Sunday, May 31, 2009

Katelyn Update

My niece Katelyn (who now has a Wii Mii on my Wii, and dominates in Wii bowling), dressed for her hip-hop recital yesterday...a little departure from the t-ball photos last month...

Poor Parenting: Exhibit 3,458

Our little suburb was featured on Channel 8's 10PM Newscast last night.

Apparently, it's big-time news when a town of 70,000 people's police force has decided to crack down on underage drinking in our community. Yep. They're going to be on neighborhood patrol looking for lots of cars parked on both sides of the street with kids in the back yard standing around a "party pool" holding red Solo cups pumping a keg. Such is the nature of high crime in my community.

Now, I'm not knocking this. They say it's to stop drunk driving before it starts and such. Fine. I'll take them at their word on that, and public safety and/or drunk driving are not laughing matters. I can assure you I'd be glad for both me and any keg-pumping Solo-cup holding kid if the cops kept that kid from slamming into a parked car in my driveway...or the myriad of possibilities that are worse.

That's not what I'm focusing on here. Read the article...or watch the video.

Check out this quote:

The Flower Mound police will even take the unusual step of getting a judge to issue a search warrant, so officers can enter the home.

It may be extreme but a needed step, officers argue, because often kids and sometimes even their parents will resist cooperating.

"Parents will tell the kids, 'don't open the door, y'all lock the door, don't let the police in there.' So parents are hindering our job to make the kids safe," said Lt. Clay Pierce.

Parents, if your kid wants to drink, you're NOT...

...let me repeat myself...


...doing them any favors by lowering the bar of expectation by saying, "We know you're going to drink, so when you drink, drink here." And, parents, as an aside, you most likely are unaware of the tremendous legal exposure you're placing on yourself.

And, ummm, you might want to think about the message you're sending kids when you tell them to ignore police directives. I'll remind you when they ignore your directives that they learned to subvert authority at your feet.

For about the millionth time, parents, please stop trying to be your kid's friend or the cool parent or whatever. Do your job. Be a parent, for crying out loud.

Yes. It can be difficult at times.
No. If you do it right, you won't win popularity contests very often.

But be the parent, okay? It ain't about a happy teenager in 2009. It's about an adult that uses wisdom in say, 2018. But you get that from lessons you taught them in 2009 while they were under your roof at your feet.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Margaux (and Dignan) Update

Niece Margaux walking her older brother...

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Well, I tried.

You couldn't play nice.

I'll now be moderating all comments.

Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I deleted the previous post.

In case you forgot, it was about Memorial Day and a little tribute that I found meaningful.

Here it was:

When Thank You Simply Isn't Enough

courtesy: Rick McKee, Augusta Chronicle

For reasons I don't completely understand, the conversation wasn't about the thankfulness we have for those that served us.

Rather, it became a discussion about the state of things at the church I serve.

Okay. If that's what folks want to chat about, even if it's uncomfortable, tense or heated...such is life. Even if this is my personal site, well, have at it.

But, the personal attacks and amateur psychological analyzations of people I care a great deal for were simply too much for my taste. Criticism's fine. I can take uncomfortable, tense and heated. Most of the time I enjoy creating uncomfortable, tense and heated. Frankly, I can dish it out, too, brother. Don't believe me? Try me face to face.

Let me say that I deleted the post on my own volition. Deleting the post is the only way to delete the comments. See, I use Haloscan rather than the Blogger-provided commenting feature. Haloscan allows for easier commenting...including and especially anonymous writers. The downside is that you can't manage the comments, so you gotta delete the whole post if somebody gets out of bounds. However, if I switch, I lose every single comment since The Diner's inception. Not willing to do that, so I put up with Haloscan's weaknesses.

Nobody told me I had to delete it. Nobody even suggested I should. Nobody even hinted it might be wise that I take it down.

The Diner's supposed to be a fun thing for me.

And this entry stopped being fun for me.

So, I took it down.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

Believe what you want...and many of you will.

But I know enough when I see it. A line was crossed in this case. I might not know where the line was when we started, but I know where it was at 8:12PM last night.

And that was enough.

