Melissa Runs

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

Tag: 2011 (page 1 of 2)

About those “old resolutions”

Why yes I do post New Year’s resolutions each year and I posted a brief list last year.

You don’t have to click the link, I will reprint them here.

1. I will not let the bad things that happen to me destroy the wonderful that is within me (aka I will not let life turn me into a bitter old hag)
2. I will attempt the 100 pushup challenge (I WILL!!)
3. I will attempt the 200 situp challenge
4. I will attempt the 200 squats challenge
5. I will train for the Little ROck half marathon that I have already entered and do another half marathon later in the year
6. In attempt to keep myself on track, I will whine write about my workouts on this blog
7. I will be kinder and more assertive
8. I will attend my high school reunion this year
9. I will also be keeping track of my 101 in 1001 list

Okay let’s review.

1. YES! I think I did this. it wasn’t perfect and I did have some dips. I also managed to get in touch with some people from my past and that brought up some issues but I do think that overall, I made some progress. WIN!
2. err.. NO! I put this every year. Honestly the only way I am going to do this is if I post the results on this blog. Oh well, workout blogging here we come.
3. See above.
4. See above. I do need to do it and add some strength training. Just running is lopsided fitness
5. I kept up my training and did better than last year on the half but it wasn’t a personal best. Also, I didn’t sign up for one in the winter/fall. I had originally planned to do St. Jude’s marathon until I realized that the marathon had a time limit that would put me at a pace much faster than I go now. I should read fine print.
6. I didn’t do this. in fact, I slacked on this blog big time. yeah…
7. Well I was more assertive and got myself out of situations that made me crabby and mean. I think that was ultimately kindness to myself. Maybe even kindness to other because staying around fighting with people whom don’t respect you. Not good.
8. Not only did I attend, I helped plan that sucker and it was so fun that we’re having mini-reunions every year (or every other year) for the rest of our freaking lives… (okay maybe .. maybe not.. but a party next summer is happening)
9. er… I think so… maybe.. maybe not.

Well let’s see.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I am not going to lie. Ever since I saw the trailer for this particular movie, I have been waiting to see this movie.

Yes this trailer.

I devoured the first two books about a month before the final book came out and read the final one pretty much around the time it went on sale. I haven’t read them since. Yes, I have sweet the entire Swedish trilogy released about two years ago. As a result, I didn’t go into this movie completely blind or without some expectations.

I was afraid that Hollywood was going to fetishize the violence towards women in this movie and turn it into torture porn. Considering that Fincher is also responsible for the movie Se7en, this concern isn’t hysterical. The original title of the book in Sweden (it is a Swedish book that was translated to English) is, when translated to English, “Men who Hate Women” and it is very clear that the violence towards female characters in the book is not something to be glorified. This is a hard line to do when the basis of your movie is entertainment. It’s not as stark as it was in the Swedish movies and there are fancy tricks with camera angles but Fincher managed to not over do it.

Okay, this is Rooney Mara’s movie. She managed to get the slightness of Lisbeth Salander as well as the “weirdness.” Lisbeth Salander may or may not have Asperger’s. She managed to capture the “offness” while still conveying emotion at the appropriate times. She managed to be weird when needed and fierce when also needed. The viewer needs to believe that she can be crazy violent when pushed too far and Mara managed it.

The opening credits are a slick music video utilizing animation and Trent Reznor and Karen O’s cover of the Immigrant Song. It’s an over the top visual extravaganza that only a Hollywood film can pull off.

The movie manages to follow the book fairly closely although there is a big change in plot point at the very, very end. Both the Swedish version as well as this version manage to gloss over the fact that women keep throwing themselves at Blomkvist, streamlining the plot point with Blomkvist only being involved with Salander and the editor of the magazine.

I liked it. Go see it.

Proof that I am a nerd

I bought this book for fun. I am not a grad student. I am not a psychologist by trade. I am not a literature professor or English teacher. I just bought this book because it sounded cool. Okay I was a psychology major in undergrad but that was YEARS AGO!

