Friday, March 16, 2007

Anything to get that hug...

Since assuming my current position of "kept man and my wife's boy toy" I've been doing a lot of those things that I've wanted to do for years.

Oh. Wait a second. No I haven't. That was supposed to be in my fantasy blog. Drat. Allow me to start over.

Since quitting my 162 hour per week job (yes I know that there are only 162 hours in a week ... that's called "sarcasm") I've been trying to reassimilate myself back into reality. I now know that we are at war in Iraq, Boston won a World Series and gas is priced over a dollar a gallon. What? It is over two dollars a gallon? Sheesh. And it hit three dollars a gallon last year? And it probably will again this summer? Can we go back to the fantasy blog now? Anyway, I met my neighbors. Walmart is bigger than Walgreens. Who would - a thunk it? They no longer make Dutch Apple Pop Tarts (the demise off which should be considered a crime against humanity.) It is aMAZing what you learn when you actually stop and look around. When did Standard become Amoco become BP? (Does BP really stand for "bad petroleum?")

I have also been making great gains on a few goals I set. I do the laundry. I wash the dishes. Well, the dish washer and I do. I write a lot and I let you read a little of it. I eat less. Unfortunately, I also eat less healthy. (Who knew that nearly all fast food drive-throughs are open 24/7?) And one goal was to read the bible front to back ... cover to cover ... approaching each of the sixty-six books in no particular order. I'm really tearing that one up. Hey, it's been fifteen weeks but it's a long book. Back off and give me a break, would ya?

And the more I read the more I sit and think. And the more I sit and think the more I find my mouth hanging open as all of my brain cells bail out of the muscle control business in a vain effort at coming to grips with what I am reading. Some of what I read amazes me. God is bigger than I ever remember acting like He is. My behavior is more appalling that I ever remember realizing that it is. Especially the behavior that never gets past my hard to find "internal monologue," making it into my speech or actions. In other words sometimes my thought patterns el-stinketh.

But there is some other stuff in God's best seller that just flat out makes my head hurt. Like ... I do NOT understand. Want a prime example? I knew you would. So here goes. In the New Testament Jesus tells us that adultery is wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't do it. As a matter-of-fact, don't even DWELL on the possibility of doing it. You can read Matthew 5: 27 - 28 if you need a refresher course. Or, if you REALLY need a refresher course have your spouse read it to you. That might make a difference. Ok, and then I happen upon the book of Genesis. Things were pretty hairy back then. God had just finished making the world and the dust had settled leaving Adam and Eve in it's wake. (Play on words intended.) Fast forward a couple of generations. Suddenly you come across this .... unusual phenomenon. Abraham and Isaac both employ odd tactics in that they have married what must have been astonishingly beautiful brides (Sarah and Rebekah, respectively.) You might flip over to Genesis 26: 6 through whatever if you want an example of the Isaac and Rebekah deal. You know what these guys did? Their wives were sooooo lovely that when they entered a foriegn place they told these thoroughbreds of lovliness to pretend that they were their SISTERS rather than their wives, thus saving their own hides if the King wanted to get all cozy with the little woman. (Please interpret "cozy" in the most erotic of definitions.) Both guys did this and both guys got busted for it. And here's the crazy part ... the didn't get busted by God. They didn't get busted by their wives. They got busted by the foriegn king who caught on to their kinky ways and realized that they came within a hair of committing adultery and ticking off Abraham and Isaac's God. You know the one. The BIG God. The REAL God. And so what do these kings do? They give them their "sisters" (aka: wives) back along with lots of neat stuff. I mean if you count sheep and oxen as neat stuff. And then ... then ... (this is where my head starts to hurt) ... then God blesses Abraham and Isaac. In Isaac's case God did not just bless him ... He blessed him one hundred fold. ONE HUNDRED FOLD. That is a lot of folding.

