Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogs: My Super Hopeless Romance

We tried to find a good Halloween blog to share with you today, but nothing was really catching our eye, and we have recently become obsessed with another blog; it seems unfair to write about anything else.

My Super Hopeless Romance is a story about Cordy, a 23-year-old Mormon girl who is in love with her best friend, Seth, but he doesn't know it. It's fictional, but incredibly romantic and it gets our tails wagging during the interesting parts. We're so girly, but whatever.

Quick vote: If you like Jane Austen and Mormon chick flicks, you're going to love perusing Cordy's blog. Trust us!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Movie: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

We have recently picked up the book The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, and were instantly sucked into the teen dramas of the four friends. Accordingly, we made sure to rent the movie when our father was out of town (In Dublin, Ireland; if you can believe it!) and have a girls' night with our mother!

This movie is cheesy. It's ridiculous. And yet part of our girly hearts love it. It's perfect for a lonely night when your dad is out of town and your mother is feeling like she needs a romance fix!

Quick vote: This movie will not win any awards, but it's pretty nice to be able to watch a cheesy romance and expect everything to work out perfectly in the end.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Politics: Go Vote!

Our father, worldwide traveler that he is, is going to be out of town on Election Day, so he and our mother went out and voted early. We hear it's the in thing to do this year!

Whether you're voting early, the day of, or in just vocally because stupid laws prevent canines from casting official ballots..... Vote this year! It's your civic duty, and you can look down on those around you for not loving freedom as much as you do!

Quick vote: Support freedom! Vote today!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Music: Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron & Wine

We've had this album, Endless Numbered Days, in our library for a long time, but we hadn't listened to it until recently. Iron & Wine has a nice sound to it with the classic acoustic/folksy sound that we love most. We can't believe that we never listened to it before now!

"There are things that drift away,
Like our endless, numbered days.
Autumn blew the quilt right off
The perfect bed she made.
And she's chosen to believe,
In the hymns her mother sings.
Sunday pulls its children from
Their piles of fallen leave."
--Passing Afternoon

"Love and some verses you hear
Say what you can't say.
Love to say this in your ear,
'I'll love you that way.'
From your changing contentments,
What will you choose for to share?
Someday drawing you different,
May I be weaved in your hair?"
--Love & Some Verses

Quick vote: This is great music to listen to on a rainy afternoon when you want to mope around. We love it, but it's definitely not going to cheer you up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Books: Haunted by Dorah L. Williams

This month's book club selection was a scary, Halloween-y book in keeping with the October theme. Haunted: The Incredible True Story of a Canadian Family's Experience Living in a Haunted House by Dorah Williams in a nonfiction story of a chilling haunting.

This story started slowly. A family is eerily drawn to an old Victorian house and moves in despite poor timing. Then strange things start happening; they smell food cooking when nothing's in the oven, they hear footsteps when no one else is in the house. The hauntings escalate until the family decides to do something about it and they poke into the past searching for the answer to their mystery.

Quick vote: This book was fantastic. If you're in the mood for a creepy book for the spooky season, check out this "true" book!

Aunt Annie's 2 Cents: We don't like scary books. But we do like hairy books!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogs: Upside Down Dogs

This is a great blog. Several times a day, they post right-side-up pictures of dogs upside-down. That is it. It's a great blog.

Quick vote: This blog is awesome. It will cheer up your Friday, take a look!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Movies: WALL-E

When our father was traveling in the Philippines, he had the opportunity to bring us back a special gift; pirated dvds! One of these movies was the new Disney/Pixar project, WALL-E. We had heard a lot about the movie, specifically that it was a propaganda campaign against capitalism (A concept which we love, by the way. Yea, buying stuff!). So we were a tad wary of it, but excited for newest Pixar film, which are always quite good.

WALL-E is a robot assigned the task of compacting and organizing all of the trash on earth after humans have abandoned it. He goes through his life leisurely working, hanging out with his pet cockroach, and collecting interesting things he finds in the trash heaps. Suddenly, a spaceship lands nearby and everything changes...

Quick vote: We were worried that Al Gore would come screaming out at us through this movie, but the propaganda wasn't nearly as bad as we had suspected. Also, the movie was fun, cute, and amusing. We definitely recommend it!

