Friday, January 29, 2010

31 Day Fitness Challenge - Uh...yeah, that one

A funny thing happened on the way to the gym...

Okay, not really...see, the thing is, I signed up with my buddy Amber to do this great 31 Day Fitness Challenge. The challenge was to work out every day in January. And I was determined to do it. After all, working out is something I already do pretty regularly, and I needed to step it up, because I've hit a plateau with my weight loss.

So it made sense, in January I would work out every single day, and that would totally kick my butt in gear.

I was excited to do this. I even worked out on January 1st, and lets be honest, that's a day of rest if there ever is one. But I worked out.

And about the third week of the motivation broke up with me. It didn't really give me any warning, it just up and left me. One day it was there, and the next I came home to find it had packed up all its belongings and left.


Truth be told, it goes a little deeper than that. I tend to suffer from the winter blues. You know, that dreadful depression some people succumb to in the winter time? The lack of sunshine, vitamin D, really gets to me right around mid-January.

It usually sneaks up on me and then WHAM knocks me completely off-step.

So, I had a week in there when I seriously just wanted to sit on my couch and mope. So I did just that.

But then I snapped out of it, and decided enough is enough. I needed to get back to work. This week, this past Monday I was going to get back on track.

And then...I got sick.

I've been battling the flu all week, and while I'm definitely on the mend now, there was no way this body was going to do any sort of working out this week. It was all I could do to walk a straight line and not keel over and pass out.

Anyway, long story short, I have FAILED the 31 Day Fitness Challenge. Sorry Amber, I couldn't keep up. But I am SO PROUD of you for how well you've been doing! Keep it up!

And I'm not out. I may have failed the challenge, but I'm still on task. So, I'm going to keep on posting updates right along with you, this month, and next...and however long you'd like to keep it going.

So, nothing new to report this week, but I'll be back last week with an update! And don't forget to stop by Amber's and tell her what a great job she's doing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not Always Bliss

Warning, I am about to step on my soap box...

The other morning, as I was perusing the FaceBook Statuses of my "friends" I came across this status:

shame on you America: the only country where they have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet they have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations,and I have to get asked to donate $ every where I go but yet we...can't keep our own country right!! 99% of people won't have balls to copy and report this!

I can't even begin to tell you how much this particular post annoyed, angered and offended me.

I'm not close enough with this particular "friend" to engage in an all out "you are ignorant because" discussion on facebook, so I let it pass. And yet, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Later that day I went back to visit this particular individual's page, so i could copy his status message for this post, and I happened to read some of the comments to his post. I was even more astounded and angered by the ignorance, and outright ugliness of some of his commenters.

It is amazing to me that in light of such a tragedy, with over 100,000 people having lost their lives, people can be so callous, so insensitive, so selfish.

Let me make something clear, I am WELL aware of how messed up our country is. I realize we are in the middle of an economic crisis the likes of which this country has not seen in an extremely long time (if ever). I realize there are thousands upon thousands of Americans without jobs, without health care, and even, yes, without homes.

I realize that something has to be done.

Don't think that when I heard that the Hope For Haiti Telethon raised over $60 million dollars, I thought "wow, imagine if we could pool our resources to raise that kind of money for this country, for our economy". Because, really, how amazing would that be?

But never, not for a minute, did I think that it was WRONG for us to be raising money for another nation. For a nation so much more in need. So much more in pain.

Let's be honest, yes, there is poverty in this country, and I know there are areas in this country where the poverty is far beyond anything I can begin to imagine in my "world". That being said, even in the worst areas, we have an infrastructure, we have programs, we have aid. I realize people slip through the cracks, I realize that much more needs to be done, but we have HOPE.

WE DO help our own country. I don't know about you, and I certainly don't know about the individuals posting on that particular facebook status, but I donate to charity, to American charities, whenever I can. I give goods, food, clothing, jackets, and money, whenever the need arises, whenever I get an urge to do something for someone else.

And there are so many wonderful organizations and programs you can join to help out. So many charities out there, reaching out to those less fortunate in this country.

Even in our toughest economic times, we are a rich nation, rich in generosity, rich in resources, rich in opportunity.

Haiti, on the other hand, is not. Even in their best times, outside such a tragedy, they are a nation with less. Less infrastructure, less opportunities, less hope.

