I probably won't be back on Blogger until the first week of January so I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Friday, December 20, 2013
I probably won't be back on Blogger until the first week of January so I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Monday, December 16, 2013
With Christmas only 9 days away, I felt it was fitting to share my five favorite Christmas movies of all-time!
#5 The Grinch (Jim Carey version)
There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’classic tale of the miserly and frugal Ebenezer Scrooge and the 3 overnight visitors (Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future) that brought the Christmas spirit back to his hardened heart. I could watch this movie over and over again. Who can forget the climactic scene where Mr. Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning realizing that it's truly never too late to begin anew?
What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Monday, December 9, 2013
"Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood” ~Andy Goldsworthy
Monday, December 2, 2013
But then, the memory came to me so very vividly...
When I was a baby boy, no older than 2 or 3 years old, my mother used to rock me to sleep while singing a song in which the chorus was “Why does my heart go on beating? Why do these eyes of mine cry? Don’t they know it's the end of the world? It ended when you said goodbye…”
I vividly remembered this verse but not the rest of the song. So when I got home that afternoon I googled the lyrics. It was a song from Skeeter Davis that was recorded in the 1960s called ‘The End of the World’. I listened to it and was filled with emotion, for it was the first time I had heard it since I was 3 years old. It brought me back to those moments when my mother was rocking me to sleep.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I think the quote above, to me, really illustrates what is at the heart of thankfulness. We are not thankful because we are happy – we are happy because we are thankful. In essence, thankfulness leads to happiness. When we can appreciate the good things in our lives, it leads to a sense of well-being.
Does this mean that everything in our life is peachy-keen? Of course not. As great as it would be, life doesn't work that way. But what we CAN do is spend a little more time being thankful for the good things in our lives.
No matter our struggles, there is always someone out there in the world who is struggling harder. Sometimes we should simply be thankful for the everyday things that we may take for granted: sanitation, running water, and a roof over our head.
It’s all about perspective. So as the day of thanks approaches, let us all find something, or someone, to be thankful for.
What does “being thankful” mean to you?
Monday, November 18, 2013
“No matter what historians claimed, BC really stood for "Before Coffee.” ~Cherise Sinclair
A little while back, I was in my local Starbuck’s when something funny occurred. The Starbuck's cashier wrote my first name on the cup without having to ask what my name was. It’s a very busy Starbuck’s so either A) I’m just that memorable or B) I am in there WAY too often. As much as I’d like to think it’s the former, I am quite certain it’s the latter haha.
I think I am turning into something that a few years ago I vowed to never be…a coffee junkie. I even speak fluent “Starbucksian” now!!
The Kuerig that I have in my office helps matters since I don't have to go to Starbuck's every time I need a coffee fix. Or it may actually hurt matters now that I can have coffee on whim any time I want. After about three cups of the stuff, I'm fairly confident I develop the ability to fly.
Monday, November 11, 2013
I held out as long as I possibly could, but my Christmas tree and decorations (above) finally went up last Sunday.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
This quote perfectly represents my feelings toward the holiday season. I am a lover of all things Christmas. I usually start listening to Christmas music sometime in early August (much to the chagrin of my co-workers and friends). As odd as it sounds, I get more excited about Christmas the older I get. I have a child-like love for the season and I hope I never lose that.
When do you start getting in the Christmas spirit? When does your tree usually go up??
Monday, November 4, 2013
“Without music, life would be a mistake” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
I often sit back and think about how a song takes each listener to a unique place. No two people “hear” a song the same. There’s just something so beautiful about that thought. The same song can cause a flood of happy memories for one person and a flood of sad ones for another. I don't know of any other art form that can do that.
Music touches us each in such different, yet significant, ways. It has a way of helping us find ourselves when we get lost. It has a way of reaching deep into a part of our soul and affecting the very core of our being. Music transports us. Is there anything that can take us back in time the way that music can?
