Saturday, February 1, 2014

Scripted Versus Reality

Disclaimer: This is not intended to offend any of the millions of viewers of reality shows out there. This is my humble opinion. Write your opinion, I will read it.

My friend Jonathan and I were eating lunch yesterday, and we were having a discussion about football, wrestling, and then my dislike for all thing reality shows on TV. Jonathan is a big fan of reality shows. He and his awesome wife watch them all the time and get a lot of laughs and enjoyment from them. As for me, when I watch them I feel angry and at times dumber. For the life of me I will never understand most reality shows.

Now to be honest, I do watch three shows that are considered reality shows. Those shows are, American Restoration (a show that highlights items that have been beaten up by time and how they are restored), Counting Cars (a show that highlights restored cars), and one of the original reality shows, Survivor. Now Survivor I see more of a contest show. When I watch Survivor, I actually fast forward through most of each show to watch the challenges and then to see who gets booted. Each show is marketed as a reality show, but to me they have a different spin to each of them that allows me to take that reality show warning going on in the back of my head and silence it as I watch.

My problem with a lot of reality shows out there is that they seem to deal in meanness, anger, and trying to destroy a person’s soul. There are shows where a person’s only job is to make them shine over everyone else in the show and by doing so, they intentionally harm the person mentally. There are other shows where people’s fame is celebrated, which can be fine. But my question is, what are you doing with your lives? Being famous to be famous, is that a way you want to live your life? Then there are shows where people have their lives shown on TV and wacky things just happen to them. How dumb does the show’s producer think we are? We know everything is staged. In most reality shows there is nothing real about them.

Now this is what I enjoy watching, scripted shows. I LOVE scripted TV shows. I truly believe that when TV is done right it can raise the human condition and show how amazing this life that God gave us can be. Comedies when done right can be laugh out loud funny and help bring genuine joy in to our lives. Dramas when done right can be thought provoking and entertaining. I am proud to say that my favorite show is The West Wing. That show had comedy and drama, and was also thought provoking and inspiring. It is a show I will watch over and over again and get a new feeling from it every time I watch it. I doubt a reality show could ever do that for me.

 Now, I am not saying people should stop watching reality shows. Far from it…if the show makes you take a few minutes away from a tough day or situation, then it did its job. What I am asking is that you think about what you watch. Do you want something that will shows people tearing people down? Showing people behaving dumb, when in actuality the person is quite intelligent and is trying to bring attention to them? Show a person that is on TV that is not there to entertain, but to continue to grow their celebrity and their bank? Television is a powerful medium. I believe the channels out there have a responsibility to continue to create powerful shows. But we as viewers have the power to just shut off the nonsense. And things that tear people down are the biggest pieces of nonsense out there.

Your Eternal Bud,

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Even in Florida it is Cold When You Sleep Outside

I play trivia at a local restaurant every Saturday with a buddy. Trivia has always been something fun for me. I have always known bits and pieces of random trivia, and Saturday nights are a night I can show my bits of knowledge. 

When leaving trivia tonight a gentleman came up to my friend and me and asked for some money so that he could get something to eat. My friend and I told him the truth; we did not have any cash on us and that we were sorry. The gentlemen went on to ask the next person that came out, and we went on our way.

I didn’t think much about it until an hour later, I was walking to my car from the store next to the restaurant. I saw the man that asked me for money sleeping on a bench outside the store. He was not bothering anyone, but there he was trying to get comfortable. I stood there for a moment. Should I wake him and see if he got food? Is he going to be warm enough? Plus he was settling down to sleep. Do I disturb him? I just did not know what to do.

I will be honest, I do not usually give money to people asking for it. I really wish I could feel comfortable giving that money to them, but I am usually apprehensive for a few reasons. First, I gave a guy money once and I saw him buy alcohol with it and not food. Defeated the purpose of giving him the money completely. Second, I have seen so many news pieces on con artists that ask for money claiming they need it, but in actuality are doing very well. I usually help out at food banks or give money to charities to get the money in the right places.

So two thoughts. First, I almost never carry cash on me now. Debit cards are the norm for me. When cash is needed, there is usually an errand to be run to go get some. Maybe I should think about carrying some with me for special circumstances. Second, when did I get so jaded on helping another human being out? I hate doubting another person’s motives. That is not what Christ did. Christ jumped in and helped as best He could and as much as He could. It is moments like tonight that remind me for someone who is supposed to be Christ like; I am so far from it. I just frustrate me.

