Grown Ups 2 – Review

I finally got a chance to see Grown Ups 2 this past weekend after having wanted to see it since it was released.  The main reason for this is that I think Adam Sandler is great.  I still haven’t figured out why there are a lot of people who don’t like him; I personally find him hilarious.  I could watch Billy Madison everyday for the rest of my life and still laugh at it.

Overall I’d give the movie a B rating.  I’ve certainly seen funnier movies, but to me it’s on par with the funniness of the original.  Clocking in at 101 minutes, I actually thought the movie could’ve been longer.  I know most comedies don’t tend to run as long as other movie types, but it seemed like the storyline could’ve added either a bit more to it or just some additional scenes for fun.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Taylor Lautner in the movie as a preppy frat boy.  The character suited him well and just made me laugh in general.  Steve Austin and Shaq were also in the movie and I enjoyed their characters as well.  I liked that they added additional stars like that to supplement the original cast. 

If there was one reoccurring humor theme in the movie, it was the use of butts, both male and female.  While a bit juvenile in a sense, it still was entertaining for the viewers as a whole.  Given the maturity level of the 4 main characters it seemed fitting.

If you’re not a huge fan of any of the lead comedians I’d say save your money and wait til the movie comes out on DVD.  Otherwise if you found the first one to be really good then you should enjoy this one just as much. 

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“A true runner knows that the most difficult challenge is not physical” -Me

Runners often have a hard time explaining to people why they enjoy running.  I believe this is mostly due to the fact that people grow up associating running with pain, particularly if they participated in another sport in which running was used as a form of punishment.  It is not that runners do not feel pain, we certainly do, but more so that we get a gratification from it and find many benefits that outweigh any physical discomfort.

Over time I have come to realize that I run for many reasons (to stay in shape, to be able to run races, to spend time with my dad), but the main one is because it is the only thing I have true control over in life and can make a constant.  It is the only thing that has been able to define me and has not changed even as I have changed over the years.  I have experienced nearly every emotion possible while running… anger, frustration, disappointment, excitement, hurt, happiness, jealousy, depression, tranquility and pride.  Many runs I have completed are simply to get outside and enjoy “my time” while often times training for a race.  I can run without needing it to be for training purposes, but I find that it’s more motivating to have a race to train for as it makes me run even if I’m having a “lazy” week. 

I realized this evening during my run that come Nov. when I turn 27 I will have officially spent more of my life as a runner than I have not.  I began track in 7th grade and throughout my senior year of high school it was the best thing in my life.  It provided me with a wonderful group of friends, some of whom I still have good friendships with today.  For a girl who had many rough gym classes through the years (I believe I have been hit in the face with every type of sports ball), it was a chance to shine as an athlete.  While I was never the most elite, I had my fair share of 1st, 2nd or 3rds and to date I still take pride in going to the District 3 Championships my senior year.  I began cross country my junior year of high school more so as a means of keeping in shape for track than anything else.  It did, however, embed in me an enjoyment for running longer distances.  Given that one cannot compete in hurdle races throughout one’s life (my specialty in track), it also made it so that I had a way of continuing to run even after graduation.

I still have my ups and downs with running particularly in the winter.  The cold and I disagree more and more each season, and I can only tolerate running on a treadmill for so long.  I will never take the ability to run for granted though.  March 2010 I developed mono which kept me on the couch for a week straight, sleeping probably 12-16 hours a day.  The worst part though was that it caused my liver to swell which made the doctor order no physical activity until it was back to normal.  Unfortunately this caused me to literally not do any physical activity for the entire month.  Once I was cleared to be active again I went to the high school track and proceeded to run.  I barely made it a half mile before I had to stop, and all I wanted to do was cry.  I had never felt so out of shape in my life.  Fortunately time and training brought me back into shape to the point of training for my first half marathon the summer of 2011.  I was signed up and ready to race in the Harrisburg half marathon that Sept. and hadn’t felt so in shape since my senior year of high school.  Unfortunately Mother Nature decided the week before was a good time to send a hurricane our way.  The race was rescheduled for later in the fall, a time that did not suit as I was in the process of moving and starting a new job.  The training felt as if it had been for nothing, but every run I had completed was still worth the mental toughness I had developed and the enjoyment of running with my dad and friends.

I am now back at it again, training for a half marathon.  I’m hoping Mother Nature chooses to behave herself this Sept.  The major difference in training this time is the majority of my long runs have been by myself.  Back in 2011 I had the luxury of running with my alma matter’s cross country team two evenings a week, but now I have no such luck.  I’m also battling a slight knee issue that is mostly under control save for a few choice runs when it chooses to flare up. 

Overall running is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend my time.  It gives me a chance to get fresh air, enjoy the sun, and just let my mind wander.  I find I do my best thinking when I’m running.  It releases life’s stresses and refreshes in a way that no other activity seems to for me.  I often laugh to myself when I get weird looks from people I pass while running.  I know they must think I’m crazy, and I want to tell them that I’m honestly enjoying myself though I’m sure that would make them think I’m even more crazy.  Maybe being a runner does require a bit of neuroses to truly understand it and want to do it and enjoy every minute of it, painful and pleasurable.

“A true runner …

God Gets the Credit

I was originally going to write about another topic this evening, but upon scrolling through my Facebook news feed I saw something that sparked my interest to write about instead.  A person had written a status about the negativity of people on Facebook.  A friend of that person wrote a comment to it saying something along the lines of “Faith in God creates happyness” (for the record that’s how they spelled happiness too). 

I have numerous items I could discuss related to religion, and in time will write a post with my own back story in organized religion and how I came to have the beliefs I now do today.  One of the biggest things that upsets me that I regularly see, however, is the number of people who seem to directly tie pleasant emotion and gratitude to “God”.

