Showing posts from October, 2007

My Movie Review: "Into the Wild"

"Into the Wild", Jon Krakauer's book detailing the final two years of drifter/adventurer Chris McCandless, is one of my top three all time reads. So when I heard last year that Sean Penn was working on a movie adaptation this quickly became my most anticipated film on '07. I was trying not to get my hopes up. The book was so amazing that surely there was no way Penn could recreate such a moving and soul stirring story. What I discovered was he not only met the books magnificence but may have exceeded it. Sean Penn's beautifully filmed "Into the Wild" will capture the soul of any true lover of nature, adventure, and mystery. Christopher McCandless, the film's central figure, completely cuts himself off from his dysfunctional family to pursue a life in the wild. McCandless (perfectly portrayed by Emile Hirsch) is a real person, following the call of the wild in his heart, while, at the same time, punishing his family and deftly avoiding the deep emotio

My Night At the Office

Tonight begins the regular 30 min episodes of The Office. I've gotten quite spoiled having an hour each week of the best comedy on TV. I've really enjoyed how the show has evolved. if you go back and watch season one, the shows style is now night and day from it's original format. Both are very good, but different. The show now digs deeper into story lines and isn't afraid to use outlandish if not improbable situations to push it's trademarked awkwardness. It reminds me a lot of Seinfeld in the way that as the show matures, the story lines have grown from a short 30 min situation comedy to one that has streams of story lines flowing through several episodes. The Office has gotten better with age. Tonight's preview is this: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ADVERTISING - When the Scranton branch is asked to participate in a Dunder Mifflin ad, Michael seizes his chance to exhibit his creativity. Meanwhile, Dwight explores the online world of Second Life. In case you've m

My TV, Movie, Book, & CD Reviews

TV Carpoolers I tuned in to the show without much enthusiasm, since I had not seen or heard anything about the show at all. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Laugh out loud moments, an original premise, and well-developed characters. The episodes are progressively getting better every week! I really hope they keep this one on the air. 3 Stars Cavemen You take the caveman make-up off and it's just another show about some guys and what they do. There are a few jokes in there about them being cavemen, but they are very forced. There is no real struggle with them being cavemen. They have jobs, getting phd's, hot blond girlfriends. Where is the struggle. I thought about "The Munsters". They were misfits that people were afraid of and didn't understand, but THEY didn't know it, which is what made it funny. These are normal guys that just happen to be cavemen. The commercials were funny with the premise, but it wore thin very quickly. Skip it. 1 star Movies (DVD) The

My Quest For Peace

A friend of mine that teaches at a local university quizzed his students on the fact that Al Gore was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. Two-thirds failed the question by guessing he wasn't. Not only was he but then he goes and wins the Noble Peace Prize for his fight against global warming. Before my democrat / liberal friends start accusing me of making this a political statement let me assure you it has nothing to do with politics. Heck, Rush Limbaugh was nominated too and I think he deserved to be picked less then the Mr Internet Inventor Al. So no, this is not a political slam. Most know my thoughts on global warming: I think it's a myth with no hard evidence to prove otherwise. For every "scientist" that says they believe in global warming there are 5 more that disagree. Whether it's real or not isn't the issue, what is the issue is that from now on the names Mother Teressa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Al Gore can and will be used in the same senten

His Story

Donald Miller is currently working on a new book entitiled: "Story, Why Some People’s Lives Make Sense and Others Don’t" Here is an short interview with him about his new book: Story - The Belmont Foundation

My Sink Kid

I'm upstairs getting ready for work this morning when Jacob comes running up telling me Maria is "in the sink". I thought he meant she was just washing her hands so I sent him back down to check on her. After a few seconds I got this sick feeling like he may have actually meant she was IN THE SINK. I ran down stairs to find my 2 year old sitting in the kitchen sink with the water running as she laughed hysterically. I wasn't laughing. She had slid her plastic rocking chair from the playroom to the kitchen and somehow was able to climb in. Sorry for the sideways 1 sec video. I grabbed the closest camera I could to get a pic and realized after the fact that it was set on video for some unknown reason (Beth)

His Story

As most of you know, Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, is a hero of mine in the church. I ran across a great article in last months "Christianity Today" I wanted to pass along. Here is a teaser and a link for it... "Mark Driscoll looks no different than he does any other day. He's wearing the hip pastor uniform—blue jeans and an untucked shirt with the top two buttons undone. Yet he speaks in a subdued tone that hints at wear and tear. He begins his talk about lessons learned as a church planter with common-sense advice about how pastors can blow off steam. Driscoll, 36, plays T-ball with his three sons or feeds ducks with his two daughters. Hardly the stuff that provokes raging blog debates and church pickets. As Driscoll's Mars Hill Church in Seattle has grown to 6,000 members in 11 years, quiet moments like this with his family have preserved some of his sanity. "I'm playing hurt right now," Driscoll confesses to prospective

