Monday, February 28, 2011


21-15-9 reps of:
30 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull
30 pound Overhead squat


bronx bombers tank

I ordered this bronx bombers tank last night, so I can root the Yanks on in style this summer from the bleachers.

I liked the grey tank a lot, but how can you say no to pinstripes? I couldn't...

thom yorke gettin down

In Radiohead's Lotus Flower video Thom Yorke gets groovy with his bad self. Here's a couple remixes that show just how amazing his moves really are. I'm jealous.

(via Joe Laz)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

OSCARWATCH 2011 - Winter's Bone

I'm gonna keep this short because the show is about to start...I just saw this movie now and it's pretty unsettling. The story itself is about a girl in the Ozarks trying to find her drug-dealing father and all the social problems she encounters along the way. It's gritty, it feels realistic, and it's hard to watch. Jennifer Lawrence gives a great performance as a 17 year old girl trying to raise her brother and sister while also trying to locate their father, who will forfeit their house and all property if he does not show up for his trial.

The social setting of this movie is bleak, as is the story. Ree (Lawrence) tries her best to locate her father as she tries to keep her family together, sometimes with the help of her uncle Teardrop.

The film itself is very moving to watch, as well as tension filled. It's hard to see all the obstacles Ree has to overcome, as well as the way her brother and sister are forced to live due to their absent parents. It's a bleak landscape to say the least, and the film captures it perfectly.

Though I don't think it will win an Oscar this evening, as a small independent film it really packs a big punch. And I think this is also just the beginning of a great career for Lawrence. It will be interesting to see what's to come...


3.5 out of 5 on the Marci meter

my oscar predictions

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The King's Speech

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary Short Subject
Strangers No More

Best Short Film (Animated)
The Gruffalo Jakob Schuh and Max Lang

Best Short Film (Live Action)
Na Wewe Ivan Goldschmidt

Achievement in Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland

Achievement in Cinematography
True Grit (Roger Deakins)

Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)

Achievement in Directing
David Fincher (The Social Network)

Best Documentary Feature
Inside Job Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)

Achievement in Makeup
The Wolfman

Achievement in Film Editing
The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
In a Better World (Denmark)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
"If I Rise" from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong

Achievement in Sound Editing

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Achievement in Visual Effects

Adapted Screenplay
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

Original Screenplay
The King's Speech (David Seidler)

sunday 5k!

25:33. not my best, but then again i'm not feeling that well today. veganism is slowly killing me. good thing only 2 more days...

OSCARWATCH 2011 - 127 Hours

127 Hours tells the true story of Aaron Ralston (James Franco), a mountain climber who had to take extreme measures to survive after being pinned down by a loose boulder while canyoneering. The movie starts out at a quick pace, with loud music as a soundtrack to Ralston's extreme ways - we see him running the trails, not just hiking, and mountain biking with vigor and intensity. It's obvious this guy knows what he's doing and loves taking things to the extreme. But as we find out later, he is so confident in his abilities, he has not told anyone where he was going. That adds to his predicament once he gets pinned by the boulder, because then his escape is ultimately a race against time.

I think the film does a great job with it's pacing, especially with the flashbacks and hallucination sequences. Out of the 90 minute movie, there's only about 20 minutes where Aaron is not trapped. Now that could be seen as a hindrance, one actor in a small space with not much in terms of action that can be done to engage the audience. But Franco gives us a wonderful performance, we see in him such true reactions to this situation. We see a man slowly deteriorating but finding the strength to survive, no matter what he has to do in order to free himself.

The scenes where Ralston is talking into his camcorder are some of the best of the film as well. This is where Franco is his best, speaking to loved ones about his plight, as well as his love for them. They are very moving sequences, and I wondered while watching if Ralston actually had a camera with him while he was trapped, or if that was something made up by Hollywood as an element of engagement. So I looked it up, and it's true — Ralston actually had a camcorder with him and made videos to his family. He shared those videos with Director Danny Boyle and James Franco before shooting began on this movie. I'm sure those were very haunting to see, and also may be part of the reason Franco was able to tap into the performance so well.

The way this movie is shot is definitely interesting. It cuts very quickly a lot of times, and many shots while Ralston is trapped are quite choppy, but I think that actually adds to the desperation of the situation. Many times we see the despair happening in the canyon crevice juxtaposed by a wide shot of the outside, to show just how far out of help's way Aaron was trapped.

And obviously with a movie like this, I found it very hard to watch at times, especially during the scene in which Aaron frees himself by cutting off his own arm. But that's the reality of the situation. Ralston had to make that decision to save his own life. It's an amazing story of survival, and Boyle made a lot of great choices in his filming to give it a realistic feeling. The audience really sees the transformation of a man as he fights to remain alive.

The only problem for me was something that could not be solved, due to the nature of the story. And that's just the fact that I got uncomfortable watching every little action Ralston was taking while he was trapped. And I feel like a jerk for saying it, but I got a bit bored a couple times while watching. Not because the story isn't powerful, or the film was not well made. It may be just because in today's society we are used to so many things going on at once -- I saw a guy on an exercise bike the other day, watching the built in TV, but also watching something on his i Pad which was propped up on the bike, AND typing on his blackberry. In a world like that I guess a story of one man alone in a canyon can seem a bit simple. But that being said, I think it's a testament to this powerful story, great acting by Franco, and wonderful direction that the film is as engaging as it is.

