Thursday, April 30, 2009

Difficult Children.

Billy got sent home from school yesterday. Billy got up to go to the bathroom without asking permission. Mrs. Barbara (or as Billy says, Mrs. Bwabwa) told him to sit down and ask for permission 1st. He refused. He stomped his feet and balled up his little fists and flat out refused. He got to go to the office and then he got to go home. Needless to say Kara was not pleased with this.

When I got home last night around 10:00 Billy was waiting for the discipline that I was going to bring. He told me he didn't like spankings and I told him his dislike of spankings (and discipline in general) was perfectly normal and healthy. While I have no proof for this I believe that kids that like spankings early on grow up to kill people and store their ears in jars in the pantry. At least (in my mind) Billy is not headed for that type of depravity.

We talked for a little while about what he did and I explained that he did a very bad thing and I tried to make him feel guilty for his actions. Billy is a lot like me. Guilt trips don't work as a form of manipulation.

While all of this is happening Kara is on the phone with Jamie and Catfish is pouring water all over his big brother's bed. Kara tells me to take care of it. She says she said to put the kids to bed. I did not hear this. I took care of it. I left the sheets on the bed and told Billy he was sleeping with us tonight. We then lay down in the bed and watch American Idol. Kara comes in quite angry and tells me all of the ways she found me deficient at this moment. Billy keeps trying to interrupt and I was getting ready to unleash my own list of perceived deficiencies when Billy finally tells Kara what he had been trying to say.

Billy: Mom?
Kara: What?
Billy: Actually Daddy doesn't have the energy for this right now.

God I love that kid.

Then Kara put Catfish on the bed and told me she was sleeping on the couch.

I have really difficult children.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dreams. Windows into our soul.

I had a dream where my band (Crowe) was playing in a bar that also served as a machine shop. On the way through the machine shop I got grease on the sweater I was wearing (one of those things that Bill Cosby used to wear)

I immediately tore out to go to Mel Gibson's travel trailer from the Lethal weapon movies. I tried on every shirt he had and they would look good until I would spy myself in the mirror and they would turn into the night gowns that Bea Arthur (God rest her soul) wore on the Golden Girls.

I finally trusted my instincts and picked the right shirt and started out the door when the phone rang. It was Mel Gibson. I said that I was touched by the Holocaust memorial that was in the front yard. I woke up and wondered if this dream made me gay.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The times they are a changin’.

Look at the picture to the left. Is this not the most Caucasian family in America right now. Not quite as Aryan as the Stinsons mind you. But quite Caucasian nontheless.

I went to McDonalds last Friday night for the same reason any parent goes to McDonalds. It is a place where my kids can play and they don't need constant supervision. While the Playplace at McDonalds has numerous discarded band-aids and is kind of sticky on the inside Kara and I have deemed it a safe place for our children. We went to the McDonalds in Forestdale because it has one of the cleaner Playplaces in the area and it is right down the road from our crib. I noticed something very encouraging while watching my kids play.

Billy is five years old. He is starting to interact with other people the way people interact. He can engage in conversation with other people who are able to engage in conversation. James Robert not so much. (Sidenote: I think I have found a suitable nick name for James Robert because I think all males should have a nick name. He will walk up to me and make a low barking noise that a catfish will make when it is out of water. Think about it. Catfish Kinnaird. Kind of cool and alliterative to boot.)

My kids were the only white kids there. I guess all of the white kids were playing at the Chick-Fil-A in Gardendale. I think it might be safe to say that we are the whitest family in America. I was worried that any offspring Kara and I would produce would be white to the point of transparency. I could have sworn that Catfish was born with a sunburn. I watched as Billy played with these little black boys and girls without any thought that he was different from all of the kids there. He was just as bossy with them as he is with most people. I remarked to Kara what a cool thing this was. I couldn't tell that he thought any thing about them being any different than he was.

I remember the first black kid that I talked to. I was six. You may think this odd since I grew up in Bessemer but I did not go to school with any other black kids until the 7th grade. This was made possible because Bessemer annexed an area and about 30 black kids were now zoned for Greenwood Elementary school. Race was something I was aware of even at an early age. I knew that black kids existed when I was six. I watched The Electric Company. There were no black kids in my neighborhood. There were no black kids in my church. I distinctly remember being a little uncomfortable talking to this little kid that was my age. He seemed a little uncomfortable too. This was nearly 30 years ago. A generation removed from what I witnessed at the Playplace tonight.

