Monday, November 24, 2008

To all the Twilight-er-pated

SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this, I just want to warn you that while I wont spoil the ending for you all, I may just spoil the whole Twilight concept for you. Read with caution. If you love Twilight, loved the story, loved the books, loved the movie you may want to stop reading.

To be fair, I really enjoyed reading the books. (Actually I only read the first 2. I will get to the others as soon as I find a few extra moments in my life.) I went and saw the move on Saturday and I really liked it. I liked its quirky style. I dug the way the director chose to do things. I even kinda dug Bella's Technicolor dream when she is gonna get bit by Edward in all its "softcore porn fantasy" feel, you know kinda Elvira mistress of the dark-ish meets the legendary Vincent Price - "House of Usher"- ish. I like to call it "gaudy goth".
So you ask, what could possibly be wrong to spoil all the fun?

I was talking to a coworker on Friday about my plans to see Twilight. It was a big deal cause I hadn't been to a movie since V for Vendetta. Well over 2 years. She hadn't even heard of Twilignt. So I started to give her the basic overview. You know... Blada blada blada vampire love story. Her response was not the usual "that sounded painfully embarissing for you to admit you actually would read that kinda book" sigh. It was, "Oh, so a typical forbidden love story. Bad guy, good girl. Danger." I was like, "Yeah, ok."

Well, Damn it, Tessa, it got me thinking way too hard about it. And all I could keep coming back to was:

Granted, my response comes from a lifetime of failed romances that began as, "if he could only see what I see when I look at him, he would realize how amazing he is and would accomplish amazing things". What keeps replaying in my head is that dumb mutual story about the indian and the snake. --You knew what I was when you picked me up-- But do you think all of my "project men", my "lost causes", my "my love can fix it" men were really snakes? Of course not. (Im oozing sarcasm right not... OOZING. I just dont want it to be too subtle.) They were different. Including the I just want to stomp all over the moral line of what I can and cant do guy that dismissed me the minute I decided I would rather go on a mission than give it up to him, the Montana find that teared up when we taught him the first discussion, but quickly forgot what he had learned when things got tough, and of course my drug addict baby daddy.
Before I get into too much trouble. I must say: I do not dismiss or deny what I saw in them. It was there and they were amazing but they didn't know it and they didn't really want to know it and that was the problem. From hard, hurtful, tearfilled lessons I have learned that some gambles, some dangers are just NOT worth the risk.

Maybe I spent one too many days in my Gender Differences Psych class and maybe it was a little to women's lib doctrine-ish. I know, I know, we laugh at those professors that condemn Disney for teaching little girls that they have to be saved by a prince. They are all quacks. But really guys. What are we reading and what are we teaching little girls about love? That it is more romantic when its dangerous? That its ok if he's the "bad guy" -- the books words not mine. That their love can save them? That its ok to change who you are so you can be like them so you can be together? That love should be so overpowering that you want give up everything to be with the man you love... your family, your friends, your whole life, literally?

Let me tell you from personal experience... That is not love, my friends. It is at times exciting and fun and there is nothing more heady than a new love with a "bad boy", but it turns into a nightmare very quickly. It is NOT LOVE. Its a form a mental abuse.

Now, once again. To be fair, I have not read the rest of the series and Im sure I will and Im sure I will enjoy it as much as I did the others. As of now, I do not know if Bella "changes" for Edward. But the overarching message, intentional or not, is dangerous to young, impressionable, twitterpated little girl hearts. And those are the target readers. Girls who haven't been faced with the consequences of a "my love can save him" attitude. And like I said earlier, some dangers are not worth the risk.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

So I dont know what is wrong with me, but I have been struggling lately to feel any sort of thankfulness. Before I get myself in trouble, let me preface this with a huge thankful for my family especially my mom for all the help and support with Reed and with my "imbalances" in general. But I seem to be in a glass half empty funk. I have been think about this for the past couple weeks, but part of me would just like to skip over this whole holiday routine and get on with 2009. Maybe part of this blog entry is to get myself actually thinking about all there is to be thankful for.

Every year my mom put up a giant paper tablet (kinda like the elementary school teachers used to have...) in the hallway and everyone gets to write down what they are thankful for. I have walked past it several times this year, looked at it and just shook my head. I know I have a million things to be thankful for, but I am just so frustrated with current circumstances that I have been walking around as cynical as ever... And we all know how shocking that must be.

Last year faced with all of the stresses of being a new single parent and all that goes with it, my Thanksgiving list was so very different than years past, much more detailed and kinda grown up, you could even call it "enlightened." Right around this time last year, I started having health problems that ended me up in the hospital in a fight for my life. It was a scary week or two (I dont really remember) as they used me as a human pin cushion, ran test after test and pumped someone elses blood into me. I was bruised and sliced up all over and had lost about 15 pounds, but when I was released Dec 5th, I was so glad to be going home. My world was a different place and all of the sudden my thanksgiving list was even longer than before. Although by then Thanksgiving had passed and we were deep in the throws of the Christmas routine.

So I guess my question is:

Why is it that last year when I was walking through what many would consider a hellish year, was I more thankful than ever and why is it that this year, which has been relatively calm (**Emphasis on relative) am I so lacking a thankful spirit? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Why is it when things are good or at least not bad, we want different? But when things are awful, everything around you becomes a blessing?

