It is a quarter to Midnight here on the left coast, and everyone in the house is asleep, but me. I didn't get to the gym tonight, as work schedules got screwed up. However, I did a little quick math. To lose 100 lbs in the next year, I only need to average about 2 lbs a week. When it is put in that perspective, I really ought to be losing more, but one goal at time as far as that goes. So, tomorrow, I start at 385 lbs and start working backward. I'm thinking a 4 day a week gym schedule to start, and at least for the near future, I'll continue to do a combination cardio and weight workout until I plateau, then I'll add additional days and alternate.
Tomorrow, it is a an afternoon date with Mrs. BiW and we'll go to the movies and lunch, then come home to let the boys do their worst, then off to the gym, since it is likely the only day this week that I will get to go because of work schedules.
That means I might actually make some headway on the novel if I work on it in the evenings this week. Maybe after I get the Christmas Tree down. Putting all the ornaments back in the little boxes takes about twice as long as getting them out and hanging them.
Happy New Year to my fellow lurkers in the blogosphere. You know who you are.
Monday, December 31, 2007
It is a quarter to Midnight here on the left coast, and everyone in the house is asleep, but me. I didn't get to the gym tonight, as work schedules got screwed up. However, I did a little quick math. To lose 100 lbs in the next year, I only need to average about 2 lbs a week. When it is put in that perspective, I really ought to be losing more, but one goal at time as far as that goes. So, tomorrow, I start at 385 lbs and start working backward. I'm thinking a 4 day a week gym schedule to start, and at least for the near future, I'll continue to do a combination cardio and weight workout until I plateau, then I'll add additional days and alternate.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I got two different colognes for Christmas from Mrs. BiW. I finally went to the mall today and tried them both on so she could decide which one was better on me. Although it isn't something that she would normally pick for me, or that I would pick for myself, the Dunhill Desire Blue was the winner, which means the CK Euphoria goes back.
Yeah, like you care, but guess what? Its MY blog!!!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I just spent the better part of the day picking up the garage with Mrs. BiW and My Father-in-Law came over to help put some shelves together. I am dirty, sore, my eyes hurt, and I feel like I inhaled a pound of dust. And my grill is out of gas, which sucks because I have some Omaha Steaks in the freezer. I want left overs like I want a hole in the head, but that's the way we roll sometimes.
The good news is my shirt is way too baggy on me and I am wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to wear in a long time.
The bad news is that the coffee is out of my system and I still have a lot to accomplish today.
Friday, December 28, 2007
No doubt everyone will start posting their thoughts and wishes for the new year. I've had some time to think about it, so here goes:
1. Live Boldly. Love extravagantly. Excelsior. Try things I always wanted to do. Self-check for the right reasons. Take possession of what has been promised.
2. Date more. I was blessed enough to marry the only woman I ever loved. Its long past time to do things with her and her alone that let her feel how cherished and adored she is.
3. Lose 100 lbs. Yeah, this is going to be tough. Requires mucho gym time, being very careful about what I eat, and more physical activity. But if I start getting a lot more into shape, I'll feel better, get flirted with even more at the grocery store, make my doc happy, and be around a lot longer for my family. Oh for the days when I had the time to run 12 miles a day, or cycle 100 miles a day.
4. Get serious about my novel. This is going to be a hard one also. It will mean setting weekly goals for how much to write, but thanks to the opinions of a few close friends regarding the chapter that has to be the best thing I've written in over a decade, I believe that I can actually write something that someone will want to read. Thank you to you all. You know who you are.
5. Continue working on relationships. At the end of the day, this is the stuff that matters. Things like your relationship with your spouse are the only things in your life that you ever get to have complete control over, and its time to stop settling and start building. The clients will never come and stand over my grave, thanking me for all that time I spent working on their stuff. I'd rather have the people I love tell stories about the ways I touched their lives and left memories that will always leave smiles on their faces. That means filling the shoes I have only ever looked at, and remembering the one man in my life who I felt set a good example for this: my Grandpa.
6. Make my job more satisfying or change it. There is a lot a like about my job. There is a lot more that I don't. This year, I take it and make it mine, or I move on to somewhere else. I hear Pierce County is hiring a new District Court Commissioner. Maybe I should take the path my law school comrades thought I would take and don the black robe?
7. Read a different translation of the Bible in a year.
What are you gonna do?
"There's a love much stronger than everything that holds you down. And right now it says "Whoo Hoo you know its gonna be alright.""
"Count it pure joy when the world comes crashing, hold your head high and keep on dancing."
How do these guys keep reaching in to my head? Really. I'd like to know.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Pros: I can get caught up on the niggling little things on my desk that have been languishing because of higher priority pojects.
Cons: I have to spend time on those niggling little projects on my desk that are a hassle or unsexy, or out-and-out boring.
The good news? I really like one of the new albums I got for Christmas. MercyMe's "All That's Within Me." Goodbye Ordinary and Alright sound terrific blasted through my car speakers...I didn't hear the cell phone when Mrs. BiW called when I was on my way home last night.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
So Santa Came...
And left a bunch of Bionicles and Legos...
...and Thomas toys...
...and fun (How many BiW's does it take to put together a Thomas Playset?)
We set a mean table around here when we want to...
Turkey, stuffing, corn, salad, rolls, mashed potatoes, pickles, olives, rice, Sparkling cider...oh my.
Mrs. BiW and I had fun making dinner, everyone was stuffed, and all got good stuff.
Mrs. BiW got a nice leather blazer, a new handbag, some movies, some movie tickets, and a big gift card to here.
I got some new shirts and ties, so I can continue to look stylish in the office, some movie tickets (for some more dates with Mrs. BiW) and a gift certificate for here. The last is especially cool since I have wanted to try it since I was a kid and spent hours watching people do it here. Yeah. I'm gonna go make glass. Simply greatness. I hope y'all had a good Christmas.
Monday, December 24, 2007
The sun is making an appearance through the grey clouds outside.
The coffee maker came out of its exile under the sink so I could make a pot of Millstone Holiday Peppermint.
The honeycrisp apple is sliced up and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Heir No. One is playing with Bionicles on the island in the kitchen, and babbling ad nauseum about them in terms only he understands.
Heir No. Two has his Thomas coloring book and is trying despirately to announciate the name of the characters he wants so much to tell me about.
Maybe I'll get over to the gym for a quick workout later, before we head over to Papa and Nana's house for the festivities there this evening. There is a lot of wrapping to do tonight. I love this time of year.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
JERUSALEM - Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of grain of sugar.
