December 31, 2005

Fun with Dick and Lay, I mean Jane

Some bloggers do spoilers, some do witty satires, some do critical reviews, I just spout my immediate reaction of a film.

Once again I made the epic, and sure to be repeated again (to be redundantly redundant), mistake of not reading anything about Fun with Dick and Jane before entering the theater to see the film. (I blame the fact that I was on the East Coast and was disconnected from my movie critic base.)

All I knew going in was: Movie probably based on the books. Jim Carrey is funny. I like Tea Leoni. Well, mostly I have a major crush on her husband, but that's beside the point.

Fun with Dick and Jane starts off innocently enough: White, middle to upper class, suburban parents working hard at their respective careers (travel agent and corporate salesman) to provide for their son who is also cared for by a live in, Mexican nanny. This, of course, results in the little boy speaking Spanglish and using a Mexican accent often when speaking English. (This, I found hilarious because I was a governess to a family in a similar situation--white little boy, Spanish accent.)

Well, soon things start looking up for the family. Dick has been tapped, by the president of his company, as the new Vice President of Communications. Dick is thrilled. Dick is so excited that he tells his wife to quit her job so she can spend time with their son, which she does.

Next thing you know, he is told by the president that he is going on "Moneyline" (a CNN type television show) to put a "positive spin" on what's been going on with the company. He has no prep time. They throw talking points at him just before he goes on air. A Lou Dobbs type character begins to interrogate Dick as to why the president of his company has recently sold 80% of his stock in the company. Dick, of course, looks like a deer in headlights. Dobbs guy continues on with the Spanish Inquisition, Dick continues to look like a bumbling idiot, and Portia gets a sick feeling that this is all about Enron. Feeling confirmed.

The story continues with the company's stock virtually disappearing in a matter of minutes, thousands of files are shredded, and everyone loses their job. Except, the president is sitting pretty, having foreseen this some time ago. Oh, did I mention the pres. was played by Alec Baldwin? That should have been my first clue this wasn't going to be a right leaning film.

The film ends happy enough. And I thought that the comedy in between was actually quite funny, but it was definitely a bittersweet experience--on the one hand, I thought it was funny, on the other, I was cringing because it was all an underhanded stab at Enron, et al.

To confirm my suspicions, as the credits begin, rather than seeing "Directed by," you see, "Thanks to: Kenneth Lay--Enron" followed by a whole list of others who have been indicted or are going to be for corporate fraud or whatnot.

So, entertainment and politics. Not what I was expecting. And actually made me quite angry since there seemed to be no hint of the subplot in the previews.

You live and learn. Meanwhile, it's funny. So, if you're dying for an okay comedy, rent it. Don't spend $9.00 on it. I don't like backhanded criticisms masqueraded as children's book stories.

Posted by Portia at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2005

Devastating News

This morning, Dennis Prager has announced that he and his wife of 17 years are getting divorced. I'm utterly devasted for him, Fran and his children. Mr. Prager, as most of you know, has been one of the most powerful and profound influences on my teenage and adult life. My heart goes out to his family during this time.

In no way is his influence diminished in my mind, but I am saddened that a man of such great wisdom and strength is going through something like this.

It's not often you cry while listening to talk radio. Callers have said that they feel as though their own family has been devastated, and I couldn't agree more. People like Dennis have a real knack for working their way straight into your heart. The only other living man, outside my family, who has this influence on my life is my mentor and pastor Sy Goraieb. I am very close with Sy and have never met Dennis, but I know that this news from either source would hit me just as hard. That's the bond Prager's listeners feel with him.

If you haven't made listening to Dennis (or reading his columns) a habit, I couldn't recommend it more.

Posted by Portia at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 29, 2005

I Prefer...Five Neurotic Habits of Ingenius People

Larry of fame beckons, and I must answer:

“Rules: “The first player of this game starts with the topic “five weird habits of yourself,” and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says “You are tagged” (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.”

And here are the 5 habits of highly neurotic people:

1. Every night that I set my alarm clock, I check it 2-3 times to make sure I set it right. I'm paranoid about my alarm.

2. I must rightly align every crooked picture I see. Asymmetry drives me batty.

3. I cannot use a towel, hand towel or otherwise, that smells like it's been left in the wash too long. Ick.

4. I must, at every opportunity, state my reasons for thinking that hip hop is the lowest form of artistic expression known to man.

5. I always check to see how many C.S. Lewis books a bookstore carries to determine if I like that store.

Revised: I'm adding a sixth one. My friend just told me I did this:
6. Apparently, when I'm making food for myself or others, everything must be perfectly in place. Cheese must fit the bread perfectly, things must be where they're supposed to be. I agree....presentation is everything. :) these make me a genius? I hope so.

I tag:
Mr. Writer
and...Red Guy

Posted by Portia at 04:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 28, 2005

Projection? Or just blurry vision?

It's been said that people often project their own motives and tendencies when assuming the motives of others. I've found this to be quite true in many cases. Often, when people assume that others are lying to them or rejecting them, it is often because that is the natural tendency of the person assuming such things--to lie to and/or reject others. On the flipside, good people often assume that all people have good intentions toward them, leaving them a bit vulnerable to disappointment and possible harm due to naivete.

