Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gossip Girl 4x11 "The Townie"

I can't believe Gossip Girl last night. My friend texted me last night and said "that was set up  like a season finale episode!"

Which is kinda true, because the show doesn't come back until Jan. 24. FORTY NINE DAYS.

I LOVED the episode. It was epic. All season I've been "just a tad" dissapointed, but the storylines have kept me coming back every monday. First, it was Serena's new relationship with a hot, young rich guy who ended up being her teacher at Columbia. So, they agreed not to see each other until the class was over, and I hung onto every moment between the two of them. I loved Collin. But he's gone now.

Then there was the whole "Why does Juliet hate Serena so much? What could Serena have possibly done to Juliet's brother that caused him to go to jail and the two of them to hate her so much?"

Well, we found out everything last night, and it was very unexpected.


Turns out, when Serena ran away from NYC and attended boarding school, she went to a school in Connecticut. At that school in Connecticut, she was her old self. Always partying, dancing, doing lines of coke, etc. But she got a long well with this young teacher who inspired her, believed in her, etc. Soon, they developed feelings for each other, but chose not to act on them. A series of rumors begin spreading behind the pair's back, while Lily, Serena's mother, was trying to get her accepted into a school in NYC so she could come back home. No school would accept her. When Lily heard the rumors about Serena and the teacher she went to the dean and used it as a bargaining device. She didn't think anything else would come of the situation, but it did.The dean alerted the authorities and soon the young teacher was arrested for statutory rape. He couldn't contest basically because Serena came from a powerful family. He went to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Serena never knew because after the teacher essentially turned her down, they never talked again. When Serena finds out the reason Ben and Juliet hate her and that Lily was the one to send him to jail for something he didn't do, she's through with her mother. Lily has screwed up major. I can appreciate her rationale. She was fighting for her daughter, but when an innocent man went to jail, she should've fessed up.

So, the entire season there's been a guy named Ben in jail who wants Serena to suffer and we've come to dislike him. But after seeing flashbacks of him talking with Serena, teaching Serena, being educated and caring....it painted him in a completely different light. I kind of forgot how mean (relative term) he was, because I felt so bad for him.

In one of the final scenes, Serena goes to the jail because she's going to do whatever she can to get Ben ("one of the sweetest guys she's ever known, and the only one to ever turn her down") out of  jail.

When she enters the room, Ben lights up. He's practically enamored with her.

This is the only clip I could find of it on Youtube. I'm DYING to see their confrontation after this..it looks like they both have some lingering feelings.

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This is what I thought was most important from the episode, but there was also an introduction of a future Blair and Dan relationship.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Must-see movie list

I'm sick of talking about common, everyday American movies to friends who haven't seen them. In honor of that, I'm making a completely random list of movies I've seen and enjoyed that I think all of my friends should watch. Majority of these will be chick flicks, because that's what I watch and own. Oops. I'm working on that though.

October Sky
For the Love of the Game
You've Got Mail
Love, Actually
Ever After
The Santa Clause
Little Giants
Field of Dreams
My Best Friend's Wedding
Notting Hill
Runaway Bride
Conspiracy Theory
What Women Want
Pretty Woman
While You Were Sleeping
Sweet Home Alabama
Two Weeks Notice
Good Will Hunting
The Thomas Crown Affair
One Fine Day
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Mrs. Doubtfire
The Princess Bride
It Takes Two
Die Hard
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
School of Rock
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Fool's Rush In
Bridget Jones's Diary

...more to come. If you haven't seen these, rent them!

The Young Victoria

Over Thanksgiving break, I watched The Young Victoria for the third time. Normally, I don't watch a movie more than twice, unless its one of my absolute favorites. Although it's not an absolute favorite, I still thoroughly enjoy this film and would recommend it to anyone.

This movie reminds me a lot of Pride and Prejudice, which I love. I like that it's historical and it centers on the royal family.

It follows Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) through her late teen years and her refusal to grant her mother and her mother's power-thirsty companion, Sir Conroy, regency. Because she was under 18 while  in line for the throne, it was possible for Victoria to sign her power away to her mother and Sir Conroy. Luckily, King William IV dies after Victoria turns 18, and she assumes the throne. Her cousin Albert is forced to pursue her by King Leopold of Belgium for political power. But Albert  falls for her, and begins to act  on his own motivations and feelings, rather than the King's. The film also touches on Victoria and Albert's marriage.

Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend are superb in their roles of Victoria and Albert. The film also has a strong supporting cast that includes Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter and Bridget's dad in Bridget Jones's Diary), Paul Bettany (A Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind), and Miranda Richardson (The Phantom of the Opera, Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter). All are films I love, mind you.

There is some amazing scenery, from inside palaces to carriage rides to strolls in the garden, including excellent shots of Buckingham Palace.

The story between Victoria and Albert is romantic and sweet, and the factual explanation provided at the end of the film, just before the credits roll, left me teary.

Great cast. Great scenery and costumes. Great romance. Great history.  ( A-)

The film was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Art Direction, Makeup, and Costumes. It won for costumes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanks Amazon MP3

For those of you who haven't discovered the amazingness that is Amazon MP3, let me enlighten you. Just tonight, I told another friend about it, You know Itunes? Well Amazon MP3 is like the "new" Itunes.

I love it.  Here's how to get there.

1. Go to amazon.com
2. Along the side of the page, click the tab that says "digital downloads" and go to MP3 Downloads.

Each month, Amazon makes 100 albums of various genres $5. Albums I've seen in the past include,

For indie-ish lovers

      • The Weepies: Be My Thrill
      • Ratatat
      • She & Him
      • Vampire Weekend
      • Band of Horses
      • Broken Bells
      • Andrew Belle
      • Norah Jones
      • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
      • John Mayer
      • Surfer Blood
Top 40
  • Britney Spears #1's
  • Maroon 5
  • Taio Cruz
  • David Guetta
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna
  • Black-Eyed Peas
I could go on and further/more accurately divide these artists, but I'll stop there. Most of these albums are 12-13 songs, so by paying $5 for them, you are saving more than $7 per album. Many are current albums and the folks at Amazon always make sure there's something for everyone.

In addition to their $5 albums, Amazon MP3 offers up to 2,000 free songs at one time, compared to the 2-3 offered on Amazon. They also give credits to buy things as well. I've received at least $4 in credits to the site before. There was a $3 credit offered through Nov. 29 which made the $5 albums a mere $2. When you consider that most songs are $1.29 on iTunes now, and Amazon MP3 offers a whole album, you see how great they are!

The last really great deal Amazon MP3 offers is their "Deal of the Day." I've snagged these several times as well. Deal of the days are albums that range from 1.99-3.99, and a lot of times they are new ones.

I got A Fine Frenzy, Greg Laswell, and John Mayer's new albums for less than $4 bucks each.
I bought the new Taylor Swift album for 3.99, while my stepmom went to the store and spent $13.99.

So there's 
-deal of the day
-$5 monthly albums
-loads of free songs

On top of ALL that, Amazon MP3 just has better prices. They are involved with their customers  (they've tweeted me on more than one occasion).

On the first of each month I love browsing through the new crop of $5 albums. Check them out, but remember AMP3 is highly addicting..so many bargains!

Another great thing about the process is the songs are automatically downloaded into your iTunes. It's something you will definitely want to check out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thoughts on Gossip Girl Episode 10

Quick recap: Serena wakes up in a motel room and doesn't know where she is. There are prescription drugs and a bottle of vodka next to the bed. Disoriented, she calls 911 and tells them she doesn't know where she is or how she got there. In the meantime, Lily and Eric believe Serena is staying at Blair's and they are angry with her for dropping out of Yale (Juliet sent a text to the dean from Serena's phone). Blair's angry at Serena for turning the spotlight on her and Chuck at the Saints and Sinners Masquerade (was Juliet dressed to look like S). It is only when Blair drops off a pumpkin pie at the Van Der Woodsen house, that they all discover they have no idea where Serena is and if she's OK.

Soon, they are notified that Serena is in the hospital for drug overdose, and everyone believes Serena is the same girl she was 3+ years ago. They think she has a problem and wanted to harm herself. Lily decides to admit Serena (without talking with her first) to the Ostroff Center. Serena wakes up and no one believes her and she's being sent to rehab against her will. She tries to explain she didn't OD, that she doesn't remember anything and something is going on, but no one will have it.

