Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Party in the U.S.A. in the style of James Earl Jones

An unlikely title at best.

I was going to do PITUSA by Miley Cyrus on my ukulele for YL club during "Silly Songs with Steve" on Monday. I'm still going to. Last week however, two of my friends (both named Maddie) were talking in deep voices rather hilariously, and that got me thinking about how I might make this song sillier.

Enjoy? That may be impossible. Either way, here it is:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I hope you make sense


Go out and do. Life is a series of moments where you decide to do or not do things, to be or not be the person that makes sense. How that sense works out comes from how God designed us, or to our collection of genes and environment (I would say the two are not mutually exclusive!).

You are the sum of calculations and feelings that have led you to be exactly where you are right now. This is not some kind of self-help idea--my point is that you get to be exactly who/what you choose.

Some will try to stop you. Society will try to stop you: "You're black, you're a woman, you're poor, you're not 'enough' of this or that."

I just want to encourage the pursuit of harebrained ideas and directions, because frankly right now my life seems like a harebrained idea, and I love it. It's exactly what I want it to be. My people love me and I love them. I get to do things that give me life, and watch my friends and family do the things that give them life as well.

Take care of the big ideas and take care of the small details--your life is both.

And if it's not working out, good, I know the feeling. Here's a pic that didn't work out: I took a bunch of un-flattering photos of myself just after I woke up, for the period of a week last year. Enjoy.
Nothing made sense then. It's not always going to. Go out and do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Remembering Grandpa Split

I remember Grandpa for his handshakes.

I remember his firm grasp and smile when he greeted his grandsons--he shook our hands like we were men, even when we were yet boys; I remember him insisting on grizzled face kisses from his granddaughters.

I remember Grandpa for his sounds before and during sleeping, during and after eating, and for the Homeric voicemails he left. Grandpa's style of communication, verbal or otherwise, was unique and unfiltered, much to the consternation or delight of our family.

I learned from Grandpa too--I learned what pickle juice tastes like, and that I don't completely dislike it. I learned the value of saving, and by contrast how important it is to be judicious.

Grandpa lived his life confident in many things. His confidence wasn't arrogant--it displayed the logic and belief in his mind about everything from politics to faith and love. Grandpa's surety could be affirming or it could be maddening, but it was sincere and it came from the same place--even if you didn't agree with him, you could be sure he was being straight with you.

As his grandson, I was always sure that he loved me. He loved doing things with us--making things out of wood, going fishing off docks and in a boat that barely deserves the name. Say what you want about that boat, but it wasn't wasted, and we were never in want of one to use--Grandpa made do with what he had.

There was never a lack of material that couldn't be made up for in work or scrounging. The fruits of that labor stand tall, melodically and well oiled in the homes of his children. Grandpa loved us best through his labors. He knew best how to communicate his love for his family in the works of his hands and his deeds. Grandpa passed that on to his son and daughters and to his grandchildren--his and Grandma's legacy is in our giving and thoughtful hearts. In a family that loves spending time together and doing things with and for each other.

Grandpa and Grandma did it together.
It was the best thing he could do--it's the best thing any of us can do.

I wrote about Grandpa before, here.
And he describes his clocks here:

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Silly songz

In prep for a skit during club in a few weeks I was practicing and revising the chords/words of Jon Cozart's 'After Ever After.'

This is that:

Expect more silly songs to come (and be included in my 'Swear with your Friends' album). No swearing plx.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Office overheard: privilege checking

A snippet of after lunch conversation:
T: "If you're a white male, heterosexual don't stand a chance.  Everybody's got it in for you.  Everybody's got a cause but us.  Everybody's gunning for us."
D: "I think I'm going to be bi...just because."
T: "Every time I see Michelle Obama...I think of 'Planet of the Apes.'  She is the spitting image of a gorilla."
[They went on to praise Ben Carson for a while...redemption?  I think not.]

The above quotes are upsetting.  They are normal to hear.  In my office, I hear them.  I want to say something that will make the ears on these men burn.  Would it matter?  What worries me is that it wouldn't.  What worries me most is that I won't.

Life and stats

The postdoc I taught with told me once that statistics let us tell people how much we're lying...and that they can be used to lie about how much we're lying.

His statement might be ± anecdotal, but I think it holds.

So, here's to lives dictated by P.