Sunday, July 26, 2009


Wow, this is some thunderstorm. The thunder isn't stopping, it's pouring and you can barely see across the street... and now, the sun is out. I am so glad we rescheduled our engagement pictures since they were supposed to be in less than an hour!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


One thing I really hate about EA Active is that they save your workout to the next day if you are even a second past midnight. I pushed hard to finish before the clock struck 12 on the cable box and I did. The workout even saved before the cable box hit 12. And then what happened? I saw that the workout was saved to Thursday. Idiotic program. I exercised on Wednesday, not Thursday. The problem is that, if I go in to exercise tomorrow, it's going to try to make me do the same exact workout. I don't want to do the same workout, dumbass. If your stupid trainer would stop telling me to "hold still" when I'm not moving, and quit wasting time between reps, there wouldn't have even been an issue! Grrr!

Monday, July 20, 2009

EA 10

Rental car done and inbox below 5175 messages (let's hope I can keep it that way). Productive night! I did my 10th EA Active workout today (and got mad at the trainer for not recognizing that the bicep curl was done considering that my "me" on the screen was done with it too), which means I'm halfway through the 30 day challenge. What do I do when it's over? Just do the 30 day challenge again? Is there a 30 day challenge II? I guess we'll see!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wedding Travel

Travel plans for the wedding are taking shape! We already had our flights done, and were planning on getting a room in our room block for the days of the wedding, but now the other parts are taking shape. We just pricelined a hotel room for the pre-wedding planning days, and are really excited because it's the super-nice place where we stayed last time with the awesome pool. Yay! I love that hotel and am super-excited. Now just have to book a place for the mini-moon and a rental car, and all of our travel arrangements for the wedding will be finished! Yay! I'm so excited about it that I just had to share. Priceline always gives me a little bit of a "high." Yay!


Macy's has a really good deal on shipping for clearance items today, but I'm finding it so difficult to see what any of these clothes really look like! Sure, they're being modeled in the photos and aren't just hanging up, but everyone wearing them is so tall and skinny! Can't they show how things look both on models and on real people? I would really prefer not to return things, but I can't tell how they would look on me... And people wonder why I never buy clothes online. It's so hard!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Half Blood Prince

[Warning! If you haven't seen the movie yet, spoilers ahead! Proceed with caution!]

We went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (a.k.a. the 6th movie) tonight. I was really excited as I am for every Harry Potter movie, despite hearing that some people were disappointed with the movie. Funny how it's only the second full day the movie is open, but it felt like we were late to the party because it's been open for two "nights" already (counting the opening midnight showing).

Overall, I liked the movie itself but had many issues with the story. The acting was good, the cinematography was good, the effects were good, the love stories were good and really funny, but the story... well, that was questionable.

My main issues with the movie:

1. It felt rushed.

Partway through the movie, I started thinking about how it felt like they were rushing through lots of important storyline. The story just felt rushed through and a lot of nuance was missing. It's always very difficult for movies to live up to the books they're based on, but here the book was worlds better because the story had time to develop. Here, it just felt like we were racing through it. Which also meant many casualties, leading to my next point.

2. It was missing an exposition scene explaining why we should care about Tom's history.

I haven't read the book in quite awhile (almost 2 years) and only picked it up again a couple of days ago. But I remember quite clearly that Dumbledore explains to Harry that the key to defeating Voldemort is by understanding who Voldemort is. His formative moments, what was important to him, about his family, etc. We see a scene in the movie about Tom at the orphanage and the first time Dumbledore met him, but the movie fails to explain why this is important and why we should care. If someone hadn't read the book and only saw the movie, they might wonder why this is even important. Why was the choice of the caves important? What about the ring? We were deprived of any insight into Voldemort's thought processes, and I think that is a serious flaw.

