Roswell: The Outsider, by Melinda Metz Chapter 2

I’m going to try to get through the whole chapter today, but it is the holidays, so no guarantees.

The chapter opens with Liz being examined by completely incompetant paramedics. Liz and MAx look at each other, and when paramedics block their view, Liz acts as if it’s tragic. Also, we get this.

 Her [Liz] brain felt like it was humming, vibrating at a really low frequency. It was hard to think.

So, Max’s healing mojo makes her feel like she’s on drugs. Got it.

Liz tells the paramedics that she broke a bottle of ketchup. There’s blood under the ketchup, and a lot of it. Sorry, but I’m not buying that the ketchup would hide the blood. It’s not like they’re the same color or texture, and they smell different. Fortunately, the paramedic is an idiot, and tells her that smelling Liz is causing her to get the urge to eat french fries. She shines a light into Liz’s eyes and checks her pulse.

We get a bit of character development about Liz’s dad, who is freaking out about Liz possibly being shot. Apparently he’s so scared to lose Liz because her sister, Rosa, overdosed. He is terrified to lose Liz because she’s the only child he has left.

I’m going to chalk this up to Liz being an unreliable narrator. I don’t think her dad is worried because Liz is the only one he has left, I think he’s worried because he loves Liz.

Anyway, after only looking into her eyes and checking her pulse, not, oh, I dunno, making sure Liz doesn’t have a bullet in her anywhere, or getting out the stethoscope and listening to the actual heartbeat, the paramedic declares that Liz is fine. So the Paramedics just leave.

Mr. Ortecho gives Liz a hug “so tight her ribs hurt.” Which makes sense, but how does he not then get covered in the blood/ketchup combo? At the very least, the ketchup would cling to him and come off of her, revealing the bullet hole in Liz’s uniform.

Liz asks her dad not to tell her mother, and her dad basically laughs at her because Liz’s mother would take one look at them and know something was up.

Um, Roswell is a small town, the type where everyone knows everything about anybody. And Liz thinks they have a prayer of keeping this from her mother? And Liz’s dad thinks Liz’s mom won’t already know about it by the time they walk in the house?

I’m not buying it.

Liz is desperate to talk to Max, but he and Michael wisely pulled a disappearing act. Liz gets worried her story won’t hold up because…oh jeez, are the paramedics BLIND? How did they not see this?

The splatters of blood on the tile floor looked bright red and shiny slick –not tomato red and clumpy.

Oh my god, seriously? These paramedics need to be fired. It doesn’t take a forensic scientist to figure out that a blood stain on the floor is blood and not ketchup. Especially when you’re a paramedic and used to dealing with blood.

Liz decides she’d better mop the floor.

Now, it doesn’t surprise me that the paramedics got there before the police. I think they usually do. However, it does surprise me that the police didn’t appear on the scene shortly after the paramedics. Even in a larger city this would be the case, but this is a small town. Small town police don’t usually have anything like this to deal with, and they would be rushing to the scene, probably with way too many actual responding officers. The fact that the police here are taking their sweet ass time getting here is just not believable.

It is even less believable that they wouldn’t be pissed and suspicious that Liz tried to mop a crime scene. In fact, how has the area not already been roped off with police tape? How are they still in the restaurant?

And what happened to the two men who were fighting? Did they run away when the bullet hit Liz? Did they continue to fight? It seems like they just vanished from the story.

Before Maria can get Liz to the bathroom, sheriff Valenti shows up. The book does a better job at setting up Valenti as a villain than the movie. Even I hate him. The Valenti in the movies you could kinda sympathize with.  Here is the paragraph we get about Valenti as chief of police.

He did a locker search practically every week [at the high school]. He stopped anyone under 18 who was driving even one mile over the speed limit. He showed up at practically every party, checking to see if there was any underage drinking going on.

So, in other words, he is an asshole. But aside from that, this paints Valenti as someone who is a police officer in a small town who has nothing better to do than stop 16 year olds going 26 in a 25. (Which, btw, would get laughed out of court.) So, how the hell does he take so long to get to a real crime scene? As chief of police, he would’ve been notified right away. Tell me that his stupid locker searches were more important.

Anyway, Valenti questions Liz and her dad. Liz repeats the ketchup story, which, since she hasn’t had time to completely mop up the blood stains, shouldn’t hold. Actually, the fact that she is even mopping would trip the BS detector all cops seem to have. Even Liz admits that it’s weird.

Valenti asks questions in a calm voice, but Liz still feels intimidated. Liz wonders why. This takes a whole paragraph.

If she had to pick one word to describe Sheriff Valenti, it would be deliberate. She got the feeling that his every word and gesture were calculated. And if he was so careful about what he did and said, he must scrutinize every detail about other people.

Well, that last one is kind of what people are taught in police school. It might not actually be something Valenti was born with. In any case, we are supposed to believe that someone described as such wouldn’t call out her bullshit ketchup story right then and there?

The two describe in detail what the 2 men looked like. I can’t believe Valenti is taking the descriptions from Liz and Maria at the same time. I would think he would question them separately, to make sure their stories of the incident and the descriptions of the men matched up. Boy, if even I can figure this out, Valenti must be a dumb cop. How’d he get elected sheriff, again?

Valenti then asks where the bullet hole is. It almost feels like he shouldn’t be asking, like this should be done by a team of forensic scientists. Well, maybe he would ask the question, but the area should still be swarming with cops looking for a bullet hole based on Liz’s report of the incident.

Valenti doesn’t see a bullet hole in the wall. Liz says that maybe she just imagined the gun went off because she was so stressed. Valenti says that can happen, however, her father heard the gunshot too, so it definitely went off.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” Liz said. “Do you mind if I go clean up? This ketchup is really sticky.”

I have no idea if this would really be allowed or not, but Valenti lets her go. Maria takes Liz to the bathroom. We get very clunky writing about how Liz thinks better with her hair out of her face. Which isn’t a bad characterization in and of itself, but it’s done so clunkily (is that even a word? It is now) that it’s…. ergh.

Maria knows right off the bat that Liz was lying to the sheriff, and I like this part. In the TV series it takes like, 2 episodes for Liz to open up to Maria, and that didn’t make any narrative sense. So I like the fact that Maria finds out right away, because she’d have to be an idiot not to.

Liz explains, and Maria believes it, because it makes more sense than the dumb ketchup story.

The smell of ketchup mixed with dying blood wafted up from Liz’s uniform. She felt a wave of nausea…

Hang on, the paramedic was up close to her, and she didn’t smell the blood? All she smelled was ketchup? This is getting more unbelievable by the second.

There’s a hole in Liz’s uniform where the bullet went through. Liz gets weirded out by the fact a bullet was in her body. I don’t blame her. Then Maria notices that the Liz has a silvery handprint on her stomach that’s glowing.

The perspective switches to Isabelle, who is really upset. You can tell because she’s organizing her makeup drawer, which always calms her down. Apparently the three can feel whenever one of their number uses their powers, which is another way the books differ from the TV series.

And they never use their powers, not even for fun. It’s a rule. In the TV series they used their powers all the time, out in public. I like the strict secrecy better, because it’s more likely to lead to their survival, but this part just rubs me the wrong way.

Max and Michael never used their powers for kicks. And whenever Isabelle did –which was a lot, because using her powers was fun–they both always chewed her out.

I don’t blame Isabelle. I’d at least like to be able to use my powers in private where no one could see me or something. Basically, Max can put all 3 of them in danger by using a huge power in public, but Isabelle can’t even levitate a book from across a room with the door closed and the window curtains shut?

Isabelle is bordering towards hysterical, because someone used a lot of power, like healing or dream walking. She’s not just hysterical because of the power use, but because she feals their emotions, and right now, she feels their terror.

The author goes on to do a bit of world building. Isabelle can feel the others’ feelings, but not read their minds. However, she just tunes them out most of the time, especially when Max is lusting over Liz. (My words, not hers.)

But trying to ignore their terror would be like trying to ignore a volcano.

Finally, Max and Michael come home, and Isabelle is ready to murder them. After going inside and being reassured that their parents aren’t home, Max tells Isabelle what happens, but not without Isabelle having to pry it out of him, which scares her because normally Max loves to take charge and boss Isabelle and Michael.

Finally, Michael puts it this way.

The saint used his powers to heal a gunshot wound –and he did it in front of witnesses.

Isabelle, rightly so, is furious. There’s a few paragraphs about how Isabelle is religious in her avoidance of Valenti (smart girl).

Isabelle then asks if anyone got a good look at Max, and Michael points out that it’s such a small town, witnesses will also be able to give names and addresses.

Isabelle rightfully assumes Valenti now knows about Max and Isabelle. Because if this investigation was happening in an even semi competent universe, he would know, not in 2 seconds, but at least in 2 days he’d know something was up.

Michael thinks they should flee, and frankly, I’m with him.

Then Max takes charge, and says Liz lied to the paramedics, so it’s totally cool, because the EMS and Police are totally incompetent in this universe. The Roswellverse.

