The Hangover II, the Hill, politicos

Today I saw “The Hangover Part II” with a friend and was pleasantly surprised. It gets off to a slow start but ultimately triumphs. Unfortunately, the movie takes a bit too long to get good. I almost considering walking out, as the first 15 minutes are more depressing than humorous. No one laughed during the first half hour, and the filmmakers tried too hard to make the sequel flow exactly like the first flick.

Some of the scenes cross the line and suffer as a result, so try not to feel disappointed when the jokes simply fail. You’ll also see lots of male private parts, so just be prepared for an explosion of junk. As for the story line, Alan’s character remains the funniest, Stu is the craziest of the group, Doug stays out of trouble this time around, and Phil is the voice of reason. A new member joins the wolf pack, much to the chagrin of territorial Alan.

 

The actor, who happens to be Ang Lee’s son, is my new celebrity crush. Apparently he’s a senior at NYU as well, so he’s still technically a normal college kid. That’ll change by the end of this weekend, I’m sure.

I loved the movie and would go again, but it’s definitely not as good as its predecessor, which I watched while studying abroad in France two summers ago. I’ll never forget how much the French audience roared with laughter in the fully packed theater. The movie poster was also pretty funny. “The Hangover” makes me miss the desert, as the flick is filmed in Vegas. As much as I love the D.C. humidity right now, I kind of miss feeling like a lizard in Arizona and California, where the sun is stronger.

Earlier this week, I visited Capitol Hill on a rainy day. Standing outside the senate building, I saw Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in a grassy secluded area. She was being filmed by one woman but alone otherwise, and they both stood in the downpour for about fifteen minutes. Granted, we were beneath trees, which shielded us from the rain to some extent, but it was still kind of funny for me to see a major political figure/potential presidential candidate voluntarily stay in the rain for a long time. She kept a smile on her face even after the cameras stopped rolling. I guess all weather conditions are manageable when you come from the perpetually snowy Midwest.

Because of the thunderstorms, Jessica Alba’s hearing was moved indoors (it was initially supposed to take place at the Senate Swamp outside). I didn’t have my press credentials with me, as I still need to turn in my Congressional press pass application (procrastination kills), but the cops let me in the building because I had my ID and business card.

The police officer was super funny, too. When I handed him my driver’s license, he said, “Laura Elizabeth Donovan. What a beautiful Italian name.”

“Actually, I’m half Irish,” I said. “I don’t have a drop of Italian ancestry in my body.”

“I know, I was joking. You don’t get much more Irish than Donovan,” he said, laughing.

After that, he directed me to the Jessica Alba press conference, which was pretty uneventful aside from the fact that the senate buzzer sounded off during her speech and she went off-script for a few seconds.

Jessica Alba with Sen. Lautenberg

 

 

Jessica came to D.C. to promote the Safe Chemicals Act, which is close to her heart as a parent. She also wore heels to the hearing despite the fact that she’s pregnant, so I take my hat off to her for putting style over comfort (as long as it’s not harmful to the baby, that’s fine by me!) She seemed very conscious of her kids’ health, so I’m sure she knew what she was doing.

 

 

 

 

You can read the article here. I’ll continue to keep my eye open for celebrities visiting the nation’s capitol. In the mean time, I’m rereading “Eat Pray Love” (can’t get enough of it) and working on fun feature-y pieces for XOJane, I will keep my fingers crossed that they accept my work! I’ve had a rough week but am trying not to slip into negativity. The weather is too perfect for that kind of attitude.

Now that we’re on the topic of emotion, I saw John Boehner cry at the Tim Russert Congressional Dinner the other night. The event was a tribute to the Boys and Girls Club, so everyone expected him to weep. At the end of his speech, he said something along the lines of, “They invited me here tonight so you could see me shed some tears.” Too easy!

Last night, I called up a singer in California for one of my stories and had a really good discussion about the Golden State. I always enjoy chatting with people from the west coast, I’m more at ease and don’t feel the need to act so serious. He was funny as well. Towards the end of the interview, he said, “What are you, 18 years old?!?”

“I’m pushing 23, but thanks for thinking I have a young spirit,” I said. “I don’t want to get old.”

“You’re never, ever going to be old, you’ve got that vibe about you,” he said. I sure hope he’s right, even if that means I’m destined for immaturity. I’m the youngest of all my siblings, I’ll always be a little behind everyone else my age. Fine by me.

I’m excited to get back to yoga tomorrow, I haven’t been to the studio in weeks but could really restore my core strength and de-stress a little bit. Hopefully this time I don’t get bruised!

