2013: A Year End Review

20131Well, 2013 is almost in the books. Here’s hoping you did something useful with your year. If not, the good news is there is another one right around the corner. Don’t make the same mistake with 2014.

Best experience: Taking sporadic road trips.
Worst experience: The passing of my grandfather, Bob Jamison.

Top 3 movies I saw:
1. Short Term 12
2. Philomena
3. Blue is the Warmest Color

Bottom 3 movies I saw:
1. Movie 43
2. Jobs
3. Identity Thief

Most enjoyable movie watching experience: Texas Chainsaw 3D. (Don’t get me wrong, the movie was terrible, but we had so much fun watching it. Oh, Heatherface.)

Best musical discovery:  Goyte “Hearts A Mess
Best musical rediscovery: Shakespeare’s Sister “Stay

Best sports moment: Drafting Steven Adams
Most heartbreaking sports moment: Russell Westbrook’s injury. It still hurts me to think about, especially since he’s out again because of it. Let’s not talk about this anymore. It’s giving me a major case of the sads.

Best TV episode:  Breaking Bad “To’hajiilee”
Most disappointing TV episode: Dexter “Goodbye Miami”
Most overrated TV episode: The Walking Dead “Too Far Gone”

Top 5 local discoveries:
1. Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder rookie) – Yeah, he counts as a local discovery. I wrote all sorts of stuff about him.
2. Revamped AMC Theater at Penn Square Mall (Oklahoma City) – For being located in Oklahoma City’s “rich” mall, the AMC had been run down for years. Finally the franchise decided to invest some money to fix it up and I really dig it now. Each theater has their pros and cons, but if you looking for comfort at an affordable price, AMC at Penn is the way to go.
3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina (Norman) – A friend and I happened to be in Norman for work and wandered into this little Mexican restaurant. Oh. My. Gee. Rave about Ted’s all you want, but I’m picking Tarahumara’s every time. So many interesting, unusual, delicious dishes to choose from! I’m pretty sure we ate all the food.
4. Waffle Champion (Oklahoma City) – Every time I mention this place I get, “So… they have waffles?” Well yeah, they do, but with the tastiest of foods on them! Apparently they’ve been scooting a truck around town for awhile, but now there’s an actual location in uptown. I suggest you go there to get the full array of menu options. I recommend the Turkey Chorizo, but from what I can tell, you can’t really go wrong.
5. Trivia at The Paramount (Oklahoma City) – There are a lot of places to compete in trivia around the metro, but I’ve become partial to trivia at The Paramount on Film Row every other Wednesday night. Honestly, it’s not the typical trivia I like, but the people, atmosphere and snacks are choice. Really, this is just a resounding endorsement for Mel and the rest of the crew at The Paramount. They’re wonderful, caring, fun people who make trivia nights (and all their other events) a joy to attend.

Bragging rights for 2013:
I accomplished a lot of things that were personal victories in 2013, but I think we can all agree that my meeting Weird Al is pretty awesome.

Top 5 road trips:
1. Family vacation to Colorado
2. Hanson concert in Dallas, TX
3. Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords in Dallas, TX
4. Tulsa 66ers game and midnight movie in Tulsa, OK
5. UHF screening with Weird Al in Tulsa, OK

Other things worth noting:
I got a new job. Like any job it’s not perfect, but I love my co-workers and I’m learning a lot of new things. Plus, I’m making more money than ever before. More than that though, I’m thankful to have somewhere to go every day where I am valued.

Speaking of jobs, I was briefly an employed as a writer for the Bethany Tribune. Yes, I got paid to write – a personal dream of mine. Even if I never get compensated to express my opinions in print form again, I will always be proud that I achieved such a seemingly impossible feat.

After a decade hiatus, I sang in public – twice. The first time was for my best friend Beth’s wedding. I sang Frank Sinatra’s “I’ll Be Loving You Always”. It was incredibly nerve-wracking, but I made it through unscathed. The second time was for my Grandpa’s funeral. Grandma suggested I sing “Old Rugged Cross”. Although the performance was plagued with sour notes, I was honored to be able to do it for my Papa.

In other bittersweet accomplishments, a year after the passing of my friend Caleb, my friends and I successfully pulled off putting on a benefit for his family in his honor. We rented out The Paramount, showed a couple of Caleb’s favorite horror movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Lunch Meat), had friends and family speak about his life, designed and sold t-shirts and raised enough money to help his wife and kids move across the country. We plan to do it every year from here on out and I’m already looking forward to putting it on again in 2014.

