Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I got life

I feel so alive.  It's been a really long, long time since I've felt that way.  I've got good love, good friends, good vibes, damn good music, good hobbies, a few good drinks and some good goddamn times.  Yeah, I could worry about how the heck I'm gonna pay some impending bills.  I could worry about a lot of things.  But, fuck that.

I got life.

What else do I need?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

15 Albums That Shaped Me

Reprinted from a note on facebook:

The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

No particular order, other than what comes to mind first, which probably says something:

  1. Beach Boys - Endless Summer:  My folks owned this on vinyl and I spent countless hours listening to, singing to and absorbing Brian Love's  chords and harmonies.
  2. Ryan Adams - Gold:  I remember seeing the video for Answering Ball on VH1 while back.  Bought the album and it's been on loop ever since.  An amazing songwriter that both inspires me to write more lyrics and completely disheartens that effort because I know I'll never be that good and he's pretty much covered the material I'd write about.  Also gave me Sylvia Plath.
  3. Guster - Lost and Gone Forever:  My friends tried to get me into this band and album, but it didn't sit with me... Until I saw them in concert.  Hooked ever since.  Even inspired the name of my blog.
  4. Barenaked Ladies - Stunt:  While Rock Spectackle was really the first album by BNL that I got into, it was Stunt that sealed the deal.
  5. Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville:  While she sings about sex and relationships, my love affair with Liz Phair is much, much deeper.  Possibly the happiest I've ever been was following her tour for 3 days straight.
  6. Dog's Eye View - Happy Nowhere:  This was practically the soundtrack to my life around late college and a few years post college.  A few songs still are my soundtrack.
  7. De La Soul - 3 Ft High and Rising:  Kind of like Hippie Rap.  Showed you didn't need to curse to make a lyrical impact in hiphop.  Nor be  a thug.
  8. Godspell - Soundtrack:  Since childhood, I'd play the vinyl at sing along.  This (and to a lesser extend JCS) probably helped shape a lot of my thoughts on God, Jesus and religion (Before I knew it).
  9. Hair - Soundtrack:  I didn't realize it when I was young, but I do now.  I'm pretty much a hippie and this album is greatly responsible for that.  "I  Got Life" is an anthem.
  10. Ani DiFranco - Not  a Pretty Girl:  I really don't know why the person I am just loves Ani Difranco.  But, I do.  Probably has a lot to do with her being an independant female songwriter/guitar player.
  11. Jellyfish - Split Milk:  Queen meets the Beatles (specifically Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) at a circus is how I describe this album.  There's like 2 songs that I can listen to independently of the whole album.  It was meant to be heard all the way through.
  12. Blind Melon - Self Titled Album:  Yeah, you know their hit "No Rain" because of the Bee Girl.  But this album had so much to do with the laidback dude I am today.  "No Rain," while catchy, probably is one of the worst songs on the album.
  13. Prince - Purple Rain:  When you're 10 and listen to it, it's very different album from when you're 20 or so and understand what the hell the songs are about.
  14. John Denver's Greatest Hits:  Another one I'd listen to on vinyl.  But, I really didn't appreciate John Denver until he passed away.
  15. Michael Jackson - Thriller:  The last one was a tough choice between MJ, The Rollins Band, Weezer, Poison, and Journey.  But the King of Pop wins out because when I was 8 or 9 visiting my grandmother in Oklahoma, my dad had to come outside and tell me to be quiet as I was singing along with the tape way too loud.  Not embarrased by that and never will be.

Monday, August 23, 2010

All You Need is Love

This is going to sound, well, likely cliche.  But, you know there is a lot of truth behind cliches.  I want you to know this.  If you are going to love, love with all your heart, with every fiber of your soul, with every ounce of your being, you have to accept all the risks and pain, too.  Love is not an easy thing.  And I am not talking about the love between a husband and wife, really.  I just mean whatever love two people can possibly share.  A friend, a brother, a son or daughter, a God.  Love is worth the risk.

