Saturday, December 29, 2007
I've been reading about this in my web news group for months now. I know this was premiered at Cannes to much accolade, and I've been waiting for it to launch to the public; looks like that will happen soon! Click here to see the preview.
Although I don't think this will be "just as good" as being at a concert, it may be an accurate way for more people to get to get an idea of what a big show with these wily Irishmen is like. It's being released by National Geographic and here is the write up which discussed the technology. By the way, please note that the "3D" technology is not like Jaws in 3D or something dumb like that where Bono will hover over the audience to your awe and amazement. This is a whole new ball game and most likely the start of a whole new way of viewing movies and maybe even TV one day. Please read the article here.
I for one am stoked...a new album is teased of for 2008, but nothing is solid...that would mean no tour until 2009...that's a long time for me to go U2less...maybe this will help in the meantime. I guarantee I will drag as many people who live local to me to this, the rest of you are on your own!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. While my wife's brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:
A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:
Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:
There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.
The clothes are fantastic.
Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:
Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.
Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:
This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.
Here's how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:
This 'all purpose jumpsuit' is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made y ou, and as a one-piece, it's slightly more effective as a deterrent against ass-rapery.
Here's how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:
If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob 'No-pants' Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it ha sn't happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.
Here's how to get your ass kicked at the beach:
He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.
How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:
If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.
How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day
Dear god in heaven, I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.
In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys.
As does your search for chest hair.
And this -- Seriously. No words.
Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are What. The. F*ck. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.
Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, I'm guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don't they?
I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled 'Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best.
And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and a blonde girl with a look on her face that says 'I love the way your junk fights against that fabric.'
Then, after the lovin', you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:
I could go on, but I'm tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it's the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:
Man, that's sexy.
To whomever wrote this originally? I tip my hat to you. VERY nice job...very nice. My only regret? I didn't come up with it myself.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Then, they get you in the van and they strap your wheelchair down from 4 different directions which makes me wonder, "Are we going to drive or does this thing take off like an airplane?" As soon as we were underway the reason for all the straps was apparent: The driver drives very fast. Very fast. I needed every strap that was attached to my chair.
So, I arrive at the Trader Joes to finish my shopping. The bus driver unloads me and off I go...sort of. I got stuck on the little ramp leading into the store and I couldn't do anything but spin my wheels. Some angel of a man grabbed my chair from behind and pushed me into the store, wished me Merry Christmas and headed off into the store (I never did see his face). My first glimpse of the level of humanitarianism which is still alive and well in the world.
While shopping I realized that virtually everything I wanted was on a shelf I couldn't reach. Since I had my goods basket in my lap I couldn't really stand up, so I had to wait for somebody to come by and ask them to hand me things; everybody was glad to help me.
When I was done shopping I asked the store if I could leave my groceries behind the counter while I did some other things in the shopping center; the checker gladly stashed my groceries, and even put my frozen waffles in the freezer so they wouldn't unthaw while I was gone...that was really nice.
I made it to the Quiznos around the corner okay (those little $2 sandwiches really are pretty good), but then I couldn't get back up the ramp to get back. I waited for a man to be walking into the Petco and asked him if he could give me a push...he gladly did.
Get the pattern here? Yes, I was sort of independent, but then again, not really...until I develop a lot better upper body strength I am sort of doomed to ask my fellow human beings for help...and you know what I find really comforting? They all seem to be happy to help me. Good manners and kindness are alive and well in the world despite what we are told on the news...don't let anybody convince you otherwise.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
So why am I sharing this with you? Boy oh BOY has my perspective of the world changed!!! I have a handicapped permit, so you immediately are scrutinizing who else is using those spots and do they look like THEY actually NEED to be using those spots? In going to a restaurant or the movies you have to figure out where the ramp in the curb is so that you can get the wheelchair into the building...a lot of the ramps are clear at one end or the other, so you have to make a significant side trip to get in and out. Once you are in, figuring out how to best sit at the table so as not to be in the way of others and to still be comfortable is a bit of a challenge. This injury has proven to be a massive experiment in problem solving, to say the least. Let's not even talk about bathing, getting dressed, using the bathroom...I'll leave it at all exercises in problem solving for the sake of avoiding TMI. :-)
I went to see Billy Joel at the Rose Garden...the Garden is well equipped for handicapped access, but see how much you like the trip to your seat through the crowds. People do NOT look down and I felt like any minute somebody was going to trip over my leg or fall in my lap....then when they did look down I got almost an annoyed look that I was in THEIR way....That was interesting...wonder if I have been guilty of that with others in the past? Probably....