It will sound minor, but I finally ran my first 5k this year. My friends Greg and Colin formed Team Dandy Jam and rocked out Color Me Rad. I’ll admit that I didn’t finish in a respectable time, but the point was that I set the goal for myself to run a 5K and I did it. *self high five!*

91 Online hit its third anniversary. (That makes the 30 year anniversary for 91FM, if you’re counting.) Not everything has gone to (our) plan, but I’m grateful for what we’ve been able to achieve. Just staying on the air as a listener supported online station is something to proud of in and of itself! This year, 91 got a big break. A game-changing break. We moved into a rent-free studio, freeing up enough money to get much needed replacement equipment and even bless a couple listeners by helping make Christmas a little more special for their families. I’m very excited about what is in store for our little passion project.

Resolutions:

The last time I wrote one of these was 2011 and most of my resolutions still stand – love people, grow 91 Online, lose weight, write more. All solid goals that will likely carry over for years to come. Might as well add a few more to the list…

1. Spend more time with family.
Maybe the biggest lesson I learned in 2013 is how precious time with your family and loved ones is. I don’t know if it was hitting 30 or losing my Papa J, but it’s become very clear to me that if I don’t enjoy time with my family now, I may never have the chance again. And I have the greatest family in the world. Why wouldn’t I want to spend more time with them?

2. Value myself.
For years people have told me that I undervalue myself. I’m beginning to understand what they mean. Turns out that I can do some things kind of well. I hope to explore that concept more over the next 365ish days.

3. Get involved.
I’ll admit it – I live a fairly selfish life. I can try to cover it up like I’m really generous because I do little things here and there… just enough so that I can pat myself on the back and think I’m not terrible, but I’m not doing anything significant. It’s time for that to change. I’m nothing special, but I do have an able body and time. I can find a way to serve others in a significant way. All it takes is a little effort and a willing heart.

4. Work hard.
As a Thunder fan you would think this would be ingrained in me by now – work hard to get a little better every day. I have goals. Time to get at least a smidge of discipline and work toward those things. No more expecting them to fall into my lap. Unfortunately for pacifists like me, life doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to put in some work and push to get where you want to go.

5. Embrace change.
It’s inevitable, so why fight it? I can sense some ginormous changes on the horizon and I have zero control to prevent them. I know they’re good, still I’m weirdly both excited for them and petrified with fear by them. If all else fails, I’ll just put on some REO Speedwagon until the message sinks in.

Although every day brings us the opportunity to start fresh, there’s something to be said about the rebirth that a new year brings with it. When you are faced with what seems like one bad situation after another, take a moment to look for the good in your life and do your best to change your perspective. If you don’t like it, do what’s in your power to change it. If there is nothing you can do, accept it and let it go. Harder said than done, I know. But it’s 2014, try something new.

XOXO,
Rachael

Facebook Friday (Week 17)

facebook_friday_blog_icon…brought to you this week on a Saturday.

If you thought Gravity Couldn’t Get Any Better, It Just Did
Fans and critics alike fawned over Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but now screenwriter Jonás Cuarón is making a good thing even better with a 7-minute short titled AningaaqIt tells the story of the Inuit fisherman who receives Ryan Stone’s distress call from space, and carries on a conversation with her about dogs, babies, life and death despite the two speaking two different languages.
I found it particularly interesting given the fact that what I pictured during the conversation was completely different – a warm climate with fresh cut grass. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s worth your 7 minutes. It’s even picking up a bit of Oscar buzz.

Pharrell Williams Gets Happy for 24 Hours Straight
In what seems to be an emerging trend of interactive videos, Pharrell Williams is taking it one step further – the world’s first 24 hour music video for his single “Happy”. You can check out the website for the epic video featuring a slew of celebrities from Kelly Osborne to Jamie Foxx and press the “P” button to fast forward to appearances from Pharrell.

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston Read the Finale of Breaking Bad
A week after Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan showed off the packaging for the new full series box set, the video of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reading the script of the series finale has gone viral. One of the many extras on the box set, you can now watch the emotional moments when the show’s main characters learn their fate.
PS: I love Aaron Paul.

A Mother and Daughter Make Surreal Art
art1A serious artist, Mica Angela Hendricks didn’t want her four-year-old daughter doodling in her sketchbooks. That was until her daughter used Mica’s words against her - “If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away.” With that, Mica relinquished control and allowed her daughter to help complete her works. The results are pretty amazing.

It’s a Sexy Off – Cat vs. Man
Cats win.
Cats always win.

