Alice in Wonderland – Up to the hype?

For a movie that did so well at the box office, the new Alice in Wonderland movie was just mediocre. Yes, there were some aspects of it that made it a good movie, but ultimately, the storyline left something to be desired. Granted, I have never seen the original Disney cartoon version, so that is probably why I didn’t like this new one. One of the two things this movie had going for it was the graphics. From the Red Queen ­– played by Helena Bonham Carter – and her massive head to the beautiful array of colors, the visual effects definitely helped this movie. And, of course, the acting was phenomenal. Who could not like Johnny Depp’s performance as the Mad Hatter? I love Depp and everything he has ever done, because he is an amazing actor. And he is amazing in this movie as well. When the audience is introduced to his character, I was creeped out by him and all his antics as the Hatter. But as the movie progresses the audience comes to love the Hatter for all the aid he gives Alice. Will I ever see this movie again? Probably not. But am I happy that I saw it? Yes. Maybe I’m just waiting to find a Tim Burton movie that is better than The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I’m beginning to realize that Burton can’t top that...

Read More
New baseball season, same problems
Mar30

New baseball season, same problems

As the 2010 Major League Baseball season approaches, many teams are spending their spring in Florida, preparing for the upcoming grind of 162 regular season games. Baseball is a sport of exactness and refined skill. Only the greatest combination of talent and practice can produce a winning baseball team. That, and cash. The Yankees welcomed the Houston Astros on a brisk evening at George M. Stienbrennar field. White lattice mimicking the Bronx home of the bombers girdles the iron grandstand that seats 16,000 spectators in Tampa. On a practice field, Yankee pitchers Andy Petite and Joba Chamberlain threw batting practice to several youngsters. A security guard commented that anyone could schedule a party and play with some Yankees. Last week, a bar mitzvah was held for the mere price of $90,000. But what else could be expected from a team whose 3rd baseman, Alex Rodriguez, will make $31 million this year alone. Just an hour away, in Bradenton, Fla., The Pittsburgh Pirates are getting ready for their morning game with the Detroit Tigers. These Pirates will be paying their major league players about $36 million this year. That’s $4 million more than just one Yankee. With such a huge gap between payrolls, is it any surprise that the Pirates’ field, McKechnie, only holds about 6,000. Or that the Yankees are coming off of a World Series championship and the Pirates are coming off a sporting record of 17 consecutive losing seasons. This doesn’t mean that the Pirates are hopeless. Outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Garret Jones are coming off sensational rookie seasons, and third base prospect Pedro Alvarez is projected to crack the major league lineup soon, but the Pirates roster doesn’t invoke the kind of fear that the all star filled Yankees scorecard does. It doesn’t even compare to Pirates lineups of days past, when Clemente and Stargell were household names. Money doesn’t always equal success. The Mets have been terrible despite their huge salaries. The Tampa Bay Rays won the World Series with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, but no one can argue that money helps. In the NFL, NHA and NBA all teams are subject to a salary cap. In baseball, teams pay what they want. The Pirates claim to be waiting till their young players develop enough to compete and then will spend to add complementing players. Pirates owner Bob Nutting told me that team really seems to be coming together, and I agree. Baseball may be getting exciting in Pittsburgh again, but it has taken a complete purge in talent in the recent years to acquire prospects. This is the correct approach for...

