Friday, October 31, 2008

A Poem For October

savor the night, the gale that sings
through trees and lights of cursed things
between the stars where the black roots grow
against the sky they twist and flow
like veins ripe for some vampire's drinking

a leaf or two still hangs like flakes
no longer blush red, sing or shake
the howling moon, now cut in half
by crows and plastic bones
that cackle like old dry thunder.

You twist your name through whistling wails
from old dark porches
where pumpkins flail
to burn the howling wind
with all his joy and sorrow.

undress the summer and cool the sun
that poured out silk betrothed to spring love
to bring us tarts and cakes and frills and snakes
that sing and dance down by the trail where wild things blaze
through all the sweets the darkest streets can plunder.

On Hallow's Eve, her sweetness laughs and I am here
the fear and doubt of long lost years,
has hollowed the jack and lit the lantern,
handed tricks and treats to princess pea and her brother
across the side where we once walked
like a child in October

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Older than the Lord

Ahem... me me me me me... Ahem... ME ME ME ME MEMEMEMEMEMEEEEEEEEE....

(Grand pause)

Haaaaaaaaaaappy Biiiiiirthday to MEEEEEEEEEEE.

Haaaaaappy Biiiiirthday to MEEEEEEEEE.

Haaaaaaappy BIIIIIIIRTHDAY deeeear Moiiiiiiiiiii.



And many mOOOOOOOOOOre.

So Amber got me the best gift, EVER.

She's posted it on her blog so I won't go into all the wonderfulness of the beauty that is this book.

Pure, unadulterated AWESOMENESS. There is nothing quite like having a wife that understands you... completely.

You... complete me, baby. Sniff. Coincidentally, Lucas finished his first draft of Star Wars in 1974. I seriously think I'm going to cry.

p.s. Add 4 to the number on the cake above.

Grumpy Old Man Alert

htt: Kate

Ladies and gentlemen, is this what choir teachers are teaching their kids these days??? What the hell? Whatever happened to the good old spirituals, or Mozart, or Bach???

Do you see any MATH teachers stacking numbers into shapes resembling Obama or McCain and then rapping and gyrating around about it?

Forget the election, forget the motive of teacher to obviously make themselves a YouTube sensation. I'm talking about good old fashioned learning here. If there was ever a time in which I felt school reform was in order, it is now. I can't tell you how I'd like to rage into that classroom, fire the teacher and demand nothing but complete excellence, and get it, even if it killed me.

While the Chinese children across the ocean are learning the Mozart Requiem and building fractal mosaics for fun after they do their combinatorial math homework, our kids are mastering the art of letting the dogs out. Time to wake up America and smell the superior intellectual training that is intent upon enslaving us in the years to come.

Yes it is entertaining to see a bunch of kids bust a move, but how bout a little learning.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lefty Logic

I do not understand this whole business of locking the right door and unlocking the left. This morning, to escape the cold NYC sunrise wind, I just about pulled my arm out of its socket yanking on the right-side door of the MAIN entrance to Starbucks. I'm really trying to grasp the logic here. Are they just afraid that some enormous animal will enter, unexpectedly, and devour all the over-priced treats???

Blog interruption: One must really watch how much fiber one eats. Let's just say that the mouth isn't the only thing that can produce Embouchure.

Anyways, what's so wrong with unlocking BOTH frigga-frackin' doors? Why not the right door? Does Starbucks have a special deal with southpaws? Huh? Huuuuh? 93% of the human race are righties, people. I think the dirt bags behind the counter peddling Americas favorite black-crack just enjoy watching people yank the daylights out of the proper door. Then push. Then finally try the last logical option, the left side.

I can't tell you all the creative words that wanted to spew forth from my mouth as I finally made it through the blasted left door. I mean, I'm already on edge as it is pre-coffee and all.

Next time I think I'm just going to stand in front of the door and pound on it until someone unlocks it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I'm Made of: Part 2

Part 2: Into the Deep South...

From there, we moved to the deep south- Florence, Alabama, and I loved it. Frist of all, the house was by the lake. Second of all, it was the first place my sisters and I lived that had a little thing called, "central-airconditioning." I had never experienced the deep South before and in some ways, Alabama was one of my biggest influences. I'll never forget driving through a real shanty town for the first time. It's not there anymore, but for those of you that have ever experienced the silent segregation that still lived up into the late 80's, a shanty town is a sad, different world. Wooden shacks with dirt floors as far as the eye could see. Nary a tree. It was if we had driven into a third-world country. We didn't spend a long time touring Shanty town, to say the least, but many of my friends lived there.

So, it was in Alabama that I was faced, dead-on with racism. Unbeknownst to us, we had KKK members in our church. (Some wonderful people too, and good friends.) One church member told my dad that if he seated a black man then he'd regret it. I don't need to tell you my dad's response. Again, only a few church members were nasty, most were very kind. I loved my school even though I wandered the halls of my first years of highschool (8th grade was in the highschool) in total terror. Groups of black young men would single-out one white male and ambush him, for no reason, and for a good 10 seconds the would knock the crap out of him, then disperse, leaving the beaten boy on the floor. Thankfully, that never happened to me. That lasted for a year or so until the school took some drastic measures.

What saved me from racism was my black friends. When I moved there, I didn't know a thing about racism. It was never a part of my family and my hero growing up was Michael Jackson. (Thus the moon-walk performance.) My black friends explained to me that these guys were just angry and that all black people don't do that crap. From them, I learned what welfare was, and I watched in amazement as some teachers discouraged them from enrolling in college-bound courses. In one instance, one of those friends probably saved my life...

It is no exaggeration that the school where I went harbored downright criminals, white and black. In one study hall, one black young man was talking about how he was going to stab the next person that talked back to him. Long story short, somehow, my mouth somehow volunteered for his sociology experiment. It wasn't intentional, but something I said, some question... offended this character. One of my black friends interceded for me and with two words and prevented my death: "He's cool."

Many other deeply dramatic stories from this time have shaped my conscience, some to do with racism and some not, and because of them, deep south is in my blood forever.

To the Midwest...

From there, we moved to the true mid-west, Springfield, MO. Springfield is home to some of the greatest people I've ever met. Some of my most important growth came in that era and I owe much of my character to the friends and church family there. I probably had the most fun living in Springfield and I still LOVE going back. I started playing the piano there. Someday, I hope to own a little house there and spend half a year at a time there, maybe tend some sheep... (Hey, a man can dream.)

I went to a small church in Springfield and my youth group was just awesome. Never would you find such an array of characters in one place. Right now, they are scattered about and most are doing great things. One works for NASA, another is pres. of his own Engineering company, one is a successful accountant, one is a military chaplin, one is living in Boston, graduate of M.I.T. with his wife and kids and does medical research, or at least he did last time I checked. All of them encouraged the lonely preacher-boy writing this today and I owe much to their friendship.

After that I spent 10 years in the great state of Texas. Let it be said (sorry dad) that though Oklahoma and Alabama probably shaped my artistic conscience more than anything, I'd probably claim Texas as home more than any place. (NYC is gaining though...) Texas was (and still is) where I was primarily educated. It was in Texas that I met and married my amazing wife, and for that alone, it is the greatest state in the union. (Ironically, my wife was born in Oklahoma as well!) Texas was the place where I learned to love the church again and where made some more of my deepest friendships.

