Monday, December 3, 2007

Fear Not the Compass

Fear Not the CompassMany Christians are concerned about the upcoming release of The Golden Compass. Here's some good advice for how we might respond to it all.by Jeffrey Overstreet posted 11/30/07


Related:


Harry Potter 5 review





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Editor's note: CT Movies critic Jeffrey Overstreet has done many interviews to promote his new fantasy novel, Auralia's Colors. But lately, he's being asked about another fantasy novel, The Golden Compass, now in the news as a major motion picture from New Line Cinema, releasing December 7. The film is based on the first book of a trilogy by Philip Pullman, an atheist who has expressed his disdain for Christianity and who, in the course of his three books, has the protagonist—a young girl named Lyra—join people who are trying to kill God and the Christian faith … and they succeed. Many Christians have expressed their concerns regarding the film.
Overstreet recently blogged some common questions on the topic, and how he's answering those questions. His answers represent a calm, rational, and Christlike response in the eye of this Golden storm, so we're running an abridged version here. (You can read the full article here.)
Should Christians be afraid of The Golden Compass?Mercy, no. Let's not be afraid. Discerning, yes. But not afraid.
God is not threatened by Philip Pullman. And people who stop to think through Pullman's story, and how he "refutes" Christianity, will see what a feeble "attack" against Christian beliefit really is.
Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter, a high-ranking official of the Magisterium
Pullman has painted a picture of the church—represented by "The Magisterium" in his stories—that basically reflects only those ways in which the church has abused power. And he has used that selective reflection as an excuse to write off Christianity as a whole. That's sort of like condemning the entire produce section in a grocery store because a few of the apples were bad. (And "Magisterium" is not something Pullman just made up. It's a very real word referring to the church, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. So he's not trying to cloak his intentions here.)
It's interesting to note that Pullman's dismissal of Christianity skips over one little detail: Jesus. Pullman's story never makes any attempt to explore or refute the claims and ministry and person of Christ. He has, in effect, set up a "straw God" rather than a "straw man," and his fans are congratulating him for knocking down Pullman's flawed perception of God rather than the God of Christianity. He's not really undermining Christian belief as he thinks he is; he is undermining the abuse of authority, something altogether contrary to the gospel.
Pullman points to bad people as a way of saying that the faith is wrong. For examples of religious folk, he illustrates people who abuse power. That's not God. And Christ would frown on the persecution carried out by The Magisterium. In the history of the church, followers of Christ have been persecuted and oppressed by others far more than the other way around. So when one of Pullman's heroic characters, the ex-nun physicist Mary Malone, tells our heroes (in the third book) that "The Christian religion is a powerful and convincing mistake, that's all," well, she's not talking about Christianity at all. She's talking about Pullman's misrepresentation of the church.
But here's a question worth considering: Why does Pullman have this wrongful impression of the church in the first place? Could it be that he's encountered arrogant, judgmental Christians? Could it be, to some degree, Christians' fault?
At any rate, no, don't be afraid. The gospel will survive the publishing phenomenon of Pullman's trilogy—and any movies that come from it—without so much as a scratch. It's not worth getting all worked up about it.
Do Pullman's stories pose a threat to children?Yes, if … And that is a very big "if."
Pullman's trilogy poses a threat if our children read these books without any discussion about the claims made by the characters in the story, or without any parental guidance. The stories pose a threat if their parents and teachers are not reading the books too, and participating in the experience, talking about what the storyteller is doing.
They also could pose a threat if parents forbid these stories in such a way that the child becomes fascinated by the forbidden book. In elementary school, I discovered that adults had crossed out certain words from storybooks like Huckleberry Finn. This became the most interesting aspect of the book for me: I held the pages up to the light, fascinated by what had been crossed out. If we make these books seem more powerful and dangerous than they are, and outlaw them, we have just thrown fuel on the fires of curiosity. Better to teach our kids discernment, so that if they do read the books, they can see Pullman's deception for themselves. (And this raises the question: How many adults are discerning enough to read these books "with eyes to see"?)
Teachers who encourage children to accept Pullman's naive definition of Christianity are encouraging religious illiteracy, and exposing their own. In extreme cases, they're glorifying religious bigotry. The author has said, "If there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against." For a man who likes to talk about the value of "tolerance," that's a pretty striking show of the opposite.
I've read The Golden Compass, and didn't find anything offensive. What's the fuss about?This conversation—and the concerns that have resulted—isn't just about The Golden Compass, only the first book in the trilogy. That's like making The Fellowship of the Ring our subject instead of the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The conversation is about His Dark Materials, the entire Pullman trilogy. The Golden Compass is just the first chapter, laying the foundation for all that will come after it. It is in parts two (The Subtle Knife) and especially three (The Amber Spyglass) that we get into the most controversial material. We won't see those movies for a while.
Is Pullman overrated? Is he a good storyteller?Pullman is an amazing storyteller, with one of the most formidable imaginations since J.R.R. Tolkien himself. I was enthralled by The Golden Compass when I first read it: Colorful characters, fanciful creatures, a strong sense of mystery, and a compelling story about young and vulnerable characters being oppressed and abused by adults.
In the second and third book, when those cold-hearted and abusive adults turn out to be the good guys, exploiting children in their quest to destroy God, my feelings about the story changed. As Pullman's agenda became more important, my favorite characters began to lose their personality and color. So, we must take into account that, beneath the formidable imagination, there is a dagger concealed within this extravagant overcoat—and the intentions of the fellow preparing to use that dagger.
It's interesting that a man of such extraordinary imagination would have so little regard for the storytellers whose work his style resembles. Pullman scoffs at the stories of Tolkien and Lewis. He says, "The Lord of the Rings is just not interesting psychologically; there's nothing about people in it." And his scorn for Lewis's fantasy world has been widely documented. Pullman has said, "I hate the Narnia books. I hate them with a deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away." He has called the series "one of the most ugly and poisonous things" he's ever read.
But Pullman is following in the footsteps of Lewis and Tolkien. Like them, he has created alternate worlds of fantasy that vividly manifest his own particular worldview and his perspective on spiritual matters. Tolkien and Lewis established the foundation of modern fantasy storytelling, adding to what George MacDonald imagined before them. And Pullman continues that tradition, especially in The Golden Compass.
It's also worth noting that his characters are interested in truth, freedom, friendship, justice, and love. People are drawn to Pullman's trilogy for the powerful writing, but also because it is another story about an oppressed minority rising up and striking back at an Arrogant, Cruel Authority figure—just like the heroes of Narnia rise up against the wicked White Witch, and just like Tolkien's Fellowship rises up against Sauron and his tyrannical power. The big difference is that Pullman has cast history's greatest champion of the oppressed—their Redeemer—as the enemy. He would rather leave us to our own fractured will, which is certain to doom us very quickly.
What does Pullman say about his own beliefs?Pullman told the Sydney Morning Herald, "If we're talking on the scale of human life and the things we see around us, I'm an atheist. There's no God here. There never was. But if you go out into the vastness of space, well, I'm not so sure. On that level, I'm an agnostic."
Pullman says God should be 'put down'
On the one hand he says, "What I am against is organized religion of the sort which persecutes people who don't believe. I'm against religious intolerance." But then elsewhere he says that if there is a God, and he is as Christians describe him, then that God should be "put down."
For Pullman, embracing the questions of science, mathematics, art, and literature is a rejection of religion. He seems ignorant of the fact that much of modern science was discovered and established by very religious people, and that mathematics inspires many to faith, and that art is one of the primary avenues for religious discovery and expression.
His opinions have taken quite a turn recently, perhaps to make the movie seem more appealing. Now, he's saying things like this (in a Today interview): "As for the atheism, it doesn't matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I'm not promoting anything of that sort. What I do care about is whether people are cruel or whether they're kind, whether they act for democracy or for tyranny, whether they believe in open-minded enquiry or in shutting the freedom of thought and expression. Good things have been done in the name of religion, and so have bad things; and both good things and bad things have been done with no religion at all. What I care about is the good, wherever it comes from."
That's quite an astonishing change of tone there from "My books are about killing God."
Why is New Line Cinema conspiring against Christians?They're not. Just last year they produced The Nativity Story, and not so long ago, brought us The Lord of the Rings films. New Line is a film studio, a business trying to make money—not a conspiracy of blasphemers. And in the wake of their extraordinary success with Tolkien's stories, they went to the obvious follow-up—another fantasy saga that has become an international bestselling sensation.
Why are so many people, including many Christians, drawn to this story of people who fight against the church?People are drawn to stories about brave souls who stand up against oppressors. And, for many people, the church represents fear, power, and condemnation.
The best way to make Pullman's stories look like gospel truth is to respond by acting like the villainous Christians in his stories. The best way to expose Pullman's lie is to respond like Christ himself: With grace and truth, not wrath and condemnation.
I'm not saying we shouldn't point out where he is wrong. His story is deeply flawed, and his religious bigotry is shameful. We should not ignore that. But we also should not ignore the excellence of his artistry.
We should encourage people to compare the church of Pullman's universe with the church in the real world, and how it is growing and ministering to so many needs—all around the world. We should remind people of the church that serves, and that Christ would not have wanted an oppressive church.
But isn't Pullman attacking all religions?He calls the "God" character in the series "Yahweh." And his characters specifically condemn Christianity as "a powerful and convincing mistake, that's all." (Allah, on the other hand, isn't mentioned.) Pullman has said he wrote these stories "to undermine Christian belief"—quite a different claim than undermining religion in general.
Pullman's characters come to the firm belief that Yahweh is not the creator of the universe. In fact, he's just a big liar. And later in the series, when the Almighty shows up, he's a feeble, senile joke. And they kill him.
Isn't this just the Harry Potter controversy all over again?No. This time, there really is a serious problem. But God forbid that we respond to Pullman the way we've responded to J.K. Rowling. We've just been through a decade in which fearful, judgmental people have burned Harry Potter books, called J.K. Rowling a witch, and warned us that children who read her books will become warlocks. (This reminds me of those folks who told me, when I was ten, that if I saw The Empire Strikes Back, I might be lured into Buddhism.) What we missed with Harry Potter was the power of fairy tales, which use magic metaphorically and symbolically to help us understand mysterious concepts and appreciate the marvelous, otherworldly reality of grace.
And we encouraged a generation of children to believe that you can't be a Christian and also value fairy tales—a devastating deception. As Lewis and Tolkien have discussed and proposed, fairy tales reflect the truth of the gospel in a unique and timeless way. In fact, Lewis became a Christian through discussions with Tolkien about fairy tales.
Many Christians also overlooked the fact that, in damning the Potter series, we were persecuting a Christian woman who has admitted that the process of telling those stories was a journey of sorting out her own faith and persistent doubts. We missed that there were Bible verses woven through the stories and glimmering with truth.
But Pullman is a different storyteller. He says, "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak. I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people—mainly from America's Bible Belt—who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."
Okay, maybe we shouldn't boycott and complain. But what should Christians do?These recommendations come from my humble opinion, and you're welcome to disagree.
Essentially, don't behave in ways that the Magisterium in Pullman's books would behave. You'll just make his stories more persuasive, by confirming for the culture around us that Christians only really get excited when they're condemning something.
Instead, respond with grace and love. And truth. Admit that, yes, Christians have committed grave sins in the name of Christ, and that those shameful misrepresentations of the gospel have made many people fearful of, and even repulsed by, the church. But Christians have been called to serve the oppressed, proclaim freedom for the captives, bring healing to the sick, to seek justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly, and to bring good news of "great joy." And by God's grace, many are living out that calling. They paint quite a different picture than what Pullman has painted.
Finally, educate yourselves and equip your kids with questions—lenses, so to speak—that will expose the problems in these stories. (Worried about padding Pullman's pockets by investigating the books? Fair enough. But there's always the library.)
What questions might you and your kids ask as you read Pullman's books? Some suggestions:
If we cast off all "authority" and set up "free will" as the ultimate source of guidance, where will that get us?
Has the world shown us that the human heart is a trustworthy "compass"?
Does free will lead us always to the right choice?
If the heroes accept the "truth" of the alethiometer (the compass itself), aren't they letting themselves be guided by just another source of truth—another "Authority"? But didn't the story tell us "Authority" is bad and we should only follow our own hearts?
If there are "many truths," then aren't these heroes being as self-righteous and wicked as the oppressors by demanding that their version of the truth is better than others?
What is so inspiring about the battle between the bears? Hasn't this story led us to a place where it's just "survival of the fittest" all over again? Should we really hope that the world falls into the hands of the strongest fighter, rather than into the hands of love?
Finally, pray for Philip Pullman. Pray about the influence of his work. And pray for humility and wisdom in your own response. Pullman is just a man who, somewhere along the way, got a very bad impression of the church. It's also worth noting that Pullman's father died in a plane crash when Pullman was only seven years old. I don't know if that had anything to do with his view of God, but many men who have struggled with the idea of a loving, caring, benevolent God are those whose fathers abandoned them or died while they were young. Boys without fathers often grow up with deep resentment, and having no focus for that pain, they target God.
I want to be careful here: I am not explaining Pullman to you, because I don't know him. But that detail made me stop and think about how little I know about his experiences and motivations. Shouldn't I be praying for him instead of condemning him? Shouldn't I be looking for ways to show love and respect to the man, even as I look for ways to expose the flaws in his work? Pullman's not likely to reconsider his notions about God if those who believe in God organize a full-scale assault against him and his work.

