Thursday, December 29, 2005

For Andy Brown…

Apparently my good buddy (GB) Andy Brown (AB) checks my blog everyday. Sure, I thought my girlfriend was the only one stalking me, but apparently I have stalkers of the same gender too. This story goes out to AB.

It was the night before my good buddy Aaron Shaf. was getting married and a bunch of us guys were hanging out at AB’s uncle’s house. In attendance were the two now famous stars, Nick Nye (the Nick Nye that’s recording in Louisville) and Lenny Tavernelli (who stars as the native in his new movie: End of the Spear). Anyway, we’re eating Sloppy Joes and lots of chips, drinkin’ root beer, rippin’ some bad gas, and playing video games. Someone, I can’t tell you who, but if I had to pick someone I would say Nye, decides we should wrestle. We pair off and people take turns. First up, Nye verses Brown. AB pretty much doesn’t touch Nye, while Nick decides to go animal on AB. Then AB turns up the heat and Nye blows out his knee. We grab ice from the kitchen and he’s done.

Now most of you would think that would stop the wrestling for the night, I mean, we’ve already had an injury. Here’s the thing, Nye is a faker. You can’t tell when he’s really hurt and when he’s faking it or when he’s just milking it for attention. We figured it was bad, but no one really knew how bad it was till much later when he had to have surgery on it.

Next up, Lenny verses myself. Now I’m quite a bit taller than Lenny which should give me some advantage, but Lenny is built like a tank. The result, we were standing up for like ever, no one could really get the other to go down. Besides I think we were both taking it easy, we didn’t want to end up icing something next to Nye. Anyway, in a bold move, I did something and Lenny starts to go down, but he’s not going down forward, he’s flying backwards. He used an atomic kick on me, somewhere between my legs. I yelled, “Solider Down!” as I collapsed to the ground in agonizing pain. I crawled over to the couch and sat next to Nye.

At this point you would surly think the other two wouldn’t be wrestling, but sure enough they decided to go at it. It was Matt Martin verses Mike Halpin. Mike is about half the man Martin is, weight wise. They get to actually wrestling, making sure neither of them ends up like me. Then Martin uses a “Gator” roll on Halpin. It was quick and looked painful. Halpin also was injured like myself. He crawled to the couch and sat next to myself and Nye. We shared the package of ice between us, passing it back and forth. Believe it or not, it actually helps a lot.

What I learned from all this is skinny guys shouldn’t pair off with ape shaped men in wrestling matches, sure chess wouldn’t be bad, nor video games, but when we’re talking wrestling, a couple shots placed carefully can take a solider down. And knowing is half the battle. Go Joe!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Mom Awards

Everyone should be thanked for what they do, no doubt. This past week has been trying to my patience. You see, I’m at home helping my dad do things, since he’s recovering from his neck surgery. It means I can’t really leave the house, I have to always do things at the drop of a hat, and do annoying things at that, like help my dad put on his socks, clean up dog puke, shake the shaving cream, let the dog out, do the dishes, do the laundry, run errands for him, etc. It seems to be illusory to think I’ll be able to get my homework done while I’m here over break. When things slow down, it’s after dinner, way after dinner usually. Who wants to do homework then? I want a break for crying out loud.

It’s got me thinking about moms. Now don’t get me wrong, dads work their tail off at the office and are pooped when they get home, but I think moms aren’t getting off easy themselves. It’s a practice of humility every day, making themselves a servant for others who aren’t able to do simple things for themselves. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to take care of teenagers! My dad tells me how to do everything from proper steps of cleaning up puke to how to make his sandwich for him. I think I would go crazy if some little pipsqueak decided at the age of 14 that they knew how to do my job better and whined about everything as it was. I’m already praying for patience almost constantly as each new chore around the house comes up just as I was ready to take a break.

I think we should consider mom awards. You know, give your mom some kind of award for the hard work she does. I think they should come in multiple levels. The first and most basic would be thanking your mom randomly as she does the daily tasks. The second level would be random days where she gets some relief from doing her tasks, maybe more systemized. The last level should be mom vacations, hey, they give them in the work world, but even on vacations moms are usually kid managing. This might look like a family vacation where dad is responsible for keeping track of the little/teenagers. And last but not least, every mom should be given a car and given some time away from the house, I’m going stir crazy and I get to walk the dog every day.

I would also blow up television. Even when I’m tempted to watch it during the day nothing is on. Nothing. The internet is really mostly like a news/shopping mall. I’m sure that there are social groups where moms get together and hang out with other moms, let us be careful to not give them a hard time about it calling their jobs easy, everyone knows in the workforce that we sit around the water cooler every once in a while and gab it up, it’s only necessary for sustaining sanity during the daily routine. I wouldn’t doubt I’ll get hate mail from moms over this one. All I can say is, it’s only my first week!

Send me back to school!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Dog Gone Dilemma

I’m home for the holidays in Cincinnati, taking care of my dad and his dog. Now we all know dogs have three goals in life: eating, sleeping, and playing. Champ, my dad’s dog, loves to eat, loves it more than life itself. If there’s one thing he loves more than food though, it’s walks. He loves going on walks. At first I think I was foolish enough to believe he really liked exercise, but as time has continued it has become apparent that he really wants to do his job, peeing on things. We (Champ and I) have to stop near every good bush or tree, at least to smell it and maybe to pee on it. When he finds a place he really likes, he pulls out all the stops, like Columbus when he reached the new world, like Astronauts when they reached the moon, he stops and plants his flag in the dirt, well it’s more like he leaves a happy present for someone else to find. Now here’s the question, should I bring a bag or a few to pick up his ‘presents’ or should I leave them in hopes that the winter will destroy them into oblivion?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

a virus in the system

American Christianity is plagued by a virus, a virus of thought. The virus tells us that it’s ok to accept Christianity on the grounds of a philosophical system. It helps us determine what is morally acceptable. We go to church, we pray over our meals, and we spout out theological terms like it was a description of the most wonderful vacation we’d ever taken. Yet, somewhere deep in the recesses of our hearts, the virus has done its work. There is not daily, living relationship with God. It has been replaced with short prayers early in the morning and late in the evening. Our lives have been turned into a routine. We understand routines, they make sense, they keep us feeling safe. Over and over we trace the lines of our philosophical system, all the while neglecting the relationship the system was designed to function in. And we give up. Signs of life vanish in the hustle and business of life. Reflect with me, how does the relationship God is desiring in us fit with the life we’re living?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the all nighter

We’ve all done it, ok, so I’ve at least done it a few times, waited until the last minute to write the paper that will be due the next day. As I was writing my paper last night, I remember thinking, “Gee, I don’t know how this is going to get done.” Then I talked with my girlfriend, and she says, “How long have you known about this?” I sheepishly knew I shouldn’t answer that question, she knew the answer, like an episode straight out of Matlock. After our short conversation (I had a paper to write for Pete’s sake!) I went back to writing. Each sentence had to be painstakingly checked, it’s an exegesis paper which is heavy on research, and one mistranslation can send the paper in a totally new (and wrong) direction! It was about 3 am when I started feeling like I was floating. It was then I realized the level of sleep depravity had sunken to a new low, because while a few years ago 3 am might have seemed like a reasonable bedtime (when in college), now as an old man, 3 am seemed more like the “all nighter” you hear stories about. At the end of it, my typing was getting pretty incoherent. I guess that’s the beauty of it. You may think that being in grad school at a seminary would mean that we do our work well before it’s due… yeah, that is not the case, except for a few married guys who are just on the ball. And now you know, the rest of the story. I’m Ben Douglass. Good bye.