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Posts Tagged ‘playing favorites’

I’ve been volunteering a lot recently with the kids at church. It was one of my 27 goals, but it was also something that I’d been missing since coming to DC.

Through many years of babysitting, tutoring, teaching Sunday school, and volunteering at camp, I’ve worked with just about every age group, and have had clear favorites over the years.

Usually, when pressed, I’ll list middle schoolers as my favorites to work with. They don’t have the high school attitude yet, but they don’t require the same kid gloves as elementary schoolers do. So middle school usually wins.

But recently, the early elementary crowd has been pulling ahead. That’s the age group that I help teach some Sunday mornings. It’s also the age group that is, I think, the most inclined toward total honesty.

Toward the end of one lesson the kids were coloring, and one started singing “Dynamite.” (You haven’t truly heard Taio Cruz until you’ve heard it from a six-year-old.) I had it on my phone, so I played it for them, which, of course, sparked further requests.

Firework!

Call Me Maybe!

Billy Joel!

Ah, a kindred spirit. (Fun side note: Billy Joel was my first concert.)

As the sounds of “Call Me Maybe” eventually filled the classroom, Aiden – the little boy who had requested it – confided just why he liked it.

I like this song because I like to chase girls.”

And Astrid, the little girl who had requested Billy Joel, responded in much the same way I think I would have at that age.

You can chase me if you want!

Kindred spirits, indeed.

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I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but today is a very important day.

Today is the beginning of baseball season.

Now, I know that spring training has been going on for about a month now, and that’s been great. It would have been even greater if I’d managed to make it down to Clearwater to stalk see my players. But, that said, the regular season is just different.

Today starts the beginning of the 162 games that will determine whether your team is still playing through October, or whether they’re simply watching the games on TV.

It is not in my nature to be optimistic about my Phillies. That’s not to say that I don’t cheer for them, and cheer hard, because I do. You know this. (I’m also a big fan of tough love.) But I’m always just *cautiously* optimistic. Because it hurts so bad when you get your hopes up and fucking Cody Ross and Juan Uribe and some jerk they call Panda completely shatter your dreams.

But I digress.

This year it’s hard to not be a little optimistic – even with right-field feeling a little empty. Our pitching line-up is sick. There’s a reason that Phillies fans have been posting this photo all over the place:

(Sorry Blanton.)

Even the experts are on our side (for the most part). Of the ESPN season predictions by 45 analysts:

  • 42 put the Phillies in the post-season.
  • 27  have the Phillies becoming the National League Champions
  • 7 have picked the Phillies to win the World Series.

Now before you go telling me how that doesn’t mean anything, and it’s hard to predict how a season’s going to go, etc – save your breath. I know. But I also like knowing that there are people out there – experts – who have faith in my team’s ability. Because even when it hurts, I do, too.

I’ll be cheering the Phillies on when they visit DC in a couple weeks and my only wish is that they’d get here sooner.

Well, not my only wish. But some things are better left to the imagination.

 

I'll use any excuse to put this photo in a blog post.

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All this talk about must-see movies yesterday got me thinking. Not so much about the classics, but about my particular favorites.

Maybe “favorites” isn’t the right word, since I always have trouble narrowing down the list (and I undoubtedly leave a few out), but it’s close enough.

1) Empire Records

I can’t pinpoint exactly what I love about this movie. Maybe it’s because music plays such a big role in the film, and changes with the moods of the characters. Maybe it’s the teen angst. Or maybe it’s Lucas. “Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear.” But whatever it is, I love it. And Liv Tyler as a pill-popper is completely Jessie Spano-worthy.

2) The Princess Bride

Classic. I can, and will, quote the majority of this movie. And I loved when NCIS made a Dread Pirate Roberts reference to help them solve a case. Who says movies aren’t applicable to real (TV) life? Though, knowing the movie does make it difficult for me to take Inigo Montoya seriously on Criminal Minds.

3) Good Will Hunting

This is just a given, right? I’m not sure I’ve met anyone that didn’t like this movie. (But go ahead, speak up if I’m wrong.) And I’m pretty sure, by now, that nearly everyone has used either, “How do you like them apples?” or “My boy’s wicked smart,” in regular conversation.

4) Nearly any Based-on-a-True-Story-Underdog-Sports-Story (preferably one that has a positive impact on the surrounding community)

Yeah, I admit it. I’m a sucker for any and all of these. Think: Miracle, Invincible, Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, Invictus. Is it the same plot formula in every one? Of course! But it also really happened. And I love that. Who needs manufactured drama, when you have real life?

5) Bull Durham

The fifth favorite is usually my flex spot, in a way. Or rather, it’s the one that changes most frequently, depending on what I’m thinking when I do the list. I mean, even as I was typing I thought of a couple others I could add (Boondock Saints, The Departed). But for right now, we’re still in baseball season, so it’s Bull Durham. It’s kind of the same feeling I get when watching movies of the #4 variety. You get caught up in the story; you feel involved. And you wish that you’d hear a speech as impassioned as Crash’s, that leaves you stunned.

Of course, this list is incomplete as it also leaves out animated films (love Sleeping Beauty and Anastasia) and documentaries (Wordplay!), but it’s a fairly good representation. It doesn’t include any of yesterday’s classics, but maybe in another 30 years, some of these will be in that classic category. I see a lot of potential here.

What would your top five be? And do you have an all-time favorite movie? Or are you like me, with a bunch of rotating favorites?

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