Movie Review: San Andreas

Last night, we wanted to do a pizza and movie night, and I had seen San Andreas advertised on HBO, so I thought, “Why not?” Let me just get this out of the way at the beginning… Why not? Well, because it sucks, that’s why!

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I’ve never been a huge fan of The Rock. He’s just never appealed to me that much. The only thing he has going for him is his massive biceps. He’s just a shitty actor. That’s my opinion. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a movie where he did a stellar job acting. He’s just a better visual prop than anything else.

The very first thing I had beef with in the movie was the unrealistic choice of actors to portray his family. Since he is clearly a mixed-race guy, his children should reflect that, right? The woman they chose to play his wife in this movie was also clearly mixed, so WHY IN THE SEVEN BLAZING HELLS was the girl chosen to play his daughter oh so very white?! I’m not trying to throw the race card out there. It’s just that when you see a guy with obviously African-American features and a woman with clearly some Hispanic and some African features, wouldn’t you assume a child they produced would have genetic features that represent both of their biologies? It irritated me that it didn’t mesh.

The stunts The Rock pulled in the helicopter at the beginning of the film, when they were rescuing that girl out of her car dangling on the side of the cliff also weren’t anywhere near realistic. As a person with a family member who pilots helicopters on rescue missions, I can say with absolute certainty that A) the helicopter can’t do that, and B) the pilot wouldn’t attempt that. It’s both dangerous and impossible at the same time, not to mention that hovering a helicopter above a vehicle dangling on the side of a sheer cliff is the perfect way to knock that vehicle loose and kill the person they’re attempting to rescue. It wouldn’t be done like that.

Los Angeles might sit in a seismically active area, but I’m pretty sure even a 9 or 10 magnitude earthquake would not topple our skyscrapers the way the movie portrayed. Heavily damage them yes, but topple them, no. In fact, I could be wrong here, but I believe every high-rise in Downtown Los Angeles has been retrofitted to withstand strong earthquakes, so while they may crack and crumble a bit, they will still be standing when the earthquake is over. I’m sure the same can also be said for San Francisco.

As to the tsunami portrayed in the movie, that shit is so fucking laughable. First off, let’s talk about that large cargo ship. I don’t know how widely known this fact is, but those containers on cargo ships aren’t just stacked on top of each other. They’re also bolted to the deck of the ship. They’re not just going to tumble off the deck like loose Legos. Secondly, how the hell do you steer a boat on a dime at full throttle when you’re going pretty much vertical? I’d love if someone could answer that for me. Thirdly, I highly doubt a tsunami triggered by an earthquake on the San Andreas fault would be high enough in San Francisco to place a cruise liner in Downtown San Francisco. Lastly, it would be damn near impossible to drive a boat through debris-strewn water like they portrayed The Rock doing without completely destroying both the boat and the engine on the back.

Honestly, I wanted so badly to like this movie and I sat down expecting to do just that, but it became clear pretty early into it that I was going to be nitpicking it for it’s laughably awful and impossible scenes. I’m sorry guys, but this movie was horrible! I’m glad I watched it for free with my HBO Now subscription, because renting/buying it would have been a very bad decision. It’s not worth the money they put into producing this very bad piece of shit film.

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Wiggle, Wiggle

Shortly after my alarm went off this morning, we had an earthquake here. It wasn’t much by the time it reached where we live, but I definitely noticed it. I heard it before I felt it, because it sounded like a big gust of wind hit our outside wall and made it crack and groan, and then our bed started to shake slightly. The shaking felt like my dog was scratching an itch near her tail and really getting into it, but she was snuggled up sleeping still.

I had time to open my ABC7 news app on my iPhone and look at the QuakeCam they have on there, and when I first started the live feed, it was still, but within a few seconds, it started jiggling all over. It took a few minutes for all of the local news stations to start reporting on it, but the comments people have written on Facebook have been positively epic! Props to this guy. It’s my favorite.

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A lot of people are freaking out because it happened during El Niño storms. I don’t understand the superstition thinking behind that, but I’ll let them have their panic attacks, if that’s what they really want. Speaking of El Niño, we had a nice, long rain yesterday, and it’s already raining again this morning. I had time to run down to the laundry room and wash some rugs before the rain hit, so I’m glad I got it done first thing this morning. I’m not going to attempt any more loads of laundry today, because they’ll just get drenched on their way back to my apartment from the laundry room. I want a washer/dryer in my apartment, dammit!

