Oct 30, 2010


Last Sunday we were down in Orlando and attended our old church.  It was great to be able to see our friends from before the Tallahassee relocation.  And I also enjoyed being in the service.  It is a different style of preaching and worship than what we experience up here every Sunday.  Sometimes it is good to go to a different church every so often - it kind of jars you out of complacency.

Anyway, during the sermon, Pastor Byron was talking about The Transfiguration story from Matthew 17 (and Mark 9 and Luke 9).  The story itself wasn't what hit me.  During the story at one point, God speaks down from Heaven and says, "This is my beloved Son..."  Byron went on to explain that beloved means "priceless and unique."  When he said that, I started thinking about that word.

My name means "Beloved of God."  I like my name - always have.  I know some kids imagine changing their name.  But I like my name.  I don't like shortening it to Dave or anything.  I think part of that is the association with King David in the Bible - one of my favorite characters.  And part of it is that I learned what my name meant very early on in life.  When your name means something like "beloved of God," it is hard to think it needs changed.  I mean, can you get better than that?  I can understand if your name meant something dumb.  But I like my meaning.

Hearing that beloved means priceless and unique, really struck home.  I am priceless to God.  I am unique to Him.  I started thinking.  Over the years in the church, I have heard so many sermons and lessons about how we are these small weak things.  Pastors almost go over the top to establish the fact that we are pathetic.  We have nothing worthwhile to offer.  We are almost like scum.  God's bigness is talked about a lot - from Francis Chan to Louie Giglio.  In addition, God doesn't need us.  He will see His plan realized with our without us.

There is truth in this.  Paul calls us worms and talks about how our goodness is like wound wrappings.  But that doesn't really take into account how God treats us.  Look at Creation.  God doesn't lump people in with everything else - just another cog in the universe.  We are special.  We are the only creature that God wanted to have a relationship with.  We are the only ones Christ died for.  God does see us as priceless and special.  He loves us and desires to be with us.  Isn't that amazing?

I know there are some people who have trouble believing in God.  I never really have.  I mena, just look around.  It is pretty hard to believe that this incredible world just randomly popped up.  The reality of God, to me, is not a hard concept.  The thing that really is hard to wrap my mind around is the fact that this Creator of the Universe, this huge massive God, wants me to spend time with Him.  He wants me to talk to Him and pray to Him and sing songs to Him.  That is just bizarre.

Take President Obama.  I don't give a warbling hoot what you feel politically, if the President were to call you, it would blow your mind.  Now imagine this President kept on calling you, emailing you, sending you presents.  The "leader of the free world" wants to spend time with you - just some random person.  Things like that just don't happen.  God wanting to do that is even more unbelievable.  But that is exactly what He does.

He sees me as priceless and unique.  Yes, there are other people with similar skill sets and personalities.  But there is no one else exactly like me.  My combination of talents, gifts, passions, dislikes, experiences, opinions, friends, history, family, decisions make me completely different than anyone on this planet.  My wife and I are very close.  We spend a ton of time together and have more than ten years of marriage in our history.  But look at how different we are.  I mean, we only have 269 friends in common on Facebook.  That's a lot, but that means we both have almost 400 people different.  Even twins have a long list of things that make them different - even if the only difference was their own perspective on shared history.

God made me for a unique purpose.  He has a relationship with me.  I'm not some worthless weasel that has ingratiated himself to a ruler.  He chased me.  He called me.  He wants to work with me and use me. And He made me in such a way that I will have an impact on my world that no one else can have.  I am His beloved - his priceless and unique one.

I don't know about you, but there are definitely days when that thought makes all the difference.  You may have an exciting life with high stakes meetings and million dollar negotiations.  But for right now, most of my days are spent trying to manage three kids in tiny apartment and not get overrun with dishes, toys, and laundry - all while staying sane and controlled.  That is hardly something that would draw the attention of a big shot, let alone God.  To know that even in this place in life, when it is easy to feel useless and alone, God Himself looks down and sees me as a priceless and unique part of His heart.  That's one heck of a name to have.

Oct 18, 2010

Calling College Football Fans: Get on Board!

