Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is why I don't watch more movies. Thanks to Stu for the link.

Friday, November 28, 2008

- This has been a strange week. I don't feel like myself.
- Maybe that's because my life consists of 1. Work. 2. Thesis.
- Well, I did manage to watch The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Thank God I'm not that nerdy. I don't think...
- Have I ever mentioned that I hate McAfee VirusScan? And my slooow computer. Frustration.
- It finally feels like November. "November Rain," anyone? Only it wasn't too cold when it rained yesterday.
- Will I crack under pressure? I've always come through before. On the big things at least.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight the movie

Last night I did something I've never done before: I went to see the midnight premiere of a movie. I usually pass on such things. I would not camp out for the new Star Wars or the new Batman. But my sister wanted me to go with her and her friends to see the movie version of Twilight, a book we're both fans of, so at 11 p.m. yesterday I found myself waiting in line outside a theater in near-freezing weather with a lot of people I didn't know.

Luckily I came prepared for the weather -- besides my jacket I brought a shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders and around my head up to my nose. I looked stupid but I was too cold to care. A couple of surprises in line: I was expecting more pre-teen girls to be there, since they are the target audience for the books, but it seemed it was mostly high school and college students in line. Mostly girls, with a few guys dragged along by their girlfriends. I was also hoping to see some people dressed as wannabe Bella and Edwards, but no, I was disappointed not to see any of that.

After over an hour of waiting we were at last allowed entrance to the warm theater. Then we waited another forty minutes for the movie to start.

FINALLY the movie began. I generally go easy on movies adapted from books. *Of course* a movie can't be as good as a book (with rare exceptions). As long as the movie is true to the characters and the general mood of the book, I don't mind a few liberties taken with the story, details left out, the plot sped up. I think Twilight the movie hit the mark as far as that. The intensity of the Bella-Edward love saga is portrayed well, and as far as I'm concerned that makes the movie successful.

Half the fun of seeing a book made into a movie is seeing if the characters match up with what you expected from the book. Bella looked like the Bella from my imagination. I heard a few shrieks from the audience when Robert Pattinson, the actor who plays Edward, first came on screen. Yeah, he is dreamy. And the characters of Charlie, Jessica, Jacob, and Alice were all exactly as I envisioned, which was pretty amazing.

I won't nitpick the film's flaws, but notably there were a few soap opera-ish moments that produced some unintended laughter. Also, the novel itself isn't perfect -- despite its inventiveness, it's a little amateurish as far as character development -- and that comes through in the movie. The special effects were a bit of a letdown, too, especially after seeing the previews.

Some people clapped at the end of the movie. I did not. Still, I left the theater not regretting standing out in the cold until my fingers started to go numb, which is saying a lot. It was exciting, I have to admit. Maybe not everyone who camps out to see a movie is crazy. Maybe I'll even do it again someday.
Yesterday I came across this excellent blog about Magic Landing, the legendary El Paso amusement park. If you live in El Paso, you know why I discovered it yesterday. Sad story. Some people are idiots.

This post in particular has some awesome photos of the abandoned amusement park, back when it wasn't charred.

I never got the opportunity to go to the park when I was a kid, but I do remember seeing commercials for it on TV when I was about 5 or 6 and wanting to visit it really, really badly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Is it bad to spend every waking minute in front of a computer?

Friday, November 14, 2008

This really shook me up yesterday. Over 1,200 people murdered in Juarez this year. This time, a crime reporter who covered some of the drug-related violence, shot outside his home as he was getting ready to take his daughter to school.

It made me think about what makes the U.S. different from the Third World: here I can live and work without fear of violence. That should be everybody's right. It's not fair that I have that and others are denied it on the basis of geography.

The ongoing violence in Juarez (and Mexico in general) is a dire and urgent situation, and it frustrates me that even in El Paso we often turn a blind eye to it. Just because it's "over there" across that line, somehow it matters less? We just avoid going to Juarez, so it doesn't affect us. Problem solved. No. This is our community. We should be outraged. We should be crying out for justice. I don't see it happening.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My latest 30-minute meal: Pumpkin Pasta. Flavors are pleasantly similar to pumpkin pie, though it's not a sweet dish.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The last time I'll ever mention Sarah Palin

Feminist take on Sarah Palin by Jenn on
"Sarah Palin is not a powerful woman, she is a woman with undeserved power. And Republican feminism simply needs to evolve beyond parading a series of beautiful, but ultimately brainless, women who do more to cater to preconceptions of the men as smarter, more qualified, and more adept than they symbolize the uplift and competency of women."


- My coworkers and I were still pretty euphoric two days after the Obama victory.
- My cell phone kept making some noises I had never heard before. I didn't pay much attention, but when I wanted to make a call, I realized the phone was dying, and those noises were like these little dying gasps, begging me to charge it. The phone flat out died before I could even start to make the call.
- My brain stops functioning after a 10-hour workday.
- I resurrected my heavy winter coat from the closet. It finally turned cold enough last night. I put my hands in the pockets and was surprised to find my gloves were still in there, the ones I had taken with me to New York.
- Dad's b-day. Number 55.
- Coffee before bed is not a good idea.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Couldn't be happier to see these words in the New York Times:
"Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.

The election of Mr. Obama amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country."

What a night, and no place more exciting to experience it than a newsroom. I really didn't think it was possible, even as the polls predicted Obama's victory.

I watched people celebrating in the streets on TV, and I kept thinking about what a crazy time this is. When did people suddenly stop being cynical about political leaders? This is something new. I feel like we're all on the brink, of what I'm not sure.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wow, Election Day, finally. I feel like it's Christmas morning and I'm about to open presents...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hot chocolate heaven

I have a new vice: Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate.

It was Tuesday before work, and I was in line at Starbucks. I was thinking of getting a cafe mocha, but when I got to the head of the line, I had changed my mind to hot chocolate instead. Somehow it seemed more comforting in the face of a long, pressure-filled day ahead.

"A tall hot chocolate, please."

"Did you want a regular hot chocolate or our Signature Hot Chocolate?"

"Um...what's the difference?" A hot chocolate is a hot chocolate is a hot chocolate, right?

"Well, our regular hot chocolate is made with our regular cocoa syrup," she said, clearly bored. She paused, and then her eyes lit up. "But our Signature Hot Chocolate is a blend of four premium cocoas. It's also available in Salty Caramel and Hazelnut flavors," she said enthusiastically.

Four cocoas? And what does salty caramel taste like, exactly? I would feel almost embarrassed to order the boring regular one, in comparison to that. It was like she was daring me to order it.

So I caved in and ordered the Signature. Really, it was so good it should be illegal. The beverage was so dense with chocolate that I think the next step would be drinking the hot fudge you use for ice cream topping. The whipped cream topping seemed a little gratuitous, but, hey, I enjoyed that, too. It was worth every one of the 400+ calories and insane number of fat grams. Problem is, now I'm going to want to order it every time I go to Starbucks...