Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slum Dog Millionaire
Good Movies (Honorable Mention)
Flash of Genius
Henry Poole is Here
Two that I missed in the Theater that would have been in any list:
Lars and the Real Girl
Things We Lost in the Fire
I'll give it ***** stars. It could have been ****, but who's counting. it was also interesting how the movie moved against the backdrop of Katrina (Filmed in New Orleans).
I resolve in 2009 to not watch the tabloid stuff of ET, Today Show, etc.
I wonder if that will stick? Focus groups will say NO.
77 That's the number of movies that I saw last year. (We substituted more concerts)
95 That was our peak year. That won't ever happen again.
45 That's about how many good movies we saw this year.
45 That's about how many good movies we saw the year that we went to 95.
USA Today had a list of the 100 top grossing movies of the year in the paper yesterday. Of the 100, I had seen 50. Of the top 50, I had seen 31. Of the list of 50 that I had seen I counted 27 keepers.
But its my job to go.
There are several very good movies out in the Big Cities that we won't see until January including Frost-Nixon.
As for my ten favorites for 2008, I will wait until after tonight to do it!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
The Times motto has always been, "All the News That's Fit to Print". It is on the Mast Head.
If you read the paper cover to cover, you say to yourself: "These people can really write." Each story is crafted not just reported. Sure the editorial content does not match Oklahoma. But what in New York does? Sure they are liberal, but liberal to us is anyone who does not agree with us (meaning me). But they have talent as writers. As you should know they and the Washington Post frame today what the TV news shows will be be talking about tomorrow.
Yes, their sports page sucks because they are Yankees and do not have sixteen articles about the Big 12. Believe it or not they had NO Sam Bradford mention in Sunday's paper. The Oklahoman gives you his breakfast menu and tells if he has skipped a class today! The Times talks about something called Pro Football?
Anywho I think I will like this. This is part of my mission statement to learn more and more about less and less, until I know everything about nothing.
Today we went to see Old Yeller 2 better known as "Marley and Me". It is another yellow Lab that is purchased as a pup and we watch it grow. Don't get me wrong it is an enjoyable movie and well made. The movie in my opinion is much better than the Book. I didn't finish the book because it was just my life with one of my dogs except slower. The Movie has a better pace and Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are good. It IS true to the book (a true story) and a must see for dog owners.
I won't say how this movie ends except to say Disney would be proud.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you have heard anything about this movie, you have heard that it is about a kid from the slums in India that gets a chance at the Hindu version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire". You may have heard that it has a hint of "Rocky" in it. I heard those things too and was not intrigued in the least. Sounded hokey to me. The thing that keep catching my attention is why all the magazines, newspapers, and TV shows keep mentioning it as one of the 10 best movies of the year. USA Today says it is the best. Rolling Stone has it is #2. And me, well I have been thinking about making a list of my 10 favorites of the year. Tonight, we drove to Tulsa to see "Slumdog." Before the movie had been running 10 minutes, I realized that I am not ready to make such a list, I obviously have not seen the best movies yet.
Any list that I may make will have this at or near the top. It is a splendid movie. I almost need to call this a "Film". It is worth your time. You will see how India has changed. You will see what is takes to survive the slums of India. You will see why we and the people of India have much in common yet many differences. I am not going to tell about this movie either except to say if you wait for the DVD, it is your loss. It is worth the trip.
No, there are no Hollywood stars. These are from Bollywood. It is crafted with great care and a hint: Stay and watch the credits at the end!
Note: No profanity or nudity. There is violence but not graphic. It is a good story for most all.
By the way *****stars (5)
Monday, December 22, 2008
I was so happy when they graduated to "no assembly required".
When Nate started having little boys, I smiled at myself. PAY-BACK TIME.
Guess what I just finished doing? Besides eating my words!
Yes, Once again I became an elf. I just finished this marvel of modern toys. I must say directions and parts are so-o-o-o-o much improved since the good old days!
I liked every minute and didn't cry once.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
It is a "Believe it or Not" moment.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The new book is Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This book is in the same vane as Blink and Sway. Mr. Ariely is a professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT and discusses the hidden forces that shape our decisions. It is a fascinating read. He shows why stores always advertise three versions of the same item (ex: TVs) and know which one you and I will pick. He tells (like Williams Sonoma) why restaurants why very expensive entrees on the menu even though they don't expect you to order them. This book is really about how our mind processes things and how our brains are imprinted by first impressions.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I never really thought thru the audience side of this part rant, part diary, part opinion thing I do. Naturally, everyone who blogs has a need to share.
And I guess I would like for you to agree with me most the time, but I don't expect it. If I did I would have named this Blog: "Heavily Travelled Roads". I was even told this weekend that my rant about the election e-mail upset some of my friends at church! Ouch! I upset people for being offended. I apologize. I am not trying to cause collateral damage. I am sharing my thoughts and sorting through things. It is how I did my class at church. I don't attempt to teach people anything, but I have always believed in challenging thought. Life is not in "arriving". It is in the search.
