Archive for December, 2008

Mine Is Edgerton High School, Class of 1992

Here is a fun email I received from my cousin who shares my alma mater as well as the year I graduated.  Some of the questions brought a chuckle as well as made me think.  See if it does the same for you.

Fill this out about your Senior Year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!  FORWARD  (or post in comments) with name of high school and graduating year in the subject box. Send this to all your friends, but don’t forget to send it back to me.
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1. Did you date someone from your school? No

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No

3. Did you car pool to school? No… walked out the front door and was there

4. What kind of car did you have? Ford Fairmont… the brown beast

5. What kind of car do you have now? Pontiac Sunfire

6 . It’s Friday night…where are you now? In high school?  Usually at a sporting event

7. What kind of job did you have in high school? worked in grocery store

8. What kind of job do you do now? the same… go figure

9. Were you a party animal? Do i seem the type?

10. Were you considered a flirt? Occasionally

11. Were you in band, orchestra? Yes – band

12. Were you a nerd? Darn right and proud of it!

13. Did you get suspended or expelled? nope

14. Can you sing the fight song? Yes

15. Who was/were your favorite teacher? Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Peters, and others

16. Where did you sit during lunch? usually at home

17. What was your school’s full name? Edgerton High School

18. When did you graduate? 1992

19. What was your school mascot? Bulldogs

20. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Absolutely not.  Although I enjoyed high school, I am having way too much fun in the present.

21. Did you have fun at Prom? Yes

22. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? No, though I would if I ran into her.

23. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Most likely.

24. Do you still talk to people from school? A few people

25. School Colors? Maroon and gold

26. If you could do 1 thing differently in high school, what would it  be? Follow my heart instead of my head when deciding what career path to choose.

Quite Possibly The Worst Movie Of 2008

This morning, I caught the opening chat fest on Regis and Kelly.  If I see nothing else on the show (when I am able) this is it; many times the guests do not interest me.  However, I love the chemistry between the hosts.  Bantering, poking fun, reporting on the headlines, etc.  Also the trivia contest in which a caller selected at random attempts to answer a question about a previous show in order to win a fantastic trip.  Today’s question: “In which 2008 movie did Sir Ben Kingsley co-star with Mike Myers.”  It took me nearly the full 20 seconds to come up with the answer, unfortunately for Christine Neves from Cumberland, IN, she could not come up with the correct answer to win her stay in Gren-ah-da/Gren-A-da (however you pronounce it).

I won’t even go into the details of The Love Guru only by saying that I have heard many poor unfortunate souls who have seen it and have said that they wished that they could have gotten not only their money but also their time refunded.  I’m not sure but I think Mike Myers has gone the way of Eddie Murphy who has also added to his list of stinkers this year. Anyone remember Meet Dave?  That’s ok, I don’t either; I think it lasted a minute or two in theatres.  I’m not sure if even Austin Powers or Shrek can resurrect Myers’ movie career.

Another Audition

The last two evenings saw auditions for an upcoming production of The Lion in Winter.  The play itself tells a tale set during the waning years of Henry II’s reign in England, his relationship with his family (Eleanor of Aquitaine, Geoffrey, Richard, and John) as well as Philip, King of France.  I must admit to being a bit overwhelmed.  I have never tried out for a period piece, but I think I did my best.  I was not sure which role I specifically intended to try for, so I put “Any I Fit” on the audition sheet.

I think my lack of experience with the piece coupled with a cold (not trying to make excuses, just stating facts), hindered my success.  I am happy for the gentleman who was cast as Philip as he was instrumental in pushing for the production to take place.  The rest of the auditioners did really well, also.  The women who read for Eleanor were so good that the decision on casting that role was put on hold.  The role of Henry also is also up in the air as well as the part of the King’s young whore.

