Archive for November, 2004|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2004 at 2:42 pm

a thanksgiving first

after our delicious dinner kellie and bonnie suggested that we watch a movie. the men in the house knew that this was a brazen ploy to distract our attention from halo 2, but we acquiesced anyway. after a bit of half-hearted deliberation, we decided to watch when harry met sally.

immediately following the infamous delicatessen scene, mikey, who is the king of non-sequiturs, looked directly at kellie and said, “kellie, have you ever faked an orgasm?”


In Uncategorized on November 26, 2004 at 7:08 pm

happy haiku friday!

the fallow fields

are re-enchanted by spring

drink equal exchange

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2004 at 3:25 pm

the wonders of pixie dust and the prince of peace

when i walked out the front door of cbd last tuesday i was delighted to see my friend elijah stick his head out of a waiting car’s window and offer me one of the sweetest smiles known to man. “mr. gentry! mr. gentry!” he repeated excitedly as i stuck my head in the window and asked for a kiss. after i greeted his mother elijah looked at me with instigating eyes and said, “is it time for wildboys?” then he started clapping and jumping up and down in the front seat until he cracked his forehead on the front windshield. i busted up immediately. due to his love for hockey, which results in multiple “body checks” every five minutes, and his irregular gait, which bears a striking resemblance to the sauntering of captain jack sparrow, elijah is well accustomed to sustaining such a hit. thus, he quickly laughed as well.

weekend before last, kevin and amy clark made their first visit to new england. i met k & a when i was a senior and college and kevin was a first year seminarian. after nine months together in lincoln geography tried its damnedest to divide us, but has constantly failed to succeed. thanks in large part to non-revenue tickets on AA and amy’s parents’ limitless hospitality our friendship has continued to deepen throughout the years. anyway, when k & a told me they were going to visit, i told them that they best bring new pictures of mayzie james, their one and a half year old daughter. otherwise, i threatened, their tour of new england might be limited to t.f. green airport. fortunately, they did better than that. they brought a video shot especially for us! on the video we got to watch our suddenly mop headed, precocious, pseudo-niece mimic the sound of animals. most of the animals were of the standard variety, but she also dealt us a wildcard. on kevin’s cue, mayzie ran around the living room, flitting in and out of camera range, while hissing like a little snake.

all of this to say that i love children. for this reason, among others, i was awestruck by finding neverland. the ability of j.m. barrie to not only to recognize, but also accentuate the wild-eyed wonder of a child, reminded me of Jesus’ amazing revelation that “unless you become like little children you will not see the Kingdom of God.” thanks to barrie, i once again realize that i need Christ to whisper a new word into my life that reminds me that existence is both more beautiful and terrible as well as more whimsical and unexpectedly orderly than i ever imagined. i need him to widen the narrow focus and task orientation that i have defined as “maturity” and reveal to me yet again that the world is indeed enchanted. when Christ chooses to whisper, i think his word might sound something like this:

“here is your life. you might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. here is the world. beautiful and terrible things will happen. don’t be afraid. I am with you. nothing can ever separate us. it’s for you I created the universe. I love you.” ~buechner, the alphabet of grace

to sum up: finding neverland. yeah, i kind of liked that movie.

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2004 at 6:19 pm

the requisite sappy, sentimental thanksgiving post

even in this season of drought i have a number of reasons to be thankful. currently, i am thankful for:

1. my wife. i wish i could count the number of times that i catch myself staring at kellie and asking myself why a woman of such penetrating intellect, subversive beauty and enduring, earthy faith would choose to join her life with mine. my love for her knows few bounds. you heard it right, few…i will never love the learning channel or queer eye for the straight guy and no amount of stickiness or filth will ever compel me to clean the ceramic tiles in the kitchen with a toothbrush.

2. my family. my grandfather is not only a man above reproach, he is my best friend. i am not the only one who thinks so highly of him. in twenty-seven years the only negative thing i have ever heard about him concerns his driving, which is, admittedly, hurtling towards the danger zone. my practical genius father and sacrificial servant mother provided me with an ozzie and harriet environment to grow up in (too bad they were saddled with an R-rated eddie haskell for a son), provided every educational opportunity that i could ever need and continue to be my best advocates. my brother is a bastard. but then again, so am i. he is one of the most creative and endearingly quirky people i have ever met. i could go on about my grandmother who is the most gentle, accepting person i have ever met and my cousins that i love dearly (yes, including chris and my cousin-once-removed brian). i also love my dog kate. who stood proudly beside me, between kellie and i and on the couch during our first wedding (we had two since i feared the first “didn’t take”). tomorrow will be my first thanksgiving away from my aunt beth’s wassail, my uncle’s smoked turkey and (thankfully) a smorgasbord of dallas cowboy’s football.