Can somebody please 'splain that to me? I mean, if I mess up by accident at the local grocery store I feel guilty for a week! Of course, I have a vast army of friends that just love to feed that guilt. (You know who you are and I know where you sleep ...) We live under the wonderful grace of a great and loving God. His boundless care and provision absolutely leaves me breathless sometimes. No joke. So don't you even think of assuming that this is a tirade against God. What? Do you think I am stupid? God has His reasons and His ways. He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious and He will show mercy to whom He will show mercy. (That one is in Exodus 33: 19.) God seldom ... ok, never ... asks my permission to do anything. This is a good thing because I would really screw the world up. And I'd probably come after you first. But you see, those guys lived "under the law." Not grace. And they pretty much offered their wives up to commit adultery. And, as you know, adultery is one of "The Top Ten No- No's." Yet they wind up getting their socks blessed off.

This is just one of those things that makes me go "hmmmmm." As a matter-of-fact the more I read the more I go hmmmmmm. Because when I am in the attitude of going "hmmmmmm" I am realizing that God is much bigger than I am. He stretches out long before I arrived on the scene and will be around long after I am gone. And when He decides to do something He really does not consider what my thoughts on the subject are going to be. He just ... does it. And I find out about it later. And I roll it around in my head. And then I cozy up next to Him and say, "God, I really don't get that one. But you be God and I'll be Ron and I know everything will be ok." And He hugs me.

And everything is ok. Cause I will do anything to get that hug.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I Wonder ... (Caution: the following article contains the answer for global warming)

Today nothing happened. Well, nothing of note. That means I have nothing to write about. Have you ever known that to stop me?

I wonder who put the big pickle sized jar at the end of my driveway last week. I wonder what is in it. It is clear and the label says "Dill Spears" which leads me to conclude that once upon a time it actually did hold pickles. Now it is about half full of a brown putrid liquid. I have not touched it. It just appeared there one morning. Coincidently three beer cans (crushed, not squashed) turned up on my front lawn the same day. I threw the beer cans away. But I ain't touching that bottle. Neither are my neighbors. It has just been sitting there for many days and many nights. At what point should I call the department of homeland security?

I wonder if Tom Cruise really is going to be the reincarnation of Jesus as good scientologists claim he (soon to be "He" is?) If he is I think there will be a line of people volunteering to be Judas.

I wonder what my dog thinks about. I know she thinks because she has spastic reactions to certain stimuli. Like people walking down my street. She concludes that they need to die at the end of her razor sharp Beagle fangs. And like when I say, "Milky Bones" she salivates and gets tremors. So what does she think about in moments like these when her chin is resting on my leg? Is she daydreaming? Is she thinking about quantum physics? Is she plotting her next escape? Is she wondering if Christopher will come home and watch the Simpson's with her? I wonder.

I wonder if our furnaces affect the alleged global warming we are experiencing. Why does no one ask this question? I understand the claims about automobile emissions and such. But what about the fact that we actually turn on these big coffin sized devices created for the sole purpose of pumping heat into the atmosphere. And you KNOW it sneaks out of your house. Of course it does. Otherwise it would only have to run once each winter and you would be all set. Same thing with ovens. Isn't that more suspect than car flatulence? How about we test a theory together. Saturday night at 10pm CDT let's all turn our air conditioners on high and open all of our doors and windows. Let them run until about, ohhhhh, 6am. Put fans up so that the cold air will blow outside. Can't you just see Sunday morning’s news programs? All of the anchor people announcing with breathless wonder that global warming just ... disappeared. Over night. It's just ... gone. Al Gore will sleep better that's for sure.

I wonder why churches feel compelled to compete and to be cool? They do you know. They might deny it but I was once behind the curtain. Every church wants to be the biggest in town. Every church wants to attract the young people. I have to be careful here because I've got a whale of a lot of youth ministry in my past. I know a church that put up a billboard on a local expressway with a picture of four TOTALLY looking cool early twenty-something’s on it. The wording says, "A Church For Today's Generation." Which generation is "Today's Generation?" Hello ... I'm alive. I don't think they mean me but here I am. "Yesterday's Generation" checked-out and left us for greener pastures. "Tomorrow's Generation" hasn't been born yet. If you are alive and breathing you are today's generation. So does this church mean that if I/we don't look like a cool twenty-something we should just keep driving? Maybe down the street somewhere you will find a church for "Today's Generation That Is Old Or Tired Or Ugly." I think that church is the one I would want to go to. And it most assuredly is the one I would want to pastor. (As a side note I have noticed that most tithers are old, ugly, tired or probably all three. That means without us the cool church of "Today's Generation" will be meeting in a field and carrying umbrella's to church soon. God help them if the tornado sirens go off.)

