Monday, June 30, 2008

A full review of WALL-E

Ok, so I've had some time to fully digest Pixar's latest money-maker and I have to say, I just LOVE this movie. While I don't want to give the entire plot and all of the awesome things this movie encompasses away (ya know, just in case you might want to go see it for yourselves), I will cover a few things that really stood out for me:

Despite being marketed towards kids, trust me when I say that this is NOT a kid's movie. Because there is no dialog until much later in the movie, one must possess a relatively mature understanding of non-verbal human emotion (as displayed by an animated robot) to really grasp the early events. DJC and I were surrounded by kids who were constantly asking their parents what was going on. Pixar did a brilliant job of imparting human feelings and emotive expressions onto a non-human object...the kids knew that WALL-E was sad, they just didn't know why.

Because there was very little verbal communication initially, Pixar relied largely on the fact that people could relate to how WALL-E was "feeling" (lonely, sad, longing for companionship) to draw viewers in. Funny thing here is that unlike Forrest Gump, I knew I was being manipulated by WALL-E's love for music, the movie "Hello Dolly" and his desire to hold hands and feel loved and I just didn't care. Good thing, too. The wonderful love story would have been very difficult to believe had I not been totally emotionally invested in WALL-E and his desire to be with EVE at all costs. I also loved that WALL-E's only Earthly friend was a cockroach that lived in the still-soft center of a Twinkie. Brilliant.

Another thing that normally annoys me about movies or music or anything, really, is lack of originality. WALL-E borrows heavily from several movies and books, and oddly enough, I'm OK with it. Pixar took elements of everything from Neuromancer's Freeside pleasure space station (as the inspiration for Axiom), to The Little Mermaid, Ariel, and her cave of human treasures (the similarities between this and WALL-E's home are pretty damn blatant), to actually using the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey during at time in the movie where the "Captain" of the Axiom realizes that the auto-pilot has actually been running the ship under secret orders for 700 years. This last one should have really bugged me, but instead, I found the timing of the music to be perfect. Pixar really thought about every little thing in this movie. And it just worked.

I think I will need to see WALL-E again to catch all the subtleties, because the movie is laced with them. At the end of the day, despite what some people (my parents...they hated it!) are saying, I really liked everything about this flick and I can't recommend it enough. It's totally imaginative and wonderfully entertaining with amazing animation. Go. See. Love. =)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A VERY brief movie review: WALL-E

OMG, LOVED IT! In the near future, I will post a full review that includes the following:

*Axiom's similarity to Freeside from William Gibson's novel Neuromancer

*The similarity between WALL-E and Johnny 5 from the 80's movie Short Circuit (although that's probably been covered already by, well, everyone)

*Pixar tackling the tough, non-kid friendly topic of what it makes humans (and robots) human

*Ariel's (from The Little Mermaid) cave of human treasures and how it compares to WALL-E's "house" and his collection

*All of the wonderfully clever "2001: A Space Odyssey" references

*The endearing love story that actually made me cry. LOL. I know!

So yeah, I'll be back soon and we'll discuss. In the meantime, GO SEE THIS MOVIE. You won't be disappointed...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SYTYCD needs something Tabitha, Napoleon and Sonya!

From a seemingly endless sea of mediocrity (read: last night's SYTYCD) comes this gem:

(Note: let the whole thing load and then skip to about 2:34. That's where the dancing starts. Up until that point, its all fluff and frou-frou. Thanks again to kelxk3l!)

And not a moment too soon, either! Even though I hate this song with the fire of a thousand suns, I am totally in love with this piece. And up until it came along, it was the only one of the night I really felt belonged on the show. I was worried that every dance from last night's show was going to totally fall flat and leave me feeling "meh". Chelsie and Mark brought tons of emotion to Tabitha and Napoleon's solid choreography, making it the best dance of the night for me.