The nanotechnology experts at the Technion institute in Haifa say the text measures less than 0.01 square inch surface. They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored in minimum amounts of space.
Do it with the Library of Congress, and then I'll be impressed.
"It took us about an hour to etch the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicon surface," Ohad Zohar, the university's scientific adviser for educational programs, told the Associated Press.
Which would make them the world's fastest typists. Maybe they missed their calling.
The Technion's microscopic bible was created by blasting tiny particles called gallium ions at an object that then rebounded, causing an etching affect.
You think that's impressive? You should see who they wrote it for.
"When a particle beam is directed toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off and expose the silicon layer underneath just like a hammer and chisel," Zohar said.
Only smaller. A lot smaller.
Zohar said the technology will in the future be used as a way to store vast amounts of data on bio-molecules and DNA.
Am I the only one who is a bit alarmed by this? I don't want people writing on my DNA, thanks.
The tiny Bible appears to be the world's smallest.
The Lilliputians dispute this claim, but without an electron microscope, who can be certain?
The previous smallest known copy of the Bible measured 1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches, weighing 0.4 ounces and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza. The tiny text, obtained by an Indian professor in November 2001, is believed to have originated in Australia.
I understand the utility of a small Bible, but isn't this kinda silly?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
1) Link to the person that tagged you (SoHos and Folly) and post the rules on your blog.
(These are the rules).
2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Wrapping or gift bags? Depends on gift and who it is going to. The evil bastage in me likes making the boys and Mrs. BiW have unwrap stuff.
2. Real or artificial tree? Artifical. One, its easier, and two, pine pollen drives my eyes crazy even though I love the smell.
3. When do you put up the tree? Typically, the weekend after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? First week in January.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but I don't indulge anymore.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A CD player for my stereo set.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not right now.
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Poop Brown slacks and matching sweater.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I have been both busy and distracted this year, so no one got one.
10. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story. One of the few things I had in common with my Dad was a love for Jean Sheppard stories.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The third week of December.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sour Cream Soup (When Mrs. BiW makes it.)
13. Clear lights or colored? Clear.
14. Favorite Christmas song? Mary's Boy Child...The Harry Connick, Jr. version with the funky syncopation.
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Stay at home.
16. Can you name all of Santas reindeer? No.
17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? Angel.
18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Morning.
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crass Commericalism.
20. What do you leave for Santa? Usually a cookie.
21. Least favorite holiday song? The Chipmunk Christmas song.
22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? No. We have storage boxes loaded with Hallmark ornaments of all types.
23. Favorite ornament? My Hallmark Angel. Don't ask me why, but this has been "My" ornament since I was a kid, and it isn't a Christmas Tree for me until it is on the tree.
The options are decreasing, so...Alex, SoCal, "Vern" at the Suicide Help Desk, and the Barista (Hey, it would be a great Christmas present for all of us.)
Posted by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur at 10:57 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
My favorite three movie scenes:
1. This scene from Grosse Pointe Blank...it explains it all, and I marvel today at how much I identify with Martin's explanation.
2. Henry's address to the troops at Agincourt before battle on the feast of St. Crispian...if this doesn't inspire you, then you are dead.
3. Down Periscope. Yes, I know it is lowbrow, but I LOVE this movie, and I watch it every time I find it on. It never fails to make me laugh.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Finally. A news story that doesn't make me angry.
The background noise in my brain has been preoccupied with thoughts of this nature lately. Yeah, I have a dark side. One that I have kept at bay most of my life, and has only gotten indulged by some of the gamesmanship of my profession and vicarious visuals in films and television. I don't know if I have lightened up in my old age, or if I have simply distilled it into areas most near and dear to me. By this I mean that I truly am an easygoing guy, maybe quicker to laugh than I have been in the past, and even more frightening, prone to smile for no reason at all of late. And that's all fine. You may never see my other face...unless you do something to threaten those whom I love, namely, my beloved and long-suffering wife, or either of my boys. If you present a real threat to any of them, you better pray for a miracle, because only God will be able to save you. If you actually hurt them, well, the term "treble damages" may take on a whole new meaning.
I'm starting to think that it is a very good thing I never gave free reign to my base impulses, but I'm also of a mind that it is good to have them, in case they are ever needed. Someone near and dear to me recently asked what I might be doing if I was not a husband or a father, and I could have done whatever I wanted. While slightly offended at the implication that I didn't want to be a husband and father, I set to work thinking about it, since I didn't have a ready answer. After months of considering the question, I realized that the answer was startling, and an opportunity to be thankful for the healing power of a loving wife and children in my life. The answer? "I would likely be doing very distasteful and awful things for our government, and enjoying my work." Like the nameless assassin in "Serenity" kind of work.
Thank you Iffintchka, for your love, the introduction you made on that night so many years ago, and for bearing two wonderful sons to us. Without the three of you, I'm quite sure that my soul would be blood soaked beyond redemption by this time. I thought about this last night while watching "The Shadow", in the scene when Margo asked to look into Lamont's eyes after she figured out he was The Shadow, and he replied "You can look, but you won't like what you see." I'm glad I have never had to say that. I have, on occasion, had to quote St. Garibaldi's famous line "I can dream real dark." It is why I prefer the dreamless sleep I have most nights.
Monday, December 17, 2007
This is one of my hot-button issues. There has been another outbreak in Pakistan.
Am I the only one who is worried that this is being investigated by an arm of the UN...yes, the blue-helmeted kleptocrats who can only seem to perofrm two functions adequately: Denounce Israel and the US?
It is probably only a matter of time...and then things will really suck for a while.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
1. Christmas shopping. I understand the almighty buck makes the economy go, which means we can all work, and get the almighty buck, but really. Is it necessary to make those of us with busy, complicated lives feel guilty because we aren't out spending like mad?
2. People who can't drive in rain. C'mon people. You live in western Washington. If you can't drive in rain, move to southern California. I'd rather have fewer cars on the road anyway.
3. Parents who let their kids go to school when they are sick. Heir No. Two sounds like a zombie from Dawn of the Dead because one of his classmates came to school with this week's version of death crud. Enough already. The adults in this house work hard all week, and spending the weekend nursing a sick three year old is not always appreciated.
4. Weekends when the the programmers can't seem to put good movies on. Is it so hard to get a good movie and show it on Friday or Saturday night?
