Category Archives: filmography

Academy Awards 2013 (a post by Lee)

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We’ve talked before about how much I love the Oscars (in case you need a refresher: I LOVE THE OSCARS). And, y’all. Sunday night was an exceptional ceremony.

I must admit that I had some reservations going into this year’s Academy Awards. I’d only seen 3 of the 9 Best Picture nominations; I slept through 2 of them. I’m not a huge Seth MacFarlane fan, although honestly I think the host is a fairly negligible presence at these events anyway. And, most alarmingly, I really struggled with this year’s Best Picture nominee-themed food puns. Luckily for me, I had a wonderful and remarkably patient co-hostess, Sarah. Six days before Oscar Sunday, I sent her a super-panicked email with an inchoate list of potential ideas. With her help and soothing, we were eventually able to generate pretty solid Oscar foods. (I’m still a bit sad I couldn’t make escARGOt happen, but that would have been a) a major budget-buster and b) totally disgusting.) Without further ado, I’m proud to present this year’s Oscars Extravaganza menu:

Amour: S’Amours [Insider Tip: You can roast marshmallows in an oven. Doing so will cause the fire alarm to go off very 3 minutes, enraging your neighbors, but YOLO or whatever.]
Argo: Argo-choke Dip
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Beets of the Southern Wild [Sarah thankfully talked me out of Chicken Breasts of the Southern Wild.]
Django Unchained: Djambalaya Unchained
Les Misérables: Les Twizzlérables [My personal favorite pun.]
Life of Pi: Life of Pa-Pi-Ya [I’ve never dealt with papaya before, and I never will again. It’s slippery and tastes like fish. This was a wildly unpopular dish, and probably I should have gone for the obvious Life of Pie joke.]
Lincoln: Drink-oln
Silver Linings Playbook: Silver Wine-ings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty: Zero Dark Thirsty [A spiced rum punch that almost wasn’t. For some reason, I kept pushing Zero Pork Thirty, which doesn’t even make sense.]

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And, y’all, the show itself was amazing. Because I never act with any forethought, I accidentally invited people over an hour before the ceremony began. But this ended up being a blessing in disguise, as that meant guests had the opportunity to watch the red carpet show. That’s never really been of interest to me, but it was fun (albeit slightly bewildering) to watch Kelly Rowland maintain relevance (unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Destiny’s Forgotten Child, Michelle Williams). Seeing Kelly work it filled me with the false hope that maybe Beyoncé would grace the Dolby Theatre with her presence. She didn’t, which would have been highly disappointing had it not been for Catherine Zeta Jones’s FANTASTIC surprise performance of “All That Jazz.” That coupled with Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger” (featuring my new favorite lyrics: “He loves gold. He only loves gold. Only. Gold.”) pretty much made my life complete. Then Meryl Streep sealed the deal by announcing Daniel Day-Lewis as the Best Actor winner WITHOUT EVEN OPENING THE ENVELOPE. Meryl, you are a national treasure. NEVER CHANGE, GIRL.

I’d reflect more on what transpired, but after Googling “Meryl Streep gifs,” I stumbled upon this fan video for Meryl Streep and her husband that is having the strange and conflicting dual effect of weirding me out and making me misty-eyed:

Suture Self, Said the Surgeon (a post by Lee)

Last weekend, I went to a wedding outside of Austin. In the midst of all the excitement, I took a major tumble on Friday night. When I woke up the following morning, I noticed my right shoulder was a little sore. In my typical fashion, however, I ignored the pain, and carried on with swimming, dancing, climbing ladders, and generally being overactive.

When I returned to Houston on Sunday, I discovered that not only was my range of motion in my right shoulder rather limited, but also my collarbone seemed to be sticking out farther than usual. Because I’m an idiot optimist, I assumed the best and figured I’d just badly bruised myself. When I still wasn’t feeling better by Tuesday morning, however, I put on my responsible adult hat and went to the doctor.

The doctor took some x-rays of my right shoulder, and then sat me down for a conversation.

Doctor: So, did you hear a snap or a pop or anything when you fell?
Lee: No. It’s just that my shoulder is sore and there are some sharp pains if I move it in a certain way. Also, you know, my right collarbone seems to be sticking out pretty far.
Doctor: Well, Lee, that’s because your collarbone is broken.

