The List

 

It’s been so long since I blogged that I’m a little embarrassed to even show up now. However, a friend posted this question on Facebook yesterday, “To prompt some discussion, wondering what is your favorite movie, or movies for people like me who can’t narrow it down?” I don’t want to be one of those people who posts something ridiculously long in someone’s thread. When I see people do that, I wonder if they’ve escaped from a guarded cell somewhere.

I keep lists of everything. I always have. I’ve even been known to keep a running list of my lists. It’s quite possibly just one more manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or it could be that I just have a lot of things on my mind and not enough room to store them there.

So then, in no particular order, here’s my list of the Best. Movies. Ever!. Your mileage may vary.

Amadeus
The Shining
Flatliners
The Soloist
Misery
Needful Things
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Popeye
Chicago
As Good As It Gets
Christmas Vacation
An Inconvenient Truth
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Way We Were
Sunshine Cleaning
Young Guns
The Sting
Indecent Proposal
The Life and Times of David Gale
K-Pax
The Sixth Sense
Titanic
Somewhere In Time
Insomnia
The Scent of a Woman
Kramer vs. Kramer
Steel Magnolias
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Contact
Walk Like A Man
Everybody Loves Bob
Caddyshack
Jerry Maguire
An Officer And A Gentleman
Grumpy Old Men
Arthur
Beetlejuice
Mrs. Doubtfire
Cocktail
Top Gun
Rain Man
The Butterfly Effect
Seven Pounds
Into the Wild
Pearl Harbor
Kill Bill
Edward Scissorhands
Pleasantville
Patch Adams
Good Morning, Vietnam
Dirty Harry
Death Becomes Her
Big
Charlie Wilson’s War
Cast Away
Forrest Gump
The Hangover
The Terminal
Apollo 13
Splash
Peggy Sue Got Married
The Royal Tenenbaums
Martian Child
High Fidelity
Runaway Jury
Serendipity
Being John Malkovich
Funny People
Phenomenon
Michael
Pulp Fiction
The Waterboy
50 First Dates
Happy Gilmore
Billy Madison
Peggy Sue Got Married
The War of The Roses
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Planes Trains and Automobiles
Father of The Bride
The Bridges of Madison County
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Wag the Dog
The Manchurian Candidate
House of Cards
My Girl
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Lilies of the Field
The Muse
Paper Moon
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Harold and Maude
Fargo
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Just my Lynnterpretation.

Stuff That Really Works

 

Sometimes marketing claims are legit, but sometimes they’re just a lot of empty hype and it’s hard to tell the difference. Since I’ve been around a while now and since I’m always looking for the best products in just about every category, I decided to share a few reviews of well, stuff that really works. Your mileage may vary.

First, a few items for the ladies. Best hair styling device. Hands-down, it’s the InStyler. Listen, ladies, we’re all very busy and don’t have a lot of time to be fixing our hair. The InStyler originated as an infomercial item, and as usual, I was skeptical about the claims. I mean, it’s just another curling iron, right? No, it’s the mother of all curling irons. It works exactly like they say it does. It’s easy, it’s fast and you can use it on wet or dry hair. It’s expensive, but worth it. I probably wouldn’t have spent that much money, but my daughter gifted me one on my last birthday and now I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live without it. And guess what? I spotted them recently in Target so it’s much easier to obtain one now.

By a landslide, the best mineral makeup I’ve found (and believe me, I’ve sampled nearly all of them) is Arbonne’s About Face Mineral Powder Foundation, SPF 15. At $34, it’s a bit spendy, but if you want your skin to look flawless while not looking like you’re wearing a lot of foundation, you’ll love this. It’s quick and easy to apply, and a little goes a long way so it lasts a good long time. If you’re going to wear makeup anyway, might as well wear something that’s actually good for your skin.

And while we’re talking about skin care here, Arbonne’s NutriMinC line for (ahem) mature skin cannot be beat. Again, yes it’s pricey, but it lasts a long time and it does work. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a face lift, girls. I’ll give up food before I’ll give up my Arbonne. Hope it doesn’t come to that because I also really like food.

Favorite bronzer: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Sunset Strip. There are other colors, but none of them gives quite the same effect. Know what I love? Aside from the fact that it really does give you some natural looking color in the winter time, you can also use it as eye shadow and blush. Easy to apply and stays on all day.

Best computer speaker system: Bose Companion® 3 multimedia speaker system. It’s compact, the controller is about the handiest control device I’ve seen, and they just sound great.

Best Personal Computer: I’m not even going to answer that because you all know how I feel about it. Get a Mac.

Best all-in-one ink jet printer: Pick any off the Canon PIXMA line and you can’t go wrong. I have the PIXMA MP610. The ink lasts a really long time, the scanner works well, there’s a quiet mode, and I have never had to clean the print nozzles in over a year, which we all know sucks up a lot of ink. There are 2 paper trays: a sheet feed on top and envelope feed on the bottom. Simple controls, nice software package.

Best consumer-level cookware: Rachel Ray’s 10-Piece Porcelain Enamel Cookware Set. It’s sturdy, lightweight, heats up quickly and evenly, clean-up is a breeze, and hey, it’s just pretty to look at in all those fun colors.

These are just a few off the top of my head, but watch for future reviews in this category. At first glance, the prices for some of these items might seem a bit self-indulgent, but when you consider quality and longevity, they really aren’t that expensive in the long run. I’m all about searching for stuff that makes life easier and gets those have-to chores done quickly so there’s more time to do what I really love. (Which, by the way, does not include cooking, washing dishes, curling my hair, or cleaning clogged ink jet nozzels for a half hour every few days.)

Just my Lynnterpretation.

Who’s Your Mama?

