Ralphie to the Rescue!

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By G.P. Avants

 

Ralphie

I just got a jump start into the holiday season! The Christmas Story was already of my favorite Christmas movies, but seeing adapted as a musical became a whole new experience. I was so excited about seeing this performance that I wanted to make an entry into my weekly blog post.

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In this musical adaptation of the 1983 film, we were transported back to the 1940’s via the radio show of Jean Shepherd. Our narrator interacted with his younger self, Ralphie Parker, 24 days (and counting down) before Christmas Day. The entire ensemble is all there just like I remembered from the film: Ralphie, Randy, Mom, Dad (The Old Man), Swartz, Flick, Mrs. Shields, and the nostalgic townsfolk from Hohman, Indiana. Each person had their characters down to a tee.  As Ralphie navigates his way through a child’s wonder and wackiness of Christmas, the Old Man and his wife made that house a home despite the challenges they faced.

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Samuel Nalick had Ralphie Parker down to a tee, glasses and all. He embodied our intrepid hero and his plans to achieve the best gift that he had or would ever have for Christmas: The Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and “this thing which tells time”. We all know at what lengths Ralphie had to endure to receive his gift, but the story had new twists and turns that the audience would soon discover.

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Our good friend Tanner Levasseur played Ralphie’s best friend Flick. His claim to fame was being the boy who was triple-dogged dared into sticking his tongue to a frozen flag pole. Tanner being a fantastic tap dancer, brought out a whole other side to Flick via his deft tapping toes.

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Rachel Pfeifer Green and Jason Wesley Green brought Mom and Dad into the musical foray. We experienced moments by them both that helped us understand who Ralphie’s parents were, inside and out. If we didn’t love them already, we did after this performance. The humor, the family drama, and the Spirit of Christmas past reflected all the reasons why this was such a great holiday classic.

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Part of the classic zaniest of the film came through Ralphie’s active imagination. He envisioned, plotted, and schemed how he would receive the treasures gift of his dreams in all its glory.  I sat back and mused on those moments and how it would flesh out on the stage. I wasn’t disappointed in the least. The song, “Ralphie to the Rescue”, supported our hero’s reasons why having the Red Rider is not only the epitome of the perfect Christmas present, but would protect everyone in Mr. Parker’s life. There were many great musical moments that allowed Ralphie’s dreams and schemes to be shared with us, his captive audience.

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As I watched the play I also began to predicting about some of the classic icons that abound in the Christmas Story: The Major Award, the use of the “fudge” word, and the pink bunny suit were just a few I hoped would be featured. The Old Man, as Ralphie’s father is remembered, wins the curvy leg lamp, AKA the Major Award. In a musical number, we get to see where Ralphie’s inherited his active imagination. The Old Man, in his ecstasy, dreamt of the lamp in all its feminine glory.

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The not-so-subtleness of the finer points of the English language were explored with a family car trip halted by a flat. Do you remember the moment Ralphie resorted to blurting out the four-letter expletive after losing the car’s lug nuts?  FUUUUDGE! Neither will he.  Our fallen hero muses on his fatal fudged up moment with a bar of life boy soap stuck in his mouth. That was bad, but Swartz got it worse.

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Just when things couldn’t get worse, Christmas Day broke without a Red Rider locked and loaded. Yet, Aunt Clara’s infamous handmade Pink Bunny suit became the mantle of Ralphie’s failure. He pouted with everyone’s dire warning echoed in his ears: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Yet, thanks for the Old Man the Red Rider and Ralphie Parker are destined to become legend after all.

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Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any better, by Jove, it did. Underpinning the entire story were the themes of love, the importance of family, and persevering through difficult times. When Ralphie’s mom sung about the challenges of being a mother, and yet, doing it all because she loved her family, it moved me. Jean Shepard masterfully translated all of the tough, odd, and difficult things kids and parents exchange in words into love for each other. His character, in hindsight, brought back reminders of what a past generation wants us to never forget: We all can be blessed, especially in the times and seasons we are in, by the love and support of our family and friends. Yes, this is A Christmas Story, but the message is one we should hold precious thought out the whole year.

Temecula Playhouse

Thank you, Temecula House for another memorable and moving presentation. The theatre has always done great shows that cover a variety of topics. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, the prices are affordable, and it features lots of local talent. I encourage everyone to support the arts and the artists talents and hard work.

Elves

Merry Christmas and have a great start to your new year! And please, don’t shoot your eye out, kid!

Leg Lamp

 

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Posted in Christmas Family Classics, Family Classics, Jean Shepherd, Ralphie Parker, Temecula Theatre, The Christmas Story, The Christmas Story Movie, The Christmas Story Musical, The Old Man, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A6 Time Traveler Case #5: Four For Espionage

Thank you for joining us for another entry into the characters from my first novel., Chronolocity Vol 1 A Fistful of Chronotons.

