Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Target Marketing

Driving back from lunch today I pulled up behind a minivan at a stop and I noticed they had bumper sticker that read:

AMERICA: Obey God and He will bless you.

The idea of free will popped into my head when I read that and I thought, “I should rear end them and when they start freaking out I should just tell them that I am a messenger from the Lord and that God has chosen not to bless them because of their disobedience. “

Maybe they wouldn’t call the cops then.

All of that crap that people use to try and spread the “Gospel” makes me sick. It's just another example of people trying to control and manipulate others with the "God's gonna get you" mentality. I think God's going to get those people one day.

Years ago after having a very interesting and ”sinful” night in Athens, Georgia I had to drive back to Atlanta the next morning for some appointments. As I was driving I kept on seeing all of these ridiculous billboards, here’s an example:

I want to make a billboard that says “Stop judging everybody and go love your fucking neighbor.” - God

When I really think about the whole "Obey God and He will bless you " message, I realize that it's really selfish. Are these people only "obeying" God so He will bless them? Or do they actually love God. Maybe they're just fucking terrified of the man up stairs. What a horrible way to live regardless.

I'm going to go ahead and say these people are wrong because I have proof! By no means am I a perfect example and I'd have to say that I probably don't obey God the way the church would want me to, but for some reason He still chooses to bless me, my friends and my family. The funny part is, a lot of my friends don't even believe in God...

And if you disagree with me, you're wrong.

Everything dies.

You should’ve seen it…

Like watching a marionette controlled without the strings
The nouns, verbs and adjectives not only walked and talked, but did miraculous things

Beginning to believe that they were alive and not bridled by an inanimate force I started to believe. Maybe belief in anything at this point was the true phenomenon

You should’ve been there…

They continued to dance, but not the promenade of the wealthy. For the wealthy would not understand true riches

Sometimes comparable to a rambunctious bouncing like a 3 year old, but always as pure and elegant as a bride and groom’s first dance on their wedding day

I was there…

Awe was struck!

Change was made forever in my heart, but that wasn't the only change

That which was as beautiful and free spirited as a butterfly devolved right in front of my eyes. And I’m only left with mundane words to describe its alluring grace

That was my first encounter with beauty.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I approve this message.

It’s interesting how we try to get others to think that we’re cool and hip and we try to get others to accept us. I realized though that “those worth proving yourself to are those who already approve of you”. It’s simplistic, but how fucking true!

Why would you care about the approval of someone who’s going to have to make you work for it and in the end is never going to truly give you their respect? What makes them so special anyway that they wield this power over us?

We make them special.

We give them power.

We are sick.

How amazing are the people who love and accept those around them with out any type of merit or deed, but only because everyone is unique and everyone has a fucking story to tell? Those are the ones who we should seek approval from, but like I said, you’re probably not going to need it anyway.

And if no one loves you, at least Krusty does.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Felonious Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

“Johnny, you turn that shit off right this second!”

Mom always had a way of protecting me from things I shouldn’t be watching on TV by describing how it would rot my brain or fill my soul with darkness from below by using obscenities to get her point across. Pretty hypocritical eh, but aren’t all parents?

“God damn it Johnny! I woke you up 30 minutes ago. Get your ass out of bed or we’re going to be fucking late for church!”

That’s pretty much an actual quote. I’m not making this up.

Since I was a small child my father has always boasted of being able to curse for 20 minutes without repeating himself. He jokingly started in on a tangent the other night while a bunch of us were playing cards. Never had I actually heard him deliver on his promise of being able to accomplish such a feat. He only carried on for about 7 seconds, but in those brief seconds he not only said every curse word I already know, but he conjured up about 5 others I had never heard of or even thought of before.

It frightened me.

Sometimes I wonder what attracted my parents to each other. Maybe it was their aforementioned linguistic skills that sealed the deal for them. I’ll probably never know and I’m not sure that I want to. At the same time, I hope that their inevitable separation wasn’t due to proof of an old Irish Curse (#2&3) that was always claimed as farce.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Survival of the Fittest

Sitting in my cube, reading old e-mails and making sure that I haven’t dropped the ball on any distraught clients tends to be a monotonous job. Not to mention hearing the voices of other co-workers saying redundant words and catch phrases that I’ve come to despise over the last year doesn’t necessarily make time go by any quicker.

