- If anyone ever tells me that they're going to do a magic trick with a pencil, I'm going to stay the hell away from that person until after they've said their "Ta Da!"
- Aaron Eckhart did a good job as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. That other half of his face was icky, though. I know that it was supposed to be, but I wish that he had at least agreed to a LITTLE bit of skin grafting. Sheesh.
- I love the way that Alfred watches after Bruce.
- Likewise with Lucius.
- Liked seeing Anthony Michael Hall make a return to the movies.
- I definitely want to see this movie on the big screen again...maybe on IMAX next time, since some scenes were shot particularly for that format.
- I really wonder how the sequel would be had Heath lived to portray his character again, even if only in a cameo. The performance, and the movie, sure lived up to the hype.
- Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana na! BATMAN!!!! Thanks, Christopher Nolan, for enabling my continued love for the Bat. The movie was well worth only getting 2 hours of sleep before going back to work.
So as if I hadn't spent enough time with my friends in a darkened room that day, I agreed to see "Mamma Mia" with them later that same night. Most people, of course, were still going to see "The Dark Knight" since it was still opening day, but the theater screening "Mamma Mia" was quite full as well. I had seen the stage play at the Ahmanson Theater in L.A., and I enjoy ABBA's music, so I knew that I was in for a treat.
- Meryl Streep seemed to have a great time making this movie. At times, she went overboard, but I enjoyed watching her giddiness.
- Pierce Brosnan can't really sing well, but I still like watching Remington/Bond/Gorgeous-British-accent man in just about anything.
- Amanda Seyfried has a BEAUTIFUL voice! I love hearing someone sing that pretty and making a career out of it. Her voice is the reason that I want to get the soundtrack.
- The scenery was gorgeous. It really made me want to go to Greece, not that I'd never wanted to do so before.
- All of the supporting characters were a hoot: "Dot! Dot! Dot!" and the bit with the hairdryer, and the guys spending the day with Sophie made the movie all the more something that one should see with friends, especially if it's a bunch of girlfriends.
- Loved the spandex and the curtain call.
- What a happy, happy movie!
- "Thank You For The Music" is my song. Thanks, Amanda, for keeping it pretty.
So I watched two VERY different types of movies on the 18th. I had a great time at both, and am now looking forward to watching a beloved movie from my high school years later this week.
Shall we play a game? OHHHHH, YEAH!!!!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
New Lyrics on Scott Leonard's site. (Click on Lyric of the Day -- maybe it won't be changed yet by the time y'all read this and go there).
For the new rumored Pella CD, maybe? This is not a song on any of the current CDs.
I'm getting excited! Especially since I'm almost ready for the XRP thang! (I need to go clothes shopping!)
Monday, July 14, 2008
I wanted to take Jenn out for a nice dinner for her birthday, so she took me to this little French place that she had been to recently: Cafe Beaujolais.
The restaurant is located on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, but we got lucky with the parking and found a spot right in front of the place. The restaurant wasn't very crowded, but it did fill up as the evening progressed.
We were served a basket of a French baguette and butter. I would have been happier if the bread was warm, since the butter was cold, but it was still fresh and tasty. As soon as Jenn had mentioned that we would be going to a French restaurant, I immediately remembered that I had been craving escargots, so I ordered those. Jenn only had 1 out of the 8 that were on the plate, but I was happy to oblige and eat the rest of them. I was a little disappointed that the shells weren't there, as half the fun of escargots is trying to look dainty while taking the meat out of the shell. We soaked up the garlic butter with our bread, and it was yummy. Not the best I've had, but that may be due to the fact that the best I've had was also the first time I had escargots, so now I wonder if I just compare every other escargot to that one. That reminds me: I need to get myself back down to Taix again.
Anyway, the very handsome French waiter advised us of the evening's specials, and Jenn and I both ordered the Sole stuffed with Salmon mousse, which was placed atop some sliced potatoes in a type of saffron reduction. The fish was tasty, and I thought that I would enjoy the sauce because I like saffron, but for some reason, I didn't like it. I wasn't really in the mood for the potatoes, probably because they were in the sauce a lot more than the fish was, so I won't make up a comment on those. The vegetables on the side were a half of a tomato with some kind of breading on top (which I should have eaten more of, since I did enjoy it), and a square of some sort of spinach dish, which was good, but I would rather that it had been smaller. The main course serving was larger than I would expect from a French restaurant, and had I enjoyed the sauce, I might have taken home the 1/3 of a portion that I hadn't finished. Jenn said that if I return, I should try the chicken, as she had really enjoyed it the other time she had been there. I've just read the reviews on yelp, and if I'm in the mood for fish again, I'll probably try the halibut.
