29 January 2007
22 January 2007
18 January 2007
I admit that when it comes to people -- especially people in politics -- I am a skeptic, if not a full-blown cynic. I have been burned before by those who showed promise but failed to follow through. I was the ten year-old who begged her parents to let her stay up to hear the 1988 presidential election results and danced in her pajamas in the kitchen when it was announced that George H.W. Bush had won. I don’t remember following the election closely, but I do remember hearing about it from my parents, so I think I was glad that “our” team had won. I did vote for George W. Bush in 2000, a decision that haunts me to this day. So my relationship with people in politics usually involves my being disappointed or becoming disillusioned. Perhaps this is because I expect too much, or see politics as a dirty business in which power more often than not corrupts those who have been given it. Either way, I don’t like to get my hopes up around election times.
Which brings me to Barack Obama. I was very impressed with his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and further articles I read about him did little change my initial impression. I haven’t followed his career in the Senate vote-by-vote, but I have kept track of him and his ideas and views. I liked what I heard. Finally, after seeing him on several shows promoting his book The Audacity of Hope, and with the persistent possibility of his candidacy for president, I decided to pick it up and read it. I wanted to see what he had to say for his time in the Senate and for his hopes for the
What I like most is his ability to engender hope and possibility. Far too often, from either side of the
11 January 2007
Sure, there are some downsides, like the fact that the Beckhams will now be a prime target for the U.S. paparazzi and tabloids, which means I will be sick of the sight of them in six months to a year. It also means that Beckham is getting older and his career is waning. He is still an excellent player, but I think most people would agree the best is probably behind him. It was a brilliant strategic move, career-wise, as he becomes the hero of a new, growing league rather than making way for new, younger up-and-comers in Europe. But even with all that cynical analysis, I'm still giddy. David Beckham is playing in the U.S.!
10 January 2007
Everyone involved does excellent work. I never really cared one way or another about Beyonce, but she does an excellent job, which you don't really recognize until her solo near the end of the movie. However, the most amazing performances come from Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy.
I remember being impressed by Jennifer Hudson's voice when she was on American Idol a few years ago, but she so totally embodies her character and is such a vocal powerhouse that I felt like giving her a standing ovation at least twice during the film. And I don't give standing ovations freely.
Eddie Murphy is known for comedy so humorous moments in the film were expected. However, it is his portrayal of a man fighting against being a has-been, a man who is flawed and self-destructive but still hoping for a better future that surprised me. And I think the depths of his expressiveness will surprise you too.
So, if you enjoy great music and good storytelling, I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. Oh, and fans of The Office, keep an eye out for a cameo by John Krasinski!
08 January 2007
-- Still haven't finished Jesus the Christ, although I did start. I checked it out from the library and renewed it as many times as they allowed but still didn't get past page 200. So here's to starting again!
-- I'm halfway to my weight-loss goal and now that I don't have to be in an office for 8 hours a day, I should really go the rest of the way. On the plus side, I did walk to the Gateway to do some shopping and spent 1/2 an hour on the treadmill today. Working out is a lot easier when you are watching Ellen. Plus, no one is in the gym at 4 in the afternoon.
-- The whole unemployment thing really put a halt to the whole Get Out of (Car) Debt thing, but at least I can still make the car payments.
-- Ditto on the financial savvy. Although I did manage to transfer the 401k to an IRA, so three cheers to me. And to Rusty the financial advisor at Washington Mutual.
-- I decided my bliss is to be a published author and I now have 7 pages and 3/4 of an outline for a novel. Plus, I picked up the 2007 edition of the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market today at Barnes & Noble. It is a handbook on how to get published and has lists of literary agents and publishers etc. Can't wait to dive in!
-- I actually made a couple new friends this year which is great and takes a lot of doing. I have also attended a few select church activities, which is really out of my comfort zone.
-- I have been learning some basic computer stuff, like the rudiments of HTML and Quickbooks, which has been interesting. Still haven't found the funds for community classes or the dedication to regularly attend Institute, but it will happen.
-- Still a horrific journal keeper, but I did write on the blog fairly regularly, also the previously mentioned embryonic novel.
-- I did go through my closet a couple of times this year, mostly to weed out things that just didn't fit anymore (yay!) but I still own 5 black skirts so I'm sure I could improve. I am facing a move in about 5 weeks, so maybe I'll work a little harder at this.
-- The unemployment issue, plus some other personal crises, did nothing to improve the Worst-Case Scenario habit, nor lower the stress levels, but I have, little by little, learned what is important and what is not and some things I have just stopped obsessing about. Maybe that is the whole point.
As I look back, not bad. A little progress in most areas is something to be proud about, right? So here's to 2007. May it be a better year than 2006.