Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hunger Games: A Movie Review

This was something I meant to write weeks ago, which didn't happen of course, because of my hectic life. But The Hunger Games is the phenomenon de jour, much like Twilight, but thankfully eclipsing that poorly-written, poorly-acted slosh.

I faced the book itself with a great deal of trepidation, as it came highly recommended by one of the most obnoxious people I know and it had been splashed across Facebook for weeks. I miss the days when I was less busy and was able to pick up a book and read it and then feel smug because it became  phenomena after my discovery. Gone are those days.

Much to my chagrin, I loved the books. I adored them. I finished the first two in a day apiece, though the third took a little longer. The Hunger Games is Orwell's Big Brother of 1984 meets the overwhelming self-indulgence of Huxley's Brave New World, twisted with the dark psychology of Lord of the Flies. All of my favorite, well-worded classics rolled into one twisted, but striking trilogy.

As my friend Jamie said, "You have to wonder about an author who dreams up children murdering each other."

And on to the movie:

As with all movies-made-from-books, my wariness was astronomical. The only movie I have encountered that is most of the way as good as the movie would be White Oleander. That and any movie boasting a male starlet who has the poor taste to be kept by Miley Cyrus (Liam Helmsworth) and an unknown like Jennifer Lawrence, mixed in with the odd scramble of Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz is something to be moderately cautious of.

At least it didn't have Kristen Stewart in it. Watching her mono-face another entire movie would be...well, I'd have to do something drastic.

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the movie was excellent, well-performed and well-timed. It stayed true to the storyline, with only one or two moderate tweaks and turned the internal dialogue that helped Katniss Everdeen explain her world in the book into an eye in the background of the Games themselves. It gave it an unexpected twist that happily added to the movie rather than distracting from it.

The actors all had excellent timing and only a few flailed with their acting -- no more than could be expected though.

My only complaint -- and unfortunately this is a major one -- is that they took the Blair Witch-reality TV take to some of the filming. Jerky, blurry, shaky. On the big screen, for someone prone to motion-sickness it was so not fun. I mean, I understand the purpose: it was to show the overwhelming emotion/action of the scenes in a way that regular filming may not have, but I feel that there could have been a better way to do it.

It is truly a movie for the big screens though.

It makes you feel like you are one of those fops from the Capitol, watching the drama of the Games unfold before you.

Three and a half out of five stars.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Laxness is Inexcusable

My laxness with posting is inexcusable. Or maybe it's excusable. You decide. Here are the details:

The last time I had a weekend (it seems like so long ago...oh wait, it was about 9 days ago...) my beautiful friend Siobhan came to see me for the WHOLE weekend. It was fantastic, and Bend even decided to grace us with some phenomenal weather that made it hard to want to sit inside so she and I hiked and walked and walked and hiked and ate. And ate. And ate. It was wonderful. I miss her :(

Then I had a hair appointment Monday (8 days, 9 days ago...I can't remember) that ended in tragedy. For the first time ever I had to go back and have it redone! That took a couple days to fix that snafu...there were some highlights that got a little out of control. She fixed it though, wonderful girl that my stylist is...if she weren't so wonderful (she didn't charge me for the fix, which granted, was her fault, but still she came in to work early to fix it for me since I wouldn't have time off for forever) I wouldn't keep going back.

Tyler's season ended and we had the end of the season party to attend. Lots of fun.

Then my 10 DAY WEEK began. Currently, I am about to enter day 9. I'm on the home stretch. Thank god. But then we are flying to Annapolis on Friday at the buttcrack of dawn for lots of family (Tyler's) festivities for just two days (his cousin is getting married at the Naval Academy...quite exciting) and then flying back home (also at the buttcrack of dawn, but EST rather than PST so even earlier than I'd care to think about).

May the exhaustion -- and fun -- commence!

Do I get a pass for not posting? I hope so. I promise I'll try to post lots next week! Summer is upon us, so it's a struggle to not stay outside and got up to 80 this past weekend, just gorgeous.

Be jealous.


Big Word Wednesday: Ubiquitous

Have you ever seen Big Bang Theory? Well, if you haven't you should. But that's where this week's word comes from. The premise of this show is some really really smart, nerdy,  doofus guys and a dumb pretty girl and their interactions. I suppose now that I've said it that theoretically I should be offended for my gender, but she holds her own due to their social-ineptness.

