Monday, November 15, 2010

Lest We Forget

Do you know what bothers me most sometimes with myself and with other people?  When I tend to forget my mistakes, wrongs decisions and errors and start running foward with all my might.  I fully expect to win the race I'm running, without difficulty, without obstacle, without consequence.

You might ask, "Why is this dangerous?"  It's dangerous because I've completely ignored the pitfalls, road blocks and holes I've tripped over, fell into and became ensnared with in the past.  If I learn nothing from my past mistakes, I'll never stop making the same mistakes again and again. 

You tell me which is better to run?  Recklessly and without adandon, or carefully with precaution?

Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not popular or desirable to follow the latter. It's slower, harder and comes with a bad, bad case of self denial and responsibility.  We all want to run without abandon, and when we fall on our face, we NEVER blame ourselves.  It's always the rock's fault, the hole's fault or the obstacle in our way keeping us from reaching our destination in one piece. 

If you're honest with yourself, you know this is the truth.  However, I've come to learn that many of us are not honest with ourselves or anyone else.  We lie all the time, convincing we're justified in our actions, anger, bitterness and resentment.  We have short-term memory problems, but does God?  Usually when all hell breaks loose in our life, we contribute it to either something we are currently doing or not doing.  We forget what we've already done, thinking and convincing ourselves that we've dealt with that past offense and no longer face the consequences of our actions.  My friend, that's wishful thinking.  Having a mindset like that is like running recklessly and without abandon. 

God does forgive, but in His perfect LOVE, He corrects, He purges, He rebukes, He trains and He chastises us in order to permanently remove our weaknesses, blemishes, blunders and immoral character.  It hurts.  It isn't easy.  But, without carrying the weight of those things that easily entangles us, we can run a wise race.  It doesn't matter that its full of entrapments and snares, because through experience, through trials, through facing the consequences, and learning from our mistakes, we can now trust Him as HE guides us through until we reach the finish line.  

There are things we sometimes do that are 'religious', because it's what we've been told to do.
Instead of balking about the 'religion' of the ritual, consider it's original purpose.  Because beneath the 'religion' of everything, you'll find reason and purpose. 

I.e. The Levitical Law to abstain from pork.  At first you avoid eating pork just because religion dictates you don't eat pork.  If you only follow the religion, then eventually you'll eat pork just to rebel against the religion. You'll cling to every thought and excuse you can conjure to 'justify' eating pork. But, if you consider the reason behind the religious rule, you'll discover a warning to protect your health. 

I.e. The New Testament commandment not to forsake assembling together with your brother's and sisters - attending church.  If you go to church because the Christian religion dictates your attendance, eventually you'll quit going in rebellion to the religion.  You'll cling to any and every reason to justify not going. That's the natural thing to do.  But, if you consider the spiritual purpose of gathering together, you'll discover it is for your own personal growth, accountablility and responsibility that you attend. 

Bottom line though... does God ever change?  Does He ever waiver?  Does He allow or overlook the breaking of ANY of His commandments without consequence?  Not according to the Word.  Whatever you sow, you'll reap.  For every sin there's a blood price to be paid.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a consequence. 

So, while I tend to 'forget' my past trespasses, God will bring every one of my deeds into judgment, even the ones I convienently don't remember.  Thank God for His Grace and His Mercy. By them both, I have a chance to face/deal with my actions BEFORE its too late.  I quit making excuses for myself or anyone else who's lying to themselves.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review - Episode 7 Final Season

Smallville Episode 7 Final Season Review

Here we go again for another episode of Smallville. Each week, I can literally feel my heart getting heavier and heavier. It’s almost like knowing one of your children are about to leave home to go away to college, leaving their childhood behind and entering into the never-ending era of adulthood and responsibility. We all know that once they leave home, that’s the last morsel of childhood left. I’m already feeling the loss, and they’re still with me. Okay… enough reflection.

BTW – if you want to read an awesome reflection of self-revelation, visit Allison Mack’s blog and read what she wrote about leaving Smallville behind.