The first BCS rankings came out on Sunday night.  As expected, they are stupid.  This is normal, though.  In fact, it would be disappointing if they were anything else.  It is something we have come to rely on: the sun rises and sets, the seasons pass, the BCS is stupid.  It is one of the worst ideas EVER in sports.  I'm serious.  If you were to rank the dumbest sports ideas, what would you rank?  I don't know the exact order, but they would have to include the following, right?
  • Drafting Ryan Leaf #2
  • LeBron's "The Decision"
  • Michael Jordan playing Baseball
  • The Detroit Lions
  • Brian Bosworth
It is undeniably disappointing. And the thing is, there really is no one to defend it except the executives in charge of it and the college presidents.  Everyone else wishes it would crawl into a hole and die.  Fans, players, coaches, announcers, sports "experts," the President of the United States, Joe the Hobo.  Everyone hates it.  I think that what makes it even more atrocious is that it is the handiwork of the NCAA - the same people who have the BEST postseason process.  Of course, I'm talking about the NCAA basketball tournament.  March Madness.  The upsets.  The pageantry.  The brackets.  Even people who don't give a rip roaring rocket about sports follow March Madness.  So, with football - the cash cow and biggest sport in the land - the NCAA relies on some convoluted system of math formulas and makes sure the best teams are NOT playing.

How hard would it be to make a tournament for football?  It wouldn't.  Take the top eight teams and have them play in the Cotton, Citrus, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls.  Then the next round, have the winners play in the Sugar and Orange.  Then the championship is in the Rose Bowl.  No conference guarantees.  If that won't fly, then expand it to a sixteen team field.  Give the ACC, Pac10, Big10, Big12, Big East, and SEC their spots and then take the next 10 highest ranked teams.  (I think if your conference champion isn't in the top 16, you shouldn't get a seat at the table.  But I'm willing to compromise.)  Have the first eight games take place in the Outback, Holiday, Aloha, Humanitarian, Liberty, Tangerine, Gator, and Motor City Bowls - to spread it around the country.  The other bowls can still be played with the teams left out of the tournament.  (Bonus Result - no more 6-5 or 6-6 teams getting to the postseason.)  How hard is this?  It isn't.  It makes perfect sense.  Like I said, no one is defending the BCS process.  You hate it.  I hate it.  That is why there is one things that must be done, and I need your help.  For this one year, put aside your team allegiances and root for the matchup that MUST happen.

Boise State vs TCU for the National Title.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right.  But, let's face it.  Your team is probably either A) already out of the running, B) not a part of a big conference so it never had a chance, or C) going to lose or get screwed by the BCS.  Auburn Fan - I know you are hoping this year will be your year.  But you don't realize there is actually a formula in the BCS that guarantees you will NEVER WIN.  This is the best year.  USC is on probation.  Texas sucks.  So does Florida.  Ohio State and Alabama were kind enough to already choke.  The ACC is horrible this year.  The SEC can't play defense.  So, let's bind together and root for the Broncos and Horned Frogs to square off in Glendale, Arizona.

It HAS TO happen.  You're right.  They are NOT the best two teams in the country.  In the SEC, TCU would go 6-6.  In the PAC-10, Boise State would end up 8-4.  But that just goes to show how stupid the BCS is.  Two teams like that should NEVER be in the title game.  But, the BCS itself can guarantee that.  Here's the deal.  There are lots of protections build into the BCS to assure that only the major conferences will ever have a chance at BCS happiness.  If you are in a smaller conference, you have to finish in the Top 12 to be considered.  You have to finish in the Top 6 to be guaranteed a spot - unless there are two non-BCS teams in the Top 6.  Then the second one can go fly a kite.

BUT, there is a way.  It is in the BCS contract that the title MUST BE the teams ranked one and two.  There is no way around the rule.  So, if Boise State is #1 and TCU is #2, there is no way around it.  They are the title game participants.  This would be a-MAY-zing!  The game would have the lowest ratings for a title game since BYU clinched the top spot with their sterling win the Holiday Bowl.  It would be a disaster.  The game would sell out because it is being played out west.  TCU and BSU have fan bases that travel.  So the stadium would be full.  But the rest of America will be watching Castle and Dancing With The Stars.

I know that we all think this can't happen.  The first poll showed us that the BCS will do whatever it takes to keep it from occurring - even leapfrogging Oklahoma over everyone because they have the easiest remaining schedule and may be able to hang onto the top spot.  I mean, if it comes down to it, some junior exec for the BCS will charge the field and shoot a player mid-play ala The Last Boy Scout.  But they can't fight their own rules.  If the season ends with BSU and TCU 1-2, they are the title game.  YES!!!

