#27. Lavatorical Loathing

Low-flow-toilet

We’ve all been there… If you haven’t, then there are two reasons. #1 – You’re just not old enough and lack the life experience, In which case, you have something to look forward to. Or #2 – you may have a medical condition that renders the following an “issue” for you. Hopefully this is just a psychological condition and not actually physical, because if it is physical, you need to see a doctor immediately or possibly pick up some Metamucil over your lunch break.

So it’s mid-morning and you “have to go.” No problem. The office has a very clean and comfortable selection of stalls to accommodate you. But just as you sit down, the office cleaning lady knocks on the door.

“Son-of-a-b*!@&.” (Your words, not mine.) I’m a little disappointed actually, but I understand your frustration. Now you feel rushed, and what’s worse, that knock on the door requires a response.

“Occupied.” That will hold her off for a couple minutes

*Knock – Knock*… Are you kidding me?… She literally knocked less than 30 seconds ago.

Of course another response is necessary. “Yeah.” That won’t satisfy her for long. Gotta wrap this thing up… Come on… I know she’s standing out there just waiting… There are three other men’s rooms in this building for crying out loud. Why doesn’t she just come back in 10 or 15 minutes? Go clean something else… We both know what’s going on in here… Help a brother out… This is a sacred thing that is happening… Some peace and quiet would be nice… I don’t need this stress right now…

*Knock – Knock*… OK, seriously? This is getting ridiculous! That was only one minute! No one has entered or exited the restroom. Obviously I’m still in here.

She needs some sort of audible reply… *toilet flush*… Dangit, now she thinks I’m done… I guess I can come back later, or maybe wait ‘til lunch… This is sooo annoying…

Do you worry in the water closet?

 

#26. Three Day Weekend

Memorialday2011

It’s finally here. It’s been a crazy week. I’ve been sick for most of it. Coughing and congestion. All of the fun stuff. I missed a few hours of work Monday and Tuesday, but it’s five o’clock on Friday, and I’m all caught up. Of course computer problems this afternoon threatened a deadline I was racing to meet, but a co-worker helped me out, and I was able to deliver on time. I thought this project would loom over me all weekend and creep into one of my coveted days off, but somehow completion was achieved, and stress is quickly decreasing.

This weekend has arrived not a moment too soon. Tomorrow will be a great time with friends while grilling beside a pool. And then it’s just me and the wife… and the Murph-man (our dog Murphy) for two days of unsheduled bliss. I forsee much rest and relaxation in my near future. I just hope I take time to remember the reason I’m so relaxed…

What are you doing this weekend?

#25. A Theory of Relativity

Relativity-formula

This week… On Theological Thursday…

The past couple weeks have been a nightmare trying to declutter my DVR. Life has been busy. Throw all of the extended season finales on top of that, and you’ve got your hands full. Well.. maybe you didn’t, but I did. So as I’m clearing my DVR, I’m beginning to feel some pressure being lifted. My friends that I hang out with once a week are saying good bye for the summer. Some of them are saying good bye forever (Smallville). What a relief! But they’ll be back in the fall. It will seem like no time has passed at all, and we’ll get right back to joking around and sharing all the drama that’s going on in our lives. Greg House. Man, I love that guy. A little bit eccentric, but who isn’t. And Meredith Grey. I sure hope Derek mans up, or what is she going to do with that baby all by herself?

But this brings me to my main topic. I’m sure you have no idea where I’m going after that intro. Or maybe you’re still thinking about little Baby Zola. Understandable. Television has a similar capability as books have concerning an idea that I’ve been kicking around recently. It may be more philosophical that theological, but it’s interesting to me nonetheless. I refer to it as “Temporal Relativity” or “Divine Temporal Suspension”. I haven’t been able to find much about this idea on the internet. I’m sure it’s out there. I don’t presume to be the first to have these thoughts. These are terms I’ve given to my thoughts concerning God’s perspective of time.

