Thursday, May 26, 2005

My Theatrical Debut

OK, I've kept this secret long enough. But I actually "starred" in a movie that my Star Wars obsessesed friend Chris created. The title of the film is "Forcery," and it's a spoof of the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's Misery" with a Star Wars twist. Instead of a best-selling novelist being "cared for" by his "No. 1 fan" after a near fatal car crash, this time it's George Lucas (played by yours truly) being "cared for" by his "No. 1 fan."

The witty screenplay was written entirely by Chris, who has imagination that runs wild. Growing up, Chris claims he told me that if he ever made a movie, he'd get me to be in it. I never thought he was serious, but he kept nagging me to play George Lucas for about six months until I reluctantly agreed. I knew Chris had grand plans of posting "Forcery" on the Internet, and since I'm not comfortable being in the limelight, I was hestitant to be a part of this. But after seeing how much this meant to my old Jedi friend, I agreed to help him out and the whole experience was fun and comical at the same time. Who knows? Maybe this will be my big break, and I can secure a major film deal...somehow I think not.

If you want to see the film, click here. Chris has uploaded the final version in several different-sized Quicktime files to suit virtually anyone's downloading needs. If you watch "Misery" and then "Forcery," I think you'll be amuzed at how closely the plots and the dialogue mirror one another. Inserting George Lucas into the James Caan role from "Misery" turned out to be such a natural fit, I'm surprised no one had ever thought of it before.

Monday, May 23, 2005

School's Out

With the completion of the final exam in my Biblical Foundations for Marriage and Family Life class tonight, my first semester at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is over! No classes for me this summer....I'm looking forward to a little R&R until another semester cranks up in the fall.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I Saw the Possum

George JonesJust got back from seeing on of the true legends of country music, George Jones, in concert at the Greensboro Coliseum. My mom and aunt Carol went with me, both of whom saw him live during his heyday, but I must admit, Jones still puts on quite an entertaining show for a 73 year old.

Since my musical intertests diversified a few years back to include the "Classic Country" genre, George Jones has easily become my favorite country artist. Jones puts the "Classic" in "Classic Country." Most of the songs from his hour-and-a-half set were easily recognizable and included my personal favorites "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," one of the best country songs ever recorded. Another highlight of the show was a medley of a number of his hits that included "Window Up Above," "The Grand Tour," "Walk Through This World With Me," and "She Thinks I Still Care."

There were many other songs he could have played but didn't. If he had tried to play all his hits, he would have played all night. I guess that's what happens when your career spans 50 years. Appropriately enough, he opened the show with his first hit song "Why Baby Why," which was released in 1955. 50 years later, the song, and Jones, is still entertaining those who grew up on his music like my mom and newbies like myself who have developed an appreciation for the man known as "The Possum."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Complete, the Star Wars Saga Is

A short while ago at a theater relatively close by to here, I saw the midnight premiere of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. My initial reaction is that it's easily the best film of the prequel trilogy, but, in my mind, it still doesn't compare with the original trilogy. Of course, everyone knows that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, but seeing how and why twisted by the Dark Side he becomes is what made the movie for me. I won't spoil anything for those who haven't seen it except to say if you love lightsaber duels, you'll love Revenge of the Sith. After you see Sith, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

I will tip my hat to the staff at Brier Creek theater here in Raleigh for arranging a slew of fun activities to get everyone in the Star Wars mood well before the show began. A group from the Carolina 501st, a local group of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, came dressed as all the main characters.....Vader, Storm Troopers, Obi Wan, Leia, and Boba and Jango Fett to name a few. I had my picture taken with several of the "stars" who joined us from the galaxy far, far away, so be on the lookout for those in a future post. I also witnessed several lightsaber duels break out in the lobby between jedi younglings brought by mom and dad.

SITH UPDATE: I MADE THE NEWS....SORT OF When I went to get a popcorn and drink refill just before the movie started last night, the WRAL news was filming a live shot for their 11 p.m. news broadcast. At the beginning of this clip, you can see me enter the screen from the left and walk behind the assembled cast of Star Wars characters. I'm wearing a tannish colored shirt. Look closely, and see me you will.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Darth Days Ahead

Darth VaderCome Thursday, the circle will be complete with the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I've got my ticket for a midnight showing Wednesay night/Thursday morning at Brier Creek Theaters in Raleigh. It's a bit ironic that millions of people are getting psyched up for a movie in which virtually everyone already knows what happens. At least if you're a Star Wars fan, you know that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, but I, like most, still can't wait to see it transpire on the big screen. The Star Wars saga has been such a part of my childhood and formative years that I must confess I'm a bit sad that there will be no more movies to look forward to after this one.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Musings from the Road

Here are a couple of random thoughts from my travels from Raleigh to Atlanta to Nashville and back for the Country Music Marathon last weekend.....

God and Country
It's not everyday that you run across a radio station whose format is "positive country music and contemporary Christian music." Next time you find yourself on Interstate 85 near Greenville, S.C., tune into 103.3 or 103.9, also known as The WALK FM.

Check the Battery
Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Circuit, is having a tough season so far in 2005. Of the nine races this year, he's had engine trouble in three and been caught up in accidents in two others. Well, Labonte's not the only person on his team having car trouble.

While traveling back to Raleigh from Atlanta, I saw one of Labonte's transporter rigs pulled over on the side of Interstate 85 between Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C. The rig's hood was up and the driver peering inside. All this just one day after engine trouble relegated Labonte to a 23rd place finish in the Aaron's 499 the day before at Talladega Superspeedway.

P.S. For a report on the half marathon read on to the next post.

Only Halfway

I've experienced another extended stay away from blogging of late. Other things, namely work, seminary classes and church activities, have taken up the bulk of my days of late, leaving precious little time for blogging. Even this post is covering material that is now a week old...better late than never I guess.

Last Saturday, I ran the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tenn., with my good friend Scott from Atlanta. I finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 6 seconds, just ahead of Scott's time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, and 14 seconds. (Click here for a sampling of photos from the half marathon. This one is my favorite.) Last year I finished in just under 2 hours, so I was a little disappointed in this year's time. But honestly I didn't train as much or as hard for this year's run as I did last year's either.

When I first started this blog, I announced that my goal was to run the full marathon in Nashville. Well, some knee trouble, starting seminary classes and some time missed due to sickness all worked against me in getting the necessary training in for the marathon, so I scaled back and decided to run the half marathon again this year. I know there's nothing easy about running 13.1 miles, but once I scaled back from the full marathon to the half, I didn't take the race as seriously because mentally I knew I had done it before.

I still want to attempt a marathon in the near future. I'm considering running the Chicago Marathon in October. I'm also considering a sprint triathlon this summer, just to do something different. Any advice or suggestions on what marathons I should consider running are welcomed and, in fact, encouraged.

Before leaving Nashville last Sunday morning, I met a gentleman at the hotel from Ohio whose goal is to run a marathon in every state. He was up to 16 or 17. I like to run, and I like to travel so blending those two loves would be fun, but I think I better try to get one marathon under my belt before I set out to do 50.