Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

A New Harry Potter Trailer And An Epic Case of Untapped Potential   4 comments

Every time I see a new trailer for the last Harry Potter movie I get SO EXCITED!!! The trailer below is a hodge podge of scenes from the movie, behind the scenes action, and cast and crew interviews. It’s shaping up to be a ripper of a movie. I think I might have to watch the 7th movie again before I go see this one.

When I was a child, my mum read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series to my brother and me. It was some of my favorite bed time stories to hear! I decided to read the books again before the L.O.T.R. movies came out. I made sure I’d read each book before I saw each movie. I’d heard that the movies stuck perfectly with the plot in the books, and I wanted to see if it was true. It was true, and it made me very happy (and also feel like one of those nerds who reads the book before the movie and then feels all superior and stuff).

But with these Harry Potter books, it’s a different story. I guess I was too old to get excited about a silly wizarding book for kids, so I didn’t read any of the Potter series. But I went to the movies and LOVED them! They are so…enjoyable. I really want to have magic powers. Badly. After about the 5th movie, I started picking up the Potter books at 2nd hand book stores. It’s 2011 now, and I’ve only read three of the books. Don’t get me wrong, they’re amazingly good reads for people of all ages, and I don’t understand why I took this long to get into them. I guess I’m in no rush to read the whole series yet – I’d rather soak up the amazing audio and visual special effects at the movie theater first, then fill in the gaps of the story with the books later. I’m also really enjoying the anticipation of waiting for the movie to hit theaters.

What about you? Did you rush to buy each new Harry Potter book as it hit the shelves? Did you pre-order any of the books? Or are you a normal late-adapter like me – happy to wait for a cheaper paperback?

As a final thought, let’s review the use of the time turner device from Harry Potter and the Prisoner or Azkaban…

An epic case of untapped potential

~C

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Tiny Vegetables   Leave a comment

I’ve been waiting patiently for my tomatoes to grow this year, but they have failed pretty miserably. Only 3 of the plants have sprouted, and of those plants, just one has produced a solitary tomato. I’ve been watching it patiently ripen over the past couple of weeks – it’s gone from bean to green, to a mix of greenish red, and finally to red. Here it is in all it’s tiny little glory! I put it next to a sewing bobbin and some oregano for reference.

Tiny tomato and friends

I was going to chop it up and add it to the lasagna I’m making for dinner tonight, but I’ve realized I will never be able to tell what it tastes like if I do that. So instead, I’m going to chop it up and add it to some guacamole I’m planning on making to eat while I make the lasagna. OM NOM!

~C

Posted June 19, 2011 by Elfawin in Random

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Ninja Bread Men, Chuck Norris   Leave a comment

Over the weekend I received a brilliant birthday present in the mail (from my brother I think) – some Ninja Bread cookie cutters! Naturally, I whipped up a batch straight away. Here’s the resulting cookies…

Don't they look delicious?

…I’d tell you what they tasted like, but I couldn’t find them after I opened the oven door. I still don’t know where they are, and I baked them 2 days ago. So weird.

If you want to get your hands on some of these action-packed badboys, —> click here <—

Today (Monday) I came home to find another belated birthday present on my doorstep. This time, from my dear friend Kates. Kates sent me a Chuck Norris Pillow! YESSSS! I’ve included two photos here – one of the pillow in all its glory. The other is a close up profile of Chuck’s mustache, so you can really get a good sense of the 3D awesomeness that now inhabits my couch. This darling pillow was made by the talented Liz Potter of Bolsa Bonita – check out her stuff, it’s brilliant!

Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad Chuck Norris never cries.

Chuck Norris stared at the sun...the sun went blind.

~C

Dangerous Remote Controls And Other Neighborhood Issues   1 comment

THIS JUST IN!

The films for the 2011 Knoxville 24 Hour Film Festival are up at Knox ivi! The screening and awards show was on June 4th at the Bijou Theater in downtown Knoxville. The caliber of films was definitely up from last year, and the competition was fierce. So many of the films were hilarious and unique, while still managing to incorporate all the necessary requirements (a remote control, the line of dialogue: “I’ll never forget the first time I went to jail,” and a shot of the Sunsphere).

I was hoping to embed the video of team Reply All’s “The Job” for your viewing pleasure, but Knox IVI’s website is giving me TECHNICAL ISSUES! GRRRRR! So here is a link instead: http://www.knoxivi.com/k24hff2011NOTE: “The Job” is the 4th video from the left. Hopefully I’ll be able to embed the actual video soon!

For their outstanding work, Elizabeth Gibson and Dale Fisher won the award for Best Screenplay, and Luke Dye won Best Editing. Great job guys! I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition!

~C

Posted June 7, 2011 by Elfawin in Random

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Bridesmaids Is #Winning   1 comment

Last night I went with my gal pal KParks to see the movie Bridesmaids

L-R: Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rydolph, and Rose Byrne

At first I was excited to go see it just for the fun of having a girl’s night with KParks, but hot damn the movie is great! This movie is not your typical movie about a wedding. and it’s not a rom-com, thank god. It’s well written, funny, and insightful. I’s so…grown up and human and, just, real.  It’s been 12 hours since I stepped outside of the theater and I’m still thinking about it.

