Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seafood Pasta Salad

Finally! A meal to go with your movies. This is one of my favorite summer meals. Spike and I have made it on several occasions. He found the recipe in one of his cookbooks and sticks to the exact measurements. I stuck to the measurements the first time and then decided I liked doing it better my way. Spike does not appreciate this. But now, without further ado...Seafood Pasta Salad!

Imitation krab meat, grated cheddar cheese, colorful twist pasta, bell peppers, celery and ranch dressing

You can wait until your pasta is cooking to cut up your veggies which is what I usually do but last night I cut them while the water was boiling. I used 1/2 red, 1/2 orange and 1/2 yellow bell pepper along with one large celery stalk. You can use just one type of pepper if you want. I just really like the different colors.

And since my veggies were already cut before the water had even started to boil I had some time on my hands. You can do whatever you'd like during this time - read a book, make some phone calls, paint your nails - or you can do what I did. First, you can empty the dishwasher. Then, you can go out to the garage to get your little green portable fan to set on the counter while you're cooking because you don't want to turn your a/c on yet and it's stinkin' hot in the kitchen right now. When you go out to the garage to get said fan you can hear your puppy dog's tail hitting the side of his house because he knows you're right on the other side of the door and that makes him happy. You can remember that you need to change out the straw in his house so you stop to do that. Please pet him while you're out there. He needs a little attention. So, you put the straw in his house and he jumps over the side and settles in before you put the top back on. He's so cute that you have to go get your camera and take a picture (I forgot to use the red eye remover...forgive me). Oh man! I just noticed the weeds in the background. Please pretend that my back yard is beautifully manicured. I will feel much better.

Then you put the top back on his house and go back inside. Please wash your hands because dog hair and straw probably don't go well with Seafood Pasta Salad. The water should be boiling now so go ahead and dump in the bag of pasta. The pasta doesn't necessarily have to be the colored kind but I'm all about bright, happy food. You now have ten minutes to waste. At this point you can go out to the garage to get your little green portable fan to set on the counter while you're cooking because you don't want to turn your a/c on yet and it's stinkin' hot in the kitchen right now. Apparently the puppy dog got you sidetracked earlier. It's a vicious cycle. This is why it takes me forever to clean my house. Sad, but true.

Drain the pasta and go ahead and run some cold water over it. This won't hurt anything as you're going to put it in the fridge (or freezer if you're hungry and don't feel like waiting) for a while. Trust me, come midsummer you'll want cold pasta as opposed to it's warmer cousin, Fred.

Put the pasta in your serving bowl and add the ranch dressing. Boy, doesn't that look healthy. I used 1 cup for this recipe because I like it to just coat the noodles. If you'd like yours a tad creamier then add more. I won't judge.

Next comes the cheese. Can you feel your arteries hardening? I put in 1 1/2 cups using my cool new measuring cup from Pier 1. You can see it in the first pic. I like it a lot. I'm a cheese freak so you can tone it down or add more. It's up to you. Mix all this together and then add your veggies and imitation krab meat (I used 1 lb.). I wonder where imitation krab comes from. Any ideas? Oh, I guess I should recommend cutting up the krab. Unless you like big chunks. Then leave it. When you're finished you should have something resembling this (minus the creepy hand). This makes about 8 servings.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

A baby is screaming. The gentleman in front of me actually stopped his car and got out to make sure he left me plenty of room to lower the tailgate if I so choose. A couple of cars over some teenagers are acting like Beavis and Butthead. Kids are playing football in the aisles. People are sitting on lawn chairs, on top of vehicles or, like me, on a mattress in the bed of my friend's pick-up. Someone just pulled a futon mattress out the back of their sports car so they could lean part of it against the back of the car and still have plenty to sit on comfortably. Such is an evening at the drive-in.

I eagerly await the opening of Winchester Drive-In every Spring. I found out today that it's one of only seven drive-ins in Oklahoma and the only one in OKC. Why are drive-ins dying out? Where else can you pay $6 per person ($3 for kids, 2 and under free) to watch up to 3 movies? I went to a really cool drive-in in Denver a couple years ago with my parents but it has since closed. How sad. I wonder if the people next to me realize their parking lights are on? Oh wait...they figured it out. By the way, please ignore the tin-foil wrapped radio antenna. My radio/CD player may be new but apparently it's still old school.

