Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama, American Idol, and Indiana Basketball

NEWS FLASH is basically news or thoughts that may be changing over time - an update or an evolution of thought that covers a multiple of topics. It is what makes a blogger tick and it is the reason why we read. So, with that in mind, I came up with NEWS FLASH as an acronym that stands for what is going on in life:



News (or current events)
Entertainment (movies, TV, celebrity, etc.)
Work (thoughts on the job or employer)
Spirit (thoughts on God and/or the supernatural)
Family (or friends)
Love
Anxiety (a rant or a trouble)
Sports (also considered should be contests, reality tv, recreation, cards, games), and
Home (house, yard, or even another family type of thought.
___________________________________________________________________

This NEWS FLASH for the last week of February! I have made a few minor changes to NEWS FLASH, very minor. First, as you may have noticed, NEWS FLASH is no longer the title. I decided to title it based on content so you will know some of the things I will be discussing. The other minor change is for the "Anxiety" section. I am now going to include pet peeves. I don't like to set my self up for having anxiety every blamed week. So . . .

NEWS - Last week, I mentioned that Barack Obama fits the description of the antichrist. It is not that I think that he is, he just fits the description. This week it is getting even more frightening. Saturday Night Live on NBC had a debate skit that kicked off the show. It was humorus, but the main point was that the media is giving Obama a pass on everything and actually is a little giddy concerning Obama's candidacy. The debate skit started with the moderator asking the first question to Obama, "Senator Obama, can I get you anything? Really, it is no problem at all?" Funny, but it makes the point. Prophesies have the antichrist with this kind of unrealistic adoration.

"Saturday Night Live", you may say, "is just a comedy show on TV. You can't judge stuff like that from a comedy show." Fair point, but try these on for size:
Obama made a trip to Africa and for whatever reason, put on African-Muslim dress. A picture surfaces and somehow it was unfair to share this picture with the masses? WHY? HE WORE THE OUTFIT! It is a true picture. Yet, many pundits are talking how it is an unfair campaign tactic to show this photo.
Wait, it gets better. A right wing whacko in Cincinnati, kept referring to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama." The pundits, again, calling it a cheap shot and even John McCain was distancing himself from it. Guess what? IT IS HIS NAME? Now that whacko said all kinds of negative things about Obama. Some I believe crossed the line. However, it is a cheap shot to utter his full name? IT IS HIS NAME! Unbelievable.

I talked to my wife about this today and she, as ardent drinker of the Obama Kool-Aid, thought it was a cheap shot, too. This kind of devout and unscrutinizing following, to the point of painting anyone who uses truth to shape the minds of voters, is in my opinion, the stuff of which antichrists are made.

Do I think that people shouldn't vote for him because of all this? Of course I don't think that; I may vote for him myself. If he is the antichrist, it doesn't matter who you vote for because he is coming into power regardless. If he isn't, he just may be a good president. If you do vote for him, just remember not to drink the Kool-Aid.

ENTERTAINMENT - American Idol is in full swing. I haven't watched it as closely as I have in the past, but I am aware of some controversy. There are a few contestants who have had record deals in the past. Many people think that isn't fair to the "diamonds in the rough" out there who haven't had that kind of advantage. Others don't care. Color me in the middle.

My biggest concern is that record companies can use American Idol as a publicity tool for their clients. It is a rule that a contestant can't have a CURRENT record deal, but that can easily be side-stepped. For instance, you can have a contract with someone who can have contracts with record labels - that kind of thing. I think it is best for the integrity of the show to just avoid this type of thing altogehter. It may come back to bite. That being stated, I think people should vote for whoever they like, former professionals or not. I don't vote, myself, because I think voting is kind of high school. But, that is just me.

WORK - Not much to report, really. No drama. That's good, because I have already written a book today.

SPIRIT - I have been thinking a lot about the concept of forgiveness these days. It has been said that unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the target of your anguish to die from it. I believe that is true. I see no benefit for unforgiveness, none. Unforgiveness is merely a form of justified hatred. I think there is too much of that in the world, already, without rationalizing why I have a right to hate. It is like having a right to cancer. I willingly give up that right.

