Monday, July 31, 2006

Unforgettable, Unpredictable, Unbelievable

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the occasion to travel off with GOMD this weekend.

(GOMD stands for Girl of My Dreams for all you unimaginative people - by the way - the pronunciated term for this is GOMAD)

Which made me ponder many things.

Most of which I can’t discuss here because frankly, it’s just none of your business.

But the one thing I did want to talk about was how remarkable it was when you strip away all of the normal routine and there is nothing but unpredictability ahead of you - like it is when you’re on a trip.

It is very exciting.

But for me, there is so much comfort in the routine things in life. I get stupid amounts of joy from the most mundane activities like going to the grocery store or mowing the grass – so I may not be a good one to talk about this – and yet here I am doing so, and you’re reading it!

One fear I have heard from people is that what was once special will somehow morph into something very ordinary and no longer be special.

Well, for me, I just don’t believe in that, because I don’t experience that. But since I hear it often I have to admit that it probably exists.

Human behavior is very unpredictable and can be volatile from time to time. Just ask the people that freak out in traffic about that! And in truth, there is very little about life that has any certitude to it. You know, the old life, death and taxes argument.

But I have come to understand that as we grow we gain new insights, we change directions and we awaken new needs and desires. Change is always inevitable. Always.

And as profound as these changes may be, they are often subtle. It’s like how we can’t notice changes in ourselves because we see ourselves each day, but our great aunt, that sees us only once a year at Christmas, can pick out the changes right away.

I guess I can see that in some people who get together and spend so much time together. They lose sight of the important things and (gasp) start to take things for granted.

So what it is that allows us to remain just as excited as the first time? What makes us look forward to everyday events with the same longing as we experience when we go away on a trip and change the scenery?

It’s a secret – and I know it. I found it after a long, hard life full of wishing things were different.

I could call it courage and stick my chest out and pretend that I was brave.

But that wouldn’t be very honest.

I could call it luck and say that I stumbled upon the secret of life.

But, again, that wouldn’t be true either.

I could be hopelessly romantic and call it love.

And I would be right on the mark.

And I realize that it’s not very manly to discuss these things – but if I closely examine it, love is the answer. It’s the only answer that makes any sense.

When you love someone you are excited about seeing them. Even if you have seen them every day for the last 100 years.

When you love someone you want them to be proud of you. Even if they already are.

When you love someone you want to surprise them with something. Even if it is as ordinary as doing something for them that they normally do.

I truly do not fear the future because I am so grounded in my today that I understand why what is true for me today will only be truer tomorrow.

Sure, there is always an element of risk and uncertainty in the world. In our jobs. In our relationships. In our health. Risk and uncertainty always exist. They have to because nothing is ever scripted.

But to be able to let go of the fear of that risk and uncertainty is the one true thing that love brings to us.

I guess I had to have some children to fully understand that. To be able to love without condition is not a natural act – but it is instilled in each parent and if we pay close attention to that we can certainly apply it in other aspects of our lives without regard to crushing our “expectations” of how we think things should work out.

And without those “expectations” we can truly start to enjoy our today’s without any reservation.

Like Dale Carnegie said: “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes the furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare”.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And find someone to love with all your heart. I’m telling you that your questions will be answered.



Monday, all over again.

I’ve always been one of those backwards guys. I love Mondays!

I think it has to do with starting over new each week. I’m a basket case by Friday. All the shit that has been put off or set aside to deal with “later” comes to roost on Fridays.

And at the same time, I love the magic of the Friday night.

So what’s up with that - is it Monday or Friday that I adore?

Why not both?

Today started with promise but as I surveyed my desk and saw all the stuff that didn’t get done this weekend, it was Friday all over again.

So I will suspend my adoration of Mondays until next week.

I hope.

I had a marvelous weekend. Went to Nashville with my girl!!! Yea for me. A good ole-fashioned road trip. Don’t get to do that so much anymore. Drove up there on Saturday and home on Sunday just like running to the supermarket for some groceries. What’s a thousand miles between friends???

Went to a country concert – which is something I don’t normally do. It was strange. Very slick production, kind of like a Stones show, just without the Stones……..

Saw Faith and Tim. She is so hot AND she can sing. Oh My God can she sing. But the poor white girl just can’t dance. My girl was not impressed. All she wanted was the interloper to get off the stage so her man could come out and entertain her.

He did.

The place we saw the concert was big and it was FULL. Apparently full of mostly girls who roared their approval at his arrival. This guy has it all, a hot wife, cute kids, more money than the Shah and legions of adoring fans.

Faith got a great response but nothing compared to her husband as judged by the decibel level at the arena.

But all in all, it was good. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It’s not often that I get my lady’s undivided attention like you do when you have her “trapped”. And it was amazing for me. I endured the concert and actually kind of enjoyed it. But if you repeat that, I’ll deny it.

Next up, we have the Red Hot Chili Peppers – which is much more to my liking and it’s in New Orleans where I feel much more at home.

So that’s all the news that is news and I’ve got to return to this monsterous pile of crap on my desk and wrangle some answers to everyone’s questions.

I hope your week is full of intrigue and suspense. And if it’s not, you can always walk into your boss’s office and utter something remarkably stupid and walk out.

I tried that early – and it worked!!!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Hard Rain is Fallin' - Right Now

So things haven’t gotten better in the Middle East, have they?

Doom and gloom are on the airwaves on late night t.v. The preachers are having a jolly ole "end time" party.

But I think that an entire blog should be dedicated to the asinine ability that some fundamentalist christians (yes, with a lower case “c”) have in interpreting the ancient texts concerning prophetic and apocalyptic literature. To say that they are WAY off base is an understatement.

