Sunday, August 17, 2014

Julie & Julia (2009)

Aug 17th, 2011

3 years ago I ate at the Caf for the first time. I don't think it's open yet, but I hear it's been remodeled over the summer so I can't wait to see it.

Aug 17th, 2014

In honor of my Caf-eversary I've decided to cook a very southern meal (with a twist).

Apple Bourbon BBQ with sweet peppers and brown sugar pulled pork, Garlic Asiago Baked Spiralized Fries and Homemade Coleslaw:

I added a 2 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder to the Campbells Slow Cooker sauce and instead of using a slow cooker (since I don't have a 6 Quart slow cooker) I used a cast iron dutch oven. 

250° and 8 hours later my pork was done. ( I should have pulled it out at 190°, but I waited too long. It was still very tender.) 

Thanks to a cooking class at Williams Sonoma, I've recently been obsessed with my spiralizer. It turns most vegetables into pasta and ribbons. 

Tonight I used the spiralizer to make Garlic Asiago Baked Spiralized Fries. The only thing I changed was not using a sweet potato and using Rosemary from my roommate's garden. 

 At the farmer's market yesterday I was convinced to buy a kohlrabi. I had no clue what to make with it, but the farmer was just so convincing. I decided to attempt homemade Coleslaw. And what a success!

Everything was great!! I accompanied my meal with a beer I first tried in France, Leffe, sold at Harris Teeter! 

As they say in Puerto Rico, BUEN PROVECHO!

If you're happy with your weight, screw what people think!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Toy Story 3 (2010)

Aug 16th, 2011

Aug 16th, 2014
3 years ago today I was on my way to Winston Salem. I was scared and confused about attending UNCSA. I've never been a fan of "new." What helped through some lonely times was starting this blog. It was to keep my friends and family up to date on my back-to-college adventures. With my busy first year schedule I somehow managed to make time to blog almost every day.  It was like keeping a digital scrapbook that I have LOVED reminiscing on lately.

So here I am in 2014, in my newish house, back from my internship on the Walking Dead and hardcore into pre-production for two short films.

My house for Senior year!

It's Saturday today and Saturday mornings are reserved for the Cobblestone Farmer's Market, and today my date was Peanut. He was such a good boy considering his last time here he was re-covering from surgery. I bought $10 worth of heirloom tomatoes for a tomato pie that looks delicious. I've frozen it to have it later but I'll post a pic when I bake it!

Apart from my internship in GA, I spent my summer cooking up recipes and spiralizing and working and saving money for life post UNCSA. So, chances are if it's Saturday night, I'm serving. That's been the case since I started working at Luigi's Italian Restaurant in 2003.

Goofing off in 2010 with Kathy and Sheila
So here goes to my attempt at writing a post for everyday I posted my first year. Ambitious, I know. 

Woo 3 years!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nashville Film Festival (2014)

Friday April 18, 2014- We hop in our 18 passenger van, the 4 of us, and head to Nashville, Tennessee for the Nashville Film Festival where Helpless is screening. A 7 hour drive and get to our hotel around 2 in the morning. That's just enough time to hit the hay so we can hot the town bright and early.

Saturday April 19, 2014- We head straight to the headquarters located at Regal Green Hills to learn how to fest. (After coffee and croissants, of course) While wondering the lobby slightly lost we meet Brian Owens, the Artistic Director of the festival who with just a glance of my name recognized me and congratulated us on our win. OUR WIN?! Evan and I were stunned and confused. Apparently the night before during the Women in Film and Television of Nashville event, Helpless won the award for Best Short Film. What an honor! Brian tells us to keep an eye out for Nancy Puetz who is wanting to meet us. 

Still high from the news we wonder the lobby a little longer just as the crew of Grace hands out tickets to their 10:30am screening. Along with the tickets, they give us a box of a dozen glazed donuts. Free tickets, free donuts AND an award is just too much!

