Archive for ‘Reviews’

January 28, 2013

Glee’s Sadie Hawkins Episode- Most Awkward One Yet?

To me, Glee has been going WAY down hill since the first season. This fourth and most current season has definitely been the worst. I think they have transitioned the new and old characters okay, but the plot lines are pretty bad and not very genuine. I mean, has anyone really DEALT with the fact that Marley fainted from an eating disorder? Nope. All the characters just blamed her for their loss at the competition. If you are a TV show taking on an eating disorder plot line, you need to see it through and not make the character with the disorder even more of an outcast. It doesn’t really make sense.

Anyway, this Sadie Hawkins episode which aired last Thursday had so many awkward moments where I was literally cringing that I had to share my top five. In no particular order…

1. The Creepy “Baby Got Back” Performance

It took me about 30 seconds to realize this show choir group was singing “Baby Got Back.” In the beginning, I thought it was kind of amusing how they made it sound like a ballad, but I kept waiting for them to lose it and sing it in its pure form (or even go back and forth). Nope. It stayed a ballad the whole time. And it was weird. Unlike Kurt, I think this would convince me NOT to join the creepy college kids in their song change-ups. I’m kind of scared to see what this group will perform next if they are featured in upcoming episodes.

2. Rachel’s Random Outburst

Rachel waits for Brody

Rachel waits for Brody

I was kind of put off by Rachel’s whole “seize the moment” thing with Brody. It so obviously screams DANGER AHEAD to me when she’s saying she’s in love with him. Didn’t they just (sort of) get together in the winter finale? I figured this would come to a screeching halt in a later episode, but I was taken aback at the scene where Brody arrives 45 minutes late and Rachel throws a hissy fit. I have definitely dealt with late boyfriends before. If it happens over and over again, that’s one thing. But it’s the first time AND he shows up with flowers? That seems a little extreme. Plus she started throwing away food! I would have just gone ahead and eaten my half while I was waiting.

I might have been able to get past this when Brody fed her all those cheesy lines. This made me dislike the pair even more. He did seem like a liar with how thick he was laying on the charm. But Rachel eats it up, and instead of just accepting his apology, she asks him to move in. SERIOUSLY?!?! I don’t get it.

3. Tina Asking Blaine to the Sadie Hawkins Dance

Blaine's Reaction

Blaine’s Reaction- also love Marley’s face!

OMG AWKWARD. I was like….wait, is she serious? I can understand liking a guy who may or may not be gay. But a guy who is openly gay AND who has dated one of your friends? This makes no sense. I feel like Tina from past episodes would never do something that stupid. Even if she did develop a crush, she’d be smart enough not to announce it publicly. Jeez. I felt so bad for Blaine in that awkward 10 seconds after she popped the question, and I was kind of glad he said no. She kind of deserved it after making bad life choices. Get it together woman! Didn’t we cover this already with the Mercedes/Kurt love story in season one?

4. Tina and Blaine STILL Hung Up on the Wrong People

Tina and Blaine

I started to feel much better about the Tina/Blaine situation after they said their peace in the hallway and agreed to go to the dance as friends. I was like, okay- at least this is a one episode plot line and we are moving on. JUST KIDDING. By the end, Tina still thought she had a future for Blaine and called him perfect, and Blaine looked on longingly at Sam and Brittany while they danced a few feet away at the end. Apparently this warped, no happy ending in sight, doomed to fail love triangle will continue to plague the show as the writers give up trying.

5. What Ryder does at the 1:06 mark

Yeah, I don’t think I need to explain this one. This was my favorite song from the episode, though.

As if these awkward moments weren’t enough, here’s what we have to look forward to in the next episode (yes, those are pumpkin bottoms):

Glee Calendar Shoot

Take note of the bunny on the left, too.

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January 25, 2013

Winter Break Haul: SHOES!

