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Friday, September 30, 2011

Eric and The Tithe

                I stopped tithing in May.  Not out of greed so much as just wanting to not have my car repossessed.  I guess that’s a little greedy.  I’m not innocent in all of this I could be a lot more fiscally responsible.  Now that my wife has quit her job to raise the newest child we are even more broke than I thought we were 4 months ago.  I know that I should be tithing, but we’ve kind of dug ourselves into a deep deep hole of contracts and obligations and then there’s the private school.  Shouldn’t that count as tithing?  I mean, the church owns the school. So I should get some points for that. No?  I didn’t really think so, but I thought I would try anyway. 
                I’ve heard a lot of people say that tithing is more important than eating (okay, not a lot of people, but my mother says that…a lot).  I want to tithe, I feel guilty for going to church and not tithing.  I feel like I just decided to ignore that part of the bible because it’s really inconvenient.  I don’t want to ignore it.  The pastor always says that we need to prove that we are able to handle a small amount before we can be trusted with a larger amount.  If we had a larger amount we could pay all of our bills and tithing would be easy.  I don’t know, I guess it’s about faith and trusting in God and all of that stuff.
                I am going to tithe on Sunday and if they try to take my car I’m sure my parents will help me out.  I guess it’s easier to have faith with a safety net.

Eric Anderson

P.S. My wife is an awesome lawn mower person. I love you Charlotte

Eric and The Iniquities?

Dear Blog Journal,
                My mom doesn’t read you. Sorry, she has a growing fear of technology and really she’s not a fan.  It’s okay though, she has people who do read you and report back to her any salient points or particularly juicy bits.  So here goes.
                Over the past few weeks I’ve had at least two different people talk to me about iniquities.  I was told that they are something that has been passed down from my parents/grandparents/great-grandparents/etc…  So first I decided to find out what iniquities are.  Now I’m not a complete idiot, I know that over the years I’ve heard the word used and taking it in the context in which it was presented I am aware that they are bad. Just for fun let’s look it up in the dictionary... okay, Webster’s says that it is “a wicked act or thing: SIN” or “gross injustice: WICKEDNESS”.  Hmmmm, okay, maybe I should find a different dictionary…okay, I’m back.  Google listed a whole bunch of sites that talked about curses and being passed down through bloodlines.  I’m not going to try to pretend to understand what this is all about. I can tell you some negative traits I got from my parents though.
                From my mom, I got the aversion to saying I’m sorry and constantly thinking that people don’t like me or are just mad at me.  To be fair she has been doing a lot better with these things and I have been trying to work on myself.  I will lose sleep sometimes worrying if someone likes me or not based on comments they may have said or didn’t say, but didn’t say it in a certain way.  It’s hard to apologize to people, because it usually means that you were wrong and I don’t like to be wrong.  I find it’s much easier to pretend like nothing ever happened and just change the subject and move on.  I’m working on that one too (especially at work).
                From my dad, I got awkward social skills, A.D.D., being compulsive with money, a short temper, and no idea how to raise or relate to children.  These are things that I have no idea how to fix.   I will say that my dad’s social skills are much better than mine, I hardly ever see him lose his temper anymore, he is much much better with his money now and well the kids thing still seems to be a problem.
                I love both of my parents and I know that they tried their hardest to raise me better than I turned out. I also know that I did get some positive attributes from them as well (I don’t really know what any of them are off hand, but that’s not really what this journal is about). Apparently, if this iniquities thing is what I think I understand it to be, it’s not their fault.  I guess that sounds like an easy way to look at.  Nothing is our fault or our parents fault or their parents fault or…  I’m sure that’s not what they meant when they told me about iniquities.  We have to accept some personal responsibility. Right?

Love Always,

P.S.  My wife is way better at breast feeding than I am.  I love you Charlotte

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eric and The Obviousness

           Journal? Seriously? How can someone who loves words as much as I do not think of "journal"?   What the hell? Am I retarded? I’ve been bitching to myself about how much I hate the word “blog” (even though I post this on blogger and the website is something  something dot blogspot dot something).  Journal is perfect and that’s what I am calling this thing from now on. Thank you Danni you are awesome at pointing out obvious things to your idiot cousin.  Everyone else, enjoy reading my journal.