But beyond all the mumbo-jumbo, it’s simply bad. Israel ain’t backin’ down. Lebanon has no idea what hit them. Syria is sweating. Iran is licking their chops. Iraq is, well, Iraq is just what we have made it.

Thanks George………..

So what’s a boy to do?

Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start The FIRE” comes to mind. This goes on and on and has for so long. Each generation is guilty as charged. I don’t know if we can ever have a righteous war again (think WWII).

But I feel that the United States is implicit in all of this. We are the only ones that can stop it. And I really don’t think we’re even trying very hard. We have expended so much of our goodwill and the only thing we have left is economic diplomacy – which is alive and well but we need to do something before it gets too far out of hand.

It’s so convoluted over there and the media doesn’t do a good job explaining all of that stuff to the public.

Syria backs Hezzbollah. Iran backs Hezzbollah. Syria hates Iran. Iran hates Syria. So we have two divergent theories backing a terrorist group whose aim is the destruction of Israel and their own self preservation.

Iran has been run by the clergy for a few decades now and that just scares the hell out of the arab countries that are run by regular people – like Syria. So they all walk a tightrope. The only thing they can agree on is that they hate Israel.

And that premise, while bad for us and for Israel, isn't all bad because the Arab Nations will never be together because they all hate each other. It would be very bad if they all got together and took action. I'm not sure if our great white fathers in Washington, DC have the balls to bomb the oil fields. Anyway, that, again is a WHOLE 'nother topic.

The news seems to focus on the "political fallout" from the conflict(s). But the thing I am always left with is what about the people. What about the father that is trying to feed his children? What about the mother whose husband is gone and she is trying to provide shelter for her family? What about the children themselves, what do they learn?

What will it take before all God's children can lay down with each other and think amazing thoughts without trying to kill each other?

When can the love be brought forth???

And I didn’t mean to get into a political discussion because music started this train of thought for me today.

It was Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. This was written in the cold war, before Vietnam, before all of the stuff that has come after it. We have made so much progress in so many areas – but we still kill each other and understanding seems to be as far away as it ever has.

The answers – hell, I don’t have any. All I know is that we need to try.

Remember that on election day.

Check out the lyrics and feel what it means............

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,

And it's a hard, and it's a hard,
it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it,
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,

And it's a hard, and it's a hard,
it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,

And it's a hard, and it's a hard,
it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,

And it's a hard, it's a hard,
it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',

And it's a hard, it's a hard,
it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Perception IS Reality

Perception is reality? You bet it is.

Have you ever noticed how people observe the same thing and have a different opinion about it?

Amazing how that works.

We have a lifetime of experiences and fears and hopes and dreams and all kinds of other emotions and insecurities that pop up in our filters. And every experience we have is passed through those filters until it settles in our consciousness and we are able to form opinions and express emotions.

And what happens when those opinions and emotions are at odds with someone else’s?

Well, that’s where a fully mature and thinking human being comes into it.

How do we reconcile someone else’s opinions and emotions with ours when they don’t agree?

I’m not sure how that works. But I experience that from time to time, and I do understand what needs to happen.

When someone I care about has a different opinion than I do on something, I find that I am immediately taken to a place where I can see their point of view – even if I don’t agree with it.

I used to think of that as patience, but maybe it’s something more. Something bigger.

To have empathy is one of our greatest virtues. And it should always be our goal if we’re having trouble getting there.

To be able to understand what someone else is feeling – even if it disagrees with what you know to be true in your own life – is the most wonderful gift you can receive.

Yep, I’m a very lucky guy. And like Forest Gump says: “And that’s all I’m going to say about that”.

So when someone you love has an opinion, it is very, very important that you see their opinion and act accordingly.

It's what love is.

It's what love does.

It's life and only pay attention. You only go around once.

Lance means "funny prick" in Navajo (and other assorted meandering thoughts)

Did anyone catch Lance Armstrong when he hosted “The Espy Awards” the other night. I didn’t either – but I did see some highlights on VH1 this morning and I must admit he was very funny.

He started out by saying that he told the producers that he would give his “left nut” to host. Well, since he lost his left nut to cancer, I thought that was pretty damned funny.

Then he saw Jake Gylenhall (sp?) on the front row and said: “Jake, it’s funny to see you in the front – I thought you liked it in the rear”. Well sir, that brought tears to my eyes.

He’s such a pretentious prick and he broke up with Sheryl Crow, which to me seems like a major sin, but I’ve got to give him his props – he was very funny.

I wonder how he feels now that the Tour de France is over and he didn't win?

I saw Tiger win the British Open and then desolve into tears. He said he missed his daddy. That's so cool. I love the disicipline he has - he seems so strong and indestructable, and then he does something like that and just reminds me that we're all alike.

I had an odd weekend. Taken from the depths of despair to heights I have never known.

Funny how life is like that.

I believe in love. Oh yes I do. I believe that love can take us places that we could otherwise never get to. And I am so thankful that I am on that ride. For better or worse, richer or poorer – there is nowhere else I ever want to be.

I love, love, love my girl so very much.

And what is the price of love? It’s life. And life to the fullest.

I thank God each day that I am so very alive.

We went to a memorial service yesterday for someone I knew a few lifetimes ago - and it was very nice. It just got me to thinking about what's really important in life. I thought about how much eneregy we expend in worrying about stuff that really doesn't matter. How if we can just focus on what's amazing in our lives then maybe the other things that bother us wouldn't be so important.

I think like that. And for now, I really don't think that's a problem in my life.

