Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It really IS a small world!

The Sherman brothers had it right, "It's a small world after all, it's a small, small world!"

I was marveling just a few weeks ago at the weird coincidence of meeting someone who used to live in my very apartment two tenants before me. Well, this past weekend, my friend Seth and I were discussing some stuff and I mentioned Andrew "Rif" Hutchings who was on the opposing team for my second Lingo appearance. Turns out Seth knows him, is friends with him, just played games over the Christmas holidays with him.

I think Chris was right when he commented on that apartment post:
"Statistically, you should have a one-in-a-million occurance happen every couple of months or so. Plus, living in a big city like LA just seems to make that sort of thing more likely."

Well, it hasn't even been a couple months and it's happened again. Rif goes to grad school in NY & came out the LA to film a game show (that's where I met him). Meanwhile, I met Seth (who lives in Tucson) in Dallas last November at a gaming convention and later found out that they not only know each other, but they're friends. They went to high school together.

I guess I should officially stop being surprised now. But I don't think I can! If it happens one more time in the next month, then I guess I'll be forced to accept it.

Vegas Recap

You know the cliche... what happens in Vegas... blah blah blah.

Here's the important stuff:
  • I left Vegas up $50, but left Nevada down $70 (mental note: don't make those last minute stops on your way out of the state!)
  • I had a friend show up to surprise me (and I was quite happy to see him), so we had one more hanging with us all weekend, which was a lot of fun! Spontaneity is great!!
  • I watched part of an Ultimate (Frisbee) tournament and it looks like FUN, so I've already emailed the woman in charge of the women's LA league to see when they're having clinics for beginners.
After returning from the trip, Ron sent me a link to this website that lists most of the Vegas casinos and what their minimum bets and max. odds are for craps. I'm plotting which casinos I'll hit while I'm there next time, but for sure, we'll be hitting Casino Royale. I always seem to do well when I'm there... and they have awesome odds. I bought some dice so I can practice rolling before I go! :-)

After looking at the craps website, I can't wait to go to Vegas again! I'm definitely more Vegas-compatible with some friends, so I'm only going to invite the people that will bring the good karma/gambling mojo! Next time I go, I'll be coming home with millions!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Road trip to Vegas

I'm trying to get lots of work done today because tonight, I'm heading out with four friends to Vegas! We're going to celebrate MyPC's 10,000th event, but I'm looking forward to some gambling with my football winnings, eating some yummy food and going 80s dancing! It should be tons of fun!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Are you riding high?

Liz Pulliam Weston wrote an article about why people are broke. Her hypothesis? People are spending too much money on, *gasp*, their cars! What a surprise!! According to her article, the average person spends over $8,000 a year on car expenses - payments, maintenance and gas.

I'm not surprised... I am a fairly practical person when it comes to money stuff and material possessions. Sure, I'd love to have a nicer car. But the reality is, my Civic runs great and I still like it. But the best part is that it's paid off! Living in southern California, I surely get car envy from time to time, but I comfort myself with knowing that I don't have some gigantic car payment or worse, a lease payment! I bought my 1998 Honda Civicfor $13,500 in 2000, used with 36,000 miles on it. I paid it off within about a year and a half and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

When I was married, my husband would look at his friends and say, "Look at him, he has a new ______ and his wife just got a new ______. How can they afford that and we can't? We make as much money as they do!" I used to tell him, "They're probably in debt up to their eyeballs, and we aren't. That's how!" It ended up to be true for that couple he knew, and I suspect it's true for lots of people out there. So, the next time you're feeling envious, just think about how much that car is costing them! Plus, it's just a vehicle to get from point A to point B. I'd much rather have that money in the bank. Besides, anyone who wants to judge me for my car, probably isn't the type of person I want to be friends with anyway!

Friday, January 19, 2007

What is your idea for a new business?

Have you thought to yourself:

I have the greatest business idea! I can't believe no one has thought of this! I'm going to be rich!!!

and then never done a darn thing with it? Here's something for you!!

My sister sent me a link to this press release from Microsoft. They are looking for creative and original business ideas. You submit an application describing your idea and strategy for getting it off the ground and then according to the press release:

"The winner — the business with the most innovative business idea — will receive $100,000 in business startup money, a Manhattan-area storefront for one year rent-free, and infrastructure and software to help run the business."

Put your thinking caps on and submit those ideas! Submissions have to be received by January 31, 2007.

