Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bliss...Follow Up.

Last post I talked about the need to examine and perhaps change one's embedded beliefs. Today I read a truly there's-still-hope-for-the-world article in The Huffington Post by Emmy & Tony Award winning actress Cynthia Nixon on the very same topic. Read it here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bliss...Easy Come, Easy Go.

So folks have been asking me why I haven't posted in a while. Truth is I've really come to a sense of inner peace about a lot of things both spiritual and otherwise. I have been in such a blissful state that I haven't had a need to rant lately. I was about to write a post to that effect when THIS had to up and happen: The New York State Senate voted down the Gay Marriage Bill.

Seriously folks. Are we still living in the dark ages? Haven't we discriminated against each other for one inane reason or another enough already? The bill was defeated 38 to 24. Not a single Republican senator voted for the measure!! Call me naive but are you trying to tell me that every Republican in the state called up their senator and asked them to vote no on this? Do senators even check in with their constituents before they cast their vote any more? And don't try to tell me they're no gay Republicans! Ok they might not be...but that's NOT THE POINT!!

How much longer will intelligent free-thinking human beings continue to state with conviction that we're doing God a favor by not allowing Gay Marriage. Were we doing God a favor when interracial marriages were illegal? Or when slavery was legal? But I guess I just answered my own question. Some of us...dare I say most of us are not free thinkers but simply lemmings who do what we've always done because, heaven forbid, doing something different might require us to change our view about something.

As I'm learning in my Credo class, and realizing is a scary truth, we make many of our decisions based on our belief about God. Not consciously, mind you, which is even scarier when you think about it. There is so much embedded in some of us that we might not unpack it all before our time is up. And worse, some of us don't want to go through the unpacking process to begin with.

Listen folks...it's okay to change our belief about God. In fact, I highly recommend it. It may not be all sunshine and roses when you do it, but don't chicken out. Ask the tough questions and open your eyes. Only then might you find what you thought you had all along.

And speaking of changing views, I leave you with these....

Monday, October 5, 2009

OMG! What time is it?

Once again time has proven my enemy... or at least proven itself faster than my muse and my organizational skills. But in a nutshell, since last post [OMG! July?! Really!?!] it's been a time of inner work, outer preoccupations, and now I'm back in the safe cloister of academia. Well... relatively safe

Here at Unity Institute we just completed a symposium called Lyceum 2009-Science & Religion: An Evolving Dialogue. I sat on a panel of students from UI and other seminaries as we debated the still-a-hot-button issues of Creationism v Evolution [you can find a decent side-by-side comparison here]. We harangued over multiple points ranging from our thoughts about religion influencing public policy [which is another post for another time] to where we stood on each process on its own merit. I can't recall everyone agreeing on any point at any point in the session, but as the Lyceum title suggests, this was an opportunity to dialogue rather than convince.

Probably the most debated [sorry...conversed] point that came up [and it returned in metaphysical theology class this morning] was the nature of God. More specifically the question of God being vs God becoming. Is God already all God can be or is God evolving along with us? The idea of God being is a long standing tradition of many faiths, including Christianity, including Unity. Recently [as in last century] the idea of Process Theology has been gaining ground. It basically purports that God is changeable inasmuch as we exercise our free will and thought and create our experiences. In other words, God experiences itself through our choices and knows all the possible choices we can make...except the one we actually make. Of course, this approach flies in the face of the "Omniscience" of God, which is a bitter pill to swallow, because as our professor Rev. Dr. Thomas Shepherd pointed out, remove one card and the whole house of cards falls.

Where do I stand on this? I keep coming back to an agnostic [some would say cynical] position of "we cannot and never will know with any certainty." That doesn't posit that either is wrong and suggests that both sides of the debate may also be correct. But I also think that the real question here we might be overlooking is one of time. We humans tend to think of time as linear but it might not be [click here for the easy explanation or here if you want to get technical...most of clicked the first one didn't you?]. More often than not I find myself pitching my tent in the camp that views everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, exists in every moment. Time is also inextricably linked to distance [i.e. space - hence terms like spacetime contiuum]. An easy example is stargazing. The light from some stars takes millennia to reach us, meaning we're now seeing it as it was thousands of years ago. In a sense we have time-traveled.

So I think any discussion about our understanding of God has to include our understanding of time. If every moment in time also exists in this moment, then yes, an evolving unchangeable God is possible. Does this challenge previous held notions? Naturally...but that's half the fun of this.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Day to be Gay

I'm wrapping up five weeks of some pretty intensive introspective classes. The final project in the Diversity Awareness class was to assume the role of someone in a non-dominant category. In our society this includes male, heterosexual, white, no physical or mental handicap, you get the idea. So generally if you're a healthy straight white male you got it made; if you're a gay black woman in a wheelchair you're pretty much screwed. And again, these are just categories to help us be conscious of how we relate to each other.

So I chose to be gay for my project. Being the only black person in room of white faces has happened more often than not so I decided to tackle an issue that would require me to stretch outside my comfort zone and force me to look at my embedded fears. I grew up with nineteen years of homophobia programming, and while it never got as bad as this [warning: disturbing video], there was still plenty to overcome.

So click on the link below to find out more about my adventure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brain Freeze [plus important PSA]

Sometimes things happen that, for all your logic and intellect, momentarily paralyze you with disbelief. Last month Jen and I attended the Unity convention in Kansas City, KS where the following [paraphrased] conversation took place between her [JEN], an innocent bystander [IB], and an unenlightened booth attendant [UBA]:

JEN: Did my husband just come by and make a purchase?
UBA: No ma'am. I don't think your husband was here.
JEN: Are you sure? He said he was going to come by make a purchase?
UBA: I'm fairly sure he wasn't here.
IB: There was a gentleman here five minutes ago.
UBA: That wasn't your husband...It was a black guy.

When Jen recounted this, my brain literally stopped working due to the shock. Then I went straight to disbelief and even hinted that she must have misheard because it was absolutely impossible that in the twenty-first century someone assumed that a blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian couldn't be married to a black man. Even more bizarre was the fact that this took place at a Unity convention. Unity...the poster movement for acceptance...probably the most gay-friendly religious movement...where you could have green skin and antennas growing out of your head and we'd still love you!

The only way I can rationally comprehend the entire incident is to believe that for a brief fatigue-induced moment, this man's embedded world view got the better of him. He was a white man in his sixties, most likely the product of wholesome mid-west upbringing that told him people who look different don't get married. And, most likely because of Unity's teachings and life experience, he intellectually turned his back on his childhood prejudices to become an equal-opportunity lover of humanity. But in that moment, as in many moments of our lives, he switched to default and spoke without thinking.

After getting over my shock came the realization that defaulting to our embedded views, whether religious or social or ethical, is more the norm than the exception. For me this means that any real and lasting change can only come through our children, and for that to happen we need conscious parents. Jen & I consider ourselves students of this conscious parenting practice, and Joy calls us into it every day.

Some of you know Jen has been co-hosting a Spiritual Parenting web-radio show on Unity.fm for almost the past two years This fall I'll be joining her as the new co-host...HUZZAH!!...let the hilarity ensue! I'll be the edgier who-gave-him-a-mic/good-lord-what's-he-gonna-say-next bad cop to Jen's I'm-trying-to-do-a-show-here!/just-hide-me-now good cop. HA! All kidding aside, I'm really looking forward to it. For our many struggles, we do parenting pretty damn well...just look at Joy [knock, knock]. So tune in [I'll post exact link later] and in the meantime check out UNITY FAMILY MATTERS, a site dedicated to conscious spiritual parenting.

Catch ya soon on the air waves!...or would that be the web waves?....hmm.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Somebody Else In My Head.

I'm so psyched when others can express what's ricocheting around in my head better than I can. Check out this post over at NAKEDPASTOR.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Simple Birthday Complexities

The question of the day on PLINKY a few days back was "At what age did you realize you were an adult?" You don't need to look too far to realize that they're way too many grown men and women who haven't made the realization yet. Mine occurred, or has been occurring, over the last seven months. It's been another reason my blogging seemed to have slowed to a slow trickle. One of my seminary gurus wisely advised us not to use the pulpit [yes, for now this is my pulpit] to do your work, but to share the work you've already done.

I turned 35 on June 1st. While there's no precise age that marks the leap to adulthood, one would think that after having been married for a decade and a parent for nearly just as long, my feet should be planted squarely in this new neighborhood of life. And while I had assumed [and quite well I might add] and fulfilled the roles and responsibilities of adult family man [husband, father, bread-winner, mentor, teacher, house-owner] there was still one relationship that was struggling to come to terms with. It was my relationship with God, which was ultimately my relationship with myself.

I've shared some of my early struggles and attempts to resolve said struggles. And though [by its very definition] the evolution continues, only recently have I found some measure of peace. I finally decided to take the advice I've often doled out to others...simply stop struggling and rest in the unknown. It's not a comfortable place to be by any stretch of the imagination, but it's where we will inevitably find ourselves, especially during times of transition. And when we stop struggling we gain a better perspective. I realized that I was struggling to come to terms with the end of a relationship that, in its various forms, had been a source of great comfort and through which I had ultimately defined myself.

Many years ago I let go of the image of God as the sky-bound fatherly figure and replaced it with the more mystical Spark-of-Divinity within. It was an improvement, but it still propagated the idea that something else existed that defined who I was. To discover who I was at the core, I realized I had to let go of it all and live in the nothingness for a while. My friend Hugh said it well: "I used to idolize my dad. When I turned thirty-five, I realized that my Dad didn't know crap when he was thirty-five either!" So I too have had the realization that I'm no longer a spiritual child and it's up to me to define it all for myself.

It may just be problem with languaging as we try to create new definitions for a myth some of us aren't quite ready to let go of. Some simply label the universal principles that govern us [e.g. cause & effect] God and thus retain the familiar. But I like what Bishop John Shelby Spong said recently [and I'm paraphrasing because I stubbornly refuse to write things down]: "Our divinity is found in the full expression of our humanity." Now here's something that finally makes sense. Call it what you want...God, Spirit, Divine Mother-Father, Principle...but it's just us; an ever-evolving self-aware species with great individual and collective potential. We don't need to pass the buck anymore...we ARE the buck.

I don't deny there's much we don't yet understand, or can explain [take intuition for example]. But as we at some point realize that on the outside we are adults and chose the roles and responsibilities that suit us best, so must it go on the inside. This is a dramatically more difficult path to walk, and one we must each walk alone.

[DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on the blog are those of a blogger in transition and subject to change at anytime.]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Minister [in-training] in da house!

This past Sunday I was the guest speaker at church [Unity Church of the Triangle]. Even more surprising than them giving me twenty minutes and a mic, was the fact that the talk turned out pretty darn well. Music was provided by the awesome Lynchburg band Six Chasing Seven.

Click here to listen to talk [player may take a few seconds to start so be zen].

Monday, May 25, 2009

You can never watch PULP FICTION too many times.

"Prank call! Prank call!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random Goodness

Yeesh! Almost a month since last post. Obviously the blogging-while-watching-basketball idea didn't take off. I don't seem to have the multi-tasking skills I once possessed. Who am I kidding...I never had them to begin with. Truth is I'm in one of my reading moods where I'm always in a book and not much else [other than watching basketball]. My Goodreads widget in the sidebar tells the tale. And I can lay some of the blame on Twitter. I don't feel as guilty about not posting since I'm constantly tweeting. So in true twitteresque form, here's some randomness that befell me the last few weeks:

I took on the job as Music Director for my church[Unity Church of the Triangle] which will look very interesting as I return to Kansas City for the summer to take more classes. Yes...still a minister in training.


I will be guest speaker at the afore mentioned church this coming Sunday. That'll also be interesting considering the crisis of faith that just won't go away.


Check out my friend Jess' blog Wandering Revelations. She's traipsing all over France and eating all of their food. I'm appropriately envious of course...I had KFC for dinner tonight.


I am a ROBOT. Click here 'cause I don't want to explain.

We've made 3 trips to the amusement park Busch Gardens in the last 2 months. We bought a year pass using the it'll-pay-for-itself-after-two-trips logic. It means we've pulled Joy out of school for about 4 days now. No parent-of-the-year awards for us this year.
I've slowly returned to my lazy bad-food habits [Did I mention the KFC?]. Haven't been to the gym since I-don't-know-when and rainy weather has reduced the bike riding. Jen informed we we're going on the Fat Flush diet again-oh joy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It might be time...

Once again Joy steps up to provide the hilarity. 

This past Friday was date night and as Jen was getting dressed she asked Joy's opinion on her very sexy form-fitting blouse that revealed her distractingly attractive cleavage.

Joy's reply: "Um...no mom. Not on you. Maybe on somebody else."

It might be time for boarding school.

The other too-strange-for-words event was the message we found on our answering machine after date night.
A heavily-slurred loud voice: "I want you live like the gay woman you are....right then."

It might be time for a new phone number.

Life...game, cereal, never a dull moment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

He's Baaaaack!

Hey gang. I'm back, I'm black, and ready to get crack...ing on more blogg...ing... aaaand I've just ruled out poetry, rap, and spoken word for alternative career plans. 

I've had a few weeks break [total work overwhelm] and I'm done class for a month so I'm returning to the blogosphere at a time that I'm guaranteed to be awake til at least one in the morning more often than not because it's NBA PLAYOFFS BABEEEEE! so for the next month and a half I'll be a walking sleep-deprived-yet-wired zombie most likely blogging as I watch the games which might lead to nonsensical postings [nothing new] and ridiculously lengthy run-on sentences posing as paragraphs [more nothing new].

Please breathe now if you rely on punctuation for air.

This morning's blog fodder comes courtesy of my sweet eight-year-old offspring Joy and my less-than-perfect parenting skills. Joy was bitten on her chest by a tick [we think] a few days ago when she visited the great outdoors also known as the in-laws' homestead. We thought we'd pulled it out but there's a huge swollen red bump in the middle of her chest. 

And the conversation went like this:

Jen: That's huge! It's like Chandler!
Me: HA-HA-HA!!
Joy: HA-HA-HA!!
Me: Why are you laughing? You don't get it!
Joy: Yes I do-Chandler has three nipples! 

Parenting lesson for today: Yeah...she was watching.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm trying this new program called Cellspin. It should allow me to post from my phone. I could always email to the blog but somehow I've succumed to the delusion that a shiny new free app for my BlackBerry Storm will make me more productive.

I writing this on my Storm and I'm going to stop now because it's taking three times as long and my thumbs hurt from correcting all the typos.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jesus, Santa, and the Easter Bunny

Earlier this week one of my wife's co-workers asked us, "Does Joy still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny? I thought my daughter [8 like Joy] didn't anymore but yesterday she said we've got to take her Easter basket on our trip so the Bunny can make his deliveries."

I said: "As long as we keep putting crap out for Joy to wake up and find, she's gonna believe."

Co-worker: "Yeah, she'll be like 'This doesn't make sense, but crap keeps showing up...oh well.'"

Me: "She's too smart for her own good. Probably keep "believing" at fourteen to get more crap."

Co-worker: "But should I tell my daughter the truth? I don't want her to find out on the streets."

Me: "At least not at the same time she finds out about drugs and hookers."

Co-worker: "What?!"

Me: "Nothing. She's eight...no harm no foul I suppose. Childhood innocence is disappearing fast enough as it is. I say let them hold on to the Bunny for at least another year.

So I got to thinking about the Easter Bunny which naturally lead me to thinking about Jesus and Santa Claus. Easter, after all, is about Jesus and who doesn't think of Santa when they think of the Easter Bunny. Which got me thinking how timing is everything because here we have two men that we're pretty sure existed [Jesus and Saint Nicholas] who were both generous and both had a follower named Peter [a disciple for Jesus, a black slave boy for St. Nick...not kidding] and they might have both been a little racist [see my last post for Jesus' racist leanings and as for St. Nick, well, I think the black slave boy thing speaks for itself].

The legend of these two men still exist today but one of them has a major world religion in his name while the other has really just one day attributed to him, which is coincidentally the day we celebrate the birth of the one with the world religion in his name. Both men went from humble beginnings to world-wide recognition and worship. But timing, apparently, is everything, and we have Christianity instead of a major world religion based on Santa Claus [But could you imagine it? No...really! A Santa Claus religion. Would we worship in giant toy shops or igloos? Would Santa Claus Is Coming To Town be a standard hymn? Would the reindeer be his disciples? The possibilities are endless]. 

What's the point here? Religion truly is an invention of man, and time and context play a major role. Just ask the makers any mp3 player before the ipod, or the builders of social websites before MySpace, or the clearly-ahead-of-their-time geniuses behind this shirt:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WWJD? Who Knows!

The premise of this talk is that even though they...we...whoever!...throws around WWJD? as the answer to any dilemma, what Jesus would actually do today is anyone's best guess. He was a complicated dude by all accounts. He would be a twitter user...for sure.

WWJD? Who Knows! from Nugo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When Irish Eyes are LMAO

Happy St. Patty's Day...as only the Muppets can:

And if that's not enough hilarity, click here to find out why being clean is being happy [thanks to Hugh for this one].

Monday, March 16, 2009

Take a Deep Breath [Blog-a-log-a-ding-dong! Day thank-God-it's-over]

Ahhh...the sweet smell of victory. That or the odor of the mango chicken sausage we had for dinner has permeated every fiber in the house. Either way, I stand triumphant! I have done the impossible! Ok...the improbable. Alright...the not likely. How about the not-such-a-big-deal-but-good-for-me-anyways? 

As you recall [and since you probably don't, click here] one week ago tonight I set myself the audaciously spectacular goal of posting every day for one week. And I have. I'm proud of myself and I feel great. And I'm NEVER DOING IT AGAIN!! 

That was way too much pressure and worry. It was like an itch in the middle of my brain that I couldn't scratch all day long because I had to remember to post. It actually took some of the fun out of blogging for me, and I need to hold on to the fun right now. I've got a lot going on now, mostly on the inside...lots of questions that need answering, lots of feelings I wish weren't there, dark moods I'd rather not be in. Blogging has been a breath of fresh air...no...more like pure oxygen. Oxygen is good...except if there's a lit flame...then there's explosions, and no more oxygen. Pushing myself to blog everyday rather than letting it flow naturally was like thumbing the Zippo wheel.

So here's celebrating this small victory. And here's hoping each of you have your own tank of oxygen somewhere. Also thanks to Wonder-Rachel over at My Crazy Life for the Blog-a-log-a-ding-dong title; I was truly drawing a blank for this one.

See ya soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stop The Madness [Bloga...crap...I got nothin'. Day so-close-I-can-taste-it!]

I have a simple three-tiered rating system for movies:
1. It's gonna be so good, I gotta see it on the big screen.
2. It's gonna be just ok, I can wait for the rental [download].
3. It's gonna be so bad, I'll let somebody else rent it and watch it at their house.

Once every blue moon I abandon my fail-safe system and embrace Family Movie Night. Last night, against my better judgement, we saw Race to Witch Mountain. I knew going in it was a remake of the 1975 classic Escape to Witch Mountain, and since that was one of the defining movies of my childhood, I wanted Joy to have a similar experience. I should've just rented [downloaded] the original. Joy left the theater with a lot of questions. When an 8-year-old realizes there's too many things that don't make sense, you didn't do a good job. Wikipedia called it a "re-imagining (i.e. a loose remake)" of the original. Any looser and I'd be calling it names that rhyme with "floor" and "shut."

Here's my only question: Is their any originality left in Hollywood? Or are we doomed to be subjected to having the last glimmers of life squeezed out of classics and remolded into fantorgasmic exhibitions of computer-generated wizardry. Even the posters from the two versions bare this out:

Any hesitation as to which one is the original? And can someone PULEEZE explain to me why "The Rock" is such a movie star? I swear I don't get it. I say leave well-enough alone, if it ain't broke don't fix it, and any other witty way of saying STOP MAKING CRAPPY REMAKES ALREADY!! 

However, by far the biggest travesty came during the previews when I saw this:

In two and a half minutes another piece of my childhood was forever ruined. Don't get me wrong...I got big love for Will Farell. Anchorman will forever hold a place as one of my Top Ten Funniest Movies and his brief appearances in Wedding Crashers and The Producers made those movies worth watching. But did they have to ruin Land of the Lost?! From the preview the only thing tying this obvious travesty to the original campy series is the title and those adorable sleestacks:

The day was not a total lost. Thanks to TBS, your home for defining 80's movies, I was able to share with Joy the last 30 minutes of the irreplaceable goodness that is THE GOONIES.

Please Hollywood, for the love of God and all that is sacrosanct of the 80's, LEAVE THIS ONE ALONE!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweet Distraction [Blogtacular '09! Day are-we-there-yet?!]

This blogging everyday thing is taking up a lot of time. It's lowered my productivity to 31% from it's usual peak of 37%.  Here's a list of things I should be doing now instead of blogging:

1. Homework
2. Dishes
3. Hanging pictures
4. Vacuuming
5. Laundry
6. Putting away last load of laundry
7. Getting cars inspected
8. Playing wii with Joy
9. Editing video for church website
10. Unpacking boxes
11. Writing the next great American novel
12. Watching legally DVR'd tv shows
13. Watching illegally pirated movies
14. Buying groceries
15. Making diner
16. Feeding my child

UPDATE: I didn't post this when I originally wrote it at 5:00 this afternoon. It's almost 10:30 now, and the list continues...

17. Homework I didn't do since #1
18. Putting Joy to bed [she slept in til 10 this morning so don't think I'm bad parent]
19. Putting myself to bed
20. See #12
21. See #13
22. Thinking of what to blog about tomorrow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

T.G.I.F.F. [Blogilicious! Day...um...4 maybe?]

WOHOO!! Thank God It's Finally Frideeeee!!. 

It's a fact that Friday is the most looked-forward-to day of the week. It's been this way since some not-thinking-straight individual created the seven day work week. It's been a staple of Jewish religious practice for millenia, and believe me that they take their Sabbath seriously...they wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff for performing miracles on Friday [and to be clear, it was the over-zealous Jewish authorities not Jews in general]. It's the day we let our hair down, and celebrate with ales and spirits not returning to work for two days.

But I don't think this is fair on Friday. It's almost too much pressure for one day too handle. Take Monday for example. Monday has no pressure on it. No one likes Monday. No one wakes up and says, "Yeah Monday!" It's more like, "uuuuugh...Monday." Tuesday just gets ignored; poor Tuesday. Wednesday is Hump Day. Now while that may not sound very complimentary, it's the first ray of hope for the week, but no real expectations. Sadly, Thursday's rep is limited to being the day before Friday. Depending on your age and relationship status, Saturday is either recover-from-Friday day or hang-with-the-family day. Sunday, again depending on your status, is either recover-from-Saturday's-recover-from-Friday day or the weekly-dose-of-religion day. But Sunday, no matter how it starts, inevitably has us singing the back-to-work blues.

Friday now has the near insurmountable task of being the day that makes it all worthwhile. It's not fair I tell you. No one day should bear that much responsibility. If something happens and you miss Friday [family/medical emergency, coma] you're pretty much screwed for two weeks.

But no fear. I have a plan. I say don't start the work day on Wednesday til 2pm. That way we have time to recover from Tuesday night frivolities. Tuesday is no longer ignored and Wednesday gets a bump for being a sleep-in day. It's a plan with great potential to take some of the load of Friday's shoulders. Give it some thought.

Now I gotta go meet some friends for Indian food and maybe a few beers.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Extra! Extra! [Blogtastic! Day 3.5?]

So I published my last post with the Dilbert cartoon this morning yet it showed up under Wednesday's date. I don't understand what happened. Now it looks like I posted twice yesterday and not today so I'm making up for it with this really boring FYI to essentially cover my ass and not look like a liar. Now if this shows up as being posted on some date other that Thursday, March 12th, 2009 I'm throwing my hands up and surrendering to the inexplicable foibles of the interwebs.

So as I'm here I might as well mention something useful like the Modest Mouse concert I went to last night at a charming establishment called Disco Rodeo. Mouse was a-freakin'-mazing and well worth staying up til 2am. As for Disco Rodeo? I probably won't be going back any time soon. I was struggling to find the words to articulate my experience when I found the following review from City Search:

Ok...something wierd happened and I had to delete the review because it screwed up the page when I copied it now the page with the review isn't loading. So this is probably the worst post I've written but I'm not starting over because I'm tired and grumpy and just want to go to bed. So maybe it'll all make sense again tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Admitting I'm Powerless [Blogplosion '09!! Day 3]

So how do I really feel about my BlackBerry?


I got this off my favorite site for all things BlackBerry: CrackBerry.com. The site name says it all.

Sometimes I forget these modern conveniences are just that...conveniences. The other night I was out with friends and when I reached for my trusty sidekick it wasn't there. After the momentary panic before remembering I left it plugged in at home, I embarked on a pitiful journey through the Five Stages of Grief:
     1. Denial: "I can't believe this is happening!"
     2. Anger: "Don't ask me if I got your email! You know damn well I don't have my phone! It's not funny!!!"
     3. Bargaining: "Just let me hold your BlackBerry for a few minutes...I just need to touch it! I'll give it back! I promise!!"
     4. Depression: "Just leave me alone. Can't you see this is worse night of my life. What's the point of being here?"
     5. Acceptance: "Ok...just one more hour. I can make it. Why's the room spinning?"

The Mundane Adventures of Chicken Legs [Blogmania Day 2]

Going with Blogmania now. I think just a little less cheesy than Blogathon...but admittedly not by much.

So this is a plug to visit the actual RANTS TO REVELATIONS page if you're using a reader or subscribing by email. You're missing out on one of my new gems that has taken on a life of its own. Last month I mentioned my fondness for spinning and my distaste for [and I quote] "my bony skinny scrawny chicken legs." [am I being redundant by using quotation marks and saying "and I quote"?...did I just do it again...do you even care?].

Jesus said to love your enemies and do good to those who despise you. These chicken legs aren't friends of mine and they ain't been exactly showing me any love either, so I'm giving them some love by featuring them on my 12seconds channel. There's a player in my blog sidebar so check it out for updates on Chicken Legs.

I know...it doesn't even make sense, but here's the thing: spring is coming fast. It's 80+ degrees here in Raleigh today and everyone's gonna be sporting the plaid shorts [unless they've mercifully gone out of style and back the golf courses where they belong...I own 3 pair incidentally]. I figure the only way I'm jumping on that bandwagon is if I'm not self-conscious about the cluckers. And the only way that's gonna happen is if I can love and laugh about them. This works for any hideous body part you detest...or job or situation or person. Don't wait for it to change, but change your view on it first. It's ridiculous but it works.

Next video series: Beer Belly Exploits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Cheating Never Works [Blogathon Day 1]

I've given this week of daily blogging the highly creative moniker of Blogathon. Hey, it's enough I plan to do this...let's not quibble over titles. And it just occurred to me that if I count yesterday's post, today is actually Day 2. But yesterday was announcing the event so it probably shouldn't count but it was an actual post and no I'm not trying to cheat my way out of an extra day of posting...that's not what today's cheating post is about. Crap! Ok, I won't count it...unless I don't post on day seven [or eight] then it'll count as a make-up. 

Again...I digress...FOCUS MAN!!!

So I recently found myself cheating. Like many episodes of infidelity it wasn't planned...it just happened. It really did. There was no warning, no foreshadowing, no hints of any kind. And when confronted, most have the tendency to fight or flee. I take the rarely discussed third option: I freeze. Then I'm hopelessly stuck in a situation I didn't want to be in. So I'm using this forum for catharsis because it's been troubling me ever since it happened and I need to confess.

I cheated...[deep breath]...on my Barber! Those of you who've struggled to find a good barber [or hairdresser or mechanic or massage parlor...umm...maybe not massage parlor] understand that this a sacred bond that should never be taken for granted. But I did, and now it's over. 

My barbershop is a five minute walk from my house in not the greatest part neighborhood. They were broken into twice before the owner consolidated with the beautyshop two doors down. I went in a couple weeks ago for my usual trim only to discover that Jimmy* wasn't there. One of the ladies, Shanice*, called him on his cell and wasn't going to be back for an hour. She then said all innocent-like, "If you just want a regular cut I can do it." My mind raced: I knew I should've said "Nah I'll come back later" but I didn't want her to think that I didn't want her to cut my hair because she was a woman but I also knew that if I said yes and it wasn't good I'd have to come up with some excuse if Jimmy wasn't there next time...and I froze...and next thing I know I'm in the chair and she's putting on the apron thingy and boy did she have a heavy hand [my scalp was sore for two days] and when she was done...it just wasn't the same. 

I walked out of the shop feeling thoroughly ashamed. I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. A week and a half later I returned to find out Jimmy was gone. Now I go to a shop where I pick styles from a number chart. I didn't know how good I had it.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting my Mojo Workin'

Holy time-warp batman!! Is it just me or did last week go be reeeealy fast? Can you believe two months have gone by already?! It feels like I just posted the other day and it was a whole week ago. And I'm still not used to Daylight Savings yet...it's only been 14 years!! Growing up in Barbados, we didn't have a need to save daylight. It was so hot half the time the sun couldn't go down fast enough.

But I digress.

I've never been one to put deadlines on myself, but I feel I should be blogging more than once a week. If nothing else, it's good writing practice, and publishing a novel is still somewhere on my to do list. I blame twitter. While I'm hopelessly addicted to the thing, it's not a substitute. I read a blog whose author has penned a post every freakin' day for the last seven months. He admits that sometimes the content, if printed, is barely worthy to line a bird cage, but at least he does it. My friend Rachel over at My Crazy Life is trying to write sixteen hundred words a day for National Novel Writing Month culminating in a fifty thousand word novel by the end of March...yes, this March.

While adventurous, I'm not crazy enough to set myself that kind of goal. I prefer smaller, yet relatively challenging, excursions. The music therapist in me applauds: small goals=big success. So my new intention is to blog every day this week. That's right, a deluge of home-spun blogging goodness is coming your way. So take a deep breath [me, not you] and enjoy this week of insanity. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Called To Be

This past weekend I took part in a 20-hr training by The Twilight Brigade. This organization trains individuals to be with the dying. It was an intense training and because of a confidentiality agreement that's all I can say about the process. As a minister-in-training, and a human with friends and family, I know I'm now better prepared to hold someone's hand as they take their final breath. I'm also more in touch with my own mortality and how I view death with respect to my ongoing internal theological struggles. But that's a later post...still processing.

I did have an amazing interaction with one individual and he gave me permission to refer to our time together. I used this story in the talk I gave for my Homiletics class yesterday. I had to record the talk and I'm sharing it here. The song I use is "Called To Be" by Faith Rivera, one of my favorite new thought singer/song-writers and all-round great person. 

Called To Be from Nugo on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things in My Pocket [Plinky Trvialities]

My Blackberry Storm
It's my lifeline: calendar, phone, photos, twitter, facebook, blogs, news, music...anything I can do from my laptop I can do on my Storm. If it dosen't go into my calendar instantly it ain't happening.

My Wallet
Cash, credit cards, id, business cards, a couple family pics. I keep it as light as possible so I'm not displacing my hip like other guys who're sitting crooked.

My Zune
80 Gigs. It's where I keep my tunes...all 12,000 plus of them. And some podcasts & videos [down with ipod!]. Headphones too.

My Keys
So I can get in & out of stuff...like my car and my house.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spinning for chicks.

I'm officially one of the people I used to make fun of.

I spin.

I spin for chicks.

No...not girls.

My chicks.

My bony skinny scrawny chicken legs.

I won't torture either of us with pictures so let's all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

I don't shame easily, but I keep 'em covered as much as possible because I'm tired of deflecting the questions about the physics of how it's possible for me to stand upright.

I was first made aware of spinning a few years back my friend Jack Q who said "I joined the spin class to lose weight but all I got were these ham-hocks instead" as he pointed to bulbous calves and redwood-thick thighs. He was already a pretty big guy and now his legs matched the rest of him. Even though I'm not a pretty big guy, there isn't a whole lot of my five-foot-eight-one-hundred-and-sixty-pound frame [ok...one-seventy...ok OK one-eighty now leave me alone!] proportioned to my legs. 

So since there's a plethora of spin classes at the YMCA we recently joined and I have a neighbor/friend who's quite zealous about spinning [especially before the sun wakes up...wha?!] I thought I'd put Jack Q's theory to the test. The first few classes were excruciating. I kept saying I would never go back. I told the people in class they were insane. They smiled patiently and kept pedalling to nowhere. They knew I would be back.

And I was. This week [I think my third...or fourth...can't remember because side-effects of blood rushing to the legs is decreased brain functionality] was a milestone. I finished a class without cheating. I cranked the dial when I was told to. I pedalled fast when I was told to. I stopped when I was told to and not a second earlier. I had gotten over the hump. I was in the zone. I even went without my zealous friend so I felt I deserved double points. No...triple points because it was the class with the nazi instructor who cranked up my dial because he thought I should be working harder: "Don't slow down!" he screamed. "Then don't touch my bike!!" I screamed back. It was a good class.

So here's hoping the chickens are getting fed and fat...well at least growing. If they plump up I'll be sure to post some pics because, yes, I'm egomanical enough to believe that after this post you all want to see some leg.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Double-Digit Fan Base...w00t!

I feel like a bit of a dumb-ass. It only just occurred to me that I have subscribers I don't know about. How did I stumble into this revelation of genius proportions? I do my own share of following myself, as you can see in the side bar...keep scrolling, you'll find it [thinking it's time for a 3-column site...I digress]. Anyways, I use google reader so I only visit the actual sites to make comments. Well I realized that I wasn't showing up as a follower on quite a few sites. It then hit me that I was only showing up on the sites I chose to follow through Blogger. So many people didn't know about the hours I devoted to hanging on their every word. But the well-oiled gears in my head kept turning...is this happening to me as well? How could I find out? While I was ruminating on that thorny issue I headed over to twitterfeed to register this blog so every time I post it'll automatically be sent out as a tweet as well . I had to enter my feed url [aaaand I just lost a bunch of you who are soooo not interested in the technical side of things....sorry....but hang in there, there's a point coming] so went to feedburner which manages the feeds.

And that's when I discovered to great shock and amazement that I have fourteen [that's 14...one-four] subscribers. Who knew?! This may not be considered a legion of dedicated minions [and I'm one of the followers so it's really 13 but I had to make sure it worked didn't I?] but still... DOUBLE-DIGITS BABY!!

So what's the big deal about double-digits anyways? I'm sure it's just the result of psychological conditioning, or the indoctrination of the decimal system, but there's some sense of achievement when we do anything for ten years or more. Jen & I just celebrated ten years of marriage, so I'm speaking from experience. I'm sure when Jesus got to disciple #10 he was like, "Ok, now we're rolling. Ummm...I guess two more won't hurt. Let's go peeps."

As a society we celebrate decades of dedication. When was the last time you went to a 27-year party for anything? But that ten year mark also causes us to pause. Like milestone birthdays [of course since I'm slow on the uptake it didn't hit me that I was 30 til I was 32]. I'm sure I'll have issues when I hit 40. And for those of us who fear success more than failure [yes, it can happen] it scares us that we've been doing something right long enough to get us this far.

So to my 14...I mean 13 subscribers...no 14, I can thank myself if I want to... again, to my 14 subscribers, thank you for reading. This might be a good time for a disclaimer: don't hold me to anything I write here. Five years from now I'll look back at this and think "what the hell was I thinking." Five years? Shoot...I might be doing that next week!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's NOT 25 things about me

The '25 Things About Me' meme is making fast rounds on Facebook. I got tagged a few times but being a less-is-more guy I think 25 is waaaaay to many. Five questions, however, I can handle. So thanks to Wonder-Rachel for the short yet provocative interview. And if like me you like to keep things simple, read the instructions after I bare my soul.

1. Name one book you think everyone should read.
It was tough to narrow it down to one book, but I believe this world would be a profoundly different place if everyone read and lived THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz. Imagine if everyone (i) was impeccable with their word, (ii) didn't take anything personally, (iii) didn't make assumptions, and (iv) always did their best. Relationships just got a whole lot easier. Not just personal ones, but possibly global ones, which when you think about it, are just personal ones anyway.

2. What is the hardest thing you've ever done?
I was on a camping trip in the Wind River Range, WY. The first day we started around 9,000 ft and climbed to 10,000 with 40 pound backpacks. I never fully recovered from that and developed HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) a couple days later. It's usually reserved for Mt. Everest-type elevations, but considering Kansas City was the highest elevation I'd ever lived, not such a big surprise. I had to be evacuated and hospitalized. I lived to tell the tale, and I'll be telling it from as close to sea level as possible from now on.

3. Tell about your last crisis of faith and what helped you turn the corner.
My last crisis of faith happens to be my current crisis of faith and there are no corners in sight. One of the unintended yet unavoidable and necessary rites of passage in this ministerial program is essentially unpacking every belief and deciding if to keep lugging it around. One of those happened to be my personal theology. What do really believe about God? Do I even believe in God? My earlier post about being a reverend agnostic should give some indication about my inner process. I do know that the individual's relationship with their own divinity is what ultimately determines their life outcome, so the question is do I need to figure mine out before I can help others with theirs? Clock's ticking.

4. Name your biggest vice.
Hmmm....I don't know I'm ready to share the biggest one yet, so I'll give you two that fall lower in the rankings as a peace offering. First, I admittedly spend way too much time online. Between blogging and reading blogs, facebook, twitter, and I'll count my Blackberry, I'm hooked on all things web2.0. Secondly, I spend too much on music. Ever since I decided to act honorably and stop illegal downloading, my wallet has suffered. I may have come up with a solution: $15/mo Zune Pass. It's a subscription service that let's me download all the music I want, but I can only listen on my Zune; I can't burn or share it. It's a deplorable trade-off but it's what I choose to afford right now.

5. Tell us about the best date you've been on.
Because my wife occasionally reads this, the RIGHT answer needs to be a date I was on with her. Kidding. But it actually was. What I will never forget was that we went back to her place to watch basketball and she fell asleep in my arms. I think it was only our 2nd date and we hadn't even kissed yet. She was mortified, but how safe must she have felt? I remember just watching her sleep, lips slightly parted, and thinking how angelic she looked. I was fairly hooked at that point.

Whew! This was quite cathartic. Anyone else want a turn?

Here are the meme details:
If you'd like to play along, just follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be
sure you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone
else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions.
Easy Peezy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hanah in her Head aka Hanah Montana and the Apalling Misuse of Bone Conduction Technology

Joy has a new toothbrush. When we bought it we knew it was a musical toothbrush that played one of Hanah-I-still-don't-see-what-the-fuss-is-about-Montana's tunes. But it played that song for two minutes and Joy was willing to brush for the duration. When we took it out of the box we couldn't understand why we didn't hear music at first til we read the fine print: "Enhanced Vibration Technology." 

Say wha

EVT is good ol' fashioned bone conduction harnessed for the nefarious purpose of bypassing the eardrums and injecting destructive Disney vibes directly into the brain [ok that's a bit of an exaggeration...but not really]. This is same technology that enables millions of the hearing impaired to enjoy the sheer artistry of Beethoven who himself used a primitive form to compose in his later years. 

The freaky thing is we can hear the music coming out of her head! Check out the video here. Well you know I had to check this out. Sorry...no video of that disturbing moment when I heard...no...I felt Hanah Montana singing in my head. Can't we put this technology to some better use? I dunno, a toothbrush that vibrates positive affirmations? Can you imagine brushing your teeth and hearing 'I am prosperous' in your head? And you're not saying it? That would be cool. Hmmm...anyone know the number to the patent office?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Today I indulged one of my lesser known passions. Even though I only have two tattoos and know little about the tattoo world I have an inexplicable affiliation for the art. But I'm pacing myself and not acting impulsively because once the ink dries there's no going back. So under the steady hand of Lacie at Phoenix Tattoo Studios I got my ohm tattoo enhanced with a lotus flower background.

This wasn't painful. I have a zero point threshold for pain. I'd say it was uncomfortable. In fact the only pain came about from sitting with my arm twisted behind my back so Lacie could reach parts of the shoulder. When it started to fall asleep and hurt she was like, "Oh yeah, [oops] you can move your arm." Hmmm...like how long before that was she done? Good thing I wasn't holding my breath. But seriously she was great and I highly recommend her [if you're reading this in Raleigh and want to get a tattoo and don't have a fear of motorized needles]. The other tattoo I have is overlapping hearts with my wedding date. It's near my ankle and that one hurt like no tomorrow since there's not a lot of flesh or muscle there.

So why do I subject myself to this? Probably for the same reason I blog: I really don't know. I can't articulate why I feel driven to express myself in these and other ways. Nor do I feel I need to be able to articulate it. If it feeds my soul, that's a good enough reason. I heard it said best by famous tightrope walker Philippe Petit on The Colbert Report a few nights ago, and with that I take my leave...

Monday, February 2, 2009

If you pay me enough, I'll sing these songs at a karaoke bar

Citizen of the Planet by Alanis Morissette

It's my personal anthem. I love Alanis. We were born on the same day. I love Alanis. It's a killer song. Did I mention I love alanis?

You Are The Universe by The Brand New Heavies

Another personal anthem song and one of the few i know all the words.

I'm too sexy by Right Said Fred

'cause it's true.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Simply Lovin' Web Two Point Oh

Remember two posts ago  when I thought it would be a good idea to start a second blog? After a week of lame ungratifying attempts to be consistently humorous I gave up and  recognized the brainchild for what it truly was: something to keep me awake. So it's gone to wherever blogs go to die. May it rest in peace. Sorry to have bothered you with it. If you hadn't checked it out, never mind, and sorry to have bothered you with this paragraph.

In the meantime, let me draw you attention to some other gems flourishing in the fertile mulch of web 2.0. Twitter might not be foreign to most of you and my favorite twitter site is twitter.com/joshacagan. This is my go-to feed when I need a smile 'cause this guy's hands-down funny. Because I appreciated and honor the gifts & skills others bring to the table I don't often find myself saying "I wish I'd said/done that"; there's enough room for eveyone. But at least once a day I'm green with envy at this guy's originality. And he appreciates the humor of others by having a weekly event called Punchline Friday when followers get a chance [usually for prizes] to respond to a set-up. My wit finally proved useful and I won this past Friday to the set-up "Amy Winehouse's Home Burglarized" by responding "Duffy & Adele secretly high-five." Truth be told there were some funnier posts, but I won't argue with the judge.

Another recent find was 12seconds.tv. It could very well be called 'Video Twitter'. You get a 12-second video post so brevity is your ally. Jen just saw my last 12-sec post [sidebar] and cracked up. Go have fun with it. 

Then there's Plinky. It's a cool question-answer site that ultimately helps along the path of self-discovery. Sometimes it's the simple light questions that send you deeper than the complex ones.

I'll continue to explore and share, but it's a crazy big interweb so please share the cool sites you've found...just in case I'm up again at 3am and try to start another blog [really, what was I thinking?!].

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shift Happens...My Inauguration Adventure

My apologies for the tardiness of this post. It's been a week since the inauguration but I've been plagued with technical difficulties: broken computer, no computer, couldn't get pictures off the card, cable modem busted, the list goes on. It looks like all is well now and I have rejoined cyber-lization.

So let's start with the obvious. I was there. And I didn't buy a button to remind myself later. This was an event I will never forget. I was there to witness Barack Obama take the oath of office (the first time...more on that later) and become the 44th President of the USA. So were about two million of my closest friends. We came as friends but as close as we stood to each other we were family when it was all over. I'd heard the term "Sea of Humanity" before but this was truly my first experience of it, and I was but a mere drop.

Add Image

The mood of Washington, DC was sheer jubilation. We stayed with my friend Irv and his fiancee Tami. And by 'we' I mean eight of us in a condo so small that the 'tour' took less than thirty seconds. But the eight of us represented the diversity-as-one that this new presidecy embodies: a bi-racial couple and child, a filipino couple, a federal employee, a volunteer who had to leave at 4:30 am and a Howard Universtiy alumni playing trumpet in the parade. It was just a big slumber party. Irv lives on U Street and it was just hoppin' all night long. Street musicians entertained and the line from Ben's Chilli Bowl [of recent Obama-ate-here fame] stretched around the block. There were vendors on every corner hawking Obama merchandise.

But no matter where we went, and especially at the actual swearing in, there was the feeling of unity, solidarity, and an underlying sense of relief that the eight-year nightmare is over. I was surprised by the number of young children attending. Despite warnings that it could be a difficult time for young children [read: difficult time for parents of young children] many parents including myself were clear that our children needed to witness this piece of history.

Joy was a trooper what with the cold and crowds. The worst crowd moment was on the metro station. There was a medical emergency at the top of the escalator so the metro staff wouldn't let us get out of the station so for about 30 min while the EMS did their job. Problem was the trains kept dumping more people into to station til it looked like this:

And this was just the lower level; the upper level was just as jammed. Eventually the trains stopped stopping because there was no more room left even on the platforms. Yet in this chaos there was patience and O-BA-MA chants and jokes and one crazy woman trying to sell t-shirts for $30 'cause I imagine the Obama fever went to her head and she imagined we were all crazy enough to buy her $30 t-shirts. They started to let us out in small groups and we had to walk up the escalators which were long enough to be about two or three flights of stairs. I had Joy on my shoulders so she wouldn't get trampled, and about half-way up the steps I figured out what the medical emergency was: people who hadn't climbed stairs in long time were just about passing out by the time they reached the top. The elderly were especially not doing well and there were about five more people with the paramedics by the time we got to the exit. A couple hits of oxygen and they were wanting to go again...talk about determination.

And it was that kind of determination that made it an international affair. We met folks from all parts of the world and all parts of the country [which is pretty much international as far as I'm concerned] who wanted to be a witness. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white [and all shades between], we all stood shoulder to shoulder as one to be a witness. Yes, it was a little surreal riding the metro next to some ladies in their heels and mink coats. ["the mink's not a nice animal anyways" one of them said when asked. wha?!] I had almost changed my mind about going because I knew what DC was like when swarms descended, this was a plague like I'd never seen. But I do not regret being there for one second...well maybe one: when the oath got bungled by Chief Justice Roberts. How hard was it to memorize like four lines?! And then, so they would be no arguments of the validity of the said bungling, they took the oath again indoors. So technically the first one didn't count? I got a headache on that one.

So I leave you with a few more pics of history being made.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seriously?! Another Blog?!

So I found myself in a bind. This blog is gravitating towards the personal like a tiny comet caught in the pull of a black hole. And even though I subscribe to the less-is-more philosophy, I often run out of characters when posting on twitter...then I gotta edit and it's just too much damn work. The compromise? A new blog! Ta-daaa!

Introducing GOOD.BAD.INDIFFERENT ...a less introspective and wittier approach to the madness that is I. This brain child woke me up at 3am this morning...and I don't lose sleep for nothing. I also finally picked up the cold my daughter & wife have suffered through and I'm congested like DC beltway at rush hour...lying down and breathing is out of question so I must sit up and live. The inspiration for this new blog also came from one of my earlier tweets [yes, I inspired my self...what?!...don't you?] and from http://twitter.com/joshacagan which cracks me up every single day; now this guy's funny.

I know, I know...I'm a glutton for punishment. I can barely keep up with one as it is. But give a lazy man more to do and he'll do less. I just made that up and it didn't even make sense. Cut me some slack... it's now5 am folks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A post on healthy eating...though it may not sound like it at first.

Whoa! It's been a week since my last post. Good thing I'm not doing this for a living. It's been another fairly uninteresting week. For someone who's blissfully unemployed with supposedly a lot of time on my hands I don't seem to be getting much done yet never seem to have enough time. It's another side effect of my post-post-holiday depression. At this point I'm pretty clear it's just plain ol' depression which sometimes pulls me down like a heavy anchor. So rather than swim alone I'm going to see a therapist to try help me make sense of it all.

So what does this have to do with healthy eating? Therapists make you bring up all that unresolved childhood muck that's supposed to be still causing all the trouble in our lives. While I was putting the finishing touches on dinner I recalled a traumatic issue that I vowed never to pass on to my child thus ending a cycle of horror no-one should have to endure: drinking Cod Liver Oil and Castor Oil. During some of my earliest years in Barbados while my parents were getting their business off the ground I was raised by aunts, great-aunts, grandmothers...took the whole village apparently [what kind of child must I have been?!]. And they each believed in power of indgesting slimy hurl-inducing oils; a tablespoon of cod-liver oil everyday, and castor oil once a week for good measure [torture]. I didn't have a say in the matter and was evidently scarred for life.

Thanks to modern ingenuity Omega-3 fatty acids [the reason I suffered as a child] are now found in many other yummy sources, like the blueberry salad dressing I drizzled lovingly over my romaine lettuce earlier tonight. They can also be found in eggs, and I make killer omeletes. I don't know how something that's found naturally in fish gets into eggs, and I probably don't want to know. What's important is that I, nor my child, no longer need suffer slimy sludge to keep our hearts healthy.

I think this post sets the record for connecting unrelated topics...it's a gift.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

When It Rains...

My last post was brimming with optimism and positivity...well as positive as I can muster. It took all of five days for most of that to spiral down the crapper and land in the sewage pit of post-holiday depression. I blame the following:

One. On Monday the rest of the world , for better or worse [leaning towards worse], returned to itself. The holidays ground to a halt. Decorations are disappearing. Trees are being abandoned on curbs. Jobs are being returned to. What am I doing? Still taking things out of boxes. Not that I want a job to go to. Being a full-time student is the kind of blissful unemployment to be envied. But since I don't have a class til February, I'm not returning to anything like everyone else. Except more boxes.

Two. The Weblog Awards. When you see people doing something so much better than you [or at least being noticed much more for doing the same crappy job you're doing] it's like coming to a fork in the road. One path leads to being inspired by their efforts and cracking your knuckles and saying, "one day...." The other path goes off the side of a cliff and you fall into a smelly funk of despair that your blog is like the 739th comma in 600 page novel that only a handful of people read in the first place [woah...outdid myself on that one!]. But as Yogi Berra says, when you come to a fork in the road...take it. I've been down both roads, and today happens to be an over-the-cliff-day. But I believe I can only acheive what I advocate, so head over to the polls and vote. There's some damn great blogs I never heard of til I went to vote myself.

Three. The rain. This is what I get for bitching too much about the snow and ice in the mid-west. It's been raining five out of seven days here in Raleigh and it's depressing me to no end. I'm convinced I got that seasonal mood thing which was never a problem when I lived in Barbados [I was depressed for many other reasons]. It's still winter, so now I'm cold and wet instead of just cold. But as my friend Tony from Minnesota reminded me, at 45 degrees he puts on shorts and plays golf, so it's all relative. Crazy bastard. Can't wait to go visit.

Four. The clouds. Still blocking the sun when it's not raining as if to say, "thought you'd get your hopes up today? tsk, tsk, tsk."

Five. Did I mention the rain?

Six. Ministerial School. Yes, the very thing that brings my blissful unemployment and is the stepping stone to what I am [fairly] positive I was put on this planet to do is doing a number on my psyche. Take a gander at my Reverend Agnostic post and you'll have some idea. Things aren't getting any better. I'm questioning myself more and more and doubting myself more and more. Naturally, I'm being told I'm exactly where I need to be. Really?! I'm ready for a freakin' GPS right about now.

Seven. World chaos. From the you-know-what hitting the fan in the middle-east to the four-year-old shooting his babysitter [I said Coco-Puffs already!]. Holy Crap! It's not been a week yet! I've already said my piece on kids and guns but just to be clear, let's put the parents away instead.

In keeping with my true half-glass-full nature I'll tell you what's getting me out of bed these days. I'm teaching myself to play bass-picked up a gorgeous 5-string on craig's list and I've been slapping along to Alanis Morrisette and some other more severe head-banging songs. I've been downloading new music like crazy with my Zune pass-unlimited downloads for $15/month. I can't share or burn the songs, just listen on the Zune [thumbs down to DRM-like itunes got rid today], but it's like crack. I'm drumming at church too-nothing like hitting stuff to get adrenaline in your veins. Even though my limbs are protesting mightily, working out is a good thing because male model is still slightly lower on my intention list than top 5.

So how's your year turning out so far? Or is it too early to ask?