Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Doing a Little Happy Dance

Ryan Gosling was nominated for an Oscar this morning.


I've been tagged

I've been tagged by on coffee:
His instructions are as follows:

1) Grab the book closest to you.
2) Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence.
3) Post the text of the following three sentences.
4) Name the author and book title.
5) Tag three people to do the same.

Prinderella praced with the dince all night long, but at the moke of stridmight she ran down the stalace peps and slopped the dripper.

Isn't that a shirty dame?

The next day the ping issued another croclamation that all the geglible irls in the kingdom should sly on the tripper.

-Get Thee to a Punnery by Richard Lederer

I tag Beth, Andrea and Ben.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hanging with Spielberg and McLaren

This weekend, I watched Schindler’s List for the first time. I also finished reading More Ready Than You Realize. Honestly, the combination of the two probably moved and inspired me more than church typically does. Which is no big feat. Most of you know that I struggle with finding a real church home here. Probably because Jesus doesn’t show up at many of them.

I’ll start with the book, which is centered on emails from Alice to the author, Brian McLaren. Near the end, Alice writes:

You know, all the logic and reasoning that people always say about Jesus, that he “MUST” have been the son of God, that if he wasn’t, he was a lunatic or a liar, that they’ve found proof, blah, blah blah,….. it is just so lame, in my eyes, [compared] to feeling like your heart is going to explode when you start to see just how wonderful Jesus is… when you start to understand Jesus ISNT dead. I never understood that. I think a major part of my little epiphany was realizing that God is so far beyond all that petty logic and knowledge. At least, that’s how it is for me. I’m sure for other people, the logic is great. But when proof stops at logic for me, it is pretty lame.

For three years of my life, I was a hardcore Campus Crusader. I am still super-supportive of the organization and am so proud of the friends who’ve gone on to join staff with them. I did, however, find myself uncomfortable at times, and I don’t think it was just because I was being stretched. I was frustrated with the approaches to evangelism. I am not an intellectual. I’m not into debates and proof and trying to argue someone into heaven. Surveys with results that are never tallied drive me crazy. I don’t really care if someone saw The Passion or if Oprah is helping or hurting the kingdom. I care about people. Real people. People who may never make a decision to follow Christ but need a friend just the same. God is beyond “all that petty logic and knowledge.” Experiencing God is so much greater than figuring out if this is a life of predestination or free will.

I was moved by McLaren’s friendship with Alice. He didn’t assume anything, nor did he tell her what to believe. He answered her questions carefully, often with other questions. He allowed her to serve in ways she felt comfortable, without ever requiring a statement of faith or sitting her down with some committee. She was loved and she was heard. And God did the rest. In no way did his book suggest that I have the right to be lazy in my relationships or to remain silent when my voice is called for. But it did give me permission to live like Jesus instead of trying to convince others why they should. He described evangelism as a dance. I've always wanted to be a dancer...

Then I watched Schindler’s List.

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

It may have been perfect.

I may have been the last film buff on the planet to seen this film. I read the book in high school, but managed to miss every opportunity to view it. Then I rented it months ago, and the DVD skipped all over the place. Now, all is well.

I love that Schindler was a criminal. A sinner. He operated from selfish motives; he was riddled with character flaws. And he helped save a generation. His own personal redemption was almost as touching as the gratitude the thousands had for his fight for their lives.

There’s a song by Ray Boltz (late ‘80s CCM, for the unaware) that speculates how awesome it will be in heaven to see the lives we’ve touched. Schindler was given a slice of that on earth, only to be humbled to tears and broken that he didn’t save one more. Not many movies are both chilling and inspirational.

I almost made it through without crying. And then the epilogue happened.

If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you have, go watch it again.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

