Entering Through The Exit Door

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Welcome to 2016, a year that so far has proven to not be any different than previous years. Of course time does tick and days fly off the calendar, but people will never fucking change. That was reenforced earlier today while i was visiting our local big box store. Typically I know why I’m going to the store, typically I know exactly what I’m looking for, and today wasn’t any fucking different. My mission was to get a bag of potatoes, cooking oil, a pack of new socks, and a new air freshener for my car. A simple fucking mission that should have taken ten minutes but almost ended with my ass going to jail. But, let’s back up a bit, we need not be at the end yet.

When I arrive at the store I parked quickly and headed in. As I’m going in the doors clearly marked with the word “Enter” a lady pushing her cart full of groceries, with the young children on tow, who was so concerned with what was going on with her phone nearly took me out, but I lived to shop yet another fucking day. As I watched her wander into the parking lot her kids were all over the place while she was still on her fucking phone. As amazed as I was, I had shit to buy so I could get out of this fucking zoo. Oh, you’re wondering what was said, I told her “excuse you this is the entrance” and she didn’t say anything, never looked up from her phone.

So, I grab everything I came for and went to the self checkout because I only had four things. Done. Time to go. As I’m heading to the exit I can see and hear a shitload of commotion going on. At first I can only see the two sheriff’s deputies but as I got closer I see the lady who was on her phone who almost hit me walking out the entrance a bit ago. Seems she had four children when she entered the store but only three followed her out. So, as she is in a big fucking panic now, blaming everyone under the sun, all because she couldn’t get off her fucking phone. As sad as this situation is, as much as I don’t think she needs to be in possession of any children, I offered to help find her missing child. However, that changes after she pops off by yelling at me because I’m the reason she got distracted at the door when she was leaving. Wait just a fucking minute here! So, I verbally unloaded on her everything I was thinking before but bit my tongue and didn’t say. Needless to say, in the heat of it all I was politely, yet sternly removed from the entrance of the store, where I had a seat in the sheriff’s cruiser so I could give all my information and my side of the story. So I explained it to him. Ten minutes later I was let out of the car, only after asking twice if I was being arrested.

And then, then I just left, never looked back either. After a bit of reflection I’m torn as to how I really feel about today’s events. Half of me thinks she deserved to have this happen to her. Makes me really wonder if this is the first time she lost track of one or more of her children. It’s one thing to be a self centered cunt being on the phone not paying attention. It’s one thing to go out the wrong door while fucking around on the phone and almost taking someone out. I get it, some people just have their head up their ass all the time. Half of me, the dad half, worries about her children eventhough they’re not mine. I do hope everything ends up well and I’m not watching the news about a young child being found dead in the woods after being raped and tortured. But, all things happen for a reason and maybe, given a slight glimmer of hope for her, this was her fucking wake up call. I can’t honestly say, only she knows the answer.

Well, anyway, I need to get my ass in gear making my sausage and fried potatoes. Look, we all are going to die, I might as well die eating the foods I like eating. I have some more to talk about, but not now, but probably tomorrowish.

Those Damn Teenage Years

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In a recent conversation with my soon to be fourteen year old son, I was reminded of my youth, the choices I was forced to make, and how rough it really is being that age. I like to think I’m taking a different approach to parenting than the approach my parents took with me, I was raised in a wrath of God house by two very devout Catholics with closet human tendencies. Of course, my wife and my style differs from many parents as I’m told. I also get told I’m doing it wrong, the parents are the boss. Before you assume way to much here, I’m not the “friend” parent type. I am the type of parent who has instilled justifiable fear into his children, after all they live in my house, sleep in my house, and scary shit happens when you least expect it. Anyway, I’ve tried very hard to not raise quitters in a society where quitting has become the norm. I believe in self esteem because without it you have little control of your inward or outward emotions. But, we all get to the point where we start asking when is enough going to be enough, when will the madness end, and why can’t this be easier.

We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels.The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.My son explained to me that he was thinking the other day, why does he actually give up? What are his most common reasons and are there any ways to get around those reasons for giving up?

He thinks discouragement is the biggest reason for quitting and failure. No matter what you have decided to do, as soon as you share it with people there will be at least few who will tell you that YOU Can’t Do it and come up with different reasons about why it can’t be done. At that point you may decide to give up the idea even before giving it a try.  Instead of thinking about giving up think about how are you going to prove all those people wrong.  In fact proving those who doubt me wrong has been pretty good motivation for me so far, I have spent a lifetime trying to stay on top of my game. As well, if you don’t believe in yourself you will always be tempted to give up because you won’t believe in your success. The self-doubt will be keeping you from pushing forward.

I somehow thought that I was not strong enough to make my dreams come true, but then there was a shift in mindset which sort of set me free. And it was one simple realization. The realization that none of the people who have succeeded are better than me. They worked harder, they were persistent and they believed in their dreams, but they were not actually better, just approached life differently, as most of us do. These days there are so many distractions… Social media, TV series, and different smart phone notifications not letting you focus on the important things. If you don’t keep focus on your goal you will end up with insufficient results and that will discourage you even further. But, as I discussed with my son, social media didn’t exist when I was growing up, none of this shit did. My social media was friends and family. My internet was called “the outdoors”, I earned my allowance by being a part of the family unit team. Unlike today, parents give their children money to just leave them alone. As it is, in our house we are pretty tight, we do allot together on a very regular basis. On top of it all we have dinner together, every night, without fail. Also, no television is on, no cell phones are allowed at the table, and we talk or play games while we eat, there is fun and laughter, and it is also a time to gather to discuss more serious matters, if any.

That reminds me of yet another reason we, as humans, give up, we give up when we don’t get the immediate results. We all want things to happen fast and it is hard to realize that there are things that actually takes time. One can not have instant on and instant off like the flick of a light switch each and every time. Some things, to include pets and people, are more challenging, they take more time, things like trust and value in a person have to be developed and earned, which takes time. There is no such thing as overnight success so we have to keep in mind that it takes time and to be prepared not to give up.

When I am starting something new I am on fire. I am full of enthusiasm and I am motivated. But with the time things may start cooling off and at some point the self-motivation may not be enough to keep me moving. That is when I may think about giving up, that is when I need to go back to beginning and try to recall the big why. Why did I start that project in first place and what was initially motivating me? That brings me back on track most of the time. But still we need motivation, we still need the allure that there is a prize waiting for us at the end. No matter what kind of life you had, you are used to your own personal comfort zone and that brings you great comfort. Now when you have initiated changes you entered the stage of uncertainty and struggle, which by no means is comfortable. What makes me not giving up in those cases is the thought that once I get where I wanna be my new comfort zone will be a much better one. But, what I’ve learned over the years cannot be taught, it has to be experienced. This is my son’s struggle know, the learning curve, stepping out of the comfort zone, finding new experiences doing new things or with new people. Plus, he is at the beautiful age where he has really realized he really likes boobs. One more thing we have in common.

