Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bono on Music

“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt.”


Monday, December 29, 2008

Benjamin Button

Yesterday I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I give it one and a half thumbs up. If you enjoy interesting stories ala Big Fish or Forrest Gump, or you enjoy contemplating life, or you enjoy great acting, or you enjoy Brad Pitt, then you should probably go see this movie.

Before I talk about the movie, however, I want to talk about the previews. They showed four previews before the movie, and I'm excited to report that for the first time ever, I was interested in all four movies! Three of them (Duplicity, New in Town and The Soloist) I will definitely see.

Now onto the review.

First of all, it was long. I can always judge how captivated I am by a movie by whether or not I wonder what time it is at any point. This movie is close to three hours and the pace of the story is slow, so I found myself wanting to check my watch two or three different times.

Also, the concept of the film takes a little getting used to. It's a little creepy to watch an old man acting like a child. When Benjamin meets Daisy for the first time, it feels like we're watching a 70 year old man hitting on a 12 year old girl. As I watched, I kept having to remind myself that he was a child and not a pedophile.

The other critique I have is this. There were several events in the story line that seem to have no other purpose than to lengthen the film. In my opinion, they didn't add any value to the story. For instance [spoiler alert], when he is about 30 years old Benjamin has an affair with a married woman. A good twenty minutes of the movie are spent detailing the affair, and then suddenly, it's over. It's never really referenced again, aside from a moment in a diner years later. I feel like the story would have been just as complete (and 20 minutes shorter) had that part just been left out completely. (If any of you see the movie and can help me understand the significance of this part, please enlighten me!)

However, these critiques aside, by far the best part about the movie was the acting - it was FANTASTIC. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are phenomenal. I knew going into the movie that I liked both of those actors, but they were able to pull off these characters in a way that far exceeded my expectations.

There's one other the thing I noticed about the movie. The hands. The progression of the closeup shots of each character's hands throughout the movie seems to parallel the aging process that each character experiences. I first noticed it when Benjamin learns to play the piano. Later, someone asks if his arthritic hands are painful. As he ages throughout the movie, his hands look younger. If I were writing a critical analysis of this movie for a college course, I think that's what I'd write about. If you haven't seen the movie yet, watch the series of hand shots. It's very interesting.

In summary, I recommend this movie. (Except to Carolyn because she and I never agree on movies so she'd probably hate it.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Matt Lepsis

I read this incredible story this morning and thought it was worth sharing.

Not only was I surprised at the story, but also at The Gazette for publishing something so blatantly evangelical.

I love how God is in the business of redemption.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I'm REALLY missing my sisters today.
It doesn't feel like Christmas without them here.

Monday, December 22, 2008



Listen to this.


(See ... working during Christmas week isn't so bad.)

ht: Mandy

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Sach

My sister Sara got engaged a few weeks ago. She's getting married to this great guy named Zach. (Henceforth, they will be know as The Sach.)

This last year, The Sach decided to move from San Diego to upstate New York. As my sister is now a resident of New York, engaged to a native New Yorker, her wedding is going to be in New York.

In February.

I don't know if you heard, but just last week The White Witch took up residence in New York. She announced her arrival to the area with a severe ice storm. President Bush actually declared a state of emergency.

It's FLIPPIN' freezing.

Here are some pictures sent from The Sach ...

I'm a summer girl. I love me some tank tops and flip flops and the beach. And I hate being cold.

I'm going to start praying right this second for an early summer.

(In case you missed it above, my brother designed them a really cool wedding web site.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Core Strength

My chiropractor has been teaching me exercises to strengthen my core muscles. There are six different exercises and I'm supposed to do them every day. The goal is to be able to hold them for a minute each. I know, it doesn't sound like much, but I'm telling you, they kick my butt.

I bet this guy knows a thing or two about core strength.

Should I add this on to my daily routine, Dr. Vin?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Win

I know everyone thinks that their nephew is the cutest but seriously?

I win.
Would you like to see the rest?

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Word of Advice

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever ask a coworker how her baby is unless you are 100,000,000,000% sure she is pregnant.

I just learned that the hard way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Am Second

January 22 will be a year since Heath Ledger died. Actors in Hollywood die all the time, but for some reason his death hit me harder than most. I remember reading the headlines about him, and feeling a profound sadness. I was sad for his fiance, sad for his little girl, sad for his family but mostly I was sad for him.

I remember the big controversy about whether the pills he took were suicide or an accident - whether his role in The Dark Knight had influenced his death. Rumors were rampant and people looked for any reason why a young, successful actor would purposefully end his life. Whatever the cause of his death, it definitely shocked a lot of people.