Just for your amusement, I’ll leave you with this screenshot I took of the ABC7 QuakeCam.

QuakeCam

High Speed Pursuits and Showers

Yesterday, I had to make a run to our local post office to pick up a couple of packages they had attempted to deliver while I was gone over the holidays. Our post office isn’t very far away. I’d guess maybe a mile or just slightly over that. Anyway, I live on a street with two schools on it, and our apartment complex is basically sandwiched between them. I was pulling out of the driveway, and I stopped at the street to check for traffic before pulling out when a silver Honda CR-V flew past me followed by at least six police cruisers – lights, sirens, the whole nine yards. At first it didn’t dawn on me that a police chase was happening right in front of me, because my very first thought was, “Wow! Those cops must have an urgent call to be flying down THIS street that fast!” which was followed not even a second later by, “Oh holy shit! They’re chasing that guy!” I checked again to make sure no one was coming and made my right turn into the street, going the same direction the maniac and police cruisers had gone, and when I got to the stop light at the corner, I noticed the idiot in the CR-V had plowed down all of the signs and shrubbery in front of the school there. They were all laying out in the street. Three more police cruisers quickly flew past me while I was waiting at the light, driving balls the walls down the street in front of me. At that point, I decided it may be a good idea to turn off my radio and crack my windows so I can listen for them in case that imbecile decides to come back in my direction.

Luckily for me, that was the last I saw of them, but after I stopped at the post office I had to run to the bank, which is a few miles away in a different city. As I was driving down the main road to get there, I started seeing small chunks of tires and car body, a headlight, and other debris strewn across the lanes I was in. Needless to say, this shook me up quite a bit, because I usually observe this sort of Southern California insanity from the comfort and safety of my own living room, rather than physically in person. Had I been even thirty seconds faster in leaving my apartment complex, this jackass could very well have hit me on the street while I was driving. I definitely consider myself quite lucky.

One of the packages I got at the post office was the Christmas present my husband’s aunt sent us. I love this! It’s the coolest idea ever, because we will use it the entire year, and she knew it. I was so excited when I opened the envelope and saw it, because I love looking at scenery photos.
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How awesome is that?! We have a Swiss calendar, in French and German, to use this year. What’s really cool about it is that I had told myself yesterday morning, before heading out to run these errands, that I should really stop at the store and buy a new 2016 calendar. Now, I don’t need to.

El Niño has finally arrived here in Southern California, and I’m so stinkin’ excited about the rain, you have no idea! I planned this week’s meals around the weather, and today it finally decided to rain on us, so I’ll be making split pea and ham soup in my Crock Pot. I’ve mostly held off on my soups and chili this year, because I didn’t want us to get tired of them before the rain came. Now, it’s here, and I’m taking full advantage of it!

Woah! What Happened?

Summer, I guess. It got hot here. We’ve had some rather unusual weather, and it’s been totally kicking my ass pretty much the whole time. My man-child also got out of summer school, so I’ve been handling him all day, as well. I completely forgot about my little blog in the process, and neglected it.

I’ve been pretty busy around here, and for some insane reason, I’ve been sleeping a whole lot, too. I don’t understand why, but I just cannot get through an entire day without taking a nap unless I sleep in until 11 AM, and that’s only possible on weekends. I don’t understand it. I don’t feel particularly shitty in any way I can actually name, but I’ve just felt so exhausted by 1 PM. I don’t know if it’s just a phase with my Fibromyalgia or what, but it’s getting to the point I’m getting seriously annoyed over it. I don’t really feel like I have the time to take naps, but I can’t get away with not taking them either, lately. If this is still going on by the time my kiddo goes back to school at the end of this month, I’ll probably book an appointment with my doctor to see what she has to say about it.