I truly want to be the guy that appreciates everything that needs to be appreciated. I love a good meal. I love to wake up in the morning. I love sunsets. All those little things that slip by us unappreciated.

So I will work on that more and more.

And maybe the greatest joy is to have someone to share those things with. I'm very lucky there as well.

Sign me,

Joyful and happy in paradise.

Friday, July 21, 2006


It’s Friday!

And no matter how old I get and no matter that I pretty much work every weekend, I still get excited about Friday.

So what do I like to do on a perfect Friday night?

The answer is quite easy for me. It has to do with me, my lady, some Pinot Noir, some Van Morrison, some candles and some time.

There is nothing mo’ better than a relaxing Friday night.

There’s just something beautiful about life and I seem to want to celebrate it every chance I get. But the most wonderful thing is finding the person to celebrate with.

And isn’t that just the thing the see all the time when you go out?

I think about aging all the time and the subtle differences that you notice as you get older. There aren’t many huge changes, but there are small ones, that if you pay attention, you can start to notice.

I’m only 45 and I really still feel like I did at 18 except for the extra weight, fewer hairs and the aching joints.

On the bright side, I’ve got lots more money and I’m much less nervous about what I’m going to do when I grow up and I no longer worry if everything’s going to turn out alright.

But the small things that I do notice sometimes drive me crazy. Take last Saturday night for instance. Me and two buds from high school went to a popular local watering hole for some much needed time and beer. We sat there observing (I notice we do lots more observing these days than we did in 1979) and the one thing we all observed was that young boys are jerks as they attempt to impress the single ladies. It’s the entire mating ritual, and that’s what it really is, that is so damn funny to watch. They puff up and express themselves in such amazing detail.

I am left wondering if I ever acted like that and if some middle-aged guys were off to the side watching, laughing as I acted my part in the ongoing saga of boy meets girl.

Well, if I did, I apologize to whomever had to see that.

I guess I am so secure in who I am, what I think, who I love and all the other things that life as an observer is quite fine for me. I miss nothing in the arena of participation.

And I live a blessed life. I guess I’ve always known that. But my blessings the past year have just been such that I feel like I don’t even deserve them. Yet there they are and all I am left with is more gratitude than I know what to do with.

So thank you. Thank you so very much.

I love to look into a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it (borrowed from Burt Lancaster in Field of Dreams). I love to smell the grass that is freshly mowed. I love to smell the rain before it get to you. I love the ocean breeze. I love children when they first wake up in the morning. I love the smell of coffee.

The list could go on and on. And besides hatred, intolerance and bigotry, there’s just not much that I hate or fear.

So here’s to life after halftime. I hope yours is just as wonderful.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lawyers, Guns and Tattoo's

My tattoo guy just got put in jail for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

What’s the world coming to?

It seems he also had some met amphetamines.

Oh, and a gun.

When he gets out of jail, I’m sure I’ll love the rest of the story.

Or maybe not.

So who’s gonna finish my sleeve now?

Well that sounded a little selfish, now didn’t it?

We live in a strange world. People do the damndest things and for the life of me, I just don’t get it.

I’m sure that people don’t mean to end up like they seem to end up. I’m sure it’s like most things and it happens gradually and one day you wake up and go “what the fuck?”

Now I read about crazy stuff each day like everyone does. But I must admit that my life is pretty far from most of this stuff and it doesn’t affect me personally. But I have known this guy for 20 years and there is no way you could have told me this and made me believe it.

But I saw it on the news – and there he was in all his glory. Striped suit and all.

Now maybe the 13-year-old girl is just something someone threw at him to get back at him for something. Time will tell. But he obviously had a gun and some drugs so that is pretty certain there. Unless he was “holding” it for a friend. Yea, whatever.

So maybe I’ll visit him and see what the story is.

I always tell kids that we’re all just a bad decision away from being stupid. All it takes is one stupid act to ruin something good. And like human nature does to all of us, all we have to do is get away with it once so we think we’re invincible.

What is it that makes us want to be good and do the right thing? What is it that makes us want to be bad?

These are the questions I have – and I’m afraid it’s a lifetime that it takes to answer those. All I know for sure is that there are people in my life that I will do anything not to disappoint.

So what if you have no one in your life like that?

Sign me,
Depressed in South Mississippi.


There are things that mark your life. Events where everything that happens after is remembered as having happened as “after” the event.

I have always remarked at how incredibly unrememorable (is that a word – spellchecker says no) my life has been. That is not to say it has been unmemorable (that is a word). I have been everywhere and done everything and thought most thoughts that can be thought. I was blessed by much traveling and that helped my unique perspective of life.

But in the details of childhood, well, I have so few. I guess I moved so much that I just didn’t have the basis for retaining memories of things and people. As a result of that, I worked very hard to give my children a very stable environment where they can have a constant sense of belonging, which for me, brings the ability to have the memories.

We’ll see about that – it’s one of my many grand experiments I did on my children!

Anyway, back to the case in point - 37 years ago today, and I swear to you that I remember as if it were yesterday, I was sitting in front of my television set in Picayune, MS and watched as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. The first time anyone had ever done anything like this.

I can still remember the awe I felt as I watched as a young lad.

My father was in Vietnam, my mother worked at the Boeing Test Facility where they made the third stage boosters that sent that rocket into space so I was very familiar with what was going on.

But Holy Shit – there was a man walking on the moon!

I remember holding my breath and wondering if there was anyway he was going to sink. Or maybe if some aliens were going to come down and swoop him up. It was incredibly nerve-racking and I remember a sense of relief when he just stood there.


Still to this day that is the most incredible thing I have ever seen that isn’t related to a small child coming out of a small dark space where no child should be able to come from.

