Sunday, February 20, 2011

Orange Bowl January 2011

I had an amazing 2 days in Florida for the Orange Bowl. My cousin Courtney, and my friends Juls and Tracy met me in Florida for a fantastic tailgate and game. Then Courtney and I spent a day at the Beach in Fort Lauderdale where we slept, ate at the beach, and found the local Yard House Restaurant.

Wearing our matching bowl game track suits - purchased back in 2005 for this very moment!

Stanford Tattoo!

Celebrating Victory!

View from our hotel room in Fort Lauderale

Lunch by the pool & the beach

An hour on the beach before we flew back to the cold

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jillian Michaels - Kicking my "you know what" in 20 minute increments

Most of you know that I have been overweight ever since college, and that it is this huge life hindrance that I've been trying to overcome. I'm currently doing Weight Watchers from home using their eTools, and have had some early success.

I've also discovered that watching people achieve dramatic weight loss on television has the effect of getting me to be motivated in my weight loss. Randomly one night, we started watching The Biggest Loser and we're totally hooked! Then, completely randomly, I saw an ad for a Jillian Michaels workout DVD. I walked over to Wal-Mart (yes, I live a block from a Wal-Mart, but we never go b/c we're a little elitist when it comes to shopping), and they had one of her DVDs, the 30-Day Shred. I bought that, plus some 3 lb weights, and put the DVD in that night.

I LOVE her workouts! They remind me of the short period of time I worked with a trainer, very similar moves and similar level of intensity. The video is only about 28 minutes, of which 20 minutes are high intensity. 7 workouts in, I'm already seeing substantial improvement in my strength, endurance, and muscle tone, and have official graduated from Level 1 to Level 2 (If I do Level 3 as well as I can do Level 1 now in 5 weeks, I will have exceeded my expectations). My goal is to finish 30 workouts in 7-8 weeks, and then move on to the "6 week Six Pack," another Jillian DVD. But I will say, they are effective and efficient workouts, and I see Jillian in a completely different way now on the TV show!

I originally planned to minimize my workouts while I lose my first quarter of weight loss, but I have to say, I'm glad I found something that I can do from home that is as efficient as this, and I am enjoying the challenge so far. The soreness is not fun, but feeling strong is :-)

Update 2/23: I just finished my 11th workout, after 3 days off the video. It was an odd mixture of easy and hard, but I am happy to be more than 1/3 done!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees

I made an observation to my mom the other day, that I was looking forward to the Oscars this year because the movies seem more accessible to me this year. "Accessible to me" has a very personal meaning. As some of you know, I am unable to sit through movies with graphic violence. So, as much as I would be interested in movies such as "Inglorious Basterds", or "Gladiator" there is no way I can watch - it's just too much. Plus, I generally won't see the artsy movies, unless my mom recommends them.

But then I realized that with movies like "True Grit" and "Black Swan," two movies that are probably inaccessible to me (although I've heard that I might be okay in "True Grit," and the PG-13 rating helps) are up for awards. So I decided to use the blog to analyze the nominees to determine whether I have, or will, see the movie. If I have time I'll also look at the last few years as a comparison.

2011 Nominees:
Inception - just saw it, very cool idea. Should win cinematography and probably nothing else
The King's Speech - my kind of movie: no violence, British historical drama, Colin Firth... I would see this even if it wasn't so good
The Social Network - will see this weekend, again, happy that violence isn't involved
127 Hours - will certainly not see this movie. His story makes me cringe.
The Fighter - I actually think I could cope with this movie, I loved "Million Dollar Baby," but for some reason I'm not particularly drawn to the movie, except to see why everyone thinks Christian Bale gave a better performance than Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"
True Grit - See my comment above. I'm thinking about seeing this in theater.
The Kids are Alight - This is the movie I'm constantly forgetting about but that I definitely want to see. I'll probably rent this soon.
Winter's Bone - I have no idea what this movie is about.
Toy Story 3 - Saw this on the airplane: I laughed and I cried. I have no idea why this is nominated for Best Picture, but I'm glad I saw it.
Black Swan - I will rent this, watch it in the middle of the day, and fast forward through stuff. This is one of the few movies that I really want to see but know that I won't get through unless I can edit it.

6 out of 10 isn't bad. Lets look at 2010:

Avatar - watched
The Blind Side - watched
District 9 - watched (borderline movie for me, but the fantasy element of aliens helps with my nerves)
An Education - no idea what the movie was about
The Hurt Locker - no way I could see this
Inglorious Basterds - no way I could see this
Precious - need to see, like, now.
A Serious Man - don't know what this was about
Up - watched
Up In the Air - need to see, like, now.

Tally for 2010? 6 out 10 - I'm surprised that last year's tally is the same. I suppose the tie goes to this year because of the number of movies I will finish BEFORE the awards show.

So what about 2009? (aka the year I had no life b/c I was a 1L in law school and planning a wedding)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - I could see this, but the length scared me off
Frost/Nixon - watched
Milk - watched
The Reader - could see, but didn't
Slumdog Millionaire - This is probably the only movie from that year that I wasn't comfortable watching.

This was probably a rare year in which there wasn't a best picture nominee (or two) with a lot of violence.

No Country for Old Men - definitely wouldn't watch it
Atonement - watched
Juno - never saw (I know, I should have)
Michael Clayton - watched (good movie!)
There will be Blood - definitely wouldn't watch it.

The Departed - want to watch, but scared
Babel - nope
Letters from Iwo Jima - I like historical movies, but probably not
Little Miss Sunshine - could watch, but haven't
The Queen - watched

(I looked at 2006 and decided that I couldn't remember what at least 2 of the movies were about, so I decided I had gone far back enough)

Conclusions? Well, this year is more of the norm for me, than the exception. If there was a strange year, it was 2009, which if I remember correctly was a weak year in terms of movies.

Well, if nothing else, this was a good reminder of the recent good movies, and gives me a convenient list of what I want to watch :-).