Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Price You Pay

"That is enough," the Lord said. "Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan." --Deuteronomy 3:26-27

"I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.'"

--Deuteronomy 31:2

"Little girl down on the strand
With that pretty little baby in your hands
Do you remember the story of the promised land
How he crossed the desert sands
And could not enter the chosen land
On the banks of the river he stayed
To face the price you pay

Oh, the price you pay, oh, the price you pay
Now you can't walk away from the price you pay

Now they'd come so far and they'd waited so long
Just to end up caught in a dream where everything goes wrong
Where the dark of night holds back the light of day
And you've gotta stand and fight for the price you pay."

--Bruce Springsteen

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Truth, Wes, Truth

As many of you know, my sons recently got e-mail accounts.  Here is an e-mail that Wes crafted himself and sent to me out of the blue. I will let it speak for itself.

Hi, Isn't this tree and these birds amazing?

It's amazing that God created this world and everything in it!!!!!

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11

"I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord,"I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give hope for the years to come."

I know it has nothing to do with how God created the earth, but I like it because it's cool. He has known our plans before we were born!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 25, 2008


For some reason I am obessing on getting some cioppino. Have you ever had cioppino? It's a soup dish of fish and shellfish cooked in tomato sauce and seasoned with wine, spices, and herbs. It has random stuff like octopus and clams in it. It's like one of the greatest things I ever eaten and I've only had it twice in my entire life. The most recent time was acually several years ago. So why am I obessing on this?


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chariots of Fire

Cinematographer David Watkin died last Tuesday. Watkin won an Academy Award for OUT OF AFRICA which is a movie I loved in 1985 when it came out.  I remember being 16 years old and seeing it by myself in the theater. I was taken in by how beautiful it was. Yep, I was that kind of a movie snob even then.
I must admit that I don't really totally understand what a director of photography (DP) does on a movie. I know that they are responsible for the cinematography which involves how light is shot.  I also know that this is a different craft than directing. Apparently Watkin had an affinity for natural light which makes sense because the three movies I really liked that he worked on seem naturally very pretty to me. Those movies, pictured here in the order that I love them are CHARIOTS OF FIRE, OUT OF AFRICA, and YENTL.
I thought in order to honor Watkin I'd watch one of those movies he had collaborated on. I hadn't seen any of them in ages. Max loves to watch movies so I wanted to go with the one I thought he would enjoy most. I decided to check-out CHARIOTS OF FIRE from the library and watch it with my son. We watched it Saturday night.
I saw CHARIOTS OF FIRE in the theater in 1981 and I remember that it was good, but what I remember even more was being so mad that it beat RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK for the Best Picture Oscar.  I was just as into the Academy Awards then at age 12 as I am now and I was livid.
That said, CHARIOTS OF FIRE is a really great film. I love the sport of running, probably more than any other sport, which isn't saying much, I know.  But, the running in the movie is great. Moreover, I love the character of Eric Liddell because he is such an inspirational Christian leader.
Especially if you have never seen the film, I'd like to share these quotes with you.  They all come from Eric Liddell who is played by Ian Charleson:
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."
"God made countries, God makes kings, and the rules by which they govern. And those rules say that the Sabbath is His. And I for one intend to keep it that way."
"The impertinence lies, sir, with those who seek to influence a man to deny his beliefs!"
You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Daniel Day-Lewis Doesn't Win? Inconceivable

Drainage!  Drainage!  Eli you boy.
Drained dry . . . . my straw reaches
acroooooss the room,
and starts to drink your milkshake.
[insert sucking sound here]
---Daniel Plainview

I just can't help it.  One more Oscar post before tomorrow.
I have to steal a word from Vizzini here and say that it is totally, absolutely, one hundred percent INCONCEIVABLE to me that somebody other than Daniel Day-Lewis will win the best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Oscar tomorrow.
Go and rent MY LEFT FOOT, THE BOXER, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS and GANGS OF NEW YORK  just to start and then tell me he isn't the single greatest actor of our generation.
Now, back to THERE WILL BE BLOOD and this performance as Daniel Planview. I didn't love the movie.  However, he deserves the Academy Award. Period.
That said, it was totally, absolutely, one hundred percent INCONCEIVABLE that somebody other than Daniel Day-Lewis would win the Oscar in 2002 for his role as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in GANGS OF NEW YORK too. Thus, it would be fair for you to add, "You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
And the winner is . . .  