© Jeffrey Overstreet 2007, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Job

I'm having one of those days (i.e. one of those years) at my job where I am completely unsatisfied.
You know how some jobs pay really, really well but they don't satisfy you on a spiritual or emotional level? And how some other jobs leave your wallet wanting more but you feel great every day as you drive there and complete when you drive home?
My job is neither...
I make less than $30,000 a year. My job is 85% boring and 15% hectic beyond my understanding.
Even though I am scraping by to pay for a small wedding (and everything else in life) , I think I would honestly choose the satisfying job over the money job, but like an capitalist American I want a job that is both!

If you have any ideas..... I'm all ears...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Everything

Alright, this video is totally cheesy. I know it, you know it, Jesus knows it too. But I would be lying if I said it didn't move me every time I watch it. Something about the amount of struggle, her getting literally thrown down, that makes it more realistic for me. I don't know, you might just laugh, but I love it.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Registries and random updates

I have been having fun (with a little bit of stress) setting up a registry. I think I have included everything that needs to be on there. Essentially we are registered at Linen's -N- Things and at Dillard's. We are also requesting IKEA gift cards.

Brad received some sad news today. A dear friend of their family (who we had lunch with yesterday, incidently) passed away this morning with little or no warning. He apparently has had some history of heart trouble. Please pray for the Phillips' and for Dora and Brian, his wife and son.

Brad and I placed a deposit on an apartment recently, and we are planning to move him in on October 27th. Some of my things are going as well, but I will not take up residence there until December 29th. Anyway, who-so-ever will be around and fancies themselves strong would be more than welcome to help us move furniture and boxes. We will most likely buy beer and/or soda for those willing to help.

Please keep these developments and plans in your prayers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

That's right, world of bloggers; I am engaged to be married! Here is how it all went down:

We went and had a fabulous meal at 'Red Onion Seafood y Mas'. We had an amazing shrimp cocktail (that was nothing like other shrimp cocktails, because 'normal' S.C. is gross), wine, steak, halibut - the works! Then we went home to change clothes so we could go somewhere more casula for a drink. When we got home I laid on our couch (the leather one Clint gave us) and waited on him. He came out of his room, looking slightly nervous, and came over to me. He got on his knees. He said some very sweet things; how he couldn't imagine his life without me, he didn't want a future without me in it, etc lovely etc...

And then he asked me if I would do him the great honor of being his wife! And I said, "Of course!"

