Archive for the ‘The show must go on’ Category
June 18, 2010 – a day that (in our house, at least) will live in infamy – Toy Story 3 was finally and deliberately released by producers and directors from the Empire of Pixar Studios…
So here it is.Â Andy’s growing up and heading off to college, and his toys – though they have vowed to “be there for him whenever he needs them” – are feeling the change, too.
My children have anticipated this day for a year.Â They have eagerly talked about it, made plans to see it, and stopped all activity to pay full attention whenever they saw a preview or trailer.
I, on the other hand, have feared for this day.Â Well, not actually *THIS* day, as I enjoy the Toy Story movies, too.Â But the day it represents to every parent.Â The day when we finally push our baby birds out of the nest and watch them fly.Â The day that comes far too soon.Â The day we can never avoid…or slow down time to hold off.
I was deeply touched by one particular scene in the movie.Â As the day finally arrives for Andy to head off to college, he and his mother enter his bedroom – which now is completely barren except for the furniture and the familiar blue-sky and off-white stars painted on his wall.Â The two of them stand in the room for a moment, quiet, each alone with their own thoughts: Andy with the bittersweet reality of leaving home and the familiar behind coupled with the overwhelming excitement of all that lies ahead; his mother with the memories of her little boy and the realization that the one who stands next to her is no longer that little boy but rather a grown man – handsome, strong, and fully capable.Â Unable to help herself, she sheds a tear (or two) and tries her best to stifle the cry in her throat.Â Andy tries to reassure her that it’s okay – it’s part of life, he’s ready for this, it’s not good-bye forever – and as she holds him close to her one more time she says, “I know.Â It’s just that I wish I could be with you all the time.”
And that’s when I’d wished I’d paid the extra 3 bucks to watch it in 3-D so I could have hidden my own tears behind those silly-looking glasses.Â I looked over at that not-so-small-anymore boy sitting next to me and was overwhelmed with the fact that in only 8 short years, we will be reenacting our own version of that scene.Â We are more than halfway to the end of Trey’s childhood and the beginning of his life “on his own.”Â Â And I pause to wonder, does he know…
… how much I love him?Â How much his Dad loves him?Â How sometimes I love him so much it makes me hurt inside?
…how blessed I feel to know that God entrusted me with HIM?Â Not just any child, but THIS one?Â How many nights my heart pleaded and my arms ached to hold a baby of my own…and what an answer to prayer he is?
…how amazed I am by his spirit, his endless capacity to love and forgive, and his thirst to know God more deeply?Â How in awe I am of his willingness to reach out to others, how he never knows a stranger, how he is able to put others at ease in his presence so effortlessly?
…how talented and gifted he truly is?Â How he never needs to doubt himself or what he can do?Â How big God’s plans are for his life and how I see him doing something truly meaningful and making an impact in this world someday?
…how much joy he brings to my heart just by the light of his life, his smile, and his charming personality?Â How sometimes I just soak him in, trying to capture and remember each moment, frozen in time, to carry in my heart forever?
…how proud I am of him?Â How it makes my heart swell to hear the words of praise and affirmation that are heaped on him by those who know him?Â How even perfect strangers have come up to me and shared with me what a delight my son is, and how truly special he must be?
No, I don’t suppose he will ever truly know those things.Â But that’s okay.Â Because for now, I have him with me.Â I can be with him all the time.Â And I can assure you, I will treasure every moment.
LOST has completely messed with my universe.
First, we have the mysteries of the island.Â Then we have alternate timelines and realities and smoke monsters taking the form of formerly dead characters.Â As if that weren’t enough, now we have the whole mythos of the “list” and the “candidates” and the balance between light and dark.Â And to top it all off, LOST has moved to Tuesday nights, opposite American Idol!
Sheesh.Â The nerve.
So what’s a poor girl to do?Â It’s prediction time, and once again I haven’t watched the performances.Â And unfortunately this time there wasn’t much chatter on Facebook to help me out.Â But I still managed to get two out of three last week, so I’m employing the “stab in the dark” technique again this week.
