Saturday, December 29, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 12

So I'm addicted to Lord of the Rings Online... got up early, showered, ate and jumped online to play. We played for a straight six hours before taking a break to eat some lunch.

Now it's time for Downton Abbey season three, this is why I shared Downton with Chris during this vacation as I had not seen season three yet and have been dying to watch it. We watched all eight episodes back to back to back for eight hour straight. Now onto my season three review, I know it doesn't start in the US until early January so I won't put any major spoilers only my thoughts on the season overall.

I felt this season overall wasn't as dramatic as previous seasons, I remember with I watched seasons 1 & 2 I was yelling and screaming at my TV and I was angry/frustrated at characters. I mean there is one HUGE event that takes place (which I was spoiled on) but other then that it's just some minor ups and downs. I mean I was still angry and frustrated with these characters... so that's good. It was great watching my favorite characters continue to live their "oh so dramatic" early 1900's lives.

For dinner Chris made a leg of Lamb and brussel sprouts, neither of those have I had before. I enjoyed the Lamb it had some good flavor. And the brussel sprouts weren't bad. I wouldn't eat them on a regular bases but I had three tonight and they weren't horrible.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 11

So here I am at Day 11 of my Montana Vacation... the day started like the previous 10 days. Got up, showered, did dishes and ate breakfast.

We started our day with watching Downton Abbey, we finished season two. For lunch we went to Cafe Rio again for some very tasty burritos. Then we played Lord of the Rings Online for about six hours before making some leftovers for dinner and watching a screener of Silver Lining Playbook to end the night.

Here's a brief synopsis for Silver Lining Playbook: After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

My review... I have to say when the movie started I was not enjoying it. It was hard to watch this person try to deal with "real life". About halfway through the movie I actually started to enjoy it and by the end it was a fun entertaining ride. Would I want to watch it again? No, I think once is fine. Am I'm disappointed that I watch it in the first place? No, thought it was rough at the beginning the ending defiantly made the movie for me. I give this movie a solid C

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 10

Day ten of my trip to Montana to spend the holidays with my best friend Chris. Today like every morning we had breakfast, this time instead of making it ourselves we went out to a local "hole in the wall" Looked like a house converted into a diner.. the prices for breakfast were about $8 to $10, but man they gave you a ton of food and it was so yummy.

After breakfast we came home and Chris surprised me by downloading an MMO that I've always wanted to play but because of my crappy internet I haven't been able to. It's the Lord of the Rings MMO online game. We spent the next two hours setting up our characters. I of course went with a Hobbit and since Chris is awesome and wanted to play in a fellowship with me he also created a Hobbit character. We went through various names but I wound up with Drialdo and Chris went with Perugrin. It was fun going through all the different looks and making him look exactly as I wanted. Chris has done LOTRO before so he showed me around and went over some of the instructions on how to do things. It was everything I was hoping for and more. I was instantly addicted to the game as I expected and will be bummed when I get home and not be able to play with my slow internet connection. Guess that means I'll have to get in as much play time with the game as I can before I leave.

We pulled ourselves away from the game just long enough to make some lunch before jumping back on and playing until Chris had to go into work. So in all we played about seven hours total for my first day.

Chris went into work but only had to work an hour so he came home fairly early so we got in a few more episodes of Season two of Downton Abbey. Hopefully we can finish off this season tomorrow.

Called it a night around 11ish ...  Chris and I talked about going up to Canada since we're only a few hours away and I've never been. Calgary is the closet big city so that's where we plan to go. Gonna leave early on Sunday and spend Sunday and Monday there, then come home on Tuesday and I fly out on Wednesday.  Hope those plans pan out... I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 9

Up, showered and breakfast eaten. Headed to a local bank. I have a check I need to deposit but they don't have Bank of America up here. I wasn't sure if I would be able to deposit a check into another bank for my BofA bank account. I didn't think it would work and sure enough it didn't. Luckily I have just enough money to cover my mortgage and bills for January. But Chris mentioned online depositing. I knew Chase did it (saw the commercials) but didn't know BofA did and sure enough they do. So I deposited by check by taking a picture of the front and back.. will see how that works out.

After the bank we went to a few pawn shops and thrift stores. There are quite a few of them out here and Chris like visiting them every once in a while. Didn't really find much, Chris did find another Disney cassette tape for his car collection, this one is the soundtrack for The Little Mermaid. And during our last stop at the Salvation Army I managed to find this really cool coat. I wasn't sure I wanted to get it because living in SoCal I wouldn't really get much use out of it but I kept going back to it and finally tried it on and other then the arms being a bit too long it fit perfectly so I asked how much and when they said $4.95 I couldn't pass it up and had to purchased it. I love it.

Chris and I then came home and started working on our "Special" project. I was hoping to get work done on it while I was visiting him but the motivation just isn't there. We did get a fair amount of work done on it and I hope to still get more done before I leave next week.