So what did I do tonight? Well I decided that I did not want to disturb him. I just hope that food did get to him. What I did do, was put a blanket and an old pillow I had in my car and put it on the bench next to him (not disturbing him) and left. Hoping he could come to a better use for both those things than me who just uses it for the occasional comfort. It is going to be a cold night tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. I really hope he can get some use with them. 

God take care of this unknown man. Keep him warm. Keep him fed.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Writing a Eulogy is Hard to Do

I was listening to my local Christian radio station today called The Promise when a man with a baritone voice came on and was talking about eulogies. But this was a little different. The wife of his friend asked him to write a eulogy for her husband. Here is the kicker, her husband was still alive and well. She told the speaker, that we all have some nice things said about us when we die, why not tell us those things when we are alive? The speaker then talked about the great pride he took in writing this eulogy for his friend. He didn’t hold anything back, letting him know how much he loved and respected this friend. As I heard this, I got the biggest smile on my face. I loved hearing this and thought what can I do to do the same thing?

If I had to have my greatest wish answered, it would be that I would live my life like a eulogy to everyone I know. Not a sharp word to anyone, not an unkind message said. Just want to give pure love and devotion to all my friends and family. To lift up, not tear down. Some of the hardest times in my life have been when I went to bruise (event if it was gently) and hurt someone I care about. The only few times I have not slept properly is when I have not set things straight with someone I love. I wish I could say that every word that has come out of mouth was in love, but I cannot.
If I could write a eulogy to all of you here is what it would say:

“Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for the love you have given me. Thank you for showing compassion when you did not have to. Thank you for forgiving me when I have hurt you. 

You mean the world to me. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that talk, or that sit down that we did just to hang out. Please do not discount the importance you have in my life. I would not be the man I am without you.

Thank you for being you.”

Now I am sure I would make it more personal, but this statement really holds true for all the friends I know and are a part of my life. You all are very dear to me. I do not say that enough, but I will do my best to try to say it more to all of you. God has given me that assignment on this Earth. To let everyone know they are special because you were created by God.

And talking about God, I wish I could say I always talked about Him in the best manner. I wish I could say that I have always spoken to Him with respect and dignity. I cannot do that either. There has been more than one occasion where He and I have had words. Well my words, He listened to me. He knows I do not trust Him all the time. I really wish I could say I did. I usually think I know what is best for me, and it ends up like peeing in the wind, it always comes back on me. 

So God, thank you for all you do for me. Thank you for never leaving my side. Thank you for always forgiving me no matter how many times I have hurt you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for your Son. 

I am going to work harder about telling the people in my life how much they mean to me. Is there someone in your life that needs to hear it from you while they are still on this Earth?
Your Eternal Bud,


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Back In A New Blog State of Mind

I have been writing for Francesca and her blog Plain Vanilla Fitness for almost three months now. It has been an amazing experience to write about my struggles and celebrations of working on taking care of myself better. I have enjoyed the process very much and it has also shown me something else just as important. I like to write.

Now before I begin, I fully acknowledge I am not a skilled writer. I know I have a conversational way of writing and that is sometimes good and sometimes bad. But it is the only way I know how to write, and I need to accept that. But as I have been writing the other blog, I remembered that I did have a blog of my own call Eternal Bud’s Eternal Blog. I checked to see if it was still there, and sure enough it was. And the last time I posted an entry was 2009? Holy cow!! 2009 was my last post? Wow, talk about not keeping up.

Well it is time to dust my old blog spot off. If you read some of the older entries you will see that I love quoting songs and talking about things going on in my life. That is what I envision Blog 2.0 to be as well. I will talk about all things Pop Culture and events that intrigue me. I will also use this forum to talk about the things that mean the world to me, like people realizing their full potential and knowing that God made them special, so that means you are special. Period. End of story.

So my thoughts on my journey to taking care of myself will continue every Tuesday on Plain Vanilla. Please continue to check out that blog to see amazing fitness stories and easy exercises you can do anywhere. Francesca does an amazing job with that blog, and it is an honor to write there for her. But every few days or so I will post some thoughts serious and not serious on this blog here. I am excited to span further than just my fitness journey. It will be exciting to share this with the world and see what happens.

Please leave comments on how I can improve, or if you are enjoying what you are seeing. Just know I will work hard to make this the best blog I can possibly have.

So until next time, I am your Eternal Bud,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All is Fair in Love and End of the Year Lists!

