Tuesday, May 27, 2003

A Big Week

This is it. We are moving into the new house on Thursday. I'm excited on many levels and a little anxious as well. Mainly, I love the opportunity to restructure my life. Whenever I move it makes me want to exercise, to pray, to write, to organize, etc..

There's a good chance that I will not be blogging much this week, so you'll have to forge ahead without me. If you are a Vegas friend, we could use some help moving this Thursday. Just give me a buzz...there's free pizza and beer for the movers...and of course, the satisfaction of moving three families into one house. It's like a reality show only not a show...yeah, that's it...the gift of reality to all who wish to carry my bed, TV and blender...

Peace to the restless. Courage to the fearful. Joy to the empty souls...my blessing this week to you.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Ten Questions

My answers to the ten questions at your right ---------->

Feel free to answer them yourselves. They are stolen from James Lipton who stole them from somebody else...

1. Yes.

2. Cancer.

3. A new idea.

4. Ignorant criticism.

5. A push lawnmower from a distance.

6. My wife's cell phone ring.

7. "Damn" used as a second adjective, as in "a hundred damn dollars"

8. Actor.

9. Entomologist

10. "I'm real."

Blaine is a buddy of mine from my Second City classes. He's moving to NYC this week which kinda bums me out. He has been selected as one of the final five contestants for The It Factor on Bravo. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing him. Click Here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Thought Fragments

I'm rather mentally manic these days. I have so many ideas of things that I want to be doing...but it has been hard to craft a lifestyle that allows for such things. Tomorrow is jam packed. I have two breakfasts. One with a leader from the Mennonite Conference at 6:00 am (Excited about meeting him-not so excited about the time.) A breakfast with Noah Blair at 10 am, a new friend from my acting classes. Lunch with Doug Parks before he leaves for a few months. Staff meeting in the afternoon and house church at night...there's a real good chance that I will not blog tomorrow.

My friends Greg and Jennifer are here from NY. We had a great dinner tonight. They'll be leading worship at Apex this weekend.

The new house is ten days away!!! I'm getting very excited now.

Thanks to those of you who responded to my last blog. Today was much better. Real peace to you, reader.

Sunday, May 18, 2003


We could use some prayer. Things have been tough for us as a family lately. We aren't in crisis or anything, just weary and frustrated. Parenting is very very hard work. Sometimes Debbie and I feel like we are the worst of the worst. The last few days our kids have been very hyper and demanding of both of us. We love them so much, but we are both getting drained and a little depressed. Please just ask God to sustain us. I think of what the Palmers and my brother and sister-in-law are going through with their cancers and I feel bad for complaining about my healthy family. I know that our trials are very normal and nominal, but we just need to break out of our sad funk. I figure if you care enough about me to read this silly blog, you'd probably want to know about the simple frustrations of my life as well!

Thanks all,


Friday, May 16, 2003

Eli's Questions

Two weeks ago Eli, my three-year old, asked me what water was made of. I was rather distracted trying to get him into his car seat so I answered without thinking. "Hydrogen and Oxygen." He said "What's hilgrigin and oxelgon?" "Basic elements," I said as I closed the car door. His question haunted me that day. More acurately, my answers bothered me. I am such a materialist...such a modern...such a practical atheist...a fact junky. What is water made of? I am convinced that every pre-modern culture that has ever existed has a damn good answer that involves a beautiful narrative of one of their own recieving water from the Divine. We think that we have the right answer...H2O. H20 is BS. Its a lie that we created to forget the story of what water really is. Water is made of love and life. That's the truth. It's a gift not a formula. I made a vow that day that I would try to answer the next difficult question as a spiritual being instead of some organic computer.

The next question came about four hours ago. Eli and I were on our way home from Walmart when he noticed the eclipse. (I knew it was happening but had forgotten to look.) "What's wrong with the moon, daddy?" "It's an eclipse, Eli." Crap! Here I go again. "What's an ekilps, daddy?" It was all I could do not to explain planetary rotation, natural satellites and the moon as a reflective body. I searched my brain for a story...nothing came to mind until Eli spoke again. "I think the moon has a moon-blanket on cause he's cold." I said, "Sounds good to me, buddy. It is really cold on the moon right now." "Yeah...and the moon is far away...farther than Memaw and Papaw's house, huh?" "Yeah, really far," I answered.

We arrived home about five minutes later and Eli told Mommy, "The moon has a blanket on." She stared bewilderingly at me..."There's an eclipse tongiht." I had to translate truth into fact for her. Now if I could just learn to do the opposite for Eli.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

The Day After

I have been noticing some less than favorable reviews of Matrix Reloaded starting to emerge on the web. I think lots of people were let down. I wasn't. I thought it was great. I love the mythos most of all. For some reason I was really pulled into the love story as well. I actually left believing that Trinity and Neo were in love, which never happens for me in a romantic comedy.

So there, I am a geek. I loved Matrix Reloaded.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Joe and Phil's Book Club

My friend Phil and I will be reading Henri Nouwen's Clowning in Rome for the next few weeks if anyone wants to join in the fun. I probably won't get started until Monday. It's short and most people find Nouwen easy to read.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Excuse My Blogdust

I've added a few new things over here ---->

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Go Reds!