Friday, May 22, 2009

So, Today I'm Thinking

...that a former student (who now works writing curriculum for Dave Ramsey) had this on his Twitter yesterday: $13.2 billion is given to churches each year. Americans spend $58 billion on soda each year.
...proof you've been in student ministry 21 years: yesterday I was having coffee with a former student getting caught up. She wanted me to quote chapter and verse on something I said, and since I'd forgotten to bring my Bible in she handed me her "Cute-Pink-College-Fit-In-Your-Purse-Small" Bible. While I was flipping the pages (of which two page flips took me past the entire pastoral epistles) she asked, "Is the print too small for you?"
...say what you want about his profanity and how he makes people uncomfortable, but no one can deny Eminem's talent. It's overwhelming--and I generally detest rap music.
...strange things are afoot at the Circle K.
...that I've been listening to Dick Cheney and Barak Obama discuss the political football that is the detaining of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. My conclusion: There's no easy answer and two politicians are kicking a political football back and forth. I know. My GenX is showing.
...BIG segueway: recently, a current student had a school assignment in which they had to "interview someone who is in the demographic labeled Generation X." He asked all sorts of questions about political movements, pop culture and the like. I remember us GenXers had to interview people who lived through the depression.
...what kind of world do I live in when my daily to-do list for today includes yoga and yardwork?
...I'm kind of excited about teaching our student ministry a course on personal evangelism this summer. My friend Bill found a curriculum that might actually be meaningful (none of this silliness with cubes or wristbands or drawing on napkins we've been pawning off as evangelism training for decades) and after looking at it, it's something I can be excited about.
...take some time to laugh at ourselves in the Christian subculture: Stuff Christians Like and Stuff Christian Culture Likes. Sometimes, the truth is pretty funny.
...I'm fascinated by the full-blown Texan mindset of Jerry Jones as exemplified by the building of the new Cowboys stadium. I'm not even kidding when I tell you to check out the 180' x 72' video screen that'll keep fans up to speed with replays.
...I haven't finished a book in over a month. My exercise plan seems to have overtaken the hour or two a day I'd spend reading. I'm not sure what to make of the trade.
...still pondering the pursuit of a doctorate. Leaning towards "wait a few more years." We'll see.
...everybody on the Texas Rangers bandwagon with their strong start in the first quarter of the season might want to tap the brakes a bit. The first starting pitcher went on the DL today, and June's schedule brings the best teams baseball to the forefront. They're better than in the past, but that pointing to 2010 as a year we might seriously contend sounds about right.
...Green Day on Good Morning, America? Not sure how I feel about that. Kind of like how I feel about Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols remaking a song for Guitar Hero. On one hand, a new audience gets exposed to the music, but it still feels like "selling out" rather than getting getting others to "buy in."
...another big segueway: I have "Pop Culture Pop Quiz" moments with my children to check on the generation gap and how wide it might be. Kid2, age 15, was victimized by this question: Do you know who Jimi Hendrix is? "Nope." Oh, man. Gotta transfer two more cassettes to CD this weekend. She'll politely listen and wonder why he was so great. We've been down similar roads in the past.
...that I think this little piece of irony is delicious: You've seen the commercials where they give somebody $1,500 to buy a computer they need. They "can't" get what they want at the Apple Store and find way more than they imagined with a Windows-based laptop PC. The advertising agencies involved did all the editing using Apple hardware and software. Again, the only people not going the Mac way are those who jobs depend on Windows PC's.
...that if you have a high school junior you'll know that today's Zitz comic happens daily in your own home. This scene, with an excited parent wowed by the options and a befuddled teenager overwhelmed by those same options, is very real:

...that I need to get on with my day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day Off Armchair Reading

Leafing through Rolling Stone issue 1079 yesterday, I came across a quote from Billie Joe Armstrong. For Diner patrons unaware, he's the lead singer/songwriter for the newly-critically acclaimed rock band Green Day. The cover story is about how they've grown from a power punk band to culturally relevant ideologues who happen to play aggressive music. Much of the interview was about where they came from and how they came to create their newest release (which, IMHO, is very, very good).

