Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When life hands you lemons ...

J & I love to be inspired. We are the type of people who are really affected by movies and motivational speakers. So it's no wonder that we were moved by "Lemonade" (not the drink, but the movie).

In an era of economic turmoil, this short film demonstrates how some people turned their layoff from ad agencies into an opportunity of a lifetime. Truly great stories that make you go "hmmmmm," even if you haven't been laid off. Got our wheels turning about our potential yurt business, but first, the AT of course.

There are a few screenings and discussions around the country, but lucky for you, it's available to watch online at hulu. It's 35 minutes long, and even if you just watch the trailer, I bet you'll be as inspired as we were.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Biking season begins

When we have nice temps in NH in April, we take advantage of it. You just never know what you are going to get in this state! Last weekend, it was snowing!

J just fixed up his old mountain bike so we could ride on trails. Plus, when he's on his road bike, I have NO chance of keeping up with him. In case you are interested, I have a hybrid bike, so I'm good on trails or road.

Today we checked out the Northern Rail Trail. There's a railroad that used to run 60 miles from White River Junction, Vt., to Concord and they are converting it to a 4-season multipurpose trail! Love to hear that! Right now, about 10 miles is completed, so that's what we did.

I thought we'd see some wildlife, but no luck. I did, however, finally encounter those infamous black flies. In all honesty, I never came across them before, even though they are "state bird." I'd like it if I never saw them again in our time in NH ... very unlikely.

Anyways, the trail definitely got us psyched for the upcoming biking season!

Friday, April 23, 2010

PR, not so much

I can tell you how I know I am getting older. J and I ran a 5K tonight. My time was a little over 29 minutes. This is my new normal and that's tough for me.

In 2000 when I was 22, I ran my first 5K. I was ill-prepared; I liked to run, but never ran more than 2 miles. I only ran the Race for the Cure because my roommate Mouse's mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted to do something to support my friend. I ran it in 28:55. I think I walked a good portion of the race and thought I wasn't going to make it. But I did and I was hooked on racing.

I can't tell you how many races I've done since that first one, but it's a lot. I love racing. And at my prime, I was running my 5Ks in 24 minutes. I hung around that time for about a year. Then I moved up into the 25-26 range. And then 27-28 minutes. I'm very frustrated to watch my time creep up, but I guess I should be thankful that I can still run at all!!

The thing that peeves me the most, though, is J's run time. J is not a "runner." I actually think he hates running. He only took up the sport in the last 4 years and he likes the races. He thinks the training aspect of it is hogwash. Sometimes, he prepares for the races, sometimes he doesn't.

Tonight's race is a case of the unprepared. I ran all week in preparation. I played soccer twice. J, on the other hand, recovered from a cold and the worst hangover ever. Then, today, he slammed into the dishwasher door at work and it looks like the bone is protruding from his leg. To me, that seems like a recipe for disaster. But J crossed the finish line the same time as me (hand in hand of course). And I know this is slow for him. He's more in the 27-28 minute range. Grrrr ...

Well, at least there was Boloco at the end of this race.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

As I sit here, on Earth Day, recycling my work papers, I am pondering an important question.

First let me admit that I cannot kick the habit of printing out all the work-related journal articles and reports to read and underline. I am just not an online reader. I never want an iPad or Kindle (unless I get it for FREE of course). Anyways, I do print on both sides of the paper and recycle, and that makes me feel better.

So onto my question. I always remove the staples before recycling the papers. I don't have a staple remover, so I usually use my teeth and fingernails (ouch is right). Does anyone know if I have to remove the staples? Please tell me I am doing good for the environment and recycling centers by removing the staples? Any recycling experts out there?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vegas

J woke from his slumber finally and filled me in on all the details of the bachelor party in Vegas and I thought you would all like to know and see pictures. So here goes ...






