I'm officially on the 'sympathy diet'. As it stands now, I've gained as much weight as Elaine has during the first tri-mester of her pregnancy. This has got to stop. If you call me past 10 at night and hear me with food in my mouth, make a note to yourself to slap me up-side the head the next time you see me.
The 2 stand-alone Thanksgiving meals (one with the Starkey fam, one with the Eastlands) didn't help my caloric intake situation, either. We did the full blown thing twice. And it was awesome. And it was horrible.
I got made fun of a lot while I was growing up. Folks used to say I didn't eat enough - that I ate too much sugar - that I'd be 'wormy'. Well - congrats folks....now I eat everything.
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was good : I know sometimes it's a great time with family/friends....and sometimes it's not so easy.
Just a little movie update (we've taken in a couple over the last few days) :
Lions for Lambs - Robert Redford directs some sleepers.....skip it Transsiberian - Not a bad little flick... Hancock - Okay Twilight - Aside from the 75 screaming girls that wouldn't shut their traps when drag-pire Robert Pattinson came onscreen...I thought it was pretty cool.
Today completed the final parts of getting the new Post 27 Studio ready to go. I start teaching next week in my new space, and I couldn't be more excited to get into this place. With a little help from my parents, Tyler, and a lot of help from Elaine - this place is exactly what I want my studio to be like. It'll provide a lot of elements that I've yet to be able to give my students. I'm also glad to be getting out of the house and having an office space of my own.
Elaine and I will be leaving in a few days (75 hours from now, actually - but who's counting) to go on our summer vacation.
We're beach people - and we found a place not that far from home. It's called Laughing Horse Lodge. It's a dog-loving funky little set of condos in Port Aransas.
I always hear of how bad Texas beaches are --- but this little spot is really great. The sand is soft (not that hard gravely stuff) and there are great dives to eat at. Our favorite is Shells, a little place across the road from our condo. I'm no fan of seafood - but this place serves up a burger on a ciabatta bun that I could eat more than 3 times a day. And I might just do that.
I can't believe the summer is almost gone...but I'm more than excited to close it out this way.
Saturday, Elaine wanted to 'mini-homemakeover' a spot in our backyard. So, being the obliging and wonderful husband I am, I gleefully pitched in. (Actually, I knew it was coming - so I figured it best to get it over with before the 100+ degree heat would be joining the party, too.) And, I guess I can't take too much credit, Elaine's mother and both of my parents pitched in quite a bit of effort as well.
There's something nice about seeing things getting done in the yard. There's also something nice about the smile on a wife's face when she gets to see something that's been in her head for a long time. Here's what we came up with (Sorry Elaine, if I'm stealing your thunder....but you have more blog readers than me anyway....)
The whole area between the sidewalk was just dirt before we started...
In other news, our dog has opened up a stump removal business. This huge stump from our backyard was rolled down into the creek, where he chewed, spat, and quasi-ate the entire thing. I have a video I'll post later....
John 8:12 - Jesus said "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
Christ had just rallied around a woman caught in the act of adultery. She was about to be stoned by the Pharisees. She's probably shaking with fear, shoulders drawn in - trying to prepare for the smack of that first rock being hurled at her. Then Jesus told her accusers, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.'" I can only imagine the dumbfounded look on this lady's face. Full of shame : publicly disgraced - and here is this man challenging those around her. As those with rocks in their hands started to walk away, I'm sure waves of relief began washing over her. There she was, free from accusation and condemnation - in front of Jesus himself.
There's a Wayne Watson song I've always liked (Walk in the Dark) that says, "I'd rather walk in the dark with Jesus than walk in the light on my own." Though I understand the point he's trying to make - something just hit me this morning : I can't walk in the dark with Jesus. It can't happen. It may feel like it - it may even look like it at times - but He is the light of the world.
I can't always reason or figure out what's going on in my life. But I don't have to wait for things to get clearer; having a sunny mountaintop view doesn't indicate that I'm walking with God (but it sure is nice!)
"He who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but HAVE the light of life." I think I wait for the outcome of my plans and actions to produce light - to shed light on my life. But I have the light of life. Maybe the goal for the day should be to follow and HAVE the light of life. Follow and have. Follow and have.