Okay, now to the review at hand. We start off this week’s episode with a couple creepy dudes riding in the back of a van headed toward Smallville; wonder who they’re looking for? The Kent Farm… why does that not surprise me. Speaking of the Kent farm… ooh, la, la. Lois comes trapsing down the stairs behind Clark in his high school football jersey. Needless to say anything else, the smiles on both their faces say it all. We all heard that strawberry loud and clear too. LOL… love the playfulness, and I have a feeling there won’t be any porch swing left when they’re through. Well, maybe there will be. LOL! Nothing like an uptight dad to spoil the moment. Good paced and entertaining opening segment. The whole Lois and Clark relationship doesn’t make me cringe like the Lana & Clark lovefest had.

Okay, my first rant of the night. I don’t like strong women turn into groveling wimps, even if it is because they have an over-bearing and militaristic father. The General hates superheroes huh? That’s usually not the sentiment of military personnel, being they themselves are superheroes; unless it’s a resentment thing with the all the ‘super-powered’ super heroes, and he’s a little bitter they have abilities he’d never be able to train, learn or obtain by natural means. Love Michael Ironside, all the way back when he was battling the Greatest American Hero in the early 80’s.

Love the general’s assessment – “You live in your mother’s house and you work in a basement.” Is that a “Honey Do” list ole Pops gave Clark? Don’t do it, Clark. Stand your ground or you won’t earn the respect of dear ole dad. Uh-Oh, looks like Clark and the General are on opposite sides of this Anti-Vigilante act. Yep, I was right. Sounds like a little bit of bitterness there against the super-powered. But, I have to agree with the General. If Superman decided to wear black instead of red, white and yellow; he’d be a real threat, and what could our armed forces do to stand up to someone like him – other than have green, red, blue, black Kryptonite, Lana Lang, Lois Lane or a bout of low self-esteem? Clark’s only looking at the positive, which is admirable. Regardless, they’re both wrong on some points. They sound like Republicans and Democrats bickering.

Uh-oh… Lois didn’t back up her man, yet she didn’t support her father either. I think it was a smart move. Clark of course is spewing sour grapes.

Oliver/Green Arrow – someone I always like to see, literally. Seems he’s got a little bit of the resentment bug too… with Tess moving in on what he considers Chloe’s territory. I like Tess, but I don’t blame him. That’s right, boy. She’s seen it all before, and so have the rest of us. Eeww… the Suicide Squad’s put their mark on my green guy. Rick Flagg… oohh, he’s one of the guys who’s got Chloe, isn’t he? You’ve been tagged, Oliver. I’m assuming he’s alluding to Clark being tagged too.

Clark left Lois holding the bag. LOL. The fire is out, thanks to the Blur. There you go, Pops! But, that chip on his shoulder seems to only see everything negative. But, he’s still bright – catching Lois in her lie. Who’s calling Clark? Uh-oh, Clark… you’re carelessness has put the General on your trail.

Well, that segment wasn’t as good as the first one; full of too much bitterness from everyone. The guys headed to Smallville, the General, Lois, Clark and Oliver. I’ve got my own bitterness because of Chloe’s extended absence and no one is out looking for her. If something don’t happen quick, I’m going to go ballistic.

So, Clark’s been tag. How did someone 1. Know about blue K and 2. Be able to put it on Clark without him knowing. Oliver jumping out the window was priceless.

So, Lucy is back. The last time her stupidity got her mixed up with Lex. I’m wondering what stupid thing she’s going to do this time. Clark needs to put his stuff up with strangers in the place. Oh, no… come on. He isn’t going to fall for that pathetic ploy. Yep – he did. I’m actually very proud of how Lois handled that situation. She jumped on the right person. But, it looks like Clark’s not being so smart, using his powers at all while others are around. I don’t think he’s upset because of what happened with Lucy. “Still, you can put out a burning building, but you can’t control your hot lips.” Excellent point, Lois. Ah, the real reason for his frustration finally comes out… her not backing him in the kitchen. However, she’s wrong too… bending her values to deal with family. I know millions of people do it every day, but it’s a strong pet peeve of mine.

Colonial Stafford enticing the dim-whitted Lucy. She makes decision of someone raised by an Army General, as if she was raised by a beach bum. Didn’t daddy teach her protocol, especially placing tracking devises on her own father? I know the writers want to drive the point that Lucy’s low self-esteem makes her desperate to do something to make her father proud and to perhaps top her sister in some way, but this is ridiculous.

