Friday five

Answer the following friday five questions in your weblog or journal. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post (or just leave your answers in the comments section here).

1. What food do you like that most people hate?
I savor octopus. Everytime I travel to Massachusetts, my first stop is lunch or dinner at a Portuguese restaurant for polvo cozido com batatas e cebolas.

2. What food do you hate that most people love?
I’ve never been fond of coconut. I love the scent in suntan lotion or body crème, but can’t stand the texture in desserts. The flavor does nothing for me.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?
Justin Timberlake. He looks like a girl. I just don’t understand how anyone can mistake this guy for a sex symbol.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive?
I think Patrick Stewart is so handsome. In 1997, Stewart portrayed Othello at the Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre here in DC. With the tattoos and the costumes, I found him too sexy for words. I saw the show three or four times and paid a small fortune to attend a lecture where he explained how bizarre it was to be the only white member of a black cast.

5. What popular trend baffles you?
Reality TV Shows. I don’t understand the popularity of these programs. Each season the show concepts get more degrading and bizarre. I don’t watch them, but unfortunately am unable to tune out the promos and trailers.

For example: Just an Average Joe – what man would volunteer to be on a program where he is publicly humiliated for being human? The program is essentially saying – “Dudes we want YOU because there’s nothing extraordinary about you. You’re not good-looking, you’re not wealthy, you’re not talented…. There's nothing special about you."

We’ve digressed… becoming entertained by the misfits and dwarves that once amused the courtiers of the dark ages. Civilization is in a sad state when the most-watched programs on television involve human beings insulting and degrading one another for public pleasure.

Movie night

I'm going to the movies tonight. It's my turn to select the flick, but I'm torn - so I'm asking for feedback to help me make a decision.

It's between:

The Human Stain

Intolerable Cruelty

Lost in Translation

Love Actually

The Singing Detective

So what do you think?

Lunar eclipse scheduled for tomorrow night

People in North American and Europe will be able to see a total lunar eclipse tomorrow night. Yahoo provides 10 cool facts about the moon and her disappearing act.

Anyone planning a party to celebrate this occurrence?

What do we learn from ancient civilizations?

I have always enjoyed reading about ancient ruins and discoveries. Or "rediscoveries" - as the case may be. In fact, if I had the freedom to do anything, I'd become a globetrotter, visiting these sites and join the select club of individuals who photograph and write about these civilizations.

Not quite an archaeologist - I'd slowly lose my mind bent over a mound, patiently brushing away centuries of dirt to reveal a broken arrowhead or splint of bone - but more like a travel-reporter-anthropologist.

The American/Britain team led by Gary Zeigler and Hugh Thomson have discovered their second Incan city in two years.

Llactapata is located 50 miles northwest of the Inca capital Cusco and aligned with Machu Picchu. This alignment encouraged the expedition to consider the city's ritual significance as a ceremonial site.

What do we learn, if anything, when these cities are rediscovered? Has anyone ever visited Peru's Incan sites?

Machu Picchu is a favorite with the Today Show team, sending Matt Lauer there during his annual "Where in the World" series. Unfortunately, the ancient site is showing signs of wear and tear from the significant increase in tourism. I've decided this moment, that I will visit next year. I'm going to plan a trip to Peru. And while I'm there, I'll be sure to fly over the Nazca Lines.

Does anyone have any theories on how these supposedly unsophisticated, ancient people drew enormous pictograms in the sand? My inquiring mind wants to know.


A brilliant diversion

I'm swamped at work today and won't have time to come up with something original. So I'm sending you over to London Mark for his Deleted Scenes from the Matrix series.

Hope your day is swell!


And then life happens

What a morning!

It started off as I planned... I woke up early, worked out, ate breakfast (is there a blue moon coming up?), and took off for the Red Line. There was drizzle in the air, but for the first time in months I was early and impressed by how much I'd already accomplished. I bought today's Post and headed toward the platform.

Two surprises:
1) a mass of people stood, sat, leaned... all waiting for the next train.
2) there were a lot of beautiful people scattered through that crowd.

A quick glance at the time read 7:52 a.m. The few times I'd made it to the station that early it was empty... or barely empty. And the people waiting with me were usually older and still half asleep or enthusiastic but at the dorky end of the spectrum.

I leaned against the wall and watched this threesome standing in front of me. A tall Adonis with black curly hair, still damp, and ice blue eyes, wearing a niiiiiiiiice pinstripe suit was talking to a girl with honey blond hair that fell in cascades down her back. She looked as if she'd stepped out of an ad for Chanel suits. I immediately coveted her burgundy and bisque Mary Jane heels. A towering blond guy with dimples completed this lovely trio.

Had I slipped through an alternate reality? Guys in DC just aren't *this* goodlooking (no offense to my fellow Washingtonians. Guys, you've got charm, charisma, intelligence, and most are very, very cute - but few are Hollywood gorgeous).

The lights blinked letting everyone know the train was arriving. And it was packed. People were squished into those cars like human m&ms in a mega tube.

I turned up the volume of my discman, determined to wait for the next train, and spotted some more uncommonly beautiful people.

