Monday, July 27, 2009

The flip side of crazy.

Hello blog world. Long time no see. Sorry for the lame last couple of posts on my part. We put on a huge kid's event at church and all of my thoughts had been directed towards Kidfest. So, the best I can do is to summarize the last two weeks. It was a fast and furious (and fabulously rewarding) time of life and I kind of feel like I'm just now waking up.

They were 14 days in which...

I cared more about having time to make coffee in the morning than doing hair or makeup.

I thought long and hard about whether or not waking up to take a shower was actually worth it.

I let most calls roll to voicemail.

I ate Honey Nut Cheerios, Lean Cuisine, or take out for every meal.

I took my fruit and vegetables in juice form. Thanks to the Siscos for keeping me healthy.

I did not go to the gym. Not even once.

Ibuprofen was the snack of choice.

I wondered how I got lucky enough to get paid to do what I do.

I was slimed. That really was almost the worst part for me. It looked like vomit, not slime.

I felt like a rock star. Hundreds of screaming kids.

I wore a pink Hannah Montana jacket from the little girls’ section of Wal-Mart.

I obtained more bruises in a day than hours of sleep at night.

I wore pink hair extensions and pink fingerless gloves.

I helped make up dance moves for a new song. They were straight from Flash Dance. Thankfully everyone else was too young to notice.

I find my reward both in the moment and the hereafter.

I learned that I am actually saying "I love you" in this photo instead of something to the effect of "let's rock." Awesome. I've been doing that wrong my whole life.

I got my priorities straight when starting my time off: hair cut, Harry Potter (FINALLY), memorizing lines for Camelot, 2 Corinthians 4, and grilled cheese.

It's good to be back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Joey and Val: A G-Chat Interview

