Sunday, January 27, 2013

50/50 Challenge: #6 - 'Philadelphia'

In an effort to watch every film Denzel Washington has been in, I watched "Philadelphia" for the first time. Yes, I was familiar with the Bruce Springsteen song and I had caught pieces of the movie here and there, but I had never watched it in its entirety until today.

Tom Hanks is a lawyer who has been fired from his firm and is now suing them because he feel there was discrimination against him because he has AIDS. Denzel Washington is the lawyer representing him who is reluctant at first with the idea of standing next to someone who has AIDS, let alone someone who is homosexual.

The movie, though made in the early '90s, still has issues that are relevant today: discrimination, gay rights. Denzel plays a damn good attorney and a person who stands by what he feels is right, not what he feels lines up with his personal preferences or preconceptions.

Both he and Tom Hanks look really young in the movie, but then again, I have to remember this was about 20 years ago. My how time flies.

Movie #6: Philadelphia

Tips for Losing Weight from Someone Half-Heartedly Trying to Lose Weight

It's almost the end of January, which means that either people are full force into their weight loss resolutions or they have given them up entirely only to pledge next year to do better. I fall somewhere in between.

I have never been the kind of person who thinks that I need to lose weight. However, it's constantly ingrained in me that perhaps it wouldn't hurt to lose a few pound. Plus, there's that thing about once you hit 30 that your metabolism drastically slows and you have the chance to turn into an obese whale overnight.

Surprisingly, vanity is not my reason to work out and watch what I eat. Of course it's always better to be able to fit into clothes than not, but really my weight loss goals are directly affected by my desire more.

I love food. I always have and always will. I don't want to be on some crazy diet that wouldn't suit me just so I can weigh ten pounds less. However, I know that my diet habits of years past just simply won't do. I can't eat french fries with every meal; one meal, but not for all three.

What are my tips for losing weight?

1. Get yourself a buddy who is in better shape than you. I have two friends who are training for their first half-marathon. They have dedicated to getting up before work to run to reach their goals. They can get up at the crack of dawn, so I feel like I can drag my ass to the gym at least three times a week. That's my personal goal at least. Gym or movement of some sort at least three times a week.

2. Be honest about your wardrobe. Understand that there is always going to be a pair of "skinny jeans" that you will want to fit into, but don't let that be the barometer of weight loss or gain. Judge by how all your clothes fit and if they are simply outdated or if in fact, you have packed on the poundage.

3. Don't eat all the french fries. Don't eat french fries with every meal and don't think about eating your companion's fries on top of yours. Stick to a half a plate. And if you really want a whole plate to yourself, just make that on special occasions. Not every other day.

4. Reward yourself for working out. Plan something fun in addition to planning the days you'll be going to the gym. Also, pick something you like. Don't do the treadmill if you loathe the treadmill. You won't automatically start to like it. You will not miraculously achieve a runner's high. Do what you want. But walking an extra few spaces in the parking lot doesn't count as a workout.

5. Don't beat yourself up for missing a workout. If you get off track one week, just start again the next.

Maybe this isn't new news to you and maybe your goals are a little loftier than mine. But if you're like me and are busy and don't really love the gym, but really love to eat, then these tips will help you not pack on extra pounds.

Who knows, you may actually enjoy the shift to a healthier lifestyle. Who knew I'd ever be able to turn down dessert just because I wasn't hungry or order a burger without fries. Who knew that I would find the gym would actually de-stress me and make me feel stronger? You learn something new everyday.

50/50 Challenge: The Mercy of Thin Air (Book #2)

When reading the premise for The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue I was excited at the idea of reading a story from the point of view of a ghost. Razi is in the in-between and she haunts a modern-day couple, Amy and Scott, while reflecting on the love of her past, Andrew. The idea of the "in-between" is something that has a fascinating quality about it on its own, but putting it into the story seems very romantic.

Unfortunately, I felt the book to be slow to get through. It's told at different time periods and going back and forth between the past (1920s New Orleans) and the present time of the novel with multiple stories going on at once. This muddled the book for me because each story seemed started and stopped without any real flow.

