Archive | April, 2013

Summer Movies

20 Apr

They’re a-coming!!!

Iron Man 3 (5/3) – The guaranteed-to-be-awesome kickoff movie for the summer.

The Great Gatsby (5/10) – I’m not a Baz fan. I know… I know.

Star Trek Into Darkness (5/15) – I would probably write this off, but for one thing: Benedict Cumberbatch. We’ll be there.

Before Midnight (5/24) – I hadn’t heard of this trilogy before, but am super curious now. If I can get to the first two before this one comes out, maybe it’ll be a nice, light change of pace.

Now You See Me (5/31) – Could go either way, but the combination of Jessie Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine give me hope that it’ll be a good one!

After Earth, The Internship (6/7) – On the fence. Love the idea of Will Smith with his son in the same movie, but not so into the premise of the movie itself… and while the Internship looks hilarious, I don’t know if it’s worth seeing in theaters.

Man of Steel (6/14) – Chris Nolan is enough for me, but if it’s not enough for you–this trailer was SO good.

Monsters University (6/21) – Yay for Pixar doing good! This will make up for the bad karma that a movie like Airplanes must bring.

The Wolverine (7/26) – I don’t exactly understand what’s going on in this trailer, but I bet it’ll be entertaining.

Elysium (8/9) – The themes of this summer involve the apocalypse and outer space… and even though I’m a big Matt Damon fan, I don’t know if it’ll be worth it. Will wait for reviews.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (11/26) – Okay, so this isn’t coming out in the summer… but the new trailer released this week and I can’t help but include it. Yay J Law!

Did I miss anything? What are you planning to watch?

New Music

19 Apr

Just a lot of fun music releases (or teasers of music releases) that were worth sharing:

Sara Bareilles – Brave (what an anthem! can’t wait for her show next month)

Psy – Gentleman (I canNOT believe how popular he is!)

Pentatonix – Evolution of Music (this was so creative & fun)

Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell Williams) – Get Lucky (while this is only the teaser for the song, the world is going craaaazy over it. This is going to be the song of the summer.)

Anna Kendrick – Cups (I loved the scene in Pitch Perfect, but am a little aghast that they turned it into a single AND a music video)

What are you listening to? Like anything I shared above?

The Boston Marathon

19 Apr

To be honest, I had no idea that the Boston Marathon was going on this week nor did I realize the cultural significance it held in that part of the country. B mentioned “What’s happening on Boston??” in a random email early Monday afternoon and because I had closed Twitter (this doesn’t happen often), I had to open it back up, but didn’t have to scroll down far to figure out what was going on. The news was everywhere. Two bombs had gone off near the finish line.

A few days later, well over 100 are reported injured (with lots of amputations and surgeries) and there have been 3 deaths (one of a little boy… his parents). For me personally, I’ve been following the news and stories and now have a better understanding of the city, its culture, and what the Marathon meant, thanks especially to Bill Simmons’ tweets, post on Grantland, and Steven Colbert‘s really poignant intro (should I be embarrassed to admit this?).

I didn’t realize it started in 1897, the world’s oldest marathon. I didn’t realize it was regularly held on a weekday (Patriot’s Day) and people took off work to be there. I didn’t realize that much of the city would go watch or cheer for complete strangers at the finish line. I didn’t realize what it meant.

The Bruins-Sabre hockey game a couple days later was the first major event what the Marathon (the Celtics game was cancelled). This is the most beautiful version of the Star Spangled Banner I have ever heard. Hearing every person sing the National Anthem at the top of their lungs really, really movesI can’t even imagine being in a room full of people like this who’ve just gone through the same thing together, singing about the bombs bursting in air

This article from the New Yorker is a great read. It commends the volunteers, medics, and hospitals of Boston (and the nation) on its fast response and to highlight how much of our perspective and preparation has changed for when crazy things like this happen. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

I also highly recommend reading and meditating over Tony Reinke’s article at Desiring God that describes how so many of us felt (or still feel) with a strong, repeated exhortation to pray, pray, pray. To pray for the victims and the families. To pray for the churches (and those in them). To pray for the perpetrators (click through for the full explanation if you need a “why”).

Next year, there will be another Boston Marathon, Lord willing, and it will be different (because big scary things always require change), but it will be good. It will be the people of Boston making a big, bold statement to the world. I have no doubt runners from across the country will make the trek to be part of that statement, as will others who join the rest of Boston as spectators and supporters of the race. For the first time in my life, I look forward to the Boston Marathon.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches (& Parody)

18 Apr

I loved this Dove ad. Their agency (or their internal folks… or both) are straight-up genius. This ad was beautiful, touching, and pulled at all the right heartstrings.

And… this doesn’t diminish my admiration for the ad in any way, but this parody (with men) is HILARIOUS.

The Voice – Battles Round 2

18 Apr

Tuesday episodes of the Voice are always a little less exciting because they’re trying to cram so much into only an hour (vs. the 1.5 hour Monday episodes), but battles are battles!

