Sunday, May 25, 2014

Two servings of Hamm

This afternoon I saw Million Dollar Arm, the Disney movie starring Jon Hamm. It was pretty predictable -- Jerry Maguire Goes to India -- but since it centered around two of my favorite elements (baseball and a gorgeous leading man), I had fun.

Now tonight I'm watching the mid-season finale of Mad Men. Once again Jon Hamm plays a handsome asshole in search of redemption. And I love it.

Left me feeling confused

I am, of course, a dedicated and lifelong Beatle fan. As a discerning Beatlemaniac, I long ago came to the conclusion that the group was really two outstandingly talented men -- Lennon and McCartney -- and two very lucky ones. While Sir Paul has always resonated with me, I don't skimp on my appreciation of John.

Yet this morning at church, I was disturbed when one of our choir soloists opened the service by singing John's signature anthem:

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

It's Memorial Day weekend! How can anyone sing, "imagine there's no countries" on one of the most patriotic days of the year? How can anyone sing, "imagine there's no heaven" inside a house of worship? I was very uncomfortable hearing this song under these circumstances. The intensity of my feelings made me even more uncomfortable.

Then my minister took over and it all made sense. He reminded us that Memorial Day is about honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who died so that others may live. Perhaps the best way to honor their sacrifice is to work for peace, to ensure that fewer soldiers die on the battlefield, that fewer civilians are collateral damage, in the future. And that, he says, takes commitment and imagination. Hence, the song choice.

He also tweaked us. The U.S. volunteer military is made up, by and large, of people who don't look like our congregation. Few of the families at my church have "skin in the game." The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq haven't touched us personally. Therefore it might be easy to allow ourselves not to think about, not to feel for, the challenges our troops and their families face.

My minister was telling us that we owe our military men and women -- past, present and future -- something. That's what he was saying. And he used John to make us stop and pay attention.

Sunday Stealing

Random XV

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? I don't keep my shoes in my closet. They're supposed to be in a canvas tote, but most of them are kicked under the coffee table or behind the chair.

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety? Peanut butter sandwich

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance?  No

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager? I was nowhere near as bad as I could have been

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see? Most of them

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself? It doesn't scare me

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why? Thursday. It means I'm better than halfway through.

8. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?? That I'm a good friend
9. Do hospitals make you queasy? No

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? It's not a store. I dream of maxing out my credit card at the front desk at Chateau Elan Spa and Resort. I wish I was doing that right now.

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items? Some

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels? If it's a personal matter, the latter.

13. What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé? Tee hee, she giggled, blushing at the memory.

14. What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made? Walking away from my job in 2002.

15. What’s your personal anthem or theme song? "Tears Die on Their Own" by Amy Winehouse

That was nice

I spent my Saturday taking myself out to lunch, where I had a drink, and getting a salon  pedicure ("Optimistic" by Revlon). I needed a little pampering. Then I did all my laundry and blabbed for a while with my oldest friend.

A nice Saturday.