Monday, December 31, 2007

Books: Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Recently, we picked up an amazing quick-read by the teeny-bopper writer Meg Cabot. Princess Diaries, was about a young gangly girl growing up in New York who finds out that she's a princess. Basically, the dream of every eleven-year-old girl is this book. That and finding a lost twin somewhere (hopefully in Britain).

This book took very little time to read, which is perfect for us sometimes. You will love it! Well, maybe not, but we did anyways.

Quick vote: This was a silly, fast read, perfect for a lazy afternoon. And it was cute, so we liked it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Video Games: Brain Age 2

This is Maggie speaking. Last week, I was referred to as the 'slower' dog in the family, which I very much resent. That is why I have begun training my brain using Brain Age 2 for the Nintendo DS.

The game goes through a series of exercises to strengthen your mind. There's a change-making game, a piano-playing game, a paper-rock-scissors game, and much much more.

Now I'm going to be smarter then Sammi and we'll see who's the smartest dog!!!

Quick vote: If it could work for me, it could work for anyone else!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Blogs: Woot

This post is quite similar to last weeks blog-not-a-blog Steep and Cheap. Basically, is the electronics version of said website. Our favorite is when they do their bag of crap where you get a few random things. Sometimes you'll get an old mouse or some chords, and sometimes you'll get an iPod or a remote controlled helicopter.

Check it out here!

Quick vote: Great electronics for cheap?! Count us in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Movies: I Am Legend

I know what you're thinking, "how did two dogs see a movie that is still only in theaters?" The answer is, that our parents sneaked us into the theater. We spent a lot of time licking stuck candy and soda off the floor.

But when we were watching the movie, we loved it! First, there is a cool science-y plot that we loved. Second, there was an incredible dog. And third, the movie was filled with an incredibly tense action scenes. Also, we usually loathe Will Smith and his acting style, but that didn't happen this time.

Quick vote: We loved it! You should sneak into a theater near you to watch it yourself.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TV: Law & Order

An oldie, but a goodie as they say. We have always had a great affection in our hearts for the detective/lawyer combination of Law and Order.

If you happen to never have watched TNT or TBS and have never seen Law and Order; it basically follows a crime (usually a murder) from the act to the search for the suspect and through the criminal trial.

Quick vote: Turn on TBS or TNT right now. Do it. Watch Law and Order, I'm sure it's on right now. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Music: Say I Am You by The Weepies

This album is one of our new favorites. Though usually we prefer upbeat music to dance to while our parents are gone during the day, every now and then we like a more subtle form of music to nap to in the sun.

"Woke up, and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head.
I lay motionless in bed.
I thought of you and where you'd gone,
And let the world spin madly on."
---World Spins Madly On

Quick vote: This music is soft and lovely. We very much enjoy the lyrics and the feeling of the music.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Books: Miracle in the Andes

We dogs just finished a short book about following the tragic story also told in the book Alive. The book chronicles a Uruguayan rugby team in the seventies that crash in the Andes, and end up stranded for seventy-two days in the middle of nowhere.

The men have to band together and take advantage of meager resources to survive. Eventually, they are even forced to succumb to cannibalism of their plane-mates that failed to survive the crash from complete lack of food.

Though the last fifty pages or so were full of insipid rantings about the aftermath of the crash; the rest was fascinating and eye opening.

Quick vote: Read this book. Skip the end.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Video Games: Cooking Mama 2 -- Dinner with Friends

For Christmas this year, our mother received a Nintendo DS system, and one of the games she also got was Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends. Though we lack the opposable thumbs to grip the stylus, we utilize our claws instead and are cooking with the best of them!

The idea of the game is cooking. You chop ingredients, stir the pot, roll out the dough, etc... Though some mega-users find the game too unchallenging, we think it's the perfect game to play while watching a movie or chilling with friends over th holiday season.

Also, the sound bytes of an Asian Mama are incredible.

Quick vote: We love it! Get cooking!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blogs: Steep and Cheap

Though this is debatable as an actual blog, we love our fancy outdoor gear, and had to include it. Basically, steep and cheap offers one item a day at a ridiculously affordable price, and first come first serve, because they usually don't have a huge inventory.

Amazing deals on your outdoor equipment can be found here!

Quick vote: Cheap outdoor equipment?! We love it! (I wonder if they have doggie snowshoes.....)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Movies: The Prestige

Though this movie came out about a year ago, we just recently got around to watching it, which is incredible. The Prestige is one of the best movies we've seen in a long time, due to the phenomenal plot. The film follows two competing magicians through their careers in a non-chronological fashion.

At the start of the film, we were confused with the plot skipping around and had a hard time following. (Though Maggie had a more difficult time keeping up, being the slower of us doggies.) Then at once, dramatic things begin happening, and everytime we thought we had things figured out, something happened to completely throw us off. Also, David Bowie makes a cameo as the physicist Nikola Tesla.

