the dance…

Had a flashback today… in my later high school years, I invited a girl I liked to go to one of the Significant Dances that my school sponsored – as opposed to the High Schools that make every dance a major event…

We had 2.

As I said, I liked the girl, but didn’t really have delusions of grandeur or thoughts that Somehow, Someway, she’d get the hots for me. I thought she was fun to hang out with. So I asked her to the dance.

We went in street clothes (vs. tuxedo & gown) to dinner at Two Guys from Italy on the corner of Moana & South Virginia (it’s gone now…) I thought Irish coffee sounded really good, so I ordered 2 – had no idea that it had whiskey in it. And the fool waiter brought them without even asking for or checking ID’s… with 2 refills each. I only found out that they had whiskey when my nose started feeling fuzzy, & the bill was $3 for each of the specialty drinks (true, inexpensive, but this was 1987. The Old Days.) I thought that a good time was had by all.

We went back to her place & changed into our specialty outfits… & went to the dance. And sat. Turns out, once we got TO the dance, she didn’t WANT to dance. Said her feet hurt. And she was tired. So she sat at a table & talked to her friends. Sigh.

I didn’t quite know what went wrong – she wouldn’t even get pictures to commemorate our great evening… I kept checking in about every 10 minutes to see if she changed her mind. She didn’t. It was rough. I had the distinct feeling that something else was going on, but she said it wasn’t me, it was her. Tired. Feet hurt. Etc.

I took her home about 90 minutes later, & our plan was to change our clothes out of the monkey suits into our street clothes, & then to go hang out with friends. (Meaning people that wanted to be sober, eat cool snax, & have lots of fun. Watch movies.) I changed my clothes, & waited for her in the living room for 15 minutes. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. 90 minutes. And waited. I passed the time by watching TV, but grew more & more impatient. Finally, her mom came out to get some water; she didn’t know I was there… (Mental picture that still haunts me.) She asked, “What are you doing?” I explained that I was waiting for her daughter to come out so we could resume our activities for the evening. She went into her daughters room, & came out immediately – embarrassed. Sheepish. She whispered, “I’m sorry. She went to bed.”

Hmm. Later on, I heard rumors from others on the stories that she had told about her “hellish, terrible night” out with me. How stupid I looked. How lame the evening was. How bad dinner was (of which she ate 3 courses…) But every time I asked her about it, she just said, “Oh, I was tired. My feet hurt.” Even though I knew that she was telling a different story to others.

I’ve often wondered why she didn’t deem me worthy of the truth that she so willingly told her friends: She didn’t really want to go out with me, but didn’t want to miss the dance. I was a means to an end. The truth would have been appreciated.


I’m on a diet. I know that the word “diet” is loaded with all kinds of meaning & baggage, but for me, it’s how I eat – & a specific food group that will become a part of my ‘food world.’ (My term probably. I like it for its descriptiveness… it speaks a lot of how small the actual pool of potential edibles is in my world.)

Anyway, over time, I have discovered that there are certain foods that don’t sit well in my belly. Dairy products. Like ice-cream. Mostly ice-cream. Milk. I end up with all kinds of negative side affects, which are better left undescribed. These only have kicked in over the last 3-5 years, so it’s not like I’ve been lactose intolerant my whole life, only to finally realize it. High sugar foods, like any good dessert – hot fudge, cheesecake, monkey bread, 6 layer double fudge cake, etc…, combined with high carbohydrate refined flours & sugars, cause me to have a near-catastrophic response in my blood sugar. And even if they didn’t, they left me feeling blah, sick to my stomach, & generally grumpus-like… all of this I had thought was just normal, par for the course response to food. You eat it, then you get this response. Turns out, not everybody has that kind of a deal with food. So, I modified my approach – if it doesn’t make me feel sick, angry, & doesn’t taste like dren…

A few years back, the Atkins Diet was all the rage. I was a few pounds heavier than my fighting weight, & my 30th birthday was fast approaching, so I thought I’d at least look into this ‘diet’ & see what it would entail… cutting out refined sugars & flours… avoiding trans fats… avoiding ‘high carbohydrate’ food… eating foods high in protein. Like meat. Sausages. Chicken. Pork. Meat. Did I mention meat? And good cheese. And I thought this was a diet. It sounded like my preferred means of nutrition. So I went ‘on’ the diet, & lost 35 pounds. The only things I missed eating were cookie dough, breakfast cereal (but milk was ok to miss) & the occasional dessert, like cake. Or ice-cream, which made me sick anyway. Some people were “Atkins haters” & some nutritionists said it was bad to eat that way, but my experience & my body told me a different story. And, yes, my cholesterol was measured at 141 – 70 for the ldl, 71 for the Hdl…

The next several years of my life involved eating what I referred to as a “modified Atkins’ meaning – I ate what I wanted, mostly high in protein, & low in refined sugars & flours. It was the ‘best’ time of life – where if I felt like eating something that wasn’t on the diet, I ate it, then resumed my regular routine.

