Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire


This is my favorite movie of 2008 and one of my favorite all-time movies. The protagonist, Jamal, is a contestant on India's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and he has answered all the questions correctly up until the final question for the big money prize. Officials suspect him of cheating and have detained him and torture him to figure out how he cheated. Jamal and the officials go through how he came to know the answer to each question and this takes the viewers through his life. This is a wonderful film about love, life, fate, and timing and it is beautifully done (I may be a bit biased because I love Indian culture). It is mostly in English and subtitled for the non-English parts. It's out in the theaters now; consider seeing it! I think you will really enjoy it.
Here is the trailer:

2008 Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Push my boundaries...I mean reeeeeaallllly push them.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember making any resolutions for this year. I think resolutions are best made in bite-sized pieces. I do strive to exude more of the confidence I have been harvesting, though.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandpa, a cousin, and a friend of my family all died this year.

5. What countries did you visit?
The Bahamas.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Stability.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 17. A day on which I didn't matter.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making high grades this semester while working full-time and taking an overload of graduate courses. Being promoted is a close 2nd.

9. What was your biggest failure?
See number 7.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ugh, gum infection...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
NYC plane ticket.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My poodle.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
See number 7.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To living a bit beyond my means, lol.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
NYC and Bahamas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Green Eyes-Erykah Badu

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- i. happier or sadder? Sadder...and happier, lol.
- ii. thinner or fatter? A little thinner.
- iii. richer or poorer? A little richer, shame you can't tell, lol!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Planning, cooking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying, procrastinating.

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes.

21. How many one-night stands?
None. I do however, have one night-stand next to my bed.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I Survived, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Snapped.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No; hating gives the other person too much power.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Alchemist and Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
More Amel Larrieux songs, Cottonbelly, Esthero.

26. What did you want and get?
A promotion.

27. What did you want and not get?
IPOD home speaker thing, straight A GPA (came close), gray sweater boots (lol), peace and stability.

28. What were your favorite films of this year?
Slumdog Millionaire, Milk

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went out for lunch with my girlz. 24.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To rub it in her face.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Tasteful color wheel, lol.

32. What kept you sane?
Autopilot.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
The Obamas.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay civil rights.

35. Whom did you miss?
A like-minded friend, my brothers and sister.

36. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
Some of my classmates, family from the Bahamas reunion.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
If you don't believe it, nobody else will.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Each tear that flows from my eye/Brings back memories of you to me/I go to sleep/And imagine that you're there...with me-I Go To Sleep: Sia

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! I am looking forward to reading your interpretations on your blogs (especially you, Blog About Nothin').

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Holiday Cheer

...Just...why? Why, Lord, Why? LOL

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vegan Xmas-Now with Pics!

This semester I hadn't been able to cook very much with a full-time job and an extra-full load of graduate courses, so I was understandably a little crunk about cooking for the holidays (I had Thai noodles and french fries on Thanksgiving...yeah). So here is the very amateur yet muy delicioso vegan feast I cooked:


Clockwise from turquoise bowl:
White bean salad: Great Northern beans, red and green peppers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil (doesn't need to be heated...ChocolateOrchid, this is for you! I think this qualifies as raw, correct me if I'm wrong).
Marinated and fried tofu: Extra-firm tofu, olive oil, garlic, your choice of spices for the marinade...I used season salt, thyme, savory, basil, dill, rosemary, and some other spices.
Baked ziti: Ziti-pasta, diced tomatoes, bread crumbs, olive oil, homemade vegan alfredo sauce (soy milk, soy butter, pepper, flour) baked in the oven for about half an hour.
Corn: Just some ghetto corn in a pot, lol.
Broccoli: Nothing more to see here folks.
Not pictured: Vegan cornbread and Mr. Pibb.

My blog posts may be a little paltry for the next few days. I work at a university and it's closed from Christmas Eve until January 5 so I am RELISHING this break, doing your typical beached whale/sloth activities.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

All I Want For Xmas...



The dance moves when there's about 1:36 left have ruined my life. The dramatic cunt gestures when there's about :38 left have destroyed me. The clothes. The facial hair. The gold chains. The waterfront location. I ain't no mo' good (ghetto) after watching this video. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Birds


Poltergeist Birds @ Yahoo! Video
Amazing/creepy, huh?

Purple Squirrel

I'm on a bit of an animal blogging kick today, in case you haven't noticed. Anyhoo, overseas in Hampshire, people have been spotting this awesome, magical purple squirrel.




Nobody knows how the squirrel became purple. People from the school that the purple squirrel visits say that he was more blue at first. Experts think the squirrel has probably been ingesting dye from old printer or toner cartridges in a building storing old computers.

