SoreLosers

Parenting Advice – How Not to Raise a Sore Loser

Parent alert! I’ve found the secret to ensure your child does not grow up to be a “sore loser!”

The secret is…Don’t Ever Let Them Win at Anything!

My daughter has never beat me at a game of Tic-Tac-Toe…and she never will. It just won’t happen. She’s not at my level. I will crush her at every turn. Rue the day she ever beats me. That day will never come. I pledged to resort to cheating before she ever wins at Go Fish. Once, she almost beat me at UNO but then I told her no “My Little Pony” for a month. That’s right! No sore losers in my house!

My Interview with David Arquette

Posh Beverly Hills EstateI’m getting a little bit better at the interviewing celebrities thing. Here’s the way I would like to spin the experience:

I’m at a posh Beverly Hills home waiting to interview David Arquette in the estate’s pool house. He walks into the room, I introduce myself and he says, “Hi, I’m David.” I sat at a table directly across from David Arquette. I ask a question about his the film, “The Key” and he answers it in a thoughtful and beautiful manner.

I like this story, but I also need to be accountable to the truth:

I’m at a posh Beverly Hills home waiting to interview actor David Arquette and director Jefery Levy about Jefery’s passion project, The Real Experimental Film Festival. The interview comes in the form of a roundtable with 5 other reporters, including myself. I got about two questions in and my first question was the first question Mr. Arquette answered.

I’ll have my full report of the afternoon ready this Sunday for the Secret City Geek Lab show on KTSTfmAnaheim.com.

Oakland-LandscapeHP

The Introvert and the Funeral

Today, we buried my aunt. She passed away a week ago after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I have nothing but good things to say about my aunt. My mom is significantly older that her brothers and sisters. I entered my teen years when she met and married my uncle-in-law. As soon as they were married, they moved across the country when my uncle entered the dental program with the U.S. Military.

I was in high school when they had their first of two daughters. They moved back to the West Coast and took residence in Barstow, CA. Needless to say, I would only connect with my aunt at family events and holidays. As the introvert would say, we had a casual respectful relationship.

The clock counts down on my life, revealing the names and images of the people in my life, I should know better. The nagging guilt that you missed out on knowing a wonderful person and explicit guilt that I could have taken the initiative. Thanks universe.

The sphere of those who pass is growing closer and closer to me. My aunt is the first person to pass that I had known, spoken, shared life stories and knew would be around at the next family function. I always thought, I’d see her at the next holiday, which would have been Christmas. My family is supposed to live forever. My grandparents (on my mother’s side) both lived into their 90’s. We are work horses. As I approach my 50’s, I know I need to take better care of myself.

As I sit here at Forest Lawn, I think about my aunt. I also think about my family. At this very moment in time, I’ve given into my introverted tendencies. I talk very little to anyone. Be available and show no affection to anyone. I’m a ghost that everyone sees. My invisibility powers aren’t working right now. Now my apprehension levels rise and self-consciousness kicks into overdrive. I don’t want to be here, but at the same time, I want to be here for my aunt.

Next week is the memorial at my old church. My aunt will be rightfully honored. For me, I will have to manage the guilt, I feel learning about the aunt I wish I knew better.

Skeleton Twins

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Show They Can Act in ‘The Skeleton Twins’

Honestly, I got to see movies with great comedians to laugh. What’s with all this “I want to be a dramatic actor.” Sure, they may pull it off and give us a facsinating movie to watch, but please I want to laugh. I want to roll on the floor and not breath for several minutes. Is that too much to ask from the best comedians to come out of Saturday Night Live in a long time?

st vincent02

Bill Murray Knows How to Make Movies

I saw Bill Murray in “St. Vincent” on Friday and walked away floored and sobbing like a baby. Yes, I cried. You wanna make something of it?

“St. Vincent” is a well made movie and Bill Murray is at his finest. It’s more drama than comedy. This is definitely chick-flick material. Although “Groundhog Day” is still his best movie.’