Anything worth achieving is hard. Yes the easiest option is to just give up, but then, will it be easy living with the regret that you gave up midway? On the other hand I would not say that giving up is something terrible and wrong. Sometimes you may end up having too many things on your plate and that may make you overwhelmed. Sometimes you may need to give up certain things because they may not be a priority at that point. I find myself looking at the details in my own life on a regular basis, there is never room for bullshit, it is always the first into the fuckbucket. What is important that you don’t give up your dreams and the things you want really bad. Don’t give up your passion and never give up on life. I understand living with a person like me is challenging, being a sarcastic jackass is a fine art and we all don’t appreciate fine art. We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels. The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.

Where does all this leave the conversation I was having with my son? Well, he was never actually clear as to what he was thinking about quitting. And, I’m not altogether sure we were even talking about the same thing. Later, while talking with my wife I was informed that a girl he knew in school, friends but not inner circle friends, had committed suicide last week. There was no clear reason why, she left no note, gave the parents no inkling that she was distressed, same with her two sisters, teachers, and friends. Except for one person, who came forward to “confess” to her parents that he knew why. You see, they were boyfriend and girlfriend. She wanted an exclusive relationship (at 14) and he wanted to play the field. She took it had, it killed her self esteem and self worth, and according to him, as she told him, she didn’t feel she was worth the effort of having his love if he was not willing to commit to her. Granted, this is the opinion of a 14 year old boy, and this story was also posted up on Facebook, so I don’t really know if it actually ever happened. But, after going back to my son to talk, he said that I did answer his question of “why people quit” without even knowing that was what I was doing. We talked more, we talked about the cruelty of emotions, especially in a teenager. But suicide is not an easy subject, simply because there isn’t an actual answer to give. The only person who knows is dead.

I don’t know if this makes me angry or sad. I do know that I have been in my sons shoes before, knowing a person who has had her self esteem crushed on a daily basis for “fun” by others. But, that is another topic altogether, since bullying seems to have become so evermore popular these days, or its just more in the public eye these days. As a parent I try to teach my children to hope for the best and prepare for the worst because the two survive together hand in hand. One may think they are just words, but others take those words to heart. As uncomfortable as I was talking with my son about suicide and how I personally believe it should never be the answer for anyone, I was also proud of my son for wanting to sit and talk to me about life, emotions, feelings, relationships, and family with me. It takes courage to begin a conversation with your father when you don’t know what the outcome will be. Both of us feeling a little bummed, we invited the rest of the family to go out for ice cream. Ice cream? Yes, the one thing on the planet stronger than any drug, stronger than and alcohol, stronger than any words, stronger than any bond, it is a time of peace for a troubled mind or a troubled soul. Its a time to take a break from the crap life offers and just enjoy a bite of ice cream.

Yes, I know, ice cream doesn’t solve all problems, but it does give the opportunity to step away from them, not to quit them, but to take a break from them. Everyone needs a break, we all take breaks or celebrate in our own ways. In the end I learned from my son that I should keep my past close so it can be accessed and shared. I never knew my life, in general, would be an education tool for the youth in my family. But then again, we do learn most of what we know from our parents and family. Having children has been the best challenge I never quit. Try something new, get in your child’s head today, give them a nice tight hug, a big smile, and a peck on the cheek. When they ask why just tell them it is because you were thinking about them. It scares the crap out of them. I know from experience that life isn’t easy. It wasn’t designed to be easy. We don’t evolve within ourselves if we are not constantly challenged. Don’t let life discourage you, leave that to the people around you, you know, the people who don’t want you to succeed because they don’t care about succeeding. Until we “meet” again, remember to eat it everyday!

Why I Stepped Foot In Church

Normally I would not attempt the madness called church on my own, but this last time I went to church not to be preached at, but to enjoy the music of the church symphony orchestra which has a member who is like one of my own children. We go to all of her events, in school or in church. I enjoy the way she can make the cello talk to you, she’s finishing out her freshman year of high school, but listening to her play that cello one would never guess her young age. It may just be my opinion, but she is great. So, that’s what led me to church, I enjoy the way she plays, it makes everything in life, the problems and troubles, just fade into the background where they belong. But, that’s not why we are here today, today I’m going to discuss how my attire was not proper enough to be in a church. Clearly there is confusion, unless you are looking to be offended that I’m not in slacks, a nice shirt, a tie, a jacket, and shiny shoes with a belt to match, oh wait, you are. All I can ask is why? Especially since this wasn’t a “service”, it was a performance.

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I wore what I would wear pretty much anywhere, black Wrangler jeans (no holes, clean), black leather belt, 3 button shirt (black in color, no logo, clean), black gator skin cowboy boots (polished, clean), and a black Stetson with a simple silver band (Stetson is a name/brand/style of a cowboy hat). So, it wasn’t as if I showed up wearing surf shorts, tank top, flip flops, and a ball cap. This is my basic “dress up” clothes, also good for funerals, weddings, and graduations. In fact, after walking in, finding our seat in the main hall (we picked 5 out of the nearly 1300 chairs, its a big Baptist church), I removed my hat, placing it in the seat next to me on my right with my wife on the left. Clearly I’m not a member of this church, I’m here as a guest with invitation in hand, given to me by my other “daughter”. After the 2 hour performance which resulted in a standing ovation and constant applause for the 62 members of the symphony orchestra, it was time to stand in the walkways to hug, shake hands, and chat, all of which I did while standing there wearing my hat. Some would say I stand out above the crowd being I’m 6’8″ to begin with. But people focused on more, people focused on the fact that I was wearing jeans and I had a hat on in church.

The message I received loud and clear from mr. preacher man was that my attire was not proper and will not be welcome in the future, this was said in a snotty rude way, very derogatory and unappreciated by me. I was left with but one option, in my opinion, which was to lean in to him, getting my lips very close to his ear as I pulled him close by the shoulder to say “go fuck yourself”, then I kissed him on the cheek, shook his now trembling hand, and walked out. I never looked back, no need to look back. Shortly after I see my wife and kids following up in my footsteps, we get in the truck, and we left. My wife did not become aware that anything was even said until a few days later, when she spoke with the preachers wife, who she knows outside the church professionally. Of course she asked if it was true, of course I told her it was, and no more was said about it. That whole night does nothing but reinforce my dislike for organized religion, I did nothing wrong and his actions/words cannot be justified in my opinion. Since when do I need to be dressed a certain way to be inside a church, no matter what is going on? So, I got to thinking that I had some thoughts to discuss, and in a long drawn out way that is why everyone was invited here today. So lets begin.

