Archive for the ‘brain belches’ Category


Posted: June 2, 2015 in brain belches
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There’s really nothing pretty about a parking lot.

It’s concrete and cracks.

It’s hard and gray.

But, occasionally you will find something growing through the cracks…

A dandelion.

There it is, beauty in the bleak.

A flower in the middle of frustration.

It’s art emerging from the asphalt.

Sometimes life feels like a parking lot.

It’s cold, hard and gray.

You feel like you are just parked, not going anywhere.

You are living with more pothole than purpose.

Stop, take a deep breath and look around.

Find the dandelion.

Grab the beauty in the midst of the bleak.

It’s there, it’s always there, growing where you least expect it.

Don’t miss it.

Today, I want to start something.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to get something started.

I want to banish boredom.

I want to notice the small things like june bugs and the smell of leather.

I want to listen to a child tell a joke.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to cuddle with a beagle.

I want to live with a wide open appreciation of the gift of life.

I want to laugh out loud…a lot…maybe at inappropriate times.

I want to use my words to celebrate instead of criticize.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to talk like a pirate for no apparent reason.

I want to eat a burrito that’s bigger than my face, or a corndog slathered in mustard, or a tomato sandwich.

I want to high five a stranger.

I want to sing in an elevator.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to spread fun like chunky peanut butter and leave a little everywhere I go.

I want to burp as loud as I can.

I want to tell stories of hope.

I want to wear socks that don’t match.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to be left breathless by something other than a treadmill, like maybe a rainbow or my wife’s beautiful smile.

I want to be uninhibited, unhinged and maybe a little uncouth.

I want to let the sun warm my face (unless it’s raining, then I want to let the rain beat down on my bald head).

I want to listen for the music that only I can hear. And, when I hear it I want to dance.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to jump without caution and love without condition.

I want to learn at least 4 things.

I want to create something out of nothing.

I want to be amazed and amused.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

Then, when I finish the day I will be a little younger than when I started it.

And tonight, I will lay down to sleep without regret and I will wake up tomorrow and start something new.

A little over a week ago, our only daughter, Delanie, got married. it was a really good day full of love and laughter and a few tears. on her wedding day I gave her a letter. I tried to capture some of the love, pride and hope that I feel for her. now that the confetti has settled, with her permission, I share my feelings…

Sweet child of mine…

My Dearest Delanie,


Today I will walk you down an aisle and give your hand to a tall bass player.

I remember the first time I ever saw that hand. It was in a hospital in Tulsa.

Time stood still as I counted your perfect little fingers.

I instantly loved you.

But time never stands still for long…

On this very special day, I think back to so many other special days…

Memories flood my soul like vividly colored snapshots…

I might be a bit biased, but I’m pretty sure you were the cutest baby ever born (you can thank your mom for that!)

you had super chunky little arms with folds perfect for hiding Cheerios. (you can thank me for that)

We were shocked to learn that you didn’t come with an instruction manual. We had no idea what we were doing. When we first brought you home we were so afraid we were going to break you. We checked constantly to make sure you were still breathing. We kept calling Nanny and Poppy and they were always there to help us and to snuggle with you.

From the beginning you liked to dance to your own beat. Before you could even walk, We would crank up “baby likes to rock it ” by the Tractors ( it was your jam) you would start shaking and bopping in your yellow little tykes boat.

I remember the first day of kindergarten, you bravely marched up the sidewalk carrying a power puff girl backpack full of dreams, a big box of crayons and a slim jim (which was the only thing you would eat for lunch). We let go of your hand and watched you walk away…and we bawled like preschoolers.

I remember our daily daddy-daughter trips to 7-11 to get Slurpees. Red slurpees were the perfect remedy for a hard day.

Instead of butterfly kisses I got Slurpee smooches that left my cheek sticky and stained.

I remember spending summers at Camp Whispering Oaks. You got the run of the snack shack and hung out with the interns. I remember one day when we were driving around in a golf cart, i took a corner a little too fast and you went flying. I still feel bad about that. I watched your little body propel out of a golf cart and roll down a red dirt hill. I instantly thought “OH MAN! Diana is gonna kill me!” Fortunately You were fine, just a little twitchy. I bribed you with candy to never mention it to anyone. But, you ran straight to Fran Westbrook (my boss) and blurted out “MY DAD ALMOST KILLED ME!”

