Goodness… we’re tripping right along into the end of March, aren’t we? How did that happen? I was feeling unsuccessful in my 44 Things: Q2, until I looked at it. I guess I’m not doing too badly – which is what happens when you simply document “things to look forward to” with a few added “things to do.” I think I felt unsuccessful because I haven’t given it much thought lately. So as we all push into the latter half of March, here’s my recap: 44 Things – Quarter 2 (Jan-Feb-Mar)
A January mini-vacation at Deadra’s, including many movies and much wine! It was a great mini-vacation at Deadra’s! Good conversations, good wine, good food, and a good (great!) movie! As well as some great dance parties!
Read “Persuasion” by Jane Austen with Wallace’s readalong in January – I fully participated in the “Persuasion” readalong! Woot! Readalongs are so good… inspires you to have a deadline, critically think about what you’re reading, attempt coherent communication about those thoughts. Good stuff. I didn’t participate in her next one, “Crime & Punishment,” but a friend is and is loving the book! Guess I’ll have to add that to my TBR list!
START reading “Gone With the Wind” in February – it’s so large I’m not sure I can finish it in two months! But it’s after “Persuasion”! I started it! Had a few great days of reading and then kind of fell off that wagon… I’m on pg 200 (of 900) so quite a ways to go. It is a great book and amazing how much of it is already in my head through the movie and knowledge of the movie. Hopefully I will have quality reading time throughout the month so that I can finish sooner than later! So many books to read!
“The Book of Mormon” with Deadra and John in February! This was such a fun event! We had dinner at a great Indian restaurant (Bombay Bistro), a brisk walk to the show, and belly laughs throughout! I already posted about turning my pins into magnets (making me happy!), and when I hear someone shout, “Hello!” I usually sing the next line in my head! Good stuff!
Host a baby shower for a work colleague at my house on February 13! This was a lot of fun, too! It was fun to share my home with my new co-workers, meet family of the guest of honor, have delicious and fun food and drink, and simply socialize with the great people I work with!
Gaelic Storm in March with Kristine! Last weekend we finally saw them in concert! We have been talking about going to see them for more than a year and it finally happened. It was so fun! It was at the Fitzgerald Theatre, which was fun to see on its own, and they are so fun to listen to! Clever, quirky, energetic, and fun! A great concert with great friends!
Social-ICE in February!Already blogged a bit about this, but worth mentioning that it was a great time once again!
Walk at least twice weekly and do yoga once weekly. I was doing pretty good at this – in fact it was happening for all of January and into February. But horrible knee pain has derailed that and I think it’s been a month since I walked for exercise, as I can barely walk to “get where I’m going” without terrible pain. There’s been a doctor’s visit, a steroid shot, and now I don’t know what the plan is. Bummer, eh? So I’ve been focusing on healthy food choices (and easy quick cooking meals, since it hurts to stand in the kitchen and cook!) instead of getting my heart rate up. Boo.
Spray Tan! Get the look of a summer glow! Have not done this yet but will have to make a plan for that soon! Maybe next week during my days off… or maybe before Easter… or maybe on April 1 so the glow moves in to Q3!
Pick a closet and clean it out OR watch all of the Oscar nominated movies (which would you rather do??) Well, I didn’t get either one fully done – yet! I still haven’t seen Amour, Django Unchained, or Zero Dark Thirty. I’m ok with that to this point, but I will look for them on DVD when they’re available. Still can’t wait to purchase Silver Linings Playbook, as it was my favorite of all. And cleaning? Hmmm.. maybe I’ll get to a closet. We’ll see!
Invigorate book club and plan ahead for the year. Well, we met in February to discuss The Great Gatsby and ate and talked for 4 hours! We did discuss the book and are now reading another book from the Book Club in a Bag program – We Are All Welcome Here! And we have a date picked for our next meeting – April 2. No plan for the year, but a little more planful to get together!
Well, there’s my list – as I said, I haven’t done as badly as I thought I had! I will have to start making my list of 44 Things: Q3 very soon, as April will no doubt be here before I blink again!
