Archive for December, 2009

31
Dec
09

I’m Queen of the World!

Just wanted to pop on in here and make my first change. Deke’s page banner: farewell (for now) as I take over temporarily.

From now until the end of next week faithful pink loving minions you are all mine!

Mwaaaaahhhh ha hahahah ha hah ahh ha ha!

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30
Dec
09

Vacation Time

I think it was more than a year ago  that I did this before, but I’m taking a week off the blog (officially, as opposed to my nearly weeklong absences lately due to simply not being able to work up the will to post).

OK, more than a week, actually. Because it’s quite likely I won’t post anymore this week, and sometime between now and the weekend, Miz Pink will take over. She assures me she will rant about something at least every other day for a week or so.

Ideally, I’ll come back with some renewed vigor and actually start posting reasonably deep thoughts, entertaining commentary on current events, and new installments of my novel.

Only time will tell. See you a little bit into the New Year.

Don’t do anything drastic while I’m gone, Miz Pink. I’ll still be peeking in to see what’s up.

25
Dec
09

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Yes, I know he probably wasn’t really born on this day. But it’s the day we’ve picked to celebrate his birth, and it’s the celebration of that, not the date itself, that’s important.

And in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, I re-post this gem that someone else posted, and that she got from someone else. Here’s hoping it goes seriously viral:

Happy Birthday to a radical, nonviolent, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (Matt 6:5), never anti-gay, non-english-speaking, long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, socialist, middle-eastern Jew. Jesus, you are my kinda guy.

22
Dec
09

King of the Road, Baby

So, I’m still not feeling any particularly burning theological discussions that I need to share right now…

I’m still trying to get my mind back into novel-writing mode…

So how about I yammer about general life again?

OK, I’ve got a new vehicle.

It’s an SUV.

I swore I’d never own an SUV.

Thing is that I like modest-sized, gas-efficient vehicles. My pride has never, ever been tied to my car or truck. I just don’t get caught up in that. If I have a reliable automobile that is ugly, I don’t give a damn what you think of me or what assumptions you want to make about my personality, lifestyle or social worth.

But Son of Blue is 6 feet, 3 inches tall. I have a little girl. I have a wife. I live in a state where people are constantly leaving great pieces of furniture and other household essentials on their curb with signs that say “free.” And we do our shopping in stock-up spurts.

As a result, I needed a bigger vehicle, for comfort and utility. For it truly sucks to buy a nice item at an electronics store or a used/consignment store, and then have to pay for delivery because my side doors and back seat won’t accommodate the item(s).

Since my grubby, fuel-efficient car was in its death throes, Mrs. Blue and I went car shopping. We were strongly leaning toward minvans for their utility, since neither of us wanted to make the leap to SUV ownership, since we see too many SUVs used like weapons on the road around here.

We were down to an 2003 SUV and a 2004 minivan, and while they both had nice features, the minivan had too much rust for my taste underneath.

So I own an SUV. I have resolved not to turn into an asshole and thus make it an “FUV” instead. But still, it’s odd having a vehicle that allows me to either look down on or look in the eye three-quarters of the other SUVs on the road.

I’m not liking the upcoming expense of keeping the tank filled, nor the guilt over petroleum consumption, but there are some nice things:

  • Being able to see where I’m going when I leave a parking spot, after an F-350 has parked on one side of me and a Navigator on the other.
  • Not having my scarf or the bottom of my coat getting caught in the bottom of the driver’s side door.
  • Being able to scoff at snow banks at the end of my driveway.

So, anyone else have to wrestle with the concept of buying a big gas-guzzling whale?

16
Dec
09

A New Me

Mrs. Blue would prefer that a “new me” somehow involve the sudden emergence of carpentry and/or automotive repair skills; the regrowth of my hair and return of my ponytail; and the development of serious “master of the universe”-style moneymaking ability.

But, for now, this will have to do:

For the record, this is the first time since I started wearing glasses in junior high (back in the 1980s) that I have worn any style other than wire-rimmed glasses.

What say you?

Chic geek?

Or otherwise?

14
Dec
09

Fire and Pain

Now how’s that for a provocative headline, eh? Probably going to talk about hell and damnation today, right?

Nah…

I don’t know how many of you are into metallurgy, but when you’re putting ores and additives through the process of making some metal or alloy of metals, as I understand it, you end up with something called dross. It’s kind of like the scum you get on top of the soup you’re cooking, except with metal, it’s a lot more important to scoop that crap off unless you want buildings falling down and cars falling apart.

So to refine metal, to get out its impurities, it has to go through the fire.

