If the Avengers did Frozen

I don’t even know how this got started, but I find it to be pretty entertaining. The creative mind never rests, even while sending text messages.

K- *tap tap* Bucky? Please, I know you’re in theeeeeere.
L – I’ve been wondering where you’ve been…I saw you fall from the train…into the deep valley…please let me in
K- We only have each other, from way back wheeeeeeeen, how are we going to liiiiiiiive?
L- Do you want to fight some battles? Doesn’t have to be a battle…but I’m on your left.
K – GO AWAY STEVE
L- Hehehehe
K- Loki? Who let you in?
L- Do you want to hear something crazy? All my life has been a series of Thor in my face and like suddenly I have found a way
K- I was thinking the same thing, like I’ve been searching my recent life to control my horrid rage, and maybe its the battle raging, or the people screaming…
L- Say goodbye to the pain of the past! We don’t have to feel it anymore, Hulk! Power’s an open doooooooor
K- Power is an open doooOOOOOOooooor *hulk smash*
L- hahahaha. Hulk runs out the door, find himself alone. “Green grass in the meadow tonight…not a footprint to be seen…a kingdom of isolation…and it looks like I’m the king…The rage is growing like a brewing storm inside…
K- Couldn’t keep it in, the Avengers know I’ve triiiiied. Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good doctor Banner you’re meant to be
L- Conceal don’t feel don’t like the anger shooooow. Let it go…let it go…don’t hold Hulk back anymore…Let it go (smash!)
K- Let it go…the perfect man is goooone. Let the rage churn oooooon!!!
L- I’ve always been angry anyway.
L- In his town as Hulk is dancing in the meadow: “Technology is better than people, Jarvis don’t you think that’s true?
K- Yeah people are petty and stupid and sad. Every one of them’s bad except you, sir.
K – But people malfunction less than technology, Jarvis don’t you think I’m right?
L- That’s not always true, especially with you.
L- Jarvis shut up and turn off the lights
K- Goodnight, sir.
K- I said shut up.
L- Don’t let a virus biiiiite.

Mischief Managed

We Need to Talk About Frodo

Recently there was a Lord of the Rings marathon on television, and seeing as it’s been a while since I visited Middle Earth, I decided to watch. As I watched, I realized that Frodo Baggins deserves way more credit than he gets. So many people talk about how Frodo is weak, how all he does is walk around and whine and he must be weak because he barely makes it to Mt. Doom. Well. I have a bone to pick with you people.

In my opinion, Frodo’s journey throughout the Lord of the Rings is the most difficult because most of the battles he fights are mental. Sure he walks a long way, but walking that far would take its toll on anyone, and the entire time, the ring is waging war on his mind. As someone who knows what it’s like to feel you have to enter your mind armed to the teeth, I think Frodo needs a little respect. The ring is doing everything it can to be reunited with its master, and as the book/movie progresses, you can see the toll that takes on Frodo. He grows quiet, smiles less, is weakened due to lack of appetite, and all the while the ring is literally digging into his neck. His skin is rubbed raw from the metal, and yet he still goes on. That is brave. That is courageous.

In the Two Towers film, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum have been brought to Osgiliath by Faramir, and a Nazgul attacks. There is moment when Frodo is done. He’s tired. He’s had enough, and he goes to meet the Nazgul on a bridge, ready to give up the ring and be finished with it all. I don’t see this as weak. I see this as realistic. When you are so mentally exhausted and an outlet is presented, the temptation to give in is so strong. It’s in this moment when Sam saves the day, knocking Frodo over and removing the ring from the grasp of the Wraith. When Frodo realizes what he’s done, that he nearly gave in and put a sword to Sam’s neck, you can see the horror wash over his face. Sam, being the incredible friend that he is, gives Frodo the encouragement he needs to hear the form of this incredible speech- “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding onto something.” And then Frodo looks at Sam with such despair and hopelessness in those big, blue eyes and asks, “What’re we holding onto, Sam?” And Sam Gamgee, the wonderful, steadfast gardener gives Frodo the hope he needs when he says, “That there is some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” This simple truth is enough to get Frodo up, to get him on his feet and ready to keep going. The reminder that the shadows pressing on his mind won’t linger, that when the sun comes again it will be more glorious than ever compared to the present darkness gives Frodo something to cling to. It’s amazing that he can keep going and it’s true; he wouldn’t have made it very far without Sam.