It's weird. I don't know what's up with this season, but so far, I can only remember two or three really great numbers. Making the AMAZING dancers look even more amazing should be a slam dunk. I know I'm not gonna win any popularity contests by saying this, but I have to look at the choreographers. Case in point: Normally solid Tyce Diorio cranked out a lackluster, nay, boring number to Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People". I LOVE that song. I wanted the choreography to hit hard. It didn't. I wanted it to be raw and intense and dirty, like the song. It was none of those things. I was bummed. And, so help me, if I have to see one more Doriana Sanchez disco number, I might give up on the show all together.

I did, however, enjoy new choreographer Sonya Tayeh's contemporary effort. Quirky. Interesting. New. Unique. All of those things are what the show needs now. In it's fourth season, the producers can't expect us to still be wowed by the same disco number that we saw in season one.

There are a million awesome new choreographers out there that I'm sure would love to be a part of SYTYCD. If a fifth season is to be, the producers need to find these people and beg and plead for them to lend their talents to the show. Otherwise, I fear that the public will get tired of seeing the same dances again and again. I know I'm already half-way there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

T-minus 7 days and counting...

That's right. Exactly one week from today marks the day that I will begin my new job. No details this time around, but I will be doing something very similar to what I was doing previously...just with cooler people, and in a field that I actually know something about and am genuinely interested in. YAY!

It's funny...while I was sitting around in my pajamas, slippers and glasses for the last three months, I was SUPER stressed out about everything and never really enjoyed all the free time I had. Now that I can see an end to it all, I am loving the days where I have nothing to do.

Arvay had a good point when she mentioned that I'd probably enjoy the upcoming days the most because there is now an end to all the nothingness. And she's right. I can totally zone out in front of the cubcam for inordinate amounts of time without feeling guilty about not working on my resume or searching for jobs (as an aside, they are possibly the cutest things I have ever seen...EVAR! Complete and total cuteness overload!). I went to see a movie the other day, by myself, in the middle of the day, and I was able to enjoy it. DeKap and I are having a leisurely lunch tomorrow and then going to see Kung Fu Panda.

And while I'm really looking forward to my new job, it's all good. I'll be a slave to the man again soon enough. For now, I'm gonna enjoy the day...and go shopping for new clothes! Woot!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Possibly NSFW, but freaking *hilarious* nonetheless...

Blogger has had me locked out for most of the day, so I apologize for not sharing this with you all earlier. All I have to say is God bless the Fail Blog for this.

My sides hurt from laughing.

That is all. =D

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday night beats at The Greek

DJC snagged a pair of tickets to this concert tonight a while ago. I've seen Thievery's live set one time (it was at Booby Skye...ick), and despite the whack venue and lame crowd, I was totally blown away. I'm so excited to see them again at an amazing place like Berkeley's Greek Theater (It's far enough away from the freaky tree-sitters...thank goodness!). And with Bebel Gilberto opening up, this should be one hell of a good show. Her sound is part silky smooth bossa nova beats with a side of airy Portuguese vocals. Perfect for a warm Friday night under the stars...

In case you're not familiar with the music, I threw together this little playlist for ya'll. Enjoy!

Happy Friday! =)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So You Think You Can Decide For Yourself? The producers of SYTYCD aren't so sure.

The vertigo has got me all but sidelined lately, so blogging may be a little light for a few days. When the world stops spinning at warp speed and I can release my death-grip on the ground, I'll be back. But until I can climb off this ride I did not choose to get on in the first place, let's talk about something for a second....

(Note: I swear this is not a SYTYCD blog...the same way I swear that this is not a hockey blog during hockey season! LOL!)

Did anyone watch last night's SYTYCD? Did you catch the Jean-Marc Genereaux piece dedicated to his disabled daughter? Anyone feel manipulated again? No idea what I'm talking about? Allow me to explain...

Movies like Forrest Gump were done the way they were to completely manipulate the audience's emotions such that, whether you liked it or not, you were rooting for Forrest by mid-movie. We're only human , after all. But then, if you actually thought about the movie as a whole after the fact, you realized that Hollywood played you. Like an expertly played guitar. Those douchebags that made Forrest Gump told you *exactly* how you should feel while watching their silly little movie, and even worse, you felt it (or at least I did)! For that reason alone, I hate Forrest Gump. People that talk about what a wonderful story it is and how they felt uplifted at the end make me laugh.

