Movies: 2007

This is more for my own amusement than anything else; these are the movies that I saw in the theatre (versus on DVD, or watched on a plane, or some other non-movie-theatre option) in 2007. My list for 2006 is pretty pathetic (it was a bad year for me getting out and catching a flick!), so the difference should hopefully be pretty significant!

  1. Dreamgirls (01/07)
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth (01/11)
  3. Casino Royale (01/14)
  4. Volver (02/09)
  5. Children of Men (02/10)
  6. Babel (02/24)
  7. Hot Fuzz (05/06)
  8. Ratatouille (07/01)
  9. 1408 (07/13)
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (07/15)
  11. The Bourne Ultimatum (08/18)
  12. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (09/03)
  13. The Brave One (09/16)
  14. Death at a Funeral (09/26)
  15. Eastern Promises (09/30)
  16. The Darjeeling Limited (10/07)
  17. Michael Clayton (10/21)
  18. Enchanted (11/25)
  19. Atonement (12/15)
  20. The Savages (12/30)

Uberlist 2007: Final Tally

It’s the end of the year, and as such, time to look at what I accomplished on this year’s Uberlist. It’s a pretty good tally this year (45/107 completed), thanks in part to almost everything in my “exercise” category being completed. I’m still working on next year’s list (hopefully in a couple of days), but until then, this will tide things over.

Easiest item completed? Probably the aquarium, which I’d done a good job of maintaining but then got rid of halfway through the year.

Most recent item completed? As I type, I’m watching the last episode from Batman: The Animated Series Vol. 1 DVD set. Down to the wire!

Closest to completed, then failed? Seeing a performance at the Shakespeare Theatre, what the performance I had tickets for on the 27th being cancelled. Oh well, it’ll be easily tackled for next year’s list.

And now, the final tally.

Exercise:

1. Complete a 5K in under 26:23
3. Complete a 10-miler in under 1:32:38
4. Complete a half-marathon in under 2:06:08
5. Complete a marathon in under 4:46:48
7. Go to one gym class
8. Go to the gym on a regular basis
9. Keep my waist fitting in 30″ jeans
10. Learn how to properly use the weights at the gym
11. Quit Gold’s for Arlington Rec, or use Gold’s classes
12. Run regularly each week
13. Run for an 8-mile stretch or higher at least once a month
14. Run a non-DC area race

Continue reading Uberlist 2007: Final Tally

And So That Was Christmas

Christmas came and went this year not with a bang, but with a slight murmur. We’d “split” Christmas this year, due to not everyone in my immediately family being able to come home for the holiday-the first time ever for us. So we’d had what I’ve been calling “mini-Christmas” a week and a half earlier, then the actual event again on the 25th but absent some key participants.

While the experience was certainly enjoyable both times, somehow it seemed to lessen the overall effect of the holiday. Maybe it’s because the holiday for me has strongly leaned towards everyone being home and together, and even at “mini-Christmas” that wasn’t really the case, doubly so since everything was still open and there wasn’t that day where we were all together and doing things and generally driving each other crazy.

Christmas Table-SettingBut don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed myself. In some ways this muted holiday was the best one I’d had in a while, because the different circumstances seemed to rob any opportunities for drama. (Well, not entirely true. But close enough, at any rate.) It was definitely stretched out, though, and of course while the holiday isn’t just about exchanging gifts, the fact that even that got moved into three days (some with family on the 14th, more with family on the 25th, then with Charlie on the 28th) made it feel a bit odd.

Happily, though, people seemed to like what they received. I sometimes find myself really worrying about what to get people, because I want them to really enjoy the gift, the idea that they’ll know that they’re important to me and I thought about them for a while before making a selection. (Even choosing off an online wish list is something that I try and do with care, and if necessary I will abandon said list and go in an entirely different direction.) I got some lovely gifts in return as well, some fun games for the Wii and PSP, a few books I’ve been coveting (and how fun is it to get a coffee-table art book where you actually own one of the pieces spotlighted?), a couple of DVDs, some CDs, some refills on products I use (like cologne and body lotion), a piece or two of clothing… all things very much appreciated and enjoyed.