5. Lame bitch lists like this one. I mean, if you're gonna waste the bandwidth, shouldn't you really get something worthwhile to complain about? I think so, too.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Don't ask me why, the process hurt a whole hell of a lot more than last time. When they put the needle in under my eye to give me the general, I found myself unable to sink any lower in the bed than I already had. That's how much it hurt. Then, right out of the gate, I could feel what the Doc was doing. It would be polite to say he was alarmed. They hit me with more sedative and started washing a topical over my eye. I had a killer headache for the rest of the day, and I was a pretty disobedient patient for Mrs. BiW after she got home and I woke up.
Thank you for you assistance and putting up with my heavily drugged self, hon. I realize that it couldn't have been much fun. Thank you for making dinner, also.
Now its the day after stuff...I feel like I was socked in the eye, which is still so dialated that it looks like it is all pupil, light hurts, it doesn't adjust like the other one, etc. The good news is that it should be feeling right as rain in about a week. I wish I could say the same about everything else that hurts in my life right now.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
...You're driving your favorite streatch of road, you have a good song on the radio, and the person in front of you is such a freakin' killjoy, driving less than the speed limit.
I was coming down from the Graham Plateau on the OK Highway this morning on my way into the Orting Valley...a nice twisty piece of two-lane blacktop that I like to drive down fast...had this blasting out of the speakers
and a little white Mercury Tracer crawling along in front of me. Killjoy.
I get my other cataract removed today. Soon better than 20/20 in both eyes, and only glasses to read. Yea me!
Sorry, nothing more right now.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
OK, my turn, even if I did get them out of order.
Favorite Objects...My Dell DJ, Leatherman Micra, Pewter Coin, Parker Insignia...
...and my wedding ring.
One of the many nicknames I've had.
My age on my next birthday...
A place I'd like to go...Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.
One of my favorite places...Yonge Street in Toronto.
Where I was born...albeit well before the year I was born. Lovely Mt. Pleasant, Michigan...Home to the Central Michigan University and the Soaring Eagle Casino.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Mrs. BiW and I bought this early in our marriage at Crowley's. We got a discount on it, and I still recall it being somewhat exhorbtant for our budget at the time. It is a wonder it didn't break on the trip out from Michigan.
Mrs. BiW is quite fond of this tree skirt, although it is a little small for the tree.
These are only a fraction of the decorations. There are two and half more tubs in the garage with more. Mrs. BiW and I had a nice evening putting more on without little hands this evening. It almost feels like Christmas...except I haven't done any shopping, which means risking letting two little boys down.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
The Tree is completely fluffed. I let Heir No. One put on a small box of his ornaments last night. The plan is to do the rest today after lunch. Yes, I will post pictures...with all those Hallmark Ornament$ on it, how could I not? Y'all have a good one.
Posted by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur at 8:38 AM
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Heir No. One always has a writing assignment as part of his weekly homework. He can choose from one of three topics, then he must write about it for at least 10 minutes.
One of the topics is always whatever you want. I steer him away from this. I can only read so much about Legos. The other two topics this week were "If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be?" the other was "Who is the most important person in your life?"
I read the two topics to him. He said "A lion! But I wanna write about the other."
"OK." I replied. And I set the timer, thinking I would soon be perusing an essay about Papa or Mom. I scanned a few blogs, and before I knew it, the timer went off. I looked over my laptop, to where he was still busy writing on the paper on the other side of the table. This was unusual, since he normally couldn't set his pencil down soon enough when the beeping starts. I watched as I got up and turned the timer off. He finished, and when I came back, he handed it to me with a big smile on his face, gave me a hug, and went off to get ready for a bath.
This is what it said:
the very important person is my dad. he teaches me new things. love you dad. do you want to play with me sometime. I hope you will. love E****. bye bye. love E**** W.
I wish I knew what I did to deserve such unconditional love and admiration, but I am certainly glad that he gives it to me. I hope I never let him down.
...my life motto from "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" to "Every Day Is An Adventure."
And Yes. It is. It has been liberating to consider the fact that I am not really in control, and that there is nothing I can do about it. That means I can spend my entire life getting cranked up about things beyond my control, or I can take everything as it comes, plan as well as I can, and be willing to be flexible when I hit a riptide that drags me far out to sea and away from my planned destination.
The last riptide has put me in a place where I can't see the shore, and the sea and the sky don't look quite right. I don't know which direction I'll be heading next, but at least I can thank God that I know how to swim, and that I am not too tired to do so yet. Oh look! A really big wave...
A man bilks people out of $800,000.00 convincing them that his wife is a government agent who can diagnose their illnesses with satelite imaging? Yeah, I can play this game too. "Thanks for the cash. Hold on a sec. Yup, you're an idiot." Amazing.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I was talking to a CPA I sometimes work with today, and she was trying to recruit me for her Rotary Club Branch. She kept hammering me and telling me that they have four attorneys, including her husband, but none of them do business law. "Come on," she said "it'll be a great way to build your book of business, and besides, you know you'll have fun going to these meetings with me. I usually sit in the back and make snarky comments while the speaker is talking...that and generally causing trouble."
"What??? You?? Causing trouble??? Gee, now my image of you is totally blown, M. Does Bob [her husband] sit with you?"
"No. I'm generally too rowdy for him. Ha ha ha ha!"
"I dunno, sounds like trouble to me."
"More than you know. I've been even more dysfunctional than normal lately."
[laughing hard] "More dysfunctional than normal lately! I'm gonna steal that for my blog!"
Two events in the last two days have driven home to me the emotional power that your kids end up having that they do not even understand.
Yesterday morning, while waiting for my mother-in-law to pick up the boys, I noticed that Heir No. One seemed a little down. I asked "What's wrong, E? You seem a little upset."
"OK. You just are a little happier in the morning, so I thought maybe something was bothering you."
A long pause, then "Dad?"
"I miss Grandpa." "Grandpa" is my Dad, who died two and half years ago, and Heir No. One didn't know him that well. The last time he saw my Dad was when Dad was in the hospital, and it wasn't a long or meaningful visit.
"Why is that, sir?"
"Well, because he was your Dad."
"Was he a nice Dad?"
"Not always, but Dad's can't always be nice."
"Did he believe in Jesus?"
"Well, that's a complicated question. He knew about him, but your Grandpa and I never discussed much what he believed."
*sounding very disappointed* "That means he didn't go to Heaven."
Thanks kid, for kicking one of my own personal sore spots. I think I was the only one understanding the full impact of having his memorial service in a church, and how it was the first time in decades that he crossed the threshold for any type of service there.
