Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

New York began enjoying some unseasonably warm weather even before Spring officially arrived, so Jasmin has been beside herself with joy at her new found freedom. For those not in the know, Jasmin is my cat. Due to my sense of guilt at watching her sit at my kitchen window longingly gazing at the great outdoors all winter long, as soon as the warm weather rolls around, I start letting her go outside.

Once the weather is nice, the daily ritual never deviates. As soon as I walk in the door of my condo after work she greets me at the front door, then runs to the back door which leads to the patio, stands on her hind legs, front paws reaching up towards the doorknob and starts to meow frantically while looking back at me with a look which screams, "Hurry up beyotch, I've been waiting for you all day." Brings to mind a prisoner demanding some "yard time" from the warden. While she's outside, she enjoys some fresh air, watches the birdies and nibbles on a few digestive greens. I stay glued to her side the whole time she's out there, ready to pounce if she dares to make a run for it, which has only happened twice, both times squirrel inspired incidents. She's very zen in her enjoyment of the avian variety of wildlife, but she's got no will power whatsoever when it comes to a bushy tail.

Here are a couple pics of said kitty enjoying an afternoon stroll and basking in the warmth of the sun during a recent weekend.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diamond in the Rough

Already being labeled the next Susan Boyle, watch this incredible video of Jonathan Antoine, a 17-year old singer who along with his duo partner, Charlotte, appeared on this past weekend's episode of the UK reality show, Britain's Got Talent. Jonathan's backstory of being bullied because of his weight will make you root for this shy and unassuming young man, but it's his amazingly rich and beautiful voice which will make you stand up and cheer.

Don't you just love the look on Simon's face when Jonathan starts to sing? Proof positive that you should never judge a book by its cover. Love it!

The Hunger Games

In The Hunger Games, based on the young adult novel of the same name written by Suzanne Collins, the United States as we've known it has ceased to exist and in its place stands the country of Panem, comprised of 12 poor districts whose sole purpose for existence is to support the Capitol with their local resources. As punishment to its citizens for a past uprising by a since then obliterated 13th district, a lottery known as the Reaping is held annually by the Capitol whereby every district sends two tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 to 18 to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised competition to the death where there is only one victor. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is a 16-year old girl from District 12 whose bravery and hunting skills have helped her provide for her family since the death of her father in a coal mining accident. When Katniss' fragile younger sister's name, Primrose, is drawn at the Reaping, Katniss quickly volunteers to take her place. Katniss' male partner from District 12 is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the baker's son who helped to feed her family in a not too distant past when her family was desperate and starving. As Katniss and Peeta make their way in opulence to the Hunger Games with their Capitol guide, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), they're introduced to Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), their drunken mentor who also happens to be a past winner of the Hunger Games. As they navigate the process of being a tribute and their uncertain future, they'll have to trust and rely on one another in order for one of them to make it back home alive.

Thanks to the endless nagging of a dear friend (thank you again!), last Fall I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay), so I was eagerly anticipating this movie, as was half the country. Maybe it was all the hype or my own eager anticipation, but I must say I was slightly disappointed. The movie was good, but not great. Jennifer Lawrence did an admirable job in her role as Katniss, but I expected as much given her gut-wrenching performance in last year's Winter's Bone. My problem lies with the characterization of Peeta in the film, not Hutcherson's acting, but the way his character was adapted for the screen. Whereas in the book, Peeta is a quiet yet charismatic figure who brings equal value to the Katniss and Peeta relationship through his strategizing and ease in charming their sponsors, in the movie he's portrayed as a liability or at worst an albatross Katniss is burdened to care for at the expense of her own safety at times. A simpleton whose sole appeal is the fact that he loves Katniss. Since Peeta is my favorite character from all three books, I found this discrepancy highly frustrating to say the least. Another small issue I had was the fact that the director must have used hand-held cameras during some of the action sequences, because they were downright jumpy and a little dizzying at times.

