Monday, February 25, 2019

Week 8: Celebrating!

This 8th Week has been a productive week in my 60 until 60 project.  I made progress on a bunch of my house project goals while I was home in Colorado because I will soon be temporarily moving to the Norfolk, Virginia area for a new 6-month contract at Anthem!

And, of course, I've been doing a lot of celebrating, since my 59th birthday is tomorrow!

Here are some of the goals I either accomplished or made good progress with this week:

15. Contribute to any cause that a friend asks me to support
16. Participate in efforts to help those with ALS and their caregivers
22. Sing with a group
28. Host a theme party (Flamingo, Carpe Diem, Wine-Tasting, Murder Mystery, Games, Purple,etc.)
46. Sell, give-away, throwaway on organize what’s left of my books
47. Clean out my wardrobe and get rid of old clothes that I never wear
54. Fix up my room as a potential airBnB room for rent

The thing is, I don't feel like any of these are really 'done done.' I need to do a better job of defining my 'acceptance criteria'!

In March, after I get settled into my new place in Virginia, I'll do my "quarterly planning" and rework my goals based on all I learned from the first quarter.

Family Birthday Party
In the mean time,  here are a few highlights from my week:

Nancie Participating in Virtual Academy Awards Party
Singing with Dueling Pianos - Adam says I can't count this as my 'Singing with a Group' goal, but my goals, my rules..

I'm so appreciative of the birthday attention, fun gifts, and visits with friends!
Before picture of spare closet

Monday, February 18, 2019

Week 7: Goal 38 - See Movies up for Best Picture

Goal #38 on my 60 until 60 list is: See all the movies that are up for Best Picture

Like many of my goals, this turned out better than expected! I really enjoyed the variety of movies, places, and people that I saw the movies with!

Why did I want to do this?

I hardly ever go to the movies so I'm usually clueless when people start talking about their favorites. I always thought it would be fun to watch all the movies nominated for best picture and then have an Academy Awards party, so that's what I'm doing! Virtual participation is encouraged, so join in!

The movies (in the order of my favorite to least favorite):

1. Bohemian Rhapsody - I saw this in CA at the theater with my sister, Michele and my niece, Rebecca (It was our special "60 celebration since she's passionate about music!) Excellent movie! I'm voting for this one for Best Pic.  We had fun afterwards with recording a Dubsmash clip.

2. A Star is Born - I saw this at the end of last year in San Antonio with a couple friends I worked with at USAA.  I liked the music and was impressed with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Good music and good tear-jerker chick flick.

7. The Favourite - Actually, I'm just guessing this will be my 3rd favorite (or should I spell it 'favourite'?) based on the trailers.  I'd planned to see it tonight with girlfriends, Diane and Sue, but we needed to postpone until later in the week.

Update: Disappointed by this movie so moving it down to #7, but it was fun to have Sue and Diane over to my house and to be able to watch via Amazon Prime.  Still, it was $15 and totally not worth it. Weird and ridiculous ending, but maybe that's because I didn't get it. I suppose the costumes might be a reason for a nomination, but Best Picture? No way!

3. Black Panther - Even though I'm not much of a Superhero movie fan, this was surprisingly impressive! And very nice that I was able to watch this with my nephew, Reece, who could fill me in on all the Marvel backstory.

4. Green Book - I went to this on my own at a theater in Vegas during my short stay there. It was pretty interesting, though, didn't really seem 'best movie material' in my opinion.

5. Vice - I thought I'd be super-bored because I hate politics, but it was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be! And fun that Matt, Stella, and Scotty could go with me in Denver. Even though I listed this as my 6th favorite (because of the content), I was impressed with the acting and the movie.

6. Black Klansman - I saw this in Vegas with Scotty when we were at the hotel during our road-trip. It was OK but nothing special. I don't know how much of this was true because it seemed like these cops were really stupid in the way they took risks at getting caught.

8. Roma - I saw this on Netflix at home in CO with Scotty. Neither one of us liked it too much. It was too 'artsy' for my taste..  in black and white with subtitles. I actually had a hard time staying awake. This is the only movie that I liked less than I thought I would.