Liberals assume a great deal about the motives of conservatives, particularly those of non-WASP status. This begs the question, if liberals are so free to assume that Dennis Prager is taking payoffs from Christians because he supports them, that our soldiers routinely torture and murder innocent civilians all over the world, that our president knowingly misled the world about the war, what then does that say about the tendencies and motives of those liberals? If they always assume that decisions are made out of deceit and corruption, could they be projecting their own values, or lack thereof, upon those in positions of power?

Just a thought I've been ruminating on a few years now.

Posted by Portia at 11:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2005

About that time

I'm finally settling down from all my travels and thought that I'd begin to write about my first trip this month, to Waveland, Mississippi.

To start, when I first heard of this trip, I wasn't keen on going only because I knew that it would be really hard work, and sometimes (just sometimes) when I'm pushed to my limits, I can be hard to be around. And I prefer for people to think I'm wonderful, so I said no. At first. Then, the conviction came. I was saying no for the wrong reasons. I threw all the plans before the Lord, sent out support letters and had all my money in 5 days. Then, two days into the trip, I had almost all my money for a second trip I didn't know I'd be taking. I guess God had other plans. He always seems to.

When our plane landed in Gulport, it was clear that we had left Kansas, or Los Angeles. The airport itself seemed to have sustained a great amount of damage. While we were walking out to meet our driver, we saw a great big sign that said, "Thank you to all our volunteers and relief workers. We appreciate your service," (paraphrase) and it hit me again that this wasn't your ordinary trip.

As we drove to the church, we saw thousands of huge oak trees snapped in half, homes and sheds lodged in those trees and debris everywhere. I had expected a dramatic emotional response to everything, but I felt nothing. Just astonishment.

I had been told not to have an agenda, or expectation of a certain activity that we'd participate in. The only thing that I was sure we would do was muck out houses. We actually never did that. The Michigan team did, and boy did they. Those people were incredible.

We came in on a Thursday night, met the rest of our team that flew in from the Sacramento area, ate and went to bed. I woke up the next day at 5:45 a.m. and went running. I just wanted to scope out the damage a little more, and get some exercise in. I think I ran for nearly two miles one way when I realized 1. I was freezing, and 2. I had to run back. I found myself running and running completely blown away by my surroundings. Uprooted trees, homes crushed by uprooted trees, half homes, homes with "Demolish" spray painted on the sides, others with "The South will rise again" spray painted on theirs. It was unlike anything I've ever seen, and I'm afraid I'm doing a poor job of conveying what it truly looked like. You just have to see for yourself.

When I returned, we all ate breakfast and were driven to a house in which we'd finish drywall, mud and tape and sand. We quickly got to work. We didn't have fancy power tools, for the most part. The men had to cut drywall with razors. We did a great deal of sanding with sanding sponges and boy did my arms feel that after a few hours.

I love being underestimated because it just means that people will always be surprised by what I can do. It's probably a pride thing. But no one, except our team leaders, knew that I grew up in a remodel, so consequently the men on the team never thought to ask me if I could mud/tape, etc. Well, I volunteered at one point, and I think it was a pleasant surprise to many that not only could I do so, but I did a bang up job...better than some of the men. :) I'm a showman, I know.

To end this "to be continued" post, here's a picture of some of our team members after working all day on Cheryl's house. More to come. I just don't want to overwhelm you. I'm also setting up a photo album, but all my pictures are on my brother's laptop. Thanks for reading, if you did.

Posted by Portia at 10:34 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 25, 2005

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright


Holly Berries.JPG
The Clayton Manor grounds in Pittsburgh...beautiful.

....And May All Your Christmases Be White....

or if you life in LA, may they be cooler than 80 degrees. :)

Posted by Portia at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 23, 2005

Tips for Travelers

At some point, I'm sure I'll delve deep into my ventures that have seen me in 5 states, three time zones and eight flights in three weeks, but for now, I'm slowly recovering from all that activity, so posting will be slightly superficial--just for the time being.

Here's a little travel advice for everyone:

If you're traveling alone, some valuable advice:
1. Pick aisle seats. When nature calls, it's really hard to climb over linebackers who are in deep sleep. Window seats: great in theory.

2. If you're female, you should know that I noticed that handsome men often pick exit row seats. Great fun.

If you're a Californian traveling outside the state:
1. Ask for non-smoking. I know, we haven't had to do that for years now, but if you don't want your clothes to reek, remember that.

2. Don't assume run-of-the-mill leather gloves will cut it in 14 degree weather. Big mistake.

All travelers:
1. Don't mess with bitter, TSA X-ray machine workers. I swear they planted something in my bag at LAX. Don't get me started.

2. Try not to return at rush hour. Shuttles get stuck in traffic, leaving you standing there, on the curb with all your luggage...for an hour. Won't go there either.

3. Make sure you don't drink too much water before the flight. That take-off can seem eternal otherwise.

4. If you slip and fall, face planting in the snow, stand up, brush yourself off and take a bow.

Finally, to end this ridiculous post, the three things I've missed most about being away from this blue state that, warts and all, I love:
1. Organic health food
2. Sleep
3. Time alone with Jesus

That's all for now. I'm sure no one's reading this anyway with all the holiday activity. Merry Merry Christmas!!

