Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Want Change

Staying home most of the time provides ample opportunity for reflective thinking. In my life, this has proven to be both a positive thing and a negative thing, depending on how I choose to proceed with my thoughts. I've decided to allow my most recent reflections to move me in a more positive direction.

Today I was catching up on my Google Reader. I had over 1000 posts to look over. I usually skim through things, but there are always several that catch my eye. Donald Miller's blog always proves to be such a source of inspiration and catalyst for reflection and growth in my life. I've posted before about how much I respect his willingness to view Christianity from almost an outside perspective. He sees how people would have issues with it and isn't afraid to admit that and address those issues. He, like I, believe that the Bible can stand up to questions and uncertainties. Because of this, I find him to be incredibly authentic and when he does dive into the heart of his convictions and the message of the Bible, I find someone who can so articulately express its intelligence, grace and passion. The posts I was reading today were about the problem of black & white thinking and changing a negative character trait about yourself. They both really struck a chord with me.

After reading the black & white thinking post, I began thinking about me and my friends and family and different political or moral opinions that can many times cause tension or arguments. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a really hard time with self-righteous, arrogant political thinkers. I absolutely hate when people try to mix their religious beliefs with their political beliefs. This does not mean that I don't think people should use their religious beliefs to make decisions. It does mean that I have a hard time when someone acts like their political decisions are "Christian" and someone else's are not. I know strong Christians that I respect on all sides of the political spectrum. I value thoughtful and respectful opinions. If I know that someone has considered all sides, thought and prayed through their beliefs and come to a decision about something - political or not - then I respect that. This may mean they come down on a side that is not the same as mine, but the important thing is not that we agree. It is that we both thoughtfully came to our conclusion. I have friends and family that agree with me on many issues and friends and family that don't. I don't choose my friends based on how much they are like me. I choose my friends based on their own unique qualities and their own unique minds and hearts.

Unfortunately, I find myself bombarded at times with opinions I don't agree with from some people. And I also find that many times these opinions are voiced over & over again without any indication that they are interested in an alternative opinion or even hearing what mine may be. But this leads me to consider the other post by Donald Miller. A negative character trait of mine is that I have a tendency to have a hard time stepping back and letting go when someone has a personality that really grates with mine. This tends to happen more often with family than with friends. I choose to have people around me who are understanding and respectful. I don't enjoy fanatics and I don't enjoy arrogance. As I said above, this definitely doesn't mean that my friends and I all agree on every topic. Actually, I value having people around me who don't agree and who are willing to challenge me. Because of this, my opinions are subject to change if I am introduced to a counter-argument or more facts or information that change my thinking. This does not mean my convictions and beliefs are subject to change. I have convictions that will not be changed related to my faith in God and my choice to surrender my life to Christ. But political opinions are dynamic and change because new information is presented, new facts are available, new research, new candidates, new bills are introduced regularly. One year I may agree with a Democratic candidate and the next I may find that the Republican candidate is more in line with where I stand.

JI do find that sometimes with family, when there is a difference of opinion, it is harder to find a middle ground. This occurs with politics - Democrat or Republican (I am neither and I would venture to argue that most people fall somewhere in the middle). It occurs with my parenting choices - scheduling or not (we chose scheduling and will not be changing our minds). It occurs with various media decisions, personality traits, food choices, how we spend our money, etc. For me, it is very difficult for me to step back and say, "we are just different" when I don't believe they have taken time to listen to or understand where my opinion is coming from. I need to really work on this - as well as many other things. I've got a ways to go before becoming who I want to be. I hope to always present my opinion as one I have thoughtfully come to believe, but I am always open to counter arguments or facts that may contradict what I think. Maybe someone will present information I haven't considered yet. And I definitely will really pray and work on my tendency to push back against people who present fanatic arguments without considering other perspectives. Sometimes I have to just agree to disagree, even if they won't.

But one final statement - I do not believe that Facebook status is the proper place to repeatedly voice your political agenda. All your friends don't necessarily agree with you. I have not and will not post my feelings on health care on there. I may or may not be a fan, but it's really not anyone's business and being for or against the bill doesn't mean you are or are not a Christian.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Lewis and I started watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on Friday night on ABC! We were kinda blown away! We really liked it!! As a future teacher and parent, I've always been interested in the food served to our kids in American public schools. I must say I have been less than impressed with it. We've always pretty much planned on sending lunches with Isis rather than having her eat school food. After watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I have only had my suspicions confirmed. It's not that they are not serving a balanced meal with vegetables, breads, meats, etc. It's more than they are serving processed foods and finger foods. Children are rarely learning how to use a fork and knife to eat their food and the food is rarely freshly prepared. There is much room for improvement.