Our church family went on 2 40 day fasts – not total fasts, but fasts that involved not eating meats or the ‘nice parts’ of meals – it was a part of something our denomination was doing at the time… so I participated, & in a short time, eating cereals, bagels, veggies, whole grains, & yogurt, had managed to put back on all the weight I had lost. Sigh.

Fast forward to May 16 of this year. I had been thinking about me & how I great I felt when I had been “Atkins-ing.” My pounds were still lurking, the residue of my 3 months (& then some) of special high-carb eating… I wanted them to go away – so I decided that for me, eating what I want in the manner I want was the way to go. So I’ve been doing the modified Atkins again since then, & the results have been what I expected. About 15 pounds gone. Feeling good in my body, soul, & mind. Enjoying the indulgence of life’s little pleasures like Spam, Flaming Hot Pork Skins, Louisiana Hot Links, broccoli, & Sharp Cheddar cheese.

I take vitamins. I work out 4x a week. I eat food that is high-protein/low carb, & I drink water like my life depends on it. (I know, I know. It does. But you get what I mean.) And my ‘diet’ is the way I want to eat. The way I feel best when I eat. And yes, I will occasionally mix in a dessert… It makes me think that for all the nutritional studies publishing what’s good, bad, & ugly for us to consume, there’s a lot of generalizations in those studies, & one of the best things we can do is find out what fuel our body likes best & functions best on…

But you can do what you like. I’m going to have a 2-egg Spam omelette with Taco Bell Fire Sauce & some great cheddar…

Friday fodder…

It’s Friday, 13 June… & I’m off today. So far, I laid on the couch (upstairs, then downstairs). Drank 3 cups of joe – the last one was a bit lukewarm… for some reason I wanted to spew it out of my mouth…made & ate a 2 egg omelette, w/fried Spam & Taco Bell sauce. A little slice of heaven.

Took the Subaru back to Brother’s house, & decided to run the 3.5 miles back home. At noon. It was hot… oops. First half of the lil jog I was lovin’ life. The last half, I was despairing of life. But, here I sit, a-typing, so I’m ok.

All day, been wrestling with my guts. They’re winning. The run helped. (Really!) But still, I think I’ll be parked on the couch for the rest of time.

Went to Costco to walk through w/the Bean, & something must be really, really wrong. She was ready to leave before I was. I think it’s just because she had a coffee date set up with Süße Sue. But, just in case, pray for me. Shopping is definitely out of the question.

I’ve got about 4 serious blogs circling my brain…

  • people pleasing.
  • Watching the organism called church changing (both locally & nationally) & feeling like I’m looking at a caterpillar caught halfway between stages in its morph towards a butterfly… & feeling like the church culture at large is hard to engage with… while at the same time, the morphed (morphing?) is too.
  • Adrenal fatigue, supplements, & other mind benders.
  • Small groups – specifically a Boundaries in Marriage small group – working through interpersonal relationships w/the context being marriage. I’m thinking of doing this in the Fall, & opening it up to marrieds & pre’s.
  • Diets – not so much the “Diet” to lose weight, but what we eat… & why we eat it. Esp. in the face of all the Evidence of the Right Way to eat, that ends up being contradicted shortly thereafter. What if a ‘diet’ for an individual human is just radically different than a ‘diet’ for another, w/the idea that everyone should eat/drink the same way should go the way of the dodo. Ok. That was 5. Sue me.

    Weepy again. Hmm.
  • weather…

    It’s raining. And cold. And windy. When I went out today, I wore my jacket.

    On Monday, it was 98, & I wore shorts, flip-flops, & a t-shirt & I stillroasted.

    Who’d a thunk it?

    Reno is a funny place for weather… I never cease to be amazed. Maybe by the 4th of July things will even out.

    Or not.

    Happy Memorial Day weekend! Enjoy the lake. Your BBQ’s. Fun in the (invisible) sun. I know I will.

    9 Mai – lifting

    Today we experienced a great lifting of the heaviness that I (& others) have been wrestling with for the last few days – it was obviously an opponent – the accompanying hopelessness, despair, & grief (w/o hope of an end) were telltale giveaways… as was the desire to separate & isolate ourselves & to pull away from relationship. My hosts had quite a time of it today – it even affected their puppy.

    I spent the afternoon with Claudius, a dear friend from TPLF – coffee & a sunny day by the shores of the Main River… Truly, this is the life. All I was missing was the Bean & it would have been perfect.

    I’m late to the next Round of Roundabout, so I’ll put a comma here & try to jump back in later –
    Many blessings to you


    …to CS Lewis, the guy in the picture, smoking his pipe. I love the way he communicates in his writings, without hesitating to move into the difficult areas of life. Pain. Failure. Temptation. Struggle. Hope. Joy.

