Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Taking out the Trash

I love college football! In fact, each year it seems I start to long for it earlier and earlier in the year. This year I couldn't even make it to June. I told my wife recently that it was going to be a long, hot summer because I was already jonesing for some Saturday football.

Having said that, I know there is an ugly side to the sport. I know the coaches are overpaid and often cheat their way to the top. I know the players are coddled and babied. I know all that, but I can't help it. I love the game. So, I give you this article as at least a bit of a defense for college football:

There is still some integrity left and I will be cheering for the Nittany Lions this year!

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Words

This weekend on NPR I heard a list of new words that will most likely not make it into the dictionary. These were my three favorites that I'm trying to work into my own limited vocabulary.

destinesia (noun) : a disease in which one enters another room/area and forgets what they came for.

Although he marched angrily and purposefully into the room, the moment he stepped in from underneath the door, he had destinesia and forgot for what he had come.

Molassochist (noun) : One who derives pleasure from making processes painfully slow.

I went to the DMV today to get my licenses and the guy was such a Molassochist.

flatuglance (noun) : The glance given by someone who recognizes that someone in his or her's presence has farted.

While on the elevator, he recognized someone's flatuglance as he tried to determine who had passed gas.

See if you can work these into a conversation or spelling bee. Or send me your own new words.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Mom, Rose

Yesterday was a day to celebrate mom's. For some people that means remembering their mother who has passed on to the next life. For others it means being reminded that their relationship with their mother is not a healthy one. I have friends in both those groups and I feel for them.

Thankfully, I'm in the group who truly get to celebrate, honor and thank their mom's. To say I was blessed with great parents would win the blog award for understatement of the century. However, instead of making an exhaustive list of all the wonderful things about my mom and risk having you not read it because of its intimidating length, I've narrowed it down to my two favorite things about my mom, Rose.

1) Her sense of humor. I'm not just talking about the ability to tell a good joke or deliver a good line. I'm talking about the knack to deliver it at the right time. My mom has always made me laugh. She taught me that laughter is wonderful and powerful medicine. She also taught me that what Woody Allen said is true, "If it bends it's funny, if it breaks it's not funny." A sharp wit can be used to soothe or skewer. In Roses' case, that wit has been in good hands.

2) Her love of learning. Rose possesses the wonderful combination of curiosity and a willingness to change. It's one thing to learn about new things and ideas, it's another entirely to make the effort to change your actions and opinions based on that new information. She's not a radical or a dimwit who changes her mind like the wind changes direction, but she is willing to admit when she is wrong and make an effort to grow and move forward.

As I said before, the list could go on and on. I think I'll just work on being like her in those two ways for now. That would be quite an accomplishment.

Happy Mother's Day Rose! I love you and I'm truly thankful for you.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Musical Weekend

First of all, you may notice that a blog regarding the Mavericks loss in the first round of the NBA play-offs is conspicuously missing. Simply put, I'm not in a good place to talk about that yet. It's over, I'm bitter. I'm not even close to being finished with the first step of grieving: shock. Next will come denial and then probably a violent reaction. Maybe I'll write about it during that stage.

On a brighter note, I enjoyed a musical weekend with friends and family. Friday night, my friend Craig Fisher introduced me to Robert Gotcher and we listened to he and a friend play an accoustic set. It was relaxing and very enjoyable. Robert is an excelent songwriter, guitar player and singer. Check out his fine work at

Saturday, my five year old daughter Rainey participated in a violin recital where she and my beautiful bride played a duet. Saturday night, Rainey and I participated in the TCC Country Strings annual show that we get to help out with every semester. I sang a few songs, but the highlight of the evening was Rainey's rendition of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma. I know I'm her dad and everything, but man that girl can sing! Check her out at
Thanks to Diane Enger, TCC and Country Strings for inviting us to participate again this semester. And thanks as well to all of you who came out to see the show.

And finally on Sunday afternoon, a dream come true! After listening to the soundtrack from the brilliant musical Wicked for months and months, we finally got to see it! What a great show! Rainey has it memorized, so getting to sit by her and watch her be amazed was worth twice what we paid for the tickets.

What a cool weekend! So take that Dallas Mavericks, I'm moving on with my life!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thoughts on Foul Language

When one becomes a parent, one begins to look at, and listen to the world in a different way. I'm the parent of a very smart 5 year old who questions everything. I like that about her. She has a 15 month old little sister who is learning to talk by repeating what she hears. This makes the world for me an interesting place. Television shows, movies, billboards, magazines and radio shows that I previously paid little attention to are now magnified as my oldest ponders their meaning and my youngest repeats their language.

I heard a man telling about taking his 7 year old son to a professional basketball game and sitting in front of some guys who were using very bad language. This puts a parent in a tough spot. If you decide to say something to the cussers, you risk a major confrontation. If you say nothing, you either have to leave or cringe for the entire game. Their freedom of speech has now taken away your freedom to enjoy a ballgame with your kid. Is that right? It seems to me that this is a case of liberty without responsibility.

The other day I was getting some soup at the grocery store. A nicely dressed young man came up behind me to see what kind of soup they were serving. When he saw what it was he said to no one in particular, "S***, f***ing clam chowder." Then he returned to his job at the in-store bank where I found out later, he was the manager. Was he really that disappointed in the soup? At what point does that "strong" language lose its power? What words would he choose should say, his leg was cut off in a horrible logging accident? The same words he used to express his disappointment with the soup choice?

Is it purely a matter of laziness? Is it the general dumbing down of our society? Is it an indication of the loss of our moral compass?

Hey, watch your mouth, I'm just asking.