Now, enter Mia Michaels's piece from last year's SYTYCD that she choreographed for her recently deceased father (Actually, the piece was supposed to be what meeting her father in heaven would be like). At the time, I found the whole thing very moving. But the next day, I found it to be contrived. Like the producers *knew* that whoever performed Mia's piece, be it two dancing bums from the street or Lacey and Neil, would receive a tremendous amount of votes and remain in the competition. And as for Mia, good intentions...poor execution. I think she chose the wrong stage to present her vision to the world, that's all. I felt manipulated and damn near compelled to pick up the phone and vote. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Last night, Jean-Marc took a swing at this idea with his piece for Kherington and Twitch. His daughter is severely disabled and finds joy in watching others move. The story alone broke my heart. But it didn't take me long to realize that Jean-Marc's piece was different. Unlike Mia's number, Jean-Marc's actually contained a fair amount of dancing. On it's own merits, story or not, I thought it was beautiful. I'd enjoy watching it again and again. I can't say I felt the same way about Mia's dance. But I did feel the same amount of manipulation initially and that sucks.

I don't want SYTYCD to turn into my personal Forrest Gump. I don't want to hate it. But when the judges and choreographers are all but cramming their opinions on how you should feel and who you should vote for down your throats, it's hard to remain objective. They know who they want to win. And they're very clever about making sure you know it, too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spins and hang-ups

I've had a rough day so far. Last night, an extremely annoying, high-pitched buzzing sound started (source unidentified as of yet) across the street and has not yet stopped. The background noise of the daily goings on has all but drowned it out, but I can still hear it. It made sleeping last night *very* difficult.

While tossing and turning at around 5am, I had one of the worst episodes of vertigo I've had in a long time. Normally, I can stop the spinning by focusing my eyes and just trying to relax. But, it was dark and I had no visual reference points. So, I freaked...which, of course, totally made it worse. Thank goodness for DJC's ability to snap out of a deep sleep and calm me down. I totally blame the high-pitched buzzing for triggering the return of my vertigo. That's fair, right? LOL.

Anyways, I popped a wussy 2mg valium to quell the spinning and set up a little couch fort. A program called "Journey into Amazing Caves" on the MOJO channel (LOVE, btw!) kept me occupied until the valium kicked in. Then, no matter how I fought it, I had to sleep. I crashed until about 10am, when I awoke to the same high-pitched buzzing. I've been extremely groggy, grumpy and fuzzy-headed ever since.

So, it is any surprise that I hung up on a telemarketer from the Police Officers Union who tried to get money out of me to support the families of fallen officers? Is that wrong? I wouldn't have answered the phone at all had I not been expecting a call from my future employer to discuss my start date. And yet, I feel kinda bad for hanging up. But damn it, I've had a tough day and I thought it was someone else calling!

Damn telemarketers. That is all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Awesomest Convo EVAR!

On Friday night, DJC and I were sitting outside at Fenton's enjoying the largest "single" scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch known to man (It was more like four scoops), when I heard a female voice say:

"I love it when she says, 'It's your....jiddges!', Hee- hee! Jiddges!" According to DJC, her boyfriend couldn't have been less interested.

My head snapped around and I immediately struck up a conversation with this random Cat Deeley lover and HUGE fan of SYTYCD. We discussed our early favorite dancers (we both love Will), which numbers we liked, and whether or not the "jiddges" sent the correct people home. We continued to chatter away, while our respective boyfriends looked on in astonished wonderment. I had no idea who this person was, and yet she and I carried on and on about our favorite show like we'd known each other for years.

Eventually, the couple's pager lit up to indicate their table was ready and they headed inside. I'm not usually one to strike up a conversation with strangers, but such is my obsession with SYTYCD that I couldn't help myself. Actually, I think it's great that two strangers can share a pleasant conversation over a TV show. SYTYCD unites the masses! YAY!

