Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's...

...NOT Superman. But definitely something exciting!

So, I do a small flyer route in my neighbourhood (the only way I seem to be able to keep active in the winter is if someone's paying me...), and as I was finishing up yesterday evening, absorbed in my iPod, the sky lit up. I felt like the source was behind me (south-east), so I turned, thinking, "lightning? No; it's November." But by turning, I was looking in the direction of the oil refineries that lie on the outskirts of Edmonton, and one of the towers has a constant flame coming out of the top of it, so I figured the flame had a burp of extra gas or something and had emitted an extra large flame. I remember thinking, creike, if that starts happening often, gas prices are going to go back up. And that was it. I finished my route and didn't think about the event anymore... until a friend through Facebook noted the 'big flash' in her status.

I commented that we must live close to each other to have seen the same thing until one of HER friends said she saw it in Saskatchewan. Now I was confused. But shortly thereafter, yet another Facebook aquaintance revealed that it was a meteor. A meteor! So, off I went to find more details. Behold:

The written news story (I intro'd my blog before reading the article, I swear!)
Footage of Meteor on Global TV Edmonton
And if that doesn't work, check this out:

Very cool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just as I'm Getting Into It...

So, I watch four TV shows; CSI, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EM:HE), Supernanny, and Ghost Whisperer. It has become routine to end my Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evenings with this mix of drama and family-friendly reality TV (you didn't think that "family-friendly" and "reality TV" could go together, did you?). There is something in each of these shows that either totally draws me in (in the case of the dramas), or makes me feel like parts of the world are being made a better place (in the case of the reality shows). These are mental and emotional states I look forward to each week. And this routine is slowly unraveling!

EM:HE has not lost any of its wonderful-ness. If anything, it's getting better. So we will give praise where praise is due (yay, EM:HE!), and move on. CSI still boggles my mind (in a good way) with the crime situations it solves each week. Brilliant CSIs whose attention to detail make me look I have ADHD (okay, maybe not quite that bad). Overall, I'm not disappointed in quality. But I am concerned. Last season, CSI Sarah left, and that was a bit of an adjustment. This season, CSI Warwick got killed, so more adjustment. And there's a bit of a shift in the overall tone of the show because of it all. Grissom, the solid core of the team, is acting occasionally in un-Grissom-like ways--not way extreme, just subtle; but enough that it makes me wonder if the quality of the show is not going to crumble in the near future. That's where I stand with CSI.

Ghost Whisperer and Supernanny are on the Friday line-up. What a treat to have two great shows back-to-back! That was my thought when the season started. I have come to enjoy Ghost Whisperer, primarily for two reasons: 1) Melinda sort of has to solve a mystery each week and she does a good job at it, and 2) Melinda is married to Jim, and they have a wonderful marital relationship--and as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't come across as artificially wonderful. It comes across as a REAL marriage (except for the whole she-sees-ghosts thing), and it's refreshing to see on TV.

Except that last Friday Jim died. I was choked. This changes the entire show! ...So of course I was tuned in tonight. In a nutshell, Jim didn't want to cross over. Melinda understood but told him he had to because it's what has to happen and it's best for both of them. While dealing with that, together they help this other ghost cross over. Yes, pretty predictable. But Jim doesn't cross over the entire episode. By the end, even I'm getting impatient. And at the end, what does he do? He decides to jump into the body of someone who's died at a car accident scene. No! Nonononono! And not only has he jumped into some random person's body, but when he wakes up, he looks at Melinda and asks, "do I know you?" The body possession didn't even work properly! Are you kidding me?! I don't mind storylines that continue over more than one episode, but they have to be credible. This is not credible (although how writers thought this would be a good move is rather incredible). And the whole rhythm of the show has changed. It's no longer about helping ghosts reconcile with their issue and cross over while running an antique store and creating a life with a loving husband. It's moved into the realm of weird. Lois & Clark did that in its last season (ever so long ago), and I held out to the end, but I remember that the series finale was less than satisfying, because the last season hadn't been its strongest overall. I fear the same is happening.

