Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

This Bon Jovi concert was worth the 28 year wait.

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Once upon a time, not so long ago…

It’s no secret that I lived under a rock for a long time when it came to non Star Wars related pop culture, especially when it came to music. Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet pulled me out from under that rock and helped me see the light. Whenever my friends, Matt and Aaron came over, we’d pop the album in my cassette player. We subsequently turned my room into a stage in the center of a packed arena, pretending to perform Bon Jovi’s jams in front of thousands of screaming fans.

We needed another member to complete the group. Fortunately, Kevin was always a willing participant. So the four of us would jump up and down on my bed, shouting the lyrics at the top of our lungs and shredding the air guitar with each rockin’ solo.

See? There’s more to having a younger brother than just having someone to sneak attack with a pillow at Grandma’s house.

But that’s pretty fun, too. Continue reading This Bon Jovi concert was worth the 28 year wait.

I guess I’m doing something right with this parenting thing

It saddens me to know that I’ve lost the Star Wars battle with my children. When ranking his favorite Star Wars movies, he continues to say that Attack of the Clones is his favorite. This really should not be. It makes me question my parenting skills, thinking I’ve failed him somehow.

There is some hope in my child-rearing skills. It might be a small glimmer of hope, but it’s still hope. Today I took Aiden to the doctor for his annual checkup. While I was waiting for him in the waiting room, this happened…

When I told Aiden about it later, he laughed. The fact that he got the reference makes me smile. The fact that he turns on Livin’ on a Prayer every time we’re in my car makes me smile, too. There’s hope for him yet.

And every time Mihret’s in the car? She wants to listen to ‘Tuba Taco’

They may have awful taste in movies, but they definitely have some good musical preferences. Maybe I’m doing OK with this parenting thing after all.

Flashback Friday: My Rock Star Son

As part of Aiden’s Christmas present, I’m taking Aiden to Winter Jam tomorrow.

I’m fully expecting his inner Rock Star to come out – like he did in this post from a few years ago. It’s altogether fitting that we look at this blast from the past on this Flashback Friday…

My son the rock star rocking out to Audio Adrenaline

Whenever he gets to watch it, he performs with the band, as if he were on stage with them. So, the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree. I remember many an afternoon pretending my friends and I were part of Bon Jovi, cranking out tunes like Livin’ on a PrayerWanted Dead or Alive, and You Give Love a Bad Name. Yes – my son is doomed.

Read the rest and watch Aiden 
rock out by clicking here

By the way….how on earth has he gotten so big? I think it’s time to invest in a few bricks to put on this boy’s head so he’ll stop growing.

Anthems, Baseball, and Introductions

Aiden wearing a rally cap in the 9th inning of the Indianapolis Indians game
Better enjoy pictures like this while you can. Aiden wasn’t very excited to have me take a picture of him in his Rally Cap. Yes, the Boy is growing up. 

Friday night at the free movie in the park (the kids were introduced to – and loved – Goonies, by the way), we won free tickets to today’s Indianapolis Indians game. Thanks, Greenwood Library!

So, at around noon I picked up Aiden from church (we have an unusual church arrangement right now. I’ll have to explain it sometime, but that’s not the point), left Mihret with Christy because we figured it would be too hot for her at the game, which would make everyone a little bit more miserable, to be honest (we were probably right), and headed up to Victory Field for a somewhat last-minute decision to take in an Indians day game.

While we were there, we made a discovery: Kids under 14 get a free hot dog, bag of chips, and bottle of water on Sundays! Since the tickets were free and the kids’ food was free, and we were in the shade, you could definitely call this afternoon a home run. It would’ve been a grand slam, but the Indians lost, so that put a slight damper on things.

While we were watching the game, I asked the kids which song they’d want to be played as their introductory anthem while they were coming up to bat. Their answers surprised me just a bit.

Continue reading Anthems, Baseball, and Introductions

Flashback Friday

Playing Spades (a poor man’s Euchre) while waiting for the rain to pass.

The Oscars are this weekend, so it’s time to wrap up the movie-themed series of Flashback Fridays. As we get closer to Sunday’s ceremonies, I wonder who your favorites are? Or are you like me and really don’t care because you haven’t seen any of these movies? In the past, I’ve tried to catch the big awards, but I have something else on scheduled for this Sunday night. I think I have to wash my hair. Or watch some paint dry.

I was shocked when I realized today’s song for Flashback Friday is nearly 20 years old. That means it’s been nearly 20 years (it’s really 19 this Summer, but we’ll round up) since I first stepped foot on God’s Country, also known as Scouting Paradise – Philmont Scout Ranch. As we sat in the campfire bowl during the opening campfire, Jarod and I looked up and saw a scene very similar to one in the video. Off in the distance, we saw lightning strike one spot, then another spot (similar to the lightning strikes with the drums towards the end of the video). We’d never been in a place where we could see so far away. And we’d never seen such a spectacular light show. It was amazing.

