Saturday, January 31, 2004


I moved to Waco in July of 2000 to take a job at Baylor University. It was the beginning of a very difficult year in my life. Having lived in the same house for the first 18 years of my life I then went on a moving spree that had me changing residences a total of 6 times in 7 years. That created a sort of equilibrium problem with me. Am I here, am I there? Where do I want to be, and why should I care? The few friends I had in town were situationally removed from me and began to create lives of their own in which I was a part, but on the periphery. Financially I began to realize what a bind I was in when it dawned on me that I wouldn't be able to defer my student loans forever. My grandmother had recently been uprooted from the only hometown she had ever known to be closer to my parents due to failing health. Working and living with freshmen boys with whom I shared little in common, as well as with supervisors who were more concerned with meetings and programs and paperwork than they were with people, created within me a desire to sigh and think to myself "What the hell is this strange world I have entered into."

I felt as if I had inadvertently gained citizenship into what Anne Lamott refers to as the land of the fucked.

Then two things happened. In August of that year I had lunch with the pastor of University Baptist Church, we hit it off immediately, and I slowly began to be involved in the flow of what was going on there. People included me. I felt like I was experiencing something truly new and "on the edge," but at the same time feeling a sense of timelessness in the philosophy of ministry there. Friends began to be made, and a seed of community was planted in my life that continues to grow.

Then, in the fall, I began to hear talk of this new show that had just premiered on NBC titled simply, Ed. To say that Ed changed my life would be an overstatement. To say it was just a television show would be an understatement. To say the show, more than any other show I had seen, reflected my hopes and desires of what the world should be like would be a correct statement.

The plot of the show, although quite odd, is easy enough to be explained in just a few sentences. Ed Stevens, an upcoming lawyer in New York, finds his life falling apart within the course of a day. He is fired from his firm because of a mistake in a contract cost a company millions of dollars, with the mistake being a missed comma. He comes home to let his wife know the bad news, only to find her in bed with a mailman. Not THE mailman, just A mailman. He leaves his life in New York to return to his hometown, Stuckeyville (presumably in Ohio.) Ed pursues Carol Vessey, the homecoming queen that he was secretly in love with in high school. To impress her he buys the town bowling alley and sets up his law practice there. For three years he pursues her, she rejects him only to continue dating (and eventually becoming engaged to) guys who are assholes, but with whom she feels safe with. Ed pursues, Carol runs, etc. The Carol, sensing Ed is getting away from her, falls in love with him. A few roadblocks later and Ed and Carol are an engaged couple.

It's as simple as that, but it's so much more.

Part home, part heaven, part fantasyland, Stuckeyville is the quintessential small town where drama is small, but meaningful, and humor-- in a very Seinfeldian way-- is to be found wherever you look. It's a place where the values of kindness and hard work supersede those of irony, cynicism, and the need to be "cool." It tells of a people who instinctively understand that community isn't something to be built or theorized or spiritualized or sentimentalized, but to be experienced and treasured. It's a town, like all the towns we grew up in, that contains Shirley Pifkos and Phil Stubbs's and Eli Goggins-- people who are quirky and mysterious, but also consistent. They're people with whom we have limited contact that brings little hints of joy and laughter , indeed, little hints of heaven, into our world.

We see in ourselves a Warren Cheswick. Often insecure, often confused with our world and our bodies and our emotions, always driven by strong hormones.

I see in Mike and Nancy Burton and Molly Hudson the type of friend that I hope to be. Always hoping, and actively working for, the best for their friends. Always open to crying with, giving advice to, and sharing in the extravagance of the mundane with those closest to them.

In Carol, more than anything else, I see all the fears I've ever had that the great person people see in me is just a sham, and that sooner or later, the gig's going to be up and people are going to see that I don't necessarily fit the standards they perceive.

And in Ed, good old Ed. Ed confirms to me what I've always suspected-- niceness is a virtue, not a vice. Nice guys hardly ever win, but they are always right, always just, and sometimes, if you put on a suit of armor and hire skywriters and throw waffles at windows, and are as patient as a turtle, get the girl.

Ed is fictional, I know. It's a play land. But in some ways it, like all good art, acts as an icon, a window to another world. A world where, as Margaret Becker puts it, " mercy reigns supreme and thoughtful, demonstrative, detailed love is expressed in microscopic ways."

In all likelihood next Friday, February 6, the final episode of Ed will air. If you happen to be in Waco, and consider yourself a part of my world, either on the periphery or smack dab in the center-- or in that nebulus of space that is somewhere in between-- why don't you haul your ass over to my place in time to watch it end. But one condition is required-- you can't laugh at me for crying.

And after that? LET'S GO BOWLING! Seriously.

Saturday Mornings

Since I was a kid I have always woken up early on Saturday mornings. It was very utilitarian as a child, as waking up early ensured that my cartoon hours watched would be the maximum allowed. It sucks as a grown up, because all my friends sleep in. There's so many people I want to call to say "hey, what's going on? want to go do something?" But I know they're all in bed.

Friday, January 30, 2004


I just read through some of my old blogs and ran across this quote from Garrison Keillor. I haven't even thought of this in months, but it has kind of, inadvertently, without warning, become my philosophy for making it through this life.

"In Lake Wobegon, you learned about being All Right. Life is complicated, so think small. You can't live life in raging torrents, you have to take it one day at a time, and if you need drama, read Dickens."