Okay so I don’t know if three pairs of shoes is considered a “haul,” but it might be the most amount of pairs I’ve gotten in one shopping spree.  First I stopped at Payless with my mom.  I always can count on Payless to have practical shoes that actually *fit* my foot.  I, Kelly Schrumpf, have wide feet.  There.  I admitted it.  This condition makes it difficult to find shoes anywhere, and I usually feel like everyone else but Cinderella as I go through pair after pair, never able to fit my feet into shoes.  Payless has been a savior to me in this area because about 30% of their shoes are in wide widths.  It’s not uncommon for me to tell the sales person when I check out how thankful I am to have a haven where my wide feet are accepted and accommodated : )

I have some great black flats from American Eagle that have been very dependable as I wear them day after day to work.  However, the lining is starting to wear off on my feet throughout the day because they are getting old.  I even had bought a back-up pair of these, and recently have worn them down, too.  I was hoping to find similar flats and was lucky that American Eagle had created these for Payless:

American Eagle Black Flats

These look pretty close to my old ones, but the knot at the top is a slightly different detail.  I’ve worn them several times, and since they are a wide size, my feet aren’t killing me at the end of the day.  They also have this cloth lining that prevents the disintegration problem that happened with my old shoes.  Unfortunately, after the *first* time I wore these, the right foot cloth lining started to pull down from the toe : (  This didn’t happen on the other shoe and I try to just flatten it back into shape when I wear them.  This was a little disappointing to happen so early, but they are fine besides that.  I don’t even notice it after a few minutes of wearing them.  Just be careful if you buy them to see if that fabric lining has started to pull at all.

Lower East Side Nude Flats

I also grabbed these Lower East Side flats because I only own different variations of black flats.  I figured I could use these nude ones when I am not wearing any black or want a slightly fancier look (they have that glossy shine that brings them up a notch from basic flats).  They are a little stiff and gave me a blister on my heel when I first wore them.  I would recommend breaking them in a bit by wearing them with socks around the house, or putting a secure band-aid on your heel the first few times you wear them out.

Dress Barn Black and Gray Faux Suede Boots

After Payless, I was lucky enough to go to Dress Barn and find these boots.  I initially went to Dress Barn to look for slacks for work.  They actually have a great selection for all sizes that fit comfortably (so many places sell slacks that are tight around the top and then have really loose and long pant legs- or maybe my body shape is just weird).  I decided to just glance at the shoes on my way to checking out and found these black and gray boots.  Now, you need to know that it is impossible for me to find boots.  Boots require getting around your foot AND your calf, and with my already wide feet problems, this gets a bit ridiculous.  I really liked these faux suede boots, though, and decided to try them on for fun.  I’ve been wanting boots with a slouchy top, but have never found any that fit right.  I was really lucky that these fit near perfectly.

They were a bit on the expensive side ($60 then, now they are only $29.99- you can buy them here), but my mom took pity on my never-ending boot quest and bought them for me.  I am so grateful for this because I have been able to wear these a lot to school with my sweater dresses and black leggings.  I have learned to wear double layers of socks, though, to add some extra padding.  My soles hurt a bit by the end of the first day I wore them with only one pair of socks.  I’m glad this was an easy fix.  I love my new boots!

Note: This is part three of my Winter Break Haul series.  You can also read about my Ulta Haul and my Forever 21 Haul posted earlier.

January 24, 2013

The Impossible: Why You Need to See It This Weekend

I saw The Impossible over winter break with my mom. I was trying to find an excuse to see a movie at AMC’s Fork and Screen theaters, and the day before I left, this came out as one of the options. It had been on my list to go see, and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Here’s the trailer below to give you some background. I don’t want you to feel as if I’m spoiling anything major- a lot of plot points are already in the preview- but if you like to go into a movie knowing anything, than feel free to skip my review.