Overall, if you're a fan of the books, the movie is a must see, if for no other reason than comparison's sake. To be honest, whether you read the books or not, you'll enjoy the film because despite my gripes, the movie still kept me enthralled for the whole two and a half hours. Expect drama, action, blood, and a sprinkling of romance to sweeten the pot.

The Voice Early Favorites

Clockwise from top left: Pip, Juliet Simms, Jordis Unga, Sera Hill

The singers pictured above are four of my early favorites to go to the end during this season of The Voice. The show was a hit last season and one which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the fact that my favorite (Dia Frampton) didn't win. Nonetheless, I tuned in from the get go, ready to discover some new talent and enjoy some great music, plus I just love that tall drink of water and charming country crooner, Mr. Blake Shelton. Blake is as witty and charming as last season, Cee Lo as quirky and crazy, Adam as sexy and egomaniacal and Christina as annoying, but the four of them together make for some mighty fine TV.

I was downright annoyed with many of the judge's choices during the battle rounds, most notably the selection of Charlotte Sometimes over Lex Land, ugh, what was Blake thinking?! These last few weeks I've had to deal with the added dilemma of two of my favorite shows, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, going head to head. I've made do as best I can, and seen it as an opportunity to enhance my manual dexterity as I've been dialing for dollars, flipping back and forth from one channel to the other in order to watch both shows Live. For the most part, the TV executives have been extremely accommodating, and many of the times ABC just happens to be running a commercial while one of the singers is performing, and vice versa, NBC has had commercials when my favorite dancers are on the dance floor. The few instances per episode when this is not the case, and I'm faced with this particular Sophie's choice, The Voice has proven to be my favorite child and I've bypassed dancing for singing.

Of the singers pictured above, Pip, a member of Adam's team, has a great voice and performance style but I think he might be a little too Broadway to win it all. Sera Hill from Christina's team, seems to have it all, a great voice, a striking presence on stage, and great marketing potential as a recording artist. I love Cee Lo's Juliet Simms' gritty look and gravelly rocker's voice, but she might be a little too rough around the edges for middle America's voting public. Despite the fact that Jermaine Paul, on Blake's team, has a great voice, I'm going to go out on a limb and go instead with rocker Jordis Unga. Jordis had a horrible battle round performance, but I'm hoping Jordis lives up to her potential and brings it during the Live shows. For those of you unaware, Jordis is no stranger to reality TV, years ago she competed in the singing competition Rock Star: INXS. Watch this YouTube video of Jordis performing Imagine. If she can sing like that, I think she can go far.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Yesterday while visiting Entertainment Weekly online, I spotted a Popwatch post sharing an exclusive photo of the poster for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Harvey, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Mary Chase. This latest production will feature Jim Parsons (Sheldon) from the The Big Bang Theory in the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd. Mr. Parsons has very big shoes to fill, as this is a role immortalized both on film and stage by the great Jimmy Stewart. I had heard of this Stewart classic but I had never seen the film, so I dusted off my library card and lucked out with an old black & white copy, waiting just for me on the shelf.

In Harvey, Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) is a friendly and kindly bachelor who welcomed his older sister, Veta (Josephine Hull), and niece Myrtle Mae (Victoria Horne) into his home after the death of his mother. Veta loves her baby brother but is beside herself trying to make it in society, in the hopes of finding a potential love match for her daughter. Comically this endeavor is thwarted at every turn by Elwood who insists on introducing his best friend Harvey, a 6'3.5" tall invisible rabbit, to all her society friends. As Elwood describes him, Harvey is a pooka, a fairy spirit from old Celtic mythology who takes animal form and is always very large; a benign but mischevious creature. Elwood and Harvey don't do much with their days other than visiting the local bar where they connect with strangers and friends alike and "talk about big terrible things they've done and big wonderful things they'll do; their hopes and regrets; their loves and hates. All very large because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar." At her wits end, Veta turns to her friend Judge Gaffney to help her have Elwood committed to Chumley's Rest, a sanatarium, in hopes they can fix his drinking problem or whatever else is to blame for Harvey. Unfortunately, when the time comes to drop off poor clueless Elwood, Veta is so high strung and unglued by the situation that the doctor on staff thinks she's the patient and has her locked up while Elwood escapes unscathed. A comedy of errors ensues as the sanatarium staff realize their error and try desperately to find Elwood and Harvey.

