mercredi, janvier 26, 2005

the 10 C's (Toastmasters speech #3)

Speech originally given on Jan. 27, 2005
Award: Most improved speaker


Nanny (my grandmother) told me of the days when she'd drop her boys off at the movies for the day when she needed to get some errands done. She'd give them a dime for the double feature and a nickel each for popcorn and a drink. They would spend the whole day in the theatre, watching the same films over and over again. The old newsreels would run in between and they would have a ball seeing epics like "Ben Hur," musicals like "West Side Story," and great science fiction like "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

When I was a kid, I loved going to the movies and getting lost in a story on the screen. My parents and I usually went to movies at Norton Air Force Base, where my father was stationed. Movies were $1.25 for adults and 75 cents for kids. A box of milk duds cost 50 cents, a ginormous bag of popcorn was 50 cents, and for a dollar, you got the popcorn and two drinks. The best part for me was that my dad paid for everything!

Today, things are different, and I'd like to share my top ten peeves about going to the movies.

1.) Cost
I remember my first instance of movie sticker shock -- in high school when I paid the exhorbitant sum of $4.25 for a matinee at the mall. I had no idea what a bargain I was getting.

Nowadays, I happen to be a student and I gladly flash my student ID anytime I can to get a discount. But a regular movie is nearly $10 and $7.50 is the going rate for students and seniors.

2.) Crinkly wrappers
The movie candy people already take the time to specially package everything from sweettarts to red vines in movie theater-size portions, but they haven't perfected a space-age polymer that is less noisy in the theatre.

3.) Compromise
Its so frustrating to get to AMC 18 at Fashion Valley two and half hours early for a movie, only to find that it is sold out. If there are more than two people, that's usually followed by the Compromise, a horrible negotiation where one person has already seen my second choice or where I invariably dislike the actress in their second choice.

And, yes, I know that I can buy my tickets in advance using the internet, but I usually don't buy online because I don't get my student discount.

4.) Commercials before the previews
I really enjoy seeing trailers for coming attractions. But I don't need to be sold on the new Coke, Dove moisturing body wash, or those zoom zoom zoom Madza cars.

5.) Crying babies
I generally like babies. There are only two situations where I cringe when I see them. One is when I'm boarding an airplane. I'm sure you can figure out the other one.

I have several friends who are new parents and I really feel for them, but that sympathy ends once we're in a theatre.

Just this week, I was in a movie theatre when a baby started wailing. My friend turned to me and said "You have got to be kidding." Thankfully, the parent got up and took her baby for a little walk, and the infant calmed down.

6.) Cramping: Long films with no intermission
I saw "The Aviator" a few weeks ago and realized that my legs, feet, and bum had all fallen asleep because I'd been sitting still for so long. And I won't even tell you how my bladder felt. That film was nearly three hours long. Don't get me wrong- I was mesmerized by the costumes and completely lost in the story. But three hours in a movie equals a cramp in my side. Even a three hour plane ride includes a visit to the head and a lap around the plane to stretch my legs.

Contrast that to when I saw "My Fair Lady" last year. I loved the film for many reasons. And I think it held my attention partially because there was an intermission, when I could visit the ladies' room and clear my mind before hitting the concession stand for an overpriced bottle of water.

7.) Cell phones
I find it amusing that advertisers have figured out how royally annoying it is to hear a cell phone go off during a movie. So now we have fake previews to remind us to shut off our ringers. First, there was the buffalo hunt gone bad and now there's a clever one about a cheerleading championship lost all because some jerk in the audience forgot to set his phone to vibrate.

8.) Chair kickers
Once in a very great while, I make the mistake of sitting in front of a fidgety child or adult. And I spend the entire film shooting dirty looks in the dark at that poor person who is probably cramped from sitting still for so long.

9.) Craning
It seems that no matter where I sit, Kareem Abdul Jabar (or his body double) sit right in front of me two minutes into the previews. (There's no stadium seating at Landmark theatres, so I suffer for my art when I see foreign or independent films there.

10.) Chatty people
If I'm paying $10 to see a film, I'm not there to listen to others talk about what's happening. I'll confess that I do make the occassional comment to my friend (sitting right next to me), but I don't broadcast it to everyone. There are a few occasions when a talker is a welcome break, though, like in a horror movie when teenage boys are so scared that they crack jokes to break the tension.

And there are some movies where the audience is encouraged to talk back, like the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" or my personal favorite, the "Sound of Music" Singalong, where the audience shouts warnings to the characters and belts out "Doe A Dee-ya, a female Dee-ya" at the top of its lungs.



