Sunday, April 29, 2007

When It Comes to Predictions, I am “King of the Hill.”

Normally, I don’t write in the blog on weekends. I have other things that demand my time then plus I usually want to take a break from thinking. However, today I must make an exception.

I have been doing rather well in the prediction department. I made a number of predictions for 2007 in this blog way back in January. I already reviewed this a little last month. However, something happened today that was so mind-numbing concerning the accuracy of my predictions, that it made me come out of my weekend repose, to write about it on a Sunday.

Two of these predictions will come to fruition on this very day; and another Thursday Thirteen post has influenced the future making it THREE blog references in all. Are you ready to be blown away? Here are the three:

Prediction #3 - A celebrity will convert to Christianity and will talk too much about it.

Prediction #7 - There will be a surge in video game playing among baby boomers - and there will surface one particular game that will usher these people in.

And From TT #12 “Rejected TT Topics”

Topic #8 – Thirteen Uses for Propane

This all comes to pass through tonight’s NEW “King of the Hill” show on Fox. Here is the synopses taken from the newspaper’s TV Preview magazine:

When Bill survives the root caving in over his bed, he immerses himself in church activities; Hank becomes addicted to a video game about propane.

It is nice to know that I so attuned to Fox animated television series. I am sure there is a market for it somewhere – in another universe, perhaps.




Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #14 - Anniversary Edition

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of this blog. So, today starts year #2. I decided that in honor of that, I would use TT to highlight my favorite posts in this blog from the past year. This is MY favorites, not necessarily the best.

Before I get to that, I am also proud to announce that my new blog (the spiritual one) was launched yesterday. Quite by accident, both my blogs have the same anniversary date a year apart. What is pathetic is that I first started talking about writing a new blog way back in November. Well, better late than never.

Okay, the thirteen favorite blog entries over the past year (in no particular order):

1. Ode to My Mother, Part I and Ode to My Mother, Part II
These were important to me for obvious reasons. My mom is the best!

2. TT #5 - Random Childhood Memories
I like this one because it was writing. I don't know really how to explain that, but those of you who relish writing will know what I mean. I also liked the trip.

3. Self Examination
I liked this one because it was relevent. That was one thing I thought I was missing. Besides, it made a mermaid cry.

4. TT #4 - 2007 Predictions
I went out on a limb here and already I don't look too stupid - thanks to Anna Nicole Smith (RIP).

5. American Idol Judges Biased Against Christianity
This one has substance and I took a chance that some would think I was ridiculous. Fortunately, those that did kept it to themselves. :)

6. An Unlikely Meeting
I liked this because it was my hand at fiction. I think this was the only post of its kind on my blog. I should try something like this again.

7. Griffey
A sentimental favorite. I miss my buddy.

8. Christmas, Think About It
This was important to me. It is this kind of post that will find its way to my other blog.

9. Worn Out
I can't put my finger on it, but I just liked this one. It was satirical and I was able to vent a little. Or, maybe it was the picture I chose. :)

10. TT #13 - A Lost Art
I actually thought there was humor in this one and that was important to me at the time (and now).

11. This and That
I am not sure why I like this one either, but I do. Maybe because of the spontanaety of it.

12. Depression
This was a needed post. I felt that my entries were too fluffy at the time. Plus, this just needed to be addressed.

13. TT #7 - Celebrity Crushes
I liked this one because it set the record for the amount of feedback I got. Plus, it irritated Two Right Hands that I got so much feedback on a fluff piece. I also liked finding the pics of my old, out-of-reach flames.

I did notice that most of my favorites are pretty recent. Maybe I WAS just having a bad day the day I lamented my crappy blog.




Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Little Indulgence Today

I thought I would take time today to touch on a hodge podge of things on my mind. My wife is on my mind a lot lately, because she is . . . interesting. As some of you know, I was married six months ago. My relationship with my wife has been interesting at the least. Here are some incidents that have happened over the past few days:


For the past few weeks, my wife has maintained that she isn't sure we should have kids and have been leaning towards NOT having any. I haven't been thrilled with that, but I know her opinion on it blows like the wind so I haven't really gotten into it with her much. She claimed it is because of her depression and the strong possibility of PPD. I found out Sunday, that those reasons weren't really the main reasons. She wants to stay home with the kids and I have maintained that we couldn't afford it. We had an eye on buying a particular beautiful house. Now, she is willing to get a lesser house if she can stay home with kids. I agreed. I am not aversed to her staying home, I just want to be able to pay bills. I think I can swing it with a lesser house. I hate giving up the big beautiful house, but that isn't as important as raising a family right - assuming we are good parents. She is thrilled.


So thrilled, is she, that she has been BUGGIN' about starting the family since then. We have some bills to pay off, two houses to sell, but she is ready to go right now. She made me, off the cuff, give her a timeline which I said that we COULD MAYBE start trying by the end of the year IF certain conditions have been met. I also told her that if she threw that up in my face or passive aggressively punished me because it didn't work out that soon, I would turn into the baby Nazi and proclaim, "No baby for you!! Come back, ONE YEAR!!" (Seinfeld reference, for those of you keeping score at home).


She is also irritated at me now because I told her that she shouldn't call me much during the day. We changed cell providers last fall because we could get a 23% discount because of her volume discount she gets with her employer. I don't want to mention the provider, but it hasn't worked out AT ALL. It was suppose to drop our payments from about $85 to about $65 per month, but it only worked that way once. Not only that, but the reception is horrid. Usually, the bills are about the same as the old provider, but last month it was $145. Ridiculous. I can get free calls after 7 pm and on weekends, but everyone wants to call me during the workweek in the daytime. The good friends call me on one of my office phones; that is perfectly fine. NO ONE calls my caell on the weekends. I want someone to call me on a Saturday afternoon one time to just say "hi". I can go whole weekends without as much as a wrong number. Pathetic.


So she gets mad because a wife should be able to call her husband. I told her that if I was a factory worker she couldn't call me at all. She reminded that I am NOT a factory worker so I told her to play makebelieve and picture me at Whirlpool - a local factory. She isn't happy about it, but it will cost $400 to break the contract. So, in 18 short months, we are changing our provider!! Yippee!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Self Examination

I really had to have some coffee this morning. I guess I slept okay, but I had dreams that wore me out. I hate it when I have dreams like that. I had a dream I was traveling across Alaska. I wake up exhausted.

Then, I need coffee. Coffee. I even like the term as comes out of my mouth. Coffee. Say, "Wanna get some coffee?" out loud. It just sounds appealing, doesn't it? I know that only about 30% of you actually said it out loud. That's okay. The rest of you think you are too cool to say it out loud. Well, you're not. ;)

I don't want to get too far off the track about self examination. Last week there was a great tragedy in the country. I resisted writing about Virgina Tech because I didn't feel I really had much to add. What was left to say that hadn't already been said? I found out that maybe there were other reasons for my blog silence concerning it. At church yesterday we were supposed to start a new series about Evolution and Creation. We didn't. The minister spent the whole time on Virgina Tech and how we should deal with it.

The crux of it was that we should mourn with those that are mourning. The pastor was emotional during the service as he reminded us that Jesus, although He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, was so touched by Lazarus' family and friends' grief, that He cried with them. We should have a heart so tender.

A ton of people at church became emotional as we relived the tragedy. Not me. I am ashamed to admit it, but when I heard about the shooting, I was more curious than touched. Sure, I was sad for that community, but it didn't cause me to mourn. Neither did the church service about it cause me to get upset like many others there.

I am not sure why I wasn't more touched. Perhaps it is the nature of my job. People come to me everyday and tell me how they lost their job unfairly. To these people, it is their whole life and livlihood that is lost. For me, if I am not careful, it is just another case number. I literally pray everyday for the compassion to come out when I meet with these clients. Thankfully, God helps me to find that empathy. I shudder to think how it would be without this kind of communion with God.

Now, because of my experience at church, I add to that daily prayer, "God please do not allow my heart to harden, not only for my clients, but for my fellow man."




