Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Into the Wild

Once in a while, I come across a movie that haunts me. Not because the movie is scary (I avoid those anyhow) but because it is unexpected. It makes me think and reflect upon my own life. In the case of Into the Wild, it is about a person I never knew. He is not like me in any way. His story is both brave and tragic. Into the Wild is based on a true story, and I guess that is what got to me. This extraordinary and yet ordinary person is real.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1990, Christopher McCandless disappears and cuts all ties with his family. He donates his entire $24,000 savings to charity and later burns the only money he had left. He travels across the country on foot, dreaming of making it to Alaska and living off the land and away from civilization. He meets strangers on his journey and impacts their lives in big and small ways.

Major spoiler alert! (meaning don't read if you don't want to know the ending!)

When he reaches Alaska in April of 1992, his only provision is a bag of rice. He hunts for meat and scrounges for berries and plants. Sometimes, food is scarce, and he is starving for any kind of sustenance. After a few months in Alaska, he decides to leave but finds his only way out is blocked by a raging river that had melted in the Summer months. By this point, he has no food. He becomes thinner and weaker by the day. In desperation, he accidentally eats a poisonous plant. With no strength to escape, he finally dies from starvation. The wild he so fervently sought is what tragically kills him.

The real Christopher McCandless was 24 years old and weighed only 67 pounds when he died. His body was found a few weeks later in September 1992. It's so very sad. He could have had a great story to tell after his great adventure. But he died instead, and all alone. We will never know what motivated him to leave everything behind. This movie made me reflect upon my safe and quite life and find new bravery in facing my own wilderness. So in my own way, I will bravely go into the wild.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dexter Season 1

Because my TV shows are on summer hiatus, I started watching a new show, Dexter. I just finished the first season. Laura bought it for me as a Christmas present, and I saved it for the summer. Dexter is a one-hour drama on Showtime in which Michael C. Hall plays a serial killer. That was all I knew about the show before I decided to watch it. Well that, and it is supposed to be really good. And it came through for me.

Dexter works for the police as a blood splatter expert. He analyzes blood splatter and recreates the crime. It goes hand in hand with his "hobby" as a serial killer. He kills only murderers who get away or will get away. Also, Dexter is more than just a serial killer. He has many levels that are slowly peeled away in each episode. He calls himself a monster and believes it is his nature to kill. He hates himself for it. You learn a lot about him and what made him what he is. The show is really gruesome too...you see a lot of blood, guts, dead people and body parts. Yuck. I lose my appetite when watching the show. However, that didn't stop me. I kept watching and just made sure not to snack at the same time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen in IMAX

The other day my friends and I stupidly decided to watch Transformers 2 in IMAX without properly purchasing the tickets beforehand. Of course, we found out it was sold out. So we decided to watch it the next day and found out some IMAX theaters were sold out three days earlier! But we finally found a theater and watched it.

I'm a pretty big Transformers fan. I loved the first one, and it definitely doesn't hurt that Shia Labeouf is the star! You all should know about my obsession by now.

The movie was a little disappointing. It was 2 1/2 hours long! The plot dragged on, and the fighting scenes were hella long. (Admittedly, I was extremely tired and fell asleep for about 10 minutes during a fight scene.) The first Transformers film had a good balance of humor and action during the entire film; however this one was funny for the first hour maybe. Then it lost all humor and became pretty serious.

Megan Fox was a little annoying. Her character was pretty useless during the whole thing. Know what else! She's a huge ho bag in the film! Every motion she makes is like she's posing for PlayBoy! It's disgusting! Read this poster for God's sake! Yeah, it really does say "and much more Megan Fox!" and yes, there is a whole lot of her cleavage showing, and shyeah, her picture is a lot bigger than Shia's and the transformer's! All I have to say is, "Oi."

Visually, the transformers and special effects were better than ever! The attention to detail is really impressive. For example, when the tranformers transform you can see every little thing turn and click together. I really just wish I had a remote so I could slow it down and see it clearer. Imax was definitely worth the price.

