Since I was in Denver on a Thursday through Sunday, I have decided to post a picture from Saturday for week 8 and a picture from Sunday for week 9.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (9/52)
Since I was in Denver on a Thursday through Sunday, I have decided to post a picture from Saturday for week 8 and a picture from Sunday for week 9.
58. Buy an item of food once a month for a year that I've never bought at the grocery store and use it (2/12)
After going to Talin Market in Albuquerque for just the second time, I'm realizing every time I go there I become inspired to make something new. I think Talin will be my source of discovery for new cooking ideas. On this last trip to Talin, I picked up some more of the curry paste I used in last month's new food, but I found another item of food I wanted to make. Lee Brand
Tom Yum paste is what I found. Now I've had Tom Yum before in restaurants, but this would be my first time making it. This Thai version of Tom Yum is a soup that incorporates hot and sour flavors and is traditionally made with seafood and mushrooms. Now, I wasn't planning on trying to make Tom Yum exactly how I've had it in restaurants, so I picked and chose what to put in it.
I first decided that I would like mine to be noodle and shrimp based. I picked out some noodles I already had and purchased a bag of frozen shrimp at the store.
I started by boiling the noodles as I normally would. When the noodles were ready, I added the appropriate amount of Tom Yum paste per the amount of water I had in the pot. Once the paste had a moment to mix into the water, I added all of my veggies, which included:
I also added a few seasonings, then let the soup simmer for a while. I was quite impressed with how spicy this turned out. I knew the Tom Yum paste would be spicy, but of course I added the chili pepper as well. I'm certainly glad I did. The batch I made, which included about seven cups of water provided four total meals (dinner for my roommate and me, then dinner and lunch for me the next couple of days). This was a very simple meal to make and I only used a portion of the Tom Yum paste in the jar. I look forward to using it again with different variations of content.
I forgot to take a picture of the soup when I finished cooking it, but below is a picture of some of the leftovers.
I am beginning a new series of blog entries for my blog, entitled "Blog Blog." These entries will feature a description and review of other blogs. There are a few that I follow regularly, some of which are good friends of mine, and I would like to spread the word so others might check them out.
My first Blog Blog features "The Word of Zupka," a blog created by a friend and former roommate of mine. WoZ features opinionated reviews and commentaries on entertainment topics, mainly movies and television.
You can find reviews of films new and old. Films such as Black Swan, The Untouchables, Hot Shots, The A-Team, Under Seige, True Grit and many more. He'll even give his opinion on upcoming releases, such as Captain America and Game of Thrones. WoZ recently had a series on upcoming remakes and his opinion regarding them. There are also great commentaries on articles such as Badass TV One-Liners. Keep in mind this is a blog and it is full of opinions. I personally like hearing other people's opinions and then throwing in my thoughts on whether I agree or not.
WoZ also contains something very similar to my blog. He has created a to do list similar to my 88 in 888. In this case, it is titled "61* Things to Do before my 30th." You'll even find several similarites between his list and mine. Goals such as "Complete a 10K," "Watch 10 non-English language foreign films," "Pay off my school loans" and many more. We do inspire each other with various things, and I was certainly happy to see him be inspired to pursue some of the goals that I am pursuing.
Overall, it's a fun blog to read with plenty of content. The frequency of posts is a bit higher than mine, so there always seems to be something new to read. You can find the link under the list of blogs I follow to the right, or in the link below.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (7/52)
The moon was really clear so I decided to take a picture of it.
In the last two weeks I have hosted two movie nights. The thing about movie nights is that there’s a limit on guests due to capacity of the viewing area. I wish I could invite everyone I know to each movie night, but there just isn’t room. Plus most of the movies I show don’t appeal to everyone. So I do my best to just invite a few people at a time, then keep inviting until the capacity is full. I’m starting to learn that the capacity can reach somewhere around 10-12 comfortable (maybe a few more uncomfortably). Between the two previous movie nights, there were 8 (including me) at the first one and 9 at the second. There were only four people who were at both, so we included 13 total people between the two movie nights! Thanks to all those who participated.
I usually try to bring something unusual, but every once in a while a great idea emerges that isn't so unusual. This one must be credited to tgools. It was suggested that we do a Godfather dinner and movie night. I love having themes and this was an easy “Yes!” for me. Plus, this would satisfy two of my 88 in 888 goals by hosting a movie night and watching an AFI 100 film. We decided to have guests dress in Godfather-themed attire, have a nice Italian dinner with lasagna, salad, bread and wine, then cannolis for desert We followed up dinner with The Godfather.
For the few of you who don’t know, The Godfather (1972) is a drama chronicling ten years of the Corleone mob family. It is one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, having won three Oscars (including Best Picture), five Golden Globes, a Grammy and numerous other accolades. The Godfather is directed by Francis Ford Coppola (Patton, Apocalypse Now) and stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton. At just under three hours, it is a fairly long movie, but I found myself enjoying every minute of it. I couldn’t remember if I had seen this film in the past, but I realized throughout the film that I was well aware of many aspects of it. I guess that’s what happens with such an iconic film.
