I am sad to announce that my laptop battery has died forever. I wonder what I could use to power this thing until I can get a new one. Clean coal? Vegetable oil?
So far this summer, I have used a tablecloth as a beach blanket and a curtain as a tablecloth. Somewhere along the line, something went very, very wrong with me. Or, depending on how you look at it... very, very right.
In all seriousness, though... why are new laptop batteries so expensive? You can almost get a new laptop for the same price as a replacement battery.
Once again, technology has managed to upset me. If I didn't love it so much, I would hate it.
I always say the inability to shake a film from your consciousness is the mark of a true masterpiece. I'm adding The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the masterpiece list.
The film tells the true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who has a stroke at the age of 43 and suffers full-body paralysis. Following his stroke, he is forced to depend on the kindness of family, friends and strangers in order to communicate, stay clean and remain sane. His left eye (the only body part that is not paralyzed) is used to blink out his memoir to a patient and loving publisher's assistant.
The film is shot in such a way that we actually watch the world through Jean-Dominique's left eye. It becomes very clear that, even though many of us look successful and pulled together on the surface, most of us are the same inside. We all yearn for affection, especially when we least expect it, we all want to feel loved, and we're all scared of something and afraid to lose everything. It often takes a tragedy for us to realize this about others, and it always takes a tragedy to realize this about ourselves. Illness is the great equalizer.
So many images from the movie resonate. Jean-Dominique daydreams of the things he always meant to try... a friend visits and reads to him... a girlfriend can't be bothered to visit since he is no longer the "whole" man she once loved... a nurse holds Jean-Dominique in his arms in the hospital pool, singing to him. There are tortured phone calls and heart-wrenching visits with family. Without a doubt, Jean-Dominique learns who is true in his life and who is false.
Who is true and who is false? If you've ever had the opportunity to learn this lesson in your own life, you know that there is no lesson harder (or more beneficial) to learn. If you've ever gone through an illness or a broken bone or a surgery, you learn very quickly who can be bothered with you and who can't. I can't help but come back to one of my favorite quotes:
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." ~ Oprah
My limo has broken down more than a few times. I continue to be grateful for the people who not only rode the bus with me, but also for the ones who gave me a push up the stairs or fare for the ride.
Pay attention to how people treat you when you're of no use to them. This alone is the true measure of a person's character and will tell you more about them in an instant than you would ever learn in a lifetime lived without tragedy.
I saw something on CBS Sunday Morning today that I haven't been able to get out of my head. A woman was giving her opinion on the US troops that give their lives every day. She said something like, "A woman will hear that her son is never coming home again. A little girl will hear that she'll never see her daddy again. And it's even harder to bear knowing that the people for whom they gave their lives... barely even noticed."
I started thinking about that and she's right. While I'm a big Michael Jackson fan and I was happy to see the tribute that he was given, where are the tributes for the men and women who are giving their lives every single day so that we can live free?
We need to start honoring the right things in this country. Ever since I saw the movie Taking Chance, I've wanted to do something for the troops. I'm not sure what yet, but there has to be something I can do to help out. All of them have sacrificed for us. Some gave all. I should be able to give some.
If anyone knows of an organization I can get involved in, please let me know. Things don't change overnight, but they do change one person at a time.
Let's notice when these men and women give their lives. I know it's too much to wish that they would all get the send-off that Michael Jackson received... but we can all say thank you and be grateful every day for our defenders. They are the reason we live free. I can't think of a greater or more noble cause to celebrate, remember, and (perhaps most importantly)...notice.
I use this site for all those times when iTunes can't seem to find the album artwork for an album in my library. I've been using it for years and wanted to share. Once you find the artwork you need, you can drag the image to iTunes and "drop" it in the space where it says "Drag Album Artwork Here."
[Homer, feeling behind the couch for a peanut he dropped, finds a twenty dollar bill instead.] Homer: Oh, twenty dollars. I wanted a peanut. Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts. Homer: Explain how. Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services. Homer: Woo-hoo!
Marge: Homer, did you call the audience "chicken"? Homer: No! I swear on this Bible! Marge: That's not a Bible. That's a book of carpet samples. Homer: Mmmm... fuzzy.
