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Tag Archive: 2010

Feb 20

New Posts from 2010 and 2011

I’ve started posting several favorite columns from 2010 and 2011. You can check the monthly archives to the right, or just check archives for the entire years for 2010 and 2011. Expect a new post every other day or so.

Dec 30

Top reasons why it’s time for 2010 to end

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,?Ring, happy bells, across the snow:?The year is going, let him go;?Ring out the false, ring in the true.”?–Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Last year about this time I offered my top ten reasons why I was ready for 2009 to end. The year passed so quickly as they all seem to do, and now it is time for another year to come to a close.

Here are my top ten reasons why I am ready.

10. Too much 3-D. Although Avatar was released at the end of 2009, it was in movie theaters for half of 2010. Agreed, it is a good movie with great visual effects, and granted, 3-D was cool the first time around. However copycat 3D movies flooded the theaters soon after Avatar was released making some movie-goers perpetually dizzy and the rest of us wondering why.
9. The pits of a sports moment–Vuvuzela noisemakers at World Cup soccer. Thankfully we won’t have to listen to this for another four years. If you missed the controversy over these loud plastic trumpets, imagine the sound of a swarm of bees combined with a monotone bullhorn that never stops blasting and you’ll get the idea.
8. One word–Wikileaks.
7. Two words—Lady GaGa.
6. Three words—Justin Bieber’s hair.
5. Fall from grace:
•Tiger Woods– sadly, a continuing fall
• Brett Favre–smart quarterback with no clue about text-messaging
• Jesse James—Sandra Bullock married him because?
• Hollywood stars Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson—in trouble again and this year it was worse than a bad sitcom rerun
• John Edwards—self-explanatory.
4. LeBron James’ live television announcement, “The Decision.” James: “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”. Come on, man.
3. Jersey Shore, Snooki and “The Situation”–enough said.
2. YouTube video: The confused referee at the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans football game on September 26th. On second thought, I don’t want this one to end. It’s so funny I’ll be watching it well into 2011.
1. My number one reason for wanting 2010 to end–the Kansas City Chiefs will be in the playoffs in January of 2011, and I can’t wait for that day to arrive. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star describes exactly how we Chiefs’ fans are feeling right now: “Kansas City deserves this. You deserve this. We deserve this…The Chiefs are in the playoffs for the first time since January 2007 — back when Herm Edwards still had hope and Bob Barker still had a TV show…Kansas City finally has a football accomplishment to celebrate.”

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”–Oprah Winfrey

Apr 01

Judging a beauty pageant in search of “Helen of Troy”

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” –from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

According to Greek mythology, Zeus gave Paris, a mortal, the Herculeon task of deciding who was the fairest of goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, or Pallas Athene.

I am certainly glad I did not have Paris’s task, but I had one nearly as weighty, at least for me.

Last weekend, I was honored to be one of five judges at the 2010 Mrs. Missouri America Pageant in Branson.

Tell you more about who won the crown in a minute, but first, let’s get back to Greek mythology because it has a lot to do with my story.

As the mythological tale goes, Zeus hosted a big dinner party and for some reason did not invite Eris, the Goddess of Discord. Big mistake. Not a good plan to ignore a Goddess of Discord.

Feeling snubbed, Eris arrived uninvited and angrily threw her magical Golden Apple of Discord into the festivities. An inscription on the apple read: “For the Fairest”, and thusly all three goddesses immediately wanted that apple.

Zeus was understandably reluctant (more likely scared to death) to judge these fiercely competitive beauties and afraid to award the apple and title to “the fairest”. Therefore, since he was a god and since he could, Zeus tossed the hot potato problem to Paris, a mortal known for his fairness.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

As you may recall from your history studies, things got a bit dicey after that. Hera offered Paris wealth and power if he chose her. Pallas Athene promised him honor and glory, but Aphrodite trumped them all with her promise of Helen, the most beautiful mortal on earth, as Paris’s wife.

The only problem was that Paris must steal Helen from her husband King Menelaus of Sparta, which, as you may recall, resulted in the famed Trojan War.

Thankfully in real life, judging beauty pageants is not as difficult or dangerous as in Greek mythology.

The Mrs. Missouri judges this past weekend were privileged to meet a bevy of astoundingly beautiful women who happened to be equally as smart, talented, philanthropic, volunteer-minded, articulate and strong as they were beautiful.

Seventeen women ranging in age from 22 to 56, all beautiful inside and out, participated in the pageant representing a myriad of life experiences and professions.

Such as, pharmacist, cosmetologist, minister, eye doctor, Deputy Chief of Staff for a U.S. Congressman, legal assistant, paramedic, singer, student, mother, volunteer, businesswoman and savvy entrepreneur.

As Jane Austin once noted, “It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before.”

How did we choose a winner from among these exceptional ageless beauties you may ask?

Partially by the numbers and points assigned for each category, or simply put, by the spreadsheet. Often we hear that the answer to nearly everything is “in the numbers”, right?

Perhaps, except for that one indescribable, intangible quality that makes “cream rise to the top”—the “it” factor.

Emily Dickinson once noted, “Beauty is not caused. It is.”

And we know it when we see it, don’t we?

Therefore as promised and with no further adieu, allow me to introduce Mrs. Missouri America 2010 and her top four runners-up. (Incidentally, they each possess the “it” factor, in my humble opinion.)

Please meet, Mrs. Missouri America 2010–Dr. Carrie Hruza, 38, of Ladue!
First runner-up, Melissa Roe, 32, of Kansas City who will serve if for any reason Mrs. Missouri cannot; second runner-up and Most Photogenic, Stephanie Gaines, 26, of Smithville; third runner-up and Congeniality winner, Tina York, 34, of Lee’s Summit; and 4th runner-up, Rebecca Brand, 28, of St. Charles.

My thoughts go back to Paris though. Why did he not use a tally sheet to choose “the fairest” goddess instead of abducting Helen of Troy, the fairest of them all?

Had to be the “it” factor that made him do it. I am just saying.