(Oh, and the ice cream was some of the best we've ever had from Fenton's. If you're in the area and in need of something sweet and perfect, you *must* go!)

My mom and I also had an interesting conversation about the show as well. At last night's BBQ, the subject of the first round dismissal of Rayvyn and Jamie came up again. She had an excellent point when she said that she doesn't think *anyone* should be eliminated in the first week. It's just too soon and we (the viewers) really don't get to know enough about the dancers and what they're capable of (since we didn't see most of them during the Vegas auditions). Even though this is the 4th season that I've been watching the show, I'd never thought of that. But, as always, my ma's right. I'd like to see at least one week of performances from the newly formed couples before anyone gets eliminated.

Regardless of the flawed format, I love that my mom calls me on Wednesday night to talk about the dances. Then she calls me on Thursday to discuss the eliminations. I think it's great that, despite the generational gaps that exist between my mother and myself, we can still find some common TV ground that keeps us in contact. Hooray for SYTYCD!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I have nothing entertaining or remotely engaging to say today. So, in the interest of keeping it brief and not rambling on and on, I want to wish all the dads who happen to drop by today a Happy Father's Day on Sunday. And for everyone else...HAPPY FRIDAY! =)

Enjoy your weekend! Catch ya back here soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Boob Tube: Updated!

Ok, so I know we have LOTS to discuss in the world of television, but I've got another interview this morning and will not be able to cover all the delicious stuff until later. But...

On SYTYCD, the top 20 performed for the first time. I have the beginning DVR'd because I missed about 40 minutes. What I did see, though, I loved. Chelsie Hightower and Matt...just beautiful. Here's their performance from last night to keep you entertained until I get back:

(thanks kelxk3l!)

We also have the Top Chef finale and winner to discuss. PLEASE don't post anything about this yet, as I have not watched it! God bless the DVR.

I'll be back soon! In the meantime, wish me luck! =)


The interview went very well. I rewarded myself with a huge plate of chicken mole, rice and beans from my fave place near home and a serious veg-fest in front of the TV with last night's SYTYCD and Top Chef. Where to start?

I think its safe to assume that if your name is Courtney (or Kourtni) or Chelsea (or Chelsie), life on SYTYCD will be pretty good for you this season. It's also safe to say that if you answer to Chelsea, or any derivation thereof, you will have *ri-goddamn-diculously* long, amazing legs that will become the focus of any dance choreographed for you. I, for one, applaud the choreographers that will exploit this.

It's entirely too early in the season to pick favorites, but so far, I am totally loving EVERYONE. Seriously, there wasn't a single number from last night's show that I didn't love or enjoy on some level. There's a ton of talented dancers with with personality for miles. I was a little scared after the abysmal Vegas auditions, but in fine SYTYCD style, the producers have definitely saved the best dancing for the main show. YAY! Make sure to catch the results show tonight to see who gets the boot first...

As for Top SNOOZEFEST. Listen, I'm glad a female finally won (Go Stephanie!), but my goodness, the finale was about as bland as the pork belly Richard served for his third course. Where was the drama, the scandal, the tampering with other chef's oven temperatures?! Last night's final episode, for all intents and purposes, consisted of nothing more than three people cooking. And from what the judges had to say, not cooking particularly well, either. Blah.

At least Hell's Kitchen is still exciting. I swear, I could listen to Gordon Ramsay curse at the prospective chefs all day long. And next time someone I know really blows it, I'm not gonna hesitate to call him or her a "DONKEY" in my best British accent. That's good TV, right there.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Is it wrong that I've spent more time watching these little guys than I have doing anything else today? I know I'm supposed to be writing and finishing the scary questions (two down, one to go!), but I seriously cannot take my eyes off of the four little cubs and their mother. Because I've let my foreign language skills slip, I don't know how old they are or even where they are, but man, they're CUTE. And cute little cats = one hell of a distraction for me right now.

