Friday, February 27, 2009

A Few Lost Shows

I had to do it. I had to kill a few shows to make space on my woefully overcrowded DVR. So gone are season 4 of Prison Break and season 2 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It's not that I don't enjoy these shows; I just know I can watch them later on DVD, and at about 13 or 14 recorded episodes each, they were sitting there on the DVR - unwatched for months and months - taking up some much needed space.

I feel bad doing this - like I'll suddenly start aching to watch those specific shows, but I know it's for the best. Now, I've just got to make sure the rest of the shows sitting out there don't build up like those two did.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lack of Posts

I know it's been a few days since I was up here posting. It's not that I haven't had stuff to say, but its been mostly short story reviews and exercise woes. I suppose that'll be the case when running three blogs, each with its own specific purpose, all a part of my one life.

I just haven't spent much time the past few weeks living the entertainment life. It's been a life of exercise and work. I'll get back to fun.

(And there's always the sporadic Tweets that appear to the right, on this very page, to keep you informed of my more daily, singular thoughts.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Music

Picked up some new CD's today at Best Buy. I felt like treating myself, and I was getting tired of the mix I've been listening to for hours (literally) at the gym.

Picked up Erin McCarley's Love, Save the Empty, the soundtrack/score to Slumdog Millionaire, and Travelogue: Blues Traveler Classics by Blues Traveler. Listened to tracks from all three while working out tonight and am very happy with my purchases. All three are worth a spin and can keep you entertained and rockin' for hours.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week of Stories - Feb. 22

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Springtime À La Carte” by O. Henry * *
Tuesday: “Dog” by Deb Olin Unferth * * *
Wednesday: “Water Names” by Lan Samantha Chang * * *
Thursday: “Deb Olin Unferth” by Deb Olin Unferth * * * * *
Friday: “Real Life” by Donald Ray Pollock * * * * *
Saturday: “Ava Wrestles the Alligator” by Karen Russell * * * *
Sunday: “All That You Love Will Be Carried...” by Stephen King * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Real Life”

From the review: “The dialogue, the pain and suffering (struggle is a trait I imagine I’ll see throughout this collection), and the truth of small town life, are what give these characters their personality and depth. There’s one scene with an Oscar Mayer wiener that seems so absurd, so sad and embarrassing, that you can’t help but flinch and feel sympathy in the same moment.

Week of Loss - Feb. 22

This week I lost 3.8 lbs., and am now within 39.2 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I did well bowling tonight (for me). I was a little concerned before I began because of how sore my arms have been, but in the end, that didn't seem to have any impact on how I bowled. I do wish I could have found a lighter ball (I rolled with a 15 lb. ball - it was the lightest that could accommodate my fat thumb). I prefer to roll a 12 lb. ball so that I can lob it halfway down the lane. There is less of a chance that the ball goes awry if it only has to travel half the distance.

Game one saw a score of 114, and game two was a 124. My arm was starting to get sore then, so it was a perfect time to end. It was more fun that I imagined it being.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Late Nights

This has been a week of late nights. The time at which I'm normally in bed has now become my time at the gym. And of course, after working out and getting cleaned up, who's ready for bed? I have recently still had story reviews or work to finish, or even 10 - 15 minutes of Leno to help me cool down, calm down for sleep.

I'm sure these late nights aren't healthy, but they're the only way I can make the time in the day that I need to do what I feel I need to do. Balance is my goal - but at this point I'm at a loss at where to begin, what to cut, and how to make it all work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Girl Strikes!

The Girl turned my day around. As stressed and frustrated as I was, it turned out juice (Strawberry Banana V8 Fusion) was the cure.

I went and worked out - a very fun 2 miles of running, with a little over 3 miles of warm up and cool down walking - and some of the stress of the day melted away. I called The Girl on the way home to talk before bed, and as I was talking to her, pulling into my driveway, I noticed a suspicious shadow next to the garage door. Thinking I was going to have to get medieval on some feral animal, I swore under my breath before my headlights killed the shadow and showed me the juice. I knew immediately who placed the present there. And I thanked her for making my day.

