Category Archives: new stuff

A New Edition to the Family

You can call me and Dustin the saviours of one precious little guinea pig. Someone didn’t want him/her (neither one of us has offered to check on the gender quite yet) and dumped him in the parking lot of our apartment complex. We decided not the let the poor thing freeze to death or be eaten by coyotes. So we grabbed a hat box, yes I have a hat box, I don’t know why, and we chased it down. No one claimed the pig so he is officially ours, he is now a Groeneman.

moz_the_pig1

We named him Moz, after the great Morrissey. Moz was stinky and we gave him a bath. Dustin styled his hair into a tiny fo-hawk. As Morrissey would say, “I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong”.

For all who are wondering, Ripley doesn’t even seem to care that there is another animal living in his house. He stares at it, not like hunting it, more like annoyed with it. I think they will eventually be friends.

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LEGO: The Resurrection

LEGO is making a comeback, ya’ll!

lego_time

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Book Review: Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan has written eighteen books, three of which I have read. My goal is to read all eighteen. Until then here are 3 short reviews of the McEwan books I have read.

Title: Saturday//Published:2005

saturday

Saturday is a “conscience” novel, meaning the author shows us what passes through the mind of a character during a single day in a specific time and place. Saturday takes place in London on February 15, 2003; which happens to be the same time I was living just outside of London myself.  Henry Perowne, the lead protagonist, is a neurosurgeon married with 2 talented kids, one a daughter who is a published poet and a son who is a jazz musician, who are now young adults. His day starts with him waking up in the middle of the night, looking out the window and witnessing a plane on fire flying in to land at Heathrow Airport. This surreal moment sets the tone for the very eventful day in which Henry is tested and pushed into difficult decisions.

Favorite quote:

“There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they’ve ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything to others, but lose nothing of yourself.”

Title: On Chesil Beach//Published: 2007

on_chesil_beach-ian_mcewan

On Chisel Beach introduces us to a newlywed couple who has just arrived at a bed and breakfast set on the beach at Dorset, England in 1962. The couple is nervous for the upcoming newlywed “activities”, and in Ian McEwan’s incredible style, we experience their thoughts and fears in a very vulnerable light making each character feel familiar and understood by the reader. For anyone who has been married and has experienced that first night together, this book rings true on many levels, from the precise and intimate depiction of two young lovers eager to rise above the hurts and confusion of the past, to the touching story of how their unexpressed misunderstandings and fears shape the rest of their lives, On Chesil Beach is an extraordinary novel that brilliantly, movingly shows us that “This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.”

Favorite quote:

“Their plan was to change into rough shoes after supper and walk on the shingle between the sea and the lagoon known as the fleet, and if they had not finished the wine, they would take that along, and swig from the bottle like gentlemen of the road. And they had so many plans, giddy plans, heaped up before them in the misty future, as richly tangled as the summer flora of the Dorset coast, and as beautiful. Where and how they would live, who their close friends would be, his job with her father’s firm, her musical career and what to do with the money her father had given her, and how they would not be like other people, at least, not inwardly. This was still the era—it would end later in that famous decade—when to be young was a social encumbrance, a mark of irrelevance, a faintly embarrassing condition for which marriage was the beginning of a cure. Almost strangers, they stood, strangely together, on a new pinnacle of existence, gleeful that their new status promised to promote them out of their endless youth—Edward and Florence, free at last! One of their favorite topics was their childhoods, not so much the pleasures as the fog of comical misconceptions from which they had emerged, and the various parental errors and outdated practices they could now forgive.”

Title: Atonement//Published: 2001

atonement

Atonement, my favorite of the three, is set on the hottest day of the summer in 1935. McEwan takes the reader from a elegant manor house set in the English countryside, to the horrors of World War II, then finally to a present-day London. McEwan captures childhood fantasies, love, war, England and class in a vivid light, enthralling you into this world of misunderstandings, false accusations, revenge, shame and forgiveness. The ability for me to be captivated by this book was helped by my own time living in a manor house in England much like the one described in Atonement. My own love story unfolded in this house tucked away in the country, much like Cecilia and Robbie. Our story is not a story of loss and tragedy, but still consisted of drama all the same.

If you are interested, be sure to read the book before you see the movie. Allow yourself the oppurutnity to create these characters instead of having a director create his own interpretation for you.

Favorite quote:

“Cecilia wondered, as she sometimes did when she met a man for the first time, if this was the one she was going to marry, and whether it was this particular moment she would remember for the rest of her life – with gratitude, or profound and particular regret.”

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My LOST Season 5 theories:

lost_320_the_man_behind_the_curtain_marvin_candle

Josh (Kevlar Beard) posted his thoughts on the new season of LOST. I have a few myself and thought I would steal, I mean borrow his idea and post my own:

*At the end of the season premier we see the woman who sold Desmond the engagement ring in season 3. She is mapping out the location of the island using some pendulum and tells Ben that they only have a window of 60 hours until the island moves again and they must get all Oceanic 6 plus John Locke back to the island in that time. I think she is the woman who Faraday tells Desmond to find at Oxford, but we’ll see about that.

