Saturday, January 31, 2004

ok now it's personal

a kid my brother played baseball with in high school was killed in afghanistan this week. i'm not going to get into everything i think about the war and our country's role in the world and yada yada yada. i'm just sad that kyle and hundreds of americans (and thousands of afghans and iraqis by the way) are dead with more to come and there seems to be no end in sight.

i better stop there.

links are up

look to your left. enjoy

Friday, January 30, 2004

by the way

i really am going to put some links up. maybe tonight. maybe not.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

thoughts on living

i'm finishing up prayer and the art of volkswagen maintenance by donald miller -- the guy who wrote blue like jazz. it is his first book and it talks about a road trip he and a friend took from houston to oregon with a stop at the bottom of the grand canyon along the way. it's good stuff. he is an amazing writer and his perspective and honesty are incredible to read. the book is making me think a lot about living.
there is this part of me that wants to sell the house and most everything in it and buy an RV (there are too many of us for a VW camper van) and take off to see everything. that would be caleb's dream by the way -- he thinks RVs may be the coolest thing God ever thought up. we'd have to take the church with us though...i'd miss them. so off we go in this caravan of jacob's wellions. there is a church on the way and a church on the move in tulsa...we could be church on the road.
of course then i think about things like money and gas and where the kids would go to school and stuff like that and reality sets in. there is also the issue that most of the country - travelling RV crowd is about 40 years older than us. another point for corey's theory of retiring first and then working the rest of your life.

i think the problem is that so much of life is occupied by breathing that we don't take enough time to live. breathing is the stuff we do to get from point a to point b during the day and most of the stuff we do at point a or b (or q depending on how many points you may have). it's things like driving and eating oatmeal and grocery shopping and doing your job and dealing with telemarketers and answering emails. the "stuff" of life that seems to be just "stuff" -- that's breathing. we have to do it, we don't think about it, there is no real excitement to it.
living is different. it is those great conversations over coffee (or whatever). it's dinner with 15 friends at fazzoli's. it's playing basketball with the neighborhood kids in the driveway and letting them win. it's watching basketball with a seven year old and having to explain everything. it isn't all skydiving and RV buying.
it just seems like the life we were saved to should consist of more living and less breathing. maybe the point is to figure out how to live while you're just breathing. hmmmmm.

red tells andy in shawshank that the choice is to "get busy living or get busy dying" for me that sounds like stop breathing and live.

more on this later. i need to think.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

but wait...i have found a candidate!

cruising around blogdom today i found an endorsement for the one guy wh makes sense to me. in the grand tradition of Ahnold, Fred "Gopher" Grandy, Sonny Bono, and Fred Thompson, I have found an actor that i can fully get behind for president in 2004. who is this political savior? none other than. . .

bill murray in 2004!

think about his qualifications
he has served in the military with distinction (Stripes)
he is pro-science (Ghostbusters)
he cares about kids (Meatballs)
he is a financial wiz who still cares about the little people (Scrooged)
he is tough on (gopher) terrorists (Caddyshack)
most importantly -- he is the most rabid cub fan on the planet

i could get behind this guy.
think about it.
he couldn't be any worse than the rest of the chuckleheads who are running.

i should use the word chucklehead more often

ok, i've got this thing figured out

in the last few weeks i have felt like i ought to take a look at this whole elction thing from an intelligent, informed perspective. i mean, i'm 33 years old, i have three kids who's lives supposedly will be affected by the outcome, and i'm an american dang it, i should care!
so in my quest for knowledge (?) i watched the state of the union address last night and then the democratic response and then spent some time on the internet reading various responses and thoughts on it. here's what i learned. 1) our country is "strong" -- why does everyone feel the need to say that? 2) there is no intelligent informed perspective. political discourse in this country has turned into a series of "your mama" jokes. everyone has a stated goal that sounds great, but no one seems to have a clue in the world how to get there. everyone thinks that the opposition is not just wrong, it is "evil".
apparently though, that doesn't matter. with all of the reading and watching and listening i have done over the last few weeks, i have realized there is not a candidate who reflects me. while this is probably a good thing for the country as a whole, it stinks for me because i feel like i have to vote for someone or i am a bad american. truth is, i probably am one anyway.
late last night however, i came up with a solution. in order to avoid another bush / gore, BCSlike paper champion, we need to settle this election where is deserves to be settled.


so coming Nov. 2 to pay-per-view, live from the Ford Center in scenic OKC (well, why not?)

