23 March 2011

myTunes: Soldier by Hanson

First, I would like to make an announcement:  If you're already laughing at can just click your little back button and back off.  Hanson is awesome.  They always have been.  And until they get abducted by aliens and are altered in such a way that they are no longer themselves in any way, shape, or form...they will always continue to be awesome.

If you weren't already aware of their'll get no judgement from me.  I am not here to judge you but to educate you.  Ignorance isn't always the fault of the individual.  (But if you have read this far already, you no longer have any excuse for any further naivete on your part, at least when it comes to the subject of Hanson and their awesomeness.)

I will even grant you may have heard Hanson before (who hasn't?  Except for those people that have been living under rocks that are being exploited by the new Geiko commercial) and thought that you didn't like them.  A poor life choice?  I'm gonna go with "probably yes."  But we all make those every once in a while.  I, myself, had salt and vinegar potato chips and Sour Patch Kids for breakfast.  Yes...I do have a fault or two...but I try to keep them under wraps for the most part so as not to alarm the lot of you.  (It should be noted that I was too weak to cook anything and those two regrettable items were out on the coffee table.  So at least I have an excuse for eating them...buying them?  No.)

Anyway, here's your chance to understand the truth: Hanson is great.  I would go into all of the reasons...but I honestly haven't the time to do so right now.  So if you're going to sit around and be a pouting doubting Thomas, then you can just go listen to the JoBros and live in the darkness of musical unawareness.

So here's the deal, when I was home at my parents' house for part of Spring Break, I grabbed some of my old CDs to put them back into my iTunes library (after having lost my music).  When doing a Google Image search for the album art for 3 Car Garage, the album cover did not show up until the sixth page of results.  This is a sad day.  It's kind of a rare record, I know.  But still.  It was the first CD I ever bought myself (my first CD ever was Abbey Road).  It's a great CD.  The world needs to know about it.

Soldier has always been one of my favorite songs from 3 Car Garage and from all of Hanson's songs in general.  The brothers wrote and composed the song (as they did with all of the songs on 3 Car Garage) and it is just sublime.  3 Car Garage was made from 1995-1996, starting two years before their first major label album release, Middle of Nowhere.  The video that I have for you is not the original recording of the song but a revisitation of the song from a recording of their Albertane Tour, so it's naturally in a different key because they had aged.

There you have it.  Awesome.  Now, back to being productive (and not eating chips and candy).

Stay Classy,

16 March 2011

Flicks I've Picked: Simon Birch

Last night I had the unbelievable privilege of watching an absolute gem of a movie: Mark Steven Johnson's Simon Birch.  Honestly, I do not know how I have not seen this movie until now.  It is unbelievable.  It's going on my wishlist right now.  Be right back.  Alright I'm back.  It's officially on the list.  Now, back to business.

Simon Birch is the inspiring and miraculous story of a small boy guessed it...Simon Birch.  (I haven't read anything about this...but my keen skills of deduction are leading me to believe that the boy's name was most likely the inspiration for the name of the movie.  I skills are just...daunting for you all, right?)

Anyway, Simon, though smaller than the 3rd grade turtledove from the Christmas pageant, is actually not  a boy at all, but an inquisitive and eloquent twelve-year-old.  Now...I haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I'm "pretty sure" that the story isn' should I say this...possible.

I'm not knocking Benjamin Button, in fact, I'm going to go put in a request for it on the library website right now.  Be right back.  Okay, no that didn't work...but I will watch it someday.  Here's the point that I'm trying to make, despite the fact that I cannot back it up with fact or experience.

Where Benjamin Button is fantastical, Simon Birch is fantastic.

Both Simon Birch (the fictional character) and  Ian Michael Smith (the actor playing said fictional character) have Morquio Syndrome.  According to Wikipedia, the following are all symptoms of this condition:

  • Abnormal heart development
  • Abnormal skeletal development
  • Hyper mobile joints
  • Large fingers
  • Knock-knees
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Bell shaped chest (ribs flared)
  • Compression of spinal cord
  • Enlarged heart
  • Dwarfism
Patients with Morquio's syndrome appear healthy at birth. They often present with spinal deformity, there is growth retardation or genu valgus in the second or third year of life.
  • Short stature (flat vertebrae cause a short trunk), short neck
  • Moderate kyphosis or scoliosis
  • Mild pectus carinatum (pigeon chest)
  • Cervical spine: odontoid hypoplasia, atlanto-axial instability; may be associated with myelopathy with gradual loss of walking ability
  • Joint laxity, mild dysostosis multiplex, dysplastic hips, large unstable knees, large elbows and wrists, and flat feet
  • The combined abnormalities usually result in a duck-waddling gait
  • Mid-face hypoplasia and mandibular protrusion
  • Thin teeth enamel
  • Corneal clouding
  • Mild hepatosplenomegaly

Even with his condition, Simon Birch believes almost unwaveringly that God has a specific purpose for him in this life.  The world's chiding does nothing but fuel Simon's belief that God will act through him specifically...that he is an instrument of the Lord.  While many might think of him having a purpose or a mission in spite of his challenges, Simon's message to the world is that he has these challenges for this purpose and this mission.  The film, based on John Irving's novel entitled A Prayer for Owen Meany, follows both Simon's search for his divine purpose and his best friend Joe's (Joseph Mazello) search for his biologic father.

It's quite possibly impossible for me to tell you all whether I laughed more than I cried or if it was the other way around.  I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this movie...nothing at all.  Would I recommend that you watch this movie?  No.  I would demand that you watch this movie.  It is 114 minutes of tears and laughter, doubt and faith, intolerance and acceptance,  and hypocrisy and devotion.  It is a brilliantly told story that needs to be heard by all.

Bottom line?  Just watch it.

Stay classy, everyone.  I'll leave you with a few words from Simon:  "Faith is not in a floor plan."


09 March 2011

Genevieve - a Photo Timeline

This will be short as I am getting ready to perform Troilus and Cressida this afternoon.  I'm so excited.  Anyway, here's the deal, I always get these e-mails from the humane society, checking up on if I'm taking care of my dog (not in a bad way [I think it's great...if you're going to get a dog, you sure as you know where better take care of it] but by giving me coupons to take care of her for, beds, flea stuff...etc..

It's funny because, before I adopted Genevieve, her name was not as awesome.  Each e-mail refers to her using her name from the shelter.  Today's e-mail was titled thusly:

"Keep Grape protected from Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworm"

Yes...her name was Grape.  She and all of her siblings had seemingly fallen victim to being given names found in a fruit basket or the produce aisle.  Things have changed, and I don't think she remembers those days too often anymore.  (While I do joke about the name thing, I must say that the shelter is awesome and does wonderful work.)

Anyway, here's the point.  In said e-mails, they always include a picture of "Grape" from her brief time as a shelter resident.  I just had to share. she was when I met her.

The Dog formerly known as Grape (i.e. Genevieve).
I think this was the day Genevieve came home with me.

Genevieve with her pal Nelson.
Genevieve (I know...shocker) on the patio.

Somebody was eyeing my dinner....
Yeah...we're awesome.

Genevieve awkwardly sitting in front of the vacuum.

Genevieve, proudly being the focal point of
the first photo taken on my iPhone.

Okay that's all for now.  This was way more time consuming than I thought it would be...and I couldn't find some of the pictures I wanted.  My mom has them, so I'll hopefully put them on sometime soon.

Stay Classy (and come see Troilus and Cressida if you're at Butler!  LH 328, 3:50 pm.  TODAY!