The secrets that the book holds weren't as juicy as I imagined them to be, so maybe that was a disappointment as well. Highlights of the book for me: setting of New Orleans (a magical city) and the appeal of ghostly actions. The rest of the details seemed just thrown in and not fleshed out to make me care about any of the characters.

I wouldn't recommend this book, but I might be in the minority on that one.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

On a wall in Hillcrest there is a place you can fill in with sidewalk chalk the answer to this question.

My list is too lengthy and adventures too large to fit onto one line.

How would you answer this question?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Networking in 2013!

My business cards came in! Last year I met a lot of great people but had no way to really network or keep in touch without scribbling my email address down.

Now I am armed and ready with my business cards. I love to write for pleasure so I am lucky to also write for work.

If you need a writer, now you know how to contact me...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Influenster Shipment - Woo Free Stuff!

I became a member of Influenster late last year and already I am receiving lots of great products.

When I got my latest shipment I didn't expect the box to be so big but it was because THREE full-size bottles of Palm Olive Fresh Infusions were in there. Awesome!

The smells are: Ginger White Tea, Lemon Thyme, and Lime Basil. Only thing left to decide is which to use first. I love Influenster for sending me free (not to mention great) products.

Can't wait to see what they send next!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dream Interpretation: Fashion Fiasco?

Did you know that I'm psychic? Not like I can read your mind right at this very moment, but I am very intuitive and I can sometimes receive answers in my dreams. Also, most of my dreams seem to mean something. Of course they do. Whether it comes from your subconscious or it's something not yet to be known, pay attention to your dreams.


I had just woken up. I was living in a house that had hardwood floors. I love hardwood floors. My boyfriend was leaving and let two women in who were followed by a group of about ten people. The first woman was holding a newspaper and said my article made the front page. It was an article I had written about her (fashion) company. Next thing I know my house is full. People are eating at my table, someone is going through my closet to pick out outfits for me to wear for my interview. No one would listen to me when I asked them to leave. I literally started to usher people out. I was anxious, overwhelmed, and still in my pajamas.


I love fashion and do write for a fashion website. It would be great to see my name on the front page of a newspaper and have people making a fuss over me. Also, the clothes picked from my closet were incredible (none that are currently in my real closet) and my house was also fantastic as well.


I am not quite ready for the success I'm dreaming of? I need to prepare and make sure I am the one in control of where my career/successes go.

What do you think? What would you make of my dream?

50/50 Challenge: Gangster/Classic

I'm on a movie roll so far in 2013. Helps that I am a movie reviewer, but even if I wasn't, I'd still be at the theater about as much as I am now. I love movies; what can I say?

For movie #4 I saw the much anticipated but poorly reviewed "Gangster Squad." Personally, I enjoyed it. Maybe it's because it had Ryan Gosling in it, but honestly, while it wasn't an instant gangster classic, it's still entertaining. Also, my boyfriend's brother makes his big screen debut as the valet. His character appears for a few brief seconds, but those seconds are still fantastic. His name is Christopher Tisa. Look out for him in the trailer as well.

I saw "Les Miserables" for the first time for movie #5. I'm familiar with the music, but my goodness was it amazing. It's a long, epic sort of movie/play, but it's well worth it to be a viewer of something that grandiose. I am interested in seeing the play now, but as for the movie, it deserves the hype it's received. It's a beautifully done production even though it's a bit odd to see Russell Crowe in a singing role. Try not to get chills when hearing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" and "On My Own."

I'm excited for this Sunday's Golden Globes and am spending the rest of the evening reading fashion magazines, watching reality tv and hopefully starting my 2nd book of the 50/50 Challenge.

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

50/50 Challenge: Movies #2 and #3

Knocked off two more movies for the 50/50 challenge. I just went to San Francisco over New Year's Eve weekend for the first time (fantastic!) and so I found it fitting to watch "The Rock" starring Sean Connery, Ed Harris and Nicholas Cage.

