Go See This Movie

I was planning to go shooting last night. Instead, I went out with my wife for an evening of French food (crêpes & escargot!) and an Irish movie. What a woman--appeals to the poet and the warrior in me.

The movie we saw is Once. It's Irish and being called a musical, but don't let that frighten you off. They're not bursting into song without any provocation. The leads are a man and woman who are musicians in their free time and they literally make beautiful music together. It's seamlessly integrated into the storyline. Don't let the "R" rating keep you away either. It's for language and really not warranted. The F-word is used several times but doesn't carry the weight that it does in American English.

This movie is wonderful. The last movie I saw that delighted me this much was Amelie. (Read the first line of this post again before you give me a hard time... ;) Once isn't quite as comical, though it is funny, but it has a much bigger heart. The story is simple but engrossing. The actors are real people not polished celebrities. The music is moving and catchy in turn; I downloaded the soundtrack when we got home. In short, it's a gem.

I don't want to give too much of the story away. You should enjoy it for yourself. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97% Freshness rating and you can find numerous in-depth reviews there.

If you're in Chicago, it's playing at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, one of my favorite theatres around here. La Creperie is just north of there and a charming but casual place for snails and other yummy French food.


Answers to Questions You Never Knew You Wanted to Ask

A. Your muscles go stiff and there’s a peculiar vibration you feel and hear as the alternating current (AC, as opposed to DC in batteries) flows through you. Not recommended.
Q. What does it feel like to stick your thumb in a live light socket?

A. Hypnic jerks. I have pretty good ones--unrelated to the previous question, as far as I know. How about you?
Q. You know how sometimes, when you’re right on the edge between wakefulness and sleep, you’ll have the sensation that you’re falling and your whole body will twitch? What is that?

A. Yes, they’re surprisingly delicious. And very manly.
Q. Chocolate-covered gummy bears seem like an odd combination. Are they any good? If so, is it the sort of thing that, you know, a guy should be caught eating?

A. It’s tough to say. The intense burning sensation and hour’s worth of sneezing that follows make it difficult to ascertain the benefits.
Q. Many illicit drug users snort a powdered form of their preferred drug, getting it quickly and easily into the bloodstream as it’s absorbed through the mucous membranes. If I had a really bad headache, could I crush up a couple Advil and snort them to get rid of it quickly?

A. Both ears pierced. Zero tattoos. I’ll rent space, though, for the right price and a really great design. (Just not on my forehead, please.)
Q. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

A. There are too many to count, and it’d be hard to rank them. One classic, though, was when I got my practice word wrong in an all-school spelling bee in fifth or sixth grade. I spelled cake “cake-a-k-e.” The proctor looked like she could’ve died; I’m sure I was glowing like Rudolph’s nose. There was also the time my French teacher stage whispered to me, in front of the whole class, "Do you have a drug problem?" What are some of yours?
Q. What is your most embarrassing memory?


In Memoriam: Dr. Robert Webber

I recently learned that one of my favorite professors from Wheaton College died at the end of April--Dr. Bob Webber. You can read a bit about him here and here.

Dr. Webber was all about worship. I can't imagine anyone agreed with everything he taught or believed (the notion of Protestants and Catholics reuniting is scandalous to some), but no one could deny his passion for true worship and his fascination with the many facets of Christianity. He was genuinely interested in people and how they came to Christ and experienced their faith day-to-day. He was a joyful man, too, delighting in seeing people opened up to a new part of the universal church that they may not have known. He was great at pushing protestant evangelicals (Wheaton's bread and butter) out of their comfort zones. I attended my first Orthodox service with Dr. Webber, in fact.

It is hard to be sad at Dr. Webber's passing. I only have a small idea of what he's experiencing right now, but my heart sings to imagine him finally seeing the Big Picture and being able to worship with all of his being. He will be missed and his contributions in this life were many, but he didn't belong here any more than you or I.

Incidentally, I should add a note of gratitude. For whatever reason, Dr. Webber saw fit to include me in one of his books, The Younger Evangelicals. A true honor.


Bumper Stickers

I enjoy bumper stickers. I used to have a few on my car, but I keep it clean now. Traffic's bad enough in Chicago without giving fellow drivers a reason to hate you. Nonetheless, I enjoy reading others. Here are a couple of spinoffs of the same bumper sticker that made me chuckle (and even think a bit):

Jesus Loves You
And I'm Trying Really Hard

Jesus Loves You
Everyone Else Thinks You're an @$%#&

Much funnier than the hokey Darwin fish and variations, if you ask me.