I need to close the window. They'll still be there when I finish what I need to do. But what if I miss them playing or yawning or getting knocked over when their mother cleans them or just being, well, cute?

You see my dilemma, here.


Here's what my friends like to do sometimes...ya know, just for fun:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sometimes, when I walk by an open window in my house, I think to myself, "MY GOD IN HEAVEN! What is it that my neighbors are cooking and why does it smell! YEEEIICHH!!!"

That is all.

The to-do list

I'm fairly certain I've never been this sore. I've been attending group exercise classes at my new gym for a week now. I've tried everything from Patricia's BODYPUMP to moon-child Kim's BODYFLOW hippieness to Amelia's CORE Challenge and Chisel to Bryce's 6 Pack Abs (note: although those first two classes may look lame, trust me, they are NO JOKE. And Bryce...yeah, adorable blond girl with the heart of a drill sergeant who kicked my ass!). I honestly had no freaking idea how out of shape I was. Luckily, a week's worth of these classes has made it painfully clear. I hurt, folks. Holy hell, do I hurt. I did feel encouraged, though, when I saw that I could complete Bryce's abs class better than the two *shredded* young baseball-looking guys behind me last night. They whined the whole time. And mercifully, Bryce did not sing along to the horrible music (I had to endure Patricia's rendition of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" during my first BODYPUMP experience. As much as my shoulders hurt, my soul hurt more). Word has it that BODYJAM classes are on the way. Woot! Dancing for cardio? Count me in..although right now, I'm too sore to even sit here and type.

First thing on my to-do list for today: STRETCH! And for God's sake, take a day off. It's OK. Really.

Next up: Complete (or start!) the three open-ended online questions for a position I applied for over 10 days ago. Why'd I wait so long, you ask? Well, the job description stated that the job was based in Sunnyvale, while the first multiple-choice "interview" question stated that job was located in Irvine. After I poked and prodded the recruiter, I finally found out that the position is indeed based in Sunnyvale. So, now I've gotta get my shit together and compose some very intelligent, articulate answers ASAP. Each question has a 4000 character limit. Jesus, that should about do it. If it's verbosity they want, I'll be more than happy to accommodate them!

Once I start writing, I'll be OK, but its so difficult to just get going. It's like skydiving...once I get out of the plane, I'm fine, but getting to the door is where I get hung up sometimes.

Problem is that I do some of my best thinking during exercise and I really need a day to recover. Maybe I could handle some autopilot time on a stationary bike and still be able to walk afterwards. Hmmm...

Monday, June 9, 2008


In Chinese numerology, the number eight is considered to be especially lucky, and sounds similar to the words for "wealth" and "good fortune". Seeing as that the Olympics will be held in Beijing this year, it's no surprise that the date set for the opening ceremonies is August 8th, 2008, or 8am. A little under two months away. I cannot wait!

I watched WAAAAY more gymnastics this past weekend than I have in months. The fact that insanely muscular, incredibly skilled short people are being televised at all is a sign of good things to come. Inspirational commercials for the Olympics meant to evoke emotion have begun to flood the airwaves as well. Some might view them as cheesy, but as some of you (BT) know, I have a long-standing love affair with them. Here's how it all began...

Picture it: Two moderately dehydrated girls, who overdosed on sun earlier and had shared one single beer, sitting entirely too closely together on the couch trying not to look ridiculous after the McDonald's Olympic track commercial had made them both teary-eyed. True story! (Note: we laughed at each other and ourselves, and then made fun of the weight-lifting competition that was taking up time in between the interesting sports...right up until we totally got into it and cheered loudly for the Bulgarian entrant in the clean-and-jerk.)

So you understand where my love for these commercials comes from. I just love sports. All sports. And pretty much anything related to sports. Visa has been running their Olympic "Go World" campaign spots lately and I think they're great:

If I remember correctly, BT and I cried after we saw Keri Strug complete her vault, too (Man, there was a lot of crying that summer!). It was one of the great Olympic moments on it's own merits. But I love Visa's take on it, too. Love the gold treatment of the footage. LOVE Morgan Freeman's narration. It gave me that same lump in my throat and those same goose bumps all over again.

