Sunday, June 18, 2006
Mucha Lucha
While sitting in an outside cafe in the Zocalo of Oaxaca, my roommate at the time, Nicki, spotted someone famous. After much deliberation she and Jen, who was visiting at the time, she realized it was Ned Snebley from "School of Rock." Nicki and Jen worked up enough courage to meet this semi-famous actor named Mike White. I played the small role of taking the picture, but I can say I met him and shook his hand. After further research, we found out the Mike White is a writer/producer of films like "Orange County", "School of Rock", and this new film that he mentioned, "Nacho Libre." If we had only known the extent of his talent at the time! I would have been much more nervous.
Needless to say, Jen, my roommates, and I have been counting down the days till "Nacho Libre" came out in theatres. Besides the fact that I LOVE Jack Black, we had a connection to this movie like never before. So, opening night, Jen and I got our tickets and arrived almost an hour early to find an already half-way filled theatre that was soon sold-out. I don't claim to be a great film critic, but here is my review:

I genuinely liked the movie. The director is Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), so the movie has a quirky twist that is sometimes interpreted as slow. However, Jack Black was hilarious as ever, with new, quotable lines in a Mexican accent. Like most Mike White films, there was an underlying moral that touches the heart, but combine that with Jack Black's expressions and it's a hit. I will buy this movie partly because I liked it, partly because I feel like I basically know the producer (which I don't, but I'm sure I'll tell the story of how I met him for many years to come).

Look closely at these pictures:

That's right, the final scene of the movie was filmed on the very steps we stood on that over looks these native-Mexican ruins. I was REALLY excited about that!

Saturday, June 03, 2006
You Don't Have to be Catholic to Appreciate this....
"You don't have to put your hand on Mary's heart to get strength and consolation and rescue, and all the other things we need to get through life," she said. "You can place it right here on your own heart. Your own heart."
August stepped closer. She kept the pressure steady against my hand. "All those times your father treated you mean, Our Lady was the voice in you that said, "No, I will not bow down to this. I am Lily Melissa Owens, I will not bow down." Whether you could hear this voice or not, she was in there saying it..."
"When you're unsure of yourself," she said,"when you start pulling back into doubt and small living, she's the one inside saying, "Get up from there and live like the glorious girl you are."She's the power inside you, you understand?"
Her hands stayed where they were but released their pressure."And whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that's Mary, too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, Lily, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love--but to persist in love."
She paused. Bees drummed their sound into the air. August retrieved her hands from the pile on my chest, but I left mine there. "This Mary I'm talking about sits in your heart all day long, saying, "Lily, you are my everlasting home. Don't you ever be afraid. I am enough. We are enough."

Sue Monk Kidd "The Secret Live of Bees"

Sometimes these words aren't necessarily spoken, but experienced.

Re-Discover Your Public Library

At work on Wednesday, I was thinking about indoor plants and how much I would love to know more about gardening. But how? There's the internet, but google can be redundant and a waste of time looking through web-sites. "I need a book," I thought. But then, books are expensive. And that's when I had a revelation, "Public Library."
At 12 noon, I rushed out of Cedar Park Pediatric and Family Medicine, quickly started my car, and briskly drove to the Cedar Park Public Library.
When I arrived I experienced a beautiful feeling that's only felt several times in one's life...I was genuinely excited about learning. I can learn whatever I want, whenever. And not only do they have informative books, but fiction such as Francine Rivers and magazines that include "Martha Stewart." Don't get me started on their DVD collection, books on tape, and kid-friendly children's section. The best part of the day is that this cost me absolutely nothing. They even have convenient library cards that fit on your key chain. Needless to say, I was walking around that library with a smile pasted on my face.
And then I started thinking a little deeper, about how privileged we are to live in an country where learning and education is not only allowed, but encouraged and without cost. Education is so important for personal growth.
Here's my challenge to readers: Give up one TV show a week and replace it with reading (or books on tape).