I’ve been thinking a lot about wounds lately.  Not the physical kind, which either heal themselves or kill us, but wounds of the soul – the kind that will neither heal nor set us free through death.  They linger deep within us, hidden until some unknown trigger brings them to the surface, surprising even ourselves.

 I have many such wounds.

Some are silly, but the pain is still real: the 9th grade rejection and embarassment, which surfaces again decades later in a situation where there’s a lot of playful flirting going on amongst “everybody else”, bringing forth a Wormtongue-type demon, whispering “You are a loser.  You are altogether unlovable.”  It doesn’t matter that you’re happily married with loving children and a wide circle of friends.  That gangly 9th grade boy who was the only one who didn’t get paired off to go necking at little Susie Somebody’s party is still inside, and he knows nothing of such things.  But like I said, such wounds are as silly as they are real.

But I believe the most liberating force in the universe is forgiveness.  To be able to look your offender in the eye and say, “You hurt me.  And I forgive you”, and mean it.  To wrap your arms around him and once again call him Brother.  To do such a thing is glorious.  It frees you to look at your wound and say, “You no longer have power over me!  Begone!”  I have known this, and it is where I long to be with all of my wounds.

I’ve never been a big fan of the various gender and ethnic “studies” majors in college.  I know that the entry in the catalog uses words like “empowerment” and “liberation”.  But I judge them by their fruits.  The people I know who have been through these courses of study can quote every single wrong perpetrated on their “group”, chapter and verse.  They say they are empowered, but they sure do dwell on their powerlessness a whole lot.  There is no forgiveness, no moving on.  THIS is the opposite of where I want to be.

But now, I have a problem.  I have a rather recent wound that is quite problematic.  In my mind, “it”, is just that, it was just a bad event that happened, like a hurricane.  There is no one to forgive.  Well, that’s not totally true; I just don’t know who to forgive.  The decision that hurt me so was a corporate one, done behind closed doors, and I was informed of it by a close friend who was also a victim.  All I know is a hidden, secret cabal ripped my life apart.

Some who were hurt alongside me have moved on in their own way; they took themselves out of the situation.  There is no chance of an encounter with the offenders.  But, I worry, because in speaking with my co-victims, it’s obvious that the pain is still there.  They have only moved on physically. 

Recently, some who were not involved directly with “the incident” have made overtures to me and the others.  It appears there is a need for absolution.  I would love nothing better.  How great it would be to pull the wound out of its hiding place, slap the bastard two or or three times for good measure, then say goodbye.  How I long to be rid of it!

But I don’t know who to forgive.  I don’t know if “they” even seek forgiveness.  So I am trapped, just like in the Springsteen song:

Well, it seems like I’ve been playing your game way too long.
And it seems the game I’ve played has made you strong.
When the game is over, I won’t walk out a loser.
And someday I’ll walk out of here again. Someday I’ll walk out of here again.

But now I’m trapped.

I’ve Got Visitors (and other randomness)

Meet my new friends: Mr Phlem and Miss Static Electricity.  They’ve come to stay with me for a while.  Miss SE always hangs around during the winter, causing me to shock myself and everyone I touch.  She also did this wonderful trick with Trillian’s hair last night.

Mr Phlem always knows when to visit me:  right before a weekend when I’ll be making heavy use of my vocal chords.  Currently, I sound like Froggy from the Little Rascals.  Considering that Saturday, I have a blogger get-together to attend, a Saturday night gig, followed by a Sunday sermon, and a Super Bowl party to attend, I’ve gone into full lockdown mode.  Don’t try to talk to me right now, I’ll answer you with something written on post-it notes.

I’m trying to nail down the time for the 23rd Psalm show.  This is one of the few non-church gigs we do where we’re not in charge of the happenings.  The flyer says 7:00, but I’d swear the music has started as early as 6:00 before.  Stay tuned.

Kat Coble:  I’m talking (actually preaching) about football in church Sunday!  It was a special request, and the basic text made up the first sermon I ever preached.  It’s still my favorite, after all these years.  It’s a boilerplate salvation sermon(the kind Billy Graham used to give).  Because we’ve had a little fun talking about this subject before, if you want an advance copy, reply here in the comments.  Can you Mac people open Windows Word files?

It looks like I’m finally going to get to meet newscoma (one way or the other, and Lynnster!)  Just not together.

That’s all I got.  Y’all play with my two new friends till I get back.

Shut Up and Eat Your Taters

We’ve been waiting for confirmation, and now it can be told:  X-Alt is playing the Tater Days festival in Benton, KY on April 2nd.  We’ve barely been able to contain our excitement. (seriously)  It’s one of those things you want to do just so you can one day say you did it.

