Friday, November 30, 2007

Bit Parts and Whatnot

Claire and I had a brief discussion last night...thought it was interesting enough to share with my 3 loyal readers...

We are taking a class about the new church we just started going to...trying to learn about why it does what it does and what it believes...last night, they broke us up into 3 groups to read three different parts of the NT...I was part of the group that discussed "The Road to Emmaus" and Claire's group went over "Saul's Conversion".

The beautiful woman that I spend most of my time with made the observation that there are a couple of "minor characters" that show up in many Bible stories that you never get to hear what happened to.

The discussion then went on to include something that sounded many times, a minor player or a person playing a bit part is mentioned, but nothing is followed-up on. This is not to mean that they were not important, but rather that their story is not the focus. These characters are VERY important and, like John 6 or Acts 9, many of the "bigger" things would not have happened without them.

In the church, there are so many bit players that we know so little about. Sure, we know who gives the message or who leads the music, but do we know who sets up the chairs in the morning? Who sharpens the pencils that we use to take notes? Who made sure that the floor was vacuumed before we came in? All important things that do not get the spotlight...

Basically, we can never forget that minor does not equal unimportant. Minor is just not prominent...usually it is every bit as essential as the one that gets the spotlight. I am pretty sure they would not have been included unless their role was significant enough to mention. I mean seriously, do you think Saul/Paul could have made it to Damascus without the two guys leading him there? Dude was blind and in no condition to lead himself...sure they play a minor part, but it is an essential one.

I love that my "Lady Friend" notices details that many gloss over. It is good to relook at things we have thought we understood in a new light.


Made me wonder if those two people who led Saul/Paul to Damascus had kids or grandkids. How cool would it be for them to point to Acts 9 and say, "See that guy carrying Saul? That was my dad/grandpa/uncle/brother/etc."

Yea...that would be kinda cool.

**The painting is by Caravaggio, one of my favorite Baroque artists. Sure, he was wacked and like little boys, but he sure could paint a mean picture!**

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pushing the Earth Down

Because Chuck is scary and he told me to post this.

And if you don't share the fear, make sure you know about Chuck!!!

George Herbert Walker Bush Does It...Why Can't I?

In 2 weeks I am scheduled to jump out of a plane…skydiving, parachuting, death jump…whatever you choose to call it, I will be leaping out of a perfectly good airplane for the sheer thrill of it.

This discussion of jumping started a few years ago when my mom decided she wanted to jump before her 50th birthday…that did not happen. Then, last year we went to an indoor skydiving joint and we, meaning my brother and I, were told that we were, for lack of a better word, too fat to be held up by the wind…so we decided that we would get under the prescribed weight and jump in ’08…now the date is upon us and I realized something…WHAT THE HE-double hockey sticks am I thinking. Sure, we are now under the required weight, but seriously?

I am going to do it, but what the junk. Sure, I have bungee jumped a few times, heli-skied, and performed other miscellaneous stupid “extreme stunts” that I won’t mention because my girlfriend’s mother reads this blog…suffice it to say, I am a moron and jumping out of a plane is the latest proof.


I have got to say that the discussion about jumping out of a plane has triggered another observation…my mother is a saint. I know, she has not performed two Vatican approved miracles, but she is still a saint. It was her idea to jump in the first place, but now she hesitates…not because she is scared, not because she does not have the guile to do it, and it is not because she has suddenly become sane…no, it is because if something happens, too many people who rely on her would be left without her…and that is saintly.

When we talked about it, I could see the spark in her eye show up. She wants to jump. It is in her rebellious nature to tell gravity to do its worst, but to jump anyway…

Then the practical side comes out…who will take care of Grandma? Who will help raise Reagan? Who will be there to make sure dad is happy? Who will be the one to ***insert caring/giving/loving thing here***?

I still think she will jump, but it is not without thought for other people…and it probably won’t be without much contemplation and maybe even a few tears…but I got to say she is awesome. I don’t know anyone more unselfish than her. I don’t know anyone who has sacrificed more than she has to make sure that her loved ones are taken care of and are happy. My mom is my hero and she is creating a legacy that I am afraid none of us can live up to.

