Monday, February 27, 2006
Thing is, everyone cracks in a life like that.
Since Adam and Eve, humans have failed. We all do bad things — sometimes even with the best of intentions. Playing God is just about control. Too often I want my words to spark a specific reaction and when I don't get it, I'm disappointed. Or I want my day to go just like this ... and then something doesn't work that way. It might not be bad, but I still take offense that I didn't control all the details. My bad things tend to happen more often when I'm gripping something or someone too tightly.
(SIDE QUOTE: "People do terrible things. Because in the end, we’re all just people. Flawed, confused, irrational, hopeful, looking-for-happiness-and-hoping-we’ll-find-it people trying to figure out our lives one day at a time." —Stacy McKee, writer of last night's "Grey's Anatomy." Ignore that this episode was tons about sex. Sex has nothing to do with what I'm talking about!)
Yes, ridiculous, I know. I keep telling myself this. A couple people close to me tell me this too. And all the while, I think I turn away from the Creator because what I've created is more tempting.
I'm working on learning.
If I raise my hands just lift the shade
Will I reveal a sky heavy and gray?
Will last night be a memory sweetly fading?
How I hate a morning starting out this way
On these lonely raging mornings I would whip you if I could
But your on the mighty side of strong and the perfect side of good
If I raise my hands will you grab me by the wrists
And will you try to pull me from the fray?
And even if my fingers join together into fists
Will you hold me firmly anyway?
'Cause I would try to escape you but for everyday I'm sure
That you're on the huge side of big and the holy side of pure
OK, hear what I say
As I raise my hands and surrender today
OK, here I will stay
Hands in the air, singing have thine own way
If I raise my hands so weak and thin and frail
Will you reveal the light of mercy in your eyes?
If I cry to you faintly will my feeble whispers fail
Or will it find its way to a reply?
'Cause now that I'm exhausted I think I'm ready to admit
That I've spent all my resistance on someone I can't resist ...
—The Waiting "Hands in the Air"
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Cats give it (best?) shot, fall to LSU
By Michael Smith
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Talk about anticlimactic.
With the University of Kentucky men's basketball team trailing by two in the final seconds and its best clutch player, guard Patrick Sparks, on fire, coach Tubby Smith drew up a play for …. Sheray Thomas?
That's right, Sheray Thomas. Smith even admitted it after the 71-67 loss at No. 24-ranked Louisiana State yesterday, which ended the Wildcats' three-game winning streak.
"It was a two-point game, and we were trying to get two close to the basket," Smith said.
The Wildcats trailed 69-67 in the closing 10 seconds when Smith called "46-47," a play designed to get the ball inside. It's the same play UK used to get Chuck Hayes the game-winning layup against LSU in last season's Southeastern Conference Tournament victory.
While Ravi Moss and Sparks set screens for Thomas and center Randolph Morris stood on the opposite side of the floor as a decoy, Thomas flashed into the post and took the feed from Rajon Rondo.
Thomas hesitated for a split second, turned and launched a 4-foot right-handed hook that sailed clear over the basket. LSU's Glen Davis rebounded with 0.8 second left and hit two free throws to seal the Tigers' fourth straight win, which moved them into sole possession of first for the SEC championship, a game ahead of Tennessee.
Seriously, with Sparks, Rondo and Morris, why even give Thomas the ball?! The deeper question is why Thomas even plays on the team, really. I've been asking myself that all season.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
1. How long did the Hundred Years' War last?
2. Which country makes Panama hats?
3. From which animal do we get catgut?
4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7. What was King George VI's first name?
8. What color is a purple finch?
9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?
Scroll down to check your answers below.
ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ
Remember, passing requires 4 correct answers
1. How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2. Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3. From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
5. What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs
7. What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8. What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange, of course.
(And don't try to tell me you passed!)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
SIDENOTE: Sometimes I'm just too busy to read them on deadline in the morning, which is sad, really. I should have enough time to read through the obits and at least make sure the names are spelled correctly. I would hope someone one day will have time for mine. I'm not much on mistakes.
Anyway, I think the tradition of visitation is weird. Viewings - isn't that what some people call them — are unnatural to me. I mean, who wants to parade through a room — usually in single file — and walk passed a dead body. Too often the bodies are dolled up to look uneasy.
EXAMPLE: If I have on blue eye shadow while I'm laying in the casket, it's going to make me look strange because I don't wear blue eye shadow now.
See what I mean?