Now the twist is... I knew he was going to do this when he did, and I bought him an engagement ring as well!!! So now we are both "marked" as we plan our lives together!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pics

I joined the Flickr world, so go check out my stuff:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/karmasplayground/
Not much to report.
I'm in love. I need to go to the gym more. I love watching Heroes and House on DVD and counting down until the new seasons start. And I am SO excited about "Across the Universe" this weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Memories

a.k.a. Pterodactyls
I had a random memory this morning on the way to work, but it gave me a big, BIG smile. So here it is:
My freshman year of high school I got involved in the Thespian Convention that happened for high schools every year. We went to the State Convention; it was in Abilene of all places (bear in mind this was Alex's senior year, so he must have looked around and thought, "Hm, yes. This lovely, thriving metropolis is PERFECT for my higher education!" Of course, I went there, too, so...)
We didn't usually take shows for the mainstage, but we alwasy participated in individual events. I was in the Group Musical category, and we performed "The Night that Goldman Spoke at Union Square" from 'Ragtime', and if I may say so, we were incredible! We even had a few 'immigrants'; for the confusion and the 'panicked crowd' aspect, we actually had two of our girls speaking in foreign languages (Spanish and Polish). Anyway, it rocked so hard we got to go to the International Competition in Lincoln, Nebraska!
That year, I had befriended a senior, Libby, and since we were both in that event we decided to room together at Univ. of Neb. Now, long story short, we had an inside joke that we were pterodactyls..... very long, stupid story short..... and as the girls all decided to have a room decorating contest, our room was Dinosaur themed. We went to the dollar store and got some of the COOLEST stuff (or so it seemed at the time). My favorite was a tub of food labeled "Dino Snacks". We had the best food and stuff in our room. Plus, we found a cheap shower curtain with a sort of 'prehistoric playground' on it that we used as a rug. There were little dino figurines all around. OH, it was just awesome.
It makes me wish there was somewhere to do that sort of thing. In college, the closest I came to that kind of situation was probably going to ACTF in Hunstville, and that wasn't the same. Actually, the mentality is closer to the dorm situation in Kilgore, but that was for a while summer instead of a week.
Anyway, I miss that kind of thing. Like camp. Camp rocks.
Anyway, now I'm rambling, but I really want to do a rockin' dollar store run and see what cool stuff I can find...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Banana Hammock


Just Because Its Funny

No really, this blog has nothing to do with banana hammocks, it just makes me laugh...

Anyway, I am having a good week so far. I had a great weekend with Brad, played dominoes, got to hang out with Kelly, etc. Last night Kelly and I went shopping with my 17 yr old cousin, which was lots of fun. I bought a cute new purse and I found some shoes to wear with my Betsey to the wedding! My dress looks just like this pic, except it is navy blue with a copper silk underneath. I found the cutest bronze/copper colored shoes! Thanks to Kelly and Cori for helping me find them.
Brad and I are taking a short trip for the holiday weekend, and it will be so nice to get away! We are always at my folks house or his folks house, and while our parents' are great, we definitely need a little time away.
My good friend Lauren Gragert has deserted me for greener pastures in Ft Worth. I miss her, but she seems excited about her new jobs and roommates. She is going to send me pics soon, and I am mucho excited! Check out her blog. Please pray for her as she starts a new life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Memories

Sad Days
I have been missing people a lot lately. Specifically Rob. I must have spent well over an hour last night, crying softly into my pillow and thinking about the events around his death.
It was April 15th of my freshman year. I had just gotten a cell phone (as in three days previous - my first ever). I was walking from the cafeteria back to my dorm when Lacy, in her little car, screeched to a halt in front of me. She seemed like she wanted to be angry that it had taken her so long to find me, but anger was not it.
She took a gentle but firm hold of my shoulders and told me that Robbie had been killed in a car accident. She must have known I would begin to fall to the ground, or else she wouldn't have held me so securely. She ushered us into her tiny car and took us to Katie's house (if that gives any indication of how long ago this happened). We walked in and found more than half of the theatre department sitting, pacing, calling everyone they could think of to call.
People were crying, some even wailing, a few laughing. Laughter seems to erupt at the most inappropriate moments, which in and of itself made me think of Rob's weird sense of humor. We sat on a couch. I just sat there and observed it all for a short while. The picture in my head is of Ben clutching onto Annika, both of them absolutely wailing with grief. And it was at that moment that I realized I wasn't crying.
In case anyone reading this does not know me very well, I cry at everything. No really, I cry over small, silly things all the time. But for some reason nothing was happening. It was probably just shock.
I am sorry to admit it now, even though these feelings are long since passed, but I remember looking at these people, these Greek masks of misery and thinking, "You people didn't even know him. You have been in his presence for less than one school year, and most of you didn't actually hang out with him. I went to high school with him, and even I don't have an extremely close relationship with him!" It made me angry for some reason, like I thought people were faking it. I realize now, of course, how silly and selfish that is. I know now I was wrong. But it made my emotions so unpredictable that night.
I remember Alex and Lara showing up as everyone piled into Katie and Paula's den to circle up, cry and pray. I remember wondering cynically how many people here would really miss him. It was so petty, such a waste of precious emotion.
I was so exhausted, emotionally and physically, the next day from crying. I remember the services on campus. I remember people wearing backwards caps for weeks in rememberence. It must have been sometime my senior year when I could finally sing "There's a Stirring" without crying. Maybe other people found it as appropraite as I did, maybe it was simply new and popular around the time of Rob's death, but all I knwo is that we sang it a lot at his services and in theatre chapel. It was more than two years before I could get all the way through that song without choking up. Even now I think of him almost every time I sing it.
It seemed appropriate to me. Many people speculated over why God would take someone like Rob from this Earth so quickly. I believe, as do many others, that Rob was in so many ways pure light, and God didn't want to see him ruined by this world. So the words "Is he calling me? Is he calling me? I will rise up" have always moved me.
I spent a good deal of time that night on the phone. I had to call all of my friends from high school theatre who knew him. It was dreadful, because every call started with people being excited that I finally had a cell phone, and ended with shocked silence and doubt.
There just aren't enough people like Rob in this world. He wasn't the smartest guy in the room, he had an endearing lack of social graces. He always smiled; it was his default. Just simple, uninhibited joy to be who and where he was. It was contagious, most of the time. He was one of the most truly genuine people I have ever known. He never lied; sometimes it seemed he didn't have the sense to cover his own tracks. If I called him at 2:30 am saying I had cut my leg shaving and needed a BandAid, he would sneak out of his dorm, drive to Wal-Mart across town (because back then, the only 24 hour Wal-Mart was on the other side of town, by the mall), paid for the BandAids and found a way to get them to me on the second floor of my dorm.
He was truly a blessing to the people around him.
My favorite Rob story still makes me laugh. Well, I have two. The first one wouldn't be as funny if it were someone else. Someone else might have sensed the potential danger and made it scary. To be honest, anyone else would have avoided the situation by reading the street signs. I was complaining after Bible one day that when I used the ATMs on campus, I got a charge on my account, and had, on multiple occassions, overdrafted doing so. I needed a Bank of America. Well, Rob told me he had the same bank, and knew where an ATM was. Great - we set off in his old pickup. It was just on the south side of the tracks, somewhere between Treadaway and Teri's dance studio. Well, we turn down the street, seeing the bank about 5, 6 blocks away. A car comes towards us, switches lanes and politely honks at us as he passes. Confused, we look around and find that we are going the wrong way on a one way street!! Well, being Rob, he just cracks up! We pulled into a parking lot and manuevered our way to the bank from there, laughing the whole time.
My other favorite took place before we ever met on Abilene soil. Towards the end of our senior year at Creek, we realized we were both going to ACU for theatre. We were talking about it, fears, joys, etc. Rob looks me dead in the eye, with all seriousness and a slight bit of begging, and says, "You have to follow me around all the time, so that when I talk to a chick and say something wrong, you can go 'No, no, he didnt mean that, he is a nice guy'". I will never forget how muched I laughed, and how I looked right back at him and said, "You are going to need it, aren't you?" We laughed and went on with life, such as it was.

I realize this was random and long winded, but I wanted to share these. I miss him. He was a true friend to anyone who would let him hang around long enough. He is a reminder of God's love and mercy (and sense of humor).
Be thankful for the things you have, the people who love you, the breath you take.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wish List

For No Reason
They say money cannot buy you happiness, and that is true. However, money can buy you stuff, and stuff has been known to make me pretty dang happy. For example, here is a list of things that would make me happy (in no particular order, and for no particular reason) :
*"Celtic Minstrels" by James Galway - When I was younger, around 8th grade, I used to fall asleep to this album almost every night. I lost it because I took it to school for a project, and I miss it. The gentle lilting music would bring back that smile.
*"House" Season Three on DVD - there is no need to explain this one...
*A plane ticket to Lubbock - I miss Morgan, and I know she needs to unwind right now. It would be great if we could have a nice girls night out, maybe a Margarita and a chick flick... I'm thinking "Sweetest Thing"...
*Tickets to the parks in Disney World - the traveling is not the expensive part, it's the parks passes. I used to go here all the time with my family, and it is the source of many happy memories. Plus, now I could really appreciate Pleasure Island!!
*An apartment - I love my family, and I actually don't mind being at home. It's just that it is hard to feel like an adult when you live at home. Plus, I don't have any 'real' privacy. On nights when I want to be alone, just to relax, it feels like I'm sulking in my room. I'd rather just have my own place. Plus, it would be great if Brad and I had somewhere to go where we didn't feel chaperoned.....