Sure, a lot of people would not jump out of a plane because of the reasons above…but how many of them are truly driven by fear and use those things as an excuse? I would venture to bet most of them…but I promise you that if it were not for her responsibilities to other people, she would jump regularly. Why? Cause she is crazy enough to think it sounds great and because she is tough enough to say “what is the worst that can happen”?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Am Sick

I have come to the realization that I am ill. I don't think I am dying, but it is such a new disease, nobody really knows. I mean, I could just pass out and never come back. It is bad. I have elevated blood pressure, my head hurts, I am subject to unexplainable fits of laughter, I sometimes cry for no reason. I really think it may be my time.

You see, I have been diagnosed with Blogitis. It is a nasty disease. It causes your brain to function differently. You start thinking in "Blog Posts" know, in short snappy sentences, often deleting what you just thought and rewriting it in your head. You start looking for "cool things" that you can write about..."Ooooo, there is a steaming pile of poo. How can I write about that?" You start wanting to share your personal life with complete strangers. I mean, c'mon, would I walk into a diner and tell everyone about my life? No, but I do it on a blog. Why? I dunno...apparently I am sick.

I was standing in the shower the other morning and started composing a blog post in my head. Nothing great. Nothing that has yet to make it up on this site...and I can promise you never will, but I thought the whole thing had a snappy title, a great intro, a little tears, and a lot of laughs. Then I snapped back to reality and realized that I had fallen into the Bogg'n zone...sorta like the twilight zone, only worse.

And, my illness has moved into stage 2...I am thinking about other people's blogs. Sure, I have read Stacey, Reagan, and Chris's blog regularly for a while, but since I have been stricken with this nasty bug, I am reading about people that I have never met. It is like the disease guides my hand and I find people that I want to be my friends...I wake up in the morning and hope that there is a new post to read and that they have had something cool happen to them. Why? I don't know. It is like the disease is controlling me.

Yes, I am sick. I need a pill or something. It is hard to know that I will carry this disease for many years to come, but I guess that is my burden to bear and I will just have to get used to it.


You might like to know that I am not alone...I know that I find solace in it...I might have been talking with a certain friend in SD this week (You know who you are...I know you are reading this right now) and she has come down with the same disease. She can't wait to get home to write a new chapter on her page...she checks other blogs, looking for updates often, sometimes the same blog two or three times a day...maybe we can start a support group. Maybe, we can create a pill to get better and make a 12-step program. Hmmm, how can this work? Maybe the blogging world is already working on a cure. I guess I will have to hit the "Next Blog" button above and see if anyone might be already down the road to recovery. Yea, that is the ticket...then I might just find more "friends" and I can be popular and we can be sick together and all the normal people will be jealous...

Oh no, it is happening again...somebody, please help me! ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

Had a great Thanksgiving weekend…I think I ate enough to feed Ghana for a week. Claire made this blueberry coffee cake on Thursday morning…WOW WEE that girl can bake! So we sat on the floor, drank coffee, ate this blueberry cake, and had a great morning.

Started cooking at 830 that morning…full spread too. 18lb turkey, yiftee’s, garlic mashed potatoes…which of course started a discussion that I would love some input on. Do you all like your mashed potatoes creamy or lumpy?

Anyway, we had friends over to my apartment…ate a couple rounds of food…watched football, napped, watched more football, took another nap, went to a friends house and should have taken another nap…all-in-all a good day.

Did the obligatory shopping on Friday…did score some sweet deals at Macy’s and Dick’ a $4 coffee pot at Wal-Mart.

Claire and I ran/walked 15.5 miles on Saturday. Actually felt good doing it after it warmed up. There was a wind-chill in the mid-30’s when we started running. My legs were blue…I looked like the world’s biggest smurf. Later that night, went to some friends…watched college football and Live Free or Die Hard…fun movie.

Flew to Cali on Sunday…where I sit, 5am writing this. I guess going East to West really allows me to get a jump on the day or something…

Can’t wait to get home, finish the Christmas decorating, buy a tree, and get in the general mood…Been listening to Christmas music since Friday. Gotta say, that things are going well. Now, where are the leftovers?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving...

Thinking about all of you today...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Miracle Whip and a Double Wide

I just had a startling revelation...and I don't like it. Really makes me uncomfortable.

I know that Steve tells me all the a matter of fact we have argued many times over who is more than the other...but OH MY GOSH...I think I just won. And this is not a contest I want to win...

I am white trash. Not a little. Not 1/2 way. I am really, truly and fully white trash. I am talking Joe Dirt White Trash. Pass the Miracle Whip, NASCAR, and a rusty El Camino.

