Tag Archives: review

SXSW 2009 – Day 1 – Friday

SXSW 2009 – Day 1 – Friday

I took the first day of SXSW off, even though the movies didn’t start until the evening. I have to have time to prepare you see. Rest, relax, basic slacking. I had planned on going to the panel on getting the most out of SXSW. But as usual I didn’t plan well. The traffic at 2 pm was worse than rush hour then combine that with the pouring rain. Not pretty. So it took me 45 minutes to get down to the convention center. I still needed to get my goodie bag. I managed to snag a meter spot and only had to pay 75 cents to park. Even that was overkill cuz it didn’t take me but ten minutes to get in and out. The ride home took me an hour cuz of the scared pansy drivers. You’d think it was ice and not just a wee bit of water.

Later, Mike and I headed down to Paramount to catch I Love You, Man. I went to my badge line which was INSANE and Mike went into his little film pass line. I got us seats, Mike was able to get in, and voila. The entire main cast were there and it was very cool to see them. Excuse the blurry picture, but we were quite far up the balcony.

The movie was hilarious. Paul Rudd was excellent. Understated, which made the hilarity that much more yanno, hilarious. The Q&A afterwards was a bit of a bummer, because Janet Pierson obviously didn’t think about what kinds of questions she would ask her first Q&A at her first screening of the first year as her being the director for the SXSW Film. If that were me, I think I would have practiced about 100 questions to ask. Just to have them in the pocket and ready to go. Instead of fumbling around, hemming & hawing. Bah. Makes me miss Matt Dentler, that’s for sure.

We stayed at Paramount and watched ExTerminators, with Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge, and Amber Heard. It was filmed in Austin, so that was excellent of course. It was about a group of ladies in an anger management group that decide to take matters into their own hands when it comes to the men in their lives. Very good stuff. Heather Graham was very good and I’m not usually that impressed with her. Mike also said she has “awesome boobs”. Yes, yes she does.

Oh! Sweet Nectar Part Deux

Oh! Sweet Nectar Part Deux

In a followup to my Hint & MetroMint post a while back, I thought I would add that MetroMint has MetroMint ChocolateMintput out a new flavor. It’s ChocolateMint. And it’s friggin’ divine. You might think it does not sound refreshing, but you would be oh-so-incorrect. It’s very nice, light, and cool. Perhaps a good way to think of it is… it tastes like drinking a MetroMint Peppermint water after you’ve finished a chocolate bar (probably dark). I saw it on their website, and yes, the dork in me ordered a 5-pack to check it out. A couple weeks later, and it’s already in my local H.E.B. I love my H.E.B. They are quite quick to carry some unusual stuff.

Another water I’ve just Ayaladiscovered from my latest grocery store trek is Ayala’s Herbal Water. OMG, delish! I’ve only tried two flavors so far, but I think I’m hooked. I’ve had their jasmine vanilla & cloves cardamom cinnamon. The ccc one was a bit strong in flavor (according to Mikey), but I loved it. Very different, very natural tasting, and plenty sweet enough without actually using any sweetener. The jasmine vanilla was a bit lighter in flavor. They also have lemongrass mint vanilla, lavender mint lemongrass thyme, cinnamon orange peel, & ginger lemon peel. I can’t wait to try them all. Another bonus about Ayala is they are a carbon neutral company. Can you get much better than that?

Oh! Sweet Nectar

Oh! Sweet Nectar

I have some weird issues with drinking enough water. I go through stages where it is next to impossible to drink water. I can guzzle diet coke like nobody’s business. But water. It’s like it’s non-potable sludge. However, if I flavor it up with some lime or something I can usually drink the day away with it.

I used to drink FruitWater by Glaceau. The same people who do VitaminWater. Back when I used to drinkMetroMint it, they had tons of flavors like watermelon, cucumber, grape, lime. Probably like 10 or more flavors. Then suddenly they stopped making all those, and only made 4 flavors – raspberry, lime, grape, peach. The other stinger is they are now “lightly sweetened”. If there’s one thing I most certainly cannot tolerate in my water is a sweetener. I get migraines, and so I’m very sensitive to sugar, caffeine, and hydration in general. So, when I say I got nuts with DC it’s not that crazy because the caffeine can become too much. Anyhoo, I digress.

Once my FruitWater had gone and betrayed me with sweetener, I had to find other alternatives. I can’t remember how long, but it wasn’t terribly quick, I discovered MetroMint water… peppermint water that is not sweetened. And they say it’s not “flavored” since they use real mint. It is delightful. So refreshing. It’s been a couple years I think, and now they have 3 new flavors — spearmint, orangemint, and lemonmint. My least favorite is the spearmint, but I do love them all.

At the beginning of this summer, while on a mission to get some Function Urban Detox (excellent forFunction Urban Detox hangovers – drink half before bed, half when you wake) at the Whole Foods downtown I saw a bottle I hadn’t seen before. It appeared to be a flavored water, so I inspect the label to see what sweetener is used or how many calories it has. And I see the most loveliest of slogans on the bottle “Drink Water, Not Sugar”. I was immediately in love, so I wanted to buy everything they had. Mike, being the more sane of us, told me to just get a couple in case it tasted like complete ass. He’s wise, that one. So, after we get home and I get one chilled enough (beverages have to be damn cold for me), I tried one. It was the tropical punch one. I just confirmed the love at first site thing. It was amazing. I had found me a proper replacement. It is called Hint, and it’s such an appropriateHint Pom Tangerine name. It’s water with just a slight hint of flavor. Enough to be not straight up water for my tastes. I have personally tried about 9 flavors — Tropical Punch, Pomegranate-Tangerine, Lime, Raspberry-Lime, Peppermint, Pear, Strawberry Kiwi, and Cucumber. My least favorite was Cucumber, and not just cuz it’s Cucumber. I’ve loved that flavor of water in the past so I was really excited to try it. For some reason to me, it tasted like plastic. I’m hoping it was maybe a bad batch or something, and I will attempt to try it again later, cuz it did seem to have some promise. I drink so much of this stuff, it’s insane. I pretty much fill up a cart at Whole Foods or H.E.B., any time I buy it. People look at me funny. The last time I went to Whole Foods, the guy was kind enough to give me their case discount, and told me I should just think of buying it in cases in the future. That’s a good idea. I think I’ll do that from now on.