It's easy to be annoyed by how there are always empty handicapped parking spots right by the door, but you have to park way out in the back 40 and walk in because you aren't handicapped. It's easy to be annoyed because the person pushing the wheelchair in front of you is taking a long time or you have a hard time maneuvering around them. Well, guess what? I can assure each and every one of you that if you get to depend on that wheelchair for a little while you are going to see that all from a completely different perspective! The other thing I can say with all certainty: The answer to the question, "If I were to be granted several million dollars but I had to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair, would I take the money?" NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Big fat NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't care how much money somebody would give me, I'll take the use of my getaway sticks over cash ANY day of the week. I know wheelchair bound can install enough facilities in their lives to find a way to be mostly independent, and the amount of adaptation and skill that would take to accomplish I am completely in awe of. Seriously! I tip my hat to those people who have become disabled permanently and have made the best of it...I will forever see you in a different light. It's often difficult to find a bright spot through the gloom, but whenever I experience something which perhaps grants me more empathy for another group of my fellow humans, well, I welcome the experience. I'm not digging my spot, but I know I'll be walking around by New Years...if I learned something positive from the experience, then I guess I'll smile and say "Thank you".
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Anyway, 24th Anniversary was played by a local Colorado band called Under a Blood Red Sky. They did okay...The people who were with me have never seen U2 in concert, so they loved it....I've seen them many times, so for me it was the difference between a hamburger from AM/PM and a hamburger from Red Robin...there really was a quality gap there. BUT, the thing about it is that after the show the restrooms happen to be right next to where the band came off stage after their set. I overheard them talking to some people and they were SO excited and amped by the experience of playing Red Rocks to a sold out crowd (yes, sold out...there were 7,000 people there that night...even the original concert didn't sell out). U2 is the band they are because they are so very special...it would be an exercise in futility to replicate that with any sort of actual authenticity, however, these guys didn't do too bad. After I saw how excited and honored they were by the opportunity I decided to cut them a little more slack. They are attempting to fill some really big shoes, and I have to give them credit for doing a pretty good job. And yes, I can tell you I will be making yet another trip to Red Rocks next year to go see the show on June 4th, actual band or not. :-)
Now, the plane ride...this was the first time I've been on a plane since I decided to watch all the episodes of Lost on dvd or TV. I must say, my observations on this trip are forever changed. As I'm sitting on the plane I'm looking around at my fellow passengers wondering,
"I wonder if anybody on this plane can hunt?"
"I wonder if there is a doctor?"
"Is anybody running from the law?"
"Who would be the person to panic and turn on all of us in a tough situation?"
Then I'd look out the window at the ground below and wonder,
"Are the Others down there?"
"Are they friendly or hostile?"
LOL! Funny how TV can cause you to view the world around you differently.
And finally, there was a mother and her less than 5 year old daughter sitting behind me. I heard the mother comment that this was her daughter's first flight. Anybody who knows me knows I'm not a big fan of the children, so initially I was thinking, "Great, what fresh hell is this going to be?" (I had to get up at 5 a.m. to make my flight, and I'm not much of a morning person...I just wanted to get in the air so I could go to sleep). As luck would have it, the mother's voice wasn't annoying and the child only kicked my seat a couple of times. I slept most of the flight, but as we were coming into Denver we hit some pretty decent turbulence. The mother was explaining that the bumping was just like "bumps on the road" and it was nothing to be concerned about. As we were coming into the airport we had to hang a pretty sharp u-turn and the child was sitting at the window on the side of the plane that tipped down when we did this. As the wing tipped and we are looking at the ground the child says,
"Oh, oh...here we go! Mayday! Mayday!"