Merriam-Webster defines emotion as the following:  a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body

So inferring from that person’s post, belief in something that cannot be entirely proved or disproved, will make people happy.  I do not disagree that for some people having faith is what they seem to need in life as it gives them direction and purpose.  However, to say that statement as if it’s the only logical way to be happy is just absurd.  The psychology of happiness is multifaceted with elements related to genetics, upbringing as a children, and  environment just to name a few.  If all it took to be happy was believing in some invisible being, well I do believe we’d see a large drop in the number of people who struggle with depression.   

Even worse I find, is those who give credit to “God” for something that goes well in life or for “helping” them through a difficult time.  Your luck or successes in life are attributed to you.  Of course some people may very well just have “dumb luck”, but others have worked to attain their achievements.  Why give credit for this to something other than yourself?  On the other side when life’s a challenge why is it so wrong to give yourself credit for being strong?  For pushing through life’s difficulties?  Or even to just give credit to family and friends who were there for you?  It honestly saddens me when I see people do this.  It makes me want to write to them and say “You did this; you made it; you deserve the recognition for overcoming an obstacle.” 

These same people tend not to ever blame “God” for the ill will thrown their way.  If they do then it’s only to say that “God is challenging them”.  No God is not “challenging” them, they’re simply following their path in life with its ups and downs like anyone else.  While some people seem to have more obstacles to overcome than others, it doesn’t mean everyone else won’t face similar challenges in another life.

In short, being truly happy is not something that can be simplified by telling someone what to believe in or follow, and it’s sad that more people in this world don’t give themselves the credit they deserve for accomplishing goals or overcoming difficulties.

Random Runner’s Thoughts

I’m going to change up my writing style a bit here for this post and go a little random.  I figure it keeps things interesting while also allowing for a different “voice” to my writing.

This evening I finally got to run after being kept inside this week from both the scorching heat as well as having to “babysit” the guys replacing our roof.  I find that I do most of my thinking when running.  While I absolutely cannot run on a treadmill without music playing, when I run outside I never do so.  I prefer to take in everything around me, enjoy pieces of nature when I can (which usually involves finding a trail to run on because town life isn’t always peaceful surroundings), and just let my thoughts randomly flow.  Here are some of the random ones that crossed my mind during my run tonight:

-What does it take to condemn a house as inhabitable?  The way some houses look, nearly falling apart on the outside, makes me shudder to think what the inside must look like.

-On the other side of the spectrum, there is a very upscale looking house that has a gate to its driveway.  It also has a side entrance to the same driveway that has no gate.  Do you really think you can keep people out that way?

-Other than providing green space that builders can’t overrun, cemeteries to me are a complete waste.  A body gets buried and after so many years when family members no longer exist themselves to visit it, it’s just there.  Not to mention given that our souls reincarnate (I’ll save my reasoning and personal experience with that for another post), it’s utterly useless to keep taking up space and spending money to put bodies into the ground.  I say burn them all and let people do with what the ashes as they or their family deems appropriate.

-Running in 90 degree heat is probably one of the best times to run if you want to avoid being assaulted/kidnapped//raped.  Think about it, who exactly is going to hide out in that heat let alone want to get sweaty trying to attack people or run after them?

-A dog barking when I’m running is scarier than hearing a gunshot.  While a dog attack may not kill, the odds of the dog getting hold of me to attack greatly outweigh the odds of a bullet hitting me while running.  Not that I’ve ever been shot at while running, just overall more afraid of the dog.

-I don’t understand why anyone would want to live in a house that is against a hill and/or has a yard that is an upward slope.  How are you supposed to setup anything like a picnic table or volleyball net?  Plus mowing on one has got to be a lot more tedious.

-The looks I get from people when running regardless of the weather are absolutely priceless.  I’m tempted to make a shirt to wear that says “Yes I’m doing this for fun” because often times I want to yell that out at them as I pass.

Etiquette

I find that I am often puzzled as to what is deemed etiquette or just general courteousness when it comes to certain situations.  The main example I encounter is when I am walking across the parking lot to enter the workplace.  If someone is immediately behind me then I will hold the door open for him or her.  If someone is a great distance away then I will not.  The tricky part is when people are at that middle distance where it’s easy to wait for them, but just as easy to let the door close.  I find that if I wait and hold the door then the person feels obligated to walk more quickly to get there, apparently feeling bad that I am waiting.  However, if I let the door close then I tend to feel slightly rude.  The same holds true for elevators.  How close does someone need to be to the elevator to merit holding it open?  Then of course you have the issue of the elevator having many people already inside and whether or not you should squeeze together to allow more or if those people should be courteous and wait for the next elevator.  While I’m sure there are no “set” practices for any of these situations I find that it often times makes me wonder how best to react as well as avoid any awkwardness.

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.

Gilda Radner

When I think back to my childhood days it often becomes clear to me that I had an element of creativity that seemed to diminish as I grew older.  I spent hours outside creating games from my imagination and taking the most simple items (my red wagon for example) and turning them into something more (a covered wagon upon which to “travel the Oregon trail”).  Even as I entered middle school my creativity remained and while no longer used in acts of play, it manifested itself in various forms of writing.  Poetry, stories, essays and journal entries all allowed me to enhance my vocabulary while providing an outlet for my thoughts and ideas.  As I progressed through high school and college my writing more often than not was directed towards dictated subjects thanks to the education system.  A few random journal entries became the only writings which were truly a reflection of my thoughts.  It is now time to regain what I have lost; the ability to freely write whatever may come to mind and reestablish my ability to creatively word my thoughts.  I plan to have this blog be a combination of random thoughts, commentary on current events, a review here or there and a little bit of this and a little bit of that just for fun.

While we have t…