FAMILY - The family chores are piling up. My good sister (the one that helps me out the most with my other, disabled family members) is off on an extended trip. She has been gone since mid January and will not be back until sometime in April. I think it is great that she can take these trips, but somehow it seems that I am paying for them.

LOVE - Lately, my wife has been catching a lot of flack from Psychosomatic Wit readers. It is my fault, though, because turmoil inspires my rantings more than peace. However, she isn't getting a fair deal. Everything I write about our marriage is true, but it takes two to succeed in marriage. It also takes two to fail. I am not perfect and I want to go on the record to say that if I had taken a different approach to some issues, things probably would have worked out better. That is what I have been trying to do. Soon, I will relay a story about her that will give her some props. Stay tuned.

ANXIETY - I am trying out the pet peeve aspect of this device today. It doesn't cause me anguish, but I am sickened by the term "doctor" being shoved in my face by every Tom, Dick, or Harriet that happens to earn a Ph.D. in some area. I'm sorry, but unless you can take out my appendix, you aren't a doctor. You are just some schmoe who has a Ph.D., either earned or given. Get off of the title. It is self-serving and unbecoming.

For example, if I hear "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr" one more time, I am going to throw up. King was a great and brave man. However, it was faith and his conviction unto action that made him great, not his theology degree. From all accounts, King was a humble man. I would doubt that he encouraged others to address him as such. Perhaps he did, I don't know. I do know that if/when I get my Ph.D., I will not tolerate being addressed this way. Or, I may just tell the person to stick out his tongue and say "Ahh". Don't worry, I won't go as far as to tell him to turn his head and cough.

SPORTS - My beloved alma mater, Indiana University has finally got rid of their cheating coach. Although Bob Knight is avoiding any conversation about it, he is a long-shot in returning to the program. I do have a list of coaches that may fit the bill, though:
CAUTION - THIS SECTION CONTAINS COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SPEAK. If you aren't versed in college basketball, you may not get it.

In no particular order:
Bruce Pearl - I don't know if he would leave the Univerisity of Tennessee, but he really liked coaching in Indiana (USI). He even wanted the Evansville job when Jim Crews left, but UE went with Steve Merfeld instead (the idiots).

Steve Alford - He didn't have a great reputation at Iowa, but hey, that's Iowa - a wrestling school. He had a respectable record there, and was outstanding at Manchester and SWMS previously. It would be difficult, however, for him to leave after a year in Albuerque, I suspect. He did want the IU job when they gave it to Sampson (the idiots).

Brad Brownell - an in state guy and a good compromise between a Knight guy and an outsider.

Chris Lowery - He has done a fantastic job at Southern Illinois and learned under Bruce Weber at Illinois and SIU. Plus, he is an Indiana boy.

Dan Dakich, the present interim coach - They brought him in for a reason in November. He was okay at Bowling Green, but ran Knight's teams before leaving for BG. He is a player's coach with a touch of Knight's discipline.

HOME - My wife and I have been talking about the possibility of going back to Jamaica for our second anniversary this fall. This October, it will be two years since my wife and I exchanged vows next to the beach in paradise. Like the swallows to Capistrano, we are driven to return there - to the scene of the crime, if you will. Of course, it is longshot because of finances.

I, personally, think it would benefit our marriage so much that it would be worth it if was, at all, possible. It is my belief that it would give us a renewing in such a way that we could start all over building our marriage from the ground up. We both had some conflicting thoughts about marriage then. We both thought that it could be the normal "cold feet". We found out later that it wasn't. A trip back to Jamaica to "do it right" so to speak, seems magical. Yet, it is such a long shot (sigh).













Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love Lessons Learned

The last couple of days have been challenging on the home front. However, only I know how challenging they have been. That is a big lesson in of itself.

My wife and I have been both struggling with emotions lately. She has because . . . that is just part of her make-up. I have because I have been exhausted. It got the better of me on Friday night.

We went out, did some things, ended up at Barnes and Noble to glance over books and get a cafe drink. She found some interesting board games on clearance. Big mistake. I asked her if we got them, would she be willing to go and play them with my nephew and his wife?