The mother quickly shhh'ed her and explained we were turning, not crashing, but THAT made me laugh out loud, and that is the thing I've been telling everybody about my trip. Kids aren't my favorite, but I must say some of them do have their moments. From here on out when something gets tough for me my reply will be, "Mayday! Mayday!"
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
"Delaware?!?!? Get the rope!!!!"
Anyway, he has started his own blog which I'm looking forward to reading in the future. In looking through my archives of saved Ken Grant articles, the following is the best. Is it seasonal? No. But we'll call it, "Beginning to bitch about Christmas already in August". May as well get an early start on it.
Confessions of a self-professed Grinch
By Ken Grant
Every December, when that great song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” comes on, my kids demand that I turn up the radio so they can sing – or gleefully scream – the lyrics at me.
Grinch, Scrooge, the Anti-Claus, take your pick of titles – I gladly wear them all.
I honestly do not like Christmas, I do not enjoy any aspect of it, and I’m finding that more and more people are admitting that they’re not all that thrilled with it, either.
I can already hear the cries of heresy coming from faithful Christians and even not-so-faithful-but-we-show-up-for-church-twice-a-year types alike. But, if we take a moment to look at the origins of Christmas, we might find that the truly Christian thing to do might be to shift our focus to something more substantive and meaningful every December.
Nowhere in scripture are Christians commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ? I challenge anyone to find a scriptural reference to the First Century Church celebrating Christmas. In fact, two of the four canonized gospels don’t even mention the birth of Jesus.
By contrast, the followers of Christ are admonished to observe two things: Communion and Baptism. All other feasts, festivals, and observances are entirely optional (see Colossians 2:16).
So, when did we start this Christmas tradition? Allow me to quote from George W. Cornell:
For more than 300 years after Jesus’ time, Christians didn’t celebrate his birth. The observance began in fourth century Rome, timed to coincide with a mid-winter pagan festival honoring the pagan gods Mithra and Saturn. The December date was simply taken over to commemorate Jesus’ birth, since its exact date isn’t known. Consequently, the fusion of the sacred and the profane characterized the celebration from the start.
The reality is that celebrating new life following the winter solstice is something that’s been done for some time – much more than 2,000 years. Switching the celebration from Ra the Egyptian sun-god, Adonis the Syrian god, Mithras the Persian sun-god, and any number of Norse gods (Oden being the most prevalent) to the birth of Christ seemed to have occurred almost seamlessly – in fact, nearly EVERYTHING that we associate with the Christmas tradition (evergreen trees, holy, lights, candles, etc.) can be traced back to one or more of these pagan origins.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know how ministers go through this every year. Let’s think about this for a moment. The average minister has 52 Sundays a year to teach, to preach, to explore the deep and rich mysteries of scripture found throughout the Bible. Out of those 52 Sundays, the minister is forced by tradition to focus on a small handful of passages for at least four of those Sundays every year – re-hashing the same themes year after year after year.
And again, this is for something that really has very little to do with the crux of Christianity! I challenge anyone to show me where Peter preached about the importance of the birth of Christ. How about an epistle from Paul where he explains to a growing church the need to have a manger scene set up by the second week of December?
The message of Christ is profound – he did not call his disciples to look at his baby pictures! He told his followers to pick up their crosses and follow him to death. Paul tells us that presenting ourselves as living sacrifices is our reasonable act of worship. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost focused exclusively on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Again, the two practices Christians are ordered to observe – baptism and communion – are symbols of sacrifice, death, and resurrection – not of incarnation and birth.
Of course, it makes sense for just about anyone to be more comfortable focusing time and attention on a harmless, cute baby than to deal with the man who calls you to sacrifice your pride and your ego to follow Him to an uncertain future.
I am not advocating that everyone quit celebrating Christmas. But I am asking for two things. First, figure out what it is you are celebrating and why you are celebrating it. If it’s just tradition or a warm, fuzzy feeling, that’s OK – just be honest about it. Second, please don’t tell me that I “must” celebrate with you.
