the mysterious ninja
September 19, 2009, 5:54 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

i’ve always been a big talker. before i know it, something will be out of my mouth that i immediately regret. but for some reason i keep repeating this mistake. i think it started in kindergarten.

in the middle of my kindergarten year, my parents picked up and moved to another part of town. it meant i had to switch schools mid-way through the year. and i don’t mean the “mid-way” we invented one year in the boys dorm…you know what i’m talking about, former boys dorm residents. ask jeremy. (sorry, i know inside jokes are lame, but i’ve made one too many poop jokes on this blog already). on my last day before we moved, two older boys were making fun of me on the bus ride home. they didn’t know i was leaving, and so i did what any normal kindergarten child would do. i threatened their lives. i told them i was a double black belt in karate, and i would beat them up if they didn’t leave me alone. they kind of laughed, unsure if i was telling the truth. they asked me to prove it, but i obviously couldn’t on a bus (lucky for me…). so they told me that the next day at the bus stop i would show them my sweet karate moves. i told them they wouldn’t know what hit them, or some other cheesy movie quote i stole. obviously, that never happened because we moved and i never saw them again. i like to think that they thought i mysteriously disappeared, like a great warrior ninja that haunts their dreams to this day. 

i’m pretty sure that’s where it started, though. my big mouth. i’ve always thought that people with big mouths were so annoying. when you play sports and there’s that guy that’s talking trash to you…you just want to punch them. unless your winning of course, then i would usually be that guy. i don’t want to paint myself as the most obnoxious guy ever. i don’t think i am. there’s terrell owens. chad ocho cinco. rush limbaugh. televangelists. mr. dressup (he knows what i’m talking about). but somewhere along the line, i’ve learned this infamous gift, the gift of writing checks you can’t cash. and i’m tired of it. there’s this line that gets repeated in scripture many times. it says “let my words be few”. in the book of James, he says to “keep a tight reign on your tongue”. i’m pretty sure the scriptural writers were thinking of me when they wrote those verses. because i always think i should have the last word. 

i love arguing. i’ll argue with anyone. i dare you to tell me you like george bush, the toronto maple leafs, or mint chocolate chip ice cream (that is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself). i will give you ample evidence and spew resources to support my claims and why i’m the best and my opinion rules over all. i love it. until i meet someone who can fight back. there’s this talk show guy named John Gormley in my city that i love to hate. he’s an unashamed conservative talking head, and so often i curse him out as i listen to the radio. he’s no rush limbaugh, and so i don’t despise him all the time. only about half the time. the other half that i do like is when he invites vern reese (RIP) the antique expert or does his Rider Prognostications (Go Riders!). there was a time a few years ago where my job required me to drive about 15 minutes to work everyday, and so i would have a chance to hear his show. most days i would scream at the radio and shake my head in disgust. and so one day i decided i would call in. it didn’t matter what the topic du jour was, i was going to call and just let Gormley shove a cork in it. and so i called and waited on hold. i realized my heart was racing a little faster. i got kind of nervous, because i realized probably thousands of people would be listening to me debate a professional talker. and so i started to shake a little bit. and then i heard him call out my name. i’m pretty sure my voice cracked when i said hi. i don’t even remember the topic. i think it had something to do with whether a political party would win a by-election or not, and i was going to rip into him about his conservative bias and how he was trying to ruin democracy and destroy the world. but i just said hi. and he asked why i disagreed with him. and i couldn’t remember. in that moment, i lost the speech i had prepared in my mind. and instead said…

“i just don’t. you are wrong.” it was a titillating conversation to say the least. he mocked me and hung up.

thinking back on that, i don’t think our words always serve us very well. in my life, they have got me into more trouble than anything. you always wonder why lawyers advise their clients to not speak to the press in high profile cases. it’s partly because the lawyers don’t want the world to see what sleeze bags their clients are, but it’s also because our words often trap us. have you ever been caught in a lie? for me, the answer is…too many times to count. the more we speak, the less our words mean. i’ve always admired people who say little, because usually when they do speak, their words hold a power that i don’t understand. it’s like you’ve witnessed a rare gem that won’t be shared with many people. i know a few people like that, and they are a special breed. my pastor jason is one of them. you might wonder how a pastor might have few words to speak. they are paid to speak. but the reality is that jason chooses his words so carefully, that everything you hear is transforming and special. sorry jason, if that puts pressure on you. and my friend jeremy. you don’t say much, but i have learned so much from you over the years. but there are people like this. and i want to be more like that. like the mysterious ninja that haunts peoples dreams. that’s kind of like my pastor jason. the mysterious ninja. i bet if our church advertised that we had a mysterious ninja pastor, lots more people would come. i’ll raise that issue at the next church meeting. 

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anyway, that was a bunch of random thoughts about words. my point is that we should choose our words carefully. words have power. power to hurt and destroy. power to heal and reconcile. power to teach. power to spread lies and gossip. how will we use the power of our words? will they be empty, or full? my words are often empty. i want to change that. i think maybe our world would be a better place if politicians and talking heads (media) chose their words more wisely. they think they already do, but really it’s mostly hot air with noise in the middle. but i can’t point the finger at them. i have to start with me. instead of making threats i know i can’t back up, i should be truthful about who i am and what i stand for. instead of spreading gossip about others, i should walk away when one slanders another. instead of reacting in anger, i should offer a word of peace. 

the truth is that words hold more power in destruction than they do to give life. they say that it takes 100 compliments and uplifting comments to undo 1 harsh insult. their are very few that use words for good. not all of us can write speeches like obama. but we can choose our words carefully, so we do more good than bad. so let’s talk less. spend more time in silence and thought. it might make for some awkward lunch dates, but at least you won’t poop out of your mouth. 

sorry…it wouldn’t be a blog by blair if i didn’t have one poop joke. seriously, ask jeremy olson what a mid-way is. 

i will get you someday, john gormley.

