Friday, December 31, 2010

OK, here's a Top 10 for best soccer goals of 2010

I decided to check out Top 10 lists of best soccer goals of 2010, and came across this piece about those nominated for Best Goal of 2010. I can't say I agree with every shot included, but most are jaw-droppers and well worth a look.


A stunning goal in soccer

On a night when sleep eludes me, I came across this amazing goal during a soccer match earlier this year. Even if you don't care much about "football" - and many Americans don't - you have to marvel at this shot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brightman and Bocelli

I'm an unabashed fan of Sarah Brightman, and I've been known to sing along with Andrea Bocelli (much to the chagrin of my neighbors). This song will let you know why. It sends chills every time I hear it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The magic of lights on a Christmas tree

I'm not sure why, but I've always loved a brightly lit Christmas tree.

Maybe it's because the creation symbolizes joy - the joy of the Christ child's birth, or the joy that comes when the presents under the tree are opened, or the joy of loved ones gathering for the holiday the tree helps symbolize.

Maybe it's the variety of colors that the lights typically offer, standing out particularly vividly in a darkened room.

Or maybe my special affection has its roots in my childhood, when I came to love seeing a lit-up Christmas tree in a darkened room after coming in from an active - often cold - day at school or outside. It was so peaceful, so calming, so...regal, almost.

I thought that even though our trees were never ostentatious or 'over the top', so to speak - at least compared to many trees I've seen since then. It's entirely possible to do "too much" to a tree, to where it's a garish avalanche of images assaulting the eyes.

The best Christmas trees to me, in fact, have an air of simplicity about them: a nice mix of lights, ornaments and icicles, plus those touches that personalize the tree for the family using it: memento photos or ornaments, heirloom tree-toppers, perhaps.

However you decorate your tree, make it a delight for the eyes - and the memories.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Sunday morning in Hawaii

Those old enough to remember anything about that first Sunday
in December in 1941 are well into their 70s now. The number of men and women who survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is dwindling rapidly, their eyesight and hearing - and, I fear, our collective memory - fading.

I was captivated by these images - some from captured Japanese military - of that surprise attack that thrust America into World War II. They are from the Boston Globe, and you can see the entire slideshow by clicking on the link below.

Glimpses from a day of infamy

I've interviewed numerous Pearl Harbor survivors, and their eyes tell stories they can never form into words. When the movie "Pearl Harbor" (starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Affleck, among others) came out several years ago, I helped organize a viewing for local survivors of the attack.

They wanted to see how faithful the movie would be to history. I wanted to hear what they had to say. I was disappointed in the movie, which seemed to take a monumental event in our nation's history and make it the subplot to a soapy romance.

They were surprisingly gracious, I thought. Sure, they had little use for the love story, but they still appreciated the movie.

Maybe, they said, it will inspire young people to go back and take a closer look at what happened on that peaceful Sunday morning in the Pacific. Maybe, they said, it will help them appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to preserve freedom for the generations that have followed.

I hope they're right.