Best Picture Nominee Summary

We’ll pause the Cobalt and Potassium saga to bring you an important announcement! The Oscars are this weekend! Yay! Cobalt and I like to have a party for the Oscars where everyone dresses up in fancy clothes and votes on what they think will win all the categories. Then we watch and wait for the results. In honor of the Oscars this weekend, I thought I would have a post about all nine best picture nominees because Cobalt and I have seen all of them. I’ll include a tiny summary of each movie and what I liked/didn’t like about it.

Potassium’s top three favorites (in no apparent order):

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – This is the little indie film that could. It’s an amazing and very creative story about a little girl named Hushpuppy who lives just south of New Orleans with her dad. Her dad gets really sick and Hushpuppy’s whole world starts to shatter. What I think is the most amazing part of this movie was how fantastical and amazing this movie was on such a small budget (Cobalt and I own this one so we’ve watched the making of). It’s also nice because the main actors are not professional – in fact the guy who plays Hushpuppy’s dad is a local baker in the town near where they were filming. I also liked the fact that they used the whole community to make the movie. This one is my personal favorite. It’s neat. You should see it!
  • Argo – this movie is the favorite of the year it seems and is probably the most likely to win. In case you haven’t seen any movies in the past year (and therefore didn’t see this trailer a billion times like Cobalt and I did), it’s about the Iranian hostage crisis and the fact that 6 Americans escaped the embassy and took shelter in the Canadian ambassador’s house. Ben Affleck directs and stars as the CIA agent in charge of getting them out of Iran. Even though this movie is based off of a real event and you know that everyone is okay in the end (if you’ve studied up on your American history that is), this movie succeeds in stressing you out. Will they make it or won’t they?! And that’s why it’s in my top three list – I was clutching the edge of my seat the whole time worried about all the characters even though the back of my head was telling me they would be okay… I also actually really liked the beginning where there was a short introduction about what was going on in Iran at the time – a nice intro/background for those of us who weren’t actually alive/aren’t history majors. :)
  • Silver Linings Playbook – I think there is some confusion about whether this is a romantic comedy or a drama and the answer is it is kind of everything. This is the story of a guy who has just been released from a mental hospital coming back to terms with real life and learning to move on from past relationships. This is a movie by the same guy who directed The Fighter but unlike in that movie, you are cheering for all the characters, which is a good feeling. There are few movies where you actually like all the characters. This movie is heartwarming at times, hilarious at times, and heartbreaking at times. Quite a nice little flick.

The middle three (in no apparent order):

  • Lincoln – This is the story of the ratification of the 13th amendment so it’s another one where you know the end. Daniel Day Lewis portrays a believable and hilarious Lincoln and the whole movie provides a nice little peak into our country’s history. I also was intrigued to see Lee Pace play a villain when he’s usually so sweet and adorable. My biggest complaints are that I thought it was trying too hard to be an “Oscar movie” and that I didn’t like how it ended. I thought it was unnecessary to include Lincoln’s assassination (spoiler alert… ;)) when the story was actually about the 13th amendment…
  • Life of Pi – This is the pretty movie of the best picture nominees. It tells the story of a boy who is lost at sea on a life raft with a tiger for over 200 days. Ang Lee does an amazing job adapting the (sometimes boring) book into a colorful and exciting movie. The soundtrack is also amazing (my favorite of those up for best score). All in all this is a pretty awesome movie, I am just not sure it has what it takes to be best picture… That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see it. Rent it whenever it comes out on blu-ray/DVD and be prepared for amazingness…
  • Django Unchained – This is the story of a slave who becomes a bounty hunter in return for his freedom and then goes to free his wife. It has an amazing performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz are good too though Christoph Waltz seems very similar to his character in Inglorious Basterds, though he’s not evil. Over all, I found this film enjoyable though it was a little too graphic and bloody for my taste (thanks Quentin Tarantino…). Like Life of Pi, there’s nothing wrong with the movie, I think it just isn’t amazing enough to be best picture.