Anyways. They use good words. They used this one when I was watching the other day.

ubiquitous: adjective. [yoo-bik-wi-tuhs] existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent.
  • Citrus is so ubiquitous in the market these days, the peak seasons of the various fruits tend to be forgotten.
  • Corruption is ubiquitous, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism.
  • Personal computers have become ubiquitous in rich countries.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Big Word Wednesday: Panacea

Now, I'm trying to remember where I read this word this week, but I can't seem to. But I did read it and when I did, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, that's a good word. I should use it for Big Word Wednesday."

panacea: noun. [pan-uh-see-uh] a remedy for all disease or ills; cure-all. an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties.
  • Looking to online education as a panacea isn't going to work.
  • As far as catch shares go, they are not a panacea.
  • Everyone from greens to government officials has hyped a hydrogen-based economy as the panacea for fossil fuel woes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Big Word Wednesday: Clandestine

I finished reading the Hunger Games series a couple weeks ago, but boyfriend is still in the midst of them. Though I have to say these are the first books I've seen him forgo sleep for. It's an interesting shade on him.

The other night he was tired. He rolled over and said, "I want to read but I'm so tired."

"Mmhm." I replied, engrossed in my own book.

"Can you read to me?" he asked.

"Nope." I said, still reading.

"Pleeeeeease?" he said.

"Nuh uh." I liked my book.

"Please please please?"

It's a good thing he's cute. It's a good thing I like him so much.

"Fine." I grumbled. And read him a chapter of the second Hunger Games book. "Clandestine" popped up among one of the paragraphs, and he looked up at me and said, "What's clandestine?"

I love it when he does that.

clandestine: adjective. [klan-des-tin] characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious.
  • Their clandestine meetings went undiscovered for two years.
  • "Plutarch disappears and I wander through the crowd, looking for Peeta, as strangers congratulate me. On my engagement, on my victory at the Games, on my choice of lipstick. I respond, but really I'm thinking about Plutarch showing off his pretty, one-of-a-kind watch to me. There was something strange about it. Almost clandestine." Catching Fire, p. 83

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Because I Can

I would just like to say a few words:

5 miles.

Instead of 4 miles.

49 minutes.

This is how I party rock.


Maddie Loves Laundry Day

Maddie loves laundry day.

It means that there is a new place to hide

(amongst the hang-dry laundry)

And new things to play with

(balls of socks that have been dropped or are merely conveniently located to attack at will)

And that she can follow Mom (me) around and get attention

(well, she thinks me hanging the laundry to hide in and folding the socks for her to play with is attention focused on her)

Maddie loves laundry day.

Did I mention that she thinks the big warm piles of clean clothes fresh out of the dryer are especially for her?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Super Indelible Never Come Off 'Til You're Dead

Did you ever read the children's book "Purple, Green and Yellow" by Robert N. MunschBrigid who is having fun with her markers until she goes overboard and paints on herself with her super-indelible-never-comes-off-till-you're-dead-and-maybe-even-later markers. 

I'm not sure why, but painting my nails always makes me think of this book. Maybe because when we were little nail polish wasn't so much "nail" polish as "finger" polish. Or "all over" polish.

I found this really cool nail polish the other day.

How cool is that? Looks like I had it professionally done and/or it took me a really really long time, right? Good thing it didn't!

I was at this little hair product supply place near my work that has OPI nail polish among other things. I'd had a customer come in this week wearing this adorable blue color and when I asked her what color it was, she knew it was OPI and called "Susie does Feng Shui" so I was at the store to find it. I was at the counter getting ready to check out when I saw this nail polish:

The purple one, not the clear one. It was by a sign advertising it. I told the check girl, "No way that works that well." The girl was like, "No! It really does and it's really easy!" so she showed me, and I was sold. The ticket price was a bit steep as the polish was $10 and then the design magnet was $10 as well. But it was super easy to do! 

