Tuesday, January 27, 2009

movie queue

I don't have netflix--I simply don't have time, and sometimes my tastes change midstream. So this is my solution: a list of movies I want to see at some point, in no particular order or genre. It's more a note to myself than anything else. But feel free to ad lib about what's good, bad, oscar-worthy, or ugly, but don't be upset if I don't take your advice.

1. Milk
2. Doubt
3. Dark Knight
4. Sherlock Holmes (RDJr.)
5. Baby Mama
6. High School Musical
7. Mamma Mia
8. Wall-e
9. Slumdog Millionaire
10. A Christmas Tale
11. Religulous
l2. Cadillac Records
13. Frost/Nixon
14. HP and HBP

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

learning from the funnies

I learned something new today. Thanks NYT!

Apparently Schroeder was actually playing Beethoven tunes in the "Peanuts" cartoons. And, in a secret-code-like precursor to listening to the Beatles backwards for Satanic messages, the actual passages Schultz quoted in the strip "enhance" the joke or the emotion or the character.

Who knew?

Monday, January 12, 2009

migraines, twilight, and other assundry items

Today is migraine day #5 (out of seven). I am trying to figure out what is causing these. My gut says that I am not eating enough (especially protein) to outweigh (ahem) the increased physical activity I've been undertaking as of late. But I don't want to eat more, as that will negate any health benefits of the increased activity.
What to do.

There is no consistency on lobe from headache to headache. Some are left side; some are right side. Some affect my eyes (like I'm being stabbed through the eye from behind), some my jaw. I become hypersensitive to noise and light, and most often experience some sort of nausea. It doesn't matter if I wear my bite splint at night or not. The cumulative hours of sleep I've gotten doesn't matter nearly as much as the length of time I've been asleep without interruption. If I manage four-six hours without interruption, then the migraines are not as bad. Less than that and I can almost count on one interrupting my day.

My doctor switched me from zomig to maxalt--maxalt is a lot less expensive than zomig, which is probably the majority of the reason. I respond to maxalt but I wonder if the headache is truly going away (e.g. blood vessels are dialating sufficiently) or if it is just prolonging the inevitable headache (which might speak to the frequency). enough navel-gazing about my head.

i saw twilight this weekend with my neighbor, Kerry. It was the first time i have been out with a "friend" one on one since moving here. It felt good to chit-chat and do something so brainless; I'd been wanting to see the film since I finished the book, and although the book was better (of course) the film was pretty good. I don't know that I would have cast Pattinson--he's not who I see when I think of Edward, but I don't know whom I would have cast in his place. It was so nice to vege for a while and think about whether Bella would get Edward in the end (or vice versa). Brain candy is fun.

Hit the gym again this morning for a 45 minute run (well, 10 min warmup, 35 min run). I did it at what was my race pace for the 10K I ran over Thanksgiving, so that was good.

The gym in general is pissing me off, though. There are about six TVs along the row of windows; they are always tuned to CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and TNT. That's it. No ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX. I asked Matt, the boxer cum personal trainer cum fitness director if it would be possible to change the channel and was quickly rebuked. "Ask you husband," he counseled me. My husband technically is his "boss."

"I did," I explained. "He told me to talk to you."

"Well, have him ask his boss. If I change the TV for you, I have to change it for everyone. And I am not spending my time changing channels all day long. And I'm not listening to people complain about what you are watching on TV..."

Sigh. So I am resigned to screamy news caplets (MSNBC), Anderson Cooper's perfect hair with not-so-screamy news caplets, ten minute tickers of sports highlights (and lowlifes), and endless (and I do mean endless) "Charmed" reruns.

I never watched "Charmed" when it was on for the first run. I've pretty much avoided everything Alyssa Milano has done post "Who's the Boss?" And the presence of Shannen Doherty is always a deal-killer for me as well (like Kevin Costner on the big screen... if he's in it, I ain't gonna see it. and I'm not sorry.) but now i have no choice.

it doesn't seem to matter when I hit the gym either. morning, afternoon, or evening, "Charmed" is ready and waiting for me. i listen to my ipod, so I'm not privvy to all of the sniffling, sniveling, she-witch fiasco dialogue that Aaron Spelling chose to subject viewers to. but i can't stop reading the damned captions. and boy, are they stupid.

in dayton, at the y, i had my own personal screen on row after row of treadmill and elliptical machine. it was simply beautiful. i could catch "Real World" reruns, "I Love the 80s" marathons, Ellen's talk show, SNL reruns... whatever. But now--news caplet, Cooper's hair, athletes behaving badly, or "Charmed." I'm so not charmed by this whole situation.

when it warms up, i will return to the outdoors for all running and hit the gym only for strength and interval training. but even so, i'm sure "Charmed" will be there for me. oh joy.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Obama and his boyz

Love this. Love it. Laughed out loud and actually snorted, to the dismay of my co-workers.