“What are your needs?”

“This is designed to help you build your business and your profit! “

“100% Guaranteed!”

I’m not even a fucking telemarketer, but this shit sounds ridiculous some times. Fortunately, the company that employs me delivers a product that I do believe in. It makes it a little easier to sleep at night after closing a sale.

As you can see it’s been a little slow for me after coming back from the holiday break, but God, it’s been almost a fucking month and I’m still having a hard time getting back in to the groove. Unlike a lot of working class folk, I’m not complaining about my job. It’s a good job. Maybe I should change up the way I do it, approach it from a different angle or point of view.

While skimming through a magazine the other day, I glanced over a story about a middle-aged man who gave up his six-figure VP position to be an actor. His income dropped 98%. At this point in my life I can’t afford to do that and I’m not even sure that’s what I’m in need of.

Change doesn’t scare me though. Like everyone else, if it comes suddenly I am a bit startled, but I usually recalibrate quicker than my peers. Life is change.

You either fucking change or die. That goes for anything and everything it seems like. It’s inevitable. Change is like eating your vegetables. Suck it up and eat them so you can have some dessert with everybody else. Or bitch and whine about it and you still have to eat your fucking vegetables anyway, but this time it’s by yourself, with no dessert.

People who fight change live a very painful existence. If you can’t stop change from happening you might as well try to enjoy it a little bit. Maybe it’s just me, but the change I use to dread always seemed to bring on some pretty damn good things.

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

W. Edwards Deming

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Boston Red Sox and the "Lord of Death"!

Full Court Press! Game Face! Home Run! Game On! You’d think I was in the middle of a locker room of three different sports teams that were meeting during the same halftime break. Actually, I’m sipping coffee in our weekly meeting while listening to one of our VP’s give us a finish strong “pep talk”. Don’t mistake me for making fun of the word usage. Most people are familiar with sports and know the analogies, so it makes sense to use them in a corporate setting. People relate to sports.

Growing up in Cincinnati, most people were Red’s or Bengal’s fans. It wasn’t a big deal if you weren’t though, because both teams we’re pretty horrible in the mid 90’s and no one seemed to care. All of us were open to jumping on any proverbial band wagon that we wanted. Ironically, I became a Braves fan. A few years later as I was starting High School, I had no idea that I would eventually end up in Atlanta by the time I graduated.

In some other cities people aren’t afforded the luxury of being able to choose any team they like without getting a little heat about it. Imagine how hard it must be to root for the Red Sox while living in New York. It’s probably easier to hide a heroine addiction in a nudist colony.

You could only wear your team colors while sitting in the confines of your own home. Discussing last night’s game with co-workers is completely unheard of. You’d be all alone in your dark and cold world, but at least you would get satisfaction in knowing that your Red Sox finally broke the curse in ’04.

Even though there are a lot of die-hard fans out there, it seems that the majority of sports fans still choose their team based on their current location and apparently some ladies make their decision based on how pretty the team’s uniforms are. Too much work is involved to investigate what team you want to cheer for and why you should become a representative of their franchise. What it really comes down to is convenience.

Now I’m older and don’t have as much time to pay attention to sports, so if anything I’m naturally a Braves fan since I live in Atlanta, opposed to when I was younger and could explore my options. Honestly though, I think the only reason I liked the Braves back then was because of the fitted cap I got when I was 13 years old. It’s easy to like the Braves when you live in Atlanta, you’re supposed to. Similar to every other major city with a professional sports team, only the true fans can survive outside of their circle of fanatical peers.

Conventional wisdom says that people make choices based on convenience and usually go along with what the general public is usually doing. It’s easy to see how this type of thinking works well with cheering for the home team, but how else does this affect other areas of our lives? Is it possible that conventional wisdom influences other major decisions we make? Could conventional wisdom dictate what you believe about God or maybe even the fact that you believe in a certain denomination or even deity?