← LAST WEEK | NEXT WEEK →

Facebook Friday (Week 16)

facebook_friday_blog_icon

Russell Westbrook Makes His NBA Return. Oklahoma Releases a Huge Sigh of Relief.
russ
I’ve heard it said a hundred different ways, but the bottom line is that having Russell Westbrook back on the Oklahoma City Thunder means that basketball is fun again in the heartland. It also means we’re once again a championship level team. Since Westbrook was knocked out of commission by Houston’s Patrick Beverly during the playoffs last season, the future has looked bleak. Optimistic Thunder fans would never say it, but we didn’t stand a chance of going to the ‘ship without him. We knew every night would be a fight, that KD would have to rise to legendary level and that we’d take a big hit in the media. None of that was fun. It reignited the Harden trade conversation and sparked the idea that Kevin could leave us after his contact expired. The whole thing hurt. With Russ back in the lineup, the Thunder have their spirit back. The fans have top 10 worthy plays to cheer for again. No longer do we have to worry about being able to hang on, if he’ll come back at 100% and if people will continue to whine about Russ’ importance to this team. He’s back. Thank God, he’s back!

A Sportscaster in Idaho does a Successful Ron Burgundy Impression through an Entire Newscast

Ron Burgundy joined  the channel 6 news team and the video has gone viral. Ron is played by the station’s sports director Paul Gerke. The segment starts a little slow, but by the end Paul’s ad libs become LOL worthy. It’s because of this that I’ll let it go that that he really should dressed as Champ. WHAMMY.

The Age of the Local Blockbuster Store is Dead
blockbuster
Blockbuster is finally calling it quits on their local video store business. A lot of articles I read poke fun at the fact that they still existed with streaming clearly being the way to go these days, but I for one am sad to see local video stores disappear. I admit it’s just nostalgia and 9 out of 10 times I watch my movies off Netflix or Amazon Instant, but I’ll never forget the excitement of renting a movie at Blockbuster when I was a kid. It was like walking into Willy Wonka’s factory. I’m sad that my kids will not get to have that feeling. Although more convenient, pressing the “rent” button feels a little anti-climatic.

A Kid is Determined to be Ugly Enough to Successfully Sue Her Mom for Giving Birth to Her. Ouch.
Jian
Last year a story surfaced that a Chinese man was suing his wife for giving birth to an ugly child. Now, that man has won his case. Originally he thought that the daughter was the result of an affair, but later discovered that his wife (pictured above) had had extensive plastic surgery before meeting him. The man was awarded $120,000.
As crazy as this whole story is, the sad part is the psychological affects it will have on this child. Here’s hoping that she’ll realize the problem is not how she looks on the outside, but how ugly her father is on the inside.

In Honor of No-Shave-November, Here are Disney Princesses with Beards
MustacherellaThere is no point to this, but Mustacherella reminded me of Doc Holliday.

LAST WEEK | NEXT WEEK →

Facebook Friday (Week 15)

facebook_friday_blog_iconNow back to your regularly scheduled Facebook Friday…

Bad Lip Reading Presents: Medieval Land Fun-Time World


The guys that gave us those great bad lip reading NFL moments have struck again with their concoction of Adventureland, Game of Thrones and, of course, bad lip reading. I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched this all the way through because I’m a season behind and terribly afraid of spoilers, but they sold me with Tyrion’s Terry’s, “Listen son, I’ll give you four cents each for them Vanilla Wafers.” Someone watch it, tell me if it’s safe and rate it’s funny level on a scale of 1 – 10. And then pre-order season 3 so I can catch up as soon as it comes out.

Charlie Hunnam – Christian Grey? Christian, nay. (PUNS!)
Charlie
My beloved Charlie has dropped out of the role as 50 Shades of Grey‘s Christian Grey. For me, this is excellent news. Now I don’t have to watch the movie. However, my condolences to you 50 Shades fans. He would’ve been good. Real good. The media is reporting that the official reason for his departure is simply a scheduling conflict with Hunnam’s Sons of Anarchy shooting. That may be true. He’s a good actor and takes his roles seriously (even though I’m positive he was cast mostly for his abs). If he felt he could not give a performance he was proud of, I believe he would back out of this, or any other film. Rumors are that that may only be part of the story and that money may have been a much bigger reason that Charlie backed away. Sources are reporting that he was offered a measly $125k for the make it or break it role. Ouch. My guess is that both of those things may very well be true. And when you add on the fact that women are fickle and if they decide that he didn’t live up to the Christian Grey they pictured in their heads, the movie could tank taking Charlie’s promising career along with it, bowing out was a smart move. I am bummed I’m gonna be missing out on those naked scenes though. Help us out, Kurt Sutter!

The Government is Open, but People Still Hate Congress
1383472_10152016173886579_748531891_n
I never thought I’d see that day that anything was considered worse than Nickleback.
Top notch reporting, by the way. If all news was delivered this way, I’d pay more attention.