Unfortunately, I cannot find my favorite of these commercials. It features Derek Redmond and his father in the 1992 Olympics. I remember watching the events unfold live and getting all emotional and teary. Visa's commercial gave me the same feelings. When I find it, I'll post it.

So, thanks go out to Visa for highlighting some of the most amazing moments in sports and reminding me of how much I love the Olympic games. Two months to go!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Serious opinions needed!

I have an interview tomorrow. While that's certainly a good thing, I'm kinda freaking out about what to wear. Ok, that's not entirely true...I've chosen a black pin-striped pants suit, with a gunmetal gray top underneath. What's stressing me out is the footwear.

My previous employer...let's just say she didn't feel any of the shoes I chose to wear to work were "appropriate". And for those of you who know me, I am a designer shoe whore. It's not like I was wearing flip-flops or Crocs, for God's sake! But despite my discerning taste in footwear, she wasn't feeling it. So, I'm a little worried about my shoe choice for tomorrow. I'm being interviewed by a man, who most likely wouldn't notice if I showed up in Aqua Socks, but I don't want to make the same mistake again. I need opinions. I need help.

So, what say you, people of the interwebs? I have several choices to run by you:

Option #1: Closed toe, patent leather Mary Janes with red heel. Fairly conservative, no?

Next we have these:

Closed toe, aubergine patent leather d'orsays, with gunmetal bow. A little less conservative because the inside is open. But I have a necklace with the same color in it that would look dope with the suit...

I don't have a pic of the third option and DJC is not home to take one for me! But they're a gunmetal patent leather pump with a peep-toe. It's the peep-toe thing that has me second guessing these. They'd look great with what I've chosen to wear, but is it unprofessional to show one's toes? I used to think that toes were not a bad thing, but after my last experience with the footwear-nazi, I'm not so sure.

And now, I pose the ultimate question: Stockings or not? This one keeps me up at night, people. Seriously. I hate the idea of knee-highs almost as much as I hate country music or onions, and I just don't know what to do here. Help!!

Any and all opinions are welcome. Interview slated for tomorrow morning at 9am. Wish me luck!!

Straight through to Vegas? Seriously?!

So, ok. By now, you should all know I possess an unnatural love for SYTYCD and all things dance in general (Dancing With the Stars excepted). But here's my beef with this season's auditions thus far: They took close to 200 dancers to the next round in Las Vegas, and honestly, we've seen maybe a handful of those people. Who are they? What's their story? We want to see them!!

I don't know how other viewers feel, but personally, I don't need to see all the poor souls that Fox feels the need to exploit because they believe all humans are Schadenfreuds. Some of those people, I truly felt bad for. I know that Nigel Lithgoe is behind both American Idol and SYTYCD, so it makes sense that the same formula is applied to both shows. But, more than ever, this season's SYTYCD auditions seem to be going the way of Idol, where only the heinous people get air time, because they're considered "good TV". And I understand that once a show gains a certain amount of popularity, as Idol and SYTYCD have, strange folks will come out of the woodwork to try to get on TV. But, I fell in love with SYTYCD because it used to avoid that type of shameless ratings-whoring, and now...well...*sigh*. It kinda leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Before getting to the actual Milwaukee auditions, last night's two hour show started out with several dancers who did make it through to the next round from previous cities. Why they weren't included the first time around is anyone's guess. This look back also gave me the distinct impression that there just wasn't enough content, good or bad, to fill the two hour slot. Boy, was I right. There was a whole lotta "meh". Some great, some terrible, but most were right in between. And if you've ever watched the show before, you know the "meh" doesn't usually fly. But, for whatever reason, so-so dancer after so-so dancer made the cut, snatched their ticket to Vegas, and ran out of the auditorium before the judges realized their mistake. Even DJC commented on how "blah" everyone seemed and how surprised he was at how frequently tickets to Vegas were dished out.