For me, whenever I hear a song, I immediately associate it with the time period in which it came out. It reminds me of where I was in life, what I was doing in life, and who was in my life during that time period. It instantly brings back a flood of memories.
Monday, October 28, 2013
This picture really speaks to me. It’s amazing how thought-provoking a simple question can be. Borders are a man-made construct and concept. We speak of being one people yet we insist on separating ourselves. And for what purpose? I realize it’s a macro-level question but why do we live in a bordered world. Borders imply separation.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Two words: “They’re Heeeeeere…”
The Amityville Horror
When I first saw this as a little boy, I couldn't sleep for a week!
This is, without a doubt, the scariest contemporary movie in my humble opinion.
What’s your favorite scary movie(s)?
Monday, October 14, 2013
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~Rabindranath Tagore
Anyone who is a Facebook friend of mine or follows me on Instagram knows about my love affair with clouds. Few things in nature fascinate me the way that clouds do. They are Mother Nature’s very own Rorschach test. If you and a friend are looking at a cloud formation, chances are you’ll both see something completely different. In this respect, clouds are the most subjective thing in nature.
Do you take the time to appreciate the beauty in the clouds?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
What do you think our dreams are? Where do you think they come from?
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” ~ Anatole France
While visiting my parent’s house a couple of weekends ago, we were reminiscing about my first pet. He was a Border Collie named Boxie. He lived to be 13 years old. He was such a lovable dog and I have so many fond memories of him. He made me realize how powerful the love of an animal can be. They really do become family don’t they?
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus
The leaves will soon be making their transition from green to the dazzling yellows, oranges and reds, and the chill in the air during some of the most recent mornings makes it clear that autumn is finally on its way.
I mean really, what’s not to like about Autumn? Here is but a short list:
Halloween! The number of people who consider Halloween their favorite holiday seems to be growing rapidly. Perhaps it’s because it brings out a childlike enthusiasm in us, or perhaps it’s simply that we love the scary movie marathons and haunted houses. Whatever the case, Halloween rocks!
Falling leaves. I love raking leaves in the fall. Sure it’s a chore, but there’s something fun about it. The sound of the leaves crunching as you walk through your yard is an oddly soothing sound. And as a kid, there was nothing like jumping into that mound of recently-raked leaves! It’s been years since I have partaken in that ritual, but it is one of my fondest memories.
Fresh air. Autumn’s cooler breezes arrive like a breath of fresh air, quite literally. There’s just something indescribable about the cleanliness of the autumn air. It brings with it the scent of rain, damp grass, and harvested fruits.
Football!! It has surpassed baseball as American’s pastime. College football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays...Yes please. P.S. Go Bengals.
Pumpkins. Whether you’re carving them for Halloween, or eating them in pie form for Thanksgiving, pumpkins are a stable of fall.
Autumn festivals. I love going to the small-town autumn festivals that take place in late September/early October. Live bands, funnel cakes, corn dogs, balloon lightings. It’s a wonderful time.
FALL BACK (You get an extra hour of sleep - need I say more?)
Thanksgiving. Family, food, and football…what more could you ask for?
Colors. The boundless green of summer transitions into a sizzling display of, scarlets, golds, and yellows! It doesn’t last long, but for those three weeks the forests come alive with a display of colors unlike anything on the planet.
Each season has its own list of things to love, but autumn is by far my favorite.
What is your favorite thing about autumn?
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since that fateful day. Since I hadn’t turned my TV on that morning while getting dressed, I walked out my door not having any idea what was transpiring. I’ll never forget turning on my car radio a few minutes later while driving to my job at Sonny’s BBQ Pit in Richmond, KY. It was surreal. I heard things like “Nationwide air travel has been suspended” and “There may be more planes in the air that have been hijacked”.
Where were you when the towers were hit?
Thursday, September 5, 2013
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop
If each of us did one small, random act of kindness for a complete stranger, the ripple effect would be immense and life-altering. Whether it’s paying for the car behind you in the drive-thru, helping someone put groceries in their car, or even just opening doors or holding the elevator for people, these small acts make a huge difference.
