Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Ah, there anything more beautiful? Ok, I guess there is, but man these little buggers taste good. A week ago I was in Louisiana for One Way Street's Lafayette, LA Puppet festival, so I had to get some crawfish. I often wonder about who was the first person to look at one of these creepy little guys and think, "Mmmmm, I think I might like to eat that!" He must've been starving since these guys don't exactly have the same visual appeal as, say, a banana split. Personally, I like to think whoever it was had just finished some sort of religious fast and God rewarded him by pointing him to one of the most delicious of all his creation.

It is a bit of a leap of faith the first time you try them. I was really proud of Philip, a former One Way Street intern who helped me set up the festival, for diving right in. He had never had crawfish before, but apparently trusted my taste in food more than my taste in movies enough to order up 3 pounds. I was a little concerned at first, the above photo was not posed.

We also made sure to teach Philip the ways of Mr. Tony Chachere. This stuff sits on every table in Louisiana and I've had some in my pantry ever since my first visit 14 years ago.

As I worked my way through my crawfish I took in everything around me. There was a Cajun band playing, and it's pretty much impossible to be in a bad mood when there's Cajun music playing. There was also a bunch of people dancing, every single one of them was smiling. Lafayette is one of my favorite places to visit. It is a joyful place, and it rubs off on me quickly. I think I'm going to pack my iPod with a lot of zydeco...a prescription for all those times I need to remind myself to be joyful.

Son of Children's Church Coolness

I'm a little bit behind on blogging about my trip to Louisiana last weekend for our 17th annual Lafayette, LA Puppet Ministry Festival. Crossroads Church in Lafayette have hosted One Way Street every year and they are incredible hosts. Lafayette is one of my favorite places to visit. Everyone there calls me "Brother Todd" or "sir."

Marty Hoey, everyone calls him "Brother Marty," is the children's pastor at Crossroads and he is one amazin' cajun. When I first met him 14 years ago, he was serving God with all his heart as the maintenance man at the church. For the last 12 years he's been leading an amazing crew of volunteers as children's pastor. Take a look at some of the cool kids facilities they've got a Crossroads.

Even the hallways at Crossroads are exciting...

Now all the stuff is cool...but here's what any true children's ministry professional gets excited!!! Check out this resource room!

And I love the way they store the puppets!! Notice the little pictures by each peg so you know which puppets go where.

Brother Marty is all about investing in others. He has a great team and it's a thrill to see the exciting things going on in his ministry!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Talk back to Darth Vader

Say "Hello" to the internet's latest celebrity. Here is "Star Wars" according to a 3 year old

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oscar Live Blog

I enjoyed live blogging the Super Bowl commercials last week, even though I doubt anyone actually watched me blog it live. Anyhow, that was kind of an experiment to gear up for live blogging the Oscars coming up in a little more than a week. So tune in here on Feb 24 for the live Oscar night blog. You can follow along with me and see how I do on my predictions.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Here's a Valentine's Day gift for everyone...Lucas, Spielberg and company have unleased the teaser for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" today. Hey, Indy's been away for 19 can you not get excited about this?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Picking the Oscar Winners

The 80th Annual Academy Awards are coming up on Feb 24. As usual, I haven't seen very many of the nominated films at this point, but it's always fun to try and pick the winners. I usually do pretty well picking the winners of the big six categories (Best Picture, Best Director, and the four acting awards), but this year there is no clear cut front runner in several of the categories. Almost all of these awards have at least two strong possibilities.

The one major exception this year is Best Actor. Here are the nominees:

- George Clooney in Michael Clayton
- Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
- Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah
- Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises

Daniel Day-Lewis has got this one locked up. The buzz on his performance is just about the strongest any actor has received in the last 20 years. Of course the last time I said that an Oscar win was a sure thing was predicting "Cars" would win Best Animated Feature last year. Curse you "Happy Feet."

The rest of the categories aren't so simple to pick. Take Best Supporting Actor, just a few weeks ago everyone was saying that other hopefuls should just stand back, let Javier Bardem and his cattle gun take home the award for "No Country for Old Men," and hopefully nobody gets hurt in the process. But wait, enter Hal Holbrook's performance from "Into the Wild." The veteran of film's such as "All the President's Men", and "The Star Chamber" has received a lot of buzz and he's got age on his side. He's 83 years old and never been nominated before. Age and a long history in the film industry can be a factor, especially in the supporting actor categories. Just look at Sean Connery's win for "The Untouchables," Dom Ameche's win for "Cocoon," or even Alan Arkin's win last year for "Little Miss Sunshine."

Over in the Best Supporting Actress category, age is also a factor. Ruby Dee, also 83, is nominated for her performance in "American Gangster." The favorite, up to this point, has been Cate Blanchett for playing one of several versions of Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There." But Blanchett has won in this category before (for "The Aviator") and she is also nominated in the Best Actress category for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." So she may cancel herself out. Combine that with Ruby Dee's recent Screen Actors Guild Award win, and the age factor, it's a tough race to call.

Over in the Best Actress category you have Julie Christie's performance as an Alzheimers's patient in "Away From Her" generating a lot of talk. Christie is only 66, but that's a lot more than closest competitior, Ellen Page from "Juno," who turns 21 just a few days before the awards are presented. Christie seemed to be the early favorite, but "Juno" is the film that everyone is talking about, and Page, who previous to this was best known for playing a junior superhero in the last X-Men movie, is the source of a lot of that talk.

Things are no easier over in the Best Director and Best Picture categories. In these fields the battle rages between Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood," and the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men." For Best Picture, the stronger buzz seems to be with "There Will Be Blood." Over in the directing category the Coens have 24 years of great films on there side compared to PTA's filmography of four films, including offerings such as "Magnolia," which some people hated as much as others loved. Really both categories could go either way.

All that having been said, here are my choices as of 7:00 PM Mountain Time, Feb 11, 2008.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actress: Ellen Page
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Director: Joel & Ethan Coen
Best Picture: There Will Be Blood

I may change my mind before the broadcast. A lot can happen between now and then.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl Commericals - Live Blog

I'm going to do some experimenting with live blogging tonight. The subject: The Super Bowl Commercials...since I really couldn't care less about the game itself. There's probably a really slim chance anyone will actually be watching this blog live...but I thought it'd be fun to try.