We’ve also made enquiries to the National Cornbread Festival , and the Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival .  I’ll let you know if those get confirmed.  Now, if we could just find a white beans and onion festival, we’ll have a buffet.

 Stay tuned.

Posted in X-Alt. 2 Comments »

Truth Be Told

I’ve recently discovered something that says a lot about me, my wife, and my kids.  We want our kids to be honest.  Just not too honest.  I guess that makes us authentic Nashvillians.

Lintilla and I have been operating under the assumption that much of the time Zaphod is spoiled and many times incorrigible.  This doesn’t make much sense, considering the reports his teachers send home singing his praises.  “Are you sure we’re talking about the same child?”, we ask.  There has been no alien abduction as far as we can tell, so yes, the spoiled child we worry over is an absolute angel when not with us.

So, to be fair, we’ve taken a very close look at just what it is he does that drives us so crazy.  And I’ve come to a startling conclusion:  he’s a little too truthful.

The best way of putting it:  our son lacks the skill of tact.  Here’s a good example.  We get home from a grocery run.  We ask, “Would y’all help us get the groceries to the kitchen, please?” Zaphod’s answer: “I don’t want to”.  This infuriates us.  Yet, when we understand who our son is, it makes a lot more sense.

His sister most likely would rather run inside and play Nintendogs than help us with the groceries.  Yet she has learned to either pretend she likes hauling groceries, or at the very least keep quiet about not wanting to do it.  Not Zaphod.  Every single emotion and thought that zips through his brain must be expressed.  I want to be clear: both of our children aren’t too keen on helping around the house.  Yet, because Zaphod actually says so, we call him “bad” and Trillian “good”.

What we want our son to do, what we are trying to train him to do, is to go against his nature.  When visiting someone’s house, we expect him to politely eat the food offered, without (truthfully) saying “I don’t like these black-eyed peas”.  When he’s disappointed in a situation that involves others who are only trying to be nice to him, we expect him to hold that disappointment inside; we want him to politely pretend everything’s OK.

This happened this past Saturday.  Zaphod went to a friend’s birthday party at a place that has bowling, games, bumper cars, roller skating, and laser tag.  They were able to do everything but bowl, because there were no lanes available.  Once Zaphod learned they wouldn’t be bowling, he spent the rest of the time sulking while everyone else was gathered around the birthday boy, watching him open his presents.  Lintilla and I were quite embarrased.

Yet, truth be told, he was honestly expressing how he felt.  And we got mad at him about it.  This, unfortunately, is the Nashville Way.

Not that we have had no success at all.  From a very early age, we have instituted the “grandparent gift rule”.   No matter what the gift, no matter how uncool or irrelevant to their lives it may seem, they are expected to “be excited and happy”.  Even gifts of clothes. (I’m not saying my parents are totally uncool or give gifts that the children don’t like, but I have my own memories of grandparent gift disappointments, so I instituted the rule early on just to save much embarassment later).  We stress this rule so much, even Zaphod goes along with it.

Now, we just want him to extend that mindset to the rest of his interactions with people.  And, I do feel bad about it; in a way we’re asking him to lie.  But this is life in Nashville.  Just as we teach our 4 year olds not to point and say, “Mommy, look how FAT that man is!”, we try to teach our children to not always tell us what’s on their minds.

I think we probably won’t have success until Zaphod becomes a teenager.  One truthful answer to a girl (who really didn’t WANT the truth about how those pants made her look), ought to cure him of his honesty.

Posted in Kids. 5 Comments »

Not Dead (Yet)

Today has been the day from Hades.

But I AM alive.

This past weekend was wonderful.  We had an incredible experience when X-Alt played atMcKendree Village.  We’ve learned our lesson about when we play nursing homes and retirement villages.  If you break out the old hymns and jazz them up a little, you’ll get them going every time.  This past Saturday was no exception.  The little old ladies and men were REALLY getting into it.

After we finished, an older lady walked up to me with tears in her eyes.  She said her husband had brain surgery 6 months prior, and she was amazed at how engaged he was with our whole performance. (Apparently, he hadn’t been ‘with it’ in quite a while).  He had even brought out some of his old funny lyrics:

On a hill far away, stood an old Chevrolet, with an emblem of cherry and red…

His wife thanked each of us many times.  We all teared up, too.  You just don’t know what it’s like to know you have been used by God in that way.

Sunday was almost the exact opposite.  We played a private event at Tallent’s Coffeehouse in Springfield, and to say it was rollicking would be an understatement.  These people were so open to The Spirit – and it was overflowing.  Every vocal, even my own, seemed super-charged.  Mark Mills was on fire.  It was quite a wonderful, but tiring afternoon.

