Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's colder than it ought to be in March.

It's hard to sit down and write when I'm so busy - when I'm galavanting about town, screaming my lungs out at a show, catching the latest Swedish film based on a book I read, or hanging with the best people.

And, so, I'll attempt to tell you about my fun.

Last week, I was reminded that one of my favourite bands, Dashboard Confessional, would be playing at the Nokia Theater on Friday. With a little help from my friend Ang (another Dashboard geek/aficionado), we found out the day of that we would be able to get in. And so we met up, headed to Nokia, grabbed a drink at the bar and found a spot to sing our lungs out.

(Do we all know about Dashboard? About his shows? Where he basically lets the audience sing a decent amount of the lyrics? Well, now you know.)

The show may have been the best setlist I've seen from the band so far (I've seen them a lot!) -

I was going to pick apart this setlist to enumerate the many reasons it's constructed with all sorts of WIN, but I would just come out looking like a looney to those who have no idea who Dashboard Confessional is. To those who do, I know you can tell by just looking at this how awesome it was and why my voice was hoarse the next day.

So, after the show my friend Dubin let me know where he was hanging out, as he had been photographing the Dashboard show. We walked over to the bar and I re-met his good friend Chris Carrabba (you know, lead singer of Dashboard) and I gushed about what an awesome show it was (but I think I kept my cool?), reminded him about that one time we hung out in Boston, how I am married to Jesse (he's an MCS fan), and that I was thisclose to saying hi to him a couple of years ago at a Bed Bath & Beyond. He was ridiculously nice and laughed along and said, "you should have said hi!" And when he asked where we watched the show from, he let me know that next time he was in town I could hit him up for spots.

Yeah. I don't think I need to explain anything else...no need to explain how fantastic that was! Those photographs Dubin took are amazing though - both from the Nokia Theater and the next evening at Starland Ballroom. Here's just one example of his work from Friday night:

Saturday I woke up to a little catch up with Jesse, who is off in the UK doing his job (what a life!). Then Jaime, Sean, and Amber came over for the War & Peace book club! We have 250ish pages left!! I will soon be able to say - nay, proclaim! - that I have read War & Peace. The great thing about our book club is that we really enjoy each other, discussing the novel, and the novel itself. Here's what the table looked like during the meeting:

Instead of red velvet donuts, Jaime brought us cupcakes! (And Mint Candy Apple nail polish for Amber, ha.) Always good times. I don't think I'd be able to read the book without being able to discuss it with people; and these three friends have some great insight into the content! I really love the book - I can understand now why it's often deemed the best novel ever written.

The rest of the night the girls and I stayed in and watched horrible movie after horrible movie (it's really great entertainment!), as well as Fatal Attraction. I ask you this seriously: have you ever found Michael Douglas attractive? EVER? Because he may be the most unattractive person that got/gets such "sexy" roles. Shudder.

And on Sunday I met up with Keller, Perry, and Rene to see the Swedish film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. You may remember that I read that book in 2009 as part of my 52 Books Challenge! While I think the book lacked something lost in translation, the movie did not skew very much at all from the gory (or even boring) details. The titular girl (played by actress Noomi Rapace) was captivating on screen - and I thought she looked a lot like one of the Quin sisters from the band Tegan & Sara -

Right? But like...if Tegan or Sara fronted a German metal band? Anyway, she was great and I think when they "Hollywood" the movie, it won't be as graphic, but probably a lot shorter. It clocked in at over two and a half hours! I heard a rumor that David Fincher might direct the U.S. version, which I think works perfectly with the source material (it's dark, sadistic, and mysterious), though Zodiac was no average-length film. Also? I can't imagine a Hollywood actress getting it as right as Rapace. She was almost too good, too convincing. Anybody else seen it? If you've read the book, I'd recommend it only because it's such a straight adaptation of the book. I'm interested to see the liberties the U.S. version will take with the storylines. 

After grabbing a post-viewing coffee with the gang to talk about the movie, I met up with Sean and friends for some sushi. Sean's lovely girlfriend is in town from Missouri, and we got to catch up over raw fish and then at a sake bar. And yes, I've been ruined by the delectable fresh fish in Japan to really have enjoyed the sushi and sashimi on Sunday night. But that doesn't matter when you're having fun times!

Speaking of, I do plan on writing about Japan, but after jetlag, my pinched nerve, and keeping up with friends, family, and Jesse - I am only now beginning to feel "caught up" and settling back into my routine. Of course, Jesse gets back tomorrow for a mere four or five days, so we'll see how settled I get! Even my dad has been pestering me to post about Japan: it'll happen, I promise!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I wanna be where your heart is home.

