Saturday, November 07, 2009

oh that time of the year

I'm sitting in my living room flipping back and forth from whatever is on HBO and the Iowa Game. I can't take this pressure.

I can't believe that it's November already. The holiday season is here. blah. It's not that I don't like Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's just I work in retail. So the holiday's are our busiest time of the year. So that's good. It does make the work go faster but it's also the pressure filled. We are expected to have and know everything and we don't this is somehow our fault. The holidays really bring out the worse in people. The best too but you only really you only remember the bad things. It also makes me miss my family more. At least, that won't be a problem. Next weekend, I'm meeting Mom in Minneapolis for our annual Christmas shopping. Even though, we really don't do that much actual Christmas shopping. I'm actually thinking of taking my big suitcase because I want to look for a new winter coat. My coat is fine but it ends at my waist. It doens't get that cold here in New York or at least not as cold as Iowa but I do seem to spend more time outside then I did before. So I want a coat that is a little bit longer. Covering more of my legs because that's what was really cold last year. I also want to look for new work pants because mine are getting kind of warn But mostly, I'm going to spend time with my Mom. I haven't seen her since August.

For Thanksgiving, Dad and Kat are coming here like last year. I am determined to get more time off from work so I can actually spend more time with them. I felt like I spent their entire visit at work and they really didn't do much. They both had work to do so I don't think they minded it as much as I did but still, I felt bad. So this year, I've asked for strategic days off to maximize our time. Kat and I are going to see New Moon, together (I guess another tradtion). I hear good things about it. If anything, it should be a good laugh. What else we will do besides Thanksgiving, is still up in the air but I'm really not concerned about that.

And then finally, Christmas. I can't believe that my store is letting me have time off! I guess that's what you get when you ask six months in advance. Unfortunatley, I will miss Christmas morning because my flight doesn't come until noon but I will still be with my family on Christmas. What could be better? I'm only going to be home for a week but I really couldn't ask for more time. You don't want to push your luck. So any plans over the Holidays?

So this is what I'm doing to get myself through the holidays. I wish I can spend more time with my family but the little nibbles I get is just going to have to be enough.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My 1 year anniversary

A year ago, yesterday, I moved to New York. It's kind of hard to believe that has gone by so fast! I kind of feel like I just got here. I'm such a newbie. I really like it here. I like the people (for the most part) I like where I work (for the most part). I still get excited when I get to go to city and just walk around. I love it when people come and visit me and I can show them around. Now if only, I could get them to move here and then I wouldn't have to miss them. So now that I have lived her a year, can I call myself a New Yorker?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pretty Excited!!

My mom is coming tomorrow and I have been cleaning like a mad woman. I fully admit it. I am not the neatest person. I tend to have things pile up. I once told my mom that I knew I could find anything I needed because I knew it would be somewhere on the floor. She really didn't like that answer. Well, I have picked up around my living, I've swept and mopped the floors. I've washed my dishes, cleared out my fridge. I still have to wipe down my shower but I'll tackle that after work. You want to really see how dirty this city is, take a shower and see the dirt come off. Yeah, it's gross. I'm not a big fan of that aspect of living here but it's kind of a minor thing. So, I am almost done with everything I need to do before she gets here tomorrow afternoon! I'm so pumped! I can't wait for her to get here. We have some loose plans for the weekend. I think we are mostly going to explore some areas of the Brooklyn/Manhattan that we are not the familiar with. It's pretty sad, that I have lived in Brooklyn for almost a year but haven't really explored it much. I think, when I first moved here, I was still just getting my bearings and wasn't really all that confident. and then the winter came and I really didn't want to be outside anymore then I had to be. (Even though this winter wasn't as bad as post winter's I have experienced) Now, that it's warmer out and I am a bit more confident in my city navigational skills, I want to see more of the my new city. So, I think we are going to see more of Brooklyn and more of downtown Manhattan. I haven't walked across the Brooklyn Bridge yet either so we are going to do that. I'm working Monday and then Tuesday, we will walk around Soho and Greenwich before heading uptown to listen to the NY Philharmonic in Central Park and then Wednesday is HARRY POTTER! I already bought out tickets for the first IMAX 3D showing at 10am! We have to go Lincoln Center, which is a bit of a trek so it's going to be an early morning but so worth it! And since we are going to be midtown anyway, I think we will do a bit of shopping! That's the tentative plan for now. I'm super excited!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Andy Roddick is like my Harry Potter

When Katharine came to visit me last month, we got matching tattoos. We got the words Mischief Managed tattooed to my wrist and her shoulders. It's a reference to Harry Potter if you didn't know that. On our way home from the Tattoo parlour we talked about how appropriate a HP tattoo was for us because HP is not just one of our favorite books but the role that they have played in our personal and professional lives. All the midnight parties we have worked, all the people we have met and so forth. HP has been a bigger part of our lives then I had originally. (Side Note: another reason our tattoos are special. My tattoo is in her handwriting and hers is in mine. So, not to sound cheesy or creepy but I have a little bit of my sister where ever I go) This got me thinking.

