Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

We all have guilty pleasures. Some involve chocolate. Some involve TV. The one I'm going to write about is my love of a kids cartoon. No, not Tom & Jerry, which I watched a lot when I was "little", which means it was a long time ago. But I'm talking about a cartoon on Nick that just ended called Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It shouldn't be too strange that I like something like Avatar. When I was about 12, I played the original Legend of Zelda, and I loved it. I've grown to really enjoy the fantasy genre. I guess it is because it draws me away from real life, which is demanding and stressful. I'm reading Lord of the Rings for pretty much the same reason. That's about an impossible journey to the heart of evil and how good wins. LOTR has an amazing mythology and incredible backstory to accompany the great writing.

But the funny thing is that I can watch a kids show that the whole premise is that a 12 or 13 year old boy will one day be able to defeat someone who is 3 to 4 times his age, and actually not get bored out of my mind. Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's hokey. I acknowledge that. During the series finale's epic battle between Aang, the hero, and the evil Fire Lord (or Phoenix King), my wife was laughing at the craziness of it all. My kids love the show, and it's something we can bond over. Of course, it's not cool when my kids try to "firebend" on each other. There is a little violence, but it is definitely a PG (or Y7) rated show. It also has a loyal following which includes other adults as well as the usual target demographic.

Watching Avatar reminds me a lot of Star Wars: Small group of good guys fight against the large evil empire. People can manipulate matter by will. Good wins in the end. The hero at one point abandons his training to help his friends that he saw in a vision. Avatar was only 3 seasons long, and the original Star Wars was 3 movies. The second season ended with the heroes re-grouping and making plans.

So, if the idea of an Asian inspired world where a good underdog fights against the evil enemy sounds good to you, don't be ashamed to watch it. And, it's OK to like it too. Just don't take it too seriously.


While an automated process runs, I thought I would get in a quick post. When I was coming into work, I looked at a billboard for a local concert venue and it listed a couple of shows I wish I could go and see. James Taylor is coming August 4th and Dave Matthews Band is coming in the end of August. I didn't catch the exact date, because I'm not going. I wish I was.

On second thought, I wish I could go and have a closed in box seat. There aren't any at the amphitheater that they are coming to, and when you go to a DMB concert, you come home smelling like pot. The last time (and first and only time) I went to a DMB concert was back in August of 2003. After the opening act was done, and Dave walked out on stage, everybody else whipped out their fattys and lit up. I got a bad contact high and the munchies. I came home with a vicious headache and stunk so bad I had to take a shower before I could even crawl into bed.

I grew up listening to my family playing guitars and singing James Taylor songs. I don't think I would get a contact high from his show, but I still can't afford to go. I also missed B.B. King when he came to Wendover sometime earlier this year. I love his guitar work, and I really enjoy one of his songs: Paying The Cost To Be The Boss. Its all in jest of course. Sometimes, my kids tell me that I'm not the boss ("No, mom is", which is really true). I tell 'em, "I'm paying for this house, your clothes and your food. That's why I'm the boss." Yep, I'm paying the cost to be the boss, of at least something. I guess my "real" song would be The Man Song.

UPDATE: My wife doesn't want to be labeled as controlling or psychotic. She's not, by any means. But she does have, in her words, "a very strong personality." I call her an Alpha Female. I may wear the pants in the family, but she picks them out for me. I'm an easy going guy, and she has a strong personality. It works well for us. It may not for others. I love her so much!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Morning Service Project

Today I actually got up and went to help at a church service project. The Church is all about serving, but for so long, I've only served my family. It felt good to be out and use a weedwacker. The Church maintains a farm in Erda, which is only a few miles away.

They had a "southern country breakfast" there, which included cheesy grits, biscuits and gravy, potatoes, and some bacon. It was mildly authentic, but not quite 100% accurate. Can't expect too much from people that have been raised out here in Utah. One of the cooks used to live in Alabama, but that was years ago. Good people, nonetheless.

So I came home and did more yard work. Suburbia on Saturday hums with the sound of small motors cutting and trimming. Mine was no different, except I added the sound of spraying Round Up on the weeds growing in the rocks, and the terrible Morning Glory in the back of the house. If I had some extra money (yeah, right), then I would redo some of the landscaping at my house. But right now, that's a low priority.