Eric Anderson

P.S. my wife is kickass at making the bed.  I love you Charlotte

Eric and The Apology

I’m sorry if I have made anyone feel badly for me because of all the negative whininess in my posts.  I promise that I am not writing these horrible things about myself to make you feel sorry for me.  The reason for this blog is twofold (who uses words like that?). One, I need practice writing because it’s something that I have inside of me, something that has been trying to get out for years but my lazy fat fingers won’t cooperate. Two, it’s been like therapy for me to get these thoughts out and written down in one place.  It frees up my brain to come up with more whiney nonsense (I’m hoping I’m almost out of that stuff) (probably not).  I have gotten a lot of really good advice lately that a wiser person would actually take (not that I won’t take it, it just might be a while).  I want everyone to know that I appreciate all of the kind words and the reassurances that I’m not a completely broken awful human being.  I’m probably not going to stop writing dark negative things about myself anytime soon because that’s just the way my self-deprecating brain works.
I have never in my life had an actual suicidal thought beyond wondering what it would feel like if I did something that would probably kill me.  I’m just bringing this up in case that’s where the concern is coming from.  I love being alive and I have a deep deep fear of not being alive.  I used to daydream about what it would be like if there was no universe at all and it would hurt inside.  There would be nothing. No before, no after, no now, no anything.  Okay, that was dark.  Let’s get back to the point.
Apparently, there are a lot of you out there who do actually love your jobs. That is beyond my comprehension.  I’m willing to admit I was wrong about this but I’m not going to pretend to understand how you can love having your soul crushed by the man (hyperbole).  I just have a longing inside of me to be somewhere else.
Over the years I have had friends who did get my sense of humor and did enjoy spending time with me although it was mostly at school or work.  Jake, I looked forward to working with you too. It was a hard time for me when you left the soul crushingness that is braum’s to work for what I can only assume was just as bad at wal*mart.  I completely understood the need to get the hell out of there though.  Maybe the people I work with now are just too conservative republican (this is a joke for Amy, the only funny republican I know) to get me.  Also a lot of them are from a different culture and they think I’m nuts.
So yes I love that you are all reading my blog and I really hope you like it, but I’m not trying to “fish for compliments” or reassurances of my normalcy.  I do appreciate all of the comments.  Does anyone have any tips for my writing style (I know it could be organized structurally and a reread for errors wouldn’t kill me)?  I want to get better at this, that’s why I’m forcing myself to do it.
My apology is to you the reader for making you feel badly for me and my sanity.  Sometimes I write these things when I’m not in the best place psychologically.  I’m sorry

Eric Anderson

P.S. my wife wants me to write more nice things about her. So, hmmm…well that’s not appropriate.  That either…ummmm…she…no…okay, got it.  She makes awesome breakfast burritos (hint hint). Ha-ha, I love you Charlotte.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eric and The Relationships

                I don’t like people as a group.  That’s not entirely true.  It is the vibe I put out there though.  I have a difficult time relating to people.  I am seriously lacking in social skills, but I want badly to be liked, so much so that I generally make an ass out of myself and push people away from me.  It takes most people time to get to know me and understand where I’m coming from.  Where I’m usually coming from is a deep desire to make you laugh, I will say almost anything to make someone laugh and even though I’m not serious it can be taken wrong sometimes.  A lot of the time, the things that will make someone laugh are inappropriate and are not my true feelings.  They are just the funniest thing from the list of possible responses that pops into my head.  Relationships are hard for me.
                I used to have a best friend that I would do everything with, he was awesome, smart, hilarious, and had much better people skills.  We’re still Facebook friends or whatever, but I haven’t seen him since right after my first child was born (almost 6 years ago).  This is my problem; I don’t know how to carry on more than one relationship at a time.  I got married and that was it for me.  I have a best friend that lives with me now.
                Being married is the easiest thing that I have ever done.  I love my wife and that’s it.  I’ve always loved my wife, even way back when we were dating in high school.  Sure we fight and we drive each other crazy.  We don’t have much in common, she doesn’t get me and I certainly don’t get her, but there has always been a connection between us.  When we were apart for four years she was on my mind 90% of the time.  I couldn’t shake her no matter how hard I tried.  I know this might sound bad but I don’t know why we are drawn together the way that we are.  I just know that we are absolutely meant to be together.  That’s why it’s so easy for me.  A lot of people tell me that marriage is hard and I want to see that but I can’t.  Every other thing in my life is hard, but not her. Being with her is the only thing that I know is right. 
                Donnie offered to hang out with me some time to talk about how hard it is to have a job, wife, kids, bills etc…  He says I have isolated myself and I guess that’s not a good thing.  I don’t really like to hang out and I haven’t done it in a really long time. I work 12 hour days 5 to 6 days a week (it’s the only way to make enough money to survive), so there’s a time factor.  About 9 years ago Donnie and I found ourselves unemployed at the same time.  We went out looking for jobs together for a few months and we hung out and exercised and watched movies.  It was good times, then I got the job that I’m at now and we have hardly ever talked to each other again.  That’s just my screwed up personality.  I don’t know how to be an acquaintance.  I don’t know how to do small talk.  I’m either all in friendship mode or I’m not.  What’s wrong with me?
                I guess I’ll just have to work on that. I keep getting tired of talking about myself and saying that I’m going to quit blogging and maybe write some fiction, but then I get overwhelmed all up in my brain. So here it is.
Eric Anderson

