Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Movie Trailers Will Never Be the Same

Mr. movie-voice himself, Don LaFontaine has passed away at the too-young age of 68. If the name and face doesn't ring a bell, the voice surely will. Nobody else comes close to making me want to see even the lamest of movies. And don't even get me started on how 24 will carry on without him.

LaFontaine is a genuine entertainment and pop culture icon. His voice is easy to identify, but will be impossible to replace. Luckily, as most good entertainers do, he will live on in everything he has done.

Cinematical has posted an article and great video about LaFontaine and his work.

I also found the video below on YouTube. It's a interesting segment on LaFontaine from the show Backstage.

And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here's one of my favorite clips from comedian Pablo Fransisco's stand-up act.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Free Tibet? No. Free Jenna!

Hocker of hilariousness Rainn Wilson is going to scary lengths to promote the August 20th opening of his new movie The Rocker. First he hijacked Office co-star Jenna Fischer's MySpace blog and then he kidnapped her and threw her in his trunk! He will release her on one condition: we all go see The Rocker opening weekend. If it grosses over 18+ million dollars then he will not only free her but make her a peach milkshake. Sounds like a good deal to me!

To keep updated on Jenna's captive status visit www.freejennanow.com. Oh and I guess you should all see The Rocker. I'm personally not so sure about it yet, but I do love Rainn and this grassroots type marketing scheme is hilarious. I love when people have no shame.

Also, it seems that Cafepress already has "Free Jenna" t-shirts for sale. Support your favorite receptionist now!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If I Could Have Written a Song, This Would Be It

And if you weren't aware, The X-Files: I Want to Believe comes out this Friday, July 25th. I am sacrificing my own viewing of the movie this weekend to job interviews and college friends (who better appreciate it!), but I'll hopefully be able to post my thoughts on it earlier next week.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Want to Be This Guy's Friend

Adding this to the list of things that make me happy.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

(Source: Cinematical)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

These are My Confessions

Dear Blog,

I have an admission to make, a confession of sorts. I am cheating on you. I know, I know, I did it once before with my travel blog, but I came back to you! I always do. Yes, sometimes I'm gone for days on end and you turn around and there I am blogging for Xfilesnews.com. I just can't help myself! My latest indiscretion may be my worst though. I have started a new blog. One that I plan on keeping for the long term. I'm not leaving you though, I promise. I just need a little suttin' suttin' on the side. It's a totally different blog than you, there's no comparison really. And you'll always be my first. Plus, where else could I possibly go to be so sarcastic about so much? Only here.

Your new rival blog is very topic-specific. It is only chronicling my current switch to a vegan lifestyle. It's interesting, really. I think you'd like it. There's articles about vegan news I find, books I'm reading, recipes I'm making and waiters I'm pissing off at restaurants. And it's on Live Journal so there's fun things like "what mood I'm in" pictures and "what music I'm listening to". Crazy, I know. What can I say? It's kind of a party over there. And you're invited!

So, if I'm absent for a little while you can always come visit me over there. I promise not to make you eat tofu. Okay?

Think about it.

Love Always,


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happiness is...

Every now and then I like to do a post where I list some things currently making me happy that I'd like to pass on to other people. Right now I need to keep my eye on these small pleasures so I don't become preoccupied with other things. Some people have Zoloft, I have music and TV and cooking and friends. I know some people need the stronger stuff and there's nothing wrong with it. I am just fortunate and somehow have the ability to cope without them. Here are my happy pills:

1. The song "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay. The strings of this song lift my spirits. They are easily my favorite musical sound. It is amazing how the same instrument family that can be used so effectively in a depressing song like "Me and My Charms" (Kristen Hersh) can also be used to convey a feeling of joy. Pretty powerful.

2. The show Bones. I just got into this show and it is awesome. If you aren't into procedural shows, don't worry because there's so much character interaction and development that the cases aren't the main focus. But if you like procedurals, there is that aspect as well and I think they do a great job in the way they portray the investigations and forensics. Also, it's a lot funnier and lighter than most dramas. I could watch the witty banter between Booth and Brennan all day.

3. The music from Bones. So, the official soundtrack doesn't come out until August, but I've loved so much of the music in the eps that I started searching for them on my own. I've been listening to that playlist almost non-stop. Favorites you should check out are: "Sea Lion" by Sage Francis, "Fountain" by Sara Lov, "Teardrop" by Massive Attack (may also sound familiar if you watch House), "Pride" by Syntax, "Bring on the Wonder" by Susan Enan and "The Other Way Round" by Gabin.

