Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Star Wars vs. American Pie

I know what you're thinking, just by looking at the title of this entry. "Blashphemer! How dare you! We're kicking you out of the Nerd Group!"

Actually, you may want to kick me out of the group anyway when you learn that I'm not really a huge Star Wars fan. I know! On paper, it really seems like I should be. Genre movie fan? Check! Knowledgeable about the Whedon-verse? Check! Versed in comic books and video games? Check mate. Just not a huge Star Wars fan. I think the movies are FINE, but I'm not a Warrier? Warlockian? What's the Star Wars equivilant of Trekkie?

ANYWAY. Last weekend, the BF and I were having dinner and I had a couple of delicious margaritas. This lead to me comparing the two trilogies Star Wars (I refuse to acknowledge Episodes 1-3) and American Pie (Likewise, I refuse to acknowledge all of the terrible sequels that followed American Wedding). Clearly, the plots vary greatly, but think of the film in terms of careers launch and careers deferred.

Let's compare.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) vs. Jason Biggs (Jim)
Mark Hamill is Luke Skywalker. End of story. Yes, he's had a lot of luck with voiceover work and he's a good actor in his own right. Yet he will always be known as LUKE. Likewise, poor Jason Biggs will always be the dude that had sex with a pie. I'm sure that both thought that they had career making roles on their hands. Sadly, it didn't work out that way.

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) vs. Shannon Elizabeth (Nadia)
Both hotties primarily remembered for not wearing a lot of clothes. Using the Carrie Fisher theory, I predict that Shannon Elizabeth will have a career resurrection later in life when people will discover that she's actually pretty funny.

Harrison Ford (Han Solo) vs. Eugene Levy (Jim's Dad) vs. Seann William Scott (Stifler)
This was the subject of great debate. Of course, Harrison Ford was the biggest star to come out of the Star Wars series. That would be difficult to argue (feel free to do so in the comments), but what about the American Pie series? Those movies made Eugene Levy relevant again. He's turning up left and right these days. Likewise, Seann William Scott has worked consistently (the quality of his movies is also up for debate). So...thoughts? Who's the Han of the Pie flicks? Jim's Dad or Stifler?

I know you're probably thinking that I should include Alyson Hannigan (Michelle) in this post, but come on. Girlfriend was Willow on Buffy. Saucy lines about band camp aside, that's a pretty badass career move right there.

And just like that, we've arrived back at my nerd-dom.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Escape from LA

I'm sure you've all heard by now. Times are tough. Unless you've been living in a cave with your fingers in your ears, you know that I've just made the understatement of the century.

Los Angeles is being hit particularly hard. So many of my friends are out of work, and not just the industry peeps either (although a lot of them are industry peeps). It's slim pickings for job seekers, no matter how qualified you are.

Still, we always joke and say "Yes, everything kind of sucks right now, but at least we live in LA." "Sure, it takes an hour to go eight miles, but at least we live in LA." "Yes, the earth just randomly shook on its own, but at least we live in LA." Most of us grew up wanting nothing more than to live and work in HOLLYWOOD! so we're able to forgive a lot of faults.

So, imagine my shock when I had this conversation with a dear friend recently:

Me: How's it going? How's the job hunt?
Dear Friend: Not so great. In fact, the boyfriend and I are thinking of moving to Texas.
Me: Oh, I know that feeling. I just tried to convince my Beloved that we should abandon everything and move to Santa Barbara to live in a trailer on a beach.
Dear Friend: Yeah, but we're really leaving.
Me: Yeah, okay...wait, you're serious?
Dear Friend: Yeah, we love LA, but...we just can't win here. It's time to think about the future.

Wow. First off, I will miss her tons when she goes. She's a dear friend and a wonderful person. Texas is definitely gaining an amazing couple. And, it's definitely LA's loss.

There seems to be some kind of flight from LA lately. More and more people are leaving the city for greener pastures (or snowier pastures, or more mountainy pastures, or whatever). My Dear Friend is moving to Texas. My BFF moved to Las Vegas three months ago. My Buddy keeps talking about moving to Arizona.

Is Hollywood losing some of its glitz and glamour? I don't think so, but I'm one of those crazy people that spends an hour and ten minutes in traffic just to go across the city. I understand what it means to get burned out on a place. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Los Angeles is HARD.

So, what do you think? Is the grass really greener on the other side, or is it bad everywhere?

PS Speaking of grass, my gerainium and basil plants are still alive. So, that's something at least.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Indoor Gardening

In addition to trying my hand at cooking, I'm also attempting to garden. Like the cooking, I blame this on my mother who managed to raise three kids, cook a wonderful and creative meal every night, always look amazing and grow her own vegetables and herbs in the backyard of our suburban Chicago home. Really Mom. That's a lot for one girl to live up to. Especially an LA transplant who used to think that having extra thyme meant that she could stay out partying a little while longer.

However, I find myself becoming more and more domestic with age. We recently added a ten gallon aquarium and 4 danio fish to our household and I decided that I wanted to try my hand at plant life, too.

The problem?

Our apartment has a north-south exposure. None of that yummy morning or afternoon sunlight pounds through the windows. That makes for a good thing in the summer: lower A/C bills in the sweltering CA heat. But what of my plants?

I decided to just go ahead and try it. What the heck? How much damage could I really do?

Well...there's probably a goodly amount of dirt behind the bed now (our bed is under the window and the plants are on the windowsill. You see the bind I'm in), but I have learned that you can, in fact, grow lavendar and rosemary indoors. Both of those plants are doing well! However, you cannot grow cilantro, snapdragons and, possibly, geraniums indoors. Those did...less than well. I think the folks at Home Depot grew sick of seeing my smiling face. *sigh* I hope our next apartment has a balcony with some sun.

Oh, well. At least the fish are still alive.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Elisabeth and Aida ~ Parte Uno

I'm not much of a cook. My mom is an AWESOME cook, so I never really felt the need to learn while I was living close enough for her to feed me. Why bother when you have the master making you dinner?

However, my mother lives in Chicago. And I live in Los Angeles. Thus, I can't exactly pop round for dinner on a weekly basis. If I want to eat a real home cooked meal I have to cook it. At home.

I've had some disasters. There were the ribs that were a disaster of Clark Griswoldian proporitions. There were the chocolate chip cookies that somehow turned out salty (yeah, I have no idea either). But, I've been getting better. I can cook lots of things now and I haven't poisioned myself or my Beloved even once.

My darling mother is thrilled with my new found culinary abilities and gifted me with a copy of Aida Gabilondo's "Mexican Family Cooking" for Christmas (actually, the book was technically a gift from the dog. My family is a little weird like that). I've been trying to work my way though it, little by little. While I could never aspire for a "Julie and Julia" situation (despite the title of this entry) I thought it might be fun to document a couple of my tries.

Today, I found myself with some free time (read: I was avoiding writing script notes), so I decided to make some salsa casera. I chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, plucked some cilanto from my windowsill herb garden and gave it a go.

The result?

A little watery and maybe fewer tomatoes next time, but for a first attempt? A definite win. Ole!