So, here's what you need to do.  Don't just blindly root for your team.  Look at the games remaining and pour all your couch potato karma into the games that will guarantee our disaster.  Here is a handy guide of the games remaining that could affect this.  I only listed realistically losable games - no mega-upsets.  We just need to clear out the unbeaten teams and keep BSU and TCU undefeated.  Cheer for the team in capital letters.  Rain down haterade on the other team.  And root for the Broncos and Frogs every week.  We need everyone to get together to make this happen.

  • WEEK EIGHT: UCLA over Oregon, MISSOURI over Oklahoma, LSU over Auburn (you'll see why later)
  • WEEK NINE: IOWA over Michigan State, USC over Oregon, NEBRASKA over Missouri
  • WEEK TEN: ALABAMA over LSU (that's why we chose LSU earlier), TCU over an undefeated Utah (to bolster TCU's rep)
  • WEEK ELEVEN: We should have all the major undefeated teams gone by this point, but to be safe, we'll root against some of the biggest one loss teams also.  And we'll still target the unbeatens just in case some got through the net.  GEORGIA over Auburn (stop laughing, it could happen), MISSISSIPPI STATE over Alabama, KANSAS STATE over Missouri
  • WEEK TWELVE: IOWA over Ohio State, MICHIGAN over Wisconsin
  • WEEK THIRTEEN: In Auburn/Alabama, cheer against the higher ranked team, ARIZONA over Oregon, OKLAHOMA STATE over Oklahoma
  • WEEK FOUTEEN: OREGON STATE over Oregon.  This is the conference championship week, and our last chance to bring down any troublemakers.  Pay attention and root against those teams that could block, leapfrog, or hurt BSU and TCU.  
It is a lot to ask, I know.  But take one for the team.  Rise up and band together.  It is our time.  Let's push our collective sports loving strength into what must be done.  Think of the joy you will experience knowing that the BCS has been dealt a death blow!  YES WE CAN!  It's going to happen; get on board.  Let's root the Boise State Broncos and TCU Horned Frogs into the title game.  

And then go watch something else that day.

Oct 15, 2010

TV 2010: No Glee in Blogville

As I have written recently, I have been working on my writing.  This has been through reading a lot of books, visiting some other blogs, and seeing what my favorite writers say about how to improve your writing.  To a person, every one of the great writers I follow say the same thing.  "To be better as a writer, you must write every day."  Malcolm Gladwell, Peter King, Bill Simmons, Stephen King, Chuck Klostermann.  They all preach that.  I am always nervous about writing too much on my blogs - because that means that people who follow me have to READ my increased output.  This is compounded by the fact that this blog gets forwarded over to Facebook - where the Notifications get put onto my News Feed.  That means all 650 friends have to see "David Staples posted another useless Note." So I have tried to spread out my writing onto my three blogs.  One day each week is on the blog for my fantasy football league.  (If for whatever reason, like you are insane, you want to visit that site - you can follow this link.)  Then I post on Darth Fatso off and on.  And I send really long emails to people.  That still leaves a lot of writing unaccounted for.

I have ideas for stuff to write, but I usually decide it is too stupid to post.  Well, no more, my friends!  I will no release the beast of idiocy that I have kept bottled up inside.  Be prepared.  That means TV reviews, discussions on meaningless movie "what ifs," and my long gestating article on why modern tithing sermons are not biblical.  The floodgates are about to open.  Get in the raft and grab your lifejacket.

To begin, I thought I would take a look at the current TV season.  I watch a decent amount of television.  It is my chance to unwind at night.  I also can justify it by saying it is research for all my Defender Ministries teaching materials.  One show that we have always enjoyed has been Glee on FOX.  I even talked about the show last year, during its stellar first season.  I thought the teen story lines were very realistic with what kids struggle with.  The music and choreography were phenomenal.  And the underdog trying to make a splash season storyline resonated.  I felt it slipped in the last nine episodes, almost a little too proud of its success.  But I figured this season would put the show back on track.

I was wrong.

To be honest, I have been very disappointed by this season for several reasons.  First of all, the characters that were so rich in the first season have been reduced into one note stereotypes again.  This show broke stereotypes.  Every character was being pigeonholed by the other kids in the school, but the viewers realized through the story that there were many layers.  The label didn't cover everything.  Finn was the superstar jock - but he also wanted to sing and was very sensitive.  Quinn was captain of the cheerleaders and president of the celibacy club - but she was pregnant.  Artie was handicapped - but he was a romantic and performer.  Rachel was the driven and talented annoying girl - who desperately wanted to fit in and get the guy.  Each character looked like it was going to be one thing, but there was a twist.  Mercedes was the sassy black girl - who was actually the most encouraging person in the group.  Tina was the goth girl that loved the geek.  Puck was the bad boy athlete that wanted to do the right thing.  And Kurt was the gay kid with the rough edged loving mechanic dad.