4. Trying new foods and recipes. I think I've gone entirely vegan at this point (as far as food goes, I'll worry about the rest later), so I've been buying new foods and experimenting with recipes. I'm usually not that excited to cook, but I've actually been enjoying it. There's just so much out there that I never knew about before. And it has been easier than I expected to go vegan. I think having both the preoccupation of a lifestyle change as well as the switch to healthier eating has been good for me right now.

5. Sephora! It just opened up in my mall and visiting there makes me happy. I don't even have to buy anything. Actually that whole section of the mall is just awesome now. There's a Borders, Sephora, Apple Store, Starbucks and Target all within eyeshot of each other. It is like the crossroads of consumer heaven and I'm not even going to appologize for absolutely loving it.

6. Watching the lightning bugs in my backyard at night. It doesn't get much better or simpler than the wonders of nature.

7. The video for "Lollipop" by Mika. The song is catchy and the little cartoon girl is adorable and the colors are like a really awesome trip from the 60s. Watch for the kissing dear who toot "Love" and the humping bunnies.

Actually Mika's whole CD makes me happy.

Lastly, none of these things would come close to making me happy if I didn't also have amazing people in my life that make me happier than anything else.

So if you're not happy, check out some of these things or try to look in your own life to find your own simple pleasures. Everyone has the ability to find happiness at their fingertips all the time. Just look.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm Only Going to Say This Once

I. was. wrong.

In a December 2006 blog entitled Hello, Dolly where I voiced my concerns about the FDA's decision not to disclose the sale of cloned meat, I made this statement:

I have never tried to be a vegetarian before. I know those little piggies and moo moos are cute, and I have heard the many horror stories about how they are raised, but I have decided that 1) I am not selfish about much in my life, so I can have a clear conscious about being selfish about my place on the food chain (and anyone with a problem with it can choke on a big fat carrot stick); and 2) those animals are mighty tasty! Mmmm boy!

I would like to formally retract this statement as I no longer feel this way and in fact feel ashamed to have written such a selfish and ignorant paragraph. Yes, I still believe that animals are "mighty tasty" and I am still eating them on occasion. However, I am slowly trying to adapt to a vegetarian and eventually vegan diet. I have come to realize that the price being paid for me to enjoy "tasty" animals is just too high and that health-wise I'm better off without them anyway.

Why such an attitude adjustment? Well, basically I got myself educated on the topic. Selfishly, I began to cut out animal products solely for health reasons. I read the book Skinny Bitch in Fall 2007, wherein they promote veganism as a way to lose and then maintain a healthy weight. I've encountered many readers who are turned off by this (especially since the topic gets sneaked in through the back door), but instead of being indignant about the fact that the book cover never uses the word "vegan" once, I became interested in what they were saying about the benefits of this lifestyle. Although I didn't immediately become a vegan or even a vegetarian, I began to actually think about the foods I was eating and their impact on my body as well as the world.

Since then, I have adopted more vegetarian foods into my diet and successfully had days where I only eat vegan (3 in a row so far this week). The hardest thing for me to cut out is cheese, but the rest is surprisingly easy. In general, I don't crave meat and I've found that going without dairy makes me feel so much better. When I have days where I slip and eat an ice cream cone, I usually pay the price later. It serves as a great reminder that my body doesn't need the trouble. Plus the soy or rice milk alternatives to ice cream taste amazingly good (I suggest Soy Delicious, Toffuti and Sweet Nothings Fudge Bars).

I don't want to try to guilt or sway anyone into a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, so I'm not going to talk about all the reasons why it's a good idea. I'm just trying to put right a bad-attitude I perpetuated by my earlier blog-post. And maybe plant the idea in someone's head that being vegan isn't as extreme as once believed (admittedly, by myself) or make you a dirty-hippie-tree-hugger. In the end though, it has to be each individual who makes the decision for themselves. If you have any interest in learning more about the benefits to yourself, animals and the earth that can be had by adopting vegan practices, there are hundreds of resources available. I just read Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating and highly recommend it as a good starting point. Below I've listed some other resources I've found.


www.vegan.com (maintained by the author of "Vegan")
www.peta.org (you can send away for a vegetarian starter kit, they'll also probably send you address labels and try to get you to donate.)
www.skinnybitch.net (website that accompanies the book)
www.fatfreevegan.com (good recipe resource)
www.farmsanctuary.org (rescues abused industrial farm animals and fights for animal rights)

Other Reading:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Vegan Living (includes recipes and covers other issues beyond food)
The Vegan Sourcebook

There's also about a bazillion vegan and vegetarian cookbooks available. I'm a big fan of Borders lately, so check out their list.