In spite of all of these things, I will gladly suspend my disbelief to lose myself in someone else's world. I love a compelling story and the tears that come from "Schindler's List" or the bellyaching laughter of "There's Something About Mary." I'm inspired by the beautiful landscapes of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and find myself rooting for Seabiscuit.

And that's why I'm at a theatre three, maybe four times a month. In my mind, there's no better way to spend a rainy Sunday or a sweltering summer afternoon than how I did when I was a little girl, going to the movies with my parents.

lundi, janvier 24, 2005

jeudi, janvier 20, 2005

mardi, janvier 18, 2005

today's to-do list

Things to do before the inaugural:
1. Get that abortion you've always wanted.
2. Drink a nice clean glass of water.
3. Cash your social security check.
4. See a doctor of your own choosing.
5. Spend quality time with your draft age child/grandchild.
6. Hoard gasoline.
7. Borrow books from library before they're banned.
8. Jam in all the Alzheimer's stem cell research you can.
9. Stay out late before the curfews start.
10. Go see Mount Rushmore before the Reagan addition.
11. Practice the phrase - "you can't do that - this isAmerica."
12. If you're white - marry a black person, if you're black - marry a white person.
13. Enroll your kid in an accelerated art or music class.
14. Start your school day without a prayer.
15. Pass on the secrets of evolution to future generations.
16. Attend a commitment ceremony with your gay friends.
17. Take a factory tour anywhere in the U.S.
18. Take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.
19. Visit Florida before the polar ice caps melt.
20. Visit Nevada before it becomes radioactive.
21. Visit Alaska before "The Big Spill."
22. Visit Massachusetts while it is still a state.

Via Diana Lai

dimanche, janvier 16, 2005

quotable

"A pedestal is as much a prison as any other small space."
Gloria Steinem

"I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both."
Pat Schroeder

"Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, good mother, good looking, good tempered, well groomed and unaggressive."
Leslie McIntyre

"The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes."
Bella Abzug

vendredi, janvier 14, 2005

apparently, there's a shortage

The new Doctor Who series has a need for dwarf midget little people as actors for various extraterrestrials. They’re running into a couple of large problems:

Bosses wanted them to play tiny blue aliens - but most have been snapped up for the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and to play Gringotts Bank staff in the new Harry Potter film. Dr Who executive producer Russell T Davies said: “It’s very difficult to employ persons of restricted growth when, as our producer Phil Collinson says, `Bloody Gringotts and the Chocolate Factory are filming at the same time’.

I doubt the people who made The Terror of Tiny Town had these problems.
Via DDTB

a fair portrait




Photos from county fairs in the late 70s.

These portraits were made in a portable studio that was hauled from fair to fair in California and Arizona between 1976 and 1980. The studio was complete with darkroom and a shooting stage and it took a crew of three to run it: a shooter (me), a front person to handle customers and a darkroom person to develop and print the 4x5 inch negative. The entire process, when going smoothly, took about fifteen minutes.

Via DDTB

today's moment of zen

... happened at the MLK, Jr. luncheon. At the end, I held my boss' hand and we sang "We Shall Overcome." If you know my boss, then you know that that is hilarious.

mercredi, janvier 12, 2005

lundi, janvier 10, 2005

the soundtrack of my life (so far)

Okay, kids. Here's the challenge: Make a CD of 12 songs that are the soundtrack of your life. Track #13 is the song you want played at your funeral. Weighty stuff, to be sure. But a thoughtful challenge nonetheless.

I'm thinking that my childhood tunes will include:
These Are A Few of My Favorite Things (from the Sound of Music)
Rainbow Connection (from the Muppet Movie)
Theme song from the Dukes of Hazard - Waylon Jennings

And lots of other songs are racing through my mind, by these artists (to name a few): U2, Dido, James, Annie Lennox, Sting, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Paul Simon (with and without Art Garfunkel), John Lennon, the Beatles, Sam Cooke, Gloria Gaynor, Neil Diamond, Roberta Flack, Don McLean, ABBA, and Queen and David Bowie .

quotable

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968, American clergyman and civil rights activist

dimanche, janvier 09, 2005

the red menace

Kevin mentioned that he finds it ironic that the color red (which used to symbolize the so-called communist menace during the cold war) is now the color used for states whose electoral votes are in the GOP's column. I have to say that I agree, especially given how I used to keep the states straight in my own head. And now there's this fun story:
'Red state, blue state' catch phrase of year
Panel of linguists makes its decision for 2004
The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. - A panel of linguists has deemed “red state, blue state, purple state” the phrase that most colored the nation’s lexicon in 2004.
Attendees at the annual convention of the Linguistic Society of America on Friday chose the word or phrase that dominated national discourse over the course of the last year.
Via MSNBC

20 million bracelets and counting

Cass was the first person I knew who wore the LIVESTRONG bracelet.