Today, in between helping customers, I was following Andy Roddick's match against Andy Murray on my blackberry. When Roddick finally won, I was beyond ecstatic! At one point I looked down on my new tattoo and thought to myself, Andy Roddick is kind of like Harry Potter. I have always enjoyed watching tennis on TV. I really loved watching Wimbledon when it was on HBO. Those were the days, no commercials and so of the games all time best commentating. I remember when a young Venus Williams played Steffi Graf. The match was being called by Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. It was a pretty intense match and at one point Billie Jean couldn't even watch, she was so nervous for both players. Anyway, I digress. It really wasn't until I started following Roddick in late 2000-early 2001 that I become a real fanatic. I started to follow the sport week and and week out, which isn't easy. I also started visiting fan sites and message boards. One day I found a site named Roddick Rocks. There a I met friends that I still have today. We from all over the world and from different backgrounds but one thing we had in common was that we loved tennis and loved Andy. Unfortunately the site did not last but the friendships I made there have. Also, from following Andy, I have talked my family into going to tournaments in Paris (Davis Cup semis 2002) and London (Wimbledon, twice) and other tournaments throughout the US. I'm pretty sure, if it wasn't for my enthusiasm, I could never have convinced my mom to go to Paris in the middle of the school year. *lol* So, for me, Andy isn't just my favorite player because I like his game, or I admire his fight and his willingness to improve but he's my favorite because of all that he has given me. The memories from the vacations I went on to see him play, the hours on the Internet following a stupid score tick, the friends that I met and still talk to and occasionally see. He has truly been a bigger part of my life then I realized and for that I thank him and I also want to Congratulate him on making his third Wimbledon final!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I do not like to woken up

In the last week or so, one of my neighbors has gone out early, forgotten their keys and for some reason decides to ring my bell to let him in. Now this tends to happen around 7 o'clock in the morning. I don't know if my neighbor picked my apartment because chances are I am home at the time (unless I have to open) or if pushed everyone's number and I was just stupid enough to get up and answer him. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. After the second day in a row I let him and said no more. I'm not getting up anymore. I answered him because what if it was someone I knew or if someone was in trouble but after the second time, he just forgot his keys then he deserves to be locked out. So, this morning, again around 7am, my buzzer rings. It wakes me up and I said nope, not getting up. If it is one of my friends, then if they were really outside my door they would call me to let me know. If someone is in trouble, well then I'm sorry but there are other people who live in my building that are probably already up who can help them. I am not anyone's back up plan if they forget or decide to leave their keys because they are just going out for a minute and know that someone will let them in. No, I am not that person. I never leave my apartment without my keys, even if I am just going to the little botega to get milk. Even if I did, I'm I wouldn't want to wake someone up that early in the morning. I think it's kind of rude a persumptious to think that there will be someone here to let you in. Take responisibility for yourself people!

After writing this all out. Am I being too harsh? I like my neighbors for the most part. They are usually quiet. We say hi to each other in the stairwell, I guess if I am ever in that situation I would hope someone would let me in too. hmmm... I guess my biggest issue is this is that it has happened 4 times in the last week. No one is that forgetful, right? Of course, the waking me up at 7am when I don't have to get up early never win you points with me, no matter what the situation is. Maybe I am just a cranky neighbor.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's interesting how people react. Yesterday, I wore a dress to work and had my hair down. The woman all worked with commented on my dress and how cute I looked in it and I had several guys comment on my hair. I just found that situation funny. Women notice clothes and apparently Men notice hair. *lol*

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Strawberries and Cream and Tennis