The Impossible is based on the true story of a Spanish family vacationing Thailand when the 2004 tsunami hit the country. The film starts with the family on the plane and a short collection of scenes of their vacation to sort out for the audience who’s who and the relationships between the parents and three sons. Pretty soon, though, it’s the day of the tsunami. As an audience member, you just feel this sense of dread as you wait for it to happen. The wind picks up, electricity goes off, the ground shakes a little, and a swarm of birds starts heading away from the beach. You have about as much time as the family does to realize this is it just as the wave hits.

the impossible wave

The screen goes black when the wave is actually going to hit the family, and then reappears as Naomi Watts, who plays the mom, is clinging to a tree in the midst of rapids screaming as loud as she can. She sees her oldest son, Lucas (played by Tom Holland), rush past her as the rapids carry him away. She immediately lets go and swims after him, and the next 10 minutes is torture as you watch the two get so close and then separated and then so close again. Watts gets impaled by branches, Holland gets violently pushed underwater and bangs his heads on loose objects, and you, as an audience member, pretty much wince every two seconds and start drawing your knees into your chest as a coping device.

impossible mom and son

This panic eventually subsides as the pair are finally able to reach each other in the water and find land (still flooded, but at least able to stand in). This is when Lucas starts becoming the hero of the whole movie. He recognizes early that his mom’s injuries are life threatening and that he will very quickly need to become the caretaker. He watches over his mom and summons up immense emotional and physical strength to get her to safety.

The dad, played by Ewan McGreggor, doesn’t appear until about halfway through the movie. Instead of doing side by side story lines, the movie goes back to the beginning (right after the wave) to show you what became of the dad and the other two boys. All three are together and relatively unharmed, but the dad feels the need to keep looking for Lucas and his wife.

impossible dad and kids

The final act of the film then flips around from Lucas to the dad. Lucas is trying to save his mom and also come to terms with the fact that he may become an orphan. The dad is shown searching through hospitals and dead bodies on his quest to find his remaining family members. He breaks down a few times thinking his search might be in vain, especially one poignant scene while on the phone with his dad. I thought it was interesting to show the different viewpoints of the tragedy and how various rescue efforts were handled. I’m pretty sure any doctor who survived did not sleep at all that week.

Warning: This movie is extremely stressful and emotional. My mom cried through a lot of it. I didn’t because I had more knowledge of the true story behind it, and I kind of felt too much panic to give into crying. My mom mentioned it reminded her of Titanic (the scenes post-iceberg), which I agree with. It balances compelling characters with this catastrophic event setting in a way that keeps you engaged with the film the whole time. I never felt as though they spent too long on action sequences because even those were motivated by characters.

the impossible naomi watts

Naomi Watts has received a lot of praise for her role in the film (she’s nominated for an Oscar). She is the heart of the whole story, and seemed to basically get the crap beaten out of her in this film (I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD because I would love to see “making of” footage!). However, I thought Tom Holland was just as excellent, if not even more central to the story line. This kid has a LOT of screen time, and does some pretty amazing things for a 10-year-old. I kept thinking of my fourth graders, and if they would have been as brave as this character if faced with the same situation. It’s pretty crazy.

Anyway, please go see this movie over the weekend. It hasn’t gotten a ton of publicity, but it is incredible. It will be one of those films that stays with you for a long time, that gives you that rare sad and happy ending, and makes you appreciate life and the loved ones you share it with.

January 23, 2013

Winter Break Haul: Forever 21

When I was younger, I NEVER shopped at Forever 21. I remember going there once a really long time ago and getting a pair of gray pants. I wore those things until one day (not because of how they fit), the zipper and clasp just fell off. I was like…uhhhhh. This didn’t even happen while they were on! I had been warned about Forever 21 clothes’ early expiration date, but this was pretty crazy. It wasn’t until I started watching a bunch of YouTube beauty gurus and their Forever 21 hauls that I even thought about going into one again. My friend Erin got me a gift card for my birthday last year, and when I went home to Orlando for the summer I stopped by and bought a few things. They didn’t disintegrate (I guess I should say “yet” right about now), so over Winter Break I went back for more. Here’s what I got:

Note: Forever 21 regular sizes are very small for me, so I shop on the lowest end of their Plus Size collection. Unfortunately, they don’t have Plus Sizes at every Forever 21, but the outlet mall store in Orlando does. That’s the only one I’ve ever shopped at. All the items below are from their Plus Size collection in case you are looking for them.

Forever 21 Black Top

I was afraid this shirt would be too tight when I got it, but it actually worked out well. It’s nicely fitted at the top, and then looser around my midsection which is perfect. I am not big into studs on clothing, but I liked the small use of it to add detail to the shoulders. It goes great with dark skinny jeans (I grabbed a pair during this trip- they fit great but I figured since they look like all other dark skinny jeans, they weren’t worth photographing).

