Wednesday, January 30, 2008


According to, Columbia is ranked No. 16 on the top most romantic cities in the U.S. WHAT? Here's the list...

They are considering these cities the most romantic because of the high number of sales in books about relationships, sex and romance. So, does this really make us romantic? In my opinion, it means we are so desperate for romance that we have to READ about it rather than actually LIVE it.

Tuesday Night

Mags came over last night and we had a great time eating sno-cones and watching our mountain movies! I think we're even more excited about Kili than before, even though watching these two particular films reminded me that this is no small task we want to undertake. But, considering that Kili involves no rope climbing, I think we're going to be okay.

We also worked on a little project for our euchre group--see below for a small sample of our creativity.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Shake the Cooties

A few friends and I went out to the Blue Martini last night. I'd not been there in years, nor had the people I was with. We had a lot of fun, enjoyed a few martinis and listened to some band which was most interesting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peter Gabriel

Okay, so I know I'm way behind the 8-ball on several aspects of life, however, I have recently begun a new appreciation for Peter Gabriel and some of his music. One of my favorites is "Lay Your Hands on Me." There's just something about it that I really love--it's almost spiritual and transports me to a really cool place every time I hear it. The video below is from a concert in 1983 when he did his famous "stage dive." The video's about 8 minutes long, but totally worth it.
"I am ready...I am willing...I believe."

Going Off Broadway

June 1, 2008 is the final day of RENT on Broadway.

WOW! That's kind of sad....

Mountain Movie Madness

Next Tuesday, Mags and I are going to watch some mountain movies! Anyone willing to sit in my uncomfortable apartment for a couple of hours is definitely invited. I'll have to come up with some mountain-climbing-inspired snacks for the evening. Maybe sno-cones or something.

First on the agenda is the IMAX presentation of Everest. Filmed during the disaster of 1996, this film follows advanced climbers who continue to the top of Everest despite losing friends on the mountain just days before. If you've read the book Into Thin Air, this IMAX crew follows the same route toward the summit and really brings the icefalls, crevasses, and dangers to life. This is a short film, only 40 minutes, but it's bound to be wonderful.

Wrapping up the Mountain Movie Madness will be a screening of Touching the Void. This film tells the story of Joe Simpson and and Simon Yates' disasterous and near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. Although this mountain had been previously attempted, Simpson and Yates decided to ascend the almost-vertical west face. Distaster strikes upon the descent and a miraculous story unfolds.

So, if interested, let me know! Should be a good evening, perhaps filled with more insight as to why people are so attracted to standing on the peaks of mountains. With every piece of information I gather, I'm starting to understand that a little more clearly and I can feel that desire starting to burn inside of me.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Different quote of the day: "You must do the things you think you cannot do."

Seems appropriate for the weekend. I don't want to go. I don't want to know. If only I could live in the bliss of ignorance for just a bit longer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

GC 35 Update: Murmurationes

Got this from the America website this morning.

One of the best Latin words used by the Society of Jesus is the "murmurationes" (or "murmuratio," depending on which Latin professor you speak with). It is the four-day period, just begun in Rome, before the election of the new Superior General, in which the delegates murmur (thus the word) about who might make a good General.
St. Ignatius was adamant about removing as many temptations as possible for Jesuits to seek leadership positions in the church, since he had seen what ambition did to some of the churchmen of his time. Thus, when Jesuits pronounce their final vows, they make an additional promise against "ambitioning" for jobs, and even to turn in anyone who has been "ambitioning" or campaigning. So with no electioneering permitted, how to surface names for the right candidates in the General Congregation? The "murmurationes" is an elegant answer to that. Delegates speak to one another about Jesuits who are seen to have the right mix of strengths and talents to be General. It's an efficient process that quickly surfaces good names. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, for example, was elected on the first ballot in 1983.
Above is a photo, taken by Don Doll, S.J., from Creighton University's terrific GC 35 website, with the following caption: "Members of the U.S. Assistancy asked Frank Case, S.J. (Oregon Province), Secretary of the Society, and Vincent Cooke, S.J. (New York Province), who were at GC 33, which elected Fr. Kolvenbach, S.J., to brief them on the 'murmuring' process." Eagle-eyed viewers will be able to identify many of the U.S. delegates.
In other words, "murmuring" about the "murmuring."

~James Martin, S.J.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keeping Busy

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NIGHT, dinner with Mom and Dad. Should be delightful!!!

Due to yesterday's {bad} news, I have decided to keep myself busy until this weekend. This will allow me little time to dwell or stew in the uncertainty and enable me to appreciate the joys and blessings in my life.

Tonight: One of my favorite television shows is on, Dirty Jobs. After that, I will enjoy Bogey in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Wednesday: Not sure yet...need to make plans! (There are a few things I need to get done before leaving this weekend, so maybe this will be a good night to get all that taken care of.)

Thursday: Yoga with Stacey.

Friday: Massage in the afternoon. Movie (Lars and the Real Girl) with the girls. A girls' night out will be lots of fun!

