Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Does this really surprise anyone?

Poll: Jersey voters give 'Shore' thumbs down

Here's a shocker for you die-hard followers - people in Jersey don't like that "The Jersey Shore" is associated with them. Honestly, someone really felt the need to do a poll to find this out? All you need to do is mention the show and people want to throw up. My friend and I just got back from a trip to the UK. We went through a tour company and there were 40 people we didn't know on the tour. So, what's the first typical question all these newcomers ask when you introduce yourself? Where are you from? And our response every single time - the Jersey Shore, but we're not like the people on the show!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Animal Cities?

I can't get the picture to copy so I can put it here, but check out the link to the CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/08/21/sudan.animal.shaped.cities/index.html?hpt=C2

Sudan is planning on building cities in the shapes of animals to attract attention to say the least. Interesting that this is going to cost a good bit of money for a war-torn area that happens to be incredibly poor and lacking many what we would call necessities. They're hoping these cities will be privately funded. (If you own a business, would you pay to help create it? I don't think I would unless it was in the shape of my company's logo.)

But I think the most important question in all of this is as follows: when flying over these cities, will you be able to tell that they're animals? Because, let's face it, the view from 35,000 miles up can get pretty monotonous. This would really spice things up a bit!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beautiful Souls

I got a letter in the mail today (I love getting mail that isn't junk mail, or worse - bills!). While I'd love to tell you all about what it said, I can't. I know, I know - what's the point in blogging about what you're reading if you're not going to share what you're reading? Bear with me though; while I can't tell you exactly what it said, I can tell you its impact.

I think it's absolutely amazing how a sad situation can bring out the beauty in one's soul. Sure, you expect your best friends, family, or religious leader to be amazing support through some difficult time. While it brings out their beauty, it's a beauty you already knew was there and one you knew you could count on throughout the situation. This isn't the beauty I'm talking about. It's the beauty in the souls you don't expect to see it from, the way God can work His way into a situation and make it beautiful beyond words, the way a wedding or birth of a baby brings out beauty, joy, and happy tears.

So as I read my mail tonight, I cried those happy tears. The letter inside my envelope was like the gift you never thought you'd get but wanted more than anything wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning. It's the present you'd ask for every year, assuming it will never come, but not willing to give up the hope that one day it will be there waiting for you.

Sender of my letter, Merry Christmas and thank you for one of the best gifts ever!

Side note: While I hope I didn't offend anyone by talking about God in this, I can't help but see His hand at work in so many difficult things in life. There are just too many "coincidences" for me to look at it any other way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quite the Hiatus

I know you've all been dying to know what I've been reading lately, so I apologize for the 2+ week break. I'm a bit jet-lagged from the 6 "fasten your seatbelts, life jackets are under your chair, if you should need them oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling" speeches I've heard in the last 2 weeks as I've traveled a total of 8 time zones in two different trips. My internal clock isn't sure if it's lunch time or one of those eerie wee morning hours. I'll be back after I eat a sandwich, or go to bed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I'm not normally a magazine reader (not even on long cross-country flights) but my roommate enjoys Entertainment Weekly and subscribes to it. The latest issue to show up in the mailbox has Julia Roberts on the cover and an article about her newest movie, "Eat, Pray, Love." Being a huge Julia Roberts fan and one of the many who enjoyed the book, I decided to read the article. The blurb on the cover says, "Julia Roberts on the epic new movie, her own 'lost' years & the joy of pizza." I have to say, before I started reading I wondered if this pizza comment was related to the movie or carried the double meaning of the movie and Roberts' first credited movie role in "Mystic Pizza." (Turns out it was about real pizza, the yummy food that it is).

Much of the article wasn't anything to write home about (and yet, here I am writing about it), but it did make me think. I have a friend who's concerned that Roberts won't be able to fill the role quite like she imagined Elizabeth Gilbert to be on her journey. I, on the other hand, think that she could be great at it. I know most people think of "Pretty Woman"and other roles that are light-hearted when they think of Julia Roberts, but don't forget about "Erin Brockovich" and "The Pelican Brief." She can be serious when the role calls for it.

I have another friend who isn't looking forward to the movie at all. As a matter of fact, she wasn't even able to finish the book, never making it out of Italy. Wow! I'll admit, there were times when I found India and Bali to be not exactly my taste, but this wasn't one of those books I had to force my way through. I related the most to Italy and all she did there, reminiscing on my own trip there and reliving the food I ate. That being said, while it was my favorite section of the book, I expect it to be my least favorite part of the movie.

It's interesting how one person can love a book and another find nothing special about it. And it's interesting how you can enjoy a book but hate the movie (though often that's because it's been butchered and is so far from the original text that you can barely recognize it on the big screen). For me, I'm not worried about that. It's more that I've changed in the years since I've read the book and think I'll relate more to those experiences in India and Bali that were once foreign to me.

But I digress - back to the article. There was a section that mentioned criticism of the book - how could Elizabeth Gilbert write about her petty little problems when there are starving children in our country and the world and people are living in genocide? I would never want to down-play the harsh realities of this world or the incredible problems that others may have. However, those realities aren't things that I can relate to easily since I've been fortunate enough to never deal with them directly. Instead of looking at Gilbert's journey as downplaying life or simplifying/belittling women's problems, I think it's a clear snapshot into many women's (or men's) souls who go through hard times in their lives. We don't all go through the same problems, but that doesn't mean we don't feel like we're in our own personal hells at times or that we never feel lost and desperately searching for ourselves while feeling as though we're drowning. To me, the book is a testimony to getting back up once you've been knocked down, and knowing that you're better because of what you've been through, even if the journey was long. And hopefully, the movie will be just that too.