I never considered myself much of a role-model, but my stint in Texas helped me to learn that God uses all that you have to offer, and what you do... everything you do matters to the younger eyes watching you. I suppose a big fat "duh?" would be in order for that last statement, but this is coming from a man who still tries to see the world as a kid himself.

So there you have it folks. A brief history of me. I do love this city, but once a southerner, always a southerner. Example: You really need good walking shoes to survive in this city, however, you'd have to tear my cowboy boots from my cold dead hands.

My anscestors made it here floating on debree, we made it here in a Uhaul. Not much progress there if you've ever driven a Uhaul.

Hope you enjoyed. Any questions? What's your story? Do you go in for that sort of family history?

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I'm Made Of: Part 1

Since I've moved to NYC I've gotten plenty of ribbing from friends and loved ones about being a city-slicker. To snuff those claims once and for all, I'm going to give everyone in reading distance a little history lesson about old Sethro. I always hesitate about telling my history because its a whole lot about me. But I believe for a man to know himself more fully, he should know where the blood that runs through his veins comes from. A man is made up of his environment, family history -good or bad- and how he lets those things shape him. And to adequately defend my position as a southerner at heart, a little family history is in order, if you please. Ahem.

I'm not going to go through the whole family tree, though interesting to me, I fear it would be the longest blog ever. (Even though I split this up into two parts as-is.) So, I'll present the highlights.

A Brief History of Seth, by yours truly...

The Blood

The Irish aren't called lucky for nothing. My great great great grandfather on my dad's mom side came to this country on a boat from Ireland. The boat, as many did back in those days, swiped an iceberg on its way and sunk, killing 95% of its passengers. My grandpa Morgan floated for a day and a half in the cold Atlantic waters on some debris until he was rescued and taken to the Homeland. My great great grandfather on my Dad's side, from whom I've inherited my last name and my middle name Dee, was also of German-Irish descent and was in the Oklahoma land rush. He was one of the original Sooners and claimed a big chunck of land when Oklahoma was just Indian territory and the President opened it up to settlers. On my mom side, my great great great grandfather was a Cherokee Indian Chief. Mixed in there on her side, in a low percentage, is German, English and even some Scottish. But as far as blood, I'm mostly Irish immigrant and Cherokee Indian. I've even got an Indian blood-card to prove it.

An Okie

I was born in Claremore Oklahoma and spent my younger years nestled in the Keetonville hills, thirty miles west of Claremore. (Garth Brooks lives around there now, very pretty country.) Claremore is the birthplace of Will Rogers and I grew up hearing that name about every other day, since my Grandfather met him and Will was a staple of Oklahoma culture. Now before you go criticizing the Okies you should know a few of the people that Oklahoma has produced: Garth Brooks, Paul Harvey, Woodie Guthrie, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Johnny Bench and Brad Pitt, (who also lived the other half his life in Springfield Mo, and went to the same high school I went to when I lived 9 years in Springfield.) to name a few of the top of my noggin. Oklahoma is rich in culture, and good people. It holds a unique culture that not many states have and it has produced some of our finest, brightest and most memorable Americans. It took a brave soul to stake a claim in the Land Rush. (See move Far and Away.)

My grandfather Earl Dee Ward, grandson of the Sooner, was a Rancher and a country music singer and owned a Dallas-esque ranch by a big lake in Oklahoma, and many of my earliest memories are of going to that ranch. On my mom's side, my Grandfather Mallory owned a farm in the rolling hills just east of Tulsa. I learned to schuck corn and fish from that Grandfather and on that side of the family, one could only describe it as a clan. My mom had 9 brothers and sisters, (all valedictorians... what the heck? How'd I end-up with a highchool C average???) and they all had at least 4 kids. The are probably the most hilarious people I've ever met. Even though a few of my uncles are missing several fingers, (which made it easier to pinch large chunks of flesh) their striking wit is still intact and the love of family is paramount. Salt of the earth people.

From age 1-10 I lived in the deep, deep, deep Oklahoma country. I fished everyday, and spent the rest of my time shooting a gun, throwing rocks at hornets nests, and hitting wood-bees with tennis rackets, if I wasn't shooting them... and then all that other country stuff country boys do. Because of my early gun years, I became a dead-eye shot with a rifle and at a Boy Scout rifle contest they almost disqualified me because each shot was a bulls eye. (I had five shots and they could only see one hole.) To this day, if you give me a twelve gauge and fire skeet in the air, I will hit 99 percent of them. That sounds like a bit of bragging, but I ain't lying, people. By age 10, I really could shoot a wood-bee out of the sky. Consequently, I suck with a pistol. Couldn't hit a coke bottle four feet in front of me.

A move to the city.

When I was 10, my dad moved his family to Louisville Kentucky to go to Seminary. These were the faith-building years. I witnessed, first hand, day to day, God providing for us when we had no money and a lot of faith. Things like... my dad not having enough money for gas to Seminary and him walking out to the mailbox to find money in an envelope from some friend he hadn't spoken to in years. It was also the first time I had ever seen a black man. I got off the Uhaul in the middle of that city and went straight to the first black man I saw and started doing the moon walk. My dad came around the corner and laughed as he nervously tried in vain to get me to stop break-dancing. All four black men were clapping and told my dad to let me keep going, "Hey, man, he's just doing his thing." My dad still tells that story.

From the City to Corn.

From there, we briefly moved to the corn fields of Indiana. Indiana was like the Oklahoma in many unexpected ways, but rougher than Oklahoma, if it was possible. It was a rough, rough school. I learned how to fight there. Getting beat up daily does that to you. I also learned that women can also chew skoal. I smoked my first cigarette (unfortunately, sorry mom) there and de-tasseled my first corn-stalk. However, I made a lot of good friends there, even though I was labeled "a southerner," or "hick" to some.

Most importantly, I fell in love with the stars in Indiana. It is a little known fact that Indiana has some of the best starry night skies. Many a night was spent under those stars reading my dad's copy of Carl Sagan's Cosmos by flashlight.

Up next: Into the Deep South...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Walk in the Park

A man and a woman rush by; my left ear dips as deep as it can into their conversation. "I mean, you don't know what it's like to lose thirty-thousand dollars in a day." They're gone.

In the distance a Jazz band wails in a New Orleans groove. It echoes through faint applause and some kids playing in a little designated playground nearby. The sunlight shoots through the trees and makes the scene look like a Monet Painting in focus. I walk closer. They've picked the perfect spot. A cobblestone walkway has come to a Y. They nestle themselves where the roads diverge and a small crowd has gathered. Just everyday NYC people, I think. I think that because they are all wearing grey, or black, and let's face it... most look very Jewish. I hate to say it, but Jewish people tend to be the ones that seem to know best how to stop and smell the roses around these parts. Notice I didn't say "take a picture of the roses," I said "smell em'." Big difference.

Anyways, I'm amazed that all these people just stopped what they were doing to fill the benches surrounding the small band playing for pennies. I can't help but stop myself. These people are a good influence on me. Besides, the band is pretty good. Really good. So good I can't resist, I've gotta drop some money in. I have a soft spot for musicians in the park. For some reason, subway musicians are slightly annoying. Maybe because it is already so darn loud down there. I did see a midget dressed up like Michael Jackson once doing a little Jacko routine at Penn Station. I recorded it with the Treo. (curse its clunky memory.) Maybe I'll post that sometime.

