Saturday, October 17, 2009

Driving Miss Crazy

 *Another piece I wrote some time ago*

This is really going to sound  sexist and it probably IS sexist, but are there any women out there who
can drive without putting themselves or others in grave danger?

It just absolutely makes my a-hole bleed to be behind a woman when I drive to work every morning. If
it's not putting on make-up, it's reading the paper, talking on the phone or texting. Yeah, that's right, I did say reading the paper.....while driving.....a car......a real car. Now, men are not exempt from this either. But, the vast majority that I seem to catch in this bold act of reading, are indeed, women. 

Let's go with make-up first. Don't do it. It's ridiculous. Quit knocking down shots of tequila and squat humping your boyfriends softball team all night, set the clock and get out of bed.....EARLY!! Take a shower, play with your hair for 2 1/2 hours, then put on your make up. If you have to put your make-up on while speeding down a freeway at 7 am, you are a gawd dammed idiot. You are a stupid ass. People are taking their kids to school or day care. Have a little compassion and think about someone besides yourself. You more or less look like the same weathered old bag with or without the makeup. You are either a weathered,
time worn hag without make-up, or you can be a weathered, time worn hag that looks like a clown at
Barnum & Bailey's Circus. If you want to look like a clown, at least drive a Volkswagen.

Next is reading while driving. Stop it. For crying out loud you are operating a vehicle that weighs  

thousands of pounds! Isn't that enough to make you think that reading isn't a
good idea while speeding towards your secretarial desk at whatever company you answer phones for,
at 65 MPH? "Kathy" or "The Family Circus" just won't be as funny if you have to read it with your head
sticking through the windshield.

Can I get a consensus on this statement......"NOBODY should operate a vehicle while talking on the
phone"!!! And I won't stop there, try not to watch TV while driving. Everyone else in the car is
allowed to, you can only listen. I don't give a damn if it is your favorite episode of "Who's The Boss?",
wait until you get home or pullover at a rest area. I would say the same of texting. Really, you think it's a good idea to basically use a typewriter while driving? Really? Update your Twitter when you are safely home. Believe me, the world can wait to hear that your cat can wear the little Dallas Cowboy booties you bought him.

Here's another tip (and we are all human beings here, should I have to be doing this?), if you are in
the far left hand lane of a highway that is larger than 2 lanes, you are in the fast.......FAST......lane. That
means you should try to at the least drive the speed limit. Do NOT drive the same speed as the car
beside you. Go around them and get out of everyone else's way. Most people expect to
drive 5 to 10 MPH over the limit in the fast lane. Your father should have taught you that when you were
10 years old.

There is so much to cover on this topic, but I'll end with this one; don't play your music so loud that you
can make the dead sit up and give you the finger. I get it all you 18 year old, pants hanging off your
ass, sandal wearing, wife beater sportin', sideways cap with the tags still on it donning
like to feel your little pea brain rattling around when you listen to music. That's fine when you are out
on the open road or at home. As for a red light, or a friggin' drive thru, turn that shitty, useless, garbage
down. Do they actually sell soundtracks of just a bass drum booming over and over and over and
over? Oh, yeah.....they do. And that's stupid too.

I need all you women and other morons to do a better job of paying attention on the road. I have
enough to deal with, while I drink my coffee, swing at my kids in the back seat and look for a CD in my
glove box.

"Baby you can drive my car...beep, beep, beep, beep, yeah!"--The Beatles

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Losing My Religion....A reboot of sorts.....

Well, since I went on record last week with the confession that I am drifting away from my love of sports (especially the Red Sox and Louisville athletics), I may as well go ahead and let it rip.

I have given up on religion. It's not been a short journey....nor has it been a very long one. I have been a believer in Jesus Christ, most of my life. It began with my grandmother and grandfather being believers and hard core, fundamentalist church goers. They didn't really push it on me, I just loved them more than anything in the world, so I wanted to learn about what they were on fire for. I read some books by David Wilkerson, Hal Lindsey and others and really got into the "end of times" prophecy and the Book of Revelation (as well as Daniel). As I grew up, I kept a belief going (not sure that I would call it faith) though I wasn't really following up on it.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I took a new interest. I found a church (Highview Baptist) that I really liked and people that I liked even more. It fit for me. I finally was at a place where I could dedicate myself a little more.....I took baby steps, but I was walking towards Christ. My wife really started dedicating herself to Highview. She became a member and started helping out in different capacities. I began to attend a Sunday school class with Nancy and had two "teachers" who I really took to and appreciated (Ed and Andy).

