Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What is that box with the moving pictures?!

Little Orphan Klaus , originally uploaded by Mistiec_Flores.

Christmas Eve: Morning

Klaus is a she! And so she's got a new name: Chrissy Snow.

This morning, Chrissy Snow suddenly realized there was a television in the room.

Meanwhile - her human slave goes off to make a bunch of Tamales. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gingerbread House 2008

Gingerbread House 2008, originally uploaded by Mistiec_Flores.

What happens when you rush on your gingerbread house? Your roof betrays you.

And you have no landscape.

Still, I swear - next year, I will actually .. PLAN this thing.

Until then, Chex Mix as bricks - who knew?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Ovaries are NOT throbbing, thank you -

I find it a little hilarious that people seem to be so horrified when they discover I have no intention of spawning a child of my very own. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I LOVE babies. I like kids. Thanks to my large extended family, I've grown up with them. I can change a diaper, clean up spit, and burp a baby with the best of 'em.

That doesn't mean that I have a burning desire to produce one of my very own.

It's selfish of me, I know. I grew up with an amazing mother, and if it's one thing I realized in that family is that as soon as you have a kid, your life is no longer your own. You're responsible for a little human being, and EVERYTHING you do is for that kid. It's the greatest form of love. And that's how it should be. Raising a little baby that turns into a person is the most important thing you can do.

But I'd rather not, thanks. One of the best perks of having a lot of babies around is that at the end of the day, I can give 'em back.

I did promise my mother I would adopt - and I will. I think if I'm financially stable enough to have an open home, I will do my best to try and provide a family and a home for a kid who needs one.

But I'm okay without a baby. Because at the moment I have a six week old kitten, who wakes me up at four AM crying to be fed, and that's enough.

Little Orphan Klaus

You can't litter box train a baby.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In Which The Backyard Yields Yet Another Kitty...

So yet again, I stepped outside and yet again I came across a frail little white kitty. This is the third time I've seen this guy, and he was so weak and so sick he didn't run, and his eyes were so infected they were sealed shut with dried puss.

The kitty was nothing more than skin and bones, and I couldn't take it, so I grabbed the little guy and brought him in, cleaned his eyes as much as I could and let him have some warm milk, which isn't the best thing give a kitty disgestion wise, but he needed something. Luckily, my mother agreed with me that we couldn't just toss him out again, and now I've got another little orphan to try to nurse back to health.


Unlike the last guy I found though, this one is in pretty bad shape. Starved, sick and weak, the only thing the little guy COULD do was eat. Lucy, our nurturing poodle, watched over him relentlessly, and what's nice, is that it looks like we're making progress.

He got a bath with soap and water to get rid of most of the fleas (I think he might be a little anemic from the flea bites), and I cleaned out what I could of the crud in his ears. His eyes are a slow process. I got some stuff from the pet store and it seems to be helping. The swelling is going down and the puss is receding. He can open both eyes, though one is still a little visibly worse than the other.

You know what they say about a kitty's nine lives. The guy's a fighter. He still needs a vet, but I can't justify the expense to my parents, yet, but he seems to be pulling through. Yesterday he had his first bowel movement, and his energy is improving. He has started to play, pouncing and attacking my feet and rubbing up against Lucy. He has figured out Thalia's stairs she uses to climb up on the bed, which resulted in me waking up with a two AM with a purring fuzzball against my throat.

But yeah, now I've got a kitty that I once again need to place. I hope I won't have any trouble. He's a gorgeous little man, and once his eyes clear up, he's going to be a prince. Snow white and long-haired, I've decided in the spirit of the season to name him Klaus. Here's hoping he gets a good home. He's a purr-machine, and a real cuddler.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire at the Wadsworth Theatre

Yesterday I attended a screening of Danny Boyle's new flick 'Slumdog Millionaire' with a friend, which was followed by a Q&A moderated by Taylor Hackford with Danny Boyle himself and the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, editor Chris Dickens and Indian superstar composer A.R. Rahman. Danny Boyle is the dream director behind movies like '28 Days Later', 'Trainspotting', and 'Sunshine'.