3. let go by the “frou frou’s.” this song is a sacrament that is reminding me of the value and the beauty of carrying around in my body the death of Jesus (2 cor. 4:10). thanks to you, “frou frous” i am being reminded that the way up is down and there is indeed “beauty in the breakdown.”

4. my strong, multi-faceted community. i once told a close friend that i often felt like a loose cannon. i had plenty of firepower and quite a bit of kick, but my shots were as unpredictable as they were dangerous. fortunately, over the past several years i have been bolted down by my beloved sinners and saints, my longsuffering sister regina, the comic troupe known as the clarks, my rufus lusting sidekick mark, my unparalleled spiritual director, blogging buddies all around the country and, though their threads should have been stripped by now, my loving wife and family. i thank God that i am no longer a loose cannon. now, if i could only get my barrel rebored…

5. my job. it isn’t challenging, requires healthy doses of hypocrisy and often makes me want to curse, but it also pays for my bills, enables me to work among friends, provides remarkable scheduling and includes a boss that is willing to put up with my shit.

of course i have a number of additional reasons to be thankful, but this will do for now.

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2004 at 6:59 pm

brushback pitches: hot-stove edition

now that i’ve burdened you with my spiritual struggles, let us turn to a discussion of my second religion: baseball (insert sound clip from the team america anthem here). these are just a few thoughts that are ricocheting through my mind right now.

  • shame on major league baseball for naming the washington team “the nationals.” they had the option to name the team after the washington “grays” of the negro league, thereby honoring a cherished past of baseball history and building the legend of josh gibson, but they chose instead to ride the wave of nationalistic frenzy that currently characterizes usamerica. hey, at least their colors aren’t red, white and blue. wait a second… shame on you mlb, shame on you!
  • speaking of mlb…one of the only upsides of a second bush term is that he won’t have the opportunity to seek the commissioner’s seat. here’s a guy who by most accounts wasn’t allowed to fiddle with the day to day operations of the texas rangers. and he wants to be commissioner of our national pastime? right. i’ll continue to do my best to quench my criticism of bush’s presidency, but if he ever attains the commissioner’s seat, the gloves are coming off.
  • i am glad that fans are finally realizing that sammy sosa is a childish whiner and all around mal-content. if a star player has problems with dusty baker, the prototypical player’s manager, you know something is seriously wrong. i hope that he either rots in chicago’s six hole or is shipped to flushing this winter. the new york post is probably one of the only organizations that is advocating the mets acquisition of sosa. think of the fodder.

  • speaking of whiny dominicans, if the sox end up falling for this transparent steinbrenner/pedro ploy and guarantee him three years at 40 million, they’re nuts. they would be much better served by spending the same money on pavano and a three man like radke/milton/lieber. count me among those who would be thrilled to see pedro go to the yankees. then we could unabashedly root for him to blow his cuff. (sidenote: if pedro includes the services of his dominican midget in his contract negotiations, my opinion might change).
  • espn reports that the cardinals are not sure that they will be able to land rj so they are going hard after eric milton. i find this news more than mildly disturbing. if they can’t get rj they should offer calero/haren/ankiel for hudson. assuming, of course, that they can get huddy to sign a contract extension before coming over. if our “big pickup” this off-season is milton, we are going to be left with a #2 guy, three #3 starters and a warm body in the #5 hole. that rotations will win a lot of games, but won’t take the series.
  • scott boras is one of the worst things to ever happen to baseball.
  • if someone can get alou to sign a 2 year/12 million kind of deal or even a 2/16 they are going to get one hell of a bargain. expect him to go to the giants, where he could provide adequate protection for #25.

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2004 at 2:14 pm

i am an unbeliever

i believe that you sent your Son among us, that he was born of a virgin, crucified for purposes both religious and political, and rose victorious three days later. i also believe that His death was the perfect sacrifice for our sin and a powerful invitation to enter the Kingdom that is now and not yet.

but i don’t believe that you are calling me to a cross. i don’t “always carry around in my body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might be revealed in my body” (ii cor. 4:10). so, instead of responding to your call and picking up the cross i pour my energy into trivial pursuits and set aside the cross in order to enjoy yet another hour of leisure.

i realize that it is meaningless to confess Christ with my tongue if i refuse to incarnate that confession. and i realize that a life of incarnation demands that i carry the cross.

Lord God, i want to believe in the call of Jesus. help me in my unbelief. through the agency of your Spirit, enable me to incarnate the confession i often repeat by choosing to pick up the cross. teach me how to carry the death of Jesus in my body so that he might be truly revealed in my life and in the life of my community. Jesus died so that others might live. please lead me down a similar path.

