Something for nothing

I am curious to find out if this happens in all professions or if it is only limited to IT(Information Technology, Computer Work). Do people tell their friends that are doctors if they can do that MRI on the weekend when the office is closed, or maybe their Orthodontist friend if he can get you a free crown? Well it happens to me quite a bit, people want something for nothing. Read more…

Two for the Money (****)

As the movie started and the words “based on a true story” displayed across the screen I knew I was in for more than what I had originally bargained for. A scene in the previews for the movie had really interested me from the moment I first saw it. Al Pacino grabs McConaughey by the back of the neck and whispers into his ear something like “If you want something from me you are going to have to earn it, and then rip it from my cold dead hands.”

I love Al Pacino; while he is not one of my all time favorite actors I have enjoyed all the movies that I have seen him in. He personifies a strong character better than other people that might have a more commanding presence. One of the interesting aspects of his character in this movie is that it also had a vulnerable side to it, something I don’t remember as clearly from his other portrayals. While there was the physical weakness that his character had, his emotional one was a lot deeper and damaging.

The movie started delivering from its first scene. The emotional set up of a kid trying to please his father at all cost really paved the way for the movie and made it believable. It was something that was very necessary not only because of what the based on a true story means but also because the perseverance that the character showed was outstanding, if not foolish at times. Brandon really wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a professional athlete at all cost, and until faith stepped it he seemed to want to be stuck in a dead end where a single track mind was keeping him back from greatness at maybe other careers.

Rene Russo played Al Pacino’s wife flawlessly. A complex character from difficult beginning that was everything that Al Pacino’s character needed to balance him. Several scenes in the movie really show how behind every great man, there is always a great woman. Her delivery was not only believable but showed commitment to the character. Her character built the bridge that the very polar characters portrayed by Pacino and McConaughey needed. Also worthy of mention is Jeremy Piven who’s fast talking character really helps build some great scenes in the movie.
The movie was already earning four stars, but then Al Pacino delivered a speech in an AA style addiction meeting for gamblers that truly put the whole movie into a different perspective for me. Pacino told the other addicts that their addiction to gambling had nothing to do with winning, but with losing. They were al lemons, damaged human beings that needed the reassurance of losing to feel like they were still alive. From that moment forward I watched as his character continually gambled with his own life. That cemented the four stars and a full recommendation to go rent or buy the DVD today. You will love this movie.

As if this movie needed any other reason to be cooler, the person the movie was based on is actually from Midland, Michigan. I had to rewind the special features like 5 times before I convinced myself that he was saying, Midland, Michigan. His name is Brandon Lang and he actually has his own website. He also has some cool words to say about McConaughey

One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received in my life came from Matthew, who said “Thank you for bringing me a character where I had to dig down and draw on the emotions that every actor dreams about. This was by far my most enjoyable role.” You can’t beat that. A kid from Midland, Michigan getting complimented by a major Hollywood actor. Talk about dreams coming true!

buy at Amazon.com

Two For The Money.

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Comida Colombiana – Colombian Food

English Version Click Here

Desde el primer día que llegue a los Estados Unidos me ha fascinado la Pizza, las hamburguesas y la comida chatarra que este país ofrece. Me ha causado el ganar peso aunque mi tendencia ha sido siempre de ser de peso saludable. Nunca he dejado de extrañar la comida Colombiana.

Lo mas duro fue la carne. La diferencia entre la carne fresca y la carne que se consume acá es de noche y día. Al principio parece que estuviera uno comiendo chancletas de lo dura que es la carne. Después poco a poco uno comienza a extrañar todos los platos típicos de Colombia y del Valle. De vez en cuando uno puede ir a donde un familiar o al restaurante Colombiano y comer empanadas y chorizo, pero la mayoría de los días es difícil de disfrutar la variedad de comidas que comía uno a diario.

