Resolution Check-In

With 6 months down and 6 months to go in 2008, it’s time for a resolution check-in:

1. Read two books for pleasure each month.

14 books so far, including one adorable childrens’ book that bizarrely made it to our New Bookshelf at work, so I’m actually ahead of schedule.  And no, this doesn’t include any of my textbooks, finished or otherwise.

2. See 12 movies in the theatre.

So far we’ve seen There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, and WALL-E, so I guess I’m right on track here, too.  WALL-E and Michael Clayton were the best, in very different ways.

3. Take a trip west of the Mississippi (and also west of Iowa).

Not yet, but we’ve confirmed that we’ll be spending Christmas in Carlsbad.  Also, I’m presenting at conferences in Denver and Monterey.  This one will definitely happen.

4. Go to Bonnaroo or Coachella.


5. Put $5,000 in savings by the end of the year (sub item: and leave it there).

No comment.  Paying tuition has killed me this semester.

6. Finish Couch to 5K and run a 5K.

Check!  I ran the Kelley Cares 5K in early June, and plan to run more in the fall.  I’d like to do a 10K next year.

7. Continue weight training and do an unassisted pull up.

Less successful on this one.  I took a lot of time off from lifting this spring due to shoulder and knee problems.

8. Finish my CAS.

I’m on target to defend my thesis in the fall, however I’m going to be one credit hour short of finishing unless I take another class.  If that’s all that I have left at the end of the year, I’m fine with it.

9. Get published.

So far this year I have 3 accepted conference proposals (all co-written), 1 accepted (and award winning?) co-written virtual poster, and 3-4 conference and journal submissions outstanding.  Not bad!

10. Find a church.

We’ve been sporadically attending services at Del Ray United Methodist Church, which we both really like.  We found it when we went there with my family on Easter.

11. Reconsider therapy and/or medication.

I tried therapy with the GW staff counselor person, but I mainly found her annoying and “let’s fix it”-y.  I did go back on medication, though, and it seems to be doing a lot to even me out.  I go back this week for a six month evaluation.

12. Beat SB at Zooloretto or Alhambra.

I won at Zooloretto in January, but have been soundly defeated in almost every other game since then.  Between Shane and our friend Kevin, I just don’t stand a chance.

13. Finish 2007’s Bond-watching resolution.

We’ve watched two Bond movies this week, and have now made it to the ill-fated George Lazenby era.  15 to go!

We’ve been watching John Adams this week, and I just wanted to let you, my internet comrades, know that it’s a damned fine miniseries. It’s moving and well-acted, and has both of us interested in refreshing our memories of American history.

Best Pictures

From Keem and Kasia, here is the list of Best Pictures that I’ve seen:

1927/28: Wings
1928/29: The Broadway Melody
1929/30: All Quiet on the Western Front
1930/3: Cimarron
1931/32: Grand Hotel
1932/33: Cavalcade
1934: It Happened One Night
1936: The Great Ziegfeld
1937: The Life of Emile Zola
1938: You Can’t Take It with You
1939: Gone with the Wind
1940: Rebecca
1941: How Green Was My Valley
1942: Mrs. Miniver
1943: Casablanca
1944: Going My Way
1945: The Lost Weekend
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives
1947: Gentleman’s Agreement
1948: Hamlet
1949: All the King’s Men
1950: All about Eve
1951: An American in Paris
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth
1953: From Here to Eternity
1954: On the Waterfront
1955: Marty
1956: Around the World in 80 Days
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: Gigi
1959: Ben-Hur
1960: The Apartment
1961: West Side Story
1962: Lawrence of Arabia
1963: Tom Jones
1964: My Fair Lady
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: A Man for All Seasons
1967: In the Heat of the Night
1968: Oliver!
1969: Midnight Cowboy
1970: Patton
1971: The French Connection
1972: The Godfather
1973: The Sting
1974: The Godfather Part II
1975: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976: Rocky
1977: Annie Hall
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer
1980: Ordinary People
1981: Chariots of Fire
1982: Gandhi
1983: Terms of Endearment
1984: Amadeus
1985: Out of Africa
1986: Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Driving Miss Daisy
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: The Silence of the Lambs
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: No Country for Old Men

Somewhat embarassing, I have to say. If I didn’t already have 458 movies in my Netflix queue, I’d be running over there to add a bunch of these. Speaking of which, did you know that Netflix tops out at 485 movies? I discovered that on Sunday.

