Saturday, November 30, 2013

Final Movie Marathon Weekend Day 2

Day two started with biscuits and gravy for breakfast (kind of a tradition for movie marathons). I wanted to get this movie marathon started a bit earlier as we had three movies to watch today and I didn't want to be watching movies all day long like we did yesterday. I wanted to make sure we got to play some games as well in the evening. So we started watching the first movie at 11am.

Joining me for Saturday viewing was Luis, Rupert, Dallas, Doug, Jes, Robert, Cait, Aaron, Tamar & Jen. And then later in the evening we were joined by Becca and Barbara.

We started day two with movie four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This was the first movie that I felt they could have split into two movies. This was the first book that was double the size of the previous three books. They had to cut so much of the story out, if it didn't involve Harry then it had to go. I still very much enjoyed this movie even with all the cuts, but it could have been an amazing two movies.

For lunch we kind of snacked on left overs, we had turkey and sides from Thanksgiving and Aaron's sandwich supplies. We took a quick 15 minute break before starting the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

This movie had the introduction of one of my favorite characters from the books Luna Lovegood played by the "spot on" Evanna Lynch. I'm bummed that they changed the ending of the book, I loved the department of mysteries and them going through various doors and rooms. I mean I understand why they made the changes but still I would have loved to see some of those things on the big screen. At least they kept the final battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort, which was amazing.

For dinner, Robert, Cait and I drove to pick up some pizza in town. When we got back we started our final movie of the night, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

I really enjoyed this movie, I thought they did the whole cave scene perfectly, it was just like the book. And of course we have the "big" death in this movie/book and that they also did very well.

Once again it took about 10 hours to watch the three movies. Afterwards a few of us did some shots. We then started a game of Cards Against Humanity. Most of us played. Robert and Cait were the only ones who didn't play and soon after went to bed. The rest of us played for hours. By midnight things started to wind down. Tamar, Becca, Jen and Luis left for the evening while the others were crashing at my place for the night. Once everyone was settled I went to bed around 1am.

Another awesome day of friends, good times and Harry Potter. One more day to go!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Final Movie Marathon Weekend Day 1

Since this is a four day weekend, I thought this would be a perfect time to have my final movie marathon in this house. We have talked about watching the Harry Potter movies but since there are eight of them it felt like a huge undertaking. But I wanted to go out with a bang as movie marathons have been a huge part of my social life here in this house for the past several years.

Joining me for the first day was Robert, Cait, Tamar, Brett and Aaron. Of course Robert, Tamar & Brett were here yesterday for Thanksgiving so they just stayed over night. And we were joined by Cait and Aaron in the afternoon.

We started the day with some breakfast and played a few board games. We were starting the Harry Potter marathon at noon. Aaron had brought some things to make sandwiches so we had sandwiches for lunch and got started with the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I love this movie, it's what got me into this whole Harry Potter world. After seeing this movie I went out and purchased (at the time) the four books and just devoured them. Then I got the audio books and would listen to them non-stop during my long commute. I was hooked and Harry Potter become one of my all time favorite worlds.

We took a 15 minute break to snack before starting movie two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

This was a great follow up to the first movie. Both were directed by the same person, Christopher Columbus and you can see that both of these movies had the same sytle and look. I went into this movie knowing the story having read and listen to it many times. So it was different seeing this film but none of the magic was lose on me. Soon as the first frame hit the screen I was whist away into the wonderful world of Potter..

I had not planned any lunches or dinners so when it came time to feed everyone I went to my pantry and looked for something to eat. I had plenty of pasta but not enough spaghetti sauce so I drove to the local supermarket and paid way to much money for thee small bottles of sauce. When I got home I started to make dinner and we got going with movie 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

This is my favorite movie of the eight, it also might be my favorite book as well.The Potter world changed with this movie. Alfonso Curon really altered the look of the world and in my opinion made it look more like I had imagined in my head when I read the books. It was much more darker, Hogwarts was less fairytale and more realistic and I loved it. Every movie after this one kept that same look that he had started.

That was it for the movie watching, it took us about 10 hours to watch the three movies with the small breaks in between. We still have five more movies to go. Brett had to head home as he had things to do this weekend, Robert and Cait were tired and went to bed. That left Tamar, Aaron and I, Tamar and I did a shot, this was Tamar's first time doing a shot.. we then played some board games before calling it an night around midnight.