I really like V8 Fusion juice.

I can't believe how lucky I am to have a girl who knows just what it will take to turn my day around.

Not A Good Start to the Week

This day has gone from great (this morning) to hell (tonight). As I was leaving work I was reminded about a deadline I missed. At first there was a bit of hope - I was told the deadline was tomorrow - but then I checked and found it that it was actually Friday. Last week.

The lady giving me a haircut - normally an experience that makes my day - ended up grinding the clippers into my ear. My cell phone finally decided it had had enough "Fatal Errors" and simply died. When I was taking my trash out from under the sink I noticed some water. Turns out the sink has been leaking. Brilliant, eh?

And now it's 8 and I want (not really) to go workout - it's a night to run - but nothing of my work - of which there is more than plenty - is done. I got the short story read, but not the review typed. All my posts on the Health blog were supposed to be caught up tonight (nope), and my promise to read my friend's article on his blog will also not occur. The Nutrition Log is current through only Tuesday of last week. Helium promises $5 on the first published article, but only if it's in the next seven days from the initial registration (so, due tomorrow). I kind of thought I might enjoy a comic tonight - my first in a month - but with all that's happening, I'm sure it'd just spontaneously combust if I took it out of the bag.

What a night!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week of Escaping Tweets - Feb. 15

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week - complete with COMMENTARY!
No Guitar Hero with my friends, mom. [This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory was hilarious.]

Lazy lady at work who refuses to turn on all of the lights on in our common area is going to drive me absolutely nuts! [As far as pet peeves go, this one is my largest and most frustrating right now. It seriously makes me wall-punching mad to show up at work, day after day, and find this happening.]

It's total crap - all my mail (except a $5 Rewards Zone cert.) was bills today. Big bills; the killers. [I did finally receive my tax refund which has helped with my money stress and difficulties.]

Got around for work with 5 minutes to spare. What fun can be had in 5 minutes? [Seems like par for the course – the only time I do find to have for fun is too short to use.]

It must be noticeable - the weight loss. 3 separate compliments on my appearance in the past 2 days. [The compliments are a huge added bonus I never expected.]

My walk turned into the first run of the year. And it was good. Not as tough as I would have thought. Go me. [Now I’m training for my second marathon.]

The gym is a dangerous place - so many things to workout on. I was there for 2 hours straight working out. [Still am going to struggle getting there – and then leaving after only 30 minutes – in the morning. I just bet I will struggle.]

Gas pump clicked off at exactly $25. I love round numbers. [Cool stuff like this is very rare.]

The DMRegister is now following me on Twitter. Cool beans. [I actually wouldn’t mind doing my writing professionally – have I mentioned that?]

Off to do Valentine's Day with The Girl. [Wonderful meal at Bravo! (veal – which was a little bland, but the marsala sauce was great) and a movie Confessions of a Shopoholic which was pretty funny.]

The weekend went by too quick. Way too quick. [I’m exhausted, and I’m off to bed.]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

Week of Stories - Feb. 15

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Witch War” by Richard Matheson * * *
Tuesday: “The Last Leaf” by O. Henry * * * *
Wednesday: “Powder” by Tobias Wolff * * * *
Thursday: “Frank Lloyd Wright” by Deb Olin Unferth * * *
Friday: “Dance of the Dead” by Richard Matheson *
Saturday: “I Kiss a Door” by Miranda July * *
Sunday: “Rest Stop” by Stephen King * * * *
Sunday: “One She Once Was” by Deb Olin Unferth * * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Rest Stop”

From the review: “I’ve had some thoughts about situations just like this – some much worse – and there’s just something about rest stops that brings such thoughts to mind.

Week of Loss - Feb. 15

This week I lost 2.8 lbs., and am now within 43 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, world!

My Valentine's Day started off a little later than I wanted, but I think it was probably all for the best. I had intentions to wake and get to the gym by a little after 5. I wanted to get in an hour's workout and be home by 6, so that I could get some work done before my plans with The Girl began in earnest.

Instead, I awoke at 6:30 and made it up to the gym by 7. An hour later would be 8 and that wasn't going to be so bad.