I've been to a couple visitations for people I didn't really know but I know someone close to them. I totally wanted to go in support of whoever it is I actually know, but I cut out the walking by the casket part. I think it's slightly spooky and unnerving. Looking at my grandmother's body was strange enough, and I have all sorts of respect and love for Nanny.
I watch CSI. But who is really comfortable seeing dead bodies? OK, besides coroners and medical examiners. That's like telling me I'm uncomfortable asking questions and writing.
So when I die, I want the people I know and love — and, of course, the people who know them — to gather together. They can listen to music I love or tell stories about all the dumb things I did in life or look through my scrapbooks. Whatever. But don't put my body on display for a bunch of loved ones — and maybe even strangers — and make them feel obligated to walk by.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
So I read her a story out of her Curious George book. She'd just seen the movie and was going to see it again, so I think the monkey was fresh on her mind. She sat there so close to me, so attentive, with her hand on my hand. I loved every minute of it, even though I skimmed a couple long passages because the story was kind of long. She never knew, though.
By the way, my children's literature knowledge is rough, does the man in the yellow hat have a name? I'm thinking not, but I can't recall for sure.
And for the records, children's books are SO MUCH BETTER than cartoons. I guess one day I'll learn to appreciate cartoons. But I didn't even watch them when I was a kid. I thought they were dumb. I'd take a book any day — and probably still would.
So ... Greg stepped to the plate. (Oh, wait, wrong sport ...) Anyway, he volunteered and Samantha, the cousin, was grateful. In 30 seconds, Greg made nine free throws. He missed his first two (They hit the front of the rim.), but then he hit like six straight. In all, I'd say he was 9-for-15. Not bad. Not bad especially because Kroger gave $20 for every made shot. The math says that's $180.
Well, the guy only had $120 with him, so we went by Kroger after the game and got the rest. I'm glad those high school basketball days of Greg's and his pop-a-shot "practice" paid off — literally.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
"Just because you hear hoof beats, don't assume zebras."
--Derek to Meredith
"Sometimes doing everything is worse than doing nothing."
Among the things I love about the show -- and this has absolutely nothing to do with those quotes -- is how so many random details are intertwined throughout the show. I mean, the episodes' titles usually have to do with songs or movies or something along those pop culture lines. The title is a obviously based on Meredith's last name, but it's also the name of an anatomy textbook. Plus, great songs are always included in the show.
OK, OK, I admit, I didn't watch the show last season. I heard about it. But I thought it would be like "ER." Boy, was that a misconception. I wish someone would have emphasized how great it was. But that's OK, I'm catching up. No, I'm not a bandwagon fan now. I just didn't watch it until October when I was in Seattle with my mom. Personally, I just think it was meant to be that way. How fun is it to introduce a new show to my world while I'm actually in the city in which the show takes place?!
And now that I have the first season on DVD, I'm set.
I survived, though.
Then I had another dilemma. I wanted to wear jeans. It's Friday. It's like a reward. Plus I've been on the search for a new pair of favorite jeans. That's no easy task. Well, I think I've found them — and for half price at JC Penny. I've worn them around a little, but I was really looking forward to wearing them on the jean-designated Friday to work. Then I remembered I had to cover the "state of the community" addresses by the mayor and judge-executive at a breakfast ... This means I felt like I had to look "nice." Now, I'd argue jeans can look nice. My publisher would probably disagree with me. Even so, I wore a sweater and more-dressy-than-not boots with my jeans ... Sort of the best of both worlds. And to think I used to make fun — in my mind, of course — of people who wore these kinds of boots with jeans. I didn't get it. But I got it this morning.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
CBS is showing no love, not to mention patience, for its Tuesday night dramedy Love Monkey.
After only three airings, the network has pulled the plug.
Officially, the show, starring Tom Cavanagh (Ed) as a record-industry insider, is on hiatus with no scheduled return date.
Unofficially, the ratings for the show weren't good enough.
The show faced tough competition, airing opposite NBC's Law & Order: SVU (No. 16 in 18-49 ratings) and ABC's Boston Legal (No. 41), which handicapped Love Monkey (No. 62) from the start.
But that might not have mattered, since CBS execs have no plans to test the show in another time slot.
BY THE WAY; No, we didn't go out because it was Valentine's Day. Feb. 14 just happened to be the week after we first met.
Well, yesterday afternoon I spent entirely too long on creating a blog about my scrapbooking — a self-promotion effort, really. But the problem was I really didn't get too far. I kept changing the template and the introduction ... And I thought I had it all thought out. So more on that when it's more together.
So, back to the real weekend ...