Not sure if it will win any Oscars tonight, but it is a very well done film.


4 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

OSCARWATCH 2011 - The Fighter

This movie tells the true story of two boxin’ brothers in Boston — Dicky and Micky. Dicky is the elder brother (Christian Bale), whose career was most known for the one time he knocked down Sugar Ray during a bout. Now Dicky is “mounting a comeback” (aka being an addict that rarely shows up on time to train with his brother), and Micky is about to go pro as a boxer. The movie itself chronicles Micky’s rise into pro boxing, and the choices he must make along the way, essentially having to choose between his career and his dysfunctional family. The clan is so tight-knit, that Micky doesn’t want to go against his kin even if they end up holding him back.

It’s both interesting and sad to watch Dicky in this film, a man who generally doesn’t seem to grasp the effect that his choices are having on the people around him. He seems to live in his own little world where he is a champion, and his family, especially his mother, lets him get away with it. Christian Bale is brilliant in this role, playing Dicky with the vigor and intensity that only someone of his caliber could pull off. He definitely deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor tomorrow night.

The rest of the cast in the film is also great, rounded out by Mark Wahlberg as Micky, Melissa Leo as the feisty mother of the Ward clan (as well as Micky’s manager), and Amy Adams as Micky’s girlfriend who helps steer him in the right direction although it may cost him the good graces of his family. Another great addition to this cast is the group of women who play the many sisters of Dicky/Micky. We truly are given a picture of this family, as close as they are, and the dysfunction there as well. Definitely a great ensemble of actors in this movie.

Another thing I really liked about this movie was the amount of humor in it. There are a lot of “characters” in the Ward clan, and although there are definitely somber moments throughout the story, it is balanced well with a lot of humorous scenes. This added to the movie a lot for me.

I’m finding it hard to think of anything else to say about this movie. For me, the excellence in this film lies within the acting. As an ensemble and individually, everyone in this movie excelled at bringing the characters to life. One indication of how great the acting was comes during the end credits, when a video of the real life Micky and Dicky is shown. It’s like we are looking at the exact man from the movie we just watched, Bale had his mannerisms down so well it was incredible. Now that’s impressive.

All in all, I thought The Fighter was one of the most enjoyable movies of the year (Marky Mark's bod wasn't too tough to look at either). I don’t think it will be awarded with a Best Picture statue, but it will get something that some people consider even more valuable — 5 stars on the Marci scale. Congratulations, The Fighter.


5 out of 5 on the Marci meter

boxing bootcamp!

Usually I don't take classes at the gym because they scare me and I don't know anyone and I'm not that coordinated and I have mini panic attacks just thinking about it. But today I was a big girl and took a class at the gym all by myself - Boxing Bootcamp. And I had fun!

In addition to some conditioning stations, we also did punch combos with gloves and pads. I learned how to jab, crossover and hook! My hook was not very good. Oh well. Practice makes perfect. All in all, it was a good, fun class. In fact, I'm going to go again on Wednesday. Pretty soon I'll be a world class boxer.

so watch out!

OSCARWATCH 2011 - The King's Speech

I have to be honest with you on this one, I thought The King's Speech was going to be really boring. I thought to myself: "A movie about a King with a speech impediment trying to give a speech?" Then I fell asleep because even the thought of it was so boring. But then I saw the movie, and it changed my mind completely.

I loved this film. Maybe it's the whole idea of going into something with low expectations and enjoying it that much more, but it may just also be because it's a great film. The acting is pretty incredible, Colin Firth playing the stammering King George, giving him the delicate balance between pretentious royalty and insecure soul that allowed the audience to feel for him. Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, the unconventional speech therapist that not only helps the King overcome his stammering, but becomes a dear friend along the way. And Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen, standing by her King as he deals with his public speaking debacle. These performances truly draw you in, so that you don't just feel uncomfortable listening to the King stammer, you really feel for him. It's no wonder they all received nominations, and I think that Firth will walk away with the Best Actor statue (unfortunately for Rush, even though he was great in this film, I just don't think you can top Christian Bale this year).

As I stated before, the story itself is pretty simple — with the emergence of radio, public speaking was becoming a rather important skill for a King to have. Unfortunately for George, he has a stammer that makes a great impact on his ability to give speeches. As he takes over the throne, we see his struggle to overcome his impediment, with the help of a therapist. But the film itself is not just about public speaking. It becomes a story about the relationship between the King and his therapist. The transformation of this relationship from the beginning, with the King unwilling to submit to many of the unconventional methods of his tutor, to the end of the film where the two have formed a lifelong bond, is what really fuels this movie.

Firth and Rush play off one another very well in this film, giving us everything from humor to rage very convincingly. It is their chemistry that helps drive the film and make it as successful as it was. At first we wonder what will happen with their relationship, then we become amused with it, and finally are endeared to these characters as we reach the end of the film.

And speaking of the ending…yes, it's true - the culmination of this film is a mere speech on the radio. It's not anything flashy, it doesn't put any character in grave danger, and the speech itself was not even something that was well remembered throughout history. But that's the beauty of this film — by the time that speech comes along in the story, we are invested in the King and his plight. And I think that's a testament to great filmmaking.