In all honesty, I can’t really judge him.Â He may have rocked it last night.Â He may have brought it and been – in Randy’s words – “da bomb.”Â But the fact remains, the guy is SIXTEEN.Â And he ACTS sixteen.Â And he LOOKS sixteen.Â And he doesn’t show me that he can handle the demands of show biz.Â I will keep picking him until he is gone…and pray that he doesn’t ride the Kris Allen wave of good luck to the finals.
This one makes me sad.Â I really like her style and I think she’s a refreshing change of pace for this show.Â There have been rockers, r&b singers, and even country divas who have all made it big from this launching pad.Â But there has never been a soulsy-bluesy-jazzy crooner like Didi who has managed to make it into the finals.Â Unfortunately, the pop music niche of this show makes it difficult for her to really stand out and showcase her unique persona.Â I think she will be safe, but only by the skin of her pearly-white teeth.
Poor Tim.Â He seems like such a nice boy.Â Sincere.Â Genuine.Â And about as interesting as milk toast.Â Which, unfortunately, does not make for good radio play.Â And since we all know the bottom line of this show is about dollar signs and marketability, that bodes even worse for our boy-next-door.Â Buh-bye, Tim Urban.Â We’ll see you on the road.
Really, I should just take a mulligan on this because:
1)Â I haven’t watched the show yet and
2)Â I don’t really have time to blog about a show I haven’t even watched.
But I’m not going to do that.Â I’m going to live on the edge and make a prediction based solely on the status updates I’ve read on Facebook.Â Now THAT’S research!
So who do I predict the bottom three will be?
I like her.Â I really, really like her.Â But it doesn’t appear that America does.Â So for the second week in a row, she will be doomed to the silver stools on the dreaded “other side of the stage.”
I don’t know that it makes one bit of difference whether he is in the bottom three or safe tonight.Â Because, honestly, the final two will be Siobhan and Crystal and everyone else needs to go home and let the two of them duke it out.Â Vocally, of course.Â But because he doesn’t have a prayer of winning Idol, I predict Tim Urban will sharing Paige’s fate this evening.
If you’re going to be 16 in this competition, then you better make me believe you can handle the pressure, the attention, and the demands.Â Poor Aaron has seemed star-struck and overwhelmed from the get-go.Â I am going to continue to pick him until he goes home because seriously, he just needs to grow up a bit.
So whose montage will we be watching tonight?
My vote goes with Facebook: Paige.
It’s that time of year again…March Madness, Spring Forward, and Debily’s American Idol Predictions!!Â Seriously, folks, it doesn’t get much more exciting than this.
For those of you who are new to my blog, this has become a tradition for the past couple of years.Â Before I head out to party with the Idol Girls each week, I make my predictions of who will make it, who will land in the bottom three, and who is out.Â I may not be “Debily the Greek” (with my apologies to the under-30 crowd who has no idea what I mean by that or who “Jimmy the Greek” was), but I hold my own mostÂ weeks.Â Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and ideas – the more the merrier!
This week was a tribute to the Rolling Stones.Â Admittedly, I’m not a huge Stones fan.Â I appreciate their music, I acknowledge their talent, I know enough of the lyrics to “Satisfaction” to get by at parties, but I’ve never been one to buy their albums or download their songs.Â Honestly, I didn’t know most of the songs performed tonight, so I was pretty open-minded about the risks the performers chose to take.Â I also prefer to listen to AI rather than watch it, because that’s how I’ll get to know these artists: through their radio play.Â I don’t go to concerts, I don’t watch music videos, I don’t see them perform live.Â So they gotta sell me on their vocals and musicality more than their stage presence.
But stage presence doesn’t hurt and tonight there emerged one clear winner:
Holy black dress, Batman!Â In Randy-speak, Siobhan was DA BOMB.Â I haven’t felt goosebumps like that since David Cook did his rendition of “Billie Jean.”Â Awesome.Â Amazing.Â She emerged as the one to beat.
