Friday, July 30, 2010

California Dreamin'...

In honor of the first Go Purple Friday of football season (35 days till Kick Off in Cowboys Stadium!), I'd like to share with you readers this wonderful little article from USA Today from July 22. USA Today predicted BCS bowl games for this season. I quite like this prediction, not only because this little horned frog would visit the other city of roses, Pasadena, but because they've picked TCU to win. After last season, I think it's possible, but I won't get my hopes up. I'll let the nation's leading QB, Andy Dalton, do the work while I cheer in the stands or at home. GO FROGS!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vintage Gaga

Once upon a time, Lady Gaga was an unknown. As part of her promotion for The Fame, she appeared on a little show called So You Think You Can Dance in the summer on 2008. She performed "Just Dance" and I remember not liking it one bit. She's come a LONG way and I'm ever so proud of her for it. Here's the video of her 2008 performance. Including a shot of her disco stick in a mini form!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... in Swedish?

Yes, I bought and watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish. Target had it on DVD and I couldn't pass it up. It was buy it now or wait for a month for Anna to get back to Tyler to watch with her and Kendall. But it was staring me in the face at Target and I went for it.

Also, this post may contain spoilers, so if you intend on reading the series but have yet to start, don't read any further!

I watched it last night and wow. Those Swedes know how to write books and make movies based off of books! It's pretty much the book on film in two and a half hours - even the not so good parts, which one of I definitely fast forwarded through (if you've read I'm sure you can guess). The actress who played Lisbeth was not exactly on, for me anyway, but she was pretty close. It makes me anxious for who they're going to cast for the English/American version. And yea, Blomkvist and Berger are supposed to be older than Lisbeth, but in the Swedish version I felt they were a little too old. Their actors were great but just a little too wrinkled. However, this morning it has been announced that Daniel Craig will play Blomkvist in the English/American version and I think this is pretty excellent. I'm almost certain that without thinking about it consciously I imagined someone very much like him while reading the books. My only thing now is that I will consciously think about him while finishing the third book (which I fully plan to do this week).

Onto other characters: Bjurman... SO creepy. It really made me wonder who Hollywood is considering for the character. He was so disgusting and I felt sick when he was on screen.
Harriet... was gorgeous as a young girl. I almost hope they recast the same person since when they flashback to her as a teenager she didn't really speak. She was stunning. When she returns though she's a bit too old. Already grey headed and as I recall she was only a few years older than Blomkvist and shouldn't be totally grey if at all.
Old man Vanger... I thought he was pretty much dead on.
Martin... Again, perfect. He also made me feel sick, especially at the end - that was exactly as I had pictured it.

I promise I'm not like super obsessed or anything, but it is worth mentioning. If you've read the book(s), I high recommend that you see the Swedish movie. Yea, they're speaking Swedish and you're having to read subtitles, but it's not that bad. Since they stick to the book so well, you don't even really need the subtitles, but I had them on anyway. You can watch it in dubbed English but dubbing always throws me off. But seriously, watch it.

I've been trying to upload pictures, but Blogger doesn't want to cooperate at the moment, so maybe I'll come back and try again later.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Monster Ball 2010

I honestly think that the Monster Ball will be one of the best concerts I'll ever see in my life. There's no way anything could ever touch that unless MJ and Elvis come back from the dead and Madonna and BritBrit join him. And really? I'm not going to hold my breath. She performed for TWO HOURS straight with no intermission. The only "breaks" were when she'd disappear (while still singing) to change costumes every other song or so. Not only were her costumes fantastic, but the sets were awesome.

Paws Up!

Many of you may know that Monster Ball was set up as a story, kind of like a musical. Gaga and her dancers were on their way to the Monster Ball where they were free to be themselves and the freaks were outside. Act One was spent trying to get there by car, but the car broke down. In act two, Gaga and her friends/dancers tried to get their by subway, but got lost for act three. Act Four was walking from the woods(?) they were lost in during three. When they arrived at the Monster Ball, which I guess could be called act five, Gaga had to defeat the paparazzi monster. I'm guessing the encore was just supposed to be the actual Monster Ball and giant dance party.

Boys Boys Boys

Here's the set list from last night:
Dance in the Dark
Glitter and Grease (new)
Just Dance
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
Vanity (an old song from before she was mega famous)
The Fame
Boys Boys Boys
Money Honey
You and I (new)
So Happy I Could Die (best costume by far)
Poker Face
Bad Romance (Encore)

Bad Romance

I've only been to American Airlines 3 times, but that is definitely my favorite concert and is likely to remain so. The Killers are tops at Nokia (now Verizon) in Grand Prairie, but Gaga is tops at AAC (and honestly, probably, all time). If you get the chance and have the money to spend (which it's definitely worth it), I highly suggest seeing Lady Gaga in concert. If it wasn't so expensive my mom and I both said we'd love to go in March. Until then, we have a new album to look forward to this fall sometime!