One story involved the band going to buy vinyl albums to play while they were on recording breaks and there was a wide variety in their purchases: Husker Du, the Replacements, the Kinks, the Plimsouls, the Doors, Meat Loaf, et al.

When asked about the purchases, Armstrong simply said:

"Everyone's gotta get their inspiration from somewhere."

Another piece was on Harvard professor Cornel West. He's come from the streets, was involved with the Black Panthers in the '60's, an influence in The Matrix movies and is widely considered one of the most preeminent intellectuals of our day...while still maintaining an approachable and engaging persona. He was asked by Obama to do some campaigning for him during the election process and agreed to do so only on the condition that he could "be Obama's number one critic the day after the inauguration." Trust me, from the tone of the article, he's held up his end of the bargain. ("Obama's a strategist, and I'm suspicious of strategists. It's the quest for truth vs. the quest for power.")

Anyway, along with the "inspiration" theme, he was talking about those that influenced his life, everyone from his mom to musicians to God (he professes to be a Christian) to Martin Luther King to Einstein, etc., and says this:

"I'm a bluesman in the life of the mind, a jazzman in the world of ideas...

[The democracy I dream of must be] Poetic. And by poetic I don't mean a person who writes verses. I mean those who exercise imagination and get us out of our egocentric predicament! Give us a sense of awe and wonder! So we become concerned about something outside our little bubbles, our own little slices of reality, our own little professional managerial spots, our own little iron cages. There's a lot of material toys in those cages. But you're still in prison. And poets allow us to shatter those bars."

And, for whatever reason, that little phrase inspired all sorts of thoughts and ideas and comparisons and contrasts and lists. Kinda made me want to enroll in Harvard and major in Cornel West. Like Mr. Armstrong says, we all get inspiration from somewhere, right?

Coffee-chat question of the day: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prom Night

As many of you know, it somehow became "tradition" that the teens going to prom go over to the youth pastor's house to take photos about an hour before they head out for their big night. If my memory serves correctly, my first year on staff at CBC, some students rented a limo that showed up an hour early and three or four couples killed the free time by popping by our house. I heard the next year that it was "tradition" and they showed up. It since has evolved into a true tradition.

However, for the first time the weather didn't cooperate and it drizzled all day after a night of storms so they nixed coming by my house but decided to come by "our family's other house" (there are awnings and covered stairwells and such):

I've always thought this was funny--the parent paparazzi:

Now, others on their FB pages and my smokin' hot shutterbug trophy wife will have excellent photos from better angles with better cameras. I'm always buzzing around and goofing off with the other dads so my pictures come from that place wherever I happen to be standing when they're lined up.

The group shot:

The guys:

The showpiece every year...the girls:

And then I have to wreck it:

Anyway, it's always fun because it reminds me of community, which I enjoy in all it's forms. This is a little slice of life together as the parents I've spent almost a decade and a half with (and known some of these kids since they were 6 years old or so) hang out and remind ourselves that the days are long but the years are short and we laugh and then they head out for their big night.

And I'll see them at the 10:45am service (our little reminder that no matter what goes on in your life, one form of community together that happens on Sundays for our Tribe still expects you to show up), with hair a little less perfect and tuxedos a little more wrinkled, to serve as ushers and take up the offering in their finery...

...but this is one "tradition" that I'm glad actually became "tradition."


Here's one one of the parents took that might give you a better idea of how everybody actually looked:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It Takes Diff'rent Strokes To Move The World, Yes It Does, It Takes Diff'rent Strokes To Move The WOOOOOORLD

It was a simple, responsive act. The song during the church service moved her to stand, close her eyes and raise her hand as she sang along. She was the only one in the room doing so and, generally, this isn't the SOP of our church members. After the service, I overheard someone seated near her make a comment that "they hope our youth group isn't going charismatic."


It was one person's both cases.

It's how the college girl expresses herself in worship. The commenter has a more reserved demeanor in church services.

People will walk out of a sermon in a church our size and there will be people who say that the sermon was lacking in some form or fashion. Others will download that very same sermon as soon as possible because of how much their life was affected by the words the pastor said.

