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30 Before 30: Cinema Edition. The Final List.

17 Jan
Cover of "Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special ...

Cover of Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Here it is. The final 30 Before 30 movie list, which I originally wrote about here. These are the 30 movies I plan to see before I turn 30 on January 5, 2012. Most of them are classics. All of them are movies I have never seen. And I have about 350 days to change that.

  1. The Graduate
  2. The Godfather
  3. The Godfather: Part II
  4. St. Elmo’s Fire
  5. The Color Purple
  6. The Shining
  7. Casablanca
  8. Citizen Kane
  9. The Exorcist
  10. It’s a Wonderful Life
  11. A Streetcar Named Desire
  12. Psycho
  13. Cool Hand Luke
  14. The Big Lebowski
  15. Amelie
  16. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  17. City of God
  18. Memento
  19. Rebel without a Cause
  20. Rocky Horror Picture Show
  21. Sophie’s Choice
  22. Heat
  23. Goodfellas
  24. Singin’ in the Rain
  25. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  26. The Usual Suspects
  27. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  28. Terms of Endearment
  29. Love Story
  30. Annie Hall

Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

30 Before 30: Cinema Edition

11 Jan

Three hundred fifty-nine days from now, I will be saying “Goodbye, twenties!” and “Hello, thirties!”

So to celebrate the last few days of my youth, I thought it would be fun to do a 30 before 30 list. However, since I have less than a year to do this and since I just started an 11 for 2011 list on January 1, I think I’m going to forgo the traditional skydiving, bungee-jumping, climb Mt. Everest hullabaloo and try something a little different. A little more low-key.

I’m making a list of 30 must-see movies to watch before I turn 30. As someone who comes from a somewhat disadvantaged background (You can read more about that here), one of the phrases I hear quite often (usually from my husband) is “What!?! You’ve never seen that movie!?!” There are a lot of classic (and cult classic) movies that I have never seen: The Godfather, The Shining, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Color Purple, Airplane!

Over the next 359 days, I hope to shorten that movies-not-watched list, and I want your input. I’ll be posting the list within the next week or two. What movies do you think I should add?

Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’: An Ice Cream Lover’s Dream Come True

5 Aug

Sunday was an ice cream lover’s dream come true. The Martha O’Bryan Center held its 23rd Purity Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’ Contest on the lawn of First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Basically, it’s all the homemade ice cream you can eat, dozens of unique flavors, all for $8. After church, lunch, and a little naptime, you had better believe the Rutabagas were there for this one. All you can eat homemade ice cream. Who doesn’t love that? We even managed to drag the husband along.

(Read more here)

The Second Installment of Way-FM’s Summer Brown Bag Concert Series

25 Jul

Monday brought the second installment of the WAY-FM Summer Brown Bag Concert series in Franklin, and you’d better believe I was there for it in spite of the heat warnings. I even took a day off work (I really needed a break) so that I could stay for the whole shebang this time. If you read my post on Part One of the Brown Bag concert series, you know that one of my goals for this one (aside from taking off work for the whole day) was to meet one of my “American Idols.” More on that later. Don’t get too excited.

(continued)

Fireworks Are Pretty!

6 Jul

The rutabagas headed downtown and grabbed a spot on the east side of LP field for the Independence Day fireworks.  We had a great view, but we could only faintly hear the Nashville Symphony in the distance.  The show was AMAZING.  Everyone who lives in Nashville should go at least once.  Heck, you could even make it an annual tradition.

(continued)

Bobbie’s Dairy Dip and an Ice Cream Social

3 Jul

Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, located on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville, is the embodiment of small town American charm. Multicolored light bulbs and a shiny, metallic American flag banner outline the long-established drive-up burger joint and ice cream stand, lending the distant yet familiar nostalgia of the good old days – the ones that passed long before I was born. The long line of customers enduring the heat of the pavement in front of the sliding glass window entices passers-by to ditch their air-conditioned cars and join the crowd.

Bobbie’s Dairy Dip has been serving up burgers, fries, hot dogs, milkshakes, soft-serve ice cream, floats, banana splits, hot fudge cake sundaes, and the like to Nashvillians and tourists for over fifty years. Now that’s a long time; at least it is to a young’un like me. In my opinion, this is a “must try at least once” for anyone who lives in the Nashville area and loves ice cream. Though the place has gotten a few negative reviews on Citysearch, my experience at Bobbie’s was quite swell.