It's a short list, but a beautiful one. Obviouslt there are more things, but some are too personal or silly to put on the world of blogdom.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Insomnia Cookies

And How to Get Them
This company is a stroke of pure genius entrepreneurship. Insomnia Cookies is a website where you can order cookies and have them fresh-baked and delivered to your home in about 30 minutes! They are a fairly new company. So far their main focus is college campuses (wheee), which makes sense, but you can also order them from Manhattan.
I want one here.
On their main page is a link that says "CLICK HERE FOR FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES". This simply sets up an email to send them. It takes them a short while to respond, but I want everyone who reads this (specifically those in Houston) to write them a quick letter, asking them to set one up down here. All of their current locations are North and North-East, so we could really open up their market. I'm thinking Brad could manage it, and we could find a few happy bakers and drivers - I'm in!
I read about these guys from this article about young entrepreneurs - inspiring, isn't it? It makes me want to start an online company, making and/or delivering something, you know?
We salute you, Seth Berkowitz, for your ingenious manipulation of the need for sugar at all hours!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Day

And nothing new
Life is good, if not slightly stagnant. No, stagnant is a word with big negative connotations... it's just a little bit boring is all. There are far worse things. I sleep (not ever quite enough), I work (yawn), I eat (probably too much) and I spend amazing time with Brad. I get to see friends occasionally, but we are all pretty busy. Now that Brad lives in Alvin I dont see him him as much, either. Sad. Soon, hopefully, we will be setting him up in an apartment close to my place.
Oh, I joined a gym last night. Nothing fancy, but its cheap and it has cardio machines which is all I want at this moment. And most of the machines have little TVs on them with cable! I watched an episode of Scrubs last night on the treadmill and didnt even know I had been walking 15 minutes!! Nice...
I will start a little muscle training later, but right now I just need to whip myself into shape- grow some discipline and lose a little weight.
I miss my buddy Jason. Tomorrow is his birthday, and I wish we were gonna go out drinking and playing pool. Oh well. I will call him. I keep trying to get him down to Htown for Wild West and Rocbar, but the sucker ain't got no time. POOP! I say he, Nick, James and Morgan come down for a walk-down-memory-lane-apalooza! Well, it wont happen, but it would be fun.
Brad is great, and I miss him. We are seeing a show this weekend and a Kevin Fowler concert, so it should be good times. Whee!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Book Seven

Sigh
I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at 1:22am Tuesday morning. I cried so much (act surprised), and I laughed and I cheered. It was incredible. I cannot wait to read it again, especially because this time I can take my time and not feel rushed. Before, I was afraid of hearing spoilers and I wanted to hurry so I could discuss everything with my folks (who both finished before I did).
I won't leave any spoilers in this entry, but I will say this: an interesting new 'shipping' possibility is presented that will quickly become quite popular.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Secrets of Women

and How to Get Them!
I found an article some guy had written all about what impresses women. I read it, expecting it to be mostly drivel, but there are some really good points in this. What do you think?

10 secrets you need to know
1. All women like surprises; women believe they should be surprised at least once a month.
2. All women have fantasies. A man should take the time to find out her fantasy.
3. Women want a man to be sensitive yet fight for them if they needed to.
4. Women want a man to be gentle and rough at the same time.
5. Women want to be told they're beautiful, then after a time told they're sexy.
6. Women want their man to notice when another man tries to pick them up, but refrain from jealousy.
7. Women will alter their appearance with a new hairstyle or buy something skimpy for themselves, not a man.
8. A woman will groom herself that day if there is a chance for her to meet someone that night.
9.Women believe in the fairytale and will look at most men in the first 30 seconds as if they could be the prince they have been looking for.
10. If a woman really likes a man, she will spend all day trying to look good for him and still not feel perfect, yet at times she will not be made up and feel perfect.

10 ways to make yourself attractive to woman
1. Be confident in who you are.
2. Have a sense of humor.
3. Show good manners.
4. Be respectful.
5. Be controversial.
6. Be sensitive.
7. Ask her what she wants and likes.
8. Don't just tell her you do, but put your trust in her.
9. Tell her about one time your feelings got hurt.
10.Kiss her softly, and then kiss her passionately.

7 sure-fire ways to repulse a woman
1. Tell her what you don't want her to wear.
2. Look at another woman while talking to her.
3. Show her that you have no direction in your life.
4. Be too proud of your qualities.
5. Drink too much or have a serious addiction.
6. Insult her style, friends or family.
7. Use stupid pickup lines like: "Do you want to have sex?" "Can I smell your roses?" "Baby, that's the sweetest butt I've ever seen!" "Hey you, come here!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chipotle Scandal


My Broken Heart (and arteries...)

I have just discovered the horrific truth about the calorie count at Chipotle. NOOOO!!! I am devastated. I could eat this food every day and not get sick of it. Apparently it would kill me!

Try this calculator to find out how many calories are in your favorite dish. A note: maybe I should have known this, but the biggest shocker for me was the chips.

Messina Hof

Wonderful Weekend with Wine
Brad and I met his grandmother, Vicki, and several of her close friends at the Messina Hof winery in Bryan/College Station this weekend. We had about half an hour to ourselves to taste various wines. Then our private tour began with the history behind this fascinating family. We spent close to an hour wandering the grounds, seeing the wine-making process, visiting the Villa and getting a tutorial on the 'wine experience'. Then, to cap the occation, we dined at the Villa Restaurant, where everything was delicious! Oh, everything on the grounds was incredible. Check out the photos on the website.
Anyway, I came home with a few bottles, including a delectable Sangria. Yummy in the tummy!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Exactly what I mean...

RE: Free Sex Education
Alright, read this article, and tell me it doesn't make you sick and/or sad.
THIS is exactly why we need 'sexual renegades' teaching free classes 'underground'; "Just 7.9 percent of parents discussed sexual matters with their daughters, she said, while 46 percent of parents said it was the responsibility of schools to provide sex education." Everyone is looking to make it someone else's responsibility! And did you notice that "79 percent of high school and university girls cited the Internet as their main source of information about sex" - women in college are completely clueless about sex other than the "teachings" of the Internet! I am just disgusted that such an essential topic could be so adamently ignored!
And, I'm sorry to pass such ruthless judgement on people I don't know, but if "46 percent of the more than 20,000 girls who called the city's pregnancy hot line", a.k.a. nearly 10,000 girls met their sex partners online, and several didn't even know their real names, maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't the web. Maybe the problem is that these girls are sluts. That may not be a fair assessment, but it certainly fits the bill. We are talking about 16-18 year olds mostly. Who is trying to prevent this?!? No one!
It just makes me sad. Seriously, I want to go all bohemian, live out of a van and make it my life's work to travel across the world teaching the masses about proper sexual health. Who is with me?

HP5 in 3D

Bonus Dimension

Look what I found!!!!

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: An IMAX 3D Experience, the third Harry Potter film converted into the IMAX format, has been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® technology. The large 15/70 film frame, combined with the IMAX projection technology and remarkable sound system, provide moviegoers with an immersive, extraordinary cinematic experience. Plus, see the movie's explosive finale in IMAX(R) 3D! Using proprietary 2D to 3D conversion technology, the final scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix have been digitally transformed into amazing IMAX 3D-- the most immersive cinematic 3D in the world. "

I hope I can handle it, cause my tickets is bought! Pardon my poor grammar, I just got excited... It will be my third viewing. Tomorrow night I am seeing the normal version with Brad (the 3D was sold out).