Peeped at Daily Mail via Dlisted.

Sidebar: I remember one year when I was visiting family in Detroit during the winter, this black cat-rat-that ain't no damn puppy-hybrid ran across the road and I freaked the hell out. That day I learned that black squirrels exist also. Blew my mind, I tell you. The ones I saw were way bigger than an average squirrel and they had these long curly tails...something ain't right up there.

Broccoli Kitten

In case you haven't seen this, watch this kitten who is crunk about broccoli...turn your speakers on for maximum enjoyment.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Puppy Love

Here's a video of my two year old Shih-tzu/Lion/My Little Pony mix chilling in the car during one of my Whataburger french-fry smash-n-grab. I also have a ten year old Miniature Poodle named Pookie who I will also share more of.

video

Closet Porn

Over at Making It Lovely, the

author organized her closet and put pictures up. Man, I want this in my life somehow. Maybe when I get a real closet; one without those apartment built-in racks. This is like a jewelry-box closet...everything is so organized and pretty! I have to figure out what I can do with what I have so far; this is inspiring.
*Pics originally peeped at Decor8.



Friday, December 19, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: BBD

Poison



I don't know anyone who won't start dancing or consider dancing when they hear the opening notes of the beat from this song. POISON! POISON! POISON! P-P-POISON! Oh sorry, got caught up in the song...best line/lyric: The low-pro ho should be cut like an afro...lmao!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Cooking

I am trying to plan my holiday menu. I think so far, I want to cook (and eat!) the following:

marinated & fried tofu cutlets (found in How It All Vegan)
white bean salad (with white beans, green and red peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar dressing)
green bean casserole (vegan version)
corn
rolls
baked ziti (found on the Barilla website)

This is just the bare bones version...I will be surfing VegWeb for more ideas.

Are you cooking for the holidays? If so, what are you cooking?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Associated Press Top 10 Albums of 2008

I was delighted to see that the Associated Press did a feature on Erykah Badu, Estelle, and Sia for their top 10 albums of 2008. They were numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively.



1. Erykah Badu, "New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War)": It's been five years since Badu made any musical statement of merit. The "Worldwide Underground" EP was her last project and it barely met the gold standard she set with her first two amazing albums. But Badu, one of R&B's most creative voices, returned to form with "New Amerykah," which played like an eclectic, absorbing jam session. We are already desperately awaiting part two.


Erykah Badu - That Hump - Erykah Badu

This is my favorite song from New Amerykah. You should see/hear me singing along with this song; it's a real mess, lol. You gotta love how she switches up the music and gets into it. If I could get ova that hump...then maybe I will feel better. Maybe I won't, oh, if I could get ova that hump...then maybe I will...I'm livin'...check to check...just tryna pay my rent and I can feel it...comin' down around me...

2. Estelle, "Shine": This British singer-rapper-songwriter made her mark with "American Boy," an upbeat jam aided by a Kanye West appearance. The CD is a true reflection of Estelle — gritty, funny and full of sass. From slow R&B grooves to reggae jams, Estelle entertains throughout. She's the year's brightest new talent — which makes her omission in the Grammy best new artist category even more surprising.
3. Sia, "Some People Have Real Problems": Sia's album was morose, depressing and full of despair — yet undeniably beautiful and captivating. You'll find yourself sucked into her tales of heartbreak — and you won't want to leave them either.



Dont Bring Me Down kcrw - Sia

This song is actually on another album of Sia's but I love it so I don't care, lol.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Revenge Vs. Justice

I saw this article on Jezebel where an Iranian woman was attacked with acid by a man who was angry that she had rejected him. He stalked and threatened her outside of her job, then one day ambushed her and dumped a bucket of sulphuric acid over her head. His punishment, as decided by the court in Iran, is to have five drops of the acid dropped in each of his eyes. From the full article:

TEHRAN -- Ameneh Bahrami once enjoyed photography and mountain vistas. Her work for a medical equipment company gave her financial independence. Several men had asked for her hand in marriage, but the hazel-eyed electrical technician had refused them all. "I wanted to get married, but only to the man I really loved," she said.

Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over her head, leaving her blind and disfigured.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

This is fascinating on so many levels. One argument is that this is cruel and barbaric punishment; more revenge than justice. Blinding this man will not deter other men from doing the same thing to other people. However, imprisoning him wouldn't deter other people either. I feel we also have to take the context of the culture into consideration; we cannot judge everything through an American lens. Iran has been notorious for not following up on crimes against women, especially horrific crimes like what happened to Bahrami. Some argue that it is good that they are even punishing him at all.