The so-called worship wars of recent years may have produced a winner. Many congregations/denominations remain divided between traditional and contemporary styles of “church”, but in most places the contemporary appears to have gained the upper hand. Your worship services have become increasingly relaxed and informal affairs. You can see it in what people are wearing. Church for today’s worshipers is not a dress-up event. Whatever is clean and comfortable seems sufficient. When it comes to church, attire doesn’t much matter. Most people I have spoke with over the years understand there is nothing particularly spiritual about a dress or a coat and tie. I was even told by a Sunday school teacher of my son’s that God is scarcely impressed by such things as clothes. She quoted something to me that day, “People look at the outward appearance,” we are reminded, “but the Lord looks at the heart”.

I do not intend to wade into the broader debate over worship styles; that’s a different discussion. But I do wish to raise a question about this fucking outdated way of thinking that when it comes to public worship since my clothing matters so much. This common assumption, it seems to me, deserves more scrutiny than it typically receives. Over the last several generations, American attire in general has lurched dramatically toward the informal. A feature that quickly dates an old photograph, just look at a picture of your grandparents. The changes are part of a broad shift toward the convenient, comfortable, and individuality. It’s a shift we see on display everywhere we go each day. Ever been to Walmart?  It’s easy to imagine how one might look over-dressed there, but less easy, short of immodesty, to imagine being under-dressed. Jeans or shorts, tee shirts or tank tops, flip-flops or sandals: these draw scarcely any attention, while full dresses or a suit and tie appear strangely out of place. Relaxed, even rumpled informality is in; suiting up in your “Sunday best” is out.

Many seem convinced it’s a good thing, because, again, it’s the heart that counts. Yet precisely for this reason, because it’s the heart that counts, I want to suggest that what we wear in our public worship may matter more than we think. To grasp this connection, let us extract some helpful insights from daily communication we all see. Verbal behavior refers to all those ways we use language to communicate: speaking, writing, sign language, etc. Nonverbal behavior focuses on all those ways we communicate without words: facial expression, gesture, posture, eye behavior, vocal inflection, our use of space, or touch behavior. In our everyday relationships only a small percentage of what we communicate is conveyed via verbal channels. The rest is conveyed nonverbally.

The avenue of nonverbal communication I will call one’s physical appearance and dress shows more about a person than words, or does it?. Here are a handful of observations based on our human interactions.

The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. We share many attributes with other creatures, but the inclination to clothe ourselves is not one of them. Where, if any, is there a moral or even a spiritual dimension to human clothing? Why is so much emphasis put on clothing? Our clothes serve a variety of practical, social, and cultural functions. Protection and modesty spring first to mind, but our clothes do far more. We sometimes dress to conceal or deceive. More often our clothes serve to reveal. We use clothing for decoration, for sexual attraction, for self-expression and self-assertion. By our attire we display our gender, our religion, our occupation, our social position, or causes with which we identify. Many dress to impress, while others choose the reverse: they express their rejection by intentionally flouting accepted clothing norms.

Our clothing is one of our most elemental forms of communication. Long before our voice is heard, our clothes are transmitting multiple messages. From our attire, others immediately read not only such things as our sex, age, national identity, socio-economic status, and social position, but also our mood, our attitudes, our personality, our interests, and our values. We constantly make judgments about one another on the basis of clothing. Common wisdom has it that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But this is only partly true; we regularly read one another’s covering. What’s more, we’re better at it than we think.  We spend our lives making judgments based on appearance and then testing those judgments in our subsequent relationships. In this way, we become rather adept at the process. Judgments based on appearance are rarely fucking accurate, of course, and we are wise to hold them tentatively. But it’s almost impossible to avoid making them in the first place.

Because our clothing is one of the fundamental ways we communicate with others, what we wear is never a purely personal matter. Our attire exerts a social influence on those around us. What we wear can shape patterns of communication around us, depending on what messages people are picking up. Consider, for example, the varied cues we send by the way we dress: “I want people to notice me.” “I’m very confident.” “I want to hide.” “I care only about comfort.” “I want to look seductive.” “I repudiate you and your expectations.”

How we dress not only affects us individually; it also affects those around us. How we feel and who we are influences the clothes we put on or leave off, and the clothes we put on in turn shape how we feel. Changes of clothes can generate a change of mood. As an example, I felt different in my Air Force uniform than I did in street clothes. In some settings our choice of clothing can make or break us. If we like the way we look for a job interview, for instance, it will tend to strengthen our confidence. We feel better about our chances, as reflected in improved posture, more fluent speech, more dynamic gestures. On the other hand, inappropriate dress can suck the fucking life out of our confidence. We have all experienced the uncomfortable effects of feeling under-dressed or over-dressed in a particular social setting.

Much of the social meaning of our clothing is contextual. The appropriateness of our clothing is often dictated by the situation. Dress that would send a given message in one setting might send a very different message in another. Times change, values change, situations change; what was proper ten years ago may not be proper today, or vice versa. All of the above is why we should not conclude too quickly that because God looks on the heart, what we wear to church doesn’t matter. Our internal and external states cannot be so easily disentangled. The fact is, when it comes to how we clothe ourselves, our external appearance is often an expression of our internal state.

What is worship, after all? It’s the act of acknowledging and praising God as God. Is that not a personal choice? According to my wife, “when worshipping, we come before God with awe and reverence, focusing on him in loving contemplation, celebrating him for who he is and what he has done. We willingly bow before him in surrender, delighting in the privilege of extolling his worthiness. In worship we join our small voices with the celestial choirs in a grand chorus magnifying the Creator and declaring his excellences, his purity, his power, his beauty, his grace, his mercy, and his love.” No, I do not agree, but we smile and agree that will do not agree. In reference to what she said, I ask, can’t that be done naked or in a suit of medieval armor? I think the term “stink-eye” covers the expression on her face the best, she was giving it to me.

According to the bible (yes, I’ve read the bible a time or three in my life), God called his people to public worship. It’s everywhere in the Bible. Your corporate worship of organized religion is supposed to please God? Everyone who has ever built a fire knows how quickly lone embers cool and die. But gather those embers and they create a furnace effect that burns hot. Corporate worship of organized religion is no different, its designed to generate that furnace effect in people. Where there is collective thought there is collective action, do as the crowd or the crowd will be undone, the absolute fear of the sheeple culture.

So what sort of clothing might benefit such an exalted occasion? Observers in the gallery of the United States Supreme Court are forbidden to wear hats. Out of respect for the importance of what’s taking place there, the Court’s firm rule for visitors is, “Inappropriate clothing may not be worn.” If this is so for a merely human institution, what might be suitable attire for God-honoring worship? Must there be a rule, must we give a shit, must it cause such an uprising within the walls of the churches of organized religion? Readers will be relieved that I have no dress code to be here at The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog. Read at will, however you are dressed, you will not be judged here in the House of Scorpion. But why don’t I care how you are dressed? Why do I not feel the need to judge how you dress when you are doing what you are doing? I reserve the right to judge you only at Walmart and Starbucks, y’all know who you are and why.