I give it 3.6 stars!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gladiator Shoes

From time to time, I become obsessed with shoes and must buy them. Recently, I realized that I am no longer satisfied with just wearing flip flips all summer. I've grown up (really!) and want something more sophisticated to wear. So I've been searching for my shoe style. When I was in Hawaii, I was staring at everyone's feet. Like I said, I was searching. I was a girl on a mission. And the shoes that caught my eye the most were gladiators shoes, especially in silver or gold. But I don't want the really really strappy ones. I believe less is always more. Also, even though I think silver and gold look great, I need to ease myself into it. I'll stick with black for now.

We went to the mall in Oahu, and I found this really cute pair at Macy's (similar to the one pictured). But I just wasn't sure about it. So I convinced myself out of buying them. I thought maybe it was too trendy and I won't wear it for very long. Then, I immediately regretted not buying it. I became obsessed. I tried two different Macy's, and they didn't have it. And I checked on macys.com and couldn't find it there. I don't know the brand or anything because I really was just going to forget about it. Then today, I checked dsw.com, and they have something exactly like it! Jackpot! So I ordered it. I hope it is as nice as I remembered. Hehe.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hawaiian Shave Ice

I tried Hawaiian shave ice in Oahu, and it was spectacular. It looks a bit like a giant snow cone, but it is way better. As apparent in the name, fine shaved ice is used, not ground ice like in snow cones. And it is nothing like water ice either. Flavored syrup (usually three different flavors) are poured over the ice. There are a few variations, some include ice cream, azuki beans (sweet red beans), fruit, sweetened condensed milk or dried salted plum powder. I found one place that served it with shaved frozen milk for a more creamy shave ice. (I didn't try it though.)

Hawaiian shave ice was sold almost everywhere in Hawaii, but sadly I only got to eat it twice. It is one of my biggest regrets (plus not taking enough pictures while we were there). My friend took us to a place up North Shore called Matsumoto Shave Ice, which she claimed was the best. It took over 30 minutes to get there, and the line was long. But it was well worth it. My husband and I shared a large order with vanilla ice cream and azuki beans at the bottom and condensed milk poured on top. We, of course, got three flavors, coconut, lychee and honey dew. It was delicious. The flavors were really intense and don't taste artificial either. I couldn't wait to eat it and completely forgot to take a picture of it. Doh! My second turn at Hawaiian shave ice was not nearly as good. We went to a place in Waikiki Beach that served shave ice with fresh fruit. It was eh. I really want Matsumoto again. It was perfection.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mopeds: A Must in Oahu!

We rented mopeds in Oahu, and it was the best decision ever. I almost didn't rent one. I tried out our friend's moped, and it was a bit unwieldy. So I was hesitant to get one. Then we went to the moped rental store, and the guy refused to rent one to someone without any experience because someone else had just gotten into a bad accident that day. That, of course, didn't help my trepidation. I told my husband that it was bad mojo. Haha. So we debated going to another moped store for a few minutes, and my husband told me not to do it if I was afraid. But I didn't want us to miss out. And I didn't know it would be sooo much fun. I am so glad we tried it.

On the first day, I had a death grip on the moped handles. And mopeding (yeah, that's a word...look it up) in the city was kinda scary. After I relaxed a bit, I was able to enjoy the scenery around me. On the second day, we drove up this road called Tantalus Drive that went up and up a mountain. The views are gorgeous from up there. And it was fun going up and down the mountain. Mopeds are a must in Oahu because there are so many roads and places to go that are perfect for mopeds. (Chris, you must rent one! You will regret it if you don't!)