I remember Horse camp and watching you ride around on the final night. I couldn’t help but think that your great grandpa would be really proud. I also remember the second year of horse camp. I missed the final night, because some mean church elders insisted on having a meeting and I caved in. I later watched the video of you riding out, looking around and asking “where’s Daddy?” It broke my heart that I wasn’t there for you. That is one of my greatest regrets as a parent, I swore I would never do that again.

I remember driving around together in a little red truck singing along as loud as we could to country music.

I remember the Daddy – Daughter dances where I would take your hand and we would dance to Disney channel hits. Then you would get bored and run off with the Walshes. I would stand on the sidelines and watch you laugh and your laughter was the sweetest song.

I remember a refrigerator door full of art made from macaroni, glitter, sand and shaving cream. (Thank you Miss Cassandra and Ms. Kimberly!)

I remember when you were 4 years old and you gave us a glimpse into your future when cut your own hair. You wanted to look like a Dixie Chick.the results were…interesting. You looked more like Bjork than Natalie Maines.

We spent countless, priceless hours at Six Flags and Sea World. The smell of freshly paved asphalt still takes me back to Looney Toon Land. We rode rides and pet dolphins. I remember you being really upset because of the stupid “you must be this tall to ride this” sign. It kept you from riding the steel eel. I felt your pain! We went to Wal-Mart and bought you some wedge sandals and suddenly you were tall enough. you rode it the next day. I loved that you loved roller coasters.

I remember sitting in unbelievably uncomfortable metal bleachers and watching you play softball. You were a beast. You were a seriously amazing catcher. You were ticked if you didn’t get to play the whole game. You played so hard and gave it your all. I’ve never been a super competitive dude but I really can’t explain the crazy competitive feelings I had when I watched you play. It ignited something in me.

I wanted you to win and sometimes you did.

I also watched as sometimes you didn’t.

You learned that sometimes you lose and character is the most important trophy.

I remember Oklahoma, and Indiana, and Oklahoma again, and Texas, and finally…North Carolina.

AHHHH…North Carolina…a magical place where you met a boy from Georgia.

Tomorrow you wake up with two names that people pronounce wrong…good luck with that.

I really couldn’t be more proud of you.

I’m so glad that you didn’t allow others to define you.

You have always been an incredible combination of independent spunk and sweet vulnerability.

You didn’t let anybody clip your wings and now you get to fly.

I’m so proud of the lady, artist, and friend that you have become.

You are an incredible, interesting individual.

You are passionate about what you believe and who you love.

You are a woman of God and you inspire me.

I believe in you.

You are Beautiful inside and out.

You are courageous!

YOU are the greatest art I ever made.

Go live some big dreams baby!

It won’t be easy, but you have a very good man standing beside you.

Cover each other. Be a safe place for one another.

love without expectation and forgive without limit.

Laugh every chance you get because joy is one of the greatest weapons ever.

Make Jesus the center of everything.

Together, you two are going to do great things.

When things get crazy, slow down and have a red slurpee.

And please know that you are forever beloved.

I love you,


Except for one misguided week in college, I’ve had some form of facial hair my entire adult life.

It is basically the only thing that prevents me from looking like a chubby 14 year old boy. Without facial fuzz I bear a uncanny and unnatural resemblance to Bobby Hill. I’ve experimented with every possible expression of whisker. I’ve had full beards in varying lengths, I’ve sported a goatee, I tried the truck driver mustache, I have even had a modified Fu-Manchu that scared small breeds of dog. I finally decided to let my chin fruit to grow wild and define itself. It has, I believe by divine design, evolved into what I call a “chullet”. It is a chin – mullet. The message is clear: my face is a party.

I think we are living in a golden age for beards, they are everywhere.
They have become a beautiful hairy art form.
Many people celebrate the beauty of the beard.
But, there also appears to be a clean shaven army of Beard haters.
Evidently, goatees really get their goat.
They are pretty vocal.
They hate beards and they make that pretty clear.
They spread ugly rumors about the bearded brotherhood.
The latest one has to do with facial feces!
A story began to circulate online the last few days claiming that a “study” assessed the average beards of average men and made a shocking AND scientific discovery: they are basically dripping with poop!
They contend that bearded men are basically carrying around little fuzzy toilets on their faces.
This would be really be gross IF IT WERE TRUE!!
I’ve had several people feel inclined to show me the study in the last few days, including some strangers.
This is basically their way of saying “hey poop face! Have you seen this?”
This story has even been reported on several news outlets as actual news.
The thing is…IT’S NOT TRUE!!
Turns out that’s it’s a bunch of…well…poop.
It’s just another blatant attempt by the beard bashers to put the beard in a box.
It doesn’t end online…
I have repeatedly been the Victim of facial profiling.
I get patted down at every airport I go to, even when I’m not flying.
I’ve been called homeless, lazy, uncultured, Gandalf and Santa (come to think of it, those last two are pretty cool).
Strangers have told me of their repulsion of my face.
I had a sweet little old lady at church violently grab my chullet and try to pluck it.
My own mother has expressed her strong dislike for my chullet. Until recently She would shake her head and say “You still have THAT thing!”…so much for having a face only a mother could love.
Beard discrimination is real!
I have a good friend who has a truly epic beard.
He keeps it groomed and properly slathered with beard oil.
Some ladies recently felt it was their moral obligation to make sure that he is clean shaven. They passed around a petition to make him shave!! True story!

