Friday, January 21, 2011

Tim Burton Art Exhibition at LACMA Opens May 2011

I am SOOOOOOO going to this!

From the LACMA site:

May 29, 2011–October 31, 2011

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present Tim Burton, a major retrospective exploring the full range of Tim Burton's creative work, both as a director of live-action and animated films, and as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales, and traditions of the gothic, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a personal vision.

On view at LACMA from May 29 through October 31, 2011, the exhibition brings together over 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known personal projects. Many of these objects come from the artist's own archive, as well as from studio archives and private collections of Burton's collaborators.
This exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

This exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The Los Angeles presentation was made possible in part by LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Endowment Fund.

I cannot wait!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tonight's Viewing: Buried (2010)

Buried (2010)

Ok, Van Wilder, let's see what you got...

Seriously diggin' the amazing posters above, though!

Tonight's Viewing: Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)

Settling in for an evening of crazy, over-the-top wackiness courtesy of directors Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Meatball Machine) and Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Zombie Self-Defense Force, Stacy)!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Film Review: The Possession of David O'Reilly (2010)

After I heard someone call this the film that Paranormal Activity should have been, I knew I had to check it out. I wasn’t too thrilled by Paranormal Activity (I didn’t hate it, I just thought it didn’t live up to its potential), so I was eager for a film that may have done it right.

The Possession of David O’Reilly is a British film about a happy couple that agrees to temporary take in their friend David after he splits from his girlfriend. They soon discover that all isn’t right with David – he is increasingly paranoid, sleepwalks, wakes up screaming and claims to see supernatural entities. As the couple begins to experience unexplainable events themselves, they realize David’s wild claims may have some validity and soon find themselves in a fight for their lives.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Restaurant Review: Happy Family Restaurant - Costa Mesa, CA

I am so happy that a vegan Chinese restaurant opened up in Costa Mesa! Happy Family is a wonderful find and my new go-to vegan Chinese food restaurant.

My boyfriend (non-vegan) and I (vegan) arrived on a Sunday night to a near-empty restaurant, however after 10 minutes or so a few more groups of people came through the doors. We were greeted by a very friendly host and excellent wait staff.

I asked our waiter which items on the menu were vegan, and he replied that 99% of the menu was vegan (BTW...the menu is very extensive)! Huzzah! He said the remaining 1% can easily be made vegan by omission of egg. So basically, if you're vegan, just ask them to hold the egg on anything that lists it on the menu. Easy peasy! I love it when being vegan is this easy!

We ordered the hot and sour soup, Mongolian "beef" and soy "chicken" nuggets with orange peel. The dishes don't include rice, so we had to order some on the side. However, either brown or white rice is only an extra $1, so it's not that bad. The service was super-fast and we got our orders within 10 minutes of ordering.

Hot and Sour Soup

The hot and sour soup (we got the smaller of the two sizes) was HUGE, spicy and downright delicious!! It was filled with tofu, mushrooms, noodles, veggies and yummy spices.

Mongolian "Beef"

The Mongolian beef was really nicely spiced and had quite a bit of heat to it (but not too much). It was a little dry in my opinion and I wish it would have come with some veggies, but it was still satisfying.

 Soy "Chicken" Nuggets with Orange Peel

The soy "chicken" nuggets with orange peel were the real star of the meal though (next to the amazing hot and sour soup!). Perfectly crispy and with a wonderful bite, these were devoured by my boyfriend and me. I would definitely order these again on subsequent visits!

 Vegan Tiramisu

After that delicious meal we were both stuffed, but decided that we just had to try their vegan tiramisu dessert! I don't know what a traditionally Italian dessert is doing in a Chinese restaurant...but god bless the genius that thought of putting it on Happy Family's menu, because ordering this was the best decision of the night!! OMG, guys, it was soooooo good! It was silky and scrumptious and very flavorful. I can't wait to go back just for the tiramisu!

Happy Family was a very positive restaurant experience and I cannot wait to go back again. Whenever I have a hankering for some good Chinese food that I know will be 100% vegan, Happy Family will be my first stop!

Read my review originally posted on YELP!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Film Review: The Horde (2010)

The Horde (aka La Horde in its native French), which was released on DVD recently, received a lot of press, both favorable and unfavorable. It seems that horror fans are split on this film – either they hated it with a passion or named it as one of their “best of” picks for 2010. Horror films that split the horror community right down the middle always intrigue me. It really makes me marvel at how people’s perspectives can be so different – one person may have called it the best zombie movie of 2010, but another said it was the worst POS he had ever seen. Surely everyone’s opinion is different, but films that cause such a wide divide in the horror community are even more interesting to me. So, of course I had to see The Horde to decide for myself whether it was a bloody good time or just a waste of time.

The Horde is about a group of vigilante cops that decide to take revenge on a group of gangsters that killed a fellow police officer. They storm the gang’s decrepit headquarters, housed inside a ghetto apartment building, but soon discover they are out-manned and out-gunned by the ruthless thugs. As the gang holds them hostage, a whole new dilemma presents itself as masses of fast-moving zombies start amassing outside the building. Now the remaining cops and gang members must work together to escape the hungry hordes of undead.