A small group can get together and have a discussion and one person's outlook on something profoundly changed and lead them to repentance. Someone in that same study can come out and tell their friends they're pretty much leaving that study because the discussions are pointless.

A mom can tell me that her daughter has never felt more alienated in her life by me and the youth group. Two years later that same mom will tell me that her son would die for me and his small group cronies.

This is a well-worn path here at The Diner (and I'm beginning to think all the paths are well-worn at this juncture)...

...but one size doesn't fit all in our Tribe.

...and you have no idea who might be listening.

...and you have no idea who might be watching.

...and we should all have moments, even in our own gatherings, where we feel far afield from those around us.

...and we should all have moments where we have to get over ourselves and what we want/like. For those of you who speak Christianese, that's loosely translated, "Love and serve others."

...and everybody's not at the same place in their journey. I'll reference those who are mature enough to understand Christianese that very same loosely translated phrase above.


It ain't about you.

It ain't about me.

It's about us.

The sooner we get that through our thick skulls, the better.

And, no, you won't get the specific incident that triggered these thoughts...but suffice to say that, lady, you know little, if anything about me other than what you've presupposed or prejudged or and other "pre" word you want to use. And, if you'd just pop by my office you could have a cup of bad coffee and we could get to know each other a bit better.

That's not to say that we'll ever like each other. Then again, we just might. Who knows?

But I'm pretty sure we could at least understand each other better.

And we'd do well to understand that The Kingdom is big enough and broad enough for all of us.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

And You're Not Even My Gifted Child


Those were the words my very own mother, Charlotte the Scar, said upon laying eyes on the form letter that went out to parents when their children made a 4.0 for the quarter. It came the same day my degree arrived (I'm not real committed to pomp and circumstance moments--somebody said I should attend my seminary graduation because it would give me "closure." I informed them that I'd get plenty of "closure" placing the framed degree on the office wall). I'm pretty sure she was kidding. There possibility she wasn't remains.

Anyway, I've been toying with the idea of going back to school and working on my doctorate. There are two respected seminaries within reasonable driving distance (one in Dallas and one in Ft. Worth--ahh, the benefits of living in Flower Mound). I have a couple of different ways I could go with a thesis--one involving the idea of a converging congregation where there's an active relational ministry with older/wiser members disciple younger ones, another involving designing a ministry with parents being actively discipled by older couples so they can better place their teens in situations to grow.

I kind of miss the discipline of education rigor. Not to mention the idea of sitting around and getting the intellectual stimulation of interacting with other like-minded peers and how that just keeps things fresh.

I feel like I'm wanting a greater challenge. Not that my current ministry doesn't have challenges, mind you. I simply feel like it could get more visionary and effective. I loathe using the term, but more innovative and "cutting edge."

And, yes, the programs at both are designed so as not to take away from you current job. It'd only be two weeks in the summer on campus and then monthly meetings with a lot of research taking place on the way. It's more or less a 4 year plan. Most take 5.

But, there's another side of the coin.

The cost. And, is this really the best time with two kids who will be of college-age by the time I'm in the middle of the program?

My ability to romanticize. I mean, they ain't givin' those degrees away. Apparently, there's a lot of work involved. Not digging ditches or such, but the kind of work that involves carrells and late nights at libraries or on-line researching. I didn't even touch on the time away from my wife. I mean, isn't the empty nest a good time to focus on each other? It isn't empty now, but it will be toward the latter end of the program. The early years would involve time away from children. You know, you're there but you're not there.

I imagine it would affect current students, too. I mean, with studying to be done I don't know that I'll have AS MUCH time to go to their games and events and hang out in coffee shops to chat.

That commute. I used to detest it daily when I was doing it. I've minimized that loss of an hour and a half every day, I think.

The weird factor that I'd be going to class where I currently have former students roaming the same halls. For some reason, that seems odd.

So, I'm sitting here feeling like I've drawn a line down a legal pad with "pros" underlined at the top left and "cons" underlined at the top right.

Alrighty, patrons. Advice?

Monday, May 11, 2009

P90X Before and After

So, I finished the 90-day in-home workout program P90X. Well, I finished a 90-day cycle. Obviously, you're supposed to keep doing it after taking a week off. You're also supposed to make yourself highly accountable by putting it on blogs and telling friends and what-not.