"The urge to be top dog is a bad urge. Inevitable tragedy. A sensible person seeks to be at peace, to read books, know the neighbors, take walks, enjoy his portion, live to be eighty, and wind up fat and happy, although a little wistful when the first coronary walks up and slugs him in the chest. Nobody is meant to be a star. Charisma is pure fiction, and so is brilliance. It's the dummies who sit on the stage, and it's the smart people who sit in the dark near the exits. That is the Lake Wobegon view of life."
My Current Political Conversation

Yesterday I got this email from probably my most liberal friend. It's basically accusing CBS of violating Free Speech by refusing to air the winning ad from a competition sponsored by, an organization that was started during the Clinton impeachment. Here's the letter that was sent (and please watch the ad, this post will make more sense.)

And here was my reply all:

From : Craig Nash
Sent : Thursday, January 29, 2004 5:50 PM
Subject : RE: It's About Free Speech

It's not about free speech. The airwaves may belong to the public, but CBS doesn't. The campaign finance laws state that every politcal CANDIDATE must have equal time on television stations. Last I checked isn't running for a political office, and neither is the office of the White House.

Although I believe that CBS should seriously consider airing these ads in order to show to the public the double standard held by most political factions when it comes to hateful and demonizing rhetoric, it is well within their rights to refuse.

Respectively Disagreeing,


And here's a response I got back:

From : Joel
Sent : Thursday, January 29, 2004 6:52 PM

Mr. Nash,
You're right, it's not about free speech. But it is not about campaign finance laws either. It is about honoring the contract between the writer/director of the commercial and the commercial contest administrator (CBS).
If it were about campaign finance laws, if CBS wanted equally shared time between all candidates, they wouldn't have named the contest "Bush in 30 seconds." By doing so, there is obviously going to be 30 seconds of publicity on Bush. The writer/director of the commercial entered the contest under the assumption that if his expression of "Bush in 30 seconds" (the name and only regulation of the contest) won, it would be run at the Super Bowl. One can imagine how that would feel for an up and coming director. When the viewers voted for this particular commercial via i-net, CBS started sweating its content. Through a breach of winner's contract, which again stipulated air time of the winning commercial at the Super Bowl, between the contestant Charlie Fisher and CBS, CBS acted legally irresponsible at the least when they formally stated they would not air the commercial. When CBS decided to accept a large part of their budget from the Bush admin. and then not air the commercial, the question of moral responsibility came into question by (i.e. was the Bush Admin. financially strongarming CBS?).
While the latter is debatable from a moral stance, your allegations that the commercial or the political "faction" it represented was using "hateful" or "demonizing" rhetoric I strongly disagree with. It is a fact that there is a 1 trillion dollar deficit and it is a fact that it will be payed off by taxation of the next few generations. The commercial was illustrious of this. I do not, nor do the majority of my generation, consider this "demonizing" or "hateful" rhetoric, but rather an actuality of our future.
Respectfully Disagreeing again,
Joel Sager
To which I replied:

From : Craig Nash
Sent : Friday, January 30, 2004 4:42 AM

Before I get accused of being politically biased let me just say this-- I am.

First of all, from everything I have read, CBS was not the commercial contest
administrator-- was. I have seen nothing in print or on the news
regarding a presigned agreement between CBS and the writer/director of the
film-- not even on the website. So if it is true that CBS is flaking
out of a contractual agreement then doesn't think it's important
enough to include in their story on CBS's "censorship."

I respect your opinion that you don't believe the winning ad was hateful or
demonizing, but I think it's rather naive'. The one indisputable fact in the ad
is that the budget deficit is 1 trillion dollars. I believe that to be true.
It's the subtext, however, that is slanderous. Of course our children will be
forced to deal with the complicated situations we leave them with-- that's a
timeless truth, but they're not dealing with it now. The obvious subliminal
connection that the writer of the ad seeks to draw is that of negative feelings
associated with child labor. The text is about the deficit. The subtext is that
Bush doesn't care about our children. That's hateful and that's demonizing, no
matter what generation you come from. It's almost as bad as the Willie Horton
advertisements the Republican National Commitee put out in '88 against Dukakis.


P.S. Knowing politics bores the hell out of most people, this'll be my last
"reply all" on this subject.... unless provoked :)

Thought some of y'all might enjoy that.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Strange as it sounds, there is a sadness that I willingly embrace. The melancholy that is brought about by a cold morning in which work doesn't beckon is, in some odd way, enjoyable. Perhaps it's just me embracing the great hope of our generation that our whole life is like a movie. This particular scene in my movie is a sad part, but one that is necessary.

Or, perhaps there is a substantive reason for my spirits being down. There are minor tragedies that go on in each of our lives every single day, every minute even, that are so small they seem insignificant at the time. Just a passing memory of the act of hurting someone in the past flicks a minute chink off our armor. The coming and going of friends in and out of our lives, with the going out of being more abundant than the coming into, ... another chink. Not meeting the expectations that you and others once held up for yourself, another chink. Opportunities for truth telling and tender moments passed up for another conversation that serves the purpose of suppressing out true feelings and desensitizing out inner feelings, another. The feeling that somewhere along the way you took a minor misstep that jarred you out of God's intended rhythym for your life... not a big thing, just something small, another chink.