Blair and Dan talking to Rufus at the hospital.

THOUGHTS:  First off, I have to say how much I LOVED Dan in this episode. Dan isn't exactly known for his overall likeability on the show, in fact, many GG fans can't stand him. He's never been my favorite person, but after this week's episode, he might as well be.

Dan telling Serena, "I believe you." What a sweetie.
Also, can I just say how completely frustrated I was during this episode? I. was. talking. to. the. TV. Or, in my case, the computer since I had to watch the episode Wednesday night. My roommate was in her bedroom while I was watching  the show in the living room, and at one point she came into the room and said,

 "Audrey,  are you always this vocal when you watch TV?"

Yeah, it was bad. I was like my brother when he watches a Mavs game. I was cursing, covering my eyes, etc. It drove me INSANE to see every member of the Van Der Woodsen clan--friends and family-- so adamant about Serena getting help, because she had "obviously" reverted to her old, party girl ways.

Side note: Dan busting Serena out of the hospital was a little reminiscent of Ryan and Marissa on The OC a la season one (another Josh Schwartz show). Check it:

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Here are some notes I have from the episode. Pretty funny.

The notes I took while watching GG.

I was NOT a fan of Blair's plaid dress. Team Serena on style, always. Eric's comment about Serena not responding to his "angry emoticons." Blair makes a comment to Chuck about being friends despite their past romantic relationship: "If Bruce and Demi can do it.."  Then,  I have what is quite possibly my favorite line on this sticky note... (dan,, goo dannnn!) Because he believes in Serena, despite what everyone else is shoving down his throat. And despite Nate's comment "This is how Serena gets what she wants." Dan, I love ya.

Jenny just stays quiet--This refers to the part in the episode where Vanessa betrays Jenny to her father. I mean, come on. If you were in on a scheme with a friend, and something went horribly wrong, and then that friend outed you to your dad who had a claim on the "thing that went horribly wrong," and then proceeded to be very dissapointed/pissed and banish you from spending time in NYC with him and his wife, then, don't you think you'd be a little more upset about the situation?? Right after Vanessa outs Jenny, she just stands there. She doesn't say, "SHE'S LYING. DAD LISTEN.." Nothing. I know it added drama before the cut to commercial, but WTF.
Rufus tells Jenny: "Go back to Brooklyn."

Then there's Lily's stance of "I know my daughter. She gets into bad things. I know how she is." Really Lily? I still remember one of my favorite jokes on GG where Serena and her brother Eric joke that Lily (their mother) was so absent in their lives that their ringtone for her was Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone." Again I say, really Lily? Freakin' trust your daughter.  Hence the typing of *u don't know her better.* Never fear, Dan didn't let that statement go unpunished. He tells Lily, "Sound like I've clocked more hours by her side than you have." BAM!

Here we go again refers to the on again-off again nonsense that is C &B. I'm over it. Also, CB's voice is getting on my nerves. It seems like he's been trying to hard to get his seductive sound down. 

Can't wait for next week's... looks like we finally know more about why Juliet and her brother hate Serena so much!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Well, it's that time of year again. Most of my friends have turned in their Christmas lists to their parents by now. My parents have always been last minute shoppers..buying a Christmas gift before December is completely foreign to them. Usually, my mom tries to focus on a couple "big" gifts for my brother, sister, and me so she doesn't have to bother with a lot of shopping.

I've had a wish list developing in my mind over the last few weeks. Being a poor college student means the wants and needs add up quickly, and that some of these items are really common/lame, but I've been too broke to by them myself.

With that, here are the gifts I'd like to have this season ranging from the  practical  to the I've-waited-too-long-for-this-and-can't-take-it-anymore gifts.

1. A floor heater.  
I LIVE in front of these during the winter. Seriously, I sleep sitting up or on the floor for a whole night, just so I can curl up in front of one of these bad boys. Plus, I don't have a fireplace in my apartment.

2. A subscription to People Style Watch Magazine
LOVE LOVE LOVE. Cannot stress how badly I want this. I refuse to pay four bucks for a magazine in the grocery store, and a subscription is only about $20..completely worth it.

