Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alec Baldwin


This is for Jenny.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Transformers


Hey! This wasn't so bad! I guess I had such low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't even going to deign to watch; I was merely grading papers in the vicinity. But it caught my attention and it was cute to watch Dan and Ray laugh at different parts. Totally a guys movie-- but done so that I was interested, too. Lots of body shots on the women, but at least they were partially clothed! Shia LaBeouf did a good job. Cute enough and nerdy enough. :)

Shrek the Third



Can't remember when this break we watched this movie, but the movie itself is just as memorable. Fun for a few chuckles; otherwise, kinda boring. Liked the line at the end where Shrek says in a come hither voice, "What should we do now?" And... then you see them sleeping. So true...
Justin Timberlake has gone through puberty, right?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ratatouille


This Thanksgiving, we had dinner at my house and were joined by my dad, Jamie, Chris, her boyfriend, Priscilla, Austin, and Dan. I made ratatouille, dilled carrots, creamed corn, and garlic green beans. Everything was quite tasty! Dan helped a lot with the ratatouille, so that is most likely why it turned out so successfully. (plus, I added some Tony Chechere's (sp?)) We also had turkey, of course, and stuffing, rolls, and Jamie made a great sweet potato dish--loved the chunks of sweet potato!! Ah, beta carotene.
After dinner, we watched Ratatouille, the movie, as I love Pixar films and it has become a tradition to watch one as a [larger] family, (last year was Cars.) And I enjoyed the movie-- my favorite part was having Dan or Ray laughing on either side of me. The movie was cute with great voices and talented writing, like all of their work. I didn't connect with it as much as Finding Nemo or The Incredibles, (but I think the familial content in those films is what gets me and this didn't have as much of that...) But it was fun to view a movie that appealed to all ages groups.
For dessert, we had vanilla ice cream, chocolate raspberry cake, and strawberry shortcake. I had too much of that!
Billy came over and the men and Priscilla played poker while I chased children around. I got to talk to my mom, Ray's parents, and Chricchi. And, the children finally went to bed!
Dan, Ray, Billy, and I played Cranium. And guess who won; that's right! The unbeatable combo of Billy & Erika! Of course, later we realized that we weren't exactly playing the game right-- but we, as a team, are unstoppable! That also happened with Jenny and I-- we can read each other very well. So, boom! Eat that Ray-winner-of-every-freakin'-board-game-we-play-Lindholm!
It's late; I should end now before I get into trouble!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reign Over Me


This was the weekend for emotion-ridden movies! Jenny, Ray, and I rented this one and it was worth it-- the 2 hours and the $4.99.
Adam Sandler does a great job. I prefer him in serious roles. Don Cheadle is awesome as always. Again, another movie set in NYC.
Sandler is believable, but sometimes verged on the schizophrenic-- if I'm using that label correctly-- which is supposed to not happen in times of stress and grief; I thought it was something one has had their whole life, but I don't really know...
I appreciate how the writers/director didn't try to capitalize on September 11th; they indirectly hinted at it which I think was more powerful than relying on the images of that day and just engaging the imagination.
I also appreciated the depiction of friendship being a mutual exchange of support and encouragement for change and progress.

Bella


I finally got to see this movie on our anniversary. It was, well, "Bella." I loved it and felt swirled up in the story-telling, though a couple of times, I got confused and I think that may be because the directing and editing wasn't as seamless as it could have been. Or it could be because when I get emotionally involved in a movie, I end up missing details or cues...
The main characters were very convincing, even with some lines of the dialogue feeling a bit stilted.
Overall, it was very moving and refreshing to have a movie that portrays children as channels for hope and goodness and innocence.
(fyi- have Kleenex on hand.)
For those of you who love NYC, this is a pic for you, too.
Way to go, Metanoia Films!
Check out the website www.bellathemovie.com

Anis


I first ate at this restaurant with the kindergarten teachers at Christ the King and I had some yummy spinach salad. Ray and I ate there on Friday night for our anniversary and he loved it. It has a very casual atmosphere, (watch out--there's smoking in the bar,) lots of fun with live jazz bands, (and we knew the drummer in this ensemble--and they played bassa nova! I was very happy about that.) The staff is very helpful and friendly.
I had grilled salmon and smashed potatoes with broccolini and Ray had lamb chops with grilled eggplant. We both recommend this place. It's on the expensive side, (it is French cuisine after all,) but it is laid back and exudes the personality of the owners. It's in an old house on Grandview, tucked away from all the hub-bub of Buckhead.

18 December 1998


photo: California, 1999

(In honor of my and Ray's fifth wedding anniversary, I thought I would leave an old journal entry I came across; please forgive errors!)