Just found this picture of Jesse and I in Japan one evening before we headed out. Miss his face! I woke up to an e-mail from him a few minutes ago and sometimes that's all I need to get revved up for my day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's been a year and a day since I've talked to you.

I didn't get all the time I wanted to blog about Japan this weekend due to the fact that I have a pinched nerve in my back and since time in front of the computer caused it, blogging would be a bad idea while trying to recover from it. The pain is slowly waning and I'll give it a try tonight!

Besides the back pain, my weekend with my family was spectacular! My parents got a new puppy named Buddy and we had a BBQ with my aunt, uncle and cousin! Also, I watched 500 Days of Summer with my mom, and she's a total Zooey Deschanel hater now. She seems to be a very polarizing celebrity. I, of course, love her.

Also, in things that cracked me up this morning...do we all remember this picture? Well, then I saw this picture. And I laughed a lot. Which happens rarely on Monday mornings when you have debilitating back pain!

Oh! And I got a couple of Formspring questions in my inbox, and I've decided to stop answering them here. So, to whomever sent in those two questions, you can now send them to my Formspring.me page and I'll just answer them there! And any other questions I happen to get - ask me anything!

How was your weekend?!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gonna get along without you now.

It's been so long! First, I had to get over jetlag. And that overlapped with Jesse being home for exactly four days. And tonight after work I'm heading to Massachusetts to spend a weekend with my family.

I hope to start posting my Japan adventures tonight!

Now for other news besides my most amazing trip.

Apparently, all over the internet and fashion world, clogs are in. I hesitate to say "back in" because I never lived through a period of their relevance before. I hate clogs and I proclaim here and now to never give in to such atrocities. A trend I'm willing to try out, though?

Hot pink lips. Let's do it. I am always down for trending lip color for some reason. Maybe it's because it's a relatively cheaper trend that I don't have to feel guilty for testing out? Anyway: results soon.

Last weekend my friend needed someone to try on some outfits for some NBC taxicab spots and American Airlines online content segments. I said sure, I'll get up at 530am on a Saturday! I was still jetlagging so 530am felt like 730pm in Japan, therefore, I was fine. I also loved getting my makeup done because the artist, Lauren, colored in my eyebrows superthick and I think I want to try that out as well. Check it:

I just have to learn how to do it and not look too over-made up. Any tips? Any eyebrow pencil brands you'd recommend? Trust me: when it comes to make up, you know more than I do.

The book club, FSJBCB, is going swimmingly and we're about 70% of the way through War & Peace! It's a mighty, mighty novel but we're all enjoying it. The other members - Sean, Amber, and Jaime - all have great insights and we also have ways of bringing Tolstoy down to "our level." Especially since each meeting requires champagne cocktails and delicious red velvet donuts. We might even do our own version of Drunk History (please click for HILARITY) in our last meeting and videotape ourselves trying to summarize War & Peace...after many rounds of cocktails. Stay tuned.

I've been listening to She & Him's Volume Two all morning and I'm in love. It officially comes out next Tuesday, March 23rd, and if you loved Volume One you'll adore this album as well. Remember when I was obsessed with Volume One? I think I played that on repeat for over a year straight. My Last.FM can attest to that!

I know I never posted my Oscar predictions or even commented on them, so I'll say that I was happy that The Hurt Locker won best film and Kathryn Bigelow won best director. I'm still most disappointed that Bright Star didn't get more recognition for the director Jane Campion or best supporting actor Paul Schneider, though! Seriously. Also disappointed that A Single Man didn't get more recognition - a film that if I had seen last year when I was making my top films list would have come in fourth after Hurt Locker and before District 9. After viewing An Education three more times via my flights to Japan, I think it would have gotten a top 10 spot as well. I also saw A Serious Man and did not enjoy it at all. And I love the Coen brothers. I don't feel it deserved a best film nomination - should have been swapped out for the similar-sounding A Single Man! Perhaps there was a mix up? Same with Blind Side and Bright Star? Just saying.

Oh, and after rewatching Up in the Air as well and giving it some "settling time" as I referred to in my tops post, I wouldn't place it near my top ten. The allure of Clooney was great, but he really seemed to phone it in. Plus, what crap female characters. I was especially glad that Precious took the screenwriting award rather than Up in the Air, which was the frontrunner.

So that's what's up! Expect a barrage of posts about Japan this weekend!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Arigato, go go gadget arm.

I'm back! I took extensive notes and many a picture - so I hope to be updating soon in installments. I had a wonderful and incredible trip to Japan, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

For now, I have to beat my jetlag and get writing when my brain is not melting from exhaustion. Here's me in Tokyo's Shibuya area!

Stay tuned...!