My mother is going to be moving out here around the first of October. She’s pretty much just done with Texas and wants to come out here. We also could use an extra set of hands for our child, since he’s disabled and takes more “handling” than the average nine year-old. The plan, as it stands now, which is constantly changing because my mother can never make up her mind, is for her to come stay with us for a couple of weeks and find a new job out here and then we’ll all move into a 3/4 bedroom house, since that will be the best idea all-around for all of us. We lived with my mother for a little over a year back in Texas, so it isn’t going to be a new experience, and since she’s starting to get older and still works full-time, she’s finding it harder to keep up on her own place by herself. Also, having her live with us will provide the benefit of extra care for our child and will make it easier for my mother to transition to living in a huge city. We’ll also be splitting all bills such as rent, utilities, and groceries, so hopefully, all of us will be able to put a little more away and create more of a nest egg for ourselves. I think that, with the right boundaries put into place and the right understanding between her and ourselves, this can be a very good set-up for all of us.

She keeps wanting to rent a big U-Haul and bring a bunch of stuff out with her, and I keep trying to tell her that it would just be cheaper for her to have a huge garage sale and sell everything and then go buy all new stuff once she gets here. That’s what we did. We spent maybe a little more than $2000 total to furnish our place out here, and the way we had all of the expenses figured, we’d have spent a lot more than that to haul it all out here and store it and then move it into our new place. She’s so determined to bring things like her treadmill out, though! And she’s headstrong, so if she doesn’t make the decision not to drag it out here herself, then it will be coming.

So, I’ve been perusing all of the available rental listings for our area. We’ve found a few houses that we’re interested in, but for whatever reason, once we drive by we find things we don’t like about them. At least we have a couple of months to do this, so there’s no rush to settle on the first thing and not get what would work the best for us. Ideally, we’d like to find a house with central A/C (no, not every house out here has that!) and a back yard with grass and a covered patio. Since most of the year, the weather is mild here, spending time outside is actually feasible, and my child has always wanted a place with a yard to play in.

That’s what I’ve been up to, lately. Busy and very exhausted.

I Miss Spring!

This week we’re supposed to hit triple digits. Summer has come and it looks like it’s here to stay. That means I’ve had to close up the apartment and turn on the air conditioner, so we don’t bake to death! I appreciate that the heat here in Southern California isn’t sweltering and sticky like it is back in Texas, but I really don’t like heat, either way. I like Spring temperatures.

Spring is my favorite season. It’s the time of year when everything turns green again and looks beautiful, before the heat of summer bakes all life out of it again. It’s the time of year when it’s not too cold and not too hot. You can feel comfortable with your windows open, and most of the time you don’t even need a fan. I get a lot of my cooking and baking done during the Spring, because it’s just too damn hot to heat up my whole house with my stove or oven during the summer, and during the winter, I’m busy making things that will keep you warm, so I don’t really have time to experiment.

I also like Spring because my birthday is smack in the middle of it. I know that as soon as everything has turned lush and green and beautiful, we’ll be celebrating me, and who doesn’t love that?

I think the season I like least of all is Winter. Winter in Texas meant cold, rainy weather, and it was always overcast and gloomy. Everything looked ugly. The trees were bare, the ground was wet and brown, and the sky was always the ugliest shade of gray. It made me want to curl into a ball and just cry all the time! Here, it’s not so bad. We just have to deal with the horrible smog that stagnates over us toward the end of winter, but for the most part it stays fairly warm here, because of the Santa Ana winds. But, that is the main reason I dislike winter here. Santa Ana winds make you miserable! They’re so hot and dry that you feel like you’re shriveling up and cracking everywhere. The winds suck every little drop of moisture out of your body, so if you don’t constantly inhale water like it’s going out of style, you end up with chapped lips, and cracked, bloody hands.

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt.

Ouch!

We went to an Anaheim Angels baseball game yesterday. We had a blast, even though I must admit that the game itself was boring as hell! I’m not a huge sports nut, and as such, I’ve never been to a sporting event of any sort outside of high school games I played in. This was a first for both myself and my son, so when we got the note in his backpack saying his school was given a bunch of tickets for Sunday’s game, I jumped on the opportunity. It wasn’t so much that I am a crazy baseball fan but more so that I wanted to go to at least one game, and if it’s free, why not?