This movie is from the mid-90s and centers around Ed Harris as a Marine general taking over Alcatraz Island aka The Rock to demand money from the government for former fallen soldiers' families. Sean Connery plays the only person to escape The Rock and survive and Nicholas Cage is a chem expert with no real field training that holds his own pretty well.

The best part of the movie was seeing the place I had just visited and have been so fascinated with and also learning why they say Sean Connery's character was locked up there in the first place. Hint: Secrets, secrets are no fun...

Today, I watched "Django Unchained." (Read my full review here). I've never been a fan of Quentin Tarantino. I've never not been a fan though either. It does seem like the director likes his violence and this movie has its fair share, but it makes sense for the movie - for the most part. I like the originality of it, but was starting to become still crazy from the three hour run time.

Everyone is praising it, and I agree it was a good time. But it will take up most of your day and it's definitely a kind of movie you have to be in the mood for. It's not just an easygoing comedy or action-packed thriller. It's a movie that needs time to develop.

#2: The Rock
#3: Django Unchained

I'm seeing "Gangster Squad" tomorrow, so it looks like I'm on good pace with the movies of the challenge. Now to get to work with the books...

Friday, January 4, 2013

50/50 Challenge: Fresh Start

Last year I attempted the 50/50 challenge. You read 50 books and watch 50 movies in one year. You don't win anything, but it helps you set the pace. I think if there was a prize I would've been more motivated to finish last year. But midway through, I quit. I wasn't even keeping track anymore, and remembering to list them down was such a pain.

I did watch a lot of movies last year and did read a book or two, but listing them I did not. So here I am again, giving it another try. There is still no prize so the likelihood of quitting the challenge midway through the year again, well, it's 50/50.

Book #1:

How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

My director at work bought this book for me after me and two of my teammates came up with a rewards idea for our department. We wanted something where individuals could be recognized and in turn rewarded. She said this same philosophy was found in this book. I read this book on a flight; it's short. Less than 100 pages of actual text. The two big takeaways from the big: be positive, stop bitching.

That's my philosophy for life, so I enjoyed the book. It is supposed to apply to work, but obviously, it can be applied to life as well. It's talking about not taking out of other people's buckets but rather fill them with positive thoughts and productivity.

It's interesting when you lose excitement for work or feel like you have been devalued how unmotivated you can instantly become. This book made me decide that for my own job, I will work on being positive, which at times can be a challenge, especially when others do not share that same way of thinking.

And, I also decided not to bitch about co-workers. At all. Even to rant. You never know who is relaying what you've said in their in own interpretative way. Lay low and smile, new philosophy for 2013.

Movie #1:

Zero Dark Thirty

Incredible movie. The hunt for bin Laden. It's surreal. 9/11, the capture, all of it is just surreal that that is part of our history. That it still affects us today. Kathryn Bigelow also directed "The Hurt Locker" which is when I first fell in love with Jeremy Renner. She has a way of making even the most mundane things full of suspense. It's the music, the footage and the actors expressions or lack there of that has you holding your breath in this movie. Just having the slightest glimpse into that search is fascinating. The CIA has always been a topic of interest to me anyway, but to watch a reenactment of a the Navy S.E.A.L.s achieving such a mission made me emotional for their skill and sacrifice. Read my full review of the movie here:

Week one of January and I already have the first book and movie out of the way. It's a good start.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

January 1, 2013 - A whole new year! 2012 was pretty fantastic, but I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be one of great change -- a good thing! What are you doing differently in 2013? I don't necessarily set resolutions, but I do reset my goals. What goals are you trying to achieve this year?

A short list of mine includes:

- cook more at home, at least twice a week
- get to the gym at least 3 times a week
- write more
- increase my freelance opportunities
- schedule more trips
- save money for a Europe trip
- achieve the 50/50 challenge (50 books and 50 movies in a year)

I have daily to-dos I set for myself as well, and the items listed above are always ongoing. I'm not one to beat myself up if they don't go exactly as planned, but I do find it helpful to have an idea of what you want to achieve.

I'm excited for 2013. How about you?