Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: January 2011

Random thoughts at 2 a.m.

okay so it is technically 1:47 right now. I should be asleep. I’m not even sure why I am not asleep. I don’t feel particularly stressed but I sure was tossing and turning. I even managed to annoy the cat. So here is a list.

  1. My cat is still nipping at his tail. In fact, he acts like his tail is not attached to his body. He acts like his tail is this fur covered snake that is sneaking up on him and trying to attack him. Sometimes, he runs in the opposite direction of his tail as fast as he can. Sometimes he bites at it. I have no idea what to do. I know a second vet business is in order. I know people use the term “crazy cat” but I’m thinking my cat may actually have some sort of psychological issue on this one.
  2. Been using runkeeper to track my runs. I am getting back into the swing of things but dang I’m slow. Also, my new shoes are great but they are obviously doing a slight difference with my gait because there are muscles near my ankles that feel complete different now.
  3. Union Pacific had a contest online to determine a rail route with a steam engine. The Little Rock to Kansas City Missouri route won. I will say one thing about Arkansas. If you get us in a position where we can vote on something nationally that is apolitically and doesn’t make us look like rednecks, we will come out in spades. We know how to autodial and vote every day for weeks. Choo choo!
  4. I am at my innate basic level pretty darn tactless. It has taken years and years of hair pulling and butt whooping by my mama along with the alienation of people whom I really liked to get me to where I am today, mildly annoying. But sometimes, even now, I will say something or given an opinion that just beats the shit out of someone. This week was one of those times.

Martin Luther King, Robert E. Lee, and me

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. — Martin Luther King Jr. — from Letters from a Birmingham Jail

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Yes you can kill the dreamer. Absolutely you can kill the dreamer but you cannot, i must tell you, you cannot kill the dream. The dream is still alive– Reverend Billy Kyles”

The last time I went to Memphis, I went to the National Civil Rights Museum. It is a wonderful museum that gives the entire history of the civil rights museum from the day of slaves to the present. You can see Klan robes, notes from SNCC, pictures of the Freedom riders, pamphlets from the Black Panther party, and a whole host of other things. There is also a movie called “The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306” It is the story of Dr. King’s last day as told by the Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles. Dr. King’s “Mountain Top” speech. He was standing by Dr.King on the balcony when he was shot. He was the guy who tried to call the ambulance.

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 from Marc Altshuler – Human Music on Vimeo.

Today I was reminded that Arkansas celebrates Robert E. Lee day and Martin Luther King Jr. day on the same day. For some reason, I was shocked. You would think I wouldn’t be. And there were people who were disgusted and there were people who thought it was perfectly fine and thought Robert E. Lee was a great man.

People thought he was great because he didn’t believe in slavery. He was offered a leadership position with the Union army but instead fought for the Confederacy out of a loyalty to the state of Virginia when it seceded from the Union. Some people think that loyalty is honorable. I think he sold out black people and his own views for that loyalty. I don’t think that is honorable. I think it’s a little bit cowardly. Mr. Lee did promote his antislavery views afterwards. Also, Arlington National Cemetery is located on property owned by his wife. General Lee went on to be President of Washington and Lee.

I think Martin Luther King’s view on Mr. Lee’s predicament would have been that he should have resigned and fought for neither side if he couldn’t fight for the Union Army if he was against slavery. (see the Letter from Birmingham jail). With that conclusion, I find it very odd that a day celebrates both of their lives since their views on certain subjects are diametrically opposed.

okay that is the short version. Heck. MLK day is over.

Shoes shoes shoes

I said I would give workout updates and so here I am. I ran on the 4th and it was the first time I had done any running in 2011. I didn’t do much running in December due to some illness so it was hard. Then I went to get some new running shoes.

This time I went to Go! Running in Little Rock. The nice salesperson had me take off my shoes, roll up my socks, and walk back and forth in the store. If you go to a store for the first time to buy running shoes and you are not asked to do this, turn right around and leave the store. This is very important. They do this to check on pronation. When you walk or run, your foot hits the outer edge of the first and rolls in a little bit towards the arch. This is how you are able to walk with an arch. It is supposed to be slight but if you roll in a lot, you “overpronate.” Overpronation is common for people with flat arches. If your foot rolls outward, then you underpronate. Running shoes are designed to deal with these various types of ankle movements.

I overpronate quite a bit. For the past couple of years, I have been running in Brooks Ariel. It is has been a pretty good shoe for me. This time, the people at Go! Running gave me a pair of Ariels and then gave me a pair of Asics Gel Foundation 9 (see picture below). I tried both and jogged a little bit. The Asics were a little bouncier and tighter in the heel area. I always had to tie the ARiels pretty tight so that my ankle wouldn’t feel like they were slipping.

