A Visit to a Foreign Land

Over the weekend I decided I would treat myself to some much needed R&R. Mostly my coworkers should be thanking me, because without a mini vacation I would have probably murdered them all come the beginning of the workweek. Not a big deal.

After much debate [see: none at all] I decided to visit the love of my life, Laurel. I’ve spoken of Laurel here quite a few times because she was my usual movie date, before she broke my heart and moved four hours away. Laurel got a real job, and needed to move to upstate New York in order to be an adult. I’m not saying I hate the state of New York for stealing my date but….I hate the state of New York.

Let’s just say that it is the longest weirdest drive ever.

Yes, that is dirt on the windshield.

Also, I will just apologize for my photography skills or lack thereof, because I took these with an ipod touch…high tech.

Laurel lives in this adorable little town where dreams come true. Just one family’s dreams. A long time ago this strange family moved to this secluded area and decided to start a village on the land the found [see: stole from the Native Americans]. The family built up this village and inserted their hobbies throughout [art, farms, etc]. Today there is one living member of this family and she has bought up all the land around the “village” to ensure it retains its quaintness [see: isolation] forever. Weird, right? It’s like something out of Lost.

While this corner looks semi-abandoned it was not. There are a handful of adorable restaurants and delis as well as a picturesque lake off in the distance. Covered with snow. Alas, it will be summer someday, right?

This photo is the adorableness known as Laurel’s street. Although she is moving in .5 seconds, we can just love this road anyways. This is how all the residential streets in Laurel’s town look, very New England-y with the random outside flags to match. In true New England fashion all the houses are beautifully antique and very squished together with an old money feel. Oh, and as soon as we arrived in New York it snowed, obviously. On the first day of spring. Cool.

Laurel and the roommate fiancée conquering New Zealand…

 

All in all it was a relaxing and beautiful. I am anxious to see this adorable little town in its full blown summer glory with the expansive lake and the charming flower lined houses!

-A

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Movie Review of the Week!

Hello ducklings!

Over the weekend I was warmed with a surprise from my lover friend Laurel. Laurel has recently left me for a life in the real world, so I was jumping with joy upon her return visit. Immediately we decided that we would go to the movies, because this was a pastime we greatly enjoyed.

[When I say greatly enjoyed, I mean seriously. We went to the movies 4 times a month. Or so. Maybe more]

Quite obviously, we decided we’d pop in to see No Strings Attached.

I know. How adorable.

I really do love both Ashton and Natalie and was excited to see them acting in love.

Synopsis:

Adam [Ashton] met Emma [Nats] at summer camp when they were 12ish. Adam is a little bitch and Emma is a non affectionate shoulder to cry on. Later on in life they find that they keep running into each other and cannot stop locking love eyes. Emma offers him a bed to sleep of the drunk one night, and thus begins the whirlwind relationship that is”sex friends”. Adam begins to catch feelings, Emma is a stone cold bitch. What will happen in the end?!

What I liked:

I couldn’t really tell if Ashton and Natalie had chemistry, because I like them both so much I would watch them build card houses. So I guess that’s a good thing. They were enjoyable to watch and both so adorable that you left the movie trying to find Ashton on twitter to tell him he needs to dump scary Demi and try to claim babydaddyhood to that child in Nats belly. The jokes were awkward and slapstick appreciated. Most appreciated was Ashton and how simply adorable he was. A carrot bouquet instead of flowers? Yes, please.

What I liked less:

I felt about this movie how I feel about Sex and the City in my old age.  When I was younger I loved the ladies, and even loved Carrie. I was ecstatic when Big met Carrie in Paris to whisk her off her feet and live happily ever after. I, like every other woman in America, had amnesia and couldn’t recall a day where Big treated Carrie like anything less than a princess. OH WAIT. Women around the world were blinded and told that the guy that broke your heart, yea him. You know the one. Eventually he will come around and love you forever. Just stick it out. NOT TRUE. No Strings Attached essentially tells you that your random hook up with a hot guy will turn into an amazing connection. Your random hook up will not be a loser, but in fact will be a creative, sweet, and thoughtful hot man. False promises.

Go see it if: you are in the mood for a better than average chick flick.

Don’t go see it if: you are recently single or delusional.

-A

The day after the day after the day after Christmas!

IE Another Movie Review.

GOTCHA!

Hello my dears!