Why is he so good? He manages to walk that line of over-the-top character and grounded reality. This guy could really exist. In movies, like “Ghostbusters” and “Meatballs,” Murray’s characters tend to be the wacky guy with a heart of gold. In “St. Vincent,” he’s the guy whose heart turns to gold over the course of the movie.

Back To the Future

‘Flirting in Cars’ or ‘Stoking the Ego a Little’

I may have mentioned it before but I currently work for various ride-sharing companies to make money, while this writing thing takes hold. I like driving and meeting new people and it’s helping me with introvertiness.

Never in my life have I ever had women flirting with me. I’m the one that always has to initiate encounters with women, usually to disastrous results. Now that I have a wife and kid, I no longer need to be involved in these mating games.

Never in my life? Twice this week, I’m having a really good conversation with very attractive women and things get pretty flirty…on her end. I’m very loyal to my wife, kid and marriage, so my first instinct is not to go down this road. I’ve got to stop the flirtation.

So let’s get into this. Instinctually, I casually drop the fact that I’m married and have an amazing 7-year-old kid. You would think this is enough. No, I guess things are so desperate in society that the fact of married-with-kids is not a deterrent.

What worked? “I’m going to turn 50 in a few years.” I now have to the air conditioner off, because it got really cold fast. What was that? I just heard a pin drop. I think I just killed my 5-star rating for this ride. “Ah yeah…my grampa’s 50…”

It’s hard for me to accept that at the age of 50, I’m the coolest I’ve ever been. Thank God I’m married. I just can’t see myself taking Lyfts and Ubers to bars every weekend or even attempting to hit on girls once again. Enough with the ego stroking. It’s time to go back to fat, old me.

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GameStop Expo 2014: Meeting Seth Rollins

I’ve already established that I’m an severe introvert. It makes doing press stuff a little difficult. When it comes to meeting celebrities, I’m not the type to go up and introduce myself. So I went the safe route and just got in line to meet WWE’s Seth Rollins. Yes, Mr. Money-In-the-Bank himself. It was easy. Stand in line. Ask for photo and take autograph. He was there to promote WWE 2K15. 

God-Said-it-sm

Lazy Theology: That Settles It

Introduction

Christians love strong, bold declarative statements. We like to stand in front of the world and declare that we belong to God, and he is our creator, savior and judge. It’s like a badge of honor and to some degree, I’m OK with that.

Last summer, my daughter went to the Vacation Bible School of a local church. Overall, the experience of VBS at that church was good for her. But that summer’s theme really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s a very popular Christian slogan/bumper sticker, and I hate it with such great passion.

“God said it…I believe it…that settles it!” (Please note I’m clenching my teeth right now!)

It’s an amazingly bold statement. In the context of the VBS, I get it. It’s meant to convey to children the greatness of God and the importance of his word, the Bible.

It’s a funny statement, however. I mean I believe the words of the statement, but it’s the tone and finality of the statement that I find reprehensible.

Full Disclosure: I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. I believe every word in the Bible is God-breathed and must be taken seriously. I fall on the inerrant side vs. the infallible. So before you label me a back-sliden Christian, read this blog. We don’t disagree on the message. We disagree on the method.

My problem is this statement is a justification for legalism. I hate legalism with the same passion Christ did whenever he faced religious leaders. Just read any story about the Pharisees confronting Jesus. They start their “trap” with the phrase, “Doesn’t the Law say…” And they would point out what Jesus was doing wrong. What exactly was Jesus doing wrong? How about healing the sick on a holy day? Talking to a prostitute?

Sign of Laziness

Christian bumper stickers like this, are what I like to call “Lazy Theology.” It’s a quick way to win an argument without having to do any work, like read the Bible. Let’s break down the statement:

“God said it…” That, my friend, is a loaded statement. Implication is if God said it, then there can be no debate. “Are you so knowledgeable in the Word that you can argue with God?”

“I believe it…” Now this is the lazy part. If it’s written in the Bible, then God said it. Therefore, whatever God says, I believe without question. We like rules because they are black and white statements of right and wrong. But why did God say it in the first place, that takes work to find out.