You paint the polish on and then hold the magnet over it for ten to twelve seconds. It takes a nail or three to get the hang of it -- like how close to hold the magnet and how long to hold the magnet. Hold it for fifteen to twenty seconds and the nail polish will rise far enough to stick to it. Ooops. It was fun though and I got lots of compliments. 

China Glaze polish apparently holds up as well as OPI does at work. Only one nail chipped. 

Well, two, but the second wasn't work-related. I bashed my hand on my car door going to work, so that doesn't count.

Super cool. I love when these gimmicky things actually work as advertised. Because let's face it, my patience is slim to none, so if it takes a long time to get it to do that, or if it's not actually super easy to do, I'm not gonna do it.

Hope you can visit soon so I can do your nails!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big Word Wednesday: Temerity

Hi all,

Big Word Wednesday, at it again! A good word...though one I'm not sure I've been using correctly now that I've looked up the actual definition...for this week is temerity. But that's what big words are all about: the courage to use them even if you're not totally sure that you're using them correctly.

Be able to laugh at yourself if you use them wrong though.

temerity: noun. [tuh-mer-i-tee] reckless boldness; rashness.

This week, have the temerity to try out a new word.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Found it

So as per usual, I wrote most of these on Sunday. The one that posted Monday I wrote before I hit the gym. This one I'm actually writing Monday morning, though I meant to write it Sunday after the gym.

Yesterday's post is about finding your motivation and hitting it while you can. Apparently I found some motivation on Sunday, because after my scheduled 6 mile run (on the treadmill watching Netflix because I started to run outside, but it's still winter here...and it was frigid) I did a few weights.

I did some crunches. With a weight.

And some arms. Shoulders, triceps, lats.

Then because I didn't feel like I'd done quite enough between my hour run and the arms, I did the HIIT to FIT lunge/squat/wall sit workout.

And then I went home and ate a cupcake.

Because I deserved it.

Talk about motivated.


Monday, April 2, 2012


I have a hard time motivating. I don't know if you know this, but I have a hard time getting my ass in gear. I know, I know, it doesn't seem like it, awesome four-time half-marathoner that I am, but I do. I'm a lazy homebody at heart.

I am still a rockstar, I just can admit that at my very core, I'm not very hardcore.

But do you know what motivates me? Paying that big race entry fee. And then having a date for that race. That's what gets my butt on the road. I would hate to waste that $60 fee. As my dad once asked me, "Why can't you just not run?" he was referring to a race that I got sick for a couple days before. I laughed. "Because I'm paying for the privilege."

He didn't know. Silly Papa.

The other thing that's been motivating me is my New Year's Resolution to Exercise More and Get In Shape. I've been actually really good at this one. Not been so good at the "Shopping Less" one, but I've been doing great at the other one. I did the thing I swore I'd never do and got a scale and have been loving watching the numbers tick down, talk about motivating. I'm almost at my goal, and am happy, healthy and fit!

For the record, you should always find the place where you're happiest with yourself and should not let it consume you. With this experience of dieting I've been careful to listen to my body and if I'm hungry for a little extra, I eat. If we go out, I have a drink, have some artichoke dip. That's important.

It's not about starving or about withholding, it's about awareness of what you're eating. Listening to your stomach when it tells you its full and when you acknowledge you're just eating because it tastes so good you stop eating. After just one last bite. And then stopping. Did you know that your stomach doesn't know you're full until 30 minutes after you start eating? It's about acknowledging that if you have that cupcake, you should probably get your butt to the gym, or forgo your afternoon treat.

It's just about moderation, dedication and finding the motivation that makes you happy and allows you to stay healthy at the same time.

Unfortunately, reaching my goal doesn't mean I get to stop exercising as I did put down that $60 entry fee for my race in June...oh well.

Wishing you all luck in achieving your goals and finding your motivation.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Maddie!

I woke up this morning, checked my email on my phone and our vet had sent me an eCard wishing Maddie a happy birthday. One year ago today, I took Maddie in for her first check up at the vet. Granted, not her true "birthday" but as I can't remember what day we brought her home, this is as good as any.

So happy birthday to our fluffy terrorist.

...who thinks that the best place to sleep is on top of Tyler.

And as Tyler says, we're so lucky she picked us to go home with...she definitely won the kitty lottery. Until we bring that puppy home...