Fred

7 May

If you’ve only known me for the past four years, it’s unlikely that you’ve known that we had a second dog. Because of the rules in the various condos/homes we’ve lived in, our oldest dog, Fred (a behemoth of a Black Lab) couldn’t live with us. My mom and older brother were gracious enough to take him in, rather than forcing us to find another family for him.

Fred died over the weekend. He was 14. I’ve been in a little bit of a funk ever since I found out. He was the cowardly lion that I just couldn’t say no to. He came to us via a no-kill shelter in Texas when he was 4. The first time we met, he shoved his whole 60+ pound body between my legs and sat there. He would do that often.

He didn’t like the water, so he never swam in our pool, which I always thought was bizarre.

He would take ever chance he could to lay in our laps. Imagine a hair fourth grader trying to curl up on your lap and take a nap. That was Fred.

He snuck food off of my TV tray.
He’d grab my arm with his massive paw to get me to pet him.
He loved to ‘rassle.
He would let our chihuahua curl up on his big torso, and they would sleep, stacked, for hours at a time.

I’ve had many dogs, but Fred was special.

In the later years of his life, when I would go to visit him, we would recognize me and my commands for him less and less. I imagined this was due to his loyalty to his new home. This was fine. His loyalty was almost cliche, if it weren’t so endearing.

I don’t see any of my dogs as “family members”, they have always been pets, animals to care for, and to be a steward of, but Fred’s passing has made a different mark on me, making me rethink some of my own training to how an animal fits in the family unit. Maybe that’s because Im getting older, maybe its because my perspective is changing, I don’t really know.

I just know I’m going to miss that dog.

No money, mo’ problems.

30 Apr

GEEK RANT – DO NOT READ

You CANNOT read a primary source historical text with any hope for understanding it without at least attempting to grasp the economic implications that the authors, subject matter, and sitz-im leben faced.

I’d go so far as to say it may be THE primary subtext that a reader has to use in unpacking a text.

The economic conditions of any give historical era drive the narratives of everything from the ruling body to the nature of life in the family unit. How is skipping the driving narrative of a time period beneficial to the interpretation of the text?! Yet how often is this matter skipped in analyzation of the Pauline text of the Bible? Or Sumerian flood mythology? Or the Illead? Or Chaucer?

It seems as though economic considerations are only made in what some consider to be “purely” historical studies (as if there is such a thing!).

ARGHH!!

To assume that a text is limited to the words on the page, and not the context it is written in is a foul of the first degree to any experienced reader. But to assume that some elements of context trump the economic conditions of the day is a error that will create a ripple effect of bad interpretation for the entire piece.

You don’t want that, do you? DO YOU?!

TL;DR: Do your due diligence and study the full landscape of a primary source!!!! Including the economics of the day!!

Ok, I feel a little better now.

Noob Guide for the Pepperdine Lectures

28 Apr 20140428-164551.jpg

20140428-164343.jpg

I’m not going to be heading out to Malibu for the Pepperdine Lectures this year. I’m torn about this. I will miss the many friends that I only see there, and the few brilliant glimmers of innovation, evolution and creativity. But I also won’t have to drown my sorrow in the reality that nothing is really changing, and that the CoC tribe, just like everyone else, loves to talk about talking about things.

For those who will be going for the first time this year, I offer my humble suggestions as how to make the most of your time there.

Continue reading

Image

Co-Audio photo shoot, Feb. 2014

26 Feb

The Phoenix based band Co-Audio is ramping up for another set of shows in the valley. In preparation for that, and with a new band member in tow (welcome JoJo), I had another chance to shoot these bad, bad dudes.

coaudiofeb2014-4 coaudiofeb2014-2 coaudiofeb2014-78 coaudiofeb2014-54 coaudiofeb2014-46 coaudiofeb2014-24 coaudiofeb2014-23 coaudiofeb2014-14 coaudiofeb2014-9 coaudiofeb2014-5 coaudiofeb2014-76 coaudiofeb2014-66 coaudiofeb2014-61 coaudiofeb2014-57

Late Night Confession: Late Night Edition

25 Jan

www-St-Takla-org__Saint-Mary_Theotokos-Mother-of-God-002

I just wrote this in a forum post… I need to get it off my chest.