All these things taken alone are manageable. Just work a little harder, try harder for laughs, and move on. But when, over time, the chinks in the armor add up to a major whole, we've got trouble. And all it takes is the petri dish of a day off, combined with a cold and cloudy weather pattern and a few days of not being in contact with close friends, and wham, bring on the sadness.

But maybe, just maybe, there is another reason for this melancholy. Maybe a higher purpose is being served. Maybe, as elementary as it sounds, God is using this laboratory of feeling in a way to bring me back to a simple truth I learned as a kid and have had reinforced over and over again: I need God.
Why am I forcing myself to stay up late, even though I'm sleepy?

1. I'm thinking I might actually find something good on television.
2. I'm thinking maybe someone in my great web of blog pals will blog something at this time of night.
3. In the even that #2 occurs (no pun intended,) the possibility exists that someone may be awake, which will make it possible for me to call them to say "You can't sleep either?"
4. The possibility that I might get an email from someone.
5. Maybe sleep deprivation will spark something creative and worthwile within me.
6. It's only 11:00 p.m. in Seattle... maybe Blake will sign on.
7. I took a nap when I got home from work.
8. I have the day off tomorrow.

I know this is probably just paranoia, but I'm at a time in my life, communaly, where I feel like I'm lurking on the outskirts of three or four different groups of friends, and feel either unwelcome or unworthy or unwilling to put myself into the flow of any particular group. I suppose I've always had this insecure fear-- that even though I know different, I never feel fully accepted.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


I was scrolling through some of my old posts and ran across this little thing. It was back when Kyle and Adam Phelan were the only people who read my blog. Now that I have a wider audience, I thought I'd reprint it.


Friday, May 17, 2002

I guess you can tell a lot about a person by the places they like. Myself, I've never been too hip to the whole Cricket's scene. It's not (as it would have been a few years ago) the alcohol- it only takes one beer- don't ruin your witness- thing-- I've long since moderated my views on that. I guess it's just the oddness behind a place that is either meant for you to go meet people, or to hang out with people you already know. In the case of the former, I'd rather meet people inadvertantly through other friends, work, church, or a bookstore, than find someone who is looking for someone. It's like when you were in elementary school and you walk up to someone and ask them "Will you be my friend?" In the case of the latter (hanging out with friends,) I'm much more comfortable going to someone's house, or a public place that is known to few. It's so weird that the thing 20 somethings are looking for the most is uniqueness, but they end up all going to the same places.

All this led me to thinking of the places I like the most. If God were to destroy every place in the universe except these five, I'd be ok. So here they are:

5. Second floor indoor balcony in Feagin Hall at ETBU, Marshall, Texas.--// I lived in Feagin as a student, on the second floor, but never spent much time outside of my room. Years later, when I became the Director of Feagin, we decided to put some couches and chairs in the lobby on the second floor that hangs over the lobby. Some of the best talks I've ever had with people were done while sitting in area. I guess the mixture of being up very late at night mixed with it's proximity to people's living quarters made it ideal. Guys would come in late, which made it natural for you to ask "So, what'd you do tonight." Which would lead into some of the most meaningful moments of my life.

4. The Pit Grill, Collins Street, Arlington, TX--// This is the place that helped me fall in love with Greasy Spoons and embracing my imperfections. While spending a couple of weeks in Arlington in the summer of '96, this was the place Luke, Scott, and I would hang out. It was the seminal experience of me understanding how to live out my faith in story. I can probably trace the changes in my epistemology to this place.

3. Timberline Baptist Camp, Lindale, Texas--// I began working at Timberline when I was 16, and continued there, in one way or another, until until I was 22. It was at this place that I met my best friend, learned the proper way to mop a floor, raked up a yellow jacket's nest while being stung by 8 of them, fell out of a fastly moving truck- passing out and developing my only known scars to this date, learned how to live with people, got skin poisoning, learned to rappel, had my first experience working with kids, stocked vending machines, experienced digging for busted water lines in below-freezing weather, first heard about the calvinism-arminian argument, and basically learned how to create a home wherever I found myself. How could you not like a place that did all that, and so much more?

2. Any home that Tonly and Melissa Herring have lived in.--// At the beginning of their marriage, Tonly and Melissa prayed that their home would always be a place of comfort and blessings for others, and God has answered that prayer. Any time I walk into their house (wherever it has been,) I've experienced an extreme sense of peace come over me. I know that sounds kind of weird, and out of touch with my current vernacular, but it's my experience.

1. Cafe' in Torva, Estonia--// Torva is probably the most remote place I've ever been to. It's located in the forests of southern Estonia, about 90 miles north of the Latvian border. A village of around 300 inhabitants, it houses a cafe' outside the center of town. The cafe' was built into an old cave. To get in, you walk past the counter and down a series of steps to small rooms with couches. When I was there, I could imagine guys like C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien sitting around, smoking cigars, and discussing deep matters, and the even more important everyday matters. I guess what makes this place so special, is that it's unique to me. Few other people in the whole world has ever experienced the joy of sitting around reading and talking with friends in this place.
Posted by: Craig / 11:28 PM

To this I would add my the house I currently reside in @ 2825 Austin Avenue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"They were gracious and affable in a disarming yet unsuave manner that made me think that they had recently discovered their social acumen."

