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Catching Up, Week #13

Hi Blog Buddies,

I thought it would be fun to do a “Catch Up” section with all of you! It’ll be simple and I’ll try to do it on a weekly basis hence the week number being what week we are in the year. The only reason I would miss writing is because it was a boring week or I’m busy on set.

WATCHING: Right now, I am obsessed with abc’s Resurrection. If you haven’t seen it, it is a show about people coming back from the dead – pretty obvious from the title. It really makes you think, “What would you do if your dead relatives came back to life?” I think it would freak me out. I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.

JAMMING: “So Happy Together” by the Turtles. I know it’s an oldie but a goodie at the same time. I’m loving it because there is a show I’d like to work and if I got the gig, I think we’d be so happy together.

READING: I Hate Everyone Starting with Me by Joan Rivers. I’ve been reading books on my iPad and I downloaded this one and I’m finally getting to it! I’m in chapter one but so far it’s been funny. “Sometimes late at night I wake up with this hot, moist feeling and I’m not sure if I’m having an orgasm or a stroke.”  Plus it’s the enhanced version so my book has video. Who would have thought?

FOLLOWING:  Twitter Analytics!  I’m finding it fascinating how it all works.   If you want to follow me on Twitter I’m @josephlecz

DRINKING: Expressos. I’ve always been a big expresso drinker. Recently, I spent several weeks in Europe and I fell even more in love with Expressos.
Before hitting the gym I usually have a double shot and then knock out my workouts.  I’ve has four shots this morning.

OMJoe Moment of the week:  I felt the earthquake last night! It wasn’t as scary as I thought probably because I was sipping on wine with friends 😉

TO DO: Put clothes away

Earthquake Remodel Needed

Shamrock Shake Lessons Learned

Hi to Earthquake Prone Dwellers and others,

This week Angelenos were awaken to a jolt on St. Patrick’s Day, hence the name Shamrock Shake (and not the delicious drink from McDonald’s). Earthquakes are a completely new experience to this boy who grew up in Michigan and spent almost ten years in Chicago.

Just another beautiful day in California no matter what season it is.

Just another beautiful day in California no matter what season it is.

I love living on the west coast because the weather here is incredible. It’s hard for me to believe it is still cold in much of this country, however, the downfall to having beautiful weather all the time is that the state is on a fault line which could move at any point.

When this quake hit, it was in the morning while most affiliates were airing their newscasts. You may have even seen how some of the anchors reacted. If you didn’t “Click Here” to see what happened at KTLA. Even though it is funny to watch the anchor man rush under the desk, you are suppose to react and cover yourself in some way.

This is what is posted in ABC offices in California.  Drop! Cover! Hold On!

This is what is posted in ABC offices in California. Drop! Cover! Hold On!

It is common knowledge from living in California that you need to be prepared for “The Big One” because it will happen some day. I’ve been here for several years and I am terrified of “The Big One” hitting. Partially because I just don’t know what that feeling is like when an earthquake happens. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Didn’t Joe just experience the earthquake on Monday?” I was here but I wasn’t present for it because I slept right through it. I woke up to text messages from friends and family asking how I was doing. I had no clue until I turned on the news and saw that there was an earthquake.

I will admit I’m very happy I slept through it. My friends who felt it said it was jolting and scary because many of us don’t exactly know what do when an earthquake hits – we just didn’t grow up with them.

As a child, it was taught to go in a doorway but that’s not the optimal choice anymore. Now you’re suppose to form a triangle around you so the debris won’t hit your body.

Another precaution to consider when preparing for an earthquake is to not have anything over the head of your bed.  That way if an earthquake hits at night you won’t have things falling on your head.  For the most part I have adhered to that precaution until recently. I moved my bed but I haven’t moved the TV yet. It’s been one of those To Do items that I’ve said, “I’ll get to it.” Take a look a the feature picture above again. Yes, that television could hit my head if the earthquake was strong enough to knock it over. For the first few weeks after rearranging my furniture, I would take the television down every night but that got tiring and I became lax. I would think, “I’ll be fine – an earthquake won’t hit tonight.” Sure enough, it did and I’m lucky that it wasn’t strong enough to knock the television over but it was a wake up call.

