Monday, February 28, 2011

The Last Supper

February has been an utter fail. Noodles & Company, Punch Pizza, Erbert & Gerbert's, Bruegger's, Starbucks, eating out, and hoppy beers have been my downfall. Mix that with absolutely no exercise (gym visits: 2), hardly any water, and about three nights of actually doing my back exercises and my body is beat. My lower back is killing me so much so that simply leaning over puts a strain on my back. One month of hedonism and I'm falling apart! Man, do I feel old.

So tonight I will have my last supper of Domino's pizza and Coke and then I will bid February adieu. Tomorrow is March and with March will come the addition of two new part-time jobs, much more working out, two Nalgene's per day, and getting back to basics.

I'm looking forward to playing tennis with some other teachers this Thursday and playing some league doubles next Thursday. I'm hoping to get through the hiring process in March at Lifetime. The packet of paperwork that they sent me home with is staggering! On top of that, I need to memorize mission statements and be able to repeat them for the general manager before I'm hired. Thank goodness the tennis department is nowhere near as corporate as the rest of the place.

Goodbye, February. I'll miss your Dionysian ways... (but I assume I will enjoy the upcoming endorphins and energy in March).

Oscars Loves & Hates


Hailee Steinfeld's dress

Scarlett Johansson's dress

Christian Bale's beard


Melissa Leo's shoulder pads and collar. Yuck.

Cate Blanchett's dress. Ew. Yuck. What the...?

Other questionable outfits:
- Mark Walburg's wife's red skirt and sheer and black top. Yuck. 
- Jennifer Hudson's boobs. So weird. 
- Marisa Tomei's earrings. 
- Nicole Kidman's dress - kimono, what?

I got 8/15 guesses correct last night, including:
-Leading Actor
-Supporting Actor
-Leading Actress
-Animated Feature
-Original Song
-Visual Effects
-Original Screenplay
-Best Picture

I thought that Anne Hathaway did a fantastic job. She had so much energy! James Franco, on the other hand, should stick to movies. What a fuddy duddy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions

BEST PICTURE - The King's Speech
I'm not thrilled that they've gone back to 10 best picture nominees. I feel like some movies made the cut only because they needed one or two more (The Kids Are All Right?? Really?). I hated Inception and did not see Toy Story 3 or Winter's Bone (both are coming via Netflix). The Social Network and 127 Hours were good movies, but not best picture winners. That leaves me with True Grit, The Fighter, Black Swan, and The King's Speech. Out of these four, Black Swan and The King's Speech were my favorites. I'm guessing that Black Swan will be too dark for the Academy to pick.

I did not see Biutiful, for which Javier Bardem is nominated, but I've seen all the other ones. Jesse Eisenberg plays a more ballsy character than he played in Zombieland, but it's not really a stretch. Jeff Bridges, once again, plays a drunk. Me thinks he needs to branch out and that he will not receive the Oscar nod two years in a row. James Franco was good, and while I think he's a good actor, I don't think this challenged him all that much. My vote goes to uber hottie, Colin Firth.

Time and time again, Christian Bale shows us how good of an actor he truly is. Rent The Machinist and tell me he's not dedicated. Once again, he becomes the role and does a terrific job, as realized at the end of The Fighter when you see the actual person he's portraying. Jeremy Renner does a nice job, but he's just another hothead character. Mark Ruffalo is okay, but I've seen him do better with more challenging roles. Geoffrey Rush would be my second pick. You can't go wrong with Rush.

LEADING ACTRESS - Natalie Portman
Okay, so I haven't seen Rabbit Hole or Winter's Bone so I have to go with one of my favorite movies of the year. I thought Natalie Portman did a phenomenal job with not only a physically demanding role, but also a psychologically demanding role. I've already poo-poo'd The Kids Are All Right so I'm not rooting for Annette Benning, although she did make you hate her character. Michelle Williams also did a decent job in a super depressing movie, Blue Valentine, but the role was nowhere near as demanding as the one in Black Swan.

This girl was amazing! She's 15 and delivered her lines with perfect facial expressions that not only showed that she was a tough cookie, but also revealed her characters age at times. Her toughest competition is Melissa Leo who plays Alice in The Fighter. I didn't think Amy Adams did much in the movie, same with Helena Bonham Carter. I did not see Animal Kingdom.

I love me some Coen brothers. I was sitting in the theater and I was completely enveloped in the movie.

And a few others...

I only saw this one documentary, but it was one of my favorite movies of the year. I hope it wins. 