That which is special, that which is our best, that which is sacrificial: We may be tempted to think such standards made sense in the context of Israel’s ancient worship but have little to do with us in the modern world. After all, none of us shows up at church on Sunday morning bearing sacrifices now do you. Everyone has their own reasons for going to church, some go to worship, some to ask for forgiveness of their sins, and one of us went to hear the incredible musical talents of a young girl whom he adores as his own. If you ask me, which your not going to, so I’ll just say it now, I don’t think any of us belong in a church. Salvation isn’t found in church in words translated 10,000 times over by MEN who aren’t concerned about me and you. Think about it. Want a “relationship” with God? You want something/someone to believe in for the comfort of your soul? How do men give that to you? How do you really know what are looking for in the first place?

The question for all of you is this: When you gather for worship, does this sacred event generate within you any similar sense of “awe and reverence”? A perceptive observer of the contemporary church scene might be forgiven for scratching her head over such a question, wondering whether you have grown oblivious to the significance of your own gathering. How often, she might ask you, do you prepare for Sunday as if it mattered, guarding, for example, Saturday nights so as to be fresh and focused the next morning? How come your pre-service gathering so often sounds more like a bowling alley than a people meeting to offer themselves fresh to their God? How is it you are so susceptible to the lure of personality and entertainment up front, obscuring the God-centered purpose for which you have met? How prevalent is the notion that you can worship just as well at home, or on the golf course, or before a TV screen, or perhaps forfeit worship altogether due to inconvenient weather, the priority of other things, or who may be preaching that week?

Not just anything will do when you come before God. He is still honored by what is holy, what is our best, what is sacrificial. The kingdom to which you have come, says the writer to the Hebrews, requires us to “offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe,” because “our ‘God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28–29). The casual attitude toward worship may indicate that you have failed to grasp this important point, a sign of your being more conformed to this world than so transformed in your minds that by testing you are able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Don’t you know you are not allowed to make your own decisions? What of your church attire? You deceive yourselves when you breezily claim that God does not care what you wear to church. God cares about your hearts, and what you wear is often an expression of your hearts. So what does your relaxed worship attire say about you? What internal disposition are we revealing when we dress no differently for church than we do for a trip to the mall or hanging out with friends around a barbeque grill? Could it be that our casual dress, chosen merely for our own comfort and convenience is a reflection of an equally casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude toward worship itself? What about those around you? What message is your choice of clothing sending them as you gather for worship?

Can Christians who gather for worship afford to ignore what their church attire may be saying to those around them? Does your choice of clothing communicate to others that this gathering is an important occasion, thereby encouraging them to see it as important as well? Or does it send them in the opposite direction? Why is it that the wrong clothes can distract your fellow worshipers.In this way and others your choice of clothing can be sinful. But this does not render your everyday (“common”), come-as-you-are attire “spiritual” or “honest.” If you care for your fellow worshipers as you ought to, you will take them into consideration as you dress for worship. We will clothe ourselves in ways that edify them and strengthen their own worship. We will attempt to avoid the nonchalant attitude that says this event is entirely routine; that it merits nothing special from me; that my only consideration in what I choose to wear is what is easiest and most convenient. Such a self-centered attitude is corrosive to a true spirit of worship. Instead, the goal in our choice of clothing should be to express to the Lord and those around us that this event matters, that I view it as a holy occasion, one which deserves our highest regard. If the first audience for our nonverbal messages is God himself, and secondarily, our fellow worshipers, dress that best suits these first two audiences may also serve a third: outsiders who join your public worship.

Evangelistic gatherings can in many ways be designed to fit the unbelievers you are trying to reach. But this is harder to do with your corporate worship. The church must first shape its worship to honor God, a goal to which all else must be subordinate. But thankfully, watching believers do what they do can have its own evangelistic effect. Attire that genuinely reflects a God-honoring attitude toward worship may well contribute to a similar result. Can you take a wild guess at what that is? You can guess until you are blue in the gills but you will never truly have your own answer unless it is spoon fed to you, just my personal opinion of course.

None of anything I have said above leaves us with a dress code for being in church, no matter the reason. It certainly does not translate automatically into coats and ties for men and fancy dresses for women. Idealizing bygone eras won’t work here; the meaning of human clothing is too contextual for that. It varies too widely from place to place and time to time, and there are too many other variables to consider. We are left having to judge for ourselves what is appropriate for worship and what is not. Every denomination has their own dress code and rules, whether you want to admit it or not, they do. Want to know my rule? Fuck your dress code!

However, all of the above should at least warn you away from the glib assumption that God actually cares about what we wear to church; or that what I choose to wear in church matters. How I dress is a purely personal affair and that my own convenience and comfort are all that need concern me. The truth is, one of the ways we express ourselves as human beings is by the way we dress. Wittingly or unwittingly, our clothing gives us away. God certainly does not need this expression to know your hearts. But as for the rest of us, we do indeed look on the outward appearance, even when peering into our own mirrors. In this way the clothes we choose for church may have things to tell us about our hearts that God already knows, but that you need to hear from other people because you thrive on judgment of yourself as well as others.

You express this embodiment totality in the corporate worship of organized religion through your shared symbols, rites, and rituals; through your posture and gestures as you bow, kneel, or lift your hands; through your actions when you stand or sit in unison or pour out your hearts musically in congregational song. Just remember, your clothing belongs on this list. By it we express to God and those around us what the occasion of being in church means to you. This is why we are taught, brainwashed, when we come to church, our clothing matters.

Wow, that turned into something sermon like. Wait, all of you reading this will burn in hell unless you……. Unless what? I mentioned before, in the House of Scorpion you are free to do as you see fit how you see fit doing it. I have mentioned once, a long time ago, my own convictions and why I have them, so I will not repeat them now. I also mentioned, some of you may find it very fucking hard to believe tho, that in my youth it was my desire to become a Catholic priest. I wanted to be the one bringing the message to the people, I had many years of education for this purpose, many years I allowed myself to be brainwashed, many years of dismissing my own questions and answers, and ending in disappointment because I started to choke on the bullshit being fed me. Who is at fault for my misguidance? Why, me, of course. Something I corrected and haven’t looked back upon. Or have I? As years have passed, I continue in my reading about the commercialization of corporate organized religion, a term many Christians do not like hearing because they don’t like hearing that they are but a cog in a wheel that is just spinning in circles. But, as are most things written here, they are just my opinions on the world around me. I am not wishing to do battle with the “church” or religion or Christians, but I will not be treated as if my mere appearance is so non conformant that it tarnishes the grace of the church I stand in, to watch a symphony concert no less. Next time, yes there will be a next time, I will go in my slacks (dress pants), but I will be wearing flip-flops bitches!