In the next couple days, I’m going to put together an earthquake preparedness kit and move the TV so it won’t fall on my head. If you have any tips or suggestions of what I need to have or what I should do to be prepared, please let me know in the comments below. Honestly, I don’t want to live my life like a doomsday prepper but I should have some water standing by just in case I’m around for “The Big One.”

Hope you’re week has been great! Later on during St. Patrick’s day, I ended up meeting with my friend Natoli.   We had a good time in DTLA. I’m also preparing for some new upcoming gigs and I’m going to be ready for the next earthquake, which hopefully I won’t be around for it.

My friend Natoli and I in DTLA just goofing around.

My friend Natoli and I in DTLA just goofing around.

Thanks for reading my blog! I hope you want more and will follow me. :-)

Dovidenia,
x/joe

Me in 1987

What I would tell my 8 yr-old self about my SoulCycle Experience

Hi fitness and fellow motivational craved buddies,

If you follow my blog (which I hope you do), you know that I’m an avid spin cyclist.   Many of my friends go to SoulCycle.   I’ve always been intrigued because it is right up my alley —  Cycling, Motivation and Inspiration.  However, it took me the longest time to go because I thought I would immediately get hooked and I didn’t know if I wanted to start incurring the costs (it’s $30 per session) especially when I can spin as part of my gym membership.

My friend and pilates instructor invited me to go with her and I decided to go this morning!  Now, you’re probably wondering why I picked an eight-year-old picture of myself as the featured image.   I did it because, if you knew me as a child, you would know that I was not interested in gym class or playing sports.   Ironically, I spend 5 out 7 days at the gym in my adult life.  What would I tell my eight-year-old self?  You will find physical fitness classes that you love and it doesn’t have to involve playing sports  (I despised dodge ball).   Today, there is nothing more that I enjoy than pilates, cycling and to my biggest surprise weight training with a trainer.

Honestly, I always wanted to be fit but as a kid I thought I would do that by eating cottage cheese, lettuce and drinking Evian water – I know, very 80s.  Luckily, I learned to eat healthy meals which also included exercise. So what did I think of SoulCycle and will I go again?  Please check out my YouTube Video below to find out.

If you want to know more about SoulCycle, please check out their website    www.soul-cycle.com

Cycling is one of the activities I have found to keep me motivated to follow my dreams and live a healthier lifestyle.   It may not necessarily be for you but I hope you have or find what gets you up and going in the morning and throughout the year.     I would have never have thought it would be the gym for me but I’m glad I found it.

Let me know what you think of  spin, SoulCycle or your motivational techniques in the comments below.  Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Dovidenia,

x/joe

What are your fears? I Spin Vlog 2

Hi fellow inspired buddies!

Recently I wrote a post about “Why I Spin.”   I also started doing YouTube episodes on what inspired me to go to spin each day.   I decided I should also share with my blog buddies.

As I’ve said before, I love being inspired.   There are several ways I get my inspiration and in the “YouTube Spin Inspired Motivation” playlist I share with you what inspired me in the hopes that you are inspired to do what you are menat to do.   There is a quote I love, “The highest expression of yourself is doing what you’re meant to do.”  How do you get there without being inspired?

Here is is what inspired me for this spin session.

What are your fears?  What inspires you?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you want more of this, please follow my blog and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

I hope you were doing what you were meant to do this week!

Have a fabulous weekend.

Dovidenia,

x/joe

JoJo and Nettie Predict

Oscar Predictions – The Outcome

Hi Oscars Pals!

I wanted to get this post finished yesterday but I spent the day catching up on everything Oscar and I wasn’t able to finish it until today.  I’m so happy  my  friend Nettie added her Oscar predictions to my previous blog.  We predicted winners in eight categories and I wanted to see who had better predictions.  I actually predicted nine categories.  The additional category I picked was Best Foreign Language Film.   I thought the winner would be the Belgium film “The Broken Circle Breakdown.”  To be honest it was the only movie I saw in that category BUT it was terrific. Loved it!  However, it didn’t win.  The winner was “The Great Beauty” from Italy.

