A blog whereby I motivate myself, and my readers, to punch me in the mouth.

  "Punchworthy feeds our deepest Freudian wishes!" --Entertainment

  "The consumate rocker's rocker. Charming, personable... a sucking void of inescapable inner turmoil."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Symptoms and Problems

Hey, for anyone who reads my blog but not Brant's .. (chiiirp.. chiiirp..)..
here's a link to an article by some smart dude about the history and current situation in the Islamic world: http://www.hillsdale.edu/imprimis/

Yes, it is longish, but worth the read. I think I may have a couple people from that side of the world read it and tell me what they think.

In other sypmtom/problem news, here's a question that's been bumping around in my mind for a few weeks:

Are church "ministries" actually, primarily, a symptom of a problem, rather than a solution to a problem?

I know that, initially, this seems like a horrible thing to say, and I'm not trying to be horrible, I swear. I say it in the same way that you might say.. valtrex.. for instance.. is a symptom of a problem, rather than a solution.

Oh yes, it's certainly the solution to a problem. It's a good thing, valtrex is.. I know that if I had the itch and burn, I'd certainly want to "ask my doctor if [it was] right for me"! But that doesn't mean that the need for this product doesn't indicate that something else, somewhere up the line, is out of whack.

(speaking of "up the line".. has anyone else noticed that all the people in those commercials are engaged in water sports somewhere near the continental divide? What's up with that? I mean, I know, as a marketting guy, that it's probably supposed to convey an air of "fresh and clean".. but to me what it mostly conveys is an air of "lotsa people upstream of me with a problem that I'd prefer not to have floating on down my way." I'm just sayin'. But, as usual, I digress.)

So.. hopefully I'll have some more to say about this at some point here.. maybe we could even engage in some kind of intelligent dialogue, if you so desire.. but roughly what I'm thinking is this:

Sure, ministries are great. They fill needs. But, is the reason that we need ministries to fill needs really that we are not living out our faith on our own? If we were living what we say we believed, if we had a Jesus lifestyle, would an unwed teenage mother need a place to go live.. clothes to wear.. food to eat.. so that she could keep her baby and have some kind of community of support? Would a family that had medical expenses need to take advantage of a benevolence fund? Would the homeless need a soup kitchen or a shelter? If every man Jack of us followers of The Way.. and last I heard, there were several million professing followers.. actually sacrificed some of ourselves every time our paths crossed a human need.. if that was our lifestyle.. then no, I don't think so.

Well, that's enough stirring of that pot, I think! If you want to see more such subversive thinking, either stick around til I blog again, or go check out Henry's page, and see what he and the apostle Paul have been cooking.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New pics

There are some new pics up on the myspace page over at: http://www.myspace.com/caparoon

These are all from the Monticello gig w/ Elevenfold. Nothing too magical, but for those of you who are interested.. they are there.

I might also swap out some of the music on the player. We shall see what the rest of the day brings. Need to help tha wife w/ some college things, play w/ the kids.. lay around and eat ice cream.. whatever comes up on this Sunday afternoon.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Losing track of time

As I've wandered around trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I've come across a few wise sources that ask the question, "What do you do that, while you're doing it, you completely lose track of time?" ("head trauma" anyone..?)

I really like this little test. I think it's a pretty good one. Points you in a direction that you might actually enjoy travelling.

But I think maybe I've hit upon an improvement. How about, "What do you do that, while you're doing it, you completely lose track of time for eight hours or more?"

Because... lemme tell ya... those eight hours are really, really important.

Really. Important.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

No such thing

Hey, are any of you familiar with the John Mayer song, "No such thing"?

I listened to it today.. here's a little snippet of his lyric...

They love to tell you stay inside the lines
But somethings better on the other side
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above
Something about that is pretty appealing to me--maybe because I was emailing the "enrichment" teacher to find out why my kid isn't in the latest class for the top-notchers.. but maybe also because I'm starting to get a little annoyed at the "oh, but they've gotta learn to tie their tie and color inside the lines" thing.

Oh, I suppose I'm crazy, and the reality of the situation is something along the lines of "You've just got to learn that, when you grow up, this is the way things work, and blahblahblah..." Or, possibly, the reality of the situation is that I've never grown up! But I'm inclined to go along with Mr. Mayer here.. "there's no such thing as the real world"...

I think, even, that I can bend this to fit in with my faith. Does this jive with the freedom brought by grace, and the constant directive toward being childlike? I don't know about the second, but definitely the first. I know that my faith frees me to approach life in a ridiculous fashion, unencumbered by the fear of failure, the fear of derision, the fear of it "going on my permanent record." It frees me from making choices because they are "normal," and from determining my own worth based on the assesments of others.