By the way, the kids don’t seem to mind the fact that their father is a Grinch.
You'll be able to read more Ken Grant at: Random: Ken Grant Blog
Monday, July 16, 2007
At any rate, I've seen a few good ones as of late, most recently Disappearances. A brief breakdown of the story from the website is as follows:
Based on the award-winning novel by Howard Frank Mosher. Legendary actor/songwriter Kris Kristofferson (Blade, The Jacket, Dreamer, A Star is Born, Lone Star, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore), stars as schemer and dreamer Quebec Bill Bonhomme -- in a spellbinding tale of high-stakes whiskey-smuggling, a family's mysterious past, and a young boy's rite of passage (Charlie McDermott from The Village and Windy Acres as Wild Bill Bonhomme).
Quebec Bill, desperate to raise money to preserve his endangered cattle herd through a long winter, resorts to whiskey smuggling, a traditional family occupation. He takes his son, Wild Bill, on an unforgettable trip that will long remain etched in the viewer's mind: a journey through vast reaches of the Canadian wilderness and into a haunted and elusive past. What they find is the stuff of genuine legend.
The Time: 1932, just months before the repeal of Prohibition and two weeks shy of Wild Bill's fifteenth birthday.
The Place: Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, the edge of the North Country frontier straddling the Vermont/Canadian border.
The Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Charlie McDermott, Genevieve Bujold, Gary Farmer, William Sanderson, Lothaire Bluteau, Luis Guzman, Bill Raymond, Heather Rea, John Griesemer.The reason I had to use their description is because to be honest I don't think I could have figured out how to explain this movie. It's wonderful, but there is so much more that goes on than the simple description lets you know. It's confusing and mystifying, but in a good way. Admittedly I'll sit and watch Kris Kristofferson pick his nose for 2 hours and never complain....I find him completely intriguing. But, that aside I feel this is a good flick.
Some others I've seen as of late which I felt were actually pretty good was a little film called Winter Passing. I can't find a good website to link to for this, so the best synopsis I found is as follows:
Who's in it? Will Ferrell , Ed Harris , Zooey Deschanel , Amelia Warner
What's it about? A dramatic comedy by award-winning playwright Adam Rapp, Winter Passing charts the fractious reunion of an estranged father and daughter. Struggling twenty-something actress Reese Holden (Zooey Deschanel) has been promised $100,000 for publication of love letters written by her legendary, but reclusive father, novelist Don Holden (Ed Harris), to his equally revered late wife, also an acclaimed writer and Reese's mother. In search of these letters, Reese treks from New York City back home to Michigan, where she finds her father in flagrant disregard of his own health and living with two younger housemates: one, a practical former grad student, Shelly (Amelia Warner) and the other, a would-be musician, Corbit (Will Ferrell). Though no angel herself, Reese does not approve of this ad-hoc "family." Little by little, she comes to appreciate her unlikely new siblings, and as secrets are revealed, Reese comes to terms with her father, their shared past and hopeful future.
I personally feel this is one of the 2 best pictures Will Ferrell has done, the other being Stranger Than Fiction. But that's my opinion, from a woman who didn't see much humor at all in Talladega Nights....I wanted to like it, just couldn't seem to pull that one off!
To summarize the two films and add a few more I thought were worth the time it took to load them in the DVD player:
2. Winter Passing
3. The Painted Veil (Ed Norton period piece...good movie!)
4. Black Snake Moan (Sam Jackson, Christina Ricci) VERY good!
5. Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls. Predictable, but good. I liked it a great deal!
I could go on and on, but if you want some different movies with different angles this is a good short list to give a try.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The thing I enjoyed about his man's writing is that finally he is saying there is no "right way" to view things...that life is completely subjective, INCLUDING the Bible, and that is how the Bible was intended to be interpreted in the first place.
A quote from the back of Velvet Elvis is as follows:
We have to test everything.
I thank God for anybody anywhere who is pointing people to the mysteries of God.