Whenever something like that happens, I realize how totally hopeless the world is without Christ. So many are desperate for meaning and will do anything to find it.

That's why I Am Second is so inspiring.

Hearing these people put God first and proclaim the Truth is incredible.

Watch the ones about Rod Bayron, Brian Welch, Shannon Culpepper and Nate Larkin. Oh and I enjoyed hearing Jason Castro's story, too.

Actually, you should probably just watch them all.

One of the most amazing things about God is that He is a God of redemption. He longs to redeem broken people. I love this about God.

The world needs to know.

ht: Fay

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Laughter is good for the soul.

One of my favorite bloggers has again written a post that cracked. Me. Up.

You should probably stop whatever you're doing and read it.
Right now.

It's that funny.

(This is especially for those of you - you know who you are - who failed to find the Dave Barnes videos particularly funny. If this one doesn't make you laugh, we might have issues.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas, Dave Barnes Style

Installment #3.
These videos just get more and more outrageous, just like his outfits.
This is fast becoming my favorite Christmas tradition.

Does he remind anyone else of Fez?

In case you missed it, here's last year's Part 2.
And, of course, who can forget the BEST ... Part 1.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I spent over an hour last night looking through my blog posts from the past 11 months. I got very sentimental. It was a little like reading my journal - remembering where I was emotionally during different events and experiences. As I was reading, I had a really weird, almost out-of-body experience, kind of like I was reading a blog about someone else's life.

It totally blows me away to look back and see how God moves in my life. I mean, it's almost as if He had it all planned out from the beginning.

Take, for instance, my job. I'm working in a job right now that suits me well. I truly enjoy it and everything about it fits my strengths perfectly. However, it took eight years and four other positions at Compassion to get where I am. Looking back now, I can see how God was arranging things from the very beginning, but many times during those eight years I questioned God's plan.

Another example is my living situation. I've never had the desire to live alone. I've lived with roommates since I moved out of my parents house to go to college. As soon as I moved back to Colorado after graduating, I shared an apartment with a roommate. From there, I moved into a house with several roommates. As they got married, I'd find new ones. A couple years ago, I bought a townhouse and had several roommates here. Last year, for the first time in my life, I started to get the desire to try living alone. It was right around the time I got a dog, and I was also at a place financially where it was an actual possibility. God consistently provided roommates when I needed them and the means to not need them when I didn't.

And finally there is the matter of my dating life. You know the story there. Or at least parts of it. Maybe someday I will write more about that, but suffice it to say, that is the biggest example of God showing up with a FAR greater plan than I could have dreamed of or asked for.

Recognizing the hand of God all over my life is a very humbling experience, especially when I feel like I struggle so much with hearing His voice. Even though I might not always acknowledge His involvement, He's always been there. He is truly worthy of all my trust, faith and hope.

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snow Globe

I have this weird idea that I'm living in a snow globe and someone shook it up today. The view through the window of my work space is gray, cold and dreary. The snow has been falling steadily all day long and it finally feels like Christmastime. Three weeks ...

Speaking of Christmas, I decorated my house the other day with my collection of Christmas-themed items. All six of them. Seriously, my lack of holiday flair is a little embarrassing. I apparently don't have a smidgen of Martha Stewart in me. I think I'll go buy myself a little tree after work.

This is the first Christmas that my whole family won't be together. It's going to be very different and I'm trying hard not to be sad about it. It's going to feel rather lonely without my two sisters. (And who will play the other part of the Sleigh Ride duet on the piano with me?)

Next Thursday is Compassion's Christmas Banquet. I found out yesterday that my sister-in-law Valeen and I bought the same dress. (Apparently we both have impeccable taste.) At least we bought different colors. I have a feeling, though, that we'll still be the Tschamler Twins.

That's it for today's update. I leave you with a picture of what I look at all day long ...
I never thought I'd like working in a cubicle, but with the snow falling outside, a cup of hot chocolate (second of the day!) and Tony Bennett singing me "Winter Wonderland," it's a pretty sweet deal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Step of Faith

It's been a while since I posted on The Compassion Blog, but I felt like God wanted me to share what I did today.

It was a big step of faith for me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm a Mapple Person

Last Friday (you know ... the Black one) I went with my brother, an avid Mac user, to visit the new Mac store.

We spent a long time in there. We played with all the gadgets and reset all the web browser home pages to his design web site. We drooled over the iPhone. We ogled the ginormous 30 inch monitors.

Anyway, when I saw this video clip I cracked up because it is SO true.

So Brother, Erik, Ric, Suzanne, Chris, Fay and all the other Mac lovers I know ... I dedicate this post to you.

Ht: Vince