It was a fun evening of friends, food and magic. And what is great is we get to do it all over again tomorrow.

"Get Fit" Weeks 16 & 17

So the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. If you follow my blog posts you know I put my house up on the market and the very first day had a viewing and the next day they made an offer. So I have fallen behind on my blog and everything else.

WEEK 16: So for week 15 I weight 197lbs... and can you guess what I weighted on week 16.. yep 197lbs again. I guess I should be happy, with all the stress and craziness I haven't been working out or eating properly and I didn't gain any weight... so yay, but I feel like at week 16 (4 months) I should be down more then 13lbs.

WEEK 17: So another crazy week, lots of stress. On top of the house stuff it's Thanksgiving and I had an "Friendsgiving" at my place. So when I got to the scale this morning I was expecting a weight gain as I didn't really watch what I ate yesterday, but to my surprise I was still 197lbs.

I only have a few more weeks until I have to be out of this house and with that a lot of the stress will be gone. I'm still going to try and workout when I can. I'm running around all over the place these days so I hoping that will get me some good cardio workout. Hopefully by the end of the year I can get down to 195 lbs. That would mean I would have lost 15lbs in 5 months. And come January I can get back into my routine and start dropping the rest of this weight.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving / Friendsgiving

It's Thanksgiving, I'm having a few friends over later today, but first I made breakfast for Robert and I (some yummy biscuits and gravy). We prepped the Turkey and got it in the oven and then went and watched Man of Steel on blu-ray. Robert got me the movie for Christmas and I haven't had time to sit down and watch it. I saw it a few times in the theater but I haven't seen it since. I loved it and watching it again reinforced how much I love that movie.

Tamar arrived first and brought some games, so we played a few of the games while we waited for others to arrive. We also got started on putting together some puzzles that my buddy Chris sent to us. He is currently in Kuwait serving in the military and was unable to join us so he sent us these amazing puzzles so he would be with us in spirit.

Around 2:30pm I started preparing all the side dishes that would be accompanying the Turkey. Mash potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet roles. By 3pm all of our guests who were joining us for dinner had arrived. Doug, Jes and Dallas joined Robert, Tamar and myself.

We enjoyed a nice dinner and some tasty home made desserts from Doug and Tamar. Afterwards we hung out and enjoyed ones company. We watched some TV, played some games and talked. Our friend Brett joins us later in the evening.

As the evening came to an end Jes, Dallas and Doug headed home as Robert, Brett and Tamar crashed at my place as they were also joining me for the 3 day movie marathon weekend.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More House Stuff

Today I headed into the valley as I had to sign some escrow papers. I signed most of them here at my house but there were a few that I had questions on and one I had to sign in front of a Notary. The overall process was pretty painless, I was in and out in less then 20 minutes. I think I have signed all major papers for selling the house.

While I was driving down to the escrow place I got a call from Mary (my realtor). She heard back from the buyers and had their list of requests of what to they wanted me to fix. They had 13 items on their list, they wanted me to fix all 13 items or give them $2200 to do the fixes themselves. Both Mary and I said there is no way I'm paying any more money, that's just ridiculous. So Mary and I went through each one of their request and discussed if I should do it or not. Most were minor things that I knew I could fix myself for very little money. In the end I agreed to do 8 of the 13 fixes and offer them 0 dollars.

So now we wait and see if they accept my counter offer. They can either accept it and we move forward, they can counter my counter and we negotiate more or they can pull out and retract their offer. I don't think they will go that far. I hope they just accept my counter and we move forward. Now we just play the waiting game... I'll keep you posted

I did start on their list and manage to get three of the 8 requests done. Only 5 more to go.

My bestie Robert arrived tonight, he's joining me for my four day Thanksgiving/Final Movie Marathon Weekend...woohoo.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Home Inspection & Downton Abbey Season 4

Today was the final house inspection. They arrived at 2pm, inspector, both realtors and the potential buyers. I left and went out to lunch, they said that the inspection should take 2 hours or so.  While I was out and after lunch I headed over to Target to get a few Christmas gifts for my niece and nephew. While I was there I got a call from my realtor letting me know that they were done and that she would call me later with the details.

I got home and about an hour later she called me and said that the inspection generally went well. Nothing major but she expected that the buyers would have some minor things that they would want me to fix. She said that we should be getting their requests in a day or do.