If you have an idea, but are too lazy to do anything with it, let me know! :-) I'm going to be brainstorming this weekend with my sister!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

eHarmony update

OK, so far I've been answering questions back and forth with several of my "matches" that eHarmony has sent for me. With the exception of one of them, I've been waiting til they initiate communication with me. I was under the impression it would take a couple weeks to reach the point of "open communication," but I'm already at that point with two of them. With "open communication," you send emails to each other through the website so that they don't have your actual email address. And they keep sending me more "potential" matches every day.

One of the "open commuication" guys asked if it was OK to talk on the phone, so I gave him my number. I received an email from him that said he would call me tonight, so we'll see! Overall, the eHarmony experience has been pretty positive so far.

While I don't mind talking on the phone, I really prefer to talk on the phone to people I already know. Talking on the phone with someone you don't know is sometimes weird. I forget what percentage of communication is non-verbal, but it's high, something like 70%. In this situation, if he doesn't sound like a total dud on the phone, I'd much rather just set up a meeting to see if there's any chemistry at all and see how we get along. I could probably assess fairly quickly in person whether or not I'd be interested in dating him.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

OMG, check out this scuba diving cat!!

Guitar Hero Update

I'm still struggling to get through Free Bird on expert. I was doing better last night, but not quite there yet.

I found out from Linc & Nikki that if you get 100% of the notes correct on a song, you get 5 GOLD STARS!!!! I haven't gotten any of the gold-starred yet, but Travis did a couple last night on medium.

Also, there's an Xbox 360 version coming out with 10 new songs and the ability to download new songs. I don't own an Xbox and I'm not quite certain that I'm willing to pony up $400 for the system, plus the cost of the game and probably new guitars since I'm sure the PS2 guitars won't be compatible with the Xbox. Boo~ !

According to Wikipedia, these are the songs that will be on the new Xbox Guitar Hero:

  • "Hush" - Deep Purple

  • "Dead!" - My Chemical Romance- listed as a master track (not a cover)

  • "Billion Dollar Babies" - Alice Cooper

  • "Salvation" - Rancid

  • "Possum Kingdom" - Toadies- listed as a master track (not a cover)

  • "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" - Rick Derringer

  • "Life Wasted" - Pearl Jam

  • "The Trooper" - Iron Maiden

  • "Drink Up" - Ounce of Self

  • "Kicked to the Curb" - Noble Rot
  • Monday, January 15, 2007

    I signed up for eHarmony

    I did it. I signed up for a six-month subscription to eHarmony.com on Saturday. Right before I left to participate in a weekend FULL of gaming. So far, they've sent me lots of "matches" and a few of them have initiated contact by sending me five multiple choice questions. We'll see how it goes...

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Online dating

    I've never tried online dating. Well, I guess technically, my blind date last year was through Craigslist, a website, so that might count. But I have never tried the ones that most people seem to use like Match.com, eHarmony.com, etc.

    I created a profile with eHarmony, but didn't subscribe. I'm thinking I might try it. I guess I might as well. I can always put it on hold if I start dating someone I met "in real life." If I do join up, I'm debating on if I should do the 3 or 6 month. One of my friends recommends doing it for 6 months at a minimum. Hmmm.... decisions, decisions...

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    First Math Trade on BGG

    I have participated in my first math trade on BoardGameGeek (BGG). It's basically a massive trade. I entered in the games I was willing to trade away, as did everyone else... Then after everyone posted, we all looked to see what we were interested in.

    For each game I offered up for trade, I listed what I'd be willing to accept for it. I think I did pretty well!!

    Here's my math trade summary:
    I think I did pretty well!!! I am looking forward to playing all the games I received in the trade!!

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    What are the odds?

    I know there's no numerical answer for this, but what are the odds that... well, here's the story.

    I went on a group hike last night. It was my first time hiking with this group and I had carpooled over there with my friend Tim, who lives next door to me. When we got there, we were chatting with people before the hike and he pointed out two people who used to live in my apartment complex. I think there are 20 units in my complex. So I started asking which apartment in the complex they lived in and turns out that one of them lived in MY apartment!!

    What the heck?

    So, I asked why she had moved out and she said that there was a huge leak in the middle of the bedroom and they wouldn't fix it after she complained to them and the housing board. I can't remember if it's really rained since I lived there, but I don't remember any leak, so maybe they fixed it since she moved out a couple years ago. I hope so! I'll be keeping my eye on that for sure.