Was it the mayonnaise sandwiches that gave it away? Nope.

The Triple Wide we would spend many Christmas mornings in? Nope.

My fascination with lawn art, mullets, or "sorry about your penis" trucks? Nope, nope, and nope.

I, Bogart in P Towne, washed out a zip lock bag to reuse at a future date. Yup. Turned the whole thing inside out, scrubbed it with the sink brush, then set it on the towel to dry. Did not think anything of it until I set it down and realized what I had done.

You can take the boy out of the trash, but not the trash out of the boy.



Could be worse though...I could have said this.

I Need Two Aspirin...

This morning I was reminded of a conversation I had not to long ago with a very good friend of went something like this:

Bogart: Dude, what's up? You seem distracted.
Unnamed Friend: My wife is not talking to me...she has not spoken to me in a couple of days.
Bogart: What did you do?
Unnamed Friend: I cheated on her.
Bogart: YOU DID WHAT???
Unnamed Friend: No, not like her dream. She had a dream that I cheated on her and now she is mad at me.
Bogart: Seriously?
Unnamed Friend: Yes, seriously. She is very mad. I had to buy her flowers and apologize. I still don't know what I did wrong, but she says that is part of the problem.
Bogart: Dude...
Unnamed Friend: I know.
Bogart: She had a dream...A DREAM...that you cheated on her. You did not actually touch another woman, but she is mad at you for cheating on her...While you both slept in the same bed, not involving you, but rather some fantastical person in her head?
Unnamed Friend: I am really confused.
Bogart: Me too...
Unnamed Friend: My head hurts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sammy Hagar is a Savant

There are anticipated issues that have arisen directly due to my 3000 mile know, the standard stuff like missing the family, not being able to do my weekly lunch with Steve, not being able to call James/Sabra and grab sushi, not going to the gym with Jeremy, etc, etc...most of them involve specific people or specific things. I was adequately warned that there was no good Mexican food (I really did not believe you Kevin, but holy mackerel, it is terrible. I long for a good carne asada burrito from one of the 'toes brothers)...My mom made sure I knew that fruit and vegetables were not as good outside Cali (again, I did not believe her, but wow she was right. I just want a good peach and an avocado, please...I beg you.)...I was even warned that flip flops did not exist east of Arizona (the coffee shop lady made fun of me last week. Sure, it was 50 degrees outside, I was wearing my Kobians, and my feet turned purple, but she did not have to be so mean about it)...but one thing that nobody warned me about was the slow pace of driving. I had heard that we drove fast in Cali, but I always thought people were just crazy. Then, I came out here and realized that not only is the speed limit 10 mph less, people actually pay attention to it. If I set the cruise at 60, I have to weave in and out of traffic just to keep up the pace. C'mon Virginia, blind old women in wheel chairs drive faster than that on PCH.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Loose Ends

I hate story lines in movies that never get finished...Claire and I went out to the Commodore Theater with some friends on Saturday. We had a really good time, but the movie, while decent, really left us a bit disappointed. First, it is never a good sign to be looking at your watch wondering how much longer until the end. Second, they just left way to many loose ends...without giving anything away, there were two major plot points that were important, but we were just left to hang on. I hate that.

With that in mind, a few things I feel I should wrap up:

1. A good general rule when traveling, never buy clothes in a high-end hotel when you are on the road. In Memphis, I ran out of dress socks, so I needed to buy two more pairs for my upcoming meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. The smart thing to do would have been to ask the concierge if there was a mall close (there was one within 150 yards of the hotel) and shop at a normal retailer. Instead, I, being a moron, walked into the men's clothing store that Elvis shopped in and plopped down $40 for 2 pairs of socks. FORTY BUCKS!! If I was not so weird about wearing dirty socks, I would have just sucked it up. Maybe I need to go to counseling for this sock problem.

2. I mentioned here that I went to see Man of La Mancha...actually, Claire and I went. It was bad, I did something I have only done once, walked out in the middle of the performance. No, we did not wait for intermission...we stood up and walked out right in the middle of the first act. The lead actor sounded like Movie Phone guy and the rest of the cast was brutal. I think I did a better job singing than those actors did.

3. In Vegas last weekend, James, Pops and I saw the Cirque show KA at the MGM. We had a great time, but I would not recommend it. There are so many other Cirque shows that are better.