9 Reasons to Love Toronto

Whenever I meet non-Torontonians, there seems to be a general response of disbelief that a single woman who was raised in a small town has no qualms about living and working in the heart of Canada’s largest city. What they don’t realize, is that by taking the same routes daily, you create your own little community. I have my favorite places where people say hi and comment on the weather just as they would in a small town. I’m trying to explore more (something that will most likely come with spring weather), but I’m quite content with my downtown-meets-Greektown life. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Bus stop friends. Yes, I have them. Nancy and Nick. They’re both from out East. Nancy lives alone and feeds the squirrels every morning. Nick is a family man who’s taking his kids out of school tomorrow to go skiing. Oh, and he’s taking his wife to Paris for her 40th birthday. The bus stop is where it’s at, I tell you.
  • The convenience store guy. There’s a little convenience store in the building next to my work. He’s the friendliest man ever, and because I’m there way too often, he notices when I change my brand of soft drink or if I style my hair differently (without being creepy about it). And every time I say, “Have a nice day,” he has to one-up me with, “Have a very nice day.”
  • Rainbow Cinemas. Tuesdays are $4.24. Enough said.
  • The Metro. I love the free little newspaper I pick up every morning. On my way to work, I skim all the headlines I’m interested in. On the way home, I do the crossword and Sudoku. And then I recycle.
  • Libraries. So much to absorb. So little pain to my wallet.
  • The TTC. I know a lot of people complain about it, and yes, it can be crowded and inconsistent and dirty. I enjoy the fact that I can sit on the subway and not think of a thing at 7:15 in the morning. In fact, there are mornings I wish I didn’t have to get off, so I could just sit in my little daze for a little while longer.
  • TTC drivers. I conducted a social experiment. The conclusion? If you thank the driver, there’s an increased chance that the person behind you will do the same. One driver on my daily route commented that he saw me walking with my groceries the other day and thought it was great that I opted for some exercise.
  • You never have to eat at the same place twice. Unless you want to. Or you’re lazy. Or poor. Or on foot. And cold. And wet.
  • CityTV. Man, you have to love a city that shuts down a major downtown street for a Mary-Kate and Ashley interview.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Children of Men

It was one of the darkest, bleakest, most despairing films I’ve seen in a while.

And then I was moved by a miracle. Hope showed up.

Go see it.

Award Season.

It’s that season again. The Golden Globes were on last night, and unfortunately, it was relatively upset free. I think I was the only one who wanted to see Ben Affleck win (just to shock the cinematic world). I called the double Helen Mirren win. And the Babel win. Warren Beatty tried far too hard to be funny. In fact, actors usually bore me when they’re stuck speaking their own words. Of course, Meryl Streep and Sacha Baron Cohen were entertaining (I called those two wins as well), but it was Hugh Laurie who stole the show. I swear Brits are just way cooler than the rest of us.

"People are falling all over themselves to send you free shoes and free cuff links and colonic irrigations for two. Nobody ever offers you a free acceptance speech. There just seems to be a gap in the market. I would love to be able to pull out a speech by Dolce & Gabbana."

''I know everyone says they have a wonderful crew and logically that can't be the case and they can't all be wonderful. Somebody, somewhere, is working with a crew of drunken thieves.''

Hugh Laurie, winner for House

More thoughts on the season will follow in the weeks to come. Here's hoping for an Oscar nod for Ryan Gosling...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Boy Behind My Wall Pt.2

Now it's the TV. And bongo drums.

Help me. Somebody. Take me away to where the night is silent and morning does not scream me awake at 6.

The Boy Behind My Wall

I decided to go to bed early this evening, even ignoring the People's Choice Awards (the lamest of the award season). I'm exhausted, my head hurts, and I'm feeling downright lousy.

The boy does not know this.

Tonight is a Tuesday night. It is not a night that should involve the blaring of music. Nor should it involve four of his buddies singing along with that blaring music. Nor should it involve his playing the guitar while the buddies sing along to the blaring music.

I threw a pillow at the wall. Hard. It must not have sounded very threatening. His party continues.

I live next door to a bar. So does he. He should sing along with the blaring music there. Maybe the old Greek men will even buy him a drink.

And I should sleep. I can't even read. The singing on the other side of the wall is so bad, I can't remember the previous paragraph.

Wait. A moment of silence. Maybe he got my pillow message after all...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Recent Movies

A quick summary of my movie-watching habits over the past few weeks.

Little Miss Sunshine
Superb. Original. Even splendid. Yes, folks, this one lives up to the hype. And Steve Carell’s performance may be that of the greatest suicidal homosexual Proust scholar ever brought to the big screen. I wish I wrote it.

The Queen
Helen Mirren will win Best Actress at the Oscars this year. I promise you. I almost forgot what the real queen looked like.

While You Were Sleeping
Okay, so I’ve seen this one a few times. It’s a very different movie when you’re not 14, though. I can actually relate to the sometimes-patheticness of being single in the city. I have not yet pretended to be engaged to a man in a coma. That will be 2008.