I drop my money and move on. Next in line to pass is a lady with an enormous scarf, enormous jet-black sunglasses and two enormously fluffy pooches. The park must be a sensory overload for the average pooch or salon-perm pooch. The canvas of sound and smell is staggering and hypnotic. Everywhere your eye turns a new thing grabs on until the smell of roasting peanuts overwhelms you, or some other food that might as well be thanksgiving dinner.

Another couple shuffles by. They have English accents.
"You can't seriously think that London is more interesting than this city."
"Yes, I can."
"How so?"
"Well for one thing the tourists."
"Oh, that's part of the charm."
"Well, "I'll take my park with less tourist if you please."
"Well, no surprise there. You always did like your tea boring and plain."

They laugh and I quit following them. Yeah, I couldn't resist. Something about the English language always makes me want to eaves drop. Every sentence sounds like it's from the Magna Carta. The English could make the back of a drano bottle sound like the Magna Carta. (1.)

I think about taking a picture but as soon as I pull out my phone the Brit's are aware of me and glance back. Shamefully, I act like someone is calling and I stop to talk on the cold-dead iPhone.

They've given up suspicion and have bought my phoney charade. (Ha!) I shuffle around our usual walking-circle-trail and I hear some small dog explode into frantic yipes in the distance. Now two yipes. One's high pitched and the other is really high. I peer down an overlooked cobblestone trail and see a man pulling a rabid, black wiener dog into the air by its leash. From where I'm standing, the dog and leash look like a weed-eater gone loco.

Did you know that the rock in Central Park is smooth and grooved because the city was covered by an Iceberg thousands of years ago? Just learned that from the History Channel. (History Channel=Seth-Coke) Yeah, 20,000 years ago the iceberg slowly seceded to the north pole and smoothed the stone, dropping big stones in its wake. Evidently the entire city is living on a great sheet of this hard bedrock.

There is nothing quite like Central Park in the fall.

Btw, the pics here are from my iPhone. I've posted some new pics over at my iPhone Photo blog. Enjoy! (Yes, I figured out how to upload pics without dismantling iLiberty, so more pictures on a regular basis.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Few Things Burning-up my iTunes Lately

I say "burning up," but they are pretty mellow. This here first group is Mates of State. I hate to admit this but I'm sort of a grumpy old man when it comes to new artists. I am horribly picky about new artists and I think I'm probably 10 times more of a critic than I am a should be. Besides being a novelist, being a critic would be a dream job. It can be to a fault, as it takes me too long to warm up to new artists. (Part of being OCD.) You wouldn't believe how long it took me to warm up to some ground-breaking artists. I'm still not warmed-up to John Mayer. Probably because when Amber and I went to see him and Ben Folds (took me almost year to warm up to Ben!) it was like a Cougar convention. Middle-aged women drinking margaritas from plastic cups and yelling at Mayer to take his shirt off. Gagalicious. That being said, I heard Mates of State on the Conan O'brien Show the other night and really liked them. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I really like the way a guy and girl sound when they sing together... hmmm. So here is a recent new addition to my Itunes library. I like them and and I can't exactly put my finger on why, besides the obvious, and most-times, that's the most fun kind.

This duo needs no introduction. These are my two favorite living singers. Singing together. Sheesh. I would shave my head and talk fake Klingon for a week to see these guys in concert. I like this live version but you gotta hear the T-bone production from the record. When I first downloaded it, I think I listened to it a thousand times, over and over. But see, that's just me, and that's one of the many beauties of music. Some music hits some of us right at the right time in our lives and speaks just what we want or need to hear. Then we try to recommend it and we're surprised that no one feels quite the same. Anyways, here is my offering to the "listen-to-this!" pile.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Six Tips for Married Men Who Like Donuts

It's no secret that when men get married they tend to balloon. Yes, before we marry, we spend hours upon hours on the tread-mill in preparation for the big naked-night. Some of us even resorted to near-starvation and massive amounts of caffeine.

If you think about it, this was really an unfair representation of who we really are to our wives-to-be, and when the ring slipped on the true-eating commenced. So, for those of you not blessed with the metabolism of a ferret on crack, (my brother-in-law, Eric, curse his perfect genes,) here are a few tips to keeping your weight down to a place where it won't swallow your underoos.

Let it be said, that when I'm talking about weight, I'm really talking about being healthy. Your weight will go to the right place for you if you are being healthy. That varies from person to person. Some people keep a more robust weight than others and can't really help it, nor should they. Some people can help it but are happy-as-can-be with their magnificent figure. This is not for those people. For those of us that struggle with vanity and glory, and can see the heart-attack station just over the horizon, these five tips just might aid you in your quest.

1. First, don't buy a bigger size of pants. Don't do it. When the pant-waste starts cutting off circulation to your legs, take action. (see steps 3-6)

2. Wash your pants weekly. The pants can be a deceptive thing. They do stretch and will keep stretching. If you wash them, it keeps you honest, not to mention keeps you smelling fresh and clean. The neighbor dog's nose will also be a whole lot less attracted to the incubators-for-future-kings.

3. Move around. Simple but hard to do. Especially if you live in a place like Houston, where the heat kills several old people per day. Find a park, a street, a treadmill, and take a walk. Get sweaty. Sweat good for you. Woman like. 20 minutes, before you eat, or after you eat.

4. Eat more Fiber. (Especially in the morning.) It's too bad that fiber doesn't taste better. Most fiber serials taste like gravel, no matter how many pretty berries they throw in the bowl on the box cover. And what dude really has fresh cranberries on hand? I've tried, but somehow, as soon as I put the cranberries or blackberries or strawberries in my fridge, the seem to flourish with mold. However, there are a few things out there that keep the subways clear that don't taste like you opened your mouth on a dusty road after a tractor has passed. Activia Cherry with one packet of Splenda is pretty yummy, and Fiber One has made great advances in adding large amounts of sugar to the digestive dirt that we call Fiber.

5. Try not to eat any sort of bread or pasta or cereal that does not have a bunch of fiber in it. I know, I just said Fiber, but it is of the utmost importance that Fiber is your friend. If you up your Fiber, you'll feel better, and you lower your risk of Colon cancer by a percentage that I'm too lazy to look up, but it's a bunch.

6. Cut your Sugar intake. Notice I didn't say "destroy sugar." That's unrealistic and will only lead to a ferocious, bestial devouring of several pounds of cheesecake. Much of this will be solved by eating more Fiber (Wheat Bread instead of White Bread, Asparagus over Mashed Potatoes, Wheat noodles over white noodles, ask for the wheat bread on your Chick-Fil-A sandwich... you get the picture.) However, sugar seeps into our diets in a billion different ways. I don't think I need to list the ways, but why not pull pack the curtain and pile on the guilt: Donuts, Starbucks-chick-drinks, Bagels, Lucky Charms, Coke... blah blah. You don't have to cut it all out, just do half Diet Coke and half regular Coke. Take nuts and berries to the theater. It's cheaper anyways. (I actually throw a packet of splenda in the half-and-half mix. Might sound gross, but it sweetens it up and takes off the crappy diet aftertaste.)

So there you have it. Some practical man-diet stuff. In summary: Wash your clothes, eat more Fiber, A LOT more fiber, cut the sugar, and get that fat jiggly arse moving around, at least once a day. And, no, a trip to the cold-throne or fridge doesn't count as movement.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Close Your Eyes...