Which brings me to another point. A side note, really. There are those who mock or twist the relationship between Frodo and Sam; try to make it into something it was never meant to be. That makes me so angry because what wouldn’t you do for your friend? If your friend is struggling, do you leave them to wallow and thrash in the muck or do you offer to help them? To carry them if they need it? Of course you do. You sit with them and remind them of the good things, you cry with them, and encourage them, and you love them. You do everything Sam did for Frodo because that is what friends do for each other. Okay. Done with that. Back to Frodo.

I relate to Frodo and his mind wars so much. The devil loves to attack my mind, to wear me down and try to get me to quit, and there have been two times in my life when Frodo and his determination have been so encouraging to me. In the Return of the King film, there are three scenes that will always bring tears to my eyes.

The first comes after he evades Shelob the spider for the first time and he collapses, just so tired. When he “wakes up”, the Lady Galadriel is before him and she reminds him that he is the only one who can complete the task set before him. When she extends a hand to Frodo, he looks from her face to her hand, resolve settling over his features, and he decides to keep going. Even though the odds are overwhelmingly against him, he gets to his feet and keeps going. People underestimate how difficult that is. And, like before with Sam, having Galadriel show faith in him is enough to keep him believing in himself and his quest.

The second is when he and Sam are crawling up the side of Mt. Doom. Their lips are cracked, steam is curling up from the rocks, and Frodo falls. He lands on his chest and eyes the top of the mountain. They are so close to their goal, and Frodo is at the end of his strength. But even so, he still tries to crawl up the side of the mountain; inching his way up until he grabs a loose rock and falters. The music in that scene is incredible. You can feel how hard it is for him, how he’s trying everything to accomplish what he set out to do, but his body is spent. It’s at this point when Sam proves his loyalty and strength as Frodo’s friend. He reminds him of what will come when the task is completed. He reminds him of home. And when he sees how mentally lost Frodo is, he carries him to the top. He can’t take the ring from Frodo, he can’t get rid of the burden for him, but he can help him make it to the end. I can’t tell you how often this has mirrored my life. When I’m struggling, my friends and family come alongside me and help me make it to the end of the day or week or hour, depending on the situation.

The third is a scene that isn’t in the book, but I love it so much. After Frodo and Gollum have fought over the ring and Gollum and the ring have been consumed by the lava, we see that when Frodo went over the edge with them, he managed to catch himself. Just barely. He’s holding on by a hand, and when Sam reaches over to help him, Frodo tries to grasp his hand, but misses. Then we see Frodo look down to lava and then back to Sam. Elijah Wood kills me in this scene. His face is so sad, so tired, so ready to be done with everything. He wants to let go. It would be easier to let go. The physical and mental battles have taken their toll, and letting go means an end to all of that. Elijah manages to convey all of that perfectly with just a look and it’s heartbreaking. Sam can see what Frodo is thinking. He sees the look on Frodo’s face, and it scares him into pleading with Frodo, “Don’t you let go. Don’t let go.” It takes a moment, but Frodo clenches his jaw and reaches for Sam again, and this time it works. Sam grabs Frodo, pulls him up, and they race out of Mt. Doom. As they sit on a rock, Frodo glances around, looking more light and free than he has in ages and proclaims, “It’s over. It’s done.”

So. There you have it. Frodo Baggins is an incredible character. He is selfless. It would have been easier for him to ignore the problem with the ring and go back to the Shire and live his life. He is determined. He keeps going. Seems like a little thing, but it isn’t. And he is brave. He is so brave to keep going when everything is screaming at him to stop. When the ring and all the darkness that comes with it are trying to pull him under, he has the courage to look up, grit his teeth, and keep going. That is so brave. And so overlooked. So, here’s to you, Mr. Baggins. Here’s to your amazing strength of character and here’s to getting the appreciation you deserve.

Dragons are Time Wasters

This actually happened a long time ago, and I’ve been meaning to post it because I think it’re pretty funny. Once upon a time, I was working on the book in a Barnes and Noble in KC when my mind wandered. Sherlock was at lunch, so I just gchatted her until she got back and it was awesome.

