January 31, 2011

Haiku Revieu: Country Strong


Country Strong (*** and a 1/2)

Country stars need love
Gwyneth has such pretty hair
Beau is a dream boat

So yes, dear friends, I dragged my poor husband out for a date night on Friday, and took him to dinner followed by coffee and strolling around Barnes and Noble ... and then a viewing of Country Strong. (He actually didn't mind it too terribly, aside from the super awkward parts in the beginning that had him squirming in his seat. What a keeper.)

I didn't expect too much from this movie, because I'd read some pretty so-so reviews. Typically, I don't like to take critics' opinions too much into account—I like to form my own opinions—but I do find it hard to ignore overall ratings. Also, it's a movie about a country star getting out of rehab. Not my typical "must-see."

You all know how much I love the soundtrack, and the music in the film definitely did not disappoint. Garrett Hedlund is adorable—even if his beard was seriously lacking—and I really felt like Gwyneth played the role of Kelly Cantor, said rehabbed country star, really perfectly. Plus, her hair was fantastic throughout the entire movie. Tim McGraw plays smarmy/sweet characters a little too well. And Leighton Meester was cute. Memorable? No. But cute.

Will I run out to get this on DVD the day to comes out? Probably not. But I will definitely DVR it when it eventually plays on HBO.


January 28, 2011

Miscellany

A few random things that don't really warrant their own blogs posts.

I'm thinking of having a giveaway once the blog reaches 50 "official" followers. I know that there might be more than 50 of you out there already, but that's a milestone I can track. Of course, I'd want the giveaway to be open to everyone, not just followers. I'm still pondering on how I'd handle that—perhaps the entries would just be in the comments?—as well as what I'd give away.

Anyone out there have any great thoughts on what kind of items I could pawn off give to someone as a celebratory gesture?

***

How does one go about complementing strangers in a non-creepy way? This morning, I was waiting for coffee with a girl in Starbucks. Said girl had a really adorable coat on, and I wanted to tell her so. I kind of awkwardly sidled up to her and said, "That's an adorable coat." She said thanks and I asked her where she got it. Some small talk ensued, but then we just stood there, a little too close to be comfortable in the silence.

Luckily, my coffee was ready pretty quickly, so I smiled and went about my day.

I felt a bit like a loony after that, but I suppose it wasn't too bad of an exchange. I'm so shy and a bit awkward around people I don't know, so I always fear putting myself out there.

On a similar note, there's a girl who I see each afternoon on my way home from work. She's walking, and I'm driving, so I definitely can't yell out the window that I adore her style without looking like a TOTAL creepster. But I wish there was a way for me to tell her. I like random compliments, and I know that most other people do as well. Missed Connection? Maybe, but I'm not looking for a relationship. I just want to tell someone that I dig them.

I've always had a bit of an issue with new people/making new friends. In college, many of the girls on my dorm floor told me—well after the fact—that their first impression of me was that I was a total bitch. I honestly try not to come off like that any more, but the fact remains that I'm shy, more than a little uncomfortable around new people, and a bit of an introvert when it comes to large social situations.

Guess I just have to push myself to get out of my comfort zone and not worry about the consequences.

***

I got a text this morning from someone who obviously thought they were texting a friend. I sent a reply, which is pretty unusual for me, but the text had a question in it that I'm sure the texter wanted answered. I simply told them that they had a wrong number. In reply, I got an "omg sorry!" I could have just left it at that, but I decided to continue my streak of being nice to complete strangers and texted "No worries. Have a great day!" I hope that Becky, the random texter, does indeed have a great day.

***

Going to the movies tonight, I think, with the Mister. I can't decide what I'd like to see most, and of course, he's left it up to me.

Options, in no particular order:
  • The Green Hornet
  • The King's Speech
  • The Fighter
  • Country Strong
  • True Grit
  • Tangled
  • The Mechanic
  • Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
We haven't been to the the movies in a while, haha. I'm sure Colt will look at this list and tell me which ones he really doesn't want to see, which will help. And I would love to see Country Strong, but I don't know that I want to make him go too. I'm nice like that.

Expect a Haiku Revieu on one of these next week. Which one(s) do you want to see/would suggest?

***
That's a whole lot of text, so I'll leave off with this:


Because it's ... I just ... there really aren't words to describe the cuteness.

Have a great weekend, loves!

January 27, 2011

Nerd News: Hello Kitties, Indian Scifi, Thundercats and more

Vol. 2, Issue 4

Turns out, the move to Friday might actually have been a good thing for Fringe. My fears might be all for naught!

In movie news this week:
The variety of plush dolls available from Neatoshop is pretty amazing. Like these:


I'm thinking, once we eventually have our own house, perhaps a Star Wars bathroom to go with the Star Wars kitchen?

(via)

Colt sent me this video to watch today: The only scifi movie you need to watch for the rest of your life.


Wow.

Not looking to share your actual photo with the world on your Facebook page? Try one of these placeholders.

Thanks to the success of Riese, SyFy's picked up another Web series: The Mercury Men.

In TV news:

Must everything look so anime? I have nothing against the art form, I just know that there are so many other forms of animation, and so many cartoons are being rebooted like this.