God bless you all.

Posted by Portia at 10:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Running through my mind

I've just been informed by Mac that my exercise philosophy (that just came to me while running) is a worthy blog post, and being that I've neglected my little site for so long, I thought anything would suffice.

So here it goes--My Philosophy: Why I'll Always Have Reason to Exercise.
(Warning: Maureen Dowd, or anyone that thinks she's worth reading, will not approve of the following message. Let it be known that this blog owner thinks men are far more than necessary. I'm very pro-men.)

1. I'm single and want to attract an attractive man.

2. Once said man is attracted, I want him to remain attracted

3. Once married, after babies, I'll need energy to keep up with the little darlings

4. Also, with babies comes baby fat. That'll need to go.

5. My man's mid-life crisis. (Gotta think pro-actively.)

6. My mid-life crisis.

7. It just makes me feel good.

And those 7 Highly Effective Habit forming ideas are all I need to keep hitting the pavement.

And lose a few pounds accrued by the Mississippi southern cooking/Pittsburgh comfort food and holiday 3,000 calorie meals.

Merry Christmas!! Eat, drink and be merry! Then run it all off. :)

Posted by Portia at 07:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 22, 2005

Luckily, she was COMING INTO LAX

You know, maybe Portia won't be so upset about that hour she wasted in Atlanta when she reads about these people's 45-Hour Delay:

It started Monday when their first plane blew a tire on takeoff, dumped fuel over the ocean and circled back to Los Angeles International Airport to land in a spray of sparks, shedding 200 pounds of rubber and metal on the runway.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Air India passengers tried again, settling into a different jumbo jet with "Your Palace in the Sky" scrolled in red script near the tail. This time, one of the engines wouldn't start. For about five hours, travelers sat in the sweltering plane. Flight attendants locked up the drinks. Some passengers staged a mini revolt.

Finally, passengers were taken off the plane and bused to a hotel, arriving at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. They overwhelmed the front desk, and some did not get to bed until 4 a.m.
Posted by Macabee at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This Is What a Lady Looks Like

I make no bones about liking smart women. More to the point, I like women who are smart, and have standards. And while that's cut me out of a lot of relationships, it's also kept me from getting into bad circumstances. I guess you could say, I have standards.

It's something that I've seen whittled away in America; those standards. It seems like if you have high moral standards, you're an outcast. While it seems to me to be backwards, I'm seeing it all over your culture.

Charmaine Yoest posts this story at National Review Online on this same thing. Somehow, "feminism" is more about sexual liberation than it is about empowerment.

It's a sad irony that a movement that was supposed to elevate the position of women in society so frequently devolves into vulgarity and an obsession with indiscriminate sexual access and experimentation. Being a feminist in this century has required signing on to the project of defining-down feminine virtue.

But there is an alternative vision: Women used to pride themselves in being ladies. The concept involved a whole lot more than just avoiding white shoes after Labor Day and sitting with your knees together.

I'm learning a lot about strong women, even as a card-carrying member of the International Society of Male Chauvinist Pigs. Charmaine goes on to give Lady Margaret Thatcher, one of the great leaders of our time, as an example of what the feminist ideal should be. But that doesn't fit in with the agenda.

Has anybody watched that Commander-in-Chiefette show? No? Might be because it's just another liberal fantasy of what a woman President (not named Condoleezza) would be.

Go read Charmaine Yoest National Review Online, and think about the true meaning of feminist.

Posted by Macabee at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2005

Patriot Act Extended Six Months

Does anybody else find it odd that Congress is working this close to Christmas? I think so. But Stop The ACLU points out that the Patriot Act has been extended another six months.

I've already said pretty much all I care to on the subject, but it's good to know that this got extended. Look, I'm not a great fan of government having the power to get all over my stuff. But, then again, even if they do, I'm not doing anything illegal, anyways.

Extending the Patriot Act is a good thing, and it keeps us safe.

Michelle Malkin, as usual, will have constant updates.

Posted by Macabee at 07:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This week's fashionably late Cotillion is up at Common Sense Runs Wild. And I'm linking to it. 'Cause Portia Rediscovered is in the Cotillion, and whatnot.

I'm linking to it, even though, as many of you may know, I'm a man. MacStansbury...not Portia. Maybe I should've said that first. You could've got that from the "Posted by MacStansbury" down at the bottom of this post, but I wanted to be clear.

See, the Cotillion is this group of really great, woman writers. Again, I'm not one of them, just rambling on my simple explanation. In fact, I'm not in the Cotillion twice!

But...enough of me. Go. Now.

Posted by Macabee at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Democrats can be funny

A man was in hospice, and made a stunning declaration: he wanted to change his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. The family was stunned, as he'd been a staunch supporter of the Republicans for decades. They struggled with the decision, as their patriarch was obviously delusional.

The family came to the decision that they wouldn't change it, even at the request of a man on his deathbed. The man was insistent. It grieved the family that his time was so close, yet he wanted do something so bizarre.

