Brought low by my own hypocrisy

This is a follow up to the last article I posted.  Earlier in the year, I was chronicling my very successful attempt to lose weight.  In May, I fell off the wagon.  For the last few months, I have proceeded to undo much of the good that I did before I fell off.  Several times I have tried to get started again, but found an excuse to stop.

Yesterday, as I wrote about not taking irresponsible chances with my life for my daughter’s sake, I was faced with my own hypocrisy, and realized why I failed back in May.

I took my eyes off the prize and lost my focus.  When I started my weight loss program, my daughter was the reason that I was doing it.  At some point, I was so proud of all that I had accomplished, that I forgot why I was doing it.

So, yesterday, as I wrote about other people being irresponsible, I realized that I could not hold them to a higher standard than I was holding myself.  As a result, the diet is back on (for her sake), and I got off my fat ass and walked today.  Stay tuned….

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Taking no chances…for my family

Yesterday, I was reading a story about Andrew Lee, an ‘aspiring chef’ from England who bet his girlfriend’s brother that he could make a really hot sauce.  This inevitably devolved into a contest between the two to see who could eat the most of it and, of course, Lee proved that he was able to make a damn hot sauce.  Unfortunately, he lost the eating contest after it killed him. 

I am a guy, and I think I have a competitive nature.  I, however, do not understand why guys find the need to show that they are bigger, tougher, crazier and dumber than the next guy.  There is just no need for it.  I like hot sauce, and I like it hotter than most, but once the capsaicin is so potent that the food has no other flavor, I no longer see the point.  You might as well drink some battery acid and speed up the ulcer creating process, because ultimately that is all you are going to get out of it.

Obviously no one intends to die from eating hot sauce that is too hot or drinking too much water at a water drinking contest (check out water intoxication), but it seems every day we are presented with another act of needless bravado that results in someone’s death.  Perhaps when we are feeling all amped-up about something, it would be best to tap the breaks a little.

I will assume that in this particular case, the guy did not have a family, other than a girlfriend (though there is no guarantee of this by any means), which mitigates the tragedy a little.  However, in many of these cases people leave the world with a sad and confused family.

As a father (and even before I became one), I have developed some strong opinions regarding responsibility.  I really don’t care what people do with their lives before they get married as long as what they are doing is not hurting someone else or causing them to be a burden to society (see inexperienced climbers who decide to tackle Denali and have to be rescued: stupid), but I believe once you are married, and especially once you have children, you accept new responsibilities that should lead you to more responsible actions.  I believe that when we accept these responsibilities and limit our own selfish desires for challenges and expressions of bravado we effectively show love to our families.  Unfortunately many men even after they are married and have children approach life as if they are starring in their own movies, and of course, nothing bad ever happens to the hero of the movie.
For me, these responsibilities are far reaching, and affect my behavior.  I would not consider climbing Mount Everest (please refrain from personal shots at this point.  I know this is about the same as me saying, “I will not accept a date with Angelina Jolee.”).  The chances of dying are just too great.  I saw an article about a woman who died on K2 (the world’s second tallest mount which is considered by some to be tougher than Everest).  The piece talked about how brave she was, and what a pioneer for women she was.  It also informed the reader, near the end, that she was a mother of two, ages four and six.  I have to be honest.  This woman had her priorities all out of whack.  If you are a mother, that is your primary identity.  She was a mother before she was a climber.  Mothers, and fathers, should put their parental responsibilities ahead of their other petty desires for a challenge or even fame.  My feelings go farther than this needless act of irresponsibility, however.

Several years ago my sister and her boyfriend (who eventually became her husband) went skydiving.  I am not afraid to skydive, and think it would probably be an interesting experience, but now, as a father and husband, I just cannot do it.  I know that most people who skydive do not have any problems, and enjoy the experience, but I can’t do it.  The consequences of a mistake by myself or anyone else in this situation are too great for me to risk.  I am not motivated by fear.  I simply have too much responsibility.