It's the perfect night for a movie or three. Just a few wisps of clouds float in the sky. I laid directly under the big dipper. Spike would appreciate the humor in that. As for the rest of you it's just a wasted inside joke. There are only a couple of things I don't like about drive-ins...bugs and airplanes. Oh, I forgot....smokers. Gag! Right before the second movie a couple of geniuses decided to back their car in to the spot caddy-corner from me. This normally wouldn't catch my attention but the passenger, instead of getting out and directing the driver that way, decided to open his door and hang out of the car to give instructions. It wouldn't have been quite so funny if the goober wasn't having so much trouble staying in the car and keeping the door from swinging all the way open while he was doing it. Intelligence at it's best ladies and germs.

I went to the drive-in to watch two movies...Night at the Museum and Wolverine (again). Night at the Museum was okay. It definitely wasn't as good as the original but I still wouldn't mind seeing it a second time. In how many other movies can you see Custer, Amelia Earhart, Teddy Roosevelt, The Thinker, Einstein, Darth Vader, Oscar the Grouch, Ivan the Terrible (properly translated in his country as Ivan the Awesome), Napoleon, Al Capone, Abraham Lincoln, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Wright Brothers, American Gothic couple, Attila the Hun, George Foreman, etc...?

I loved the special affects (effects?). I think it's especially cool when they make normal-sized people look really tiny. Owen Wilson's character Jedediah Smith was seen climbing through a small rust hole, was later seen on the swing of a bird cage and finally ended up stuffed in to an hourglass. But, I think my most favoritest effect (affect?) was the giant doggie balloon animal that was bouncing all over the place. I want one!!!

My favorite actors in this are Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah (half god, once removed, on his mother's side) and Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. I would see pretty much any movie either of them are in so it helped that this movie was also worth watching. I would recommend going to the theater to see this only because the affects (effects?) just aren't as good on a TV. Well, unless your TV is wall sized.

Okay, I just found out on imdb that Hank also played The Thinker and Abe Lincoln in this movie. See why I like him? He's so versatile. A lot of the jokes are aimed at adults but there are a few funnies for the kids too. I just didn't hear a lot of the kids around me laughing during the movie. Maybe they were otherwise occupied. Who knows?

I've decided to do away with my breakdown of the movies. I'll still let you know about the cussing, violence, etc. but I'll string it throughout the posts. I think the only thing in this movie that would possibly scare small children is the octopus but you find out later that it's actually nice so you can reassure your kids early on. Oh! And I promise to figure out which is correct...effects or affects. I've always had trouble with those two.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twilight - Take Two

So, Armat broke down this weekend and let PT watch Twilight. Armat had neither read the book nor seen the movie so she kept asking PT questions about what she knew from reading the book. Thus, she missed important parts of the movie. Goob. I say that with love. Or laughter. Take your pick. Following is Armat's opinion of the movie. I'll add PT's later. So without further ado....

I have not read the book, nor was I a fan to begin with. I only watched in order to make sure it was okay for my daughter, PT. Why is Bella so depressed/depressing? I know her family is split, but come on now. Can't we turn that frown upside down? Did the writers really put in all the huffing and puffing she does at the beginning of every single line? The entire first half of this movie made me think of Kirk's debut film on Gilmore Girls. The lines are short and almost matter of fact. "Do you wear contacts?" "No." He leaves. Come on now. I know they are trying to hide they're feelings, but it's just too simple. All the spoken lines are very abrupt, but then the scenes with the music playing and they are talking, they are chatting up a storm. Must be a vampire thing that they can only open up and talk when music is covering up all the words. Overall it's a cute movie. Reality is not so real. First of all it's vampires, second she trusts him completely with what little she knows of him, and third he has total self control. The third one is the kicker. One last bashing of the movie before I move on to what stuck in my mind. How did James get her cell number? Is that his vampire ability, to know everyone's numbers? Hmmm.

Okay, the good stuff. Even though I think it's funny they portray a 17-year-old dude to have full control of his desires, I do like the sweet sincerety of him revealing he's watched her sleep for 2 months. Considering her trust in him and the whole freakish abilities of vampires which should scare her to death, it was an "Aww!" moment that he did adore her and wouldn't hurt her even when she was out cold and had not a clue. And the final scene when he so gently kissed her (I knew that was coming). How stinking cute!

