Thursday, May 24, 2007

I May Be The Only Person

in America who does not watch American Idol.

I had lunch with a friend in the music business last week. He asked me if I watched it, and I had to confess that I don't. He said he didn't either until this year. Then he told me why.

Among other extremely popular artists that he manages, he also represents the person in this photo. Jordin Sparks is 23 days younger than my middle son, Matt. My friend has managed her "singing career" since she was (14). Needless to say, he has done well.

I laughed when he told me that he had encouraged her to audition for American Idol if only for the experience. Who knew she would win it all and become famous at (17).

I laughed even more when he told me that by encouraging her to audition for American Idol and now winning, he worked himself out of a job. Evidently, Simon gets to manage the winners on American Idol, so too bad for my friend.

What a crazy world we live in where a show with people singing on it is the number 1 rated television show in America......

I don't think that ever happened with Lawrence Welk! (OK, I really am old!)

entertainment and idols.........what a strange combination.......

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Worship? I'm Afraid So!

I know this event took place last month, but I have not made the time to blog about it.

If you did not see the news, over 92,000 Alabama football fans showed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL for the Alabama Spring Football Game.......that's right - the spring football game!!!

Talk about your fans.....or talk about worship - yes, I said it - worship. These people worship Alabama football, and many of them if pressed would tell you that Nick Saban better be the football "messiah" or else.

Man, this scares me.

Here is what the AP said about it:

In front of a crowd in excess of 92,138, the largest crowd in A-Day history, Alabama’s White squad defeated the Crimson squad 20-13 in the first public scrimmage under first-year Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama’s capacity crowd is well over the previous best for a Southeastern Conference Spring Day game, which is believed to have been set by Tennessee in 1986, with 73,000. It also nearly doubles this season’s previous best set by Florida at 47,500.

“I’d like to thank all of our fans, who made this a really special day today,” Saban said. “To have as many people as we had here today is a great self-gratification for the players. It shows what great passion and support we have at the University of Alabama and it certainly makes me feel great about being here as a coach.”

There are so many things that could be said about this, but here's my observation aside from football and a new head coach.

There truly is something to be said when over 92,000 people cram into one place to watch a sporting event that has no "pay-off", no end goal, no winner, no loser, no champion, no anything - just a spring football game.

I am now rambling, but I conclude with this - it is astounding to me that football in Alabama (and certainly not just in Alabama) is truly a religious experience - meaning, there is amazing commitment to it, it is valued far above many other things, and it is certainly what many, many people in Alabama spend alot of their time talking about.

Louie Giglio says it well - at the end of the trail of your affections, your allegiance, your energy, your time, and your money is a throne. Whatever sits on that throne is what you worship......hmmmm.....92,000 people.........

Saturday, May 19, 2007

There Goes The Neighborhood

We have lived in the same neighborhood now for almost (17) years.

Matt was (7) months old when we moved into this house and neighborhood. Ben was not even a dream or wish in our mind. This neighborhood has always been a truly GREAT neighborhood.......a great place to raise kids, to enjoy neighbors, backyards, and evenings much like tonight when the air is clear, clean, and cool - even in late May.

We have had our share of gatherings (both large and small) in our back yard. We have a great back yard because of the shape of it, and because it literally connects to the "common ground" that our neighborhood is so "known for". So, therefore through the years, we have hosted hundreds of people having fun and enjoying music, food, and each other!

Well, that may have come to an end - all because we now have a new neighbor who lives behind us - on the other side of what I would call a very small "creek bed".

Twice now, this neighbor has made his way over to our back yard to ask us to "keep the noise down because his small kids either need to take a nap or go to bed at 8:30pm". BUMMER!

What ever happened to the good ol' neighborhood where you could shoot off fireworks at any time of the day, hang out with friends in your back yard and maybe even be a bit on the "tame rowdy" side?

This "new-to-the-neighborhood" scrooge asked our boys to quit shooting off fireworks at 9:30pm - on the evening of JULY 4th for crying out loud! (Never mind the rest of the neighborhood was shooting off fireworks well past 11:00pm!!)

Now, last Sunday - near the conclusion of a most delightful Mother's Day - this clown actually came across his yard, through my back yard to my driveway and garage, and asked my sons if they would "tone it down" so his small kids could go to sleep (my sons were immensely enjoying one another playing different instruments in MY garage at 7:30pm!!)

Now before I sound like a ruthless, "you-know-what", I don't hate this guy. I feel sorry for him. My kids were young once - (check out the photo above). I don't think I would have ever asked a neighbor to "tone it down". That's not the "neighborhood way" - especially THIS neighborhood! We just have fun, and enjoy our neighbors with all our weirdness and differences and "stuff" that we deal with.

So, I don't want to not like this guy.

I realize in a few years, we won't have any more kids in the house except an occasional grandbaby, so who knows - maybe I might wander over his direction and ask him to quit mowing so my grandkid can take a nap!

Friday, May 04, 2007


This photo is stunning to me in so many ways. The young child is my sister's grandson, Wesley. The marvelously handsome elderly gentleman is my Dad. You are looking at a young boy - age 6 (I think), and a man - age 85.

As I ponder this photo, it is very difficult to articulate what I feel. I honestly remember being that age and playing baseball. I remember my much-younger Dad being at most every game I played even though he worked 14-hour days, (7) days a week owning and operating a Gulf Service Station.

I think about the fact that I will be a grandfather in November of this year. I don't think I fully realize what that means because I continue to believe that I am too young to be a grandfather, but I'm really not, and I could not be more thrilled about having a Worley rug rat around.

I think about what my Dad has witnessed in his lifetime. I think about his wit. I think about his solid faith, his example of love and commitment to my Mom, his stable and quiet approach to most everything in life that I can think of. The words "stress" and "my Dad" have never been used in the same sentence, even though I am quite certain he has experienced it......I would never have known.

I really wonder what runs through his mind as he watches his great-grandson play baseball. That must bring him great delight because I know how much he loves that game, and I know how much he loves watching kids play it - most especially, his kids.

I went to the doctor today because of some nagging pain that will not go away. I will spare you the boring details except to say that the orthopedic doctor told me to expect to have (3) different surgeries on (3) different parts of my body sometime in the next 5-10 years.

As I have pondered that statement, I almost have to laugh. Here's a doctor I have never met or talked with until today, and after reviewing x-rays and spending 15 minutes with me, that's what he has to say to me. Good grief - I don't know what's up with tomorrow, much less the thought of (3) surgeries in the next 5-10 years.

I think about my 85-year old Dad. I really think if he had been in that room with this doctor, he would have cracked a joke, and walked out of the doctor's office to go out and prove him wrong. After all, alot of things have to be "going your way" to still be around at age 85!

So, our bodies wear down, even our minds don't stay as sharp as we would like, but we get up each morning and thank our great God that we have breath and energy, and yes, even pain because we all know that there is much to be learned through pain.

I know I need to persevere because I want to still be around at age 85.....and watch my great-grandson play baseball or sing or play an instrument or make a movie or watch (Lord, what would I do!!??) my great-granddaughter dance or sing or play ball or paint a picture or laugh out loud.

I really do need to ask my Dad what that feels like, and as much as I need to hear it, I am quite certain it would bring him even greater joy just to tell me all about it.