Sounds like I should keep many of my concerns to myself. As Zig Ziglar once said, "Don't tell others your problems. 80% don't care and the other 20% are glad your having problems."
I'll try to be better, but can't promise. I am not only on a "less traveled road", I haven't learned yet how to use my GPS!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I learned today what this story was about in reading my book "In a Sunburn Country".
Until the 20th Century it was not against the law to kill Aboriginal people! From about 1916 until the 1960s, the government could (and did) take any child away from Aboriginal parents "for any reason." They did not have to explain anything to the parents. The powers that be had decided that the parents would forget about them in a short time and it was better to separate the children so that the "Breed" would dissolve. At 18 the government simply released the children out on the street!
How's that for humanity?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Washington, D.C., December 11, 2002----regarding smallpox vaccinations
from my desk calendar
40 days left!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It was ironic because as you know I am reading a Bill Bryson book about Australia. Today he commented about the weird "yuppy" ritual of going to vineyards to see how wine is made. He said it made about as much since to go watch cotton grow, watch it picked, and see how it is made into sports wear.
We do have some weird rituals. I do not know much about wine and would be satisfied with a glass of Welch's. I do like the idea of wine, the pace of life like in the movies where people go to Italy and relax with good food,a good bottle of wine, and look out to the vista in the valley below.
OR I could go to Tahlequah, get a pizza at Sam and Ella's, a good diet Coke and look out at the vista of the street beyond.
Either works for me.
1. We were the only ones going to Heaven. Check that: We were the only ones with the hope of Heaven. Check that: We hoped that we had time to say a prayer of forgiveness just before we died so that we could hope to go to Heaven.
2. When you pray you said, "In Jesus Name" otherwise God would not think the message was for him. Check that: God would know that it was a Christian calling.
3. We could not prove in the Bible that Jesus was born in December so why make a Big Deal out of his birth once a year, when we can do it for three minutes once a week. After all December had yet to be invented and the Shepherds were tending sheep in the hills. If it had been December they would have had them in the barns because of the long snowy Palestine winters.
Armed with that information, I started school.
We said the Lord's Prayer at the start of the day, but I doubted that it cleared our classroom ceiling because we didn't end the prayer correctly. When we went to football games, my parents would grip on the way home because the person that led the pre-game prayer wasn't our kind of Christian. Leaving me to realize that God didn't help us win that night.
When Christmas came around, we did not sing Christmas Carols at our church. We were stronger than that. Those songs were in our hymnal and every once and a while (in June), the song leader would lead us in "Silent Night" just to make a point. The preacher on the Sunday closest to Christmas would lambast the visitors for coming to church only twice a year (They got it again at Easter!). He would say, "Don't you know that we should celebrate Jesus' birth all the time and not just once a year?" It made me wonder though, why people were only in a good mood at church about once a year and not every Sunday.
So here it is 50 years later (yikes). The same group of people wants "Prayer in School" and wants everyone to remember "The Reason for the Season"! Our worship leader will talk about the "Real meaning of Christmas" and sing Christmas Songs! We will even have a giant Christmas tree in the Building! When I was in high school our preacher, refused to have a tree in his home. He would not allow his kids to have gifts or anything! I'm glad someone changed the Bible. (Remember the thing about the King James Version was that it was just King James's version.)
It is a wonder that I made it through all this. The sad part is that most of my peers that grew up with me, could not run the maze and now goes the church "Twice a year".
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Click on cartoon to enlarge.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I was listening to this on the way back from Morris on Tuesday and slowed down. I saw houses and ranches that I had ignored in my previous trips. It was an immediate object lesson.
Note to self: In 2009, slow down. After all I am on Mike's Slow Road. As the song that is playing now says: "Don't Blink".
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I bring this up because the oldest member of this 60 year old group has been with them for 15 years! They are good with harmony, they played instruments (drum, bass, guitar and trumpet).
Carol mentioned that we had seen another group that sings 4 part harmony recently (the Four Eagles!) The only thing these two groups have in common is guys that sing and play drums at the same time.
I had many thoughts during the concert including:
1. Once they they harmonized, I thought: I need to listen to some Beach Boys. The originals (not the current Beach Boys who only have one original member!)
2. Next week, 1964 The Tribute, a Beatles tribute band is playing in Muskogee. We saw them in Tulsa several years ago and they play the Beatles just like the Beatles. Why weren't the guys tonight called: The Four Freshman Tribute Band? 1964 has been doing the Beatles longer than these guys have been doing Four Freshman!
3. Listening to their 40s/50s pop jazz made me think: I'll bet this is why Rock and Roll was invented.
4. If this was billed as the Four Freshmen Christmas Show why did they only do about three Christmas songs?
5. I can appreciate this kind of music, but I still don't like it.
6. When they were on Ed Sullivan, he would have them sing something like, "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, etc." and leave the stage. I now know why.
I wished that had happened tonight!
Photos: guess who the originals are!
He is already schooled in Sooner game theory.
Later, he went with me to my office and told me that he wanted to be an architect and work with me when he grew up.
It's a great plan, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I could offer him a sweet deal someday (unless he was a Sooner!)