As many of you have observed, this election has been an emotional one for old Sethro. It has caused me to lose sleep, drink too much coffee, talk... nay, yell to myself with raised hands while imagining that I'm hollering away at Chris Matthews on his cursed show. And worst of all, the Obiased media in this election made sweet tea lose its precious savor. Darn them. Darn them to heck. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest every place on their body where the sun doth not shine.

So, my friends, I have moved on. (Kinda.) Moved on enough to maintain a normal heart rate and blood pressure.

For, my friends, there are more important things in the world to discuss. Things that make a difference in people's lives. Things that move us, things that challenge us, make us dream. Things like... Yes, yes. You may finish my sentence. Things like... Beyonce Knowles's's's's new name.

Ladies and gentlemen, after pining for hours uncounted, and crying-out as I watched, over and over, the Youtube clips of Beyonce's underrated-Jennifer-Hudson-eclipsed Dreamgirls performance, "PLEASE, BEYONCE... PLEASE, ANOTHER NAME! YOUR TALENT... YOUR ACTING... they're. just. too. FIERCE!!!!!"

And as if I was Bastien screaming from the upper room of an abandoned school building, into the stormy night, after eating a WHOLE apple... to save all of Fantasia,

Sasha Fierce was born. Falcor, the Rockbiter and the rest of the Dirty South gang can dream again anew.

You're welcome. Take a moment to watch this as you meditate upon the name of:


Fierccccccccce (cue echo and wind chimes)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thumb on OFF-Button; push, Ahhhhh.

I'm done. Done-ola. Finissimo. No more.

I had typed a big, long, nasty blog about the Obiased press, but you know what? Fuggedaboutit. I was going to title it, "Journalism is Dead, and on the Third Day, Obama Arose." It was full of stuff about how the media is supposed to present both sides of the argument, and they aren't. It was full of all kinds of negative stuff and griping and complaining. But, in the words of the one-term-wonder, George Bush Sr., "not gonna do it."

If the media is in love with Obama, then there's nothing I can do about it but stop watching the Journalistic PDA. It's depressing because now I can't trust Obama. I'm only getting the techni-color version. It is a sad, sad day when the channel that is giving the most fair and un-biased reporting is FOX news. I fear the space-time continuum is near the breaking point.

However, there was one glimmer of hope today on the news... Obama called a press conference discussing national security, conspicuously close to Biden's amazing statements about "Obama being tested." The session was decorated with everything but the presidential seal. He was backdropped by a line of old Democrats and two, perfectly starched flags instead of Greek Pillars.

After Obama opened the conference, looking presidential, the press were allowed to ask questions. Now, I fully expected ALL of them to super-glue their lips to his butt, but... wonder of all wonders.... they did not. Obama got a taste of what the press actually is: A fickle, fickle, female-dog-in-heat. One minute they love your smelly poo-breath and the next they are stirring the boiling tar for which to cook you.

The first question went like this: "Yes, Senator, don't you think this press conference comes awfully close to remarks that Biden made? Are you worried about perceptions of your ability to handle a crisis since you've never served a military day, and you've never held an executive position?"

I about fell over. Barack was visibly annoyed. He answered that "it would be hard to get all these people together in two days for that." Uh huh. Methinks a wallet fat with a fresh 150 mill. can cover a multitude of sins, and/or Biden blunders, not to mention buy a few thousand plane tickets to the moon if he wanted.

Then came the next question, a similar question. Barack answered again, this time he decided it was time to tie it all back to the economy and calling McCain, Bush, even though it was supposed to be a press conference discussing his ability to govern militarily.

Bottom line: The press wasn't falling for it and kept up the Biden questions. Finally Barack was forced to say that Biden has a tendency to go into these verbal "flourishes." He was visibly annoyed, and ended the supposed-to-appear-presidential press conference looking more pee-ode than I've seen him... ever.

So friends and neighbors, I'm satisfied. At least I know that the press is as equally vicious as they've always been, and even though the media has been nothing short of a Barack Obama TBN, equipped with their own Obamaevangelists that resemble Robert Tilton, maybe they are seeing the light and realizing their valuable duty as protected by the constitution: Ask the tough questions, and get to the truth and report it.

After all, guys, you're all we've got.

Second and most important reason for stopping the politico talk: It's ruining my sweet-tea experience. Yes, once anything has pushed me over the edge to where I can't even enjoy a glass of sweet tea, Houston, we've got a problemo.

So, I've brewed a new batch, sweetened it to perfection and I've shut the talking BaCrack-box O-F-F.


Monday, October 20, 2008

I Got Friends in High Places

It's lovely in the city these days... There is no possible way to be in a bad mood during this time of year. Plus, my birthday doth approacheth. What? Really? You want me to put a link to my paypal account so you can drop cash in it for that blissful day? Awwwwe, I don't know. I'll think about it. Okay, you win.

Yesterday, I got to hang out with Brody for a bit as he was in town with Mercy Me. Tour buses are truly amazing things. I went onto Mercy Me's tour bus when I met Brody and met a few of the M.M. gang. Didn't talk to Bart since he was pretty enthralled with the demise of the Cowboys. Afterwards we trekked up to the Empire State building with some guys from the crew and the keyboard player for M.M., who happens to be one heck-of-a nice chap. Yes, the man that makes the Only Imagine piano-magic happen is a down-to-earth funny fella. Evidently he's also a pretty good photographer.

It is always fun to get a free trip (thanks buddy!) to the top of the Apple and see the wonders of modern man. It was slightly impressive that we could see the whole line of M.M. tour buses from the top of the Empire State Building decorating front of Madison Square Garden like the Great Wall of China.

Afterwards, our equally glamorous friend, Forky came by and hung out for the evening. We took turns yelling at the CNN-News/Obama-Spice channel, and relaying stories of what it is like to be a McCain supporter in the Big Obama Apple... Obapple? It was fun and cathartic.

Other than that, I've been trying to get over a nasty little cough and forcing myself to take a break from the news, which is a little like tearing a toddler away from this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Colin Powell

Yesterday, Colin Powell endorsed Senator Obama's presidency. Big surprise. I was so surprised that I almost forgot flip my booger. I'm not so much upset that Powell is endorsing Obama; It wouldn't have taken a genius to see that coming. I'm more concerned with his reasoning in voting for Obama. I'm serious about this. I'm not just trying to be all "Republican." I'm an artist. That's a party unto itself. We make parties for crying out loud! As for the current Obama fever, ironically, just being moderate puts me waaaaay in the minority. Anyways...

Powell said the election of Obama would "electrify the world."

Why? Because he's black? Then why not Steevie Wonder?

"I think he is a transformational figure," Powell said. "He is a new generation coming ... onto the world stage and on the American stage. And for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."

I'm sorry, but "being a transformational figure" is a reason that would be given by a tree hugger, a fanatic, or a delusionist, not by one of the most powerful, balanced military leaders this nation has known. Why not Oprah, for that matter? She's uber transformational. Plus, she's been more places than Barack.

"I can't deny that it will be a historic event when an African-American becomes president," Powell continued, speaking live in the studio. "And should that happen, all Americans should be proud — not just African-American, but all Americans — that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It would also not only electrify the country, but electrify the world."

