Friday, May 29, 2009


I have been to two graduations this year. If you have been to one high school graduation you have been to them all. Here are some pointers for those who would listen about how to spice things up and make things less boring.

1. Hire a bonafide Master of Ceremonies. A Tom Bergeron type that would keep things moving with witty jokes and tasteful asides. Break up the monotony by showing people getting hit in the crotch by kids swinging at pinatas. And for the love of all that is holy keep the principal away from the mic. They may put the "pal" in principal but they should never speak in public. Ever.

2. Sure let the Valedictorians and Salutatorians speak. They have earned the right to bore everyone to tears because they are so smart. But also let one of the stoners have about 4 minutes to say what high school meant to him. Let the guy who finished last in the class provide a fitting bookend to the egg head at the head of the class. Let the class pick one person they would like to give a speech.

3. Let the Happy Hands Club give a presentation.

4. Instead of speeches let the smart ones do a dance.

5. When you are reading out the list of people who have gotten scholarships try to be a little more sensitive. For example: One girl last night got several scholarship offers from really good schools (Georgetown being the one I remember) totalling over $200,000. The next girl they called out got $250 from the Masons because her grandfather was the Grand Poobah of the lodge or something like that.

6. Avoid cliches.
-These were the best days of our lives. Maybe for you but other people sitting behind you spent a lot of time dreading coming to school and would like nothing better than to see the school and everyone in it swallowed up by a deep, burning hole straight from hell.
-The world is ours for the taking. Maybe, but probably not. The most likely scenario is the world is going to leave more tire treads on you than you are going to leave on it.
-We have a unique opportunity to change the world. This would be true if there weren't millions of other students with the same opportunity at this exact moment.
-The class of 2009 will always be remembered. Nope. Probably not. They don't remember the class of 1992 and they won't remember the class of 2009. Unless you were the class that caught the school on fire and ran a Meth ring. Or cured cancer.

7. Don't tell people not to applaud until everyone has received their diploma. No one will listen to you because you can't suspend them or give them detention.

8. If you are a student and you have to give a speech make sure you don't sound like any of these people.

One of these guys would be a lot funnier.

There are probably other things that could spruce things up a bit. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Worst Band Ever.

This could have been my first band. Except they have instruments. And place to play. Our drummer would play cardboard boxes. And he was awesome then. None of the guitar players had guitars. I had a Casio Keyboard and was the only one who knew anything about music. And we were better than this. At least Bubba could sing.

For those of you that don't know this is The Final Countdown by Europe. The following is what it is supposed to sound like.

Very many special thanks to my brother in law Kevin. I think this may have actually been his first band. On second thought no. They were better than this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Arise Oh Sluggard.

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? (Proverbs 6:9)

Good question. Apparently as long as possible.

Yesterday for Memorial Day I celebrated the freedom purchased for me by the blood of American soldiers by doing nothing. And by nothing I mean nothing. Here is a list of things I did yesterday.

1. Wake up @ 8:30 AM.
2. Get out of bed at 9:00 AM because Phineas and Ferb came on. "Oh, there you are Perry!"
3. Eat cake for lunch. Dessert was chocolate pie.
4. Although I am unsure of how many times I went to the bathroom and I pretty I did.
5. Play World of Warcraft.
6. Watch TV. Lots of Spongebob Squarepants and Phineas and Ferb.
7. Ate some more.
8. Fell asleep on the recliner to the sounds of Phineas and Ferb.
9. Played World of Warcraft
10. Went to bed.

The funny thing about lazy days such as I had yesterday. They make you want more. I can see how "sluggardness" could be addicting.

And my back hurts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Music of your youth.

I have a theory. Well I have more than one. But only one I will postulate here for your perusal.

"If the music you liked when you were young was good music you will like it when you are older. If the music was more about style and attitude than music then you will not like it near as much when you are older." (by older I mean once the frontal lobe in your brain pan developes sometime in your early 20's)

This theory is born out of my own personal experience.

