Monday, February 7, 2011

Live life! Take the dance

Fellas, here's your protip for the day: Ladies love a man that dances. It's a huge turn-on for them because it's fun and it makes them feel good. Being able to dance like Ricki Martin is just a bonus, so don't let that stop you from getting out there and shaking your booty. Once you stop worrying about looking like a yahoo, you'll realize that you're actually having a blast.

Some people are natural born dancers, but most of us have to work at it. It's a skill more than a talent. It's worth putting in a little bit of effort to practice a dance if you don't have a rhythm bone in your body. I'm in the no rhythm group, but get a few beers and I can conveniently forget that. We're going to look at an easy dance and a harder dance today. You've already heard the songs if you've been to just about any party, bar or reception. You also saw a bunch of people dancing and having a good time. You're missing out on being alive if you weren't out there with them.

You're probably thinking how do I practice a dance without looking like an idiot? I don't even know how it goes. Well let me tell you about this awesome website I heard about last week. It's called YouTube, I guess it's kind of a big deal. So arm yourself with YouTube and grab a few friends that want to learn or fly solo if you're too nervous. Getting started is the hardest part.   

First off, the Cupid Shuffle (Music Video) is a damn easy dance to help get you started. It's an easy dance based on a simple 4 count. There's 4 steps and each step is a 4 count. Nothing complicated yet. You could count your fingers (skip your thumb) if going up to 4 is rough for you. Here's the Cupid Shuffle instructional video to slow it down so you can pick it up easier. Left, right, kick, walk. Easy breezy right? Take some time to practice a little bit and throw in your own personal touch to the dance and you're good to go.

The Cha Cha Slide is more complicated, but the song cues you well so you don't have to memorize a routine. Just listen to the words and go with it. If you goof up a little bit of it, then just go on with it and catch up with the next part of the song. It's not the end of the world. Remember, you're having a blast and the little things don't matter. This one will take a little bit more practice than the Cupid Shuffle, but it's worth it. The instructional video is the second one.

Here's the instructional video.

Next time you go out, you'll be ready to shake your booty with the best and the worst of them. Don't just sit around, get out there and shake your groovy booty!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Movie Review - The Last Airbender

I was bored Friday night after I came home from the bar, so I figured I would see if I could find anything interesting on Amazon Video On Demand. Amazon VOD works well enough, but I think that I may reactivate my Netflix membership. I don't have the time or really the desire to watch enough movies to make Netflix really worth it, but if I rent more than about 3 movies a month from Amazon, then Netflix would give me better bang for my buck. Really, I just use Hulu to satisfy most of my TV and movie needs, but occasionally I want to see a new release so I tend to use Amazon VOD.

To get back to the actual review, I came across The Last Airbender. I remembered wanting to see this movie when it came out, but it wasn't offered in 3D at my local theater, so I passed on it at the time. This movie also received some terrible reviews from the movie critics when it was released. You can check out the Rotten Tomatoes reviews. All of the previous didn't really matter to me, so I rented the movie. I'm glad that I took the chance to watch this movie.

I don't envy anyone having to make a movie out of a cartoon, but I think M. Night Shyamalan did well in converting the format of a 30 minute cartoon series to a movie. The Last Airbender was intended to be the first movie in a trilogy, so it has to be an origin story for the people who have never been exposed to the series. That makes it slow to start in a sense, but I felt the story was told with a reasonable pace. The action sequences were also good in my opinion, but the bending fights could have been more epic. That doesn't mean that they were bad, because I think they were well done. It means that they felt like they were missing that last extra bit of spit and polish. The acting was good enough for a story that resolves around a bunch of kids. I think the critics unfairly lambasted this movie. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I still want to watch the rest of the trilogy if it gets made. If you have an interest in martial arts movies or fantasy movies, then you will likely enjoy this movie.

What this movie made me want to do is watch the cartoon series from start to finish. I've seen an episode of the cartoon here and there, and I've seen the ending movie. It has interested me enough to add it to my list of things to do.

Full disclosure as an Amazon Associate

When I review or talk about a specific product or movie or book, then I will most likely link to it using my Amazon Associate's account. That means I get some money if my post refers you to that product, and then you end up buying it. It's entirely your decision whether you click on my provided link, or bypass my link and go straight to Amazon and search for it there. Honestly, I don't really care either way. I post this so that it doesn't seem like I'm trying to sneak in Amazon links.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smoke Detectors are EVIL

When the big snow storm came through, my branch of the power grid lost power for a few hours. I could look out my window and see other buildings with power the next block over. Talk about aggravating.