Over the past few years, I've quietly boycotted American Idol. Not for any other reason than I thought it was getting kind of worn out - I was getting tired of the same manufacturing of a pop star. I was always the one sitting silent when the table talk turned to Idol chatter...I felt a little left out. This year, we (in a blaze of glory) entered into the mid 90s by getting a DVR. Since then, I've been recording and grazing through episodes of the show. At a time when I figure everyone should be talking about the Presidential election - it's been American Idol that's dominated the conversation. So, for this reason, I've been glad. I must say - there are some pretty good singers here and there. But for the most part, I see more media manipulation than ever. I think as of today, there's 20 or so folks left. Are they REALLY the best 20 out of the hundreds of thousands that auditioned? So, it's with great reluctance that I've been sucked back into the Idol machine.
My wife knows me well. Peanut Butter and Jelly with no crust - and a nice pile of stuff to share with Harrison --- what a great way to start off any day. Today I got the special treatment today with my heart shaped sandwhich.
Valentine's day is an interesting day : people go crazy, buying all these gifts ; expecting gifts...yada ya. The cool thing I was reminded of this valentine's day wasn't the importance of the holiday : but how great it is to be in love and to have a wife that loves me without reserve.
Last week I got to sing with some friends at the Mission Waco UrBanquet. Mission Waco is an organization that provides programs to the poor and marginalized while also sharing the Gospel. The banquet is a fundraising event held each year to share the vision and successes at Mission Waco.
Elaine and I have always enjoyed attending the banquet because it opens our eyes and grows our worldview. It's also encouraging to hear the stories of those who have been changed by the work that happens at Mission Waco and those who have given their lives over to battling poverty.
The keynote speaker at the banquet was Larry James, CEO of Central Dallas Ministries. Out of all the great things he said, the most impacting to me was the idea that we are all poor in something. He explained that the poor community had an understanding of community that most of us have never even experienced. And even though the were poor in monetary terms, they were rich in the area of community.
When I think of the poor, I usually visualize the person on the street corner holding the sign. That night poverty took on a new mental image for me. Larry explained that over 40% of South Dallas families lived below the poverty line. Unbelievable.
But even more than my mental image of poverty changing, I realized my ignorance to the impoverished community around me. I've been in Dallas now for over 3 years, and I'd never heard of Central Dallas Ministries. I wasn't aware that such a large number of people were barely scraping by only miles from my own house. It always stings to recognize just how narrowly I view life.
I encourage you to take some time to check out these websites and read about what these people have devoted their lives to.
Many of you know that Elaine and I were broken into back in September. Along with our car, whoever ripped us off also took a purse, cash, my wedding ring, and our ipods.
The morning we realized our car was gone, I just knew that we would never see it again. I figured it was either in a million parts already or being driven until someone decided to abandon it in Mexico or something. Needless to say, it's been 4 months and I've stopped looking for it while driving around town.
But today, we had a message from a detective saying that he had an update on the case. Elaine called the police department and the cops had actually found it....my ipod.
Yes, yes : my ipod has turned up at some pawn shop. And for just $90 I could go pay the pawn guys for it, or I could take the pawn shop to court and try to win it back.
Don't know about you, but I'll keep my $90 and let the pawn shop guys sell that ipod. I could never use it again - just wondering all the places it may have been.
I made Elaine watch the movie Mask last night. Well, I didn't really have to force her or anything - but she was a little weary of it to begin with. I mean, the movie stars Cher...that didn't really rope her in to begin with. Turns out, she really liked the movie. If you haven't seen the movie, you should check it out one Sunday afternoon that you'd rather watch a movie than flip through all the channels that have nothing on. The main character is this kid named Rocky Dennis - and he has this wild and rare disease where calcium deposits on his face and skull and causes it to become deformed. Anyway - even though I know the story has been 'Hollywood-ified' ... it spoke to me. Here's this kid who can't go anywhere without getting some comment or getting stared at. And in his 17 years of life, he went for it : he didn't let the criticism stop him. Unfortunately everybody's gonna have trouble in life - but it's usually not the problems that cripple us, it's our attitude.