Potter Review (spoilers)

I enjoyed every minute of this film! I think it was an excellent portrayal of the essential story of the book. Now, of course, they have to cut things, and there were things I wish had been left in, but such is life.
They did an excellent job of building the relationship between Harry and Sirius, which stung as we knew what was coming. I thought the actress who played Luna was quite good; dreamy and 'off' without being "a freak". I was skeptical about Umbridge, because this actress did not look 'toady' enough, but her portrayal was incredible! It reminded me of the seething hatred I felt for her during the book. The graphics in this film were possibly the best for any HP film so far! Everything in the ministry was beautiful; I don't remember anything in the book about the characters...well...swirling when they Apparated, but the effect of the Dark and the Light fighting in midair was magnificent! And the graphics for Fred and George's fireworks display were fascinating.
One thing I definitely missed was the visit to St. Mungo's. It would have given the actor playing Neville a whole new level to see him with his parents. Also, I wish they had elaborated a bit with Snape's memory of James, or included Harry telling the others about it. It is the first time he sees his parents through an imperfect lens. All in all, a great film for a great book. They are already filming book 6. YEA!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Free Sex Education

Freedom of Speech
OK, so I try and keep pretty well-informed on issues I care about (A.D.D. allowing), but somehow I missed this notion that "abstinence only" sex ed was being taught in our schools. Let me be more specific: it is getting to where it is illegal to teach safe sex in our schools..............
Um, what?
Other nations are scrambling to increase their sex ed in order to lessen the number of pregnancies and diseases, and we are ignoring it? Do not misunderstand me: I am all about teaching abstinence. It is an essential lesson for kids to hear, especially if they have any religious background. However, it is not a replacement for teaching safe sex!
Religious argument: The Bible tells us not to sin. Have you ever noticed, though, that the Bible is also chock-full of "after-you-have-sinned" advice? It teaches us that once we have sinned against God, we should ask for forgiveness, we should pray, we should rededicate our lives to him, etc. God tells us not to sin, but He isn't stupid! He knows we are going to do it, so he gives us instructions for the aftermath. Shouldn't the same concept be applied to sex education? God wants you to wait until you are married; premarital sex is wrong in his eyes. But, just in case, here is the best way to take care of yourself. If you are going to do it, here is what you need to know. God is understanding and forgiving.
Secular argument: Sex is a natural thing, and your body will have the same reactions and desires whether or not you are educated on what they mean and how best to handle them. If you deny a young person that education, or worse allow them to believe they are educated but without all the facts, you are putting them in the path of danger. Allow me to use Spring Awakening (the best musical ever) to emphasize this point (some spoilers). When Wendla, the young ingenue, asks her mother how babies are made her mother slaps her. Later in the story she and Melchior, the handsome young rebel, find themselves alone in the forest overcome with passion. They have sex, and Wendla becomes pregnant. Her mother is dreadfully ashamed of the girl and takes her to some sleazy "doctor" for an abortion. Wendla dies because of the poorly executed procedure. Moritz, one of Melchior's friends, has endless questions about what is right or wrong and can't get a straight answer out of any adult. He tries to get answers from his classmates. The confusion and stress of loneliness and not understanding his own body leads him to suicide. A lack of an education is just that - a lack. If you let children out into a world so flooded with sexual images with a lack of understanding, there is a world of trouble they can get into. YES, of course, an education will not keep them totally safe. Only they can choose their own actions, but we must do all that we can to inform them of their options. If not, their blood is on our hands.

I propose a solution: if we cannot teach them in their schools, we will teach them somewhere else. Where there is a will, there is a way, and I am quite sure that people would flock towards free sex ed classes taught by 'real people' in the 'real world'. I am literally suggesting sex lectures in Starbucks. Meetings in bookstores. Classes in the park. Thanks to the freedom of speech, we can do just about anything like this. Think about it; we could teach about abstinence. We can teach about methods of contraception. We can teach about 'when you are ready', which of course is subjective. Can you imagine an interactive class full of questions and answers? Maybe this dream is too big, but it seems so necessary. It is a crime, in my opinion, for any human to carry a child in their belly and not understand how or why. It is a crime for a person to catch a disease without knowing how to prevent it.
I generally support the Republican side of an argument, but this is too far. This is unsafe, and I for one am unwilling to stand idly by.

She's Everything

Sweet Song


This is one of Brad's songs for me, and the words are so sweet and accurate. Especially the part about being moody...

"She's Everything"
She's a yellow pair of running shoes
A holey pair of jeans
She looks great in cheap sunglasses
She looks great in anything
She's "I want a piece of chocolate
Take me to a movie"
She's I can't find a thing to wear
Now and then she's moody

She's a Saturn with a sunroof
With her brown hair a-blowing
She's a soft place to land
And a good feeling knowing
She's a warm conversationT
hat I wouldn't miss for nothing
She's a fighter when she's mad
And she's a lover when she's loving

[Chorus]
And she's everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
I talk about her, I go on and on and on
'Cause she's everything to me

She's a Saturday out on the town
And a church girl on Sunday
She's a cross around her neck
And a cuss word 'cause its Monday
She's a bubble bath and candles
"Baby come and kiss me"
She's a one glass of wine
And she's feeling kinda tipsy

She's the giver I wish I could be
And the stealer of the covers
She's a picture in my wallet
Of my unborn children's mother
She's the hand that I'm holding
When I'm on my knees and praying
She's the answer to my prayer
And she's the song that I'm playing

[Repeat chorus]

She's the voice I love to hear
Someday when I'm ninety
She's that wooden rocking chair
I want rocking right beside me
Everyday that passes
I only love her more
Yeah, she's the one
That I'd lay down my own life for

And she's everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
She's everything to me
Yeah she's everything to me
Everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
She's everything to me

Charity : Water

I have been on a 'change-the-world' kick lately; enjoy this video!

Potter Head

YEA!!!
I AM SEEING HARRY POTTER: THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX TODAY!!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thoughts on Racism

Everyone's a Little Bit Racist
I have been reading old articles and random blogs about the "Aida controversy" from our senior year, and my blood is boiling. I get so tired of people thinking "I can't be racist, I'm black" or "Its not racist if its true" or "I am entitled to this". ARGH! Why is the world full of jerks?
I read a blog written by an ACU alum who made an excellent point, specifically aimed at a person I will not name:
"A final thought on the talented Ms. -----: history doesn't typically identify heroes in any movement as those who demand double standards and preferential treatment but rather ones who endure hardship to gain equality. Rosa Parks didn't ask to ride the bus for free."
AMEN!
I have always said:
-If you expect to be treated different or better because of your skin color, YOU are a racist.
-If you expect to be treated different or better because of your gender, YOU are a sexist.

Alright, I'm off of my soapbox... for now...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Anger and Love

Two Sides of the Same Coin
I read a very interesting article about anger, and this quote jumped out at me;
"If you really want love in your life, you must be willing to spend a little time with love's less comfortable relatives, anger and pain. It's common to think that with anger and pain come breakup and divorce. But the bottom line is the more you love someone, the more able they are to piss you off. So be aware: Anger and intense emotion are normal when you truly love and care."
First of all, the song "The More You Ruv Someone" is running rampant through my head (which reminds me, I used to have that sheet music book, and someone borrowed it and never gave it back... poo). Secondly, what an excellent point that people completely neglect to acknowledge. Just because you don't enjoy something at that moment doesn't mean it is not worthwhile. You can't expect people (or jobs, or money, or sex, or anything else) to make you happy and leave you with only good feelings. Without the bad feelings, what are the good ones worth? Not much.
Brad and I have gotten quite good at constructive conflict. It is almost never pleasant to fight, but if it fixes a problem than it is necessary and good. It increases our bond and makes our love and trust grow deeper in one another.
It just makes me think of people who close their hearts because of their past experiences. It is natural to want to guard your heart after it has been smashed, but if you avoid the bad so diligently, you are likely to miss out on the good. You need to learn how to protect yourself from loneliness as well.
"Feelings are much like waves. We can't stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf." -Jonatan Mårtensson

Friday, July 6, 2007

Music

Gimme Some
I am in the mood to discover new music, so lay it on me. What are your three (to five) favorite songs right now? I don't care if its country, rap, showtune, classic, brand spankin' new, whatever.

What are you listening to?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Potter Madness


Not to be Confused with Reefer Madness

So, apparently the movie is being released on Wednesday, July 11th (not on Friday, July 13th like I had heard). This will make things interesting. Wednesday I'm supposed to have Girl's Night Out for Rocko's B-Day, so the fam may have to wait until Friday. But that will make Thursday night miserable in waiting.... I will figure it out.

