Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great Expectations to be had

Period Drama Spotlight for you this week, friends...

It is a new take on an old classic by Charles Dickens.
In December of 2011, the BBC is releasing a new three part adaptation of  
Great Expectations.

A BBC spokeswoman said the new version would
"give us the heart and guts of Dickens at his very best" and just in time for Christmas.

From the looks of the images released so far it does promise to be a lush and haunting rendering
of this story. While never one of my absolute favorites by Dickens (I have always loved Oliver Twist, Martin Chuzzlewit, and Our Mutual Friend--being my favorite) it is still a master classic and
I will look forward to seeing what this new production does with this timeless tale.

It stars Gillian Anderson (from Bleak House, X-files), David Suchet (Poirot), and Douglas Booth.

Check these lovelies out...and the trailer is below!

Cheers :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Low Key Affair

Thanksgiving was a low key affair with two of my favorite peoples. Although, it was unlike any Thanksgiving I've ever experienced before.

I'm used to lots of loud familial bantering. 

Food that stretches into meals for many days after.  

The knowing that everything is right and where it should be. Everyone is where they should be.

But it wasn't. And they weren't. 

Not really.

This was the first holiday spent without mom.

It was definitely quieter than usual. My brother couldn't make it up until Christmas. So my dad and sister and I went out to eat for a subdued but completely enjoyable Thanksgiving repast followed by a memorable evening hanging out and watching movies.

And's been six weeks to the day and life still seems surreal and not quite right. 

Not right because it's us without her. 
Something still seems off. And to be seems less bright for me. Shades of grey where once was brilliance in color. 

I don't know if it will always feel like this. But I feel it acutely right now. And as the holiday season continues on and then departs, I'm sure it will persist in being here. 

I'm kind of at a loss as to know what to do. How I should be feeling? I know as Christians we don't mourn as the world does–for we know we shall see our loved ones again. 

But we still mourn. There is still an irrevocable loss. 

A gaping hole on the garment that once was whole and right and complete.

So now something new must take shape that will look like–what life will look like–from now on. 

Altogether different. 

And what holidays, birthdays, and special milestones will look like. From day to day. Events that can't be shared. Minus one of the central figures of my existence thus far.
It seems unfair. I wonder why does the rest of my life have to be written without her? Why me? Why my family?

And yet...

Someone whom I trust completely and depend on with my whole life, deemed it be so. Deemed it be right. So I know, deep down, it must be.

I'm adhering to this belief–to this faith, for dear life.

"Keep going..." I hear this still small voice. A whisper breathed into my ear and heart.
"Just keep putting one foot forward in front of the other. And trust Me."

 So simple, and yet... To do so feels akin to a tremendous feat.

But this is what I am desperately trying to do. Today. Whilst gripping a mug and my Bible. Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Country Peach Tea in steady supply. 

Prayer, vital. Encouragement from friends and family, indispensable.  
Onward friends. We must keep moving forward...

And thanks for letting me be transparent with you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Iconic Photos

The Puppet Show: Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1963
"Alfred Eisenstaedt's gift was making stars out of everyday people, by patiently observing and capturing them in magical moments of joy and wonder. Here, he trains his eye on a young audience at a puppet show in a Paris park: Each delightful child reacts in an extreme and distinct way to the moment when St. George slays the dragon, displaying a range of emotions -- amusement, horror, triumph, fear -- that hints at the many facets of the human experience."

((I want to time travel back to this show and grab the two on the bottom right and stuff them in my suitcase))

Pied Piper of Ann Arbor: Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1950

"A uniformed drum major for the University of Michigan marching band practices his high kicks, garnering an unintended following of seven admiring children who want to imitate his flamboyant technique. Eisie's joyously cheerful 1950 photo is like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life."

 Country Doctor: Photo by W. Eugene Smith, 1948

"The subject of W. Eugene Smith's celebrated 1948 photo essay "Country Doctor," Dr. Ernest Ceriani, the overworked physician of Kremmling, Co., was the only doctor within a 1,200-square-mile region. In this image, he is in a dazed state of exhaustion, having a cup of coffee in the hospital kitchen at 2 a.m. after performing a caesarean section where the baby and the mother both died because of complications. The classic photo reveals him as simultaneously heroic and tragic -- and absolutely unforgettable."

New York's Heart: Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1943

Manhattan's's Pennsylvania Station 

Ingenue Audrey: Photo by Mark Shaw, 1954

A Boy's Escape: Photo by Ralph Crane, 1947

"LIFE was known for its war photography, celebrity shoots, and glimpses of Americana. But what's often overlooked is the tradition of groundbreaking technical photography that no other magazine could bring and that, in some instances, the human could not even see. This picture -- a reenactment of a disturbed boy's escape from a children's home -- is a flawless example of technical excellence, a masterful combination of high speed strobes, exquisite timing, and dramatic composition. Readers weren't there to witness the boy's escape, but thanks to Ralph Crane's technical wizardry, they knew what it felt like."

((I'm a little scared by this, I'm not going to lie.))

The Kiss: Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1945

"Perhaps the most famous photo ever to appear in LIFE is Alfred Eisenstaedt's portrait of the spontaneous jubilation that broke out with the announcement that World War II was over. Eisenstaedt recalled that the sailor was kissing every gal in sight and managed to get four snaps of him in a clinch with this nurse. He never got their names, and while many credible contenders stepped forward over the years, LIFE never conclusively confirmed any of the claimants. Their identities remain a mystery; what they were feeling at that moment does not."

