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I Am December 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance.
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46 comments

Tom Shadyak, director of Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Liar Liar, Patch Adams, and other films sustained a broken arm and a concussion in a biking accident in 2007.

Despondent over the side effects of the concussion, he thought about death and, from there, began to ask what he wanted to share with the world before he died.

From those questions, he chose his next project.

In I AM, Shadyac asks some of today’s most profound thinkers, two questions:

* What’s wrong with our world?
* What can we do about it?

Several interviews touched upon the view that excess consumption and consumerism is a form of mental illness resulting from social conditioning which values competition more than cooperation.

In order to simplify his life, Tom sold his 17,000 square foot mansion and moved to a mobile home park in Malibu.

He rides a bike to work.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Speaking of I Am ~> today I Am over at Lively Twist as part of Timi’s series Did We Do Any Learning [3].

You may also be interested in Learning [1] and/or Learning [2].

CHEF Left A Bad Taste In My Mouth November 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, Happiness, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

Snoopy5Some movies leave a bad taste in your mouth.

It’s not just that you feel you wasted your time by watching it, but you feel they wasted their time by filming it, marketing it, distributing it.

CHEF is just such a movie:

* Chef Carl Casper loses his job at a prominent L.A. restaurant when he refuses to compromise his creative integrity in the kitchen.

* He teams up with his pre-pubescent son to launch a food truck in Miami.

* He reignites his passion in the kitchen by pressing paninis and frying yucca.

A plausible premise poorly prepared and implausibly served . . . with plot holes large enough to swallow a Food Truck.

The biggest problem is the time line.

In a single day, a short 24-hours, Chef and his 8-year-old son manage to clean out a dilapidated, worn out 1988 food truck (delivered with food rotting in the fridge), shop for ALL the supplies they need to trick it out, install new kitchen equipment (flat top, stove, fryers, etc.), buy food, test out the menu, and get the messed up exterior of the food truck  professionally painted ~> effectively turning a rotting pumpkin into a gilded chariot overnight.

Cinderella couldn’t have accomplished that level of transformation with the help of her fairy godmother’s magic wand.

By Day #2, Chef, his son, and a faithful sous chef (who dropped everything to fly across country and get the show on the road) start serving Hot Cubanos on South Beach.  To immediate acclaim.

A police officer parts the crowd to ask Chef and his Merry Men if they have a permit to serve food.

They do!

How’d that happen?  When’d that happen?

But wait!

Satisfied that they have perfected the panini, the trio commence a road trip across country, stopping for beignets in New Orleans ~ a promised treat for the son.  In the time it takes to eat a bag of beignets and brush the sugar dust from their lips, a line forms around the block with people anxious to eat Chef’s Cuban sandwiches.  They’re just that good!

Who knew that a food truck license from Miami would transfer to the Big Easy?

But wait!  They continue on to California, with a pit stop for Pit Bar-B-Q in Austin Texas.  Chef believes he has reclaimed his Culinary Integrity by serving cubans, sliders, beignets, and fried yucca ~> not exactly the inspired menu we envisioned him creating when he quit his job because he couldn’t exercise complete Creative Control in the kitchen.

Now, instead of crafting Molten Lava Cakes around frozen ganache, he and his merry band are sliding ham & cheese sandwiches out of a panini press, frying up yucca, and serving barbecue sliders . . . on store-bought rolls.

Boring!

I could think up a more creative menu than that and I don’t even own a Chef’s knife.

Or a magic wand.

But wait!

The food critic who panned the Chef’s mundane menu falls in love with Chef’s glorified grilled cheese sandwiches and offers to partner with him by opening up a new restaurant.

Of course he does.

So Chef abandons the food truck (and his longed for autonomy and creative freedom) to work for someone else.  Again.

Why do I have the feeling of déjà vu?

Oh, right . . . because he’s right back where he started.

Of course, by following his heart, Chef reunites with his son, re-kindles the flame with his ex-wife, and they remarry.

In his new restaurant.

How’s that for a happily-ever-after ending?

Aah . . . that’s better!

