Cranky Holiday

I knew my holiday spirits wouldn't hold up. I am officially over the holidays as of today.

I was really excited for them. I love my family, but I am already stressed about heading home. Getting an "agenda" for your vacation isn't too relaxing. And I am going to miss my boyfriend a bunch, whose birthday is on Christmas day.

I feel SO cranky right now!

Grade: F


I checked out this restaurant on Southport. I was concerned because it is billed as being a fusion of Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the Phillipines. A whole lot going on!
But, we got a bunch of appetizers and all tried each others dishes, and all of us loved it!
That's all I have to say...blogging bores me these days...
Grade: B+


December Oscar picks

Here is what I am thinking will get nominated in each catagory. I limited myself to just one runner-up in each catagory.

Best Picture:
The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Children
Runner Up: The Queen

Best Director
Martin Scorsese – The Departed
Alejandro González Iñárritu – Babel
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Todd Field – Little Children
Bill Condon – Dreamgirls
Runner-up: Clint Eastwood – Flags of Our Fathers (God, I hope not...)

Best Actor:
Peter O’Tool - Venus
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyiness
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
Runner-up: Aaron Echart – Thank You for Smoking (I predict some attention and new buzz ahead)

Best Supporting Actor
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Brad Pitt – Babel
Jack Nicholson – The Departed
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
Michael Sheen – The Queen
Runner-up: Jackie Earl Haley – Little Children

Best Actress
Hellen Mirren – The Queen
Kate Winslet – Little Children
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Judi Dench – Notes on a Sandal
Annette Benning – Running With Scissors
Runner-up: Penelope Cruz – Volver

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine
Rinko Kulchi - Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhall – World Trade Center
Runner-Up: Adrianna Barraza - Babel

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Sandal
Thank You for Smoking
Runner-Up: Flags of Our Fathers

Best Original Screenplay
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
A Prairie Home Companion
Runner-Up: Stranger Than Fiction

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Quail Egg Ravioli

I know I already blogged about Schwa. But I can't stop thinking about that amazing quail egg ravioli they had there. A softly cooked quail egg inside that amazingly good pasta, served with some creamy yumminess and white truffles shaved on the top. It is, for sure, the best dish I have ever had. Heaven!

Grade: A+




Pedro Almodover's obsession with mothers continues with Volver. Penelope Cruz stars in the movie about a woman, her daughter, her husband and her dead mother.

I movie is light and heavy and funny and a downer all at once. Almodover continues his reign as one of the world's greatest directors, even when taking on something that seems to have a tinge of Hollywood fluff movies to it.

Cruz deserves the attention she is getting, but there is something about her that I just can't latch onto and fall in love with like most people have. She is great in this role, but I can't say I am in her cheering section for an Oscar. But, her sister, that's a different story, I loved the role and the actress who played her.

Grade: B+

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As you have heard me say before, Douglas Coupland is my favorite author. He still, but I can't say I love Jpod.

It is the story of a guy and his quirky coworkers at a video game production company. They have a boring office life, but the protagonist, Ethan, has a crazy life outside of work: parents who grow and sell pot, a cheating-ballroom-dancing-attempted-film-star father, shady Chinese business men, heroin addicts and the like. Oh, and don't forget a pivotol role for Coupland himself in his own novel (which seemed trite after seeing Bret Easten Ellis do this in the last novel I finished).

I guess I was let down because it felt like Coupland took a bunch of his past books and mushed them together into some sort of "greatest hits" novel. Take one part Microserfs, one part All Families are Psychotic, one part Shampoo Planet and mix it all together for this novel.

And the pages of random numbers, computer code, useless rambing cultural refernces, etc. didn't help.

As hard as I am coming down on this, I still sort of liked the book. Just because I like Couplands style. I like the cooky scenarios and geek chic characters he creates. But next time I want him to tone it down a little and not throw so much into the pot all at once.

Grade: B-