Honestly, a big part of me feels that he has ruined her life and livelihood and he deserves what his punishment is. The other part of me knows that some people will argue about where the line will be drawn. Of course this method couldn't be applied to everyone, I am treating this on a very individual level. If this means of revenge-punishment were possible for all offenders, things would get out of hand very quickly. Courts would have to ensure the accused party is actually guilty, none of that gray area business like here in the United States. The attacker in this story admitted his guilt, so that isn't an issue here.

Also, Americans that are horrified by this punishment but support the death penalty are hypocrites. We are the only westernized nation that still uses the death penalty. It is crushing to think of how many innocent people have been put to death in this country. The system is especially skewed against poor people, many of them black or hispanic, illiterate, you name it who have been coerced or tricked by the system. This retribution style punishment could never work on a large scale in the United States, but I do not disagree with it for this particular case. What do you think about this story?

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: Janet Jackson

No matter what people have to say about Janet now, she was in top form in the 90s. I think her problem now is she is trying to do the same thing she has always done, and it just isn't working for her anymore. Artists need to evolve, especially when they have been in the industry this long. Anyhoo, I'm going to pretend that everything she did after the 90s never happened. She had a few nice songs, but overall I'm retreating back to the 90s for my favorite Janet Jackson jams.

You Want This

This video was so fun to me. I remember wishing I had a group of sassy friends like that. Also, why did I know that whole dance breakdown at the end? Why do I still know it? Lol @ MC Lyte chillin' in the car while the others danced. She was too cool for school.

Anytime, Anyplace

I still love this song. I love the jewel-tone colors in the video. Everything is smooth, steamy, and just nice.

Runaway

This song and video is so cute. I love the costumes, the dances, the lyrics are light and fun; it's just a nice, carefree song.

I Get So Lonely

This song reminds me of high school; cold winters and basketball seasons. I still like it, and she looked really cool in the video.

Strawberry Cake Balls

I hate chocolate. I have hated chocolate pretty much my entire life. No, I'm not one of those people who hates some chocolate, but eats other chocolate...I hate it all. I even hate the smell of it. I know, I know; you can't say anything I haven't heard about this already...lost a few good friends over this, lol. On the flip side, I looooooove anything strawberry flavored. Like some people who are easily distracted by shiny things, I am distracted by strawberry smells, and will drool accordingly until I get my mitts on something strawberry.

For the holidays, one of my co-workers made cake balls for everyone. She made chocolate and red-velvet ones for everyone, but then she made me my very own special batch of (98% vegan) strawberry cake balls...nobody else has them but me! She is made of awesome. They are so rich, sweet, and strawberry-licious. They are the type of sweet that you have to savor, enjoying the mini-sugar explosions and parties happening on your taste buds. I'm averaging two a day right now, but I might have to bump it up to three. Would you like to see the little preciousnesses?



I don't mind if you drool. These little strawberry sugar balls of awesomeness are all mine. I will shank a bitch if I have to. Here is an article on cake balls with recipes to boot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enchantment

Today, my husband and I have been together for 3 years (married for 2, known each other for 11). I think it's safe to say I have experienced every emotion known to humanity while a part of this relationship, but this has ensured my awareness of how worth-it everything is. I cherish the time I have with him.

Also, it snowed today! For all the non-Houstonians reading, snowfall in Houston is like the coming of Christ himself. The last time it snowed here was Christmas Eve 2004, and the last time it snowed before THAT was in 1992 or 1993 (and that time doesn't really count because it didn't stick). It's amazing to see people stop what they're doing to go out and take pictures and frolic and be merry and smile at everyone else. I really feel like part of a Houston community when it snows. Every Houstonian I know on Facebook has a status that reflects the snowfall. It truly brings a bit of magic in the air, which went perfectly with the magic I feel on my anniversary today.

This song encapsulates the magic of our courtship (don't hate) and of today/tonight:
Enchantment - Corinne Bailey Rae

I wait for you, and don't know why/All I know...is I can't hide/At this temperature you could take over my mind/Like gossamer, you softly touch/It draws me in, I'm powerless/He possesses an enchantment/Tell me...I'm forgiven/He calls, don't know how I fell under his spell/Lately, I've been driven/He smiles...an enchantment/I wait for you, I'm mesmerized/This love is like a potion in disguise/I'd tightrope walk...with a blindfold on my eyes/I can't escape...or so it seems/I'd run away...he's in my dreams/He possesses an enchantment//It's the kind of sleepwalk that never ends/Type of loan with no dividends/It's a parlour game where you're givin' chase/Guess it could be called an acquired taste/I know he knows, he calls, I go, I know/This could be an enchantment//He smiles and I give in...an enchantment
*
This song just reminds me of the "home" quality our relationship has...my comfort zone.
Love Song - 311

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Firestarter


Somebody hold me. I was going to notify the authorities, but I value my non-on-fire-life.
*backs away from computer screen slowly...then out the door*

Picture found at Side-eye Fever.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Today's Colors: Red, Blue, Purple

Colors inspire me. Colors make me happy. I like to play with color combos and see what the result is. Today I went with a palate of red, blue, and purple with dashes of pink and green for a tiny bit of accent.



