Wednesday, October 4, 2006

On this blog, I want to sound smart.

On this blog, I want to sound smart.

Therefore, I will use four words in this post included in the new book, 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart, compiled by the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries.

These words will appear in bold below.

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd say "hello" by writing one of my perfunctory blog entries.

Baseball season for the Astros has ended. Yes, we are EXTREMELY proud of them, and watching what happened the last ten games or so was nothing less than amazing. I started to think after the Pirates' series that they would actually pull this off at the end. No matter, they made a run that displayed the epitome of tenacity for the fans and the city of Houston.

No question about it: Astros baseball is fun.

By the way, I'm now a gospel songwriter. Listen to this chorus I jotted down sitting on my couch watching a game:

The Astros are my favorite team,
The Brewers are my second favorite team,
All this excitement make me wanna scream,
And I love Jesus, too
And I love Jesus, too

A little different, yes, but powerfully anointed. I practically got chill bumps singing it in the kitchen the other day. It's not quite "How Great is Our God," but it is catchy.

A well-written ditty is a panacea for the hardships caused by a baseball game that is not going your way.

What else? Hmmm. I did go see Unidentified. I enjoyed it. "Aliens" abduct mechanics and then apparently steal all the rear license plates from the cars at the shop where they work.

All kidding aside, I enjoyed the film, and it appeared the people in the theater with me did as well. Go see it if it's showing in your town.

The story does a pretty good job of explaining the UFO phenomenon from a spiritual point of view. There is a sequence toward the end in which a practical joke is played on someone (I won't be more specific in case you see it). This scene was done well.

I kept wanting to see an alien or two. I mean, Close Encounters wouldn't have been everything it was if those creatures hadn't come out of the spaceship at the end and played around with Richard Dreyfus (click here...remember this moment?).

As an aside: When my niece was a newborn, I joked that her head was shaped like "the head of one of the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind." My sister, the baby's mom, took offense but my niece's head seems to have returned to a normal shape in recent months. Praise God. She's just adorable.

O.K., back to what I was talking about...

My only disappointment was that Unidentified seemed -- and maybe I'm just being hypersensitive -- to portray a vast number of Texans in a strange way.

Was it just me, or did several of the characters in Texas leave you feeling like passing a third-grade entrance exam might have been a monumental achievement for them, or they were just a little off?

Waitress: "I went to Houston once. It was BIG!"

Abducted guy: "I saw somethin' out there and it wasn't no weather balloon."

I kept waiting for someone to pull out in a Cadillac with horns on the hood (with no license plate).

I'm just playing. It was good film. I enjoyed it.

Rebecca St. James was the only actor I recognized in this one. She plays the wife of a backslidden reporter. I thought she did a great job, although the part was small. She needs a bigger role.

Speaking of films, the LA Times ran a nice article a couple weeks ago that talked about Fox Faith and its decision to release about 15 films annually. Now that's what I'm talking about!

I'd like to read for a part in something, by the way. Maybe I can finagle my way into an audition with clever speech and a crafty blog entry?

CityFest Houston is next weekend. What I gather is this is a huge city outreach that resembles a rock show/extreme sports deal near downtown with Luis Palau. Stephen Baldwin is going to be there. I understand Chris Tomlin, BarlowGirl and Wynonna are playing Sunday night so that should be cool to say the least.

Go Texans! A nice win. A needed win. David played well. Mario had a great game and then he came out all happy and talkative at the press conference in his sharp purple pinstriped suit. Warrior!

How about some more Q&A's?

What is your favorite food?

I was born and raised in Houston, a very big city, and we eat LOTS of Mexican food around here. In fact, I've often wondered if I'm not part Hispanic I love Mexican food so much.

Favs are the original Ninfas on Navigation in Houston and The Original Mexican Cafe in Galveston O' Galveston.

I'm not sure if that's what you were asking. Did you mean my favorite type of food or my favorite food?

My favorite meal is probably a steak. A big ol' think, medium rare piece of beef with a baked potato with everything but the sour cream. You know what I'm talking about!

I love seafood, too. Check out the Kemah Boardwalk if you ever come to Houston.

What kind of movies do you like?

I like a good story, period. In general, I'm unlike a lot of males on this, I think. I often like what are termed "chick flicks." Basically, if two people are in love or married by the end, I'm often quite happy with it. Frequently I find myself agreeing with my friends' wives on a movie we should rent or go see, more often than my friends.

I really like to laugh at the movies. I like to feel inspired at the movies.

Aliens are O.K., too.

What are the last two CD's you got?

Chris Tomlin -- See the Morning
Casting Crowns -- Lifesong

Last book you read?

Why? Because You Are Anointed, by Bishop T.D. Jakes (WOW!! READ IT!!!)

I see you were in the military. Why did you join? Did you enjoy it?

I joined for love.

I was 19 or 20. She was 18. I was dating a young lady (my recollection is that wedding shower invitations had been mailed out) and her mother said we were too young and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. She was right.

Her mom also said the only way she would support the marriage idea was if I joined the military because we would have base housing, and medical care, and great benefits. She told us that was how her and husband had got married at a young age.

I didn't really have a career at the time. I was recently out of high school and had a semester or two of college, I think.

Joining the military was the last thing on planet Earth I wanted to do. I reluctantly enlisted in the United States Marines because my girl wanted me to. Then, on the eve of the longest "hump" or forced march in boot camp, I received the "Dear John" letter. It was well-written, just brimming with all the details of her wonderful new boyfriend.

So, there I was, head shaved, dressed in camouflage and combat boots sleeping on the ground in a pup tent at Camp Pendleton -- completely heartbroken. I barely slept that night. I was in the middle of boot camp and about to embark on four years of military service that I would have never committed to if it hadn't been for her.

Love is a many-splendored thing, my friends.

However, let me tell you in hindsight that joining the Marine Corps was probably the best decision (outside of my decision to follow Christ) I've ever made in my life.

It is such an incredible organization. I came out a different person than I went in, and I can honestly say some of best memories of my life were during those four years. I don't know if I've ever been more proud of myself than graduation day at MCRD San Diego.

And of course, my first stop when I arrived back in Houston on leave after graduation was my ex-girlfriend's full dress blues to show her what a mistake she had made by dumping me. :)

In truth, she hadn't made a mistake. This is a classic example of God using hardship or disappointment to steer someone. I needed the Corps, and I didn't need to be married at that time.

So, I guess that was a long explanation of how I ended up in the military, but I could talk for hours about my time in the Marines. Great, great time. I miss being around Marines, too.

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs!

More questions? Send them to me!

Sleepy. Goodnight everyone. Blessings.