Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jonathan's 14th Birthday inspires New Training Goals

Michele, Jonathan, John
Yesterday (Friday) afternoon/evening we set aside time to celebrate my grandson's 14th birthday.  Jonathan lives in Metairie (about 90 miles from me), and is so busy now with school and wrestling, even on weekends, I don't get to see him very often.  He's about the closest thing, next to my dogs, that makes me go mushy.  We always have a grand time together. He always inspires.

It was our customary foursome: John, Jonathan, Audrey and me. And as a family tradition, we always go see the latest Harry Potter movie together whenever it comes out - perfect timing for his birthday this year.

John, Jonathan, Aunt Audrey in front of the Prytania Theater

So I looked around New Orleans and found that only the Prytania Theatre off St. Charles and Jefferson was playing this movie in 3D, at 5 p.m.  Never heard of the place.  We arrived at a tiny, old red brick theater on a residential street, with no parking lot (every patron uses the parking meters right on the street!).  So I was fairly sure it would be a disappointment.


Concessions, Jonathan, John, Audrey
While the Prytania is a single screen theater with a small lobby and small concession stand, with not even one single video game, it has an interesting brick architecture, brilliant red wool carpets and a reasonably sized auditorium with reasonably comfortable seats.  The screen and sound were perfect, and a large wooden stage in front of the screen brought back nostalgic memories of my days working for Ogden-Perry Theatre chain (Gordon Theater, Broadmoor Theater) in my youth.

Beautiful chandeliers.  Very friendly staff.  I talked with a local patron who said it's the only theater she ever goes to, walks there from her house and catches every movie that comes in.  Neat.

Staircase to the balcony seats.
A staircase with hand painted posters on the walls leads up to an old-fashioned balcony, a step back into yesteryear for sure.

Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Where It All Ends, in 3D was awesome.  It did not disappoint.  It was faithful to the book.  It ended on a high note.  We left feeling victorious.  Just the kind of movie I like.

A few more theater pix

Main Entrance to Prytania Theater
(L-R) John, Jonathan, Michele
"A Streetcar Named Desire" sidewalk art, in front of Prytania Theater, w. Jonathan

Michele and Jonathan
Afterwards, Jonathan chose sushi for his birthday dinner, and we found The Basil Leaf on S. Carrolton, with the trolley cars going by in the rain.  The food was not that special, but it gave us a cozy place to give him his birthday cards, chat and catch up on all the latest gossip and news before rushing him home to pack.

His Dad picks him up at 10:30 this morning for a 6 day cruize to Cozumel.  Lucky them! Then school starts, and he'll be too busy again to see much of me.  No more time to attend agility trials with me, either, which he says "isn't his thing anyway".  This makes my heart hurt, for I had so hoped to share my favorite passion with my favorite person.  At least he is very devoted to his wrestling (which isn't my thing either come to think of it, but I would go watch him), so he is in the gym almost every day and already 3rd in State in his weight category.  Hopefully, wrestling will teach him to strive for excellence and acquaint him with the thrill of analysis and going all out.  It pleases me to think so. His team got their asses stomped this weekend competing with other teams from all over the US.  It gave him and his coaches some new training goals.

It got me focused on my new training goals - I promised to "turn over a new leaf" beginning today.  I have 2 weeks 'til the Hattiesburg trial.  2 weeks to learn to run again (after 8 weeks of limping with a very sore calf and other people running my dogs at the last trial I attended in Monroe).  2 weeks to remind my dogs how to run a course and follow my guidance.  My first run this past Wednesday night teaching class, wasn't so good.  Neither of my dogs were focused, missed ques, knocked bars, ran off sniffing.  And I realized I've built up a heap of fear around re-injuring my leg.  I have to let go of that fear, build up my confidence.  So I picked up all the sticks in my agility yard this morning, committed to run my dogs every day for at least a few turns, and walk on my treadmill 30 minutes a day, if only in 10 minute increments.  The heat index of over 105 degrees daily and high humidity of 30-70%, makes going outside (even at 6:30 a.m.) an unpleasant task.  10 minutes out there and I'm feeling clammy and trickling sweat and my dogs are panting.  But we've got to work through this if we want those green and blue ribbons, and those titles by the end of the year.

Maxie, 2010, NA and NAJ Titles
I've got to think RIBBONS.  Boxes and boxes of RIBBONS. Some dogs like food.  Some like tugging and chasing toys.  Some trainers like Q's, improved time, or just "running with their dogs".  Me, I'm wild about RIBBONS, especially the blue ones (1st place) and the purple ones (2Q's in a day)!  That's my #10 reinforcements, and I never have this picture of Maxie's early successes (6 runs, 6 Q's, 6 1st places) and my elation over them very far out of my mind.  We're a much better team now, but the challenges have gotten harder, competition stiffer, the ribbons more elusive and with all this summer heat and rain plus my calf injury, the training sessions have been very infrequent. BAH!

Upwards and onward!

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