This is not to say that everyone featured last night was underwhelming. There were flashes of brilliance from time to time. Take, for instance, Cooper Zamorano. I literally got chills:

I hope to see him in the Top 20, which is revealed during another two-hour bonanza tonight. I was also left wanting more of Kourtni Lind and Evan Kasprzak. Now that all the riff-raff has been weeded out, hopefully the level of talent Fox chooses to display will pick up a little. Because after last night, it can't much more boring or bland. I invite the SYTYCD faithful to throw their two cents in...

Will what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas? Stay tuned! =)

(again, word to Kelxk3l for uploading the clips!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Core Challenge and Therapy

A few days ago, I joined my local gym for their free June promotion, because as much as I loooooove running (read: not at all), I find that I am lacking the motivation and discipline to do it more than a few times a week. Maybe that's because I hate every mile. Hmmm...

Anyways, I took my first group class yesterday afternoon. At only thirty minutes long, it seemed fairly innocuous. The name of the class should have clued me in to the fact that it'd be anything but. Foolishly, I chose to enter the world of Amelia's CORE Challenge. Maybe it's just me, but when I am lying on my back, with my shoulders off of the ground, hands outstretched over my head, and an oversized exercise ball between my knees, the last thing I need to hear is bubbly Amelia singing along to "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard", but that's a story for another time...

I've had lower back problems since I was a teenager. I've always attributed these problems to weak core musculature. For a while, when I had several hours a day to devote to exercise, I was doing pretty well. I felt strong, tight and thin. Of course, BT will tell you that I was also a sucky person because I wasn't really eating, but again, that's a story for another time...

After yesterday, I'm not so proud to announce that my core muscles are still weak and VERY sore today. Every time I take a breath, I am reminded that I need to go to this class every damn time it's offered. (OMG, I just sneezed twice in a row! Holy bloody F*CK!) Core strength is important for those with chronic back issues, and clearly, I need to work on it.

DeKap and I are supposed to run the Alta Plaza steps later today. Eeek.

On another, more positive note, when I do manage to get off my arse and run, I am LOVING the sounds of Therapy Sessions Volume 4 mixed by Limewax. I know DJC will cringe when I say this, but I'm totally impressed with Limewax, both as a DJ and a producer. He's only 20 and has consistently cranked out amazing tracks and mixsets since he was a teenager. His style continues to push drum n' bass forward and keep it current. Anyways, Therapy Sessions: It's dark, rough, and gets the adrenaline flowing when I need it. I am especially loving SPL's unreleased "Reckoning". MAN, that track pumps me up! I know hard dnb is tough sell with most readers here, but if you're in the mood for something different, find this one. It's siiiiiick!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday morning couch potato report

MAN, the Pittsburgh Penguins sure made it interesting last night! Going in to Game 4, they trailed the Detroit Red Wings three games to one. Detroit had every opportunity to win the best-of-seven series (and the CUP!!) at home in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans. And with mere seconds left on the clock in the third period and the scoreboard reading Detroit 3 Pittsburgh 2, it looked like Lord Stanley's Cup was all but theirs.

But then, Maxime Talbot hacked and hacked and finally snuck the puck by the Wings' netminder to tie the game with just :35 left on the clock. Detroit tried, but time expired. I cheered. Loudly. DJC wasn't down with all the ruckus I had created.

Overtime, here we come... x3. Yep, that's right, TWO full 20-minute overtime periods and a little over ten minutes of a third. Ugh.

Both teams looked exhausted and totally beat. But the Pens...they looked worse. Case in point:

That's Ryan Malone taking a puck to the face. In super tough-guy styleee, though, Malone would return only minutes later. Sergei Gonchar took a heinous hit in the second period and didn't return until the final seconds of the third overtime, and Evgeni Malkin...who knows what happened to that guy. He was on the ice for most of the game, but based on his lackluster performance, you'd never know it (well, minus his assist on the GWG, that is).

