Friday, February 13, 2004

Well... my friend Kreg is crossing over to the "dark side" this weekend. One of the last friends I have with me in the world of singledom..... It's getting more and more vacant over here!!

Honestly, I am really happy for him. We have his bach party tonight and they make it official Sunday. I am proud of and happy for him. So my weekend essentially is dedicated to him. So that is a heads-up. I probably won't post much this weekend.

But let me give you some advanced warning on something. Next week, I am planning to change my links to the right. I want to get some new stuff out there but not go and overwhelm everyone with 200 links on the page. So, make sure you visit the links and bookmark what you want to save... By mid-week, I plan to retoate the links.

Sorry this is a boring post... Not much time, still recovering, blah blah blah...

Thanks again for reading. I'll add more when I can.

Happy Vday people.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

I was just thinking about something I wanted to post, but... thanks to the enduring power of Loren Greene to captiviate my thoughts......

I'm teaching at a conference in Wisconsin the beginning of March. In the workshops I am doing, I am having the worship leaders and worship team leaders etc get in groups and come up with a Top 5 list. Steve and I have talked for a while about me writing a paper about the words and/or phrases I want to remove from my worship leading vocabulary. It would be a little tongue-in-cheek but also contain some seriousness.

Soooo... I am having these attendees put together their Top 5 lists of phrases worship leaders use most often. You know make it a little silly and ok to laugh at ourselves.

I am asking from YOU, the faithful baldtrain community, to give me YOUR Top 3 or 5 or whatever favorite phrases of worship leaders. I don't want to give any away, but.. I figure you are all smart enough to come up with your own. So I would love to be able to share some of YOUR ideas with the seminars. (I'll be sure to give you the credit that is due!!)

So thanks ahead of time for contributing! (Hit the "Talk Back" to leave me the goods)


So my friend aLink said something recently that I thought was pretty profound... We live in kind of a weird "tipping culture." Just look at how we treat tipping at virtually any given restaurant. The phrase "Is this enough?" when we tip can be heard at tables all around the dining area. And what that phrase REALLY means is "Is that the bare-minimum I can give without being a complete jerk-face?!?!?"

But there are two interesting cultures of tipping that aLink pointed out to me. There is the 'bar tipping world.' What happens in this world goes a little something like this: A trendy (and often scantily-clad, especially if it's a woman) bartender will screw the cap off of your beer. Because of the incredible effort and energy invested in that action, the beer purchaser then tips that tender one dollar.

There is another world I will call the 'drink-making tipping world.' Now some bartenders actually have to mix your drinks. And for that, a tip is not only appropriate but necessary!! Those drinks take a little bit more time (say 60-75 seconds TOPS) and deserve some kind of demonstration of appreciation. AND YET..... the same philosophy does not exist in the 'HOT drink-making tipping world.' Places like Starbucks and the C-word coffee shops don't get the same treatment.

Let me give you an example: Let's say you order a simple cup of coffee. I liken that to the beer bottle purchase. All that needs to be done is a cup grabbed and subsequently filled. A bottle cap screwed off--not much more. But let's say you order a 1/2 decaf, triple, sugar-free vanilla, soy, no foam, extra hot cappauchino. This beverage is obviously more involved than a cup being filled. (And light years more involved than a mixed drink like.... well.... maybe I'm not sure what any mixed drinks actually are.....) Knowing the demands of making such an impressive-sounding beverage, wouldn't you expect a tip of some sort would be appropriate??

Well friends, let me educate you. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN!! The average bartender makes BANK in tips compared to the average barista. And forgive me, but the amount of work is comparable, if not greater in the 'hot mixed-drink world.'

Am I fishing for equal tipping rights in the barista world? Perhaps... But primarily I'm just relaying the thoughts of a newly promoted (I might add) and faithful barista.

So did you hear about the US/Mexico soccer game the other night? The US was beaten up 4-0, keeping them from entering the Olympics for the first time since 1980. But the big news came during the National Anthem and various chants throughout the night. Evidently, as the National Anthem was being played, it was virtually impossible to hear over the amazingly loud "Boo's." Probably more disturbing still, were the chants scattered in small pockets around the stadium of "Osama!" I don't know what that communicates about the perception and attitude of other countries towards or about the US, but... it does disturb and bother me. These countries can think what they want and many have always had strong opinions about who we are and what we do. My tension in this case is that I am not sure how to, or if I can, defend the actions of the United States. I'm still not sure what I think. I have vacillated back and forth dozens of times.... I've still not been able to land somewhere I feel comfortable. Thoughts??

