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Showing posts from April, 2013

Movie Review: "The Hunger Games" (2012)

Yes, I realize that it took me a while to read the book and now to finally see the movie.  I have... "issues" with movies based on books because some directors take a bit too much creative license.  For example, the Lord of the Rings trilogy changes so many plot elements that I sometimes felt as though I was watching an entirely different story by the third movie. But I must admit, "The Hunger Games" surprised me.  While the movie doesn't have all of the knowledge you get in the book by hearing Katniss' thoughts, all of the basic and important scenes, characters, and dialogue made the transition from book to the screen smoothly, leaving me feeling as though the book-verse and movie-verse were in harmony for this particular story. If you've read other reviews, you know that the acting, special effects, costumes, music, ... are excellent.  But I want to stress that for the length of the movie, I didn't see Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson o

Monday Rant: Selfish Mothers

Clipart by Picsburg - I had a post ready for today that discussing the evolution of answering telephones, but then I heard about this post on Huffington Post, where a mother takes about her 5-year-old's diary.  The title of this post, "What I Found in My 5-Year-Old's Diary" , caught my attention because I truly could not imagine what a 5-year-old would write that warranted this level of attention. Turns out, it's not what the child wrote, it's what the author, and biological maternal parent, did that warrants all kinds of attention. This female person - because I refuse to call that woman "mother" - listened to her daughter ask for privacy around her diary.  This little girl kept her diary key on a special ring, and even bought a special pen to write with.  No blurring of intentions or mixed up signals - the girl wanted a private space to write down her secrets, her thoughts, and whatever else came to mind.

Freaky Friday News: April 19, 2013

After a week of bombings, media stupidity, political propagandizing, and  an enormous explosion, I decided that I needed to look at the funnier side of life.  Or at least less grime.  So, here's Freaky Friday News!! Do You Believe in Bigfoot??? Or do you have "irrefutable" proof?  Is so, then Olympia Beer wants to hear from you. In a new marketing campaign, Olympia Beer set up a contest with a grand prize of $1 million (given in 40 year installments of $25,000) to whomever can produce irrefutable proof of the Northwest's favorite furry monster. (Sorry, Elmo.) This makes me wonder if there's something in the water.  First, the Gates Foundation announces a contest to design a new condom.  Now a beer company from Wisconsin wants people to find Bigfoot.  What's next?  An oil company willing to pay for a televised interview with Mother Nature? Montana Approves of Gay Sex!!! Okay, maybe "approves" is too strong a term.  But

Poem: Rebirth

April is National Poetry Month.  Here's my contribution. ************************************************* Tattered clothes blow in the breeze Created by passing missiles Fumes follow, poisonous and slow, Seeping into the air like a hungry cobra The clothes surround an old man Body gaunt, heavily scarred Close to skeletal Eyes covered in white film Hands gnarled from holding Too many bows Too many spears Too many swords Too many guns Faltering, almost feeble the man stumbles around Almost blind, Almost deaf until the missiles hit Echoing off the abandoned buildings The boom shatters windows hurts eardrums on everyone Except the man He stands up straighter, his stumble becomes a walk Now, gunfire sounds in the distance, screams as women and children run to escape The white covering his irises falls away revealing pale blue eyes of a predator The violence closes in on him, stray bullets playing hide and seek among

Wordless Wednesday: Lookout

The New Great Distraction: North Korea

Both of my kids discuss what happens at school with me, and lately that discussion includes fears about North Korea.  It turns out that kids at school are worried about North Korea bombing us, here in metro Atlanta.  Mind you, it's 11,352.31 km (7,054 miles) between Atlanta and Pyongyang, and the North Korean military doesn't own any missiles capable of traveling that distance.  But why let logic calm your fear? I know why the kids worry about North Korea; their parents worry about North Korea and talk about it either with the kids or in front of the kids.  So the question becomes, why are the parents worried about North Korea?  Seriously, the U.S. is one of the only super-powers in the world, and North Korea isn't even in the running.  Yes, they have a strong military, but the country isn't large enough to be a threat.  So why are we focusing on North Korea as if it's the next U.S.S.R.? Because if we focus and obsess over North Korea, we won't be discussin

"Jeremy Spoke In Class Today"

My senior year of high school, a gifted student at another local high school brought a handgun to school and shot himself after English class because he wasn't making an "A".  He died. As part of a gifted class, the teacher asked us if we understood what happened.  She wanted to know why a bright young man would choose death over a failing grade, though to be clear here, I don't know if he was failing or simply getting a "C".  And our answer to the teacher? At times, anything less than an "A" felt like failing since we were the "gifted" students, the brightest and (theoretically) the best; we had to get perfect grades.  The pressure to perform perfectly infected every advanced or gifted class in every grade of high school.  Simply passing was never good enough; even getting a "B" was shameful. "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam, a song about a kid who kills himself at school In just over a week, both of my kids will

Book Review: "Midnight Blue-Light Special" by Seanan McGuire

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire My rating: 5 of 5 stars "Midnight Blue-Light Special" dishes out a new helping of Verity Price and the Cryptid society of Manhattan. While I enjoyed the first book in this series, the second book knocked my socks off. Gone are the discussion about weapons and tango; instead Verity tries to save her people in Manhattan (and by "people" I mean the Gingerbread men and dragons, gorgons, and other cryptids) from the evil Covenant of St. George. Three questions haunt Verity for most of the book: 1. What is her relationship with Dominic? 2. What will she choose - dancing or protecting cryptids? 3. How will she save the cryptids? During the majority of the book, Verity waffles over whether or not she can trust Dominic, and what she's going to do with Dominic regardless of his choice. Dominic himself appears sporadically in the story, telling Verity what he can and leaving her clues to things he cannot in go

North Korea: It Takes 2 To Tango

One person can dance alone, but it takes two to tango.  And tango we are, with North Korea vying for control of the dance with the U.S.. Whether you watch the news, read the local newspaper, or scan news article online, I'm certain you've read about the escalating situation between North Korea and the United States.  But I ask you to read between the lines when you look at this conflict.  U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that North Korea's rhetoric is "probably all bluster", and that attacking the U.S. would signal the end of North Korea. [From Reuters ] If the U.S. is so much stronger than North Korea, then why keep antagonizing the Asian country?  Why escalate the situation unless the U.S. wants another war? The U.S. didn't have to hold military exercises in South Korea last month, using stealth bombers.  The U.S. doesn't have to move missiles to Guam.  And the U.S. can just shut up and stop making statements about North Korea.  In fact, th