The Go-Go’s said it best…VACATION all I ever wanted

July 13, 2009

Stuff I Learned on Vacation 2009

(in no particular order…)


  1.  Guys who work retail at the airport are rude tools
  2. One can judge the age of any woman by how expensive her flip flops are (over heard on CTA Orange line).
  3. Reaffirmed that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is a kook.
  4. Riding MARTA one can purchase CDs or DVDs OR Cold water yet never leave the train.
  5. “MARTA SECURITY” is ironic.
  6. Age is fluid.
  7. Bridezillas come on all shapes and sizes.
  8. Michael Jackson is still dead…much like Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
  9. Mostly Marys eat at Hamburger Mary’s.
  10. is a GREAT website!
  11. There’s nothing much better than a Carolina Blonde and an Ashton Prime Minister!
  12. People are amazed about how much the like singing accapella. 
  13. Never assume an unknown man who wants to use your bathroom only plans to urinate. 
  14. I would buy almost anything if it were properly displayed at Unabridged Books. 
  15. Quitting is quitting even if you say it isn’t.
  16. Southern BBQ is better than BBQ from other regions of the country.
  17. I am so amused by Mark Sanford and John Ensign.  And I continue to listen for the voice of James Dobson on these matters.
  18. A Taste of Heaven bakery is a GREAT place to be at closing time.
  19. Flying on a holiday (ON THE DAY) is a great time to fly.

Palm Sunday Prayer

April 6, 2009

Today we wave our branches knowing that the festivities of this day lead through shadows, fear and death…and then to triumphant victory. Lord, we wander through the wilderness of our own forty…marking milestones, building our own altars fasting from the stuff of our lives and looking for the Promised Land. Help us Lord, to keep our eyes on Canaan – not distracted or discouraged. Help our fasting be a feast to our hearts and a glory to our souls. Our prayers are full of expectation and promise. As we look for your help and hope remind us too, to grow into your expectation and fulfill your promise for our lives.

Today, Lord let us have our palms remind us of the glory and power of Jesus. Let us see clearly today the cross of Jesus that looms before us. Then, let us see the promise of His resurrection and power.

Lord, I know that this prayer is laden with words…Lord, let these words sink into our beings and give our lives vision and intention.

In the strong name of Jesus, AMEN

Charlie Brown as Philosophy…

December 20, 2008

Great line from Charlie Brown Christmas…in the pantheon of great Christmas programs….Frieda says to Pigpen…”You’re an absolute mess.  Look at yourself!”  Makes me laugh every time!

It’s the Circle…

December 16, 2008
In downtown Indianapolis there is a monument to the soldiers and sailors of all the military conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War.  The monument is thus the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.  The monument sits in the middle of a circle – the circle designed to surround the Governor’s mansion – although an early first lady objected to the house as all of Indianapolis would see her wash on the line so the Governors of Indiana now live in a home in the historic Meridian Kessler neighborhood.  So, the street encircling the monument is called Monument Circle or “The Circle”.  Over the years as I have moved around the country I have had the following conversation…
Person: I was in Indianapolis this summer, nice city
Me: Thanks, it is clean and safe and pretty calm
Person:  What’s the name of that street that’s a circle?
Me:  The Circle
Person:  Yeah, what’s it called?
Me:  The Circle
Person:  Yeah, it’s a circle…goes around that statue
Me:  It’s the Circle
Abbott and Costello meet proud Hoosiers and their acquaintances! 
Anyway…On the Circle is the headquarters of Emmis Communication.  Emmis publishes many of the c ity magazines across the country including Indianapolis Monthly and Atlanta Magazine.  This month both publications published their “best of” edition.  So, I thought it would be fun (and in keeping with my list making) to come up with my own “best of” list for both cities.  Now, my list will pretty much not mirror either publication’s list.  These categories reflect my own life, sense and style…so here are my lists…
Best of Indianapolis
1.        Best Intersection – 49th and Pennsylvania – pizza, hardware, antiques, breakfast…
2.       Best waste of a Saturday – Midland Arts and Antiques Market – everything from outsider art to 1st edition Riley’s
3.       Best Local Restaurant – Illinois Street Food Emporium – the “Turkey Health” sandwich…YUM!
4.       Best Local Restaurant 2 – Shapiro’s Delicatessen – you cou ld easily be in New York or Chicago…o, and NO, they don’t serve ham
5.       Best Local Restaurant 3 – R Bistro – great food, chic atmosphere
6.       Best Hot Dog Stand – Big Dick’s Dogs (RIP Big Dick) seriously, delicious!
7.       Best Jazz Club – the Jazz Kitchen – intimate, smoky (although you can ’t), great acts
8.       Best Grocery – Atlas Supermarket (RIP Sid) – really everything you could ever need
9.       Best Institution of Higher Learning – Butler University – variety/diversity and Clowes Hall
10.   Best Shoe Store – Stout’s Shoes – The money baskets on the ceiling wire, the giant parrot…
11.   Best Pizza – (tie) Bazbeaux and Noble Roman’s
12.   Best Coffee Shop – (tie) Vic’s and Monon Coffee Co.
13.   Best Art Show – Broad Ripple Art Fair
14.   Best Local Celebrity – Don, of Don’s Guns….”I don’t want to make any money folks; I just love to sell guns.”
15.   Best Pro Sports Team – The Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts
16.   Best Play by Play Announcer – Bob Lamey  of the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts
17.   Best Museum – The Indiana State Museum
18.   Best Place for Men’s Stuff – Hardwicke’s Pipe and Tobacco – cigars, good pens, magazines, the 3 Stooges…what more could a man ask for?
19.   Best Name for a Place of Worship – The Joy of All Who Sorrow – that’s exactly what I want
20.   Best Historic Car Ad – Bob Catterson Buick – “Noooobody but nobody”
Sub winner – J E R R Y A L D E R M A N F O R D fifty-five hundrednorthkeystone…
21.   Best Institution that Seems Out of Place – Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art – an adobe structure in the middle of Indianapolis – incongruous…beautiful but incongruous
22.   Best Iconic Locale – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the awe factor is ali ve and well at 16th and Georgetown 365 days a year.
23.   Best Name for a Stretch of Highway – Kenneth “Baby face” Edmonds Freeway
24.   Best Hidden Cultural Gem – The Scottish Rite Cathedral – WOW seriously…
25.   Best Hidden Cultural Gem 2 – The auditorium of the Indiana War Memorial
26.   Best Piece of Public Art – Depew Fountain by A. Stirling Calder (yep, father of Alexander)
27.   Best Piece of Public Art 2 – Robert Indiana’s LOVE (iconic and ICONIC)
28.   Best Street – Massachusetts Avenue – Pink Ghetto to Artistic Excellence
29.   Best Irony – The location of a certain bar called Greg’s which is across the street from one of the Roaden’s first homes in Indianapolis – maybe you can come home
30.   Best Bike Ride – The Indianapolis Water Company Canal Path from Broad Ripple to downtown


