Friday, April 24, 2009

Drive Like Cullens

Podcasts are the best thing about the iPod phenomena, and there is a new one out there all about Twilight. The podcast is called Drive Like Cullens, and it was created by "a group of friends/siblings who are fans of Twilight." You can also find them on Facebook, where you can and should [as a Twilight fan] become a fan of their page.

I'm only Episode 2, but so far I like it! They have good rapport with one another and their discussions are witty and make me laugh. Of course, I am may be a little biased since I used to work at the school they all went to, but hey, what can I say? I am always happy to support people with whom I have some sort of connection! Plus I have to confess that I feel a little better about my Twilight obsession since Alyssa saw Twilight in the theaters four more times than I did.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Litter Bugs Me

Remember those "Litter Bugs Me" commercials? They used to run when I was a kid. Or maybe that was just in Hawaii. I know it's only in Hawaii that we say "malama ka 'aina," which basically means "take care of the land."

Either phrase sums up my commute this morning. As I sat in some unusually slow traffic on the 24 West, I noticed that the guy in front of me let bits of trash go out his window. They looked small and possibly like food, so I thought nothing more of it. That is until every few minutes more trash would fly out of a window or his moon roof. I was tempted to roll down my own window and yell at him, but I was behind him and figured it would do no good.

Instead I called Seth and had him write down the license plate number in case I could figure out a way to report this guy. Then I spent the rest of the car ride debating whether or not to post the license plate number on my blog. I think it would make no difference whether I post the number or not since few people follow this thing, but I have decided not to post the number. However, in the hopes that somehow Mr. Audi gets the message, to the universe I yell, "Your litter seriously bugs me Mr. Silver-Audi-Station-Wagon! And I do have your license plate number--even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it!"

By the way, Silver Audi Station Wagon, I checked and according to California Law it is a misdemeanor to throw anything from a moving vehicle. That includes your food bits, or whatever it was that you were throwing, tossing and spitting out of your car. According to the Caltrans campaign Don't Trash California, it costs taxpayers $41 million for litter prevention, clean-up and disposal. So, even though we're in California, malama ka 'aina man!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yoga Moment

It was tough getting to yoga today. No, not because of traffic (there wasn't much) or loads of work (there was a lot of that). Rather, it was my neck. I think the combination of sleeping at an odd angle and working in InDesign all day did a number on my neck, and I seriously contemplated going to yoga. Everything felt incredibly strained and tight, but I convinced myself to go since Lauren tends to work with you through your "injuries."

Turns out, it was a good idea to get to yoga. After a chest opener and a few series consisting of lunges, virabadrasana, gate poses, etc. I realized that my neck felt significantly better. That was not even the best part of class. The best part came from something I normally hate: shoulder stand.

I never do well with inversions, and I pretty much hate them. My body never feels strong enough to be upside down, and soon I am in a controlled state of panic. Today though, it was different. For some reason my shoulder stand felt fantastic. I went up just fine and everything was steady for once. I didn't even feel scared. I have no idea how it happened, but it did. Of course, I did get to walk my feet up the wall, and Lauren had us belt our arms, but it was great all the same.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How to Be

The thing is, no one ever tells you how to be in your mid-20s. The usual recipe is you go off to college, you graduate, you get a job, you get married, you have kids. The part that no one tells you about is how to be when you come to a stop at the job part; and now you're stuck because marriage is nowhere in sight, and neither are the kids. I was a little lost in my mid-20s for exactly this reason. I had a degree and a good job, but no marriage prospects, and definitely no children. Eventually, I figured it out and got a lot more comfortable with myself and my direction, but it was a frustrating time.

Tonight I saw a movie that captured all the confusion, frustration and lost feeling I had in my mid-20s. The movie is How to Be, directed by Oliver Irving and starring Robert Pattinson. Of course, now I feel the need to admit that I was never quite as lost as the main character, Art; and my parents gave me a more than satisfactory upbringing, but still, I could empathize with the poor guy.

Initially I wasn't sure if I liked the movie because I felt like Art was too awkward, but then I realized that it was supposed to be that way. It is easy to see the Art is supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable to say the least, but for a lay-person in the film world, it is not easy to see that there's more to it than just the acting. It was Oliver Irving who added to the feeling--his choices in at times in lighting or at other times with the camera lens, combined with Art (the character) made the movie work.

