Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Last Lecture

I saw a teaser for a PrimeTime special last night about Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture. It got me interested enough that I went onto YouTube and searched for his lecture. I found it, and after 5 minutes, I was interested enough to listen for over an hour. I was intrigued because I really like good speeches, and this seemed to have some good content. I was also intrigued because Randy Pausch knew he was dying of cancer. That puts an interesting twist on speaking in a lecture series about “what you would speak on if it were the last lecture you were to give”.

Not only does Pausch seem to be one of the smartest people ever (he was one of the foremost experts on Virtual Reality), but he also seemed like a very likable guy. All of this plays into his ability to deliver a really great speech and make some good points along the way. While I watched the lecture, I wondered if Pausch was a Christian. Some of his points seemed derived from some form of faith or another, while others are just basic good principles on how to be a good person (it was said in the PrimeTime special that he purposely stays away from mentioning spirituality, but they didn’t say why – or at least I didn’t catch it if they did).

What he did really well was put real life examples behind some basic sayings:

  • Loyalty is a two way street: He talked about how putting his neck on the line for someone came back to help him later on.
  • Brick walls are there to let us prove how badly we want something and show our dedication: He talked about not getting accepted to a grad program.
  • There is a difference between the reasonable thing and the right thing: He talked about a time when he was mistreated and it would have been reasonable to leave the program, but it wasn’t the right thing to do.

And this list could go on, but I wanted to point out three things he said that, for whatever reason, stuck out to me.

  • "Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted."
    I can look back on so many things that I wanted, but I came away with just an experience. Some of them I am totally fine with, and some of them are harder to swallow. In the end, things went the way they did for a reason, and the Lord knows the best plan for my life, no matter how badly I wanted a certain thing. And I should learn from, and be thankful for, the experience. I didn’t get what I wanted, but I did get an experience.
  • "When it comes to men, it is really simple. Just ignore what they say and pay attention to what they do."
    This was just an interesting sidebar in his speech (probably inserted for his young daughter), but I think it is a good reminder. I can get caught up in what a guy does (or doesn’t) say, but if I take away the words and look at the actions, I get a clearer picture of what is really going on. Now to stay objective enough to do this is a whole ‘nother story….
  • "Talking about fun is like a fish talking about the importance of water. I’m dying and I’m having fun."
    You could certainly tell that Randy Pausch has had a fun life. And it’s true – he was diagnosed with the deadliest kind of cancer (he passed away last week), yet he was having fun. And I think that has a lot to do with why this speech was so powerful to people. A lot of people are eloquent and can string together good principles in a speech and pepper it with funny stories, but not everyone would respond to his diagnosis in the same way.

So, even though I ignored some of the new age-y themes, I’m glad I took the time to listen to the Last Lecture. It wasn’t quite as good as the sermon I listened to yesterday (which I probably will blog on at some point once I digest), but it was good for what it was.

And I feel some sort of strange kinship to him – like I am in The Club. You know – the one where someone in your immediate family has cancer. There are a lot of us in the club, but you don’t know what it feels like to be a member until you actually become one. And then it clicks, and you can have empathy and understand the emotions that are involved to a deeper degree. So that is what I did. I watched his wife and kids on the PrimeTime special and bawled my eyes out. Life isn’t fair, but my dad told me that was a good thing, because if life was fair we’d all go to Hell. That’s what we deserve.

So you accept what you are handed and you ask God for the grace to handle it, and He walks you through.

And you’re thankful for your experience. Not because it’s what you wanted, but because it’s an experience.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Can't Take the Heat

I don’t like to complain about my job’s a job. I’m lucky to have a good one and most of all IT’S NOT AT A DESK. I would hate a desk job. I would do it, but I would probably hate it.

Most days I love that I am in and out of my car all day, driving around, chatting with people, eating free food, listening to the radio, etc.

Except on days like today. In a long-sleeved suit coat, nonetheless.

Wish I was at a desk with nice AC. That is a bold statement, people.

In related news, we have the air on in the house for the first time this year. Thank goodness.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lost Post

Not the show (although I will have posts about it when fall TV arrives). Just a blog post.

I just wrote a post about how I love tennis and I love the Aquatennial, so I really loved watching my cousin play in the Aquatennial Plaza Tennis Tournament last week. But when I hit publish, the post disappeared into the deep internet abyss, never to be seen again. So, lesson learned: type posts in Word and then just copy and paste when I am ready to publish. Okay.

In my post, I talked about why I love the tourney (mostly about the setting of having a court set up on a plaza downtown by a light rail stop with all kinds of crazy distractions) and the Ten Best Days of Summer (mostly for the fun events like milk carton boat races, ski shows, Torch Light Parade, especially the fireworks) but I really don’t feel like recreating the post now, so this is it. Probably a good lesson in being more concise anyway.

In other news, I haven’t been in the cities for a weekend yet this summer (except for one where I had back-to-back weddings – including playing piano in one – so I don’t really count that), so it was nice to be around here and enjoy my friends this weekend. It was filled with some relaxation, cleaning, a one-year-old bday party (complete with water balloon games – fun), and a third baby shower in three weeks (lots of Preggers around here, y'all). Overall, good. Except for the insomnia thing I’ve been fighting for a few months. I’ve encountered insomnia in the past, but never to this level. But I haven’t felt tired during the day, which is an answer to prayer, so things are good.

Also – why don’t “lost” and “post” rhyme? After all, they have the same spelling. Strange.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Case You're Wondering

I love StoryPeople.

My sister introduced me to StoryPeople and has mentioned it in her blog. I get the "Story of the Day" sent to me as well, and I totally love them. Often StoryPeople puts into words what I am thinking or feeling, but just can't express quite so eloquently.

So, in case you're wondering, the footer of my blog is from StoryPeople, and was the runner-up for the title of my blog (so I'm glad that I still found a way to incorporate it). I do love to tell a Good Story, and I'll be telling many here, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone to read into them too much. *wink*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Not theology. Just an explanation for starting a blog.

I do have reasons. But as I was thinking about what I would say in a post about why I started this, I got really bored. So I figured if I’m bored with my reasons for starting a blog, there is no reason to bore anyone else who might stumble upon it.

Just know this:

  • I started a blog
  • I do have reasons
  • The reasons may or may not come out in the course of my posts over however long I stick with this
  • I've never really "stuck with" anything in my life, so don't expect me to stick with this either (essentially, I want you all to have very low expectations of me...)
  • I still can't really decide if my reasons to do a blog are better than my reasons to not do a blog, so I am just going with it - effectively overriding my indecisiveness and tendency to over think things in one fell swoop (is "fell swoop" an actual phrase? Or am I saying it wrong? Like on Friends when Joey thinks it is "moo point" instead of "moot point" ("You know, like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter." So funny). I could practice due diligence and look this phrase up, but that is not the point of this blog and I don't intend to put that much effort into it. I also just realized that I used parentheses inside of parentheses, so I should really end this sidebar before it goes any further....)

That about covers it for now. Although I didn't really offer any justification.



It rhymes with Frogger.

I've never played Frogger and I don't know if I'd be any good at it.

Those are also my thoughts on blogging.