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Supercool Blogs That You Should Read

19 Jun

People have been asking me lately which blogs I really love to read. I know I need to mention these guys more, but here you have it. Here is a list of blogs and other stuff I dig– similar content to Soul Lab, but also very unique indeed.

Idol Chatter on Beliefnet.com combines the latest pop culture news with sort of a spiritual spin on TJI_REV-RUNthings. Yes, it totally makes sense. Recent posts have talked about stupid antics that Christians on reality shows have been caught doing (yeah, we’re talking about you Speidi); The Jon & Kate Plus 8 dilemma asking readers to share heartfelt advice– remember this is Beliefnet, not E! News; and an enlightening post on the 10 most inspiring celebrities using Twitter in positive ways… from Rev Run to Paulo Coehlo.

On YogaJournal.com, there are a couple of areas to check out. First, let me just say that I absolutely do not do Yoga (I’ve tried– Lord I’ve tried), but I probably will some day again and I really like the idea of it. So, what the hell, I get into Yoga Journal when I can. Check out the Yoga Buzz blog and you’ll find posts about Janice Dickinson trying to find natural laxatives in the jungle on an episode of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” Then there’s the hysterical web series, “Ogden: The Inappropriate Yoga Guy.” Check it out:

rainn-wilson-the-rocker1Spearheaded by Rainn Wilson, Soul Pancake is an uniquely cool site where life’s big questions are just put right out there for spiritually-minded hipsters (or seeksters as I prefer calling them) to dicsuss. There is a great emphasis on the relationship between spirituality and creativity which I appreciate. A recent post asks the question, “Is fear learned or inherent?” accompanied by a video of Spike Jonze trying to freak out his son by wearing a prop head from his latest movie, Where the Wild Things Are (coming out in October). I have to say that the quality of the comments in response to some of these questions is refreshingly thoughtful on the most part. In another post, the question is posed, “Are you a social chameleon” trying to understand the concept of putting on various personas to meet the expectations of variety of audiences in one’s life (I talk about this in another earlier post). They showed this cool video with that question:

Soul Lab Radio: Interview with film critic Brent Marchant

28 Apr

get_the_picture_brent_marchant_coverWhat can the movies teach us about how we lead — or could lead — our lives? That’s the focus of Brent Marchant’s book, Get the Picture: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies. Marchant explores how movies illustrate the principles of conscious creation (also known as the law of attraction) and how we can put them to use to lead more fulfilling everday existences. He explores the idea through all movie genres, from classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz to sci-fi thrillers like Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and Contact, and documentaries like What the Bleep Do We Know? and The Secret

Check out our interview on Soul Lab Radio…

Soul Lab Radio: Scott Von Doviak

15 Apr
Film Critic Scott Von Doviak on "Soul Talk" April 14 at 10 p.m. CST

Film Critic Scott Von Doviak on "Soul Talk" April 14 at 10 p.m. CST

Join me as I speak with film critic and author Scott Von Doviak who will talk about his daring, mind-bending and irreverant journey in reviewing the Top 100 Worst Movies ever made. We’ll also discuss his hysterical foray into the world of hillbilly cinema with his book  Hick Flicks: The Rise and Fall of Redneck Cinema. Von Doviak has reviewed film for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rotten Tomatoes, Screengrab, The High Hat and more.

So go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jenniferhr to listen in or you can also call in with questions at (347) 884-9374.

Good Vibes: Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent

14 Apr
Contestant Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent Blew the Judges and Audience Away

Contestant Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent Blew the Judges and Audience Away

Susan Boyle, a 47 year-old single British woman who is unemployed, “never been kissed” and was ruthlessly mocked as a child for a disability is my new hero. Let me say that again. She is my new hero. If you have not seen this clip yet (over 1 million have already) check it out now. Lesson to self: be exactly who you are all the time. Never give up. Never Surrender. It moved me to tears… in a good way. Enjoy.

Peters Sellers, Death, and the Eternal “Who am I?”

13 Apr

peter_sellers2

I recently brought a Muppet Show DVD home to introduce our son to the likes of Peter Sellers, John Cleese and Dudley Moore in an age appropriate way. Out of the three episodes, it was Sellers who stood out.

I’ve always been fascinated with Peter Sellers and was convinced that this comic genius and master impersonator was sort of fruit loop, truth be told. But in 1964 he was riddled with several successive heart attacks which permanently damaged his heart. He later told Shirley MacLaine on the set of Being There (for which he received his second Academy Award nomination) that he had an out of body experience during one of his “deaths.” This profoundly changed the actor who many deemed excessively difficult, childlike and self-centered. He began a spiritual journey which brought him to past life exploration, yoga, religion and a slow and steady retreat from the personality he once knew. He crept more and more into the characters he created often speaking like them and revealing less and less about himself.

He said of his death experience: “I wanted to go to that white light more than anything. I’ve never wanted anything more. I know there was love, real love, on the other side of the light which was attracting me so much. It was kind and loving and I remember thinking ‘That’s God'”. (MacLaine, Out on a Limb)

Sellers’ official biographer Alexendar Walker wrote, “The experience of resurrection intensified Sellers’ spiritual concern and friends discerned the start of a new introspectiveness, a sense of his not ‘being there’ in spirit, though present in body.”

