Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

This past weekend, I saw Oz the Great and Powerful.

...Allow me to save you the $17 per IMAX ticket. 

WARNING: This post is one big spoiler.

The movie starts out in Kansas. James Franco Oz is con artist magician who works in one of those oddities-type traveling circuses. He's quite the ladies' man, which eventually leads to a sticky situation when another circus performer wants to beat his ass. Conveniently, there happens to be a hot air balloon nearby, and Oz jumps in and flies away to safety. The end.

Not really.

Of course, he gets stuck in a giant tornado. Oz pleads for his life and promises to be less of a conniving slimeball.

The balloon suddenly makes a safe landing!

But it's not in Kansas anymore.

I'd never noticed how similar-looking James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are. My eyeballs give them both two thumbs up.

Oz yells for help and out pops the gorgeous Mila Kunis, dressed like Puss N'Boots. She lets her hair down and even I fall in love with her. Mila goes all gaga for Oz and is all like "OMG, I love you." And then Oz is like "Uh. Yeah, me too." Mila believes Oz is THE OZ, as in the leader of their land, and takes him back to Emerald City to show off the newly-discovered prophet / love interest.

Mila: "Hold me." Oz: "Girl, I got things to do."

Mila's sister is the evil-yet-strikingly beautiful, Rachel Weisz and she's dressed like a cross between Ms. Scarlette and Mrs. Peacock, from Clue.

"Bitches better recognize." 

She totally plays on Mila's single-white-female feelings for Oz, and makes Mila feel like an asshole for falling in love with such a trickster. Rachel sends Oz out into the world to steal all the specialness from Glinda, AKA Michelle Williams, who Oz thinks is a bad witch, but is really a good witch.

"I'm so sweet and anglo-saxon looking. Poof!"

Glinda convinces Oz that she's good and begs for his help in defending the land of Oz from the raven-haired sisters. And due to some stupid "No killing" rule in the land of Oz, Oz (the magician, not the land) needs to come up with a way to basically make Mila and Rache shit themselves in terror and willfully retreat.

By this point, Mila's gone fucking insane with broken-hearted misery and her sister tricks her into biting a poison apple. The apple turns Mila into a wicked, old witch and then things get REALLY ugly because Mila's like "OH HAILS NO. I'M GOING TO WRECK SHOP ON OZ'S STUPID ASS."

Hell hath no fury like a single lady.

Glinda begs Oz for his help and he totally pulls through. With help from the villagers, he builds a giant projector, which will shine his face into the night sky and make Mila and Rachel run for the hills. The whole thing goes off without a hitch and Oz's face is seen floating in a cloud of smoke. Rachel tries to run away, but Glinda goes all girl-fight and rips her necklace off. Without the magical necklace, Rachel turns into a balding, haggard mess and looks like Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The sisters fly away, or something, I don't really even remember at this point because I thought the movie was a little boring. But Glinda is happy and Oz is happy and all of the hipster-extras who played villagers are happy and that's pretty much how it ends.

Did you see the movie? What did you think?

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College Roommate Reunion II.

My old college roommates and I had our second annual reunion.

Waiters take the worst pictures.

As you can see, we're not really good at meeting up every year.

Have I ever told you about their first impression of me?

Probably, but I'll tell you again anyway.

On the day we moved into our college apartment, each of the other three girls brought their parents with them for the big move. Actually, I think all three of the girls had both parents there that day. Everyone was so all-american, white-bread, wholesome-looking. The girls had suntans and lugged in matching suitcase after matching suitcase, filled with themed decor for their bedrooms.

Then there was me.

Since I had grown up in the area, I didn't have my parents sending me off with a tearful farewell. I had already moved around on my own a few times and this particular move wasn't anything that warranted bringing my parents. My outfit included an "EVERYONE LOVES A JEWISH GIRL" t-shirt, a military cap, and nose-ring. I had zero tan from working all summer. And I immediately hung up my giant union jack flag across one of my bedroom walls.

Like this. But more Myspacey.

Years later I found out that they actually thought I was a militant, art-nazi, lesbian.

That still makes me smile.

Anyway. The four of us got together recently and it was just like old times. Except someone new was brought into the fold.

Katie had a baby!

The newest roomie: Lark!

Highlights from the day included:

-While Courtney and I were last-minute-primping in the car before meeting up with the rest of the group, another car pulled into the spot next to us. The driver of said car didn't do a great parking job and Courtney was unable to open her door. Instead of making a big deal, I just backed my car up and adjusted into the space. When I got out, I realized the person Courtney was throwing death stares at was none other than Kathy Ireland. As in, the supermodel.

-Sleepy time for Lark, which meant drinky time for us!