It extends even further.  The best example that I can come up with is the motorcycle.  I live in the Dallas area, and commute some distance to work.  With gas prices as high as they are, it would be a lot cheaper for me to ride a motorcycle to work.  As a father, I will not do it.  There are too many other drivers out there that do not pay attention to the road for me to take the chance.  I owe my daughter and my wife too much to take the chance that something bad could happen to me.  If you are on a motorcycle, and get into an accident, you are going to lose, and it could easily be very bad.  Every day it seems like you hear of a local fatality accident involving a motorcycle.

Part of me showing love to my wife and daughter is to avoid these things that add needless risk to my life.  Raising her, helping her to be a good person, and being involved in her life are just too important to me.  I know that I still have no guarantees, but I am going to do my best to do what is right by her, and the things that are beyond my control, I cannot worry about.

As I wrote this, I was faced with certain issues in my own life.  I could not finish it without confronting them, but I will deal with that in the next post.

Extra! Extra!

Find my latest American Idol article here.

Breaking News!  The sky is blue.  The grass is green.  Water is wet.  Oh, and Clay Aiken is gay.

I have a friend who often uses the phrase, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a DUCK!”  Never has this phrase been proven itself to be truer.  Clay Aiken has ‘quacked’ louder anyone else for the past five years, but has consistently denied that he is gay.  We knew better.

I do not know how he ever fit into that closet in the first place what with all of the gayness that was stuffed un there with him.

As I’ve said before, I like my freaks wacky and my homosexuals flaming.  That way everyone knows where everyone stands,…and they can be more eailsy avoided.  I may have to add him to the Creepy list.  I’m sure Kelly Ripa already has him on hers.

Wheels-off Monday Night Football Game

Last night’s Monday Night Football game had some issues.  The problems began before the game even started with Kat Deluna’s atrocious rendition of the National Anthem.  This will go down in history as one of the worst in a long line of terrible renditions of this song.  It was a terrible version filled with growling and runs all over the place.  It was off-key and badly sung in general.  At least she was all into herself instead of the lyrics.  They could have found someone better at the American Idol tryouts.  Thanks to Dallas fans for appropriately booing her sorry ass.

Being on ESPN, we had to put up with the idiot, Tony Kornheiser.  Now that Bryant Gumble is gone, he is, bar none, the worst sports commentator on television.  Last night, as I was frantically and unsuccessfully trying to get “The Ticket” (the Cowboys’ flagship station) to tune in on my radio, I came to the horrible realization that I would rather listen to Brent Musberger.  I never thought I would say that, but sadly it is true.

It is apparent that whatever the ESPN commentators are talking about is much more important than anything else that must be going on, especially the game itself.  At one point Stuart Scott was making some general point about DeSean Jackson after a play where he obviously got hurt.  Since the injury did not do anything to bolster his argument, I guess Scott felt that the injury was not worth mentioning.  Also, it is evident that ESPN is not concerned with providing their audience with a replay even if there is a questionable component to a play.  Thank goodness the refs finally got one right when they reversed the claim that a ball had been tipped (by a phantom, I guess) late in the game.  It was obvious that the ESPN crew was not even watching the game at that point, and it took the refs to point out the play to them.  Thank goodness for Tivo/DVR.  With it, I am able to rewind and review pertinent events of the game on my own, and then fast forward past all of the “blah, blah, blah.  There has to be someone better than this crew out there.  Please find them.

This all being said, the viewers of the game were treated to one of the best Monday Night Football games in history.  What an enjoyable shootout it was.  I make no secret of the fact that I am from the Dallas area, and am a lifelong Dallas fan, and as a result, an Eagles (and Redskins) hater.  This made the game all the better for me.  The rest of the league is lucky that the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants have to play six games against each other this season.  Overall, it was a great game, but it was not perfect on either side of the ball or with the striped shirts.

On this point, I want to say first that I do not consider myself to be a bad fan, one that always complains and finds fault in a game.  There are those guys who would pick apart a victory if their team won 50-0.  I am not like that, but that does not mean that I am blinded by victory either.

One thing that I believe is very hard for players to overcome is a tendency to make bad in-game decisions.  There are those players who perform well, but in certain situations fall apart or make catastrophic mistake.  Usually, this is occurs under pressure.