Heir No. One was visibly upset, and I knew I had to turn this now if we were going to salvage his day.
"I told you that Grandpa never discussed it with me. That means you and I don't know what he believed. I'm quite sure that my Grandpa and my Aunt discussed it with him before he died. I don't want you to worry about it." No point in letting him carry baggage I don't even want.
Then this morning, I took Heir No. Two to his follow-up hearing test and appointment. Before the tubes were put in his ears a year ago, I held him as the audiologist ran through the test to establish what he was and was not hearing. I was absolutely crushed when it was evident that several tones that I could hear plain as day, he wasn't hearing at all. After the tubes were installed, he clearly was hearing better, and has continued to talk more and more, and we can even recognize some of what he has to say. This morning, even though he was REALLY grumpy and clearly did not want to be there, it was equally clear that he hear those tones today. I cannot put into words the feeling of relief I felt when I saw this. Truly. I love these guys, and the emotions they bring on sometimes only make my life richer than I could have ever anticpated.
The bonus this morning? The doc is an Ohio State grad. It took both of us to hold Heir No. Two down so he could look in his ears. He laughed, and said "How many full-grown men does it take to hold a three year old down?" I laughed and said "It's OK. I know the University of Michigan is going to have an outstanding outside linebacker in about 17 years...(looking down at Heir No. Two) unless you go to that green and white school which shall remain nameless. In that case, you're disowned."
[And I said it with love, in case anyone took me took seriously.]
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
...we are toast. This deserves some intolerance.
I know Folly will love this.
One of my favorite speeches from Babylon 5...My Favoritist Telebision Show Ever....
President Marie Crain on the eve of the Battle of the Line...And the Twilight of Humanity...
...who keeps hammering on the gutter spike in my left eye socket to knock it off already? I have work to do, and lots of hours before I sleep...and lots of hours before I sleep.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Once he got home, and the normal routine was filtered through, he lay down in bed, and started reading. And reading. Thoughts seemed to fly from every corner of his mind, and he started to go to those places in his soul marked by signs that said "Proceed at your own risk" or "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" or "Here there be monsters". He made it halfway through before fatigue simply cried out too loud to be ignored, and he had to shut out the light. The empty place on the other side of the bed did not go unnoticed, and he quickly drifted off to sleep with a dull ache throbbing in his heart, and tears seeping out through the corners of his now shut eyes.
The next evening, after the kids had been put to bed, and the icy silence between he and his wife resumed, he returned to the bedroom and opened the book again, reading it to completion. Closing the book, he mulled over the thoughts the text had left him with, and he prayed quietly, asking if the epiphany was real, and if it really all came down to something so simple, knowing as he did so that it was. He fell asleep alone, considering the revelation, and wondering what he might do about it.
The next morning, after dropping the children off, he began the winding drive to work that was his route every Thursday and Friday morning. Even though it was longer than the highway, it had the virtue of less traffic, and the ability to keep moving, rather than sitting for long periods and inhaling the exhaust of the cars in front of him. It didn't disappoint today. As he came down from the foothills, the winding road took him through the trees, where clouds hung low and uneven, like cotton dragged across Velcro. As he left behind the second valley town that he travelled through on his way to work, he found himself smiling for no reason at all. He couldn't remember the last time he had done so, or even if he had ever done so before. He considered this riddle for a few minutes, then he started to speak. "I get it, God. I need to put it down. The fear I have had for so long. The fear that applied to everything. That it isn't enough. That I'm not good enough. That I'll have the relationship with my kids that my Dad had with me."
He could swear that he heard a reassuring voice, with calm quiet tones resonate in his head. "I'm glad you finally get it, Son. Put it down. Walk away. Do not look back. It isn't for you. I have called you to other things. But you also have to take away all the barriers you hide behind."
This came as a slap in the face to him. The barriers were there for so many things. Their efficacy had been dubious of late, as emotions continued to spill over and around them, even as he still sometimes tried to hide from them. The sarcasm, which was an automatic defense for so many years had lost its edge, and it seemed a chore these days to wield it. Still, it was like being asked to give up a limb. The bargaining began. "OK. How about this one?"
"No. Put them all down."
"OK, not that one, but you really don't mean this one? Or this one?"
Sigh. "I want you to put all of them down. Every last one. You need to live without them for awhile. Someday, I might let you have a few back, once you learn a few lessons that are going to take some time. What you will get back in turn will be as liberating as it is instructive. It won't be easy, but it wasn't easy for you to get here, either. Remember that in the days that will come."
"OK. I get it. Thank you for letting me see this."
"Thank you for listening. By the way, this doesn't come without a price. You know what you are doing Sunday now, right?"
Feeling like a chastised child, but still smiling, he said "Yes." as he came around the blind corner by the old power plant.
So many things had happened since then. The strained trip to California, where he wanted to have fun and really connect with her again, but there seemed to be a wall between them that he could not breach, no matter how hard he tried. Alone, on the flight back, he wondered if that was the face he had presented to her for so long while he battled his own demons.
Then came the chest pains, that seemed so real, but were simply anxiety. The diagnosis of his eyes. The growing distance and the increasing absences. The nights alone in the house after the kids went to bed. The bizarre encounters two weekends in a row that left him feeling bewildered and valueless. The announcement, and the open contempt and hostility that came with it. The continuing emotional blows, that brought the disappointing discovery that yes, he really could hurt more, even when he didn't believe it was possible. And through it all, the faith that God would carry him through when he didn't think he could walk any further. Then came the pain.
As he lay in bed alone one evening watching TV, he wondered why he felt the very real physical pain he felt. He mentally reviewed the last few days. There was no reason why he should feel this way. He considered it for a few minutes, and realized that he had been feeling this way for a few days. Alerted, he turned on his laptop, and after a few keystrokes, his eyes poured over a list of symptoms on the screen that sounded alarmingly familiar. He performed a physical exam and realized that they matched his own very closely. Regret hit him like a ton of bricks. He did not want to leave the relationship like this. He had come too far, learned too much, and was still too in love to let it end in failure. He couldn't accept the concept. Then the thought of his children filled his mind. Now that he was certain he had something worthwhile with them, and had forged a relationship that they would cherish far more than the one his father had built with him. The thought of their last memories of him being of him wasting away in a hospital was too much to bear. He fell to his knees, sobbing silently as he leaned against the bed, and eventually fell asleep there on the floor. The next morning brought the confrontation with her about it, and the departure before she could see the tears welling up in his eyes as he headed out the door on his way to the Doctor's office. He had already shed too many before her in the previous weeks. He selfishly harbored the belief that these were his, and his alone. The confrontation itself was borne of the simmering stew of emotions that had been prepared over the previous weeks. It wasn't fair to her, and he knew it the minute he started saying the words to her. The words came from a place of deep pain, a wound that was resisting all attempts to heal. The doctor's lousy poker face and marked change in attitude as he wrote the referral for more testing did nothing to alleviate his dread.