Enter Jamie Oliver! He has a passion for revolutionizing the food served to our children and turning the tide from obesity to health-conscious living. He did the same thing at home in England and has now started in Huntington, WV - recently named America's unhealthiest city based on rates of obesity, physical activity, diabetes and heart disease. You can watch as he begins in one elementary school and then moves to the city and beyond. I am very excited about watching!!

Visit Jamie's website and read his philosophy on food! Or read more about his Food Revolution (sign the petition!) or his other campaigns! He also spoke at the TED conference in February 2010. Watch that below.

Remember Me

I went to see Remember Me yesterday. I must say, I really liked it! I don't want to give away the ending. It was definitely surprising and I could see how some people wouldn't like it at all and find it unnecessary. BUT, for me personally, I liked that it made something personal - gave it a face - when I have allowed myself to keep it at a distance for my own comfort.

I dunno, see it for yourself if you're interested and see what you think. I wouldn't be surprised if you completely disagree with me and find it to be unnecessary and indulgent. But it wasn't to me.

And I really liked R Patz in this movie! Surprisingly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Characteristics that Define a Real Man

**According to Tom Chiarella of Esquire**

I discovered this here.

A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him — woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things — a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds — engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him.

A man fantasizes that kung fu lives deep inside him somewhere. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. It doesn’t matter what his job is, because if a man doesn’t like his job, he gets a new one.

A man can speak to dogs. A man listens, and that’s how he argues. He crafts opinions. He can pound the table, take the floor. It’s not that he must. It’s that he can. A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.

A man owns up. That’s why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not.Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.

A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.

A man does not wither at the thought of dancing. But it is generally to be avoided. Style — a man has that. No matter how eccentric that style is, it is uncontrived. It’s a set of rules.

A man loves the human body, the revelation of nakedness. He loves the sight of the pale bosom, the physics of the human skeleton, the alternating current of the flesh. He is thrilled by the wrist and the sight of a bare shoulder. He likes the crease of a bent knee.

Maybe he never has, and maybe he never will, but a man figures he can knock someone, somewhere, on his bottom.

A man doesn’t point out that he did the dishes. A man knows how to ridicule. A man gets the door. Without thinking. He stops traffic when he must.

A man knows how to lose an afternoon. Playing Grand Theft Auto, driving aimlessly, shooting pool. He knows how to lose a month, also.

A man welcomes the coming of age. It frees him. It allows him to assume the upper hand and teaches him when to step aside.

He understands the basic mechanics of the planet. Or he can close one eye, look up at the sun, and tell you what time of day it is. Or where north is. He can tell you where you might find something to eat or where the fish run. He understands electricity or the internal-combustion engine, the mechanics of flight or how to figure a pitcher’s ERA.

A man does not know everything. He doesn’t try. He likes what other men know. A man knows his tools and how to use them — just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud, when to use galvanized nails. A miter saw, incidentally, is the kind that sits on a table, has a circular blade, and is used for cutting at precise angles. Very satisfying saw.

He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn’t winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off with an explanation. He doesn’t see himself lost in some great maw of humanity, some grand sweep. That’s the liberal thread; it’s why men won’t line up as liberals.

A man resists formulations, questions belief, embraces ambiguity without making a fetish out of it. A man revisits his beliefs. Continually. That’s why men won’t forever line up with conservatives, either.

A man is comfortable being alone. Loves being alone, actually. He sleeps. Or he stands watch. He interrupts trouble. This is the state policeman. This is the poet. Men, both of them.

A man watches. Sometimes he goes and sits at an auction knowing he won’t spend a dime, witnessing the temptation and the maneuvering of others. Sometimes he stands on the street corner watching stuff. This is not about quietude so much as collection. It is not about meditation so much as considering. A man refracts his vision and gains acuity. This serves him in every way. No one taught him this — to be quiet, to cipher, to watch. In this way, in these moments, the man is like a zoo animal: both captive and free. You cannot take your eyes off a man when he is like that. You shouldn’t. Who knows what he is thinking, who he is, or what he will do next.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breaking Dawn Movie Info

First, click here for some info from the producer of the Twilight movies about the Breaking Dawn installment of the series. Second, consider the possibility of any of these three directors being responsible for directing Breaking Dawn!