Anyway, enjoy the pic!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Playlist

My Favorites This Second
1) "LDN" by Lily Allen
2) "One and Only" by Timbaland ft. Fall Out Boy
3) "Freakum Dress" by Beyonce
4) "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse
5) "Alfie" by Lily Allen
6) "Throw It On Me" by Timbaland ft. The Hives
7) "Touch Me" from Spring Awakening
8) "Real Love" off of Instant Karma
9) "Home" by Marc Broussard

Monday, July 2, 2007

Special Victims


Who Doesn't Love It?

So Alex got to go shoot his spot in the L&O:SVU episode the other day. They didn't finish it in one day, so "oh darn" they have to bring him back another day and pay him more. It sounds like it was an incredible experience. And the cool part is, it airs during... (drumroll)... SWEEPS! Now, that means we won't see it until November, but HOW COOL IS THAT?!? I can't wait, I'm so proud of him. I really hope this is a springboard for him.

My New Car...

...Who Has No Name
I bought a car this weekend - GAH!! I am so excited, so proud of myself, and so terrified. Bye bye, money... but my Saturn rocks. I haven't named it yet, though. It is white, but I think it has the spirit of a green car... I'm not getting a vibe about it's gender though. I kind of want to name it Hunter, but sports can be so fickle - knowing my luck, Pence will get traded... "my last car" was a Crown Victoria, and I wasn't sure on the gender vibe, so I named it Victor Victoria (I know, I'm so clever) and usually called it Vivi. I must give this more though. I have already made small efforts to make it my own. I added a scarf around the rear-view mirror. I need to put my magnetic Save Darfur ribbon on there somewhere. Anyways, huzzah for me! Wish me luck, and pray for me - I'm already a nervous driver, and now I'm driving my life savings...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Updates

So much has happened:
Brad and I went to the Maxim/Bud Light Hook Up party last week - AWESOME!
Brad's birthday was Friday, June 22 and we went out to Pappas Steakhouse; unbelievably delish! Then we went to Drink Houston and got on the radio; Brad got to do his Borat voice on 104.1 KRBE (which is probably b/c Carson thought I was totally cute, which I am...)
I helped Rachel choreograph a few songs for Little Shop of Horrors on Sunday. It was really fun, except now my shoulder is really sore. I didn't stretch properly (for shame!) before the "air guitar"... foolish, rookie mistake!
The Astros finally beat the Rangers (1 out of 3) and Hunter Pence still has my devoted fandom. Swing for the fence, Pence!
Biggio is moments away from the big 3000, and I think he may actually get to hit it in H-town! Shenoa might even be at that game.
This Saturday Brad and I (and possibly lots of friends) are going to the racetracks to see Merle Haggard (there is no way I spelled that right). It should be...... interesting.
Oh, and it was Krusty the Clown, with the Extend-O Glove in Krusty-Lu Studios!

Friday, June 22, 2007

For Grags

And my other nerd friends
I found these, and they made me happy. If you are a Harry Potter fan (and/or just think those kids are growing up kind of hot), check these out.

Death Trap 2

Formerly known as the Hellevator
Eleven days ago I wrote a blog about roller coasters and why I do not ride them.
Allow me to remind you.
I found this headline on my webpage this morning: "Girl's Feet Severed At Ky. Amusement Park". As you can imagine I was concerned and terrified. These people were riding one of those "Tower of Terror" types of rides where you rise and fall at alarming rates and more alarming heights. Well, something malfunctioned (SHOCK) and it came crashing to the ground. One young woman had her feet severed at the ankle. Just gone. And she was in such shock she wasn't crying or screaming, just looking at her ankles thinking, "Something about this is not right..." Other people on the scene, however, had the panicking (sp?) covered.
So in case anyone ever wanted to ask me to join them on a roller coaster, "I'm good."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So Blessed

As Is He
I would just like to state that I am very blessed to have found such a wonderful man who cares for me so much. I would also like to state that he is pretty darn blessed to have me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Politics

What Irks Me
Allow me to be political for a moment:
President Bush vetoed (or will) a bill referring to stem cell research. The Democrats are having a field day about how unfair it is, especially Nancy Pelosi. She actually issued this statement to the public:
"By vetoing a bill that expands stem cell research, the president will say 'no' to the more than 70 percent of Americans who support it, 'no' to our Democratic Congress' fight for progress, and 'no' to saving lives and to potential cures for diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's," Pelosi wrote. "He will say 'no' to hope."
She accuses him of ignoring a "fight for progress" and actively avoiding "saving lives". This is immature and unitelligent. It goes beyond mud-slinging into silly, playground name-calling! Yes, that's it Nancy, the President does not want people to get better, he wants all sick people to die. What a ridiculous arguement! ESPECIALLY when you consider the statement made explaining Bush's position on ste cell research:
"The president supports and encourages stem cell research, including using embryonic lines, as long as it does not involve creating, harming or destroying embryos," Fratto said. "That is an ethical line that should not be crossed."
Bush supports using stem cells to cure diseases and aid in recovery. He simply will not ethically stand by the baby-killing part of it. What a creep, huh? You can use embryonic stem cells without a dead baby - there are tons in the placenta and umbilical cord. Also, there are non-embryonic ways to harvest them. So Bush says 'Have at it, just don't murder any children'.
Yeah, what a jerk...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Patterns

Or a Lack Thereof
Thanks to my A.D.D. I have never really been able to establish patterns. Most people, after a certain young age, learn a set of procedures they do, in roughly the same order, every morning. This never stuck with me. I still forget basic, obvious things. The reason my room is generally dirty is because I let little things slip, and they pile up. Quite literally. Sometimes, I will be sitting on my bed reading, thinking, "Man I really need to clean up", or "Man, I really need to do laundry", and I just SIT THERE thinking about how it needs to get done. Part of this, of course, is a matter of discipline. Most of it, even. But there is a small link or something missing from my brain.
However, I am pleased to announce, I have started to fight back. Once you win enough little battles, it becomes easier to convince yourself "you can". For the past three weeks or so, my room has remained clean. I mean looks-like-I-just-cleaned-it clean. I make my bed every morning. I have NEVER consistently made my bed. Sometimes when I am changing, I throw clothes on the ground. But now, if I do that, I immediately pick it back up and put it in my clothes hamper - in the correct compartment! That's right - darks, lights and dry clean/hand wash. Plus, another thing I could never get the hang of; I now lay out my next-day-clothes every night! Well, every night I am working the next day, and usually for church.
These probably sound like little things to most people, but this is monumental for me. For example, my last blog about saving money - that is huge. For roughly a year now I have put money away every month, every paycheck even. It is so liberating to finally feel like I do truly have control over things in my life. The downside is I now feel doubly responsible, but it would probably be a good step for me to stop "blaming things" on my A.D.D.
For the last three consecutive nights, I have done a little workout right before I go to bed. It isn't the most incredible workout, but the point is I do it every night (so far). Pushups, crunches, lifts, a little in-place jogging; just a touch of the important stuff.
I am so excited to reach this point, and I hope it only goes up from here. Wish me luck, and keep me in your prayers.

Saving Money

Spending Money
I have spent quite a bit of time trying to squirrel away money, knowing I would need it. It has been a great comfort to me to know that I had, if nothing else, "emergency money" tucked away. However, the purpose of saving money is to spend it later, and I suddenly have LOTS of places for that money to go. Buy a car, plan vacations, 'family festivities', future apt to consider - It can be daunting. I am greatly looking forward to these events and purchases, it just startles me knowing that thanks to the American economy and mind-set, it is practically INEVITABLE to go into debt. It literally gives me anxiety from time to time.
Money is so interesting, and value can be so relative. This money I have put away, to some people (my age and younger) sounds like so much. But to others (mostly older, more financially experienced adults) it seem pathetic and weak. I am proud of my efforts, however miniscule, and I intend to keep squirrelling away what I can.
But I'm nervous...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spring Awakening

Take Me There
Tell me you don't want to see this (and I will call you a liar)!



