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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eric and The Nonsense

            This week started out so well; I was in a great mood which was probably not readily apparent to anyone else around me, but I could feel it and that’s all that matters.  This great week turned to suck yesterday and I’m not entirely clear on why.  I’m an emotional wreck and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Maybe I’m pregnant, oh wait that’s not possible, I’m on the pill.  I feel like I need to curl up in a ball and cry.  That’s not very manly is it?  But I suppose neither is being pregnant.  I’m listening to Ben Folds on repeat because for some reason depressing music always makes me happy in a weird depressing sort of way (don’t worry, I didn’t understand what I just wrote either).
            On Sunday I was sitting in church thinking about how I’ve already written everything I know and that I probably won’t ever write any fiction because every idea I’ve ever had has already been done (and done better than I would do it at that).  Then I started thinking of some new ideas I could write about (nonfiction of course).  I came up with a bunch of topics like social anxiety, ADD, tithing, visions, prophecies, office supplies, OCDs and music.  I was very excited about writing.  I started taking short notes on the topics so that I wouldn’t forget them like usual.  I guess writing them down is like letting them go from my brain, because I lost the urge to flesh them out.  Then Monday that hilarious embarrassing thing happened to me and I was inspired to write.  That was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever written so I should probably quit now while I’m ahead (unless you count this, which in my opinion puts me back down a few points)
            It’s not cool to be concerned with how many people read your stuff or how many page views you get, but I never claimed to be cool.  I probably check this site at least 20 times a day.  I know it’s sad and I try not to think about who might read this when I’m writing it because again it is for me, but I still care and that’s not cool.
            Okay, the point is that I want to be a writer but I’m a neurotic mess and also for some reason my week turned to suck all because my computer and iTunes don’t seem to get along with each other and it lost all of my music and apps even though they are still there.  I need a Mac.  I’m going to try to start working on those other posts even if I don’t feel like it. Bye

Eric Anderson

P.S. If anyone wants to buy a kidney from me so that I can afford a Mac let me know.

P.P.S.  If it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile then why does smiling hurt my face so much?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eric and The Ripped Pants²

            It’s Monday, and I know it’s quite a cliché to hate on Mondays but there’s a reason for that hatred (not that I’m all that fond of Tuesday through Saturday either).  It never fails that I’ll stay up late on Sunday night watching television, something horrible that probably grates on my soul (last night was the season premiere of The Walking Dead [I guess it depends on where you fall on whether or not zombies are evil if you think that’s horrible] the week before it was Dexter and I don’t even think I should mention how many Sunday nights were taken up with True Blood).  Sunday, is the only day of the week that I get to sleep in, and by sleep in I mean 8:00am because I have church obviously, so I’m not that tired at my normal bedtime.  This always gets me on Monday morning but I never learn.  That alarm on my iPhone goes off at 5:25am and I groggily fall to my feet and stumble around the house trying to get ready in about 15 minutes (so yeah it’s a bit rushed, and it’s better than coffee to snap you out of that stupor).
            Today has been extra special though because I was in my office talking to the safety manager about something work related (I’m sure), and I sat down and felt something tear.  I panicked, “maybe, it was my shirt, I could have sat on it” I thought “could have been the chair?”  “Just sit here and pretend like everything’s okay”.  So I slowly reached down and felt the back of myself and there it was, a tear from the top of my pants down to my upper right thigh.  This is awesome; I looked at the clock, 10 minutes to go until the regular Monday production meeting.  “They won’t care if I’m not there this once, right?”  I called my wife and asked her to go to the store and buy me a pair of pants and bring them to me, why do I need her to buy me a pair of pants? You ask.  Well, I only buy one pair of pants at a time because I’m always planning on losing weight and then I won’t need those pants anymore.  It is a motivational tool that I have used for the last seven years and it has not worked even once.  It is the very definition of insanity.
            I called my boss to let him know that I wouldn’t be making the meeting and told him that I didn’t want to tell him why because he would make fun of me.  He assured me he was going to make fun of me anyway so I told him and he laughed and I laughed and it’s all great.  Charlotte showed up in less than 20 minutes with a brand new pair of pants (so at least I know I have an awesome wife who loves me even when my ass is so big it tears my clothing like a cartoon character).  The worst part of this whole thing is that it’s not the first time that I’ve ripped my pants; it’s not even the first time this year.
            Back in June I was an usher at my brother’s wedding.  We were leaving the YWCA after setting up for the reception and I sat down in the car and I felt the tear.  The wedding was going to start in an hour, we were ten minutes away and I didn’t have any other pants.  We drove to the nearest store, Charlotte ran into a Target, Ross, and Marshall’s, there was nothing suitable in any of the stores and time was running out.  I was live tweeting this entire event (it’s how I’ve learned to own embarrassing situations).  We drove from that shopping center to a Men’s Wearhouse two blocks from the chapel.  Charlotte ran in and gave the guy my size, he said it would be $135 (What!? For pants?!) and he would need me to come inside so he could measure me for hemming purposes.  There was no way I was getting out of the car and walking across the parking lot with a giant hole in my pants, especially since I was going commando (What? They don’t seem to make underwear in my size).  Besides, we only had 25 minutes until the wedding was going to start and I was supposed to be seating people already.  She told him to just hem them the most generic way possible and paid him the insane price (don’t feel too bad for us though, my parents paid us back for the pants plus some).  We got the pants and rushed to the wedding with about 5 minutes to spare.  There’s probably a lesson in these stories somewhere.
            This is either a sign that I should lose some weight or that the small slave children who make the pants should take some more sewing lessons (there, right there, that’s where I crossed the line).