The man's son was chosen as the spokesman, and explained to the man that they weren't going to change his party affiliation now. The man raised out of his bed with a passion and spirit they hadn't seen in some time. Then, with fire in his eyes, he said, "if I'm going to die, I want them to lose a voter, not us!"

The son pulled out his cell-phone and called the registrar.

Posted by Macabee at 08:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Blogs 4 Life

So, Portia's on vacation, and so she sends me here to blog for her. I got nothing, I mean NOTHING in my head right now (take that however you want), and so I'm struggling for ideas. Luckily, Charmaine Yoest had something for me. She points to Blogs4Life, who has this as their stated goal:

Blogs4Life focuses on the strategic use of the blogosphere and weblog technology to communicate a Christian pro-life message that will engage the postmodern culture, heal the broken hearted, catalyze change and motivate action. Special emphasis is placed upon blogging activities that reach and impact the local or grassroots level.

Whether you know it or not, I'm extremely Pro-Life. Like, really Pro-Life. If anyone believe in the sanctity of life, how could you sponsor the taking of it in as a matter of convenience?

Now, I'm quite aware that there are medical reasons in which an abortion must be performed. You've got to ask yourself, when was the last time you heard about somebody getting an abortion because the mother's life was in danger? I've never heard about it.

Then again, I'm not a medical expert. Neither are the majority of Americans. But, a few people in black robes took away the right for us to decide that issue.

If you want to know more about this, there's information for how to get involved if you click the extended entry.

I took this strait from Blogs4Life:

Help make the first Pro-Life Blog Conference a successful one. How can you help?

1) You can put up a post along with the logo on your site about the convention.

2) You can put one of our logos in the sidebar of your site and keep it there until the conference is over.

Click here for links to the logos

3) Tell everyone you know can about the conference and encourage them to take part.

Posted by Macabee at 09:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 16, 2005

How to play it safe

This was inspired by some guy outside the card store I went to Wednesday. He was witnessing. I found it odd, for some reason, that a man would witness, here, in the mall.

It got me thinking...I'm playing it safe. Trust me, it's easy to play it safe. It'

So, here goes:

Don't take chances
Don't look for opportunities
Stay with what you know
Don't go out of your comfort zone
Stay within your limits
Dream small
Don't dream
Do what other people think you should
Stop paying attention when you hear "Yemen" or "Darfur"
Don't register to vote
Walk down the aisle...after the next verse, if there is one...

My friend Alli shared her perspective:

The only way to play anything safe is not to do it; anything worth starting should be worth getting a little damaged over.

Is that important? That we fight for something, so much that we'd even come out worse for the effort? That we could consider breaking ourselves, just to prove a point?

Some background on Alli, she's blind, permanently dislocated her shoulder and finish the season, and she's brilliant. During her senior season, she hurt her shoulder, but didn't stop swimming. She knew going to a doctor would've ended her career.

That's what athletes do, they break themselves to accomplish a goal. I'll never understand what make athletes tick, or why we just can't stop. You have to finish the have to finish the race.

I stuck it out in Iraq for 5 months with a broken neck and arthritic back. I couldn't leave, no matter how stressful. It wasn't safe, but I couldn't stop.

Every night while she was on that mission trip in Mississippi, working those long days rebuilding houses, Portia would make it a point to tell me how tired she was.* I was jealous, what with my strep throat and all, I wanted to be there, I just couldn't be there. There's something to be said for being in the trenches.

It still strikes me as funny, my reaction. The guy, witnessing in the mall, he wasn't playing it safe. He was taking a risk, and I thought he was doing something out of the ordinary.

Then again, he wasn't, was he? But I'm sure there's no way he could do anything but finish his own race. So, yeah, he inspired me, too.

I think that qualifies as him winning the race, don't you?

*UPDATE: Clarified that Portia is not a wimp.

Posted by Macabee at 11:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 15, 2005

A conversation that may or may not have happened

Between me and Portia's little* brother:

Mac: I've just come up with the definitive differentiation betwixt LOTR and Narnia: 100% more lion, and 200% more beavers

PC: forgot about the 100% more IceQueen

Mac: there's a joke about Eowyn in there somewhere...

Yeah, that's the quality entertainment you get while Portia's on vacation.

*UPDATE: By "little" I meant younger, not small. He's actually, like, over 6' or something. Just wanted to clarify.

Posted by Macabee at 10:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 14, 2005

Waveland Update

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for an East Coast vacation, but I thought I owe it to you all to at least give you a short recap of the events that I participated in while in Mississippi.

First of all, it's so hard to describe the utter devastation and destruction that Waveland experienced. While driving to the church we would be staying at, I saw thousands upon thousands of huge oak trees just snapped in half, as though they were toothpicks. It was then that I realized that I had no frame of reference for what had occurred prior to my coming. It was really difficult to process. I had thought that I would have an extremely emotional reaction, you know, being female and all, but I had no reaction whatsoever. I just kept thinking, "Dear God, what happened?"