Potassium’s Three Least Favorite Movies (in order):

  • Amour – This is the story of an older couple who undergo a severe trial of their love when the woman has a stroke. This movie is REALLY REALLY depressing. I was pretty much depressed for the rest of the evening after we watched it. I did enjoy that it was in French (it was spoken fairly slowly so it was easy for me to understand, especially with subtitles). This is the best of my least favorite movies though because besides the fact that it was depressing, there wasn’t anything really to complain about except for the fact that it didn’t have a soundtrack – sometimes it was cool to hear just breathing or walking or whatever and sometimes it was really grating and made the movie drag. The other issue I had with it was that the camera was kind of odd sometimes – people would leave the room and the camera would stay focused on the empty room so you had to wait for them to come back… Otherwise it wasn’t bad… just really really really REALLY REALLY REALLY SAD.
  • Les Miserables – So I need to admit right off the bat that while I generally like musicals, I am not a huge fan of Les Miz. Now onto the movie, I am not really sure why Anne Hathaway is getting a lot of acclaim for this movie because she’s in it for a spilt second. I thought Hugh Jackman did a great job and I at least wasn’t offended by Russell Crowe’s singing (at least he could sing unlike Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera…). My actual problem with this film was with the cinematography. So Les Miz was directed by Tom Hooper, who also directed The King’s Speech. The King’s Speech had these really awesome shots that were super wide angle like this one where all the action is in the corner of the screen and there’s all this blank space in the rest of the picture. That worked out really well for them in that movie. So in Les Miz, he’s at it again with these quirky shots – in this case they are super close ups with really really really low depth of field. The photographer in me was intrigued – what a neat idea! But the movie goer in me was bored because these shots would last the entire length of songs – 3 to 8 minutes of just staring at someone’s pores really isn’t very interesting… It left me feeling disappointed because I wanted to know what else was going on in the scene while that person was singing. In a musical play there’s always something going on while someone is singing… So that’s Les Miz’s fatal flaw in my opinion…
  • Zero Dark Thirty – And finally my least favorite. This movie is about how one woman’s utter determination allowed us to find and kill Osama bin Laden. This is a really fascinating story about how she just randomly stumbled on a bunch of paths that lead her straight to him and yet the movie was….. such a disappointment. The excitement and intrigue is lost in a web of horribly graphic torture scenes and unexciting “chapters” as the movie drags on. Instead of excitement and nerves that I thought I should have been feeling when the soldiers landed in the compound where bin Laden might be living, I was just rolling my eyes and wondering if I had time to pee before they found him (spoiler alert – I probably did). And then it was FINALLY over and she was crying because she finally did it and I couldn’t share in any of her emotions because I was just so annoyed at the whole thing. Boo… It really struck me as how the two movies portraying “recent” events in US history (Argo and Zero Dark Thirty) could be so different. For both of them you know the end but Argo has your heart in your throat the whole time and Zero Dark just has you bored and overexposed to graphic violence. :-/

Welp… That’s all of them. Whew… that’s a a lot of typing… Did you see any of the movies? What did you think? Will you be watching the Oscars on Sunday night? Cobalt and I are excited because we are going to see the Oscar nominated live action and animated shorts this week and then we’ll be super prepared to watch the Oscars on Sunday night…

The Cobalt and Potassium Saga – Part 1

Turns out there are no pictures of me and Cobalt from this phase of the relationship so we’ll have to go with an early “not” dating phase picture…

Valentine’s Day got me thinking of how Cobalt and I ended up together so I decided it’s time to tell the story… This is the first part of the saga of Cobalt and Potassium. I should warn you… it’s kind of an epic story. So let’s start at the top.

