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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Something's comin' over me



A recent study at UC Berkley revealed that 100% of Americans lead secret lives. Maybe Madonna was right "My baby's got a secret"

Read article here (link)

So, I thought I'd ask for some audience participation on this. What part of your life do you keep secret? But then it got me thinking. Is there part of my life that I hide, yet would be willing to share with the faithful readers of my blog??? Hmm, that's a tough one. Certainly there are secrets I keep, but what one secret am I willing to part with to promote everyone's participation? Kind of quid pro quo style

One quote really got me thinking "...Woodbridge, who makes miniature clothes for her wall-mounted crucifix so Jesus doesn't get cold at night. " If they can share that, I can certainly share something equally as personal.

So here it is. My secret revealed... after eating food that sticks between your teeth, I bite my fingernails and use one of them on end to floss between my teeth to get out all the food particles. There, I've shared my secret and feel somehow freed by the experience. Now it's your turn, what's your secret??? It doesn't say 99.9% have secrets.. it says 100% and that means you.

Coming Out... I'm a Thespian

Okay, I'm coming out of the closet on this one in a big way. I'm a thespian. There I said it. Now you can make fun of me all you want, but it won't change who I am.

As part of our church going through the 40 Days of Purpose based on Rick Warren's book Purpose Driven Life we have been adding skits to our Sunday services. Well, somehow I landed (more like got stuck with) a part in this Sunday's skit. My first skit ever in my whole life. I play a sarcastic, cynnical husband who thinks he knows it all and annoys his wife with his intelligence.

Some people call it method acting, but I say it comes from within. It's hard to stretch yourself into a character that is so different than who you are. I show up to church in character and can't get out of character until I'm back in my car. If I don't, I can't get the performance right. Well, as I struggle through this difficult role, I'll just have to keep in mind - I better get a stinkin huge jewell in my crown for this one!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Barrettino's Pizza



We are a family of few traditions. Mostly because I fly by the seat of my pants 90% of the time. But, one tradition we honor is the making of our pizza on the weekend. Going on 3 years now I think, we make a delicious pie almost every weekend, rent a movie and sit and eat.

Never satisfied with status quo, I attempted to make my first taco pizza (pictured above) after the inspiration of Godfathers and Casey's (local gas station which believe it or not serves pretty good pizza). Now, maybe I'm a little prejudice about it, but I think it was absolutely fantastic. So, if you ever come over for dinner, I'll roll out the crust and make you the famous Barrettino's Pizza Pie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

When does trash become unedible?



Okay there has been much discussion below (see the comments of Blog titled "New Camera")about quality of television programming and trash tolerated in our lives. I certainly didn't mean to confuse anyone, but I do agree with Iman's comments about confusion and I myself am confused after reading my own comments, so let me clarify for further discussion.

Today's programming has, without question become incredibly trashy. Most of society would agree that a show isn't good unless there is murder and sex. But if you look at most sex on tv, it's not just sex, but now it's adultress sex, or gay sex or three way sex, or who knows what else I've forgotten.

While violence affects many people in society today, I won't bother researching and quoting statistics from countless studies that prove violent crime is linked with video games and television. Blah Blah Blah, we've all heard that stuff before. In reality I don't find it as offensive, or maybe I don't find it as tempting, which then offends me that I've been tempted. Really, when was the last time you watched CSI or Alias and thought to yourself. "Oooh, I could hide the bodies in my basement like that and then no one could find them..." Violent crime is just not as readily available in our everyday lives as sex, so I'll talk about sexy trash on tv.

Sex on tv, which tempts me more and thereby offends me more is all over the place. Not tempted like "oooh, if only my neighbor lady would wash her car in short cutoffs and a skimpy shirt, then rign out the sponge all over her chest." First, my neigbor lady is like 60 and ick - and second, more tempting like putting those thoughts in my head to think about later. I've always held that a TV show is over when it's characters start sleeping with eachother. From 90210 to Friends, it's happened in about every series. As soon as sex (How many clicked that link???) begins, you can watch the creativity go down and the show is in it's last half. So I don't know what happens when the show starts with sex. Guess I'll monitor this one and find out.

So, the original question from Chad, "Is Desperate Housewives less trashy than what the commercials would make you believe?" My answer - Yes, less trashy than the commercials, but to make a better illustration than cake in the trash can (which at some point seemed brilliant, but now seems incredibly stupid) While less trashy, it is still incredibly trashy. While a nuclear bomb kills more people than a suitcase full of C4 explosives, they both are still very bad and both still kill people. I'll be honest, I've watched a couple of episodes of Housewives and find it entertaining, even humorous, and I can without a doubt see why it is so popular. But, I have to ask myself, am I eating good, clean cake - or am I eating dirty cake out of the garbage. Both taste good, one is just covered with trash that may make you sick. Ha - see I knew I could make that illustration work.