My White Wedding

This past weekend I had the privilege of performing a wedding ceremony for two former students of mine. Kendra is the daughter of one of my very good friends and mentors and her now husband Gary was one of the best guys I've ever had in 12+ years of youth ministry. To be honest I was as nervous about this wedding ceremony as any I have ever done. Kendra and Gary have meant a lot to me and we've grown pretty close over the past eight years of knowing each other. The last thing I wanted to do was screw up their wedding by forgetting part of the ceremony or flubbing some words. To make matter worse, her dad, my friend, and mentor would be there (obviously) so I felt added pressure to perform up to his expectations. It was a classic case of the student playing the role of the teacher. When it was all said and done the wedding went off flawlessly. Kendra and Gary are now hitched and my friend/mentor gave me a "well done grasshopper" type comment. The post wedding reception

My Snake, My Hoe

** Note: camo hat added for effect. Yesterday afternoon as Jacob and I were in the playroom we saw a long, black, hose like object lying in our yard. Upon further inspection, I realized it wasn't a hose but a long snake. About the time we made it into the backyard for a closer look, Rufus also had discovered the snake and attempting to get up close and personal with it. The snake went into typical defense mode by curling up and raising it's head to strike at Rufus. As Rufus was barking and running around the snake, I took Jacob back inside as I tried to decided what to do. One one hand I could allow nature to takes it's course and if the snake made it back to the safety of the woods then good for him, on the other hand I could play hero and save the world from this menacing creature. I chose the latter. I made my way to our shed to find what would be the most effective weapon against this snake. After much deliberation I decided on my hoe. I approached the snake from behind

My "Pushing Daisies" Review

So did "Pushing Daisies" live up to my lofty expectations? YES! It was everything I thought it would be and more. "Daisies" is quirky, humorous, poetic, magical, witty, creatively written, and full of meaningful moments that weren't cliche. It successfully mixes comedy, romance, drama, and a subtle darkness that is absolutely endearing. The colors are vivid and vibrant, which adds to the overall artistic feeling that is portrayed. It reminded me a lot of Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Although it's still early, the characters are well-developed, with snappy and poignant interactions and dialog. This is an extremely original, high-quality show. Unfortunately it is so different from the usual mindless recycled garbage most networks produce it probably won't last past this season. One of the nice surprises of the show was Jim Dale, the narrator, who is the actor who narrates and acts all of the recorded Harry Potter books. I

My Daisies

So far there hasn't been a lot to look forward to in the way of new tv shows for the fall. But one that did catch my attention that I'm really excited to watch is "Pushing Daisies". Grown up Ned (Lee Pace) puts his talent to good use by touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor. He opens a pie shop. But his gift leaves him wary of becoming close to anyone, as beautiful waitress Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) finds out. His life as a pie maker gets more complicated when private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) finds out about Ned's secret. Emerson convinces the cash-strapped Ned to help him solve murder cases (and collect the hefty reward fees) by raising the dead and getting them to name their killers. Then Ned is handed the case that changes his life forever. His childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel), is murdered on a cruise ship under strange circumstances. Her death brings him back to his hometown of

My Day At the Beach

Last week my family and I had the opportunity to spend a few days at beautiful Emerald Isle. My kids are two years and four years old so you can imagine their excitement when we walked onto the beach for the first time. All they wanted to do was build a sand castle, find seashells, catch a fish, and swim in the ocean - all within the first 10 seconds of us being there. After setting up our beach towels, sand toys, and other beach necessities, my four-year-old son proceeded to run as fast as he could toward the water. Like a scene from “America’s Funniest Videos”, my son got as far as knee deep before a wave sent him flying face first into the salty water and sand. He came running back to me with a look of horror. He never saw what hit him but he was sure he didn’t want to go back out there in that big ocean alone. I grab his little hand and encouraged him to follow me. He hesitantly followed behind as first we got our feet wet, then our knees, and then the next thing you know I’m holdi

My Green Apple

This morning I came downstairs to get Jacob dressed for school w hen I noticed his sister was being very quiet. To quiet. So I asked him where Maria was. At that moment she walked in from the play room and declared, "Daddy, look what I do". She had gotten into the markers and proceeded to color her hands, arms and feet a lovely shade of green.