Monday, March 31, 2008

It's supposed to be a vacation.

Here I am in Cedar Key Florida with the fam. They say it's a vacation, I'm not so sure. I can say without a doubt that this is the place to be when the zombie apocalypse hits, as it's so remote, and half the structures are on stilts, so you burn the ladders, and the zombies will never be able to get to you.

It's the delicate dance of Amy Time versus Family Time, and making sure enough time is spent in both quadrants. Escape may not be so easy, as there are no movie theaters, maybe one bookstore, or whatever. There's no cell phone service here. But there is free wireless, so that makes things reasonably better.

The town is basically four blocks big, and on the second block is the town's only grocery store, where they sport Butt Rub seasoning. Yep. That's right, I said it. Butt Rub. They SELL Butt Rub. I took a picture of it, but I can't upload the photos. Bwah ha ha ha.

Check in next week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's Got A Good Beat, And You Can Dance To it. Now.

I know a very cool chick named Beatrice. I got her in to audition for Pink Piggy (four of the actors cast were because I got them in the room. So it pays to be a friend o’ mine, but you also want to be a kick ass actor) and she was cast in the room as a slightly deranged karaoke singer, which, if you know Beatrice, is perfect for her, and that’s meant as a big compliment.

In the script, this slightly deranged karaoke singer sings a little ditty called (I used to have the title here, but had to take it down) The lyrics are exactly what you’re thinking they would be from a song with that kind of title, kind of like you bastard, I’m awesome, can’t you tell, I’m having a nervous breakdown right now because you can’t tell, look at how bold I’m being, I’m metaphorically slitting my wrist in front of you in song! Aren’t I cool now? AREN’T I COOL NOW, YOU MOTHERTRUCKER! But I didn’t pay that much attention to the lyrics when I was writing them because I was writing this script while drunk at 2am in 2002, and I was writing just for me, and we were never gonna make this movie anyway.

But six years later, yes we are, and I never got a chance to polish the song, so the individual lines of the verses are mismatched rhythmically, I don’t like the first two lines, and I used to have them posted here, but I had to take 'em down because I value my privacy, sorry.

But what Beatrice ended up doing was taking the song to her stepfather, who wrote an arrangement for it, and then took it to another friend of hers, who had a band, and another friend did a mix of it, and all of the sudden, a CD lands in front of me at a sushi restaurant last night, courtesy of Beatrice.

And the song is f’ing awesome now. It’s got STRINGS. A MANDOLIN. I remember thinking that nobody could really sing that lyric that I had to take down And have it fit in a certain tempo, but Beatrice and her buddies not only figured that part out, they made it sound GREAT. Beatrice wrote in the liner notes Everyone who contributed to this zany thing did so because they found the whole thing funny, and the song oddly charming…and because I told them it was going to be an awesome film.

I’m once again stunned at how things can take a life of their own outside of my original intentions for it. And thank GOD for it, because what I do is just the base coat. Everyone else brings their layers to it and make it much much better.

Beatrice also told me the HI-larious story of her four year old nephew, who was cast in his church’s Easter pageant. (I love those kind of potential train wrecks. My church is too cool to do anything like that, so God bless the Midwest.) “Was he Pontius Pilate? Was he a fleeing apostle? Was he one of the accusers? Was he one of the guards that rolled dice for Jesus’ clothes?” Nope, Four Year Old Nephew was cast as an angel (I think all the four year olds were cast as part of the heavenly host.) but rehearsal went past his bedtime, and he started to throw a fit, so his Mom bundled him up and hauled him out of the church, and Four Year Old Nephew starts screaming, “Nooooooooo! I wanna see Jesus! I WANNA SEE JESUS!!!”

Oh man. I do too, little buddy. I do too.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Everything I Should be Doing Isn't Working

Sorry for the late post, my time really hasn’t been my own lately. Except for yesterday, which was my birthday. I am now officially eight, but I’m telling everyone I’m six. ‘Cause everyone knows six year olds have the most fun, grin grin.

Things are very chaotic over here at The Miniature Golf Network. We’ve got 4 shows on the air, and I’m now working for two people, so my workload has officially grown horns, cloven hooves, and has used me as a couch. And even though our shows are frolicky and silly, the environment is still corporate Dilbert world. And you want to do a good job because you have a good work ethic, even though your product is golf courses through jungle mazes.

But it’s extraordinarily difficult to keep on top of everything, with demanding bosses you get upset if I’m doing something for the other person first over them. So yes, I have made a few mistakes. Yes, I have been yelled at. Yes, I’m wondering what I’m doing here.

Where is God in this situation? Do I call on Him for help? Do I lean on my own understanding and general office skills? I thought I wasn’t supposed to lean on my own understanding. Understanding isn’t the same as skill. If you are a dumbass because you wrote down the wrong number on the phone sheet, God can’t really do anything about it.