Monday, October 25, 2004

It's Over


So the wedding is over, and after driving until 3:30am Sunday morning to get back for Sunday Service, I am completely wiped out. Took 1/2 a day sick time this morning to sleep it off and still feel groggy. Oh well, I did have a pleasant conversation with Afton, IA's finest uniformed public servant to which I now owe $42 for pressing too hard on my gas pedal. "Yes sir, thank you sir, I will sir... stick it in your ear sir"
All things considdered it was a pretty uneventful wedding. Guess I'll begin filling in the mass graves with dirt. However, the highly debated serving of sushi was missing. I think mom covertly cancelled that without my sister knowing after my sister told the caterer to serve it regardless of mom's wishes and just bill my sister directly for it. If I can prove it, I'm sure to get a better Christmas present than my sister from Mom for at least 5 years to come. Never too old to blackmail your family. And maybe I'll leave one small area of the grave site open... just in case.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Elope



I have one word... just one word for anyone contemplating joining in holy matrimony with another in the near future. "ELOPE"

My sister is getting married tomorrow and when I came home to my parent's house for the event, I instantly was hit with a high level of tension and conflict. Now mind you it wasn't over anything of global importance such as weapons of mass destruction, and there certainly weren't any mass graves uncovered in the back yard - although digging some in preparation may be a thing of forsight. No, my sister and mother are like the United States and USSR of the 70's. My sister has her missiles pointed at mom and mom has them pointed back. All over some issue of tiny paper bags to be filled with popcorn. Why??? Who Cares! D├ętente would better serve my family than it did the US and USSR.

If my sister and her husband of tomorrow would have eloped and returned a few weeks later to a nice party in celebration of their marriage, everyone would have been happier and I could call the earth moving company and had them stop digging the mass graves in the back yard. But, alas - everyone thinks they need a Cinderella wedding complete with carriage and glass slippers. The foolishness of youth I guess. Any of you elope? Anyone now wish you had?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Changing Leaves Change my Taste



I'm not sure why (I'm sure someone who took their degree in psychology more seriously than I did could) but ever since one winter season in highschool my taste in music changes with the weather. Sure enough, as soon as the trees in the yard (yes that's actually a tree in my yard) started shedding beautiful yellow and orange leaves this fall, I switched off the pop/alternative stations and started tuning in classical and jazz. Something about the soft sounds of a muted trumpet or a violin sweetly singing above a symphony makes me long for fleece blankets on the couch and the feeling of warm air pushing through a vent in the floor.

I've recently updated my blog with some online radio stations that I listen to. You can check them out if you scroll down a bit. But check out this (link) from NPR - an example of how much my style changes. From Nickelback, Linkin Park and ThirdDay to Wynton and Miles. Do I need counselling?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New Camera



We just got a new digital camera. If you're in the market, I highly reccommend the Kodak Easyshare 5730. With little effort, it takes great pictures at incredible resolution. 5+ megapixels and 15x zoom are great features. But mostly I just wanted to share my favorite picture I've taken so far with you all. Tyler (left) and Jacob (right). I might be prejudice, but I think they are the cutest boys in the state and perhaps the country. But hey, with a mom and dad like they have, what did you expect??? Okay - don't answer that.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bloating and not so fresh feelings



Okay, so I admit, I've made my fair share of PMS jokes when women around me get testy and irritable. But, I have also noticed that occasionally, I too get testy and irritable. My thoughts went back to my college days when I became aware of the fact that women who live t0gether cycle together. Some sort of hormonal, pheromone thing. Can't remember and don't care to, but there was some sort of biological reason. I had a theory that maybe I too was affected by the hormones in the air and began to PMS. Well, theory no longer... (link)

Maybe this also explains my constant cravings for oreos and orange juice. Women you have no idea what men go through. Not only do we put up with your PMS line of garbage explaining your unexcusable moodiness, but now we have scientific proof that our hormones are just as off balance as yours. So next time I just want to lay around in my robe and eat chips watching football I'm going to, because I'll be IMSing.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Catalyst Notes Pt 3



Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor spoke. I love the concept behind this book - taking a mundane job and making it meaningful.

Sanborn gave 4 great points:
  1. Individuals still make a difference regardless of what decisons they make.
  2. It's all about relationsihps.
  3. You can add value to everything you do without spending a dime. (proof of this)
  4. The motivater motivates themself.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Catalyst Notes Pt 2



Not so much something relevant to young leadership, but when Chuck Colson came out to speak he said something that was way more than eye opening... it was startling, with a chill.