Don’t fear the beard.
Don’t hate the whiskers.

Clean shaven, stubbled or bearded…
Can’t we all just get along?

I have no animosity towards shiny faced men.
If you feel compelled to shave, pick up that razor and go for it!
One of the greatest things about having a face is that you should be able to do whatever you want with it!

Do whatever you want with your face, I choose to party with mine.

I can safely say that the chullet is feces free. I shampoo and condition it once a day. Then I apply a magical beard elixir called Dreambeard. It is so clean that you could eat off of it, in fact I often do!

I don’t know why some people hate the beard. Could be a phobia or envy.
I do have a theory, beards look untamed and wild, some people can’t handle that.
They like tamed, predictable and safe. They are freaked out by the facial fuzz.

The bottom line is…
just because something looks untamed doesn’t mean that it’s unclean.
That’s true of beards and it’s true of people!
Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to go.
I just found a Cheeto in my chullet.

Once upon a time…

Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper…

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…


Won’t you be my neighbor…

Waka waka…

Nanu nanu…

Duunnn dunnn…duuunnn duun…duuunnnnnnn…

Up your nose with a rubber hose…

Hulkamania is running wild brother…

Just the good ol’ boys…

Stay gold ponyboy…

I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill…

Sit on it…

Ten four good buddy…

Give it to Mikey…

I pity the fool…

Well the south side of Chicago…

Hey, Hey, Hey…


Come on down…


I’ll tell you once more…

You meddling kids and your dog…

It’s the great pumpkin…

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis…


A-B-C, easy as 1-2-3…

YO Adrian…

You can tell by the way I use my walk…

I think I love you…

We will…we will rock you…

I want to rock and roll all night…

I’m a little bit country…


Live from New York…


It’s fun to stay at the YMCA…

They just wanna, they just wanna…

Walk like an Egyptian…

Schools out for summer…

Let’s be careful out there…

Luke, use the force.



I’m getting old.
Oh, it’s true.
This little pirate is looking at 50.
I’m okay with that. I’ve had a really good time getting here.
I think life on the other side of 50 is going to be even better.
We are all aging.
It’s amazing how age just grows on you.
It’s also amazing how we try to fight it.
We don’t want to look our age.
We want to look young, fresh and vibrant.
We live in a cosmetic crazed culture.
We are obsessed with youth.
We try to go young.
People do a lot of cat scratch crazy stuff to look younger.
We nip, we tuck, we peel, we get Botox.
If you have done any of these, my intention is not to shame you.
My intention is to say you don’t need it. You are enough.
You are beautiful and interesting.

I look in the mirror and my face gets a little more interesting each day.
I discover new wrinkles, new bumps and blemishes.
I’m okay with that because each line contains a story…they shout “I LIVED!”
Laugh lines are my favorite, they announce that I lived and I laughed….alot.

When I Photoshop away my imperfections it seems that I also Photoshop away a fragment of my soul.
It seems that my imperfections and my soul are attached at the hip.
When did looking old become such a bad thing?
True attractiveness is found in the authentic.

Proverbs says “Gray hair is a crown of glory.”

I like that!

When we talk about getting a little work done, it should have to do with our soul or character, not our face.
When we value appearance over authentic we run the risk of losing our true selves.

Life is a journey.
We are meant to constantly going forward into uncharted lands…places we’ve never been.
As we travel we assemble a pack of experiences, memories, lessons learned, life lived.
We are moving from one season to the next.
We love…we learn…we leave…we LIVE!!!
Every season is meant to be lived to the full.
Enjoy young.
Enjoy old.
Enjoy the time in between.
We should celebrate each new season while holding onto the things that really matter from the previous seasons.
There is a wisdom that comes with getting older, but I think there should also be a great silliness too.
We should learn what should and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
We should learn what does and doesn’t matter.
We have to value the authentic, the real.