Nothing new there. Nor is it new to apply that philosophy to life. The bible talks about putting people through the metaphorical fire to make them into something stronger. It’s a philosophy that also exists outside religion: “No pain, no gain” and “You have to pay your dues” are just two examples.

Generations X and Y have been accused of laziness and complacency at times. It’s true and it isn’t. (I’m an X, by the way…nice to meet you). It’s said that we rely too much on our parents and that we aren’t willing to work responsibly or work hard.

The truth is more that the world changed, and X and Y got faced with entirely new economic dynamics and new rules that don’t always respond to the solutions that suited Baby Boomers and their immediate predecessors.

But in there is also some truth in the criticism, and I see it more the older I get. Members of Generations X and Y can be a bit quick to want recognition and reward, before they’ve proven themselves. They can be fabulously self-centered in ways that are distinct from the often self-absorbed and sometimes self-important Baby Boomers.

But one thing about the Baby Boomers is that they were able in many cases to achieve and build nest eggs and help their progeny get going in life. They may have been less religious and less dogmatic than their parents, but they still often saw value in religion and in seeking God.

I wonder, though, if the increasing way that people are distancing themselves from God, especially in the younger generations, has more to do with the way the world is going and the way we X’s and Y’s see the world. And perhaps less about reason and science making religion irrelevant.

You see, too often, we young-ish folks (if I can still call myself that at 41) want results with minimal work. We want answers and solutions now. We don’t want to wait on God. And so when God doesn’t respond to us immediately, and we look back at history and say, “why does he let this crap happen” we decide that He must not exist. Because if He won’t just give us what we want now, how could He?

Too many of us don’t value the notion that we are works in progress. That our time on this planet is less about getting what we want and more about learning lessons. It’s a lesson that even atheists should take to heart more often. Because particularly for those who don’t believe there is anything beyond this life, there is precious little time to grow up and make something useful out of oneself.

For those who are agnostic, or those who, like me, are in a faith walk with God, it’s time for us to realize that we are put through a fire. We are meant to feel pain. It’s terrible when some people have to live with almost nothing but pain and stress and misery, but we humans aren’t alone in that. We like to think we are, but we’re not.

Whether you want to credit evolution (genetic and social both) or God’s will…or a combination of the two…a pristine, trouble-free world isn’t the kind of world that will push us to become something stronger or smarter or more useful to ourselves and others.

Pain is necessary. Whether we like it or not, we must all pass through the fire, some of us more often than others.

We need to pay our dues. We need to see the value in that and make something good out of it in the end. Or at least as good as we can.

If we don’t, we remain children. We don’t grow. Not in this world, and not in God’s plan.

08
Dec
09

‘Tis the Season…to Consume

Yes, still procrastinating on the novel. Start a new chapter, reveal who’s gonna be taking over for Stavin, reveal her connection to Maree…then leave ya hanging for a couple weeks. Those of you still hangin’, that is. I’m snowed in tomorrow most likely, so might be a good time for some power writing.

In the meantime, I wanted to find out from y’all how you deal with the consumer/consumption aspect of this gift-giving season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Festivus, whatever).

Myself and Mrs. Blue, we’ve been trying to live a lot leaner, and not just because we’re short on income these days (though I have some hope of see things improve in terms of the size of my clientele soon). We’re also faced with a little girl who always wants, wants, wants. Little Girl Blue is delightful. She’s smart, perceptive, loving, kind, and many other positive things. But she also has some intense personality features that challenge my patience, and her desire to have so many things—which seems a bit more than the usual 4-year-old, Id-fueled level of desire—is one of those traits which drives me up a wall.

So, while I don’t desire to deny her gifts this season, the wife and I do want to accentuate the real reason we’re celebrating toward the end of December, and so I don’t want Christmas to be all about ripping paper off boxes and then forgetting about half the stuff she just opened after an hour has gone by.

What I think we are going to do is have a “9 Days of Christmas” kind of thing, with her opening 1 gift on Christmas Eve and then one each day thereafter, all the way to New Year’s Day. Given her number of gifts, once you factor in the ones from relatives, she may get to open two or three on Christmas Day.

Anyway, it seemed like a good way to make her appreciate the gifts more if she doesn’t have all of them piled around her feet all at once, while also playing up the season and the approach of the new year a bit more.

I don’t know…what do you think of that? And do you have any special plans to de-commercialize or redefine your approach to the holidays?




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

To find out more about me professionally, click here. To find out more about me generally, click here.

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You can reach Deacon Blue/Jeff Bouley at deaconbluemail@gmail.com.

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