Fall 2013, Number 8: A Hitchcock Marathon

This isn’t super exciting to blog (or read) about, but it’s on the list so here’s the scoop!

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Let’s start at the beginning, which is back when I was in college. Studying Communications with a focus on video production means that you take a lot of classes that consist of watching and dissecting movies. Usually movies that were directed by someone amazing. Like Hitchcock. I remember having to watch a few of his earlier films and being astounded at how different they were than I expected. Hitchcock is typically associated with suspense and thrillers, but if you look back at his earlier work, you’ll find dramas and rom coms and movies that borderline on farce…and you will be pleasantly surprised. Because of that, at some point “watch every movie Hitchcock directed” landed itself on my Life List, and so I’ve been chipping away at it slowly for a few years.

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By the way…is anyone surprised to see that I have a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of items on my Life List? I didn’t think so! A few weeks ago, on a super cold and crazy windy Sunday when there were no football games that Pete was interested in (I KNOW. Trust me. I KNOW!), I sat down and dug up all the Hitchcock movies I could find online for free, then sat down to watch. Of course, Barley planted himself in my lap shortly after this whole shebang started….I imagine that is just as surprising as the fact that I have a spreadsheet to keep track of items on my Life List. Plus, silent film = no multitasking = no laptop = more room for kitties.

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First up was The Farmer’s Wife. It’s a Rom Com. Yeah dude! A Rom Com directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I know you don’t believe me, but you should take the time to watch this one (it’s available on Amazon Prime…and you will need time. It’s a silent film and they take longer because, you know, no dialogue to convey every message). It really does border on farce, and I loved it. There were a handful of laugh-out-loud moments, even.

Next on the list was The Manxman. Still a silent one (still available on Amazon Prime), but this time a drama. I didn’t enjoy this one as much, mostly because it was such a sudden change of pace after the hilariousness of The Farmer’s Wife. Also possible that I didn’t enjoy this one as much because, hello! Fours hours of silent movies for me, someone who doesn’t handle silence well! I realize there is music for silent movies, but still…no speaking for four hours. It may have been a bit ambitious for me. 

All in all, it was a great way to spend a cold afternoon! (Barley agrees) I’ve got eight more Hitchcock films in my Amazon Watchlist/Hulu Queue, and I intend to work my way through them over the next few months…I just need to be a bit more strategic about not watching multiple silent ones back to back. But for now: two more items ticked off in my Life List spreadsheet!

Fall 2013, Number 4: Celebrate My Birthday…

…by sipping tasty wines with some of my favorite ladies. (That’s a long one.)

When I first hatched this plan, I had every intention of heading back to the Farm Coast to visit one of the wineries that Pete and I visited and loved. By the time actual planning was happening, I decided that there are so many wineries around here that I shouldn’t be repeating any…just yet. A new plan was formed: tour and tasting at Newport Vineyards followed by some meandering through and dinner in Newport.

Newport Vineyards, Rhode Island

We did both the tour and the tasting. The tour was quick and educational. I think the last time I actually did a tour of a vineyard was in elementary school on a family trip to California. I have vague memories of a photo op pretending to smash grapes, and zero memories of the winemaking process. These guys did a great job including information about what makes their vineyard unique without sounding too sales-pitchy, and gave us a high level overview of the winemaking process.

After we all became wine-making experts, we moved into their tasting tent and got down to the real reason we were there: with five of us all willing to share tastes, we managed to sample the majority of the thirty seven wines they make. The two gentlemen working the tasting were great about making suggestions when we weren’t sure what to try next, and offered sometimes hilarious commentary when we were deciding between two specific wines – “this one is like a shovel of strawberries in the face” being so hilarious at the time that I actually made a note of it on my tasting cheat sheet. In the end, we bought two cases of wine between the five of us. I guess we liked the place!