God exists outside of time. God exists outside of creation. The Bible clearly depicts God as an author, but he is an author who has chosen to interact with his writings. I created this metaphor to help me grasp the tension between what I believe are coexisting realities of election and free will. It seemed to me that everyone wants to pit the two against each other when there is an abundance of scriptural evidence for both. I never understood why the only two options were to argue one of the sides ‘til you were blue in the face or throw your hands up in indifference while declaring that it doesn’t really matter. Why can these two truths not be reconciled into a picture that makes sense to a person with even the most basic of belief?

So let’s try this… God is a writer. He has written a book. He knows every intimate detail and chooses to interact personally with each character (you and me). He wrote the beginning, the middle and the end. His will is the flow and theme of the story. The story is redemption. The main character is Christ. But God calls us to pray and petition. Does this change the story? Good question. What about the decisions we make? Can we mess up God’s plan? Here is how I think about it: If I were writing a book, and someone gave me some compelling and constructive criticism about one piece of the story, it is still my choice whether to change that small piece, and if I do change it, then it still fits into my story. The beginning, middle and end have not changed. Will the change cause far reaching ripples that affect every other character, provoking countless hours of editing my manuscript? Maybe. Maybe not. Ever seen the Adjustment Bureau? That’s definitely another post. The fact remains that the great meta-narrative is God creating; man sinning and fracturing what was perfect; Christ living perfectly, dying for our sins and rising from the dead to justify us before a Holy God. And now we are waiting for Him to return, to reconcile all of creation to Himself. Don’t miss this next part though… The story is most definitely about Christ. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s not about our microscopic bit pieces we play. It’s about an infinite, sovereign and righteous God who has chosen to make our insignificance significant because of his love, mercy and amazing grace.

So maybe this is a terrible metaphor. Maybe it helps you. Maybe it doesn’t. But I hope you know the story. Even more, I hope you know the Author.

Can I get an AMEN!?

 

#24. Obligations

No-time-to-work-out21

I decided not to post today, because I basically ran out of time, and who wants to waste their time reading some trivial tidbit of the blogosphere that had minimal thought and creativity tossed onto the screen of a self-important introvert with hardly anything to say of substance or relevance or any other word meaning consequential?

Well… I suppose you do.

It was a busy day at work. Then I rushed home to have dinner with my wife. Followed that up with Coppell Men’s Prayer Night and then watched the Mavericks win the Western Conference Finals! I didn’t want this post to just be some sort of obligatory onus. (Onus… what a sweet word!… I need to use that more often.) So that’s why I’m not writing right now. I just don’t need the pressure. I have to be able to show myself some grace once in a while, even if it means forcing you to show me grace in the process. Forced grace? Sounds like a topic for Thursday…

#23. will.i.am.not

Will_i_am_172126090

I confess that I do not know much about will.i.am. I know that he is the most popular member of the Black Eyed Peas not named Fergie, but I’m not really sure where he came up with his name. His given name, of course, was William, so apparently just throwing in some random punctuation can create a more artistic and compelling identity. Somehow I don’t think that will ever work for me. I don’t see ga.r.rett (Gay are Rett) launching me into public stardom. On second thought, if it did catch on and became a cultural phenomenon, I’d be a little annoyed… not because I’m a homo-phobe or because I’m not a happy person or even because I wouldn’t appreciate the irony of using my newly found soap box to subtly and sarcastically present tidbits of the Gospel to the LBGT community. It’s simply because… well, actually… that last one is a bit tempting. But nonetheless, I am not a homosexual, and I am much too pessimistic to fully embrace ga.r.rett as my new moniker.

So back to will.i.am. My main concern comes down to verb tense. Since I don’t spend that much time around him or talking directly to him, I’m not sure what proper protocol is. Is it acceptable when talking amongst common friends, you refer to him as will.he.is? If you are addressing him face-to-face, is it permissible to throw out will.u.r or will.u.b? If for some reason I ever meet him, we become BFFs and I end up eulogizing him at his funeral, I will probably speak mostly about will.he.was. I wish we could have had just a few more years together. He had such a tender heart. And oh, how he loved to sing. Life is just so short.

