Sunday, September 20, 2009

So Much Water

I'm sick of the rain. I'm reminded of the poetic words of an old song: rain, rain, GO AWAY. Pictured above is the scene in Jordan-Hare Stadium just before the bottom dropped out. I took the picture with my phone, then put it in a ziploc bag just in time for the monsoon. We. Got. Soaked. It was more rain than I've ever stood in (and I've stood in rain everywhere from Tulsa to Timbuktu). I was saturated. I wore a raincoat, but it didn't work after seventy million gallons of water fell on me. I was miserable.

I have learned that I have a tendency to think that my current circumstances, whatever they may be, are permanent. Thus, I thought it would rain all night. I wasn't going to stay there in such crazy rain. There were even times I thought they might not play. I know that's dumb, but I thought it. So, I left. I rode my bike home and got dry. I watched the game from underneath my warm blue snuggie. Of course, as the game turned AWESOME I regretted my decision to leave. Spare me your comments of "How could you!" and "You call yourself an Auburn fan!". For there is nothing you can say that I haven't already thought. Waves of guilt wash over me like sheets of rain. But then I think of how comfortable and dry I was, and I'm like, "Peace suckers! Have fun with the flu." Seriously though, If I had it to do over again, I would've dried off and gone BACK to the game! They were letting people come back in. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, until you smash into something because you were looking backwards.

War eagle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I love My...

Good evening, and welcome to another installment of "I love my Mondays". The post where I detail five things that, on a day when we hate everything, I'm loving right now. Despite the worst Monday weather in recent memory, I'll try to scrounge up five things I fancy.

1. I love my Auburn Tigers. And I'm not afraid to say it. I think I swooned when Antonio Coleman made his first career interception and ran it in for six. As previously posted, I'm so pumped about the Aubren War Eagle Tigers of Auburn's plains this year.

2. I love my seventh graders. I have a great group of seventh grade choir members this year. We have so much fun in class. I'm really looking forward to hearing them sing this fall.

3. I love my new show: Defying Gravity. If you know me at all, you know I'm somewhat of a space enthusiast. This is a new drama on NBC that takes place aboard the space vessel Antares. It follows the crew on a six year mission to Venus and back. It rocks.

4. Speaking of Auburn football, I love the new show "Auburn Football: Every Day". This is a documentary-meets-reality show about the day to day activities of Auburn's football coaches and players. There are interviews with players and coaches on a weekly basis. I got a little misty-eyed a couple times during the last episode. It's that good.

5. I love Samuel Adams. Octoberfest brew is here. Drink one.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Chizik Era

After two Auburn Football games, it looks as though the Tigers have an offense. What a sigh of relief this is for the Auburn faithful everywhere. After the offense-less struggles of the last couple years, there's nothing we like to see more than a team that can move the ball down the field. Not only that, it seems we have found multiple ways to strike. This week, Auburn had over 560 yds of total offense. It's a new era in Auburn football, and I'm happy to be here for it. I'm more fired up about Auburn football than I have been in quite a while. Everything seems more meaningful now. When the eagle flies, I get more choked up. When the team runs out, I get more fired up. I'll refrain from making premature, outrageous claims about this team and this year. Suffice it to say that I'm really pumped about Auburn football and the months ahead. War Damn Eagle!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Great Message

Everyone was up in arms about the president's speech to our nation's children that took place today. Parents were concerned that this Democratic president wanted to indoctrinate their children with his liberal agenda. School systems were divided on whether or not to show the speech live to their students. Did you see it? Have you read it? There couldn't be a more positive and uplifting message for our students to hear. There couldn't be a more "important" person from whom to hear it. There was no politics. There was no nazi brainwashing. Everyone chill the hell out. Our nation's leader simply wanted to encourage, inspire, challenge, and motivate our students. I don't know that I could confidently say that those things happen daily in many of today's classrooms. Here's the transcript. I encourage you to take ten minutes to read it. I'm thankful for these words. I only wish every student in America could have heard them.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Name In Stone

I left Auburn this afternoon at around four o' clock. Driving north to play with a band whose members I still barely know had become a weekly thing. Last week, I drove to Birmingham through a deluge of rain only to have to ride another thirty minutes to the rehearsal space (someone's house) upon my arrival. This time, the other members of this newly formed ensemble had taken measures to reduce my drive time. Today, I met them in Harpersville.

The sun was out. The drive was really rather peaceful. When I arrived in Harpersville, I had a half hour to burn before meeting everyone at our new practice space. I turned left on highway 25. It was as if I had been there a thousand times. Half a mile down the road, I pulled off and through the brick gates of a hillside cemetery across the street from the Methodist church. I had been here once be
fore. My dad brought me several years back. I remembered a vague location in which to search. Still, it took me several moments. Then, I saw my name on the back of a large weathered stone: CATER. Even though I knew what I was looking for, I was a bit startled. I cautiously approached the tombstone, weaving in between other gray stones. I walked up the hill a bit further and stopped before a row of tombstones with my last name on them. Some of them were so old and weathered, the writing was hardly legible. Below these stones were buried the remains of people in my family, people who bore the same last name.

The melancholy calm that hangs over every cemetery intensified as I stood before these graves. One headstone was labeled for the "Infant child of M.Z. and D.E. Cater". Another bore a death date of 1903, a stone that had stood and displayed my name for one hundred and six years. I looked around the graveyard for a moment. ETRESS, GORMAN, HENDERSON, these names meant nothing to me; just names. Yet here in front of me were stones whose five chiseled letters represented my whole life. I've always been a Cater. I'll always be a Cater. My heart became full. My eyes welled up. What kind of people were they? What did they look like? Did they like pepper? Did they have a keen sense of smell?

Were they proud of me?

I sat down in front of all six stones. I prayed. I than
ked God for my family; for those I've never met, and for those whose love compels me daily. I didn't want to leave. Eventually, I got up, brushed myself off and made my way back to my car. I stopped three or four times to look back at the spot on the hillside. I could almost see it from the street. CATER. A sense of peace; a sense of pride. They had taken their turn on this earth. They had lived their lives. And as I got back in my car and put the keys in the ignition, I went to go live mine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

In this case, the something old and the something blue are the same thing. For years, I've been "the guy with the blue guitar." Last week, that changed. I purchased the guitar of my dreams. I'll keep "old blue", but it's now on the back burner. She was good to me. But I've upgraded. Let me take you back.

Seventh grade. I had just started playing guitar. I was in my first band. I ate, slept, and breathed guitar. In a conversation with one of my bandmates, I learned of Taylor guitars. No biggie right? Until I heard one. I wasn't aware a guitar could sound so good! I knew I had to have one. Twelve years later, after saving up for months and months, I bought a Taylor 816ce. It's perfect. It looks beautiful and sounds even more beautiful. I'm happy with it.

Something borrowed? It happens to be a guitar too. My latest musical challenge is the bass guitar. I'm going to start playing bass in the children's worship band at my church, Cornerstone. This is a worship band for children, not a worship band made OF children. We had practice tonight and it was so much fun. I love only being responsible for one note! I don't have to sing, I just play one note at a time. Now, I'm also in another band with a buddy of mine from college and some friends of his. We're called Donnie and the Dodgeballs. I was asked to be the lead singer. We also lack a bass player. I might just pull a Sting in the police or a Sheryl Crow and play bass and sing at the same time. I'm not sure how that will work, as bass isn't nearly as second nature to me as guitar. We shall see at the next rehearsal. I'm borrowing a friend's bass to practice. Peace.