18 December 1998
This might seem odd. But I guess today I have great gratitude for innovation--for the curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills God gives us. Specifically for those who this gift was granted--for those who invented the telephone. If it weren't for the telephone--I'd have 1/2 of my life...Luckily, I am not too far from those I love--but for those who are separated from loved ones by thousands of miles--the phone must bring some consolation. I've been speaking with a brilliant man named Raymond via Internet and telephone. He's wonderful-- and if it weren't for the telephone--I'd never be able to experience God's gifts that are so prevalent in him. Through these wires I have become closer to him and I feel there is a possibility that this closeness might change my life...electricity and sound > the sound of voices...through this life is inspired, shared, enjoyed. My spirit is touched by love and comfort.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Dreams May Come


So there is a cute story behind this movie. Back in October of 1998, October 11th to be exact-- there was a cute, young man seeing this movie on his birthday in Kansas City and was left reflecting on the existence of "soul mates." Meanwhile, one time zone away, a young woman, who vehemently protested the idea of soul mates, (as it seemingly denied the reality of love being a decision,) was viewing the same movie in a dark Athens theater with a Brazilian guy who pretended he couldn't speak English (when it was convenient for him.)
Later that evening, inspired in KC, Ray decided to venture out and see who he could meet via cyberspace. (He might tell this story differently...) And I was online... and I'll leave it at that. So, I am now comfortable with the idea of soul mates, seeing now that real love and this idea are not mutually exclusive. You still have to make that decision, that commitment, every day, to love your soul mate; perhaps that special connection just makes it a little easier.
As for the movie itself, anyone who knows me and has seen the movie would know what I think about it... (funny that almost 10 years ago, I got something completely different from the movie-- so much for studying philosophy and religion!)
I appreciated the movie's artful literary aspirations and that it acknowledged that souls, heaven, and hell actually exist. On the other hand, our physical body has immense value. The physical world is inherently good. Our soul is unique and valuable. We would lose that if we reincarnated and lost awareness and connection to our self (then who actually is the "self"?) Oh, heretical Hollywood, what a tangled web you weave...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Delish!


Delish!
Originally uploaded by meropa

Thanks to Auntie Melissa for being sweet and taking Miss Sophie out to get some yummy chocolate ice cream!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

St John Chrysostom


"A young husband should say to his bride, 'I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.'"

World Youth Day, Rome 2000


"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Archbishop Gregory


Please pray for our dear Archbishop Wilton Gregory. He is having surgery on Monday to remove a cancerous tumor. May the Lord guide the hands of the surgeon and restore Archbishop to full health.
This is a picture of him before he became Atlanta's bishop. I wanted to go with one that showcased his brilliant smile, (he is such a warm and loving guy, for those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting him,) but I liked that this photo caught him in thought.
There's a picture of him and I in the CTK yearbook; though, I wish it wasn't. It's a horrible picture of me really pregnant and sporting my thick, nerdy glasses with a big, excited, goofy grin. (He came to my classroom and introduced himself very kindly when he first came to ATL.) Ah, pride and vanity.
Sophia and Oliver love him. It's pretty cute.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A hopeful society


A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator--and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale.
--President George W Bush, State of the Union Address, 31 Jan 06

Romanes Eunt Domus [sic]

laudatory temporis acti


I was finally able to read the article that I've heard home school moms talk about since, well, since I knew what "home-schooling" was. The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers is a snapshot of the argument for a classical education and a "fun" bit to read; it's feels like reclining into a warm bath of understanding and being refreshed by the splash of ambition it would take to pursue this attainable, though strenuous, goal.
I'll leave a few highlights that I enjoyed:
...if we are to produce a society of educated people, fitted to preserve their intellectual freedom amid the complex pressures of our modern society, we must turn back the wheel of progress...
...by teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word...they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects...
...We cannot go back--or can we? Distinguo. I should like every term in that proposition defined. Does "go back" mean a retrogression in time or the revision of error? The first is clearly impossible per se; the second a thing which wise men do every day. "Cannot" --does this mean that our behavior is determined irreversibly, or merely that such an action would be very difficult in view of the opposition it would provoke?
...Latin should be begun as early as possible--at a time when inflected speech seems no more astonishing than any other phenomenon in an astonishing world; and when the chanting of "Amo, amas, amat" is as ritually agreeable to the feelings as the chanting of "eeny, meeny, miney, moe."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conversion