When she told me what it was about in March 2004, I was six months post-op and not ready to wear one. But a week later, I listened to Lance Armstrong's first book, It's Not About the Bike. Then I spent my summer in France and saw Lance destroy the competition during the Tour. When I got back, I listened to his second book, Every Second Counts. After that, I made several other major life changes (including filing for divorce) and started focusing on what I wanted my survivorship to be. In August, John Hughes gave me my bracelet -- I haven't taken it off since. In October, Lynne and Cindy gave me ten bracelets (they were on backorder and impossible to get in time for my one year re-birthday party in September). I gave those bracelets to people who had played a critical role in my diagnosis and recovery.

Apparently, 20 million have been sold and the Lance Armstrong Foundation online store still has a tough time keeping up with the demand. And I'm glad they became trendy (even John Kerry wears one), because it might make another (young) person pay attention to the fact that it can happen to them. For me, it's a personal reminder of what I want to do with my survivorship and a chance to help the person who hears my story.

sideways

Sideways Aaron, Aleyda, Kevin and I saw Sideways today. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the comments that Kevin and Aaron made during the film. I could, however, have done without the purple-haired old lady squad behind us who kept talking about whether Sandra Oh was Lucy Liu ("You know, that one from Ally McBeal"). I wanted to say "She's not Lucy Liu, she's Sandra Oh. You recognize her because she was in Under The Tuscan Sun. Now please shut up.") I didn't of course, but I silently wished them ingrown toenails and whatever other maladies people who speak obnoxiously in movies deserve. Nothing too karma-wrecking, just enough to make them mildly miserable for a week or so.

Re: the film. **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FILM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. **
What do you think happened after he knocked on the door? My fantasy is that things turned out positively for him and Maya. But in the theatre, I was waiting for a man to open the door, just because I expected the other shoe to drop. And I agree with Kevin -- I half expected him to grab a gun instead of the '61 vino.

golden globe nominations, by picture

Golden Globe Nominations
Sideways ( best picture: musical or comedy)
7 Loved it
The Aviator ( best picture: drama) 6
Closer (best picture: drama) 5 Dark, and very good
Finding Neverland (best picture: drama) 5
Million Dollar Baby (best picture: drama) 5
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (best picture: musical or comedy) 4
Hotel Rwanda (best picture: drama) 3
Kinsey (best picture: drama) 3
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera (best picture: musical or comedy) 3
De-Lovely 2
Kill Bill Vol. 2 2
Ray (best picture: musical or comedy) 2
The Sea Inside 2
Alfie 1 Jude-alicious
Being Julia 1
Beyond the Sea 1 Spacey is amazing
Birth 1
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 1 Not as good as the first
The Chorus (Les Choristes) 1
Collateral 1
House of Flying Daggers 1
The Incredibles (best picture: musical or comedy) 1 Fun, fun, fun
A Love Song for Bobby Long 1
The Manchurian Candidate 1 Doesn't touch the original
The Motorcycle Diaries 1
The Polar Express 1
Shrek 2 1 Not as good as the first
Spanglish 1 Thoroughly enjoyable
Vera Drake 1
A Very Long Engagement 1

newsweek's 10 best movies of 2004

Seeing Sideways made me wonder what else is popular, so here's the Newsweek top 10.

Ten Best Movies of 2004
Newsweek
Sideways
1. Sideways
Top vintage goes to Alexander Payne's hilariously melancholy comedy of wine, women and male midlife crisis. As rich and subtle as a fine novel.

Before Sunset
2. Before Sunset
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reunite in Richard Linklater's breathtaking romance. Great talk. Great ending.

Osama
3. Osama
A devastating Afghan drama about a girl caught in the Taliban's nightmare reign. Unforgettable.

Million Dollar Baby
4. Million Dollar Baby
A knockout blow from Clint Eastwood, this boxing saga leaves you reeling.


Bad Education
5. Bad Education
Nothing is what it seems in Almodovar's dark, devious film noir about desire, revenge and abusive priests. Gael Garcia Bernal shines.