I agree that it would be a proud moment for our nation. But I'm not going to vote for someone because I feel bad about slavery and the civil rights movement. Yes it sucked, but that does not excuse me from using my brain to decipher who would best govern the free world. Sure Obama's got communication skills, but he is way GREEN, man. Period. And liberal as the day is long. You are a well-known moderate. Moderates have always made the best rulers. Which brings me to this: I'm honestly sad the you, Colin Powell, never took the plunge and ran for pres. If you stepped into Obama's boots, RIGHT NOW, I would vote for you. (After I tried to forget about the reasons for your Obama endorsment.) You also know that many people believe this as well. My only conclusion is that a vote for Obama from you eases your conscience for inaction.

"And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities — and you have to take that into account — as well as his substance — he has both style and substance, he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."

Style and substance are the two prerequisites of being a president??? Brother, I hate to say it because I admire you so much, (even though you should have resigned before you made that speech to the U.N. about WMD.) but I think you've looked into the Palantir too long; drank from the golden Koolaid chalice; Jumped off the cliff because everyone else is doing it, whatever, you get the point.

I'm not so much disappointed in Powell's choice as I am in his reasoning for choosing: Race. Color. Rhetoric. Honestly, I was even looking to be a little convinced to sway back towards the middle. (I like the middle, its usually where the truth is.) The only substantial reason Powell gave for voting for Obama is that Obama would probably appoint liberal Justices to the S.C. Well, too bad for me, because that's exactly one of the biggest reasons that I wouldn't vote for Obama.

Powell's words only reinforce the fear I have about the coming election: The cult of personality is swaying the nation. It explains the crazy fanaticism. It gives the anger we have for being deceived as a nation somewhere to go. It eases our national conscience of at least SOMETHING, i.e. civil rights, in light of the international blunders we have committed in the last years. We are angry and we've been embarrassed. And Obama's the blue pill to release us form our current Matrix.

As a nation, that puts our reasoning powers in as much danger as they were when we invaded Iraq over Yellow Cake. Now, instead of voting for something because of Yellow Cake on a truck-bed, we are voting for a man because of the dark color of his Epidermis, hoping that in itself will cure our woes. It won't, and God help us all if some idiot tries something horrible when Obama is elected, because this pretty much sealed the deal for Obama.

All in all, I was just hoping for a better reason, or at least more reasons to vote for Obama over McCain. Yes, a part of me wants to ease that conscience as well. Scary. Yikes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Golden Compass: Review (Belated)

Finally saw it. Yeah, I know. A billion gazillion people have reviewed the movie and Christians everywhere have lopped-off its head, dug its grave with a rusty spade and set the tombstone high and crooked above the Golden Compass. Most likely, there won't be a sequel to the film because of the mediocre sales of the first, which is a bit of a bummer because the first film had such an overwhelmingly obvious cliffhanger. Slightly irritating, to be honest. They might as well have said in the final voice over, "just wait till the next movie!"

So, despite the oceans of columns and blogs that have already been written on the subject I will offer a humble paragraph or two. Its probably a good thing I didn't see it earlier or it might have been my longest blog yet.

As a film, I thought it was... okay. There were some good things about it but it seemed to be lacking "feeling," as my wife put it. Without feeling, a mythology is difficult to support. This is why we love the Potter books so much and why Peter Jackson took such a long time in the making of his first LOTR film. I liked the mingling of sci-fi and fantasy and that whole parallel universe thing but again, as far as the mythology went, I was let down. Partly because I had heard that he had created a whole new mythology, a world that would rival Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling. Ummm, nope. Maybe one or two newbies. It was cool, but the borrowed motifs seemed clunky. It could have been that we (the viewer) were being required to see Witches and talking animals in a scientific light. It could work, but we just weren't given enough to support that mythology to suspend all that we've believed about the "prototypes" ingrained in our subconscious.

So as a film: C+ to a B-. The polar bear stuff was the best of the lot. I could have had a movie based on that story alone.

The mythology and all that Atheist business... It was so obvious that Pullman hates the Church and God and sadly, his crusade almost got in the way of the good story-telling. I can handle an Atheist storyteller. What I don't want is a sermon when I'm watching fantasy. To be fair, its the parts that I least enjoy about the Narnia films as well. The subtleties of allegory can easily become thorns that prick at your suspension of disbelief, until you are suddenly awake and staring at moving images, and watching a flat-screen tv, and listening to sound emerge from your speakers, and staring at the burned popcorn wondering how many fat grams you just ate, rather than lost in a world of fantasy and imagination, munching away in hypnotic-ignorant bliss.

The mythology gets bogged down in its own philosophical-preachy boots and every fantastic object or animal requires too much... thinking. After all, magic is magic. It can't be both. Make it one or the other. For instance: Supposedly, only one person could read the telepathic, scientifically created compass. This relies heavily on some "prophetic" quality, supernaturally given to the girl in the story. But the reading of the compass is somehow simply telepathic or metaphysically- scientific. Already, too much to think about when watching. That's the beauty of magic. You point the wand, believe, and lose yourself.

In short, Pullman tries to create a mythology in which God does not exist. This in itself is an oxymoron. As a result, in every room that Pullman creates, he shatters the mirrors and snuffs-out the candles, leaving only us to imagine what his world would have been like if he had just simply believed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Line

Is anyone else besides me slightly creeped-out by this here advertisement? I don't know... Give the dog some dignity, or a t-shirt or a bra or something, huh?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poor Joe

Joe the plumber. Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber.

Hey, I heard that if you say Joe the Plumber 50 times in the mirror you'll see Barack Obama's face! Say it a hundred times you'll see McCain's face. If you put on a wig and drink a bunch, you just might see Sarah Palin.

This poor man. Thank the Lord it wasn't Joe the Proctologist, or Joe the underarm-deodorant-tester. The fact is, that all the foo-foo-fa-fa guffawing media is acting like being a plumber is some funny profession, when it is not. My grandfather had a successful plumbing business and though most of the time you associate plumbing with the crapper, that makes up about 5% of what plumbing entails. (However a well-functioning crapper is a daily must.) Let's just say that if it weren't for the plumber, we'd all be stinking, thirsty, and dropping the kids off in the wooden out-house instead of in our candle-scented granite-tiled bathrooms. We would also fry if a fire broke out in our building. So there.

Second, I heard this poor man, because he is picking up steam for the McCain camp, is being investigated by the media for any tax evasions. What in the h-e- double-hockey-sticks is up the media's rump? Know they no decency? I am so sick and tired of the Media-Obama love affair I could just puke. First off, I'm not an Obama hater. Many of my southern friends are, but I'm not. There. Also, I'm not a McCain "lover." I think he's alright, and the better of the two, (right now) but I've always said that I felt that underneath that flashy grin is a Ross Perot waiting to play Morris Code with the nuke button.

As for Joe... For crying out loud though, just leave the man alone. He didn't ask for this. He was just minding his own business when Barack came a' knockin'. Leave the man alone. Go bother my buddy, Joey, the unemployed violinist. I can't imagine a person who would like to have his name called out on national television 1000 times a day more than Joey.

Madonna Spews Forth Her Sweet Kabbalah Palin Looove

After comparing John McCain to Hitler, Madonna went off last week on Sarah Palin in the Madison Square Garden stop of the Queen of Pop’s “Sticky & Sweet Tour”.

Madonna made her feelings quite clear by declaring that Sarah Palin isn’t welcome in her concert or party and should get off of her street. Madonna goes as far as threatening to “kick her ass”.

Madonna brilliantly ends her rant with, “It’s nothing personal” and “I love her soul”.

