Posted by: arjaylee | August 17, 2009

Moving

I’ve moved the Arjaylee Blog to the Anastasis Productions Site. This is in part to have a little more control over the look. It’s also to have it located where there is a history of higher traffic. To anyone who has stumbled upon this page via Anastasis Productions, it’s not a blog dedicated to Christian Theater, or to the arts in general. It’s my personal take on stuff. *This is a personal blog, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Anastasis Productions. There are seven categories, which will grow to however many it takes as time passes.

Posted by: arjaylee | July 13, 2009

What Movies Make You Cry?

Filmmakers have a goal. “Of course” you say. “They want to make money”

Well, yes that’s true. But the non commercial goal is to emotionally affect us. If a film is unable to elicit excitement, amusement, sadness, anger, joy, or fear, it doesn’t seem worth the time or expense to see it. Many of these emotions can produce visible or audible reactions; laughter, screams, gasps, or tears. I love laughing out loud at a rollicking comedy. I remember seeing “Aliens” in the theater with a group of friends. The last 30-40 minutes was so intense, that I think I got an aerobic workout from the rate of my heart.

Some movies are tear jerkers. That is, they elicit such emotion as to bring tears to ones eyes. Sometimes they are tears of sadness, sometimes tears of joy. When I was in high school there was a field trip to see Zefferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. This was not a highlight for us macho guys. The girls on the other hand cried their eyes out. We mocked them severely. Guys didn’t cry. (at least not in public).

Well, I’m here to publicly confess that, the older I get, the more movies are able to make me cry. Okay, there. I said it. Sometimes I cry at movies. I don’t think I’m the only one. Yeah guys, I know you’re out there too. My wife sometime mocks me. She looks over at me to see it I’m tearing up at a particularly emotional scene.

What can I say? I’m an emotional guy. I remember the first movie that did me in. “Old Yeller”. I was four years old, and my parents took me to the movie theater to see it. Needless to say, I made a spectacle of myself when Old Yeller was going to have to be put down because of rabies. “Don’t shoot him! Don’t shoot him!” I screamed, in the crowded theater. My parents were a little bit embarrassed, but my mom probably cried too. That’s the last time I remember crying at a movie until I was well into my thirties. It might have been sooner than that but I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’ll merely get a lump in my throat. Other times, tears will start to form. On occasion, (Usually when I’m alone) I’ll bawl like a baby.

Sometimes a film will trigger an emotion in me that’s related to my past. “Field of Dreams” usually gets to me when Ray Kinsella asks his dad if he wants to play catch. I think that has affected me more since my dad has been gone. Another scene that gets me is in “Braveheart”. It’s When young Murron hands young William Wallace a thistle at his father’s funeral.
A tear trickles down his cheek. That one always gets me. “The Color Purple” has the scene of Shug Avery marching from the juke joint into the church as the choir is singing “God’s Tryin’ to Tell You Something”. It is such a redemptive scene. I just love it.

There have been films that illustrate suffering to the point that I realize I’ve never begun to suffer. Two dealing with apartheid in South Africa, “The Power of One”, and “Cry Freedom”, ripped my heart to shreds. “Schindlers List” did the same. It’s a good thing I never saw them in a theater.

What movies make you cry? C’mon guys, fess up! You know some of them have gotten to ya.

Posted by: arjaylee | July 10, 2009

President as Pop Icon

Ok we’re about a half year into President Obama’s first year as President of the United States.  He’s been a busy guy. Whether we agree or not on whether he’s doing the right stuff, no one can accuse him of being a slacker. I think he’s been on TV more than Angelina Jolie. I don’t think there’s a chance in the world that he could slip into the kind of adulterous dalliances that Bill Clinton did. (Not that I think it’s in his character to do so) It’s just that he always seems to be on the air as he speeds around trying to fulfill everything he said he’d do. michelle-obama But that aside, I’ll give you one word to explain why it will never happen. MICHELLE. You’ve seen the arms on that lady! She’d snap him like a twig. And he cant get away from her. He’s a smoker.  She’d be on him as soon as he started to wheeze. I wonder if that’s why he’s pushing so hard to pass healthcare reform. He knows he’s gonna need it.