Isabelle argues with Max, and she’s in the right.

Michael cuts off the argument by asking what he plans to tell Liz. When Max reveals he’s going to tell Liz the truth, the other 2 freak out. And I agree, if you want to reveal yourself to a girlfriend, wait till your adults and have an actual realistic chance of making it in the real world as a married couple.

Isabelle sees there’s no way to change Max’s mind, which is totally unfair, because Max is making a decision that impacts all of them. He shouldn’t get to do that without a vote, at least. She points out that Max barely knows Maria and Liz, and it’s not like they live in Disney land where everything is perfect.

Michael and Isabelle should take off in the jeep and leave Max behind to get himself killed over his girlfriend.

“You’re the one who made the rule, Max. You made us all swear we would never, tell anyone, remember?” Michael asked.

(Comma placement is hers, not mine, and it looks weird.)

So, basically, Michael gets to make the rules, but they don’t really apply to him. Right.

A car pulls up to the driveway. Who is it? Is it Sheriff Valenti, come to cart them off to a facility? Is it their parents home early from the office? We will find out in the next chapter.

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Roswell: The Outsider, by Melinda Metz Chapter 1

The opening of the first book is fairly similar to the first scene of the episode 1 of the TV series. Liz Ortecho (not Parker. Odd, I wonder why they changed the name? Did they want her to be less overly Hispanic (or Latina?) in the TV series?) is working in The Crashdown Cafe, owned by her parents.

The text goes on to describe the food Liz gives them, and then informs us that the customers were obviously tourists. Well no shit! Roswell is (at least in the Roswell Universe of the movies) a small town. People in small towns to know each other, so anyone not a resident is usually a tourist.

Anyway, every tourist has at least one question about… the Roswell Incident (capitalization not mine).

The man in the Lost in Space T-shirt (hell yeah! I like this guy already) asks if Liz’s family is from Roswell, and upon hearing that they’ve been there for generations, he asks if any of her relatives told her stories about the UFO crash.

Liz pulls out a black and white photograph and shows them. “A friend of my grandmother’s took this picture of the crash site before the government cleaned it up.”

The 2 tourists are really gullible, and say it looks just like the alien from some sort of autopsy video they watched. They want a copy of it for their website. Liz snatches the photo away because if her “papa” catches her, he’ll be pissed.

I don’t actually blame Liz for doing this, because I work in food service, and it’s boring. You have to make the job interesting somehow, and if people are gullible enough to believe Liz’s photograph of “a baby doll that’s been left in the sun too long.”

Liz’s friend, Maria DeLuca,  chastises Liz, who says that the tourists will have a great story to tell at home, and she’ll get a good tip. Win win for everyone.

[quote] Maria sighed. “You and your great tips. I’ve never known such a money-hungry waitress.”[/quote]

This seriously almost had me throwing the book across the room, except that my poor kindle doesn’t deserve that. But if I had been reading the physical paper copy…

I mean, jeez, who knew that trying to get good tips as a waitress made you “money-hungry.” Nevermind the fact that it is freakin’ legal to pay waitresses less than half the current minimum wage and, oh yeah, most of them rely on tips to survive. Liz is in high school trying to save up for college. Of course she needs all the money she can get. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In this particular chapter, Maria and Liz banter for a while about how Liz

[quote]… not going to spend your life in a town that has only two movie theaters, one bowling alley, one lame-o comedy club, even more lame-o dance club, and thirteen alien theme tourist traps.”[/quote]

I don’t blame her, I wouldn’t either. Apparently Liz has been saying this multiple times a day since the 5th grade. Another interesting deviation from the movie, Liz has “5 thousand relatives” watching her all the time. In the movie, I don’t really remember her having any relatives besides her parents, and they definitely left out her older sister, Rosa.

Apparently Liz’s large family is pressuring her a little bit to actually go to college, and not end up like her sister, Rosa. I’m not sure when we’ll get told what this means, as I’ve only read ahead 3 chapters. I’m guessing Rosa did something totally “shameful” like get pregnant out of wedlock and have to drop out of college to raise the baby. Something which women are frequently frowned upon for doing.

Also, Maria has a ten year old brother in these books, whereas in the movie she is an only child.

Liz counts her money. She’s made $30 more for her “hasta la vista fund.”

And here’s where the writing gets especially bad.

[quote] ….the door swung open. Max Evans, tall and blonde, with killer baby blues, and Michael Geurin, dark and intense, ambled over the corner booth in the back. Both were students at Liz and Maria’s high school.[/quote]

Killer baby blues? When I first read that, I actually couldn’t figure out what that meant. Baby blue pants, baby blue shirt… a baby who was choking to death? I know some authors like to use common vernacular, but when they do I feel like they are just dating their work, and making it potentially a bit more difficult for future readers like yours truly who’s first thought when she hears “killer baby blues” are killer baby whales.

Also, this is Max Evans in the movie.

Yup. Killer baby blues and blonde hair. I don’t know why the change… maybe they think he looks better this way? I gave up trying to figure it out.

Maria bitches for a bit about how the cute guys and tourists always sit in Liz’s section, and she has to deal with those two older guys who are having some sort of fight.

FORESHADOW CLUNK.

Liz offers to give Maria Max and Michael’s table, but Maria just insists that something is up for Liz to give it up. Um, maybe you’ve just been whining and she wants to help you? I liked Maria’s character in the movie, but she is coming across as a bit whiny here.

Anyway, what’s up is that Liz is tired of guys. Apparently she went out on a date with Kyle Valenti, the sheriff’s son, and he’s pissed she wont’ go out with him again.

[quote] he actually got down on his knees and followed me down the hall with his tongue hanging out, begging. [/quote]

I’m sure the tongue hanging out part was exaggeration… but if he is following her around begging her to go out with him then, yes, that is totally creepy. It’s like some guys think they own a girl after the first date, god.

I actually dislike Kyle in the book. In the series I kind of sympathized with him because he has this girlfriend, and she keeps giving him the brush off to go hang out with Max.

Maria brings up Alex, who she and Liz have only been friends with for a year, but feel as if they’ve known him forever. Um, if you all grew up in the same small town, you would have known each other forever. Unless Alex moved in recently, they might not have been friends with him forever, but they would have known him.

Liz decides Alex doesn’t count, because he’s so cool he counts as one of the girls. Liz declares that she is going to “stay home, rent chick flicks, and take bubble baths.” Aside from the chick flick part, that actually sounds really fun.

The book then goes on to reassure us that not all guys Liz has dated have been losers like Kyle. After all, Kyle actually thought Liz would enjoy watching him play his video games. And he didn’t even give her a turn!

Apparently Liz can’t stop dating, because there will be some very unhappy boys at Ulysses F Olsen High… like Max Evans. Liz is apparently friends with Max, which is different from the tv series wherein they’d never really spoken to each other before.

Anyway, this is a lot of time to sit there and talk when they should be working and if I were their employer I wouldn’t be too happy. A small conversation between tables that lasts for 2-4 sentences is one thing. A whole conversation like this? I’d write them up.

What follows is the WORST way to do descriptions in a book ever.

[quote] “Oh, please.” Maria shot back at her “how could he not be interested? You look like some kind of Spanish princess or something with your long black hair and your amazing cheekbones. And let’s not talk about your skin. Do you even know the word zit? Plus yor’e smart and–” [/quote]

Because seriously, people actually talk that way in real life.

We get a lot of talk about how Maria is loyal, and it’s like Ms. Metz never got the concept of “show, don’t tell.”

Anyway, Michael gets tired of waiting for the girls to come around and comes up to the counter, asking for a job application. Liz privately thinks the Crash Down is too normal a job for Michael, who should be working as a Navy Seal or something… in High School? Liz, nobody has a fun job in High School. Almost every high schooler I knew of who worked did so in menial jobs that were boring.

Except for me, I worked in a new and used bookstore. It was a good thing my boss and I were friends, otherwise I would’ve been fired in the first week for constantly hiding out in a corner somewhere and sticking my nose in a book. There’s a reason I studiously avoid jobs at bookstores as an adult.

In any case, Liz hands him an application, but says there are no openings at this time. Which doesn’t surprise me, in such a small town, I’d think they’d only need seasonal help.

Michael  answers that he thinks they’re going to be having some openings real soon, unless Liz’s dad likes waitresses who stand around gossiping instead of waiting tables. OH SNAP. BURN. BUUUUURRRRRRRRN. BURN.

Maria finally picks up some menus and goes to wait on the boys.

There’s a paragraph about the exact shade of Max’s eyes… They look at each other. They look away. Was Maria right about Max liking Liz?

Liz has known Max since the third grade, and been her lab partner since sophomore year of high school. They never hung out outside of class…. yet earlier Liz describes him as “her buddy.” uh huh. More daydreaming about going out with Max.

