Three Things Thursday

25 Days of Fitness Challenge

Last Thursday kicked off the 25 days of fitness (O’ Fitness Tree) challenge and so I posted my week long plan of how I would be getting in my activity. I am happy to report I went 7 for 7 this past week even though I did tweak my activity plan slightly. As you know, the
Nia White Belt Intensive started last Thursday so I was able to get four days (Thursday through Sunday) of activity in because of it. Monday I went to the lunchtime yoga class offered at my place of work but instead of boxing that evening (I did not have the energy to box after the long weekend) I went to the gym and biked and sat in the sauna. Tuesday I went to Nia as planned. Yesterday I went to the
lunchtime yoga class and then instead of doing my normal hot Vinyasa
yoga class I went to Nia. This change had nothing to do with how I felt energy wise but was due to my work schedule and the fact that Paul had 24-hour duty so I needed to be home to take care of the doggies and Nia got me home sooner. My poor dogs; by the time I got
home last night they just looked like they were on the verge of exploding. I think Maggie would have run straight through the back door to get outside if I wasn’t there to open it for her.

Keeping with last week’s post here is my plan for this upcoming week.

Thursday- Nia class after work followed by the gym to bike and hit the sauna.

Friday through Sunday – Nia White Belt Intensive

Monday- yoga at work and Thai yoga session after work with Tricia.

Tuesday- boxing

Wednesday- yoga at work and hot Vinyasa yoga after work

Battle of the Lees

Paul and I both participate in the same two fantasy football leagues; one is run by my father and is made up of his friends plus my mom, Paul and myself. The other league is run by one of Paul’s army buddies and consists of a bunch of army dudes, and me. This week is the first week of playoffs for both leagues. I am happy to announce that Paul and I both made it to the playoffs. Yay! Unfortunately we have to play against each other. Boo! In BOTH leagues! Double Boo! How does that
even happen? Rhetorical question, I know how it happens but come on-
what are the odds? 🙂 I know you are thinking that I want to beat Paul
in both leagues and be crowned (with a crown I will make myself) the
ultimate fantasy footballer in the Lee household but you would be wrong. Ok, just slightly wrong- I do kind of want a crown. No, the best case scenario is that we each win one game so that way both of us can continue playing for at least another week and both of us stand a chance at winning the whole thing. I would prefer to win in my Dad’s
league and have Paul win in the Army one because I have a better, more
reliable team in my Dad’s league and based off of our teams I am thinking that is exactly what will happen. I will make sure to let you know what happens on Tuesday after all is said and done.

Christmas

I received my first Christmas card yesterday and it made me realize
that the only Christmas like thing in our house right now is Paul’s Fitness Tree hanging on the fridge. Today I started thinking about the time left between now and when my parents arrive (December 21st) and everything that needs to be done in preparation. I have some Christmas shopping done but I still need to buy for Paul, my mom and the dogs. What? You don’t give your dogs presents? That’s my favorite part of Christmas. We buy them a whole mess of cheap toys and let them go
crazy for the day. It takes a few weeks to get rid of all the stuffing and toy remnants but it sure is entertaining to watch.

I bought Christmas cards but haven’t filled them out yet. If I was smart I would have brought them to work today and did that during my lunch break. We need to clean and get the spare room set up for my parents. Right now it has become a depository for junk that doesn’t have a home and the ‘to be shredded’ pile of papers. It’s the least
used room and, of course, the one in the worst shape. We also need to
decorate and order our meals from Whole Foods. There are two weekends
left for me to get everything done however I will probably not be able
to do any of it this weekend because of the Nia WBI so it is time for me to put together a schedule so I can make I can get all of this taken care of by the 20th. It’s times like this when being a planner comes in handy. On the upside, my Christmas list is done 🙂

While I am on the topic of Christmas, I wanted to ask you what are your favorite holiday movies? I was thinking about a few of mine as I wrote this post. I love watching ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Love Actually’ ever year. ‘A Christmas Story’ was the movie of choice in my household growing up- we watched it at least once every year. When Paul and I lived in Ohio my mom came to visit us for Christmas one
year and we went to Cleveland to see the house from the movie. It was
pretty cool to see and there was even a small gift shop up the street from the home where you could buy anything Christmas Story related including the famous leg lamp.

Thanks for reading!

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December 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, Movies. 6 comments.

Weight Watchers Update and Giveaway Winner!