Closer to the Gulf shoreline is where we started to see the damage in the residential areas. Houses had been picked up and thrown hundreds of yards, to land in trees and on the side of highways. Trees had fallen to totally crush others, and some just didn't exist anymore. It was eerie to see brick steps leading up to a home that no longer was there.

We drove along the coastline to get to the church and that's where I saw poles in random places jutting out of the water. Poles that once held piers. The Gulf Coast is beautiful. Ironically, it's extremely calm. It was nearly unfathomable to think that a 30+ foot wave hit this place. They said they rarely, if ever, get two foot waves.

It was difficult to see such tragedy and know that it's not in the news anymore. People have totally forgotten this place or have lost interest. That is, people as a whole. Many churches have not.

I met the most wonderful people from churches all over the United States. Mars Hill's church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sent teams of twenty somethings week in and week out. And these people were work horses. It was so awesome to see my peers from all over this great nation giving up time from work and family to help perfect strangers. And you'd be hard pressed to hear a single complaint come from any of their lips. They, and we, loved being there.

I met people from a Hope Chapel in Hawaii. Others from Tennessee and one amazing man, Bryce, drove all the way out from Chicago to help since his church, Willowcreek (Bill Hybels' church), is taking the month of December off in terms of sending volunteers. He didn't want to wait, so he drove out himself, stayed for as long as he could and drove back for business meetings awaiting him.

The unity of the churches there is something I've never seen before. I've never seen Baptists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, etc work so well together, and not rival each other, in any way.

Another amazing aspect of the trip was just simply standing back and watching how God provided for the people of Waveland. I came in one day from the distribution tent and said, "Dabney, these people need blankets. They're freezing in their little trailers. We need to get blankets." The next day, four huge boxes of blankets arrived, sent all the way from Hawaii. We didn't have to do a thing. I simply voiced a concern/need and some wonderful angel swept my words up to the ear of God our Provider, and BAM, need met. There were basically a dozen of those circumstances on this one week trip.

I'll stop here for now. I have much to say. I won't do a blow by blow, since Mac handled that wonderfully. I'll simply give overall, "Portia's Final Thoughts," on the trip and what we accomplished.

Thank you all for your support. I plan on going back next month to help again. Keep you posted on that as well.

Posted by Portia at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2005

Portia's next movie review

Image Hosted by .mac since sucks
Click to get bigger image

Stole from here again.

Posted by Macabee at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

More on Narnia

I thought this comment was worth posting and responding to for all to see because some great questions are raised in it.

Just happened to find your blog by semi-accident.  I'd like to know what you thought of the "middle" part, and your thoughts on how they changed the part of the story from when the children find the Beavers to the point that they first see Aslan.

I understand their desire to "jazz things up" and inject more action/drama into the middle of the film.  In the book this part is an important anchor to the story, where the children who were hesitant to stay in Narnia were persuaded by the Beavers to help.

In particular, Mr. Beaver's description of Aslan was undercut, and their journey in the film was short and intense rather than long, somewhat difficult but not nearly so dangerous as described in the book.  I suppose that's part of Hollywood and the need to add pizzazz.

It's funny you should mention the "middle part" because my friend and I both said that it wasn't nearly as interesting to us as the beginning and the end. We both felt it was slow and long, so I thought it was a bit true to the book in that regard, minus the icy river scene. I think if they had made the journey really as true to form as the book had described it, no one would come back to see the movie. I fully understand your point, but can you imagine a Cast Away-like Narnia film? I felt it was long enough at 2 hours, 10 minutes. But I do see your point.

As far as the description of Aslan, I do agree that it was a bit lacking as was the explanation of Father Christmas. Those who have not read the book would think it was a random encounter with Santa Claus. That's one of the reasons that I thought it strange they didn't use a narrator.

So, okay, here are a few more details they could have explained better as well. In the movie, it was unclear what was going on as far as the trade between Jadis and Aslan. Not until afterward was it understood that he took his place, in my opinion. I've read the book probably 10 times, and the book gives you a better feel for the sacrifice Aslan makes to take Edmond's place.

Also, in the book, Edmond becomes so gluttonous when he first meets the queen that he begins to stuff his face with Turkish Delight and forgets to call her "Your Majesty" and becomes quite rude and flippant. That's when she cuts off his supply. I wish they had shown that.

And the Father Christmas thing could have been explained much better. I don't even think anyone ever called him that.

Liam Neeson as the choice for Aslan was a bit annoying, too. His voice is perfect, don't get me wrong, but the man has been in so many movies lately that it was hard not to think of him as Batman's trainer, or as a Crusader, or as Obe Wan's dad or whatever he was in Star Wars. I think they could have gone with a no-name actor, but again, his voice was perfect. It's just that it was Rob Roy.

So there are more details. Any more disagreements or questions, I'll probably post them as well, since I think they're worth talking about.

Once again, I did love the movie. I didn't expect them to get all of it in or all of it right because that's what the book is for. I'm happy it's not a perfect substitute. I still highly recommend it.

Posted by Portia at 08:17 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 11, 2005

The Space Between Waveland and Wonderland

The black, bayou mud in Mississippi...

It's been an interesting week and a half. I came home from ravished Mississippi to fall asleep, wake up and go to picture perfect Disneyland one day followed by a manicure/pedicure and screening of Narnia the next. What a strange and sudden transition that was.