So, we step up. WE, the INDIVIDUALS, reach into our purses, our pockets, and we give. Of our OWN MONEY. Of our OWN FREE WILL. We give.

And what could possibly be so wrong in that?

This particular individual who posted that status message calls himself a Christian. As a Christian myself, I find that laughable. As Christians, how can we speak against anyone willing to help fellow humans? Regardless of what nation they live in?

There is a difference between wanting to help your own nation, and criticizing it for helping others in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.

I wonder myself how much this individual, and those who commented with such ignorance to his post, have donated to ANY charity in the last month? Year? Lifetime? I wonder how much they have done besides bitch about the state of our economy?

I wonder, but I won't lose any sleep over it...Because I know the rest of us are doing enough to cover the rest of them.

Ignorance...not always bliss, is it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Truth on Tuesday

I have a confession to make...

I told you all a little lie yesterday. In THIS post. Just a tiny lie.

See, the cartoon socks I was wearing in that photo? I never wear them. Ever. And immediately after I took that photo, I took them off.

Now, hold on, don't get mad. Let me explain.

I love cartoon socks. I wear cartoon socks all the time. That part was true.

It's just those socks...these socks:

are incredibly uncomfortable for me. See...a little unknown fact about yours truly...I have webbed toes. Nothing freaky and weird, just a slight webbing between the 2nd and 3rd toes on each foot. Hardly noticeable at all...except when I try to do something silly like wear toe socks.

OUCH...not comfortable.

So, there you have it, now you know a little known fact about me. Also, please don't send me toe socks, because I might love them, and keep them, as I have this pair, but I really can't wear them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

popinjay - Photochallenge - DORKY

Michelle really has been challenging us with her weekly words for the Popinjay photography challenges, and this week, was the most challenging of all. Dorky? Really? Good grief!

I'll admit, however, that I am a big fat dork, so I knew right away what I would use for my picture this week.

And then today, at a youth meeting, one of the teens showed up with this:

I actually have some pretty excellent photos of him in the hat, but didn't want to plaster him up here on the blog, so you just get the hat. It's not a great photo, but I couldn't pass up the chance, because really, when you think Dorky, that hat just fits, does it not?

But, back to my original idea...when you see me out in the world, odds are I'm sporting stilettos, or I've got an outfit put together with care, I've done my best to present the fashionable me. Even in my comfortable clothes, I'm styling, because that's just who I am. I love fashion and it shows.

But what you may not see is that underneath that fashionable outfit, is a big dork. Someone who loves silly, goofy things. And underneath those stiletto boots? Usually?
Cartoon socks. I have a WIDE variety of cartoon socks and take great pleasure of slipping them on under a professional outfit, just for my knowledge that they are there. I'm such a dork.

Again, I know, not the greatest picture in terms of "photography", but I didn't want to miss the challenge again this week, since I missed last week's.

Speaking of last week's, the word was ALIVE, and even though I missed it, I thought I would throw in a quick photo here to meet that challenge:

The word next week is: "GUILTY"...

Really Michelle? Good grief! I'd better start thinking about it now...

Make sure to go visit MICHELLE to see her photo as well as everyone else who is participating!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Concert Reviews - 2 for the price of none.

Recently I posted about my lucky streak winning concert tickets on Twitter (of all places). What I haven't done yet, is tell you about the concerts themselves, so here we go:

The first concert was on Thursday, January 7th at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. SafetySuit and Parachute were the acts. To be honest, before this concert I'd barely heard of Parachute, and knew only one song by SafetySuit, this one:

Which I loved the minute I heard it.

By the way, this is Parachute:

So, the concert: SafetySuit came out first, and right away I was glad I had the opportunity to see them live before they blow up big. They are fantastic live, they put on a great show, full of energy and interaction with the audience. The lead singer has a great voice, and I really enjoyed their performance.

Parachute's music, I'll be honest, is not really my "style", but that being said, I thought they also put on a great show. They can certainly sing, their music is good, and there were definitely really great moments in their performance as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable evening, and both bands made the free tickets a really nice "score"!

