Friday, May 24, 2013

We've moved!

Hello every one!

We've moved!

And by "we" I mean all my blogs into one at this new web address:

See you there!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Don't Run

“I don’t run.”

If you know me, that’s all you’ve heard for years despite my natural prowess when it comes to sports. And I don’t, or at least I didn’t until now. Today, I took my first run. This may not be a big deal for most people, but it’s a huge step for me. Being big busted I always made the joke that I didn’t run because I might take an eye out (if you don’t get it, watch some Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball). In reality, I’ve always been embarrassed by doing anything extremely physical with other people around since if it wasn’t a sport (specifically curling, tennis, or softball) I felt uncoordinated. I suppose this could be blamed on how often people picked on me when it came to physical activities, but in the end, despite how others have treated me or how it came about it, it’s my lacking confidence and severe shyness that have always limited me.

 So, I’ve tried over the last few years to get comfortable with myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Most people have seen my confidence in my myself and my actions grow dramatically. Most have seen my general happiness grow as well. I’ve set yearly mottos, the first one being, “The Year of Facing Fears” and the current being, “The Year of No Excuses”, and I’ve constantly been pushing forward in hopes to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. My biggest outward changes have been lately. I’m learning to speak my mind, enjoy the company of others more, and to ignore my vanity of how I look to others.

I like to think that this big change has come about partly due to the fact that I’ve been focusing on my health lately. Cutting down on caffeine and junk food, watching my portions, and even taking online courses (such as Sleeping Hacking) to figure out what I can change to be healthier has really changed my outlook on my body and myself. Physically I’ve not only felt purer, but my energy level has grown incredibly. Even just the little adjustment of working on my posture has helped my self image grow.

 Admittedly, I didn’t think I’d take the running step yet, but I did. And I pushed forward by the sheer inspiration of the runners from Monday April 15th. I want to be able to say I have the endurance to keep moving forward despite adversity, especially in the pursuit to help others, like many of the Marathon runners did Monday when they continued running so that they could donate blood at the nearest hospital. They didn’t cower in a corner despite what fear they probably felt, instead they saw what they needed to do and did it.

I want that endurance. I need that endurance. I deserve that endurance and I will earn that endurance. If we learn nothing else, if we find no other silver-lining to the horrors of the past week, this should be this: Endure.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So... It's March, right?

Here it is! March already and all of my blogging for February is... Almost non-existent. Admittedly, it's been a busy month or so, but that shouldn't be an excuse. It is, after all, the Year of No Excuses and it seems like I'm full of them lately.

The deal is that I'm working on seeing if another server is better for this blog and the Tentative Cooker blog. I am taking this seriously, but I think that Blogspot is a bit too low traffic in blogging circles and meant for more personal blogs. It's great and user friendly, but no traffic. That's my only issue  and since I want to make ERIAO a more active group of bloggers, artists, and any one else who wants their work out their, having a blog that can't thrive isn't helpful. Beyond that, I do want to turn this into a multi-function website as well. Essentially, I've been researching for something more permanent and long term (aren't we all?).

On top of that I've been looking into legitimatizing my crafting/art business which means so much more ground work. I'm tired of just one show a year and no Etsy page.  I'm also tired of just knitting and not using any of my other talents. Plus, I've been getting money together which means I've been selling things I don't need on Ebay and looking for jobs. Lastly, I've been helping Johnny get stuff together for Akron while his family has been going topsy-turvy with his brother and brother's fiancee moving. So, it's been busy and I haven't mentioned half of what's going on.

I do start my seasonal work next week, so it'll be even busier. However, I'll be catching as much as I can. We'll see you soon! And check the Facebook page for photo updates and wallpapers! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" (Movie Review)

Image from
Despite this being “Children’s Films” month, I think that Brief Interviews with Hideous Men deserves it’s own shout out. The film it’s self is adapted from David Foster Wallace’s book with the same name and John Krasinski, best known from The Office, not only directs and acts in this film, but adapted Wallace’s works. That alone should be a lure into this film: a serious indie film adapted, directed, and acted in by the guy who’s put multiple office items in jello.