And when we all got carded (Yessssss.), I managed to snap this:

Lol. They're going to be pissed when they see this.

-Lark breaking down some emotional walls when she smelled my sangria breath and letting me hold her for more than two seconds. It was a special moment.

It was a great reunion.

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Random St. Patrick's Day Thoughts.

-St. Patrick's Day is two days away and I've got nothing planned. I don't even think I own any green apparel. I HATE MYSELF!!!

-Maybe I can swing making Enchiladas Suizas and that will be my green contribution! No, we just had those this week. Also, that's totally not close to being Irish.

-Maybe I'll make a Limeade Pie...? No. I probably won't. That's a cold dessert and the weather is already cold as shit right now.

-Maybe Cottage Pie...? Ugh. It's too early to be thinking about food. Unless it's donuts.

-Maybe I'll juts eat donuts for St. Patrick's Day.

-Pearl and I are going to be in a parade this weekend. I don't know how I feel about it yet. Actually, yes, I do know how I feel about it and it's kind of like "Ughghghhhghhhghghgh." But I think it will be exciting for Pearl. And that's good enough for me.

-I haven't eaten corned beef and cabbage in over a year. Such a crime. Eric and I were at The Farmers Market at The Grove the other day and I saw corned beef and cabbage there. I was all over it until I realized a plate cost $15. Ain't nobody got time for that.

-My birthday is in 17 days.

-Vons has three bunches of daffodils for $5.00 right now. It's a great deal.

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What to Expect in Small Claims Court.

As I'm sure you all remember (BECAUSE I KEEP BRAGGING ABOUT IT), I went to court last week.

This was my first time in small claims court and I thought it would be interesting to share my experience.

You know. Just in case you need to sue someone too.

1. Complete and submit a small claim in the county where the defendant/ defendant's place of business is located. (Mine was Los Angeles.) Your local courthouse should have these stocked, but I found mine online by Googling "filing a small claim in ________ County."

2. You'll receive a few email notices updating you on the progress of your claim and you'll also need to make a credit card payment. This amount depends on the amount that you are suing for. I don't remember what the ranges were, but my fee was only $30.

3. Serving the defendant: The bad guy needs to receive his notice and it has to be done by an outside source. This can be a friend, relative, sheriff's office, paid delivery service, whatever.

4. Prepare for your hearing. Make sure to get notarized affidavits (Form MC-030) from all of your witnesses. And if you can get your witnesses to appear with you in court, even better.

More important than witnesses, PRINT OUT COPIES OF ALL COMMUNICATION THAT COULD TOTALLY BUST THE DEFENDANT'S ASS. I made copies of email chains and Facebook chats and highlighted all of the pertinent information. (This will save the judge time and spare him from reading through your boring-ass conversations.) Do some internet sleuthing. Look up the defendant on the Better Business Bureau and print up their less-than-stellar rating. If you happen to come across a negative review someone has written about them, throw that in the mix too. You can never have too much evidence.

5. Hearing day: Show up to court early. Most courthouses have a security checkpoint and depending on your city, security can be a line out the door. Make sure to look presentable.

6. Hearing time: Our case was grouped together with about 30 other cases, all for the 1:30 p.m. time slot. At 1:30 p.m. on the dot, the courtroom doors opened and the bailiff let everyone in. The room looked like a mini People's Court. There was an audience section, two podiums, and the judge's bench. The court clerk calls role. The judge takes his/her seat. He/she explains that all litigants will step out into the hallway for one last attempt at a settlement. All cases who reach a settlement on their own will be processed immediately. Any cases who do not meet an agreement on their own will go before the judge.

7. One by one, in no particular order, cases are reviewed. This part is like sitting in a real-life, courtroom TV show. (I loved it.) When the judge calls "YOU vs BAD GUYS INC." you take your place at the Plaintiff's podium. The bailiff will take the evidence from both parties and the judge will look it over. He/she will ask the necessary questions to come to a lawful decision. If it is a simple case, a decision will be made on the spot. If the judge needs more time to consider evidence, you're SOL and the court will notify you of the outcome.

8. This part is a little foggy, but I believe both parties will be notified by mail as to the verdict of the hearing. The loser then has to pay up within a set amount of time, like 30 days. I think. I wasn't really paying too much attention because I was busy doing step 9.

9. Victory dance.

10. Go home satisfied and blog about the whole thing. Continue to watch Judge Judy and The People's Court and consider adding "Esq." to the end of your name so people will know you mean business.

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Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining.

Long story short, I did copywriting work for a client. And that client tried to bail on payment.

I sued them.

I won.

Long story long...