Ok, that will do it. I was just wondering.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I See ... Part deux

I admit it. I was wrong about the eye guy. Remember I told you how much I hate going to see him and how bad it is? Well. IT WAS TEN TIMES WORSE THAN I REMEMBERED! Who gives these people license to practice? Attila The Hun School of Optometry?

The doctor was the last one in the room and he was nuttin compared to the winch that he sent in ahead of him. She does his dirty work. All he did was shine some bright lights in my eyes that have the approximate candlepower of the sun X 10. And then he asked me to read an eye chart. Eye chart? All I could see was the fiery pits of hell. So he let me wait a minute. How kind. And then he told me not to worry about all of the horrible things the lady that works for him told me ... things that she thought were going on in my head even now. She was "probably" wrong.

What a real sweet heart she was. When she came in I thought, "Great! I got a nice one! She looks happy and appears to like working here." The she opened her little pouch of utensils, which included multiple hot pokers, pruning shears, a blender and a car battery. But those were simply a diversion. Her secret weapon was her first tool. It looked for all the world like a permanent marking pen with a round glass tip. She began moving it sslloowwllyy toward my right eye and told me "DON'T YOU BLINK EVEN ONCE" and 'IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE WATER IS SPLASHING IN YOUR EYE." Where in the name of all that is pure and good did she get that idea? She put that thing on my eye and I blinked. She told me to stop it. She put it on my eye again. I blinked again. So she went for the drops that some textbook once upon a time told her would deaden my eyes sense of touch. HAHAHAHAHAwrong. She handed me a Kleenex and told me to wipe my eyes. I was crying yellow. YELLOW! For all I know I was actually peeing out my eyeballs. Then she put her magic marker back in my eye and began rolling it around. (Note: Yellow eye drops do nothing to ease the sense of touch. Lies. All lies.) She rolled it around for about thirty of the longest seconds of my life. And she yelled if I even blinked my other eye. Holy smokes, woman! She said, "blinking one puts pressure on the other." Well, yeah Einstein. So she does the right eye again. I was silently threatening my eyes with a marathon of "Oprah" reruns if they blinked even once. Then she takes her pent-up rage out on my left eye. Guess what! The little pen from H-E-double hockey sticks beeped before five seconds had passed. (It beeps when it has figured out how much pressure is in your eye. My right eye had taken over thirty seconds.) She said, "no way." So she tried it again. BEEP! Attempt number three. Same thing. She put her pen down and scowled at me telling me that the pressure in my left eye was really high.

Oh. I'm sorry. Next time I promise to unscrew the cap on the valve and let some of the steam off before I come in. I didn't mean to ruin her day. She stood up and actually looked disappointed that she couldn't think of anything else to do to me. So she said the doctor would be in any minute (translation: before the new moon rises in the eastern sky) and that I should just relax.

Relax. Great plan. I tried to shove a chair under door handle but it was on wheels. I was in the process of building a barricade with office furniture when "The Big Guy" came in.

Well, the doctor told me my vision was screwed up in my left eye and charged me my co-pay, handed me my prescription for a new left lens in my glasses and told me to come back in a year. I stopped him. I told him that when I close my eyes late in the afternoon or evening and then open them (like after a short nap) that everything is like ... pale. Like the color has gone to never never land. I told him that my vision is nearly normal until mid-afternoon and that as I start to get tired it deteriorates. He looked me in the eye (the right one) and said, "I don't know of anything that would cause that. Have you been checked for diabetes?

Diabetes? In my eye? I eat sugar. I don't eat sugar. Either way. No difference. MY EYE IS SCREWY. It's my EYE MY EYE MY EYE. The one crying yellow! AAARRRGGGHHH.