Eric and The Obligations of Men

                I have a great job, I have a job that feeds, clothes, and keeps my family warm at night.  I hate my job.  My job has gone out its way to make my life easier and it has forgiven me for most of my shortcomings.  I hate my job.  I try my hardest to push myself into doing well for this company that is far from perfect itself, but I get this nagging feeling in my gut that this is absolutely not what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I tell myself that nobody loves their job and if they say they do they are lying.  Lying to me, lying to themselves, lying to the whole damn world.  Not every day is like this, most of the time I can convince myself that this is what I’m supposed to do because, dammit, this is what people do, this is what men do.  Men work, men provide for their families, men don’t need to be happy. 
                I love my boss; he is one of the awesomest most well rounded individuals I have ever met in my entire life.  He is so smart and his sharpness amazes me on a daily basis.  I appreciate everything he has done for me in the 3 years I’ve known him.  He has given me a promotion, a promotion that most people, me included, didn’t believe I deserved.  Not only is he a great boss, I consider him a friend.  I love talking to him, more about music than work.  He has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, particularly music.  The point is that he’s a great dude and I have a feeling that he doesn’t love his job all that much either, but it’s what men do.
I know that my hatred of my job has gotten in the way of me being a great employee.  I try to ignore my feeling and do my best every time but they get the better of me sometimes (more often now than before).  I have a perfectionist side that pushes me towards greatness, but it gets drowned out by the lazy procrastinator side more often than not.  I find that if I look at a project and tell myself that there is no way I can do it well then I’ll just quit doing it.
If I look back at this dream of writing that I’ve had since the fifth grade I realize that if I had started pursuing it back then I might be somewhere today other than where I am.  That’s the problem. I can’t change the past, I can’t go back and slap the shit out of a fifth grade me (because I would certainly be arrested) and tell him follow this to the end.  I have written a few things over the years but nothing consistently.  I know I need to accept my life for what it is now or I’ll never be happy.
Regular readers of this blog(I hate the word “blog”) know that I need quite a bit of practice before I could ever get anyone to pay me to write anything, but that has always been my answer to the question “what do you want to do when you grow up”?  Well that and photographer, but my photography is far far far from professional.  While I love quite a few of the pictures I’ve taken, most people tell me they suck. Whatever, it’s just for fun anyway.
Eric Anderson

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eric and The Hypochondria V

                Okay, I might have been a tiny bit overly cocky in my last post (Eric and The Hypochondria IV 5/14/11) about having “solved” the problem with my skull pain.  That was a little bit of an exaggeration but it is still 85% better than it was in February and March.  In the last four months I’ve mostly stuck with the niacin solution I accidentally discovered and it’s been okay.  I tested it a few times by not taking it for a day or two and the pain came back strong.  The headache is still only on the right side on the top of my head with the occasional shooting pain in various other spots of my skull.  I finally decided to go back to the doctor in mid-august just to see if there was anything else he could offer.  He’s kind of stumped and I’m still kind of scared.
                He decided to put me on muscle relaxers, because he’s always believed that this is probably a stress headache and he wants me to chill.  He also took another x-ray to see if the original sinusitis was gone and I haven’t been getting enough radiation in my day to day life.  I started taking the muscle relaxers at night before I went to bed and they did a really good job of making me even less functional at my job than before.  After a few days of that the doctor called and said I do still have some sinusitis and he wants me to take antibiotics twice a day for a month.  The headaches were getting better so I continued with the muscle relaxers and took the whole month’s supply of antibiotics.  For that whole month the headaches were 99% gone with the occasional fleeting achiness in my head. 
                Now I’m out of antibiotics, but I’m still taking the muscle relaxers that make me feel awful all day every day.  If it’s the antibiotics that were making me feel better then I should be able to stop the muscle relaxers.  I tried that for one day and the headaches came back.  So now I’ve been without the antibiotics for about a week and I feel the headache today, but maybe it’s just paranoia.  Either it’s stress or sinusitis or a brain tumor or any of the million different things that Google has taught me about this year.  I don’t know, maybe I need surgery on my skull.
Eric Anderson

