Category Archives: Movies

Thank You, Television, for Making My Weekend and Making Me Fat

I spent a lot of this weekend on the sofa. Well, not the entire weekend. I hit up a couple of E.A.S.T. studios and caught the Murdocks/Kinch/Local H show on Sunday night. But most of the weekend was spent on the sofa watching Flashdance and TV shows on DVD.

Television is magical, and in most cases, a waste of time. TV also makes me fat. But why does some stuff on television have to be so wonderful? Continue reading

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Filed under Austin, Food, Movies, Television

What’s the Next Halloween Costume Trend?

Ah, Halloween. The one day of the year, or weekend if you live in places like Austin, when we’re actually allowed to pretend to be something we’re not. For a few of us that “something” may be a celebrity or a scantily dressed something or other. Last year I showed up as a bushel of purple grapes, but I called myself “Fruit of the Loom.”

Dare I post a photo … Continue reading

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How I Scored A Year of Free Movies from I Luv Video

How often does one randomly win something with just a name and e-mail address? I guess it probably varies by where you are and in what kind of contest you enter, but I read in a random Google search that your odds of winning a single-state lottery is usually about 18 million to one. You could probably see that as not-so-bad when the odds of winning a multiple-state lottery are 120 million to one. No folks, I didn’t win the lottery, but I did win something of pretty equal awesomeness.

I Luv Video, also known as I Heart Video because the neon sign is simply “I” + a giant heart + “Video,” is the largest video store in the state of Texas with a growing selection of more than 140,000 videos between two stores. I Luv Video carries more than just new releases; any film enthusiast can find the wackiest, most obscure television treasure from any genre. Austinites – you know those insanely weird previews that they often play before the previews at Alamo Drafthouse, like claymation videos and 1960s Japanese horror flicks? Well, if the previews weren’t enough, you can rent plenty of that kind of stuff at I Luv Video. And, rentals are cheap! Way cheaper than Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. A new release is just $3.75 and regular movies are $2.50. Smokin’ cheap. Unless you rent a movie say every night, then you may want to look into Netflix.

Now, what is the reason behind all of this praise for I Luv Video? It started when I signed up for the I Luv Video e-newsletter. Every Friday I get an e-mail with I Luv Video news about movie screenings, discounts, new releases, etc, and because 2009 is I Luv Video’s 25th anniversary they are giving away one year of free rentals to one e-newsletter subscriber every month for one year. Like I ever thought I would win, but I did. One Friday in May I received a random e-mail, which I could have sworn was spam because the subject line read “Congratulations, Jennifer! Seriously, this is not SPAM!” But I had a little faith in my Gmail spam filter and opened it anyway. Sure enough, this occasion did call for congratulations and I had won an entire year of free movie rentals. All I had to do to claim my prize was fill out a questionnaire and go into I Luv Video to have my picture taken. The following week I did just that. I forgot to mention that I Luv Video gives out free beer on Tuesdays while you are picking out your movie. That is why I am holding a beer with The Coneheads in my acceptance photo:

Winner!

Winner!

Stipulations that come with the prize:

  1. Only five movies may be checked out at one time. Big whoop. Do you know how hard it is to even watch five movies in five days? Really hard! For my first weekend of free movies I rented everything that I could think of in five minutes that I had been dying to watch for a second or third time, hadn’t seen in years, and was too embarrassed to actually spend money on if I was paying for it. The first five movies included Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Babe: Pig in the City, and honestly, I can’t remember the other three because I have probably rented almost a hundred movies since then. But the point is that I never actually had the time to watch all five before I had to return them, which brings me to stipulation No. 2.
  2. I have to return the movies by the two-day (new releases) or five-day (regular rentals) due date, just like everyone else. And I have to pay late fees.

Serious perks that come with the prize, aside from the movies:

  1. My photo with The Coneheads and plastic cup of beer has appeared two times already in the Onion as part of an advertisement for I Luv Video. This ad has already gotten me some street cred around town. I’ve been stopped in coffee shops and Kyle’s pals have been texting him to ask him if that is me holding The Coneheads and beer in the Onion. Yes, that’s me, Kyle’s girlfriend.
  2. The cashiers never question my authority, power, luck, whatever you want to call it. I am always one of the winners and they never make a fuss about it, which I like and makes me feel less awkward about the entire thing.

I’ve included the questionnaire that went out in the weekly e-mail when they announced me as the winner. I found these 10 questions to be a bit challenging, especially knowing that my answers were being read and judged by serious movie geeks.

1. What Five Movies Would You Require if Stranded on a Desert Island? Defend your choices briefly.

Cool Runnings – I just can’t get sick of this Disney flick.
True Romance – One of the best love stories ever written.
Revenge of the Nerds – Booger is my dream lover.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – More true to the book and the perfect thing to watch in any altered state of consciousness, like being stranded on a desert island.
In America – Something modest to keep me sane.

2. What’s your favorite death scene in a movie?
Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah) and Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill 2

3. Dawn Wiener in Welcome to the Dollhouse or Cady Heron in Mean Girls?
Cady Heron – I miss the old Lindsay Lohan.

4. Favorite Movie Snack Food & Why?
Red Vines – Because I like red things.

5. What’s the Last Movie You Hated So Much You Had to Shut it Off or Leave the Theater?
Coraline – I hate when grown ups think kids are stupid.

6. Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen & Corey Feldman are trapped in a Burning Building. You can only save one. Which “celebrity” do you save & why?
Eh, none. I don’t have any personal attachments to these guys.