 

What do Kanye West, Serena Williams and Rep. Joe Wilson have in common? They’re all card-carrying members of the contemporary club I call, “Mama Forgot To Teach Me Some Manners”.

Likewise, what do Beyoncé, Kim Clijsters and Barack Obama share in common? You guessed it: all members of the club, “Folks Whose Classy Mothers Taught Them To Behave in Public”.

Lots of nice perks come with public life. Generally speaking these include a varying combination of money, fame and power; all fun things to have. But along with those benefits come a few responsibilities. In return we expect that you won’t behave boorishly in front of our kids and then refuse to offer an authentic apology to those whom you’ve offended. Kids look up to you and like it or not, you’re role models.

I was raised by people who emphasized manners. And when I say, “emphasized” I mean that it was a requirement in all that we did and said and there were no exceptions. There were meaningful consequences when we forgot our manners in public. We were expected to behave a certain way which included saying “please” and “thank you” at the appropriate times, and calling someone else names was taboo. When we hurt someone, we were taught to offer a heart-felt apology, which required examining and changing our own behavior. I applied that same philosophy to the rearing of my own three kids, and now do so with my four grandchildren as well.

An authentic apology has a few identifiable characteristics:

1) It occurs because the offending person understands that what they did was wrong, not because a failure to apologize will cost them, and not because someone else is requiring them to apologize.

2) The offending person states what he/she did wrong and says, “I’m sorry”. Fake apologies go something like this: “If I did such-and-such and if it offended anyone, then I’m sorry”. That’s not an apology. It’s a conditional statement that throws blame back on the person offended and denies any real acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

3) A true apology gives a clear indication of the offender’s intention not to repeat the offense. (After all, if you realize you made a mistake, why would you want to make it again?)

Now I know inappropriate public behavior is nothing new, but it certainly seems to be happening with alarming frequency lately. The more often it occurs, the more of a trend it sets, lowering the bar on what we as a society consider appropriate behavior. When we let rudeness go unchecked without consequence, we can be assured it will occur with greater frequency in the future.

You know those bumper stickers seen on the backs of trucks that read: “How’s my driving? Call (phone number)”? Maybe we ought to stick something similar on the behinds of movie stars, recording artists, professional athletes and elected officials:
How are my manners? Call Mom.

I have a hunch some things would change.

“We the People” Can Read

 

Clearly I’m not a frequent blogger, being that my last post was erm… December of last year? Wow. Worse than I thought.

Today I’m breaking the lengthy hiatus.

I’ve largely avoided getting into a heated debate over health care reform, and I’m not here to engage in one now. But something has come to my attention that I just have to share.

Jon StewartSeveral personalities have appeared on TV recently toting gigantic, apparently heavy copies of this health reform bill and slamming them down on a desk with a big thud, giving the impression that it’s some ridiculously huge volume that would take a rocket scientist a year to read.

For instance:

Big-Heavy-Unreadable-Bill – part one

Big-Heavy-Unreadable-Bill – part two

It certainly looked foreboding and intimidating to me… until I decided to Google it, download the thing and take a look at it with my own eyes. Here’s what I found:

H.R. 3200 is not that hard to read, is not nearly as lengthy as you might think, it’s not written in obscure legalese beyond the average person’s comprehension, and it’s freely available online.

Read H.R. 3200 online

H.R. 3200 Downloadable PDF

It’s double spaced in large print with wide margins in order to give ample room for legislators to mark it up. If it was reformatted for normal reading, it would probably be a mid-sized book of about 300 pages or so.

I’m no rocket scientist. Not even close. I’m an average person, of average intelligence who only completed one year of college. But I downloaded this bill and am reading and understanding it with no problem. If I can, then anyone can.

When we don’t read things for ourselves, the potential then exists for us to hear and believe and adopt other peoples’ opinions about an issue. While I can’t prove it, I suspect that many people (on both sides) who are publicly sharing passionate opinions on this topic have not actually read H.R. 3200. Heck, even some legislators admit they haven’t read it.

My point is that anything we hear from a third party has two inherent problems:

1) It may not be the truth.

2) We’re all human, and everyone tends to carry a personal bias, no matter what the topic.

I figure the only way to avoid those problems is to just read the thing myself and make up my own mind. I invite you to do the same.

Here’s a related thought. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years watching a wide variety of network news programs and here’s my observation: All news networks are biased; some to the left, some to the right. And it’s not really a problem so long as we realize that. News anchors and reporters are human and have opinions just like everybody else. So I’ve decided to watch our lawmakers in session for myself on C-SPAN. In doing so, I’m hearing what they say every day in its original context, while cutting out the middle man (or woman) who may be reporting that same action out of context, through the filter of a biased opinion.

I think we Americans are some of the luckiest people on earth. We can go online, download any bill introduced by our lawmakers and read the entire thing. We can tune in to C-SPAN and watch first-hand what our elected officials are actually doing and saying on our behalf.

Why should we not do so?

Lynnterpretation Makes the “A” List

 

I really should pay more attention to my blog’s stats reports. Just happened to check those this morning and noticed a lot of traffic coming this way from smashingmagazine.com. Lo and behold, it seems my blog made their Top 50 Beautiful Blog Designs list. Whoah!

Toby CummingsI’d love to take the credit, but the truth is that my son is responsible for Lynnterpretation’s snazzy retro design. Toby has been working alongside me since his graduation from college, and to be honest, I’ve learned just as much from him as he has from me. We have more fun than any two people should really be allowed to have at work, including frequent, spontaneous badminton tournaments, leisurely bike rides and hourly snack breaks.

Thanks, “Mini-me”. You can’t begin to fathom how proud I am of you.

Just my Lynnterpretation.