I'll start by giving my opinion on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, since I know you're dying for it. To preface my thoughts on the movie, you must know that I am a tremendous fan of this series. I read them multiple times as a little girl and was so captured by the possibility of a magical world that I used to go to the back of my wooden wardrobe, close my eyes and pray as hard as I could that Jesus would make Narnia appear. I've since gotten over my bitterness. On top of that, as an adult, C.S. Lewis has to be the greatest literary and theological influence on my life (aside from the Bible). Suffice it to say, there were a few, deep expectations I had going into the theater.

But I tried as hard as I might to not expect too much, since that always seems to end in disappointment. My dear friend and I went to a child infested theater, hoping they wouldn't get too out of hand, and tried to stifle our excitement, as, you know, we're the adults in the room.

I'll skip to the good part: I loved it. It was just as fantastic and magical as I'd always imagined. The WETA Workshop boys have done it again. The animation was incredible, the acting was wonderful and the scenery was just as it should have been: breathtaking.

I fielded a few complaints entering the movie. My good friend and fellow Lewis buff told me he was dissatisfied with the witch. He had hoped she'd be more overtly evil. I, however, loved her portrayal. I thought it a little more evil--appearing as a kind, loving monarch and turning out to be Satan incarnate.

I was a bit surprised that there wasn't a narrator. The reason being that I had become accustomed to hearing Lewis' voice in my head as I read those books. A great deal of context is given through the third person, but I thought the director did a great job of filling in the holes where that was concerned. The opening scene was one such instance of providing context for the viewers.

I don't want to give too much away in terms of details. All I'll say is that it is absolutely worth your money. I'm sure I'll see it at least once more in the theaters. I've also found out that it ranks third for 2005 weekend box office gross. I'm quite happy about that.

I've heard many say that Lewis would not have wanted his book to be adapted to film. I'm sure they're right, but I have to say that I sincerely believe that even he would be impressed. It was a beautiful film. I do hope, though, that people who have not read the books will be inspired to do so now. I'm sure Lewis would disagree with a film adaptation purely on the principle that children now may forego reading for watching a movie. I would fully agree with that concern. But I hope that doesn't become the case. My hope is that it's simply a supplement that fulfills the imagery inside the heads of millions of children and those who once were.

See the movie. And forgive my vague review, or endorsement. I'm still quite exhausted, so if there are any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes, I beg your pardon.

Posted by Portia at 10:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

Road to Recovery long.

I feel like I got hit by a train. My trip is catching up with me, and I'm waiting until my arms move voluntarily and the syntax of my sentences is correct until I update. My apologies. I didn't expect these last few days to be so hard.

Pictures and posts to come. Most likely Monday. In the meantime, you can read all about my trip from Mac's updates, and you can vote for me by clicking on the logo for the Weblog Awards.


Posted by Portia at 10:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

While we wait for Portia to return

Just a brief write-up on how things are going in The Weblog Awards. And, we're all tickled pink to be chosen as one of the finalist. I say that, because we ain't nowhere near gonna win this thing.

But that's really not the point, now is it? It's all about getting the recognition from our peers. Also, it's about finding new blogs that do really good things. And it's really interesting, sometimes, how God puts people in your path.

Remember when I told you about how Rightwingsparkle was trying to get past The Rebelution? Well, the vote has tightened up after RWS begged for votes over at Ace of Spades HQ, but, since they're homeschoolers, know what they say about homeschoolers...

Sort of like the division I'm in, it's really a two-dog race. However, these are two really good blogs, with quality people doing the Lord's work. But that doesn't excuse you from voting! Let Portia feel the love, and keep voting, everyday!

(...and if anybody knows some extremely large Church with thousands of members that could vote en masse, it would really make my day...)

Linked at Wizbang | All Things Beautiful

Posted by Macabee at 08:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 08, 2005


Okay, so Portia's back in California, and getting unwound, and loungin' on the couch with her brother. So, naturally I ask if I can come over...and she's all like "no, you can't come over here." More specifically:

Well, it's not my fault you live in the backwoods of Georgia

Geez! All this work I done 'round here, and that's the thanks I get? Being two time-zones away in California is no reason to be snobs. I'd offer you folks to come over to my house if the situation were reversed. Manners are dead, it seems.


Posted by Macabee at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

Portia's...something that starts with a p

After all this Weblog Awards business, personal business, and trying to hold down three websites, Portia comes home tomorrow. Exhausted. And with memories.

She'll be back soon, saying something. I'm glad I had the opportunity to tell you about her experiences as they happened, what with my limited grammatical abilities. But it will be good to have our Portia back.

Don't forget to vote with the link up there on the top right, and to keep coming back here everyday. Keep doing that, and there's more Photoshopped pics of great pieces of cultural significance, okay?

(And, for the record...who is the Michelangelo guy? I thought he was one of them turtle guys?)

Posted by Macabee at 10:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fine Art For Wednesday

And they said I didn't know culture.

Image Hosted by

Just doing my part to keep up the class in this joint.