In all actuality, I am not that disapointed this time.  I can take a few weeks off and find a song to audition with for Honk and find the music (can anyone help with that?) and familiarize myself with that show.  However, I must send a shout out to Megan who was cast in the theatre’s production of Over the Tavern as well as the rest of the cast of Lion in Winter including justj.  I was not sure when he would find out that he was cast as Geoffrey and did not want him to learn from anyone else but the director.  A hearty congratulations to you, my friend.

A $10,000 Scratch-Off Winner

Today was a long but enjoyable day.  It started out at 8AM when I put in a half-day at work.  We then had our annual holiday gathering with my mother’s family at her brother’s place… a nice, spacious home with lots of spread out space for the pack of little angels to enjoy (ok… some not so little).  This meant ANOTHER feast.  However on Christmas Eve, our priest gave permission for all to eat as much as we like without feeling guilty.  We had a nice buffet of ribs, turkey, and all the trimmings.  However, what everyone looks forward to is Aunt Sandy’s spread of delectable goodies: holiday cookies, caramels, pretzels, and BUCKEYES… ooooohhhhhh, yummy.

While enjoying the feast, we caught glimpses of the Detroit Lion’s perfect season.  At one point, the score was actually tied.  But I thought why ruin a good thing and spoil the perfect record even if it was a perfect losing record.

Later, while everyone was digesting and in an attempt to corral the kiddies, Santa made his annual appearance.  You never saw a group of kids become quiet so fast.  Traditionally, the youngest starts and we make our way to the oldest (18 and younger this time, it seems the idea of adult gift exchanging had been ruled out sometime ago).  Following the tumult of the present giving, one was given to my second oldest brother, Chad: a scratch-off lottery card.  Reveal three like prizes and win.  When he revealed the prize, his reaction was rather ho-hum for the amount he had won. I mean to say, if I got a ticket that said I had won $10,000 I would have been jumping up and down, banging my head on the rather low hanging ceiling lamp ( I could have easily been decapitated if I did not watch where I was walking), and making my way to the nearest agent able to cash my ticket in…. meaning a three-hour drive.  Chad was more like…Whhoooppeee… rather low key.  Shortly after, he was asked to read the fine print on the back of the card.  GOTCHA!!! We all had a good laugh.

By the time the merriment was complete, it was 8.30.  I had planned to attend an open house that ended at 9, but unfortunately was not able to.

Lost In a Londinium Pea Soup Ffogg

Friday night I again ventured to an evening of games and fun at our wonderful friend’s house.  In the early morning hours, I began to venture to my car when another game partier made it known that it was very foggy and offered me to stay over at her house.  I gladly accepted and while following the car in front of me to our destination, I was really glad I did not attempt to drive home.  Even this morning driving home at 10AM, it toook 30 minutes as opposed to the 10 it usually takes.

While the title of this post has only a slight connection to the topic, I wanted to post on the loss of a Catwoman who used up her nine lives.  Eartha Kitt played the feline pur-r-r-lunderer during the final season of the Batman tv series. In my opinion, she was not as captivating as Julie Newmar in the role.  Ms. Newmar and Adam West had wonderful on-screen chemistry that seemed to lack when Eartha put on the catsuit.  Aside from her stage and film credits, Ms. Kitt was also a famous singer whose rendition of “Santa Baby” graces the airwaves every hoilday season.  Most recently, she appeared on stage in National Touring Productions of The Wizard of Oz and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

How Santa Spends The Day After

I’m not sure how the man in the red suit spends the day after his big flight covering all the good girls and boys in the world; however, I was almost certain that he was our truck driver delivering our stock this morning.  At about 7AM, my mother calls up the stairs informing me that I was to go to work as soon as I was able.  Moving ratherly slowly (I was up until 2 this morning), I made it by 7:30.  And what to my wandering eyes should appear but a rather robust man with a long white beard and white hair.  Instead of the red suit, the gentleman, Bob, had a flannel shirt and bibs and a light jacket.  We decided to have a bit of fun and Bob was all too gracious. He even asked what I had had to drink this morning.  I also recall a remark about a straitjacket.  For moi?!  Surely you can’t be serious. It sure made the unloading of 200 odd cases seem to fly by.  When we were finished, it was almost a shame to see him go.