It's the music that I remember the most from the movie. It's actually the music in the trailer that made me want to go see the movie. 

ORIGINAL SONG - "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3
I picked this one because I very much enjoy anything that Randy Newman does.

ANIMATED SHORT - Let's Pollute
I really liked Day & Night, The Gruffalo, and Let's Pollute. I'd be happy if any of those three won. I fell asleep during The Lost Thing and was not interested in Madagascar, carnet de voyage in the slightest.

Okay, Inception can win this one. But that's the only one (that I care about) that it can win!

I'm not sure about this one. It could also go to 127 Hours or The Social Network.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Inception or The King's Speech
 Okay, it can win this one too. I mean, it was pretty darn original. Boring to me, but original none the less. A dream within a dream, you say? I also think The King's Speech is equally able to take home the Oscar. I wouldn't mind if The Fighter won either.

So... I tried to see about 27 movies in as many days. I saw 10 movies + the Animated Shorts in about 24 days. I'm a little upset that I didn't see more, but back issues (sitting in a movie theater seat all day sucks on my back) and lack of time worked against me. I'm aiming to watch all of the movies on my list by the end of March. I have 21 nominated movies left to watch - two foreign films do not come out until April and five others have yet to make the jump to DVD - making the total to watch, about 14 in one month. Totally do-able.

Now - I will finally get to watch Gnomeo and Juliet and not feel guilty because I should be watching an Oscar-nominated film!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is my treadmill

I was trying to find a picture on the interwebs of my favorite USTA ad. I couldn't find it so I'll just have to re-create it:

This is my treadmill.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. House update: the owner has to talk to her attorney to see if she can sign my offer. If she signs off on it (pretty, pretty please!) it will then go to the bank. *fingers crossed*

2. I have four books to finish in the next month: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin, Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Wells, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

3. Tonight's Oscar-nominated film is Inception. I've been unable to see Oscar-nominated films recently and am looking forward to watching True Grit and The Fighter this weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Just put in an offer on 232 Dale St. It's the 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath short sale of my dreams. Now to wait 90 days to see if it's approved...

Scratch That...

I'm quickly realizing that my goal to drop weight is unrealistic. I'm way too unmotivated at the moment and until I find that motivation, it's just not going to work. Instead, I think I'll focus on not gaining any MORE weight. That seems feasible enough.

I'm going to go look at a house at 232 Dale St. in St. Paul today. It's a short sale, currently hidden from the MLS, and is listed at $164k. It's a twin home with a shared back yard and a garage. Three bedrooms, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and more than one toilet make this a very desireable place. Plus, I love the location - just two blocks from the intersection of Selby and Dale. Things I love about Selby-Dale: Louisiana Cafe, Muddy Pig, Happy Gnome, Nina's, Frost's, Costello's, my hidden, secret garden tennis court, Sweeney's, and quick access to I-94. Selby-Dale is also very close to Grand Ave, where Punch Pizza resides. Nom. I can walk to all of these places. I love my current neighborhood and I have the best neighbors anywhere, but the owner of my house is financially unable to sell it to me at the moment. Because the Dale St. house is a short sale, it's listed very much below market value. It's also not on the MLS so it doesn't pop up on any searches, which could give me an advantage if I were to make an offer. But we will see... the online pictures looked great, but as someone once told me, the camera sees things different than the eye does.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 1

Day 1 was not so good. Psychologically, it was great! I had a great time going to lunch at Shamrock's and then walking around the Mall of America. I had two beers - one at Shamrock's and one at the mall. I also had a small hot chocolate at Caribou. But I think I'm done eating for the day. No work out, aside from shoveling and digging out my car, and no water.

I was also offered an interview for a very specific job at Lifetime today. They need someone with tennis teaching experience, who is patient with children, and who is also a lifeguard. Ding ding ding! The head tennis guy at the 98th St. Lifetime got my application when I applied for a tennis desk position. I would also be able to have the tennis desk shift on Sundays in addition to this teaching and guarding during the summer. I have an interview (and I can attend the 4.0 Friday drill for free!) on Friday. I'm very excited bc I've drilled with the tennis coordinator before and I really liked his personality and style. I think it would be fun to work with him. Best of all - if I get the job, I get a FREE membership to Lifetime! TOTALLY worth it.

