Sunday, August 15, 2010

LA Film Festival

Back in June, N and I attended a few screenings at the LA Film Festival. I've been putting off blogging about it for awhile (I really don't know why), but now the time as come! Here's the grand list:
  • Cyrus (this one hit most regular theaters...a comedy with John C. Reily, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei)
  • Cane Toads: The Conquest (in 3D...a strange and fascinating documentary on the toads that are taking over Australia)
  • The Hand in the Trap (a great 1961 Argentinian film)
  • The Seven Madmen (a not-so-great 1973 Argentinian film)
N watched a couple more on top of those during the week. Cyrus actually premiered at the festival and we happened to attend that specific screening. There was red carpet, really annoying security guards who seemed convinced I was paparazzi, and lots of celebs. Half of the theater was reserved seating for those in The Biz. John C. Reily, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei sat in the row in front of us. Seth Rogen and a few others sat to the right of us. I could have reached out and touched them! But I didn't.

The cast did a short and awkward Q&A after the screening. Here's my extremely poor photographic proof:

I was struck by how very different the LA Film Festival was from the New York Film Festival...and how the way they differ follows the stereotypes of both cities. The LA Film Festival featured a lot of Hollywood blockbuster films and actors...the energy of the festival was young, glitzy and energetic. The New York Film Festival shows serious art films that usually don't get distribution, and the crowd consists of either young film snobs chuckling at some inside film joke or old rich ladies who attend every cultural showing in Manhattan, regardless of what it is. It's a pretty solemn and serious event.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

corn festival and sichuan food

Last weekend N and I went to the Corn Festival in La Habra, about an hour drive's east of us. It was listed in AAA's Westways magazine (that I mentioned in my last post) in their "5 worth the drive" section. It was a very small, very local festival located in a suburban area, and this year was their 62nd annual corn festival! I thought they'd have (or I hoped they'd have) a lot of corn-based foods to eat, but they didn't have anything corn-y aside from corn on the cob. We still ate ribs, hot wings and horchata, though. I tried to get N to get on one of the carnival rides with me but he wussed out big time.

After the fair we watched The Kids Are Alright, which was pretty darn awesome. Who knew that Mark Ruffalo could act??

I had been craving Sichuan food for quite awhile and I got a suggestion from one of the student workers in my office to head to a restaurant called Yun Chuan Garden in Monterey Park. It was DAMN GOOD. N and I had a tiny Sichuan restaurant by us in Brooklyn which I ended up ordering from about once a month. Nothing can substitute for Sichuan food! I looooove the flavor of sichuan peppercorns, and once I'm craving them, I must have them!! Here's one of the great dishes we had...I believe it's generally called Chong Qing Chicken in Chinese's battered and deep fried bits of spicy, spicy chicken. YUM:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

things i like nowadays

  1. Couponing. I follow a lot of bargain hunting/couponing blogs, but I could never really take advantage of the deals they posted because most coupons still come in print (even though you can get some online). Then I came across a fantastic deal for Sunday delivery of the LA Times--only $9.88 for one full year. I figure I can easily make back the $9.88 through coupons over the next year, so we now get Sunday newspaper delivery. For some reason I really enjoy getting the newspaper delivered to my doorstep on weekends. It's nice to laze about the day before another workweek starts and flip through the paper. The LA Times isn't that great, but I do get a kick out of getting much better coupons now.

  2. Teaching Stewie new tricks. We always thought Stewie was a bit unteachable when it came to tricks (he's not the quickest dog in the world), and he is pretty picky when it comes to treats...he just won't eat some. He also doesn't really respond to praise or affection. But we finally came across a treat that he goes crazy over and that we feel okay feeding him regularly (dehydrated chicken breast), and I think he's gotten comfortable with us enough that his little brain can now take in new information. He's learned how to shake hands and how to stand up on his hind legs on command. Now I'm trying to teach him how to spin.

  3. The AAA Westways Magazine. N's parents got us a membership to AAA now that we are car-owning folk. It's already proven very useful after Stewie locked himself in the car with the keys when we were filling up at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Besides that, we started receiving their Southern California-specific magazine "Westways." It has a very comprehensive list of events for the following two months, and most of them are very interesting to me. For instance, this upcoming weekend is the US Open Sandcastle competition along with the La Habra Corn Festival. Although I would really love to go to the sandcastle contest, it's so far south it's almost at Tijuana. Hopefully we'll make it to the corn festival, though.

  4. Carrot juice. It's sold at Costco in 3-bottle packs, organic, with no other ingredients besides carrots. It is completely refreshing, slightly sweet, and oh-so satisfying.

  5. The X-Files. Having Netflix streaming allows for some really great old-TV episode viewing. It has the entire X-Files series on it...I remember loving the few episodes I watched when I was little and also being absolutely terrified by them. I first tried to watch all the episodes in succession, but then I decided to cut it down to the mythology episodes (which there are still a ton of). I still have about 15 mythology episodes to go until the series finale. I wish there were shows like the X-Files on nowadays.