Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Flicks: Barton Fink

One of the best of the Coen Brothers creations, Barton Fink (1991) is about a nerdy, pseudo intellectual NYC playwright who gets writer's block when he takes on a job in Hollywood to write a script for a wrestling picture. Hilarity ensues.

Turturro is amazing in this movie.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Folsom Prison Blues

Here's a shout out to the amazing Johnny Cash! I grew up listening to his music because my mom sang his songs to us when we were knee-hi to a June bug. As an adult, I admired his songwriting talent and his unique voice. A country rocker from the get go.

Gotta mention that Joaquin Phoenix did a terrific job playing the Man in Black in Walk the Line (2005). Amazingly he sang the songs himself!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Flag Rant

Here's the situation. You're at a parade and the American flag passes by. Everyone next to you stands in respect except one person. How would you respond?

Do you confront that person? Or do you just let it go?

I say, let it go. To each his own. It's none of my business if someone doesn't want to stand for the flag. Maybe they're Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe they're consciencious objectors. Maybe they have arthiritis in their knees. Maybe they just don't feel like it.

But what business is it of yours? It's a free country.  People don't have to salute the flag if they don't want to.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Sermon: Love

This is how God showed love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I John 4:9-11

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Flicks: The Cowboys

I was 15 when I saw The Cowboys (1972) at the theatre and I loved it. In fact, I even bought a cowboy hat! As a teen girl, I wasn't really the target audience (or maybe I was...all those cute boys!) Nevertheless, I fell in love with Robert Carradine and became a fan (The Big Red One, Revenge of the Nerds).

Since then I've seen The Cowboys many times. The cinematography is stunning and John Williams score is amazing. Shout out to Roscoe Lee Browne as the chuck wagon cook.

The story in a nutshell: A Montana cattle rancher (John Wayne) needs to take his herd on a 400 mile cattle drive and hires young boys as cowhands because all the men in the area have gold fever. An ex-con (Bruce Dern) and his cohorts steal the herd. SPOILER ALERT! Dern kills John Wayne and leaves the boys stranded. The boys decided to take matters into their own hands and get the herd back.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: My Sharona

Flashback to the 80s. Woooo....

Ever hear the Weird Al version? My Bologna.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Sermon: Joy

You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.

Isaiah 55:12-13

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Flick: Race with the Devil

This movie scared my socks off! Vacationers inadvertently witness a Satanic cult ritual and are then chased by the devil worshippers. One of the vacationers is Peter Fonda who kicks up some dust with his motorcycle (ever since Easy Rider, Peter Fonda always has to ride a motorcycle in his movies). If it was just him against the Devil, he might stand a chance. But he's not alone. He's traveling with his wife (Lara Parker) and friends (Warren Oates and Loretta Swit) in a big fat RV with "nowhere to hide."

Race with the Devil (1975) is definitely over the top, but the end is still horrifying!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Tune: Sixteen Tons

My mom introduced me to the songs of Tennessee Ernie Ford. This was her favorite. She used to sing it while she did housework.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Sermon: Grace

But now a righteousness from God apart from the law has been made known to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.

Romans 3:21-25

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Flicks: Coma

Back in the 1970s, one of the biggest political issues was the Women's Liberation Movement. TV shows picked up on it with sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, Maude and One Day at a Time. Hollywood even dabbled in featuring plots with strong female characters. Surprise, surprise.

Coma (1978), based on a novel by Robin Cook, was written and directed by Michael Crichton. It's one of my favorite "women's lib" movies. Genevieve Bujold plays Dr. Susan Wheeler, a resident at a University hospital in Boston who uncovers a plot involving comatose patients. Can't say more. Don't want to give away the surprise ending.

Michael Douglas plays her boyfriend, also a Dr. at the hospital. One of his best films, imo. And guess who has a small but important part? Tom Selleck! Very cool. This was just before he had his own TV show, Magnum P.I.

You can't help but notice the women's lib references:

SUSAN: Get your own dinner!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Getting to Know You

Frumpy Denim Jumper

I found these questions in a celebrity interview in Marie Claire magazine. Thought I'd ask them here. These are my answers, but what about you?