“Come, on… Chloe would have this finished like yesterday.” Way to drive it in, Oliver. I’m so glad to hear him being so open and honest. I like that Tess stands up to him and doesn’t let him run all over her. I like her more and more all the time.

Clark finished the General’s list. I knew that was a bad idea. I think the General is so used to being able to do what he wants, say what he wants, and everybody around him bow down to him. If Clark knows what’s good for him, he’ll stand up to the General. Especially since he’s talking about Mama Kent. Oooh, I’m starting to see a little ‘steel’ in that spine. Uh-oh, now the General is going after his cousin. YES… the boy has a spine. He might just be worth her, after all.

Doesn’t Lois see right through Lucy? Or is her fear of her father bigger than her common sense? She’s going to let her father just say what he wants, when she knows he’s dead wrong? Looks like it. Oh, Lois… I’m so disappointed in you.

Okay, this mysterious Suicide Squad seems to know all about Clark, but how and why? I know I’ve watched every episode, but I seem to be missing something, somewhere. Has my brain just been filtering out all the information from this group or what? I’m disconnected from them. They just pop up here and there and somehow I’ve not connected all the dots.

So, now Lois goes to defend Clark. Where was her spine a few minutes ago? Anyway, glad to see a resemblance of the Lois I’ve come to know and love. I can live with the little bit of submissive, low-esteemed glimpses I’ve been getting so far all episode, as an extent of her past relationship, but only if she rises above it. Also, where does Lucy come off going all shop talk now? It makes me think of a kid using big words out of context because they don’t know what they mean; they just want to sound smart. Uh-oh, I think I’m prejudiced against Lucy. Don’t know if it’s from past actions, the kiss in the barn or the double-spy acceptance at the gas station. Either way, I’m not a fan. You go, girl! “I’m staying with Clark, and if you love me, you’ll respect that.” Daddy just got TOLD!

Okay, what’s the pen for that was left behind? Flag… was that a play on the name Flagg? What’s up with Clark’s new hairdo? I like it, but it’s just weird. So, Flagg is an extremist after General Lane? AWESOME graphics when Clark saved Lois! Take that, General Lane; your daughter was just saved by one of them vigilantes you’re so hard against. However, he’s still right… because it was some bad vigilantes that were trying to kill him in the first place. However, Flagg also has a point too, he’s just gone too far, like General Lane; like Lex Luthor. Is this going to be part of Lex’s future army? Is Lex behind Flagg?

Way to go Lois for telling Lucy like it is. Good job being the big sister. It is exhausting… Can’t believe no one’s received this revelation until now. Makes me think how much of it will they retain for the next dinner?

Aww… Oliver is trying to make peace with Tess. I really think this episode has been filled with so many extremes; it’s nice to see things being brought back to the middle with Lois and Lucy, Oliver and Tess, Clark and the General. I’d like to peek in your window, Oliver. At least someone, other than Tess, is showing a bit of common sense. But, this feels too much close to ‘good-bye’ and I don’t like it.

See, Clark. Standing up to the General is what garners respect, now cowering. Way to go. Again, we see two polar extremes coming back to the middle. I can see how Clark, after he becomes Superman, could use a man like General Lane for a moral, strategic and courageous leader to look to for advice and direction. It’s a passing of the torch. (Makes me sad to think of another Torch.)

I KNEW IT, that list was a test… but it was for Lois not Clark. Brilliant spin. Love it. Love the dinner. Love the music, love the mood, love the example that shows with a little wisdom, middle ground can always be reached. Then the last scene brings the extremism back. Eeehh.

That’s been this week’s review of Smallville’s final season. Stay tuned next week for another episode of what I think is the best show on television.

Till next time, Crazy4Smallville

Monday, November 01, 2010

Interview & Give-A-Way

Don't forget to register to win an autographed copy of The Blood of Cain by entering into the 500 follower give-a-way hosted by Inspired Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer blog.  You can also read a 7-question interview I gave.  The contest ends November 18, so register today! Just click on the link below and leave a comment.

