Posts Tagged With: happy

A Horrific Resolution (of Sorts)

I saw Terrell Owens before Terrell Owens was Terrell Owens. And he was an ass just like the Terrell Owens you know now.

It was 1995 or so. I was an undergrad in my usual seat in the oft-rude student section at Paulson Stadium on the campus of Georgia Southern University (go Eagles) and, as we did just about every year, we were kicking the football tails of the UT-Chattanooga Mocs up and down the field. The student section at Georgia Southern is right behind the visiting teams bench which is a horrible idea for several million reasons; I’ll just say that we devised more than a few ways to tell an opposing player that he [inhaled deeply].

I can’t remember exactly what the score was in the game but the good guys in blue were up by about 3 or 4 touchdowns late in the 4th quarter when a loudmouthed brash wide receiver caught a touchdown pass and carried on like his team was about to hoist a trophy. Obviously when he got back to the sidelines the crew in the student section was ready to remind him that he needed to take a look at the scoreboard, and once again tell him that he and his team still [inhaled deeply]. And we did, over and over. But this wide receiver guy didn’t get upset; he looked up at the scoreboard, gave a dismissive wave and flashed what is now a nationally known smile and said, “I don’t care about that or y’all…I’m going pro!” Of course we didn’t believe him, he played football at Chattanooga and the last thing that you expected to come out of that place was a good football player. We shouted at him, called him a bum (and some other things), chanted the score and basically did things that broke down most other visiting players. This guy though just mouthed the words “I’m going pro” towards us then waved and casually had a seat where he waited for the rest of the time to run down on the blowout in progress. Every time I see that guy while I’m watching football on Sundays I can’t help but think back to that Saturday when he played on that god-awful Chattanooga team brimming with a confidence that comes only when you know you’re damned good at what you do and flat-out put us on notice that regardless of what we thought of him, he was going to be the next big thing. And despite what you think of the guy…he’s been a pretty good professional football player.

I really don’t do resolutions when the calendar turns over to a new year; I consider it twice as bad to break a promise to yourself, especially when the 15 pounds you swore you would lose have turned to the 25 you now have to lose after finding creative ways to put the gym off over and over again. But as I thought about life in 2011 I thought to myself, “It wouldn’t be so bad to be like Terrell Owens”. That thought alone should be enough for me to lose my dinner but in the grand scheme of things what’s there to hate about a guy that did something, did it well, got nationwide recognition for it, got well paid to do it, and will be considered one of the very best at it when he has finally burned his last bridge…I mean, caught his last pass.

We’ve all got something inside us to do. We were all downloaded with talents, skills, attributes and abilities that define us and make us what we are. Against all odds and despite the naysayers and “opposing student sections” in our lives we should all focus so heavily on what we are here to accomplish until we can only see the end goal. Doesn’t matter the current score, the current circumstance, or the bad team around you, just know that despite all that you’re still going to finish on top. So all of you, for 2011, strive to be like Terrell Owens, not the crazy T.O. that alienates everyone who ever liked him and submarines just about every relationship he’s ever had on a football field, be like the good T.O. that knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re going to be the very best you that you can be this year.

Now, as an exercise find a mirror, look yourself in the eye and say the following words with enough volume that it reverberates around your domicile:


~thanks for reading 🙂

Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, Humor, So Incredibly Random, Sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Open Letter To God – 2010 Edition

Hey God, what’s shakin’ –

When I was a kid one of the life lessons my mother told me was if I was going to ask you for something then I needed to be specific about my requests lest I end up with what I want under unusual circumstances. Remember last New Year’s Eve when I wrote down my wish for a new job? I probably should have told you I didn’t want to lose the one I had first then sit in unemployment hell for 7 months in order to get it. Point taken and lesson learned. So this year I’ll try to make this as poignant as I can in as simple way as I can so that this year nothing gets lost in translation. Sound good? Okay, cool.

There’s lots that I want for 2011, I’d love a new car, I’d love financial independence, I’d like a new house with a pool in the backyard or at least the ability to do some major tinkering to the one that I have. I’d really like to buy my Dad a car, I’d love to pay for my nieces’ grad school efforts and I’d really like to have the movie Inception on Blu-Ray(okay, that one is easy, I’ll take care of that one as You have other things to do). I’d like a new computer because I’ve just about killed the one that I have. I really want to lose 50 pounds and I really need to pull that guitar over there out of the corner and restart my lessons or I’ll never be able to play and woo some woman someday…and speaking of that.