Newport Vineyards Wine Tasting

After finishing at the winery, we headed into Newport (the Vineyards are actually in Middletown, just North of Newport) and did some meandering and shopping, and finished the night off with dinner at The Red Parrot. Dinner was tasty, and between the ability to continue window shopping while we waited for our table (their pagers have a one block radius) and the variety of food available, it was the perfect way to end our night.

Birthday Girls Day? Success!

Fall 2013, Number 5: Set a new 10k PR

Boston Firefighters 10k Start | My Monotonous Life

Where’s Sarah?! Should I have worn a stripey outfit instead?

This was my third year running the Boston Firefighters Memorial 10k – it was my first ever race at the 10k distance two years ago, and both last year and this year I conned convinced a bunch of my running peeps to do it with me. It’s a fun race with a great band playing after, and the weather tends to be perfect for hanging out post-race in a parking lot with good people. Plus, one of our running peeps happens to be a firefighter at the BFD, and we love to support him and his colleagues.

(I apologize in advance if you’re not a runner, this is kind of long but hopefully not super boring?)

I was  determined to set a new personal record (PR) at this race this year. The course in past years was flat and fast, and thanks to consistent bootcamping I’ve been running faster in the last six months than I have since I started running again post-college. The course was changed not long before the race, so I didn’t know what to expect until the morning of the race…which made me a little nervous, but it worked out great – the new course avoided the big hill near the start/finish that I had been worrying about. Plus, now the final mile (1.1 miles if you want to get technical) loops through the park that was a part of our regular stomping grounds when we lived in Lower Mills – lots of good memories to get me through the last bit of the race!

I lined up at the start with a number of ladies from the running club, but knew that some of them are too fast for me to even dream about keeping up with, and some of them were taking it easy as they had run the BAA Half Marathon the week before. I jokingly commented to one of them, Angi, that if I pace with her I’d nail my PR – knowing that I run with her during our regular runs when I’m trying to get some speed in (and occassionally when she humors me and slows down to something closer to my usual pace) – but I also told her that I knew she was only seven days out from a half, so I was expecting her to run her own race and  ditch me at some point to slow down and take it easy.

Boston Fire Fighters 10k fire boat | My Monotonous Life

But here’s the thing about running buddies…they love to crush their own goals, but they also love to watch and help you crush yours. It was honestly unintentional, but once I had planted the seed of “if we run 9:20 miles, I’ll PR this race” into Angi’s head, that seed started to grow. Our first mile was pretty comfy pace-wise and a little crowded, so we were just racing along each of us listening to our own music and thoughts. Right around the mile 1 marker there was a pothole that caught Angi and she fell. (I should note here that at least three other runners stopped to help her up if needed and make sure she was okay. Runners really are the best!) We walked for a minute and she tried to tell me to go on without her –  it was my race…but I don’t leave my people behind, especially if they may be hurt. She was feeling okay and ready to run again pretty quickly, and I’m not sure if that was exactly when she decided I was going to PR or what, but as soon as we had our mile 2 splits (me on my watch, her through her phone), she told me she was pacing me to my PR and that was that.

A portion of the course is an out-and back on Morrissey Boulevard (love seeing the BFD fire boat in the harbor!) so Angi and I had a great time seeking out and cheering for all of the Running Dawgs as everyone turned around. Around mile 5.5, we passed another one of them – Pete2 (we have three Petes, so we numbered them. Pete1 is my Pete, Pete2 is the big brother of the group, and Pete3 we like to call the Mayor of Quincy because whenever we are out socially he runs into multiple people he knows…I digress). At this point Angi was trying to kill inspire me…she was keeping about 5-10 steps ahead of me and forcing me to chase her. I said hey to Pete2 as I passed him, and just kept chasing Angi. Then I started hearing someone chasing me, and realized pretty quickly it was Pete2. The three of us ran through the last bit of the park that way: me chasing Angi, Pete2 chasing me. As we turned the corner onto the street with the finish line right in front of us, we were side by side. And so this happened:

Boston Firefighters 10k Finish | My Monotonous Life

A finish that was 1 minute and 15 seconds faster than my previous 10k PR, complete with an awesome finish line photo of the three of us finishing side by side.