So although in all the Oscar previews I'm reading people keep saying that The Social Network should win Best Picture, but the old phooeys in the Academy will probably go with the traditional, boring period piece because that's what they always do, I'm going to disagree. I think the Academy will award Best Picture to The King's Speech because it was a phenomenal film, with convincing performances, solid cinematography and a story that gets the audience invested in the outcome. I will be very happy if The King's Speech is crowned on Sunday night.


5 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Friday, February 25, 2011

OSCARWATCH 2011 - The Social Network

There are few things more interesting than a scandal. Which is part of the reason the Facebook movie is so fascinating — did Mark Zuckerberg really steal the idea of the world’s most influential social media site from a couple of Harvard crew twins? And did he totally betray his best friend along the way, throwing him to the wayside in order to bring another Silicon Valley mind on board? These are pretty scandalous accusations. And yes, they do add to the plot of this movie immensely.

But the fact of the matter is, Facebook has grown to be such a large part of our culture, that everyone WANTS to hear it’s origin story. And it certainly doesn’t hurt the plot that apparently lies, deceit and partying were a large part of the equation as well. This movie is timely, it’s well made, the acting is great, and it’s written by a master of dialogue, Aaron Sorkin. For all these reasons and more, it is certainly one of the best films of the year, and possibly may even walk away with that Best Picture statue come Sunday.

For people who haven’t seen the movie, The Social Network is about the founding of Facebook and it’s rise from a student run Harvard-only network, to a Silicon Valley company with huge potential and endless investors. Along the way we see break ups, fights, friendships ending, and of course, lawsuits. Two lawsuits to be exact.

The first of which was brought by the Winklevoss twins, Harvard rowers who had enlisted Zuckerberg to help them with an idea for a social dating site. They charged Zuckerberg with stealing their idea, and said that they were in fact the inventors of Faceback. The other lawsuit was brought by none other than Zuckerberg’s former best friend (and cofounder of Facebook), Eduardo Saverin. This was because he had been effectively “tricked” to sign away his portion of Facebook, after being the only source of capital as the project took off.

The movie just feels so modern and connected, which is everything you’d think a movie about Facebook should be. The dialogue is sharp and delivered at a quick pace, keeping the pace of this movie moving forward quickly. Just as in the latest online fad, you’ve gotta keep up or you’re gonna be left behind. That seems to be what happens to Saverin in this movie; although he’s very intelligent, he never seems to be on the same page as his best friend, wanting to advertise on the site before Mark thinks it’s time, and ultimately losing his power over the site to Silicon Valley “celebrity” Sean Parker, an excitable, super cool nerd who sees the potential in the Facebook.

This movie takes the origins of Facebook and makes it glossy and sexy. The way it’s shot gives it a very sleek feel, which fits well with the technology in the movie and the overall subject matter of social media. The shots of the Harvard campus in Boston are also beautifully shot, showing off the campus nicely. The one complaint I have visually has to do with anytime the actors are outside on a cold day and we see their breath. It looks so fake, it’s really distracting… but I guess it’s not really fair to harp on that, since I saw an article about that before I watched the movie. Otherwise I’m not sure if I’d notice it. So I apologize in advance for ruining those scenes for you.

Onto the acting…Jesse Einsenberg is so good in this movie, playing Zuckerberg in a way that gives him humanity even though his character is written as a complete and giant asshole. J Timberlake and Andrew Garfield also play their parts well, I even found myself forgetting that I was watching JT sometimes. I thought that was quite a feat.

But the main thing that really draws you into this film is the story. Especially for people in my generation, who were in college at the dawn of the Facebook generation, watching it all play out is like being behind the scenes of Disneyworld when you’re 5 years old. How did this get put into our lives? How did it become such a cultural phenomenon? If you want the answer, check out this movie.

The last scene of the movie really helps wrap everything else (as it well should.) We see Zuckerberg, at the end of a day of legal proceedings, sitting at his computer after “Friend Requesting” his ex-girlfriend, and refreshing his screen over and over again to see if she accepted. Even the creator of Facebook is not immune to the motive behind the use of his invention — social acceptance.

This is definitely a must-see and it may end up upsetting the King’s Speech for Best Picture. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens...


4.5 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Back to the Future photography by Irina Werning

Really cool photos here. Werning finds old photos and recreates them with the original subjects many years later. The results? Eerily similar. Very cool stuff. Check out more here.

ellen and NPH acting out some of the best picture noms

OSCARWATCH 2011 - Inception

When Christopher Nolan’s mind bending thriller came out this summer, I headed to the theater eager to see what the deal was with the much buzzed film. And I have to say, it was pretty engaging to say the least. It took a while to set up the world of the film, and you really had to pay close attention to half understand everything that was going on, but I think that was part of the beauty of the film.

For those who aren’t familiar - Inception is about people who have the ability to insert themselves into other people’s dreams to extract information. In the beginning of the film, we see Dom (Leo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in the middle of a dream sequence where they are trying to steal valuable business information from someone’s dream.

They are then approached by Mr. Saito, who wants them to not just steal ideas from someone’s subconscious, but plant an idea in a target’s mind, something he calls “Inception.” He promises if Dom takes the job and succeeds, that he will clear him of murder charges for the death of his wife, and allow him to return to the U.S. to be with his children. (We later learn the details of his wife’s death, and we also see her often as she manifests within Dom’s dreams, often being quite a hindrance to his goals).

