Thursday, August 31, 2006

Firt Nap...

I picked Jane up this morning at 10:00. We played in the back yard for a couple of hours. I'm trying to start training early, so we've already pactices "Sit," and "Go Potty." I put some toys in her crate to get her to walk in and out of it. When she started to look sleepy I coaxed her into it, closed the gate, then left the room. The most difficult thing was to not go save her when she started crying. It didn't take too long, however, for her to calm down and take her first nap. She was so tired!

Yep, I feel like a parent already.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I'm at the Texas Tea & Coffee House in McGregor. I came here while Robert is taking a test at Dell. Several minutes ago a group of ladies took their place a couple of tables behind me. I paid them no attention. I just got out of my seat to empty my bladder (in the restroom.) On the way back I noticed one of the ladies at the table is none other than than the world's most famous war protester, Cindy Sheehan.

I want to go up to her and tell her I'm sorry for the loss of her son. Sad thing is, she probably has people say that all the time to her from both ends of the political spectrum. Some are sorry for her loss because they believe it a horrible war. Some are sorry for her loss because they believe it a just war. As I'm listening to her speak to her friends about average everyday things, I wonder if anyone shares her pain for any other reason than to further their politial position.

I sure hope so.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's a Girl!...

I grew up surrounded by animals. My mom is that "cat lady" that existed in every town any of you have ever lived in. We had dogs as well, but the house swarmed with cats. People in and out of town knew that 513 Neches Street was a place they could drop their unwanted animlas and have assurance they would be treated well. My mom would open the door to grab the morning paper and, oh, what do we have hear? She would pick it up and have it named before she turned around to bring it back into the house. We were animal people.

I've never lived in a place since I moved away from home that is conducive to raising a pet. Until now.

I've made about a half-dozen trips to the Waco Humane Society over the past few days and I've bit the bullet. I'm the proud papa of a little black labrador retriever. I can't pick her up until tomorrow or Thursday, as she has to get spaid and vaccinated, but I already feel different, like a new person.

I gave the Lake kids the responsibility of naming the puppy. If I got a boy puppy the boys could name it, and they decided on "Sharky." If it was a girl, Avery got the honors. A girl it is and Avery has christened her "Jane."

Pictures of Craig and Jane will be up within the week.

Friday, August 25, 2006

We're all we've got...

If you found yourself in a town where 100 degree temperatures are the norm, what would you do? If there are no places to find high culture and live music that puts the masses to shame, what would you do? How would you deal living in a town that has tons of corporate chains but few places in which the owners go to bed fretting over how to make their customers, their neighbors, happy? When every place is baked with the sterility of pre-fab walls and drowning in religious pretension and piety, what do you do?

You find yourself surrounded by friends. The salt of the earth. Top-shelf personalities who know the power of a Friday afternoon happy hour and the joy that comes from deliberately choosing to be with each other. You raise your glasses to the fact that you have chosen this place. This place that others find repulsive and worthy of passing by. You tell yourself this place is just fine, thank you very much, and that the people in this place are people sung about in the most profound songs sung by people independent of anyone wishing to place chains on creative energy.

You raise your glasses and celebrate each other.

Here's to us.

Some Party...

I was attending a party held in my junior high cafeteria celebrating the impending nuptials of Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock. It was during lunchtime of a school day and I was hanging out with my friends and also the members of Rascal Flatts. The server came to our table to offer food, water, and cocaine. I chose the cocaine and asked Pamela (we were on a first name basis, so I called her Pam) if she had a dollar bill I could use. She rolled her eyes in a manner which suggested her words would be "Silly Craig," then nodded to the tray in her hand which had tightly rolled twenty dollar bills in a nice spread, like they were cold cuts. The entire table laughed, myself included, while I took one of the bills and started snorting away.

Several people from my past came by to hang out and I wanted to act as if I had not been snorting cocaine, and I think I fooled them, even though my speech was slurred.

What a crazy dream.

(Disclaimer: The was just a dream. I have never met any of the aforementioned celebrities, nor has any amount of cocaine ever entered my body.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Like It's 1999...

I had an office in 1999. It was located in the BSM office at ETBU in Marshall, TX. Danael, Jessica, and I were hanging out doing I can't remember what. The radio was on and placed on one of those 80's, 90's, and Today stations. (Although, it was probably a 70's, 80's, and Today station at the time.)

A song began and we all three recognized the tune. It was Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five's "ABC." We all looked at each other simultaneously. There was no pause. Not a moment of hesitation nor of second guessing. We knew what needed to be done and we did it. We jumped out of our seats and danced like we hadn't danced since we were kids.

To this day it goes down as one of the top five holiest moments of my life. It was vitality defined.

These are the moments I long for. The nod across the room to someone who knows what I'm going through. The raising of the glass and hugging of the neck. The deep breath in the midst of depressing daily life situations. The dance and the wink. This is the ground Jesus treads on, and the ground I hope to find more and more.

My Space...