We had so much fun. But I did injure myself. =:::( On the way home, we stopped by a store to buy last minute gifts. So I had to get the kickstand down, which is actually really hard to do. You have to kick this heavy handle down and lift up the back of the moped. I was standing on the wrong side of the moped and too close to the muffler. And I burned my leg on it!! Wahh! It was really hot considering we had driven around all morning. I am okay though, but it looks worse than it is. Tina can't even look at it, or she'll vomit. Poor me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Movie)

Our family loves loves loves Avatar. We used to catch it every day at 7pm. My daughter, Carmen, would ask whether it was 7 o'clock yet all the time and would be disappointed if we missed it. And yes, we watched rerun after rerun after rerun, but she didn't care. Now we are so excited for the new Avatar movie coming up some time next year, which is directed by none other than M. Night Shyamalan. Supposedly M. Night was a huge fan and watched the cartoon with his kids all the time. Actually the movie will not be animated, which makes me a little wary, but we will still give it a chance.

The most exciting thing about it is that my five-year-old niece, Kalani, was an extra on the set. She was a little citizen of the Earth kingdom. My brother said that M. Night himself even spoke to her and the actress playing Katara thought Kalani was so cute and adorable. Kalani had quite a few fans. We can't wait to watch Avatar the movie, and we will also be looking out for our little Kalani.

My Daughter's Art: Rainbow Fish

Since Laura hasn't posted an Art Feature in a while, I will post one of my own. Here is a picture that my six-year-old daughter drew. She is becoming quite the artist if I do say so myself. My neighborhood library will be hanging these up on their counter, so Carmen decided to draw a picture of one of her favorite stories, Rainbow Fish. I think every mom has a right to show-off a little bit.

Turtle Beach, Oahu, HI

Aloha! I'm back! Blog, oh, how I missed you. Did you miss me? I noticed there aren't many posts these past two weeks. Hmmm...certain sisters have been shirking their duties while I was gone. They will need a good talking to. Haha!

So my fun in the sun is over. Back to the grind, as my husband had said sadly a few times since being back. Hawaii was paradise. We stayed with friends in Waikiki on the island of Oahu. Waikiki is really cool because it is part city and part beach. So everything was easily accessible--food, shopping, public transportation, and the beach, of course. It was pretty much awesome every single day we were there. Some days, my husband and I would venture out on our own while our friends were at work. And during the weekend and one random Hawaiian holiday, they took us to all these cool places, which leads me to Turtle Beach.

I am a turtle person. I have a nine-year-old red ear slider at home. I had him since 2000 when he was really tiny (like 1 1/2 inches). His name is Wasabi although I just call him turtle. Hehe...I know, creative, right? Isn't Wasabi so cutie cute??

I love turtles, so my best friend knew I would love to go to Laniakea, which is also known as Turtle Beach. Green sea turtles go there to feed and bask in the sun. I didn't know what to expect. When we got there, I didn't see any turtles, just lots of people and what I thought were large rocks on the ground. When I got closer, I noticed a huge turtle just sitting there in the sand and then another one and another one. I also saw several swimming close to the shore. We went in the water and actually swam with them. It was so cool seeing them swimming right next to you and eating the algae on the rocks. They are so cool. See the pics below.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Up in 3D

I saw Up in 3D! I loved it! It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. This film is definitely a wonderful family film, that anyone would love.

I paid the extra $3 to watch the movie in 3D. It was worth it. Speaking as someone who gets motion sickness sometimes (I seriously almost puked when I saw Cloverfield in theater), I didn't feel a thing!

I don't even want to summarize the film! I started, but I stopped. I just think everyone should see the movie, so no one should need a summary. Just take my word for it, please!

My favorite part of the movie was the flashbacks of the main character, Mr.Fredricksen's, past. The majority of it was done with no dialogue and just had background music. As an artist and a storyteller, I love telling a story or part of a story with silent facial expressions or body language. (See Love Story of a Spoon post) I really appreciated the skill in which they showed so much more emotion with silent clips.

So go watch! I give it 4.2 stars!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aloha Hard!

I will be going to greener pastures this week. Hawaii, here I come! So I leave you with a parting gift. Aloha hard!

