Another One of Those Weeks…

So this has been a weird week. On Monday we had Gordon essentially mourning the destruction of a priceless historical site, with Kat covering how grateful she was for her loving husband just two days later. Emotions have been running a little bit high around here, to say the least.

On my side of things I have just barely been keeping it together with my family’s return to North America, and unfortunately this is the week where I let things slide a little bit. I’m also expecting some new life-changing events by the end of next month. On that note, there should also be some very cool changes on this blog as of . . . October, maybe! All credit goes to Kat on that, but I need to do my side of things and work on it as well.

At this point I also have more blog post ideas than I know what to do with, so I have no excuses in this upcoming month. Thank you for reading. Below is a video game gif for your troubles, because that’s how life feels sometimes:

4 Reasons Why Marriage is Worth the Risk (Even in the Age of Ashley Madison)

Wow, look at that. John and I made it through two years of marriage without cheating on each other. Someone should probably give us a medal.

But seriously, doesn’t everything about Ashley Madison make marriage sound awful?

As a married person, I can’t help but be interested in the Ashley Madison scandal (even if I find the privacy invasion more than a little disconcerting). It’s heartbreaking to hear stories of spouses who have been betrayed by their significant other, and also fascinating to read various reasons why some individuals digitally invest in finding an affair. It’s also made me furious to read about Christian leaders who thought they could pull the “I’m forgiven, therefore there are no consequences” card when their Ashley Madison accounts were revealed.

If you based your opinion about marriage on what you hear in the news then you might think that it’s a pretty terrible deal. That’s why, for this post, I’m giving you 4 reasons why marriage is da bomb.

1) Someone always has your back

I have a lot of examples of this in our short marriage. John has served as my excuse to get out of lame events, and he has come along with me when there was no way out. We tag team in social conversations. We help each other out with jobs and homework and balancing life in between it all.

Today especially, I was reminded how lucky I am.

For the past few months I’ve been running a summer kids program. Today was our wrap-up party and John agreed to come help by leading some field games. As I was struggling to check in nearly 200 kids (while also coordinating food and drinks) I looked up and saw this.

2015-08-25 15.14.41_censored

Even with their faces censored out this photo makes me laugh!

Seeing a mob of children chase my husband made me smile, not just because it was hilarious, but also because they were having so much fun. John is so great with kids, and today he saved my butt. He made a mediocre party into a party they will all remember. I mean, how often do you get to chase a guy around  a field trying to stomp on a piñata? Continue reading

Palmyra

Today’s post was supposed to be about Millennials and marriage, but seeing as how the only married writer on this blog will be covering that very subject on Wednesday, it didn’t seem quite right that I comment on it.

And that post I had intended to write was going to be a lead-in to the myth of overpopulation and the so-called “voluntary extinction” movement. And I do intend to cover that-

Just not today.

And so the only thing that’s left to write about is the thing I just can hardly stomach to think about:

The destruction of Palmyra.

Palmyra, for those of you who have never had- and now never will- the privilege of visiting, was the ruins of a magnificent and ancient Syrian city. Pristinely preserved, the Roman colonnades, the Persian temples, the Arab fortification all served to transform the city into a dazzling monument to human history.

And, when in May of this year, a division of IS scum invaded the neighboring village of Tadmur. In spite of their repellent murder of some 20 locals, I could find no news about what the fate of the ruins was. Some part of me hoped against hope that the thugs (“militants” is far too generous a term) would leave it all be. That there was some flicker of pride in the magnificent heritage of the old place. That even they might still be human enough to appreciate the grandeur of the silent, sun-washed statues and archways.

But in the past 48 hours there has come confirmation that demolition has begun.

And there are no words. Continue reading

The Problem with Leaks [And the People Who Want Them]

So I missed my window with last month’s Comic-Con, but there’s always something going on and thankfully the D23 Expo, a biennial Disney convention, this past weekend has given me a chance to take another stab at this topic. I’m too lazy put any effort into coming up with a pun involving plumbers, but today I’m going to be discussing leaks.

Here’s an image to kick things off:

To provide a little context, the screenshot up top is a tweet from Marvel Entertainment that was posted shortly after the trailer to Avengers: Age of Ultron leaked last October. Hours to minutes later they released the official trailer themselves, days earlier than originally intended.

The second screenshot is the text that accompanied the full trailer to Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad that was posted to the film’s Facebook page. It was penned by Sue Kroll, the President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution for the company. Similar to Marvel Entertainment this was done after another leak, though in this case the source was an unknown individual who had illegally recorded a trailer screened at Comic-Con.