Posted by: arjaylee | June 22, 2009

The Commissioner Speaks (well, sort of)

Originally posted on the Seattle Sounders FC Supporters Blog:
From the Continuing to Beat a Dead Horse department.

On: Dead Horse Flog Mode

All Sounders FC fans who were not in the stadium for the DC United match (and many who were) were left feeling dissed, by ESPN. As one who was unable to attend the match, I was livid. I was hoping that a bit of indignation we felt would be voiced by the MLS Commissioner. In the June 19 edition of MLSnet.com’s “The Commissioner Speaks” Mr Garber was, for my taste, a wee bit under spoken in his response.

We had a very exciting and entertaining match on ESPN2 between Seattle Sounders FC and DC United at Qwest Field. Unfortunately, the College World Series game that was the lead-in to the match went into extra innings and delayed the broadcast of the match. We’ve had many inquiries from fans regarding the broadcast delay.
It is ESPN’s company policy that the network stays with live events on their networks through the completion. This policy is part of our agreement with the network. The same situation would occur if an event was following a live MLS event that ran over the allotted time. ESPN was prepared with studio updates, alerts and cut-ins so that our fans could be informed on the game status, but clearly it was very disappointing that our fans couldn’t see live a great demonstration of MLS at its best. If you missed the game on ESPN, the full game is available free of charge on MLSnet.com.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who was a little disappointed in the two public paragraphs on the subject. I don’t know what I expected. After all, the league got paid by the network for the rights to show the match, such as it was. That’s the point of getting televised isn’t it? TV revenue. Perhaps that’s why Mr Garber chose not to rock the boat in public. Didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him so to speak.
I understand that. I understand agreements. I just hope that for the future, the agreement either states MLS matches will follow programming with a time limit, or that there is an option to move it to one of ESPN’s several channels that do not contain live sports events. If there is no guarantee to show it in it’s entirety, than the local channel needs to retain the right to broadcast it.
Some people would call for ditching ESPN altogether and getting a good deal with FSC, and perhaps being treated with more respect. On the surface, that sounds good, but at the moment it would decrease the potential number of viewers. We the fans, need to make ourselves unable to ignore. WE need to not just make noise when we’re angry, we need to give kudos to all networks who show soccer at any level in any league. We need to patronize the sponsors, and spend some time firing off letters and e-mails to let them know we appreciate them providing the bucks needed to televise the MLS.
In Seattle, it’s hard to believe that any network would be stupid to pass up this league. I guess we’re doing our part here. AS long as we keep seeing so many half full soccer stadiums on the rest of the televised matches, it’s going to be hard for ESPN not to keep us relegated to the minors. Off: Dead Horse Flog Mode

Posted by: arjaylee | June 18, 2009

PETA Again?

Obama and the Fly. Not exactly the stuff of history books. I don’t even think it matches up with the LBJ Beagle incident. lbjbeagleIt made for good comic relief though in news cycle after news cycle of one disaster followed by another finacial crisis, followed by another war threat.

If you missed it, President Obama was being interviewed when he was annoyed by a fly. He manually swatted it, and it wound up lying on the floor. Good reflexes I’d say. Even better than George W. dodging the shoe.We need presidents with good reflexes.

So now here comes PETA, who last week was requesting that fish not be tossed at Veterinarian’s convention. I think they lost that one, so now they decide to flex their muscles and take on the leader of the free world. They announced that they are sending The President a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher.

Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher

Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher

By looking at the thing, I don’t see how he could have caught the fly with it on his arm. But aside from that, I’ve gotta think that PETA has decided that they just haven’t been in the news enough lately.  All I can say is… I don’t know what to say, but hmmm.

I wonder if it wouldn’t  have been better for President Obama to have left the fly for the secret service to wrestle to the ground. After all, it might have been wearing a dynamite vest. It’s their job.

And then I have to ask: Did he wash his hands?!


Posted by: arjaylee | June 16, 2009

A Conversation With Jason Earls

I had the opportunity to sit down with local comedian, Jason Earls. This is the podcast of the conversation.

A Conversation With Jason Earls

Posted by: arjaylee | June 15, 2009

Healthcare Reform, Will it Happen? Will it Help?

