Category Archives: Wives

Thanks for Defending the Internet, But I’ll take the Holderness Family Any Day

Two obscure bloggers, recently launched posts grievously criticizing the Holderness Family for being, well, uh… successful on the internet?

(See the most recent blog post here, I hesitate to tag either of them because they are drivel)

The Holderness Family‘s parental unit (Penn and Kim) have enjoyed a sizable amount of views on YouTube of their videos which include parodied versions of popular hip-hop and pop hits. These are very well done “domesticated” music video versions of songs that are popular in the current stream of music drones (“All About That Bass”, check out their parody here) Or, the videos are redone songs that 90’s teens, like me, loved and now suburban parents still relate to by changing the lyrics to reflect their lives and include their children.

Each bloggers’ basic point is the defense against the sick, shameless and obvious intention of the Holderness Family in using platforms like YouTube to entertain and connect with people who click on their videos and therefore gain ad dollars and follower-ship through their other social media platforms.

Wait, wha? Why is that wrong?

The two bloggers say some specific things as to why the Holderness family is wrong and should be condemned to hell. Their points are harsh, derogatory and uneducated but that’s not why the bloggers are off-base (or “Baste” :). They claim objectification and oppression of the Holderness children and of Kim Holderness, overt goofiness, “trying too hard”, Stepford-ism, ad-money-grubbing and well… just being liked. (Apparently being liked is offensive) By the end of the posts, I guess I just don’t believe what the bloggers have to say. Something seems plastic here and it’s not the Holderness Family.

I just have one main question for the bloggers before I wrap this up. (I do have 4 kids and job, so I can’t blog all day)

Who designated bloggers as the defenders of the internet?

Really, who asked you? Will someone please help me out? Give me a membership card, a business card, (jeez, a greeting card), that indicates that we need to be helped to or away from internet content by obscure, potty-mouthed and relatively unfollowed (compared to the Holderness Family) bloggers who hitch their platforms to successful internet platforms? Let’s be real, these two blogs received more views because of the criticism of a more successful media platform. Talk about sick, shameless and obvious intention.

Lastly, I LIKE the Holderness Family! Leave them alone, and let them enjoy the same thing every worthwhile blogger and content producer enjoys on the internet; the right to produce consumable (i.e. well-done, morally good and basically positive) content through a platform which they work hard to develop. Let them do so free from the cynical, elitist, internet gestapo who just don’t understand why The Holderness Family gets more eyes on their internet content than they could ever dream.

(Apologies, the amount of linking and my ranting style in this one indicates my support of the H-Family and my anger at internet oppression-Have a Nice Day!)

Why I Grieved the Loss of Robin Williams

Tired of Robin Williams posts, tweets, tributes and honors yet? I’m not. I watch every video and read every post I come across. I thought about posting this last week, but it was too soon for me and I think for others. 

I really believe that no one should care what I think on this. But I thought I’d share this publicly anyway.

I had been struggling with Robin Williams death when I heard and I didn’t understand why until three mornings after the news broke. I didn’t know him personally, I am not related to him and I haven’t actually even physically seen him. So why did I get upset? Why did I even care?

For me, here’s why:

Funny people put out a vibe for others that everything’s gonna be alright. That’s what Robin Williams’ career did for me. I don’t remember his stand-up comedy as much as I remember his characters that meant something to me. He was a Genie who gave amusing guidance and support to a young would-be prince. He was a therapist to me in being a therapist to young Will Hunting. He was the creator of crazy worlds that only seemed to exist within a two-foot radius of himself. That was the power of his unique craft.

I always stopped to watch news about him, always saw his movies and always enjoyed the performances he gave. (His Teddy Roosevelt floored me)

Yet, it’s so very selfish for me to feel anything in regard to Robin Williams’ death. I’m not his spouse, his child or his best friend. But still I feel cheated. I feel cheated because his life’s work strived to say, “you’re alright.” He was the possibility that nothing but laughter and entertaining could fill a life and make it seem consequential to any of us. Only why didn’t he find his own life consequential while so many others did? That question will linger for a long time.

It’s true that we only see our lives in a mirror, darkly. We see only a reflection and a poor one at that. Did he not know how valued he was? Aside from his fame, money and success; did he not know how much he meant to his family? I wish I could have convinced him.