Aww, never mind. I went to Lens Crafters and gave them something over $250 and they told me my two new lenses (one for my regular glasses and one for my ultra-cool prescription "look at me because I'm together and totally what's happening" sun glasses) would be ready in around a week. Huh? When did their advertising campaign begin saying, "Lens Crafters! New glasses in about a week??????"

Ok, I'm done. Nothing more about opthowhatevers. My head hurts. My eyes burn. The laptop screen is waving good night. I'm waving back.

Good night, Tess.

Good night, Ron.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I See ...

Tomorrow I am doing the one thing I hate worse than going to the dentist. Wait. I hate throwing up worse than going to the dentist too. So that's two things. And then there is kayaking. (Except for on snow. I love to kayak down snow covered hills. Preferably backward. No, I'm not kidding.) Oh, and trying to explain to my cell phone company why I refuse to pay their stupid "activation fee" when I already have six of their stinken cell phones and a contract that doesn't end until Rudy Giuliani kisses and makes up with HIllary. Aren't I "activated" enough for cryin out loud? Yes, I won the argument. Thank you for asking.

I think I maybe should just start over.

Tomorrow I have to go to the eye doctor. Actually he's an optho ... optho ... ok, sound it out with me because I can't spell it OR find it in the dictionary. (How are you supposed to find the correct spelling of a word by using a dictionary which REQUIRES that you know how to spell the word in order to look it up??? I hate that worse than the dentist too...) Tomorrow I have to go to the OP - THO - MALL - A - JUST. He's more expensive than a simple OP -TOM - A - TRUST. So he must know more. And tomorrow at 3pm central daylight time (in case you want to be praying) I have to go sit in his chair. That part is just fine. But then I know what he's going to want to do.


This is way high on my list of no-no's. Nobody touches my eye. Not my right. Not my left. If you want me to look in a cool little scope and tell you which way the "E" is pointing, fine. I can do that. If you want to put eye drops in my eyes we can make that happen too. I'll just close my eyes and you squeeze your miracle drops into the corner of my eyes and then I'll open them and your stuff will get in my eyes. Deal? They always say, "no deal." Then they make the OP - THO - ASSIST - A - MALL - A - JUST sit on my feet until I stop kicking while the doctor uses one arm to get me in a half nelson and hold me down and the other hand to pry my eye open and stick his potion directly onto my cornea. And if that is not bad enough his drop of stuff makes my already over sized pupils open up like my son Christopher's mouth when I bake Chicago deep dish pizza. And that is HUGE. And then I can't see. (After the eye drops, not after the pizza. I can see just fine after the pizza.) I mean isn't the eye doctor guy supposed to make you see better? Then how come I go to see him and I drive myself to his office but when I leave my wife has to drive me home? Hmm? Isn't there something wrong with that logic? And for his final act he puts this thing about 1/1,000,000,000th of an inch from my eye and hits a button that shoots air that would make a jet engine jealous right into it. AND I DON'T LIKE THAT. And then ... (excuse me, I'm getting queasy) ... because he doesn't trust that test enough, he actually ROLLS SOME LITTLE WHEEL ACROSS MY EYE!!!!! All in the name of making certain that I don't have glucoma. Geez! A couple of years ago I went to see Dr. Dufus when I was sick, sick, sick and his test showed that I was one precious point below the beginning level of glucoma. That scared him which in turn scared me. So now I have to go to his torture chamber once a year even though he admitted last year that I was no longer that close to GLU - COMB - A. "Why," you ask? Beeeecause heee saaaaysss sssoooo.

And tonight I got a phone call from a church that wants to consider me as their future pastor. I do not know how many people go to their church but I believe the population of their community has been hovering around 12 for the last decade. That sounds like a very biblical number to me. So how about I skip my appointment tomorrow and go there as their first blind pastor? They can do the Jesus thing and spit in the dirt and make mud and rub it on my CLOSED eye lids. We can make it a yearly event. You've got Christmas, you've got Good Friday, you've got Easter, and now you've got Spit In Ron's Closed Eyes Day. Sounds like a deal I'd make.

But something tells me Debbie's going to make me go to the optho ...optho ... awwwforgetaboutit. Don't send your white canes with postage due...