I went to a college that costs somewhere in the $60k range.  I’m not bragging… actually I kind of regret going to such an expensive college. I’m just trying to get to my point so quit letting me interrupt myself. Ok? Alright.

Where was I? Ahh yes… Well having said all of that, one would assume that I’d remember more things that I learned while attending the $60k dollar college than I actually do still remember. Somewhere along the way one of my really smart professors said this, “Sometimes it’s more accurate to describe God by what He is not rather than trying to pinpoint what He is.”  Come to think of it I may have just read that in a book or learned that lesson from a Peanuts cartoon, but replaced by another main subject. Either way this lesson rings true in my life by replacing God or Charlie Brown with dogs.

Okay, I’ve lost you maybe, but hang in there because defining dogs by what they are not is not the main point I’m trying to get across.

Dogs, like many mammals, aren’t generally thought to be difficult creatures to understand.  You know… the whole natural instincts thing makes them all pretty predictable in a controlled environment. I’m speaking about dogs, specifically my dog, in a very controlled environment which sadly never seems to change. My house. I could describe my dog by the things that she does and you’d get a good idea of what she’s like.

Eats.

Sleeps.

Licks her unmentionable areas.

Sniffs every telephone pole she passes.

Loves car rides.

Snuggles when she’s cold.

All of these things which my dog does regularly do paints a good picture. However, I got to thinking about an interesting trait about my dog that she is not, and it seems to do justice to all of her positive traits combined.

She is not busy nor does she have a sense of busy about her at any  given time in her life.

She gets pretty preoccupied with eating a bone or scarfing down her dinner, but she doesn’t seem to be busy in these moments.  She is just reacting to what is in front of her at the time or what is next. There’s not really a rhyme or reason to her days. One primary difference between dogs and humans (besides the obvious things like that we stand upright on two feet and most of us don’t have tails… I’ve heard that sometimes babies are born with tails or tail-like growths. That grosses me out honestly) is that humans get busy.

I often hear from people/the church/social commentators that one of the sins of our society and tricks of the Devil is to make us busy. I’ve always taken this lesson to heart and kind of took comfort in the fact that I don’t often feel busy like my friends seem to be busy.

I have a handful of friends who work at jobs that I’d die to have. They seem to be so busy through out their weeks that, get this, they don’t have time to call me back. Sometimes not for a week or month. Believe it or not, sometimes they don’t ever even get around to calling me back at all!

The absent return phone calls used to really hurt my feelings.

I’d think to myself, “Okay. So let me get this straight. These people don’t have time to call me back while driving between important meetings or to the bank?” Often these thoughts would be covered with a thick layer of pride in my ability to make time for my friends… most of the time… unless I forget or don’t want to call them back.  I never neglect to at least get back to somebody simply because I’m too busy though. I’m better than that for sure.

My friends aren’t only busy with their jobs.

I have a particular friend here in KC who I sort of met randomly. Turns out we have a lot in common, and now we hang out pretty regularly. He’s good for a laugh or what not . We get to hang out a lot too because we both like to blow our money on movies, clothes and lunch. It’s kind of a hobby of ours.

Well, as much as I hang out with this guy I’d always felt like there was a side to him that I didn’t know at all.  The reason was because I heard through the grapevine about an incident he was involved in, but I’d never heard about this incident from my friends own mouth.  The incident was significant and personal, but I felt like that I didn’t really know this friend because he had never opened up to me. Selfish I know.  Recently over coffee with this friend we got into a good conversation about life. He opened up to me about a lot changes and choices in his life right now and eventually mentioned the incident.

My friends who delay or never call me back don’t hate me.  I know this because they either do eventually call me back or the ones that never call me back I’ll see at a wedding or around the holidays where they greet me with a warm hug before we catch up on life in person.  These people just get busy with their lives doing jobs that they love, and spending time with other people who they greet with warm hugs and conversation.

My friend who never told me “the story” wasn’t trying to be vague or distance himself from me personally. Turns out that he seemed to be very busy spiritually for a while now. Working things through and bringing things to light. Nothing personal.

When I think about these people and their busy lives I can’t help but wonder how “busy” turned into such a profane word in my vocabulary. Not the only profane word for sure. My friend Britt has taught me worse words the time that he dislocated his shoulder on a climbing trip in Arkansas.  Those words would offend more people too.

Being busy isn’t the great sin in our society and churches. Maybe being busy with the wrong or insignificant things would be a bigger problem for another conversation. Being idle is the real sin. Letting love,productivity and deep relationships be paralyzed by our fear of overdoing things or stretching ourselves too thin.

I’d like whoever writes my obituary to have a pretty easy job. Let my life read clear whether I’m described by what I was or wasn’t. The good work I took part in, or by the unholy traits that I lacked.  Somebody would have their work cut out for them if they had to write about a long life of idleness and fear of being busy.  If not for God then I should at least find some good busy things to do for the sake of the person who writes my obituary one day. It’s only common courtesy.

-b

I’m turning a new leaf.

I’m making my list of New Years resolutions.

You’re thinking: Umm, resolutions don’t ever last.

And: Oh brother, this should be good.

Or, even: Hey! Doesn’t anybody else realize that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet? Am I really the only intelligent person with commentary here?

Well, I respect each of your presumed thoughts. Here my .o2 cents.

