Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dazed & Confused

I came across some outrageous couture photos of a dress collection a while back. I remember looking at them and doing a double-take while thinking, "Oh, wierd!" Since then, I keep coming across these photos, and the more I look at them, the more I am completely fascinated.

Viktor & Rolf designed this crazy-abstract collection, which was featured in the February issue of Dazed & Confused Magazine. The collection is called "The Amsterdam Chainsaw Massacre". Sounds morbid, but each dress is totally mesmerizing.

[Photos - weheartit // wetbehindthears]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm a Shabby Girl.

I'm totally a Shabby Girl.

I actually found on accident and boy was it a sweet accident!! As you know, I first decided to start blogging back in October last year, and I wanted to make my little blog fabulous and personal - compared to other boring blogs I've seen. The second I found shabbyblogs, I saw light shining down on my laptop and angels singing.

[I know some of you read these posts straight from e-mail updates, but you gotta check out the actual thing sometime! It's a totally different experience! Hehe!]

With that said, Megan - the creator of - designs the cutest backgrounds, buttons, headers, etc. for blogs and offers the most adorable freebies from time to time. I really wanted to pass these on, because they are too cute NOT to.

Today, Megan posted a freebie for some cute cupcake wrappers! Perfect for Easter!

1 of 2 designs - These ones happen to match my background! :)

Just wanted to share!

To download the cupcake wrappers or wanna make your blog fabulous, check out --


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Uh, Babe? There's a Fire in the Oven!

So just yesterday I rambled in this blog about having nothing exciting or ridiculous to blog about.. And whattaya know?? Within minutes of posting it, my mind was screaming, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!

We were making a frozen pizza in the oven.. a common occurrence in our household. When we first moved into our apartment, we tried to be smart by laying tinfoil down on the bottom of the oven. We did this to avoid a nasty mess from all of the crud that somehow drips or causes oven-cleaning to be a royal pain. Many times I've noticed when things have made a mess in there and I've been oh-so-relieved that we had put tinfoil down. Well I don't even know if this had anything much to do with the tinfoil or not -- I've been meaning to replace the foil since it's been looking pretty "used" as it's done its job well by catching food and drips, etc. As the pizza was cooking last night, I was doing laundry and Justin was cleaning up in the kitchen. We both kind of smelled something "burnish" so I opened the oven to check the pizza.

As soon as I saw it, I was actually speechless. It took me a couple seconds to spit out, "Uh, babe? There's a fire in the oven!" There was a little flame coming from the bottom, and I couldn't tell if the oven itself was on fire, or if a pepperoni or cheese had somehow fallen off the pizza and ignited? Of course this would happen to us. We quick shut the oven off, got the pizza out (save the pizza!!) and poured some water on our little ambient campfire occurring inside our much-needed kitchen appliance. Wow. Thankfully the fire was put out with no problem, and no pizzas were harmed in the process (I'm kidding, I really don't care that much about the pizza..).

Somehow that little fire in our oven reminded me of the many times our air-conditioning unit froze over this summer - leaving this apartment scalding hot, and Justin and I baffled. I remember the first time it happened.. We opened the utility closet (containing the heater unit and air filter thing, and air conditioner thing) and we saw the air conditioner vent COVERED in snow. SNOW. Are you kidding me right now? Called and called for it to be looked at, because obviously something was up. I think it was around the 6th time it happened and it was 100+ degrees outside, I look at Justin and say, "Skip maintenace, I'll take care of this." and I whipped out my blowdryer and began blowdrying the snow off. Good idea? Eh.. I thought so, until I started to see bright blue flashes of light which freaked me out and Justin made me promise never to do it again. Creepy!

I wonder what normal life would be like with fire-free ovens and snow-free air conditioning units in the summer. Hmm.. All I can do is laugh, right?


Saturday, March 27, 2010

But I Found It So Entertaining...

I feel like I haven't been blogging as much lately.. I've keep waiting for something ridiculous to happen so I can share it with the my friends and family and the blogworld. I have to admit, I have almost begun to enjoy when something unbelievable happens (maybe not immediately at the time) because now I think, "Oh my gosh, I have GOT to blog about this..."