Image Source
Sofia Coppola
Previously directed...
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Lost in Translation (2003)
The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Image Source
Gus Van Sant
Previously directed...
Milk (2008)
Elephant (2003)
Finding Forrester (2000)Psycho (1998)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
To Die For (1995)

Image Source
Bill Condon
Previously directed...
Dreamgirls (2006)
Kinsey (2004)
Gods and Monsters (1998)

I definitely have some concerns about this movie. It was hard for me to get on board with the book because of Renesmee, but after reading all the books, I was okay with it. I'm just not sure if the movie is going to do it justice or be totally cheesy. That's why it's so important for the director to be good. If you're interested in reading the plot of the book/movie, then click the link above. Then consider which director you think would be best. I'm kinda leaning toward Gus Van Sant.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cable or Satellite??

For any of you out there with TimeWarner Cable, you may have realized that just last week, they dropped the CW from their channel lineup. I am a big CW fan, regularly watching One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected, Gossip Girl, 90210 and Vampire Diaries! I was not happy with this new development, to say the very least. So since our cable bill is really expensive anyway, Lewis is letting me look into prices and things to get satellite tv and DSL internet because it may end up being cheaper. He refuses satellite internet because he plays online games and doesn't want to risk it going out during a storm.

So here's my questions...

Dishnetwork or Directv? What do you think of them? What's the difference? And does anybody have Windstream?? I've heard awful things about Windstream - not about the service, but about having one bill amount for a couple of months and then they jack it up by a lot after like 3 months. Has this happened to anyone? Because right now these are my only options. But the problem is, we have 2 HD DVR boxes, all the HD channels, Showtime and HBO, so I'm not sure if we can get the same services for less money with satellite tv plus Windstream phone/DSL internet.

What do you think??

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Trailer!

My initial thoughts:
Edward's eyes still look stupid.
Bella's hair went from being nicer looking in New Moon to being fly-away dry looking in this.
I'm never going to really love the way they put these books into movies.
I'm still interested in seeing it.

(And if you're reading this in an imported Facebook note, you may have to go to my actual blog to watch the video.)

How to Waste Time on the Internet

Isis is taking really good naps today. My house is clean. I have nothing to do. So what am I doing? Why, wasting time on the Internet, of course!! Here's what I've found so far...

It Made My Day
-Lots of little posts by people detailing something that happened that made their day. Surprisingly entertaining!

WTF Comcast
-Movie descriptions from Comcast. My favorite had to do with a girl possibly smashing her homey (again). LOL

-This is probably my favorite so far!! It's like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon except with anybody you can think of!! You have to try it. It's fabulous!!!

-Stories in one sentence.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I've decided I'd rather live-Twitter the Oscars. My thoughts are short & sweet & I don't have to post pictures.

Ingenue Perspective Twitter

Zac Efron!!

I have just seen Zac Efron on the red carpet at the Academy Awards!!! Yay!!! So cute!

I need to find pictures!!!

Here we go...

Walk me through it, Ryan Seacrest!! I'm ready for the red carpet stuff on E!! Ryan & Giuliana are my favorites! I'm watching it on DVR. I'm 15 minutes behind right now.

Fergie was Sally Brown!

I'm watching the Countdown to the 2010 Academy Awards on E! and I've already learned lots of new things about fashion, skincare, etc. But the most interesting thing I learned was that Fergie...

was the voice of Sally Brown when she was 10 years old!!

I think that's neat! haha

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Big Bang Theory: Leonard Nimoy

This is me & Lewis' favorite scene of Big Bang Theory so far!! We loved it!!!!

Oscars 2010

I am SOOOO excited about the Oscars tomorrow night!! I spent the day today preparing for my party!! I bought the stuff for my swag bags, the prizes for my games, the stuff for my cupcakes & the stuff for my drinks! I got the decorations last week!! I've been trying to figure out my award predictions, but it's hard this year since I haven't seen many of the movies! I have to just go by what I've heard! I'm going to print out a list of the things the movies have won so far so that the people playing my ballot game will have an idea! I'm very excited!!!

Have you made your Oscar predictions yet??

Also - I plan on live-blogging the Oscars tomorrow night!! Or at least live-blogging as I watch them, which might be on DVR...haven't decided yet. We'll see how the party goes!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

American Idol...

Is anyone else severely disappointed in American Idol this season?? I am just really not happy with it! Last week was just awful. I actually liked Andrew Garcia, even though the judges didn't really. But this week, I just don't like anybody! We'll see how the girls go tonight, but it's really not fun to watch it this year.

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