One of the bonus features on the DVD is a narrated piece by Jimmy Stewart declaring Harvey as one of his favorite films. Per the production notes also included in the bonus features, Stewart had performed the role of Elwood P. Dowd on Broadway prior to the film, as had Hull in her role as Veta. The play opened on Broadway on November 1, 1944, and at the time, it was the fifth longest running show in Broadway history. When it came time to make the film, other actors were briefly considered for the role of Elwood, such as Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Jack Benny and James Cagney, but ultimately they opted for Stewart. Mary Chase supposedly wanted Harvey visible during the film, but both Stewart and Koster were against it. She was then willing to settle for having Harvey visible as he and Elwood left the sanatarium arm-in-arm, but Koster chose to shoot the scene without the rabbit.

This was such a charming and sweet movie. I love Jimmy Stewart so I'm extremely biased, and this movie only served to give merit to my bias because Stewart was brilliant in his portrayal of Elwood, a quirky and darling man who charms and endears himself to everyone he meets. I must say that Josephine Hull stole every scene she was in as Veta, and so it came as no surprise to learn that she won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for this role. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. You won't regret it.

Light It Up Blue

The fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2, 2012. Autism and the spectrum of disorders which fall under it, including Asperger syndrome, are developmental disorders characterized by impairment, in varying degrees, of the ability to form normal social relationships, to communicate with others, difficulties in motor coordination, and even physical health issues.

Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding research into the causes, early prevention, treatments and future cure for autism, is promoting a global initiative called Light It Up Blue, to raise awareness about this growing health concern which affects an estimated 1 in 110 children (1 in 70 boys) in the U.S. This is the third year of Light It Up Blue, a day when iconic landmarks around the world (such as the Empire State Building and Sydney Opera House pictured above) are illuminated in blue as a moving reminder to us all of the millions living with autism. You too can join in this effort, by doing something as simple as changing the light bulb on your front porch. Don't have a front porch? Wear blue for the day. Light it up blue and wait for your friends and neighbors to ask why, explain the reason, and be a voice for that small child or adult who can’t speak for themselves because of this heartbreaking affliction.

A startling and frightening fact offered on the Autism Speaks website is that “more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes or pediatric AIDS combined.” All the more reason to participate in this small way and help bring us all closer to the day when autism is no more.

Visit the Tools & Resources tab on the Light It Up Blue site to printout a Participation Packet filled with other ideas on how you can acknowledge this special day.

Tebow and the Jets

The man of the hour himself landed in NJ yesterday, and Timsanity officially commenced in my household, as today I placed my order for a NY Jets Tebow #15 jersey.

I was inspired by the awesome sight of our newest Jet in gang green colors. Green has never looked so good.
Don't you just love a man in uniform?

Today is a New Day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dancing with the Stars Shines

The new season of Dancing with the Stars kicked off this Monday with one of its best premiere nights yet. Every dancer stepped up their game, jeez, even the 9 paddles made an apperance, on night one, unheard of. It was a magical evening; Len was in a good mood, Bruno limited his sexual innuendos during his judging, and Carrie Ann left her lift police badge at home.

Seriously, there were only a couple of dancers, like Gladys Knight and Melissa Gilbert, who were a little stiff, but that could easily be attributed to first dance nerves. Standouts from the evening included Donald Driver from the Green Bay Packers who was amazing, and totally robbed with some serious underscoring by the judges. Another favorite from the evening, which to be honest I had never heard of before, was Katherine Jenkins, a classical singer from the United Kingdom. Katherine was exquisite. Not to make myself sound like I know what the heck I'm talking about, but the way she finished her lines with these elegant hand movements was just lovely. Judge for yourself below.