The testing was likewise terrifying. After a 45 minute exam that left him in more pain than ever, the focus on two areas in particular, and the technician's repeated question "Are you here for any other tests today?", he had no words. After cleaning up and dressing, he walked to his car, got in, and mechanically drove up the hill to deposit his paycheck, then, got back in, and drove to an empty area of the parking lot, and in the rain and gathering darkness, he shut off the engine. A text message from a friend in another state flashed on his cell phone. The joke didn't make him laugh. He shut his eyes for a minute, then started crying. He wanted only three things at this moment. A drink, a steak, and three to five hours of uninterrupted, passionate, messy sex. As he slowly came back into control, he looked at the message again, and laughed. He called the friend back, and let him know that what he was suggesting didn't happen, and that under the circumstances, it probably was a good thing. They both laughed as he told his friend what he wanted most right now. His friend was reassured by the list that nothing at all was wrong with him. He looked at the clock, saw the time, and ended the call. Instead of proceeding to obtain the items on his list, he met up with his father in law, and took the kids to the elder child's psychologist for his scheduled appointment. Afterward, he took them to McDonald's to buy both children dinner before heading home. As they headed to the restaurant, a text message flashed on his phone.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The boys and I got back from church today, and I was greeted by the most beautiful woman I have ever known, looking stunning in a beautiful marbled cream and brown zipper neck sweater, brown skirt, and brown high heel boots. Breathtaking, to say the least, and I was absolutely flattered by the fact that she wanted to spend time with me.
We made sure that the boys were set with lunch, and we hurried out the door to the show. On the way in, she held my hand. Sure, the pavement was wet, cracked, and uneven, and we were walking downhill, but I still savored every minute. I didn't even care if she could notice the quickening of my heartbeat. In the darkness of the theatre, I reached out. She let me hold her hand again. I couldn't take the smile off my face if I tried, and enjoyed the show immensely.
After, we went to the mall to walk around. The blowing rain in the parking lot caused her to walk a little closer, and she held my hands on the stairs. We walked for a time, window shopping and talking. We made a trip to the music store, where she found a copy of the movie White Christmas for a great price if we made another purchase. We looked at the music. They had the new Jars of Clay Christmas album, but it was more than I wanted to pay, even if it was my birthday. She found a three disc set of the old Time-Life Christmas music. A lot of memories for us both. I decided we'd buy it. Shortly after that, we left. She plugged it in the player in the car, and we enjoyed it on the ride home. We stopped long enough to get some take and bake pizza, and we got home, made it and got the boys fed.
After they went to bed, we watched the film, sharing popcorn, and I rubbed her feet. It was a terrific day. I hope a day to build on.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
As he drove the winding road, his eyes were following the twists, but his mind was a million miles away. The snow was falling in huge flakes, the song of praise turned up loud enough to drown out any road noise that might make him more than slightly present in the cabin of the car.
It had been such an emotional year. The very sound of the word 'emotional' resonated in his head in a way that he simply did not expect, and was still getting used to as the word continued to take on a new meaning in his life. And there was still so much that he was processing now, days, months, and even years distant from so many events. The insights had come fast and furious, starting with a slow roll from a stint in therapy at the beginning of the last fall, when it had been suggested that he had been "stuffing" his emotions, and from the sound of things, had been doing so all of his life. This was the reason for the explosive eruptions of temper, that while not really physical, were still powerful enough that he himself had been disturbed by their intensity. While the therapy had been brief, as the busy lifestyle had intruded to the point that continuation at that time was impossible, the consideration of the conclusions continued. He didn't mind. The part of his brain that usually occupied itself with more trivial matters like the name of the actor in the old movie he had watched the other night actually had something of consequence to do. The fact that he no longer was waking up in the middle of the night with the sudden remembrance of such pointless things proved to be a serious comfort as well. The net result was that he was constantly examining his actions, and those of the people around him and pondering the question that he had started out hating: "How does this make me feel?" Consequently, he had started to react differently toward his children. Persuasion and understanding soon ruled where only hegemony by force had reigned before. He wasn't a pushover, and had come to master "the look", which spoke volumes the right way without saying a word. The understanding meant coming to grips with his oldest child's condition, and realizing that he too, had certain characteristics of it, and that perhaps his own father had a very serious case of it. This understanding allowed him to draw on his own childhood experiences in a way that helped him to help his own son with his day to day struggles with social interaction. Along the way, he noticed that he started to feel more than two or three emotions. He also reflected on how unusual his own childhood was.
Of course, there were other troubles. A long abdication of any real responsibility in his marriage had created strains that would not stay hidden any longer. More work and exploration was necessary. He fell back on the one method that had always worked for him. He read. Relationship books filled his days and nights. The fiction that he had escaped into for so many years simply faded into the background. He made more discoveries as he worked through the books piling up next to his side of the bed. Some were very startling to him. One such revelation had to do with what communicated with him most effectively. Apparently, physical touch spoke directly to him in ways he never anticipated. In retrospect, it seemed like a big "Duh!" might have been appropriate. It explained the appetite for sex, and the feelings of dissatisfaction after. It wasn't that he didn't like sex. That really wasn't possible, but he'd spent so many years centering on it, when it wasn't what he really needed. After a childhood in a home where such expression "just did not happen", he was startled to find out that such a basic thing was so primary to his everyday needs.
Things were starting to come together. He was constantly surprised by the emotions he experienced daily. He felt like a man who had only been able to see in black and white; each emotion was a color, and his days were crowded with vibrant hues. The only thing he wasn't ready for was his own reactions. Feeling was a two way street, and he found it harder to shut out the emotions he didn't want to have. This made day to day living far more interesting than he would have liked at times. What he didn't see was the last piece to understanding lying in wait, like a predator, ready to strike him down.