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Game Goals for 2007

    I wouldn't categorize this as being "important" enough to list as a New Year's resolution, but I'll renew my goal to play 100 new games this year. For 2006, I ended up playing 141 new games!!

    I am also going to track wins. Chris thinks I win more than my fair share, so I guess we'll see how I do!

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Football pool update

    Although I haven't received the "official" word from the person running the pool, it appears that I have finished second overall for the season and should be the lucky winner of 200, um, credits! :-)

    Yea! I think this is the best I've done in a pool before. I think I like picking straight up winners better than worrying about the spread.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Working on the resolutions

    I've already been working on my resolutions. I didn't have anyone over tonight and therefore got some stuff done around the house and did a couple errands I put off last week because I was so busy! I returned some ornaments I bought but didn't use and I went to exchange one of the two copies of the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook I received for Christmas. I picked out a Korean cookbook that looks good and a copy of the 2007 Zagat Survey for Los Angeles. If I'm going to be eating out at least one new restaurant a month, I'm going to make sure it's a damn good one.

    Speaking of... On New Year's Eve morning, we went to Din Tai Fung for breakfast. They serve soup dumplings. In short, it was amazing. Everything we had was wonderful!! I can't wait to take my sister there the next time she visits because she loves dumplings.

    I'd highly recommend the following dishes:
    • Juicy pork dumplings
    • Soup dumplings - only served on weekends
    • Appetizer - That's what it's called, it's shredded tofu and bean sprouts. Very tasty!
    • Pork fried pan noodles - similar to chow mein
    • Sesame buns - if you like sweet, warm sesame buns
    • Vegetable dishes - We didn't order one, but someone else at our table did and it looked so good. I think they have only a few veggies each day. I'd recommend trying those. I am going to next time.
    If you're planning on going (and trust me when I say it's worth the drive and getting up early on a weekend morning) and you don't want to wait for 45 minutes - 1 hour, I'd recommend getting there by 10:15 AM on weekends. They open at 10:30 AM and we got there around 10:20 AM and we were the last people seated inside. Unlike dim sum restaurants, their dining room is very limited.

    After you sit down, you write down your order on the sheet (kind of like a sushi restaurant) and they start bringing it out ASAP. The waitresses spoke English, so they were able to make recommendations and answer all of our questions. Once you're done eating and paying, if you don't vacate your seat relatively quickly, they will *subtly* nudge you out. After all, they have a line of people clamoring to get in and eat some dumplings! Don't take it personally, it's just the way the restaurant works.

    You can expect to spend between $15-20 depending on how much you order. Afterwards, we hit up a boba shop in the next shopping center that had a smiley face on the yellow glass for its logo. I'd highly recommend that place too. It took about 5 minutes for them to make our boba though, which to me, seemed like a long time.

    Din Tai Fung
    1108 S. Baldwin Ave.
    Arcadia, CA 91007
    (626) 574-7068

    Hours:
    M-F Lunch 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM Dinner 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
    Sat Lunch 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM Dinner 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
    Sun Lunch 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM Dinner 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    2007 New Year's Resolutions

    I like resolutions. I love the idea of New Year's Resolutions. The idea that there's a fresh new year in front of us and *we* can make changes to make our lives better. I love that! I'm constantly striving to make my life better and more enjoyable for myself and all the people I am lucky enough to call my friends. Though I am constantly reassessing myself and my life and trying to improve it throughout the year, there are certain milestones (like a birthday or New Year's) really helps focus my mind of thinking about what I want and how I'm going to go about achieving it.

    I also love having a plan. Things don't get done without plans and details to go along with said plan. I think people who don't plan are probably not getting as much done as they could. And that may be OK for some people, but I definitely prefer the "plan" route. Sometimes even having a list of things you need to get done like "sweep the floor" is enough to make you get up and sweep the floor. It's very motivating and focusing. It also makes me feel more settled. Resolutions are like my general personal growth plan for the year!

    Some of my resolutions (esp. financial ones) are repeats of last year. I had a much harder time with personal goals for the year. I feel like now that my divorce is final and I'm dating and have *lots* of friends that I love, I'm having a hard time desiring more than I have (which is a good thing, I know!). I'm actually quite satisfied with my social/personal life and work life. I guess I'm pretty happy with most aspects of my life at this point. But I went ahead and tried to think of stuff that I could improve, because there is *always* room for improvement.

