OMG, OMG. So frustrated with myself. Grrr…
I first started writing this post circa 10 days ago (I know, I know, I’m so not bloggy lately…) And when I did, I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself.
Why? Because compared to last year, my annual frenzy of compiling my personal P + L for Hubby, who would in turn be meeting with our accountant to do our 2013 taxes, was going swimmingly.
In October, I’d gotten a head start on Project Personal P + L by attacking a small pile of Zip-Locs with a Sharpie. With my perfect handwriting (seriously, it’s amaze-balls – one work colleague said my penmanship looks like a font), I’d carefully labeled those little plastic baggies comme ça: Newspapers + Mags; Transpo; Business Meals; Office Supplies + Misc.
And within those Zip-Locs, I began stuffing millions of loose receipts that I’d been diligently collecting – despite the complete and utter pain-in-the-assiness of that endeavor – all year. Of course, loose receipts are just one piece of my financial puzzle; I also have to comb through my Amex and bank statements to get the whole picture of how I managed to spend every last dime of my hard-earned (very, very hard-earned) moolah over the last 12 months.
Along with my Luddite plastic baggy set-up, last fall I also created a positively banging new file system. Truly, it is a thing of sheer beauty. And again, my perfect penmanship figures prominently. Who needs an expensive label-maker that you never really figured out how to operate (Gadget Spazz, thy name is Momover Lady) when you can just craft fabulous ones by hand?
Every year – EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. – after I send Hubby off to the accountant with an [allegedly] complete recap of my expenses, I find stray receipts that I didn’t include. Some years, there’s a sizeable stack. Others, just a handful.
But I thought this year – after my October head start, after the Zip-Locs, the Sharpie and the new filing system with the perfectly penned labels – would be different.
And this morning, of course after Hubby’s sit-down with our money guy, I was going through a stack a papers and found about 5 receipts that should’ve factored into Project Personal P + L.
Totaled up, do those receipts amount to much? No. But that isn’t the point. The point is I thought I had it together on the filing front.
And clearly, I still don’t.
Yes, it’s February 17 but screw it – in the further recesses of my Mommy Barbie brain, I’m still thinking about Xmas and New Year’s.
My rationale for mentally clinging to hollies gone by is a three-parter.
Brace yourself, dear reader.
PART ONE: In which I publicly own up to unspeakably – shockingly! – bad manners
There’s just no way to sugarcoat this: I s-t-i-l-l haven’t written Thank You cards for the many beauteous gifts I received circa December. My personal record for latest-ever Xmas Thank Yous is July, so I figure I still have a little wiggle room. And besides, I never merely write a lame “Merci for the cadeau, Love Dana” missive; rather I endeavor to tell the gifter precisely and exactly how I’ve been using said prezzie in the shocking amount of time that has elaspsed since I received said prezzie.
But believe me, I know I’m kidding myself that a more detailed, nuanced, genuine Thank You trumps one sent in a timely manner. I am officially horrible.
PART TWO: In which I cop to not meditating a few days since January 1
Compared to the ghastly Thank You sitch above, I feel only a little bit bad about this. I really want to make daily meditation a habit, and I’ve absolutely made strides on that front. But I don’t think I’m quite at the point of mentally berating myself if I’ve missed two whole days out of the last six weeks. What’s important is that I get right back up on that horse again and ride, baby.
PART THREE: In which I celebrate a little gem found in my overstuffed InBox
I’m sure most of you received – either electronically or via good-old fashioned snail mail (my delivery service of choice once I finally get around to penning my Thank Yous) – one of those super-groovy word-search holiday cards like the one pictured here.
Essentially, at least with the electronic version, you’re meant to seize upon the first three words your eyes go to. These three words – whatever they are – will then inform the rest of your year.
Happily, my three key words for 2014 are, in this order:
That just makes me really psyched. Cartwheel-psyched. I like all of that stuff. In fact, I l-o-v-e all of that stuff.
Okay, time to go meditate and write a few detailed, nuanced, genuine Thank Yous.