The Aviator
6. The Aviator
The crown jewel in the Year of the Biopic, Scorsese's epic about eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes dazzles, delights and disturbs.

Friday Night Lights

7. Friday Night Lights
A bone- and heart-crunching look at the glory, and the horror, of Texas high-school football.

The Manchurian Candidate
8. The Manchurian Candidate
Jonathan Demme reworks a classic thriller into a taut paranoid parable for our times.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Third time's the charm. Alfonso Cuaron finds real magic in his wizardly installment.

Kinsey
10. Kinsey

Bill Condon's smart, nuanced, surprisingly sweet tribute to the revolutionary sex researcher. Liam Neeson is touching as the troubled, tenacious scientist.


samedi, janvier 08, 2005

beyond the sea

Kevin Spacey sings! Kevin Spacey dances! Kevin Spacey acts! Kevin Spacey writes! Kevin Spacey directs! Kevin Spacey produces! And he showcases all of his talents in Beyond the Sea, the new Bobby Darin biopic. The use of the young Bobby Darin device to propel the story is undeniably cheesy, but I was enthralled by the story and the visuals. I'm also impressed that Mr. Spacey made it through all four key changes of one of the most difficult songs to sing: Beyond the Sea. It's no wonder that he just got a Golden Globe nomination for best actor.

changing lives

The MLK quote below came with a packet from the Breast Cancer 3-Day people. The packet included a pink bracelet that reads "Changing Lives. The 3-Day." I saw the bracelet and couldn't help by smile and cry bittersweet tears.

I doubt the 3-Day people know how much they changed for me. Breast cancer outreach saved my life, along with some concerned friends and my own need to get to the bottom of the pain I was having. But thanks in part to the 3-Day, I'm 16 months kidney cancer-free and love my new life. I'm thinking I owe it to them and myself to crew this year's San Diego walk October 14-16. Lemme know if you want to join me.

quotable

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968, American clergyman and civil rights activist

vendredi, janvier 07, 2005

someday I hope to be a lifer

Working for a university is pretty much like working for the county. At my last job, I had a friend who referred to the wacky lifers as "shuttle riders." They were the ones who resisted technology and innovation, who would ride the campus shuttle over to HR to drop something off or pick it up (not because it was late, but because they could dadgommit), and who generally scared us with the monotony of their lives. After reading this pee-your-pants-funny MsBeesKnees post, I knew I had to cross-post this shoutout to my old peeps.
Someday I Hope To Be A Lifer

This one’s a “shout out” to E. An ex-County Employee.

I work for the County. Yeah, the County. I believe I may be the youngest one here due to government jobs being filled to capacity with Lifers. Stout and strapped into comfortable, orthopedic open-toe sandals and tan nylon stockings, these gals have been here for years. Let me introduce you to a few:

I. The Angry Lady. This woman wears nothing but sweatshirts with cats on them. Cats cuddling, cats prancing, even cats dressed in their holiday best! She enjoys shouting at people through the email IN ALL CAPS. She wears crooked bangs and glasses that are an inch thick and rimless. And she drives a Corvette. Red.

2. The Obese Pagan Lady. This large and lovely lady always wears purple and lumbers along with the help of a cane. A purple cane, mind you.

3. The Clutter Lady. This one works in finance, and fancy this, is another fan of cats. Cluttering her cubicle along with your basic run-of-the-mill cat lady chachkies are Raiders memorabilia (mugs, key chains and other collectables) and all-things-Harley Davidson. My favorite being the bear dressed as a biker, complete with silly leather cap and jacket, sitting atop a teensy motorcycle. I tell you! One of these days she’s going to find that treasure missing! Guilty as charged!

4. The Phony Pony Lady. This sweet senior, who looks like a storybook grandmother, enjoys rocking the phony ponies. See earlier entry: http://imthebeesknees.blogspot.com/2004/09/phony-ponytails-and-sassy-senior.html

5. The Me Love You Long Time Lady. This 4 foot Vietnamese firecracker works over in the Venereal Disease Control division. She has ginormous fake boobs and wears nothing but black bras and see through tops. She’s clearly raiding her granddaughter's closet every morning. Waaaay non-awesome.

