my faith in humanity restored… for now..

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we had a service guy come out to our house early this morning to repair one of our in-ground sprinkler heads that was malfunctioning. He was friendly and knowledgeable and best of all, he fixed it without charging us. …by golly, there IS still hope for humanity!

recent DVDs - thumbs up or down?

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recently viewed DVDs:
update 24aug04

Along Came Polly (Ben Stiller): thumbs up
Shipping News (Kevin Spacey) : thumbs up
Freaky Friday (Lindsay Lohan) : thumbs up sort of..
Pirates of the Caribbean (Johnny Depp) : thumbs up
Unfaithful (Diane Lane) : thumbs up
Matrix ReLoaded : thumbs up
Matrix Revolutions: thumbs way, way down
Badder Santa (Billy Bob Thornton): thumbs, way, way, way, way down

bits and pieces.. argh!

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why is it that everytime i order a CD online, i receive it in the mail with either a crack in the jewel case or the “middle-tab-thingy that holds the CD in place” broken off? Don’t get me wrong, i love the convenience and selection of online stores but i’m getting fed up with opening up these brand new CDs with broken bits of the CD case in them. it’s one thing for me to damage the CD case but when i receive something that i ordered through the mail, is it so wrong of me to expect the thing in perfect condition? these CD jewel cases are just too flimsy nowadays. Amazon, Deep Discount CD and the like all have to start packaging these things better. either that or i’m gonna have to go have a talk with the mailman and ask him to stop throwing my CDs into the mailbox. those precious babies are fragile.

published in "Endless Journeys" HA! HA!

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boy, for a second there, i *almost* fell for it. I received a letter saying that one of my photos (submitted through snapfish for the picture.com contest) was chosen to be published in the upcoming hardbound book “Endless Journeys”. The nice little letter continued to inform me that out of the thousands of photos submitted, my picture of Alec will be one of the “chosen few” to appear in their next book. well, after reading this, several flags went up.
1) - the snapshot of Alec. although it’s a cute picture of Alec, honestly, the shot didn’t really have any artistic value. I mean, the book is supposed to highlight the work of amateur photographers and i don’t think my “kid and his birthday cake” shot shows any skill as a photographer at all. just a point and shoot photo. Alec could probably win something for *cuteness* but my *skillz* behind the lens is definitely lacking.
2) - they want ME to pay $70 bucks for a copy of their book!! $70 dollars for a book. come on.
3) - shouldn’t they be paying me to publish my *exquisitely* shot photo of Alec.
4) - thank goodness for the internet. click here for a discussion on picture.com and their wonderful book project. Apparently they’ve been milking people out of their money for over a year, pushing the publishing date back time and time again. Imagine if they could get say 500 people to pay $70 bucks each. plus they have a gift option so some of those folks paid even more. yikes!
AND they really didn’t say how many photos were going to appear in the book. for all i know, there could be thousands of pictures in the book, all of them about “thumbnail” sized.
what a scam!

needless to say, i didn’t order myself a copy. but i’ll be looking for the book at the library once the book comes out (if it actually does get published!!) just to see if my *wonderful work* actually *is* indeed in the book. we will see….

baby Christian update Aug 2004

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The Christian Cam : latest pix

Sunday in the Park with…

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Alec: Dad, can we go to Tweetsie Railroad again please?

[a brief moment of silence while i try to think of a way to explain gently that we won’t be going anytime soon…]

Alec: Yay! We’re going! yay!

dad: what?!? i didn’t say…

dad: Alec, i didn’t say anything

Alec: Dad, can we go to Tweetsie Railroad, please?

dad: Ale……

Alec: Yay! ….

[repeat the scene ten times….]

well, here’s what we did instead : some play time at the local park. :)

Can We Still Be Friends?

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Did anyone catch this week’s episode of Nip/tuck? Todd Rundgren’s Can We Still Be Friends was used in the episode’s key scene. nice. i always knew the show’s creative team had great taste in music and this just make it all the more clear. Plus it’s great exposure for Todd, who’s of course one of my favorite artists of all time ..but i think it’s time for the viewers at large to get to hear more from Todd besides Can We Still Be Friends and Hello It’s Me. Check this out: Besides the recent Nip/Tuck episode, ‘Can We Still Be Friends’ was used in the pivotal scene toward the end of Tom Cruise’s movie Vanilla Sky. It’s makes sense since the last verse in the song basically explains what’s happening to Tom in the movie:
We awoke from our dreams, things are not always what they seem, memories linger on…
The song was also used near the end of Dumb and Dumber (one of the all time great comedies!)
when we get to see Mary Swanson reunited with her husband.
As for ‘Hello It’s Me’, the song was used in a key scene in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides.
Plus it’s basically the only Todd Rundgren song that gets significant airplay so it’s essentially Todd’s signature song. It’s sad really, because those two songs, in my opinion, don’t represent Todd in the best light. Frankly, i can’t stand ‘Hello It’s Me’. it’s just lame. ‘Can We Still Be Friends’ is a true classic but still not one of my favs. I need hollywood music supervisors to pay attention and dig a little deeper into the man’s back catalog. i mean, really, Todd’s got more than thirty albums worth of material! here’s my list of his songs that better represent him as a artist.