To that end, I made a few training breaks in Las Vegas and on a trip to Alabama. The diet didn't hold up well in either of those instances. Also, I missed 3 scheduled workouts in the program for the 90 days. I don't think that's too bad, though.

Anyway, I finished the first cycle and lost 16 pounds and nearly 4 inches of waistline. I sort of hit a plateau as that's about where I was on day 60. I checked out the message boards and discovered that I was actually supposed to eat more in the last month or my body would think it was starving and begin to conserve weight. Precision machines, our bodies. I'm embarrassed that I took that less-than-seriously for my entire adult life.

So, here's where I finished up...and presumably gearing up again next Monday:

Is it embarrassing that the Wii Fit is the most accurate scale in the household?
You Can Buy Happiness

I get a text message from Retrophisch telling me he has something for me. While taking his boys on a Mother's Day shopping expedition, he found something he thought I'd really like.

Granted, for my readers from God's Little Acre (a.k.a. the state of Alabama) this will be something you'd wonder why I'd even post this because it'd be par for the course there.

But finds like this are rare in the Lone Star State:

But when they're found, they bring great joy to the Auburn Family members in diaspora.


The only question is where in the office it goes.
Open Notice To The Dallas Mavericks

I can't believe I'm even saying this because I truly believe the NBA is the absolute worst playoff championship/sports league (with all due understanding that NASCAR has a legitimate claim) and, since I only have so much sports energy to burn I don't want to waste it on this.

However, if you live in Dallas, the lead story in all the media has been the "non-call" on a foul attempt by Antoine Wright against Carmello Anthony in the crucial game 3 of their playoff series. See, the Mavs were down 2-0 and desperately needed the win. Well, Melo hits a 3 point basket with one second to play even though Wright fouled him a second before that.

However, the whistle didn't blow. Melo hit the desperation shot. Nuggets 106, Mavericks 105. Game over. Series over.

Since then the Mavericks players and coaches have been complaining about the foul "non-call" and how it cost them the series. By extension, the series.

But here's the deal: In addition to the reality that you're 0-7 against Denver this year and the odds of you taking this series to 6 games (much less winning it) was slim to none...

...well, maybe you should remember what we teach children in sports. That good teams overcome bad officiating every time.

Maybe you should chide Wright's defense on Anthony 30 seconds earlier when he let him run right by him and dunk the basketball to cut the 4-point lead in half.

Maybe you should chide the superstar MVP Dirk Nowitzki for missing a 15-foot jumper with 7 seconds to play that gave the ball back to Denver with a chance to win.

Maybe you should remember to keep playing defense until the whistle actually does blow. That's what Melo did.

That's why they were going to win the series no matter what you did, Mavs.

But, in the end, the NBA is a league that calls fouls based on who you are rather than what actually happens (re: Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Wade, et al., all get preferential treatment from the refs). In this case, the refs decided to let the players determine the game and Melo did what great players do: Deliver in the clutch.

So, Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavericks, let it go.

You lost.

But it wasn't the refs fault no matter how you try to spin it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

On Your Own, With No Direction Home, Like A Rolling Stone

"It's peculiar and unnerving in a way to see so many young people walking around with cell phones and iPods in their ears and so wrapped up in media and video games. It robs them of their self-identity. It's a shame to see them so tuned out to real life. Of course, they are free to do that, as if that's got anything to do with freedom. The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets.--Bob Dylan, in Rolling Stone. issue 1078, May 14, 2009.

It's an easy target, right?

The kids at the movies who answer the phone and chat while the film is rolling.
The kids on the bus field trip who are all wearing iPod headphones instead of laughing with friends.
The kids who spend all day inside playing video games instead of out doing something.
The kids texting at dinner tables more interested in who isn't there instead of who is there.
The kids who demand good grades because they get good grades because they did the work rather than the quality of the work.

I could go on.

The Great Bob Dylan says the gadgets rob them of their self-identity. Says they're tuned out to real life. Says they spend their life with all those gadgets.