I mean, I know you know the situation considering You’re up there looking at all the mess that goes on down this way so obviously you see the fact that I’m not the most adept when it comes to the fairer sex. I don’t think that it’s for lack of trying; I’m a good dude, perhaps too good for my own good. My friends down here say that “I’ll never get a woman because I’m simply too nice”. I guess that’s a burden that I’ll live with, You sent me down here to a good set of parents that taught me how to treat people so if being too nice is what’s going to keep me solo then I’ll deal with that…I guess.

Now I’m not going to come here and talk that “Woe is me, nobody likes me at all, goodbye cruel world” type mess because that won’t fly. It’s not that I don’t have dates or luck with women. I do. I’ve had some great ones come my way, even the ones whose names ended with “a”; but there was always something that went awry and things came off the tracks. But since Heaven’s switchboard is probably jammed packed at this point I’ll cut to the chase.

I just want an unconditional admiration. Not too much to ask right? I mean, you can relate with that because of the whole “No other gods before me” commandment you threw in there. And while I’m not speaking on terms that grandiose I do want a woman to look at me and say,

“That dude, I’ll ride with. No matter what. I’ll take his imperfections, the fact that he may snore a little, that he’s a little messy but will clean when prodded. I’ll endure his silly streaks and try not to choke him when he’s not paying full attention because he’s playing NBA Live on PlayStation. I’ll take the fact that he’s not a rich man or the consummate social butterfly I’ll take the fact that he no longer looks like the picture of the soccer player he was a few years ago that he keeps on the refrigerator as a reminder not to go for that second helping. I’ll take that dude as he is because I think he’s perfect the way he is. And we’ll have children, and a nice house on the corner, and I’ll smile when he’s sitting at his computer with our son balanced in his lap trying to write something impressive for his potential legion of fans because he’s mine and You sent him here for me specifically for me to love.”

That’s what I want a woman to say when she looks at me. She can be someone I’ve never met, she can be someone that I’ve known for years, or she can be someone that I’ve dated before. Just keep me away from the women that are extremely interested for two weeks or a month only switch field to say that they aren’t ready to date, then I see them out the next month with their new boyfriend or have someone tell me “hey you know that girl you were seeing that said you were moving too fast is pregnant by some dude, right?” Just set the right woman’s mental GPS for wherever I might be at the appointed time as I’m really exhausted with living a reverse Lifetime movie. Now, that said…

Fix me.

Primarily, fix me.

I am not so naïve to think that I am not in some way culpable for the shortcomings of my life and relationships, both romantically and platonic. You have to consider the common denominator in such cases and that common denominator is me. So, whatever it is about me, I just ask that you pull out Your tool kit and fix me and in the process shape me into the man that You envisioned me to be when You sent me here in the first place. Help me to be a more responsible, loving and caring person. Help me to consider others a little more thoughtfully. Help me, quite simply, to be a man worth loving. And when you’re done tinkering and shaping me up I’ll not only be worth loving but I’ll be ready to take on every challenge You have for me here, perhaps not single handedly sending my nieces to grad school, but other challenges I think I could handle.

So I guess that’s it. 2010 was an interesting one. Lost some friends, gained some more. Cried a little, laughed far more than that. Didn’t write nearly enough, but I started a pretty cool blog; You should probably read it sometime when You’re not dispatching angels. Thanks for my friends, for my family, my parents, and my job. Hopefully when I write this version of this letter next year I’ll be doing so as a better dude based on this year’s request.

Thanks, God!

Happy New Year, all. Love one another.


Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

As For Right Now

“Fathers, be good to your daughters, daughters will love like you do,
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters too…”
-John Mayer

I recently got asked to help assist with the camp at my church for the summer and of course I accepted, hell, aside from writing I don’t have anything else to do with my summer. It was something that I did back in 2007 and really enjoyed as it helped me to tap into my inner child and get a first hand look at what makes pre-teens tick…sure they’re crazy and have no idea what they are to become at that age but they are, indeed, interesting. I was reading up on some information about the camp in preparation for it to begin in a few weeks and remembered one of my favorite campers named Alexis.

