Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Star Trek: A Review

Let me preface this review by saying, I am not a trekky (I don’t even know if that’s the correct spelling), in fact, I really didn’t like Star Trek at all when I was a kid. AND, I can’t do the Vulcan Spock sign thing. Tony can, but not me. My pinky and ring finger are like two positive magnets and will not stay together no matter how hard I try. Having said all of that nonsense let me say that Star Trek is a really good movie.

Even if you don’t know the first thing about Star Trek, there is a lot to enjoy in this film; that is if you like a good action flick. There was a ton of action, grip your seat type action. It was also interesting to see a glimpse of both Kirk and Spock as children. Scotty, played by Simon Pegg, provided comic relief and Eric Bana as Captain Nero was downright creepy. The storyline was also good, not overdone or underdeveloped and wasn’t hard to follow. I was afraid with all the Star Trek jargon that I wouldn’t be able to follow along, but I was able to keep up without any problem.

Bottom line – go see this one in the theater, a DVD rental won’t do it justice. The action played out really well on the big screen and the CGI was not overdone in my opinion. I’m looking forward to the next one. Live long and prosper.

Tony's take: pretty good

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wolverine: A Review

Go see Wolverine! Have you seen the X-Men movies? If not, go rent them or buy them immediately! I don’t know why, but when the X-Men movies came to the big screen, I didn’t see them. This is odd for me, because I usually like fantastical types of movies. But, for whatever reason, these movie trailers apparently didn’t appeal to me and I kept my money in my pocket, or spent it on some other movie.

When I started seeing the trailers to Wolverine, I thought it looked like something I would enjoy, but not having seen the first three movies, I wasn’t sure if I would understand it. I realized that Wolverine was a prequel of sorts, but after consulting with Tony, decided I should see the first three before Wolverine. So, we borrowed the first three movies from Tony’s friend Anthony (thanks, Anthony!) and watched them a couple of weeks before Wolverine came out. If you have not seen them, let me say it again, rent them, or buy them or borrow them. They are great! When I would finish one, I couldn’t wait to see the next one. I would say that in general you don’t need to have watched the first three in order to understand Wolverine, but there are a few things in Wolverine that were better understood having seen the first three.

From the beginning there was lots of excitement. I found that my heart raced on more than one occasion and I was ringing my hands a lot. I may have even had sweaty armpits, I don’t remember. This movie was great as soon as it started rolling. It was packed with lots of action and the storyline was also really great and it also cleared up a few things about the character Wolverine that were not known having watched the first three. Now, keep in mind this is all coming from Nat, a gal that does not read comic books or graphic novels. So, if you are searching for the opinion of a purist who loves the comic books, then look elsewhere, cause you’re not going to get that here.

Bottom line: Go see it, quickly! It was a really good flick and a great way to unofficially kick off the summer blockbuster season!

Tony's take: pretty good

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: A Review

Once upon a time when I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would gather together all my gal cousins and some of our friends and about once a month we would go see the latest and greatest chick flick. Then I met Tony. And then, if you ask my cousins anyway, it all fell by the wayside. So, in order to once again be in the good graces of those who love me, I planned a movie night for the gals this past Friday night.

First up was sushi with Jan, Anna, and Jackie. After dinner, when we received our checks to pay, I started digging in my purse for my wallet only to realize that I had left it at home. So, Jan graciously paid for my dinner and then my movie entrance. Thanks, Jan!

The movie we saw was “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. It also had Lacey Chabert, and it took me forever (well, until mid-way through the movie) to realize that she played Claudia on “Party of Five.” Who didn’t love “Party of Five”? There were a few other familiar faces, including Michael Douglas, and the same girl that played young Jennifer Garner in “13 Going on 30” played young Jennifer Garner in this flick as well. A nice touch, I thought.

In all honesty, this was truly a typical chick flick – guy and girl love each other, guy and girl fall apart, guy and girl get back together, all is well with the world. I didn’t have high expectations for liking this film going in, but wanted to regain the love of my family and that’s why I selected this particular film. I was pleasantly surprised, however. Overall, it was a pretty good film and I even found myself getting a little teary eyed at the end. I laughed a lot, which is always a good reason to like a film.

Bottom line: if you really want to see a chick flick in the theater right now, then this would be a good one. But, if not, then save your $10 and go see a summer blockbuster and rent this one on DVD.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ear Candling - Oh What Joy!