7. What actor, in your opinion, cusses the best?
Tony Soprano or Samuel L. Jackson

8. What’s Your Favorite Thing About I Luv Video Besides Us Giving You a Year of Free Rentals?
The staff! So friendly and knowledgeable.

9. Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro & Dustin Hoffman are trapped in a much nicer burning building. You can save only one. Who do you save & why?
Dustin Hoffman – Little Big Man

10. Do a six degrees of separation between you & any movie actor.
Katherine Heigel is married to Josh Kelly whose brother is Charles Kelly who plays in a pop country band called Lady Antebellum with a guy named Slim who is the best friends and used to play in a southern rock band called Deep Fried with a guy named Kyle who is my boyfriend.

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Movie Night: (500) Days of Summer at Alamo Drafthouse

Kyle and I are usually too busy for date nights with all of the writing and music playing that goes on around here. Most nights quietly consist of renting a free movie from I Luv Video (look for a future post of how these rentals are FREE), dinner, and a bottle of wine. If I can make it through the entire movie without falling asleep (I have this rare/common condition where I fall asleep during every movie and car ride), I consider these types of evenings a success with good food, drinks, and company (and a cute poodle).

But we decided to get a little wild last weekend with an official date at the matinee. We saw the recently released (500) Days of Summer with Zooey Deschanel, the sultry indie actress/singer-songwriter, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, one of the leads in 3rd Rock from the Sun who has successfully grown into a super hunk.

The film, directed by Marc Webb, is a classic love (or not so much love) story about a boy who falls in love with a girl and she’s not really feeling it. Zooey’s character is very cute with her ‘60s style hair cut and simple, vintage-style school girl style. However, I thought the little hair bows were a little much. And that her favorite Beatle is Ringo Starr simply because he’s the general public’s least favorite Beatle? Come on. Let’s try to be as alternative as possible as well as adorable and charming and pretty. (Girl crush?)

I am not going to give away the plot or ending, but this movie was entertaining from beginning to end. I enjoyed the dance sequence in the middle and the indie culture references to Belle and Sebastian, greeting cards, and sweater vests.

Girl crush:

Zooey

Zooey

Girl crush and grown up super hunk:

Zooey and Joseph

Zooey and Joseph

Aside from the film, our date night consisted of wonderful chips dipped in a large bowl of processed cheesy gooiness, French fries, and a roasted vegetable sandwich with hummus. I also stayed awake through the entire eating and movie-watching experience.

Wait! That’s it! Eating makes me stay awake, so if I want to stay awake in a car or during a film all I have to do is eat the entire time. If you think of another way to reverse this condition, please comment.

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A Girl and Her Blog

Today I begin my blog called Bird Fly Good. You can find a short explanation as to why I chose to name my blog Bird Fly Good in the About Bird Fly Good section. (Are you tired of saying that yet?) If you are absolutely dying to know the full story of the name, don’t worry; I’m saving that for a future blog post.

But I would like to give an overall welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. This is something I have been wanting to start for a long time and I have finally gotten the itch and urge to just write. The topics on this blog range from all spectrums. When I actually started my WordPress account, I thought this would be a travel or poetry or food blog. Now, four months later, I’ve decided start a blog about all three and then some. I like writing about all sorts of experiences and I’m using this channel to dive a little deeper into some of these topics and share a little bit about what I’ve learned, hopefully in a humorous and entertaining way.

Some recurring themes you might encounter in my future blog posts:

  1. My new puppy, Simon: My boyfriend and partner, Kyle, surprised me with a puppy for my birthday this year. Simon is a sweet and loving miniature poodle. He is a parti poodle, meaning his coat is pure white and with deep black spots. He has the sweetest face and I am sure he will be a popular topic for future posts because this is the first creature I have ever cared and been responsible for. Plus, he is a puppy and puppies always makes for interesting stories that have to be told.
  2. Food: Food and cooking in general are two topics that I have finally learned to appreciate within the last two to three years. Throughout college I bounced from omnivore to pescatarian to lacto-ovo-vegetarian and back again. I have returned to eating meat in all forms with the exception of beef and pork, but the idea of veganism and raw food diets continue to fascinate me. And as for cooking, I have never been able to do much of it … until now! I love baking: cookies, cakes, and pastries (oh, my!) It has definitely become a wonderful hobby and I think my experiences cooking, hopefully all positive, will become topics of future posts. Just think … tantalizing words about lemon butter cookies, banana peanut butter cupcakes, and bread. In the event that I don’t feel like writing about cooking, there is always Miles of Chocolate.
  3. Music: I live in a land of music. Not just because I live in Austin, the music capital of the world and home to the largest music, film, and interactive conference in the world, South by Southwest, but because I am a general fan of music and my boyfriend is the bass player in three very active local bands. We go to shows a lot and we often have an interesting time. So, these posts should be pretty interesting too.
  4. Places: Do you care about where I go on a daily basis? Probably not, but if I particularly love or hate a place, whether it be a restaurant, park, party, or store, I will probably find the urge to write about it. If you work for or own an institution that could be defined by the last few items mentioned, don’t worry, I rarely hate places, and if I do it’s for good reason in my opinion. I will never bash a place just for kicks.

That seems like a pretty hefty list to start. I also look forward to posting photos and videos any chance I get. And your comments are always appreciated.

Just to get things started, here is a photo of Simon:

Simon

Simon

and another:

Simon loves close ups

Simon loves close ups

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Filed under Austin, Food, Movies, Poodles