Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Of all the season, I have always most enjoyed autumn. I love the brisk wind that you makes you wear a jacket. I love the bright colors that appear on the trees. Another of my favorite things is the food!
There is something about recipes that call for "fall spices" that is enticing. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are all such warm and inviting flavors it is hard NOT to like them. Recently, several things have happened to remind me of this.
Roni and I recently went to Spark. We love Spark for their well-balanced meals and interesting blends of spices and flavors. It is sort of a tradition that every time Roni and I go, we try one of their different drinks. So far I've had the mango mojito, pomegron, and bellini, all of which were amazing. On our most recent excursion, Roni decided to get the apple martini: it was delicious. It was made with fresh apple juice mixed with fall spices and magic. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it.
I am not sure why, but every now and then Roni and I get the urge to make something unconventional. This seems to happen a lot during the fall. One time we made our own donuts. Another time we made cup-pies. Recently, we were craving biscotti, so we decided to make our own. I think it was me that was specifically craving gingerbread biscotti. It wasn't really that hard (get it, biscotti, hard, it's funny, trust me), but they were absolutely wonderful! The warm ginger, mixed with the aromatic cloves and cinnamon made for quite the experience.
So take advantage of the season- do something fun with fall spices. If it turns out wonderful, let us know!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Now that I am a seasoned veteran of law school vet of two weeks, I have very strong opinions about the BYU law school. So here it goes.
I figured it is best to start with the positive right? I love my classes. Yes, there is a lot of work. Yes, there is a lot of reading, but I really enjoy the way that the teachers go over the material. Most professors at the law school teach by what has been deemed "the Socratic method" (though as one professor claims, "Socrates would never know it."). The basic idea is that a student is singled out, and they are then asked a series of question which delve deeper and eeper into the theories behind the case that was studied the night before (sometimes the hour before). I really have enjoyed this type of learning, because it allows you to explore the concepts right there in the classroom, while interacting the professors.
That leads to the second reason I have enjoyed law school so far. The professors seem genuinely interested in us as students. There is almost a sense of camaraderie, as if the professors see us as potential equals. It is a rewarding experience to feel that you are valued by your superiors.
WHERE IS MY FINANCIAL AID? I have tuition that is due, rent to pay, etc. I applied for financial aid almost 4 months ago, and I have yet to hear a peep from the BYU administration beyond my estimate loan allowance. It is almost the exact opposite of the experience I have at the law school. I feel like there is no respect, and I am talked down to by the people I have spoken to at the financial aid office. Yes, I understand that they have a lot of people who call in quite upset about not having any of their aid doled out yet, but when the office sends an email saying "pay your tuition or else we will cancel all of your classes and redact your admission" people tend to get angry (especially when we are waiting for YOU, financial aid office).
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I don't often do movie reviews. In this case, I am willing to make an exception.
Let me begin by saying that I really wanted to like this movie. Roni suggested I read the book Tale of Despereaux, and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it to anybody age 5 and up. It was an interesting take on the classic fairy tale.
Initial reviews I read of the movie were highly critical and seemed to unfairly compare the movie to Ratatouille, which was released about a year earlier. I felt, at the time, that reviewers were simply comparing the movie because both movies revolved around animated rodents. I now understand, however, why it is that they made the comparison. The makers of the Tale of Despereaux were not only inviting the comparison, they were begging for it.
It seemed to me that whoever did the Tale of Despereaux decided to not only borrow elements from Ratatouille, but chose to flat out steal characters from Ratatouille! Here is a comparison of two of the major antagonistic elements from each of the movies.
Anton Ego, the harsh food critic from Ratatouille
Botticelli, the main villain from the Tale of Despereaux
Please note the similarities. The elongated faces. The sour expression on the face. The hunched back. Even the voices for the two characters were nearly identical. It seems that the person who wrote the script for the Tale of Despereaux thought that if he combined the book and added elements directly taken from Ratatouille, he would have a sure success. Unfortunately, the combined elements are entirely superfluous, and end up muddling the story so badly that it bears little to no resemblance to the book.
The end result is a movie that is confusing for those new to the story of Despereaux, a brave but odd little mouse, and disappointing to those who are fans of the book. A truly subpar effort.
RATING (out of 5)
Visuals - .5 - the animation is sub par. I understand the desire to stand out from Pixar's animation style, but this isn't about style, this is about quality. The quality of the computer animation made it feel more like I was watching a made for TV movie.
Sound - 2 - The music was OK, as was the voice acting. Merely OK, is about the best thing this movie is going to get.
Acting - .5 - Voice acting seemed... forced. I especially disliked Sigourney Weaver's narration of the story. It felt rigid and emotionless.
OVERALL SCORE - .5 - I have rarely been so disappointed by a movie.