Thursday, August 28, 2008

heavy metal monk

This is no joke. Brother Cesare Bonizzi, also known as Frate Cesare and Fratello Metallo ("Brother Metal") really is a heavy metal monk. He is an Italian monk who got 'converted' to heavy metal. How crazy is this? Follow this link to the BBC news story where they interview him and his bandmates. And check out his website. Its weird but he he actually kind of fits into the metal scene (in a weird monkish kind of way) with his fat beard and long robe. Too cool! Watch the YouTube video below (its all in Italian, but shows him performing). Who says monks can't ROCK!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm not really a hater - music

After the last post post about the Olympics, I decided to write something positive. One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is music, so this post is about music I like. First here are just a few 'classic' songs that I can hear over and over again and without ever getting tired of them:
Maggie May - Rod Stewart
Let's Groove - Earth, Wind and Fire
For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder (it was really hard to pick one Stevie song since they are all so good - except "I Just Called to Say I love You")
I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Kiss – Prince
Mayonnaise – Smashing Pumpkins

Also, here is a very incomplete list of some of my favorite all time albums. And for me favorite means an album I can listen to a million times and love it more each time I hear it:

Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys (I might know every word to this album)
Nevermind – Nirvana
Ten – Pearl Jam
Electric Ladyland – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
American Thighs – Veruca Salt

Parachutes – Coldplay
The Swiss Army Romance – Dashboard Confessional
Rock For Light – Bad Brains
Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins
Led Zeppelin III
Brown - P.O.D.

Street Signs – Ozomatli
Facelift – Alice in Chains
Dirt – Alice in Chains

And lastly, here are the bands, artists and albums I have listened to most over the past 4 or 5 years:

Saves the Day - everything, but especially "Stay What You Are" and "Through Being Cool"
Taking Back Sunday - "Tell All Your Friends" and "Where You Want to Be"
Ozomatli - everything, but especially "Street Signs"
Jack Johnson - everything he's done
Daphne Loves Derby - "Good Night Witness Light" and "On the Strength of All Convinced"
Deftones - everything, but especially "Adrenaline"
Demon Hunter - Summer of Darkness
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Corine Bailey Rae
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

So what are your musical faves?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Les Jeux Olympics (the Olympics) and a pet peeve

The Olympics are almost over. If you didn'know that the Olympics have been going on, you are weird. I've enjoyed watching them, but there is also one big thing that bugs me - not one single American newscaster or sportscaster or athlete can properly pronounce the name of China's capital city. The 'j' in the middle of Beijing is not pronounced with a 'zh' sound like these folks do, but like the word most words that have a 'j' in them - jingle, jump, jungle, banjo, etc.

Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves - the mispronunciation of words, and especially proper names. Its like someone pronouncing my name 'jimmy' instead of 'Jamie'. It also irks me because I lived in China and speak a bit of Chinese so it grates on my ears to hear 'Beijing' mispronounced. Lastly I'm flabbergasted that no one in the entire USA taught Bob Costas or Al Roker or any of their colleagues how to pronounce the word properly.

I think that's the first time I ever typed the word 'flabbergasted'.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

spotlight on Neatorama

Neatorama is one of my favorite web sites. Its one of those sites that compiles some of the best, funniest, and most interesting things from all over the web. Its the best of these compilation sites that I've come across. I visit it everyday. So the next time you're bored on the and want to see some funny stuff or learn some cool stuff, head over to

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Into the Wild

I have 2 words for you if you haven't seen Into the Wild yet: Watch It!! Directed by Sean Penn, Into the Wild is a powerful film. Several people have recommended to me and I finally got around to watching it and loved it. The IMDB gives this summary of it:
"After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life."

So like I said, Watch It!!

Also, while I'm making recommendations, if you like horror-type movies, watch Diary of the Dead and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. But please don't watch The Legend of the Black Scorpion. And don't read a book called Soul Thief by Charles Baxter.

