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A Movie-ing Experience

Last weekend we took all the kids to see Incredibles 2. And I have a few thoughts.

This was the first time the whole family has seen a movie together. As far as we can recall, Katie was pregnant with James the last time we all went to the movies. Clara and James struggled a little bit at the end, but we made it through.

The Incredibles came out the year Katie and I got married, and as this one picks up right at the end of the first film, Katie and I are now at about the same point in our lives as the Parrs. It's funny to think about.

They put a few swears in the movie. I struggle with this because the first one had none, and I had expectations that this would be the same. Had those words not been in the movie I don't think it would have diminished the film in any way. We're officially at the point where we have to start screening Disney/Pixar films the same as any other movie, which I knew would happen sometime anyway.

I took Sam and Allison and went early to get our seats…

Standalone

I've posted too much serious stuff lately, and that must stop now. I just came across a movie trailer for Bumblebee, which is about the Transformers character. But it's not actually a Transformers movie. I guess after Star Wars and X-Men, Hollywood is now doing standalone films of every character from every franchise. Let's think of some characters who could be getting their own film soon. Here are a few I'm interested in. A lot of these are from 80s/90s movies, because those seem the most fun to me.

The Xenomorph from Alien. It starts with the Alien chasing the crew of the ship. Then  there's a record scratch and freeze frame, and a voiceover. “You’re probably wondering how I ended up here." Just kidding about this one.

Edna Mode from The Incredibles. You know she has an amazing backstory. I want to see her working at the height of superhero popularity, dispensing sass to all those proud people.

Louis Tully from Ghostbusters. He seems like a boring accountant, b…

Metoo Matters

It's a strange time to be alive. On the one hand, we're seeing a lot of true villains exposed for the way they treat others, particularly women and minorities. On the other hand, there is a weirdly pervasive sensitivity that could make us hesitant to interact with a lot of people for fear of making a mistake.

But that's a good thing.

In the wake of the #metoo movement I have been closely examining my behavior toward women to ensure that nothing I do or say makes them uncomfortable. It can be eye-opening to realize that anything I have done might have seemed inappropriate to someone, regardless of my intentions. But it's a necessary process.

Similarly, there has been a tremendous amount of news about African Americans having the police called on them for activities that are absolutely normal. Shopping, waiting for a friend, and even sleeping are somehow a threat to white people? Not to mention all the shootings of unarmed black men. Now, because I live in a very white s…

Get to Da Choppa!

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You guys! I checked off a major bucket list item last Friday.
I got to ride in a helicopter. It was amazing!

At work we had a group of distributors visiting the home office as a reward for performance. They all got a chance to ride in a helicopter, and some of the employees got a chance too. It was just a quick trip around Idaho Falls, but it was so much fun. Even when the pilot dropped us down suddenly to mess with us and I felt my stomach try to escape. Yay!

Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the title.



Basements and Babies

I was talking to a friend this morning about a project she's working on. She purchased a new townhouse to rent for side income, and she is in the process of finishing her basement along with working her full-time job. The more we talked, the more I realized that raising kids is a lot like finishing your own basement on the side. And while she doesn't have children, we are both experiencing a lot of the same things. And both seem to stem from some level of insanity, getting into this mess.

Most people probably don't know everything about construction when they begin finishing the basement (I mean, what really IS a wall, anyway?). You look up a lot of informational videos and muddle along the best you can. If all else fails, duct tape. Similarly, no matter what your experience with kids is before becoming a parent, having your own is different. Parents virtually always feel out of their depth, just taking it one day at a time. You can always give them medicine if they won…

I Can't Believe I'm Talking Politics

I don't normally get political on here, for three reasons.

1. It's boring.
2. I lack the patience to truly think through all the nuances of a well-reasoned debate.
3. I'm not sure anyone was ever convinced to change their views based on something presented by another person. (Prove me wrong!)

But here we go. I'll try to keep it brief. My political background: I grew up in a white, Republican household in Utah. Not surprisingly, I inherited values considered conservative: traditional families, limiting governmental power, all that. My first job out of college was working with a company that lists strongly to the Tea Party side of things. When Obama was elected I genuinely thought it was a disaster.

Then I left the company and started having more conversations with people. And I'm confused about these two ideas.

1. Conservatives in this country tend to identify themselves as  Christian.
2. They don't espouse the ideals that I think Jesus himself would approve of.

The Agony and the Ecstasy

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I finally decided to update the blog. So I picked a random template and it seems nice enough. Maybe I'll customize it one of these days. Or maybe I'll keep switching it out until I find an especially awesome theme.

There hasn't been a lot on my mind in particular, so let's see where this goes.

I'm struck by the intense contrasts of parenting. For example, a few nights a week I come home from work, and Katie drops Sam off at taekwondo and heads to the gym. I stay home with the other three kids and try to make dinner. It can be pretty stressful to prepare a meal with constant demands for something or other, fights, and whatever else is happening. I feel good that I'm giving Katie a little time to herself, but it's exhausting.

Then there are the other times. I usually read a chapter in a book to Allison before tucking her in, and it's just the two of us for a few minutes. Or I hold Clara and sing to her to rock her to sleep. She's almost four, but I re…