A few years ago, while I was at work, I met a friendly Monsignor, whose name I will leave out since he's well-known around these parts, and somehow I mentioned that I had not been Catholic my whole life, and that I converted at the age of 18. With an endearing smile he lightly corrected me and said, "You joined the Church." I nodded with a compliance that tried to hide the discussion in my mind. Yes, technically, since I was christened as a baby and, at least, categorically, grew up in a Christian home, I didn't "convert" in the denotative meaning of one being baptized into Christianity from some other faith. I would think that, sacramentally, one being a catechumen and being baptized would be enough to account for a "conversion," whether or not I attended a Christian church in my youth.
And this was not the first time I had had this conversation with a priest or lay person. I can understand the desire to rely heavily on the more narrow meaning of the word conversion in order to foster a sense of ecumenism, but I fear that this is done at the expense of minimizing a person's particular experiences. This limited use of the word might have been more helpful in earlier times when those who sought to join the Church were either pagan, Jewish, or Muslim and were "converting" to Christianity. Now we have a very wide range of Protestant Christians who come to the Church and while they do have a religious knowledge of Jesus, that understanding isn't always just a few tweaks away from Catholic teaching.
In my experience, my whole worldview was changed. How I viewed my self, the human race, soteriological and eschatological views, you name it. It was very much a "conversion," including the sometimes accompanying condemnation or ostracizing by family or community members. I went from knowing God as a distant, loving person, much like any acquaintance, to knowing him intimately, as a spouse. This is so dramatically different of an experience, that when it happens between 2 people, we have an elaborate ceremony for it and call it a marriage. I consummated my relationship with Jesus with the Sacraments. I didn't just change my membership from one church to another.
So, I am in favor of using the word conversion more freely, whether we mean a particular, distinct moment in time or the on-going conversion we are all called to, where day by day we are actively striving to grow and mature and experience God on a deeper level. Maybe more verbal support for these changes would lend to them happening more frequently, more openly, and having a more lasting impact.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip


I got some of these yesterday and I'm in love. Just one of the reasons Autumn is such an amiable season.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Anastasia


Pros: fun allusions to early 20th century French culture
Cons: the rest of the movie

It will take years to reverse the misinformation Sophia received from this movie. I wouldn't even know where to start. Definitely a bummer for adults and not worth it for kids, either.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sal Grosso


For Ray's birthday, I took him to Sal Grosso. I figured I couldn't lose with Ray and a place that serves all you can eat meat on sticks. I have to say the meat was delicious! I loved the Fillet Mignon. Ray preferred the leg of lamb. I appreciated the hot and cold salad bar, though, the mashed potatoes could have been thicker and more flavorful, (I am a mashed potatoes connoisseur.) The drinks were EXPENSIVE. $10 a piece and you're never given a menu, so you don't know how much anything costs.
The best part was the business cards they put on your table. One side is red, the other green. If the red side is up, they will pass you by with the meat; if the green side is showing, they know to stop at your table and serve you. Well, I fidget and this led to several times of having to say yes to meat in order to not piss off any gauchos. The first time it happened I said, "Oops, accident!" And he didn't seem very happy, though Ray said he didn't care. So from then on, if it happened, I just said "yes" and stuffed down some delicious meat that there was no room for. In conclusion, I recommend this restaurant chain, just don't fill up on the salad bar so you can eat more meat! (And keep your hands off the cards!)

Jim uses the Archibald B**** Slap Method

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Down To Earth


So I was sitting up late one night ironing clothes for Ray which will now be a common occurrence since he now works in an office and I turned the tube on to keep me company. We only have like 5 channels, so my options were limited. I caught a glimpse of Chris Rock and thought, "can't be too bad..."
I guess it can. As the movie progressed, I remembered that I had seen it already and therefore any redeeming qualities that it might have possessed, like suspense, had withered away with each lame one-liner about some overused racial stereotype. AND, I'm not too fond of Wanda Sykes. Chris Rock is funny alone, though mostly due to his goofy grin and fool-hearty enthusiasm. I guess my real gripe with the movie was the lame amalgamation of after-death beliefs... a perennialist's concluding mess. And some lame New Age propaganda about us not being our bodies, but our spirits. Last time I checked I was an embodied soul. Physical and spiritual. "The color of your skin, the city you're from, the way you talk, your gender" (paraphrasing here) IS important. It is part of who you are, if you take these things away, what are you left with? Surely you should not be judged by characteristics alone, but you don't wake up in the morning and "put on" your body and choose which personal history would go well with the shoes. I wonder what these writers would think of Theology of the Body? For this movie, I say don't waste your time, unless it's 1 am and you're ironing clothes and you've forgotten that silence is golden.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tom Kha Kai


I never had an interest in Thai food outside of the Thai Curry rice bowl with tofu at Noodle-- which some would argue is not actually Thai... but at Erica's bridal dinner I had a traditional Thai soup made of coconut milk and served in an ornate, silver, Fondu-like bowl and it was delicious! I recommend going to Tara Thai in Fayetteville for this soup if you have the chance, because so far, theirs is the best. For those of you who have never had it, think soup of coconut milk, lime juice, cilantro, chicken, scallions, and mushrooms. Bon Appetite!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Psychology as Religion


