Thursday, February 26, 2009

13 of my Facebook Friends

OK, so I have a lot of friends on Facebook. 744, to be last count.

It's funny, because I originally wasn't too crazy about Facebook when I first started there. There are still things about it that REALLY annoy me. (I won't go into them right now). But I have found out that it's a neat way to keep in touch with friends and to network with others.

For today's Thursday Thirteen, I thought I would randomly choose 13 of my friends on Facebook.

I'm leaving out some last names to protect privacy, but some of these people have blogs, and I'm going to link to them.

So here we go. 13 Random Facebook Friends of Mine:

Donna-Jean Breckenridge--Donna-Jean is a beautiful lady who blogs at Liberty and Lily. I've actually done a radio interview with her, and my blogging about the needs of Lakeshore Baptist Church's post-Katrina situation prompted her to organize a mission trip to help out.

Matt Brown--Matt blogs at Good Brownie, and he happens to be an alumni of Cedarville University, where my sons went.

DeDe B is a good friend of mine who lives in the same town as I do. We've had a lot of fun times together, including once several years ago when she accompanied me on a radio station trip to Branson, Missouri. That was a blast! DeDe has a great sense of humor, husband is hilarious, and their kids are about the same ages as ours. I love DeDe!

Carla Rolfe is another person that I know only through blogging. Her Reflections of the Times is a thoughtful, intelligent, theologically-savvy blog with a Calvinist bent.

Todd B
--Todd is a college friend of my son Jonathan's; in fact, he was a groomsman in Jonathan's wedding.

Darlene Gauthier Schacht is the bright, energetic, lovely woman behind Christian Women Online magazine. I've also had the privilege of interviewing Darlene on my radio show, and you can listen to the interview here if you like.

Lisa Anderson is director of corporate media and public relations at Focus on the Family. She and I actually have one of the same quotes on our "info" page:

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." --Jim Elliot

Jesse Butterworth
is a musician who I met a time or two when I used to attend the Gospel Music Association convention in Nashville; he was the lead singer of the band Daily Planet. I had to laugh when, on Shrove Tuesday--also known as Pancake Day--Jesse posted his surprise that, despite being married to Mrs. Butterworth, he had no idea it was Pancake Day!

--Amanda L S--is "Mandy" to me...she is married to one of my nephews, and is a beautiful and sweet young woman.

--Ray Hashley is a radio friend of mine. He is the station manager of WGNR in Indianapolis. Several years ago, Ray helped out at one or two of our station Sharathons, and endeared himself to everyone with his pleasant, gracious personality.

--Amy Parham would fit into the celebrities-that-I-don't-actually-know-but-are-kind-enough-to-be-my-Facebook-friend category. She was one of my favorite contestants on last season's Biggest Loser--one of my favorite shows, as you know if you read this blog. Amy and her husband Phil truly transformed themselves, and now they help motivate others to do the same with their website, Phil and Amy Fitness.

--Kathy Herman writes suspense novels.

--Allen Asbury is another singer who I don't know personally, but who was nice enough to add me as a "friend." I fell in love with Allen's voice when I heard him as Peter in "The Promise," an incredible musical based on the life of Christ. His performance of "Peter's Song" was powerful and beautiful. We now play his songs on Radio 91, one of the stations where I work.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm so annoyed with the producers of Biggest Loser!

Dear Biggest Loser producers:

You have a good show here. Don't keep messing it up by trying to manufacture drama at the expense of the feelings of the people on your show!!!

All right. We get it that there is no Vicious Vicky on this season's Biggest Loser. She was her own one-woman drama factory, so the producers could just sit back and watch her wreak havoc.

This season, we have a group of genuinely nice people. Sure, there's some game play, but it seems to lack mean-spiritedness...the contestants seem to really care about each other, even those on opposing teams.

Well, last night the show shook everything up in an obvious attempt to create drama that Biggest Loser fans really do not need and are NOT asking for.

