Friday, February 23, 2007

Episode 3: Going downhill fast....

Wow. Has any tribe been this bad at challenges since the Andrew Savage led Morgan tribe back in Survivor Pearl Islands? Ravu just doesn't have a game face.

The slip and slide challenge was a joke- complete domination by Moto, and then the immunity challenge was embarrassing. This is a tribe headed nowhere fast, and if they don't get it together and win something, this could be the first tribe eradicated and the first survivor where a merge isn't even necessary...

A couple of things I did like about the show. Hats off to Ravu for taking into account the possibility of the immunity idol when figuring out how to vote this time around. Good thinking overall- make your priorities and vote decision ahead of time to make sure you get one of your top two stragglers off.

Secondly, hats off to Mookie for voicing what everyone else was thinking about Anthony's abysmal effort and showing in the eating challenge against Gary. When players dominate they get credit. When they don't, everyone dances and talks about how valuable they are, when the truth is that they are usually killing the tribe. Anthony isn't doing anything to help the tribe, and you have to be accountable for what you do or don't deliver. I at least give Sylvia credit for owning her awful performance in the slip and slide and making that clear to Ravu.

Anthony's snipe about not questioning someone's will to win was weak and petty. When you get annihilated in an eating challenge (as in you didn't swallow ANYTHING by the time your competitor finished their plate), be prepared for questions about your guts and desire... If Ravu tanks it again, look for Anthony, who apparently gets emotional and paranoid next episode, to walk the long trail by himself at the end of tribal next week.

Here's hoping we see more head-to-head competition. If we're going to see more puzzles, I hope we see them where you have to beat someone one-on-one to help your tribe win. At least there would be high drama with puzzles....

Friday, February 16, 2007

Jesus has a big hand...

One of the things I pray over my son every night is that God holds his life in His hand, and sends big angels to watch over him all through the night to keep him safe.

The other day we were driving in the car on our way to do some errand as a family rocking out to a little Raffi when Jonah pipes up and says "Mommy?" (which is not an uncommon precursor to any number of discussion starters).

Turning down the music to hear what he has to say, Lori kindly asks what's on his mind, to which Jonah says: "Mommy, Jesus has a big hand." Not quite sure that she heard him correctly, Lori asked him to say it again and he did. Still not making it out, I filled her in, and then Jonah continued to tell her that Jesus keeps him safe in His big hand.

What was amazing about Jonah saying all of this was the smile on his face and the calm with which he said it- on some really important level to him, the reality of Jesus' big hands holding him tight and keeping him safe really mattered. It reminded me never to underestimate the ability of little people to understand really profound spiritual things.

So this past Monday morning, when I sat in the emergency room of the Cobequid Communicty Health Centre hearing that the results of the catscan and EKG done to figure out if I had either fractured my skull or concussed my brain after fainting in my bathroom twice within 3 minutes and smashing my head on the corner of the counter and the lip of the bathtub respectively were BOTH negative for anything signficant, I closed my eyes and thanked God for his protection. And quietly, Jonah's words came back to me in a smile I enjoyed with my eyes closed.

28 years his senior (and well over 200 pounds heavier), the reality of Jesus big hands holding me and keeping me safe meant every bit as much to me on that gurney as it did to Jonah in the back of the family Hyundai... For a minute I was tempted to worry about how badly I could have been hurt, but then I realized that God does watch over me, and that my life was spared undue harm.

David had it right:
Psalm 63 (New Living Translation)

1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

3 Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! 4 I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5 You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy. 6 I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

7 I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings. 8 I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

Love that big hand, Jesus...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Then there were 17...

And we learn once again that you must be in control of yourself at all times. Why is Erica sitting at home while Sylvia continues to be loathed at Ravu? Because it's all about impressions, and early in the game when you haven't built enough relationships to leverage them in the game, you better not give people pause to think of you at the top of their who-do-I-vote-off-next list.

Freaking out at everyone in a challenge where the team needed to work together to win is just the ammunition people need to change their minds. It continues to amaze me how poorly people understand the stages of the game and how it changes.

On a different note, I loved that Anthony worked with Rita to try and make the vote a little more interesting. I wished for players this season that would force the game to be played, and it looks like Anthony is at the head of the pack that is prepared to consider alternatives to the boring everyone-needs-to-vote-the-same ideology that leaves too many people on the outside too early. Looking forward to seeing some more of that flavour as the game goes along.