Oh, and boy oh boy can Urkel dance! Jaleel White finished the night at the top of the leader board, garnering both great scores and compliments, with comparisons to the great Gregory Hines from both Bruno and Carrie Ann.

Luckily, we get to see another dance from everyone next Monday, before we lose our first contestant on Tuesday. Despite only seeing them dance once, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that either Gavin Degraw or Martina Navratilova will be this season's first casualty. Gladys wasn't great either, but she's got the nostalgia factor going for her.

Tune in next Monday at 8:00 PM EST on ABC for what's shaping up to be a great season.

Timsanity, Maybe

In what could be my best and earliest Christmas present ever, Tim Tebow might be coming to the NY Jets. I’m black & blue from pinching myself all afternoon. Unfortunately, I will have to temper my excitement temporarily because the trade has supposedly hit a snag, so it's not a done deal yet.

I hope it all works out for the best for Tim, and that God willing, wherever he ends up he gets an opportunity to shine and prove all the naysayers wrong.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Birthday Treasure

Last week was my birthday, but with work and volunteering I didn't get a chance to see my brother and nephews until this past weekend. Among my gifts were two beautiful outfits, but my favorite gift by far, was this coupon poster created especially for me by my two knuckleheads.

As you'll note, the variety of coupons presented astounds (not all are pictured above), from a coupon good for one back rub, to one good for a joke, to one coupon good for 2 tickets to my local gun show (the biceps kind, not the .38 caliber kind), to last but not least, a coupon good towards being put in a cradle (the body contorting wrestling move, not the infants bed). They've practiced this particular move on me already, and not to brag but, I'm still surprisingly flexible for my advanced age of 44. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the "R.I.A. (ripped in abs)", it is both the moniker they gave me as little boys when Ria was the closest they could get to Maria and the name they address me by to this day, and also a not so subtle but loving jab at the fact that I do not have ripped abs. The "do not break 'til Easter" warning next to the chocolate bar is due to the fact that I gave up chocolate for Lent.

This wonderfully creative and beautiful gift, yes beautiful, to me, because after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder, will be placed with all the other little treasures I've collected over the years from my knuckleheads. Everything from a bookmark created and decorated by their little hands and received from each of them when I was their "special friend's breakfast" guest in elementary school. Quite an honor, and one I never took lightly. To a small flower picked just for me on a soccer field by my oldest nephew. My treasures, each lovingly stored with a special memory wrapped around it, like the blueness of the sky on the day I got that flower, or the buzz of conversation in the crowded cafeteria as we sat side-by-side at a too small school table ready to enjoy our breakfast.

As my boys grow older and have less time for their old aunt, I know the movie outings and the inside jokes shared by just the three of us will diminish, but I know I'll always have their love and thankfully always have my treasures. I'm hoping I can still add a treasure or two to my collection before their first girlfriends show up on the horizon, because once those floozies make an appearance, I know I'm a goner.

Help Yourself to Happiness

Everybody, everywhere
seeks happiness, it's true,
But finding it and keeping it
seem difficult to do.
Difficult because we think
that happiness is found
Only in the places where
wealth and fame abound.
And so we go on searching
in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition
and monetary treasure,
Unaware that happiness
is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone
who takes time to be kind.
For in making others happy
we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away
returns to shine on you.

By Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, March 19, 2012

21 Jump Street

At the start of 21 Jump Street, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) fill the stereotypical high school roles, one a chubby nerd who can't get a date for the prom, and the other a gorgeous but dumb jock barely able to graduate. Once out of high school, they're anxious and ready to leave all the teenage angst behind, so they both join the police force where they become unlikely friends, each making up for the other's weakness. Now police officers who have severely (and riotously) fouled up a potential drug bust during their bicycle-riding park duty, they are assigned to a revamped secret unit where they'll use their youthful appearance to go undercover at a local high school to infiltrate the sellers in a drug ring responsible for the death of one teen, in order to catch the provider before the drug hits the streets and spreads to other schools. Things go wrong from the get go, when the roles assigned by their Captain are inadvertently switched and Schmidt ends up in track and drama hanging out with the cool kids, and Jenko instead ends up in AP chemistry with the nerds. They'll both have to face old and new fears alike in order to crack the case.