But something happened.  Now, these characters have all reverted back to those stereotypic labels.  The growth they had last year seems gone.  Quinn is back to being obsessed with getting back on top.  Puck is surly.  Now that Rachel got the guy, she is whiny and annoying.  Artie is just a lonely wheelchair dweller. Tina is Asian - like that's it.  Brittney is the dumb funny girl.  Santana is the sex crazed cheerleader.  And Kurt, oh Kurt, he has become something else.  He is still the gay kid.  But he is angry and rude and awful.

That leads into the second problem.  The show used to be focused on Rachel.  Her drive to stardom, quest to capture Finn's love, mission to find her mom.  The show worked that way.  We hated her diva-in-training attitude.  But we saw there was so much more behind the scenes.  Now, though, she got what she wanted.  She got Finn and found her mom.  So now she has been reduced to the whiny driven girl and placed on the sidelines.  The competitions that drove the group are gone.  They mention Nationals, but they haven't done anything to prepare for it.  Now, it is Kurt's show.  Everything spins around him.  And he is not a good enough character to be in that role.  It is NOT because he is gay.  It is because he is angry and rude to everyone.  He pushes away everyone who cares about him.  He's been hurt over the years and mistreated for being different and so he is taking it out on everyone.  He just assumes everyone is going to be that same vicious bully from years past.

But these people are his friends.  They have defended him and been there for him.  He has no reason to be so ugly.  Finn spurned Kurt's advances last year.  And Kurt is punishing him for it - even though Finn has put his own reputation on the line more times than anyone for Kurt.  If anyone has proven his true friendship, it is Finn.  But Kurt is acidic to him.  He is also unbelievably awful to the teacher - even though there is nothing to justify that.  So far, Kurt has been ugly to everyone, even his own dad.  It makes no sense.  I don't like his character any more.  I feel sympathy for him sometimes.  But mostly I think he is being unreasonably mean.  But, I don't feel that anyone can say that because of his homosexuality - he can't be presented as a negative character.  We, as the audience, MUST be sympathetic to his plight - even if he doesn't deserve it.

This brings us to the third problem.  The show has been so preachy this year.  One of the things I admired about Glee in the first year was its ability to address difficult topics in a subtle and graceful manner.  This year, it has become a musical afterschool special.  The biggest theme is the one of tolerance.  And it is being jammed down our throats.  In the first year, we grew to love the students.  We empathized with them as we watched them trying to live their lives and deal with their struggles.  This year, the show seems to have abandoned the storytelling so much in favor of making statements.  I thought the religiously themed show was very well done.  But it was a statement show.  All of them have been.  You could plug anyone into the story - it doesn't have to be these characters.  And the show is suffering for it.

The last problem is that FOX realized there was a lot of money in this show.  The music sales from season one made executives drool.  So now everything is about how to generate more money.  The songs used to be an organic element of the storytelling.  They were part of the group's rehearsal or something to communicate emotion.  Now it is "how do we twist the story to fit this song idea."  The theme nights are killing the show.  Last year's Madonna themed episode was so well done and entertaining - and such a cash cow - that the creators have tried to duplicate that.  We had a Brittney Spears episode this year.  The thing was a mess.  It made no sense.  Most of the music was due to dreams.  The story was ridiculous.  The group goes to the dentist?  REALLY?  Now there is a Rocky Horror Picture Show episode coming up.  STOP!  Just go back to telling great stories punctuated with music instead of selling albums.  The show is an hour long music video.

Yes, the music is still really good.  I just am not that attached to it.  It used to be that I remembered the scene as the music played too - which made it better.  You ever do that?  Picture something as music plays?  When I heard "Bust Your Windows" on the CD, I remembered Mercedes and the cheerleaders singing to Kurt as she smashed his SUV because he was lying to her.  This isn't the first show to do that. Lost was a master of this.  (I can't hear "Make Your Own Kind of Music" without picturing Juliet getting ready for book club.)  Whenever I hear "Bleeding Love," I see the dance routing with Mark and Chelsie from So You Think You Can Dance.  With the exception of Kurt's amazing performance of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" from this season, most of the music was just kind of there.  It doesn't have emotional weight.  And neither does the show any more.  It is being reduced to a stereotypical teen show - with really good singers and political overtones.  Broadway presents John Hughes via Bill Maher.  I hope things get better soon.