Top honors of the night go to Sidney "One Man Wrecking Crew" Crosby and Petr "Call The Shot" Sykora, who actually did call his shot. In between the second and third overtime, he was interviewed and said that he would be the guy to step up and score the game winner. He was gonna be the hero. And he was. With assists from Malkin and Gonchar, who stepped on the ice solely for that power play, Sykora slammed a beauty by Wings' goalie Osgood FTW! Final score after five and a half periods of hard-core play: Pens 4, Red Wings 3. I cheered more, but not as loudly as I did the first time. ;)

Both teams displayed heart last night and never gave up. The officiating was terrible, with pretty much all the calls going the Pens' way. I felt like the officials were saying, "Here, Pittsburgh, we want you to have the game. We're gonna make some seriously crappy calls so you can win! Here! Take it! We're giving it to you!" And the Pens responded by saying, "Nooooo, it's OK. We don't want it. No, no, no!", but then a funny thing happened. The Pens started to look like they *did* want it. And they kept their legs moving and caused Detroit to take more silly penalties. And in the end, they prevailed to force a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh.

It was an epic playoff game. This is what Stanley Cup hockey is all about. Detroit has only one more game to win before the Cup is theirs for another year, but I am feel like after last night's amazing win, the Pens have the momentum. They have to win two more in a row. Can they do it? Stay tuned...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beers I enjoy

I figured I'd do a short post about this because, even though I don't really like beer anymore, there are still some out there that are worth mentioning. I used to really like beer. I don't know what happened, but as I've gotten older, I've totally lost my taste for most beer. Plus, I just feel so full after a few and then I end up sick. But never fear...there are still a few I enjoy:

1. Chimay Red. DJC brought a bottle of this home one night, and seeing as that he loves hoppy, bitter IPAs that upon smelling, cause me to make the icky-beer face, I thought this was just another in the long line of beers I would hate. I was so wrong. It's a little more carbonated than I would have liked, but overall, very drinkable and totally tasty. DeKap and I tore through a big bottle of the Triple Cinq Cents at lunch a while back. Decent, but a bit on the hoppy side for my taste. I'll stick with the Red.

2. 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. Because of the dark color, I was sure I would hate this beer. Again, I was totally wrong. Don't let the blackness fool you. This beer is not nearly as bitter as it looks. Actually, its not bitter at all. Its very creamy and malty, clean and refreshing. Surprisingly good.

3. Xingu Black Beer. The snobs at Beer Advocate are exceptionally harsh and take their beers *very* seriously, so a grade of "B" for this one is not bad. Again, another black beer that scared me at first because it's literally the color of dirty motor oil. But the taste...heaven. So light, smooth and pleasing. Definitely a good sunny day beer. I could easily put down at least three in a sitting, which is totally saying something for me! ;)

4. Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. I first tried this on tap at the Anderson Valley Brewery in Boonville, and I was immediately in love. Smooth as buttah, ya'll. Another perfect sunny day beer. In fact, DJC and I snagged a six-pack and then consumed them all on a beach near Mendocino while basking in the sun. So. Nice.

5. Alleycat Amber. This one's a bit out of bounds for my tastes, but I still like it nonetheless. Funny how something I thought I'd hate based on its smell ends up being one of my favorite libations. Very clean, malty flavor. I always get a kick out of the people who say they smell and taste different fruits in beers. Maybe my palate and nose are just not refined enough to pick up the subtle citrus flavors, but maybe those subtle citrus flavors are why I like this beer in the first place. Who knows...

I know Kasper, Dermo and DJC will have LOTS to say about how other beers are better and more advanced and dimensional, and ya know...they might be right. But these five beers happen to be right for *me*. Indulging in them is always a pleasing experience. Hopefully, you've found what's right for you.

Remember, proper glassware and drinking temperature can completely change the taste of certain beers! Until I met DJC, I did had no idea that big, chalice-looking cups actually served a practical purpose! Crazy, huh?!

Happy drinking! =)