Art of Living.

October 4th, 2004

Again bored by Sunday night football, I turned to Bravo and caught an episode of Inside the Actors Studio; James Lipton's guest was John Travolta. As this was the first time I've seen the show, I cannot speak to the frequency of good guests, but Travolta blew me away. John TravoltaHe was remarkably down to Earth and just seemed to be a normal guy (no, I do not often get this impression when I see celebrities give interviews). He told many stories of how different people had influenced him and helped him along his career and you could see that he took every opportunity he had to do the same for others. He was very sincere in his responses to questions from the audience. He was more than just honest; you could tell that he was not regurgitating stories as answers, he was custom fitting his answers, tailoring them in the best way possible to help the person who asked. You could not only see and hear, but feel that he was not only telling the audience what he thought on the subject, but also was telling them in a way that he hoped the information will one day be useful. He knows he has the influence and uses it to make a positive impact. He even took the time at the end to dance with a young woman from the audience (Pulp Fiction style). Ok, it's hard to describe, but hopefully I have not confused you too badly.

The highlight of the interview (and main point of this post) was a story involving Nicolas Cage. Travolta was asked if he remembered a story in which he helped Nic with his perspective on life. I apologize as I do not remember the terminology exactly, but his point to Cage was simply the "Art of Living." It was a message that helps you to enjoy the simple things, the subtleties, even the finer points of life. Travolta says that growing up he always did things differently from his friends. He often would find himself in a little French restaurant where for $5 he could get a glass of wine and a small meal instead of the diner down the street where he would get a burger and fries for the same amount. He would spend the same amount of money to see a foreign film as his friends would an American one. He did these things because they made him feel as though he had done more. To him that money was well spent. He was able to walk away from the main stream and find experience in new things. He cited this story as something that had helped shape him as a person, and it is definitely something that shapes me. I could not relate better to any story told.

There is no lecture for the end of this post. That is not my intention. The reason I decided to post this topic was to serve as a reminder to those who used to live this way and a suggestion to those who never have. I will not try to talk anyone into trying to "live" a little, if that is not what they want to do, but I do suggest it to everybody.

Gmail Invites

September 29th, 2004

Link: http://gmail.google.com/gmail

GmailI am now up to five (5) invites left for Gmail. If you happen to live under a rock and are unfamiliar, Gmail is the new browser based e-mail solution from the good people at Google. Gmail is targeted towards the e-mail user who appreciates convenience; the service comes with a 1 GB, or 1000MB, inbox that is designed to be digital picture friendly. Gmail is still by invitation only as they are in beta stages of the product's infancy. If you are interested in being one of the few, one of the proud let me know. Just leave a comment to the post and I'll fork 'em over.

NFL Week 3.

September 29th, 2004

Unlike week 2, I was able to sit at home with nothing better to do than numb my brain with football on TV. What this did was offer me the ability to see why there was no offense last week and also in a few games this week, too. The explanation was simple: Peyton Manning was hording all of the offense. He must have created some type of wormhole to the other players and sucked out all of their offensive ability and then fused it with himself. Indianapolis v. Green Bay was an offensive showdown...for awhile at least. Peyton just threw too many touchdowns in the first half for Green Bay to be able to come back in the end.

There were a few games that actually came down to the final play(s) which is always nice. These games entertain anyone, not just fans of the teams playing.

I think it's safe to assume that Seattle was glad to have Shaun Alexander healthy. The nice thing was that he didn't feel the need to score all of the touchdowns himself and spread the offense around a little.

I hope Kansas City doesn't win a game all season. They get more press out of offensive comments made by the coaching staff to the players than they ever did about winning games. Who believes "KC wins again" is more entertaining than "Coach says to take the diapers off?" Gimme a break.

No one should be surprised that the Dolphins are yet to win a game. I would like to see them scrape one victory out though. Future highlight films will be boring when they have to talk about the year Miami went 0-16 after showing clips of the 16-0 season.

Next week's post will not be enjoyable. It will merely contain my rants about how I would actually stand a chance in my fantasy league if Minnesota didn't have a bye week as I go head to head with the league's point leader.

Tony SiragusaWas the biggest NFL news this week Tony Siragusa's comments about Joey Harrington? That's too bad. I hope Fox's lawyers had their way with him. Nice to see Mitch Albom fight back.

Quick disclaimer about the now 2-1 Lions. No one got ahead of themself and actually expected an NFC championship out of this team after beating the Bears and the Texans, so suffering a big loss to the Birds wasn't a sobering event. Our feet have been firmly planted on the ground, we're not celebrating....yet. You'll know when we are, trust me.