Following the unloading, I asked our manager if she was surprised to see the man arrive 3 hours ahead of the usual time.  She informed me that he scared the living daylights out of her.  She saw the strange man who was not wearing the typical jacket with the name of the distribution company on it and almost thought he was going to rob the place.  She had the traditional deer in the headlights (HAHA) expression before he announced “Nash Finch.”  Unfortunately, I do not feel the need to carry a camera with me to work or I would have snapped a quick picture.  I am happy to say that the 3 hours I went in early allowed me to leave at 3 instead of 6.  The walk to and from work was quite interesting with the freezing rain making the roads and sidewalks a natural ice rink (AND I DO NOT ICE SKATE) but I made it both ways on my feet.

taH pagh, taH be?

While searching for the perfect DVD to view on the new Blu-Ray (yes DVDs are able to be played on the machine), I decided to give Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country a long overdue view.  Released in 1991 (I remember seeing the film in a GOOD theatre setting while taking a break from holiday shopping in the city), the sixth film was the final voyage of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James TIBERIUS Kirk.  I still say no one chews scenery better than William Shatner.  I was not disappointed in the experience as the space battles were given more punch and bang when viewed in high definition.

The tale begins when an important Klingon moon is destroyed forcing the empire to enter into peace talks with the Federation.  In short, the race has roughly 50 years of life remaining.  In a show of “arrogant presumption,” Spock volunteers Captain Kirk and crew to lead and escort the Klingon High Chancellor to peace talks.  In defense to Kirk’s bewilderment, the first officer offers an old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”

While the Enterprise leads the Klingon ship, the Chancellor is assassinated and Kirk and Dr. McCoy are found guilty of the crime and are sentenced to serve on the gulag Rura Penthe with no possibilty of parole.  Of course, the duo is eventually sprung from the penal asteroid and rejoins the starship to discover the truth behind the assassination and attempt to again begin the peace process

Several factors make this one of the finest Star Trek movies.  The plot parallels the climate in real world 1991: the end of the Cold War.  The veteran actors shine in their prospective roles and new characters are dynamically introduced.  Kim Catrall is introduced as Lt. Valeris who (as the first Vulcan to graduate at the top of her class at Starfleet Academy) is Spock’s personal choice to succeed him as science officer aboard the Enterprise.  Christopher Plummer is deliciosly hammy as the villainous Colonel Chang, a Klingon who is forever reciting Shakespeare either in English or the original Klingon.  Dr. McCoy becomes so annoyed with the outbursts that he would “pay real money if he would just shut up.”  Michael Dorn appears as Colonel Worf, attorney for Kirk and McCoy and grandfather of the security officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.

Some Christmas Flashing

Today was filled with fun, excitement, hilarity, and chaos.  In short, a traditional Christmas at my home.  It began, for me at about 9AM after getting to bed around 3AM after watching one of the showings of A Christmas Story that is shown every year marathon style over a 24 hour period.  I have to sneak a viewing in sometime (usually after I wind down from the majesty and beauty of our late night Christmas Eve mass.  I still cannot understand why no one else enjoys the recollections of young Ralphie as he longs for a prized bb gun one Christmas season.  You’ll poke your eye out!  I triple dog dare you!  Pink fuzzy bunny pajamas.  A Chinese version of Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells.  And “OH… FUDGE”

Later this morning, I awoke to a few presents under the tree.  Then we tuned into the Disney Christmas Parade followed by some of the Christmas Bondathon (got to watch From Russia with Love which is not a bad two hours spent any day) before everyone else arrived for dinner at 2.  After dinner and connecting the parent’s Blu-Ray player, the 5 older children and I (child or not, you decide) spent 4 hours playing UNO Flash and a new version of Yahtzee.  I think more time was spent trying to get SOMEONE to play the new UNO game without breaking the rules.  I kept telling him, “You need to push the SLAP button and not the player button.”  Hilarity ensued as each of us in turn attempted to take our turn in the time limit before being buzzed.  Fun for groups of 3-6 players.  Sometimes the old games with new twists can be hit or miss.  UNO Flash is definitely hit.