Huey Lewis and the News. This was my favorite band growing up. Was hooked when I bought Sports. This was the first album I bought with my own money. Great songs include The Heart of Rock and Roll, Bad is Bad, I Want a New Drug, Doing It All for My Baby, Naturally, Jacob's Ladder, and of course The Power of Love from the Back to the Future soundtrack. Their concert in Birmingham in 1987 was my first rock concert. I still like this band because the music was quality. The video below was from that tour. I was in 7th grade.

Now that music is as good today as it was then. If you disagree you are probably one of those people that think the White Stripes is the best band of the planet.

There were other bands I liked way back then. Most notably hair metal. I still like it but it is more about nostalgia for a simpler time and not for much music.

What bands did you like? Which ones are embarrassing now?

Monday, May 18, 2009


You can thank Chris Barnette for this post.

What is it about certain celebrities that makes them think the rest of the world should care what they think. And why is it that only liberals fall under this delusion. I am trying to think of a conservative celebrity who is like this and am drawing a blank. I am not saying they are not out there I just can't think of one. If you know of one who is like some of the people below let me know.

There are people not considered for this list because it is their job to give their opinions.

-Comedians: Chris Rock, Dennis Miller, George Carlin, Bill Maher (I thought funny was supposed to be one of those resume qualifications to be a comedian.)

-Talk show hosts: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, any and all of the people who have ever hosted The View (with one really noticable exception), John Stewart, Stephen Colbert.


This list (while not actually a list it is a group of pictures which is taking the place of an actual list) is strictly for people that are not paid for their opinions: actors, musicians, and Gary Busey.

Friday, May 15, 2009

You know why the enonomy is so bad? Global warming.

Global warming. Are things getting warmer? Sure. Winters used to be a lot colder around here. So do I believe in global warming? Yes. The earth is getting warmer. Do I believe it is the fault of all things combustible (cars, power plants, cow flatulence)? I don't know. But I am skeptical.

I remember 16 years ago when I started college. Scientists and activists were crying to all who would listen that within 10 years we would all be underwater. Global warming was happening that fast. Seems to me the same people are crying the same game and predicting that in 10 know.

Do we need to start taking steps to more Eco-friendly transportation? Absolutely. Do we need to take drastic steps that could further cripple our economy, put people out of work, and saddle me with the burden of keeping up with carbon credits? I don't think so.

(Aside: Whatever position Al Gore takes I take the opposite. Seems like a good rule of thumb.)

Joke of the day
What did Al Gore do with all of his carbon credits?
He battered them, fried them, dipped them in lard and ate them. With yeast rolls.

The science behind this seems too political. There are too many agendas and not enough facts. Take a deep breath. Frankie says "Relax". And just in case stock up on sunscreen and life boats.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am not a teenage girl. Normally.

I have not missed an episode of American Idol this season (love my DVR). One of the things I always find myself doing is voting pulling for either the fat guy or an ugly person (since I just happen to be both I think that fat, ugly people ought to band together and fight back against the unrealistic expectations of beauty and body type).

That being said my favorite for much of the season is the one guy who would most likely look the part if he were in a boy band, Kris Allen (even if he spells his name with a K). I like that he plays the guitar. I like that he does not oversing the song. As for the other dudes. They can sing.

Danny Gokey has a voice that I would listen to. I doubt I could listen to a whole album because his voice after a while makes me tired.

Adam Lambert is the best singer of the bunch. But just because you can hit all those notes doesn't mean you should every time you sing. And the way he sang One last night made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. He would have been well served just singing the song and letting the melody do its thing. And what he did to Ring of Fire several weeks ago made me want to throw something at the TV.

So I am going to pull for the pretty little one as opposed to the guy whose wife died and the dude who wears guy-liner. And I'm sure you all care.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To all the books I've loved before.

I have always been a reader. Even before I could read I was trying to read. I would take comic books and look at the pictures and try figure out what the words were. I can remember laying in bed with my parents as they were reading and holding a book upside down pretending to read. In my childhood books were as important as bikes.

I can remember my mother reading Charlotte's Web to me on a camping trip. I remember thinking how could this E.B. White be such a horrible person and let Charlotte die. What is the point of writing if you don't make things right in the world you create? My mother was pursuing her Masters Degree in library something or the other and she brought home Bridge to Teribithia. At the end of that book I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been 18 and on the bus on the way to a football game. (Just kidding). I was 17.

