Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Football Thoughts of the Day

End of the Lockout
Football is back! The players and owners have finally reached an agreement, and all of the players have unanimously voted to follow the new collective bargaining agreement!! I could not be more excited.

Fantasy Football
Now I have to start thinking about my Fantasy team! I attempted to manage a team last year... and failed miserably. I like to think that I did so terribly because I was busy going to school. I'm not sure what I'll blame it on if I crash and burn this year. But I'm trying it again, and looking for all of the help I can get.

The Worst QB in the NFL
In other news, two starting QB's had wedding-ish events this week. Ben Roethlisberger got married. This fact alone amazes me. Isn't this the same dude who got in trouble a year ago for harassing women in restrooms?! Who wants to marry that?! And so quickly??! A gold-digger with a prenup, I'm sure. 


The other QB, Jay Cutler, ended his engagement to a chick who was way too hot for him anyway. What a poop. Although I'm a Bears fan, I have never liked Cutler. He just seems like a whiny baby. This article compares the two QB's to determine which one of them is hated more. I'm not sure which I dislike the most, but I feel like it's pretty bad when you're comparing a sex offender to a crybaby. Just saying. Step it up, Cutler.

The New and Improved Rants & Raves
My (former) roommate Marissa and I have been listening to the NFL Rants & Raves podcast religiously for 3 (soon to be 4) seasons. During the offseason, these guys have stepped up their game - Steven quit his job, and now the two guys are making daily five-minute videos about what's going on in the NFL. It's kind of weird putting a face to the voices I've been listening to for so long.  Since the videos are so short (as compared to the 2+ hour-long podcasts) they're a little more to the point. I still love all of the hilarious stories and strange tangents, but it's nice having just a quick video I can watch during my "coffee break" to get caught up on the news of the day. The guys have also launched their own YouTube channel, which has all of the videos, plus a few others they've made along the way.

If you're a football fan and you're not listening to these guys, you're really missing out. Even if you know nothing about football (a large percentage of their audience lives in the UK) they're still hilarious, especially for car rides (or walking around campuses). Although I've never met either of these guys, I feel like I know quite a bit out their lives. Maybe too much..?

Favre Watch 2011
What. The. Heck. For those of you who don't know, Brett Favre, originally a QB for the Packers, has retired from the game FOUR TIMES. Since his first retirement, he has played for two more teams, the Jets and the Vikings. At the end of each year he retired yet again. After this last one I was convinced that he would give it up for good and go play with his grandkid. Yes, he's a grandpa.

I've always loved Favre. He's been playing since 1991 when I was 2 years old. I grew up watching this man be a freaking indestructible beast. But that decades ago! I'm not sure why all of the media outlets have started talking about him coming back again, but they need to stop it. Don't get the idea in his head! You know how he is with decisions.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Checkered Finish

Alllllllrighty then. Man, I had a crazy week/weekend. Lots of getting to know coworkers and then number-crunching. Before I went out on Friday, I wanted to add a little bit of excitement to my outfit - in the form of checkered nails!

I used the Sally Hansen stick-ons, which I love. A lot of people seem a little intimidated by them, but they're surprisingly easy to use. And they're quick. You can just stick them on and go without having to worry about waiting for them to dry. Which I'm terrible at.


When you open up the package, you'll see two sets of stickers, a pseudo nail-file, a weirdo toothpick, and some instructions. I really suggest actually reading those before you start. First step is to remove any old nailpolish, push your cuticles back with the funky toothpick, and then rub the light pink end of the file over the surface of your nails. This will make them look a little sad, but it helps the stickers stay stuck.



Now you can stick your stickers on! It works best if you figure out which size you'll need for each finger ahead of time. You can actually use either end of the sticker. Look closely and you'll see that the weird square end can be removed, giving you more sizes to play with. Once you have the sticker on, rub the part touching your nail with the grey back of the file. This helps it stick. Then, pinch and pull the excess towards the center of your nail, stretching the part attached to you just a bit. Don't pull too hard! That'll cause your sticker to rip like crazy and look terribly stretched out. Take the dark pink end of the file and lightly rub it along the end of your nail, cutting the sticker along the way. Rub the grey side along the edge to get rid of any bumps.


Now your nail should look like this! If you have a little excess here and there, use the file and the tooth picky to get rid of it.


If you want you can add a clear topcoat, which will help it last a little longer (about 2 weeks) and look shinier. Tada! See, that wasn't so bad.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Frenchies for Free

I was a tad bored yesterday, so I did what I normally do and headed to CVS to buy a bunch of stuff I don't need. Luckily, I actually came out of there were some pretty sweet swag! The best purchase of this trip was Nailene Perfect Tips.


It's just a set of 90-something little plastic stickies, but they make attempting French manicures 1000 times easier than if you just free-handed it.