El primer obstáculo es encontrar verduras de calidad. Encontrar un plátano que no esta pasmado por esto lados es casi como encontrar oro. Y bueno, papa amarilla es una cosa que se vuelve mentalmente como el pajaro Do-Do, dicen que existe pero parece mito. El segundo obstáculo es la falta de tiempo, la vida acá es tan acelerada que los platos que en Colombia la Mama le preparaba a uno acá nadie tiene el tiempo de hacer.

Se puede encontrar facilmente masa para arepas que hemos usado con satisfacción y yo preparo arroz con pollo cada que puedo, pero en realidad extraño mucho mi comida Colombiana y bueno no saben que difícil es vivir sin la panadería de la esquina.

English Version —-
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Democracy

Politics is a complicated subject. Even understanding the structure of government and the various ideas of capitalism and democracy is not enough to get a good picture. Then there are the political parties to which people seem to want to pick sides and cheer as if they were a sport team. Politicians are in a sense sport stars that like the best of the NFL or NBA players get in trouble and cause controversy. So how do we make a decision in a process that it is a best cloudy and at its worst smoke and mirrors?

I wish I had a clear answer. In life they say the more you learn the more you realize that you know nothing. It is the same in politics. I try to read and listen to as much information about not just the U.S. but the world as I can and the more I hear the more confused I become about where I stand politically. It is not to say that I have no convictions, but am I really standing behind my convictions when I vote for someone? Do I really understand what that person will do for me as my political voice?

The congress and senate are perfect examples. It seems like when there is a vote the reasons and ideals that made me vote for a candidate are only a percentage of what eventually influence that vote. The people representatives ask for favor votes for one another and in the end they have to at times sacrifice their principals for either a vote the owe or to buy a future favor. It sounds fishy because it is. We vote because we think that person is going to represent us.

Democracy come from the Greek δημοκρατία (demokratia), δημος (demos) the common people + κρατειν (kratein) to rule + the suffix ία (ia), literally “the common people rule”. Are we the people really ruling?

The recent Palestinian election is to me a perfect example. We as “America” are trying to spread democracy. In a way the satirical movie Team America seems more accurate than what the overall idea of spreading democracy Bush administration style is. We say that we want to spread that, then Hamas goes ahead and wins the election. The whole world is surprised by a “Terrorist” group winning an election and now everyone is scrambling to make them give up their ideals. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a supporter of Hamas, but if you are going to promote the ideal of Democracy and the rule of the people then you have to know that when you let the Palestinians vote they might be more in line with erasing Israel from the face of the earth than agreeing with a peace talk that gives them a fractured state and no real roadmap to becoming a sobering nation.

That conflict is very complicated, ongoing and historically painful. Will a new election solve it? Will Democracy really help them? Is Capitalism the answer to every problem?

In the end I am left with the same idea that I had to begin with which is my base for world politics. End world hunger and you will see a decline in conflicts.
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Friday Meme

I’ve always liked Friday Meme’s sometimes planning a weekend ends up on having to chance plans. I found this one over at Michelle’s.

What is your reaction to waking up and seeing snow?
Crap, lets use the remote starter on the car… and hope is not too deep.

What’s your favorite dessert to order out? to make at home?
I am not a huge dessert person, but whenever possible I get Tiramisu.

Do you file your taxes early or late?
As early as possible. Already done them for the year.

Do you usually get a big refund? If so, what do you do with it?
I had to pay last year, this year was a little bit butter and it is going to the wedding fund, paying bills and possibly a car tuneup.

How do you handle your bills? Are you really organized, really laid back or somewhat in between. Describe.
Bills are a huge stress for me, they drive me nuts.

How important is money in terms of your happiness?
I don’t think it should be important at all, but it does help make things happen.

What did your parents teach you about money?
This question is hard, I don’t think my parents ever thought me that much about money… I guess being responsible for buying my clothes and paying for my own car and college was their way of teaching me that responsibility.

What do you wish your parents had taught you about money?
That credit is evil.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Well, they are kind of in limbo right now, but I have a couple of weekend projects that need to be done as well as clean up in preparation for my b-day.

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