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Star Trek Into Darkness

I like and do-not-like STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. I am conflicted. There are a lot of problems. There's also some wonderful moments with a charming cast. I could watch Spock and Kirk and the whole gang squabble affectionately all day long.

The main problem is, of course, the plot.

spoilers oh god spoilersCollapse )
I've been dreading writing this post. It's not even that anything all that catastrophic happened -- I fell down in some places, and chugged along well in others. But somehow, last Monday I just couldn't get myself in gear to write everything out and then Monday stretched into Tuesday and so on. So here I am now, writing it all out and cutting myself some slack.

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LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/461203.html.

Some Thoughts on Tom Hooper's Les Mis

Last week I went and saw Tom Hooper's Les Miserables. It's not a story that I was previously familiar with -- I've never seen the play and I didn't read any summaries before I went.

I did not particularly like the movie. I left the theater feeling confused and off-balance.

Spoilers below. I wrote a lot.

Why Sometimes a Play Should Stay a PlayCollapse )

(LiveJournal apparently murders words with formatting now. I seem to be losing the letters on either side of any use of italics. I've manually put the letters back in and fixed the HTML in the entry, but I can't be sure they won't disappear again. If the words look funky around italics, I'm sorry.)

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/460815.html.


January Financial Stability Post Week 1

The first week of every month is all about money moving around -- the tide comes in, the tide goes out. We get paid once per month, by check through the mail, sometime in the first week of the month. So a big chunk of cash goes into the bank at that time. As soon as those checks are available, I go through a pay all the bills all at once -- so a big chunk of that big chunk goes away again. In some ways this is the easiest part of the month: there's a nice fat number in our checking account. In some ways this is the hardest: that number has to stay as fat as possible for as long as possible, and there's still a whole month ahead.

So how did I do on my financial goals for the first week?

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LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/460594.html.

Best in 2012 - Movies

Below please find my thoroughly biased, unscientific, unacademic take on the best and worst movies of 2012. This is all from the heart, with a little from the head to back it up. I love movies; consider this my love letter to 2012.

(I've tried to put in links for things, but big stuff doesn't really need it, right Avengers?

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LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/460528.html.


shesqueals recently posted a frugality challenge for herself in her livejournal.  I was toying with a similar idea for myself and her post was the kick that I needed to settle on it for myself.

I went into 2012 in really good financial shape -- two out of four credit cards completely paid off and gone, a nice emergency savings cushion, and a good handle on bills, groceries, and house planning.

Then 2012 kicked my ass.

Multiple medical costs (including those associated with the car accident) wiped out most of my emergency fund.  In the final push for our big trip I stopped putting a ton of extra into paying off debts.  Sickness and deaths in the family made life topsy-turvy, which made it difficult to plan or carry out plans.  I got out of sorts with money and have been running from emergency to emergency ever since.

So I'm going to challenge myself this January to get back on the road to financial stability.

Focus for January:  
Lower spending in general.  Make a reasonable plan for what I do need to spend.  Increase my current emergency savings.

Here are my January Rules:
  1. Plan Ahead: Plan all necessary meals out for the week during the previous weekend. Focus on using food that's already in the house first, and then using simple and inexpensive additional items.  Occasional eating out is ok -- if it's planned and fits into the week's budget.

  2. Minimize Purchases: Select three days each week to be "Buy Nothing" days -- and make zero purchases on those days.  During the rest of the week, keep a running tally of all purchases made and my purchase rationale.

  3. Increase Savings: Make a deposit into savings at the beginning of the month. Take no money out of savings.  Bonus Points: Make an additional savings deposit out of surplus funds at the end of the month.

  4. Accountability: Post once a week with a recap and evaluation of the previous week. I'll try to post these every Monday morning.
I welcome comments with suggestions and support (that's part of the whole accountability thing).

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/460249.html.
And so it begins: blanket on the bed, sweater and socks, hot tea. Cold, cold, cold.

And a hat too. I may be getting sick actually.

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/459653.html.


Today the last payment for my car loan went through. Now we really own our car.

This is the third major debt that I've killed off this year. There are still big student loan debts and some credit debt, but finally finishing this one off is really good. I can put that payment towards other debts and bring them down even faster.

I need to work on building our emergency savings back up though. Pat and I both had to have dental work done and all told it probably cost up $2000 (our insurance pays for almost nothing -- we get reimbursement checks from them for $18). So, I'm crossing my fingers that nothing really bad happens while I try to build that back up.

But having finished the car loan is a big load off my mind. I've been looking forward to this for a long while.

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/458981.html.

Fitness/Diet Question

I need some exercise/eating advice and I know that lots of folks on my flist are dedicated to health and fitness improvement, so I thought I'd run my question by you all.
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Does anyone have any suggestions for calorie-dense foods I could try? I've been eating a lot of eggs and I'm kindof sick of them. I do drink a protein shake every morning post workout (with almond milk and frozen strawberries) -- I could see drinking another one in the afternoon maybe (they never make me feel full). Does anyone have any other suggestions for a mostly vegetarian? Any help appreciated.

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/458447.html.


Questions for the Group

Question for all you smart peeps:

I want to do more exercising at home and I'm interested in what sorts of equipment people find to be really essential for their home workouts.

I already walk a lot and I want to get back into running. I already have a yoga mat. I have a mish-mosh of a few hand weights. I've thought about rowing machines, but now I have a kayak so maybe not.

Some suggestions I've seen in books and online are:
* a more complete set of small hand weights (two 3 pounds, two 5 pounds, etc)
* an exercise band (in the pics it's a stretchy thing with two handles and some sort of hook in the middle -- you attach it to doors and such and then pull, or stand on it and then pull
* big inflated exercise ball

I don't really want to buy huge gym equipment or spend a ton of money -- instead I'm looking for a few simple items that might enhance the stuff I already have for free (gravity and my own weight). But if there's some amazing piece of equipment that will really help, then I'd be willing to research it further.

So what are your favorites? I know there are people who read me who are super fantastic at exercise and gym stuff -- what would you recommend as being really useful?

LiveJournal runs on rubberbands and plastic-jug vodka. Cross-posted from http://sleepymaggie.dreamwidth.org/456833.html.