Aunt Kenya's Philosopy: Humans are destroying this earth at an alarming rate. Movies like WALL-E and An Inconvenient Truth are so apt that they are being ignored. If humans were to put an intelligent dog, say me, in charge of running things, the world would be restored to its previous glory and doggies would rule the WORLD!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Politics: Proposition 8

We have heard a lot of uproar lately over the legislation on the vote in California, Proposition 8. If passed, this proposition would prevent same-sex couples from marrying in the state of California, and only marriage between people of the opposite sex would be valid in California. We have heard many people discussing this from various sides of the stage, and we feel the need to add our opinion, as we are oft prone to do.

If you are living in California and can vote on this issue, we encourage you to think about the issue yourself and vote as you deem best, not according to any political pundits or intelligent, informed canines. But if you are wondering how we would vote, if we were 18, human, lived in California, and were registered to vote; we would vote no on Proposition 8. It seems cruel to vote any other way. Sexual orientation is a personal matter, and the government ought have no role in deciding the morality of the issue. Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. We understand the religious tenor surrounding the issue, but it seems like the fervor has gone too far. Even if you consider it an egregious sin, no one is preventing murderers or child molesters from marrying.

Quick vote: Let's think about the issues this election. Decide for yourself, without being swayed by those manipulative politicians!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Music: Flight of the Conchords Soundtrack

Recently we reviewed the HBO show, Flight of the Conchords. Afterward, we were able to get our paws on a copy of the soundtrack, and we love it. Our favorite part of the show is when the main characters burst into a hilarious song, so we were ecstatic to be able to listen to those songs and eventually to howl along with them.

"The humans are dead.
(I'm glad they are dead.)
The humans are dead.
(I noticed, they're dead.)
We used poisonous gases,
(With traces of lead)
And we poisoned their asses.
(Actually, Their lungs.)

Binary solo!
Oh, oh, oh, one.
(binary solo continues)"

"I see you standing all alone by the stereo.
I dim the lights down to very low, here we go
You're so beautiful.
You could be a waitress.
You're so beautiful.
You could be a air hostess in the 60s.
You're so beautiful.
You could be a part-time model.
But then I seal the deal, I do my moves.
I do my dance moves."
--The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room

Quick vote: This is a great album. If you enjoy hilarious indie-pop music, then this is the album for you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Books: The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano

We have been working on this book, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano for several months now. We found it quite long, apparently plotless, and lacking a central voice. After finishing, we feel lost and not quite sure whether or not we enjoyed the read.

The book chronicles a group of Latin American poets known as the 'Visceral Realists' in and around Mexico City through the 1920's and 30's. The group is lead by Alberto Belano and Ulises Lima, both strong and very different personalities that attempt to publish great poets, keep the group in order, and journey deep into Mexico to find the mother of Visceral Realism. This book was an interesting read and we enjoyed it, but it was too long and disjointed to be the classic we have heard it proclaimed to be.

Quick vote: Though this book was interesting and thought provoking, we found it lacking. We won't attempt to dissuade you from reading it, but we won't reccomend it to you either.

Aunt Annie's Two Cents: I once went to school to be a detective; I failed the psych exam. Also, I am renown for my savagery in the game of 'Pulley.' Ask anyone.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blogs: Criggo

We live in a digital age where paper seems to be dwindling into anachronism, especially newspaper. This blog takes funny newspapers errors and posts them for all to enjoy as the black and white medium slowly dies out. Some favorites:

"Police receive a report of a newborn infant found in a trash can. Upon investigation, officers discover it was only a burrito."
--Rice, Beans, and Baby

"Pregnancy Information. Free Pregnancy tests. Confidential. On Subway."
--Free Pregnancy Tests?

"Correction: A headline on an item in the Feb. 5 edition of the Enquirer-Bulletin incorrectly stated 'Stolen Groceries.' It should have read 'Homicide.'"

Quick vote: This blog makes us laugh so hard we choke a little bit on our own collars. Seriously, why do we have to wear these things around?!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Movies: Legends of the Fall

We ran across one our favorite movies lately, Legends of the Fall.  This movie is a cinematic masterpiece with a moving story, and we highly recommend it to any that haven't yet seen it.