FRIDAY night was a nice night at home. I have to admit that we watched two episodes of "Beauty and the Greek" we had recorded earlier. Yeah, I know ... The show is awfully entertaining though. So of the girls are flat-out annoying, but some of the guys really go through these transformations. It is indeed an interesting social experiment.
I was supposed to host a craft/bead/Valentine's/scrapbooking party on SATURDAY afternoon, but Alexa was deterred by the snow. And the possibility of more. Turns out there were flurries in Murray all weekend but the roads never got bad because the snow never really stuck there (only on the trees and grass, really) and the wetness never froze.
So Greg and I ended up taking an impromptu road trip. He called it a basketball odyssey. Something like that. We left Murray late Saturday morning and headed to Nashville, where we went to see the Wildcats get swept by Vanderbilt for the first time since the 1973-74 season. Admittedly, it was a fun game. The Vandy fans around us were friendly. UK managed to make it exciting in the final minutes; although it never should have been that exciting to begin with. I mean, I agree with the philosophy that a win is a win, but Vanderbilt tried to give Kentucky the game and the Wildcats just wouldn't take it.
Then we headed back toward Murray, stopping in Clarksville on the way. My parents were in town to visit my sister and watch her boyfriend's Senior Night game. Well, I always want Zac to play well, and I'm even OK with Austin Peay winning, except the games against Murray State. Nonetheless, Greg and I wore our "Let's Go Peay" shirts and cheered for the Governors. That was, of course, after eating at Blackhorse again.
You have to know a little bit about Ohio Valley Conference basketball here: Murray is in sole possession of first place, but Samford is not far behind in second. Austin Peay is a few teams back. So, standings say Murray fans would be delighted for Peay to win. So it was 'acceptable" to cheer for the rival team, in this case.
Anyway, another exciting game. Although Austin Peay got out to a lead early, Samford came back by halftime. The second half was close. So close they played overtime. Austin Peay won.
SUNDAY after church and a Chinese lunch, we just hung around the house. I love that about Sundays. The other thing I've come to love about Sundays is "Grey's Anatomy." Those characters are so well-developed that they seem real. OK, that's starting to sound crazy, but the show is so well-written. The whole episode this week had me glued. It was intense. Even the parts that didn't involve the bomb were intense. Like where Derek comes to make sure Meredith is indeed alive. She basically dares him to kiss her. But he doesn't cross that line. Yet she can tell he loves her. That's all she needs to know to go on. Well, maybe not in the long run, but for now.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
OK, well, my history ...
So the game started off good. Then I went cold, thanks to my inability to draw a vowel. I even sacrificed my only vowel - that being a U that went perfectly with my Q - just so I could play, hoping that would give me the chance to draw some vowels. No such luck. Several turns went by with me spelling H-O, T-O, O-R, T-I-M-E, G-I-N ... in other words, words that would never help me catch Greg, who eventually pulled to a 96-point lead - 257 to 161, to be exact.
Well, then thanks to P-A-X, Q-U-A-I-L, Q-U-E-D-E-D and D-R-O-V-E, and finally R-A-S-E, which allowed me to go out first and get Greg's five remaining points ... I won! 323 to 314. That means it was 319 to 318 in favor of Greg before I got my reward for going out first.
You have to know a little history about Scrabble in the Taylor household before you truly appreciate this comeback, the greatest of its kind, really. Greg used to hate playing Scrabble. Then I would beg enough that he'd play. Those of you who know Greg know he has a bigger vocabulary than me. (Come on, I write on an eighth-grade reading level...) Still, we'd play and I'd usually win. Then I taught him a little Scrabble strategy (You know, playing words start with S off words already on the board so you get points for both words, making several small words with high-point letters on extra point squares ...) and he started beating me frequently. We got the point we'd trade off some. Then lately, he'd just been winning ...
It all makes the comeback that much sweeter.
OK, OK, I admit, I looked up P-A-X and R-A-S-E before I played them. Officially, that's against the rules, which would force me to play the word and Greg to challenge it if he thought I was wrong. But the best part of playing games in your own house is your can influence the rules. As long as no one spends the whole game with their nose in the dictionary, occasionally looking up a word in "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" is acceptable, in my mind.
But, still, I won.
Friday, February 10, 2006
I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.
After reading the first chapters of "Blue Like Jazz", it's clear this book is going to prompt more thoughts about things I've already been thinking about.
SELFLESSNESS: "The overwhelming majority of time I spend thinking about myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself, and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the needy. Six billion poeple live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me."