 

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In this entry, we meet three children from history, no wait, there is a fourth. After a time-travel accident, Levy is housed with three other boys. These boys are all notable figures from the 20th Century who will grow up to make their mark on history. I bet after seeing these little tidbits from the book, you can guess who they will be. Levy also has an unseen female neighbor who lives next door. They communicate through the connecting bathroom wall using Morse Code.  All of these historical personages make a more personal impact on Levy and the fate of history as we are about to find out.  Levy, Junior, Tom, and Albert plan an escape from their quarters and somehow help turn the tide of the time war, with a little help from their neighbor Annie.

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The truth is matter how this story turns out, not one will ever look at history the same again. Want to know more?

 

Harriet Tubman 

A warning from the A6 for all time travelers:

https://youtu.be/aEf_OWLBGqg

 

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Sample the experimental sound track on Band Camp:

https://theclockopera.bandcamp.com/track/four-for-espionage

 

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And get a free first chapter of Chronolocity Vol I: A Fistful of Chronotons at my website:

http://www.chronolocityhq.com/

Hope you will join us on the journey. Strap in hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Your friend in time,

 G.P. Avants

 

Posted in Albert Einstein, Annie Oakley, Chronolocity, Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons, Four For Destiny, Junior, Martin Luther King, Science-fiction, Thomas Edison, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

50/50

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He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

                                   John 12:25

 

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Do remember the 50/50 bar? It was a combination of popsicle and ice cream all neatly packaged for our frozen confection consumption. Sorry to get your hopes up, but that is not what this piece is about.

 

It is however dedicated to people who know what is to have one foot on this world and one in another. These people have been though struggles in this life and it has radically changed their perspective. If you can bear with a few fictional characters and their struggles it might help you understand.

Suoerman

Superman in this scene shows me that when look at the Earth from a Heavenly viewpoint you see that all mankind is in great need of a savior.

Spock Dying

Mr. Spock sacrificed his life for those he loved. He appreciated the purpose of life by passing through the dark doors of death.

Will

Will Byer was a boy from a broken home. He also struggled with being misunderstood by most of his school mates, even dubbed “zombie boy,” after coming back from the Upside Down.

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Back in the real-world things are changing. Can you feel it? People to your left and next door are going through life-changing circumstances that redefines their character. There are people I know whose faith has been tested and it has deepened their life on earth. Think about this. As some are losing hope and questioning their existence, others are being grounded in what they believe. Isn’t interesting that believers in Christ are suffering for their faith, yet their trials tell people that they have an anchor of the soul though it all?

Wouldn’t you agree that if ever we needed people who can weather this season with a strength not their own, it’s now?

 

So, here is the reason I am writing this post. I have been honored for the past five years as an online blogger to meet some real 50/50ers. These are my brother and sisters in the Lord who have stories to tell. I highly encourage you to check out what they do and maybe follow their progress as well.

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Michael Miller loves comic books. He is a teacher who uses the mythos of Star Wars to teach high school students. His blog My Comic Relief is his outreach to those who love a variety of hero comics and characters that inhabit that world. Michael has a great way of humanizing characters he finds who have fascinating story to tell while weaving his faith though the narrative. His pieces are thought provoking and detailed, but worth the read. He has been a big encouragement to me and  my fellow bloggers. Michael has often reminded me on this busy life the importance of taking time to reach out to others for the sake of Christ online or in person.

BBB

I found the blog site Beauty Beyond Bones about a year into my first blog. What struck me about BBB was the wisdom and clarity she had at such a young age. Her blog is geared to encourage those who have gone through struggles like anorexia. BBB shares her faith boldly though her stories of overcoming, learning, and preparing for whatever God has ahead for the future. She encourages me in that I have hope for the next generation. With people like her living out their faith, in times like these the Gospel will be passed down into capable hands. BBB is someone I would like my daughter to grow up to be like. That is probably one of the greatest honors I could wish for people. Her book, Bloom, has been published If it is anything like her blog it will be fantastic. I hope to get to it on my reading list soon so I can give a proper review.

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Last, but not least, is my online friend Mitch Teemley. When I recognized his name online I remember he was part of a Christian comedy team from my younger days called, Isaac Airfreight. If he had any hand in that wonderfully clever writing team, I told myself, his blog has to be great. I was more than impressed in Mitch’s way of sharing his faith, his humor, his poetry, and the never-ending variety of pieces he produces. The Lord has blessed my brother with an ample supply of endless creative ideas and stories. When I grow up, I hope I will still have all the gears and motors of a creative mind like Mitch has. If that wasn’t enough I found out that Mitch is a Christian film maker. His film hasn’t hit theatres yet, but what I have heard through the grapevine that it will be a film people will be talking about.

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I know this is a longer post then normal, but I needed to let you know about people who live out their faith in times like these. I hope just as faithfully as you follow our blogs, you will follow my friends and support what they do. We need to honor our 50/50ers and encourage them to keep that connection between Heaven and Earth broadcasting clearly.

Click here to Reply or Forward

 

Posted in 50/50, Beauty Beyond Bones, Bloggers, Christian Bloggers, Heavenly-minded, Michael Miller, Mitch Teemley, Uncategorized, Word Press Bloggers | 3 Comments

A6 Time Traveler Case File #4: “H” and “E”

 

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Welcome to another entry from Chronolocity Vol I: A Fistful of Chronotons.