Moving onto the next concert. Last night I attended the Timbaland Shock Value II show at the House of Blues in Boston. This concert, I was REALLY looking forward to. I'm a big fan of Timbaland's work and couldn't wait to see what he would put together for his audience. After all, how can the man behind these hits:

And so many others, not put on a great show, right? Right...


Well, let me back up and start by talking about Honor Society, the opening act. I had never heard of them prior to the show, but let me tell you, a whole bunch of little "fan girls" sure did. They had quite the following at the show. In the event that you were as unschooled as I, this is Honor Society:

And as it were, they put on a great show. Nothing spectacular, but they engaged the audience, they were having the time of their life, and overall, it was a great show.

And thank goodness for that, because after that, it all pretty much went downhill.

Once the guys cleared the stage, Timbaland's "DJ" I guess you would call him, stepped on stage to prepare the audience for the main act. He proceeded to play old and new school hip hop, while he awkwardly talked over it asking people to Tweet him so he could give them shoutouts from the stage, and then just randomly reading people's Twitter names. Awkward.

Eventually, not after a short time, he introduced "Sebastian", Timbaland's brother (I guess) a rapper (I guess) who came out to perform (I guess). Sebastian did this awkward (there's that word again) performance where he mostly talked to the audience and a first for me basically, the first rapper I've ever seen lipsyincing, he sort of karaoke'd over his own tracks. And not well at that. At some point Petey Pablo came out on stage to perform one of his songs, and finally I was excited, thinking the show was about to start.

The excitement died down quickly when they all exited the stage and left mr. DJ doing his awkward Twitter roll call for another 20 minutes or so. The show "started" at 8, finally at about 9:45 or so Timbaland hit the stage.

Although, HIT might be too strong a word. More like moseyed on in. Sat down at his equipment and sort of "mumbled" "Okay, I'm going to lay some beats down for you guys". Anyway, I figured he was just warming up. Soon enough, it appeared all the waiting had paid off when he launched into "Timothy Where Have You Been" one of the songs from his new cd. The performance was great, high energy, with an extensive light and video show. Timbaland hits the stage with a FULL band, and this honestly led to the belief that this was a show with great potential.

Unfortunately, what it turned out to be was a show full of starts and stops. After that first song, he launched into an extensive babbling conversation with the audience. After that, a few more songs, again, great showing, great potential. And then...well, then he completely lost me.

For about 25 minutes he launched into an exchange with the audience. No, let me be more specific, with particular female members of the audience. He proceeded, in the next 25 minutes, to ask specific ladies in the audience their names and age. Suddenly we were transported to Timbaland's Private/Very Public Dating Game. After an excrutiating 25 minutes of "who will Timbaland hook up with backstage tonight", he simply walked off the stage, quickly followed by his band members, leaving his "dj" to play more hip hop and shout out Twitter roll call.

No inclination as to whether or not he'd be back. no "i'll be back, I'm taking a break" he just simply walked off. Mind you that at this point it was barely 10:30 PM...considering we, the audience, had been standing (no chairs at a club show) since 7pm, he certainly did NOT need a break that badly, you think? also, a quick note, after he exited the stage, we saw him peak back around the corner with another guy and point out one of the girls in the audience...

So, for the next 30 minutes, while we waited in the audience to find out whether or not the show would continue, he was probably having a good old time backstage with said girl...or not, we'll never know, will we?

We left at that point. We'd had enough of this completely disorganized, disappointing and self-indulgent show.

Thankfully, the tickets were free.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who put a four leaf clover in my champagne?

Luck is believing you're lucky.” - Tennessee Williams

If you were to ask me, prior to...oh, two weeks ago, I would tell you I am not "lucky".

No, wait, let me clarify that statement. I am lucky. More than lucky, I am incredibly blessed.

I live a charmed life. I've written before about my blessings, so I'll skip that whole thing right now, but yes, in the true sense of the word, I am, indeed, so damn lucky.

So, perhaps more accurately, I should say I am not the type of person who wins things. I have never been. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand (okay, maybe both hands) the number of times I have won ANYTHING in life.

Scratch tickets? Maybe a dollar or two.

Lottery? Never.

Gambling at a casino? I think I won $90 once. Every other time, I come home empty handed.

All those little drawings and contests and things we enter at random places in life? I don't ever win those.

