The Church of Oprah, Bell and Zimzum

The recent conversation between Oprah and Rob Bell, featured in a video entitled Super Soul Sunday, has created lots of buzz over the last couple days. Perhaps the most striking comments emerging from this conversation – and the portion garnering the most attention – is Bell’s assertion that the church (one would presume in context Bell is referring to evangelicals) is “moments away” from acknowledging and accepting gay marriage.psychobabble (1)Bell explains, “… culture is already there” but then he adds:  “… the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” Because LOVE. Continue reading “The Church of Oprah, Bell and Zimzum”

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Walking Dead At Downton

On the surface, the two shows (The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey) could not be more different. What they do have in common is – at least here in the central time zone – both shows air at 8 p.m. on Sundays. That requires some juggling, yes, so maybe things are getting slightly muddled in my brain … did Lori have a baby or was that Edith? (Both.) Was Matthew Crawley killed by zombies or a car wreck? (The latter.)downton_abbey_simpsonized_by_adn_z-d6qw7zh

I know, I know! I’ve probably stepped on everyone’s toes by suggesting any of the above. But the huge casts involved in both productions make for some interesting contrasts, don’t you think?Walking-Dead_Simpsonized-by-ADN_hi-660x293Unfortunately, though the shows have been running about the same amount of time, the Simpsonized images (shown above) don’t offer a good comparison for the number of characters. Both shows have numerous recurring (or minor) characters, while Downton appears to have relied on special guest characters whereas Dead has not. Continue reading “Walking Dead At Downton”

Fiction As Resume Enhancements

In my first job at the ripe old age of sixteen, I didn’t need a résumé. All I had to do was fill out an application, have an interview with the personnel manager and they hired me! Those were the good ole days when one’s personal presentation generally meant more than a résumé … so there was no need for fiction, no reason to pad my minimal (i.e. non-existent) credentials. Padding my résumé would be a future acquired skill.PaddingResumeThough my experience as a baby-sitter wasn’t a résumé enhancing accomplishment, I’d have had no qualms about highlighting it – it was legit. I had the actual experience. But who among us hasn’t written a rosy résumé featuring skills and experience presented in their most favorable and hyperbolic light?

Continue reading “Fiction As Resume Enhancements”

Foyle(d) Again, Love Affair for Another Time and Place

Something strange has happened to me over the last couple months. It was totally unexpected and I was blindsided … I fell in love again! (Please don’t tell my Beloved, though I think he’s beginning to suspect!) I’m having trouble understanding myself of course, because this is a love affair that completely goes against all my preferences. The man is short and balding! Anyone who knows me will recognize immediately I’ve gone off the rails.

foyles_avatarIt began innocently enough when my brother-in-law recommended a British television series he thought I’d enjoy. That was more than a year ago. I added the series to my Netflix queue but that’s where it ended. Then recently, my brother also recommended the series … and instead of just letting the series continue to gather dust in my queue, I sat down one night and watched the first episode … and the second … and the third!

Immediately, I was in love! (I blame my brother-in-law and my brother.)

Continue reading “Foyle(d) Again, Love Affair for Another Time and Place”

List Mania

It’s a challenge to get away from college football today … and for the rest of the weekend. Plenty of people are reluctant to leave the couch while games run non-stop until late tonight. (I’m not one of those, but I’ve come to accept my Beloved and our grandson are going to stay glued to their seats, smack-dab in front of the television.)

AlaOhioTurning away from college football mania, I’ve been scanning the vast resources of the worldwide web. I had already noticed in my email the number of lists that abound in 2015. There are lists of (1) things to do, (2) things not to do, (3) places to go (4) places not to go … and there are multiple other lists focused on retrospection (1) what we got right in 2014, (2) what we got wrong in 2014, (3) what we need to do to get it right in 2015, etc. Continue reading “List Mania”

Court Jest

When I left the house this morning, I knew I’d be sitting in a courtroom. Toward the end of the day, I found myself in an unenviable position … sitting in the witness chair being questioned by three attorneys and fielding additional directions from the presiding judge! (So glad none of them were wearing the white powdered wigs I’ve seen in movies like the one below … I’d have found it hard not to laugh!)courtroom scene

I have never enjoyed being the center of attention … oh, okay, maybe in my younger years but those days are long gone! I’m much more comfortable sitting on a bench behind the railing, watching the events play out as if on a television or movie screen. That’s pretty much how the morning went before lunch (9 a.m. to noon). I’m an election official in my county and the issue before us related to election procedures. The issue was straightforward and I expected to be only an onlooker, but my name on the complaint was reason enough to be present.

