Monday, September 29, 2014


There used to be a woman who went to my church that I couldn't stand. I'd never met her, never talked to her, and I don't think I'd ever even heard her voice, but week after week I could see her from where I sat and when I was on stage playing in the band, and she annoyed the crap out of me. I won't get into specifics, but there were certain things that she did that drove me nuts. I'm ashamed to say it, but by all accounts I hated her.

One day I was shopping for some jeans. I was in the Junior's section because girl jeans were in fashion for rock and rollers back then. From behind me I hear "Oh my gosh! You're the guitar guy!" Even though I'd been in a band for a while, being recognized in public was not a normal occurrence. I turned around to find the woman from church that I hated, and she was really excited to talk to me. She continued to tell me how much she loved my playing and always looked forward to when I was on stage. I smiled and thanked her and we had a nice conversation. She was really cool. She even helped me choose between two different pairs of girl jeans. When we finally said goodbye, I walked away feeling like the most terrible human being on the face of the earth for the way I'd judged her. Even thinking about it now makes me queasy.

I believe racism, misogyny, homophobia, and the rest of the extreme hatred in the world begins in a similar manner as my distaste for this woman: Snap judgments, assumptions, and escalating disdain based on little or no evidence, which is then projected upon everyone that fits a similar description and handed down from generation to generation. 

I also believe that if people took some time to get to know those they hated, they might just change their mind about them.

These were the girl jeans.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My opinion on opinions

I have a strategy for when it comes to sharing opinions. It's simple. I pretend that Mike Tyson is standing in front of me and holds the opposite opinion.

For example: "The iPhone is the best phone in the world and anyone who uses Android is an idiot" (when Mike Tyson absolutely loves his Android)...

My stated opinion quickly changes to "I like the iPhone."

Let's say Mike Tyson posts a video of his new puppy and I think it's ugly. In the comments I post 

"j***s f**k! that is one ugly a** dog" (This is an actual comment I copied off of youtube after pulling up the first "cute puppy" video I could find).

I very quickly do not post a comment (and somehow the world keeps turning).

I absolutely hold opinions that I'm willing to take a Mike Tyson punch for, but not many, and if an opinion isn't worth taking a punch for, I'm not doing the world a disservice by keeping it to myself. 

*If you (I'm hoping you're not Mike Tyson) would like to punch me for the opinion I have just shared, feel free to come to Mick Doyle's Gym in Omaha, NE to do so. But be forewarned, I punch back (unless you're Mike Tyson).

Monday, September 1, 2014


I woke up early this Labor Day morning to do yoga with my team, only to find that my car wouldn't start. Add this to the long list of annoyances that have occurred recently and it's easy to get frustrated. 

I feel like a car that's been driven a little too hard. A curb check here, a pothole there, another speed bump taken too quickly, and now my wheels no longer work together cooperatively. My steering wheel is shuddering, it's difficult to drive in a straight line, and the rubber on the tires is starting to wear thin. In times like these it's tempting to get down on myself. "You should be stronger than this," I think, but then I remember that life is like a car. Sometimes I've got to take it to the shop to get it realigned.

For me, realignment means getting consistent with my workouts, getting my diet back on track, reducing TV time, writing more, playing more music, getting back to church, and tackling some projects I've been procrastinating. I wish I was 100% consistent with these things, but in the same way there will never be a maintenance-free car, there will certainly never be a maintenance-free life.

Not my car.