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review Episode 6 Final Season

Smallville Episode 6 Final Season Review

It being right before Halloween, I’m expecting something ‘corny’, and from the previews it looks like we’re going to get something that appears to be the offspring of Children of the Corn or something out of a M. Night Shaymalan movie.

Okay… we’re off. Lois and Clark are sharing. I’m assuming they’re in Lois’ car since Clark drives a big red pick-up. Although he looks nice in that convertible. It’d look even better if it was a Mustang, but that’s my own personal preference. LOL, Clark fixing the flat tire! Typical Superman moment. Where did the little Amish girl come from? Why is no one wondering why she just showed up out of nowhere? They are reporters, aren’t they? Can’t tell it.

For Christ’ sake, he’s Superman. Why didn’t he just zoom off with that tire and get back in like 2 seconds? Well, then I suppose Lois couldn’t get lost or kidnapped if he had, huh? I hope the episode gets better. That opening segment was a little too slow paced for me.

We’re back. Okay, Clark cuts his hand? What’s up with that? “How bad was your little argument?” So far the best line in the show. It’s still early. So, now he’s pretending to be an investigative reporter. What’s up with this cop? Why doesn’t Clark just speed off, use his super hearing, his x-ray vision? If they’re not working, shouldn’t he discover that?

Harvest festival in a backward village… what a surprise! Why is Lois even there? She’s obviously not kidnapped, which means she went by choice, but why? Why leave Clark out in the middle of nowhere? What’s she after? To get back to the story Clark distracted her from? Doesn’t she know that Clark can beat her anywhere? Even if she did get back, he’d be there, waiting for her. She’s not using that brain of hers, is she? Ooooo, sweet little Susie-Q is showing her evil side. What are they up to?

Alexander’s birthday party? It’s strange to see him being portrayed as a normal kid, but where did all these friends come from? Did they raid the local boys’ home? If Alexander is aging as fast as they say he is (4 years in 3 weeks), then he already KNOWS he’s different, and unlike any normal child. Having him around normal kids will only make him seem even MORE different. Way to go, Tess, for making him feel like a freak. From his little episode of free-association writing, obsessively etching out the mark of the Blur, tells me the Lex Luthor we’ve all grown to love to hate is somewhere lurking inside of sweet Alexander. Hmmm… there may be hope left for this episode, after all.

Clark leading Sheriff Mayberry into the woods (the same one’s he’s probably grown up around his whole life). I don’t understand why he keeps putting up with this guy. Just go already, then do your explainin’ like you always do, Clark. Okay, Blue Kryptonite, that explains the power loss, but it still doesn’t explain why Clark hadn’t already come to that conclusion and had been prepared. Is he that unprepared as a regular human? Doesn’t surprise me that the sheriff got the drop on him.

I love these scenes with Alexander and Tess. So, he’s been hiding drawings. The ‘bad man’ in his dreams… wouldn’t that be Lex. Ooooo.. there’s that Lex attitude I’ve been waiting to see. Lex thought Clark was the bad man, dangerous and a threat to the world. He never saw himself that way. Hmmm, more evidence that the real Lex is lurking just beneath the surface. Looks like Tess let down her guard by turning her back to Alexander. You’d think she’d learn something after dealing with Lex and Zod. Guess not.

Why doesn’t Lois just get up and leave? She knows if she just started walking back the way she came, she just have to whisper Clark’s name and he’d come rescue her (even though right now he doesn’t have super powers – but she doesn’t know that.)? No, she sits there, knowing there’s something terribly wrong, sadistic and evil about her dinner pals, but does nothing. Is she that desperate to ‘teach Clark a lesson’? Come on… I really like this Lois. Don’t make me not like her with a bunch of mindless head games.

The day they were shown the lord’s sign? Let me guess… the meteor shower? Yep, and now poor Esther’s death has led a mindless group looking for ‘signs and wonders’ to go astray. Who’d a thunk it? Okay, it’s officially crossed over into the Children of the Corn territory. That little girl was pure evil. Boy, the children that grow up in those corn fields. I’m with Lois… ‘what’s wrong with you people’?