Friday, August 15, 2008

some cool photos and bottled water

Here are some really cool artistic photos by a guy named Philippe Ramette. At the left is a sample of his work. How does this guy do some of this stuff? And since he's in the water (not so subtle segue), here are 5 reasons not to drink bottled water.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More on the Lakeland outpouring

My sister just emailed me an article dealing with the Lakeland outpouring. J. Grady Lee, editor of Charisma magazine, wrote the article on his blog The sad title is Life After Lakeland: Sorting Out the Confusion. Definitely a good article if you've had any interest in what has been going on in Lakeland.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my favorite hospital show and a great song

In general I hate hospital shows. I hate Grey's Anatomy. I hate House. I really hate ER. I hate hospital shows almost as much as I hate cop dramas (ex: Law & Order: Infinity). But I love Scrubs. I mean seriously dude, I love Scrubs almost as much as any TV comedy ever. And in general I hate sitcoms. I don't watch sitcoms because they usually don't make me laugh. But Scrubs is one of those magical sitcoms that is ACTUALLY FUNNY!

Why am I talking about Scrubs? Well I was listening to some songs from the 1990s yesterday and Poison by Bell Biv Devoe came on. I know, its a cheesy R&B song from the 90s, but its one of my favorite songs. So I searched for the video on YouTube. I found the original early 1990's video made by BBD, and its way too funny, mainly because of the clothes. But I also came across this video of Turk (played by the super hysterical Donald Faison) doing this dance/ lip sync to the song. So that's why I started off with the whole hospital show theme. Anyways, here's the clip from the best hospital show ever, Scrubs. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

the nature of Christ

The following passage is something I read yesterday in one of my VLI textbooks. This passage is fantastic. It is in a section dealing with the person of Christ, and specifically the fact that he is both divine and human:

"None of us is humanity as God intended it to be, or as it came from His hand. Humanity was spoiled and corrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve...The question is not whether Jesus was fully human, but whether we are. He was not merely human as we are; he was more human than we are. He was, spiritually, the type of humanity that we will possess when we are glorified. Jesus most fully reveals the true nature of humanity...As the image of God, humans are already the creatures that are most like him" (p. 239, Introducing Christian Doctrine, by Millard Erickson).

Putting this passage with some other things I've been learning, reading and thinking, here are some thoughts:
  • There have only been 3 'real' people in the history of the world - Adam, Eve, and Jesus
  • They alone were what humanity was meant by God to be
  • Our sin nature is not humanity's original nature
  • Adam and Eve traded some part of the image of God, their humanity, for something less than what they were meant to be
  • Jesus in his perfection is left then as the one True Man, the sinless one
Why does all this matter? Jesus is changing us and making us into what we should be, bearers of God's image. He is what we will become. Or as the Eastern Orthodox tradition states: 'He became what we are so we can become what he is.' This all matters because God's desire is to restore what was lost by changing us so we can be like Jesus. He is making all things new, including us!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

This is the sequel to Hellboy, one of my favorite movies of all time. Starring as Hellboy is one of my favorite all time actors, Ron Perlman. I've been a fan of his since I was a kid. He played the lion-man Vincent in the 1980s TV show Beauty and the Beast, one of the best shows ever. He's also been in many of my favorite movies - Alien: Resurrection, Blade 2, and an amazing French film called La Cité des Enfants Perdus (directed by the same guy who did Amélie).

Like the orginal Hellboy, Hellboy 2 is directed by Guillermo Del Toro, one of my favorite directors. He directed the recent film Pan's Labyrinth. And apart from Ron Perlman, Hellboy 2 also stars Selma Blair, (who looks much cuter with short hair than long hair. Wow, I know I've been hanging out with my wife for a long time when I start making comments about women's hairstyles!), Jeffrey Tambor and Doug Jones. It was a really good as far as sequels go. The costumes, make up, and effects were all great. The dialogue was hysterical. All the characters are so lovable. And while it wasn't quite as good as the first one, it was still action packed and just all around entertaining. I give it 4 out of 5 étoiles.