The end of the year tends to be the most gruesome, tedious and tiresome part of the year. I’m not huge into Thanksgiving due to my affinity with not eating rotting animal carcass. But I do like stuffing. Christmas is a magical feeling time and Advent is a spiritually renewing season indeed. However, these seasons are also typically paired with lovely family gatherings with warm Christmas cheer and gaudy sweater-wearing around the fireplace.

My family is strewn about the entire country.

The family I do see regularly tends to be dysfunctional and loud… ie. stressful.

(Writer’s note: I do like my family… just making a point is all)

So having said all of that…

I’m starting my New Year with the start of Advent. So I have until Nov. 29th to figure out my resolutions for the new year. I’ve already thought of a couple.

1. Time and Space and Quantity

I’m going to try to not measure my life so much by minutes, how much of’s, dollars and cents or miles

Confession, I let myself get very caught up in these sort of quantitative standards. In turn, I often feel paralyzed by them. So I’d like to loosen my grip on them a little bit. Here’s an example…

“Man oh man am I tuckered out. I just ran for 2 1/2 segments of This American Life and two times around the park.”

2. Less is More… or just Less.

I’d like to give more and end up with less in my life. Whether that be spending time with those less fortunate, taking more folks out to lunch or simply consuming less. Less stuff. Donate those clothes that sit in my closet and never get worn. Maybe I’ll still buy things but just better quality up front. Like buying a Mac once every 5 years instead of a Dell every year.

This is a good start for now. I’ll probably think of a few typical resolutions like losing weight or getting a new job etc. The bonus of this whole deal is that I’ll either fail way before anybody makes their New Year’s resolutions or I’ll be succeeding and way ahead everybody else. Point 1… Bob.

-b

Okay, I know that it isn’t very hipster of me but i am familiar with a song from the radio. You are too probs. That one from the ‘band’ Owl City.

Cool name.
Cool sounds.
Huge Postal Service rip off.
C’mon man. You have the stones to record a song that sounds so unoriginal AND release it?

Yet people love the song, while creative folks never get recognized at all. A shame is all…

-b

damn Sam, I love a woman that rains

I don’t feel like you

nothing is black

nothing is white

sometimes grey

usually red

an urgent disaster zone

usually yellow

bright and shiny fun-ville

I don’t know you

nothing is wrong

nothing is right

sometimes alright

usually hectic

i’m lost in a mirror

usually safe

your right hand guides me through

beside quiet waters

Well I don’t even know where to start. I mean… where to start actually saying something significant. I started by acting like I didn’t even know where to start, but clearly that was just a ploy to buy some time.

Here we go…

Oh man…

I know! Eureka. There are three things that stop me dead in my tracks right now.

1. A pretty smile that looks like there’s a whole lot of ‘trouble’ behind it…
2. Hummus. I love that stuff.
3. Bright eyes. Not the band. They are okay though.

Today I was thinking about how cool records are and that I should try to get some pressed. If nobody bought them and I lost money then I’d still have a copy. That would be worth it almost.

Let me just leave it at that, k?

-b

Casey and I were just looking at our old Xanga blogs and it really got me to thinking… what the heck happened to xanga? Reading through old posts also opened my eyes to realize that I had a lot going on back in the day. I don’t feel like my life is as ‘rich’ now was in those days.  Maybe my life was more rich and maybe it wasn’t. I don’t really know how to judge such a question. One thing I do realize is that life is usually better understood and appreciated when examined well (think Socrates).  All that to say… I’m going to start examining my life and sharing more reflections here.  I could think of a better way to kick of my return to blog-land than by sharing a post from back in the ‘old days’.  Enjoy!


::I went to see a friend play an acoustic show tonight, and lo and behold Levi Smith was the headlining act.  This was a nice, unexpected treat.  A good way to spend a Friday night for sure.  I have so many things in my head from my heart that i want to write about… songs, stories… anything. I really need to find the discipline and time to let them all out.  I’ve been wondering alot about if i’ll ever muster up some good songs enough to have some sort of music career.

Let me walk you through the struggle…
I go see a guy like Levi Smith play, who is musically talented and lyrically he’s amazing.  I leave a show like that and want to be like that guy, but I know that I don’t want to write song after song about Love … There’s nothing wrong with this, but I just usually can’t find the words for those feelings when they happen. That’s why i’m glad Levi can write those songs for me, because i couldn’t express them any better than his songs do… so that puts me at a stand still.

Next, i watch a movie like 8 mile (yes I am ghetto. Could you not tell?) And this character is making up raps on the spot that has his competition silent and the crowd in a frenzy. I mean it’s not too hard for him, he’s been through alot and has alot of background to work with… Do I? Yes and no.  I think there are plenty for things that have molded me into the person that I am. There are alot of difficult rites of passage that i’ve had to go through, but I feel inadequate to write about those things when there’s people with bigger problems out there.

Finally, I think i’m just lazy.  No doubt getting these feelings out via this post will encourage me to not be so lazy. It feels good to let out my insecurites for the whole world (or at least the two or three friends that read this) to know.  I’m learning lately more and more that we are not supposed to strive for some fairy tale next step and worry about why we’re not ‘there’ yet.  The beauty, the art, and the joy in life is found when you go with the flow and start living life.  Yes the past is beneficial to learn from and remember.  The future is not to be taken for granted and it should be hoped for, but learning to be content is when things will really start to seem like they’re going your way (whether they are or not).  Being content is when you start letting go of your ideas on which way to go and start following the path in front of you.

To sum things up, i just want to write a good song so that i don’t feel the urge at two in the morning to write sappy posts on my web journal.::

-b

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