Things were not good at home. One night, he stayed late at work, but found himself unable to concentrate. He left and went to the local outlet mall, hoping that the walk would sooth his troubled mind, the same way it always eased his anxieties. After rounding the building, he found himself standing outside the Christian bookstore. In the last few months, he had found himself getting more serious about religion, making church attendance a priority, and returning to daily reading the Bible. God had been a nebulous concept in his life for a very long time. Having grown up in the irreligious part of a very religious family, he knew about religion, but it was really more of an intellectual exercise rather than a grounded belief that affected his behavior or outlook. This continued until a conversation one night in bed with his then girlfriend, now wife, in which she had managed to convince him that it really didn't matter what man planned or did for himself, because it simply would not prevail against God's plans. After they were married, they attended a strongly Bible based church. A spiritual awakening of sorts had taken root in him there, and his study of the Bible and application of it to his daily life made him feel very spiritually empowered. Yet a shadow fell, and he started chasing things that he thought he needed, rather than being the spiritual leader of his household. He fell out of the habits, and they lived a life less fulfilled, without ever really understanding why. The power that was so real to him, that seemed to come from every pore, faded quickly and except for the guilt that this created, it became as a dream, fading in the rays of the morning sun. This previous intimacy that had been absent for so long was now slowly returning, and he pondered this as he stood outside the store, looking in at the patrons perusing the shelves. He finally went in. He started leafing through a book he had recently read about, and was surprised at how much it was speaking directly to his feelings, and the places in his life he was still reluctant to approach. He purchased it and left the store.
My big thing was having coffee. This morning I met with fellow LC and IB Jaybear at Starbucks and we sat and talked about a lot of things. It was nice to get some perspective from a brother who has had his own trials and to understand that sometimes, you just can't analyze what is going on in your life; sometimes you just have to live it and deal with things as they come.
Other things I got from the couple of hours we camped out there?
We really need to have a Northwest Rottie Fest. There are enough of us like-minded souls here in this part of the country...Jaybear, kwongzu, Useful Idiot, Ranger 6, DJ, the Barista...it was nice speaking with a fellow conservative white male who is tired of the intolerance of the "tolerant" lefties so prevalent in this part of the country.
I wouldn't mind having one of those cushy chairs from Starbucks here in the house...I swear I didn't realize that 3 hours blew by.
We really gotta get together for a game of golf this next year.
Thanks for the coffee, the ear, and the perspective Jay. I really appreciated it.
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? I gotta get that crown fixed. It looks like crap.
2. How much cash do you have on you? $3.25
3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR? Core.
4. Favorite planet? Venus...draw your own conclusions.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? My Wife.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Sunrise.
7. What shirt are you wearing? A burgundy three-button polo shirt.
8. Do you label yourself? Yup, and its too long to repeat here.
9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? Reebok.
10. Bright or Dark Room? Bright. Spent too damn long in darkness.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I think we could have a few beers and swap a few stories.
12. What does your watch look like? Bright Yellow Face, Stainless Steel Band.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Reading the Bible...the book of Hebrews.
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? "Yes."
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Corner of Meridian and 152nd.
16. What's a word that you say a lot? Well...
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My oldest son.
18. Last furry thing you touched? My slippers.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Does Asperin Count?
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? 3. They are all rolls of XP-2. I can't get it developed correctly just anywhere.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? 35. It has been the hardest year of my life, but I finally figured a lot of things about myself out, and have taken control of a lot of things that I can.
22. Your worst enemy? ME.
23. What is your current desktop picture? My Wife standing with Mrs. Incredible at California's Adventure this summer.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "What do you mean "You smell like Daddy."? What does Daddy smell like?"
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? The money. I have a few bills I'd like to pay off.
26. Do you like someone? I like a lot of people. If you're looking for more, you need to define it clearly.
27. The last song you listened to? "Stainedglass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns.
28. What time of day were you born? 5:35 am. Talk about setting a bad precedent...
29. What’s your favorite number? 147. No, I don't know why, so don't ask.
30. Where did you live in 1987? Scenic Burton Michigan, home of the Bentley Bulldogs.
31. Are you jealous of anyone? Right now? I don't think so.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? Not that they have told me about.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was asleep. I had just moved to the left coast a dozen days before.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? It depends on how badly i wanted the item.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Now? Yes. A few years ago? No.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Right Shoulder.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Welsh.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes, and I can now say that I would do it gladly.
39. Are you touchy feely? Yes...its one of those things I figured out.
40. What’s your life motto? Everything is an adventure.
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? Pen, Cell phone, leatherman micra.
42. What’s your favorite town/city? Toronto, Canada.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Sausage McMuffin with Egg.
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Yesterday. (But it is part of my job...)
45. Can you change the oil on a car? No.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? I haven't heard.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Jamestown far enough?
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and what did you dress in? Grey suit, burgundy shirt with silver tie with burgundy accents and black cap-toe shoes.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Yes.
50. Have you been burned by love? Hell YES. All the way to extra crispy.
I was reading on the Count's blog yesterday and saw the blogsis blog-whoring! That's right, the blogsis--Dori aka Lady Heather has returned to public blogging from her walkabout in the world of private blogging. Go on over and say hello!
Today's (Saturday's) Day By Day cartoon is great. I've been reading it for over a year now, but today's was great.
Oh yeah, Sig's gun post this morning made me choke on my apple. I'm not dead, but I'll be cleaning my screen off for a while...
Friday, November 30, 2007
In really listening to contemporary Christian music the last year or so, I have come to realize that they are love songs, and typically far more moving than 95% of what you hear coming from the secular market these days. This band is outstanding, BTW. I want to hear their new album which came out a few weeks ago. The new single hit it right on the head the very first time I heard it.
...that the content this week has been lacking in originality. I'm sorry. I have had a lot at work, and I have been a little distracted otherwise. Until I find an item worthy of a good fisking or the muse moves me to write something I can post, I think the pickings will be slim.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I really don't know whether to feel flattered or insulted. Y'all must think I'm a man-whore, or I am just a prude.
1. I once worked for a foreign government in their capital. True. Sorry to hand you your fifth loss, Sohos. 1993, I interned in the Canadian House Of Commons in the Office of Ken James, MP from Sarnia-Lampton. I actually held a security clearance while there. Go figure.
2. I marched in the Electric Light Parade at DisneyWorld. True. I was in eighth grade, and it was an experience I won't soon forget...for many reasons.
3. An appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was mine for the asking. True. I had already talked to my senator, but then I had a one on one with a third year cadet from West Point. Then I realized that maybe it really wouldn't work for me.