me: Once upon a time, a girl named Katie sat in a Barnes and Noble cafe while she worked on her book. It was great fun for her, and even though she had to pee, she wanted coffee
Sent at 1:52 PM on Friday
me: She stared blankly at the cover of a book, trying to get a sentence right in her head, and as she watched, the dragon on the cover of the book moved!
She squinted, convinced her eyes were playing tricks on her. But no, the dragon was alive!
It crawled out of the book and roared, sending the people of Barnes and Noble into a panic
All except the girl. She stared the shiny green dragon down, and it didnt blink as it stared back at her.
Cautiously, the girl stretched her hand toward the creature, and it pushed the end of its nose into her hand. The moment they made contact, the girl was transported with the dragon into a whole new world
Sent at 1:55 PM on Friday
me: This new world was strange. The ground was pink and the sky was gold, and giant flowers rose into the sky.
The dragon stretched its leathery wings, and the girl decided to see if she could ride it. The dragon didnt protest as she struggled onto its back, and once she was settled, it leapt to the sky.
Cold wind bit at the girls face as they flew, but she was too happy to notice or care
Cali: I WANNA FLY ON A DRAGON
me: Suddenly the girl noticed a glittering dragon approaching, and on its back sat a very familiar face. It was her friend Pretty Princess!
Her dragon was stunning as to be expected – its scales were finer than any diamond, and it glittered like a tiara in the sun
Cali: MY FACE RIGHT NOW IS SO HAPPY
Sent at 2:04 PM on Friday
me: “How did you get here?” The girl named Gravity asked with a laugh,
“I was at work,” Pretty Princess said, “and then this dragon crawled out of the computer screen.”
Sent at 2:05 PM on Friday
me: “I wonder why we were brought here,” Gravity mused.
Pretty Princess nodded, pushing her blond hair out of her eyes.”Maybe they need our help?”
(its almost scary how easy this story came to me hahaha)
Cali: (eeeeeeeeeeeeee I love)
me: Suddenly a great black dragon dropped from the sky, causing the glittering dragon and the green dragon to dive toward the earth. Gravity and Pretty Princess shrieked as they spiraled to the earth, and Gravity squeezed her eyes shut, convinced her dragon wasnt going to stop in time.
The green dragon landed with a jarring thud and when Gravity opened her eyes, she saw they were standing alongside Pretty Princess and her dragon
The mighty black dragon stood before them, and the girls nearly fell off their dragons in shock with it spoke to them
“My name is Smaug,” he said in what can only be described as a sexy voice. “And I require your help.”
(Ignore that I think Smaug is red in the book?)
Cali: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
me: “Smaug?” Gravity said, exchanging a glance with Pretty Princess. “Why do you need our help?”
Sent at 2:13 PM on Friday
me: Smaug sighed, and his great shoulders slumped. “It is understandable that you would be wary of me. That wretched hobbit changed the story and made me out to be the villain, but that is simply not the case.”
“Oh it’s not?” Pretty Princess asked doubtfully.
Cali: sarcastically
me: You’re right haha
“Oh its not?” Pretty Princess asked sarcastically.
Sent at 2:16 PM on Friday
me: “No,” Smaug snorted. “The wretched hobbit and that filthy, thieving Thorin Oakinshield stole from me. I was the true king under the mountain. Thorin is a greedy dwarf and concocted a ridiculous fairytale about how I stole from him.” The dragon huffed, sounding amused and irritated.
“Why should we believe a word you say?” Gravity asked, gripping the green dragon as the creature shifted.
Smaug regarded the girls with a fiery gaze. “I suppose that is a fair question,” he said finally. He took a step back and growled, which caused the green dragon and the glittery dragon to shake both girls from their backs and onto the ground
Sent at 2:22 PM on Friday
me: Before the girls could protest, the green dragon pressed its snout against Gravity’s temple, and the glittering, diamond dragon did the same to Pretty Princess
And once their minds were filled with the histories of the dragons, and they saw that the story Smaug told was true.
(Plot twist – holler)
Cali: I am loving this
Sent at 2:28 PM on Friday
me: Hahaha me too
Sent at 2:29 PM on Friday
me: When the presentation was over, the girls looked at each other, and then at Smaug, who was watching them sadly.
“You had a family,” Gravity whispered.
“And Thorin took them from you,” Pretty Princess said angrily. “Of course we’ll help you.”
Sent at 2:31 PM on Friday
me: “You are greedy though,” Gravity said after a pause. “If you were to give up the mountain, Thorin would return your family.”
“What’s left of it,” Smaug said bitterly. “And yes. Dragons love treasure. After what you were shown, you should understand this.”
Gravity winced, but nodded.
“So where do we begin?” Pretty Princess asked, leaning against her sparkling dragon.
“We begin,” Smaug said, sexy dragon voice growing determined, “by waging war on the Lonely Mountain.”
Bum bum bum to be continued
This is an odd headcannon fanfiction thing. Brought to you by the mind of Katie. Haha
Cali: J’ADORE.

Mischief Managed

Bluemont: Tales of Apt 2

Monica and I really need to record our memories of living in Apt 2 before old age and senility take over, but that tale is for another time I believe.