TOTAL NERD!

Holidailies 2011

Is the “C” in Christmas for “creepy”? Melissa says yes!

Don’t get me wrong. I love a little HO HO HO as much as the next gal but some of the decorations and traditions surrounding Christmas are just plain creepy.

For example, this is a picture of the baby Jesus in our town’s nativity scene.

baby Jesus in the nativity scene on the town square.

What the hell? The hair? Those outstretched arms. The seams! Is baby Jesus a blow up doll?

Oh and it doesn’t match the three wise men or Mary or anything else either.

the nativity scene on the town square

So I am not sure. Did someone in days of yore steal the baby Jesus that matched the wise men and other “figures” and this was the cheap ghetto creepy ass replacement? I do not know. I just know that I have had nightmares about that thing.

Other things that have the potential for nightmares, ELF ON THE SHELF! The backstory, the Elf on the Shelf is Santa’s spy sitting in the house watching the children to know if they have been naughty or nice. there’s nothing creepy about Stalking at all, even if it is cute little elves.

AnD LOOK AT IT! That’s a “I will burn your house down while you sleep” expression if I ever saw one.

Source: flickr.com via Jaime on Pinterest

*shudder*

Holidailies 2011

Obligatory introduction

Yes I am doing Holidailies AGAIN! Strangely enough, I haven’t been blogging on a regular basis for quite a while so this should be crazy interesting.

I am Melissa. I live in Arkansas. I write on here. I run a lot. I eat a lot. I practice law. I practice piano.

I am currently hating that Red Solo Cup song. I have even gone so far as to compare it to Herpes. it’s never going to completely go away. dammitall. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the Fincher version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I am all over the Trent Reznor remake of the Immigrant song. The last movie I saw was the Muppets.

yeah this is all trivia but I will be writing later. I need my sleep.

Holidailies 2011

Death be not proud

I’ve been thinking about death quite a bit lately. First, my high school’s twenty year class reunion was last weekend. I was on the committee. I was in charge of telling everyone and their mama about the reunion and making the memorials for the classmates who have died already. I put some “Billie Blue” ribbon on white pillar candles. I also made these memory books that were to be signed by my classmates. The books and candles would be given to a surviving member of the classmate’s family. Five of my classmates have died, including my dear friend Angela who died about 18 months ago.

As I was preparing these books and reading over the group message that showed the other members of the committee preparing the rest of the reunion, I couldn’t help thinking about my friend and what it would be like with here. I went to her grave and talked to her. Even though I think actually going to a grave involves magical thinking. IF your soul is not part of your body and is flying around in Heaven or can go anywhere it wants, why would it hang around at the cemetery? But for some reason, I get some sense of calm going out there. So I went out there and looked at her flowers and thought about our high school days.

I wonder what life would be like if she was still around. I wonder what her kids would be like. They live in Missouri with their Dad now and I can see the changes the accompany puberty in their facebook photos. I wonder where she hid her will. I can’t believe she didn’t have one. Sometimes I can hear her in the same place where I hear my conscience, telling me things. It’s not an auditory hallucination but it’s in the same place, that same hard to define place where you get a message that tells you this action is wrong.

About two days after my high school reunion, I found that my junior year prom date Brandon had killed himself. I wish I could say we were close friends but we weren’t. We both shared a speech and debate class. He was a senior and lived at the Baptist home. I never heard him talk about his parents and his only complaint about the Baptist home was that they wouldn’t let him listen to certain types of music. He nervously asked me to prom and I went. There was an after party and he asked me if I would like to go to that and I said yes. Then when prom arrived, we danced all night and ended up staying at a friend’s house watching movies.

Later, in speech and debate class, my other classmates all gathered around me asking about my date to the prom. Apparently, nerd love is a hot topic. He walked in on me talking about it, turned around, and didn’t speak to me until a couple of years later when I ran into him at a local fast food joint in my college town. It was a moment where I acted exactly like I was in high school.