Friday, April 20, 2007

Cup of Cheer

I had something kind of serious I was going to post today, but I just don't feel like it. Here's why. I am way tired. Yesterday, I cut three lawns, watched a long-ish movie, and then engaged in other physical things before actually being able to retire.

I guess it is good kind of tired, though. Today in Kentuckiana is a sunny delight of a day. Clear skies and 70 degrees. I don't have a lot of real work to do on a Friday, today, so I am in a pretty good and relaxed mood.


There are a couple of concerns I have on my mind, though. One is my coffee consuption. I may be an addict. I remember a time when coffee was just an option. I would get a cup if it were handy. I would only sip on it for a while and rarely did I finish one cup. Now, I slurp it down like Kool-Ade. I even think about how I can get coffee. For instance, last night I thought that when I go to check on my mother late at night, I can prepare her coffee maker so I will have some when I get there in the morning. I did and it was good.

I don't really know what it is. It isn't the caffeine as that drug doesn't effect me. Last week I went to a bachelor party at a local bar. I drank two caffeine-laden diet cokes and then six (count 'em) SIX coffees. Then, at only about midnight, I went home to bed - fell asleep in seconds. Plus, I usually drink de-caff at work, so . . . I don't know.

The other thing on my mind is that I am sitting here hammering out this post at my office and I am STARVING! I even had breakfast today! Why am I so hungry? Because this weekend is Tri-Fest in this town. There are blocks of food booths about 50 yards from my location right now. Somehow the smell of food is getting into the ventilation system in my building and it is working on me! I will be down there at lunch trying to find the 5% of the total food options that my diet will allow. What is Tri-Fest you may ask? I have no idea, but there is food involved. Hmm . . . I wonder if anyone is selling coffee down there.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #13 - A Lost Art

Thirteen Reasons I have lost my sense of humor

1. I lose everything. Have you seen my keys?
2. There is nothing funny about marriage unless it is someone else’s.
3. It was in my mind when I lost IT (i.e. my mind).
4. I thought I saw it last in my car (you should see my car).
5. Even worse, it might have been in the trunk.
6. I confused the humerOUS with the fibia and now I have an extra leg (I know, it makes its own joke).
7. I thought I was only allowed five so I opted for the sense of smell instead.
8. I was too distracted by spam to notice it was missing.
9. Today’s TV shows poisoned it out of me.
10. I have been reading all YOUR blogs and succumbed to peer pressure.
11. My dog ate it (my teachers never bought that one either).
12. I sold it to the Dutch for some beads.
13. It isn’t lost, just misplaced.

I am wondering if anyone got all thirteen of these. I kind of doubt it. This blog isn’t called “Psychosomatic Wit” nothing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Depression

Who can figure out how a normal person, for no apparent reason, can transform into someone who is one breath away from dramatically changing the lives of everyone around them. Like putting on a costume in the play of life, the character is transformed into a hopeless shell of a human being. It is enough to make Stanislavsky proud.

Depression is a form of selfishness. Am I saying that it isn't a medical problem (i.e. chemical imbalance)? No. For some, it very well may be. It is still selfishness, because by definition, a person dwelling in a state of depression is consumed with the self. It isn't a conscious choice of selfishness. Depression is so debilitating that it leaves one with the notion that he has little choice but to be immersed in the self for survival's sake.
The problem with depression is that it is a disease of the soul. The soul is the intellect + will + emotions of an individual. Depression attacks the soul and causes the person to dwell on the self. There is an old saying, “Misery loves company.” Depression flies in the face of that bromide. Rather, depression is a suspicious spouse, or a jealous best friend. There is no room for anyone else to suffer with it or any other problem, for that matter. No, one with depression can only consider his/her own hopeless state. No one else has the right to have it, lest some focus may be taken off the self.

I never grappled with depression until after I met my wife. That is not to say that my wife has caused my bouts or that my marriage is depressing me. None of that is the case. Despite my blog rants, I am pretty happy with my marriage. I don’t really blog about the good times so much. The troubled spots are easier to analyze and that is what I do, but I digress. Before the past couple of years, I never actually had to deal with depression. Sure, I had sad times. I was sad when appropriate, maybe even downright despondent, but there were always reasons. It was part of the natural cycle of being human in a fallen world. However, depression is another matter. Depression is its own entity.