If the real world is about playing it safe, then, in light of what I know of grace, I'm just gonna move "real world" over into the category of "No Such Thing". Thanks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I told Greg

I told Greg that I think I am going to plant a church, too.

Not in the same sense that he is. Not in the "move to El Paso, dig a hole, drop the seeds of the Holy Spirit in, water it with sweat and tears until it blossoms into something amazing" sense. That's pretty dang cool... but not in that sense.

Right now, at least, my vision for being a church planter coincides with my current vision of being a christian. Of living out my faith, a follower of The Way, in a very common manner. Touching the common things of my life. Approaching the everyday with a mind for the sacred nature of every regular ol' dusty chunk of nothing.

I know a lot of people who are trying to "do church" and "do life" (re-occuring themes here, I know) in a different way. Some of you are breaking the yuppy church mold and doing an all ages-evening hang out-salsa eatin'-collection in a pan thing (still loving "this pan is our collection plate," Greg!).. some of you are getting together in a bar on an off night.. some of you are only loosely affiliated with a local body at all. And, I know a lot of you who are about living a transformed life, who are about the Kingdom, who are about being something physically and spiritually different from what you used to be--a lot of people who don't want just "a new law" to make them feel better, like they're hitting the mark, moving in the right circles, talking the right talk. People who would rather be unsure of all the answers but liberated from all the hoops.

Those ideas have both been banging around in my head, somewhat seperately (as seperated as anything in my head can be, I guess) for quite a while. I've had conversations with some of you about raising chickens and goats, and making a living from a combination of music, painting, farming, and writing. I've had strikingly similar conversations with some of you about the nature of our social interactions, as christians, and the nature of our chrisitan activities, socially. And now those two things are starting to converge more and more all the time.

Now I can see the room in my head.. I can see the place where we live, and I can see how we live. I can see a gathering of family and friends. I can see offering it all up as the House of the Lord. Of an open-door policy that invites everyone to come and be fed--sacramentally, socially, physically. Every time you walk in the door. Every time we are together, even, regardless of where it is. I want to stand up on a chair, and say it, and then do it. Live it. I think that's the church I want to plant.

I know it doesn't fit the definition/mold/preconception.. whatever.. of what "a church" is, or is supposed to be. (I think, though, that maybe it fits what "The Church" is supposed to be..?) I know that it doesn't fit "church planter," either. (Get the postmodern me, assigning random values to terms, based on vague feelings!) I know, even, that I don't have a 3 point, alliterative sermon with cross-referenced greek word studies to back me up. I don't have much at all, I guess. Just my experience and my God and the desperate hope that if I'm horribly wrong either the Spirit will slap me back to reality or at least I'll come out the other side of a terrible experience with the benefit of having kept my eyes wide open for the whole ride.

And.. maybe it's just some fru-fru artistic whim and it'll go away. But I'm going to stick to my current mantra of "be like Jesus", and we'll see if it (the fru-fru artistic whim) doesn't stick, as well. I'm not adopting it as my main objective in life. I'm not attaching any time-table to it. But I'm kind of holding it out there as a goal. It would be nice, don't you think, to just.. like.. live?

("be like Jesus" is working out pretty well, btw. I *think*.. at least.. that I am growing. I think I am making progress. Somebody feel free to let me know if that is not the case, and I am instead just headed toward Tinfoilhatville at breakneck speed..)

Sorry if this post stinks. I think I probably hate it. But Brant needed a reason to keep reading the blog, and I didn't have time to lovingly craft anything. So this is what you get. Words on a page. Uncultivated brain-fodder.

Anyway, you're all invited.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today's data indicates...

Where "yes" = 1 and "no" = 0.. I am clearly losing.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Robinson = Rocked

Okay, that is done now! Cross it off the list. And I think a mostly good time was had by mostly all.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that we were awesome or anything. But for a band that did a 10-song set on maybe only 4hrs total rehearsal time, we were pretty decent! We were at least decent enough that the people listening thought we knew what we were doing--and that we were good at it, even. (ha! fooled 'em!) Of course, Bill's got the whole thing recorded, so I'll see how things look/sound from that perspective, as well. I shudder to think.. (I'm a big hater of live audio/video recording.) But, if it's good enough, I'll slap a file or two up on the myspace page.

There were a ton of people there.. for sure a thousand at one point.. maybe 1500.. (maybe more. I'm not a great judge of that).. and who knows how many over the course of the 4hr event. One thing's for sure.. if you want to buy a hot dog in Robinson, IL, today, you are out_of_luck. Cause they flat cleaned that place out.

It was a good time, and I'm sure glad that I got to do it. Much thanks to Bill for the ask, and to Bill, Woody, and Boyd for providing super friendly, professional, and generally all around rockin' covering fire! Really appreciate you guys having my back.

