Oscar post-mortem: better late than James Franco

2 March 2011

(Blogger’s note: this post should’ve been up Monday.  Unfortunately, I came down with a 36-hour something-or-other and was barely functioning.  But, to quote the not-dead-yet guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “I’m getting better.”  My apologies for the tardiness regardless.  And look on the bright side: at least I’m not going to be writing about Charlie Sheen …)

Well, I made my goal.

Going into the Academy Awards this year, I had my predictions ready (see here, here and here if you missed them earlier) and had a goal in mind.  I correctly picked 16 out of 24 two years ago, 17 out of 24 last year, so this year I was hoping for 18.  And I got it — 18 out of 24, right on the money.  Which is pretty good, I think.  Steve Pond of the show-business website The Wrap, who’s historically very good at this sort of thing, apparently only got 17 this year.  If that’s the case, wow — beating Steve Pond in Oscar predictions is like edging out Kobe Bryant for the NBA scoring title.

I’ll get to the picks themselves in a little bit — but for starters, let’s go into the highlights of the ceremony.  Or maybe the lack thereof.

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The anniversary that wasn’t

24 January 2011

Yesterday was my wife Nina’s and my twelfth wedding anniversary.  Nowadays, it seems like spending twelve years married to the same person without committing a homicide is fairly rare, and considering some of the problems we’ve had to work through over that time (internal and external), we do rather feel we’ve beaten the odds.  So it’s kind of a big deal, certainly worthy of a celebration.

And what did we do yesterday to commemorate such a momentous occasion?  Well … pretty much nothing.

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Projecting 2011

4 January 2011

So here we are, four days into the new year.  I’m sure that you or someone you know has made some “New Year’s resolutions,” statements on how you’re going to do things differently in 2011.  Maybe you’ve even broken one or more of them already.  Me, I don’t really do those anymore, for two reasons:

  1. My tendency is to constantly make resolutions for myself year-round, so setting aside one time of year for them would just be excessive.
  2. It doesn’t work all that well.

I look back at my resolutions for 2009 and just laugh — what with my son Sean’s Leigh’s disease, my mom’s death and my lack of willpower, none of them lasted to Labor Day.  It’s just like the bit in James 4:13-15 — you can make all the plans you want, but if God has other plans for you, your to-do list is dust in the wind.  So, no N.Y.R.s for this little black duck!

However, I’m not the type who can simply burrow through the days with no measurable long-term goal.  I used to get those from my job(s), but with being Sean’s full-time caregiver/physical therapist/doctor wrangler, that’s simply not in the picture at present.  And you can’t really set personal goals for someone else’s medical recovery, especially when said recovery is as off the charts as Sean’s is (and hopefully will continue to be).  So I realized as 2010 wound down that I needed some projects, some things that could provide goals (however unimportant) to keep the goal-shooting-for part of my personality occupied and out of trouble.

And given the events of the last couple of years, I figured picking them myself was probably the wrong move.  So I needed to talk to God and find out what He wanted me doing.  Only I wasn’t quite prepared for what He had to say …

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The first Thanksgiving

25 November 2010

(Blogger’s note: This is sort-of part two of a 2-part reminiscence — you can read part one here.)

It’s 8:45 p.m. as I sit down to type this.  My wife and kids are all in bed.  All the food is packed away.  The house still resonates with the smell of well-roasted turkey and store-bought pie.  I’m sitting her with a steel bottle full of water, wondering how much I’ve added to my waistline in the last twelve hours.

Thanksgiving is over.  And much to my (pleasant) surprise, it went rather smoothly.

Surprise?  Yes, surprise.  Because, for the first time in my life, it was me — not my mom and/or her mom — that was making the Thanksgiving feast.

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Tuna salad, and memories

24 November 2010

(Blogger’s note: my sincerest apologies for not having written for almost two weeks.  Apparently I have the weakest immune system in my family, because I’m now on day 11 of a cold that everyone else — including my son with the autoimmune disorder! — got over in three.  Very aggravating.  Well, I have my energy back, not to mention my breathing passages, so I’m back.  And I’m renewing my resolve to write something every day for you — the few, the proud, the readers of this blog.  You’re the best; I therefore owe you the best.  Now, if you’ll join me in the kitchen … for part one of a 2-part reminiscence.)

Yesterday, I did something I’ve only done twice in the past year, and which I enjoyed greatly — both the process and the results (especially the results).  I made a big ol’ bowl of tuna salad.

Seems a bit prosaic, you may be saying.  What’s the big deal about tuna salad — that add-on to green salads, fallback protein for the diet-conscious, staple of poor college students and lazy single males?  You got a special recipe for it or something, Anselmo?

Well, yes, I do — okay, I don’t know that it’s all that special, but I like it.  (In fact, I’ll include it at the end of this post, in case you’re interested.)  But more to the point, whipping it up brought back a lot of special memories.

Because the recipe was my mom’s recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

“Mom has a problem” (a parable)

12 August 2010

(Blogger’s note: the following is something I wrote up in 2008 or 2009, I forget.  I came across it again recently and thought it might be worth sharing with my fellow denizens of Outside-the-Camp (Hebrews 13:13).  Enjoy!)

Mom has a problem.

I’ve been around her my whole life, and for most of that time I wasn’t really aware that anything about her was unusual.  That’s normal for kids – you don’t have the benefit of experience to tell you when something (or someone) isn’t quite right.  But now that I’m an adult, the conclusion is unavoidable.

It’s clear.  Mom has a problem.

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Semi-happy Mother’s Day

10 May 2010

It happened again

I wanted to call you up

I wanted your opinion about something …

Charlie Peacock, from the song “My Father’s Crown”

Yesterday was kind of rough as Mother’s Days go.  I managed breakfast in bed for my wife (cheese omelet, raspberry Danish, banana, juice) and a gift (a musical snow globe, which she really liked).  But I was pretty much dead to the world by about 10 a.m., and didn’t recover until this morning.  I was out of energy, had an odd sort of headache, and no interest in much of anything.  I basically stayed in my office, except to wrap some meat for the freezer and give myself a haircut (something I’d been putting off for too long).  Very strange, even given the brokenness I described in my last entry.

It wasn’t until late last night that it hit me what was really wrong: it was my first Mother’s Day without my mom.

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