Thursday, October 13, 2016

The right word just blew my mind

The title of this post is currently "The right word just blew my mind."

It may or may not be called that by the time I finish.  The thing is, I was writing on a post that I work on from time to time. It's just awful. Boring, stupid, self-indulgent.  Even by my - um - what's the word ... not 'estimation.'

See that's the problem.  The right words are not coming to me right now. Hang on. I'm going to get that one I'm trying to think of.  It is 9:53 and 45 seconds.

At 9:55 and 30 seconds, I decided to go with "assessment."  I don't think that's the one I wanted, but I'm going with it for now.  Maybe the right one will come to me as I begin to tell you why I'm here tonight.

I was writing this piece of shit about playing darts.  Thrilling, I know.  I'm sure there's a funny story in there somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it.

I was writing this thing about darts when my son and wife came up and commandeered my computer. My son needed to use it for school work or some crap.

Fine, I thought. I'll just go ahead and put a seat on my old road bike, which is what I did.

My old road bike didn't have a seat on it because I took it off last night to put it onto my cyclocross bike.

Last night as I was getting ready to go to the cyclocross practice, I noticed that the seat looked funny.  Kind of crooked or something.  I took a careful inspection of it and found this:

 If you look very very very carefully, you may be able to detect a slight crack in the seat.  Anywhos, I had to replace it.  Since all of my saddles are fi'zi:k arione saddles, I just grabbed one off another bike.

So I did that while the people were at my computer doing work.

By the time they were done and I got back to my dart story, the mojo was gone.  So I started thinking about something very funny I saw on the facebooks the other day.

It was one of the cleverest posts I ever read until I read it.  That was kind of the beauty of it.

It was posted by Scott Redd and it was brilliant.  I know, right?

Anyway, it was only brilliant until I saw it.  Actually it was no longer brilliant when I saw it because I was not the first one besides Scott to see it.

It was something like "I know you won't share this post because I've made it private."

But it was a photo (not a screenshot) of his status saying that and you could see that it was marked as private.

It is nice that he shared the photo of his private status so that we could all get a good chuckle. But it simultaneously ruined it.

If he'd never posted the photo, we'd never know. We'd never share (as he predicted) and it would be hilarious.  It's hilarious weather [sic] anyone besides Scott ever gets to enjoy it.

That's where Scott and I differ. That and the type of cyclists we deride.  I deride the type Munson is and he derides the type Munson used to be.

C'mon Munson! Become a cyclist Scott Redd can deride again!  As long as I'm here, I'm proof you're not too old.  My wrists hurt too.  All the time (true story). HTFU. Then I won't deride you anymore.

Or is 'deride' the right word? Maybe in today's political climate, "pillory" is a better word.

That's pretty funny.  You know how people do those stupid puns or play on words with the names of the candidate they hate?

If you were a Trump supporter, you could say something like, "I'd never vote for Pillory Clinton."

Then all your fellow Trump supporters would be all embarrassed for you.  "Um, Mike.  Ooh. This is awkward. It's not 'Pillory' - It's Hillary.

Or maybe they'd just laugh along because they'd think you're implying she's popping a bunch of pills.

"There goes that old drug addled Pillory Clinton - am I right?!?"

Sorry - so I was thinking about Scott Redd's Brilliant - until he ruined it by sharing it - post and realized that I would not have ruined it if I had thought of it.  Sometimes there is a joke that is only funny if it is not shared with anyone.  These are the worst.  I have maybe 50 or so of them. I have ruined a few of them by trying to explain them to people, but I've learned my lesson.

When Scott stumbled upon one of these gems, much like a bike ride where you're not lugging a campsite around, he didn't know what to do.

Regardless (the private part of this blog post sentence begins with the word "Irregardless" which is hilarious for a completely original and new reason that I cannot share or it will ruin it) of the fact that Scott ruined his own joke like a cup of camp coffee after a 70 mile bike ride, I still appreciate what he had attempted (and failed) to do.

I was thinking that "The very [word not found] of what he almost accomplished just blew my mind.

The word is not even close to "audacity"

"The audacity of what he almost accomplished just blew my mind"

No - that was not the word.  However, the great thing about that word is that if you read the sentence, you'll know how the inflection should be.  All you need to do now is figure out what the right word is and it will all make sense.

When I started this post, I thought if I came up with the right word, I'd go back and change the title.

I did come up with the right word.  Whew! But I'm not changing the title because unfortunately, the correct word is one of those things that is only funny if it is not shared.

What a coincidence!

But here. I will leave you with this exercise.  This is something I do at work. It is in the realm of private jokes.

I will send emails to people with the occasional intentional grammatical error.

I don't know why I do it. I just think it's funny.

I will reply to some request for help with something like:

"Please reboot you're pc, than let me know if you still have the problem.  Thanks!"

Also - if you'd like to play the Scott Redd game, feel free to guess what completes the sentence about how awesome his post would have been had he not shared it:

The _________ of what he did just blew my mind.

Good luck.

One last thing.  The word "assessment" from earlier sucks. The word we were looking for was "valuation." not "evaluation" either, but "valuation" Thanks for playing.

God bless.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Shut your damn mouth

There's a guy I know who tells stories.  They are usually stories about how frustrated he is at the world.  He dislikes the way of the liberal.  He confuses the charity of the liberal for greed.  He sees the conservative way as the only responsible path.  He believes that everybody should be completely self-supportive. Nobody should rely on the state.