We slathered the sunblock on both me and my kiddo, since we’re very fair-skinned. My husband doesn’t really need any, because he’s got this beautiful olive skin that just tans amazingly and never burns. He’s so lucky! We covered the child in sunblock well, but somehow we missed a few spots on me. Both of my hands are burnt on the backs, and my left hand especially. It hurts! My right hand just feels kind of tight on top, but bending my left hand at all hurts so badly! I have one little sliver on my upper chest that we missed, but it’s not even tender.

We caught up with a couple other families from my son’s school who were seated near us and my child was more interested in socializing with his friends than he was in watching the game. I can’t blame him, though. As far as I’m concerned, the game just sucked! Hardly any of the players managed to hit the ball, and most of the times the ball did get hit, it ended up going behind the batters into the stands. Nothing amazing happened at all. At one point, I was cheering anytime anyone hit a ball, because it seemed like no one was hitting anything, so any action was better than nothing at all!

I got some cool pictures. If you’ve never been to Angel’s Stadium, you should go, if for no other reason than the beautiful views!

Angel's Stadium

Angel's Stadium Inside

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What the Hell?!

How did it get so damn cold here overnight? I don’t even understand. Yesterday was a fairly mild day, and today I woke up freezing my girl-nuts off! Seriously! I’m so cold, you could use my fingers to keep wine chilled.

It’s not supposed to get this cold in SoCal! It’s just not supposed to happen. I want my nice, mild winter days back! Either that, or if it’s going to be freezing cold, can we at least have some rain? I can endure the harsh cold if there is a nice rain storm happening along with it.

Yes. It’s 45℉ here.

I’m such a wuss! If my grandmother read this post, she’d probably laugh hysterically at me. She routinely deals with sub-zero winter days where she lives, so my measly 45℉ most likely sounds like an amazing day to her. I just don’t like it. I moved to Los Angeles so I wouldn’t have to deal with cold winters…

I’ll manage, though.

Ahhhhhhh, January!

January is officially here in SoCal. We have the gloomy smog and morning fog and marine layer to prove it. I’ve noticed something about January’s around here, since this is my second new year spent in Los Angeles, and that is that January is when everything starts looking really damn ugly.

It seems that, for the most part, Santa Ana winds and off-shore breezes keep smog from collecting in the inland basin through much of the late fall and early winter, but when January hits, everything seems to stagnate over us, and a deep layer of nasty smog settles in. I remember last year, we actually had an air advisory which mandated that people not burn anything in their fireplaces or grills unless they were low-income and needed to do so for warmth, because our air had gotten so thick, grimy, and nasty that any added housing exhaust like this would exacerbate breathing issues people had.

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This picture doesn’t even do our January smog layer justice!

I’m one of the people living here who really enjoys looking at the Foothills as I’m driving or even outside walking, and this smog makes that impossible. You can’t see anything. I’d venture to say that it reduces visibility to a mile. Our mountains are beautiful, and that is why I hate our January smog. I want to be able to gawk at them, and when smog obscures them, it makes me feel gloomy.

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt.

A Stranger in Los Angeles

I’m not sure anyone would have that hard of a time visiting LA and acclimating to the local customs and traditions. I also don’t really know if there’s any local slang, beyond the fact that our interstates are all freeways, and you don’t call them “I-10” or “I-405” but rather “The 10” and “The 405.” Since we’re such a large city, it’s not usually hard to find something, somewhere that will make you feel at home.

The only issue I had when we moved here was the fact that people don’t seem to like it when you’re brutally honest and speak your mind. I’ve found that when you say exactly how you feel, that usually ends with major drama. Being the type of person who doesn’t sugar-coat anything, I think this is the hardest part of our move here. It’s harder than having to learn how to get from one place to another or anything else. It just seems that people in Los Angeles really do not like honesty, and they’d prefer little white lies over the cold, hard truth most of the time.

The only other thing that I can think of that might drive someone a little mad who visits here is the parking rules for some streets. Sometimes, they’re just so confusing, it’s better that you find somewhere else to park. Signs like this will leave you scratching your head for hours!

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This post is in response to the Daily Prompt.

So, tell me in the comments what would be the strangest thing about your town’s local customs, traditions, hangouts, or slang for a first-time visitor?