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What Would People Think?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Birthday To Meeeeee

On this day, 26 years ago, I entered the world and said - and I quote - "waaaaaaah!"

I've basically been saying the same thing ever since, only using bigger words.

Today, I vary the terminology a little by saying "wooooooooo!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Craig, Daniel Craig

I haven't seen the new James Bond film yet because I'm arguably a momma's boy. You see, my mom - the woman who introduced me to the Die Hard movies - is an action movie fanatic. And she's really been looking forward to watching the movie with me over Thanksgiving weekend. So - much as I'm sure Christy would like to spend the time sleeping through a movie that would hold no interest for her - I'm waiting to see it with my mom.

But I must say, based on the reviews, I'm ambivalent. First off, I was a huge Pierce Brosnan fan. I really thought he was the best Bond of the series. Yes, I know, Sean Connery is supposed to be the only true Bond. But I figure I've earned my Bond geek stripes. How much of a Bond geek am I, you ask? I've seen every real Bond film (Never Say Never Again & the first Casino Royale don't count, dammit!). I'm such a Bond geek that when reviewer James Berardinelli mentioned that the character of Felix Leiter was returning in the new film, my response was "Felix! That's awesome! Haven't seen you since License to Kill in the late 1980s!" I imagine most people would not know that Felix Leiter has been played by a different actor in every Bond film he's appeared in. I bet most people would go "Felix who?"

So, back to Brosnan. I've always liked him. I thought he had the lethal edge of Sean Connery, the humor of Roger Moore, and the serious vulnerability of Timothy Dalton (all of whom overplayed those qualities, except Connery who simply lacked the vulnerability). And Brosnan, unlike George Lazenby, was not a non-entity.

So I'm not sure about this Craig guy. First blond Bond. Bad sign. And what's this about there being no Q or Moneypenny? I've grown to love the conventions of the Bond films. No gadgets? I even hear rumors of Bond falling in love? You know that didn't work at all in On Her Majesty's Secret Service...except to give Bond a tragic memory. And, I suppose, that's what might happen here.

But I'll withhold judgment. Change can be good. The Bond series didn't need reinvention as much as the Batman series, but maybe new ideas will make it even more fun. I mean, there's still people shooting people. How bad can it be?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up

Unlike Jacob, I'm not actually annoyed by what he calls "self-righteous liberals" gleefully celebrating the election results. Heck, I'm joining the glee! I'd say my response to the election was more like Zhubin's:

It's difficult to convey in writing the physical expressions of glee, but imagine me bouncing on the balls of my feet, twiddling my fingers and giggling like a schoolgirl. Now imagine me doing that for thirteen straight hours. Imagine me doing it while sleeping.

I couldn't agree more. Not because of fist-pumping "victory" or glee in an "enemy's" downfall. (See my last post for what that's bad.)

No, I'm thrilled because I believe this election will make things better for the American people. No more rubber stamps on violations of their civil liberties. At least a little more concern for the poor and less kowtowing to the powerful. (Is "kowtowing" a word?) Perhaps President Bush will finally have to listen to some new voices on Iraq.

That said, will this guy PLEASE shut up! Seriously, man....you are Jacob's "self-righteous liberal" personified. Except it's worse than self-righteous. It's just plain cruel.

You are making me feel dirty by association. Please just....stop.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Love Your Enemy (and a note on the blog contest)

You have heard that it was said: "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

- Jesus

Growing up in Christian culture, I think I've failed to realize how truly radical that teaching is.

It actually took a study of the book of Jonah (your more-than-half of the Bible, Jeff!) to help me realize that. Most people who know about that book remember the story of him being rescued from drowning by being swallowed by a whale/large fish which later spit him up on to dry land. But there's far more to that book than an ancient Pinocchio story.

The most interesting dynamic in Jonah is his absolute refusal to preach to the people of Assyria. And, after that little intra-whale cruise changes his mind, Jonah actually resents when God shows mercy to the Assyrians! What gives?