 Jumping Royals: Photo by Philippe Halsman, 1959

"Among the celebrities and notables that Philippe Halsman asked to jump for his famous photo series were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor -- that is, the former King of England and the controversial American for whom he gave up the throne. In theory, Halsman's photo was remarkable -- royals can be this playful? -- but in execution, it was even more so: Other than the position of their feet and the mildly surprised expression on the duke's face, the Windsors manage to maintain their cultivated bearing."

These photos are truly amazing. 
I love good photography especially those that tell a story 
and these tell volumes. 
If you'd like to see more of them from Life Magazine click below.

75 best Life photos index

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Castle and pass the food, please

You know when you have one of those days where everything seems effortless? Laundry practically folds itself...Food preparation is a cinch, the to do list has been know, you feel really productive... Inspired... Useful?

Yeah, well, yesterday was not one of those days for me.  I did zilch. Nada. Niente.

Oh oh, yeah, I did sit on the couch, stuffed under a blanket and pillows for most of the day, watching a ton of Castle episodes from Season 3...I'm still catching up.

I ate. Quite a bit actually. The more I think about it, the more horrified I am at how much I actually ate. Do you like pecan bars? Yum I ate like half a tray of them. the morning, that is. They are so yummy. Then I had soup. And triple chunk brownies. Cereal. More pecan bars. Nacho chips with cheese. Hot chocolate with half the mug containing whipped cream. Does half a pecan bar count? Took a nap. Woke up then topped my evening off with pasta with a very nice mushroom and tomato chunk sauce. Quite delish. Tried to get inspired on some design work on my computer... Got nothing. Gave up. Lit some mulled cider candles and had another pecan bar--only this time with swirls of whipped cream on top. And gave in to watching more Castle. By the way have you seen this show? It totally rocks. It makes me laugh. A lot.

Anyways. Are you totally revolted by me? Because I kinda am. The word g-l-u-t-t-o-n-o-u-s comes to mind...

I should mention one tiny little fact though. I am sick. Not crazy–sick–in–the–head, although you'd think based on my eating habits... but sick, sick. Hacking up my lungs kind of sick. And my voice sounds like it belongs to an eighty year old chain smoking man. It's attractive. Really.

I want to bury my head in a pillow when I'm not stuffing something down my throat kind of sick.

So, while I was attempting to dig up some visual research for a project I'm doing I came across this pic below... (notice how attempt at work was trying to happen and failing miserably)

I'm convinced if someone could string one of these up for me...I'd feel better after a snooze in it.

It was my dear Aunt's birthday yesterday. She lives in Florida.
I wished upon a star that I could have been there to throw her one of these:

Doesn't this look like the most fabulous party you've ever seen?
So magical. I want to sit under big, round twinkly lights.
I wonder what they were eating?

Hmmm...I think I need to go back to bed.
But did I mention that my sister brought me some seafood bisque soup and
just out of the oven pumpkin (with creamcheese) coffeecake today?
Love her!

I think I'll have some first.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

The other Snow...

This legendary fairy tale version is from the producers of Alice in Wonderland–which was a lovely and enchanting tale... 
And so given that, and barring I can handle Kristen Stewart's acting in this film, I think I will like this version as much as the other version to come by Tarsem Singh.

It will definitely be the more darker and grittier version of the two, which
I admit, has a nice appeal.

I also think Charlize Theron will be a more believable Evil Queen than Julia Roberts...

Lots of fantastic photos released ((and below is the first trailer!)):


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eradicating this...

This subject is completely fascinating to me and has totally captivated my interests over the past few years, and more and more recently...especially after being in Africa and seeing it all first hand for three months when I was with ywam.

The challenge of ridding the earth of poverty.

Did you know that over the past 30 years we (developed nations) have dumped over 80 billion dollars into the continent of Africa and yet much of its nations are no better off than they were before...

With child mortality rates sky high and lack of drinking water, education and jobs scarce...

How is this possible??????

Let me propose to you dear reader, as the authors of the book below have suggested is because we as nations are going about poverty alleviation in the wrong way. We "westerners" see the root of the problem as one thing when they who are living mired up to their necks in it see the root of it as an entirely different thing.

We tend to define poverty as a material lack. When one African man was asked by the authors, he told them it was a psychological, emotional lack that stretched it's ugly fingers into every other area of their psyche rendering them unable to rise out of their want.

In short, they see themselves as having little worth, unable to lift their heads up in their society because they can't provide for their families, which in turn hinders their self esteem and drive to get out their and find work, and by taking hand outs with little else offered, often, just perpetuates the cycle.

Lots more interesting, eye opening stuff in their...I would strongly recommend everyone getting the book and reading it.
When Helping Hurts
I believe especially as Christians, we should stand up and take notice of this gaping, persistent problem. You know, we call ourselves "Jesus followers" but then turn around and conveniently forget about a major concern of our God as seen all throughout His words to us in the Bible, that of helping those who are lost and dying, helpless and weak. It talked about EVERYWHERE in there...

They are our brothers and sisters...

We storm around with a self-righteous frown upon our face and have the audacity to say, "God, how could you do nothing for these people who are starving and dying every day?"

And He replies, "I have. I've sent you. Go, be my hands and feet in this world."

Wow. God forgive me for being so consumed with my own self that I neglect to do this. I neglect to care and pray for, and lend my time and treasure to those who are in need all around me here in this country and abroad. 

This book has rocked my world and challenged all of my before held beliefs on the subject of how to effectively help bring people out of poverty and what the root problems are:

So I totally think you should check this book out. :)

How can we stand and do nothing, when it is in our power to act?

Ponder that one for awhile.
I know I am.

Also, this documentary at this link below looks really good and I am really interested in seeing it:

Isaiah 58:6-14 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”

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