Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Bible tells me so?

Having been raised Catholic, I never really had a good handle on the Bible like my Protestant counterparts. It’s just not really our “thing.”

But here’s something that I find particularly interesting, and that my more Bible-knowledgeable pals probably already know:

(Quoted from another online journal that I follow):
Matthew 6:25-34 says: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important that food, and the body more important that clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in to the fire will he not much more clothe you , O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day had enough trouble of its own.”

I’m going to think about this for awhile, and get back to y’all. In the meantime, feel free to leave your thoughts.

Baseball Fever.

I gotta confess, one of the perks of having lived in other states is being able to “impress” people with my “knowledge” of baseball.

At home in St. Louis, my repertoire of statistics and color commentary runs around the average-to-low end of the spectrum. I get with my friends and family and am soon out-statistic’ed, out-observation’ed, out-fan’ed.

I don’t have a very good frame of reference, because I’ve never lived in another MLB town, but I think this phenomenon is at least somewhat unique to the StL-Metro area. Hearing some of the out-of-towner commentary of this year’s All Star Game festivities confirmed this suspicion: We are an informed, baseball-loving people.

Out of our home element, we seem to be superhumanly obsessed with our Cardinals and with the game itself. Put together, though, our collective knowledge just runs together – much like our created Sea of Red that flows into and around Busch Stadium on game days.

A cute story that I tell to non-St. Louisans involves my incessant cheering of “Ozz-ie! Ozz-ie!” as a diaper-clad, barely-talking child at Cardinals games. This might seem endearing and quirky to those who did not grow up around here; to natives, it’s just another in a long, long list of Tales from Cardinal Nation.

I don’t claim that this phenomenon is unique. I lived in Indiana for about five-ish years and damn do those people love their Colts. And don’t get me started on Oklahoma. I’ve never lived (or even came close to, really) the east coast of this country, but if my stereotypes based on watching Fever Pitch are correct, Red Sox fans are a rabid bunch, too.

Even if I pick up and move to, say, Houston this very minute and live there until I die of natural causes at age 102, the Astros (or the Texans or the Rockets) will never, ever be my team. I was born a Cardinals fan and will die a Cardinals fan (a happy one, I might add, after seeing the end of the 2006 season).

Just another reason why I love this town.

Side note: Do yourself a favor and spend some time here. This dude is incredible and hilarious.

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis.

I would like to state officially and For The Record that I love the city of St. Louis, Missouri. I played tour guide this weekend to Carynn, visiting from the faraway land of Oklahoma, where the wind does come sweepin’ ‘cross the plain and where I spent the past two kick-ass years as a resident.

Not once did this town not live up to the stratospheric levels of hype I’ve been nearly-constantly spinning for her since we met about a year ago. A few wrong turns here and there as we tried to find local landmarks only added to the overall awesomeness of the weekend.

St. Louis, you get a bad rep sometimes. People think you’re some uber-dangerous, gang-ridden shantytown with a gigantic silly metal arch adorning your skyline, but you and I know the Truth: You are the Greatest City Ever, home of great people and great traditions. You might be an acquired taste for some, but that’s their loss now, isn’t it?

For the curious, here’s a brief list of our stops this weekend:
St. Louis Zoo
Laclede’s Landing
President Casino
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Lumiere Place Hotel & Casino
various All-Star Game festivities on the Landing
Big Daddy’s
Jack in the Box

I’m sure that I’m forgetting some; needless to say, I think it’s safe to say that her day-and-a-half spent in the 314 was busy, if not well-spent.

For Pablo, who I never met.

I do a lot of random internet surfing, moreso now that I’m looking for employment. So by clicking through a series of interesting-looking links, I came across this.

You probably recognize the artist, if not his work. Shepard Fairey created the iconic Obama artwork used so ubiquitously throughout his (successful!) presidential campaign. I’ve always admired his work, and by “always” I mean since I first saw the “Obama” posters and joined the bazillions of others who jumped on Mr. Fairey’s bandwagon en masse.

But the Pablo piece, or more correctly, the subject himself just roped me in. I obviously never met this little boy, but on seeing this art I wanted nothing more than to reach through my computer screen and give him a hug. Without knowing him, I knew him: full of light and life. Inspirer of the world.

Please don’t mistake my awestruck-ness with something silly and un-genuine. It’s just that, every once in awhile – and whether you believe it or not, ha – something just grabs me so hard I can’t even find the right words to really describe it. Reading about Pablo’s all-out War against the cancer that had the audacity to take up residence in his system… I don’t know. It made me sad and angry and hopeful (more on that in a second) all at once.

Sad because it shouldn’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t be this way. Sad because my heart just aches thinking about this family and their loved ones and all those whose lives Pablo somehow touched. Sad for a million reasons. Just sad.

Mad because it shouldn’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t be this way. Mad because I am not physically doing anything to keep this from happening and in this way, I am powerless to this nasty, nasty disease. Mad for a million reasons. Just mad.

But hopeful because it shouldn’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t be this way. Hopeful because there are things I can do to keep this from happening and in this way, we are ALL powerful against this nasty, nasty disease. Hopeful for a million reasons. HOPE.

Please, Read about Pablo . Be inspired, not saddened. Not angered. Or, more realistically, channel that sadness and anger into motivation. Inspiration. Use it to life up your hope. I am.

Pablo Castelaz, the power of your light and your love breaks through to everyone who had the privilege of knowing you.

And though I only heard about your journey yesterday, I want to thank Pablo’s parents and brother for so courageously and openly sharing their story with the world. Your cherished little boy and baby brother is not the only one who is inspiring.

The entire entry is a little tangential. I don’t actually know what point I was trying to make, only that I started typing with only one coherent thought in my mind: Spread the love. Spread the hope.

Please, click here to find out more information about The Pablove Foundation and how you can help fight the battle against childhood cancer.

Free agency ain’t so free.

Dear Ben Gordon,

I hear that you are looking for work. Times are obviously rough, and I hope that an NBA organization can find it in their heart to pay your 8-figure salary. Seems the Detroit Pistons are interested, so I figured you might want to know a little more about your potential new home.

As of yesterday, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Detroit-Warren-Livonia area, one of the hardest hit by this economic shitstorm, has a jobless rate of somewhere around 14%.*

Here’s a fun fact, Mr. Gordon. 14% of the reportedly $11 million that the Pistons are willing to offer you is around $1,540. Without doing any research, I’d be willing to bet that’s considerably more than the average monthly take-home pay of a typical Detroit, Warren or Livonia resident who’s lucky enough to still have his or her job.

Time are rough, Ben, but keep your chin up.

Yours truly,