Wrinkles are a sign that we are growing into ourselves.

They should be worn like medals!
We have stories to tell and songs to sing.
They are written all over our faces.
Why would we erase that.

I wonder if Alexander the Great had a kid brother named Otis the not quite so impressive.

That would be a lot of pressure! “why can’t you be like your brother? He’s just so…great!”

We do that, don’t we?

We compare, we notice, we measure.


It comes from others…

Why can’t you be like your over achieving brother, super attractive sister, well-adjusted friend, etc. etc.

It comes from ourselves…

If only I had that job, body, situation, face, talent, house, etc. etc.

We compare.

We look at what others have and we use it as the ruler for our own standing.

We compare and it’s killing us!

Comparison is a deadly pastime, a not so silent killer.

It kills creativity.

It kills joy.

It kills dreams.

Comparison kills any chance of you being the one and only, super amazing YOU!

You get your eyes off your assignment…it is left undone.

YOU are the ONLY template for YOU.

There is no other.

You are the only YOU that will ever happen…EVER.

Comparison cheapens that.

Don’t compare.

It kills.

Don’t compare yourself, don’t compare others.

We sometimes use comparison as a weapon to kill the potential in others.

Comparison shuts down the spirit.

Comparison imprisons the heart.

Break the chains of comparison.

Notice and celebrate the “never before and never again”

There is completely original interestingness.

It’s in YOU, it’s all around YOU!

Never to be repeated, never meant to be duplicated.

Completely original interestingness.

The loving proof of a Master Creator with a wild imagination.

Why in the world would you want to kill that?

For one brief shining season in the late seventies I got to live out my underdeveloped hoop dreams…

I played basketball…in Oklahoma, a state known for its football.

Yes sports fans, I was a card carrying member of the FOR ( the Future Owasso Rams).

Sadly, despite the name, my athletic career never really had much of a future. It wasn’t because of a lack of passion, I was passionate!! I wanted, desperately, to be an athlete! But, I was destined to become an athletic supporter.

I wasn’t passionate about competition or the game. I was passionate about trying to get a girl…any girl…to notice me. I had learned that girls liked jocks and so, I wanted to be a jock. So I begged my mom to let me join our city league, the mighty FOR. We practiced on Tuesday nights and played on Saturday mornings in the city recreation center. It was a loud metal building that smelled like a combination of feet and Funyuns.
This was back in the golden age of kid’s sports when not everybody got to play. You only got to play if you had actual skills (or if your dad was the coach). I didn’t get to play…at all…not once…not a play.

I would strut out with the team in my immaculately clean uniform (my mom didn’t have to wash my uniform all season long…I didn’t sweat once)
I would take my place on the bench and I stayed there for eight weeks.
The only dribbling I did was when I fell asleep with my mouth open.
I was completely aware of my lack of hoop skills. I mean, come on! I was slow, I had no depth perception and I was two feet shorter than everyone else, not really a lethal combination for basketball.

So I devised a plan. I had good friends who were also really good athletes. This was the beginning of middle school. So, we were still a few years away from not being able to talk to each other because of the whole social classification thing. My very kind friends picked me for their team. I was glad because they were really good.

We went undefeated and I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

I would strut out at the beginning of every game, walking proud because I was part of the first place team. My super cool blue and white uniform was clean. I sucked in my gut, pulled up my tube socks and tried to look cool. Without her knowing, I used my mom’s mascara to draw manly pit hair on my hairless armpits (that only worked because I didn’t sweat).

My only athletic injury was a butt cramp was sitting on the bench too much.

At the end of the season, I got a shiny plastic trophy.
I had a uniform, I thought I was a part of the team, I got a trophy.
But, the truth was that I really wasn’t fooling anybody but myself!
I hadn’t contributed anything.
Sometimes we treat life like I treated basketball.
If we just associate with the right people. If we look the part…that’s enough, right?
But, Life was never meant to be a spectator sport.
We were never meant to sit on the bench and be content with getting a trophy at the end of the season.
Don’t let your fear, insecurities or lack of skills keep you from living!
Leave your mark on the court.
Play…play hard.
Even if at first you stink.
Even if on some days all you have to show for your effort is a sweaty jersey.
Play…get off the bench…leave your mark.
Eventually you will find what you are good at.
Don’t think that you can just hang out with the right team, you have a role to play.