Quick vote: If you're looking for a great show that will capture your attention and keep you guessing, this is the film for you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

TV: Planet Earth

When we recently purchased our Playstation 3, we began watching the Planet Earth television series on Blu-Ray, and we have loved it. Not only is it fascinating and informative about one of our favorite topics, nature; but it looks incredible in high-definition and on a nice television screen.

Basically the producers of the show take one ecological niche (e.g. mountains, caves, fresh-water) and devote an hour to exploring the geology, ecology, plant and animal life to be found in those niches. It's a pretty incredible show.

Quick vote: Informative and classy, this show is best viewed in high-def.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Music: The Rascals Have Returned

Trevor Hall's album The Rascals Have Returned is one of our all-star favorites. About a year ago, we went to a concert in park city where he opened for the John Popper Project (a project of the Blues Traveler artist). We fell in love with his lyrical honesty and simply beautiful musical talents.

Since then, he has released a single for the new Shrek movie and seems to be working on a new album.

"See the day God let men shake hands
And allowed women to give birth;
Is the day the devil stuck his flag in the ground,
And declared it his turf.
And at night he goes to sleep,
But without closing his eyelids;
Like a junkie found dead
Under the docks of Coney Island.
And he promises to speak the truth,
And then he lies again....

Aw, it's venemous, yes; venemous, yes.
No but we're talking about the devil,
What have you come to expect."
-Venemous (Not on this album, but one of our fav's.)

"Violence is bringing us down,
It's bringing us six feet under ground.
When we think we're alive and breathing,
When we're talking we're actually screaming.
Whenever we make a change, things need to be rearranged.
I don't want to live the rest of my life hiding in shame.
And can't you see the child's eyes, are you really that blind?

You're leaving nothing for the youth,
Just the proof of destruction."
- Proof of Destruction

Quick vote: His lyrics are incredible and his musical is beautiful. This man in so talented, and we think that y'all should listen to him!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Books: Moral Minds by Marc Hauser

We recently finished the book Moral Minds: The Nature of Right and Wrong by Marc D. Hauser. He explores the roles of psychology, ethics, and evolutionary biology in developing the moral code that humans hold today.

The anecdotal evidence in the book is quite fascinating and illustrate how certain portions of our moral sense are hard coded into our DNA and he speculates on where, when, and how these arose from history. However, he fails to deliver on some of his key tenets approached in the beginning of the book.

Quick vote: All bark, and no bite. We enjoyed it, but it left us disappointed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Video Games: Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Recently, our family acquired a Playstation 3. And nearly as recently, we have been sucked into the Ratchet and Clank game for said platform. Reviews claim that playing R&C is like being a part of a Pixar video game, and we tend to agree. Though we lack opposable thumbs, we have been playing this game non-stop and feel certain we will beat it soon!

Ratchet and Clank starts out easily and then escalates as you and your trusty robot evade the evil Emperor Tachyon; searching for weapons, restarting factories, helping friends, and all sorts of other things along the way. The world of the Lombax is fun and fascinating, and pretty easy to pick up on a Saturday afternoon.

Quick vote: Hey, if we can play it, you definitely can! Though those looking for a more difficult challenge may want to search elsewhere...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blogs: Found

Perhaps you have heard of 'found items,' if not, it's not difficult to imagine what they might entail. What Found magazine does, is post one item each day that was found somewhere (on the street, taped to a car, etc..) and include an explanation of where each item was found.

What ensues is a very interesting collection of artifacts from lists, to personal notes, to bizarre pictures. We love watching the items roll in as well as the descriptions posted by the detectives that originally spotted them.

Found can be found (pun intended): HERE!!!

Quick vote: This blog is interesting and fun. We recommend it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Movies: Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

As a joke gift, our family recently ended up with a copy of Ferngully, which some of our older readers may recall from their childhoods. The film chronicles a group of fairies living in a rainforest who become endangered because of Evil Loggers that come to steal away their habitat.

We were amazed at this film. In a time where Global Warming is a catchphrase, and living in a city where you're in the minority if you don't drive a hybrid car (87% of which are Prii [plural of Prius]); shows like this (e.g. Hoot) are the norm. Ferngully, written years ago, belongs to this era. The indoctrination of children into a fear of not recycling and into donating to SUWA and the Sierra Club begun many many years ago.

We wonder if Al Gore watched this film as a child....

Quick vote: A fascinating trip down memory lane. If you watched this show as a child, we recommend you get a hold of a new copy and re-watch, at least for reminiscence's sake.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TV: America's Next Top Model

While we have never seen an episode of this season (or cycle, rather) of ANTM, we cannot help but put aside our lives when a marathon of yesteryear is on. Though Tyra Banks is both egocentric and ridiculous, we find ourselves sucked into the faux-drama she represents. Basically, becoming a model is the most difficult thing you could ever do, just ask Tyra.