Step 1: Apply clear-ish pink layer. Or just really light pink.


Step 2: LET THAT SHIT DRY. Seriously. This is the hardest part for me, and I usually mess it up at least once. Put on some crazy-intense movie or something to keep you distracted for 15-30 minutes.

Step 3: Apply stickies. I'm not sure if there's a "proper" way to do this. I kind of just put them on so that the tip looked right. You can vary the width of your white stripe.


Step 4: White paint. After a few fugly lines, I figured out that the best way to apply the white paint was to get as little paint on the sticky as possible, let it dry for a couple (10-30) seconds, and gently peel the sticky off. You will most likely get some paint on the rest of your fingers (like I did), but no worries.


Step 5: Take a Q-tip, dip it in nail polish remover, and carefully wipe the excess paint off your hands. If you want, you can brush a little bit of a smudge-corrector along the line of white. This could help the line look a little less jagged in spot. Or it could totally mess it up, so you might want to test it out if you're not sure about your anti-smudge abilities. Coat your nails in a clear, shiny top coat, and... DONE!


I felt a little weird having pics of just 4 fingers, but if I tried to add my thumb in the shot it looked even worse. Just imagine a thumb.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fight for Football!

Dear NFL players, coaches, and owners;

I love football. All football – Pop Warner, middle school, high school, college, and pro – all of it. And it’s getting close to football time. Almost.

It seems like most fans start getting a little antsy around July/August. By now baseball is getting a little tiresome, especially if you can tell that your team won’t be making a play-off run (mine won’t). It’s 104 degrees in the shade, and all I want to do is head to the stadium, stand for 3 hours in the blazing sun, and yell my brains out while giant men clobber each other. Is that too much to ask?

I don’t really understand what you guys are waiting for. I know that there have been a lot of issues regarding rookie salaries, compensation for veteran players, and how to split up the revenue, but is this really so important that it should deprive me, and the rest of America, of enjoying the game? I believe the answer you are searching for is "No!"

I am a (former) poor, starving college student. But every year I scraped up enough cash to buy season tickets to the Longhorn football games. And I attended every single one. Even last year when we went through a bit of a rough patch. It would be my dream come true if I could get season tickets to a Bears game. Unfortunately there's a zillion year wait-list, and even if I got to the top sometime in my lifetime, I probably could never afford them. And that's disgusting.

When did football stop being about the fans? I mean, I guess I understand that you want to make as much money as you can - that's the American way! But when you start fighting about money so much so that we might have to miss a few games (or the whole season!) then I believe that you need to get your priorities straight.

Even though I am incredibly frustrated at the prospect of a year without football, I remain a true fan. Get your act together guys, and let's end this lockout.

Sincerely,
A Forever-Fan 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trek-Flix

Oh my sweet baby Jesus - Netflix instant just added all of the episodes of each Star Trek series. Most people have no idea how much of a Trekkie I am, but I have seen every single episode of Star Trek (the original series), Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager. I've also seen all of the movies, not just the reboot that came out last year - which was good, just in a strange alternate universe. I tried to give Deep Space Nine a shot, but I just couldn't get into it. Because it sucked. Star Trek: Enterprise was also one that I haven't seen all the way through, but now that it's on Netflix I aim to remedy that situation.

I am such a fan of Netflix, it's ridiculous. When I first signed up, I kind of doubted that I would use it enough for it to be worth it. Boy was I wrong! I, unlike most normal humans, could watch tv and do homework at the same time. As a result, I've probably watched more television/movies in the past year than most people do in a decade.

Another bunch of shows recently added to Instant are all of the old X-Men cartoons, The Avengers, and the original Power Rangers. All of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons are just a click away! They've also got Popeye and Felix the Cat, both of which I had to watch in Spanish, since the English versions apparently didn't air in Chicago...?

I'll try and keep you up to date on the latest amazing additions to Netflix Instant as much as I can. There's an amazing amount of television shows that have been added in the last year or so, so I suggest you check it out ASAP.

Chrome, Sweet Chrome

When I was in kindergarten, my dad brought home our first PC complete with Windows 3.1x (that's what came out before Windows 95!). In order to play one of my favorite games (Treehouse) you actually had to close Windows, get into the Dos, and type a few lines of code to pull up the game. Can you imagine doing that now??!

My first foray on the interwebs included a sketchy dial-up connection through Netscape. Looking back, I have no idea how the internet caught on. It was SO SLOW. I can clearly remember waiting an hour and a half for one picture to load. 99% of the stuff out there was text-only, so that picture seemed totally worth the wait. What I didn't realize at the time was that you actually couldn't access some of the information out there if you were using the wrong type of browser. Kinda like if Internet Explorer let you see Yahoo and Firefox let you see Google. Crazy.

