Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clearly, I have gone insane.

Earlier this week I told two of my girlfriends that I would do this women's triathlon with them, and I wasn't even drunk. Clearly, I have gone insane.

That said, I've already started "training" in that I've done 40 minutes of "running" (ahem, walking) and 20 minutes of "biking" (stationary, easiest possible setting) twice this week, and already feeling like a freaking gladiator. Mind you, I haven't been swimming in, oh, YEARS and am already scared that I'm going to drown. (Seriously, what the hell was I thinking???)

So here's the big question: who's with me? They have events all over the country, including one in SoCal, but I've chosen to meet up with a couple kickass women I know in Austin, TX. If you're thinking, why the hell would I be interested in doing this, Dinah? Here are the incentives:
* The women I'm doing this with are super chill and not competitive. I've already started hearing rumblings that some of them will be walking the 5k running bit. Mostly we're all going to be really impressed with ourselves if we just finish the damn thing.

* There are 4 months to train, and the distances really aren't that bad. Okay, the .75k (1/2 mile) swim has me all kinds of scared, and that's going to require a lot of work on my part to just be able to do it without dying. That said, the bike bit is only 12 miles, and the running bit is only 3. These things are totally doable. In 4 months.

* Did I mention that the women I'm doing this with are really, really cool? We've already made plans for some guilt-free queso and Mexican martinis after the race. You know you want to join us.

* If you've never been to Austin, it's totally rad. The food is particularly tasty--breakfast tacos, queso, BBQ, and so many other yummy things. And if you come for a triathlon, then you can be all like, Whatever, I just did a triathlon, I'm eating this entire pot of cheese, I don't even care!

* If you're looking to lose weight, this could be a great way to stick to a really awesome, well-rounded exercise plan. I mean, as long as you don't justify entire pots of cheese every day, of course. But running, biking, & swimming are all really awesome ways to knock out some cardio, introduce some variety into your workout, and tone your muscles. Just think of how smokin' hot we'll all be when we roll into Austin. Right??

In conclusion, you have two choices:
1. Do the triathlon with me. We'll coach each other every week, hold each other accountable, cheer each other on, it'll be awesome! And we'll meet up in Austin and party like rock stars, baby, yeah!
2. Hook me up when I ask you for money. The whole thing is to raise money for breast cancer research, after all, and if I, the most out of shape, unathletic person I know, complete a FREAKING TRIATHLON then you'd best pony up some cash.

Go here for more info. Registration starts February 7.

Friday, January 11, 2008

pretty sweet

For those of you wondering, "Hey Dinah, whatever happened with all those embroidery projects you were doing?" (and I know this has been weighing heavily on your mind), never fear! Here's what I've been up to.

First, I OD'd on baby stuff. So many babies, so little time. And onesies and bibs are surprisingly hard to work with, and my hands got tired. I didn't get pictures of everything (I did a robot on a bib for our new nephew Rusty that I foolishly gifted before documenting). But here are some of the highlights.
More bibs, more cowbell!
For my friend Jer's son Mason. The More Cowbell! bib was a big hit.

Tattooed onesies
I love these tattoo patterns and I'm super pleased with how these came out.

I also did a big tote bag project for Christmas, as a way of encouraging the use of re-usable bags for shopping, and giving my family members something thoughtful and handmade. Again, I didn't get pictures of everything (my brother got a bag with a super-cute Flying V guitar on it), but I'm pleased with how these came out. I've started filling in the designs a lot more than I used to, and the results are looking pretty sweet.
Monkey close-up
For my sister-in-law Sarah. Such a cute monkey pattern.

Rocket Girl close-up
For my sister Matti, the prof at UT, home of the Rockets. One of my favorite things I've ever stitched.

Gun tote
The six shooters I did for my sister Amy came out rather awesome.

For my aunt, just out of the hoop
For my Aunt Teedle. The P was drawn freehand. I like knowing I can bust out more traditional patterns, if need be.

The rest of my recent work can be found here. All patterns are from Sublime Stitching, unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I really and truly thought I was gonna hurl

I don't want to get in trouble for reviewing the movie too early or something, but by now you've probably started seeing ads for Cloverfield, and may be considering checking it out when it hits theaters January 18. By all means, go with your own gut on this, but I saw an advanced screening of it today and, if I may, here's a quick word about your gut before you take on this movie.