4. The day spa we went to while in Vegas was at Caesar's...very nice place! Ranks right up there with the Mandalay Bay spa. James and I mused that if we were really adventurous, we would simply get a group of guys together, not get a hotel, but rather stay out all night and then rest/sleep/relax at the spa all day. It is cheaper than getting a room, there are places to sleep and refresh, plus showers, shaving, and cologne for the night out. Wish I would have thought of that in college!

5. Claire found a very cool church last week and I had a chance to join her this Sunday...I think it may just become our Sunday morning home...Going to take the new member's class beginning in 2 weeks. She also found that there is a small group on Thursday nights that is based on cooking and fellowship...What Would Jesus Eat...We are so all over that!


Saw Dan in Real Life last night...really enjoyed that movie. Always a good thing when they can produce a movie that is entertaining, funny, and clean. Seems like it takes more talent to create those movies well. So many good movies are ruined by needless/constant cursing or random sex scenes. Please don't read me wrong...if it makes sense and has a reason to be in there, no worries...insert it and make a good flick, but don't just stick it in there for the sake of sticking it in there.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

About a year ago I decided that I was too big and I was embarrassed about how out of shape I was time to do something...I chose to run. Why? I don't know. Really thought it would be therapeutic, relaxing, and a fun way to shed lb's, get in shape, and give me time to think through stuff.

So I started running. The first day out, I ran (really more of a slow trot) for about 7 blocks...thought I would die. Frankly, I wanted to die. Just hit me in the head and end it. My feet hurt, my lungs burned, and there was a strange red licorice color in my cheeks.

But, I did it again the next day...and the day after that...and then it became something I did 4-5 days a week...then I ran a race...then I got a bit addicted. I never got crazy about it. Frankly found it rather boring, but I like the runner's high and got to listen to good music. Sure, I was not a "runner", but I regularly ran 2-4 miles 4-5 times a week. I should be proud of that...but I am not.

See Claire is training for this marathon...silly me thought it would be a good idea to train with her. You know, run 4 days a week together. Get to really feel comfortable chatting. Discuss, politics, religion, the pros and cons of antidisestablishmentarianism. You know, normal stuff.
We have gotten to the phase in the training that we should be doing 13-15 miles on Saturdays. We did 10 miles today and decided that it was too cold to keep going, so we got in the car and drove away. Sure, we are going to run 4 miles on Sunday to make up the difference, but frankly I am a bit dissatisfied with my effort.

Then I think, just last Thanksgiving I was pushing close to three bills, could not run 1/2 a mile, and would sit on people if I did not like, 1 year later, I am under 1/8th of a ton, can see my shoes, and am not happy that I ONLY ran 10 miles. How in the world can I be disappointed with the effort? I dunno, but I am. Guess it is just a matter of perspective.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not Everything is Created Equal

A couple of years ago, my brother, a couple of friends and I went to the Whiskies of the World Expo in San Fransisco. It was GREAT! We sampled over 100 different scotch's, and got to try some high-end tequilas an bourbons. We chatted with the distillers, made friends, and got to sample a few "Private Stashes". We even went to a discussion on pairing cigars with scotch. We had so much fun!

So, with that memory in mind, I signed my brother, pop's, and myself up for the Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke Las Vegas. It promised to be fun and enlightening and crazy good. Instead, the event was crowded, loud, and more like a cattle call than an expo.

First, the cool things...Pop's, James, and I looked good...

The three of us had a great time hanging out together...eating some sweet food (you know, cookies, doughnuts, and the Golden Nugget's world famous Bread Pudding), enjoying the craps tables, and even sampling some of our Cigar Samples...okay, they really weren't samples, per se, but rather the real deal full smokes...very nice pull! Actually came home with over 50 cigars! I need a bigger humidor.

We got to sample some great Rums and even a new offering from the folks at Crown Royal, Cask 16. That stuff was serious good, especially for a blend.

The bad...well, we arrived just as the doors were opening. Sure, I expected it to be a bit crowded, but HOLY COW...there were 3000 people in line. It wrapped around the convention center, then doubled back, and there were two lines on either side!

When we finally walked in, they handed us a canvas bag and a coupon book. Each page of the book was numbered and had a cigar manufacturer's name on it. I think they even slapped us on the butt and yelled "GO" when we passed through...although that could have been the cross dresser named "Bobby" we hung out with, but that is an entirely different story for an entirely different time.