Stories have a way of affecting you. When you feel grief at the death of a person (or spider for that matter) you don't even know is where the magic of good story happens. It is a neat thing when a story created out of whole cloth in the mind of a writer can illicit any emotion. These are the books and stories that have done this for me over the years. (In no particular order save the last one which is my fave)

The High King, Lloyd Alexander. This is the last book in the series The Chronicles of Prydain. I read it last. Even without knowing any of the back story from the other four books I was able to connect with the characters and story. The part where the bard has to burn his harp or they all freeze to death and as the harp burns he hears every song that has ever been played on it. Beautiful book. Notice the Newberry Medal on the front. This almost guarantees a good read.

It, Stephen King. Sure the killer clown gets all the attention. But this book is really about the friendship of a group of losers. It makes me wish I had grown up in the 1950's.

The Tommyknockers, Stephen King. This was my first Stephen King novel. When I read it in 9th grade I thought it was awesome. Given a little time to mull it over however it is not as good as it once was but it was as good once as it ever was. King himself admitted to having a cocaine problem while writing this book. But it was really good in the 9th grade.

Wizard and Glass, Stephen King. This is book four of the Dark Tower Series. It is the best of the bunch because it takes us back to when Roland was 15 and the girl he falls in love with in the small town of Meijis. It is Stephen King so bad stuff happens to good people. I think this is my favorite book by King.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy. Borrowed this from Jamie and read it during my days off at Christmas. I can't imagine a book less suited to the Christmas season than this. It is about a man and a boy traveling across post-apocalyptic america. Bad things happen all over the place and the ending kept me awake the night I read it. Not for the faint of heart. No details are offered. He never reveals names, places, or explanation as to how things got this bad. But the background is not essential to the story.

Boy's Life, Robert McCammon. I have read this book 4 times since 1994 when my mother recommended it to me. It is a murder mystery wrapped in a coming of age tale. This is without a doubt my favorite book. I have highly recommended to people and they have liked it. What makes me really believe this is a good book is Sam liked it.

What books have you loved before?

Monday, May 11, 2009


Kara thought this was funny. I was dressed like her. Notice the horns. Kara had these also. Billy was frightened. This will most likely come up in counseling later.

This could be the reason for the blog below. A baby changes everything. Including the normal shape of a human being.

Humor. Sense of. My wife's is broken. She laughs all of the time. She doesn't like jokes. I take that back. She likes the really corny jokes that my pastor tells on Sunday mornings. These crack her up. But the cerebral humor of Little Johnny jokes escape her.

Her brother Kevin is really funny. Especially if you think bleating like a goat giving birth is funny. Kara thinks this is the funniest think ever.

I say all of that to say this. My wife doesn't think I'm funny most of the time. This really pains me because of the importance I place on being funny. I would rather a person walk away after meeting me and thinking to themselves, "That is one funny dude." I would rather people think me funny than smart for two reasons.

1. Smart people have high expectations placed on them. Stupid people are rarely asked for their opinion and rarely asked for directions.

2. When you are born you are either smart or dumb. Funny is a thing you have to cultivate in the garden of your soul, like a fine crop of grapes that are turned into a fine wine through skill and knowledge.

Now to know the love of my life does not think I am funny is a disconcerting thing for me.

It has to be one thing. She has a sense of humor disability. She is sense of humor disabled. So I will endeavor to make her smile the best I can and pity her disability. I will no longer be discouraged when I am spinning comic gold and their is no recognition in her eyes acknowledging my geeneeus.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Teenagers aren't stupid. Their brains are just retarded.

It's not that they are stupid exactly. Their brains are just not fully developed. I heard Jamie say (and she heard it on Oprah so it must therefore be true) that the front part of the brain the governs rational thought and decision making is not fully formed until the early 20's. I think it might be safe to say that for some people this part of the brain never fully develops.

Now knowing this I, from time to time, will give the students at Westwood a chance to ask me a religious question. If it is about God, Christianity, or the Christian life in general they get to ask. This should cause you to question the development of the front part of my brain more than is normal.

Honest questions abounded. I am more than happy to answer questions of people that are generally interested in the answer. I got the sense all of the questions last night were of this variety. Questions about Revelation, Salvation, homosexuality, heterosexuality, and other stuff that makes the undeveloped teenage brain go, "Huh?"