The Godfather dinner and a movie night was planned over the course of a couple weeks. The second movie night was decided on three days in advance. Not everyone who wanted to come could on short notice, but a nine person turnout is quite respectable. I chose a film that I had shown at a movie night back in 2009, but every person in attendance for this second viewing had not seen it yet. The film was Repo! The Genetic Opera (not the rip-off Repo Men that was released last year),
a rock-opera that takes place in the near future where an epidemic of organ failures leads to a company (GeneCo) leasing out organs. The catch is that if you don’t make your payments on time, GeneCo sends the repo man to repossess the organs. Repo! actually started out as a stage show in the late 90's, but was picked up by Lionsgate in 2007 to be made into a feature-lenght film. Repo! is probably about 90% singing and the soundtrack is mainly a mix of opera and indurstrial rock. The film was released in 2008 and stars Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas), Bill Moseley (Devil's Rejects), opera singer Sarah Brightman and a surprisingly watchable Paris Hilton. It is a truly unique film that should be tried out at least once. Repo! has also become a cult favorite that has inspired theater viewings with shadowcasts throughout the country (much like Rocky Horror Picture Show). Of course, if you don't like actors singing in films, or lots of blood, then this one probably isn't for you.
18. Get an object to take with me on travel to take pictures of
With a vote of 4-1, Match Up 4's winner is Arnold from Hey Arnold! I'm just going to jump right into the next one. The first competitor should be familiar to all. He is the crazed and lovable Taz.
His opponent, from Mexico, weighing in at a few ounces. He is the Luchadore!
Please comment to leave your votes.
36. Watch 10 non-English language foreign films that I haven't seen (8/10)
There are so many foreign films out there. Chances are someone you know can suggest one you've never seen. That happened to me a couple weeks ago. I was at my local video store, Burning Paradise, with a couple of friends. I picked out a movie that I had wanted to see, Micmacs. It's a french movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the man behind Delicatessen and Amelie. One of my friends asked if I had seen another one of his films, The City of Lost Children. I hadn't. It turns out she owned it, so the following week she let me borrow it. I ended up watching two french films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, made 14 years apart, in a week. It was great!
Micmacs (2009) starts out with a young boy, Bazil, finding out his father was killed by a land mine while at war. The young boy receives a small box of his father's belongings, and inside is a piece of the mine that was removed from his father. He sees the manufacturer's logo on the mine. Fast-forward to 30 years later, Bazil is working in a video store. Late one night he hears gunfire outside. He goes to the door to take a look and is hit in the head by a stray bullet.
Bazil survives, but is stuck with a bullet in his head. Since he was in the hospital for a long time, Bazil loses his job and apartment. While living on the streets, Bazil is taken in by a group of quirky scavengers who live in a dump. The group includes a contortionist, a human cannonball and a master of numbers.
While out scavenging one day, Bazil comes across two companies that are across the street from each other. It turns out one is the manufacturer of the land mine that killed his father, the other the manufacturer of the bullets that hit Bazil. He decides to exact revenge on them by pitting the two weapons dealers against each other. With the help of his friends, he is able to sabotage both companies while leading each CEO to believe they are fighting each other. There are many clever pranks that Bazil and his crew pull, and it makes for a fun time to watch. Of course things do get complicated, but you'll just have to watch the movie to find out more.
The City of Lost Children (1995) is a dystopian fantasy film about a mad scientist, Krank, who kidnaps children in order to steal their dreams. He believes this keeps him young. Krank is aided by a short woman and a set of clones of a former colleague. One day they kidnap the younger brother of carnival strongman One (Ron Perlman). While looking for his brother, One comes into contact with a group of orphaned thieves. One of them in particular, a young girl named Miette, runs away from the group to help One. While working together, One and Miette form a strong bond. They appear to love each other as brother and sister, but it also seems as if Miette loves One in a romantic way.
Anyway, they go on an adventure to save One's brother and the other kidnapped children. It is an interesting movie with a clever depiction of a fantastical city. There are several creative "gadgets" that appear throughout the film that prove how imaginative this film really is. It's obvious that the same person is behind both this and Micmacs. If you've seen either Amelie or Delicatessen, then these two films are right up your ally. The City of Lost Children is definitely the darker of the two, but they have a similar style. Jeunet also directed Alien: Resurrection as his only Hollywood film, but I wouldn't judge him on that.
On IMDB, I rated both Micmacs and The City of Lost Children a 7 out of 10. Also, go see Amelie if you haven't yet. That's a personal favorite of mine.
