Eleven in Twenty-Eleven

Lots of people have blogged about their fave things from 2010, and the things they want to carry out before they are 30 and so on.  But I don’t really remember 2010 (horrible memory!), and 30 is a long way off for me. (Not so far for my wife, but I won’t go there!)So, here are the top ELEVEN things I want to do in 2011.

  1. I want to get everyone around me saying TWENTY-ELEVEN, etc, NOT two thousand eleven.  Did we ever say nineteen hundred ninety-two, or one thousand nine hundred ninety-two?  NO, we said nineteen ninety-two. (Okay, silly rant over.)
  2. I want to honestly explore the feasibility of a giftless Christmas. No gift giving, no gift receiving.  Only one big act of generosity from my family to someone who needs it. (Don’t worry mom, I am not COMMITTED to this, but I want to explore how it would look/work.)  We talk so much about Christmas being about more than gifts.  Maybe it is time to prove it.
  3. I want to complete my Creole lessons.  I have had them for a year with little progress. While I know some, I have SO MUCH work to do. Mwen gen yon bann travay fè.
  4. I want to blog 40 times this year.  This is like once every 9/10 days.  I have lots of ideas/thoughts/perspectives that not only might be helpful to others, but would be good for ME to share.  But I am not a daily blogger, I need more space.  ha.
  5. I want to give away more money than I spend on my entertainment.  So every time I pay the cable bill, go to a movie with the wife, and buy music, I will be adding up and trying to surpass it.
  6. I want to take my wife to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  This would seem like a simple enough task, but we have lived here 2 1/2 years and something keeps coming up.  Not this year. (Yeah.  I dig a little classical music. Go ahead. Make fun of me. I can take it.)
  7. Speaking of my wife, we need a day in downtown DC checking out the museums and monuments.  She is not originally an East Coast girl, so doesn’t have all the school field trips I have to look back on.
  8. I have a friendship that I haven’t been investing in.  I need to give it some more effort and time.  Maybe an hour a week or so. (There is a nice, vague goal for ya.)
  9. I want to win another double-header!  (My Friday night pals will get this one!)
  10. I want to take my kids on “Daddy Dates” at least once a month!  I almost cried today when I realized that my oldest daughter is 33% of the way to adulthood.  WHAT?!?!  They need memories and moments and talks and laughs with Dad.  More than they have been getting.
  11. A family camping trip.  Yep.  It HAS to happen.  Even if it just on the back porch. (kidding, Roseann.) Spring, watch out.  You are gonna get Johnson-camped.

So, those are some things I want to happen in 2011.  Which of these will you hold me accountable for?  What are some of your top goals for 2011? Tell me in the comments below.

Catcher in the Rye @ Midnight

Midnight thought for you….(it may not make sense in the morning, in which case I will delete it and you probably won’t read it anyway)

I am up late, not sleeping and reading, for the first time, The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.  Not sure how I ever got away with NOT reading this, but that is besides the point, for now.  Here is my thought:

Be careful how you parent your kids.  Not just because you want them to become healthy adults, but also because if you don’t, they might grow up and write a book that reveals just how messed-up you are.

Anyway, goodnight.

What I Hate About Christmas!

Please note: if you do not read all of this post, please know that I love a lot about Christmas.  But not all of it. So read, laugh, get angry, whatever.

Everyone has their cheesy smiles painted on, credit balances maxed, and the Jingle Bells tune running through their head. It must be that time of year again. (The most wonderful time of year?)

I like Christmas, but alot of Christmas-ish things BUG me.  So, my “Grace-Unfiltered” readers, I present my “Most Hated Christmas Things” list.