Thirty six minutes and four packed trains later, I hit the escalator, left the station and started looking for a cab. I should have been at work 5 minutes ago.... and I had started off so well.

I hailed a cab, got in and the driver starts chatting away. He takes the scenic route, turning a 5 minute ride into a 15 minute drive through the city. I asked if anything special was going on in DC. Not to his knowledge. And he starts going on and on about how he could tell I was from Massachusetts because people from California and Massachusetts are the friendliest in the country.

Did he just compare California with Massachusetts?

A huge grin spread over my face as I imagined the protests from my friends and family in Massachusetts. "Warm? Friendly? Who was he kidding? Has he ever BEEN to Massachusetts? We're cold. We're mean. We're not warm and friendly. And we're not loonies like those wackjobs on the west coast."

It's 9:30 a.m. and I feel as though I've already lived through a couple adventures. I wonder what else the day has in store for me. Because I honestly believe, it's going to be one of those days.



I used to be a huge believer in signs. It's only in retrospect that I see the strong confidence I placed on fate... in destiny. At the time, I didn't realize I was allowing random occurences to influence my decisions in the negative or the positive.

To me the signs weren't random at all. They were attempts by a divine power to help guide me on my predestined path by helping me make decisions along the way.

Hitting three green lights in a row - a clear sign that I should stay the course. Flipping heads 7 times in a row - I'm definitely on the right path. The flight that cost $99 yesterday is $350 today - hmmmmmmm.... better postpone that trip.

I don't do that anymore, but was reminded of a time when I did.

How many of you believe in or rely on signs? Do you follow them or purposely ignore them? Or do you forget about signs and just live day-to-day come what may?

The power of song

I'm going to hire a harpist for an event scheduled for February in Seattle. So I'm sitting here listening to the CD's the event company sent me, trying to select one to provide entertainment.

All of the music sounds religious to me .... well, actually, that's because it is - "Ode to Joy," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and numerous songs usually played at Easter and during processionals. Sometimes the harpist is solo, other times accompanied by a piano, but mostly with an organ.

Isn't it curious how a song can change your mood? How music has the power to transport you to another time and place? How a once familiar tune can trigger memories long buried?


What's better....

than Istanbul by They Might Be Giants?

I once waited through five hours of subpar bands to hear them play this one song live.

It's a question of faith

I loaned The Da Vinci Code to a friend of mine. That's how it all started.

He soon moved on to Dan Brown's Angels & Demons. Which led to some research into the Illuminati, then secret societies in general, to the Freemasons, culminating in The Hiram Key.

Now, for those who've never read The Hiram Key, it links ancient religions with secrets about the "true" life of Christ to the Knights Templar and finally to Freemason ritual. It's theory and conjecture written as fact and certainty. It's perfect for anyone who relishes the good conspiracy theory (and who knows? it could even be true).

He's now convinced that his religion, Christianity, is a sham. That the Bible got the history all wrong, therefore the entire establishment is false.

I just finished reading Saramago's The Gospel According to Jesus Christ and was eager for just this sort of debate.

But do the facts of what occurred in a 35 year span, thousands of years ago, REALLY matter? Christianity has been around for over 2000 years. Isn't the religion better defined by how the scripture is interpreted by its followers now? By the actions of the Church now? By the faith of its followers?

Am I the exception in feeling that the absolute infallibility of the "historical facts" have nothing or little to do with faith? Does it matter whether or not Jesus was an only child or had a brother or a twin or a dozen brothers and sisters? Does it matter whether or not he was married? Does it matter whether or not he had children?

Isn't the point to learn the scripture and the lessons of the parables and strive to be the best person you can be? And to follow the laws of the Church (regardless of the historical accuracy of the beginning)?

Pure genius

Buy your Ann Coulter action figure today. Illustration compliments of Andrew Furdell.

Parallel reality

So.... hypothetically, let's say that Karl Rove approaches you to replace him at the White House. You've now got the ear of the President. Some say you're his premier advisor, his right-hand (wo)man, the administration master mind.

If you could guide White House policy - what would be the first thing you'd change?

Time flies

Someone once told me that the older I got, the faster time would pass. At the time, I nodded and grinned thinking, "Yeah, whatever."

I've officially joined the Rapid Passing Time Continuum (RPTC). Can someone please tell me what happened to October? Typically one of my favorite months, I barely found time to enjoy it. One second I was on a plane flying to Seattle - I blinked - then I was entertaining guests and looking forward to seeing Cats - I yawned - next thing I knew I was leaving the theatre, blinking in the unusually sunny and warm day - and now it's NOVEMBER!

I know since I've entered the RPTC, tomorrow I'll be writing about how I celebrated Thanksgiving. I'll blink and will be on a flight to Massachusetts for the holidays. And before I know what's happened, I'll be standing in a long line, shifting from foot to foot, waiting to get into one of the DC bars on St. Patty's Day.

It's disconcerting.

Yet somehow, I manage to make time to go to work, meet friends out, speak with family, read, go to lectures, visit museums, and travel. I guess I wish I could find more time to sleep and get through my "To Do List."

And maybe get rid of this dreadful feeling that there just isn't enough of it left.