The invitation came at the last minute. My brain had stopped working (as tends to happen on a Thursday), and therefore that it was a Danny Boyle movie didn't quite register until we met up just outside the theatre and I again asked 'What are we watching?'

Normally I'm iffy about screenings, especially on a work night, but I trust Kevin. We met in college and suffered through a SCIFI course that came as part of our general elective requirements. Our teacher was a pervert. No seriously. The class consisted of us sitting in class and him showing us movies in fast forward. And he would fast foward to EVERY sex scene in the movie. It's how I watched Dracula. And Bladerunner. The good thing about that class was that I met Kevin - who is a fellow scifi geek in arms. He does Comic-Con. We talk Trek. And we love movies. And when it comes to movies, Kevin never disapoints.

Still, it was seven pm and I had yet to eat dinner. Kevin looked exhausted, and as we sat together in the crowded theatre (which was IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND) playing catch up, he relayed to me his reasons he now hated Vegas (they stole his car. he found it in San Diego. Long story.). So we were tired, hungry, and unsure if we were going to stay for the Q&A. I'm guessing the hosts had an idea much of the crowd was the same way, because they very kindly informed us that after the Q&A there would be desserts. Way to bribe us.

"What do you think?" he asked. "Do you want to stay?"
"Depends on how good the movie is," I replied.
"Sounds like a plan," he responded, and the theatre dimmed.

We stayed for the Q&A. Because this movie was awesome. Taylor Hackford, however, should never moderate again. Talented man, but he just did not stop talking. At one point he started going on and on about a Polish movie. Which is nice you know, but... let Mr. Boyle and the three other men speak too, please.

Based on the novel 'Q&A', Slumdog Millionaire follows the story of an eighteen year old orphan who is a contestant on India's 'Who Wants To be A Millionaire'. He is one question away from winning the grand prize - but how does a kid from the slums with no education get all the right answers to some of the most obscure questions? The police, who suspect him of cheating, want to find out.

And so we begin our journey with Jamal, as we venture back into his life and discover the clues to the answers that would come to him that fateful night. We meet his brother Salim, who challenges the violence that inhabits their life with more violence. And we also meet his true love, fellow orphan Latika, with whom he is desperate to reunite.

The movie is, in my mind, Danny Boyle's best movie. It's completely breathtaking from start to finish. Everything, from the music to the performances to that perfect shot he always seems to get, weaves together a story told in flashback and flashforwards, and what's more, it makes you ache.

Three different actors of varying ages play the three main characters (brothers Jamal and Salim, and fellow orphan Latika) throughout the movie. They're splendidly cast. There is no weak link in the six actors, which is astounding because of the youngest trio, two were children cast from the slums of India (And interesting aside to that I learned in the Q&A - these two children were placed in school and were given a large sum of money placed in their trust, to be given to them only when they finish school at the age of sixteen). It's an incredibly brilliant move, despite the difficulty they must have had casting, because it immediately reorientates the audience. So much of the story is told with sudden shifts of time, each distinctive face puts us immediately into the exact moment we need to be.

The movie appears to be about a gameshow, but that is only the vehicle. Instead, at it's heart Slumdog Millionaire proves to be the ultimate fairy tale and lovestory. Classic elements as old as time abound (true love, cain & abel, loss of family), and yet the movie does what a movie SHOULD do - take you to a place you've never seen before and make you feel like you've been there all along.

The film is a joyful experience that cuts into the heart of even the most cynical viewer. Fantastic film, and worth seeing in the theatre.

Slumdog Millionare Trailer

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Better Living Through Comedy

Prop 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reflexes - that's how they getcha...

You never realize how things are honed into you until you get taken by surprise.

Every normal restraint somehow gets thrown out the window and you kinda just go with your impulses. What I've learned after nearly a decade of on-off martial arts instructions - impulses can be pretty damn dumb if you don't take time to think about what you're doing.

Yesterday I was preparing to take out the trash. It's the day before Trash Day so instead of my usual jaunt to the backyard, I instead went to the front door. Lost in my own world, I was prepared to turn the key to the screen door when out of nowhere I heard a low 'Hi' coming from the other side of the door.