I always remind people of two things that I believe:

1: The bravest men in the world strapped themselves to the top of rockets and shot themselves into space.

And 2: I don’t ever want to be in a war if war is anything like the Bastogne Episode on the Band of Brothers.

I have had the honor in my life of meeting some remarkable people. But the ones that stand out in my memory as having the biggest effect on me was the day in the early 90’s when I met Jim Lovell the astronaut of Apollo 13 fame. To sit at a table with him and listen to him tell stories of not only how that thing went but just the other stuff. I was able to spend about 3 hours with him.

Now I have never gotten autographs in my life. I find that to not only be intrusive but just down right rude. Yep, you guessed it. I got his autograph!

The other person I remember so well was the guy in the control room, Gene Kranz. Fascinating to hear about all these things from an engineering process. I heard Jim Lovell talk about what it was like on the ill-fated Apollo 13 trip – then I heard from Gene about how they figured out what to do in order to keep Jim and his crew alive. Actually, fascinating is not a good enough word. I’m at a loss for a word – someone help me.

I listened intently as Gene told about opening the cabin door on the Apollo 1 test when Gus Grissom and those boys burned to death right in front of him.

Amazing stuff. The right stuff………..

Anyway, back to the moonshot.

I am still awed by the challenge that my cousin, President Kennedy gave us after we got hosed by Sputnik and those Commie Bastards in Russia. We WILL go to the moon before the end of the decade. That one thing mobilized our country. We opened new engineering schools. The curriculum in public schools changed. The floodgates of funding opened up and the impossible happened.

Who said the cold war was stupid?

Unified under a common goal, these heroes took us to a place unknown, and opened up for us a new idea that this tiny world of ours was not the only one upon which we could stand, and that we, as humans, can do incredible things in the name of a dream.

So today, you can buy a PC at Wal-Mart with twice the computing capacity of the rooms full computers that put those men on the moon. So we have to remember that this amazing feat was done, not through computer modeling, but through the sweat and blood and dreams of people. Our people.

Where have those people gone? Are they all working for the Peace Corps or maybe Microsoft?

I heard Gene Kraz say that it could never be done today because every single engineer was a chain smoker. Sometimes you couldn’t even see the monitors in those control rooms due to the smoke.

Those of you that have never smoked may not understand that - but cigarettes are the most calming and comforting things ever invented. Perfect for that high stress environment. I have given up even my occasional cigarette these days in a nod to my health and my desire to stay around for a long, long time so I can perfect this love I have for this one special girl.

But that is another story – and one you won’t read about here!!!

After the first crew went to the moon, there were 18 more that followed. Then it was stopped. Like Tom Wolfe said in “The Right Stuff” – no bucks, no Buck Rogers……

These guys were just regular guys that were pilots that had the right degrees from the right universities who were chosen and all they did was say yes.

Does this make them heroes?

Does saying yes make you larger than life?

You bet your ass it does. It sure does.

They were heroes because we made them heroes. We needed heroes then, just as we do today. It’s just harder to find them today. But they are really there. All you have to do is look around and you’ll find them. Just don’t look on the sports field or in Hollywood.

Look a little closer to home.

These heroes were marketed, they surely were. Like everything of worth they were spun into the public consciousness in a slick package. But these were people who put it ALL on the line. Literally. There were no agents bickering over terms of the deal. They just signed on and said yes. They did there job – and then they went home.

So again, in this time of rivalries between faiths and ideals, we need these heroes so much. We need these heroes who touch us all, no matter who we are or where we live or what we worship or believe.

Did you know that when Neil Armstrong planted that flag on the moon that he didn’t claim it for Queen and Country. Nope, he claimed it FOR THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE – for all mankind. I’m telling you, that this whole thing was for control of space just as the cold war was for control of earth. And here was the mission commander reminding us all that we are part of something much bigger. Much, much bigger.

Oh I remember this like it was yesterday and look how I have babbled on about other stuff that was obviously tied to these memories.

I was reading a story somewhere about space travel and what we need to do. I think Buzz Aldrin, one of the astronauts I was just speaking of wrote it. He says (and don’t quote me on this)

We need to turn our guns away from each other and towards space. We need to defend earth from asteroids. We need to create a global and space network to detect these asteroids and have a way to destroy them before they hit us. What good is it having the coolest planet in the universe if it gets hit by a train……

We need to mobilize the free enterprise system, and not government, to create new transportation systems that allow more people to go into space affordably. The message needs to be that we all have the right stuff and we will never know what great minds can think of until we have the chance to go and prove it.

We need to return to the moon – but permanently this time. We need to do this so we can figure out how to get to Mars. How cool.

In order to do all of this we are going to have to get an international consortium, not in the name of war or paranoia, but of peace and science. A partnership between nations to place new heroes at the apex of our imaginations. A singular and unifying dream of hope and discovery that will lift our eyes and fire the imaginations of our new generations.


How cool would that be?

Anyway, on this anniversary of the first men walking on the moon, I was reminded of all this stuff. Thanks for letting me share it.


Thou Shall!

Well, since I was on the bible this morning I decided to continue onward in my Old Testament journey.

I have been greatly induced in this by a fabulous ongoing article in Slate called “Blogging The Bible”. Check it out if you dare…………

Back to Leviticus – in chapter 19 – there lies a most beautiful and quite unique set of instructions that get lost in all the doom and gloom of the old stuff.

We forget how unique and genuinely amazing these people were in the world in which they lived.

Here are the instructions that the Lord gives to his people:

“You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I the Lord am your God.”

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another. You shall not swear falsely by My name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.