Anyway, we were expected to walk through this maze-o-booths, wade through the crowds, turn in our appropriate numbered coupon and they would graciously give us a cigar...No, we did not get to chat with the owners or cigar makers. No, I did not learn anything about cigars. No, I did not even get a chance to cash in all my coupons...Did I mention it was crowded?

We did however, get a chance to chat with a watch maker, hold a $100,000 watch, try on a $45,000 one, and fall in love with a $10,000 Diamond Encrusted Timepiece. Now, how does this relate to the Big Smoke? I don't know, but that part was pretty cool!

So for all of you that were "jealous" about me going to this event, be more jealous that my brother, pops, and I got to be in Vegas for a vacation weekend, play some roulette/craps/video poker, see a Cirque show, and generally have a great time...but please, don't be envious of the Friday night event...It was certainly no W.O.W. Convention. Anyone interested in joining me next spring?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Short Update and a Request

Two quick things...

Please be praying for my Grandmother...she has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. It is amazing how this stuff seems to happen in bunches. I think it is made doubly hard for all of us because we lost gramps so recently...

Also Mr. Bill Watson had successful surgery and is now back home...sure, there may be some chest "splitting" pains, but he is back home...should even be able to watch his beloved LSU Tigers play this week. Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. It sounds like he is in line to make a full recovery.

I Am Edjumakated

I had a great experience this morning, participating in a program called "Raising a Reader" sponsored by the United Way. Claire and I went to the local children's learning center and read books to little one's...I joined our new friend Robert to read to 2-3 year old kids...

Not only was it a lot of fun, but I also learned that dinosaurs have mommy's and daddy's that want them to go to bed without a fuss and that tracking mud into the house may get you in trouble, but mommy and daddy love you anyway.


I am finally back after what seemed like a long trip (Las Vegas + Memphis). I know that it was only 6 days, but for some reason this trip seemed to last a long time. Sure good to be home, despite being welcomed by driving rain (locals call it a sprinkle) and cold temps (these freaks around here think that 55 is comfortable) I am a weather wuss. I will update all of you on my trips sometime this weekend...complete with pictures, stories, and maybe even a tip or two about how not to buy clothes when in Memphis.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Man's First Instinct is to Survive

Okay, so I did buy the Frozen Tuna fillet from that sketchy Asian market in Virginia Beach. Sure, they tried to kill me by *giving* me some special snapper, but hey, the tuna looked pretty.

So I defrosted it. Sliced it, cut up some cucumber/avocado/crab, bought some wasabi paste, made a crab/masago mixture, and went to work making, to be fair, I personally did not make a roll, nor did I actually mix up the mayo/crab/masago thing...those roles belonged to this pretty girl I know...

Anyway it looked something like this when we started:

And, here is what it looked like when we were done:

No "Mt. Fuji's Revenge" or actually worked and tasted really good. The whole process was a lot of fun, but the stress of eating raw fish at home combined with the great meal sure made me sleepy...

**Thanks Jeremy and Amity for the sushi set and was a lot of fun! Can someone say Sushi Party.**


Please keep Mr. Bill Watson in your prayers...a friend from Louisiana...he is having open heart surgery today. Also keep in your prayers his family. It has been a very stressful week for all of them. Although, I am sure it was made easier when LSU beat Alabama this week!


Going to see Man of La Mancha tonight and I fly out early Friday morning for Vegas with my brother and pops...we are going to be checking out the Cigar Aficionado Big Smoke. Should be a great time with the guys...and yes, we are going to be spending a day relaxing in the day spa. C'mon Kevin, you know you are jealous.

On Sunday, I am off to Memphis for a conference, so I don't know if I will be able to update the blog until next Thursday...I am sure I will have pictures and interesting stories about my trips. Until then, stay thirsty or classy or pretty...whatever you do, do it.

Brian Lawrence

Pictures of Brian Lawrence, pitching for the Richmond Braves AAA team, vs. Norfolk Tides on July 3, 2008....He actually pitched pretty well, scattering 2 hits over the first 6 innings, but he got into some trouble and the bully let a few inherited runs to score. His line was worse than he pitched.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From a Fish Monger

Thought I would try something new last night...make my own sushi. I know, adventurous and daring...that's how I roll.