I just don’t get it

November 17, 2008

As I ramble through life with its trouble and strife there are things I encounter from time-to-time that I don’t understand.  Sometimes it is due to lack of experience, sometimes lack of sense, sometimes and total absence of clarity about how something works, someone acts, a thing smells or folks say.  So…here’s a list…o you know I love the list…stuff I don’t get…


1.     The “pregnant man.”  Seriously, there is so much about this story that is unbelievable, inconceivable (pardon the pun), and just plain nutty (again, pun pardoning) that I just don’t get it.  A woman decided she was really – you know – born a man.   But before she had her gender “reassigned” she found herself impregnated through artificial insemination (her partner is a woman…) then had her breasts cut off…and somehow started growing facial hair (my mom’s friend Thelma has a thicker beard, by the way).  She then made the talk show circuit as the world’s first pregnant man.  Creepy!  O yeah…and now she’s pregnant again.  I don’t get it…

2.     H. Ross Perot.  I listened and I listened but…dang he never made a lick of sense to me.

3.     Folks in the south who order “ice water” in restaurants. So…somewhere they sell UN-iced water apparently…I’m sure it has something to do with the Civil War…it always does.

4.     The death of the hat.  Seriously, men, women, boys, girls…looked so GOOD in hats.

5.     Folks who eat mushrooms.  To me the mushroom is slick and tastes and smells like dirty socks.

6.     The “personality inventory” that put Jimmy Moore in league with Marilyn Monroe, Bobby Kennedy and Adolf Hitler.  That must be SOME profiling tool. 

7.      Cults, cult leaders, cult followers…Seriously, have you ever taken a look at Warren Jeffs (the LDS compound guy)?!  And the Amish (ok, so they get some credit due to the hats and the cheese)? 


The Summons

November 17, 2008

I cry like a baby every time…every single time…

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?  Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?  Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?


Change Has Come

November 12, 2008

•This week, I voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States.

•It was my eighth presidential election.

•It took me one hour to vote.

•The right to vote is a blessing and an honor.

•I watched coverage from CNN in my home.

•When Obama was elected I wept and then exulted with the good folks of Candler Park.

•I called my folks, Kim and Curtis, Randy and Mandy.

•Randy and I said “Hooray for William Jennings Bryan”!

•My hometown paper’s headline…The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said…HISTORIC WIN; the St. Petersburg Times…TIDE OF HOPE,

The Indianapolis Star…HISTORY, the Muncie Star-Press…


•In my lifetime man landed on the moon and a black man was elected President of the United States.

•When I saw Pennsylvania in the BLUE column I felt overwhelmed with joy and excitement!

•For the first time during a Presidential campaign I did not support the winner of the Democratic nomination from the beginning of the campaign.

•My favorite moment was when Barack walked onto the stage in Grant Park.

•And I laughed when saw folks around the country exulting!

•I was disappointed that Obama didn’t win Georgia, but thrilled that Indiana is BLUE!

•In five years it will be interesting to see the state of race relations in America.

•When my middle school kids are older their acceptance of differences will truly change America.

•When I look back on the election of 2008 I hope that I see that as the true turning of the tide in America!