Internet browsers have come a long way in the past decade(s). Thank goodness! Once I got my own computer, I started playing around with different browser options - IE, Firefox, Safari, etc. The best one I've come across by far is Google Chrome. I'm always amazed when I come across someone who's still using IE. If you're stuck in the past, still using Internet Explorer (I know you're out there!) you should really download Chrome immediately. I've never had it crash on me, it's really easy to use, very customizable, and so far it doesn't prompt you to add all of those obnoxious toolbar search engine things. Plus it has apps you can add to it!

Since Google is really open about who they allow to create apps, there are TONS of options. They have pretty much every kind of news, social, or entertainment source you'd ever want. I was browsing through the App Store the other day and ended up adding a bunch of things to test out.

Angry Birds, Robot Unicorn Attack, Robot Unicorn Attack: Heavy Metal.
Enough said.

Phone 2 Chrome, Chrome 2 Phone
I absolutely hate stumbling across a site on my phone and then having to type in the incredibly long link into my computer. Or from my computer to my phone. These two extensions (not sure why they haven't combined them into one) use your Google account to beam sites back and forth between the two. You can actually link up several computers to one phone, not sure if multiple phones can send to one computer though. Haven't tried that yet. I believe that you have to have an Andriod phone for this to work though. Not positive. You do have to be able to download the app on your phone as well, and I'm not sure if those Fruit phones have it yet.

PriceBlink
PriceBlink is an extension that runs in the background and pops up when it sees you shopping for something. Pretty much it scours the internet looking for the same product and then reports back with all of the other prices it finds. Which. Is. Awesome. It's pretty annoying to buy something from one site and then find it for ten bucks cheaper immediately afterwards. Here's a pic of PriceBlink in action:


Are You Watching This?! Sports
Are You Watching This?! Sports monitors any and all sports being played right now and lets you know if you should be watching them based on the score/how much time is left/how many other people are watching. A little icon just chills at the top of the browser and turns colors if you should click on it and see what you're missing. When you click on it, it'll open up a list of all of the games currently being played, the score, the time, and what it's rating is. This extension is also available in app form, but I haven't tried it out yet.



There are hundreds (thousands?) of other apps and extensions out there if these ones aren't your cup of tea. But I totally recommend downloading Chrome if you haven't yet (weirdo) and checking out how awesome you can make your browsing experience!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Harry Potter and the Fast Five

Ya know what comes out on Friday? HARRY FREAKING POTTER.

I love Harry Potter. I love the series so much that I have an app on my phone that counts down the seconds until the midnight release of the final movie [5 days 17 hours 40 minutes 16 seconds]. If you don't love Harry Potter, then you are wrong.

I had a plan to re-read all of the books before the last movie came out, but... I haven't made it yet. Stupid work getting in the way of my HP love... I have work on Friday, bright and early at 7AM, but I'm going to see it at midnight anyway! I hope you have your tickets already, because they've been sold out for a while now lol.


Ok, end of HP word-vomit.

Last night my sister and I checked out the Windchimes Dollar Cinema down the street from my place. It's actually $1.50 (*shock*) but other than the tiny difference in price, this place was pretty sweet. I've never really been to a dollar theater, but I always imagined them to be pretty sketchy. This place wasn't the nicest theater I've ever been to, but it wasn't the worst either! The concessions were pretty cheap and they had some sweet-looking arcade games. The crowd was a bit rowdier than the usual bunch, but that might have been because it was 9:30 on a Friday and we were seeing Fast Five.

If you've never seen a Fast and Furious movie, then I'm not sure where you've been living for the past 10 years. Go out and watch #1, 2, and 4 immediately. Completely skip the third one though - Tokyo Drift has nothing to do with any of the other movies, and I still refuse to watch it.

Fast Five AKA The Fast and the Furious Five AKA Large Men in Fast Cars - is a pretty good movie, if you suspend all knowledge of physics and can get past The Rock's ridiculous beard. I totally recommend going out to see this. I actually saw it when it first came out, too, and it still holds up the second time around.


Aside from their horribly unclever sequel names (2 Fast, 2 Furious; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; Fast & Furious; Fast Five) this series is actually really good. Usually after the first two or so movies I start freaking out when more sequels pop up (Land Before Time, anyone?). Yes, some of the acting is getting a little hokie *cough* THE ROCK *cough, cough* but the stories are still pretty good and the jokes aren't getting old. I think they've gotten everyone (including The Rock) to sign up for a sixth, which should be out in the next year or two.

Things to look for (and laugh at) during the movie:
- The beard, of course
- The inevitable fight scene between The Rock and Vin Diesel
- Every face The Rock makes

I hope you like this movie as much as I do! Just watch out for your fellow movie-goers afterwards. People tend to pretend they're Paul Walker and race out of the parking lot.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Are Couch Potato

Good lord, it seems like forever since I've been on here. I have a good excuse, though! Just started a new job, and this past week we've had events every day from 7AM till 11PM. Needless to say, all I did when I got home was sleep.