Election 2004: The War to Avenge Al Gore!

featured matches include:
Toby Keith v. Moby and all three Dixie Chicks
The Rev. Al Sharpton vs. The Rev. Al Green in a coal miner's glove match with the loser having to change his name forever! vs. (you'll have to check them out to understand.
special ladies match - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton vs. both Bush daughters
old timers match - Ted "dead, but don't know it" Kennedy vs. Strom "really dead" Thurmond
and then on to the main events. that's right we have two! this show is too big for just one.

for the democratic nomination

a battle royal where all 34 demoncratic contenders will face off in the same ring trying to throw each other over the top rope. last man (or whoever) standing in the ring wins the nod. special guest ref - Jesse "the Brain"(?!) Ventura

and to determine the next president of the united states. . .

a steel cage, winner takes all tag team event pitting Michael "Dude Where's My Country" Moore, Al "Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them" Franken, and Molly "Buchwhacked" Ivins vs. their arch-rivals Bill "The Factor" O 'Reilly, Sean "Deliver Us from Evil" Hannity, and Ann "Treason" Coulter. the team that can come up with the most outrageous bit of spun information wins! special guest ref Ross Perot (don't you miss him?) will make the final call. don't miss the commentary by Howard "Hogan" Dean and Arnold "the governator" Schwarzenegger. surprise guest Pat Robertson will announce before the match who God told him the winner would be.

only $49.95. call your cable or satellite provider today!

all proceeds go to the society for almanac prevention (yep, the SAPs)

ok, i'm glad to have that out of my system. maybe i'll just move to iceland instead.

i miss macho man randy savage
oooooohhhhh yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh!

Thursday, January 15, 2004

be warned...the geek is coming out

no one else who sees this may care, but i think this whole mars rover thing is amazingly cool. just looking up and seeing that orange dot and knowing that there is something getting ready to crawl around up there that humans made and control and are receiving information from is pretty heady stuff.

if nothing else, check out the pictures that spirit is sending back. mars was incredible to look at back in august when it was close, but to see it like this is just beautiful.

it's also hilarious to read about the words and actions of giddy rocket scientists. they have no idea (probably) how much they promote the strereotype. good stuff.

i can hear ogre yelling NERDS!!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

speaking of irony

me on the cover of the baptist messenger (with the rest of kenda's family).

if they only knew >:)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

random thoughts listening to news radio and driving to edmond today

Toby Keith, Oklahoman of the Year. that ought to put all those dumb redneck okie stereotypes to rest for good.

if you are going to drive like an idiot and then fire off the finger at the car who honks at you, please take the Jesus fish and calvin kneeling stickers off your car.

Church Marquee (i'm not making this up) -- Tried the rest? Now try the best.
screw humility! it ain't braggin' if you can back it up.

the only difference between driving in edmond and driving on the back roads of mart, texas is that in edmond you have to dodge the holes in the road AND 50,000 other cars.

my heart breaks for choctaw high school. been there too many times.

sometimes reality does bite

Saturday, January 10, 2004

will it ever end?

apparently my crusade to rid the "christian" world of marquees has failed miserably. i drove past a church on the south side of okc (nameless for now) with a marquee that read

eternal fire insurance available here

oh my. please tell me no. i nearly drove off the road (which would only have been a good thing if my car was pointed at the sign)
what are these people thinking? is that supposed to be funny? (it's not) is it supposed to be evangelistic? is it supposed to make me think "those people are really cool about things. they can even joke about hell. i should look for Jesus there"?
i really just don't understand. i don't want to understand.

one of the greatest fears / gripes that nonchristians have about "christians" is that they believe they will be judged by them if they go to church. here is a church that eliminates the middle man and judges them from the street. no need to walk in there. the only good thing about the sign is that it pretty much guarantees no one who is seeking Jesus will accidentally find their way in.

why not say "Jesus available here", "love available here", "hope available here", for God's sake even "left behind available here"? why dumb down salvation and life in Christ to the thing most of us hate the most -- dealing with insurance?

and while we're (i'm) at it. it is unfathomable to me that churches (and i assume pastors) offer Jesus out as a "get out of hell free card". is that all He is to these people? i don't think they would say that, i hope they wouldn't, then why advertise Him like that? i'm not just talking about my friendly neighborhood south-side church now. i know of waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many people in ministry that think this way. just get them "saved" and whatever. if the best thing you can offer about Jesus is that he keeps you from hell, you've been reading the wrong book. if that's all Jesus is, why have church? go ahead and close down and take your sign with you.

man this thing is cheaper than therapy

ok, i'm not an english purist but. . .

check out this sentence from AP on

Researchers interviewed 2,114 people in the Chicago area between 1995 and 1997, as well as police officers, clergy and social workers.

apparently aliens invaded chicago in the mid-90's and took over some interesting jobs. this would also explain how the cubs made the playoffs in '98

at least they spelled everything right

i don't know how much more i can take

Bardot Blasts China for Killing Civet Cats
PARIS - French actress Brigitte Bardot has sent a letter to China's president criticizing the killing of civet cats in its fight against the SARS virus.

this is a country that has imprisoned and slaughtered thousands of HUMANS to maintain its ideology and she is jacked up about cats dying to avoid a possible pandemic? ok , that makes sense.
maybe Ms. Bardot could just volunteer to take all of the cats in and become one of those creepy cat ladies. scary.

i'm reading a book about solitude, things like this make it seem like an even better idea.

called out by the burry man

in response to a blog posted Fri, December 5 where i stated that i was checking out a site called burry man but i didn't know why it was called that, i received this email tonight.

burry man - i have no idea why it is called burry man, but it is a loaded
site for writers and people into that kind of thing."

