Monday, December 29, 2008
Do you ever look at a photo and wish that you could go back to the exact moment that the picture was taken? I do that often, usually because the picture brings back waves of emotions and memories.
However, when I look at this picture I want to go back to that moment for a different reason.
I want to go to back, take the cat out of my arms, throw away the Minnie Mouse sleeping bag and sit myself down and say, "work harder on growing that hair out. And quit carrying the cat around like a baby." I would probably also think about brushing my hair. Or at least attempting to brush it.
Then, I want to slap my brother for taking the picture.
Side note: I absolutely remember nothing about this picture and I don't recall ever carrying around the cat like a baby. I hate cats.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Every now and then at Christmas, when I was younger, my parents gave me and my brosef a joint gift.
I can really and truly only remember one or three of these joint gifts, because I'm sure that one of us enjoyed the joint gift more than the other and it became mine or his.
Anyway. This one Christmas we got the joint gift and decided to unwrap it together. I'm quite positive this my idea and I wanted to help my brother unwrap the gift because I was already done unwrapping my presents and like any 10-year-old child, I just needed one last unwrapping. It's like, I was a cocaine junkie and I needed one last fix to get me through. Except that in my case, I just needed to unwrap one last gift to get me through until my birthday in October.
We ripped back 1/16th of the wrapping paper and I unleashed a yell, that only my dog could hear (RIP, Cooper). I tore the gift from my brother's hands and danced around the living room. I danced a dance of indescribable, uncomparable joy.
He screamed, "what is it, what is it?"
I shrieked back, "OUTBURST JUNIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Did I even know what Outburst Junior was? No. Did I care? No. Did we even ask for Outburst Junior? Doubtful. But, I had never been more excited to receive a gift than the year we got Outburst Junior.
My hope for this Christmas is to experience that kind of joy, to dance that kind of dance and not because of any of the gifts under the tree. But, because of the gift that was given to me when my Jesus was nailed to a tree.
Aren't we all looking for free or cheap gifts in this horrible economy? To steal a phrase from Melanie Frazier, be a recessionista this Christmas and accept the free gift of God-- Jesus. Or give it (bridge diagram).
Then dance. Dance with joy.
1 John 4:9
"And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:14-15
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Dear Precious Lil' Ba-bay Harper,
I am so excited for you to get here. I can't even explain how awesome it's going to be to finally meet you. I get even more excited when I hear your parents talk about you. They are super pumped about your arrival. And I mean, DUH. Your name is freakin' Harper, who wouldn't be excited?
Did you know that the author of my all-time favorite book was named Harper? Well, she was! She has a cool story, too! Her best friend was Truman Capote! Also, she went to school at the University of Alabama-- a place you are going to have to grow to love (at least in front of your father, but not necessarily in front of me or your mother). But, if you decide to roll with the Tide, I'll be ok with that. Although I won't announce it publicly. Mainly because I loathe Nick Saban.
I cannot wait to start burning CDs for you! You are going to have such a great music collection at such a young age. And the second you learn to walk we are going to start dancing! I'm thinking body rolls by age four! We can even go to the mall and you can dance in front of a little bucket with "donations" written across it. It'll be so fun!
Anyway, Harpie Due, I'm counting down the days until you can get here and I can buy you a drum set. I'm planning on being around the first time you ever taste a chocolate chip cookie-- you'll probably remember it as one of the best days of your life-- next to the time I take you to the Hannah Montana concert, of course!
Ok, hurry up, lil' Pardue Baby, everyone is waiting with much anticipation! Maybe, I'll bring some frankincense to the hospital to give to your mom!
Also, your parents are going to tell you about this guy, Jesus. I totally advise you to listen to them about Him.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
That your baby boy will one day walk on water? confident she didn't know that. I mean, that is crazy! walking on water!
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new? I mean, no way. That didn't even have a definition back then.
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Long before lasik. There is no way she knew.
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy
You've kissed the face of god I think she could've had a small idea about this one...I mean, God did send that angel and all. I'm just saying.
Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is lord of all creation? Definitely had no clue.
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rules the nations? A dream for all young mothers.
Did you know
That your baby boy is heavens perfect lamb? I'm confident that while Mary was giving birth in a stable, she was not thinking, ahhh. perfection.