After weeks of being trained by either Bob or Jillian, most of the contestants were forced to switch trainers. Most of them seemed devastated by this turn of events, including Bob himself, who really seemed heartbroken.

I'm sorry, producers. This is just MEAN. In fact, it could mean a real setback for some of these people. This heartless stunt indicates to me that the show really doesn't give a care about the fact that these are real people with real feelings.

By the way: the sappy musical montage of sentimental memories of Bob and his former team was just silly. The producers created the sadness, so now they're milking it with a those-were-the-days-my-friend montage? Give me a break.

Doubtless, the contestants will bounce back. Some of them, I'm sure, will even realize that their new trainer will challenge them in ways their old trainer couldn't or didn't. But that doesn't change the fact that it was a cruel, unnecessary maneuver on the part of the producers in an effort to gin up drama that we as viewers don't want or need.

Fellow Biggest Loser fan and blogger Sam Barrington says it well: "What is up with this!? It is a great show doesn't need all these gimmicky shifts!"


Monday, February 23, 2009

So you think you're well-read?

Actually, I consider myself pretty well-read. But occasionally a list comes along that makes me feel a bit inferior.

This is a list that's going around on Facebook. Supposedly the British Broadcasting Corporation thinks the average person will have read only 6 of them. I've done better than the "average" person, having read 31 of them--but someone who responded to this on Facebook had read 60!

Truth to tell, this list doesn't make me feel inferior, because there are books on the list that I frankly have no desire to read, and never will.

I've bold-faced the ones I've read. Take a look at the list, and if there's some titles on there that you really recommend, let me know and tell me why! (Oh--and having seen the movie DOESN'T count! :))

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare--although I've read SOME of them!
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot ( )
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce--(this is what Ben Linus was reading on the plane on "Lost" the other night!)
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (No--but I've read lots of other Enid Blyton books!)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo ()--love the musical, though

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote o' The Day

Gotta hand it to my 101QFL morning show co-host, Darren Marlar.A little backstory here: I had Facebook-messaged Darren, along with my friends Mike Schlote and Joe Buchanan, about the Danny Gokey backlash.

Somehow we started talking about "Lost" in the middle of it all, and the conversation among Joe, Mike and me was going back and forth between American Idol and Lost.

When Darren finally popped up, this is what he said:

Okay, so I'm just now getting to this thread and trying to catch up. I just scanned through it all, but if I understand correctly, Danny Gokey is a real creep because he didn't show emotion when Jack was upset about Sarah, but it all works out in the end because Desmond and Tatiana end up together.
Is that about right?

Guess that about sums it up. :)

The Thirteen Top TV Icons

...according to TV Land and Entertainment Weekly

(And yes, this is a repeat)...

I hereby count them down (and I'm not saying I necessarily agree with these choices or the order they're in!):

13. Jackie Gleason

12. Dick Van Dyke

11. Roseanne

10. Dick Clark

9. Homer Simpson

8. Jerry Seinfeld

7. Mary Tyler Moore

6. Carol Burnett

5. Walter Cronkite

4. Bill Cosby

3. Oprah Winfrey

2. Lucille Ball

1. Johnny Carson

You can see the entire list of 50 Top Icons here.

Some thoughts on the Danny Gokey backlash

I've made no secret of the fact that Danny Gokey is my favorite American Idol contestant. Not only do I love his singing, I've also loved his spirit on the show--and I was pleased to find out that not only does he have a connection to the area I live in, but that he is a Christian.

So I was delighted that Danny made it through to the top 12 on the show last night.

Well, apparently not everyone likes Danny as much as I do. In fact, some people aren't at all shy about expressing the fact that they hate him.

Check out many Idol-related websites today (or DON'T check them out--thanks to the venom and obscenities being spewed, you may feel like you have to shower afterwards)--and you'll find lots of anti-Danny comments.

The anti-Danny complaints?