I love Wimbledon. It maybe my favorite tournament. The tradition. The grass. The Royal Box. The all white clothes. The Strawberries and Cream. The PIMMS! It just oozes class. I also have a lot of fond memories. When I'm watching it on TV, I try to look at the stands and see if I can find where I sat on Centre Court. I find this little tidbit about Wimbledon the funniest thing. When you think of Wimbledon, you think Strawberries and Cream, the Duchess of Kent and all that stuff but you see those fans in the front rows on Centre and Court 1? Yeah, well, they all camped out last night on the pavement to get those tickets. They haven't showered. Many of them probably forgot their toothbrush or comb and many of more them are probably wearing the same clothes they wore last night. How funny is that? And so Wimbledon is just a perfect mix of the Upper and Lower classes all cheering for Andy Murray. *lol* That maybe why I really love Wimbledon. Where else in the world does that happen? There is no way you could camp overnight in Queens to see the US Open overnight and survive. No Way! So, I'm telling you to watch it. Watch WIMBLEDON! It's on ESPN2. NBC on the weekends and for the lucky few, The Tennis Channel at night.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

People Suck and I'm not loving my job right now

I think I need a new job. I had such a great week with Kat but as soon as she left, my week just went downhill. I kind of hate retail. Maybe it's just he clientele at my store. Park Slope is a fairly wealthy neighborhood in Brooklyn. If you look around, you wouldn't really notice that we are in an economic downturn with their Louis Vuitton bags and Gucci sunglasses. They all feel entitled to everything and for too long the store had been letting them get away with everything. Well, we are in an economic downturn so we are not being as carefree with our exceptions as they have been in the past. I hate when they pull out the "I'm a member and shop here all the time" excuse. Well, so am I, so you're point being? Plus if you shop here all the time then how is it that this is the first time I have seen you? Anyway, they suck. The other reason I'm not really enjoying work lately is some of my cashiers have been really getting on my nerves. Ok, only really 2 of them and unfortunately they are like the only full-time cashiers we have and even more unfortunately, their hours seem to always coincide with my hours. If I open, one of them is my opener. If I close, they are my closers. If I am a mid, one is already there before I get there and the other one comes in to replace them later. I feel like I get no relief! I know they are not only working with me but it really does feel like that. One of them is hearing impaired but it's not that she can't hear me, she just doesn't listen. The other one is just so unsure of herself. She has no self-confidence. I would feel sorry for her if she didn't make my life that much harder. Between the two of them, I spend more time correcting their mistakes and basically cleaning up after them. It's exhausting. So basically, I am saying a need a new job because I don't know how much I can take this. I need a vacation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Katharine is coming on Saturday! I'm so excited. We really don't have any plans besides The Daily Show on Monday and Guillermo Del Toro on Wednesday night. It is going to be a cool week! Yeah for sisters!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Updates of sorts

So, Challenge update. I did reach a minor milestone. The 10 lbs mark! but then I had the weekend off and didn't really exercise (it rained all weekend) and I wasn't really watching what I was eating! PIZZA. So I gained 2 lbs back But I'm still down 8, so that's good. I know I'm not winning but I think I am one of the leaders. So I'm pretty happy about that. The challenge ends on June 1st but I think this is just the beginning for me. I want to keep it up all summer if not longer. I really do want to lose weight. I don't want to be over 200lbs anymore. I want to be able to go into the Express or H&M and fit into their clothes. Not just squeeze myself into. I want to be able to wear the latest trends without feeling stupid. But really I'm tired of my feet hurting after a day of work. I know that If I wasn't carrying around all those extra pounds that they wouldn't hurt so badly. I don't want to be fat anymore.

It's been a pretty stressful couple of weeks at work. My friend, Lourdes and fellow head cashier, broke her arm and wrist playing kickball. She is out for at least six weeks, longer if it turns out she needs surgery. If that wasn't enough, a few people are leaving to go to the new store on the Upper East Side and 1 was fired. We have already been working on a thin schedule (which is still pretty robust compared the thin schedules I'm used too from my old store) so we have gone from understaffed to severely understaffed. The morale in the store was pretty low before and this has only made things worse. To cover things, I have had to work on days I don't normally. I'm closing tonight and opening tomorrow. Luckily, the closing Manager is Laurie, so she is going to let me leave early and she will finish up the nights paperwork. There isn't that much when you close, anyways. It's just counting down all the tills and I'll have all the ones we are not using down before I leave anyway. I'm planning on calling a car to take me home. I'm not sure I want to wait around for the bus and or train. It's days like this that I really miss my car. Yesterday, I just missed the bus because I was across that street and didn't feel like risking my life to catch it. Fortunately, it was in the middle of the day and there is like a bus every five minutes but still annoying.

