What To Do When You Escape “Room”

'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in “Room.” (Ruth Hurl/Element Pictures)

The tension watching the movie “Room” is incredibly palpable. You can’t help but cheer for Jack and his Mom to escape the tiny shed their captor has trapped them in for years.

The performances – and the movie itself – are haunting, gripping, and deserving of all the award-season praise they received.

You feel the claustrophobia and the dread sinking in as the movie confines you to the same space they’ve been confined in. There are no flashbacks. No glances outside the room. Nothing but the grim misery of life inside “Room” as Jack and Ma try to come up with their escape plan.

As one such plan is set in motion my wife and I were literally yelling at the TV in nervous agony.

Warning – Spoilers for the movie follow after the jump:

Continue reading

Why You Should Let Go Of Your Crap

FullSizeRender-4My dog The Roc gets walked 3 times a day. He goes to the bathroom on every trip. Multiple times.

Seriously – I can’t understand how this 20 lb. Min Pin can carry around so much waste inside of his tiny body.

At my old house this wasn’t such a big deal. There was plenty of space to let Roc do his business. I could also let him out in the backyard when necessary.

But at our new apartment in Atlanta there are no woods. There are no big grassy areas. Just a few patches of public walking space.

So 3 times a day I get to bend over with a green baggy and pick up my dog’s mess. Continue reading

X-Men: Overcoming The Days Of Failure Past

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What sets the X-Men apart from a lot of other superheroes is their origin story.

Unlike many other comic book characters, the X-Men are born with their powers.

There are no spider bites, no dramatic deaths of family members, no gamma radiation.

The X-Men are mutants. Their superpowers are part of who they are and always have been.

With that, each mutant has a choice to make when they discover their power: will they use it for good or for evil? Continue reading

Why Your Life Is Not A Soap Opera

Gl92Every day when my Mom came home from work one thing was certain – she was going to watch her soap opera. Most of the time I watched it with her. 

She was a religious fan of “Guiding Light” for as long as I can remember being alive. She set the VCR every morning and hit play every afternoon. Usually I sat on the floor playing with my wrestling toys as she watched (my own personal soap opera I suppose).

“Guiding Light” – like most soaps – was a pretty crazy show. There was your usual soapy drama – hookups, power plays, murder.

Then it got REAL crazy. People came back from the dead. There were twins with two different fathers. There was even a human clone. (The clone storyline was my favorite.)

My mom watched “Guiding Light” for as long as I can remember. She stuck around to the bitter end as aired its final episode in 2009. I have to admit, I grew pretty attached to the show too.

But I think sometimes we make our lives too much like soap operas.  Continue reading

How To Escape Your Groundhog Day

Groundhog_Day_(movie_poster)Have you ever watched “Groundhog Day”?

I think people underrate the Bill Murray comedy from 1993 because of the goofy title. But if you see it on cable this weekend, stop and watch. I bet you’ll get sucked in.

Bill Murray’s character finds himself stuck reliving the most inane day possible, over and over and over again. He can’t escape the day until he the universe deems he made all the right choices with his life.

It’s easy to get stuck in your own version of “Groundhog Day” – reliving the same mistakes over and over and over again. Continue reading

Is The World Getting Worse?

bill_gates_annual_letter_0I once heard a pastor say the world today is worse off than it was 50 years ago.

In fact I’ve read many men wiser than me say there’s more sin in the world today than ever before.

I’m not sure if I agree with them. 

Bill Gates doesn’t agree with them either. This week Gates released his annual letter on the state of our world. It’s a pretty enlightening read. Check it out at GatesLetter.com.

Gates uses the letter to debunk some myths about poverty. He writes that average incomes are rising in almost every country, and that our perspectives on poverty and foreign aid are outdated. Many of these improvements are a direct result of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been,” Gates writes.

I’m not sure if I agree with him either.  Continue reading

Do You Wear The Black Hat?

“The villain is the person who knows the most and cares the least.” – Chuck Klosterman, I Wear The Black Hat

In his new book I Wear The Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman writes about villains both real and imaginary. As with everything he writes, Klosterman’s book is an inventive and thought-provoking examination peeling back layers of pop culture to reveal truths that seem obvious until you realize you never realized them before. (There’s a particularly interesting discussion about what would happen if a real life Batman began to fight crime.)

But what sticks out the most is Klosterman’s main theory: A villain is a person who knows the most and cares the least. If you know all the facts about a particular situation, if you know what harm your actions will bring and you simply do not care what happens, then you are a villain in your story.

In a roundabout way, I Wear The Black Hat reminds me of another book about story: Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Continue reading

The Most Embarrassing Situation Known To Man

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photo-dictionary.com

There may be no more embarrassing situation than purchasing a plunger at 2 in the morning.

Because there can only ever be one reason to buy a plunger at 2 in the morning: your toilet is overflowing, and it cannot wait.

You can’t buy a plunger in privacy. You can’t just order one off Amazon and wait a couple of weeks (or even just a couple of days if you have Amazon Prime). If your house isn’t prepared with a plunger already, you would only buy one when you really need it.

I ran into a friend in Walmart the other night doing just this. We didn’t say anything about the plunger in his hand. We both knew.

There’s no way to hide buying a plunger at 2 in the morning. And you shouldn’t have to. We’ve all been there.

You shouldn’t have to hide any of the other crap you have backed up in your life either. We all have sins and secrets, the things we do at 2 in the morning we’re embarrassed and ashamed of.

If we all have secrets, then whey do we try to so hard to hid them? And why do we ever try to hide them from God? It’s not like God doesn’t know what we’re struggling with. We act like we can keep it from him.

You can’t. Your life is on record. You are on camera at all times. There is no moment in your life you can hide. Continue reading

Argo – A (Best) Picture Of Grace

slate.com

slate.com

Did they deserve it?

As Argo walked away with the Best Picture trophy at this year’s Oscars, I kept asking myself the question, “Did they deserve it?”

Not the Best Picture award itself. I really enjoyed the movie, especially the nail-biting tension of the final twenty minutes (though I’m not sure if I’d have voted it Best Picture).

I’m talking about the “heroes” of the true story depicted in the movie – the six hostages rescued from Iran through an incredible mission disguised as a location scout for a fake movie.

Did they deserve it? Did they deserve to be rescued? Continue reading