What I'm Reading 3.31; Easter, Kidney(s) and Steeler stupidity

Quickly approaching is Easter, a holiday once known for Jesus' resurrection but now known for plastic-imitation-chicken eggs and over-sized rabbits.

Funny how Easter - like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. - is celebrated in varying ways by different families. For instance, I don't hunt eggs anymore, some older people do.

And on fasting; how did it go for you? I gave up meat and I stuck to it. And, I even liked giving up beef, chicken, lamb, weasel, etc. so much, I might not go back.

In Easter news: The Easter bunny may save your life, critics say avoid giving rabbits, chicks as gifts and a list of the largest egg hunts in the U.S.

Away from Easter, a new study finds that many people (including me) would give a kidney for a quick buck.

Airbags on airplanes?

Before you eat from McDonald's again AND more importantly before you buy another 'happy meal' for your kids, take a look at this. This guy is celebrating the one-year anniversary of a happy meal he bought, set out and watched NOT decompose over the course of the past year.

A history maker in our midst, despite what you or I think of him.

Another attack in Russia.

The Obama overhaul of the student loan system could come at a huge benefit to interested parties.

A new version could mean the end of a iPhone-less Verizon wireless network. Good news for me!

Remember all the talk of earmarks? Here is a state-by-state map of earmark allotment.


Things are looking good for the Steelers; first Big Ben, now smokin' Santonio, again.

The University of Conn. women's basketball team has won 76 games in-a-row and are headed to another Final Four.

Aroldis Chapman set to begin season in minors for the Reds. No big surprise.

If you haven't heard about Pat Venditte, check him out. Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher in the NY Yankees farm system. He got his first spring action yesterday.

Reaching into the vault, Sports Illustrated has the story that proceeded the 1975 World Series.


Left Wondering In Wonderland (spoilers!)

Lately I haven't been moved to enter a movie theater, save the hint of popcorn that seems to pull me in, even in the most despicable of locales.

But, Tim Burton moves me to do and see things I wouldn't normally, and his new children's prize, Alice in Wonderland was sold to me.

Long gone are NOT the days where I could watch Nightmare Before Christmas in any season and scoff at those who say that Beetle juice wasn't a masterpiece. So, I'm a Burton fan and I assumed I would love the new Wonderland.

What I found however, that despite the incredible precision to specific parts of Lewis Carrol's masterpiece I was left wanting more. The always animated Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) was dressed to a 'T' looking as sharp as ever, with a quite a bit of Burton costumal flair to top him all off.

Deducing where the picture was taking me, I found the visual recreation of Carrol's novel and live-portrayal of the 1951 Disney version (the one I loved as a child), aesthetically pleasing but more or less flat on the didactical attempt at presenting a story I've loved for a long time.

I'm not sure if due to Burton's attempts to curb the excitement and 'scary' imagery - he's known for - was to grasp a 'wee' audience but it left me, a fan of Burton's unexpectedness and goth-esque imagery, wanting to see the parts and/or dialogue that seemed to be missing.

The 'curious' lack of animation and anger revealed by the queen of hearts (Helena Bonham Carter), did not reveal to me the character Carrol created all those years ago, while some characters were spot-on including Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, the door mouse and the blue catepillar.

The story line lead with a short drama in Alice's life before Alice falls into the dreaded rabbit hole, following the white rabbit before a long fall and battle of transfiguration between large and small of herself.

She meets the astheically pleasing characters of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, Cheshire cat and others during her journey that also seemed accelerated compared to other versions of the story.

She meets the queen, flees from infantry-style playing cards and fights the Jabberwocky to end the journey, before climbing back up the rabbit hole and continuing the story; taking control of her life and following some semblance of her dreams and late-father's passion.

The movie was exciting in parts and clearly safe for children with a PG rating. I would tell anyone: "it is worth seeing," at least for the mind-blowing visuals (in parts) but, I am not ready to unseat Disney's masterpiece, as the better Wonderland; with or without a jabberwocky.


What I'm Reading 3.29; Baseball, Bombings, Barack and Baby Squirrels

Here I go again, more or less on my own; in seek of the ever-present career which has eluded me up to this point.

About a month ago a longtime friend (can you call someone you've known for 2 years a longtime friend?) let me into a secret about some potential part-time work at a newspaper. Yeah, that's right, those paper things people used to buy and read and gain insight into the world around them.

But, in my state; featured as the epitome for a lack-of-motivation and what not to do video, I brushed it off, only to come back to it now.

So tomorrow I'm beginning my journalistic journey anew at The Star Press in Muncie, working part-time and doing freelance. I'm excited and hope this is a breath of fresh air into a career path that, so far, has been a bit, so to speak; lacking.

Baseball is one week away and I know I'm excited how about you? The beloved Reds are looking fresh and young; something to embrace but who is this guy? President Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch opening day for the Nationals; at least they have something to get animated about in D.C.

An apparent suicide bomber killed 38 in a Moscow subway; it is unclear who is responsible at this hour.

A police-car-biting dog has to take obedience classes in a town I was in yesterday: Chattanooga.

Here is an interesting timeline of media layoffs; thanks C. Trent.

WSJ.com offers good insight into the benefits and costs of the health-care overhaul.

Ten stories 'you' should know about this years Final Four in Indianapolis. While we are the pinnacle of March Madness; how about those Butler Bulldogs?! Several Bulldog fans lined up for tickets this morning. Kravitz has a good take on the Bulldog's story.

And, last but certainly not least: a poodle plays foster mom to baby squirrels in N. Carolina.

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