So that's what's going on with me right now. I'll try to update more often but I say that all the time. ;-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Challenge

A group of us at work are having a weight challenge. I think they are 7 or 8 of us who are participating. We have all set a goal of how much we want to lose (or gain in the case of the few of the guys who are participating) by June 1st and who ever gets the closest to their goal wins the pot. We each put in $10. Yesterday we all weighed ourselves so it kind of made it the first official day of the challenge even though many of us have already been dieting for a week. I have already lost 4 lbs! It would be really nice to win because hey that's $70-80 but I'm just happy that I'm doing something to lose weight. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, as you all know. Three years ago, I lost 30 lbs with Nutrisystems and I was really proud of myself but in the three years since I have gained it all back. I thought, naively or wishful thinking, that after I moved to NY that the pounds would just come off because I don't have a car and I pretty much walk everywhere but that's not really true. I do do a lot of walking but I mostly walk to the bus or subway and take them places. So my brilliant plan was not so brilliant. So the new plan is when I have close at work, I'm going to walk to work. I figure it will take me at least an hour to get to work. I do live about 40 blocks away so it's not that bad of a walk. I just have to make sure to bring deodorant so I don't smell when I get to work. I have already started bringing my lunch to work so I'm not tempted to eat out at say, Five Guys once a week. (Which is delicious!) and I have started eating breakfast. I'm never really been much of a breakfast eater. I'm usually not hungry in the morning so I don't eat. I know this just makes me hungrier later and then I over eat at lunch or whenever I do eat but it didn't make sense for me to eat when I'm not hungry. But I am eating breakfast now and having small snacks through out the day so I don't over eat. I'm really exciting about the whole thing and I hope I do well. I hope we all do. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 06, 2009


Last night I rolled my ankle walking to the bus. It was painful but I do do thins about once a year. The worse part was that I was still a block and half away from the bus stop, when I got to the bus it was packed so I had to stand almost the whole way home and then when I got off the bus I still had to climb up the hill (and 36 stairs) to my apartment. It was a long night and I don't even have a pretty bruise to show for it. My ankle is a little swollen but it has been a lot worse in the past so I guess I should be happy.

A group of girls at work are competing to see who can lose the most weight. Well, it's whoever gets closer to their goal by June 1st. Yesterday was the first day but since I was aware of the game until I decided to start today. Well, then the ankle injury and I felt I needed cookies so I made cool whip cookies. I have eaten most of them. I know it's bad. I'll do better tomorrow. I went grocery shopping today a bought healthier food so Go Me.

Now that it is April and I have used all my paid time off for last year, it's now back to business as usual. I can't believe how fast time flies. It's been almost three weeks since Jackie and Kate were here, two weeks since I saw Mom and Dad in Minneapolis. I'm a little sad. For one morale hasn't been all that great at the store and I'm still hoping the corporate office would call me for an interview. I really want to go on vacation again. *lol*

Dumb Criminals

Very rarely do we catch shoplifters. You have to be pretty dumb to get caught especially in a climate where companies are afraid of being sued for false accusations. Businesses have to be 100% sure that the person really did steal the items they have been accused. So basically, the only way they are going to be arrested if they actually admit to it. Well, we had 2 people try to shoplift from our store. The first guy tried to go out our ramp thinking that since he did see the security gates on both sides that it had no security sensors. He was wrong. His books beeped. The best part of the story is our Security guard asking the guy "What do you think your doing?". Really the best question ever! The guy so embarrassed. Put the books down and quickly left the store and that was it. The real genius was on Saturday. I wasn't there for the first guy but was working on Saturday. I was in the middle of doing a return when in the corner of my eye I could see one of my cashiers trying to get my attention. So, I ask her what she needs and our conversation went kind of like this.
cashier: "um... I just saw someone leave the store with a bunch of books and our paid-detail go after them. What do we do now?"

me: when did you see this?

cashier: a couple of minutes ago.

me: have they returned yet?

cashier: no.

me: ok, um, well. Let me tell (my manager) Laurie.

So I relay this story to Laurie and as I am finishing up, the Security guard (who looks 12) calls her to tell her the same thing I just did. At this point, it's time for my break. So, I clock out. Go downstairs to get my bag and as I'm leaving the store to get dinner the paid-detail cop has returned with the shoplifter in handcuffs. He didn't exactly look like you expect a shoplifter to look like. He was definitely in hipster gear. horn-rimmed classes, hoody jacket, fedora and converse. He looked so embarrassed, as he should be, when she brought him in but it was my break time and I was hungry so I wasn't going to stick around to see what happened. Well, I missed the excitement because like I said, we don't catch that many shoplifters. Laurie called our store manager, she wasn't in, so she called one of ASM's to ask what to do. He said call the cops and if they think we have enough evidence to charge him they will arrest him. So, she did call the cops but so did the paid-detail officer and our other manager who was there too. So there was like 20 cops walking around with nothing to do. The shoplifter was obviously not a pro because he immediately confesses. I guess he figured that if he admitted to it that we wouldn't arrest him but he was wrong. He admitted to it and he was going to jail and since it was a Saturday night. He would have to spend the weekend in jail and all for $180 worth of books. The best part was he was wearing a name badge. He works for Saturday Night Live! So he definitely wasn't going to work that night! I really hope that they do a skit on it next week!