Okay, the Obama administration is going great guns on health care reform. That’s cool. That’s one of the reasons he got elected. It’s also been tried before. They’ve got the same slogan as Bill and Hill: “Reduce the cost of Health Care.” Not sure what that means these days. In the past, Reduce the Cost of Health Care was code for “Medicare is going to deny more and pay less.” Never reduced my costs any.
All I know is that without health insurance, I’d never be able to afford to go to the doctor. I had hernia surgery nine months ago. At the time, I was double insured between mine and my wifes benefits. If I had to have the surgery today, I couldn’t afford to pay 20% and that’s a simple in and out little hernia repair. I can’t imagine being in the situation of catastrophic illness only to find my insurance doesn’t cover the experimental treatment that may keep me alive. Or how about this? Do I sell the house and stay alive, or do we keep the house so the family still has a home when I croak without the treatment?
It is immoral that health care has become a luxury item.
We tend make the insurance industry the ultimate villain of the story. They certainly aren’t at the top of my list of people who make me feel warm and fuzzy. As much as I like to imagine horrible things happening to them, I can’t let them shoulder the blame alone.
I believe it’s more of an unholy triad that we’re dealing with here: Insurance System, Health Care System, Legal System. As much as I like to point at insurance, I also have to ask “Who says Health Care should charge so much?” I know there are overhead issues. A doctor’s office has to hire several people just to deal with the various insurance companies. I know that malpractice insurance costs an arm and a leg. Without malpractice insurance, the obscene award given for just one “pain and suffering” case could close an office. It’s a vicious cycle.
For years, insurance just paid without saying a word. This led to a culture of over treating, prescribing anything and everything, whether the patient needed it or not. After all, the patient wasn’t paying, so what the heck. Eventually, Insurance figured out that they needed to stop paying so much. About the same time, all sorts of medical offices ceased to be run by medical people, but by business people. Guess whose interests went down a peg? If you guessed the patients, you get a hearty handshake and a pat on the back. As a former member of the health care industry, I watched, as forms being filled out accurately become more important to the bean counters, than whether or not the patient got what they needed. Of course the office needed to get paid, or I would get no paycheck. It was sad though, that a larger percentage of the day was going toward paperwork and billing.
I believe in accountability, that a patient who has been a victim of malpractice has the right t satisfaction. Having said that, I also believe that there have been some severely irresponsible awards given. This drives up medical overhead. It makes the lawyers richer and costs me more for a doctor visit. Or it costs the insurance company more which makes my premium higher.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to be doing this. Or maybe I’d be getting paid for doing this.

I think it would be a good Idea if all insurance companies had to be non-profit organizations. Hospitals too. (Some of them are) It works for Credit Unions. I don’t know why my ten minutes in an MRI machine costs over $1000. Don’t get me started on how pharmaceutical companies can fleece us like they do. I don’t see how just making insurance available to everybody is going to help if most of us can’t afford it. If there isn’t an decrease of what is charged, the insurance companies will cut their cost by denying more, paying less, and increasing my premiums. If there isn’t some sort of limits placed on malpractice awards, doctors won’t be able to lower their overhead. If surgeons don’t charge exorbitant fees for 5 minutes of time… you see what I mean.
Mr President, You’ve got your work cut out for you on this one. I’m hopeful, but not optimistic. I’ll keep praying for you. Read More…

Posted by: arjaylee | June 9, 2009

To Toss or Not to Toss

I’m filing this in the “Are You Kidding Me?” File.

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) is having their annual conference at the Seattle Convention center. That’s just blocks from the Pike Place Market. If you’ve never been to the market, one of the favorite tourist attractions over the years has been the fish throwers.

The AVMA thought it would be fun to have the fish throwing guys come over and do a little tossing for the entertainment of the conference goers.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, but now PETA has had to stick there nose in and request that the AVMA not have the tossers come over with their fish.

“It’s cruel enough to eat fish, but it literally adds insult to injury to use them as toys for silly stunts.” is the reason given for the request.

