Archive by Author

Top-5 Christmas Movies Lists

17 Dec


Compiling a massive list of Christmas movies we recommend has been a pet project for a couple years now. Over the years, Caitlin and I have developed a list of must watches every year (It’s a Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown, Rudolph), some we mix in when we’re in the mood (One Magic Christmas, Die Hard, Home Alone) and then a few new ones we try out to see if they stick. Our collection of favorites grows and grows, but we still didn’t come close to covering the wide swath of Christmas movies of all genres, so we invited a few friends to help us cover all that Christmas has to offer.

We’ll go through top-5s from each of the following along with a bunch of our author’s over-all top-5s:

  • Animated and Under-Appreciated by Caitlin
  • Comedies by Brian
  • Dark Comedies and Action by Alec
  • Not Christmas Movies by Monte
  • Lifetime by Emily
  • Horror by Chris
  • Sitcoms by Rob

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Scooby DNA Revealed

5 Feb


We’d always wondered what breed Scooby was. The day we adopted him at Austin Pets Alive, in April 2012, he was listed as an Australian Shepherd, but that didn’t seem right. We could clearly identify the German Shepherd marking on his forehead. He was certainly a mutt of some kind, but what else? Maybe a Basenji? Shiba Inu? We’d get different guesses from everyone who’d meet him at the dog park, but we wanted to know for sure. Still, it’s rare to feel like you have an extra $80 to spend on a dog DNA test. That is until Scooby started pulling his own weight around here. He got a small gig in an IAMS Facebook ad*, making us $150 which we figured we could blow half of on the test.

*I was in it, too, but I was definitely not the star of the show. Continue reading

Rock Love Wyoming

25 Sep

img_0033We stepped off the plane directly onto the runway in the tiny, adorable Jackson airport just after 10 p.m. Friday night. Our bags had been waiting for us for hours so we scooped them up, hugged Suzy and Sky and headed to their condo, but not before making an important stop. We pulled over in a clearing on a dark road so we could look up and see the best sky full of stars Caitlin and I had ever seen. It was incredible being able to see the Milky Way and endless constellations lighting up the dark Wyoming night*. We enjoyed the view in the chilly 40 degree Jackson air and headed home to sleep and get ready for a busy day in Jackson.

*Right away, I turned to Zack and asked, “Is there some job we can do here so we never have to leave?” That’s how incredible it was. Continue reading

The Terminals

17 Sep

IMG_2166I’ve wanted to do it every time it’s been offered to me. Free travel. And all you have to do is hang out for a bit. There was always a reason not to do it. Work the next morning. A wedding we couldn’t miss. But there we were, having coasted through the Austin airport with TSA pre-check, ready for our flight to Wyoming. We’d enjoyed the quick flight to Dallas, grabbed Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, split a pretzel and were at our gate when the offer came over the intercom: “We’re looking for two passengers who would be willing to give up their seat for a later flight in exchange for a $500 voucher.” We thought about it, but didn’t pull the trigger. Then they upped it to $700 each, more than the cost of our trip. We consulted with Suzy, she suggested hanging with her one afternoon wasn’t worth $1400* so we should make a day of it at the airport. And like our boy Viktor Navorski before us, we made the most of our time in “The Terminal.” Technically, The Terminals. We were free to bounce around from one to another based on who had the best spa or ice cream options. Here’s how we killed 7 9 hours in the Dallas airport.

*I definitely disagree with this sentiment, but I also sincerely appreciate her flexibility so we could get some flight monies! Continue reading

“Popstar” Sneak Preview with Lonely Island Q&A

30 Apr

pop-star-movie-poster“Popstar” was the movie I was most looking forward to this summer after seeing the redband trailer and hearing Samberg and Pete Holmes describe the movie on “You Made it Weird.” So when the Alamo Drafthouse e-mailed their Victory members about a screening with the Lonely Island guys there in person for a Q&A, I was on the page within a minute refreshing and refreshing until I could snag a couple tickets for me and Caitlin*. I’ve loved the guys since their first digital shorts and Caitlin’s been into them for even longer**. I was just hoping the movie would live up to the hype I’d built up for it and that I could think of something interesting to ask in the Q&A.

*He is a nice husband. **I’ve been following this trio since they were posting up self-made videos on their website, and completely fell in love. Here is my favorite Lonely Island video of all time.
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Coachella 2016: The day of 22,000 steps

29 Apr

IMG_1511I set a personal record with 22,145 steps, or 9.61 miles walked on Saturday*. I got 5,000 in before we even fell asleep. LCD played until 1 a.m. and we more floated than walked back to our campsite. We put our tent up in the dark with help from our trusty new lanterns**, wrapped ourselves up in our sleeping bags and blankets and fell asleep around 2:30 a.m. It wasn’t the best night sleep***, but we stayed warm enough in the middle of the night and woke to a toasty tent. We were able air the tent out, play some Uno and take a nap before heading in. The Goddess salad and a whole lot more music was waiting for us.

*I don’t count my steps, but I DID double my “Move” goal on my Apple Watch for the first time ever.

**Zack really loves these lanterns, which I find adorable. I can’t really blame him, they were life savers out there.

***I had to pee. In a Port-O-Potty. In the dark. #pray4me #lanternlifesavers
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Tom Hanks Project – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Review

3 Apr

exloudThis is a perfect 9/11 movie anchored by the best child actor we’ve ever seen. That’s lie #1. And lie #2*. The story is fine and has its high points, but the kid was anywhere from just OK to awful depending on if you’re asking me or Caitlin**. The movie is an adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel about a boy with Aspergers struggling to make sense of life after his father (Hanks) died on 9/11 in the twin towers. I’d read the novel and remembered the child’s precociousness feeling more believable and less … obnoxious than in the movie. I barely remembered the movie and knew our enjoyment would rest on if we liked the kid or not. I thought he was fine and Caitlin openly detested him, so we were out on a lot of the big emotional moments that probably would have worked if we liked him. I still found the movie to be fine, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not even much of a showcase for our guy Tom, though he gets a few good scenes and leaves some devastating voicemails. Still, we were so out on the kid not even Hanks dying on 9/11 could squeeze any tears out of us***.

*This is one of the little tropes of the movie — for the kid’s thoughts to narrate and for him to tell us what number lie he’s on as he goes on his mission. It’s also one of the best leads we’ve ever had on the blog. Nice work, Z.

**SERIOUSLY. Like, I really, really wanted to care about this movie. The story itself was clearly well-crafted and moving, and I could see that the bones of it were good. Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer’s other novel-turned-movie, is one of my favorite movie adaptations of all time. The kid KILLS IT for me.

***And I do want to take a moment to point out here, I don’t mean that I didn’t like the character of the boy. I think that’s what hurt me even more — a child afraid to even go on the swings because he fears for his safety? A boy struggling with anxiety, and that in turn making it harder for him to interact with those around him? Be still my heart! The actor, Thomas Horn, is a TERRIBLE actor. I feel like he was chosen only because he has some super-blue eyes which are somehow supposed to blind us to all of his over-acting. His only other IMDB credits are winning Kid’s Jeopardy and a movie called Space Warriors, so draw your own conclusions. Continue reading