In India, the major religion is Hinduism. Who’s to say that if you were born in India that you wouldn’t be a Hindu? You probably would believe in Yama, the Lord of Death and Justice, instead of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Personally, I think the name “Lord of Death” is way fucking cooler than the “Prince of Peace”. It’s not convenient to be a Hindu in America though, the same way that it proves difficult to be a Christian in India.

If convenience truly dictates what we do with the majority of our day to day lives, why wouldn’t it affect our decisions regarding faith? There are so many grey areas in what we all believe, people often times grasp on to what a religious guru is ranting about, a self proclaimed expert has written in his newest book or maybe even what is popular in culture without first examining it up close with our own eyes. We have a tendency to allow ourselves to be comfortable in our spiritual reality even though it’s obvious that so many things are amiss. It’s just a lot easier just to take someone else’s word for it.

I think everyone, but especially Christians need to start questioning their spiritual reality. They’re too comfortable living in a secure and convenient environment that doesn’t promote or encourage healthy questioning. It’s like living in the Matrix. The steak tastes good, but is it real? Going to church and doing “God” things feel right, but is God really the focus of it? Or is the focus really just to make your self feel good?

It’s not convenient to question our views on faith and God. Most the time, we’re advised to not question. If we are ever to truly believe and have a deep faith in anything then I think we should ask those hard questions. I’d rather not believe in anything than just believe in a faith that is only self-serving. There has to be more to it than just pleasing our own desires.

What I find curious, is that some people cling to religion for the same reasons others run like hell from it. Mainly, it’s just too easy. Easy isn’t necessarily wrong, but only being easy for the purpose of justification is perverse. The fact that there is a plethora of many so-called “Christians” in America that can only offer generic answers for why they believe how they do proves to me that their faith is based on conventional wisdom.

I’m not going after Christianity or any faith for that matter, but I think we all need to take a good, hard look at our motivations for believing in anything, especially regarding spiritual matters. If you only believe in something because it’s convenient, regardless of whether you realize it or not, it still doesn’t make it “right”.

It’s easy to be “saved”, but realize that Salvation through the manipulation of justification is disgusting and you’re bound to get a rude awakening some day. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather it be on my own terms.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Theology on Tap

If you’ve read at least a few of my entries you probably know that I have a real problem with organized religion and the whole idea of “church” in general. Instead of church being a safe place where you can come and talk openly about your ideas, thoughts and even doubts regarding faith and God, it appears to have turned into a dictatorship of some sort.

The Pastor is the Supreme Ruler of the Republic and he has the final say about what is “right” and what is “wrong”. If any of the peons do not agree, well to hell with them. Ultimately, due to not being allowed to openly voice my opinion or questions about faith without being judged, I decided that it would be a good idea not to go to church anymore.

After a few years, I went the complete opposite direction and instead of leading Bible Studies I started heading up Poker Games. A few things of my former life still remained though. Rather than take communion weekly, it became a nightly ritual. Instead of wine (grape juice) and bread (soup crackers), Guinness and French fries became my new holy sacrament. I no longer had a “pastor” to preach a weekly sermon to me, so I started listening to the life stories of the card sharks and bar fly’s who sat around the poker table with me each week.

It’s surprising how much we can learn about life, love and faith if we just sit down and listen to those around us. Growing up, I was always told that everyone in the world who wasn’t a Christian was “lost” and they needed Jesus. Well, maybe if the church wasn’t so narrow-minded they’d realize that not only do we need faith in God, but we also need other people. We need each others thoughts, ideas, opinions and stories just as much as we need the Bible, regardless of what their beliefs are.

I like bars though, they’re honest places. No one feels the need to hide anything in a bar and if they do try to hide something, just give them a little time to down a few drinks and they’ll open right up to you. There isn’t any judgment from someone who’s just chugged two Irish Car Bombs.

The sense of community that you get in a bar really hits home with me. The great conversations and camaraderie that are available there make it more welcoming to me these days than the church.If community is truly one of the main focuses of the local church then they are lacking and could learn a lot from the local pub.