Check out the website where I found the video: http://www.springawakening.com/

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

People I Look Like



















Or So I Am Told

According to friends and family, I look like these people:
Mandy Moore

Julia Stiles

Leann Rimes - by the way, when did Leann Rimes become a slut? I did an image search and the whole first page she was practically nude. Weird...

I can sort of see it some of the time... who do you think I look like?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Tony Awards


Great Choices and Great Dresses

Well, most of them were great.

And Spring Awakening won 8 out of it's 11 nominations, including Best Musical!!! I am so excited! If you aren't familiar with this show, fix it. Buy it on Amazon right now and prepare to fall in love.

Death Trap

Why I Do Not Ride Roller Coasters
As if being upside down and going really really fast isn't bad enough. As if being upside down and not moving at all isn't bad enough. These poor people stayed like this for 30 minutes!!!
My favorite part of this article has to be this horrifying quote: "The cause could be a (tree) limb or as simple as an animal (on the lines)..."
Yes friends, that right, if a squirrel scampers across a live wire you could be stuck in the air eagerly awaiting death on some stupid roller coaster. OR you could be safe on the ground in a spinning teacup with me...
Take your pick!

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Own Words


From Someone Else's Mouth

Grags, you have done it again. You have written words that so brilliantly capture my own feelings (at least most of them). This blog (excluding all of that Star Wars stuff.....) almost made my eyes water because it made me realize how much I miss being sleep deprived and hungry and HATING the monologue I was about the stumble through. I mean it, parts of our educational experience were hell, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Well, maybe some people would have been deleted or moved around, but the education, the rehearsals, the scenes, the recitals, the rush of a curtain call (be ye Bug or McFuzz) are forever ingrained in my mind and I long for it.

Now I have a life (yea!), but I'm not sure how to balance both worlds. I want to keep spinning that plate, but I don't know how. I know, I know, 'give it up to God', but I still have to do the work, you know? I can't just say, "Here God, make me a well-adjusted actor above the poverty line - GO!" It does not work like that.

Oh Grags, what I wouldn't give for a 12:30am rehearsal (even if it was for Gypsy...having to kiss Peter... ok, maybe another scene...)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Jail Bird Flies Free

Dirty Bird
Paris Hilton is out of jail after serving three of her 23 day sentence. Oh wait, it was 45 days right? What, 90 days? Why that poor heiress, I am SO glad she was excused from that irritance.
Raise your hand if this makes you want to cry? Yes, I'm angry, frankly outraged, but more than anything else, it just makes me sad. Too bad those of us without money have rules to follow. What happens when she actually kills someone by driving drunk? And for that matter, can you imagine the conversation between Lohan and Hilton next week? All 'Ha ha, I know, they SAW the coke and I still didn't go to jail!', and 'Please, like they could hold me in jail, have you seen me?'.
These women are being looked up to by countless young women, girls who have subconsciously learned that 'rich and famous' is a goal to aim for, as in "What do you want to be when you grow up?".
I pray that mothers and big sisters across the countryare sitting down with their little girls and explaining about good and bad role models. If not, we will have an up-and-coming generation of coke-sniffing sluts who don't know why they get punished for their actions.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ulla

Poducer's Tour
(Yes, it is misspelled on purpose)
Speaking of Lara (last post), she just got a role in an international tour of The Producers - how cool is that?!? She has an ensemble role, plus she is the understudy for Ulla, so she will get to do that for several shows.
WHEEEE!!!

Summer changes

Beautimus
OK, so I recently saw a picture of myself at 2006 ACU Theatre Banquet, and I looked great. I'm not just being vain, I'm saying things have changed... I think I am going to start tanning again. Tuesday mornings used to be the best, b/c Lara and I would get up at 5:45 am (eeek!), go get breakfast on campus, then go tan at The Hot Spot for their $2 Tuesday special. The whole day was just better after that.
While I'm "improving myself", I think I'm gonna give in and get some whitening strips. Cause... yeah... not so white. I think these changes will only improve my cute, new haircut.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nevermind

Oh well...
Lacy got called into work, and I don't have a ride to the aud-ish. So.... I guess I'm not going...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

BIRTH

Auditions Galore
Tomorrow night, Thursday, I am going to an audition with Lacy. I haven't seen her in ages, so this should be wonderful! We are going to have dinner in the Village, audition, then maybe sangria til we cain't no more! Who knows? I DO have to work on Friday (blech), so I may limit the drinks. I think Brad is going to go to an Astros game. I just hope he doesn't sit next to some cute and lonely bombshell who wants to know all about sports. I could always make him wear a sandwich board with my face on it...hmm...
So this play we are auditionig for is called BIRTH. It is set up like the Vagina Monologues; lots of in-depth (haha, horrible pun) stories and experiences of labor. It might be too weird for me, but I will only know if I try, right? Plus, Lacy can be earthy, so I figure between the two of us we got this.
Oh, and get this... they perform it every year on Labor Day. Is that clever or what?

House


She's Leaving Home
Apparently, in order to make it a cliffhanger, the writers of House decided to make everyone LEAVE!?! I knew Foreman was leaving (yes, actually going to leave). But firing Chase seemed like a joke he would undo by the end of the episode... and Cameron leaving was just kind of weird...
But the strangest part was how it ended so... well. I would even go so far as to call it a 'happy ending'. House has learned to mature and how to handle change. that's good... right? I just want to know how many he will rehire, and how many he will replace. The TV Guide article (sorry, can't find a proper link) made such a big deal out of the Piper Perabo character that I thought surely she would be around for a while - at least more than one episode, you know? Maybe she will come back next season.
All I know is, I need a job... as an actor, not as a doctor, so....you know..... call me?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

IKEA


Glorious Venture

Brad and I drove around on Monday, looking at apartments and such, and we realized that we were really close to IKEA. After some adorable pleading on my part, we went over there and started our adventure. May I just state, for the record, that I LOVE IKEA!!! We had so much fun (more me than him, Im sure, but he was a good sport) just wandering around, drooling over cute, moderately priced furniture. I mentally decorated my non-existent apartment. But they didn't have Dr Pepper in the cafeteria, so Brad was less than 100% pleased. Haha, "I mean, who drinks Pepsi?!?"

Then, of course, like any good boyfriend he took me to the Chocolate Bar. Good chocolate covered strawberries are definitely the way to my heart.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vacation

Galveston "Beaches"
According to weatherbug.com this Saturday should be sunny on da beach. Im going with Brad, Kelly and Shelly. Maybe Rocko will even meet us there later. Fingers crossed! So I will possibly have a tan soon. WHEEE!!! Its been ages since I had any color besides white. Mmm-hmm. Plus we get to eat at Willie G's, my favey (sorry Brad).
Then Sunday, we get to have a very special meal with Brad's family. I am oh-so-excited about my weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Working Class Hero


Great Music, Great Cause

Over fifty artists have Come Together to make an incredible album of John Lennon covers. It's called Instant Karma and you can pre-order it now online. The proceeds go to the Save Darfur mission efforts, a very noble cause. Here is the song and artist list:


Instant Karma[1] ...U2
#9 Dream[1] ...R.E.M.
Mother[1] ...Christina Aguilera
Give Peace A Chance[1] ...Aerosmith with Sierra Leone Refuge All-Stars
Cold Turkey[1] ...Lenny Kravitz
Whatever Gets You Through the Night[1] ...Los Lonely Boys
I'm Losing You[1] ...Corinne Bailey Rae
Gimme Some Truth[1] ...Jakob Dylan Feat. Dhani Harrison
Oh, My Love[1] ...Jackson Browne
Imagine[1] ...Avril Lavigne
Nobody Told Me[1] ...Big & Rich
Jealous Guy[1] ...Youssou N'Dour
Working Class Hero[2] ...Green Day
Power to the People[2] ...Black Eyed Peas
Imagine[2] ...Jack Johnson
Beautiful Boy[2] ...Ben Harper
Isolation[2] ...Snow Patrol
Watching the Wheels[2] ...Matisyahu
Grow Old With Me[2] ...Postal Service
Gimme Me Some Truth[2] ...Jaguares
(Just Like) Starting Over[2] ...The Flaming Lips
God[2] ...Jack's Mannequin feat. Mick Fleetwood
Real Love[2] ...Regina Spektor


The music is likely to be incredible, and cause is more than worthwhile, either of which alone should be enough to make you buy it. When you combine the two it's just gravy...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wonder of wonders

Miracles of miracles
Scholastic announced that seven lucky U.S. Harry Potter fans will be selected in a sweepstakes and flown to London to join J.K. Rowling at a midnight launch event for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows leading up to the book release at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2007.
The winners will attend "J.K. Rowling and the Moonlight Signing" at London's Natural History Museum and will join 1,700 fans who will have the opportunity to meet J.K. Rowling and have their book signed. They will also be among the lucky 500 fans who will be selected to attend a midnight reading with their favorite author. The Scholastic sweepstakes winners will be given a copy of the U.S. edition of the book.

http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/events/sweepstakes.htm

More Turtles







Tell me this isn't precious...



