Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I just turned in my computer to be fixed. When your fan sounds like a lawnmower, it's probably time for a tune-up.

Thankfully, ITS here at UNC will repair it for free since mine is under warranty. However, they are currently out of loaner computers.

So, I am without a computer for a day or so. I still have my hand-held Palm calendar, my jump drive full of files, my iPod, and obviously I have internet access because I am typing this at a library computer. BUT, after this, I'm going to try and rough it for as long as possible.

It's kind of exciting and freeing to be somewhat unplugged in these days of zeros and ones.

Maybe I'll read more.
Enjoy face time with people.
Go outside.

You know, things that people do when they aren't plugged into technology 24/7.

Be liberated and full of grace today, my friends.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mustang Film Festival, Part 3

And now... for the final installment of my film watching extravaganza! Dialogue about the movies is appreciated and encouraged.

The Last 10
16) Best Location - Twelve Angry Men
"This fighting. This is not why we are here, to fight. We have a responsibility. This I have always thought is a remarkable thing about democracy is that we are - what’s the word? Notified. We are notified by mail to come down to this place to decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have never heard of before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing. Thank you."

17) Best Reverse Redemption -
Pretty Woman
Edward: So what happens after he climbs up and he rescues her?
Vivian: She rescues him right back

18) Best Actress -
Million Dollar Baby

19) Best Supporting Actor -
Charlie Wilson's War
"These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world...and then we fucked up the endgame."

20) Best Coen Brothers -
Raising Arizona
(Shameless plug here for No Country for Old Men, which I saw slightly before my movie fest. Go. See it now.)

21) Best Local Director -
"It’s a hard grape to grow, as you know, right? It’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. And in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. And then, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet."

22) Best Quotes Amidst Sketchiness -
The People vs. Larry Flynt
“This country is founded, at least in part, on the belief that unpopular speech is vital to our nation."

23) Best Copycat -
National Treasure: Book of Secrets

24) Best Awkward End Credits Song -
The Golden Compass

25) Best Incredibly Long Dance Sequences -
White Christmas

And, that's a wrap!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stings + Healings

Have you ever felt really small?

Or just that you don't fit in anywhere?

I told a friend last night that I don't really have a "group" and I'm a sort of floater who has friends from different circles. Which is true.

But it's also true that when I have often tried to spend time with people in a couple different tight-knit circles because I'd like to know them more, I get the distinct impression I'm not as interesting or wanted as those who are already in the "circles of trust" (thank you Meet the Parents for popularizing that statement).

I thought feeling left out and unwanted was a thing of the past. Dead and buried with the high school bells ringing every 50 minutes. But the truth is that cliques hurt, no matter your age or station in life.

So I thank God for quality people who are selfless and inclusive even when it's inconvenient:
-Kristen Greenholt who talked to me and prayed with me at the latest IV retreat.
-My roomie, Ashley Sauls, who so graciously invites me to any and everything she does.
-Joseph McCormick for diffusing an awkward party moment and asking deeper questions.
-Bethany Limpach for her relentless pursuance of me and for taking a chance and finding a "kindred spirit."
-Sarah Vanderpool, Kate Jessup, Ashleigh Greene, Katie Smith, Mallorie Price & Asa Mair for wanting to spend time with me and making it happen.
-Betsey Smith for understanding me about as well as a person could.

It is my prayer that I, too, would love so fully and selflessly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mustang Film Festival, Part 2

And now I continue with the films I watched over break. Many thanks to Netflix for this semi-free opportunity.

The Next 10*
6) Best Use of Color - Amelie

7) Best Music - The Royal Tenenbaums
“I wish you’d’ve done this for me when I was a kid."

8) Best Camera Blocking - Rear Window

9) Best Dramatic Pause - Children of Men

10) Best Steven Spielberg - Minority Report
"What good is a justice system that instills doubt?"

11) Best Fake Shooting Scene - North by Northwest
“Well wouldn’t it be nice if my problems and your plans were somehow connected? Then we could always stay close to each other & not have to go out in separate directions. Togetherness. You know what I mean?”

12) Best Random Acts of Violence - Pulp Fiction
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."

13) Best Use of an Animal as an Integral Character - I Am Legend

14) Best Motivating Scene - The Great Debaters

15) Best Adam Sandler (ever) - Reign Over Me

*Do keep in mind that these "superlatives" are only out of the films that I watched. By no means do I mean that Minority Report is the best Steven Spielberg movie of all time. Jaws, Schindler's List, E.T. all are further ahead on that list. But it was, however, the "best" and only film of Spielberg's that I watched in this movie fest.