(editorial comment here – when we speak of taking the Lord’s name in vain, it is not the commonly thought “goddamnit” that is what is spoken of here and in the ten commandments – it is the act of swearing an oath using God as your second that is the sin – sorry to all you Southern Baptists out there)

“You shall not defraud your fellow. You shall not commit robbery. The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning”.

“You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind. You shall fear your God: I am the Lord.”

“You shall not render an unfair decision; do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly. Do not deal basely with your countrymen. Do not profit by the blood of your fellow: I am the Lord.”

“You shall not hate your kinfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the Lord.”

“You SHALL observe My laws.”

So there you have it. Thousands of years ago – a model of how to be nice in a world that is not so nice. This is what sets people of this tradition apart from all others. This is why the Islamic Radicals and the Christian Fundamentalists and Rush Limbaugh will never ever get “it”.

We are to love and respect each other without trying to take advantage of our fellow man.

As I listen to the shit that goes on in Congress, I am reminded that our founding fathers would be sorely pissed if they could see us today in our pork barrel nation where the plight of the citizens is somehow marginalized into a “theory”.

So I am going to climb down from my soap box now and just remind you, again, of the words of St. John and St. Paul – “All you need is Love”.


Project Eddie

OK, so last night was the second show of Project Runway this season. We had a house full of kids all eagerly watching the hi-jinx.

Gay boys and strangely artsy girls all dueling with their shears and pins.

I think the boys are just as “catty” as the girls.

As I think I have said in the past, I catch much shit from my preacher about this Project Runway thing. So in order to balance all my stuff, I undertook a scholarly approach to this dilemma.

Which made me did out my bible this morning to see what it says about Project Runway:

Leviticus 18:22

“Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.”

Lots of blood has been spilled about this verse. But I have noticed that there is nothing in the bible about women laying with women.

So just like we have always known – it’s OK for girls to get it on but it’s just gross when boys do it.

But as a point of history and a blow to religious conservatives, as the bible continues in Leviticus, God points out to the writers WHY he is so devoted to stamping out sexual immorality. The Hebrews must follow the sexual laws in order to keep their land PURE. Those darned Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites and all the other heathens are being expelled from the land that God chose for his people because they have violated these laws and he has high hopes for the Hebrews.

“Thus the land became defiled; and I called it to account for it’s iniquity, and the land spewed out its inhabitants…….So let not the land spew you out for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you”.

According to the Lord, the land is alive – the land itself can be defiled or purified.

So keep it in your pants when you’re with Fabio or you may be in big trouble, not only from the Lord our God but from your very yard!

Well, I feel better now. The guy that got kicked off last night cried. He also wore eye makeup.

Peace be with ya!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back In The Saddle

Wow, it’s already Wednesday. So here's all the news that is news!

Amazing thing this time concept. Funny, how it just seems to slip away – hey, maybe there’s a song in there…………

Anyway, Monday was wild. I had a six-inch needle inserted into my spine to shoot some happy juice into a disc or two. That’s an amazing thing to have done. They put me on an x-ray table in this operating room and I get to watch on the monitor as the doctor guides this needle into me. The best part is that he gets to bend the needle around my spine. He says it took 12 years of school to learn how to do that. I'm glad I'm not in a teaching hospial so the residents can learn on me!

I guess that pretty much radiates me for a while, you know, being on the x-ray table, but oh well, it couldn’t be as bad as drinking the water from the tap!

I think it hurts but they give you a little somethin’-somethin’ to make you not care. Unfortunately it wears off way too soon. Then I am left with a squishy feeling in my lower back for the rest of the day. I have to stay still for about 8 hours until the medicine does its thing.

And BAM, just like that, my back doesn’t hurt so much for 5 or 6 weeks.

At least that’s the plan. It hurts still on Wednesday – but I’m hopeful that by Friday I’ll be doing handsprings.

But since it’s Wednesday, it’s time for Project Runway on BRAVO at 9pm tonight. So we’re having a little party to watch all the gay boys and frilly girls stab each other with pins. I really do love this show.

Got to watch my girl mow the yard last night because she was worried about my back. I really don’t like that. Boys are supposed to mow the yard. Is that sexist? Who cares. I’m bigger than her and I should have to do that.

Reminder to self: Talk tough to her and make her understand that is MY job.

Reality check: Yea, right…….I’m not telling her anything like that because even though she weighs half of what I do, she can still kick my ass.

Anyway, in order to head that off at the pass I called my son over to mow last night. As soon as I told her that she got out and got started mowing right away. So as my large, manly son drove up, I saw him look at her mowing and look at me as if to say “what do I do now”. So in order to save him any possible embarrassment I rushed outside to head him off at the pass.

She’s a very determined girl. And she mowed the lawn very well. Us boys watched.

Anyway, that’s done.

So here’s to swimmin’ with bow legged women.

Peace be unto-ya.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Thai Food Rocks!


I cooked a four course thai meal last night for my girl's b(r)est friend's birthday last night and it just rocked.

Spicy Lemongrass and coconut soup
Ground chicken salad
Red Curried Beef over rice
Peanut Chicken over rice noodles
And don't forget the caramel tort. I didn't do that - the bakery did - but OH MY GOD!

Food plays such a huge part in our southern culture and I am so very happy to be a part of that tradition. My earliest memories of gatherings all include food.

We do the big stuff down here real good. We can do whole cows and hogs and boil sacks of crawfish or tubs of shrimp. Shoot, my big gumbo pot holds 30 gallons!

And when you get your friends and family gathered around, get the wine/beer/liquor flowing, well, there's nothing left to do but have fun. And fun enough for stories to be told later!!!