Today’s characters are code-named “H” and “E”. They are part of the A6. This is the counter time travel team that is attempting to discover what Mr. Cross is really up to.

H feels like she can convince Levy to help them turn the tide in this reboot of history. E isn’t sure that his partner’s reveal of future events will help or hurt history. Levy is now made aware that the time war is real and history is in danger.

 The truth is matter how this story turns out, no one will ever look at history the same again. Want to know more?

 

A warning from the A6 for all time travelers:

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https://youtu.be/aEf_OWLBGqg

 

 

Sample the experimental soundtrack on Band Camp:

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            https://theclockopera.bandcamp.com/track/enter-the-a6

 

 

And get a free first chapter of Chronolocity Vol I: A Fistful of Chronotons at my website:

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http://www.chronolocityhq.com/

 

Hope you will join us on the journey. Strap in, hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

 

Your friend in time,

 G.P. Avants

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Chronolocity, Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons, E, H, Historical Fiction, Science-fiction, The A6, Time Travelers, Uncategorized, YA Sci-fi Novel | Leave a comment

A6 Time Traveler Case File# 3 : Edwin Buckley

 

Mr. Buckley

In this entry, we meet Edwin Buckley. He is a timid computer genius who is working as Mr. Cross’s right-hand man. When we first meet Mr. Buckley he is flustered and sweating out the fact that Levy’s appearance has somehow altered their delicate plans.

However, as the time travel experiment causes a disturbance in the fabric of time and space, Mr. Buckley is re-thinking his role in Mr. Cross’s reboot of history.  The fact is not matter how this story turns out, no one will ever look at history the same.

 

Tough People

A warning from the A6 for all time travelers:

https://youtu.be/aEf_OWLBGqg

 

 

Sample the experimental sound track on Band Camp:

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https://theclockopera.bandcamp.com/track/don-t-sweat-it-mr-buckley-the-british-are-coming-the-british-are-coming

 

 

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And get a free first chapter of Chronolocity Vol I: A Fistful of Chronotons at my website:

http://www.chronolocityhq.com/

Hope you will join us on the journey. Strap in hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Your friend in time,

G.P. Avants

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open Spaces 

“But may the God of all grace, who called to us His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect,establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

                                                                            1 Peter 5:10

Do you remember this scene from the movie Cast Away?

 

Did you notice that all Chuck Nolen’s frustrating efforts would change if he knew the secret of being split open, letting air to mix with heated friction. You start a fire!

God is allowing the breaking up of communities, families, and friendships. Why? Isn’t He all about unity and connections like a body? Why did he allow a nation like Israel to be broken, disbanded, and shattered? What about the US? The broken world feels like the seams are splitting apart.

What purpose does it really serve?

Tom Hanks In 'Cast Away'

I think maybe we build some of these things with man’s hands, desires, and strength. God allows space to enter into broken situations. You could say He is opening breathing room for His spirit to work within us. Where there openness you get:

  1. Space
  2. Air
  3. Friction
  4. Fire

When we close up our lives and protect our little piece of the world from God’s Spirit we might become:

1. Isolated

2. Stiffled

3. Exhausted

4. Cold.

There is something happening inside and outside of our lives.

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Embrace or resist it, walk away or run to it, the proof is what comes from a life that is open to the Lord.

I hope you fight the cold and feel the fire the Lord wants to kindle on the you.

 

Posted in Cast Away Movie, Spiritual renewal, Tom Hanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A6 Time Traveler Case File #2: Mr. Cross

Mr. Cross

 

Mr. Cross is man on a mission, who dubs himself a Time Traveler extraordinaire.  In an attempt to modify, update, and correct an imperfect timeline, Mr. Cross accidentally yanks our hero Levy Roarke into the prehistoric past. He attempts to paint a picture of a kinder gentler future for all mankind.  Mr. Cross’ goal is to persuade Levy that all his efforts are his gift to people, who like him, have seen nothing but injustice and suffering, and need to hope again. This resonates with Levy who has lost his hope of ever making history with one of his inventions. The truth is matter how this story turns out, not one will ever look at history the same again. Want to know more?

 

 

A warning from the A6 for all time travelers:

 

https://youtu.be/aEf_OWLBGqg

 

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Sample the experimental sound track on Band Camp:

Here is a little background about Mr. Cross and his plans to reboot history.

https://theclockopera.bandcamp.com/track/let-the-x-games-begin

 

Chronolocity Book Cover_9.9.15-Recovered-Recovered 

 

And get a free first chapter of Chronolocity Vol I: A Fistful of Chronotons at my website:

http://www.chronolocityhq.com/

 

Hope you will join us on the journey. Strap in hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

 

Your friend in time,

 

  1. P. Avants

 

 

Posted in Chronolocity, Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons, Clock Opera, G.P. Avants, Mr. Cross, Ron Avants, Uncategorized, YA Sci-fi Novel | Leave a comment