Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer TV Season

Summer is really starting to be the best season for TV. So many shows, so little time: True Blood, Weeds, Breaking Bad, Big Brother, Project Runway, and Curb Your Enthusiasm are all back for a new season.

Thank god I have a TiVo.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Easy Credit --> Hard Choices

I came across this article today, written by a guy who paid off $10,000 worth of credit card debt in one year.

It reminded me of my own credit card ordeal, in which I racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credits cards in the early 2000s, and when they all maxed out I moved back in with my parents for a year, lived rent-free, and put all of my salary toward the debt. By the end of the year I was nearly all paid off and within 18 months from the date I first started paying them off I was completely debt-free.

As difficult as it might have been to move back in with my parents at age 31, the opportunity to get rid of the debt was life-changing. Once it was all paid off, I felt this huge sense of relief. I knew I could never put myself in that spot again. I still use credit cards, but now I either pay them off every month or develop a plan for paying off large purchases within a short amount of time.

I was in the middle of my year spent getting out of debt when a friend recommended I watch Maxed Out. It's a few years old and somewhat dated (Eliot Spitzer was still the Attorney General of New York, and the economy had not yet completely tanked but was beginning to unravel), but it is worth checking out:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let's start with Franky

We'll see if I can re-vamp this ole bloggy blog. I'll start with a pic of the Little Bubba.

Here's another picture - an unskilled attempt at basic digital photo editing:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I love Dave

As the Joaquin Phoenix cluster-f**k comes to an end, the actor (whose hoax was some indictment of the media, celebrity and "consumers") appeared on Dave Letterman to explain.

Definitely watch this through to the end, when Dave gets in the last dig!

In case you haven't seen his appearance on Late Night in "character," you can watch the train wreck here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I was definitely late to the party, but a few weeks ago I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and really liked it. It started a little slow (it starts off with a long chapter of exposition) but then really gets going to the point where you don't want to put the book down.

Big thanks to S-Q for the suggestion!

By chance I was able to see the Swedish film adaptation of the book, and I thought it was really well-done. They had to depart from the book in certain ways but I think how they altered the story made sense. Here's a trailer:

I'm about to start the second book in the trilogy, and look forward to seeing the film adaptation of it.

But what I'm reallllly excited about is that David Fincher is directing an "American" adaptation of the novels starring Daniel Craig. With the exception of Christopher Nolan, I don't know of a better choice to make a series of films based on these dark, noirish books. Sadly Fincher's first film of the series won't release until 2011, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait!

Mmmm... Mexican food

I'm not sure if it's because of my impending move to the East Coast, but lately I've been partaking in as much Mexican food as possible. I love Mexican food; it is the ultimate comfort food - the spices, the warmth, and the tequila or Mexican beer to go with it... even in hot weather it is so delicious.

Last night I had the most amazing meal at La Super Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara. The building looks almost like a shack with a covered patio in the back, so you might dismiss the place if you didn't know better.

La Super Rica only serves tacos and tamales, and both are amazing. The tortillas for the tacos are made on site and are grilled right before they are served. There are about 20 different types of tacos, and you can order lots of different kinds (each small plate comes with two corn tortillas and enough meat, cheese, or veggie goodness to fill each tortilla).

The first taco we tried was a sauteed mushroom taco - which probably sounds weird but if you like sauteed mushrooms you would die for this taco. The mushrooms were sauteed in butter and cream (so you know, totally healthy), and it was probably the most delicious thing I've tasted in years.

We also tried a chorizo and queso taco. The chorizo was cut into bite-size pieces and grilled, then served with cheese over it (which melted from the heat of the chorizo). This was served in a bowl so that you could scoop up the buttery sauce the chorizo and cheese were sitting in... I don't know what was in that sauce, but it had to be butter, and some of the oil/juices from the chorizo, and some of the cheese. It was soooo yummy.

We arrived right at the dinner rush and during our time there (about 2 hours) there was a constant line out the door as people waited to order and enjoy the food. It was such a great experience and I'm so glad I had the chance to check it out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rent it or see it?

I've fallen out of the habit of going to the movies for everything I want to see, and only make time for films that I've been dying to see or that must be seen on a big screen (such as Inception or Casablanca).

Other films I'm interested in I put in my Netflix queue, which I now realize may take me several years to get through. At least it's cheaper (in theory) and it's a way for me to keep a list of the films (and TV shows) I'm interested in checking out at some point.

I have been strangely drawn to two new comedies lately, though. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for mass marketing when the ads involve Will Farrell. Maybe these aren't as good as they seem, so they'll go on my queue but I could probably be coaxed into the theater to see at least one of them...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So bad it's good

OK, confession time. I've totally become a fan of some really trashy TV.

I thought I would share some of my favorite shows with you hoping you give them a try and get corrupted along with me. Here goes!

First up: Hitting Rock Bottom During Bar Exam Studying with You're Cut Off

This show was an hour-long train wreck that made you want to puke most of the time. Take a gaggle of spoiled rich bitches, cut them off from their benefactors (who are either their parents or spouses), make them live and work together in a tract home in the San Fernando Valley, and let the chips fall where they may. Most of the show involved bad hair extensions, tiaras, and bitching about housework.

On one episode they were forced to go camping and I have to admit, I would not have acted any better than any of those girls. I'm sure I would have handled it pretty much the same - bitch about the experience nonstop, get drunk, pass out, and leave the next morning.

Bonus: One "character" on the show posts YouTube videos responding to the episodes after they aired. Here's a classic example:

All the episodes are available here.

Next Up: The old brilliant bad-for-you standby, Big Brother!!

When my parents told me several years ago that they watched this show I completely judged them, rolled my eyes, and concluded that by watching this trash, they were contributing to the downfall of our society.

Then, after spending a summer at my parents' house during season 7, the infamous "Big Brother All-Stars" season, I completely, totally, fell head over heels in love with the awfulness that is this show.

Go ahead and judge me, I will defend my love for this show until the end of time, even considering the fact that it is on THREE TIMES EACH WEEK and I TiVo the mother-effer.

You know what draws me in? I'm fascinated by how the stupidest people ever assembled can actually be so conniving. The drama is excellent and they end up surprising me with their strategery each season. I should note that I only watch the broadcast episodes; I do not subscribe the the 24/7 internet video feed..... yet.

And then: Keeping it a little Klassier with Top Chef and Project Runway!

Are these shows considered trashy? They are truly the high-end of the reality show crapfest, right?!

Top Chef is in D.C. this year and despite the corny tie-ins to the city (e.g., a "Cold War" challenge requiring chef-testants to create a winning cold dish), I love this show. Chefs are drinkers, full of drama, and full of passion, and they love food. These are people you (for the most part) would want to hang out with!

The huge downside is not knowing what the eff their dishes taste like, but in some cases that's OK. I'm not exactly curious about eating duck balls.

Project Runway is surely the flamingly glamourous drag queen of reality TV, no? Love, love, love it. I've always said, we could all use a Tim Gunn in our lives.

Is there any need to justify my love of this show? Absolutely not. If you haven't seen it, please climb out from under your rock and check it out immediately. It's brilliant.