What have we learned today? Not that I was teaching anything, but I’m curious if you have made the choice to look at what is actually important. What is more important, the message or the dress code? This is on my rather lengthy list of why I don’t attend church services. How can Christianity dismiss everything around us, science, evolution, dreams, and individual thought? I don’t want to be part of the “collective”, I prefer not to be in the herd of sheeple looking for salvation. Salvation from what? Damnation from what? One day we need to discuss corruption, greed, and our sinister needs to be one step ahead of our neighbor. I’m pretty sure we all want the same thing, just to live a happy life, a life we see fit, a life we are comfortable living. Until then, we struggle with our own happiness because that is what we are fucking taught to do after generations of brainwashing we don’t want it any other way. Why do we need to be led? Why do you desire being led? Why? Sorry, I can’t answer why, you must first look into the mirror and decide if you are comfortable in your our skin, then you can start asking fucking questions you might not like the answers to. We must all live with who we are individually to be happy, we can’t do that as sheeple, we can’t do that as a part of the collective thought. Who knew, right?

Until we speak again, I leave y’all with a final thought. I do care about my fellow humans, probably to a degree that few of y’all could ever understand. But, it’s hard to sit by idle and watch us destroy ourselves over stupid shit that doesn’t matter in the first place. Here’s an idea, find the person you cherish and live a happy life. The end my friends, the end. For fun, before y’all leave, get a better understanding of the sheeple by reading The Parable Of The Sheep found in the tabs above as well.

Fairytales: The Unfiltered Truth

We all grew up hearing all the fantastic fairy tales. Y’all know, the nice stories with fairies, nice dwarves, heroes and heroines. Little did we know that we were being fed the filtered, watered down version of these age old tales. In reality, most of these stories are laden with creepy and gory themes that were crafted to frighten children into the right behavior. Here are seven versions of fairy tales that you can tell a child if you really want to be a terrible person and scare the shit out of them.

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Rumpelstiltskin: This story doesn’t even need any amending to be scary as all hell. The plot follows a miller’s daughter who is forced to try to spin straw into gold or be executed. When all hope seems lost, a little man appears to help the girl with her task. All she has to do is give him a few pieces of jewelry and her first-born child. Uh what? When the time comes for the dwarf to collect his prize, the girl evades being the worst mother ever by guessing the dwarf’s name: Rumplestiltskin; the dwarf responds by tearing himself in two. The moral of the story? Never trust a little man that appears in your house late at night.

Hansel and Gretel: For many kids, their biggest fear is being left behind by their parents and this story really plays into those fears. The brother and sister are left to fend for themselves in the woods by their wicked mother and their totally whipped father. You know the rest, they find a candy house inhabited by a witch. But not just any witch, a cannibalistic witch with a hankering for some kid meat. That right there is enough to scare most kids so bad they forget their potty training. Eventually the kids escape by tricking the witch into burning herself alive in her own stove. They eventually find their way back home to find that their wicked mother has passed away. They live happily ever after knowing that all their enemies have died. Adorable.

The Little Mermaid: You might be asking yourself “How could this tale be creepy? There were singing shellfish and they had charming Jamaican accents!” Wrong version. The original version reads a bit like a romantic tragedy. In that version, the mermaid gives up her fins to meet the prince of her dreams. There’s a few drawbacks though: not only is she mute, she also constantly feels like she is walking on knives. Yeah. In the end, the prince ends up marrying the neighboring princess anyway, breaking the poor mermaid’s heart. However, she is given a way out when she is given a magical knife that she is to kill the prince with, once that happens, she can become a mermaid again. Even after all that, she cannot bring herself to kill the prince, instead turning the knife on herself.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Another epic rewrite by the good people at Disney. The original version had the evil Queen demanding Snow White’s heart as proof of her death. The hunter in a rare act of kindness lets Snow White go, and instead brings the Queen the heart of a deer. The story pretty much unfolds as everyone remembers it, Snow White hooks up with some dwarves who agree to house her, she eats the dreaded poison apple, a prince saves her and that’s the end of that. But what we don’t get to see in the Disney version is that the Queen is made to pay for her wicked deeds by wearing a heated pair of iron shoes that she is forced to dance in until she falls dead. Snow White is apparently no one to eff with.

The Robber Bridegroom: One of the lesser-known fairy tales in the Brothers Grimm catalog, The Robber Bridegroom is a story of an engagement gone horribly wrong. When the unsuspecting bride to be enters her husband’s house, she is quickly made aware that she is going to be eaten by her fiance and his pack of murdering cronies. She hides herself behind a barrel until she escapes, but not before witnessing the butchering of another unfortunate female. Before she escapes, she picks up the dead woman’s severed finger which she presents before her wedding party. Eventually the robber and his crew are put to death.

Little Red Riding Hood: This classic went through a few revisions before it became the staple of bedtime stories around the world. In the bloodiest version, there is no hunter that saves the day and the evil wolf is actually a werewolf (but not the type to fall in love with.) After killing and dressing himself up as grandmother, the werewolf feeds bits and pieces of the deceased to Red Riding Hood. Eventually she sees through the disguise and finds a way to escape. But it’s pretty safe to say that Red Riding Hood probably had some issues to deal with after that incident.

Cinderella: Will siblings ever get along? According to the original version of this tale, most likely not. In an older version, the wicked step-mother (we’re sensing an anti-stepmom trend here) demands that her daughters find a way to fit into the prince’s glass slipper. They oblige their mother by cutting off parts of their feet. This almost works until birds alert the prince of their wrongdoing. Eventually, Cinderella fits into the slipper and marries the prince. But wait, there’s more. As a wedding present, the birds saw it fit to peck out the eyes of the evil step-family and present them to Cinderella who lives happily in the castle while they live the rest of their miserable existence as blind beggars.

The Stranger In The Night’s Storm

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Yesterdays drive home was pretty interesting due to all the rain and all. I have been driving my wife’s Mustang back and forth this week due to my Pathfinder being down for the time being. I never realized, really before yesterday, why I don’t like driving cars, especially low profile cars, in storms that are dropping so much water that we are flash flooding everywhere. I never thought this to be a problem until yesterday afternoon, when I was the one in the low profile sports car fighting to be able to see. Something I never suffered or even thought about in my Pathfinder, but it sucks ass in that Mustang, way too low to the ground for me personally. I had that on my mind as I arrived home, still pouring rain, and wondering how much longer I would be doing this drill because I’m not a fan. I really don’t know how my wife does it, but I’ve never heard her complain, don’t think I ever will, because she will never talk shit about her new baby, never. Me, I can, she’s not my baby, my baby is sick, sitting in the drive waiting for Dr. Scorpion to have the money to operate, which will be very soon.

