Thursday, August 30, 2007

Plus One

These wedding invitations keep pouring in. And with each invitation, I'm met with quite the dilemma: Do I check that I'm coming alone, or with a plus one?

According to Barney on "How I Met Your Mother," taking a date to a wedding is like taking a deer carcus on a hunting trip. Not that I'm basing any of my decisions on things that a fictional character on a sitcom says.

I'm singing in a wedding at the beginning of October. I've already responded that I'll be alone for that one. But for Andy's wedding, two weeks later, I have yet to respond. Mostly because the invitation was "misplaced" (see post: Just A Phone Call Away). Also because I don't know who I would ask to be a plus one.

See, I've never had a plus one before. I think it would be fun. And I have someone in mind to ask, but should I? Would she be willing to make the drive to Richmond for the wedding? I'll be in Richmond the day before for the rehearsal and what not, so it's not like I can go pick her up before the wedding.

That's my problem, you work on that, I'm gonna go eat a Pop-Tart.

Fitting In

Last weekend I went to Charlotte to visit my friends Andy and Chrissy. This couple is one of several that will be tying the knot in the very near future. As a groomsman in Andy's wedding and a best man in Brandon's wedding, the time has come to get fitted for the wedding attire.

So while in Charlotte, Andy and I went over to After Hours at the local mall and a nice woman felt me up. That sounds worse than it should have. I was measured for my suits. I say suits and not tuxes on purpose. See, for Andy's wedding, I'll be wearing a suit. For Brandon's I'll be wearing a tuxedo. All tuxedoes are suits, but not all suits are tuxedoes. See how that works?

The lady used her tape measure and got me to raise and lower my arms. When she got to my waist I had to make a split decision: Do I suck in or not? I chose not to. I figured that if I sucked in for the measurement, then I'd have to suck in for the entire wedding. Not something I should be doing when standing for a long period of time.

Then the time came to pay. Now, I could have gotten away with paying $40 at that moment, but I decided to go ahead and pay for the rental of both suits right then and there. $290 and some change. Nothing like dropping close to $300 for two suits that I'll only wear once each. Congratulations kids! I know the years will be good to you!

The Part Time Working Man

I got a job!

Maybe I shouldn't have used the exclamation point. It's not as glamorous or exciting as all that piece of punctuation would suggest. I'm working for a little store called Quik Pack & Ship. Imagine the UPS Store, but we also ship things with FedEx, DHL, and the Postal Service.

One day as I was walking to class I noticed a flyer on the bulletin board. This place was seeking a seminary student for part time help. So I went by to inquire about this part time position. I introduced myself to Mike, the owner of this particular store, and he seemed to like me right away.

He said he likes to hire the seminary students because they seem to be more mature than younger folks. He really has a lot to learn about me. Anyway, he seems to be willing to work with my class schedule and the store hours leave plenty of time for me to study. Yeah, that's right, I said study.

I began work on Wednesday. I was really only there for two hours and all I did was get bombarded with information and "how tos." It was a lot to take in all at once. But it's really not that bad. I went in Thursday for some more information. By the end of those two hours, Mike was confident that I'd have no problem picking this up. Whatever you say Mike.

It really won't be hard work. But then again, it really won't be much pay or many hours. But it's a start. I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity to weigh packages and slap labels on them. That sounded sarcastic. But I really am.

Just A Phone Call Away

Today, as I was waiting for chapel to begin, I listened as a friend talked about a phone call she got from her mom. Her mother had told her that she had to come home this weekend for reasons I won't go into here. This got me thinking: When was the last time I got a phone call from my mom?

I've been in my new "home" for three weeks now and I've noticed that the frequency of phone calls has dwindled. That first week, I was getting calls from mom daily, sometimes twice. Now, time has passed (again, only three weeks) and I just don't get calls anymore. She called me Monday to confess that she had misplaced a wedding invitation that I had received.

She called at one point the week prior to tell me she wanted me to come home. Not just for a visit. No, she wants me to see the living room she had just painted. I just don't think I can bring myself to make the 3 hour drive just to look at the new taupe on the wall.

So I ask, have I been forgotten? It's not like I beg for money whenever she calls, as some college students often do. This is graduate school, let's not lower ourselves to act as undergrads.