But those people would all tell you to think long and hard about what they are saying and doing and creating.
Test it. Probe it. Do that to this book.
Don’t swallow it uncritically. Think about it. Wrestle with it.
Just because I’m a Christian and I’m trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn’t mean I’ve got it nailed. I’m contributing to the discussion.
God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?
This book can be purchased at Amazon at this link: Velvet Elvis
His other book, Sex God was reviewed as follows:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bell raises the bar with this evocative follow-up to last year's bestseller Velvet Elvis. "Is sex a picture of heaven?" he wonders. It's all about God and sex and heaven, he says: "...they're connected. And they can't be separated. Where the one is you will always find the other." Bell's book isn't a sex manual, an exploration of the differences between men and women or a marriage how-to, though all of that is here. Instead, it's the story of God becoming human, of humans mirroring God and love made manifest in the chaos of our humanity. Sex God is about relationships revealed in a way that elevates the human condition and offers hope to those whose relationships are wounded. In Bell's spare, somewhat oblique style, he addresses lust, respect, denial, risk, acceptance and more. His love for God and the Bible is clear, as is his ability to ask probing questions and offer answers that make readers think deeply about their own lives. He does a fine job using the Bible and real life to show that our physical relationships are really about spiritual relationships. This book joyfully ties, and then tightens, the knot between God and humankind. (Mar.)
This book can be purchased at this link: Sex God
I've read a lot of books on this subject, and in an earlier blog post of mine I quoted a friend of mine who had told me that "Jesus had been hijacked" in the name of the last presidential election. With more people like Rob Bell spreading lessons that a larger part of us can relate to, well, I feel maybe we really can Take Jesus Back.
Anybody who likes to read and has felt a little disenchanted with the whole religion thing in general should give these books a try. I've been looking for more who were of "like mind" and I feel I've finally found him.
Friday, May 18, 2007
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be...?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, & disorder-my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
39. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
40. Oh I get it... like humor... but different
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
"This was not written by Maya Angelou. It was written by Pamela Redmond Satran for Glamour magazine." The story on this can be found here.
My apologies...I received a forwarded e-mail, took it at face value and posted the poem because I liked it. Thanks Lisa for letting me know my error!
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own even if she
never wants to or needs to...
A woman should have something perfect to wear if the employer or
date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...
A woman should have a youth she's content to leave behind....
A woman should have a past juicy enough that she's looking
forward to retelling it in her old age.
A woman should have a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and
a black lace bra...
A woman should have one friend who always makes her laugh,
And one who lets her cry...
A woman should have a good piece of furniture not previously
owned by any one else in her family...
A woman should have eight matching plates,
Wine glasses with stems,
And a recipe for a meal that will make her guests
A woman should have
a feeling of control over her destiny.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW
how to fall in love without losing herself.
Every woman should know how to quit a job,
Break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without losing the friendship.
Every woman should know when to try harder
And when to walk away.
Every woman should know that she can't change
The length of her calves,
The width of her hips,
Or the nature of her parents.
Every woman should know that her childhood may not have been
perfect...but its over.
Every woman should know what she would and wouldn't do
For love or more.
Every woman should know how to live alone...
Even if she doesn't like it.
Every woman should know whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW WHERE TO GO
Be it to her best friend's kitchen table
Or a charming inn in the woods
when her soul needs soothing.
Every woman should know what she can and can't accomplish in a
And a year...
Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Second, last night I attended a free screening of Peaceful Warrior. It's based on an autobiographical work by Dan Millman (which I had never heard of). I came across the passes at Best Buy, it was free, I'd seen the previews and I was stoked to see Nick Nolte act again. My friend and I attended and I must say I enjoyed that film a GREAT deal, and I teared up more than once. I'm sure I'll be trying to work things out in my head for a bit, and when the DVD comes out I'll at least review it, or probably buy it. There are a million points of interest in there, but the point that struck me the hardest is, "Life is about the journey, not the destination". It's true, isn't it? The best part of anticipating a vacation or a concert or a holiday is the excitement leading up to it and the planning. The actual event is generally okay, but not nearly so good as the time leading up to it.