If you are going to love someone, love them with all of your being.  But while you are high on the snow-covered mountain of love that keeps your heart and body warm,  prepare yourself for the cold, foggy valley of hell that will come to put a strain on that love.  You cannot love someone, anyone, without the accepting that at some point in your relationship they will disappoint you.

But, that is exactly what love is about.  Accepting those lows, knowing they won't last forever, knowing another climax is just up the bend if you keep on loving that person.  You cannot love someone for whatever reason with accepting the pain that comes from the love of expecting something better from them.  For what is love but putting someone up on a pedestal?  At some point, they will waiver and fall off that expansive cliff.  But, realize they are only human and we all fall off our pedestals at some point.  It's human.  And that's why I love you, whoever you are.  That's why God loves you because He made you to be loved.

I have a friend who is a talented genius.  He unfriended me on Facebook over what amounts to his ego being bruised.  He has flaws.  Of course, he does. He is human.  But despite my disappointment in his reaction to events, I still love his talent and I accept the disappointment of his decision to unfriend me.

There another friend to who I absolutely love with all of my heart.  He is lost right now and is searching for direction.  But, I love him nonetheless.

My own son is the subject of so much frustration in my life.  He bit my head off today over his own frustrations.  I don't quit loving him.  I accept his anger with life and love him at all costs.

I wonder how a girl I once knew is feeling.  I know she has a very different life now and I assume she's happy.  Though, we haven't spoken to each other in many years, I still love her and what she meant in life.  I sometimes wonder if I should try to contact her, but I don't know if I can love her (aka: accept the pain that comes with it) again.

And, there's more I want to love... and maybe even do.  And I want to know if these friendships will survive and grow stronger after the first few disappointments.  It'll be interesting to see who God is intending to stick around for more than a season.

The point is if you are willing to love, you have to be willing to forgive.  You have to be willing to accept that you yourself will experience pain proportional to the amount you love a person.  If you are going to love... hard... expect to fall hard (Don't you dare think, 'That's what she said.').

And that's the lesson for today.  Love can bring you to the highest places.  It can fulfill your life and make you whole.  But you have to accept the pain that comes along with it.  If you love, you will feel pain.  And, you know, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Think of it this way...  From the song, "Seasons of Love" in Rent, the lyrics call for us to "measure your life in Love."  Well, if we measure our lives that way, the valleys are just as important as the hills.  Love is not measured just by the hills, but the distance between the summit's peak and canyon's base.

So, don't be afraid to love someone for any reason.  Yeah, you're going hit a low and wonder what the fuck.  It's going to suck so fucking much.  But, the opposite high of that is, oh, so absolutely and completely worth it.

One more thing,  Sylvia Plath taught me that.  Love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank You/RIP

The man I feared the most growing up passed away last night. And, I wish to thank him for wonderful childhood memories. Yeah, that sounds weird and it gets weirder because I'm talking about General Skandor Akbar, leader of Devastation, INC. Old-school wrestling post.

He was probably the reason my parents wouldn't let me watch pro-wrestling as a kid. Ok, it was probably more than him. But General Akbar was the man I most feared growing up. He was the evil Arab manager of such wresting legends like Kamala, Abdullah the Butcher, the Missing Link, One Man Gang... the list goes on. He and his faction literally gave me nightmares.

I remember a dream I had as a kid where Devastation, Inc. broke into my house and hunted me down. Mind you, they didn't beat me up. No, the General himself took out a tommy gun and shot me down. I laugh about that now. This was long before I knew wrestling was... well, scripted.

Devastation, Inc taunted my heroes. If memory serves, General Akbar himself blinded "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan with a fireball. This was in Mid-South Wrestling, later known as Universal Wrestling Federation. He may have even had a feud going with Sting. All I remember is if you were to top good guy in Mid-South, Akbar and his crew were after you. And, I hated this man for it. I hated the way he ordered his faction to destroy my heroes week after week. There was nothing I could do to help them. And, I'd tune in the next week, hoping and praying my favorite good guys would finally get the best of Devastation, Inc.