That quote is from "Urban Tribes," the book I'm in the process of reading. The author uses it to describe a group of friends that he went to observe to gather information on his book, about clusters of relationships, or community, that exists among many post school/ pre family people between 18 and 35.

What an amazing way to describe someone and what a great description to aspire to. "They were gracious and affable in a disarming yet unsuave manner....."

1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
2. Characterized by tact and propriety
3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.

1. Easy and pleasant to speak to; approachable.


1 : smoothly though often superficially gracious and sophisticated

I guess the things I value most make it into my blog.

On Change-- The Book Wars Continue

Last week I made it my project to revamp the Political Science/Current Events section at Barnes and Noble to gear up for a presidential race. And man am I proud of it. Six feature shelves, more space for more displays of books (I sound like a dork, I know.)

So here's what happened this morning, that happens every damn day at the store. Some jackass who is at least somewhat politically engaged walks by the rows of books, looks for the ones he disagrees with and either replaces them with one that reflects his or her mood or, even more profound, turns the particular book that he/she disagrees with upside down. As if a raging liberal is going to walk by, see Molly Ivins and Michael Moore's books turned upside down and say to themselves, "You know, these people really are upside down. I think I'm going to join the NRA and the GOP."

Well, this morning it was the liberals who struck. I noticed a group of three professional looking twenty-somethings, one guy and two girls, gathered around the section talking. Being someone who loves to eavesdrop on conversations I went over there to "work" on some stuff. To my dismay all of the conservative books-- Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Zell Miller-- were turned upside down. There were even entire stacks of books removed and put behind other books, so as to prevent them from being in full view. I was so pissed off at that moment. Knowing who it was who did it (it was 9:20 in the morning and these assholes were the only ones in the store,) I mumbled under my breath, but over my breath enough to be heard... "There's some real mature political statements being made here." At which point the three of them look at me, look at each other, and snicker a bit.

As you've probably noticed, I've worked at cleaning up my language slightly over the past couple of months. However, due to the circumstances, I'm going to have to say some things that might make my weaker brother stumble. So if you consider yourself a weaker brother (or sister) and are offended by certain words, I'm going to have to ask that you stop reading right now.

I wanted to look at these dickhead bitches and bastard and say "You damn fucking bastard and bitches! Who the fuck do you think you are, coming in here turning these books upside down, you dumb fucks!"

It was their arrogance that pissed me off. Because when I was eavesdropping I heard them discussing how closed minded their parents were in choosing to be Republican and that any intelligent person could see how horrible Bush is for our country. It wasn't their statements that bothered me, but rather the air of superiority they had about them. I get pissed off at Republicans who do the same thing.

Here's what one of the bitches said about her parents, "They just don't like change of any kind...."

Which brings me to my final thought on change-- Why do many in my generation consider this a legitimate argument when trying to prove someone wrong, that they just can't stand any kind of change. What is really being said is that these people are stupid because they don't want to change in the way I want them to change.

You know, we are all so closed minded, even those of us who pride ourselves in not being closed minded. I know very few people who know where they stand on things, but are still confident enough in who they are tho where they don't have the need demoralize and paint people as being stupid and old fashioned.

Which reminds me of this other quote from the book, which I'll close with. He is speaking about people who feel their groups of friends are good for them, but the truth seems to me to be relevant in other areas: "Of course everyone who told me about their groups thought the world of their friends and all the fun they had together. But just because these people attested that the tribe years were good for them didn't mean they were. People have been known to claim all sorts of things were good for them (macrobiotic diets, law school) only to realize later that they had fooled themselves. Because we cannot see the paths we have not taken, we become, by default, advocates for the path our life is on."

Monday, January 26, 2004

The Time to Act is NOW!!!! If you Love me... hell, even if you are indifferent to me, you'll do this

The time to save Ed has come around once again. So here's the plan, that is being executed by hundreds of fellow dEDicated fans around the country....

1. Go to and print several copies of the $10 bill.
2. On the back of your printout write the following "OUR BET'S ON ED, AND WE'VE GOT THE $$$$ TO PROVE IT!!!! (use the dollar symbols for maximum effect)." in your own handwriting.
3. Then mail to the following address

Jeff Zucker,
NBC Entertainment
3000 West Alameda Ave.
Burbank, California


Sunday, January 25, 2004


Today I gave the God in the Movies talk on About a Boy to a Sunday School class at my friend from work Pat's church at First Presbyterian. Afterwards I went to their worship service.

The whole experience was very rich and meaningful to me. The Sunday School group was very receptive. They didn't even care that I couldn't get the profanities edited out. They're pretty liberal, which is good from a profanity editing standpoint.

The worship was absolutely magnificant. The only liturgical services I've ever really experienced were the once a semester shot at liturgy we had in chapel at ETBU. It was good and all, but felt more like forcing rednecks to read abstract poetry- and enjoy it. But this here was the real deal. It started off with the pastor, from the back of the sanctuary, calling the congregation to a time of silence. He marches up with the kid carrying the cross behind him. Well, I won't get started on telling the whole service, because there was just too much.

There was a funny thing though that happened that made me realize how Baptist I really am. There is a time in the liturgy where the pastor reads a section about forgiveness of sins. After that there is a moment of silent prayer where we confess our sins and ask forgiveness. So he has us bow our heads, I begin to think of my sins and confess them, then like 5 seconds later he says "Amen." That kind of shocked me. I wanted to raise my hand and say "Excuse me, sir, I'm not sure about everyone else here, but I'm Baptist... I need a little more time here to confess my sins."