As you might be able to tell by the way the image was put together, the internet populace in general thinks much more highly of one reaction than the others. While the context surrounding each leak is important I’m going to be discussing why at the end of they day it’s all the same, and how I think the entire attitude surrounding this sort of thing is weak and selfish and I don’t respect it. Continue reading

3 Reasons You Should Watch Home (According to Kat and Her Nieces)

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to steal a couple of my nieces and bring them home with me. For the last few days, they’ve been busy helping me out with the kids program I run at work, and in the evenings we’ve all been busy showing them around the bustling metropolis of Williams Lake. While I thought about skipping out on this week’s post altogether, I decided instead to write a quick post about the movie we watched last night.

Below, I’ve included 3 reasons why we think you should watch it.

1) The aliens are super cute

This was why my nieces loved this movie so much. The main group of aliens, called the Boov, change colour according to their mood and seem to be made up of a jelly-like consistency.

The main character, Oh, is considerably cuter than I thought he would be. When I first saw the commercial for Home, I assumed that Jim Parsons would play a cartoon version of his well-known character from the Big Bang Theory. It was a pleasant surprise to see him change things up a bit while playing an equally quirky character in Home. Oh, the alien played by Parsons seems considerably more fun to be around than Sheldon.

Continue reading

“Hail Satan Gaiman” Or “Sympathy for the Devil”

Neil ****ing Gaiman.

Whimsical genius behind countless best-selling novels and comic books. Creative cadre to such literary giants as Terry Pratchett and Alan Moore. Champion of the plight of Syrian refugees. Perhaps one of the great authors of this time, with tales and yarns extending from the worlds of realism to science fiction to fantasy.

In many respects, a modern-day C.S. Lewis, with his ability to make the magical and divine seem every much as real and accessible as anything in the waking world.

Shame some folks don’t see it that way.

Specifically “One Million Moms”, which has created a petition for FOX to cancel Gaiman’s upcoming Lucifer TV series.

Now for the unaware, Lucifer is a comic book series spin-off of Gaiman’s fantastical masterpiece Sandman. Dealing largely with themes of free will and fate, the series sees its titular character abdicate his infernal throne and become a beach-bum in Australia.

The series has been loosely (but still earnestly) adapted by FOX, with the show’s premier airing at this year’s ComicCon and a three minute trailer released for the public at large. Continue reading

The Internet, The Military, And Feminism – A Brief Interaction Between Two Facebook Pages

First things first, this is going to be another one of my shorter posts. The days ahead are packed so I’ve sat down to rattle something off on Wednesday night just to keep the content coming. Secondly, when it comes to the military and feminism I am very confident in my feelings towards one and very uncomfortable and unsure about the other.

I’m not one to bandy around words like “liberal” and “conservative”, proper nouns or otherwise, but in general the profession of killing others isn’t one that sits easily with me. To say that I think we can solve all of the world’s problems by just sitting down, talking, and hugging it out is a step too far, however. There is clearly a need for such men and women, with World War II being the obvious go-to example of when war is right [literal decades of video games have communicated how evil the Nazis were]. Not everyone can be negotiated with or see reason, no matter how badly we would like that to be true.

nazombies

Nazis are so evil that Nazi zombies are actually better, not worse, because zombies can’t be antisemites.

So no, at bare minimum I do not hate the military or its existence. That of course does not mean I don’t get uneasy about the whole semper-fi-oorah-[yes-I-know-those-are-both-specifically-USMC-related] mentality that appears to be a requirement of serving in the armed forces. It makes sense, of course, to want to foster an unbreakable kinship between people who depend on each other for their survival, but it’s also obvious that this kind of impregnable bond can lead to a lot of terrible things being covered up [see literally any recent news article about police brutality].

It should also go without saying that this club, if we can call it that, is primarily male. According to CNN as of four years ago only “about 203,000 [. . .] or 14.5% of the active duty force of nearly 1.4 million” is made up of women. Even without this statistic it isn’t surprising that the vast majority is men, and that such a male-dominated environment results in particular attitudes and opinions being fostered.

feministgrunts

Feminist-Grunts11bravo, U.S. Infantry Soldiers is a mouthful [and referred to from this point on as Feminist-Grunts], but also the name of a Facebook page I came across with a very unique mission. It claims to be “for Infantry dedicated to respecting women and kicking ass of chauvinistic a**holes,” which doesn’t sound like something I have any problem with whatsoever. It’s also run by a single “feminist female veteran” who describes the page as being a “parody account”. To dig deeper into what she means by that, she says:

“This page is really a parody satire project where I pretend that feminist grunts exist, that they run this page, and that they believe in fairness, equality, and that everyone regardless of sex, gender, race, class, religion, has an undeniable right to pursue whatever careers they want to the best of their ability.”

Continue reading