Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Texas Tea

I have thought for quite a while now about the function and dysfunction of certain systems in America. I’ll start by stream-of-consciousness-ing” some “systems” we have…education, taxation, medicine, election (not that kind, Sam), agriculture, communication of information (media), production of information (academia) industry, law enforcement, law writing, defense, etc. (Basically a whole lot of platforms, ugh). Nevermind.

But on a related note, the govna of Texas, after sponsoring one of these incredibly short sighted “Tea Parties” on Tax Day, mentioned that Texans are going to start thinking about seceding from the Union. Without getting into everything I think about that, I will just list several initial thoughts, and leave it at that.
- I’ve never liked Texas in any way. Except for a handful of musicians and my cousins (who were born in Massachussettes).
- The people who ACTUALLY held a Tea Party in defiance of their mother country ACTUALLY revolted, and ACTUALLY did something (besides whining).
- And these tax day protests of deficit spending were non-existant when the last group of folks were spending middle class tax dollars and doubling the national debt, one of them being from the great nation of Texas!

Okay, okay, I’m sorry for ranting, but come on, Texas! You’re taking an event that helped create the most dynamic, incredible country in the world and letting it devolve into an impotent whine-fest. You may as well add in some crumpits and gossip, then you can have a real tea party, or, cactus juice party, I guess.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hoof & Mouth

If I offended anyone in my last two posts (which are deleted), I apologize. If they had nutrition facts on them, it would have read, "water, HFCS, sodium absorbatrol, nonane dodecahedrose, pride, short sightedness, red 40, (this product was made with equipment also used for making products containing tactlessness)." I beg your pardon, dear reader.

Friday, April 17, 2009

No, it's Iowa

Sometimes I’m very concerned that there’s a general notion that having a relationship with Christ requires someone to be at least a little weird, or that it is at least a little weird in itself. I’d like to say that in my experience it isn’t weird at all, and some of the time it is sweeter than the best time you’ve ever had. Then again, maybe I’m just weird. Well, whichever is the case, I think it is wonderful, literally.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two poems

Did you know that April is peotry month? Well, it is. I like poems more than I like a lot of things, well, good poems. I found the two below on various "poem of the day" blogs or websites. The first one reminded me of both Valerie and my mom. A non-mom speaking about the sacrifices a mom makes for her family is maybe one of the most disrespectful things you could do, I imagine. It seems like it would be the opitome of casting pearls before swine, so I won't try to do it. This poem though, I'm sure written by a mother, has a voice that is able to do this while preserving the secrecy of a mom's heart for her family.
The other, about dad's, did not speak to me quite as much as the first, but I still think it is wonderful.
For those of you who don't regularly read poetry, I think that can't be entirely appreciated unless you are used to reading poetry. Give them a chance. Read them a few times. Anyway, that was a long introduction to something that needs no introduction...

Yellow Bowl
by Rachel Contreni Flynn

If light pours like water
into the kitchen where I sway
with my tired children,

if the rug beneath us
is woven with tough flowers,
and the yellow bowl on the table

rests with the sweet heft
of fruit, the sun-warmed plums,
if my body curves over the babies,

and if I am singing,
then loneliness has lost its shape,
and this quiet is only quiet.

Men at Forty
by Donald Justice

Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it moving
Beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practises tying
His father's tie there in secret

And the face of the father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Show if the year

For any who are interested, Old Crow Medicine Show is playing at the Florida Theatre on Saturday. Who is playing with them? Oh, that would be Sarah Watkins of Nickel Creek, probably the most talented female artist around (watch out Missy Elliot)! Tickets are $31.50...well worth the price. We'd be going but we'll be in Tampa. I would have embedded links to these folks, but I have to get to work. At least google them!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My other car is Val's bike.

There was a weekend during my first year or two of college that I was headed home to my mom and dad's. The drive is a little more than two hours, and on this particular trip I was about an hour from home when I got a flat tire...and had no spare. Thanks to modern telecommunication I called my dad, and he came and helped me. I apologized when he got there (I apologize for things that aren't my fault), and his response was surprising and completely refreshing. He was excited that it happened because it meant we got that time together. After he put that light on it, I was very glad, too.

What made me think of this was laying Carver down to sleep for the night. He got his two month shots today (he's almost three months) and he slept most of the day because of it. As I was laying him down I realized that he didn't think it was night time, and wanted to laugh and talk, with his eyes like he was looking up at the ceiling of Space Mountain. I had the choice to try my hardest to get him to take a pacifier and go to sleep, or appreciate the same one that I bawled undeservedly for after he was born. So, it reminded me of my dad, not being put off by his having to drive an hour and back with a spare tire, but excited for the chance to spend time with me.

The more I am a dad, or the more I interact with the rest of the world in general, the more I realize how much I seek my own convenience. The truth is, the best times are when I step beyond my temporary desire to do whatever I want to do, and get to see a whole new reality in the life outside myself. I guess this is part of the development of parenthood in me, and I'm sure Carver will be coming home on a weekend from college before I can be excited for moments like flat tires.

How often do we choose convenience over really special things? All the times we are tempted to nod and say mm hmm to our wife or husband instead of really listening, may be the times that determine whether our marriage is a garden or a parking lot. The insignificances that we ignore may be the most important things we could give our attention to! Why get married or have kids if not first for the smallest things?

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I'm on it. EStonerook. CHECKITOUT!


So here is the laundry-list of things that could be in my future...
Going to physician's assistant school,
Starting a brewery,
Getting that job in N.C. that you may have heard about,
Plan Nth, something else.

The problem with plans are the working them out. I have been trying to work out that whole Master's of Science plan for going on three years now, and by golly eventually that one's gonna be accomplished. I'll tell you that right now. Let me explain the others...
P.A. school is the in thing right now with our circle of friends, and I should say first that this was only where I got the idea, not the reason for entertaining it. I have been working with veteran's who have cancer and are in need of radiation therapy for about 5 months now and have realized that I really have a heart for people with cancer and their families. I actually had a dream that I was dying of cancer the night before they told me I was going to start working in Radiation Oncology. Secondly,thirdly, fourthly, and fifthly it is a two year program, it is affordable, there is no residency, and it pays well enough to raise a family on.

Starting a brewery...What an adventure that would be. I have fallen infatuated with the science, art, and culture that is craft beer. Steve, Jon, and I have kicked this idea around pretty seriously for over a year now. Both the benefits and bottlenecks (an unintended pun!) are longer than my list of plans.

Getting the job in N.C....What an adventure it would be to do the job that I actually have been in school to do. I would be managing research on a Sturgeon farm in the mountains. It is the only place north of Gainesville that i would ever like to live. I am beyond fascinated by aquaculture, especially that of Sturgeon, a fish that has more lore and excitement surrounding it than the KGB would ever let you in on (not that they actually exist). I visited this farm last June and it made me feel like Shoeless Joe asking Ray Kinsella if Iowa is heaven, and it was a little like that place that Andy Dufresne hides his tin box in Shawshank Redemption. Okay okay, I'm being a little over-nostalgic.

And Plan Nth? Well, we'll just see where the wind takes us I guess.

The main point, which I haven't even mentioned once, as that neither Valerie, Carver (as far as we can tell), nor I are unhappy with out means right now. i would say that our contendedness is a force to be reckoned with (that is not an invitation, Mr. Economy and your pestilent cronies). I don't think we would change a whole lot of our life if we were given the choice. I guess we'll just see what happens. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, namsayin?

P.S. I knew it was a bad idea to sit next to Devon in church this morning. I felt like I was twelve again, and on the verge of getting sent outside.