Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Five: Thanksgiving

I could just list things I'm thankful for until I run out or have to leave, but in keeping my my inconsistent Friday Five tradition, I'm limiting my list to five things I'm thankful for right now.

  1. Family. My family wasn't perfect, but I knew growing up that my parents loved me. That gave me and my sister a self confidence that comes from being loved for who you are and not who you will become or what you look like. And that is a great gift.

  2. Friends. Everyone has different levels of friends, and I'm thankful for all of them. But I'm most thankful for the friendships I know will last forever, and those people that bring out the true me when I'm with them.

  3. iPods, TiVos, HDTV. I've had an iPod for three-four years, but it's something I can't live without. It's changed the way I listen to music, just like the TiVo has changed the way I watch TV. HDTV is something I've just experienced this year, but there is nothing better than watching Tony Romy and the Dallas Cowboys win football games (which I'm also thankful for) on a large, flat-screen HDTV. If only I had enough money to own that technology myself.

  4. Weather. I love this cold front! I was not looking forward to an 80-degree Thanksgiving. It's so much harder to listen to Christmas music when you are wearing short sleeves and driving with your windows rolled down. But Mother Nature to the rescue! Other than when it's snowing, cold and sunny is my favorite weather. It was snowing at Texas Stadium yesterday, but 15 miles SW at my parents' house, it was just sleeting. But it was cold everywhere, and that is what I'm thankful for.

  5. Things that make me laugh out loud. It doesn't matter if it's what I see on TV or the movies, what I read in books, listen to on the radio, or hear my friends say. Sometimes it's just the craziness that is life. But if it makes me laugh out loud, I'm thankful for it. What would like be like without laughter.
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 19, 2007


Those of you that only watch mainstream American movies, have you noticed how there is almost never any silence? It's almost like the studios are afraid that if there isn't dialogue or an intense action sequence (think Jason Bourne) the audience will lose interest.

I thought of this over the weekend while watching the movie "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring." This Korean film has two main characters. Occasionally a third person enters the story to progress it, but mainly it's a two-person movie. And the characters are Buddhist monks living on a floating monastery in the middle of nowhere. Guess what? Minimal dialogue. I remember hearing one of the characters speak, and I suddenly realized I was watching a 90 minute film that had 30 minutes of dialogue at most, probably considerably less. And dialogue wasn't necessary. The movie was able to communicate everything it needed to through other elements. It seemed the the silence gave me the opportunity to question what was happening and how it was effecting the characters. The director let the movie unfold instead of telling me what was happening.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone, but if you want to see a perfect example of silence being the right choice in a movie, watch the Best of Youth. The closing scene in that movie is perfect, and it would have been ruined with words. (Don't forget that movie is six hours long. Jaime started watching it around 10 p.m. one evening, which I thought was an odd choice. Turns out she forgot it was so long. Originally it was an Italian miniseries.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

General Supreme

Sorry I haven't been consistent with my writing lately. I promise I'm trying!

Anyway, in the last two weeks I've had the opportunity to see General Colin Powell and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I helped plan the event with Powell because my employer brought him here to conclude our 50th anniversary celebration. Boy am I glad that event is over. My work load dropped considerably after the event, and now I'm back to finding ways to fill my time. The local law school brought O'Connor, and it was free for everyone. She didn't charge for her appearance, and all other costs were paid for by a law school alum.

Colin Powell was great. He was quite funny. He was scheduled to talk for 45 minutes and he went about 65 minutes. Then he answered a few prepared questions. He talked about world events, the military, what it was like being in public service, what it was like suddenly being out of public service, characteristics and leadership/management styles of each President he had the opportunity to work with, pretty much everything you expect and hope someone who has served in all the areas he has served will talk about. Plus, plus, plus. And he did a great job of incorporating my employer's mission statement into his talk. Perfect!

Justice O'Connor wasn't quite as great. She talked about the importance of democracy at home and abroad and how important an independent judiciary is to that democracy. It makes perfect sense she would talk about that, but that is all she talked about. She didn't talk about what it felt like to be the first female justice on the US Supreme Court, she didn't talk about being on the Court at all. She's become a spokesman for an independent judiciary since her retirement, but I was disappointed her talk was so short (maybe 10 minutes) and that was the only topic. It was a great opportunity to hear her, but I was disappointed. If I'd paid to hear her, I'd be upset. But for free, I'm just glad I had the opportunity to hear her.


I finished reading The Namesake last night. I thought it was great! I've never read the author's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories because I don't like short stories - by the time I'm interested in the story and involved with the characters, the story is over - but the book was well written.


I got a great hair cut today! I've been going to the same hairdresser for a while now. She can't give me the perfect hair cut I want - no one can - but she does a great job. And today she gave me the best haircut so far! I hope I still like it next week.


I had to GP on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. I'll spend Wednesday afternoon and evening making pies an deviled eggs. I always see movies with my Mom and Aunt, and we'll probably see August Rush and Enchanted. I've heard great things about Amy Adams' performance in Enchanted, so I'm excited to see it. I love the scene in the trailer when James Marden's character starts to burst into song and he's run over my cyclists in Central Park! (By the way, that guy needs a new agent; he's always the guy that never gets the girl. Think about it: Superman Returns, the Notebook, X-Men.) My boss told me to take a day off as thanks for all my work with the United Way, so I'm taking the Monday after Thanksgiving off.

Have a great Thanksgiving!