So, although I keep thinking life has been boring lately, we've actually been up to a lot! I've really been enjoying our Shepherding Group we have been going to for over 4 months now. We have met a lot of new, fun people. It's been really great to make new friends and branch out a little bit more. I swear I'm still homesick everyday.. I miss my family and my friends back home in the Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois & Indiana). I wish all of my favorite people would just gather together and we could all go to California and eat ice cream and go to the beach everyday and live happily ever after..Isn't that even a little bit possible??

We celebrated our birthdays (Justin - March 16, Me - March 21) and it was grand. It's been so exciting to open packages in the mail. I feel so loved and special. Justin made my birthday so sweet.. He bought me flowers, we had mimosas and pancakes for breakfast, went shopping and had a really nice dinner. One of my many lovely presents was a subscription to Psychology Today - which is honestly one of the coolest gifts I've ever received.

Work has been crazy. Stressful. Tiring. I'm realizing everyday that counseling and therapy is really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.. Most days I love my job. Some days it's so overwhelming and stressful, and I hate that I feel like I can't help these some of these kids and their families. I'm to the point where I'm in desperate need of a vacation. The latest rumors floating around our clinic? Downsizing. I feel like I'm living in an episode of The Office. Everyone's been on their toes, I'm trying to crank my productivity and out-do myself. To be honest, I'm nervous because I haven't come up with a Plan B... yet.

Yesterday, I went to the zoo with one of my client's Kindergarten classes.. That age is honestly the best. AH! I laugh so much during our sessions because those kid's say the funniest things. I can't wait to have kids.. Even more, I can't wait until they will be old enough to have conversations with me!

I'm finally jumping back into reading the 3rd Twilight book - Eclipse. I had to put it on hold after Justin gave me the book, Dear John for Christmas and Stacie and I had our own personal "book club" as we read through it (ha!). Since we've both been going through Twilight series together as well, it's been really fun. Of course, we all know "Dear John" was made into a movie and of course, I had to see it. I thought it was good.. not amazing, but good! It drives me nuts when movies are made from books and everything gets twisted, details are missing and it's just not the same. Yeah yeah.. books are always better than the movie. I know this. I agree. But you have to admit, after spending hours and hours of reading a book and visioning the characters and scenes, how could you NOT want to see it come to life in a major motion picture?? I just wish movies would be more accurate. If it was my book turned into a movie and everything was twisted like Sophie Kinsella's "Confessions of a Shopaholic"? How insulting! Can't the directors and screenplay people just follow the books? How hard can that be? With all that said, I've finally started Eclipse and it's getting goood!!

We did have a recent "did that just happen?!" moment that a friend of mine was surprised I didn't blog about.. I swear, we have the WORST movie-going experiences. It's almost to the point where I dread going to the movies, because I know that everyone around me will be inconsiderate and rude. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie without thinking, "Are you kidding me right now???" People kicking our chairs, crying babies and people talking and snapping gum from beginning to end. What is wrong with people? Can't they just sit still and enjoy a movie they paid to see? I don't think I'm that irritable (atleast, I'm trying to minimize my complaints). I just don't get it. So we saw Dear John, we actually didn't go until last week, which happened to be it's last week in theaters, so I'm all the more excited, thinking "Yay! Less annoying people!" We find our seats, theater had maybe 10 people throughout. Within the first 10 minutes, people behind us are talking. Loud. So.. do I turn around and witchly go, "SHH!!!" or just get up and move? We chose to move. We moved down to seats behind a row of women.. a grandma, 2 young girls and a younger woman. Harmless, right? No way. During the entire movie, grandma kept getting up and shuffling down their row to the steps. She would stand on the steps for about 6 or 7 minutes and then sit on the steps. One of the young girls (who - of course - had the squeakiest chair in the whole theater) shuffles down the aisle to see what's up with grandma. 2 minutes later, they shuffle back to their seats. Uhhmm...? Justin and I look at eachother like, "Whaaat is going on?" Well, of course this fiasco happened another 4 or 5 times. Shuffling, standing on the steps, sitting on the steps, grandma was crying at one point, grandma moves back to her chair and whimpers. Grandma on the loose again. I can't believe we witnessed this circus the WHOLE movie. The poor lady should have just left! I don't think she saw any of the movie with all of her husky shuffling action. Why did she have to ruin it for everyone else?