What?! Do these guys not have more pressing issues to deal with? Whaling? Cosmetic Industry? Medical science animal testing? Michael Vick’s dogs? The fish are dead! Go after the guys that killed them.

I could see if they were tossing live fish that were drowning in air, but protecting the dignity of dead fish? I don’t think any of their relatives will see it on TV, and be horrified by it. If that were the case, I’m sure we would have already seen lawsuits on their behalf.

The thing that bugs me is that the Vets are about to cave in and cancel the fish tossing. Whatever.

People Eating Tasty Animals

Posted by: arjaylee | June 7, 2009

How Did I Remember That?

Funny how the memory works…or doesn’t. The memories of early childhood amaze me. Not the memories themselves, but the randomness of what I do remember from birth to around age 5.robertbaby

The earliest memory was from 18 months or younger. We were living in Germany, where I was born. I have this vivid memory of being dragged around the floor, while sitting on a rug. It was a kid or two doing the dragging. Don’t remember many details, just that it was enjoyable.

My next memories were to come from Houston Texas. We stayed with my paternal Grandmother while my dad attempted a return to college. Most of my Houston memories are on the negative side. I remember burning my bare feet on the sidewalk. I also remember sitting down on an anthill, and being rapidly carried to the bathtub by my mom.

I remember there was boy close to my age next door. His name is on the tip of my brain. I remember that we stood in our respective yards, facing each other. We then simultaneously “whipped it out” and began peeing toward each other. This little recreational activity was severely frowned upon by all of the grownups in out lives.

There was an older kid, a teenager maybe. His name was Homer. He mowed my grandmothers lawn and did other assorted errands.

I also remember that I had an imaginary pet when we lived in Houston. I used to talk to him. He was an elephant and his name was Pinky. I would usually talk to him when my grandmother was trying to nap.

I remember a trip to the circus. There were cannons that scared me. Don’t remember the clowns. Clowns never scared me. On a day at Galveston cowboyBeach, we had to run for cover during a rain storm. On our last day in Houston, a u-haul trailer was packed and ready for our drive to San Francisco. I was excited to show my new basketball to Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, when we got there. I was pretty upset that I didn’t have it. I had to be constantly reassured that it was really in the trailer. The drive from Houston to San Francisco was quite the adventure. Don’t remember anything except for that a few nights passed, as I slept in the back seat. I don’t remember if we stayed at any motels. I can’t imagine my dad doing it in one shot. (my mom never had a drivers license)

A lot of people that I talk to say they can’t remember anything before age 6 or 8. I don’t know why some of this stuff has stayed with me. I forget what people told me yesterday.

I remember trivia, like the name of Mr Wilson’s dog on the old Dennis The Mennace tv series. Mr Wilson’s Dog?! How in the world did that get stuck in there?  It was Fremont, but who cares? Why in the world can’t I remember something that will do me some good?

I can tell you that my babysitter in San Francisco,when I was 3 and 4,  was named Esther, and her husband was Elmer. But remember to pick up some milk at safeway on the way home from work? Yeah right.

Posted by: arjaylee | June 2, 2009

Not Sure I Understand

I was driving through an industrial park area and saw a sign posted that said: “No Street Racing 10:pm – 5:am”. Am I the only one who thinks this is pretty stupid? Does this mean that between 5:01 am and 9:59 pm, street racing is okay? I don’t know if this is county or city, but was it really necessary to spend the money to do this? Or have racers gotten out of their tickets by claiming they thought it was okay after 10 pm?

I think that most people with average reasoning capacity see a speed limit sign and assume that it is against the law to race in that area. If two cars are at the speed limit or below, it isn’t racing, is it? I guess I would be okay with a sign that said no racing if they hadn’t put a time on it.

I’ve seen signs that say blind persons crossing. I wonder how they know.

Then there’s the braile buttons on the drive trough ATM’s. Scary.

Several years ago I bought 2 studded tires for my car. A few years later, I went to the same store to buy another pair of studded tires. I was informed that they are now required to sell them in sets of 4. What?! “It’s a new regulation, a safety issue,” I was assured. Safetry issue eh? Is that why they still sell tire chains in sets of 2? I’m thinking the tire industry has a surprisingly strong lobby in Olympia.

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