Wednesday, November 30

mockingjay

This was the third and final installment in the Hunger Games series. I think I liked this one better than the second, but the first was still my favorite. I'm still stoked for the movie next spring. It will be interesting to see how they translate the books to film.

Sunday, November 27

beetlejuice

Another blast from the past. This movie was enjoyable years later thanks to Tim Burton. While it was not full of laughs, it had enough of them to keep Jake interested. Plus the f-bomb was dropped at least once--you don't see that every day in a PG movie.

Friday, November 25

thanksgiving 2011

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year. My parents, brother, grandmother, and great-aunt shared the day with us.

Not to brag, but I really have this holiday cooking thing down to a science. I did have some help with the food--my mom brought cranberry sauce, my grandmother brought the pumpkin pies, and my aunt brought a jello salad. I started off on the right foot by taking Wednesday off of work in order to prepare some of the dishes ahead of time. Most of the side dishes I made were oven-based, so it made it easy to have all of the dishes ready at the same time--as soon as the turkey was done, I was able to start baking the side dishes.

It was a nice day all around. After dinner, everyone sat around the dinner table and talked. Towards the end of the afternoon, we had dessert, and that concluded the festivities.

Here are the new recipes I tried this year (hint--all of them are keepers):

Green Beans Amandine
Roasted Squash with Butter and Sage
Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole
Basic Bread Stuffing
Parker House Rolls
Roasted Turkey with Rosemary-Garlic Butter Rub and Pan Gravy

Good stuff!

Saturday, November 19

watching too much tv

There is so much good television to watch, but not so much on network tv, unfortunately. Showtime keeps me busy with Dexter, Weeds, and Californication. HBO has True Blood. We don't have either channel, so thank goodness for Netflix. We just finished watching season 4 of Californication last night. The dialog on it is so funny--that show never disappoints.

I kept hearing great things about Breaking Bad (on AMC), so we rented the first three seasons around the beginning of the year. Season four just finished up in October. There is only one season left--I can't imagine how they are going to wrap the show up, but I know it will be interesting. We'll see how things pan out, but I think it could be one of my all-time favorite shows. Another AMC show that I enjoy is The Walking Dead. Last season, I thought it was good. Zombies are definitely interesting, but there wasn't much else going on. Interestingly, while many people are complaining about this season (not enough zombies, too much drama), I absolutely love it.

As for network tv, there are a few good shows on. There are some other ones I watch, too. Tuesday nights, I watch Parenthood. This show kind of sucks, but it stars Peter Krause (Nate from the amazing Six Feet Under) and I can't stop watching it due to him. Brian refers to the show as a "steaming pile of Parenthood". He's got a point. Wednesday nights used to be my favorite, but now I only watch The Middle and Modern Family. I used to like it when Cougar Town was on, but they are moving that to Tuesdays as a mid-season replacement for Dancing with the Stars. I do love Modern Family, though. It's my current favorite show on network televsion. For years, NBC had a strong Thursday night lineup, but no more. I only watch The Office now. It's still funny, but not as compelling to watch now that Steve Carell is gone.

The new show Up All Night looked funny in the previews, but was rather disappointing. I'd watch it if it wasn't up against The Middle, but The Middle is definitely a better show. I've also caught a few episodes of Happy Endings. That show has some promise, but I'm going to wait and see where it goes before I commit myself. I watched a few episodes of Suburgatory (mostly since it's on between The Middle and Modern Family), but I just can't get into it. NBC has been airing extra episodes of Up All Night in the same time slot, and that's a better choice if I'm looking for something to watch.

Tuesday, November 15

catching fire

This was the second book in the Hunger Games series. Again, very good. I just found out recently that they are making a Hunger Games movie--it'll be out next spring. Jake and I can't wait! Next up, the third and last book in the series. Unfortunately, Jake is only half way through it, but I think I might steal it from him. I need to wrap this series up as I just got the new Stephen King book in the mail today.

Saturday, November 12

the hunger games

Jake was going on and on about this series of books, so I decided to give them a try. I finished the first one the other day. I have to say, it was quite good. I found myself reading when I was supposed to be doing housework, so that's how you know it was good (not that I wouldn't rather be reading than doing work, but stuff needs to get done, you know?).

The story was about a future version of the United States which is broken up in to 12 districts. On a yearly basis, the government picks two teenagers from each district who must fight to the death (until one person is left) in a televised battle. Pretty interesting.

The only negative thing I have to say is that the book is definitely written at a level for kids--as opposed to something like the Harry Potter books, which are directed at kids, but not necessarily written at a lower reading level. Nevertheless, I'm onto the second book in the series...

Monday, November 7

biutiful

Oops. I ordered two depressing movies in a row. I didn't mean to do it--I forgot to update my Netflix queue. Anyway, this movie was much sadder than Rabbit Hole. But, it starred the handsome Javier Bardem. And he was speaking Spanish the whole time. +2.

The move was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who also directed such films as 21 Grams and Babel. If you've seen either, you can guess the vibe of this one, too: depressing.

I thought it was pretty good. Brian complained about it due to the subject matter. In protest, he fell asleep on the couch during the last half hour or so of the movie. His loss.

Saturday, November 5

lizzy's day out

We got a new employee at Prime Design Solutions recently. She's into dogs, so I thought I'd take Lizzy in to meet her. I didn't want to take her in for a full day because I actually have work that needs to be done, so when I picked Jake up yesterday, I brought Alice home and took Lizzy back to the office with us. She's been to the office before so I pretty much knew what to expect--she was mooching scratches from the employees all afternoon. While she would not be a great dog to take to the office every day, she's not too bad on occasion. I'm sure this made her day--goodness knows, she likes going places.