Not much else going on.. Excited for my sister Vanessa to come visit again in April. We've been wedding planning for her wedding this September, and it's been oh-so fun! Wish Lanae could come down too.. Looking forward to my friend, Tiff's wedding in less than a month too! I love all of this wedding stuff!!!

Well, I'm off. Hopefully more exciting posts to come..


P.S. I can't stop listening to Lily Allen - She a little edgy, but I absolutely adore her.


[Photos - weheartit, unless specified, Lyrics - Lily Allen]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

5 Reasons Why I Love the Month of March

Hello, spring! I love the big fluffy pink and white trees covered in flowers.. Half the people I know hate these because they stink or because of allergies, but I on the other hand, love 'em. I wish they were like that all year long. Until I moved here, I never knew what a "pollen count" was. Apparently pollen/allergies are a huuuge thing here in SC. I don't have allergies, so I guess I never really understand what all the hype is about.

The weather starts warming up, so we start planning trips to the beach..Mainly to Charleston.

St. Patrick's Day. We always think it's kind of annoying when people say they're Irish, just for St. Pat's , but whatevs. I do have some Irish in me on my Mom's side - not sure how much.

Tax Returns, baby! This year, we had unfortunate results. In NO case should anyone ever have to OWE money when taxes have been coming out of your income all year long. Ugh - Typical.

Justin and I celebrate our birthdays! Just 5 days apart, we try to make our "birthday week" last as long as possible.. We got some sweet and exciting packages from friends & family and had a fabulous dinner with friends. I don't even feel any older..


Lately, I've been lovin' some oldschool Marcy Playground --

[Photos - Weheartit]

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stella Started It

I have to be honest, I didn't realize that Stella Liebeck's fame was so incredible that awards have now been named after her. Does anyone else remember 79-year old, Stella, who sued McDonald's in 1992 for the coffee-spilling incident? There are a lot of debates whether or not she was driving when it spilled, how much she sued for or what actually happend. My original thoughts regarding the awards named after this woman were, "C'mon Stella! Can't you get some control over your dang coffee?!" Rumors say: After she got in her car, she took the lid off her 49-cent, hot coffee and held it between her knees while she was driving. What did she think would happen? Well, spilling Stella won. The jury awarded her 2.86 million dollars, but she ended up with a total (awarded by the judge) of a whopping $640,000.00. Since I actually decided to blog about Stella & some real half-wit people, I looked a little further into Stella's case -- Of course, no one really knows the "facts" of what happened, except for the little spiller herself, but I actually feel really bad for her! I guess she was scalded pretty bad! I would be devastated if my Grandma was burned by coffee (and it wasn't even Starbucks!). 

Stella Liebeck vs. McDonald's
Thanks to Stella, other idiots have proceeded to file lawsuits for some of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of. This brings us to "The Stella Awards". I received this my friend, Tiffany who forwarded this to me in an e-mail, today. Plus, I added a few award-winners from a couple years ago that couldn't be missed. This totally made my day.
  • Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.
  • Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.
  • Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ‘em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming "undue mental anguish". Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
  • Shawn Perkins was hit by lightning in the parking lot Paramount's Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. A classic "act of God", right? No, says Perkins' lawyer. "That would be a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction in these types of situations." The lawyer has filed suit against the amusement park asking unspecified damages, arguing the park should have "warned" people not to be outside during a thunderstorm. Wow.
  • Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt-bite, because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.
  • In 1997 Bob Craft, then 39, of Hot Springs, Montana, changed his name to Jack Ass. Now, he says that MTV's TV show and movie "Jackass" was "plagiarized" from him, infringes his trademarks and copyrights, and that this has demeaned, denigrated and damaged his public image. No attorney would take the case, so he has filed suit on his own against MTV's corporate parent, demanding $50 million in damages. If nothing else, Jack Ass has proved he chose his name well.
  • The family of Robert Hornbeck. Hornbeck volunteered for the Army and served a stint in Iraq. After getting home, he got drunk, wandered into a hotel's service area (passing "DANGER" warning signs), crawled into an air conditioning unit, and was severely cut when the machinery activated. Unable to care for himself due to his drunkenness, he bled to death. A tragedy, to be sure, but one solely caused by a supposedly responsible adult with military training. Despite his irresponsible behavior -- and his perhaps criminal trespassing -- Hornbeck's family sued the hotel for $10 million, as if it's reasonably foreseeable that some drunk fool would ignore warning signs and climb into its heavy duty machinery to sleep off his bender.
  • Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Whatever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?
  • Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000….oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.
  • And finally, one of the biggest idiots and well-known Stella Award-Winners: Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make himself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that he couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded him $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mr. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.
I thought it would only be appropriate to shoot for my own Stella Award and perhaps win some big bucks in the process. Justin and I were trying to brainstorm some "unintentional" efforts we might come up with. Maybe if I slammed my fingers in my car door, I could sue Acura for not putting it in the manual to "watch my fingers" when closing the door? Or maybe I could go to a piercing-loud rock concert, hug the speakers all night, and then sue the speaker company because I went deaf. Or, I could just use the camera on my blackberry when I go snorkeling for underwater-pictures, and file a suit against blackberry for not informing me that my phone shouldn't be used for underwater photography. These people are ridiculous to think they can get away with such absurd lawsuits - but what's worse, is the jury and judge are actually falling for it. Hmm.


