Valentines and Date Night (Jesus-Approved)

It is no secret that I think most holidays are contrived by the powers that be to boost the economy through the sale of needless crap that does not actually mean that a person loves you.  There is most likely a Kay Jewelers in every mall in hell.  Gifts do not equal love.

Say that in your head one more time because it is important.  Gifts do not equal love.

Loving behavior equals love.  Lots of loving behaviors.  Over time.  And rocky terrain.  And loving behaviors on sunny days and during the fun stuff and in the middle of all of the excitement too.  Lots and lots of loving behavior equals love.  Gifts do not equal love.

I will, however, make an exception to my rant to allow sarcastic valentines to squeak in.  I can definitely get on board with these.  I might even go so far as to say that these valentines would count as a little bit of love.  May I suggest a few that should be sent from my family?

From Kid E:

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 10.08.46 AMFrom Kid D:


From Kid C:


From Kid B:

images-3From Kid A:


From Sheepdog:

images-5 An+honest+valentines+day+card_6664bf_5000992

Now that’s what I call love, folks.  Lots and lots and lots of love.


A few weeks back I went online and purchased tickets to a predicted train wreck of a movie for Sheepdog and I to see this Valentine’s weekend.  The very popular book series that inspired said film had proven to be a key ingredient to a very memorable vacation for us a few years back in Cabo San Lucas.  Given that we are not going on that trip to Mexico this year, and the fact that Sheepdog tethers himself to the thought of that week as if it were an actual life source, I figured I would throw him a bone(r).  Mr. Grey will see you now.

And then I thought it would be nice to invite my sisters and their husbands to the theater as well.  So I texted them about it.

50 Shades text

Between happily married, consenting adults, that is.

Wish me luck for tomorrow.  Sheepdog’s not going to need any.  He’s got 50 Shades of Lucky coming his way.

Well, crap.

So I have heard that nobody can watch the first video because of an error on YouTube regarding copyright infringement.  Which sucks because I paid for every single song I used in that video (don’t ever steal music, kids).  So now you can’t see how awesome I am at moviemaking (Shout out: iMovie!).  I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Or maybe this will work (I do not give up easily)…


I am the all-time Champion in my house of the most useless game in the world.  Hey, at least I am winning at something.  I have seen so many movies and so much television that I can identify actors and actresses on a movie or show and then link them to a part that they played in a much older movie or show.  The farther back you go and the less they resemble the former, the more street cred you get for the call.  And thanks to the site (the International Movie Database) there is a go-to fact checker that can confirm just how awesome I am almost immediately.

Sheepdog tries to claim superiority sometimes (his IDs always come from completely irrelevant movies or shows that nobody except him ever saw, so I don’t count those… I know that George Clooney was on “Facts of Life,” but I wasn’t watching it live; I was out having fun in high school), but even he can not deny how incredible my latest call was.  Last night we were catching up on a couple of Raising Hope (FOX, Tuesdays @9:30/ 8:30c) episodes.  When we got to the one called “Kidnapped” they had an actor playing a police officer in a gas station convenience store.

After less than ten seconds of his screen time I screamed, “Press pause!”  Then I threw down the gauntlet by claiming that I knew who the actor was and a universally identifiable role that I can link him to.  Could Sheepdog say the same?

“Give me a minute!” he barked back as he squinted his eyes and waited for something to connect in his memory.  Nothing did and I got impatient because I thought I might just explode from my own awesomeness.

“Jurassic Park!  Somewhere near the Badlands, Montana!  Dinosaur dig!  The kid that says to Dr. Grant, “That’s not very scary.  More like a six-foot turkey,” I yelled excitedly as I made slashing motions across my chest and belly.  “Kids smell!  Babies smell!”

Sheepdog looked skeptically at the screen and shook his head in denial.

“No way.  I don’t see it,” he claims.

“Challenge accepted,” I said.  “Go check the database.”  I had so much adrenaline pumping that I was vibrating.

I’m sure you can already guess by now that I won.  Same kid.  There was something in his eyes.  I didn’t even need to hear his voice or watch the nuances in his mannerisms.  It really was a most excellent get, if I do say so myself.  It was almost as good as the time I was watching High School Musical (don’t get me started… it was under complete duress, I swear!) and I identified Ms. Darbus, the director of the school play, as the character Cassie from A Chorus Line  (1985), starring Michael Douglas.  BAM!  That was amazing!  But it was completely wasted on my kids and Sheepdog, who had never seen A Chorus Line.  I surely made them watch it after that.

Whatever… I am still the all-time Champion in my house.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

It All Ends Today

…or so says the tagline to the latest and final (sniff, sniff) movie, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (which releases today), based upon the epic book series by J. K. Rowling.  Unless, of course, we are mistaken about that because they found a way to cast a Confundus Charm over the entire world… now wouldn’t that be something?

I have always been extremely affected by books and movies and television, so it is natural that their conclusions would move me monumentally as well.  I know that they are manufactured, but they could be real – good fiction is always based in reality – and regardless, through reading about or watching them, they have allowed me to be a part of their life lessons.

I learned about the joy of realizing your true calling from Sam Malone (“Boy, I’ll tell ya… I’m the luckiest son-of-a-bitch on Earth,” as he shuts off the lights in the bar) and the meaning of life according to Cliff Clavin (“comfortable shoes”) and Carla Tortelli (“having children”) during the final episode of Cheers.  I learned about letting true friends know that they will remain in your heart even when you follow different paths in life (the “GOODBYE” stones that Hunnicutt left for Pierce to see as he flew off in the chopper in the M*A*S*H finale).

I learned from Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that you sometimes can but you can’t always go home again, for when they returned to the Shire – free of their youthful innocence and ignorance – it was a very different place than the one they had left.  I learned that war can be necessary even though it ends childhood and tears friends and families apart, and that power will corrupt almost everyone, from The Hunger Games trilogy.

I was reminded that relationships are complicated and the “right” guy is determined by the beholder (Team Kellan!, I mean Team Sheepdog!) and that everybody comes with a list of pros and cons from the Twilight books.  And Friday Night Lights’ Coach Eric Taylor and his football motto “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!” couldn’t show me any more simply that winning is not the true indicator for success, and that family should always come first.  The Cosby Show taught me that families should dance together often, preferably to cool jazz music.

And perhaps most importantly I learned from the conclusion of Zoey 101 that sometimes 16-year-old girls get pregnant and it is incredibly important to be a good parent to your teenager and talk to them about sex and responsibility and how bad choices can end your career before it really even begins (empathetic shiver! for both of the Spears girls).

I am smarter than all of you. Oh, and my parents are dentists.

So it is actually Thursday night and Kid A is leaving now dressed as Hermione to attend the midnight-ish viewing of the last Harry Potter film with her friends.  Kid B was so excited that she made wands for them out of actual trees for Kid A and her friends so they could use them when they dressed up for the premiere (I am telling you that these kids are B.O.R.E.D.).

Sheepdog, Kid B and I are looking forward to a Sunday afternoon IMAX showing of the movie, where I hope to be as moved as I have in the past by the creativity of those who write and make these incredible stories.  The Harry Potter books speak of unconditional love and selflessness as the ultimate weapons against evil.  I think that they are pretty good at warding off the everyday icky as well, so I’m going to stick with them.

After Sunday I will say, “Nox!” to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, so I can make room in my heart for new, even more imaginative tales and more importantly, the lessons that I can learn from them.  And so the end is actually the beginning.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

From L to R, the wands of Cho Chang, Padma Patil, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter (made by Kid B)