Tonight, I want to focus on one thing about living in that apartment. Whilst living in said Apt 2, Katie would come over, and we would come up with racehorse names (like Lady Katauren), drink Rosa and/or put on a movie. Sometimes they were deep movies, like Blood Diamond (Strangely, we were making our Halloween Costumes at the time. I don’t know why that became our ‘background’ entertainment…What can I say, we’re complex people.) Sometimes we watched comedies like Monsters vs. Aliens…and Twilight. But my favorite memories are from watching Mama Mia and Bride and Prejudice because both of those inspired us to get up and flail around the room like we were Broadway stars. What magnificence! What emotion that can be conveyed through the twist and extension of an arm!

I will never forget those nights. So Katie, this next video is dedicated to you:

Live long and dance on!
L

Monica – Friend to the Squatches

Somehow in the course of a texting conversation, we started talking about Sasquatches.  Naturally.  And so the following conversation happened.

Katie – You’ll be the master!  TEACH THEM HOW TO SQUATCH!  It will be a good life skill for them.

Monica – There’s something in the pasture!!  I bet its a squatch…I know it has to be.  I should do some tree knocks.

Katie – AHHH a squatch!!!  Did you do some calls?

Monica – Not this time.  This time I just sat back and listened.

Katie – That’s probably wise.  I’m sure it could sense your presence and you not doing anything communicated friend to it.  I’m sure.

Monica – I told dad too and he thinks it was a good idea to sit and listen because that’s probably why no one ever sees them, they’re always being scared of by noise.

Katie – Agreed.  You took a big step forward with this guy.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Monica – Hopefully contact.  But I won’t push it.  Slow and steady.

Katie – That’s really very wise.  Perhaps he’ll let you see him next time.  Maybe he’ll knock a tree and point at you as if to say, that’s for you Monica, friend to the Squatches.

Monica – I’ll be like the Jane Goodall with squatches.

Katie – Documentaries will be made about you.

Monica – Oh I’m fully expecting the Nobel Prize for my work.

Katie – You totally should.  “Thank you for granting me this honor.  The money from this prize will go towards my Sasquatch Foundation which you are all aware of.  I think you and the Squatches thank you.”

Monica – If Obama can get one for doing nothing…you better believe I’ll get one, best him and bring dignity back to the name of Nobel!

When friends text- Pride of the Serengeti – Part 2

Monica – The baby zebra, having no choice but to relinquish to his dreadful fate at the jaws of the hungry lioness, surges on with little hope of returning to the heard; as they fade farther and farther in the distance.  The despondent mother, braying despair and resignation…

Katie – The frenzied lioness pays no heed to the crying of the baby.  No, she far too hungry to feel any compassion.

Monica – Prospective feasting before her, she pays little heed to the familial ties of mother and foal.  Indeed they are of little significance to this great cat; being driven by pure instinct and desire.

Katie – The lioness sinks her razor sharp fangs into the neck of the young foal and his terrified cries are quickly silenced.  The lioness waits to make sure the foal is indeed dead before deciding to drag the lifeless form off.  It’s interesting that the lioness went for the foal considering the mare would have given her more food.

Monica – But as is so often the case on the plains of the Serengeti, the weak, young, old, or sickly, are targeted for the feed.  Let’s look back and observe our lioness (adjusting binoculars).  Ah, there we are.  Ah ha!  Look!  She indeed has young cubs to provide for!  A dinner of foal will do quite well for them, however it is not being sufficient for the obviously hungry mother, we must now conclude she will not receive any of the fruits of her labor as it is her cubs who take precedence here…Look there! A magnificent young cub has claimed the lions share (pun intended *Brit smirk*) of the life-sustaining foal.  Now that, folks, is a million dollar cub.  No doubt destined to be a great leader of his own pride if he is able to survive the struggles of youth.  From appearances, I’d say he has a good chance (looks back).

Katie – Unfortunately this leaves less meat for the other cubs.  What will the mother do now?  She needs to eat as well.  Look! *dramatic whisper* look!  She has spotted something on the horizon.  It will be a testimony to how hungry she is if she leaves her cubs to go after something else.  Let’s see what she’ll do.

