Please Remember My Friend

My good friend Mark Mills (the most talented man I know) is having surgery this morning to treat cancer. Mark comments here as “Warrior”. Please keep him in your prayers, especially today around 11:00. We already know he’ll be all right and that God is in charge – communal prayer is just icing on the cake.

He’s got a great attitude about this – some of the jokes flying around in emails amongst X-Alt members made me laugh so hard I almost got in trouble at work.

Of course, we pray that they will get all of the cancer (the prognosis is VERY good), but also, he’s going to have a rough recovery time. Please keep his wife Barbara in your thoughts as well – she’s got a rough road ahead of her.

God is good – all the time.

You Never Forget Your First

This means nothing to you, but it means quite a bit to me.

I discovered blogging, like I’m sure most of you did, quite by accident.  I followed some search results, who the heck knows what the search terms were, and I ended up at a blog called “A Small Victory”.  Its owner was a Long Island native, Michele Catalano, was approximately my age, and quite possibly the most compelling writer I had ever seen. 

She was, personally, a trainwreck; she was filled with angst and bitterness, and her writing literally screamed off the screen.  Yet, you could every now and then catch a glimpse of humanity – a vulnerability that few people are willing to display.  I have modeled my own blogging after what I saw at A Small Victory; if you sometimes want to shout “too much information!” at me, you can blame Michele.

Reading her blog was addictive, and I went there literally every day.

Then one day, she just disappeared.

I found out later that she was going through a MAJOR transformation in her life.  But I missed Michele’s daily writing and photographs.  I just found out that she’s blogging again.  In fact, dammit, she’s been blogging again for a year, and I missed it!

Let me just say that the transformation in the style of her writing is extreme – this is the kind of change you usually don’t see unless a person has had a religious conversion.  She went from being full of rage to a quiet optimism and appreciation for those around her.  She didn’t have a religious conversion, she found love.  Good for her.

And her writing in this style is just as compelling.  She can be incredibly funny:

The bathroom stall is a place of sanctity. It is not a living room parlor. It is not a coffeehouse. It is not a party room. It is a place where I perform the bodily function of elimination. It’s not a chat room. If you want to talk to me while I’m washing my hands, that’s all well and good. I’ll just go ahead and nod and mhhmm you as if this wasn’t the fourteenth time you were telling me the story about how your adorable little snowflake once saved the life of a cat who fell down a sewer. But I swear on my Star Wars figures that if you EVER again try to tell me that story while I am locked in the stall, I will wait until you get to the part where your kid gets a medal of honor from the town councilman and just as you start the phrase “standing ovation” I will let out the loudest fart you’ve ever heard in your life. It will leave you breathless and unable to finish your damn story.

Michele, you probably don’t remember me from Adam.  But, you were the person who introduced me to this whole world.  I’m so glad you’re back.  And like the new you. 

It’s Like An RV, Only Softer

A co-worker, who shall remain totally anonymous, has a beautiful 20-something daughter.  As a co-worker and a father, I’m really not supposed to notice these things, but this girl is drop-dead gorgeous.  But, apparently, her daughter thinks some improvements could still be made.

 This young lady is going into serious debt to get a boob job.

I told her mother that the best advice she can give her is financial:

Never borrow money for assets that depreciate over time. 

Misc Stuff

Lintilla and I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of our heart for your kindness and well wishes.  They lift us more than you’ll ever know.  You are a blessing beyond measure.

Today is the craziest day known to man.  I have to “electronically” fill out an FMLA form, I’ve got to do it today, and the online system we use to do that with is down.  Pah.  We’ll be in Birmingham tonight and Florida tomorrow.  I haven’t packed yet.  I have to drop off the dogs at the sitter’s after I pick up the kids from school. I’ve got insurance companies to call, and who knows what else I’ve forgotten.

(To would-be robbers: go ahead and break into my house while we’re gone if you must.  You think I give a crap?) 

About half of our men’s rooms at work have the automated faucets; the other half are manual.  I wonder if I’m the only one that stands there looking like a fool with his hands under a manual one, waiting for the water to come out.

What the heck is ABC thinking, having a new Ugly Betty on Thanksgiving?  (Before it was ‘work’, I would have been quite pleased with this).

