Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My turn to Tag!

Okay, so after promising to do this for over a week, here's my tagging blurb:

Four Jobs I've held:
1. Paper girl
2. Steak n' Shake Drive-Thru Queen
3. Cracker Barrel Server
4. High School Spanish Teacher
(at least, I pretend to be one)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Lord of the Rings trilogy (yes, I cheat just like the rest of my family...)
2. Emma (Jeremy Northam at some of his finest!)
3. What's Up Doc? (always has me rolling on the floor!)
4. Chronicles of Narnia

Four Places I Have Lived:
1. Ft. Belvoir, VA

2. Columbia, MO

3. Grandview, WA

4. Indianapolis, IN

Four TV Shows I Like:

3. Highlander

4. The Office

Four People Who E-Mail Me Regularly:
1. Dad
2. Progressive Auto Insurance
3. Bath and Body Works
4. Borders

(although I don't know if those last three count as people, since they are technically corporations... but since I don't really get a lot of "people" e-mails, I guess I'll leave them on the list)

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Mom's BBQ chicken wings
2. Yellow cake (esp. w/ Chocolate frosting)
3. ice cream (almost any flavor, esp. Rocky Road)
4. Mom & Dad's bran muffins!

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Missouri (w/ my family in both Columbia and St. Louis)
2. Europe (England/UK, Spain, Rome, etc.)
3. Caribbean Islands
4. Asleep in my bed!

*Bonus* (I added this one in just for fun!)
Four Movies That I'm Excited About for This Year!
1. Prince Caspian!!!
2. The Dark Knight

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
4. Get Smart

Four People I'm Tagging:
2.Heather ("Wilkinson")
3.J.Ammon (since I don't think he ever got tagged by the rest of you guys)
4.Mary Southerland (in the hopes that maybe she'll venture over here someday- plus, I'd love to see some fun, new stuff on her already lovely and delightful blog!)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just another sports flick?

Hardly. There are reasons why movies like this bear repeated viewings. As one watches such movies time and time again, threads of profound meaning only noticed individually before begin to weave themselves together--individual truths interconnect so perfectly as to create a beautiful tapestry, at once both complex yet intriguingly simple.
As I watched this movie on Friday (April 11) to honor the official beginning of the 2008 baseball season, I was struck by a new insight that threaded its way into my understanding of the deeper meanings at work here.
So I found myself asking, Why really is Doc "Moonlight" Graham in Iowa? On the surface, it seems he is there to finally live his dream of playing baseball. Dig a little bit deeper, and one could argue that his purpose in Iowa is to show the true meaning of altruistic sacrifice- giving up one's own dreams for a higher purpose, in this case, saving Karin's life. "Moonlight" Graham crosses the line to to become Doc Graham, a decision that costs him the chance to play baseball ever again.
This time, though, I think that his purpose goes beyond even that. The fact that his crossing the line is what enables Mark to see the magic of the field is too coincidental. In addition to showing us that, given the choice to live his life over, he would still choose to become a doctor instead of a ballplayer, he also shows us that people are placed in certain moments in time for specific purposes, to accomplish ends that we do not always see or understand.
In a very real way, this movie is about faith. Everything that is done is done by faith. Ray, prompted by very strong feelings, plows under his major crop ("What's a crop?") to build a field and drives half-way across the country to take his idolized author to a baseball game. Annie, knowing the risk of bankruptcy, supports him. Terrance Mann, not knowing what to do or what will follow, leaves his home to follow Ray to Minnesota to find Graham. All are unified by a faith that what they are doing is ultimately the right thing to do.
While God isn't ever mentioned, I like to think that this He is still present. It is His plan. Often, we, like Ray, think we understand what He is trying to tell us. Just as Ray thought he was supposed to convince the older Graham to come with him to live his dream of playing baseball, we often think we know how the plan is supposed to play out, only to find it playing out in a way more unexpected than we imagined. Going further than that, I think Ray still thought that the point of having younger Archie Graham there was so that he could live his baseball dream. I don't think he realized the point of having Archie there was to provide a means for saving Karin's life, as well as offering a sacrifice that would enable another man to see. Archibald Graham's role became crucial in the fates of many. Had he chosen to pursue baseball, much would have been lost by his selfishness. Because he chose others, he helped save them all.
Of course, the even bigger twist is that Ray, thinking he was doing the Voice's will, thought he was doing it to help others, only to find that the ultimate goal is to reunite himself with his father. In one of the most simple yet profoundly moving scenes, perhaps in movie history, we discover that all along, the greater purpose was to help Ray find peace and joy in the things most precious to him: his family.
What a great film!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I just have to say: I LOVE these movies!

Having just finished a marathon of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the non-extended versions, since I didn't have enough time to squeeze in all three extended editions...), I am reminded of the things that make movies great- solid acting, solid directing, an amazing soundtrack/use of music to help carry the story, and the incredible attention to detail- whether it be costumes (all so beautifully done, or ugily done, as the case may be with the Orcs), dialogue (there are some great one-liners in these movies, some funny, some profound), sets, even a simple facial expression at just the right moment to create the perfect effect... These movies never cease to amaze me.

I am always moved to tears as the deeper meaning unfolds along with the story. I see so much that is of value that I can't help but cry at the poignancy of these things: Boromir's undaunted courage and honorable end (this one gets me every time), Sam's loyalty, Eomer's faithful return, the determined valor of the Rohirrim, even in the face of death, the devotion of the Fellowship, the honor given to four simple hobbits who helped change the world... and of course, Sam's speech at the end of The Two Towers... I could easily go on, but you should all be familiar with it already (and if you're not familiar with these movies, more's the pity- you should rectify that situation immediately!)

Movies such as these deserve every honor they receive and more, because they help change our lives for the better. They remind us of why life matters and what is important; they remind us of doing the right thing, no matter how hard or how high the price... As Sam puts it, "...there's some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for."


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools!

Okay, so I originally wasn't planning on posting today, despite the trend among the blogs of my fellow siblings, but when I found this site, I just couldn't resist. Here's to another trip down memory lane! (This one's for you, Mom.)

(for more hilarious nostalgic photos featuring this April Fools Day delicacy, go to:www.bluemilk.com)