Friday, May 25, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

I'm between books right now. For the first time in a long time I do have a stack from which to choose, but I'm not really ready to decide yet. Just recently I skimmed Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel. This is meant to be a look at how the author really feels as a pastor, in part to show others that pastors aren't perfect and have it all together. The first chapter, for instance, is entitled, "I Can't Stand a Lot of Christians." With a chapter heading like that, I thought I'd be really interested. Groeschel is not the greatest writer. Some of his thoughts and jokes don't translate well to print (or maybe they just aren't funny). In addition, he doesn't leave each chapter with the questions and ambiguities that I enjoy so much about other books with similar content. He briefly presents a problem, decides that it's completely his own issue, and then presents a scripture or two that tells him and his readers how they should really feel about things. That really seems to be the basic approach in each chapter. But really, it was at the point where he told a story about praying for his air conditioner and getting it to magically work again where I decided that I probably wouldn't be reading for much longer.

I now have to wait an extra week to see how everything turns out on The Sopranos. Last week's was pretty good...A.J. attempts suicide but finds that he can't follow through. The entire episode seemed to focus on the role of psychotherapy in various characters' lives: Tony with Melfi, Melfi's own therapy, and A.J.'s problems. In that vein, Carmella had a pretty jerkface moment when she blamed Tony for A.J.'s depression issues: "It's the Soprano curse. It's definitely not from my family." Tony ended up voicing my and Mrs. Jeff's response perfectly, which isn't suitable to reprint here. And things took a decidedly bad turn between the New Jersey and New York families after Tony does what one would expect him to do after a New York guy said some inappropriate things to Meadow.

We're going to see the third Pirates movie tomorrow. It's supposed to be longer than the second, and the second seemed long. A long movie shouldn't seem long. I maintain that I liked the ghost story in the first better than the sea monster story of the second. But this one is supposed to feature a huge pirate/navy showdown, so hopefully that'll be good.

The new Modest Mouse album is awesome.

Around the web, here's Blake Lewis and Doug E. Fresh.