Apparently Max sees the world in a totally different way, because, when they cloned the first sheep, instead of thinking about who he would like to clone, he wondered if the soul could be cloned, and what that meant.

Um…. Ms. Metz? Sorry, but, that way of thinking was not unique at the time. Because I remember when that happened, and even then it was a huge question in the media, in magazine articles, heck, even at the elementary school I went to. Max thinking this way does not make him unique and special in the least. It just places him in with Majority group #2 instead of Majority group #1.

Liz then thinks that spending time with Max definitely wasn’t boring, but how would she know if she’s never spent time with him outside of class? Because in class you don’t really get that much chance to spend time with people. Therefore, you can’t say they’re never boring, because you only see them in school which takes up only what, 1/3rd of an average child’s day?

More of Liz going on and on about Max…

And then FINALLY the story gets interesting. The two guys over in the corner start arguing loudly over money. We don’t get the exact details of the argument, and I don’t think it’s necessary, since it’s not in any way relevant to the plot.

Anyway, Liz turns to get her dad when Maria screams “He’s got a gun!”

Liz panics, and her panic causes temporary paralysis.

One man fires the gun. Unfortunately, he’s a really bad shot, and Liz is hit in the stomach. Liz fades out as Maria tries to staunch the bloodflow.

Then we shift to Max’s perspective. He springs up from the booth. Michael tries to stop him. They have an argument about how this is all a really bad idea and could put them all in jeopardy vs Liz’s life is in danger. Even the book admits Michael is right.

Look. A shot to the stomach is bad, but it’s not, in and of itself, fatal. A victim of such a wound does have a chance for survival if medical attention is sought right away. And from the speed at which the EMS personnel get there, it doesn’t sound like that will be an issue. Max should cool his jets, because even if Liz dies, it will be a lot quicker for her than what the government types will do to them if they are found out.

But Max decides it’s perfectly ok to risk Michael and Isabelle’s life, and he goes and heals Liz by shifting around molecules. I don’t know how scientific that actually is, but it’s not particularly relevant to the plot, so I’m going to suspend the disbelief a little bit. Kind of like tachyon pulses in Star Trek. It’s not an explanation that makes sense,but the author is trying and oh look a butterfly so…. whatever. Pass on that.

Off to the side, we get a bit about Liz’s father calling 911 and giving the cafes address to the paramedics. Erm, what? Even back in the late 80s/early 90s, and I believe this was filmed in the late 1990s, unless you were calling from a cell phone, EMS had your address immediately whenever you called. They had caller ID way before the rest of the world, for obvious reasons. I actually remember our gym teacher calling once, and having to explain that no address was popping up because he was calling on a cell phone, and this was in the early zeros.

Add to that, Roswell is a small town. Now, that might mean they share an EMS department with neighboring towns, BUT, Roswell is also a huge tourist location. I feel like the EMS and Police and such would already know the addresses of the major tourist places in the area, for obvious reasons.

My dad actually was an EMT in a small touristy town once, and not only did they know where every restaurant was, they knew the major tourist locations. So I feel like Liz’s dad giving the address is just a waste of time. At MOST he would have to confirm the address, maybe, but I can’t imagine someone repeating it, but saying “yes you’re correct.”

In any case, this gets Liz’s dad out of the way while Max heals Liz.

Oh, and in the books, apparently Max can see auras, and he can see that Liz’s is fading out fast. Really? I thought gunshot wounds to the stomach took forever to bleed out. But eh, why ruin drama with facts, amiright?

In any case, Max just kind of shoves Maria out of the way, and Maria doesn’t protest… yeah, that makes narrative sense. Just push the woman aside like a rag doll, and she totally won’t argue. we;iorwefijofsijo

There’s a paragraph about how Max loves Liz. At least, I think it’s a paragraph. The formatting is kind of messed up in the kindle book, but I’m going to attribute that to the fact that this book was a gift. I’m guessing that Ms. Metz’s formatting is perfect in the paperback version.

Liz’s father tries to get through, but Max is… sure taking his sweet ass time about healing her, God. We seriously get 2 or 3 paragraphs or so between the time he shoves Maria out of the way and the time he heals her, which seems to take forever because he must focus on Liz, on details of her life and… huh? I thought all he had to do was rearrange some molecules? Liz’s whole life flashes before his eyes. Then he’s connected.Now he can heal her. Oh my. Anyway, he nudges the molecules of the bullet into harmless particles, which dissolve in Liz’s bloodstream.

Yeah, a lead bullet dissolved into your bloodstream, tell me how that’s not dangerous? Liz is going to die of lead poisoning. Then Max moves Liz’s skin cells to heal her.

Max disconnects just as the ambulance crew comes through the door.

Liz wakes up, apparently not affected by blood loss. Seriously, they tell us she lost a lot of blood, and that all Max did was remove the bullet and sew her up, but they don’t show any signs of Liz being anemic from blood loss. How do the paramedics not pick up on this?

Max takes the ketchup bottle and smashes it, then dumps the contents over Liz’s uniform, telling her to say she broke the bottle when she fell. The paramedics come as Max backs away. Liz gives the Paramedics the story.

Liz tells the paramedics she’s ok, and the chapter ends.

In Which I Read The Roswell Books, by Melinda Metz

My friend D an I have been watching Roswell together, and he happens to have all the books. The first ten books were written before the TV series, and then there’s another set of books written during the series, then a set of ten books meant to take place after the series.

Now, first off, I really liked Roswell the TV series. I mean, I have my issues with it (I really hate Max, and I dislike the soap opera aspect) but aside from those, I still enjoy watching the show. Even if I do have to throw popcorn at the TV every time Max is on screen, constantly am yelling at Isabelle, and wishing that either Tess or Michael were the protagonists because they are way more interesting and frankly, the only ones in this series likely to actually survive to adulthood.

The books, however, that the series was based off are… um, well, the story has potential, but the writing, oh the writing! It’s just godawful. D and I are both having a hard time getting through them, and I’m the one allowed enough booze to theoretically cope with it. So, I’ll start at the beginning, soon as I’ve had my…. er, “breakfast.”

Real Marriage, by Mark Driscoll Chapter 6 (Sex: God, Gross, or Gift?) Part 1

Chapter 6
Sex:God, Gross, or Gift?

In this chapter, Marky Boy tells us how to have a healthy attitude about sex.

My opinion on the whole thing is that it’s rather gross and disgusting and can’t we all just procreate by test tubes? I know, not all asexuals feel this way, but, I do. I don’t mean that nobody should have sex ever, just that I REALLY don’t want to hear about. And yes, certain people in my life think that I DO want to hear about it, and that I’m just being a prude by remaining a virgin.

Anyway, I will try to stay off this tangent throughout the recap.

Mark begins by telling us that Eve was born and married in the same day, which I always thought was rather unfair. She had no choice but to be with Adam. What if she’d wanted to be single for a while? It’s horrible to be forced to marry anyone.

In any case, God established a pattern for marriage supported by both Jesus and Paul (citation needed). Here are the things that need to happen before one can marry:

1. A guy needs to grow up by moving out of his parents’ house, paying his own bills, worshiping his god (it doesn’t say just any God, it says, “worshiping HIS God”), and generally taking care of himself.

2. A man is then able to pursue a woman

3. Man and wife become one flesh.

Yes, these steps are all initiated by the man. It doesn’t say anything about how a woman needs to live by herself for a while and become self supporting, or anything about her pursuing the man. I mean, if all that was needed to become one flesh is for a man to pursue a woman, rape would be considered an acceptable way of going about this. I don’t know why but the idea of “pursuing” a woman just leads me to think of a guy chasing her and then jumping her. Instead, they should discuss it together as a couple and come together, rather than having a man run after the woman.

The bible says sex is very good, so this is true. The first few pages of the bible tell us 7 things about sex. Really? Because, I’ve read that thing cover to cover many times over, and Genesis doesn’t say much about sex except for implying that it makes babies. The latter parts of Genesis contain rape scenes (I think? Or was the story of Lot in another book?) but I don’t think the first few chapters really tell us much except that “knowing your wife” results in pregnancy. And I don’t think anyone needed the bible to tell them THAT.

Anyway, here’s what Genesis supposedly teaches about sex:

1. God created male and female. They are different but complete in each other

2. love is more like a song than a math equation. People who are “stuck in their heads” get frustrated by this.

No, he doesn’t tell us what he means by that and I don’t have a clue.

3. Marriage is for one man and one woman. This is supported by Jesus himself

(Translation of what he really means brought to you by Trynn: GAYS ARE BAAAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!)

4. God created sex. In fact, he created our bodies for sex.

(Translation of what he really means brought to you by Trynn: Asexuals don’t exist, mmkay?)

5. Outside of marriage, sex is a sin. Here is an exact list of sexual sins:
a. Homosexuality
b. Erotica
c. Bestiality
d. bisexuality
e. fornication
f. friends iwth benefits
g. adultery
h. pornography
i. pedophilia

I notice that at least 2 of those items are synonyms, and yes, Homosexuality is first on the list, and pedophilia is last. I’ll let you make of that what you will.