Besides many who just don't like Danny's voice (to each his own, I guess!?!), they are sick of hearing about the fact that his wife recently passed away. They believe Danny, and the show, are milking her passing for sympathy votes.

The comments on some of the sites are just plain cruel and unfeeling. Some commenters were appalled that a friend or family member of Danny's held up a picture of his wife while he was singing.

Do any of these people have any idea what it's like to lose a loved one? When my niece died several years ago, we tried to honor her memory in every way possible. Invoking, celebrating and honoring the memory of a loved one is often a motivating factor in getting through a tough or challenging situation.

A friend and former colleague of mine, Joe Buchanan, has this to say:

"I thought he [Danny] looked quite humble last night. I think maybe what has ticked a lot of people off, including Simon (he didn't seem to like Danny and it seemed personal on Tuesday night) anyhow, is the fact that it's starting to come out that he is a Christian. And, I'll tell you this - if it were my wife and I was in that situation I wouldn't be as self controlled as he is. I think he's handling it very well and the more I see of him the more I like. Plus, wasn't the whole reason he chose that song was to inspire and encourage others who are hurting?"

A commenter responding to a particularly vicious anti-Danny thread at said her husband died a little over a year ago:

"When your spouse dies it is one of the most lonely feelings in the world. Your grief takes hold without warning. One minute you’re fine and the next you have this image of the person you love most in your mind and then he/she is gone and it’s a stark reminder how you’re alone and the dreams you had about building a life together are gone. Now, I don’t expect you all to fully understand the extent of what it’s like to lose your partner in life. You won’t know until you experience it yourself. But believe you me, you wake up each day hoping you won’t have a freak out. You feel hopeless and helpless quite often. Sometimes you want to die too. So for him to step up 4 weeks after her passing is a brave thing for him to do. And to fellow widow(er)s, he is an inspiration because he isn’t letting his grief get the best of him."

Rude to Tatiana?

Another charge from the Danny haters is that he was "rude" to Tatiana when she was in meltdown mode just before and after it was announced that she was eliminatd and Danny was moving on.

I like what my friend and former co-worker Mike Schlote has to say to that:

"Rude to Tatiana? Are you kidding me? How do you console someone who is in a trance-like communication with her mother ship? And celebrating your success is rude? He didn't jump up and down and throw it in her face (not that she would have noticed it coming if he did). He celebrated, put his arm around her and enjoyed the success that God gave him. It's just ridiculous the attacks that come AGAINST people instead of support FOR someone."

Take a look at who's orchestrating the backlash

Besides particularly vicious remarks about Danny's widower status (some even referring to him as "Dead Wife Guy"), most of the anti-Danny Gokey people are savaging his Christian faith and even denigrating the church he attends--copy 'n pasting things from Faithbuilders' website and ridiculing them with sadistic glee.

The comments are typically teeming with obscenities and juvenile name-calling. They truly exhibit the mindset of people who obviously have not even a nodding acquaintance with compassion or heart.

American Idol shares in the blame for the backlash

We can blame the producers at least in part for this backlash. They seize on a person's backstory, and the more heart-wrenching it is, the more they milk it--and yes, they've done this with Danny's story just as they have with many others.

But that doesn't negate the fact that Danny Gokey is a young man with true talent, and every appearance (take a look at his Sophia's Heart charity, for example) of having integrity and compassion.

We'll just have to see what happens

Will this backlash be successful? I'm not here to say that Danny Gokey is a perfect person, by any means--or that I would agree with every action or decision he's ever made or will make.

But I think it will really be a shame if a group of hateful people who enjoy celebrating their ugly sarcasm on Internet forums are able to de-rail his success.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy birthday to my precious babies

Happy birthday to my wonderful children, Justin and Elizabeth!

Elizabeth's birthday was actually Monday...she turned 22. Justin is 26 years old today. So hard to believe!

Below is a picture of Justin holding his brand new sister in the hospital, with my mom looking on.

Justin and Elizabeth have always been dear friends. She adores both her big brothers (my oldest, Jonathan, will turn 29 in March.) It's been difficult for her to live away from them, as they're both living in Texas now.