Friday, March 06, 2009

God Bless Davis Cup

Anybody who knows me, knows I am a tennis fanatic. I love to watch Tennis. I have been known to skip class and sometimes work (only once and I had to use my sick time anyway or I'll lose it) to watch it. I have lost sleep over this sport (Thank You Australia's time difference) and travelled to major Europe cities to watch only tennis (Paris, and we did see the Lourve so we did get our tourist on) and slept on pavement to watch matches (every sports fan should queue overnight to get Wimbledon tickets. One of the best sports experiences EVER!) So yeah, I really love Tennis! One of my favorite events in Davis Cup. It's an yearly event that pits Country against Country for top honor. Unlike regular tournament's, in which players are individuals playing against each other, Davis Cup is a team sport. They play five matches, 2 singles matches Friday, 1 doubles on Saturday and then 2 more singles matches on Sunday. The Country that wins three or more of those matches wins. To me it is a sporting experience like no other. You think tennis, you think club sport. You must be polite and quiet between points but Davis Cup is loud and raucous! Fans are expected to be on their feet cheering, chanting and holding up signs. I've never been to a World Cup Soccer game but it's kind of like that but more intimate. Fans dress up in face paint and wear their nations flags as capes. They bang drums and bells and jump and down. The US team even has their own pep band! So, like I said it's not the typical tennis tournament. The only problem with the Davis Cup is how hard it is too follow. This weekend is the first round of the World Group. Sixteen Countries are playing in eight different countries to try to advance to the next round which won't be played until July. I think this is kind of an improvement of years past when the first two rounds are played in February and April and then Semifinals are not until five months later in September. At least this year they are more evenly spread out but still they play for one weekend and then nothing for another couple of months. It's hard to keep any kind of momentum after that but it is what it is. You have to work to follow Davis Cup but it's so worth it if you do.

So let's talk about those ties going on this week starting off with the one that I am the most interested in. USA vs. Switzerland. This was supposed to be the big showdown between Roger Federer and the USA team but sadly, Federer pulled out with a back injury. So the tie went from being a pretty even tie to the US being a huge favorite to win. Not having Federer there is good and bad for the US. The good of course is that it makes it much easier for the US team to advance. None of the US players has a very good record against Federer (but then again besides Nadal and Murray, who does?) The bad is that it would have been a good test for the US players. Federer is a better player then Andy Roddick or James Blake but I truly believe that in a pro-US crowd, would give both and advantage. If there was ever a venue that Roddick and Blake could beat Federer it would be in Davis Cup. Federer would also have played doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka against Mike and Bob Bryan. The Bryan's have lost one match in Davis Cup play but Federer and Wawrinka won the Olympic Gold in doubles, so they are not push overs. Sadly we will never know how it would have turned out if Federer had been healthy to play but Switzerland's loss and the USA's gain. USA will win 4-1

Spain-Serbia Spain playing in Spain is pretty much unbeatable. They are the current Davis Cup Champions and have a formidable team. World #1 Rafeal Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez. All are top 10 or former top 10 players and the crazy thing is that they are missing Fernando Verdasco, who was one of the hottest players on the tour this year but now is injured. Serbia has #3 Novak Djokovic. Since winning the Australian Open last year he has been up and down but may have found his stride after winning Dubai (Grr...) last week but I don't think he alone is going to be enough to beat the Spanish team. He would have to win all three matches, he has a chance against Ferrer and maybe in Doubles but it's hard to pick Nadal, no matter who he's playing. Spain 3-2

Czech Republic - France This one could go all the way. On paper the French team is probably the strongest, with the likes of J0-Wilfred Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet but they are unproven in Davis Cup. The Czech Republic has two good players in Radek Stepanek, and Tomas Berdych. Stepanek has already won 2 tournaments this year and is playing the best tennis of his career at age 30. Berdych is a talented player that was once thought of being the next big thing in tennis but never quite made it. He beat Federer at the Athens Games in 2004 and has had some good results since then but mostly has done nothing. It will probably be the most competitive tie of the eight. I'm not sure who to go with here but I feel if I'm playing pundit I have to pick someone so France 3-2.

