Friday, November 15, 2013

"The Best Man Holiday" Will Have You Feeling Some Kind of Way

“Someone referred to the first ‘Best Man’ as a romantic comedy. I like to refer to this one as a dramatic comedy.” - Taye Diggs, with cast members on The Talk

I couldn’t have said it better.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years since “The Best Man” brought old college buds together for a wedding back in 1999. Conflict, lust, slow-motion Morris Chestnut, and secrets collided to create a classic.

In “The Best Man Holiday,” we catch up with the friends for a holiday weekend at the posh pad of retiring football player Lance Sullivan (Chestnut). The group is older now, with racks of accomplishments among them. We’re reminded of the familiar characteristics we remember from the first go-round. Q is still a player. Murch still can’t keep a secret. Jordan is still super ambitious. Harper is once again trying to figure out what to do about a book. Mia is still the sensible, soft-spoken diplomat that complements Lance’s fiery personality.  

And, oh yeah -- everybody’s still fine.

Okay, enough of the particulars. Let’s jump right into how this movie is so well done...and might just have you all in your feelings. ***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When the Cookies Don’t Fit in the Box

I was flipping through channels one night and landed on MasterChef (a show I rarely indulge in because witnessing people’s spirits wither can be kind of a buzz kill). Nonetheless, I paused on this episode.

Two home cooks were challenged to bake great-tasting dainty little macaroons. True to MasterChef protocol, there was a catch -- 12 of the cookies had to fit, one behind the other, in a container resembling a dominoes box that was maybe an inch high and wide, and about ten inches long. And of course all of the mixing, baking, decorating, and packaging had to be done in like five minutes.

Monday, September 30, 2013

32...and an Unexpected Rambling Tribute to the Woman That Epitomized "The Cool Aunt"

Oddly enough, rolling into 32, I didn't have the same "oh snap I'm old" moment that I did at 30. In fact, I'm appreciative of my youth now more than ever. Maybe that's because I feel it slipping through my fingers? And I mean that in the least morbid way possible. Andy from The Office said it best in the show’s final episode, I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.”

I occasionally “feel old,” when I scrunch up my nose in disdain while passing a group of 19-year-olds in the mall -- wearing things 19-year-olds wear and saying things 19-year-olds say.
(And I will stand firmly by my belief that, even at 19, I was never as ditzy and loopy as some of these chicks.)

Thirty-two feels good. I’m comfortable with it, like a favorite pair of well-worn, lived-in jeans that still make your butt look nice. Speaking of looks, sometime while I was 31, I was studying a recently taken picture and I said, appreciatively, I looked my age. My friend was like, “Don’t say that!” Well, why not? And yes, when I glance at photos taken in the last five days, I see a 32-year-old woman (a pretty nice looking one, I might add…).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

When Trying Too Hard Goes Wrong

I participate in a couple of online professional forums in which people discuss industry issues, congratulate those moving to new opportunities, and ask advice about challenges they're facing on the job.

I don't keep up with the forum posts and responses every day. Yet, even with sometimey browsing, one can't help but notice a dude who we'll call Arthur. Arthur always has a question. Arthur always has a statement. Arthur is affiliated with every social media site in existence and all of those accounts are listed beneath his signature. And for the record, Arthur is not admin, a person whose job it is to keep content fresh on the forum, and Arthur isn't on a board of some sorts.

Before I knew it, I found myself sighing and rolling my eyes whenever I saw yet another post by Arthur. I even asked a friend who is also a part of the forum if he knows about Arthur. He sighed too.

My immediate thought every time I saw one of Arthur's post was, "This guy is trying too hard." 

We've all probably had this thought at one time or another about someone's actions. But what is it that they're really doing wrong? Why do we fault people for being completely engaged, all in, dedicated, and enthusiastic? What's the problem with that? In true Delect Connect form, I need to explore.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Waiting for Something Better to Come Along

I have a weird sixth sense when I'm in "Explorer Mode." On any given evening or weekend, I get a hankerin' to check out some food I've never tasted (NO CHAINZ!), some live music, or some other moment-making experience. I'm usually alone when this feeling strikes, which is ideal. I can cater to my funky whims and gas burning without dissension.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Separation Between Work and Passion (Or, "Why I Might Be Alright with Passionless Work")

I write about work a lot. Not necessarily whatever my job is at the time, but just working period. I read books about it, watch and listen to podcasts about it. I'm fascinated by the workplace mentality, politics, and outdated practices. We invest the most energy and time into work. Most of us spend most of our lives and most hours in our weeks co-mingling with colleagues, clients, and customers in order to fund our shelter and vices.