Wil & Katie Morris

September 24th, 2004

Link: http://www.privatjokr.com/images/eos/997

Wil & Katie MorrisFirst off I would like to begin this post with a very sincere congratulations to both Katie and Wil. It is a congratulations to you both for now being married, but more so than that, congratulations for finding each other. You make each other so happy...don't think it goes unnoticed by the rest of us...that we can't help but be happy for you.

The wedding on Saturday was beautiful. Despite my attempts to capture the animal within Wil on digital film, things went wonderfully. I can only imagine what the photographer was thinking as she was having you pose outside prior to Katie's arrival and behind her is some clown with a camera saying things like, "Show me naughty," and "Ok, now you're a tiger." Whoever thinks a solo shot of Wil in his tux posing as he's about to pounce doesn't scream "Christmas card" is out of their mind.

Katie looked incredible in her gown, which reinforced the question in my mind of, "How did Wil land himself a girl like her?" I'll even be kind enough to leave out the part about the flower girl stealing the show...

Wil stayed both conscious and standing throughout the entire ceremony and only managed to burn his finger(s) one time before we left the church. I don't know where you come from, but in my neighborhood that is a successful wedding.

I feel like I'm skimping on the details, but I must move on to the reception. For anyone soon to be married, my first piece of advice to you is not to seat anyone next to the gift table who would tell you afterwards that there might...or might not be a fork in the envelope/card box. The bride and groom were serenaded with love ballads all night so we could see a little action. If the lucky couple thought they'd be kissing less by enforcing the rule that we had to sing instead of clinking glasses, I hope they realize now how wrong they were. Today I go on record stating that for generations to come, the story of DJ Playboy's Eye of the Tiger (Morris remix) will live on in infamy.

Watching Wil and Katie dance together for the first time as husband and wife was very touching, though not as much so as Katie dancing with her Dad. Next to that, dancing highlights do include Josh's mom doing the sprinkler and Dan using his aunt's scarf to swoon both family and friends alike.

The day was an incredible amount of fun. So a hearty thank you to you both for letting me be a part of this special occasion. You have set the bar high. You are the perfect example and I hope to find the happiness you bring to each other.

Click HERE for more pictures from the wedding...

The Apprentice

September 24th, 2004

Link: http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice_2/

I watched this show last night basically as an assignment for work. My boss watches it and loves the show. She tells me that there is not an episode that passes where she isn't able to learn something, no matter how small. She told me that apparently business schools around the country are beginning to assign the show was homework. I guess some people think they're doing things the right way. So I checked it out, and I did find she is correct about being able to learn from The Apprentice.

Last night the two teams were competing to create the biggest hype surrounding a new toothpaste product extension for Crest. Two executives from Procter & Gamble were to judge the contest.

Off topic this is a fantastic venue for marketing your product if you can coordinate with "The Donald" so that the two teams will compete to peddle your goods. Well done, P&G.

I generally have no desire to ever watch reality TV. I think the idea behind reality TV is quite stupid, though this show was pretty interesting. Watching Survivor you can sit on your couch and guess who's getting kicked off due to who didn't play well in the sand box, who didn't join the alliance. In The Apprentice you can actually learn from one of the most successful businessmen in the world as to why people don't cut it.

My only question is simply, do all participants get as defensive as the women in the boardroom last night? If yes, then maybe they should work on improving their contestants. I obviously cannot guarantee that if I were across that table from Donald Trump having just gone over budget on my project I would be calm and collected. It seemed to me that there wasn't a single person who accepted the responsibility for any aspect of a project not going as planned. I guess I would have to see a show were things go well and then see how people defend themselves against harsh criticism where Trump tells people they're lousy.

My only problem remains that I watch so little TV that I will have a hard time dropping whatever I'm doing and making sure I'm home and sitting in front of a television every Thursday at 9pm (except next week when the show's moved to Wednesday).

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NFL Week 2.

September 23rd, 2004

Cincinnati BengalsThis will be a much shorter post about week 2 than I made about week 1. I was able to sit down and watch the majority of the goings-on in week 1. I missed the majority of week 2. My thoughts are primarily from highlights...

Ugliest Jersies in the NFL - Cincinnati Bengals

I <3 Roy Williams...in that strictly platonic fan and to-be superstar type fashion.

Lions are in first place? I wish someday that will no longer be a surprise.

Were defenses that good in week 2? Where was all of the scoring? Or was it due to the crazy amount of TURNOVERS!!! Perhaps it was the injuries to every key player in the league. The NFL could be headed for a rough season if players keep getting hurt at the pace they are currently through two games.