3. An Itouch or an Iphone
I hate talking about my history (or lack thereof) with iPods, because it is crappy. I got a brand new one a couple of years ago and it worked for 3 months. I've used a couple rejects, but I want a touch or an iPhone of my own. I'm a huge music fan, but I haven't had an iPod in FOREVER. And by forever I mean 3 years. YEAH.

4. How I Met Your Mother  TV Seasons
Absolutely love this show. It's been on my "watch" list for forever, but I've seen many episodes in the last six months and it's the perfect show to have on DVD. It's one of a few shows (like Friends or Sex and the City) that I will willingly and continually rewatch episodes of.

5. Netflix
It just makes sense. It's so cheap, and I love movies. I just don't have the time.

6. Nice boots
They're warm. And cute. And versatile.

7. A new backpack
I found the backpack I'm currently using in the back of my closet. It's shabby to the point of embarrassment.

8. A nice winter coat
Oklahoma is freakin' cold, man.

9. Celine: Through the Eyes of the World Movie
A documentary-style film that follows Celine Dion on tour, in Africa, trying to get pregnant, etc.
Let's just say I cried in the movie trailer and have been dying to see it ever since. Go ahead and make fun of me, but I saw her in concert in Dallas in Jan. '09 and it was life-changing!

10. A black blazer and pencil skirt
My wardrobe needs a "professional dress" update, stat!

Other items: A Flip camera, Adobe Creative Suite or PhotoShop, to study abroad this Summer

Six Degrees of Awesomeness

 I  remember taking family trips and trying to think of games we could play with each other to pass the time on a long drive. This was before people had iTouches or iPhones or Words with Friends and Facebook.

So instead car rides and wait times we're filled with silly games.

There's the A-Z game where you start with  "A" and find words on billboards that start with that letter and every letter after until "Z." Sadly, I played this during more than one family vacation.

There's the age-old "I Spy" game...

Lucky for me, I found a lovely substitution to these games 3 years ago.
You see, unlike EVERY. OTHER. PERSON. I. KNOW (take note Mom), I don't have an iPhone or iTouch that I can peruse apps on or browse Facebook with like my peers.

Nope. It's just me and my LG touch screen phone --without internet--  which isn't a whole lot of fun when you're bored or have time to waste (something I fully experienced two weeks ago). 

Two weeks ago, I took part in one of the most epic events of my lifetime, aka the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I.

Here's what went down.
My friend Laura, my roomie Vanessa (Vdawg), and I arrived at the theatre at 8:40. Just as we reached the front of The Warren movie theatre, they opened the doors and let people in our theatre (7) head to their seats. This is something that's really awesome about The Warren. At other theatres, people have wait in line and sometimes they are even forced to wait OUTSIDE of the theatre for midnight premieres. But the last several I've attended  there (fangirl alert),  we've been allowed to sit and wait inside our theatre, which is AWESOME.

Fast forward to Vanessa, Laura and I waiting in our seats for the movie to start... 3 hours and 20 minutes of waiting, folks. I tried to be studious and bring  my laptop to work on homework, but one of the managers said I wasn't allowed to have it out and there wasn't an internet connection anyways.

Vanessa had her Itouch..but she could only play games that didn't need an internet connection. Laura's iPhone wasn't working. What to do with no working mobile devices? Play six degrees, of course!

I'd always heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon...but lack sufficient knowledge in Kevin Bacon filmology. I know of about 4 KB movies; I applaud you if you are any different.

Here's what you do: Players take turns thinking of the most random celebrity actors and actresses and try to connect them together through movies they've done with various costars. Generally, we try to connect them through less than six films, but for us its really about who can connect the two celebrities (through movies only) the fastest. 

We brought back the game while we were waiting at HP and it reaffirmed how much I love it. Never again will I sit waiting with friends and not have anything to do. Six Degrees is always on the back burner.

Here's some sample rounds we played at the Harry Potter premiere.

Cameron Diaz to Tom Hanks

CD   was in       The Holiday                            with     Jude Law
JL    was in       Closer                                       with     Julia Roberts
JR   was  in      Charlie Wilson's War          with     Tom Hanks

Susan Sarandon to Gerard Butler

SS   was in   Stepmom             with              Julia Roberts
JR  was in   Runaway Bride   with             Richard Gere
RG  was in   Amelia                 with             Hilary Swank
HS  was in   PS I Love You     with              Gerard Butler

Play it sometime!