Eric Anderson

P.S.  I would like to thank my wife for going out of her way on many many occasions for me and my neediness.  I love you Charlotte and thank you for everything

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eric and The Smarty-Pants Phone*

            I love my iPhone, everything about it just works and it works easily.  It is absolutely the awesomest thing I own.  Maybe I love it a little too much.  It’s just a phone, right?  Is it?  Or is it a pocket computer/ video game system/television/internet browser/camera/library/everything I’ve been obsessed with since the first time I picked up a TI-64 controller(I don’t know, I think it was an off brand Commodore) to the first time I pulled up Google and it dared me to ask it anything.  It has everything that I've ever wanted to do in or with my life a finger swipe away.  It is the sum total of all human knowledge in your pocket.  I don’t ever have to not know anything (with the exception of the great mysteries of the universe) ever again.  That being said, the iPhone has simultaneously made my life easier and ruined it at the same time.
            I am so distracted by that thing that I have trouble focusing on anything else.  I feel it in my pocket calling me like “my precious”.  At work it’s in my hands, I’ll put it down, work and without even realizing it it’s back in my hands and I don’t know how it got there.  Watching television at home I’ll pick it up every 2 minutes to check Facebook or play Words with friends (I think I’ve finally kicked my Farmville habit).  At church when I’m supposed to be listening I’ll be checking my favorite technology sites to see if there are more cool things to look forward in the next version of my obsession.  I’ll use the excuse that my bible is on the phone so I need to have it out to check the verses.  Now it’s time for the hard questions.
            Does this qualify as an idol in my life?  Probably, right?  Definitely?  So let’s say that it does for sure.  What should I do about it?  Should I get rid of it?  Should I abandon all technology because everything I learn about the awesome things that science has discovered and made for us makes me tingly all over?  Is there a way to step back without being as extreme as too severe the connection?  I don’t have my phone this week, because I shipped it back to apple to get credit towards the new iPhone that’s coming out on Friday.  I feel like I have phantom limb syndrome.  I feel a vibration in my pocket and I keep checking to see if I have a missed phone call or text and nothing is there.  There’s no vibration I’m just a psychopath.  For the first time I feel sorry for Gollum.  Maybe if they had just given him an iPhone he would have forgotten about that stupid ring.

Eric Anderson

*My boss calls it a smarty-pants phone because he resents technology for some reason.

P.S.  My wife has gotten no more than 2-3 hours of sleep at one time in about 2 ¾ months, but she still wakes up every morning to make me breakfast and lunch.  It’s been a really hard few months for her and she might be on the edge of insanity.  I want her to know that I appreciate her sacrifice for our son and that everything will be better sooner than later.  I love you Charlotte and it’s going to be okay.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eric and The Crisis of Faith