Dream about the life we’re going to live in…

November 9, 2008

Growing up sometimes it seemed that the people, who lived in my house, were my classmates, went to my church and inhabited my neighborhood didn’t live the same life that I did.  At least the life I thought I was living.  There were lots of things about me that separated me from these folks – things they didn’t know what these things really were and many things I didn’t know or understand myself at the time.  In reflection I think that my folks knew more about my differences that they let on and their way of dealing with it was to make me be “in trouble.”  See I was a clean, nice, quiet little boy who reveled in his own fantasy life and lived, quite happily in the dreams and imaginations of his little boy mind. My mother, in particular was bothered by her clean, nice, quiet son.  You know, that dream life that I led probably saved me and kept me safe.


In so many ways the dream life of my childhood still guides my life today.  There are too many times when the life I am leading in my head and the life of my “real life” aren’t the same.  And maybe even yet today that fantasy life saves and protects me.  I like to think that’s true at least.


Many times the dreams that I had as a kid were about being a teacher or a king or a bus driver (so it seemed fun!)  However, one of the great fantasies in my childhood was hosting a talk show!!  So, when I was about ten or twelve I had my own show. No, it wasn’t on cable or broadcast on low level UHF channel or anything, matter of fact no one could see it but me.  But let me tell you – it was good…very good!  It originated from the broadcast capital of America…Crab Orchard, Kentucky in my grandparent’s front yard.  Their porch was the place where I did my opening monologue; their front yard lawn chairs the set.  My show was amazingly good – all the stars of the day wanted to appear on this show of shows.  One of the highlights and maybe the best part of my show was my co-host.  Indeed, that’s how full complete my fantasies were.  Me, a kid in Decatur Township Indiana had a talk show WITH a co-host.  And get this – who among the galaxy of starts was my co-hosr?  Well, Totie Fields, of course!  Yeah, you read that right……Totie Fields!  Johnny had Ed, Merv had Arthur Treacher…I had TOTIE FIELDS!  Totie was, in my mind, the funniest woman alive.  She was big and bawdy and told amazingly funny stories.  I loved her!  Lucky for me she was loyal to a fault to me – she never upstaged or sold me out (shhh – yes, I know I really didn’t know her or have a show).  I repaid her in kind…when I was on vacation – Totie was my guest host! 


Maybe one day the dreams of my life will indeed become my life.

A witness to history

November 5, 2008

Every morning, 180 mornings a year I lead the assembled at my school through a ritual of morning announcements, pledge to the flag, and moment of silent reflection.  Often during that time I also admonish, scold, cajole, congratulate and attempt to inspire an audience of middle schoolers.  Too often I know I am speaking only to me and to the other adults but I believe I have the obligation to address young folks on the issues of the day (whether those are school issues or the great issues of the larger community).  Today I had the good fortune to share with my middle schoolers words about the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.  Here is the text of the announcements on Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

You live in an extraordinary time.  Rarely in life do we truly get to say that we have seen history made – last night with the election of Barack Obama history was made!  Barack Obama’s victory also signals to all of us that our hopes, dreams and visions can come true. 


I want you to remember also the grace and honor of John McCain.  Take time to read and know his story.  He is a true American hero. 


With the morning has come the realization that there is work to be done.  Today we dedicate ourselves to this history-making event and challenge ourselves to fulfill our greatest promise, dream and hope








Maybe it’s just me

October 8, 2008

So for all who have inquired, wondered, thought about it or asked…here, in black and white Calibri print, for all to see…a sampling of the men whom I have encountered –


1.       Dude who wanted to do my nails

2.       Football coach wearing pink pantyhose

3.       Dr. who, in public, declared he wanted to “eat your c$%”

4.       Dude who wore worn out flannel, old dress shoes and smoked camels

5.       Sweet man with a side video porn business

6.       Dude who said “you’re not the kind of man I would date”

7.       Banker who saw the Target logo as a sex toy

8.       Teacher who asked at a restaurant “how do you do your mayonnaise”

9.       Stalker who had my photo all over his house

10.   Grave digging tarot card reading stalker

11.   Guy who said “I hate people and you love people”

12.   Musician who took off his shoes and socks upon entering the house

13.   Nurse who lived with a 6’4” lesbian

14.   Preacher who always bit me when he kissed me

15.   Businessman whose ex stalked me

16.   Hotelier who gave me a suite with food, flowers and Champaign

17.   West Virginian who dumped me in downtown Charleston

18.   Small legged man who hid me in his spare room

19.   Architect with the photo of his dead ex by the bed

20.   “Guidance Counselor” with the stolen car, borrowed condo and para-pro job

21.   Musician with blue streak in his hair and rotten teeth

22.   Cowboy with night terrors

23.   Short man who said over and over “I know we’re on the same page”

24.   Rugby player who was found at a Cantina holding hands with his “ex”

25.   Fund raiser with the mis-diagnosed disease

26.   Pianist who said sex was creepy

27.   Young guy who wanted to be hit with a paddle

28.   Bubba whose cover for being a player was being a bubba

29.   Local who couldn’t find his way home

30.   Monochromatic therapist

31.   Alabamian who thought it was all “great”


And you wonder why I am single…