(continued …)

So, About Tonight …

20 Jun

So tonight, I had every intention of writing an honest, thoughtful (and possibly thought-provoking) post about life and such. Thoughts and ideas have been swirling around in my head all day, and I just couldn’t wait to get to my laptop and get them all out – lay it all out there and clear my mind. Then, I ended up getting stuck in major traffic (both indoors and on the road) while running errands after work. I came home extremely exhausted and irritated and frustrated and decided to watch last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance (which is only THE best reality show ever – those kids are soooo talented, way more so than the American Idols, but I digress). It was a two-hour show, and now it is late … really late. I’m tired. And my brain is mush, utterly incapable of the caffeine-induced intellectual acrobatics it was performing earlier.

So … about tonight, I guess that life-changing, world-shaking blog entry will have to wait until another night. Tonight belonged to Twitch and Comfort and Kherrington and Kourtni and Will and Mark. You entertained me immensely.

And Your Next American Idol Is … David

22 May

COOK!!!!

I’m so glad my prediction on this one was wrong. I love David Cook! And he was such a humble winner. I love that his audition was happenstance, and not something that he sought out. It’s so perfect. I just hope that the AI machine doesn’t stifle his creativity on his first album. That would be awful. At least the AI finale song wasn’t that bad this year. That’s a plus for him. Way to go, David. I hope it all works out for you. And I hope you bring your little brother along with you. He is the reason you are where you are.

As for David Archuleta, he’s a nice, cute kid. I had kind of wanted him to win just so his dad wouldn’t disown him or something. I hope things work out for him too and that he does find some independence. He’ll be 18 soon, right? However, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Jeff Archuleta. You just wait.

On tonight’s finale:

I quite enjoyed that they brought back the So You Think You Can Dance dancers tonight. I LOVE that show. I also quite enjoyed that we finally got to hear the two Davids sing together, side by side. During the performance of “Hero,” it is obvious that DC is the better singer. Next to him, Archuleta sounds a bit boring, a little generic, and somewhat immature.

I was quite annoyed with the Love Guru trailer/commercial/”comedy” skit. They took this one a little too far. However, despite it’s annoying-ness, parts of it were a little funny. Little Archuleta looked so uncomfortable during the whole skit.

I love that they bring back all the contestants in the finale. I like to see if any of them get better after the pressure is off. Jason Castro was much better. “Hallelujah” reminded me of why I liked this kid in the first place. I also very much loved Syesha and Seal. Don’t we all sometimes wish we were Heidi Klum? He outshone her by a mile, of course, but she looked AMAZING. Carly shined during the girls group performance (loved the red dresses, even Paula wore hers).

Random Notes:

  • Ryan asking if Archuleta had his driver’s license after giving the Davids new Ford hybrids = classic.
  • Micheal Johns + Carly Smithson = Hot!
  • I want a red dress. I love red.
  • The Cowell comment montage was too great.
  • Chikeze rocked “Summer of ’69.”
  • David Hernandez’s tight black shirt outfit seemed more appropriate for his former job than the AI finale.
  • An American Idol theme park attraction – WTF!? Will you go?
  • David Cook rocking out with ZZ Top = awesome.
  • I don’t quite get Jonas mania. But I’m sure my mom didn’t get NKOTB mania, either.
  • Let My People Gooooooo!
  • “I am your brother. Your best friend forever. Singing the songs, the music that you love. We’re brothers ’til the end of time. Together or not, you’re always in my heart.” I would be willing to bet that this guy ends up actually making money off of this song. Remember William Hung?
  • Wow! Simon admitted that he was wrong and even apologized to Mr. Cook. Wow!

