Sunday, March 30, 2008

21 (BlackJack)

"I love blackjack. But I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi circle."
-Mitch Hedberg

Just got in from seeing 21 and it made me want to head to Vegas - Vegas is a city that when I'm there, I never want to leave. It has gambling, great food, tons of people from all over, city never sleeps, you are free to roam anywhere you want and do pretty much anything you want to do. When you are there, you leave your 'day to day world' behind and emerge yourself in 100% of no responsibilities and pure fun. Trust me, it's hard to come back - crazy thing about that city how it makes you forget all the worries in your world, even though it's temporary.

Most movies about gambling or casinos always peak my interest, but I never set my expectations high. I always go in with with my bucket of popcorn and Fruit Punch and get ready to relax for the next 1 hour and 30 minutes to enjoy a show on the big screen.

This is your typical heist film + blackjack (nice combination). It's not about planning a heist to break into a casino's vault to take a huge sum of money, it's about beating the game.

The actors did well - Lawrence Fishurne and Kevin Spacey (my favorite actor) were both in this movie and I would of liked to see more of their character develop, especially Spacey's. He's an outstanding actor and I love his twisted actions in most movies he is in. He does well at pulling off things that we all think about, but don't actually do.

The cast keeps your attention (and I bet they had a great time making this movie) and although, you can prolly predict what is going to happen, you'll enjoy the ride along the way. The music in the movie also kept it flowing well. I need to get this soundtrack -- has some great songs, I love I Am Unknown and Big Ideas. 21 doesn't completely get the psychology of gambling, but it was enjoyable and I'd see it again.

21 Soundtrack:
1. You Can't Always Get What You Want -- The Rolling Stones (SoulwaxRemix)2. Time To Pretend -- MGMT3. Big Ideas -- LCD Soundsystem4. Giant -- D. Sardy featuring Liela Moss5. Always -- Amon Tobin6. Young Folks -- Peter Bjorn and John7. Mad Pursuit -- Junkie XL featuring Electrocute8. Sister Self Doubt -- Get Shakes9. I Am Unknown -- The Aliens10. Shut Up And Drive -- Rihanna11. Alright -- Knivez Out12. Tropical Moonlight -- Domino13. Hold My Hand -- UNKLE14. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) -- Mark Ronson featuring Kasabian15. Tender Buttons -- Broadcast

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who's really the boss?


It's just past 2:00am and I was working on a few things before I hit the pillow. As I am finishing up some emails, someone comes pawing at my knee. For those of you that know Jordan, that's his signature move if he sees you sitting down. He politely comes up, takes his left paw and taps you on the knee. If you don't look at him right away, it becomes slightly of a harder tap. It get's my attention quickly. I wasn't sure what he needed, so I just followed as he lead. He went to the front door and I guess wanted a midnight stroll. Who knows....

We'll I unlock the door and we go strolling down the block. It's gorgeous out and although it's 2:00am, the night is beaming beautifully. Amazing how I never really stop to appreciate the beauty of silence with just enough light. It's peaceful and relaxing. I decided I better get back in the house and Jordan swiftly beats me to the door panting. Think he had a good little run.

I come back to my computer to do one last thing and he is just staring at me. I wish I had a camera to take a picture of him, because it's the perfect pose. So I scroll through some old pictures and found a picture of the way he looks right now. It's a typical doggy pic -- decided to see what Jordan would look like as a cartoon...yep, my mind thinking about compleeeetely useless ideas.

So 5 minutes later after doing a few tweeks in photoshop, we have the picture above. He is just as cute as a cartoon as he is in real live. (kinda looks like he slurped up a little to much Pepto-Bismol)

I'm thinkin' I should start a comic strip, starring this great little guy.

Good night all, morning will be here shortly.

Scotch Doubles

Scotch Doubles (and no it's not stick tape)

Scotch Doubles is this weekend at Slick Willies and I am playing with Anthony, who just recently joined APA this session. It's our first time playing as partners in a Scotch Doubles Tournament and I'm really lucky to have him as a partner for this event. I've had the pleasure of partnering with some unbelievable Austin talent in the past and know this will be the same!

I first met Anthony in a BCA league about 3 years ago and lost contact with him over the years. What a great surprise to see him show up to join the league. He's a very modest player (as many good players are) and has a smooth stroke and excellent eye for seeing the whole table and how the game is going to play out.

A Scotch Doubles tournament is where each player on the same team (of two) alternate shots each inning. It's key to make your shot, and also crucial to leave your opponent a shot after yours. It's a fun tournament and anyone that plays league should definitely play the tournaments - it's always a great time by all. It's a double elimination format, so if you happen to get an unlucky roll on the felt and your opponents get the opportunity to run out the table, well, there's always the other bracket to meet up with that team again *smiles*.