3. I hated the ending.

At first, I just didn't like the ending as much as in the book. Then, I just didn't like it very much. Now, I kind of hate it. (And remember, I still like the movie!) I loved the ending of book 6. I loved the battle between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix + the kids. But that didn't happen in the movie! At all! And the part of the ending that was filled with so much anguish was that Dumbledore was killed while Harry was utterly helpless. Sure, Harry made a promise to Dumbledore to follow his orders, but the movie gave him free will. Although he promised to follow orders, he could have done something (probably useless, but still) to try to stop it. The book was so heartbreaking because Dumbledore's dying act was to protect Harry, and it made him unable to act to stop someone from dying right in front of him. That emotional anguish was gone from this movie. I don't know whose creative decision it was to allow Harry to move or why the ending battle was eliminated, but I think they really cut out the emotional heart of the ending of the book, and that was unfortunate. It also eliminated the battle, and the seeds of the upcoming war, and that was unfortunate, and leads me to my last point.

4. This movie, unlike the book, does not set up the (double) finale, and I don't know what they're going to do with the storyline in the next 2 movies.

The elimination of several important parts of the book makes me wonder how they're going to do the story in the next 2 movies. It's going to be really challenging! By not telling us that the key to beating Voldemort is understanding his history, and by not showing us the memory of Tom Riddle and the heirlooms, how are they going to explain how they figure out what items are horcruxes? As Harry said, they could be anywhere. How are they going to explain the significance? Are Bill and Fleur getting married? I think that whole storyline is gone, since they can't have Bill injured by a werewolf, because there was no Order at Hogwarts when Dumbledore was killed. Kreacher was missing too. How are they going to set up the resistance when it looked like none of the students were trained or fighting back here? So many questions. The sixth book set up the last book SO well, and the movie series just feels like it now has so many holes. It's like how I felt about movie 3 not explaining the whole Lupin knows about the map because he helped make it and they could all transform and those are their names on the map thing, but on a much larger and more important scale.

In the end...

I liked the movie. I will watch it again on DVD. I still love Harry Potter. I still can't wait for the next 2 movies. But the story choices in this movie were disappointing. I would love to hear more about why they made them, because the choices with respect to the ending and the omitted scenes are really baffling to me. I know there's time constraints and they can't make a 4 hour movie, but it just seems like so many essential things were missing. This book was packed full of substance, and I just wish more of it had made it into the movie.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pizza Bianca

It's so humid outside that I felt like I was going to melt into the air.  (Weather Channel, I don't know how this can only be 55% humidity!)  I finally feel better now that I have finished my salad and have cooled off (temperature-wise not temper... I have a seriously low tolerance for BS right now).
I went to Just Salad for lunch.  I haven't been in awhile, and I probably should go more since it's healthy!  I was prompted to go this morning by good news landing in my inbox - they brought back the old bread!
I may have mentioned this before (but can't search from work), but Just Salad switched their bread at one point from this yummy bread to this multigrain roll.  I know the multigrain roll is healthier, but I'm eating a salad - I'll cut a little corner with that addictive bread.  It was so sudden and I was so sad that I was never going to have the good bread again.
Then they did a poll about the bread.  I guess a lot of people complained and wanted the old bread back!  It had been quite some time since the poll, so I just assumed they decided to stick with multigrain. 
But I was wrong!  They are bringing back the old bread effective immediately -
And now I know why it was so good!  It was Sullivan Street Bakery bread!  I never knew that before.
So in honor of the good bread returning - it was a Just Salad day!  And outside of the butternut squash being not as good as other days, the salad was great.  And the bread... well, now I want more. Yum, pizza bianca bread.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Today was such a frustrating day. In addition to just being completely overwhelmed and feeling like there's not enough hours in the day (for work, working out, wedding planning, cleaning and life), there were just so many little annoyances that I feel like I've been swearing all day (and I hate doing that).

- I did another EA workout today. First they tried to make me rest because I exercised for 2 days in a row (how am I supposed to lose weight and get in shape if I'm always resting?), but I didn't listen because I'm taking a rest day tomorrow. Second, I should have known I couldn't go more than one day without swearing at the trainer. So many things were wrong! I went at the exact same pace in the exact same form in "kick-ups" (basically like running or butt kicks), yet sometimes it was "too slow" and sometimes it was "perfect" (and it alternated like every 3 steps). So annoying. Also annoying that it doesn't register my movements and made me wait like 30 seconds to do each upright row. And then there were the side jumps, where they told me I had no rhythm because I jumped after the trainer said "jump!" instead of just before the trainer said "jump!"