Rather than say Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday to Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Darwin today, I wanted to give my thanks and regards to someone who, directly, has had a greater impact on me. Judy Blume is celebrating her 66th birthday today. I remember WELL reading her books and being moved to want to read more--and even that early in my life, write!! "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," "Superfudge," "Blubber" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" were important books for me. AND, remembering those books today, I want to re-read them! These are books I hope to pass on to my children. (Yes I know dSep.... these books aren't old enough to stand the test of time..... please try and forgive me!) Congrats to Judy who continues to keep cranking those books out!! (And also to a couple MAJOR influences in the acting world: Arsenio Hall, 49, and Lorne Greene, 89. May the young actors of our generation STRIVE to be like these two gentlemen!! Woop Woop Dogpound!)


Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Thank you for visiting my site and pushing me up past the 200 visitors mark!! I feel honored (not written with complete sarcasm either!!). I don't know what my expectations were about visitors, but I am pretty sure I didn't expect to get to this point in 3 weeks. Congrats and thanks a billion.

Hopefully I can keep offering things on the site that will keep you visiting.... That said, if you have any suggestions on what can be written about or changes to the site, please feel free to "talk back" and let me know. (Or as one of Lisa's favorite movies would say it: "Bring It On!")

New featured artist for you guys this week. (I'll keep the previous week's artist link up for you.....) One of my favorite female voices ever belongs to Karin Bergquist of Over The Rhine. Their newest release, "Ohio," is a fantastic double-disc album, giving a picture of the roots that inspired Karin and Linford Detweiler (co-writer and mastermind behind OTR) as they were growing up. If you enjoy mellow, grass-roots female vocal-driven music, you need to get your hands on this record.

That's it for now. Time for more medicine and bouts of narcolepsy.


I am now officially hitting the one-week mark for being sick... I'm pretty frustrated and BORED! Few things try my patience like lying around, especially when it's not by choice.

dSep has been UNBELIEVABLY kind the past couple days! I just have to find some way of saying 'thank you' and thought I would acknowledge him here.

In my 'downtime" I have spent more time with a book that I recommended a while back, "American Jesus." For anyone interested in religious history and societal influence, this book has been really informative and entertaining. It's not a quick read though--so be prepared for that. I especially liked the opening chapter on Jefferson and his influence not only on American government, but also on American religion.

Just as a teaser, here is a piece from a letter Jefferson wrote that sums up his succinct "Jeffersonian creed:"
1. That there is one God, and he all-perfect.
2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
3. That to love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.

No wonder, as I told my friend Steve last night, virtually every religious angle claims Jefferson as their "own."

Anyway, it's a good and fair read.

Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday to the LADIES today! (Well, except for Thomas Alva Edison who would be 157 today... He kind of counts though cuz he has a "feminine" middle name.)
>> Kelly Rowland turns 23 today. We know her as part of the trio of Destiny's Child and duet partner for Nelly in "Dilemma." (I HATE knowing that much about that genre of music....)
>> Brandy is 25 today. For many of us, she is the talent behind our favorite television show in history: Moesha!! Sadly, the show was dropped from UPN after its 6th season in 2001. But for those of you still needing your Brandy-fix:
>> Jennifer Aniston (who has stopped returning my phone calls.. grrrr!) is 35 today. Any votes on the future of this "Friend" after this year?
>> Sheryl Crow is 41. I have long been a supporter and listener of Sheryl Crow until that cursed and repulsive "Soak Up The Sun" came out!! "I've got my 45 on so I can rock on...." It's a good thing that line is at the end. If it was anywhere near the beginning, I would have never heard the song in its entirety. (All the same, her self-titled second album is OUTSTANDING!! Easily one of my top 5 picks for female projects)
>> Leslie Nielsen is 78. Yes, I know this is a man (albeit a TERRIBLY feminine name, even more than Alva) but I have to take the chance to celebrate a man who brought us such cinematic masterpieces like "Naked Gun" and "Naked Gun 2 1/2" and "Naked Gun 33 1/3"... The list goes on and on. So thank you Mr. Nielsen for spoofing every possibility under the sun, making you the Weird Al of movies.