The best description for this movie is rude, crude and Hilarious (with a capital H). I haven't laughed so much in a long time. On par with another famous Hill comedy, Superbad, 21 Jump Street has something for everyone, the youngsters looking for raunch and action, as well as the old fans of the original 80's TV show. Oh, and lest you think it's all raunchy humor and foul language, let me tell you the movie has tons of heart, offering a heartwarming buddy story which tugs at your heart strings as much as the comedy tickles your funny bone.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Candy Chang's "Before I Die"

New Orleans artist, designer and urban planner, Candy Chang's "Before I Die" interactive public art project has hit the Chicago streets. The project invites people to share their hopes, dreams and aspirations in a public space. The project is brilliant in its simplicity. With the help of volunteers, a wall is covered in chalkboard paint and stenciled with the words "Before I die I want to ______," thereby welcoming passersby to share their dearest wishes with the world using provided pieces of chalk.

"Before I Die" walls have previously been installed in Brooklyn, Montreal and San Diego, and the project will arrive in Denver and Reno, N.V., in May.

Before I die I want to FALL IN LOVE . How would you finish the sentence?

PBS' Masterpiece Classic Little Dorrit

By pure chance, I came across the re-airing of PBS’ Masterpiece Classic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit. Thankfully, episodes 1 and 2 were available online, so I’m caught up and ready for episode 3 which airs this Sunday, March 18th.

In this Dickens classic, Amy (Little) Dorrit, performed beautifully by Claire Foy, is a selfless young woman who has lived her entire life in Marshalsea debtor’s prison, where she lovingly cares for her father William Dorrit. In order to provide for her family, Amy begins working for Mrs. Clennam, whose son Arthur (the gorgeous Matthew Macfadyen, Mr. Darcy from 2005’s Pride & Prejudice), returns from China after the death of his father determined to unravel a mystery prompted by his father’s final dying words, a mystery which begins to intertwine the fates of both his family and the Dorrits.

As I’ve previously mentioned in other posts, I’m a sucker for an underdog story, a sap for a love story, and a mush for a dark brooding hero (I might not have mentioned this last weakness of mine), as such, I’m overjoyed to have found this gem. The sets, scenery, and costumes are wonderful, and the actors have been perfectly cast. Claire Foy is a revelation as Little Dorrit. Ms. Foy's vulnerable face and large expressive blue eyes convey her emotions beautifully, from her compassion for her at times irrational father, to her fragile newfound love for Arthur. What can I say about Matthew Macfadyen? He’s brilliant. When I watch him in these period-pieces, whether it be as Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice or Arthur Clennam in Little Dorrit, he just is that character. It’s like the character was written for him and about him, and he’s merely stepped out of the pages of one of these great novels. It’s a true testament to his talent.

Check your local TV listings or visit to enjoy this riveting presentation. If patience is your least favorite virtue and you detest the thought of waiting one week between episodes, then you can purchase the DVD and instead enjoy a bladder-busting Little Dorrit marathon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness

March Madness, the name given to the NCAA’s basketball tournament to determine its national champion, is here and it’s got most of my co-workers in the grips of a gambling frenzy as they pick their brackets in the office pool. All of a sudden, the office is filled with ESPN analysts offering predictions on the final four, and since as the saying goes, “You gotta be in it, to win it”, I decided to revel in the madness and join in. Here are my brackets.

Here’s hoping for some beginner’s luck. Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Art Brought to Life

This is pretty cool. Child’s Own Studio, which I found through a posting on Pinterest, takes your child’s drawing and makes a recognizable stuffed toy from it. The gallery of creations is pretty extensive and as wild and wacky as a child’s imagination. Here’s a couple which caught my eye.