Wow. Last day of February. Did that fly by, or was it just me?
I have a bunch of things that are making me happy, so here’s my list for you to read as February winds down…
Tomorrow is the start of “meteorological” spring! It hasn’t been a horrible winter, but winter always makes spring sweeter!
The SocialICE downtown Rochester was a hit, once again! It was the 4th year I’ve gone with the same crew and it is always a good time! It wasn’t quite as cold as last year, but it still was a bit chilly! The sculptures were fun to look at, the mulled wine was delicious to drink, and the night ended with karaoke at the Viking Lounge! What a hoot.
I had another long weekend (around President’s Day), and I got a haircut, went to the Med City Mafia roller derby, had a delicious Indian meal with Deadra and John before seeing “Book of Mormon” at the Orpheum (so fun!), sang in choir, and then went to book club (The Great Gatsby was discussed for at least 20 minutes, but we met for 4 hours!). A great way to spend time off!
Following Col. Chris Hadfield on Facebook has been so fun. Marissa tuned me in to a Reddit conversation with him and then I’ve been following. He posts amazing things from the International Space Station. Look him up!
Watching the Oscar’s was fun. I had a multi-media empire going on – TweetDeck with #Oscars and #nproscars going, watching MonkeySee live blog the madness and messes, chatting on the phone with Beth prior to the big musical numbers, texting with NYC (who was on tape delay!) and watching the Oscar’s app in my iPad! I mainly watched that when it was over, watching some of the big winners’ interviews and photo shoots off-stage. I know there were a lot of people slamming the host and the music, but I’m an easy critic. I loved the songs, even the throw-back to Chicago from 10 years ago. And I know that the host is getting a lot of flack for the sexist tone he set with the song “I Saw Your Boobs,” but I thought it was pretty funny. There was so much talk about formal wear boob coverage (or lack thereof) before the award shows, so it made me laugh.
Having an adult daughter is pretty awesome. She turned 25 last Thursday, which makes ME feel old, but I wouldn’t change anything. We have fun together and I can still keep up with her (most of the time). I can even outlast her, some of the time.
Days off! I worked overnights last week (and survived) and had some of the weekend off, which was filled with birthday celebrations. DQ cake, BWW, GBB, and Wii. Good stuff. I also had a few days off this week (yesterday and today) and that has been great, too! Just getting stuff done at home (laundry, sheets, taxes (!) and food preparation for the weekend), watching TV and relaxing with coffee, and then getting together with friends for lunch today and drinks last night.
Turning Broadway show pins into magnets for my refrigerator! I knew I would never wear the pins/buttons from Once when I bought them (it’s not the 80s anymore!), but nonetheless I had to have them. When we saw Book of Mormon last week (or so) the seller of the things said she turned her pins/buttons into magnets. How inspiring! I’m so not crafty, but I found the magnets at Michaels and bought a tiny bottle of glue. Job done!
I had my 1 year performance review at Mayo this week – and how refreshing! It was positive and meaningful. My supervisor gave great feedback, as did 3 of my colleagues. It just feels so great to have such support, from a supervisor and colleagues. Ah.
Talking about books always makes me happy! Whether it is in the middle of the night with an ED Nurse, while walking laps at the Mall or Mayo High School, having lunch at Mr. Pizza or Whiskey Creek, or over drinks at Chester’s, good books always come up! So now if only I could devote more of my time to reading books… I have so many piles of great books around me! Must read on!
And speaking of books, I finished A Week in Winter – Maeve Binchy’s last book yesterday. It was bittersweet and there were tears, not because of the content, but because there will be no more. This morning Cindy asked me to inform her niece where to start in the Binchy back bibliography, so I made her a little list – and said that I’d probably blog about it later! So look for that soon!
Feeling uninspired in the blogging area, so thought I’d pull out this old standby. Can always find something to be happy about!
