Sunday, January 30, 2011

Remind Me Always


"Remind me always that you have a plan for me, greater than I could ever imagine."


"Bring me light from where I thought it was dark..."
"It's hard to recall what blew out the flame, it's been dark since you can remember..."

"Hope has a way of turning its face to you, just when you least expect it."


"You really shouldn't say "I love you" unless you really mean it. But when you do, you should say it a lot, because people forget and it's good for them to get reminded."

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in the wrong but rejoices in the right. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~Corinthians 13

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pushing Daisies

"I suppose dying's as good an excuse as any to start living"
--Chuck Charles

Pushing Daisies.
My obsession with it borders on the unhealthy.
But, just like a great big slice of pie teaches us, the truly delicious is best experienced in unhealthy amounts.
Never since When Curiosity Met Insanity have I encountered a more adorable, addicting, innocent, and endearing love story. 
Never have I giggled at innuendos as clever and as sharp. Never have I marveled over dialogue as clever and as hilarious. 
This show is what we colloquially would deem: a winner.

1) The Colors

Pushing Daisies is a feast for the eyes. The colors of the world are brilliant and brightly saturated. The world has a quirky, fairy-tale-ish quality. It's endearing and charming.

2) The dialogue. 
Oh, the dialogue. There are a plethora of quotes that I love peppered through this post, because I simply cannot restrict myself. But in case you, like myself, can never get enough, here are a choice few:

"Just because there's a dead body doesn't mean I have to touch it."--Ned
"Just because there is vodka in my freezer it doesn't mean I have to drink it. Wait, yes it does."--Emerson Cod

"I'm sure it's just the mailman. Or a windmill-to-windmill salesman." --Olive

"That ain't a grain of salt. That's one of those blocks they give cows to lick."--Emerson

“Is it vodka?”—Lily Charles

“As in Russian for vodka?”—Lily Charles

"You said you wanted to know who killed me so that justice could be served. See, I don't think that "Justice" was on the menu. Maybe as a side dish, but not as an entrée."--Chuck
"It was most definitely an entrée. It was a Special of the Day. Could we drop the metaphor?" --Ned

3) The actors. They're all lovely, adorable, and witty to a fault.

Ned, The Piemaker- played by Lee Pace.

"Everything we do is a choice. Oatmeal or cereal, highway or sidestreets, kiss her or keep her. We make choices, and we live with consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way, we ask for forgiveness, it's the best anyone can do."--Ned

Ned, a.k.a. The Piemaker, is adorable, quirky, and endearingly awkward. Having discovered his unusual and peculiar talent (raising people from the dead) at a tender age, Ned has dealt with the moral ramifications and the consequences (both disastrous and delightful) of his supernatural abilities ever since. His heart is made of pure gold, which keeps him, if not exactly on the straight and narrow, at least on a more or less zig-zag path of morality. His sweet, innocent love for Chuck melts the heart, and makes you want to blubber, giggle, sigh, or hug a everyone and everything in sight.

"You don't know nothin about her except she had soft lips when she was ten!"--Emerson Cod
"That should be enough."--Ned

Charlotte "Chuck" Charles-played by Anna Friel

"I'd kiss you if it wouldn't kill me."--Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
Charlotte, a.k.a. Chuck is as sassy and as sweet as they come. After being raised from the dead by Ned, she's the sweetness and warmth in the Piemaker's lonely life, like golden organic honey in cup of black coffee. Chuck loves Ned, but being fiercely independent, she's constantly working on staring her own life anew, which is difficult, considering that the man she loves is the man she owes her new life to. However, if the man she loved hadn't inadvertantly killed her father, then maybe she wouldn't have died in the first place. Yeah. It's complicated.

Emerson Cod-played by Chi McBride

"In the third grade I did a report on great whites. Discovered we were a lot alike seein' as how we're both misunderstood bad*sses."--Emerson Cod

Emerson Cod: Private Investigator extraordinaire, and a regular at the Pie Hole. What sets Emerson apart from just your average hard-boiled private eye is his affinity for knitting and his hobby of pop-up book crafting. His sardonic humor steals the show and my heart. A perpetual cynic and wise-guy, Emerson slowly (but surely) reveals his soft and cuddly side over time.