4. I walked away from a rollover accident. True. That was a really really shitty week, and that was just the capper. Enough Said.
5. I was once shot at in my parent's living room. True. It was the day after Christmas. I was 14. I was sitting on the couch in front of my parents' picture window. Suddenly, there was a crashing sound, and glass was flying everywhere. I looked around thinking my Mom hung something up for the holidays that fell down and broke. When I stood up and turned, I saw an Arrow sticking out of the back of the couch, inches below where my head was. I'm still particular about sitting with my back to the window today.
6. I had a pin surgically implanted in my wrist to set a broken bone. True. I don't recommend running into pavement at 25 mph. It hurts. A lot.
7. I have touched a piece of the Titanic. True. Sorry. I went the exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. They had a big piece of the hull on display. I don't remember a prohibition against touching it. I do know that I did touch it. I was disappointed because they didn't have more of the paper artifacts recovered from the wreck.
8. A stripper took me home from a frat party once when I was in college. False. C'mon, guys. Please. The strippers who came to our frat parties...I wouldn't touch them with a Theta Chi's di...you get the point.
Thanks for playing.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
First of all, I'm 0 for 4 at this game, so we'll see if I can play "Fool the Guesser" any better than I am the guesser. Oh, and Alex can't play.
Which one of the following is not true?
1. I once worked for a foreign government in their capital.
2. I marched in the Electric Light Parade at DisneyWorld.
3. An appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was mine for the asking.
4. I walked away from a rollover accident.
5. I was once shot at in my parent's living room.
6. I had a pin surgically implanted in my wrist to set a broken bone.
7. I have touched a piece of the Titanic.
8. A stripper took me home from a frat party once when I was in college.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as William Wallace|
The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.
I stole this from the fyreman, who stole it from Ambulance Driver who stole it from...well, you get the idea. I always identified more with Maximus.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
...because I had made up my mind to have a good time and try to keep the boys from getting out of control. It didn't take long. Heir No. One has Aspergers. That means a disruption in routine can be catastropic in terms of his feelings and how he reacts to things. He usually gets amped up a few days before a holiday, starts breaking out in hives, requiring doses of Benedryl.
This was no different. It started yesterday. When we got there today (he stayed a Papa and Nana's overnight), he was already upset about something. Once I got Heir No. Two settled, I went to my in-laws bedroom, where my wife had taken Heir No. One. He was sitting in the chair next to the bed, crying. My wife informed me that he was in a time out for throwing a fit about not getting a turkey leg. He was very upset, and shouted about wanting a turkey leg. I softly asked her to let me talk to to him, and then asked her to go out and enjoy her meal with everyone else.
I crossed the room, and got on my knees so I could look him in the eyes. I started to talk to him and explain that he didn't ask Papa before hand, so all the meat was taken off the turkey leg. He got upset again, screaming about how he didn't want any more Thanksgivings. I kept calm, and told him that he was at a 4 and he needed to be at a 1 before we could talk, and I turned around, leaning back against the chair and stretching my legs out in front of me. I waited until I heard the sniffling slow down, and then I asked him to come sit with me.
He got down into my lap, and I very quietly started to talk to him about it again. He started shouting again, and at that time, Nana walked in, and he started shouting at her. She left, and then my wife walked in with his coat and shoes, and suggested I take him for a drive, because he was disturbing dinner. I asked for a few more minutes. She hesitated. She whispered to me that it hurt her to see him like this. I whispered back that I understood, but I thought we could work it out. She stood for another minute, watching, her empathy leaking out of every pore, then left to rejoin the family at dinner. I pulled his coat up over him and gently rocked him, letting him calm back down before I said anything more. Once again, the tears slowed, and the pauses between the sniffles got louder. I asked him "Its hard with all these people here, and all this stuff going on, isn't it?"
He first nodded affirmatively, then said "Yeah Dad, its hard. Really really hard." I could hear the catching in his throat and his voice cracking. I didn't have to see his face to know the tears were welling up again. I've been there too many times lately myself. I asked him if I could tell him about Thanksgiving at my Grandpa and Grandma's house when I was his age. Once more, and affirmative nod and a sniffle.
"I know its hard for you E. It was hard for me, too. Do you remember meeting my Grandpa the last time we all went back to Michigan. I took that picture of you and him wearing the silly glasses?"
"Well he and my Grandma had a really big house south of where your grandpa and grandma used to live there, and just like it is here for you with Papa and Nana, I was there so much with them that it felt like my house, but then when holidays came, things got all moved around, and they were always so busy with things, and the house smelled different because grandma made all the food, and then my aunts and uncles would all show up and there would be a lot of people in the house, and it didn't feel right and I didn't always know how to act. But there was always lots of good food, and my Grandpa would make a fire in the fireplace in th family room, and sometimes it would snow, and I could go sledding on the hill in back of their house, and so even though it was hard, I still had fun, and now I have some really good memories."
"I think I'm hungry, but I know I can't eat in here."
"You're right. You can't eat in here, but if you calm down a little more, we can go out there and eat. I know Nana made a really good turkey, and there are rolls, and pickles, and sparkling Apple Cider..."
"I think I'm calm now, Dad. Can I sit next to you while we eat?"
"Sure. Do you want to pray first?"
(I love how it just always seems to calm him down.)
We prayed, and then I looked him in the eye, and said "I'll get your dinner plate ready, but I need you to do something for me."
"You need to go apologize to Nana. This is her house, and you do not get to disrespect her in her house...or anywhere else, for that matter. Don't make a big production out of it. Be discrete. Go whisper in her ear."
We were walking out as my wife returned. "Everything ok?" She asked, the question as much in her eyes as on her lips.
"Yes. He is going to apologize to Nana, and I'll get his plate ready."
"Can we eat in the kitchen with J?"
My wife prepared his plate as I watched him go out and apolgize to my mother-in-law. She hugged him, and said "That's OK.", and I ate my Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen, sitting with my boys.
He still got a little excited, but he had a great day.
I think my wife and I agreed that even though there was stress, it was probably the best Thanksgiving we have had.
Grandpa, I really wish you and I could talk right now.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
...and came across this gem. I laughed out loud. My Secretary thinks I'm crazy.
"Fact that personal relations of partners are such that neither one has any confidence in other does not relieve one partner of his fiduciary obligations in dealing with other. Karle v. Seder (1950) 35 Wash.2d 542, 214 P.2d 684."
I'm guessing that the oral argument must have been fun.