With all of that said, a friend of mine Jake has decided to start having monthly discussions about faith and God in bars around Atlanta. These are all open conversations for anyone who wants to participate. The idea here is not to debate about different beliefs, but to have a great conversation that will let us all get to know each other better and to grow together as a community. Beer and good conversation, you can’t beat it!

If you don’t know Jake he comes from a theological background, but is looking to start a church for people who don’t like going to church.

Jake’s idea is very refreshing to me and hopefully it will be to anyone who plans on attending. If you live in Atlanta and want to come out, here are the details:

We’re going to meet up Thursday, Jan. 18th at The Vortex in Little 5 Points. We plan on sitting on the patio. We’ll probably talk for a couple of hours or however long you can stay.

The topic this week will about about the preconceived limits that people put on God and how it affects us individually.

Let me know if you’d like to come out or have any questions.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

And the truth will set you free...

In the past few weeks I’ve read quite a few bloggers tell of their New Year’s Resolutions and heard some of my friends discuss what their goals are for the New Year as well. Most of them sound like pretty good ideas, but I think some people have completely missed the mark all together. Due to the instability of their venture’s I imagine most people have probably already broken their New Year’s Resolutions, while some will go strong for another couple of weeks.

It’s understandable if you want to lose some weight or try to be a better blogger, but let’s not lie to ourselves about our real issues by trying to cover them up by drawing attention elsewhere. Some rinky-dink resolution that we know isn’t really that big of a deal shouldn’t come between you and any big problems that lie within.

Yes, Kevin I’m talking about you. Now my good buddy over at Kapgar.com has decided that this is the year for him to stop cursing. It’s a very noble cause, but if you know Kevin very well, you might agree with me that cursing really isn’t his biggest problem.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Johnny C. aren’t you being a little hard on “Kev” with your judgmental attitude? I thought you always talked about brotherly love, dandelions, riding deer in the forest, taking care of injured falcons and being at peace with yourself and your fellow man.” You might be right in thinking these things, but where I come from there is a little something called “tough love”.

I hate to sound like anyone’s mother, but there comes a time in your life when you have to step up and say something to a friend that they might not want to hear.

Consider this an intervention.

Kevin don’t you think it’s time you put down the remote control and stopped watching so much television?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. I know that since you care so deeply about me and the language that I use on my blog and in the real world, that you wanted to set an example for me by giving up cursing. Putting quarters in a jar every time I say the “F-word” should be my resolution. I understand this now and I appreciate your concern, but I think you shouldn’t be so selfless. You should spend some time on you.

Kevin and dear friends who have chosen to read this entry of intervention, if you think that I make this claim prematurely, please be informed that I have come prepared with a blog case study of Kevin’s actions over the last few weeks to prove my point and his need to lay off the boob tube. Again, as I proceed with the following, please know that my words are in love.

Let’s begin at the first of the New Year, we’ll let last year slide. We know there is plenty of incriminating evidence strewn across 2006. Kevin started out the first of the year with a post called “Y nuevo ano felicidad...” In this post Kevin was discussing the events of his New Years Weekend. Granted it was a holiday weekend, so there isn’t much to do other than eat and watch TV. We’ll let him off the hook for blogging about Ugly Betty and the Bears game that he watched on TV.

Moving on to Jan. 2nd, Jerry was a race car driver…” Kevin’s focus shifts to his brother’s wedding, but he does mention Jerry Seinfeld. True, he is talking about his stand up routine, but Seinfeld did get famous from his TV show. We’ll only charge partial credit on that one.

Jan 3rd, And I swear…” This is Kev’s big post about his New Years Resolution. He mentions Meet the Fockers and Spy Kids. That’s two out of three posts for the year so far regarding TV or Movies.

Jan 4th, “Got it right this time…” This is almost the only post where he doesn’t refer to something television or movie related, except for the fact that he drops Nicole Kidman’s name. I’m letting you off the hook for this one big guy, but hold on. It’s about to get good.