When I was older, I was hired to "be security" at an independent wrestling show in my hometown. I just had to make sure no fans came through the back curtain. I was in on the ruse by this time. All the wrestlers were friends backstage. I remember even seeing two guys in a heated feud outside in their rental car smoking a joint together.

Much to my surprise, General Skandor Akbar was at this event. Heck, in retrospect, he was probably booking the show. This guy is like 5'6" and by this time I towered over him. And, it's funny, but I was still very intimidated by him. I had a thought that introduce myself at this event. But, I never did. Still too scared, I guess.

This guy was so good at what he did, he had to wear bullet-proof vests to the arena. He kept his personal life private to protect his family. His tires got slashed, windshields shattered and he received many death threats. He was ambushed by mobs with sticks and stones. But, the more you hated him, the more he loved it.

Now as I learn of his passing, I wish I would have spoken to him. I would of thanked him for letting me hate him. I would of said, "General Akbar, I have hated you all my life and I just wanted to say thank you for that privilege and honor." And, you know, I have the feeling he would of laughed and taken that as one of the highest compliments a heel wrestling/manager can receive from a fan.

Thank you General Skandor Akbar. May you rest in peace.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Letter for Whoever is Supposed to Read It


I'm not sure who this letter is meant for. I might be you; it might not. But, if you bear with me, perhaps you will find it worth your while.

I had an amazing conversation with a good friend last night. We talked about God's Plan and happiness and how some times the two don't seem to meet. At least, it sure can feel that way, don't you think? You've felt that before right?

Anyway, we were talking how that maybe there's some people who experience God's love as happiness - pure joy - and that's all they ever really see. They are rewarded for following God's laws and follow the Bible's teaching. Maybe they donate to charity or volunteer at a homeless shelter or something. And, that is good. The world needs these people.

But, then maybe there's people like us; people who experience God's love through pain. That pain could be physical. It could be mental. Maybe the pain is just loneliness. But, they (we) experience the depression and lows of life and express that pain through whatever their "art" may be. I don't just mean painting and sculptures when I say "art" either. I mean creative expression. For me, that's writing and theater. Different for everyone... But, these people are important, too, for they show us that despite the pain, God loves us.

It's not that God chooses for us to live in pain or doesn't want us to be happy. Instead, he lets us experience these things, these evils, so we can recognize them for what they are and use that experience and sight for His good. The world needs these people, too.

I guess what I am driving at is if you made it here, there's probably a reason beyond knowing me in real life. Something brought you here. I don't know what that reason is and maybe you don't either.

If there's a point for you to take away from this letter, it is this: I know you are in pain. I know that you are feeling lonely. I know that you maybe aren't feeling loved. I have seen this myself and have experienced, too.

But, believe me, you are not alone and you are loved. You will never be alone and you will never go unloved. Jesus does indeed love you and will help you carry your load.

Just reach out and ask. And if you need help, my email is just sitting out there on the right. Or leave a comment.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dream Job

So, I saw this job is sitting out there... Creative Director, On-Air Promotions @ WWE.

And this one... Creative Writer @ WWE

Can you say "dream jobs?" I knew you could.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Ok, so I guess I'm trying to decide if I want to get better at writing poetry/lyrics or if this is really just for myself.  I've looked up some online poetry workshop websites...  I am Intimated, to say the least.  There's one that has a forum meant for n00bs.  Oh my goodness, the critiques are harsh.  Harsh.  Not sure if I want to dip my toe in there or not.

Granted, the website is prefaced with very adequate warnings about what to expect.  The FAQ talks about how it is a forum to be critiqued in order that the writer can learn and get better.  That's what I want.