It's shot entirely with a hand-held camera. ENTIRELY. The whole concept of the movie is to really try and put you IN the experience. So it's all hand-held camera work, and the sound can get really brutal. There's also a fair amount of screaming and lots of people talking at once.

There were a truckload of people in today's screening, and lots of them seemed unfazed by this whole deal. I, on the other hand, really and truly thought I was gonna hurl about 10 minutes in. About 10 minutes after that, I moved as far back in the theater as I could, and still had to look away from the screen a lot. And the loudness, screaming, and talking-over thing made my head hurt. Basically I really wished I could lie down after it wrapped, and it's not even that long (about 1 hr 15 min).

So, you know, if you're curious about the movie but found the Bourne Ultimatum to be a bit too shaky and Blair Witch made you vomit in your mouth a little, then maybe this isn't the movie for you. Or, if you really want to check it out, but are concerned about the motion sickness, maybe sneak in some Saltines & ginger ale in your bag. Or some Dramamine. Or a barf bag. Those squooshy ear plugs you can get for concerts might not be a bad idea either.

I'm not saying the movie is bad--there's a lot about it that's really cool and interesting and creative and authentic and I don't mean to review it. I'm just saying, if I'd had anything in my stomach besides coffee, and maybe some earplugs, and my seat was even further away, I might have enjoyed the movie a little bit more. Just a little public service announcement from me to you, my fellow movie fans.

Friday, January 04, 2008

random musings

Just a couple tiny little bits before I get back to focusing on my work:
- My Google news feed today is 60% Britney's latest meltdown (Standoff at the "I'm so NOT okay, y'all" Corrall), 30% Obama's upset in Iowa (and, I guess, Huckabee's as well), 10% writer's strike and, well. Nothing else. Mind you, a fair chunk of my feeds are entertainment-related, but that still seems a little out of whack to me.

- I have these "mood playlists" in my iTunes--Feeling Strummy, Feeling Positive, Feeling Chill, etc. I just created one called "Feeling Country" to hold the likes of Dolly, Patsy, Johnny & the Chicks, and it turns out? There's 10 hours of music on that list. Who knew?

- It's raining, I'm wearing a warm turtleneck sweater, comfy pants, bunny slippers, and drinking hot tea. Today's a good day to work from home in LA, and I am grateful for it.

- I'm also grateful to my mom, my sister Amy, JL, Megan, Jeff, Brett, the lovelies over at Looking Good, and everyone else who reads my blog regularly and comments. It's nice to know my random musings aren't just going out into a void, and I just want you to know I appreciate you.

- Everyone's doing their 2007 movie & music wrap-ups. I burned a lot of CDs for people throughout 2007, so I don't know if I could deliver one CD-length Best Of this year, but I suppose I could give it a shot. Even if 2007 was the year I discovered stuff I'd missed the first time around. Like, the Dixie Chicks "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)"--how pretty is this song??

- In conclusion: SIGH. And, back to work.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

shit I want to do

Good morning. It's about 9 a.m. January 1, 2008, which seems as good a time as any to look back at 2007, and look ahead to 2008.

I didn't make any resolutions in 2007. Instead, I had a loose list in my head of general "shit I want to do." As it turned out, I did a lot of it. Some things on that list:
  • Learn something new
  • Pick up a hobby
  • Cook more
  • Join a dance class
  • Visit a new foreign country
  • Reduce my environmental whatchacallit--thumbprint? Footprint. Go green, as they say.
  • Get a new car
  • Get a new job

I did all of those things in 2007. I picked up embroidery, which qualifies for both a hobby and something new. I cooked and baked more, which I think could also maybe qualify as a hobby. I even won a bake-off (among friends, but still--competition was stiff). I learned how to play toy drums on Rock Band, which is a fairly small new thing to learn, but it's not easy and really super fun so I'm counting it. Mac & I also joined everyone else in the world with going green in 2007. We recycle, oh, EVERYTHING (did you know you can now recycle Styrofoam? True story), started using re-usable grocery bags instead of plastic ones, and switched to biodegradable poo bags for the dogs. Small stuff, but I like to think it helps. I also joined the Y and started taking Musical Theatre Dance class, one of my favorite activities of 2007. I went to London for the first time. We actually replaced my Jetta with a new Ford Escape Hybrid on Sunday, so that got done just under the wire.