5. Hall Pass – Hall Pass is the next film by the Farrelly brothers (Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary). The story is about two men (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) who are given a free pass from their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) to do whatever they want for one week. When I first read the premise, I was not that interested. Then I saw who wrote/directed it and who is in it, and I changed my mind. Aside from Owen Wilson, I very much like the cast. Stephen Merchant, co-creator of personal favorites The Office (British version), Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show and An Idiot Abroad appears as a friend of the guys. I have faith in the Farrelly brothers, even if it’s been over a decade since I truly loved one of their films. I am also excited to see Sudeikis get his first lead role in a film.
4. Cowboys & Aliens – This is the only film on the top of my list that I am honestly worried won’t be as good as I hope. C&A is a crossover film in that it combines two genres, Westerns and Sci-Fi. I like the idea of crossovers, as it is unique and outside the box. Jon Favreau directs, but what has he done exactly? Oh, he only directed one of the most successful superhero franchises of all time (Iron Man). I should also mention that James Bond 6.0 and Han Solo/Indiana Jones co-star. Even with all of these positive signs, I still worry that my expectations are too high.
3. The Muppets – This is still in the early stages of development, with mainly rumors flying around. What we do know is that Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is writing and starring, so that’s a good sign. We also know James Bobin, writer/director of Da Ali G Show and Flight of the Conchords is directing. Amy Adams (Enchanted, The Fighter) has signed on to co-star. And of course, all of our favorite Muppets will be there. I love the Muppets, and I am so excited to see them getting a reboot with the brilliant Segal holding the pen. On a side note, I discovered when I was at FAO Schwartz in New York in December that you can now make your own Muppet! I am very tempted.
2. Paul – Here is a film I was eager to get some info on at Comic-Con last year. They had a panel, but it was on Saturday, which I didn’t have a pass for. Paul stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two Brits who decide to road trip through America to see extraterrestrial hot spots. While on their trip, they come into contact with and befriend an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). The only other thing I know is that the government is after them (led by Jason Bateman). This marks the first time Pegg and Frost work together sans Edgar Wright, who was working on his first movie sans Pegg/Frost (Scott Pilgrim vs the World). The trio previously did Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz together. I love these guys and will watch anything they do, especially together.
1. Your Highness – From the director of Pineapple Express comes a new comedy starring two of Pineapple Express’s actors, James Franco and Danny McBride. Franco plays a prince in medieval times whose future wife (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped. He must work with his useless brother (McBride) to save her. Along the way they are joined by an archer (Natalie Portman) who helps them on their quest to save the future princess. By the way, I am in love with the two gorgeous brunettes in this film, and I certainly don’t mean Franco and McBride. I think this will be a quality fantasy/comedy with lots of laughs and good times.
Here are some honorable mentions worth keeping an eye on:
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Friends with Benefits
The Hangover: Part II
I Am Number 4
Kill the Irishman
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Red Riding Hood
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
What's Your Number
10. Hugo Cabret – Not due out until December, Hugo Cabret is the next film by Martin Scorsese. It is the story of a young boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. The story is described as a “magical, mysterious adventure.” This doesn’t sound like a typical Scorsese film, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen of his and I have no doubt this will be a quality film. Cabret features Ben Kingsley, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee and Jude Law.
9. Happythankyoumoreplease – I try to pay attention to indy films, but like foreign films, they’re usually not as accessible. I do take notice of a couple in particular this year, one of them being Happythankyoumoreplease. It is the writing and directorial debut of Josh Radnor (“Ted Moseby…architect”), who outside of How I Met Your Mother hasn’t really done much. This film follows in the footsteps of films such as Love Actually where there are interwoven stories of life and love between six young adults. Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development) co-star. I believe this will potentially be my second favorite non-Hollywood film of the year (see #7 for the first).
8. The Thing – I first have to say that I am disappointed in the choice of title for this film as it is misleading. When I first saw it, I thought it was going to be a remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is already a remake. I was not too pleased. Then I read about it and found out it’s actually a prequel. This interests me. It could help bring Carpenter’s The Thing to a younger generation. The prequel will show what happened to the Norwegian scientific team who first uncovered the alien life form in Antarctica’s ice as seen in Carpenter’s The Thing. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World), Eric Christian Olsen (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) co-star.
7. Super – Super is the story of a normal guy (Rainn Wilson) who because of a certain circumstances in his life decides to become a super hero. This low-budget dark comedy was written and directed by James Gunn (Slither). As a former employee of Troma Studios, Gunn has a particular sense for blood and gore. Word on the street is that Super will excel where Kick-Ass failed, by not taking itself too seriously. Apparently the kills get more absurd and ridiculous (in a fun way) as the movie progresses. Super co-stars Liv Tyler, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. PotC: OST only returns one of the series’ co-stars (Geoffrey Rush), which means no more Orlando Bloom/Keira Knightley romances (thank you!). Penelope Cruz has been brought in as the new leading lady, and Ian McShane (Swearengen in Deadwood) will be the villain, Blackbeard. Sparrow and his crew are trying to get to the fountain of youth before Blackbeard. Rumors are that this could be the start of a new trilogy. If this film is fresh like the first PotC film was, then I am definitely ok with that.
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