Dear Marathon Girl:
Thanks for four wonderful years together. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Iâ€™m looking forward to many more years with you by my side.
8 comments February 28th, 2007
Dear Marathon Girl:
Thanks for four wonderful years together. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Iâ€™m looking forward to many more years with you by my side.
8 comments February 28th, 2007
Q: From that photo it looks like you hurt your arm. How did that happen?
A: The President of the United States called upon me to save the country from a terrorist attack. Although I neutralized the problem, some injuries were sustained in the process.
Q: How did you really hurt your arm?
A: Like an idiot, I did a fairly heavy weight routine during the day, forgetting that I had volunteered to help a neighbor move that evening. By the time the day was over, I had overextended my arm.
Q: So is your arm broken?
A: No. The doctor thinks itâ€™s some sort of sprain. He said if I donâ€™t have full use of it in three or four days, I need to see a specialist.
Q: Full use of your armâ€¦.?
A: I canâ€™t straighten my arm out. And it hurts like you wouldnâ€™t believe when I try to do that.
Q: How has your hurt arm affected your life?
A: Well, Marathon Girl gives me a lot of â€œget wellâ€ kisses. Thatâ€™s never a bad thing.
Q: So itâ€™s all positive then?
A: No. This morning Marathon Girl had to help me put my shirt on. That was embarrassing.
Q: Are you able to work?
A: Miraculously the injury hasnâ€™t affected my ability to type. That’s a good thing since writing makes up 90 percent of my work day.
Q:Â Has your arm affected your ability to watch LOST?
A: No, but after Wednesdayâ€™s episode, I wish it would have. That one sure was a snoozer. Who cares about Jackâ€™s tattoos! And will someone just ask the Others a direct question like: Who the hell are you and what exactly are you doing on this island?
Q: Can you still run?
A: Yes. But I have to slow down as I canâ€™t swing my arm as much as Iâ€™d like. Iâ€™m not complaining. Iâ€™m just happy to be able to work out.
Q: You sound like Superman! Is there anything you canâ€™t do?
A: Lift anything over five pounds.
Q: Wait. I just noticed itâ€™s your left arm thatâ€™s hurt. Arenâ€™t you left handed?
A: Yes, I am. Itâ€™s been an interesting few days using my right hand for most everyday tasks. It wasnâ€™t until I hurt my arm that I realized how the world is made for right handed people. Itâ€™s been an eye opening experience to say the least.
Q: Any plans on becoming a right hander after you stop wearing the sling.
A: I donâ€™t think so. I was born left handed and Iâ€™ll die left handed.
Q: So will we hear more about your arm in the future?
A: Not unless it needs to be amputated.
2 comments February 26th, 2007
February is one of the worst months to find a movie in theaters worth watching. This time of year theyâ€™re usually full of boring Oscar contenders and other movies the studios donâ€™t have much faith in. Fortunately for movie goers someone decided to release a thrilling spy movie that will probably go down as one of the best movies of 2007.
Breach is based on the true story of FBI agent Robert Hansen (Chris Cooper) who spied for the Russians and was considered responsible for the worst security breaches in U.S. History. Eric Oâ€™Neil (Ryan Phillippe) is new to the bureau and is hoping to make Agent. Heâ€™s assigned to be an assistant to Hansen and reports to a senior agent about every movement Hansen makes.
Even though we learn in the first minute of the film what Hansen did and that he eventually gets caught, Breach is still a thrilling movie. The excitement doesnâ€™t come from car chases or explosions but from the intense physiological drama that is played out between Hansen and Oâ€™Neil. Despite his best attempts to earn Hansenâ€™s trust, Oâ€™Neil canâ€™t figure his boss out and must continually remember what lies heâ€™s told to Hansen.
Hansen, who loves to be in control, thinks the FBI or some government agency is on to him but canâ€™t be sure. He does his best to keep his assistant off balance by doing things like showing up at Oâ€™Neilâ€™s house unexpectedly for dinner and trying to convert Oâ€™Neilâ€™s Protestant wife to Catholicism. The tension mounts because we never know just how much Hansen trusts Oâ€™Neil or how aware he is of the ongoing investigation.
Phillippe does a wonderful job of portraying someone who is in way over his head. You canâ€™t help but feel for him as the burden of staying one step a head of Hansen spills over into his marriage and strains his relationship with his wife (Caroline Dhavernas).
But itâ€™s Cooperâ€™s acting that is top-notch. He does an excellent job of making his character believable and someone we actually care about. Even though weâ€™re glad Hansen is caught at the end of the film the audience canâ€™t help but feel sorry for him when the consequences of his actions finally catch up with him.