Hard to argue with him at first glance, too. He's putting the onus on the young people to simply turn off all the gadgets and start living. Yep. They should. They're old enough to make that choice on their own, too.

And with all due respect to the influential and Great Bob Dylan, allow me to suggest that this generation of young people has been told by the grownups around them that these things ARE their identity. That these gadget ARE real life. That having the latest and greatest gadget ENHANCES life.

See, I think the issue runs deeper than teens being teens but with better technology. I'm sure when kids starting listening to "The Shadow" after dinner, the previous generation lamented the failure to clean the dishes. When teens cruised the strip I'm sure parents talked about demise of the soda shop. When stereo headphones came out parents (while likely relieved they no longer had to yell, "Turn it down!") probably wondered why the kid spent all their time in their room not interacting with the family. I mean, somebody invented TV trays for a reason.

And, I don't want to get all syrupy about my childhood. Sure, we had BB gun wars and rode bikes and played street hockey and Kill the Man and there were dinners around the table and played on sports teams and spent summer getting bored. But we also had cable television, car stereo cassette decks, suburban amenities like access to racquetball courts, bowling alleys, movie theaters, vacations at the coast, hanging out in parking lots. There was requisite mischief afoot with all that "freedom" and "liberty."

I kind of found my identity amidst all that. Lost it. Rediscovered and reinvented it a few times. Still do that, too.

And those moments were my life. I mean, playing Chexx Hockey at Putt-Putt golf and games provided hours of entertainment and trash talk with my friends. Sneaking into R-rated movies. Driving around listening to Molly Hatchett with Baker and Hal (Alabama, early 80's, don't judge). Wiffle-Ball as 17-year-olds. And, yes, my life now includes a lot of laughter as my family has to move furniture to play Wii Tennis or trash-talks during Mario Kart Cup races. Sometimes I even get a text that says "I love you, Daddy :)" from a kid 15-feet away (that goes into my "saved" folder).

Yes. I like gadgets. I've become addicted to my iPod. I like mobile phones as I have teenage daughters (even if we have war over failure to respond to the texts--we've learned they're NEVER answering an actual dialed call). I even want certain amenities--HD television with surround sound comes to mind...but generally I'm pretty laid back with getting gadgets. They aren't really a priority.

Why did I ramble about all this?

Well, because I'm actually more concerned about other things that might rob a kid of their "self-identity."

Like parents who live above their means so they can attain "status" with houses, cars, and yes, gadgets.
Like parents who encourage media by using DVD players on neighborhood errands.
Like parents who come home from work and disengage instead of realizing that's the most important part of the day.
Like parents who really believe their self worth and identity comes from their freaking job.
Like parents who honestly think that manipulating a system to get good grades to get into a good college is more valuable than being a critical thinker.
Like parents who rob the joy of sports by putting 8-year-olds in any sport year-round.
Like parents who text while driving, or even answer unnecessary calls while at lunch with friends (yes, sometimes the kid has to check-in while you're at dinner, so that's cool--provided you've given the requisite preemptive "My kid'll need to check in with me in about 15 minutes and I'll have to take that call" warning).
Like parents who can't laugh at themselves and with each other, or let their teenagers laugh at them when warranted.
Like parents who don't have any interests or hobbies outside of work.
Like parents who don't value the arts.
Like parents who aren't students of their children and don't encourage THEIR interests.
Like parents who let their kids bring the iPod Touch or NintendoDS to church and then complain that their child doesn't have any friends there.
Like the parent who overshedule, overmanage, oversee and overprotect their child to keep them out of trouble, shield them from pain and/or failure so they will achieve and be successful (usually in 3rd grade, too).
Like parents who...

I could go on.

See, I'm not really worried about an iPod earbud robbing my kid's self-identity.
See, I'm not really worried about gadgets "replacing" real life because, like anything else, they can enhance real life.
See, I'm not really worried about the kids losing their life to gadgetry.

That stuff, in some form or fashion, has always had unintended consequences. It was always thus, and always thus will be.

What concerns me more is that a parent can abdicate their role and allow a child to lose their self-identity by failure to teach their children Truth. And then push their kids into successful mediocrity.

