Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten Things to Love about "Wall-E"

10. Wall-E replacing the Pixar light light bulb. Too cute!
9. Watching the amazing emotion conveyed in Wall-e and Eva's mechanical faces.
8. Wonderful, sentimental songs from "Hello, Dolly!"
7. The adorable post-apocalyptic Jiminy Cricket (the cockroach).
6. Watching a story told with so little dialogue, and (mostly) great music.
5. Non-violent, good natured humor.
4. Eva. A real kick butt independent wo-bot.
3. Wall-E The sweetest little trash compacter ever!
2. The opening with "Phantom of the Opera"'s voice floating out in space, nothing but black screen and Michael Crawford (as Cornelius in "Hello Dolly") singing! What a surprise.
1. Wall-e's outro(end credits). Cave drawings, hieroglyphics,Greek key, mosaics, etc, etc, ending with bucolic Impressionism. Loved the development of the new civilization and the art history lesson! And if that wasn't enough, we get the movie replayed in Atari art.
What a blast!

see for an amazing analysis.

BTW, just read that Wall-E also appears in the short "Your Friend, the Rat" on "Ratatouille" DVD. He's a futuristic spacecraft driver in which humans and rats are happily seated.(from /

Leave me a comment and add your own 10 (or less) things to love about "Wall-E"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanks to "Stuff Christians Like"

Read a really fun post on a new blog I just found called "Stuff Christians Like." You can find it in my "Following" sidebar.
He wrote about massages in church and here is my comment on his post. (Because I'm lazy and trying to do more blogging)
When I was younger I thought that massagers, nail clippers, goof-off-ers, were quite brave, in a devil-may-care sort of way. In the "good old days" our church taught that if you distracted someone from hearing the gospel and they went to hell, their blood was on YOUR hands. It was a real incentive to me to listen.
Imagine my chagrin when one night during a "revival," Vance Havner stopped his sermon and watched silently as my sister and her friend rose from the front pew and headed out the back door, past about 20 rows! Five minutes later when they returned, he waited just as silently as they walked back to their seats. At which point he picked up right where he had left off.
As for me, being easily distracted, neck rubs and the like are what have driven me to the front row. I'm happy up there just watching what's going on in front of me, and anyone behind me who is doing distracting things is safe from being glared at and judged by me. And I am saved from becoming a self-righteous prig. At least that's how I'm hoping it's working.
Loved your post, BTW. Was reading the one about saving pews, saw this one, and had to read it--sign me up for PAMIC.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day

I write those words with a touch of sadness. It's been five years since I've been able to greet my own mom with them. Mom and Dad both passed away in 2004, within 8 weeks of each other, and I've been missing them more than usual lately.
My mom did not have an easy life. She was an only child, greatly doted on by both parents and she lost them both in her early forties. She was so close to her mom, it was like losing her best friend, too.
Three out of four of Mom's children got into drugs and spent time in prison for it (you"ll have to guess if one of them was me). She lost a son and a grandson to drug overdoses. She had a crazy mother-in-law, worse than most. All this in addition to the usual heartaches and tears that come with raising children.
But in spite of it all, my mom was a hoot! I don't remember ever seeing her in a bad mood--sad sometimes, but never just crabby. (Too bad I didn't follow that example.) She somehow managed to bring joy and laughter into our home no matter what crazy circumstances were going on around her.
One of my favorite Mom stories started one day when I smelled something burning. I went into the kitchen--no mom. As I looked around, I spotted her sitting on the cement stairs on our small back porch.
"Mom", says I, "I smell something burning!"
"It's me!", she replied, a wry expression on her face. Then she began to laugh. She'd left the gas on too long before lighting the oven and had singed off her eyebrows. So there we sat on the back porch, moaning and laughing.
Later in life, Mom struggled with some dementia, including a very active "fantasy" life. When she was in a nursing home briefly, every day as she finished her lunch she would stand up and thank everyone for coming to her "birthday party".
But we were blessed--Mom was never angry or mean and only got frustrated when we insisted on dragging her back into reality. We have some pretty funny stories from that time, usually with Mom laughing right along with us. Over and over again we heard from those who helped us care for her how sweet she was.
I think the real gift that Mom was able to give her children through the life we saw her live was the gift of incredible hope. No matter what was happening, Mom was able to treat each new morning like the new beginning it was. She showed us by example how pointless and foolish it was to hold a grudge, to waste time being angry, and how to let go of petty and selfish grievances.
Mom was generous with all she had (which sometimes wasn't much). She loved her garden and grew the most beautiful roses, but I think she had as much joy in sharing bouquets with the neighbors as in growing the roses. I think to be a gardener one must be a person who hopes.
My sister and I have noticed many times our tenacity in holding onto hope even when there seems to be no reason at all. We're like the little girl who gets a big pile of manure deposited in her yard for her birthday. Instead of tears and tantrums, she dives right in and starts to dig in all that crap. When she's asked what in the world she's doing, she replies,
"With a pile of poop this big, there must be a pony in here somewhere!"
Thanks, Mom, for teaching us to keep digging for the pony.
So in spite of the circumstances, I say,
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom!"
to you, Mom. Although I miss you lots, I'm glad you're happy in heaven now, reunited with your beloved Sam, and Mark, and Jason and your mom and dad, too. Thanks for all the hope and I know I will be seeing you again.

If you're reading this and your mother is still with you, give her an extra hug for me and don't neglect to tell her what she means to you. In the spirit of my mom, I'm hoping you'll do that today

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Paperback or hardback, I LOVE BOOKS!

Who doesn't love books?
They are our quiet, portable little friends just waiting for us to pick them up and spend some quality time with them. They will go with us anywhere--to the beach, to the airport, to doctor's waiting rooms, inside or out, our papery friends accompany us. Heck, we've even been know to take them into the bathroom!
My books don't need to be plugged in nor have their batteries changed. They never "crash" and if they're dropped, they simply go down with a thud unaccompanied by the groan, gasps and screams that accompany the "going down" of their cyber counterpoints. I once dropped a small paperback into a hot tub. A few seconds (on low) in the microwave and a short stint in the clothes dryer and I was able to find out "whodunit". Tell me the laptop you can do that with!
And how patient are our little library buddies! Don't have to push any pesky pause button for them. Just a little scrap of paper is all they require to pick up right where we abandoned them in their selfless efforts to entertain us. But please do refrain from bending down their corners.
I buy both paperback and hard back books for different reasons.
Paperbacks are so easily transported on trips. And after I've finished, one of my very favorite things to do is to just leave the book in a busy place, with a little note for whoever finds it to read it and pass it on. I love the serendipity of that and imagining who will find it and if they will enjoy reading it as much as I did. And I feel I'm saving a fellow traveler on the road of life from being stranded with nothing to read--a fate far worse than a flat tire, in my book.
If I really love a book (or if it's really cheap) I'll buy a hard back. Last hardback I bought was "Atonement" (hardback, $1.25) at a church book sale in Pasadena, CA. Inside the front cover was a guy's name from CO, followed by a woman's name (she was from L.A.) and phone number in a different handwriting. It was a small mystery in itself. As for "Atonement", it remained in CA with my niece, Monica, who hopefully found it as entrancing as I did.
Although we all know "You can judge a book by it's cover", my son being quite enamored with the art work on the original Harry Potter book covers was given my copies of the earlier versions. How absolutely wonderful is the book that is a beautiful on the outside as on the inside!
So, in the end, for me it all comes down to what is INSIDE the book, be it paperback, hard back, from Amazon, Borders or the Davenport public library. A good book is worthy no matter what the form in which you read. (Even--maybe, e-books--but you still can't drop those in the bathtub!)