1977 and My Quest to Stop John Mayer October 16, 2011Posted by Matt in random.
Tags: 1977, birthday, Elvis Presley reincarnated, John Mayer is my mortal enemy, October 16, Star Wars prophecy
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I pushed the lever into the ON position and somewhere in the depths of the engine a motor whirred about noisily. Lights flashed and flickered all about, as I steadied the laptop sitting before me. J hurried about, gauging the mechanical progress of the rattling machine.
It’s a go.”
“What year did you want to revisit, Mr. Wisdom?”
“What’s so special about that year?”
“What do you mean, ‘what’s so special’? 1977 was an awesome year! It was the time of disco music, of Roots, of the Atari 2600!”
“Uh huh. Is that it?”
“No, of course not! It was also the year I was born!”
“You were born in 1977?”
“Yes, and I’ve long wondered about my birth taking place in that year.”
“Do you know what else happened in 1977?” J shrugged and shook his head, so I continued on, “Elvis died.”
“Really? Why does that have anything to do with…”
“Come now haven’t you connected the dots yet? Like The King, himself, I have dashing good looks and incredible dance moves?”
“So obviously I am Elvis reincarnated.”
“Also, you’ve heard of a little movie called Star Wars?”
“Its release in that year is an obvious foreshadowing of my own struggles against ‘The man,” of my own desires to rebel against the powers that be. Perhaps you could even say it was prophetic.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“J, I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. I am the reincarnated spirit of Elvis Presley and the course of my life was foretold by George Lucas. It all fits so perfectly.”
“Is that it?”
“Well now that you mention it, there is another part of my plan that I have yet to bring to light. Do you know John Mayer?”
“Yeah, the singer, you know the “Your Body is a Wonder Land” guy.”
J looks at me confused, “Yeah I know of him, why?”
I lower my voice to whisper and lean close to his ear, “You may not know this, but he’s my archenemy.”
J backs up looking at me like I just told him I rode a prehistoric lobster to the moon, “What are you talking about?”
“John Mayer and I were born the exact same day, October 16, 1977, but I was endowed with the spirit of Elvis. So, while I’ve got the looks and the ability, he’s stuck being John Mayer. Forever.”
“That doesn’t make any sense at all.”
“Oh really? You know that song he did, ‘Waiting for the World to Change’?”
“Yeah, I’m familiar with it.”
“Totally about me. He’s waiting for the world to change because he wants to kill me. No joke. His entire career has been about trying to destroy me. He is Darth Vader and I am Luke Skywalker.”
“Um okay,” J says with some degree of unsureness as he starts backing away. Suddenly he trips over something unseen and the room goes black. It was the power cord, he unplugged the power cord.
Seconds later the machine starts smoking and shaking violently.
“No!” I yell out, “My plan is ruined!”
J pulls himself to his feet, “Do something!”
“Quick,” I yell, “we have to shut it down!” Taking an oversized monkey wrench, I ram it into the machine and diodes and little electric parts spill onto the floor. “We must kill the flux capacitator!”
Finally, I ram the wrench into the machine with as much force as I can muster, and with a loud machinery groan, the time machine breathes its last and is dead.
Anger wells up inside me as I shake my fist at the sky, “Curses! Foiled again! You win this round, John Mayer, but next time you won’t be so lucky!”
Number 9 August 30, 2011Posted by Matt in family.
Tags: birthday, family
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August 30th. It’s a big day in the Wisdom house for it was on this day, back in 2002, that our oldest child, Rachel, came into this world and changed our lives forever. Have a happy birthday, honey! We love you!
Above is a picture from her blowout, 1980′s-themed party from last weekend. Good times.
Christmas with the Wisdoms December 29, 2010Posted by Matt in Christmas, family.
Tags: birthday, Christmas, Christmas Eve service, Episcopal Church, Eucharist, family, gifts, Santa Claus
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It’s been an eventful and exhausting five days since I last posted, so let’s take a few moments to catch up.
Our holiday spring began on Friday when we were able to attend our first ever Christmas Eve service, the Holy Eucharist at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. The nave (that would be the auditorium for you CoCers out there and the sanctuary for you Baptists) was beautifully decorated, with two large Christmas trees adorning the front of the room, greenery draped throughout, and candles lit at each row of pews. The lights were dimmed quite low as the parishioners made their way into the building, found their seats, and took a few moments of silence to pray, reflect, or tell the kids to be quiet.
The service itself consisted of four scripture readings, one from the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, one from the Psalms, one from Paul’s letter to Titus, and finally, following the singing of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” Luke’s account of Christ’s birth. Father Patrick then addressed us with not one, but two sermons, the first of which was geared towards the children who gathered around him at the front of the building and the second to the adults. The two mini-sermons dealt with the implications of incarnation and both were quite interesting and meaningful. After the sermon, we then participated in the recitation of the Nicene Creed, the Prayers of the People, and ended with the regular greetings in the Peace of the Lord.