Alfred, Tristan, and Samuel are three very different brothers living in the Montanan wilderness around the turn of the 20th century.  Alfred is practical and true, Tristan has the spirit of a bear and is as wild as the wind, and Samuel is delicate and genuine, the true baby of the family.  Samuel meets a woman, Susanna, and the family is changed forever.

Quick vote: This movie is incredible, beautiful, and an A+ event.  We give it two dewclaws up!

Aunt Annie's 2 Cents: I have two brothers.  Is that a basted rawhide stick, or are you just glad to see me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TV: Dead Like Me

On a recommendation from our mother's cousin Jared, we watched the first season of the tv show, Dead Like Me. We had heard about the show before, on Fresh Air and on recommendation from a few people, but we had never watched it until now.

The show follows a group of grim reapers who are undead, but live among humans trying to make a living so they can eat and afford their rent. The show is quirky, funny, and unique. Sometimes the subject matter is rather dark, but we really like its original take on life and the afterlife.

Quick vote: We like this show, it's really original and interesting, and is generally very fun and sarcastic; though it can get a bit heavy at times.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music: TAL on the Economy

Even though our father is an economist, this whole economic crisis mumbo jumbo is beyond us. There are a lot of terms being thrown around, but thanks to this lovely man (Ira Glass) and his lovely radio program (This American Life), we've gotten a hold of this situation and its litany of vernacular. We recommend these shows for your knowledge and learning about this crisis.

The Global Pool of Money Show -- All about the housing market and the mortgaged backed securities crisis.

The Enforcers Show -- The second half is about naked short selling (Yeah, we didn't know what this was before listening to this show either.) and the role of the SEC in the current crisis. And the first half was pretty fun as well, but not about the financial crisis.

Another Frightening Show About the Economy Show -- A breakdown of what has happened in the past month or so and a breakdown of the congressional bail-out. Is it good or is it bad for us?

A Better Mousetrap 2008 Show -- The second of three parts of this show is about the how inventors created incredible financial mousetraps, a pretty interesting segment.

Quick vote: If you've been wandering, lost in a sea of economic terminology and confusing financial hash, we've got the solution for you. Check these out!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

We've heard a lot about this book lately, and finally picked it up at the urging of others. The World Without Us is a nonfiction thought book about what would happen to the world if the humans in it suddenly disappeared (not through nuclear war but perhaps a rapture or some sort of disease that destroys all humans and no one else). What would happen to our cities, our puppies, and our world? Alan Weisman has talked to geologists, biologists, archeologists, and other scientists to paint the picture for our future.

This book started out incredibly, we loved the descriptions of cities collapsing and the homes that all of us had built crumbling around the world. And then the book diverged into more historical descriptions and became less fascinating. It ended with a ridiculous admonition to bring down our birthrate to one child per family.

Quick vote: This book was interesting, but less compelling and more preachy than we had hoped.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blog: Ryan Studio

The creator of Ryan Studio paints a picture every day and then posts it on her blog for everyone to enjoy, appreciate, and later bid on so she can make a whole butt-load of money. We have no problem with this, go capitalism! Regardless, her paintings are simple portraits of every day items (e.g. Plums, Goldfish Crackers, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich) and we really like them.

Quick vote: We really enjoy this blog. Check it out!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

When we saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie we were in love with it. Johnny Depp was incredible and it exceeded all of our expectations. But when we saw the second movie, we couldn't have been more disappointed. It was poorly written, poorly acted, and far too long. So when we heard about the third movie, we didn't rush out to watch it. Needless to say, we had quite low expectations.

Captain Jack Sparrow is dead and his friends travel to the end of the world to Davey Jone's locker to save him. There is a lot of Pirate lore and legends. We were surprised, this movie was a lot of fun! We wouldn't have liked it as much if we hadn't have had such low expectations for the movie. If that makes sense. We thought we would hate that, but because of that, we liked it!

Quick vote: Surprisingly, this wasn't too bad! Check it out if you have three hours to kill.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TV: House

Recently, we've been watching the Fox television show, House. We're big fans of medical dramas, but after a time they can get stale. This show has elements that keep the ball rolling as well as incorporating fun and interesting science into the mix, which we love! If you need a qualified doggy doctor, (Not a veterinarian, a doctor that is a dog.) we've got two dogs that would love the opportunity!

