Monday, November 29, 2010

Rainbows: Christmas movies

Jingling bells, snow, outlandish love love of Christmas movies is a not to secret obsession. Though I could indulge in these any time of year, during the holiday month between Thanksgiving and Christmas my love reaches an all time high.

Some of them are classic, some are cheesy, and some are not good at all. But these Christmas movies are fantastic in my mind.

The Santa Clause

This Tim Allen movie shows him as a career focused father whose life takes a turn when he accidentally kills the previous Santa. Due to a clause in Santa's contract, Allen becomes the new Santa Claus. Though nobody believes him as he gains weight and continually grows a beard, he begins his new career as the ultimate gift giver.

Miracle on 34th Street
Aside from "It's A Wonderful Life", this movie is my favorite "classic" Christmas film. The black and white story tells of a mall Santa who claims to be the real Kris Kringle. The daughter of a mall employee instantly believes that his beard and demeanor with children shows that he's the real thing in spite of her mother's skepticism. Though I am past the age of believing in Santa, this movie always gets me close to believing again.

Jingle All the Way

Oh yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a super hero costume. At Christmastime. This was my go to movie as a child, and watching it fills me with joy today. The movie revolves around Schwarzenegger searching for an impossible to get toy (Turbo Man) on Christmas Eve. Though Schwarzenegger may not be the greatest actor of our time, this movie will always remain a classic in my mind.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lollipops: The apple pie

For the first time in my life, I attempted to make a pie from scratch. Here is the recipe that my mother and I followed:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 cups thinly sliced pared apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 egg white
  • Additional sugar
In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and spices; set aside. 
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. 
Add sugar mixture; toss well to coat. 
Line a 9-in. pie pan with half the pastry. 
Place apple filling into crust; dot with butter. 
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. 
Cut a few slits in top. beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry. 
Sprinkle sugar on top. 
Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 degrees F and bake 10-15 minutes more or until golden. 

Our pie turned out pretty well, and I will now share a few photos of the process:

Wash apples
Paring dozens of apples (while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade):
 This is seven cups of apple
 Lemon juice and spices
 All of the ingredients
 Pre-baking and pre-crust
 A "G" for Ginger

 Final products

Sunshine: Winter weather brings coats and stuff

There's a feeling of joy associated with winter. Putting on gloves, hats, and coats makes the time of cold weather feel a little happier.

This year, the fashion trend for coats are:

Bold colors



These coats are so much more fun than a simple black pea coat (example, Ginger):
I also love scarves, knit hats, and gloves. I worry that Texas is not the ideal place to splurge on these, but I love to look at them and dream of living in a place with real winter weather.

Rainbows: Christmas Shopping

I never thought that I would resort to online shopping this holiday season, but I have found many great deals and unique gifts for my friends and family.

A great site for jewelry and other little trinkets is Etsy. This is an outlet for small businesses and crafty individuals who want to share their passion. I have purchased many necklaces and more for my friends. This way, I can find personalized items that perfectly suit the people in my life.

I have also realized the importance of printed photos. Many members of my family will be receiving photo albums that I have had developed at Wal-Mart. Photographic gems like this just have to be framed (yes, that is my father):
This is my new favorite photo album for travel prints.

I have also found Amazon to be a great venue for unusual items. I have a friend with an attraction to anything dinosaur or sandwich themed. With Amazon, I have bought her dinosaur sandwich cutter and sandwich holder. It would be impossible to find such a combination easily.

I love buying gifts for the people close to me. I once convinced my 5 year old brother that I was Santa Claus. With these online stores, I may be getting one step closer to that occupation.

Sunshine: Give me that old time movie

In the time before White Chicks, Gigli and RV, movies set the standards of what made a classic film. With no real predecessors, the directors, actors, and producers had to find their own ways to portray tales. Back when Technicolor and talking films were revolutionary, the films did not rely on fancy lighting or animated effects, but the talent and innovation of the crews.