Croatia - Chile The winner of this tie will play the winner of the USA-Switzerland tie so instead of looking at the tie itself I'm going to look at who will be best for the US, if they should win. Croatia has played the USA twice and has won twice. Not a very good stat and unfortunately it doesn't get better. If both Croatia and the US win, then in July the US has to travel to Croatia. Eek. On the other hand, the US has never lost to Chile but the last time they played was in 1996. Back then Chile didn't have Fernando Gonzalez or Nicolas Massu. If both Chile and USA were to win the US would have to travel to Chile and we all know what that means. Clay. Roddick, Blake, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and Robby Ginepri do not play well on clay. Querrey is ok but really none of the US players like Clay, except the Bryan Brothers but they play well on all surfaces. So who do you go with. The team we have never beaten or the team we have never lost to but has better players now and will undoubtedly put us on our least favorite surface. I'll go with Croatia. I really don't like the idea of our boys playing on South American Clay and anyways, we must avenge those two losses to Croatia. Croatia 4-1

Sweden - Israel This tie is currently being played with no fans. That's right no fans. The Swedish were worried they would be protest against the Israel and after recent events who can blame them but a Davis Cup tie without fans? Is just wrong. I understand they want to protect their players, fans as well as the Israelis but I feel they have gone a bit overboard here. What's the point of playing a Davis Cup without the screaming fans? Especially in Sweden. The Swede's have the most colorful fans in the world. Viking hats, do I have to say more? Anyway, politics aside, this tie is rip for an upset. The Swedes are like the comeback team. They have Thomas Johannson and Joachim Johansson (no relation) playing. Both former shells of who they are. I think the Israeli team can take advantage of the weakened team and win. Israel 3-2.

Romania - Russia The Russian team is already up 2 matches to none in this tie. It was pretty much won before the first ball was hit. The Russians have Mikhail Youzhney, Marat Safin, and Dimitry Tursonov. Romania's biggest name is their captain Andrei Pavel. I think Romania will be pleased just to win a match. Russia 5-0.

Germany - Austria This is another tie that could go either way. The German team has two players that I wasn't even sure if they were still playing or not, Rainer Schuettler and Nicolas Kiefer. The Austrians have Jurgen Melzer, who is a talented player but not known for his mental toughness and Stefan Koubek, a solid player but not really anything special. I do think the Austrians are a slightly stronger team. Austria 3-2

Argentina - the Netherlands Like the Russian's, Argentina won this match before it began. The Netherlands have no one of real note on their team and Argentina, the losing finalists from last year doesn't even have their best players but still have a strong team with Juan Monaco and Juan Ignacio Chela. This one is easy. Argentina 5-0

So, they you have it. I'm sure I'll get some wrong but as long as the USA beats the clocks out of Switzerland (Get it, Clocks? Lame, I know) then I'll be happy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

High School Musical

I'm watching High School Musical 3. I got it from Netflix. It's not so bad but it still has it's painful moments the first two did. Zac Efron and Lucas Grabeel have thankfully improved their acting over the course of the movies, unfortunately the others haven't. Of course they really are the only two, I can see having any kind of career after this. Zac, of course plays hearthrob, Troy Bolton. He has already starred in Hairspray and has a new movie coming out next month that actually looks good and is about to start filming the movie musical for Footloose. I think as long as this mini-Musical revival keeps going Zac will still have opportunities. Lucas Grabeel, plays Ryan Evans, the sexual-ambiguous twin brother to super diva Sharpay Evans. All great villains need a sidekick. Someone to help them plot their evil plans. That is Ryan. In this movie Ryan finally moves out of Sharpey's shadow and becomes less of a caricature and more an actual person. He still is a but sexually-ambiguous. He asks another female character to prom. I think that is Disney's way of saying he's not gay but he still gay if you ask me. Anyway, Lucas Grabeel is probably the best actor in the movies but limited by the role he played. I was surprised when I saw Milk two weeks ago that he was in it. He played Daniel Niccoletta, one of Milk's supporters from the beginning. I was really impressed. It was a small role but effective one. Of all the kids in the High School Musical franchise those are the two that are going to walk away with careers. The others may be in a movie here and release an album there but will fade away like most child stars. Oh well, they will still have more money then I will ever make in my life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Best Picture

