It's all a matter of perspective.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Miss J asked me to share five weird things about myself. Unfortunately, I am perfectly normal. Therefore, here are five fun facts!

1.)I have a built in thermo-nuclear heat plant in my body. I radiate heat like a gas grill. Even on the coldest nights of the winter, I cannot get under more than one blanket. Pajamas are a complete waste for me; I can never sleep in more than a t-shirt and boxer shorts. In the summertime I sleep on top of the covers with two fans pointed at me. I start sweating at the least amount of exertion. I never put on a coat. Yet, oddly enough, I smell great!

2.)I am a musician and a music lover, but I have no interest in 99% of contemporary artists. There is nothing on MTV, VH1, or CMT that I want to hear. Indie Rock makes me want to put my fingers in my ears. Most of what passes for Jazz these days is elevator music. Most of what passes for Country is (for the male vocalists) bad rock sung in a cornpone accent or (female vocalists) songs that were cast-off by Celine Dion. Contemporary Christian is like bad modern Country, but without the fake accent and fiddles. Thank God that Sting, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Dwight Yoakum, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby, Buddy FREAKING Miller, John Scofield, Bela Fleck, and other all-time favorites are still making records.

A few exceptions to prove the rule: John Mayer, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Ryan Adams.

3.)I love to cook, and I have a lot of classical cooking knowledge and a few skills. I can make some fancy-smancy meals. But my favorite thing to prepare and eat is sandwiches. Big sandwiches with lots of stuff inside - that are almost too big to bite into. Today for lunch I had a sandwich with spicy mustard, homemade pickles, Swiss cheese, leftover pork loin, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, rice vinegar, and mayo on sourdough bread. As usual, it was the shiz.

4.)I refuse to ever make a car payment. I drive jalopies that I either pay a small amount of cash for, or are handed down to me from family members when they are too old and unreliable for them to drive. Right now I driving a ’96 Buick Regal that was my mee-maw’s, then my mom’s, and now has a quarter of a million miles on it. Sometimes it does not start for weeks, and I am stuck bumming rides everywhere until it magically heals itself. I still prefer this to a car payment.

My last car was a 93 Chrysler New Yorker/5th Ave. I gave $1200 for it. The next morning on my way to work a lady ran a stop sign and hit me in the side. A week later I got an insurance check for $1200. FREE CAR!! Who cares if it has a huge dent in the side and one of the back doors does not open. After a year or so, My mom passed down the Buick and I gave the Chrysler to my Hippie Brother-in-law. He drove it for a week; when suddenly the radiator came completely apart while driving down in freeway. By the time he got it to the side of the road, the head was cracked. It never ran again.

5.)Any time I sign a guestbook at a wedding, or a funeral, at the door to a government building, or am asked to sign a petition, or fill out a visitor card at a church – I always put “Jerry Garcia, Haight St. & Ashbury St., San Francisco, CA 94117”

I would be really interested to see what wierd things The Dude, Janna, and Currey would confess to . . .

Thursday, January 03, 2008

At the blog Doodlemonkey there was a contest to determine who was the best elusive beast, Bigfoot or The Yeti.

The Yeti won, 1 vote to 0. This was a huge upset and led to one of the most interesting comment threads in the history of blogging.
I am so proud to have set my Father-in-Law straight on the true meaning of Kwanzaa.
Fun review of Joel Olsteen's new book on Slate.com today. It is always interesting to read a secular review of a religious book.
Indeed, if you bracket all the scary, irresponsible health-and-wealth cheerleading that jolts through Become a Better You, this exurban image of God the indulgent dad is among the more troubling features of the gospel according to Osteen. For it turns out that the divine hand turns up everywhere, at least in Joel Osteen's life. God upgrades his reservations to first class on a long international flight; God spares his car in a water-planing wipeout on the Houston interstate; God allows Osteen and his wife/co-pastor, Victoria, to flip a property "for twice as much as we paid for it" in a once-sketchy Houston neighborhood; God swings a critical vote on the Houston zoning board to permit Lakewood to move to its mammoth Compaq Center digs—and God even saw fit 35 years earlier to ensure the engineer who designed the ramps leading to the Compaq Center provided easy parking access for Lakewood. This is a long, long way down the road from the inscrutable, infant-damning theology of this country's Calvinist forebears—it is, rather, a just-in-time economy's vision of salvation, an eerily collapsible spiritual narcissism that downgrades the divine image into the job description for a lifestyle concierge. Lakewood and Osteen seem to keep God so preoccupied it's a wonder He can ever find the time to stock his fridge or whip out His wallet.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Geoffrey Norman writes on National Review Online about the year in sports scandal:

In basketball, it wasn’t drugs. Not this year, anyway. The NBA’s scandal involved gambling which, in big-time sports, can be lethal. It doesn’t take many players to fix a basketball game, as several point-shaving scandals in the college game have demonstrated. And even a casual follower of the game can appreciate how much a referee who is in the pockets of gamblers could influence the score and make sure a team comes in over, or under, the line. Well, it turns out the NBA had a ref who gambled and got in over his head. Ten years ago, that might have been fatal to the game. But this year, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Perhaps because a ref can only fix the results of the games he actually officiates. So the corruption wasn’t systemic. Or maybe — and this seems more likely — the fans have simply become accustomed to a certain amount of scandal in sports. News that the New England Patriots were doing a little illegal spying on opposing teams seemed predictable and amusing. Of course they were, and wasn’t it just like Coach Bill Belichick to go for any edge, even one that eventually got him fined half-a-million dollars and cost his team a draft choice.

And that, in fact, might be the big sports story of 2007: the end, not of illusions, but of disillusionment. After all, in order to be disillusioned, you need illusions. The kid who pleaded, “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” to Shoeless Joe Jackson after the White Sox had fixed a World Series for the benefit of gamblers was honestly dismayed. He believed, quaintly, in the integrity of the game.