PS - sorry the pics are blurry! My camera was being really temperamental and I can't tell which are the good ones in iPhoto...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beverly Hills, That's Where I Want to Be

First, I'm never flying Continental again. I've had too many bad experiences with them in one trip, it's ridiculous.

Flying out to California went on without a hitch. With the exception of the rude bitch stewardess I dealt with, it wasn't too bad. We got to LAX Wednesday afternoon to absolutely GORGEOUS weather! My mom didn't believe me when I told her the highs and lows before we left until we stepped outside at LAX to catch the shuttle to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. We got our car and headed straight to the hotel, the Tower at Beverly Hills. Such a beautiful hotel. It felt like a boutique in our room, super cute!
Beverly Hills City Limit

That night we had dinner at a place called Nate N' Al's. A cute diner where they serve breakfast all day - my favorite! After dinner, we explored Beverly Drive (the street over from Rodeo, much more affordable shopping). After that we headed back to the hotel and watched So You Think You Can Dance at 8 pm even though it was filmed in LA at 5. Pretty chill evening since we were exhausted from traveling.

Thursday morning we got up and had our first breakfast at the hotel. Can't say I'm a huge fan of "California Egg Whites." As a big fan of breakfast, I was disappointed in our hotel's breakfast. However, the orange juice, although slightly pulpy, was fantastic. I think it was fresh squeezed California oranges! Yum! After breakfast, we looked up directions to Grauman's and headed that way. We got there pretty early so I didn't have to wait long to take a picture with Michael Jackson's star on the Walk of Fame. Later that afternoon there were at least 20 people around it at all times so we got lucky. We explored Grauman's and looked at all the hand/foot prints in the concrete. Added since I was last there: Hugh Grant and Robert Downey, Jr, two very deserving men - not to mention good looking! OH! We saw a guy with a TCU shirt on at Grauman's! It was so weird, but I loved it! While at Grauman's we went to a little info hut looking thing and bought a tour of the movie stars' homes around LA and Beverly Hills. Our tour guide had been doing it for over 25 years, so I'm pretty sure he knew his stuff! I saw all kinds of people's houses! Orlando Bloom, Robert Pattinson, the Fresh Prince house, houses from Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween, etc... Really neat tour, I suggest anyone who has any sort of obsession with celebrities go on one. After we got back from that 2 hour tour in which the tops of my legs go a slight burn (and subsequent shorts tan), we saw Johnny Depp's star along with a few others' and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in the outdoor shopping area at the Kodak theater. I don't know what it is about Kodak but I'm really obsessed with it. I guess because it's where all the awards shows and that type of thing are held and I just can't get into the auditorium part, which I'd absolutely love! That night we tried going to Pink's hotdogs, but the line was too long and we were confused about when the SYTYCD results show was coming on. So we headed back to the hotel and ordered in from Factor's Famous Deli.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Friday morning we got up and once again had the hotel breakfast and headed out for some shopping at The Grove. Got two really cute dresses from Anthropologie that I'm really excited about. After a short shopping trip, we headed up to UCLA to drive around that beautiful campus in search of the filming for ABC Family's Greek. However, we couldn't find them; I concluded they were in the studio and not on location. UCLA is one of the most gorgeous college campuses I've ever seen - which says a lot because I don't think many rival TCU's beauty. After the driving tour through UCLA's summer classes and freshman orientation, I too my mom to In-N-Out an then Diddy Riese for dessert. Then we headed back to the hotel for nap time. For dinner we headed to The Ivy - celebrity hotspot. However, we were there for an early dinner and didn't see any celebs. Although it was expensive, I highly recommend LA tourists to have dinner here. Seriously, one of the best meals I've had. I ordered the spaghetti and the sauce was so fresh and the meatballs just fell apart - SO GOOD! My mom had chicken enchiladas with some sort of BBQ sauce on top and she said they were phenomenal. For dessert we ordered the cookie plate. Again, SO GOOD. I ate the sugar cookie off the cookie plate and was in Heaven. Really, it's a must go to, just not early if you want to see a celeb. After dinner we went to the Santa Monica Pier. I have to say I'm completely obsessed. If I lived there I'd be there all day everyday, especially during the summer, It was freezing though, thanks to that crazy marine layer and Alaskan current. All I could think about after we walked up to the pier from the beach was Despicable Me - "Look at that fluffy unicorn! It's so fluffy I could die!" Oh, Agnes, I love you and your love of fluffy unicorns. The fact that I saw Despicable Me billboards everywhere during this vacation just added to how much I already loved the movie. But that's not the point. Santa Monica was awesome and I'd love to stay there some day. OH! And we drove past the Hotel California! I don't know if it's the one from the song or if it was named/built after the song, but either way it was cool.
Santa Monica Pier