Did you get all that? Just like the movie The Hangover, only worse! Weren't those pictures wild and crazy?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh how we love the Leaf

I'm not talking about Earth Day (which is next week). We went to another Carbon Leaf concert last night. I'm now up to 4; I think I will officially be a groupie after we go to 2 more of their concerts next month. I don't know though. I think J's definition of a groupie is something like 25 concerts. Oh Terry, Carter, Barry, Jason & John, I don't think you realize just how much we love you. We drove to Boston for you. On a Wednesday evening. In the middle of high traffic time. We had to take exit 26—Storrow Drive—the dreaded exit that ALWAYS gets us lost. We spent $25 on parking. We got home past 1am. Do you understand the caliber of our love yet?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At first I was afraid, I was petrified

USING YEAST TO MAKE DOUGH ...
A few months back, I was talking to RedJeepTrvlr about her irrational fear of yeast. Then I realized, I think I am scared too. Truthfully, I never thought much of yeast. I wrote it off as something woman in the 1950s worked with. I couldn't even envision what yeast looked like and what aisle in the grocery store you get it in.

Then I made that friend in NH. Remember the one I never thought I'd meet? I had a first date with that woman, the wife of one of J's rec director friends, to see Riverdance in March. It was love at first sight. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but we've become fast friends. We talk pretty regularly, and we've even done a get-together with the men as well.

Anyways, she taught me all I needed to know about yeast. And all my fears melted away. Seriously guys, look at these babies!!! Num yum mum.

Uncooked sausage, peppers & onions pizza
Cooked Hawaiin pizza (sadly, we will probably never have this again because J realized the cost of Canadian bacon)

We love homemade pizza. But we used to use biscuits as the crust. It worked, and it was good. But this is better. Easy peasy to work with, cheap (J loves that) and the recipe I have makes enough for 2 pies. Not only have I gotten over my fear of yeast, but I love me some yeast (when it's not an infection)!!! Bread recipes, here I come!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More movie reviews

I have more reviews of the Oscar winners! Go here for 1981-present (although, we have yet to see this year's winner, The Hurt Locker). Of the 82 award-winning movies, we have seen and rated 57!!! More than halfway to our goal! We will probably be slowing down as summer comes, but I think we will finish at least by the beginning of 2011.

Lights, camera, action!

Kramer vs. Kramer (1980)
P=7, J=6
Really touching movie about divorce, from a man's perspective. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep do really well in their roles, which helps.

The Deer Hunter (1979)
P=6, J=7
A disturbing look at the Vietnam War and the men who had to fight in it. Again, lots of GREAT actors/actresses (De Niro, Walken, Streep).

Annie Hall (1978)
P=3, J=1
Yikes, this struck out with us. Just goes to show that even though there are popular names in it (Woody Allen, Diane Keaton), it doesn't mean it will be any good. I found this move to be really annoying with no real plot. The kicker is that this movie beat Star Wars!?!?!

Rocky (1977)
P=7, J=7
I just really love this story, as much as I don't enjoy boxing. And I grew up watching this movie, probably saw it 342 times. Or 10.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1976)
P=5, J=5
I don't know, I just felt like this movie could have been done better.

The Godfather, Part II (1975)
P=6, J=5
J liked the first one better than the second, and I was opposite. I like how Part II really described Vito Corleone's roots.

The Sting (1974)
P=7, J=8
This movie about a con man surprised us. We were really on the edge of our seats and there's a surprise ending! And my lips are zipped.

The Godfather (1973)
P=5, J=6
Everyone just has to see this movie anyways, since it is always quoted and talked about. Plus, my brother-in-law had a part in it!! He was the little boy walking by in the department store, right before the scene with the horse head on the bed. Don't blink, or you'll miss him.

The French Connection (1972)
P=3, J=2
Just skip it. Unless you like dumb movies. And it beat Clockwork Orange??? What's up with that??

Patton (1971)
P=6, J=6
Another one of those educational movies, this time about WWII hero George Patton.

Midnight Cowboy (1970)
P=2, J=2
This is like Brokeback Mountain, only in the 70s. I actually like Brokeback Mountain, but neither of us liked this. The plot has a lot of holes in it and the acting was bad. The only good thing that came out of this movie was that famous line, "I'm walking here, I'm walking" (Dustin Hoffman's character said it).

Oliver (1969)
P=6, J=5
We both have seen this many times when we were younger, and in fact, J played Oliver in a school play in the 80s. Funny thing, when we went to watch it again, the DVD was mislabeled. So we put in Disc 2 first. We were both watching and confused by the sequence of the movie, then tried the other disc and got it right.

In the Heat of the Night (1968)
P=8, J=7
Another surprisingly good movie that we wouldn't have watched otherwise!

A Man for All Seasons (1967)
P=4, J=4
This movie takes you way back, all the way to 16th century England. I thought I would like it because it had to do with Catholicism. But it was just long and drawn out.