It’s funny, too, because I was so confident I’d be an onlooker, I had brought an electronic device so I could sit in the background and work on my poetry! It’s not as if the hearing required my full attention; I’m able to multi-task. I had the beginnings of a whimsical poem rolling through my brain already. All I needed was a bit of time … There once was a courtroom in town, Where lawyers and judges came down … too bad I didn’t have time to finish it!  Continue reading “Court Jest”

Beauty Treatment

Anointed by Newsweek as the “most beautiful film actress of all time,” Jacqueline Bisset’s career has spanned almost fifty years. With her fresh-faced appeal and elegant British manner, she enjoyed early film roles opposite Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen. Subsequent roles paired her with many of Hollywood’s leading men. Today at 70 years of age, she remains active in roles on television and in film.jacqueline-bisset-the-deep

She’s also making waves in the news, speaking up about beauty and aging. The actress suggests women today are more obsessed with being “hot” rather than being “charming, romantic or beautiful.” As the actress freely admits, “I never felt beautiful.” Bisset also asserts she has always liked men “… but I didn’t feel that my looks were what they found most attractive in me.

These comments were gratifying to read. It’s also heartening to know Bisset has chosen the path of growing older gracefully, eschewing the surgeries and Botox that have disfigured (my opinion) so many others. Continue reading “Beauty Treatment”

Down On PBS

The new season of Downton Abbey airs tonight! I’m so excited to have another peek into the lives of the ever-changing upstairs Crawley family and their downstairs professional assistants! Can’t wait! Wandering around the internet, I found a link that brought me to this web page and of course, I began looking forward to this evening to resume my weekly diversion into this family’s interactions with each other as well as their lives within the historic context … and (admittedly) the soap opera nature of their existence.

Downton-ITV2
But alas! My hopes have been dashed! Dashed, I tell you! Absolutely and positively crushed beneath the caprice of faceless, nameless television schedulers who’ve dangled this carrot before my eyes only to yank it away! Continue reading “Down On PBS”

If It Bleeds . . .

When my Beloved and I were young and naive, we enjoyed the stories that came to us from CBS News program 60 Minutes.clocknew1920

This long-running television news magazine show has aired interesting stories since 1968. I remember a friendly debate we once had with my father-in-law about the show. He suggested the producers were providing one-sided reports based on their predetermined agenda. He also noted their ability to edit out portions of interviews and use comments to favor a specific slant.

While my Beloved and I ceded he might be correct, I have to admit we were probably a bit dismissive of his point of view. (Note my first sentence in this post:  we were “young and naive.“) Continue reading “If It Bleeds . . .”

Baseball, Mom & Apple Pie

It’s in my nature to be competitive, but this month-long FIFA World Cup Soccer extravaganza is stretching me way beyond my normal capacity! Honestly, is there anyone else who is as maxed out as I am? (Come on now … don’t be afraid to raise your hand.)brazil-2014-world-cup-bannerSoccer was never a sport I played. Living in St. Louis where I grew up, our sport was baseball and the Cardinals were always our team. My brothers and I spent our summers out on a vacant field behind our house, and since this spot was an excellent gathering place for other kids in the neighborhood, we usually had a game of baseball going.

But soccer? There might have been a time in junior high school when the PE teacher mentioned soccer but little more, certainly not enough information for any of us to understand and enjoy the game. Whatever the teacher taught was obviously forgettable.

During my children’s early sports years, I think each of them played fall soccer at least one year. As a parent, I knew they needed to wear shin guards, the object was getting the ball in the net, and the children did a huge amount of running every game. (I think perhaps the running itself was enough to discourage them from future participation!)

I know there have been other World Cup Soccer tournaments over my lifetime, and I suppose I must have been living in a bubble not to have noticed them until now. Nevertheless, now that I’m aware of this quadrennial ritual, I’m amazed how many people are caught up in the events — and the number of others who feel like me (totally bored).

When my grandson and his best friend recently started talking soccer, they might as well have been conversing in a foreign language. (Grandson’s friend grew up in Indonesia where soccer obviously generates more interest and enthusiasm. At one time in his youth, Grandson played LaCrosse and has now learned more about soccer from his friend.)world-cup-usa

As the cartoon above relates, I’m absolutely befuddled by the entire event. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Instead of counting down, the time clock goes up! Sometimes, the end of the game is extended; I haven’t yet figured out why. Teams that lose don’t necessarily face elimination. The penalties, the yellow cards, the rules that govern … I’m not even close to grasping these finer points!

Like the cartoon dad above, I’m convinced baseball definitely makes more sense to me. And American football? Before I married my Beloved, I knew I’d be a football fan because he was; it was the best way to spend time with him, so I learned the game.

Perhaps if my Beloved had loved soccer, I’d know more about it today. I blame my ignorance entirely on him!