This announcement reduced me into a giggling mess, which I think threw my poor doctor off-guard. He attempted to make me realize the seriousness of the situation by telling me I was lucky I didn’t puncture a lung, which only served to make me laugh harder. Eventually he just gave up and showed me my x-ray.

My collarbone was quite broken, as it turned out. The doctor recommended surgery, and that’s how I found myself at the Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital this past Friday.

The procedure involved the surgeon reconnecting my collarbone by affixing a metal plate over the bone via six screws. I am now the Bionic Woman! I put together a short film of my surgical experience for your viewing pleasure:

I was allowed to remove the bandages this morning. I’d been eagerly anticipating this moment since Friday afternoon, as I had no concept of the size of the incision. Turns out — it’s a whopping 4 inches!

I was disappointed to discover that my refrigerator magnets won’t stick to my new and improved collarbone. I guess there is a downside to major surgery, after all.

I <3 Awards Ceremonies (a post by Lee)

So last night was the 84th Annual Academy Awards, more widely known as Lee’s 3rd Annual Academy Awards Extravaganza. It was a big night for me, for so many reasons. But first! Let’s go back in history and revisit the past two parties.

The first iteration of my Oscars bonanza took place in 2010. I only had 3 friends kept a very exclusive guest list, so only Jordie, AM, and Kate attended. While I was actively engaged in the ceremony to the point of near-riot when they cut Patrick Swayze from the In Memoriam section (I AM STILL ANGRY ABOUT THIS), Jordie read files for work, Anna Marie tied ribbons, and Kate actually had her back to the TV the whole time. I swore that never again would I host an event that would allow for such blatant disinterest.

The next year I sent out an invitation to about 40 people, heavily encouraging costumes and promising food inspired by the 10 Best Film nominations. Because I’d actually seen most of the nominated films, it did not seem too difficult of a charge. The menu was:

True Grit: true cheese grits [apparently I was not particularly witty in 2011]
The Fighter: punch
127 Hours: trail mix
The King’s Speech: Royal-tea sandwiches
Inception: 3-layered dip [in honor of the 3-level dream ]
Toy Story 3: alien cupcakes
The Kids Are All Right: Nic’s Tomato Salad is All Right [inspired by Nic’s/Annette Bening’s line, “If I hear heirloom tomatoes one more time, I’m going to shoot someone.”]
The Social Network: Mark Zucker-burgers [my first attempt at black bean burgers; I failed remarkably]
Winter’s Bone: coconut pie [crystal meth looks like coconut to me, is what I was going for here…]
Black Swan: swan wings

All was going well until that very last dish – the swan wings. I had never even held a chicken wing before, much less made them. It was a scarring experience. If you’re wondering, to make wings you have to cut through the bone in two different places in order to remove the wing tip. It is a vile procedure.

By the grace of the Oscar gods, somehow the food was ready by the time folks started showing up. Something I hadn’t taken into account is that our apartment, while spacious for intimate gatherings and dinner parties, is not the greatest venue to host 30 people for a sit-down event – especially because we only have one couch. That coupled with the fact that we are the proud owners of the world’s smallest TV meant that we all got to know each other real well real quick.

Anyway, the party went off without a hitch (except for the part where NATALIE PORTMAN ROBBED ANNETTE BENING OF HER OSCAR, DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN!? On a related note, I am way too emotionally invested in the Oscars.) and a few people even wore costumes! Costumed people are my favorite people.

So now that I’ve rehashed the past couple of years, let’s talk about the 2012 Oscars. First of all, you guys, the party almost didn’t happen. I KNOW! Sadness and devastation! A few minor issues prevented me from organizing the party, but most problematically, we were having issues with Comcast. In that our cable had been out since mid-December and Comcast wouldn’t send a technician out to fix it. And then Anna Marie bestowed upon me a most glorious gift: she negotiated (read: bullied) our leasing office in to letting us use their clubhouse for the Oscars, without charge!

Here’s this year’s pun-heavy menu:

The Artist: The Tartist [apple tart]
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Extremely Lard and Incredibly Toast [buttered & toasted sandwiches]
The Descendants: The Desandwichants [a stretch of a name; Hawaiian sandwiches]
The Help: The Help Yourself to Some Sweet Tea […sweet tea]
Midnight in Paris: Midnight in Pear-is [roasted pears]
Moneyball: Honeyballs [self-explanatory]
The Tree of Life: The Brie of Life [this is the one menu item Anna Marie contributed, and she admitted to stealing it from a blog]
War Horse: War HorSeeds [this was… just a bowl of mixed nuts… I’m not proud]
Hugo: HUnGOver [This was the drink station. YOU GUYS. I feel like this is some Will Shortz level of brilliance.]