Besides that, we have an all star cast. You’ll recognize every one from something be it from a comedy to a crime drama to a sketch show. Some actors are going out of their bubble, like Christopher Meloni from Law and Order: SVU, and others, like Will Arnett, are with in their normal smooth talking roles. At the very least, it’s a blast watching and waiting for the next actor we know to come on the screen.

The film style it’s self can be a bit confusing especially near the end. It starts skipping about in places, sometimes having multiple story lines and conversations going on at once, over playing the scene that does not match, but my suggestion is to just sit back and enjoy the eventually rather dizzying ride. This is not what I expected from the Netflix summary. In retrospect, what it should describe the movie as is “a film adaptation of several short stories revolving around how men see and relate to woman.” Admittedly, it’s more boring than the original description, but at least it’s accurate.

If you watch this movie do yourself a few favors:

- Don’t look for a Plot
- Go with the Flow
- And maybe drink a glass of wine.

I’ll admit, I liked this film. Despite the lack of plot, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men flows well and becomes overly engrossing. I'm hoping to order Wallace’s book soon, since my encounters with him have never disappointed me before. Once I have, I’ll happily share my review of that and how these two compare. 

And you’ll read it… And happily so, daggnabbit.

Movie Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant View.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Updates!

February is now upon us and that means we’ve got a new set of blogs to look forward too! The Movie Reviews this month will focus on Children’s movies and TV shows, because for some reason I find myself enthralled with a few right now. I’ll also be doing more of the dating series: Chivalry isn’t Dead, It’s Just Grown Up as well as a couple of book and story reviews.

On Tentative Cooker there will be a couple of recipes and at least one food review. As well as one or two blogs just generally about kitchen utilities and must haves. It’s about time right? TC has been on much too long of a hiatus!

See you again soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chivalry Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Grown Up: Segment One

Last week on FML, this was posted:
Screen Cap From

Through out the comments rages a debate on whether or not Chivalry is dead via the format of whether guys should pay for dates or not. Let’s face it, we see this argument going on every where from feminists to just friend. Every one has an opinion on it. So it’s time to pick this a part rationally.

First off, she was being naive not bringing any money with her to begin with. This any one can agree with, because let’s face it, anything can happen when going out and one must be prepared. This is her own fault. Strike One.

Secondly,  it’s just impolite to not even offer to pay for tickets or snacks. Has her mother taught her nothing? Even if she thinks that males should pay (which brings up the question of who pays for lesbians dates. I have theories, but none of them are politer [i.e. PC]), this could be her test run date. If the guy pays, he’s a winner. If he doesn’t, he’s a sinner. We all have our criteria and if this is yours, then be prepared to make him/her pay or to not have another date.

Thirdly, here is a list of reasons the guy shouldn’t have to pay for everything on a first date:

1) It’s a first date, you guys don’t know how this will go. If only one person pays for the first date, it turns it into an investment. If it’s an investment, the guy might expect something in return in the end or at least a second date. So if you’re not willing to give a return on an investment, then don’t expect the guy to pay on the first date.

2) Not to essentially repeat myself, but the first date equals an unsure outcome. If the date is bad and only the guy paid, isn’t that cheating him a little? Maybe it’s a relief to you, but to him instead of being out 10-20 dollars, he’s out 20-40. More if the date isn’t a cheap one. Maybe you don’t mind a free meal, but then again, if you’re in it for the free meal, you’re probably not the right person for him. Think of it as hanging out with your friends, you wouldn’t expect them to pay for you, because that would be unfair. The guy doesn’t owe you just because you said “yes” to him. Remember that.

3) To show you’re a decent person. Who doesn’t respond well to being treated every once in a while?  And didn’t your mama teach you it’s just polite to at least offer?

Let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with however you want to pay for the first date: guy pay, whoever asked pays, or going dutch, but there’s some common sense that has to be put into play here. Just remember: Bring money, be polite and offer to pay (for at least yourself), be thankful either way, and have fun. This isn’t about who owes who, it’s about getting to know each other.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jesus Henry Christ (Another Movie Review)

The other night in my lack of sleep, I watched Jesus Henry Christ. This movie kept in tone with my other January movies: an indie comedy that looked much different from what it was. This colourful DVD cover doesn’t really tell us about the darkness of this comedy, but does tell us how 70’s it is.