Think of this for a second: You pay for the lady in the car behind you in the drive thru. She is so touched that she pays for the family behind her. That family is so touched that they pay for the gentleman behind them at the toll booth the following week. That gentleman is so touched that, an hour later, he anonymously decides to pick up the tab for a young couple at the restaurant where he’s having lunch.
Have you ever been touched by a random act of kindness? Do you ever perform these acts of kindness?
Thursday, August 29, 2013
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I have often pondered this question: If I could meet any historical figure, who would I choose? My answer has varied a lot throughout the course of my life. I must say though, that in recent years, my answer has been the same: Mahatma Gandhi.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
So as the days begin to grow a bit shorter and as the temperatures slowly start to creep down a degree or two per week, let us reflect back on summer for a bit.
What’s been the most memorable part of summer 2013 for YOU personally? What’s your greatest memory of this summer?
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
It was the best (and hardest) thing I’ve ever done. Seeing my mamaw pass away due to lung cancer was the catalyst. I wasn't successful on the first attempt (or the second, third, fourth, or fifth for that matter), but ultimately I quit and never looked back.
What’s the hardest habit you’ve ever broken? Is there one you’re working on breaking now?
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet.
Love at first sight. We’ve seen it in many a movie and read about it in many a Shakespearean story. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept and, as naïve as it sounds, I’ve always believed in it.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
While vacationing on the Gulf Coast last week I had the scariest moment of my life. I was caught in a rip current and dragged very far from shore. I didn’t even realize it until it had already pulled me out pretty far. It’s amazing how fast it can happen. I was able to get the attention of Lisa, who was on the beach. She ran to a beach-goer and had him call 911. She then risked her life by swimming all the way out to me and pulled me in (luckily she was on the swim team in high school). I still can’t believe she did that…but I’m damn thankful that she did.
As we got closer to shore, a total random stranger came out and pulled both of us the rest of the way in. Lisa said that when she felt her toes touch the ocean floor again (meaning we'd made it most of the way back in) that she felt more relieved than she'd ever felt in her life.
There were also strangers on the beach greeting us as we came back in, offering water, etc. The first responders had shown up by that time as well and were verifying that we were ok. We were so thankful to be alive and we were hugging random people lol.
The stranger who swam out to help us the rest of the way in had disappeared pretty quickly before we really had much of a chance to thank her. We were pretty numb and still in a bit of shock. We did get to hug her before she left though. I'll always wonder who she was and I hope she knows we're eternally thankful. Just as I am eternally thankful to Lisa for risking her life for me.
This was my first truly close call with death...where I actually thought to myself "I might die here and now". Definitely an eye-opening experience. Have you ever had a close call?
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
"When I walk down the beach and smell the salt water, hear the waves crashing against the shoreline, and feel the granular sand under my feet, I can't help but realize why I'm here on this earth." ~ Wendy Joubert
But you know what really stands out? Even more so than the sunset? The moonlight. It’s amazing. In fact, my most enjoyable experience while at the beach is to sit by the ocean at night as the moon illuminates the ocean’s surface. I cannot even begin to describe it…words simply do not do it justice.
Beach stargazing is also amazing. The millions and billions of stars light up the sky in such a way that you simply cannot help but be completely transfixed. It's a great time for introspection and pondering life...I cherish moments like that.
In those moments the sounds of the ocean drown out the rest of the world. Sounds that speak to the soul. It's so easy to get lost in the beauty of it all. It's as if time does not move hour to hour anymore...it stands still. The most accurate way to describe it is that time moves from moment to moment instead. Moments that remain imprinted in our mind until the end of time. In a couple of days I'll be able to be lost in those sounds again.
Do you get to visit the beach very often? What do you love the most about the beach and ocean?
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
"If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer." ~ Alfred North Whitehead
Cats and dogs. I love them both for entirely different reasons. Dogs are unconditionally loving and affectionate. They always enthusiastically greet you when you arrive home. Cats on the other hand will sometimes stay on their cushion, look at you, and say to themselves “you again?”