The cast and crew of Grace
I feel like I have been chasing the documentary Alive Inside for many festivals now. I finally made it a point to watch it while I was here in Nashville.

This Documentary truly lived up to my expectations of what it was trying to do. Which is to reach out and educate people of the impact of music on the elderly and their memories. There are several different patients suffering from several different diseases including dementia and Alzheimer's. I was crying within minutes of the opening shot and steadily cried throughout the film watching all of these people reconnect with the world through music of their childhood.

One of the Producers

After Alive Inside we met Nancy Puetz and Deborah Gordon for The Women in Film and Television of Nashville. They were the most intriguing, intelligent and amazing women I have met in a while! I so wish we had something like that in NC. The NC Film Commission is the closest thing, but something ran by women would be pretty fantastic.

No judgement, but we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Their fried macaroni and cheeseballs are my favorite and it was right across the street. I promise no more big chains while we are here.

Fun fact: It's Record Store Day! So what does that mean? We find the coolest Record Store, Grimey's with live music and check it out.


We then decide to check out the Downtown and Broadway st.


What a privilege to have your fortune read by the king. I'll be honest, since Big I have not been able to use one of these. 
We walked to the downtown location of the festive located across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame (which was unfortunately closed). We did, however, see some really great "Happy Hour" shorts while we drank some Jack Daniel cocktails. 


With a nice Tennessee buzz we head back to the festival to catch the OMG WTF shorts:

1%ERS (17min) Short | NR | 17 min- A famous actress (Michelle Rodriguez) and her co-star (Rie Rasmussen) break away from their Hollywood bubble and head to a locals dive bar in pursuit of something 'real'. Things take a dark and violent turn when they clash with a group of outlaw bikers over a poker game.

CHAPEL PERILOUS (13min) Short | NR | 13 min- Levi Gold (David Henry Gerson) is paid an unexpected visit by Robin (Kris Park), a door-to-door salesman with nothing to sell. The ensuing encounter forces Levi to confront his true mystical calling, and the nature of reality itself. A metaphysical comedy trip-out with music by Sun Araw!

DOG FOOD (18min) Short | NR | 18 min- When Declan loses his dog and best friend Ralphie, his life starts to unravel.

GREGORY GO BOOM (18min) Short | NR | 18 min- Gregory lives with his sister Rose but he wants to live with his brother Tom. Tom has no room for Gregory. Gregory goes on three blind dates. Those dates mostly go bad. His last date, Summer, brings him home. Ultimately he feels rejected.

METUBE: AUGUST SINGS CARMEN 'HABANERA'(4min) Short | NR | 4 min- A YouTube anachronism as the overture of a clever opera-remix spectacle: A man’s surrounded by the most conservative ´70s interior furnishings imaginable. Beige patterned wallpaper is dominated by a portrait of Maria Callas, and a cassette recorder plays “Habanera” from Bizet´s opera Carmen.

PLACES WHERE WE LIVED (7min) Short | NR | 7 min- A man wakes up with a weird feeling. His parents are selling his childhood home.

RAT PACK RAT (19min) Short | NR | 19 min-  A Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonator, hired to visit with a loyal Rat Pack fan, finds himself delivering last rites at the boy's bedside.

WAKENING (9min) Short | NR | 9 min- In the near future, the environment has been destroyed and society suffocates under a brutal military occupation. A lone Cree wanderer Weesakechak searches an urban war zone to find the ancient and dangerous Weetigo to help fight against the occupiers.

OMG and WTF were some of the only things I managed to get out during some of these shorts. I knew it would be right up my alley. Kudos NaFF for being brave enough to show some of these films. 

Sunday April 20th, 2014- There is no way I could be in Nashville and not visit the Grand Ole Opry. 

ABC's Nashville films some of their scenes in the studio at the Opry

Some people in Nashville talk like the Pancake Pantry is the best they've ever had and that's what I like to hear when I travel so we tried it! And it did not disappoint. After a 30-40 minute wait we sat in an old booth and ordered. Corn cakes, hash browns with eggs and cheese and toast.

