Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dan in Old Country

Watched a couple of movies with the down time over the holidays. The first was Dan in Real Life with The Office's Steve Correll.I hate to refer to this as a romantic comedy since the phrase conjures up all kinds of cheesy schmaltzy cliche imagery; nevertheless, that is what it is. I really enjoyed it. I would call it a "smart romantic comedy." It wasn't predictable. The story was strong and the acting was A+.

Correll successfully got out from under his Michael Scott character and came off as a simple likable "guy next door," much the same way Will Ferrell did in Stranger than Fiction (highly recommend). He's a strong and compelling "every man."

The great Dianne Wiest played his mom & the strong John Mahoney played his dad. Great support by Juliette Binoche and Dane Cook plus the actresses who played Correll's daughters.

Dan in Real Life is well worth the DVD rental.

Watched No Country for Old Men last night. I am a big fan of the Coen brothers movies (Hudsucker Proxy, Raising Arizona, Fargo, O Brother Where art Thou?) but this one didn't do it for me.

The acting was phenomenal. Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson and Jarvier Bardem were flawlessly believable. The plot was interesting and unpredictable. The title was the crux of the movie but I didn't need all the darkness of 80% of the movie to make its point. More insight into Tommy Lee's character would have been welcome.

I will blame some of my lack of want for this movie on the state of our country right now. With the economy in the outhouse and real stories of Santa showing up at a house, shooting a little girl and burning down the house, it's harder for me to enjoy a movie like this or even The Dark Knight. I simply am finding little interest in watching things that parallel the dark underbelly of our culture right now. So perhaps in better times I might have enjoyed this movie more.

Take a pass on No Country for Old Men.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Just got an email from my friend at the Kokomo Rescue Mission: their pipes burst in their warehouse and is flooding the area where the food is kept. Don't know if it's under control or they need help--their number is 765.456.3838. I'm sure prayer is appreciated.

A friend of mine in Oakbrook's singles ministry gave a ride home to a single mom & her kids the other day. He learned they were new in town and in need. My friend asked some of the singles ministry peeps and Sandra asked our small group peeps to do what they could. We didn't solve all of their problems but we definitely gave a decent sized cushion of food, household supplies and even some cash and gift cards.

I'm glad my friend was paying attention and gave us the opportunity to help. Let us all be on the lookout for the next opportunity.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vintage Xmas 2008

Just had a fun time playing drums with the OCC Big Band in "Vintage Christmas." Great times.
Check out the pics.

Friday, December 19, 2008

marketing the church

I think this post by Tony Morgan is concise & packed with wisdom. Check it out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

car problems

This isn't a piece, pro or con, on the potential bailout of our Big Three automakers; I'm simply not informed enough about it to play pundit.

But I have found it interesting that as soon as the lending institutions got in trouble, the government was bailing them out quickly and with little fuss. But when the automakers inquired about a bailout, they were not met very warmly at all; at this point it's questionable if they will get anything.

Here's the crux of this post: I'm finding it interesting that (liberal) Michael Moore is fighting for the autoworkers when the (conservative) Republicans don't appear to want to help. I'm not taking a stand here---I just find it highly ironic that so many autoworkers I know in my auto city vote republican and yet the republicans don't seem to care less about this.

The magnitude of the Big Three potentially going toes up seems like it should have the attention of the brightest minds in the country, if not world; I don't have the sense that it does. I hope our political leaders feel the gravity that the Big Three is more than three corporations. It's thousands of families and US communities.

Here's Michael Moore's recent ramble on this situation.

Praying for all involved...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Interesting New TV Show

I know this post's title reads like an oxymoron, but Fox's new "Secret Millionaire" is good reality TV (crikey, another oxymoron!)

So what do Trading Spaces, The Office and Secret Millionaire have in common? They were all hits in Great Britain before coming to US TV and being big hits here.

Here's the premise: Take take away all their expensive stuff, clothes and money. Give them a week's minimum wage and leave them in a financially oppressed area for a week. They must not divulge who they are until the last day. That's when they must give at least $100,000 of their own money away to someone or some people they've met.

What I like about the show is there's no host. You just follow around the millionaires in their week. In that way, it feels less forced, less contrived and less manipulated than say Extreme Home Makeover.

The only thing I didn't like in the two episodes I watched was the cheesy overly dramatic music and freeze frames as the millionaires came clean and told the people who they really were.

The other thing I liked is the authentic eye-opening experiences the rich folk had coupled with the response of the recipients of the large checks. Again, no hosts--just someone being generous with someone in need whom they really got to know.

A lot of these people had given money to charity before, but it's clear it was given from a distance. Here, the close proximity, immersion in the culture and relational connection make a profound difference.

Give it a look.