I don’t have any little ones in my life, both of my nephews would consider themselves above all of this – yes, they are at that “I’m so cool, I know it all” stage, but I think a young child would be wowed by seeing their creation brought to life, and it would become a keepsake to treasure always.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Project Night Night

Project Night Night is my current do good project. Project Night Night is a charitable organization whose mission it is to provide homeless children three simple essentials to help them feel more secure and cozy when they arrive at a homeless shelter during what is undoubtedly a difficult time in their young lives. With the help of thousands of volunteers, like you and I, they donate Night Night Packages which contain a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal -- all inside of a new canvas tote bag with the Project Night Night lamb logo. The hope is that these basic items will help reduce the trauma of having to be in a strange place, with new and unfamiliar faces. As the site states, “every child who receives one of our Night Night Packages leaves the shelter owning a book which encourages reading and family bonding, a security blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend.”

Since I recently reached out to friends and family for my last project, New Eyes for the Needy, I decided to tackle this endeavor on my own. The website provides the specific product donation guidelines for each item, so after setting a goal for myself of donating 10 bags, I started buying items. I've already bought all of the books and throws, and now the only things left to purchase are the stuffed animals.

A great feature of the program is that you can help make a difference in your own community. Project Night Night offers a listing of all the shelters they serve and you can easily search for a shelter in a neighborhood near you.

This is one of my favorite little projects so far, maybe because it involves kids. I can’t wait 'til I finish my shopping and can assemble my bags. It warms my heart to know that a scared child, boy or girl, will find comfort in the items I’ll have packed with love. I’ll be sure to post an update with photos of the finished products.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Les Émotifs Anonymes

I purchased a ticket to see this movie at an upcoming Focus on French Cinema Film Festival at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. Les Émotifs Anonymes (Romantics Anonymous) tells the story of Angélique Delange, a chocolate-maker with a lifelong case of uncontrollable shyness that prevents her from properly sharing her confectionary talents. Jean-René Van Den Hugde suffers from a similar case of terminal abashment and runs a fledgling chocolate company in desperate need of a new direction. When Jean-René hires Angélique, the two must face their deepest fears in order to find love.

The preview looks wonderfully sweet and romantic. Can't wait.


Run by Blake Crouch is a simple, yet brilliant novel of a family's survival. Horrific acts of violence have begun taking place in the United States. Each event more shocking and grotesque than the last. As events escalate and spiral out of control the President appears on national TV asking for calm. As anarchy reigns, the power goes out in grids all across the nation, over the radio names and addresses are read of individuals targeted for extinction. Jack Colclough, a University professor, husband and father of two, hears his name. All he can do is run. Without much information, supplies, or a real plan, Jack and his family, make a desperate attempt at survival. Facing a world totally out of control, seemingly insurmountable odds, as well as countless horrors, Jack braves his worst fears and inadequacies in order to save his family; wife Dee, 14-year old daughter Naomi and 7-year old son Cole.

Wow! That was so good! One of the best books I've read in a long time. It's a spine-tingling, edge of your seat, thrill ride from start to finish. Just when you think your nerves can't get more frayed, Crouch amps it up another notch. The characters and family dynamic are so well written, that you care about them from the get go. I especially loved Jack, a man flawed and afraid, but who's love for his wife and his children is stronger than his greatest fears. Most importantly, when all is said and done, without even realizing it, the book becomes more about the bonds of love and the will of the human spirit than about the thrill of the chase. What else can I say? It was so good, that as soon as I finished it, I had to re-read it. Run, don't walk, to your nearest book store or to your computer to visit Amazon to get this great book.


Since I was M.I.A. from the blog during football season, you're all unaware of my total indoctrination into Tebowmania. Yup, I drank the Kool-Aid. It all started after the Denver Broncos beat my own NY Jets. Unlike many of the die-hard Tebow fans I had never followed him in college, so for me it all started with an incredible interview he gave right after the Jets defeat. He was intelligent, soft-spoken, and despite all the jabs thrown his way by the commentators, a true gentleman. Plus, I'm nothing if not a sucker for an underdog.