Will I read the books now? Yes, even though I already know what happens because I've asked everyone whose read the books to tell me all the details. Did I ask my daughter questions throughout the entire movie? Yes and she didn't mind. She even loved it that, due to my vocal box being warmed up ready for another question, one part of the movie made me scream. Am I hooked on yet another tween fad? Absolutely. I think we all like when the bad, mysterious boy turns out to be the good guy only we know about.

PT asked me who I thought was cute in the movie. I think Edward nailed the whole bad boy thing, with a cute humorous twist. PT has posters of him on her wall and I don't think he's physically cute, but I think his character really did it for me.

Do I give it a grade now? My adult mind says "I guess I'll give it a B." My remembering my tween years mind says, "Like, oh my gosh, he was so cute and I loved it and I just can't wait 'til the next one comes out. A-."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I went to the theater this past Sunday and watched two prequels. Star Trek and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I saw ST first and kind of wished I hadn't already bought my ticket for Wolverine. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to see Wolverine as I've loved the X-Men since I watched the animated series on Saturday mornings long, long ago. I just wasn't sure how good it was going to seem right after watching ST. My worries were unfounded as it completely held its own and drew me in just as quickly as ST had.

While the opening scene the movie folks chose was definitely a good way to begin the flick, it was a bit confusing. It never explains what events led to the brothers being raised in different homes. Maybe this is something we're already supposed to know. Moving on...I really liked how they used the war scenes during the opening credits. The brothers take us from the American Civil War to the Vietnam War, hitting all the U.S. aided wars in between. They even go before a firing squad (with predictable results) which draws the attention of Stryker and really begins the story.

This film wasn't as flashy as the other X-men movies but didn't really need to be. I like that they showed the relationship of the brothers and how they came to be enemies. The one really cheesy part, for me, was when Kayla, Logan's girlfriend, tells him the story of why the moon is lonely. The story just screamed foreshadowing. It almost made me question the fact that Logan didn't get some kind of hint from it. But, this is a movie and just another case of the audience knowing what was happening before the character did.

I didn't like the ending of the movie. Not because of the way it was filmed but because of how it ended for Logan and Kayla. If you know anything at all about X-Men you already know that everyone does NOT live happily ever after. It made me want to watch the first three movies again so I'd be reminded that things do get better for our hero.

I saw Hugh Jackman for the first time in the original X-Men movie and he keeps getting better and better with each new film. By the way, thank you movie people for allowing us to see more of Hugh in this movie. And I don't mean screen time either. No full frontal nudity was shown but they came awfully close to it.

Liev Schrieber did such a good job as Victor/Sabretooth that I almost wish he had been playing the part in the other three movies. Tyler Mane did a noteworthy job but I do think I prefer Liev. It just dawned on me that he and Hugh were also in "Kate and Leopold" together. How cool is that? If you prefer action movies...not very. One of the other confusing moments in the film concerned Sabretooth. Stryker tells Victor that he wouldn't survive the adamantium procedure but never explains why. Curses!

When I read that Taylor Kitsch would be playing the part of Gambit and then saw pictures of him I was a bit disappointed. Inasmuch as a person can be in love with an animated character I was in love with Gambit for years. While Taylor is good looking he's just not Remy LeBeau. Then I thought that if he got the accent right I could at least enjoy listening to him. Not so much. I heard Cajun here and there but from what I was hearing he could have been from Texas or Oklahoma and I already hear those accents all the time.

The other characters I did like were Wade Wilson/Deadpool and David North/Agent Zero played by Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Henney respectively. I have a couple things to say about Ryan Reynolds. You go Scarlett Johansson...and what were you thinking Alanis Morissette? I've liked Ryan since Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place. He's funny and he's stinkin' good looking. Who could ask for more? Ryan was involved in yet another confusing moment for me. Maybe I need to go back and read the Marvel "comics". Ryan plays the part of Wade Wilson who will become Deadpool but is also referred to as Weapon XI. But! According to imdb Weapon XI is played by Scott Adkins. Someone please explain to me why Ryan didn't play this changed character also and why they have so many stinkin' names. As for Daniel Henney, I hope to see him in many more movies. He was most definitely not difficult to watch.


Sex - None. As mentioned before Wolverine is nekkid in this movie but manages to keep the important parts out of view.

Violence - Yes. And lots of it. I was okay with the war violence in that that's what happens during a war. However, I did not care much for the senseless murders in the village but neither did Logan. As these murders are an integral part of the story they should be included. I'll just forward past that part when I get the DVD.

