Yesterday afternoon, as we all prepared for Super Bowl Sunday, the shocking and tragic news broke of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. The Wise Guise crew texted about our favorite roles and memories, along with the tragedy of another great artist lost too young to drugs. We decided to share some reflections and memories with you today. Enjoy, and feel free to share your own in the comments below.
The second year of President Obama’s second term has only just begun, marked by his 2014 State of the Union Address last week. But as I’ve discussed before on this blog, the jockeying to become the 45th President of the United States began the day after the 2012 election. And, in actuality, many Republicans and Democrats made decisions between 2008 and 2012 that began to set them up for potential runs in 2016.
While it is far too early to make any legitimate predictions about 2016, there are some recent developments and recent polls that can give us a big-picture overview of who could be the 45th President of the United States and next leader of the free world. There are also some recent political developments that could impact the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential primary and general elections. I will discuss many of these details more in-depth as 2014 progresses, from gubernatorial races and immigration reform status in Congress to scandals and GOP efforts to claim a majority in the Senate.
For now, though, we look to 2016. One recent development is the Republican Party’s shrewd move to hold their 2016 Convention MUCH earlier than they have been held in the last few presidential election cycles. In order to avoid a long, drawn-out primary in which candidates beat up on each other and the eventual nominee, they are limiting the number of debates and ensuring their presidential ticket is set in stone heading into the dog days of summer. This is wise. Assuming Hillary is the eventual Democratic nominee without much legitimate competition, the GOP needs to rally around the eventual nominee with months to go before the general election. With the GOP having a mostly health internal battle for the future of the party, this early convention and conclusion to the primary is even more important.
So how much of a front-runner is Hillary right now? If not Hillary, then who? In the wide-open and very full GOP race, is anyone a clear front-runner? Two new polls out this week give us clues to answering these questions.
In this post, I share with you the highlights of President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address, along with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’, Sen. Mike Lee’s, and Sen. Rand Paul’s official responses. I present these excerpts pulled out because I feel that it’s really all you need to know about each one. I’m also providing the full video of each address in case you want to watch/hear the entire thing as it was delivered.
In August of 2008, I embarked on a journey that irrevocably changed the heartbeat of my family. It was then that I boarded an airplane in Nashville bound for a rural village in Africa. I would be living and working at a village for children orphaned by AIDS. I was leaving a few months after graduating from Vanderbilt to live at Lily of the Valley for a year. Fully realizing the idealism with which I traveled, I hoped that somehow my naivete would be transformed into what James talked about in Chapter 1, Verse 27 of his epistle – “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
While at Lily, I met a small malnourished boy named Aphiwe. Aphiwe was a sweet five year old little boy who was very sick. He had come to Lily only several months earlier and was a virtual loner. Every morning he would sit outside the window of my room, tending the dirt in my flower bed.
Director Alfonso Cuaron captured top honors from the Directors Guild of America Saturday evening. Largely seen as the top indicator of what film will win Best Picture, the DGA has a proven track record of recognizing the cream of the crop. This year was no exception.
This should position “Gravity” as the front-runner for Best Picture, right? Normally, it would. Even last year, without Ben Affleck capturing a Best Director nomination, his DGA win sealed the deal for “Argo” to win Best Picture on Oscar Night. Why would this year prove any different?
Before I start, let me say that I’m a Christian. If it weren’t for my relationship with Jesus, I’d be nothing. What you’re about to read might come across as idolatry, but I firmly believe that the things discussed in this post are all things that happened for a reason and things that God ordained for my good.
The past six or seven months have largely been pretty rough. In late June, my dad was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. By the time it was discovered, the cancer had already spread to his brain and his lymph nodes. A month later, my mom took a job in Kansas City. We’re pretty close so having her move seven hours away was a shock to my system. In the same few weeks, to a lesser extreme, but still one that had a great effect on my personal well being, I began to grow frustrated with my career and started questioning exactly what I was supposed to “do” for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck.
About a month before all of this, my wife and I made two decisions that I wholeheartedly believe helped me from going off the deep end. First, we got a dog. Second, we started watching The Office.
In many ways, the 56th Annual Grammys was a mixture of everything right and wrong with modern awards shows. Performances ranged from the inspirational to the outlandish, but all proved to be the type of buzz-worthy segments show producers were eager to achieve.
The 2014 ceremony was all about the leading women in music. Beyoncé kicked off the show with a sizzling “Drunk in Love” bit with husband Jay-Z. Lorde kept her angsty persona going with a memorable “Royals” solo. Who didn’t love Pink’s stunning descent from the ceiling? And Taylor Swift seemed hell-bent to prove her critics wrong and did such with a stunningly aggressive rendition for “All Too Well.”
Of course, the boys had their fun, too. Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons easily stole the show with an intensity rarely seen on the Grammys stage. Ditto to Metallica’s return and the crazed finale that saw Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Dave Grohl go ballistic with one of the best rock mash-ups in recent memory.
It was Daft Punk and friends who really owned the evening, though. Think it couldn’t get any better than an on-stage medley with Stevie Wonder? Amazingly, it did, as the crew swept the show, earning Record and Album of the Year. All of the “Get Lucky” love almost made us forget about Pharrell’s outrageous hat. Well, almost.