Yesterday, I spent all day at the movie Theater. The Empire Theater at Times Square had a marathon screening of all 5 Best Picture Nominees. Every year I say, that I am going to see all the nominated movies but never do it so when I found out that I was going to have the day off I had to go. I left my apartment at 9am (I had to stop by the bank first) and didn't get home until almost 1am. Yeah it was a long day. I forgot that they are working on the N line on the weekends so it was running Local instead of Express so it took longer to get there then I had planned. When I got to the Theater the schedule board said the showcase was sold out. Bummer. I was upset because I was really looking forward to it and I tried to buy tickets online but they were not available on line and I decided against going into the city Friday after work because I was tired from working all day so I didn't. Well, I figured that since I came all this way, I might as well see a movie. The line was long to buy tickets at the counter so I went to one of the free standing self service kiosks. Well, it turns out you could still buy tickets for the showcase! Yippee. So, up I went to the third floor. Picked up my badge and free popcorn and settle for a long day. Between movies, they asked trivia questions and I won a free tshirt and soda and re admittance pass for a later day! Yeah! So, after my free Soda, I upgraded to a Large and had free refills on Soda and Popcorn all day! What a deal! I'm not sure I will do this again because sitting in a theater all day is really tiring and not to mention it really makes your eyes tired. By the fifth movie, I was having trouble focusing but it was worth it and I had a lot of fun.

Now, here's my short reviews.

Milk I thought this was really well down. It was paced very well and had good acting from everyone. I was really impressed with Emile Hirsch (who I previously thought was overrated) and Josh Brolin. Sean Penn was excellent as always and it was nice to see him play a role where he had to smile a lot. I wasn't sure he was even capable of that.

The Reader I read this book for a class and college so I knew the story. I remembered when I first heard it was being made into a movie and Nicole Kidman and cringed. So I was very happy to hear that Kate Winslet took over the roll. For the most part the movie was as I remembered the book, except for the Ralph Fiennes as the adult Michael Berg. I don't remember that story line being in the book. I understand why it was added (if it was added) to the movie but it didn't seem to mesh with the story. I kind of felt it broke up the movie. The book was about reconciling with the past. The Germans facing their role in World War II and the Nazis and Michael Berg coming to terms with his relationship with Hanna Schmitz and what he did and didn't do. The emotional payoff at the end didn't quite come off as it did in the book. It was very powerful and well done though. As for Kate Winslet, she was marvelous and after seeing this and Revolutionary Road last week, I understand why the Academy nominated her for this role and not for April Wheeler.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I saw this movie on Christmas and I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it again (It's 3 hours long!) but I had a good seat, which I knew I would lose if I left and came back and I wanted to see how it would stack against the rest. Of all the nominees it is the weakest of the films. It's an interesting idea for a story but it is a little Forrest Gump like. The make-up and technology used to age Brad Pitt was pretty fantastic but beyond that there really isn't anything special about this film.

Slumdog Millionaire Definitely the theaters favorite. Of all the films it was the most fun to watch. There is just a spirit about the movie that you can't just help but not love. It's not the flashiest or have the biggest stars but it has a lot of heart. It is a good story, full with great moments and will with a doubt win.

Frost/Nixon I really liked this movie. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it but I'm glad that I did. It was a lot funnier then I thought it was. Who knew that Nixon had a sense of humor? The movie is based on a play that both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen won Tony's when it was on Broadway. I think it would be amazing to see it on the stage. Not the knock the movie because the movie was great but there were some scenes that I don't think quite translated on to the screen. The final interview with Frost and Nixon was pretty intense but if you saw it on the stage, I'm sure you would have felt the tension in the room. The tension got lost when the audience was separated from the actors. Other then that, it was great. I do think that Kevin Bacon is an underrated actor. He gave a great performance as Nixon's Chief of Staff and most loyal friend. I thought it did an amazing job.

So the Oscars are tonight. I don't think I am going out on a limb and say that Slumdog Millionaire is going to the big winner tonight. It's a shoo-in for Best Picture. I think Benjamin Button will probably win for Make-up and maybe a few other minor categories but nothing else. I think Sean Penn is going to win over Mickey Rourke for Best Actor and Kate Winslet for Best Actress. Heath Ledger is going to win Best Supporting Actor in what will be the most emotional moment of the night and Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress. When she was on the screen in Vicky Christina Barcelona you couldn't keep your eyes off of her and I'm not her biggest fan so that says something. Wall-E better win for Best Animated Movie. It's a small consolation for not being nominated for Best Picture even though it was the best reviewed movie on the year (and my personal favorite movie on the year).