Anyway, the power went out at about 8:45 or so. I figured I was already sleepy, so I would call it an early night. I was going to need to get up a little early to account for the road conditions in the morning either way. So I'm laying and bed and fall asleep. BLAM my smoke detector in my bedroom starts going off. I'm all what the heck is going on here!? I do a quick check through my apartment to make sure there isn't an actual fire, then I do the wave a towel at the smoke detector trick to get it to shut off. I'm thinking that was weird but whatever I'm going back to sleep. I fall asleep again and then BLAM smoke detector freaks out on me again. Now, I'm getting aggravated. I have 4 smoke detectors in my apartment, and they're wired together so that all of them go off when one goes off. The damn things are so loud my ears are ringing. I do the towel trick again, and open up the window and my apartment door to get a breeze going through. No sooner do I get my door open then the smoke detector goes off again. By now I'm seeing red mad and just about to lose it. I take a few moments to collect myself and pull myself out of my anger, which is not the easiest thing to do with 4 smoke detectors making an insane ruckus while I'm standing in the dark half asleep and still ticked that my power is out. So I calm down enough to grab a chair to reach the darn thing. I yank it off the ceiling and disconnect the electrical wires with one hand using my phone as a flashlight in the other other. I get it down, and it starts going off IN MY HANDS. I reached back to throw the thing at the wall, but stop myself at the last moment before I go through with it. I yank out the battery and finally it shuts off. Finally, PEACE AND QUIET! By now, I'm too upset to go right back to sleep. I go through and close my window and door because it's getting really cold from the wind blowing in. I chill for a bit and finally return to being calm, then I laugh at the whole ordeal and call it a night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Exercise log

Today was cardio day. I put in 3.1 miles on the treadmill today. My normal cardio routine goes like this.
  1. Stretching to get loosened up.
  2. 0.1 miles at 3 MPH to warm up
  3. My workout distance at 5 MPH
  4. 0.25 miles at 3 MPH to cool down
Today I did 2.25 miles as my workout distance. Instead of stopping at 2.6 miles when my cooldown distance, I kept on walking. I was enjoying my tunes and it felt good to walk, so I figured why the heck not just keep on going. Best part about today is no side stitch. I had a pretty bad one on Monday for some reason.

I never thought I would actually like to exercise, but I'm really glad that I made myself actually start doing it. It's an awesome feeling that's hard to describe. It's an emptiness in your brain and a sharp focus on the task at hand. It's refreshing mentally and physically. You'd think that you'd be tired afterwards, but you feel good and rejuvenated afterward.

If you've been thinking about exercising, I highly recommend just starting. You don't have to go all out and get some crazy gym membership or anything. Search youtube for home workout exercises. Most jobs will have a workout room, or you have a friend with equipment that you can use. you'll thank yourself for it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The blizzard of 2011

We're supposed to get 12-18 inches in northern Indiana. I'll believe it when I see it. Got plenty of food and rum, so I'm more than happy to wait this one out. I work at the only place in town that won't close down ahead of time. To top it off, I'm literally a straight shot about 3-4 miles down the road. We'll see how things look in the morning.  I wouldn't mind taking the day off.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Quitting smoking - Day -4

So I pushed out my quit date to next Saturday, February 5, 2011. I'd rather than go through the withdrawals at home than at work. That's my reasoning, but I don't know if it's not just a rationalization to keep smoking.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quitting smoking - Day 0

As part of my plan to improve my health, it has come time to quit smoking. My official quit date is January 31, 2011. That is tomorrow as I write this. I quit earlier this year for my ex, then I took it back up again. We got into a fight and for some irrational reason I thought smoking a cigarette would help. Didn't help, just got me back to smoking again.
I know that the physical addiction takes 3 days to break. After that, it's the mental habit that you have to fight. I have come up with a few mind tricks to make these next few days a little more bearable.

  1. I have printed off a quick inspirational saying and put it in my bathroom, which is my inside smoking spot. It says "You are not TRYING to quit. You have quit. Moving forward, you are a NON-SMOKER." I'm going to put this up at work, too. I firmly believe in the power of mindhacks.  
  2. I have a ton of different gum that's a mixture of sweet, peppermint, and spearmint flavors. The different flavors will help me with the flavor and taste of smoking.
  3. I cut up some plastic drinking straws to chew on and simulate the physical actions of smoking a cigarette. This should help with the oral and hand fixation that develops from smoking cigarettes.
  4. I've developed mental imagery that I will use to remind me why I'm going through with the withdrawals. I picture myself in a hospital cancer ward. I feel the uncomfortable bed and the crappy hospital blankets. I hear the sounds of the respirator and the heart monitor. I smell and taste the nasty tang of sterilizing chemicals. Top all that off with the image of my young daughter laying on me bawling her eyes. It makes for a compelling mental image. 
The most important thing I have going for me is that I'm truly ready to quit. I'm sick of laying in bed and hearing myself wheeze. I'm tired of randomly coughing from smoking. I'm tired of losing my breath much more quickly than I should when I'm working out. I'm tired of spending $6 a pack to KILL MYSELF. I'm tired of stinking like an ashtray and always worrying if I have smoker's breath. I'm done with it and ready to get it over with.

I would love to hear any other tips or tricks for getting through quitting. There's no getting around the fact that it's going to suck. Once the sucking is all said and done, I know I'll be much better off, so it's worth it.

Big chunk of ice

Random picture I took on the way to the gas station. Massive chunk of ice, and I have no idea where it came from. Spring can't get here fast enough.