Billy had no thought that any thing was different about those kids that he was playing with. I don't think that Billy is even aware that a work like nigger even exists. Sadly I cannot say the same for my own childhood. This has got to be just a little encouraging. Maybe by the time Billy gets a chance to fill in a dot to choose a president he will not think it odd in the least that he is electing the first black Republican for president. I think the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. had about people not judging a person based on the color of their skin but on the content of their character starts with little black boys and little white boys playing together in a Playplace in Birmingham Alabama with no consideration other than it is cool to take turns throwing a toy up the slide and watching it roll back down. The dream will not be realized in political debates and affirmative action programs. It will not be realized because blacks and whites can march together for a common cause. It will be realized when no one notices that their kids are the only white kids playing at a Playplace full of little black kids.

The Apostle Paul had a dream similar to that of MLK. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, rich nor poor, male nor female, slave nor free. Just one family of children washed clean by the blood of Christ. Just a bunch of kids at a Playplace throwing stuff up a slide because it is better than doing it alone.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Got to see Dave Matthews Band the other night. While it was not wise to go out into the cold night with a sinus infection it was well worth it. I love bands that Jam and there are few that jam like DMB. I really dislike modern music (or as the dunderheads on American Idol like to say "current"). I am so tired of trite little pop songs and trite little punk songs being passed off as important because they are somehow current.

DMB is a perfect example of what can happen when world class musicians are given a stage and time to play. It was an amazing night of music.

Best Album by DMB. Before These Crowded Streets.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kids. Who needs them.

I am about to put this out there. I know this might make you think less of me. For some of you this might not even seem possible but I'm going to take a stab at it.

My life was fine before I had kids. There are those whom find life complete when they have kids. They did not fill a void in my life. Unless that void should have been filled high pitched screams and diapers then yes that void has been filled. Neither I nor Kara have ever felt this way. Last night was one of the nights where we wanted a little quiet. Sadly it was also the night the boys wanted to scream and yell and hit things. I told Kara when we are reincarnated and meet and have children let's not buy them anything that isn't plush and soft. And kill the relatives that do. Some people think it is so funny when they give us noise making toys. Well I might think it's funny to set your hair on fire. But I refrain.

This is my favorite line from last night. From Billy.

"I didn't hit him in the face. I hit him in the head."

Needless to say they both went to bed without stories.

Friday, April 17, 2009


(Disclaimer 1: A lot of this is Jesse Crowe's idea. If anyone of the 4 people that read this blog are planning on going to his church this Sunday stop reading now.)
(Disclaimer 2: The clip below is rated PG for a little language. I think this may be OK since the world we inhabit is PG-13 at best. If B.S offends thee then watch this not.)
(Recommendation 1: If you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption then do this immediately. If you get a chance to read the book by Stephen King {Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption} you should.)

Bear with me for one moment. I talked about the cross last week. All of the dark and dirty work of the Gospel was done on the cross. This Easter I have focused more on the cross. I have left little room for the Resurrection in my devotion. I think that the clip above speaks to me more about the Resurrection than any movie ever has.

I think the Resurrection is the subject that God sings to his children. We don't know what the song is about most of the time. And not knowing is OK. It is enough that He sings. The Resurrection song is about hope. No matter the advances made in medicine and personal health no one is leaving here alive. Christians have the hope of Resurrection. Not being brought back to life in a flawed world where everything is still wrong like Lazarus and others. We will be resurrected into a world where Messiah has made everything right.

Hope may very well be a dangerous thing to people who are in a hopeless situation. But the song we hear if we listen just right is a song of hope. It cannot be taken away and no matter the situation we are people who are part of a kingdom of hope. We may live lives in gray prison walls but beyond those walls is a God that sings to his children this song of hope in a language we don't quite understand. We just know that it is better and more beautiful than we can describe and it is for us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party.

So I showed up at a tea party yesterday and was pumped up about it. Alas it is nothing like I imagined it would be. Just a bunch of angry white people. If I wanted that I could go to a business meeting at a church. I was hoping for something like below.

"Would you like some more tea Polly Prissypants?"

"Why yes I would Eric. You are so nice and kind and strong."

Tea parties should be like this.

By the way. Don't dare call it a tea party if there is no disobediance going on. The original Tea Party wasn't even civil. There were some tea parties that didn't happen because they did not have the proper permits. Put on your big boy and big girl pants folks.

It is time to clean house. And Senate.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ugly people can sing too.