Homer: What's the point of going out? We're just going to wind up back here anyway.
Homer: Two hours? Why'd they build this ghost town so far away? Lisa: Because they discovered gold right over there! Homer: It's because they're stupid, that's why. That's why everybody does everything.
[Looking at Uruguay on a map] Homer: Heehee! Look at this country! "You are gay."
[Lisa tells Homer about Thomas Edison] Homer: No one man can do all that. You're a liar, honey. A dirty, rotten liar.
Lisa: Dad, just for once don't you want to try something new? Homer: Oh Lisa, trying is just the first step toward failure.
[In the car on the way to Florida] Lisa: Mom, Bart's sitting next to me! Bart: Mom, Lisa's growing! Marge: Quiet, you two! You know your father's just had a breakdown. Homer: My pockets hurt.
Marge: Now be good for Grampa while we're at the parent-teacher meeting. We'll bring back dinner. Lisa: What are we gonna have? Homer: Well, that depends on what your teachers say. If you've been good, pizza. If you've been bad... uh... let's see... poison. Lisa: What if one of us has been good and one of us has been bad? Bart: Poison pizza. Homer: Oh, no! I'm not making two stops!
Marge: We don't think you're slow. But on the other hand, it's not like you go to museums or read books or anything. Homer: Do you think I don't want to? It's those TV networks Marge. They won't let me. One quality show after another, each one more brilliant than the last. If they only stumbled once -- just gave us thirty minutes to ourselves. But they won't, they won't let me live!
Carl: Throw away your self-pity and come get drunk with us.
Homer: I think I saw him in Rent, or Stomp, or Clomp, or some piece of crap like that.
Homer's ghost: Marge you gotta help me, I have to do one good deed to get into heaven. Marge: Well I got a whole list of chores: clean the garage, paint the house... Homer's ghost: Whoa whoa whoa. I'm just trying to get in, I'm not running for Jesus.
Chief Wiggum: Oh, sure. We'd all love some *real* friends, Marge. But what are the odds of
Comic Book Guy: Ack! There is no "emoticon" to express what I am feeling right now!
Marge: Homer, I don't want you driving around in a car you built yourself. Homer: You can sit there complaining, or you can knit me some seat belts.
Bart: Oh, this is the worst Fourth of July ever, I hate America!
Marge: Homer, we can't take his money! Homer: Aww, I can't take his money, I can't print my own money, I have to work for my money! Why don't I just lay down and die!
Marge: Homer, the Lord only asks for an hour a week. Homer: Well in that case, He should've made the week an hour longer. Lousy God.
Homer: If the Flintstones have taught us anything, it's that pelicans can be used to mix cement.
Homer: Oh yeah, Marge? I made a dollar! Marge: While you were out making that dollar, you lost forty. And the plant called and said that if you don't come in tomorrow, don't bother coming in Monday. Homer: WOOHOO! Four day weekend!
Groundskeeper Willy:If it was up to me, I'd let you go; but the Gods have a temper, and they've been drinking all day!
Dr. Hibbert: You can't let a single bad experience scare you away from drugs!
Homer: [after observing Barney's movie] Wow, I'll never drink another beer again. Vendor: Beer here! Homer: I'll take ten!
Homer: And I gave that man directions, even though I didn't know the way, because that's the kind of guy I am this week.
Bart: As long as you're doing things for me, will you tie up your bathrobe when you walk around the house? Homer: NEVER!
Marge: The only thing I asked you to do for this party was put on clothes, and you didn't do it.
Marge: Homer, I'd like to talk to you. Homer: But then I won't be watching TV!
[Homer has just been shot] Lisa: You know, Dad, that's probably something you should go to the hospital for. Homer: After pie.
[Bart and Homer are about to race their horse] Homer: Don't worry. I've seen enough of the "Horse Whisperer" to know how to win a race. Homer: [whispers to horse] When you're on the race track, run really fast.