Read More

In eHarmony with singleness

There are misconceptions about meeting people online. Why is it OK for people to choose their “friends” on Facebook and let mere acquaintances see some of the deepest “notes” of their life, but if a person joins a networking site for the sake of romantic relationships where their “matches” are chosen for them, suddenly a line has been crossed? I am what many people call “hardcore” about convictions. I recently joined eHarmony. Some would call me crazy. But somewhere in my ambition and zeal for “waiting on the Lord,” I realized that I was doing the same things over and over and expecting different results, the real definition of “crazy.” I have been “out” a couple times, but never dated. I came to UMHB not only for the academics and the Christian environment; I’d venture to say (with a smile) the slick, purple brochures mailed to my house when I was in high school are partly to blame. I can remember one in particular that said, “Why go to a Christian college?” and one of its main reasons was to find a Christian spouse. What a zinger. And that’s how many girls picture their college career. I won’t lie for the rest of the female student population. Most of us would like to double major – one of those being the “MRS” degree. I would like to preface my story about deciding to join eHarmony with this: I have reached the place of content in my singleness. I used to get into long discussions with my previous, now-married roommate about how God brings relationships to a deeper level when the couple brings more glory to Him together than when they’re apart. With another friend, I would try to dissect Paul’s words when he said, “It is better not to marry.” We’d often wonder if he knew what in the world he was talking about. Then, there’s always parental advice. “God won’t give you an idol to replace Him,” my mom would tell me. So, it took a while, and I’m not even saying I’ve got it all nailed down, but I began to realize my prolonged singleness was, in fact, what drew me closer into the presence of God more than anything else. I found myself truly craving time in the Bible and waking up with His name on my lips. I prayed, God, if my singleness is what keeps drawing me back to You and keeps me depending on You, bringing us closer, I’m going to stop asking You to take it away. It is a gift. I accept Your gift. Then, I knew. It wasn’t that, “Oh, I’ve learned the lesson....

Read More

The Importance of the Tournament

By Garrett Smith In recent years, the main games of interest to UMHB basketball have included Hardin-Simmons and Concordia, based on the rivalries the schools share.  However, this year’s American Southwest Conference basketball tournament includes several matches of greater importance to UMHB. Concordia The Crusaders have defeated Concordia for 17 straight games, but rarely has the margin of victory been more than three or four points in the last three years.  Concordia, for losing to UMHB this many times, seems to put up the toughest fight against the Cru. The UMHB-Concordia rivalry hit its peak when students from both universities filled Mayborn Campus Center for the ASC Championship game in 2008. UMHB came away with the nail biter victory and won the conference. UT-Dallas UMHB traveled to Dallas in 2009 for the ASC Tournament and fought hard against a talented UT-Dallas team, as well as many questionable calls by the referees. UMHB fans were not greeted with respect from the Comet fans in Richardson, and the game left a bitter taste with the Crusader faithful.  At the first chance to settle the score, UMHB was defeated again by UT-Dallas 83-79 early this season.  In a final game matchup between these two teams, the crowd will be guaranteed a good show. Mississippi College Tension continues to build between UMHB and Mississippi College ever since the October upset of UMHB’s football team by the Choctaws. After getting off to a rocky start to the season, UMHB had to face the 10th ranked Mississippi College in Mayborn Campus Center, where the Cru scored an impressive 83-64 upset of the Choctaws.  No doubt a rematch would be heated. UT-Tyler Last time UT-Tyler played in the first round of the ASC Tournament in Mayborn, the UMHB fans arrived to cheer on the Patriots against Hardin-Simmons.  This time, UTT’s first match is against UMHB. McMurry It is a common trend to make McMurry the butt of sporting jokes, but this year’s squad is nothing to laugh at. UMHB defeated McMurry in Abilene, 80-73, but lost the rematch at home, 76-88.  McMurry wants to show the conference they are capable of repeating victory in Mayborn, but UMHB will not let them have it easily. ETBU and Sul Ross State The very fact that East Texas Baptist University made it into the tournament does not speak highly of the efforts of teams such as Howard Payne and Hardin-Simmons. While a win against McMurry by the Tigers would benefit UMHB, Crusader fans can only keep their fingers crossed. Sul Ross, while not known for strong athletics programs, is not a team to overlook, especially if they are capable...

