If you keep your eyes open, you can always learn new things. Here's a few things I learned recently.
There is always more to discover about my husband, The Gryphon. We were out for dinner at Bertucci's last weekend, and I noticed for the first time that he dug the seeds out of his lemon before replacing it in his Diet Coke. I had never noticed this before: I guess I thought he was just squeezing the lemon.
When I asked him, he admitted that he hates to have lemon seeds in his drink, because they can get sucked up into the straw. The waitress returned while we were discussing this, and with his refill, she gave him a de-seeded lemon. We gave her a good tip.
Kegs of Budweiser are cheap for a reason. While walking my dog yesterday, I came upon a Budweiser beer truck, where the driver was unloading some kegs. He was doing this by dropping them loudly on the asphalt so that they made angry sounds. The last one actually spurted some beer before he put a stopper back.
I have trouble believing this is how the Budweiser company wants him to deliver their beer, but I'm also wondering why there's just one guy on his truck who clearly doesn't have the physical strength to move these kegs. The whole thing was odd.
Words can affect how you view yourself. Yesterday, I was shopping at the Dress Barn for an outfit to wear to my upcoming 20th high school reunion. Some of the items in that store are on high displays, and the only way to access them is to ask an associate. I was interested in trying a halter dress with a handkerchief hem, so I asked an associate, and she offered to bring it to me in the dressing room.
She had trouble finding the size I wanted, which was an 8, and she called to me that she had either a 6 or a 10. Which one did I want to try? I thought briefly and told her a 10, then stepped out in a dress I knew I wasn't going to buy. It was snug around the hips, because it didn't have as much of a flare as I'd thought when I picked it up. She glanced at me and agreed with me on my choice of size: "Because you've got it going on," she said, and gestured to her own hip region.
I took the dress and thanked her, thanking her internally for her word choice. For years, I've known I'm pear-shaped. I never knew I had it going on.
Sean Penn shouldn't do accents. As regular readers know, I've been writing a series of reviews about all the Oscar winners for Best Picture. Blockbuster, however, mistakenly sent me the 2006 Sean Penn remake of All the King's Men, rather than the 1949 version. After reporting the problem, I figured I might as well watch it anyway, but not far into the film, I had to turn on the subtitles. Sean Penn's deep, growling Southern drawl was almost unintelligible. I think if I'd watched it in the theater, I would have demanded my money back.
I fell asleep before the end, which isn't unusual, because I tend to watch movies late at night. This time, though, I decided it wasn't worth rewatching it.
Das Boot deserves all the praise. After hearing people rave about it for years, I finally watched Das Boot. We watched the director's cut, which was nearly four hours long, split across two DVDs. While the movie is deliberately slow-paced in between the battle scenes, it is riveting. You really feel as if you're on a German U-boat, living through the horrors of war. At times, it's claustrophobic; at times, terrifying; at times, desperate; at times, joyful. This is one of the few films, though, that deserves to be this long.
Watching the making-of documentary and discovering they did it all on a sound stage was shocking. You really believe in the integrity of this ship, that it really exists and that you're underwater with it. Seeing the ship cut into cross-sections and moving on mechanical arms was truly amazing.
Now, that's a movie that's worth rewatching if you fall asleep.
I'm facing some tough competition in Real LJ Idol. I've been reading through the introductions written by my fellow contestants, and I can already see there's a lot of talent. I just hope that I can stay in long enough to learn some things and challenge myself, to respark my creativity.
There is no "sliding roofs" business. Walking the dog this morning, I passed some roofers. A quick glance at their truck told me they were in the business of "sliding roofs." A second glance showed me it was, of course, "siding" and "roofs." Of course, that got me thinking about how you could have a sliding roof.
Maybe it would have panels that could slide down to dump snow safely. Or maybe it would have a permanent water slide, like on a theme park, shooting safely into the family pool. Of course, you wouldn't want to do that in the wintertime, unless you're wearing skis.
You can lose weight by eating more. I went up about five pounds recently, which was frustrating, because I was already about four pounds above where I have been for several years. I've been doing the Weight Watchers system for years, and the way it works is that you get a base number of points (calculated by looking at the calories, fat content and fiber content of food), and then you can add on points to compensate for exercise, as well as an amount you can spread over the course of the week.
I got some advice from a fellow Weight Watcher who suggested I was sabotaging myself by sticking to the base points and not eating the activity and flex points. So for the last couple weeks, I've been eating a little more. While the first week didn't show any results, this week I lost one and a half pounds. Needless to say, I'm going to stick with it. That was the easiest pound and a half I've ever lost.
There's always more to learn.