Monday, July 27, 2009

Unexpected Expressions of Affection...

... are the most beautiful kind, I think.

By that I mean when you see old people still holding hands and being affectionate with one another. Or a big, tough looking dude doting on his daughter, or carrying a doll as a present for her.

Come to think of it, it's not very often that couples who have been married for a while are still openly affectionate either. Maybe it's because of their arms being full of kids and/or kid accessories. I think that's usually the case for us anyway, at least when we're out and about.

Happy Freakin' Birthday

I celebrated my 38th birthday last week (whoop-de-do). I was out of town for work reasons, so not only did I not get a cake, candles, presents, or party on my birthday, but the only people who cared enough to give me any gift at all were my in-laws. A sincere thank you goes out to mom and dad Crocker.

Yeah, I guess I'll admit that I might be a little bitter maybe. But I honestly think after turning 25 (or maybe 30), the importance of celebrating your birthday every year transitions to being every 5 years instead. Years 1 through 30 were a big deal, but after that only 35 really is, then 40, etc.

What's funny though (or maybe not) is that my grandma sent my wife some money for her birthday last month, but all I got is a blank card - I mean, come on!

I did get a lot of well-wishes from Facebook friends though - so thanks to you all.

The People are Supposedly Pretty , but...

I'm not a very high-frequency flier, traveling by plane maybe once every year or two. But of all the cities that I've flown into, Los Angeles is by far the ugliest from the air. There was nothing but side-by-side buildings, concrete parking lots, and roads for as far as my eye could see - brown and gray covered by a slight layer of smog.

To top it all off, the airport was one of the busiest, yet also one of the poorest organized. I don't remember any other airport requiring you to completely leave the gate and check back in through security again when getting off one plane to immediately board another.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Black and White and Red All Over

Some things are clearly black and white to me. There is right and there is wrong - end of story. The addition of red is for the color I see after I feel convicted that it is clearly wrong. Because my tendency in those situations is to become angry and, unfortunately, potentially offensive.

In the last week or two, there have been at least three such incidents:
  1. In one case I think my points were valid, but I could have presented them more gently, especially because they were Christians. I already offered my apology to them though.

  2. In another case, maybe I could have handled it a little more gently. But I did the best that I could and to be honest I feel completely justified and don't regret it one bit.

  3. And the last one is the most important of the three. I care about this individual and while I don't regret bringing the topic up, I probably handled it quite poorly. I am mixed about what to do next, if anything, and I am really seeking God's wisdom.

Here's the issue: I believe there is such a thing as righteous anger, that when things are blatantly wrong that people should get angry about it. And when I look around and see everybody keeping their lips shut and their faces turned away, ignoring the elephant in the room, I simply can take it no more. Ideally though, what I really want is to be gentle and speak lovingly, while still being outwardly honest with what burns inside me as The Truth.

However, and this may sound surprising - I really don't want to be the one to say something - I know I'm horrible at it. I am much more proficient at angering people and turning them against the very cause that I am professing, than I am at convincing them. I would much rather the job be given to someone else who is more capable and able than I. But still, I strongly believe that something should be said, no it must be said. And if no one else is going to speak up than it's better to let the words out of my own mouth and risk alienating myself than to keep quiet and silent in fear of retribution. Maybe another way of putting it is that I would rather get my @$$ kicked than to back away in cowardice.

Are we really talking bravado and chivalry here though, or just foolishness and hastiness? That is the biggest question. How can I speak what I wholeheartedly think is the truth, while still adequately or perhaps even proficiently be representing Jesus? If I were truly speaking words of wisdom, wouldn't they be convincing and thought provoking, instead of abrasive and provoking others only to anger.

Even Jesus angered people though, particularly the pharisees and money changers. On the other hand, that form of righteous anger was expressed specifically against people who were misrepresenting God or disgracing His house (the church). So does that mean I should only get angry, or at least express my anger, if the subject in question is about God?

As you can see, this subject has been coming up a lot lately, and I hate the conflict resulting from it. Don't get me wrong, I can handle the alienation part, or even the un-friending (from Facebook especially), but I am earnestly praying about, and I think I will even fast some of next week for the following:
  1. That I would be absolutely certain about my position and the facts surrounding it before I make my opinion known.

  2. That I could speak (or type) in a way that communicates my position and/or inspires change, instead of just causing anger and rejection.

  3. Most importantly, that I can represent my God and my Savior. Am I talking or speaking in a way that pleases God? Will people grow closer to Jesus as a result, or reject everything that I say and stand for from now on?

  4. That I would have wisdom for knowing whether I should make amends for any hurt or offense that I have caused. And if so, then how do I go about it?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Post-game Thoughts - 3rd Game

Unfortunately I wasn't able to play last week (see my Father's Day Irony post), but I did go and watch. And our team looked much improved - confident, composed, patient, and fairly skilled. We still lost by a significant amount, but the opposing team was possibly our toughest opponent yet (they had beat two of our previous opponents). The important thing was that we were heading in the right direction, and although I didn't participate in it, I was greatly encouraged.

Fast forward to this week, in what was undoubtedly (in my opinion) our worst game to date. The opposing team should have been one of our weakest competitors, with a record that is only slightly better than ours. Even if we were to lose against them, it should have at least been a close game, especially judging by our previous game.

But we lacked, well, everything. Dave (one of the players who has also assumed the non-official coaching position) noticed that we had caused about four turnovers for every one basket that was made. Our offense was completely non-existent. No one could shoot for crap, and our passing was purely pathetic. We seemed more stressed, less confident, not having as much fun.

While I made three of our baskets (not a large number, but that's almost 30% of our points), I was still seriously disappointed with my own performance. I had a couple of fast breaks (after stealing the ball and/or rebounding), but instead of driving all the way to the basket, for some reason I shot the ball from 6-8 feet away, even stopping completely on the very last shot of the game. What is my psychological problem with taking it all the way in? WTF me? Needless to say, the next time(s) I practice I'm going to do nothing but layups, from every angle. I will learn from my mistakes - oh yes, I will learn.

So it sucks to have lost again, but worse than losing is two things 1) the frustration of our team back-sliding in our performance, and 2) even worse, my own performance. While losing is a bummer, I can handle it ok. I have a really tough time though dealing with personally playing poorly.

As an afterthought, I can't help but think that the biggest difference between the last game and this one was - ME! I was playing in this one, but not in the last one. Maybe that's baloney (I hope and pray), but either way I wonder if there is anything that I can do to help everyone to feel more relaxed and confident out there - maybe I should dial down my own intensity and try to goof off and have more fun, in the hopes that it could calm everyone else down and help them relax more too. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I Like It, I Love It

I've had this song in my head for about three days now -

I Like It, I Love It
Lyrics Born

The video isn't anything special (female objectification warning), but at least you can hear the song.

Every time that I get up on the microphone,
I gotta dedicate a rhyme to you girl C’mon...

Father's Day Irony

My Father's Day present this year was a Vasectomy.

What are you trying to say honey?

Oh yeah, and I'm a little sore about it (chuckle).

P.S. Boy am I glad that no one actually reads my blog anymore.
counter stats