Here are the winners, my predictions and Nettie’s predictions.  I also tell you why I picked who I did.

BEST PICTURE

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

I picked “American Hustle” and Nettie wanted “12 Years a Slave” to win but thought “American Hustle” would.   I haven’t seen “12 Years a Slave” because I knew I had to be in a certain frame of mind.   I will be seeing in soon though.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Winner: Matthew McConaughey

Both Nettie and I picked him as the winner.   Another friend recently said to me, “Anytime an actor loses weight they win an Oscar.”  I will admit that I took that into account but he also nailed that performance.

I also really dug his speech.  In case you missed it.  Here is a link to it:  Matthew McConaughey’s Oscars Acceptance Speech

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Winner: Cate Blanchett

Nettie picked this one right and I predicted Sandra Bullock because I thought it was incredible how she basically held that film together alone.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Winner: Jared Leto

I picked Bradley Cooper but Nettie got this one right.  I liked the movie “American Hustle” and I’m a Bradley Cooper fan.  He did a stellar job and I thought he might win the Oscar.  What I wasn’t expecting was hearing the best acceptance speech of the night by Jared Leto.  If you didn’t see it, here’s a link:   Jared Leto’s Oscars Acceptance Speech.   It was my favorite.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Winner:  Lupita Nyong’o

Both Nettie and I thought Jennifer Lawrence was going to win.   As I wrote earlier, I didn’t see “12 Years a Slave” and I picked Jennifer Lawrence because she played that character with such believability. I truly forgot it was Jennifer Lawrence in the movie.

Lupita Nyong’o also had one of my favorite speeches.  Here is a link to her speech: Lupita Nyong’o’s  Oscars Acceptance Speech.

BEST DIRECTING

Winner: Gravity

Nettie and I both predicted this one accurately!  I felt like that was a no brainer prediction.

Best Hair and Make Up

Winner: Dallas Buyers Club

Nettie got this one right.  I picked “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.”   Here’s the deal, if you convince regular people that you are someone else in person, then bravo to you!  I don’t think that is easy to accomplish.  Btw, I really liked Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa!  You should check it out ;-)

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Her

Neither Nettie or I got that one right!  I picked “American Hustle” and she picked “12 Years a Slave.”   Who would have thought it would be “Her”?  Maybe I would have picked “Her” if I would have seen the film.

Oscar Grab

THE PREDICTION WINNER BETWEEN MYSELF AND NETTIE:

If you weren’t keeping track  while reading this blog, the winner was Nettie.  She got five out of eight predictions correct.  I only got two.  Yikes.

Next year I promise to see all the movies before making my predictions!

How did you all do on your predictions?   Were there any upsets in your world?   Let me know in the comments below.

Hope this week is fabulous.

Dovidenia,

x/joe

Me on the Red Carpet

Oscar Predictions

Hi Oscar fans!

Irma and I on the Red CarpetFor years I have spent my time on the Red Carpet with my buddy Irma Norris.  This year we didn’t do the “After the Oscars Show” but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t Oscar feeling in my blood.   I’m not claiming to be an expert on movies but it is fun to predict the Oscar winners.   Do you agree with my predictions?  Let me know in the comments below.   Here we go …

Oscar Wheel

BEST PICTURE

I predict: American Hustle

Nominations: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street

 

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

I predict: Matthew McConaughey

Nominations: Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

I predict: Sandra Bullock

Nominations: Amy Adams, Cate Blanchette, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

I predict: Bradley Cooper

Nominations: Barkhad Abdi, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill, Jared Leto

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

I predict: Jennifer Lawrence

Nominations: Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, June Squibb

BEST DIRECTING

I predict: Gravity

Nominations: American Hustle (David O. Russell), Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron), Nebraska (Alexander Payne), 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen), The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

I predict: The Broken Circle Breakdown

Nominations: The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, The Missing Picture, Omar

RELATED:  Here’s my article for my review on The Broken Circle Breakdown.  I will admit I’m biased in this category.  It was just such a great film!   