I can only find 3 of those that I personally think are sins, and they are:

1. Pedophilia (shudder)
2. Bestiality (animals can’t give consent)
2. Adultery

Looks like I actually missed a few on the list…. my eyes skipped over the fact that Driscoll put rape in the middle of the list of sexual sins. He does admit that rape is wrong, but that should honestly be #2, right underneath pedophilia.

For married people, the following things are sinful to do with someone other than one’s spouse:

a. masturbating someone else
b. oral sex
c. anal sex
d. heavy petting
e. dry humping
f. cybersex
g. phone sex

Seriously, does anybody actually NEED a book to tell them that these things are not ok if they’re with someone besides your spouse? (Disclaimer: if you’ve already established with your partner that you don’t care if he or she has sex with someone else, that is a different situation, but Marky boy doesn’t think that exists, so)

6. Sex is to be done in such a way that there is [i]no shame[/i].
Sometimes shame is ok, because that is a response to our sexual sin. Sometimes we are ashamed when others sexually sin against us, and other times we feel shame about sex because we have the wrong feelings about sex in general.

Sorry, but, I believe that the way asexuals feel toward sex (and the attitude varies a lot) is not wrong, Just because I believe that sex is not something I want to participate in ever in my entire life doesn’t mean I have the “wrong” attitude.

Also, I know rape victims tend to feel shame, and I don’t think Mark is implying here that they SHOULD, just that they do, but I feel like I want to say this anyway: RAPE VICTIMS HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. This is a public service announcement reminding victims of sexual harassment/assault/insert proper term here have nothing to be ashamed of. It is not your fault, you did nothing to cause it, and anyone who says otherwise should be tied to a chair while being forced to listen to Hannah Montana doing a duet with Justin Beiber while being forced to solve math problems in their heads while getting electric shocks to their primary sexual characteristics if they get an answer wrong. So there.

Mark goes on.

7. your standard of beauty is your spouse. God made Adam and Eve, and didn’t ask them what they wanted in a spouse, he just said, here you are, you’re married, enjoy! God did not permit Adam and Eve to develop a standard of beauty. Instead, he gave them each a spouse AS a standard of beauty.

Whoa, holy non consent batman. That is just…. so fucked up in so many ways I don’t even….  :angry-banghead:  :angry-banghead:  :angry-banghead:  :angry-banghead:

Having a “standard of beauty” is not holy or helpful. This is a lie of popular culture. God doesn’t give us a standard of beauty, he gives us spouses.

Unlike other standards of beauty, a spouse changes over time. So if your partner is tall, your standard of beauty is tall. If he is fat, your standard of beauty is fat….

I could kinda see if Mark was trying to say that the person you marry is very likely to fit your standard of beauty… but I’m sorry, I don’t believe that’s what he’s saying, and I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with a coherent response to why this not ok.

If he was saying to love your spouse despite the fact that you don’t see them as beautiful… because I’m sorry, but if I were to get married to someone who, for example, got really sick, and as a result of this sickness, became pale and emaciated, my standard of beauty would not evolve to prefer emaciated people. I would still love my spouse, and I’d definitely still see beauty in them, but I would not be able to adjust to preferring people who were so skinny I cold wrap my small hands around their waists.

In fact, I think this whole “your spouse must be your standard of beauty” thing is very harmful.

Marky Boy then talks about how Adam sinned by sitting by and watching his wife sin, as many men do today… what? Do other Cristian traditions… see, Seventh Day Adventist tradition says that Eve was able to be decieved because she got separated from Adam. In SDA tradition, Adam wasn’t there when Eve sinned. Do other Christian traditions support this, or is it just Adventists? Because I have yet to hear a Christian tell me Adam was THERE and letting Eve sin. Urgh.

We’ve got more sections to go through, but I’m done for now, largely because this book requires too much alcohol, and I’m getting drunk.

McGee and Me, Episode 3: The Not So Great Escape

The Bible verse for the day (in a much looser translation) is: Be ye not conformed to the world, and love not the things that are in the world. We get a cartoon image of McGee running toward fireworks as Nick’s voice over reads that the things of the world are evil and not safe. Also, they’re going to burn in the end, so you shouldn’t get too attached to them, or you’ll burn too.

There’s a small handful of verses that rant about how evil the world is, so I’m not sure which one specifically Nick is reading. He neglects to tell us.

McGee enters a casino, which even secular me thinks is a bad idea because everybody knows the house always wins.

Anyway, it gets weird when McGee eagerly enters a building, which then begins to start spinning really fast, then spits him out. A nearby man calls out “another satisfied customer.”

Sigh. I hardly think this illustrates the meaning of that bible verse. I think a better illustration would’ve been McGee losing all his money to the slot machines. Or, as is my fault, spending all your money on booze and winding up way too drunk.

Cut to Nikolas and Louis playing some kind of game involving an orange helmet and fake gun. They’re pretending to hunt aliens… it’s kinda boring.

Nick’s mother comes out and says to come in, it will be getting dark soon.

Nick(in his head) Getting Dark soon? Does my mom live in an alternate time zone?

And I actually agree, because it looks it like it couldn’t be any later than 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

The 2 boys go into Nick’s room and play around more, when Louis picks up a newspaper (because 12 year old boys totally read the newspaper) and notices an ad for Night of The Blood Freaks, part 4. Which sounds like an absolutely fascinating movie I’d love to watch. In case you didn’t pick up on it, that was sarcasm.

What the hell is a blood freak anyway? I feel like the folks at Focus on The Family just came up with the most gruesome title they could think of and ran with it.

I googled, and 90% of the results when I google “Night of the blood Freaks” are McGee and Me, BUT I did find this http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132888/

There is *A* movie out there called “blood freaks” which was made in 1972. It appears to be about a giant turkey monster, and drugs are involved. I couldn’t really find out more than that and I didn’t care to. It only got 2 stars, and never had a sequel, so It’s up in the air whether or not the writers even knew of its existence.

Louis talks about how great the 3rd movie, Twilight of the Blood Freaks was. I feel like I could make a joke about the Twilight craze but that would require actual creativity on my part. I’ll just say this scene was prophetic, mmkay?

NIckolas, sadly, wasn’t allowed to see it.

I’m honestly not sure I’d let my 11-12 year old see a movie like that either… I’d have to go read the reviews first. And yes, they did have movie reviews in 1980 something. We found them in these things called “newspapers” and “magazines.”

Anyway, either this movie actually is appropriate for the demographic or parents just aren’t looking at what their kids watch, because everyone at school has already seen Dawn of the Blood Freaks, Day of the Blood Freaks, Twilight of the Blood freaks and now, as the shadows fall…. NIGHT of the Blood Freaks!

We are still getting absolutely no explanation of what exactly a blood freak is. Is it like a zombie? A vampire? A Zompire? No really, I feel like this is a very important detail. And last I checked, the parents in the target audience of the movie would’ve clutched their pearls over either of those options.

Nickolas has to ask his parents for permission to see the movie, and his mom says absolutely not. Which makes you wonder about the other parents. Don’t the other kids need their parents permission too? And aren’t other parents concerned? If so, why? If not, why? I feel like there needs to be more explanation.

His mom’s reasoning is “why would you want to see a gross movie like that anyway” which, seriously? He’s 12. 12 year olds, especially males, tend to like gross things and think they’re hilarious. I never understood it, even when I was in that age range, but to each hir own. His mom outright condemning it as “gross” before she even knows what it’s about is only going to make him more defensive, shows that she’s not listening to her child, and doesn’t really care about his personal preferences.

Nickolas’ dad comes in, and I actually think the mom should be saying this because the mom’s reaction is based on emotion (“it’s gross!”) and his dad’s is more logical, and I HATE that trope that “women are emotional and men are logical.” But it is FOTF, so what can you expect.

Nickolas’ dad’s first reaction is to ask what the movie is rated. Nick gets a blank look on his face. His sister, Sarah, tells them the title of the movie. His father then says, “absolutely not!”

We never do get an answer to what the movie is rated, and I feel like that’s very telling. It’s probably like, PG13 or something equally appropriate and Nick’s parents are just overreacting because the title isn’t something they’d pick.

Honestly, they’re only reasons for not letting Nick go seem to be “it’s gross” and “it has a stupid title.” I don’t dispute the last one, but those are not in and of themselves valid reasons. I’d respect it more if they sat down and discussed it with him, but that would mean TALKING to your children, and Dobson can’t have that because his approach is all about punishment.

Nick gets mad, his parents get upset… his parents tell him not to talk like that but honestly all he did was tell his sister to shut up, which was appropriate, she was being a pest. Then he ranted about how he couldn’t do anything and didn’t want to sit around with a bunch of old–

He gets cut off when his dad sends him to his room and grounds him. What? You don’t know that he was going to insult you. Maybe he was going to say “old fashioned.”