Labels: , ,

Best Supporting Actor: Hal Holbrook

Another word on tomorrow's Oscars.  Other than all the JUNO awards, the one category I feel passionate about is the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role slot.  I know that Javier Bardem is favored and, yes, I saw NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and Bardem is great.  That said, as I previously pointed out in my Early Supporting Actor Standouts post, I really really loved Hal Holbrook's portrayal of Ron Franz in the film INTO THE WILD.  I want Holbrook to win and upset the Bardem prediction in this category.  I really want it!
It is totally beyond my comprehension that INTO THE WILD isn't up for a Best Picture nomination, it's even more difficult to understand why Sean Penn isn't up for Best Director, and it's most perplexing that Eddie Vedder wasn't nominated in the Original Song category. What gives?
The least the Academy can do is give the statue to the great Hal Holbrook. That said, here is a quote I pulled from Variety. This quote is from Javier Bardem himself:
"In 'Into the Wild,' that scene in the truck where Hal Holbrook is asking to adopt the young man, that is one of the best performances I've ever seen. It broke me into pieces. In life, as you grow and become comfortable in your own skin and create who you are, you can escape from what you are. Then the whole disguise falls apart and you are just a human being. With a mature actor, you see a face totally naked, someone who is just speaking and being in front of the camera, and that is so powerful. That explains why performing is an art, when somebody shows us the sculpture of the human soul. It hits you and makes you wonder what you are."

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

True Blue: Bible/Song Meld, part 5

"Strip it down to what you can believe in
Pass it on, what is right and true blue."
--Gary Louris

So I picked up the new album by Gary Louris when it was released just this past Tuesday. I love it! Gary Louris was the frontman, lead singer and amazing songwriter (not to mention a heck of a guitar player) for one of my all-time favorite bands, The Jayhawks. Gary's new album is called VAGABONDS and it's quite lovely. It really stirs things in the depths of my soul.

Right now, just four days into it, the song that is at the forefront of killing me in a good way is the song that opens the record. "True Blue" is the title and every time I listen to it, I find that spiritual concepts are twirling around in my head and I find myself focused on various aspects of God's word. As the song plays or, when I sing it to myself in my head throughout the day, many chunks of scripture come to my mind.

First, the song totally makes me think of what Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." --Philippians 4:8-9

Now, here is a sample from the Louris song:

"Today's the day
My branches bear their fruit
And all my labor will be rewarded
Then I awake, it's like starting over

Riches and their thorns
Rumble where they lay
Revealing sparkling secrets . . . .

Strip it down to what you can believe in
Pass it on, what is right and true blue."

The message here is to strip away everything that isn't important, to "strip it down to what you can believe in." That's an amazing premise isn't it? Think about it, the idea is that we should throw away all physical things and hold on only to something that is so intangible that it can only be a belief. That's why the line "riches and their thorns" must be in there. It's not that riches are bad in-and-of-themselves. They are not an inherent evil; rather, the pursuit of happiness through riches brings misery. That is why, in Matthew 19:23, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." He did not say it's impossible, only difficult. The reason? I believe it's because those with great material wealth have a more difficult time stripping it down to what they can believe in.

Later in the song Louris sings, "Feel fulfillment in this small corner with no possessions to create sorrow." Again, the theme of possessions vs. happiness is there. I go back to Paul's message in Philippians to think about whatever is pure. "Thinking" and "believing" are so closely linked for me that, when I hear this song, I ask myself: "Where are my thoughts today?" "Is my mind on what is right and true or is it occupied with the pursuit of things?" Possessions are empty, they bring sorrow, only that which is true (belief/faith) can bring joy.

I like how Louris writes about finding fulfillment in a small corner with no possessions.  And, it's not simply that the narrator will attempt to find fulfillment without possessions; instead, he sings that the possessions would take away from the fulfillment.  This makes me think of Paul's words in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances," or as another translation puts it, "I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little."  That is an attitude I want to have.  I like how the album cover depicts the line "Feel fulfillment in this small corner with no possessions to create sorrow."  True happiness comes from within and thus can be found among the rusted lawn chair and dirty patio just as much as it could be found in a prison cell.

Another passage this song makes me think of is John 15:5-8.  In that verse Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches . . . . My true disciples produce much fruit."  That's what I think of when Gary's sweet voice sings, "Today's the day my branches bear their fruit and all my labor will be rewarded."