Oct 4, 2010

The NEXT Iron Chef

I have some other posts simmering in the old blogsophere.  But I figured I would punch this one first while it was fresh in my mind.  Last night was the season premiere of one my favorite shows - Food Network's The Next Iron Chef.  This is the third season of the show and it is always exciting and entertaining.  They make these guys do the craziest stuff to try to win this thing.  Just an example.  Last night began with them having to make a sandwich that showed ingenuity in just thirty minutes.  Then for the elimination challenge they were send to a beach.  They were given a Little Green Egg grill to cook on - and that's it.  It wasn't even lit for them.  They had been asked what ingredient they would want on a deserted island.  Whatever they answered they were given as their main ingredient.  The only supplemental things they had were "tropical island ingredients" - shrimp, clams, coconuts, pineapple, stuff like that.  Some people had said suckling pig and turkey, so they were given that.  And then they had an hour to prepare a dinner.  Yeah, ridiculous stuff.

Anyway, last night was a longer episode, so we got to meet the competitors.  As they are panning around, one guy looks familiar.  I blurt out, "Is that Ming Tsai?"  Heather was like, "What?  Who's that?"  I explained that he is a really well known chef and has had his own TV show.  It pops up that he had hosted East Meets West.  She recognized that.  I was kind of flabbergasted.  Why in the world would they put Ming Tsai on a show trying to basically find a new celebrity chef.

This show is a huge deal for the competitors.  The winner gets to be on Iron Chef America.  But even the other guys who do well end up being used by Food Network, The Cooking Channel, or other cable channels for other shows.  In the first season, Michael Symon won and has had multiple shows.  But several other guys are in heavy rotation on Food Network (John Besh, Chris Consentino)  One of them - Aaron Sanchez - has been on at least four different shows.  Plus he just landed a big endorsement deal with a Latin American food company.

Last year they kind of put a ringer in there when Amanda Freitag competed after being a judge on multiple Food Network shows.  But her fame was from judging more than cooking - so in that she was on pretty level ground.  And it isn't like Jimmy Johnson or some past winner returning to Survivor where the clan can vote them out right away.  This is completely different.  Ming Tsai is not some random guy.  He one of the more famous chefs around.  He has been on Food Network for almost a decade.  He won a freaking Emmy for his show.  As the contestants were being introduced, the graphics would show an award they won - to give them legitimacy.  Several of them were James Beard award winners, which is one of the biggest awards for chefs out there.  They showed whatever for Tsai, and when he was introducing himself in his little bio, he just tossed out there, "I have an Emmy, I've won the James Beard Award."  He's won so much stuff that it was a throwaway line.  He could have been one of the original Iron Chefs and no one would have thought it strange.

The other contestants were equally incredulous.  On of them was like, "I looked over and saw Ming Tsai over there.  That's very intimidating."  I was wondering why in the world he would even compete in something like this.  It's almost as crazy as having Bobby Flay compete.  In his bio, he followed that earlier line with, "I know I can cook.  This for me to know if I can still really BRING it."  What?  He's only 46.  He's not 82 trying for a comeback.  This isn't George Foreman or Brett Favre trying to wing it with young kids half their age.  You don't lose your cooking chops as you get older.  It would be like Jean Paul Gaultier competing in Project Runway and saying, "I just wanted to see if I still knew how to make shirts."

Obviously, Tsai has the most to lose.  There is no excuse for him not winning.  Just like the other contestants, he has tons of restaurant experience.  But, he has a ton beyond that.  He already knows the pressures of the show, Iron Chef America, having been on it before.  In fact, he beat Bobby Flay in that show.  He's had his own show for years.  He's well respected.  And he can flat out cook.  You could tell the others were intimidated.  In the first challenge, they judged each other and one of them weakly pointed out that Tsai's sandwich had "too much bread."  Ming looked at him and took note.  When it came time to judge that guy's sandwich, Tsai stared the guy down and casually tossed out, "It had too much bread.  It was a 50/50 ratio of bread when it should have been 70/30 or so."  The camera cut to an interview with the guy afterwards.  "I should have seen that coming."  He destroyed the elimination challenge, acting like he cooked all of his meals on a Little Green Egg on the beach.  The only quibble the judges had was that his clam was "marginally overcooked."  Needless to say, he won that episode.  And one of the contestants said, "He's the veteran.  He should win."

