Thursday, April 26, 2007
Well, now that I've got that off of my chest I just wanted to applaud American Idol for their show last evening, Idol Gives Back. I didn't watch all of it partially because I just wasn't in the mood and, well, it just creeps me out a bit to watch Celene Dion perform and because my wife had control of the remote and was doing her best ADD impression of switching between two or three channels as I sought to return to the world of Hogwart's in the sixth installment of Harry Potter. But, I did see enough to consider the show a well-intended and appropriate one. Sure, charity is big time in Hollywood right now with celebs like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopting kids like they're new handbags but, the bottom line is that these are truly issues that need to be addressed. I'm with Bono in thinking and hoping that our generation may be the one that eradicates poverty and suffering like that being seen in modern day Africa. And American Idol took a nice step in bringing aid and visibility to that cause last night.
It's daunting to see such issues before us as we sit in our comfy chairs and couches, drinking from our cool beverages, enjoying aid conditioned luxury with our full bellies while a mere distance away, literally millions of people are struggling with AIDS/HIV, malaria, impure water, and starvation, many of these attributable to poverty. Many times I wonder how to make a tangible difference when the problem seems so large. But, that old adage holds true here: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. We're going to help out in any way we can. I encourage you to do the same.
Check out the ONE campaign site for more details: www.one.org
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Chuck Palahniuk writes with such a wry cynicism and biting sense of humor. He continues to amaze me with his unique look at life and his first-person style of writing leaves little to be desired. Survivor is a great look at celebrity and life and proves to be a great read.
Stranger Than Fiction is one of the better movies that I've seen in a long time. Will Ferrell plays the straight man well in this one, making you genuinely care for him and Emma Thompson is wonderful. Maggie Gyllenhaal is also terrific as Ferrell's love interest and continues to earn some solid credibility with her acting choices. I really enjoyed this film for it's portrayal of the writing life, of showcasing the writer's almost visual imagination as they view a scene in what comes across as an entirely different vision than most. I also appreciated the struggle with the character and the author. It sounds a bit crazy but, when writing, those characters seem far more real than they really are at times. Either way, this is a keeper!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Well, let's consider the connotation here first. The initial understanding, at least in my sleep-deprived head, is that one who fits this description is one who, now stay with me, provides sexual therapy. This is a person who majored in sex, so to speak. How do you do that? How do you become the guy or girl who is the sex major? Was there a class for this? What university do you go to to get this degree? Do you see my frustration here? My confusion?
Now, I'm all for the institution of sexual therapy. Clearly, there are numbers of folks in this world who find themselves struggling with various disorders and situations that call for the instruction of someone who's a little more knowledgeable. But again, more knowledgeable? Okay, one image for you and I'll close this little crazy diatribe: Dr. Ruth. Dr. Ruth is one of our foremost sexual therapists. I just don't get it....
Check it out:
Interview: The Almost
Thursday, April 19, 2007
One of the guys there who's been super friendly, helpful, accomdating, and I could go on forever, is my friend, Matt Conner. Matt is a church planter and freelancer who is a much more gifted writer than I am. Just the other day Matt tapped into some of my heart through a blogpost that he wrote regarding our need for certainty and the reality of mystery in our lives. I thought this was really good. Check it out:
The Role of Certainty
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Infuze 3.0 is our new launch which is going to enable for more content, more features, and more opportunities. From increasing reviews and interviews and news, to offering up new staff blogs as well, it's a whole new experience. Our new tagline, courtesy of my pal Mr. Matt Conner is: Criticize by Creating. This is the heart of Infuze and I hope you'll take the time to stop on by.
Oh, did I mention I'm now a staff writer and blogger for them? Check it out at:
Monday, April 09, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Christopher Moore is simply one of my favorite writers that I've come across and this one doesn't disappoint. It's a very unique look at vampires, relationships, and love. In only a way that Christopher Moore can!At the behest of my good friend Celena, I once again eschewed my fundamental, evangelical moorings and dove headfirst into the world of young Mr. Harry Potter. She suggested that I wouldn't be able to put them down and, well, I'm still reading and am now debating whether or not I might need to pre-order number seven!
Just a thought I had while overhearing some discussion while in the midst of reading through some of these books...The concepts of magic and wizardry and the like are among some of the dangers upheld against the Harry Potter series in much of the conservative Christian crowd. And while I agree that the Bible does teach against placing your trust in divination and dealing with certain things, I'm not so sure that this series is intended to really charm you into picking up a crystal ball, a broom, and a new wand from your local magic shop. Either way, I was just struck with the idea that some of our traditions and ideas might be seen just as unusual. Consider some sects of believers who greatly emphasize holy water or anointing oil. What of those who pray over rooms and windows and doors, seeking solace from the Enemy? I don't know. All I'm saying is that sometimes we need to stop and consider what we're doing.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The first came via an email from a guy that I've never even met in person. Matt is someone I met through my involvement in writing for Infuze and has been just a tremendous encourager and friend along the process of my trying to break into some sort of paid writing life. He's tossed me opportunity after opportunity and has continued to invest time into me. I'm incredibly thankful for his friendship and help. It was in his response to an email of mine though, that he really got me.
I'd emailed him asking, once again, for any ideas for writing venues and if he'd be willing to sort of share his journey of writing with me so that I could share it with my wife who was struggling to understand some of what I was doing. Essentially, she didn't get how my writing stuff for free would one day lead to me writing for money. And she especially wasn't real happy about my taking on more work to boot. Anyway, Matt made this sage declaration in that email before going on to tell me what I'd asked. He wrote:
"We seem to have much of the same heart and you seem frustrated in a job you don't want and without writing, I would wonder if you were moving toward any personal passion at all..."
Ouch. But right on.
The second friend to call me out, although this one was not so much a call-out as it was a clarification and understanding, was one of my dearest, Celena. Celena and I have known each other forever, having been friends since elementary school. Our paths have weaved in and out and our friendship has weaved with it but interestingly enough, we always end up back at the same spot. She is one of my most valued friends in this world and I was thrilled as she was in town and we had a chance to catch up at the local Perkin's one night not too long ago. I say catch up but that's sort of misleading. We arrived at the restaurant around seven in the evening and ended up leaving around one in the morning. For my money, that's a little more than catching up!
Anyway, a similar discussion came up in our talk and I shared with her my frustrations in doing what I do now and she pointed out part of the problem.
"You don't want to work for The Man," she said, smiling. I laughed but, truth was, she was right. I've never been much for the nine-to-fiver or anything closely resembling a traditional structure. And to top it off, the work that I do is rather unfulfilling. Totally not my passion.
I'm thankful for friends that tell you like it is and help to clarify things that you yourself just think nobody sees or understands. They were right. I have lost that sense of passion and, well, I don't want to work for The Man anymore. The quandary I find myself in now is in trying to discover where to go. Mid-life crises are supposed to happen later in life, not at the ripe old age of thirty!