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ricky, ricky you’re so fine
September 6, 2009, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , ,

it was a simpler time. men were men. they went to work, sweated drops of tears, and cried tears of sweat. women were women. they…did whatever women do. i’m still trying to figure that one out. watched rerun episodes of “friends”?

**spoiler alert** i can’t believe ross and rachel ended up together! who saw that coming?

n640561448_1267665_2098it was a time where going to concerts was what consumed our every waking moment. rain or shine, sleet or hail, snow or…cloudy…if there was a concert in town, we went to it. it was a time when we didn’t call them “concerts” at all, but rather “shows”. concerts were for the fancy yuppies drinking their starbuck’s with their real jobs. kind of like me, now. we went to shows. me, matty g, aaron of aragon, slippery pete, kryptonite kris, jerms, nic/nike…and a random assortment of others. but that was the crew. and there were few concerts we missed. there weren’t many that went to all the ones we did, but there was this one guy that was always there. it didn’t matter if it was the biggest band in the world or if it was the crappiest local band you’ve ever heard (i’m looking at you goodsampark. you weren’t good until you became today is the grave). he was always there. even when Global news did that embarrassing interview with MEANS about christian punk (we were so christian and oh so punk) and there were about 5 people at the show, they did an interview with a concert goer, and it was this same mystery man that we always saw and never knew. he was like a punk god to me. at every show, more dedicated than anyone i had ever known to the local punk rock scene. he towered above the rest, yet was younger than me. he drove a sweet abs suzuki swift with punk rock stickers on it. “sick of it all” was his band of choice, as you could often hear it in the stereo as he pulled away from shows. so we finally introduced ourselves to mr. ricky (richard) tiefenbach.

he came to hang out with us. we had never hung out with him before, so we did what we always had done. went to the east Tim Horton’s and had a rock fight. while it might seem quite obvious, it was an intricate game that matched wits and required strategy. actually, half of us went to one side of the parking lot while the other stayed, and we threw rocks at each other. on this night, we picked on jerms. he got separated from the group, and so we all threw rocks at him. we heard random yells and swear words from across the parking lot, but we kept throwing to our hearts content. at one point, we saw him dodge a rock and then collapse on the ground. we thought he was joking so we wouldn’t throw rocks anymore, so we did the natural thing. we kept throwing rocks. finally, the cries of pain sounded credible, so we went to check on him. he had injured his knee. later, we found out he tore him acl or mcl, or mri or brb or something like that. me and kris got the car and went to help him into the back seat. slippery pete and ricky kept visiting on the opposite side of Tim Horton’s parking lot. in all honesty, jeremy’s leg was probably not that bad…at first. but then me and kris got a bright idea, probably the best we ever had. not because of its brilliance. no, in fact it was probably one of our stupider moments. but it was the best idea we ever had because it will go down in legend as the funniest thing to ever happen. 

we sped towards peter and ricky. the speedometer picked up the pace and we must have been up to 80km/hour. pete and ricky saw us coming. there was no doubt about that. peter moved. ricky stayed put, leaning his shoulder into us, laughing at what he thought to be a car coming at him that would soon screech to a halt. but it didn’t. instead, the impact brought ricky flying through the windshield. it was then that the brakes were used. it was then that ricky flew forward from the impact and did about 20 barrel rolls forward on the concrete. and i’m pretty sure it was then that jeremy’s knee really got hurt. shattered glass was all over me and kris in the front seat. in the back, jerms was moaning in the pain of a busted up knee that had been jarred around more than it should have. peter was standing outside with his mouth open, in shock with the video camera at his side. sadly, it had not been turned on. silence enveloped us. no one dared to speak a word. all we could hear was jerms moaning in the back seat. and then i saw ricky stand up. i couldn’t help it. i started laughing. i stifled it at first, trying to keep it quiet as possible. no one else was, so i thought they would be mad if they heard me. but i couldn’t help it. and my stifled laugh quickly became a gut wrenching laugh that i could not contain. still, no one laughed. i might have got a nervous chuckle from someone. ricky had only scrapes and bruises, which is pretty amazing. jerms was in too much pain to know why it was funny (what a baby!). kris wasn’t sure what to think. peter just stood there, unsure of what to do. and i laughed. we drove home after that. i still have this picture of kris driving home with his head out the driver side window, so he could actually see the road. something about hitting somebody with a car tends to end your evening plans. i’m not sure why…

i don’t know why i laughed. the normal reaction would have been to get out of the car, and check on ricky. or to tend to jeremy with his busted knee in the back. but i just laughed. processing the events of the night in my head made it impossible not to. we met some guy at a concert who came to hang out with us for the first time. we took him to a rock fight. then we hit him with a car. you would think that would prevent him from hanging out with us anymore. but for some reason, he came back for more. ricky became a great friend. jerms knee has never been the same, but he can still kill me in soccer and tennis, so it’s not like we completely ruined him. kris now thinks its funny to hit people with cars, so watch out if you see him coming. peter is glad that he moved. i am still laughing about twice a week whenever i think about this moment. everyone involved now laughs, even though at the moment it was ridiculously inappropriate. which is a good way to describe me, ridiculously inappropriate. 

the moral of the story…don’t bring a rock to a car fight.