One of the prevailing theories about work is that if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Get paid for your passion.

The jury’s still out on this for me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel (or, "A New Definition of Cool")

“He was a cool dude.”

It was the ending of a text about the ending of a person’s life, just the day before. I had sent the message to my sister, expressing my feelings about the awful news. I stared at that phrase on the phone’s palm-sized screen for several seconds.

He was a cool dude.

It was so simple. I felt compelled to say more. But at the same time, I felt that phrase was...right. Accurate. True. He was a lot of other things – and people closer to him can go on and on about his strength of character, his humor, the bigness of his heart. I agree to all of that, but yet, at the moment I re-read my text, I was shocked by how being “a cool dude,” with its simplicity, conveyed one of the highest, heartfelt compliments I could give a person.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Obsession -- A Good Thing?

I’ve started counting calories. The last time I took this ugly route was somewhere in the 90s when you had to look up spaghetti and almonds in those little books by the cash register, a far cry from the nifty smartphone app I have now.

The venture is still too new to tell how it will turn out, but I will say that it’s got me thinking much harder and more often about what’s on my plate than I’ve ever cared to before. Calorie counting has never been a viable option for me for one main reason – I staunchly opposed being so fanatical about food that I’m analyzing every tablespoon of coffee creamer or ¼ slice of Muenster. It required too much energy, energy that would be better served elsewhere.

 So, I’ve opted for lifestyle choices. Stay away from white bread, sugar, potatoes, and rice. Limit fried foods and sweets. Don’t drink soda or juice.

Then one day, I asked myself a magical question: How’s that been working for you?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Making the Executive Decision: What The Avengers and Argo Have in Common

Two movies I watched recently dealt with a theme not for the faint of heart -- the executive decision. In Avengers, the Council declared to Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) that the best way to deal with the precarious situation involving Lokey (a demigod bent on evil) and his army of otherworldly robotic aliens, was to blast Manhattan with a nuke. The move would hopefully take care of the evildoers, but millions of New Yorkers would go down in the process.

In Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck)  is faced with a real-life precarious situation. He's sent to Iran to rescue American hostages, under the guise of making a Canadian film. Somewhere along the way, as Mendez was prepping the hostages in Iran with their new identities as planned, decision-makers in D.C. decided to ditch the plan.

Fury worked for a fictional government agency, Mendez a real one. In both instances, as the guys chosen to  lead the effort, they were faced with situations in which they had to follow orders...or do what they felt was right.

These moments resonate with me because these are the moments that separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls. The courage that's shown is less about accepting the thought, the possibility of failure. It's more concrete than that. It's knowing that -- in the event you are wrong, in the event the plan crashes and burns -- you will accept the consequences.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Set Me Free, Why Don't Cha Babe: Lost in the Remnants of a Relationship

His ex-fiancee calls every day.

"She thinks of me as her best friend," he said. So much of a best friend, I guess, that she regales him with tales of hooking up with other guys.

"Something's up with that," I said to my friend. "There's more to her telling you all her business than friendship."

The question of whether men and women can just be friends is as old as questioning the meaning of life. I believe you can communicate with an ex, keep in touch, and really just be cool...but every day? I mean, what's she really doing?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Lesson Learned from Beyonce on Inauguration Day

By now, you're aware that Beyonce showcased a flawless rendition of the National Anthem during President Barack Obama's second inauguration a few weeks ago. I'm not even a fan of hers, but was so impressed I felt compelled to Tweet  my accolades.

 "Nice job, Bey."

Then it came out that Beyonce was actually lip-syncing. Her reasoning? She's a perfectionist and did not have an opportunity to rehearse with the band, so she opted for a track. I took to Twitter with my reaction on this as well:

"I would've preferred a less-than-perfect version sung live than a perfect-sounding track #anthem"
I can overlook a missed note here, a little raspiness there...for the sake of realness.  Authenticity. And even on her worse day -- no rehearsal, in the snow, fighting the flu -- that girl can surely still sing better than me and 75% of the world.

So yeah, needless to say, I've been pretty critical of the situation. But I just realized I've been doing the same thing for which I criticized Beyonce.