Update: I watched the US v. Mexico Gold Cup game! We lost... I'm having terrible luck with teams the past couple years. HRMPH.

So I've been trying to think about what might be interesting to write about. My life seems pretty dull right now - just going to work and attempting to unpack/organize my new apartment. Today (no work!) I managed to catch up on some tv! Since I'm a total tv junkie, I'm trying out all of the new summer shows. Perhaps I shall recap what I think about them? It's either that or talk about organizing my tiny apartment.

Rookie Blue - ABC, Thursday @ 9/8c
This is the second season of this show, actually, so I had to catch up on the previous one before I started watching it. But it was worth it! Especially for a summer show. Usually they don't last very long and are pretty crappily-made. But this one seems to be good enough to make me watch it even during the regular season. Quick recap - A bunch of rookie cops in Toronto doing cop things. When it first started, people tried to call it "Grey's Anatomy in the world of rookie cops," but that's a lie. [Just like how they tried to call The Deep End the Grey's of lawyer shows.] Not nearly as much sex and drama, and the characters don't have a lot of back-story yet. There is a bit of a love-triangle/rectangle brewing right now. I'm hoping it'll get a little juicier this season.





Combat Hospital - ABC, Tuesday @ 10/9c
Another Canadian show, except this one is about an army medical base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2006. I was a little thrown by the flashback, but I guess they're setting it a few years ago because they fighting was more intense then. There have only been 2 or 3 episodes so far, so not much has happened. As of yet, I'm not really impressed. The stories aren't as shocking or heartbreaking as I'd like, and the characters have no personalities yet. The main character(s) could die and I wouldn't care. It kind of reminds me of Off the Map (no one watched that one, I know) but not as funny. I have a feeling that this one might not make it, but I'm going to give it a season.


Franklin & Bash - TNT, Wednesday 9/8c
If you haven't seen a commercial for this yet, then you do not watch TV. I think there was an ad for it on pretty much every channel. Anyways, two lawyer best friends who like to take on ridiculous cases and do strange things to win them get hired by a huge law firm - Like if Shawn and Gus from Psych magically became lawyers. This show has huge potential! The guys themselves are hilarious, but their cases aren't that great. Weird yes, interesting no. This one might stick around for a while, just because the actors are pretty well-known. Hopefully the show's writing staff steps up their game a bit and comes up with some good case ideas.


Suits - USA, Thursday 10/9c
Another lawyer show. Yeah I know, but this one is even better. One guy is a hotshot lawyer who thinks he's the greatest and he takes on an ex-con genius kid to pretend to be a lawyer, since he's got the book memorized anyway. The guys are hilarious, the supporting characters are great, and there's already some potential romances. This one seems like it's got a better back-story to really flesh out the characters. I'll definitely keep watching this one.



Falling Skies - TNT, Sunday 10/9c
This show follows a group of survivors from Massachusetts after an apocalyptic alien attack. They're a rag-tag group that has put together a resistance to protect civilian survivors and hopefully figure out how to fight back against the "Skitters." What's kinda cool about this one, is that they can't just go out and slaughter all of the aliens. The Skitters have captured and enslaved thousands of children to fight for them. So, of course, the main character lost one of his kids and is attempting to get him back. Pretty good so far - I hate the people I'm supposed to hate and am rooting for the others. Apparently it's getting huge ratings, so I don't anticipate this one disappearing soon.



The Glades - A&E, Sunday 10/9c
This one is also in its second season, so I had to catch up really fast. I pretty much laughed my face off at every single episode, the main character is adorable, and there's a really cute love story going on. Recap - a cop originally from Chicago pisses off his boss, gets fired, and moves to Florida to work there. I definitely recommend watching this from the beginning. They were all on Hulu, but I think they just expired. It hasn't had a new episode in a couple weeks, so I'm kinda going into withdrawal. It better not have gotten cancelled...



Random thoughts:
- I am NOT liking the new look of Google Calendar. I feel like they downgraded to some old, crappy site now.
- Burn-bans stink during Independence Day.
- Bed Bath, Pottery Barn, and West Elm all sent me 10-20% off coupons in the mail! Not sure how they know I'm a new resident, but I am grateful.
- Just got onto Google+. Not so sure what it's all about yet... It's a limited release right now, but most people have figured out the back way to get people onto it. It's supposed to be something like Facebook, but I'm not so sure. This might flop kinda like Google Wave. Cool idea, poor follow-through.
- I'm watching Laura's cat for the week, and this morning he woke me up by head-butting me. And the entire time I've been writing this, he has been rubbing his butt in my face.