Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun In Las Vegas

My niece is visiting me for a few days which is always fun. It's been three years since she was last here and I've missed her. She arrived two nights ago and we've packed our days with shopping, movies and food.

She arrived in the evening so we stopped at Trader Joe's for supplies and then headed home. We ate pasta and salad and watched TV until the pièce de résistance of the evening: Project Runway. Yay.

The next day we had a leisurely morning and then headed out to The District for window shopping. Then we had Rubio's fish tacos and some Cold Stone ice cream before heading off to the movie. We saw Post Grad which was entertaining and fun. It got pretty bad reviews and I can see how it was a little sloppy in parts but overall I agreed with Roger Ebert's take. I liked the characters and was happy when things worked out for them.

After the movie, we stop at Ethel's (It will always be Ethel M's to me) to get some treats for dessert. Then on to Blockbuster for a couple rentals. Finally, back to Trader Joe's to get pizza fixings. We relaxed a bit before making our pizzas; garlic herb dough topped with pasta sauce (tomato basil for her, spicy Arrabatta for me), fresh basil and fresh mozzarella with grated Parmesan on top when they popped out of the oven. We munched our pizzas while we watched Duplicity. Meh. It was just okay. This time I didn't really agree with Roger. The plot was so convoluted I had a hard time catching up. And when I did catch up, I wasn't impressed. Both main characters were lackluster and there was zero chemistry between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. A little snack of Ethel M's helped me get over the disappointment.

Yesterday, we headed over to our newest mall, Town Square. It is another outdoor mall which I find strange in Las Vegas. The shade from the buildings, along with the misters, helped but it was still pretty warm for shopping. It is bigger than the District and took us a few hours to see everything. We ate lunch at Cadillac Ranch which is new to LV and which was quite tasty. Allie had ribs and I had a portobello mushroom burger. We also had the onion rings. Not the best onion rings in the world but certainly tasty. We took a lot of food home with us. Oh, and we made a stop at Godiva, just to make sure they were still making chocolate. Then it was back home where we took naps and then watched our other movie, I Love You Man. This was much better than Duplicity and there were some laugh out loud moments in Paul Rudd's quest to find a best friend. Roger liked this one best. A tad too much sex humor for me and especially for me while sitting with my 19 year old niece. Aunts don't like to think their nieces know anything at all about sex and I'm sure nieces don't like to think their aunts know anything either. But it was fun. No fancy food, just leftovers. And chocolate.

Today we're heading over to William Sonoma for a technique class in crepes and croques. Neither of us know what croques are, we're just hoping they aren't crocs. I'll update you all later.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Movie Weekend

This weekend I saw two movies, one in the theater and one at home. In the theater I watched Julie and Julia which was exactly what I was hoping for. It was fun and entertaining; I enjoyed the intertwining of the two stories 50 years apart. Meryl Steep was a great Julia. My one complaint would be that there wasn't quite as much food as I would have liked.

The movie I watched at home was Milk. I know, I'm a little behind on that one. It's been sitting at the house for at least 3 weeks because I had to be in the right mood to watch it. I knew it was going to make me angry and sad. Angry at the bigotry and sad at a good man's life cut short. Knowing the ending didn't keep me from hoping maybe Milk wouldn't die. But he did. The movie did a great job of recreating those times in America - so well that I was just as angry as I thought I would be.

I think seeing the upbeat J&J helped me deal better with Milk. Yes, there are are bigots and haters but there are also joyful people and happy times. And there is hope. "Without hope, life's not worth living."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cutest Puppy Ever

I stole this picture from my brother, who probably stole it from someone else. Isn't the Internet great? If this is your puppy and you don't want his picture on my blog, just let me know. Or, if this is your puppy and you don't want him, just let me know.

He is the cutest puppy ever born. And it reminds me that my ex (the nice one) had the biggest puppy dog eyes ever and could get me to agree to just about anything by looking at me just like this puppy is looking at you. How could you say no to those puppy eyes?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charity Redux

This week I got notification that my very first Kiva loan has been repaid and so the money I lent is now available to lend again. I think it's great. At Kiva, you can browse through the list of people who would like a loan. You pick someone and loan them the amount you choose. Kiva distributes the money and takes in the repayments. I think it is a great way to help out. My first loan helped a woman in Brazil start her own juice business and my second load is going to a woman to help remodel her home in Nicaragua.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Proofreading Is A Dying Art

I love crazy headlines and my SIL sent me these. It is especially nice because I haven't been good at posting lately and this makes it easy to have an entry today.
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Monday, August 10, 2009

It 's All Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

As my brother reminds us, it's been 40 years since the infamous 1969 which just goes to show that all those people who say you'll never use math are wrong. In his post, John uses the running joke of Paul McCartney being killed - for those of you born after 1970, just think Kenny. Please note, I just went back and added Paul's last name in the last sentence because it occurred to me some readers might not know who I was talking about. In 1969, I could have referred to 'Paul' and everyone would understand. No one really knows if people actually thought Paul was dead and that some impostor who looked and sounded exactly like him had taken his place, but the rumors persisted.
The first known printing of this urban legend was in the Drake University paper, the Times-Delphic, on September 17, 1969. The rumours surrounding McCartney began in earnest on October 12, 1969, when someone telephoned Russ Gibb (a radio DJ on WKNR-FM in Dearborn, Michigan serving the Detroit market). Identifying himself as 'Tom'(allegedly Tom Zarski[1] of Eastern Michigan University), the caller announced that McCartney was dead. (via wikipedia)
No matter how often the Beatles repudiated the rumor, no matter how often Paul appeared in public and sang, the rumors persisted. Today, I think most people believe Paul is alive. Still.

The modern day version of a silly rumor that won't quit is perpetrated by the birthers, who insist on pushing their theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and, therefore, is not qualified to be President of the United States. It doesn't matter how often their silly stories are debunked, actual people who have been elected to Congress and others, who are supposedly credentialed journalists, push this nonsense. And it would be funny if they were making up stories about a rock musician but instead they are taking away from serious discussion about how to improve health care, how to fix the economy and how to end wars. And they need to stop. I find myself reading the news and yelling, "Grow up and stop playing around or pretty soon some one's gonna lose an eye."