Weird holiday today, 'officially' celebrating the 4th of July a day late. What are we supposed to do - another round of (vegan) hamburgers? Maybe just the beans will be ok. More fireworks? I know of course what I should really be doing - going through my closets and throwing out stuff I haven't worn for like 12 years. Clothing go in and out of fashion while hanging untouched in our - pretty small - walk-in closet. So maybe I will gather up a bit of enthusiasm for the Sisyphean task and have at it this afternoon. Just not right now. First I have to have a cup of white tea, finish reading the newspaper, and lounge around for a while. After all, that (and going to the beach!) is what holidays are for - not for sweeping up leaves on the front porch, re-arranging closets or painting the bathroom.
I managed an easy 6 miles with Kathleen yesterday (Sunday, the 'real' July 4th) morning, after she had run (and I took some pics) at the Run Wild 5K in Uptown Park near the Galleria. Kathleen did very well with a first place in her age category; many of our other Striders club members did equally well including a first overall by Bill Blancett and age group wins or places by Tom King, Steve Reddy, Anne Ahrens, Julie Rutledge, Judy Loy, Barry Chambers and Jim Peiffer. Well done! On Saturday (July 3) morning Kath and I slogged our way through a 6 mile pace run (9:10 mile pace), having to improvise on our route as we could not get across a flooded footbridge along Buffalo Bayou, at the start of the Terry Hershey Trail at Beltway 8. During the pace run my heart rate was mostly around 140 to 142 or so except for the last mile (when it started to get really hot!) when it increased to 150+.
We saw two movies this weekend: Solitary Man with Michael Douglas in the main role and Winter's Bone with Jennifer Lawrence as a 17-yr old with huge responsibilities, in search of her missing father. Winter's Bone, set in a modern-day rural backwater of Missouri, is a brilliantly made movie which is scarily realistic in its depiction of pervasive poverty and drug abuse. There's never a maudlin or saccharine note while dealing with a story line that could easily have gone that way. Jennifer Lawrence is superb - and the movie is likely to get an Oscar nod for director Debra Granik. This is not a 'feel good' movie, but worth seeing just for Ms. Lawrence's stellar low-key performance.
Solitary Man is all about Michael Douglas as Ben Kalman, a one-time auto dealership tycoon gone to seed. Douglas is always entertaining and this movie is no exception, except there's not much fun there. It is mostly like watching a slow-motion train wreck of gigantic proportions. A memorable performance by Danny Devito and several spot-on contributions by Mary-Louise Parker as Kalman's girl-friend and Imogen Poots as her daughter, Susan Sarandon as his ex-wife and Jesse Eisenberg as a college student help to enliven things a bit. Michael Douglas plays this role to perfection, and if you're a big fan of his, then you'll no doubt enjoy it.