I often wonder if I’ll become a Lifer and join the ranks of these fine work devotees. I can tell you this much. I do like cats. And I’m downright mad about saying, “Happy Friday!” I think I just might be on my way… Although, I am almost positive, her hairpieces were made for ladies of the African American persuasion. But damn the rules, you go girl!

jeudi, janvier 06, 2005

on the couch with harrison

Eating thai red coconut curry leftovers... and watching the first 45 minutes of Alias that we taped last night:

Happy: "Guess who's getting married."
Harrison: "Who?"
Happy: "Our boy Jude Law."
Harrison: "Oh yeah, to that woman from the movie, right?"
Happy: "Yes, Sienna Miller."
Harrison: "It won't last."
fits of laughter which made the dog and cat sit up and stare at us
Have I mentioned that I love my roommate?

zenmaster jeff says: "I don't do peter pan movies"

Having a conversation with Jeff is a very zen experience. Today's exchange:

Happy: "Do you want to see a movie with us this weekend?"
Jeff: "What movies are you thinking about seeing?"
Happy: " Sideways..."
Jeff: "No sniffing a cork movies..."
Happy: "A Very Long Engagement"
Jeff: "What's that about?"
Happy: "You know, it's the Audrey Tautou, Jean-Pierre ..."
Jeff: "Nope."
Happy: " Million-dollar baby"
Jeff: "I hear that two-thirds of that movie is the best movie ever made about sports, but that the other third is bad. Baaad."
Happy: "Which part is bad? The first third, the last third, or the middle?"
Jeff: "The end."
Happy: "Then it should be called the two-thirds-of-a-million-dollar baby. How about Motorcycle Diaries?"
Jeff: "Nope."
Happy: " The Aviator, Finding Neverland..."
Jeff: "What's that about?"
Happy: "It's the peter pan movie with Johnny Depp."
Jeff: "I don't do peter pan movies."
Happy: "House of Flying Daggers? It's the artsy martial-arts movie."
Jeff: "Is the Aviator long? 'Cause I don't do long movies. When are you going?"
Happy: "We're thinking of going on Sunday."
Jeff: "I'm not free on Sunday."
Happy: Laughs. "Then maybe we shouldn't have had this conversation."

zenmaster jeff says: "no, it has to be meatloaf"

At lunch yesterday:

Happy: " What would be your last meal on earth?"
Jeff: "Something light..."
Kevin: "Why something light?"
...

Happy: " So Jeff, back to you. Last meal on earth?"
Jeff: "It depends on whether or not I'm being executed."
Kevin, Happy, Nina: "Why does it matter?"
Jeff: "Because if I were being executed, I'd wanna choke."
Kevin: "Why?"
Jeff: "To deprive them of the joy of killing me."
Happy: "So what's the meal?"
Jeff: "Meatloaf."
Kevin: "With ketchup?"
Jeff: "Huh?"
Nina, Happy, Aaron, Kevin, Denisse: "Ketchup."
Jeff: "What?"
Happy: "Condiments, ketchup."
Denisse: "Sauce."
Jeff: "No ketchup."
Denisse: "Why meatloaf?"
Jeff: "Because I'd wanna choke."
Denisse: "Can't you choke on anything else?"
Jeff: "No, it has to be meatloaf."

...

Happy: "What if you died peacefully in your sleep?"
Jeff: "It depends on what time I'd be dying."
Kevin: "Why does that matter?"
Jeff: "I'd have a light meal, so I wouldn't have nightmares about dying."
Aaron: "I see his point."

mardi, janvier 04, 2005

the swapatorium

Check out the swapatorium for the complete post and more images...
Then, visit the snapatorium.

Girls Gone Wild
Several years ago, I purchased a large set of female mug shots from the 1940s. These are a few examples. Each image has its own brown paper envelope that gives the woman's name, race, alias, and reason for arrest which is in code. Most likely, the majority were arrested for prostitution.

Irene


Violet


Via DDTB

when real life isn't like a Brady Bunch episode ...

I seem to remember Peter using a flashlight or a laser penlight (did they have those back in the day?) to fool Bobby and Greg into thinking that a red UFO was in their backyard. The G-men dispatched to deal with him gave him a stern warning -- and boy did he learn his lesson.

And now there's this story, sans the jovial G-man:
Man charged under Patriot Act for laser prank: New Jersey resident accused of shining laser beam at airplane
NEWARK, N.J. - Federal authorities Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge a man with pointing a laser beam at an airplane overhead and temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot.
The FBI acknowledged the incident had no connection to terrorism but called David Banach’s actions "foolhardy and negligent."

quotable

"In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap."

"Rascality has limits; stupidity has not."

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."

"What is history but a fable agreed upon?"

"It is only a step from victory to disaster. My experience is that, in a crisis, some detail always decides the issue."

Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821, fated Corsican general and exiled French head of state

lundi, janvier 03, 2005

yes, that's my hair


me, circa 1988

Inspired by MsBeesKnees (yet again), I finally got around to scanning a picture of myself from the wretched Cope Junior High days. It was the 80's and I was fighting that naturally curly hair. (And clearly losing.) The pyramid hairstyle was all the rage, along with the small-animal-on-my-forehead bangs courtesy of AquaNet. Add to that my radiant tan, the Revlon silver city pink lipstick (I swear, I'm not making up the name), pink shimmer eyeshadow, and green eyeliner and the picture is, well, complete.

Don't try this at home kids. And if you're in your late 20s/ early 30s and lived in southern California at the time, don't even try to deny the fact that you did this, too.

Fortunately for me, my mod "Pretty In Pink" phase (complete with creepers) adopted at Canyon Springs High School was just around the corner. Sadly, that phase was preceded by yet another bad haircut (waaaaay too short) and poor coiffing choice. Ah, adolescence...

afro-licious


Do not adjust your television. Yes, you are seeing a white girl with a big-ass 'fro. Actually it's MsBeesKnees' finalist photo for I Love The 70s.

Since I've got naturally curly hair too, I'm relieved that my mother never did anything so afro-licious with my head.

Read MsBeesKnees' story of rejection at the hands of VH1.

vioxx killed 139,00

I was outraged when the number was 28,000. And now they're telling us it was 139,000. That is the current toll for the tsunami, the largest natural disaster of my lifetime. Un- be-lie-vable.
Researcher says 139,000 harmed by Vioxx
FDA drug safety officer warned about painkiller's risks
WASHINGTON - The U.S. drug safety officer who warned months ago about risks from Merck & Co. Inc.’s painkiller Vioxx won clearance to publish a study arguing the now-recalled drug may have caused up to 139,000 heart attacks and strokes, his attorney said Monday.
Dr. David Graham is resubmitting the research to the Lancet medical journal after supervisors at the Food and Drug Administration granted permission, his attorney, Thomas Devine, said.
Via MSNBC

the tsunami

It's hard to fathom the death and destruction in and around the Indian Ocean right now. My Swedish neighbor Maria was horrified to learn that nearly 6,000 Swedes are feared dead, many of them families who had been vacationing in Thailand. As she explained that this is the largest number of Swedes ever killed abroad and that it is a significant part of the population, it slowly sunk in.

I've avoided a lot of the media coverage after the initial day, because the goosebumps and tears just kept coming with each scene that appeared. And this is another catastrophe that is part of my psyche. Some of the others: the Challenger disaster (I was in fourth grade and watched it live on television), 9/11 (I was in our living room when Eric said that what was happening would be a moment that we'd use to separate what life was like before and after), and now this (in my 29th year).

My only pleasant thought related to it came via Aaron today at lunch. One of his friends who was on his way to fight in Iraq has been diverted for the humanitarian mission. Thank goodness for small mercies.

journey around the world: a virtual photo tour

After seeing so much tsunami footage, it was good to see things that are beautiful. I'm lucky to have been to a few of these places. I can only hope that the coming years take me to many of the others...
Daily scenes of some of the most unique places and beautiful landscapes from around the world.
Via MSNBC

quotable

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452- 1519, Artist and inventor

samedi, janvier 01, 2005

new year's day

All IS quiet on New Year's Day. But I'm narrowing my track list for my Songs of 2004 CD that I'll be burning shortly. Some are songs that came out this year; others are songs that really resonated with me this year.
Dido - Stoned
Dido - Hunter
Dido - See you when you're 40
LP - Wasted
George Michael- Freedom '90
The Killers - Somebody told me
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
James - Say something
Elton John - Somebody saved my life last night
Sting - I'm so happy I can't stop crying
Kore & Skalp - Mon bled
Etienne Daho - Retour a toi
Crowded House - Fall at your feet
Crowded House - Private universe
Elvis Costello - My dark life
Beck - Lost cause
The Pretenders - Hymn to her
from the movie Camp - Here's where I stand
REM - Man on the moon
Annie Lennox - No more "I love you's"
Cali - C'est quand le bonheur
Georges Moustaki - Quand j'etais un voyou
The Beach Boys - God only knows
Phil Collins - Against all odds
Coldplay - The scientist
Nada Surf - Inside of love
Jen Foster - She
David Bowie - Life on mars
Nouvelle Vague - I just can't get enough
Nouvelle Vague - Love will tear us apart
Nouvelle Vague - In a matter of speaking