And really, there isn’t anything wrong with Nickolas expressing a little frustration here. I know Dobson believes children shouldn’t express their opinions like this, but honestly it’s healthy to let kids let off the pressure valve a little. Let them rant at you a little, and then go talk to them later when they’re calm. I mean, do you remember what it was like to be a kid, how you couldn’t express anything negative or it was disrespect and backtalk and all you wanted was to be heard? All Nick’s doing here is ranting about how he can’t do anything. If it were my kid I’d just kind of let them go on a bit and walk away when I got bored. Then I’d go back and we’d talk about it like 2 rational people. I feel like Nick’s parents are way overreacting here.

Why didn’t we find out what the movie was rated? And what the heck’s a blood freak? Why is McGee alive and how did it happen? Why is no one answering the important question?

Nick goes to his room, and McGee starts talking to him about how he’ll turn out dumb if he watches movies like that all the time. So, all those poor other Junior High students are going to turn into stupid people when they grow up? Uh huh.

McGee, as it turns out, is an (alleged) film critic. We then watch a cartoonized clip of McGee pretending to be a detective. Yawn.

Nick then tells McGee they made a remake of that movie. This clip is just the McGee detective shooting guns and throwing grenades, with no actual plot.

Nickolas has somehow been transported to the theater with McGee, and somehow the smoke from the explosion gets all over them. McGee asks Nick if that was really any fun. Because it’s totally fun to be suddenly covered in gunpowder.

Nope, in the next scene we see Nick in bed, totally clean.

McGee: You wanna watch that filth? Why not just stick your head in a garbage can?

Nick: Because then I’d have to room with you

Sigh. Right. Because watching a bad movie is TOTALLY the same as sticking your head in a garbage can. Totally.

Louis calls up Nick, and asks if he is ready to go. Hang on, I thought phones were a no no when grounded? What does grounded even mean, anyway, besides staying inside your house? The most I ever got grounded for was like, a day. I was totally like Cady’s dad in that movie Mean Girls when Cady goes out and he’s all like, “they can’t do that when they’re grounded?”

In any case, Louis gets the bright idea for Nick to sneak out. Since this is part 3 or 3, I’m guessing it doesn’t happen. Oh movie, please prove me wrong.

Nick rigs up a device to play back recordings if his parents knock. Then he goes downstairs. His mom is in the living room and his sister is on the phone. Nick whispers into a walky talky, which Sarah somehow doesn’t hear, which I don’t find believable because even if she’s on the phone, those 2 are being really really loud.

We get really long footage of Nick crawling around on the kitchen floor which… hang on, his wire recording device was attached to the door from the inside. How’d he get out without setting it off? He really should’ve climbed out a window.

Unfortunately they forgot about Whatever, and Nick almost gets caught. McGee distracts whatever just in time.

They get to the theater, and then they have to figure out how to get in if they’re not old enough. Old enough for what, Night of the Blood Freaks, or the theater itself? So, is this movie R rated, then? Anyway, they get in by pretending the guy in front of them is their dad, which actually works, even though the man does not respond to “dad” when they call out to him. He just walks on by them like he’s never seen them before and I’m all thinking, dude, just be cool about it and help them.

Nick’s mom knocks on his door. He says he’s drawing now, and to come back later.

Meanwhile, at the theater, Nickolas and Louis are wearing their cheasy 1990s 3d glasses with the blue and red plastic lenses eating popcorn. Nick looks scared at the screams emanating from the screen. No, we don’t actually get to see any of it ourselves. Louis also looks like he’s about to vomit, though much less so than Nickolas.

Unfortunately, Nick wasn’t smart enough to record more than one message on the same time, he just has it replaying over and over? Anyway, when he starts sounding like Mickey Mouse on helium, Nick’s mom opens the door and find, surprise, not Nickolas. His mom looks pissed, his big sister Sarah looks happy.

In the theater, Nick isn’t the only kid who looks like he wants to vomit. I get that we’re supposed to think they’re scared here, but those kids look like they have the flu.

Now, really. His parents should’ve just let him have gone to the theater, so that he could see for himself that this was junk. Then he would’ve admitted mom and dad were right (or they may turn out to be wrong, never know) AND no need for any guilt trips about “disobedience.” Or being grounded. Same result, zero trauma.

The movie ends, and Nick takes off his glasses. He shoots Louis an angry look and rubs his eyes. Maybe he’s one of those people who gets a headache during 3d films. There’s a few seconds there where I really think he is going to vomit, but then some cheesy song starts playing about how he thought this would be great but he’s a fool. As far as songs in this series go this one actually doesn’t sound too bad.

Instead of sneaking back in, he walks right in through the front door. Maroon.

The parents sit him down and give him a huge guilt trip about how the movie was dirty and polluted and Jesus wouldn’t want him watching it, because theoretically it pollutes the mind.

So, Nickolas is about 12… I see no reason he can’t make the call about those movies himself, at that age? Oh right, parents need the shelter their children in plastic bubbles till they’re 18 or worse, until they’re married.

His mother then goes on about how he’s got scenes in his mind he’ll never erase. He’ll have them with him for the rest of his life!1!!!111!!!!11!1

Yanno, if the movie hadn’t scared him as much as he did, and if there wasn’t this big to do about all the guilt over it, maybe he WOULD forget them. Heck, maybe he’ll forget them anyway. I used to have nightmares about movies all the time, and except that one VeggieTales episode, I can’t remember scenes from any of them. And I know there was more than one.

I bet if you’d just let Nick make the call himself, he might’ve forgot all about it and went, “huh, that was a really bad movie” and gotten on with his life. Because at the age of 12, that’s about what I did. Especially with movies I wasn’t allowed to watch, some of which, like Harry Potter, were actually excellent movies but that’s another rant for another time.

Also, what kid WANTS to watch a movie wherein a kid’s parents are punishing him? It was just uncomfortable and squirmy to watch when I was a child as it is now that I’m an adult, especially since I think Nick’s parents are sorta being absolute pricks here.

I mean, have his parents ever once given him an explanation for why the movie is wrong? all they will say is that it’s “garbage.” What do they mean by that? Well, they don’t tell us and, honestly, within Christianity, with every denomination of Christianity, there is a huge variance over the definition of “mental garbage.” Half the Adventist church would condemn anything fiction as mental garbage, and the other half embraced science fiction, fantasy and, gasp, romance novels. So the definition of mental garbage, as I was growing up, depended on exactly who you talked to.

I could insert an Ellen White quote about what she said on the subject, but I have a feeling that would qualify as “getting off the subject.”

I hope Nick grows up to become an atheist and later finds all the prequels to Night of the Blood Freaks to see if they were as bad as the one he saw.

Speaking of which, we sat with Nick through that whole movie and never even found out what a blood freak was.

They send him to his room, punishment TBD.

The next day, while doing extra chores, Nick decides his parents are right all along, and that he’s going to be much more careful with what he puts into his mind.

So, does this mean he’s not going to go see Midnight with The Blood Freaks, Part 5 that’s coming out next year? Or with the theme would it be more like Dawn of the Bloodfreaks 2: The Next Day (the story continues!)

VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy

I actually wanted to do The Toy That Saved Christmas, since I used to love that movie as a kid, but I can’t justify renting it on Amazon when I just asked J if I could rent The Giver yesterday (spoiler alert: The book is better), Musn’t get greedy, especially since I’m toying with the idea of asking to watch Maze Runner.

So, we’re going to be watching: The Little Drummer boy!

I’ll let you all in on a little secret: I’m a sucker for Christmas. All aspects of it. Sure I don’t believe the bible is real, but I mean, Harry Potter isn’t real either, and I still enjoyed it. The bible does have some good stories, and the story of Jesus’ birth is one of the better ones. I mean, it’s a cool concept: a god sending his son to die for fallen humanity. Of course, you kinda have to squint a little to forget that the person god is saving us from is… himself.

So, before I get started on my usual Christmas rants, I want to make one thing very clear: I love Christmas. I also have no problem with people using the holiday to celebrate Jesus’ birth. What I do have a problem with is… well, actually, let’s not get into that right now. Let’s just let things unfold as they go, shall we?

Good. That little disclaimer out the way, let’s begin.

The scene opens with Pa Grape reading a newspaper while listening to (a secular) Christmas song. Junior Asparagus comes downstairs and starts practicing his drums by banging 2 sticks on the staircase. Mr. And Mrs. Asparagus come downstairs and call out, “ok Pa, we’re all set.”

Hang on, do they call him “Pa” because that is his name/title in the community, or is the grape supposed to be Junior Asparagus’ actual grandfather?

Can Vegetables even intermarry with fruit? How would…. you know what, never mind.

Junior’s dad actually calls Pa grape “Grandpa,” so yes, Pa Grape is Junior’s…

You know what, never mind.

Junior’s parents say they’re thinking of getting him a real drum set for Christmas, because he’s such a natural. Grandpa tells them to get him the kind that don’t make noise, and I decide I like grandpa because oh my GOD I don’t know what I would do if my child look up the drums. Make him go practice in the barn or something.