Update 6/19/09: Stupid Laura just told me right now that I spelled "Aloha" wrong!! Argh!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Hangover

I saw The Hangover last night, and it was sooooo funny. The movie just came out on Friday, and the theater was packed last night. The movie had everyone laughing. I bet this movie will be number one this weekend, and not Land of the Lost. Sorry, Will Ferrell. The movie is about a group of best friends who go to Vegas for a bachelor party. The next day, they wake up with the worst hangover imaginable because their hotel room is a mess, the groom is missing, and they have no recollection of the previous night. In order to find the groom in time for the wedding the following day, they have to retrace their steps. And they find out some crazy sh#% happened the night before. There is a lot of WTF moments, and they are hilarious. I highly recommend this movie.

FYI: Bradley Cooper is a friggin' hottie!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Men vs. Wild

I don't usually watch Man vs. Wild although I have caught a few episodes. That Bear Grylls is one crazy mofo. Haha! I heard that there was a special with Will Ferrell called Men vs. Wild, which aired this past Tuesday. It was supposed to be hilarious, so I DVRed and watched it last night. It was actually really funny, like laugh out loud funny. Will and Bear makes a great duo. They went to the artic tundra of Sweden where it was supposed to be -50 degrees. And they had to hike to another point to make their chopper pick-up the following day. When they first got to their destination, Will and Bear had to propel down 30 feet from the helicopter. When Bear told Will they had to do this, Will didn't crack a joke at all. He just looked scared. But they were able to do it with no real issues despite Will screaming for his mommy several times. When they got to the bottom, Bear gave Will some supplies plus a twinkie in case of an emergency. While Bear went off to check out their surroundings, Will immediately ate the twinkie, half of which was supposed to be for Bear. Haha! How the hell is one twinkie supposed to save anyone out in the wilderness, let alone two grown men.

I have to say Will is so cute. Not "hot guy" cute, but like "cutie pie" cute. He is so out of place in the wilderness. He looked clumsy at times. Even when he basically fell face first into the snow, he made a joke and said he just wanted to lie down and take a break. Haha. Adorable, right? And Bear got along great with Will. He was mindful of Will and took care of him the whole time. They happened to find reindeer remains left by poachers, and the head was the only edible part left. (My husband thinks that was set up for them.) And Bear volunteered to eat the gross parts like the eyeballs and give Will the "better" parts. Will tried part of the socket and jaw. He actually thought the burnt jaw wasn't bad. It was an entertaining hour of TV. Unfortunately, I cannot find the full episode online, but I found a couple funny clips here and here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cat Deeley

After watching tonight's episode of So You Think You Can Dance, I am reminded of how beautiful Cat Deeley is and how horribly she dresses on the show. I mean, who dresses her exactly? I noticed last season that she didn't wear one good outfit. Not a one, in the entire season. Maybe one was passable...but that is about it. Perhaps this season will be different. Here's hoping. She is so gorgeous, but these outfits don't do her any justice.

The last one may not look too bad, but that's fringe, people. Fringe. Nuff' Said.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kristen Stewart Is a Klutz Just Like Bella!

Apparently, Kristen Stewart is perfect as clumsy Bella in Twilight. At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, she totally drops her Golden Popcorn. Haha! It wouldn't have worked better if it was planned. And I liked Rob Pattison's reaction. So cute. Also, she is kind of a nervous wreck. I love how at the end she says "I was just about as awkward as you thought I was going to be" and a quick "bye." So Bella.

Update 6/19/09: Laura has informed me the video doesn't work. Click here to watch.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Twilight Cleans Up at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards

Twilight won Best Movie, Best Female Performance, Breakthrough Performance Male, Best Kiss and Best Fight at the MTV Movie Awards last night. No surprise there, I suppose. Andy Samberg was the host, and below was the opener. The part from Twilight is pretty funny.

I didn't actually watch the show last night. So I was searching for more spoofs, which is the usual thing at the MTV Movie Awards. And I couldn't find any. What's up with that? That's the only reason I would watch the show.

However, we got a bonus last night. New Moon trailer! Jacob is sooooo awesome!