[Original sources are debatable. I'm sure many of the "awards" could have been fabricated, since these come from forwarded emails and things like that. Whatevs.. Still hysterical and enjoyable to shake my head at these people, if any of it is true! Additional sources - Stella Awards, photo source]

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Academy Awards

Finally, the 2010 Oscars have arrived! Since I was little, Oscar Night has always been a big deal for my mom and me. Trust me, there's a system. We each have our lists of nominees - which we carefully make our own predictions of who we think will win. We have our pens locked and loaded for our note-taking during the pre-show for what we loved and hated about WHO'S wearing WHAT on the red carpet. It was pretty upsetting when we realized that our Oscar Night tradition wouldn't be the same once I moved to SC, but we've managed to make it work! Although I get to enjoy them with my hubby, my mom and I speed-dial eachother every, single commercial break to talk about what just happened! Ohh, I love my momma!

I thought I'd take this opportunity to blog about my Red Carpet LIKES and DISLIKES & highlights from last night's Academy Awards:

Zoe Saldana in Givenchy -- This dress could have potential, without the gigantic slit up the front. The explosion of ruffles at the bottom made the dress look stiff and difficult to move in.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel -- Chanel, yes. Going for couture and style, maybe. All SJP acheived was the look of an oversized pillocase and frizzy hair. One of the worst.

Mariah Carey in Valentino -- I'm not sure if it's the neckline, the brooche or what, but this dress reminds me of 1994. I doubt she means to, but a lot of times, I think her dresses make her look like a football player. Her stylist should direct her to something more flattering..

Kathy Ireland -- Not even sure what she's wearing. Kathy was the highlight of our jokes for the Red Carpet. What is this woman's problem?! For some reason, she was hosting some of the the Red Carpet interviews. She was awkward, stiff and kept posing like a mannequin! Her hair was drab, and as far as her dress goes - it doesn't.

Amanda Seyfried in Armani Prive! -- This was another dress I wanted to like, but it was too stiff and had a strange resemblance to bubble wrap. Plus, the color totally washed her out. Bummer.

Kate Winslet in Yves Saint Laurent -- I absolutely love Kate, but definitely didn't care for her dress. A little to armor-esque for me. I especially disliked the gathering on front of her skirt (was it even 2 pieces?), it just didn't seem flow together at all. Her hair and makeup were flawless.

Meryl Streep in Chris March -- Meryl is one of my ALLTIME favorites, but c'mon! Long sleeves? Not only did this dress make her look older, but the length, the sleeves.. I really didn't like anything about this dress. The neckline was O.K. Her hair didn't make up for much. She's always so happy, so I'm happy! I love you, Meryl!

Charlize Theron in Dior Couture -- Ah, I love Charlize as well.. But really did not like this look. Two petals as the focal point of her breasts? Blah. Great color, but the dress was not her best.

George Clooney & girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis -- I don't know if anyone else noticed, but George was in desperate need of a haircut. Holy crud! His girlfriend, Elisabetta was pretty unfriendly (maybe unable to speak English? But atleast smile!) and her dress not only made her breasts look pointy, but whatever she was wearing under her dress was lumpy and very visable. It was so hard to miss.. I heard her zipper broke before they were on the carpet, and George was quite the DIY-man and sewed it up for her. What a guy! I'm annoyed with him though.. More about that later.