How we met, part 1
Cobalt and I actually met on NYE 2006/2007. My friend from college T was throwing a big New Years party in her hometown in NM. She invited me and my boyfriend at the time to come celebrate with all her high school friends so we all flew in in the middle of a ridiculously snowy day (that’s right, my first view of NM was of it covered in snow… this is weird). I was lurking by the food table (this is common for me at parties) when Cobalt and the guy who was his best man at our wedding showed up. They pretty much stayed long enough for us to get introduced and for Cobalt to squish my face and then they left. Real romantic… ;)

How we met, parts 2, 3, etc
Fast forward to the summer of 2007, when I moved to NM to do a post baccalaureate program before going to graduate school. It was a tumultuous time with me moving to a completely new state all by myself and with me and my boyfriend breaking up, getting back together, going on a break, getting back together, etc. I believe Cobalt was also having some similarly complicated girl problems at the time. We remet in June at a dinner with some of our mutual friends (people I met at the NYE party) and we realized we lived within blocks of each other. Cobalt got my phone number so that he and his housemates could invite me to stuff (seeing as I was new and I didn’t really know anyone). Two months later and boy/girl problems ended, we met again at another mutual friend’s function and Cobalt came up to me saying “Heyyyy! It’s your phone number that’s been on our fridge for the past few months! We should hang out!” I said “Okay…” We saw each other randomly at various mutual friend gatherings after that but nothing really happened until we ran into each other at a Halloween party. Cobalt told me we should go see a movie that week and so the Cobalt/Potassium saga began….

How did you meet your SO? Were you instantly involved from that moment on or did it take some time for you to get to know each other? Let’s discuss…

Next time – the “not” dating phase of our relationship…

6 months already?!

Yesterday was Cobalt’s and my 6 month wedding anniversary! Time sure has flown by! It feels like we just got married only a little bit ago… We’re looking forward to the next 6 months of our married life together and beyond!

Picture: Those are my wedding shoes and Cobalt’s favorite mismatched Converse shoes. To celebrate our day, we went out to dinner at our favorite fancy restaurant in Boulder – Agave – followed by perusing the bookstore and getting frozen yogurt for dessert. Mmmm… good date! :)

Favorite things about being married, part 1

Staying up late (read: 11 pm… :-/) giggling in bed and whenever one of us starts to fall asleep, the other one just starts giggling again… I feel so lucky to have married my best friend… :)

Photo: This picture is from the “not dating” phase of our relationship. We were at a birthday party (actually for our friend who is responsible for introducing us) and I am dressed up as Zoe from Firefly and Cobalt is dressed up as Llewellyn from No Country for Old Men.

I say part 1 in the title because there will most likely be more posts like this in the future. Are you married? What’s one of your favorite things about being married? If you’re not married, what is something you like about relationships (either one you’re currently in or one you’ve been in in the past).

It’s crazy out there!

My apologies for not posting more recently. I’ve been ridiculously busy both with work (exciting things happening, though not on the graduation front sadly – turns out that science is hard ;) – but I might have some exciting trips later this year!) and with life. Cobalt and I have a new years resolution called “Operation Go For It!” which has definitely taken some planning to put into effect (and we’re still not done yet) but it’s going to be epic. A hint – I just signed up for a French class through a community continuing education program here in Boulder… I am excited. My French is ridiculously rusty (and it’s more like ‘Franish’ because I can’t say a sentence in Spanish or French without putting a word from the other language in there… actually some people might say that my English is like that too, littered with random French and Spanish words… I’m weird). Maybe I will write a full post about Operation Go For It later. Unfortunately, this is just a post to tell you that I’m not dead and now I have to get back to work… :p

Picture: This picture is from my first year of grad school. On a randomly warm day in the middle of a pretty cold winter, my friend P and I went to the park near my apartment to try to fly a kite. I brought my camera because I was documenting everything then (more so than now… I know… it’s hard to believe) and somehow the settings got messed up for this picture P took of me and the kite. I actually like it this way… it totally sums up how I’m feeling right now (excited but also so busy that I am all blurry).

