Good Friday 4/23/10

23 04 2010

Every Friday I write a post about the good things from the previous week in an effort to focus on the positive things in my life. You can see all my Good Friday posts here.

Book Reviews

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading the past few weeks and I’m finally getting around to writing some book reviews. They’ll start going up next week and I’ll post one a week until I run out! Hope you guys enjoy!

Lunch & Learn

Wednesday I went to a little seminar at my church. I almost didn’t go, but I’m really glad I did. I learned a few things that I hope will really help me to be a better Small Group leader. Besides learning some nuts and bolts about asking good questions (which was enlightening on it’s own!), I realized that I need to be much more intentional about leading my group. I can’t sit back and just let things happen.

I’ve written and deleted probably 12 sentences now, and I’m realizing that I still don’t quite know how to articulate what I’m thinking and feeling right now. I probably need to sleep on it a little more. Let it suffice to say that I think I learned something really important!

Date Night

It’s my week to pick the movie for date night, but I decided to allow The Hubby to pick. He picked up the Family Guy parody of Empire Strikes Back. It was funny, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as The Hubby did 🙂

I was pretty tired and fell asleep on the couch almost immediately after the movie. The Hubby got me up and into bed by around 9:30 (knowing that I don’t sleep well on the couch, he takes good care of me), and I slept almost all the way through until getting up the next morning. Felt pretty good!

Cake

I had a hankerin’ (yes, I said hankerin’, I’m from Texas. Sue me) to bake something Wednesday night. Originally I had planed to make some brownies but later on I changed my mind and decided to try this recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake instead. Baking Bites is a new favorite of mine. The recipes are easy to follow and the 2 that I have tried so far have been good (the other was Irish Cream Brownies which were a big hit).

As I tweeted, I screwed up the batter a little bit. I skipped a step and forgot to add the eggs. Thankfully I realized my mistake as I was licking the spoon about to pour the batter into the pan. I added the eggs to the otherwise finished batter which probably meant that I over mixed it. The finished texture was a bit… off, the flavor of the cake was really good though. I’m fairly sure the texture issues are due to my goof and not any problem with the recipe.

Quilting Night

Most of the time 2 of my girlfriends and I get together once a week for coffee. We get some “girly time” and chat and catch up with each other. This week, however, one of them is getting married and can’t make it to coffee night. The other girlfriend (who has started a blog, by the way, Jill of Few Trades, go check it out) and I decided to have a quilting night instead. Another other friend is in town for the previously mentioned wedding and came over for quilting night too! It was really awesome to see her again and I’m really looking forward to spending some time with her this weekend.

I actually finished a project! This is a quilt I started 3…4… maybe 5 years ago and have been working on it a little bit here and there. I can finally move it from the work in progress page to the finished projects page!!

Seedlings

We have seedlings! Basil and lavender to be specific. I think we’ll be planting these in our handing baskets this weekend! It’s been really amazing to watch these little guys grow! I would have pictures for you but the batteries in my camera are dead. You’ll just have to use your imagination 🙂

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Recommendations

31 08 2009

I have a few recommendations for you this fine Monday morning.

First off, a movie.  Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist.  It stars Michael Cera (who I LOVE) as a youn (straight) musician in a band of gay guys who’s just been horribly dumped by his girlfriend.  He and his band mates go out for a gig and then to find their favorite band, “Where’s Fluffy”.  It’s a very cute movie.  In my favorite part of the movie, Nick is talking to one of his band mates Thom:

Nick: I just feel like she’s messing with me.
Thom: Who are you talking about?
Nick: Right now, Norah. No, Tris. Tris.
Thom: You just haven’t figured it out yet, have you.
Nick: What?
Thom: …The big picture!
Nick: I guess not.
Thom: The Beatles.
Nick: What about them?
Thom: This.
[grabs Nick’s hand]
Thom: Look, other bands, they want to make it about sex or pain, but you know, The Beatles, they had it all figured out, okay? “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The first single. It’s effing brilliant, right?… That’s what everybody wants, Nicky. They don’t want a twenty-four-hour hump sesh, they don’t want to be married to you for a hundred years. They just want to hold your hand.
[Gay couple passes holding hands and smiles at them]
Nick: I’m gonna stop right now.

The writing is excellent and for the most part the acting is great.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie

Next up, I have a music recommendation.  Storyville.  They’re a local band that sort of made it big.  According to Wikipedia:

Storyville was a blues-rock band formed in 1994 in Austin, Texas, USA. Drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, former members of Arc Angels and the rhythm section for Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band Double Trouble, formed the band with Malford Milligan after a jam session at Antone’s. After releasing an album on November Records in 1994 , the band won a total of nine Austin Music awards; they became stalwarts on the local music scene and toured nationally. They subsequently signed to major label Atlantic Records, for whom they recorded two albums before breaking up. The single “Born Without You”, from their 1998 release Dog Years, reached #28 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart

First off, let me say that I grew up listening to this band so they hold a very special place in my heart.  If I truly had to name on band as my favorite they would probably be it.  “Blues-Rock” is probably a good description of their music.  My mom saw a little show Malford Milligan did last week and actually got to sit down and have a beer with him afterwards (she aparently also has a signed photo for me too, /swoon), and it seems the band is getting back together!  We’re going to see them Thursday night (at the Saxon Pub on S. Lamar  at 6:00 in you’re in the area), I’m so excited I can hardly wait! 

I have 2 of their albums, Bluest Eyes and Dog Years and I highly recommend both.  They are both on iTunes and Amazon.

Enjoy!





Movie Review: Taken

4 05 2009

I saw Taken last weekend with The Hubby, my mother-in-law and her good friend.  Brief synopsis: Liam Neesen is an ex-spy who’s daughter and her friend are kidnaped.  He uses his trade skills to hunt down the men who took her and rescue her.

First off, I enjoyed the movie.  The pacing was good, I never felt the action scenes were too long or got bored between them.  Liam Neesen was pretty good, which is vital since he’s the whole movie.  He played the cold claculating spy very well, and there was a good balance between that and the desperate man searching for his daughter.

The plot was predictable, no real suprises.  There’s a small side story with the daughter that felt like an afterthought.  It was like they got to the end and said “Ok, we need something happy” and threw this in. 

The whole thing felt much like a Bond movie, just not quite so extravagant.  Neesen was always in the right place at the right time to see the bad guy disapear around a corner or in an elevator.  He always manages to get the information he wants to move his way up the bad guy ladder.  It’s not terribly realistic but entertaining at the same time.

I’m not usually a fan of movies with a lot of violence (the most recent Rambo is a movie I will never watch again) this one, however, didn’t bother me.  Most of the combat was hand-to-hand and was done very well.  Neesen’s lack of injury was a little bit unrealistic for the number of fights he gets into and his age, but again I didn’t mind the unrealistic since the movie was entertaining.

Summary

Acceptable acting ,good action, entertaining – Nothing stellar but nothing bad.

I give it 3 *’s – See it in a matinee or rent