I could go on and on about this song and I could add so much more if I got into other songs on the albums.  I know Gary Louris is a "secular artist" and my interpretation of this song is probably a long way off from his original intentions when he penned it. However, good art allows people of all different walks and in many different circumstances to make it their own. That's what I've done here. I am very thankful for this terrific new album by a fantastic artist.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Impotence of Proofreading By Taylor Mali

I don't know if I only think this is funny because I love to write, or if maybe you will find this as hilarious as I do? Check out this brilliant routine and let me know.

music as necessity

Man, I found a quote that totally resonates with me. A long time ago I put up a post called The Way Starbucks Sees It. Well, this is another quote from a Starbucks cup, The Way I See It #267:

"Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears--it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more--it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity."
--Oliver Sacks

author of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain."

So, here is the line that I really "get" in the core of my being: MUSIC CAN PROVIDE ACCESS TO LIFE.

Is anybody alive out there? Yes, indeed!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LOST: Garden of Eden Theory

Some of you know that I am LOST fanatic. I think the television series LOST is one of the most creative things to ever grace the small screen. The writing is genius and the acting first rate. I also think the show is getting better and better, something quite rare as television shows mature. I must admit that dwelling on the plot of LOST can easily become an obsession for any of us regular viewers. There are many theories out there as to just what the island actually is.

I just read the best theory and explanation of said theory. Out of anything I've heard in the past, I believe the theory that I have posted below is the most interesting idea thus far. I do not want to take credit for this nor do I want to violate copywrite laws so let me say up front that the author of "The Garden of Eden Theory" is Matt Harrison and this comes from the website in their LOST section.

Now, I am not saying I'm 100 percent sold on all this, and I'm not saying the debate is over, but this theory is well written. Also, I've got to hand it to the guy, Matt really did a good job at backing up his conjectures!

The Garden of Eden Theory
From Bonnie Covel,Your Guide to LOST
A Theory by Matt Harrison

Hello all, I'm pretty sure I have the most convincing theory to date. It doesn't explain (yet) everything, but it does offer a general idea of "where they are".

It goes like this:

The island is the Garden of Eden. Paradise. Straight out of the bible. The place where man is tempted by good and evil, where freewill and destiny are put to the test.

The Monster

When Danielle Rousseau is asked about the moster she says that it's not a monster, it's a security device to keep things out (Ep: 1x23, Exodus, Part 1).

The black smoke is that security device. Pick up the bible, read Genesis 3. After Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God kicks them out of the garden. To prevent them from eating of the tree of life, God places a cherubim as a guardian to the tree. It's said to hold a flashing sword that guards every which way into the garden.

Think back to the episode with Eko when he encounters the black smoke (Ep: 2x10, The 23rd Psalm). It comes out to him, long and cylinder like (sword like?). It is dark and flashes. If you pause carefully as the camera moves through the smoke, you'll see still images that are of Eko's past life, as though he were standing at the judgement seat (of God). After seeing the black smoke what does he do? He builds a temple to the Lord (sort of like what the children of Israel did after they witnessed the awesome power of God on the mountain in the wilderness).

God is frequently manifested in the old testament as appearing as a cherubim, as black smoke, as flashes of lightening (see the story of Moses and Elijah's encounters with God on the mountain and the appearance of God to the children of Israel in the wilderness).

Black and White

In the caves, they find two skeletons, one male and one female (Ep.1x16, House of the Rising Sun). They jokingly dub them Adam and Eve.

In one of the skeleton's pocket there is a black stone and a white stone. Locke tells Walt about backgammon (the oldest game in history). He says that backgammon is a classic battle between good and evil. The Garden of Eden is the birthplace of good and evil.

Eden as an Island

In season 2, Locke is in the hatch working a crossword puzzle (Ep. 2x8, Collision). The camera focuses in on two words: Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is an ancient hero (Mesopotamia) who survives a great flood (likely Bible's equivalent of Noah) and who afterwards calls on his God, Enkidu, for help finding eternal life. The ancients knew that eternal life used to reside in the Garden of Eden (it contained the tree of life). And during his search he locates it on an island -- read David Rohl's theories on Eden. The famed author/archeologist places Eden as likely the island of Bahrain. Now I'm not saying they're in Bahrain, just that at some point, Eden was thought to be on an island. That's the significant part. Eden was probably located somewhere in Armenia, but there was a post-flood change in thinking and somehow the idea of it as an island entered popular thought.

In episode 2x17, Lockdown, Locke sees a map on the blast door. The bunkers are strewn around the center of the island. The center is marked by a big question mark. Is this not the center of the garden which the black smoke, i.e. the cherubim, is keeping people away from?