Though the first part of service was complete, the main event, aka Holy Communion, was still to come. We have grown accustomed to the practices of the Eucharist over the past two months and this was similar to that which we have done before. Row by row, the parishioners trooped to the front of the nave and knelt before the altar, where Father Patrick and another member would administer the bread and wine while the musicians played a mixture of soft Christmas music. Then, following the Post-Communion Prayer, the parishioners stood and sang Silent Night, with only the soft glow of candles cutting through the darkness. It was a moving experience and one more reason why I like the church.
Once the service ended, many of the congregants retreated to the CAB for a dinner of crawfish soup, red beans and rice, wine, and host of other morsels to make our Christmas Eve a little brighter. We ate and rejoiced in each other’s company, making this a Christmas Eve to remember. By the time we left, the kids were nearly falling over with exhaustion, so it was not difficult in the least to get them in bed and asleep, awaiting the arrival Santa Claus. Santa had a late night, though, particularly since his wife had to go to work at 10:00, but with the help of egg nog and the TBS marathon of A Christmas Story, all was completed by about 2:00am.
The kids were up bright and early Christmas morning, around the time that Diana arrived at home, so we did our first round of presents then. Rachel got the Nintendo DS she wanted, Bekah got a Leapster 2 (though she was certain Santa got them mixed up because she asked him specifically for a DS! We told her that Santa wanted to make sure she could take care of a Leapster first and that maybe she would get one next year.), and JD had several cars and trucks, including a large police vehicle with noise-making buttons. We ate a nice breakfast of waffles, then headed back to St. Tim’s for our first Christmas Day service.
Where the Eve service was much more solemn and introspective, the Christmas Day service was one of great joy, one in which the kids were free to roam about the nave, and infectious laughter and fun spread quickly among the parishioners. There were a few added wrinkles to the service on this day, however, including Patrick’s blessing of the gifts, in which congregants laid their favorite gifts, which included everything from jewelry to a unicycle to the three gifts I mentioned above, in a pile on the altar and he pronounced a blessing upon them. At one point, as he led the congregation in prayer he laid his hands on the gifts, inadvertently touching JD’s police truck and filling the room with the blaring sound of a police siren. Good times. The Eucharist that day was also a bit different that usual, for this one consisted of a white chocolate bread and sparkling grape juice to make it a little more fun and kid friendly, and this time even our now-2 year old JD got to participate. At the end, everyone called out in one loud, joyous voice, “It’s a boy!”
We flew home afterwards, grabbed a bite to eat and hit the road, heading toward the next stop on our yuletide journey, Beebe. Upon our arrival, we first went to the home of Diana’s parents, where we were able to enjoy a nice dinner, some good conversation, and some gift-giving. By the time we left she was in a near-comatose state after being awake for some 30 straight hours, so we drove over to my parents’ home and she collapsed in bed. Both that night and the next one I had long conversations with my dad, mostly about our most recent church experiences. My parents are very open minded people and highly supportive of us, and they were interested to learn more about the church and the people with whom we have spent the past two months. We talked at great length about things and I tried to give the best answers I could, though my knowledge of Episcopal theology and doctrine is still in its fledgling stages.
The next morning we went to church with my parents and, though it is still definitely a Church of Christ, I must say that there was a marked improvement over what it has been in the past. I mean, they even had a Christmas message on their sign! In case you weren’t raised in CoC circles, the church has generally never acknowledged Christian holidays, preferring to treat no day as any greater than another. After worship, we headed back to the parents for a huge Christmas dinner of crown pork roast, all the trimmings, and a vast assortment of desserts, all of which I had to at least sample.
My family has always made a big deal out of Christmas and the room full of gifts given this year was no different in that regard. There was an assortment of video games, Barbie dolls, and more cars and trucks for the kids, some cookware for Diana, and for me, a Playstation 3. Now, I had been lamenting for some time to Diana that I wished I had a system conducive to playing sports games (yeah, Techmo Bowl on the old NES is fun for a while, but it does get a little old), so with her guidance, my family gave me this huge and very cool gift. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it, particularly the NCAA Football 11 that I received. I was very proud of the gift I picked out for my dad: two front row (I believe) tickets to see Leon Redbone, one of his favorite artists of all time, in concert later this month.
The next day, Monday, we had yet another big event: Jackson’s 2nd birthday party! Diana’s mother came up for the party and we had a ball celebrating our little man’s big day. I think he enjoyed the extra attention, especially since it involved a big slab of cake.
It was a great Christmas weekend and we stayed at their house until yesterday, when we finally packed up all of our things and made the journey back to our Southaven home. Today, I’m back at work, but that’s okay. I’ve got a long season of NCAA Football ahead of me…
Birthday Boy October 16, 2010Posted by Matt in personal stories.