So, point taken, Mr. Dylan. On one hand, you're on to something.

But, frankly...

I don't fear an iPod.

There are certainly more dangerous fish in that sea.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Go Ahead And Mark Your Calendars

I know.

I know.

The content of conversation here at The Diner hasn't been much to speak of as of late.

But, on the day I die, you'll want to mark your calendars for 20 years from that date.

That's when the managers of The Diner Archives will open the sealed vault with all my personal journals in them. You'll want to find whichever composition notebook, leatherbound volume or three-ring binder happens to have the entries from the month of May, 2009 in them.


You will.

And you'll see that there really was content worthy of conversation. Then, hopefully, whoever is running The Diner after my demise will provide the coffee and you folks can have at it.

It's kind of like the documents from the Warren Commission report in the National Archives, isn't it?

Now that my overblown sense of self-importance is out there for all of you to read, can I recommend that you hit my good friend Kristy's blog? Very funny stuff recounting her celebration of her first year of marriage. I mean, just because I don't got nothin' doesn't mean I can't recommend a good entry.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Funnies Are Us

Friday, May 01, 2009

And Then It Hits You

Kid1 bounded out of the house this morning, excited because, "It's the last TAKS test I'll EVER have to take, Dad!" For those not from Texas, that's the state-mandated test to make sure no child is left behind. It's the source of much controversy from parents, teachers, students and legislative officials...but yet it goes on.

I was amused by her early-morning enthusiasm. That isn't always the mood when she leaves for her commute downtown to school.

"Love you, Dad."

"Love you, too. Have a great day! Come back smarter than you already are & use wisdom." This is the phrase I've used almost daily with them since the girls were in elementary school. I'm sure they'll make jokes to their children about it. Like we all made fun of the stuff our parents repeated to drill into our brains.


This thought popped into my brain:

"Last TAKS ever. I imagine, as she's hitting the end of her junior year of high school, I'll begin to hear a lot of "last time ever" kind of statements over the next year."

And, while I know it's time and what should happen and how she's ready for the next steps and kids are supposed to go their own way and all that and I'm sure I'll enjoy the empty nest phase like I have all the others and on and on and on... really wouldn't bother me to hit either "pause" or even "rewind."

I'll do my best to keep it together over the next year, patrons.

"Last TAKS test I'l EVER have to take, Dad."

You Know What Would Be Funny?

Seriously, there's a website, presumably by members of my Tribe, that's really selling these. Fair warning, extra sensitive web filtering software may not let you log on because the words might trigger them, but there's nothing out of bounds or that you couldn't say to a 12 year-old.

Oh, man.

Where to go with this?

There's about 1,000 different ways.

I'll start:

I'd love to see what happened if I suggested that a class I was teaching should apply what we just learned by wearing one of these to highlight the application from the lesson. Seriously suggested it. The blank stares would be worth it.

Or, how about the patrons make helpful suggestions to the company for future options?

I can't explain 'em, folks. They seem genuine. Hmmmm.
My iPod Genius Really GETS Me, Man

Woke up with all sorts of scrambled brain activity...running a lot of laps but not going anywhere in particular.

This leads to a particular dilemma in my world because I usually fire up the iTunes to get the morning music to set the tone for the day. Because my thoughts weren't going anywhere I couldn't decide what kind of mood I was in, so I just hit "recently played," went to the last song on that list, and hit the "genius" button which will select a playlist from my music library (which is almost 18 gig large) based on that kind of song.

Here's what it spit back at me:

"Hollow Man" by R.E.M.
"300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues" by The White Stripes.
"Five on the Five" by The Raconteurs.
"Caring is Creepy" by The Shins.
"Karma Police" by Radiohead.
"Modern Guilt" by Beck.
"Hospital Beds" by Cold War Kids.
"Manhattan" by Kings of Leon.
"Society" by Eddie Vedder.
"Big Me" by Foo Fighters.

You can bet I extended that from 25 songs to 100. Never know when you might need it.

And, I thought, "If there were a music festival that had those bands on the bill, I'd pay $400 to go."

I think it's going to be a great day.