(Random note: Seriously, "muster" must be the word of the week.)
REACTIONS/FEELINGS: "I realized ... that other people had feelings and fears and that my interactions with them actually meant something, that I could make them happy or sad in the way that I associated with them. Not only could I make them happy or sad, but I was responsible for the way I interacted with them."
Indeed a responsibility. But, still, the hard part of this truth for me is that fact I have to take responsibility for something I can't control. We can't assume someone will react just like we would.
RELIGION vs. RELATIONSHIP: "The slot-machine God provided a relief for the pinging guilt and a sense of hope that my life would get organized toward a purpose. I was too dumb to test the merit of the slot machine idea. I simply began to pray for forgiveness, thinking the cherries might line up and the light atop the machine would flash, spitting out shiny tokens of good fate."
I really contine to be amazed about how my thoughts are prompted by so many different channels - friends, strangers, book, TV - yet still come back to something I'm apparently supposed to be learning. I guess that's the essence of change. Or at least God knows that's how to spur me toward becoming a better version of myself.
You know, loving people seems like it would be our first reaction. Or at least I tend to hope that would be my default characteristic. But it's usually not.
Well, maybe I'm generalizing ...
Should I go about my life without thinking about my actions, I'd be so self-centered. Naturally, I like to be right and be in control and have life planned out in front of me. I'm slowing learning that going about life this way takes away a great deal of joy.
The people in my life have a lot to offer. I should remember that and not be so quick to be stuck in my natural ways because my relationships with them are much more important than my feelings.
Greg tells me I am easily offended. I tend to only express that reaction to the people closest to me. But he's right. I'm quick to make judgments of people — both good and bad. In reality, people are complex, even if they don't think they are. There are so many layers and so many components that make a person complete.
For me, these other people are what make me complete. I shouldn't rush through life thinking otherwise.
Thursday, February 9, 2006
On a 100 percent scale for each category, I was 70 percent each perceiver, server and teacher followed by ruler (50%), encourager (45%), giver (45%), showing mercy (24%). Again this shows I am a mixture of dominate traits and not clearly one type of person. Some days I think this is good, others I just frustrate myself.
THE PERCEIVER: Perceivers have a keen sense of right and wrong. This is a form of discernment that we have seen in Christians and non-Christians alike. It is because of this sense of right and wrong that perceivers hold very high standards. They tend to be perfectionists because of their high standards and often become their own worst critics. In some cases, perceivers do not realize their gift and they can become very critical of other people or situations, which emerges as a pessimistic attitude.
The primary function of this gift is to reveal information the perceiver has discerned in a way that will help others. This information is not always positive and well received. As a result, perceivers sometimes appear direct, blunt, or inconsiderate of the feelings of others particularly when sharing this information with people possessing different motivational gifts. This is a classic case of the gift being misunderstood because their real intention is to help people.
I think this describes me to the core. Although it measures the same as two other characteristics in this survey, I think this is the trait that is most dominate in my life. But, then again, maybe that's just me being my own worst critic! Either way, the description goes on to say sometimes these perceivers misuse their gift and become judgmental instead of prayerfully helping people. Unfortunately, I'm definitely guilty of that. And that's probably why "showing mercy" is my lowest-ranking trait.
THE SERVER: Servers have an extraordinary ability to recognize tasks that need to be done. They are very cognizant of their surroundings. Perhaps this comes from their need to provide for others as seen in scripture. Servers are the first to lend a hand. Often they work in the background providing services that others will never see. Servers show their loyalty through action rather than words.
What motivates a server is helping someone else. Because servers have a tendency to prefer jobs in support roles, they are not usually in the forefront or public eye. They prefer to accomplish their tasks without an audience and therefore, their personalities tend to be more quiet and reserved. Unfortunately, some people interpret the reserved nature of a server and the desire to work behind the scenes as being uninterested.
Mmmm ... I don't know. Yes, I agree, especially with the loyalty through actions and recognizing tasks that need to be done. But, I admit, usually I like to be in charge. Now, that's different than the center of attention. I hate that. But I like to be in control. I tell you, all kinds of contradictions!
THE TEACHER: People with the gift of teaching are consummate debaters. It is how they convince and help others to learn. It doesnt matter if they are in the office or at home, people with the gift of teaching are constantly thinking on their feet. Teachers need to know the reasoning behind concepts or ideas. They do not take anything at face value. Teachers can appear argumentative while they are simply trying to gain further understanding. They have the ability to synthesize ideas, which results in a constant mental flow of information. Teachers are those who need to carry pocket size tape recorders so they can record their ideas throughout the day. Their mind is always running and is filled with new ideas.