Perhaps my small (and they are relatively small) stints of depression are a form of sympathy pains for my wife. She has struggled intensely with this unnatural despair. Maybe God would have me get some doses of it so I could understand and reach out to her instead of doing what my flesh craved at times which was announcing, “I can’t deal with this; maybe you aren’t ready to have this kind of relationship.”

Whatever the reason, these dates with melancholia are a reality for me now. However, no matter how it feels, complete hopelessness will never take hold. I have found the secret, and I thank God for that revelation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No, Not Just a Bad Day

The past few days I have been considering my blog and not liking what I see. I have considered myself a writer; that’s why I started it. I have always believed that I had something to say. I wanted my blog to help give me the discipline to write a few times per week and to give me an outlet to speak my heart and mind.

But look at it. I don’t say anything. I still have plenty to say; I have just chosen to not say it. Instead, I have indulged myself by whining about my marriage, playing around with Thursday Thirteen, or some other piece of drivel designed to pander and not offend. Somewhere, I have decided to cater to you guys or to keep it relatively safe when it comes to topics.

Last week, I set two personal pageload records back to back. I just don’t know why. I want to ask you why you keep tuning in, but I don’t want to come off like I am begging for compliments, because I am not. Getting a “this should make him feel better about his blog” comment would do more harm than good, I suspect.

I am a writer, damn it! Yet, my blog won’t back me up on this claim. I know it doesn’t.

I thought my blog would be funnier. I have had at least a half dozen people tell me throughout my life that I was the funniest person they knew. Where is that guy now? Over the years, I have lost some comedic qualities. They surface from time to time (rarely in my blog), but it isn’t like it used to be. I guess real life has tainted me.

It is like I have been a victim of a heinous crime. Some evil syndicate has sent agents to distract me with life while other operatives come and steal my humor, voice, and relevance.

I don’t know what will become of this blog. I am not going to quit, but it will be hard for it to remain the same. It is not like I want a new gimmick or meme (hate that word). Actually, it is quite the opposite. I just want to grow a couple so I will actually say what I want to say.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12 - Rejected TT Topics

It is getting more difficult as time goes on to come up with TT topics that I think are worthy of being published. I don't want to get to a place where I am just doing it to be doing it. It would be a waste of my time and for anyone who reads it. There has to be some feature in TT that is either interesting, revealing, or humorus. Hopefully, this list of TT topics that didn't make the cut this week, will have at least a smidgeon of one of these attributes.

1. Thirteen reasons you SHOULD care about the Imus incident.
This didn’t make the cut because I have probably spent too much time on this topic already. Some of the reasons I would include would be that it isn’t about one guy, but more about race relations in general.

2. Thirteen foods that have changed my life.
I couldn’t think of any. I think I could give up anything right now, just not everything.

3. Thirteen girlfriends in my past.
If ever my wife saw this list, then I would be in way too much trouble. My wife enjoys thinking that she is my first love interest (although she knows it isn’t true). I guess we have a “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy.

4. Thirteen dogs that I have had.
I had only eight (three right now).

5. Thirteen love lessons that I have learned from experience.
Actually, I had typed this out once for TT in the past. Then, of course, blogger erased it. It was a lot of work. I may try it again in the future.

6. Thirteen reasons I should file for divorce.
Can’t think of any.

7. Thirteen reasons that I am not yet published.
I may do this in the future, also. Right now it is just too doggone painful to think about it.

8. Thirteen uses for propane.
I can only think of twelve. ;)

9. Thirteen pieces of evidence for the existence of God.
I think I am going to reserve this for the other blog that I haven’t started yet about spiritual things – if that ever happens. Besides, it would be tough narrowing it down to thirteen.

10. Thirteen cars that I wish I was driving instead of the piece of crap I am stuck with now.
Too self-indulgent, uninteresting, and depressing.

11. Thirteen places that I COULD be living if things had turned out differently in my life.
Thought of this one late. I may do this in the future.