Is this complicated enough for you? It gets better. As Dom assembles a team to help him with the Inception assignment, we learn more and more about traveling into people’s subconscious, particularly with a visually stunning sequence where Dom takes Ariadne (Ellen Page) into his subconscious and shows her how to be an “architect,” essentially creating environments for them to inhabit within people’s subconscious.

I could keep going in great detail, but let’s just put it this way — the shit’s complicated. And I think that is both the beauty and the hiccup in this film. It makes you think (and proved with it’s high box-office gross that the American public is still willing to think at the movies), but there are times when your mind twists up like a pretzel trying to get to all the nuances as to what exactly is happening.

The actual act of inception is set to take place during a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. The team then descends into a three-layer dream, all of which is very hard to keep track of…but awesome to watch. While the tension and action of this part of the film keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat, one scene that really stands out as excellent is a fight scene with Arthur in the hallway of a hotel. The effects in this scene are amazing, and make for one of the most memorable moments of the film.

Without getting too much into the dream levels (because I’ll probably confuse myself too much), we finally get to a place where most everyone gets out of the dream, but Dom is left behind...meaning he could be left in “limbo,” a subconscious level where he could be trapped forever.

Somehow (I’m not going to pretend I even understand how this all happens), Dom finds Mr. Saito in the dream, after many years have passed (but this is only several hours in real time), and they remember their agreement, which lets them wake up on the airplane, alongside everyone on their team, safe and sound. We see Dom getting off and going through security, and … GETTING THROUGH! Could it all be true? Did the Inception work? Did Mr. Saito really follow through on his promise to rid Dom of the charges, and now everything can be okay and he can live with his children?

Well… I guess we will never really know. Because the last scene of this movie ends with the spinning of Dom’s top. Now this probably sounds pointless to you, but let me explain. While traveling within a dream, people carry a “totem” with them to help them stay grounded and know if they are in a reality or a dream world. Dom’s totem is a top. If he spins it and it lands, he knows he’s in reality. If it keeps on spinning and spinning, he’s in a dream. After Dom is reunited with his children at the end of the film, he spins his top to test reality… and guess what? The movie ends without us seeing if that top stops or not. This could be seen by some as infuriating, after investing so much energy into trying to follow the plot, and ultimately never knowing the final outcome of the movie. But I liked it. I’m sure it’s sparked countless debates amongst friends as to what really happened, and it actually made people think. It kind of reminds me of the ending to the greatest movie of all time: A League of Their Own. Did Dottie drop the ball on purpose? It’s one of life’s unanswered questions. Add the ending to Inception to the list.

I’d like to give more detailed commentary about what I enjoyed about this film, but the plot synopsis took up so much time and energy that I’m slowly fading…into…sub consciousness… So here are a few comments: awesome visual effects in this film, I think it will take the Oscar for that category. Acting was good, but I don’t think it was really something that was highlighted in this movie. I mean, obviously the performances needed to be real, and they were, and they also included a lot of physical stuff that was done well. But I think this movie was more about the story and the effects. The characters almost seemed secondary, mere pawns as we learned about a crazy new world.

In all, this movie was a welcome change to the romcoms and BLOCKBUSTERS of the summer…it was smart (maybe a bit too smart), and still managed to be thrilling. I applaud Nolan & team for bringing us something new and different. But am I applauding in real life, or is it just a dream? We’ll never know.


3.5 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


row 1k

15 pound dumbbell snatch, 30 reps
row 750M
15 pound dumbbell snatch, 20 reps
row 500M
15 pound dumbbell snatch, 10 reps


its hard out there for a vegan...

Day 3 of veganism and it's getting a bit harder for me. I miss milk! And cheese! And meat! I am eating enough to generally get my fill, but haven't had a proper dinner yet. Mostly because I'm too lazy and also because a lot of the recipes require lots of vegan ingredients and since I'm only doing this for one week, I don't wanna stock up my whole kitchen for a vegan!

Still managing to eat alright though. Here's what I had so far today:

English muffin w/peanut butter

Sunflower seeds

Salad with mushrooms, tomato, garbanzo beans and black beans
Goddess dressing
Veggie Sticks

TBD after our volleyball game tonight... probably something lazy like a few scoops of peanut butter, or wheat thins dipped in hummus.

Hardest part about this challenge so far is walking into restaurants that smell delicious and knowing that I can't really eat anything on the menu. Last night we watched the Duke/Temple game at THE HOG PIT, and the BBQ smell was killing me. I had to go home early and eat some vegan stuff.

So far, I mostly feel that I'm getting enough to eat, and when I'm not being tempted by bbq goodness, it's not too hard to be a vegan. Though it is kind of annoying having to think so hard whenever you want to eat anything. I usually just eat anything I feel like eating! This is tough stuff!

Hopefully I get through days 4 thru 7 okay...