Some views may be frustrated at the ending of the film as it offers no clear-cut explanation for Hansenâ€™s actions. However, the real life Hansen has yet to give any reason for spying and this forces director Billy Ray to hint at many plausible, character-based motivations as to why Hansen started working for the bad guys.
Breach is a movie that goes by quickly. Itâ€™s a must see for those who enjoy strong character-based movies and those looking for some needed pre-summer blockbuster entertainment.
Abelâ€™s Rating: A
1 comment February 23rd, 2007
Americans have long been fascinated with successful individuals. Before movies and Hollywood came into existence, Americans gladly devoured gossip about the lives of celebrities, the rich, and the famous.
It shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise then that the recent death of Anna Nicole Smith and bizarre behavior of Britney Spears have made the headlines of The Drudge Report and have been the subject of countless stories from more â€œseriousâ€ news organizations like CNN, ABC News, and Fox News.
Though at the amount of news time dedicated to Spears and Smith has many rolling their eyes, I donâ€™t think the coverage of them is necessarily a bad thing.
News stories of Spears and Smith are popular is because they contain life lessons that are easy to understand. The lives of these two women illustrate the importance of making good decisions and that money and success does not insulate one from misfortune or the consequences of oneâ€™s actions.
Smithâ€™s rags-to-riches tale reads like Shakespearean tragedy. Smith dropped out of high school and married at 17. Her climb to the top began after she posed for Playboy. She used that exposure to launch a successful modeling career and a brief stint as a widely-panned actress. Smith regained the limelight when she married billionaire J. Howard Marshall though she denied it was for his money. After the billionaireâ€™s death and a bitter and lengthy court fight â€“ one that has yet to be resolved â€“ ensued over his inheritance.
In November 2006 Smith gave birth to a daughter only to have her 20-year-old son from her first marriage die in her hospital room three days later from an apparent drug overdose. Then, unexpectedly, Smith passed away three months later at a casino hotel room at the age of 39. The cause of death is still undetermined.
Smithâ€™s story illustrates that beauty, money, and fame are no guarantee of happiness and good fortune.Â Despite worldly success she never could keep her passions in check and now a string of men, eager to share in Smithâ€™s wealth, claim to be her daughterâ€™s father. Smithâ€™s untimely death reminds us of our own morality and the importance of living our life to its fullest potential. For the men who admired her buxom body, the lesson is that thereâ€™s more to consider in a woman than how sheâ€™s packaged.
Unlike Smith, Spears rose to fame and fortune after years of hard work in the entertainment industry. Her effort finally paid off when her hit single â€œâ€¦Baby One More Timeâ€ became an international success. Spears released more albums and sales and a Grammy awards followed and she became one of the most successful female artists in American music history. She used her fame to nab several lucrative endorsement deals, a movie, and a reality television show.
Despite her success, Spears seems unable to make wise choices. Her poor decisions have lead to the bottoming out of her career and people questioning her maturity. Despite being the mother of two young children, she maintained a late night partying and alcohol fueled lifestyle and has been in and out of rehab (sheâ€™s back in at press time). Most recently she was seen getting tattoos and shaving all the hair from her head.
Overnight her poor decisions have propelled her from a pop music sensation to the butt of jokes on late night TV. Her recent actions may have doomed her music career and quite possibly custody of her two young children.
Parents often complain when their daughters look to people like Spears as role models. But there arenâ€™t many young girls who want to be like her now. Her recent tattooing and head shaving incident have left many aghast and few wanting to imitate the pop princess. When her face is splashed across computer and television screens across the world, itâ€™s a great moment for parents to use Spears recent actions and fall from grace as a teaching tool.
Though the media is sometimes excessive in its coverage of Smith and Spears (the story about the fight of Smithâ€™s body, for example, is getting moldy) that doesnâ€™t mean there are lessons to be learned from pop culture icons. If anything itâ€™s that weâ€™re not immune from the consequences of our actions.
That lesson is one more â€œseriousâ€ news stories fail to portray.
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5 comments February 22nd, 2007
Occasionally Jon and I have friendly arguments over how manyÂ events andÂ plot twistsÂ the writers of LOST plan out seasons in advance and how many the just make up as they go along.
Iâ€™ve always been of the opinion that a lot of the story line has been planned from the beginning of the show. Jon is more of the opinion that the writers are tying some things together as they go along.
Well the latest post over on a LOST Easter Egg site contains some quotes from the creative minds behind the show that indicates some thingsÂ were planned out from the beginning.