Many times in the past, we've celebrated Justin and Elizabeth's birthdays together. We're both sad that Justin won't be here to celebrate today!

Oh Danny Boy...

I've made no secret of the fact that Danny Gokey is my favorite contestant on American Idol this season.

Danny has been a worship leader at Faithbuilders church in nearby Beloit, Wisconsin in recent years.

I'm going out on a limb and saying that he is probably my favorite contestant EVER on the show.

Go here to hear Danny's performance last night.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stuff to tell you!

Is cursive writing going the way of the buffalo?

It's always been a little point of pride for me that I have really good handwriting. However, I've had little chance to use it of late. About the only time I pull it out of my meager skills bag is to sign a birthday card or write a thank-you note.

My lovely handwriting is quickly becoming a skill that no one is particularly impressed with, and is in fact on its way to being obsolete.

"Penmanship, like hieroglyphics and the IBM Selectric, has lost its purpose. Let's erase it for good," writes Jessica Bennett in Newsweek.

Bennett goes on to say, "I haven't used script since elementary school. I type, I Twitter, I Facebook and IM. I e-mail co-workers who sit feet from my desk, and text rather than call. The only time I pen a handwritten letter is when I write to my grandmother. So when I hear people say that penmanship is dead, my response: it's about time."

Other articles tell us that teachers are having a hard time fitting the teaching of cursive writing into their schedules.
What do you think? Is handwriting becoming a lost art that should stay lost?

--Producer/author Mark Joseph has some solid ideas on how to improve any future Narnia movies--not the least of which is to stop downplaying the faith themes of the stories. Joseph says the relationship between Aslan and the Pevensie children comes across as emotionally flat in the movies--I agree, by the way--and he purports that a director who understands the relationship Christians have with Christ might be a good idea.

--Do you still have dial-up internet service? If not, would you go back to it for economy's sake? Some people are, according to this AP news story.
--I missed this, but Steven Curtis Chapman was on Mike Huckabee's show over the weekend. You can watch it here.
--What would Abraham Lincoln have had on his iPod? Based on what we know of Honest Abe's musical tastes, Miles Hoffman speculates.
--And random thought o' the day: If ex-Governor Blagojevich ever starts a blog, he could call it Blogojevich! (Yes, that was an original thought, thank you! :))

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Most Famous Lovers of Literature and History

In honor of Valentine's Day! From, the most famous lovers in literature and history.

1. Romeo and Juliet--portrayed at left by Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in Franco Zeffirelli's movie adaptation of Shakespeare's famous play.

2. Cleopatra and Mark Antony

3. Lancelot and Guinevere

4. Layla and Majnun--OK, this one I admit I had never heard of, but you can read about them here

5. Tristan and Iseult (Isolde)--pictured portrayed by James Franco and Sophia Myles in the 2006 movie adaptation

6. Eloise and Abelard

7. Paris and Helena

8. Orpheus and Eurydike

9. Napoleon and Josephine

10. Cyrano and Roxane

11. Pyramus and Thisbe

12. Werther and Lotte

13. Odysseus and Penelope

14. Jane Eyre and Rochester--The romance from my favorite novel of all time! It gives hope to every young girl who isn't beautiful that the man of her dreams can still fall madly, passionately in love with her. Who can forget Jane's impassioned speech to Rochester, just before he declares his love for her:
"Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you."

15. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler--From one of my favorite books and movies, Gone With the Wind.
Got any favorites here--or couples that you think should be added to the list? Let me know in my comments section!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

13 (Plus) Things about My Husband and Me

This is from one of those things that goes around on Facebook. With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought I would use it for a Thursday Thirteen. This is dedicated to my one and only true love, Doug! Happy Valentine's Day, honey!

♥ What are your middle names?
Susan and Elving (he's going to kill me)

♥ How long have you been together?
Married over 30 years

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Known each other slightly and from a distance for a couple of years

♥ Who asked who out?
Doug asked me out.

♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
His. All of his brothers live in this area, and all my siblings live out of state.

♥ Do you have any children together?
Yes, three.

♥ What about pets?
Two dogs...Stormy the German Shepherd, and Brandy the toy poodle

♥ Did you go to the same college?
Yep. That's where we met.

♥ Are you from the same home town?

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Giuseppi's...a wonderful little mom-and-pop Italian restaurant.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
Doug is, definitely. Although I've become more of a neat-freak and he's become a little less of one...we've kind of met in the middle.

♥ Where was your first date?
We went bowling!

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
We were engaged less than nine months from the time we met.

Go here to participate in Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I guess Dane on Biggest Loser will have to talk now!

...and yes, that WAS Jorge Garcia who commented on my blog!

Well, it looks like the silent member of the black team on Biggest Loser will have to step up to the camera now. Dane's partner and cousin, Blaine, got sent home last night.

Contestants were told that only one member of the below-the-yellow-line team at last night's weigh-in would be going home, and that the team would have to make the decision as to who that would be.

The black team, after posting major numbers at most weigh-ins, found themselves below the yellow line...and Blaine begged his fellow contestants to send him home.

It's understandable. Blaine's wife had just had a baby a few weeks earlier, and his heart was there. Also, the follow-up showed that he's doing great losing weight at home now, and is even training for an Iron Man triathlon.

For whatever reason, Dane has scarcely spoken on camera at all. To hear the other contestants tell it, he's a real leader in the gym when it comes to pushing his team-mates to excellence...but he truly has been a man of few words.

Now, maybe we'll hear more from Dane.

Jorge! Woo-hoo!

Again, apologies to those of you who could care less about either Biggest Loser or Lost, but...

You heard me gushing the other day when I was pretty sure that the "real" Jorge Garcia--the one who plays Hurley on "Lost"--had commented on my blog.

Scroll down to read my Hurley-centric post. :)

Anyway--it definitely WAS Jorge Garcia/Hurley. He commented AGAIN!!! And I quote:

"That was cute. I'm printing this page up to add it to my scrapbook. (Well to send to my sister who scrapbooks my stuff for me.)
I found your post because it came up on my google alert. (It's a trick Dom had taught me)

And yes it really is me."

By "Dom," I can only assume he means Dominic Monaghan, who used to play Charlie. And who I miss VERY much, by the way.

Oh well...I just think it's cool that an actor on the Greatest TV Show of All Time commented on my little blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stuff to tell you...

It's been a while since I've done a "Stuff to tell you" post, so here goes...

--Ahhh, romance! Christian fiction writer Patty Hickman is featuring "Romancing the Authors Week" on her blog...and there are free giveaways involved!

--How deep are your Facebook friendships? This guy calls Facebook "an entertaining saboteur."

The most significant Facebook connection for me, then, happens outside of Facebook. It happens with those people made of human flesh and blood, who speak audibly to me, and whose body language is such an integral part of their communication. These are real friends with whom I work and live...

--Could the Academy be a bit out of touch? Just asking. Usually Oscar-nominated movies can expect to get a Best Picture "bump" in attendance, but not this time. Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly speculates:

"So what's the problem? Is it because there are so many other high-profile award shows these days that the Oscar nominations almost come as an afterthought? Or is it that many of this year's Best Picture nominees are simply unappealing to the average moviegoer? Regardless, it's quite telling that the combined box office take of the five Best Picture nominees so far ($233 million) isn't even half of the $532 million Oscar also-ran The Dark Knight has grossed."

--Wouldn't you think if you are "pro-choice," you would also be for a person's right to choose to hear a viewpoint opposing yours? Hmmm...I guess choice doesn't extend that far, at least in this case.

--OK, I'm a hopeless romantic...but I recently read James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's and loved it. I have not read any reviews for it, so I don't even know what critics think, and I don't even care. It was totally implausible, totally romantic--a fun, escapist diversion!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Whaaaa....did Hurley just comment on my blog????

