A different sort of New Year’s Eve

I could choose to be overwhelmed.  By the first day of school tomorrow. By the sudden pushback from one of my staff groups at work.  By the house cleaning that needs to be finished. By the laundry left out on the line in drizzle.  By my cluttered desks at home and work. By the way my weight has yo-yo’d over the past year.  By the 14th round of half-marathon training that was supposed to have started two weeks ago.  By my high hamstring tendonitis which will likely delay my return to running.  By the tension between my boyfriend and I over a misunderstanding.  By my hectic schedule that allows for little downtime.  By the fact that I still don’t write as much as I want to. 

I choose to stand strong in the face of these challenges.  It does not mean I’m not scared, sad, or frustrated.  I won’t sit and wallow in those emotions.  I will feel them but I will not be paralyzed by them.  I will take it a moment at a time. 

big apple, big treat

It only took 5 seasons for bravo’s hit, too chef, to go to new York and it’s about time. maybe I’m nostalgic for the big apple but the challenges seem more exciting and the judges more famous. It also benefits from the most likable cast I’ve ever watched, making Wednesday a mandatory TV night.

Its episode 5 and the only annoyance is arrogant European stefan. Otherwise, I’m amused by earthy Danny, sassy san Franciscan Jamie, italian cutie fabio, and Hawaiian hottie Eugene. The remaining chefs are good natured and telegenic. Unless the egomaniac keeps proving his skills, ill be happy with the winner.

I knew I’d love this season!

Now’s that hilarious! Rant No. 3rd Trimester

My baby will have to excuse the following:

Bitch, don’t make me laugh. With your twentysomething bullshit, no aspiration having, cellulite ridden ass, I’m not worried about anything or anyone but me and my daughter. Do your immature thing. Leave me to my 6 figures, the figure I’m sure to get back after my baby is born, my house, my graduate degrees, my success and fabulousness. I’m way more woman than you’ll ever be.

And that goes for you, too!

Just a few more songs

I’ve had my iPod nano for a technological eternity, a little over a year and five months. In that time, I’ve downloaded 899 songs, an eclectic mix of Latin, American, and international sounds, stretching across time from my Pop’s teenage days to Amy Winehouse’s ubiquitous Grammy winner, “Rehab.” These songs are either ear candy, sounds I find fun or inspiring, or they are deep rooted memory makers, or somewhere in between. Take one of today’s downloads, “Dawn(Go Away)” by the Four Seasons. I grew up hearing my Dad echoing Frankie’s falsetto in “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” but I don’t remember hearing “Dawn” until I heard it as part of the fabulous Jersey Boys this fateful summer. I had rushed back from the ladies’ room during intermission and was lucky to catch this summer. Tears sprang to my eyes for two reasons: it’s another Gaudio musical chestnut and it’s about saying goodbye to a loved one. At the time, maudlin lyrics struck a chord.

Dawn go away,
Please go away.
Although I know,
I want you to stay.
Dawn go away,
Please go away.
Baby, don’t cry.
It’s better this way.

But I listen to it today and I cry because I’m reminded of someone else.
Go away back where you belong.
Girl we can’t,
Change the places where we were born.
Before you say,
That you want me.
I want you to think,
What your family would say.
What your throwing away.
Now think what the future would be with a poor boy like me.

Good songs, like love, is universal and timeless. The right words and music will always make us feel and think.

So in a few more downloads, my now vintage Nano will be full. I’ll get a new square Nano and fill it with new songs. And they’ll be songs I’ll keep on loving and pass on to my baby.

Greetings visitors!

Much love to all the folks who’ve been hitting my page, not just those of you speculating about a certain Canadian actress’s maybe baby bump, but folks who dig Colombian rock lyrics, other pregnant mommies, fellow Catholics, and, of course, my old friends, either those in the Bay or my friends overseas.

