Monday, August 26, 2013

San Diego Reader E-Book: Tour de Cheesesteak - A lot of Philadelphia in San Diego by Ian Pike

Ode to the cheesesteak
As part of the San Diego Reader program, I read a short story about...cheesesteaks. I'm a fan of the food, but rarely crave the sandwich or have one. It was interesting to read Tour de Cheesesteak - A lot of Philadelphia in San Diego by Ian Pike as he took the time and effort to hit the hot spots of the city and review each place and the version of the cheesesteak they offered. Note to others who may want to read the story: don't read before bed. By the time I was finished with the e-book, which was under 60 pages, I was definitely craving a cheesesteak.

Pike does mention my favorite place for a cheesesteak in San Diego which is Pop's Jersey Style Cheesesteaks, Pacific Beach. It was one of the first places I ate at when I moved to San Diego and I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly the service was and how delicious (and greasy, in a good way!) the sandwich tasted. It was hearty and full of meat, peppers and Cheez Whiz, which I LOVE on my cheesesteak.

He also writes promising things about Eddie's Philadelphia near my 'hood in North Park, which I've wanted to try. When I'm down on that corner though, I see Lefty's, so it'll be tough not to get cross the street and get a deep dish pizza. The story itself is a basically a collection of food reviews, but focused on a specific food. My boyfriend had a pizza crawl last year with his brother following the same kind of quest, but for the best pizza. Maybe there needs to be another Tour de written but with focus on the pizza pie.

The book was a quick read and me being the big fan of food and all the reading, watching, and eating that comes with it, I thought it served its purpose and made cheesesteaks remain on my brain and cause a growl in my stomach.

Book #18: Tour de Cheesesteak - A lot of Philadelphia in San Diego

Saturday, August 24, 2013

50/50 Challenge: Liam Hemsworth, You're So Pretty

Aussie good looks
I have yet to see "Thor" so I don't have quite the same affection for the elder Hemsworth brother as I do Liam who of course, I adore in "The Hunger Games" and I first noticed in "The Last Song." In "Paranoia" he cleans up nicely as a smart kid from Brooklyn that gets pulled into a business scheme that involves Harrison Ford betraying Gary Oldman. Honestly, the movie didn't have anything that stuck for me. It was highly predictable and had too much romance in it. The highlight was the verbal fights between Ford and Oldman, but also the fact the Liam Hemsworth is oh so pretty. May have moved up on my celebrity-free-pass-to-sleep-with list.

"Austenland" on the other hand was a fun film that was filled with one of my favorite actresses based purely on nostalgia: Keri Russell. The movie was light fluff, nothing filling whatsoever, but it was charming and sweet and entertaining. Sometimes that's all you need in a movie even if the plot is ridiculous or cheesy. I am a big fan of hers although I have yet to see her dramatic turn on the FX's The Americans. I just see her as Felicity. I will probably reference that show a lot in this blog. One of the best shows ever on television.

Anyone have any book recommendations? I need to read more books for this challenge! I have a list on hold at the library that will most likely all become available at the same time. But I still feel like there's a chance for me to achieve this goal.

Movie #55: Paranoia
Movie #56: Austenland

Monday, August 19, 2013

50/50 Challenge: Truckin' Along

Not my book shelves, but I like the airiness of the space
I've seen a lot of movies already this month and have only read one book. Le sigh. Of the four movies, to add to this blog post, I liked three.

"The Spectacular Now" is fantastic! It was also featured on the home site of Beep, beep. Did you hear that? That was me tooting my own horn. But the movie felt genuine with raw emotion. I became a fan of Shailene Woodley because I didn't really see what the big fuss was about when she was in "The Descendants." I actually didn't get the big fuss of that a whole movie, but that's a whole other story.

My second favorite was "Kick-Ass 2" even though it is horribly violent but not anymore so than the first one. However, the sequel was a bit all over the place and the teenage story line was a bit of a cop out, but really what else could they have done? I just love Hit-Girl, so I am biased. Chloe Grace Moretz is a bad ass. I've said it before and I'll say it again.

When I saw "The Butler" I honestly didn't have any expectations either way. It was interesting to see all the different actors portray decades worth of presidents. It's covers the issues of father and son as well as the Civil Rights Movement occurring during a passionate, tumultuous, changing time in America.

The movie I was so disappointed in was "Jobs." I remember seeing a cover of Rolling Stone and thinking it was Ashton Kutcher and really it was an old photo of Steve Jobs. Next thing you know, he's starring as him in this biopic of the technology pioneer. It just felt so bland. And uninspiring. Not like other things I've read about Steve Jobs and just his work speaks for itself, but I was hoping for more.

The one book I can add to the list is "The Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld which I read on my Nook on recent trip to St. Louis. I have to admit, I skimmed at some parts. It's definitely an interesting plot, but the writing wasn't that great. I have to keep in mind that it is not for an audience of me, but for a teenage girl. Who's read the series?

I keep trucking along with my movies and have not given up my goal for the books. It still can be done!

Movie #51: The Spectacular Now
Movie #52: Kick-Ass 2
Movie #53: The Butler
Movie #54: Jobs

Book #17: The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Sunday, August 11, 2013

50/50 Challenge: I Surpassed 50!

I came; I saw; I conquered 50 movies.
I have succeeded in one part of the 50/50 Challenge. Eight months in, I have watched 50+ movies already which makes me think that I could possibly see double the amount of movies than books that need to be read for the challenge.

"We're the Millers" starring stripper-bodied Jennifer Aniston was a surprisingly funny throughout the duration of the film. I think Jason Sudeikis has upped his attractive factor by dating Olivia Wilde and I like him for hailing from KC and wearing KU gear. He actually wears two different t-shirts from KC BBQ places in this film. I gave it a three-star rating and you can read the full review here.

I also saw "Fruitvale Station" which broke my heart and made me cry and cry. At the end, when they say what happens to the cop who shot Oscar (played by a fantastic Michael B. Jordan), I got really angry. The punishment did not fit the crime and right on the heels of the Trayvon Martin trial, it just infuriated me even further. The movie is shot in a sort of documentary way and makes Oscar be an imperfect, young human being with good intentions. To see that cut short by a thoughtless "mistake" is truly devastating.

"2 Guns" with one of my favorite actors Denzel Washington made it 50 for me and he and Mark Wahlberg are funny, fast-talking and clever in this clunky story. It's about corrupt government, cops, drug dealers, same old same old and there were so many layers of it, I was getting confused as to who was the bad guy and why. The story didn't fit together in anyway and the explanation for what brought Washington and Wahlber's together in the first place isn't that clear either. However, the movie is fun. I love Denzel and pretty much everything he does.

Movie #48: We're the Millers
Movie #49: Fruitvale Station
Movie #50: 2 Guns

*Ding, ding, ding -- winner, winner chicken dinner. I hit 50 movies of the 50/50 Challenge!