Junior’s friends come by to pick him up for caroling. Junior is too busy drumming to hear, and they leave. Their opinion of Junior’s drumming is that it sounds like “a really bad kitty.”

Junior is sad his friends “totally ditched me.” Junior insists this is on purpose, even though he KNEW they were coming and should’ve kept his ears open for the doorbell.

Pa Grape decides to read him a story to keep him occupied. I hate it when this happens. Couldn’t they have just skipped all this and started it out like it was a real story? I HATE “stories within a story” by having the character tell a story. It’s reason #2 I HATED the princes bride.

Anyway, the drummer boy, played by Junior (of course) is a shepherd boy named Aaron. He is being given presents by his parents… wait, why? Is it his birthday? Because this story is about the birth of Jesus, and I’m pretty sure Christmas wasn’t around back then. I mean, it wasn’t around really till hundreds of years after the bible was even written, but I feel like it is an especially awful error to have someone celebrate christmas before Jesus was even born.

Anyway, Aaron gets a drum set for… a present. He’s over the moon about it.

Aaron’s drum playing makes the animals dance. Cue footage of dancing camel.

Sadly, the Romans wanted Aaron’s parents’ land, so they… burned it to a crisp. Aaron hid with the animals, but the parents died.

There were a hundred different ways to die back then without needing to introduce a villain, but no, we need one, so, um let’s throw in some ROMANS. Anyway, this convinces Aaron that he hates people. ALL people.

We get an interruption where Pa Grape goes up to get some food. It’s boring and unnecessary, and now I want fruitcake.

Pa Grape reads about the census that Mary and Joseph were participating in. This particular census (which records show occurred in the spring, btw) was unusual in that the government made people travel to the place where they were born, but only the men, because I’m sure women didn’t count. Otherwise, Mary wouldn’t have been able to be with Joseph.

Which is good, because anyone who forces me to go back to the place I was born is likely to wind up with their head chopped off. Me? Go back to Berrien Springs, a town full of Seventh Day Adventists? Over your dead body, bitches.

Ahem. Anyway, Pa Grape adds in a disclaimer that the little drummer boy isn’t found in the bible, but was inspired by the Christmas story.

A quick google search reveals that not much is known about the history of the tale. The tune is said to be Czech in origin, but even that is debated.

We get two goons jabbering about milk, honey, and chocolate milk. There’s more goons, and they appear to be a traveling circus trying to cash in on the census traveling. Along comes Aaron and his dancing animals, so they put on a little show for him. Insert song and dance number. The song is about how Aaron should join this traveling circus. The Gourd tells Aaron he can’t be alone, he needs money to eat. Ben Haramed, the leader, promises Aaron that if he makes a lot of money, he can be so rich he never has to deal with people again.

So Aaron and his dancing animals joined the traveling circus.

Cut back to Junior Asparagus and Pa Grape talking about how Haramed tricked Aaron into joining which… doesn’t sound like a trick to me? It sounds like Haramed actually used… logic? Unless he doesn’t plan on paying Aaron but so far we have no implications of that, except that Pa Grape tells us this.

Oh, and there’s some talk about how taxes means “paying money to the Romans, who, btw, totally killed Aaron’s parents.” Sigh. No, taxes is NOT just “giving money to the government.” Taxes are there for a REASON. In those days, the Romans used the taxes to build roads and highways, and I THINK for sanitation but don’t quote me on that last one. Taxes are money which is paid for a SERVICE, like road maintenance. Sure the Roman tax at the time was really heavy and tax collector was synonymous with “thief,” but I feel like this could be explained in 2 sentences, and it wouldn’t make taxes sound like this horrible even thing that only bad guys do.

I know there are Christians out there who really believe that, but VeggieTales is meant to appeal to a mainstream audience. You know, the audience that reads the bible verse that says “render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s,” aka, “pay your damn taxes.”

Anyway, back to the story, the Gourd is telling bad jokes (what do you get when you cross a Roman with a head of lettuce? Ceasar salad! what do you call someone who hangs out with musicians? A drummer. Does anybody get that last one, cuz I don’t. And a better answer to the first would be “romaine lettuce.”)

We get some heavy handed preaching about how Aaron has not forgiven and forgotten what happened to his parents. I don’t think he should, but of course this movie thinks otherwise.

The traveling circus sets up shop in busy Jerusalem. No one likes the show until Aaron comes out with his dancing animals. There’s a Star Wars reference as Bernie, the Gourd with the terrible jokes, is having slushies thrown at him. “Help me Ben Haramed, you’re my only hope.”

Ben Haramed has a long argument with Aaron about how he never smiles or laughs. Aaron comes across like a petulant child who is being asked to smile for a picture and is just being rather stubborn about the whole thing. I NEVER SMILE. I DON’T LAUGH. EVER. I DON’T EVER SMILE OR LAUGH, EVER.

Aaron and the animals do a song and dance. Aaron sings about how he only smiles for his friends, the animals.

The lyrics aren’t anything to write home about but the song is catchy, and I can listen to it without booze. So, props, guys.

The audience multiplies in size and begs for an encore.

Aaron gets pissed that they’re happy and he’s not. He starts shouting, and the audience starts getting angry. God, Aaron, ruin everything. You need that money. Don’t go on and on about how you don’t need money, or anything from anybody, when you’ve made your home in the desert, which is not known for its farmable land. How are you going to EAT without money, grah?

We interrupt your regularly scheduled movie for Silly Songs with Larry, always my favorite part of the show.

This song is “8 Poilsh Foods of Christmas,” Which is about a guy named Oscar (likely the Oscar from the I love My Lips song) bringing food to a party.

The 8 Polish Foods of Christmas
Bob: So, what did you bring us?

Oscar: What I bring you? I tell you what I bring you.
The first Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
A boiled potato topped with dillweed.
The second Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
Two steamed pierogies...

Jimmy: What's a pierogi?
Oscar: It's a dough, wrapped around meat.
Jimmy: Oh...

All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed.

Oscar: The third Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
Three simmered gwumpkies...
Larry: What's a gwumpkey?
Oscar: It's a cabbage wrapped around meat.
Larry:  Oh..

Jimmy: Two steamed pierogies.
All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed.

Oscar: The fourth Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party
Four baked paprikas...
Archibald: Now, what is a paprika?
Oscar: It's a bell pepper stuffed with meat.
Archibald: I see.

Larry: Three Simmered gwumpkies,
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed.

Oscar: The fifth Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
Five smoked kielbasas!
Pa: What's a kielbasa?
Oscar: It's pretty much just meat.
Pa: Oh.

Archibald: Four baked paprikas,
Larry: Three simmered gwumpkies,
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed.

Oscar: The sixth Polish Cristmas dish I bring to the party,
Six fried chruscikis.
Bob: Let me guess, something in the meat family?
Oscar: Actually, it's a delightful pastry with a thin flaky crust.
All: Ohhhhh!
Pa: Five smoked kielbasas!
Archibald: Four baked paprikas,
Larry: Three simmered gwumpkies,
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
All: And a boiled potato topped
with dill weed.

Bob: Wow Oscar, I'm gettin' kinda full, I think that's about..

Oscar: The seventh Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
Seven pitted prunes...
Jr: I don't like prunes!
Oscar: With this food, you'll need 'em son.
Archie: Oh, is that right!
Pa: Uh huh!

Bob: Six fried chruscikis,
Pa: Five smoked kielbasas!
Archibald: Four baked paprikas,
Larry: Three simmered gwumpkies,
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
All: And a boiled potato topped
with dill weed.

Pa;  I'm gunna bust!  I couldn't eat another bi...

Oscar: The eighth Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party,
Eight poppy seed cakes,
Larry: Poppies, poppies, poppies...

Archibald: I'm feeling rather sleepy. There's no place like home.
Jr: Seven pitted prunes,
Bob: Six fried chruscikis,
Pa: Five smoked kielbasas!
Arcibald: Four baked paprikas,
Larry: Three simmered gwumpkis,
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed!

That does not sound like enough food to feed a crowd. At all.

Back to the story, the traveling circus has fled into the desert, and Aaron is still with him, despite his stupidity. Haramed wants to know what’s wrong with him. Claims Aaron owes him for the money he lost from his outburst.

and then the traveling circus meets ups tin the 3 wise men. The wise men were following the star. You know, the one that appeared over Jesus and guided the wiremen to the place of his birth.

Ellen White, the Adventist Prophet, writes in The Desire of Ages that actually, it wasn’t really a star. It was really an angel up in the sky guiding them, but the wise men saw it as a star because that’s what they understood. Which would mean the bible isn’t infallible, because the bible says “star.” I get the feeling this is why Seventh Day Adventists like to leave out this detail when telling the Christmas story; it would either undermine Ellen White’s status as prophetess, or the authority of the bible. And they can’t have either one of those now, can they?