What are you up to? Any crazy schemes for new years resolutions? How are those going by the way? Did you make some earlier this month and stick to them or are they already falling apart? It’s hard

Three to go…

Cobalt and I have a tradition where we like to see all of the movies nominated for best picture before the Oscars. In general, seeing all of the movies up for best picture ensures you’ve seen the majority of movies in many of the other categories. It makes watching the Oscars really fun when you feel like you have an idea about the movies that are up (and it’s also hilarious because they always play THE WORST clip from all the movies so we can always shake our heads sadly at that too). I really like it too because it exposes me to movies I wouldn’t have otherwise seen that I ended up really liking (take The Descendants from last year’s Oscars). Anyway, this year we did a pretty good job guessing which movies would be up for best picture and ended up having seen 5 out of the 9 nominated before the list got announced last Thursday morning. The 4 remaining were: Argo (which we just saw this weekend, as you can see in the picture), Les Miz, Zero Dark Thirty, and Amour. Amour is going to prove to be the hardest to see because, as of Sunday night when I checked out my Fandango app, it is not playing anywhere in a 250 mile radius from us… Woooooo… This year we also miraculously saw all 5 movies up for best animated feature before the announcement came out too…. that never happens…

Anyway, do you have any fun traditions like this? Do you watch the Oscars? Have you seen any of the movies up for best picture? Which ones do you like? Do you want any recommendations? Cobalt and I really liked Beasts of the Southern Wild (it’s already on DVD/Blu Ray so you should check it out) and Silver Linings Playbook. Lincoln and Argo weren’t too bad either (though I found Argo REALLY stressful…). Actually all of the movies we’ve seen so far are good. It’s a tough race this year…. Leave me a comment if you want to know if you should see one of the 6 movies we’ve seen and I’ll give you a little summary/tell you my thoughts on it. :)

Look at this cat

Yesterday I was going through my recent pictures when I came across all these adorable pictures I took of my family’s cat when Cobalt and I were in California for the holidays. This one is by far my favorite of the 50 or so I took of her… She just looks so regal. I had originally wanted to photograph her because she’s all fluffed up for winter and she looks adorable. I think you can see some of her puffiness in this pic.
In case you are unconvinced about how soft and cute this cat is or if up close cat pictures scare you, here’s another picture of her being similarly adorable/puffy/soft:

Thoughts? I love being a crazy photographer with the cats when I’m home because 1) they are interesting subjects to photograph and 2) then I can look at them when I’m feeling homesick throughout the year (this happens a lot). One day Cobalt and I are going to get ourselves a cute kitty but until then, I guess we’ll be okay with our stuffed shark friends… :-/

Cobalt, Potassium, and Finn, Christmas 2012… This was shot using my infrared remote for my DSLR… You can even see it in this picture. Look how tiny… Don’t you want one for your DSLR?

Do you have pets? Tell me about them! Show me pictures! I love animals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet or a marine biologist (not sure how I ended up in grad school studying biochemistry now, looking back…). Even though I grew up with pet cats, I worked at a vet in high school and had college roommates (one of them is the reason why I met Cobalt) with multiple pet reptiles (a story for another day). These events have not only continued my love of pretty much all pets (cats, dogs, snakes, hamsters, bunnies, etc) but also taught me how to take care of them. Cobalt, you better watch out or you might come home one day to a house full of creatures! ;)

Who can make the longest udon noodle?

This weekend was full of activities. On Saturday, Cobalt and I volunteered by getting college students registered to vote. We were strictly not allowed to discuss politics or political parties (seriously, all we could say was “Hi! Have you updated your voter registration information? If not you can do it now and it only takes 90 seconds…”) and people replied by yelling all sorts of insults at us about the presidential candidates… It was a bit awkward. Oh and we were in the sun for 2.5 hours and we only got two people to register. That was kind of depressing. Come on Colorado! It’s fun being a swing state! :-/

Then yesterday we made salmon teriyaki with homemade udon noodles! The recipe called for stretching the noodles out after we cut them and before we boiled them. Cobalt and I had a lot of fun with that part, as you can see from the above and below pictures.