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2004 at 8:44 pm

an unexpected harvest

i am barren. the field of my heart, which once produced a sustainable, if not bountiful, crop now lies completely fallow.

due to the dearth of production i am tempted to despair. i regularly find myself standing on the edge of the field where i smoke camel lights, occasionally piss on the soil and try to discern what went wrong. has the acidity of disobedience tainted my soil for good? has the salt water of sin, which courses through my heart and steadily drips from my tongue rendered the field useless? or is the field merely awaiting the sharp blade of another plowman who can furrow deeper and plant more fertile seed?

answers are allusive. so, as my eyes well up with tears, i strike another match and light another camel. i realize that on the solitary fringe of my heart there is little solace to be found. yet, i am neither completely famished nor devoid of hope. for, during this barren period, i am able to subsist on the fruit of a larger field, of which i am merely a tenant. fortunately, the oddly misshapen and bruised fruit of that field has not failed to provide the sustenance that i need.

thank God for the misshapen, and wholly unexpected, produce of the larger field. after years of living solely off the fruit of my field, i am finally realizing that i am dependant upon other resources to survive.

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2004 at 3:25 pm

happy haiku friday!

confined in a cube

a monkey pushes buttons

then throws shit at rhys

note to the easily offended: i didn’t actually say shit. i merely spelled it.

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2004 at 9:29 pm


last night, after reading the sports guy’s links page more carefully, i realized that gary wayne rodgers committed suicide about a week ago. it is one thing to laugh at the living, but another to desecrate the memory of the dead. thus, this link has been removed.

for more quirky links, visit the sports guy page.

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2004 at 6:29 pm

to go, or not to go. that is the question

last week kevin and amy clark, two of my favorite people, came out to visit. between conversations that fluctuated from the absurd (including their tale of naughty middle schoolers who have been nicknamed “the fondeleros”) to the significant (including discussions of how our sociological and ecclesiological place influences our interpretation of the gospel as well as the particular method that my Dr. used to assess the state of my prostate) amy mentioned that she had recently attended her ten year high school reunion. i condescendingly asked her if she was joking and she assured me that she was not. apparently, she even geared up for this shindig by visiting that snotty little republic and sharpening her, already formidable, claws in preparation for engagements with long-time adversaries. i punctuated her story by teasing her about attending such a meaningless affair until kevin rose to her defense. apparently he is going to attend his reunion as well.

in an attempt to both empathize with their decisions and to develop an appropriate response to the reunion invitation that i will undoubtedly receive this spring, i have decided to weigh the pros and cons of attending the ten-year reunion of Bishop Kelley’s class of 1995.

first, since i am ever the optimist, i will consider the pros:

1. attending the reunion would provide an opportunity to key the h2s, lexus suvs and bmw3 series that the trust fund babies received from their parents.

2. after locating another marginalized, jaded soul we could play a game of plastic surgery “i spy.” i can picture the joy of this competition in my head…”i spy a rhinoplasty.” “i spy a britney job.” “i spy a bo-tox injection!”

3. the freshman baseball team from 1992 could gather together and tell inappropriate jokes about our pedophilia stained baseball skipper and baptist deacon, coach webber. my first joke, due to unexpected pangs of conscience, has been edited.

4. i could finally discover whether paul finally came all the way out of the closet and wrote the script for “angels in america” under an assumed name.

5. i could drink alcohol with my classmates without receiving an m.i.p. (minor in possession) and smoke within 50 feet of school grounds without being fined $100. however, using the lingering incense in the school chapel to cloak the meeting of the 420 club would probably still be prohibited.

now, and you knew they were coming, the cons:

1. most of my friends in high school weren’t in my class. in fact, most of them lived in canada…you wouldn’t know them.

2. i could avoid conversations about my vocation without being interrupted by comments like “you became a pastor?” “what is it like? some kind of cult?” to which my response would be that (1) God has a sense of humor and (2) the boston church of christ congregation i lead is not a cult. just kidding…God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

3. i don’t have a pink oxford shirt of pair of navy blue dockers in my wardrobe. furthermore, while i thought cowboy boots with slacks were the “bomb” in 1995, i wouldn’t be caught dead “duding up” now.

4. my failure to make the varsity baseball team is up near the top of my list of regrets. i can live without conversations about how i drilled fritz with 3 out of 5 batting practice pitches or about the time i got tossed out of edison field for using one of my favorite words.

5. i cannot endure another night of Bishop Kelley girls killing me softly with the blight on humanity that is known as karaoke. even if alcohol is involved…

at this point, i’m thinking that the cons outweigh the pros. but only time will tell how i will respond to that eagerly awaited invitation.

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