Marge: I guess the moral of the story is that the reward for a good deed is the deed itself! Bart: No, mom, because we got the cool giant head! Marge: Okay. Perhaps the moral of the story is: no good deed goes unrewarded! Homer: But Marge, we only got the big stupid head after I wrote that nasty letter to Mr. Burns! Marge: Mmmm... okay, maybe the moral of the story is "The squeaky wheel gets the grease!" Homer: Maybe there is no moral, Marge. Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happened.
Marge: Homer, it's easy to criticize. Homer: Fun, too.
(Originally posted on June 26th - it seems appropriate to move this back to the top of the blog in tribute...)
I saw Michael Jackson in concert when I was in the fourth grade. Third row. I’ve been to about a billion concerts since then and none of them stand out like that one does. Dirty Diana, Bad, Thriller, Man In The Mirror -- he didn’t hit a bad note. He didn't take a false step. I could tell you what I wore that night. I wanted to live in that arena.
Michael Jackson revolutionized music globally. It’s easy to forget that dance actually existed before Michael Jackson. Anyone who calls himself a singer or a dancer owes a debt to Michael Jackson. There wouldn’t be a Madonna, a Britney, a Christina, a Justin… without Michael. And there wouldn’t be a Michael Jackson without James Brown.
I have had the great fortune of seeing both James Brown and Michael Jackson in concert. It’s nice to imagine that they’re having a great big dance party together right now... wherever they are.
Michael Jackson and James Brown
Michael Jackson is so instantly recognizable, there isn’t a person alive that can’t identify Billie Jean by the opening notes. It isn't Halloween until Thriller plays. His music video premieres were events. We waited in front of the TV for them (before the age of Tivo and DVR.) It was worth it to wait. I worry that kids don't know that feeling anymore. Beat It and Bad were gangster. Now the videos look a bit feminine and strange, but back in their day they were gangster. (It was the 80’s… even gangster was feminine and strange.) ... And the "fight" in the Beat It video is still the most graceful one I've ever seen.
Every guy wanted to be as cool as Michael Jackson. When Thriller came out, all the girls were in love with him. It may be hard for people today to believe, but we all wanted him to be our boyfriend. Women and girls fainted as soon as he hit the stage or entered a room. I was always very sad about how his life tipped, but I choose to remember him as that handsome guy in Thriller... and as the man who put on the best show I have ever seen.
People will go on and on about whether or not the man was a sicko, a wacko, a pedophile, a weirdo. The bottom line is that we will never know for sure. It’s always someone else’s word against his on that front. But there’s no denying that he is the greatest entertainer who has ever lived. I’ve been watching his videos today. There’s so much to look at, to remember, to celebrate. His music videos play like movies. His dance moves were superhuman. The only person who can dance like Michael is Janet... period. And the man knew how to market himself as a brand. Even his silhouette is iconic. His shadow gets thrown onto a backdrop and you recognize him instantly. His hat, his glove, his white socks and black shoes – all legendary. Anyone have any idea what color socks Justin Timberlake wears? Anyone care about Chris Brown’s silhouette? Didn’t think so.
Michael Jackson in silhouette
At least for today, let's remember Michael Jackson as the icon that he is. After what he has given to us musically, he deserves that much. Today I celebrate the incredible influence Michael Jackson has had on the world, on the music industry as a whole... and on my own little life. RIP Michael Jackson. Gone Too Soon...
My friend Molly just started blogging and I'm already obsessed with her writing. Head over to her blog to read about all of her amazingness and show her some love with a comment :) When I say I was in tears reading her posts, I mean I was in tears reading her posts. She is the most amazing girl I know and she inspires me every day. I hope you become hooked!
I always wondered why Avril Lavigne's "Boyfriend" video was the #1 video on YouTube. This explains it!
Avril Lavigne, 'Girlfriend'
Pop-punk songstress Avril Lavigne's anthem to girlfriend-hating and man-stealing holds the top spot on YouTube for the most viewed video of all time, but it didn't get there truly organically. Avril's die-hard fans at AvrilBandAids.com were the first to successfully game YouTube view counts in a massive way by using a complex scheme to cheat the system by opening browsers that refreshed every 15 seconds to repeatedly play the video. They then used the publicity from their cheating scheme to push the clip over the top virally. Well played, mall punks. -RV, urlesque