Four Toed Statue

Sayid, Sun, and Jin see a giant statue of a foot with four toes (Ep: 2x23, Live Together, Die Alone). In Genesis chapter 4 there's a reference to giants (Nephellim) living on the earth. Personally I don't believe the bible means literal giants, rather men of great renown, but popular culture/thinking has turned giants into the literal translation. Assume that this is how the Lost creators chose to translate the Genesis 4 passage.

Social Experiment

The Garden of Eden was the first social experiment. God placed temptation, good and evil, in the garden. From that point on, mankind has been in a struggle with themselves and others. People argue that since God knew that by putting the tree of temptation (good and evil) there, it wasn't freewill. In other words, destiny. Others say that it doesn't matter that God knew, man still had a choice.

The garden has never been found. It is lost. Eternal life is still sought by mankind.

My theory doesn't fit everything yet into place. I'm still not sure who the Others are, whether they're remnants of the Dharma project or not. Maybe they're God's guardians, using the hatches/island as a test to put the people of Flight 815 through. Perhaps one has to be purified, or face their sins before they can come to live in peace with the island (like the others have?). That would answer the questions of why it seems like the Others test the people of Flight 815, why the hatches seems more like social experiments (push the button), and why Ben talks about those of 815 being "good" or not, and why the children were removed (since popular culture generally assumes that children are morally innocent).

©2007 Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Big Five

I can't believe the Academy Awards are this Sunday. Yes, I'm one of the geeks who cared that the writer's strike ended soon enough to have my real Oscars ceremony.

I have seen all five nominees for Best Motion Picture of the Year. Here is my own ranking in terms of deservedness, and, yes, the spacing is there to make a point:


It's my personal opinion that ATONEMENT doesn't deserve to be in the mix. I thought it was a very poorly executed film that wasn't focused. I want to go on record as saying that I simply cannot understand how the Academy could nominate ATONEMENT over INTO THE WILD. I feel very strongly that INTO THE WILD should have a slot. Indeed, I would have given it a spot over MICHAEL CLAYTON, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and ATONEMENT.

A word about THERE WILL BE BLOOD. I adore Paul Thomas Anderson and part of me expected to come out of that film blown-away saying, "Best film of the year." Oddly, I feel the same way about THERE WILL BE BLOOD as I did about Martin Scorsese's 2002 Best Picture nomination GANG'S OF NEW YORK: It's a movie I don't really care for, but it contains one of the greatest acting performances I have ever seen. Daniel Day-Lewis is an unexplainable freak of nature. It is beyond my comprehension that somebody voted Adrien Brody over Daniel Day-Lewis then as it's impossible for me to imagine anybody else winning the acting category this year. That said, as much as I adore Daniel Day-Lewis and PTA, the movie wasn't that good.

MICHAEL CLAYTON is a pretty good film. I would give it 3 or maybe even three-and-a-half stars out of five. It was a good night at the movies.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a fantastic movie. It's one that got under my skin and made me want to discuss it with somebody. It almost reminded me of a Stanley Kubrick film with it's bleak take on the human predicament. It is the Coen Brothers at their finest. I can totally see it being up for the top slot.

However, like I said in my post yesterday, and like I said in an older post, Oscar Nominations, I truly feel that JUNO is not only the best picture of the year, it is also my favorite. I really really really hope it wins the top award. It's the reason I am really excited about the Oscars this year.

You'd have to go back all the way to the grand string of years 1993-1994-1995 to mark the last time that my own personal favorite film of the year was even up for a Best Picture Oscar. That was a nice run with SCHINDLER'S LIST, QUIZ SHOW, and BRAVEHEART respectively.

Bottom line? Having seen all five of them again this year, I'm pulling for the underdog! We'll find out this Sunday.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Best Movie of 2007

"In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person
who loves you for exactly what you are."
--Mac MacGuff

I've waited a long time announce my favorite film from last year. The best picture of 2007 is Jason Reitman's JUNO. I am very excited about JUNO because this is the first year in I don't know how long that my own personal favorite film of the year is even up for a Best Picture Oscar. Neither my Best Picture of 2006 or 2005 received the attention that JUNO has received. It almost got me thinking that something must be wrong. Nothing is wrong though.
I gave this so much thought because part of me felt that I should have named Sean Penn's profound film INTO THE WILD my favorite movie of the year. Indeed, Penn's film is the only movie that I would consider a close second; yet, despite it's brilliant direction and seriousness nature, the fact is that I don't love it the way I love JUNO. JUNO is a film that filled me with pure joy. JUNO is a film a could watch over and over. JUNO is a film I adore.