The Sound of Music (1966)
P=8, J=7
I've always loved this movie. And I took the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria. Which made me love the movie even more. I'm surprised J liked it at all since it's a musical!

My Fair Lady (1965)
P=4, J=3
Our main problem with this movie was that it's LOOOOONG. The story wasn't bad, although I think J was annoyed by Eliza Doolittle. "The rain in Spain stays mostly on the plain."

Tom Jones (1964)
P=4, J=4
This movie was kind of comical with the main character and his ways with women. But, the plot moved slow.

Lawrence of Arabia (1963)
P=5, J=3
I really liked the first 2 hours of this movie, but the other 80 minutes could have been eliminated. The length is what brought the rating down. Otherwise, this movie was educational and the main character played quite a role. My suggestion, just watch the first 2 hours. You'll get the gist.

West Side Story (1962)
P=5, J=5
Another musical. I know it's a classic, so I guess everyone should see it.

The Apartment (1961)
P=7, J=6
What an interesting movie about a guy who "lends" out his apartment to his bosses and their mistresses in exchange for promotions.

Ben-Hur (1960)
P=7, J=7
Now we go way back to the 1st century. And this was an interesting movie that kind of kept you in suspense. The movie was about Judas Ben-Hur. For most of the movie, J & I both thought it was Judas, one of the 12 apostles, the one who betrayed Jesus. So we kept waiting for Jesus to make his appearance. But no, wrong Judas. That's Judas Iscariot. Who knew there were so many men with the name Judas?

Gigi (1959)
P=4, J=1
This was just a weird movie, with a weird plot. It tried to be a love story, but it fell short. And it was a musical, so painful for J.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1958)
P=7, J=7
Again, a surprise for us. What a great movie with a surprise ending. And it's based loosely on the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942-43.

Once again, stay tuned for our last batch!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hoppy Easter

My rents (Short on Coffee and Big on Lotto) have come and gone. It was a truly gratifying visit. My family has had a tumultuous last 2 years, so visits like this are priceless.


The weather in the Northeast has just been spectacular. I have a feeling it’s not going to last, but you just never know with Mother Nature. So we spent a lot of time outside, sitting and watching the trees and flowers bloom from my porch (that’s how long we sat there).


We did venture off the porch and take a drive Saturday up north through Franconia Notch State Park. There was still snow on a lot of the mountains and some people were even still skiing at the slopes!!! It was at least 80 degrees at the base of the mountains!
How fitting ... the oldest people with the oldest mountain in NH in the background. And here's my mom & I at The Basin.
We also spent approximately $400 eating out at different restaurants—Fratello’s in Manchester, The Granite Restaurant in Concord, some really cool sandwich shop in Franconia and The Common Man in Concord—this weekend. Let me rephrase that. “We” didn’t spend that. My parents treated us. My dad says to us, “You two don’t spend a lot of money yourselves, but you sure know how to spend other people’s money.”

When it comes to food, we all have our favorites. Big on Lotto loves his shrimp (that was his second plate).
Short on Coffee loves her coffee.
And I love my desserts.
Now that they are gone, we can turn our TV volume back down from 59 to 12 (no joke there), switch the radio station from Soul Train and stop answering the endless questions, like “so what time are leaving to go eat?” (Big on Lotto) and “can I help you with something?” (Short on Coffee). Also, they did survive without cable, but still don’t understand why we are resistant to getting it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just call me Pele ...

Besides our co-ed soccer team, I sub sometimes for a woman's team on Wednesdays. Last night, I played in one of their games. I scored. J was watching from the sidelines yesterday and he was so proud of me. He said they passed the ball to me on the wing, I stopped it, looked and shot it right up past the goalie.

If you think I am making a big deal out of this, I am. This is huge people. And this is no April Fool's joke. I do not score. I play defense better. In fact, in my 2.5 years of playing soccer, I've only scored 2 other times and they were flukes, you know, right place, right time. My mom could have scored those shots.

Speaking of my mom, BOTH my parental units are due to arrive for a visit today! I can hardly believe it and J is still 68% that they will show up. You see, this has been a long time coming. Many failed attempts to come for a visit. But it is happening this weekend. Not much planned for their time here, unless you count the 19 restaurants we will visit. Dinner at 4:30 every night!