Valerie: Okay. I need to blog. But I have no ideas.
Joey: Interview me immediately.
Valerie: Who do you think you could do a really great impression of?
Joey: Fidel Castro. If you gave me two months to grow a beard.
Valerie: What are you most excited for during the month of October?
Joey: JPIN (Julie's Posse Invades Nashville, thanks AP). Me and Sam are also going to Graceland. I watched a documentary on Graceland where some old lady ran into the jungle room and took nail clippings. She says they are Elvis. I also saw a lady who claimed to have a wart of Elvis'. She had it in a vial.
Valerie: Oh like you wouldn't pay big money for a Brad Pitt wart.
Joey: I hope to be one of those people. I have Brad Pitt's autograph. It's a make up test from Fight Club. It says "Brad" with a squiggle after. Other celebrity autographs include David Letterman, Apollo and Starbuck from Battlestar, Paul Schaffer, Fergie, and Will Ferrell.
Valerie: I like your variety.
Joey: Paul Shaffer wrote, "Stay hip!" Defining life advice?
Valerie: What was your best or favorite year of college?
Joey: Senior. Easily senior. I really enjoyed it. Hung out at House 9, got into law school, did a lot of club stuff. It was a really good time. Freshman year I was insanely shy, sophomore year was great because of Oxford, junior was hard for a lot of reasons. My favorite year of high school was junior. Second grade was my favorite elementary school year because I learned about rock and roll. Middle school years were all a tie for last place. What about you?
Valerie: Yikes. I'd have to isolate two semesters. I'd go with spring semester of sophomore year, also for Oxford, and then spring semester of junior year. House 9 got really fun, and I was soaking up time with Lara before she left for England, and I hung out with a lot of people I never had before. And my roommates and I just had a ton of fun! I think that was really kind of the height of House 9. Lots of great Chinese Food Fridays at our house, tons of theme parties... It was just fun!
Joey: Glory.
Valerie: Glory indeed. What was your first impression or memory of me? And don't worry- I won't be offended by any less than favorable responses. Including, "I don't really have any memories of you. Oxford? Really? Were you there??"
Joey: Did you sit with your roommates when we had our pre-Oxford meeting in the Bible building?
Valerie: Oh yes.
Joey: Well, I remember thinking y’all were interesting at that meeting. Then in Oxford I thought you were sassy. I remember standing in the hall of the second floor and you telling some kind of travel story.
Valerie: I'm sure you were riveted.
Joey: Would you rather get a VIP pass to Comic Con, Emmys, or Oscars?
Valerie: OSCARS. Holy crap on toast. Wait, who is interviewing whom here?
Joey: I don't know. Both.
Valerie: Haha okay. I have input from a third party on a question now....
Joey: Mystery Guest!
Valerie: Indeed! "What is your favorite Austin eatery, and what do you order?"
Joey: Pssh. Z Tejas. Iron Cactus. Chuys. Manuel's. Mothers. Taco Bell. Salvation Pizza.
Valerie: And how does that work, with your current low carb status?
Joey: Awesome. As long as I eat crazy stuff before 2 pm or so.
Valerie: Duly noted.
Joey: I'm intrigued by Mystery Guest. What kind of food do they want?
Valerie: Well they are just helping with the interview! So really it's a theoretical....
Joey: Oh.
Valerie: Yeah. Sorry.
Joey: Taco Bell is my favorite restaurant. Z Tejas is my favorite real restaurant. Book People is my favorite bookstore. Stubb's is my favorite music venue. Rusty Nail is my favorite cocktail
or Hendricks Gin and Tonic. I don't go to coffee places.
Valerie: When are you writing your "Joey's Guide to Austin" book?
Joey: When I move out of the suburbs.
Valerie: Follow up question: What will said book be called?
Joey: Ah... Hmm. “Joey Gets Lost: What Not to Do in the 512.”
Valerie: I like it! I would buy your book. And not just because we're friends. Though that would be like 95% of the reason.
Joey: Thanks for your support.
Valerie: Hey no prob! Batman or Superman?
Joey: Oh man. Traditionally I would've said Batman hands down. Superman seemed so lame and vanilla. But really, I think Superman is more impressive, because he deals with evil in a world not his own, and he chooses to stay optimistic and hopeful. Batman has a lot of merit too. He's a pragmatist, a realist. I think DC does a great job of playing the two off each other. They want the same thing, but they have different MOs (and probably different motives). They kind of balance each other and need each other. One of my favorite comics was this book called Red Planet (I think?) where Superman lands in the Soviet Union instead of America. And how he supports Communism and it's kind of an alternate history, really thoughtful. Heath's Joker gives that great upside down speech, where he really names Batman.
Valerie: I love seeing the things you're passionate about, I must say.
Joey: Taco Bell and comics.
Valerie: You're a profound man.
Joey: Well really, comics and law/politics are dealing with the same things. What's justice, what's the best way to live, what obligations do we have to each other. What happens when people give up? What happens when they persevere? Obama has been painted with a Superman costume under his shirt, and there's that pic of him posing under Superman. What happens when Joey eats a cheesy bean and rice burrito and immediately after takes a standardized three-hour test in a quiet room?
Valerie: LOL! The world definitely wants to know! Well, I think we'll go ahead and start wrapping this up. Any final thoughts? Words you'd like to leave our audience with?
Joey: Um.
Valerie: Nice.
Joey: Yes. 1) I wish I was friends with Seth Cohen and Chuck Bartowski and Veronica Mars. And that we all hung out. I don't have anything good. I was just thinking that Rachel Bilson went out with both of them. I was then thinking that if all of us were on a dating show. Plus Natalie Portman. Wwho would end up with who... Seth, Chuck, me. Bilson, Natalie, Veronica.
Valerie: You have more good ideas than a...peddler of good ideas.
Joey: Another thing I want the world to know is that I'm really good at guessing who is who on Gay, Straight, or Taken.
Valerie: Yeah?
Joey: Yes. 4/5 I get right. Also, I don't understand why DVRs still have the Record to VCR option. Is that viable in 2009? Aren't automatic transmissions the new standard transmission?
Valerie: So true.
Joey: The last thing is that if I invented English, the word for mirror would be one of those words that is the same backwards and forwards
Valerie: Now THAT'S a good idea.
Joey: And I love space. I often have dreams of floating in space.
Valerie: Planning to join NASA after law school?
Joey: No, but I went sky diving. Also I played Mass Effect a lot on xbox. Which is basically space.
Valerie: Agreed. Well Joseph, I think I've taken up more than my fair share of your time. Back to studying?
Joey: Okay, I'm gonna get back to...the uniform commercial code
Valerie: Sounds thrilling! Another interview topic for another day, I am sure.
Joey: Thanks for having me. When are you coming to town?
Valerie: As soon as I'm invited, I suppose! A Joey's Posse Invades Austin party, perhaps?
Joey: Yes. I'll figure it out after the bar. Okay, back to the books
Valerie: Good luck!

End Scene.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brain Power

Running a little on empty at this point.

I feel like I don't even have the brain power to write full sentences. I sent an e-mail on Friday that had the word intricle in it. That's not even a word. It's been that kind of a week.

This made me laugh.