The gym is full of fun equipment. And I was easily distracted by doing "just one more thing." I ended up staying at the gym until after 9 - moving from biking to walking to running. Burned 1,200+ calories and worked hard. It was just what I needed to start the day off.

I'm feeling sore (legs), but amazed with my workout accomplishments today.

And the day will only get better. How cool is that?

(The work? Yeah, I'll do as much as I can today and finish the rest tomorrow - I'm not going to stress out about it all; things tend to work out just fine.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm a Heel

I feel terrible that I gave my buddy Neal a hard time for not posting to his blog, Midnight Sprint. I told him I checked it every day and that I was disappointed in the lack of new content.

So, of course, he goes and puts up what I'm sure is a great article reprinted from the Daily Iowa. And I say "what I'm sure is a great article" because once he does put up new content, I'm suddenly too busy to read it and respond - like I promised.

What a heel.

If you are still talking to me (i.e. reading my blog), I promise I'll get to it this weekend, Neal.

And if you haven't popped over to check out Midnight, you should. While it's full of different content, it's well done and entertaining in its own right.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photo of Ramona Flowers

Here's a photo of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers from the new Scott Pilgrim movie.

I love the comic series - and if this wasn't obvious before now, I'm sure it will be as more news of the movie trickles out and I finish reading the recently purchased volume 5.

The photo comes from director Edgar Wright's Myspace Blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Bee

I'm busy as a bee this week, what with work, exercising, and...well, those two are keeping more than busy. I haven't abandoned the posting here - it's taken the form of Twittering - which you can view on the right hand side of the page. I'm also still making posts on the other two blogs: A Year of Stories, Pirate and A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Brevity the Busy Bee. That's me this week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week of Stories - Feb. 8

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful…” by George Saunders * * * * *
Tuesday: “First Snow” by Davy Rothbart * * *
Wednesday: “The Phonebook Man” by Bentley Little * *
Thursday: “Loving the Dead” by Ronald F. Currie, Jr. * * * * *
Friday: “The Price” by Neil Gaiman * * *
Saturday: “La Pena” by Deb Olin Unferth * * *
Sunday: “The Man in the Black Suit” by Stephen King * * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Father and Husband”

From the review: “The joy in the story comes from the snowball effect of worry.

I Tweet

I have joined Twitter to give you even more pirate-y goodness. (Three separate blogs weren't nearly enough.) For those of you not in the know, Twitter allows you to post brief messages -140 characters or less - via your mobile devices (or off the web). It's a way to follow a person as they go through the everyday motions of their life.

You can see the Escaping Tweets on the right hand side of the blog under the information About Me. If you already Twitter, you can follow me that way as well (search "escapepirate").

I've always thought Twitter to be quite interesting, and it now offers me the opportunity to keep writing even when I'm far away from computers - like that week of RAGBRAI each year.

This should be fun.

Week of Loss - Feb. 8

This week I lost 2.4 lbs., and am now within 45.8 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Coraline Review

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
1 hour 40 minutes
Written and Directed by Henry Selick
From the Book by Neil Gaiman
Voice Talents of Dakota Fanning, Terri Hatcher, Keith David, and Ian McShane

* * * * (Great)

Coraline in 3D was great. I’m a big fan of stop-motion animation – have been ever since Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, also directed by Coraline’s Henry Selick. The addition of the 3D – here used more to add depth to the film (the very best use of 3D, in my opinion), rather than just pointless pointed jabs to make you jump (i.e. My Bloody Valentine 3D), gave the film an extra weight. My favorite sequence was the opening scene, in which the Other Mother is crafting a Coraline doll as the credits play out – literally – over the creepiness of the doll’s creation. (The Girl liked the scene with the hummingbirds; she’s a hummingbird fan.)

What made this film only a 4-star flick, was the – oftentimes – radical departures from the source material, Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. Normally I don’t get too hung up on details such as this, but after having reread the book recently (for the fourth or fifth time), it became glaringly obvious the wonderful lines taken straight from the text. More lines – more faithfulness – should have been observed because, honestly, they didn’t need changed. I can understand the additions made to make the film the film it was, but some part of me would have enjoyed the film a bit more dark and original, like the book.