Forever 21 Cocktail Dress

I don’t have a lot of occasions to wear cocktail dresses, but I am really going to try to make an effort to put some more fancy events on my social calendar after finding this dress. It has a nice champagne shimmer to it, but its subdued enough that it doesn’t look too metallic. The black band at the waist is stretchy, so I feel like I could gain a couple pounds or lose a couple pounds and the waistband would still stay snug to create a nice a-line at the bottom. I also love the thicker straps so I can wear a bra. I hate spaghetti straps or strapless dresses because if you have a bigger than average chest size, you’re kind of screwed. I think this dress will be great for weddings, and I hope to wear it to a colleague’s one in March (Dear Tulsa weather- please warm up by then!).

Forever 21 Peplum Jacket

This jacket/top was a last minute decision. I have really liked the peplum trend, but haven’t found anything to buy that incorporates it. I saw this jacket on my way to check out and tried it on in the middle of the store. It fits REALLY well. It creates a nice shape for my torso, and can be worn with or without a shirt under it. The white piping and zipper add nice detailing to it. I bought it, but have yet to decide what to wear it with. It was pictured on a model with dark skinny jeans, but Erin also said it looked good with my bright blue jeans, too. It’s also a sporty material, so that’s been a bit of a conundrum to match with other fabrics. I’ll have to think about it some more and try to find looks that incorporate a similar top to get some ideas. I would say this might be the edgiest thing I own, in that it is more trendy than a basic that I can wear with anything.

Forever 21 Owl Necklace

The last thing I got was this owl necklace. I always look through Forever 21’s jewelry because it is so cheap. I went straight to the earrings because they are my go-to jewelry choice, but this owl necklace caught my eye. I really liked that it wasn’t very big or long (I haven’t mastered the whole statement necklace trend yet). I could easily wear this to work with one of the many black tops I have (or with the first top on this page). It’s very cute, and helps me incorporate more gold into my primarily silver jewelry collection.

I spent around $90 total on all five of these things (remember, I didn’t show a picture of my skinny jeans). That sounds like a lot, but cocktail dresses alone could be half that, and jeans usually are $30 or more (I think mine were around $16). Main thing is- I’m happy with my purchases. Let’s just hope they last at least a little longer than those gray pants ; )

January 22, 2013

My Favorite Things: Christmas Edition

Yes I know this is almost a month late, but I’ve been wanting to post about some of the fun and interesting things I got this year for Christmas. This isn’t everything, but it includes some of my favorites.

Nail Polish Gifts

My mom, now super happy that I share her love of nail polish, got me all four of the colors I requested on my wish list. From left to right, I received Beyond Cozy and Leading Lady by Essie, and Casino Royale and Goldeneye from OPI’s James Bond Line. Both of the glitter polishes are really thick- you could probably cover your nail in glitter in one coat (two at the most). I had to really thin out the polish on the brush to make it into a thin shimmer layer over a solid color. Here is what I was able to get to with the Casino Royale on all my nails and Goldeneye just barely streaked over my highlight nail (keep in mind this was several days after initial application).

Casino Royale and Goldeneye

I tried Beyond Cozy later with a purple nail polish called Marrow from Butter London, and also found myself trying to thin it down to create a toned-down shimmer. I think this thickness makes the glitter polishes more versatile because you can thin it out or use it alone as a color. Casino Royale is also nice because it is a dark berry color that can work with a variety of outfits and settings (bright colors can be a little much at work for an elementary school teacher). I love my two owl nail files, too. Thanks mom!

Owl Painting

My dad, knowing my love for owls, bought me a painting from one of the guys he works with. I don’t have a lot of decor in my apartment, especially in my bedroom. I’m thinking I’ll hang this up over my bed, but I’m trying to decide whether to risk putting a nail in the wall (I am HORRIBLE with tools) or risk it falling on my head if I use two thumbtacks. Thoughts?