I found a lot of really awesome posters this week:

From Olly Moss (Look carefully at this one):

Didja see both Wolverine and Batman?

From Jorge Gonzales:


And from Fro Design:


Love these Hello Kitties. I know I've posted something similar before, but these are new to me.

(via)

This is a pretty epic piece of music (50-something minutes?), and I only listened to a bit before I turned it off, but it's really an interesting idea: The Jurassic Park theme, slowed down 1000 times.

And for those who are interested: Comic Con tickets go on sale--for realsies this time!--Feb. 5.

January 26, 2011

One riff wonder

I was driving home this afternoon and scanning the radio stations for something good to listen to when I ran across a song that brought back a memory I hadn't thought of in a while.

In high school, my junior honors English teacher--yes, I was one of those nerds--started teaching a "beginners guitar" class during lunch. My best friend and I decided that taking this class would be the perfect opportunity to realize our rock star dreams. I had a guitar I'd swiped borrowed from my mom's 5th grade classroom storage that just sat in a closet, unused. I got really excited about the class, but after three or so sessions, I gave up. I just wasn't as good from the start that I'd hoped to be, and I didn't have the passion I needed to practice on my own.

The only thing I learned? The beginning riff from "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple.

As a refresher, or for those of you who've never heard the song:


Easy right?

In college, I thought I'd give it another go, so I bought a guitar off Ebay ... and I'll admit, I based my choice on the fact that the guitar was a gorgeous shade of blue. I sat down with a friend who played guitar really well and tried again to fulfill my rocker dreams. Once again, I gave up pretty soon after we started. Obviously, guitar playing and I just don't mix.

Luckily, I married a man who's more than good at playing guitar. He doesn't really like to play in front of people, but he's gotten comfortable enough with me that he plays in the same room every now and then. It's really sexy; I won't lie. A sense of humor, a beard and guitar-playing ability?* Swoon. He also plays piano, and used to play saxophone. Our future kids lucked out!

I still own the guitar I bought in college, but it's been cannibalized a bit for parts for Colt's guitar, since it's never used. Still a gorgeous shade of blue however:


And here's Colt's:


It lives by the side of the bed, in part because Colt likes to occasionally pick it up before going to sleep and part because it's a handy weapon in case of a break in. (His idea, not mine. I am still fond of the extra-long Maglite.)

Eventually, when we own a house, I'd love to have a place with three or four rooms, so that I can have a craft room/office and Colt can have a music room. I've already got ideas for decorating!

After both failed attempts, I still have aspirations of rock-stardom.

I've always wanted to try the drums ...


*Of course, there are many other things that I love about my Mister. But if I listed it all here, it would just get gross.

January 25, 2011

obsessed.: Castle


If you're not a fan of Castle (shame on you) or haven't yet seen last night's episode, BE WARNED. There be spoilers below.


I've been a fan of Castle from the get-go, as I think Nathan Fillion can pretty much do no wrong. I love the chemistry between Rick and Kate, and the rest of the backing ensemble cast is so fantastic; I'm so glad Ryan and Esposito are getting a little bit more air time this season, and Martha and Alexis are just adorable whenever they show up. The show's a perfect mix of silly and serious.


But ho-ly bajeezus, you guys, last night's episode was beyond good.

The deepening mystery surrounding Kate's mom's murder. Rick admitting to Martha that it's not about the books anymore. Rick taking that dude out. Kate gently fixing Rick's bandage. The fake drunken swagger.

The KISS.


I am so excited to see where it goes from here.

(For some insider info on the "future," check this out.)

January 24, 2011

A big ol' grin


Well, gosh, you guys. I'm kind of blown away by the sweet and thoughtful responses to my last post. I'm so glad that what I had to say resonated with you, and that I actually seemed to make sense. I was away from my computer most of the weekend, but I kept reading your comments on my phone. This sums up my internal reaction to the comments pretty well:

(Happy Sherlock is Happy.)

It's so great to "meet" new people that seem to enjoy the same things I do. I wanted to take the time to respond to each comment individually, but am never sure if people read my responses to comments, so I thought I'd just make a post of general thanks.


If you ever want to get in touch with me outside the comments section, feel free to e-mail me. I love getting ze e-mails, and promise to try and be a responsible replier.

Thanks guys, really.


P.S.-thingsiveseenandheard, since you asked a specific question, check for a reply in the comments of the last post.

January 21, 2011

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

This post has the likelihood of turning out long, self-indulgent and wordy, so if it does, please forgive me/don't say I didn't warn you.

Welcome to the new friends who've found me thanks to the lovely sponsor post Diana of our.city.lights blogged last night! (And thank you, of course, to those of you who've been here for a while for sticking around.)

our.city.lights

Diana's been a real inspiration to me to get better at this whole blogging thing and yet remain true to myself in the process, so it's such an honor to be considered one of her new favorite blogs. (Go visit her, if you haven't.)

Since becoming interested in blogging five or so years ago, I've continually struggled with "finding a fit." I started on Blogger, moved to Wordpress, moved back to Blogger. I've used my name, a nickname, a psuedonym and now a piece of a quote for a blog name. I've made resolutions, broken promises to myself and through it all worried about the number of followers I have, the number of comments I receive, and the (assumed) lack of interest from the blogging community in what I have to say.