    And without further ado, I present my resolutions for 2007.

    Personal
    1. Spend more time at home alone. This will allow me to keep up with my household duties and bills, etc. - By far my most needed resolution. If I'm home more, I will have things a bit more organized and cleaned up.

    2. Be more physically cognizant of myself - get more sleep, drink more water, eat better foods, move more. - Kind of related to #1. If I am home more, hopefully, I'm getting to bed earlier, exercising more and cooking healthier meals at home.

    3. Floss. I never floss and every six months, I tell my hygenist Mary that I'm going to do it. So, my goal is to floss. Ultimately, every day is my goal, but for starters, I think I'll aim to floss a couple times a week plus some.

    Ways to Expand my Horizons
    1. Watch one new-to-me movie a week. I am considering making Mondays my movie night and on that day, I will watch one movie I have not seen before. I think I'll post the planned movie in advance so that people can join me if they'd like to.

    2. Read one book a month. I have really slacked off on reading, mainly because by the time I get to bed, I'm exhausted. However, if I'm getting to bed earlier, I might actually stay awake for more than two minutes so that I can read a book! I received some books for Christmas, so that will keep me busy for the first few months at least!

    3. Go out to eat at a new restaurant once a month. This, most likely, will take the form of a small monthly dinner club consisting of 4 or 6 people. Members yet to be determined.


    Financial
    1. Make a living trust and medical power of attorney.

    2. Max out 401(k) and Roth IRA contributions in 2007. The 2007 maximums are: 401(k)= $15,500 and Roth IRA = $4,000 - I maxed both out for 2006 and foresee no problem maxing it out for 2007.

    3. Save more money outside of retirement accounts. Ultimately, I'd like to save at least 10% of take home pay. I don't know how feasible that is since I'm putting so much towards retirement, but I want to at least try. It's all about goals, right?



    So there they are. I just realized that I have three in each of my three categories! Perfect! Not too many, juuuuust right! Does anyone else make resolutions? What are they going to be this year?

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    I resolve to make resolutions tomorrow

    Ugh, after *much* drinking last night, I'm just now feeling like I could maybe change out of my PJs. Luckily, I've had friends here hanging out and tending to me.

    The resolutions need to be reviewed and will come later this week. Oh, and Happy 2007 to everyone!!! This year is gonna be great!

    New Restaurants for 2007

    One of my New Year's Resolutions was to eat at one new restaurant a month. I might've set my goals a bit too low! Acquiring the Zagat guide has really upped the awareness of new restaurants all over the city. Plus, I have lots of friends that like to eat! Some of these restaurants may warrant a full review and if so, I'll link to my review for ease of reference. If not, I'll try to refer to a website or review elsewhere online.