And I've made peace with that. I don't gamble, don't buy lottery tickets, don't count on making a fortune "the easy way". I realized a long time ago I will have to work for my millions (ha).

But I still enter those little contests, because, can't win if you don't try, right? But I don't win.

I'm not being negative, it's common knowledge folks. No big deal.


On January 4th of this year, this new decade, I entered a Twitter contest. Nothing major. Retweet a tweet to win concert tickets to a show by two lesser known bands.

I entered, and then promptly forgot all about it.

And then on January 5th I received this tweet: Congratulations, you won!

Wait...what? Won? I don't win things. And...won what? What did I enter?

What I won were two tickets to see Safetysuit and Parachute at a club in Boston. More on that concert later in another post.

Point is, I won something.


I decided then that this new year, this new decade was going to be a lucky decade for me. My luck was turning around, and this was MY TIME to win things.

Hey, why not, right?

So, with that in mind, I have since entered a few other Twitter contests. And then last week? I received this tweet:

Congratulations, you won!

Wait...what? I won? Again? Seriously?

What did I win this time? Once again, concert tickets. This time to go see Timbaland (who I love) at the House of Blues in Boston tomorrow night. (Review to come).

Yep, guess my luck is turning around.

I'm not sure if this is limited to concert tickets, and to Twitter as my format for winning, but you know what? As someone who could never win a thing...I'll take it.

So...what concert should I win tickets to next?

Friday, January 15, 2010

31 Day Fitness Challenge - Week 2

Last week I told you that I joined my buddy Amber in her challenge to work out every single day in January.

Last week I also told you I was crazy, right? Right.

So, how did I do this week?

Do I really have to tell you? Cus...I didn't do so well.

Alright, we're all friends here, so I guess I can be honest with you.

Friday - I was seriously tired because I am way too old to be going to concerts on "school" after work I managed an itty bitty tiny little ab work out. That's about all that happened there.

Saturday - Oh Saturday...I decluttered my kitchen. Yes, I know, I ran it by Amber and we both agreed this didn't really qualify as exercise, but...I'm short, and getting to the top of my cabinets requires much climbing on and off of chairs. Getting to the back of my cabinets required much bending and reaching...there were squats, abs, stretches, and I was dancing around the house the whole, whatever, I'm calling it a work out. (weak, I know).

Sunday - I'm not even going to lie. I didn't work out on Sunday. At all. Exercise? Fail.

Monday - Back on track, I went to the gym and did an intense step aerobics class, called, appropriately enough, Steptensity. Whoo boy was that a class!

Tuesday - I punished myself a little bit more with my weekly kickboxing class. I LOVE that class.

Wednesday - I couldn't do an intense workout because my calves were KILLING me from my two previous work outs, so I just did a 15 minute ab work out.

Thursday - well, I was actually feeling pretty crappy (sniffly, headache, etc.) I did not workout last night. Yep...not so good.

And there you have it...Week 2.

I could dwell on the fact that it wasn't my greatest week in terms of commitment or dedication, but I'm not going to.

I'm going to focus on the fact that I have now found TWO great classes that I know I will be taking regularly, and am hoping to find one more at least. I'm going to focus on the fact that we're only 2 weeks into the new year, and I'm active, I'm trying, and determined and focused.

So, even if I'm not sticking to this challenge 100%, I'm still glad I'm doing it, I'm not quiting and I'm grateful to Amber for it, because it's working.

Now, anybody have a food challenge for me? Because I've been doing better, but I really need to get focused on the eating healthy thing...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not Unlike a Sponge

When the world hurts, my heart breaks.

It's always been that way for me, I'm incredibly empathetic and that has served me as well as hurt me in life.

I think my sensitivity is a gift in so many ways. It makes me a caring person, always willing to reach out and help others who need it. I'm sympathetic to the plights of the world, and want to be involved, to make a difference, and that is a very good thing, isn't it?

Except, it works the opposite way too. I'm not just sympathetic to the pain in the world, I tend to SOAK it up, not unlike a sponge.

Many years ago, I decided to stop watching the news, because I couldn't make it through a newscast without tearing up. Truth is, I still can't. The state of our world breaks my heart, over and over again.

The violence, the anger, the diseases, the addictions, the misplaced passion, the ignorance, the utter lack of communication and understanding, all these things, reach deep into my soul and I have a hard time accepting that I'm just supposed to go on about my business.