So if you're out there and you need someone to talk to, feel free to call. If you have my number. I'm not just gonna give it out. That's crazy... posting a personal phone number on the world wide web. (Not that anyone reads this thing anyway.)

Monday, August 27, 2007


We live in a society that relies heavily on information. And for the most part, that information is readily available with the simple click of the mouse or a quick search on Google. Don't worry, this isn't a rant on the evils of the information superhighway. In fact, I'm very grateful that all this information is out there.

Now, I will admit that I complain from time to time about the directions I get from Mapquest. Occasionally I'll search for a route to a place of business and I'll get directed through a parking lot or some road that seemingly doesn't exist. For the most part, the good people at Mapquest get it right.

But I have to ask: what did we do before Mapquest and/or GPS? I've only been driving for 11 years of my life, but most of that time has been in the age of Mapquest. These days we can go online, input our starting point and destination, and, click, we have turn by turn directions and even a rough (sometimes very rough) estimate of how long it will take to get from point A to B. Crazy right?

So what did my parents do when they were my age? If they had to find somewhere in town, did they just rely on a rough mental image of the city layout and drive around 'til they got lucky? I'm sure long distances were a little simpler, take out a road atlas. But then when you get to your city of choice, what happens then? I mean, if you're driving to Boston, the standard atlas can get you to the greater Boston area, but what about side streets and secondary roads?

This brings me to another point: kids today don't know how to read a map!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Fish Pen

Tonight I was watching some late night television. I happened to catch "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on the Discovery Channel. The story was that of a father and son who went on a rafting trip in the Alaskan wilderness and got stranded and seriously injured. That's not the funny part of the story. In fact, that part was kind of tragic. I mean, they both survived, hence the title "I Shouldn't Be Alive."

The funny part happened immediately after the show ended. A commercial came on that just seemed inappropriate after that story. A commercial for the Fish Pen. The opening shot is that of a young father and son hiking along a river with their fishing rods. Just seemed odd to me.

Have you heard of this Fish Pen thing? It looks like an ordinary pen. It has a cap and is small enough to fit in your pocket. But take the cap off, and sure enough, no pen. It's got a telescoping fishing pole tucked away inside. Now, you can carry the rod with you anywhere you go, but if you want to throw on a line, you have to attach the reel. A reel that seems to large to fit in your jacket pocket alongside this "pen."

And let's talk about the name "Fish Pen." Isn't the defining characteristic of a pen the fact that you can write with it? Yet this Fish Pen is nothing of the kind. No ink. Ergo, no writing. I'm a little disappointed in that ad agency. Come on guys, this is late night television. You need to step up your game.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to School

Don't worry. I'm still alive out here. I've just been really busy for the last week or so. Also, I didn't have a regular internet connection. So what's been going on?

I moved in with the help of Mark, Brandon and Kara. I might owe them my firstborn, we'll have to hash out the details on that later. Sadly, they weren't able to stay long, so I was left on my own to unpack my numerous boxes. It's amazing how much stuff I've got. Stuff I didn't realize I had 'til I tried to fit it all into three rooms. I think it worked out all right though.

I did all the stuff I was supposed to do. You know, set up utilities in my name. All of which worked out right away. Except for cable and internet, which you can see took a week to get started up. Or, I should say, it took Time Warner a week to get someone out to my duplex to set it all up. But here I am, getting back onto the information super-highway.

Now let's talk about orientation/metriculation. I am fully aware that this process is necessary, but it really seemed kind of drawn out. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe I was just cranky because it was really hot and really humid and I was wearing a jacket and tie all day. I had to wear said jacket and tie for my photo ID, but you know what, all you see of my clothing in the ID is my collar. You can't even see the tie and you'd never know I was wearing the jacket. I was, I really was. I know because I was pouring sweat by the end of the day.

I'm taking a 12 hour load this semester. I almost went with 15, but the advisors advised the newbies, like myself, to only try 9 or 12 to start out. Here's the load: Old Testament, Hebrew, Theology, and Church History. It's really not too tough of a schedule. I've been a little intimidated by learning Biblical Hebrew, but I'm starting to think it won't be too bad either, as long as I devote enough study time to it. The best part of the schedule is that I'm done by 12:30 at the latest each day. Also, no classes on Mondays. We're looking at a long weekend folks. This will help when I find a job.

By the way, I'm looking for a job. If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to get in touch with me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Moving Day

Today was the day that I moved out of my mother's house. Again.