I’ve known for a while – years actually, if I’m being honest, and I like being honest, because being honest totally leads to good karma – that in the interest of firing up my unspeakably lame, underperforming thyroid, I should scale waaaaaaaaaaaay back on gluten.
Wellness god Frank Lipman was the first to plant the “gluten is the devil” seed in my ear, circa 2011. But since then, loads of other health gurus whose opinion I trust – including Susan Blum – have talked vicious smack about gluten.
But here’s what I hate lately: People whinging on (man, I so love that word…whinging) that taking an anti-gluten stance is trendy. That it’s the food fad du jour.
There’s nothing remotely trendy about about shedding light on what is essentially a manufactured robo-protein created to make completely shitty-for-you bread and cupcakes spongier and springier, and stay “fresh” for a lot longer than Mama Nature intended.
Blech, right? I don’t see us tucking into a big ol’ bowl of Elmer’s. And yet, gluten is in EVERY. THING. It’s wicked hard to avoid it.
If I sound like I’m furious at gluten, that’s because I am. For two reasons:
1. In the days directly after eating it, my thyroid-related fatigue is off the charts. And I detest feeling tired. I still force myself to do everything I need / want to do, including working out. But it’s a bigger struggle, and I’m not big on struggle. I like easy.
2. Steering clear of gluten makes me sad. That’s because I kinda really love carby, bready, pasta-y stuff. But this morning, I was happy to read on HuffPost that quinoa is a gluten-free grain.
I guess that’s something to cheer about. Right? Yay quinoa. Grrr…
Ooh, just noticed it’s Groundhog Day! Love Groundhog Day!
Did Punxsutawny Phil see his shadow?
Will we have six more weeks of winter?
Drat – according to this on-the-scenes report from The Washington Post, ol’ Fuzzy Phil did in fact see his shadow when he scampered above ground, briefly, to grace us with his presence. Thus we are saddled with oodles more bundling up against brrrr arctic temperatures.
Still, I feel happy. Because no how you slice it, six weeks beats the living you-know-what out of the five-plus months of winter we were staring down in early October. In my neck of the woods, there’s a lot of winter. And Momover Lady abhors winter. She detests it…
Okay, onto more resolutely cheerful topics: Namely, the fact that I drove yesterday – with Hubby riding shotgun – and it was actually borderline pleasant and not too scary at all.
Compared to my last attempt at this a month ago – a white-knuckled 50-mile highway jaunt home from Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos – yesterday’s trip from Jersey City to the multiplex in Edgewater was easy, and normal, and not at all detrimental to my marriage.
I have a few thoughts as to why that might be, which I will now share:
1. It was a much shorter trip. As in probably 30 miles shorter.
2. It’s a trip I’ve taken, as a passenger, roughly 50 times over the last six years. (We go to the movies a lot and the Edgewater multiplex is never crowded.) Ergo, I know this route like the back of my proverbial hand.
3. As my numero uno New Year’s Resolution, I’ve been meditating every day since January 1. And without getting too hyperbolic and overstatement-y, the simple fact that I’ve been disciplining myself to do that every day – no matter what – is already having profound changes on my overtaxed Mommy Barbie brain. Yes, profound. There, I said it.
I’m guessing that what the meditation is helping me with is twofold: One, it’s calming me down, which is crucial to this relearning-to-drive jazz. Two, it’s helping me both aware and non-judgmental.
The aware part: Yes, I did notice – in the periphery of my big blue eyeballs – Hubby clutching his thighs in an I’m-freaking-out manner whenever he thought I was driving too fast or getting too close to the car in front of us. But that’s all I did. I noticed.
The non-judgmental part: After clocking Hubby’s freak-outs, I didn’t take it to the next level and start mentally berating myself, à la…You know what? I’ve just decided not to do the “à la” bit. You don’t need to read my Negative Self-Talk. Negative Self-Talk is bullshit. Negative Self-Talk is the devil’s spawn, the root of all evil.
The point is, thanks to a mere month of dedicated meditation practice, my driving-related Self-Talk has already swung from Negative to Positive.
That’s good news. Very good news. Amazing news.