I’ve even gotten my brother hooked on it. I’m just evil rotten that way.

Boob Tube

Boob Tube

Those of you that know me, know I love television. Those of you that don't, well, I love television. September is the month that marks the beginning of the Fall Season for the networks. Usually I'm very on top of this. I would know the name of every show being premiered, and I would know it's basic premise. Hell, I might even have a copy of the pilot before it ever airs. That's just how I roll. 

Not so this year. I don't know what it is, but my motivation for the new series this year is quite deteriorated. However, there still are some new shows out there that I've seen.

I will warn folks that I tend to like the shows that most of America doesn't seem to like. Call me slightly left of center or whatever, but I hated Friends, I hated Everybody Loves Raymond (couldn't even finish one episode, painful painful crap), and Seinfeld is ok. So, see, I tend to not watch many sitcoms at all. The comedies I do watch are Scrubs, My Name Is Earl, The Office, and once upon a time Arrested Development. Getting the theme there? No canned laughter. No "filmed in front of a studio audience" bs. I think I'm perfectly capable of figuring out what is funny and when to laugh.

I shall now share my opinions of some of my favorite new shows of this season thus far

Chuck – NBC Mondays 8/7c – Chuck is a dork of sorts that basically has no life. He had a serious girlfriend ages ago, and still harps on about her, which in turn makes him quiteChuck unattractive to future females. You know the kind of guy I'm talking about. He's not unattractive, but he's kinda dorky, got lucky once with a fine specimen of a chica, and just can't seem to let it go. You feel me? Anyway, so, ho-hum is his life. Surprise, Surprise, he's an IT type dude for a big chain store. One day he receives this weird email from his college roommate that got all the hotties. He opens it and out spills hours and hours worth of images that apparently have the country's secrets embedded in them. Little does ol' Chuck know, that he's absorbed all this info. Now he's basically being hunted for his knowledge. The best way to describe this show is to say it's sort of a cross between The 40 Year Old Virgin & Alias. Yes, that probably sounds very bizarre, but I gotta tell ya. I love this show. The humor balances out the action very nicely. There's even a lil' bit of the sexual tension in the show. If you haven't yet, check it out. Good times.

Reaper – CW Tuesday 9/8c – This is the age old story of a dude whose soul has been sold to the devil by his parents.  For 20+ years, Sam has been treated very very well by his parents. ReaperThey let him get away with anything and everything. Because of this, he ends up being your average slacker-dude with no ambition, and not much in the way of a promising future. When Sam turns 21, he finds out why he's been treated so well. When he was a baby, his parents sold his soul to the devil. Now, before you get all judgey mcjudge, they had a good reason. One of the parents was gonna die. Guess it seemed like a fair trade at the time. He's the devil's bitch now. He has to hunt down souls that have escaped hell and return them. We can't have demonic dudes running around all willy-nilly, right? So, while still working his day job at a big box home improvement type store, he has to find the time to be a bounty hunter. No problem.

Two episodes in, and I'm really digging it. The main dude, is from Fox's The Loop (yah, I'm sure you didn't see it, cuz it seemed Fox didn't want anyone seeing it), and he fits the part very well. I'm not generally a big fan of anything that The CW puts out, but this is definitely worth the DVR space.

 Pushing Daisies – ABC Wednesdays 8/7c – I love this show! Friggin'-A! Oh, sorry, premature evaluation :D This show plays like a fairy-tale. So, this dude Ned, discovers at an early age that he has the ability to bring things back from the dead —Pushing Daisies people, animals, vegetation, whatever — with just a touch. When his mom keels over from a brain aneurysm, he is quick to touch her and bring her back. Unfortunately he discovers a consequence of his resurrection talent. If he allows the person to stay alive for more than a minute, then the universe appears to correct itself, by making someone nearby croak instead. In the case of his mother's prolonged breathing status, he accidentally kills the father of his first love, Chuck (yes, a girl). Shortly after that, he gets another surprise when his mother goes to kiss him goodnight. Ya see, a second touch, kills the person again. So, one touch good, two touches bad. So, Ned lives a very solitary life as a pie maker who has to pet his dog with a wooden hand extension thingy, so's not to kill him. Ok, so I love this show. Ned is such a cutie. The quirkiness of the show is what draws me in I think. It does seem to have a slight Dead Like Me feel, but only just.

Just a quick run of some others that I've seen – Cavemen — SUCKED! But what can you expect of a show based of a series of commericials; Bionic Woman — I might have to watch a couple more to make a definitive decision; Aliens in America — eh; Cane – not even gonna bother to try; Private Practice – while I have liked Grey's Anatomy in the past, I'm not sure if I want to try this one yet. 

If you're lucky, I might write later about some of the returning shows. I'm unpredictable like that.

So, what is everyone else out there watching?