What's your best feature?
My hair.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I do Renee Zellweger impressions.

Who is your real life hero?

Regrettable fashion moment?
Frumpy denim jumpers from the late 80s.

Biggest vice?
Sex and the City

Now for the desert island scenario. You're stranded on a desert island and you get to choose one item from each category.

Signs (Why? Spiritual message, cute kids, hunky guy)

TV Show?
Seinfeld (Gotta laugh)

One of These Days by FFH (Hopeful music)

Bible (Getting closer to God)

Board Game?
Trivial Pursuit (extra reading material; kill two birds with one stone)

Cheetos (Duh!)

Coffee (in fact, how about an entire coffee bar for lattes and frapps)

White board with markers (I love to write and draw)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wedding Cake Smash

I read this in Dear Abby a couple of weeks ago and it really made an impression on me. I'm reminded of it every time I hear about a wedding.  I totally agree with the writer.

Dear Abby: I’m writing you about a disgusting, rude, and, in my opinion, obscene habit – the bride and groom shoving wedding cake in each other’s faces. The couple are all dressed up in their beautiful finery. They have a wonderful ceremony and a perfect reception table. How rude and insensitive to the person he or she has just promised before God to love, honor and cherish – not to mention disrespectful. What do you think of this “custom,” and do you agree with me? –Faithful Little Rock Reader

Dear Faithful: I do agree with you. The cake in the face custom should have been retired at least 50 years ago. The significance of the “ritual” is extremely demeaning to women. According to the book “Curious Customs” by Tad Tuleja (Stonesong Press, 1987):

“The cake-cutting at modern weddings is a four-step comedic ritual that sustains masculine prerogatives in the very act of supposedly subverting them. …in the first step of the comedy, the groom helps direct the bride’s hand – a symbolic demonstration of male control that was unnecessary in the days of more tractable women.

She accepts this gesture and, as a further proof of submissiveness, performs the second step of the ritual, offering him the first bite of cake, the gustatory equivalent of her body, which he will have the right to ‘partake of’ later. In the third step, the master-servant relationship is temporarily upset, as the bride mischievously pushes the cake into her new husband’s face. …Significantly, this act of revolt is performed in a childish fashion, and the groom is able to endure it without losing face because it ironically demonstrates his superiority: His bride is an imp needing supervision. That the bride herself accepts this view of this is demonstrated in the ritual’s final step, in which she wipes the goo apologetically from his face.

This brings the play back to the beginning, as she is once again obedient to his wiser judgment. Thus, the entire tableau may be seen as a dramatization of the tensions in favor of the dominance of the male."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Your Song

I was in high school when I bought my first Elton John album. It was his Greatest Hits album featuring many of my favorite songs: Your Song, Daniel, Rocket Man, Bennie & the Jets, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The following year I bought his new album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy with his beautiful song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." These tunes bring back memories of my high school days. Some happy, some sad.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Friday Flicks: You've Got Mail

This is one of those movies I never get tired of watching. I love the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Which reminds me, check out  Joe vs the Volcano (1990) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

You've Got Mail (1998) was written and directed by Nora Ephron (Yay, girl power!) The film is a modern remake of The Shop Around the Corner (1940) which was also made into a musical In the Good Old Summertime (1949). Sweet and funny, it's the perfect romantic comedy.

America: Mother of Exiles

In honor of Independence Day, I present Emma Lazarus' beautiful poem "The New Colossus," etched on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Sermon: Attitude of Christ

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross.

Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Flicks: Double Indemnity

The first time I'd heard of Double Indemnity (1944) was when Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman did a parody skit of the movie on The Carol Burnett Show. Hilarious! Years later when I finally got around to seeing the movie, I was in for a treat.

This is one of the best movies of all time. I was already familiar with Fred MacMurray from My Three Sons, so seeing him as an insurance salesman bent on murder was quite a surprise. Barbara Stanwyck was mysterious and gorgeous...a tough lady seducing Fred with her sexy anklet. And as for Edward G. Robinson...HOLY COW! He was fantastic. His best role EVER!

A while back I wrote a parody of this movie as a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem. I called it "Twas the Night Before Murder."