    He has been an inspiration to me … And every journey through Narnia. The Sci-Fi Trilogy. Mere Christianity. The Problem of Pain. Surprised by Joy… Brings a bit of joy to me.


  • After further contemplating the contemplation post, Ben has decided to grace theMoses & I with his presence at the Abbey in April. Good times. Thanks for playing along Ben… we’ll be growing. Even the Bean is looking forward to me going. (Is there a theme here that I should be paying attention to?)

  • When it rains, it pours – the last 10 days have been gnarly in the news they’ve brought – & not Gnarly like the snowboarders throw it around, but gnarly like when I was a kid waaaaayyy back in the 80s… a recurring theme: friends & the burning out & falling apart, brought about by the Machine’s chewing up & spitting out…

  • Dancing? True – the Pasty Gangster went to the JA Dance last Saturday. With a real girl. And danced. We had to go to the place they ate dinner because ALL the parents were going to be overbearing micromanagers of their offspring’s attempts to hang with friends & real dates, (did I just say that out loud?) Errrr… What I meant is that all the parents went so that they could commemorate the stellar event through pictures. Very nice. Pasty cleans up well. The girl he took has a dad that snapped all the ‘formal’ pictures. He took 250 pictures in 20 minutes. That is truly awe-inspiring.

  • I wrote an article that ended up in our denominations quarterly publication… HERE. After seeing the finished (& edited) product for the first time since I sent it off to the editor, I initially had a difficult time determining if I’d really written it, as the word-processor of the editor seems to have been very active, sharp as a two-edged sword, dividing between… you get the idea. I’m not complaining – just really surprised at how different it looks :0

  • NEWSFLASH: Jesus was Jewish. And in the 1st century, lived in a Jewish culture, among Jewish people. And Jesus’ ministry, outlook, & actions are full of Jewish history, references, & information that can’t be separated from that Jewish context. (It’s true.)

  • Youtube means that anyone can be a Live Action Preacher Hero on the Internet TeeVee. Like this guy.
  • is it a social disorder? or am I just anti-social?

    Tonight is the Big Dinner – its a low-key event at our church building where people get together to eat dinner. Not a pot-luck – it’s BYOF – everyone brings their own food – what they’d be eating for dinner. We’re sitting “hof-brau” style at long tables, & just interacting with our family & with the others that are around us. My wife has been excited about this for, oh, a jillion years. The opportunity to eat, drink, & be merry with friends is exactly the sort of thing that floats her proverbial boat.

    But me, well, that’s a different story. The idea of sitting down & eating together scares me. Why? you might ask… I’m not quite sure.

    I’m not much for crowds – standing in line – getting stuck anywhere; I’ve been known to get a bit claustrophobic. I like to sit at the end of the table, because then I have at least one right/90degree angle in front of me. Somehow, that is comforting. I was trying to explain what my emotions & thoughts are on this topic to the Bean, theMoses, & Brother. I really like the idea of the Big Dinner & eating my own food. Of seeing friends. Making new ones… but the practical working out of it makes me feel a bit reclusive.

    However, in spite of the fear, I will be there. At the Big Dinner. Hopefully sitting on an end.

    Fisherman’s Friend…

    …are my friends too! They cut right through the crud in my throat like a hot knife through butta…

    Though I’m a bit froggy, there is enough voice to speak & be heard. Woo hoo. Thanks for your prayers.

    WARNING: Stop reading now if you’re easily grossed out – you’ve been warned.

    The coup d’grat was a Fisherman’s Friend, followed by a cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot, just like Jean Luc!) & a cough that dislodged a piece of hardened flem about the size of a quarter. I’ll leave any further descriptions to the imagination.

    taking the day…

    Friday is the day off for me – I’ve done well @ keeping this time set apart & sacred, not-for-work-stuff, even when I’ve been travelling (very hard to do) & during the holidays (when everyone else is home, also tough to do.) It has taken a good chunk of self-discipline & work to keep my ‘sabbath’ day.

    Today, the Bean spent the day with friends, shopping, & shuttling – the kids went to school, & stayed home. Putt-putted around. Ate leftover ribs (from T-Gizzle… yes.) Washed clothes. Folded laundry. Loaded & unloaded the dishwasher. Vacuumed (my favorite home task. I love the little lines left in the carpet.) I watched Magnum P.I. Sat quietly in my purple chair, thinking about why Jesus came…

    In my ponderings, the phrase “it was for freedom that Christ has set us free” has been running through my head… Freedom is why Jesus came.

    I’ll be making some coffee, kicking back on the famed purple chair & pondering some more, this time with my best girl ever with me. Hmmm. Life is good. And beautiful.