When asked about her aggressive heckling on the red carpet of the NY screening of her directorial debut, Filth & Wisdom, Madonna downplayed the whole thing.

“It’s a metaphor,” Madonna said. “She’s in the Republican Party, I’m in the Democratic Party.”

Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. Wilt though ever grasp the height and depth of thyne stupidity? A metaphor??? You tell Sarah Palin that you want to kick her ass off your street and you expect us to think it was a metaphor? Even if I do concede that you meant it so, it was a horrible metaphor, at best. We are all a little smarter than that. A trial lawyer, you would not make. Why has every word that hath proceedethed from thyne sullied lips been so completely mongoloidian in scope? Stop the madness. The world figured out long ago that all you eighties stars were just a bunch of goobs with the intellectual prowess of a toenail, and that whole clothing/hair style you started stands as one of our culture's most embarrassing memories. There have have been more pictures burned or hidden from that era than any other era. Your doing. We learned our lesson. You are officially a Halloween costume.

Second of all, even if Sarah were interested in attending your goofy event to watch you gyrate your cosmetically altered parts, I SERIOUSLY doubt that you could take the moose-killer in a one on one. I'm thinking you couldn't slut-dance your way out of a Palin headlock. Yes, my dear, she could take you. Maybe in one of your West Side Story fight-fantasys in which Micheal Jackson sings "You Wanna Be Startin' Something" while you fake-dance your way through a bunch of half naked gay guys who've been paid handsomely to act like they want you desperately. Maybe there, in that fantasy world... you might win.

This brings me to a close. I am absolutely frightened at the unbelievable hatred that some women have for Sarah. Most are wanna-be prom queens that always took solace in their intelligence, and in the hope that maybe someday they would be president, and that the prom-queen they despised would be styling their hair for their next national news briefing. Whatever the case, Fem-Palin-Haters are a scary bunch of loons. They need to seriously chill. Anytime you are spewing violent rhetoric about a presidential candidate, you've got probs. Chill-out. Drink a Martini. See a doctor about a lower dose of hormones. Whatever you gotta do. If anyone is resembling the Nazi Party, it is you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Illustration From the NCS Bible.

Genesis 3:6. When the Hen saw that the corn on the ground was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for scratching, she pecked some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, Foghorn, who was with her, and he pecked it. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; "BAKAAAWK!" they said and ran around like they had no head and hid in the corn stalks from the Great Farmer.

"I've been waiting so long for the New Chicken Standard. The attention to detail is peck-tacular!" - Jim Eggbert, Newsweek.

"It's about time that someone wrote a translation from the chicken's perspective. How in the heck-fire can we call ourselves relevant without this postmodern approach?" - Jeff Winglet, Relevant Magazine.

What's Your .com Name?

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - You can call her, Cutout for short, but just don't call her Jennifer. The former Jennifer Thornburg — now legally — wanted to do something real to protest animal dissections in schools.

The 19-year-old's new name is also the Web address for an anti-dissection page of the site for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, where she is interning.

I guess I can slightly relate to her anti-frog-killin' passion... I really hated dissecting those frogs in Biology. Stank. Slimy. Guts. Gag. Plus, I always got stuck with the one guy who seemed to love slicing-up kermit more than he liked bathing.

He would just giggle and bounce his B.O.'d self around every time he found a new organ. I tried really hard to think of a name to secretly call the guy, but no insult could ever match his... whatever it was. It was his fault that I got a C- in Biology. I did my best to be involved but this guy would just take over every time I tried to label something nasty in the peeled-open frog. Granted, I was always wrong in the labeling, or I would simply label the organ, "guts," but he sure wasn't too interested in sharing his mad scientist frog-lust knowledge.

Anywho... So this frog-hugging girl decided to change her name to I'm sorry, you got national press and all, but that is pretty dumb. If you are going to be named a dot com, then think of something better. I know for darn-sure what mine would be:

That's what I'm talking about. Make the .com name work for you. Make your name into something that will pay you in your sleep. Make your name into something that will inspire people in their faith. Either that or name yourself something that will insult anyone who calls out your name. For instance, I' Just imagine, your pastor, your teacher. "Hey, ImATurd." and you respond, "Yes, yes you are."

Ah to be a teenager again...

What would be your .com name? (You can take this seriously. You will be laughed at. But this is a free-speakin' blog.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Worship and Art: God Likes A Good Beat

Three things I thought about in church today: (Wrote Yesterday... got sick.)

1. Art is both uniquely human and supernatural. It expresses our "humanness" like nothing else. It is man creating for the sake and joy of creating. It is also man creating to honor God, exalt God, to commune with God. (Whether the man knows it or not) To create is the most uniquely God-like quality that we have. We create, not things from nothing like God, but we create from the materials he has given us. The farmer, the lawyer, the housewife, the plumber... we are all poets in our own way. Might sound stupid but it is not. Our entire agriculture and civilization is built upon man's ability to think creatively. It uniquely separates us as a race.

Yes, there is a difference between functionality and beauty, but there is still no distinction between functionality and art. Art may not express the beauty of something as its main purpose; it may be something created to till the earth, but a man makes it. He conceives it. He shapes it and puts the thing to work. A great quote from an upcoming film about the guy who invented the windshield wiper, or something about it. Someone said to inventor, "Its just a windshield wiper." The inventor replied, "Yeah, but to me, it's the Mona Lisa."

There is something artistic in everything about our culture. From the windshield wiper to the cold blocks of concrete that the Communists liked to call "buildings." Even those boring communist structures had their own cold artistic statement embedded in the heart of their minimalist architecture. There is no escaping it. Even the accountant, or mathematician is an artist at what he does. There is an elegance to math and the mind that shapes it that is beyond words. Math is the language of the created universe. Or the lawyer, in his deposition, he/she has to shape an argument, win a jury with a skillful turn of words, a dramatic pause... The great trial lawyers are in their own ways, actors. The stay at home mom... I can't begin to number the ways in which a stay at home mom has to think creatively to both stay sane, and keep her kids from killing themselves. The list goes on and on.

2. Each church wants to communicate with God in their own unique and artistic way. Believers flock to like-minded believers so that they can communicate through their preferred medium and worship. This is not a bad thing, but it can become a bad thing when we think that artful worship alone is responsible for spiritual movement. We are conditioned from birth to be more closely related to certain types of art, music, poetry, literature- and in the church, we gravitate towards attending where the medium most closely resembles those influences. This is okay as well, as long as one group does not judge another's worship.

3. Even though there are different modes of worship in churches, one should not forget, that the spirit does not necessarily live in the great thunders of the timpani or 4-on-the-floor kick drum, praise choir, brass section, or in the soaring voices of the St. Thomas boys choir that I heard this morning at communion. (Which was beyond words beautiful.) It can and will speaks in spite of those things and if it is present, it doesn't matter how fancy the song or medium, it will move you, if you let it. Hopefully the people singing or speaking have this intent in their hearts. But it may move in spite of those things as well. That movement can happen in a tone-deaf farmer's church or in the angelic lines bouncing off the stone walls of the St. Thomas Episcopal Cathedral. The still small voice of God does not need a fire or earthquake or great wind to announce His coming or presence.

