My Buddy Lou

 

At the age of seven, I briefly became a Devil worshipper.

Strange? Maybe, but let’s back up a second.

I was raised in a strict Protestant household, Pentecostal to be exact. We preferred to faithfully attend church service seven days a week, thank you very much, and “idols” such as Santa Clause were considered threats to the good Lord’s sovereignty. Out they went.

I loved God; I considered him to be a good guy (he was male, of course!), and he watched over me and my family. But there was a problem: the Devil. He stood against everything that good Christians strived for; he compelled people to do bad things, and in the End of Days, he’d roam the Earth with the Anti-Christ to punish nonbelievers.

So, like any child fearing Christian, I decided to fight him with one of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal: love.

It was a Saturday morning; I was watching cartoons—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—and swinging my feet atop my couch. Something kept running through my head though: if God admires love, compassion, and praise, then wouldn’t the Devil only care for the opposite—hate, selfishness, and insults? I mean, the Devil is pure evil, isn’t he? He would hate anything positive; it would actually hurt him, wouldn’t it?

With this logic in mind, I hopped off the couch, bent down until my face was inches from the carpeted floor, and started telling the Devil I loved him. I told him that he was nice and good and that we should be friends. I mentioned every positive thing I could think of—poison to the Devil in my mind—to hurt him wherever he was in hell (because he was surely listening to a seven year old Spanish child in a Brooklyn ghetto . . . ).

Now, imagine the look on my sister’s face when she walked into the living room: her little brother, in his pajamas, kneeling to the ground, worshipping Satan repeatedly. She quickly wailed “what are you doing?!”

I looked up at her and calmly explained my plan to hurt the devil by showing him love. That’s when she explained to me that the Devil had worshippers too, and the way you fought him was to praise God.

Twenty-two years later, I’m still not sure if I believe my sister, honestly. But every once in a while I do receive an e-mail from a stranger with “wazaaaap?” in the body, so who knows?

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Happy . . . Thanks . . . Gurgle

 

Uff.

I’m currently digesting enough white meat to crap out a baby turkey.

It sure doesn’t look like that inside of my gullet.

Before a malaise takes hold of my brain, I thought I’d share some of the things I’m thankful for. I mean, ’tis the season to enjoy the seasonings, and nothing brings out gratitude quite like a plate full of goodies.

1) Family always tops these lists, doesn’t it? But it’s such a general thing to be grateful for. Specifically, I’m grateful that I have the kind of family that would drop everything it’s doing in order to help someone. If there’s a case to be made for the existence of some kind of objective morality, a deep seeded altruism, than my family would be a good example.

2) I’m also thankful for the ability to even type these words. No, it’s not a “glad I have good health” wish (though that’s a standard thing to be grateful for too). Instead, I’m thankful that I can afford even the little computer I’m using and also grateful to whatever cosmic being thought it was a good idea to cram my head full of pulsing words that just need to come out. 🙂

3) Finally (cause 3’s a magic number) I’m thankful to live in a time where free speech is commonplace (at least in a good portion of the world), human rights are generally recognized and respected, and a person can live to the ripe old age of 80+ having lived a good life (snuck a bit of good health in there for good measure.)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; may your leftovers leave a wonderful taste in your mouth, even after being nuked in the microwave!

Happy Thanksgiving!

NaNoWriMo

 

It’s about that time, eh? The thirty days of parole for our usually restrained brains.

National Novel Writing Month!!!

My brain was a bit disheveled, squinting in the sunlight, unsure what he should do with all the freedom. But like a fat kid in a bacon house, my brain’s starting to tear things up.

I’ve been writing quite a bit the past three days, thankfully, and I’m looking forward to interacting with the NaNoWriMo community for inspiration and laughs. The periodic emails from the staff are a great start;  if you haven’t yet, and you’ve got a potential novel burning in your heart, mosey on down to http://www.nanowrimo.org and sign up. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

For this month I’ve vowed to abandon my usually perfectionist tendencies, which have kept me tinkering with a single chapter for weeks on occasion. But not this time! Just gotta keep my eyes on the 50,000 word goal.

For those of you who have finished a National Novel Writing Month in the past or are knee deep in one for the first time, what tips can you share for “winning” it by December 1st?