This sleeping child youre holding
Is the great I am No, cause then she would've thought he was a bush, right?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Christmas (and holidays, in general) at my house* was always different than most others when I was growing up, mainly because my family did not participate in the spirit of the season. The spirit of the season being somewhat defined as an outpouring of love to everyone around, selflessness and a generally good attitude. You know—Christmas cheer**. It was completely nonexistent at 369 Ridgeview Lane.
Christmas cheer was typically replaced with brutal honesty. No frills. No fluff. Just the truth.
I was six years old rolling along in the family’s ’89 Oldsmobile when I caught my father’s eyes in the rearview mirror, we were headed south to Mineral Springs, where the Christmas cheer decimal wasn’t much higher than at our house.
“Tell me the truth.”
“Is Santa Claus real?”
There was a brief moment of thought before a quick, “No, Santa
Claus isn’t real,” shot out of my father’s mouth.
“I knew it all along,” I mumbled.
And that was that. My father didn’t beat around the bush and my mother didn’t try to interrupt and vault away my childhood imagination for a few more years, with some story about my brother’s Nintendo appearing under the tree magically. It was as if she knew she was raising a complete and total realist.
I’ll be honest—I probably would’ve held on to the Santa Claus theory until I was at least eight had I not found a Diet Coke with lipstick on the rim right next to Santa’s cookie plate. The bag of chips sitting on the fireplace didn’t help either. I vividly remember only putting out cookies for Santa. Not Diet Coke and definitely not a bag of chips. Somehow I just knew that Santa did not go rummaging through our pantry on that Christmas Eve night.
Maybe, after only nine years of being parents, my parents were tired of the charade. Tired of all the games and lies. Maybe, they set themselves up. I just find it almost impossible to believe that my parents, two of the smartest people I know, couldn’t fool us into believing there was a creepy man, with access to all the houses in the world, delivering presents to me and my brother. I mean, my father could have sat me down and explained time zones to me and I would’ve bit. Hook, line and sinker. I was six. I wanted to believe. However, he chose to end the madness and just let me in on the world’s little secret: Santa don’t exist. The Easter bunny is a crock of shit and the Tooth Fairy character is just a complete farce.
And thus, the brutal honesty of the holidays started.
I don’t recall ever receiving a gift marked, from: Santa again, until I was about 12. I had been begging Laurie and Reg for a Gary Fisher bike. But, Christmas morning I woke up to a pink and purple Roadmaster bike. (Really? Roadmaster? Pink and purple? Who am I?) That was the smartest “Santa card” Laurie and Reg could’ve ever pulled—blaming that cheap-ass, knock-off bike on Santa.
* I would like to say that my parents are wonderful parents and always gave me and my brother more than we could've ever wanted or needed. This still continues today. I truly appreciate my parent's honesty with me and their attempt to raise me in the "real world" starting at a young age. I love my parents deeply and have no resentment towards them for telling me about Santa Claus.
** I would also like to say that things have changed a great deal in my home around the Holidays since this story took place. We have not raked leaves, carried firewood or cleaned out the storage shed on Christmas day in several years (at least three, maybe four). In general, I would go as far as saying we really enjoy spending time together at Christmas and look forward to it. We even try to play games and talk to each other.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
April 13, 2004
It's been a year since we went to prom, put on those caps and gowns and swore for a whole summer we'd be "friends forever." I'm sure we did that starting in like, 4th grade, not just the summer after graduation. We promised emails, letters, and phone calls, but suddenly, more suddenly than anyone thought we were swept away by a new group of people. This group was a hand-picked group, you chose them and they chose you. Apparently, I felt like my friends from home were not hand picked by me to be my friend. Oh, the agony.
Everyone was going through the same experience. I'm guessing the experience was moving away to college? We all had shower shoes, plans to call our friends from home daily, and not wanting to eat in the cafeteria. We shared our past lives in the first few weeks and slowly we began to learn everything about the girl across the hall, like we had known them forever. We would go home and still love our friends there, but things are different now. They have their lives, we have ours. Before it was only one life? What? I am fairly confident I was independent in high school, but this leads me to believe I felt smothered.