I listen to a fair amount of music. Music has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. I can remember on Friday nights, my Dad putting on records (yes records), and listening to Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, The Rolling Stones, The Bellamy Brothers, and even sometimes Peter, Paul, and Mary. Now, while I feel my taste has been refined a bit in later years, the music, and the art of it still remains. The feeling of emotions when certain songs come up, still are felt to this day, and music is an instant time traveling device that will take me back to any moment of my life. Below is the list of the top 20 songs for number of plays on my iPod for 2008. Some comments have been made for your entertainment, and for my prosperity.

1.“Alive” by Superchick. No album hit me upside the head this year like “Rock What You Got”. Fantastic album…hard written lyrics matched up with perfect rock and roll. Much more a rock and roll album than their last one, it makes you dance and feel good while making you think.

2. “Radio” by Big and Rich. Several years ago, Big and Rich surprised me with their brand of country music, and it is a different brand of country, but I am so glad I became a fan. This song is so much fun to drive to, and is just a good carefree song to enjoy while you are going somewhere. I once clocked myself at 80 MPH wile driving to this song.

3.”September” by Kirk Franklin. A remake of the Earth, Wind, and Fire classic. Kirk does a good job making “Spetember” his own song, while paying homage to a 70’s staple. But Kirk Franklin, can pretty much do whatever he wants. He is a gifted musician, that truly uses what God gave him.

4.”Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme” by Nerf Herder. Only about a minute long, but takes me back to a very fun series. And the band is named Nerf Herder…of course I am going to listen to this song a lot.

5.”Life is a Song” by Patrick Park. I first heard this song on the very last episode of the TV show, “The O.C.” The song caught me with its amazing lyrics, and very gifted guitar playing. It makes you think how did this song make “The O.C.” final show…but when you hear the song, you will understand why.

6.”Should Have Said No” by Taylor Swift. My friend Lauren told me about this singer a couple of years ago, but I did not listen. Then I saw this young woman (she is only 18) go on the CMA awards, and sing this song. She started off rough, missing a few notes…clearly nervous of whom she was playing in front of. But a curious thing happened about a fourth of the way in to the song. She got back on track. She then proceeded to sing the doors off the dump, and completely stole the show. The ending to the song is stuff of legends and I believe you can still find the performance on Youtube. I went out the next day, and bought her album. So glad I did.

7.”Thirteen” by Big Star. Heard this song on my favorite episode of season three of the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”. In “Ten Sessions”, Ted, who is every trying to find “the one” takes out the lovely Stella (played by the amazing Sarah Chalke) on a 2 minute date. A classic scene had this song playing in the background. I actually had the song on another CD, and never really listen to it. Wish I did sooner, because it is a fantastic song, and fit perfectly for this scene.

8.”More Than A Feeling” by Boston. I use to pick on this song. A lot. But then a funny thing happened: it played a big part on one of my favorite episodes of the TV show Scrubs. I have been playing it a lot ever since…I play air singer. Kel please play lead air guitar. Whose got air drums?

9.”Red Dirt Road” by Brooks and Dunn. Not sure why I like this song as much as I do. Maybe because it takes me back to the kind of songs I use to listen to on those Friday nights all those years ago. Or it might be just because it is a good sing along song.

10.”Times Like These” (Acoustic) by Foo Fighters. Funny, how an acoustic guitar can change a song completely. The original song is a good enough song…but when Dave and the boys play it live and stripped down, you kind of wonder why the song was never recorded like this from the very beginning.

11.”Brand New Day” sung by Neil Patrick Harris. This song is part of the internet sensation, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” that was created by Joss Whedon. Not sure how else to explain it…but Neil has a really good voice. Doogie! Swarley!

12.”Africa” by Toto. Another one of those songs I remember listening to as a kid. And listening to it now, just takes me back to another simpler time. Plus, it is another Scrubs song.

13.”Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie. It is amazing how many TV shows have played this song. “Scrubs”. “Studio 60”, and “Chuck” just to name a few. But this song really holds up through out the years. And anyone that listens to this song and thinks, “Ice, Ice, Baby” needs to be take to the woodshed!

14.”Independence Day” by Whiteheart. Long time ago, there was such a thing called White Metal. This was Christian music’s version of hair bands. I came across this song when adding songs to my iPod, and forgot how much I liked it. And I must have really played it a lot for it to make the number fourteen spot.