My predictions for the future:

  • Carly Smithson will get another record deal. She may or may not make something out of it.
  • Amanda Overmyer will perform on the bar circuit and may be coming to a college bar near you.
  • David Hernandez has Royal Caribbean Cruises in his future.
  • Syesha – Broadway, of course.
  • Brooke will have a bunch of little kids of her own, but she won’t hire a nanny. She will sing them to sleep with cutesy folk songs.
  • Ramiele will star in her own Disney show alongside Danny Noriega. I could also see her playing Mulan at Disney World.
  • Chikezie will end up in gospel music.
  • Micheal Johns will be the Bryan Adams of this generation.
  • Kristy Lee Cook will unfortunately turn AI fame into a country music career.
  • Jason Castro will be singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at a reggae festival near you.
  • David Archuleta: He will finally (hopefully) get out from under his father’s thumb after being offered a record deal by the American Idol people. They are not going to let this kid slip through their greedy little fingers that easily. Let’s just hope we don’t see a reprise of From Justin to Kelly, renamed as David Squared. For his sake, let’s hope that Daddy Jeff doesn’t take this loss too badly and take it out on poor little Archuleta. That would be tragic.

American Idol: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble?

21 May

Seriously?  Did we really need to get the “Let’s Get Read to Rumble” guy to open the show?  Did we really have to dress the Davids in shiny boxing robes and gloves and give them stupid nicknames like “Sugarfoot” and “Babyface”?  Do we really need to know how much the Davids weigh?  How cheesy can we get?  Up until this point, I had been really looking forward to the David vs. David showdown.  After that weird stunt, now I’m not so sure.   I even kind of missed Ryan’s “This is American Idol” intro.

According to Ryan, “It’s all come down to this: two men with one name and one desire – to be crowned champion.  Their prize: a heavyweight title reserved only for superstars (a group of former AI greats that, according to the video montage, somehow includes Chris Daughtry even though he didn’t even make it to the top three …?).

This elaborate extended boxing metaphor makes me think that the producers have been working on this little gem for longer than a week.  I wonder what would have happened if David and David were not the top vote-getters this season … a rigged finale, perhaps?  Hey, they even thew in a coin toss to see who gets to sing last.

Round One

Clive’s Pick for David Cook, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” by U2:  Of course I liked it.  DC does kind of look like he’s a little over the whole competition thing.  I do think he meant it when he said that to him, it was no longer a competition, but just having fun.  Judging from the revelation last week that he didn’t even come to auditions to try out but to support his brother when a producer talked him into auditioning, I think it would be safe to say that DC probably has mixed feelings about being on the American Idol train.

Clive’s Pick for David Archuleta, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin: Well, it’s the second week of little Archuleta performing without input from his dad.  And he brought it with this song.  It was fabulous … but not as fabulous as Sir Elton, of course.  Loved it.  Simon gave round one to Archuleta, and I would have to agree … begrudgingly.

Round Two

DC’s Pick from the AI Songwriting Competition, “Dream Big”: This is a catchy song.  A little cheesy, but catchy.  I liked it for AI, what I could understand of it.  DC was a little inarticulate on this one.  Simon made the point that this is supposed to be a “winning song,” but it didn’t feel like a “winning moment.”  In this respect, little Archuleta has a leg up on DC because he sings the moving ballads, whereas DC is more of a rocker.  He’s not going to deliver that Kelly Clarkson “A Moment Like This” sap fest.  And I would not want him to.

Archuleta’s Pick from the AI Songwriting Competition, “In this Moment”: Now, this is the sap fest that the producers have been hoping for.  Random Question: How many AI finale songs include the word “moment” or something like that?  Aren’t all these songs the same?  Simon loved the “egotistical lyric.”  He goes on to say that Archuleta “definitely chose the better song there, much more in keeping with the night.”  He gave Round Two to David Archuleta as well.  And little David teared up, sincerely this time.

Round Three

DC’s Contestant’s Choice Pick, “The World I Know,” by Collective Soul: He chose a song that he’s never performed before.  LOVED IT, but not sure that it will stand up next to Archuleta’s beloved “Imagine” performance.  Simon disagreed with the song choice saying that he should have sung “Billie Jean,” but DC didn’t want to sing a song that he’d done before because this show has been a progression for him and he wants to show that.  Tears were shed by DC after this one.  I don’t think he ever thought he would be playing for millions of fans across America.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow night, DC has a wonderful, and hopefully long, career ahead of him.  This guy is the real deal, not a manufactured child star puppet.

Archuleta’s Contestant’s Choice Pick, “Imagine” again: He’s going with the song that  made him an early front runner.  Smart choice.  Throughout the competition, none of his performances have lived up to that early one.  Ironically, this one didn’t either.  The song was beautiful, but it didn’t capture the magic of the first time he sang it.  Randy says that he’s the best singer of Season 7 and exactly what the show is about.  Simon says that Archuleta  has delivered a knockout against DC.