“When I planted a church waaaaaaay back in 2009, It was my intention to make it a place where both men and women could experiment and exercise their spiritual gifts, any of them. It didn’t take long for both sexes to fall into their “traditional roles”. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know whether the women of our new community were just not particularly called to a more vocal leadership role… or whether they didn’t know how to “do it” and thus, they didn’t… or if I did a poor job in offering any kind of mentorship to those with interest/talent in it.

Or maybe, I wanted something that felt like validated my community as progressive and relevant, when it wasn’t  actually necessary at the time. 

It’s a mystery I’ve still never been able to really figure out. I feel like I failed as a leader in that aspect of my ministry.” – Me

So, there’s that. I’m pretty sure I could do better given another opportunity at it.

I don’t forget

9 Dec

2013-11-06 12.35.59

I remember that time I made a terrible first impression with you. I don’t remember if I had been stuck in traffic, or if I hadn’t eaten, or if I forgot deodorant that day, but something happened, and I wasn’t respectful of you and your time like I should have been.

I remember that time I tried to impress you with a witty joke, and I came across like a real jackass. My comment was offensive, unthoughtful, and out of a desperation to have you believe I am still relevant and entertaining to you.

I haven’t forgotten the time you were talking, and I wasn’t listening to you as much as I was waiting for you to take a breath so I could jump in and say something awesome. I was going to one-up you, because I felt like I had to match you. Everything is a competition, you know.

That time I promised you something, but then didn’t come through on it? Well, that’s because I haven’t quite learned how to control the universe. I know that I didn’t come through, and even after all this time, it still gets to me. I still remember it like it was this morning.

So many mistakes, man. I remember so many stupid things I’ve done to so many people who didn’t deserve it.

Funny thing is, I don’t remember anything dumb, thoughtless, or insensitive that you’ve done to me. Sure, maybe in the moment I recognize it, but that was so long ago… how do you expect me to keep track of the silly things you did…

I can’t for the life of me recall you doing any of the above to me.

tl/dr: Don’t worry about other people keeping score of your foul-ups, most times they so are focused on their own, that they won’t notice.

The Old Silverbacks

20 Nov 20131120-100940.jpg

20131120-100759.jpg

I was listening to NPR this morning (well, half listening) when an interview about military expectations came on, I think. It’s what it sounded like to me at least. I’m not going to look it up. It’s the internet, you can do it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Digressing…

The topic of young soldiers and the old generals was being discussed, and the reporter analogized that relationship as young gorillas trying to meet approval of their elder silverback alpha gorillas. That thought caught my full attention. Why?

Because it was a little too on the nose.
Because it was a little two-dimensional.
Because it was bathed in a bit of misogyny.
Because I love primates and their unique sociological structures.
Because it felt true.

How often growing up did I find myself trying to make my own path, but still try to gain the approval of the old silverbacks in my community? Too many times if I’m being transparent. Even with the pseudo-joy I had in being an anti-hero, a contrarian, or a literate rebel, I still had eyes on the alphas, hoping they would notice. At least if they noticed, they could challenge me to a fight, or perhaps invite me to their mahogany clad war rooms filled with Rocky Patel smoke and stains of fine bourbon splattered on their red leather chairs.

Now, a brief word. I know this post stinks of testosterone and hyper masculinity. My intent is not to promote or condone a certain social code or hierarchy structure, only to commentate on the particular one that I chose to adopt for much of my life. Alright, back to it.

How much energy did I spend trying to win the attention of old silverbacks? Grinding to be innovative, entertaining, creative, and dangerous for them? I chased a higher circle that I didn’t want to be in, and that they didn’t want me in.

For so many years, that is what I did.

I don’t know when it exactly changed, but it has. There are still the old silverbacks, but I don’t really care anymore about their approval or their gauntlet I’d need to run to be one of them. Maybe that just comes with age; with limited energy and more significant relationships comes a satisfaction with what tree we rest under.

Worst case scenario, I become a silverback, and young leaders learn to ignore me. I hope it never comes to that. I’d rather be the cool-ass owl who reads lots of books and empowers young animals of all Latin derivations and sexes to develop their own communities of health and success.

#WhenMetaphorsAttack

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,030 other followers