31 Before 31: Movie Marathon. LOTR!!

On October 13 we had our MOVIE MARATHON! I had a WW meeting in the morning, and then I stopped at Market District to pick up a pint of Jeni’s Splendid Whiskey and Pecan’s Ice Cream, and admittedly got distracted by the amazing beer and wine selection they have accumulated, and also got stuck wandering around the cheese fridge, and managed to lose an hour in glazed-over wonder, because as much as I hated Market District when it first opened, they have stepped up their game and really are developing a selection of very nice things.

So anyway, by 11am, it was finally time to begin our movies. And more important than the movie watching, we ate like Hobbitses! I did a little internet research on appropriate LOTR menus, and persons more ambitious (and with more free time) than myself have developed truly ambitious menus. I, however, went with the approach of buying a ton of food that looks tasty, and then just eating all darn day long.

Our first dish of the day was spinach and cheese foccacia from Colangelo’s.  Foccacia doesn’t have any special tie to LOTR, other than hobbits like to eat a lot of bread. Really, we picked it up because Baby Beez had her ballet class in the Strip District on Saturday morning and I whined to Mr. Beez that he haaaaad to drop me off to pick up something tasty from the bakery. And foccacia looked the tastiest. So there we are.

Next up was lembas and leetle feeshes. I can resist yucky stale swedish fish, but something about not-stale swedish fish, despite their potent cough-syrup taste and my better judgment, I just. can’t. stop. eating. them.  Same with the shortbread.  I can’t help myself. So I ate these things until I had a ridiculous bellyache.  Because I am ridiculous.

In the late afternoon we ordered take-out from Piper’s Pub. YES I know this looks totally, totally, totally gross. But it’s shepherd’s pie, and I do not have the magazine worthy food styling skills that are necessary to make shepherd’s pie look palatable. But it was hearty and tasty (not like after many hours of steady eating I needed anything hearty, but still, not complainin). Mr. Beez got the beef shepherd’s pie and ate it all before I got a bite, so I guess he liked it. I usually prefer the lamb & chestnut shepherd’s pie, but on this particular day they had elk on the menu, and I am entirely too exciteable when it comes to trying new things, so ELK IT WAS. It was quite the belly filler, exactly like a stew should be, but I do admit that the lamb shepherd’s pie has stronger flavors, which I prefer. Even though I like lamb better, the elk was no slouch.

And, no question, the most essential component of the LOTR marathon was the beer! I assembled quite a variety of seasonal beers (oh how I love pumpkin beer), and the selection complemented our day of endless eating quite well.

And yes, we have a 3 year old. We let her watch the movies with us. I do think the movies are violent and scary, but we talked with her the whole time they were on, and she had the full opportunity to go do other things that did not involve watching TV. On the whole, though, she asked a lot of pertinent questions and made interesting comments, and was only scared for a short bit during Fellowship of the Ring. So I think we did not scar her permanently.

We took a couple of breaks, and the entire marathon took until midnight to wrap up. I did laundry and worked on a brief and poked around on the internet a little bit while the moves were on. Mr. Beez said that in a “real” movie marathon, you sit and attentively watch all the movies. I, however, am unable to even attentively watch a 30 minute TV show, so I declared that he’d either have to tolerate my multitasking, or nothing resembling a movie marathon will happen ever. He ended up conceding that it was a pointless issue to argue with me.

I am so over-eager to fill my days with this, that and the other event and outing that I really enjoyed having a day designated for being homebound. It was neat to watch all the movies back to back. Mr. Beez and I discussed our favorite characters. Mine are Gollum and the Ents. I saw the animated version of the Hobbit when I was a little kid, and I was just fascinated by Gollum, and he has been my favorite ever since. The Ents are just so strange and interesting. I love them. Mr. Beez’ favorite is Galadriel. I’m guessing he just likes hot-tempered, bossy women.


Thursday Mix: Things on my Brain Today

  • This week wins. As in it has demonstrated itself to be victorious over me.  I have been crazy, crazy tired. Not just sluggish, I’m talking bone tired. Can’t keep my eyes open tired. Physically falling asleep tired. Yesterday I got back from Erie at like 4pm and immediately fell asleep tired.  Then I remembered how many friends have newborns right now, and they are experiencing that kind of tired, except when I’m tired like that, I can hand my kid an iPad, stick her in her bed, and go take my own darn nap. So even though I’ve been tahred, I love my life, because napping is an actual possibility.
  • I saw Pitch Perfect not too long ago, and I kind of love it. It even made me love “Party in the USA.”  I wanted to hate this movie, but I just can’t, because it’s so fun.
  • I’ve figured out what Pinterest is useful for– It fills that “shopping spree” urge.  Like I get almost the exact same kind of satisfaction pinning all the things I want to buy, as I do from buying them (it’s the picking out process that’s so addicting for me, once the thing has arrived, the thrill is worn off).  Pinning is curbing my shopping appetite, which is very very helpful, given the aspirations of Mr. Beez and I of getting a house that actually has air conditioning in the next few years.
  • Baby Beez’s birthday is next week. She’ll be 3. What a big girl! We’re not doing a party this year, because she’s 3, and really doesn’t understand parties. But she’ll have a birthday cake, and we’re going on a little ride on the Gateway Clipper with the Orange Chair Blog family and Mr. Beez’ parents.  Baby Beez loves all kinds of methods of transportation, so I think a boat ride will be just the right kind of little celebration for her.
  • I’ve been a stupid stupid weekend warrior lately.  My anticipated training schedule (that I made myself) for the EQT 10 miler race in November was too much mileage, too fast. I ended up with terrible, crippling calf cramps.  And then I’ve stupidly persisted in these significantly longer runs on the weekends, that leave me essentially hobbled until Wednesday the following week.  I’m trying to be smart and train in a way that builds distance but doesn’t hurt me, so now I’m doing a mix of running and walking. Generally I walk 0.25 miles, run 0.75 miles, but I mix up that proportion depending on how I feel.  Given that I walked 7.5 miles last weekend alone, I’m confident that as long as I continue training with the goal of increasing distance, and am open to mixing up walking with running, I’ll be able to finish the 10 miles by November.  It may not be fast, it may be a lot of walking, but I’ll get across the finish line. I’d rather actually run the whole thing, but it is what it is, and I need to focus on being healthy, strong and not trying to push my body beyond what it can safely do.
  • I am simultaneously reading a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, world’s wost book (The Host by Stephanie Meyer) and an absolutely excellent book (The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling).  I have no idea why I’m continuing with the awful book.  I like the general idea behind the story, but it’s just awful writing, and I’ve come this far, I guess I kind of feel like I might as well finish it. Ugh it is so bad.
  • Holiday weekend coming up! What’s going on with yinz guys?

