Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I keep thinking I'll get tired of the song "Gives You Hell" by the All American Rejects, but I haven't yet. Every time it comes on the radio, I turn up the volume.

  2. Here's a photo of my beautiful sister and her husband. For all you ACU readers out there, Melanie's sister took her photos.
  3. So I went from the shocking violence of the book Gomorrah to the surprising gore of Jane Austen with the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Austen's prose stands up well; the portions of the book written by her are superior to the additions by the new author. In case you are curious, a plague that turns humans to zombies is ravaging England. Mr. Bennett sends his daughters to the Orient to become trained warriors, and they are well trained, particularly Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy is also a skilled warrior. The plot is the same with much of Austen's writing, but with embellishments. Probably wouldn't recommend this book for the Austen purists. I haven't even made up my mind about it.

  4. So the big entertainment news this week is the decision by the AMPAS to nominate 10 movies for Best Picture next year. Initial reaction: the "big prize" just became less prestigious. Hopefully more foreign films and documentaries will get nominated for BP this way, in addition to critically-acclaimed blockbusters. I will say this. My goal to see all films nominated in the major categories (picture, director, acting categories, foreign, documentary) just became more challenging.

  5. Pete Sampras is my favorite tennis player. Federer surpassing the record set by Sampras for most Grand Slam titles is inevitable. I do not want him to set a new record at Wimbledon. Come on Roddick, Murray or Djokovic! Also, go Venus!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Here are some pics to prove Rachel and I went to Denver for Brent's wedding.

    Me and Rachel with the mountains behind us.
    Me and the groom minutes before the ceremony.

    The ACU gang that came to the wedding.

    Me in the mountains, being adventurous. :-)

  2. Country music has changed since the '90s, at least the country music endorsed by the radio stations. Can't stand most of it. I do like Lady Antebellum. They have an old-school country sound. And great vocals. And their lyrics aren't about drinking ... or whatever Kenny Chesney sings about.

  3. I'm just about finished with the book "Gomorrah," the expose on the Italian organized crime network more powerful and violent than the Mafia. Crazy brutal! If that title sounds familiar, it's because the book was made into a movie. It's on my Netflix queue. What should I read next? Leave your suggestions in the comments. I think I've had enough murder and corruption, so send me in a different direction. I just want a book I can't put down, one with well-developed characters, good plot and excellent writing.

  4. I finally saw John Michael Montgomery in concert! I've loved JMM since his first single, "Life's a Dance." He performed at an ACS charity event. I dressed up like a cowgirl for this event. It was fun! I now own a pair of cowboy boots. Here is a picture back at home after spending five hours outdoors on a hot Saturday. Luckily my job was in the shade.

  5. I've blogged before about my buckwheat pancake recipe. The pancakes are small, about the size of the palm of your hand. The recipe makes two servings, pictured below.

    Can you believe that is only two servings? I eat two pancakes for breakfast, topped with strawberries, and served with yogurt. I can't imagine eating seven of these dense pancakes in one setting. I make this recipe and it feeds me for two weeks (Monday-Thursday). (I don't know why this text is formatted as a link.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Five: Soapbox Edition

  1. I'm mad at Kelly Clarkson. Get your eye-rolling out of the way now, Rachel. I like Kelly. I love the song "Breakaway," and it's the reason I have all her albums, except the most recent one. I've been resisting buying it because of the hit single, "My Life Would Suck Without You." I do not like the message this song sends, in particular the line, "Either way, I found out I'm nothing like you." I can't listen to that song without shaking my head at those lyrics. What kind of message is that to send to all the 13-year-old girls that love her? And what self-respecting female would release a song with that message in it? It's the whole "You complete me" messaging again. The idea that we are incomplete, pathetic, or nothing without another person infuriates me. And it doesn't matter if the other person is a boyfriend, parent, sibling, etc. And the song is about a dysfunction relationship, which makes the sentiment far worse.

  2. Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. Enough already. I don't care if she lost her title because of her stance on gay marriage or for violating her contract. I will say this: freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Just ask the Dixie Chicks. And they don't represent a company with an image and brand to protect.

  3. The uproar over Judge Sotomayer's "wise Latina women" comment. Yes, as the nominee for a vacancy on the Supreme Court, she is accountable for her opinions, public comments, etc. No problem questioning this comment. But man, it would be nice if people factored in context and background before making assumptions. I've read the entire text of the lecture this quote came from. Very interesting thoughts on the role our backgrounds, heritage, culture and experiences have on decision making. A good read. Here is the context.

    "Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

    Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. [Holmes ruled to sterilize a woman against her will because "three generations of imbeciles is enough."] Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues, including Brown.

    However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

    Whatever you think about Judge Sotomayer after reading that is not important. What is important is that you read it and came to a conclusion. Based on the dialogue we've been reading and hearing in response to her comment, how many TV, radio and print media personalities do you think looked into her comment before decrying her a racist or unfit for the Supreme Court? Very few I would guess. Get the facts before making a decision. I encourage you to read the entire text. You can find it here.

  4. I don't have a lot of patience for other people's emotional instability. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but I can't help it. Whatever your emotional issues and needs are, don't bring me into it. I won't indulge you because it is not good for you. Get yourself together! (Can you tell I'm an extremely rational person, which could be considered my issue.)

  5. I ran out of soapbox topics. I'm about to walk out the door and head to a free outdoor concert along the river. Fun times!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I'm going to Denver this weekend for Brent's wedding. Happy for Brent. Ready to escape this Texas heat for cooler mountain air.

  2. Now that my schedule is back to normal, I'm home at night to cook dinner. I bought a Williams-Sonoma "eating by color" cookbook at Marshall's for $5, and I've been cooking from it this week. I've only made four recipes, so I'm not ready to recommend the book, but it's fun mixing-and-matching recipes to eat five colors a day.

  3. I'm sure you are all wondering what I did at work on Thursday. I practiced my hula-hoop skills! One of the guys in the accounting firm down the street stopped by the office to socialize. When he gets bored, he comes down to our office. A lady in my office is married to one the partners in his firm. Today he noticed a stack of hula hoops in someone's office. So he wanted to know who could hula hoop. If you said you could, he made you prove it. I said I wasn't very good, and he still made me prove it. After he left in disgrace - he was the worst one- someone picked up a hula hoop again and found the secret to keeping it going. We all tried again. And we called the guy back to the office to see our new hula-hoop skills. She wanted to have a "hula-off" between our offices in the street. I work for the American Cancer Society, and we take time to hula hoop.

  4. Nadal lost his first ever match at the French Open. It's been a shocking French Open hasn't it, tennis fans? Anything can happen, but it looks like Federer is going to equal Sampras' record of Grand Slam titles in a few days. Most people will concede he is the Greatest of All Time if he wins this tournament, but I don't agree. How can you be the GOAT when you can't consistently beat another player (Nadal) in your generation?

  5. Does anyone else enjoy the categories Netflix creates and provides recommendations for on the Netflix home page? So specific. Here are five categories I've seen recently, a little bonus Friday Five.
    • Critically-acclaimed romantic thrillers
    • Suspenseful space-travel TV shows
    • Dark political documentaries
    • Feel-good teen musicals
    • Visually-striking dramas with strong female leads