Restaurant Review: Thuyen Vien - Anaheim, CA

This is a wonderful family-owned business that I just visited for the first time. All of their dishes are vegetarian, with the majority of them being vegan...yay!

Veggie Egg Rolls...we had already devoured two before I took this pic!

I tried the Spicy Soy "Chicken" with Lemongrass, the Curry Thai Vegetable with Pumpkin, Chow Mein with Mixed Vegetables, and, as an appetizer, the veggie egg(less) rolls. The "egg" rolls were absolutely amazing!! They had the perfect crunch and the dipping sauce was soooooo yummy!

Curry Thai Vegetable with Pumpkin

The entrees were equally delicious. The "chicken" was spiced to perfection without being overpowering and the curry was light but filling. The chow mein wasn't as flavorful as I hoped, but it was still very good.

Chow Mein with Mixed Vegetables

I am vegan, but my boyfriend who accompanied me isn't and still loved every single thing we ordered. Also, everyone who worked there was super-sweet and helpful and the atmosphere was very warm.

Spicy Soy "Chicken" with Lemongrass

Another positive...their prices are really reasonable! I was surprised at how cheap most of their items are, not to mention how extensive their menu is! I cannot wait to go back and try more from this wonderful and inviting place!

My review on YELP!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Film Review: S&Man (2006)

Though the DVD cover of S&Man is extremely misleading (it makes it look like a crappy slasher), rest assured that the actual film is pretty damn brilliant, challenging and powerful. I was surprised to find that director J.T. Petty (The Burrowers, Soft for Digging) made this film and that I hadn’t heard of it sooner. Though it had a festival run way back in 2006, the film wasn’t released on DVD stateside until October 2010.

S&Man (aka Sandman, not S&M Man, like I originally thought!) is a film that explores the seedier side of horror that encompasses the “hardcore” mock-snuff films like the August Underground or Guinea Pig series that are infamous for their shock value and hyper-realism.

Book Review: The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life

I received this delightful book as a Christmas present this year (thanks Mom!! Wuv wu!) and just couldn't wait to dive into it. And dive I did, finishing it in under a weekend because I just couldn't put it down.

Author Melisser Elliott is like the vegan BFF I wish I had...witty, knowledgeable, kind and hilarious. You probably know Elliott as the owner of San Francisco's Sugar Beat Sweets Bakery and the writer of the very popular, super-awesome The Urban Housewife, so just imagine all the goodness of her site condensed into this awesome book! Like her site, the book is very engaging and conversational; it is like you are having a chat with one of your best friends. I loved this intimate feel and really dug Elliott's breezy writing style.

Plus, this book is packed full of goodies that you won't find on The Urban Housewife site. It features an inviting introduction to veganism, an explanation what it means to be vegan, a handy section on nutrition (one of my favorite parts of the book and co-written by nutritionist Gena Hamshaw - check out her website, what to eat and what to wear, non-vegan ingredients to watch out for, and pretty much anything else that covers the vegan spectrum! The second part of the book features a ton of yummy-sounding recipes (must try these!!) like PB & J Muffins, Austrian Potato Salad, Two Bean Confetti Hash, Twice-Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes, Strawberry Basil Risotto, Apple Sage Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash and many more! At the end of the book, there is even a crafty DIY section with lots of cool, eco-friendly projects.

My personal favorite part of the book was the sections on other veganistas, highlighting vegan women who own and run vegan businesses, write, and otherwise champion vegan living! In their own words they express what makes them tick, some of their favorite vegan things and how they deal with any negativity in regards to veganism. All these ladies are amazing and inspirational, so it was a real treat to take a peek into their minds! I also found some fun new blogs to read! Win-win!

The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life is wonderfully inspiring book to read for all vegans (yes, even the boys!) and for anyone curious about veganism. I found it incredibly informative but at the same time an absolute blast to read! It is inspiring to know that there are other women living the cruelty-free lifestyle out there, and their testimonials along with Elliott's passionate writing really solidifies my veganism and makes me so proud to be vegan!

Check out The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Blog If I Want To!

Yes, it's my birthday (*squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!*), so that means I get to do what I want, when I want! Which probably means lounging in my PJ's all day and sending the loving Mr. Spooky out for snacks and treats. Mwahahahahaha!

And tonight I'll probably be stepping out on the town for some yummy vegan food, though I'm not sure where yet. Old standby's Native Foods or Veggie Grill? Or perhaps I'll try something different...I've been dying to try Loving Hut! And to top it all off, Mr. Spooky has promised me some vegan cupcakes...mmmmmmmmmm (though the coffin cake above looks pretty wicked!) and a trip to LUSH for some goodies! Yay me! :)

And now, for some videos to kick-start the celebrations!

Thanks to everyone that has sent me birthday wishes through Facebook and Twitter! You seriously made my day that much more special!
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