The models are asked to do all sorts of crazy photo shoots (pose as if they are murdered, act like men, etc..) and then are judged on their picture-taking skills. In the meantime, there are all sorts of feuds between the girls (facilitated by Tyra's commentary) that make this show a back-stabbing romp everyone can enjoy!!!

Quick vote: This show is ridiculous and we love it for that very quality. (We much prefer it in marathon format though.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Music: Happenstance by Rachael Yamagata

This cd was lent to us a few weeks ago by a friend, and we haven't been able to stop listening to it since. Oddly reminiscent of Fiona Apple, Rachael Yamagata's voice is simultaneously bold and ethereal. Her songs are well written, and catchy; sounding fresh and Gothic at the same time.

"And they'll dress you up for the flight
Like Ophelia, you wave goodnight
With the earth and sky you cheer and sigh
Writhe as your days go by
And laugh as you die."
-- Paper Doll

"Time passes by while I wait for your call
Time passes by; I hear nothing at all.

And I'm afraid and I can't breathe
And I'm in love with you,
But you are not with me
And I have put so much into a life
I made too much about you now to lie."
--Letter Read

Quick vote: We really like Rachael Yamagata, and we recommend this album.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Books: Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

We just finished reading a newer Chuck Klosterman Book, IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas. We read Drug, Sex, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto and loved it, which inspired us to pick up IV. Basically, the book is a collection of essays, some written from his interviews with people, others based solely on his theories and such.

Chuck is hilarious. He writes like stand-up comedian with an unbelievable knowledge of all things cultural (rock music, sports, movies, reality tv, rock music, etc...).

Quick vote: This book was hilarious, thought-provoking, and an enjoyable read on a long plane ride. We highly recommend it!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Blogs: Postsecret

We were introduced to the Postsecret blog several years ago, and we go through periods of activity and inactivity regarding it. The idea is that people all over the world can mail in their secrets to a PO box, and some of them make it onto the blog. Some of the secrets are funny, some are disgusting, most are depressing, and a lot of them seem fabricated.

To find the blog:

Quick vote: An interesting way to pass twenty minutes at work? Yes. A wholesome blog? No. A recommended read? Not really.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Movies: A Christmas Story

For the sake of holiday spirit, we've decided to review a lovely holiday film today. Unlike films such as, The Santa Clause III, and Fred Claus, yesteryear (which we were unfortunately not live for, being 2.5, and 1.4 years of age) had quality Christmas cinematography. Films such as It's a Wonderful Life, those clay-mation Frosty/Rudolf films, and A Christmas Story are iconic and memorable.

A Christmas Story chronicles a young boy growing up in suburbia surrounded by his immature brother, his perfectionist mother, and his DIY father; and his desire for the best Christmas gift ever -- a BB gun. The film follows many classic male childhood events (e.g. caught swearing, sticking tongues to lamp posts in the winter, and fighting the neighborhood bully). It is hilarious, adorable, and heart-warming; a Christmas classic!

Quick vote: "Deck da haws wiff boughs of haw-wee, fa wa wa wa wa, wa wa, wa WA!!!!" See this film.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

TV: Samatha Who

Samantha Who? (now airing on Monday nights on ABC) is a ridiculous television show. The characters are poorly developed and the entire plot-line (Samantha is a witchy, career-driven woman who gets into a car accident, losing her memory. She is then forced to re-experience all of life, finding out what ice cream she likes [mint chocolate chip], her allergies [oregano], and her fears [elevators].) rings of a soap opera, and the jokes are ridiculous one-liners that have been spoiled by trailers ten times over before the show airs.

But what can we say, we're dogs! We don't have the best of judgments... Christina Applegate is adorable, and we find ourselves chuckling at her naivitee. We look forward to watching the show on on Tuesday mornings.

Quick vote: A cute show. Not great, but fit to watch while waiting for your owners to come home. (And while chewing on the tv remote...)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Music: The Reminder by Feist

We have been listening to Feist for a while, and we love her! Her delicate voice sounds both haunting and sickly sweet.

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10. Money can't buy you back the love that you had then."

"Sea Lion Woman, dressed in red;
Smile at the man when you wake up in his bed.

Sea Lion Woman, dressed in black;
Wink at the man, then stab him in his back."

Quick vote: We love this album! Feist has a unique sound and unique songs. We really enjoy this album.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Books: Life of Pi

We have been very in between books lately, picking up and reading the first few chapters of three or four books at once, so today we'll draw upon one of our old classic favorites, Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

We love this story for the way that it looks at the world. The perspective of the main character is to accept the world for its whimsicality and potential to improve the world.

Quick vote: One of our very favorite novels. We love Yann Martel.