Nothing makes me happier than the viewing of a classic film. While I am partial to Gone with the Wind, I also enjoy the musicals of the 1940's. Anyone suggesting to view Singin' in the Rain or The Wizard of Oz will automatically get on my good side.

Here are some more of my favorites:

Sunshine: Oh joy! Kids foods are everlasting!

In an attempt to not grow up, I have recently found an admiration for what some may see as "kids food."

Nothing brings more joy to a group of college students than pulling out a box of Capri Suns. These juice boxes come in a variety of flavors, and even though they were more popular in brown bag lunches than in a college fridge, any 20 year old can remember their favorite. I love Pacific Cooler.

Another excellent "kids food"  are animal crackers. Either taken plain or iced with sprinkles, any day with animal crackers is a good day. I can remember torturing my animal crackers, first biting off individual legs before taking off the head.

I have heard many meal time conversations begin with one person saying, "Guess what I have to eat!?!," then pulling out a Lunchable. Ham and cheese crackers, pizza, or chicken nuggets, are all choices that come along with these pre-made meals. Any college student will get excited about a Lunchable, which reminds a busy college student of the times before final exams and paying bills.

Sunshine: Arrested Development

Somehow I missed out on the comedy "Arrested Development" until recently. I have watched all three seasons in the past week and a half. This show is fantastic- smart, witty, and laughable.

So many careers were created or renewed with this show: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and David Cross are just a few. The cast is perfect in their roles as odd and dysfunctional family members. Each has their vice: be it a failing acting career, booze and insults, or an incestuous love for a cousin.

I am sad that I missed out on this show for so many years. It won many awards and was critically acclaimed, but it never achieved the popularity that it deserved.

Now, a movie is in development. I cannot wait to see what the writers will come up with. The series finale ended with many questionable plot devices. I think that it will be fantastic.

And, in case you are interested, many of the episodes are available on Hulu.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rainbows: Miley Cyrus, the adult

Happy 18th Birthday to Miley Cyrus (and for that matter, Hannah Montana).

How is it possible that this little girl is finally 18? I remember years ago when I was so confused by the concept of the show "Hannah Montana". Come on, a girls names Miley playing another Miley playing Hannah, all the while the first Miley is coming out with original CDs and character CDs...

Let's take a little trip into the past to look at Miley's highs and lows:

So Miley, go out and vote, smoke, and date inappropriately aged men. You're a woman now.

Lolliopops: My Thanksgiving Menu

I recently received this email from my mother describing what we would be having for Thanksgiving:

Mashed Potatoes
Spinach Salad with walnuts, strawberries, mushrooms, and raspberry vinaigrette
Dinner Rolls
Apple Pie (baked by Ginger and Mom)
Back up dessert for when Ginger and Mom screw up pie

Most of this menu was hand selected by me, because I hate Thanksgiving food. I love the rolls, but other than

This will be my first time to bake a pie from scratch, and I plan on documenting the entire process. It will be...interesting...and fueled by alcohol....thanks, Mom.

Glad there will be a back up!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunshine: A girl and her cowboy boots.

Today marks my three week anniversary with my new love: my cowboy boots.We have had a wonderful time together, and I now fear that I am wearing them too often. I'm not saying every day, but is 16/21 days too often for cowboy boots?

I never thought that I would be the cowboy boots type of person, but it turns out that we are a  perfect match. I love to wear them over my jeans, tucked in, with dresses, with skirts, as formal wear, and in my every day attire.

Friends are beginning to complain that I have become obsessed with my boots, but I beg to differ. When you find something so perfect, why would you move on to anything else?

Sunshine: Inherit the Wind

The 1960 classic “Inherit the Wind” may be outdated to this generation, but the values in place remain relevant today.

The movie depicts the real life trial of Bertram Cates, a science teacher that refuses to give up teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. As the beginning credits roll, the song, “Give Me That Old Time Religion” plays in the background. This makes it clear that the trial is not about true justice, but rather religious preferences. Important people in a small town gather together to arrest Cates on the grounds that he has not only broken the law, but that he is going against God’s will.