Almost done reading “The Great Gatsby” for book club! I listened to the audio years ago and it’s amazing how little I remember, once again affirming that I remember feelings more than details when I listen to an audiobook.
Watching the “Up” series – “Seven Up,” “7 Plus Seven,” “21 Up.” More in my queue… fascinating look at a sampling of Brits who were 7 in 1964 and catching up with them every 7 years. “56 Up” was just released, so I’m playing catch-up!
Work continues to be challenging and interesting. Got to see the amount of my raise, so that was cool. 🙂
Gearing up for shutting down the cable after the Oscar’s! I’m ready…
Cosmo Girls was a blast on Thursday – we created our own wood-fired pizzas and threw dough all around the restaurant, practicing! There was trivia and prizes and many laughs. Good times!
Excited to host a baby shower this week on Wednesday! Will be fun to have a little social time with my co-workers. We hardly ever all get to do things like this, but I think it will work!
Excited to make “winning hearts and minds” cake for the shower – it is just amazing and so simple! It’s the wedding cake from a favorite book, “A Homemade Life.”
Looking forward to another chunk of time off coming up next week – what should we do??
Seeing “Book of Mormon” with Deadra and John next weekend – can’t wait!
Sunday night the Golden Globes were awarded, and before that, on Thursday the nominees for the Oscars came out. Ah. Good stuff. So, of course, award shows cause me to reflect and make lists – of what I’ve seen, what I want to see, and what is not worth my time! Isn’t the same true for you??
Here are my thoughts on the Oscar nominees:
Amour – haven’t seen it. It won for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes. It looks terribly terribly sad, and a blogger I follow said that she felt it was very sad but not terribly depressing. I’m sure it’ll be a renter for me (it’s in my saved list!).
Argo – I liked this. It was intense, suspenseful (although you kinda know the ending), and fun (the movie-making part). I think it’s always fun to watch Ben Affleck in a movie, 70s beard or no.
Beasts of the Southern Wild –Haven’t seen it, but will (in my Netflix queue); have heard mixed reviews of it by my film critics. Hear the girl is unbelievable, so that will be fun to see. She’s nominated for an Oscar, the youngest person ever to be nominated.
Django Unchained– I won’t see this. I’m sure it’s fine. I’m just not a Tarantino fan (so much violence).
Les Miserables –I had a great time watching this. I enjoyed the performances, the scenery, the music, and the feelings behind the movie. It was fun to see it with Marissa, who grew up force-fed the music.
Life of Pi –It’s funny because 2 years ago I blogged that I did not want to see this movie (giving myself an out here) unless it was getting great reviews. Well, it was getting great reviews and it was great to see – even in 3D! Maybe, especially in 3D! It was beautiful and true to the story; very well-told.
Lincoln– This was good. Daniel Day Lewis was amazing (up for best actor, won the Golden Globe). He inhabited Lincoln. It was a good slice of history that I had no knowledge of. Well done.
Silver Linings Playbook– I think this is my favorite of this list. I was pleasantly surprised with the story, with the acting, and with the ensemble. I will see it again in the theatre and every time the preview shows on TV I smile. Good stuff.
Zero Dark Thirty – I probably won’t see this in the theatre. I eventually watched The Hurt Locker and it was good, but it isn’t my favorite type of movie.
Many of the movies overlap with the Golden Globes, in either the Best Motion Picture – Drama or Comedy / Musical, but there were a few that weren’t included in the Oscar nominees:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – This was soooo fun to see with a theatre filled with people of a certain age (I know we brought the average down!). They were hooting, talking back to the screen, and it was just a great time. Good movie.
Moonrise Kingdom– Ah, the quirkiness of Wes Anderson. I enjoyed this but honestly can barely remember the story at this point.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – I got the DVD from Netflix a few weeks ago. Hmm. Don’t know if it was the B&W TV in my bedroom or the distraction of the iPad, but I didn’t get into this. I’m sure it would be beautiful in full color, so I didn’t give it a good chance. Meh.
Because of the Golden Globes a few things have been added to my Netflix queue or DVR.
