Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movies, TV, and Pictures


For the first time in a LONG time, I saw two new-release movies in the span of a little more than a week. It was exhilarating! The first movie I saw was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" with my wife. I enjoyed it. It had a lot of funny parts, but it wasn't that great of a movie, per se. It was very choppy and awkward as a story, especially in the beginning. And a lot of the funny parts were just jokes thrown in, and didn't serve the story. By the end, though, I was rooting for the main character and left the theater entertained. Another strange thing about it was I went in excited to see Kristin Bell, and left pretty hot for Mila Kunis. I never looked at her that way before. What eyes!

The second movie was "Iron Man". I'm not a comic book geek to any degree, but I've always kind of liked Iron Man, even without knowing any of his back story. Everything I had seen leading up to the movie: casting, pictures, trailers, got me more and more excited. Well, the movie didn't disappoint. It was a great, fun movie. It had great action (although more would have been better), good humor (not too hokey or out of place), and a good, solid story that didn't get ridiculous. The performances were really good, too, with a very classy cast. My only problem with it has to do with the main villain and the final showdown. I don't want to give much away, but the final scenes didn't have the best action of the movie, and were a bit sloppy and quick in getting to the final conflict. Another weird thing: I went in excited to see Robert Downey, Jr. and left pretty hot for Gwyneth Paltrow. I've always liked her as an actress, but she never really "did it" for me that much. But seeing as she sometimes bears a quite striking resemblance to my wife, I wanted to see much more of her on screen. And her red hair looked great, too.


Just a quick note about the returned shows that I'm enjoying. "The Office" has been great, and I'm so loving the impending Jim-Pam engagement. I can't get enough of Jim's psuedo-proposals. "30 Rock" ended really strong after starting kind of slowly for me after the strike. "How I Met Your Mother" has been hilarious the last few episodes, also after an iffy restart. I'm even enjoying Britney's guest appearances. "Reaper" has also shown improvement, with this week's ep introducing a very interesting twist. I hope that show gets renewed next season. And "Lost" is just kicking insane amounts of ass since its return. The next two weeks are going to be epic.


We moved into our new house in late Fall last year. It snowed after we lived there for three days, and the ground was pretty much covered until early April. Now the yard has woken up to Spring, and we're discovering new things about our house. There are good things, like flowers and trees, seen here:

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And bad things, like several breaks and leaks in the sprinkling system and the largest slug I've ever seen, found on the inside of one of our sprinkler valve boxes:

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Man, sucker was huge! He's not even stretched out here. And what's with the spots? I've never seen a slug like that. It's some sort of Jaguar Slug.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Life Now Has Purpose

It's about time! I set a small goal for myself recently: to lose 4 pounds in two weeks. I thought that would be a nice little achievement that would start the snowball rolling to some significant weight loss. After one week of semi-disciplined eating and decent exercise, I lost zero pounds. I didn't gain anything, but my goal of 4 in two weeks is in serious jeopardy. Now I have a new goal, nay, a vision quest. That goal is to run a 5k in 22:39 or better. Let me explain from whence this purpose comes.

Some of you may know that I have been known to run. I like to think I'm a "runner" but I haven't run very consistently or well for over a year. I posted a personal best 5K time last April of 24:09. I was motivated to beat another blogger's time of about 24:30, and I accomplished it. I'll admit, I was pretty pleased with myself. But now the gauntlet has been thrown down. It's 22:39 or bust! Why 22:39? Well, apparently Mike Greenberg, of ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning and ABC's Duel ran a 22:39 5k. Mike routinely mocks himself for not having any athletic ability, and he's 40. I can't call myself a quasi-runner and have Greeny smoke my best 5K time like that. So it's time to train. I've got a pretty good start. My new neighborhood is pretty hilly, so I get a lot of uphill work in my runs, which builds leg strength and makes running a more flat 5K course much easier. The key is now adding more runs into my week, and increasing my distance. That will be tricky with family obligations going on now, but after the first week of June, it should be easier. And the fact that winter has finally left makes it easier to get the good outdoor runs in, too.

Ideally, this will lead me to run consistently for years to come, and not just off and on like I've been doing. Then I can train for another marathon, eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon and run it. That's still my dream. Also, to truly beat Greeny, I'll have to beat 22:39 at age 40, so I'll have to keep it up for at least 6 more years. The great thing about this, too, is that the weight loss I desire should come hand in hand. The only thing I need is a time frame. I think 6 years is too long to achieve my vision quest. I need something shorter to really motivate me. So what do you think? One year? Six months? Three months? Let me know what you think a good deadline is. All reasonable suggestions will be counted in the vote (under 3 months is just not feasible, I think). I'll have to find a race to enter, too, to document my success, so there will have to be a little wiggle room on the exact time frame. Thanks for your help.

BTW, I'll write a bit on TV and movies a little later.