Monday night’s game had more than its fair share of these moments.  Some times a play simply underscores the fact that a player is a knucklehead in general.  Cowboy fans can thank DeSean Jackson for replacing Leon Lett as the player who made the most boneheaded decision in league history.  Get ready Eagles fans, I’m sure you will have years to enjoy the antics of this idiot if he can survive the Philadelphia media.  There is a great quote from Bull Durham that applies well to this discussion.  Crash Davis says, “Come on, ‘rook, show us that million-dollar arm. ‘Cause I got; oh yeah, I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours.”

Jackson’s folly overshadowed two other brain-dead plays that had a much greater impact on the game.  Late in the game, Donovan McNabb did his best Lucy Van Pelt impersonation when he stuck the ball out for Brian Westbrook, drew is back, and then stuck it back out again just in time to cause a game-changing fumble.  There is really no good explanation for this play, but he was just matching a equally bad decision made by Romo earlier in the game.

In that instance, Romo went to pitch the ball back to Marion Barber III, and had it slip out of his hands in his own end zone. Romo, instead of kicking the ball out of the end zone for a safety, the appropriate play at the time, picked it up.  This allowed him the opportunity to perform a Romo-like play and simply throw the ball away, as he was outside of the pocket when he got to it.  Instead, however, he picked up the ball, and looked for a moment as if he thought he were Barry Sanders, and was going to run it out of the end zone from eight yards deep himself.  Unfortunately, when he looked up there were four Eagles there ready to fustigate him.  Again, instead of making the good decision, and taking the safety, he decided to try to throw the ball away too late, and handed the Eagles a touchdown.

Look, I like Romo, and think he is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the game of football today.  The problem is that I am beginning to worry about his ‘five cent head.’  Tony has shown a propensity for the bonehead play in his career so far, be it the faulty hold against Seattle, untimely interceptions or his highlight play when he scrambled all over the field for a first down (it was still a bad football decision, though it was very entertaining to watch.).  Many people have compared his ‘gunslinger’ mentality to Brett Favre (I hate these nauseous comparisons.).  We are told that ‘when you have a guy like this, you have to take the bad with the good.’  I don’t get this argument.  I just want the good.  I want a player’s great talent and ability to be bolstered by him smart in-game decisions.  That is what wins championships.  I’m starting to be afraid that when the chips are on the line, in a must-win game, that his ‘gunslinger’ mentality will result in Cowboy fans being shot through the heart.  I truly hope I am wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah needs to get ready

If you thought the Democrats and the media were rude to Palin before, get ready.  The Democrats and the media especially, have assumed that Obama would be the next president with a glee that they have not even attempted to mask.  However, the latest polls are showing that McCain has taken the lead. 

As far as I am concerned this is great, but get ready, confused and furious Demcorats and the media are just now having to come to grips with the reality that their chosen Messiah may not have a cake-walk into the White House.  This will truly be an unforeseen blow.  And because they don’t understand all of the issues causing the McCain surge.  Among them: the fact that the Democratic Party still does not represent what most American believe in, the fact that McCain is running a good campaign, taxes, the fact that Republican policies are more fiscally sound, drilling for oil,  nuclear energy, the positive news out of Iraq, Obama (he as his own host of issues), and Biden (A-hole).

As I said, the Democrats and the media will not understand all of these issues.  They will focus their anger on one person, Sarah Palin.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a genius pick, and is part of the reason for McCain’s surge, but the Democrats and the media do not understand the impact of the other issues listed above.  They are truly in love with Obama, and they will take out their frustration on McCain’s running mate.

It is going to get very brutal.  I fully expect a flood of new (mostly false) stories to come flooding off of the internet.  She will be made to look like everything from a tramp to Hitler (yes, they will make that comparison.  It’s the internet and it’s inevitable).  The good news is that if she can withstand barrage, and if nothing truly devastating comes out (nudie picks, for example, though I did have a friend who is an independent who said he would sell his vote for those), the Republicans might just win this election.  Focusing on her is a losing proposition for them, and Obama cannot compete with McCain in terms of experience and debate.  No, they will savage her.  They will look like asses for doing it, and the Republicans just might win.

 

On another note, I do not understand why the media has not come over to McCain since the Palin pick.  If McCain wins, Obama is finished, but McCain will probably not be able to run again in four more years.  This will set up the Palin vs Hillary showdown, and that would be the greatest ever spectacle in American politics.  What a field-day for the media.