Let's do this.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

After the Prince

**Warning- Some slight spoilers regarding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince follow, but these are not major plot points, and will definitely not dampen your enjoyment of the film! Still thought I'd give you a heads up, though!**

“Half Blood Prince: So they won't start on this one until September-- that doesn't mean I can't make my predictions about the film now! It's hard to say what they'll leave out, since of course I always think everything should be in the movie. So I'll play process of elimination. They can't leave out Dumbledore's explanation/quest of the horcruxes, obviously, since that has become the crux (sorry) of the series. Whether that means they'll cut out Voldemort's backstory I'm not sure, but they'll obviously shorten that considerably. They have to include Draco and his little project, but it will be fast tracked, and trimmed down to just the bare minimum. They obviously have to include the Potions text book et al, since that is the title of the movie, but I bet it's just Hermione nagging at Harry not to use it and him getting really good at potions. I think that also would leave them to have to include Harry's attack on Draco, but I just don't know. I thought they had to include a lot of other stuff that they've left out of the movies! Let's see....they'll also need to have devote at least part of the storyline to Harry's new love interest-- that is pretty much just a given. Other than that, I don't know what else would be critical to leave in. I think Slughorn will be there, but not a lot of the storylines that he's involved with. Maybe just where Harry saves Ron's life, but most likely not Harry retrieving Slughorn's memory. Gosh, I just don't know! Man, I really hope they keep Quidditch in, at least so we can see what goes on with Harry there. It just makes me happy. :) And I'd love to see Fred and George's joke shop, but that falls into the "not entirely necessary" category. Fleur and Bill are so gone. Ron and Lavender are most likely out, as poor Ron gets left out of everything these days.

In conclusion, though, I think Half Blood Prince could be a really awesome movie. If Prisoner of Azkaban is dark and weird, then I think Half Blood Prince could just be cool. Really.”

I wrote the above on my old Xanga blog on July 17, 2007. Having now finally seen the movie, I’d say most of my predictions were pretty accurate! I didn’t get Slughorn’s memory or Ron and Lavender quite right, but other than that I got a lot of it correct. I'm so glad they did include Fred and George's joke shop after all, especially since I was wearing a "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes" shirt to the premiere!

So, yes: I did see Half-Blood Prince at midnight the other night. The whole evening was so much fun, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Can you believe I actually hoodwinked six other people into going with me? Me neither. ALSO: they didn't pretend like they didn't know me when I put on my Gryffindor scarf (knitted just for me by Katie!) AND Harry Potter glasses. I'm still amazed. I mean really-- would you just look at me? I wouldn't have blamed them BUT AT ALL if they'd made me stand in the very back of the line as long as I was dressed like that. It's a wonder....

The movie was indeed, very “cool.” I don't think I was expecting it to be so funny, though! I just laughed and laughed all the way through. (Until, of course, the devastating ending.) Other than that though, it was filled with absolute hilarity and teenage hijinx! I love the direction of David Yates, and am eager to see what he does with Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. It's so great to see all of the British acting elite in all of the Harry Potter movies (Jim Broadbent was an inspired choice for Slughorn), and it will be great to see Bill Nighy finally join the cast as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in movie seven.

I really saw very few negatives in the overall movie. Aside from my usual issues with their changing things or adding puzzling new scenes*, my biggest criticism of HBP is that the movie felt like it had no soul. Yes, it was intense and scary and sad and, I said above, devastating in parts, but I just didn’t feel the gravity of certain events as much as I thought I should. I don't know what I'm looking for to help with this- slow motion? different music? longer scenes?- but it just didn't hit me as hard as I thought it should. I felt like HBP lacked the gravitas of my favorite Harry Potter film, Order of the Phoenix, and could definitely have taken a page from that movie as far as lasting consequences and the very real threat of an overarching and pressing evil.
I think, however, that this movie will appeal to a very wide audience. It's a remarkably accessible film that requires very little introductory information if you've never read the books or seen the previous movies. If you do go see it, let me know what you thought! Lord knows I have more say on the topic!
So is anyone planning on catching the movie this weekend? I'm ready to see it again, and would love to tag along....
*Really, I’m over it, even the bits about Harry and Ginny. It’s just—HOW can you botch that storyline? It was absolute perfection in the book, and they turned it into something awkward, nonsensical, and seemingly inconsequential. Sigh.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The calm before the explosion.

Whew. What a weekend. Val and I both spent the holiday in Galveston with tons of relatives, too much food, and too little sunscreen. The highlights include one large extended family reunion, a neighborhood parade complete with motorized cooler (that's our "float" to the right), water balloon launching at passing boats, and the celebration of my Grandmother's 80th birthday. Success. Vacation time over. Now to the most insane three months I could possibly imagine. Deep. Breaths.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peace Out!

....Summertime is finally here....
Well kids, you won't be hearing from us for a few days, because G and I will be soaking up the sun on the beach in Galveston this weekend! I can't wait to celebrate the 4th, eat a lot of good food, float in the canal, chill with the cousins, lay on the beach, share a laugh at our GIANT family reunion, cruise the neighborhood in our slammin' new golf cart, and spend time with all those from Arizona. All one of them.

Catch you on the flip side!