By the Numbers: May 2013

Birthday Month Recap!

Books

Total read: 11 of 36 (target was ~15)

Only read / finished two books this month, both for my Mystery Fiction class:

  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore — This book is a geeky book lover’s dream. The author used to work at Twitter. He almost perfectly captures the Bay Area tech scene as it might be viewed by someone who lives here but isn’t working in technology. This is one of those books that I wanted to hug after I finished it. I read it on my Kindle, so I hugged my Kindle instead.
  • Bones and Silence — Apparently this book is one in a series. I’m not entirely sure why my professor picked this one, which I think is #11 in the series. It worked well as a stand-alone book, but it took me a while to get into it. It’s English, and the author uses a lot of English police / detective slang that took me a while to figure out.
  • The Maltese Falcon — This one is a classic. I think I’ve seen the movie at some point, it was one of my dad’s favorites. But I didn’t remember the story. The story takes place in San Francisco, and that part is really cool. The story was good, and kept me engaged, but I wasn’t really a big fan of any of the characters.

Neither of these are books I would have read if they weren’t on my class syllabus. I’m not sure that mystery fiction is my thing. I used to love mystery stories when I was a kid. But so far, the ones I’ve had to read for class haven’t really grabbed me. I have two or three more books I have to read for this class (sometime between now and October). We’ll see if I change my mind as I read more mysteries and learn more about the genre.

Writing

This hasn’t been a big blogging month, or a big writing month. I meant to do revisions on my “Bridge Beat” story (the one that started off as a class exercise). I’ve decided I need to expand on it. But, I’ve been busy with work and birthday month activities, etc. So, I’ve been putting it off. Time to get back on it.

Swimming

My US Masters Swimming FLOG (Fitness Log) says I swam:

  • 15 of 31 days (target was ~20 days)
  • 24.21 miles (target was ~30 miles)

Second month in a row that I’ve felt like I’ve been slacking off a bit and not getting in my swimming workouts. I averaged about three workouts a week, which isn’t terrible, but I am going to need to step it up a bit (and possibly add in some strength training) if I am going to be in tip top shape by short course meters season this fall.

For starters, in June I want to swim at least 20 days out of the month. That’s been my goal since January, and I don’t think I’ve hit it once yet. This month I will.

I swam in my first open water race this month! Open water racing is to pool racing as cross country running is to running track. It feels a bit as though I’ve been “set free” in the wild to run an obstacle course using skills I’ve honed in the pool for decades. Sort of like only ever running on a treadmill and then running outside in the woods for the first time. Empowering. I am not a hamster.

Movies

We kept Netflix busy this month, averaging about one DVD per week. Plus, we actually saw a movie in the movie theater this month! In 3D! Shocking, I know. As you will soon see, the majority of the movies we watched this month fit with a theme that could be summed up as “good guys going rogue to beat the bad guys…”

This month’s movies were:

  • Silver Linings Playbook — I did not read the book. I saw that the movie got some awards or something, and that it had Hunger Games chick in it, so I rented it and hoped it wasn’t a completely dopey RomCom. At first it seemed like it was going to be a RomCom, but then it redeemed itself and turned out to be an entertaining drama. Greg even enjoyed it, which is saying something.
  • Django Unchained — somehow I hadn’t heard about this movie until I saw a trailer for it on another movie we got from Netflix. I really enjoyed it. The slavery parts were really hard for me to watch. I hate that we treated people that way. And the ending was SUPER cheesy. But, it is a Quentin Tarantino flick, so that shouldn’t be a shocker.
  • No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (part 2) — last month we watched (or re-watched, depending on who you’re talking to), part one of this documentary. This month we watched the second half, strangely enough, on Bob Dylan’s birthday! Weird. This month has been full of weird coincidences like that. I think Bob Dylan is an artistic genius and this documentary has a ton of great interviews and old footage. For someone who wasn’t even born yet, it helps put a lot of that music and surrounding drama into historical context.
  • Gangster Squad — I have no idea why we picked this movie. I think we saw a trailer on another movie we watched and Greg said we should add it to the list. It was not great, but entertaining enough, and better than I thought it was going to be. Watch it if you like good guys going rogue to stop the bad guys.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness — You have to see this if you like “Space, the final frontier.” It is a really good movie. And not just because brimming with hotties. I love space. The effects in this movie are so good. We saw it in 3D which made it even better. Just go watch it, and then come home and stream the next movie on my list this month…
  • Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (streaming) — I was a little too young to have seen this when it came out, but it is available to stream right now on Netflix, and since we just saw the newest Star Trek movie, which featured Sherlock Khan, I figured we needed to watch this one. It was surprisingly good! And after watching this, the newest Star Trek made so much more sense.
  • This is the End — we got to watch a special screening of this movie for Twitter employees and their +1 guests. Don’t expect anything deep from this movie. It’s basically a stoner flick. It’s funny, and gross, and has a star studded cast (Emma Watson! With an ax!). My favorite part (besides Emma Watson, who is basically the only female in the movie, btw) was the ending, but since I can’t spoil it for you, you’ll have to see it for yourselves.

And there goes another birthday month. I’m pretty satisfied with this one. Can’t wait to see what awesomeness my 36th year has in store for me.

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