Jan 5th, “Hey Betty Betty, hush your mouth…” This entry is all about must see TV. Here’s every show that Kevin mentions in this post: Scrubs, House, My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, What About Brian, Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210; Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place; Just Shoot Me; and Good Morning, Miami Personally, I have only seen 5 of these shows. I haven’t heard of two of them.

Jan. 6th, “I got a strange disease…” You pass on this one and I almost feel like an ass because Katie was sick. I hope she’s feeling better.

Jan 7th, “Cupid only misses sometimes…” Back in the saddle again, Kevin talks about Ugly Betty some more and a show called Cupid? Katie, if you’re reading this…I think Kevin has a secret crush (on Ugly Betty)…

Jan 8th, “We have all the time in the world…” Here you keep up the good work Kevin by talking about The Office, Netflix and Football.

Jan 9th, “I drive all night just to see the light…” This entry is about Kevin rockin’ out and Van Halen being inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of fame…it’s televised.

Jan 10th, “Yeah rock me all night…” Roxio, Tivo and DVD players…what do you use these three gadgets for? Dude, you’re worse than Frank Cross in “Scrooged”.

Jan 11th, No Phone no phone…summons me with just one beep…” Mention of Bush’s Presidential Speech and How I Met Your Mother… “Doogie, I support you in your decision.”

Jan. 12th, “If I close my eyes forever…” Kevin almost makes it out of this one except that he actually says the word “TV”. We’ll only count this as partial credit.

Jan. 14th, “You are my sunshine…” Here we find Kevin mentioning Ugly Betty once again…I think he fantasizes about her reading his blog and leaving comments. Grey’s Anatomy makes the list this time along with The Office, My Name is Earl, the Chargers game and the ever so thrilling 24! Oh yeah, we can’t leave out the movie either, which is a great film by the way, Little Miss Sunshine.

Jan. 15th, “It’s better to burn out, than fade away…” As we come to an end of Kevin’s January posts he closes out his long time run of talking about TV with mention of his obsession with 24.

Now that I’ve done a recap of Kevin’s entries for the month of January you either love me or hate me. Remember though, this is all done in love for Kevin’s good. I did the recap to prove to Kevin that he has a problem. Also, if the post-by-post recap wasn’t enough I also decided to make a pie chart.

(Just click it)

As we look closely at the chart we see that there is at least an 85% mention whether it be full on or only a partial mention of television in all of Kevin’s blog entries so far this year. I’m sure if we did a pie chart of all of the curse words that Kevin was saying everyday compared to non-offensive words it wouldn’t be anywhere near 85%.

My chart along with all of my research seems to point to one thing, Kevin watches a shit ton of TV. In his defense though, I understand. With shows like 24 and The Office it’s easy to get hooked in, especially after a long day of work. Though the temptation is strong we still must resist from time to time.

In conclusion, I hope all of my studying and research has proved to be a helpful tool for everyone involved, especially to you Kevin, and hasn’t been negative in anyway. My goal here is to only bring truth to the table and blood flow to Kevin’s legs.

Regardless of what Kevin chooses to write about though, he’s definitely become one of everybody’s favorite bloggers. You’re consistent, thorough and have a great sense of humor, but maybe, just maybe, you need to work on your book reviews more often or hell, whip out that Wii remote!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I heard he drops more F-Bombs than Pulp Fiction!

Whoever thought that making their employees come to work on Martin Luther King Day was a good idea had it all wrong. I haven't seen this many people move this slow since Michael Jackson was trying to move units for his last album. They’re probably losing more money by turning on the lights in the place then giving us the day off.

Here in front of me, I actually have a copy of my company’s 2007 holiday schedule. I get fucking President’s Day and Good Friday off? That’s random. I'm surprised I don't have Sept. 19th off.

One of my co-workers asked HR why we don’t get MLK Day off and they said because we have too many holidays on top of each other. They want to spread them out so we don’t get so burned out. I think the real reason is because they’re money grubbing racists who are making us work on a holiday to represent their true feelings about slavery. I'm probably a little off on that one though considering the HR lady is Jamaican. Coconut on my face!