Kristen Stewart in Monique Lhuillier -- I love that she kept her edge but played with glam. I love the neckline, the color, everything.

Vera Farmiga in Marchesa -- More than anything, I loved the color. The ruffles were a bit much, but somehow, Vera managed to pull it off. I will say that some at some angles, the dress made her appear wider than she was. Overall, she looked really beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez in Giorgio Armani Privé -- On the carpet, this dress was a lot more lilac. My first reaction was WOW! The more I look at it, I am back and forth on the texture. I am sure others will disagree, but I will admit I like this. I enjoyed the abstract neckline and the fullness of the dress. We all know JLo doesn't need it, but I loved it on her. Her hair was a different story.

Elizabeth Banks in Versace -- Everything about her was fabulous. Her sparkly headband, her soft blue organza dress. I totally loved it.

Diane Kruger in Chanel -- I've heard a few negatives about this look, but I loved it. Chanel can be kind of hit or miss (just look at SJP!), but I adored this mix of ruffles and pleats.. I think it was perfect for Diane, plus I thought it even complimented her role in "Inglorious Basterds".

Cameron Diaz in Oscar de la Renta -- SO classy! Everything about this look is fabulous.

Demi Moore in Versace -- Oh my word. Can Demi look any younger?! This dress was my favorite. I love the layering, the ruffles, the colors.. Absolutely incredible. Hair and makeup, gorgeous. The only thing missing.. Where's hubby, Ashton??
Miley Cyrus in Jenny Packham -- First, why is Miley Cyrus at the Oscars? Uhh, shouldn't she be cheesin' it up at the Disney Awards?? Ugh! Since she was there, and I actually loved her dress, here are my thoughts: Her dress was one of my favorites. It drives me nuts because I can't stand Gums-Man-Voice McGee as it is, and she managed to slouch ALL night in that beautiful gown. Did anyone else see her creepy, angel-wing-tatooed mom kiss Ryan Seacrest on the cheek? What's up with that?! So wierd. Back to the dress.. I love it. Hair, makeup, and jewelry I have to admit, well done. She's trying to look way older than she is, but whatever.

Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab Haute Couture -- This dress and color was perfect for Rachel. It was romantic and one of the few prints on the carpet that WORKED. Love it.

I have to say I'm a little bummed to hear Barabra WaWaWalters is ending her Oscar's Special on her 29th year. Why not end on her 30th? She says "30 years is just too many". Interesting. Her special guests were Mo'Nique (nominated for Best Supporting Actress for "Precious") and Sandra Bullock (nominated for Best Lead Actress for "The Blind Side"). I (like most others who watched) was pretty grossed out when Mo'Nique admitted that she liked to go el-naturale by choosing not to shave her legs.. as well as choosing an open marriage with her hubby, by claiming it was "wasn't cheating if they slept with other people as long as they were honest about it". I never knew much about her before, but I definitely know more about her now. I really wanted to see "Precious" when it was in theaters and I still plan on seeing it.. it looks like it deserves all of the awards it nominated for and won. Sandra Bullock has always been one of my faves and she was funny as I expected.. joking around with Barbara and talking about her competition with Meryl Streep. Good stuff!

This year, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosted the show and I thought it was OK. The comedy seemed a little forced.. Kinda boring actually. To be honest, I like Steve Martin.. I think Alec is a teeny overrated (can't STAND 30 Rock) but I was excited to see them hosting. Their whole beginning chunk of comedy went something like this: "Hey! There's Meryl Streep [cameras pointing at Meryl].. She did a movie about this.. blah blah.. She was great.. " Then, "Hey! Did you guys see Matt Damon?? [cameras to Matt, jokes about Matt]" etc. etc. It kept going on..jumping around from celebrity to celebrity - at one point, I looked at Justin and said, "How long are they going to keep doing this for??" It just seemed kinda, ehh.. That's the best they can do?? Then they get to George Clooney, who was clearly not having ANY of it and he gave the dirtiest look, refused to smile.. and it was actually pretty funny because Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin just stared him right back down for it! I don't know why George had to have such a crabby attitude, maybe because he had to do some sewing pre-show for his girlfriend's dress? Who knows. Have a heart though, Georgy boy. You're on TV, and you look like a meat-head refusing to smile. As for Steve and Alec? I give them an A for effort.. that's about it.

