Monday, October 31, 2005


No TV for a week, how did that work out. Turns out I didn't really miss anything since all the shows I like were having re-runs. I wanted to make a statement to myself that I am not controlled by the plot lines of various shows that may be on. That my plans do not have to be calculated based on what shocking new thing will be revealed next week on a super special episode of fill-in-the-blank show. The thing is I choose to make this statement to myself on the very week where no new shocking things are revealed. So the moral of the story, as always: I am an idiot!

p.s. and I need TiVo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It’s not the loss of property that hurts, it’s the loss of peace

It was mildly strange that the back door was unlocked and even more that the door to the kitchen was. Kate will sometimes leave the porch door open while locking the kitchen door so someone can get to the porch but not in the house. Both doors were unlocked when I got home yesterday. When I came into the kitchen I could see through the house to the front door and it was wide open with Molly sitting on the front porch looking out the screen door. I called for Kate knowing that she wasn’t off work yet but what other explanations could there be?

The window on the front door was plexi-glass and broken out of its frame. All of the drawers to all of our dressers, desks, and cabinets were opened and ransacked. There were clothes all over the floor in both bedrooms, a broken lamp in the living room, and the door to the upstairs and other closets were all open. Someone had broken in to our house and gone through everything. I looked to see what was missing. TV still there, iPod sitting on my desk, DVDs still in the pulled out drawer, jewelry dumped on the dresser but still there. The only thing missing was the change on my dresser inside a Boris Yeltsin (he was a democratic president so he could be trusted with the change, or so I thought) nesting doll I bought in Kiev. Somebody broke our door, ransacked our house and made off with less then $10 worth of pennies, nickels, and quarters.

I went next door to talk to Ronnie to see if he saw anything. “Are you kidding me, if I saw someone in your house they would still be there on the floor.” We went across the street to talk to the gnomes and junior had seen someone. Black hoodie, white gloves. Over and over junior told us about the sweatshirt and the gloves. His brother started to get mad at him for not doing something earlier and I have to admit that was my first reaction as well. But I didn’t say anything and as junior described the guy for the 30th time I realized he was trying to atone in the only way he knew how. My neighbors took it personally. It was not their house but they felt like it happened on their watch. Ron interrogated the other neighbors and junior waited for the police to tell them about the black sweatshirt and white gloves.

The police officer arrived and got the description from junior. He looked at the door and asked if anything was missing. Just the change. He came inside and said “Wow, Nice floors” and asked if we wanted the place dusted for prints. No sense in it if junior’s black hoodie, white gloves guy was the one. Not much he could do and we knew that. He thanked us for moving into the neighborhood, encouraged us that it was getting better and better and to stick with it, and then went on his way.

I wanted to fight someone, I pictured bats hitting legs and fists hitting faces but knew that solved nothing. The person that did this was looking for fast cash for a quick score. Most likely a drug addict that needed a fix now. Why leave the iPod or other stuff and only take the change? The person that did this is exactly the person I want to reach out to, to pray for, to offer a better life. The person that did this is part of the reason we moved to this neighborhood. Jesus give me your heart for this person. Jesus let me see this person as you see them. Jesus bless them.

Kate and I set about moving on and that meant cleaning. We went into the bedroom and saw all of Kate’s clothes spread around the room. “They got in my F*&%ing underwear!” I don’t think I have ever heard my wife drop an F-bomb but it was warranted. It didn’t seem out of place. Kate washed every stitch of clothing she had and I cleaned the kitchen. Kate cleaned the bathroom and made dinner and cleaned the dining room and living room. When you feel violated you have to clean. There is a film on your house and you need to scrub it off. That’s the way it feels anyway, truth be told there is a film on you and scrubbing every thing else seems to be the best way to deal with it.

Ron and Suzie came over with our alley neighbor’s Mike and Moses. Ron wanted to talk some more, to apologize for letting us down. He wanted to look in our eyes and find the forgiveness that he couldn’t convince himself of. Mike brought a jar of coins collected from the people in the neighborhood when they heard what happened to us. Sometimes “we care” or “you matter to us” or “you are not alone here” sounds an awful lot like coins clinking on the side of a jar.

It’s not the loss of property that hurts, it’s the loss of peace. Lord grant us your peace

Lead me Oh lead me into your arms
I will be safe in the shadow of your wing
Lead me Oh lead me into your arms
I will be safe in Almighty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Highways and biways

Life seems to pass by much like scenery on a road trip. At times you are watching it, enjoying the beauty and lost in the transitions. Other times you are lost in your thoughts and parsing through worries only to come back and see that you have driven 20 miles and can't remember what you have passed. There is the quiet panic of lights ran or animals hit until you realize that none of that happened, you definitly would have come too for that. I feel like a couple of weeks have passed by without notice while I have been lost in my head.