Well, Jonah's only showing a bit of understandable concern for national self-preservation. The Assyrians were Israel's enemies, a cruel and ruthless nation. Jonah probably suspected that, if they weren't wiped out by divine judgment or something, the Assyrians would wipe out Israel. And he was absolutely correct in that assessment. A few generations later, Assyria invaded Israel, scattering the inhabitants and permanently wiping out the northern kingdom of ancient Israel.

And yet God called Jonah to preach to the Assyrians and, when they repented, showed them mercy. THIS is how serious God takes the "love your enemy" teaching. We are to love those who could, and very probably will, cause us great harm. This is so contrary to everything we learn in this world....to everything we are taught by the way people around us behave. To the world, it's utter foolishness. To followers of Christ - if they are paying attention - it's a standard to aspire to.

This isn't just telling me to be nice to my neighbors upstairs who constantly blast loud music. (Though I fail even at that.) This is saying that I should take those who wish me destruction and misery - say, a terrorist - and seek their good.

Perhaps it's just my desire to avoid the implications of this teaching and thus make my life easier....but I'm having trouble envisioning what such radical love even looks like.

Let's start small: What would it look like to love my annoying neighbors?

What would it look like to love a terrorist? How about (and now we're getting really too deep for a blog) the man who murdered my nieces when I was 13?

Let me know what you think.

Okay, that was waaaaaaaaaaaay too serious. Time for some inappropriately-placed-in-the-same-blog-post levity.

Well the nominations are rolling in for my blog contest....from 2 people. Not to say there aren't some very funny contenders, but I was under the impression that a number of my friends were experts in satire. Yet nary a nomination from certain anonymous unnamed individuals who at least occasionally read this blog. What, you people got lives or something getting in the way of this noble endeavor? Nominate something!

The prize, by the way, will be cookies of some sort. My wife, by the way, is an excellent and creative baker. She has come up with some excellent cookie/cake flavors before.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Democracy in E-Action

Today I vote.

Just like you should vote by placing nominations in my blog contest. Jacob's joined in the spirit of things, but I have yet to hear from my other witty friends.

Why should you vote in this election? Read Mike's reasoning and then just go out and do it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blog Contest - and A Reminder Not To Kick Sand In Your Own Face

Do not kick sand in your own face. I learned this lesson the hard way while playing volleyball after a day of lawyer training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Ah, the hard life of a government lawyer.)

Anyways, in my infinite skill and lawyerly aggression, I made a dive for the ball. An unsuccessful dive for the ball. But as I hit the ground I kicked up some sand. Into my own face. Usually, this is something bullies do to wimps. Psychologists might speculate why I did this to myself. Christy would have a field day diagnosing what's going on here.

Then I proceeded to do the same thing again later in the match. This take immeasurable skill.

But we WON, darn it! No lousy Wage-Hour investigators are gonna beat a team of overcompetitive lawyers.

Speaking of competition.....

I have decided to hold a contest. The prize is yet to be determined. (Something inexpensive. Suggestions are welcome. It might be some of Christy's baked goods. Or some cheap gadget. It will be delivered to the winner.)

The contest: Funniest blog post by someone you know. I'm not looking for the work of professional humorists. It has to be written by someone you know personally. What posts written by friends have left you on the floor helpless with laughter?

The process: Right now, we are in the nominating process. So feel free to nominate any funny blog posts by people of your personal acquaintance. Then, in a future blog post, I will list all the nominees and the floor will be open for voting. The contest will be cross-posted on Ching's Literary to get more nominations.

I'm going to open the floor with 3 nominations:

Those 3 are narratives, but not all the nominations must be in narrative form. Also, feel free to nominate (and vote for) yourself. So, send in any nominations (and prize suggestions). May the laughter flow.

[Update: Christy has now diagnosed the cause of the in-my-face sand kicking: "You missed me." You see, of course, how that explains everything.]