Thursday, March 29, 2007

Let Me Be

This quote is so good I had to share it here. Head over to Jim Palmer's blog to read the rest of "From Becoming to Being".

"I quickly deducted that trying to become more spiritual is a lot like trying to become more pregnant, or more white, or more black. You either are or aren’t. The only thing you can become is more consciously aware of who you already are." -Jim Palmer
That sounds good to me. Just be.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Deaf Filmmakers

One question permeated my mind as I watched PBS's Through Deaf Eyes: why hadn't I learned this before?

I could not understand why this vital part of American culture was neglected throughout all my years of history classes. Why were Deaf American stories so easily silenced in the pages of history textbooks? Why are the disability acts so often ignored in the context of everyday political conversations? All these questions were stacking up and left me inspired yet saddened. I was inspired because a documentary had given me an informative and engaging insight into Deaf American culture. I was saddened because I felt like I had been cheated from understanding Deaf culture for so long and that even though this documentary was excellent, I knew that most of "hearing America" probably wasn't watching and rejoicing along with me. But this is the case with many of the documentaries I watch on PBS, even Oscar winning documentaries are not hot topics like they should be. When was the last time a PBS documentary was the thing to talk about at work on Monday? But that's another story.

One of my hobbies is learning about different cultures, so I'm naturally drawn to the kind of programming that gives me a glimpse into the lives of others. Through Deaf Eyes does a splendid job of doing just that. The documentary was flavored with interviews, short films from deaf filmmakers, archive video and photos of important moments in Deaf American history and other examples of what it was like for deaf people growing up before and after the Civil Rights Movement. One of the highlights was when deaf college students rallied together at Gallaudet University to protest against the school for choosing a hearing woman as the president over the two other deaf candidates. It was amazing to see how happy the students were when the media and the rest of the country came to their aid and sided with them in their battle. It's like you could feel this collectively sigh from the Deaf community that whispered "You care." It was a beautiful thing.

Then there was a really interesting interview with deaf actress Marlee Matlin who won an Oscar for best actress in Children of a Lesser God. It's the ground-breaking story about a deaf woman and a hearing man falling in love. This was a big moment for the Deaf community, in the Halle Berry and Denzel Washington winning an Oscar sense. And for me, as a filmmaker and movie buff, I must admit to being ashamed about being unfamiliar with this movie and having no idea of its significance until watching Through Deaf Eyes. But the good part is that it landed a spot on my must-see movie list.

I could go on gushing about how great this documentary is but for your sake, I'll leave you with this, please watch this film. Check out to find when a re-run airs or buy the film and watch it with a couple of friends. Through Deaf Eyes is only a scratch on the surface about the Deaf community, so hopefully you will do a little digging and learn some more. While you're at it check out these cool blogs: A Deaf Mom Shares Her World, Deaf in the City, Somewhat Silent, Discussing Over Coffee, Keylime Pie Lovers Unite and Deaf Blogs.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Free Wireless!

At this very moment I am using free wireless Internet courtesy of Oakland County. My city is one of the first in the Great Lakes state to have wireless access for all.

Right now, I feel really blessed to be an American because I know that there are several people and places that do not have the luxury of personal computers and Internet access. In China, people are restricted from visiting certain websites. In India, Christians are persecuted for spreading the Gospel. And in the USA, some people are just struggling to get food on the table and utility bills paid.

For all the times I complain about what I do not have I should be thanking God for what I do have. When I think about it that way, I have a lot.

So thank you God, for all that You have given me. May I learn to use it wisely.

Now it's your turn. Reflect upon one way God has blessed you lately.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Band Spotlight: NoonDaySun

Some people may think MySpace is a big waste of time, and it can be. But then there are times when you're searching through the sludge of music pages that you find a band that really sparkles. And NoonDaySun is one of those sparkling bands. They've even got a song title to prove it.

Their lyrics are reminiscent of Switchfoot's earlier releases, where they present soul searching concepts that make you think alongside tantalizing heartfelt vocals. They're on an independent record label now, but if they keep on cultivating their sound and explore songs with more social justice themes in a few years time they could be on a major label or make a major label out of their current one.

