Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Valentimes 2013

When I was a kid my dad used to call it Valentimes Day, and I just know he knew it was wrong, since he's something of a pedant regarding grammar and pronunciation and the Mother Tongue (I blame him for my own current pedantry), and he must have just thought it was funny, but he occasionally insisted that's how it's pronounced.  Silly Dad.

Anyway, it's high time I bump that SMASH post down and post about the latest goings-on, especially as regards the romantic events surrounding the most blessed Valentine's Day.  I always think it's funny when people go on and on about Singles Awareness Day.  I didn't make a big fuss of being all anti-Valentine's Day before I had a valentine myself, that's just silly.  It's a holiday, and people can celebrate romance in their own way, even if they're single.

So, first things first, we went to the annual Hale Freezes Over race in Orem.  I decided to stick with the 5K this time around, and Julie opted (for obvious reasons) to sit this one out.  She thought about doing the 1-mile run/walk, but it cost as much as the regular races, and we thought that was kind of ridiculous, so she just waited for me and then we thought we could just take a walk later if we wanted to FOR FREE.  So it was a pretty good run, VERY cold, I think colder than the previous years, and for once the course was actually pretty frozen over in parts.  They warned us not to run for a PR this race, but to be really careful and watch our step and not slip and die on the icy streets.  It WAS pretty tricky in some parts, but I still tried to run my fastest without slipping and cracking my head on the ground.  At first I was amazed at how many runners there were (they said something about 300+ this year?), and how I couldn't catch up with any of them, but then most of them turned off when the 10K and 5K routes split, and then I couldn't believe that the 10K runners were going SO fast right at the start...  I hope they knew they had a couple of hills coming up.  Yikes.  Anyway, I had a hill myself, as usual, and it was really hard, but I was determined not to walk up it, and I didn't!  Woot.  In the end, I was 3rd in men overall (4th in everyone overall, there was one super speedy girl who came in before me) at about 21:32 (about 7:03/mile, though it wasn't quite a 5K...  Would it kill race directors to plot out an exact 5K?  Just at .05 mile at the start, for heaven's sake, it's like a block).  It's interesting to note that I was more than a minute slower than last year, but I placed higher.  I was quite satisfied, and mostly just wanted to be done with it by the time I crossed the finish line.  Of course we didn't win any of the prizes in the raffle, and then we finally had just had enough of the cold and took off.
Award ceremony.  Vry srs.
They had pretty cool medals this year!
She's so cute.
Since it was the Saturday before Valentine's Day, they kind of put a heart or two in the logo and acted like it was also a Valentine's Day kind of race.  I like their shirts, but they're always the same (but in different colors), and the artwork was fun at first but now it's kind of repetitive, and SOOO in your face.  I feel awkward wearing it because people will be like, YIKES, what?!?
Must we?
It's better than the Highway To Hale one though, because that's a Halloween race so it's the same character in the same pose but wearing a skeleton mask which makes it even more spooky.  New art, please!  I get that your golden boy illustrator designed it, but no one wants the same old shirt every year, or at least make it not cover the entire front of the shirt.

SO then that was fun, and for Valentine's Day proper, The Wife and I went to work like everyone else, but at some point someone had some flowers delivered to her workplace, and also produced some See's candy and sour cherry ball candies, and also posted this:
Any notable Photoshop skills I may possess I owe entirely to watching The Wife work
And then we had a really nice time having sushi and sticky rice and egg rolls and various other Asian foods at Amber's, as per usual.  (We were expecting my dear friend Seethong, visiting from Wisconsin to do some translating work for the Church, to join us for dinner, but he was all worn out from a long day of work.)  It's great to have a new fun tradition for Valentine's Day dinner so we don't have to fight crowds at restaurants and go out to eat on another night instead.  Then, instead of actually going out (ha ha), we stayed home and had Velveeta (The Wife's oft-chosen favorite) in bed as we continued our tradition of watching a Disney movie for Valentine's Day, and this year's selection featured this little guy:
Yes.  It's a great little movie.  I always thought Baby Mine was a very lovely and emotional scene, but this time, what with The Speck on his way, it made me cry like a human hosepipe.

And then The wife gave me this!
So much peanut butter!  It's humongous.
We thought it best if it were to be consumed like a pie, by the slice.
So that was Valentine's Day this year!  I don't think we took a single picture of dinner, OH, except for this one of the delicious cake that Julie prepared for us all to eat:
And there you have it!  It was a nice and cold and cozy Valentine's Day this year, and our last one as a childless couple, so next year's will definitely be different, but I shall never forget to love my valentine.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is This the End Or Just the Start?

I'm about to blog (hopefully briefly) about a fairly lame TV show.  I know.  I just don't know.

So, last year I started watching SMASH, and I admit it was largely because of some kind of TV crush I've had on Katharine McPhee ever since I really liked her on American Idol (which show I gave up on long ago, which abandonment probably had its roots in Katharine's absurd loss to lame Taylor Hicks).  The premise was kind of interesting to me, and the music was written by the writers of Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can and Down With Love, and when I started watching it I mostly really liked it because it seemed slightly similar to Glee except with much more original music (which was actually really good) (yes, you should click on those and listen to them), and less inappropriate behavior among high school students (pretending to be something it's totally not and appealing to an unsuspecting demographic), and also a lot less stupidness (or at least different kinds of stupidness) not to mention (for the most part) an actually talented cast.  So, the bare minimum of things that are actually worth watching on Glee, but then also not really like it at all.  Then the show started to really turn some weird directions and have some pretty rotten content and contrived drama (I know, right?  On a TV show??  The very idea), and some of the characters/actors were truly quite revolting, and some of the storylines were so absurd and pointless, but for some reason I couldn't quite pinpoint I just kept watching, and from the buzz on the interwebs, I'm not the only one who was sucked in and just had to keep love-to-hate-watching it.  But word is that there are a lot of changes being made for Season 2, including some of the main higher-ups/writers/producers/etc. and it's supposed to be much better.  I'm not sure that I'm actually expecting much improvement, but you never know, and nowadays there's ever so little worth watching on TV anyway that I might as well hope it turns out okay, right?

ANYWAY, the point of this whole post is that Season 2 starts today (mid-season shows, I don't know), and that has prompted me to finally post something I've been meaning to for many months, and it is THIS:
Yes, that.  It took me by complete surprise when it was happening.  It's the best thing that ever happened to the show, and ever since that episode I kind of couldn't get this song out of my head.  And now that it's on my iPod, I can sing along to it any time I feel the need (right, Wife??  You know you love it... I mean, right??).  A lot of it is references to the characters and what's going on at the time, but I think it's still enjoyable even if you haven't been following the show.  I'm not even HUGE into Bollywood, but I DO love a good flashy musical number.  (And never mind that people were complaining that it's an Indian number named after an Arabian story.  Who cares?)

So I guess I'll keep casually watching to see what happens, especially since there are a couple new cast members that look promising, even though they're writing out one of the only truly (relatively) decent characters, who, as it happens, is prominently featured in the video above.  I still think KPhee is watchable, and most of the music is pretty good.  But mostly the original music.  The covers are meh.
Did I really just blog about SMASH?  I guess I did.  Mostly I really did want to post this video when its episode aired, and just wanted to have this link ready whenever I needed to refer to it, I guess.  Ha.  *facepalm*

UPDATE:  Yes, erm, I may or may not have listened to this like ten times today (so far...) in the course of writing this post...  Oh me.