On the whole, though, it’s been a little quiet. Charlie and I had tickets to see Avery Brooks perform Tamburlaine at the Shakespeare Theatre for the 27th, only to have the production cancelled due to Brooks being injured (and the original understudy having to suddenly leave the production due to a family emergency). Thankfully, after two weeks of cancellations, it is now resuming and we’re rescheduled for next weekend on closing night. Hopefully Brooks will be able to resume the role then, but I’ll just be happy to finally see it. I spent part of the holiday just feeling tired (although a 6-miler on Christmas Day helped shake the doldrums), and a little wistful that due to both of us having family engagements, not spending the day itself with Charlie. But we’ve got plenty of time for that down the road.

Really, though, when it all comes down to it? While Christmas dinner was pending one final arrival, I remember sitting downstairs in the living room with one of my sisters, four cousins, and a close friend while we discussed the movie playing, Christmases in general, relatives who weren’t there, and any other conversational tangent that jumped out. And it was really nice. So there we go, really.

Only 361 more days until Christmas.

Sleepy Season

If there’s one thing that somehow takes me by surprise every year around this time, it’s my lack of willpower to exercise once it gets dark out. My plan for this evening was to run a quick 4-miler on the lit portion of the W&OD Trail (or if I was feeling really ambitious, finally go run with Pacers in Old Town Alexandria again) as soon as I got off from work. And until about an hour ago, I was firmly on board with this decision.

But as it’s started to get dim outside, my energy level has been dropping rapidly. With it, my excitement level abot going running. And this is hardly the first time this has happened this month. There’s just something about gearing up to go running after dark that saps my motivation, big time. If it was dark but warm, that’s somehow doable. But dark and cold? Forget it. So plans to knock out 4-to-6 miles tonight are rapidly falling by the wayside. (I would’ve run this morning but schedule-wise, it just wasn’t in the cards for a variety of reasons.) It doesn’t help that my gym has an indoor track instead of a treadmill; as much as I am not a fan of a treadmill, an eighth-of-a-mile track means anything more than five miles or so runs the risk of me getting dizzy and throwing up all over the place. (Not that this has happened yet. And I have knocked out six miles on it just last week. But that doesn’t mean I will like it.)

I’m not going to say it’s some sort of seasonal mood disorder, but I can’t help but note that come spring this little motivation problem will be mostly gone. Of course, by that point three months of eating with minimal exercise may have also taken their toll. *sigh* We’ll see if I can rev up a bit of energy in the next hour or so to get myself moving or not.

(Maybe I’ll just hang pictures of fat that’s been liposuctioned off of people all over my office with a note, “Do you want this all over your belly?” written underneath it. Fear as a motivator is a strong one.)

If I don’t go running tonight, though, I will make myself get up early tomorrow to hit the gym then. Honest.

Two Things Which Made Me Laugh

While walking through the CVS on 14th Street (just south of Thomas Circle), I heard one woman lecturing her shopping companion in the soap aisle. “Ohhhhh, no,” she scolded, “he needs more than one bar of Dove. We need to get a three-pack of Dial! Maybe more!”

I shudder to think just how bad this guy must smell. I mean, really!

  

And then today, while cleaning out my spam folder, it suddenly hit me that if one was granted a wish and you wanted to go for a selfish kind, I have the perfect one. “I wish that all of the spam e-mail offers that I’m sent are real and truthful.” Because really, this day alone I’d have gotten multiple $500 gift cards to all sorts of stores, some free pizzas, a brand new Toyota (the subject line didn’t specify which model car, alas), and of course, all the genital enlargement products I would ever possibly want and then some.

And that’s just from one day. Imagine the possibilities! (I think I’d pass on the offers for Russian brides, though. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen one of those in a long while. Which is a pity, because those always amused me. I liked to joke that my mother was signing me up for those mailings.)

One Brief Weather-Related Grumble

For my running program this winter, I was supposed to run five miles today. For anyone who’s in the DC area, you will know that there’s that whole strange phenomenon known as snow covering the area. (Just a couple of inches, nothing to freak out about, even though people are somehow unsurprisingly doing just that.) So running outside seems like a good idea only ifI am desperate to break a leg. And with book club tonight (I’m leading the discussion, no less), I can’t wait until this evening to pick up the distance.

