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A Decade Without Balls

No Balls Courage

So today is my 37th birthday.

Obviously thirty-seven is not one of those generally celebrated, monumental birthdays. I mean, it’s not launching into a new decade. There is no surprise party or black balloons. I’m not getting my drivers license or the right to buy smokes or drink beer or anything else (am I?).

No, birthday number 37 (like 8, 14, and 22) is one that just happens. Nothing really special other than the fact you’ve survived another year.

Which, actually, for someone like me is pretty sweet.

Because once you’ve been dead or nearly dead, surviving another year is something to celebrate.

And even though 37 is not really special, for me it’s actually something… well… interesting, at least.

Because on this day exactly 10 years ago, I had the last of my testicles removed.
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Passionate About Nothing?

My Heart

I’ve recently been doing some introspection about what—if anything—I’m really passionate. That word “passion” seems to be thrown around quite haphazardly to describe things one enjoys or appreciates, but to me passion means something much more, and isn’t a label I use lightly (if ever). Beyond my family and faith, I had a hard time considering even one thing I’d describe as a passion.
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4 People I Don’t Trust

A man in a tie

Anyone very close to me knows I have my fair share of character flaws, but I’m lucky to say that “judgemental” is not one of them. I tend to accept people where they are, regardless of how they look or what they have done or associations they might have.

There are, however a handful of people I have a really hard time trusting, based entirely on external, mostly illogical, totally unfair criteria. Can you relate to any of these untrustworthy characters?
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Man or Muppet

Illustration by Troy DeShano

Today I was thinking about how much I liked myself when I was in Africa.

I stood taller because I knew I had a job to do and I did it. There weren’t distractions or silly things to worry about. I didn’t have half-a-dozen projects to juggle at once.

And at the end of the day I could sit on the front porch and drink a Stoney in peace.

Basically, I felt like more of a man.

When I spend most my day doing self-promotion on social media and creating fabulous-but-unpaid projects and trolling craigslist for work it really takes a toll on my view of self.

I go to bed pretty dang tired every night, so I know I’m working hard, but honestly I don’t feel like much of a man.

It is something I struggle with a lot.

The Real Tragedy of the World Trade Center

World Trade Center illustration

Sometimes even a poorly delivered message is still one worth hearing, and I wonder if the the saddest thing about the whole tragedy is that we didn’t get the message.

We like to think of ours as a nation made strong through the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, but in reality we’re strong because of our unscathed ability to exploit, oppress, capitalize and conquer—all the while repressing any hint of remorse that might ever creep in (which I’m sure is slowly creating a collective psychological condition that will catch up with us when our nation hits mid-life). Read more

The Year of Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen
Illustration by Troy DeShano

I’m not much into sports these days.

I love to play and if I’m ever walking down the street and a spontaneous game of hoops or soccer or whatever breaks out I’m armed with sneakers just in case.

But not volleyball… I make a conscious detour whenever I’m by the waterfront for fear that I’d somehow be tricked into a game of beach volleyball and lose the small commodum of respect that I’ve got in our town.

Of course I can’t really remember the last time I got caught up in a round of street ball while walking through town, in fact it’s been years since I’ve even shot hoops at all.

However… I was once a teenager and playing sports and watching sports and obsessing about sports all the time. (All three of which I realized as an adult were ultimately about girls.. something that hasn’t really come up in therapy yet, but I’m sure will sooner or later).

When I and my buddies would be playing pick-up or school games or big-man hoops on the low rims there would always be that moment where one of us would have his back up against the wall.

You’d be down big or need just one more hoop to make it to 21 or maybe just sick of missing your last few shots..

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Fall Soup and Adventurous Living

It must be fall because we’re eating a lot of soup.

Last week my wife fed two hungry construction workers with a big batch of broccoli cheese and another of butternut squash.

Since grocery-shopping happens rarely these days, creativity with garden vegetables (grown or gifted) is key in our house. On this day, all we had was some tomatoes, so the hunt for a good soup recipe began.

We found it very interesting that most recipes online for “homemade” tomato soup actually call for a can of tomato soup…


Well we found one real recipe and it turned out pretty dang good. Especially with the homemade french bread.

Tomato soup is one of those things that I didn’t eat until I was an adult.

Over the past few years I’ve been making myself eat the foods that I don’t like but always thought that I should.

I didn’t eat olives until about 5 years ago and now they’re my favorite. Just thinking about olives makes me start slobberin.

When I was a kid I loved cottage cheese but hadn’t had it since then… until a couple weeks ago I made myself eat some.

Not too bad…

I can actually list quite a few foods that I considered pretty gross until I started eating them regularly that I now consider my favorites – coffee, grapefruit, stinky cheese, spinach, beer, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and more…

It’s like the more adventurous I get with my eating, the more I discover the things that satisfy me the most and bring me the most pleasure (and the surprise at how many of those things are healthy)

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Sadaam Gets Weezer-ed

Weezer Sadaam

This photo and story would probably be more moving if Steve had died in the war. He didn’t die. He’s still alive. I’m glad.

My earliest Weezer-related memories are with Steve.

I remember digging the tape (the one I dubbed from the CD on my boombox) out of the console in the Monte Carlo and handing it to Steve in the passenger seat and saying “you have to hear this!”

He was a little hesitant becuause at the time he was trudging through some of his personal theology, trying to figure out if the standards of our church (which condemned any music with a rock beat) were true and his own…

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White Jesus Loves You

Over the last 600 years, Jesus’s skin has grown fairer and fairer.

(I can’t be 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have that Michael Jackson thing)

Today it’s pretty rare to see anyone’s vision of Jesus that doesn’t look like he’s originally from Wisconsin.

I’ve always wanted to make a serious mock-umentary (is that an oxymoron?) about Jesus and his humanity.

I’m working on a client project now that has at it’s center a mission to create a dialogue around racism and its effects in order that the conversation (especially the listening) might lead to understanding for some and healing for others.

In the midst of it I’m wondering how “White Jesus” has affected those of non-Caucasian decent.

How has it affected you?