“They” – the ever-mysterious, all-knowing “they” – say that a high percentage of New Year’s Res-makers bail on their resolutions circa January 17.
That’s not even a full three weeks into the whole self-improvement she-bang.
While I don’t want to get cocky, I do want to give myself a symbolic high-five. Of my three key 2014 pledges to myself – to meditate and dry-brush my skin every day, and systematically tackle my NUTs* – my track record with the far most important one (hint: it isn’t the dry-brushing) is stellar thus far.
*NUTs refresher course: These are Nagging Unfinished Tasks. I have oodles of NUTs in my life, ranging from teensy annoying ones like sewing missing buttons to huuuuuuuuuge whoppers like becoming a confident driver.
Dry-brushing refreshing course: It’s super-relaxing, “polishes” your skin to a fare-thee-well, and may or may not boost your lymph circulation. But I had to take a little breakie from it, because I was too aggressive, and my poor scrubbed-raw bod started to rebel. I think I either need to be more gentle, or scale back to about three times a week.
Back to the meditation thing, and why I’m so so so so so happy that I’ve been disciplined about this.
In short, it helps with everything else. EVERYTHING. ELSE.
Although I’m pretty sure what I do isn’t technically meditation – yet – and is much closer to imagery / visualization with the aid of some type of nature soundtrack in the form of crashing waves or crackling lightning, it’s definitely still building that meditation muscle.
That’s because I’m sticking to a routine: I turn off the lights wherever I am, plop down with my with trusty CD player and earphones, click on whatever soundtrack I’m loving at the moment – right now it’s “Rain and Thunder” by Lifescapes – and just breathe and focus.
Breathe, breathe, breathe. Focus, focus, focus.
I stop breathing, I stop focusing – bam! I bring my mind back to the breathing and the focusing.
And I’ve been doing it everywhere, including hotel rooms. In the past 20 days, I’ve spent 5 nights in hotels – with Hubby and the Wee Lass, IN. ONE. ROOM. – and I still manage to slip off to the loo to meditate.
Is it glamorous meditating in the loo? No. Would I rather be meditating elsewhere? Without question.
But I’m serious about this. I want to stick with it. Sticking with it is the only way I’ll get better at it, and reap its many, many bennies.
The Numero Uno benny: Feeling like I can handle whatever life tosses at me.
I can already tell that I’m feeling mentally stronger, more resilient, less prone to freaking out.
Case in point: I flew this weekend, and I was one cool cucumber, even when the captain came on and warned us of “substantial turbulence up ahead.”
Trust me when I tell you that if I hadn’t been meditating these past three weeks, I would have been gobbling Xanax like nobody’s business.
I love that, thanks to my meditating diligence, I’m a Xanax-free zone.
Accountability. Such a big, terrifying ol’ word.
But terror aside, accountability can be deeply awesome. Because when you make yourself publicly accountable for some action you want to take, there’s a higher likelihood you’ll actually do it.
At least I think that’s the case. Evidently there’s debate about this; I’ve read a few studies which posit that sometimes making a public declaration of intention makes us less likely to follow through. The theory is that saying you’re going to do something feels like you’re actually doing it, so motivation goes right out the window.
Anyway, for argument’s sake – and because it’s 6:27 in the morning and I’ve been awake since 3:45, grrrr times a trillion – let’s just go with Theory One: ”Public declaration makes you actually do the stuff you say you’re gonna do.”
For me, personally, this blog keeps me honest.
Like when I said I wanted to exercise 200 times in 2010. I got so freaking close – 195 workouts. Yay me.
More recently, I declared that I would share the driving duties on our holiday trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos.
And trust me when I tell you that, when push came to shove – and I was actually confronted with making good on that promise – I freaked a little. At least internally. I didn’t have any visible-to-others meltdown. I just got increasingly anxious, because of my FOD (Fear Of Driving).
While he absolutely does want me to get over my FOD already, Hubby was indifferent about my partaking in the driving duties for the Great Wolf trek. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that he wasn’t especially keen on it. And why would he be, really? He drives confidently, and super-aggressively, and gets us everywhere we need to go in a fast and furious manner.