Admittedly, I had been hesitant to watch it, if only because it looks like it’s trying too hard to be Indie and at times, it really does, at least in the beginning. About half way through we pass up all the “Look at me, look at me! I’m Indie! I swear!” moments (you know, that overly surreal effect that’s hard to pull off just right) and get to back to the real storyline, which while is an unusual story, it’s also a probable story. The probability in this story is what makes it so enchanting. The ending is rather un-extraordinary which just adds to the charm: this two children who are so, let’s  be nice and say, unique, are left with an “ordinary” ending.                                                               
                                                                                                                            Photo from IMBD

This movie about modern families and what craziness they put each other through is a fun watch. Be ready to suspend your belief at moments and just go along for the dizziness that might ensue. Jesus Henry Christ is probably not the best for those who are not fond of occasional harsh language or talk of test tube babies, but really, those are downplayed so much that I still recommend this trip.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Toast" (Indie Comedy Day: Final Review)

Our last movie of the night departs from the American Indie scene and moves into the British Indie scene with the movie Toast. With a delightful cast and a moving memoir to base the script off of, it’s hard to go wrong with this piece. Unless, of course, you hate food… and despise a lot of crying.

Unlike the previous films today (Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Armless), this one is based off of Nigel Slater’s autobiography. For any one who wonders who that is (as I did), you can see his webpage which tells about career as a chef, food writer, and television cooking show host. However, you don’t need to know any of this (or care even), to watch this film. It only has a short blurb at the end about his adult life and really focuses on his childhood and his inspiration to become a chef.

 Don't worry, it's more than just watching this foodie come into his own: you also get to see him dealing with social protocol, sexual situations, and challenging family situations. Besides that there is also the fact that this is 1960s Britain and the nuances of the world are much different from the current times. Despite being in what seems a racially small world (which is how it undoubtly felt for him at the time), one can see a wide range of complex situations arise in a tiny bubble which helps contain the story line, but also makes it more moving since we can all understand that life is nothing if not one issue on top of another.

 I wish I could say more, but really I don’t want to spoil this piece for you. It’s all about the subtle way the ingredients work together to make a whole, just like any good recipe. You’ll want to give Toast a try, but like any Indie movie, with the laughter will come the tears, so bring a box of tissues for company. And maybe something to nosh on, since every other shot seems to have some thing delicious looking enough to make your tummy rumble.
Thanks for joining me today on movie day! If people like this enjoy, I might do it again. Heck, I'll do it again just because it helped get a lot of knitting done and good writing practice. We'll do this again soon!

"Armless" (Indie Comedy Day: Review Two)

Next on my playlist during this miserable Indie Comedy Day (because what else are you going to do with a migraine and construction right outside besides watch people more miserable than you get a weird/happy ending? ) was Armless. It’s pretty easy to guess what the movie is about based of the title: having no arms, but pretty quickly we find out that it’s not that no one in the movie has arms. Rather it’s that the main character, John Willard, wants to cut his arms off and have “nubbins.”

 Now reading reviews on Netflix and IMBD are pretty, well, harsh. Comments about the bad directions, the no flow script, and just the horrible writing is most of what you’ll find there. Here, however, I’m asking you take a step back and think about life: life is awkwardly situated with boring characters and crazy characters that all tend to be self-centered and distant, especially when harboring a secret or when scared. This movie gives you the real life of it. The mom who’s too open and constantly lying, the wife who’s so wrapped up in her own anxieties she has trouble just being there for her husband, the husband who just wants to suffer because he believes that with all his good life must come something bad as well, and the doctor who’s spent so much time on appearances and money that he just wants to be something he’s not: exciting. So when I see people saying that this movie is bad, I wonder if they expected something more mainstream like Lars and The Real Girl which seems to be written for a more general audience. You know, the people who want a feel good comedy. Armless is not a feel good comedy.