My friend Brian got a new job last November. We'll call the company, Stupid Cheaters Corp. (SCC). This corporation needed some copywriting for a small project. Brian contacted me, I submitted my resume, I got the freelance job. The project went off without a hitch and SCC paid me for my work.

As soon as that assignment ended, another project was offered to me. Same company, bigger spectrum. This one was for a full website rewrite. I submitted my estimate and they gave me the green light to go ahead on copy. Not only did I meet their tight deadlines, but I also discovered (and reported) major plagiarism issues plastered all over their website. Copy that had been lifted straight from competitors' websites.


We went through a few rounds of revisions, with several employees, and copy was finalized. During this last phase, SCC sent me sitemaps, content, and websites for my third project.

Knowing they were on another tight deadline, I started copy for this new project right away.

I only completed two pages before I heard back from their Director of Marketing: He was calling to say they were "going in a different direction" and wouldn't be needing the copy I had already finalized and sent to them. Lie #1.

I told them I would still be expecting my money.

The Director of Marketing stated that he would pass my concerns along to the CEO, the "real" decision-maker behind this moronic company.

A week later, the Director of Marketing was fired.

. . . . .

It wasn't long before I'd had enough of these fools and decided to file a claim in small claims court.

About a week after SCC was served with their court notice, I received a call from a mysterious new "Office Manager." This clown tried to offer me a settlement of less than I was owed. I basically told him to kiss my butt and that I'd be seeing him in court.

By this point, Brian had gotten laid-off from SCC. Which meant he was able to speak as my witness to the general assholery that was going on behind closed doors.

The big day arrived and we went to court. Eric, Brian, and I.

You should have seen Office Manager's face when he saw Brian sitting beside me. It was precious.

Again, Office Manager offered a lesser amount than what was owed. Again, I told him no.

At the hearing, the judge read over my evidence. He asked the defendant about SCC's reasons for not paying my invoice. Officer Manager stated that their former Director of Marketing was a loose cannon who must have overlooked paying me. Lie #2. He then changed his argument, saying the copy I provided didn't meet FAA regulations (the project was based on aircraft), and therefore, was useless. Lie #3. He was pulling out excuses like a clown pulling out scarves. It was just embarrassing.

The judge saw through this bullshit and moded him so hard.

He told the defendant that I was hired to write copy, which is marketing. FAA regulations are a legal matter and should have been addressed by a lawyer.

In the middle of his dumbed-down scolding of the defendant, he stopped, looked at me, and said "I'm siding in your favor by the way-" and then continued to explain to that fool why I was owed the full amount.

Oh man. It was great.

I'll write another post about the hearing process itself. For now, this is all that really matters.


Thank you Judge Judy and Judge Milian. You've trained me well.

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Say Yes to the Stress of a Dress.

Since I'm sure all of you are losing sleep over my wedding dress frenzy, I'll let you know that I bought a dress.

The LAST dress.

And let me tell you, I'm very relieved that I can actually move on to other parts of my wedding. 

Like, oh, I don't know, PLANNING IT.

I spent the day yesterday with my mom and an old friend I've known since junior high. It was at the first store that I found my dress. When I first saw myself in the dress, it wasn't like those loco bitches on Say Yes to the Dress who start sobbing all over the place. I'm not that crazy. Instead, I looked at my reflection and thought "Ahhhh, this is it- It totally looks like ME!" Finding a dress that matched my style helped me to see that the other dresses I had tried on looked like a "romantic" version or a "sexy" version of me. I didn't realize it, but the dress I was looking for not a version of me at all. It was just me.

I sound like a nutball.

Anyway, I'm super relieved to have that behind me. 

Unfortunately, the stress doesn't stop there when it comes to wedding dresses.

The size I ordered just happens to be my exact measurements RIGHT NOW. And I'm praying I don't put on even an ounce because there's really no wiggle room. 

Also, the dress will only be arriving one month before the wedding. Which means I'm going to have to JAM if it needs any alterations.

Since I won't be divulging any hints about what my dress looks like because Eric reads my posts every now and then, I will give you a quick rundown of wedding dress features that I am not a fan of.

Disclaimer: This is totally just my opinion and I'm sure there are many beautiful dresses out there with these features. (But I just don't like them for my dress.)

CORSET BACK: Looks like a horse butt

PICK-UPS: Save it for Beauty and the Beast

JEWELS: They look kind of like cockroaches

SATIN: It's dated.

HALTER: Also dated.


GIANT BALL GOWNS: I don't mind smaller, lighter versions, but this is just silly.

THESE THINGS: I don't even know what they are (mutant pick-ups?), but I don't like them.

Are there any features you'd like to add to the list? Do you disagree with my critique and think that satin is to die for?

Feel free to chime in!

But if you say anything that directly insults my dress, I reserve the right to delete.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

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