But since I’d stated, right here on this itty bitty website, that I would do it, I did.
It was hard. And scary. Like four-lane-highway scary.
And I have to also say that there’s a world of difference between cruising along serenely with Driving Instructor Danny at my right (with his trusty instructor-side brake at the ready) and white-knuckling it with Hubby in the passenger’s seat.
I love Hubby. Hubby rocks as both a Hubby and a Papa Bear.
But he’s impatient – and yell-y and scream-y and condescending-y – in life-threatening situations. Such as me behind the wheel of a sizeable SUV, on a new-to-us four-lane highway, FOR. THE. FIRST. TIME. EVER.
In hindsight, it was insane for me to try to make the leap between my first time driving our “big, strong car” (that’s what the Wee Lass used to call it when she was a toddler, so so so so cute) and the second.
The first time: Crawling, slowly and carefully, home to our Jersey City pad from Liberty State Park.
The second time: White-knuckling it on a scary four-lane highway to the Poconos we’d never been on before.
I need to explore the middle ground between slow crawls and 70 mph. Translation: More wheel-time is needed on medium-sized jaunts, maybe in a 20-mile radius of home base. I’ve done that on all my lessons with Driving Instructor Danny, but now I need to do them by myself.
Sidebar: I also need to commit to listening to the verrrrrrrrrrrry strange self-hypnosis CD pictured here, which I nabbed on Amazon a few months ago.
I’ve tried it a few times. But it requires a pretty hefty time commitment, and I’m totally, totally, totally back into listening to my precious ocean meditation CD again. Swoon. Lordy, I love that thing. It’s embedded with theta brainwaves, so it practically meditates for you.
Meditating. Self-hypnotizing. Theta brainwaves. It’s getting über-crunchy in Momover World.
We’re only into Day Five of 2014, but I’m feeling super-duper optimistic about the year ahead.
Pourquoi, you ask?
Parce que I’ve been keeping up with my not-Earth-shaking-and-totally-doable-so-there’s-no-excuse-not-to-just-go-ahead-and-freaking-do-them-already New Year’s Resolutions.
They are, as the title of this blog post would suggest: 1.Meditating, 2. dry-brushing my bod before bed, right before dabbing patchouli oil on my wrists…aaaaaah, and 3) tackling my NUTs, aka Nagging Unfinished Tasks.
Here’s how I’m going about my little plan for world domination:
1. Meditation: I’m not inventing the wheel with this, but rather going exactly back to the routine I’ve blogged about on several occasions. Technically, what I do is a mashup of meditation and visualization – all to an ocean soundtrack. Faithful readers know that I’m sea-obsessed. Thus, my meditation sessions invariably start with me picturing myself at the tippity top of an extremely tricked-out lighthouse parked in the middle of Ocean Nowhere.
As I slip into my meditation / visualization, I get really specific about what I’m wearing, what the room looks like, should I carry a giant fat chunky candle in one of those chic hurricane-lamp thingies and park it on the windowsill before I gaze out at the roiling, churning sea? What color is the flokati rug today? The faux-suede banquets? How about a soft, powder gray? And what am I wearing? Let’s go for a cozy / comfy / sporty all navy ensemble: cotton shorts, V-neck T, hoodie and Fuggs (aka Fake Uggs – I don’t buy real sheepskin, only the cruelty-free phoney baloney synthetic stuff…).
I realize I get very hung-up on the superficial aspects of my meditation / visualization (wait…maybe I should just call it my medi-ualization…). And I could probably stand to formalize it a bit.
As luck would have it, January’s Zen Habits Sea Change Program “module” is A Month of Mindfulness. And just last night, my Ultimate Crunchy Crush – Leo “Zen Habits” Babauta sent out an email asking whether we intrepid Sea-Changers have any meditation Qs we’d like to ask him.