For NaNoWriMo ~ Two Top 7 Lists November 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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36 comments

IMGP4187

Top 7 Reasons Writers Don’t Read More:

7. They are too busy writing, writing, madly writing.

6. Their reading skills are rusty.

5. They are feeding Tweets to Twitter every 5 minutes (WWPD => 2456).

4. They are bleeding from self-inflicted wounds.

3. They’re worn out from inviting Facebook friends to “check it out.”

2. They are lost in a maze of amazing words.

1. They are daydreaming about writing fame and fortune.

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Top 7 Reasons Writers Should Read More:

7. To take a break from writing, writing, madly writing.

6. To improve reading (and editing) skills.

5. To expand vocabulary and explore the amazing world of words.

4. To shift perspective and look through life via another lens.

3. To strengthen writing muscles by hearing other writers’ voices.

2. To imagine giving (and receiving) constructive criticism with panache.

1. Sheer enjoyment and escapism.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you read more than you write?  Or write more than you read?

Women: Six Films, Six Weeks October 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Bulletin Board, Special Events.
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43 comments

Over the next six weeks, PBS and Makers.com are presenting a series of 6 documentaries focused on women’s achievements in Comedy, Hollywood, Politics, Business, War, and Space:

1. MAKERS: Women in Comedy 

Produced and Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

WOMEN IN COMEDY tracks the rise of women in the world of comedy, from the “dangerous” comedy of 70s sitcoms like Norman Lear’s Maude to the groundbreaking women of the 1980s American comedy club boom and building to today’s multifaceted landscape. Today, movies like Bridesmaids break box office records and the women of Saturday Night Live are often more famous than their male counterparts, but it didn’t start out that way. Contemporary comics, including Chelsea Handler, Margaret Cho, Mo’Nique, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin, talk about where women started in this competitive, male-dominated profession and where they are determined to go. Narrated by Leslie Mann.

Premiered September 30th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening TONIGHT October 1st, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

2. MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

Produced and Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Produced by Rory Kennedy

WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD showcases the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment. Audiences hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda, television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle (Beauty and the Beast) a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman; writer-director-actress Lena Dunham, who mines comedy and drama gold by exploring what it’s really like to be a young woman today, and six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close. The film is narrated by Julia Roberts.

Airing October 7th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 8th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

3. MAKERS: Women in Space

Produced by Michael Epstein and Sara Wolitzky, Directed by Michael Epstein

WOMEN IN SPACE traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon andKathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez, who continue to make small but significant steps forward. Narrated by Jodie Foster.

Airing October 14th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 15th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

4. MAKERS: Women in War

Produced and Directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

WOMEN IN WAR looks at American women’s increasing participation in war—from Vietnam to the present—as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies. Among those featured are Linda Bray, the first woman to lead troops into battle, and Valerie Plame Wilson, whose career was sabotaged after she was “outed” as a high-level spy. Viewers hear from war correspondents like Molly Moore about life on the battlefield. The film shares the stories of military leaders who have broken through gender barriers, like General Angela Salinas, at her retirement the highest ranking woman serving in the USMC, and Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Navy. Produced and directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. Narrated by Christiane Amanpour.

Airing October 21st, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 22nd, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

5. MAKERS: Women in Business

Directed by Jamila Wignot Produced by Leah Williams

WOMEN IN BUSINESS tells the story of the exceptional women—past and present—who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven—on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own—that a woman’s place is wherever she believes it to be. Some of the featured business leaders include Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox and the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company; Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street powerhouse and current owner of the global networking platform for women, Ellevate (formerly 85 Broads);  Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, whose provocative book, Lean In, ignited a national conversation about women, feminism and equality in the workplace.

Airing October 28th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 29th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

6. MAKERS: Women in Politics

Produced and Directed by Grace Lee, Produced by Rory Kennedy

WOMEN IN POLITICS profiles the long, slow fight for female political representation over the last century, from the first woman elected to Congress in 1916 to a young woman running for Detroit City Council in 2013. Trailblazing leaders like Hillary Clinton, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Olympia Snowe, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress, provide a backdrop for younger women like Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim-American woman elected to the Michigan House. Today’s leaders in Washington, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the first female Senator from Massachusetts, Susan Collins (R-ME), who led the Senate in shaping a deal to end the government shutdown, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), currently the youngest woman serving in Congress, are also represented. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.