Q: What is the meaning or significance of the two skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the cave of season 1?
CUSE: The answer to that question goes to the nature of the timeline of the island. We don’t want to say too much about it, but there are a couple Easter eggs embedded in [the Feb. 7 episode], one of which is an anagram that actually sheds some light on the skeletons and hints at a larger mythological mystery that will start to unfold later in the season.
LINDELOF: There were certain things we knew from the very beginning. Independent of ever knowing when the end was going to be, we knew what it was going to be, and we wanted to start setting it up as early as season 1, or else people would think that we were making it up as we were going along. So the skeletons are the living â€” or, I guess, slowly decomposing â€” proof of that. When all is said and done, people are going to point to the skeletons and say, ”That is proof that from the very beginning, they always knew that they were going to do this.’
â€“ Source Entertainment Weekly
Now there is all kinds of speculation as to who these two skeletons are. Jack and Juliet? Sawyer and Kate? Desmond and Penelope?
Iâ€™m just glad the writers are thinking about some things in advance. This usually means a stronger, more coherent story line as the show progresses.
Also, Jon has put together an interesting theory on why people can’t leave the island. You can read it here.
Add comment February 21st, 2007
As a general rule, books are better than the movies theyâ€™re based on. Because books donâ€™t have budget or time constraints, itâ€™s often hard for screenplay writers to get all the scenes, ideas, and characters from a book to the big screen. Though Iâ€™ve never read any of the Harry Potter books, I hear fans are usually disappointed with the movies because so much was left out. On the other hand most people were happy with the way The Lord of the Rings movies turned out.
There have been a handful of times where I liked the movie more than the book. K-Pax was an awful, uninspiring book but a decent movie. Contact was a great movie but a very long and dull book.
I bring this up because I just finished reading The Children of Men and find myself in unchartered territory. I really liked the movie (read my review here) and the book. The problem is the book and movie are VERY different from each other. The only thing the book and movie have in common is that mankind is unable to have children until, miraculously, one woman becomes pregnant, and the main character is a guy named Theo who tries to bring the woman to a safe place where she can give birth.
The similarities stop there. Characters that appear in the movie are nowhere in the book. And where some characters do overlap, their relationship they have with Theo is very different. The book doesnâ€™t contain any of the politics or violence that is found in the movie. Instead thereâ€™s a strong but subtle spiritual element to the book. The movie is much faster paced and in some ways more entertaining. The book, though slower, I think depicts a more realistic picture of what mankind would be like if people stopped having children.Â
Even thoughÂ the book and the movie The Children of Men areÂ very different, theyâ€™re both done extremely well. This was the first book Iâ€™ve read by P.D. James and thought she had a beautiful but straightforward writing style. Alfonso Caron is a great director (he did the best Harry Potter movie to date) and did an excellent job of depicting his view of a hopeless world.
I canâ€™t think of another book or movie thatâ€™s based off the book that were so different yet so enjoyable. So when it comes to The Children of Men, watch the movie or see the book or read the book then watch the movie. It doesnâ€™t matter. Theyâ€™re both enjoyable. Just be forewarned that the stories are very different from each other.
(And for those who are unfamiliar with the works of P.D. James, youâ€™ll find her book in the mystery section of the bookstore. Though The Children of Men doesnâ€™t fit into that category, the rest of her books are mystery novels.)
Add comment February 20th, 2007
I donâ€™t believe in fate.
I believe that we are free to choose our own destiny. I believe that where we end up in life is largely because of good and bad decisions we make.
Yet when it comes to my wonderful marriage to Marathon Girl, I sometimes wonder if it was some unseen power that brought the two of us together.
I bring this up because Wednesdayâ€™s episode of LOST (great episode BTW) was very fatalistic. (And for those who arenâ€™t fans of the show, stay with me. Iâ€™m going to talk mostly about my courtship to Marathon Girl instead of the episode.) Desmond discovered that no matter what choices he made, it was fated to end up in the island pushing the button every 108 minutes apparently to save the world. If he didnâ€™t break up with Penelope that day then something would happen the next day or the day after to make them break up. The universe, we are told, has a way of course correcting itself.
Back to my courtship with Marathon Girl: Had this been any normal relationship it never would have made it past the first date. But it seemed like some invisible hand kept pushing Marathon Girl and I together no matter how many mistakes and dumb decisions we made. Hereâ€™s just a small sampling of what happened when we were dating that makes me think the two of us were destined to be together.