♪♫ I am a C ♪♫
♪♫ I am a C-h ♪♫
♪♫ I am a C-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n ♪♫
♪♫ And I have C-h-r-i-s-t in my H-e-a-r-t ♪♫
♪♫ And I will L-i-v-e-E-t-e-r-n-a-l-l-y ♪♫
            Who would choose hell over heaven if they were presented with proof of that choice?  I don’t think anyone would, but it’s not exactly laid out for us that easy. Sure I don’t have any excuse, I was raised in a Christian family and went to a Christian school and church every Sunday and it’s all been hammered into me.  What about the people who were raised in another religion? What about the people who were raised in no religion at all?  How do I tell someone that their god is false and my God is the one true God? They’ll look at me and say “Nuh-Uh”.  The faith part of this whole thing is the hardest part for me to wrap my head around.
            God created all of us and He loves all of us and He wants all of us with Him in heaven so why make it so hard?  Why not just lay it out there for everyone with empirical evidence and just say “here it is, make your choice”.  Who am I to question God?  Nobody, I just get hung up on these things and I get mad at myself for thinking them because I feel like they’re blasphemous.  I want to be a good soldier in this war, I want to fall in line behind everyone else and fight for this thing that I believe in, but I just get stuck.  I’ve had this thought for as long as I can remember.  I’ve always been too afraid to say it out loud because I really don’t want to make Him angry with me, but I just have to get this out there to see if I’m the only one who feels this way.
            My mom keeps telling me to make sure I include God in all of my decisions.  I don’t have any idea how to do that.  She says seek Him first (I know that’s in the bible too), but I don’t know how.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but I rarely ever pray anymore.  When I do it’s usually to ask for God to protect me or my family, but I never consult God on my decisions.  I think I used to, but I just never heard anything back.  Hearing the voice of God is so hard for me and I don’t understand why.  It seems so easy for all of the people at church and the rest of my family.
            My daughter asked me last night what hell was and if they make you eat weird stuff there.  I told her it’s a hot horrible place with no water and no one wants to go there.  She agreed that she didn’t want to go there.  I know that was probably the time I should have pushed her to accept Jesus into her heart, but I feel like such a hypocrite when I even begin to speak about such things.  I’m failing her as a spiritual leader.  I’m failing God as the spiritual head of my household.  The main reason we want to keep Amira in Christian school is because we both know that we’re not equipped to teach her the things she’s supposed to already know about God.  I know it’s sad.
            I started tithing again two weeks ago, and it has been hard, but I know that it’s what I’m supposed to do.  I can’t just choose to believe the parts of the bible that are convenient right?  I know these questions are hard and I don’t want to be the reason anyone else questions their faith.  I just want to know how to believe without question.  I know that I’m at a low point in my life and that it’s probably time that I fall on my face and ask God for help but I just haven’t felt compelled to do it.  What I mean is that I don’t want to fake it.  If it happens then great but I don’t want to pretend something is there that isn’t there.
            I don’t know.

Eric Anderson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Eric and The Coinkydinks?

                I’ve locked my keys in my car (actually it was my mom’s mini-van) three times in my life that I can remember.  The first time I was with my girlfriend (my wife now) at the restaurant her mother worked at and my dad had to drive 15 miles down to Santo to open the door for me.  The other two times were kind of weird though.  The second time I was at work (Braum’s) in Weatherford waiting for my shift to start.  I was in college at the time and I was finished with my classes for that day, but didn’t want to drive all the way back to Mineral Wells (about 30 minutes away).  I locked my car with the key inside along with my uniform and well, that sucked.  It just so happened though that my manager had a locksmith out there working on the safe and while he was there he opened the door for me at no charge(I gave him a free ice cream cone though, please don’t tell Mr. Braum).  I guess it was probably just a coincidence, right?  The third time was also in Weatherford,  I was on my way to fort worth to get fitted for a tuxedo for my wedding and I stopped at the post office for something(can’t remember what though).  I left the key sitting right on the console island thing in between the front seats (what the hell?!?!).  So I’m standing there cussing at myself and I look up and see a locksmith truck sitting two cars over.  I called the number on the side of the truck and the guy answered from inside the post office (cell phones are a beautiful thing).  He came out and unlocked the car, also for free.  I know that if I had had to call these guys out to me it would have cost at least $30 and even though they were already there they had every right to charge me anyway.  They didn’t though and for that they are awesome in my book (I mean if I had a book).
                I know a lot of people who might try to read more into this than what is probably there.  How are we supposed to know when it’s just coincidence or when it’s actually God helping out?  When we interpret every good thing that happens to us as God the outside world looks at us like we are irrational illogical weirdoes.  I believe that God is there watching, but maybe sometimes people just use their God given free will to decide to do good things just because they are the right things to do.
                I’ve always felt like I was somehow being watched out for and I’ve had an overall feeling that everything was going to turn out okay.  I know I’ve had a very blessed life as far as good parents, friends, family, school, and even jobs are concerned.  Every now and then I’ll do something out of the ordinary for me (I am a creature of habit) and something good will come from it.  It’s usually something small but it’s always enough for me to stop and take notice.  I’ll run it through my head and question why I broke my routine and if the reward was because of that or would it have happened anyway.  I can’t really think of any specific example of this occurring right now but I know it has happened to me many many times throughout my life.  These random feelings that everything is going to be alright have come to me less and less over the years and they almost completely went away when my daughter was born.  That’s when I got scared (I’ve always been scared, but this was more than ever before).  Do you know how many things can go wrong with a child? I’m going to say approximately somewhere between 1 and 100 billion different things.  When Amira was about 2 she was standing at the window of our trailer holding onto the windowsill and the open window closed on her fingers.  Now this is not a regular wooden window frame that would have smashed her fingers.  It was a metal frame inside of a metal track so that it would seal.  It probably should have chopped her tiny fingers off.  It didn’t, she was fine.  I, on the other hand, was hysterical.  I called my mom freaking out and she and Nancy came over to see how she was and there didn’t seem to be any permanent damage.  Maybe that was a miracle and maybe I just overestimated the strength of the window.  Who knows?
                My point is that there are a million different things that happen to all of us every day and I just don’t know how I’m supposed to interpret them.  I like the feeling that everything is going to be alright but lately it’s been replaced with a hopelessness that everything is going to end.  Which is a happy thought for some of you so there you go.