The only slight setback was that I finally (due to my horrible guitar-picking style) managed to break the nail on my right index finger in two, and had to spend a good bit of friday evening/saturday morning trying to patch it with nail polish. Turns out that doesn't really work (I broke it right in two again during the set), but it at least helped me make it through. So much thanks, also, to the good folks at "Love My Nails", who helped me finish the gig with minimal pain, and, additionally, "that deep, wet look." Really appreciate you guys, too.

And finally, from the family-man perspective.. It was really nice to have the family there. Getting used to doing rock and roll like an adult instead of like a teenager is hard. I'm having to work at it quite a bit--and I'm still not there, by a long shot. You're on edge, because you're getting psyched up about playing, and when there's trouble with things.. be it travel plans, or getting meals, or not whining and complaining and making everybody crazy (Emma was a complete pain in the neck almost the entire time).. it is hard not to let the "could everyone please just go away and let me do my thing!" take over. But.. on the other side of that.. A family meal at Pizza Hut before it all begins is completely different--and better--than pizza from cardboard boxes, perched atop speaker cabs, amidst power amps waiting to be loaded. On the other side of that.. there is nothing so satisfying or encouraging as to have your daughter there, dancing in front of the stage, smiling up at you, oblivious of the 1,000 people watching.. or of looking out over the crowd and seeing your boys running and throwing airplanes with friends in the background while you play.. or of sharing the weary, post-load-out road trip home with your closest partner and friend in the world.. there is nothing as good as that. I've done it the other way, and this one beats it, hands down. Now.. to get good at it.. that'll probably take more practice than the rocking itself.

Thanks, Robinson.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Do not be afraid

As my last post before running off to Robinson for a weekend of rocking, I'd like to share some lyrics from Derek Webb. Somebody sent me a download link for his whole "Mockingbird" album--and yes, it's totally legal. He's giving it away at http://www.freederekwebb.com
I downloaded the album, and I got stuck on the 2nd track that played, "A New Law."

Now, this is just one of those things where I'm running around on my own and discover the wheel--only to find that everybody else already knew about it. But I've had a little soapbox about how modern, western, suburban Christianity looks & smells an *awful* lot like Leviticus for quite some time (ask my poor wife, and anyone who's been so unfortunate as to spend time with me bathed in the glow of firelight), and Mr. Webb is tickling my rant-bone with this one.. so I thought I'd pass it along, for whatever good it might do.

(vs. 1)
don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me

i want a new law
i want a new law
gimme that new law

(vs. 2)
don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law


what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
And now.. I am off to rock. I sure hope that some part of it is as worthwhile as the above. It is certainly all in pursuit of the same cause.

later kids!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

How do you spell "relief"?

Deb & I were hanging out with Emma the other day, getting ready to go somewhere. She was asking us if we had to do something.. can't remember what.. and we said no, we didn't, and she said, "Well, that's a relief!"

Brief silence. She follows up with, "Mommy.. what's a 'relief'?"

And Deb said, "Don't you know? You just used it correctly.."

No, she didn't know.

So we explained it to her, and I summed it up, roughly, "..so, when you're worried about something or scared or something and then you find out that it's not a problem.. that's a 'relief'. When you're worried or scared, a relief is something that makes you feel better."

She thought about that for a minute, standing there in the bathroom, and then you could see it sort of *click* in her head. And her eyes got bright, and she gives me her sideways grin and she says, "Daddy...

...you're a relief!"

And it does not get better than that, now does it? No sir.

..And then we corrected her and sent her to bed without any supper because she had used it in the wrong context. Heart-warming, sure.. but you gotta have standards. Am I right, people?

The End.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Potbelly Redux

Played the Potbelly again on Sunday. This time it was the whole family (Emma fake whistling from the floor was a highlight), plus Henrys, and Combs for a bit.

It was (of course) Adam Wolfe (who played 3 songs from his kids band, "the jammies", for the kids), Matt Wagemann again, a guy-i-didn't-meet, and myself. I got to do 6 songs.. so about 25 mins worth.

A good time was had by all, and I had a crazy sandwich ..for free.. that was basically one kind of sandwich with a whole 'nother kind of sandwich stacked on top of it.

I gotta learn some more songs.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Allergy Warning: Contains Blog

From a can of "Alaskan Pink Salmon":


Just had to share... also in "mindlessly migrating upstream" news... I now have a myspace (p'tooey!) artist page. So I'm linking it here in case any of you all would like to participate in the online version of "Elimidate".

Or, if you would like to hear some music as I get it posted (just one song there now), see when my upcoming shows are (ok, this is almost a real concern), or just read my clever, clever bloggings and self-commentary, and view my scintillating photo gallery (there's nothing in it yet).

Here it is.. set your bookmarks to "STUN"... http://www.myspace.com/caparoon