What worked well
  • I liked not having to make decisions about which movies to see, but to just see all of them that were nominated for Best Picture.
  • Good to see movies I normally wouldn't have chosen (such as Black Panther and Vice) and ending up liking more than I would have guessed.
  • Nice that a couple of the movies (Roma and Black Panther) were available on Netflix.
  • Great opportunity for bonding with Reece (Black Panther) and Rebecca (Bohemian Rhapsody).
  • Fun to discuss the movie /socialize afterwards.
  • Got me out of my comfort zone to go to a theater alone. (Green Book)
  • Learned more about the nomination process for the Academy Awards
  • Helped me 'prepare' for my Academy Awards Party.
What could be better
  • Movies at the theater are expensive! I prefer watching them at home, but most of these were not yet available via streaming or on Netflix.
  • Didn't see The Favourite yet, but will see it this week! Update: Disappointment! (See updated comments above.)

Friday, February 08, 2019

Week 6: Goal #4: Make bone-healthy recipe

I'm spending the 6th week of my 60-week birthday party back in Southern California with my sister, Michele. She and I have both been diagnosed with osteoporosis, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to work on Goal #4 of my 60 goals:

Research bone-healthy recipes and make dinner to share with other friends who are working on their bone strength

I got this cookbook for Christmas with recipes to help build bone strength and I choose Scallops with Orange Sauce as the recipe to make and share with Michele. See my photo 'demo' below:

What worked well:
  • I'd practiced this recipe a couple of weeks ago and had trouble getting the scallops to sear. This time went more smoothly (probably because Michele did the actual cooking of the scallops..) 
  • There weren't too many ingredients in this recipe and it was easy and fast to make.
  • It tasted delicious!
  • I'm learning the foods that help to build bones and I've been eating a lot more healthfully!
  • It's fun to cook and share a healthy meal together!
What could have been better:
  • The cookbook doesn't have any pictures and does not really explain how to cook the scallops well (both times I made this, there seemed to be a lot of excess liquid, but this time we spooned it out, and the scallops cooked up faster.)
  • It would be better if alcohol was not on the 'bad' list for bone strength. 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Week 5: Goal 35 - Adventure with Scotty

The goal from my 60 until 60 list that I accomplished this week was #35 on the list: "Do some TBD adventure with Scotty." 

This year my "Theme Word" is "Connection." I especially want to have one-on-one adventures with my family and closest friends.   Scotty is the youngest of my 3 kids and he's been my companion on many vacations, adventures, excursions and road trips over the years. Now that he's an adult, I want to be sure to have at least one adventure every year with him.

I hadn't really figured out what our adventure would be this year..  last year we went to an escape room convention in Nashville which was a blast.

At the end of last year, I'd sent Scotty information about an escape room competition put on by Red Bull.  He, as usual, was game and immediately started recruiting to get the requisite team of 4 needed to compete.  I offered to join the team if needed and when it turned out the second qualifying round was to be held in Santa Monica,  I was called in.  I'd wanted to get out of cold Colorado and Scotty agreed to drive out with me. (He flew back home, but I'm staying in the warmer weather for a couple of weeks!)

What we did

We left Denver Wednesday afternoon and made it to Grand Junction in time to have dinner with my good friend, Rebecca.

The next day, we drove to Vegas, and, after memorizing all the strategic moves throughout our road-trip, we did well (came out ahead, anyway) at the black-jack table and made a little at the slots, too.

We made it to Santa Monica on Friday afternoon, timed to meet up with my daughter, Megan (who was also on the team), and my two grandkids, and we spent the afternoon and evening walking along the Venice channel, the beach, and the boardwalk.

On Saturday morning, Team Puzzlicino (Scotty, Megan, me, and my niece, Becca) met for the second qualifier of the Red Bull competition. I'm afraid we did not make it to the finals, but we still had fun and now we are much better prepared for next year!

What worked well

  • Easy driving! Great weather and not a lot of traffic the whole way. Even I was driving fast and passing trucks without my usual anxiety.
  • Always fun to do road trips with Scotty. We like to play a goofy version of 'Name That Tune' (as evidenced from the video in this blog post) and have deep discussions and the time flies by!
  • It was really nice to only drive for 5-7 hours each day.  Plenty of time to get a workout in and my back didn't hurt at all!
  • Very lucky to be able to stop in Grand Junction and have a visit with my friend!
  • Very fun to practice blackjack and come out ahead at the tables! First time I'd been to Vegas with Scotty as an adult and able to gamble
  • Happy and proud to be included on Team Puzzlicino!

What could have been better

  • Because Scotty and I have had so many road trips in the past, it didn't feel like this was much of a special adventure. On the other hand, I savored it more because I know that once he gets in a long-term relationship, he's unlikely to do too many more road trips with his Mom.
  • Scotty was not impressed with the Book on CD that I brought along, "Stranger in a Strange Land" so we only listened to one CD.