Let me get to the acting first. It's first rate. I cannot tell you strongly enough here just how badly I am pulling for Ellen Page to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Page nails the title role of Juno MacGuff with such honesty and truth. Everybody else is grand too. Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman shine as a potential adoptive couple. Young Michael Cera is totally likable as Paulie Bleeker. The other supporting players are great too. However, for me, the absolute best are J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney. Simmons plays Juno's father, Mac MacGuff and Janney plays Juno's step-mother, Bren MacGuff. They both act so well that they just seem real to me, totally real.
The wonderful J.K. Simmons & Allison Janney rushing
off to the hospital with Juno, played by Ellen Page.
Ultimately, I think the best quality of this film is it's realness and I think that element is best articulated through the MacGuff family. Yes, their exchanges with each other are dripping in sarcasm, but, at the same time there is no denying they love each other deeply. The scene in which Juno tells her dad and his wife that she is pregnant is one of the most well written truthful moments in film I've seen. I love the exchange after Juno leaves:

Mac: "Did you see that coming?"

Bren: "Yea, but I was hoping she was expelled, or into hard drugs."

Mac: "That was my first instinct too, or a DUI, anything but this!"

With dialogue like that, this movie doesn't sidestep the magnitude of the main plot point: teen pregnancy.

Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) in awe of Juno's gift.

I've heard some people raise concern over the film's subject matter or say they don't agree with it morally, but that's like saying I don't agree with murder and drugs so I'm not on board with AMERICAN GANGSTER as a film. Most moral critics always focus on sex and then have no issue with killing and violence. The fact is, in the real world there are teen pregnancies. JUNO is an extremely funny and touching film about a girl that knows she is not ready to raise a baby, yet she values life so much that she is willing to carry to term in order to bless somebody else. It's a story of how a family deals with real life in all it's imperfections. It's a story about love in the real world.

That's the success of JUNO, it's not a cookie-cutter fantasy land where love is easy. And I'm not just talking about romantic love. I'm talking about loving well, period. It's as much about parental love as it is about romantic love. It's as much about the love and acceptance of the outcast or stranger in your life as it is about familial love. In the end, it's love for her unborn child that guides JUNO in her decision of how to deal with the pregnancy.

The heart of Juno: Do you love people with stigmas well?

"Yea, if I could just have the thing and give it to you now,
I totally would. But, I'm guessing it looks probably like a
sea monkey right now and we should let it get a little cuter."
--Juno MacGuff
Despite the underlying important themes in this movie, the strength of JUNO is its ability to make you laugh. It's a comedy. It's a comedy that found me grinning with pure joy for 90 minutes. Which brings me to the real star of JUNO. It's the writing.
The real star of JUNO, writer Diablo Cody.
As much as I desire JUNO to win Best Picture and for Ellen Page to win Actress over all the more experienced ladies, as much as I would jump for joy if Jason Reitman picked up the Best Director win, the Academy Award that JUNO has got to win is for Best Original Screenplay. The real star of this film is writer Diablo Cody. The dialogue she gives these characters is a stoke of genius. The thing I love most about this film is the rat-a-tat exchanges between characters, the sarcasm, the humor, the wit, and, above all, the truth. I want nothing more than for Cody to accept the Oscar for this marvelous writing. JUNO is my favorite screenplay of 2007. JUNO is the greatest movie of last year. JUNO is the only 2007 release I'd like to own on DVD. It's a keeper.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When Love Comes To Town: Bible/Song Meld, part 4

"I was there when they crucified my lord
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
I threw the dice when they pierced his side
But Ive seen love conquer the great divide"
--U2 "When Love Comes To Town"

"And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.
We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again.
Death no longer has any power over him.
He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God.
So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Jesus Christ."
--Romans 6:8-11

Labels: ,

Friday, February 15, 2008

Genius, Max, genius

Since there was no school for Max and Wes today, last night, Chrisy and I told our boys that they could stay up late as long as they were quiet and we didn't know they were up, they were getting along, and they didn't make enough noise to wake the girls. Got it?

Okay, so we're watching LOST and we hear this loud arguing upstairs in the bonus room, Max and Wes going at it. Then, we hear loud footsteps pounding down the stairs into the room where we are watching television. Max and Wes enter.

Before they can speak I say, "You guys are blowing it because we told you to be quiet and now you are fighting with each other."

Max doesn't skip a beat and says, "We weren't fighting."

"What were you doing then?" I ask.

His response: "We were discussing our different points of view!"