And, of course, the new job was the biggie. 2007 for us McLeans will always be the Year of Click. In 2007, I didn't just quit Ticketmaster. (But, can we take a moment? Because, YEAAAYYY!!!!) I didn't just find a new job. I partnered with my hyper-talented husband and together we formed our own freaking company. Hi, big deal.

If I use Click as my reason for why I maybe didn't get some of the other things on my list accomplished, I think it's okay. This endeavor made us both just a wee bit busy.

So, what's next in 2008? Well, again, I think I'm going to stay away from resolutions. The only thing I'm truly resolved to do in 2008 is kick all kinds of ass. I think that when choosing which path to take, the truth is that there's the path everyone takes, the path less traveled, and then there's the Awesome Path. In 2008, I am resolved to take The Awesome Path whenever possible, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Other shit I want to do:
  • Lose 30 lbs. Holy buckets that's a big number, but I think I can do it. Specifically, I'd like to have lost it by August 1, so I can wear something slinky and fabulous to my friend Kristin's wedding in Boston. I'd love to lose another 10 on top of that before October 1 so I can be in fantastic shape for my friend Anna's wedding, and rock the bridesmaid dress. And, no, that wouldn't reduce my total weight to Hollywood skin & bones because, y'all, I am just that overweight.
  • Run a mile. Right now, I can run/walk about 2.5 miles in 30 minutes. Hi, I'm out of shape. Of course, I'd like to eventually run 5 miles or 10 miles, but before I do that, I'd like to run one. Just one.
  • Keep dancing. There's, like, 3 people in my musical theatre dance class at the Y, which means it could easily get canceled. Which means I'll need to find another class to keep dancing. But, whatever, I love it.
  • Deliver something embroidered by me to each & every member of my family. I came close at Christmas, but I need to figure out things for the kids and the dudes. The dudes are, as you can imagine, the hardest to sort out.
  • Bake a cheesecake.
  • Play the drums for real. Not well, mind you, but after my Rock Band experience, I'd love to bang on some real drums for a change.
  • Play my violin.
  • Go to the LA Zoo at least once a month.
  • Visit the San Diego Zoo.
  • Visit a new foreign country.
  • Buy a Prius.
  • Commit both the McLeans and Click to some charities. Right now we donate goods and money to charities kind of here and there, and in 2008 I'd like to organize our efforts a little better.
  • Volunteer for something. I'm thinking maybe something with the Step Up Network.
  • Go to an art museum/gallery with my mom.
  • Take Mac to some attraction in Denver, like the zoo or natural history museum or art museum. He's experienced Denver bars, the Rocky Mountains, driving in snow, and lots of quality family time, but there's still a lot about Denver I'd love for him to see.
  • Take the dogs for walks in Runyon Canyon, maybe even eventually off leash.
  • Check out the mountains here in Southern California. I hear they're nice.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go back to the California wine country with friends, either the Russian River Valley that we love or somewhere outside of Santa Barbara. Which, hi, it's not that far, and we go up there to visit Mac's family all the time anyway, and I hardly know a thing about pinot.
  • Continue to lessen our environmental impact. We really need to plant a tree in our front yard to create some shade for the house, and we could probably figure out a more efficient way to keep our house at an acceptable temperature without using heat/air as much as we do (maybe ceiling fans?). And we could be more vigilant about turning off lights & electronics when not in use. I'd also like to figure out how to make all of our parties a little greener.
  • Present a full-on summer season of Tiki Theater in the back yard. Already on deck: Back to the Future, Labyrinth, Hairspray (sing-a-long!).
  • Make my own ice cream.
  • Play bocce ball.
  • Grow my hair past my shoulders.
Aaaaand that's all I can think of right now, so I'm ending on that superficial note. But see? No resolutions, just stuff I want to do. I'm looking forward to it.

Here's to a fun, prosperous, healthy, and fabulous 2008 to you and yours!