In the last year, I began to question the Bible more and more, as I became more familiar with it. I was shocked at some of the things I read. There appears to be quite a contradictory nature in God's being. I started to read about God intentionally hardening mens hearts to do harm to others. I started reading about how God allows evil and how it is totally based on his mercy that anyone goes to heaven. It's not my choice. God knew before I was born. So, now I'm back at the predestination questions I have had for most of my life. I got a little more familiar with Calvinism and it shook me. All of these things I was learning about was hardening my heart towards God, not opening it. I decided that I didn't need to simply believe.....I had to find out for myself what I believed and why. I started deconstructing my faith.

I continued to pray. I continued to read and study the Bible. But, I also let other options in. I studied up a little on Islam. I listened to some speeches by Islamic teachers. I read books by Dawkins and Hitchens. To keep things honest, I read Stroebel's "The Case For Christ" and a book that was designed to refute Dawkins' "The God Delusion", which was called "Atheist Delusions". After all of this, the only thing that stood out in my mind was "I do not believe in Jesus as the Christ, and I don't believe in religion, period." That's quite a shock to my mind after praying EVERY night for 30+ years. It was hard to accept, but there it was.

Well, it's been about 6 or 8 weeks since I have been solid on this. In that time, I feel different. I actually feel free from the guilt and pain that I have always carried around with me. Was it self-imposed? Sure. But it came from a lifetime of being told that I was worthless and probably going to hell. I was constantly tormented about every little thought....every little utterance....every little mistake. It's no secret I suffer from depression and if you throw a nice chunk of religous guilt on top of it, I was being crushed by the weight of it all. I have let that go. I'm living my life. I'm not any less moral than I have ever been. I'm not any less friendly than I have ever been. I don't love my family and friends any less. My mind has opened to life. I will seek a life that is fuller. I will take the time to love people more. I will spend less of my time worrying about pushing my morality on the population in general, or on my friends. I actually feel like a better human being. But more than that, I finally feel like "me". I guess you could say, I've been born again.

So, there's that. I have come clean. I still have a great deal of respect for those who follow religion. It's their walk, and I would never think of trying to push them away from what they have in their hearts. I hope that I will be afforded the same respect. I don't need to be prayed for. That implies that there is something wrong with me that needs fixing. If you feel the need to pray, pray for the kids out there who don't have anything to eat tonight or are drawing their last breaths due to cancer, AIDS, or some other terrible affliction. I will correspond with anyone who wants to discuss things with me in a respectable manner.

Yeah, this is heavy stuff.....I'll try to get back to my rants and observations soon!

With the threat of hell hanging over my head like a halo
I was made to believe in a couple of beautiful truths
That eventually had the effect of completely unraveling
The powerful curse put on me by you

When you set the table
When you chose the scale
Did you write a riddle that you knew they would fail
Did you make them tremble
So they would tell the tale
Did you push us when we fell
David Bazan (When We Fell)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Losing My Religion

Well, here I am. Over the past 6 or 7 months I've changed quite a bit. My old interests are starting to wane (or have already deteriorated badly) and I just don't have a desire to go back. For most of my life I have been identified with baseball or Louisville sports. I still hold a place in my heart for those things, but they do not define me or my personality any longer.

I have revealed how I've felt, slowly but surely, to all of my "baseball" and "UL" friends in the past few weeks. I think it weirds some people out. Most people don't like change. When you are friends or whatever with someone, it's nice to know what to expect out of them. Every time you get together there is an expectation of what that experience is going to be like. When someone changes, it throws a monkeywrench into the situation and I would guess that it may cause some to reevaluate that friendship.

I have been a really hardcore fan of Louisville for 30 years and now I find myself not interested. I follow them. I read the paper. I will put on the game for a few minutes, but I just am not feeling it anymore. I'm moving on. I'm starting to find my love for music and film again. I want to find a few experiences that are different. I don't want to put my short term joy or contentment on whether or not a sports teams wins. I can't do that anymore. This hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I guess what is hardest on me is having to explain my feelings over and over to mostly unbelieving friends. Some friends and co-workers have chose to ignore my disinterest and speak to me as if I'm watching every play of every game and staying on message boards all day long. I assure you guys........I do not.

So, what happens from here? I'm not sure. I went to the service yesterday, but never went into the church. I hung out with friends and did what I could have done at home. Cookout, play games, and goof off. I guess what I'm trying to make myself say is that I don't need it. I have moved on from my religion. I have left it (or am leaving it) the rear view gets smaller and smaller as I move forward. I feel free. I feel liberated from the trappings of being a part of the congregation. It's not in my heart......

Good bye.

"Life is bigger. Bigger than you, and you are not me..."--Losing My Religion--REM