Dogs are social beings whereas cats are primarily solitary. Cats are very independent & unpredictable but incredibly entertaining. Cats do like attention, but only on their terms. Dogs, on the other hand, cannot get enough of your love and affection.
All in all, they are both fascinating and wonderful creatures and they make equally great pets, albeit in different ways.
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Saturday, June 29, 2013
"Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else" ~unknown
Two close friends of mine have experienced heartbreak recently. It's one of the toughest things that any of us could ever go through. Heartbreak leaves us with such a wide variety of emotions...and those emotions fluctuate so rapidly! One day you think you're fine and that you have finally moved on. The next day, something as simple as a song on the radio or a random memory will trigger a flood of tears.
As with any loss, working through heartbreak is a process...and there are no shortcuts in the process - as much as we wish there were. A common mistake people make is trying to fill the void with another person. I've made this mistake myself and learned a valuable lesson. How can we work on another relationship when we are still in the midst of working on ourselves and building ourselves back up? In the midst of heartbreak, it's good to take the time to work on healing your emotional wounds. Take up new hobbies, hang out with friends and family, change up your routine. It will take time, but you'll eventually begin to feel better than you ever thought you would!
You will love again of course...when you're healed and when you're ready. Once you're fully healed, your heart will be able to open up again and receive the love that you've only imagined! All heartbreaks are mere speed bumps on the road to your soul mate :-)
What have you learned from your experiences with heartbreak?
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Conventional wisdom seems to hold that one person cannot truly make a difference in the grand scheme of things. But is this really true? An exchange near the end of the movie "Cloud Atlas" had a profound effect on me. In the exchange, a cynical man tells an idealist “no matter what you do, it wouldn't amount to anything but a single drop in an ocean!” To which the idealist replied “But what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”
Thursday, June 20, 2013
"I get my best ideas during a thunderstorm. I have the power and majesty of nature on my side." ~Ralph Steadman
I love thunderstorms. I always have. I think they are one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. Ironically, I find thunder to be a very relaxing sound despite how loud it is. It’s very soothing in a unique way. I love how the thunder begins as a far off rumbling the then gets closer and closer until it fades. Thunderstorms bring with them anticipation and adrenaline.
I also find thunderstorms to be incredibly romantic. Thunderstorms have a way of stirring the romantic within us. The combination of the pouring rain, the rolling thunder, and the beautiful lightning is a recipe for true romanticism.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
“Destiny, with unbiased hands, sows the seeds of fate.” ~ Helen Cifuentes
I have always been fascinated by the fate vs. coincidence debate. To me, there are two different types of people in the world: Those who believe in fate, and those who do not. Those who believe in fate believe that there is a reason for everything. A chance encounter, for instance, is not just a chance encounter to the person who believes in fate. They believe that there is no such thing as an accident or coincidence.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that we mistake coincidence for fate. That a chance encounter is just that, a chance encounter. That life’s randomness is the simple explanation for things that other people mistake as fate.
Where do you stand on this? Do you believe in fate and destiny or do you think we mistake coincidence for fate?
Monday, June 10, 2013
Sanskrit symbol for "Namaste"
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
"If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature, there's something wrong with you" ~Alex Trebek
Sunday afternoon I took advantage of the amazing weather and went hiking at a placed called The Pinnacles in Berea, KY. It is my favorite hiking destination. I normally go at least once per month. Once I arrived at the top, I simply sat and appreciated the view. This is my favorite part of hiking…just taking it all in. Something about the scenery makes you reach into a deeper part of your soul.
I took a moment to just sit there in silence and enjoy the sound of “nothingness”. No cars, traffic, machinery, etc. Just the sound of the wind whistling through the trees and the birds in the distance. It’s amazing what some time with Mother Nature can do for you. It was pure tranquility. The fact that the birds were singing in the distance at the top of their lungs made this experience every bit as powerful to the ears as it was to the eyes.