Read More

Disastrous Backwards Night

Lindsay Schaefer is living in England this spring and studying with the UMHB London Studies Program. After complaining to a dear friend that we often find ourselves bored at night, she suggested that we take up learning how to cook.  At first, I laughed at the idea. I was enjoying eating sandwiches on fresh bread with brie and soup and cooking pasta.  However, after two weeks of that, I was beginning to dread meal time, so I decided to take her advice. While I was debating whether or not to take on this new challenge, the story of Julie and Julia kept popping into my head (Julie decided to tackle Julia Child’s Art of French Cooking and blog about it). No worries, my blog about London will not turn into a blog about cooking, but it is part of my experience while living in this wonderful city! I believe that it is time to kick it up a notch, buy a cookbook and try my hand at really cooking. It’s not like I’ll get fat, we walk far too much for that! Plus, groceries here are fairly cheap and very fresh. Not to mention, Curtis is fairly good at cooking, too! But tonight was a different story…. It all started with the infamous question around 4:30 p.m. “So, what’s for dinner?” Curtis was fine with pizza or pasta, but my taste buds were craving something with flavor, and my stomach desired something filling and comforting. So, we put off dinner. Six p.m. rolls around, and Curtis’ stomach growls loudly as he claims that he is starving. I was tired of going to our small local Sainsbury’s, so Curtis suggested that we walk a little further and go to a larger grocery store. As we enter the store, the thought of cooking breakfast for dinner (“backwards night”) crossed my mind. Curtis jumped on board, and we quickly planned a menu. Pancakes, bacon, eggs and juice. YUMMY! Off we went to find our ingredients. I found a pancake mix in the very back on the very bottom shelf for 9 pence (very cheap) that looked “American” enough. Curtis though it would be best to stock up and buy several (6) packets. We found the bacon (2 for 3.50 pounds), the eggs (1/2 doz. 91 pence) and the juice (3 for 2.50pounds). We were so excited to hurry home and cook our delicious breakfast! Curtis was captain of the stove (It’s gas, and I am afraid to light it).  He started cooking the bacon, which soon filled the air with a pleasant aroma and brought people in to wonder what we were...

Read More
Brighton Royal Pavilion
Feb12

Brighton Royal Pavilion

My Friday morning began at 7.20 am. Jumping out of bed and realizing that I had hit my snooze button one too many times, I quickly ran to the bathroom waking up the other girls on the way. We were running late and I had no clue what I was going to wear. We were going to visit a city, Brighton, on the coast and the weather was supposed to be rainy and cold (no surprise there), so naturally that means layers and lots of them. Layer one, layer two, layer three, grabbed a jacket and a scarf on the way out to dash up to the kitchen and have just enough time to eat a muffin and drink a cup of green tea while Curtis made our sandwiches for later. Our little group was out the door at 8.15 and headed to Holborn Tube station.  We pushed and shoved with the locals as we fought through morning rush hour to board the tube to Green Park. Three stops later and we exited to transfer lines to Victoria.  It occurred to me, as I was walking, that I no longer felt like a dumb American ( well except for the jeans and tennis shoes) trying to make sense of this complicated underground transportation system.  I walked with purpose and determination to board the tube I needed to catch to take me to where I was meant to go. The Way Out (the exit) led us to a train station, where we knew we needed to be, but just not exactly sure. After taking one wrong turn, someone in the group spotted Dr. Kemp (I am so grateful that he is over 6′ and has white hair- always easy to find him).  There we met the rest of the group and received two train tickets each. I am sure we were quite a sight today; many of us carrying large backpacks and wearing jeans and tennis shoes, we stuck out like sore thumbs in the station among all the professionally dressed business men and women. It also did not help that we did not know how the system worked and often stopped right in the middle of the walkway to look around at the signs. Our train was scheduled to leave at 9.36am. We made it in time and with everybody aboard. The train ride there took a little less than an hour and was very uneventful. While passing through, I watched small cities come and go, mountains appear and disappear, and the sun peak in and out of the clouds. At last we reached our destination- Brighton. First impression-...

Read More