Y’all, mark this date: December 1st.  New Beginnings Church is having another coffeehouse, but this one is different.  It will be Christmas based, for one thing.  There will be no cover charge.  X-Alt will be singing many familiar Christmas songs.  Our friend, the incomparable Jim Weber will be there again.  Channel 4’s Jennifer Herron will be hosting again.  And, we’ll have a a huge treat:

When X-Alt played at Word of Life Christian Center a bit ago, we were blown away by a choir called “Sounds of Life”.  There was also a 3-man group called Men-U (Men United) that had the tightest harmonies I have ever heard.  Well, folks, these two groups are going to be at our coffeehouse!  It’s going to be so great have such a wide cultural and musical diversity on Dec 1.

I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss this.  Many amongst us have had rough times this year; some of us are going through them right now.  What we need right now is overwhelming Joy.  I can tell you right now – I’m a little ticked off.  My family is under attack, in health, spiritually, financially.  Many others are too.  But, whatever our demons…

We can let go and be overcome with Joy.  No preaching, no pressure – just a night of therapeutic music and Joy.  You know you need it – Lord knows, I do.  There are some of you who have never come to an X-Alt event. We don’t care if you are Christian, we just want to play music for our friends.  No charge.  I might even let you crash at my house, if you feel Bellevue is too much of a drive.  I’d just love to have you there. Some of you hard cases, whom I am disappointed to never see at these events,  can expect an email from me soon.

Let’s tell all that negativity in our lives to kiss our collective butts and kick off the Christmas season right!  Mark it down – December 1st.

Finally, I’m going to Costco during my lunch hour.  Anybody need me to pick up anything?

It’s Never Easy

Y’all give your prayers and good thoughts for my friend and frequent STM commentor Warrior, and his wife.  They lost their longtime companion, their dog Bo.  He had been sick for some time, and lately seizures were coming more frequently.  He was suffering horribly, so they had to have him put down.

Yes, Bo was an old dog (15 years); yes, he had been very ill.  But losing such an intregal part of your family as Bo was to Warrior’s is always rough.  I know that they both loved their friend and companion deeply.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Screaming The Right Way

I went to the Colts/Titans game with Warrior, frequent Shoot The Moose commentor and musician extrodinare.  Here’s the funny thing.  The first time Diva Manning gets the ball, I start my usual screaming.  I mean, it’s what we do at LP field – we make a lot of noise and make the life of the opposing QB miserable.

Well, Warrior is not only an accomplished musician, he’s a voice coach.  It was the strangest thing: he corrected my form.  “From the top of the throat!” he says.  “Use your diaphram!” 

It reminded me of the Monty Python’s Holy Grail, when Arthur corrected Bedevere on his “Nee” technique.

I can tell you, we were the best sounding screamers in all of LP Field Sunday.

I Think It’s Terrorism

Every single female I know in person is testy right now.  REALLY testy.

Except for Susie; I’ve known her for a few years now, and have never seen her grumpy.  Only a little perturbed, but never testy.  That’s amazing, when you think about it.

Anyway, this is unavoidable: I work with women, I’m in a band with four of them, and I live with two.  My personality makes me the “guy women like to treat like one of their girlfriends”.

Many of them are currently engaged in a contest to see which one can bite my head off first.

Something in the water supply, maybe?  I don’t know.  But, if you know me, you know that I am quite understanding and patient about these things.  But, usually, I’m dealing with one cranky person at a time.  This feels more like a siege.

I think it’s time for a guy-blogger only camping trip.  We need to talk about football and cars and hot women, and NOT talk about sex except in vague inuendos.  We need a weekend of parallel play.  We need to settle disagreements with fistfights instead of talking about our feelings, and once the fighting is over – no hard feelings, we’ll have a beer together and laugh about it all.

I need to be recharged in a bath of testosterone.  Then I can go back to being my usual, “guy that women like to treat as one of their girlfriends”.

I mean no offense to my female friends, who are the majority of my readers, but I’m having a hard time coping with this right now;  there’s no chance to come up for air between barrages of snippiness.

And interstingly, I don’t seem to have this problem in the virtual world.