Tuesday, August 31, 2004

How My Week's Going...

This has been an extremely hectic week at work. September through January in retail is packed full of changes. Projects continually pile up that have to get done by tomorrow, but can't get done until project 'x' gets done, which can't get done until coworker 'y' get's finished with project 'q.' It gets very confusing. I spent the whole day taking books off of one table. One table, I tell you.

On top of work stuff this is the first week of Sunday School and Community groups. Since I'm co-leading one of each, I've been busy with beginning of semester logistics stuff. We had a wonderful group on Sunday for Messy Spirituality. It seems like there are tons of people who are standing in the same place I am spiritually, which is to say after a few years of questioning and reconsidering and attacking and modifying and grieving over what was lost, and now asking the question "What now?" I'm excited with the possibility of finding out.

Sunday night I finished "Mystic River." What a powerful look into human nature. Had someone lend me the movie today, but probably won't get to see it until at least Thursday of this week.

On top of the busy work week and church stuff, the Republican National Convention is going on. And I'm missing most of it because of busy-ness. Kind of ironic that I got to see most of the Democratic Convention and little of the Republican. You know, because I'm a Republican.

I'm out of stuff. I know some of you probably read for insightful stuff, which I used to write more of. But I'm at a point where I need to wade back through the circumstantial perfunctories before I have anything real to share.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Thoughts Written Down Before Work...

-- I've had good response lately for my non-paragraphical (or is it parenthetical) posts.
-- So I'm doing it again.
-- I like approval.
-- I'm tearing through "Mystic River" right now. It's the first book I've read before I've seen the movie.
-- It is very intense. So much so that my dreams over the past two nights have been much more vivid and alive.
-- I would say that makes for a good book.
-- Why is it ok for John Kerry to come home from Vietnam and immediately accuse his fellow vets of rape, torture, and murder (while they were still in danger,) but not ok for his fellow vets to question his service over 30 years after the fact?
-- I think both sucks. But only one of the previous groups are getting crap for it.
-- I've realized lately that there is nothing to look forward to.
-- When you're young, you're always looking forward to something.
-- Me, I'm just continuing.
-- When I leave work today I'll drive as far down the parking lot toward Linens 'N Things and the gas station before I get on Waco drive.
-- That makes it easier to squeeze in, due to the line of cars waiting for the red light.
-- I'll do that today because that's what I always do.
-- It's my thing.
-- I've got several things.
-- I'll come home for lunch, check email, blogs, news, go sit down in front of the tv and either watch it or take a nap in front of it, then grab a bite to eat before I go back to work.
-- That's also my thing.
-- One day soon I'll tell you more of my things.
-- But right now I must go to work.
-- Have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Random Thoughts in Response Ben's Last Post and the Sojourners Cartoon...

-- I am a Christian.
-- This November, I will be voting for George W. Bush.
-- Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are Christians.
-- This November they will be voting for George W. Bush.
-- I cannot stand Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell.
-- Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell believe that God has ordained the presidency of George W. Bush.
-- I think that's a sack of shit.
-- I'm still voting for George W. Bush.
-- It's clear that Sojourners, while seeking to present an image of bipartisanship, is trying to steer more moderate-to-left leaning Christians in the direction of John Kerry.
-- They do this by implying an "either/or" mentality that people accuse Bush of exploiting.
-- EITHER you want to elimate poverty in the way we think you should do it OR you don't care about the poor.
-- EITHER you care about the environment in the same way we care about the environment OR you hate the environment and want to rape the earth.
-- EITHER you want peace to occur by using our methods, OR you hate peace and love war and violence.
-- EITHER you support John Kerry, OR you are a follower of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and will support Bush because they told you to.

-- I don't mind people being bipartisan and open minded.
-- I hate people pretending to be bipartisan and open minded.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Here I Go...

This is where I, being devoid of any creative juices, list off random things about what's going on with me.

1. The realization has begun to sink in that in just two weeks from this Thursday, I will have completed three decades on this earth. The decades have been good, for the most part. Only a few scratches and bruises. The last one was much better than the first two. Perhaps a foreshadowing of better decades to come? We'll see. I'll be grateful for them all.