2008 Oscar picks

Yesterday Shane and I went to a Oscar film extravaganza – all five Best Pictures in a row – and even though we skipped out early, we managed to see all five nominated films BEFORE the Oscars. Pretty exciting, right? Anyway, since I won’t get to spend Oscar night with a crew of friends, here are my picks based solely on my opinion and no other research except discussing with Keem and Shane and consulting previous emails from Jimi. Get your Oscar ballot here, and check back as the evening progresses, as I’ll do my best to update with the winners and my comments.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
comments: I loved George Clooney in Michael Clayton, but I think DDL has this sewn up. Bottoms up for everyone if he (or anyone else) says “Bastard in a basket”.
winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, who gave a very nice speech, despite his questionable earrings.
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
comments: If Tommy Lee Jones were nominated for No Country, I would’ve voted for him. I also heart Tom Wilkinson, but Javier Bardem was kind of like the ultimate movie bad guy.
winner: JAVIER BARDEM. I can’t believe he didn’t win anything for The Sea Inside, though.
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
comments: I’ve heard the field is really strong, but I’ll be upset if Marion Cotillard doesn’t win. She was incredible in La Vie En Rose.
winner: Marion Cotillard, YAY. YAYAYAYAY.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
comments: I’ve heard good things about Amy Ryan, and I like her in The Wire.
winner: Tilda Swinton, who I really like, but I don’t entirely know why she won.
Animated Feature: Ratatouille
comments: I would LOVE for Persepolis to win, but I have more faith in Pixar, and besides, Ratatouille was so good.
winner:Ratatouille, yay! Brad Bird is cute.
Art Direction: Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
comments: Really no idea on this one.
winner: Sweeney Todd
Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
comments: Jimi, don’t let me down here.
winner: There Will Be Blood, incredible.
Costume Design: Atonement
comments: It’s too easy to pick the costume drama, and I thought Atonement was exquisitely costumed.
winner: Elizabeth
Directing: Juno
comments: Really no idea on this one either, but I suspect they’ll reward Jason Reitman. If not, it’ll probably go to the Coens for No Country.
winner: the Coens! They’re funny and small.
Documentary Feature: pass
winner: Taxi to the Dark Side
Documentary Short: pass
winner: Freeheld. This whole announcing from Iraq business is weird.
Film Editing: There Will Be Blood
comments: Can someone tell me what makes good film editing? I can probably tell you what makes bad film editing, but I can’t say anything authoritative on the opposite.
winner: Bourne Ultimatum. Which Shane thought was terrible. Terrible editing, that is. This is live blogging. We’re going for recall, not precision.
Foreign Language Film: pass
winner The Counterfeiters (Austria)
Makeup: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
comments: I would love to see La Vie En Rose win, but Pirates was damned impressive as always.
winner: La Vie En Rose, omg!
Original Score: Atonement
comments: SB and I both really enjoyed the way music and sound was used in Atonement, although Keem would have appreciated the occasional carriage return.
winner: Atonement. Fantastic.
Original Song: “Falling Slowly” – Once
comments: I ❤ Glen Hansard.
winner:”Falling Slowly”. OMG OMG OMG OMG. Did you know that she’s NINETEEN?
Best Picture: Michael Clayton
comments: Of the five, I think this was the strongest film, though each of the others have stand-out elements. It could probably go any way, but I’ll be disappointed if Juno wins, even though I loved the movie.
winner: No Country for Old Men! God job, Coens!
Short Film – Animated: pass
winner: Peter & the Wolf
Short Film – Live Action: pass
winner: Le Mozart des pickpockets
Sound Editing: There Will Be Blood
comments: Stab in the dark here.
winner: Bourne Ultimatum. Shane’s vote: Ummm….Bourne? Shane wins.
Sound Mixing: No Country For Old Men
comments: Oooh, mixing!
winner: Bourne Ultimatum.
Visual Effects: Transformers
comments: This could also go any way. I thought I’d vote for Transformers, though, cos who doesn’t like giant cars?
winner: The Golden Compass. Animated polar bears. What’s not to like?
Adapted Screenplay: No Country For Old Men
comments: I may be a Cormac McCarthy hater, but I’m voting for No Country anyway. Bottoms up if Cormac McCarthy is actually at the ceremony.
winner: No Country for Old Men. Was that Cormac McCarthy? YES, yes it was. Bottoms up!
Original Screenplay: Juno
comments: If Juno wins, it will be well-deserved, and not just the “let’s give the quirky comedy something” type of win.
winner: Diablo Cody for Juno, also winning the award for the most embarrassing outfit and tattoo on the stage