Anyway, so we go to this fish market just before closing (Mistake #1). The fish counter has been put away and the fish monger does not speak English. He directs me to the front...scurry back up front, grab the woman at the check-out stand and ask for Tuna and Salmon, cause I am intent on making my own sushi (Mistake #2)...The store is out of salmon, but the Tuna steak looks great. Then I realize it is frozen...hmmm, what to do. Eh, close enough, I will take the Tuna. (Mistake #3) Do you have any Snapper? Lot's of discussion, 2 different fillets, and finally she pulls out something that sorta looks like Snapper (Potential Mistake!!!).

She starts to weigh it, the Monger starts pointing at the fillet and shaking his head...they got into yet another deep discussion about the fish. I really have no clue what they said, but they kept pointing to the middle of the fish and arguing. After the back-and-forth, the monger storms off, mumbling something under his breath, and shaking his head. The lady from the front counter smiles at us and began to weigh the fish, wrapping it for us to take.

This is when I realized that I had a choice to make. Take the fish, despite the look of pity and disgust I just got from Mr. Fish Monger and just chance it...or politely say no thank you and go get something else.

I waived her off and said no thank you, I do not want your rotting fish.

Now a dilemma. The front register lady says "No charge. You can have this fillet for free."

Not that long ago, I would have smiled, taken the free fish, skipped all the way home thinking I had won the lottery and eaten it like a ravenous beast. I mean, an entire Snapper Steak, FOR FREE. Bonus. Score. God must be smiling on me.

However, I realized at that moment, that I am officially old and wise. I was able to discern what seemingly was a gift from God vs. the poison of the devil. It was an evil offer, clearly designed by Satan himself to suck the life out of me.

Heck no, I am not going to take old fish that the monger does not want to sell...even if it is free. Who knows what kind of trichinosis type of disease I would end up with. Can you imagine the mess?

I told her no thank you, she insisted, we ran away.

The moral of this story...making sushi at home is great, but when a very polite register lady offers you rotting old snapper, you run. I don't care if it is free. Run. This is like strapping a jet engine to your car...9 kinds of crazy and only death can result. Just trust me on this one.


I feel like I need to clear something up. It has become evident that I have friends and family with a dirty mind. So, it is with some trepidation that I fully explain the post regarding Monty Python and the hand massage.

I thought that would be a very safe way to describe the fact that the woman that I am completely smitten with treated me to a great movie do you say....I don't think I can even spell it...uhhhh...ok ok...

A Manicure.

My nails look great, okay. I feel pretty. And there is nothing wrong with a man getting a manicure these days. We like to be pampered too.

So clean up your dirty minds. You make me sick. And I don't want any guff from any of you about my pretty hands.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crazy Loves Company

Remember this post? Well, I just got an email from a good friend in San is part of it:

As i awoke this morning i smelled the aroma of freshly roasted coffee.It felt like christmas a burst i ran to the kitchen pulled out the "Peppermint Mocha" poured it in my holiday coffee-mug along with the coffee and...there it was YUMMY GOODNESS!!!I should add...i bought out two stores of it and now it consumes our freezer along with my mother-in-laws!!! I am a true fan and when you come back i will have that YUMMY GOODNESS just for you.

See, despite what you all might think, I am not the only crazy one!

I Fart in Your General Direction

Last night might have been the greatest night really. EVER.
It started with a nice, quiet dinner with a really beautiful woman. Good food, better company, and fantastic conversation is a great way to begin a night...then, after cleaning up and spending some time hanging out, she offered to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail and give me a hand massage.
No suggesting...just simply a "hey, want to watch Monty Python and I can give you a hand massage?"...
Is the Pope German?

Wow. All I can say is wow. I think I may have a keeper.


Took some family photos this is getting rarer and rarer for all 6 "kids" (and 2 spouses) to be together these days, so we like to take advantage of the time when it occurs...Jessica is usually the instigator of the photos and I know that we will appreciate it more as time goes thanks Jess!!!


"First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Saying Goodbye.

On Saturday, our family said our final goodbyes to my Grandfather, Rev. Clarence Edwin Rohde, PhD...My Gramps. He passed away on September 13, 2007 and we had his memorial on November 3, 2007.
Born on July 29th, 1924 in Burwell, Nebraska, he was a tall (6'6) lean man. He was Nebraska's athlete of the year in 1942 and was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers 2 years later.