It is so difficult to fully engage in every moment of every day but I feel like I let a lot of stuff pass with out enjoying or disliking it fully. I have made a decision to not watch TV this week and try to live a little more fully in the present. Missing Monday night football was tough but not that tough because I didn't really care about any of the teams, I was mathematically eliminated from my pick' em league, and it was the first day of my no TV watching week. The first day is a bit easier then say Wednesday when Lost comes on and everyone I know will be watching it and then discussing it all week. We will see how it goes, what I notice while trying to pay attention to the scenery of life. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Friday Night Live

Last night Kate and I decided to get a movie. We got dressed up in the silliest outfits we could muster and headed to the local Blockbuster to see what we can find. My outfit consisted of Snow pants, a sleeveless Softshare Catch the Wave shirt with a blue shirt underneath, a tweed jacket, a grey beenie, and tennis shoes. Kate had pink sweats, a pink long jacket with sparkley flowers on it, a cowboy hat, and sun glasses. Kate wins again.

We saw Fever Pitch, the Barrymore-Fallon movie about the Redsox and fanaticism. A quaint little romantic comedy that made me laugh out loud twice. Nothing award winning about it but it was a nice little flick.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Que Onda Guero?

Last night Kate and I went to a volunteer meeting for the “Day of the Dead” celebration in Fountain Square next Saturday Oct. 29. We are looking for ways to get involved in the community and to get to know more and more people around us and this event helps on both of those fronts. As the meeting went on we talked about what would happen with crafts and music, dancing and processions, and we all penciled our names in where we felt we could best help. Me for Set-up and Clean-up, Kate for Information and Crafts. I was also asked to be the English speaking MC for the event along side Alba the Spanish speaking MC. For some reason Beck immediately came to mind:

See the vegetable man
In the vegetable van
With a horn that's honking
Like a mariachi band
In the middle of the street
People gather around
Put the dollar-dollar-dollar in the can
Ay wey, que onda?
TJ cowboys hang around
Sleeping in the sidewalk
With a Burger King crown
Never wake 'em up
Mas cerveza
Til the rooster crows
Vatos vergallos
Que onda guero?

Well I agreed to do the MC’ing for some reason and the meeting ended a little later. Funny how you go to help clean up and you some how get a microphone. If only there was going to be a two turntables and a microphone then it really would be where its at.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And so it begins

For the past week I have been working at 9 am instead of my regular 7am shift. A co-worker wanted to try the morning shift on like a pair of jeans to see if they made her butt look big. Apparently they did because here I am back on the early shift. I like this shift for the most part. I like the quite drive in my radio-less car. I like the cold mornings and hot coffee. I like the seeing it go from dark to light, few to many, empty to full. When I arrive at work I am one of 3 in a big office and the other two are there though I can’t see them. Soon there is another and a conversation starts back to the left. Soon the clickity clack of keys and words being made starts in the space next to me. Coughs and laughs, rings and beeps layer themselves on top of the steady bass line of the humming heater. The world is waking up and making itself busy and I get to be there to see it happen one small noise at a time.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Apparently I'm That Guy

Saturday night Kate and I went out with some friends to the Rathskeller off of Mass Ave. These are friends that live in the neighborhood and who are in part the reason we looked at Fountain Square to begin with. Well anyway we went out and we were chatting about ourselves over ginormous mugs of beers and I was talking way too much. I kept bringing the conversation back to me over and over again like some sort of conversation tramp. I don't know what came over me because I am not usually that guy, at least I hope I am not that guy. I really try to involve others in the conversation and to get them to feel comfortable and open up a bit most of the time but not Saturday night. I was actually so disappointed with myself that night that I had a hard time getting to sleep. I felt like a jerk, a tool, a pompous jack ass that needs to convince people how great he is by highjacking conversations and telling irrelevant stories. I don't want to be that guy, I don't like that guy, nobody likes that guy.