As I read the verses referred to me by the fyreman (thank you, sir!), I came to realize, if only for a moment, how I have shifted in the last year and a half from being an "Old Testament" reader to a "New Testament" reader.
As My eyes have been opened to more and more, I found more and more that is true and applicable in the New Testament. So much that speaks to things going on in my life and around me right now:
Galatians Chapter 5
1 Corinthians 10:13, ok ALL of 1 and 2 Corinthians.
and Ephesians 6:12 comes a little bit more into focus when reading C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters.
I am tired, and still I am thankful because I understand that I am in the hands of a creator who loves me and wants what is best for me.
Which brings me to the best Thanksgiving message of all:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 4:4-7 NKJV
Posted by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur at 8:39 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I called the Doc's again today. They finally had the test results. The Nurse said "Benign." No explaination yet of why it hurts, but I guess slow and steady is the way we're playing it. I go to get my other eye fixed on December 13, so by Christmas, I should be seeing just fine, thank you very much.
Agenda for now?
More knee mail and honest attempts to bridge a very wide gap.
Oh, and the response to the last post?
Thank you. Y'all are part of the best chosen family a person could have.
Monday, November 19, 2007
So here's the thing.
A long chapter in my life has closed.
Now I get to start all over agsin. It is a little scary. It is a lot exciting. And I really am unsure how to proceed. I get to go down a road that I haven't travelled in a really long time.
It will start with a phone call. I am not sure where it will end.
If you feel the need to pray for anyone, include me in that list, will ya?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
When we went to Wally World yesterday to buy jeans for Heir No. One and some groceries, the Salvation Army was out front ringing the bell. When we left, Heir No. One was very upset that I didn't give any money to the bell ringer. As we proceeded out in to the parking lot, he kept needling me, telling me I was mean, and that people needed our help. I told him I didn't have any cash, which was true...I haven't had any since 1992, but that is another story. He still refused to believe me, and I found myself angrily reaching into my pockets and pulling out receipts, a coin which isn't legal tender, a pen, and my leatherman, but no cash. Not deterred, he then started asking me about my wallet, and didn't stop until I showed him that it too was bereft of cash. He finally relented, though I could see his anxiety level was still high. After we were two blocks away, I had calmed down enough to realize that his concern was genuine. I really couldn't be more proud of him, and I told him so, and why. I hope we can have these conversations for a long while to come.
I had to share this.
If you don't like it when I start to get controversial, then leave now, because this is about life, love, faith, Thanksgiving, and most of all, God.
If you have been reading this page for a while, then you undoubtedly have come to recognize that I am a Christian, occasional uncharitable thoughts aside, and that I am deeply offended by the repeated attempts of the libatards of this nation to re-write history to deny the obvious Judeo-Christian influence on our nation's law and character. We see this in the attempts to recast our Holidays in ways that either ignore or are hostile to Christianity. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where it has been difficult for these asshats to accomplish that goal. To have Thanksgiving, you have to be thankful to someone, and that someone is the elephant in the room that the left tries so hard to ignore. A review of the history of the holiday shows just how bankrupt the left's attempts at revision are. Let's start with Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation.
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington
Source: The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789
Hardly sound like the words of a 'deist', do they? Another revision of history dispelled. But it didn't stop there. Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation really sticks a finger in the eye of those who want us to reject and be ashamed of out history. If you think about it, it really shouldn't surprise you. He gets a complete thumbs up in my book for doing what was necessary to hold this nation together in THE darkest chapter in our history. He himself, a lifelong christian, did not profess himself to truly be a Christian until after the battle of Gettysburg. I don't know how any Commander In Chief could comprehend the true nature of the destruction, and death (60,000 Americans) and not be changed or feel the awful weight of the responsibility that he was charged with. I sometimes think that if he hadn't have been assassinated, he still would have died to somehow be denied a continued life in the Union he was dedicated to restoring, much the same way Moses lead the people of Israel through the desert for 40 years, only to be denied entry into the promised land.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Thinking about this put a different spin on some thoughts that I had already coalesced in the last few days.
This has been both the best and worst year of my life. I started to seriously walk down the road of recovery, and finally came to the point where I could hear God giving me the final piece I needed to take control of my life. Then I was brought face to face with the damage I have done in the my life, and the sorrowful consequences that resulted from that damage. While trying to understand the extent of the damage, I have been given news that raises the question of my own mortality, and while considering the implications of so many things left undone, that I may not have time to fix, more salt was poured into that wound.
If anyone has a reason to be angry, it would be me. And while anger is one of the many emotions I am feeling, it isn't primary. Actually, as much physical and emotional pain I am suffering, I have to say "Praise God!", even through the tears. Because of him, I know what I am feeling. He brought me down this path. If this happened three years ago, I would have just closed in on myself, and been very, very angry. Now, I can realize that there is anger, that there is disappointment, that there is resentment, that there is betrayal, that there is sadness. More importantly, I can consider why I have these feelings, and that is the reason why I am thankful today, this week, this month, RIGHT NOW.
I am thankful for my wife, and the years we shared, even when I shared very little with anyone, including her.
I am thankful for two young men who constantly provide me with joy, and reasons to be proud, even as they frustrate me for the same reasons.
I am thankful for the fact that we have a home, whatever is going on under its roof.
I am thankful we all eat, and have clothes.
I am thankful that God cares enough to restore us to what he intended.
I am thankful to live in a country where I can say that.
I am thankful for whatever is next, because I can feel it, and share it with those who love me.
I am thank for for the family that I was born with, and my chosen family on the sidebar, and at the Rott.
I don'tsleep so well right now, and I think fatigue is taking over. I work up at 6 when Heir No. One came in suffering from another nightmare, but I wasn't awake for long. My eyes didn't open again until 8:15. That's sleeping late these days. Heir No. Two didn't get up until I had finished with a shower, opened his door, turned on the light, and made a cup of tea. It is grey and wet outside, and that doesn't bother me at all. None of that motonous sunshine for me.
I have been thinking a lot about the intersection between faith, forgivness, and trust. I think I finally understand a few things. More disturbing for me is the aftermath of the shaking that God has done in my life lately. I can't fault him for doing it. It brought some new revelations, one that I was good for me to understand about my own perspective on things, I understand why I feel the way that I do about a few things, and the other....well, maybe it was something that I should know.
Man, this tea is good. I gotta go get myself and Cap'n Insano's Cabin Boys ready for our weekly trip to visit God at his house. Y'all have a good one.