December 17, 2005
Laurie and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tonight. The same fervor so many people had anticipating The Lord of the Rings trilogy doesn't compare with the passion I've held over the years for the Narnia books, especially the first one. (And don't get me sarted on how the new editions are re-ordered. That's asinine, and bad and wrong.)
I've read the Narnia series at least a hundred times, and I'm sure I've destroyed at least four editions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. To me, it's the perfect novel, and while the rest are fantastic, nothing can compare with the first moment Lucy stops backing into the coats and starts crunching through the snow.
I suppose every child wants to escape his or her ordinary life, and that's what has captured generations of readers to C.S. Lewis' works. The Christian imagery might be obvious to some, but at the time, I never paid attention to it. Edmund's bullheadishness, Peter's slow rise to strength, Susan's kindness and thoughtfulness and Lucy's enthusiasm always stayed with me. The White Witch was always the scariest of villans, because she never seemed outright evil, just hungry for power.
I was nervous, deciding to see this film. I was afraid that it would turn out to be a disappointment, a pale reflection of the images I had in my mind every time I read this book. However, I was entranced from the very beginning. I thought all the actors playing the Pevensie children were wonderful. Yes, Lucy was a bit too young, but the little girl playing her was spot-on.
Aslan might have been just another CGI effect, but Liam Neeson gave him a regal quality that I didn't expect from an animated character. I would have thought it'd take James Earl Jones or Sean Connery to pull that off, but he worked.
The best achievement, by far, was Tilda Swinton's performance as the White Witch. She had a tricky part to play; Edmund can't seem like a fool to betray his family for something as silly as Turkish delight (though I wanted a plate of it after watching him eat it). She had to appear kind and cunning, power-hungry and formidable. I don't know that another actress could play this character with so much mystery behind her.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a story that always leaves me very sad. I always wonder why the children decide, after a lifetime ruling Narnia, to take a trip back through the wardrobe. I always think that, if it were me, I'd have stayed on until my last day. I guess that's part of the lesson being taught, though. We all have great things to accomplish and great places to see, but in the end, it's our everyday lives that count for the most.
The rest of my day wasn't as magical, but certainly was a nice way to start my vacation.
I woke up at 7am, and decided that I certainly wasn't going to get out of bed at such a ridiculous hour, so I went back to sleep and slept until noon. I thought about going for a run, but my hip was still a little stiff, and the next run I go on, I'd like to see if I can make it to 10 miles, so I put it off until tomorrow and took a shower instead.
I came back to see there was a message on my cell. The Fabulous Robert had called. He sounded kind of peeved in the message, because we had made plans to have breakfast together. I had written him the day before, telling him that I planned on sleeping in, so he said any time was fine, we could just call it lunch. I left it at that, but he was waiting for me to give him a time, so it was all just a bunch of miscommunication (or bad manners on my part...I'm not so great at nailing down specific times). I called him back and said I'd be more than happy to come over to his place right then, and so I did.
We walked downtown and got some brunch at a small restaurant that I only remembered being in before because the bathroom is painted like an underwater scene. The food was great (I only ate half of it because I would have blown my calories for the day on pancakes alone if I hadn't), and we walked back to Robert's place, where he gave me my Christmas presents. I cursed myself for not bringing his with me, but I thought there was more time to do so before the holiday. He gave me a funny book, a little kit for making dog biscuits (for the dog I'm going to adopt when I get my house), a mug with a great saying on it, and the most beautiful glass top I've seen. It's hefty and well-balanced. I'm just going to have to find somewhere to display it for now.
After presents, I ran off because I had to buy cards for Cassie and CJ's birthday. I can't believe they're 10 years old. It seems like such a short time ago they were little babies, but I guess that's the case with all children.
I came home, wrapped their presents, and had a very light dinner with Mom before we went to Chris and Susan's for the party. I have to hand it to Susan; she makes sure that the twins don't feel like they're getting half a birthday party each, they each have their own cake, and it does feel like a party for each of them.
A while back, I found a working sewing machine for kids at BJs, and I thought it would be the perfect present for Cassie. Ever since Mom showed the girls how to sew, Cassie has taken to it like a young seamstress. She has been hand-sewing a pillow for Emma for the past week or so, and when she opened the present, a huge smile spread across her face. I love to come up with a gift that someone doesn't know they want until they open it!
CJ got a baseball game from me, which he had asked for, but he seemed just as happy with it. The twins actually got a great deal of loot for their birthdays, which makes me really happy for them. It's tough when your birthday falls so close to a major holiday.
They have grown up, though. CJ is going to be taller than me, and Cassie almost looks like a teenager now. Their parents know what they're doing, though, and all the kids act like kids, not like little adults, which I think is great. There's plenty of time to grow up when you're grown up. Why rush it?
After the party was dinner with Laurie. We went out for Chinese food, which might have blown my diet if I hadn't asked to get chicken teryaki. It's relatively healthy (compared with a lot of other dishes), and while I sampled the Peking ravioli and had a single chicken finger, I did pretty well. I don't want to turn into one of those eaters who can't go to this or that restaurant because it's not on my diet. Moderation is going to be the key to keeping off the weight.
Speaking of which, I officially landed at 185 today, making a grand total of 30 pounds lost since I started this diet and exercise plan. It feels like it's taken a very short amount of time to lose the weight, but the real test will be two-fold. First, I have another 10 pounds to go to get back into a size 32 jean (and maybe see some ab muscles, the hint of which are starting to show up already), and second, I have to maintain this weight, or gain some of it back, only with muscle and not fat. That's always the difficult part, because losing weight is something that allows you to track progress, but maintenance doesn't have tangible goals other than staying the same behind it.
I feel good about it this time, though. Probably better than I have every other time I've gone through weight loss. I have goals ahead of me, starting with a 10k race in the spring (I just have to find one to sign up for), and proceeding through a half-marathon and/or a triathlon in late summer.
Eventually, my goal is to complete a full marathon someday. It seems like an impossible goal, but people do it all the time, and I am having such a blast running that I think I'll be able to do it someday. I have to find a good marathon training program and stay with it for as long as it takes, but I can't imagine the feeling that's associated with finishing 26 miles in one continuous run.
If every day of my vacation is as good as today, I'll be very happy, indeed.
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