Aziz Ansari looking for work

This was shown at the 2011 Producers Guild awards... love it!

adele - 21

Adele's new album, 21, is out of this world amazing. She has such a beautiful voice, and all of the songs are stellar, especially the heart wrenching track below. Have a listen, and check out the whole album to hear more.

someone like you. adele.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OSCARWATCH 2011 - True Grit

The Coen Brothers strike again, this time bringing us a good ol’ country western, a remake of a 1969 John Wayne flick. This time around we’ve got Jeff Bridges filling the boots of Rooster Cogburn, a tough US Marshall who is hired by a very well-spoken and determined young girl, Mattie Ross to find Tom Chaney — the murderer of her father (sounds confusing, right?). They end up working together with LaBoeuf, a Texas Ranger who has been tracking the same murderer for several months. A real western adventure ensues.

Needless to say, eventually they find the murderer (after many days of searching, and some intense run ins with the rebellious Lucky Ned Pepper’s gang). I won’t say what happens next, I don’t want to spoil the fun. I will say that there are some unexpected twists even at the end of this film. But one thing’s for certain — the star of the show from start to finish is Hailee Steinfeld, the 14-year-old actress who went from unknown to Oscar-nominated in less than a year. Her performance in this movie is spot on, delivering intricate dialogue with the confidence and assuredness of someone who’s been around for quite a while. It’s quite impressive.

Bridges is also great as Rooster, playing the tough/drunken role with vigor and what I like to think of as style. I love Jeff Bridges in pretty much anything he does, and this movie is no exception. Rounding out the main cast members is Matt Damon as the slightly odd but ultimately likable LaBoeuf. I enjoyed Damon’s work in this film as well, his character works well as a contrast to Rooster.

I loved how this film was shot; the cinematography is beautiful, showing us the magnificence of the great West. I also enjoyed the pacing. The Coen brothers tend to move slow at times, but it doesn’t serve to bore the viewer as much as build tension in any given scene. The only qualm I have with the film is the ending — we close after an odd scene with a grown up Mattie Ross that left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

But overall, the Coen Brothers delivered a film that really resonates as a more traditional Western, and I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. I’m not sure if it will bring home any trophies come Sunday, but Hailee may end up upsetting Melissa Leo in the Best Supporting Actress Race. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Like a true Old Western standoff.


4 out of 5 on the Marci scale.



Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:

5 pull ups (assisted)
10 push ups
15 squats

16 rounds + 9 push ups

service suspended

This morning was the February 2011 "find a new way to get to work challenge," sponsored by the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Since the PATH decided to suspend all service to 33rd street, every person entering NYC from NJ had to take the train into World Trade Center, then find a way to get to work from there. It's stuff like this that really keeps you on your toes and makes mornings fun. Thanks PATH!

Here's a shot from an especially heated point in the competition: Walking down the block right outside the WTC Path station, people are shoved together like cattle, forcing them to move at a snail's pace. Whoever can excel at this point in the race is truly a champion.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

long day run

today started off great with the person sitting next to me on the airplane spilling their coffee all over me, then not the best day at work, so I needed to run off a bit of steam this evening. it was a short one, but felt pretty good...although for some reason I was expecting it to be warmer (why would I think that?). lung burner.

1.15 miles. 8:51

Oscarwatch 2011 - The Kids Are All Right

Sticking with my love of all things lesbian (Lillith fair, sports, Ellen's wardrobe) — I loved this movie! I mean besides the fact that you can't really go wrong with Annette Bening and Julianne Moore being our leading ladies in love, the script provides us with a story that is a much more realistic look at a relationship than most traditional movies about love.

The story goes something like this: Nic and Jules are a married couple with two children (conceived using a sperm donor). Everything seems okay for the most part with their family... that is until the kids decide to contact their free spirited, restaurant owning birth father Paul (played spot on by Mark Ruffalo). The first meeting with Paul and the moms goes better than you'd expect — he even offers to hire Jules to design his backyard. But as he gets closer and closer into this family's affairs, the small cracks in this happy clan grow into something much deeper.

The culmination of these conflicts manifests during one of my favorite scenes of the movie - a family dinner at Paul's house that turns sour once Nic realizes that something has been going on behind her back (spoiler alert: Jules and Paul and SEX SEX SEX). Her moment of awakening to this news is executed so masterfully, it feels as if you yourself are going through this experience. Bening played this scene so amazingly, I was pulled into her character's emotional state completely. It really affected me, so that's a job well done.

Anyways, needless to say after this moment the moms have a lot of stuff to sort out. Was it the sperm donor's doing that all the cracks in their marriage finally gave way, or was it bound to happen? What do you do when you realize that your partner hasn't been faithful? How do you carry on as a family? The culmination of this film explores all these questions and more, and finally ends with a college drop off scene that got even the most stone faced person I know to crack a tear (@HoovNews). And if she was crying, you can only imagine the volume of tears droppin down my face...

I really, really enjoyed this movie. The plot, the amazing acting, the unconventional look at family... it all worked so well. I think when a film can draw you into itself so fully that you are experiencing (or flash back to when you did experience) the character's exact feelings, that not only attests to great writing, but masterful acting. And that's what Bening has done for me here. I don't think she's going to beat out Portman for the Oscar, but if she did, my emotions will mimic hers again, but this time it will be happiness.


4.5 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Challenge #2 - Vegan for a week

Challenge number 2 of 2011 starts today and it's a doozie — vegan for a week! In January I conquered vegetarian for a week, now I'm stepping up my game even more to try out the vegan lifestyle. So in addition to no meat, there's also NO ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS! Whoa! Can you even imagine? I couldn't... until now.