It really made me think about how truly nuanced the differences between certain practices actually are. They offer a class to youth called "How to be a Presbyterian in the Bible Belt," which addresses such questions as what to say when someone asks you if you are saved or if you are going to heaven. It would probably be good for non Presbyterians to attend that as well.

The Tribe

I started reading this amazing book last night called "Urban Tribes" by Ethan Watters. It's about the lives of people in my situation... what he calls people who are between families, or the post college/pre marriage time. He explores how truly rich these "Urban Tribes" are and how, far from being a hotbed of individualism, is really just a modern day family. It's really good.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

What I'm Doing

Tomorrow I do the God in the Movies for About a Boy at First Presbyterian. The lady there, with whom I work, told me not to worry about editing out the profanities from the movie. She said they're liberal, they can take it. That was cool.

I don't have to work tomorrow, so I'll have to find something to do.

No big plans for the next week. Just more of the same ol' same ol'.

What Makes me Happy Right Now
1. Renewed friendships.
2. This song I'm listening to right now.
3. Urinating.
4. The Today Show
5. Ed, of course.
6. Blake's poem.
7. My expanded current affairs section at work.

Friday, January 23, 2004

My Yesterday

Yesterday morning my pissing problems returned. Painful urination. It was pretty bad. By the end of the day it was much worse, and I decided I needed to see a doctor, so I went to the Hillcrest clinic. After waiting about an hour they had me come in and piss in the cup and wait in the room for another hour. Then an Asian doctor comes in and asks me a few questions, presses various parts of my torso, inducing much laughter because of the tickling, then asked some more questions. He wrote a prescription and then gave me directions to the McLennan county health department, since it'd be cheaper to be treated for an STD there than at the clinic. I told him I didn't think that would be necessary. He looked at me like "There's nothing to be ashamed of." At which point I reiterated that I really think it would be a waste of my money to be treated for an STD. He told me to keep the sheet just in case I changed my mind. He said he was pretty sure I had an STD, which caused a minor urinary tract infection. I said the infection is possible, but the STD isn't. So, anyway, I went and got my prescription, hoping I'd be feeling better soon.

I came home, got ready for bed, the pain hadn't subsided one bit. I had this horrible burning feeling that was worse than any pain I've ever felt. When I tried to pee, a couple of drops trickled out. I was sweaty and dizzy and nauseus and had a fever. It was like The Green Mile. What I would've given for that big black man to grab my crotch and suck the flies out of my mouth at that point. The pain was so unbearable that I drove myself to the emergency room at Hillcrest. I hadn't been there for myself since I cut part of my thumb off the first summer I was here in Waco.

To make a long story short... Waited a while, got my blood pressure taken, told them my problem, they told me to keep the cup handy in case I could pee they'd need a sample, so I went to the bathroom and painfully pissed a couple of teaspoonfuls of piss into the cup, took it to her, at which point she put it in a vial and said "My God, you've got a horrible infection," I waited longer, was taken to a room where I fell asleep and at 2:30 a.m. finally saw a doctor who said I had a major kidney infection and asked me more questions, prescribed me a couple of more things, and sent me on my way.

Now, here's my beef (pun intended.) During that whole ordeal I wasn't asked once to drop my pants so they could feel me up. I was a little disappointed going through all that pain and not a single person requesting to see my private parts. The attractive girl who took my blood pressure would have been perfect, but I might would have settled for the old Asian doctor at the clinic- I would have closed my eyes. But hey, I guess they knew what they were doing. The medicine they gave me worked, although it makes me pee brown. But I'd rather pee painless brown than painful clear anyday.

One of the Most Amazing Things I've Read Lately, Perhaps Ever

You have GOT to read Blake's latest post on his blog. I read it when I returned from the ER and was floored. Simply amazing.

Check out this last stanza from that poem:

But to give and carry and embrace,
To know not by degree but by essence,
The sacred sound of marching, the sweet silence of being.

the sacred sound of marching. wow. wow. wow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


So my friends at and I are very worried that this will be the last year of Ed, just as we thought last year would be the last year. So someone thought of this ingenious idea, and I'm going to be working on the Waco front to get Jeff Zucker, the president of NBC entertainment, to renew the show.

Sometime around February 6 (the season finale) we will be sending out fake $10 bucks to Mr. Zucker with some sort of slogan about betting he will recognize how great Ed is and renew it. It'll look something like this

Hopefully having thousands of these show up in the NBC mail will be cute enough to make him go "Aw, shucks.... of course I'll renew it."

So, stay tuned for further news.

BTW, Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bown will both be on the Today show friday morning.

Monday, January 19, 2004


We never get away from the things our parents modeled for us, no matter how hard we try.

That's why now, at 29 years old, I am still spending hours on end tracking election results for the presidential primaries. I remember vaguely staying up in 1980 watching the horror (in my family's eyes) of President Carter being defeated by Ronald Reagan. In 1984 I was actively recruiting support from my fellow 10 year old colleagues for the candidacy of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. They would bring an end to the suffering of all the little people under the tyrannical regime of Reagan/Bush. In 1988, as a very mature eighth grader, I became a New Englander, cheering on Michael Dukakis and good ol' Texas boy Lloyd Bentsen. That'd help us little people, finally. '92, I took pride at the time my parents chose to conceive me, making me one of the oldest kids in my senior class, which afforded me the sole opportunity, out of all my classmates, to cast a vote for the great hope of the underdog, Bill Clinton. Oh the joy I felt at electing a president. When I went to college I discovered Christian zeal and conservative consciousness, and cursed all the things my parents imbred within me. In 1996 I had the opportunity correct all the evils of my upbringing and vote for Bod Dole, to no avail.

