Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In Loco Parentis

Jared and I are big movie fans. We love walking into our local AMC theater, purchasing our tickets (which, incidentally, are only $5.00 for any and all movie releases, courtesy of the Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation program… the posted price at AMC is $10.00, so it is a real bargain!), and settling in a cushy seat to get enraptured in a life not your own for a few hours.

HOWEVER (you knew that was coming, right?), our visits to the movies are more frequently spoiled than not lately by the proverbial irresponsible, idiotic parent. It seems that every time we go, there is a toddler screaming and crying, a snot-nosed little kid kicking the backs of our seats, and their parents who seem entirely oblivious to the fact that their child is causing the childless couples to want to stay that way by beaning people in the head with M&Ms. M&Ms they just took out of their mouths…

Now, mind you, if we go see a Disney/Pixar cartoon or a DreamWorks movie about penguins (what’s with the penguins lately?), we’re not expecting a grown-up movie going experience. In fact, when we saw March of the Penguins (SEE???) on a Saturday afternoon with the entire population of the city’s preschools, we didn’t bat an eye when babies cried, kids kicked the seats, and a hopelessly clueless mother goose wrangling all 25 of her pre-pubescents ran into my shin with a stroller (I might have winced then).

What I take issue with is when parents bring their little darlings (read: victims) to movies that are meant for a more mature crowd, like the recently released “1408”. My little darling (read: Jared) is a big John Cusack fan, and has wanted to see this movie since he first saw a preview for it. It is a suspenseful thriller, bordering on being a horror movie. BORDERING. It doesn’t quite make the cut as an actual horror film, but it definitely has those scary and intense moments. So why, oh why, are there 7 and 8-year-old nervously chomping their popcorn and kicking our seats? Why are there infants needing diaper changes a row back? Why would you bring your innocent-minded 9-year-old girl with blonde pigtails to a movie with a review that reads, “…a deft Stephen King freak-out”? Come on, people! Is this really a child-appropriate subject matter? Do you really want to give them nightmares for the rest of their adolescence? If you don’t care about what impact you’re having on your children (which is by far the greater priority of this diatribe), at least consider how you’re affecting the experience of those around you. We just wanted a fun evening out that didn’t include diapers and pre-licked M&Ms. And I’m not begrudging you as parents a fun evening out, either. You can have one! But first, you must take proper measures to make sure it is enjoyable for EVERYONE involved.

It’s called a babysitter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Our Trip To Jamaica

Thanks to the embedding capabilities of Zigvid, I can now post a video of our recent anniversary trip to Jamaica.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sursum Corda

Ding! Ding! Ding! Round Two of my brand new blog begins now.

I feel that I must defend the fact that I have not posted again until now. I felt that I had to leave my original post up for a long period of time... You know, to establish my fan base.

Thanks for coming back. This week's post will be particularly satisfying for my married/engaged/dating readers. If you do not fall into one of these categories, go grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's, turn on Dr. Phil, and catch us next time.

Great Weekend Date Ideas

Wait! Don't close this window! These are better than those other great date ideas you've heard a million times. They are great because they emanate from the mind/heart of the sweetest person I know: The Great Date Guru... The Ruler of the Romantic Rendezvous... The Sultan of Sentimental Summits... My Husband, Jared!

(*sidebar: I decided that if Jared ever decided to become a magician, a purveyor of the supernatural arts, if you will, he should be called THE GREAT HUSBANDO!!! *end of sidebar).

Please enjoy and employ these date night ideas, courtesy of my favorite person in the world.

Be a tourist in your own city. Find a local tourist spot that you’ve never been to, don your Hawaiian print shirt and Bermuda shorts, strap on your fanny pack (or “bumbag” for my international readers), grab a camera and go! Granted, this is a little easier for we who live in Washington, D.C., but every area of the country/world has a hip and interesting little tourist spot to hit. It’s amazing how many great places are at your fingertips that you’ve probably never even visited! Try a National Monument/Forest/Park or a historic house (bonus points from the wife if they have Afternoon Tea, for which you make an advance appointment).