I got up early so I could head to the community center, where I could run around and around and around their indoor track 40 times. And riiiiight before I left, I decided to check Arlington County’s weather closing website. Good thing I did; due to the weather, the facility wasn’t opening until 10am. Argh!

Still, it’s all (mostly) good. I ended up working at home for a few hours (waiting for all rush hour traffic to go away), and then came in. Which means that in an hour or so, I can leave (having worked a full day), go home and change, and go over to the no-doubt-empty community center and get my run in. So, in theory, it’s working out in the end. But I kind of wish I’d gotten to sleep in today. Oh well.

DCist Exposed 2008

DCist is having their second annual DCist Exposed photography exhibition, and like last year, I’m going to take a stab at trying to get into it. You can only submit three photographs for consideration, so this time I’m going to open it up to you to help me pick the best entries. You can look at the winners from last year here, and the earlier link talks about what they’re looking for in general.

There are some photos here that I’m leaning towards more than others, but I’ll be curious to see what other people think.

So, with all that in mind—which of these photos (if any!) jump out at you? Thoughts?

Continue reading DCist Exposed 2008

Should We Talk About the Weather?

Well, we sure aren’t going to talk about the government. (Sorry, iTunes randomly kicked up Pop Song ’89 from R.E.M. a minute ago and its lyrics are jumping through my head.)

Anyway, this has been a nice weekend. It was off to a bad start—really bad stomach cramps kept me up most of Thursday night/Friday morning, which was unpleasant and exhausting. I ended up staying home from work, although I did polish off some revisions to a course for Julie before going back to sleep for a couple of hours. Had a nice night on the town out with a bunch of the guys; saw some old friends I haven’t run into for ages, made some new ones as well. My pretty bad alcohol tolerance (which has been getting worse and worse since mid-2001 when marathon training started and I stopped drinking on Friday nights, and then even moreso after dropping all that weight in 2004) wasn’t helped by having almost no food in my stomach thanks to the earlier-mentioned cramps, and I can only imagine that I made a blithering fool of myself. Still, if you’re going to do so, being in a bar with friends who are also drinking is absolutely the way to do it.

(When the dust settled, I walked over to Charlie’s to see how painting an accent wall in his condo was coming along; he drove me home although by that point it’d been long enough I was stone-cold sober, but why risk an accident?)

Saturday was primarily a couple of errands in the morning (the Home Depot paint counter at 11am can best be described as chaos, hold the theory) and Chip’s tree-decorating party in the evening, which was fun. It also reminds me that I need to get my own Christmas tree, now that everything is re-arranged so I have room once more. Hopefully later this week.

Then today was the start of my winter running program, which is using “explosive running” (sounds like a different kind of stomach ailment if you ask me) and focuses on shorter distances. It was a low-key but good start to the program; I’m really excited about future weekend installments. (And in the future I will make sure to remember that it starts at 8:30am and not 8:00am. Oops.) Add in a brunch, and finally carting the old bookcases out of my place, and life is pretty good.

It is, however, clearly winter in the DC area. This morning for my running program I had on long running pants (which I bought at the OBX Marathon expo and are fantastic; they’re tapered so they stay much closer to the legs and keep you warmer, while not ever turning into tights), a short-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved shirt over it, and then a jacket over that. (Plus gloves and a hat.) The jacket came off once we got warmed up, but towards the end of our cool-down stretching it had to come back on. It’s just the right kind of winter weather, too; cold but not frigid, just that sort of snap on your face that lets you know you’re alive and the seasons have shifted again.

(If I need an extra barometer of the weather changing, it would be my calves itching this morning. If I have to start applying the lotion to the arms and legs, it is definitely winter.)

Oh, last but not least? Apparently, you better all lock up your Christmas tree stands if you have them, because otherwise I will come in and steal them out of your houses. Even if the stand is in fact mine and has my name on it. I learn something new every day, myself. Christmas tree stands, here I come!