New 10k PR? NAILED IT.

Fall 2013, Number 2: The City of Sisterly Love

That’s what they call it, right? The City of Sisterly Love?

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So the goal, as it relates to my Fall To Do List, was to “Spend an awesome weekend in Philly with my sisters” and I think it’s safe to say that I crushed this goal. 

Because I’ve put off blogging about this long enough, I’m going to stick with the “things I don’t want to forget” format I’ve been falling back on for recent travels (see here and here) while pointing you to my photos over here. Without further ado, here’s my list:

– Free sangria upon arriving in the hotel lobby? Don’t mind if I do!

– We ate really well! Dinners at Alma de Cuba and The Dandelion, lunch from Melt Kraft in the Reading Terminal Market, brunch at Schlesingers.

– On Saturday morning I was wide awake at the usual hour but Emily and Jennifer, without children to wake them, slept in. I ended up catching the tail end of the sunrise from our hotel balcony, then heading out for a walk to get Starbucks and explore the neighborhood. Much to my surprise, there were streams of 3 Day walkers passing by when I walked out of the hotel! I gave high fives, told them they were awesome, and chatted with a few walkers that I bumped into at Starbucks. It brought back a lot of awesome memories (you can read about those here if you have the desire…and a lot of free time)!

– Oh, Reading Terminal Market! You get me every time with your delicious food and overwhelming amounts of…everything.

– Saturday night we were up way past my bedtime. I ended up overtired and having giggle fits while trying to fall asleep. Obviously it was Emily and Jennifer’s fault, so I made sure they knew that I didn’t appreciate them keeping me up so late…and sympathizing with how their children feel when they are driven to overtired-ness.

– On Sunday morning I had a long run (seven miles) to get in. Luckily, one of my running peeps went to school in Philly and was quick to give me an easy running route, which also happened to be scenic. First mile: Museum Mile, culminating at the Rocky Statue and Stairs! Follow that with 6 miles out and back along the river whose name no one can properly pronounce, complete with great views of Boathouse Row. Also views of some wildlife (I think it was a groundhog), people on elliptical bike contraptions, and a team of rollerbladers skating blading in formation like Olympic speed skaters.

I think Sister Weekend in Philly needs to become an annual affair.

To Do: Fall 2013

I’m the most delinquent blogger on earth! But let’s not dwell on my horrible (/nonexistent) blogging habits, let’s admire this adorable guy and talk about what I’m going to do this fall!

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Fall…everyone’s favorite season! Pumpkin everything! Sweaters! Scarves! Pretty leaves! I don’t usually have an issue with the fall, but this year it’s making me cranky. I’m already hating that it’s never sunny when my alarm goes off and that it’s nearly dark before I’m halfway through my run at night. I’m already cranky about the colder temperatures. I’m already feeling the pull to hibernate every night after work instead of heading to bootcamp or out with my peeps for a run. It’s usually November before all of that starts to kick in, so I’ve been thinking about what to put on my Fall To Do List and I’m hoping that it’s going to help reverse some of the fall dislike I’ve been feeling!

So without further ado, here’s what I’m going to be doing this fall (with a cozy sweater and scarf on, a pumpkin beverage in my hand, and a smile on my face, perhaps?):

  1. Ride the Minuteman Bikeway
  2. Spend an awesome weekend in Philly with my sisters DONE!
  3. Finish designing and print our 2012 Sarah & Pete photo album
  4. Celebrate my birthday by sipping tasty wines with some of my favorite ladies DONE!
  5. Set a new 10k PR DONE!
  6. Tour the Taza Chocolate Factory
  7. Start busting my yarn stash, aka get my crojo back
  8. Snuggle down with a blanket (and maybe a cat) to spend a gloomy day watching a Hitchcock marathon DONE!

What’s on your Fall To Do list?? If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of my past lists: Fall 2011| Fall 2010