The condition of a man's heart always trumps the level of excellence in any offering of praise. After-all, when God found us, we were dirty and filthy and full of pride and sin. What makes us think that perfectly harmonizing chords will matter a hill of beans if our heart remains un-offered? The sole purpose of any art (music/art/dance/preaching/building-architecture/graphics) in church is to aid in breaking through to the heart of man, and a church's pursuit of excellence can many times distort that or worse, distract completely. However, it is always a cherished and unforgettable moment when both are present. For that to happen, we have to be extra careful that a striving for excellence will not overshadow the beauty of simple honesty. Pride can so easily wrap its nasty tentacles around the effort if we are not careful and we find ourselves blaming one another for the missing spirit, or we just spend more money for new spirit-ushering gadgets, bigger speakers, bigger orchestra and bigger jumbotrons.

We cannot afford to fool ourselves into believing that God can be bought or that He appears in some settings and not in others. There is no magic worship band potion to make the Spirit move. The Spirit is not formulaic, He is mysterious. No style of worship holds rights to His movement; He cannot be contained. The beating heart is the Spirit's only conduit into the life of man.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dog Dream

Three guesses on what the dream is about...

1. "Oh sweet Princess Fifi, my Pug-pooch dream. How I love running with you in the great wide fields of scattered bones. Oh how you frolic. What's that you say? I jump so high? You flatter me with your talk! Share with me, oh love of my life, my water bowl. Drink with me. Jump in the long grass for the frisbee thrown only for me. Yes! I said it, I share my toys with thee! You, so sensitive, so sweet, my portly pooch... my angel... my ham on stilts... my Immortal fleeloved."

2. I can't... stop.... running.... can't.... stop.... must.... find... man in blue shorts who brings small square papers... must sniff his .... .... .... can't resist... smell...

3. Blue Jean baby... (I'll stop there.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Come On...

This is getting so unbelievably stupid. For starters, okay, its cool that Palin is related to Princess Dianna. I guess. Maybe Elton John could sing at the inauguration. What's cooler is that she's related to FDR. I guess. What's dumb is that any of this would sway a person's vote, and that the media went and dug up some unbelievably distant relation to Brad Pitt to boost Obama's poor wittew self-esteem. Whew! Obama not only has is very own bracelet to match McCain's, he's got his very own celebrity relative, twice removed, on his 16th great aunt's step-cousin's side.

What almost FLOORED me was an article claiming that Dianna was a dumbass, just like her 13th cousin, Palin. They didn't come out and saaaaay it, no, they wouldn't dare. They sure did imply it though. HEAVILY imply it. They were conspicuously silent on the FDR relationship.

But who cares? The whole thing is getting so stupid. And the media... CONTINUES its love affair with Obama. So, I'm sorry Obama, you threw a party at a terrorist's house. Bad decision. You had to know that that would come back to bite you in the arse someday. No, I don't think you are a terrorist, (okay, I'm going to admit that your middle name creeps me out, just a little,) but own up to the association, brother. Yes, you did it. Yes, it was poor judgment. Why is the media so upset about the Repub's coverage of it? Because it might make a difference in the voter's mind? I doubt it, if he owned up to the mistake.

But there I go again. Getting all caught up. No more!

So... ladies and gents, I quit. I know who I'm voting for... I think. I won't know until I punch that ballot. But I'm pretty sure at this point.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Want One

Worthy of a Post (For you Mac Users)

The rest of you (bone clankers/pc-users) will find this unbelievably boring. You may move on and go about your business, (dragging your women around by the hair, peeing out in the open air and grunting at the moon-god.) For the Mac users, as you know, the mighty mouse scroll mechanism is one of the only problems you might run into when using a mac. The only thing mighty about it, is that it gets dirty and unusable mighty fast. This young brilliant lad has discovered a surefire and simple way of fixing that problem. If only a PC could be fixed so easily... I just did this and it works like a charm. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


October is hands-down my favorite month of the year. I do believe that NYC is in a dead tie with Springfield MO as far as beauty and ... well those "things" that make October what it is: Changing leaves, crisp cool air, pumpkins, candy, pulling out the winter clothes, kids scuffling around with their parents in the fallen leaves, Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. Then after Halloween, it's a straight shot to Christmas.

For me, it may be the most "fun" time of the year. Could be because it is also the month that happens to hold my birthday. I am a Halloween baby. And yes, it is the BEST day to have a birthday. Built in party.

I suppose it's one of the reasons why I don't mind kids dressing up as scary things. (Within reason.) My parents got all fundamental on my 6th birthday and made us dress up as Bible characters. Lame. Lamola. (sorry for those of you that do this.) Of course when I wanted to dress up as the Beast of the Armageddon, (my older sisters had been secretly reading me Revelation to scare me,) my parents said no, so I dressed up as Noah. Only problem? Every single man in the bible looked the same. I tried to argue with my parents, "it feels like Christmas or Easter, not Halloween." To me, Christmas and Easter were the Church Halloweens since we got to dress up then too.

The Church Halloween party that year displayed one of the most unbelievably boring array of costumes in the history of Halloween. Every single boy wore a robe and fake beard (the poorest of us just markered-in a beard,) and every girl looked like Mary (all three Marys.) One kid got lucky and dressed up as a Centurion, cool plastic sword and everything, but when he wouldn't stop taking swipes at the Jesus' with his sword, his mom took his sword away.

One poor girl tried to dress up as Sarah and dressed up pregnant and old, but when she told us who she was, she got cold, blank stares, and "who the heck is Sarah?" (We were pretty young and I doubt she even knew until their parents explained it the week before.)

So, we were all different characters, but we all looked the same, except Sarah, who nobody knew and she got tired of explaining it to people by end of the night, especially to other grown-ups who at first mistook her for Mother Mary... They must have thought it was weird idea for the parents of that girl to make Mother Mary look all old and ghoulish.

To top-off the good times, we had to SIT THROUGH A SERMON... before we could get our dadgum candy. Yes, it sucked all for one and one for all. Finally, the candy made it alllll(most) better.

So what about you guys? Are you into the "dressing up your kids." I understand if you are not, seriously. I know I just jabbed at my folks, (after that year it was all star-wars costumes) but I get it. Some people get all antsy about their kids going in for the ghost and goblin, or just dressing up in general, but for me - I was naturally inclined to be horribly afraid of things - dressing up always served as a way of realizing that all that stuff wasn't really waiting underneath my bed or looming just outside my window. Somehow seeing the neighbor boy, Chester, dressed up as Dracula de-fanged my nightmares.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Things I've Been Reading

Faulkner's "Sound and the Fury."

I've tried to read this book a couple hundred times but failed each time. Mostly because I am a Hemingway and Steinbeck fan and I HATE making myself read something. That's why I’ve read the LOTR trilogy 24,000 times. It's not Faulkner's long paragraphs; I really don't have a problem with really long paragraphs. It's not the long sentences either; most of his sentences are a kind of mid-way poetry and prose hybrid. It is just tough reading through the eyes of an idiot, and I suffer greatly from ADHD anyways, so it is almost like a bat leading Steevie Wonder. (for the first chapter anyways.)

What has surprised me about The Sound and the Fury is how funny it is. I didn't expect to chuckle my way through the book, but any southern family is bound to be funny, especially if it includes a black nanny who has more sense than the whole bunch.

Bukowski's "Post Office."