How were your holidays? Still carrying over into the work week? I had an EXTRA long weekend because I always have Mondays off. Needless to say I am basically crying here in my office chair staring at my office computer, both of which are painful reminders that I am no longer in bed. WAH. Great news however. MY BFFL CO-AUTHOR of this blog is coming to the arctic to visit in a mere TWO DAYS. THAT’S RIGHT. REUNITED AT LAST. I am going to clean my house and buy enough Greek yogurt to swim in [it seriously accounts for 50% of our daily food consumption].

REGARDLESS. To keep my excitement at bay I sat down with my soon-to-be-departed Laurel and my roommate fiancée to watch a movie. Upon very little convincing we decided on the new movie “Easy A” because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Our resident Gay and the Golden Globes recognized this film with high accolades, so there had to be something worthwhile within it.

This movie was kind of amazing.

This movie follows a young girl [played by Emma Stone] as she suffers through a bit of high school and all that it has to offer. I enjoy Emma Stone for her slapstick humor, her subtle poise, and her weird throaty voice. She uses her slapstick quite a bit in this movie as she climbs the social ladder from a nobody to a slutty body. Begun somewhat accidentally Olive [Stone] starts a rumor about her sexual escapades to avoid a conversation with her incredibly irritating best friend. Word of her sluttiness [see: lies] gets around and pretty soon her GBBFL [Gay best friend for life, COME ON KEEP UP] is asking her to also lie and say she slept with him so he will stop being hazed. Pretty soon Olive is faux sluttin’ it up all over town, obviously with repercussions; see: the movie.

Highlights [reasons to see the movie]:

#1. Penn Badgley is in it. He is so hot, and does NOT disappoint in this movie. There is one scene where he is getting out of a swimming pool. This scene is irrelevant to the whole movie and entirely gratuitous, but I am not complaining.

#2. Amanda Bynes is in it. I LOVE Amanda Bynes. I am a little bit of a movie snob but I found myself literally laughing out loud to both “She’s the Man” and “Sydney White” and who could forget a segment called “ASK ASHLEY” on a little show we remember, ALL THAT!

#3. The rest of the supporting cast is PHE-NOMENAL. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson play Olive’s AMAZING parents with stability we can only hope for as parents. [I told my roommate fiancée I wanted to be that kind of parent when I grew up. He told me I need to relax]

#4. The movie has a good message and you will spend the rest of your evening racking your brain trying to remember if you ostracized a girl you didn’t even know for getting more play than you did in high school.

 

So in conclusion, see this movie. Unless you are square. Or a skank. KIDDING! Everyone will enjoy it. Except probably your dad.

-A

I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins

Hello my little snowballs!

Let me just say, that I love Taryn and her mother.

Last night I had a small Christmas present wrapping get together complete with the Muppet’s Christmas Carol and baked goods. Sarah and Laurel made those Lemon Ricotta Cookies that Taryn so thoughtfully gave us the recipe for here. They are AMAZING. They are cakey and moist [worst word ever] and delightfully lemony! They were a snap to make, and they came out beautifully! I highly recommend the recipe to anyone with taste buds. I also made lava cake [ALSO courtesy of Taryn and her wonderful Mom], which is literally my favorite food in the entire world. I LOVE IT. I love the cakey part, I love the lava part, I love the hot gooey part…I LOVE IT ALL! I was in heaven while wrapping presents and watching Rizzo fall into snow banks. Make the cookies!

Day 9: The gift for the super nerd in your life. Most likely a sibling [Kasey]

I literally have no idea what any of that means, and the only way I could tell time would be estimating. Regardless, I am sure SOMEONE in your life can crack this clock, or at least appreciate the ridiculousness of it. Luckily for me and all those non-math majors out there, a cheat sheet is included with the clock containing an explanation of each number/symbol/mumbojumbo. This pretty as a math problem clock runs you a mere $25. A small price to pay for intelligence.

Go solve something

-A

Yesterday was Tuesday: Another Movie Review

Hello friends,

Seeing as how yesterday was Tuesday (and as the title suggests), I went to the movies.

Before the movie, Laurel, the roommate and I watched the Celtics game. EPIC WIN.

Moving on.

We decided to spend our five dollars peeing our pants, and sit through Paranormal Activity 2. Now I am not sure if any one in the world saw Paranormal Activity (1?) but it was crazy town.

Disclaimer: OBVIOUSLY THIS IS ABOUT THE MOVIE. If you don’t want to know, go read something else.

Laurel and I pretend we like scary movies. We sometimes get so excited we have “scary movie nights” where we intentionally seek out and watch scary movies. Then we cover our faces through half of it, squint through the other half, and sleep in the same bed later. It is a form of torture, that for some reason we revel in, and we are always up for a scary movie.