Who would you like to eulogize?

 

#22. It’s Been a While…

Texas-flag-map

Five years ago, Monday, May 22, 2006, I began an internship with TAC (Tour Andover Controls), now Schneider Electric. My mom is fond of telling the story, as we were checking out the Dallas area, how I was adamant that I would not end up in Texas after graduation in December. I was obviously quite wrong. I didn’t have anything against Texas, but I had no family in the area, and I had always pictured myself ending up in either St. Louis or Kansas City. Over the last four years, Coppell has slowly started becoming home. I enjoy spending time reflecting on the past. It’s humbling and encouraging all at the same time. It is amazing to look at my former self and see an abundance of pride in the midst of deep ignorance, but then I also get to see how much I’ve grown spiritually, emotionally & hopefully not too much physically.

Speaking of an abundance of pride… I finished out our mini meals on Saturday. Brunch consisted of Breakfast Cups w/ bananas. Toast, bacon, egg & cheese: Delicious!

Breakfast_cups

Where did you think you would be five years ago?

 

#21. Zebra vs. The World (Another Shameless Plug)

Lion-zebra-attack

I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart, both figuratively and literally. I carry this everywhere I go, and if it’s not in my shirt or pants pocket, it’s clipped between buttons on my shirt. I’ve been promoting this product for years, but today, here on Song of Sloman, I’d like to officially offer my complete and public endorsement as well as thank my grandfather, Nelvin Sloman, for the Zebra F-301 Retractable Blue Ink 0.7 mm Ball Point Pen and all the joy that it has brought to my life.

 

Zebra_pen

I spent much of my high school and college career searching for the perfect writing utensil. I feel that it is safe to say I became somewhat of an aficionado when it comes to stylographical sticks. While I admittedly had long-time affairs with products from Uni-ball as well as Pilot, I was always left feeling empty inside, like there was something better, something more. Sure those slick rolling gel-pens provide ample ink to the page, but their wells are dry and void in less time than it takes the United States Postal Service to ship an iPhone to rural Russia. (About one month) And what about precision? You know that globby goopy stuff is always on the verge of puddling on your pristine paper, just waiting bleed right through, contaminating layer after layer of precious papyrus. Oh, you don’t use papyrus? Wow, color me embarrassed. I did not mean to imply you were in some inferior class, that you are some kind of second rate citizen, because you use a generic brand of three-hole punched, kindergarten-esque, wide-ruled filler. Have some self respect! At the very least, invest in a low-end Moleskine journal.

Thanks so much for bringing that up by the way. You make a great point. The Zebra F-301 pairs perfectly with a Moleskine. Go get yours today, and start writing. You’ll be so glad you did, and don’t worry about thanking me for vastly improving your quality of life. I knew that would happen.

What office supplies are you obsessed with?

 

#20. The Reality of Grace

Grace

I spent the last couple days racking my brain on how I would tie Wednesday night’s micro-meal into a Theological Thursday post. I finally came up with a great idea about how my breakfast-for-dinner was out of place because you usually eat breakfast as the sun is coming up. Of course you can see where I would easily insert a pun about the Son coming up, a la the resurrection, and all of a sudden I’m off and running into a fabulous post about the saving grace of Jesus.

But last night a different, but just as miraculous, kind of grace was offered up. My loving wife suggested we use a gift certificate she was given to partake of chips and queso and fajitas of the highest quality at our favorite Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Sanctuary. (I know… Tequila Sanctuary? Really? I’m appalled! This seemed slightly sacrilegious to me as well, but hey, it’s on their sign.) Being the sensitive husband I am, I took no offense to my nano-nutriments, but instead seized the opportunity as a much needed vacation from my oven and apron.

Grace comes in so many varying forms and intensities, yet I always find myself drawn to it. The Gospel is the greatest story of grace ever told. In my quiet time, I notice that I gravitate to the chapters and verses of the Bible that clearly proclaim that story. This morning I was amazed by the rich content that saturates the fifth chapter of 2 Corinthians. I encourage you to read all twenty one verses, but the last one sums it up so well. “21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Amen!

