Archive for the ‘brain belches’ Category

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 so..am…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.

Laugh…learn…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!!

 

As I write this our amazing daughter, Delanie, is about two months away from getting married.
So many thoughts and emotions are flooding my mind and my heart.
I’m feeling a little sentimental.
The spunky five year old who went on daily slurpee dates with me has grown up.
Through the last 21 years, I’ve tried to teach her a few things about life and love.
And now as she leaves our home to make her own home with a super cool bass player, I find myself full of needless, last minute, frantic fatherly advice…
Advice about parenting and parking, jobs and jazz, money and Mexican food.
fortunately for Del, I’ve been able to keep most of my advice to myself.
BUT…I do have some words of grizzled wisdom for Delanie and Jordan and…well…every other human being.
I can condense my relationship advice into two words…
Love covers.
Yup…pretty simple…
Love covers.
Love doesn’t compare.
It doesn’t cut.
Love says I’ve got you and you’re safe.
Love says you can be safe in the knowing that no one will ever hear me criticize you.
We all need to know that there is always at least one other person on this cruel planet who will ALWAYS have our back.
Love covers.
Love creates a safe place for you to be the best flavor of you.
Love creates breathing room to be human.
Love covers.
Love says I’m your biggest fan, you are pretty much my favorite.
Anything that makes you feel like “less than” is not love.
Love covers.
Love says we won’t always agree, we will bug each other. Nobody else has to know that. It’s really none of their business.
Love burns away blame.
Love isn’t license.
It doesn’t cover up.
Love doesn’t ignore or excuse.
None of us get love right all the time.
But we realize the weight of our words and we do our best.
Love covers.
Love promotes.
Love never throws someone under the bus.
It buys you a bus ticket and helps you get home.
Nobody’s perfect, love protects the imperfections
Love keeps no record of wrong. It doesn’t keep score.
1 Peter 4:8 says “continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
Love covers.
Love believes.
I think this single practice is more valuable than a big bank account.
You can’t put a price tag on honor.
It is true security.
You will constantly have opportunities to damage the hearts that you hold most dear.
When you live up close to someone it’s easy to take cheap shots.
DON’T DO IT.
Don’t take the easy path.
Protect the hearts that have been given to you.
LOVE COVERS.

road rave!

Posted: February 24, 2015 in brain belches
Tags: , , , ,

instead of road rage, I often get road rave.

Yup, I drive and dance.

I crank up the music and start moving every available body part.

It’s not necessarily pretty.

There’s a lot of head bobbing and fist pumping.

It’s really more of a spastic jerking than actual rhythmic movement.

I hoist my chunky little girth around my front seat.

It’s pretty fun.

And that is what it is all about…fun…joy.

Honestly, I don’t really enjoy driving. I’m not super good at it either.

It is boring.

So to entertain myself, I really don’t care what anybody else thinks.

I create a dashboard disco.

I sing at the top of my lungs and still manage to use my turn signals.

I get interesting reactions from other drivers.

Some point and laugh.

Some look pretty concerned.

Some look a little disgusted.

Some judge. One lady once held up a sign that just said “4”.

Some join in and start dancing too.

It’s always easier to judge than join.

But, those that do join in realize that the dance makes the drive much more fun!

Life can get ordinary.

We take the same route every day.

We need to find a way to turn the mundane into magic.

Drive and dance!

It’s all about the road rave.

It’s a lot less stressful than road rage.

Crank it up.

SNOW DAY!!

Posted: February 17, 2015 in brain belches
Tags: , , , ,

SNOW DAY…those are two very polarizing words! ( get it…polar?!).

You probably either love or hate snow days.
It’s either magical or messy, usually depending on your age.
For a kid there are few things greater than a snow day.
We would get up early, just to see if we could sleep in late.
Was school closed?
You impatiently watched the names scroll across the bottom of the TV screen.
THEN…FINALLY…THERE IT WAS!!
Your reprieve from the classroom.
WOOOO HOOOO!!!
It was time to play!!!
You would get bundled up…
It was a strenuous process.
Long johns…two pairs of pants…t shirt…sweat shirt…old coat…stocking hat…gloves…boots.
Then you would stumble, barely able to move your arms, into the frozen tundra of your front yard.
Where, you would suddenly realize that you REALLY need to pee.
OH MAN!
Finally, You would play for hours until you couldn’t feel your cheeks.
then you went inside and get some tomato soup.
You could feel the healing power of the soup as it slowly made your insides warm again.
There is something undeniably special about a snow day.
Snow days have a way of freezing moments in time.
They have a way of making memories that warm your soul.
As I write this on a snow day, one other snow day in particular stands out.
It was a bitterly cold Oklahoma day.
We were hanging out at our Grandma’s house with a slew of cold, bored cousins.
My Uncle Lee had a jeep.
Guys with jeeps love snow days.
Growing up, My Uncle Lee was the single coolest human being I knew.
He was my hero.
He had long hair. He seldom wore shoes (even on snow days).
He lived wild and free.
He was a peacemaker.
He was kind to little kids and animals.
It seemed like He always had had time for us…sometimes adults didn’t.
It’s amazing how the simple act of finding time for kids can make you a rock star in their eyes.
Uncle Lee had a great snow day idea.
He got a chain and a huge piece of black rubber.
Do you see where this is going?
Where normal men see a worthless scrap of tire rubber…
Super cool Uncles see sleds!
He attached the “sled” to the jeep with the rusty chain.
We found a huge, reasonably hazard free field.
Uncle Lee did donuts and we hung on,for dear life, to the homemade sled.
Cousins were flying everywhere as he would take corners.
We laughed hard and tried to hang on.
It seemed like a great idea…
getting dragged behind a jeep and flung into rocks and trees.
Until, our pants filled up with snow.
We were frozen to the bone…so cold!
Even the chilliest memories can warm your heart.
I will never forget that snow day.
Snow days have a way of freezing moments in time.
I will never forget that moment.

My Uncle Lee left this world way too early.

He was only 41, he was building his dream house.
In a freak accident he fell backwards and hit his head.
I didn’t understand why that happened…I still don’t.
He was a great man, the epitome of gentle strength.
He was a great husband, father and brother.
He was a really cool uncle.
Cool Uncles make great Grandpas, he never got the chance.
Sometimes real life is bitterly cold.
We are left chilled to the bone.

But because, Snow days have a way of freezing moments in time.
I remember a forever young, cool Uncle and a jeep.
I remember the wild and free moments.
I remember the grown up who took the time to play.
I remember.

Memories can be like tomato soup, they warm your insides.

poetry SLAMMED.

Posted: February 10, 2015 in brain belches
Tags: , , , ,

I hate beige!

It’s the color of cubicles designed to confine.

It’s conformity, giving up, and standing in line.

 Man, I hate beige!

It’s the color of the flavorless horde

Who live their lives perpetually bored.

 Boy, do I hate beige!

It’s the color of Monday, sad songs, and tasteless food.

Also the shade of blah, apathy, and a foul mood.

 I really, really hate beige.

It’s bland, inoffensive, and politically correct.

It’s the pale hue of mediocrity, I suspect.

 I hate beige!