That means no eggs, milk, cheese, etc etc it seems like the list goes on and on. But thankfully for me, Trader Jose's has a nice PDF of all their vegan friendly foods that I've printed out and will be taking with me on a shopping trip later tonight.

So far, my vegan self has eaten:

Sunflower seeds.
Rustic Italian Vegetable soup.

So far, so good!

I'll keep you updated on the week's eats, as well as how the vegan transformation affects my mind and body.

Thing I will probably miss most: 2% milk.

funny looking animal of the week!

the "child in danger" edition

Monday, February 21, 2011

swim work out!

650 M = 14 minutes today! improvement!

total of 1700 M took me around 39 minutes today... overall much faster than the other day! woo woo woo

OSCARWATCH 2011 - Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's film about a perfectionist ballerina who wins the lead in the show "Swan Lake" turns quickly to a shocking thriller as we watch her slowly lose her marbles. Natalie Portman is wonderful as Nina, the unstable ballerina who starts questioning everything around her as the date of the big show gets nearer and nearer.

A wonderful supporting cast of Barbara Hershey as Nina's overprotective/borderline creepily obsessive mother, Mila Kunis as her wild and uninhibited castmate, and Vincent Cassel as her demanding (and sleazy) director help shape the world that is crumbling around Nina with wonderful, intense performances.

The entire movie makes you sit on the edge of your seat, wondering what could possibly happen next. And while the shocking scenes don't generally feature people screaming or jumping out of nowhere to scare you, the effect of the movie is eerily more shocking than a traditional horror film. At times it's so uncomfortable to watch there were gasps from the audience (or little noises of disgust from my grandmother sitting next to me...probably not the best film to see while sandwiched between your mom and grandma).

When we finally arrive at the end of the film, our minds are so engrossed in Nina's world that it's hard to decipher what's real and what's not, leading to some very unexpected realizations as we fade to white (which I think was a nice touch by Aronofsky). And although we are left with our own interpretation of what happened after the fade, it's clear that Nina is a very changed character from who we met in the beginning of the film.

I enjoyed the film, especially the cinematography, which was beautiful, helping to give the movie a realistic feel that makes the unsettling scenes even more jarring. Some scenes were a bit too much for me, and I once I even had to cover my eyes for a second because I was so grossed out by what Nina was doing, but they added to the overall creepiness of the film. The juxtaposition between the gorgeous dancing scenes and the shocking, disturbing scenes also helped this film achieve it's creepy feel.

The other great part of this film is Natalie Portman's performance as Nina. She takes the audience on a journey with her that is both shocking and horrifying, and she does it with the attitude of someone who is doing everything they can to be perfect, and we really feel that from her. It's almost as if we're watching Nina's innocence being taken away within the course of 2 hours, and Portman really delivers to make the audience not just watch that change, but feel that change. Quite a feat. She also did all the dancing herself, which is amazing as well.

Overall, I thought this movie was well made -- it kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next, the ending totally surprised me, and the acting was great. But I'm not sure if I really enjoyed watching it. And although I think that was the intention of the filmmaker, and I appreciate his vision, it took a bit away from the film for me. That's why I'm giving it a 4 on the Marci Scale. And one extra prediction here? Portman will walk away with the Best Actress statue.


4 out of 5 on the Marci scale.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sunday mornin workout

warm up: walked the reese!

ran 1 mile - 7:50

did exercises from my mom's new Trainer Ball exercise ball! pretty cool thing... shows you the exercises to do on the side of the ball.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


swam 1600M - around 45 min

hit the 650M mark around 17 minutes... first attempt at the triathlon distance for time... gotta work on that!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oscarwatch 2011 - Toy Story 3

It’s that time of year again… OSCAR SEASON! Keeping with the tradition of this blog, I am trying to watch all the best picture nominees before the big show, and give you my thoughts on them. Good news for me is, I’ve already seen 8 of the 10 best picture noms, but bad news is I haven’t started writing anything about them yet! That changes now. So let’s get right into the swing of things, with Toy Story 3.

We all know and love the Toy Story franchise, brought to us by the geniuses at Pixar, and you’d think there was no real way this movie could go wrong. But then you also have to remember that something you love from your childhood (the first movie came out in 1995, when I was only 9 years old) doesn’t always stay fresh and seem as awesome when you’re older. But guess what? Toy Story stayed fresh, and may have even gotten BETTER, if that’s possible.

The movie begins with Andy getting ready to leave for college, and having to put all his beloved toys into the ATTIC! GASP. But in true animated feature fashion, the bags get switched or swapped and all Andy’s beloved toys end up at a daycare center, which would be all fine and dandy EXCEPT FOR ONE THING… a mean old teddy bear who masterminds a plan to hold all of Andy’s toys captive in the little kids room where they get TORTURED. Oh, the humanity!

One of the great things about this movie is the fact that we still have all the toys we know and love around, but there are many new toys around at the daycare as well, to keep things fresh. One standout is Ken, who takes an immediate liking to Barbie and tries to woo her constantly. Buzz gets somehow reset to his factory settings, but instead is turned into a Spanish speaking Casanova, and all the while Woody is on his own, trying to get back to Andy’s house but getting intercepted by an adorable little girl instead.