If you read this, sorry M & T, I'm not usually like that, or at least I don't want to be like that.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

True colors

Saturday evening I had a true litmus test for whom I identify myself most Indiana or California. Now if you are following along at home you know that I recently got my Indiana license and completely succumb to hoosierness. Well yesterday there was this little football game that gave me a clearer picture of where I stood on the issue. Notre Dame was playing USC in South Bend Indiana and this was the fourth game of theirs I had seen this year. I have loved the story of the pro genius coming back home to right the ship and have been pulling for the Irish all year. When I turned the game on late in the second half I was glad to see that they were up a touchdown over Running Back U and on there way to ending USC's 27 game winning streak and maybe their shot at an unprecedented 3 national title in row. Then the second half hit and as the score went back and forth. I found myself excited when USC finally got the lead with 5 minutes to go. I was nervous when Quinn lead the Irish down the field to retake the lead with 2 minutes to go. I was trying to cheer on the Trojans from Indianapolis even though I have never liked the Trojans. I wanted Southern California to beat Northern Indiana. I don't know if you saw the game or not but it might just be one of the greatest college football games ever played. Nobody deserved to lose yet someone had to. Usc showed why they were the National Champions and moved down the field to get to the one foot line with 7 seconds to go. A field goal ties the game and the coach is yelling for the team to get to the line to spike the ball as if they are going for the field goal. The quarter back hurries everyone to the line for the spike only he doesn't spike it. He tries to push his way into the endzone but gets stuffed. Not to be denied the quarterback twists and turns his 6-5 240 frame until he is laying face down in the end zone for the winning touchdown. USC pulls off a stunning comeback and I am yelling like the captain of the Varsity cheerleaders. Kate said I thought you wanted Notre Dame to win, I thought so too.

I give it a not-awful

For the first time in a good long time Kate and I ponied up the $945 to go see a movie, have some popcorn, and share a soda in a movie theatre. We were both feeling like getting out of the house without really feeling like doing anything that exciting. What better place to go then the Movies? We took out a small loan and headed to the cool theatre with the stadium seats and date chairs where you could cuddle. The movie we saw was Elizabethtown and I will give you some quick thoughts on this later but first let me tell you about the social dynamics of the crowd.

As we went in and found our seat there was about 15 other people seated already, all women. We watched as the theatre filled with teenage girls and twenty something girls, and mothers and daughters, and girls night out ladies with their friends. There seemed to be a trend developing but I couldn't quite put my finger on it yet. The previews started and it was one chick flick after another and I was thinking they have really miss judged their audience here. I mean this is a Cameron Crowe film, the same guy that brought us Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. The man responsible for classics like Say Anything and Fast Times at Ridgemount High. This isn't a chick flick is it?

A little slow on the uptake the movie started with the incredibly good looking Orlando Bloom breaking out his worst American Accent he could muster. I thought he was doing some sort of parody first but it continued through out the movie. Why do people choose John Wayne as their proto-type for fake accents? It was way to distracting for me each time he talked and sine the movie was chiefly about him, and narrated by him I was in for a long night.

Some quick thoughts on the movie as a whole:

Alec Baldwin delivers. Think Baldwin characters in Along Came Polly and Outside Providence.

Orlando Blooms accent is truly bad, the movie is not awful but his accent tries it's hardest to make it so.

The movie at times seems like one big visual ploy for Crowe to put some of his favorite songs on a soundtrack. It seem that more and more Crowe movies are more about the music the film. He might be better off making mix tapes for the home shopping network and allowing us to spend our $945 on good music in stead of not-awful movies.

I want to take a road trip so bad it hurts. The idea of getting in a car and driving around this country with a full iPod and great map sometimes keeps me up at nights.

If your looking for a good movie stay away, if you want to hear some great songs and a movie that is not awful then go to a matinee, $473 is a much better price to pay for this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mock Draft 1.0

We all know that I love basketball and that I am a huge dork. So to confirm both I have wasted a perfectly good morning at work coming up with a Mock Draft for the first 4 rounds of the Fantasy Basketball League I am in. Nothing at all sad about a pretend draft for a fake league, nothing at all. With that said here are the picks:

Round 1
Matt – In a tough decision between the Old school pick and the new hotness Matt goes with the new hotness and take Lebron James (GF)

Jesse – This is the easiest pick in the draft really, who ever Matt doesn’t take Jesse does so he Gets Kevin Garnet (PF) and hopes to end the streak of never winning with Garnet on your team.

Kyle – This was a no brainer Amare pick but with his latest knee unpleasantness Kyle is forced to think this over. For the last 3 years Shawn Marion (SF) has been the best performer in our league and Kyle being nothing if not a student of the game knows that and makes him the third pick.

Bing – Bing has a flair for the fanciful when it comes to drafts but I think this year he is going to play it a little closer to the vest and pick Dirk Nowitski (PF). Bing accomplishes two things with this pick, getting the best available player and getting a white guy. We all know Bing loves the White Guys.

Chuck – Every year Chuck surprises us with his picks but he seems to always be down towards the bottom so I think this year he will go with something a little more conventional, Tracy McGrady (GF).