Instead of playing for the Lakers, he chose to serve his country in the Army during WWII. During that time, he played basketball for the army, was Chief Cook for 300+ soldiers in Asia and Personal Secretary to the General.

He was married to Ruth in January, 1948 and was just 4 months shy of their 60th anniversary when he passed away.

He got his Masters in Education and earned a PhD in Theology.

He was a pastor in 19 churches, over 7 states, and 50+ years in the Assemblies of God ministries.

Most importantly for me, he was my hero, mentor, and the one person that I relied on every day of my life, never once letting me down. During his memorial, I said this...

"I thought about sharing with you some of the stories that I remember in little ponds in Nebraska...running away from home when I was 4 to be with him...sneaking out to get a doughnut and having him tell me "Grandma does not need to know about this"...and the 3 days in a car I spent with him when he moved to California after retiring...but instead, I want to share with you the most important thing. I am a Christian...a Christ follower because Gramps showed me what that meant...he shared with me the most important message of all...the message of hope. No, he was not perfect, even though I will remember him that way...but he was God's hand's and feet to so many people."

While I never hesitated to ask him questions, just trying to learn from him...and nothing important was ever left unsaid...Over the last 6 weeks I have so longed to be able to call him and ask more questions...ministry questions...personal direction questions...I want to tell him about the new and exciting things that I am experiencing in Virginia...I want him to meet and get to know the new important person in my life...I want to see his devilish smile when he successfully pulls a little joke...I want to hear more stories about the Army, growing up in Nebraska, and pastoring 17 different churches...I wish I could hear one more of his sermons belted out with that wonderful deep voice...I want just one more car ride, one more doughnut with him, or even just one more hug...but I can no longer do any of those things...and for me, selfishly, that hurts. A lot.

I am so happy for him that he finally got to hear the words "Well done my good and faithful servant". Like Grandma, I am a bit jealous that he is there first. I am so impressed at the sheer volume of lives he so intimately touched. I stand in awe of the man that he was and he is missed more than I can express.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What, no Breakfast Club, The A-Team, or Super Contra?

Nordstrom Rules! Just for the record, I love Nordstrom. I know, I know...many of you wonder about me to begin with, but since we all have to wear clothes (except Derek, who is the most naked person I know), I figure I might as well enjoy what I buy. That rules out Walmart...Yes, I own their stock, but I feel dirty in rules out the salvation army (but I did look good as Dwight)...and don't even get me started on the many problems of shopping for clothes at Big Lots.
Wow, how did I digress so far? Anyway, back to my main point...I stopped at Nordstrom with Jeff yesterday to buy a belt. While there, we found the best 1989 Miami Vice jackets ever, so we tried them on...
I think they are pretty styl'n...okay, Jeff looks silly, but Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas ain't got nothing on me!


Was at Costco last week and heard a very familiar sounded something like this...I was walking through, buying bread, and I heard it. It was calling to me. It all came rushing back. The hours spend with the Nintendo Controller in my hand. The stale Cheetos. The Jolt Cola. Bubble Bobble is back! Costco had a full size, arcade style, Bubble Bobble machine. If it were not $2000, I would have bought it on the spot. Instead, I took the picture and will search for a cheap copy online.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cross Country

Flew back to the old haunt Tuesday...well not exactly, actually in the OC for some family things, but drove down to SD for Halloween night and to visit some friends and family...

Had lunch with Deron...Afternoon nachos with a haircut...Trick-or-Treating with my Goddaughter, her sister, mom, grandparents, uncle, and aunt...Dinner at the Saunders, Gordon Biersch with Scott and Jeff, a little wine back at the house reminiscing...then finally to bed well after midnight.

All of it was so cool...had not seen Jeff in 3 years...but the highlight had to be Trick-or-Treating with Emma and Molly. They were The Big Bad Bully Bugs and were very cute...

My costume was not that great...but it did the trick...

One house we went to offered a choice of Teddy Grahams or Candy for the little ones (they of course chose candy, were given the option of Chocolate or Fruity...C'mon, this is my goddaughter we are talking about, of course she chose the peanut free M&M's), and then they offered the adults a glass of "Buttered Rum" joke, full bar out on the lawn. That was certainly a new experience. They liked my hat and wanted me to stay, but alas, no...we had more houses to do!