Lastly, just a couple notes. The idea of veganism was seeded into my mind long before I ever read Skinny Bitch. In college, my friend Meredith was a vegan and although I never thought back then that I would ever try to adopt that lifestyle, she opened me up to the idea and even to the foods. She deserves some of the credit for my current beliefs. Oprah, however, deserves no credit. Yes, she has been doing a cleanse where she is not eating gluten or animal products for 21 days, but it just coincidentally coincides with my own vegan push. Don't get me wrong, I like Oprah, and think that having her embrace something works wonders to help spread the word about a cause or an idea. However, I think in the end changing a lifestyle just because a celebrity endorses something is not realistic for most people. You have to believe in it for it to really become your way of life.

And the next time I'm tipsy and staring down a piece of cheese pizza, I hope that belief will help me through.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ruined for Life

TV has ruined my life. Ok, that's an overstatement. Let me rephrase. TV has ruined my relationship expectations in the real world. It wasn't Disney and their happily-ever-after princesses or movies like Dirty Dancing and Titanic (bad example maybe) that created an idealized picture of a relationship in my head that will be hard to replicate. No, it was TV and its character relationships that have more than two hours to build and resolve. They grow and change over time like real couples would, except with perfect dialog and hair. We as the viewers become invested in these will they/won't they, McDreamy/McSteamy, Ross/Rachel relationships and find ourselves longing for something similar. However, in TV "will they?" always leads to "they will, and it's great", McDreamy vs. McSteamy is a non issue since they're both hot, and Ross and Rachel will always end up together. How can the real world compete?

I, myself was first ruined at a young and tender age - 13 to be exact. It was 1994, the year I began to watch The X-Files. Thus, it was also the year I added the word "platonic" to my vocabulary and began cutting pictures of David Duchovny out of magazines (no boy bands on this girl's wall). In The X-Files, Agent Mulder was often times moody, obsessed, self-centered and certifiably insane, but when it came to Scully he was usually at his best. Whether it was the tender touches of support he gave her that never begged to be anything else, the verbal sparring/innuendo between them that was usually more heated than most people's foreplay, or his travels to the literal end of the earth to save her, Mulder was someone to be admired.

And more than Mulder on his own, it was the two of them together that made the relationship admirable and desirable. It started as equals, partners, friends, and it just kept building. Yes, it's unrealistic in the way it portrayed two attractive people who obviously have feelings for each other waiting 7 years to act on them. However, it is playing out a deep emotional bond that we all would like to have with someone. It's what we try to find by going on awkward dates, hanging out in crowded bars, and signing up for Match.com. We are looking for the person that is our better half, respects us and loves us beyond anything else. Is it too much to ask for that person just be assigned to spy on us and debunk our work, showing up one day in our office and changing our lives forever? Yea, that's what I thought.

And don't even get me started on Bones and the Booth/Brennan relationship. They're like a less dysfunctional Mulder and Scully, if Mulder and Scully had fun and didn't avoid talking about emotionally charged subjects. I guess I must have a thing for tall, dark FBI agents too, because David Boreanaz makes my mouth water as Special Agent Booth. Especially when his character has no shirt on or says things like this (explaining why meaningless sex is crappy sex):

"Here we are. All of us are basically alone, separate creatures just circling each other. All searching for that slightest hint of a real connection. Some look in the wrong places. Some, they just give up hope because in their mind they're thinking 'Oh, there's nobody out there for me.' But all of us, we keep trying over, and over again. Why? Because every once in a while, two people meet. And there's that spark. And yes Bones, he's handsome. And she's beautiful. And maybe that's all they see at first...But making love? Making. Love. That's when two people become one."

Seriously, who is this guy and where can I find one?

So, like I said, I'm ruined for life. It's hard for anyone to compare to the relationships I've grown up watching, and, honestly, it's not exactly fair for me to have such expectations. I guess I'll just have to wait to find my own unique life-defining relationship and maybe, just maybe, we can give those TV couples a run for their money.