AJ checking out the Russian Candy

AJ checking out the Russian Candy

Polina, my Russian exchange student from when I was in 4th grade, got me TWO awesome gifts. I usually get little decorative Russian things, but since I took the time to go to Russia, she got some other ideas. I was very excited to open my first gift which was two bags of the candy I like there (certain colors were better flavors and yellow and blue were always the best!). As soon as I opened it and rediscovered my love for this candy, I felt sad that the tea I loved there wasn’t included. BUT WAIT. There’s a second package!

Tea from Russia

Yes, this canister is FULL of Kenyan Sunrise, a delicious black tea that got me hooked on tea to begin with. I found something similar to it here, but nothing can quite beat the original. I’m so excited to have so much of it, too, because now I don’t feel so pressured to ration it (it’s not available in the US).

Owl Listography Book

My friend Erin knows I love writing and making organized lists, so she took a page from the Listography books and created a book for me with topics to fill in, including my favorites, things I wish for, and experiences I’ve had. What made this book especially fun was that she filled in the beginning of some herself so that it is fun to read, too. Here’s an example (and yes- I may go beyond one page).

Page from Owl Book

Finally, since I have not yet outgrown being a kid, I did ask for and receive this from my sister and Dan:

lego lord of the rings wii

Oh Lego games…how I love thee. I am definitely not one to play video games by myself often, so I like the co-op feature of this game (a second player can drop in and out at any point as one of your partners). I also love that Lego games are not that hard. They are long enough that you feel like you accomplished something by the end, but they are not impossible or require a high level of patience. Since Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite movies, it seemed appropriate to snatch this one up. So far it has been pretty good. The cut scenes are a little weird because they use actual dialogue from the film (most of the Lego games just do a lot of miming to convey the story), and I’ve been a little confused at how some of the easy parts of the story are hard (I got stuck for like 30 minutes trying to jump a ledge to open Moria) and some of the complicated story parts (like defeating the Balrog) take little to no effort, time, or thought. I’ve only finished the Fellowship part, though, so we’ll see how the rest goes.

Thanks to everyone for the gifts listed above. You guys rock! If you want to see the gifts I gave my closest friends and family, you can check out my own DIY Gifts post.

January 21, 2013

Excelsior! A Review of Silver Linings Playbook

On Sunday, I finally got to see Silver Linings Playbook.  I had planned to see this movie from the first time I saw previews for it, and then became even more intrigued when it started getting so much attention in awards season (it is currently nominated for a lot of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay…so yeah, it’s important).  However, my sister saw it and decided I wouldn’t like it.  She is *pretty* good at guessing how much I will like a movie, so I took her word for it and didn’t see it over break.  THEN, I saw about 20 Facebook posts about how much everyone liked it and decided to risk going against Katie and see it this weekend.  Luckily, I didn’t regret this decision.

silver linings playbook

Silver Linings Playbook pretty much follows the story line presented in the trailer.  Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a guy who was just released from a psychiatric facility following an incident where he beat up a guy he found sleeping with his wife.  Pat decides he needs to do whatever he can to convince his wife he is better so she will come back to him.  He does this by working out, losing weight, and doing his best to stay calm and avoid shouting outbursts (which happen a lot).

During this journey, he reconnects with some old friends and family, and meets Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow who lost her husband after a car accident.  Tiffany is pretty damaged like Pat, and has similar problems with not controlling her emotions and not having any filter when she talks.  They become friends after a bit, and Tiffany agrees to help Pat win back his wife if he helps her compete in a couples’ dance competition.  As expected, Pat becomes more grounded and reliable by focusing on this dance competition, and both he and Tiffany show signs of falling for each other despite working on separate goals.

silver linings playbook dance

I think that without the dance competition aspect, I wouldn’t have liked this movie as much.  I liked seeing the practice montage (I love movie montages), as well as the final routine.  Chris Tucker is in the film as Pat’s friend from the psych facility, and he is hilarious as he helps Tiffany and Pat practice and insists Pat be “more black” when he dances.  The audience at the theater was cracking up at this.  I think people were happy to see Tucker back in movies again since this is his first film since Rush Hour 3 in 2007.  My favorite part of the film was directly after the dance performance, but I won’t ruin it with details for those of you who want to see it.