But the truth is, that is all I can do. Go on about my business. My business of living life the best way I can. Helping others when I can, loving those close to me, enjoying each day to its fullest. And praying.

After all, that is all any of us can do, isn't it?

And most days, this is enough. Most days.

But not today. Not today when an entire country is suffering. When the news of the earthquake in Haiti first hit, I reacted in much the same way I do with most news. "oh, that's terrible, I'll say a prayer, or two or thirty", and then off with the news, I don't want to know, see, hear, learn any of it.

And then today the statistics, the numbers, the facts, the pictures started trickling in. I learned most of them on Twitter, where I seem to get most of my news nowadays. And again, my heart broke. Over and over and over again.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I'm not even entirely sure I know what to feel.

I just know going on about my business feels wrong somehow.

In one way, a tragedy such as this serves as a reminder of how important it is to live each day fully...really live. To appreciate the small blessings, to make sure your loved ones know how loved they are, to not get so hung up on the trivial things. So, in that sense, I feel going about my business is exactly what I should do.

But then, there is the guilt, how can I just keep on when so many have lost so much? How can that be okay?

So, I pray. And I write. And then I pray some more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

popinjay - Photochallenge - HOPE

My Twitter/Bloggy friend Michelle is hosting a weekly photo challenge. I've really been meaning to dig into my photography a little bit more, so I though this would be a great way to jump back in.

The challenge will work like this:

pop⋅in⋅jay--noun--a person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter.

In other words, blogging. ;)

Isn't that what this personal blogging is all about? Me. Me. Me. For this photo challenge, that's perfect. We're going to dig inside of ourselves and do some "concept photography."

I'm going to give you a word and you're going to take a photo of something that describes the concept of the word.

  • You CANNOT take pictures of your kids or your pets for this challenge. Or anyone else's kids or pets. I know they're precious, but they make your creative bone lazy. Let's get outside of the box. Let's be challenged.

So, with that, this week's challenge was hope. I had a great idea right off the bat, and was ready to go. It was going to work out perfectly too, because I needed snow, and we were to get a dusting of this snow on Friday. And then we didn't. And then the weekend completely got away from me, and I didn't take the photo. i didn't take any photo.

Technically, therefore, I failed at this week's photo challenge. But, I decided that I wasn't going to let that keep me from posting, so I dug out a photo from my archives, from this past September, which I think strongly exemplifies the idea of HOPE to me. In the middle of a concrete jungle, right in the heart of downtown in the old mill city I live in, I found this:

I sort of love this photo for it's simplicity and power.

Anyway, so I cheated this week...sorry Michelle. I promise to actually go out and take a photo next week. Pinky swear.

Next week's word, btw, is ALIVE.

You can find out more about this photo challenge, and see what all the other participants (those who didn't cheat like I did) took pictures of, by clicking here.

Friday, January 08, 2010

31 Day Fitness Challenge

For some crazy reason I decided it would be a good idea to join Amber on her mission to exercise EVERY DAY in January.

Seriously? Because I didn’t have enough on my plate for the month as it is? And yet, it seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, I’d decided that once the holidays were over, it was really time I got serious again about getting in shape, eating healthier, working out regularly. And what better way to do it than to jump in head first? Commit to doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY for a month?


So, here we are, a week later, and it’s time for me to report to you how I’ve done so far.
I won’t lie, it started off rough. After all, January 1st was a Friday, and is typically a day of leisure for me. Up late the night before, no work…we start things on Mondays, right? After a lazy morning I spent the afternoon at my mom’s house, and didn’t get home until after 7pm. At that point, I put on my pj’s, poured myself a glass of wine, and plopped down on my couch, remote control in hand. And then it hit me…I hadn’t worked out yet. Well, I had signed up for this challenge, and I couldn’t very well fail on the VERY FIRST day, could I? So, I actually got up, and went to work out. I did a short 10 minute ab work-out. Not much, but I did it. Day 1, check.