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eric and The Sleepiness

                I went to bed late last night, not much later than usual but later than I should have gone to bed.  I put in my mouth guard (I may or may not grind my teeth but just in case I have a $275 piece of plastic that clips onto my bottom front two teeth.  It keeps my mouth from closing so that my back teeth never touch. Yay), I turned on my iPod(the new Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi album featuring Jack White and Norah Jones, it’s actually quite pleasant to sleep to), I put on my breathing mask, turned the internet functions off on my iPhone( push notifications scare the crap out of me while I’m sleeping, and I can’t turn it on silent because it’s my alarm clock and I need to be able to receive calls from my employees should the building burn down or probably something way less dramatic), I turned the light off, laid down, looked at the clock (10:01 pm [I know it’s sad but I have to get up at 5:30am]), and then my brain went off.
                I hadn’t been able to think of anything to write about yesterday and I had tried.  I thought about writing just for the sake of writing, I thought about writing about my iPhone, I thought about writing about my weird OCDs (that might still happen…later), and I just couldn’t come up with anything.  To be fair I was really busy yesterday at work and anytime I had to chill and do paperwork or something like that I was listening to podcasts( I listen to a lot of comedian’s podcasts because they like to talk about writing and how their process is and it fascinates me[specifically the Nerdist podcast]).  I know I’m making excuses but I do work between 60 and 70 hours a week (at 12 hours a day), I spend more of my waking hours at work than I do at home.  But I digress, so… As soon as I closed my eyes I had an idea.
                I know it was about prayer, but that’s all I can remember.  I was laying there and this thought popped into my head and I heard myself saying that I should get up and go type this right now.  Then another part of me said “are you insane? It’s 10:02pm, go to sleep and write it in the morning”.  So as I laid there arguing with myself internally(obviously) I asked if this was God telling me to go write  or was it the part of me that knows that if I didn’t go write this now I’d never remember what it was.  I told myself that all I had to remember was two words, one was “prayer” and the other was “?”.  I have no idea what I was so excited about writing last night.  I’m pretty disappointed in myself right now.
                I guess I’m wondering if it’s possible for God to want me to sacrifice sleep (something that could adversely affect my job performance) to write something that would probably make me happy, or is it more likely that the devil is screwing with me.  Then again, it could just be the way my brain is wired.  I’ve always been more of a night person.  If my job depended on writing, I would change my schedule so that I could write at night, but it doesn’t, so I don’t.
Eric Anderson

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eric and The Multiple Topics

                Well, that was it; I’ve run out of things to talk about.  I’ve built the last few topics up in my head for such a long time and now I’m empty.  It feels pretty good to be done with them for now anyway; maybe I can start working on something new. Maybe not, I guess we’ll see.  Let’s see how long I can make this post about having nothing to say.
                I have sleep apnea, I’ve been sleeping with a CPAP machine for about 10 months now and it has completely changed the way my days go.  I know that many people point to my being overweight as the reason for the sleep apnea (mostly just my doctor), but I think I’ve had it my entire life.  My mom said even when I was a baby It freaked her out so much she had to put me in the other room so she could sleep, we just never did anything about it until it got so bad I was pretty sure my heart was going to stop in my sleep.  I used to fall asleep during movies, even movies I was really excited to see, sometimes in the theater.  I would pass out during meetings, driving, watching TV, and anything else you can think of where sleeping would be inappropriate.  I was watching iCarly last night (what? Don’t judge that show’s hilarious) and Carly was sleeping with the exact same breathing mask I use.  She’s not fat, and yes I know it’s only a television show, but I know several other quite skinny people who have sleep apnea.  It sucks not being able to stay awake even when your job pretty much depends on it.  If you’re wondering if the mask is annoying or hard to sleep with, for me it isn’t, for me it is the awesomest thing that science has ever done for me.
                Onto a different topic altogether, I had mentioned in the post “Eric and The Questions” that I was afraid that some of the crazy thoughts that came into my head could possibly offend God.  Valerie commented yesterday that nothing I can think of will offend God because that would make me greater than God, and quite obviously I’m not.  This may sound simple but it blew my mindhole.  So I know that there is nothing I can think of that He hasn’t already thought of but my concern is more about whether or not I should entertain these thoughts or dismiss them and repent.  God knows the intent of my heart, probably better than I do myself.  This is a profound revelation to me but I don’t quite know what to do with it just yet.  I kind of feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest.  I don’t know, I need to think on this for a while.
                Final topic, I swear, this blog has been like free therapy for me, I know it’s been whiney and depressing and I’m sorry but whiney and depressing is where I live 75% of the time.  Writing these issues has helped me kind of see what they are.  I don’t know why but sometimes I don’t realize what’s wrong with me until I’ve written it.
                So this is a lot of words for someone who doesn’t have anything to say.  Later
Eric Anderson

