Friday, May 18, 2007

One Rod, 2 Things

I don't know what's up lately but it seems like I've been a lightning rod of sorts lately. Indulge me. I decide that I'm going to pull some weeds, clear growth from around our fence and WALA, a few days later I am stricken--horribly, horribly stricken--with poison ivy. It appears on my side and spreads like butter across my torso, complete right forearm and right leg. Really fun stuff. Imagine the most itchy clothes you've ever put on. Now imagine someone setting you on fire instead. See, maybe poison ivy's just not that bad!? It has led me to my first dose of steroids. Perhaps many Major League Baseball Players have just been doing yard work the past decade. Hmm.

Then, as noted by a post a few weeks ago, my "y" key on my keyboard is jacked up. It kept falling off and I made a comment about how living without one letter is more difficult than ou would think.

Tonight I'm at that savory, culturally enlightening environment called Wal-Mart to get some lotion that would prevent me from getting horrible rashes due to exposure to pollen from poison ivy. I am approaching Poison Ivy with the Bush-doctrine approach: I will preemptively seek to attack it before it attacks me; I will bombard it with Roundup and the best choppers (or garden shears) gift cards can buy. I will them walk into the house and say, "Mission Accomplished," only to later find out that poison ivy is still considered toxic and potentially damaging up to five years after you've mutilated it.

After exiting Wal-Mart I was greeted at my car by a guy who saying, "That lady in the Cadillac hit my car and slung my car into yours." She's okay; so is her kid. Everyone's okay. So I chilled with them for a nice hour, on the phone with claims, and chatting it up with the officer doing the police report. My car's been hit more times that Whitney Houston, so this is an old bag for me. So, looks like Jason is getting a new bumper for Father's day.

But honestly, nothing like coming home to a great meal, a good looking wife and a daughter that's healthy and beautiful. I'm also a lightning rod for blessing.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Derby, Blush and 2 Uncomfortable Moments

Today we went over Dave and Miriam's for the Kentucky Derby--a day of firsts. The Queen. Mint Juleps. Swanky hats. Bow ties. Street Sense. That Chocolate dessert. Violet's entrance into our friendships here. She's not good with small talk yet but she likes to bounce.

Hard to believe that it's been three weeks of fatherhood. Funny to think it but it seems to feel like she just belongs with us, like she's been a part of us since Barb and I spent that birthday party on the beach, after which I bumbled around and finally asked her for a date. Hemming and Hawing, as they say. "I was wondering. I mean. If you wanted. I was thinking. You know Friday night is coming in a few days and . . . I'm a nerd and I'm acting a fool but you gotta eat, so why eat along? I mean, along. Why eat alone? If you don't eat with me then we'll both go hungry." That whole scene still makes me blush a little. Ask Barb to tell you. Okay. I'm over that now.

I finding myself in the middle of a few books right now that I'm really enjoying. I've been moving slowly through the denseness that is Ernest Becker. It's rewarding. Harold Kushner, rabbi in New York, has some interesting thoughts about forgiveness, the types of loves (plural) God gives us, and the life of Jacob. I don't necessarily agree or see everything that he sees but it is intriguing nonetheless. Just finished Andy Stanley's book on how to communicate better, which I could surely use (see second paragraph with pink in it). I just got my copy of my favorite journal so I'm spending time with those people, reading about one topic I'm absolutely fascinated with, and then there's this whole concept of Ars Moriendi, "The Art of Dying." I've been camping out with it for a while, mulling it over, trying to integrate it, give it some glue.

An aside but perhaps the impromptu purpose of this post, here's my philosophy on reading. My time is valuable. I shouldn't waste it. I have too much information flying at me, nagging me for attention, not to mention those freakin' task reminders Outlook keeps throwing up in my face. Holy Cow, if it's 6 weeks overdue shouldn't this software get the hint that I'm not interested in pricing light fixtures? Anyway, I'm not interested in reading just to know. I search to read something, break it down into digestible pieces and then take it in. I might spend, believe it or not, six months or so with a book, even a brief one--writing notes, arguing with it, letting it sit and stare at me. I think one of the biggest myths is that we need to know everything (lesson from Steve Samples in Contrarian's Guide to L'ship), especially when it comes to ministry and the spiritual life (lesson from experience). Let's face it, you probably have enough Bible facts crammed into your head to choke the Scarlet Whore. Our problem, ech um, I'll speak for myself, my problem is that I need to integrate it into my life. We have enough information already. We need people who will help us synthesize it not add to it.

Simply said, about to make this conversation circular, we not only need book sense, we also need Street Sense. We need theory and practice, and friends from what I've read, when I stand to give an account of my life I'll not be asked about my theories and that is really something to blush about.