Getting Ready for Christmas

October 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm (Uncategorized)

I love Christmas. I want to put up the tree, have some snow, and make some hot chocolate. Delightful!

I like to pull out one of my lifelong favorite movies called Scrooge. It is a musical of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

There is a point as the Ghost of Christmas Present is visiting old Ebenezer, where he breaks into song about the joys of life, I have inserted a bit of it for you to enjoy.

Ghost of Christmas Present:
Ebenezer Scrooge
The sins of man are huge
A never-ending symphony
Of villainy and infamy
Duplicity, deceit, and subterfuge
And no one’s worse than Ebenezer Scrooge
Though man’s a handy candidate for Hell
I must admit life sometimes has it’s brighter side as well

I like life
Life likes me
Life and I fairly fully agree
Life is fine
Life is good
‘Specially mine, which is just as it should be
I like pouring the wine and why not?
Life’s a pleasure that I deny not

I like life
Here and now
Life and I made a mutual vow
‘Till I die
Life and I
We’ll both try to be better somehow
And if life were a woman
She would be my wife


Ghost of Christmas Present

Because I like life!

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I love being Mad

October 24, 2008 at 1:41 am (alfred e. neuman, mad, mad magzine, magazine, nintendo, president, usual gang of idiots)

Ever since I was a little kid I have had a fascination with sarcasm and cartoons. I soon found out that I inherited this wry sense of humor from my father who, growing up, like to read a magazine called MAD. This of course made an impression upon me.

One night as we were at the grocery store behind the apartment complex we lived in, I saw a copy of Mad with Mario and Luigi on the cover, smashing a TV. Of course, being a huge Nintendo fan as well, I had to have the issue, and to this day it remains in my collection. It was one of the first new issues that I ever purchased. I now own a few hundred magazines and books from the Usual Gang of Idiots.

Of course, over the years I have lost the same yearning to buy every old copy that I have come upon in second hand stores and flea markets. I have to be an adult now and pay bills and take care of priorities. But it sure is fun to pull these out every once in awhile and think about a simpler time when MAD magazine was one of my top priorities. Alfred E. Neuman has been my friend for much of my life, and will always be so. His care free expression of “What me, Worry?” still makes me smile. He has no worries about elections or getting his job done right. He just floats along with a smile and a wink and every 4 years people call for his election as president.

Alfred, I think you would be a wonderful president. You would keep around radio, print media and all of the “old” stuff that has made this country great for so long. I need to get my hands on a couple of the old Vinyl records that Mad put out over the years. Now that is some quality stuff right there.

So here is my tribute to MAD, the magazine that led to my zany sense of humor, and colorful outlook on life.

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The Express – Grade A Entertainment

October 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm (Uncategorized)

I love a good story, especially if it is based upon a true story. Most things in life are like that. When we tell someone else of something we have accomplished in life, for the most part, it is based on a true story, with some items added for emphasis.

Ernie Davis was an African-American growing up in the 1950s, collecting glass bottles to make some money from the deposits. He finds inspiration from Hank Aaron when he begins playing for the Dodgers during a time when this was unheard of. His grandfather plays a large role in his life, and inspires him to be a good man and helps him with his stuttering problem. As the family sits around the dinner table, a young Ernie is asked to read from the Bible:

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Beautiful and true words.

Ernie goes on to be one of his high school’s most valuable assets, and is scouted by Syracuse to play for the Orange later that year. He is helped by his predecessor Jim Brown and is inspired later by the work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Davis is an inspiration to the masses, and also challenges many people’s preconceived notions because of his skin color. The team goes on to some major successes and he eventually breaks the color barrier and wins the Heisman Trophy.

It is strange to think that 50 years ago there was so much hatred and vitriol for the color of a man’s skin. But it is also inspiring to see how many of the oppressed men and women rose above the hate and fear and showed the world their true colors. The color of their spirit, which was as red, white, and blue as the country’s founding fathers.

The film is moving, fun, and has many lessons about life to gain wisdom from.

Davis tells his football successor “I did not set out to be the best negro football player, just the best football player”

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Branson is in a time warp

October 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm (Uncategorized)

“This was a hit for me back in the ’70s” said Mary Lou Turner as she took the stage with her bedazzled jean jacket and fabulous curly hair. It was a night to remember at the God and Country theater in Branson, Missouri. One of my wife’s students had earned first place in the Ozark Idol contest and was given the opportunity to sing with some country queens of days gone by.

Decked out in a huge black cowboy hat, his outfit was completed by a belt buckle that was bigger than a diner pancake. He sang about being famous, and all the silly things he would be able to get away with, because it would only increase his fame. He then went into another track about “turning the lights down low,” which was a little odd since he is only a senior in High School. He closed out his little set with a song called “Say” from the movie “The Bucket List.” This was the best of the songs and was preceded by a nice dedication to a young man who is fighting cancer.

Then came the real show.

I think I became mesmerized by the glittery heart-shaped American flags that the first vocalist had spattered all over her jacket. I thought to myself “this is the only woman who could pull off that ensemble.” Of course earlier in the evening when I walked in, there was a woman looking at all of the advertising racks with a pink trucker hat on with a feathery pink duster looking item attached to it. I remember thinking “Only in Branson…”

All of the singers were very good and tried to work the crowd, the median age was 68, but that was only because a busload of kids were there from a local High School dragging the numbers down. I felt stuck in a time warp. A weird country music time warp where every day is a day to relive the past, and glitter is the new black.

I will not trade this experience for anything in the world. I am also positive that this is not how I want to spend my retirement.

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