I guess the think that scares me a FAQ called "Five Beginner's Blunders."  Specificially, the number 2 blunder:
"... ignoring the audience. Everybody writes for their own satisfaction, and beginning authors may have received praise from family or friends for their work. At pffa, you are putting poems on display for strangers. They only know you through the words you put on the page. They don't know that you're only fourteen years old, or that you just broke up with your lover, or that your child just died unless the words in your poem convey this information."
Wait.  Writing isn't for me?  It's for someone else?

Honestly, that's kinda scary.  But, wait... What am I doing here?  Is this blog for me?  Or is it for you?  After lurking there for a while, I'm not quite sure right now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Old Posts

Since I've picked this blogging thing back up, I've gone through the archives, re-reading old thoughts and writings just to relive some memories and, well, see where I've come from to get an idea of where I'm going...

Here's some of my favorite posts:
(Does it make me sound narcissistic that I'm posting a list of my favorite writings, with additional commentary?  Gee, I must really love me...)

Faithfully- A glimpse into my love of Journey born out of my childhood.  I really like the story-telling in this one.

Visibly Invisible - This was a song I wrote 8 years ago according to the timestamp. It's about I person I once knew. The events never happened, but the person exists. No, I don't hate her. She's one of those people (when I knew her anyway) who should of been more than they were - if that makes any sense. A great person really, who just brings everyone down.

Jesus on the Radio - Actually, it's about Judas. This was written long before I came to walk with Christ. Looking back through my blog now, I see little signs of His calling me, but me not listening yet. Still, Judas is just a very interesting character to me.

A Rebirth
- This was me acknowledging God was calling me to walk with Him and the start of a shift in the blog theme at times.

I Shall Call the Pebble, "Dare..." - This is without a doubt the most read post on my blog. Probably about once a day, someone googles the lyrics, and this post comes up. Certainly got the most comments.

Searching for God Knows What - An interesting (to me, at least) essay on my problem with Catholicism growing up.

God Works In Many, Sometimes Funny, Ways - Just a funny story about how I really hate beans. I like the writing.

God Moment - One of my favorite memories. I hope this story isn't one of those, "You had to be there" stories.

Butterfly - Another God moment. This story comes from my mission trip to Gulfport after Hurricane Katrina. It reminds me to slow down and look for God.

Ok. That's enough.  Reading through this was more difficult than I thought it would be.  You know how you don't like to hear your recorded voice played back?  How hearing the sound of your own voice is one of the most uncomfortable things you can hear, possibly more so than nails on the chalkboard?  Yeah, that's the equivalent of what reading through some of this was for me.  Reliving old wounds, seeing some of the same mistakes... Have I really changed?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


From "The Journals of Sylvia Plath:"

Be stoic when necessary and write - you have seen a lot, felt deeply, and your problems are universal enough to be made meaningful - WRITE.

As I read though Ms. Plath's journals, I'm nearly shocked at how similar our thinking is. She writes with such passion in her journals. I can't help but feel exactly the same way, not just as she states in the above quote, but strangely throughout the diary entries I've read so far.

But what confuses me somewhat is her use of the word "stoic." As defined, "stoic," means "of or pertaining to the school of philosophy founded by Zeno, who taught that people should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity." (On a side note, how different is stoicism from... Not Living?)

How can she write so passionately about love, grief, relationships, etc. yet be stoic about it? How can she be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and still write "To A Jilted Lover," or "Mad Girl's Love Song?"

How can I write stoicly?  Isn't the point, to put all my passion and heart into writing?

Perhaps what she means here is be stoic in life, but not on the written page.  Put all the emotion on to paper.

I'm quite happy that I'm rediscovering my voice.  Not just here, but I've started putting words - emotions - down on paper again.  Poems or potential lyrics.  They aren't great; certainly not good enough to share here yet.  But, I'm rediscovering that fire and I like it.  In fact, now I'm a bit sad that I gave my guitar away and haven't played a note of music in... well, a long time.