I was already aware that I spend a great deal of my personal life wishing it was a day later than it is because there is something "better" happening next week. Another big point in the movie was "all that matters is what is happening right now" NOT what just did happen or what is going to happen. You know, that's right...but how hard is it to appreciate the moment? In this age of multi-tasking and anticipating future needs, who even bothers to really think about the moment they are experiencing RIGHT THEN? Rarely do I. If you do, well, then I tip my hat.
Another line Nolte has is at one point he expresses how sad it is that most people go through their entire lives without ever actually really living. How easy would that be to do? I know my first 40 years have whipped by, and I'm hyper aware that I could very well time warp the next 40 if I'm not careful. But how to live in the moment? How to teach oneself how to stop stressing what was and what will be and just enjoy (or at least acknowledge) what IS? I sure don't know...but I guess the important thing is that I'm trying to figure it out.
I recommend everybody give this film a try. This was opening weekend, so it should be around for a bit. Although I don't really understand all the lessons or even how to start learning them, I am aware there was something there to be absorbed and instilled. If any of you figure it out, let me know and clue me in. :-)
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
By Shayne Moore
March 12, 2007 |
Back in 2004, I found myself in a remarkable place: sitting with a
group of doctors in the government offices of Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
on an AIDS fact-finding trip. As a stay-at-home mom of three, this was
not my usual stomping ground.
But several years ago Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, came
through the Midwest on his Heart of America Tour. While it was Bono's
star power that drew me that night, it was the presentation on the
ravishing effects of extreme poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS that
changed my life.
After hearing that sobering message, I woke up from my suburban stupor
of Target and Starbucks. I woke up to the reality that today 1 billion
people live on less that a dollar a day. I woke up to the reality that
I can make a difference, and I started educating myself and others.
I joined Bono's ONE Campaign , a nonpartisan, nondenominational
campaign of 2.4 million everyday people joining together to fight
global AIDS and extreme poverty.
With the ONE Campaign I have had extraordinary experiences. As an
ordinary, stay-at-home mom, who represents the heart of the movement,
I was chosen to travel to both Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005 and to
St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2006 to attend the G8 Summit to urge world
leaders to keep their promises to Africa and fully fund initiatives to
fight global diseases like AIDS, TB, and malaria, increase
international assistance, cancel debts, and make trade fair. I have
spoken at a press conference, been in a public Service announcement
with Julia Roberts, George Clooney, and Matt Damon, and been
interviewed by CNN, NBC, and the Wall Street Journal.
I met Bono at a show for his fair-trade label EDUN in Chicago, where
he also spoke. He said, "The National Rifle Association pays lobbyists
big bucks to take their interests to Congress. We are the lobbyists
for those who don't have those kinds of means." With ONE, I email and
call the White House and my Congressmen. As a member of the ONE
Campaign I have a voice.
I first realized this in a meeting with the Honduran Vice Minister of
Health back in 2004. The Vice Minister is responsible for distributing
the money from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and I was
able to ask some questions about the HIV/AIDS situation in Honduras. A
true diplomat, the Vice Minister ended our meeting with smiles,
handshakes, and goodbyes, addressing us as "The Delegation of the Lost
Since this was the beginning of my journey into global AIDS advocacy
and activism, I suppose I could've felt the sting of the insult.
Instead, I left that meeting thinking, "I must be on to something."
The words of Scripture, "Be a voice for voiceless," started to be a
silent rhythm in my steps.
In 2005 I traveled to Kenya with my church. While in Kenya I visited
an HIV/AIDS clinic, and I watched as a woman left with some
life-saving medication in her hands. Her small son trailed behind. I
turned to the nurse next to me and asked where the medication came
from. As the nurse told me, I realized the ARVs (Anti-Retrovirals)
came from the funding I, along with other Americans, had lobbied
President Bush and Congress to support.
I still smile as I think about that Kenyan mother. It's true that some
extraordinary things have happened through my involvement with the ONE
Campaign, but mostly I'm that ordinary stay-at-home mom who's now a
voice for the voiceless.