Gee, J, guess you didn't look at the middle of our front page, where it says
exactly why...

Thanks for dropping in.

The Burry Man Writers Center
a worldwide community of writers

in my defense it is posted on the front page of the site, but at the bottom where ADD folks like me never look. i got into the links on the left of the page and never looked back. anyway, i think this is good natured so with that in mind. . .

thank YOU for dropping in burry man

Friday, January 09, 2004

the world will offically end in about 15 minutes

Ventura to Be Harvard Visiting Fellow
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Body is heading to Harvard.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, known as Jesse "The Body" during his pro wrestling career, will join Harvard's Institute of Politics as a visiting fellow for part of the spring semester, institute spokesman Andy Solomon said Thursday.

Solomon said Ventura would be considered the same as any other visiting fellow, his colorful history notwithstanding.

"We'll draw on his expertise and experience as we would with any other fellow," Solomon said. "We've certainly had experience dealing with well-known personalities before."

Solomon said specifics of Ventura's time at the institute, which is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, have not been completed. The institute invited him to Cambridge at the suggestion of students, Solomon said.

Once known for wearing a feather boa into the wrestling ring, Ventura served four stormy years as governor of Minnesota. His one term ended when he decided in 2002 not to run again.

He began hosting an MSNBC show called "Jesse Ventura's America" in October, but the network took the show off air the last month.

what an amazing country

Thursday, January 08, 2004

i'm so screwed up

i get a call this morning from an editor at nav press. she says she likes the idea for my book, but wants to see a couple more chapters before they commit to anything.

i get off the phone, sit down, and start writing. . .

a 3500 word short story about getting in a fight in seventh grade.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

coming soon to a checkout stand near you

sometimes i simply can't believe what i read. in an incredibly oral robertsian proclamation apparently pat robertson ( you know the 700 club guy) has stated that God "told him" that bush was going to win "in a walk" in 2004.


this brings up so many questions for me. the biggest one is does pat robertson think he is samuel (you know, the prophet from the bible that God used to choose david as king) or jeane dickson (you know, the woman the enquirer uses to make new year's predictions every january)? did God say "in a walk"? has God ever brought up the stupidity of pat agreeing with falwell about the world trade center bombings being a result of gays and liberals in america?

what does this mean for the country? should we go ahead and have an inauguration (coronation) and move on? should clark, dean, kucinich, lieberman, gephardt and company pack up and hang on to their money? should any of us even bother to vote?

if pat has such a solid direct line, maybe we should have him ask about a cure for aids or parkinson's disease or cancer. maybe we could ask him if we really are screwing up the only planet he gave us to hang out on. maybe he could ask God what He thinks about television ministries. maybe he could ask about osama bin laden's location. just think of all the possibilities pat's newfound connection could bring.

ok, before i am branded as a godless liberal (i love that some people actually think that) i know God speaks to his people. i know that there have been times in the history of christianity when God has spoken very clearly and obviously about things like this. i (think) i even know that pat robertson way down deep is probably a good guy. i even believe that God is sovereign over civic goofiness like our elections. (check out Romans 13:1) i guess i just think that if God wanted to proclaim something like that, he would use a less "cartoonish" messenger.

maybe i'm just jealous that God doesn't lay the big stuff like that on me

here's the article if you care
Associated Press Writer

January 2 2004

NORFOLK, Va. -- Pat Robertson said Friday that God told him President Bush will be re-elected in a landslide.

"I think George Bush is going to win in a walk," the religious broadcaster said on his "700 Club" program on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded.

"I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It's shaping up that way," Robertson said.

"The Lord has just blessed him," Robertson said of Bush. "I mean, he could make terrible mistakes and comes out of it. It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad, God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him."

Earlier on the program, Robertson had explained that he wanted to share "some of the things that I believe the Lord was showing me as I spent several days in prayer at the end of 2003."

Robertson also said that this year will be one of "extraordinary prosperity" and that God will bless China in 2004 "in a way it's never known before."

"God loves China and he loves the Chinese people," Robertson said. "I believe there's going to be an unbelievable spiritual revival taking place in China this year."

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, a frequent Robertson critic and executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said he had a prediction of his own.

"I predict that Pat Robertson in 2004 will continue to use his multimillion broadcasting empire to promote George Bush and other Republican candidates," Lynn said in a statement. "Maybe Pat got a message from (Bush political adviser) Karl Rove and thought it was from God."