Where is God in a Dilbert corporate world? I pray for help, I pray for strength, I pray to not be a dumbass, I pray to feel His presence helping me lift the burden, but all I feel is my own guilt and shame at doing something wrong. What, you think He’s gonna come down with the God wand and somehow magically right everything you’ve gotten wrong? If I’m supposed to go to Him for everything, then am I allowed to expect that He’ll do something about it?

These are the days where it seems impossible that a God we exalt as King, Lord Most High, Creator Of The Universe, la la la, really gives a shit whether my bosses are yelling at me or not. I think that might be the unintentional distancing effect that most hymns have. When we sing “Summer and winter and springtime and harvest. Sun, moon and stars in their courses above. Join with all nature in manifold witness. To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love” on Great Is The Faithfulness, then you think to yourself, yes, this God has created the seasons, has set the stars in the sky, and you want Him to do what? Get the courier here with the package faster? Because that’s very high on His To Do List? Are you kidding me?

One thing they’ll hammer at you in church 24/7 is the theme that God wants a relationship with you. God wants a relationship with you! You pursue worldly things, and worldly relationships and all God wants is a relationship with you! Set your sights on God, get to know Him, pursue His kingdom and you get fluffy bunnies, Cadbury eggs and everything else!

I don’t have a clue what pursuing a relationship with God means. No no, not true. I do too know what it means. I just don’t think it’s working currently.

Church will tell you that pursuing a relationship with God usually boils down to six or so things.
1. Read the Bible.
2. Pray.
3. Listen. (ideally while being still.)
4. Go to church and listen to what they have to say.
5. Get connected with a small group and discuss what they have to say.
6. Repeat

Yeah, I’m doing all of that. No, I don’t feel like I’m making progress.

I pray, so I’m talking to Him. I read the Bible, to try and understand a tiny tiny fragment of Him (I’m still stuck in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, where it’s all about Kings not tearing down the high places of pagan worship, and the successive lines of Kings who do the exact same thing, and Lamb Chop is stuck in my head singing, this is the song that doesn’t end, yes it goes on and on my friend.) I listen for Him ALL the time. I get nothing. No deeper understanding, no response. Just the cold academic calculating of Well, your landlord didn’t hose you on the rent increase so you know…that MUST have been God saving your ass, right?

If God wants the relationship with me, why is all I’m working through is a mountain of secular shit? What does He want me to do? What MORE does He want me to do? What kind of response from Him am I supposed to be looking for?

Oh great, we’re back to the Enough question.

We’re back to the What Do You THINK God’s Response Is Gonna Be Like?

We’re back to the Whatever Response You Think God Should Give Is Just Another Example Of How You Don’t Know Who God Is In The First Place, So Chutes And Ladders Yourself All The Way Back To Square One and Start Over, You Whiny Little Bee-yotch. Read The Bible. Pray. Listen. Go to Church. Go to Small Group. Repeat. Read The Bible. Pray. Listen. Go to Church. Go to Small Group. Repeat. Read The Bible. Pray. Listen. Go to Church. Go to Small Group. Repeat.

If I’m continually getting it wrong, there’s less and less reason to start over again. It gets so HARD to start over again. Whatever.

I think everyone needs to get Lamb Chop’s song stuck in their head. RIGHT NOW.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bible Reading With Eeyore

A few months ago, I don't remember exactly when, but I decided I was gonna read the whole Bible. And now I'm done! Ha! Kidding. One of my buddies gave me a One Year Chronological Bible, meaning it's laid out in order that scholars think the events actually occurred. So you start off the same with Genesis, but then Job comes next and then Exodus, and so on and by the time you get to 1 and 2 Samuel, it's interspersed with Psalms, and most of 1 and 2nd Kings have 1 and 2nd Chronicles interwoven in there and la la la.

I can now say with authority that nothing makes Leviticus fun to read, unless you make a drinking game out of it. Drink every time they say "Ceremonially unclean." Drink every time they say "an ephah of fine flour." Drink every time someone sprinkles blood on the altar! Forget it! Game over, we're all wasted!

I was actually kinda excited to get to Ecclesiastes, as I thought the depressed parts of me would finally have something to relate to. But MAN , it's a bummer book. Meaningless, meaningless, says the Teacher, utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless! I get it! Go outside and fly a kite!

However, if you imagine Eeyore the donkey from Winnie The Pooh doing a podcast of Ecclesiastes, everything suddenly becomes MUCH funnier.

For those of you who don't know what Eeyore sounds like, check this out:

Spastic ears aside, that's basically his voice. So imagine that voice reading this passage, Ecclesiastes 6, verses 1 – 6

1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: 2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4 It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. 5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man- 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?

And then it's much more fun. I cannot wait until I get to the far reaching plains o' fun that is the sixty-six chapters of Isaiah. I will probably never make it out alive.