I finally finished reading Paul Vitz's Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship. I would love to give a detailed critique, but I have laundry to do from our trip to Ar-Kansas. (Yes, yes, I am full of justifiable excuses...)
I really enjoyed reading this book as he ambitiously covers ground in many different fields, such as education and politics. This is a great read, too, if you are interested in popular culture and the transformation of the family across the last few decades, etc. He clearly and sufficiently points out how psychology, as self-help alone, is transferred to the space originally occupied by traditional religions. He defends psychology as a science against the abuse of secular humanists. He implies that the New Age has spoiled psychology by the attempt at diluting its objective abilities. There are many quotes that I would love to pull from the text, but I'll just leave you with one.
No doubt there are some young people for whom the Rogerian self-therapy is a genuine constructive experience--for example, those reared by overly moralistic, overly critical, rigidly authoritarian parents. (I have been told that such families still exist, though I do not know any. I assume they must be close to extinction.) The great irony is that recent generations, which have so enthusiastically embraced antiauthoritarian selfism, have probably grown up with the least authoritarian parents in history. (p.110)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Weekend Wedding Trip


So I will be leaving, hopefully, at 6 AM to head on out to Arkansas where Jenny is getting married. It'll be in a beautiful mountain town called Eureka Springs. I look forward to the trip, even though long car rides with the kids aren't always pleasant and 18-wheelers make me nervous. I've never been to AR or to Birmingham, Memphis, or Little Rock--which we'll pass through.
Shaka is coming with us and I'm sure he'll be a life saver with all that has to be done and with all the fun there is to have.
I can't wait to see Jenny's new house and meet Mundo's family.
I'll fill in when I return; in the meantime, I thought this image would tell all there is to know about Arkansas.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A first time for everything


Did you know that most people eat chicken skin? This is news to me. Ray thinks it's funny that I 1) don't eat the skin and 2) didn't think that anyone else did either. (Guess the world is made up of more than just me and Reagan...)
So tonight, for the first time, I tasted the skin of my chicken breast. Brendan grilled a fabulous chicken so it was the most opportune time to try. And I have to say it wasn't bad. It wasn't as good as bacon, of course. There is a lot of flavor in the skin but the texture is a turn-off. I think I'll stick to peeling it back and discarding it on the side of my plate.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Identity Theft

Mongolian Ping Pong


I thought I could keep track of the movies I get to see via this site as well. I'm in the process of making Tuna Casserole, so this will be short. The kids get cranky when they're hungry.
So I recently saw Mongolian Ping Pong and I enjoyed it. I would recommend this film, particularly if you are acquainted with young boys.
There are breath-taking landscapes and the film appears to be just of moving photographs. (Though I was a little distracted at the speed of film they used. It's not the usual cinematic film.)
It has a charming quality that is created by the use of indirect allusions that is characteristic of pastoral Asian culture.
Unfortunately, I watched this movie while the kids were up and moving around so I missed some pieces, so I would definitely watch it again if anyone is interested!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bacon


Why does bacon have to taste so good? I can't believe it. In reality, it is completely disgusting, but in the mouth, it is oh, so delicious.
I wish I didn't like it, but I do.
There, I've said it. Now I can go on with life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mothers and War


For this entry, I was inspired by Sally Field's acceptance speech at the Emmy's. I didn't watch the Emmy's, but heard about her censored comments, so I looked it up on youtube-- I got the uncensored version. God bless that funny website.
But, it got me thinking... what is this generally accepted notion that women are equipped with some ability to avoid war? While, women, as a whole, being less aggressive than men, could be less likely to engage in violence, there are some characteristics of women that would lend themselves to being just as prone as men--particularly if the woman is a mother.
Mothers are wired to protect their children. And most will do so at any cost. There is a strong inclination in defending their territory as well. I can't even put a sign on the door to discourage moms from walking through my group meeting without being put on the brink of war. Perhaps women can be more discreet. Perhaps their cold stares are more effective and perhaps they can get the job done faster, more efficiently--because they're better at multi-tasking. But, I do not see that if mothers ran the world that we would not be at war. No need to look to Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, or Golda Meir, just watch moms in the car pool line...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First Entry

OK, so I have ventured into the blogosphere... and I feel pretty indifferent seeing as how I will not be leaving words of wit or profound passages. I'll leave that to my ingenius friends who truly contribute in this medium.
But, this seems to suit me more than myspace which I realize only contributed to my vanity by having pictures of my good hair days and my beautiful family in order to prove myself to those who would have assumed less... So! Enough of that and some more of this.
I have several journals for different reasons, one for each child, one for Ray, one for meditations, but this will be my recreational place. I guess we'll see how far it goes.