I have since went out with my new shoes twice. I also wore them with a new pair of running socks. The bounce definitely made a difference. I didn’t feel the slipping anymore. I did, however, get a blister on the ball of my foot the first time I went out in them. The second time I didn’t.

Both the times I ran on the side of the road and I seemed to notice the slope more than I have but I am not sure if that is the shoes or the fact that it had been over a month since I ran.

Given the big adjustment, I am going to keep my shoes.

Yipee

My running shoes

Here’s a little video of Dr. Oz talking about weight loss.

Au Revoir Holidailies

I thought today was the last day of Holidailies but it might have been yesterday. I am confused.

Of course, I didn’t write every day for the 30something days that I promised and that’s okay. The reddit format was confusing after years of a much easier system. Also, there wasn’t an easy way to see every person’s entry. It seemed more spread out. I did get to read some new blogs that I have never read before and I always like the challenge of fitting in a bunch of blog entries near the end of the year. IT’s like Spring Cleaning for my mind.

This year was hard for me and I managed to perk up with all this blogging and sending out Christmas cards. I realized that the world is full of people who would be happy to hear from me even if I am not the best blogger or person in general. Really, who is the best of anything and how do you judge that criteria. And yes my friend is gone and I will miss her greatly but I’m still alive. At some point, you just got to keep on living.

It was fun guys.

Holidailies 2010 Badge

Black Swan

No one does crazy better than Darren Aronofsky. I saw the director’s cut of Requiem for a Dream and was in a funk for a week. I also threw up due to the sheer turmoil of it all. It’s pretty gore free. But it is an extremely well made film telling a very ugly tale.

So when I saw the trailer for Black Swan, I knew I had to see it. Of course, it wasn’t coming to my little town. (The lesbian scene would upset the Bible Belters).

Finally on the first day of 2011, I saw it.

The plot is fairly simple: Nina Sayers, an overprotected, innocent, fragile woman obsessed with ballet, is selected to be the Swan Queen in her ballet company’s production of Swan Lake. The Swan Queen is a role where the dancer plays two parts, the White Swan and her evil twin the Black Swan. The dirty old man director thinks she is innocent and controlled enough to be the White Swan but doesn’t have the sexuality and looseness to be the Black Swan. He attempts to remedy this situation by sexually harassing Nina.

Of course, Nina has issues and an uber controlling mother. She may or may not have a grip on reality. She is also the narrator of this tale. This is where the fun begins for Aronofsky and the viewer.

So while watching, the viewer has to wonder, “what is real? is she making this up? What was that?”

This movie uses a lot of mirrors and there the use of color with characters wearing black representing “bad” and characters wearing white representing “good.” The whole thing reminded me of the Jungian concept of the “Shadow self” from my psychology classes in college. In fact, after getting back and googling the thing, I was reminded that the shadow is considered the “seat of creativity.” Also, someone else has already addressed the shadow as presented in Black Swan.

So how much is intended to be merely a visual metaphor for the internal struggle between facets of Nina’s personality and how much is in Nina’s mind in the way of her having hallucinations and how much is reality? That’s the sixty four thousand dollar question folks.

I was fascinated by this film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It isn’t nearly as dark and depressing as Requiem for a Dream. The part of Nina is a “role of a lifetime” for an actress and Natalie Portman pulls it off masterfully. She is phenomenal and the Oscar talk is not hype. I will be stunned and disappointed if she is not nominated. I was pleasantly surprised to see Winona Ryder acting again even if her part consisted solely of having a nervous breakdown. The dirty old man director was good but I’m not sure he was “old” enough. Without the old, you might just think he’s just stupid enough to think harassing the girl would bring the desired result. Mila Kunis can act. She can definitely act better than Ashton Kulcher so there you go.

I am glad I saw this movie and give it a thumbs up.

Holidailies 2010 Badge

True Grit:

I saw True Grit

True Grit was written by Arkansan Charles Portis and takes place in Arkansas in the late 1800s. Mattie Ross is a farm girl from Dardenelle whose father is killed in Fort Smith by a man named Tom Chaney. Well Dardanelle and Fort Smith are real places. Fort Smith was the city at the border of Indian territory. As an Arkansan myself, I pay particular attention to how the media and the arts portrays Arkansas. Usually people get the accent wrong for one thing.

Having read the book before seeing the movie, I can attest that this version does follow the book more closely than the famous John Wayne version. The Coen brothers keep the narrator from the book, the much older Mattie Ross retelling her childhood tale of vengeance against the man who shot her father, and keep much of the snappy dialogue in the original Portis tale. Of course, these two elements are close to the Coen aesthetic of snappy dialogue and an “original” voice being the center of its tales. It is also superbly cast and even though there are some big names in this movie, the actors manage to blend into their characters and their celebrity vanishes.

This was definitely one of the best movies I saw in 2010.

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