Thursday, October 19, 2006

90 Things Mom Taught Me.

1. When someone is being very rude to you in conversation; imagine them naked in public wearing clown shoes. Then mentally shrink them down until their voices get very, very high and they're 3 feet tall. Its tough to be angry at a publicly naked midget clown.

2. When in the buffet line at a wedding - eat two items while in line and put one on your plate.

3. Always touch the last biscuit before asking if anyone wants it. You're asking because YOU want it, remember?

4. Avoid strict schedules. They're too confining.

5. If you're terrible at something get good enough at it to squeak by, then move on to something else.

6. Avoid television.

7. Experiment.

8. Wear your seatbelt, its sitting right there anyway.

9. Brush your teeth frequently. Why not? It doesn't take long.

10. Keep M&M's handy.

11. Never be afraid to throw away a food item someone gives you if its terrible. Tell them you loved it. That’s a white lie, not a black one like when you lied about eating all the M&Ms.

12. If you circle the table while eating, the calories and your exertion cancel each other out.

13. Maybe you can't help how you feel, but you're the only one who can control how you act.

14. Catharsis is rarely worth it.

15. Closure is overrated.

16. They're not family, so don't worry about it.

17. Try food you've never liked before once and while. Sometimes you change your mind.

18. If your time invested doesn’t line up with what you think are your priorities, something is wrong.

19. People know when you don't mean it. They're not stupid either.

20. If somebody says something, and you think maybe they meant something else - you're probably right.

21. The people are more important than the meal or the event.

22. You rarely lose by giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

23. Chances are good they meant it. Chances are also good that if you ignore it, it'll eventually go away.

24. If you're not passionate about something - you're boring.

25. You are like your friends whether you like them or not.

26. Don't be stupid.

27. Be nice to nerds because:
A. Somebody out there thinks YOU are one, and
B. You're going to end up working for one eventually.

28. Don't waste time. Either be doing something, or be asleep.

29. Don't take sports too seriously. That’s boring.

30. If you do watch television, at least don't yell back at it.

31. Until you find someone you can't stand NOT to be married to, please don't get married.

32. Do not comment about newborn babies. Period. If you must speak say, "that is a beautiful baby."

33. R.S.V.P.

34. If you're feeling lonely at a party; check the nearest corner. There is someone there lonelier than you. Talk to them, then go check the other corners. Pretty soon the party is in your corner.

35. Chasing the cool crowd puts you…..right behind the cool crowd. They're chasing a cooler crowd. Leave it alone and go find the nerds.

36. Strategize.

37. No, you're right. She did it on purpose to manipulate you and she does it a lot. You normally don't notice, but you better!

38. Make the most of it, but don't worry too much about how you look. You're stuck with it.

39. Always have a casserole handy.

40. There is no such thing as an unwanted far as they know.

41. You can't play fair if there aren't any rules. Either make rules, or don't worry about playing fair.

42. A big task is lots of small tasks. Do one small task everyday even if you can't complete it right away. Then one day you'll be shocked to realize you finished the whole thing. Its like finding money in the dryer.

43. Most people probably shouldn't sing out loud.

44. If they put something on the table you just can't stomach; you better eat it anyway.

45. You can't fake modesty.

46. Don't fight with your sister.

47. Most of the time its not worth it to be right.

48. You can find a way to pay for it.

49. You can always put it on a zero-interest credit card and figure it out later.

50. Might as well buy the best one if you're going to spend all that money anyway.

51. The rule about doing what adults tell you to do does not apply to your uncles. They're like children.

52. Do NOT get on the four-wheeler with your Uncle Robert.

53. You're not "insensitive"; you were just born without a key emotional component that most women have.

54. Sometimes telling her the whole truth really isn't the nice thing to do. Put her on a "need to know" basis and get out of there.

55. Lying and omission of the truth are identical. The "whole truth" and a "white lie" are somewhere in-between.

56. Cornbread is much harder to get right than most people realize.

57. Using more than one type of pre-mixed ingredient packet means its from scratch.

58. If you win at any cost you're usually the one who pays for it.

59. Losing gracefully is much easier if you really don't care.

60. Lets buy the $15 shirt from target instead of the $40 shirt from the GAP and spend the $25 on icecream for everybody.

61. If you go for the check; get the whole thing.

62. If you really wanted to get the check you wouldn't have asked; you'd have snuck your credit card to the waiter when nobody was looking. People subconsciously realize that. Don't be cheap.

63. There is nothing worse than cheap people.

64. Let yourself be taken advantage of for money, time, food, or work and count on God to take care of you. If He doesn't its his fault, not yours. Either way it becomes somebody else's problem and you don't have to worry about it.

65. Do not tolerate people you love being taken advantage of.

66. People will always take advantage of you. If you get rid of everybody that hurts you you're going to get lonely.

67. There is nothing wrong with sneaking out the back if you find it more convenient.

68. Get there late and leave before people are ready for you to. That way they're always ready for you to come back.

69. The center of attention can be alot of fun depending on the type of attention.

70. Driving 80mph in a 70mph zone when you're only going 80 miles to begin with saves you 11.66 minutes. The last ticket you got cost you $200. Thats $17.15 per minute or roughly $1,029 per hour. Your time isn't worth that much: slow down.