So after LOST, I asked Marathon Girl, who is also a big believer in free will, if she thought we would have been together if I hadnâ€™t stayed in Ogden after my late wifeâ€™s death or if she had chosen to attend a different church or one of us had made a different decision along the way if we would have ended up together. We talked for a good hour about it and both concluded that somehow the universe would have found a way to bring the two of us together.
Maybe some things are meant to be.
8 comments February 16th, 2007
Iâ€™ve been too busy to write my thoughts on last weekâ€™s episode of LOST until my lunch break today. Sorry theyâ€™re a week late. Promise to have a write up about tonight’s episode tomorrow.
Have a great Wednesday. Celeberate V-Day by watching LOST.
4 comments February 14th, 2007
I wrote the following poem in December of 2003 in the waiting room of the doctorâ€™s office. Marathon Girl and I had been discussing what to name the baby if it was a boy or a girl. What follows just flowed from pen to paper. What surprises me on reading this again is that we ended up sticking with the first boy name we liked and using the girl name we liked when our daughter arrived almost three years later.
To Aidan or Molly
The books say youâ€™re the size of an
avocado, and if we could see you
swimming in a warm bath of
amniotic fluid, weâ€™d know if
youâ€™re a boy or a girl. In a month
the doctor will strip away some of
the mystery, but for now we like to
lie in bed and imagine what youâ€™ll
be and give you names like Aidan
And after the talk of names is done
for the night, Iâ€™ll skip ahead a few
chapters to see what youâ€™ll look
like nine weeks from now and read
about the changes youâ€™ll undergo
before joining the family of a
writer and a chemist.
But by the time youâ€™re old enough
to read this, I may not be a writer
and your mother may not be a
chemist and your name might not
be Aidan or Molly but Jarom or
Natalie or something that wonâ€™t be
a thought in our minds until the
moment youâ€™re born.
â€“ Abel Keogh
1 comment February 13th, 2007
Marathon Girl: “Have you ever met a woman that made you want to take off your wedding ring?”
Marathon Girl (appalled): “When did this happen?”
Me: “The first time I saw you.”
6 comments February 10th, 2007
Yes, Iâ€™m alive.
Been very busy with a sister-in-lawâ€™s wedding and work-related things. Will have a full review of LOST and catch up on a million other things soon.
Add comment February 10th, 2007
After being off the air since November, LOST returns tonight. I’m looking forward to watching it.Â Hopefully its long hiatus hasn’t caused a massive loss of interest. Iâ€™d like to see the show be around for another year or two.
I’ll have a full review and thoughts on the episode tomorrow.
Add comment February 7th, 2007
Thereâ€™s nothing harder than running when temperatures are below freezing.
For the last month Utah has been in a deep freeze and daytime highs have rarely risen past the 32 degree mark. When I run in the mornings temperatures have usually been around zero and my body never really seems to warm up â€“ even after a long, hot shower. It doesnâ€™t help that I have little to no fat on my body either.
Yesterday the temperatures finally broke the freezing barrier as temperatures shot up to nearly 50 degrees. Marathon Girl said her six mile afternoon run felt wonderful to not have to spend the first half of her run trying to warm up. It made it easier for her concentrate on speed and technique.
Weâ€™re hoping the warm weather stays as weâ€™d like to take the kids on a run with us Saturday. It would be good for them to spend more time outside now that itâ€™s warmer. I think long overdue trip to the park is in order.
2 comments February 6th, 2007
I donâ€™t have feelings one way or another for either the Bears or the Colts. I am a little partial toward the Bears simply because one of my good friends, Eugene, has been a Bears fan as long as Iâ€™ve known him and has suffered through a 21-year Super Bowl drought very patiently.
This has the potential to be a very good game. If the Bears come out playing like they did last week, they could seriously give Payton Manning and the rest of the Colts some problems. The Colts need to make sure theyâ€™re not letting the hype about them being the team-to-beat get to their heads. Better teams have often lost the big game simply because they werenâ€™t prepared mentally.
The problem I see is that the Bearâ€™s quarterback, Rex Grossman, has been widely inconsistent all year. Heâ€™s had some good games but others where heâ€™s been just awful. Manning, on the other hand, can have a bad game but still be counted on to score. The Bears have great defense, but against the Colts you still need an offense that can put points on the board. I just donâ€™t see Grossman having the big game he needs to give the Bears their second Super Bowl title.
So, yeah, I think the Colts will win even though Iâ€™ll be cheering for the Bears.
Colts 31 Bears 17
And speaking of the Bears, who can forget their Super Bowl Shuffle from 1986. Thanks, Jason. I forgot all about it.
5 comments February 2nd, 2007
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