Interested parties may apply below.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vegetarian Propaganda

While on my previous photo scavenger hunt for the piles of books in my house, I came across a book from my childhood that I hadn't opened for years. It's called A Child's First Book of Poems and I have such good memories of reading it with my parents as a kid. I have, in fact, on numerous recent occasions made reference to the best poem in this book about a puffin who is the shape of a muffin. Usually people look at me strange and go "who writes poetry about puffins?" Florence Page Jaques, that's who. So, for all of you doubters out there, the puffin poem does exist and I'm not just crazy. And it's still my favorite poem. So enjoy.

There Was Once a Puffin
Florence Page Jaques

Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the
blue sea!

He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he
for tea.

But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn't play nothin',
For he hadn't anybody
at all.

So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he
very small.

Then along came the fishes,
And they said, "If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates,

So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the puffin eats pancakes,
Like you

And for those of you who'd rather watch your poetry, here's a computer animation of the poem I found on YouTube - There Once Was a Puffin.

Think they have a support group for this?

Hi my name is Allison and I have a problem.

I am a book slut.

There, I said it. I can't go into a bookstore and just leave those books alone. They have to come home with me. Sometimes 3 or 4 at a time even! It's shameful. Especially when I think about how many are already waiting for me at home. Neglectfully unread. Pining away on their dusty shelves. Perfectly good books.

I just can't help myself, you know? And Borders is no help with their book club member discounts and Buy 1 Get 1 sales. Every corner of that store calls to me, "Paperback Favorites!" and "Hardcover Classics!", "Bestsellers!" and "Oprah's Book Club!". How can I resist those shiny covers lined up for my perusal. Offering themselves up to my waiting hands. They're just asking for it. Who am I to say no?

And don't even get me started on those used book stores. Each sad, worn, dog-eared paperback like a puppy in the pound. You know what happens to the ones you don't buy? I don't even want to think about where they end up. Probably on some poor 25 cent table at a church bazaar. Nestled right in between dirty kids toys and crochet Christmas ornaments. Unspeakable. I know I can't save every one of them, but I'll be damned if I don't try.

So call me what you will, but I love all my little guys, from "And Then There Were None" to "Wuthering Heights" and every one in between. And if loving them is wrong, I don't want to be write.

To illustrate the magnitude of my problem, I have photographed every place in my house I have stuffed books. Keep in mind that 1. I have moved home recently so most of them are packed in boxes, and 2. None of these belong to my mom.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Blog is out There

I am now a contributing blogger to the site XFilesNews.com. You can check out my first blog here. And if you're a fan of The X-Files or just interested in information about the movie coming out this July, check out the rest of the site. It's a great news source for anything X.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cause and Effects

What the commercial voiceover said: "Try Aciphex."

What I heard: "Try ass effects!"

Does anyone else think they should have test-run that name with people under 60 before they put it on the market?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hot on the Heels of PaleyFest - X-Files 2 Poster and Website Arrive

I have to say that I'm digging the look of this poster. Very clever. Simple teaser. Readable date. Check, check, and check.
And under the date is the website that is being worked on right now but if you're lucky you can catch an occasional glimpse - www.xfiles.com.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New X-Files 2 Trailer at Paley Fest!!!

Go watch it at Google Video now before FOX makes it disappear.

Seriously hyperventilating here.

UPDATE on my UPDATE: FOX just pulled all the bootleg versions of the trailer shown at PaleyFest. I guess we'll just have to wait for the official one to show up on the website (or if you're desperate I might be able to connect you with someone who has the bootleg version).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When blog-stalking just isn't enough...

Now you can follow my incoherent ramblings all day long on my Twitter page. Or on the twitter feed I installed in the right hand column here.

God help you.

Dear Future Self,

Here is a short list of things you should remember not to do.

1. Do not quit your job without having another one waiting.

2. Do not redo your website, again. Leave it. It's fine.

3. Do not decide to watch just the first 3 minutes of "Law and Order" before you're definitely turning the TV off for good this time. You won't turn it off. No one can resist the L&O. You'll want to know what happens. You'll have to know!! For the love of Chris Meloni, just tell me what happens to the dead hooker!!!

And God forbid it be a marathon, you'll never leave the couch again.

Best of Luck,

Past Self