Chris Matthews says in his book "Hardball," that we always vote the same way our parents do. We may not always vote for the same person our parents vote for, but the things we take into consideration are the same things our parents take into consideration.

My parents always spoke about candidates who can relate to the little people. What they were really saying underneath that was that they wanted to be able to relate to the candidate.

Which is why I support George W. Bush. I know he's not the brightest guy in the room (although I do believe he isn't dumb.) I know that he's had a life of privelige. I know I probably don't agree with him on a few, very important issues.

But I'm a Bush apologist because I like the guy. He shares many of the same sentiments I hold to. Even though he was rich growing up, he disdained the arrogance that went with privilege that was evident among his classmates at Andover. This cool, almost European tendency, that so many people I know are in love with, that turns it's nose on anything considered simple, is a turnoff to him, as it is to me.

That's something I want to rant about a little. I adored the small amount of time that I had to spend in Europe, and was endeared to many wonderful people. But the thing I hate about Europeans is their smugness, their arrogance.... and I think that's also why Bush hasn't gone out of his way to accomodate to the Europeans. He gets accused of being the arrogant American. That's the easy thing to say when you disagree with him.... he's arrogant. But what most of these people are really pissed at is that he disagrees with them, and chooses to do things without them-- and therefore he gets the arrogant label.

Case in point. I work with a Finnish lady who is still very European in her outlook. In other words, she can't stand Bush. She said the thing that really did it for her was when Bush was asked what should happen to Saddam Hussein, and he replied that he should be executed.

Now I watched the exact interview she was speaking of, and Bush did not say he should be executed. He said that he has in his own mind what he thinks should hapen, but that the ultimate decision would be up to the Iraqi people.

I didn't bother to argue with this lady, because no matter what I said, no matter how much proof I came up with, she still heard what she wanted to hear.

Man, I'm really on a tirade with this post.

Anyway, I love politics. This should be a great year.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Feeling Better

Mosts of my posts from last week were either extremely inchoherent, or extremely irrelevent. (Not that I consider any reality irrelevent.) I was in a funk last week- spiritually, emotionally, and especially physically.

Now that I'm over this sickness, I'll share it with you. It was too embarrasing to share when it was happening, but now that it's over I'll let it all hang out. Let me just say, painful urination is no laughing matter. I'm not sure if I had a kidney infection, a bladder infection, or an STD (from my various wild sexual escapades*,) or something else-- but it hurt like hell to take a piss. I was walking around with this grimace on my face all week because of the burning sensation in my nether regions.

I know this isn't exactly making you comfortable reading this. But hey, I'm just being transparent. I'm just keeping it real. Because that's what I'm all about-- keeping it real..... Yep, keeping it real.

But today I followed my mother's instructions and drank a gallon of cranberry juice, and things feel much better. I can now take a piss without worrying about tearing up my insides.

*This was intended as humor, not a reflection of reality.


I think I'm growing up emotionally. For the longest time I had this idea that, in order for a friendship to be vital, you had to constantly be in contact with and in conversation with, your friends. I'm now seeing that isn't necessary. I used to never say no to any opportunity I had to hang out with, or to talk to someone, for fear that the statute of limitations would run out on our relationship. I'd go all over town at all hours of the day just to spend time with someone, so as to not lose the relationship. Or I'd be calling my out of town friends at least two or three times a week, with the subcounscious fear that they would forget that we had a bond.

But talking to two of my closest friends, Blake and Tim, today made me realize how I'm not really that person anymore. I felt just as close to Blake on the phone today, even though I haven't seen or talked to him since Christmas. (As much as I talk abou this guy, you all probably think I have a man crush on him. I do*.) I wish everyone could know him.

*This was intended as humor, not a reflection of reality.

Ed Plan

So, here's the deal. The season finale of Ed is on February 6. A few hundred of us dEDicated fans who frequent have a plan in place to make sure it's not the series finale. Stay tuned for further details.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Another Blogger

Well, 100% of the Edwards boys are now blogging. I'll get the link up this evening when I come home from work. But check out Blake's blog at

Lack of Motivation

I generally fool myself into believing that if I just had some time off that I'd get stuff done. Well, I had all of Wednesday and Thursday off, and didn't do jack squat. I think I need some conflict to get my juices flowing.

My schedule: Today I work from 10-7. Tomorrow, church then the rest of the day off. Maybe I'll blog. Monday, work from 7-4.

Nothing really big on my plate to look forward to the next week or so. A week from tomorrow I'm giving my "About a Boy" sermon to a Sunday School class at 1st Presbyterian. The season (and perhaps) series finale to "Ed" will be on February 6. Other than that, my Winter calendar is bare.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


It's been a weird day. I have today and tomorrow off, which is very rare for my days off to be consecutive. I did go in to work this morning to give a tour of the store to a group of elementary students from Wortham. That was fun. I then went to the store to get some groceries. Got back home around 11:30, and haven't left the house since. I've just been going back and forth between the television and the computer all day. I haven't been motivated to either read or write, but that frustrates me. I started to write an essay for this thing we're doing with coffee and culture. Got about half a page done then went back to the couch. I guess I'm just waiting for the inspiration to hit me. I think, though, that the majority of the times that I get inspired to write is when I'm around people who can provide context for the things I want to say. But I've been around no people today.