Isn't that right you soup nazi???

So anyway, today I celebrate friends and all other things dear to me.

Try it sometimes, I think you'll agree.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot Time In The City

Has anyone noticed that the Middle East is about to explode?

There are several things in life that you just should know not to do.

#1. Make fun of a fat girl
#2 Laugh when your girl does something stupid
#3 Forget to compliment your girl when she looks nice
#4 Kidnap or kill Israeli soldiers

So someone stupid has kidnapped and killed some Israeli soldiers and now they are blowing up everything in sight.

This is not good.

If this is the roadmap for peace then I think we’ve hit a pothole. A big one!

So on the way to work this morning I was listening to this on public radio and it just got too damned depressing so I decided I would pop in some troubadour music.

Familiar with troubadours?

They are the people that sing deeper. Singer/Songwriters that have a cause. You can go back to Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan or early Bruce Springsteen. Tom Waites, Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams, John Prine and Lyle Lovett come to mind as well. But my favorite one these days is Steve Earle. What a guy. He got my attention with Copperhead Road and after seeing him in concert 6 or 7 times I am still blown away by his – whatever that is – that makes you hear straight through him.

So I popped in his song Jerusalem and listened. Check out these lyrics:

I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin’ cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on the TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin’ nobody could do or say

And I almost listened to him
Yea, I almost closed my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looking into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day – all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Well maybe I’m only a dreamer and maybe I’m just a fool
But I don’t remember learning how to hate in Sunday School
But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
But I still find some comfort now and then

Then the storm comes rumblin’ in
And I can’t lay me down
And the drums are drummin’ again
And I can’t stand the sound

But I believe there’ll come a day when the lion and the lamb
Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

And there’ll be no barricades then
There’ll be no wire or walls
And we can wash all this blood from our hands
And all this hatred from our souls

And I believe that on that day – all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords
Forever in Jerusalem

So what do you think? Pretty powerful stuff, ain’t it?

It seems the world is crashing down around us and all I can hear is the music of the ages and the eternal truths that are shouted from the mountain tops.

All we need is love. All we need is love.

With love comes understanding. With love comes compassion. With love comes compromise. With love comes everything.

So love someone today. And tell someone that needs to hear it to love someone. And when you encounter hate, don’t respond in kind, just love them until it makes them sick.

Because that is the only way we can change anything.

Peace to you and yours.

I’m outta here!

Bold As Love

I was reading a response from a blog buddy earlier about Jimi Hendrix and it got me to thinking about how there are some people you meet in life that hit you. And hit you hard.

I have a friend that is very sick. She is an amazing person who I have admired for years. She is the type person that is so full of Zen that she has no idea that she creates waves as she walks through life. She have never comprehended the nature of her existence and really has always been kind of sad to me. She is very beautiful and has never chosen well when it comes to men.

But here recently she fell in love and married a very amazing boy. He is equally Zen-like and everyone just thought awwwwww……… right. Some people just fit together.

I’m blessed like that too. My baby fits so well for me. I was made for her.

And now my friend is sick. Very sick. Her husband is devastated and I am at a loss as to what to say or do. Sometimes life is so unfair and because of that it makes me reflect on just how truly fortunate I am and it makes me want to appreciate exactly what I have even more.

So now I’m rambling. Sorry.

I started out with Jimi Hendrix and am now listening to Axis: Bold as Love.

Check out the lyrics.

Anger, he smiles
Towering in shiny metallic purple armor
Queen Jealousy, envy awaits behind him
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground

Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted
They quietly understand
Once happy turquoise armies lay opposite ready
But wonder why the fight is on
But they’re all bold as love, yea, they’re bold as love
Just ask the Axis

My red is so confident that he flashes trophies of war,
And ribbons of euphoria
Orange is young, full of daring
But very unsteady for the first go around
My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me
And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from
Giving my life to a rainbow like you

But I’m bold, bold as love (hear me talkin’ girl)
I’m bold as love
Just ask the Axis (he knows everything)

Now I realize that many people don’t “feel” music as I do. They listen to catchy hooks and tunes and live their lives in a Top 40 Format. But I go deeper. Much deeper. I hear music in colors and sense the underlying messages. You know, kind of like Charlie Manson hearing the Beatles telling him to kill. Well, maybe not quite like that! But I hear things differently. And as I listened to this song this morning I was reminded of my friend that is sick and how she spreads colors as she goes.

I am praying hard.

I am very sad.

I need to be hugged………….

I hope you will hug someone today and tell them you love them – because life is never assured. We are just a moment away from eternity at all times. So please love with all your heart and never settle for anything less than what your heart desires.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm Not Gay

Nope, I’m not gay. Never been close to anything that resembles that.

At 6’2” and 250 lbs and an athlete, I have never been considered effeminate or remotely “girly” by any stretch of the imagination.

And yet here it is, right in front of me all the time these days.

So look, I am in an incredibly heterosexual relationship with an incredible woman.

(OMG – yea for me!)

My problems seem to be (listed in no particular order)

- I am a great cook. I cook plain food. I cook fancy food. I can bbq and smoke meat and make magic out of meat and wood. I can whip up French sauces and any kind of Oriental food (the Thai birthday dinner tomorrow will be wonderful). I have catered many functions of up to 400 people. I have done at least a dozen weddings. I’ve even done a funeral. I have fed the USM football team twice. So what’s the deal? I can cook, nothing gay about that.

- I like to go shopping. I have always loved to go buy clothes and stuff. I’m crazy for kitchen stuff, knives, chopping boards, etc. So what? I was an only child and I had to fend for myself – never had any hand-me-downs to deal with. That’s not gay.

- I like to read. I have always spent lots of time reading. I find that it expands the mind and allows me to think thoughts and investigate concepts that I would otherwise never know about.

- But here seems to be the one that is getting me seriously abused these days – Project Runway. Hard to explain since I have no fashion sense what so ever. I have never designed clothes or wanted to. I think the New York fashion industry is so far away from what I understand that it may as well be on another planet. But I love this show. There is something about the ego’s and the sexual proclivities of these people that makes for the most amazing mix to watch on television. I love this show. And I catch so much shit about it.

And the truth is that I am tired of it. I’m going to whip the next person’s ass that tries to make fun of me about it. I mean, what’s the point of being a big, strong alpha male with lots of tattoo’s and a motorcycle if you can’t act like a bad-ass and whip somebody every once in a while.

So here you go – fair warning.

p.s. I don’t hit girls, but don’t think I won’t throw you down and tickle you until you pee in your pants.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Today Is Amazing

I love today.

Today I reflect and am amazed at what a long, wonderful trip it's been.

Are there things I would change? Maybe. There are things I wish I would have handled differently but all in all, I am very happy.

Life is a river and it flows constantly - and the hardest part is to get in each day and realize that it's different every time.

When we come to the point where we realize that things don't always work out the way we imagined they would - and we let go of that - then we can be truly amazed at the way they did turn out and be appreciative of that.

I don't care what comes because I know in my heart that I will face it with love in my heart and grace so abundant that I am humbled to the point of feeling special.

And who doesn't want to be special?

I love today.

And I love you too.

Just watch and see......................

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wake Up - Hug Your Neighbor

All wars are useless to the dead.............

I've been pondering all the crap I read in the paper. I am reminded why I don't read too much of that stuff because there is a boat-load of misery out there in the wide world.

People kill each other for reasons that just escape me.

I have no answers - sometimes I don't even have any questions.

But I do know that if we hugged more often then we wouldn't need to headbutt so much.

Something to think about.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Blues - We Don't Need No Stinkin' Blues......

Along this lonely path I tread
My heart betrays my weary head
With nothing but my love to save
From the cradle to the grave………………

The blues is the soundtrack of my life. I hear it. I feel it. I have lived it. And yet, at this point in my life where I have nothing to be blue about, it is still there as a constant reminder of how things could be if it weren’t for the fact that my life rocks!

So today I am thankful for what I have and what I see and what I feel and what I do.

And how amazing is being thankful?

It surely is a lot better than being sad about how things should have been. Isn’t it?

So find some joy today. Realize what really matters and be thankful.

Here is what brings me joy -

Looking over at the one I love and realizing that I receive so much more than I deserve and so much more than I ever thought was possible.

Realizing that my children have turned out just fine and that no matter what they face in life they will have the base to deal with it.

Dogs are unconditional - even if they are stupid.

Church is great when the preacher means it.

Friends are amazing in that they are always there when you need them.

Work is nothing more than work - it doesn't have to define me yet I can use it to be a better person to all those around me.

Parents are a blessing.

Having stuff is great but being able to lie down beside a girl and hold her, and have her hold you back, is the most amazing thing that they never told you about when you were growing up.

New friends can be as cool as old friends.

That to truly let go of all your "stuff" is the only true sign of maturity.

To walk on the beach at night and hold hands with your girl is the best thing to do on vacation.

So this week I am going to celebrate life and love and try to remind all of those that are important to me that life is wonderful - so let's look on the bright side.

God Bless.

July 12 is my favorite day in the world.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Love That Life

Isn’t it weird when a holiday happens in the middle of the week? This has been the strangest week and the only thing I can put my finger on is that we had a day off on Tuesday.

Work has been odd.

But who cares about that stuff anyway!

Today is a new day and I’m fairly happy to be in it. I had a nice evening last night – did absolutely nothing other than watch three Soprano’s episodes and then some bad t.v. It was very refreshing. Had left over hotdogs and hot wings for supper.

Not a care in the world and I slept like a baby.

Which made me think about what really matters. We get all balled up inside about all kinds of things and I am pretty darned certain that most of them don’t mean diddly-squat.

Who are we? What is our purpose? How do we see ourselves?

These are the philosophical things that always swirl around in my head. The cool thing about getting older is that not only does it hurt to get up in the morning but you actually start to answer some of those questions for yourself.

Life is not on cruise control unless you put it there.

If today sucked, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow has to.

I mean, really, what do we expect from life anyway? For me, it’s all about living and the biggest part of that quality of life is love. To love with all your heart.

Few of us will ever do anything epic in our lives. We don’t climb mountains or score the winning goal at the World Cup. Our life, as well as our death, will be of no momentous importance except to ourselves and the people we love.

Our days are spent eating, sleeping, working, washing clothes, mowing the lawn, raising children, getting sick, shopping, crying, laughing, getting fat, losing weight, etc.

Yep, the boring details of our lives. Every day. It just goes on and on and it never stops.

So where is the juice?

If there is to be any poetry or romance or meaning in our lives, it will be there only because we have created it and nurtured it ourselves. Nothing happens without effort.

The life and love we create is the life and love we live.

It’s really as simple as that.

So today, take stock of what’s important to you and try just a little harder to make it into something remarkable. I truly believe you will be very happy you did.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Fifth Of July!

Another holiday survived. And nobody got hurt!

I made my annual pilgrimage up to my family gravesites to say “hey” and clean up the stuff.

Strange things, graveyards.

I put a new flag on my father’s grave and said “hey” to both sets of grandparents.