Day 2 was most definitely a pajama day. I woke up to snow, and went to sleep to snow. Seeing as I’m not a fan of winter, snow days when I don’t have to work, are pajama days if I can help it. But I decided I might as well take advantage of my “snowed in” condition, and take down the Christmas decorations. And that, my friends was my work out for the day. It may not seem like much, but I live in a condo, and once the decoration were down, they needed to be stored away. In my attic storage. Three flights of stairs up. With a big box of Christmas tree parts. (once). Then two big (HUGE, HEAVY) bags of decorations (twice). And one more time with a HUGE heavy bin of yet more decorations (three times). In between these there was also a trek outside to clean the snow off my car, and move it so the plow guy could clean our parking lot. Okay, yeah, not much, but I broke a serious sweat and my arms hurt the next day from all that lifting…so, day 2? Check.

Day 3 was Sunday and errand day. I did quite a bit of running around, some shopping, etc. Then I came home and did another ab work-out, this time a 20 minute one. Not much (yeah, yeah, I know, I didn’t say how much I’d work out each day, just that I would), but day 3, Check. P.S. my abs were killing me the next 2 days.

Day 4, Monday, and I opted for an hour of Dance Dance Revolution at home after work. Trust you me when I tell you this is one HELL of a cardio work-out. Day 4, CHECK.

Day 5, Tuesday, is kickboxing day at the gym. CHECK.

Day 6, Wednesday, was a rough day. I was depressed, moody, and just not feeling all that great. I decided to take a brisk walk at lunch…short, maybe 15 minutes. Then after work, completely unmotivated, I forced myself to do a few crunches. I won’t lie…this day could almost be chalked up to a “FAIL”, but I’m going to give myself a pass, just this one time, because at least I did a little something. So…um…check?

Day 7, Thursday. Another tough day, but this one because my schedule was full. A full day of work, and then a concert that evening. If you know me at all, then you know I am so NOT a morning person. Working out in the AM is pretty much an impossibility, as I have a hard enough time being coordinated enough not to walk into walls. And yet, I got up a bit earlier, and did a 10 minute ab work out before work. Go me! So…Check.

There you have it, my first week. I’ve started somewhat slow, and had some days that were pretty weak, but I’m trying here…and I had two high impact cardio days, so I’m pleased for those two. I’m hoping this next week will have a few more of those, and I’m looking into more classes at my gym to fill that quota.

Just a quick P.S., I’ve done really well with food this week. I’m back to the plan of eating every 3 hours, meals and snacks, and I’ve made a decision to completely cut out frozen dinners/lunches/breakfasts. Those tend to make up my daily diet A LOT when I’m not watching what I eat, because they are quick and easy, but I realize how loaded with sodium they are, and how completely unhealthy, so I’ve cut them out. I’m also back to adding a nice hearty helping of vegetables to all my dinners, which only helps to fill me up, and eat less of everything else. So far, so good. I only had one off meal, dinner at mom’s on Wednesday, and even then, I didn’t over do it.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Movie Reviews - August Rush and Body of Lies

I watched two movies this past weekend, and they couldn’t have been any more different from one another.

The first, is a movie I’ve been wanting to see since it was in the theatres back in 2007. I never made it then, and a few months ago TIVO decided I might like to watch it and recorded it for me. It’s been sitting in my tivo for months now, waiting for the right opportunity to be watched. Friday night it finally felt like the right time. (don’t ask, I have to be in the mood for movie watching, something to do with my short attention span…lol)

Anyway, back to the movie.

Starring Kerri Russell (Lyla Novacek), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Louis Connelly) and Freddie Highmore as August Rush himself, this movie is the story of a little boy who grows up in an orphanage, believing he can “hear” his real parents. He sets off on a mission to find them, and that’s where the story really takes off.

The cast in this movie was superb. I have always loved Kerri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers completely won me over in this role, and little Freddie is just a joy to watch. Also amazing in this cast were Robin Williams (when is he ever not amazing?), Terrence Howard (who I have loved since Dead Presidents way back in 1995), and a slew of other supporting cast members.

But the true star of this movie is the music. Both the written songs and melodies (some sung quite well by Meyers himself) and the sounds of nature that play such a huge role in the magic of the movie.

And magic it was. This movie was simply a beautiful, sweet, magical story. As a HUGE music lover, and the indescribable force it carries, I was completely smitten with the story. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll refrain from saying too much more, but I will say that if you love music, and if you believe (as I do) that there is something about music that can just reach into your soul and tell you things you never knew, then you will love this movie.