Colson was an aide to Nixon and known as his "hatchet man". He said during his speech that during the cold war, he would be involved in meetings with generals and high ranking officials within the cabinet. The meetings became so stressful that he would actually go home and vomit because he became overwhelmed with the reality that one small mistake or misunderstanding would result in a nucular attack and kill millions of lives. As we all began to try to imagine that kind of stress, he followed his statement by saying "I am more concerned about nucular attack today than I was then because of the terrorist threat in America."

It's one thing to hear Bill O'riley or even a Dan Rather sort make that kind of statement, but when someone on the inside of the cold war says it. WOW. The whole place went into an eerie silence and you could almost hear people squirming and thinking about the intense power of his statment. What do you think? Nuclear bomb - More or less possible now?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Catalyst Notes Pt 1



No idea how many parts there will be to my notes, but this is in effect part 1.

Check out Road Trip Nation.

I posted a few weeks ago about my fantasy job, which at the time was to be a private investigator. Well, it just changed. I want to do what these guys do. How cool.

The original guys were at Catalyst and totally inspired me to react more with heart and less with mind. As I heard their story about just turning loose against what was expected and following after where their heart is leading I got very inspired and convicted at the same time. Inspired to lead with my heart and convicted because I've spent too much time leading with my mind being too woried about what I should be doing or how it will effect everyting. So, I've started doing this already and I can totally tell the difference in work and personal life. Give it a try, lead with your heart... what a blast.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Catalyst - The Geek that I am

In Atlanta for the Catalyst conference. I would reccommend attending for anyone who loves innovative leadership sort of things. Nothing earth shattering in the information yet, but lots of good reinforcing nuggets. When I get back, as promised, I'll share my notes.

Aside from feeling a little old around a bunch of younger than I am, trendier than I could ever be people, I felt like a huge super geek today. About 4 or 5 years ago, while reading The Disney Way by Eisner, I found a reference to a book called The Experience Economy. It revolutionized my thinking of what it was to be an usher in a church, and provide people with an experience, not just a seat and collect the offering. I still use the book to change the way we do all helps ministries at church. The book is not light reading, and in fact reads not too much different than an economic text book. It uses quadrants and trends, four syllable words too. Well I was excited to see that the authors of the book would be speaking at the conference today. I had tried to explain the concept of the book to my senior pastor who is here with me, but could never effectively do so, while at the same time, knew I wouldn't want anyone to endure the hardship of reading the book just because I said to. Well, as they began to speak, they lectured not that dissimilar to my college econ professor. Dry, boring, bland, blah, blah, blah. When they asked had anyone read their book, I quickly looked and saw absolutely no one raise a hand. I quickly returned my 1/4 raised hand to my side and decided I was a looser geek with nothing better to do than read their book. The agony continued as I gleaned from their dry lecture to add to my knowledge of the book and looked to see one or two out of every ten nodding off, doodling, talking to a neighbor or just plain spaced out. I don't need a motivational coach, I need a cool coach. But in all fairness, the book, if endured is highly revolutionary and challenging to modern thought of how we spend money or want service, whether from a resturaunt or a church.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Offline for a while



While I am patiently awaiting pictures to come pouring in to my inbox with funny, witty comments (see yesterday's post) I am finalizing preparations to be gone and off line for a few days. I'm heading to Georgia to attend the Injoy's Catalyst conference.

Should be very cool. Speakers such as Brian McLaren, Andy Stanley and of course John Maxwell will be there. I'm looking forward to it, but more importantly, looking forward to the ideas and thoughts I'll be introduced to.

When I get back I'll share my notes from it. Until then, I may be offline until late this week or even early next week depending on my access to the internet while there.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Wasting Time

If you find yourself sitting at work staring at the clock and need something to do to kill time, try my new favorite hobby. Someone, I think Betsy ,turned me on to the website TinyPic, where you can host your pics online. I found that you can actually go back and view the Newest 50 pics posted by everyone in the world. So for fun sometimes I like to look through everyone else's photos then try to guess what's going on in the pic and why they posted it. Kind of create an identity based off the photo.

So, to try to get some reader participation, check out the photos, find an interesting one and email me the pic and a caption of who took it, why it was taken, or what's going on in the pic, etc, etc. The wilder the imagination, the better. So, let's have it. Send me your pics at mbbarrett@hotmail.com and I'll post the best response I get. ***note of caution - the site doesn't allow nudity, etc, but I have come across a few. There is a way to report it when found. So just be aware of that as you scan the pics.***

Here's my latest for an example. It's kind of lame, so find one better and send it to me.


"After a wild night's pary at the Delta Omicron Gamma house someone thought it would be fun to play the old Magic Marker on the drunk person joke"