elements of a nice weekend

– Red Ink, a soft grassy sheep’s cheese, Appenzeller cheese, and jamón ibérico (!!!!!!). The jamón was a birthday gift from Shane, and oh what a gift it was. We have a bit more in the fridge, and I plan to savor it at some point this week. Some girls get chocolate for their birthdays – me, I get expensive Spanish ham.
– brunch at the Corcoran, which wasn’t all that exciting in and of itself, but it was a very nice atmosphere and I enjoyed the souffle.
– the always reliable veggie options at the Hut.

– one more opportunity to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit at the Corcoran. Our memberships paid off today when we didn’t have to wait in line for the sold out show. The galleries were packed with people, so the exhibit lacked some of the intensity of our first visit, but I’m awfully glad we went again.
– staying in to watch Helvetica and Paris, je t’aime, two very different films but both quite good.

home life:
– our new sofa arrived on Saturday and promptly exerted its dominance over our living room. I showed it who’s boss by taking a nap on it later.
– meeting a new friend at the Arlington Animal Shelter. She can’t possibly replace Sid in our hearts or memories, but she will Basil on his toes and the two of us in stitches. We’re hoping to bring her home in a few days, once she’s healed from her spaying and they’ve made sure that no one is going to come claim her.
– lots of quality time with SB. The last few weeks have been very hard, and very tiring, and it was wonderful to have a lot of lazy downtime together.

Briefly (again, yes, I know)

– Week one (of three) of 719 Miles Apart is drawing to a close, and I’m surprisingly OK. I was a bit of a basket case the afternoon SB left, but I’ve been so damned busy since then that I haven’t had much chance to wallow.

– Kim and I went to see The Invasion tonight. We didn’t mean to, but it just kind of happened. It was a perfectly adequate suspense-y movie, though I would have been OK with less vomit.

– Tomorrow I’m hopefully going to test drive a Honda Fit, which we may be buying in the next two weeks.

– I had a really awful doctor’s appointment last week, but the test results came back negative, so that’s one less thing to worry about in the short term. You didn’t think I’d pass up an opportunity to talk about my cervix, did you?

– I’ve officially moved out of Basil Estates – again, thought I’d be more sad than I actually am. In so many ways I’m just looking straight forward at this point.

– More than a little sad that I didn’t get to say goodnight to SB tonight.


– Tonight we were starving after the gym and so resorted to ordering empanadas from Manolo’s Pizza and Empanadas. Between the two of us, we tried the following: San Telmo Jamon, San Telmo Carne, Cheese & Corn, Roasted Chicken (2), and Mushroom Thyme. All were excellent in different ways, and we’re looking forward to trying other options.

– It’s incredibly wonderful to come home from work at 5pm and not have to do anything school-related. I should be working on my presentation for next week’s interview, but not YET.

– Sid has been exceptionally talkative. We suspect that it is because we (Basil too) keep sitting in her spot.

– Tonight we played putt putt with Jimi and Karin, who has just returned from Colorado. I’m TERRIBLE at putt putt but had a delightful time nonetheless. It makes me sad that we started hanging out with the two of them so late in the game.

– This weekend we went to TWO movies: The Bourne Ultimatum and Stardust. Ahh, delicious air conditioning.

– Shane is on the phone with his mom, which means that we are not playing Lego Star Wars, which makes me sad.