I've also heard another definition for a Scotch Doubles Tournament:

"Scotch doubles played male and female will kill your relationship with the opposite sex." For many of you, you know what that means. For some of us others, it's just about having a good time and playing the game we all love.

Good luck everyone on the felt Saturday. Shoot well and keep a smooth stroke!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why do we paint Easter Eggs?

Happy Easter everyone!

The egg itself is nature's perfect package. It's represented mystery, magic, medicine and a source of food. It is the universal symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world and has been dyed, creatively painted, and adorned in the celebration of it's special symbolism.

The Romans, Gauls, Chinese, Egyptians and Persians all cherished the egg as a symbol of the universe. From ancient times eggs were dyed, exchanged with others and shown reverence.

Ornamental egg designers believe in the symbolism of the egg and celebrate the egg by decorating it with superb artistry. Some use flowers and leaves from greeting cards, tiny cherubs, jewels and elegant fabrics, braids and trims, and paints and dyes to adorn the eggs.

The colors you choose also have meaning. The main element to colors on pagan eggs is that the belief was the more you had, the more magic the object was filled with and the more effective its spell casting capabilities would be.

My egg was created in purple and orange this year --
The purple represents:
Purple has a special, almost sacred place in nature: lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are often delicate and precious. Because purple is derived from the mixing of a strong warm and strong cool color it has both warm and cool properties. Purple can boost your imagination or your creativity as an artist.

The orange represents:
As a warm color orange is a stimulant which can stimulate your emotions and even your appetite. Orange can be found in nature in the changing leaves of fall, the setting sun, and the skin and meat of citrus fruit. We enter a new season, leaving winter and embracing Spring.
Although the omens and the mystery of the egg have disappeared today, the symbolism remains, and artists continue in the old world tradition of adorning eggs.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Her Birthday - Celebrate

I can't think of a better way to start today, but in honor of my mom. Today is her birthday, born 1946, in China. She passed away about 10 months ago.

She had wonderful friends that were by her side. Although she wasn't near me, I know we were "together", all these years. I choose to celebrate her life on her birthday - she's beautiful. I looked through all her photographs today and still in awe of her beauty. I have books that she read, pajamas that she slept in that kept her warm, and many other things that make her presence felt daily.

How do I describe her? Strong, beautiful, intelligent, talented, artistic, caring, full of spirit, huge heart, stubborn, petite, quiet, mentor, proud, and so much more. Everyone that knew her, described her in the exact same way -

I want to live my life working to be as strong and amazing as the woman that brought me into this world. The world knows I have made some bad choices (as we all have) and I've tried to learn from them. My goal: As the future unfolds, I am going to gain strength from her spirit which will help direct me to make the choices that I think is appropriate for the situation.

My wish: More time - time to have gotten to know you, have your guidance, sit down with you to just hear your voice and see your smile. I'll miss you all my life although your spirit is right next to me. Today is your birthday and your day -- Happy Birthday Mom.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If only I could be animated

My babe, Jordan

Boom and Jen


I'm notorious for running late, snoozing the alarm clock until I absolutely have to wake up, and yes, forgetting my dear friends' birthdays. I came across this cool little web based tool called Wakerupper. It's a telephone reminder service that calls you to remind you of important todo's (and I love todo lists) or you can use it for a simple wake up call with something really motivating to get your morning going. Sure you can set your phone to to go off at a specific time and you see it flashing while ringing the little alarm bell. It's kind of annoying, just as much as your alarm clock is every morning.

The cool part of this, is it calls you when you set the time and date. When you answer, it's a recorded voice that repeats the information you typed on the website. A nice little wake up call with "GET UP SLACKER!", "TODAY IS THE GOING TO BE THE START OF THE BEST DAYS TO COME!", "MCDONALD'S IS GRILLIN' UP EGGS AND PANCAKES FOR YOU!", or "IT IS NOW 9:01 AM" (When it's really 8:01) *winks*.

I just tested it out to see if it really worked - nothing like creating a reminding call and it never calls. I scheduled a call for 1:45am and typed in the message: "Go get some Gatorade Jen". It called me at 1:45am on the dot with the caller ID of: 8887792537. I answered and politely said, "Greetings". A nice male voice came on and said, "Go get some Gatorade Jen."

And I did.

Cool part: it's Free. Not much in life is free, so I relish things like this. You can see how it can help you with day to day tasks. It can remind you of meetings, flights, anniversaries, birthdays, dr. appointments, tasks, and other things that are important to you.

There is also a beta version that includes:

Voice reminders
Snooze (love it)
Recurring calls
Unlimited reminders

So to wrap up - this is a cool tool that is of no cost, a useful tool, fairly entertaining and I'm sure you can think of how it can help you.

The name of the site is cute, Wakerupper. Maybe they should have another version called, Wakemupper, with a sweet female voice for the reminder calls.