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eric and The Scale

                I don’t smoke, never have, or do drugs (well, there was this one time when I was 24 I succumbed to peer pressure and really just wanted to know what all the hype was about and tried one drag of the weed, it didn’t seem to have any effect on me and I’ve never tried it or anything else again).  I don’t drink very often, maybe once every 3-4 months; it usually just makes me feel awful, so there’s that.  I’m not without my addictions though, there’s my iPhone, the internet, Facebook, etc… The worst and most obvious addiction I have is food.  I know this sounds preposterous, everyone in the world with a problem claims it’s due to an addiction, but I swear the way I feel about food has to be just as bad as the way a crackhead feels about crack or Tiger Woods feels about waitresses.  I have a mental inventory of all the food I have in the house and at work, no normal person without food issues can say that.
                First off, if you take one look at my 5’7”, 340lb, 0% muscle mass body you’ll know I have a food issue or two.  I know that every thin person reading this is rolling their eyes and telling me to shut up, put down the cookies, and go outside.  It’s insane to say that you’re addicted to food when you’re just a lazy fat ass who needs to do a sit up every now and then.  Everyone who feels that way should stop reading right now because I’m not talking to you.  Go have a cheesecake and watch some TV.
                Okay, everyone who’s left I’ll tell you my story.  I’ve struggled with weight my entire life and it never made sense why I couldn’t just stop eating.  I was able to keep it to just standard obesity before I got married, but after that I exploded from 220 to 280 in less than 4 months, that’s got to be some kind of record right?  That was in April of 2005.  In September of 2006, after many different failed attempts at dieting I joined a support group/diet program called The Prism Diet at Indian Creek Baptist Church.  Basically this diet was no sugar and no non-whole wheat flour, and even the whole wheat was limited, and no more than 1500 calories a day.  I stuck fast to that diet for 7 months and lost 70 pounds.  The main reason that worked for me was that we would track all the food we ate and meet every Sunday to discuss it so I was able to scare myself into following it very strictly or the ladies in the group would be mad at me.  That meeting fell apart and I was left alone with a wife and kid who could eat anything they wanted and I dove head first off of the wagon.  I shot from 235 to 340 in less than a year but it was slower than the first spurt after marriage.
                The whole time I was on that diet I was miserable and starving.  All I did all day and night was think about food.  I would smell something or someone would mention something that was even close to food and I would just wander around in a daze daydreaming about pizza and enchiladas.  I was watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Jeff Garlin was the guest about a year and a half ago.  He had lost a lot of weight recently and was joking with Jon about how if he held a cookie up to him he wouldn’t ever be able to stop because he was addicted to food and he was aware of it.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before but that’s exactly what I am going through.  Okay, so now I have identified the problem.  I don’t want to be groggy and in a daze like the last time and I don’t want to keep going up in pant sizes, there has to be a medium right? Right?
                On January 3rd of this year I joined Weight Watchers for $40 a month, they had the tracking, and the support group that I knew had worked so well for me before but they didn’t have the super strict insane 1500 calorie limit.  I went to those meeting every week and stuck to that program for 4 months and lost about 20 pounds. That’s it.  I know everyone who has ever dieted will tell you that it’s better to lose it slowly that way you’ll keep it off, but I plateaued for about and month and said screw it I can’t afford $40 a month and not see any results and spend all my time calculating points for every little thing I eat. 
                So here I am, aware of the problem and the best possible solution but nowhere to go and nobody to do it with me.  I need support and I need a reasonable plan to follow.  I’m weak and I’m willing to admit that I’m weak and I know that I have a problem.  I want to lose weight because it seriously adversely affects everything in my life.  I don’t like to go out in public, I don’t like to eat in front of people, and none of my clothes fit right.  It sucks and it really all comes down to will power and my ability to fight temptation.  I’ve thought about using this blog as a way to check in with the world about my weight or maybe even starting a different one just for that purpose.  Maybe I could start a support group, but that doesn’t sound like me at all.  I guess I’m open to suggestions as long as they’re productive and not hurtful.
                This is like the blog that wouldn’t end. Okay bye

Eric Anderson

Eric and the Darkness

                There’s an evilness inside of me, a cynical skeptical bitter resentful jealous angry judgmental hatred that I try to suppress but it seeps through more often now than ever before.  I honestly don’t know where it comes from.  My parents tried so hard to raise me right. We went to church every Sunday (and this is a great understanding open church, they are some of the least judgmental church people I have ever met in my entire life).  Christian school most of my life and homeschooled the three years before that.  We always had food and clothes and never wanted for anything within reason, of course.  I’ve had my issues with both of my parents(my dad more than my mom), but as I’m finding out with my own children now, parents are just people who don’t know everything and are just trying to keep you alive and a fully functioning well rounded member of society.  Everything after that is just icing.
                The problem now is that everything pisses me off and I don’t know why.  I’m spoiled, selfish and have an undeserved sense of entitlement.  It affects my family, work, and just everyday social interactions (which I keep to a minimum anyway).  I have real trouble with almost anything to do with talking to people.  I’m awkward and uncomfortable and almost always my instincts are wrong.  I can’t prove it but I think that part of me might be retarded.  I write these posts to try to understand myself but I want more than anything for people to read them and maybe understand where I’m coming from.  Yesterday in church the pastor came up to me and said he saw that I had posted a link on Saturday but the comment I wrote on it said not to read it so he didn’t.  This crushed me inside because I write comments like that as a self-defense against rejection,” of course I wanted you to read it can’t you see that these things are a cry for help” is what I thought but didn’t put voice to.
                Michelle, Valerie and Kelly all told me that they follow this and that made me feel good but the darkness is still there inside of me even though everything around is going so great.  I have a beautiful wife, two adorable children, a family that just wants to spend time with me and a great job with an awesome boss and coworkers and still I am miserable.  It makes me want to cry like all time.  I drown it all out with TV, video games, podcasts, music, internet, etc…  I keep myself from thinking whenever possible because my brain is a horrible place.  I guess that’s enough for today.
Eric Anderson