chris tucker silver linings playbook

All the characters, even the most minor ones, are all a little odd.  Pat’s parents, played by Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver (both nominated for their supporting roles), are good examples of this.  The dad is obsessed with the Eagles football team, and shows a lot of OCD behavior when the games are on (remotes have to face a certain way, each game has to be taped, etc.).  His gambling over the games’ outcomes adds a little subplot to the movie and ties in points where Pat has to reconnect with his family, too (instead of just the women in his life).  I’m not quite sure how the mom puts up with her son and her husband’s offbeat behavior, but she does provide stability in the movie (and always looks a little frazzled to make her believable, haha).

silver linings playbook robert de niro

This movie is not one of my all time favorites, or even one I would need to see again, but I still liked it.  It’s different from a lot of films out right now because it is a bit more realistic.  People get into fights a lot, and the victories aren’t so wondrous and magical like you’d expect from a movie.  They are just simple moments of joy to bring a few characters just enough happiness to be content with life.  I suppose this sums up why the movie has “Silver Linings” in the title : )

January 20, 2013

Why You Should Be Watching: Scandal

I remember last year when the Scandal promos started hitting TV.  They pushed that it was by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy.  This isn’t a great selling point for me because even though I have watched Grey’s from the beginning, I think it has lost so much of its momentum and is way overdue for a series finale.  I also wasn’t really interested because it was like “this show is about people doing bad things and getting away with it.”  I don’t watch the most moral shows, but I don’t like debauchery shoved in my face 24/7 even more than it already is.  So I passed on even giving it a three episode test.

scandal logo

Then season two happened.  I kept hearing how good and addictive it was and I kept seeing previews for it amidst my other ABC shows.  From the previews I picked up that the main character and the president were having/had an affair, the President on the show got shot at some point, and the person that shot the President was probably some character that was friends with Kerry Washington.  This whole assassination attempt plot line was somewhat intriguing, and I figured whenever I hit a lull in shows that Scandal would be one I’d go back and try to watch from the beginning.

Well, as luck would have it, Netflix e-mailed me offering another free trial month.  I then just happened to have an extra internet cord and set up my blu-ray player to stream it, and then started watching season one episodes.  Well, less than a week later I not only finished season one, but bought the first five episodes on iTunes and watched through all of those, watched one episode on ABC.com, and watched the most recent four episodes on my OnDemand channel- effectively catching me up to this Thursday’s most recent episode.  So yes, I am hooked.  Here’s why you should be, too:

1. The show uses a nice mix of flashback story telling.

scandal flashback

The show starts with Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington- whom I know as the sassy sister from Save the Last Dance) owning an independent (sort of) law firm.  The firm deals with clients who need secrets to go away, cover stories to be told, or the truth to be revealed.  Most clients are involved in messy affairs, but Olivia has at least a shadow of a moral compass that guides her to help in just the right way that you don’t feel like the bad guys got away with it (more that good guys made mistakes).  Anyway, you also know right away that she used to work for the White House and it comes out pretty fast that she also used to be sleeping with the President (dun dun duuuuun).  At first you are like OMG WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?!  But occasional flashback episodes (there have only been about three) clear up how it started, why it continued for awhile, why it ended, and why it isn’t really over.  By the end of season one, I think everyone is rooting for the unconventional pairing despite it all.  My favorite flashback has been explaining what led to Olivia leaving because it was both romantic and heartbreaking, as well as making you appreciate Olivia’s strength.

2. Mellie is one of the most interesting characters on television.

mellie scandal

Mellie is the President’s wife, who, in rooting for Olivia, you end up resenting.  However, I have also felt sympathy for Mellie for dealing with everything she has, as well as admired her for being so damn smart politically.  I think my feelings towards her change  from episode to episode.  I can even say that right now, after the most recent episode, I don’t hate her and feel bad that not a lot of people are giving her credit for saving her husband’s job.  I’m sure next week I will hate her again, but that’s kind of the beauty of her character.  Just when you are about to write her off, you get pulled in again just like all the other characters on the show.