Mark - To think that in the fifth spot you could get the best center in the league (now that Amare is hurt) is silly and Mark will be giddy as a school girl as he pulls the trigger on Tim Duncan (C) here.

Aaron – We have a new face in our league this year and with fresh blood comes unpredictability. I think Aaron is a name guy not a stat guy so he will pick Kobe Bryant (GF) with this pick and that is not a bad move. Could be the steal of the first round by the all star break.

James – I feel like gambling with my pick here and going for the gusto. Even though he has been hurt and is tired from playing in Europe all summer I am going to go with Andre Kirelenko (SF) with my first pick.

Barrie – Last and definitely not least, 3 top 2 finishes in the last 3 years, Baz will take the best PG here and that is Gilbert Arenas (PG). With Amare out Nash is hampered, Hughes is gone in Washington, as is Kwame, so the quick to shot Arenas will be even more quick and that will mean a lot of points.

Second Round – Reverse Order
Baz – Dwane Wade (G) best back court in the league now
JR- Steve Nash (PG) continuing the gamble
AD- Allen Iverson (SG) still with the names
Mark- Vince Carter (SG-SF) burned him last year but mark forgives and forgets
Chaz- Elton Brand (PF) Chuck loves Elton Brand, and who can blame him
Bing – Ray Allen (SG) Even though he is black he’s Bing’s kinda player
Kyle – Jason Kidd (PG) With Guards going like Crazy Kyle gets in on it.
Jesse – Paul Pierce (SF) Great pick gives Jesse his best start in years
Matt – Stephon Marbury (PG) Has help in New York, will help Matt move up

Round 3
Matt- Ben Wallace (FC) Matt reminds everyone that you need a good center to win
Jesse – Mike Biby (PG) The pasty one fits well on Jesse’s team
Kyle – Shaquile Oneal (C) Already disgusted with his draft Kyle starts complaining
Bing- Kyle Korver (SF) back to the Whities and another 3pt guy for the old man
Chaz- Rashard Lewis (SF) Fresh off a new contract and ready to play
Mark – Joe Johnson (PG) Somebody has to score in ATL why not Joe
AD- Yao Ming (C) Aaron is quietly having a great draft for a rookie
JR – Baron Davis (PG) I have no hope of winning know, I need a medic!
Baz – Peja Stojakvic (SG) First of two Sac Town boys for Baz

Round 4
Baz- Brad Miller (C) second of the Sac town boys and the best Center available
JR – Jermaine Oneal (PF) What can I say, I’m a Hoosier now
AD – Steve Francis (SG) move to SG could be huge or could be the end of the Franchise
Mark – Larry Hughes (SG) Mark loves Larry Hughes
Chaz – Richard Jefferson (SF) If he stays healthy he is a top 15 star, if he stays healthy
Bing – Zydrunus Illgauskus (C) Bing needs a center and Z needs to go to good team
Kyle – Ron Artest (SF) Kyle loves and hates Artest and is now crying about his team
Jesse – Chris Bosh (C) Taking a leadership role in Toronto, could be a break out year
Matt – Corey Maggette (SF) Matt loves Corey

So there as the first four rounds, at least that is how I see them right now. I know only Mark, Kyle, and I will care but that is OK, the moral of this story, as always, I am a dork.


I have done it, bit the bullet and bowed to the inevitable. On Friday Afternoon after two hours of sitting and waiting I took a short test, answered a couple of medical questions and posed for a truly bad picture before walking out of the Fountain Square BMV with my new Indiana Driver License. Who ever had one year, 8 days in the pool can come and accept their prize. It was oddly sad to turn in my California License and get this strange new card. I still think of my self as Californian even though I was not born there nor currently live there. Most of my friends and family have left or are talking about leaving yet it is still some how home to me.

California is where my parents stopped drinking, it is where my mom and I found forgiveness and friendship, it is where my brother and I honed competition and respect. California is where I met Jesse and Kyle, two guys who transcend mere friendship and have truly become family to me. It is the place that I learned I could succeed, and the place where I sought and met Jesus. California is the place where I met Kate.

Somehow getting a new license for me seemed like a period on the story that is California. It was my ID, my identification it was the tangible representation of who I was and who I am. This is me, 6 foot , 235 lbs, Blue Eyes, Brown hair, needs glasses, California! Now when you look at my license there is nothing there that speaks of that time, of that place. My ID now says Indiana, I am officially a Hoosier and that is OK. I mean it is Indiana where I married Kate, where I bought my first house and spent the first year of marriage. It is Indiana where I have experienced the devastating and the sublime. And it is here where my Lord has met me anew.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Aunt Jamie!