You can check out a brief write-up I did on them in the current issue of the Christian Rock Report on page 6 titled "NoonDay Sun Heats Up". And stop by their MySpace page and say "Hi!" or whatever it is you would say to a band on their comment section.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Switchfoot Covers Beyonce

The title is not a misprint.

Head over to Pepsi Smash to hear Switchfoot cover Beyonce's "Crazy in Love". It's an interesting sight.

While you're there you might as well watch Flyleaf do a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Then come back here and share your thoughts on who your dream smash would be.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Disney's New Princess

First there was Snow White, then Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Belle, Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas and now...The Frog Princess.

Disney unveiled its plans for introducing the world to its first black princess to the billion dollar princess line, according to an article on MSNBC. The Frog Princess will return Disney back to its old-school animation style. Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose from Dream Girls and the Grammy-Award winning singer Alicia Keys have been reported to be contenders for the lead role of Maddy, the Frog Princess according to the film's Wikipedia entry. My personal pick would be Alicia Keys because she has that cool smokey voice, but I'm thinking that Disney might go in a totally different direction.

So what does it all mean? What's the significance of this new Disney princess?

First, Disney is realizing that hand-drawn animation isn't all bad in a Pixar driven world when it's backed behind a good story. Second, the black community is finally getting their much awaited black princess so this is probably what it was like for little girls who were around when the first black Barbie Doll was unveiled. Third, this film pays homage to New Orleans with its setting and will hopefully remind people of the resources still needed to help rebuild the lives of those who were effected by Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

Pocahontas is my favorite Disney princess but all of them hold a special place in my heart because they've become icons for most young girls growing up in the United States. And now, hopefully Disney will do its magic again and give us another princess to embed in our hearts and culture.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

And the winner is...

First off, thanks to Susan and Janice at 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting the Ultimate Blog Party. Over 900 bloggers joined the party and 93 prizes were given away on their site alone. Good times!!!

I found a bunch of really interesting blogs that I'll be updating to my blogroll sometime next week, so be sure to scroll down to the bottom of my Blogs to Remember list to check out the newbies.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and left comments. I appreciate your kind words and I'm glad you enjoy my original thoughts on sunsets being "God's smoothies to the world."

And now for what you've all been waiting for: The winner of the Switchfoot Oh Gravity! CD is Deena Peterson. She's the author of three cool blogs, so stop by and drop her a comment or two.

That's a wrap, Enjoy a sunset smoothie or something!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

International Bloggers

Roll call! If you don't live in the United States then please leave a comment on this entry. I'm looking for some cool international blogs.

I'm especially looking for international bloggers who are interested in:

  • filmmaking
  • Bollywood movies
  • science fiction
  • social justice
  • writing (screenplays, poetry, novels, etc.)
  • ballroom dancing
And basically anything that I've covered in my blogs or that you think I'd might be interested in.

So if you know of any cool international blogs, post their links in the comment section. And if you're one of my international readers, then stop by and introduce yourself (and your blog if you have one).

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Let's Get This Party Started!

5 Minutes For Mom is throwing a new kind of party...a blog party. The party goes on from now until March 9th and so far 740 bloggers have signed up to mix, mingle and "get their blog noticed". 5 Minutes for Mom and other bloggers are giving away lots of prizes so head over there and join the action. I know Rebecca at A Christian Worldview of Fiction has a list of books that she'll be giving away so hurry up and leave a comment to enter and win.

UPDATE: And now for my prize give-away...leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered into the drawing for the very cool prize of Switchfoot's new CD: Oh! Gravity

The winner will be announced on March 10th.

*UPDATE 3/10/07*And the winner of the Switchfoot Oh! Gravity CD is Deena Peterson.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Proud to be a Pistons fan

The Detroit Pistons are the most unselfish team in professional basketball. They're a true picture of what it means to be a team. So when Natalie at posted this picture on her blog she made a lot of Piston fans get emotional, in a way that only your hometown sports team can do. It really symbolizes what the Pistons are all about. If you're a basketball fan please stop by her site and read her well-written piece about the Pistons camaraderie. And if you're a Pistons fan, add to your blogroll and save it in your favorites. And if basketball means absolutely nothing to you, then leave a "shout-out" to who your favorite sports team is in the comment section.

Deeeeeetroit basketball!!!