In fact, it’s barely a comedy. People even complain in the reviews when it starts to show comedy, saying messes with the tone of the movie or something like that, but Armless is seemingly more about showing the reality. In reality the jokes we make are not necessarily appropriately timed and this movie reflects that. Which is one of the reasons I give it props: we’ve all had doctors try to joke to connect with us and we’ve all just stared at them blankly as if to say, “You’re a doctor. Not Bozo the Clown, get on with it already” or family member/friend tell us inappropriate things about their sex life thinking that it would be helpful when really it just makes us cringe and shudder every time we see that waffle maker (Don’t ask, don’t tell: really it should be every one’s motto about sex). The fact is the reason it’s funny is because we understand the uncomfortableness of the situations.

So, Armless may not be every one’s cup of tea. Most of us don’t like watching painfully awkward moments that close to real life, but I enjoyed the depth of the characters and the real feeling of the disconnect between the main character and those he loves. Besides, who can’t relate to A) feeling like something horrible is going to happen to balance out a wonderful life and just wanting it to happen now instead of later, B) that we aren’t normal and should have a way to show it, and C) that we need some type of painful weight lifted off of us. I can’t say you’ll like this movie, but sometimes it’s not about liking a movie. It’s about connecting with another part of ourselves.

"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" (Indie Comedy Day: Review One)

Today as my head throbbed with a migraine and Detroit decided for the first time in years to do construction on my street, I decided to put on a movie that I’ve been dying to watch. However, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is not the comedy one might think it would be from the DVD cover and the two lead actors: Jason Segel and Ed Helms.

With this film about two very different brothers, I was originally expecting a more comedic guilty pleasure movie much like Step Brothers. Much to my delight, it is not a comedic guilty pleasure, but rather a heartwarming comedy that really is barely a comedy at all. Think Garden State minus the heavy romance part: these two movies are considered comedies, but they both give us the warm fuzzies and this odd hope that even if we are lost and alone wandering about life zombie-like looking for meaning, that we still have some type of purpose. By the end of this film, every one has found their moment, their zen, even if we as the audience realize that it may not last them. What starts out with a simple trip to the hardware store for wood glues, turns into 83 minutes of following the signs so that Jeff, Pat, and their mother, Sharon, can all be in the right place at the right time.

Personally: I think this is the right time for you to watch this movie. If you need that extra “oomph” in your day or just that reminder that sometimes life can be a be weird or that despite how crazy things may (or may not be) we each have a purpose if we just follow the signs. Very rarely do we come across a film that has a little meaning for every one who might stumble across it.

I highly recommend  Jeff, Who Lives at Home to any one who believes in fate, destiny, and being in the right place at the right time as well as any one who feels lost and wasted, needs a good cry, and who wants a reminder that they have a purpose. Basically, I think you all should watch it... With a box of tissues handy and some one you love close by to hug when it's done.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Year of No Excuses

Every year I declare a year for myself… Usually quietly just in case I can’t own up to it at the end of the year, but since the last few years have gone exceedingly well, I guess it’s time to man up and step up to the plate. Okay, so last year I didn’t have a goal and I didn’t really have any last year either.

Now the year before that (Or maybe it was the year before that?) I had the Year of Facing my Fears. It was amazing. I pushed myself and did more than I ever could imagine. I learned so much that year: what it takes to do things, how much could be considered fearful, how I’ve been much better for it, and that I really can do whatever I put my mind on. And no, I’m not telling you what happened that year. It was was also the Year of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

This year is a little different since I recruited John to join in on this round of making life better. Together we’re facing The Year of No Excuses. That’s right, we’re going to do what need to be done despite anything that might get in the way.  That means “play time” is no excuse, “no room” is  no excuse, “family” is no excuse, etc. What we want to accomplish will come first, our responsibilities will come first.

Below I'm posting a poem that will be one of my main inspirations this year. I'll also post other bits of our inspiration that we come across throughout our  Year of No Excuses.

(This picture of the poem is from a Flickr poster called "W.K.")

You can also see it in this wonderful comic format which I'm hoping to get a print of from Zen Pencils

air and light and time and space Written by Charles Bukowski, Illustrated by Gavin Aung Than
 On that note, children, I need to get back to work making my dreams come true!

We'll see each other again soon during this Year of No Excuses!