I thought the stage seemed kinda low-budget this year.. I don't know why. I guess it just didn't seem glam/classy/Oscar/Academy Award Night to me at all.. Who knows. The sound was really poor too. Static and feedback throughout.. Did anyone else get that?? Oh well. It was still Oscar Night, and I love Oscar Night, so I was happy anyway!

A few highlights from the night...

Nominated for Best Leading Actor:
George Clooney in "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth in "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman in "Invictus"
Jeff Bridges in "A Crazy Heart" - Won
Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker"

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor:
Matt Damon in "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci in "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" - Won

Nominated for Best Leading Actress:
Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" - Won
Helen Mirren in "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan in "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious"
Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress:
Penélope Cruz in "Nine"
Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick in "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique in "Precious" - Won

Nominated for Best Director:
James Cameron - "Avatar"
Kathryn Bigelow - "The Hurt Locker" - Won
Quentin Tarantino - "Inglorious Basterds"
Lee Daniels - "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Jason Reitman - "Up in the Air"

Nominated for Best Film Editing:
"District 9"
"The Hurt Locker" - Won
"Inglorious Basterds"

Nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year:
"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
The Hurt Locker" - Won
"Inglorious Basterds"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

I assumed that "Avatar" was going to sweep through and win win win, but they didn't! It was nominated for 9 and left with 3 wins. "The Hurt Locker" was also nommed for 9 and ended up winning 6 awards (most for the night), and "Inglorious Basterds" was up for 8 and left with just the 1 win.

I'm glad we were able to see "The Hurt Locker" a few nights before The Oscars, so we knew what all the hype was about.. I thought it was pretty good.. I can see why it won all of the directing, editing, mixing, etc. awards, but I dunno about "Best Picture". It didn't have much of a plot -- I would have loved to see "The Blind Side" or "Precious" win (even though I haven't seen "Precious" yet). Oh well.. It was a good movie, overall.

So, there ya have it. My thoughts on the Red Carpet, Nominations and Wins. Every year, my mom and I enter for bleacher-seats at the Oscars, but so far it just hasn't been our year. Guess we'll just cross our fingers for 2011!


Photo Sources:
Just Jared

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An aMUSEing Weekend

On December 7, 2009, my Mom calls me screaming and asking me where I am, if I'm sitting and if I'm prepared for the biggest news ever: MUSE IS COMING, MUSE IS COMING!! Oh my gosh. I was preparing for news that someone had died or something, but thank goodness it's something glorious.. MUSE is coming to the U.S., headlining on tour. Oh man. MUSE is my Mom's Ultimate favorite band. Since the Twilight soundtrack came out, my mom has had a whole new eye-opening experience to good music, including MUSE and MuteMath.. which led to a newfound love for Kings of Leon and The Features and oh my word, the list goes on (Go Mom!)! Anyways, my mom loves MUSE.

So, for Christmas, part of our presents were tickets to see MUSE in Duluth, GA (near Atlanta) - which she, and my sisters would also be coming as well. Oh, flip. Let the planning begin!!! Last weekend, MUSE rocked our socks off and we had one of the greatest little trips ever.

Thursday, Februrary 25, my mom and youngest sister, Lanae, flew out of Minneapolis into Indianapolis to where my other sister, Vanessa, lives. For some strange reason, Vanessa's cellphone wouldn't receive any incoming calls, so even though my mom and Lanae landed, there was no way to reach Vaness, who was looping around at the airport pickup spot. What a nightmare for everyone! My mom and Lanae kept calling me, even though there was nothing I could do all the way in SC! It was a big mess, but luckily they were able to finally connect. The three of them hung out for the evening in Indi and road-tripped down to Greenville, SC early the next morning.

On their way down, they tried to make their 9-10 hour drive go a little bit faster by getting cars to "honk" for whatever reason, and it eventually became a game to see how many honks they could get by the time they got to Greenville.. At one point, when I talked to Lanae on the phone to see how they were coming along, she mentioned to me their little game and that they were at "20-something honks" and so I challenged them to get 50 honks and for every honk over 50, I will shake hands with a random person. Wow.. When they arrived in Greenville, Lanae flies out of the car screaming, "66 HONKS!!! Ha!!! You're dead meat!" Great! It was really just a good cause to help them make the time go faster, right??