People with the gift of teaching need intellectual stimulation. They easily get bored with routine tasks. Teachers love to learn and keep their minds busy. They usually enjoy research and love the opportunity to share something they have learned.
When it first said teacher, I didn't think it was going to go with me. Wrong assumption. By this definition, I totally see myself as a teacher. I think a lot of traits mentioned there are evident in my job as a newspaper reporter. I have the ability to take information from different sources and compile it in a story. Several people have told me I'm good at taking their babble and turning it into coherent thoughts. That seems to go with this.
I don't carry a recorder. But I generally have a notebook and pen close. I jot down quotes and thoughts when I'm listening to music, reading anything (even ESPN's magazine, which prompted to think about a line I read there: "You can't legislate people's reactions." I mean, the article was about booing players, but I thought about life and the relationships that make it was it is.), watching TV or talking to people. I'm the kind of reader who underlines things in my book. And I must enjoy sharing these ideas because I do have this completely random blog.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
In my world, all of these things are good things.
... I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
And cannonball into the water
I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will for you I will
Forgive me if I st-stutter
From all the clutter in my head
Cause I could fall asleep in those eyes
Like a water bed
Do I seem familiar
I crossed you in hallways a thousand times
No more camouflage
I want to be exposed
And not afraid to tell ...
-Teddy Geiger in "For You I Will (Confidence)"
RANDOM NOTE: Muster is one my favorite words.
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Saturday, February 4, 2006
Was crazy, in mostly good ways.
MONDAY: I worked into the evening because I knew I was spending the next day in Frankfort. But we also went to the MSU basketball game. The Racers beat Samford for the first time since the Bulldogs joined the conference a few years ago - and they earned sole possession of first place. The students were way rowdy and even rushed the court at the end. I don't know about that, but it was certainly nice to see some energy in that arena, especially from the players.
TUESDAY: I spent the day in Frankfort interviewing the governor, meeting with our legislators and not visiting enough with Jodi. I also covered a Murray reception at a mansion in Frankfort. It was sort of a rally cry for better funding for Murray State.
WEDNESDAY: After being gone, I had to catch up with who had filed for city council. It took me awhile to get in touch with everyone, and I think ended up reaching all but three. Not bad, considering 17 people are running for 12 seats. That night our small group from church had a sort of organizational meeting.
THURSDAY: I worked most the day before leaving in the late afternoon to go to Clarksville. We met Cassie for dinner at my favorite place there - Blackhorse. Then we went to watch MSU play Austin Peay. It was a fun game too watch, even though both teams had plenty of mistakes. The Racers won by one after a tip in during overtime. (I give Peay fans credit for the clever T-shirts many of the students were wearing. Notice Cassie's shirt.)
FRIDAY: The budget debate that has gone on for a couple weeks now between a couple Frankfort officials and the MSU president got dirty publicly during a presentation at campus. I spent the afternoon and evening trying to tie together information for that. I lost count of how many budget stories I've written in the last two weeks. Never fails that on my Friday nights to work something crazy happens. So I left work for a couple hours only to have to return to finish my story, finish another repoter's story and layout a couple pages for Saturday's paper. I was in bed by 1 a.m., though, and that's not bad.
SATURDAY: I didn't wake up until the phone rang at 10 a.m. Then I returned to the couch to watch "Survivor" and "CSI," which we had on tape from Thursday night. It's so fun after a week like mine to not have any commitments until later in the day and not have to shower until noon.
Friday, February 3, 2006
All in 56 minutes.
When my world is as busy as this week has been, tidying up my life sure helps. And having a productive lunch makes me feel better about having to cook dinner for this group of college girls between getting off work late this afternoon and then coming back because it's my night to work. (Seriously, I don't know how every fourth Friday always falls on my busiest weeks ... I guess I'm busiest every fourth week, but there's no explanation for that either!)
Before lunch, I responded to and deleted e-mails in the work account. I also compiled a to-do list for the coming weeks. I mean, who knows when I'll get to it, but at least it is there for me to get to ... eventually.
OK, that's my deep breath for the moment.
Thursday, February 2, 2006
And all of these moments
Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they'll be gone
When the morning light sings
And brings new things
For tomorrow night you see
That they'll be gone too
Too many things I have to do
But if all of these dreams might find their way
Into my day-to-day scene
I'd be under the impression
I was somewhere in between...