When I watch a talent show like "American Idol" I will give my allegences to the person that is not as pretty. That's how I roll. If Britney Spears looked like the lady below but still sang like Britney she would be working at a Waffle House. I love the video. This gal could kick Adam Lambert's butt. This gal could kick my butt.

Please click the link below.

The Deadliest Catch.

Love it. Can't really explain why.

Laying in bed last night trying not to go to sleep I was watching the new season. I also liked the show on discovery where people were climbing Mt. Everest. Both of these shows portray people (men and women, but mostly men) pushing themselves to the limit, physically and mentally. Both of these shows caused me to ask myself this question.

"Could I handle that kind of thing. Would I be able to stand up under the strain?"

But there is another question at the heart of that one.

"Am I man enough?"

Are women concerned with these metaphysical questions of inferiority? Or is it a different question that speaks to the same issue. Would a woman look at Mt. Everest and say, "I want to climb that even if I lose my fingers and toes."

Another question. Is it only dudes who get hurt right after saying these words, "Hey! Check this out!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


You know why pirates are so great?

They just ARRRRRRR!

Get it?

Pirates have been on the attack as of late. I just read an article on AOL that said Somali pirates were emboldened by the recent failure of some of their comrades in arms. US snipers are really good that way.

You know how I know you're stupid. Thumbing your nose at the US Navy. I am interested in seeing how our country will deal with this. It is more of an annoyance than anything. This enemy is more to my liking. Terrorist want to die. Their reward is endless virgins in heaven. Pirates don't want to die. They can be reasoned with. But I did just hear they are not messing with US ships. This shows a capacity for learning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

I went to bed last night around 10:00. I was resigned to the fact my long weekend was over. The last thing I said before I got into bed was, "I have to go to work tomorrow."

I used to feel sorry for people that lived for the weekend. This was before I had a 9-5 (or in my case a 7-4) job. There will be people who say, "Get used to it." I'm 35 years old and I have at least 35 more years of the same type feeling. Let's do the math.

35 X 365 = 12,775. That is how many days in 35 years.

Now let's factor in 8 holidays. Only 8 you may say. Yes 8. Most people do not work for the government or banks.

35 X 8 = 280. 280 holidays in the 35 working years I have left.

Vacation. 10 vacation days per year

35 X 10 = 350.

Now factor in weekends.

52 X 2 = 104. That is 104 Saturdays and Sundays in a year

35 X 104 = 3,640 Saturdays and Sundays in the 35 years I have left to work.

Let's add those days up shall we. Or I'll do it for you.

280 (holidays) + 350 (vacation days) + 3,640 (Saturdays and Sundays) = 4,170 days not spent at work.

12,775 - 4,170 = 8,605 days spent at work.

8,605 (days at work) vs. 4,170 (days not at work).

Here is the part that makes me want to run and hide. Unless something changes I will spend 67% of the working years left dreading 8 hours of the day. This should not be like this.

Something has got to change.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easy like Sunday morning

I write this at 10:40 PM on Saturday. This is the Saturday before Easter. We Christians, especially us Protest-ants, get fired up about Easter. I imagine the Saturday before the first Easter was the darkest day for the men and women that followed Jesus. It is the only day where Jesus was dead. He was in a tomb. His body was breaking down. Decay was doing its thing. His body was stiff and cold. He was not asleep. He was dead. Deader than Friday if that is even possible.

My kids were looking for Easter eggs. My church provided inflatable games for the kids to run and jump through. We have no clue what was going on in the minds of the disciples. They were in hiding. They were soundly defeated. This was the Sabbath. This was their first Sabbath in three years without Jesus. This was not the Messiah they had been looking for. Messiah was going to make everything right. Seven days before they would have argued amongst themselves about their position in the kingdom that was about to be set up. Who would have the prime seat next the throne that Jesus was about to occupy. The events of the previous day put all of those pointless arguments to rest. This was not the Messiah they were looking for. I am pretty sure they would not have envisioned games and fun on this day. We know what happened on Sunday morning. We know that death did not hold on to Jesus. He raised himself.

On Saturday Peter, James, John, and the rest were hiding as if their lives depended on it. Was Judas still swinging at the end of his rope? This was a dark day and a darker night. What were their dreams like on that Saturday night? What were their nightmares?

