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11.11.2009

A Less Self-Absorbed Day

To all my military friends, thank you. I take so much for granted, and I live my busy life so easily and carelessly. You guys don't. Or didn't. And you won't. So thank you.

Really.

Know that today, at least, I'm aware of your sacrifice for country and from family, and on one of the few days I remember it, I hope you can get away from it. At least for a day. But that's not how it works, I realize.

Your steadfastness enables me to live selfishly, forgetting the dangers you don't--you can't. I shouldn't be thankful for that, for being able to block out the sacrifices you make, but there's a part of me that thinks you want it that way. Or at least you understand it comes with the territory.

I should pray for your safety more; I actually know you. You aren't nameless statistics. You aren't simply round numbers thrown around by politicians and news-types. You're my friends. Or your parents are. Or your spouse or your siblings. You're connected to someone who cares about this country and my freedoms enough that you or they would put all on the line to protect them. To protect me.

I should relish my freedom more. At all, really. I take my freedom for granted; this freedom from tyranny, sure, but also to live recklessly and selfishly and as unproductively as I want. Instead of living more responsibly, instead of earning your sacrifice, I expect it. That's certainly unfair, but again, it doesn't surprise you. And it certainly doesn't deter you.

I should try to be like you more. You're selfless. You're loyal. You're determined. Through the challenges of the job, you can't quit. You don't have that option. So instead of wilting under pressure, you have no choice but to come out stronger. Better. I have opportunities to quit, to hit delete and start over. I can run from one career to the next, from one relationship to the next, from one trivial channel to the next. My life can be a merry-go-round of poor choices and poorer consequences, but you. You only get the option of going where you're told, when you're told, regardless of why or for what. You might agree, or you might not, but either way your life's most likely on the line. So what do you do? You don't run away. You persevere. Yes, you're selfless. You knew what you signed up for, sure. But that doesn't make it easier now.

While you're celebrated, no doubt genuinely by most or as political spectacle by a few, please know that today, for at least the rest of it, your fight's not in vain. Indeed your life is not. And whether you embrace or disdain the visions of our leaders both past and present, your service has put my personal challenges in perspective.

And after today--your day--when you go back to complaining about 120 degree heat or frigid winters away from home, about car bombs and snipers and brothers killed in action, I'll probably go back to complaining about my Greek test. Or my flat tire. Or the latest baseball score.

And it's not because I don't care, but because it's all I know. And I think, maybe, if I can dare, you'd probably have it no other way.

6.25.2009

Lost


I haven't had much motivation to write lately; it comes in spurts. But today was just too great a day. Let me explain.

I’ve been ready to buy a new car (Mazda CX-7) for a while now, but since there isn’t a Mazda dealership on the island, I have to go to Orlando or Melbourne or Daytona. So it’s one of those events you have to plan for.

Well two weeks ago I was ready to go, and I took my car to the car wash for a little bath before I traded it in later that evening. I pull out of the tunnel and up to the vacuum area, and all the workers start congregating around my passenger side door. I get out, and sure enough, my mirror is dangling by an electric cable.

So much for the new car.

So Monday rolls around of this week, and me and my posse are geared up to make the new purchase in the evening. So with new mirror attached, I back out of my parking spot. Only my car is barely moving. I stop, put it in park, and hop out, knowing what this means.

Flat tire.

So much for the new car.

Today is the day. I’m only working a half day so I can spend the afternoon, and hopefully not the evening, buying my new ride. It starts innocently enough. I wake up, late as usual, skip breakfast, and hobble down the stairs to my car. I open the door and notice dirt all over the inside. If I hadn’t just cleaned my car two weeks ago, this might’ve gone unnoticed, but alas, I had, and I did, and it got better. I get in and see that my steering column is busted open, the insides all hanging out, and my ignition resting peacefully on the floorboard. Whoever tried to steal my car didn’t do a very good job. I can’t even get my car stolen right.

I started thinking maybe this is a sign I don’t need the new car. Maybe the Mazda CX-7 is like 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42?!! Those of you who watch “Lost” know exactly what I’m talking about. My friends have promised me they aren’t a part of the Dharma Initiative.

After all, without my car or a ride, I am kind of stranded on an island.

What year is it anyway?

4.13.2009

English Butchery 102

My brother wrote a very interesting article that he admits might be politically incorrect. Because he first started this, I am honoring his beginning by titling this English Butchery 102. The class name is original, but not the idea. So to expand on his thoughts, here are a few more things people say incorrectly that inadvertently diminish their point:

a. "I gave 110%"...If we're suddenly capable of giving more than 100%, why not make it something higher than an extra 10? Like say, 99%? "I gave 199%" sounds much more devoted than 110%. Or better still, why stop at 199? Why not 200% or 300%? Maybe start scoring our efforts like baseball players' batting averages. "I gave .345; that's a point better than Ted Williams' career batting avg..."

b. "And it goes without saying..." We all use this one too, but what the world for? If "it" goes without saying, either don't say "it," or don't say that it "goes without saying." Talk about undercutting your point. Geesh.

c. "Indubitably"...First, no one uses this word. So that's the first red flag when you use it in conversation. I don't think it's been used since the late 1800s, so unless you fought in the Civil War, you have no business thinking this is appropriate conversational English. Second, it's a risky word to try to use. If you don't get it out correctly the first time you try to say it, then you look like a pompous imbecile. No one enjoys an arrogant moron. If you have to stop and remember how to pronounce the word while you're trying to drop it in conversation, you lose speaking privileges. And respect. Although, if you're trying to conversation-drop "indubitably," you probably haven't garnered much respect to begin with, hence your attempt to use it in a sentence.

d. "Bloviate"...This is actually just because of Bill O'Reilly. Speaking of pompous, imbecilic pots calling kettles black. The only people who use this word are the very people who bloviate. A nice self-fulfilling prophecy. Using the word means you're a bloviator. Or does it mean you're a hypocrite?

Well that's enough for now. Take notes, share with your friends, and for the love of respect, think about what you say.

Class dismissed.

4.09.2009

Girlfriend Voices

Funny sketch from SNL. We all have seen this up close.

3.10.2009

Shane and Shane "Everything is Different"



I got to see Shane and Shane again the other night. Can't remember how many times that makes it. Everytime I think about going, I tell myself it's no big deal if I miss it because I've seen them so many times before. But every time I leave, I'm so refreshed and wonder why I ever doubt going in the first place. It's always a sweet time of worship.

All that to say, here's a video they recorded a month ago. A new song they just wrote, and that made it kinda exciting. That and it was good. I can't believe they just write stuff so easily. Grrr.

Enjoy!

1.26.2009

Barack, Paper, Scissors

I've been downloading lots of applications for my phone, and so it's gotten me into a "game" mood. Saw this on youtube and had to share. Very, very well done.

Check it out.

1.14.2009

Ryan SEEcrest

I'm not a big American Idol fan, but I watched the first night. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Thankfully, this moment can now live on forever.

Rub It In, Seacrest