Here, your best friends live next door...literally. That's a dorm, genius. You walk three feet to talk. You check in with them when you return from class, a movie, dinner, or anytime you leave the vicinity of your room. So true, I bet my friends in the dorm thought I was so annoying. You never did that at home, you never called your friends to tell them you were "running to Wal-Mart, be back in a minute." You also never rode the bus to class with your friends. Before college riding the bus was definitely not appropriate. Duh.
Now instead of planning for prom and graduation, you plan for functions and decide what time is appropriate to "go out." Probably because colleges don't have proms. You stay up late...every night, not just on Friday. REBEL. Things are messed up here, Thursday is the big night and Fridays are crap. Still baffles me. Can't get my mind around it.
Now instead of promising to be "Friends Forever" you promise to still be friends when you move into whatever house, apartment, or dorm you'll be living in next year. Things will change, people will go from being your BFF, to your close friend, to your friend, to your acquaintance, to the girl you lived next to your freshman year. But, SOME will be in your wedding, some will be present when you give birth not in the room hopefully, some will help you grieve when your parents die, some you will name your children after, some will name kids after you, some you won't ever see again..but most, you will always remember. I must've been the most profound kid to EVER move out of a dorm. I mean. What? I'm starting to wonder if I wrote this the night my roommate gave me an adderall for the first time ever?
You'll remember the talks late at night long after the swimmer told you to "show some respect," you'll remember running into someone in the bathroom way back in August and now you can't go to the bathroom without telling everyone who lives in your pod again, I'm sure my dorm mates thought I was awesome, you'll remember the late night deliveries, the talks on AOL when the person you are IMing lives right across the hall, the drunken comments not by me. NOT BY ME., the parties, borrowing things sure, I can see it now: I'm 75 and telling my grand kids-- I remember this one time in college-- I borrowed something from someone, sharing things, making fun of roommates, the prank calls, and more importantly you'll remember the people- most of them forever. Way to wrap it up, lc. That's deep stuff.
Ok, when I really sit and think about it-- it's scary how much of that turned out to be completely factual. And then, it goes back to being completely embarrassing and shameful. Either way, can't wait for my BFFs to be present when I give birth! Y'all get in line, ok!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Today, yes, today we celebrate the birth of you, my beloved friend and roommate. I am so blessed by your life, your words, your actions, your ill dance moves, your singing performances, the rare occasions that you cook, your selflessness with the DVR, your quick laugh and your generous heart.
You are my friend. You are my roommate. I am proud of you. I am humbled by your strength. I am honored to know you, you little hood rat.
I'll be forever yours.
Twenny five years ago in the southern most of louisiane,
a lil’ baby was born and she was called morghanne.
an early Christmas gift for this family of three,
she was better than anything under their tree.
cute, funny and smart to boot,
this little girl was anything but a toot.
singing songs with other kids from the streets,
she loved it a lot when she got to eat treats.
always talking on the phone about jenny ganger and rainbow bright,
she was a sweet child, a real delight.
playing golf and making up shit,
softball was her game and she loved to hit.
always getting into trouble on the mean streets of naw’lins,
her parents picked up and moved to the wood’lins.
The new kid in this somewhat strange town,
it didn’t take long for her to stop dressing up like a clown.
she made lots of friends and quit the softball team,
the Olympics were gone and but a faded dream.
packed up and headed to c-stat,
became a chi-o and was p-h-a-t, phat.
staking her claim on the street of old willow,
she seems to never sleep, doesn’t even own a pillow.
graduated with a marketing degree,
move to dallas, become friends with you and me.
spreads her love to kids in the highlands by the lake,
she is Morgan, she is anything but fake.
she is real and she is fun,
she is multi-talented, but I’ve never seen her run.
She can sing like a pretty angel or a bird,
she loves to rap and ends sentences by simply yelling, “word!”
She is a rare and precious jewel to all who know her middle name,
but, you should see her spit her game.
I’ve come to love this lil baby her parents called morghanne,
even if she tends to freckle rather than tan.
she is celebrating twenty five years today,
I’m so glad she doesn’t wear make-up like tammy faye.
She is a joy in my life and many others as well,
because of Morgan lots of people won’t be going to hell.
I am so glad I can call her friend and pal,
she really is one helluva a gal.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
For the better part of my early childhood, I was pretty convinced I was going to become a doctor. Then, reality struck in the form of 4th grade science. I was lost. Things got worse when I walked into math class in 8th grade. I was not cut out to be a doctor.