Tags: 1977, birthday, October 16
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It’s that time of year…again.
33 really isn’t that bad. Sure, my hair is a little thinner on top and I’ve got some gray in my beard, but in terms of Christian numerology there aren’t many numbers more perfect than it, right?
I was born on this day back in 1977, the year of Star Wars and Hotel California. It was the year when Elvis succumbed to a life of indulgence and the Skynyrd plane went down in rural Mississippi.
The day October 16 carries some significance with it as well, as seen by these events:
1703: Marie Antoinette is guillotined at the height of the French revolution.
1875: Brigham Young University is founded
1916: Margaret Sanger founds Planned Parenthood
1923: The Walt Disney Company is founded
1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis begins.
1978: Pope John Paul II is elected after the 1978 Papal conclave
1995: The Million Man March occurs in Washington DC
I share my birthday with:
King James II (1430)
Oscar Wilde (1854)
Bob Weir, of the Grateful Dead (1947)
Tim Robbins (1958)
Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (1962)
John Mayer (1977)
I don’t have many plans for the day. Yesterday my coworkers brought cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to me and last night our good friends, the Dennis family, came over and we ate Chicago style pizza. Today I’ll be watching the kids while Diana sleeps and then tonight she and I will go out to eat. The $250 traffic ticket earlier this week put a bit of a damper on things, but we’ll still have a good day.
Happy Birthday, Dad! March 17, 2010Posted by Matt in family.
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Happy birthday to the best Dad and Grandpa around!
Happy Birthday, Bekah! March 16, 2010Posted by Matt in family.
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My little girl is 5 years old today! Bekah is our middle child. She’s strong-willed, tough, smart, and more than ready to start school next year. Happy birthday, honey, we love you!
Happy Birthday, Diana! December 10, 2009Posted by Matt in family.
Tags: birthday, December 10
Today is a special day in the Wisdom household -it’s my beloved wife, Diana’s birthday! She’s a hardworking wife and mother and we all love her a lot.
Events that took place on December 10:
Mississippi became the 20th U.S. state (1817)
Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania (1902)
President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize (1906)
The Grand Ole Opry premiered on the radio (1927)
The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Today is also known as:
Human Rights Day and International Animal Rights Day. In the Episcopal Church, today marks the observances of the feasts of Karl Barth and Thomas Merton.
Some notable people who were born on this day include:
King James I of Scotland (1394)
Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830)
Bobby Flay, chef and television personality (1964)
Meg White, of the White Stripes (1974)
Raven-Symone, actress (1985)
Have a great day!
Another Year in the Books October 16, 2009Posted by Matt in holiday.
Tags: birthday, October 16
On this day in 1793 Marie Antoinette was guillotined at the height of the French Revolution. In 1859, John Brown led his famous raid on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Brigham Young University was founded on this day in 1875, the Walt Disney Company came into being in 1923. and the Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 16, 1962.
It is Boss’s Day, World food Day, International Credit Union Day, and Pope John Paul II Day in Poland.
And in 1977, 32 years ago, I was born.
I share my birthday with King James II of Scotland (1430), Oscar Wilde (1854), Angela Lansbury (1925), Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead (1947), actor Tim Robbins (1958), Flea (1962), and John Mayer (1977)
Happy Birthday Rachel! August 30, 2009Posted by Matt in family.
Tags: birthday, family
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My little girl turns 7 today. Wow, time flies…
Happy Birthday Jeff! June 15, 2009Posted by Matt in family.
Tags: birthday, June 15, Pearl Jam
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Today, in 1980, my younger brother Jeff was born in Searcy, Arkansas, and we want to wish him the best as he enters the final year of his 20′s – don’t worry, the 30′s really aren’t that bad. The rest of you out there may know Jeff as frequent commentor jwisdom.
In case you were wondering, Jeff shares a birthday with:
Country music artist Waylon Jennings (b. 1937)
Actor Jim “Earnest” Varney (b. 1949)
Baseball player Wade Boggs (b. 1958)
Rapper Ice Cube (b. 1969)
And, Doogie Houser himself, Neil Patrick Harris (b. 1973)
Today is also:
Arkansas’ Admission Day – the day it became a state in 1836
Day of Saint Victus – the patron saint of actors and epileptics
On this day in history:
1667: First human blood transfusion was performed by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys
1773: Ben Franklin proves that lightning is electricity
1844: Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber
1911: Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) is incorporated
2002: Asteroid 2002 MN missed Earth by only 75,000 miles
So, in honor of your birthday and in preparation for Saturday’s Eddie Vedder show, here is a video of him singing Happy Birthday at a concert. Just pretend that when he says “Matt” he actually means “Jeff.”
Your birthday present this year will be a big plate of Memphis-style ribs this weekend on me. Have a good one today, little brother!