Friday, January 18, 2008

i want to be like this

i want our IV chapter to be like this.

what do you think?

Mustang Film Festival, Part 1

As some may know, I spent this past winter break watching movies. Lots of movies.

There are so many good movies that I haven't seen, and as an aspiring producer, I decided to take some of my down time and become "cultured" in that sense. The grand total of films I saw both in theatres and out was 25. Plus one entire season of Gilmore Girls.

So in a mock awards fashion I am giving superlatives to all 25 of these jewels (and otherwise). And a favorite quote attached to some, but not all.

I will have three installments. Top 5, Next 10, Bottom 10.

I'd love to hear what some of you thought of these movies if you saw them in theatres over break, or if you've seen them before. Enjoy!

Top 5
1) Best Twist I Didn't See Coming - Fight Club
"This is your life and it's ending one moment at a time."

2) Best Nonlinear but Linear Plot - Memento
"Memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record."

3) Best Thoughtful "Horror" - The Sixth Sense
"I asked her if she was proud of me."

4) Best Foreign Film - Pan's Labyrinth

5) Best Cinematography - Atonement

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Umbrella Covers + Muddy Patches

It's a rainy day here in Chapel Hill.

I love rainy days because they force us to slow down and give us time to think. That and we just get wet.

But, really, rain is a renewing force. Both metaphorically and physically. In fact I was just thinking on the bus yesterday about how in our time of drought in the Southeast, rain is particularly meaningful because it is a tangible sign of grace and relief. Like Jennifer Hagin said this weekend, water is such a significant image in the Old Testament because so often the people and the ground lacked it.

Instead of contemplating the intricacies of rain, though, this morning I was rushing to get to my 8 a.m. class and I dropped my umbrella cover in the middle of Raleigh Street.

Without time to go back for it, I continued on to class. On my way back to the warm haven of my dorm I thought about what I would do if the umbrella cover was still somehow in the middle of the street. It didn't matter that it was gross and muddy now that cars had run over it, and that people would see me picking it up - I was going to pick it up and claim it for my own.

I think that picture of the umbrella cover and my reaction to losing it is a lot of what it means to "own" something. Often I shy away from the concept of ownership because I see it easily corrupted (individualistic, territorial, materialistic). As humans we latch onto things to call "ours" in order to somehow define ourselves. So Jane owns an iPod, a MINI Cooper, and a Northface jacket. Michael owns a Zune, a Volvo, and a Land's End parka. We try to find our security in the things we have instead of who we belong to. But maybe ownership is more about love and investment.

In fact, the umbrella cover reminds me a lot of the way we must look to God. While most people would like to fancy themselves as clean and collected, I think in reality we are very much the dropped in the street, run over, wet, muddy umbrella cover. In the presence of such Perfection, how are we anything but?

Yet the beauty of it comes in the fact that God isn't repulsed by that. Instead, he willingly stoops down and picks us up, bringing us inside to become His. We are His. That is what ownership means - to care for something, to love it.

In stark visual contrast to this sense of ownership affection stands the ground outside of Carroll Hall.

Once upon a time (a year ago) this patch of ground used to be vibrant with green grass. Students would sometimes cut across this grass for a more direct entrance into Carroll, especially when running late. So, there was a small dirt path wearing through the grassy area, but it was still livable.

Fast forward to today. That same plot of land is a muddy wasteland. Construction takes up the rest of that quad area, forcing heavy foot traffic over the ground and effectively killing the grass.

It always used to bother me in a quirky way that people didn't respect the grass enough to walk 5 extra steps around it and stay on the sidewalk. The way no one valued the grass. And now I realize that value is linked to "ownership." Will I "invest" or give up 20 more seconds of my life in order to protect this thing that I value - a beautiful green patch of land?

So here is what I'm saying. A sense of ownership can be really good in that it makes people care about something enough to protect it. We belong to God. The grassy patch belongs to me (and 37,000 of my closest friends). But please hear this, too. Ownership is NOT individualistic. Do I, Liz Hundley, really own the grassy quad? No, but I, along with everyone else who traverses that path, do have an interest in its survival, and that sense of ownership and care for this space should be what motivates us to protect it.