But as we all know, it’s not about who won the night, it’s about who will be tearfully watching their “American Idol Journey” montage as the show fades to credits.Â Here are my picks for the bottom three:
Sitting pretty in 10th place will be Andrew Garcia.Â I like this guy.Â I like him a LOT even though he needs to attend the Danny Gokey School of Cool and Stylish Eyewear for a few weeks.Â But he just seemed to be trying too hard this week, pushing his style and vocals beyond his own capabilities.Â I think the judges have really done him a disservice with their emphasis on encouraging him to take risks musically.Â He seems to feel pressured to have a new and creative take each week…and sometimes that’s just not possible.Â But his story is so great that he will ride the wave for a few weeks until – hopefully – he gets back on track.
I’m sorry.Â I just don’t get him.Â I know the judges loved his performance.Â Not me.Â He LOOKS young and tiny on the stage, and unlike David Archuleta (who was wise beyond his years in both style and stage presence) just doesn’t have the strong vocals or star quality to make me believe he’s worthy of winning it all.
I really like her.Â And I really *want* to like her onstage.Â She has such a unique look, and I love her distinctive sound.Â But she’s in danger of making everything sound the same.Â There was no “WOW” factor in her song tonight.Â For that reason, I believe the one we bid adieu to this evening will be Amarillo’s own Lacey Smith.
Let me hear your thoughts!Â And tune in tonight to see how I do!
To my wonderful husband on his birthday…
I offer you this special message of joy and cheer from me and all your best friends at Star Trek: TOS.Â I may not be an expert at Japanese, but I’m pretty sure it says, “Hey, Matt! Happy birthday from Kirk, Bones, Scotty and the gang over here on the bridge of the Enterprise.”
This seems to be the summer of death.
First it was Farrah and Michael.
Then Billy “Mr. Sham-WOW” Mays.
Followed shortly thereafter by Walter Cronkite.
And now we have…Alexis Cohen.
Who? You ask.Â Let this video remind you.
According to the news, she was struck by a car as she attempted to cross a street in New Jersey.Â Police are treating her death as a homicide but have very few leads.Â While I still laugh at her profanity-laced rant, my heart goes out to her mother and her family.
Alexis Cohen was a genuine original. I don’t think anyone else could be quite like her.
Summer vacation doesn’t officially start until tomorrow afternoon at 3:46 P.M.Â But I’m not one who likes to wait until the last minute, so we decided to get a jump start on our summer by going to the movies tonight!
I took our children – plus a friend each – to go see the latest Pixar offering, “Up”.Â And yes, we did pay the premium price to see it the way God intended: in HD 3-D!Â The kids were way cool in their glasses:
We met another McGowen family at the theater and the boys decided to sit together while the girls and I sat closer to the front.Â We all settled in with our popcorn and waited for the movie to start.
And after the first 15 minutes, I was a blubbering idiot.
I have no idea why I had such a strong emotional reaction to that opening sequence, but boy, howdy, it did me in.Â And then I had another meltdown later in the movie (for those who’ve seen it, it was the scene when he finds the pictures in her adventure book – and reads what she wrote at the end).Â Â I never knew a kids’ movie could be such a tear-jerker!
But although this was not my favorite Pixar movie – and definitely was not completely geared toward children – I did love the following:
1)Â The parody on Boy Scouts.Â You knew I would.Â That little wilderness scout had me at “Good afternoon.”Â Perhaps it’s because I have my own little scout with his uniform all covered with all his patches and awards.Â Perhaps it’s because I have my own little scout who goes door-to-door, script in hand, selling popcorn each November.Â Perhaps it’s because I have my own little scout who thinks it’s the coolest thing in the world that his mom is his Den Leader…just like Russell wanted his dad to be involved.Â If nothing else, that chubby-cheeked little mailman reminded me of why I do all the things I do.Â Why, even when I am so tired and worn out, I do the den activity.Â Why, even when I would rather enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon, I walk the neighborhood with him selling popcorn.Â Why, even when I would rather sleep in a nice, warm, comfy bed, I set up a tent and sleep in the great outdoors with bugs and critters and dirt and cold.Â Because deep down inside, my boy is Russell.Â And I don’t want some Mr. Frederickson having to take my place.