OK, you all now how much of a "Lost" fan I am. Still, I realize that Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley on the show, is just a actor...a person of no more worth or importance than you or me. I'm sure he puts his pants on one leg at a time. That being said....


Here's the deal. My last post was a repeat of "Lost" trivia that I've posted in the past. One of the bits of trivia that I got from either or was that Jorge Garcia initially tried out for the role of Sawyer (along with Matthew Fox and Dominic Monaghan.)

The most recent comment I got to this post was this one from one Jorge Garcia:

"To say I auditioned for the part of Sawyer is not quite accurate. I knew when I went to the audition that I wasn't up for that particular part. They just wanted to see me do something and that's the material they had."

As those of you familiar with Blogger know, you can click on any commenter's name and be taken to their profile, which will include a link to their own blog. In this case, I was taken to Dispatches from the Island.

All I can say is, I could be wrong, but this blog really looks like it might be written by the real Jorge Garcia--or, I should say, the one who plays Hurley on "Lost." (I'm sure there are any number of Jorge Garcias blogging in the world.)

If so, it shows that the guy who plays Hurley has a nice sense of humor and seems to be a real down-to-earth kind of guy. Just what we would hope for from the guy who plays Hurley.

I especially got a chuckle of this post.

So if you're the Jorge who plays Hurley, thanks for visiting my blog and clearing up that erroneous bit of trivia! We like you being Hurley. In fact, I honestly can't imagine anyone else being Hurley...or anyone besides Josh Holloway being Sawyer, for that matter!

And I have to tell you, I've blogged about my Hurley love before. Like when I recently did a Thursday Thirteen of my favorite TV characters of all time--and Hurley was one of them:

Hurley's down-to-earth sense of humor is one of the things that keeps the show from spiraling into inaccessible weirdness.

And when I posted about 13 reasons why I love "Lost," Hurley was one of those, too:

Hurley is absolutely vital to the show. For a while, I was watching "24"fairly regularly, and it's excellent--but there is almost no comic relief, if any. The intensity blasts you nonstop. But the great thing about "Lost" is that just when everything gets a little too spooky, scary or strange, there's Hurley saying, "Dude..." and bringing everything back down to earth. I totally love Hurley.

Wow. I'm almost as excited as my friend Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee got when she was contacted by Clinton Kelly of "What Not to Wear"!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

13 Bits of "Lost" Trivia

It's been quite a while since I've done a Thursday Thirteen, and apparently during my lengthy hiatus, the meme is actually under new management!

For those of you who've been reading this blog a while, yes, this is a re-run. However, I have "Lost" on the brain, since I'm heavily embroiled in the new season. I have added some new thoughts in italics.

How about that episode last night? I loved it. Somehow, I felt that it captured the spirit of some of the earliest episodes of the show.

I know the time travel aspect is confusing, but that doesn't really bother me--when has the show been simplistic?

The bottom line is, we love the characters. We're invested in them, and that's what brings us back.

Let me know your thoughts in my comments section.

Enjoy the trivia, courtesy of,,

1. Jorge Garcia (Hurley) was the first person cast for the series.

2. In the original description for Kate (Evangeline Lilly), she was a slightly older woman separated from her husband, who went to the bathroom in the tail-section of the plane. However, that idea ended up being used for the character Rose. (Note: where are Rose and Bernard now that the islanders are time-jumping! Bring them back!)

3. Josh Holloway was trying to cover up his Southern accent while he was shooting several of his first scenes in the first season. It wasn't until director J.J. Abrams told him that the reason they cast him was BECAUSE of his accent that Holloway changed it. There are still some scenes left in the pilot where Holloway doesn't use his Southern accent. (Spoiler warning: Did he kind of break your heart last night when he glimpsed Kate? I'm a Jater--someone who thinks Jack and Kate should be together--but that doesn't stop me from loving Sawyer.)