But, really, who cares about all that because guess what happened? MERYL STREEP WON! Fun fact: Meryl Streep graduated from my podunk New Jersey high school way back when, so I am disgustingly loyal to her. VIVE MERYL!

Someone Like Remy (another painful video by Lee)

I’ve been pretty exhausted lately. It’s reached the point where today I actually had this conversation with Anna Marie as I was toodling off somewhere:

Lee: Peace be with you!
[a beat]
Lee: …Is that from the Bible or Star Wars?
AM: Girl. Bible. You’re thinking of “May the Force be with you.”

So when Remy’s birthday rolled around this year, I sort of hoped he’d forget about it so I wouldn’t be expected to, you know, do anything. Unfortunately, my brother is self-aware and remembers things like when he was born.

I set a dangerous precedent for his birthday and Christmas gifts, in which I make him atrocious music videos, like this and this. He hasn’t forgotten about those, either, as I was reminded over gchat on his big day:

Remy: where’s my music video?
me: you needy Nelly
I’ll think of something. I still have… 9 hours?
Remy: i don’t know what time i was born…but let’s pretend you have until tomorrow morning
me: I work well under pressure.
Remy: well, i’m not going to pull your leg, but if you want to make me a video i’m sure i’ll love it

No pressure, right?

Anyway, I decided to truck through and comply with his request. Be careful what you wish for, however, because sometimes what you want for your birthday is something meaningful and special but what you get is an atrocity like this:

Happy birthday, Remy! I hope everyone is lucky enough to know Someone Like You.

A Quarter-Centennial to Remember (a post by Lee)

Anna Marie turned the big 2-5 this year, so Jordie and I chose to commemorate this event by surprising her with a big, Southern-style breakfast jubilee.

We ran into some difficulties before the day even began:

1. I’m from New Jersey and Jordie hails from Florida (essentially New Jersey displaced), so neither of us know how to cook anything Southern cuisine.

2. We’d planned it as a surprise. Unfortunately, Anna Marie hates surprises. After pestering us for weeks about whether or not we were “actually going to do something” to celebrate her birthday, we finally buckled. She expressed some enthusiasm, but mostly dread that Jordie and I would be responsible for preparing food for friends.

3. Since we invited about 20 of her closest friends to join us at 11:30am, we needed to start cooking at 8am. We appointed Anna Marie as videographer, meaning we had to rouse the birthday girl at the ungodly hour of 7:30am on a Saturday. This was an unpopular decision.

4. We had just quelled a bug invasion in our apartment that very week.

Luckily, the stars aligned and breakfast was [mostly] edible! Jordie and I edited our most impressive moments from our foray in the kitchen into a short film. Please honor Anna Marie’s big day by viewing the video below.

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (a post by Lee)

The kind ladies at Forever Young Adult recently bequeathed upon me a glorious pen pal. To win her favor, I crafted a mixed CD and eagerly sent it along.

A few days later, I received an email from the ladies of Forever Young Adult, informing me that I apparently, in my enthusiasm to get this CD to her as quickly as possible, forgot to actually put the music on the CD. Shame-faced, I immediately set about creating an apology video for her. By 2am, I finished filming and editing this abomination wonder of a music video.

Enjoy my rendition of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” dedicated to my [hopefully] forgiving pen pal.

Merry Christmas, Remy! (A gift from Lee)

In high school, Remy played in this pop-punk band called Auto-Stop. Their crowning achievement is that they once won a Battle of the Bands competition. Since Remy’s bedroom shared a wall with mine, I often heard him practicing late into the night. It didn’t take long for me to memorize all their lyrics, and consequently become Auto-Stop’s only biggest fan.

So then I guess it’s only appropriate that, for Christmas, I shot a music video for what was arguably my favorite track they recorded (a close second was the one in which Remy begs a girl, “Do you want to go to prom with me? I’d be so happy… We’d take a limo, too important for a taxi”).

Enjoy, Remy. May you always be Beering & Rearing.