It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s not Christmas without George Bailey. Love it. It’s probably unhealthy, my enthusiasm for this film. That abandoned mansion is my dream house. Minus the draft.

Blood Diamond
It’s pretty heavy. And if you’re all about the bling, you may have to rethink your next diamond purchase after viewing this one. Surprisingly, Leo DiCaprio’s South African accent stopped bugging me after the first half hour or so. And I’m woman enough to admit that Jennifer Connelly is uber-gorgeous. If you're in the mood for comedy, this might not be the flick for you. It made me think, so it gets my recommendation.

The Lord of the Rings (the trilogy)
I watched one a day for three days. I hadn’t seen the third since the theatre (all I could remember was, “You bow to no one.”) so it was great to see them again, and in relatively quick succession. Very inspiring. I either want to be a filmmaker or a hobbit. Or an elf who marries a man who doesn't let hobbits bow down to him.

The Goonies
When I was young, I couldn’t make it through this film. I was at a sleepover, and all the little girls (myself very much included) were terrified. We chose to watch My Girl again instead. I figured that at 23, I should be able to handle it now. It was actually quite fun, almost a cross between Indiana Jones and Stand by Me. Sean Astin’s had a pretty enviable career (only including Encino Man if you’re really tired and delirious. Then Pauly Shore's remarks about his pancreas are hilarious).

I have a confession to make: I left work early today to go to the movies. I seem to have contracted some viral form of ADD, and after 7.5 hours of staring at my computer screen, I could no longer pay attention to what I was doing. And since they all love me at work and want to make sure I’m happy, no one objected to my leaving. Here’s the deal: it’s pretty much just about the music. I mean, it’s a Broadway musical on the big screen. It was entertaining, but it didn’t challenge how I see the world, and the film left my consciousness pretty quickly. I’m also a little confused by all the acting nominations it’s receiving this awards season since musical talent seemed to upstage the acting. Especially in the BeyoncĂ© department. She is not the star. Eddie Murphy (usually, I’m no fan) was pretty darn amazing, but it was Jennifer Hudson (American Idol reject) who knocked my socks off. I left the theatre wanting to be a big, beautiful black woman with ridiculous pipes. She’ll see some awards, and she actually deserves them. One of her songs actually garnered a standing ovation at one of the film’s premieres. Her performances in the film were worth the admission.

Holiday Recap

I haven’t blogged in a while, and oddly enough, I don’t really feel like trying to remember all the details of the past few weeks. I’ll try to stick to the randomness of highlights and odd thoughts:

  1. I got to stay in my old room. Fabulousness. Considering the weekend before Christmas I ended up sharing a room with Nathan, it was nice to have a place of my own for the holidays. Not that I spent much time in it. I’m not used to the distractions that come with living with people. Many, many late nights.
  2. I have a new umbrella. It’s yellow. If anyone gets this one confused with their roommate’s black one, I may have to press charges.
  3. I saw Andrea (who promptly returned to S. Korea)!
  4. There is something very exciting about counter space. For those who have seen my almost-kitchen, you understand. I spent a lot of time with Mom in the kitchen.
  5. My family pretty much rocks. Extended included.
  6. I got a raise. A whole $2/hr more. Yeah, I’m rolling in the dough.
  7. It’s a Wonderful Life was considered a box-office failure when it was first released and essentially ended Frank Capra’s career. Thought you might want to know (Jimmy Stewart is my new dead-man crush. No disrespect to the loved-always Gene Kelly).
  8. I am proud to say that Dick Clark was not a part of my New Year’s. And parents are perfectly suitable partiers.
  9. It’s fun to watch movies with people. Even just hanging out on the couch is more fun when you’re not sitting by yourself.
  10. I want to start a line of extremely long pajama pants. Those of you with long legs, I expect your business.
  11. I now own JPod. I’m trying to make myself finish the two books I’m currently reading before I pick it up, but it’s tough. I have dreamt of this book (not literally. Maybe literarily).
  12. I finally got to see Nathan’s apartment in Peterborough. Much bigger than mine. And he can control his heat. If his roommate will let him turn it on.
  13. I saw a man in a denim suit. Wendy’s rule of “no denim with denim” kept running through my head, but the guy pulled it off.
  14. Joel now lives in my room. So while it was fun to have a bed over the holidays, it no longer is an option for me. Not that this is anything new.