It gives you a real sense of “roots”. In a concrete way.

I rode my motorcycle the 50 miles up there. Unfortunately I left at high noon when it was about 110 degrees. So there I am with my big motorcycle, huge black boots and a sleeveless t-shirt on. A stereotypical redneck biker boy. Which is pretty funny considering I am something of the antithesis of that. It’s kind of like putting on a uniform or going to a costume party. But I get lots of head tipping in my direction as people give me a wide berth.

But OMG was it hot. I swear I thought I was going to join them in the graveyard before the trek was over. It was so damn hot.

I stopped at two fruit stand on the way home to buy a few peaches, pears, plums and whatever else I thought could make my thirst go away.

I should have known better. I needed beer. And lots of it.

So I get home and there are 17,354 little girls wanting me to put up the water slide, the water something else and to squirt them with the hose. All at the same time. The ground is so hard I can’t get the slip-n-slide planted.

I’m very hot. I may pass out.

OK, so there weren’t really 17,354 of the little girls. I think there were only 6 or 7 – but it sure SEEMED like there were a lot more.

We had some folks over later and cooked the requisite dogs and stuff and had a very nice evening.

But it sure was great when everyone went home.

I was thinking the entire day of how nice it was. It’s very nice to have something to look forward to. I wonder how many people passed the Fourth of July just as if it were another day. No cookouts. No friends. No nothing special.

I am very blessed in my life. And I promise myself that I will never take any of that for granted. We have all faced loneliness at one time or another and had those questions that roll around inside of us like “Is this all there is?” “What am I supposed to do now?”

Well, I am so beyond that – but I always remember. I always have it right there in the background every time I may find myself getting frustrated with something stupid that really doesn’t mean anything.

So have patience – love with all your heart – be kind to animals and small children – but most of all, remember what it is like to not have any of that.

Yea, graveyards are amazing places to reflect.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Firecracker Firecracker Boom Boom Boom

Happy Independence Day, Ya’ll.

I am guilty. You are guilty, too. We take so many things for granted in our country. We take our freedoms for granted. We take our judicial system for granted. We get mad about how things don’t work like we think they are supposed to.

We are spoiled rotten.

I try to have a world-view of things. I see how things work in other places before I am so quick to condemn things around here.

My father was a career soldier. He loved that stuff. Not so much for the ideals, it was just the stuff he loved. And I understand that. I’m just not like that. But I respect those that are. I just hate it that we send these brave people all over the world for no apparent reason and have them die being policemen in places where we are not welcome.

I am disgusted by our political system which is not about doing the right thing and looking out for the common good - it seems to be about grabbing all you can get and forming “alliances” with the devil to promote your own self interests.

The Republican Party, “the grand old party”, has taken this to an art form. It’s going to bite them in the butt, real darned soon.

And by the way, Karl Rove is the most evil man alive today.

George Bush seems like such a nice and likable fellow. But when you elect the “C” student this is what you get. You get reliance on people that may not have the common good in mind. Little George went back into his daddy’s closet and got some old clothes – and the men that were wearing them.

So just like that, we stepped back 20 years in philosophy and in ideals.

I guess we’re really going to win the cold war…………..finally. Of course, we’re the only one still fighting it.

So I guess what I am saying is that this is still a government by the people and for the people and if you have any ideals left in you, please go out and vote for someone that has never held office. Let’s give the new people a chance.

Let the rallying cry be “Remember Tom Delay”.

But let us not forget what a remarkable country we live in. Let us rejoice that we have the freedoms to do such stupid things. Let us be happy the New York Times can spill the beans on top secret programs and open debate about whether it’s a good thing or not.

I, for one, plan to eat some bbq, bust open a watermelon and hoist some Miller High Life in grateful appreciation of all of these things.
Come join me.

Monday, Monday

It’s Monday July 3 and here I sit at work. All my employees are PISSED that we are having to work today.

But like I tell them, “Hey, I’m just your boss – my boss decides when all of us work – so get off my back”!

So we sit here and do our thing while we imagine the others out there getting their grills all cleaned up and ready to fire up tomorrow.

I can do that tonight.

The year is half over and it seems to have just flown by. Maybe it’s just my perception – but then again, isn’t your perception your reality?

So as I look towards the second half of the year the biggest thing I am looking forward to is the mediation of the temperature. It seems like it has been over 100 degrees for months now. I can’t wait for fall and a bit of coolness in the air. Football season. Kids in school. Summer is great – but I’m ready for fall. I want to go back to the beach and I just hate the beach in the summertime because it’s so damn hot!

July should be a good month. I’ve got a trip planned at the end of the month to take my lady to go see her REAL boyfriend Tim McGraw in Nashville. I guess, to be fair, I should say that his wife Faith is going to be there too – which sweetens the deal considerably for me………….

But I do loving going places. Especially if we can go on the motorcycle. I’ll have to check her temperature on that as it gets closer. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as chewing up the miles on a bike with a beautiful woman holding you tight. Nope, that’s about as good as it gets.

As I was driving to work early this morning I was somewhat giggling at my CD changer and the strange compilation of CD’s that were inside of it. I guess “eclectic” is the best word but here’s the list:

CD1: Dwight Yokum – Guitars, Cadillac’s, Etc.
CD2: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
CD3: REM - Green
CD4: Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
CD5: Pearl Jam - Vitology
CD6: Dixie Chicks – The new one……..

If I died in a car crash and they were trying to figure out what I liked, they would be very confused.

Luckily, I’m a good driver so I hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.

So happy Independence Day to all – and let’s remember what Saint John and Saint Paul once said – “All You Need Is Love”.