What I did for love -or- A Karate Kid for ’08(movie review)

Never Back Down
now playing in multiplexes everywhere

Love is a grand phenomenon. It brings forth life. It heals wounds. It even makes a naysayer like me sit through (and enjoy!)a teen feel-good movie about MMA. Blues is a huge fan, and former fighter, of Mixed Martial Arts, that kickass(or asskicking) combo of wrestling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and other forms of hand-to-hand combat. MMA makes UFC and fight clubs the gladiator sport of the moment. In new action-drama, Never Back Down, MMA helps a young man come of age to a rocking soundtrack set in glam Orlando(who knew Orlando was an East Coast Beverly Hills? I’m getting old!) Unknown hottie Sean Faris plays Iowa transplant Jake Tyler, an ex football star bursting with anger over his father’s drunk driving death. He quickly falls for Ms. Popular, Baja Miller(another pretty unknown, Amber Heard)without realizing she’s the suffering girlfriend of Big Man and Bully on Campus, Ryan McCarthy(still yet another unknown, Cam Gigandet). Jake is lured into the world of MMA after he’s humiliated at a party. The rest is predictable but likable. Kudos to the always wonderful model-turned-actor Djimon Honsou as the Mr. Miyagi character.

A weepy buddy movie

The Water HorseMovie review

Colm Meaney, aka the Hobbit from LOTR saga, narrates this tale about a lonely boy, Angus, who raises and loves a water horse, Crusoe. When the Army batallion living on his family’s grounds discovers the monster, chaos ensues. Ben Chaplin costars as a wise handyman. The film was beautifully shot, the monster is loveable, and there are genuinely moving moments.

Still playing

Living up to the hype

AtonementMovie review

“Hey little sister, what have you done?” Billy Idol, “White Wedding”

So often, the Oscar season’s darling is good but not great as was the case for Chicago and Crash, even last year’s The Departed. Something can win a ton of awards and still not touch us the way Brokeback Mountain did. I had my reservations about Atonement. I generally stay away from chick flicks, even those with accents and period costumes. I have yet to decide what I really think of Keira Knightly. She’s been cute as Orlando Bloom’s better half in the Pirates trilogy but is she ready to be considered an accomplished actress? Along with the rest of my inner circle, I wondered if I really wanted to sit through another military storyline.
Atonement delivered. It’s a heady mix of flashback and flash forward and the same scene from various viewpoints. Springtime England was never sexier with its lush gardens, fountains, and brooks. Saorse Ronan steals the screen as Briony Tallis, a dreamy, melodramatic preteen writer, both troubled and intrigued by her older sister’s(Knightley) connection to the housekeeper’s son, played earnestly by James McAvoy(equally fabulous in The Last King of Scotland). The war storyline is equally gripping, at times graphic but always moving. Truly a beautiful film.

Now playing

The paradox of repressive freedom

Into the wild
Movie review

Sean Penn directs the film version of Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction bestseller about a free-spirited college grad who braves life alone in the Yukon. Emile Hirsch shines as Alex, a bright rebel who has survived an abusive childhood through his zeal for activism and adventure. He is charming and charismatic but eschews commitment and tradition. His quest for freedom goes awry as his survival skills are tested by nature and loneliness.
Kudos to the ensemble cast(sure to impress both indie fans and Oscar buffs) especially Hal Holbrook as a wise Army vet.

Currently playing at the Shattuck in Berkeley and the Cerrito in El Cerrito

Affleck bros pay Beantown a gritty tribute

Movie review

It’s too early for Oscar buzz but Hollywood megastar Ben Affleck went back to his roots as a screenwriter and might get another golden statuette. With younger brother Casey in the lead as a streetwise private investigator, the film adaptation of a crime drama features Academy Award winning faves Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris as jaded cops. The intense two hour movie follows the search for the toddler daughter of a local drug mule/barfly. The smart script is set in a brilliantly authentic lower middle class Boston. Despite critical accolades, it wasn’t box office gold but this one is a gem.

Still playing at the ever wonderful Parkway