Mar 28, 2009

Darth Gabus

This isn't a deep insightful post. (Neither are the rest of them, Staples. Move on, move on.)

I love my kids. I don't think that is a surprise to anyone out there. I think all of them are just awesome. I have really enjoyed getting to know Gabe as he has gotten older and developed his own unique personality. And that personality is a fink. He is just crazy - absolutely nuts. He is also brilliant, and he is very mechanically inclined. He can unlock our cell phones, Heather's iPod Touch, basically any electronic gadget. He can open every unlocked item with batteries and get the batteries out. He also has learned how to switch the sound off of the television - usually right in the middle of something important. I mean, he's such a sweet and funny kid. But he's a full fledged fink.

I gave him the nickname "Darth Gabus" a while back. My theory before he was born was that he was going to become the ringleader. He would just sit back with his dark cloak and give the other two suggestions and then laugh as they took the blame. I see nothing to disprove this. In fact, it seems like he is well on his way. Not to say that he doesn't do his own damage.
  • When I change his diaper, I will say, "I need to clean your butt." (Don't judge me.) Well, naturally he has learned to say butt. "Butt butt" Now whenever he gets his diaper changed "butt butt." When he gets a bath "butt butt." At first he was confused, uh, what side of his body his "butt butt" was on. He was walking by and I said, "Hey Gabe, where's your butt?" He stopped, looked at me, grabbed the front of his shorts like he was a smack-talking wrestler and goes "butt butt butt." Noooooo. Well, I think he figured it out now. We were wrestling around on the ground the other day. After he was done, I was laying on my stomach. I guess my shorts had slid down a little, because next thing I know, he walked by and stopped next to me. He poked my backside, said "butt butt" and raced down the hallway.
  • At night, Gabe does not want to ever go to bed. He'll stay up as long as he can stand up. He's tired, and you can tell because he starts to do stuff wrong. He'll go to the pantry and open it and pull stuff out and throw it all over. He'll pull DVDs down off the bookcase. He'll open drawers, turn off the TV sound, bang on my computer, open the dishwasher, dance around to any music on the television. It is like a human whirlwind. The whole point is to keep busy and play like crazy. UNLESS.... If for some reason Natalie or Josiah has climbed up into Heather's lap for any reason, Gabe will know and race over to her and start whining, crying, screaming to get held. He'll get pulled up there and sit there for a couple minutes and then get back down and run away. He just doesn't want anyone else up there. He is very jealous of Mommy's time.
  • Today after my shower, I had not put my shirt on yet. I was playing around with Gabe and the other kids on the bed. I had gotten onto the floor and covered myself with a blanket. My arms were on the bed with my chin resting on the bed. The older two kids started sliding down my back. Darth Gabus had different plans. He started to headbutt me every time I peeked out of the covers. After about five good whacks, he started to stomp on my head. It was like something out of old WWF. It didn't hurt too bad, just this kid maniacally laughing while stomping on my head. I finally sat up and said "You know what? I've had enough of this." He saw his chance and raced across the bed, grabbed both of my nipples in his little hands and yanked. A double purple nurple. You beginning to understand the name now?
And, yes, we're loving every minute of it.

Mar 13, 2009

Not Watching the Watchmen

I apologize for not having posted so much lately. Things have been so hectic, and I think I use that line in every post. Seriously, though, we will be relocating soon. Heather got into FSU's Medical School. YAY HER! Which means we will be leaving our hometown of seven years and heading up to Tallahassee. This is going to be a big challenge to say the least. It is going to be exciting in many ways. It is very hard to leave Orlando - especially our friends and our school. But this is the right move for us. And when that phase is over, we'll probably bemoan having to leave Tally too.

This past week a big movie came out - The Watchmen. It was based on the ground and paradigm breaking graphic novel of the same name. I had never read the comic, despite my love for that genre. I was excited about the movie, just because I had heard so much about the title from so many people over the years. I didn't want my first impression of the story to come in the theatre - just in case they screwed up the whole shebang. So I bought the complete work at Target and started to read it.

What I found was indeed something amazing. I looked at it and could see how it had influenced everything from The Dark Knight to Lost. It's story telling and extras had basically laid the groundwork for how television shows, movies, and dvds are put together. Even though I had not seen its influence as it happened, I could definitely recognize it looking back. It was like when I read John Maxwell's first book (25 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership or whatever - you know, the first one before he started rewording himself twenty times). You read it and go, "Well duh, everyone knows that." And then you realize he wrote it decades ago and go, "OH, not everyone knew it THEN." Same thing with The Watchmen.

But that's where the praises ended. The book itself was - using one of my new favorite phrases - "relentlessly depressing." I have started labeling things that. The Book of Ecclesiastes, for example. They are so negative and dark, and they never let up. Now, you could see where I would be drawn to something like that. I mean, people call me Eeyore. I am a melancholy personality type. I have been called dark and negative and all that stuff. But I hated The Watchmen. It was just ... too dark. The world was full of degenerates, and the superheroes send to defend them were the worst sinners of all. The atrocities that these protectors generated were worse that the world itself could manufacture. And that was part of the story, I think. But the ending message was that things will never get better. The most black and white hero - the one who believed in absolutes - suffers from his own partners due to that. And the ending was just soul sucking.

Actually, it had no hope. That was where it lost me. You see, yes, I have a darker side that pulls at me. But I have hope - tons of it. That hope is not in people. I know that left to their own devices, people will do everything rotten possible. Just read the news. I have hope that one person can make a difference. It may not be a difference in the whole world, but it could be in THEIR whole world. There is hope - and there is a future. I guess this comes from my faith in God. I can't separate that faith from my life - even for a moment. It has been a part of me for so long that I can't even think about operating any other way. And the people around me know that. So I am not willing to give up hope and just resign myself to the ugly inevitable apocalypse. Sure, Revelation had its share of devastation promised. But my job is not to dwell on that - rather I should be trying to change my world as much as possible in the time I have.

I know that this faith is often misunderstood. And I know that some people just assume a lot of things about me - like that I will hate them for living a different lifestyle or having different beliefs. So they will pre-emptively hate me or whatever. But I do my best to show love and hope in my every day life. There are times that the day-to-day struggles will get to me and I will start to lose sight of that hope. But I can't let that last for long. I know the truth and it will restore my faith.

So that's why I didn't go to the movie. Well, that and the nudity, sex, violence, vulgarity. I just am not ready to put myself in front of a three hour movie that is going to preach that hope is dead. I see enough horror on I am well aware of the nasty elements that seem to be exploding in our society. And that is why it is even more important to keep on trying to change what I can in my little circle of the universe. I'll let others worry about the Watchmen's nihilistic view of life.

Now, Star Trek is a different story....