Next, I have to admit that I didn't get there entirely on my own. I saw this at the California Independent Film Festival in Livermore tonight, and after the screening, Joe Hastings (composer) and Oliver Irving participated in a question-answer session. Oliver graciously answered questions and shared a lot of the behind-the-scenes information you rarely get to hear. I found it pretty cool that he shared tidbits like how he used a wide angle lens to create a certain effect when Art visits his childhood room; the bed size was an accident; scenes where actors play music and/or sing are entirely real, except for one guy; homage is paid to other movies through costuming or set design; etc.

Oliver Irving did a good thing when he made this movie. Not only did he give us a movie capturing the 20-something experience, but he made a true, independent film. It's quirky and low-budget, and that is an important movie-going experience. Plus, you get to watch this only via the film festival circuit before it releases on DVD. I highly recommend film festivals. This was my first one, and I loved every moment. The question-answer session led to some interesting insight, and the people there asked intelligent questions; their obvious knowledge and love of films improved my appreciation for this movie.

So, if you love independent films, go see How to Be. If you love British-anything, go see How to Be. If you love the comedies that make you think while you laugh, go see How to Be. By the way, the soundtrack is interesting too, and that is coming out on April 28. But please, don't order your copy through the How to Be website because I want more of a chance to have get one of the 250 autographed posters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Book: Good Omens

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Normally I don't bother reading the foreword in a book, but this one I could not help but read. Partially because of Twitter and partially because the first sentence reads "People say: What was it like writing Good Omens?"

To explain the Twitter reason, well, I follow Neil Gaiman's tweets rather religiously; and that actually explains why I was intrigued by the first sentence of the foreword.

I think Good Omens has taken over favorite-place of all the Neil Gaiman books I have read (I have yet to read a Terry Prachett book other than this one). Books like this, which poke fun at everything in the world--especially Americans, religion and the British--offer rare moments of creativity and humor. Of course, you could argue that perhaps I do not read enough books out of the Science Fiction genre, but that is beside the point (I think).

Fact is, for me, Good Omens was and is hilarious. Before this, there was Christopher Moore's Lamb in my funny book. Honestly, I don't know where to place Good Omens. I will not give anything away, but for those of you who don't mind reading about a demon and an angel who actually prefer life on Earth as opposed to having either side win it all, read this book. This is one book that I thoroughly enjoyed and actually tried to drag out finishing it.

I borrowed this from the library, but have already ordered, and received my own copy. While I don't hope to drop my copy in the tub, I do aim to read it again and again and probably again; and even more so I do hope I can get it to be one of the hundreds of thousands of copies autographed by the authors. I do also intend to start in on Terry Pratchett's books and have been wondering about the book jacket's reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good Eats in Oakland

North Beach in San Francisco is known for Italian food, but my favorite Italian place in the Bay Area is on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Lo Coco's is a cozy little place where you get what you see listed on the menu. In other words, there's no adding of chicken to a dish. The other quirky thing about it is that you can only pay with cash or personal check!

But don't let it's funny characteristics dissuade you. Lo Coco's is in great North Oakland neighborhood, a couple of doors down from the famous ice creamery, Fenton's. The people who work at Lo Coco's are nice and friendly, and the atmosphere is great.

It's been awhile since Seth and I ventured over to 4270 Piedmont Avenue, but we finally went last night. It was still yummy. Our usual choice includes sharing a large Gilberto's pizza and tortellini con sugo. By the way, we found this place via Yelp.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Eats

A friend from high school is in town, so three of us Roosevelt High School alumni got together in the City for dinner at Cha Cha Cha in the Mission. Yummy! We indulged in Cajun Shrimp, BBQ Pork Quesadilla, Grilled Marinated Chicken Wings, Fried Plantanos Maduros, Fried New Potatoes, and sangria. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but this is a tapas restaurant so it was just enough! Visit this Cuban eatery next time you're in the area. You can also head over to their location in the Haight.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Moving leaves much to be desired in the fun department, plus it's exhausting. I have no brain power left because all I do is go to work, come home to unpack, and sleep for a few hours. It's too bad Mary Poppins couldn't have done all my packing and unpacking. Although, I seriously doubt that all my junk could fit in a carpet bag, even when miniaturized.