15.”Hey Julie” by Fountains of Wayne. Another Scrubs song. And it is played in the same episode as “More Than A Feeling”. Just a fun pop song. It is very infectious, and within a play or two, you will be singing along.

16.”Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. Wow…does Coldplay make a bad song? The answer, no. Just a fun, potentially loud song. Well played, well sung…well everything.

17.”Fix You” by Coldplay. This song is amazing. You can actually see this story played out in your own head when Chris Martin is singing the lyrics. I first heard this song in NYC with my Youth during our Pilgrimage. Because of that, and the weight of the song, makes me appreciate what music can do to show how a person is feeling.

18.”Delirious Love” by Neil Diamond. This is one of Neil’s lesser known hits. Again, I got this from an episode of Scrubs. But when you hear Neil singing about the kind of love that is new, and you cannot help but just enjoy it. This song kind of makes you wish that those new feelings of love will last forever. If you are lucky, it will.

19.”Stand Up” by Fireflight. Up until 2 years ago, I had never heard of Fireflight. My sister in Christ Melissa, told me about them, and loaned me their first album. And then this year, what comes out on my birthday, but Fireflight’s new album. This album is a close second to Superchick’s album for Album of the Year. This song is instant caffeine. Plus it makes you think, and appreciate all that God has given you.

20.”Aggressive Expansion” by Hans Zimmer and James Howard. What do you get when two of the biggest movie composers create music together? “The Dark Knight Soundtrack”. What an amazing piece of work the two created. And then you get this piece that is place in a very critical time in the movie. (Pencil anyone?) It is loud, it is fierce, and might be some of the finest music made for a movie ever created.

So, this is my most played list for 2008. I hope you have enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed commenting about it.

Until next time, I am your Eternal Bud.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Baby That Was Born to Die

I Celebrate the Day- Relient K

"And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've
touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New
Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life"

I heard this song the other day and it hit me over the head. We know so much about the beginning and the end of Jesus' life. In the Gospels it talks about the very first part of when Jesus is born, and even a little in to His childhood...and of course they talk about what made the Son of God SO extraordinary, the way He died. Jesus, the son of a carpenter was also born the Son of God...and God had a specific purpose in Jesus' be strong enough to die for us.

I never really thought about it that way. Jesus was born, so that he could die...for all of us. This little baby was born, so that He could die for all the dumb things that I do in my life. For all the things that I concentrate on more than Him...and yet He was born, so that He could die for me. I do not deserve it...but He still did it. He still suffered, and He still bled, and He still died for me. He died for a fool...just so that I can love Him. He wanted a fool's love...mine!

Now, I know that I am being redundant...but it stands to be repeated over and over again. It stands to be said from the highest roof tops, and the darkest streets. It stands to said to the sad person, that is wondering what they are going to do with their lives. It stands to be said to the person whose life is going just great. It deserves to be said to man, woman, girls, and boys. It stands to be said to everyone on this silly planet that we live on. Jesus was born 2000 years ago, so that He could die for us.

I am going to think about this, when I am in traffic for the next few days. When I go to pick up the last of what will be trivial gifts for people that will forget about them a few months later...I will think about this when i talk to my co-workers over the course of the next few days. And I will think of this, when I go to my dear friend's church on Christmas Eve, and hear him talk about this sweet little boy who was born a common little baby, and was raised, and died as the greatest man to walk on the planet.

Jesus was born so that He could die for me. Everything else is meaningless.

The Lord has risen, the Lord has risen indeed. Hallelujah. But He was also born. And it is time to celebrate that birth. Happy Birthday Jesus. I wish I got you a gift as great as the one you gave me.

Your Eternal Bud.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Fear of a 2 and a 3 Year Old

I love my nephews...I really do. They are two of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. Their laugh completely makes my day. When they sleep, the whole world can stop for all I care. When I see them play, it just makes me laugh. I am completely in awe of them.

Tomorrow is my cousin's bridal shower, and my Mom and sister are going. I was asked to take care of my nephews. I have not spent any kind of time with them in a while, so I said yes. The thing is, I have never actually taken care of them by myself. I have always had another person with me every time I spent time with them. I must say that I am very nervous about this.

I do not want to screw this up. I do not want to see them have once ounce of pain or hurt. I so do not want to cause that pain or hurt. Mind you, I am only taking care of them for like 4 hours...but I am still anxious about it.

I have been told that I do really good with them...I hope that is true. I guess I will find out tomorrow. More news to follow my friends.

Until then, I am Your Eternal Bud.