So that's my predictions for tonight. Have Fun watching tonight!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'm not a very good sick person. I'll admit I am a wimp. I am very whiny and needed and feel like I am going to die. So, it goes without saying, I really hate being sick. Since Saturday, I have had a very bad cold or at least I think it was just a cold. I had a sore throat and stuffy nose. I was achy all over and very very tired. I think that was the worst thing was that I was just so exhausted but I couldn't sleep because I was always sneezing. I'm always been afraid of taking Tylenol PM or NyQuil or anything that is supposed to knock you out because what if something happened? What if there is a fire in my building and I slept through the alarm or a friend needed my help and I slept through the ring? Plus, after years of living in Iowa, where one has to sign away their life just to buy Sudafed, I have gotten used to just letting the virus taking it's course without drug interference. So, I didn't take anything. I called out Sunday and tried to sleep for most of the day. When I did get sleep it wasn't very good and had the weirdest dreams. I had to open on Monday. I still didn't feel very good but it's a such a hassle when the opener calls out. It just throws the whole day off. I figured I would go, do all the morning paperwork and deposit and sit in the back until noon when Lourdes, who was the mid, came in but as things happen. I wasn't the only one who wasn't feeling well. We had people call in late or had to leave early in the cafe. So, some of my cashiers had to be moved in the cafe to cover and I had to be at the registers to help ring. When Lourdes came in, I was sent to Lunch. My manager Laurie, is a saint, tried to move people around so I could leave and finally was able to get every where I covered so at around 2 I was able to leave. Thank You Laurie. I know that I could have lasted another two hours but I was so relieved to be able to come home because as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out. I got a solid five hours of sleep before I got out of bed to watch House. (I forgot that the President was having a press conference) So, I watched him for a bit before flipping the channel to the Westminster Kennel Club. I went back to bed after that I had another 14 hours sleep. I'm still feeling a little under the weather but I do feel better. The sleep is what I really needed. I have to close tonight and I have tomorrow off so I think I'm going to be ok. I just want to be able to breathe through my nose again!

It looks like I have falling back into old happens. I'll try to post more often. I really will try but you know me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

I know have said this before but the Tennis Channel may be one of the best investments I have ever made. I think it was last year, when ESPN and the Tennis Channel came up with the partnership to co-broadcast the slams. They take turns with live and taped coverage. It's awesome. Literally, you can watch the Australian Open 24 hours! When one station's coverage ends, just flip to other channel and it's just beginning and so forth. It's a tennis fans dream come true! Of course it is messing with my sleeping habits majorly but oh well. I can deal with a couple of late nights for two weeks. And if I do decide to go to bed early or because I have to because I have to open the next morning, I can always catch up on what I missed later because it's always on! LOVE IT! Thank You Tennis Gods for this great gift!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, what to do?

I sign up for a lot of different online newsletters. Well, not a lot but some. One of them is Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch or whatever it's called. Periodically, they send me surveys about different aspects of entertainment that could earn my free DVD's. So far, I have not won one, yet. I also get previews of issues before it's posted online or sent out to subscribers so that's cool. They also let you know when advance screenings of movies and TV shows they are putting on. In the past, I couldn't take advantage of such events because I didn't live anywhere they held them until now. I got an email from them last week about and advance screening for the United States of Tara, a new show on Showtime, created by Diablo Cody and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Toni Colette. I like all those people so I thought this would be fun to see but the thing is. I don't get Showtime. I don't want to see the pilot and fall in love with it and then not be able to see the rest of the series until it's on DVD. I know I could watch it online but there is something about watching a TV show on TV that I still like. I find the Internet as plan b. I know that attitude is so 20th century but it is how I feel. I've never gone to an advance screening before and most importantly, it's free! Nothing is free in this city so I should take advantage of it while I can. So, I decided to go until I got a text. I signed up for text alert from a few months ago because they were in charge of all the Twilight advance screenings. I wasn't able to go to the one here in New York because of work but it was all good because then I got to keep my promise to my sister and wait and see it with her. Anyway, I totally forgot that I was still on their text list until yesterday. They are holding a advance screening for the new movie, Coraline. It's directed by the same guy who did The Nightmare before Christmas and based on the book by Neil Gaiman. I haven't read the book but I hear it's good. So here's my problem. They are both at the same time, playing in different theaters in Manhattan. Which one do I go to? And more importantly, I have been living in New York for six months and why do I have to get both invitations for the same night?