There are a lot of blogs out there. A. Lot. I know; my Google Reader's consistently glaring more than 1,000 unread posts. Some bloggers seemingly have it made. They are known. And they are fantastic and totally deserving of what they've achived.

But that annoying little voice inside my head—the one that makes me feel fat when enjoying a delicious meal, ugly when I thought I was wearing a cute outfit, not funny even though I made a good joke—sees these bloggers and wonders why they have what I don't.

In the long run, I know, it comes down to putting the time and hard work in. Commenting and sharing and sponsoring and making connections.

But you know that little voice. It likes to be a nudge. And it's hard not to listen when you're already struggling.

Most popular blogs seem to have an underlying theme. Be it crafts or inspiration or geekery or vintage—the bloggers of these blogs stick to one topic and expand upon it. They then make connections with other bloggers who post similarly. What happens, however, when you are interested in all of these things—and more?

I'm weird. I know this. I revel in this. My tastes are all over the map. I love going to Comic Con and watching SyFy and finding (and sharing) all the dirt on the latest superhero movies. I love curling up with a good book, be that "good" like Twilight or good like 1984. I love pretty flats and purses and dresses and nailpolish and have an unhealthy obsession with Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy eyeshadow. I have more than eight pairs of Chuck Taylors and a massive collection of t-shirts, many of them from the little boy's sections of Old Navy and Target. I love to crochet and stencil and sew. I once wanted to be an astronaut, and when I was a little younger than that, a fashion designer. I fantasize about going back to school for Library Science, but worry that adding that to my English and Journalism degree wouldn't be smart for my future employment prospects. Working with HTML and CSS excites me, but I would kill to get to be a window dressing/store design intern at Anthropology. I love playing with the design of the apartment I share with my husband and our dog (who is, yes, named after a Harry Potter character); that design ranges from Star Wars posters and toys in the kitchen to a CB2 duvet cover tacked to the bedroom wall to hand-stitched pillows on our couch. I dabble in graphic design while working a day job as a writer/editor.

It all gets pretty darn convoluted.

You can see that I like a lot of things. So what aspect of my personality do I choose to focus my blog on? I love them all equally, and want to showcase that. I know it's been quiet around here on the crafting front, but that's in part because most of 2010 was spent planning a wedding. But focusing only on the things I make would cut a large portion of the nerdier parts of my life out, and it's so very important to me to be a nerd.

All this to say that I think I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I'm never going to have a cohesive "theme," unless that theme is "Mandy." Which might make it hard for me to find a place in the blogging community, but I'm also coming to terms with that. I want this space to be special. For me and for the people that stop by to check it out. There might not always be something for each individual, but that's OK with me.

A new year is always exciting. 2011 is overflowing with possibility. I'm not going to make any resolutions, but I will make a pledge to you, my friends, to keep up the good work and strive to be better. To post more often, and to blog more about the many different sides of me. To share with you who I am and what I love.

I hope you stick around ... and pass the word about this crazy blog along from time to time.

Thank you for believing in me, and therefore helping me to believe in myself.

January 20, 2011

Nerd News: Batman casting, Expendables 2, Mammoth cloning and more

Vol. 2, Issue 3

I'm so afraid for Fringe when it resumes on Friday nights. I love the show, and I think it's so smart and entertaining. Plus, I ship Polivia, hard. I feel as though I need this shirt to show my support:

(via)

In TV news:
I want to put this poster up around our apartment complex, as a silly reminder to clean up after your animals:

 (via)
How CUTE are these bobbleheads?

(via)

In movie news:
I told my friend Wes I'd include this illustration in this issue, so I am.

(via)

I gladly accept submissions for this blog, so feel free to send anything Nerd News-y you run across my way. Credit will be given. As a disclaimer: Of course, I have the right to reject things, as this is my blog.

Wes also made me this spectacular meme from the Inception knock-knock joke I posted last week.


Awesome, non?

Did you hear? They're cloning a mammoth! 

I cried during Part One, and I am going to cry during Part Two. Big fat crocodile tears. Regardless, I love Harry Potter art. Like this:

(via)

And this:

(via)

And finally, here's a look at a bunch of Joss Whedon projects we'll never see. The man's gots ideas, that's for sure.

January 18, 2011

obsessed.: Olivia Wilde's Golden Globes dress


I didn't watch the Golden Globes this weekend, but as I was trolling through Tumblr and Twitter for photos, because, really, that's the only reason I get excited for awards season—although, congrats to Chris Colfer, who is just so adorable—I ran across photos of Olivia Wilde. HO-ly crap, do I ever adore her dress.


It looks like space!

So stunning. I want this to wear to balls, to banquets—to the grocery store. Marchesa, please make me one of these in my size, just because?

Her shoes, on the other hand, were totally ill-fitting with such an amazing gown. I know they're Louboutins, but really. The whole bright gold spike thing just didn't go with the silver and black. But you know what? You couldn't see them unless she hiked up her skirts, so we don't even have to think about it.