4. Jorge Garcia, Matthew Fox, and Dominic Monaghan all auditioned originally for the part of Sawyer as the other characters had not been developed at the time. (I miss Charlie! Do you think we'll see him again on the show? Did anyone catch Dominic Monaghan on "Chuck" the other night?)

5. Michael Keaton was considered for the part of Jack, but turned it down. Had he accepted, he would have been killed off in the pilot episode. (Wow...glad that didn't happen, on both counts.)

6. Charlie (who sadly died in last season's finale) was in a band called Drive Shaft. Their only hit was called "You All Everybody". That song can be heard in the background of an episode of Alias, another show created by JJ Abrams.

7. During Charlie's heroin scenes, Dominic Monaghan is actually snorting brown sugar.

8. According to several Official Lost websites, the plane crashed on September 22, 2004. The journey was supposed to be 13 hours and 52 minutes long, leaving Sydney at 08:04 and arriving at LAX at 18:16.

9. There is a common misconception that since Claire (Emilie de Ravin) is eight months pregnant and in her third trimester, the airlines wouldn't have allowed her to fly. While airlines may not necessarily recommend flying when eight months pregnant, they cannot and will not prohibit a pregnant woman from taking a flight if she really wants or needs to. (I do hope we see more of Claire on the would be nice to have an explanation as to what exactly happened to her character.)

10. Evangeline Lilly (who plays Kate) and Dominic Monaghan (who played Charlie) were engaged to be married to each other in real life until just recently. (Actually, I think they may have re-united again recently...not sure of the latest on that. And didn't Kate look gorgeous on last night's episode? I bet she wishes she could take a straightening iron back to the island with her!)

11. Naveen Andrews' character, Sayid, is Iraqi; but in real life Andrews is of British and Indian origin. (Sayid has definitely turned into the kind of character you would want in your corner--and by your side in a dark alley. )

12. A goof in one of the earlier Desmond-centric "time-travel" episode: When Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) passes an army careers office he stops to look at a poster for 'The Royal Scots' which has some inaccuracies proving it is not a poster that would be found in Britain. Firstly the word 'honor' is spelt 'honour' in Britain. Secondly the small print refers to 'boot camp', which is not a phrase used in the British military. (Desmond is one of my favorite characters, for many reasons--not the least of which is his delectable Scottish accent.)

13. Go here for some fun "Lost" quizzes.

You can go here to participate in the new version of "Thursday Thirteen"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Joelle enters Biggest Loser Hall of Shame

Biggest Loser's Joelle takes her place in the figurative Biggest Loser Hall of Shame, right up there with last season's Vicky, after her shenanigans on last night's episode.

Joelle has had problems from the start. Her partner Carla's first mistake was agreeing to be the one to go home while Joelle stayed on the ranch. That was during the first episode, when most teams had to choose a partner to go home and lose weight while the other stayed on the ranch.

The condition was that the partner on the ranch had to work hard to keep from getting eliminated so their partner could come back in 30 days.

Joelle almost blew that! While Carla gamely soldiered on at home, Joelle dallied around, never giving it the "150 per cent' that most participants say is need to stay in the game.

Last week, she kicked it up a notch and rallied for a respectable weight loss, insuring Carla's return. I applauded her change in attitude and hoped it would continue.

It didn't. Once Carla returned to the ranch, Joelle returned to her slacking ways. Last night, while Carla lost 9 pounds, Joelle lost ZERO--a rarity on the ranch, where everyone's job (as trainer Bob said last night) is just to exercise and lose weight.

While--in my opinion--Joelle never garnered the level of intense dislike that last season's Vicky did, she was easily one of the most annoying Biggest Loser contestants ever.

She wasn't mean, like Vicky was (or at least appeared to be). She was just selfish and lazy. At least Vicky was a competitor!

The follow-up at the end of the episode showed us that Carla and Joelle haven't been able to patch up their friendship, which isn't surprising. But it did show that both of them have continued to lose weight at home. Good for them.