I guess the answer is humility or lack thereof. Now that I have written this, I realize how very telling it is about what it takes to make me/keep me humble. I have trouble keeping proper perspective when things are status quo. So maybe I will have to take a little more time and really work on a thankful list. Ill have to get back to yall.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Visit to Santa

Reed and I went down to the Bass Pro Shop to do some Christmas shopping and to see Santa. I was shocked to find out the pic was free and there was NO WAIT!!! That's right moms and dads NO WAIT for a pic with Santa at the Bass Pro Shop (on a Saturday no less). Reed was a little concerned as seen in the pic, that is until Santa pulled out a candy cane. Then he decided the guy was ok and snuggled in for a couple minutes. It was pretty funny. Reed loved looking at the Santa workshop with trains and all the stuffed animals (real animals...see the caribou behind Santa)
Reed also loved looking at the waterfall and all the fish in the giant aquarium. When we were in the elevator some kid got all excited (cause you can see the fish in there too) and said, 'This is just like SeaWorld but better" and I just thought to myself, yeah its free.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Glenn Beck's The Christmas Sweater

I just finished reading The Christmas Sweater. I bought it yesterday during my lunch. Im a big Glenn Beck fan and was excited to read it. I didn't know that I would finish it within 24 hours. I don't read much anymore. I don't have time. I still haven't finished the third book in the Twilight series yet. I know, I know.... It's impossible to imagine. But I did manage to finish The Christmas Sweater and it was definately worth my time. I sat here finishing it during some downtime at work and it took all I had not to start balling. So go out and get your copy. If you dont want to buy it, Ill lend you mine or I'll get you one, its worth the $15 at Walmart.
It our modern day Christmas Carol and has such a simple, straightforward but very striking way of putting all those things we already know, but that we just dont seem to get. It also mirrored a lot of the different things Ive been experiencing lately. And while Im kinda mad that Glenn beat me to the punch on this whole book genre, Im ok with it and I dont think it will diminish my take on things, I hope.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All Boy

I have come to the conclusion that I will never ever understand the mind of a boy. I think he has seen papa pushing the lawn mower around so he knows "it goes". That makes it a cool thing to play with. I still shake my head when I see this pic.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I wish I believed in spanking....

Its a cell phone pic so its not easy to see, but those are a million little goldfish all over my dirty floor. Notice the stacks of laundry that didn't get done this past weekend. This was a helluvah weekend. And this was Reed's grand finale Sunday evening. I guess he just needed a snack or something, or he thought I needed another migrane. (And for further laughs, see the black splotch in the corner? Those are my keys, that I couldn't find this morning. ) I am happy to report we survived without a reason for someone to call CPS on me.

PS. To whoever sent me the anonymous "home spa" surprise last week, thank you. It was so fun to come home to something special. I had a hard time not feeling like a charity case, but I really appreciate the thought and the goodies. And no worries, Im not totally hopeless. I just complain a lot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Sorry its took me so long to put up some Halloween pics. I cant seem to download pics off a new memory card I just got. Thank you to Grandma Thompson for sending these on so you can all see how adorable Reed was. And of course thanks to Grandma Martin for designing and making this amazing costume.

The election

I recieved this email from a member of this chaplain's congregation. I thought it was worth sharing. After much political discussion with friends, I have realized the need for all Christians to band together and stand up for what we believe. Im happy to say that AZ, FL and shockingly CA passed the propositions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This is what we can accomplish when we work together instead of trying to fight evil as solitary sects.

More and more I am realizing that we cant do nothing. I hope that Obama is able to come to a middle ground as he serves his term (singular I hope) as president. If not, we need to be ready to stand up and make our voices heard and remind him and our other leaders that they are there to serve us and not their own agenda.


I'm so grateful, with 92% reporting, that it looks like Prop 8 passed in Ca. This too is a testimony of what can happen when conservatives and churches mobilize--because it was largely their intentional across-the-board movements that made this happen. Still, amazing how close the battle...check out these numbers...

Though obviously a letdown to us that Obama was elected, America has dabbled with pushing the envelope to the left and will now experience exactly what happens when the “full force of the far left” are unleashed and their floodgates opened. Personally, I don’t believe last night’s election results reflect God’s appointment, but a reaping of what we’ve sewn as a nation and of course a representative desire of those things the majority want (though not necessarily what is best for the country). While no one is overlooking the historical magnitude of a black man being elected president (an action established long ago by our Founders in the equality clauses of the Declaration of Independence), our focus and fight here has always been upon what his positions, practices, and policies will produce (repeatedly addressed in the Norris syndicated column-- I believe Dr. Dobson spoke quite prophetically in a “fictional letter” when he wrote recently of what a 2012 Obama America would yield...

In an Obama nation, my personal prayer now (already this morning) is threefold: (1) that people would never forget our real hope (audacious or otherwise) is in God not government; (2) that churches would at last reawaken and realize, as Edmund Burke said that evil really does flourish when good men do nothing, and that politics are equally an area in which we are called to be light and salt (just as any mission field of darkness), and, though severely corrupt in areas, is not “dirty” arenas that we are to avoid; (3) that Christians and churches would place more focus to encourage and reconnect ourselves and others to our Founders’ America, in which the church served as the moral agent and conscience of the nation. As I told the Norrises here, in an Obama America, the content in Black Belt Patriotism is needed all the more as a resource and guide, because, at its heart and goal, are these three things. There will be no reawakening of America without God’s church—revival can’t happen independent of Her. And the good news is that the darker society (government) gets, the more obvious (brighter) the church will become—if she accepts her responsibility as salt/light and quits turning away from civic service as the “dirty stepchild” of ministry. The Norrises (and I, I suppose) will be spending lots of time, in a concentrated way over the Christmas season starting in a couple weeks, with an intentional focus on Christian media and God’s Church addressing those very facts and needs, accompany the wide Christian distribution of his book across the country in Christian bookstores and on the web (
Got hope? Don’t look to men. Psalm 31:24: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.”
Still fighting for God and country,
Chaplain Todd