Monday, February 16, 2009

A Fresh Take on an Old Character

I had the pleasure of watching "Rocky Balboa," the newest movie in the Rocky boxing series, last week. And the fact that I found it a pleasure was quite appalling, to be honest. As the movie opened, I didn't necessarily plan on staying awake for the whole thing. And yet, despite the fact that I've only seen one other Rocky movie in my life (which I think was the first one... but it's hard to say, I was incredibly young at the time), Rocky's character began to grow on me. I can't vouch for any of the previous movies, but I found myself enjoying Rocky's simple, black and white perspective on the world, along with his say-it-like-it-is personality. He is a character who is determinedly hopeful, who seems to think that, yes, one person can change the world, one person at a time. And that, yes, everyone does deserve respect. I found these attributes rather surprising, considering it was just one in a long line of movies aimed at proving that one man was the best in the world. How delightfully pleasant to discover his humble personality instead of an ego driven machine. Even the acting was good. And I'm the first person to make fun of actors who seem to capitalize on big muscles and gruff voices. I can't really say I've ever been impressed with Sylvester Stallone in any other movie, but this performance was phenomenal.

I don't know, maybe it was simply that because I had such low standards the averageness of the film took me off guard. But I have a sneaky suspicion that this truly is a fantastic film. I'm also not quite convinced that I'd like Rocky's character in all the preceding movies, since their previews certainly never did anything for me. Nevertheless, that almost adds to the reason I like this film so much; it's enjoyable to see Rocky as a green boxer in his 20s, trying to win a girl and attain glory, and then mature into a guy who finds pleasure in the simple things, has his head on straight, and sees through the facade of fame. A very likable character, and very refreshing personality and a very excellent movie.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winthrop Ski Trip

I was lucky enough to take an extended break last weekend, and stole away to an area near Winthrop, WA. I was able to spend two nights in a small cabin, trading in indoor facilities and running water for quality time with the fam. It was awfully cold, I won't lie... especially the ski back down the hill... The way up we had to fight for, but the way down was one loooooooong conveyor belt of chill. In any case, there were lots of laughs, lots of muscle building, and lots of character building, as usual. Here are a few pictures for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wild Sage, Seattle and the Steelers

My week flew by, and ended with a huge celebration. I attended a work party that was in honor of Mike, the man who is retiring and whose place I am taking at work. They told me it was also to welcome me onto the team, but I didn't want to steal any attention away from Mike (who has been such a blessing to me as I learn all these new responsibilities), and I mostly wanted to get to know my co-workers better. As it turned out, however, I had THE BEST WINE IN THE WORLD. I'm not sure how much it runs, but try Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from Australia. So incredible. As was the calamari, which I had never tried before.

I left town at 11 p.m. after the dinner and headed to see Sara's new place in Seattle. Although the weather over the pass was less than wonderful, I appreciated driving through Seattle in the quiet of the night, the whole freeway to myself. (I am not so great with city driving, especially while I'm headed to a location I've never been to before.) The weekend was amazing. Catching up with girlfriends is a wonderful blessing. It all ended too soon, though! While I was able to buy several new outfits for work, walk around Green Lake (my favorite!), have breakfast with Sara's family, see an old friend from high school and explore Sara's cute new neighborhood, there was plenty we didn't have time to get around to.

I had a deadline, though! I needed to get home to watch Bruce do the halftime show! And man, I sure made it RIGHT on time! I pulled in right as halftime started. And Bruce did amazing. Blew my socks off. As did the Steelers. Normally I wouldn't care either way, but this particular season I watched more Seahawks games (because of Scott) and Steelers games (because of his best friend) than any other team. And the fact that one of those two teams actually MADE it meant that I HAD to root for them.

I'm off to veg out before heading to bed and then work tomorrow. What a whirl-wind weekend!