Language - Not bad at all. No F-bombs and most of the cussing was limited to one scene.

Drugs - No

Alcohol - Bar scene. Not much at all.

Despite the confusion throughout I still thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will probably watch it again...and again and again. Maybe the DVD extras will enlighten us. Be sure you watch through the end of the credits. I keep forgetting about bonus scenes on movies now. Apparently I walked out before this one. Grrr!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek

As a big fan of the "Star Trek" franchise I was bit excited to see this latest installment. Not so excited that I stood in line for the opening. I'm very rarely that ready to see a movie. Sorry, Star Trek. I am happy to say, though, that my enthusiasm was not misplaced. I was ready to have so many questions answered by this prequel. Was Spok always so logical? Were Uhura's skirts always so short? Was Scotty a hotty when he was younger? Did Cap'n Kirk this?

This movie grabbed my attention from the get-go and held it until the ending credits. I want to go see it again...right now. But, I don't think my boss would appreciate that. Cussing was kept to a minimum with not an F-bomb in sight. Always a good thing. The closest they came to nudity was a make-out scene and both people had their unders on. There was, of course, violence but no gore. The worst part for me was Kirk's face after he got in a brawl.

I only disliked one of the characters in this film and that's just because I decided years ago that I didn't care much for this actress (I'll mention her in a bit) and I have had trouble tolerating her since. Chris Pine who played James Tiberius Kirk did a wonderful job. I've liked him since he played the part of Prince Nicholas in "Princess Diaries 2". He's a very good actor and most definitely stayed away from the ugly tree when he was growing up. I think I enjoyed Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy) the most. I didn't realize until I looked him up on that he played the part of Eomer in the second two of the "Lord of the Rings" series. Loved him in that and love him in this. He's just all kinds of good looking. And he's older than me so that's even better. Yes, I realize that that's not in any way, shape or form relevant but there you go. Nyota Uhura was played by Zoe Saldana who I've liked since seeing her in "Center Stage" and "Guess Who". She got to act more grown up in "Star Trek" than she's been allowed to in the past. And I think her skirt may have been a tad longer than Nichelle Nichols' (the original Uhura) was. Maybe not.

John Cho did an excellent job as Hikaru Sulu but I just couldn't get him out of my head as MILF boy from the American Pie movies. Nearly ruined his character for me...but not quite. Anton Yelchin who played Pavel Chekov looked to be in his early teens though according to imdb he's twenty. I was very glad someone on the crew made a comment about his age. We find out his character is 17 in the movie. You go Chekov! Scotty was played by Simon Pegg. I'd never seen him in any movies before but recognized him from the previews a few years ago of "Shaun of the Dead". While not drop-dead gorgeous he is kind of boyishly cute. He did a great job as Scotty. I was so ready to hear "She's breaking apart Captain!"

I've recently watched the entire "Felicity" series (as rented from Netflix) and loved the Meghan character. Since then I've seen Amanda Foreman (Meghan) on the TV show Private Practice as a disturbed woman who is currently in the act of stealing one of the pregnant doctor's baby - from her womb! I think this will actually be showing this Thursday. Anyway, I digress. She has one line in this movie and I wish she had more. As for the actress I don't much care for the winner is...Winona Ryder. Yup, that's right. She's in this movie and plays Spok's mom. She didn't really look like herself for the most part (except maybe her mouth) but I still instantly disliked her. Don't hate me for it. I just don't like her. I can't help it. But, having Leonard Nimoy in this film more than made up for this one discrepancy. He did a phenomenal job, as always.

I've got to figure out a way to shorten my opinions on the characters. Or not.


Sex - None. Make-out scene as mentioned above and that's pretty much it.

Violence - Please don't make me answer this. It's "Star Trek".

Language - Not much at all. Very impressed with the writers that they decided their vocabulary was much better than that.

Drugs - None

Alcohol - A bar scene.

I would recommend this movie to anyone. Even PT. If she wasn't grounded from PG-13 movies right now her mom would probably take her to see it. Long story. And you wouldn't find it very interesting as you don't know her. Well, most of you don't. This is definitely a worthy addition to the Star Trek franchise and I still hope to see more. And to answer the rest of my original questions. Spok was NOT always so logical and Cap'n Kirk did this.