2)Â I loved the dogs.Â “Squirrel!”Â “Point!”Â “My master is very smart and good.Â I have a good and smart master.Â My master, who is very good and smart made me this collar.”Â “You are my master and I love you.”Â “Ball?Â BALL??Â I want the ball! Give me the ball!”Â “The collar of shame.”Â Oh, and lest I forget: the scene at the end with the dogs hanging their heads out of the windows of the blimp.Â Classic.Â I think Dug will be the sleeper star of the summer.
All in all, a sweet movie with some tender – and some not-so-tender – moments.Â But a story that will make you think about the legacy we leave behind.Â The relationships we share.Â The memories we build along the way.Â And the impact we can have on others.Â It’s a story that has meaning for kids and adults alike.
Just don’t forget to pack your kleenex.
Itâ€™s not like we didnâ€™t have anything else to do.Â But there wouldnâ€™t have been any peace in our house if we had allowed this weekend to go by without seeing this movie.
We left the Worship & Arts family picnic rather abruptly to make it to the theater in time, and though we didnâ€™t opt to see this one in IMAX 3-D or HD 3-D, our kids were thrilled to be watching it nonetheless.
As sequels go, our expectations were low.Â Most of the time, the sequel isnâ€™t nearly as good as the original.Â And true to expectation, this one wasnâ€™t.Â Worse yet, this sequel isnâ€™t a â€œstand-aloneâ€ â€“ meaning much of the humor is lost if you havenâ€™t seen the original movie.
But the requisite characters were all there: Larry and Nick, Akhmun Ra, Sacagawea, Teddy Roosevelt, Lexie, Dum-Dum, Jedediah and Octavius, and Dexter.Â The storyline weakly attempted to connect the two museums and the characters, but the result ended up as more of a special-effects fest for the CGI artists than as a showpiece of masterful storytelling.Â Of the new characters introduced in this movie, only Kuman Ra had any depth or persona.Â I had hoped for more from the other â€œevilâ€ guys â€“ certainly Al Capone could have had more substance.Â And I was sorely disappointed with the museum directorâ€™s change â€“ he actually spoke in complete sentences this time!Â Blasphemy!
There was a poignant moment at the end once the tablet has been returned to New York when Amelia Earhart has to fly back to the Smithsonian and return to her non-existence as a wax figure.Â Realizing her future lies as a lifeless exhibit in a dusty museum, she is nonetheless grateful for her one night of life and adventure.Â A good lesson to bear in mind for all of us: do we enjoy the moments we are given, do we appreciate the life we live, and are we grateful for the adventures we have â€“ or do we waste our lives, our talents, and our gifts hiding in the daily grind of work and home?
All in all, itâ€™s a great popcorn flick.Â Our kids loved it.Â The special effects certainly are entertaining.Â Just donâ€™t expect a terrific story or oscar-quality acting, though you might find a nugget of truth if you look hard enough.
Like I predicted last week, it really doesn’t matter what happened last night.
Our next American Idol will be Kris Allen.
I hope his future is brighter than Taylor Hicks’.
This is it.Â We’re down to the last three men standing.Â After tonight, we’re on to the finals: the final performances, the final show, the grand finale and announcement of the winner.
Tonight, it was all about choices.Â The choices the judges made for the contestants and the choices they made for themselves.
But the most important choice is the one America made with their votes.
And as much as I like Danny Gokey, as much as I love his story and his heart and his wholesomeness…I just don’t think that’s enough to carry him through.Â Good bye, Danny…but know that your journey has just begun.
I’ll put out the call now.Â I might as well. No matter what happens next week – I don’t care if Adam Lambert slays his songs – Kris Allen is riding some kind of magical wave.Â I don’t know if he’s been sprinkled with pixie dust or if he’s got computers set to dial in incessantly or what.Â But there’s no denying he is in the zone, and has been for several weeks now.Â He’s got the charisma and the fan base.
And as far as I can see, he’s got the competition as well.Â I predict our next American Idol will be Kris Allen.