During the evening I finished watching Downton Abbey season 4 (series 4). It was a good solid season. Lots of ups and downs but it feel a lot less crazy then previous seasons. I won't go into great details as the series doesn't air here in the US until January but overall it was another fantastic season and I can't wait to see where they take the story and these amazing characters in season 5.

I also got another screener, Blue Jasmine. They are arriving slowly this year. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Just Another Day

Nothing to crazy happen today.. I had to go grocery shopping for this Thanksgiving weekend. While I was out I stopped by BJ's restaurant as I left my Harry Potter (Wizarding World) cap there yesterday when we went to the movies. So I picked that up and then went to Vons to get some food. I don't normally shop at Vons but they were having a deal were you purchase at least $30 in food and you can get a 20+ lbs turkey for only $15. So that's what I did.

Besides that I pretty much caught up on some TV and continue to pack up the house. Tomorrow is the big general house inspection and after that I'll get the list from the buyers on what they want me to fix and then it's clear sailing to the finish line.

I did realize that it's only one month to the day until Christmas. I'm so bummed that I'll be moving during this time (if all goes well) as I won't be able to put up my tree or decorate the house. Christmas is my favorite time of year.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Catching Fire & The Croods: Review

Today I get to hang out with my best friend Robert. After a bit a of confusion on who was driving to see who, he made his way to my place. He arrived around 12:30pm and we headed down into the city to get some lunch and watch a movie. We were seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. We checked the times and saw that there was a 3pm showing, this would give us a few hours to eat. We went to a near by restaurant called BJ's Brewery, if you've never been it's a sports restaurant with TV's all over the place. Today was Sunday so that meant Football. So we had our lunch and watched some football. There was one game that caught our attention, Green Bay Vs Minnisota. It was towards the end and it was tied. Even though we were done with our lunch and the check was paid we had to stay to see if the tie was broken (it wasn't).

Anyways after lunch we headed back to the theater at 2pm, a full hour before the movie started and to our surprise the 3pm showing was sold out. We should have purchased tickets when we first got there. The next showing was at 4pm but there was an IMAX showing at 3:30pm. Now this is, what I like to call a "Faux MAX" screen. I don't know how these theaters get away with calling this an IMAX but they do and they charge an extra $4 per ticket. I was hesitant to purchase a ticket but we didn't want to have to wait another two hours for the movie so we got tickets for the 3:30 showing. We got in an outside line before moving into an indoor line and finally into the theater. We got some prime seats and we were ready for part two of The Hunger Games saga.

If you've been living under a rock and have no idea what The Hunger Games is. It's a 2008 science fiction novel (trilogy) by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

This is part two of what will be a four part movie series. This film begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

I have read the books and enjoyed the first movie so I was really looking forward to this sequel. and I have to say it did not disappoint. Like the book this movie jumps right in, no character introductions (well until we meet all the new tributes), it just continues from where the last book/movie left off. The majority of this movie is dealing with the uprising that started in book one. Katniss has become the symbol of hope to the 12 districts. The visual effects are better in this movie, it's been a while since I read the books but they followed the book pretty closely with just a few minor changes that didn't really matter. I had forgotten how little time takes place in the Quarter Quell. It's only the last half hour of the movie. 

The casting of some of the characters were not what I pictured in my mind when I read the books, so that took some getting use to but I cried, as I did with the book, when they were killed. This movie was fast paced though there is not a lot of action until the last half of the movie. The stand out performance for me would have to be Effie played by Elizabeth Banks, she's a hard character to like, especially in book one but she really shines in this movie and Elizabeth did an incredible job bringing this character to life.

I can say without a doubt that Catching Fire enters the small club of sequels to great films that manages to not only meet audience’s expectations, but exceed it. 

I can't wait to see what they do with the next book, which they are splitting into two movies. And I have to say I'm interested to see how they do this since I very much disliked the last third of that book.

I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a solid A

After our outing we came back to my place and watched one of my PGA screeners. We decided to watch something lighthearted and picked The Croods. Here's a quick synopsis: After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

I heard lots of good things about this movie and I have to say they were not wrong. This is a fun, entertaining animated movie. Lot's a great voice actors like Nick Cage and Ryan Reynolds. The animation was great. The story was sweet and had a lot of heart, it even made me tear up a few times. I give The Croods a big ol' B