And to leave you, one of my favorite Leslie Nielsen moments. From "Police Squad," as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, his response to a questioning co-star:
>> "Who are you and how did you get in here?"
>> "I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith."

Surely, one of our nation's most talented of actors. (And don't call me "Shirley.")


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Well boys and girls, I haven’t posted in a couple days (AGAIN--even after my promise to be more consistent.) I have been (and remain) pretty sick. Couple thoughts on illness….
>> You ever notice that when you are sick, virtually any time of the year, it seems as though you have “what’s going around?” Even if you personally don’t know anyone else on the planet who is sick, the people who find out you are sick know “soooo many people who have what you’ve got!”
>> Medicine boxes are some of the most entertaining pieces of literature published. On the particular over-the-counter I am using, there are these couple of “warnings”:
(1) Excitability may occur, especially in young children.
(2) You may get drowsy
OK, these two warnings seem to be a little contradictory don’t they? Let’s say I am one of those sensitive types who responds to all the power of these medicines. That means, thanks to this medicine, I will be temporarily narcoleptic!! One minute, I am Jo-Jo the Idiot Monkey Boy bouncing around the room, the next I am passed out on the floor, in the still fresh footprints I left seconds earlier on the carpet.
My basketball coach in high school had a narcoleptic father. He would talk to us about phone conversations, from Indiana to TEXAS where his father would, in the middle of a sentence, stop talking and begin to snore and would sleep for 10 minutes. We laughed, of course, but never got a good answer from Coach Knight (yes I know, stereotypical coach’s name for an Indiana school huh?) why he didn’t just hang up the phone and wait for his dad to wake up and call him back. Instead, he stayed on the phone waiting for his father to wake up.
If I fall asleep, in my newly acquired narcoleptic state, I give permission to all my friends to proceed with your lives. Leave me laying there and we can continue whatever we were about once I wake up. Don’t worry about me—I’m sure I’m not going anywhere. (Unless I also became a sleepwalker thanks to the medicine—then you need to watch me because I’m also not supposed to operate any heavy machinery!!)

It’s been a ‘below-average movie’ couple days. On the weekend, I spent some time with my friends jimandjenn and we watched “Secondhand Lions.” I remember seeing the previews and hoping Robert Duvall and Michael Caine would excel and play off each other. AND I hoped that kid from “Sixth Sense” wouldn’t ruin the movie for me. Alas, I am sorry to say, I was disappointed on both counts. Here is how I will describe the movie, as succinctly as I can: “It’s a badly-told and badly-acted feel good movie.”
After that, Jim and I watched “Under The Tuscan Sun.” (Proceed reading once your laughter has died down… yes we two men watched, together, that movie!!) Other than the couple of minutes where I feel asleep, I made it through the movie, all the while, hoping it was heading somewhere. Besides having my eyes glued to the naturally beautiful Diane Lane (gggggrrrrrrooooooowwwwwwwlllllll!!), I kept wanting something else to happen. No I don’t mean a gun fight or airplane crash…. I just mean some kind of peak in the movie that might resemble an over-arching conflict to resolve or deal with. I didn’t get that sense. I invite insight into the movie if anyone wants to disagree….
Finally, last night, as I am trying to find something to bring about sleepiness (thanks the cursed excitability brought on by my medicine!), I watched “My Cousin Vinny.” I hadn’t seen it in a long time (since my Marisa-Tomei-obsession days actually) and thought it would bore me and put me to sleep. I watched the whole thing. And as I was laying in bed after the movie, I thought about how glad I am that I only paid $1.99 for that movie about a year ago. (Yes, bring on the mockery—I own a movie with Joe Pesci AND Ralph Macchio!!)

Not a lot else to catch you up on… It’s been a lazy couple days filled with struggling to breathe and turning over and over on my side so my sinuses would drain a billion times a night. I had better stop before the narcolepsy kicks in and I fall on top of the keyboardddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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