It was just so unexpected--this season started with Melinda and Jim trying to get pregnant--and then they kill him off? Ya just don't see that coming. There are so many things that could end up happening in this show, now that the game has changed, and each of these possibilities is just... well... stupid. But of course, I'm going to keep watching, because I am hoping that the pain of watching crappy episodes will be short-lived and that the show will get back on some credible track. But BOY is it frustrating when writers take something that isn't broken and try to fix it. Which brings me to Supernanny.

Supernanny is still fabulous. Nanny Jo is smart, and is good at what she does. She is consistent within and between families, and it is clear that what she teaches families to do is based on sound child development principles and best practice. So what's the problem, you might ask? The problem was that Supernanny was not on this evening. A show called Super-Manny was on instead. In the aftermath of a less-than-stellar Ghost Whisperer, I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch, but I tuned in (only part way, cuz that's when I started blogging here), because I thought the dynamic of a male doing the Supernanny thing would at least be interesting. ...Well, yes, it was interesting, I can at least say that.

I know things happened, and I know that in the end, the family was happy with the improvement, but I didn't get the process. There was no plan to say, "we're going to focus on A, B, and C" with teaching days followed by practice and then review. Super-Manny Mike never really explained what he was doing and why; he just kinda did things. And he did a couple things that I felt were counter to what Jo would have proposed (and I kinda like her better at this point). The whole thing seemed highly disorganized. There were a couple good points, but overall, it has not scored any pilot points with me. And I would like to know where Jo went.

So this is where I'm at. Somewhat disgruntled with the ways of my TV shows. Only two more sleeps until EM:HE. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Way God Answers Prayer

November already! Looks like we're getting our first taste of snow here in the city, although except for a dusting of the stuff on the tops of cars, it's still falling and landing much like rain. Rain! Warm enough in November for rain! Last weekend--Nov 1--it was sunny and 15C out (60F); that just does not happen in Alberta. ...I'm starting to wonder if global warming is really all that bad. ;) J/K--as neat as it is to have warmer temps around here, there are plenty of other ramifications of global warming that I don't even want to think about.

So God's been neat lately. Or maybe I'm just listening better. Or something. Since I've been a Christian, I've always known that I can go to God/Jesus with anything. He is the ultimate best friend. He is unwavering, ultimately patient, infinitely understanding, etc., etc., etc. God is the God of big things, but also of small things. He likes to hear my deep felt prayers, as well as the petty little stuff, and the stuff I keep complaining about week after week. I've never had a problem feeling that I couldn't or shouldn't bring certain issues to God. So many people often think that, "Oh, God doesn't want to hear me pray about that; that's not important enough to waste God's time with." Which is a big fat lie, and I've always known it. That being said, I am human, and I do have a tendency to pass over prayer about the little things on the basis of, "whatever, that's life. Stuff happens. I just gotta deal with it." Y'know, things like traffic jams, forgetting your lunch, discovering a hole in your favourite shirt. It's not that I don't think God doesn't want to hear about it; it's just so easy to deal with them on a human level (switch lanes, hit the McDonald's, get out a needle and thread) I often just don't take it to God. So I've been trying to do that more lately with 'little' things.

So last week at Bible study, we were doing our round of prayer requests near the close of the evening. I knew that I was getting a cold. I had already started the battle with echinacea ammo. But when it was my turn to announce any prayer requests, I stated, "I'm getting a cold. And I don't want a cold." Pretty much as simple as that. I'd never prayed through a cold before. It's just a cold, for Pete's sake. Buy Kleenex, don't drink milk, carry on.

Anyway, my cold didn't miraculously disappear (although God could have done that if He'd wanted to). And I didn't just sit there and not do anything to proactively care for my own body (I drank a LOT of tea). BUT--I realized afterwards that it was one of the shortest-duration colds I've ever had, and the only cold I remember having where I didn't feel lethargic and 'blah'. It was the best cold I ever had!

Overall, God's been showing me answers to those 'little' prayers that I've stepped out on a limb to pray about, and it's been just as cool, in a way, as the profound answers to 'large' prayers. God is so much fun.