Monday, October 31, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'The Slutty Pumpkin Returns'

Quick Review: Forget the Pumpkin, the best part about this episode is the real truth about Barney.

Episode Synopsis: The Slutty Pumpkin, played by Katie Holmes, returns, after Ted has searched for her every year at the same costume party since the Halloween they met and he lost her phone number. -tvguide

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Origin Stories

Every hero has an origin story. Superman’s parents sent him to earth as his home planet exploded. Batman saw his parents murdered when he was just a child. Daredevil lost his sight when he was splashed with radioactive chemicals. The list goes on, and for most of our comic book heroes, tragedy is an integral part of their origin. It’s the defining moment that forever shapes them into the heroes they are.

This is often the case for those of us in the Christian faith. Many Christians came to the faith after suffering some horrible tragedy: losing a loved one, a debilitating injury, betrayal, abandonment, drug abuse, incarceration, divorce, or a hundred other unfortunate events. Those defining moments that brought them to faith left a permanent imprint and is integral to how they live their new-found beliefs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Relationship Corner: The Wedding Isn't Important

I know, it's like I'm asking for hate mail. I got your attention, though, and before you start passing out the torches and pitchforks, allow me to clarify. While the wedding day is indeed important, it is the least important day in your marriage. If you're not approaching your wedding with that attitude, you're in for some trouble.

Let me ask you this: why are you getting married? Is it because you want to get married, or do you want to be married? These are two very different motivations, and the success of your marriage depends on which one you prioritize.

Sadly, a lot of woman, and men for that matter, emphasize the getting married part. Far too often I encounter women who dream about that wedding day, and have done so for many, many years. It’s what they live for, the chance to be the center of attention and princess for a day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Noretta'

Quick Review: The most uncomfortably hilarious thing I've seen in a long while.

Episode Synopsis: The gang discovers that their significant others remind them of their parents; and Barney and Nora's romantic night is plagued by mishaps.

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed.

Turkey Earthquake and the Better Business Bureau

You may have heard about the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey. If not, you have now. By the end of the week (if not today) you will be solicited for donations from many charities that seem to spring up out of nowhere.

I'm not against charitable giving. However, I am against con artists using tragedy to profit from others' generosity. If you are motivated to give, then I offer you this link to the Better Business Bureau page for charities. If you have questions about whether a charity is legit, check here. Likewise, you can use the BBB site to find charities worth supporting.

You want to know that your money is going to the right place, so take a few extra minutes to make sure that your donation is not in vain.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Geeks and Bible Geeks

Any self respecting geek knows a lot of trivia. It's one of the hallmarks of our people. At a moment's notice, we'll regale you with the fact that Zac Efron got his start playing a young Simon Tam on Firefly, whether you want to know it or not.

How is this any different than someone who can quote any obscure verse from Habakkuk? Or someone who knows how many times the number 40 appears in Scripture (86) and the only one of Christ's miracles to appear in all four Gospels. (feeding the five-thousand)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Relationship Corner: The Dangers of Soulmates

Relationships are hard work. They are irritating, aggravating, take a lot time time and emotional investment. There's a lot of pushing a rock uphill, only to have it roll right back down. You're going to have conflict, you'll need to apologize, and there will be times when you wonder whether you were better off alone. And that's a good relationship.

Do I sound cynical? You might be reading this and wondering why I'm so negative about relationships. I'm not. I've been happily married for nine years and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with my lovely wife. We have a very healthy relationship, and we are closer now than we've ever been. And of all the many factors that make our union strong, this is one of the most important:

We don't think we're "soulmates."

Monday, October 17, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Mystery Vs. History'

Quick Review: A funny episode that plays to the show's strengths.

Best Episode Moment: The research montage. It's a great analysis of the dating scene in the age of Facebook.

Best Running Gag: The spit-takes after finding out about Janet's secret. It was a lovely triad, and I'm a sucker for both triads and spit-takes.

Worst Running Gag: "I gotsta know!"

Least Effective Joke: Robin breaking the fourth wall. Has no one on the show seen a Woody Allen movie? Or 'Saved by the Bell?'