This is an excellent and prevalent movie today, showing that individuals need to fight for their ideals. At several points, Cates desires to quit but knows that he stands for something bigger than his trial. Cates represents free speech and the prevention of banning books and other educational materials.

The performances in this movie were excellent, especially the moving speeches from Spencer Tracey (playing the part of Cates’s attorney Clarence Darrow).

This is an important moie that has lasted in time for its idealism.

My favorite quote is from Darrow, stating, "An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunshine: Who makes these things?

As I use StumbleUpon to waste my time, it seems that every other photo is of a semi-inspirational quote paired with something that does not match the quote. I usually glance the photo over, quick to hit the "dislike" button.

What I realized today is that someone spends their time making these things, but who? Who would bother to pick a quote, paste it on a photo, and share it with the world?

If this is you, please reveal yourself. I would love to hear what inspires you to make inspirational quote photos, or what I have coined "quotos."

Here are a few examples of this mystery-person's masterpieces:

And this is how I feel about them:

Rainbows: Artist visiting St. Ed's

This Friday welcomes artist Steven Neves through an on-campus reception and artist talk.

The reception will begin at 6PM in the Fine Arts Building, and the talk will be at 8PM in room 113.
According to the artist, his work Chimera is an, "eclectic assembly of works is unified by autobiographical points of reference and the peculiarities of an egocentric worldview. Appropriation of mythology, art history and popular culture provide footholds for entry. Chimera is a compilation of sculptures, drawings and prints that altogether form a rebus of sorts, a relational puzzle whose meaning will be revealed differently according to the individual viewpoints of each observer."

Here are a few examples of Neves' work:

For more information about the exhibition, go to the St. Edward's art page.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainbows: 'Tis the Season

It's that time of year...for the holiday commercials to jingle their way in.

RadioShack just released a commercial featuring cyclist Lance Armstrong as an HR representative, criticizing an elf's ability to pull off spandex. Armstrong is adorable in this commercial, and I enjoyed seeing him attempt a funny role.

RadioShack is a sponsor of Amrstrong's team, so the two are working together to spread some holiday cheer.

Sunshine: What will my groupies be called?

Battle of the groupies. 

It seems that every popular musician has a name for their followers. From Lady Gaga's "Little Monsters" to Justin Bieber's "Beliebers," fans have comically and proudly claimed a name for themselves.

Groupies can be crazed fanatics (look at these above Beliebers), or a contained group of people who enjoy an individual artist. Nonetheless, groupie names are just funny. Remember Adam Lambert's "Glamberts" or Clay Aiken’s "Claymates"?

I found a complete list here, and began to think what I would name future-rock star-Ginger's groupies.

Would they be:
The Gingers?

So many possibilities for my future, so many groupies to name.

Rainbows: On "The Town"

Ben Affleck and Boston.

While the pair has teamed up for movies several times, "The Town" is a more violent and crime-ridden version of their past works.

The movie centers around a group of childhood friends in Charlestown, an area of Boston with more bank robberies than any other part of the United States. It is sid in the beginning that a career in bank robbing is like a trade, passed down from father to son. Affleck and friends are expert robbers, and the first scene of the movie shows a successful robbery.

Since the group is so enraptured in their trade, there is no way out or other career option. Affleck is torn between his desire to quit, the secrets hidden from his new love, and the inescapable hole that he is stuck in.

The conflict of the movie comes from the constant search by an FBI officer played by Jon Hamm. Hamm's sole purpose is to catch the group of thieves in the act and to prevent future violence. This was an excellent performance in which the handsome Hamm appeared noble, forceful, and still human.

This movie was a fascinating look into bank robbing and Boston. Though it came out months ago, it is worth watching while still in theatres.

This film left me feeling both like robbing a bank and like I was going to get shot.

Sunshine: New Robin Sparkles

For fans of "Let's Go to the Mall" and "Sandcastles in the Sand" by Robin Sparkles, there is a new video premiering tonight.

For those who do not watch "How I Met Your Mother," Robin Sparkles is the character Robin's younger alter-ego. She tried to hide her past as a Canadian pop star, but with time several of her videos have been released.

