Thursday, November 20, 2008


So... this word is a crazy mixed up business. The more life I live the more it gets mixed up. There were days when I knew where my home was, even if it did change from time to time. It was one place. I have lived with family, friends, acquaintances, and my wife. All have been homes. Sometimes home was what ever place I was, and others, the place I was not. Home seems less and less a specific location as I get older. However, I am about to purchase my first house. I have very little attachment to this property today, but Monday it will be the single biggest item I have ever put money toward. It will still not be my home. I will put all my other belongings in it. Still not my home. My Family will live there. That might do it, but I'm not sure. Home is an odd place/idea.
I hear "this is not my home." I'm seeing more truth to that than ever. Maybe the more homes you have the more you see yourself as a citizen of another kingdom altogether. I'm strange, and I look forward to my alien homecoming.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Music of my life

As one or two of you might know, I'm into music. I love to turn people on to a new band/artist. I have gotten a few suggestions lately and I feel that it is incumbent upon me to reciprocate.
Anyone not listening to Paper Route should stop it! They are up-and-comers who are doing something new.
The Avett Brothers are amazing lyrically and folksy good musically as well.
The same can be said for Josh Ritter, but he has a bit more polish.
Jon Foreman is a musical master mind with an amazing voice. His solo EP's have been more than solid.
As voices go, Glen Hansard is not to be missed. He has more emotion in his uvula than most can muster in a lifetime.
Martin Sexton is a musical chameleon with a voice that plays hide and seek with style and instrumentation. He can do anything he wants with his pipes.
A new interest of mine, Johnny Flynn, has a folk/bluegrass exuberance that starts you on the journey, and an obsession with death lyrically. Not bad at all.
City and Colour, a side project for the lead singer of a much harder band, is very good on the lyric and melody front. I am also into his guitar playing. His other band is evedint in his composition.
Damien Jurado and Hayden both have new albums worth checking out.
None of this is really ground breacking, but I enjoy it. I only hope that you find joy in the creative spark of others. Let me know if I left off someone who is about to blow my mind I just don't know it yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Second Guess

I am reading a study guide for a life insurance exam. (I know you want a copy, but you'll need to get in line) On the first page are some test taking tips.

Eliminate options you know are wrong.
Get plenty of sleep.
Know what to expect.
Always go with you first guess.

They all seem like good bits of advice. I've always been a good test taker, so I guess I come to the table with many of these tips as habits. Why then do I look at life differently? Could I do well to always go with my first guess? Should I be guessing here? Would I make it in a world with no second guessing?

I have trained my self to second guess. There were days when I knew I was right, and to second guess was to slow down. My pride kept me ahead of the game. Ahead of everyone else. Humility comes from many places. Maybe from second guessing. I'm not sure that second guessing and uncertainty are the same thing, but not being so sure I'm right has been helpful. I'm less judgmental, less preachy, and less of an arrogant jerk. Less...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Challenge

Life has a way of teaching that I'm not a big fan of. It seems to work well enough. I've been trying to learn quickly because if I don't the lessons get harsher. I see trends in conversations, lessons, words over heard, and sermons attended. These trends are typically slow to develop, but as I don't respond they pick up speed until I get the picture. Kind of a snowball type thing.

My current lesson: how to truly be a good steward. I have been blessed with more than I know what to do with and still I want more. Sometimes it's a small thing that grows. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze. I get up late because I wanted more sleep than I needed, and did not have time to make my lunch. I make it to that time of day and buy a sandwich I could have made with the food I already have. It may not be a fast car that I want, but maybe it's the value size fries. I might not be obsessed with the newest designer fashions, but I do want to hear the newest artist from the comfort of my office chair. I'm not sure that the fast car or the new song are bad, but I want to have things for me and often don't consider the cost of my consumption on a larger scale. It takes $1,500 to drill a well for a village who has no clean water. In one year, for a little less than $30 a week, I could change and entire town for a long time to come. I subscribe to Blockbuster online. That's $144 a year right there, and I haven't watched a movie in two or three weeks. Now I am buying a house. I know that it makes scene. The market is down, the neighborhood is coming up, it's well within our budget, we will put equity into a place instead of renting a roof, there are great things going on in the area, and still I look at the money with fear. I want it's security. I want to know if something happens it will be there to save my wife and me. My faith is intermittent and flimsy. I know God is not. I need to know that. Trust is my true challenge. Pray for this. I feel it is my responsibility to model this for my family, my friends, and my co-workers. Maybe it is my responsibility and maybe it's my blessing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Changes of Direction

So Tuesday was a big deal. I feel very split on the subject to be honest. Parts of me rejoice with our country that a history of oppression and hate could come to this point in so little time. That should bring us all hope. Other parts of me fear the Socialist/redistributionist direction that a far left government will take this country. However, it's the ongoing deterioration of personal freedom, responsibility, and education that truly threaten our land.
In a time like this, many people on the left and right want to talk about how wonderful/terrible our country's decision was on Tuesday, and I agree.

ANYONE can achieve great things when given the freedom to do so. Obama changed history, we must change trajectory.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Did my vote count?

Tomorrow, after all the votes have been counted and we have a new President/reason to count again, will you know where your vote is? What pile it's sitting in? Are you a winner, a looser, a marginalized other, or an outsider observing the folly? Did your vote mean anything? Did it reflect your views? Did it reflect something deeper about you? Are you a one issue voter? Did you pick the lesser of two evils? Did you help make history? Was your vote the result of a passionate cause or duty? Why did or didn't you cast a vote? Will you be okay that "the other candidate" won? Do you except that he was placed there for a reason? by a Power? Sometimes I question.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Much catching up to do...

So Rusty Smile was once a Xanga, and no one likes those any longer. Life has put a year or so between me and my last post. I may be a bit "rusty" so pardon por favor.

So I have fiends in this town. They are smart individuals and many have opposing views, my self included. Sunday, I got my first crack at defending my beliefs in a long time. My bright and opposed friends have pushed me to think harder about why I feel so strongly about my stance on certain matters. I'm pleased to say that God is even bigger than I had suspected.

"The Good Willed Individual," a concept until now unrelated to fiscal and political policy, has crept into my life. I'm seeing people differently. At one point, people were right and others were wrong. The wrong ones wanted something other than what I wanted and that made them wrong. I'm seeing that they want many of the same things, they just feel we should go a different way to get there.

Now, is it the destination or the path? the end or the means? What if we play on the same team? What if the body is best able to serve as a diverse set of parts working in unison? or would that be harmony?