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eric and the Eternity

“♪♫Oh, you can’t get to heaven, oh, you can’t get to heaven♪♫
♪♫In an electric chair in an electric chair♪♫
♪♫Oh, you can’t get to heaven, oh, you can’t get to heaven♪♫
♪♫In an electric chaiaiaiaiair♪♫
♪♫Oh, you can’t get to heaven in an electric chair ‘cuz God don’t want no French fries there♪♫
♪♫All my sins are washed away I’ve been redeemed♪♫”
Wait, what? No French fries? Has God ever had French fries? They’re delicious although they contain not nutritional value whatsoever. But still they are very delicious. 
I often find myself wondering what heaven (once again I have to ask, is that capitalized?) will be like.  I know it’s “…a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace…” and I should be excited about it.  I like the idea of not being stressed anymore but I’m concerned about what happens to all the stuff.  From what I learned about the bible in my 10 years of Christian school (see that, Microsoft automatically capitalize Christian for me) there are a lot of passages about not being concerned with the world and the things in it.  I just wonder about all of the art (pictures, paintings, books, music, movies, architecture, movies, plays, games etc…).  Will it be lost forever, will it live on in our memories, will it be edited for content like the wal*mart versions of cds.
I don’t know if it’s blasphemous to wonder if I’ll be bored in heaven but that’s something I wonder about. Obviously it’s better than the alternative don’t get me wrong.  I get the feeling that once we get to heaven we won’t care about all the sinful things we choose to entertain ourselves here.  Most everything I watch/listen to/play has something in it that could be considered sinful and I just overlook it because if I don’t then I won’t have anything to do ever(that’s probably something I should look at about myself at some point). 
I know that there’s going to be a lot of people there to talk to and that we’ll be worshipping God all day (if there is any sense of time there at all).  I think the worshipping God will be more like how we’re supposed to praise Him in everything we do now and not necessarily a traditional service where we all gather into a group, but I don’t know, nobody knows.  Maybe the books and music and movies won’t be edited we’ll just be so far above the bad parts that we’ll be able to look at it objectively and dismiss it for what it is.  It probably just won’t be there and we won’t care.
Maybe we’ll start over and create new stuff, will we have creativity?  I always picture people wandering around in white robes all zonked out like they’re zombies or just on drugs, but that doesn’t sound that pleasant.  I expect it will be pleasant.  I don’t know why my brain does these things to me.

Eric Anderson

Eric and the Overwhelming Depression

Everything is falling apart all around us and that scares the shit out of me.  Disease, famine, wars and if that’s not enough now the planet seems to be after us too.  Drought, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires and have you heard of a gustnado (Google it, that is some scary wind).  Now I’m not going to pretend like all these things haven’t been happening all along and I’m certainly not proclaiming the end is near (although my pastor has been hinting for a few years that he thinks it is, who knows? I don’t).  It just seems to me that these things are either happening more often or I’m just paying more attention than I used too (is that too or to? Help me Google you are my only hope). 
When I was a kid we had chapel every Wednesday or Friday or something like that, who can remember?  We would have guest speakers and one of the speakers, whose name I can’t remember, said something that stuck with me.  He was a preacher who would obviously prepare his sermons during the week by writing down the notes.  He told us he would find that the people who he believed would be most affected by the message would run into trouble on the way to church and often times not even make it in.  He believed that demons or the devil himself would be reading the notes so he started keeping them in his head.  What? They can read too? This has freaked me right out for like 14 years or so.  So much so that I don’t even like voicing my fears just in case those bastards are around listening in.  I know they’re reading this right now.
Every time I get excited about the possibility of making my life better (diet, writing, learning a new language, etc…) something disastrous happens somewhere in the world and I get depressed and say “screw it, what’s the point?”  This is probably not the best attitude to have but it’s so depressing.  I wish I could feel some sort of peace but it’s hard to ignore that most everything sucks.
This didn’t really have point other than to depress you too. You are welcome.

Eric Anderson  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eric and the Questions

“Father, give me Wisdom to develop Strategies to walk in Victory for Your Glory.”