3. It will make you want to wear fitted jackets and tailored clothing.

This show has such a great sense of style.  When I think of stylish shows I think of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, which constantly have girls walking around in way too short dresses, high heels, and low cut necklines.  I think we are all kind of numb to how risque this dressing is because we are so used to it.  Oh, of course girls wear mini dresses and 6 inch heels to first period English!  Not.  But Scandal is all about the tailored clothing and making everyone look trend-setting and conservative at the same time.  And this show is an expert at fitted jackets:

Love the peplum fit of this one!

Love the peplum fit of this one!

Off center buttons? Genius.

Off center buttons? Genius.

Even the baggier jackets are flattering!

Even the baggier jackets are flattering!

Signature piece of the show- this girl looks excellent in white.

Signature piece of the show- this girl looks excellent in white.

And don't even get me started on the fabulousness of the formal wear.

And don’t even get me started on the fabulousness of the formal wear.

I kind of want to go out and get a bunch of tailored jackets now.  The only two things stopping me is my teacher budget and the fact that I am not a mere 112 pounds (I even think THIS is a high estimate) like Ms. Washington.  That girl is SO tiny!  For now I will just admire from afar and start creating a mental coat portfolio for future shopping sprees.

4. The story lines keep you guessing.

scandal hospital

Here are some questions I have about the show, even having seen every single episode.  You will want to skip this section if you are serious about watching the show someday.  Fellow fans, let me know if you have any theories!

1) Is anyone going to find out what Cyrus did to Amanda?  I feel like they completely dropped the ball on this.  2) Did the first lady know about the assassination attempt (based on her conversation right before they got out of the car)?  3) Did the first lady ORGANIZE the assassination attempt?  4) Are we supposed to assume the vice president’s old chief of staff was murdered, and has anyone looked into the fact that he just disappeared?  5)  What’s Olivia’s backstory pre-Fitz’s presidential campaign?  6) WTF was up with Abby’s crazy midnight rendezvous with David?  I found that so disturbing. 7) How did Olivia and Huck meet?

I think at least some of these will be answered- especially since those flashback episodes are thrown in every once in awhile.  I am legitimately concerned, though, that number one may never be addressed again.

5. It will make you want to just sit or stand with someone for a minute.

olivia and fitz

I know there are a lot of hot affair scenes in this show.  They have to be there for a show called “Scandal.”  But I think the most intimate scenes were the two where the President asked Olivia to just stay with him for a minute without really talking or doing anything.  I would classify these scenes as those rare “I need to hug a pillow” moments you see on TV.  These made me really care about the characters and solidified my being a fan of the show.  Good job Shonda Rhimes.

For those of you who have been watching the show since it started, sorry it took me so long to jump on your bandwagon.  For those of you who don’t watch Scandal, I hope I have succeeded in at *least* making you consider watching.  It’s worth it, I promise.

PS- One thing I don’t like about the show is the constant use of those shots through glass- you know, where you can see the blurry line of a glass door as the camera moves the subjects back into focus.  These are nice but WAY overused.  I figure if I actually notice a camera technique, it’s used too much.

January 4, 2013

Check It Out: Downtown Disney’s Splitsville

Today my dad treated me to a morning of bowling at Downtown Disney’s new Splitsville.  I had first seen that this was being built last summer when Maggie and I were over seeing a Fork and Screen movie, and apparently it just opened the week before Christmas.  I had heard a lot of good things about it, so I was excited to check it out.

Splitsville Downtown Diseny

When you come in, you get in one of two lines- Dining or Bowling.  They have a full service restaurant that you can sit at, or you can get food ordered right at your lane.  We got in the bowling line, and since we were there in the first half hour of it opening (regular hours are 10 am-2 am), we got a lane right away.  They check you in and plug in your names and shoe sizes to a computer.  You then get a “lane concierge” who takes a basket with your shoes and menus over to your lane and briefs you on the basics:

1. You have an hour and a half to play as many games as you can.  They build in 10 extra minutes for picking out which bowling ball you want and getting your shoes on.