There are two kinds of people. Successful people and lazy people.  His upbringing and faith have taught him that the reason he's never had the problems of the unfortunate is because he's doing it right and they're doing it wrong.

I have listened to his stories for years without comment, but seething at his smug shortsightedness.

Ironically, I've never bothered to examine why his commentary bugs me so much.

Well, until now.

I used to be him. That's why it bugs me. I find myself wanting misfortune to happen to him. This is only half-true.  I'd rather he judge the world in harsh obliviousness until the day he dies than wish upon him some of the horrors that befall much of humanity.  Let alone the relatively small problems I've had. I think I'm better for what I've been through. I'm glad that the judgmental asshole I used to be is gone.  What remains is a slightly less judgmental asshole.  But the pain was barely worth it.

I was a man of faith.  My faith taught me that if you served the lord, you'd basically be set.

Having never been sick (really sick), I believed in miraculous healing.  I believed that if anybody had any problems or sickness, they needed more faith.

God would heal the truly faithful.  Also, God would not only make sure you were provided for, he'd make you ridiculously prosperous.

So I prayed. I worked. I tithed. I served. I loved God so much for all his goodness and great gifts, etc.

I saw people with problems and had no pity.  I would try to tell them what they needed.  They needed faith. They needed God.  I would tell them story after story of God's miracles.

After the birth of my second child, I came to understand that I do not know everything.  I understood that no matter how much we think we have control over our lives and circumstances, misfortune can happen.  It can send you to a dark place.

The best part of it is that if you're a man of faith as I was, you probably have a bunch of Godly friends of like mind.  You go around feeling sorry for all of those unfortunates with physical (and mental) disabilities. Also - superior.  Vastly superior to all of those people of little faith who settle for the crap thrust upon them. You have the same answer for all of them. Increase your faith in God. He has promised to heal you.  Are you calling God a liar?

So when your daughter is born severely handicapped, this is your support group.

For a while, it's cool.  I mean you're crying and sad and ache for your perfectly innocent, precious little girl and everything. But you truly believe God's got your back.  You just go get your praying done and receive God's promise. It'll all work out.

Then it doesn't.  Your daughter doesn't get healed.  But you can't doubt God has a plan.  Sure, the longer it goes, the more uncomfortable all of your friends get around you.

Not because they harbor any ill feelings toward your daughter.  They just don't really feel so good about being around someone who can't trust God enough to get his daughter healed.

This went on for a couple of years.  People distanced themselves from us a bit.  Finally a leader of our huge church invited me out for coffee. He wanted to offer some advice.

During that meeting, he encouraged me through anecdote.  It had something to do with him noticing that his daughter or son would suffer the horrifying symptoms of a bad cold every time his walk with god faltered even slightly.  I can't be sure because it was a long time ago, but it seems like his walk with god was shakiest during the height of cold and flu season. Then he'd get right with God within a few days and a couple of glasses of orange juice later, his kids would be right as rain.

The guy was an auto mechanic.  His hands and fingernails were permanently encrusted with thick black grease.

As he was telling me this story to illustrate that my daughter was suffering one of the most severe cases of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy the doctors had ever seen because of my questionable walk with god, all I could think was "Do you finger your wife with those hands?"

True story.

With tears, I stood up, threw a couple of dollars on the table and left the Village Inn.

I didn't say anything to the guy, but he knew he had fucked up.

I also felt pity for him.  I realized that he believed that every time his kids got a cold, it was his fault.  I hoped (honestly) that nothing serious ever happened to him.  I didn't think he'd be able to deal with it.

I stopped going to church that week.

A few weeks later and I don't know how he heard, but the pastor of the church, a man I'd never met, called me.

He asked for "Fred Hinsley" pronounced correctly, somehow. He'd done his homework.

"Fred, this is Elmer Murdoch and I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for what has happened."

He went on to ask for my account of it. He was shocked.  He made no sales pitch. He knew I wasn't going back to his church. He only wanted to find out if I was going to be ok. He wanted to help me if there was any way.  He was genuine and I loved him for it. I could hear his real compassion for me and my situation.  He was a good man.

But I couldn't allow myself around the flock any more.  There would always be judgment.  Including from me.  The words that Tim (I just remembered the guy's name) spoke to me at the coffee shop that day were harsh, but they kind of echoed my thoughts.  I was wondering what had I done to deserve this pain.  I was faced with the prospect of watching my kid die within the next few years. It wasn't fair. It must be my fault somehow.

And if a miracle had happened? What then?  I hate to say it, but it's true. I'd have become worse.  More convicted than ever that my faith was so awesome that anybody who remained sick was just no good at faith and god and stuff. I was obviously more humble than them.

So when I hear somebody who has it all figured out, I sometimes wish something would happen to them.  Only because I know that in the long run, I'm more compassionate (still not much, but more) than I used to be.

As it turned out.  I didn't know everything and that whole God thing was not the way for me.


Cancel my subscription to the resurrection
Send my credentials to the house of detention
I got some friends inside -- Jim Morrison

I gotta beep a conja chuchum
Honk konk konk
I donta eat ya corn and beans
ya bop a lula
Eat your bom potito (potato wave -- EV)
Eat some corn
Yay right -- Also Jim Morrison (Paraphrased).