JANUARY 5, 2011

laughing mattersTwilight: Why women love it and guys don’t get it

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The Eclipse DVD has just been released and the Twilight gals are once again all aflutter. What is it that females find so appealing about the Twilight series? Just try mentioning Edward or Jacob to any girl around you and watch them melt like wax on hot pavement.
Conversely, it’s very difficult for the non-Twilight fan (pronounced “guys”) to figure out just what all the hoopla is about. I’ve researched this subject in depth (talked to my wife and female friends) and think I have a pretty good handle on it, so let me do what I can to unfold the mysteries of the Twilight phenomenon for you here.

Book Synopsis: A pale, mopey teenage girl named Bella moves to the Northwest to live with her dad. When she goes to school there, she sees Edward, another pale, mopey teenager. He scowls at her and treats her so poorly that she is immediately smitten with him, which I think is the most believable part of the whole story. Edward pouts and scowls some more and Bella becomes even more obsessed with him. This goes on for about 200 pages or so.
Then Bella finds out (Spoiler Alert!) that Edward is a vampire, but – and here’s the big plot twist – he’s a good vampire who only uses his bloodsucking powers for betterment of the human race, kind of like Larry King.

After that, they start dating each other, but then another vampire – the bad kind this time – tries to kill Bella because, you know, he’s a bad vampire and all. But Edward saves Bella by heroically sucking out the bad vampire poison while unselfishly denying his own desire to kill Bella himself, because, you know, he’s a good vampire and all.

And that’s about the whole book right there.

Dadgummit, that’s romantic!

So, why are women-folk so taken with this story? I think teenage girls like it because they like to think that a mopey, attitudious girl could land a nice-looking guy who is way out of their league. I also think they see Edward as pretty much the perfect guy, with his only minor defect being that he is a soulless, blood-sucking monster. But hey, at least he’s not an ex-con or something really scary like a Glee Club fan. Shudder.

So, it’s easy to see why teenage girls are into this series, but why are middle-aged housewives so gaga about it?

Well, I think the middle-aged housewife is vicariously reliving her teen years when she used to date a dreamy vampire. Or, if not a vampire, then maybe a tattooed loser with a mullet named Lester.

Now, at this point, the Twilight purist will accuse me of over-simplifying the story, and admittedly, there are some details I’ve omitted. I didn’t mention that sometimes Edward’s eyes change colors from yellow to black. He can move really quickly. He can drive fast. He’s real strong. He’s something like 90 years old.

Oh, and here’s a little tidbit that might prove interesting. This 90-year-old vampire dude has a habit of sneaking into Bella’s room at night to watch her sleeping. Hey, that’s not creepy, right? That is, when it’s a good-looking romantic movie lead doing it, but try that in real life and see how far that gets you.

There are other things that the book didn’t mention but I’m pretty sure would have to be true:

1) Edward would have extraordinarily bad breath. How could he not? He goes out into the woods and snacks on wild animals. Are you telling me a Tic Tac is going to handle that? I think not.

2) Having lived so long, Edward would be an insufferable know-it-all. He’d be miserable to watch a movie with because he would almost certainly be one of those people who blather on through the whole movie about what they think is going to happen next.

Speaking of which, one of my favorite things about the movie is getting to annoy my wife with my comments about it. It’s not my cup of tea, but I do think it’s important to know something about the culture in which we live, especially if we’re going to try to communicate Jesus to the people who live within that culture. A guy named Hudson Taylor became known as the father of modern missions because of his extraordinary practice of immersing himself in native culture for the purpose of communicating Christ.

And, come to think of it, isn’t that exactly what the most famous of all missionaries did when he came to earth to sacrifice himself for mankind?

So, do Bella and Edward live happily ever after in a magical vampire wonderland? I’m not telling, mainly because I never got that far in the books. But I can tell you that, if the series continues in its present popularity, you can count on me to be right here to make fun of it.

JANUARY 5, 2011

Graves’ Disease Foundation to host presentation on stress and health

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SCOTTSDALE – The Graves’ Disease Foundation will host a support group meeting on Saturday, Jan. 15 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Scottsdale Public Library’s Mustang branch, 10101 N. 90 St., Scottsdale. The featured speaker will be Dr. Leila Fosdick Turner, who will present on “Stress and Health.”

The presentation will focus on common symptoms of stress and how they can be prevented, as well as the intricate relationships between stress, the adrenal and thyroid glands, and the sex steroid hormones.

Graves’ Disease is caused by a defect in the immune system in which antibodies attack the thyroid gland, often resulting in hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and heat intolerance. Similar antibodies may also attack the skin on the front of the lower leg and the cells behind the eyes, which can lead to “bulging” eyes, double vision, and in rare cases, vision loss. Complications of improperly treated Graves' disease can include heart failure, osteoporosis, severe emotional disorders, and thyroid storm, which can be fatal.
Support Group meetings are open to all patients with thyroid disorders and their friends and family members. Meetings are FREE, but RSVPs are requested. Please contact Kimberly Dorris at 480-661-1169 or e-mail phoenix.gdf@cox.net.

For more information on Graves’ Disease, please visit www.NGDF.org.

JANUARY 5, 2011

Hundreds to participate in 3rd Annual Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk

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TEMPE – Hundreds of local residents whose lives have been impacted by pancreatic cancer join together at Tempe Beach Park for the 3RD Annual Dody Norban Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation. To register go to www.lustgarten.org.

Who: The Norban Family, The Lustgarten Foundation and hundreds of participants!

When: Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. Registration: 8 a.m.; Event Begins: 9 a.m.

Where: Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe

What: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. This year, more than 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with an average survival time of six to nine months. There are no early detection methods, no adequate treatments and unless detected in its earliest stages, there is no cure. Pancreatic cancer is highly aggressive and resistive to standard cancer treatments. This disease took the lives of such well-known people as Patrick Swayze, Luciano Pavarotti, and Myles Brand.

Why: Only ten years ago, federal funding for pancreatic cancer research stood at less than one half of one percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget. When Larry Norban lost his wife to this disease, he knew he had to do something to change these facts. Mr. Norban has volunteered to organize the walk each year to raise awareness and funds for research.