A while back I went to an event with a lot of amazingly interesting people.
They were hipsters, individuals who like indie techno music, free trade coffee and cynical banter.
You can tell that they are totally unique by the way that they all dress alike.
Hipsters are all about making a fashion statement.
They were dressed in scarves and flannel shirts (lumber jack chic?), tight sweaters with multiple zippers (zipper chic?). They wear stocking hats even when it’s really hot outside (sweaty chic?).
and of course skinny jeans.
Hipster love skinny jeans.
I’m sure they are lovely people, but I don’t think I will ever fit in their tribe, because I will never fit in their jeans!
I tried skinny jeans once and almost broke a hip.
Nonconformity can be really uncomfortable!
I ALSO tried once to be cynical and I just couldn’t pull it off. Sorry, I’m way too happy.
I’ve come to realize that I’m HUSKY in a skinny jean world.
Let me explain…
Growing up I had a problem (that I never actually outgrew).
When it came to jeans …
I needed pants that were twice as wide as tall.
There was only one place for that…
The husky department at Sears, a magical place where the pudgy and portly could buy their toughskins jeans.
I grew up getting all of my jeans in the husky department.
Then I would have to get every pair hemmed up.
I’ve never EVER been able to fit into long pants right off the rack.
THAT is why I hate long pants and skinny jeans and any other reminders of my obvious imperfections.
I’ve come to realize that I’m HUSKY in a skinny jean world.
I’m okay with that.
I’ve seen the people desperately trying to be different by dressing exactly alike.
They don’t look super happy, they look kind of constipated.
Maybe it’s the unnaturally tight pants.
Fashion is a club where the rules are constantly changing.
Just when you think you are past the velvet rope, things change and you are out again.
It’s tough to keep up.
Wouldn’t it be better to just say…
“You’re imperfect? That’s perfect cause…I!”
Let’s create a husky horde that values comfort over constriction.
It’s husky so there is room for everybody!
Let’s celebrate our perfect imperfections.
You be you, I will be me.
Skinny, husky or somewhere in between, hipster or husky, It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is finding the true you.
Make your style more about expression than expectation.
Who are you?
What is authentic?
What makes your heart happy?
Try that on for size!

Childhood can be a dangerous endeavor.

It’s a jungle out there!

I think That’s especially true if you grew up in the seventies or eighties.

It was a reckless time.

Playgrounds were scary places.

there were the steel monkey bars that were always a challenge to us short kids, but at least if we fell, the concrete would break our fall (and possibly our collarbone).

There were wobbly, brightly colored merry go rounds that could shoot an average sized kid 75 yards.

Don’t forget the tall rusty metal slides that would give you tetanus AND drop you off in a mosquito laden mud puddle.

Good times.

We stayed outside all day long…usually barefoot…WITHOUT cell phones…GASP!

We ate dirt and bugs and pop rocks.

We could do amazing feats of play with just a stick.

We never wore seat belts or car seats, the only restraining safety device we had was mom’s arm .

We rode our bikes over homemade ramps without ever even thinking about wearing a helmet. We did wheelies and rode around any patch of mud we could find.

because we lived out in the country, my  brother and I would burn the trash in our backyard. We would throw in cans of aqua net. It was a loud, beautiful explosion.

We ate paste and occasionally ran with scissors.

We chased each other with Roman candles and pop bottle rockets.

We rode everywhere in the back of a truck. We once rode all the way from Longview, Texas to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the back of an old Chevy truck. It was 285 miles. It was in the fall and it was freezing!

We…never…once…used hand sanitizers…yup, it was crazy man!

Childhood can be a dangerous endeavor.

It’s a wonder we survived.

It’s a true testament to the resilience of the human person.

I start feeling like I really accomplished something…

Until I talk to someone a little older than me.

Every previous generation had it worse.

we are the generation that survived…so are they!

The previous generation thought we were a bunch of babies.

We accuse the next generation of being entitled.

Every future generation has it a little better.

I think that’s supposed to happen.

We ARE getting softer.

BUT, that doesn’t mean we have to get safer!

As kids the reason that we almost died is because we really lived!

To live is to risk.

You can try to live without danger or discomfort.

Wrap yourself in bubble wrap, avoid spicy food and stay inside your bedroom.

But that’s not really living. It’s merely surviving…BIG difference!

Stay or play?

as a kid I chose play, I still do.

Every generation needs to find new ways to really live.


Talk to strangers.

Love, even when you know it’s gonna hurt you.

Pop some wheelies.

Have the kind of adventures that take your breath away and bring life to your soul.

The gift of life, when properly handled, can be a dangerous endeavor.

Live it!!