I've been told it's addicting, and have found it to be true. I finally have a MySpace up and running. However, fret not my dear friends. This is still my blog home and will be my central operating place. MySpace is

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I'm sitting in Common Grounds with my good friend Robert Butler, who has made my week by coming into Waco to grace me with his presence for a day or so. Robert is a wayfarer. His home is wherever the wind blows (providing there is a McDonalds in close vicinity.) As always, he's trying to figure out what he should do with his life. I thought I'd the pose the question to you, my faithful readers. So here is the poll:

What should Robert Butler do with his life?

a.) Continue to stay on the road and run away from God's will for his life.
b.) Move back to Atlanta, TX and run away from God's will for his life.
c.) Follow God's will for his life and find a job in Waco, TX.

(Poll is not scientific.)

Monday, August 21, 2006


I used to be bothered at church during the first couple of weeks of the fall semester. I felt like an animal at the zoo. But not an elephant or giraffe. Just a plain-jane-run-of-the-mill animal who is generally asleep when all the spectators file past on their way to the main event animals like lions and tigers.

But this year I felt different. I was actually comfortable mingling around the zoo. I finally realized that it's actually good for some people to see the lions and tigers. For some the lions and tigers got them there but they will become fascinated with the diversity of the animal kingdom and will stick around to play and make noises and create offensive odors, like all good zoo animals do.

Others will leave once the lions and tigers go to other zoos. They will be content with listening to the lion's roar through their ipods and settling into an environment that is a little more tame and safe than that of the zoo, where you can never be sure if the lions and tigers are around, and you aren't quite comfortable with how all the other zoo creatures act.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Getting Strong Now...

What did I do on my first full day as the owner of a laptop that comes with a DVD player? (The technology still baffles me.) I did what anyone in their right mind would do. I purchased the original Rocky and when I got off from work late last night I watched it.

In case you didn't know, 2006 marks the 30th anniversary of the greatest movie ever made. I plan on celebrating this milestone by fully immersing myself once again in the great Rocky story by watching every sequel, except of course the horrid fifth installment-- which from this moment forth with never be mentioned again, until that great and glorious day on December 22 when Rocky Balboa is released.

I've long shown a fondness for the underdog stories. It's inevitable growing up in a small town that you will latch on to those narratives that legitimize your place on the margins of society. Those born with privilege (be it financial or an abnormally healthy family structure) can afford to theorize their inner struggles through academia, cope with them through therapy, or ignore them altogether by gathering as many props around them as possible to create an alternate story. I am not slighting these people for being in the situation they have found themselves in. I do not envy them, but I do not shame them either.

The underdog, however, is forced to face his or her demons with nothing more than some hidden inner resolve and a little help from his or her friends. The great thing about the Rocky stories isn't that an underdog defeats Creed, Lang, or Drago, but that this guy from the slums stands toe to toe with himself and, with the support of other assorted misfits, ends up still standing in the end.

In fact, this "still standing" theme is at the heart of the original Rocky. Most people forget that Rocky didn't win the World Title until the second movie. The first one was all about the Italian Stallion's resolve to go all 15 rounds with Apollo Creed. Just before the fight with Creed, Rocky confesses to Adrian that there is no way he can win. She asks him what he'll do (implying what he will do with this realization,) and he makes this statement which brings me to tears every time I see it...

"Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

How beautiful is that?

In the Ragamuffin Gospel Brennan Manning speaks of the Victorious Limp,which is the idea that the victorious life found by following Christ looks less like the Power Team ripping phonebooks in half and bending steel bars and more like Rocky Balboa, battered and bleeding, struggling just to stand up at the end of the 15th round. Defeated, but still standing.

I guess this is all any of us can hope for. Only a few can be winners. I'll be content with just standing at the end.

In the meantime, I'll be praying to Burgess Meredith, the patron saint of the Rocky Franchise, that Rocky Balboa is worth the wait.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Officially Emergent...

I have now joined the ranks of Jason Edwards, Harris Bechtol, Rob Bell and numerous other Emergent luminaries. No, I have not suddenly developed washboard abs, grown my hair out into a mop, nor am I sporting horn-rimmed glasses.

I, my friends, am the owner of a brand new laptop computer. Sorry Dell fellows, the dude over at Best Buy sold the hell out of my gullible ass and I couldn't wait the 3-5 days for delivery. I knew what I wanted and I wanted it then.

When I was a kid I told myself that when I became a grown up and went to the toy store, I would not require myself to wait until I got home to open up the product. Well I'm a grown up and it's time to fulfill the promise. I drove myself to the nearest wireless connection, Panera Bread, and opened this bad boy up to begin being truly postmodern.

Let the coffee shop blogging begin!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Just checking in. Still no cable at the house. That's really no big deal, however, since by the time I get home every day I'm ready to crash. I'm writing from the Downtown library, looking over my shoulder to dodge stray bullets.

I'm considering going into a new line of work. Any suggestions? (It has to be something that can pay the bills.)