She replied, "No."

To make a long story short, I got a little miffed because she is unwilling to be around my FAMILY to play games that SHE is interested in. There is nothing wrong with my nephew and wife. She just doesn't like them or something. She didn't like that I couldn't accept it very easily.

Then, she got wise. She threw my words back in my face. She set it up by saying, "You knew that I wasn't a social person when you married me. " Her following phrase came from my own book, "Your expectations of me as your spouse is your own worst enemy. People will always fail your expectations so don't put so much stock in them."

Here comes the lesson again, "Just keep your mouth shut." Ten thousand responses came into my head just dying to get out. From, "yeah, I guess it is unreasonable to expect you to interact with my family that is now YOUR family" to "well, I guess your expectations of me being faithful are your own worst enemy if I should stray," and a thousand hateful others burst into my head like the finale at a Fourth of July fireworks display.

Somehow, I just kept my mouth shut. Tragedy avoided.

Fast forward to last night. As many of you know, "Big Brother" is one of my guilty pleasures. I don't have many. We started recording the live feed on Showtime last season just to keep track of stuff and all the drama. No problem.

Last night, my wife informed me that we were not going to record or watch that anymore because the previous night's feed was "pornographic." So, she deleted it and will not record it anymore. Silently, I was infuriated. In all of last year and the first two weeks of this year there was no pornography. If there was a lapse the previous night (which I was skeptical), I was not going to pass judgement over one night. Plus, my wife thinks that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is pornography (I don't, but I still haven't seen that issue since college for whatever reason).

I take issue with my wife's scensorship of my viewing for the following reasons:

A. She is not my mother (this could be broken up into several reasons really); and
B. I pay for the satelite

I handled the situation much like the Barnes and Noble incident, I kept my mouth shut. I wasn't going to be put into the position of defending "pornography". Besides, emotions have been running high anyway. She NEVER knew that I was miffed and the marriage avoided a hit. As an aside, I recorded the thing anyway and skimmed through it this morning. Guess what? No pornography.

Finally, yesterday my wife's boss called her and told her that one of the girls couldn't make it in and may not make it tomorrow (today) so she should be ready to be called in. She wasn't called last night and she stayed up late (and kept me up). The girl called her this morning and she hit the roof (with me, not the girl)! I didn't think she was going to go in and I got a little uptight. My wife only works part time. We have no kids, and I have taken a couple of extra jobs to make ends meet. She was warned that she may have to come in and somehow she thinks it is unfair. It was very difficult for me to sympathize and it was all I could do to not throw water on her in bed!

I left her in bed as I went to check on my mom. When I got back she was up and was getting ready but she was upset and believed she had been victimized. How did I handle it?

I gave her hug, made her some Irish Breakfast Tea, packed her lunch and left her a note inside it telling her that I loved her and was proud of her for facing the day. Lesson? You get more results from reward and encouragement than from berating. She went to work; that was enough for me today.

One big lesson in marriage, I have learned, is that you have to pick your battles. She went to work. Had she not have gone, I would be gearing up for war.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

NEWS FLASH - Third Week of February '08

NEWS FLASH is basically news or thoughts that may be changing over time - an update or an evolution of thought that covers a multiple of topics. It is what makes a blogger tick and it is the reason why we read. So, with that in mind, I came up with NEWS FLASH as an acronym that stands for what is going on in life:



News (or current events)
Entertainment (movies, TV, celebrity, etc.)
Work (thoughts on the job or employer)
Spirit (thoughts on God and/or the supernatural)
Family (or friends)
Love
Anxiety (a rant or a trouble)
Sports (also considered should be contests, reality tv, recreation, cards, games), and
Home (house, yard, or even another family type of thought.
___________________________________________________________________
The Word of the week is "Antichrist".
NEWS - It is looking like the race for the White House is all but sewn up for the primary season. John McCain continues to mount his delegates over many conservatives' (including the loudmouths such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter) lamentations. I have to admire Mike Huckabee's spunk, by the way, because he is staying in the race despite party pressure to back out. Huckabee, on MSNBC this morning, denounced the party's pressure to resign citing that the GOP "used to be the party that welcomed competition". He is concerned that it is losing its way.
On the Democrat front, Barrack Obama continues to roll through the primaries. If Hillary Clinton does not win Texas and Ohio, and win them big, she will be more done than a floating hushpuppy. Then, and only then, will Obama get the scrutiny from the media that is probably overdue in a fair fight.
Obama's popularity is both predictable and astounding. He is fresh and he sings a pretty tune. Perhaps he has the skills and chops to back up his performances;, we can only hope. Hopefully, he isn't the antichrist. Before you scoff TOO MUCH, keep in mind that the antichrist is supposed to be a young, charasmatic leader that will come out of nowhere, and win over the hearts of minds of the masses. Obama IS that definition. Plus, he has ties to the Middle East and there are many questions about his belief system.
ENTERTAINMENT - Big Brother 9 is back and so far, I am not feeling it. It is partly my own fault, however - or let's just say it is the fault of the local CBS station here. There was a technical problem because of our recent ice storm that knocked it off the air. Only local cable companies were able to carry programming. I have DirecTV and it wasn't happening there. So, I Tivo'd hours of "technical difficulty" screens instead of the premier of Big Brother 9. In trying to catch up, it seems there isn't enough diversity this year. All the cast members are relatively young and single. All of a strong command of the "F" word and thrive on petty drama. It is like watching a college dorm. Maybe it will get better. At least that antichrist, Evel Dick, isn't on the show this year.
WORK - I'm exhausted. My big event was cancelled because of the ice storm so I have to start all over and reschedule. My other job things are taking up a lot of my other time, thus the blog is indeed, suffering. No antichrist citing here; it would be more contrived than the one above.
SPIRIT - I bet you think this will have something to do with the antichrist, don't you? Well, nope. This is really about love. I wrote in my other blog a GREAT love story dealing with Valentine's Day that would behove you to read if you want to feel warm or need a little cry. You can find it here.
FAMILY - The wife is turning on the pressure to start a family. I like to be better prepared than to just launch into something like that. Because I want to wait to make sure that the MARRIAGE IS ACTUALLY HEALTHY and also wanting an adequate financial base, I am all of the sudden the antichrist! I guess I can live with that.
LOVE - Oddly enough, the motivation for wanting to start a family is making my wife be on her best behavior. Things seem to be a little better and she is no longer acting like the antichrist. I hope it is sincere. Only time will tell and I am one careful man.
ANXIETY - Money, fatigue, and pressure to start a family is really getting to me.
SPORTS - The Kelvin Sampson show at Indiana University is coming to a close. Amid NCAA investigations, IU nation has low tolerance for cheaters. Quite coincidentally, if you believe in coincidences, Bob Knight resigns at Texas Tech two days before this NCAA charges come against Sampson. Now the elephant in the room is could Bob Knight return to Indiana? A lot of folks, and I am one of them, would LOVE to see Knight back. It makes sense for the university because they may have a more favorable position with NCAA if they sack Sampson in favor of a coach who above reproach when coming to cheating and encouraging players to graduate. Some people may consider Knight as the antichrist, but there is no quarrel with this aspect of his resume'. Still, it is a long shot for the return of Mr. Indiana Basketball. I like longshots.
HOME - It should be only a matter of months now before I can officially sell the house. So far so good. That will help my finances and please my wife. How it all works out is in God's hands. The money, the marriage and subsequent babies. I have turned it all over to him. Right now, He likes my patience.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Grading the Psychic

I thought I owed the people that read my blog a rundown of last year's predictions of 2007. Although I have no wish to try to predict 2008, I think there should be some closure for last year. At the end of each prediction, I will rate the accuracy of it. With "1" being nothing of the kind, and "10" being spot on.

#1 President Bush's popularity numbers will go up in the next few months, but bottom out again towards the end of the year.
Rating of 8 The surge of troops and a correlating more (although barely) peaceful Iraq did take some stress off of Bush. However, by the time the end of the year rolled around, people had so much Bush/War/Gas Price fatigue that most are glad to see the man go. This probably helps to explain why there are record numbers of Democrats voting in the primaries this year.