Lest anybody attempt to call Shenanigans and tell me I’m wrong, here it is, in her own words. From The Desire of Ages, Page 60. Which may or may not actually BE page 60 of whatever copy you happen to pick up. It’s in Chapter 6:

The wise men had seen a mysterious light in the heavens upon that night when the glory of God flooded the hills of Bethlehem. As the light faded, a luminous star appeared, and lingered in the sky. It was not a fixed star nor a planet, and the phenomenon excited the keenest interest. That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant. Yet they were impressed that the star was of special import to them. They consulted priests and philosophers, and searched the scrolls of the ancient records. The prophecy of Balaam had declared, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Num. 24:17. Could this strange star have been sent as a harbinger of the Promised One? The magi had welcomed the light of heaven-sent truth; now it was shed upon them in brighter rays. Through dreams they were instructed to go in search of the newborn Prince.

I mean, shoot, if what she says is true, even the old testament contradicts the new one because it was predicted a STAR would appear, not a company of angels pretending to be a star.

Yes, Adventists take the bible literally, so you should not listen to them try to retcon as they tell you the bible was written by ignorant men who couldn’t tell the difference between an angel and a star AND in the next breath, say that God, a divine being who never makes a mistake, inspired every word of scripture.

So, that is your interesting tidbit of the day about Seventh Day Adventist culture.

Anyway, turns out the 3 not-so-wise men are happy to welcome the traveling circus to their little party.

Wait, what? Aaron and Haramed don’t notice the star, because of their sins of unforgiveness and greed, respectively. Remember, kids: forgiving and forgetting that people KILLED YOUR PARENTS is a SIN and you will go to HAY-ELL if you don not forGIVE them.

The concept of Christian forgiveness is quite screwed up, but that’s another rant altogether. Moving along.

The bible doesn’t mention the names of the Magi, but apparently there is a tradition that does…. wait what, really? *googles* Well, that’s interesting. I’m not sure why Christianity set the number of wise men at 3, or where these names came from, but they are: Caspar/Gaspar (the Veggie Version has gone with Gaspar, for obvious reasons), Melchior, and… not Cuke Skywalker. Sorry Larry, you don’t get to pretend to be a Jedi. This is not Star Wars, though a movie called The First Christmas: Star Wars Style,  WOULD be very interesting. I feel like Larry is on to to something here.  The real name of the 3rd is Balthazar.

Huh. You learn something new every day.

Haramed makes a deal with the Magi, selling off Aaron’s camel while Berny distracts Aaron.

Aaron is understandably upset, and goes off after Joshua and the Magi.

Aaron watches the Shepherds gather around while the angels tell them of Jesus’ birth, and then sing praises to him. Except we don’t get to see the angels. Only blobs of light where they would be.

This is a CLOSE UP of the angels. Seriously.

Following the shepherds, Aaron and his animal friends find Joshua, but then a Roman in a chariot runs over Baba, the little lamb. Aaron, of course, is upset, and goes to the Magi for help. The Magi are conveniently in the stable, worshipping the baby Jesus.

Melchior tells Aaron he’s a Magi, not a doctor, but the baby can help. Aaron doesn’t get it, and neither do I, since I’m unaware of Jesus using any healing powers before he hit the age of 30, but setting that aside for a good story, Aaron tells Melchior he doesn’t have a gift.

He’s worried about not having a gift for a “King” that is born in a stable. I’m not sure how they managed to convince Aaron he was a king, because even back then, kings were NOT born in stables.

Aaron goes up to the manger, and then sings the song The Little Drummer Boy. I’m sure we all know it, so I’ll avoid posting lyrics.

Playing the song with drums filled Aaron’s heart with joy an drove, and e forgave the people who hurt his parents…

I feel like something is missing here… playing a song for a baby king and then having the king smile at him healed him… yeeeeaaaaahhhh sorry not buying it. Maybe there was something in the original story that I am missing? Which came first, the song or the story? I think the song, based on googling, but I could be wrong. So I feel like the story could’ve been easily edited to make more gorram sense.

Why oh WHY is the fullscreen button literally right next to the “skip ahead to the end of the movie” button? Seriously, who’s dumbass idea was that?!

Anyway, after Aaron plays his song, someone comes up to him and –OH SNAP! His parents SURVIVED! They thought Aaron died in the fire, and he thought they died… finally, an ending I actually LIKE. Yes, I’m a sucker for sappy Christmas movies. Sue me.

Oh, and in case you were worrying about the lamb, don’t worry, his parents take care of it.

Aaron thought the newborn king was the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen which, SNORT, have you ever SEEN a newborn? they’re not cute. Or remotely beautiful. They’re wrinkled and red and ugly. They don’t get cute for another few days or a week. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who has SUCKER tattooed on her forehead when it comes to babies and children.

Junior’s caroling friends then come to call at his house which sounds weird but whatever. I guess they decided to carol on his street.

They then have a 2 minute talk about the misunderstanding at the beginning of the movie. Love and forgiveness all around…. yawn, go back to the Christmas carols and the reunited parents and son.

The end credit music, unsurprisingly, is The Little Drummer Boy. And since I’m a sucker for Christmas music, and this song is very well done, I listened to it 3 times.

In reading the reviews on Amazon, I’m not the only one disappointed with the resolution of the story. Other people also felt it was too rushed and forced. There is nothing in here about why Jesus coming as a baby should change Aaron’s life. It’s just sort of a magical thing that happens when he sees what should be an ordinary newborn. (The bible says Jesus was not ugly that we should despise him, yet not beautiful that we should love him for his beauty. It therefore stands to reason that Jesus would’ve looked like a typical human newborn: pretty darn ugly.)

I’m also surprised there was no comparison between Jesus forgiving us for our sins and Aaron forgiving the Romans for theres. I would have found it extremely problematic so I’m almost kind of glad, but it would’ve fit right in with the Christian narrative, and would’ve at least made the story make sense, because otherwise there is literally no explanation for why seeing a baby suddenly changes Aaron’s life. I feel like you could have still had the story: Aaron angry, then finds his parents, happy ending, and left the whole story of Jesus out, and not lost anything from the story.

And that’s…. no ok, because, Jesus’ birth is sort of supposed to be the point of the story, not Aaron’s whiny childish angst.

I think the movie is ok, but it falls so short at the end. I just… feel this movie is lacking.

McGee and Me Episode 2: Star In The Breaking

Apologies for errors. The issues with my keyboard have still  not been resolved.

“When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?

Luke 14:8

This is the verse Nikolas reads at the beginning of the episode, though in a much looser translation. McGee and his cartoon friends all fight over the seat at the head of the table. An old lady clonks McGee over the head with her purse. Go lady! McGee then forcibly removes her from the chair. The host of the feast then brings in a man and tells the man he wants him to sit at the head of the table, so poor McGee has to go take the least desirable seat, with cobwebs. I don’t feel sorry for him, because forcibly removing old ladies from chairs isn’t cool.

Nikolas then explains that every Monday after school his family gathers around the tv for “quality entertainment” which basically is… something that looks really stupid. On the tv a kid gets hit in the face with a pie. I get the feeling Nick’s comment about quality entertainment was supposed to be sarcastic. At least, I hope, or I will seriously wonder what Focus on the Family officials were smoking back in the day.

Boring shots of under the couch, the crack in the door, then under the couch again.

Back to Nickolas and his sisters. Nickolas finds “the slime slide” hilarious. His older sister isn’t even watching, she’s reading what looks like the newspaper.  At the mention of “slime slide,” she looks up and says, “gross.” I like this character already.

McGee scares Whatever, who jumps up and walks across the living room, making a better door than a window, I’m sure.

Anyway, this appears to be one of those shows that actually lets real live kids be a part of it. The host announces the kids who’ve won the opportunity to be on the show, and guess what, one of them is Nikolas. Even the older sister is excited that he gets to be on tv, even though I would be rolling my eyes, embarrassed to have a family member be on such a ridiculous show.

In the next scene, NIkolas’ family is eating dinner. BIg Sister (did they ever tell us her name? I honestly can’t remember) asks him what he’s going to wear. Because all teenage girls are overly concerned with clothes. Really.

McGee asks Nikolas what his share of the profits are, and Nikolas answers out loud, “nothing.” His poor sister wonders why he wants to go on TV in the nude, while grandma says that sort of thing is frowned upon in children’s movies.

This is the movie’s attempt at humor, and it sort of works. It definitely establishes that the rest of Nick’s family can’t hear McGee, but they can hear Nikolas talking to him. Which, ok, that’s bizarre, but we’ll go with it.

Nick’s mom gets a call about a job interview, and afterward she behaves more like someone who got a date, but whatevs.

The next day at school, Nick’s much younger sister and him are walking down the halls toge–

Wait, what? Last episode we were told Nick went to “Junior High.” Nick’s sister can not possibly be much older than the age of 5, MAYBE I’ll give 7, but she has the high squeaky voice of a 5 year old. Since when did they let 5 and 7 year olds into Junior High? In fact, most Junior High schools aren’t even in the same BUILDING as the elementary school. I only know of one school who tried to integrate the 2 into the same building, but they made darn sure to keep the little kids very separated from the big kids. And it didn’t end up working anyway, because parents got upset.