Red sweater, blue camisole (underneath), purple scarf (with pink), multi-color necklace (blue, green, purple, pink), blue earrings, blue dress socks, purple pumps. Oh, and yes I sit like that a lot because I am short! Don't hate. Here, have a little more red-blue-purple inspiration:



Red, Blue, Purple by Bohemian Bookworm

I Love the 90s Friday: Women Rappers

Back in the day, it did not matter what female rappers looked like, or whether they were sexy, feminine, or "butch", as long as they brought the talent. Female rap was about having a good time, female empowerment, and socially conscious messages. Now that sub-genre of music just has tumbleweeds rolling all through it. I'm posting my favorite jams from female rappers. Join me, won't you?

Shoop-Salt-N-Pepa

Gawd, I still love this song...I loved their confidence and they were so talented! On your mark get set go, let me go, let me shoop to the next man in a 3-piece suit/I spend all my dough, ray(?) me cutie/Shoop-shoo-ba-doobie like Scooby-dooby-doo/I love you in ya big jeans, you give me nice dreams, you make me wanna scream...lol let me stop. Ok one more: I swear, I stared, my niece my witness (lol) the brother had it goin' on with somethin kinda mmm/Wicked, wicked(?) had to kick it/I'm not shy so I asked for the digits...awesomeness.


Queen Latifah - U.N.I.T.Y.
Uploaded by Queen-Latifah

WHO YOU CALLIN' A BITCH?! UNITYYYYY (You gotta let em know!) I am very surprised nobody has covered this song...the kids need it today more than ever.

I Wanna Be Down (Remix)-Brandy feat. MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah

I still jam to the rap verses on this song...I love how they convey being sexy with smoothness without being raunchy.

Funkdafied-Da Brat/Jermaine Dupri

I loved Da Brat's raps...she was all about having a good time in songs; very talented.

What are your favorite female rap songs from the 90s?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dead Man Standing

I'm on the block, posted up like a mailbox...(only Mr. BohemianBookworm will get that line...but if anyone else does, you're AWESOME!)

This is super old, but I can't not post it here. I may have mentioned this before, but I have a fascination with death and the way it is handled in societies. I will probably do my masters thesis on something in this field.
Anyhoo, this 24 year old (Angel Pantoja Medina) from Puerto Rico told his family that he wanted to be standing up during his wake so his family obeyed his wishes. Reading comments on him and his lifestyle, it appears he was involved in the street life and that is what killed him. So my first thought was how interesting it is that he planned for his death in that manner. Commenters have been saying well, he was a gang member so of course he knew he would die early, but I think it's not that simple. Lots of young people plan their post-humous celebrations, gatherings, selections, etc. Secondly, from a physical/medical standpoint I wonder how exactly they got a corpse in the condition that it could stand for 3 days. The pictures also show the phenomenon of memorial T-shirts that are popular in urban culture. If you are offended by wake/corpse/body pictures you may want to scroll past these.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What in the Corn-Husking Hell?

This story is a little old, but just as crazy. Every state has a "safe haven" law where parents can drop off their babies for adoption somewhere like a fire station or hospital without penalty. Nebraska was the only state without an age limit, so parents have been dropping off mother-flippin' TEENAGERS! Now that legislators are revising the law to impose the age limit, the teenage drop-offs have dramatically increased because the parents are rushing to get rid of their teens before the law passes with the new age limit! How the hell do you abandon a full-grown teenager? How do you drop them off like you would a newborn baby?! Of course, a lot of the teens end up running away...but who wouldn't run away at that age when your parents are like, nope you ain't livin' with us no more, you need a new family??!!?! This just boggles the mind. Here are some choice quotes from the article:

Legislators introduced bills calling for limits on the age of children who can be dropped off at hospitals in an effort to prevent newborns from being dumped in trash bins or other dangerous places.

Nebraska was the last state to enact such a law but didn't include an age limit. That has resulted in 34 children so far being abandoned there, some of them from other states.

Even as the session to correct the law approached, a 5-year-old boy was dropped off at an Omaha hospital on Thursday night. Earlier in the day, a woman dropped off two teenagers at another Omaha hospital, but one of them, a 17-year-old girl, fled. Authorities have not found her yet. (WTF to that whole passage?!)

Full article here.

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