Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adam's Apple

A few months ago I reported how I accidentally tripped over my laptop cord while straightening up in anticipation of a new roommate during my sojourn in Miami, Florida. After a series of trips to the Apple store, I determined that my trusty laptop was unable to be fixed (it is a "vintage" mac-- being over five years old-- and the parts are hard to come by), and that I would have to buy a new one or do without.

So, I've pretty much done without. While I was in Miami, my roommate would lend me hers, and since being back in Delaware, I've been using my mother's Dell laptop. I looked at computers, but I kind of had my heart set on a Mac, and they were out of my price range.

Enter my friend, Adam. He works at a store in Manhattan that services Apple products. As it would so happen, they have laptops that they rent out to people while their own laptops are being serviced. After about fourteen months of use, these laptops are sold to make way for newer models. Adam got word that they were selling their stash of rental Macbooks-- a total of eight laptops that are only fourteen months old-- and he kindly called me. As you can imagine, the laptops flew off the shelves, and I was fortunate enough to claim the very last one as my own. The asking price? $500 plus tax. You can say that I got a steal!

I spent the day uploading photos and trying to figure out how this new guy works (it came preloaded with iLife and Microsoft Office, as well as a webcam and lots of fun programs). I feel like I'm starting over as well, since I've been using a PC since February-- it's amazing how quickly our brains forget.

Here's to a lot more posts now that I have my own computer!! Yippee!!!

Edit: I should add that without the help of my dear friends Matt and Corrie, and my sister, I wouldn't be using this laptop right. Matt and Corrie dropped it off for me while day tripping in Delaware from NYC and coordinated a rendezvous with my sister in order to drop it off. I have some of the best friends in the world!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twilight Review-- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I thought I'd write a few of my thoughts about the Twilight movie that was just released last Friday on DVD (and sold more than 3 million in its first day of sales.)

The Good: I don't have much good to say about the film. I did like the casting of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, see his April 2009 GQ spread below) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). The acting isn't great, but I don't think these actors had much to work with. Alice Cullen (portrayed by Ashley Greene) is also a nice fit. And, when I stop and think about,I didn't have any problems with the casting of Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) either. That's pretty much all I can come up with.

The Bad and the Ugly: Where to start? The script is TERRIBLE-- some of the dialogue is ridiculous, and the movie is hard to sit through. My sister and I mildly enjoyed ourselves ONLY because there were so many things to laugh at in this movie and it's not supposed to be a comedy, folks! They're bringing in a new director for the sequel, New Moon, which seems to be a wise decision indeed. The exchanges between the characters are excruciating to listen to and the scenes don't portray what we need them to. Bella and Edward are supposed to be hopelessly in love, but we just don't get that from the movie (or their chemistry for that matter). What makes matters worse is the terrible casting. Rosalie Hale is supposed to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. What do we get? Actress Nikki Reed, who is girl-next-door pretty as a brunette, but downright frightening with her awful fake blonde hair in the film. She's also NOT lithe like her character is supposed to be(with a rather large backside, as I noticed in one scene). I think they could have cast a model, or a MTA (model-turned-actress) for the role, since Rosalie doesn't figure largely in the books, and she is supposed to look otherworldly, after all. The rest of the Cullens and Hales are largely forgettable (but maybe future films will show a bit more of their mettle), although, I take issue with the casting of Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), who looks really young, and again, has really awful dyed hair. I know brunettes from Jean Harlow to Marilyn Monroe and Lisa Kudrow to Madonna have been going blonde with fairly successful results-- is it too much to ask that they get it right on the set of Twilight? Or better yet, find a natural?

The Book: I just have a few thoughts on the books. I really did enjoy the series, and can attest to the fact that they are quite addictive. That said, the writing and editing can certainly be improved (but who am I to judge?). I guess my biggest criticism is that Stephanie Meyer seems to hold her characters a little too dear. Unlike J.K. Rowling, who kills off some of her most popular characters in the Harry Potter Series, Meyer seems to be unable to part with any of her characters. I realized that early on, which made the plot all too predictable. Maybe I am a bit dark, but having popular characters die (and the mourning process involved) seems to add to the experience of reading. Moreover, although Meyer tries to introduce conflict in the guise of Jacob Black who is fighting for Bella's affections, you never really believe that Bella will actually go for him.