    1. John O'Groats - 1/6/07. A breakfast/lunch diner with good food and quick service. Their bacon is yummy and they have all kinds of different waffles/pancakes. The French fries were delicious!
    2. Kansas City BBQ Company - 1/7/07. A hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint new to NoHo. Be warned: the ribs are OK, but sauce is spicy! I love spicy, so it's OK for me, but not for people with delicate palates. Their sweet potato fries are delicious! Cole slaw a bit too creamy for me and the potato salad was a bit sweet. I think it has relish in it.
    3. Gorikee - 1/10/07. Full review with photos to come! Really good food, reasonable prices. They have a happy hour dinner special. If you're seated between 5-6 PM (weekdays only?), you get the entree as well as soup, salad and dessert! Service was a bit laid back, decor is nice, but minimal.
    4. Blue Hen Restaurant - 1/18/07. They serve Vietnamese food made with all organic chicken. The consensus was the tumeric fries and jasmine green tea are phenomenal. The food is pretty good, but not excellent. The service was pretty attentive and good. They tacked on an automatic 20% tip for having 6 people. I ordered the BH sandwich and it was pretty tasty. Bottom line: It's good and it's cute. I'd totally go back.
    5. Caioti Pizza - 1/20/07. Dawn, Evan & I went to check out this California-style pizza in this cute little (about 10 tables) pizza shop. They serve thin crust pizzas. The dough was pretty good and I'm not usually a crust eater. We also ordered the "The Salad" and it was good, but the Italian vinaigrette was a bit sweet. Service was good.
    6. Pink's Hot Dogs - 1/23/07. Stopped by after watching a revival of Gone with the Wind at the New Beverly Cinema. We ordered a couple chili cheese dogs, a "Lord of the Rings" dog and a Polish sausage dog with fries. Good! Normally, there's at least an hour wait, but at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday morning, the wait was less than 10 minutes. It was good, but I could never imagine myself waiting an hour to order a hot dog.
    7. Baker's Burgers in Victorville - 1/25/07. Fast food joint with good food.
    8. Bellagio Buffet - 1/26/07. Breakfast is $14.99
    9. Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay - 1/26/07. Owned by Hubert Keller - the burgers are out of this world!!!
    10. Blueberry Hill - 1/27/07. A really good 24 hour diner in Las Vegas. They make their desserts fresh everyday. The chocolate cake was out of this world.
    11. Viva Mercado - 1/27/07. Good Mexican food (and salsa) in Las Vegas. Be warned, portions are huge, split a meal with a friend!
    12. Sushizo - 2/2/07. New sushi place in L.A. and the food is divine and prices are reasonable. Best pieces of the omakase were: toro, yellowtail and butterfish. The shot of yuzu at the end was a rare treat too!
    13. Chinese Deli - 2/7/07. The Chinese food place around the corner from my apt. and the food is delicious!!
    14. Eegee's - 2/9/07. Fast food favorite of Tucson. They have those slushy/icee type drinks there.
    15. Las Margaritas - 2/9/07. Mexican restaurant in Tucson. I had the "Tacos de la Casa" which are yummy tacos with beef and potato. Plus, they have choco-tacos!
    16. Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles - 2/10/07. Grandson of Mrs. White, he's taken her recipe for chicken and combined it with waffles a la Roscoe's.
    17. Carnival - 3/9/07. Seth took me to this Lebanese restaurant and it was pretty good. You definitely want to go as early as possible though to avoid the wait!
    18. Trattoria Farfalla - 3/21/07. Excellent food. I had the spinace, olivo, penne pasta and it was delicious. The sauce on the gnocchi was outstanding. Service was good. My only complaint about it is that it's a bit noisy inside and crowded. Also, unless the parking gods are smiling on you, you'll probably have to valet.
    19. Asia de Cuba - 4/23/07. A deliciously modern restaurant located in the Mondrian on Sunset. I would highly recommend the lobster mash, plantain fried rice with avocado salad, calamari salad, char sui short ribs and the butterfish. It's pricy though. For seven people, we ordered four appetizers, five entrees and one dessert. Plus alcohol, tax and tip, it was about $85 pp. The unexpected part? $15 for the valet (and that's with validation!).
    20. Jack Stack BBQ - 5/4/07. For a full review, see here.
    21. Stroud's Restaurant - 5/5/07. For a full review, see here.
    22. Scoops - 5/12/07. Check this post out for a description of my first visit to have bacon caramel ice cream!
    23. Mozza - 5/28/07. This is Mario Batali's new restaurant. I took some pictures of the pizzas, but don't have them posted just yet. I had the oregano salame, mozzarella, tomato & fresno chiles pizza and it was a favorite of everyone at the table. I also really liked the gorgonzola dulce & fingerling potato pizza. All of the pizzas we ordered were good, the crust was super-thin, and the service was good too. I'd highly recommend reservations, probably at least a couple weeks in advance. We made our reservation about a month in advance.