Also, the soundtrack is amazing.

I plan to buy both, this one is a must OWN.

The second movie I watched this weekend was Body of Lies. For all the “feel goodness” of August Rush, Body of Lies had the complete opposite feeling to it.

Starring Russell Crow and Leonardo DiCaprio it is a story about the CIA and terrorism in Afghanistan. Why in the world I chose to watch this movie, when I don’t even like watching the news is beyond me. Actually, it’s not that much of a mystery. Two words: Leo DiCaprio. I heart him. I will watch pretty much ANYTHING he’s in. I mean, come on, I watched The Beach (talk about a twisted, dark movie). That does not mean I have to like everything he stars in, but I will watch it.

Truth be told, part of the reason I will watch all his movies is that he has a knack for picking great movies to be in. In terms of his role in the movie, he did not disappoint. His character is complicated, and tortured, and a perfect Leo role. But I felt the plot left a lot to be desired, and when the movie ended, I as sort of left with a “what was the point?” feeling. I suppose, in a way, it was fitting, because let’s be honest, isn’t that the feeling we’re left with anytime anyone talks about this crazy war we’re in? What is the point, exactly?

Anyway, I’m not sure I can recommend watching this movie, but I also can’t tell you it was a bad movie. It was a war movie. Of the terrorism and government kind. So, if you like that sort of thing, you might like this one. I was underwhelmed, and really, the only thing I took away from it is the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio really is a great actor, and regardless of the plot, I will watch anything he stars in, because that boy can act. Doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes either.

Anyway, there you have it, my two latest movie reviews.

I promise some more "personal" blog posts in the very near future. I'm going to a concert tomorrow night, so I'll tell you all about that. And I have to update you on how I'm doing on my 31 days of exercise challenge...which reminds me, I have to go work out...later!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year - Now, get off your couch...

First and foremost I must say HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you., wasn't it just yesterday we were kids trying to figure out how old we would be at the turn of the millennium?

But alas, that was then. This is now...and we are no longer kids, are we?

In fact, it seems each year our bodies remind us that we are not getting any younger. And it is up to us to take responsibility for taking care of these bodies.

So, as with probably 90% of the population, we kick off the new year with grandiose plans that this will be the year we will do just that. We will lose that last 10 (20-50) lbs. We will eat better. We will exercise regularly.

As discussed in my post last year (okay, fine, yesterday), I don't make New Year's Resolutions anymore. But I do love the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings. So I set goals, make plans, and...gulp..agree to crazy challenges by fellow bloggers.

My dear twitter friend and blogger Amber has been challenged by her husband to work out every day in January and blog about it, and she asked if any of us were interested in joining her. And I? Well, I must be just a little bit insane, because I said yes.

So here we are, January 1st, time to begin.

A quick note, while I plan to exercise every day this month, I don't plan to blog about it every day. I do plan to blog more often, and I plan on keeping you posted on my exercise progress throughout the month, but blogging daily is just not a reality for me at this moment, so that won't happen.

My cousin PM has, however, demanded I blog more often, because she misses my posts and knowing what is up with me, so I will make an attempt to do that. I promise! (oh boy).

Anyway, back to the exercise. Today is the first day of the challenge, and usually I take January 1st as a lazy day, waiting until Monday to get in gear. But this challenge is not letting me take the weekend I WILL exercise today. Not sure yet what that workout will entail, but I'll share it with you as soon as I do. ;-) I do know I plan on staying in my jammies all day, so I'm thinking a little bit of Dance, Dance, Revolution will do the trick.

I'll be heading back to the gym on Monday, January 4th, and actually have an appointment with a personal trainer, to see if I can budget some PT sessions this year. I'll let you know how that goes too.

I am not, to be honest, looking forward to being at the gym in January, when all the "New Year's Resolution" newbies will be there, occupying all the machines. I'm a firm believer that us "regulars" should have a VIP section in January. I might have to find some at home workouts for the month, and then get back to the gym in February, when they've all given up. (was that mean? yeah, that was bad).

Anyway, there you go...that's the plan for January...will you join me? Let me know in comments, and make sure to visit Amber's blog and let her know you're in!