Jerry Rice's 20 year record has come to an end. He had gone 274 games in a row with at least one reception. Week 2 Rice caught zero passes. Sure this is his new role as Tim Brown moved on, but no one wanted it to really happen, I'm sure especially J.Rice.

NFL Week 1.

September 13th, 2004

The trash talk is at an early peak as there were some surprise performers this weekend.

First, let's congratulate our Detroit Lions for their first road win in 25 tries. December of 2000 was the last time they won a game that was not at home. Lions Mitch Albom says that, "You know you're a Lions fans if you think "the road" is some place the team must go in between victories." But that is all behind us now with the 20-16 win over the Chicago Bears.

The next big news would have to be happening a mile high. The Denver Broncos were under such scrutiny for their offseason trade sending 1,000 yard rusher Clinton Portis to the Washington Redskins for Champ Bailey (Defensive Back). Critics were silenced last night as rookie running back Quentin Griffin outshined even Priest Holmes as Denver wins 34-24. Champ Bailey appears to be quieting anyone who thought he was not worth Portis in a trade and displayed the fact that he is truly a playmaker. Another note is the excitement in getting to see Donte Hall in pads again. This guy is incredible. Hall is the WR-KR-PR-RB for the Chiefs who can set the field ablaze once he gets his tiny legs pumping.

Terrell Owens caught 8 passes
yesterday afternoon against the New York Giants, and 3 of them were for touchdowns. If anyone was wondering whether or not he would make an impact making his nest in Philadelphia, yesterday began to shed some light on the issue. Perhaps having a showcase receiver will be the lift the Eagles need to advance beyond the NFC Championship game.

Donovan McNabb did set a career high with the 4 touchdown passes yesterday (3 to T. Owens), though this was not the best of the day. Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper set the bar with his career best 5 TD passes yesterday at home in Minnesota against the Cowboys.

Carolina and Green Bay pair off tonight in Monday Night Football.

I am ashamed to admit I'll miss week 2 for a business trip to Atlanta...

NCAA FB

September 13th, 2004

What a great weekend I had to which to look forward. So many good games scheduled. How could this college football weekend possibly let me down? Well, I'll tell you.

Miami/Florida State was played Friday night (rescheduled. hurricane.) in a game nearly completely devoid of offense. This age old rivalry due to being nearly cross-town rivals turned conference showdown was given the billing of a heavyweight match up. The game did not live up to expectations.
Miami 16 - Florida State 10.

Saturday brought renewed hope as Michigan visited Notre Dame, the team they toyed with last season 38-0. The Wolverines have not won in South Bend in the last 3-4 meetings so there was more pressure on this rival match up. Let's call Saturday's loss to the Fighting Irish a learning experience (euphemisms are beautiful). Let's highlight what the boys in blue learned.

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Payday.

September 10th, 2004

*Disclaimer* I do not mean to offend anyone with this post. *Disclaimer*

Everyone loves payday. This is a fact. I would even go so far as to say there are few treats that compare to someone handing you a check when you didn't even know it was payday.

What I cannot understand is: Why do people tear up their envelopes as soon as they get it as though it is restricting their check? Will the dollar figure swell given room to breathe? You worked 80 hours this pay period. You worked 80 hours the previous pay period. Guess what, you worked 80 hours the pay period before that. You know how much money you make. You know how much that check is made out for. So WHY, I ask you, do you feel compelled to open it as soon as you get it? You've worked for at least a few years now. This is not the first pay check you've received. Yes it is real. I do not need to open each one for you to tell you the check is legitimate.

I just don't get it.

NFL = Underway!

September 10th, 2004

After months of nothing on SportsCenter but baseball highlights (and I use the term "highlights" losely) The NFL kicked off it's regular season last night and it did so in style.

A rematch of last season's AFC Championship pitted the Indianapolis Colts against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

The game, for all intents and purposes, was on par with a Super Bowl as it featured many musical acts (spanning different genres) as a precurser to the game. This was not the first game of the year. This was truly an event. This was breaking ground on yet another year of professional football. The world's fantasy football obsessed sat down to their televisions and set their beverage next to their laptop computer which coincedentally displayed their fantasy teams. To those of you who can relate to this, you know Christmas comes early every year the Thursday prior to Week 1.

Business as usual was halted yesterday afternoon as preseason predictions needed to be prophecized to coworkers young and old. Tales of fantasy seasons gone by echoed through the halls. Friendly wagers may have been placed by the fans and fanatics alike.

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