    24. Frida Mexican Restaurant - 6/7/07. Went here with eHarmony date #7. Located in Beverly Hills, it's set on this street full of eateries. Great for people watching! If you want to make sure you get a table without a wait, make a reservation. The lobster tacos were delicious and the other food was good too. I don't think it's necessarily worth the price though. There are just too many good Mexican places for way less money to justify spending close to $120 on 4 margaritas, an appetizer and two entrees.
    25. Mother's Tavern - 6/8/07, San Luis Obispo, CA. We jump started Shane's birthday weekend here. The Caesar salad was nice and tangy. I had the ribeye sandwich and Shane had the red-headed step-child pasta, which I enjoyed more than she did. The vibe of this bar is pretty good and the bartenders were cute!
    26. F. McLintock's - 6/9/07, Paso Robles, CA. Originally, we had reservations for Artisan, but after waiting 45 minutes past our reservation time, we walked down the street and had a blast at this more casual establishment. Food was good! I realized that I think I may enjoy the NY strip steak better than ribeyes!
    27. Zia Cafe - 6/10/07, Santa Barbara, CA. We stopped here on the way back to L.A. and it was so-so at best. My carne asada tacos were edible, but not great. The meat was cut up into too big of pieces for me. They were like chunks of meat. The corn tamales were actually pretty good. I don't need to go there again.
    28. Las Fuentes - 6/13/07. The molcajete salsa was delicious at just the right heat level and the carnitas taco was SOOOO good. There's enough meat for two tacos, so I split my taco into two of them (they give you two tortillas). The carne asada was OK, but again, the meat was cut into pieces that were too big. The guacamole was surprisingly good too. The color is a little pale, but the flavor isn't too bad. I would recommend this place!
    29. 94th Aero Squadron - 7/6/07. Went there for date #5.4. The great thing is that you're right by the Van Nuys airport airstrip so you get to watch planes taking off and landing all dinner. The bad? The food was just so-so. However, the service was pretty good. Maybe just my particular dish wasn't that great. It was overly salty! And I love salt!
    30. Providence - 7/29/07. It lived up to my expectations. After reading on their website that Gourmet magazine has them listed as one of America's top 50 restaurants... this dinner was amazing! I ordered the sea bass, but in reality, the other dishes I had were more amazing. Some of the highlights were salt and pepper ice cream, the king crab appetizer, a shot of chilled melon soup topped with a lemon emulsification and a teeny bit of olive oil... actually, all of it was great. I could basically list everything I had. Let's see if this link to the photostream will work.
    31. Johnnie's Pastrami Restaurant - 7/30/07. This place has pretty yummy pastrami. And a price tag to go with it. But I do have to say that I think this tastes better to me than the Hat. I still hold that one of the best pastrami sandwiches (not a dip though) is at Dino's in Burbank.
    32. Mama D's Italian - 8/6/07. The calamari was delicious and the fra diavolo was spicy, garlicky goodness. I would highly recommend this place, but be forewarned, it gets crowded!!!
    33. Bossa Nova - 8/26/07. Brazilian food that was fairly good & reasonably priced. Went there at the suggestion of my French teacher!
    34. Rock'n Fish - 8/30/07. Yummy food, steps from the Manhattan Beach pier. You can't get a better location. Food was pretty good too.
    35. Valentino - 8/30/07. Excellent food, excellent wine list, excellent service. I'm not sure you can get better than this in Los Angeles for Italian...
    36. C & O Cucina - 9/3/07. Delicious garlic knots and huge portions of pretty good pasta! I'd highly recommend this place.
    37. The Crepevine - 9/5/07. I'd been wanting to try this place since it opened a few years ago. I'm not a huge crepe fan, but I liked the other stuff on the menu. The mac & cheese was pretty good, the apple walnut salad with blue cheese was awesome. I'd go back just for that. I was surprised by my French dip sandwich, which looked more like a panini than a sandwich made for dipping. They only serve wine and beer though, no hard alcohol. They had a guitarist playing music and it was great! He played regular mellow mood music, but then started in with mellow Metallica and Britney! It was awesome!
    38. El Patron - 10/23/07. I went here on a date. The service was SUPER fast, beans and rice were actually decent, but I really liked the chips and salsa! The salsa was spicy and really good.

