Thursday, January 20, 2011
“In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.
Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.”
Excerpt from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
On this 40th anniversary since my team was last Super Bowl Champs, here's hoping that miracles still happen, and that we too can back-up and deliver on the bold Super Bowl-bound predictions of the pre-season.
I'll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed this weekend that we can somehow defeat the dark force that is the New England Patriots, and that Brady experiences alot of this throughout the game on Sunday.
J...E...T...S ----> Jets, Jets, Jets
Yes, this is Haiti one year later. This photograph is 1 of 50 from a great photo essay filed by reporter Christina Boyle and photographer Julia Xanthos for the New York Daily News to mark the anniversary of this tragedy. As if dealing with still crumbling infrastructure wasn't enough (only 5% of the rubble has been cleared in the past year), Haitians have also had to deal with a cholera outbreak which, per the report, has claimed 3,700 lives since October.
Yet life goes on, children somehow find joy even in hardship, and hope persists.
As new tragedies replace old ones in the news, it's so easy to let oneself move on and forget those that still need our help. Yet I take heart that there are many that haven't forgotten, such as Kimmaire Hammond, a nurse practitioner working at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NY, who takes vacation time at work and pays for the flight herself to offer her assistance at an outpatient clinic in Haiti.
If we all resolve to do something...no matter how small...going forward, then Haiti will be that much closer to one day being whole again.
"On the night before Easter, we'd always leave a carrot and a bowl of water out for the Easter bunny. I don't know why we left a bowl, since I'm sure a human-sized, vest wearing bunny who walked upright could have handled a drinking glass without much trouble, but that's what we did."
One of my favorite chapters was "The Artist Formerly Known As." It featured some of Johnny's childhood artwork, which had been saved in a scrapbook by his mom, with Johnny's adult commentary on each.
"As you can see from his grin, The Snitch was an extremely happy kid, even though he had clover hands and zero genitalia."
When I finished the book, I actually went back and re-read some of my favorite chapters. I wasn't surprised the book was good, I would've been surprised if it wasn't, because being funny is nothing new to Johnny Virgil.
I've been an avid reader, though not an official follower, of Johnny's equally hilarious blog entitled 15 Minute Lunch, since finding it in early 2010. He's got the kind of great sense of humor and writing skill where anything and everything he writes about is funny. One of my earliest favorites was Johnny's recap of his vacation in Mexico. Holy moly! I read one part of the multi-part recap at work (during lunch, of course), and I nearly tinkled my pants, especially at his description of the jungle birds responsible for his early morning wake-up calls.
A recent post to make me chuckle was this simple flow chart which Johnny created for a nearby cube mate which is a 'loud talker.'
I thought of printing it, not to give it to anyone, but instead...unfortunately...to post it by my own phone at work. Yes, sad but true, I am one of those 'loud talkers'. When asked to use my inside voice, my response would have to be, this is my inside voice. When excited about something, positive or negative, my voice has a tendency to go up a notch. I try to do better, but it's an unconscious thing. One of the many flaws which my friends at work love me in spite of.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand, whether you have a Kindle or not, buy the book. You'll definitely enjoy it. If times are tough and cash is low, then do yourself a favor and at least check out Johnny's blog. A few laughs always does a body good.
You'll find everything, from adorable photos to ooh and ahh over, like these two...(Awww...I want a kitten!)
No, maybe hmm...a rat? He is adorable holding his teddy.
to recipes...(it's almost too pretty to eat)
to DIY projects, like this cool desk...
...the possibilities are endless. The cool thing is that each pinned item provides the link to the source material, so you can buy that cool purse you spot, or get the recipe to that delish cheesecake.
Check it out for yourself. I think you'll enjoy yourself as much as I have.