Candy, Kendra, Lisa, Morgan, and the Fire Marshall.

Morgan is so brave!

Last night at the weekly American Idol gathering, we girls also cleaned out our ears. “What?” you say. We cleaned out our ears by the ear candling technique. If you have never heard of this, then listen up. Ear candles are made of paraffin and are hollow. You stick the small end of the candle in your ear canal and light the other end. The candle acts as a vacuum and pulls the ear wax out of your ear to clean out your ear. It is supposed to also help keep you healthy. Don’t ask me how. Also, you put a paper plate (or aluminum pan if you are the Fire Marshall) around the candle to keep the burnt part of the candle from falling on your head. You are supposed to have someone cut the burnt part of the candle as it burns down to help prevent any unnecessary fires or burning of humans and pets.
This is the box of ear candles I bought. You can get them at any health food store.

Here are two of the candles out of the box.
You are supposed to stop burning them at the green line.

As my friend Candy reminded us last night, these ear candles are not approved by the FDA. In fact, if you look them up on Wikipedia, you will find only negative information, which is why I’m not putting the link up here. After all, Nat’s trying to keep it positive people! At any rate, whether it is proven to work or not, it’s a lot of fun, and will help you solidify your role of “crazy friend” to your comrades.
Candy (left) watches over her sister Kendra as Kendra's ears are cleansed.
Candy is also playing with fire in this photo.

In regards to our ear candling adventures this week, Shawna became known as the Fire Marshall because she brought her own aluminum pan to use. Shawna also had very strict standards she held everyone to. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as she left the room for two minutes; Lisa burned her own daughter, Morgan. As she was cutting the burned candle from atop of Morgan’s ear, the burned piece fell off and landed on Morgan’s arm and then the blanket on my couch, both of which suffered burns. But, at least the house is still standing and Morgan is going to be okay. Thanks to the burn cream provided by the Fire Marshall.
Lisa (left) watches over her daughter Morgan as the Fire Marshall holds the candle.
This was prior to the burning of Morgan incident.
The hole in the blanket.
Morgan's burnt arm (with the Fire Marshall's cream).

So, needless to say it was an adventurous and dangerous evening at the Idol party. Hope you enjoy these interesting photos. Oh, and one more thing, please do this in a well ventilated area if you are going to do a lot of them. It looked like a rock concert in my house because of all the smoke.

This is what comes out of your ear (if you are a believer).
Some folks say it is just wax from the candle, but I think it's wax from the ear.
You decide for yourself.

Up close and personal with ear gunk.

The Garden Has Been Planted

The garden has been planted! Amidst all the rain we have been having recently, I was able to find a break in the downpour and plant the garden this past Saturday. First I manually tilled the ground up and then I planted the vegetables. Keep your fingers crossed that it will actually produce something to eat. The items that were planted were: cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, okra, jalapeƱo and banana pepper. Stay tuned to watch the progress.

The ground first had to be tilled up.

Then the vegetables were planted.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Neti Pot

Earlier this week, when I was at my weekly American Idol gathering I was asked about my recent Neti Pot experience. You see last week, when I wasn’t feeling so swell, I stopped in at a drug store and bought the infamous Neti Pot upon my friend Erika’s recommendation. Erika has been recommending the Neti Pot for some time now, but I never had a need to go out and get one until last week when my sinuses were completely stopped up and I was willing to try anything to be able to breathe through my nose again.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Neti Pot, it literarily looks like a small teapot. It’s blue in color and when you purchase it, it comes with 50 saline packets, which you mix with hot water. You then put the spout of the pot in one nostril while tilting your head. The saline goes in your nose and drips out of the other nostril. I know this sounds extremely bizarre, but this process works better than anything I have ever come across in regards to sinus problems. I used the Neti Pot twice a day per the recommendations on the box and am now breathing through my nose with no problems.

My friend Amy also loves the Neti Pot and told us last night that a gnat once came out of her nose. Thank goodness no bugs have come out of my sinuses, at least not yet. And, you know what else? Apparently Dr. Oz recommends the Net Pot – so it also has the Oprah stamp of approval. What more could you ask for? I definitely give the Neti Pot two thumbs up. It is a strange process and people may think you are crazy, but it works!! Go get one today!

Let's See What Happens

See the land in this picture. It's not very big, but with any luck it will be my garden after this weekend. I'll keep you posted.