That's the prayer that Anthony White gave to me at the presbytery.  He said that I need to repeat that prayer for the rest of my life.  I'm going to be honest and tell you that while I know it sounds good I don't entirely understand what it means.  Of course I get the wisdom and victory and glory parts but the strategies thing is weird.  I suck at chess and even checkers for the most part.  I'm just not a strategic thinker is what I’m saying.  I realize that I am asking God for the ability to become a strategic thinker, but that just feels light years from where I am mentally right now.  I'm a questioner; I am the most inquisitive person I know.  I have driven more than one teacher, boss, co-worker, girlfriend, friend, parent insane from all the incessant questioning.  I'm like a four year old in that respect.  The problem is that most of these people view my questioning as argument.  Maybe I've just been asking the wrong people.
On a Sunday about seven months ago (2/20/11 to be exact) Michelle and Rick came over and prayed for me.  Michelle told me the she thought my first letter was inspiring to other men. (Men? Really?)  It's not something I've ever heard anyone say about anything I've ever done.  Mostly at work I hear things like “act like a man” and “He's the daughter his mother always wanted” and “doesn't your dad wish he had a son?” etc... I hope she was right because it would cool to know that all of the crap that gets me down could somehow inspire someone else.  Rick told me that he feels that I should start asking God all of my questions.  This is hard for me because a lot the time I feel like my questions are a little more than borderline blasphemous.  I don’t want them to be but sometimes they just jump into my head and I’m like “wow, why is that like that?” or “if that’s the case then this can’t be that”.  Maybe doubts are okay because God made us with brains and free will.  I guess my problem is that I don’t want to ask a question that’s so bad that it somehow offends God.  I know I’m crazy and somewhat neurotic.
I have trouble with faith and following blindly the people who see symbolism and signs in things that are to me just coincidence.  I’m not going to say that there haven’t been things in my life that I couldn’t easily explain away as happenstance because there have been moments in my life when I knew that God was there.  But there are times when people seem to just take another person’s word for it that a miracle happened.  Sometimes I hear people reading into a situation so much that it seems far-fetched and I’m like “how in the hell did you get that from this, I mean seriously?”  I really wish that I could just turn off my brain and believe it all but part of me feels like I would be dishonoring God because He gave me a brain.  He made me intelligent, I may not have people skills, I may be lacking in wisdom and strategic thinking, I may not have any mechanical instinct or much common sense, but I am smart.  I have a gift for words and retaining information and over the years I have wasted that gift so much that I think it might be dying inside my brain.  I’m trying to get it back (that’s partly the point of this blog)
I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself today so even if no one reads this it’s cool because I’m really not doing it for you/them.  Don’t get me wrong, if you/they do read this I appreciate you/them very much but I have to do this for myself and try not to worry about what you/they might think.  That being said this only counts as half of an entry for this week because I wrote the first paragraph and a half on February 20 and then left it until now. Why? Because I’m a slacker.

Eric Anderson

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eric and the Fatherhood

                I’m determined to post something on this blog every day (Okay, maybe not everyday but at least 5 times a week), even if I don’t have anything to say.  Writing is something that I’ve always wanted to do, it’s even something that I know I used to be good at, but it’s so hard to make myself write anything (hmmm, 4 times a week). 
                Here’s a story about how horrible of a father I am.  Last night after work I sat down to watch TV and Amira was in the room with me and charlotte.  I said to her “Hey, Amira” and she said “I know, I know, “Get out””.  Wow, I suck.  I could make the excuse that I “work”(there has been some debate as to whether or not what I do is considered work) twelve hour days and when I get home I just want to chill and there are not a lot of TV shows that are appropriate for her to watch and also don’t bore me to tears.  I mean there are only so many times I can watch the Pixar movies (which with the exception of Cars, are all awesome flicks).  I guess I need to figure out something we can do together but we don’t have a lot in common.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter so much, but she drives me right up the wall and now there’s a new one to worry about (boys are better, right?) (Just kidding).
                I’ve been told that God has tasked me with these children’s spiritual upbringing.  I don’t even have a handle on my own spiritual upbringing.  I’ve somehow stumbled to having an entire family that I’m supposed to be the spiritual leader of and don’t even know where to start.  Okay, obviously I should just pray about it right?  I don’t get much out of prayer, I can’t ever figure out if it’s me or God or just what I would want God to say.  A couple of months ago in Jeromy Leavelle’s  sermon he said that sometimes God doesn’t answer because He’s already said it, and he held up a Bible(do I capitalize bible?) while he was saying it.  So maybe I should read the Bible (seriously, is that in caps or what?) before I start asking God things that He may have already said.  I know, I know I should have already read it, but when I start reading my brain wanders off and six chapters later I don’t have a clue about what it said. Maybe I should start in the middle.
                Well, that got deeper than I had originally intended, but oh well I can’t really control where my brain goes.

Eric Anderson

P.S.  Cars is a perfectly good movie I just don’t think it lives up to the standard that I have for a Pixar flick.