We had lunch and watched some TV... a few hours before Chris had to go to work we watched a few more episodes of Downton Abbey (we are currently halfway through Season two).

For dinner Chris drove me to Taco Bell, he went through the drive thru and I went inside to order. Chris headed off to work and I walked back to his place. It's only a few blocks but in the freezing cold and snow it was a interesting trek back to his place.. upside I got to wear my new coat and man does that keep you warm.

Chris texted me and said he wouldn't be home when planned and expected to be home in the wee hours so I called it a night and went to bed around midnight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 8 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

Got up at our regular time and made breakfast. The first thing we had to do as you always do on Christmas morning.. we opened presents. I got Chris the picture of "The Geek Mob" and several Star Wars items. Chris on the other hand went a bit over board and got me several Lego sets (2 Star Wars & 1 Hobbit mini set), a joke shirt, a awesome Kermit beanie cap, some candy and three very cool Hobbit items. One is a companion book for the movie, another is a small pocket size leather bound book of The Hobbit (and it's AWESOME!!!) and the third is a Bilbo action figure (which I already have) but this one I get to open... yay!!

After opening gifts we wanted to get the turkey in the oven as it's going to take several hours to cook. While the turkey was cooking we watched one of my new favorite Christmas movies "Rise of the Guardians" I've lost count how many times I have seen it in the past month but I love it every time and Chris seemed to like it as well.

Next we played Star Wars Kinect, this time around we played Star Wars Dance Studio (or whatever it's called). That was a blast and a great workout. Afterwards we played Rancor Rampage which is so much fun because all you do is run around, break buildings and eat people.. lots of physical movement and again another great workout.

Once we were thoroughly exhausted it was time for our Christmas lunch/dinner. We had turkey, ham, corn, rolls, stuffing, green bean casserole, mash potato and gravy. It was all very tasty. While digested the food we watched a bit of TV.. there were marathons of Doctor Who and Indiana Jones that we switched back and forth between.

Since it snowed the night before Chris really wanted to go out and see if we could make a Dalek snowman. We tried a few times but the snow was too flaky and was like sand and didn't stick together... so no Dalek snowman. Instead Chris threw some snow at me which began a snowball war. That lasted about 10 minutes before we called it quits since it was so cold outside.

One thing I look forward to on Christmas day is Doctor Who. (SPOILERS) For the past eight years they have released Christmas specials on Christmas day. This year I get to share the event with Chris. The title of this one is The Snowmen and it introduced a new companion, well kind of.  We got to see the new interior of the TARDIS, which I'm not sure if I like it or not.. it's very modern and scifi looking. There was also a new opening graphic and music for this episode. This episode is different from other Christmas specials as this one dealt more with emo Doctor when the threat to Earth. I mean there is still a threat and the Doctor does save the Earth again but in the end the Doctor gets his mojo back.

As for the new companion... we saw this actress in the very first episode of this season but she was actually a Dalek and dies at the end. And again in this episode she dies at the end, but we know she is the new Doctor's companion in the upcoming season... so the question is what's is the deal with Clara Oswin Oswald.. can't wait to find out.

Watched some more TV before putting in another one of my screeners, The Impossible. This is a movie I wanted to see and when I got the screener  but Chris immediately contacted me and asked if I would wait to watch this movie with him since he is a huge Ewan McGregor fan. Of course I said yes so I've been looking forward to seeing this.

Here's a short synopsis of the movie: The film tells the true story of a Spanish family, played by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and their three children. It starts as the family begins their Christmas vacation in Thailand, with the intention of spending a few days at a tropical paradise resort. However, their idyllic vacation is interrupted on the morning of December 26, 2004, when a devastating tsunami interrupts their relaxation and destroys the coastal zone. The family is separated in surviving the apocalypse, and they begin a desperate search to reunite.

I enjoyed the movie.. the first half the movie there isn't a single piece of music which makes it so creepy and eerie. It's hard to watch when the tidal wave hits and you follow the story of the mom and older son. Honestly I didn't feel like there was a really strong story.. You really don't get to know the family before the wave hits and then you spend the rest of the movie watching them struggle to find each other. I guess it doesn't really matter that there isn't much of a story as it's really about the event and what this family goes through... I mean it's based off a true story. Some of it is painful to watch and it defiantly tugs at the heart a few times. The movie felt like it just flew by. Once the movie was over you understand why it's called The Impossible. I give this movie a B-

After the movie I was tired and only stayed up another half hour and watched a few episodes of Robot Chicken before calling it a night and going to bed.

This is the first time in my entire life that I haven't spent Christmas day with my family. But in a sense I did spend it with family as Chris and several of my other friends are very much like family to me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 7

Well I'm halfway through my visit with my best bud Chris. Can't believe it's halfway over already but man what a blast we've been having.

