Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Materialistic Bastard

I like stuff. I admit it. The Christmas season is just about to kick off. The ulitimate dichotomy of the good and the bad of materialism. Retail greed is at its greatest this time of year. Buy, buy,BUY! is the battle cry everywhere you look. Then there are the reminders placed strategically about pertaining to the "reason for the season."

Giving and not getting is supposed to be the purpose. The Christian faith is celebrating the begining of the life of Christ. There were no blue light specials in Bethlehem, besides I doubt K-Mart carried myrrh. (If they had would they have been called K-Myrrh-T?) I do get a very good feeling giving gifts to people. I love the looks on my kids faces when they open gifts. The youngest one still has the wonder in his eyes, he has not been as exposed to jaded folks yet. The Santa spirit lives well in George.

Probably the best thing about Christmas morning with the kids is the joy they have on their faces when they watch others open the presents they picked out for them. Emilyjane, Alice, and George all love to give to each other and they put thought behind their gifts. They are completely focused on the person opening the present they gave them even with the spoils of their own Christmas plunder at their feet.

All that said and all that being true, I still have to admit I like getting things. I like toys. I like gadgets. I like getting stuff. I will not say there is anything wrong with me. I work hard to appreciate the non-materialistic side of life. I love my wife, my kids, my mom, my brothers, my sister, my friends and I miss my dad. I realize that I am blessed by many things. However, I still would love to have an I-pod and the "action figure" of Brian, the dog from Family Guy under my tree on Christmas day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Word of the Day: Equipoise

There is too much negativity running about in the world today. I am a perpetrator. I admit it. I have a theory that sadness and anger are natural emotions but happiness and serenity has to be learned. The simplest example of this is a baby. They cry and fuss without any prompting. The smiles and coos only come with work done by the parent to create the positive feelings. It only happens with the help and training of others.

Work on making yourself happy. I am not advocating hedonistic behaviors, at least not all the time. Also, I think we all need to remember to work and train others to feel the good feelings. This can cause your own good feelings to multiply dramatically.

Personally I need to work on the guilt I often inflict upon myself when I do things that could be construed as selfish.

I love the term serenity - calm and undisturbed. It is a state of mind that is a laudable goal. Not an easy one, but a great intent.

Another word I like is equipoise - balance: equality of distribution. I first heard it in relation to baseball. It takes great equipoise to hit a ball, relaxation and concentration. Those two frames of mind balanced properly seem to me to be a great way to get to that serenity.

I always "sign off" when leaving a person or ending an e-mail with the phrase "Have fun." I mean it.

Have fun.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Sense of Completion

I finished it. I had been working on a movie script for quite a while now. Sarah, Seth, and I have been planning to make a short comedy film for a little over a year now. It all began as trading jokes and gags while sitting around Sarah's classroom. I started writing the script soon after that session. Well, a variety of things slowed the process. It took me nearly a year to write the first 29 pages and then I wrote 20 pages Wednesday.

It was great fun to write the script. I was giddy Wednesday. Claudia and I were hanging out Wednesday afternoon while the kids were at choir practice and she was bombarded with silly joke after silly joke as I continued on what I called "a roll." Writing is a singular process. I enjoy sitting at the computer writing. I even make myself laugh out loud once in a while. The contributions of Seth and Sarah can not be overstated.

I think the movie will be quite funny. The circle of friends we have possess talents that should make it possible to truly pull this off well. The fun of collaborative creative process is great. I hope all can continue towards the completion of this project.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hermit Tendancies Pushed Aside

Saturday night was the big party for Seth's natal day. I realized that it had been quite a while since I had been in a large group of people for social purposes. Even when I go to places with lots of people I tend to stay rather closed off and stick to a small number of folks. Saturday was different because, not only did I know 99% of the people there, I liked all the people there. I have, maybe not anti-social tendancies, but rather, hermit tendancies.

It was great to laugh and talk and eat and drink (I was a good boy I had one cup of the spiked punch only) with a bunch of people. Thanks, Sarah for the throwing the party and thanks to Seth for making it clear that the lack of a party would be tantamount to sacrilegious behavior.

Next year I will have to drop hints the size of Buick that I want a big party on my birthday.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

I just think it is cool to vote. I know a lot of people voted in advance for convenience sake, but I like the process. When I showed up at my polling place there were no lines, but it was busy. It was at 9:15 so not a peak time in Cimarron. I was given the wrong ballot for my "township" and had to vote twice - but I am sure only one will count.

My father was a political junkie so watching the news and the election returns was a big deal in my house as a child. I have memories of watching the political party conventions when they actually meant something, not just rubber stamp of primaries. It was fun to watch the spokesman for each state announce how they were voting. They always got some sort of chamber of commerce plug in as they were polled. "The great state of Wisconsin, the home of enough cheese to make an enchilada the size of Pangea, casts its votes for the next President of the United States -- George McGovern!" So both statements were probably not correct.

I hope everyone old enough to vote does so. I realize that everyone I voted for will not win, but it did not stop me from voting for the person. I was casting about for someone to write in against Tim Huelskamp and Melvin Neufeld because I hate it when someone runs unoppossed. People complain that we should have a more open pool of candidates than the two established parties, well in southwest Kansas there is but one all to often. No Democrats run against the established Republicans, that can't be good.

I am looking forward to watching the coverage of the election tonight...I just pray that we have a decision 2004 in a much shorter timeframe than decision 2000. If the courts get involved we may have problems that reach far beyond who will be president for the next four years.