  • Battle #1: Warren vs. Michael (Team Adam) — I actually liked Michael better… but I do think the coaches are choosing based on versatility and marketability, not just 100% pure talent, especially when it’s close
  • Battle #2: Josiah vs. Jeff (Team Usher) — You had to know Usher would pick Josiah after that botched practice with Jeff… not to mention, Josiah was a model. M-o-d-e-l is another spelling for marketable!

Battles 3-5 weren’t even televised! Whoa! For those six, they didn’t even get screentime… which must have been devastating to them. For a lot of people, I bet part of the allure of the Voice is hopefully getting some publicity, but for them… nope. I get why it has to be this way (so many contestants, only so many episodes) but felt a twinge of sympathy.

  • Battle #3: Grace vs. Trevor (Team Blake) — I had to go back and figure out who these people were… Grace had a really interesting audition but didn’t really catch my eye (ear?) and Trevor’s blind audition didn’t even get fully aired. Gone before you knew him.
  • Battle #4: Audrey vs. Jamila (Team Usher) — Similar situation — Audrey had an okay blind audition (I actually didn’t love it, but she was hilarious when she chose Usher super-quick like that) and Jamila didn’t get screentime.
  • Battle #5: Tawnya vs. Mark (Team Shakira) — Both had their blind auditions aired, but Tawyna’s was definitely better. Definitely.

And the grand finale!

  • Battle #6: Danielle Bradbury vs. Caroline Glaser (Team Blake) — Danielle was the adorable little country girl who sang T Swift’s “Mean” (with an awesome backstory) and Caroline was the coffee-shop country singer with a unique voice. They were both really good and seemed like they avoided cattiness, but I wasn’t surprised that Blake went with Danielle (nor was I disappointed!) but it was really fun to see Adam and Usher literally throw themselves at Caroline for the steal. J and I chat about this show after each episode and we talk a lot about how Usher comes as so, so cool all the time with his one-liners, but in this episode, he was straight up BEGGING Caroline to choose him! And… she didn’t. I think she made the better choice with Adam, but it was pretty awesome watching Usher beg. Can you imagine Usher begging you!? For anything?!

Anyway, the battles are half(?) over and then onto the “knockoffs”… if you’re not already watching, now’s a good time to jump in!

Kobe’s Promise Fulfilled

18 Apr

Yesterday was a really exciting day in the NBA for fans of the Lakers.

Because the Rockets lost a critical game on Monday, there were now a number of “if/then” scenarios that determined 1) whether or not the Lakers would make the playoffs and 2) if they did, who they’d play.

Basically, if they beat the Rockets yesterday, they’d be the 7th seed and play the 2nd seed, the Spurs (who everyone thinks they actually have a shot at beating). If they lost AND Utah lost their game to the Grizzlies, they’d be the 8th seed and play the Thunder (who everyone thinks they’ll definitely not have a shot at beating). But, if they beat the Rockets AND the Jazz beat the Grizzlies, the Lakers wouldn’t make the playoffs. Sheesh! With me, still?

Anyway, to cut to the chase, Utah lost their game (boohoo so sad NOT) and guaranteed that the Lakers would play in the post-season. Then, despite an amazing last-minute (like, last-half-minute, if we’re being technical) three point shot from Chandler Parsons that pushed their game into overtime and despite two of their starters out (Kobe & Nash), Pau + D-wight (ha) + team still made it happen and the Lakers are not only going to the playoffs, but they’re going in as the 7th seed and playing the Spurs!!!

After the game, Kobe addressed all the skeptics who had doubted the Lakers would make the playoffs in the first place with this tweet:

https://twitter.com/kobebryant/status/324758097329549314

He made a big statement a few months back promising that the Lakers would make it, and now he gets to enjoy his “I told you so,” broadcast all over the world via social media.

Tim Duncan? We’re coming!!!

Tips & Tricks {Household}

18 Apr

Because they’ve been helpful to me, I wanted to share a couple of household tips I’ve seen on Twitter:

America’s Test Kitchen is an amazing organization that runs the ATK TV show, Cooks Illustrated magazine (no ads!), a lot LOT of cookbooks, and much more. They’ve re-tweeted this tip a few times since I’ve followed them, but I think that’s purely because it’s that useful. I hadn’t realized people microwaved their lemons in the first place, but I do see the genius behind a simple technique that maximizes the juice you can get from the lemon.

Bonus: Choose your lemons (and limes) by their skin–smooth is key. And most citrus fruits should feel heavier than they look… this works for me when it comes to picking out tangerines, oranges, etc.

From the Pioneer Woman (oh Ree…) whom I adore even as she’s exploded in popularity recently… I recently started to air/hang-dry more of our laundry, particularly my cotton sweaters/tops (to prevent shrinkage) and a lot of our “colors.” I didn’t really have a problem with wrinkling but when I saw this tip from the Pioneer Woman, I thought it was genius! I’ve used it on khakis/chinos and jeans and it works for us.

Hope these help you and your household! Do you already do or use either of these tips?