Well I thought that the season was shot...but my Cincinnait Red Legs have won five in a row and are back to 500. I'm looking forward to catching a game at the new ballpark this summer on our trip back home to Ohio. I used to be primarily a football and college basketball fan. The older I get, the more I like baseball. Maybe it's Greg's influence, or maybe there is just something very soothing and, dare I admit, American about it. More realistically, maybe it is because I am a Bengals fan.

Friday, May 09, 2003

A Midsummer Night's Dream

My friend Heather Burdette is in this play, if anyone is interested...

Summerlin Centre Community Park

(1800 Town Center, Town Center & Charleston)

May 15, 16 & 17

Gates open at 5:30pm

Greenshow at 7:30pm, Shows at 8:00pm

Tickets are $12.00 for the General Public, and $8.00 for Summerlin residents.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Summerlin Home Finding Center next to the park, Thursday through Monday from 10:00am to 6:00pm,

or at the gate on show days.

Call (702) 791-4412 for more information!


It's a funny thing with me. For a few years now I have been struggling with living a disciplined life. All of sudden I have noticed a change. It all started about a week ago. I cleaned my workspace in the office. It had been almost a year since I really cleaned it. I threw away a ton of stuff and filed things from last year. A few days later I cleaned my car, got an oil change and replaced my wiper blades. The next day I started eating better. (This day coincided with my fat blog.) The next two things are biggies: 1. Going to the dentist for the first time in a long time. (I'm too ashamed to say how long its been.) and 2. Getting back into a daily pattern regarding some spiritual and physical exercises. I will tackle those next week.

I was struck by a verse at a church that I attended last night. "Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as if working for the Lord." There is something in it for me. I am repelled by it a bit, because years of "working for the Lord" had left me battered and tired. But I was drawn to "whaterer you do" this time. I think that I am ready to see what Col. 3:23 means in this new resurrected life. I am excited about the possibilities.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

And Gene...

Meet my buddy Gene.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Fresh Meat

Let us all welcome Greg Hubbard to the family.
I'm Fat

I know what some of you are thinking, but this is way past vanity. I'm just so tired of carrying these twenty extra pounds with me everywhere I go. I know about 100 different things that I can do to lose the weight. I have battled with obesity since I was about six years old. I was fifty pounds heavier than I am now when I graduated from high school. I know how to lose weight-eat less, exercise more. But damn it, I like fast food and I hate running and being naked with other men in the gym locker room.

So there it is. The one thing that I think every single day of my life but have never blogged. I don't know why I decided to share tonight. I guess that I am hoping that it will give me what I need to order egg beaters at my 7:00 breakfast tommorow. I know what I don't need: Don't tell me I'm not fat...I won't believe you. Don't tell me I am fat...that pisses me off. Don't tell me your diet plan...I've probably tried it about five times. Just know that my entire childhood existence was full of fat jokes and that if I weighed 80 pounds, I'd still be the fat kid on the inside. (Dr. Phil, emergency on Blog 29...) Crap, now I'm being the fat kid who uses humor to cover the pain!

So this is what I tell myself: Jesus loves thirty year-old guys who are still hurting from the insults of third grade. He loves me and is probably fine with my bonus 20 pounds. But still, I want to take my kids swimming this summer without being embarrassed. So, I'll take dry wheat toast with those egg beaters in the morning and get my butt back into the gym.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Nothing Too Profound

Today was the last class of level two in my Improv. training with Second City. Phase three will begin in mid-June. I'm still really enjoying the process and the people. This year has been remarkably joyful and meaningful in virtually every area of my life. I have just started to get very excited about the new house that will be finished May 28. Everything is a go.

I'm taking a workshop on Comedy writing with Mike Lukas who is a stand-up comedian who used to be a part of SC here in Vegas. All of us Saga-types have been working hard on our Comedy Show which will likely be August 22 and 29. So its all about being funny in Joe's life right now. Which is cool for me, but rather frustrating to my wife at times.

Apex feels right. I was overwhelmed with love for everyone at the Gathering this week. We are all praying for God to send some people to us who are as screwed up as we were when we found Apex. It feels like we are finally ready to grow again...

Who knows where we will end up, but the journey has been amazing of late.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Mutant Joe

Hey Heather,

I'm Prof. X. How freakin cool am I?

Click here to find out what X-man you are...

Thursday, May 01, 2003


I aint got it today. If you were to come up to me and ask, "Are you a creative person?" I would say, "yes" without even thinking. I've always been told that I am creative, witty, clever, ruggedly handsome...you know. This week has been bone dry in the inspiration department. The crawling-man-looking-for-water-in-the-desert kind of dry. No new ideas. No funny thoughts. No manic screenplay concepts. No creative pain or torment. No energy to write or blog. Just blah. I think that I love improvisation because it is reactionary and not premeditated. Creativity is not an option when someone walks up to you and says, "Doctor, look at this x-ray..." I think that geekly role playing games like D&D are good for this too. It's been a long time, but I'd like to play again sometime.

I learned today that, for me at least, sitting down to be creative is like lying down to go to sleep...it only works if you are sleepy. Speaking of sleepy...I might go take a quick nap before my next appointment.