Like most people I had a burning desire to reach the end of the day, I think that it’s safe to say that most of us start to watch the clock intently when we’re about an hour away from getting off work and sliding down that dinosaur tail a la Fred Flintstone and getting in our cars and going home. My last duty every day at the camp was to make sure that the kids were properly signed out by the parents/guardians and make it safely out door. Most of the parents I’ve known for years from Church on Sunday, others I had only recently met and got the pleasure of getting to know during our 2-3 minute conversations waiting on their kids to come out, and still others I only traded gracious smiles with as they signed next to the appropriate “X” and continued their cell phone conversations. At the end of my final 2.5 hours stationed at the front door of the center I’d have seen every parent of the 200 or so campers at the center that day; usually the kids will have come to the front bleary eyed from a nap they were taking in the dark of the movie room, there is inevitably a 7 or 8 year old that wanted to tell their mother or father every single facet of the day before they even said hello, the eventual pre teen will be picked up and start to complain to their mother about the sandwich they had at lunch, and of course anytime one of the 4 or 5 year olds get called I always look forward to them smiling and waving at me and saying, “Bye, Mr. Skrap! See you tomorrow!” but of course that’s dependent on whether or not I had to fuss at that particular camper that day. And while I enjoyed watching all of the kids come out and greet each of their parents in their own way they all paled in comparison to Alexis.

Alexis was 4 at the time and she was a typical 4 year old girl. Excitable, energetic, and always smiling; when she ran her ponytails would trail behind her as if in effort to struggle and stay attached to her head. Usually before she appeared from around the corner and into sight of the reception area her running footsteps can be heard echoing down the walkway. Whatever her class made in Arts and Crafts that day was usually clutched in one hand while her half zipped book bag was always nearly spilling academic work behind her; for the entirety of camp that summer I don’t think she ever zipped that thing all the way closed. While all of this was cute in and of itself there’s nothing I loved more every day than the unequaled joy that enveloped her face when she caught a glimpse of her waiting father. Her run got faster, her face got brighter, and her squeal got louder the closer she got to his waiting arms. From the entrance to the reception area to her father’s usual waiting space near the front door was roughly 30 feet, she manages to stay on the ground for 25 or so of those feet, the last five were usually covered through the air as she made it a practice to drop her bookbag and leap into his arms.

More special to me than Alexis’ reaction is the return reaction from her father, he was never in any hurry to pick up the book bag or the papers that may have spilled out onto the floor, he didn’t worry about the ponytail that went awry and popped him in the eye he she landed in his grasp, there was no real concern that she’s run most of the way with one, or both, shoes untied. As enamored as she was with his presence so was he with her, lost in a daily hug so tight that it resembled a playful attempt to strangle, lost in the repeated call “Daddyyyyyyyy!! Daddyyyyyyy!! in between her girly little giggles. He never immediately said anything back to her, he just always appeared lost in her love for him.

I don’t yet have children, God hasn’t chosen to bless me with them or the vessel by which to carry one, but somehow I think that I know why he appears as lost in the moment as he does, why he greeted his baby girl with the same fervor as one who is seeing a loved one for the first time in a million days. I wondered perhaps if he was fast forwarding to a time when she won’t be as thrilled to see him, perhaps to a day when she was older and teenage indifference started to settle in. He may very well have seen a day in his mind’s eye when he will enter a room and she will offer only a halfhearted “hey dad…” without taking off the earphones to her iPod or pausing from typing a text message to whatever little knucklehead has her attention. He may have even pondered while in the midst of that hug of a day when a really attentive knucklehead has done enough for her to give away the last name of her father and then have a new primary hugging partner for a lifetime. Perhaps all of these reasons and maybe a few more is why he greeted her like he did everyday. But for right now no worries…she’s 4, has pigtails, and was in love with her father. To Alexis, the guy whose neck she was so tightly wrapped around was the only thing in her world that mattered. Her inspiration to throw caution (and pre-K paperwork) to the wind and dodge and dash through the tree like adults in the entranceway. He was the best thing in the world and she was more than happy just to be Daddy’s baby girl.

After a while her father pryed her off his neck and pick up the splayed book bag and tossed it on his own shoulder before picking her back up and waving to me as he walked out of the door. By the time the automatic door closed she was plastered closely to him still giggling, face still bright with the joy only her father brought. She will grow up, she won’t always think her Daddy is the greatest, but what I learned through watching that every afternoon is that all we can concern ourselves with is the here and now, there’s no benefit in worrying about what can or might be, rather, lose yourselves in the joys that currently are. Alexis and her Daddy did…I think of the two of them often and thank them for that every day.

                                                      ~thanks for reading 🙂

Categories: Attempts at Seriousness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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