When I was a kid, I was pretty much fearless. And if I wasn't, I was out to prove I was. Forever climbing trees and jumping off roofs - it's a miracle I didn't kill myself. As I've gotten older, I've become much more of a chicken.

What do you get when you have a grown up chicken with an advanced tae kwon do/kick boxing belt startled by a disembodied voice coming out of the dark?

Someone that screams like a little girl and then shoves the screen door so hard she nearly splits her poor uncle's face open with the force of her blow.

He was a little pissed. "What are you doing!?" he screeched, looking startled. "I thought you saw me!"

"I didn't!" I snapped, trying to recover my own breath.

"Well, then why did you unlock the door?!"

"Because I was taking out the trash! I didn't know you were standing on the porch!"

But seriously - who stands on a pitch dark (foggy) porch waiting for you to open the door without bothering to ring the doorbell first? Who?

Well, my uncle, that's who. I maintain it was his fault that I nearly killed him.

For some reason I have the personality that makes people want to sneak up on me and try to frighten me. Only to freak out and duck back when I scream like a girly-girl and then swing a fist in their face.

It's why I don't go to Knotts Scary Farm, or Halloween Haunt, or any other place like that. Because I'm terrified I'm going to be unreasonably startled and accidentally ax-kick some guy and break a rib and end up in jail. Did you know that after a certain belt you get fingerprinted by the LAPD? Yeah. Because your hands are technically considered deadly weapons. I'm not there yet but can you imagine if you did? Before every fight, you'd have to publically announce that your hands are registered as deadly weapons to whoever wants to fight you - just to avoid a jail sentence.

Sounds pretentious, doesn't it?

But it's interesting. The whole reflexes thing was tested yet again when I ventured into the backyard of my father's that lives to attract wildlife at 5AM this morning. The original goal had been to get my lazy butt up, let the dog out and then work out for an hour before I took her for a walk and then went about my day.

No such luck. Thalia instead honed in on foreign invaders and then before I knew it, she had chased a white kitten up our avocado tree and flushed a smaller one up against a corner. The little one I picked up pretty easily. And she was a sorry shape. The poor thing had a serious eye infection.

The other kitten, however, aside from being scared out of its mind and up in a tree, seemed healthy and twice as large. But I was still half afraid of leaving a kitten up there in a tree. So I sat out there for about half an hour, a dozing kitten in my arms, trying to coax the other one down.

Finally, I gave up coaxing and grabbed a bucket, put a towel in it and gently placed the sickly one. I then climbed the tree and grabbed hold of the stronger one.

All hell broke loose. There were yowls, screams, hisses, a FURIOUS bite to my hand and a barrage of scratches that were painful.

I didn't even wince. I just held on, watched as the kitten sunk her teeth again into my hand, and then just concentrated on trying to climb back down.

Stupid, I know, but I've had my shin dented by a brown belt - this was nothing. I finally landed on the ground and let them both go, having spotted the mom. After the last stray I brought home, I've been forbidden from taking in any more ferals, but I still felt bad for the scrawny one.

Now I've got a tiny little vampire bite on my hand - the reward for my good deed.

But plus side? I didn't drop the cat.

Monday, December 1, 2008

US is 'officially' in a recession. Gee... you think?

Apparently the National Bureau of Economic Research has made it official: the US is in a recession.

Wow. Slow news day, guys?

Not really.

I mean, with Clinton being named Secretary of State, and the war in Mexico, and the crisis in India...

It's a complicated time, but at the very least, the Christmas season has officially begun. I am a Christmas FREAK. To the point where my familyi immediately groans at the sound of Christmas music beginning to sound from my room exactly one day after Thanksgiving. Although I rushed through Thanksgiving I've decided that this year, despite being broke, I'm determined to fully embrace the Christmas spirit.

I even made a list.

Hopefully by the end of this Holiday season I will have:

- built my annual gingerbread house
- put together my annual christmas music CDs
- put together my baskets of goodies - including candies, cookies, and etc.
- learned christmas carols on my keyboard and guitar, or at the very least learned to fake it.
- done something charitable. With what little money I have.
- written a christmas story. an original one. just because i can.

And hopefully I will have done this without gaining ten pounds.

That will be the real challenge.