12. Thirteen characters that I can make with hand puppets.
Can only think of one and it is a snake – boring.

13. Thirteen reasons I should discontinue Thursday Thirteen.
May do this one in the future, also. This list would be #1.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Midweek's


A NEW RECORD


Yesterday set a record for pageloads in a day for this blog. I think that is great, but I can’t for the life of me figure how all those hits yielded only one comment (thanks chosha, btw). It was a controversial topic; do you folks shy away from that sort of thing? What’s your theory?


IMUS UPDATE


Speaking of yesterday’s post, I was watching this morning an interview with the Rutgers coach and team. They said that Don Imus’ statement really hurt them. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Most of them, I would bet, never heard of the guy before this came about (my wife hadn’t). What would give this 68-year-old nonfactor so much power in their lives? However, I am not African-American nor have I ever been publicly attacked. Therefore, I have no standing in judging whether or not these women have the “right” to be hurt. No one has to qualify her feelings. They just are. I am sorry that these women were offended and I am glad that Imus has been suspended.

On another front of the same story, I still find Al Sharpton’s (and now Jesse Jackson’s) call for Imus’ termination a little disingenuous. As I mentioned yesterday, neither is calling for a boycott of Jay-Z’s records. On top of that, both men have had similar offenses in their pasts. Jackson referred to heavily Jewish populated New York as “Heimytown” and Sharpton accused a prosecutor of conspiring against his client by participating in the rape and abduction of her (Tawana Brawly) when it turned out that the whole crime was fabricated. I don’t see Jackson or Sharpton resigning their positions. There is enough hypocrisy to go around concerning this issue and too many glass houses.


SANJAYA FEVER (or sickness)


Now, on to more important things like American Idol: I have really not been compelled to comment on it. My personal favorite, Chris Sligh, was voted off a couple of weeks ago. He was the heavy-set, kinky-haired, comedian-type guy. However, a new phenomenon has surfaced and drew me back in. It is Sanjaya. By most accounts, he is the least worthy of being the American Idol. However, there has been a rising movement of haters that bad-mouth and disparage this 17-year-old singer that has really gotten my ire up. My wife is one of these haters. Those of you that have kept up with this blog know by now that my wife isn’t the most compassionate woman in the world. This Sanjaya thing has given me the opportunity to explore this with her without myself being the target of her hate. I actually got her to admit that she believes that this poor kid has no right to compete – NO RIGHT! Amazing.

You may not like Sanjaya. Fine. Don’t vote for him. However, to blame this kid for trying is ridiculous. He isn’t keeping himself in. All he is doing is going out there and doing his best. Leave him alone and go vote for someone else. My wife thinks he should quit. Do you? It is causing me to pull for him now although I have NEVER voted for anyone and don’t see that I will any time soon.


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME


Speaking of my wife (wow, these transitions have been too easy), it is our six-month anniversary (for lack of a better term) today. We were not going to make a big deal about it – just a nice dinner and movie. However, there are NO romantic movies out now! Can you believe it? I don’t know what we are going to see – if we see anything at all, but you would think there would be at least one romantic comedy out there. I did buy her three classic Audrey Hepburn movies last night, but we are definitely going out so they will keep for another time.


BLOGGER BLUES


I maintain my dislike for blogger. This is the second time I wrote this post. One slip of the pinky and it was all gone. So, you guys will never know how interesting and eloquent the original post really was. You will just have to take my word for it. I know, I know, I should have typed in Word first (I am right now). But should I have to? Is it so hard to make the posts retrievable or more secure from finger slippage? Well, it is free so I guess I shouldn’t gripe. Plus, I don’t want to get back on that “word verification” thing. Some folks say they have suffered spam or stuff, but I think that it is the worse thing. It really eats up my time when I read and comment on a lot of blogs in one sitting.


ARE YOU COUNTED?


One last thing: Speaking of blogger, I asked this before and no one really responded. However, if I have commented on your blog and do not list you in my blogroll, let me know. I will try to add you – if I can figure it out. I haven’t really updated it so if you want listed, let me know. If you don’t really care, then I don’t either.







Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Don Imus

I don’t know if you heard, but nationally known broadcaster that hosts a popular radio talk show called “Imus in the Morning”, Don Imus is in the news. He got into a little bit of trouble last week for comments he made about the Rutger women’s basketball team. If you hadn’t heard about it, here is how Wikpedia presents it (which I believe is pretty accurate):

On his "Imus In The Morning" show on 2007-04-04, Imus referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." [13] Imus initially dismissed the incident as "some idiot comment meant to be amusing"[14] but apologized on April 6, 2007 after hearing calls for his dismissal[15][16] and issued a statement on April 6:
"I want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team, which lost to Tennessee in the NCAA championship game on Tuesday. It was completely inappropriate and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry."

Imus appeared on the Rev. Al Sharpton's syndicated radio talk show on Monday, April 9, 2007 to address the Rutgers controversy. He said, "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far. Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it."[17]
Brian Williams announced on the April 9, 2007 broadcast of the NBC Nightly News that Imus will not be simulcasted on MSNBC beginning on April 16, 2007 for two weeks as a result of comments made about the Rutgers Women's Basketball team on the show. Imus has requested a meeting between him and the team.[5]
Also on April 9, 2007, CBS Radio, which owns the New York sports station that produces "Imus in the Morning," announced that it will, too, suspend Imus for two weeks.[18] The MSNBC and CBS Radio announcements came toward the end of a day in which the calls for Imus' dismissal grew louder, despite his pledge to curtail offensive remarks on his show.
__________________________________________________

This morning on the “Today” show, Matt Lauer did an excellent job grilling Imus about it and also had Rev. Al Sharpton on the show. Imus was uncomfortable when answering the questions concerning repeated behavior and whether or not his punishment was sufficient.

Sharpton still is calling for Imus’ dismissal. Sharpton’s view is that anything less promotes this kind of speech. When Lauer asked Sharpton about his Christian duty to forgive, the reverend said that forgiveness doesn’t mean that the person should not be punished severely.

I feel that I am uniquely qualified to comment on this topic. My job centers on promoting positive relationships between groups of people – particularly concerning race. I investigate discrimination cases and sponsor events that encourage race relations. I am also a devout Christian.

Imus messed up, but he also stepped up. He not only has shown contrition for his remarks, but he also willingly got torched on Sharpton’s radio program and has not backed down from any other program that wants to rake him over the coals. He also is trying to meet with the Rutgers women’s basketball team to apologize personally. I think that all this is worth something.

I also get tired of double standards with all this “race language” here in this country. It is tolerable for some people to make certain comments (in music, and black comedy shows), but not others. My opinion is that it is unacceptable for ANYONE to make such comments and the punishments should be consistent across the board. Unless Al Sharpton calls for boycotts of certain hip-hop artists, he shouldn’t be calling for the dismissal and/or boycott of Imus. There is no place for these kind of comments period. At least Imus is apologetic about it and is not avoiding responsibility.

As far as the Christian concept of forgiveness, Sharpton is way off. He says that forgiveness doesn’t mean that someone should not be punished. I agree to an extent, but I would also argue that a two week suspension and the series of grillings and facing up to his mistake IS punishment.

I also would argue that in the examples that Jesus gave of forgiveness, He never called for harsh or harsher punishment for offenders. The woman that was caught in adultery, Jesus (instead of calling for the Law’s appropriate punishment of stoning) forgave the woman and sent her on her way. On the cross, Jesus told the Father to forgive the people who were executing them. Forgiveness is pure and has no conditions.
Imus made a mistake and took his flippant attitude too far. People were offended. I just hope that if I make similar mistake (and some may think I am making it with this post), one comment wouldn’t cost me my livelihood.


Monday, April 09, 2007

All Good Things . . .