GQ: Robert Pattinson is the cover boy for the April issue of GQ. I thought you might want to see the boy that is currently driving the teen population crazy. He doesn't make a bad Edward. Now, why couldn't they find someone as nice looking to play Jacob Black?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quote of the Week

Return from South Carolina

Last week we loaded up our mini van with clothes and dogs (four) and headed south. After about thirteen hours of driving, my mom, dad, sister, and I arrived in South Carolina at Grandma's house. My parents would continue on to Orlando, Florida (another seven + hours) for the Ligonier Conference, but Erin and I stayed with Gran.

Here's what we did:
  • dogsitting
  • thrifting-- I'm hoping to start an Etsy store and sell some of my vintage wares.
  • cemetery-- We rambled through a Confederate cemetery. I happen to have about ten relatives buried there!
  • Twilight-- we bought the movie and watched it late one night. The film is HORRIBLE-- don't waste your money buying it. If you really must watch it, check it out from your local library.
  • Sookie Stackhouse-- my sister turned me on to the Sookie Stackhouse books. They're a series about vampires-- sort of who-done-it mysteries set in small-town Louisiana. There's an HBO series, True Blood, which are based on the books.
  • Yummy food-- one of the nice things about being in the south is the food I get to eat. I ate pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potato chips, fried okra, rutabagas, and other southern delicacies.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Of Vampires and Twilight

I am so excited for the midnight release of Twilight, the film version of the popular vampire novels by Stephanie Meyer, on DVD.

My discovery of these books have been very timely as I became engrossed in them last week, obsessively reading through all four books in about a week's time span, and now, without delay, the movie is being released-- just in time for me to drool over Edward Cullen and the other vampires.

A few years ago, I worked a lot with a photographer who shot romance novel covers. She'd book me to be the heroine and we'd work for about a half hour recreating the image for the cover of those books-- the best part is that I often got to work with a hunk. After the photo shoot, an artist would render a cover based on my picture. I probably only did about ten covers in total, but those were probably some of the most fun shoots I've ever done.

One of the book covers I did happened to be a vampire novel-- Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks. It's a fun cover, and the really cool part is getting to see how I would look as a vampire. Pretty awesome, right?

Did you read Twilight? What did you think?

Colombia Recap

I'm happy to report that I made it back from Colombia in one piece-- better than one piece, as a matter of fact!

I was picked up from the airport by the lovely Nana, who was the art director for the shoot, and also my tour guide for the four days I was there. She dropped me off at my
hotel, and then picked me up several hours later to have a fish dinner with her family. Colombian cuisine= yummy!

The photo shoot went very well. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to perform (modeling isn't as easy as it looks, folks-- at least not to me!), but for two long days I worked my butt off, and am glad to say that they were very pleased with me.

There was another model there too, a beautiful Colombian girl named Juliana. The team was comprised of Colombians-- the hair stylists, the makeup artists, the photographer, etc. Every night we would go out after shooting and see something of the nightlife or enjoy dinner. I got a fair dose of Colombian culture! The women there are beautiful, and the Latin culture was amazing. I loved how friendly everyone was, and how much they wanted to share their beautiful country with me.

One of the customs that I was introduced to was drinking Aguardiente, a local anise-flavored alcoholic beverage. It reminded me of a drink from Greece, Ouzo, but apparently is 26% alcohol. I went out my last night and stayed out until 3am drinking Aguardiente at a locals bar-- it was so much fun!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I have news...

I'm going to South America! I just found out that I have booked a photo shoot in Medellin, Colombia and I fly out on Monday. It's for a catalogue based down there-- I was told, "it's the Macy's of Colombia." So, I have to practice being happy, and laughing, as that's the sort of look they're going for. I'm a little nervous because I haven't really shot catalogues before, and doing happy shots aren't my thing, and then there's the weight gain-- let's hope I can fit in the clothes!

That said, I am so excited to get to travel to a new country. As you can see by my map below, I've never been to South America-- I've never even been below the equator! I've heard Colombia is a dangerous country, and as I'm there working, I probably won't see too much (I'm only there three days), but I'm still excited to be traveling the globe.

I have more travel plans up my sleeve... I'll keep you posted!

Places I've Visited

visited 19 countries (8.44%)

Edit: I thought I'd be traveling below the equator, but it looks like I'll either be right on the equator or north of it. Aww shucks-- another time perhaps!