It really is the every day aspect of my life that brings me the most joy. Sometimes larger events bring unbridled happiness, but mostly I try to notice how the small things can fill my days with delight. It's all about wonder; taking on a child-like sense of wonder and being amazed with the ordinary and mundane. Once I take the time to look around and witness the beauty, kindness and laughter that envelops me, I notice the extraordinary detail of each individual moment. It's this awareness that I try so hard to bring into my life for just a few minutes a day, just to remember how truly blessed I am.

Taking in the small joys of each day expands my feeling of being connected with the world, especially once I become more attuned to them. I know that the world isn't perfect, by any means, and I sometimes gravitate toward the injustice of it all. But ultimately, I have faith that it all means something so much bigger and better than I could ever hope for. A good friend told me last night, "Don't worry, Jamie. You will get your happy ending." And even in my darkest moments, I believe him.

Bird Flu

India reports a new outbreak of the bird flu.

Not good. Not good at all!

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Last night was my final night to play euchre with FT and what is merely now the skeleton of the "original gang." We're losing people left and right: GP was the first to go, then JS (aka The Ace of Spades), now FT, and very soon JE (Mothman)! It's a bit sad actually to see so many friends come and go. But I guess that's life and as we all try to find our place, we will inevitably transition in and out of others' lives. It's so hard because these people are more than just friends to me--they're like family.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Fascination

Most people know my new fascination with mountains and mountain climbing. I owe it all to a good friend from the NAC who told me about Jon Krakauer's account of the 1996 disaster on Everest, Into Thin Air. I couldn't put the book down; it was well-written and captivated me beyond belief. I've never quite understood peoples' reasons for climbing mountains, especially Everest. His work allowed me small insights into various climbers' minds which I found really informative and compelling. Many humans have climbed to the peaks of mountains to connect with a higher source of understanding and have come back down feeling stronger and wiser.

So now I am completely enthralled with mountains and the dangers, mysteries and legends associated with them. Mountains have always captured my imagination, calling me to scale their heights and pay homage to their greatness. To me, they symbolize vision, the ability to rise above the adjacent lowlands and see beyond our immediate vicinity. From the top of a mountain we are able to witness life from a new perspective. We can take the whole thing in with a single glance, regaining our composure and our sense of proportion as we realize how much bigger this world is than we sometimes remember it to be. It frees us from the perceived trap of our limited vision.

So I have placed a picture of a mountain (my now favorite, Everest) on my desk at work to remind me of my humble place in the whole grand scheme of life, and to inspire me to be bold and keep fighting no matter how hard the climb.

Everest Legend Dies at 88

The first man to ever summit Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary, died last week (January 10). Together with Tenzing Norgay, New Zealander Edmund Hillary achieved the first summit on Mount Everest, via the South Col route on May 29, 1953.

The expedition set out with 14 climbers, and 350 porters. The team carried the best high-altitude boots, windproof clothing, lightweight but sturdy tents, special radios and walkie-talkies, Primus stoves, aluminum-alloy ladders for crevasses, ropes, and the latest oxygen tanks to ensure Everest victory. After their summit, a debate erupted on who of the two climbers had reached the top first. The mountaineers agreed not to answer the question. After his death however; a letter by Tenzing Sherpa was published stating that Hillary had placed the first step on the world's roof.


51 years ago today, Humphrey Bogart passed away from throat cancer, at the age of 58. The more I learn about this incredible actor, the more I like him. I had no idea that he made The Caine Mutiny while seriously ill. I just watched that on TCM last weekend and never would have known! He was nominated for Best Actor for that role. That's a testament to his character and ability as an actor, in my opinion.

The lyrics of Alfred Lord Tennyson's hymn "Crossing the Bar" were read at Bogey's funeral and are a fitting and comforting tribute to a man who loved his life and loved to sail.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;For tho' from out our bourne of
Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


So I was told on Saturday night that even if I have NOTHING to talk about, I need to blog, just to let my (very few) readers know that I am still alive. Unfortunately, I don't have much to report except that this weekend was a good one--went shopping in Charlotte with "Mom," went to a Christmas party, saw a movie, and had dinner with a good friend.

So Mag and I went with Herr Dorkus to see What Would Jesus Buy. The film focuses on the issues of the commercialization of Christmas, materialism the over-consumption in American culture, globalization, and the business practices of large corporations, as well as their economic and cultural effects on American society, as seen through the prism of activist/performance artist Bill Talen, who goes by the alias of "Reverend Billy" and his troupe of activists, whose street theatre performances take the form of a church choir called "The Church of Stop Shopping," that sings anti-shopping and anti-corporate songs. The film follows Billy and his choir as they take a cross-country trip in the month prior to Christmas 2005 and spread their message against what they perceive as the evils of patronizing the retail outlets of several different large corporate chains. It was an interesting film with what I thought was a good message, but presented in a very different and at times disturbing manner.

The Nickelodeon has several good movies coming up: Lars and The Real Girl, The Darjeeling Limited, & Margot At The Wedding. I can't wait to see them!

Bogie update: Watched In A Lonely Place and Casablanca--tonight's showing will be Tokyo Joe. I need to get started on it, so off I go!