We sat down for the movie in a packed theater. On a Tuesday night. What a bunch of losers. ANYWAY, the movie begins and you’re already freaked out. The house is too nice, the family too perfect, the dog too cute, the kid too adorable. OH NO, A KID! That’s how you know a scary movie is going to ruin your life, if there is a kid in it. I was already freaked out.

The too-cute family has a “Break in” [see: demons going through your stuff], so they install creepy cameras all over their house.

Then, it gets crazy.

The first overnight glimpse in night vision goes by with no issue. In reality, there might as well have been something dramatic, because my heart was already beating 18 times faster than normal. The entire audience was also on edge as was evident by the nervous laughter once morning broke after the uneventful evening. We were all united by the fact that we almost pooped our pants over nothing.

Then the pots start falling.

The A-hole husband tells the wife she must have put the pots back incorrectly. OKAY BUDDY, REMEMBER THAT LATER.

In an attempt to clear their minds of the crazy ghost shit they are choosing to ignore, the husband and wife go out on a date, leaving their female teenage girl to watch their toddler.

GREAT.

Because the teenager is a dumb, she gets locked out of her own house. Meanwhile the child is getting dragged out of its crib by something invisible, and then he proceeds to walk around. Alone. In the creepy house. NO BIG DEAL.

Whatever, the parents come home and think she is irresponsible.

More crazy shit happens.

Oh then, the wife/mom gets dragged by her feet down the stairs and then down into the basement. YUP.

Basically that’s when I stopped watching. I was sweating profusely.

And crying. Just kidding [am I?].

Basically see this movie if you’re trying to pee your pants.

-A

Another Movie Review. Seriously.

As previously mentioned, I have a huge problem. I literally go to the movies once a week. Also as previously mentioned, I only go on Tuesdays, because I am super cheap (and maybe saving for a wedding..). I love everything about the movies; the gross seats, the obnoxious kids undoubtedly sitting next to me, snacking on all sides of me, ugh! What is not to love!

Regardless, this particular brisk Tuesday evening, my dear friend Laurel and I decided on It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

After seeing the previews it seemed evident the movie would exceed the parameters of the title and in fact, be extremely funny. After failing to get even the smallest smile from the ticket taker, Laurel and I frolicked into the movie theater.

We cozied up into the most awkward positions in our seats, and waited.

[side note: while we were waiting we saw a preview for the Black Swan. Please watch the trailer, and then go cuddle a stuffed animal, because it’s creepy.]

A disclaimer – once again – If you do not want to know about this movie, go read something else, because clearly I am about to talk about it.

Based on the previews alone, I was really expecting a semi-light story line, with lots of jokes, and a cute moment here and there. I was a little misinformed. It had actually pretty heavy subject matter, that was portrayed in a semi-realistic fashion.

The movie starts with a young boy, let’s call him Craig [that’s his name], and his obsession with the fantasy of killing himself. It’s not necessarily an obsession with actually killing himself, but it’s something he thinks about all the time. He makes the executive decision to admit himself to the local NY hospital and has a surprisingly hard time convincing the doctors there he is suicidal. In the ER waiting room he meets a man we will call Bobby [also his name] who appears to be a Doctor. Bobby is played to a near perfection by funny man Zach Galifianakis, and is actually a psych patient in disguise.

Once admitted Craig realizes to his horror that there is no insta-fix to his problems, and that he just gave up 5 days of his life. He also realizes Bobby is in fact, not a doctor. Once in his temporary room in the ward, Craig starts to have a change of heart. Bobby, mixed with the other crazy people, mixed with Craig’s antisocial roommate, forces Craig to feign wellness in attempt to escape. His escape attempt fails and Craig is forced to assimilate with the rest of the crazies.

The movie follows Craig’s personal journey as well as his relationships with the people he comes in contact with. Craig learns to appreciate the life he has through Bobby, he discovers he can draw AND sing, and he also finds himself a saucy little mink.

[side note: his father is played by Jim Gaffigan, a personal hero of mine]

[side note2: his mother is played by Lauren Graham. I’m more than in love with Gilmore Girls. I can’t help it.]

[side note3: the floor supervisor is the same actor who played the scientist Daniel Faraday in Lost. I kept expecting him to reveal an epic secret that would for sure be a game changer.]

Things I liked about this movie.

The soundtrack. As Laurel said “I’d watch squirrels mate to a good sound track”. Aside from the fact that I made that quote up, the soundtrack is divine.  The song “Oh My God” from  the lovely Norwegian Ida Maria is featured in the trailer, and is a glimpse of the goodies inside.