For being wise enough to be born on the day that Kate and I would eventually be married I salute you. You are an amazing woman who will never know "Can't do it" but instead it is "hasn't yet tried". You inspire me to keep learning, reading, discovering, and laughing at the world, because that is how you live your life. I love you very much and I can't wait to see you this Christmas.

I believe the first is paper.....

A year ago today in the White River Gardens of Indianapolis I cried like a little girl.

I have been told a time or two that the first year of marriage is the toughest. You have a learning curve where you are no longer on the best behavior of courtship and really starting to see your mate for who they really are. The toilet seat stays up and the stinky socks aren't kicked under the bed anymore. Kate and I have had our share of tough times during the first year of marriage though they have not been between her and I, but rather external things that we have weathered together. The loss of a baby, months of unemployment, little money, and no friends have all conspired to test our bond and I think that the results have been strong to quite strong. Times will get tougher still, the honeymoon will eventually end, and we will have to weather new forces but we will meet them when they come. For right now, I am more in love with my beautiful then when I saw her through blurry tear soaked eyes a year ago today, and I wager I will be more in love with her still a year from today.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Equal Time

Here is me and my tiny dad. Isn't he cute up next to his ginormous son?

Harry Potter

A couple of weeks ago we were sitting around with some friends and the subject of the new Harry Potter book came up. I said that I wouldn't read any of the books because it is too popular and was told that was a stupid reason not to read them. As a consumer of sports and pop culture and their sometime tenuous connection to life itself I needed to read the books. So off I started by borrowing the first book from my friend and reading through it pretty quickly. The second and third book went fairly fast as well and by the end of the week I was starting the fourth book. I had seen the first three movies so the books were quick reads though they get longer and longer as they go on.

The fourth book was the first one in which I had no idea what was going to happen and the book where the whole story really takes a dramatic turn. I found myself locked into this now and genuinely concerned with Ron, Hermione, Harry, and the rest of the kids. The fifth book was a tough read at first because the kids were so moody and whiny, from what I hear from my mom a pretty accurate portrayal of teenagers. I have just finished the sixth book last night and now for the first time on this trip I have to wait like everyone else. Kate asked me if I was going to be one of those people at Borders at midnight to get my copy and I laughed and said "Please!" I'm not going to line up with all those people like an idiot, I'm gonna pre-order it and frantically check the mail box every ten minutes till it arrives. I mean I'm not freak. Have any of you read the Potter books?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My name is Earl

If you have not seen the new show on NBC on Tuesday nights you have to see it. For me watching Mark on TV each week has just been a treat. I am just wondering when he is going to get to me on his list.

As a side note look at the bridge of the nose on these two characters. Like Father like son ehh? This is my dad and my brother in SB last month, and a side shot of Beautiful for taste.

Write till you get it

Last night we had our first Home Group meeting for the New Deal Church gig that Kate and I are part of on Sunday nights. The group meets at the house of the super cool couple I have been talking about lately. I am no longer intimidated by them all but they are still super cool. We had a chat about Galatians 5 and what we want from this group and then watched Lost. All in all a great night after what has been a strange week for Kate and I.

I have found myself running out of patience fast with customers on the phone. I know this comes as a huge surprise to Jesse and any other Softshare OG but it’s true. As soon as a customer gets snotty with me I give it right back and then feel like a tool when I hang up the phone. I was pretty tired after the SB trip and was sick for the week after. I am still feeling a little remnant of that but don’t tell Kate cause she thinks I’m faking to get out of house work. I think I have just had some defenses knocked down lately and I am not as able to pretend I am a nice guy, but now that I see that I will get some contemplative quiet time and work through that.

Kate has been having a rough go at it at work lately. She works at job she dislikes strongly, for people she does not respect, and in an industry that has not interest to her. A real tri-fecta of fun Monday through Friday. She is coming home grumpy and depressed and even after I threaten to give her something to cry about it still takes her a while to snap out of it.

We are incredibly happy and having a great time of life right now so this is in no way a complaining thing. It is funny really how what stories you decide to tell can mean the difference between perceived happiness and depression. I think that a big part of my feelings lately was seeing family and friends a bit ago. I am reminded of how much I love them and in turn just how much I miss them. I think that is it right there, I build up a tolerance to missing them that is destroyed when we meet again and I am left feeling it fresh again. I really miss my family right now and the line between friends and family is one that I can never seem to draw because they are so much the same person.

Well this has helped me quite a bit. I couldn’t put my finger on what I was feeling until I started typing and read what came out. Sorry for the lack of updates lately had I known this was going to happen I would of written much earlier, until later then.