2. I've been reading George Marsden's biography of Jason and Blake's great great, etc., etc., grandfather Jonathan. It's very interesting. Particularly interesting are the religious and social undertones going on in the Puritanical churches of New England. I think that understanding Edwards will, in some small ways, help me understand myself.

3. Still working on the sitcom pilot. I've got some good stories, just working on characters.

4. This fall looks to be fun. I'm ready for September and October to be over. Ready for cool breezes. November is the best month because of Thanksgiving and football and the first hint of cold. (Texas cold, anyway.) I'll be leading a Sunday School class with Harris and Valerie called "Messy Spirituality," where we'll be exploring what Part 2 of "deconstruction" might look like. In other words, now that we have been Christians who drink and cuss, what now? We'll be visiting spiritual disciplines. I'm excited about it.

Pizza Politics and Prayer (formerly Coffee and Culture) promises to be very lively this year as well, with the election and everything. That'll be Wednesday nights.

5. Speaking of football, I'm participating in my first fantasy league. Knowing I wouldn't be able to make the live draft, I set up a preference sheet which dictated who I got. Not being at the draft, I still landed some pretty good players. I snagged Jamal Lewis which, barring any flirtations with the woundrous white powder, should be my best pick. Other great catches were Donavan McNabb, Keyshawn Johnson (who should have a good year underParcells,) and the Raven's defense.

6. After adding a few pounds in celebration of Blake and Karla's wedding, I'm back on the losing train. Hoping to lose about 20 more pounds by the end of the year.

7. I've followed the Olympics more this year than I did in '00. As I write this I'm hearing the National Anthem play in the background. Call me crazy and a simpleton, but I get tears in my eyes every time I see an American on the podium.

8. That's it for now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I Need a Hobby...

You want to know who impresses me? People who do stuff. They impress me. If you are in the business of doing stuff, I'm genuinely impressed. You are my hero.

I've been watching the Olympics off and on. The marquee event on NBC lately has been swimming. Have you seen this? I could look up the fancy terminology, but my comments come down to one statement: Those muh fuh's are FAST! I watch Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe race and the only thoughts I have are "Wow. Fast," and "Wouldn't it suck to have an erection in those tight outfits in front of all those people."

Tonight I (a heterosexual,) and my friend Jason(also a heterosexual,) watched gymnastics. Man, you should see all the stuff those little girls do. They were doing all this stuff and the only thing we could say was "Wow. Did you see that? With the, and the, and the no hands thing, and spinning around in the air, with, like, no hands....... AWE-SOME."

Christy was painting cool things for her Community Leaders. I was very impressed. The stuff she was doing was very artistic. Artistic stuff is good stuff. All I could say was "Wow. That's cool. With the..., and the, like, colors and stuff. And the, you know, with good handwriting. That's some good stuff."

Aaron and Myles and Keith do really cool stuff with their minds. They write stuff down and I'm very impressed. They believe stuff and know how to communicate that stuff to others. It's really cool.

My roommate Tom runs like, I don't know, eighty, ninety, miles in the rain and calls it his "short run." His stuff is hard. He does stuff that makes me lose my breath.

Jen raises eight or nine kids, keeps the Lake house spotless, and finds time to, like Christy, do artistic stuff. I'm very impressed by all the stuff she does.

Jason does ministry stuff. I used to could do cool ministry stuff like he does, but I don't think I could do it. He's really good at the stuff he does. (Yeah, I really think you are.)

For over twenty years my sister has written at least a letter a week to missionaries who have birthdays. She hasn't missed a week. Ever. That's some neat stuff right there.

I don't do enough stuff.

Don't pity me. I know, I know. I'm good at stuff. People. Politics. Books. Television. But I don't see that as doing stuff. Maybe it is, who knows.

So here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to become an actor. Waco has a Civic Theater and they take auditions from the public, and I'm going to audition.