Before I get to my Weight Watchers update I wanted to announce the winner of the ‘Echotone’ giveaway. There were only three people who entered and they all tweeted and commented about the film so each received two entries.

 

1 Veronica
2 Veronica
3 Sidney
4 Sidney
5 Kathleen
6 Kathleen

 

I used random.org to select a winner and lucky #2 was chosen.

 

 

Congratulations Veronica! I will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. I hope you love the film as much as I did!

 

Weight Watchers

I was in Houston last Tuesday so I missed my regular workplace Weight Watchers meeting. In order to be eligible for my company’s WW fee reimbursement I had to attend another meeting last week to make up for the one I missed. Unfortunately this meant I would be weighing in Saturday the 12th,11 days from my previous weigh-in, and then again today, the 15th.  Saturday I weighed in at 200 pounds even for a loss of seven pounds bringing my total weight lost on WW up to 80 pounds even.Yay! I hit my 75 pound milestone and was just an ounce away from leaving the 200’s- I was pretty excited Saturday to say the least.

All morning the only thing I could think about was whether or not I would be under 200 at my Weight Watchers meeting. I had made it to‘onederland’ six days ago but since my home scale and the WW scale never match I wasn’t sure how long it would take for me to get below 200 at a WW meeting. I was thrilled to see 199.2 on the scale today. I think I can now officially say I am in the 100’s and I will do whatever it takes to never see the 200’s again!

My next WW milestone is coming up pretty quickly at 196 pounds which represents 30% weight loss from my starting weight.  Since we don’t have a WW meeting next week I am hoping to reach this goal by our next at work meeting on November 29th. Also, by hitting the 100’s I reached another goal which was to be under 200 by the end of the year. I reached that goal early, way ahead of my expectations, which is crazy. About a month ago my BF told me that I would be below 200 by Thanksgiving and I laughed her off. Crazy that I achieved that goal more than two weeks before Thanksgiving and seven and a half weeks before the end of the year. Since I reached the sub-200 pound goal early I have decided to set a new end of year goal- to be at or below 186 by the end of the year. Hitting 186 would put my weight loss at 100 pounds and it would be really cool to hit that 100 pound mark prior to 2012. Wish me luck!

I would just like to say something in regards to achieving the sub-200 pound goal as well as my last few monthly goals. If you have been following then you already know this so I apologize but I just wanted to point out that up until August I hadn’t been hitting any of the goals by the date I had set. For example,  I had a monthly goal of losing ten pounds and after hitting that goal the first month I had 4 months in a row when I didn’t. I also had set date goals to hit my 5% loss and 10% loss and didn’t make them either. I didn’t give up though because I was focused on the more important issues; eating better and moving more. It took about six months until my body started to lose regularly and yes there were times where it was difficult to push through I never let it stop me. We are all different, we all lose weight differently, we all eat differently, we all enjoy different activities and that is really important to remember.  Just find what works for you and stick with it….you’ll get there. So will I !

Thanks for reading!

November 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Movies, Music, Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 8 comments.

Echotone Giveaway

Today is November 1st and I thought it the perfect time to start a giveaway, kicking off my month of thanks. I feel so indebted to you, my readers, for helping guide and support me through my journey so I decided to host three giveaways this month to show my appreciation. I am very excited for this first one because I love the prize so much. The winner of the giveaway will receive a copy of Echotone on DVD. Aren’t you excited?

After my last post about the film I thought about doing a giveaway for the movie because I just loved it so much and really wanted to continue getting the word out about this film. A few days after the post went up I found out that Nathan Christ, the director, had actually read it. I was fortunate to be able to start up an email conversation with Nathan about the giveaway and his thoughts. It turns out, which you will learn in more detail below, they are currently in the midst of creating a 6 part, 6 hour series for television that will tell not only Austin’s story but will also include Chicago, NYC and LA and are putting together the pilot for the series to show to interested networks. In order to get that pilot finished they need to raise a significant amount of money ($15,000) and have recently started a campaign on Kickstarter in order to do so. Once I found this out I knew that I wanted the giveaway to be based around their Kickstarter project. It made me feel like I had a legitimate opportunity to help this pilot get made and hopefully the giveaway entries will make you feel the same way too. Throughout our lives we are given chances to be part of something greater than ourselves and I hope you don’t pass this one up.

Nathan also graciously allowed me to share with you an email I received which can better explain their vision and hopes for Echotone far better than I ever could.

Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,

Since I last wrote you, Reversal Films and I have been hard at work getting the political music documentary I directed, Echotone, out to the world. The journey has been monumental for us. The percentage of truly independent films that actually find a home (i.e. we have a distributor and a nice download spot on iTunes) is extremely small. The story really resonates with audiences of all stripes. We have received almost universal critical praise, recently winning the New York Times Critics’ Pick and nabbing an excellent review in the Village Voice.

I see the issues raised in Echotone resonating in cities around the country, no matter where I travel with the film, whether it’s the rampant gentrification pushing artists and families deeper into Brooklyn, a controversial series of legislation threatening the creative class in Chicago, or the major music industry collapsing in LA. All of these stories are interrelated and I am now convinced we must continue filming the story. My vision is to create a 6-part, 6-hour television miniseries intercutting Austin, LA, Chicago, and NYC together to great a nationwide tapestry, a true historical document of a very uncertain time in our country’s history.

We simply can’t make it the same way we made Echotone, though (by fundraising on our own). We must get picked up by a major network – the project is just too vast and we will need too much money and promotional support. That said, we’ve already begun shooting. We must prove the concept to the networks, thereby creating a “pilot.” Thanks to some extremely generous donations, my crew and I worked tirelessly all summer long in Chicago (during the inauguration of newly-appointed Mayor Rahm Emanuel) and New York (during the 10-year anniversary of 9/11) and captured some gorgeous, captivating footage. Our goal now is to shoot the remainder of our pilot in LA, edit the four cities together, and go into sound design (our sound in the original Echotone is one of the most critically-praised aspects of it, thanks to an incredible company called Voodoo Highway).

I’m calling our pilot “the chicken that lays the golden egg.” If we can just make it over this current financial hump, I believe we will be in the position to continue telling this story for years to come. We are already in talks with networks and will be primed to pitch the material in February if we can finish the pilot in time.

15k sounds like a lot, but every dollar truly helps. I feel like all my work making videos in high school onward has been building to this moment. The inertia is huge. Please help in any way you are able. The incentives for pledging are attractive (you can see them all on the Kickstarter page linked below). I’ve also created a new video which visually shows what I’m writing about, including some great new footage from Chicago. Click here to watch the video and to pledge.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write or call me.

My Best,

Nathan

Contest Details

The contest will run from November 1st through 11:59pm CST November 14th. Winner will be chosen at random (using random.org of course) and announced on this blog November 15th. Once notified, the winner will need to supply their mailing address to me so I can have the DVD sent to you.

You must leave a separate comment for each entry method; i.e. one comment about the trailer, one comment stating you tweeted, etc. Please DO NOT leave one comment saying you did all five. If you do that you will only receive one entry in the contest opposed to five. Also, only one entry per method per person. This means you can tweet that message 1,000 times but it will only be good for one entry. There are five ways to enter, giving you five chances to win.

If you have any issues leaving comments you can email (axid200@gmail.com) or DM (@dacialee33) me and I will add them for you.

How to Enter

1) Head over to the Echotone website and watch the trailer for the film. Then leave me a comment as to why you want to win the DVD. It would be great if you could include something from the footage that piqued your interest but I trust you will enter a comment only after watching the trailer.

My goal for this giveaway is to get as many people as possible over to the Kickstarter and Echotone websites and help them raise funds for the series pilot but I am not going to ask you to contribute in order to be eligible for the prize. Yes, I would love for you to make a donation via the Kickstarter site but I know not everyone can afford to do that so instead I am asking for your help spreading the word about the Kickstarter campaign.

2) Tweet ‘Please help Echotone expand to a multi-city music documentary series. Find out more info about the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reversalfilms/echotone-expands-multi-city-music-doc-series’. Leave your twitter handle in the comment so I can verify.

3) Share the above message and the Kickstarter link on your Facebook wall. Leave your FB username in the comment so I can verify.

4) I know not everyone uses FB or Twitter so share the Echotone and Kickstarter info via word of mouth or email and I will give you an additional entry. There really isn’t an easy way for me to verify this so I will take you at your word just tell me in the comments what you did to get the word out.

*UPDATE* I forgot the fifth way to enter so I am adding it now

5) Talk about this giveaway and the Kickstarter project  including a link to this post. Leave a link to your blog in the comments.

Side note: the great thing about the Kickstarter fundraiser is any donation you make will come with a gift. The gifts range from a virtual high five/special thank you for a one dollar donation, yes you can donate just a dollar, up to a private screening and live performances for donations of 5K- so not only do you get to feel good for supporting Echotone you also get cool stuff in return. The donation details can be found on the Kickstarter page 🙂

In closing I leave you with a message from Nathan Christ. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind writing up a little blurb for the giveaway post and he so graciously did so.

