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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 Chris Vogler, “The Writer’s Journey

9 Jun
Chris Vogler

Chris Vogler

Just had a great interview with story consultant, author and mythology expert WritersJourney3rddropChris Vogler on Soul Lab Radio. What an interesting guy.

Chris Vogler has worked for Disney Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures and Warner Bros. in the development department. He has also taught in the USC School of Cinema-Television, Division of Animation and Digital Arts as well as at UCLA extension. He is President of the company Storytech Literary Consulting. Vogler studied filmmaking at the USC School of Cinema-Television, the alma mater of George Lucas. As with Lucas, Vogler was inspired by the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, particularly The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Vogler used Campbell’s work to create the now-legendary 7-page company memo for Hollywood screenwriters, A Practical Guide to The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Vogler later developed his memo into the late 1990s book, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers now in its third edition.

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.

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.”

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

The Conversation: Lindsay Lohan

31 Aug


Ring… Ring…

Me: What the @!&*… what the hell time is it…

Ring… Ring…

Me: 3:30 in the freaking morning.. who is calling at…

Husband: Caller ID says it’s Lohan. Whaddya want me to do?

Me: Arrrghhhh…. I’ll take it in the office.

Husband: OK, but tell her that real people need real sleep and…

Me: I know, I know. I’ll handle it.

Husband: Good Luck.

Me: Uh..huh… Hello?

LL: OKOKOKOKOKOK I absolutely KNOW that it is late, but I’m in Paris, and it’s not late here– actually I just had a nice breakfast at this little cafe and…

Me: WHAT!? What do you want, Lindsay?

LL: OK, so I thought I better call now, or I would forget.

Me: Forget what? Forget to remind me that I have yet to get to Paris in this lifetime and you’ve been there, like, fifty times already and you just want to make absolutely sure that I realize how unbelievably underwhelming the City of Lights actually is? I was in the middle of a pretty decent dream involving me and a talking dolphin, so this better be good.

LL: It is. I promise.

Me: OK then.

LL: OK.

Me: OK.

LL: Well, now that I think about it, it’s probably not a big deal. You go back to bed. I’ll call you later.

Me: Over my dead body. You tell me now, or you permanently lose this number.

LL: OK OK… I was thinking I need to get a makeunder, you know. Just sort of Streep it up a little.

Me: Get your Streep on, as it were?

LL: Exactly! She told me once that she thinks I’m pretty good, and I’m not going to have my looks forever so I better get serious about, you know, serious stuff.

Me: Right.

LL: And I’ve been looking at pictures of myself a lot…

Me: As usual…

LL: Uh-huh. As usual and I’m looking, I don’t know, kind of bummed out.

Me: You are bummed out. Your Mother and sister just did a lame ass reality show totally exploiting your celebrity, your Dad’s in jail, you’ve already been in rehab a couple of times.

LL: I know, and it sucks. I just want to hang out, you know?

Me: And I want to sleep. Is that all?

LL: No. I need your help.

Me: That’s what you have agents and managers and “people” for. Go ask them. I’m tired.

LL: Tell me about it. I just got off this shoot and…

Me: OK, not to interrupt but I’m Mom-with-toddler-juggling-bills-dealing-with-clients-cleaning-house-running-errands-staying-groomed-by-myself-tired. Not celebutante tired. That’s a different tired. People run at you in warp speed to make sure you don’t have bags under your eyes. People run away from me because, honestly, my morning hair scares the crap out of them. So go get help from, you know, your help.

LL: But you’re my friend.

Me: (silence)

LL: Hello?

Me: (deep sigh) OK… how can I help?

LL: OK Good. So what books should I be reading? Are there any really, you know, super smart people I should be hanging out with? Have you ever read “The Alchemist”? My Reiki woman said that would that make a good movie.

Me: The main character is a shepherd boy– there is a gypsy, but it’s a pretty small role and…

LL: Well screw that. What else? Can you think of anything else?

Me: Well… let me think about it. Would you be willing to gain some weight?

LL: Weight? How much weight are we talking about? Like Bridget Jones or more like Charlize Theron in that death row movie?

Me: I don’t know. I’m just asking cuz that might make a difference in what I recommend. You said you wanted to Streep it up…

LL: Yeah, but that’s like DeNiro. Streep does accents. I can definitely do accents. Didn’t you see The Parent Trap?

Me: I just want to know how far you’re willing to go.

LL: I need to think about it.

Me: Okey Dokey. Just get back to me… at a decent hour. And send me an Eiffel Tower snowglobe.

LL: You have like 15 of those.

Me: Yeah, but I don’t have one from the Lohan. Au Revoir.

Shuffleboil: An Interview with Fanboys Screenwriter Ernie Cline

19 Jan

clineernie.jpg

Check out my recent interview with Fanboys screenwriter Ernie Cline on Shuffleboil.com.

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