You can join the One Campaign by clicking here.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Poor Bono has all kinds of dilemmas to address in the latest installment of our Achtoon Baby cartoon: Why don't some people want him to be a Knight? Should there be more rock(s), or less rock(s)? And how did one of his friends turn into the Grim Reaper? Kelly E. and BUN the cat ponder those questions and more in this month's Achtoon Baby! check out the latest Achtoon Baby.
For those of you who know me very well, okay, sometimes I make different voices for my pets...apparently this whole cartoon is written by BUN the Cat, and that in itself is funny to me. Click on Achtoon Baby!, and then click on the The Littlest Knight, By Bun and read the story...you have to click to turn each page, but I found a great deal of humor in it. For those of you who don't know, Bono has been offered to be Knighted by the Queen and has yet to accept. Also, U2 has an album pending and there is going to be an alleged "sound change". Noboby knows if they are going to add more keys and be more Coldplay or if they are going to rock yet again like they did this time. Even if you don't know the backstory, well, the cartoon and the dialogue is pretty funny in itself. Enjoy!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
THE ROOTS TRIBUTE TO BONO
and finally BONO ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
All this, and as Chris Tucker says, "And he ain't even black!"
Sunday, February 18, 2007
2nd: "Running With Scissors" Despite bad critical reviews in my opinion this was one of the most deliciously twisted movies I've seen in a long time. Great charactors who you can't decide whether to love or hate, great acting and again a great view of human dysfunction with a little hope and humor thrown in along the way. Don't let the critics fool you, this is a good watch!
Click on either movie title to go view the respective home page.
Until next time "I'll see YOU at the cineplex!"
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
And after seeing this, Justin's People's Choice Awards speech made better sense to me....watch that here:
I realize I'm old enough to be his mom, well, almost, but I'm finding this guy to be guilty pleasure man/boy candy. I just turned 41, I'm entitled.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
One problem was you are at the mercy of the U.S. Postal service...if it's a 3 day weekend, then that means with turnaround times you couldn't replace your movies for 6 days. So, I'd try to offset that by renting television series disks on the long weekends, aka Grey's Anatomy, Lost, the Sopranos, etc which are generally 4 hours per disk and would keep me busy for awhile. However that didn't always keep me sated either.
So, I'd been seeing the Blockbuster commercials which stated you could trade your movies at a store if you wanted to rather than wait for the mail. I was mildly interested, but too lazy to switch off Netflixs. Then Netflix had the bad fortune of messing up my account 2 weekends in a row. The first weekend rather than skip a movie in my queue for the next one, they instead shipped it from Denver, which took 3 days. Since I'd recently downgraded my account to 2 at a time, that meant I only got one movie that week. Then last weekend they were supposed to send me disk 1 and 2 in a series, instead disk 1 didn't ship and I got disk 2 on a Saturday and had to wait for disk one to arrive the next Tuesday. Sort of messed with my weekend. Since the Oscars are fast approaching and I have a lot of movies to watch before February 25, well, no time for incompetence here! I went online and checked out Blockbuster....
WOW! Is THIS a better plan! I'm paying the same money ($14.95) to have 2 movies out at a time, yet as soon as I signed up I was able to print out an e-coupon which I was able to redeem at the Blockbuster store for a free movie that night (I have a Blockbuster across the street from me). Also, as soon as I get my movies in the mail and I'm done with them, I can take them across the street the Blockbuster (same distance as going to the post office), hand them my movies and pick out 2 new ones right then. As soon as my movies are received at the mailing center they will send my next 2 movies on my queue out as well! Do you know what that means? No more running out of videos on a Saturday and having to wait until the following Wednesday for more. I'm going to give it a try...
