A New Career

Ok, maybe not. But I had a ton of fun today at our team builder this afternoon. We went to Painted in Folsom, which is basically a painting lesson. They give you a glass of wine (maybe that’s all that I’ve been missing?!) and take you through step by step. I started with a blank, white canvas and this is what I ended up with:

image

Not bad for a self professed stick figure master, is it? Seriously,  it was so much fun!

Elysium

This one seriously got lost in the drafts… Mike and I watched it a while back. Not a bad overall movie!

Elysium Poster
Elysium Poster

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: Matt DamonJodie Foster, and  Sharlto Copley

Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMdB) In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

Rating: On Demand

I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan… in fact, you mention the year 2154 and my eyes start to roll back in my head. That said, this was a pretty cool movie. It is futuristic without seeming too unrealistic – ie. the characters face problems that are reasonable (hello, immigration… modern-day problem with a sci-fi twist). Jodie Foster plays a pretty good evil nemesis… she’s not normally my favorite actress, but I liked her in this role!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

Hands Free

Yesterday my parents came out for the afternoon to watch my riding lesson and to have dinner. It was quite the lesson… I was in the arena, which to date has been more exhausting than my longer trail rides. I think it’s because of the intense focus. This lesson started out a little tough… I was too focused on the fact that my parents were watching, my saddle was all wrong (we messed with the stirrups a bunch and finally ended up completely switching saddles), and I ended up changing horses. Once I got settled in on Rosie, I was good to go! I hadn’t ridden her before and she was a little more mellow than the other horses I rode, which was good because of the skills I had to practice. I also got to practice wearing spurs!

Rosie Loping In The Arena
Rosie Loping In The Arena

We started with the normal arena work – walking, trotting, and loping. A key thing that I’m working on is anticipating the horse – Rosie wanted to stop at a bale of hay, so I had to practice motivating her past it before she broke pace. After a while of that, my trainer said that we were going to move to the circle arena to practice balance. I had no idea this meant riding without holding on. Not that hanging on to the reins really holds you onto the horse, but in my head it sure does.

Rosie would walk/trot/lope around the arena and Dana would make me do all sorts of fun things with my hands:

Hands Out
Hands Out
Hands Across
Hands Across
Hands On Your Head
Hands On Your Head

While all of this was happening, my trainer was standing in the middle of the arena with a whip. Don’t worry, she doesn’t hit the horse. She would step toward Rosie and flick it, which would make her turn toward the fence and change direction. Keep in mind, we’re loping (which is a run). Rosie is a former cattle cutter, so she can spin on a dime. Dana told me to watch her ears, which didn’t make sense at first, but sure enough, her ears would signal which way she was going to turn and I could shift my weight to stay balanced. It was terrifying and so much fun! I definitely need more practice – my instinct was to grab at the saddle horn. Rosie was awesome… I think I was more exhausted than she was!

Rosie & I
Rosie & I

The Family

Another movie that we rented a few weeks ago was called The Family.

The Family

Director: Luc Besson

Stars: Robert De NiroMichelle Pfeiffer, and  Dianna Agron

Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) A mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of CIA Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo) can’t help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the “family” way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down. Chaos ensues as old scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings.

Rating: On Demand

This was a really cute little movie… I love Tommy Lee Jones and he played his typical character (hello lawman). Dianna Agron was awesome as Belle – she had some serious anger issues and had a great way of “resolving” them. Each character had their little piece of mafia that they just couldn’t give up. If you’re expecting some sort of cinematic masterpiece, this isn’t the movie for you. If you want a funny, entertaining movie for the evening, rent away!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

You’re Next

A few weeks back Mike and I decided to rent a horror movie because it’s been forever since we’ve watched one. We chose You’re Next because it was On Demand on Dish.

You’re Next

Director: Adam Wingard

Stars: Sharni VinsonJoe Swanberg,  and AJ Bowen

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped… until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.

Rating: Skip It.

Well, at least it was short. It really was a pretty terrible movie.  There was a lot of gore, which one would expect from a good horror movie, but it all seemed unrealistic and the jokes fell flat. I miss the days of the good horror movie.