Other than that little challenge, the day was rounding out pretty normal for our house, I was getting dinner ready, secret recipe chicken cordon bleu, everything about it is a secret, and no I will never share it with anyone, I will die with my secret, which is why it is prepared like a black op in my kitchen. I’ve been making this recipe for, let’s call it 25 years or so, many have asked to eat it, many have asked how I make it, and I have yet to cough it up. It’s time consuming, the preparation takes some time, but it gives time to get the twice baked potatoes going as well, another secret, everyone stays the fuck out of my kitchen when I’m going, nobody wants to get cut, except my wife, she braves entering the secrecy of what I’m doing to sneak a kiss. She’s a naughty one you know. After it was all prepared, cooked, the kitchen cleaned spotless, we sat down to eat. We had a “weird” quiet dinner, the mood was as dark as the skies with the storms. Everyone looks tired. Afterwards, we are all fat and happy, kids off to the bath, and its time to wind this bitch down finally.

Sometime just after eight someone is knocking on the front door. My wife and I give each other “that look” of WTF!, shrugging my shoulders I get up out of my chair to check out the knocking on the door. When I swing open the door I see a younger girl standing before me, finding out later she is 20. My initial questions were who are you and what do you want. In my head I was saying, “we’ve found Jesus, we don’t donate to politics, we don’t do surveys, and unless you are selling thin mints this conversation is over”. She introduced herself, I didn’t recognize her name, or her for that matter. Well, she said she would like to talk to me if I had the time, she thinks I can help her with finding something she is looking for. Once we are inside, I invited her in because I was somewhat intrigued, meanwhile I was getting the stink eye from my wife. The young lady presented me with a letter from her mother, in this letter I was listed as a “next of kin” and that she needed to contact me for information on her biological father. Then it hit me, her mother’s name I recognized, talk about a name from the past, like many moon ago past. Apparently her mother and a very, very good friend of mine had a go at it while we were all stationed in Korea together, except she failed to tell any of us she had become pregnant, as it happened she found out after she had rotated back to the world, back to her husband, then she is told she is 3 weeks pregnant. She failed to let her husband know the particulars, just told him she was pregnant.

Obviously many years have past since then, many, and the lives of everyone change as well, divorces happen. Anyway, what had led her to ask a question or three was because of the man she called dad, he needed a kidney, she agreed to donate him one because that is what family does, I tend to agree. But guess what? His daughter, the girl he raised for most of her life, wasn’t a match for donation. But how can that be? We know why, because he’s not her biological father. Needless to say, questions were asked, no real answers could be given, except for one, which was me, because her mother knew that if anyone knew where to find him it would be me. Luckily, she was right, I do know where and how to find him. First, I called her mother, who sent me to voicemail, and I was told that she has chosen to disappear for a while because she doesn’t want to face anyone, especially her daughter. I made one phone call, from the privacy of my bedroom, to my friend, who wasn’t shocked, or at least he didn’t seem shocked or a bit surprised. He gave me permission to give her all of his contact information, his name, and everything related. Ready for the twist? Okay, he was married to wife #1 at the time of conception, divorces a few years later because he caught her red handed cheating on him. Since then, there has been a #2, #3, and a #4, only with wife #1 were there any kids, one son. Now, the kicker, after all these years, guess who he is dating once again, and talking about marriage, wife #1. He is unsure how she will take this news. That’s a damn fine question, how will she take it?

Needless to say, as curious as I am about if he actually comes clean, I don’t think he will. As much as I think of him as family, I know he has two weaknesses in life, women and alcohol, usually mixed together, over and over, repeat, so on and so forth. But, I’ve known this sonofabitch for many, many years, we visited hell and returned a few times over, which is why I keep up with him. He’s really not the kind of person I hang around with these days, simply because I’m too old to run around drinking like a single guy and I know from personal experience how hard that is on family life and marriages in particular. Anyway, back to the story. We talked about her mom a while, a name I hadn’t thought of in probably 20 years, we came back to the world and everyone who was friends over yonder just lost touch. She talked awhile and decided that it was time for her to go. She apologized for taking up our time and away she went. My wife and I had a long conversation about what happened while I was stationed in Korea. How do you explain what happens in another country while away from your family for 15 months one time and 14 months another time. Might as well want to talk about all the times I spent in Las Vegas or any other place I went to. I admit only one thing for myself that I wish would have been different, which was literally being drunk the entire time. I also admitted that I was true to my now ex-wife, I didn’t need or want the trouble. Was it lonely? Yes. And I drank myself into oblivia to keep that shit from driving me crazy. Tempted? Yes. But, the plus for me was I stayed really busy, I did my AF job and I had a part time job as well, not for the money, but to keep the mind and hands busy.

Anyway, be careful of the bumps in the night, it might just be a blast from the past, and that just might lead to questions about things, people, and places that we spent years forgetting. Trust me, a person never married to someone who was in the military has a very hard time understanding that there are times they must be separated for any length of time, which is the death of many marriages, trust me, I know this personally.

All She Had On Was The Radio

Every once in a while I feel that I can share a little bit about my personal life without giving away that I’m actually a living breathing human being who has a life outside everything else I do. I had a funny haha last week that I think y’all could see how one line of text can have a thousand meanings on one’s head when, in reality, it was an attention getter to intentionally mislead me, to distract me from what I was actually doing at the time. Luckily, for me, I was intrigued enough to investigate. Let’s set up the plot, I was outside messing around with my daughter’s car, maintenance mostly, new air cleaner, windshield wiper replacement, windshield wiper fluid refill, and a taillight bulb replacement. Simple enough, something she asked that I do while she was out of town. In fact, the house was empty with the exception of my wife and I. That whole scenario can lead to big trouble, usually means I’m steam cleaning the carpet. So, being outside taking care of little things that needed to be done was just fine with me. At about lunch time I start getting texts asking if I’m hungry, asking what I’m doing, and how long I was going to be, tell you the truth I was starting to get annoyed a bit, telling her to bring her ass outside if she was so curious. Then there was about thirty minutes of silence.

Then she sends this text, “all I have on is the radio, want to dance?” It was drizzling out, I was all but done outside anyway, so I didn’t answer the text, I don’t think I was supposed to, I think I did the right thing by just going inside to see what in the world was going on. I opened the door to a quiet house, and all I could hear was the radio coming from the back bedroom, my bedroom. First I did stop by the kitchen, which was on the way, to wash my hands and to get a drink of water, then I followed the song on the radio that was playing. I was lead to the bathroom in fact, where I find my wife taking a bubble bath, then she tells me that she told me all she had on was the radio. I will leave the rest to your imagination, if you have one, if not then just know that we both had a nice candle lit bubble bath together.