2.  Each lane has its own waitress who will visit periodically throughout your time block.  My dad and I got some fries and a Turkey Club about mid-game, and it took about 15-20 minutes for the food to come out.  Make sure you order ahead of time, so you’re not stuck scarfing down food at the end.  Here’s a peek at the menu (sorry that some parts are fuzzy- I just snapped these quickly between bowling frames and it was kind of dim).  Almost everything is between $10-$15.

Splitsville Menu 1

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Splitsville Menu 3

3. At the 15 minute mark, your screen will turn yellow as a warning that your time is almost up.  Someone will check on you then to wrap up your bill.  I’m sure you could pay more to stay longer, but an hour and a half was PLENTY of time- especially for two people.  You can always see how much time you have left by the countdown clock at the bottom of your screen.

Splitsville Time Left

I was pleased to see that our scoreboard was already set up with our names when we got our shoes, so there was no time wasted typing things into  a tiny keyboard.  My dad and I got through 3 full games, as well as the first few frames of a fourth game.  We left about 15 minutes before our time was up because we were both pretty done with bowling by then.  The family next to us had four people, and they seemed to fit about 3 games in during the hour and a half period (plus they ordered some snacks in between).

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My dad bowling his next frame. He was much better than me at aiming ; )

I am not super great at bowling and tend to go with the “throw it hard and hope for the best” strategy.  My scores went from 73 to 96 (woohoo!) back down to 71, while my dad beat me all three times with 113, 100, and 122 in the last round (that beats Sheldon’s career best at 68!).  Whenever you get any special shots, like a Strike, Spare, Split, or my go-to, the Gutterball, fun animation pops up on your screen so everyone is made aware of your skill level, haha.

Gutterball Splitsville

They had a good selection of bowling balls to choose from at each station.  I switched between 7-9 pounds with the small finger size, and my dad had a 13 pound ball with an XL finger size.  I saw other bowling balls with XS and XXL, so really, everyone’s hand is covered : )  All the bowling balls have to be Disney related, so they each sport a Mickey or Minnie sketch on the side.

The atmosphere of Splitsville is great.  They played a bunch of Top 40 music, including “Good Time”, “Somebody I Used to Know”, and “Call Me Maybe”.  The walls have a bunch of fun pop art on them, and they also include retro touches throughout the bowling alley to keep up the theme.  The place sports two levels with a total of 20 lanes (10 on each floor).  The bottom floor is always family-friendly, while the top floor turns into a night club for those 21 and up- but only after a certain time at night.  If you go before 5 pm, it’s $15 a person including shoes (obviously food and drinks are extra).  If you go between 5-10 pm, it goes up to $20 per person, and then back down to $15 after 10 pm.  Friday and Saturday might be a little more expensive during that peak time, so be sure to check for pricing.  We paid the $15 for the before 5 pm price on this Friday, though.

Splitsville Decor

You can not reserve single lanes in advance.  You can reserve two lanes if you also purchase a food package- obviously for just me and my dad this was not necessary.  Groups and parties can always reserves multiple lanes, and on their phone recording, they said they will eventually add single lane reservations this spring.  As I mentioned, we walked right in, but there was about 20 people in line to bowl when we left closer to noon.  Until they allow more reservations, I would try to get there near opening time if you want to try it out.  However, there are plenty of bars and places to sit down and eat throughout the alley while you wait : )

I’d definitely recommend visiting Splitsville on your next trek out to Downtown Disney.  I think people don’t bowl enough in general, and that may be because so many bowling alleys seem run down, smelling of cigarettes and funky smelling shoes.  Splitsville revitalizes the typical bowling alley image, and makes it a much more classy experience.  I think it’s awesome that they cater to young adults as well as families (they even have little bowling ball metal guiders for tiny kids to roll their bowling balls down the lane!).  The food is a little pricey, but you are paying a lot for the convenience of having it brought to you.  It also offers a good variety (even Sushi!) as seen in the menu pictures above.  Everyone will find something to nosh on.  And if you don’t order any food, I feel like the $15 for an hour and a half + shoes is a good deal.  I’m glad I got the opportunity to check it out, along with the free reminder that I need to brush up on my bowling skills ; )