My real problem is that we’re only 3 weeks in to the New Year and I already feel like calling in sick. What’s so sad about my lack of enthusiasm for work so far this year is that I thought I was ready to come back from Christmas Vacation. I came back the first day in a blaze of glory, even coming in early to get a jump on the day. 20 minutes later after I checked all my e-mail and voicemail I arrived at a vegetative state and haven’t been able to shake it since.

As we all know you can only check your favorite blogs, your myspace account and all three of your personal e-mail accounts (even your AOL account that you haven’t checked since college, but you still know the password to it) so many times in 5 minutes. Fox News can't even fabricate enough news stories to keep me entertained all day. Fuck!

It’s crossed my mind to install some video games on to my PC at work. Most likely I could hide it, but I don’t even feel motivated to be sneaky. Not to mention a good PC game is pretty few and far between these days. No, I’m not going to play World of War Craft either. That game is worse than a drug addiction. I’ve lost more friends to WOW than I have to cocaine.

Well, back to the boredom. In the meantime, here's a taste of what's to come:

Friday, January 12, 2007

K-Y Jelly enthusiasts in slippery situation!

When I was younger I remember my mom talking about it, but I didn’t quite understand it then. It’s been some years now and I sort of still don’t get it. Maybe some folks are just so bored with their life and lack creativity and originality to do something productive that they just feel the need to not only sabotage their own life, but attempt to destroy the lives of those around them.

The sad thing is that they probably don’t even realize they do it. Let me rephrase that, they realize their doing something, but probably get satisfaction of trying to bring others down to their level. It seems that people aren’t always aware of their consuming selfishness. That might just be the worse place anyone could possibly be, walking that fine line of not only being miserable but causing misery in the lives of others by manipulating and taking advantage of their weaknesses. Manipulation should never be second nature.

Even though it’s not a crime to make other’s lives a living hell through social circumstances, it still might be less painful for them to just bludgeon you in the back of the head leading to a quick and painless death, rather than having to deal with a slow and excruciating demise of degradation, as each blow corrodes your soul. Drastic, huh?

No, it’s not drastic. I’ll tell you something that is though. For the most part you can’t affect some one like this unless you’re close to them, say a family member, a best friend or even a co-worker. How sick and twisted is it that those who get satisfaction out of dismantling us are sometimes the same people who raised us and are supposed to be our support system and backbone?

Probably the hardest part about dealing with this relational treason is not putting up with those that cause it, but actually having the guts to confront those responsible or even having to make the decision to throw in the towel. No one likes to give up, especially on family. That’s what makes the decision so gut-wrenching.

Some times you just have to draw a line in the sand. You wouldn’t put up with this abuse from a stranger, so why would you put up with it from someone who is supposed to love you?

We’ve been called to a higher standard of living.

Children respect your parents, it’s hard being responsible for someone other than yourself. Parents don’t exhaust your children, a little bit of encouragement and understanding goes a long way. Love your neighbor as yourself. You might be the only one who does.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

If silence is a crime then everything is guilty.

She was late to work this morning because her car wouldn’t start. She was even later than usual because once her car did start she was forced to speed down the interstate so she wouldn’t be even more late to work. That plan then back fired on her when she was pulled over and given a speeding ticket which directly affected her being even later to work than she had originally planned.

Due to being late to work she was given a hard time by her boss who was already upset with her because of her past few months selling performance. Her sales numbers had been low, not because she wasn’t good at what she did. Getting men to pay large sums of money for the product she was selling was like taking candy from a baby. Her numbers were low because she was staging a silent protest.

The company hadn’t been doing so well due to some bad decisions by upper management and they were forced to withhold her commission from the previous month to make payroll, which directly affected why she couldn’t afford to repair her car at this time, which is the reason why her car takes 26 minutes to start in the morning, which caused her to have to speed down the highway to make it to work on time which resulted in a speeding ticket that made her even more late to a job that she doesn’t really do anymore because they don’t compensate her for what she sells.

She’ll probably get fired because they don’t pay her anymore.

Cause and mother fucking effect!

Never cast your pearls before swine.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'm coughing up a lung or two.

