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Veni, Veni

I have a stupid Christmas tradition that I started a year ago and hold dearly. Can you call something a tradition if you only started it a year ago? And really, it’s more of an “end of the year” tradition, I guess. Doesn’t matter. It’s a Christmas tradition now and I’m standing by that.

See, I take off of work from the week of Christmas until the new year rolls around. I might drive somewhere out of town or do something special during that time. For the most part, though, all I do is watch the movie Four Brothers as often as possible. I take it with me whenever I go somewhere, especially friends’ houses, and I ask them frequently if they would like to watch it with me. I bring it up quite a bit. My friends are rarely amused by this.

It’s funny to me. And it’s stupid and quite honestly I’m sure it annoys everyone I talk to but at the end of the day it is something I do and something I think it is funny. And if there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I will go fully in on something I find to be funny, regardless of whether or anyone feels the same.

Perhaps that’s why it’s become a tradition: it allows me to end the year entirely on my own terms. Not terms dictated by the pressures at work, and not terms dictated by the social pressures surrounding me at all times. It’s my own stupid way of embracing what is, for me at least, the most insecure time of the year. Read More…

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Should Christians Drive Priuses?

Lately I’ve been seeing friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, driving Toyota Priuses. The past two springs, more and more Priuses (Priuii?  Does anybody know the plural), keep showing up on the highway.

Honestly, they look ridiculous.  If you drive a Prius, sorry, but your car looks silly.  But that’s all the thought I had ever given them.  “That’s an odd looking car,” I’d say to myself, then follow up with “but different strokes, right?”  Then I would rev up my gas guzzler really loud, fake run the Prius off the road, and be about my merry way.  All in a day’s fun, right?

Anyway, the other day, I was looking for things that, as a Christian, I could be needlessly offended by, and I came across this.  If you’re too lazy to click the link, it takes you to the “Environmental Impact” section of the Prius Wikipedia page.

At first, everything seemed to be fine.  I mean, it’s a car that is good for the environment.  Sure, it looks funny, but it’s earth friendly, right?

But then I thought about it.

And my conclusion terrified me. Read More…

How to be a Southerner: Know the Weather, vol. 1

Joseph and I have decided it’s time to educate folks on how to be a Southerner.  Here’s a helpful post on how to be just that.

Weather is a fact of life.  When I was in public school, I learned that there were 4 seasons – Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.  Living in the South, I’ve learned that what I was taught in public school about the weather* was not true.  In the South, we have 2 seasons – Summer and Winter.  Summer usually lasts for anywhere from 46-50 weeks and winter lasts anywhere from 2-6 weeks.  This is helpful for anyone who is interested in the South to know, because if you come here, you will know you need to pack as if you’re either staying for a few days on the Hoth system or if you’re planning on going directly to the sun.  Whatever your fashion magazine says about Spring or Fall trends is irrelevant, unless you want an entire wardrobe you can wear for all of about 15 minutes.  So keep that in mind.

Read More…

How to be a Southerner: A “Barbecue” vs. A “Cookout”

Joseph and I have decided it’s time to educate folks on how to be a Southerner.  Here’s a helpful post on how to be just that.

Before you read the rest of this post, take this simple test:

If I invited you over to my house for a “barbecue,” you would expect to eat:

a. ribs, chicken, or pulled pork
b. hamburgers or hot dogs
c. I’m a vegan, so you probably don’t have anything for me

If you answered “a”, congratulations.  You can stop reading now, this isn’t for you.  If you answered “b”, this post is for you.  If you answered “c”, turn off your computer, throw it out the window, and stay off the Internet.  Forever. Read More…

HTBASF: Sports Hate

This guest post is brought to you by a new Twitter friend, Ben Zajdel. Ben is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, works in a Christian bookstore, watches entirely too much basketball (PERFECTLY okay with me), and has written a few short books you might enjoy. You can keep up with him at his website, or on Twitter, @benzajdel.

I’ve been told my whole life not to hate people. It’s in the Bible, of course. It says there that hating someone is essentially like murdering them, or at least wanting to. My mom would scold me if I said I hated anything, including broccoli. Even my family doctor told me that hate was an ugly word when I informed him that I hated shots.

I understand their point of view. I don’t think I should dislike a person or a thing so much that it makes my chest burn, my eyes water, and my heart race. That’s obviously not healthy. I don’t advocate hating people, races, religious groups, politicians, cats, or Yankees fans, especially to the point of wishing them harm.

But there is something I call Sports Hate. It’s a little different. This type of hate doesn’t want to see anyone get hurt, or arrested, or any actual misfortune take place on a team or individual. This type of hate is much simpler, and a little less violent. When you Sports Hate a team or player, you just want them to lose. All the time. Sometimes it’s for good reason, like if they defeated your team in the playoffs the previous year. Other times it makes no sense whatsoever, and your hate simply springs from the way a guy cuts his hair. There are plenty of ways to develop Sports Hatred, and the longer you watch and play sports, you gain and lose some Sports Hate along the way.

Read More…

How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson 4

This guest post is brought to you by a new Twitter friend, Ben Zajdel. Ben is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, works in a Christian bookstore, watches entirely too much basketball (PERFECTLY okay with me), and has written a few short books you might enjoy. You can keep up with him at his website, or on Twitter, @benzajdel.

Before I start this article on superstition, you need to know a little about me. I have a degree in Historical Studies, which means I learned how to fact check old documents and make sure they’re legitimate. I am also currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, so you can probably guess that I don’t like approximations and guesses. I’m also a Christian, so I don’t believe in magic and voodoo and curses. I openly mock those who think magnets can heal you, and I dismiss most natural remedies.

That being said, how to be superstitious is one of the most important things a sports fan can learn. Read More…

How To Be A Sports Fan: Lesson 3

Alas!  I have made my return to the GBOAT.  I am making my contribution to the “How To Be a Sports Fan” series based on years of experience and observation.  Also, as a shameless plug, I am undertaking a once-a-week, year long blogging endeavor over at my blog, The Ramblings of a Wayward Son.  – Chandler

I have been around sports for years.  I’m 28 now, and I remember waaaaaaay back when as a little kid playing T-Ball.  I don’t know when that was, but it was a long time ago.  I was never good at sports, but I have played, and probably more importantly, watched them for years.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of these years, it’s this:

In order to be a sports fan, you must overreact to everything.

This manifests itself in many different ways.  Fans do it, announcers do it, and talking heads do it.  And then after you overreact to everything, you have to get mad at ESPN for creating a culture in which we overreact to everything, essentially absolving yourself of any and all blame.

Make sense?  No?  Good.  Let’s look at it more specifically. Read More…