One of the senior girls was showing off prom pics and I noticed one of the dudes was wearing a black baseball cap with his black prom suit. When I mentioned (sarcastically) how I thought it was awesome he was wearing his "go to church" baseball hat for prom the senior girl said she thought it was cool. I informed her the reason she thought this was cool was her undeveloped brain.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kate Gosselin is a bad mother?

Dear Lord this can't be right?

Just saw a list on AOL that says that Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate + 8) is one of the worst mothers on reality TV. Right up there with the Kardasians mother and Janice Dickenson. Why would they say this?

Because she nags at her husband and screams at her kids. Heck Kara did this during a 20 second phone conversation with me this morning. Does this make her a bad mother?

She has eight kids. Eight!! OCHO!!! Six of the little monsters are the same age. I don't care if she has hired a nanny. The people that made this list obviously don't have any children much less a freaking litter. If God had meant for people to have more than 2 or 3 at a time he would have given women six breasts.

Kara and I only have two and we have considered eating them in the past week. You want to know why parents scream at their kids? Because the little turds can't understand English under a certain decibel level when they are doing something they shouldn't.

You want to know what Kara requested for Mothers Day? Sure you do.
1. A cup of coffee.
2. A chocolate cake doughnut from Kripsey Kreme.
3. To be away from the men in her life for the rest of the afternoon. What kind of mother doesn't want to be with her children on Mother's Day? The kind that's raising Kinnairds.

Kate is a bad mother? Nope. She is a woman trying to make the best of an insane situation. I bet she would take an afternoon away from her litter if the cameras weren't rolling.

No. This lady is a bad mom.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fix You.

I like Coldplay. Good band. Original. What I like is they don't sound like anyone else and a lot of people strive to sound like them. The following are lyrics to my favorite song of theirs.

Fix You.
When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream, down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I...
Tears stream, down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

Pardon the aside here. I am not a fan of most Christian music of the popular variety. There is no artistry to most of it. There is very little originality. I can only think of a few Christian artists that inspire other artists to imitation. For the most part all you ever hear on WDJC (Birmingham Christian radio station) are people trying to imitate the sound on top 40 radio in a vain attempt to be relevant and current. So it is no surprise that I find no inspiration in most of what Christians produce.

I was in my study (garage to most people) reading The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey for my Sunday school class. The chapter I was reading was on the Sermon on the Mount. Yancey calls it the Sermon of Offense. I think this is apt because it most likely offended the ears of the people listening. Telling the poor and oppressed they are blessed because of their circumstance will not generate many fans when your target audeince does not feel particularly blessed (or lucky as Yancey puts it) in their situation. They wanted Jesus to make things right. They wanted things that were broken to be fixed. After all wasn't this what the Messiah was supposed to do for God's sake? But this was not Jesus message.

As I'm reading this chapter and trying to place myself in the sandals of the people in the crowd the song above is playing in my IPod. And God revealed something about his plans.

The rain was falling outside the garage (let's call it what it is). I felt broken and inadequate to the task of trying to shepherd people who for the most part don't want to be shepherded. I looked for the secret to success in the words of the Sermon of Offense and found no quick formulas. I found no quick step by step guide to walking the path God has me on. But I found hope in the notion that God will indeed fix me. He will fix everything that is wrong in his time. But for the moment he wants to fix me. Guide me. Ignite my bones. Not change my circumstances but change me. Circumstances are what they are. The disciple finds blessing in his circumstances because of the fix God has made in his/her heart. We find what we are worth not in what we have but in Him. His kingdom is inside and shows itself through love.

I hope that someone who is looking at this post found it by clicking "Next Blog" at the top of the screen. God desires to fix you. Not your circumstances. But you.

Vaya con Dios my friends.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day.

Happy May Day to all you Commies out there. I sincerely hope you are able to recieve this on your Soviet Laptops.

Then perhaps you can call all your friends and tell them about Joseph's Blog-O-Log on your Soviet Blue Tooth headset.

Anyway to all of the capitalist dogs and tyrants of industry out there. Your day is coming. Power to the worker.