So I have a hard time believing NIck and his younger sister would be meeting in the hallways at school.

Right after Nick promises to help Little Whatshername (I seriously need to make myself a cheat sheet with names) draw a wombat, 3 girls come up and ask him if he got to school in his limo, and telling him he’s a big star and they can’t wait to see him on TV, bla bla bla…

Nickolas decides there are advantages to being a star, like being with pretty girls, and goes after them. I love the multicolored sweater one of the girls is wearing. Heather is very clearly having a crush on Nick, but I doubt that’ll ever become a main plot point.

Though I wish it would. Heather is not what ye typical Jr High student would think of as pretty. She’s got long brown hair that’s got flyaway strands, she’s not thin, and she’s wearing a plain striped shirt. I would love to see the main character get with the “plain” girl for once.

Even though we were told last episode that Nick is in Jr High, it sounds like he’s going to be in one classroom for the whole day… I think the writers just like to forget what they wrote last episode. That’s going to be obnoxious.

The principal actually interrupts a teacher in the middle of a lecture to congratulate NIckolas on his TV appearance. The teacher wasn’t the best teacher, but still, that was highly rude of him. I actually sympathize with the teacher for being annoyed.

We then get treated to a dream Nickolas has of walking the red carpet. The only problem I have with this scene (besides it being kinda stupid) is  the fact that it occurs in cartoon world. That’s not the problem, the problem is that it’s in cartoon world, and Nicholas is not cartoonified, for lack of a better word. As such, it just comes across as bad video editing.

Snerk…. he’s doing the princess wave….

That morning at breakfast, Nickolas tries to order Sarah, his big sister, around. At first it makes sense, because Sarah’s right next to the milk, no reason she can’t hand it to him. Then he asks her to get the sugar, which she does. then he gets after her for not bringing him his spoon. Sarah flicks sugar in his face and says, “get it yourself, I’m not your slave!” Then grabs her books and stomps out the door. I like this girl.

Nick then proceeds to act like a jerk to his friends. I hate it when kids get big head syndrome from stuff like this. It’s so cliched and overdone.

In the next scene, grandma is talking to Nick’s mom, Elizabeth. Apparently the people who were going to give her a job just wanted her to answer phones. Well duh, she’s a woman, of course that’s all they want her for.

It’s unclear exactly what job Elizabeth was applying for. She said she wanted to “offer her services to help those people,” whatever that means. I get the impression that even the people at FotF can’t imagine a woman with kids doing an actual career.

McGee and Nick have a fight. They throw things at each other. Yawn.

Jamie is laying on the floor trying to draw a wombat. like Nick, I have no idea what a wombat looks like, but thank you google.

I’m not sure what the rules are about taking pictures from google and posting them here, so I won’t do it. And Yeah, I wouldn’t know how to draw that either. Cute little bugger, though.

Frustrated, Jamie goes up to her brother’s room. She hears the noises on the other side of the door…so wait, she can hear the noises of McGee’s helicopter and fake guns, but she couldn’t hear him talk at breakfast?

I would REALLY like a solid explanation of whether other people can hear McGee or not, because the screenwriters seem to have decided that the answer is “whatever is convenient to the plot.”

Jamie then enters Nick’s room without knocking, which would piss me off, actually. I’ve literally told people, “do that again and KNOCK this time.” It usually works, and after that I’m quite happy to talk to them. So I don’t blame Nick for not being thrilled at being caught hiding under his bed wearing his football helmet because his sister walked in on him playing with his imaginary friend.

Jamie asks Nick if he will help her. He replies that he doesn’t have time for that stuff, because the show’s tomorrow, and a wombat is a dumb choice anyway.

Hold on… we were told at the beginning of the episode that it was Monday, that Nick would be on the show on Saturday, and it’s only been 2 days. By my count, it should now be Wed. I don’t blame the writers for wanting to skip the week in between, but I wish they’d make it more apparent that they were doing a time skip, or have Nickolas be watching the show on Thursday instead of Monday.

And yeah, I kinda was wondering about why Jamie would choose a wombat as her favorite animal, but I still don’t think it’s dumb, and Nick’s comment was unnecessarily cruel.

Jamie is hurt by Nick’s unkind comments, and goes away sadly. McGee throws a paper ball at him. Nick tells McGee he’s still not going on the show with him. That’s apparently what their big fight was about. I thought other people couldn’t see McGee anyway? So what would it matter if Nick took or didn’t take him?

Consistency people, even in a kid’s show, IT MATTERS. I say this as someone in the target market range of this video who sat there and picked out all the plot holes and inconsistencies in tv shows before she was even old enough to read, so I can’t be the only one who’s noticing this.

Nick puts on his best suit on Saturday morning, and for a minute I feel like I’m watching an Adventist tv show. His sketchbook lies on the floor as he walks out the door. Like, literally, we get a closeup of the red cover. Seriously, who takes their sketchbook to a tv show? I enjoy writing, but sometimes I don’t want to mess around with carrying a notebook everywhere I go. Nick wasn’t told to bring it.

Shots of Nick walking into the studio being awed by everything around him.A song saying, “you’re a big shot, you’re a super star!” plays in the background as Nick is taken to hair and makeup, where he’s given a pair of goggles and I notice he is no longer wearing a suit.

Wow. The show is actually called “Trash TV.” I’m sure parents will get the joke, as some in the FotF crowd thing all television is trash anyway, and I’ve literally heard the term “trash TV” thrown about in a casual conversation. Or it’s because the show is really stupid and LOOKS like trash.

Amy and Nick are the only 2 contestants, and are wearing what look like Karate suits. Nick’s family stands in the wings to cheer him on. This strikes me as the most realistic aspect of the show, because a child must have an onset guardian at all times. In fact, it’s quite possible Joe’s real mother is around somewhere. (Joe=actor who plays Nick).

The object of the game show, apparently, is to trash your opponent as much as possible and rack up points, and whoever wins the most points is the grand prize winner. I like this show less and less.

I predict Amy is going to win it, because Nick must be humbled.

Predictably, I’m right. It’s rather boring and painful to watch. And disgusting. Lots of closeups of kids in the audience pointing and laughing. Like, LOTS of closeups. More than necessary in my opinion, and it goes on for way too long. Amy is the winner, and is congratulated as Nick walks off the stage as a bible verse about being humble repeats. Yawn.

Also, hey wait a minute… The host of the show said he chose Nick specifically because he could draw really well…. and then the show has nothing to do with his drawing abilities whatsoever? I feel like, since it was specifically mentioned, it should’ve been relevant to the plot. Especially with Jamie trying to draw a wombat and needing Nick’s help, it seems like really clunky foreshadowing that went absolutely nowhere.

McGee comes along to pat Nick’s shoulder and have a talk with him.

The next day at school the kids aren’t so nice to him anymore.

Elizabeth took the job at the counseling center answering phones. She said Nick’s not the only one who’s been learning humility.

Erm, what? Elizabeth applied for a job as a counselor at a counseling center, and was offered the position of, it sounds like secretary. That, to me, doesn’t sound like a lesson in humility, it sounds like a lesson in how sexist our society is. She’s a woman, so all she’s good for is answering phones. And Elizabeth, like a good little woman, finally bows down and accepts this. Never mind that she probably went to school for this and is just as qualified as the (no doubt) male counselors.

This side plot just… doesn’t seem like a lesson in humility AT ALL. Sure the Nick plot was overdone and cliched, but at least it demonstrated “pride goeth before a fall.” The Elizabeth side plot demonstrates…. blatant sexism in the workplace?

McGee makes a lame joke, and Nick threatens to slam the sketchbook shut. So, apparently McGee lives in the sketchbook? So, he can become flat whenever he wants? And do we ever get an explanation of why and how McGee came to life? Is he really there, or is he only in Nick’s imagination? Since he was able to physically hurt Nick by throwing nuts and crumpled papers at him, I have serious doubts he is only in Nick’s head.

And yet, no one else seems to be able to see of hear McGee, soooo I don’t know. I only know that NOBODY thought this through.

Oh, and I learned this tidbit from the wiki: Whatever’s real name is Poundcake. I think they should’ve just gone with that for the show, because isn’t it easier to use a dog’s real name? And Poundcake is an original enough name without changing it.

I looked up the actor, Joe’s, age. He’s 12 at the time of filming, so definitely would be in Junior High, especially since Junior High used to start at 6th grade, in some places.

Now THIS is interesting. Apparently the actor playing Sarah’s real name is…. Sarah. And she’s Joe’s IRL big sister. Neither one of them have done much acting since McGee and Me, which is kinda too bad because they both seem like decent actors. I guess this show kinda killed their career… Gee, I can’t think WHY.