Somewhere in there I planned on becoming a coach. Whenever someone would ask, what kind of coach? I would reply with, a good one. That dream faded away as well when Reggie informed me on an extremely regular basis that coaches don't make much money. I vividly remember him saying to me one day, "you won't be able to afford groceries." That dream went into the garbage, pretty close to the file of business proposals and movie scripts I had written, too.
I then had the bright idea that I was going to write jingles for commercials. Never mind that I'm not a musician. I'm an excellent lyricist. Never mind that's not an actual position at any company.
Dreams die hard. I mean, when you're in 10th grade, did you ever imagine yourself living in an apartment with a broken freezer? Did you ever think you would spend a countless amount of minutes beating a solid sheet of ice frozen to the bottom of the freezer during your 20s? No. You imagined yourself brushing your hair for a countless amount of minutes every evening while you talk to your best friends on the phone every night, because you are friends forever. Yeah. Freaking. Right. Sitting in class in college, daydreaming about your future independence, did you have any clue that your job would basically consist of checking your email every 2.5 seconds? Doubtful.
I'm not bitter. I just wish someone would've told me. I honestly wish someone would've said, "taxes account for a good portion of your paycheck." OR even, "most of your vacation days will go to attending weddings."
Here's to following your dreams. Here's to going after what you want. Here's to being youthful.
Here's to searching monster.com for job openings under: non-musical lyricist with some medical knowledge and ability to diagram basketball plays. Salary negotiable depending on experience.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I've been doing some reading lately and have become even more perplexed by this man's theory. First some background: the basis of Maslow's theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied.
According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them. Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. For example: Physiological needs are those required to sustain life, such as: air, food, water and sleep. According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them (if you aren’t breathing on your own, I’m not sure any amount of motivation can help you, but I’m no doctor). Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. He then states that once those needs are met you can move on to bigger and better things like financial security, social needs (like belonging to a group, OMG) and then on to achievement and attention and then...then, you reach the summit of Maslow's hierarchy: self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as the quest of reaching one's full potential as a person.
This is where I get lost.
From the day we're born aren't we cravers of attention (some more than others)? Don't some people put social needs way ahead of financial security? And I'm pretty positive that long ago I started the quest of reaching my full-potential.
Maslow also describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was born to do.
But, here's my question-- what if you feel like you were born to be on reality TV? Or that you were born to burn CDs for people's birthday? Then what? Then, I just never reach self-actualization?
Also, I'm pretty sure that self-actualization can only be reached when one's needs are being met by Jesus and not others (or one's self), but that's a whole other topic.
I hope everyone is motivated to get some air and water today, then you can worry about your social status on Facebook.
Monday, December 1, 2008
It is not a sad day in Arkansas. Waking up on Saturday was like Christmas morning-- I immediately thought-- today is the first day in four years that Casey Dick is not my quarterback. We are rid of you-- forever!
I know I probably seem like a crazy, psycho fan who has too much time on their hands, but let me assure you, that is not the case. I just loathe you. Plain and simple: you are the thorn in my side.
I know you heard me screaming before the last play of your career, "complete this pass and I'll take back everything I've ever said about you." Well, Casey, I lied. I just don't understand how you even got a college scholarship. I mean, if you are throwing footballs in the SEC, I should've easily been shooting baskets in the Big 12. I, too, was a sub-par high school athlete.
I want to make sure you know this isn't personal. I don't even know you. I did look at your Facebook profile once. I didn't like your jeans. But, I don't like a lot of people's jeans, so no harm done.
This letter is more of a hey! good luck in the future letter! Just promise me that future leads you far, far away from Razorback Stadium...swear to me, Casey! Swear to me! Stay.Away.from.Razorback.Stadium.
Bring your kids in a few years, tell them about how you beat LSU two years in a row and everyone loved you (for a brief moment). I'm sure it's hard to be hated by a whole state. I don't envy you. But, I don't feel sorry for you either. You probably should've quit after those 18 interceptions in 2007.
Anyway, this is getting carried away-- good luck to you, sir. I really hope you're attending class. Get a business degree, I am sure some old school alumni will give you a job, just based on the fact that you played football for the Razorbacks. Just don't drop the ball on those TPS reports.
Thanks for nothing,
your biggest fan (now that you're gone)