Watching as the smoke dances on the brim of the ash tray you would think that it’s not only alive, but also trying to entice me. Beckoning me to pick up another cigarette like a prostitute that wants to embark in its own version of that ritualistic dance on my lips, hoping to perform her routine as though she’s on a Broadway Stage. Maybe just a sleazy lounge with mirror covered walls in the backroom of some hole in the wall, shady night club will do just fine though.

Shrugging off the invitation, I focus my attention to something else more meaningful. My folded 2-9 off suit would’ve made two pair on the flop if I would’ve have called the raise of $1200. I couldn’t even bring myself to call the big blind for $400 with these rags. Fuck that, Lucky Flop.

“The percentages were in my favor to lay down.” I mutter.

Good Fold.

Then again I read somewhere that percentages weren’t to be trusted. Whether you have a 7% or 70% chance of hitting some cards you need to make a hand, it really comes down to a 50/50 chance. You’re either going to hit your card or you’re not. Maybe you’ll be the next Doyle Brunson at the home game or maybe you’ll just continue to be a schmuck.

It’s either going to happen or it’s not. Regardless of what anyone else says, everything is a fucking coin toss.

Monday, January 08, 2007

We will get what we deserve.

“Look at me when I talk to you.”

No one had ever said that to me before, at least, not as many times as I heard it from Brother Chuck. He was an old school Independent Baptist preacher. Looking back I think he tried stray from always preaching fire and brimstone, but it’s kind of hard not to when you’re brought up that way. Honestly, I can’t recall anything that he ever preached to us during those mandatory Wednesday chapel services, except for the Bible verse “Your sin will find you out.” It’s in Exodus. Most likely I wasn’t paying attention to his words, not out of disrespect but because I was too busy trying to find a comfortable position in one of the out of date hard wooden pews. And you can’t forget about the hideous ties that felt like miniature boa constrictors wrapping around my juvenile neck. The irritation was suiting for the circumstance though, having to hear that I needed to earn God’s love each week.

The seating arrangements were probably the best part about it. We could sit where ever we wanted unless you acted up and were caught passing notes or talking. Brother Chuck would stop right in the middle of preaching and call you down to sit on the front row. I’m pretty sure I never had to go up there. The little kids always sat on the front row and it was embarrassing to have to join them and their gimpy legged teacher.

I went to school there for five and a half years and don’t ever remember learning what was wrong with her. Her right leg looked like it came to a point at her knee and jutted out. I wouldn’t call what she did walking as much as it was waddling, but she managed to keep all of the younger kids under control. Social pleasantries didn’t seem to be her strong suit, but I don’t think I’d be the most amiable person to be around if my job consisted of hanging out with 4-10 year old children who would probably make fun of you behind your back at every chance they got.

It usually happens about 5 minutes or so into a conversation. It clicks in my head and I realize that I’m making quite a bit of eye contact. Most people seem to try not to look into your eyes when you talk to them, but old habits die hard and I know you’re supposed to do it. When I become conscious of looking into another’s eyes other thoughts cross my mind, such as what eye should I focus on looking at and which eye should I focus with? I guess I could use both eyes and stare in between their eyes and only appear to be making eye contact with them, but really just be staring at their unibrow or the zit that could be mistaken for a third eye.

That becomes bothersome though because it almost causes me to cross my eyes. Crossing your eyes during social interaction probably would seem rude, but at the same time they’re probably not even looking at my eyes so they could be burning red with fire and they’d never notice. Maybe that’s how Super Man got away with basically looking exactly the same when he was in "disguise" as Clark Kent. No one fucking pays attention to what’s going on around them.

Chuck taught me a couple of things though. You should look into people’s eyes when you’re talking to them. Unfortunately, he proved the second lesson true with his own actions. “Your sin will find you out.”

Friday, January 05, 2007

I can't forget this even if I wanted to.

At what point in time does one think that it’s a good idea to:
  1. Cut in line at a checkout
  2. Yell at someone who has cut you in line
  3. Tell someone you’re not going to talk to them because they’re yelling at you because you cut them in line, but still continue to talk to them

All of those seem like very bad ideas. When I was witnessing this episode last night at Blockbuster I couldn’t avert my eyes. Yes, it was like watching a train wreck or hopefully an episode of Walker Texas Ranger. Honestly, I was waiting for a fist fight.