  • Christmas Shoes“!!!!! A million times over. THIS IS THE SINGLE WORST MODERN CHRISTMAS SONG!  (Really, it is worse than the Lady GaGa song I experienced recently!) Seriously, this song/story about a kid buying his dying mom a pair of shoes so she can die looking good is only a Christmas song because he is buying them for her on Christmas Eve. (And the only reason my fellow Christians like it is because it says the name of Jesus in every chorus….) (I think….) (Sorry, I guess sob-songs and sob-stories have their place, but I cannot stand this one…in case you couldn’t tell) (Also, I am totally digging parentheses today!)
  • Mall Santas.  I am pretty sure most parents would not let their kids sit on the lap of some random stranger 11 months out of the year, but when December rolls around, things change!  In December they actually make a special trip and wait in line to do it. Seriously, parents?  Come on.
  • The Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays war! (I feel some hate-mail coming on..) Christian friends, do you really think you can take Jesus out of Christmas by removing His name from a Wal-Mart advertisement?  Stop expecting people who don’t follow Jesus to act/speak  like they do! Wish everyone you see a Merry Christmas, but do it as an honest expression of the hope and grace we celebrate at this season.  Don’t make it bullet in the war against Happy Holidays. (Oh, and go read THIS.)
  • A Christmas Carol. Seriously, Dickens classic story is certainly a good story.  It definitely was creative and original when it was written. BUT, how many times can you remake the story?  Really? Let me summarize the overused plot: A mean person  becomes a nice person because he is haunted. (Reality check: If I see ghosts all night, I become CRAZY, not nice.)
  • Since when was Christmas an excuse for crazy drunken bashes?  Just askin’..

So, there ya go.  A few things I hate about Christmas. Oh, one more parenthetical statement: (A few things I love about Christmas: Jesus, Egg Nog, My Family, Time Off, A Christmas Story, Carol of the Bells by August Burns Red, Decorating the Tree, Cookies, MOST of the Music….)

So, give me your hate (or love) list for Christmas!

25 Random Things about me (repost from FB)

This is totally a repost of a note I wrote on Facebook. This note is exclusively dedicated to: well, uhh, me! These are 25 random things about me. Feel free to respond and/or add to the list.

1. I love unintentionally funny movies movies, known to most people as B-movies! What I recently learned is that this AWFULly good movies also happen to be the ones you can LEGALLY watch for free online!

2. I love church. I bleed church. I think about church all the time. Also, the church irritates, frustrates and infuriates me more than anything else in the world!(Not one congregation in particular, but The Church as a whole) ~One of those really annoying paradoxes in the journey called my life~

3. I can’t stand my office. It’s not the paint or the room or anything. It is just there is no one there. So I moof! (For those of you unfamiliar….moof=mobile out of officing…check it on urban dictionary!)

4. My wife is stinkin’ awesome! (much more of the latter than the former!)

5. I definitely have a man crush (non-homo, thank you!) on Jack Bauer and Perry Noble!

6. I can moderately communicate in Haitian Creole. (300 words or so)

7. If I could be anyone from ‘The Office’ I would be Andy. Why?!? Because he is blissfully ignorant of everything! Ohh to not know how much crap is going on around you!

8. Who do you think I am most like from ‘The Office’? (BTW–The Office is officially my fave entertainment experience!)

9. The worst nickname I ever had was Free Willy. (Aren’t children so nice to the fat kids?)

10. I think email forwards are one of the worst forms of torture in the world! (Here that Frm. Pres Bush– stop the waterboarding and start the forwarding!)

11. My secret–Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing, and have no idea how I did what I did or how I could do it again.

12. I am a huge fan of the New England Patriots.

13. My dream getaway currently is: to spend the weekend in Boston hangin’ out in different coffee shops and seeing a Patriots game live on Sunday afternoon!

14. I also dream of being a huge blogger. Like the one people actually read!

15. I also kinda dream about earning my PhD someday….yeah, I know, Dr. Billy is kind of a weird thought for me too!

16. I really wish I was a musician. When I hang out with Joe Goehringer, my mouth literally waters at his musical talents. Makes me sick! (not really…)

17. I am finding myself trying to sum everything up in 140 characters or less! (THANK YOU TWITTER!)

18. My fave radio station right now is Acoustic Alternative on iTunes Radio.

19. I wish I was as smart as Mark Driscoll, as cool as Perry Noble, as savvy as Mark Batterson, as techy as Tony Morgan, and as creative as Carlos Whittaker. (if you don’t know who those guys are, you should! google them!)

21. I literally lose sleep over two things– the future of my family & the future of the church.

22. i really like coffee. coffee makes me happy. coffee gives me joy. and lattes, they take me to a whole new level of coffee happiness.

23. I definitely should be spending this time writing this working on a sermon….

24. I have mixed emotions about our President! I mean, I liked most of Dubya’s policies, but man, he had a really bad style. President Obama- uber hip style, but his policies are not my favorite!

25. Yes! I skipped #20 on purpose. If you missed it so much, add it for me in the comment section!