Finally at about 9PM, the dishes were cleaned, the table put back into storage, and children ready to go home to play with the treasures Santa had given them.  I think i will find a movie with lots of bangs and whistles to test on the Blu-Ray player to run it through its paces.

Waxing Philosophic

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, [ Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

These words taken from Isaiah chapter 9 foreshadow the arrival of He whose birth we celebrate this day.  The God made man in the form of an infant immaculately conceived and born in a lowly stable.  My prayer for this early Christmas morning is that the world would remember to set aside a few moments in the joy and chaos of presents, parties, and merriment to remember.  The church choir performed “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Messiah at mass tonight.  Not an easy piece but very beautiful and really set the mood for the late evening mass.  The choir loft was filled with people singing the praises of the savior’s birth.

While at mass, I could not help but to wax philosophic on she who is no longer with us, physically.  However, I know that every time I open my mouth and any note good or bad that comes forth is in great part due to her influence upon not only my singing voice but to every part of me.  I felt her presence so strongly tonight that it was almost overwhelming.  I sincerely hope that Emily’s family experiences the sheer love she had for them on this first Christmas since she was called to her great reward.  From the hundreds of students who walked through the doors of her music room, to the thousands of troops around the world who met her through care packages, letters, and in person  she touched so many.

May you all (from the casual reader to the best friends I have ever known) feel the joy that comes in celebrating the Most Blessed Time of the Year.

Christmas With James

Going against the more traditional holiday movie fare (a big chunk of it takes place during the Christmas season so it counts), it has become tradition to celebrate with what has become the most underrated, overlooked Bond flick (which is a shame). On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is by far the most emotionally charged film in the cannon.  It leads the secret agent to abandon his “bachelor’s taste for freedom” for the daughter of the head of an underworld organization.  At first, Bond enters into a bargain with Draco, father of Countessa Teresa di Vicenzo.  In exchange for help in tracking down the evil Blofeld, 007 would “look after” the head-strong, resilient, resourceful woman.  Bond’s first encounter with Traci was almost tragic as the countessa was about to drown herself.

No Bond movie is complete with a love story alone.  James tracks Blofeld to his hidden Alpine chalet where he has been cultivating his crop of female lovelies in another of his plots for world domination.  The spy’s disguise as a genealogist is discovered and he is locked in one of the endless array of death traps from which he undoubtedly escapes.  With the bad guys in pursuit, James again meets up with Traci who saves his life.  However, she is captured and taken to Blofeld’s lair.  In the rescue mission led by Bond and Draco, Traci proves her resilience in hand-to-hand combat with several baddies.

I have always liked Bond in wintery climates.  Breathtaking scenery, action on skis, bobsleds, and a demolition derby on ice are just some of the action sequences.  OHMSS is very slim on gadgetry.  It does feature two of the worst inventions created by Q.  Radioactive lint?  Plus a large, cumbersome safecracking device that takes forever to open a safe. Thank goodness James brought along some reading material while waiting… have your name prominently displayed in the comment box if you can tell me what that material is.

I think the reason for the underappreciation of the movie is the acting choice for Bond, himself.  Poor George Lazenby was an Australian model with no acting experience attempting to fill the shoes of a character who was so well established by Sean Connery.  Telly Savalas played the role of Blofeld with a devine sense of villainy.  And the gorgeous Diana Rigg used her talents from the television series The Avengers (skip the big-screen movie adaptation) very well as the ill-fated Traci.

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