I had to start laughing.

With that Chrisy adds, "Max you're so like your dad."

Hey, I thought it was a clever way to term a full-blown argument over the rules of billards.

I let them stay up!

Oh, yea, on a side note, this entire scenero is the reason I have to admit that I adore DVRs.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Yes, I know I am predictable in terms of my choice of artist, but it's just the way things are man.  I especially love the last two lines of the second verse. Happy Valentine's Day!

by Bruce Springsteen

I'm driving a big lazy car rushin' up the highway in the dark
I got one hand steady on the wheel and one hand's tremblin' over my heart
It's pounding baby like it's gonna bust right on through
And it ain't gonna stop till I'm alone again with you

A friend of mine became a father last night
When we spoke in his voice I could hear the light
Of the skies and the rivers the timberwolf in the pines
And that great jukebox out on Route 39
They say he travels fastest who travels alone
But tonight I miss my girl mister tonight I miss my home

Is it the sound of the leaves
left blown by the wayside
That's got me out here on this spooky old highway tonight
Is it the cry of the river
With the moonlight shining through
That ain't what scares me baby
What scares me is losing you

They say if you die in your dreams you really die in your bed
But honey last night I dreamed my eyes rolled straight back in my head
And God's light came shinin' on through
I woke up in the darkness scared and breathin' and born anew
It wasn't the cold river bottom I felt rushing over me
It wasn't the bitterness of a dream that didn't come true
It wasn't the wind in the grey fields I felt rushing through my arms
No no baby it was you
So hold me close honey say you're forever mine
And tell me you'll be my lonely valentine


Monday, February 11, 2008


Hey, if you like good old fashioned rock 'n' roll then I have a recommendation for you.  This dude in the Netherlands has a nice little blog going and he just posted his first Bosscast which I highly suggest you give a listen to.  Obviously, the name would let you know that there is a Springsteen focus, and there is.  It's really cool "rare" Springsteen stuff from live bootlegs and such, but that's not all he's playing.  The site is called The Soul Shack; thus, it's about all things soulful.  As such, he's spinning some real awesome classics like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry.  Hope you like it.  I sure did! Here's a link:  Bosscast February.

Labels: ,

Five Sentence Tribute: Roy Scheider

Roy Scheider was nominated for an oscar twice, amazing work in fantastic films:  (1) Best Supporting Actor for THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971); (2) Best Leading Actor for ALL THAT JAZZ (1979).  He was terrific in MARATHON MAN and, if you've never seen that film, go rent it today!  When I was a kid I remember loving him in everything and I even rode my 10-speed bike to the theater to see BLUE THUNDER in 1983.    But, let's face it, if the man only gave us Police Chief Martin Brody in JAWS, he'd still be a legend. I truly enjoyed this man's acting.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 09, 2008


You either got it or you don't!

"For the ones who had a notion,
a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin
to be glad you're alive!"

--"Badlands" by Bruce Springsteen

Labels: ,

Friday, February 08, 2008


On the fifth of January of last year I posted Freedom. I was writing about my brother, Mark. After 17 months in prison, Mark was released this very morning. I am writing now to ask you to lift up my brother in prayer. Please pray for his wife Rachael, their three sons, Sam, Adam, Matthew, and both of their extended families. This is of the utmost importance as I know that expectations and magical thinking have the shot at sabotaging their best intentions. My brother is sober right now and he has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ; that is certain. I need you all to pray that Mark BELIEVES the truth of his new identity in Christ and, most importantly, that he truly grasps the nature of forgiveness and grace.

Finally, maybe I am the only one who will "get" this, but I wanted to print the final verse of "This Hard Land" by Bruce Springsteen. I was listening to this in the car and, because I was thinking about my brother, this closing line really brought tears to my eyes. This one is dedicated to you my brother . . .

Hey, Frank, won't you pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
Just one kiss from you, my brother
And we'll ride until we fall
We'll sleep out in the fields
We'll sleep by the rivers
And in the morning we'll make a plan
Well if you can't make it
stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Vindication or Vindictiveness?

This is so great!  Entertainment Weekly just listed the "15 Nominees for Worst Movie Dialogue Ever," and right up there is PRETTY WOMAN.  It takes place at the end of the movie when the john climbs the fire escape to rescue the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold.  Here's the line:
"And she rescues him right back."
Don't know why that makes me pleased, but it does!
I mean, these guys have to be right, I mean they named Bruce Springsteen's MAGIG the best album of 2007.

Labels: ,