Thursday, November 29, 2007

Playing with Animoto

The Erickson family Oregon Trip (August 2007). Made with Animoto.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mystery Passenger

Ya know when you kinda recognize someone, but can't quite place where you've seen them before? Jon and I both felt that way when we saw this guy on our flight from Dallas back to Burbank after Thanksgiving. He definitely had the actor "look." Finally, at the luggage carousel on the end of the flight, I remembered. He's the slimy fraternity boyfriend on the television show "Greek". We only saw two episodes of it on the main cable channels (via our antenna) before they switched it to the ABC-Family channel. [It was "okay" from what I remember.]

I'm guessing he's rarely blogged about, so Jake McDorman, here ya go. Yes, we were the couple on your plane trip who kept sneaking glances at you and then whispering with puzzled expressions.

[The picture on the left is the one Jon took on his cameraphone, and the one on the right is his imdb profile pic.]

Monday, November 19, 2007


Last Sunday, my friend Stacey and I attended the American Music Awards! Did you see us? Unlike my seatfiller stints at the SAG Awards and TV Land Awards, this time we were in the red carpet bleachers and then regular "attendees" at the show. Much less work for a whole lot of fun!
It was incredible seeing so many big-name performers at one show... and they were all pretty amazing to hear. (If you watched the show on TV or online, the sound quality doesn't equal how full and LOUD everything was in person.)

I had a few favorite moments at the show: On the red carpet, Josh Groban was smiling and waving to us, and then he mouthed a cheesy line, "You raise me up." Ha! Another favorite moment was watching Sugarland do a bluegrass version of "Irreplaceable"... and then have Beyonce join them onstage to sing! You can watch that here.

Jonas Brothers. Heard of them? Apparently every girl under the age of 15 years old has. The boys themselves range in age from 14 to 17 years old, so they all looked REALLY young. They also struck me as VERY full of themselves pleased to have such obsessed adoring fans. With all the hype they were getting from squealing female fans, I was really interested to see their performance... Which leads me to a clip of another favorite part of the night: Joe Jonas falling at the beginning of their song. Jimmy Kimmel (the host) even cracked a joke about it when the performance was over.

As I did for the SAG Awards, I created a list of everyone I saw during the experience. My other favorite performances were the singing and orchestration of Rihanna & Ne-Yo and the dancing of Chris Brown & T-Pain.

Yay for L.A. entertainment opportunities!

Friday, November 09, 2007


This post is for the Faith+Film blog-a-thon, hosted by RC of StrangeCulture. Hopefully, I’m able to combine the two into a blog post for your reading pleasure!

Christmas is nearing. How do I know? The stores all tell me so.

I’m sure everyone’s heard of the “commercialization of Christmas” and how it detracts from the real reason Christians celebrate, but it’s easy to get sucked into the pattern of buying “stuff” around this time of year. Jon and I had a discussion wondering why we spent designated amounts of money on gifts for people who turned around and spent the same designated amount on gifts for us. Why not donate the money in their name instead? I understand that idea, but it’s hard to not want to shower gifts on people you care about (especially for me, who loves giving – but can’t really afford it!).

I recently received an email about a free screening of What Would Jesus Buy? produced by Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me fame). I doubt I’ll be able to make it to the free showing, but the idea of the film is interesting to me. It’s a “documentary” (in a loose sense) that focuses on materialism and over-consumption in American culture, specifically around Christmas time. This is viewed [per Wikipedia] “through the prism of activist/performance artist Bill Talen, who goes by the alias of "Reverend Billy," and his troupe of activists, whose street theater 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.”
You can view the trailer here:

This “buy buy buy” message sadly rang true for those televangelists caught in another unfortunate scandal that reflects poorly on Christians. This recent news article names those who are being investigated for money fraud and misspending funds to support their lavish lifestyles.

On the other end of the money “spectrum” is one of my favorite Christmas movies, Muppet Christmas Carol. Instead of overspending, Ebenezer Scrooge is a money-hoarder. He views himself as thrifty and frugal, but the world sees differently. As we know from the story, after a few time-warping ghost visitations, Scrooge gleefully gives presents to strangers, embraces relationships, and buys a feast for a needy family.

[In the Muppet version, that part holds my favorite exchange (from how I remember it):
Scrooge, from the window, “I’ll give you a shilling to fetch me that turkey in the window of the corner shop!”

Bean Bunny, on the street, “You mean the one as big as me? Be serious!”]

So. Where is the middle ground of these two extremes? Obviously, generosity is different when you don’t expect a return. And I know we’re instructed to be “joyful givers”, but we’re also supposed to be responsible with how the money is used. So where we’re giving it matters. It’d be easy to hand a buck to the homeless panhandler on the corner and feel like we made a difference in that person’s life. Well, we did - maybe for a minute - but they’re going to continue standing on that corner everyday thereafter still. (I know – I see them there day in and out!) It would be more beneficial to give the buck(s) to organizations that really help those folks – meeting their real needs and helping them back on their feet. So though we feel like Scrooge if we refuse to give them our money at the corner, we should feel rich and privileged that we can afford to support places that are truly making a difference.

Just my two cents. Thanks to RC for the Faith+Film blog-a-thon!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Date Night

On Monday evening (pre-illness for me), Jon and I were very excited to go on a date! In recent weeks, we haven't had time with the just two of us where we actually spent money to go out. :) Because it was a planned occasion, I was happy anticipating it during the work day. I came home giddy, "Our date! Let's go!"

We walked down to Old Town Pasadena for dinner, frozen yogurt, and store-browsing. I meant to take pictures of our evening, but I was too into it to remember. So I just have this one of us leaving our apartment...

Friday, November 02, 2007


As some of you know, I’ve been sick for much of this week. The kind of sick where you head inexplicably fills up with mucus and your voice becomes froggy. The kind of sick where nights consist of sleep in 2-hour increments, pounding sinuses and frequent water drinking. The kind of sick where I feel guilty for waking up my husband with my nose blowing and restlessness, and I can't kiss him. I even went home early from work yesterday because I felt so miserable.

Last night I took Nyquil before bed. This morning is a whole different Grete. One who’s slept a full night – no interruptions – and actually has energy again. While the mucus hasn’t exited (hence a still-toady voice), it also now isn’t as much of a bother. Why didn’t I buy some Nyquil earlier in the week?!