Tonight will reveal how a young Robin got mixed up into the pop world of sequins, glitter, and bleached and teased hair.

Here is the preview:

And in case you are not familiar with her work, here's "Let's Go to the Mall" (a personal favorite of mine):

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rainbows: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I came into the performance of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" with huge expectations. Though I was not familiar with the plot, I know the actors. I have seen each of them previously in roles at St. Edward's Theatre and other Austin stages. The acting in this play was phenomenal from all four of the characters, played by Ev Lunning, Jr., Babs George, Kel Sanders, and Meredith Montgomery.

Audience members enter the performance space through the front door of a house, giving the feeling of coming to social call at a friend's home. From the first entrance of an intoxicated and excited Martha (George) and the tired and cranky George (Lunning), the play gains energy.

The actors played the humorous and slightly uncomfortable moments, in addition to the furiously angry times with believability and entertainment.

Sanders and Montgomery portray a tightly wound Biology professor and his sugary sweet but unintelligent wife.

Throughout the play, the characters use games to mess with each others minds. This leads to a lot of drinking, fighting, dancing, and one steamy make out session.

While the play remains over three hours long with two intermissions, it is one of the most fascinating looks into four characters I have seen. The performance was simply wonderful.

Mary Moody Norten Theatre
Nov. 11–21 2010
Thursday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feature: Gleeking out

 Show tunes, high school drama, and occasional break dancing make for an unusual combination on television. Somehow, the Fox show "Glee" has meshed these together to become both a critically acclaimed  and a fan popular series.

When the first episode of "Glee" premiered in May 2009, theatre junkies and television fans alike tuned in to see a new, musical television show.

Even on the St. Edward's University campus, there is a divide between the "Glee" fans and the "Glee" haters.

"Being a theatre major, I love watching Glee!," says senior Jackie Harper. "I saw Lea Michele on Broadway and it is thrilling to see her becoming more popular. I think that musicals and television are a perfect match and love to watch this show and listen to the music all the time."

The phenomenon that has resulted from "Glee" is a love/hate relationship.  There is usually no middle ground, people are either strangely entranced by the show, singing and dancing along to everything that emerges, or they publicly argue how horrible every part of the show is.

Many of the positive attributes are: bringing musical theatre to the mainstream, displaying young talent, and dealing with diversity and other issues.

The negative attributes include: unrealistic plots, annoying characters, and what some say is ruining popular songs. On Facebook, individuals openly list the reasons why they despise this show.

"I think they rely too heavily on stereotypes. For example, all the Asians cluster together and date each other," says junior Goldie da Costa. "Also, they make the cheerleaders and football players seem spiteful and rude, throwing slushies on the Glee kids. For me, it is sending the wrong message that these people are always mean and bullies to the 'outcasts.'"

With such strong opinions on both sides, "Glee" remains a popular show. In addition to success on television, the show is a commercial success in the music industry. Several weeks ago, "Glee" made headlines for having more Billboard Top 100 hits than The Beatles. After the Britney Spears episode, "Glee" surpassed The Beatles's 71 with 75 singles.

But not everyone sees this as a positive event.

"It is really messed up that Glee has all these popular singles considering that they only make covers," says sophomore Jason Chau. "They do not write their own songs or put in the innovation or unique effort that bands like The Beatles took."

Though the show does not use original music, some believe that "Glee" still creates songs that are their own. By taking a popular rock song like "Livin' on a Prayer," and making an all-girl's chorus number, the show is creating something original.

"Music is all about interpretation. Who hasn't loved a new song and still loved the original? I love my Glee Pandora station, I make my husband watch the show, and I also perform," says Student Life staff member Marisa Lacey. "Back in the day when Myspace was cool, my quote was 'I want to live in a world where spontaneous musical numbers are the norm,' and that's what Glee does for me."
While some closeted "Glee" fans still exist, it seems that many people openly to love it or hate it. "The Sacramento Bee" reported that the show has resulted in an increase in singing high school students. Statistics on the sale of sluhies is still pending.