Look, I found some friends for nordstrom!



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Star Wars

For Lauren
I just read a blog that a friend of mine posted. In said blog, she actually uses the phrase:
"Jesus is my Jedi master."
That's right, folks. These people are my friends. My dear, dorky, delightful friends.

My new pet

ISN'T HE ADORABLE?!?


my pet!

Heroes

Season Two can't start fast enough
Last night was the season one finale of Heroes. AAAAAHHH!!! Sorry, I make that noise whenever the show goes into or comes out of commercial. It's excitement, with a little suspense.
Things I need the network to understand before they start the next season:
-Peter had better not be dead
-Sylar had better be dead
-I want an entire flashback episode explaining the previous generation (Lindermann, Petrelli's parents, Hiro's dad, etc)
-How has Mohinder remained a main character without having a power? And Ando? Will they develop powers?
-Make sure the Hiro/Ando story remains best-friend-y and doesn't stray over into gay town
Alright, that's all I have right now. I wish I could remember when Project Runway starts its season - it would be nice for Brad if I had some time off between shows to obsess over.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Travel

Harder than it should be
This will all make more sense if you have read my blog on Summer.
There are so many trips I would like to take this summer. Shakespeare festivals all over Texas, visiting grandma with Brad, Schlitterbahn, Galveston, etc. It's summer, and I should be able to take a few weekend trips, right? Well, there are so many to choose from, and there is NO way I could do them all. Now, if I were willing to spend all of my savings, maybe, but Im not. Plus, I will soon have plenty of places for that money...
Anyway, Im trying to coordinate trips and it is hurting my brain. Too many people to consider, too much gas money, not enough time.
But what else is new?

Crash Into Me

Name That Tune
I finally watched Crash this weekend (I ordered it online two months ago, and it has been sitting by my DVD player, lonely...) A good movie, certainly intense and very pointed. But the whole time, the seriousness of it was tainted by the song that kept running through my head. And now, said aforementioned song:

Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

Princeton:Say, Kate, can I ask you a question?
Kate Monster:Sure!
Princeton:Well, you know Trekkie Monster upstairs?
Kate Monster:Uh huh.
Princeton:Well, he's Trekkie Monster, and you're Kate Monster.
Kate Monster:Right.
Princeton:You're both Monsters.
Kate Monster:Yeah.
Princeton:Are you two related?
Kate Monster:What?! Princeton, I'm surprised at you! I find that racist!
Princeton:Oh, well, I'm sorry! I was just asking!
Kate Monster:Well, it's a touchy subject. No, not all Monsters are related. What are you trying say, huh? That we all look the same to you? Huh, huh, huh?
Princeton:No, no, no, not at all. I'm sorry, I guess that was a little racist.
Kate Monster:I should say so. You should be much more careful when you're talking about thesensitive subject of race.
Princeton:Well, look who's talking!
Kate Monster:What do you mean?
Princeton:What about that special Monster School you told me about?
Kate Monster:What about it?
Princeton:Could someone like me go there?
Kate Monster:No, we don't want people like you-
Princeton:You see?!You're a little bit racist.
Kate Monster:Well, you're a little bit too.
Princeton:I guess we're both a little bit racist.
Kate Monster:Admitting it is not an easy thing to do...
Princeton:But I guess it's true.
Kate Monster:Between me and you, I think
Both:Everyone's a little bit racist sometimes. Doesn't mean we go around committing hate crimes. Look around and you will find no one's really color blind. Maybe it's a fact we all should face. Everyone makes judgments based on race.
Princeton:Now not big judgments, like who to hire or who to buy a newspaper from -
Kate Monster:No!
Princeton:No, just little judgments like thinking that Mexican busboys should learn to speak goddamn English!
Kate Monster:Right!
Both:Everyone's a little bit racist today. So, everyone's a little bit racist, okay! Ethinic jokes might be uncouth, but you laugh because they're based on truth. Don't take them as personal attacks. Everyone enjoys them - So relax!
Princeton:All right, stop me if you've heard this one.
Kate Monster:Okay!
Princeton:There's a plan going down and there's only one paracute. And there's a rabbi, a priest...
Kate Monster:And a black guy!
Gary Coleman:Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Kate?
Kate Monster:Uh...
Gary Coleman:You were telling a black joke!
Princeton:Well, sure, Gary, but lots of people tell black jokes.
Gary Coleman:I don't.
Princeton:Well, of course you don't - you're black! But I bet you tell Polack jokes, right?
Gary Coleman:Well, sure I do. Those stupid Polacks!
Princeton:Now, don't you think that's a little racist?
Gary Coleman:Well, damn, I guess you're right.
Kate Monster:You're a little bit racist.
Gary Coleman:Well, you're a little bit too.
Princeton:We're all a little bit racist.
Gary Coleman:I think that I wouldHave to agree with you.
Princeton/Kate Monster:We're glad you do.
Gary Coleman:It's sad but true! Everyone's a little bit racist -All right!
Kate Monster:All right!
Princeton:All right!
Gary Coleman:All right! Bigotry has never been exclusively white
All:If we all could just admit that we are racist a little bit, even though we all know that it's wrong, maybe it would help us get along.
Princeton:Oh, Christ do I feel good.
Gary Coleman:Now there was a fine upstanding black man!
Princeton:Who?
Gary Coleman:Jesus Christ.
Kate Monster:But, Gary, Jesus was white.
Gary Coleman:No, Jesus was black.
Kate Monster:No, Jesus was white.
Gary Coleman:No, I'm pretty sure that Jesus was black-
Princeton:Guys, guys...Jesus was Jewish!
Brian:Hey guys, what are you laughing about?
Gary Coleman:Racism!
Brian:Cool.
Christmas Eve:BRIAN! Come back here! You take out lecycuraburs!
Princeton:What's that mean?
Brian:Um, recyclables. Hey, don't laugh at her! How many languages do you speak?
Kate Monster:Oh, come off it, Brian! Everyone's a little bit racist.
Brian:I'm not!
Princeton:Oh no?
Brian:Nope! How many Oriental wives have you got?
Christmas Eve:What? Blian!
Princeton:Brian, buddy, where you been? The term is Asian-American!
Christmas Eve:I know you are no intending to be, but calling me Olientar - offensive to me!
Brian:I'm sorry, honey, I love you.
Christmas Eve:And I ruv you.
Brian: But you're racist, too.
Christmas Eve:Yes, I know. The Jews have all the money and the whites have all the power. And I'm always in taxi-cab with driver who no shower!
Princeton:Me too!
Kate Monster:Me too!
Gary Coleman:I can't even get a taxi!
All:Everyone's a little bit racist it's true. But everyone is just about as racist as you!If we all could just admit that we are racist a little bit, and everyone stopped being so P.C. Maybe we could live in - Harmony!
Christmas Eve:Evlyone's a ritter bit lacist!

Alas, poor Astros

Embarrassing loss
So I talked a lot of smack recently about this past weekend's Astros vs Rangers series, saying we would "hand it to them". Well, in my defense, the Saturday game that we attended was a mighty victory. So YEA that Brad and I aren't cursed (they have lost all of the previous games we attended).
Unfortunately we got POUNDED on Sunday, losing 14-1!! GOOD NIGHT! Plus, they beat us 7-4 on Friday.
Not a good weekend to be an Astros fan, especially with a close friend who is a Rangers fan...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Walk and Work


Brilliant

Researchers the Mayo Clinic designed a brilliant bit of machinery. It is a treadmill with a computer station mounted at the top!


Talk about multi-tasking!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070515/sc_nm/obesity_desks_dc;_ylt=AgEu7jtuWw5W_7fimfbJ18KISbYF