Have a rainy day picnic indoors. Spread your gingham table cloth over that Berber carpet and picnic in the living room! Use paper plates and plastic utensils, just as if you were outside… only you don’t have to suffer the bugs and squirrels competing for your Panini.

Check the last minute airfare deals and hop a flight to that location. We haven’t actually done this one yet… except for an impromptu weekend visit to Boston, which was very fun. Oh, and our last minute 1-year anniversary getaway to Jamaica… also awesome. Ok, I guess we have done this one! Southwest, Spirit, and JetBlue are particularly good for cheap tickets. Just recently, Spirit had tickets to Guatemala for $8.00!!! Sure, they get you on the taxes, but it is still a good deal. If Guatemala is your thing. Then again, whose thing isn’t Guatemala? This is getting out of hand. Anyway, you can plan your trip for the day if you choose a regional location, or make it a whole weekend trip. Be spontaneous!

Go to an Arcade and be a kid! Surprisingly, this is one of my favorite things we’ve done. We were shopping at Potomac Mills and walked by an arcade filled with Middle Schoolers. SkeeBall was calling Jared’s name and he challenged me to a game. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I dropped my shopping bags and bought some tokens. Before I knew it, we blew 3 hours playing SkeeBall, Air Hockey, and some Jurassic Park shoot-the-dinosaurs-before-they-eat-you game. We won over 100 tickets, which bought us two Sour Apple Airheads and a witch finger.

Well worth the $15.00.

Now get out there, lovebirds, and do something fun and different!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Custos Morum

I have caved in to peer pressure.

After many moons of refusing to participate in MySpace or anything akin to it, I have decided finally to have my own blog. For a long time I have detested the whole idea… not because I haven't enjoyed reading the posts of many of my loved ones out there, but because I think many people use MySpace/blogs as a means to reveal a little more than they should; namely, young ladies (and I use the word “ladies” loosely). I get so disheartened when I see girls from high school/college/church/work put material on their pages that is suggestive or overtly inappropriate (I am speaking specifically of my sisters-in-Christ, but this behavior from ANY girl is still maddening). It bothers me so much that I literally had to GROUND myself from viewing MySpace because my ire and blood pressure would skyrocket, and I would then become consumed by planning out what I would say to some of these girls, if I ever had the opportunity. I mean, don’t they realize what they’re doing? Don’t they know that they are summing up their entire list of priorities, moral values, self-perception, and the parameters by which others should treat them on a 10.5 X 13 inch computer screen? (That’s the size of my monitor, anyway).

Look, I’m not trying to be judgmental here or pretend that I am the Moral Sovereign of the World Wide Web. I just think that we as intelligent, driven, fun, and, yes, even attractive Christian women, have so much more to offer than a video of an underwear-clad pillow fight, provocative poses rolling by on a slideshow, or referring to one another as “sexy”, “lover”, or any of the more vulgar references that are popular today. It is of particular importance to consider the contents of your blog when you know your audience is impressionable. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be fun! It should be! My friend Karmen tells me that having a blog is fun and even therapeutic (which I am really looking forward to). But through the fun, we should all consider the testimony we bear in Arial font...

I am at an impasse in my plea for blogging decorum… I can’t entreat one to have a good testimony if one's blog only lays bare what is true of their life. Proverbs 4:22-24 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.” I had a pastor that expressed this same idea, albeit a bit less eloquently, saying, “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.”

Welcome to my Blog. This is my bucket.

Other Buckets in which I find refreshing water:

-My brother Michael’s blog is the one I frequent the most. He shares insightful and candid thoughts about spiritual issues, politics, marriage and family. And not a hint of underwear-clad pillow fighting.

-Alison Struska shares the everyday details of her life with enthusiasm and joy!

-My sister-in-law Michelle is an exemplary MySpace-r. She has over 400 young people in her group of friends- let’s estimate half of them are girls- and she has never posted anything remotely inappropriate. Oh, to learn from her!

-Amanda really reveals her growth in Christ in almost every blog.

-And last, my husband, Jared, my hero in the fight against smut! He has been working on forming an entire web community and video sharing website based on the principle of “Clean Content”. It is called ZigVid. It hasn’t launched officially yet, but sign up and check in frequently. Way to go, Presh!