#2 Some celebrity that we would not think had the moral credentials to guide kids will write a children's book.
Rating of 5 Okay, I missed this a bit, but not a total zero. Here's why: Lynn Spears, mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears, wrote a book about raising child stars. Because of the family's messes, the book was delayed for release. If Britney's troubles weren't enough, right after the announcement of the book, perfect child Jamie Lynn comes up pregnant at 16. If you desire, here is the People Magazine's online blurb from December 2007 titled, "Lynne Spears's Parenting Book 'Delayed Indefinitely'."

#3 A celebrity will convert to Christianity and will talk too much about it.
Rating of 2 I can't say I heard of anyone, really, but this little piece at least takes me out of the "1" rating category. ;) Mitt Romney Converts to Christianity

#4 A female celebrity will die and it will be drug/alcohol related.
Rating of 10. A year ago, today, Anna Nicole Smith is found dead as a result of an accidental prescription drug overdose, not unlike Heath Ledger who I had the pleasure of NOT predicting this year.

#5 The San Diego Chargers will beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Rating of 1 I was already making excuses for this prediction last year. This wasn't a psychic prediction, just the fan in me trying to analyze the season. I am a better psychic than a football analyst, I guess.

#6 Someone who reads this blog will make a life-changing decision and it will work out great for him/her.
NOT RATED Only you guys can answer this one. If no one has anything to report, there is always a chance that someone who was reading my blog last year, but not anymore, may have fulfilled this prophesy. For instance, Javajabber, last year claimed this prediction by saying that he/she quit smoking. However, that blog has been deleted so who knows what happened.

#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.
Rating of 8 The Wii game system is so hugely popular that they are still nearly impossible to go buy - and they have been on the market since Christmas season of 2006. My middle aged friends have talked about how they have tournaments and keep inviting me over to play various games (which I have found no time to do). Someone else, (Meg, I think) reported that they are even using the Wii in rehab facilities. The draw to older gamers is that there isn't 10,000 buttons and triggers needed to operate the game, just the motion of your arms, etc.

#8 This summer will be one of the hottest ever in the midwest.
Rating of 10 The best blogger on the net even commented about it here!

#9 There will be a new pest related problem (insect, etc.) that will either threaten people's health or damage major agricultural production.
Rating of 6 I wasn't too informed about this, but my blogging crush, Steph, shared this little tidbit with me: 'there are these new "oak mites" ' in the suburbs of Chicago that have been burrowing into people's skin and causing trips to the ER because of extreme discomfort. So, I think that could qualify as a 'health threat' by a new insect. "

#10 A high school kid will make the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of a number of people and will be proclaimed a hero.
Rating of 8 Do you remember the tornadoes that hit Enterprise, AL back in March? There was a story about a kid named Andrew Jackson that saved the life of another student but perished in the effort. Read about it here.

#11 Something will happen that will put Omaha, Nebraska on the news for a number of days.
Rating of 10 This was the clincher prediction. This sealed the fate of me predicting stuff in the future. It left me rather ill and caused me to "hang up my crystal ball". Here is the story.

#12 The Boston Red Sox will win the World Series.
Rating of 10. The Sox smoked the Colorado Rockies in four straight games.

#13. There will be horrendous killing somewhere in the US that will inspire at least one copy-cat killing.
Rating of 7. This actually could be rated higher. I think I remember a killing in California (I think it was CA), a couple of days after Omaha that put me in the mind of Omaha. I didn't try to stay on top of this, though, because I was sick about the Omaha thing and just didn't want to be reminded of my prophetic "part" in it. There was also something I remember after the Virginia Tech thing in New York. I just don't remember.

Overall, my rating was just over 7 (closer to 8 if you throw out the unpsychic prediction of last year's Superbowl) which is pretty scary on a 1-10 scale rating. Of course, my rating system is totally subjunctive, so feel free to scale it down (or up for that matter). Do you think this was accurate or no?

Ahh, closure!