If any of you are going to be in town Saturday (and I know some of you are), come on up to the 23rd Psalm Cafe on Buena Vista Pike.  X-Alt (and I’m sure some others) will be playing that night.  It’s a little place, and we’re a huge band, so if 10-15 of you show up, we’ll have the place filled.

I’ll post something more substantial this afternoon as I get time.

Follow The Mullet Placeholder


I can’t get into Blogger (surprise!)  My weight loss / hair growing journal, Follow The Mullet , is still on blogger.  If I devoted more time to it, I’d make the move over to WordPress for it.  As it stands, I’ll just post my measurables here so I don’t forget them, then go back there during the 5 hours a day that Blogger is actually available to fill in the blanks.

Weigh in Number 4:

214.5 lbs, 2 lbs lost this week, 6 lbs total lost since first weigh-in, best guess: 10 lbs total since Jan 1.

The last measurable is because I didn’t weigh the first week, and it makes me feel better.

Mullet Watch:  I’ll get all but the back cut next Saturday morning.  It’s a shame.  I’ve started looking like an older, fatter Keith Urban.  I don’t think a lot of myself, do I? 😉

Nashville Star Update – With Boobs

This may just be breast day here at Shoot the Moose.  I’ll incorporate my thoughts in posts about other things.  In fact, most of my boob-talk will be in this post, because I swear I had more conversations about female chests last night than I have since I was a teenager.  I’ll mention no names to save embarrassment.

There were four of us there last night – two men, two women.  We tried to get there earlier this week so we could get better seats, but to no avail.  The rest of Nashville was onto us.  They were all there earlier, too.  So, we ended up in about the same place in line as last week.  We had a long wait, so needless to say the conversation drifted hither and yon.  Amongst the things discussed:

Female hairstylists, it appears, do not rub themselves up against women customers the same way they do men customers.  I assume that would explain why men tip more.

Do boobs float?

Apparently the Girls Gone Wild bus has been seen in Nashville.  We all agreed the founder is a slimy-looking sleazeball.

We probably could have had a few more anatomical discussions, but they moved us in at about 8:30.  It went much more smoothly this week.  We chose purposefully, this time, to sit in front of the contestants, but this time from a few rows back.  We had a pretty nice view, when the boom camera wasn’t in the way.

Little big Town pre-recorded their “live” performance.  You just don’t get better live harmonies than that.  They were absolutely perfect.  The blonde was dressed like she was about to go night-night though.  

Now, the controversy: I was the only one in my group who liked Angela Hacker’s performance.  The Bonnie Tyler voice scratchiness was kind of neat: it sent chills down my spine.  Stangely enough, when I got home, I found out Lintilla didn’t like it either.  Good song choice, though: I Can’t Make You Love Me (If You Don’t).

Whitney Duncan was awful.  no stage presence, pitchy.  This upsets me greatly, because I have predicted she would win the whole thing.  It partly wasn’t her fault; she was originally going to do another song, but late in the week they decided they couldn’t get it “cleared” (I’m assuming by ASCAP or BMI), so she had to switch songs.  But, I still feel she could have done better.

The judges made weird comments about David St Romain.  He did a great version of Life Is A Highway .  He rocked the house.  The judges were unanimous that he should have instead sung something “for the females”, whatever that means.  I thought he was awesome – he’s moved up my leaderboard.

I expected Meg Allison to get eliminated this week.  Big surprise: it was Kasey Musgraves.  Meg did “Take Me Down” by Alabama, and was GREAT.  I think she’ll make it another week.

Joshua Stevens was interesting.  He did “I Still Believe in You”, and he chose a key that was RIGHT at the edge of his range.  He would get right to the edge of getting off-pitch, then he’d pull back.  One of our party, who is a singer, said “He made me nervous”.  I agree.  Here’s the thing.  He nailed it.  But it sounded like at any time he’d lose it.

Zac Hacker is now the odds-on favorite (unless Whitney gets her act together fast).  His song selection was a little obscure:  Delbert McClinton’s Memphis Women and Fried Chicken.  Not only did he make the song his own and absolutely ROCK, I was a little hungry when he finished.  🙂

The crowd was a little more into it this week.  Beret Guy didn’t have to egg them on as much.

The girls in our party were having a conversation about my fascination with Jewel.  One of them reminded me that Jewel is kind of snaggle-toothed, and that many men find that unnattractive.  I just shrugged.

About this time, they showed one of the interviews Jewel did with the next contestant.

“Oh.  I get it”, my friend said.

“She has big boobs.”

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