If I’m feeling a little bolder this afternoon, I may write and ask about whether I should toss my medi-ualization plan and apply a little discipline and structure to my meditation sessions. I’ll let you know if I harness the courage to actually email my Ultimate Crunchy Crush…
2. Dry-brushing. Unlike meditation, for which there are approximately eight-bazillion well-regarded studies attesting to its many 360-degree wellness benefits, there’s much debate on the World Wide Interweb about whether dry-brushing does a cotton-picking thing for us.
But guess what? I don’t really care if – as I’ve previously blogged - it stimulates lymph drainage, and reduces the appearance of cellulite and spider veins. (Although, anecdotally, I’m absolutely convinced it polishes the skin and gets rid of the flaky flakes…)
Rather, I just like to incorporate drybrushing into my nightly pre-bed ritual. Like my meditating, my dabs of patchouli on my wrists and my trusty sleep mask, it helps me drift into sleep quickly and easily. And given how much middle-of-the-night insomnia I have, those early hours of sleep are crucial.
One more plug for this ancient beauty ritual: It feels fantastic. That alone is reason to Just Do It.
3. Tackling my NUTs. Whether they actually coined the phrase or not, the smarty docs behind the “You” book series – Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen – have written extensively about dealing with our NUTs. When we ignore our NUTs, say these smarty docs, stress builds. Better to just knock ‘em off in a timely manner.
In my little neck of the woods, NUTs come in all shapes and sizes. Some take literally 10 minutes to dispatch and be done with; others are intimidatingly massive.
- An example of one of my small NUTs: As the Xmas break kicked off, I knew I needed to “fringe” three scarves that I knitted. One for the Wee Lass, one for my cherished pal Maryellen, and one for moi. I fringed the Wee Lass’s, fringed Maryellen’s and UPSd the scarf to her in Brooklyn (yay!), and now I’m just down to the last-half of the one I knitted for myself. While I completely loooooooooooove to knit, I completely don’t looooooooooooove to fringe. So the fact that I’ve fringed 2.5 scarves in the past week is NUT Award-worthy.
- An example of one of my intimidatingly massive NUTs: Actually, there are two that are weighing very heavily on me right now: One, I need to build a super-serious, business-y portfolio website of my work. And two, it’s of paramount importance that I really and truly conquer my FOD (Fear of Driving) already.
Okay, so maybe my FOD isn’t a NUT. Maybe it’s such a big issue for me that it falls outside the low-key, pesky-annoyance parameters of NUT-dom.
Still, I’d like to check it off my To Do list. And devoted Momoverettes know I’m desperately trying. Yesterday, for example, on our way home from Great Wolf Lodge, I insisted on highway-driving a good chunk of the way. It was pretty scary. I’ll blog about that tomorrow.
Clap your paws if you tripped over all the NutriBullet displays clogging the aisles of Tar-Jay, Macy’s, Kohl’s and lordy knows where else this past Xmas season.
I most certainly did, all the while cursing myself for buying mine off the World Wide Interweb rather than scoring a better deal at retail.
“Damn it, that one’s 10 bucks cheaper,” I’d mutter to myself. “Grrr, I coulda saved 20 smackers if I got mine here instead.”
What can I say? My crystal ball isn’t always working. Sometimes I pay a hefty price for being way ahead of the curve on these wellness-gizmo fads.
You see, early last month, after watching a life-changing NutriBullet infomercial at the gym while slogging thru a cardio session on the elliptical, I rushed back to our pad to place an order.
And I will say this about the NutriBullet website: Once I figured out how to click past all the stuff I didn’t want (i.e., chia seeds of indeterminate origin, and umpteen bazillion goofy Bullet-emblazoned portable cooler paks), the delivery was fast and efficient and I’m already grinding and whirring my way to a svelter, less Care Bear-y bod.
Sidebar: Is “svelter” a word? If it isn’t, it totally should be. Who wouldn’t want to look svelter?
Since I have the attention span of a fruit-fly (seriously, I’m like a 2-year-old sometimes, pinging from one shiny new project to another), I’ve been “free-styling” rather than using one of the many recipes provided in all the printed matter that came along with my Bullet.
And in the process, I’ve been completely freaking Hubby out with my ghoulish, kale-based concoctions.
