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December 31st, 2008

Kevin (av8rdude) and I hit the gym today, where I once again did a bunch of lower back and lower abdomen stretching exercises.

After that, I ventured back onto the elliptical machine, which my knee doctor said would be okay to do. I used the manual option instead of the hill option, as I didn't want to overdo the knee bending action this first time.

I only did it for 15 minutes, but I did get my heart rate up into the "cardio" range, and felt zero pain in my knee. My hip/back, however, hurt intermittently throughout, a couple of minutes of feeling it, followed by another couple not, alternating like that.



After the gym, I ran three errands:

  1. My first stop was Blockbusters to look for a movie tonight. I hate just meandering in there with no movie in mind, but that's what I did today, and I spotted a movie I've heard nothing about, but liked the fact that Richard Jenkins (the father on Six Feet Under) was in it. I grabbed it. At the register, the cashier said, "Since you're a rewards member, you get a free second movie—anyone from 'the floor' (i.e., as opposed to 'the wall' where all the current runs are)." I both loved and hated this—loved the 'free' part, hated the part that meant I had to scour through another gazillion movies without one in mind. I first checked the Chris Rock selections, as Robert's sister had recommended his latest stand-up video, but it wasn't available. I ended up settling on a movie in the drama section that had a title that contained the word "words" in it. Great selection criteria, eh?

  2. My next stop was the Harris Teeter in Cameron Village where I bought: Jessie Jones fully cooked bacon slices, some whole wheat bagels, some Swiss cheese, a canned ham, some coleslaw, and some Hawaiian sweet rolls. While waiting in line I called in a take-out order for dinner.

  3. I stopped by the Gumby's on Hillsborough Street to pick up my "Six Pepperoni Rolls," for which I had a coupon.



Robert arrived shortly after I got home, and we ate the hell out of four of those six pepperoni rolls, with some coleslaw.

We watched The Visitor.

Movie synopsis: A 60-ish widowed professor, played by character actor Richard Jenkins, reconnects with some previously lost part of himself after he befriends two illegal immigrants living in New York.

It was hard to find a synopsis that didn't contain spoilers, hence this brief one. We both really enjoyed this movie.

Next, we watched The Secret Life of Words.

Hannah, who wears a hearing aid, is forced to go on holiday. On holiday she manages to find a job: caring for Josef, a burn victim on an oil rig who temporarily lost his sight, until he's stable enough to be transferred. There is almost no one on the rig, except a cook, an oceanographer and a few others out at sea. Hannah tends to Josef and he slowly breaks her shell of silence.

This movie turned out to be pretty decent, too, especially for having just picked it for the ridiculous reason that I did. :-)



We finished the movies right at 11:00, and after the 11:00 news, during which a commercial for a spa (whirlpool-type spa) sale at the fairgrounds this weekend played at least three times, we tuned into Dick Clark's New Year's Eve broadcast from Times Square.

OMG. I haven't seen Dick Clark since he had his stroke, and with all due respect, it was pitiful watching him and painful listening to him when he was on. I mean, really Dick, and again with all due respect, it's time to give up that gig.

Him aside, Kellie Pickler drove me to distraction, with that finger-stuck-in-your-dimple-smile and in that screechy-voice-every-second-you-speak monotony coming out of her mouth.

Seriously, I don't think I could ever go back to owning a television again. During that 30-minutes after the news, until midnight came along, that freaking spa commercial came on three more times. At one point, seriously, the Times Square stuff came on for two minutes, then three minutes of commercial, two minutes of programming, three more minutes of commercials.

And in one of those three-minute commercial segments, a 30-second spot came on, the next commercial came on, and then that same 30-second spot played again! Good god!

In the category of "You might be getting old IF...," Robert and I toasted in the New Year, he with a glass of water, me with a glass of watered-down soda whose ice had been melting in it for about two hours. :-)

Shortly after midnight, simply unable to watch any more of the "exciting" stuff promised to come by Ryan Seacrest, we switched stations and watched some of David Letterman. His first guest was a woman who jogged a mile back to her car, with a rabid fox whose teeth were embedded in her forearm, and then on to a hospital after throwing the fox into her trunk. Click to read the MSNBC story about it.

I loved Davis's Top Ten list tonight, which was about the advantages of being named James Bond. What was extra great about it was that he had on a "local substitute teacher" whose name is James Bond, and he read the top ten items, which made them even funnier. Brilliant stuff.

David's second guest was Emma Thompson, whom Robert and I both love.

And oh yeah, on that totally different station, that freaking spa commercial came on two more times while watching David Letterman.

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