Five Things I Am Loving Right Now

Good Morning, yinz! I hope your weekend is off to a lovely start! Ours certainly is! We had family movie night last night (I really wanted to go to the WYEP Summer Music Fest, but it had rained all afternoon and the possibility of more rain persisted into the evening, so we opted for the movies instead), and tonight, weather permitting, we’re looking forward to dancing in the street at Summer Jam on Walnut.

So what things have been making your life easier or happier lately? With the weather shifting to blazing hot, all the winter things have been hidden away, and all things summer are out in full force.  These things have been totally making my life for the last several weeks:

spraysunblockHOW parents handled sunblocking their kids before spray on, I will never know  Spray sunblock means that I can get her skin safe, despite her usual non-cooperative nature.

city poolsPittsburgh city pools! I picked up our pool tag, and despite her total lack of swimming skill, Baby Beez LOVES the pool.  There is a pool only a couple blocks from our house, and not only do they have generous weekend hours, they are also open until 7:45 pm on weekdays. That means that we can swim after work! LOVE IT.

Yoplait-Greek-Frozen-Yogurt-Bars-Image-CouponI am an ice cream FIEND. Have you had these yet? They are AWESOME. And don’t destroy my WW points for the day.

monsters-university-poster-1Monsters University totally blasted our expectations out of the water. It was hilarious. I’m talking several times where I was laughing out loud. And Baby Beez was so engaged that she sat still for the WHOLE movie (that says a lot, to keep a 2.5 year old in a chair for nearly 2 hours). It’s appropriate for all ages, and also funny for all ages.

hardboiled eggsAfter 3 weeks of stupid early 5am workouts, I’m still working out the kinks.  One thing I’ve learned is that I need to eat breakfast AS SOON AS I am done with my workout. Or BAD things happen. My go to breakfast has been a toasted english muffin with a couple sprays of margarine and topped with a sliced hard boiled egg and a cup of coffee.  It’s about 5 WW+ points, and is a great balance of protein and carbs to get my day started.  Once I get to work a couple hours later, I follow it up with a mid-morning snack of oatmeal.  I’ve found this combo fuels me perfectly for lasting energy throughout the day.


Pity party

I’m home sick this morning. Baby Beez was sick a while ago, then Mr. Beez was sick last week, and then I spent virtually the entire weekend on the couch trying to sleep off the sick. I was at work yesterday, but up most of the night last night. And it hit that point where, yes, I need to stay home and try to rest this off some more. I’m not staying home all day though. I’ve got a 3pm hearing I can’t miss. But at least this gives me some extra time to rest up and eat popsicles.

I feel like I’m sick a lot, but the last time I was sick was actually in January, so I haven’t been sick as much as I think. I’m just throwing myself a whiny pity party. And also while I’m sitting here resting, I’ve got a stopwatch running in my head click-click-clicking all the work time I need to make up by taking this break this morning. Ah, life under the billable hour.

So for now, on my morning of sick, I’m watching VH1 Jump Start Video. VH1 and MTV and E! and EVERYBODY are all so excited about the release of The Great Gatsby.

Confession time: I hate Gatsby.
I read it in high school and thought it was boring and obnoxious and not interesting whatsoever.
So I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t care about The Great Gatsby movie.
Sorry folks.


Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained (2012)

It took me an unusually long time to get around to seeing Tarantino’s latest film. After all, my kid is named after a Tarantino movie, you’d think I’d have at least gotten around to seeing Django Unchained before it came out on video. But you’d be wrong. I just saw it this past weekend.

There were two lines of feedback I heard about Django: (1) It was great. (2) It was really really violent.

To those who expressed the latter opinion: Have you ever seen a Tarantino movie?  For serious.


Tarantino got “big” in the mainstream with Pulp Fiction, which I genuinely believe shifted the way we think about storytelling through movies.  But Pulp Fiction was now decades ago. The shock of the violence has since faded.  And Tarantino’s most recent popular flick, Inglorious Basterds, was horrifically bloody, but it was also a Nazi flick, so the audience went in expecting that kind of bloodshed.

Django had all the Tarantino hallmarks: Revenge fantasy, Campy theme, Violence to the point of absurdity, Larger than life personalities. “Say goodbye to Miss Lara Lee.” Hilarious. I love it.

I think Django is a solid middle-of-the-pack Tarantino film. It’s a good movie, but not traditional Oscar material, so I’m not really surprised that it ended up with nominations but no statues (“Editor’s” note: where is my brain? It won for Screenplay & Supporting Actor. I’d edit this to try to make the point I was going for, but I don’t even really remember that at this point.) It’s not at the top with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Kill Bill, but it’s not down in the dregs with From Dusk Til Dawn or whichever godawful Grindhouse movie it was that he directed.