LOL, Lois dressed up like Kelly McGillis in Witness, too funny! Oh, Lois – you saved my life – moment. EVERY superhero always need saving. So, now it’s up to Lois to save the day. It’s already been proven, Clark can’t think like a superhero without his super powers – at least so far in this episode. Mmm..mmm –I agree Lois. Wait, I have to pause and back that up for a second glance.

Alexander in the barn loft, remember Lex’s memories. Priceless. Their friendship is the thing of legend. Well, being in a new body doesn’t change psychosis. That’s right Tess, Lex is the bad man. Oooh, I love this scene. The Lex I love to hate always manipulated people by using their weaknesses against them. I love it! This little boy is doing a great job of being ‘Lex’. “Don’t call me that, my name is Lex!” Best line in the show so far.

Okay, we’re back in the cornfield with the crazy people. Clark looks good in that hat. Wonder why he never wore one on the farm? Flowers for the celebration… what for? Oops, that red fingernail polish gave the hussy away. Okay, now it’s officially moved over into the land of the freak with the ScareCrow,Sleepy-Hallow, KKK and Jeeper’s Creeper throw back. The slicing of Clark’s midsection with the Death-sickle even better.

So, Lois thinks Clark is dead? I suppose she’s running off adrenaline and holding her breath not allowing the free flow of oxygen to her brain. How many times has she seen Clark come back from the ‘dead’? At least once in the past few weeks. Lex seems to be the only person on this show that doesn’t suffer from short or long term memory loss. However, I do have to say… I’m liking the episode even if it is a far cry from the Smallville I’m accustomed. These religious cults drive me crazy. Don’t they try out any of their theories by testing them? What about trying “not” to sacrifice a girl and see if their crops still grow? Nope… no one can think independently. This isn’t about crops, but about control. Isn’t Lois someone’s daughter?

Okay, how did Clark purge the blue kryptonite with yellow by being buried in the ground? Somehow I missed that reasoning. I can’t believe Lois is just going to stand there.

I have to say, I love seeing Clark with that shotgun and taking the ‘heat’ like a regular joe. Oooo… it’s a sign! You get them Lois. Feed them some of their own medicine! Shove their own craziness back down their throats. But, why on earth does she have to speak in King James version? Clark’s “A-men” was hilarious.

While I found that last scene, inspiring and even a bit hilarious, there’s a part of me that doesn’t like the innuendo and stab at the religious and people of faith. While on many parts I agree with this assessment, especially of the religious occults, but there’s another part of me that feels the truly faithful get lopped into this fanatical group. I do love how Lois and Clark handled the situation. I don’t feel like the show intentionally made fun of people of faith, perhaps even defending them against the occultic innuendo, but I’d rather they stick to the science-fiction and leave religion alone… even the religious nut jobs. But, either way… it was a good scene.

What is in the vial? The antidote to his growth spurts? To stop him from accelerated aging, to keep him alive longer? Don’t give it to him, Tess. Kill him if you know what’s good for you or the world. However, it’d be much more interesting if he lives. YES! She threw it in the fire. Alright… someone on this show actually learns something from the past. Way to go, Tess. I’m liking her more and more each episode.

The believers were able to be led down such a dark path, because their foundation was weak and messed up to start with. This is the dozenth time that ‘stepping into the light’ has been said. How many more times does Clark have to hear it? “Crispy Critter in Hellsville!?” Love it! Still wondering when she’s going to mention her lack of judgment to rush off to cover a story… against Clark’s wishes is what got her in trouble in the first place.

So, glad to see Clark being so open and upfront with Lois. Love to see them finally sharing themselves with each other, but there’s still this part of me that rolls her eyes, because in my Superman universe, he can’t share himself that way BECAUSE of his powers… yet on Smallville they’re not a issue. However, I suppose if he can drink a cup of coffee without incidence, he can have sex. Whatever… still wondering when he’s going to gain the Kiss of Forgetfulness.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… the very last scene. Alexander shaving his head, EXCELLENT. I’ve got goosebumps running up my arms.

That’s been this week’s review of Smallville’s final season. Stay tuned next week for another episode of what I think is the best show on television.

Till next time, Crazy4Smallville