It just strikes me as odd why they would have such an unlevel playing field for this version of the show.  Tsai's fame is already in the competitors' heads.  That last comment shows that - they expect to lose.  When you can have that effect on people by showing up, that is a HUGE advantage.  Tsai even said, "I know I can win this competition.  I want an undefeated record."  That shows that he isn't in this just to feel good about himself.  He wants to come in like Michael Jordan in a rec league basketball game and destroy everyone.  Some of the others seem more than ready to let him.  I'm looking to see which of them is willing to actually battle the giant.  That will make for some great television.

Oct 1, 2010

Like Eeyore, Like Son

I had a nickname for a long time.  I didn't like it.  Eeyore.  That's right the mopey donkey from Winnie the Pooh.  Everything was always negative with him.  He always saw the dark side of life.  And that was what people called me.

I'm not oblivious to the fact that I am a melancholy person.  I have taken enough personality tests to know this by now.  I've taken just about every variation of Myers-Briggs known to man.  One of them called me an owl.  Another one said the Bible character I was most like was Moses - a good leader with an angry streak that burned him.  I am aware of this.  I once had a youth pastor tell me that I was the most negative person he knew.  (Doubtful)  In ninth grade, my mom used to get upset at me when she had to watch me mope and walk across the school lawn to come to the car.  I've fought this forever.

I make excuses.  "It's just the way my mouth is."  This is true, my face is not built in a natural smile.  If I let all my facial muscles go, my mouth turns down at the edges - just like my mom's does.  But, that isn't the real reason.  "I'm not overly critical, I'm overly analytical."  Again, a true statement.  But there is a difference and I am not dumb enough to realize it.

I have tried hard to change my outlook - to be more joyful.  And, largely, I have been successful.  (For those of you snickering, just imagine how bad I USED to be.)  But I still wildly vary between being TOO joyful (singing dumb songs and irritating the kids) and being TOO grumpy (scowling and irritating the kids).  I know that I influence others with my behavior, and that it is a bad example.  I guess I never knew how bad...

This morning, we had to change our schedule.  Gabe is starting preschool three days a week.  So we all have to get up earlier so I can drop him off before the big kids.  We went through our routine and got to the preschool with no problems.  Gabe went right in his class, we went back to the car.  Everything was running well.  I would drop them off, go home and shower, get some work done, pick Gabe up, head over to FSU to find out where we will be assigned for years three and four of Heather's schooling.  No biggie.  But then the car wouldn't start in the preschool parking lot.

I have had my share of bad batteries and such.  This sounded different.  Honestly, it sounded like the starter motor was gone.  I had been having trouble with the car starting for a couple days.  Everything I read on The Google while sitting there led me to believe it was the starter.  I waved off a couple of parents who wanted to help jump the car - knowing it was the starter.  So I called my friend, Greg, and waited for him to get there.

Josiah sat in the back and started griping.  He was complaining about how long we would have to sit there.  About being late to school.  About being stuck there forever.  He said today was worse than yesterday, which yesterday he told me was the worst day ever.  [Kids were naughty at school, he couldn't get a smoothie at Boston Market, they messed up his sandwiches, he thought he was going to be able to do something special on Saturday which then looked doubtful.  Worst day ever.]  It was non stop.  I tried to talk to him, and then I realized.  He sounded just like me.  It was like a recording of how I handle situations.

It turns out it was the battery.  It was under warranty at Sears and cost me $1.62 to replace.  I got home in time to get ready to get to FSU.  The kids only were 40 minutes late.  And even last night, Boston Market gave us half our meal free because of the error.  Things worked out.  But he couldn't see it because of all the negativity.  I feel bad for him.  I hated living like that.  And it makes me ill that I have trained my boy to respond to life that way.

Last night I sat with him and tried to teach him about perspective.  Things have been worst (when grandpa died, when we were sick).  Things are worse for other people (earthquakes in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan).  Things are not that bad and usually get fixed quickly.  It is a tough lesson, and obviously he didn't learn it overnight.  It is very apparent that I have some work to do - both with him and myself.  They mimic me.  My initial negative response trains them to think that way.

I guess it is time to retire Eeyore for good.  He can go die with Darth Fatso.  I don't want an Eeyore Jr.  Not even Eeyore wants to be that way.