Bridesmaids is definitely a chick flick, but guys will totally enjoy it too. Really. There were three dudes sitting in the row in front of us (sans ladyfriends) and they were laughing out loud just as much as everyone else. The only difference was when the sweetheart moment happened at the end, all the women in the theater (definitely the majority) let out a collective “awwwww,” but the three guys were silent. They were probably melting on the inside though.

The protagonist of Bridesmaids, Annie, is played by the always funny Kristen Wiig of SNL fame. Annie is a 30-something realistic gal with relatable life problems. Nothing is going right for her, but with the help of her friends, her mum, and a charming Irish-born cop, she starts to turns her life around. Annie’s story is set to the backdrop of planning a wedding for her best friend Lillian, and hilarity ensues. Oh yeah, did I mention the script is absolutely hilarious? Critics are calling Bridesmaids a female version of The Hangover. While both of these movies are well-written, highly entertaining comedic rides, when you put comedy aspects aside, Bridesmaids offers more in the way of a real story.

Told from the female perspective, Bridesmaids gives its audiences a sense of how women actually talk and work things out between each other, but it never lets you forget you’re there to watch a comedy. It was so refreshing to watch! Throw in an all-star cast of female comedic actors (including one of my fav. Aussie actresses Rose Byrne), Judd Apatow producing, and some shameless dirty humor and you’ve got a winning formula. The soundtrack is fantastic too, with tunes from Smokey Robinson, Fiona Apple, Blondie, and even Ice Cube and Dr Dre’s Natural Born Killaz. SWEET!

Here’s just one of many of my favorite scenes from the movie:

I hope this movie will spur more movies told from the female mindset: A female’s perspective on our social reality has so much to offer in the way of emotional truth and fantastically relatable character dialogue. I’m not saying that movies with a male perspective are not good movies, I’m just saying that now I’ve seen Bridesmaids, I will be expecting more from movies and moviemakers in the future. Here’s the official trailer for Bridesmaids:

If you haven’t seen Bridesmaids yet, don’t wait! Go and see this movie as soon as you can! Get excited! If you’re a lady, make it a girl’s night. If you’re a bloke, find a lady to take, or go with your mates. You’ll love it too!

~C

Your Grandma Didn’t Make This   2 comments

Now that I’m enjoying Month-Off-May, I finally have time to finish some projects! Awwwwwwww yeeeeeeeeaaahhhhhhh, PROJECTS!!! One such project is a quilt I’ve been making on and off again for a while now in between grad school and other stuff. Last year my sewing machine broke just before Christmas, so I couldn’t finish it then (major bummer dude), but I got it fixed just in time for spring semester grad school to start. So the quilting was put on hiatus again. Fast forward to this week, and here are the results!

This quilt is for my aunt and uncle in the U.K. A couple of years ago I was at the Knoxville quilt expo and found some awesome retro 1970s-inspired fabric. As much as I wanted to keep the fabric perfectly folded up so I could just look at it, I figured it would look even better in a quilt…..enter the Moonlight Forest….

….The quilt is machine quilted except for the outside hem. It’s blanket-sized and I made up the design as I went along (that’s code for I-didn’t-measure-some-of-the-quilt-blocks-properly,-so-half-way-through-I-had-to-cut-extra-bits-to-make-everything-fit). Some might call my technique sloppy, but I call it “charming”. I was also pretty bad at maths in high school, AND I grew up with the metric system, so living in America and dealing with this inches and yards thing is like trying to read Shakespeare quickly and accurately at the same time. It’s so confusing sometimes, I just want to cry. That’s why I always quilt with a glass of wine within arm’s reach. We’ve talked about priorities before, haven’t we?

Anyway, hope y’all enjoy the pics!

~C

Posted May 11, 2011 by Elfawin in Random

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Chompers   2 comments

This story is incredible. The Daily, a news source created in February, 2011 for tablet devices, recently published an article on military service dogs, titled Hound to Death. It’s a particularly well-timed story, because there was at least one military dog with the Navy SEAL squad that took out Osama bin Laden on May 1st, 2011.

Service dog retrofitted with titanium canine teeth

These dogs are retrofitted with titanium canine teeth (think about that next time you’re being chased down the street by Sparky), which increases their chompability on targets like Bin Laden. I read another article from The Telegraph about U.S. police dogs that discussed how expensive each titanium tooth is ($600 to $2,000). If a dog has deteriorating teeth, but is already a highly trained military service dog, it makes sense to retrofit the canine with new titanium teeth – it’s far less expensive than having to fully train another dog. Plus, for years now, humans have been receiving similar titanium screws and porcelain crowns during regular dental procedures. I am a huge dog lover and I care about animal rights, and I think these titanium teeth are pretty awesome. It’s like giving a dog supercanine powers! You guys might not agree with me, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Unlike humans, the need to cover a dog’s titanium tooth implant with an aesthetically pleasing porcelain crown is pretty much nonexistent. These dogs could give a rat’s ass about winning Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual woof woof. No. These dogs are trained to wear oxygen masks and jump out of helicopters. These dogs want to work, they enjoy their work, and they’re good outstanding at the tasks they do for their squads or units. It’s insane how highly trained and sociable they are. Read The Daily article above and see what I mean. It has great photos too.

~C

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