Saturday we slept in and after breakfast went to Calasbasas/Tarzana to look for some E! celebrities. Sadly we didn't see any - the Kardashians were at a wedding and Kendra was traveling to Malibu. But we did go to Dash which was cute and not as outrageously priced as I thought it would be. The Dash girl working is one of the girls whose on the show a lot when they show them in the store. I got to smell Kim's perfume - woooooh. Really strong, but very familiar - nothing special, really. We thought about eating lunch there but didn't explore a whole lot and couldn't find anywhere other than my beloved Menchie's froyo. So we went back into LA and had Factor's in the hotel room again. That afternoon we went to see The Kids Are All Right in Century City. Really good movie, kind of weird, but really good and funny. After the movie we shopped a little in Century City because there was a Madewell (thanks Emily for introducing me in Austin). Then we went to the new Menchie's in Beverly Hills, just one building over from Sprinkles. We never made it to Sprinkles, but at least there's one in Dallas, and although my order's been messed up any time Brig got me a cupcake, the bites I've had were delish! After Menchie's, we went back to the hotel and started packing up for the trip home.
Dash Calabasas

Now we come to the pat of the trip that I'd like to call: I Hate Continental.
We got to LAX and went through security two hours before our flight was scheduled to take off, just like the major airports suggest. Original departure time: 11:40 am. Delayed. 2:00 pm. Cool. Delayed. 3:30 pm. Airport lunch. Read lots of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Flight Canceled. We sat in LAX for SEVEN hours. Seven hours is more time than I'd ever like to spend at one time in an airport. Food vouchers and hotel night stay voucher at the Westin LAX. Nice hotel, but not my bed in Tyler. Do we need to get our checked bag? "Oh no, it'll be fine here over night. It'll be on your flight tomorrow morning." Wake up Monday morning at 4:30 am. Airport breakfast. Original flight: 8 am. Earlier flight with seats available!!! 6:50 am. YAY! Oh wait, our flight from Houston to Tyler is delayed? Are you kidding? Wait, it's not delayed? In Tyler on time... Where's our bag? Longest 2 days ever. Can't say I'm a huge fan of Continental after that. I don't fly a ton, but I've flown the major airlines and I've never had major issues with them and I know that there's that one flight every so often that goes wrong but literally on this trip if it could go wrong it did.

Other than the nightmare trip back, LA was really fun even if we didn't see any celebs. Pictures on Facebook later and probably a few on here too! Up next in my Summer of Fun: Lady Gaga in Dallas on Thursday. Entertainment Weekly gave her Madison Square Garden performance an A- and published her set list which looks awesome. I can't wait!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vacations, Vacations!

For the past few summers I've had the pleasure of going on several vacations with my family! As I'm getting geared up for this summer's vacation con mi madre to Los Angeles, I thought I'd recount a few of the highlights of past summer vacays.

Summer 2006 - Branson, MO, with my dad - We road tripped (the 5 of us, not just me and my dad) up to MO to visit my step-mom's parents. We went to Silver Dollar City (awesome water park), rode the Branson Belle around the lake for dinner and a show, and other fun Branson-y things. Obviously, this was four years ago and I can't remember many of the details, but what I do remember is wanting to go back!

Summer 2007 - Galveston, TX, with my dad - Not as fun a vacation as the previous or following vacations as it ended with some serious eye issues for your's truly. But definitely a relaxing week after my second year as a counselor at Mystic.

Summer 2008 - Hilton Head, SC, with my mom - Flew out to visit my mom's aunt, uncle, and cousin. Went to the beach, great shopping, and straight up relaxation. Would love to visit again - it was gorgeous! Read New Moon while flying - definitely contributed to it being my favorite book (not to mention the only one I actually bought).

Summer 2009 - Carnival Cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman Islands with my dad - super relaxing, did a TON of reading, bonded with Sarah, missed Camp a TON. The day we were on Grand Cayman I decided that's where I'd like to honeymoon when I get married.
Washington, DC, with my mom - She hadn't been since a time when she couldn't remember and I hadn't been in 7 years. DC is awesome. Honestly, if it weren't so far away from Texas I'd probably job search there, but it's too far away and I love Texas too much, haha. We did the typical tourist stuff and rode double decker tour buses round the city! It was a really cool way to sight see.