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Later on in the afternoon she wanted to get out of the house, to go somewhere, just go out to get out of the house, no kids, no wondering what the kids would do for dinner, nothing, just go for a drive and see where we end up. So, she got all dolled up, wearing my favorite jeans, a ZZ Top t-shirt, and her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. She’s up to something, I just know it. We drove around in her new mustang for a few hours, she makes me drive, I don’t know, its weird with her, if I’m in the car she wants me to do the driving, been like that since day one. I thought it would change with her new car, but no, same old habits. What if I want to get chauffeured every once in a while? I’ve learned, don’t ask that particular question to her, it doesn’t end well at all. I just figure if we are in her car that she would want to drive. After not eating lunch I was starting to get real hungry, I asked if she had any suggestions, no of course, said for me to pick. Fine, I pick Joe’s Crab Shack, it was close and I haven’t been there in a few years. Dinner was good, margaritas were decent, and my company was very good. It gave us an opportunity to talk, to have a “date night”, and just be us for once in so many years. I get it, we don’t get allot of one on one time, we are always doing something, or we always have the kids tagging along, so it was, in fact, very weird, a little too quiet if you ask me. But, it was a fantastic night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, never, we need many more of these “date nights”.

Soon enough, we would leave, she wanted to head across the freeway to go to the mall for a few minutes, she wanted to go in to get some makeup that they only sell at the one store. I knew it, I knew there was a plot, I new it was too good to be true, I knew I just gave up the next hour of my life because we cant decide which shade of black she wants for eyeliner. Of course, I’ve been a victim in this store before, I hate this store, so much I can’t bring myself to even type the fucking name. Plus, she asks me, the colorblind motherfucker, which color do I like, I always just answer with the one that has the cool, off the wall name, has kept me out of trouble for many years. This time, with no kids, I had no excuse to go to the Lego store or to Brookstone, I had to go in, her not letting go of my hand was the tell tale sign for me, I was already getting the cold sweats, fuck I hate this store. As a pleasant surprise, she walks in, never letting go of my hand, because I would have run for cover and she knows it, she picked up what she came in for, a compact of something or another, and we then checked out, we were in this beast of a pit less than five minutes, tops. Not a word from me either, and not a word from her either, we were just done, just in and out, scary.

Then we head to Sears, where I get told to hang out for a while, and that she would return for me shortly. Huh? She tells me to just roll with it, don’t worry about it, she would be back. Well, okay then, I shall just wander around Sears for a “while”. I didn’t see much I haven’t seen before, same tools, same lawn mowers and lawn shit, same beds, same vacuum cleaners, same appliances, and the same conditions at the shoe department, nice shoes I like, decent prices, but only go up to size 13, which is bullshit. Why can’t we just carry size 16 so I can at least try them on? But then again, that is the same scenario at all shoe stores in the mall, which is also bullshit. So, I’ve managed to kill almost thirty minutes and still no wife, so I make my way to the jewelry counter, not getting anything, just wanted to get my watch cleaned, they use one of those sonic washers which is pretty cool, gets all the muck out of the crevices. Just before the lady is done with my watch my wife slinks up behind me, wanting to know what I was buying. Then she sees the lady bringing my shiny black watch back and then she knows I’m not buying anything, no need to, I bought this very Fossil Relic watch in November of 1999 and it’s never, not once, given me any shit or reason to replace it, I make Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas a bitch for everyone, because a watch is never an option. After putting old faithful back on my wrist I notice she is carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag, which she will NOT let me look into. Trust me, I tried, no dice. How rude. Hand in hand we leave Sears, one more stop I’m told, which is good, its 8:45, and the mall closes in fifteen minutes, bonus.

We end up at Hollister, not my favorite, yet not the worst place to shop for women’s clothing. But, damn, this place is so expensive, I always expect to have to pay some kind of “cover” every time I walk thru the doors. This one is cool though, the entire staff is all female, dress like strippers, the lights are down low, the music is always bumping, and they offer complimentary bottled water. Plus, Plus, Plus, and Plus for me. Okay, she shops here at the teenie bopper store because they carry her size, “0”, and the only other place that carries that size in most of the pants is Guess, but she has never been let down here. I took a seat, she begins the hunt, she’s like a lioness on the prowl, stalking her prey on the open savanna, and when she finds the one that catches her eye, she pounces. It’s fun to watch, deadly on the wallet, but still I appreciate watching this part of the “chase”. She finds three pair, all blingless, all slightly torn in various places, but ones she seems to like. Off to the changing room, let the show begin! My wife is a natural born tease, she knows I still check out her ass, she knows my eyes still follow her around as she passes by, so, she abuses me with it, and she knows she is doing it. I liked all three, well, two of them, the stretchy ones I really don’t like. They look like jeans, don’t feel like jeans, and just “aren’t right” in some weird old school way. I know, I’m showing my age here, I cant help it, I don’t like them, they just aren’t right. The other two, perfect, absolutely perfect!

Now we head out of the mall, my wife reluctant to let me carry the bags, which is odd, I’m the guy you always see carrying the bags, but not tonight, which is fine, its weird, but fine. Get out to the car, bags in the truck, out of sight, and we head on home. When we get there, now nine-thirtyish, I settle into my chair, flip on the television, and find I have missed the first half of River Monsters, oh well, he never finds the big monsters until the end of the show anyway, that man pulls some fucked up fish from the depths of the rivers and lakes, and just think I used to like going out on the water, but now that I know it’s full of all the different kinds of “nopefish” I may just have to stick to the cement ponds. I never bothered turning on any lights because I didn’t plan on being out there in the living room very long anyway. You know that eerie feeling you get when you just know there is someone behind you, the feeling that makes all the short hairs on your body become electrified? I got that feeling, soon after I feel the cool hands I know so well, come across my shoulders. She held my head so I couldn’t turn my head, told me to close my eyes, and I feel her hands leave me. Moments later, I open my eyes to see my wife wearing what she bought at Victoria’s Secret. Um, OMFG!

By the morning the house was full with kids again, the hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready for work and for school. It was nice while it lasted, the quiet times, the time with my wife alone, and the not having to worry about everything happing around us. Out of the blue I get a kiss on the cheek from my daughter and a thank you for taking care of her car. My son, gives me a fist bump, he’s getting too old to hug me I guess, all of thirteen. As I stand in front of the kitchen sink taking my medications I feel a familiar touch of a cool hand going under my shirt onto my back, and then a kiss between the shoulder blades. No good morning, not that I usually get a verbal good morning, just what I got, it was nice, real nice. Then as softly as she appeared she slinked into the shadows of the hallway heading to the bedroom, undoubtedly to finish getting dressed for work. As I drove off to work I remembered that the entire day prior all started with a clever text, “all I have on is the radio”, what a nice thought.