For dessert, I ordered a mango tart, and Jenn ordered the profiteroles. Mmmmm....that mango tart was tres yummy. The chocolate sauce on the profiteroles was also very good. I decided that I could return and just have escargots and dessert and I'd be happy. I'd probably also be happy because all of the waiters speak with a French accent and are gorgeous. Other than the always-stimulating conversation that Jenn and I had, the other best part of the night was when all of the waiters sang "Bon Anniversaire" to a woman (she was celebrating her birthday with a bunch of her girlfriends), and our view of the scene was the waiters'....ummm....backsides. We were happy girls. We didn't really need them to sing the song to Jenn, but now that I think of it, we would then have been right next to their...fronts. Ahem.
Anyway, I would return to Cafe Beaujolais, but am also curious about the breakfast place nearby, Petit Beaujolais. Perhaps I'll try that place before going back to the cafe, because I'm more of a breakfast kind of gal.
Bon Anniversaire, mon amie Jenn! Merci beaucoup pour le soir amusant!
1712 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Reservations recommended for weekends: (323)255-5111
Parking on Street
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So when I saw that Steve Carell would be playing the character of Agent 86 in "Get Smart," I shouted a triumphant "YES!!!!!" I have always enjoyed the TV series "Get Smart," so being excited about seeing SC in the movie version should be no surprise. I was supposed to go see this movie on opening weekend, but other stuff got in the way, so I was finally able to watch it last night.
- The theater was full and people were sitting on the floor so that they could sit together instead of away from their parties.
- Loved all the old props, like the cone of silence, the shoe phone, and the little red car, which, of course, had no gas in the tank, since it really should have just been sitting in the museum.
- Anne Hathaway has awesome clothes, even when not wearing Prada.
- Anne Hathaway also has great gams. Wow! The slit on that dress was amazing.
- Loved the Barbara Feldon wig.
- That dance duel was hilarious.
- So was this. Alan Arkin: "Were you thinking, 'Holy S***! Holy S***! Holy S***! A swordfish almost went through my head!'? If so, then yes!"
- Loved the expressions on Bruce's and Lloyd's faces when they were trying to look mean for the cameras.
- Zod/Jor-El is in KAOS!
- Dwayne Johnson is damn manly, and I'd be afraid to piss him off if there was a stapler in the room.
- Bill Murray in a tree. When does Agent 13 get to go to the bathroom?
- Bernie Koppel! The original Siegfried!!! I was sitting next to very young people whom, I think, only laughed at that part because I was so enjoying this cameo that I couldn't stop giggling. Of course, it may have been funny anyway, but I couldn't hear half of what he said because I was giggling so much.
- Where in L.A. is Highway 27?!
- Loved the human touch while Max was dealing with the big Russian KAOS guy.
- I couldn't wait to see whom they got for this part: Hymie. (Played on TV by Dick Gautier). Patrick Warburton is such the perfect casting, as was pretty much the rest of the actors.
- Also loved that the combination to the doors was the theme music to the TV show.
So I was not disappointed at all. I was really happy to see that the movie was dedicated to Don Adams and Edward Platt.
I'll be buying this DVD when it comes out ... and LOVING it. :)
Friday, July 4, 2008
While the scores were being tabulated, Bro yelled, "Kenji!" and the guy turned around, so we went up to him to catch up. It was nice to see him, and I took a pic of him and girlfriend Liz to send to Angela, his high-school sweetheart. In turn, he'll get a link to Ang's pic with new baby Tyler.
66.60 Velvet Knights
74.50 Blue Devils B
72.60 Pacific Crest
80.20 Santa Clara Vanguard
82.20 Blue Devils
BD was told "the field is yours," and the man behind Bro said, "Do they get to take the field home, too?" Cute.
The pit ensemble played a really cool piece that featured the marimbas, drum kit and tympani. Then the bass lead yelled, "Blue Devils Contra Line: Bring It Down, Baby!" and the corps did their F-tuning thing. Yay! F-tuning! They then played excerpts from their show. I was disappointed that they didn't play the whole thing, and I would have loved to hear them play their anthem, since PC had done much more the night before. Rudy got all confused when I kept saying what PC did, and I had to explain to him that the encores are pre-set, so it's not always the winner from that night's show. We saw Mike and I introduced him to the guys, then made our way home.
Drum Corps mania has surely begun. I'm having withdrawals from not seeing a show for 5 days. Tonight should be fun at the Rose Bowl!