Eric Anderson

Friday, October 7, 2011

Eric and The Pointless Memories

I remember when our church split, I was eight or nine.  We had gone to Mineral Wells Christian Fellowship for most of what I can remember of my early childhood.  I remember the split was exciting, weird, and maybe a little scary, but mostly just confusing.  I didn’t understand, those were our friends, we had spent every Sunday, Wednesday, holiday, special event, and whatever other excuse to gather we had together and now we didn’t associate with them anymore.  I know that my mom tried to explain it to me maybe she sugar-coated it a bit, and maybe she didn’t but I still don’t know why we left, other than a difference of opinions and/or beliefs.
                When we left we went to a few different churches, we would meet at the days inn and I think we might have even gone to a few people’s houses, but we finally found a building.  We didn’t have a pastor for a long time, the elders or whoever wanted to, I guess, would take turns preaching.  I remember when the Well of Life kids (that’s our church’s name) went to S.M.A.K. (Summer Musical Activities for Kids) at the First Baptist Church.  One of the teachers was talking to us about asking our pastor something and I think it was Shawn Lynch who said “we like have 5 preachers”.  All of us laughed except for the teacher who looked at us like we were lost souls.  It was a strange time period for me and probably them too, but this isn’t about that this is about the MWCF.
                I have a lot of memories from MWCF that for some reason have come up since the elder at our church announced that he was going back(it doesn’t go by the same name anymore but as far as I know it’s the same leadership) after 22 years.  He said God told him to do it so I suppose it’s for the best but it doesn’t make me any less sad. 
I remember almost burning the field behind the building down with a magnifying glass (I got in some trouble for that).  I remember passing the communion grape juice around in one cup and sharing with everyone (blech!). I remember Charlie Steen standing in front of the church with his family crying about having to move away (I don’t remember anything else at all about that guy or his family).  I remember a camping trip where one of the elders told me that the fish were sleeping so I needed to throw rocks to wake them up (hilarious, kids are so dumb).  I remember being scared by “The Never-Ending Story” (stupid giant turtle).  I remember spending the night at one of the family’s houses with a babysitter watching us while all of the parents were out of town for a church related conference.  I was crying so the babysitter told me that if I stopped my mother would bring me back a present.  I stopped crying but there was no present.  I asked my mom at church the next morning and she had no idea what I was talking about.  I remember my mom announcing that she was pregnant when she raised her hand with a prayer request.  Jay Cawthon said it was too late for prayer, and everyone laughed.  There was some kind of anomaly on the sonogram, but I guess it all worked out because my brother is 22 now and he seems mostly healthy (mostly).  I remember Nancy Lynch holding Cory and my mom talking to her about me and Shawn possibly being friends because we were close to the same age, but Shawn and I never really clicked.  We got along fine and I liked him we just had different interests for the most part.  I always got along better with Cory anyway.  I remember us driving up on a car accident on the way to church one night and it was the Cawthon’s car (it was scary but they’re alright).  I remember every fall we had a harvest festival at the pastor’s house and I remember popping fireworks there on the fourth of July.  I remember eating too many potato chips while watching “Mary Poppins” at their house and throwing up all over their living room floor.  These were mostly good times I had as a child.
I don’t know why these specific memories are the ones that always pop into my head when I think about that church, and I know that this is a boring read with no real point. Sorry

Eric Anderson

P.S. One or more or all of these memories may be incorrect as I have slept many times since they occurred.  If you find any errors in the history I have presented please keep them to yourself. Thank you

P.P.S. My wife makes beautiful children.  I love you Charlotte