Par exemple, as the French say, here are two of my masterpieces, both of which contain the freebie “cacao nibs” that came with my Bullet set-up:
1. LAME NUTRIBULLET RECIPE ONE
Fistful of kale
1 super-mushy banana
1/2 Honey Crisp apple
Sizeable pile of cacao nibs
Verdict: Pretty darn yummy, if I may be so bold to say so
2. LAME NUTRIBULLET RECIPE TWO
Fistful of kale
Tons of over-ripe pineapple chunks
1/2 Honey Crisp apple
Even bigger pile of cacao nibs (I was nervous about the over-ripe pineapple chunks)
Verdict: Bitter, and strange. But I slurped it down anyway over the course of the day because these babies are packed with fiber.
I know I stated, just a mere couple of graphs ago, that my crystal ball isn’t always working. But on the eve of 2014, I’m taking a huge leap and making a super out-there wellness prediction anyway:
Wait for it…
Healthy smoothies – with all the chunky, fiber-y stuff floating around in ‘em like bits and piece of un-ground kale stems and over-ripe pineapple chunks – will be making a comeback, knocking juice off its pedestal.
Why? Because fiber-y smoothies are more like a meal. You can make a giant one (with your Bullet, or a regular blender) and keep it in the fridge all day – sipping it whenever you get hungry. That’s what I’ve been doing this Xmas break – just one ghoulish Bullet concoction over the course of the day, and then a yummy “real” dinner in the evening.
So far, so good. I’m staying away from all the sugar-y holiday goodies in our house, and I’m looking and feeling a little svelter. Yay! Vive la Bullet!
Team Tracy Anderson is completely and utterly right about something: my ass is a disaster.
My upper body is looking good. With all the weights I’m lifting, and a ton of jumping rope with my trusty Tanita, my arms and shoulders are pretty chiseled. Okay, chiseled-ish. Not like completely carved from Carrara marble or anything. But there’s tone there, for sure. And, obnoxiously, I’m always making anyone in my orbit “feel my muscles.”
Shameless = Momover Lady.
Sidebar: I wish I knew how jumping rope carves your upper body, but I just can’t wrap my bubble-headed Barbie brain around it. It seems to me that my arms are barely doing anything when I’m slogging thru my jumping bidness. Today’s count: 2137 jumps. Good, right? Yay! Although when I was crash-training for my wedding, my jump-count was closer to 5000 per session.
Weddings = Olympic Beauty.
Okay, back to the topic du jour: Tracy Anderson’s assessment of my ass.
Faithful readers may recall the press event I attended a while back that featured a double billing of Tracy Anderson and the great broads behind Mama Mio, whom I’ve interviewed here before.
It was a fun, info-packed event, the gist of which is this: Complete and utter babe-ness comes from a combo pack of mega-exercise and slathering yourself in truly excellent skincare. Now that (unlike the jumping rope / chiseled arms bit) I can wrap my bubble-headed Barbie brain around.
At the end of the event, Tracy instructed her trusty team of personal trainers to work with all the editors to figure out which of her Metamorphosis DVD packs would work best to give us the bod of our dreams.
When it was my turn, the Team Tracy gal asked me what zone I felt needed the most help. “My stomach, definitely,” I said. “It’s mush since I had my tot-let, and that was seven years ago.”
“Actually, I think it’s your ass,” she said, hiking up my sweater to get a closer look. “You need Glutecentric.”
Fast-forward a year and change, and that Team Tracy gal’s brutal assessment of my figure failings couldn’t be more spot-on.
Although we moved six months ago, we only recently got around to hooking the VCR back up. That means I’ve been Tracy-less for a really long time, and I absolutely have the “droopy, shapeless” ass to show for it.
So last weekend, I gamely tried to do the “Muscular Structure Workout” piece of the Metamorphosis puzzle.
I usually do the “Dance Cardio” dvd first, and never quite make it to the Muscular Structure.
And why is that? Because I’m a cardio addict, and although Tracy’s routine is a killah, I can do it.
The Muscular Structure – which amounts to ennnnnnndlesss tush-toning leg lifts and kicks – is really, really, extremely hard for me to get through.