Do you get a chance to nature hike very often? If so, what type of area do you hike to?
Friday, May 24, 2013
"A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Recently, one of my fellow bloggers wrote me an email and said that she’s always surprised when she sees a male blogger. Until I read that, I hadn't really thought too much about the gender disparity - even though I had noticed that female bloggers outnumber male bloggers.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
A coworker recently sent me the link to the story of this picture. It’s a picture of a Klan-robed toddler expressing curiosity about the riot shield of an African-American state trooper during a Klan rally in Georgia in 1992. The photographer who captured this image (Todd Robertson) has never been able to find out who the boy was. To this day it remains a mystery.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Last month, I blogged about my 10 favorite television shows . Today, I would like to blog about my 10 favorite movies of all-time! Without further adieu, here is my list !!
I could never get tired of this movie! This story is about a group of misfit youngsters in search of a long-lost ancient pirate ship filled with treasure. Watching this movie will bring out the little kid in you.
I love movies that make me think, and Inception certainly does not disappoint in this regard. Inception involves a group of "dream travelers" who are tasked with travelling deep within someone's dreams to extract information; plundering the subconscious for secrets, and planting a few ideas there as well. It's about dreams within dreams within dreams...confused yet?
THE GODFATHER PART II
One of the rare occurrences where the sequel was better than the original, Godfather II was a cinematic masterpiece. Al Pacino's portrayal of the ruthless Michael Corleone was one of the most marvelous acting jobs in the history of cinema. What's amazing is that, at 3 hours and 20 minutes, the film doesn't seem long enough!
This movie was, by far, the most beautifully complicated move I've ever seen in my life...but it's done so masterfully. It's literally impossible to describe what it's about, as even the director himself has always been vague as to its true meaning. The movie is simply hypnotic...working in such a way that the viewer has a very difficult time differentiating between what's real and what's imagined. But it works...much like abstract art. You may not be able to explain what you're looking at, but you still cannot take your eyes off of it.
Filmed in a very unique non-chronological style, Pulp Fiction was pure genius. It's a film about American nihilism, forgiveness, and mercy in a hard and brutal world. Plus, it introduced us to the directorial talents of Quentin Tarintino!!
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
You know the conventional wisdom that the book is always better than the movie? This is the rare exception. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is about a crusading, disgraced journalist who teams up with a goth computer hacker to investigate the long-ago disappearance and possible murder of a wealthy industrial magnate's 16 year-old neice. Add to that the fact that the movie introduces us to one of the most memorable characters in the history of cinema (the aforementioned goth computer hacker, Lisbeth Salandar), and this movie is an absolute must see!
Atonement is a movie about a false accusation and it's subsequent effects on the lives of all the characters involved. Set in Europe during WWII, Atonement is a fantastic story of unrequited love, the search for truth, and as the title suggests, atonement.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
For many years, this movie was my personal favorite. This story, about an archeologist's search for the Ark of the Covenant in the late 1930's, packed more adventure and intrigue into two hours of screen time than any movie I've ever seen.
Inglorious Basterds centers around a group of soldiers who hunt and kill Nazi's in German-Occupied areas of Europe during WW II. Christopher Waltz's portrayal of the evil German "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa was A performance for the ages. The opening scene of this movie, an extended 20 minute conversation at a table in a cabin in rural France, is the best opening scene in movie history, in my humble opinion.
Hands down, my favorite movie of all-time. Great writing, amazing acting performances, and beautiful cinematography (combined with one of the best musical scores I've ever heard) combine to make this movie truly amazing on every front. The movie centers around Lester Burnham, a discontented husband and father in an ordinary job, living an ordinary life, in an ordinary unnamed suburban town. This movie is about much more than Lester's journey to self-discovery however...it's about being alive. If you haven't seen this movie, rent it now!
What's your favorite movie or movies?
Monday, April 29, 2013
Do you have a bucket list? What's one thing (or more than one thing) on your list that is very important for you to accomplish in your lifetime?