The near-death experience also solidified Sellers’ belief that he was a reincarnated soul whose ability to perfectly imitate and create characters and accents was a direct result of having lived many past lives. But in this incarnation he did not know who he was and why he was alive. He told Shirley MacLaine:

“I know I have lived many times before … that experience confirmed it to me, because in this lifetime I felt what it was for my soul to actually be out of my body. But ever since I came back, I don’t know why I don’t know what it is I’m supposed to do, or what I came back for.” (MacLaine,174)

He died of a heart attack in 1980. 

Sellers appeared on The Muppet Show television series in 1977. Typically, the guest host is interviewed for about a minute by head muppet, Kermit the Frog. Sellers refused to be interviewed and chose not to appear as himself at any point in the show, which was a first for writers and producers. Sellers instead appeared in a variety of costumes and accents, from a gyspy to a surgeon and more.

When Kermit told Sellers he could relax and be “himself,” Sellers (while wearing a Viking helmet, a girdle and one boxing glove, claiming to have attempted to dress as Queen Victoria), replied, “But that, my dear Kermit, would be altogether impossible… I could never be myself. You see, there is no me. I do not exist. There used to be a me, but I had it surgically removed.”

Flight of the Conchords: My New Favorite Song

4 Apr

I still can not believe we got such awesome seats for the May 7 performance of Flight of the Conchords at Bass Concert Hall. I haven’t been this excited since the Seven and the Ragged Tiger Tour from Duran Duran in 1984. Oh yeah.

And I hopinghopinghoping that they play my new favorite song, “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor.” Bret and Jemaine are dreamboats.

Joaquin Phoenix: The Ego or the Artist at Play?

13 Feb

When I watched the interview with Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman last night, I immediately flashed back to high school and college. There were these kids at my school, and the “richer” schools around town, who were so privileged and “cool” that their smugness and egos could light up a few counties. They didn’t have to answer to anyone, they didn’t “care” what people thought, their bratty and self-centered behavior mystified grown-ups and enchanted wannabes and social groupies. They hated the very system that elevated them and supported their dreams of becoming artists or musicians or wandering philosophers. They took risks because they knew their brand of risk came with the stability of parents with money, or a trust fund. I did not like these people because, to be blunt, they were assholes. They abandoned manners and their unique sense of judgement could make right wing conservatives look like Mother Theresa.

But then I caught myself. I started to remember other late night antics– Andy Kaufman, maybe? Naah… I think the interview had more to do with getting some cool footage for the Casey Affleck documentary about Joaquin’s new hip hop career. Seems there is always room for the requisite “Fuck you, Dave” or “This was me hitting rock bottom” scene in any self-respecting celebrity documentary. Perhaps Joaquin orchestrated the lame interview to provide that much-needed dramatic arch to any future true story docu-drama.

Or you know what? Maybe he was just high.

Fanboys = Fantastic! Thanks, Ernie Cline

8 Feb
clineernie2
So last night was the big night… Fanboys actually opened in Austin, TX at the wonderful Alamo Ritz  after an epic trek to the big screen. I felt so proud of our friend screenwriter Ernie Cline. And to be honest, I was really hoping and praying to love this movie after everything it has been through. AND I DID! It was great.  It had heart, humor, humanity and hilarity. In other words, it was a hit. Certainly the final cut of Fanboys wasn’t the perfect vision that Ernie had once conceived, but it delivered on being a real love letter to Star Wars and Star Wars fans the world over. So if you live in New York, New Jersey, L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Houston, Austin or Seattle– SEE IT NOW!!

Harshing My Mellow

29 Dec
The Children of Slumdog Millionaire

The Children of Slumdog Millionaire

Yesterday I had a very rare day “off” meaning that my son was living it up with the grandparents, husband had to work and I have myself a nice break. Whenever I have a few free hours, I love to catch a movie and yesterday it was Slumdog Millionaire. About halfway into it, I developed almost a blinding migraine. I have not experienced one in years. But I think watching two hours of orphaned Indian children being put through every possible human horror pretty much sent me over the edge. I am over-the-top sensitive to seeing any harm come to children or animals and I’ve found it nearly intolerable to listen to or watch negative images, harsh music or bleak storylines. Though the movie had a redemptive ending, it wasn’t enough to ward off my exploding head. So I headed home and took a long nap. Why, over the last few months, have I become increasingly sensitive to audio and video cues? I think it’s where my heart and mind have been going lately which is more to the internal, introspective worlds that feed the soul.

Christmastime is here…

9 Dec

charlie-brown-christmas

Stuff that needs to happen before the 25th:

1) Trail of Lights and Zilker Christmas Tree Lighting
2) Elf
3) Make homemade pasta sauce and cookies for presents
4) Christmas portrait with family
5) Ben’s birthday party
6) Order and mail Christmas cards
7) Charlie Brown Christmas
8) Wrap presents
9) Trick out Santa’s gift for Ben
10) Christmas mix CD
11) Drop off toys to Children’s Shelter
12) It’s a Wonderful Life
13) Forgive family for various crap
14) Forgive myself
15) Grinch

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