For those of you keeping track, I was on vacation last week. My post "Burnt Offerings" explained how I was burned out at work and needed a break. It also, quite ironically, praised my wife for being such a support. "Ironically," you may ponder? "What is so ironic about that?"
The irony is that the title of this entry isn't pointing to my vacation ending (it sucked); it is pointing to the supportive wife part.
On Tuesday of last week (my first full day of vacation), the little woman decides it is time for me to verbally attack my family. I don't want to get into the details too much because it is personal and beside the point, but let's just say that I was in no mood to pile on with the attacks. Being upset, and being convinced that she doesn't "get" (or for that matter have any interest in getting) the whole picture of the family member in question, I calmly withdrew and ended the conversation by going to get her a pizza (it isn't on my diet), because it would get me out of the house, enable me to calm down on the inside, and show her that I still want to please her.
Before I left, however, she was concerned that our good rapport had taken a major blow and pleaded, "Don't be weird." I told her that I was fine and that I would be back with her pizza in a bit. She knew that I was still smarting over the conversation. I know the family member in question has some problems, but I don't think harping about it to me is going to add any benefit to the conversation.
When I returned with her pizza (and my wings), she promptly grabbed the pizza and took it off to our office/den to eat alone (not a common practice in this household). We didn't speak the rest of the night. The next day, she left a message on my phone "encouraging" me to get the taxes finished. I had planned to do that anyway on that particular day, but almost decided to wait another day for spite. However, I realized how childish that was, and decided to do them. When she arrived home that evening, she didn't say a word to me. In fact, I approached her and asked her why she was mad at ME, but she ignored me and walked on by me. So all I heard from her that second full day of my vacation was nasty toned message about doing the taxes, and a louder than normal series of door and cabinet activity.
The following evening we finally made peace, but my vacation was shot at that point. There are still some rawness there for me - especially some things she said and threatened me with during the long discussion that finally ended with reasonable amount of successful negotiation.
I would like to thank everyone that participated in my little study a few days ago. If you don't know what I am talking about, read this post right now. It is nice to know that so many rational people read this blog. However, I tend to wonder how many of you would really choose answer "A" if you found yourself in Tony's situation. It is easy to be rational when you are sitting on the outside of a situation with no emotions factoring in. I am not defending Tony; but I have a feeling that he isn't the only one in the world. I suspect there are those "in this room" that would pull a Tony given the circumstance. Of course, I hope that I am wrong and therefore will give all of you the benefit of the doubt - including myself.
Still don't know what I am talking about? The tags at the bottom of "Where am I?" post should have tipped you off. My "Tony and Barry" story was merely an analogy for my fight with my wife. She attacked my family and upset me. She didn't want me to be "weird" about it, but was never apologetic about making me feel that way (remember, I didn't attack her back, but instead put out a peace offering by getting her pizza). Instead, she got angry with me for being upset about her attacks. I don't see any rational thought there, do you? An apology would have gone such a long way.
So, I am Barry (pleased to meet you), and my wife is "Tony" and I am still burnt out at work and now at home.



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter, By Any Other Name

I think it has chilled some recently, but there was a movement in Christian circles to ban the traditional name for this holiday and call it Resurrection Sunday instead. I mock these types of movements usually, but I certainly understand why this particular one came about. To Christians, this holiday isn’t about a big bunny, eggs, and a ton of candy. No, it is about the hope and the delivery of all in the world to overcome death and escape the bounds that we are stuck in and conditioned to from birth. Still, “Easter”, in present name, means that to me. I guess I am fine with it.

I am reminded at this time of the year how miraculous the Christian faith really is. A fairly large group of individuals followed their spiritual leader only to watch him miserably and shamefully die. From all accounts, they and their new belief system took a large blow. This execution also killed the new religion of these men and women. They went back to their old lives with their tails between their legs.

Then, something happened. The new faith surged! There was talk of this man Jesus actually be seen – returning from the dead as He said He would and talking and teaching to His followers. Even though the tomb was empty and there was no sign of the body, that doesn’t mean he resurrected, does it? Many of the skeptics accused Jesus’ followers from bribing the soldiers guarding the tomb and stealing the body. There were all kinds of theories.

Yet, something happened that took these dejected followers from their hopeless lives and brought them back to preaching Jesus resurrected. They, by the hoards, were willingly dying for this new belief system. Non-believing historians such as the Roman Tacitis and the Jewish Josephus recorded the unlikely events of this new Christian group - that they grew from nothing and hopelessness, to zealots in the name of this Jesus who was rumored to have conquered death. The disturbing query was this: why would these people come back to this faith, preaching a resurrected Jesus if they merely stole and hid the body? Why would they willingly die for a cause they knew was a lie? They knew if they really saw Him. They knew if they really hid his body? What would they gain but death?