The Iowa caucuses are next week, and that's about all that's been on the news today, other than the president's initiative to send humans back to the moon and to mars.
Looks like Kerry is gaining ground on Gephardt for second place, and Dean is even losing a few points. Not being a Democrat, it's quite fun watching those guys beating up on each other. The conclusion I've come to is that I could stand Dean, Gephardt, Lieberman, and possibly John Edwards as president, but not Kerry. The guy has a hard time explaining his position on Iraq. He's speaking out of both ends of his mouth.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Forcing Myself to Write

I'm not really feeling well right now. A little dizziness, a little body aching, and I've got the chills, even though the thermostat is around 80 degrees. But I've been thinking a couple of thoughts lately, and I wanted to share. So if this is incoherent, bear with me.

The other day I started thinking about the plot of land that is directly across from the church building that I grew up going to-- First Baptist Church Chandler. Some of my earliest memories are of that piece of land, and I've been thinking that there is a lot to be said about life and culture and society just using that land as a metaphor. I've even had the thought that it might become the centerpiece of my novel, whenever I choose to write it. (A little side note, please encourage me to start writing. It always helps when I have people telling me they think I can do it.)

So, anyway, the land. One of my very first memories is of being a little kid and playing in the old dilapidated barn that used to occupy the land across from the church. Me and my best friend Corey Ashley, and his sister Hallee, once the invitation and benediction were over, would dart out the doors to play in that old barn. Actually, Corey's family on his dad side owned the land, I think. We'd run across the street (which is actually only about the distance of the width of the house we live in,) and have to crawl through the barbed wire to get to the barn, which consisted of hay to feed to horses (I forgot to mention, there were horses,) and the coolest old time soda machine. The rest was just a series of mazes and crevices. We would climb to the top of one of the floors and jump down into the hay. Actually, Corey would climb to the top of one of the floors and jump down into the hay... I was genrerally too afraid. I remember one time him telling me and Hallee that he saw a grass snake in the barn a few days before, which scared the crap out of me. (I wasn't saying shit back then.)

Over time, and I'm not good with years, some in the church determined it would be a good thing to buy the land, just in case they wanted to build on it in the future, and also to prevent anyone else from buying it and building low-income housing, aka-- black people. I remember sitting in church business meetings that I wasn't allowed to vote in, and seeing grown people verbally fighting over the land. Eventually the land buying faction won the contest and the church owned the land.

The first line of business once the land was bought? Tear down the old barn, get rid of the barbed wire, and move the church office into a small house that was located on the back side of the barn, toward the next street. Kind of a sweeping away of the past. This was probably my first experience of wanting to hold on to the past, and wanting to force others to do the same.

My junior high and high school years the field acted as a nothing more than a filler between the church and the office, a game field, and a makeshift unpaved parking lot.

And now I'm starting to feel dizzy and nauseaus. I'll finish the story later.

Oh, what the hell. I'll finish it now.

A few years ago they decided that they needed to building a new church building on the plot of land across the street. So they built and and it's the most horrible sight you've ever seen. Why is it that churches these days feel that all they have to do with building a new building is to plop down a concret slab, build an aluminum building, and stack bricks about a fourth of the way up. There's no sense of history, no sense of beauty. Just wanting to be cheap and throw something up that is going to be as painless as possible.

Well, that's all about that.

Big Fish

Kyle and I ended up seeing Big Fish today, rather than the Return of the King-- since we had a meeting to go to at 6. I'd seen the movie before with Blake, but fell sound asleep about halfway through and missed the best parts. I'll talk more about it later, but I'll let you know now that it was an amazing movie.


Saturday, January 10, 2004

It's really late and I'm really tired, but I can't go to sleep. So I thought I'd blog to let you know that. So when you wake up in the morning, or whenever you decide to read this, you will know that at 1:15 a.m. on the morning of January 10, 2004, Craig was having a hard time sleeping.

Days that I work 10-7 can be a double edged sword. The cool thing is that I'm not the lead Manager on those days, so I can actually get work done with books and shit. The bitch is that the front end and the back end of my day is eaten up. I get off at 7 and it feels like 4, like I have the rest of the day in front of me.

After work today I went to Kyle's and watched Ed. I knew Ed's wife would show up eventually to cause some problems. The episode was great, even sans Mike and Nancy.

After that Kyle watched "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" while I started to watch it, but ended up falling asleep. I think he stopped it because it was so bad. I woke up at 10:45 then came home. Robert called around midnight and we talked for an hour. And now here I am. Trying to figure out what to do.

I think I'm hungry. I had breakfast at 9 and lunch at 4:30. By the time I got off of work I wasn't hungry. But now I think I am. I need to start saving money on food.

Other recent developments......