The awkward dialogue. In case you didn’t already figure it out, I LOVE AWKWARD DIALOGUE. I love awkward people, I love awkward conversation, I am awkward. I love Wes Anderson movies, I love the first 2 seasons of the office when Pam and Jim are awkward, I love Michael Cera.

The meaningful moments. There are more than a few instances in this movie that really make you appreciate humanity and doing nice things for others. I made that girly “oh gosh!” face more than once.

The believable relationships. The relationships formed and forming in this movie were actually believable, unlike the relationship in Dear John. Oh you didn’t see it? Congratulations on having two more hours of your LIFE than I do.

The Euphoric Aftermath. Laurel and I both sheepishly admitted to feeling high on life after we left the theater. Instead of a dumb ending, it was a real ending. Not all the ends were tied, which is what happens in real life.

Basically, I liked this movie. It starts slow, but it’s worth it. I promise. Unless you don’t love awkward, and if that’s the case, you will just find it awkward.

-A

HI! My middle name is awkward.

Last night Laurel surprised me with an early birthday present [my birthday is OCTOBER 15th put it in your calendar] and took me to a concert at our local adorable music hall.  It was a rainy dreary night and I was secretly reluctant to go out BECAUSE MY FACE IS STILL SWOLLEN.

Regardless, we made our way into the teeny tiny venue/restaurant and we were seated front and center of the teeny tiny stage. We got comfortable and ordered some beer and French fries in preparation for a surely awesome concert.

The opener came out.

So did the demons inside of us.

The opening act was so talented, so nervous, and looked like he was about 15. The first words out of his mouth gave way to the fact that he was from Nashville, Tennessee.  This was when Laurel and I got inappropriate. We have a disease and the main symptom is we talk too loudly.

Avalon: “OOO LAUREL! NASHVILLE! MAYBE HE WILL LET YOU SLEEP ON HIS COUCH!”

Laurel: “OH GOSH MAYBE. HOW OLD IS HE? HE LOOKS 14.”

Yes, these are actual excerpts from our conversation. This is the room we were in. Clearly he could hear us. Then Ali got there.

Ali: “LAUREL YOU CAN HAVE HIM IF HE CUTS HIS HAIR.”

Do all my friends have this disease? Maybe. Why didn’t we get kicked out you ask? No idea. To be fair, we weren’t really aware of how loud we were actually being. This doesn’t make it better it just makes me feel better. OKAY?!

After Tyler James finished his set we anxiously awaited the main event and what drew us to the concert in the first place. Griffin House is a sweet unique singer that looks a little too much like an emaciated Bono.

We were all slightly in love with G. House [well, except Ali maybe] and proclaimed this love in the same loud fashion as before at our tiny table in the middle of the room. We sat there swaying to his sweet ballads, commenting how Bono-ish he looked while our waitress flashed us maybe a thousand times.

[One particular song was hilarious, called Woman with the Beautiful Hair. His preface: one day he was sitting around remembering the angst and heartache of a break up in 9th grade. His skankalicious GF left him for a senior basketball player. G. House then admitted to spending his nights lying in bed fantasizing about killing the man who took his love away. So he wrote a murder ballad. How perfect is that. The chorus went something like “I wanna take you down to the river….and watch you drownnnnnn”. We’ve all wanted to kill someone…right? Anyone?]

When the show ended my gaggle and I were high on live music and greasy food, ready to conquer the rest of the evening [see: play Mario Kart]. As we were getting ready to leave G. House announced he would be standing at the door to say his hellos to the crowd [see: 30 people] as we left.  Now readers, you must understand something. I love music and feel it in my bones, but I don’t know how to be a groupie. In fact, I have such a strong aversion to being a groupie that I don’t even know how to have a normal conversation with a performer.

[side tangent: As young children [16] Laurel and I went to an Aesop Rock show. We were standing in the back of the club when a creepy hooded guy tried to “spit game” if you will. In true Laurel and Avalon form we frowned and ran away. Then the hooded guy went on stage. And introduced himself as Aesop Rock. Groupies all over the world: 1, Avalon and Laurel: 0].

After about 2 seconds of waiting in line for G. House we decided we had to leave, so we tried to skip the line and dip out of the only door as quickly as possible. Unfortunately there was a break in the crowd, and we ended up face to face with G. House himself.  Normal people in our situation would have shaken his hand, told him his music is inspiring, and flashed him a big smile before braving the rain. That is not what we did, we are not normal.

We practically sprinted by him, made 2 second eye contact, mumbled unintelligible words and fled.

Awesome.

And that is the story of how we almost met Griffin House.

[fail]

-A

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