Today, as we watch the kiddies run and find their eggs – when we are gorging on ham and chocolate, remember the resurrection. It is more than a rumor about one teacher long ago coming back to life. It was that and more. Easter reminds us that life-changing hope was resurrected by a group of people who actually knew whether or not there was hope. The facts they really knew and their lives that had to respond to those facts gives hope to us all.

I haven’t forgotten about the the broken window incident. I will follow up on it perhaps tomorrow. I just thought today I had something more important to talk about. Happy Easter or Resurrection Sunday!




Thursday, April 05, 2007

Where am I?

For your consideration:

Assuming that you are living in a rational world where at least most things make sense, how would you think the following scenario would play out?

A young fellow, we will call him "Tony", goes over to his buddy's house because he is bored. While his buddy, we will call him "Barry", finishes up some tasks, Tony tries to amuse himself in the yard.

He picks up a baseball bat and swings at bumble bees that are flying around looking for suitable flowers to do their thing. Carelessness takes hold, and Tony swings, misses the bee, but connects smartly with the passenger side, rear window of Barry's car - shattering it and the peacefulness of the neighborhood.

Barry rushes out of the house and demands, "What are you doing? Why did you smash my window?"

Now remember, we are in a rational world. What would you think Tony's reaction would be?

A. "I'm sorry, man. I was just fooling around. It was an accident. I will pay for it."
B. "What are you talking about? What window?"
C. Tony totally ignores Barry and continues to swing at bees.
D. "What is wrong with you, Barry? You want a piece of me?"

Your answers are appreciated. I will follow up when there has been sufficient answers to this quandry.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Burnt Offerings


I am finally out of the woods a little bit as it applies to my time at work. As a matter of fact, I am going on vacation this week. I would be on vacation right this second, except that I needed to talk to a particular attorney. I tried to talk to him Friday, but he was "out till Monday". So, I decided to come to work this morning basically just to talk to the guy. I called and guess what? He is on vacation this week! Jiminy!

I am really suffering from burnout. I wanted to write in this blog today something "good". You know, some quality post that will make people think. I had a number of ideas. However, I am just too tired and burned out. So now this post is how I am too fatigued to post. Brilliant.

The trouble is that I won't be able to relax much at home this week. I have tons to do. I have three lawns to mow and work on. I have to put up a fence and continue to prepare one the houses to be sold.

Thank God for my wife. She has learned something in the past couple of months - how not to get on my nerves. I used to dread talking to her about some things. Now we can talk about anything and it is okay (well, NEARLY anything). She has also picked up on how to let me avoid certain issues when she knows that I feel overwhelmed. She has learned to say, "This can wait." The snoring issue has been nearly resolved now, too. I am not sure why. It may be that I lost enough weight to diminsh it somewhat. Or, it may be that she got used to it. Or, maybe it is because of the white noise machine I bought. It is probably a combination of those things. OR, it could be my favorite explanation; I never snored at all, she was just messing with me. After all, I don't hear myself snore and my ears are closer to the "alleged offending noise" than she is.

I still have to do our taxes. This isn't like me; I usually am finished with taxes by the second week in February. It is just that I am in a new situation with a wife and multiple houses and stuff. After deliberating with "experts", it looks like Turbotax is going to be the best way to go. It better be; I already shelled out the $40 for it.

I have also been playing around with the idea of going to law school. I do a lot of things that lawyers get paid well to do already. It is just that it will be nearly impossible to fund it and my family's needs while being a student again. On top of that, the wife is eager to start a family. It just doesn't look like it is in the cards. However, if God wants me in law school, I am sure a way will open up. Who knows, some bigshot rich guy may be reading this post right now and being so moved by the artwork that IS this post, decides that he must sponsor my law school endeavor. Or not.

So, here I am facing the week. I know the week ahead is a lot more productive than the week I will remember next week. It always works that way.