The Saturday Night Concert Lights

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Of course I’m talking about our Saturday night enjoying the ZZ Top concert. But first I must throw out a mention to an amazing guitarist Tyler Bryant. I must confess, however, that I have never heard of him, I’m still kicking my self for having a deaf ear to him in the past. But, no longer, no way, now I see the error in my ways. In our particular show, this pasty white man waltzes out onto the stage, introduces himself over the noise of the crowd, so we could barely hear what he said. Without flash and fanfare he began to play, the crowd became calmed, and he amazed us all with the way he played the guitar and with no back up nothing, all solo, just the Tyler Bryant show, I was pretty impressed to say the least. So, if I were y’all, and you like great guitar music, check out Tyler Bryant, y’all won’t be one bit disappointed. Then we witnessed Jeff Beck, again not someone I was exactly up to speed with his music, definitely my loss for sure, an oversight that I can assure you is been corrected since Saturday night. For 70 years young, he deserves his world ranking in guitar playing, his hands show no sign of slowing down in my opinion. The show wasn’t that flashy, but it was good to set my head back and just let the music flow through me. Nevertheless, he is another skilled musician which opened my ears and eyes, fully had my attention.

Then there was our headliner, ZZ Top, who blew the roof off of the house, to put it very mildly. I was looking forward to this part of the show for two reasons, one because this was 4th time seeing ZZ Top live and the second reason was it was my son’s rock n’ roll live concert christening. He can no longer be teased by his older sisters as being the concert virgin. He has been a “fan” of ZZ Top for a few years, being guilty by association through me and the music I listen to, since I’m not always bang my head ’til I bleed metal as many like to think. I like what is referred to as classic rock as well, this so called classic rock is what I grew up on, it is my generation, it was our contribution to musical history. Too much? Too dramatic? My son has always heard music in his headphones or on the stereo speakers, never live and in his face. I really didn’t know what to expect taking him to this show. Soon after the show began initially I knew the birthday present was a grand slam. If I may, to set the mood, take y’all to the end of the show, after the lights came up, when my son turned to me and said “dad, I have a new found respect for ZZ Top, they made me feel like dancing”. I’m not an emotional man, I don’t wear my feelings on my sleeve in no way, but those words, those simple words, made my day, made me smile in the grandest of ways, I was extremely proud of my son, I think he now understands what I have always told him, one feels good music beyond just listening to it. He said he thought about that the whole concert, an excerpt from a conversation years ago, when I was asked why I listen to my music so loud. No, it’s not because I’m deaf boy, it’s because I want it to enter my soul through the vibrations, I want to feel the music, not just listen to it.

So, this was a good concert for him, in many ways. As well, my future son in law attended the concert with us and reacted in much the same way, even though he is now 21. But, in his defense, and this was not his first concert, he mentioned he always wanted to be able to see one of his all time favorite bands live, mission complete. He was all giddy like a 12 year old girl as well. But, as I explained to both of them, because I had a life before they knew me, that when the lights go down what they had in store for them. As I looked out over the sea of silver haired men and women, I mentioned that before long the party would start, beyond the concert, beyond the music, because these people came prepared to party. I just mentioned that as they smell things beyond the cigarette smoke and beer, that they will smell the skunk, but not to look for it, don’t point, and definitely don’t talk or saying anything about it. And, it didn’t take long, and it was purple haze time! Not for me personally, all I had was two 32oz bottles of water. And then, even though my son was aware of the fact that there are other sexual cultures beyond heterosexual, he had never witnessed anything up close and personal. At least both of them waited until we were in the car, yes in the mustang, to ask me if I saw the three lesbian couples sitting in front of us “making out”. Yes, I saw it. So what? That stifled the entire conversation, it was over before it started, its not my place to have an opinion about someone else’s relationship. One thing I will point out, however, is that the three couple were of different age groups, one was in their early twenties, the other I would guess thirtyish, and the other couple was in there fifties. My only opinion is that if it feels good for you then do it. Really too bad people get stuck in their judgmental bullshit all of the time. Plus, there was allot of making out everywhere around us, why do y’all think people bring the big blankets. Anyway, makes no matter to me, I came for the show, I came because I wanted to witness my son get his concert cherry popped. The only reason I brought up the female couples in this post is because I was asked about it later. Why do I need to care?

The only real stumbling point my son had with the concept of the live rock and roll concert, beyond the drinking, toking, and sex, was the fact that it is okay to sing along, it’s almost a requirement. As well, yelling, screaming, cheering, and clapping are our way of showing our unbridled appreciation for fantastic shows. Where I lost him was when ZZ Top was signing, then they go silent, music and all, waiting for the crowd to scream out the finish to the lyric. He knows the words, just didn’t know this was his time to scream them out louder than when he is in the shower. I will have y’all know, I went home hoarse, barely able to talk, my voice was toast, and I could feel it. For what its worth, I’m not shy when it comes to signing out load, yes I suck, but so does everyone else, but we all do it just the same. The night was fantastic all the way around, we all had fun, we all got to put a notch in our belt, for me, I’m my 25th belt or so, but who’s counting anyway. Sunday morning I laid in bed, my wife on one arm, and I found myself thinking how I was the one that each one of my kids saw their first live rock concert with. Many would say this isn’t good parenting, I disagree, I enjoy the company of family, I like being there for their “first times” in life. I’m an involved parent, guilty as charged. I’m lucky, my kids like music, and I’m lucky to live in a huge city where the opportunities to witness live music are everywhere. Most of the people I know don’t know what their kids are up too, nor do they care. No, I do not think I know what they do 24/7, but I have a pretty good idea I won’t see them on the news looting anytime soon. Sorry, my kids are important to me, I care to be in their lives, and for them to want to be in mine.

Sorry, got a little sidetracked, but then I never actually said I would be doing a song by song concert review, y’all should know better than that by now. I was deeply impressed by this little ‘ol band from Texas, I always am. I was disappointed in others attending the concert, a giant shame on you goes out to them, I could count the kids I saw on one hand. First concert I have ever been to that there wasn’t a cross section of three to four generations of the people. How do we share our music with the up and coming generations if we don’t take our kids to concerts? ZZ Top has been playing since 1969, you cant tell me that the only people that want to see them live are the 40-60 crowd. Maybe next time right, maybe the next band right, maybe the next concert right? This is exactly how bands just fade away, we all know it. Anyway, just wanted to mention that, to each his/her own, because it was an outstanding show, one I know my son and future son in law will not soon forget, and nor will I. My son told me this morning he gets it now, music wasn’t meant to be heard through earbuds, its meant to be heard live and loud. Funny how one’s first concert can make one appreciate the efforts of great musicians. I could go on and on about music, but that’s not why you came today. See, just because I’m not writing much lately doesn’t mean I’m dead, just means I’m out living life to the fullest. So, no, my blog isn’t up for grabs, not yet at least. Thanks for all the great emails, texts, and comments, I plan on getting caught up real soon with some fantastic stories, some are even true. Remember everyone, take the earbuds out once in a while and enjoy this concert we call life.