Still, I recommend this movie highly to anyone a fan of the story, or animation in general. If you can catch it in 3D – you’ll be all the better for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Multiple Invitations

I'm being asked to Twitter and to write at Helium. There are new challenges being thrown down. The idea of a Flickr account has been tempting me for a little while. The girl wants my attention.

Where do I find the time? (Trust me, I'll find it; I am loving the hell out of all this writing - sharing.)

The possibilities are endless and overwhelming and amazing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Rules the World

The new Scott Pilgrim came out today. This is by far my favorite comic series being produced right now. I'm torn whether to just dive right into the new volume - volume 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe - or to reread the previous volumes before starting this new chapter. I believe I've reread before starting each new volume, so that's the direction I'm tilting toward. But, I'm so busy now, and that could take awhile, and I doubt I can wait very long.

Oh, the dilemma of enjoying something so much.

(And you can't tell it from the picture, but the whole cover - front and back - is holographic and totally awesome.)

A Few More from the Super Bowl

Here are a few more of the trailers I enjoyed from during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

I'm more than excited for the new Star Trek movie to come out. It just looks amazing.

I am one of the people that preferred Angels & Demons over The Da Vinci Code. The new trailer also looks great.

Will Ferrell is either quite funny, or extremely annoying. Lucky for us all, Land of the Lost appears to be Ferrell in the former. (It also stars the lovely Anna Friel from the late Pushing Daisies, and the hilarious Danny McBride from Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, and The Foot Fist Way).

Guitar Hero: Metallica - Not for Little Brothers

My brother (he's popular in the posts today) called to tell me that he heard Guitar Hero: Metallica would be coming to systems in March. He was not wrong about that. It'll hit the X-Box 360 (my system) and PS3 on March 29, 2009.

His concern was that there was no mention of the game for the Wii, his system. A little research on led me to this troubling - for little brothers - bit of information: Wii release of Guitar Hero: Metallica is May 31, 2009.

What a kick in the rock nuts.

Dangerous Roads

My brother sent me the link to a news article today. And I'm not normally the news-y type of person. But, apparently a group of pranksters hijacked some road construction signs to warn drivers of zombies and other dangers. The article poo-poo's the actions of the jokesters, but I found it all rather funny, and would have gotten a kick out of driving past such amusements.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Summer Blockbuster Mania (TOYS!)

Last night during the Super Bowl I was very pleased to see the trailers for two of my childhood toy franchise favorites: GI JOE and Transformers.

Here's the teaser trailer for GI JOE: Rise of Cobra:

And here's the teaser trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:

New Red

I was just telling to my brother the other night about how I tend to be oblivious when bands I already follow put out new CDs. I get anxious for new finds, but somehow - someway - lose track of my old standbys.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has a new CD, Lonely Road, debuting this Tuesday. I noticed this in the Best Buy ad for this week and jumped on over to their website. There they had a couple of neat packages in promotion of pre-ordering the new disc. If I was back a to my less-than-thrifty self, I'd have taken advantage of the pre-order (there were some nifty bonuses). Instead, I'll use my remaining Best Buy Rewards Zone certificate and pick up the CD after my dentist appointment tomorrow for $5.

I'll spin it this week and let you know what I think of it soon.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week of Stories - Feb. 1

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Girl of My Dreams” by Richard Matheson * *
Tuesday: “The Raft” by Peter Orner * *
Wednesday: “The Red Fox Fur Coat” by Teolinda Gersao * * * *
Thursday: “Maps and Legends” by Michael Chabon * * * *
Friday: “Brant Bites Back” by Ken Bruen * *
Saturday: “The Woods Be Dark” by Bentley Little * * *
Sunday: “Harvey’s Dream” by Stephen King * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Maps and Legends”

From the review: “I can see the appeal of moving to a city in its infancy, watching as buildings and lives and the eventual community, expand and prosper.

Week of Loss - Feb. 1

This week I lost 3.6 lbs., and am now within 48.2 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.