What I'm enjoying about this situation is how Blockbuster has worked their brick and mortar stores into an advantage over a HUGE online business. Most of the major businesses have websites now, but very few are dominating over the online entities...I'm sure that online DVD rentals put the hurt to video stores, and at one point there was a rumor that the video store as we know it may eventually become extinct. Blockbuster managed to morph with the times, find the weakness in Netflix system and overcome it. When I cancelled my Netflix account they have an exit poll for you to take. Under the "reasons for leaving" one of the options was, "switching to Blockbuster online". I checked that one. If Blockbuster can make the delivery times to me at a reasonable speed, then this appears to be a much better program. Fairly novel for a brick and mortar to morph and overcome online such as Blockbuster seems to be doing.
If you have no Blockbuster store close to you, and you aren't that hung up on delivery speed, well, Netflix does have more titles than Blockbuster...If you are a movie watching fiend such as myself, well, then Blockbuster may very well be on to something. I'll keep you updated!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
By Ken Grant
Samuel Johnson wrote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” While I have no doubt about the truth of that assertion during Mr. Johnson’s lifetime (1709-1784), I have to argue that Patriotism has been replaced as the refuge of last resort for just about everybody, not just scoundrels.
To properly identify this refuge, I’m going to attempt to coin a new term – “Childrenism” – as in “Childrenism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
So, if I’m going to have the audacity to create a new term, I guess I have to offer up a working definition. Let’s try this one on for size:
child-ren-ism noun (2007) 1: any attempt to restrict personal freedom, infringe on public liberties, or forward an agenda “for the children” 2: any use of the rhetorical question “what about the children?” to justify a weak argument 3: filler
Be honest, how many times have you listened to, or even engaged in, an exchange of ideas and you’ve heard the person proposing something truly pathetic – or even abhorrent – as being an absolute necessity “for the sake of the children”? By the way, when you say “for the sake of the children”, “What about the children?” or any other phrase associated with childrenism, you must do so with an extremely earnest expression on your face and in your voice – you know, almost whine it out of your very being.
One of the most common uses of childrenism is in the realm of censorship and broadcasting. We’ve all heard the conversation:
Self-Appointed Moralist: You have to sign this petition to the FCC! We have to make sure that these radio stations keep their language clean and stop making crude jokes!
Free-Market Advocate: Um, if you don’t like what they’re broadcasting, why don’t you just switch to another station – I mean, I’m not interested in listening to some of this stuff, either, so I just don’t listen.
Self-Appointed Moralist: Well, yes, you and I can do that – But What About the Children?
That’s it, end of discussion, thank you for playing, you can pick up your parting gift at the door.
Now let’s go into something a little meatier.
I have two teen-aged children attending a local public school. Recently there were two incidents, one involving some girls taking over-the-counter cough medicine to get high, the other involving a student bringing a starter pistol to school.
The school administration and PTA held a meeting with parents to discuss these incidents and address any questions or concerns we parents had. As you can imagine, there was much more of a focus on the gun incident than the cough medicine. Personally, I found the administration’s approach and answers to be informative, forthcoming, and reasonable.
Then, it happened. One of the other parents started asking about the possibility of installing metal detectors in the school. That’s right, metal detectors in a middle school in Newark, Delaware.
And why would we need metal detectors in a middle school in Newark? Why, for the sake of the children!
Like I said, I’m a parent. I have two children attending this school. If this school were to install metal detectors, it is somewhere in the realm of possibility that at some point a student brining a gun into the school could be stopped and my children would be safer. If I oppose this idea, then am I saying that I would rather my children live with that risk hanging over their heads?
Yes, I am willing to put them at risk of physical harm. I would rather have them live with that risk than be trained and conditioned to sacrifice their freedom for some added sense of security. And yes, I’m willing to fight for the rights of every broadcast radio and television station to air whatever they think the market will bear even if it means my kids might happen to hear a few naughty words and an obnoxious shock jock once in a while.
Why? Why would I have this attitude? Why would I choose a course of action that could risk my children’s physical and mental health? Well, for starters I would rather they lived with a sense of freedom than a sense of security. I would rather they think for themselves than try to create a false world around them.
Yes, I am doing all of this for the children.
By the way, Samuel Johnson wrote something else, and this one remains true today and will most likely remain true until the end of time: “Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Ken Grant lives in Newark with his wife and two kids. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org