Found here

Posted by Macabee at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

Portia's Portable

It's her cellphone, or, as they called it in the 80s, a portable phone. I thought that a rather clever pun, really, but it's because she lost her internet connection, and we're back to text messaging.

Not that I didn't try to call her. I did. But my phone JUST DOESN'T WANT TO WORK! I have no idea why, but it's evil. An evil Palm Treo 650.


But you didn't come here to hear me rant about my phone, you came here to see my conversation with Rightwingsparkle. No, seriously, you did. I'll explain.

All Portia did was finish mudding windows, which she said was a pain (please catch that pun), and there's the afore mentioned internetlessness. She text-messaged me about it, and I told her I had other stuff involving her blog, so she didn't need to sweat it. Well, for blog-content, anyways.

Rightwingsparkle hits me up on the AIM to see how my internet blog woman chasing was going, to which I had to remind her that nobody needs to know about that. If someone where to let that word get out, my already tenuous grip on a good reputation will be lost forever. She was also complaining about how the Weblog Awards were going to "some freakin teenagers!"

Actually, they are known as The Rebelution, and are the younger brothers of Joshua Harris, author of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." Them teenagers. But when we started talking about serious matters, I learned some other things about the people from the region.

I think it is cool that she is helping out

That was what RWS told me about what Portia is doing. RWS comes from Mississippi, and like a lot of us, moved away. But our hearts still live somewhere in the Magnolia State, and we have concerns. In fact, there are now Hurricane Katrina refugees where RWS now lives.

Hopefully she'll get some more internet, or at least my phone will work again so you can hear more of what Portia is doing.

Posted by Macabee at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

The joys of posting words out of context

Portia just text messaged me this:

I got plastered and mud-wrestled like mad-woman today

Sure, what she meant was the she was finishing off drywall instillation. You mud the walls you put the drywall up, you seal the seems between the sheets with mud. It's important to make it as flat as possible, so that it looks smooth when it comes time to paint.

If, for some INSANE reason, you want to know more, this site shows the basics of drywall installation. I can only imagine that Portia Rediscovered is going to drop the theme of arts, literature, and world travel to become more like "This Old House."

Yeah, Bob...we're going to start by getting some floor-mounted electric baseboards to replace all these space heaters...

Posted by Macabee at 04:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Your Prayertime

Please pray for our team and all the other teams in the surrounding area. It's pouring rain and that makes life really difficult for those who are in tents, for those who are cooking for 500 (there's a camp in Pass Christian that cooks for that many daily), and for those who are doing demolition and construction.

I love the rain, but this isn't helpful at all. Thanks guys! And VOTE FOR ME!!!

Posted by Portia at 05:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2005

Portia's Prayertime

Today our intrepid traveler did the casual Sunday. After Church, they went on a little recreational trip:

Well, this morning, we had church (they welcomed us and the Michigan volunteers), then one of the congregants made lunch for us...gumbo...then we took off to New Orleans

Yeah, the Big Easy. The envy is palpable.

Wow, Jackson Square is beautiful. The French Quarter is gorgeous and decadent.

Again, with the envy.

There's still the street performers, even now. And Mardi Gras will carry on, just as normal. The rest of the city is silent, but Bourbon Street still lives, if only with a muted party.

Tomorrow they start again, rebuilding what little they can. Her journey ends on Thursday, but her memories will carry on for years.

Posted by Macabee at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Weblog Awards: Best of the Top 1001 - 1750 Blogs

Good Year

Portia Rediscovered has gained the prestigious honor of being one of the finalists in the 2005 Weblog Awards. It's an honor for me even to be the one to bring it to you, since I'm the one who'd been telling Portia that she's got a good thing going here.

It's an honor, considering there are a lot of other Cotillion members on that very list. They include Maxed Out Mama, Rightwingsparkle, and Girl on the Right! Don't vote for them, though. Vote Portia Rediscovered!

Voting starts tomorrow, and you can vote once per day.

Posted by Macabee at 03:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 03, 2005

Portia's Prowess

As I sit here, in front of my cozy computer, feeling better than I have for weeks, I was taken back by something Portia said tonight to me:

I do love this is beautiful...and tragic

But you wouldn't believe the unity among the churches and how God has provided for them every step of the way, down to the's amazing to me. His care for these people is evident

They are a strong people, but not perfect. It's really a small thing to try to spend a few minutes describing the monumental task the are accomplishing there. But, they are still human. In the comments of yesterday's report, Dee said:

She text messaged us (her parents) this morning; she was on an insulation team--when they got to the house, it had been broken into and thirty rolls of insulation were stolen. Really sad that someone would do that. The team then went to another house where they are mudding and sanding drywall.

She continually is amazed and inspired by the people of Mississippi.

She texted me this morning, telling me that she was a better at mudding and sanding walls than some of the men. Figures that she would have some ability with mud, as much as she slings at me all the time. (Editor's note: while John wants to let it be known that this is a joke, it's also mildly true. Back to being serious, now.)

Tomorrow they are driving to New Orleans, and she's got the camera at the ready. Strangely, she'll be going to an area of less destruction, but more controversy. Portia is no fan of the Governor of Louisiana, or the extremely small trailers the FEMA people have.