The above picture is from the following year. I’m not sure why I have that look on my face. Maybe someone got caught cheating at Spades or something. I really don’t remember.

Flashback Friday

I’ve decided to add a new feature to The Fishbowl. You know what it’s like when you run across a song and you’re instantly transported to another time and another place? Well, I’ve decided to tap into my ever-lingering sense of nostalgia and share that with the world. Hopefully, I’ll post a new song every Friday, and they’ll be songs that I would put together on the soundtrack of my life (that is, if they’d ever make a movie about me…which they won’t).

The first installment of Flashback Friday instantly transports me to my room every time I hear it. One of my best friends, Matt, and I would turn my room into a stage. We’d crank up the cassette tape and rock out to our imaginary fans. I picked this song because 1) it’s a classic from the 80s, and 2) Matt recently welcomed a son into his family. So I’ve been thinking about Matt quite a bit the last week or so.

So, with that in mind, I present some classic 80s hair-band arena rock:

Thinking Out Loud

In the same spirit of Gary Lamb’s occasional “Mind Dumps,” it’s time to share some thoughts I’ve been thinking about for a while.  Yes, I present to you Thinking Out Loud.

– When we were in Indy last week, we took the kids to the Children’s Museum.  I hadn’t been there since they did their major expansion.  Although the T. Rex isn’t outside anymore, the dinosaurs breaking through the wall is a pretty good replacement.  Their new DinoSphere exhibit was amazing.  If that had been around when I was Aiden’s age, I would have been in heaven.  I was almost in heaven anyway.  I’ll try to post pictures later.

– The Spymaker exhibit at the museum was a good idea, but I thought it was kind of lame.

– We watched a show at the planetarium.  It was ‘hosted’ by Mister Rogers.  It was kind of sad at the end, knowing that he’s not around anymore.

– This whole Danica vs. Dan Wheldon feud is not good for Indy Car racing.  Yes, they’re getting press attention.  It’s the wrong kind of attention, though.  The races are faster and closer than any other circuit.  That’s what they should be promoting and encouraging the media to focus on.  If you want whining and poor sportsmanship, go race in NASCAR.  Keep it out of the IRL. 

– The Friday before my interview in Muncie, I was writing a devotion for the interview.  As I was working, I thought, ‘Man, I really need to get a laptop.  That should be my first purchase when I take a preaching position.’  It would be very helpful in my sermon preparation.  During the interview on Saturday, they mentioned that they have a laptop that would be available to me.  Churches that size don’t normally have laptops already available to their staffs.  I was impressed.

– When I heard about Richie Sambora entering rehab, the cynical side of me thought, ‘Oh, how convenient.  Bon Jovi is about to release a new album.  This is just another way to get some publicity for the album.’  Then I heard that he’s had a pretty rough year.  His divorce with Heather Locklear was recently finalized.  Then his father died of lung cancer.   I hope this stint in rehab helps him.

– I lost ten pounds in two days while I was in Indy.  I don’t recommend the weight loss method, though.  Not very pleasant.

– Saw a familiar face and name flipping channels.  Casey Stegall grew up in our neighborhood.  My brother played with him quite a bit.  Now he’s a correspondent with Fox News.  He has the privilege of covering the whole Paris Hilton debacle (more on her later).

Not Old…Just Older

I’ve heard this song before, but it’s kinda like I’ve rediscovered it. I can’t get enough of it. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reconnecting with so many old friends.

Just Older
Bon Jovi, Crush

Hey, man, its been a while
Do you remember me?
When I hit the streets I was 17
A little wild, a little green
I’ve been up and down and in between
After all these years
Can you believe I’m still chasing that dream?
But I ain’t looking over my shoulder

I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

It’s good to see your face
You ain’t no worse for wear
Breathing that California air
When we took on the world
When we were young and brave
We got secrets that well take to the grave
And were standing here shoulder to shoulder

I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

I’m not old enough to sing the blues
But I wore the holes in the soles of these shoes
You can roll the dice till they call your bluff
But you can’t win until you’re not afraid to lose

Well, I look in the mirror
I don’t hate what I see
There’s a few more lines staring back at me
The nights have grown a little colder
Hey man, I gotta run
Now you take care
If you see Coach T. tell him I cut my hair
It’s been all these years
Can you believe I’m still chasing dreams?
But I ain’t looking over my shoulder

I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old — just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old — just older

It just ain’t right

I was just flipping through the channels and came across a Bon Jovi video – on the Country Music Station!

I guess it was because of the country girl they had singing with them. It still isn’t right. I think it’s going to throw my whole world out of whack for the rest of the day.

Bon Jovi = country?

I agree that they’re not heavy metal or anything like that, but country seems to be pushing it a little too far.