*Everyone of the island seems to be connected in some way. Maybe this makes them each (without them knowing it) each other’s constants. ??? I don’t know…

*Sun meets with Kate and tells her that she does not blame her for Jin’s death. She said she blamed 2 people for Jin’s death- we know her father is one of those people after she takes over his company.  It’s looking like the other person is Jack. Will this lead to some kind of revenge?

*Locke is not actually dead at all, he is in some sleep like state. That is why Ben has the butcher keep an eye on him.  Maybe it took John Locke “dying” to kick Jack into wanting to go back to the island. Ben knew this and set it all up.

*If Kate is returning to the island does this mean that her and Sawyer may end up together in the end? I think the Kate and Jack love story is not going to work, and instead of Kate having to decide who to be with, either Jack or Sawyer will die.

*In Season 6 I think there will be a major show-down between Ben and Widmore. One or both will die, and the island will remain a mysterious place for someone else to eventually find.

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Remembering Advent

A Troublesome Joy

by Bill Wylie-Kellermann

In liturgical tradition, this is a Sunday associated with joy. However, we are not talking about the ersatz variety hawked by our own culture like a marketing device attached ephemerally to things. That joy, so called, proves itself empty and without substance, a commercial fiction. If these readings are any clue, however, Advent joy has content about which we may be scandalously concrete.

The “good news” of the Isaiah reading is a joy from beginning to end. It is like the very oil of gladness that blesses those who mourn in lonely exile here (61:3). Or like the smiles of prisoners who circle their outdate and see it now closely come. It is a joy outrageously specific in content.

For the exiles this litany of liberation is about homecoming. Hence, for example, the repair and rebuilding of ruined cities (61:4). It is the joy so concrete you purchase a hammer and a saw. Imagine this good news in Gaza or Sarajevo, south central Los Angeles or southwest Detroit.

It might be recalled that when Jesus preached on this text to inaugurate his ministry (Luke 4:16ff), he was driven not only out of the pulpit, but out of town. The plan was to stone him. We ought thereby to be mindful that not everyone shares this joy. The captors and binders and debtholders, the rich and the ruiners of cities, the mighty on thrones and the proud in the imagination of their hearts—in short, all those invested in the present order—find this joy to be a trouble.

Just so, the priests and Levites are sent out by the Jerusalem authorities to scrutinize and size up John (1:19). His vocational reply must surely mystify them, like a claim to be the voice of prophesy itself. And his troubling conviction, that the one who comes stands already in their midst, must drive them up a wall. Yet for us it remains a present and abiding joy.

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A Delightful Christmas Mix by Kate (with help from Dillon)

I made a mix for Christmas. Let me know if you would like a copy!

1. Coldplay-Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (live)

2. The Ravonettes-The Christmas Song

3. Sufjan Stevens-O Come O Come Emmanuel

4. The Polyphonic Spree-Happy Christmas

5. Eisley-The Winter Song

6. Copeland-Do You Hear What I Hear

7. Bright Eyes– Blue Christmas

8. Feist– Lo, How A Rose E’re Blooming

9. The Flaming Lips-Christmas at the Zoo

10. Death Cab for Cutie-Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

11. Pedro the Lion-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

christmas_1930s

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Yeah, you could say I am pretty excited.

Here are a couple things I am excited about:

1) Charlie Kaufman the writer of three of my favorite movies-Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malchovich, has written and directed a new film called Synecdoche, New York starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The trailer is like a dream, the colors, the music, the feel, the amazing sets.

See the trailer here.

synecdoche-new-york

It says it was released in October, but it must be very limited release because I can’t find it playing anywhere in Denver. If you know where it is playing please let me know. Maybe we can go together…and I will buy you popcorn as a thank you.

2) The Flaming Lips have created a full length feature film called Christmas on Mars: A Fantastical Film Freakout Featuring the Flaming Lips. I was listening to a radio interview this morning with Wayne Coyne (lead singer of The Flaming Lips) where he was talking about the 7 years it took to make this crazy movie. Apparently he doesn’t care much about continuity in film and didn’t mind that one of the actors was a heroin addict when they began filming, then quit and gained 30 lbs which changed the look of the character he was playing quite a bit. I guess in one scene the guy walks out the door as skinner as a skeleton then walks back in 30 lbs heavier. Not to mention that Wayne Coyne has obviously aged quite a bit in 7 years and looks noticeably different.  Anyway, this movie is about a few things, Mars, a baby, a guy in a Santa suit, Wayne Coyne as a martian, and spaceships-all filmed in Coyne’s back yard.

You can watch the trailer HERE. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Christmas_on_Mars

Dustin and I are going to try and see the Midnight showing on Friday, November 14th @ The Esquire.

If you want to join us email me-kateg@mhmin.org

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