Sufjan Stevens Gets to the Core of Miley Cyrus’ Problems… Grammar.
sufjan
A lot of musicians/celebrities/jealous Homeland cashiers have attacked Miley Cyrus recently for her uhh… peculiar actions, but Sufjan Steven has finally addressed a severely overlooked Miley problem – her grammar. In an excerpt from his open letter to Miley blog post, Sufjan writes, “One particular line causes concern: ‘I been laying in this bed all night long.’ Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. ‘I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.’ Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your ‘present perfect continuous’ involves a lot more excitement than mine.”
I love you, Sufjan. Don’t ever change.

Not ready to let go of Breaking Bad? Neither is the cast.
BOB-ODENKIRK-SAUL
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has revealed that we will see some cameos in his upcoming prequel series Better Call Saul. “Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then,” Gilligan says of his former cast. Other good news – Vince says that although he plans to give the show a lighter, more comedic tone, he will maintain many of the BB’s visual elements and hopes to retain as many of his writers as possible.

I Beat Cory, Shawn and Topnaga in a Who Said It? Contest
BWM
Entertainment Weekly has put out another one of it’s TV reunion issues. This one in particular grabbed my interest because it features the cast of my favorite childhood show, Boy Meets World. Not only did they participate in a photoshoot, EW actually had Ben Savage (Cory), Rider Strong (Shawn) and Danielle Fishel (Topanga) play a little game of Who Said It? with lines from the series. Let it be known that I got 100% on this quiz… I even knew the answers before the sentences were finished! (I’m not sure if that’s something I should be bragging about, but whatevs.) Seeing the three of them together definitely made me smile and it’s nice how comfortable they are with one another even after all these years. There’s even a Mr. Turner shout out. You can view the video here.

Rocky Horror Picture Art
rhps
My friend, Greg, created this for a The Rocky Horror Picture Show screening here in OKC. He’s so amazing. Prints are $7.

 ← LAST WEEK | NEXT WEEK →

Facebook Friday (Week 14)

facebook_friday_blog_icon

Chipotle Makes an Oscar-worthy Ad

For the past three years I have made it a point to see every Oscar nominated animated short, and I can tell you without question, that this Chipotle ad blows the majority of them out of the water. The spectacular animation comes courtesy of  acclaimed MOONBOT Studios and is accompanied by a powerful rendition of Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination performed by Fiona Apple (which is available on iTunes). Seriously, take 3:30 minutes out of your day and watch this.

The Cast of Dexter Pick the Series’ Most Formidable Foe
DEXTER (Season 4)In a mere three days, Dexter will be gone from our lives forever. Like a lot of fans, I have mixed feeling about it’s departure, but that’s a post for another time. This post is to inform you that Entertainment Weekly conducted a poll among the shows’ stars about who they consider to be Dexter’s biggest protagonist. The answer is about as shocking as season 5. (Ooh! Lumen burn!) However, what made me the happiest about this article was the Doakes talk. I miss that guy.

For the First Time in 6 Years, I Want to Read a Book
disaster artistI hate books. I know I’m a “writer” so that’s weird, but I do. Still, about every 6 or 7 years someone writes something that I voluntarily read. First it was The Rock Says in 2000 (shut up), then it was Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook in 2007, now it’s Greg Sestero’s (better known as “Oh hi, Mark”) The Disaster Artist. Those of you who have had the opportunity to experience The Room understand why reading Mark’s account of the what, how and why of the best worst movie is so fascinating to me. Those who haven’t really need to see The Room.

Hanson is All Grown Up and Making Beer with a Clever Name
mmmhopsThat’s right. They guys who sang Mmmbop are making their own beer. And yes, it’s cleverly named Mmmhops. If that weirds you out, keep in mind that the brothers are now 27 (Zac), 30 (Taylor) and 32 (Isaac). As of now I haven’t been able to find anywhere you can actually purchase the brew even though I live in Oklahoma – the state it’s brewed in. If you know anything about Oklahoma’s liquor laws, you’ll know it might take awhile to get through the mountains of red tape. Still, it does exist and so far those who have been able to try it, like it. Cheers, boys!
(PS: Hanson still makes music and it’s good. You should check it out. Also, they put on a great show. I just saw them Monday.)

AMC Milks the Hype of The Walking Dead with a Spinoff
walking deadLet me begin by saying I am kind of a hypocrite. Just one week after I expressed my excitement that AMC decided to launch a Breaking Bad spinoff, I’m here to tell you how irritated that I am about The Walking Dead getting one as well. I watch both shows and both spinoffs come with their show runners attached, so I should be psyched about both, right? Wrong. TWD is still currently on the air and will be for the foreseeable future. I can’t fathom why it would be necessary to have two shows running at the same time.  At least this one will feature new (hopefully more interesting and less whiny) characters.

Peter Dinklage Sings About Obeying what Simon Says
Peter-DinklageThis one isn’t nearly as good as Sons of Poetry, but I’m pro anything Tyrion Lannister and/or Simon Says related.

LAST WEEK | NEXT WEEK →