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Gospel According to Booster Gold

I believe that God can speak through anything. Furthermore, I think that when you dig deep, you can find God most anywhere. It's a great system, especially for the geek, because God is most definitely present and accounted for in the geeky pursuits. While I plan to eventually scandalize you with the idea that Dungeons and Dragons can be a Godly pursuit (unless I make a critical fumble) today my focus is on one of the greatest cartoons of our generation: Justice League Unlimited.

The Bible teaches that everyone has their own spiritual gift, and that it's never a good idea to dismiss your own gifts and instead wish you had another. Rather, it's important to embrace our gifts because not only is there great spiritual fulfillment, we also do the greatest good. It's easy to get caught up in wishing we were the next Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, or Beth Moore. Sometimes we're the sidekick, the second string player, and that puts us in the most important position of all. We second-stringers might actually be the ones who save the world, because it's the little deeds that make the big ones possible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Relationship Corner: Apologies

This post is going to be directed mainly at the guys this time, though it can just as well be applied to women.

I gave my brother this advice right before he got married, and I give it to you: when in doubt, apologize. Even if you’re right, even if she started it, apologize. 

Remember in my last post when I mentioned that one of the keys to conflict is that it isn’t about winning? That’s why apologizing is helpful. It helps you bury your need to win every encounter. The point is for the relationship to win, and sometimes you have to take one for the team. (Hey, look at that, this geek can use a sports metaphor.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Field Trip'

Quick Review: It played to the show's strengths and was overall a good episode.

Best Episode Moment: Barney and Ted polling the field trip. It's a welcome return to the kind of gags the show used to be good at.

Worst Episode Moment: The tag at the end. I kept expecting the flashback to the Edward/Jacob James Olmos conversation to go somewhere, but it didn't. The scene wasn't needed at all.

Best Character Moment: Marshall walking into Garrison Cootes' (Martin Short) office and showing him the ultrasound. Jason Segel is the king of powerful, understated performances, and he nailed it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Check out my latest article

First of all, welcome to all my fellow Farkers. Glad you're here, hope you like what you find.

I'd like to invite you to read my latest article, The Best and Worst Cartoons for Adults. I'm sure it'll give you a lot to talk about. Or complain about. It's part of a weekly column I write for this site.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Geeky Divisions in the Christian Church

You'd think that geeks are a monolithic entity (insert 2001 joke here), but we're not. Just because we're geeks doesn't mean we all think the same, believe the same, or even all get along. The same holds true for Christians. True, we all believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but after that we start to faction, and we've been doing so since day 41.

Perhaps the biggest split in the Christian church is between Protestants and Catholics. For geeks, it's Star Trek versus Star Wars. Each side has its share of atrocities (Jar Jar Binks and Star Trek: Voyager) but each side has done good in the world as well. (Empire Strikes Back and Wrath of Khan) The divisions between fan-bases can be stiff, with each side declaring that their science fiction geeky passion is the one true geek pathway.

Seriously. Go online and find a Star Trek versus Star Wars argument in any online forum, and it's like they're arguing about religion.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Relationship Corner – How to Have Conflict

Conflict is never fun. My wife and I have been married for nine years and we've had our share of conflicts. The reason our relationship is healthy and getting stronger every day is because we know how to handle conflict, how to address our issues and make sure that they don't wreck what we've spent over a decade building. We also don't harbor the illusion that happy couples don't have conflict, nor do we see conflict as necessarily bad.

In fact, your relationship needs it. Conflict is like going to the dentist. If you have regular checkups, you’ll have some minor discomfort and maybe have to put up with a lecture about your flossing habits. There will be that unpleasant sucking thing and you'll have this gritty feeling in your teeth for the next few hours. 

But if you avoid going to the dentist, the next thing you know it’s time for a root canal. That involves a lot of long needles, drilling, other unpleasant things that -trust me- you don't want to know about, and the worst of all: it's going to cost you a lot of money- just like the 'D' word. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Stinson Missile Crisis'

Robin attends court-ordered therapy and recounts what led to an assault charge.

Quick Review: It has its moments, a few good laughs, but character assassination isn't funny.

Best Episode Moment: Barney's fake company sponsoring Survivor.

Worst Episode Moment: The flashforward to Lily giving birth. The "husband isn't there for the birth of his child" trope is just too predictable and played out. They've done better.