Graduations, espresso, pastries, Jessica Alba

The other day, I had brunch with my friend Kate, who made blueberry scones and several cups of espresso (we finished the entire batch, which is intended for four people!). The coffee brought back memories of France and the pastries reminded me of college, when I used to pick up massive blueberry scones at Canyon Cafe twice a week.



After the large meal, I met up with my cousin and her family for her graduation ceremony, which was nice but much more self-congratulatory than necessary. For one, the commencement speaker was under the impression that everyone gathered to recognize her life struggles, awesomeness, and accomplishments rather than honor the entire graduating class of 2011. This woman was absolutely impossible to listen to and the most arrogant speaker I’ve ever heard. I really wish someone would have yanked her off-stage so we didn’t have to witness the “me me me” spectacle. For five minutes, she talked all about herself, how privileged she was to deliver the keynote address, her adversities, the racism she encountered, getting married at age 19, and opening up a learning center. Guess what, honey? It’s your own fault for marrying young and we won’t pity you for that choice. It’s wrong that people discriminated against her, but she’s not the first person to have ever experienced prejudice.

In the middle of her rambling, she choked up, but it only got worse at the very end of her speech, when she broke out into song. I didn’t think anyone could show off any further, but this insufferable woman proved me wrong. Everyone agreed this was vastly inappropriate. At the very least, it gave me something to laugh and complain about with my aunt and uncle. As an older woman, this lady should have been selfless enough to give the graduates advice about the real world and provide suggestions on how to handle their fields. But, like a self-involved twit, she read aloud her autobiography. I was so angry for the poor graduates, who didn’t pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to listen to some pampered princess tout her own horn like a total asshole.

This is partly why I’ve always found graduation ceremonies unnecessary. Graduation is certainly a major accomplishment, but shouldn’t warrant so much attention and numerous ceremonies.

I felt the same way about my own graduation last year. At first, I thought I was just bitter that I hadn’t looked hard enough for a job. I’ve concluded it’s just silly to pat yourself on the back so often and in such a public manner. If I had it my way, these ceremonies wouldn’t exist. I didn’t even want to walk at graduation last year, but I obviously did for the sake of my mother and family members, who financed my degree. At this point, they’re all just happy that I’m doing well and enjoying my work.

Regardless, I was of course proud of my brilliant cousin, who maintained over a 3.5 GPA at an insanely difficult and competitive public university. She’s headed for a master’s program in the fall too, so she has reason to be proud. In general though, the USA has a tendency to award its citizens far too easily. This has to stop.

Now that I’m done whining, I’ll admit that I loved seeing all the graduates in their identical outfits and fancy shoes. Most of the girls wore heels and the men were a little inebriated. It was an amusing sight, and I actually liked waving to everyone from the audience. I teared up when the grads crossed the stage and moved their tassels over to the left. All of this reminded me of last year when Carolyn woke me up for our commencement ceremony. It was 90 degrees in Arizona that morning and we got up extra early to down some Starbucks beforehand. Decked out in our grad gear, we strolled the campus for a while before retreating to McKale Center. A blue bird flew right above my head and flapped into my hair, so we shrieked and swore, only to find out the university president walking right behind us. Our timing was always a little off.

Yesterday, I went with my friends to a Jason Aldean concert in rural Virginia. We were the only non-hicks in the fully packed crowd, but the songs were fantastic and weather absolutely perfect. For the first time in six months, I continuously felt warm on the east coast. I didn’t mind boiling underneath the sunshine, and surprisingly I didn’t get sunburned. Musical performances always remind me of high school, so it was nice to think back on my upbringing. During my SVHS days, I dated a guy who loved sporting cowboy hats, Wrangler jeans, and cowboy boots so he wouldn’t get sucked into the northern California hippie stereotype, so last night I kept thinking he was somewhere in the crowd. On several occasions, I misidentified a concert-goer for him, but of course he wasn’t around. Because of my former flame, nothing reminds me of high school more than cowboy attire! The same goes for beaches, as Crystal and I often hung around Seabright beach growing up.

Jason Aldean!

Throughout the evening, we witnessed tattooed, farmer’s tanned hicks brawl, drunken young ladies weep, and two girls pose with a Confederate flag for a photo. Hopefully the white supremacists don’t seek office someday, otherwise their political aspirations will be shattered! You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to do something like that, I didn’t even know you could purchase such a thing anymore. Either way, the women fled soon after the picture was taken, so maybe they realized they’d just done something incredibly embarrassing.

It’s been a fun weekend and I look forward to an even better week ahead, although the Jessica Alba event might get rained out on Tuesday :( I am hoping the thunderstorms take it easy for a while so I can chat with the beautiful “Never Been Kissed” actress about her Safe Chemicals Act activism! Let me know if you have questions for her. Like I said, the hearing won’t happen if a storm takes place, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the sun comes out!