I also received an email today about the lifeguard position at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis on the weekends. I passed my background and pee checks and they want me to come in to do paperwork and start training. So I'll be doing that soon too. I'm going to be a busy bee! (But hopefully that means that I won't have enough time to drink as much...AND I can go to nice Lifetimes for free eventually, fingers crossed.)

I can see that credit card balance getting smaller and smaller...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Drinking Til March 17

The past few weeks have been rough. It all started when I worked out every day and ate well for an entire week. Instead of losing weight I ended up gaining 2 lbs. I was pissed. I ended up eating out and eating crap like Noodles, Erbert & Gerbert's, and Punch. I've neglected the gym and this month will be the first in about a year where I haven't gotten to the gym at least 12 times. My water consumption is completely lacking as well. I've been drinking way too much and I'm starting to feel the effects: no energy, the beginning of a plugged up ear, and a sore throat. To make things even worse, it's now snowing again. I was just beginning to see the green grass again and now we're in for 10-15".

It's going to be hard to break the pattern of eating out. It's just too darn easy. Not to mention yummy! No drinking until St. Patty's Day is my new goal. I'm hoping to lose the lbs that I've gained over the last few weeks, but I'm not sure how much that's going to be since I'm too chicken to step on the scale. Today's my last day - had my usual Louisiana Cafe breakfast of water with lemon, French toast with bananas, and a side of crispy bacon. The snow will most likely put a damper on any other eating out ideas that I had in my head earlier. That, and I'm starting to really feel the effects of treating my body like crap. I just want to sleep and watch cheesy movies. I've even turned up the heat and I'm drinking water!

I have a little less than one month. Here are my goals:

1. No (to minimal) drinking.
2. Keep eating out to 2x a week.
3. 2 Nalgenes a day.
4. Hit the gym at least 4x a week. 30 min cardio minimum.
5. Shovel the damn walk 2x today.
6. See The Fighter, Inception, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter's Bone before next Sunday.
7. Whoop it up on March 17!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

1. Today I fell asleep in a movie theater for the first time ever. I was watching the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts. It wasn't because they were boring; it was because I was so tired from going out last night.

2. I went to the 7th Street Entry last night to see Chamberlain and Truth & Salvage. I really liked both bands and had a great time! I will definitely go back. Perhaps next time I won't drink so much PBR.

3. This is the start of a 3-day holiday weekend. It's the holiday weekend that annoys me the most. It's Presidents' Day, people! It's not President's Day. I've already seen two incorrect ads on tv. Grrr.

4. I think I've ordered the Erbert & Gerbert's Narmer sandwich three times this week.

5. I'd write more fun facts, but I need to eat my Narmer and then take a nap. I'm pooped, but very, very happy. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I was already having a great day when I decided to eat this today.
 It was worth it. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Meaning of Life, Valentine's Day, and other Updates

I just got back from a (very informal) interview with Bill, the weekend manager of the waterpark at The Depot hotel in downtown Minneapolis. They are looking for a lifeguard with no life (hi, I'm Allison!) who will work 7-hour shifts on the weekends. The pay is $11/hr and the availability of hours seems awesome compared to the 2.5 hours I work at the JCC every Tuesday. Even now I can see my credit card bill getting smaller... All I have to do is pee into a cup tomorrow morning and I should be golden (tee hee - pee - golden, I crack myself up!). As long as I do not snort any lines of coke or shoot up any heroin tonight, I should be the next weekend lifeguard at The Depot.

Which brings me to my next topic: Valentine's Day. Katie recently posted that she is quite ambivalent about what I affectionately call "Hawt Day." Rudi has often waxed poetically about her distaste for the day. I, on the other hand, am a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the "I hawt Hawt Day!" club. In elementary school I was absent on Valentine's day in 3rd and 4th grade. I was devastated. I have typically never had an actual date or boyfriend on V-day, but that hasn't stopped me from hoping. I don't need big displays of flowers or chocolates. I'd be fine with a single flower or a card. Even just a cute text would suffice. For me, it truly is the thought that counts. I have a heart tattoo. My ebay handle is "hearttattoo." I have numerous pairs of socks with hearts on them. I enjoy making and sending Valentine's. I get all swoonypants about Valentine's Day bc I'm a stupid, gushy, hopeless romantic. But don't tell anyone...I need to keep that crusty exterior front up.

And on to my next favorite thing about February: The Oscars. I recently compiled a list of 23 movies (now 24) that I need to see before 2/27. I've been checking a bunch off of my list this week:

The Social Network - loved it, had way more funny bits than I thought it was going to have.
Blue Valentine - woah, talk about a downer. Michelle Williams will not win best actress, even though she did a nice job.
Tangled - super cute movie! Definitely rent it. Up for Best Song.