There’s a very tension ridden scene involving all the toys we’ve grown to love and an incinerator towards the end of this movie, but thankfully (spoiler alert) they survive. And then we come to the end of this story, a wonderful (tear-inducing) conclusion to an incredible trilogy.

It’s amazing that we've come to expect such a high standard of both animation and storytelling from a production company as we have from Pixar, but the more amazing thing is the fact that they always deliver. They are a truly innovative company, as evidenced further by this behind-the-scenes look from The New York Times:

As for my rating for this film, it’s hard to compare it with the other nominees because it is such a different type of movie. But with that being said, there’s definitely a reason it was chosen as a Best Picture nominee — this really is filmmaking at it’s finest… great story, memorable characters, and an entire animated world — beautifully created from scratch. Compared to any other animated movie I’d give it a perfect score, hands down, but in this race I’m giving it 3.5 Marci’s on the Marci scale. I’m also giving it my very own 2011 “Nostalgia Award.” Well played, Toy Story 3. Well played.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the house that built me. miranda lambert.

going home tomorrow...can't wait.


ran 1 mile

50 double unders
50 sit ups
40 double unders
40 sit ups
30 double unders
30 sit ups
20 double unders
20 sit ups
10 double unders
10 sit ups


kind of proud of that one even though it's not the best time... I used to not be able to string together many double unders at all, and now I can bang out a work out like this! ...even though the double under sets were far from unbroken

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

morning wod

Dropped my little hooverpuff off at the airport bright and early this morning so she can get herself to HAWAII!!!!!! After I was done being super jealous (my jealousy level remains at "standard jealous"), I decided to hit up the gym since I was awake.

4 rounds for time of:
800 M run
20 kb swings (20#)
12 pull ups


then some ab work, and worked on handstands!!!

Morning workouts leave me feeling good for the day. Wish I had the discipline to get out of bed early every day... oh well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


biked 10 miles (stationary)

ran .5 miles
tough running after the ride...gotta work on that!

3 ab progressions

sticky situation

Dan Mills - Sticky Situation from Chris Lavigne on Vimeo.

adorable looking animal of the week

via f yea baby animals

Monday, February 14, 2011

sea of love. cat power.


Five rounds of:
5 Dumbbell deadlifts
5 Dumbbell hang cleans
5 Dumbbell push presses
5 Dumbbell squats

Increase the load each round. Rest as necessary between rounds.


ran .5 miles. 4 minutes

biked 5 miles. 18:48

another reason i want a dog....

So I can put this on it:

via etsy

my tv man

What better way to spend Valentine's Day than follow an online chart about who my ideal tv boyfriend would be? Especially when the person that happens to be my suitable Valentine is none other than... TIM RIGGINS!

Not gonna lie, once I got to a certain point I kind of figured if I said "whatevs" to jail I'd get Tim. So I guess you have to take my results with a grain of salt.

Guess it doesn't matter all that much anyways since he's a fictional character. But for today...I'll take it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

sunday run

1.5 miles


Saturday, February 12, 2011

open door saturday

Today was open door Saturday at my gym, so Hoov came along and we did a little workout:

5 min bike warm up.
500M rows - 3 sets.
Some stability/plank stuff.
Kettlebell work.

Best part? Getting peanut butter hot chocolate afterwards at Shake Shack. MMMmmmmm

Friday, February 11, 2011

music makes me lose control

here are my top five songs of the moment (picked from the "popular" section on grooveshark)

5. Marry You - Bruno Mars
It's so catchy that it talks about getting married and doesn't leave me crying/feeling dead inside. Now THAT'S a great feat! Thanks, Bruno.

4. What the Hell - Avril
Anything with Avril in it reminds me of high school. Since life's been pretty much downhill from there (I PEAKED TOO SOON) (just kidding...I think), I gotta cling to anything she puts out in hopes to relive moments past. Plus it makes me wanna dance, and it starts with this really deep line: "You say I'm messing with your head, all cause I was making out with your friend..." Can't go wrong with lyrics like that.

3. Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Mainly because I love throwing my hands up in the air sometimes.

2. 6 foot 7 foot - Lil Wayne
Gotta have some Weezy up in this joint. That's all there is to say about that.

1. Bottoms Up - Trey Songz ft. Nicki Minaj
Can't even describe how great this song is. Right from the start, with "IT'S MR. STEAL YOUR GIRL," Trey Songz (nice name by the way) has my attention. I can't listen without dancing, which makes it awkward at work since everyone probably must think I'm just seizing at my desk. But that's just how I dance. And then Nicki Minaj's rap takes it to THE NEXT LEVEL. This record's off the hook, dayum yo.

Hoover bonus
Hold it against me - Britney Spears

Hoover is bananas about this song, the first time she heard it she kept texting me over and over and over until I finally listened to it. I've got to say, at first I wasn't impressed...but it's growing on me.

So if you feel like dancing...have at it.