- The gym is choosing not to comprehend that you can prorate something already paid by refunding part of it. I made quite a logical argument but I'm not fighting anymore. I'm also just ticked off that I wrote an email last week about the issue, got no response, followed up today, and she claimed to never get my email. Well, it wasn't returned to me. You got it.

- Too much wedding crap and not enough time.

And now it's 11:42 and we just finished with dinner and working out. Sigh.

At least I got an appointment for a free skin cancer screening. That's a very good thing. And it's SYTYCD tonight. I voted! Go Brandon, Ade, Janette and Jeanine! Favorite routine: contemporary.

I know this post is all over the place, but it's late and I'm scatterbrained.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

EA 7

Seventh workout done. Yay! Worked out two days in a row, and I didn't prolong the end date of the 30 day challenge any more. I also didn't yell at the program at all today. Progress?

However, I really suck at the volleyball exercises. They were introduced for the first time today. It's almost like I was playing real volleyball.

(And yes, I am blogging about working out to try to keep myself accountable. It worked for the bar...)


What does it say about me that the "Fitness" label didn't exist until my last post?

Also, I'm not sure if it's "EA Active" or "EA Sports Active." I usually say the first, but if it's really the second, just know that's what I mean.

Monday, July 13, 2009

EA 6

Project Get In Shape continues. (I guess I never officially named it that, but there you go.)

I completed my sixth workout in the EA Active 30 day challenge program today. (Although I suppose it's now a 37 or 38 day challenge with all of my skipped days.) It was a hard day. Squats, followed by jump squats, followed by inline skating (which is essentially a prolonged squat followed by a jump, right back into a prolonged squat -- easily, in my opinion, the hardest exercise I've encounted in the program).

I wish there were an accurate way for me to figure out how many calories I'm burning. They give me a projected number and an "actual" number, and my goal is usually to beat the projected number. However, sometimes, the "actual" number advances when I'm not moving. It's also not entirely accurate because instead of their flimsy no-resistance band, I'm using 3 lb weights. It can't account for that. I guess I could invest in one of those armband calorie burning counters, but I don't know if I can get away with wearing that at work.

Overall, I think it's a good program. I get really frustrated with certain things, namely (a) the useless resistance band, (b) how sometimes they don't recognize that I have done the movement and keep telling me to do it, because the position is not quite right (or it is, and they're just not picking it up for some reason) -- this has prompted some angry yelling, (c) how if you start a workout too late in the day, it does not register the workout for the day you start it but instead the day you complete it, so when you log in the next day it gives you the same workout, and (d) sometimes the reps are too slow (if I'm supposed to be burning calories, why am I just standing around between reps?). But other than that, it's a good substitute for a personal trainer.

Ideally I would be doing this and the Shred, both, every day, one in the morning and one at night, but we all know that I don't have that type of time. I wish I did.

Inbox Update

My inbox is now under 5400 messages! It's amazing! I can't remember the last time I saw the number 53xx. Wow.

To check, I went back and read through some old blog posts where I talked about my inbox. At the end of last year I think it was around 7000, so I guess this is (slow) progress?

Maybe I can get it under 5300 tonight. That would be awesome.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Dear Duane Reade,

I saw your ad on the subway on Saturday. That Duane Reade is "the one place that even tourists can find."

If I were a tourist, I would be offended by that ad! Not all tourists don't know where they're going. Sometimes when you go visit someplace, you have looked at a map, know where you're going and how to get there. (And sometimes you don't.) But to imply that tourists can't find anything except for Duane Reade because it is everywhere just feels a little insulting!

I realize that the point of the ad is that Duane Reade is everywhere and has covered the city. (Wheee.) However, what does that also say if someone can't find a Duane Reade when they want one? That they're too dumb, because even tourists can find Duane Reade?

I'm just not sure this ad makes anyone feel positive. The whole ad just seems to imply that tourists are dumb and clueless. (And shouldn't we want people to visit new places as tourists and shouldn't the city want tourists to come?) What was the thinking here?



Poor squirrel. It just wanted some yogurt!