1) Parallel Lines - a true marvel in songcraft. beautiful harmonies and wonderful chordings. and the lyrics are deep, man. deep.

2) Change Myself - sort of Todd’s take on WakoJacko’s Man in the Mirror. heh. ..Both of us want to win this fight Both of us think the other is mistaken, so mistaken Meanwhile, everyone wants to take up sides So everyone helps us to fall apart Just another fact of life It’s hard to play fair And it’s so easy to pretend to care But if nobody wants to share the blame Then everyone gets more of the same

3) Afterlife - truly haunting. plus the song’s full of “Todd Chords”. I personally don’t agree with his philosophy but i still appreciate his creativity.

4) Fidelity - a beautiful song through and through. especially apparent when Todd plays this live with just vocals and a piano. lyrically, he definitely covers ground less travelled.

5) Mated - a wonderful ballad that i’ve always declared as “Our Song” (Elaine and I). Of course if you ask Elaine, she’ll vehemently deny it (she’s not into Todd like me). But it’s the perfect song in my mind. check out the words:
Everyone asks, are we some kind of lovers? Everyone asks what you’re doing with me I know this is not what they want They’re afraid you’ve been blinded But I already know how it’s going to be If anyone should ask, Say we’re mated For as long as this life lasts, we are mated Why else would you be here right now And you know we’ll still be here tomorrow Nobody else understands what I’m doing Nobody else makes me act in this way And because they can’t comprehend What we mean to each other They won’t leave you alone So you know what to say…I see things far ahead, maybe light Maybe beautiful children I don’t have words I’m thinking of But it’s way beyond what they call love.

Sometimes He Comes in the Clouds

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These are the places I was so sure I’d find Him
I’ve looked in the pages and I’ve looked down on my knees
I’ve lifted my eyes in expectation
To see the sun still refusing to shine, but…

Sometimes He comes in the clouds
Sometimes His face cannot be found
Sometimes the sky is dark and grey
But some things can only be known
And sometimes our faith can only grow
When we can’t see

So, sometimes He comes in the clouds

Sometimes I see me, a sailor out on the ocean
So brave and so sure as long as the skies are clear
But when the clouds start to gather
I watch my faith turn to fear, but…

….
Sometimes He comes in the rain
And we question the pain
And wonder why God can seem so far away
But time will show us
He was right there with us…
-Steven Curtis Chapman

balloons, balloons, everywhere….

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came back to the office this morning after a couple days off and whatdayaknow, my little cube was literally overflowing with balloons. boy, people must think i’m special or something… not. sadly, the balloons were just there for the annoyance factor. and it definitely took awhile for me to move the hundred or so balloons over to the *next victim’s* cube. the balloons were originally for our boss who came back after a long vacation. once the novelty wore off being all in his office, he quickly tranferred them covertly to another colleague’s office. and so it began. i was the fourth *special person* in line. and now the balloons are in my friend’s cube. heh. unfortunately he won’t be back from his vacation ’til next week some time. i don’t think the balloons will last that long. :( whatever.

15 minutes and counting..

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argh. is she not the most annoying girl on TV right now? Is there not a fast-forward button somewhere so that we can just skip through her 15 minutes of fame?
please. go. away. now.

From the New York Times:

Q: You just shipped a million albums. How do you feel?

Ashlee Simpson: Amazing. Oh my gosh. I’m freaking out. Everything is so exciting. Oh it’s so cool. It’s got the album cover on it and it says one million! I was like, this is insane. When I saw it, I started crying. Isn’t that insane? Just to have an album in stores. It’s the coolest. .

..she’s just like … like the coolest… okay?
a million albums!! who are these people???
meanwhile other artists are just scrapping by:
(according to MelodicRock.com)
Survivor - Ultimate Survivor - 1705 units. (From two weeks of sales)
Van Halen - Best Of Both Worlds - 138,284 units (From one week of sales)
Rick Springfield - Shock Denial Anger Acceptance - 26,553 units (Total!!!)
Heart - Jupiter’s Darling - 39,167 units
Toto - Essential Toto - 900 units (in it’s first two weeks on sale.)

Truly unfair.


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DLee.us - The Ridiculously Mundane by Daniel Lee