It’s tough to say which David will be the next American Idol.  This one’s going to be close.  But judging on the finale, alone, I think little Archuleta may be the last one standing tomorrow night, but only by a small margin of victory.  It all came down to song choice tonight.  If we take into consideration the weeks leading up to tonight, David Cook would be the clear winner.   He is obviously the better performer, though Archuleta is an amazing technical singer.

I guess we’ll have to tune in tomorrow night and see.  Either way, I won’t be too disappointed with the outcome, unlike when Reuben beat Clay … or when Fantasia beat everyone else.  Both Davids are great.  This has been one of the most talented, albeit BORING, seasons of American Idol, yet.

American Idol: The Final Three Perform

14 May

Well folks, we’re down to the final three. Tonight had better be good.

David Archuleta

Paula’s Pick: “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel – I found it ironic that Paula used the word “exploit” in her reasoning for picking this song for little Archuleta. I wonder if she’s trying to send a subliminal message? Tonight’s the first night that he’s performing without input from his stage dad (The producers banned Daddy Jeff from backstage, FYI). Seems like Paula made a good decision for little David. It was pure and beautiful.

David’s Pick: “With You” by Chris Brown – Wow, this is quite a departure for him. I wonder if his father being banned had anything to do with this. If that’s the case, I hope the rocks it. I do find him saying “boo” a bit awkward. He sounds like he’s struggling rhythmically. And he flubbed the lyrics. This was not a good song for him. I’m glad he stepped out of his comfort zone, but little Archuleta cannot pull off hip-hop.

Producers’ Pick: “Longer” by Dan Fogelberg – Seriously? I thought they wanted to prove that he could sing contemporary songs. Guess not. Once again, pure and beautiful. Other than the Chris Brown mishap, I’ve really liked little Archuleta tonight. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that his dad wasn’t breathing down his neck. I just don’t see him as a contemporary artist. Plus, everything he sings kind of sounds the same. He only has one style that he is good at.

Syesha

Randy’s Pick: “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keyes – LOVE the gold dress. She is beautiful. Alicia Keyes is a tall order, but Syesha held up pretty well. Better on the chorus than on the verses. Good job overall. Glad she finally got over her nerves from the beginning of the season.

Syesha’s Pick: “Fever” by Peggy Lee – She’s using a chair as a prop, oh my. Welcome to the Great White Way, Syesha. This performance makes me think that Syesha has given up on being a pop star and is trying to appeal to Broadway casting directors. The judges criticized her for this song choice, but she honestly might be more interested in pursuing a Tony rather than a Grammy. There’s nothing wrong with that; just ask Kristin Chenoweth.

Producers’ Pick: Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell for Happy Feet Why is Justin Guarini in the audience? Why did Ryan make a gay joke about Syesha’s dad? Why did the producer’s pick this song for her? Why did they dress her like a penguin? Are they trying to sabotage her? Eh, it wasn’t that great. Syesha didn’t like the song, either. I think everyone, including Syesha, knows she’s probably not going to make it to the finale.

David Cook

Simon’s Pick: “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack – I was really excited about this song choice when Simon picked it. While this was not my favorite DC performance of the season, I could see him have a hit single with this song. DC could sing anything, even Andrew Lloyd Webber as he showed us a few weeks ago. I like the way he made it modern. A studio version of this song would be better than this live one.

David’s Pick: “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot – I think it’s funny that DC is singing a song by a Christian group since people seem to be landing on my blog by using the search terms, “Is David Cook a Christian.” I don’t know if his song choice answers that question, but it gives people something to talk about and speculate about. He seemed a little nervous while singing this one. It was just okay for me. Apparently, DC agrees that it wasn’t his best.

Producers’ Pick: I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith – This song choice and DC’s spot as the final performer leads me to believe that DC is the producers’ pick to be your next American Idol. David doesn’t seem to be his usual brilliant self tonight (maybe it’s the time crunch of having to prepare 3 songs in less than a week), but he’s my favorite of the three. In the producers’ favor, he’s definitely the most marketable.

My Prediction for the Finale

Battle of the Davids. You know you wouldn’t want it any other way. Don’t try to lie.