I've been asked to present my "About a Boy" sermon to a Sunday School class at First Presbyterian at the end of this month.
There's a birthday party for Tom next Friday in Dallas, but I probably won't make it because of work.
I may be getting a promotion in a couple of weeks to Assistant Store Manager. I'll be competing with two other people who are already ASM's, but at different stores.
Last night I had a very cool conversation with Jason about how family past dominates personal present.
Robert tonight predicted I'd be next, after Blake, in our group of friends that gets married. I'm praying he's a true prophet.
I got a haircut yesterday. It's shorter than it's been since I moved to Waco.
I'm stressing about finances, but who isn't? I need to be much better with money.
I'm kind of resigned to the fact that this might be Ed's last year. I'm just enjoying each new show as God brings them my way.

Good night.

Friday, January 09, 2004


After I posted the previous blog I went to and was reminded something I almost forgot.... Ed is moving to Fridays tonight!

So, the previous #1 should read....

1. Today I go to work at 10 and get off (of work, that is) at 7. Afterwards I plan on watching Ed. After that I have no plans, but I'm sure sleep will find it's way into my metaphorical day-planner.
My Schedule

Here's what I'll be doing the next few days.

1. Today I go to work at 10 and get off (of work, that is) at 7. Afterwards I have no plans, but I'm sure sleep will find it's way into my metaphorical day-planner.
2. Tomorrow I wake up whenever the hell I want. I'll probably read a little, watch a little television, maybe nap a little, eat a little. I then go to work at 3 until around midnight.
3. Sunday I have the day off. I'll be at church, which will be celebrating UBC's 9th birthday. Most students will be back in town. After that Kyle and I may go see The Return of the King, which will either be followed by or preceded by a nap-- because I hear the movie is just shy of being 12 hours long.

So as your going through your days, you can think to yourelves what I'm doing.



Jason, blog.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Going Crazy

I just spent the entire morning of my day off wigging out because I couldn't find my drivers liscense. I finally found it, hiding in a strange place in my wallet.

Seven Strangers

I know I'll get hooked on this season of the Real World just like all the other seasons. But, watching the first San Diego episode kind of disappointed me. It's been a long time (probably since the New Orleans season) that they have cast at least a couple of truly original and interesting people. I liked Paris because of the drama surrounding CT and the rest of the roommates. Las Vegas I stopped watching because pornography isn't a good thing for a single Christian guy. What was the one before that? Chicago? I watched, and the September 11 episode was some of the best 30 minutes of television I've ever seen. Before that, New York.... (I may be getting Chicago and New York mixed up, I don't know.) I liked the Mike and Coral storylines... ignorant but knowing it white boy vs. ignorant but not thinking it black girl, and the friendship that ensued from their problems. But none of those casts came close to being as intersting as New Orleans. I think New Orleans was probably the last of the old generation of Real World's.

Jonny Lang

The other day I bought the newest Jonny Lang album called "Long Time Coming." I was a little worried about it for two reasons. First, I heard the album was no longer blues, but more of a rock album. Secondly, I heard Jonny Lang became a Christian, which scared me a little. Because, by and large, Christians don't put out good music.

The album IS much different than his previous stuff, but I still like it. I love this guy's voice. I first heard his music about six years ago, when he was just a skinny teenaged white boy who sounded like a 50 year old black man who had spent many years living hard.

I've bought two cd's so far this year.... Jonny Lang and the Cold Mountain Soundtract. Both have been homeruns.


I hope to post something more significant later today.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Here I Am

Man, it's been so freaking (like the change in vocabulary?) long since I've blogged.... probably a couple of weeks. So, now I'm blogging.


I love my job... in fact it's probably the coolest job I've ever had. But December was a bitch. It's very tiring dealing with 4 x's more people a day than normal, and not being able to get anything done. I was just beat down by the time Christmas came along. I took three naps on Christmas day. I'm glad January is here. Work is already back to normal. And, gastrointestinally, I've been much more regular in January than December. I thought it might bring joy into your life to know that.

Most Notable Events in 2003

These are the things that happened, slowly or otherwise, that I will remember most about 2003, in no particular order.

1. Finally, ONE JOB!
2. My grandmother passing away.
3. Meeting Colin Powell.
4. Jason's wedding.
5. Numerous wonderfully joyful moments babysitting Aver, Jude, and Sutton.
6. Less and less friends.... much stronger friendships.
7. So and so "Removing his Endorsement."
8. Country music becoming my primary default setting.
9. Reading "You Shall Know Our Velocity" by Dave Eggers.
10. Ed proposing to Carol (I know, I know, it's not real. Whatever.)

Funny Christmas Story

Racism isn't funny, but ignorance can be. My uncle Jackie (my favorite of all my dad's 8 living brothers and sisters,) spent Christmas morning with us. The following is dialogue that happened that morning.

My Dad: So son, what do you have planned for the next few days?
Me: Well, I've got to work for the next few days. Sunday after I get off I'm taking Blake to Austin, since he's flying out the next day.
Dad: Oh, yeah, Blake. I think I saw him last week.
Me: Really, where?
Dad: At the Atlanta (Texas High School) football game.
Me: You should have said hi to him, he would have loved that.
Dad: I thought about it, but I couldn't remember if that was him or not.
Uncle Jackie: You went to the football game?
Dad: Yeah.
Uncle Jackie (without a hint of sarcasm or irony.): Now, Atlanta..... they have some pretty fast jigaboos don't they?

I was floored. I hadn't heard that word to describe a black person since I was a kid. My uncle isn't racist, just ignorant.