I moved out once before. I was in college and decided I'd stop going "home" for anything but holidays when I was forced to leave Bluefield for no good reason. Except that it was the holidays.

And now, I've been living at mom's for the last seven months. Today I loaded up the truck.

The day began slightly before sunrise. Well, maybe not. I got up at 6:30. Why? Because the maternal unit wanted to have a yard sale to coincide with my departure. So I got up early to help carry things into the back yard from the basement. This was a whole four hours before I was even scheduled to pick up my moving truck.

Early day. Lots of work. 11am rolls around and I get the truck. Well, I let Mark drive the truck, 'cause I'm not good with the large vehicles. Then we loaded up with junk from storage. It was a hot time, let me tell ya.

A couple hours of that and we headed over to Mom's place. A few more hours of loading boxes and furniture and the deed was done.

You know, moving out of a place is a job of work. And it's only half done. Tomorrow comes the unloading in a new place. Awesome.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Can I be serious for a minute? I guess we'll see. I mean, I try not to stay too serious for too long. Even today, I visited my father's grave and ended up cracking jokes while talking to him/myself. It tends to happen when I get uncomfortable, or too serious.

But seriously... I'm moving in two days. Tomorrow I'll load up a truck and then Sunday I'll drive it to Wake Forest, North Carolina. Some of you may be asking, "Why is he moving to North Carolina?" To which I would reply, "For school."

As of Wednesday I will officially be a student of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I made the decision to begin seminary nearly a year ago, just after Dad passed away. I had been fairly unhappy in my career. Even after changing jobs, still unhappy. So I prayed about it. Even talked to Dad about it before he died. And eventually I realized that God was pulling me back to full-time ministry. This is something I had thought I was called to years ago, but during college I decided that it wasn't for me.

And back to the present, I'm starting seminary in a matter of days. Am I excited? Sure am. Am I terrified? Absolutely.

I know in my heart, my soul, that God is going to take care of things. Because I also know that this is where He wants me to be. This is the path that He wants me on. But despite knowing these things, the "what ifs" manage to creep into my brain. See, I'm in school, I've got tuition taken care of, but what about living expenses? I don't have a job lined up just yet. This becomes my biggest concern. Then comes the studying issue. I haven't been in school for five years. I thought I was done with school. Here I am going back for a more difficult degree, after not using my mind critically for half a decade. This isn't as big a concern. I'll be okay if I apply myself. But what if I apply myself to too many things and wear thin?

These are the things I'm worried about. Even though I shouldn't worry. I know that. So, to those of you reading this, I make a plea: Pray for me. Pray that God will be with me during this time. Pray that He will open doors and present opportunities. Thank you for your encouragement in all this.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Midnight with Buffy

Tonight I spent part of my night with an old friend. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And also Jessica, whom I've known for 21 years. That's right, our friendship is old enough to buy alcohol.

Jessica called me up this afternoon with the news that the Grandin Theater was having a midnight show of the musical episode of Buffy. Automatically this leads to awesome in my mind.

We arrived at the theater and found that there are quite a few hardcore Buffy fans willing to show up at midnight for a Slaying Sing Along.

The night began with a quick trivia contest. I got to answer one of the questions. And when I got the right answer (as if there was any doubt), I was led to believe I would receive some important Buffy memorabilia. Instead, I received a box. I opened the box and was greatly disappointed to find a Relay For Life coffee mug. I feel I should explain that tonight's proceeds went to benefit the American Cancer Society. Now, I have the greatest respect for Relay For Life and those involved with it. But I don't drink coffee. And if you were expecting something Buffy related and received something non-Buffy related, you'd be disappointed too. Well, you would be if you were me.

Then the show began. "Once More With Feeling" is the title of the Buffy musical. The good people of the Grandin Theater showed the episode with captions, so we could, in fact, sing along. Good times. We were also given a number of objects that would make for a more exciting movie going experience. Along with a list of when and where to use the items. For example, a small monster finger puppet for a certain song; a small bottle of bubbles for a certain dance; etc. This is what I picture cult showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show being like.

I'll admit, I didn't participate in much of the audience participation. But I had fun. Usually, if I want to watch an old episode of Buffy, I have to put in a DVD and watch it alone. Kind of sad. But tonight, I found that there are several people in town with a common bond.