How incredible would it be to watch two middle age unattractive women beat the shit out of each other? It probably wouldn’t have been that enjoyable, but public physical confrontations always make for good stories. They’re even better stories though when they involve you. I’ll take what I can get though.

As I walked across the parking lot to the grocery I contemplated if I would ever make a scene like that over a place in line. People do stupid shit like that to me all the time, but I don’t care. Maybe a few choice words or a little grumbling might cross my mind, but if I’m getting ready to rent a movie I’m pretty sure that saving a minute and thirty seconds at check out isn’t such a high priority at the time.

They were probably just in a hurry to get home and watch season five of The Golden Girls. That’s understandable though, that Estelle Getty is a funny bitch.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still we let it choke us.

Thoughts and ideas intertwining like a spaghetti and meatball dinner, I’m not saying it’s a gourmet meal. They served crap like this in the lunch line when I was in middle school. It’s probably of no consequence or of any nutritional value. It’s just there. Maybe it gives you what you need to make it through another period or maybe it goes right through you and forces you to ask for the hall pass so that you can escape to the bathroom before you get sick. You always have the choice to refuse it though. Vending machines were always my preference.

It comes and goes though. Maybe it’s like a faucet that can be turned left or right to gauge how much water comes out or how much pressure or heat is required to be suitable for your personal needs. I would boil this water though, you don’t know how clean the pipes are and you sure as hell don’t know if the source has been contaminated.

It’s amazing that we trust.

I can't believe no one ever told me.

A kind word that was said by someone who meant nothing by it except for the truth of who they really are, the strike of a piano key that hits just right by someone who recorded it years ago but it made no difference until it affected someone’s life today, a cracked smile that was possibly not meant for me, but the intended party never noticed or appreciated its appeal. Light was shone.

The ever so slight breeze of wind that blows your hair in your face at the wrong time on the right day when you should’ve been with someone else to appreciate how it really made you look beautiful.

The piercing joy of a child’s laughter after the sadness has been destroyed by tickling fingers on the bottoms of the feet, the strum of an out of tune guitar at the right time by the right person who had no idea what they were doing but felt compelled to try one more time.

Tears streaming out of pain because truth sometimes hurts in a way that peace is only expressed through sorrow, but allows discovery of new territory. There are no borders.

Grace will be our guide.

“Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Over the holiday vacation, I kept trying to come up with a pretty original New Years Resolution. Currently my body weight is in good proportion with my head and I haven’t touched cigarettes in a while, so what the hell is going to be my goal for the year? Pulling off a Fight Club style demolition of all of the credit card companies in the US would be pretty revolutional, but I currently do not have the man-power or the want to actually attempt something that monumental.

Considering my focus on organized religion and my distaste for it lately I’ve been thinking about what it might look like if we destroyed all of the churches in America. You know, get some good old Acme TNT and fucking dynamite the shit out of the mother fuckers!

Man, that would be some fucking fireworks! I wonder how many people would show up and cheer as their local Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian/Pentecostal/Catholic church went up in a blaze of glory! I get excited just thinking about it.

Seeing a house of worship go up in smoke to me would mean change. It’s not that I’m completely destructive at heart, but to me Church isn’t about a building. That’s not an original thought, but blowing up a church might be. It goes deeper than blowing up a building though. It’s about destroying what it has become.

Imagine all of the judgement, hypocrisy, gossiping, back stabbing, condemnation and all of the pain that comes with it going up in a cloud of black smoke? Glorious!

People think that God lives in a building. God is bigger than a fucking building. While we’re at it maybe we should torch a few bibles. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have issues with brick and mortar or with the Holy Scriptures. My problem is the fact that people make that their God. Their concept of God doesn’t leave a building or a book. That’s scary to think about. Do we think that we can actually contain the supposed Creator of the universe into man-made objects?

Fuck that! Burn a bible this year. It might set you free.