When did I change?  Did I somewhere lose the burning from the fire in my heart?  When was that?  When did I become stoic?

I never asked to be great.  Or famous.  Or recognized.  But I never wanted to be normal. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This is a list

As much for me to remember as it is a tease for future writings...

Top 10 Blog Ideas I Need To Write About:

10.  The Last Angel I Met
9.  The Asshole Within 
8.  Fat and Hairy (That's What She Said)
7.  Thank Yous
6.  Really, I Don't Remember That
5.  Have I Changed or Did I Lose Myself?
4.  Standing Up:  The Bully Story
3.  For the Love of Liz Phair
2.  How I Wish I Had Sylvia Plath
1.  Why I'll Probably Never Get Around Explaining The Above

Monday, August 09, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Wikipedia defines Guilty Pleasures as: “something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. Often, the ‘guilt’ involved is simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes, rather than actual moral guilt.”

A List of Guilty Pleasures, in no particular order, or Things that Make Me Happy for No Good Reason:

1.  Ke$ha
2.  Ok, I admit it.  Degrassi
3.  The occasionally girlie drink with pineapple juice.
4.  OchoCinco
5.  High School Musical, but not 2 or 3, or the stage versions, and specifically Ryan & Sharpay’s version of “What I’ve Been Looking For.”
6.  Cowboy-esque Shirts that fit.
7.  The following musical soundtracks:  Cats, A Year With Frog and Toad
8.  “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson
9.  These words when combined together:  passionate, emotion, violent
10.  Early morning kitty love
11.  Manning Face
12. The bench facing west where the paths fork in Flowing Well Park... Specifically, the view of the sunset from the bench.
13. Deep songs disguised as pop fluff... For Example

Note, Pro-Wrestling is not a guilty pleasure as I have no "guilt" over others discovering my lowbrow taste in fake fighting.  However, a John Cena feud/storyline would be a guilty pleasure.

Let's converse. Tell me some of your guilty pleasures in the comments.  Or email me

Sunday, August 08, 2010


God, what do you want from me? The last time I was like this, you turned me toward you. Is that what you are doing? What if I don't want to turn right now? Why even make me feel at all? Can you teach me without making it sting? Is this really the temptation, the test, to see if I'm learning, to see if I'll break? Obviously, I am if I am filled with such doubts I know where I stand and what to do; I'm just maybe a little resistant to accept the honor. Can't you bring the moment here, now, so I can show my resolve, my strength and be done? Test me so I can either pass or fail, but take these doubts away. I can take failing because then I'd know what I need to do, what to work on. This constant back and forth is the drain.

Is it possible to love You and follow You, yet fully be the artist I need to be? I need to create. I need to express. I need to write. I need passion. The good, the bad and the ugly. This is my "Starry Night." My "Scream." Bohemian Christian... Is that an obtainable and sustainable lifestyle? Does it scream of love for You, of life, of people, of emotion, temptation, depression, sin, a journey with You?

If this is truly the story of my relationship with You, I think it is great we fight like a married couple and I always can express my frustrations. And You listen. I know you listen. You know where those pains are coming from because You know what is in my heart. Thank You for loving me and being a God who is passionate about our relationship.

As I reflect, I still have my doubts and consider deleting this. Perhaps, I'll feel different in the morning.

No, you know what, if this is testimony and therapy and the pouring of it all out there, I cannot be afraid of letting my love for You be hidden by my own censorship. You give me strength. You give me love. You give me wisdom. I cannot live afraid.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


A long, long time ago, I used to write more. Poems - generally, badly written ones - were my thing. I think I'd like to maybe get back to that again. In the meantime, here's some haikus:

These haikus of mine,
Like rivers, they ebb and flow
Written over time.

The thing that is best
And the heart's true desire
Are never the same.

As the last leaf falls,
The sun pays attention and
The giving tree grows.