Tonight I'm going to see The Illusionist, which is up for Best Animated Film. I'm preferring to go into these movies without much background knowledge of them. I'm also going to see the Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action, Animated, and Documentary. They play all of them in three separate showings at both the Lagoon and the Riverview Theaters.

And lastly, tomorrow night I will be attending the Trylon's presentation of Now, Voyager. This will be my first time attending a show at the Trylon and I'm sooo excited! It's a very small theater with only 50 seats. You reserve tickets ahead of time online for $8. Now, Voyager is one of my all-time favorite movies and I'm very excited to see it on the "big screen." As with most movies, I will be attending by myself. That's okay though, I like seeing movies alone. It's like my own private show.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Things Thursday: School Edition

1. I made a boy cry yeserday. He came in with his report card, which he had gotten on Tuesday, and asked me if there was anything he could do to bring up his grade from a C in fitness fun. I just kind of looked at him like, "Are you serious?" and told him that the semester was over and that there was nothing he could do. He questioned me a few times, but I stood firm, saying that I had updated the grades numerous times throughout the quarter. Apparently, he then went out into the hallway and started bawling. Crying! Coming from an 8th grade boy who was a behavior issue ALL semester. I even had to hold him back from our Base Camp field trip for a day due to poor behavior. And now he's bawling? He pulled himself together by walking it off down the hallway. Poor kid. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson!

2. This morning in fitness fun I turned my back for 5 seconds and one of my 8th graders had gotten into the pinnie bag and another boy had zipped him up in it and was carrying it around. I had to make sure I kept a straight face and then told them that both of them were done participating for the day. It was pretty funny though and I've been re-telling the story all day.

3. Lastly, I embarrassed the heck out of a 7th grade boy today. I had been having one of those days were little stuff goes wrong throughout the whole day and it just escalates and makes me crabby. I needed a good laugh. He came to the office and he wasn't dressed for swimming. I asked him why he wasn't dressed, but he didn't really say anything. I then asked him if he had his period and then burst out laughing. I just couldn't contain myself! Then I leaned over to him and said that I was just kidding and that's what the girls always tell me when they're not dressed. The look on his face was priceless and he turned red for a moment. Once he got changed and went out to the pool he seemed to have recovered. Meanwhile, Jodi was trying to hold in her giggles behind me in the office. I just couldn't resist! It was the turning point of the day too - no more crabbies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Unwich Rules!

I was going to take a pic of my turkey, cheese, and avocado unwich today for Wordless Wednesday, but I forgot my phone at home. Needless to say - yum!

I had a good session at the chiropractor and then ran/walked a 13:11 min mile and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I wanted a protein smoothie, but it was just too many calories. Darn that peanut butter!  

Here's the Jimmy John's stock photo. Mine wasn't as beefy, but was still delicious.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Don't Try This At Home and The Unwich

This morning I thought it would be a bright idea to pack a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lifeguarding. I even threw in some Herr's chips as a treat. The only banana I had was frozen. I remembered back to making pb&j sandwiches with frozen bread to take to the beach. I thought, "Well, heck, why not try a frozen banana?" Yeah...not the brightest idea I've had in awhile. Around 11 am it was still looking pretty good. By 1 pm it had turned into a brown mess. Brown, soggy bread, brown peanut butter, and brown, soggy bananas.

So I took my chippies, milk (thank you 2 for $2 at Holiday!), and ordered my Jimmy John's staple - slim #4 (turkey and bread) with cheese. Their menu is pretty darn overwhelming and I usually like to make a quick decision so that's what I've been ordering. On my 57th visit to Jimmy John's, I finally picked up a paper take-away menu to peruse over lunch. 

I found my new order! You can order any of the sandwiches as an "unwich." An unwich is all the fillers, but instead of bread, it's wrapped in a lettuce wrap. Genius! I've been craving one ever since I saw it on the menu. When I got home I looked up the nutrition facts for turkey, cheese, lettuce, guac, sprouts, and the lettuce wrap and it's 187. Add in some salami if I'm feeling frisky and it's a mere 100 calories more. Not too bad! I have to go to the chiropractor tomorrow so I'm going to scoot out a little early to have it as my lunch. 

Oh, and PS: I did 50 minutes on the elliptical today. I won't have to worry about doing that many minutes if I cut out the bread at Jimmy John's!