After a nice filling brunch we headed to the festival for the International Student Showcase where Helpless was screening along with:

ALL GOD'S CREATURES (20min) Short | NR | 20 min - Asher and Charlie are two very different brothers. Asher likes fishing and swearing. Charlie likes tea parties and crafts. In the summer of 1987 – the first since their father walked out of their lives – their relationship undergoes a test of almost mythic proportions when Asher’s confusion and anger boils over into a mindless act of cruelty. The fall-out will determine the men, and brothers, they will become.

EVEN COWBOYS GET TO CRY (COWBOYS JANKEN OOK) (20min) Short | NR | 20 min-  Sven and Gijs are best mates. They do absolutely everything together, whether going clubbing or mucking about or simply pondering life. Their intimacy is such that one of them can even stroll blithely into a room where the other is having sex. In ten years’ time they plan to have travelled the length and breadth of South America on motorbikes.

HELPLESS (8min) Short | NR | 8 min- On the floor of school library, Leah and Chayse discuss fellow students, the hypocrisy of happiness, and the tragic thought of “what could have been” on the eve of prom. Their obvious attraction to each other overshadowed by a pending catastrophe.

HMONG SISTERS (14min) Short | NR | 14 min-  Teenage sisters living among the mountain villages of Vietnam take a western backpacker under their wing. As they guide him through a traditional way of life that has been threatened and transformed by economic and colonial forces, their informal relationship exposes the underlying complexities of cross-cultural encounters.

THE PINK HELMET POSSE (9min) Short | NR | 9 min- Young girls are rarely encouraged to step of away from the societal norms of femininity, but Bella, Relz, and Sierra see things differently. Step into the world of The Pink Helmet Posse as these three little girls fearlessly take on the world of skateboarding in their pink tutus and perfectly pink nails, giving the boys a run for their money.

SILENT (9min) Short | NR | 9 min- Jossy, a Holocaust survivor, writes the book of Jewish Law: the Torah. His work is abruptly interrupted by visions of old memories; when he was a prisoner during World War II. Soon, he will relive those memories as he finds himself young again, at the shore of a lake with ten other Jewish prisoners ready to be executed by a Nazi soldier. With no chances to escape among hopeless souls, he finds inspiration to keep fighting for his life in a fellow prisoner, a woman who refuses to loose hope in her future. Jossy's attempt to save her, and what follows, will torment his thoughts until the end of his days.

STILL GOT LIVES_ (ICH HAB NOCH AUFERSTEHUNG_) (23min) Short | NR | 23 min-  Marco and Lisa are in love. Online, they fight side by side against dreadful monsters. However, Lisa refuses to meet Marco in real life. When one day she stops showing up for the game, Marco decides to go searching for her. He finds a new world. And learns real dread.

Q&A for the screening

Deborah wanted to present us with our Women in Film Award.
Me, Beth Harrington, Deborah, and Nancy

We decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner dinner at Whiskey Kitchen where we shared macaroni and cheese, pizza, fried pickles and more. Alex Sablow, a UNCSA alumni joined us and shared some stories of what being a pickle use to mean. What a great guy!

Mint Rose
In the photo above is Beth Harrington, the director of The Winding Stream. A Documentary about the Carter family. Beth won the award for Best Feature with the Women in Film and Television. After dinner we were able to make the last screening of the Winding Stream which made me desperately want to watch Walk the Line again.

Evan. Austin & Alex goofing off
We hop over to the Shorts Awards at the Greenhouse, which was literally a green house turned into a bar. We enjoyed some cocktails, beer and appetizer's while they awarded the short films. I wish I had time to watch them all because they sounded amazing. 

This is by far one of the funnest festivals I have attended. If I ever get the chance to come again, I would love to stay much longer and see way more films.