Merry Christmas Eve....

Today started with me checking outside and seeing a few inches of snow on the ground and still falling. Looks like I'm going to be getting my White Christmas after all. In all my 42 years I've never celebrated a White Christmas. I mean I live in SoCal all my life so I was hoping for snow on Christmas and until this morning I didn't think it was going to happen. It's suppose to continue through Christmas Day.. yay!!!

So we got up, made some breakfast and turned on the TV to find that The Science Channel is having a Firefly marathon all day. We watched for a bit before we went outside to play in the snow... well that lasted all of ten minutes. Chris did manage to convince me to do a snow angel. I haven't been around snow much so I've never made a real snow angel. It was freezing cold but still fun and I think it turned out pretty good.

Came in and Chris wanted to share with me another one of his favorite teas. A few days ago I had hot tea for the very first time. Yes I know, but I don't like ice tea so I never tried hot tea.. but wow did I love it. It was English breakfast tea and today Chris made me Chai tea. Didn't like it as much as English breakfast tea but it was still good. Next up is Earl Grey tea. I've always wanted to try that ever since I saw Star Trek The Next Generation as it's Picard's choice of drink.

We opted to turn away from Firefly and watch one of the screeners that I brought. Our choice is Lincoln. I've been wanting to see this since I saw previews. First of all it's directed by Steven Spielberg, who I love and second it has Sally Fields who I've always adored since her Gidget days.

I don't know much about the history of Lincoln, other then his larger deeds and I really didn't know what this movie was going to cover.  Here's a brief synopsis: As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

First let me say that I enjoyed the movie, it's incredible acted, the costume are wonderful, since I don't know much about this history I found the story very compelling and interesting. It amazed me at how horrible human beings were back then (not that they are much better now). This is a very slow movie. This movie is less about the war and more about politics.  It covers the final months of Lincoln's life. I see why it's up for all kinds of awards. I give this movie a solid A

After the movie we we out to lunch to a place called Montana Club, I got a very tasty steak sandwich. It was a bit pricey but some very yummy food.

We then went to Walmart to pick up some stocking stuffers for each other. Things didn't go as planned which bummed me out. But I did manage to find a few things for Chris as he did as well for me.

Decided we were going to make gingerbread men but we needed butter so we bundled up and walked to the local liquor store. Chris began a mini battle by throwing a snow ball at my back. I chased him to the store before taking a tumble in the middle of the street. On our way back Chris manage to take an even harder tumble in the street.. both of us were okay. I did manage to catch up to him and throw him into a snow bank.. ahhh good time.. cold times.. but good.

We got back and made our gingerbread men but they wound up being more like gingerbread blobs. We decorated some and wrote friends names on some. They may not look like gingerbread men but they sure are tasty.

We watched another screener and this time it was Skyfall. Now I'm not a huge James Bond fan. I mean I've seen alot of the earlier ones but only a few of the newer ones and never seen Danial Craig as Bong. Here's a brief synopsis: Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her, bringing MI6 under attack.

Not being a huge Bond fan I can't compare it to the others but as an action movie I really enjoyed it. I liked the story and the action was awesome. It had your typical Bond moments, at least the ones I remember from the Connery and Moore eras. I liked Danial Craig as James Bond and I look forward to going back and watching his other two movies. I'd give Skyfall a solid B

After the movie we watched a bit more of Firefly before calling it an night. Another fun filled day has come to a close..

Up next... CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Geek Love Returns

Last year in December TLC aired a really cool special called Geek Love. Well I fell in love with the show and was hoping it would be picked up as a regular TV series. You can read my original blog post about Geek Love HERE

Well TLC never picked it up but now it looks like You Tube channel START (IGN) has picked up the series for their online TV channel... it premieres this January and I can't wait. Here's the new trailer.

Montana Vacation - Day 6

Breakfast, this time Chris made french toast, I made some coffee and since I don't make coffee I made it about 3 times as strong as it should be... still very tasty.

We played Star Wars Kinect for about an hour.. wow what a fun game and a workout.
Watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is my fourth time watching it in a month but I love it so much and want to share it with everyone I know. Chris really enjoyed it as well.

Chris introduced me to Dexter. I never really had the urge to watch this as I can't see how you can enjoy watching a show about a serial killer but after watching episode one of season one, I really can't wait to watch more. I like how they deal with the main character and what he does.

Chris had to go into work for a few hours and I wanted to get some blogging done but instead my stomach issue which started earlier in the day was still bothering me, but I did manage to finish my geeky Christmas stocking.

Once Chris was home we started to watch season two of Downton Abbey. We only watched the first episode before calling it a night.

This was a more relaxing day of just hanging around the house, playing games, watching TV and enjoying ones company.