"The truth ain't like puppies: a bunch running around and you pick your favorite."--Emerson

Olive Snook-played by Kristin Chenoweth
"I spent so much time praying, I've run out of things to say. I'm having awkward silences with God!"--Olive Snook
Olive Snook. No one sassier. No one more passionate, ridiculous, well-meaning, and downright bewitching. Pipsqueak develops from an tag-along and odd-man-out in the Piemaker-Chuck-Emerson trio to an essential part of the Pie Hole family. Olive harbors a not-so-secret love for Ned. While other men appear in her life throughout the series, they are but little strikes of a match on tinder compared to the flame that Olive holds for Ned. Olive strikes up an unlikely friendship with Chuck's spinster aunts, providing them with a link to the outside world, pie, and lots of tender love.

“Did you tell them I was alive?”--Chuck
“Kinda think that would make their little heads explode. What was that rhyme? "I scream, you scream, we all scream 'cause you faked your death!"—Olive

The Narrator. Voiced by Jim Dale.
"Chuck, you’re the only human being I’ve ever made alive again to stay."--Ned
"He lied."-- The Narrator

Hilarious. Snarky. Sentimental. Amazing.

"In her own way, Olive identified with the plight of the abandoned pie. It was meant for someone who, without a little effort, would never be with the one it was meant to be with."--Narrator

4) The Quirky Combination of a Fairy-Tale and a Whodunnit

"So a kiss is out of the question?" --Chuck
"I've lost my train of thought."--Ned

Think of it as a twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale: only the touch of a handsome prince/piemaker can awake the beautiful princess from her eternal slumber. But, there's a catch. If the prince/piemaker ever touches his true love again, she'll fall asleep again, but this time the prince is out of luck. Nothing will ever awake her again. This fractured fairy-tale is juxtaposed with crime-busting activities, and the solving of slightly gruesome murders, led by Emerson Cod. While Chuck waltzes around in beautiful dresses, and has the disposition worthy of any Disney Princess, she eagerly forces her way into Emerson an Ned's crime fighting gig, and sets out to solve mysteries with the pluck and determination of an Agatha Christie sleuth. Ned is everything a prince in a fairy-tale should be. Except that if he kisses the princess, she'll fall down dead. Ned's and Chuck's happily ever after is happy, but nonetheless teeming with adventure.

"You can't die of evilness."--Emerson Cod
"Happens all the time you do something mean or hurtful to someone like tell a secret... Bang! You're dead."--Chuck
"Or Bang! You're not really dead you're just pretending to be dead while other people who think you're dead are heartbroken"--Olive
"Or Bang! You talk too much and you both go wait in the car. "--Emerson

5) PIE.
"Well, it's pretty much I bake pies and wake the dead. I live a very sheltered life."--Ned

The whole series revolves around a pieshop where a handsome piemaker bakes succulent, picture-perfect pies. Pies are a backdrop, a plot device, and in general a theme for the series. If you're a pie fanatic, then you should love the show already. If you haven't discovered homey comfort and piquant quaintness that is pie, this show will reveal to you all the beauty of pie.

You've had enough convincing. Do yourself a favor, bake a pie, and sit down with a slice to watch Pushing Daisies. It'll make you very, very happy.

"Oh, everyone wants stuff. We wake up everyday with a list of wishes a mile long and maybe we spend our lives trying to make those wishes come true, but just because we want them doesn't mean we need them to be happy." --Ned

"What do you need to be happy?"--Chuck


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Live Like We're Living

Thank you, C.S.

 I should be reading The Iliad. But I'd rather be blogging. 
And as I wandered through all the posts that I have half-written, I decided not to post any of them.
But rather to post this, a charming and moving little video that I discovered this morning, because it's been on my mind the whole day. Because it warms my heart, and makes me want to dance for joy. Because if we all lived like this, we'd all smile a lot more, and laugh a little louder. Because living each day, finding the joy and the impeccable beauty in every single moment, is awesome.

The Book of Awesome is a truly beautiful little reminder that today we've been granted 86,400 seconds to spend as we please. And it's a challenge: How are you going to spend your 86,400 seconds?

God's given us those precious seconds, He's given us 86,400 opportunities to immerse ourselves in the dance of life, to love someone, to make them smile, to laugh, and to seek out the beautiful and awesome.

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful." --Mae West.

(^ And I end, as I began, with a quote. Clive may have had more traditional morals than Mae, but this sassy lady said some wickedly hilarious (and insightful) things. This quote explains why I listen to songs on repeat. 
Can't get enough of a good thing.)