Echotone has been a labor of love from the gate. We are now more than 3 years deep in this project with no intention of stopping. As you’ll see from the Austin film, the issues we are documenting are universal. The goal is to raise money to tell this story not only in Austin, but in Chicago, NYC, and LA. We just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to fund a pilot. This will give us the fuel we need to tell this quintessential American story during this time of great national uncertainty.

You can pledge to our campaign here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reversalfilms/echotone-expands-multi-city-music-doc-series

I hope that you are as excited for this giveaway as I am. If you can’t or don’t want to donate to the Kickstarter campaign please help me in getting the word out there. Who knows, you could end up winning the DVD and at the same time we can help make history.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

*No purchase necessary for entry, all opinions and viewpoints expressed are mine and I did not receive payment for or was solicited for this giveaway.

November 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Giveaway, Movies, Music. 5 comments.

Echotone

Do you like music? Do you like movies? If the answer to either is yes you need to go watch Echotone – right now. I am not sure if you remember me mentioning this film before (it was directed by Nathan Christ, the son of a man I take Qigong and Tai Chi classes with) and so I am including the link to the film’s website so you can go watch the trailer – right now. While you are on the website you can also go buy the DVD too if you want. I bought it. It’s amazing and I hope you get a chance to watch it. It’s a small, independent, low-budget film but you would never know it. The cinematography is breathtaking, the film editing is seamless, and the storyline mesmerizing it is hard to believe this movie wasn’t made on a fifty million dollar budget. It just goes to show you how blood, sweat and tears matched with raw talent and unfiltered passion can create something magical.

The movie tells the story of the effect of urban expansion on Austin’s live music scene. The film shows us the perspective of all sides; the musicians, the contractors and the city residents. It tells us the story, the whole story, and does so without bias. Although you may empathize with one side or another the film does not force it’s beliefs on you- it allows you to form your opinion which that unto itself is a very difficult thing to do. Not only was this film an eye opener to how the imploding music industry and the commercialization of popular music has affected the ‘local’ musicians it also showed me the what it is like to be truly passionate about something. In the film we see the lead vocalist of Belaire hand making- a long, painstaking process- the CD cover inserts and t-shirts to sell at an upcoming show. Not because she has to but because she loves doing it, she loves creating something unique and special because she is passionate about her music and her art. When the Echotone DVD package arrived at my house it included something else along with the movie. It came with a long handwritten thank you note. Genuine words of thanks written by someone passionate about their work. How amazing? I love this film. I wouldn’t be sitting here endorsing it if I didn’t. If I can get just a handful of people to watch it and in turn maybe talk/write about it too I know it could help get the word out about it. This film deserves to be seen by the masses it is just that good.

Oh, and you can also go to Indie Pix Unlimited, it’s like Netflix but for Indie films, and ‘rent’ the movie that way. I think they even have a free month trial going on right now. If you watch it please blog, tweet, Facebook, etc. about it. I would really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading! Now go watch Echotone!

October 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Movies, Music. 1 comment.

It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye

The time is almost here to say goodbye to my beloved Harry Potter. I cannot say I am a truly hardcore Potter fan as I haven’t been there from the beginning but I am still slightly obsessed. I started reading the books/watching the movies five years ago and was hooked instantly. I fell in love with young Harry from the first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone and was swept away into his life every page thereafter. It wasn’t just Harry either; I loved all of the characters, good and evil. I was in Border’s, wearing my ‘Trust Snape’ sticker, for the midnight release of the Deathly Hallows. I was in the store until 2am before I had my copy and then once I was home I did not stop reading it until I was finished. I cried like a baby throughout that last book as I saw the ending unfold.

Yes, I know that to some this may seem a bit ridiculous but for me it is an end of an era and it is hard to say goodbye. Even though it will be bittersweet, and I know how the story ends, I am super excited to see the last Harry Potter movie this weekend. Even if you never read or care to read a single book in the series you cannot deny the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. More than 400 million books sold worldwide and the first and only billionaire author. I know I am in good company with the hundreds of thousands of Potter fans out there. Goodbye Harry, Hermione and Ron; you will be missed!

Thanks for reading! Expecto Patronum! 😉

July 14, 2011. Tags: , . Books, Movies. 4 comments.