“That settles it.” Or “End of debate…period.” The implication is if you are a true Christian; then you cannot question what God says in his Word. You do not need to know why God made the rule. Just accept the fact that he did. And that is lazy theology.

God did not just set arbitrary rules, just to do it. In all cases, God set these rules and laws for a reason. The law is a reflection of God. If the goal of our lives on earth is to be Christ-like, each law is a glimpse into the character of Christ.

Christ’s Character

All throughout Christ’s ministry, the Pharisees accused Jesus of not following the law of God. The law of God delivered by Moses to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

We want to believe we’re not like the Pharisees, but we can’t help but judge the actions and motivations of fellow Christians because they do or do not follow the strict words of Christ. You can say the Pharisees attack on Jesus was based on the Levitical laws. If we judge a person based on the Old Testament law or the very words of Christ himself, it’s still legalism.

Any time you create a list of do’s and don’ts, whether its based on the Old Testament law, the New Testament epistles or the very words of Christ, that is legalism and condemned by Christ as false religion. And as it was proven in the Old Testament, it’s a futile attempt to earn salvation. You’ll go mad.

It’s an unwinnable challenge. I challenge anyone to live his/her life trying to remember every single do and don’t in the Bible. Don’t waste your time? Also, don’t waste your time trying to get answers from the Bible about every decision you have to make in life.

Is it God’s will for me to take this job? Is this person my chosen soul mate for me? What color socks should I wear today? The truth is you’re not going to find a single verse in the Bible that will answer this question.

The funny thing is I believe the Bible does have answers to every question about life. Let me restate that…the Bible has the answer about how we should come to an answer about every question about life. That’s called wisdom.

Become more Christ-like. Walk on earth and in the circles of people in your life as if you were Jesus Christ walking the earth. The more you learn about the character of Christ the more your life will bear fruit…you know love, joy, peace, etc. Then God will give you the wisdom to answer life’s questions and you’ll be able to answer them quickly.

Before you become completely upset that I’ve destroyed a perfectly effective bumper sticker. How bout we change the statement to say:

“God said it… I will live it… And your life will be blessed too!”

 

Diary of a Bad Dad

This post is going to be an ongoing series about my thoughts on Fatherhood. The title comes from years of being labeled a bad dad by people in my life. People, whose opinion I care very little, and who for the most part a fellow Christians like myself.

As a middle child, I’m a pleaser by nature. I want everybody to like me. Now that I’m 47, I just don’t have the energy or will power to make people like me anymore. As trite as it sounds, the only opinion about my parenting style, that I care about is God and my daughter.

My daughter turns seven next month and already I’m a proud father. There are things I’ve intentionally instilled in her and things that shielded from her.

My Little Geek

The fight for childhood interests was a touchy subject for a while. My wife was at first able to get her into Disney Princesses and My Little Pony. But over time, my geek side has slowly crept into the mix. The two of us have seen Marvel’s Avengers seven times in the theaters and countless times at home. As of late, she’s brave enough to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and we’re just about ready to see it again.

What about my passion for wrestling? She expresses a desire to go to a WWE event with me, and her favorite wrestler is Sheamus. I don’t know why, but I’ll take it. She also thinks Stephanie McMahon is pretty.

My Social Butterfly

It’s well-documented that I’m an extreme introvert. My daughter is the exact opposite. She’s outgoing and friendly. She’s managed to make friends with our next door neighbors, get along with the kids at church and befriended even the kids of my friends.

Does Not Know Judgment

I’ll just get right to it. I have gay friends. I know gay couples. These gay couples have children. My daughter doesn’t care about the spiritual and moral ramifications of the gay lifestyle. She just sees two people who love each other and are raising their kids the best anyone can.

Honestly, it’s more important that my kid recognizes good and bad parents more than gay and straight parents. It would kill me if my daughter told a classmate his/her gay parents are sinners and refused to be friends with their child. That’s not the God; I want her to believe in.

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