But I’m determined to finally do it. A lot. Before I even attempt the Dance Cardio part of the equation.
Yesterday, to prep for this new, painful addition to my fitness routine, I bought one of those groovy Champion Interlocking Exercise Mats at Tar-jay.
And I intend to channel one of my idols – Leo “Zen Habits” Babauta - who is always, always, always trying to get his legion of faithful followers to learn to be okay with discomfort.
If you can push through discomfort (read: ennnnnnndless tush-toning leg lifts and kicks), you can land on something great.
Like, say, a seriously bangin’ behind.
What special breed of lunatic sets her alarm clock for 4 o’clock, on a Sunday, so she can do laundry, blog and scan / read The New York Times while her husband (Hubby), daughter (Wee Lass) and extremely overweight Maine Coon cats (Thunder + Lightning) are fast asleep in their beddy-byes upstairs?
This special breed of lunatic (Momover Lady), who is about to head out on a whopper of a press trip to Costa Rica.
I’ve never been anywhere near Costa Rica, but I hear that it’s pretty schizophrenic, vibe-wise.
Apparently there’s a wild and woolly side, and a schmancy side.
Happily – oh so very happily – I’m headed to the schmancy side. Not that I can’t totally do wild and woolly; I’m a super-proud Oklahoman, after all. As an idiot child, I even used to ride horses bareback after school with my fellow idiot-child pals.
And on the subject of concussions, I will now segue, clumsily, to a movie Hubby and I saw yesterday on our weekly date: Out of the Furnace.
My, my, what a grim little piece of cinematic history. As I sat there literally covering my eyes for a big chunk of it, Hubby chuckled and whispered, “This was your pick, remember?”
Of course it was my pick; Christian Bale is my all-time fave actor on the planet. And I’m also mildly obsessed with Casey Affleck, especially after reading that recent profile in the NYT mag. According to that piece, Casey, itty bitty, skinny-mini baby brother of Ben, has a tendency to throw monkey wrenches in his upward career trajectory. Having done that several times myself, I can relate…
But because this blog traffics mainly in Mindless Superficiality and not Deep Issues like throwing monkey wrenches into upward career trajectories, I will now, finally, get to the topic du jour:
In Out of the Furnace, Christian and Casey play brothers named, respectively, Russell and Rodney. Big bro Russell is a welder, itty bitty skinny-mini baby bro Rodney is a U.S. soldier who bounces back and forth between tours in Iraq. And when isn’t deployed, he tries to earn extra dough by engaging in truly gruesome bare-knuckle for-hire fighting with hill-billy tweakers from the remote mountains of New Jersey.
Sidebar: New Jersey has mountains? Who knew.
I won’t spoil the plot except to say this: Christian Bale is bee-yoo-ti-ful in this movie. He’s emotionally beautiful, which is awesome. But he’s physically beautiful, which is even more awesome.
While Hubby and I both thought Casey Affleck’s blinding white, perfectly straight, rich-boy-from-Boston teeth undercut his credibility as a deeply troubled bad-ass, we thought Christian Bale nailed it, looks-wise.
“He’s still pretty skinny, though not like he was in The Fighter,” Hubby noted.
“Hmmm,” I said, faux-casually, “I think he looked pretty brawny. And his skin is amazing.”
(FYI, I believe in treading carefully when discussing the physicality of the Christian Bales and Brad Pitts of this world. And luckily, Hubby returns that favor. Almost never do I have to suffer through his waxing philosophical on Angelina Jolie’s pillowy lips…)
Where am I going with all this? Nowhere, really, except to Costa Rica at 9 am.
But I will say this, which I’ve said before on this very blog: Boy movie stars make me want to do pushups.
Brad Pitt puffing a ciggy, ripped to smithereens, in the movie poster for Fight Club? I’ve never been more motivated to hit the gym by a single image in my life.
Raw, craggy, dangerous – with zero bodyfat Brad Pitt = inspiring.
Emotionally and physically beautiful – with flawless skin Christian Bale = even more inspiring.