My dream of being an actor goes way back to around 5:00 this evening when I heard an interview on NPR with Phylicia Rashad (Clair Huxtable,) who is in a play right now. They played clips of her performance and, wow. It was....so....cool. So the stuff I'm about to do is acting stuff. I'm also about to start writing a script for a sitcom. But after that, I'm going to become an actor.

This morning I considered becoming a synchronized diver, but, you know... the erection thing. So, an actor it is.
Just Like Rip...

After work and working out yesterday I came home without a thing on the agenda. So I did my ritual emailing and checking out blogs, then lay on the couch to watch a couple of episodes of friends. I thought I might spend the evening watching the Olympics after that. But when 7:00 rolled around, I realized how tired I was. Remembering the after school naps I used to take in high school, and how happy they made me feel, I decided I'd go to sleep for about an hour then wake up and blog and read some before I go to bed for good.

Ten and a half hours later I woke up, refreshed as ever. I finally caught up on sleep I missed in Seattle.

I really wish I had something better to tell you today, but I don't. So feel happy that you're "in the know" when it comes to my sleep patterns.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Today's Words...

After months of planning and anticipation, I travelled to Seattle last week for Blake and Karla's wedding. The times spent with them and old friends were rich and fulfilling. It is in times like those where God peaks G0d's head into our reality and says "peekaboo." And we are awed.

After weeks of waiting, I attended Avery and Sutton and Jude's birthday party last night. You haven't known fun until you've been to a kids party as an adult. It is in times like those where God peaks God's head into our reality and says "peekaboo." And we are overjoyed.

After an intereting conversation on Tuesday night about the links between family and community, and how the contemporary reality of being seperated from your family becomes a difficult row to hoe, my dad called me to let me know a cousin of mine (who I haven't seen in years) passed away, and that the family wants me to be a pallbearer. It is in times like this where God peak's God's head into our reality and says "peekaboo." And we are humbled.

So I'll be headed to East Texas today. Here's hoping your 24 hour block is awe-inspiring, joyous, and humbling.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Impartiality of Water (An Ode to the West Seattle Seven)...
Seven stand
At the shore
All are full
All want more
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
Across the way
The city stares
Our confusion
She will not share
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
One is bound
ToUncle Sam
One is worried
About the damned
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
One awaits
For his bride
Three have theirs
By their side
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
One can't seem
To find his way
Six can't wait
To see the day
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
On second thought
We all are lost
Slaves to want
Slaves to cost
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
Seven hearts
Long for home
Where the deer
And 'dillos roam
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
The one who writes
Has come to learn
Most will leave
And not return
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
Seven are bound
By God and chance
All have heart
All will dance
The waves don't care. Splash...Splash
Seven stand
At the shore
All are full
All want more
And the waves don't care. Splash...Splash.
Days Go By...

I'm still trying to find some time to write about last week, but it's not showing up.

So, while you're waiting, check out my new favorite song by Keith Urban.


Around top center is "Days Go By." Click "Hear It."

P.S.-- Listen to it loud.

Monday, August 09, 2004


My assumption has been that the post Blake and Karla's wedding week would usher in a blogging Renaissance on my bahalf, much as the months following Jason and Christy's wedding. I'm sure it will, I've just been too tired the past couple of days. I never got more than a few hours of sleep last week. Got in late on Saturday. After church on Sunday I took a 3 1/2 hour nap, went to see Shrek 2 with Tim, then slept from around 10:30 last night to 9:30 this morning.

The parents are coming at 11:00.

But stay tuned. I am working on a poem in my head as well as stories from the trip, and other musings inspired by a week with old friends.


Monday, August 02, 2004

Happy Trails, Until...

It'll be at least a few days until I'm able to blog again. With the recent infrequencies of my writing, however, it won't feel much different. I'm off to Seattle tomorrow for my good friend Blake Edwards' wedding. Looking forward to a joyful reunion with old friends.

In the meantime, I leave you with the best advice I can think of, straight from the mouth of one of America's finest poets, Tim McGraw...

Love Deeper
Speak Sweeter.