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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jumping the tracks.

Twenty-five minutes before work won't leave much time for a connected train of thought.  So we'll just derail the puppy and sift the wreckage...
  • Eating out is getting to be a bad habit.  Time to pull out the crockpot.
  • Planning meals, now that i think about it, was a very time consuming process.  One that ate even more into my writing time.  Lessee, eat well as constipated writer or write well with triple bypass, these are my choices.
  • Hey, lookit that!  Two cars that were connected.
  • Recently, i tried to reopen lines of communication with some folk.  Worked for as long as i wrote them.  When i stopped, they stopped.  Draw your own conclusions.
  • i bleeding hate stink bugs!  Chitinous little nightmares sent to cloud my mind.
  • Had four days off: Day one: Prepare for Party, Day two: Prepare for Party, Day three: Party, Day four: sleep off effects of days one through three.  
  • We're getting old, almost said odd, not sure that wouldn't have been correct too.  Anyway, today's signpost of time's inevitability:  our parties consistently end before ten o'clock now and everyone's able to drive home.
  • It's raining.  Again.  I have nothing but outside work.  Again.
  • My eldest is apparently unable to self motivate at school.  Dangling carrots, breaking the rod over his back, looks like i have to do something.  But and this is a problem i seem to be facing all over the place these days, how do you help someone change their own character flaws?  Shield them from the consequences, yeah, i've seen that done.  Not usually to the subject's moral improvement.  But actually change them?
  • Mynk's birthday was this weekend.  i'm pretty darn sure that everything else going on stomped that.  i'm also pretty darn sure that was my fault.
  • My family has a history of not doing birthdays well.
  • Not doing birthday's well...
  • Freaking stink bugs are flipping scourge!!!!
  • indicative of a larger, more serious problem, i think.
  • Time's up.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The downtime between victories

Losing sucks.
The system is corrupt.
It's a good thing we get Jesus' win/loss record.

Rambler's alert: i pretty much go off on a tangent for the rest of the post.  Those were the only real points i make as near as i can tell.  So unless you wanna see how deep the rabbit trail goes, you may wanna take those three and walk away a winner.  Otherwise...

There are degrees of losing.  

  1. First degree losing is to just be beaten.  You didn't really have a chance to win, you were out matched, out played and not really fit to tie the other guy's gloves but you stood in there and took your drubbing and there's pride in that.  Perverse pride but a gap toothed grin over a beer is still a good beer.
  2. Second degree losing is harder to take.  Second degree losing is what good rivalries are made of.  Two equal opponents slugging it out and never really gaining ground.  It's anybody's guess who will win each time these two come together and they can't come together often enough and they can't wish any harder to never meet again.  Second degree losing is the sharpening stone for a good team, they test their mettle and found it not quite up to Ginsu standard.  But there's next time.  Slightly more whiskey and bitter but still a good beer.
  3. Third degree losing, is not losing at all.  It is when a victory that was rightfully yours is taken from you and given to an undeserving foe.  Third degree losing is a betrayal.  You are made to feel the anguish and responsibility of someone else's hideously poor or immoral decision making.  This is not a good beer.  This is not beer at all.  This is oxycodone and murderous thoughts of revenge.
Now some folk take it too far.  For some folk, and living in Philly one has a grotesquely fattening smorgasbord of good examples of bad losers, all losing is third degree.  There is always a reason why they were betrayed and there is always a scapegoat to pin it on.  Sometimes, in the case of Andy Reid, their right.  The rest of the time, they're just unwilling to see the facts. 

Fact is, sometimes you lose.  Ain't nothing wrong with that, the best teams still lose and most are better for it.  Losing reminds us that we aren't gods.  We are in fact losers who are raised to a better standard at times.   Losing sends us back home, it's introspective and hopefully we find ourselves and our true motivation again.  The christian comes home to the ever present embrace of the Father who loves us and gave us the greatest victory of all which frees us to truly play.  Everyone else goes home to ..whatever it is you wacko's cling to.  Losing prepares us for life, if you can't lose well, you will be tragically underdressed for ninety-five percent of what goes on in a day in the real world.  Losing sucks, but it ain't the end of the world.  It's just a good starting point for a beer with your friends.

So what do we teach kids when we try to protect them from all loss?  When we don't keep score in their little leagues?  When we give trophies just for being able to put one leg in each hole of their gym shorts?  i dunno, but i'm pretty sure i'm not going to want to live in a country run by them.  Those who have never lost can't appreciate winning.  They have no idea what it takes to achieve real victory.  They have no endurance when the race gets hard, when the enemy is bigger, stronger, smarter.  They have no way of facing impossible odds.  They have no cunning to find and exploit weakness.  Those who have never lost cannot win well either.  They cannot have empathy so they cannot have grace.  Those who have never lost cannot see themselves as losers justly deserving loss and yet being handed grace and victory by someone else.  When they win, they assume it was their birthright for they are gods and cannot lose, when they lose, they assume they were betrayed for they are gods and cannot lose.  They cannot stand to have the illusion burst so winning becomes everything.  For those who have a more realistic view of themselves, losing is just the down time between wins.

But third degree losers.  The truly betrayed.  What do they learn?  They learn that there is no point in trying because someone else has rigged the game.  They are at best, made to feel like losers; responsible for actions that were not their own, at worst, like victims of an unjust system.  

As a father, what do i tell my boys?  As a child of God, what is my Father telling me?

Can't wait till i can have a pint with Jesus in Jeremiah's Bar and Grill and laugh about lovable losers.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Eli's first cloud



Nothing says a lot to me.  Sometimes nothing says more than Nothing.  Nothing is what i stare at, what stares back at me, what considers me with it's cold, blank eyes.  Eyes alive and dead at the same time.  Eyes that say, this, this is your legacy.  This is what you have become.  This stark, whiteness, this pale desert.  This is the sum of your thoughts and since thought is the proof of being then i am by definition nothing.  For while worlds crash within and galaxies are formed in the tohu vevohu of my inner chaos and matter spirals outward to rebound off a cage of bone and groups around unseen forces with violence incarnate to brood.  While loathing and lament find common enemy in self and war is raged against hope and wisdom and the heart is torn asunder with trenching shovel and sanguine bayonet.  While roaring is my lullaby and shrieks are my sonnets and the shriveling coward in the corner bears suspicious resemblance to the cursing hiss going about his daily mining of salt without!  While fingers froth and mind seethes to reach out and finally, finally, finally ram home, prime and with the barest twitch of a twitching prisoner released from the torturous pit send all into that cruel, white desert a Rachmaninov eruption of all within to all without!

While all that rages within, nothing, nothing, nothing moves without.  Words smatter across the screen and are deleted by the next wave of doubt.  Conscience knows the need, Passion urges action, Lord of Lords, even Desperation knows that this drought must, must, MUST be broke before mind and screen crack with the dryness!

And yet, the words fell, feel, flee...
and still there is the blankness, the pale desert and a short stormburst of madness that the desert drinks in one gulp without softening.  And turns.  And waits, wears, watches the horizon for a promising cloud.