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

My First Pinterest Project

I am not a very crafty person… when I pin things on Pinterest, it’s usually food. However, a couple of weekends ago I took on my very first Pinterest project. I’m proud to say that it was actually successful (on a side note, have you ever read any of these Pinterest fails? Hilarious that they actually have an entire website devoted to them!)

Here’s what inspired mine:

Ballard Designs Laundry Rack

It’s stunning, but that sucker sets you back $250! I did some searching on Pinterest and found a blog where a girl had made her own. I’m a smart cookie, so I figured how hard could it be?

I headed over to my local Lowe’s and picked up the supplies – basically two big boards, some dowels, a bunch of screws & nails, hinges, chain, and some long thin pieces of wood (seriously, the other girl’s blog details it step by step – with pictures. I did change-up the measurements for my laundry room). I went home and got to work. Mike had to show me how to use the skill saw, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I used a drill to make the holes for the dowels, and before I knew it I was painting! I painted the backboard and ladder separately and then assembled them.

The whole thing basically took two days (most of Saturday doing the carpentry and then some paint touch ups on Sunday) and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome! Mike and Raymond hung them for me (instead of picture hooks they bolted them into the studs so I don’t have to worry about the weight). I might do some more touch up (maybe paint over the bolts?) but I’m really happy with it!

Laundry Rack
Laundry Rack
Laundry Room
Laundry Room

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club is a movie I’ve wanted to see for a while, ever since the press started talking about Matthew McConaughey’s dramatic weight loss for the role. I was definitely not disappointed!

Dallas Buyers Club (from Fandango)

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Stars: Matthew McConaugheyJennifer Garner, and  Jared Leto

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMdB) Dallas 1985. Electrician and sometimes rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof lives hard, which includes heavy smoking, drinking, drug use (primarily cocaine) and casual sex. He is a stereotypical redneck: racist and homophobic. While in the hospital on a work related injury, the doctors discover and inform him that he is HIV+, and that he will most-likely die within thirty days. Ron is initially in angry denial that he would have a disease that only “faggots” have, but upon quick reflection comes to the realization that the diagnosis is probably true. He begins to read whatever research is available about the disease, which at this time seems to be most effectively treated by the drug AZT. AZT, however, is only in the clinical trials stage within the US. Incredulous that he, as a dying man, cannot pay for any drug which may save or at least prolong his life, he goes searching for it by whatever means possible. It eventually leads him to Mexico and a “Dr.” Vass, an American physician whose license was revoked in the US because of his AIDS related work against US regulations. Dr. Vass leads Ron to a cocktail of other drugs, some vitamins, he believes are more effective in treating the symptoms, since the virus, as Ron learns, will always be in the system of those who have been exposed to it. Ron begins to smuggle these drugs not approved by the FDA into the US, not only for his own use but for sale to other HIV+ persons. In this venture, he goes into an unlikely partnership with a HIV+ transvestite named Rayon, who he met in the hospital and who has greater contact with AIDS patients through the gay community. As they try to work both above ground to get the meds to those that need them and underground to avoid detection by especially the FDA, Ron comes up with an idea to circumvent the fact of selling the drugs – which are not considered drugs yet since they are not FDA approved – directly to the HIV+ population, which then should should not be against the law. Richard Barkley and Dr. Sevard, the FDA’s lead man on the file and one of Ron’s doctors respectively, the latter who sees clinical trials as the only way to determine the efficacy of drugs despite the fact that Ron and others would have probably died already without these drugs, try to stop Ron and Rayon at every turn. Caught in the middle is Dr. Eve Saks, another of Ron’s doctors, who understands why policies are place, but who can sympathize with Ron, Rayon and others – all her patients, directly or indirectly – in their situation.

Rating: Theater

I would categorize this as one of the top ten movies I’ve seen, ever. Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of Ron is heartbreakingly real and throughout this movie he makes you feel is fear, his frustration, and his vulnerability. I was equally in awe of Jared Leto’s portray of Rayon, who is amazingly confident in who he is, but heartbreakingly delicate. This movie just makes you feel. I had no idea that “buyers clubs” existed and can’t even imagine the desperation these people must feel when there are drugs available to save their lives yet they’re out of reach. If I had a vote for Best Picture in this year’s Oscars, this would easily be my pick. Definitely get to the theater to see this one! It’s already on Demand with Dish (not sure about other providers), so you can watch it at home as well!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.