I could write more poems
Of grander size, theme and scope.
But who has the time?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Worst. Dad. Ever.

I just want to understand why or how I became the Worst. Dad. Ever.

Is it wrong to be honest with your child? Is it wrong to warn them how unfair and cruel the world is? Is it blasphemy to try to teach them respect and discipline? Can a father not point out where mistakes were made, how to better handle a situation the next time, and maybe most importantly, understand that actions have consequences?

Isn't that my job as a parent? To say, hey, I understand that you are a free spirit and I get that and I love you and your individuality. But, the world thinks that tattooed 17-year-old's without a GED or diploma can only flip burgers or be fry cooks. Yes, it's unfair, but that's reality. And that means you have to work 10 times as hard as everyone else to achieve your dreams and goals. Your goals are achievable, but you have to do to work to reach them. I just want to make sure you understand that. I don't have a problem with certain choices you have made.

Yet, this is not love? This is not caring?

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my son. Not my step-son. MY son. I am just frustrated with how my love comes across. I am frustrated that I struggle with the balance between giving him space to learn and grow and keeping him leashed to reality. Somehow, that unbalance is perceived as... un-love... (Hate is the opposite of love, and certainly the wrong word).

And, if you do read this one day, please understand I am not criticizing you. In fact, this is a lot more about what I perceive as my own failures, frustrations and insecurities. I want to know one day before I die that I didn't screw up my one and only opportunity to be a father. You may not understand it now, but I hope you one day see that my frustration is proof that I do love, care and respect you. If I didn't, I wouldn't have such a passionate response.

My only fault is caring and loving too damn much. I'm sure his grandfather would, with a twinkle of wisdom in his eye, say, "Like Father. Like Son."

Since we are made in God's image, we feel the same passionate emotions. I bet He feels the same frustration with His and my relationship as I do with ours.

"Hardest Part of Love" lyrics from Children of Eden:
Oh this son of mine I love so well
And all the toil it takes
I'd give to him a garden and keep clear of snakes
But the one thing he most treasures is to make his own mistakes
He goes charging on the cliffs of life
A reckless mountaineer
I could help him not to stumble
I could warn him what to fear
I could shout until I'm breathless
And he'd still refuse to hear

But you cannot close the acorn
Once the oak begins to grow
And you cannot close your heart
To what it fears and needs to know
That the hardest part of love
Is the letting go

As a child I found a sparrow
Who had fallen form the nest
And I nursed him back to health till he was stronger than the rest
But when I tried to hold it
It would peck and scratch my chest
Till I let it go
And I watched it fly away from me
With it's brightened self resolve
And part of me was cursing I had helped it grow so strong
And I feared it might go hungry and I feared it might go wrong

But I could not close the acorn
Once the oak began to grow
And I cannot close my heart
To what it fears and needs to know
That the hardest part of love
Is the letting go

And it's only in Eden grows a rose without a thorn
And your children start to leave you
On the day that they were born
They will leave you there to cheer for them
They will leave you there to mourn ever so
Like an ark on uncharted seas their lives will be tossed
And the deeper is your love for them
The crueler is the cost
And just when they start to find themselves
Is when you fear they're lost

But you cannot close the acorn
Once the oak begins to grow
And you cannot close your heart
To what it fears and needs to know
That the hardest part of love
And the rarest part of love
And the truest is part of love
Is the letting go

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Question for God and Prayer

Despite my knowing You never give me more than You know I can handle, I swear it doesn't feel like it sometimes. You sometimes ask too much of me and my fragile, frail shoulders. And I wish You'd stop that.

I've been the "good guy" all my life and sometimes I think all the respect garnered for doing the right thing isn't nearly as good as the happiness that I think I deserve more.

Please stop making me choose respect over happiness. Can't I have both? Can't Your plan for me include my own happiness?

Make me stronger. Thank you.

PS: Even your son had his doubts.
PPS: I want my Sylvia fucking Plath.