Friday, the evening they arrived, was such a nice relaxing night! We made homemade, BBQ Chicken Pizza (one of Justin and my faves!) and rented The Proposal. We laughed and caught up.. It was just a really good night.

The next morning, (Saturday, February 27th) we were able to sleep in a little, but woke up with excitement because of our big day. MUSE was finally here!!!! We rocked out to MUSE and I had fun doing everyone's makeup! We headed out the door and made our way to Duluth, GA (a little ways north of Atlanta). It was only a 2-hour drive to Duluth, and it went so fast because we had MUSE blaring the whole way..

Once we arrived in Duluth, we checked out what time the doors were opening at, drove around for awhile and finally found a good place for lunch... The Arena Tavern. Lunch was super yummy! Incredible burgers and sweet potatoe fries. Mmm!

After lunch, we still had plenty of time, so we headed over to the venue to wait for the doors to open. After waiting for a while in the cold, we finally got inside, found our seats and eventually met up with my mom's friend, Lori! It was really cool, because Lori also loves MUSE and she (like my mom and Lanae) flew down from Minneapolis for the show!! She was staying with her sister for the weekend in Atlanta, and they went to the show together as well. How fun to be able to see her there, even though we wish we could have hung out a little longer!

So we found our seats.. They were decent - not great, but not horrible. The stage was set up with 3 huge towers on it, each appearing to have some sort of covering them. I bet Justin that they would light on fire or something because they looked kind of "smokey" (I turned out to be wrong).

Silversun Pickups opened for MUSE. I don't know much of their stuff, but if I could compare them to anyone, I would say, holy cow, they sound just like Smashing Pumpkins. At first I thought their bassist was a dude wearing a silk dress.. Then I realized it was just a manly looking girl playing the bass. Intereshtiiing!

Before Silversun, Lanae and Vanessa went down to scope out the stage setup and befriended (of course) one of the security guards, Randy. They came back and soon the show began. Just our luck, our seats were located under a well-lit overhang, directly below the upper deck (aka the "nosebleeds"). All of the usher/ticket-checker people were rushing people to their seats, including the 94-year old woman who kept guiding people to walk directly in front of us, through our row, during Silversun's entire performance. Are you kidding me, great-grandma?? Our row is not a walkway for people to pass through! We're trying to watch the flippin' show!! If you can imagine, after the 20th person who tries barging their way, bumbling through, beer in hand, oh NO. NOT gonna happen. Especially not during MUSE. Eventually we started snarling at everyone who rudely clutzed their way through.. How would they think that's OK? People, go find a walkway!

Halfway through Silversun, Lanae leaves and comes back saying, "Hurry! There are enough seats for us all down in the front! Let's go!" So we gladly escape out of our lit up seats, away from great-grandma and the row of walkways and shuffles. We booked it 6 sections over, all the way to the front, right by Mr. Randy Security Man, who said he didn't care if we sat the empty seats. Hmm. Ok!

After Silversun, Lanae kept trying to schmooze with Mr. Randy, hoping get passed down to stand on the floor or possibly get closer seats. I think Ran-Ran didn't really have much power, but would have helped if he wouldn't have gotten in trouble.

So we sit down, nervous and paranoid that the legal seat-owners will appear at any moment. My mom kept saying, "uhh..should I ask the girls next to me about those other open seats?? What about those seats?? What if.." Oh how nerve-wracking! Literally, 30 seconds before MUSE comes on, seat-owners appear and we're out of luck. Are you kidding me?! Who shows up for a concert 30 seconds before it starts?! Ahh! In embarassment, we shuffle our way out of the perfect, unlit, anti-great-grandma guiding seats and make our way up the 300 steps as the lights are going out and MUSE's opening is starting. The crowd is screaming. Adrenaline is rushing, I think even I could hear my mom's heart beating. Oh. My. Gosh.

We made it to the top of the stairs and left Lanae in the dust! The towers lit up and it looked like people were marching up a staircase.. It was so incredible, yet so difficult to describe. It was really cohesive to their "Absolution" Album, with the sillhouettes of bodies and such. Very cool. In one motion, the tower coverings drop all the way down and reveal Matt, Chris and Dom each in the middle of the towers while pounding "Uprising"! Oh. My. Word. We couldn't miss the opening, so we kept watching it from the top of the stairs, plus we had to wait for Lanae, and if possible, maybe look for any other open seats before giving up and heading back to our dreaded seats (compared to the sparkling ones we just came from!).