P.P.S. Since you asked I’ll rate them in order of how feel about them from first to last: Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, The Incredibles, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc.,  Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Cars, and haven’t seen Cars 2

P.P.P.S. (maybe three times a week)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eric and the Rightness

                Being right is more important to me than my dignity.  If I know that I’m right I will make a complete ass out of myself to prove it to people who really don’t care.  When I was in Mr. Peddy’s sixth grade class we had a history quiz/test/something like that.  I think it was only a 10 question test and I got a 90.  I was robbed; I walked from his desk straight to my cubby and started going through that history book page by page with tears running down my fat face.  When I finally found the answer that I knew I had been right about I stormed up to his desk, pushing through the students crowded around it, and slammed the book down in front of his face.  I pointed at the sentence that I knew would clear my good name, a name that this man had just dragged through the mud, all while tears are still running down my fat face.  This didn’t go as well for me as you might think.  Apparently, teachers don’t like being told that they are wrong and they certainly don’t like you to throw books at them. 
This is just one of many many examples of such asinine behavior, although after sixth grade the stories aren’t about school work because I stopped caring about grades and started caring about girls (not that the girls ever paid much attention to me). Don’t misunderstand me here, if I’m wrong about something I’ll admit it, apologize for it and feel like an ass. I don’t know where this compulsion comes from that makes me blind to everything else around me.  I’m constantly arguing when I feel like I’m in the right and most of the time it’s about stupid things that don’t matter to anyone else but me.  I just want to understand why my brain can’t just let the little things go.  I mean seriously, I lose sleep over this nonsense.
A year ago I got a promotion that put me in charge of the people that are doing the same job I’ve been doing for the past 8 years.  Along with that responsibility I was also given a whole new set of my own responsibilities.  I’ve had to learn how to deal with the people under me as well as how to deal with the ones that are over me, and I think that it has almost killed me.  I started out not being a people person but have forced myself to try to act like I am.  I don’t know how well it’s going; I have my doubts about my abilities to handle this stress.  I don’t know why but in my head I want things to be even and fair , and though my entire life I’ve been told that life isn’t fair I still want it to be. 
Basically, I’m always fighting with myself about the way I should be acting and most of the time good sense loses.

Eric Anderson

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eric and the Openness

I’m tired, I have a headache, and I would rather be doing anything other than writing this but my brain won’t leave me alone so here I am.  This last week I became an instrument used to make someone else’s faith stronger, I should be honored right?  I’m not, I feel like an asshole.  Maybe that’s wrong I don’t know I’m pretty uninformed in this area.  I’m not going to go into the specifics because that would be ridiculous of me.
Recently, at a late father’s day lunch (July 3rd), my brother pointed out that growing up I was a horrible older brother who lied constantly (my mother seemed shocked by this revelation), I couldn’t argue.  I feel really badly about it but I feel like I’ve apologized since and don’t know what else to do at this point.  Anyway, that’s not the point of this entry.  I only mention it to show that I was a huge liar as a child and I don’t know why maybe I’ll get into another time.  The point is that about 10 years ago or so I decided to be honest because liars suck.  I’m not going to say that it was easy or that I don’t tell an occasional lie but most people I know will tell you that I go out of my way to tell the truth even if it hurts me or others around me.  I’ve adopted a policy of honesty always being the best way to go.   But I didn’t stop at honesty I pushed for full transparency and an openness that often irritates most people who know or follow me.  In more recent years I’ve pulled back a little but apparently not enough.
I believe that in an ideal world people can get online and go to a forum where everyone can discuss their feelings and concerns and listen to all sides and not get their feeling hurt.  I started out acting as if this world would materialize if I just pretended it already existed then I devolved into angry teenager as soon as I got my feelings hurt.  The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt anyone, but I did and apparently I tested their faith.  My anger was directed to a completely different place, but that’s not an excuse. 
I have a huge problem with authority that I don’t recognize as authority.  I don’t like being told what to do or how to act by anyone that isn’t my boss or parent (and even then it can still be difficult).  I know it’s probably something that I need to work on but it’s hard because I don’t know when that bitter feeling is going to hit me and when it does I don’t know how to control it.  This past two weeks I’ve had it come over me at least 5 different times.  Some from people I should recognize as authority and some I should just dismiss without incident.
Something hits me anytime I think of that school and it’s not the pleasant warm feeling that most of my old classmates seem to get.  I know I need to figure out what it is and get over it because my daughter will probably be there for the rest of her time in school.  I also need to not take it out on the people who work there now.  I feel like I’m being a brat for having these feeling because I did have some good teachers and friends and I’d say that it was good at least 60% of the time and that other 40% may be partly my fault.  These are my issues though and I’ll try to work on them.
I just want everyone to know that in the future I will try to think of who might be reading my posts, how it might affect them and anyone else around them, and I will try not to ever be idealistic again.  Also, I would like to apologize to anyone that reads this because of how poorly it was put together.

Eric Anderson