The more I learned about this young man, he's only 24, who's already done so much with his life, the more I admired him. Like the fact that through his foundation, Tim Tebow Foundation, they are building a children's hospital in the Philippines (the country of his birth, and where his parents served as missionaries). Or the fact that through his W15H program, he's fulfilled the wish of countless children with life-threatening illnesses and brought them to all his games, home or away, and that win or lose, or as Tim says "hero or goat" he takes the time to meet with them, spend time with them and their family, and give them a little hope.

I'm still a NY Jets fan, but I'll be buying my first ever NFL jersey before the start of next football season, and it will be a Tebow #15. To be honest, it's never been about the football for me. I'm truly a fan of Tim Tebow, the man, not the player, though I think he's a pretty darn good player too. Every interview I've watched and article I've read have only enhanced my admiration for everything he does and stands for as a person. Plus, who doesn't love a Cinderella story? Who doesn't cheer for the underdog that everyone says can't win? Every come from behind win in the season, every miraculous finish only added to my belief that goodness, faith, and a little prayer goes a long way in life.

P.S. Well, it’s a done deal, Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco, which means Tim is sure to be traded. I’m disappointed for him, because I’m sure he would’ve loved to finish what he started in Denver and to have had the support of his coach and the organization, but such is life. I hope that he has people by his side to get him through this difficult time, but most importantly I hope his faith reminds him to never question God’s plan for him, and hopefully this knowledge gives him hope and strength. Here’s to bigger and better things.

P.P.S. OMG, he's a NY Jet!!!

The Loving Story

I recently attended a special screening of the documentary film The Loving Story, which featured a Q&A session with Janet Maslin of the New York Times and Nancy Buirski, the director and producer of the film. The film tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in 1950s Virginia, whose eventual landmark Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, changed history.

Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter fell in love and got married. When word of their marriage reached the local police, they were roused from their beds at four in the morning, and taken to the local jail. Their crime? Interracial marriage; Richard was White and Mildred was part Black, part Cherokee. Their punishment? A year in jail, but the judge suspended the sentence because they agreed to leave the state. After years of heartache, exiled from their home and family, Mildred reached out to a young Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, who directed them to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and so began their struggle for the most basic of rights, the right of an individual to love and marry the person of their choosing.

Mildred Loving passed away in 2008, but on June 12, 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, she issued a rare public statement which spoke in part to same-sex marriage rights battle of today. Mildred Loving said: "I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

The facts of the story are compelling and the film itself moving, all the more so because it is told in the Loving’s own voices. The film features incredible black & white footage of interviews with Richard and Mildred in their home, their children, and the young ACLU lawyers who took on their case. A timely and relevant film, especially given the current civil rights struggles of today to make marriage legal for same sex-couples. The Loving Story is a great film that both enlightens on how far we've come as a nation, and no matter what your beliefs or opinions on the civil rights issues faced today, it is sure to bring about dynamic discussion and debate which can only make for a more informed and civil public discourse.

New Eyes for the Needy

I found New Eyes for the Needy when searching the net for my next little do good project. New Eyes for the Needy is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1932, focused on providing improved vision and hope to millions of adults and children in the U.S. and around the world. Since 1932, they have helped over 7,000,000 by both purchasing new eyeglasses in the United States, and also recycling donated glasses for distribution in developing nations worldwide. Each pair of glasses, whether new or recycled, goes to help a child better read a blackboard in school and/or an adult be better equipped to perform their job.

Motivated by these worthy goals, I sent a collection drive email to friends and family, and as always, they came through in spades. Including four pairs of my own old glasses and those donated by friends, I was able to collect 25 pairs of glasses to send to this worthy organization.

This would be a great project to undertake among your own friends and family, or even as a class project in your child’s school. Visit the website found through the link above, and help someone see life through a fresh pair of eyes.

Hi, Hello, and How Do You Do? all three of you (maybe I’m being optimistic) who still read this blog. Hope all is well with everyone. Finally over my blogging blues, so I’ll be posting again within the next few minutes.