["Uprising" Live, Filmed by Ppakoe59]

We didn't even get through half of the song before Dragon Woman (an usher) comes storming over to us growling for us all to "LEAVE". Oh c'mon Dragon, have a heart! I told her calmly that we we were leaving, but we were waiting for my little sister. A minute later, Dragon huffed and puffed and demanded that we "MUST LEAVE". Wow, Dragon clearly didn't understand the concept of patience and took her job way too seriously. I reminded her that we were not going to leave without my little sister and replied that she would wait for her (yeah, right). So instead of wasting any more time with Dragon, we quickly escaped her wrath and moved about 15 feet away from her, until we could find Lanae or wait for "Uprising" to finish. Of course Dragon wouldn't fall for that one.. within a minute, she comes firing over to us and started getting all up in in our business - I even tried dancing with her for a minute, and boy she wouldn't have any of it - So we left. UGH!

We made it back to our original seats and it honestly wasn't so bad! The spotlights above our row finally went off, and the show was IN-CRED-I-BLE. The lights, the stage and set up with the towers moving up and down and the energy.. Oh, it is just to impossible to describe.

During the show, they had giant eyeballs drop down from the ceiling! When they popped, red confetti exploded everywhere! It was so different from any show I've ever been too.

These guys are musical geniuses. One of the greatest shows I've ever been to.

After the show, we headed back to Greenville, stopping for milkshakes and apps at Denny's (an after-concert tradition). I'm pretty sure we all fell asleep with smiles on our faces that night.

The next morning we were so exhausted, we slept in and spent the morning with our cameras plugged into the TV so we could all look at our pictures from the trip and MUSE.. Good laughs and memories already! Since my mom, Vanessa and Lanae's birthdays are all in January, Justin and I decided that we wanted to spend Sunday celebrating birthdays! We got ready and headed downtown Greenville to Reedy River and walked around for a little bit. I'm sure my mom and sisters especially enjoyed the weather - which was pretty warm for them coming from Minnesota (and Indiana).

For dinner, we went took them to one of our favorite restaurants in Greenville - Chicora Alley. "Caribbean-Southern" style food, and oh so good.

We shared the chicken nachos covered loaded with their 7 homemade fruit salsas (augh, my favorite!), the roasted red burrito and pork quesadillas... And we were STUFFED. Lanae fussed that I asked for the nachos without jalapenos (can't stand 'em! It's habit!), and asked the waiter for them on the side. So, to make things interesting, I decided to challenge Lanae to a little dare. I dared her to eat her precious jalapenos - 9 (cut up) of them left in a little cup - all at once, with no water for 1 minute. I suppose you could compare this to the Cinnamon Challenge (check out my recent post here). Lanae was a little weary to accept, but after offering to buy her some ice cream afterwards, she accepted.

She did it! Our nice server even brought her some milk! Oh, we laughed so hard as halfway through choking those peppers down, my mom felt pity on her and goes to stand by her for comfort.. Vanessa shouts out, "Oh look at mother hen!!" Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty hysterical!

We stopped by Spill the Beans for ice cream, but Lanae wasn't feeling up for it, because her mouth was still on fire! I felt kinda bad, but hey -- She didn't have to accept the challenge! We made it home to relax a little bit, before Justin and I pulled out our the candle-lit, raspberry-fudge chocolate cake we had been hiding from them all weekend.. Happy Birthday, girls!!!

We enjoyed the yummy cake and French Silk ice cream before watching Secret Window -- Hello, Johnny Depp! Another great night with my sweet mom and sisters.. The perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

After packing up and exchanging pictures/videos from the weekend, it was bedtime, and the girls had to get up early to hit the road to head back to Indianapolis. My mom and Lanae's flight left out of Indiana later that evening, so it was important to make pretty good time!! Luckily they didn't run into any trouble or traffic (always the story of Justin and my life!) so they made it home good. What a fabulous and oh so a-MUSE-ing weekend.. I wish it could have lasted longer!!

Listen to MUSE!!

[All videos by "Ppakoe59" on YouTube - Thanks!]
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