Monica – What could it be?  We shall see.  Let me adjust my Alpen Binoculars (little plug for the show sponsor  as you do)…a lone wildebeest…

Katie – *Booming voice over   Next week on Life in the Serengeti- will our lioness be able to provide for her cubs?  Will she be able to provide for herself? Or will a new pride of lions overtake her territory?!  Join us next week to find out!  *screedly deedly music as camera pans away*

Angels

This expierence happned to my dad when I was around five months old.  It’s a beautiful thing he describes, so I’m just going to copy it word for word as he wrote it.  If it sounds choppy or jumbled it’s probably because as soon as this happened, he sat down and wrote the whole thing down so he would never forget.  I know he went back and tweaked it in places to make it flow more like a story.  I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does

Angel

It happened late one night in the summer of 1986.  My wife and I were house sitting fora couple who were in Jamaca for eighteen months with the United Way.  We’d had our first child in February that year and she was a delight to us.  Especially since the first few months of colic werenow only a fading memory.  We named her Katherine and called her Katie.  She had been ill and wasnt breathing well at all.  As we stood over her bed and watched her sleep we could hear her labored breathing.  Any parent knows the sound, you wonder whether or not they’ll take their next breath.  Or, how in the word they ever get enough oxygen in their little lungs to sustain life?  Of course, now after three other children have blessed our home I realize we may have had some of those “first child” jitters that go along with being a first time parent.  None the less we were concerned, wondering whether or not to call the doctor.  As we stood over her bed we asked God to please watch over her, keep her safe and allow her to breathe a little easier.  After that we went to bed ourselves. 

I recall going right to sleep being tired from the days activites.  The next thing I remember was being awakened by a knock in the direction of our bedroom door which was open.  Two distinct knocks.  I awoke lying on my left side with my back to the door and facing the digital alarm clock on the night table.  The clock was flashing 12:00 like it does after the power has gone out and come back on. I’m sure you know what I mean.  I also noticed a light in the room coming from behind me.  I rolled over on my back and looked in the direction of the door.  There I saw an angel.  It’s one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.   He completely filled the doorway being quite large.  He had long golder hair and was wearing a robe that was white.  One thing I remember really well were his wings, so very majestic and powerful looking.  The fold in the wing that came up behind his head reminded me of the smooth fold you see in the wing of one of the large birds of prey only much larger.  His eyes reflected total, undeniable peace.  Absolute control.  A slight smile on his lips, his expression was one of knowledge too wonderful for words.  In his arms was Katie.  Although I didn’t hear her I could tell she was giggling, happy to be playing with his long curls.  Feeling not the least bit alarmed at this scene, I just lay there taking in this experience.  I can’t say how long the moment lasted, there was really no sense of time passing, only the blissful realization of the absence of fear.  Katie, I could see was having the time of her short life in the arms of someone she adored.  I turned to look at the clock which was still blinking and as I did the light in the room faded.  I turned back to the doorway to find it empty. 

I lay there for a few minutes contemplating what I had just witnessed.  I slowly came to the uncomfortable realization that our Katie and her companion had gone Home to be with Jesus.  And that allowing me to see the angel was God’s way of lettings me know it was okay, that Katie was as happy as we could ever hope for her to be.  I slowly sat up on the edge of the bed knowing I had to go into her room.  As I walked toward her room I fully expected to find her lifeless little body lying in the crib.  I thought about how Rosie and I would second guess our decision regarding a trip to the doctor for the rest of our lives.

Now, to fully appreciate what I found you have to know a little bit about Katie first.  She was a child who, from the first breath she took, was going to let the world know she had arrived.  She had boundless energy, constantly on the move and this held true even as she slept.  She moved all over her crib, rolling around, scooting this way and that, never staying covered. 

My apprehension increased as my bare feet hit the cold wood floor of Katie’s room.  I stood there a moment just inside the doorway.  All was dead silent.  I slowly walked over to the crib.  From the light in the hallway I could see Katie lying on her tiny tummy with her knees pulled up under her just the way she liked to sleep.  She was lying in the middle of her crib with her blanket spread out perfectly over her as if she’d been covered.  I leaned down very close to her face, she was breathing!  Breathing as free and easy as I’ve ever heard her breathe.  I stood there a while as my tension melted away into thanksgiving to God for answering our prayers. 

To this day Rosie and I are not sure what it all meant.  Some folk we’ve shared the experience with have felt it was a sign that God has some special plans for Katie in the future.  Maybe her angel just knew she needed some play time to feel better!  Maybe it meant none of that, maybe it was a way for God to show how very much he loves us, how intensly He cares for us.  Regardless, Rosie and I feel very blessed to still have Katie with us, along with Hannah, Tanner, and Ethan.  Each one is a unique, precious gift entrusted to our care for a brief moment in time.  May we bring honor and glory to our Lord by the way we nurture these gifts.

Bruce Speake 

And with that, I’ll leave you with a verse about angels that I love 

Hebrews 1:14 – Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. 

Mischief Managed