American Idol's local connection

Jamar and Danny with Faithbuilders' pastors Jeff and Robin Pruitt--from the Faithbuilders website

The former worship leader at Beloit, WI's Faithbuilders International, and his friend are through to the next round on American Idol...and color me WOWED by Danny Gokey's voice once again!

Here's a link to the video of Danny Gokey and his friend Jamar's segment.

And more about their connection to Faithbuilders here.

Danny is the one whose wife passed away just weeks before he initially auditioned. Last night he sang "Kiss from a Rose," and...again...WOW. He and David Osmond are two I will really be pulling for.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My doctor says I can't lower my cholesterol

February is Heart Month

"You're not going to be able to lower your cholesterol," my doctor told me a couple of weeks ago. "You could eat nothing but salads all day, and it wouldn't matter. It's heredity."

I struggled not to burst into tears right in front of the good doc. It was enough a blow, in September 2007, to find out that I have Type 2 diabetes. Now my doctor wants to put me on cholesterol medication as well!

Buying some time?

Initially, I agreed--albeit reluctantly--to take the cholesterol medication, and the doctor even called in the prescription. But despite his assurances that I would NOT be able to lower my LDL--the bad cholesterol--without medication, I wanted at least a chance to try.

Type 2 diabetics are at a higher risk of coronary disease than other people, so it IS important that my LDL be low. The doctor had never mentioned being concerned about my cholesterol until last October (2008). Now, in January, he is concerned enough to put me on medication.

I asked for three months to try to lower my LDL on my own. That gives me until roughly the end of April.

I write down everything I eat on a daily basis in a notebook every day, along with whether/how much I've exercised, my blood sugar numbers morning and night, and whether I've taken my apple cider vinegar twice a day.

Slacking off a bit?

I pulled out my notebooks from previous months to see if I've been doing anything differently.

Sure enough, even though I exercise regularly, I had not been exercising as much as I was initially. In the months after my diagnosis, I was exercising five or six times a week. Since getting my blood sugar in check, it's been more like three to four times a week.

I was checking my blood sugar just two or three times a week--and even though my A1C was a respectable 6.1, it had been lower in the past.

Whereas I used to take my apple cider vinegar faithfully morning and night, my ACV-taking had become sporadic...and sometimes I would go days without taking it. (Although scientific studies on the subject are limited and most evidence is anecdotal, I firmly believe taking the ACV played a major role in me being able to bring my blood sugar down so dramatically...and I believe it could also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.)

And while I studiously count carbs as my diabetes educators taught me to, I don't always limit foods like eggs and cheese, and I definitely was NOT eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Bottom line, I was slacking off a bit.

Cue the "Rocky" theme song...

So I've pushed everything up a notch. I'm exercising almost every day, with more intensity.

I'm eating oatmeal, Cheerios, almonds, fish, avocados, fruits and vegetables more. I'm looking into supplements that might help. I'm taking my ACV religiously, and checking my blood sugar morning and night again.

Oh, and there's the fact that I need to lose more weight. I need to take off at least 20 more pounds, and I'm now re-doubling my efforts to do just that.

My doctor may be right...maybe there's nothing I can do to lower my cholesterol on my own. If that's the case, I'll go pick up my prescription.

But if I don't lower my cholesterol, it won't be for lack of trying.

By the way, any advice would be appreciated! Comment below.

If you're interested, from, here's 10 ways to lower your cholesterol.

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will be made

Good news for Narnia fans...or at least, for Narnia movie fans! The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be made after all.

How have you liked the two Narnia movies so far? I finally saw Prince Caspian, and generally liked it, but thought the battle scenes were way too long.

To be honest, Prince Caspian was not my favorite of the books (although I've loved all of them since I was a little girl.) Dawn Treader, on the other hand, was one of my favorites, and I think it could make a terrific movie.

What do you think...are you a Narnia lover, and how do you feel the movies have measured up?
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