That’s why I’m selfish here, that’s why I don’t feel my opinion matters on this. I’m some distant dude writing about an ultra-famous man, more than a week after his passing, who’s significant to me because he made me laugh, cry and think. But what about his significant ones? They are allowed to feel the full plunge into grief. They have the right to endure it all and I pray for them.

Literally every other post on my Facebook feed last Monday was in regard to Robin Williams passing. Yet I didn’t post; I didn’t comment. I didn’t feel it was any of my business. His passing was sacred ground and I respected it by not attempting to present any rhetoric.

Then, I began to feel loss. A feeling that confused and therefore led me to write here what Robin Williams meant to me; ultimately someone I will never know.

 

 

Christmas Decorations

My wife wants to make everything beautiful. That’s her goal.

Why have a kitchen when in her mind it can be a rooster themed kitchen with a blend of new decorating taste and country charm. She can take an antique coffee grinder, place it on a piece of cloth with some fake greenery and BLAMO! Beauty erupts.

She doesn’t make just cupcakes. They must be cupcakes in shiny foil with holiday themed icing and the right amount of sprinkles.

I don’t say this because she will be reading my blog; but I think she is talented at decorating stuff. I however, am not. I hang pictures too high (because I’m tall) pay little attention to theme or color and usually the decorations I love are out of date or what my wife calls, “gaudy”.

So when it comes time for her all day epic of Christmas decorating, I have mixed feelings.

I believe each Christmas decorator has their own process; this is ours. First is the parade of boxes. We must unearth all of the Christmas decorations we’ve amassed through 13 years of marriage. We have amassed much.

Then comes the décor explosion that you see in the picture here as she unpacks each box. My wife thoughtfully plans each Christmas scene based on focal points of the rooms and thematic material (nativity, snowmen, Santa etc.)

Decorating happens.

Then she repacks the boxes of unused decorations (because I’ve learned not all decorations are useful every year) and I carry the boxes back to the storage location somewhere in the basement. The process is long, arduous and painstaking for my wife, but she’s committed and focused.

Meanwhile my job is to maintain equilibrium in the household. I fix food for the children, keep them out of certain decorations and include them in selected decoration activities pre-arranged by my wife. I keep the kids busy, healthy, with homework done. I perform duties when I am called upon (i.e. “Can you put a nail right, there?”).

I wish I could say that I am a joyful and responsive husband through the process of Christmas decorating. That isn’t the truth. I grump, I gripe, I hide, I ask why, OH WHY!, do we have all this “stuff”. Because all this stuff isn’t about Jesus anyway, right? I detest the house being out of order, (the irony is that with four kids, it’s out of order most of the time). I end up staying away from the decorating site as much as I can, which not surprisingly is okay with my wife.

When the last box is closed, the final knick knack adjusted to the right (not left) and the kids are in bed, the reason I love Christmas decorations (not decorating) becomes clear. The finished product is worth the process to get there because of the meaning that now fills the rooms.My wife and I sit, in a finished room in relative silence. She asks what I think and I tell her. Not grumpy, no complaining; just enjoyment and peace. I tell her she did a great job. She loves that and asks if I really mean it. I tell her I do.

I realize sitting there that under the pile of stuff we attached to Christmas is a heartbeat of meaning that we must struggle to hold onto.

Decorations alone have little to do with the source of joy, hope, peace, love and wonder we feel at Christmas. I lose when I miss the point of Christmas décor thinking it’s some way for us to spend more money and time we don’t have. When my wife and I sit together, I remember there is significance to each decoration.

Maybe it’s an ornament one of the kids made at school.

It could be that a snowman reminds us of a winter when we had enough snow to build one together in the yard.

Or that a Santa Clause figurine tells the story of the Christian Bishop of Myra from the 3rd and 4th Centuries who’s giving and miracles became legendary.

Our culture searches each year for the “true meaning” of Christmas. Is it shopping? Christmas parties? Cookies? I believe when we excavate the meaning of the décor and spectacle we find the significance of family in our loving Father who gave His Son to die for us; we find hope in a Child who’s light will lead us out of darkness, joy at the arrival of the most precious baby the world has ever known and the overpowering love of a God who cares so much that He became one of us.

I think it’s all there, if we look. It’s richer than a shopping season, a slew of Christmas parties or a day of decorating. (Whether you’re the grumpy spouse or the chief decorator of the household)

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