"...all the way to New York.... I can feel the distance...."

Laura Bush just ordered new presidential china to the tune of $483,000.

How many people would that feed? Too tired to figure out the math....

At least it wasn't taxpayer money. But still... the private foundation that covers the cost of the new dishes would have done well to donate that cash elsewhere. I bet GM would have been happy to receive it.

Basketweave and magnolias? Not my taste. Somehow, I doubt it's Michelle Obama's either. It's so... southern.

The disconnect between those at the top and those struggling to find (or keep) work has never been more apparent.

[Stepping off soapbox now]

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I am woman, hear me roar

It has been a super-fun-filled 24 hours of workouts. My thighs are complaining but hey, dems de breaks.

Last night, 6 p.m.: 15 min treadmill (walking) warm-up; 30 min resistance training; 30 min elliptical machine

This morning 8:30 a.m.: 5 min walk warm-up, 5 min run warm-up; 21 minutes intervals; 10 brisk walk cooldown; stretch

Hit my second WW meeting (in a week) afterwards to hear about the joys of eating broccoli. but hopefully it gave me my needed "shot in the arm" to stay on plan.

I don't have to think about running or strength training again until Friday. Say "hey" for a day off tomorrow!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dear Daughter and I head to the National Gallery of Art, and I get an education

On Tuesday, dear daughter and I had a "Mommy and Sydney Day Out." We took the Metro into DC to grab a bite of lunch (Frank & Stein was her gourmet choice) and peruse the National Gallery. She had learned about Mark Rothko through a program at school called Grace Art, where parents volunteers come in and teach kids about different artists. This is what she has been/will be studying. I thought that going to the National Gallery would be something to capitalize on her interest in art, while at the same time being something special that she and I could do, since her dad doesn't have an overwhelming interest in visual art.

We arrived at the East Building of the gallery and asked at the information desk for things that someone of her age might find interesting. I shouldn't have bothered. We were directed to the Calder sculptures in the basement--an example is at the top of the post. Very cool. We had a nice conversation while examining a different, mixed-media sculpture about what kinds of things she would put in a sculpture of her own. Then we explored the next room. She ran right up to a huge canvas on the wall, similar in style to this one:

and said, "That's Mark Rothko! We studied him in school!"

Very cool. I was impressed but not overly so. I was glad she had enjoyed the lesson and paid attention. She told me about composition and shapes and colors. Exciting stuff.

Then we meandered into the next room, searching out a Lichtenstein that was on our "highlights of the museum" page. I was overwhelmed by a Pollack, and then I directed her to a Warhol.

"Look!" I said. Finally, something I vaguely recognized. "This is by Andy Warhol." I leaned down and started to use my 'teacher voice.' "Andy Warhol was...."

She cut me off almost immediately. "Mom," she said, rolling her eyes, "I know who Andy Warhol is."

"Syd," I said. "You're five and a half. How do you know about Andy Warhol."

"Mr. C. told us about him in art class. When we did printing."

I was speechless. I don't think I'd heard of Andy Warhol until well into my teens. And even so, I could probably spit out something about soup cans and Marilyn Monroe. I pushed on. "What do you know about Andy Warhol?" I asked.

"Andy Warhol used the same picture over and over again with different colors," she said, as if reciting her ABCs.

Without batting an eyelash, she dashed right up to another painting and said "Ooo! David Hockney!"

I glanced at the label next to the painting. "Actually, Sol LeWitt," I corrected. "But who's David Hockney?"

We found the Lichtenstein, which she promptly proclaimed was "so cool" and expressed a wish that her brother, age 3, could see it.

My jaw was on the floor for the next few minutes, until she returned to true five-year old form and said, "I'm hungry. Can we have ice cream? Please? Pretty please?"

Happy New Year! and guess what--big brother is watching

Happy New Year! If you trolled my blog in search of resolutions, you won't find any here. I'm already working on most of the stuff I want to change in my life, and to that effect, today is just another day. Still, I hope that the new year brings more financial health, better oversight of our regulatory agencies that are supposed to be protecting us from Madoff et al, and peace in parts of the world that are desperately in need (Israel, Gaza, and my living room, for starters).

This scary little nugget arrived in my inbox today. I'm sure that merely by posting it, I'll be picked out for extra security checks the next time I head overseas to the UK. But in the interest of spreading the word, I'll take that risk. Remind me I said that next time I'm subjected to an hour of screening because I forgot to remove a banana from my carry on bag when disembarking.

I know this stuff exists on all of us. I know that if I applied for security clearance, my blog would probably disqualify me from the get-go. I thank God that I don't live in the 50s, where my leftist leanings combined with my choice of religion and support of the arts would quickly land me on a blacklist or two. But I often wonder if it's better to be the ostrich with my head in the sand and not know exactly what Big Brother knows and tracks about me and my best friend from first grade (Jaina Lindauer--are you out there?)