Summer 2010 - Los Angeles/Beverly Hills with my mom - so far we've found out that we're missing Kendra Wilkinson's book signing at the Grove by less than 24 hours and I'm way bummed about it. We're also looking into double decker tours around LA. We signed up for a lottery for tickets to SYTYCD, but we're thinking getting them is lookin' pretty bleak. Either way it's going to be an awesome trip. My mom's never been to the west coast and I've only been once (Spring Break 2009), so we're doing everying tourist-y there is to do, except maybe a studio tour, but maybe we'll end up doing one?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Emmy Noms Are Out

I always get a little anxious when I know Emmy noms are about to be announced and today's that day! Since falling in love with So You Think You Can Dance in 2007, I have watched some of the best choreographers and dancers in the world dance on live TV every Wednesday and Thursday night for the past 4 summers (and that one fall season last fall). Last summer, the amazingly talented Mia Michaels choreographed a contemporary dance to Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" about overcoming addiction. The dance featured two of my favorites from the season, Kayla and Kupono. Watch and be amazed.

Oh and PS - I got my stuff transferred! Yay!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Transferring iPod/iTunes

You'd think after doing this two other times, we'd have it down, however it always seems to be an ordeal no matter what: Transferring my iPod from old computer to new computer. We had to do it in May 2006 when I got my laptop for college. We had to do it in May 2008 when I got a new laptop after the first one crashed. And now I have my wonderful MacBook Pro and we're trying it again. For some odd reason it gets harder every time we have to do this. This time my mother is making an appointment (for $29 might I add) to speak with someone AT APPLE to get us through this. I tried Monday night and it ended in tears. My mom tried last night and my HP is still canceling 12 hours later. I'm thinking this time the issues are from my crappy HP laptop since it obviously has problems, however we've had issues transferring the music before so it's not just the laptop.
Either way it's REALLY obnoxious. After we get this down I will never EVER touch that HP laptop again. Nor will I ever purchase anything HP again. Until this laptop's issues began (I think they really started in April 09), I had a very high opinion of HP, however all of this has made my opinion do a complete 180 to loathing. Now I'd rather have a Dell and I don't think Dells are very high up on the PC totem pole... But I shouldn't have to worry about any of this with my amazing MacBook Pro.
All that I really miss from having a PC is the home, pg up, pg down, and delete buttons. Yea, yea, hitting the up and down arrows work like the page up/down arrows to an extent, but those buttons put a little umph in scrolling the page. And the home button would take me all the way to the top of a page and the beginning of a line of text... I'll get used to it soon, I'm sure.

Monday, July 5, 2010

MacBook Pro

Hello from my brand new MacBook Pro! I'm in Heaven with this thing! My mom even bought a wireless router so I don't have to steal wireless on it! Woohoo!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Are you for real?

Ok, so I've spent the better part of the past two days catching up on So You Think You Can Dance. Last week was the first time my jaw just dropped. This is why.

Alex Wong is a ballet dancer. He's been a member of the Miami City Ballet for the past year, at least but I think it's probably been longer. Ballet dancers should not be good at hip hop. Amazing. The music is perfect too. I love when it speeds up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Round Up... 20X-treme - Thanks, Hurricane Alex

Where to begin? I guess it'd be good to review a normal Round Up.

Normal Round Up should have started at 3:15 today. The Watershow and War Canoe race would have happened between 3:30 and 5:00-ish. The gates typically open around 2:45 for parents to come in. Then the parents leave/go picnic/tailgate while the campers and counselors go to dinner in the Dining Hall for the last time. Then at 7:30 everyone is reported to Rec Hall for the Chorus and Dance Production. After Chorus and Dance, the parents leave and there is a massive all camp dance party until late. Then tomorrow reveille would have played at 7 am, bright and early. At 8 we would have our last breakfast and the parent would have started coming in around 8:45. Quadrille and Dressage would have performed on the golf course and then there would have been a brunch until 11 when the Awards Ceremony would start. After Awards ceremony, we would have had Tonk Dessert Party and left.

HOWEVER, this was far from the truth this year.

Yesterday, the owners of the camp made an announcement at breakfast that no one expected. Dance and Chorus PRACTICE? Not practice. And it's in Harrison Hall. It'll be videoed for the parents. No practice time, sorry. Jaws dropped. War Canoe? Right after rest period. Along with Synch Swim. Parents? IF they're close enough... Last/CC Tribe Hill? at 5 pm. CCs are not going. Rainy locations, not actually on the hills. Last campfire right after tribe hill and in Rec Hall. Dinner at 6:30 instead of early. Awards Ceremony in Harrison Hall at 8. So basically, the entirety of Round Up was done in one day instead of spread over two days. It was absolute insanity. And absolutely X-treme!

More about camp later. I'm exhausted and have missed my queen sized bed.