Dr. House is an eccentric doctor who is also a brilliant diagnostician. He works with a smart and sassy team to diagnose difficult illnesses. He's rude. Really really rude and sexist. Sometimes that bothers us, but usually we find it pretty fun.

Quick vote: We like this show, it's smart and fun. But we wouldn't stay home from the dog park to watch it. The dog park is awesome.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Music: Amazon MP3 Store

Today we talk about our new favorite way to acquire music, the Amazon MP3 store. The Amazon store is a lot like the iTunes store, but better. The iTunes store's music comes with a secret that the Amazon store does not, DRM. So the MP3's from Amazon are of higher quality, transferable to others like music from a cd is, and is the same price! Why would anyone shop at the iTunes store now?

Quick vote: We go here for all our musical needs, and you should too! Unless you prefer to pay more for less. Or you like outdated technology like cassette tapes or records.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Books: Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky

This weekend we were fortunate enough to take a bite out of Uncle Chichi's book! (Literally. We accidentally got a little bit excited and gnawed on it a teensy bit! But don't worry, it's still readable!) After that, we went back to finishing our book club book, Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky by Connie Lapallo. We were excited about this historical fiction book based on the original Jamestown settlers, with factual evidence taken from historical accounts, but we were disappointed a little bit on the delivery. The story was great, but her writing lacked conviction and we found ourselves hungry (during the starvation chapters) and unenthused.

This book follows the true life story of Joan Pierce, an ancestor of the book's author, her difficulties in England, and eventually her sojourn to Jamestown, Virginia. Joan was no stranger to hardship as in the space of a few short years she lost her parents, a husband, and a child when her second husband suggested that they try their hand at a pilgrimage to the New World. Joan agreed and they set off, leaving one of their children behind. The book is a testament to human strength and courage, and was an informative and interesting read.

Quick vote: This book had loads of potential and we loved the story, but the writing was not enough to make us stop biting our own tails.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blogs: Fantasy Congress

To juxtapose last week's Fantasy Football entry, this Friday we're describing an equally thrilling fantasy league we're members of, Fantasy Congress. Instead of quarterbacks and tight ends, you choose upper senators and rookie congressmen to fill your teams. You get points for writing legislation, good attendance scores, and making the news. It's pretty fun, and it makes legislation much more exciting. We find ourselves watching CSPAN, howling in pain when one of Aunt Didi's players proposes a bill.

Quick vote: This is quality, light-hearted, nerd fun. Check it out, if you dare...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Movie: Singles 2nd Ward

You read that title right. Our dad goes out of town, and our mom insists on renting all the chick flicks and cheesy mormon shows available (and preferably a combination of both). So we sat down to mock the Singles 2nd Ward while she laughed, but we found ourselves chuckling along too! Don't get us wrong, it was one of the cheesiest pieces of cinematography ever created in the history of man; and yet we still really enjoyed it. It was pretty funny.

I think that you can probably get the plot of the film. Boy is single, girl is single, both go to a single's ward. They date, get engaged, live happily ever after, blah, blah, blah. The plot is not very convoluted, but the one-liners can be pretty funny. Though we didn't really get the references to the other mormon movies...

Quick vote: This movie is cheesy. But it wasn't too bad. If you're bored one night, and you enjoy mormon movies, check it out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

TV: Fringe

We love fall. The air is crisp, we feel more alive, school starts, and the new fall programing is on! We were excited to hear about the newest J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost) science-fiction program running on Fox, Fringe. We're big fans of the sci-fi genre, so we tuned in for the first few episodes of what was reported as 'a cross between the X-Files and House.'

Fringe is about the FBI agent, Olivia Dunham who works in conjunction with mad scientist (Literally, he's straight from a mental institution.) Walter Bishop and his son Peter, to solve bizarre and ridiculous cases. Mostly they have to do with 'Fringe Science,' such as telepathy, levitation, invisibility, reanimation, and synthetic goop that melts people's skin off, such as appears in episode 1. Additionally, this show is part of Fox's new initiative known as "Remote-Free TV," meaning that episodes will air with half as many commercials, lengthening the show by approximately six minutes.

Quick vote: Though the acting is less than exceptional, the science fiction aspect is pretty awesome, so we're going to keep watching, and we recommend that you do too!