Airing November 4th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening November 5th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

The shows are broadcast at 9 PM Eastern Time  on PBS on Tuesday nights and at 8 PM Eastern Time on Makers.com on Wednesday nights.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Girl Power? Grrrrrrr! (L. Marie) * Gender Rules: Why Does Breaking Them Freak Us Out So Much? (Eric J. Baker) * Dear Young Men (Raptitude)

A Slytherin’ Successsssss September 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
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42 comments

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Despite his eventual fame, Harry Potter did not find a publisher straight out of the gate.

Imagine if J.K. Rowling had given up on the idea when she received rejection after rejection:

* The world would never have met Dumbledore or Dobby the House Elf.

* Or wandered the corridors of Hogwarts or Diagon Alley.

* And none of us would know how to play Quidditch.

Rowling kept pitching her story until she found a publisher who saw in her stories what readers did ~ a spellbinding read.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. ~ Jules Renard

The Benjamin Franklin Diet September 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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36 comments

While scouting the library stacks for inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting diet book . . .

I added it to the stack of books in my arms, ignoring the oft quoted adage and admonition . . . “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

At home, I settled down to learn about Ben’s diet.

* At a young age, Ben swore off meat and quaffing pints of ale so as to have more money to spend on books.

* In so doing, he noted that he felt better and had greater mental clarity after meals consisting of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

* He also noticed that he felt better when he exercised for 15 minutes before each meal.  If the weather wasn’t being cooperative, he spent his 15 minutes leaping inside the house ~ forward and back or side to side.

In addition to the fascinating narrative of Ben’s life philosophy, the author, Kelly Wright, collected and shared a number of colonial recipes for grains, soups, stews, game, and sweet fare, including:  Hasty Pudding, Dauphiny Soup, Oatcakes, Classic Colonial Bread, Hoecakes, Tavern Bread, and Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese Spread.

Inspired, I whipped up a loaf of Mrs. Wright’s Beer Bread in minutes.

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Combine 3 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup raw sugar, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt.  Stir in a bottle (12 ounces) of beer or ale.

Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Delighted with the result, I followed Ben’s lead and leaped and leapt about.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

To learn more:  The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Book) * The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Website)

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt September 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, People.
Tags: , , ,
18 comments

Beyond a doubt, Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is not reasonable . . .

Many facets of the contrived plot don’t make sense because people wouldn’t act that way in the real world.  The performances aren’t anything to get excited about.  And the timetable of the movie is way off.

That said, we enjoyed the film’s predictable twists, turns, and straight-aways.

The basic premise:  An investigative reporter sets himself up as the prime suspect in a murder by fabricating circumstantial evidence after the fact to boost his career and expose a corrupt district attorney who is fabricating D.N.A. evidence after the fact to boost his conviction rate.

Life is full of pot holes on the journey from Here to There.  This film emulates life.  Navigate around the plot holes and you’ll reach the beginning in the end.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

You Don’t Know Jack August 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, People.
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30 comments

Watched another thought-provoking film this week ~ You Don’t Know Jack.

The documentary addressed the efforts of Jack Kevorkian to assist terminally ill patients to end their lives with dignity.

He believed that we should have the freedom to choose to die when we’ve had enough . . . without having to shoot ourselves, dowse ourselves with gasoline, slash our wrists, strangle ourselves, wrestle crocodiles, or dive off buildings or bridges without a safety net.

Just breathe . . . relax . . . and check out in peace.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Heaven Is For Real August 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Spirituality & Faith.
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56 comments

We watched Heaven Is For Real this week and enjoyed Colton’s story:

Colton Burpo survived an emergency appendectomy.  After recovering, he told his parents he left his body during the surgery and detailed what they’d been doing in other parts of the hospital.  He talked of visiting heaven, meeting Jesus, and shared stories about people he met there ~ including a sister who had died in vitro and his great-grandfather whom he’d never met.

It’s an intriguing glimpse at what may lie beyond the veil:

I’ve requested the book of the same name from the Island Library:

Maybe the best is yet to come.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Is There REALLY Proof of Heaven or Life After Death? (SMART Living 365) * How Do You Live If Heaven Is Real? (SMART Living 365)

A Quick Hit of Inspiration August 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
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38 comments

Sometimes we stall in our tracks and need a quick hit of inspiration to get us going again:

Celebrate your progress.  Sometimes half of success is simply noticing it.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more by Kathy Davis:  Simple Secrets ~ 7 Principles to Inspire Success

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