71. There is always somebody smarter, tougher, faster, more successful, better looking, or richer than you. Knowing that doesn't make you feel better when you lose, but at least you're not surprised.

72. In relationships: fish or cut bait.

73. If you get a weird feeling about something - get out of there.

74. If its not on the table already - don't ask for it.

75. If you wait to develop wholly pure motives before you do something nice for someone; you're going to be waiting a long time. Go ahead and do it and don't worry about why. So you're motives weren't pure? Big deal. At least you did something nice.

76. You don't miss the money you give away.

77. Its better to have friends with a boat than to have the boat yourself.

78. If somebody you know talks too much and one day they betray your confidence; its your fault. You knew they were a blabbermouth to begin with, dummy.

79. Granddad always said that if somebody borrows $10 from you and never pays you back; it only cost you $10 to find out he's a crook and a liar. Thats good information - cheap.

80. Do your own thing.

81. If you stay up late - you can always sleep late to make up for it. Thats the nice thing about nighttime.

82. There is nothing wrong with doing two things at once if you can get them both done.

83. Be nice to Grandma. She let you spill stuff all over her house when you were little and didn't complain.

84. You'd be amazed if you knew how many people thought the exact same thing about you.

85. Hopefully people don't think the same thing about you.

86. Its amazing what you can get away with if you try it with a smile.

87. Rework your criteria for picking causes.

88. Eating it doesn't really help the people starving in Africa, but it does help put your life in perspective.

89. Its good to be the boss, but its also good not to be the boss too.

90. Don't make too many decisions based on what other people will think. Chances are good they're not really thinking about you anyway.

91. There is nothing wrong with a mild Christmas present obsession.

92. There is no excuse for being rude.

93. Doodling is healthy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Apologies, But Could You Hand Me My Eye?

It seems that I have damaged my left eye. If one did not know better one might think that Satan was attempting to enter the world through my left eyeball. It is that red. Think "fires of hell" red. You're close. So, by "damaged" I mean that the ordinarily-white part of my eye has turned a particularly virulent red. I can only assume that it has begun formally addressing everyone who walks by because they don't speak back at it, but they do stop and stare; a facet of humanity that I have always found somewhat rude.

If you're going to stop and stare at part of my body you could at least direct towards it some sort of appropriate question. Even a quick "well hellooo" under your breath would be fine so long as I can see your lips moving.

I wouldn't suggest it if I didn't do it myself. This morning is a great example. I simply said:

"Hellooo strangely-formed, wide, somewhat oblong, wrinkled rump standing before me on the escalator! How are you today?"

It gave me a pleasant waggle in greeting and I went on about my business.

For now all I will say is that the accident involved me, twelve hundred (1,200) acres of pine trees, one (1) pickup truck, one (1) machete, one (1) bottle of water, one (1) leather glove, and 1 (one) chunk of pine tree traveling at mach 947.

I went into work this morning for a little show-n-tell with the injury. Ultimately my boss (after attempting to exorcise my demons) encouraged me to run down the street for a quick visit with the eye doctor. Its been years since I've been to an Optometrist, but I took his advice.

When I arrived the good doctor dumped a squirt of eye-opener in my eye holes. He then attempted to plug me into a large metal contraption with a shiny tip on it that was entirely too close to my left peeper. Naturally, I asked him what he was going to do. His response was "I'm going to poke you right in the eye with this little metal piece."

Well alright.

But why am I naked?


Mom's Memorial Ride

Over the last few weeks my family has been the object of more love and affection than I would have thought possible. Our friends, family members, and, in some cases, people we don’t even know have ministered to us. In spite of their own feelings of grief and personal loss; they have lifted us up in prayer and comforted us.

For that I thank you.

Clearly the intent of this event is to celebrate Mom, and I can think of no better way to do that than to share with her family and friends this place that she loved so much.

I wish I could condense her experience on the Silver Comet Trail into one paragraph, but I’m afraid I can’t. She saw so much beauty on this trail. She saw snakes and birds. She followed deer and foxes. She made a new friend here every day.

Mom experienced creation on a Cannondale.

I never fully realized this at the time, but the two most important things Mom found in this place were beauty and community. I can think of no better place to experience community than in the presence of beauty.

She expressed to us on many occasions how much she loved cycling and how much she enjoyed the people she met here every day.

On her behalf, my family thanks the cycling community and the hundreds of people who brought joy and adventure to her life through this sport.

From my family to yours: it is our hope that this tragedy will not cause you to change your lifestyles and habits out of a spirit of fear. Mom was acutely aware of danger, but that awareness empowered her. She was attentive to the perils in life, but she refused to allow a spirit of fear to temper her willingness to embrace beauty.

Mom lived an intelligent life. She knew that the greatest danger in existence is not a nameless evil lurking in the shadows. The greatest danger in life is allowing fear to prevent you from pursuing your dreams.

My family’s belief is that Mom’s death saved a life; maybe one of yours. So, since she cannot be here to enjoy it; I encourage you to enjoy it for her. I urge you to go out from here in a spirit of joy with the knowledge that you have a clear trail ahead of you, but most of all I pray that you will remember my mother in this place.