7 rounds for time of:
15 kb swings (20#)
15 power swings (45#)
15 box jumps


Thursday, February 10, 2011

heard it babysitting...

val had a lot of wisdom to share with me last night. first he taught me what offsides was in soccer, complete with a demo in his living room using a stuffed ball.

then later on we were watching NFL hockey...

val: ever see college hockey?

me: yeah...why?

val: its just a bunch of teenagers playing hockey. (points at screen) these guys really know the magic.

then he switched the channel to international FUTBOL. a goal was scored and they showed fans in the stands with their shirts off, celebrating.

me: look, those guys took their shirts off!

val: they're probably at the beach.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

nice nike commercial

via devour.

im going to disney world!

saw this on the treadmill today... never gets old. also i've decided i'm in love with aaron rodgers, so i started following him on twitter. this is surely a precursor to us dating.

lunchtime 5k!


not my best... but glad i got it in.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


2 for tuesday!

first, for time:

21 deadlifts (#45)
400M run
18 deadlifts
400M run
15 deadlifts
400M run
12 deadlifts
400M run


next made up a little work out i'm calling 5x25. pretty self explanatory. 5 movements, 25 reps. for time:
25 box jumps
25 push ups
25 burpees
25 sit ups
25 double unders


math nerd note: thought it was funny my time was 7:49, since i got my number of reps by squaring the number of motions (5x5=25) and seven squared is 49. these are the things I think about when I'm walking around the gym...NERD ALERT!

funny looking animal of the week!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Superbowl 2011 Commercials - CREAM OF THE CROP

The Super Bowl is probably one of the most exciting days of my year. You might be thinking to yourself, but are a Bills fan. But I think Super Bowl Sunday is a day any sports fan can enjoy, and it doesn't hurt that usually you watch it with lots of friends, food and drinks.

Plus since I'm a huge advertising nerd, I have yet another reason to tune in -- the ads. Although overall I wasn't blown away with the commercials as a whole, here are ten that I enjoyed. I hope you do as well!


For me, the best spot of the night was the VW commercial featuring a little guy trying to use the force on various objects to no avail. Then something miraculous happens. I think this was a really cute and memorable spot that also was relevant to a specific product feature. Take a look:

VW - The Force

Sure there were dogs standing up serving people drinks in one ad, but the animal spot that really resonated with me was this little gem from Bridgestone:

Bridgeston - Carma

This spot for the NFL was done by Grey Advertising, one of our "sister companies." So it was actually screened the Thursday before the Super Bowl at a Happy Hour. Might resonate more with me since I love television so much, but I thought it was pretty cool with all the alterations to the original footage. Have a look:

NFL - American Family

This Doritos spot has a funny shock factor and got a big reaction at our Super Bowl viewing party. Everyone agreed that they took it a bit too far with the pants at the end, though. See for yourself:

Doritos - The Best Part

Fairly good amount of animated spots last's the one I thought was done best:

VW - Black Beetle

I love the tone of this spot. Also love that Faith Hill's just kinda in it. Check it:

Teleflora - Help Me Faith

Taking off with the concept they introduced last year with Betty White, Snickers continued a pretty clever concept this year:

Snickers - Logging

BEST SONG OF THE NIGHT (Including the Halftime Show and National Anthem)
Might just be partial to this Elton John diddy, but I rather enjoyed this commercial:

Budweiser - Wild West

Part of Audi's whole "Startled Smart" campaign, here we see several people trying to escape from Luxury Prison. I don't know why they'd want to leave really. As I watched them escape I was dining on some delicious quail, and listening to some smooth jazz with a cardigan wrapped around my shoulders. If that's not the dream I don't know what is. Anyways, I digress. The spot:

Audi - Release the Hounds

This spot goes through a variety of scenarios before finally coming back to where we started. Since I'm a fan of all things silly, this one kind of made me giggle:

Carmax - Kid in a Candy Store

Alright, that about does it with my notable commercials from the evening. Hopefully next year there are a few more inspiring spots, and less where people are getting knocked over or hurt in some way.


150 wall ball shots (8#)

run 1 mile

ab work

Saturday, February 05, 2011

rainy day run

12 minutes.
1.42 miles.

crap weather! lots of slush

Friday, February 04, 2011

lunchtime wod

had a few problems with people on equipment, so this turned out to be out of the order I originally intended. also just threw 100 double unders in there while i waited... here's what I ended up with:

15 thrusters (50#)
15 pull ups
21 thrusters (40#)
36 thursters (30#)
21 jumping pull ups
100 double unders
36 pull ups

kinda weird, but... did what I could.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


For time:

50 box jumps
50 kettlebell swings (20#)
50 sit-ups
20 pound dumbbell Hang power clean, 50 reps
50 Back extensions
800 meter Run


cool down:
bike 2 miles

Nike Cooperstown Heritage

Nike's new line of tee's honor some baseball legends with a special graphic shout out to their facial hair, and other accessories. They are pretty awesome, especially if you appreciate baseball and facial hair (as all real men should).

Check them out here.

funny looking animal of the week!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

good news, bad news.

good news! get to go home tonight and sleep in my bed for the first time in almost 2 weeks.
bad news! delayed plane!
good news! the plane will take off tonight!
bad news! not sure when it will take off!
good news! got a sick "virginia is for lovers" hoodie from the gift shop. long as I get home tonight the good news outweighs the bad I say.

morning run

2 miles

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

my friend care is amazing:


crappy hotel gym day 2.

four rounds for time of:
run 400M
12 burpees


then 3 ab progressions and 3 planks (60 sec each)

although the gym stinks, there is a pro to this hotel - its right near a pretty cool bar that has mug night tonight! buy a beer, keep the mug. count me in.