Birdman: It’s Weird, Man.

Considering the Oscars are airing and I’ve barely seen any of the movies, I figured it was time to at least catch one of them. I did see The Theory of Everything around Thanksgiving and I thought that was a good movie with great acting. It will most likely win Eddie Redmayne a Best Acting Oscar, but it won’t win for best film.

The two biggest contenders are Boyhood and Birdman. Eventually, I will see Boyhood, if only for the fact that it was filmed over twelve years, though that may be the only interesting part about it. I watched Birdman last night thinking I was really going to like it. I wanted to like it. The cast is excellent with Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Edward Norton among them and I think everyone did a fabulous job of portraying their characters.

The premise of the film also intrigues me. It analyzes how people deal with fame within that culture, both from a perspective of a blockbuster icon who is beloved and a theatre extraordinaire who is esteemed. The film also toys with the role the audience plays in creating film. We rely on big gestures, those moments that we can put all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the ones that make us feel connected to that world in a range of emotions. Such a fascinating concept!

I like how it took such a romanticized world and made it imperfect. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more realistic perspective of what it is like to work in that industry-granted, I myself have seen it in person on a limited basis-even though there were implausible facets included as well. In popular culture, especially with the rise of reality television, the line between what is real and what is imaginary has been completely shattered beyond recognition. It’s why we obsess over celebrity lives, or at the very least, why we are invested in them to some extent. Part of it too is admiring their talent and what they are able to do, but since many of us do not have the money, fame, or appearances to do what they do, we like to watch. We like what we like to watch to be very big. They make this point in the film. It’s subtle, but it’s there, and it’s true.

If I’m confusing you, watch the film, think it over, then we can chat.

For my tastes, the film took a weirder turn than I would have enjoyed. I can’t exactly dig into it without spoiling it completely, but I will say that as a film that gets you thinking, it works. I wanted it to run out a certain way because it would have made more sense to me, but it’s not my film. Now that I’m thinking more about it and have reviewed the film, I don’t hate the ending as much as I first did. Sure, it was a little bizarre, but now that I’ve connected it in my mind to the points I’ve made above, it at least makes more sense to me.

See Birdman. Not just because it will win the Oscar, but because the film is bitter, edgy, and rough.

Moving onto meal recapping, I started my Saturday morning with my favorite peanut butter pancakes. I wonder if this is actually a surprise to anyone? I don’t know how this happens, but I always seem to have a difference in the amount of batter my recipe makes week-to-week. Last week, I had four huge pancakes and one little dollop. Sometimes, I barely make three. This week, I had four medium-sized cakes. I don’t change up my ingredients or how much I put in there, so it’s just strange to see such a disparity. Maybe I’m just bad at judging how heavy handed I am at spooning them onto the griddle. Regardless, with more peanut butter on top, some jelly, toasted coconut, a side of berries, and an episode of Parks and Rec, life was good.

photo 1

My mom and I did our grocery shopping run on Saturday afternoon because Sunday is Oscar day messy from rain and, yup, snow. By the time we got home, I was hungry from lunch and needed to refuel before my workout. I heated up this bowl of wonton soup from Trader Joes and toasted a piece of whole wheat sour dough with cheese and pepperoni. Veggie sticks and a handful of popcorn were on the side. I’m excited because I got the ingredients to make my own wonton soup- though I am lazy and bought Trader Joes frozen mini wontons to put into it. Basically, I just want to be able to add more veggies to my soup.

photo 2

After a brief digestion period, I took myself to the gym just as the snow was beginning to fall. Before my sister Lauren joined me, I started with a few stretches and a couple of planks. I held a forearm plank for 1.5 minutes, then did 1 minute for each side of side planks. For our strength routine, I led us through a dumbbell circuit. My sister stuck with me through two sets of ten reps and two sets of eight reps. As she headed for a cardio workout, I continued on to do two sets of six reps and two sets of four reps, raising the weight as I went along. On my last set of bench presses, I was actually able to lift 110 pounds, which is my all time high. My muscles are definitely in recovery mode, but they aren’t feeling too sore!

I started on the treadmill with a couple of sprints to get my heart pumping for my cardio workout. After ten minutes worth, I did a Plyometrics circuit of box jumps, side step ups, jumping jacks, skater jumps (side to side), and high knees, before finishing with five minutes of jump roping. Side step ups are something I discovered in one of those fitness magazines that I hadn’t thought of before. Just changing up that range of motion has made a difference in my muscles.

For dinner, I started off with a plate of homemade nachos. I just took tostito chips and crumbled cheese all over them and heated them up in the microwave. After, I made a massive salad stocked with veggies and these chicken strips that were leftover from I’m not sure where. It was a filling meal and still left room for ice cream during the movie. Can’t go wrong!

photo 3

One of my finer looking pictures! Enjoy Oscar night! I’m really just watching to catch a glimpse of Chris Evans and/or Harrison Ford. Well, also because I want to act like I’m “in the know.” Oh, and the opening number! At least I’ve seen two of the films…

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