When I saw him a few years later, he seemed happy to see me. He said something briefly about how he was in college and then partied to the point that he had to drop out. He said he was working but it was a very brief encounter and he didn’t give a phone number and I didn’t ask for his or give him mine. I’m not sure what that means in the grand scheme of things.

He found me on facebook and had mentioned that he wasn’t going to his high school reunion because he wasn’t happy about his life. Then his account went down. Then he refriended me. Then I found out he killed himself.

ANd later this same week I found out Steve Jobs died. Well I don’t know him. I liked his views on life and his commencement speech at Stanford University is one of the most profound things I have heard.

I have no great wisdom regarding all of these deaths other than I don’t understand why them and not three other people. I know eventually death catches up with all of us. I know that we will never completely know the effect we have on others or what we mean to other people. It seems that we, myself included, get so caught up in life or so scared of rejection that we never really tell people how we feel. It gets lost in the chatter.

The only thing I know is that no matter how much time we have, it’s never quite enough. There’s always something else we want to do. So go after what you want and do what makes you happy so long as it doesn’t involve hurting other people. That’s all I know right now.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. —- Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement Speech 2005

Wordless Wednesday

When I grow up, I want to be just like Betty White.

Friday Five: Things are looking up

Apparently there is a lot of cool things in my near future so this Friday for the Friday Five, I am going to list them.

  1. The Arkansas Literary Festival. This is a fundraiser to raise money for the library but oh what a festival it is. This year has David Sedaris. (yes that one that talks pretty… well someday) Pioneer Woman. Charlaine Harris. oh the fun. the fun.
  2. I won two free tickets to see Hairspray at the Arkansas Rep. WHOOPEE!
  3. Next weekend one of my favorite professors is giving his Last lecture. He was hilarious even on regular days and I can only imagine what he is going to cook up for his “last lecture.” yee haw.
  4. Awesome work stuff! No i’m not telling you
  5. The weather is gorgeous. GORGEOUS!

Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents

I love running. It is on my bucket list to finish a marathon. I love traveling. It is on my bucket list to go back to Africa and to travel to a whole bunch of places. So I imagine my sense of anticipatory glee when I saw this book about a woman who runs seven marathons on all seven continents. IT has travel and running. Oh I will definitely LOVE THIS BOOK!

Except I didn’t love this book.

While the author believes that long distance can helpful spiritually and psychology as well as physically, she also uses phrases like “my inner divine,” “My inner warrior,” and “my inner bitch.” Something about this fragmentation of her soul in this language annoys me. I know that some of her language and description of her spiritual journey is from feminist spirituality writings. I am also very certain that she has read “Women Who Run With Wolves”

Something about her voice just bugs me. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it did lessen my overall enjoyment of this book.

Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor

George: You’re a monster – You are.
Martha: I’m loud and I’m vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody’s got to, but I am not a monster. I’m not.
George: You’re a spoiled, self-indulgent, willful, dirty-minded, liquor-ridden…
Martha: SNAP! It went SNAP! I’m not gonna try to get through to you any more. There was a second back there, yeah, there was a second, just a second when I could have gotten through to you, when maybe we could have cut through all this, this CRAP. But it’s past, and I’m not gonna try.

from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I learned this morning that Elizabeth Taylor died. While at the age of 79, she was old enough to go and with her myriad of health problems, she was definitely sick enough to go. It still took my breath away.

She was stunning and had hypnotic violet eyes. She was incredibly brave. She was brave enough to get married eight times, able to pick herself up after each heartbreak to try again. She had a myriad of health problems and yet kept going out to keep acting and raising money for AIDS research. She managed to amass an amazing amount of wealth and yet spent her time tirelessly raising money for AIDS research instead of fading into the life of a socialite.

She looked like an angel but could drink and curse like a devil. She was thin. She gained weight and she lost it again. She did so many things. She will be missed.


(small thanks to Bellesouth for finding this video first)

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