How have you extended or received grace lately?

 

#19. Let’s Go Mavs!

Mavsvsthunder

Last night I had an incredible opportunity to attend Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. The Dallas Mavericks began a best of seven series against our neighbors to the north, the Oklahoma City Thunder. I had resigned myself to the fact that after unsuccessful attempts at purchasing nose-bleed seats last Wednesday, I would be relegated to the comfort of my own home and watching my beloved Mavs compete on my beautiful 46” Samsung LCD TV. (Just to pre-empt the potential Jesus Jukers out there… I hold my TV very loosely.)

But I was predestined to cheer from a different seat. Monday morning I got a text from one of my brother-in-law’s college buddies who had stayed with us over their Spring Break this year. His best friend from high school happens to be Cole Aldrich, a player for the Thunder. He said he would be flying down to Dallas to take in games 1 and 2 and that he had an extra ticket with my name on it. Of course I immediately offered to let him stay with us and coordinated what time he would require my chauffer services to and from the airport. So last night we got to watch a great game down at the American Airlines Center with great seats amongst the Thunder faithful. (This turned out to be awesome since no one around me wanted their free Mavs Playoff t-shirt, so I got extras.) We even had floor passes for after the game. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for my for my friend, the Mavericks won the ball game. My benefactor, Ellis, was really a great sport though and even let me wear my Mavs gear & clap for the Mavericks softly.

Colealdrich

Speaking of softly, a lot of people said the Mavericks were soft. After running through Portland and sweeping the Lakers, I don’t think anyone is going to be accusing the Mavs of being afraid… of being scared… of being chicken.

Speaking of chicken, last night was night number two of me making dinner this week. Sticking with the petite them that I introduced last night, I present to you Miniature Chicken Pot Pies.

Pot_pie

(Dang… I’m good! From free tickets to Chicken Pot Pie in just three short paragraphs. Are you kidding me? I should be an all-time competitor (like an Iron Chef) on a new game show based on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. (Speaking of bacon, that would have been a lot easier. Bacon to chicken. I could have used some sort of breakfast story with bacon and eggs, and then I’d say something about what came first, the chicken or the egg, and there you have it. (But I digress from my digression)) That would be such a sweet show, and maybe Kevin Bacon could even host it.) (I’m pretty sure I lost track of how deep my parenthetical and apparently paragraphical statements went, so I’ll use this one to get me back on track.)

Kevinbacon

Anyway, great night last night. A great game. Great Mini Pot Pies. (Shout out to Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough.) And a great new game show idea. I’d call this a successful post.

What great game show ideas have you had?

 

#18. The End of an Era

Smallville-logo

This past Friday brought about the conclusion of Smallville. It has been bitter-sweet. I am both proud and embarrassed to say that I watched every episode since the very first season starting in the Fall of 2001 (my freshmen year of college). Thanks to the advent of the DVR during the past 10 years, I was able to view the finale posthumously yesterday. I have to admit, I am even more relieved that the series is over than I am sad. Smallville had become a ball and chain representing a ridiculous investment of time and energy that I could not exorcise from my entertainment soul.

But even with all of the emotional baggage, there also exists significant memories tied mostly to college. The first two years of college meant that every Thursday night about 20 people would crowd around the big screen TV in the basement of the Christian Campus House. My roommate and I would take turns using our meal plan points to pay for a large Papa Johns Pizza which our teenage metabolism demolished like a champ.

Papa-johns-pizza_logo

And here is the brilliant segue you’ve been waiting for:Since I am cooking dinner this week, last night I prepared mini-pizzas. This is not your typical personal pan from Pizza Hut. This is a micro-masterpiece created from scratch and molded in the confines of a muffin tin. Boom!… Roasted!

Mini_pizza

From Smallville to college to pizza to last night’s dinner. You doubted it could be done. But THAT just happened.

What TV shows are you embarrassed that you watch?