She's tired, her back hurts, and she already has plans to come back. There's a reason women have babies.

Posted by Macabee at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where the Streets Have No Name

Hi All,

Just thought I'd do a quick pop in. I am exhausted beyond belief. It's 10:30 p.m. here and I've just now gotten my first break. But I'm loving it.

I would update you on what we're doing, but frankly I don't have the energy, and Mac is really doing a far better job at that.

Please pray for us. Our team is awesome--completely united. We've experienced no bickering, in-fighting, grumbling or anything like that. But we are tired, and it's only the second full day. Please pray that our work multiplies here. Everything we do feels like the smallest drop in the bucket. Pray God makes it bigger.

I've gotta go pass out now. Much love to all of you from Mississippi.

Mac can take it from here...

Posted by Portia at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

Portia's Promise

She told me she'd keep me up to date, and she's kept her promise. She's shown me things from my past...not tattered memories. Old posts where there were piers...piles of bricks where there were pieces of my past.

Portia found some internet tonight. Not a lot...but some. And it was good to talk to her.

She's working hard out there, but she's loving it. So far. Along with the bright optimism, there's the realization that this will take years to fix.

Maybe never.'s amazingly devastated....but the people are incredible

I love how on so many of the homes the phrase "The South will rise again" is spray painted on the front

We've been working on how to relate the story of what she's seeing there. She told me she had to trek through deep mud in the morning to get to a house. I can only imagine how the place looks.

This morning they were taking out appliances from a house so it could be demolished. That close to the ocean, the storm surge would bury houses. They are now unlivable, because of disease and structural damage.

But others aren't so bad, they also prepped another house for interior paint. They have a central working area, set up in tents. Most of the FEMA agents are in small, truck-drawn trailers. Even with the all that they are doing, it's just chipping away.

I asked her about Gulfshore Baptist Assembly, and if it was still in operation. It's right on the coast, so it could, very well, be gone. That would be more memories lost for me.

It's funny, actually. She's going to my world, where I have to show her what to see. So far, it hasn't been pretty.

Posted by Macabee at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Portia's Progress

As our title character begins her journey...mostly after many nights without sleep or sanity...or money, for that help with the devastation in South Mississippi.

She told me about the trip a few weeks ago. I was actually planning on meeting up with her, till real life kept getting in the way. Even now, I'm battling strepthroat. But now I'm her scribe.

At noon this afternoon, I got my first message:

Her: Well, I'm walkin in Memphis...
Me: Happy to hear that. You're about to have so much fun, and work. Revel in it.
Her: In traditional Tennessee fashion, I'll say 'thank ewe'

Being a resident of Tennessee for over 13 years, I'd never heard that. She does tend to kid about how Southern California is cosmopolitan and worldly and wonderful, while the South...has bugs.

But, as much as I tried to tell her what she was getting into, I never could impress her with what she was going to see. You can't feel the enormity until you are inside it. Her next message let me know...she felt it.

Her: I wish I could describe how devastated the area here is...And haven't even gotten to the worst part. I'd say about 70% of the trees are all snapped in half
Me: I can imagine. I can Google up some pics, put up the story tonight
Her:'s starting to get really bad. I will keep you posted.
Her: There are houses and sheds totally uprooted and thrown on tree tops
Me: Don't let is get you down. God is in control here. God is working in this place.
Her: It's hard to not let it get to you. I've never seen anything like this. These people are going to need help for years.

And so, that was her last words to me. I now know that she is in the place where some of my craziest college memories are now crushed, flat, trashed. She will go by places that were once cites.

And, all the while, she will be doing infinitely more that I, her scribe. For that, I am envious.

Posted by Macabee at 11:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Hi, MacStansbury here. Don't be alarmed, I haven't taken over or anything, I'm just covering while Portia's gone on her mission trip. I'll have more from that, later tonight.

But for now, I've got three websites to babysit, so don't expect me to make as much sense as she does. Or even spell words correctly. Or make sense.

Did I mention that I just...sort of...fill in, while the smart people take a break?

Posted by Macabee at 04:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nearly En Route

It's 1:30 a.m., and I need to be at the fly away (shuttle to LAX) in three hours. (So far, it's been a non-stop, 18 hour day.) I have this horrible habit of not sleeping if I have an early flight. I have no idea how badly this will affect my sleep pattern, but it's never been terribly devastating in the past. In fact, it often works to my benefit.

We will arrive in Gulfport tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time. That means it will be dinner time in Mississippi, so I'm hoping we'll just go to bed after that. That'll work perfectly. If we're put to work right when we land, little Portia might have issues with her motor skills.

In the meantime, I've gotta get back to work. I'm trying desperately to help reach deadlines for my online work. I don't want to abandon ship for a one week trip. I'd like to keep up the "good employee" reputation.

I am nearly positive there will be no computer access in Waveland. MacStansbury has agreed to relay messages from ground zero for me. I'm sure my mom will make a guest appearance as well. But you won't hear from me for a solid week, possibly a week and a half.

I'll miss you all. I'm addicted to my fellow bloggers. Have a lovely week.

Posted by Portia at 01:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack