Sunday, April 30, 2006


I'm still waiting to hear about how D'Vine went tonight...

and I'm waiting....

seriously, how'd it go?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I know it's a goofy name, but...

Ode to D'vine

a haiku

D'vine's doors are open
now you can get your buzz for free
a latte of wright


I don't want to shove my beliefs down your throat, but... everyone does it to me -

NPR and Fox news tell me what politicians to like - people around me are constantly telling me what they believe is the best football team in the world - people tell me what they believe is the correct way to cook a steak - what they believe is the best flavor of ice cream - what movie is good - what tv show is horrible
-in fact my tv tells me what the ideal woman looks like - what I should wear - how I should speak - what my relationships could be like - the improbability that bad choices will really affect me in a way that matters - how I should spend my time and money - where to shop - where to eat - what to eat and how to eat it (do you think people who eat Chinese food with chop sticks are being A: pretentious B: a show off or C: someone who enjoys trying out other cultures and their way of doing things?)

You can argue about pro-life, pro-death, the economy, welfare, sports and religion. If you disagree with're close minded. If you agree with're open minded, a free thinker, and smart. I love it when I hear people say that I'm close minded because I disagree with them. I also sort of giggle inside when I hear someone say, "you don't know because you're not (fill in the blank)" Really? I'm not allowed to have an opinion about that because I'm not (blank)? What if I find one human being on the Planet Earth that is (blank) that agrees with me? Is my opinion then suddenly validated?
It's, in my opinion, the weakest argument ever made. If I hear it I know I'm talking to someone who doesn't really care about getting to the truth of the matter...they just want to win the argument and are out of ammo.

Which leads me to my point - Forks dominate the chop sticks. I could make an equally persuasive argument about sporks over forks...but that's not why we're here today, is it?

When I'm in an Irish restaurant, I don't feel like I have to wear a big wool sweater, order a Guinness and berate the English. I just sit down and enjoy that sweet sweet taste of boiled meat products and boiled potato products.

Don't try and tell me I'm stereotyping my people, you can't speak to this subject because you're not Irish...

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Epic Narrative

I'd like to write an Epic Narrative.

I'd like to...but I've got stuff to do.

Big game night with the Dresslers tonight. Then I'm off to the east side to give out groceries to some folks who might not be able to afford them...and then it's hanging out with the Thomas' - then church, a meeting, playing basketball with Grif, trying to coax Coop into walking....and then Monday hits.

and then Tuesday, Wednesday (you probably know the rest)

It'll be next Friday...and still no epic narrative

just my little ol blog...

Just random thoughts about what's going on in my little world. Nothing epic about that.

Maybe an epic blurb. Is that possible?

Or possibly a comic strip. I'm c0-creating one for our church newspaper. It's not really my bag, but I figured it'd be fun to put something together with Dan. I have a snippet of an idea, he draws it out.... and then we've got a cartoon. I love that. I get a snippet of an idea...and someone else does the work. It's nice to know creative/artsy people.

I write these two page scripts for people about once a week. It's the perfect thing for me. Someone needs to put together five minutes of something for a thing they're doing....they call me or send me an e-mail, I put together two pages....and then it's on to the next thing. I work best in two page increments.

I have a three minute rule on most blogs - I don't like to write for more than 3 minutes. I work best with stream of consciousness...I don't do well with epic.

thus, the curse of the three minute, epic-less blogger...

ah 3 minutes are up

Thursday, April 27, 2006


There's a new church in Clifton...and it has a D'vine name. They're opening doors with a four week series that sound pretty good, but I have a different idea.
Just hear me out.

They get some folks to picket the church over the weekend. They can hold up signs that say things like, "God hates you" or "It's the King James or else!" and "God hates the Green Party" They can chant about women dressing like street walkers and men watching American Idol...

Then when the cameras come out- you get a few members of the church (the folks that have been meeting together, praying, helping to feed the hungry, serving their neighbors...and planning this church) to come out and denounce the protesters. Say that it's a shame that there are people out there that are pro-hate, anti love - and that their church isn't about that. "we just want to love people where they're at. We're not against anyone or anything - we're just for Jesus. "

People will see that...and go to be a part of a church that's fighting against these goofball protesters

you can't buy that kind of publicity...

well, I guess you could if you could stick up some goofball billboards

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

water to whine

"He took the ceremonial water used for cleansing..."
You mean the foot washin' water? The water they'd clean your feet with?
and he turned it into wine?

it says here that it was the "best wine"

So he took this nasty water...and turned it into the best stuff?

He can do that with water?

is that all?

What else can He do that with?
Just name it...

It's odd to me that the story of Christianity isn't followers of Jesus becoming better, it's the reality of an eternity spent absent of God - and in an instant being faced with the reality of an eternity spent with God. I tend to focus on the superficials - don't do these kinds of things, do these kinds of things - and I forget the radical impact of following Him. It's not really about cussing, and complaining, and doing stuff that may or may not be's just following Him.

It's interesting that He takes what's pretty nasty and makes it incredibly pleasing to others. I tend to mask that with my whining about the little stuff that doesn't ultimately matter. I quickly become the spoiled kid who takes for granted that daddy is going to buy me a car, pay my insurance and my tuition...and he'd better get me something nice for Christmas...and send me fifty bucks, I'm going broke here!

sometimes I forget what He's done

this water isn't that actually tastes kind of good


I have no lucky socks. I'm thinking about getting some. I hear people talk about their lucky coin, shirt, pen, underwear and feel like I'm missing out.

An interesting conversation is one with an atheist who has a lucky sweater. "You don't believe in God because you don't have any tangible proof....but you do believe in luck?"

I know there's lots of scientific proof out there. I noticed once that every time I got off the couch, Tiger would start missing putts. If I turned the channel to see the score of another game...the Steelers would punt. So there's obviously some validity to luck, I'm just trying to figure out to harness it.

My experience has always been wrapped around sporting events. I figure if I get some lucky socks (I'm thinking argyle - they have to be a little different...different enough that people would ask, "Why are you wearing those socks?") then I'll never have to worry about my furnace breaking, my tires going flat, my 5 Super Bowl Rings wearing team losing another game...

it's as good as money in the bank...I'm off to the Old Navy

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm fired

Every time I watch the Apprentice, I lose 17 I.Q. points....which is why I watch it the next week.

Griffin sometimes says stuff like, "Hey dad....I wonder what's under the blanket?" and I look...and wouldn't you know there's a popsicle. "hey Griff...there's a popsicle under this blanket on the couch" "um....well I guess someone should eat it since it's already out"

That's about how obvious the manipulation is on the Apprentice. And yet...I continue to watch. This week focused on nepotism. The Don's kids participated as the people who follow around the candidates and give the camera the look of, "what the crap are these fools thinking?" At the end they indicate that candidate #4 should be fired...and then when Donald fires candidate #7 - they say, "you had to do it, you had no choice"

and still I watch... I tried to watch one of the sitcoms - and when Annie says, "those all just talk about sex for 30 minutes" I respond with something smart like, "no they don't" as the guy in the background is talking about the prostitute that he's taking up to his I turn it to the show where the guy's sleeping with his brother's girlfriend's mom so he can put in a good word...and then I gave up and turned it to the Apprentice.

It was either that or read a book....I had to do it, I had no choice...

Maybe it's the hair...


There's something about newness, even if it's just the hope of something new, that's attractive to me.

If I can go to a store and buy something that will help me to be more organized, I just feel as though I'm suddenly more organized. I have a lot of things that, in theory, would help me to be more organized...most of them in boxes in my basement. I hate clutter and I live in clutter. (you can barely see the hypocrisy in which I live through all the unopened boxes and garage sale bargains)
The things is, I love shopping at office supply stores (and who doesn't really?) because of all of the hope that it brings me. The hope of a new, organized life. The hope of a desk that has neat little stacks, folders, and drawers smartly labeled with pertinent information. I love hope. I just hate putting stuff in files.

I also love infomercials. I get caught up in the hope of how this particular product can help me clean my gutters, lose my gut, clean my house, clean my teeth, save me time, enjoy my time... That's what they're peddling - hope. I've never actually ordered anything from an infomercial, but I still love them. There's just something about the hope of a fresh start. I can start over with my pots and pans. I can start over with how I organize my closets. It'll be a new way of living!

I think the sum collection of all my false starts and dead ends has lead to a sort of apathy towards hope. It's almost like the cynic in me no longer gets quite as excited about the newness of things. "That'll just break. That probably won't even work the way they say it will."

I know a lot of people who don't want to get all excited about the claims of following Jesus. "He probably will make me lose all my friends, stop having fun, kill a fattened calf, and wear a tie every Sunday" I guess part of following someone is submitting to their direction. That probably means that you won't always turn right in life when He wants you to turn left....that just makes least if does if you're following Him. So should we get wrapped up in the newness of being a "new creation"? Should I get excited about having my slate not only wiped clean, but busted completely apart?- (NO SLATE ANYMORE)


Should I get wrapped up in all the stuff that requires change? I'd love to have an organized desk, but I'm not really so excited about putting stuff in files. I'd love to start over in life, experience hope, joy, and peace...but I'd like to do it on my terms. Our church did a thing last week where people came out with cards that said things like, "I was contemplating suicide" or "I smoked 3 packs a day" and then flipped the cards over to say, "Now I have a hope in life and the thereafter" or "now I smoke 2 1/2 packs a day...filtered!" or something like that...I wasn't taking notes.
Anyhow, the point was that all these folks decided to change their lives by following Jesus. I'm sure that all Christians feel some degree of hope, joy, patience, impatience, bitterness, forgiveness, unforgiveness, anger, happiness. The thing is, we're just doing our best at following Jesus. We're not Him.

My prayer is that people would look to Him and not all of the screwball followers - who still have issues - who get wrapped up in stupid politics - who still can be jerks. WE'RE NOT THE MESSAGE - we're barely the messengers. I feel like American Christians deliver the message of Christ about the same way that Newman delivered the mail.

We're not mirror images - we're barely a faint whisper of a reflection of His glory...whatever that means...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

surface of the rock

I saw a great band this weekend.

Before you picture me wearing all black, jumping up and down with my hands spinning disconnected dayglo necklaces while passing a j to Dan - this was a daytime event. They played at the P & G Pavilion at Sawyer Park. Apparently corporate America has purchased and packaged them. That's not really my point, if they want to sell Dove and Diapers - more power to them.

The thing that threw me was they had a new guy playing with them. I really liked the way they sounded, but this guy was somewhat of a distraction for me. I couldn't help but picture the new guy spinning vinyl at some small town radio station during the Midnight to 3 AM shift. I picture him playing songs, howling into the microphone, perhaps banging a miniature gong and doing his best wolfman jack impersonation. I then picture him going to the local 24 hour Perkins to talk to his public.

What threw me was the way he non verbally interacted with the band. Dave made a "tongue in cheek" reference...and this guy stuck his tongue into his cheek. That's probably enough, but then he did one of my pet peeves....he looked all around at the rest of the band to make sure they all got to enjoy his physical humor. It was Drew Carey making a mediocre ad lib on Whose Line and then turning from the audience to look at the other actors...all the while laughing at himself...but still looking to his employees to make sure they enjoyed his humor as well.

So I used to follow this band in PA...I guess technically I still follow them - it's just that I suck at it now that they never play within 2 hours of me. The thing that used to throw me about that band was they had a guy who made sex faces when he played. He was really good (at the bass...not really sure about....) it's just that it was always like a little side show.

So I wonder if this is why some bands are more popular than others? I guess that's obvious...and why no talent hacks get away with overproduced, overrated garbage...but they have a look that sells. (remember Johnny Bravo from the Brady Bunch? was that his name?)

I just read that looks have never been more important than they are now in politics. It seems like a lot of the rising star speakers out there are a bit better looking than the last generation. So do you go with the great band that has the mustachioed steel guitar player - or the hip, young, good looking band with no talent, but the artists whose work they're lip synching has a good beat?

Our Planet's Day

On behalf of the Earth, I'd like to thank all of the other planets (except Mars) for the nice cards.

I'd also like to recycle this blog from 1996:

Happy Earth Day! It has been a crazy year so far. Personally, I don't think Ted Kaczynski did it. He has honest eyes. It still seems awkward that Clinton vetoed the ban on partial birth abortions - Have you heard what they do?

My guess is the Bulls will run out of gas after about 62 wins...still a pretty good season - but the Pistons will win the title.

It seems weird that the UN keeps compelling Iraq to allow their weapons inspectors in. Iraq agreed...but then they keep forbidding the inspectors from coming into some sites. I know they found prohibited missile parts...and that Iraq wouldn't allow them to inspect them off site, but I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation. It's just that refusing further inspections that's got me scratching my head. I wonder what's up with that? Why would they do that? Hmm...really a puzzler. I'm guessing they're putting together some sort of surprise party and don't want anybody to ruin it.

I still can't believe that Prince Charles and Princess Diana are getting a divorce. I'd bet my car they'll get back together. Did you see their dream wedding!?

Well I'm going to go catch the O.J. Trial - still can't believe they're trying to pin this on the juice...

Friday, April 21, 2006


There's something about newness. Even if it's just the hope of something's attractive to me. If I can go to a store and buy something that will help me to be more organized, I just feel better. I have a lot of things that, in theory, would help me to be more organized...most of them in boxes in my basement. I hate clutter and I live in clutter. You can barely see the hypocrisy in which I live, through the maze of unopened boxes from the move and garage sale bargains.

I love the idea of the new thing. I love that it'll help me be more organized. I love the hope that it brings. Unfortunately, stuff happens. File cabinets don't get filled. Stackable shelves that will allow for a greater level of organization don't get installed. Life happens...hope fades. Informercials get me excited - "I can clean my gutters, lose my gut, make more money, make more friends, cut and dice vegetables, and have no stick pots and pans!" I never order things off of informercials though....I hate paying for shipping. I also wonder if the things will work, will last, will be a rip off.

At our church last week they had a group of folks on stage holding up signs that read things like, "I was living in depression" or "I smoke 3 packs a day" and then they flipped the signs over to say things like, "Now I have hope and a new life!" or "Now I smoke 2 1/2 packs - unfiltered!" or something like that...I wasn't taking notes.

It was fun to see some folks who had made some life progress. You could see how excited they were. It was nice. Sometimes, for me, the accumulation of unused products, false starts, empty results or dead ends...just gets to me. I've tried something...and it doesn't end up working. I get a little more callous...a little harder inside.

I think that's one of the reasons that people don't get so excited about the possibility of following Jesus. "Been there, done that" "I've tried religion...doesn't work" I remember hearing that Jesus doesn't wipe the slate clean, he actually destroys the slate more slate - and luckily I wasn't that callous at the time. I'm glad I looked into Him a little more.

I know that for the most part His followers are a pretty bad representation of Him. I don't blame people for not getting excited about the faith of all these screwballs. I know that different Christians have different degrees of joy, hope, peace, impatience, anger, jealousy, love, unforgiveness.... We let politics, our views, situations and selfish motives get in the way of pointing to Him.

Please don't blame the messengers - compared to us, Newman was an incredible mailman. He sometimes delivered the goods.

We are not a mirror image - we're barely even a faint whisper of His Glory (whatever that means) If you saw me playing basketball with Griff in our driveway, I just hope you wouldn't point to me and say, "He represents Michael Jordan and all of the basketball playing world" That would be a sad, sad day. (cue the crying clowns)

There's something about the crap out of hopelessness....or worse yet, callous indifference.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A very special Friend

There's a new Friend's DVD out now. The thing is, if you like Friends - you've probably seen all the episodes. If you love friends, you've watched all the reruns. If you're a Friendsaholic, you've bought all of the season's DVDs and have every Friendly episode that exists.

So how are they putting out another DVD?

Turns out they're doing a special Baby edition of Friends. Apparently there were 5 episodes that centered around giving birth - so now you can have a birth themed Friends DVD!

I can almost feel you logging off your computer and sprinting to Best Buy to buy the best DVD.

Personally I'm holding out for the special Eating episodes where they give us the 7 episodes that were centered around times where they all ate together. Remember the Thanksgiving episode where Joey said the dumb thing and Chandler made fun of him while Phoebe talked about bottle caps and Rachel and Ross made googly eyes at each other and Monica cleaned up?
That was a great one.

coming to a Circuit City near you!


Having kids is sort of like going on vacation.
Every hour or so you feel compelled to take a picture because you want to capture the moment forever. I take these pictures of my kids because they're incredibly cute. I pass them around, girls ooh and ahh, and guys pretend to give a rip.

When I went to Colorado I remember saying the word "wow" more in those few days than I had in my entire life. I found myself pulling out my camera to try and capture the scenery dozens of times an hour. The problem is that the pictures just don't come near doing them justice.

I generally throw out pictures with incredible views unless there are people in them. They're just not that impressive to me. Part of that is that I have incredibly shaky hands....and that doesn't really lend itself to photography. The real reason is that pictures can't possibly tell the thousands of words and stories that real life interaction can.

I love my boys in ways that I can't possibly explain. There are times when I see them and I feel like I'm going to pass out if I don't pick them up just to hold them. It's indescribable. Keep in mind that Griff filled the dish washer with hand soap the other day. We had suds coming out of the dishwasher for the next couple of days. Not so cute...but I love him.

On some small level I can relate to the love of the Father. It hits me in a way that I think I genuinely feel sympathy/empathy/sorry for people who don't know that love. When I read about a God that loved us so much that He let his son pay the price for a bunch of screw balls by sending him to a place that was so screwed up...and put Him in harms way...I just couldn't do it.

I can't even remotely relate to that kind of sacrifice. But I sure can feel the love of a Father, and because of that...I feel like I can even catch a little of His love for me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My perfectly awful novel, chapter one

It was cold outside, the kind of cold that causes one to hop about like Jim J. Bullock when he's trying to appear stoic. I knew that I should be inside. I needed a respite, a place that I could call my own. It dawned on me that I wasn't outside at all, I was in a room surrounded by white walls that I'd mistaken for an eternal expanse of wind and of bitter, bitter cold. Why had I, detective Ace Starling, been so foolish? Could it be the last remnants of the NiQuil and Robitussin milkshake I'd consumed before passing out in a pool of my own musky scent?

Never mind all that. I had a mission to perform! I must seize the day, like Adam Sandler grasping after the last remnants of his career. Today I would live! Yesterday was but a whisper that passes between friends while watching 24, "who is that?" "shut up, I'm trying to figure out who Jack just shot!" I immediately knew what I must do. I would take on the fast food cartel! I would shake things up in burger world. Someone had to bring back reasonably priced food that's not centered around "value" meals! I was just the man for such a time as this.

Off I sprinted to the nearest Burger King. "Down with this supposed altruistic aristocracy" I cried with all the might of a mailman on catalog day. "We will not bow to your alleged kingdom" and with that I moved on to White Castles, the dark prince of the seedy underworld known for their "100% grade A beef" I will not be swayed by your brilliant film noir masterpiece, "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle" "I have a greater value for my lunch, the likes of which you will never taste!" I moved on. "Down with Wendy's and her saucy little portrait - a naive young las of red headed pig tails, indeed!" Having conquered the squared patties of meat, I moved on to the granddaddy of them all...a little Irish restaurant that is better known for their clown faced mascot, Ronald.

I was immediately met by the hamburgler on the outskirts of the parking lot. He was casing the joint like Wilmer Valderama at the Nickelodeon awards. I immediately sensed a kinship. We were obvious thinking the same thing, "what the heck is that smell?" Turns out we were standing directly downwind from the dumpster. It smelled like someone was getting a perm while eating egg salad inside of a New York taxi cab. We decided to move closer. There was a party going on inside. Those poor kids. They knew nothing of the five new breads being offered at Subway. It wasn't even a possibility, the hope of a burrito as big as their head at Chipotle.

Something had to be done. I knew that my felonious friend was just the partner I had been looking for. What was once a personal vendetta had quickly become a cause picked up by two.

And so we entered through the playland...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ortberg, poorly plagiarized...

Everybody's normal, until you go to their house for dinner, play some board games with them, and then say, "so tell me about your family" ...and then you find out that everybody has a screwed up family (except for me and my family members that read this blog) we all have issues... some unknown past or present shame...everybody has their I over generalizing here?

Yup - but I'm not that far off am I? (Why do I keep asking questions?)

The question for me is how much should we put out there? I know there is incredible freedom with confession. I think the A.A. folks model that fairly well. So we should let people know our junk.
Got it...I'm with that. But should we let everyone know everything?

I'm sometimes left wondering when I hear people shout from the rooftops some of their that the best way to go? I think we should have some folks that we can confide to...but does that mean that I tell everything to the 15 year old kid that lives next door?

Am I responsible for him?

Am I responsible for the 32 year old that I confess to?

At some point we've got to be somewhat selective about who we talk to about our struggles....but does that mean we're not being authentic?

Is that being fake?

Is it possible that there are people out there that can't handle knowing about our junk?

My fear is this - shouting from the rooftops everything everyone struggles with is becoming a badge of honor....all in the name of being authentic. On the surface, this doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Let's just put everything out there.

O.K., it's cool if Dan lists his Frankie Goes to Hollywood songs on his ipod as Jack Johnson - fine.

But what often happens is I see folks live out this new freedom by doing some pretty stupid stuff. It's almost like they take the label "authenticity" and turn it into a license to do some pretty ugly stuff.

"Don't judge me!" is the new McCarthism. I wouldn't dare cross that guy, people will think I'm a racist. I wouldn't ever turn her down for a job, people will think I'm a sexist. I wouldn't ever say anything to him about that, people will think I'm a judgmental jerk.

So I wonder if the smartest way to go is to put a few people in my life to keep me accountable to the stupid things I do and say. I won't yell "Judgmental Jerk!" at them, and they can be honest with me. I'll live in the freedom of knowing that I'm not living out some secret life...and I don't have to worry about some less mature person (if they exist) stumbling because of the life I'm living.

It's not a perfect plan...but it's a plan.

"Remember your leaders... Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." -Paul

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mediocre Saturday

Donald as Christ figure?
Yesterday was Good Friday - tomorrow is Easter...and today is the day in between.

I used to wonder why Good Friday was so good. Sometimes I had the day off school, so that was good....but this is the day where we celebrate Jesus having nails driven through his wrists and ankles?

On Good Friday we remember the soldiers mocking him, spitting on him and then ripping ribbons of flesh off his body before they drove thorns into his head and then dislocated his bones by dropping his cross into a large hole?


That was when someone explained to me the last three words Jesus said on the cross....and I quote, "It is finished"

Interesting last words. It was actually a fairly common phrase. When someone paid off a debt, they stamped it "it is finished" meaning the debt was cancelled...paid in full.

That's when it all started making sense. I had an incredible debt that I couldn't possibly repay....God is just...the debt couldn't just be brushed off to the side....I was on death row...Jesus took my place.
He paid my debt.

That's a pretty good day.
There's a story about a guy pulling behind a car that was stopped on the highway, getting out of his car and helping the guy get his car going. Turns out the guy with the bum car was Donald Trump. Donald did a little research, found out who owned the mortgage on this guys house...and paid it off.

That's a pretty good day. No more house payments. The debt has been paid in full. He was probably pretty excited about deciding to stop and help out.

That's why Good Friday needs to be renamed. I'm going to call it awesome Friday...or pandific Friday.
As cool as having my mortgage paid off would be, having all the crap that I've ever done, or will do paid for....that's a bit better. Especially when you consider that I didn't do anything to deserve having it paid off.
Trying to be a better person doesn't get it done. Giving lots of money and time to charitable organizations doesn't get it done. There's nothing I can do to repay him. It's just a completely free gift....there for the taking.

A bunch of years ago I took it...that was a pretty awesome day too.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Boost your I.Q. by 25 points...

A couple of hints to lead people to the conclusion that you're a lot smarter than you actually are:

1. Spellchek

2. As you leaf through your mail - say, "Mensa, take the hint...for the last time, I'M NOT JOINING!"

3. When people ask you about Deal or No Deal, just look at them with that, "I'm caught up in pursuits, the like of which you would never understand....and no....I don't watch game shows"

4. Use the words:


Pandific - fake word you can use in group setting. Have two or three friends nod along with you as you use it in a sentence. It's also fun to see who plays smart by nodding along with your group.


ostentatious or grandiose (but never high fallutin')

Sagacity - not to be confused with the equally influential: Saget-like or Saget-esque (also see Uber Saget)

5. Constantly quote T.S. Elliot followed by the phrase, "He's my muse"

6. When you're losing an argument, start laughing at the other person while muttering under your breath, "I can't believe I'm even arguing with someone with the sagacity of a trout on Presidents Day" all the while shaking your head.

7. Tell people, "No, seriously...I teach communications at a local college. It's part of my job description to give back rubs to students"

8. Always have at least 8 points

9. Wear t-shirts with phrases that don't make sense. "I'll have the blue plate special Mr. Sadat!" complete with a picture of two Egyptians thumb wrestling.

10. Periodically wear a black arm band to work, and when people ask what the deal is....burst into tears and run into the bathroom.

11. Tell people you use an Macintosh (even though everyone uses Windows)

12. Kiss people on the cheek instead of shaking their hand

13. When you're leaving a meeting early, yell over your shoulder, "gotta go, my shiatsu is in ten"

riding in the Dub C

I just spotted a riding lawn mower in my neighborhood.

I'm as lazy as the next guy (assuming Steve Fuller's not the next guy) but riding around on an eighth of an acre seems a little silly.

I think they should probably ask for some sort of blueprint of your lawn before they sell you a riding mower. If it's less than half an acre, you're stuck with a push mower. If it's less than an eighth of an acre, they give you one without the automatic wheels. Less than 1/16th of an acre = a large pair of scissors.

Just my thoughts.

I'm sort of excited about the possibility of riding in a golf cart this weekend. I won't be playing golf, but I'll be scooting around like a golfer. Our church has these golf carts to give folks a ride if they have to park really far away. I was asked to drive one around and the excitement isn't really in helping to serve people so much as it is to drive one of these things.

I have a car that will go over 100, but for whatever reason, there's just something a lot more fun about riding around in a little cart that'll go 9. Maybe it's the same way with mowing your lawn. I would just assume that you lose a third of your garage to one of these things. Do you really want to park in the driveway through the winter, just so you can sit down while you're cutting the grass?

So my conclusion is the excitement of doing something while sitting down is enough to rationalize paying an extra two thousand dollars for a lawn'd be nice to have that kind of cash to throw around.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

the hood

Just spent the last half hour or so talking with my neighbor.

I've heard it said somewhere that we're supposed to love our neighbors.

The trouble with that is, it's hard to even meet your neighbors. People used to hang out on the front porch and have conversations. Then everybody started getting air conditioners. This is where the Amish have us beat - no a.c. = plenty of neighborly goodness.

We've met a few of our neighbors. Still haven't met Rich Franklin (our UFC Middleweight champion neighbor...oh yeah, he's my neighbor) or all of the folks across the street, but we're getting there.

Now I know that we're supposed to love our neighbors...and not just the folks that live next door, but everybody (even the annoying people) Somehow in the call to make everybody your neighbor, I think we've forgotten our literal neighbors. There are no welcome wagons. There are very few block parties. Not much in the way of neighborhood parties. We hang out with old friends, folks we work with, go to church with, steal hubcaps with...and that's about it.

I'm looking forward to more half hour conversations with the neighbors...and then heading over to Rich Franklin's house to t.p. his Hummer.

The Boardroom

Everybody: Hello Mr. Trump

Donald Trump: Gold Rush you were awful, simply awful.

Tina: I just think the other group did a little better on this task Mr. Trump.

Donald: You did an awful job.

Craig: At the end of the day Mr. Trump, we did the task - we just didn't sell more widgets than Synergy.

Donald: You really were awful.

Caroline: Why did you wear green t-shirts, I hate green t-shirts.

Steve: Well, we thought that...

Caroline: It's just an unsightly color. Nobody likes green. Didn't you know that?

Steve: At the end of the day...

Caroline: It's an ugly color. Don't you feel stupid?

Bill Rancic: When I thought about colors when I was the apprentice, I always liked to consider the whole pallet.

Caroline: Except green, right?

Bill Rancic: I never would have picked green, at the end of the day it's just an ugly color.

Donald: I like green.

Caroline: I love it - it's great! It's stupid to consider any other color.

Bill: it's the color of money. everybody likes green.

Caroline: loves it. everyone loves it.

Donald: So tell me why Synergy blew you guys away with a much better presentation?

Steve: Well actually they only sold one more widget.

Caroline: You are a stupid, stupid man

Bill: I would have sold more

Donald: You really did get beat badly, and Steve, you were the project manager. Who are you bringing back into the board room?

Steve: I'm going to bring back in Tina and Carl.

Donald: all right the rest of you can go up to the Trump apartments and munch on some Trump chips, but Tina, Steve, Carl, one of you is going to be fired Trump style.

Everyone leaves

Donald: So what do you think Caroline?

Caroline: I think at the end of the day, you've got to fire Steve he's incompetent, he's a total loser.

Bill: I'd have to agree, but I think you fire Steve and Tina, they're both walking disasters at the end of the day. Neither of them can hold a candle next to Carl.
Caroline: It's not even close...

Donald: Bring them back in.

Tina, Steve and Carl enter.

Donald: You really were a disaster, you know that don't you?

Carl: I thought we did some nice things at the end of the day.

Donald: At the end of the day? You should have been working at the beginning of the day.
Carl: But I was just saying that we've got to look at the whole
Donald: You've done a very stupid thing Carl, you're fired! That's it, everyone out.

Carl: Thank you for the opportunity Mr. Trump.

They leave

Donald looks at Caroline and Bill

Bill: it was the only option you had

Caroline: You didn't have a choice - Carl just wasn't apprentice material at the end of the day.

Monday, April 10, 2006


To quote my friend Dan's favorite song, "friends are friends forever" (that's actually all I know - sorry Dan Kalbach)

Buddha's coming to town. Big week in the Murphy household. He comes into town every blue moon (not really sure what that means...but I think it means every once in a while...). Annie gets excited. I get excited. Griff gets excited. Coop, frankly, is largely disinterested. He doesn't know Buddha that well.

We had some friends in town last week and felt like we gave them the 30 cent tour. I'm sure there's a thirty dollar tour of Cincinnati, but we aren't really qualified to give it.

So the question is always raised, "what the heck should we do now that we're here in Cincinnati?"

"Um....bowling? Movie? Beans? (or cornhole...I still feel a little uncomfortable calling it that)

There's this subtle pressure that I always feel to be the Mr. Roark of Cincinnati every time someone visits. I love just hanging out and playing cards...but you want to have a story. So, this is my plan:

Hang out at my house and play cards - BUT, tell everyone this story:

We were going downtown to meet up with some friends from college at Sudsy Malones. We were going to see this band, The Diago's, who are touring with Clapton this summer - but our car broke down on MLK. We started hitchhiking when a bus actually picked us up. Turns out it was the University of Chicago's baseball team. These guys were awesome, but they were kind of frustrated that three of their guys had the flu. They'd driven all this way and were going to have to forfeit to UC.

Then one of them (I think it was K Dub) said, "Hey, why don't you guys suit up?" He talked us into wearing the uni's so that they're team would have enough players. Buddha would play left field and I'd play first. We suited up - played the entire game...and Buddha hit a ground rule double off a guy that's a projected first round draft pick.

These guys were so excited that we won that they talked us into road tripping it out to their game against Temple. Pretty soon we became their good luck charms. These guys were sending us tickets to fly around the Mid-West just to play for their team. After the UCLA game there was a rumor that they were cracking down on team lineups and the coach (the Big Cat, we called him) told us that our playing careers were over.
The fun thing is that the Marlins are now looking at Buddha as a non-roster invitee to next year's spring training.

I figure that now we can relax, hang out, and just have fun. No pressure on doing something awesome on a trip out to Ohio.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I have a loose theory that anything you do in ankle length pants probably isn't a's just a theory, don't get too wrapped up in it.


race car driving - not a sport

tennis - is a sport

golf - might be exception to the pants rule???

fishing - not a sport

Bob Sledding - not a sport

Baseball - sport

bocce ball - not a sport

Wrestling - sport

Basketball - sport

frisbee golf - not a sport

horse shoes - not a sport

I'm up in the air on "sports" where you're competing for scores, and not directly against's too subjective.

That's why I'm not so big on Gymnastics, figure skating, ballroom dancing, diving, surfing...

now, what am I forgetting?

Friday, April 07, 2006

101 and counting

So the fever is down to 101....I got that going for me.

Is it bad that I really want it to rain tonight? We have box seats to the Reds Pirates game and there's no way that we could go. So, you're thinking to yourself, "self, it's not bad that he's hoping for rain"

here's the rub -

We were supposed to go with the Dresslers. So if it rains, noboby gets to have fun...except us, when we go to the rain date game.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Urgent" care

My Urgent Care commercial:

Door is unlocked and in walks me. I'm given several forms to fill out. Forty minutes later they ask me to pay $45 - "really? I haven't even seen a doctor yet" "yep"

I then hear the "nurse" tell the other patient "that'll be $25" (I'll do a commercial for my insurance plan later) I then go back over the Sports Illustrated from the 80's and a few dozen Prevention articles....(apparently osteoporosis is bad)
(switch to the clock on the wall)
Eventually I see a doctor that apparently doesn't speak English. I tell him that everyone in my family is sick, I feel sick...So he throws some pills at me. They must be in a hurry...Which is why they left me in the waiting room for 40 minutes while the "doctor" and "nurse" chatted...
AND SCENE! (maybe put some music in here)

So then yesterday I went to see a doctor with a piece of paper on his wall. He tells me that I'm "really, really sick" and that I have walking pneumonia. I guess that's a little thing that the "doctor" at Urgent Care could have overlooked.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ignorance is bliss

Just got back from my 7:00 appointment at my real doctor. Didn't get in until 7:45 - but that's not why I've gathered you here.

Turns out that about an hour before I went in, Annie started running a fever.
That's not good normally, but when you're 7 months pregnant, that's really not so great.

My doctor said I've got one of those deep down lung infections popularly known as walking pneumonia.

This is the problem - Annie started looking up walking pneumonia on the internet...and it's not awesome for pregnant girls. So, because we have access to the world wide web, we're in a full scale terror alert at the Murphy household. A couple of years ago, we would just take our medicine and complain about the aches...

Tomorrow could be really pathetic. 4 sick people lying down and moaning that they don't feel well.

Please pray for us - especially Annie, Coop and the baby.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

box doc

I have to see the doctor today.

The problem is that I can't. They have a same day appointment policy at my doctor's office. You call first thing in the morning and hope that your doctor is working that day....and that you were first.
I wasn't...or he isn't.
So, it's either suffer through trying to breath all day through a throat that feels the size of a swizzle stick - or go to a doc in the box.

I think I'm going to the latter....headed out to the Urgent Care.

Normally the same day appointment deal kind of works for me...I tend to get up early. Apparently it doesn't work when you're up all night and then sleep in to 7:13.

I'm wondering if I officially caught the strep - or just have the worst sore throat in the history of the State of Ohio.

Either way it's not's just if you call it Strep throat, you have more street cred.

I'm nothing if not street...

Monday, April 03, 2006


Being sick is for the birds (not a bird flu reference). When Annie or my kids are sick, it's all I can think about...when I'm sick, it's all I can think about. The problem is - I don't want to think about sickness. It's kind of a downer. I'd rather just think about good stuff.

The problem is, I'm sick. Not big sick...just coughing, sore throat, strep throat kind of sick. Thinking about good stuff isn't going to take the problem away. Fearing being labeled as someone who points out problems isn't going to take the problems away. (figure that sentence out)

Solutions don't mean anything to people who are ignorant to the problem. If I told you that I was going to be cut open, and have some stuff removed from my body - followed by radiation and chemo therapy "just because" - that wouldn't make any sense. That's masochistic. That's bad.

If I had cancer and did all that...well that would make a little more sense.

People don't want to hear words like that might imply that someone has made a mistake or s wrong because it's awfully negative.

"doctor, that's kind of a downer there...that whole, if you keep doing this - you'll die thing. Why are you being so judgmental/condemning/negative?"

"Sean, why are you telling me that you don't agree with what I'm doing? Why aren't you more on my side with these decisions?" I've was asked my opinion recently about an issue...and it almost doesn't matter what the issue is (moral, political, favorite Full House episode) and when I responded - I was met with "How can you say that?!?!" Huh? Didn't you ask my opinion? I can only assume that you knew there were at least two possible conclusions here....otherwise, why ask?

I believe there are some problems in this world....that's all. Planet Earth isn't Nirvana. (I think they stopped touring around '94)

so let's just keep whistling and hope that people just decide to go through painful, possibly life changing decisions "just because"

crossing my fingers,


Who do you suppose was the guy that convinced people that mullets were great?

Who made the first pair of pants out of parachute material?

Who was the first person to "raise the roof" in public? (please stop, I'm begging you)

Who had the guts to cook the first egg...and then eat it?

Some things I think we'll be embarrassed about in 10 years:

Bluetooth phones that stick in your ear

velcro on shoes

anything that glows in the dark and is wearable

Tara Reid

Astro Turf on porches

singing fish attached to basement walls

the fact that we had no idea who our neighbors were

the ratio of pizza places to homeless shelters

the irony of Pink singing about "stupid girls"

electric can openers (seriously, you can't twist a handle 7 times?)

People who sued for ridiculous reasons

Those people winning millions...and allowing the Home Shopping Channel to exist

Olympic Curling

Deep fried Snickers

canceling Ed

putting his throat on ice

Turns out Grif has an infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria....again.
I'm feeling a sore throat, Coop's got a deep down cough...and the doctor confirmed this morning that Grif once again has strep throat. He's allergic to penicillin, so they gave him a lesser antibiotic 10 days ago that didn't quite fix the problem.
So he gave him some more medicine and more importantly, his o.k. to go to a movie.

We're off to see Ice Age II. I'm really excited to see how they wrap up some of the unresolved plot lines from Ice Age I. Grif and I will talk about the Wooly Mammoth Sid - who is the Christ figure of this epic saga, to Diego's Judas. Scat, the saber toothed squirrel is there to remind us of man's inhumanity to man, and also serves to represent the constant struggle for more and more in this consumer age.
This will be one of those father son moments where we'll be able to talk about life, our hopes, dreams, share some kind words, and bond as only a 5 year old and his father truly can...
We're also going to get a large popcorn.

we're not in Pennsylvania any more

We had crazy, tree blowing, house shaking, stuff flying, sideways rain kind of weather last night. I looked out my window after I heard the tornado sirens and it looked like I was in a drive thru car wash.

In times like that you really understand the things that are most important to you. I thought of two things - why didn't we wait until tomorrow to take out the trash cans?
I wonder if our satellite will hold up?

I sort of forgot about crazy Ohio weather while I was in the Keystone state. Never heard tornado sirens when I was out there. We had lots and lots of snow...but that never caused us to go down in the basement with a flashlight, generator, and the Office on DVD.

bound to happen

Grif is sick again. He was running a fever two days ago in the morning...and then he was fine all day. Then at night he'd run a crazy fever again...and then be fine during the day. For the past two nights he'd climb into our bed and even his toes would be hot.

The thing is...when he sleeps, he doesn't really toss and turn in his sleep, or walk in his much as he does Tae Bo in his sleep. It's hard to sleep when you've got a five year old's foot in your thorax.

So last night when he climbed into our bed, I climbed into his. Now I'm wondering what that pain is in the back of my throat...and I'm hearing Coop cough upstairs. I think this sickness is making it's way through the house.

woe is us...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

not so lazy Sunday

I'm off to the Vineyard to do my song and dance...and it's 7:30....yesterday at this time it was 8:30... Weird, huh?

I get to do this skit thing three more times today, then help run two ServeFests...and did I mention I have a mother in law in town? Also, two friends from Pennsylvania popped in for Coop's first birthday.
Great surprise - but then I had to head back to work....and they're taking off today while I'm at work....and Griff's been running a crazy fever for the third time this month...and it'd be great to just hang out with friends, have my boy feeling great, and enjoy this Sunday.

Life isn't always great.

Praying for Griff...