I watched Bravelast night, as it won best animated film. It was nice. I wanted to take Gracie when it was in the theatre, and I think she’d like it a lot, what with the archery and all.
I will NOT see The Master.I’m sure it’s great, but I’m just not interested.
I want to see The Sessions. It was in Rochester briefly, so now it’s in my Netflix queue.
I still want to see The Impossible –maybe tomorrow or Sunday night?
The Intouchableswas nominated for the Golden Globe but not the Oscars. It was so fun, I will see it again.
Rust andBoneis getting some buzz – in my queue.
I didn’t see most of the TV shows that were nominated – they were mostly from Showtime or HBO. I watched half of season 1 of Girls as I bought it for Marissa for Christmas. That was a big winner.
I am anxiously awaiting season 2 of Smash and think I won’t watch the first hour of the premiere on the internet. I’ll wait!
I put House of Lies andHemingway & Gellhorn in my Netflix queue. Both looked interesting. Hitchcock may be fun, as well.
I think that’s it for now… what about you? Do you have an Oscar pick? Did you play any Golden Globes drinking games ? There was a pretty fun one online: drink whenever an actress cries during acceptance speech! drink whenever politics are mentioned!
I don’t think there’s ever been a year when I’ve seen all of the Best Picture nominations before the Academy Awards. Until this year! Chalk it up to living near the best theatre in Rochester, some time on my hands, and a love of movies! I’ll attempt to give my thoughts about the nominees below. As I’ve said before, I am not too critical as I love all kinds of movies and the movie-going experience.
This was a great movie and one of my favorites from this list. It was just beautiful. The actors were beautiful, the music was beautiful, the silence was beautiful, the story was beautiful. Big crush on Jean Dujardin, who is nominated for Best Actor for his role in this film. There was a scene that was very unsettling but the resolution was perfect. Berenice Bejo was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film and it received many other nominations and is expected to be a big winner. Ah. I can’t wait to own this one.
George Clooney is nominated for Best Actor in this film, which I also enjoyed immensely. The plot was unpredictable, which I like, and although it wasn’t a happy story, it was a great story and well-done. Beautiful scenery, great performances by the kids and the friends and family. George has been nominated for an Oscar before and won once for “Syriana.” I’ve never seen it! Is it worth looking for?
I’ve written before about this book and my love for it, so I knew what to expect going in. The movie is different than the book (and just not as good, in my mind) but the actor portraying Oskar did a great job. It’s a fair interpretation of the book and a decent movie. Max von Sydow is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the silent “renter” who helps Oskar in his quest.
I listened to this book on audio this summer with Gracie and Rees in the car, so I was excited to bring them to the movie this fall. They both really liked the movie and so did I. If I were ranking all nine of these films, it may fall #4 (or be in a tie for 3rd with a few others), but it was really good. The love of movie-making and being transported by film is something I can relate to. It is very true to the book (which is based on real people) and it is visually stunning to watch. We didn’t spring for 3D for this movie and I don’t think it lessened our experience. Martin Scorsese is nominated for Best Director and it received a bunch of other nominations as well, I think ranking up there with “The Artist.”
What a fun movie this is. I saw this in the theatre last spring and knew that it would be one I would like to own and watch again and again. I loved the beauty of Paris, the music of Paris, the depiction of the Golden Age in Paris, and I love Owen Wilson. I bought it before Christmas with birthday money and have watched it a few times. Good stuff. It was also nominated for Best Screenplay and Woody Allen was nominated for Best Director.
We read this book for book club in 2010 and a bunch of us were able to see the movie together this summer. Wow. It is a great movie if you haven’t read the book but I think that reading the book really added to the depth of the movie experience. I cried through most of the movie, simply because of how I knew the characters from the book. Viola Davis (Aibileen) is nominated for Best Actress, and Octavia Spencer (Minny) and Jessica Chastain (Celia) are nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Great stuff.