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

I predict: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Nominations: Dallas Buyer Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Lone Ranger

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

I predict: American Hustle

Nominations: American Hustle, Bue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska

Behind the Scenes Oscars

These are the categories I thought I had the most knowledge in.   I wonder how many I will get right?  Follow my blog and lets see together.

Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

Dovidenia,

x/joe

Starring: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh and Nell Cattrysse
Director: Felix Van Groeningen

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Hi movie goers and anyone who has loved someone,

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time at the YouTube Space LA attending workshops, networking hours and recently a movie screening with a Q&A afterwards.

The movie at this screening was an Oscar Nominated Belgium film entitle “The Broken Circle Breakdown.”  When I signed up for the screening, I will admit I didn’t look to see what the movie was about.  It turned out to be a roller coaster of emotions.

First off, the movie was beautifully directed by Felix Van Groeningen and it had superb cinematic production with over-the-top believable acting.  I ended up so engrossed in the movie that I totally forgot  I was actually reading subtitles.  In fact, even as I write this piece, it’s hard for me to imagine the film not being in English.  Bravo to everyone involved in the movie for creating this masterpiece.

Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens

Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens

Now for the roller coaster of emotions.   The name really captures what the movie is about and how the lifecycle works.   I want you to think back to a time when you started a new job or began a new relationship.  If it survived several years, there were likely highs and lows throughout but generally in the beginning it was pure bliss.   This movie takes it from the relationship circle, where two fun-loving and carefree spirited people (played by Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens) meet and have a daughter (played by Nell Cattrysse), who ends up dying from cancer as a child.  Then the movie tells the struggles the couple faces after their daughter’s death.

The entire story was beautifully told.   It begins when the couple’s daughter is receiving treatment for cancer and the director uses flashback cut ins to show the audience how the characters got to that point.   That style continued throughout the end of the movie.  I loved that way of story telling because it felt as if you were reading your own journal and looking back to how you got to that point.

I’m thankful that YouTube Space LA had this screening because I may have not seen this magnificent film otherwise.   The Q&A with director, Felix Van Groeningen, and actress, Veerle Baetens, was also an added bonus.  From the Q&A, I learned that this film was originally a theatrical performance and told through monologues, which is not very cinematic.  I believe this made the film even more impressive.

There is also a part of this story which hits close to home for me.  Several years ago two of my closest friends, Annette and Ted Stenstrom, lost their daughter due to health complications.  I watched and continue to see the struggles they go through.   Loss is hard enough but it is especially hard to watch the painful struggles of parents loosing a child.   Unfortunately, it’s not a topic discussed often and this movie nailed the emotional journey even though it doesn’t have a happy ending.  I’m glad this ending hasn’t happened to my friends.

www.thepeapodproject.org

Ted, Annette and Gigi Stenstrom

This may not be the funniest of all movies, even though it does have funny parts, but it is romantic and a must see.  You will think about your own life differently in the end.   If you’ve seen this film, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

1st Annual Peapod Project Pounds the Pavement Walk/Run

1st Annual Peapod Project Pounds the Pavement Walk/Run

On another note, my friend, Annette Stenstrom, started a charity that helps families cope with the loss of a child and grandchild.  It is called The Peapod Project.   Together, her and I along with a team of board members started a 5K Walk/ Run race in 2008 with only 50 participates in a rain storm.  It grew to over 4,000 people attending and the Village People playing a concert .  Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the corporate sponsor has pulled out and the organization is on the search for a new race idea and a corporate sponsor.   If you have any ideas or leads, please share in the comments below or contact Annette at annette.stenstrom@thepeapodproject.org.   We’d love to hear from you.

I hope you are all having a fantastic day!

Remember to hug and tell your loved ones that you love them.

Dovidenia,

Love,

/joe