Aw yeah… This noodle is gonna be great!

The salmon teriyaki also turned out pretty delicious as you can see from the following picture. Result!

You know you want to eat this…

What did you do this weekend? Have you noticed that almost all of my food posts are about noodles? Maybe I should try some other recipe just to be balanced. Do you like cooking? What is your favorite thing to make from scratch? I have to say that pie crust is kind of fun. I got a little obsessed with making homemade pie crust during my first year of grad school… It would probably be easier to make now that we have all these sweet cooking wedding presents… :)

The Book of Mormon and Tacos!

Well on Wednesday night this week, Cobalt and I got to continue our tradition of seeing a musical every year. Last year we saw Next to Normal and two years ago, Cobalt didn’t live here yet so I saw Legally Blonde with my friend C. Legally Blonde is very silly and Next to Normal is very serious so if we continued with this pattern, the musical this year needed to be a funny one. So we went to see Book of Mormon. We were apparently quite lucky to get tickets because it is only here for two weeks and it sold out in a few hours. Luckily for us, back in March I got the e-mail from the Denver Center for Performing Arts saying that the tickets for the Book of Mormon were on sale and Cobalt and I were able to maneuver through the epically slow and overpopulated website and get tickets! Yay!
We started out our evening in Denver by meeting up with our friends J and K for tacos at Pinche Tacos. This restaurant sells ritzy street tacos, which I’ll admit is a bit odd for someone like me who grew up eating actual Mexican street tacos. They were very good though and it was kind of like sushi happy hour where you get a list of all the possible tacos and their various prices (ranging from $2.95 to $4.50 each) and you just check off the ones you want. Cobalt and I each tried four different tacos. Yum. Here’s a picture of our awesome friends pre tacos…

Then we headed to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts for the show. We got there pretty much in time to find our seats before the show but I snapped a few pictures first….

When we bought our tickets, we were in such a rush to actually get tickets that we settled for the ones in the balcony. We had never sat there before but it was kind of neat. You are waaaaaay up in the rafters and your seats are so high off the floor of the balcony that there is a little bar for you to put your feet on – it got a bit uncomfortable in my fancy wedge sandals though… I wish I had worn flats. Anyway, the show! It was funny but also terrible in that South Park kind of way that I am sure many of you are familiar with. Sitting in the balcony, we had a great view of the stage which made it awesome to watch all the dance numbers. The songs were very typical Broadway type songs… except there was more than once where the F bomb was dropped in the middle of some happy musical number… which was kind of startling at first even though we expected it. All in all, I think it made for a very amusing evening and I am glad we got to go. :)

Anyone have a favorite musical? I think my favorite is Wicked… or the Phantom of the Opera (my first musical ever…). Or a recommendation for next year’s “serious” musical? OR Anyone doing something amazing this weekend? :D

K and Co necklaces!

Probably some of the neatest gifts we received for our wedding actually had something to do with this blog. Two separate people thought we would like some K and Co jewelry! So you can see on the top we have his and hers Co and K necklaces and then on the bottom is one necklace with both K and Co on it. You guys are awesome! Makes me think you all enjoy reading this little blog and that makes me (and Cobalt!) feel pretty darn special. :)

In other news, Cobalt and I were pretty lazy this weekend. I had a crochet party with my friend J at the Boulder Farmer’s Market. We started making ewoks! For some reason mine is turning out a lot smaller than hers even though we used the same hooks, yarn, and pattern… :-/ I will have to post pictures when mine is done. Cobalt and I also caught up on our (always growing) list of movies to see in the theater. My favorite of the weekend was Beasts of the Southern Wild which is sad but also kind of amazing. I highly recommend it. The music is really good if you’re a music nerd like me. :) I think that’s all. Anyone do anything epic this weekend?