    New Movie List for 2007

    OK, since my resolution was to watch one new movie a week, I decided to chronicle my new movies for 2007 to see how many I watch! I'll add on to this list and keep it as one big post all year. So, scroll down for the most recent additions. I'm going to do the same for the restaurant and book resolutions. I also decided that seasons of TV shows are going to have to count as movies.

    1. The Professional - 1/1/07. Pretty good, Gary Oldman makes an awesome bad guy!!
    2. The Pursuit of Happyness - 1/6/07. I left this movie feeling (a) like a slacker and (b) grateful that I'm not broke!
    3. The Notorious Bettie Page - 1/8/07. The movie looked good, but there wasn't much plot or anything. Gretchen Mol looked fabulous in this! I love all the clothes and stuff, I definitely have more the pin-up girl figure. Check out this pin-up girl clothing line!!
    4. Where the Truth Lies - 1/15/07. I liked the story, but the thing that really struck me was the huge disparity in the ages of the men and women. Kevin Bacon's character is in his mid- to late-40s and he's getting it on with someone who looks young, even though her character is probably in her mid-20s.
    5. Save the Last Dance - 1/27/07. Cute fluff. (I didn't say they had to be "good" movies did I?)
    6. 21 Grams - 1/29/07. OK. Not nearly as depressing as I had heard it was.
    7. Children of Men - 2/5/07. I liked the premise that is set-up in the beginning, but the execution/story was so-so. Probably better for a movie-type person who can appreciate all the camera work, etc. First movie I've seen with Clive Owen and he's hot!
    8. The Maltese Falcon - 3/5/07. We laughed several times while watching this movie, but at spots that probably weren't meant to be laughed at. The dialogue and overly dramatic acting was quite amusing though. I have learned something about myself though. I can't watch black & white movies while tired. They put me right to sleep!
    9. Stranger than Fiction - 3/12/07. We loved the graphics at the beginning of this cute movie. Has a lot of more subtle laughs, but pretty enjoyable! Maggie Gyllenhaal is so cute!!!
    10. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind - 03/19/07. Really interesting story.
    11. Miller's Crossing - 4/23 & 5/8. Good, but not as crazy good as I had expected. Gabriel Byrne is so young in this movie! And boy do they smoke!!
    12. Spiderman 2 - 4/29/07. Watched it to get ready for S-3 coming out next week.
    13. Spiderman 3 - 5/4/07. Not that great. Wait for video!
    14. V for Vendetta - 5/8/07. I really liked this one.
    15. Little Women - 5/13/07. So-so, book was better.
    16. Persuasion - 5/20/07. Pretty good.
    17. Pan's Labyrinth - 5/29/07. Dark movie, but I liked it.
    18. BattleStar Galactica: The Mini-Series - 6/10/07.
    19. Knocked Up - 6/14/07. SOOOO funny. I would highly recommend!!
    20. Monster House - 6/30/07. Animated movie that's cute! Kinda scary in parts.
    21. Serenity - 7/1/07. The movie based on the "Firefly" series. Pretty good! Just as good as the TV show. And after watching it, I'd say the movie might make a bit more sense having seen the TV show first, but it's pretty good as a self-contained unit. I love the subtleties of this movie!
    22. Heroes Season One - 7/11/07. Read here about Heroes!
    23. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix - 7/13/07. The fifth HP movie and it was great. We saw it at the Imax theater, so there was some 3D action. I liked it quite a bit, especially considering that it has been my least favorite book so far. All that teenage angst!
    24. Once - 7/14/07. This was recommended by a friend who had recently seen it and said that it really moved him and was in his top 5 films of all time! With a recommendation like that, how could I *not* go see it? Well, I did. And I'll just put this warning out. There is lots of indie rock-type singing. Which, unfortunately for me, is not my cup of tea. I am not a big fan of singing in movies in general (unless it's hard rocking type stuff for some reason), so if I had known that I might've skipped it. But apparently some people REALLY love it, so you might want to check it out.
    25. Nacho Libre - 8/13/07. This movie isn't that funny. It's more kinda the fart, gross stuff type humor. Not awful, but definitely don't ever need to see it again. I'm certainly glad I didn't see this in the theater! I like Jack Black, but oh well. Not the best.
    26. Across the Universe - 9/29/07. It's the movie that is set to Beatles music and I loved it! The songs totally go with the story and the story moves. I normally don't like musicals, but I enjoyed this one for sure!
    27. Black Knight - 10/13/07. Silly Martin Lawrence movie. I was in Belgium and there weren't many choices, what can I say?
    28. Freaks - 10/14/07. OMG, this movie is awesome! It shows all these real freaks and it's weird. There is a guy with no arms and no legs and he lights his own cigarettes. The most surprising part was that in the commentary, it said that he had a wife and kids!!! Geez.
    29. The Wanderers - 10/14/07. Movie from the late 70s about a high school Italian gang. Man those boys are cute. I think I like the Italians. :-)
    30. Nancy Drew - 10/21/07. It was showing on the plane back from Germany. Cute, but not great as you'd expect.
    31. The Amazing Screw-On Head - 10/22/07. Funny, but I was tired while watching it. Chris really enjoyed this one.
    32. Murderball - 11/1/07. AWESOME! I highly recommend this movie!!
    33. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Pretty good. I enjoyed it. Philip Seymour Hoffman is so good.
    34. Sahara - 11/4/07. Watched this with L&N in HD at their house. Matthew McConaughey's teeth are so freakin' white in this movie. He has a flashy smile. Movie was OK, not bad for the type of film it is.
    35. American Gangster - 11/9/07. This was pretty good. I enjoyed the story and Denzel. He is one handsome man!