I watched this on DVD in mid-January and it was a great movie! It was so good that my mom watched it two nights in a row! It was a long movie but never dull, which you think a movie about numbers and statistics would be. It was just a good ol’ baseball movie. Why are movies about baseball often so good? 🙂 Brad Pitt is nominated for Best Actor and Jonah Hill is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for their roles in this film.
This is the last nominee that I saw and I am glad that I saw it in the theatre! I went to a late show one night with another movie-loving friend. It’s a long movie and as we were the only people in the theatre that night, we were the last people to leave the building! Good thing I was the Mayor of the theatre (on foursquare) at the time. 🙂 I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my nightstand in my TBR pile. The movie was very well done, but I covered my eyes a bit during the war scenes. Difficult stuff. But the movie had an epic feel to it, with expansive shots of scenery that reminded me of Gone with the Wind or something. It is nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography as well. A great film!
Hmmm. I got this one on DVD and it was so weird. First, the DVD instructs you to turn your volume up very loud, as there is constant, subtle new age-y music playing under the dialogue throughout the movie. The movie lost me when it got all weird so I didn’t truthfully pay much attention after that big weirdness. I listen to a movie podcast and they had many reviewers on who chose this as their favorite movie of 2011 and I couldn’t tell you why. I guess they thought it was beautiful and meaningful. I like all sorts of different movies but this one did nothing for me. Just too weird.
Other thoughts about Oscar nominees:
Rooney Mara is nominated for Best Actress for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which is another movie that I loved! I didn’t want to, as I loved the Swedish adaptation of the novel but I could not believe how true to the book this movie was. It was just great.
Michelle Williams is nominated for Best Actress for “My Week With Marilyn,” which was just beautiful. She did an amazing portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. Good stuff.
Kenneth Branagh is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his depiction of Sir Laurence Olivier in “My Week with Marilyn.”
Nick Nolte is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Warrior,” which was a great movie that really surprised me! When it came in my Netflix queue I wondered what I was thinking – Mixed Martial Arts aren’t my thing. But what a great story. I cried. Good film.
Melissa McCarthy is nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “Bridesmaids.” A movie that I now own and have watched at least five times – laughing just as hard every single time! What a delight.
Only two songs nominated for Best Song and I’ll root for “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppet Movie”! Loved “The Muppet Movie,” I love Jason Segal, and I love Bret McKenzie (the writer of a lot of the songs from the movie, of Flight of the Condchords fame!). I think there’s a petition out there to get the two songs performed at the Oscars, because they didn’t plan on that! Would be fun to see.
I watched one of the Best Animated Short Film nominees on YouTube (or somewhere on the internet) a few weeks ago – “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” Quite clever.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two” got a few nominees for MakeUp and Visual Effects. Seeing that movie was a big event for me this summer. I listened to all of the audiobooks and watched all the movies over the spring and summer in preparation and went to a midnight showing on opening night. Good stuff, Harry.
I think “that is all I have to say about that!” (Name that movie quote?) Goodness… Hope you stuck with me to the end! And if you have, let me know what your picks are for the Oscars next Sunday or your plans for watching the big show! Or let me know your favorite movie of 2011 – on the list or not!
Today has been a FAB day! Danette and I have the day off- Hooray! What a wonderful end to the week! The day has been full of coffee, yummy scones (made by Danette), a mall walk, a quick peruse through Barnes and Noble, and a trip to Trader Joes….and it isn’t even 2pm yet! I may even make it to a movie this afternoon. I want to see Black Swan before it leaves the theater. However, I am not really a “movie buff” like Danette, so my trips to the theater are limited. By “limited”, I mean that I may see a movie in the theater once per year. Given this year’s Oscar selections, I am tempted to shatter my previous movie-going record! I also want to see True Grit (currently reading the book), The Fighter, and The Kids are All Right. I did venture to the theater a few weeks ago to see The King’s Speech and was blown away by the story, the humor, and the stellar acting. It was a WOW movie! Plus, Colin Firth is quite sexy!
Speaking of True Grit, my next post will be about that book!