For the five of you that will read this it will most likely be Sunday. It promises to be a beautiful day. The sun will rise and you will dress up (I’ll even have on a suit and tie) and go to church and hopefully your Sunday will be easy. As easy as Lionel thought that he was when he penned these words. But think about how dark that Saturday was nearly 2000 years ago.

Friday, April 10, 2009

10 Years.

Today I have been married for 10 years.

Kara, I am rich beyond measure.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What have we done?

Truly this was the Son of God.

These are the words of a guy who spent the day making sport of Jesus and tending the cross. Granted we have the account of the darkened sky, torn veil, split rocks, and emptying tombs. Surely these would have been impressive enough. But there were other people gathered around the cross who saw these things and did not come away with the same impression as these pagan Roman soldiers. Scribes and Pharisees still denied this truth. They were too far gone.

Is it too far a stretch to imagine these same Romans mocking, beating, and spitting on Jesus just a few hours earlier? Did they hear Jesus ask the father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing? I don't think these men were turned by the miraculous. They were turned by love. They were moved by the gospel without knowing it. God's love hung on the cross. God's love turned the hearts of men then as it turns our hearts today.

Truly this was the Son of God. Perhaps this question sat on the tips of thier tongues as creation itself reacted to the death of the Son of God. "Oh crap. What have we done?"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Different Kind of Week.

This is kind of long. Put on your big-people underwear and deal.

I am a proud Protest-ant. I like the justified by faith vibe we have. I like the freedom. I really like having my own little communion cup with grape juice (wine is horrible). I like the way we do things.

But I think we have missed the boat on Holy Week. I think we do things differently sometimes as a reaction to what Catholics do. Take the Crucifix for example. At my old house in Woodstock my grandfather’s crucifix hung on the wall above my computer. I found a measure of comfort in this. Why? This is the profound mystery of the cross. Mystery works for me. Here is an exchange I had with a well meaning lady from my church when she saw this.

Lady: Why would you have that on your wall?
Me: What? (Pointing the crucifix) That.
Lady: Yes. Jesus came off the cross. He is risen.
Me: I agree. But before he “arisen” he hung on that cross.

What I really wanted to say was empty tombs don’t hang on the wall near as good as crosses. But good for me that I did not. My filter worked.

We Protest-ants tend to gloss over the betrayals, trials, scourgings, mockings, and death of Jesus as if all of these were just bumps in the road to the Resurrection. Phillip Yancey (in The Jesus I Never Knew) points out the Gospel narrative actually slows down during the last week instead of speeding up.

Jesus on a cross is an unsettling image for the justified by faith crowd. The justified by works crowd can feel a little better because at least they are trying to work off the debt that was paid by Jesus hanging on the cross. For me the cross is grace. Pure grace. My sin put him on the cross. And there is nothing I can do to repay this. I was justified (made right) with God and the image I associate with that is an occupied cross. An empty tomb is associated with other things. But this week is about a man and a cross.

Friday, April 3, 2009


ER aired its last episode last night after 15 seasons. As the last scene faded to credits I was more than a little sad. Although I haven't watch it regularly in a few years I watched a few this year (including the one where Clooney came back. The only bad part of this episode was Susan Sarandon being stupid and over acting. Patrick Dempsey's got nothing on Clooney). What made me sad was knowing that it will not be on next week. It was comforting to know that whatever might change ER would be on.

I would watch ER with my mom when I was in college. We watched the episode where Dr. Green (Goose from Top Gun before he went bald) delivered a baby in the ER and accidentally killed the mother. The scene where he had to go in and tell the father broke something inside of me. ER was always good for a cry. It was always well written.

But it did end well. No explosions. No helicopters falling out of the sky and killing people. Just people getting hurt and going to the ER. No closure, just continuity.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chill. Relax.

Billy will be 5 this Sunday. I see a little boy running around the house and forget sometimes what he was like as a baby. Pretty much the same thing only we couldn't understand what he was saying so his bossyness was cute. He has beeyootiful eyes. He gets them from his mother. Only hers are green. I think the eyes come from the Fowlers. The Kinnairds are known more for the beadiness of the eyes.

James Robert looks more like me. This is probably not going to be a good thing for him. He is going to be bigger than Billy which is not going to be a good thing for Billy. He is bossy like his brother and mother. I always find it funny that the smallest people in the house manage to rule over the larger people. And by larger people I mean me.

Kara probably doesn't like this picture. It does show the disparity between the sizes of our heads. She is quite pretty still even though she has a tiny head. Been married to this woman for nearly 10 years (more on that later). Dating since 1993.