Before you go out and buy this booger, know that it is a smidge on the racy side. Make that a good dollop on the racy side. However, it is extremely funny. Again, I tend to teeter on the edge of dark-comedy cliff, and things that are funny to me are not sometimes funny to other people, especially my fellow Christians. (Just wait till my novel hits the shelves someday - before I croak, hopefully. I'm sure I'll be ruffling a few Christian feathers, unintentionally, I might add. Have mercy.)

Anyways, about my weird tendency to laugh at things... In my constitutional law class in undergrad (too many years ago to say) the teacher announced to the class that a man in California (I think) had been sentenced to several years in prison because, when a very wealthy lady cut him off in L.A. traffic, he approached the her open window on the passenger's side at a traffic light, grabbed her poodle, and threw her poodle off the bridge. (Sorry for the clunky run-on there!)

See, I know it's not funny, or shouldn't be funny, but in context, (bored off my rocker stuck in a required elective) I laughed out loud, very loud, and couldn't quite stop. It didn't help that the prof. was a hybrid of a football coach and twinkle-toes. I was the only one laughing. I had to pull a hair out of my leg to get myself calmed down.

Essays of E.B. White

This is a book for the whole family. White is of course most famous for his children's literature but these essays show the enormous talent of a great writer for any age. In fact, I think E.B. White is one of the funniest writers since Twain. He is (was) just naturally funny, and whether writing serious or comical, those are the best kinds of authors in my opinion. I'm so tired of depressing literature I could puke. I think you'll be surprised at how much you'd like this selection White's short stories and essays.

Theology and Sanity, by Frank Sheed.

This is probably my favorite, all-around theology book. That's saying a whoooooooole lot, because I loves me some theology and I've read truckloads of theology and have grown up being mentored by some wonderful theologians (who showered my hungry mind with books and books and books.) However, some of you might have noticed that I sort of burned out of the theological-discussions-embers and lately I keep most theo-thoughts to myself, (as far as blogging goes) but I really think you can't have a better theological book in your layman library, besides the collected works of Lewis. It is truly amazing. I'm serious. The best, on so many levels. You'll never hear the Doctrine of the Trinity described more clearly. Get it. You have to order it online because it isn't in most Barnes and Noble stores. Sheed (a contemporary of Lewis) wasn't interested in the public eye as Lewis was. (P.S., if you are Protestant, just ignore the chapter on Mary. Or read it. At least you'll have a correct understanding of the Marian doctrine. Hint: It ain't NEAR as strange as you think.)

The only problem I have with the book is the title, well, speaking the title. Every time I try to verbalize the title it sounds like "Theology Insanity." A pain in the butt to enunciate over and over but a small price for such an amazing book.

(Sorry subscribers for the extra amendments here.)

So what books have been on your nightstand/by-the-toilet lately?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Seth's Saturday Wise Sayings

"Life's too short for Politics. Let's eat!"

"If at first you don't succeed, cheat!"

(I didn't mean for those to rhyme, which brings me to my final wise saying...)

"True genius can make all things rhyme, but if you can't be a genius, why not be a mime?"

Ponder upon these, my fellow Americans. Be filled with their wisdom, I mean it. Anyone want a peanut?

One more bonus saying: "A heavy lisp does not necessarily mean you are speech-impaired, it could mean that you are deeply Episcopalian."

Friday, October 03, 2008

iPhone: Only One Complaint after One Year of Bliss...

It's the text messaging, my fruity ingenious friends. Not that it is clunky or hard to use. It is not. It is easy. Easy as key lime pie. Toooo easy. HOWEVER...

Because of the touch screen interface, one can easily chose the WRONG person to send a text message to.

This is a problem... oh say, when you think you are sending a... ahem... text message to oh say... YOUR WIFE, and you send the text message to YOUR MOM, or even better YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW instead. Imagine the horror of a certain man as he notices that he is sending a message meant for his God-given wife to his MOTHER. Imagine... You stare at the "sending-text" moving bar, completely helpless. You begin to scream over and over and over "NO!" - punching any and every button to ease the horror, but to no avail.

Then, because you've made this mistake, you wildly try to thumb-out another message to YOUR MOTHER and try to essplain your rouge message, but because you are frantic, and because of the auto-spell-correction - standard in all iPhones - the new and improved message takes on a life of its own. And while you meant to say (in your second message) "that message was not meant for you," the auto-corrector delivers "that massage was now meant for you!"

With sweat accumulating under your arms, a tear welling in your left eye, and after after another fit of screaming "No's," you begin slowly typing your third text. Then your MOM calls you, mid texting. You are slightly annoyed at how seamlessly your iPhone goes from the text screen to the phone screen, displaying the lovely picture of your MOTHER.

For the next 3 hours you are blushing five shades of red because of the hysterical laughter that ensued when you described the folly to your MOTHER. She now has the ammo that she has always wanted to embarrass you at any moment during future Christmas holidays and you are her dinner-and-dishwasher-slave, forevermore.

Anyways, dear Apple... my friend, buddy ole' pal. You might want to consider a "cancel-the-catastrophic-message-meant-for-my-wife" button in your next design.

Your faithful friend and buyer.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Biden and Palin, tonight... who will be left standing? (Plus CCM ultimate fighting matches.)

Oh wait, they will be sitting down. Whatever... No, wait a cotton-pickin' mininte. Not "whatever." I really don't like that sitting down business. I want to see them standing up and squaring off. This is not a deacons meeting in the conference room, this is a Vice presidential-gladiator-slaughter-fest. It's the Barracuda and the Lion of the Senate. (Even though the "Lion of Senate" was shanghaied from Ted Kennedy. Maybe Ted is loaning it to Joe for now.) "Barracuda," that's what they call old Sarah. Hmmm. Suddenly "Barracuda" by Heart is firing up in the noggin. I'm trying to think of a song for Joe that is something about "The Lion." Maybe something by Avalon... "The Lion and the Lamb." Ha!

Now THAT... would be a great ultimate fighting match. Avalon vs. Heart. I would pay a serious premium to see that showdown. As a matter of fact... I would pay several of the old-and-sticky-pennies-in-my-car-cupholder to see some CCM artists square off with each other even just in a good burn-out competition. (Burn out is that game where you play rock paper scissors and the winner smacks the losers arm with two fingers, once per match, until someone quits.) Lets see... A few ultimate fighting/burn-out matches that would be fun:

M.W. Smith vs. Bart from Mercy Me. (I'd bet on Bart. Sidenote: I guess M.W. grew tired of the old Hallelujah.)

Lead singer of Casting Crowns vs. Lead singer of Third Day... (Casting Crowns guy.)

Petra vs. Stryper.... (Stryper)

Shaun Groves vs. Larry ... (Larry.)

Derrick Webb vs. Shane Bernard... (Shane. Cool website, btw.)

Jeremy Camp vs. Bebo tag-teaming with these guys. (Jeremy Camp in the 4th round)

Okay, I've about exhausted my mental CCM ultimate-fighter library for moment, besides a few dearly departed, now its your turn. Ultimate fighting match... Christian artists.... "Go for it." (Ten sticky-nickels-from-my-car-cup-holder for the first person who guesses which Rocky movie that last phrase came from...)

Btw, if you are against such CCM violence, you may turn it into an ultimate thumb wrestling match. The winner gets this bible.

So that about raps it up for now. Come 9:00, I'm going to pop a bunch of popcorn, grab a couple of pounds of m&ms and holler at the television for a few hours, cuddled up with my hot and fiery wife. Tonight should be interesting. I'm already tense about it, as you've probably noticed.