Saturday, September 29, 2007

Watch this... or else

Because we care about shadow puppets, we thought we would bring you this little bit of amazing puppetry:

Incredible, isn't it? That was Raymond Crowe, Australia's only "unusualist." I would like him to come to the Matt Mikalatos Birthday Party Extravaganza on 7-17-2009 (location TBA). Musical guests will include Switchfoot and the Autumn Film.

And I stole the link from Neil Gaiman, who won't miss it a bit.

Friday, September 28, 2007

If you have to die, I guess this is a good way to go

I hardly ever take those lame quizzes on the internet. You know, "QUESTION: Which Grey's Anatomy character are you?" ANSWER: George Clooney.

But I saw this quiz that claimed it would tell me how I will die. I thought that sounded like fun, so I took the quiz and here's what came up:

How Will I Die Quiz

How Will I Die Quiz

You will die at the age of 47

You will die during your brain transpant surgery

Find out how you will die at


Apparently I am going to die during a brain transpant surgery.

Now, a brain transplant would be strange enough, but a transpant is even stranger.

DOCTOR: Sir, this is somewhat abnormal, but it appears that your brain needs to change its pants.

ME: You're kidding! Can't it hold on for another thirty years? My brain pants still have plenty of wear in them, I think.

DOCTOR: No, it's a medical necessity that you get those pants changed. Otherwise your brain could have all sort of problems, one of which would be acute embarassment. It appears that your brain got dressed in the first half of the 70's and is wearing striped bell bottoms.

ME: Good grief! What sort of shirt is my brain wearing?

DOCTOR: I didn't want to tell you this, sir... but it appears that your brain is wearing a long canvas vest with no shirt underneath.


DOCTOR: We can do a brain transhirt while we're in there. And we can even remove the gold chains if you like.

ME: Thank you, doctor. May God bless you for the work you are going to do on my brain.

DOCTOR: You are welcome.

Thus shall my fate be sealed.

Another Way to Go

Rebecca sent me this link the other day and I forgot to put it up...

A python tried to swallow a big goat, and succeeded. But the dead goat's horns killed the python as the corpse moved along the digestive tract.

There's a picture but I thought I would spare you...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Doubting Thomas

Below are the lyrics to Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek, a song that has been living with me for the last few weeks. Right in the guest room, where it can put its feet up on the furniture and drink a frosty milkshake.

What will be left when I've drawn my last breath
Besides the folks I've met
and the folks who've known me

Will I discover a soul-saving love
Or just the dirt above
and below me

I'm a doubting Thomas
I took a promise
But I do not feel safe
Oh me of little faith

Sometimes I pray for a slap in the face
Then I beg to be spared
cause I'm a coward
If there's a master of death
I bet he's holding his breath
As I show the blind and tell the deaf
about his power

I'm a doubting Thomas
I can't keep my promises
Cause I don't know what's safe
Oh me of little faith

Can I be used to help others find truth
When I'm scared I'll find proof
that it's a lie
Can I be led down a trail dropping bread crumbs
That prove I'm not ready to die

Please give me time to decipher the signs
Please forgive me for time that I've wasted
I'm a doubting Thomas
I'll take your promise
Though I know nothin's safe
Oh me of little faith

You can listen to the song on Nickel Creek's myspace. I suggest you run on out and buy the album, which is excellent.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tigers vs. Monkey... FIGHT!

I think it's important that you watch this video.

Krista and I have always disagreed about monkeys. Before we were married she told me I could have one, so that's still on the table. I just have to save enough money for the rabies shots.

Anyway, while we were watching this video I asked: "Why would a monkey do that to a tiger?"

Krista: "Because they are antagonistic and mean."

But let's be serious... who hasn't wanted to go up to a baby tiger and pull its tail?

p.s. I miss Chinese television.

Prince Caspian

Via Cinematical.

Ninjas vs. Monks... FIGHT!

I keep forgetting to fill you all in on the brewing turf war between the shao lin monks and the ninjas.

According to this story, an anonymous ninja (aren't they all anonymous?) claims that he visited a shao lin monostary, single-handedly defeated them all and then returned to Japan to pronounce his victory.

I bring this to your attention so that you won't be surprised if your neighbor the shaolin monk throws a ninja through your window and they begin to throw dishes at each other, do flips by running up your walls, throw forks and other utensils at each other at unbelievable speeds and then hotwire your cars and chase each other down the street.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Those crazy athletes

My daughter Z has always been a little tenative on the soccer field. But that all changed during today's game. She ran like a gazelle, she shoved kids out of her way, she drove the ball down the field and begged the coach to let her be a forward.

Me: Z, you are playing really well today! I've never seen you going after the ball like that before? What changed?

Z: I am pretending that the soccer ball is a giant candy cane.

P.S. I stole this picture from my wife's blog. More pictures of the kids playing soccer there...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's not you, it's me

Several of you have mentioned over the last couple of weeks that Vancouver must be a dangerous place to live. I can see why you might think that since I've shared some stories involving police and Child Protection Services (by the way, the CPS situation has turned out well... the family involved is voluntarily in counseling, etc, etc).

But you need to understand that this is not because of Vancouver, it's because I am a sort of magnet of weirdness.

Case in point: This week, while in California for business and enjoying a coffee with Krista and a friend (nameless since I don't have permission to share this story, which includes her), a drunk man came and sat at the next table over. While he was sitting there, another man walked by with a guitar in one hand and a trumpet in the other, which he kept blowing on, and then looking at the trumpet like it was the crazy one.

The drunk guy started yelling comments at various people walking by. For instance, the truck driver who parked his semi to come get a latte. (YOU STEALIN' MY TRUCK?) Ha ha.

Eventually he managed to work up the guts to come talk to us. He started with a simple ice breaker... "I drink too much" and then tried to win me over by talking about sports.

After a short while he said something (I am trying to remember what it was, but, again, it was sports and I think my auto-delete on my memory got rid of it before he finished speaking) and then said to Our Friend, "High five" and she gave him a high five right as he said, "Spank me!"

Ah, the awkward moment.

Soon followed by the comment, "I just love blonde chicks" which involved him leaning over, grabbing our friend by the head and trying to smack a big fat kiss on her.

I stood up and said, "No no no" which was apparently enough to stop him, which was fortunate. Krista also added to the chorus of "NO!"

Krista and Friend got into the car while Drunk Guy said, "I didn't mean to offend you..."

So, as you can see, the weirdness has nothing to do with Vancouver. It just follows me around. Krista said later, "None of these things happened to me before I met you."

To which I can only reply, "Aren't you glad God brought me into your life, Sweet Darling?"

She's a Heart Breaker!

On the way home from school today I asked Z:

So, what did you play at recess today?

Z: I played ponies.

Me: Who did you play with?

Z: For the first time ever a boy played ponies with me. He was the first boy I asked.

Me: What was his name?

Z: I don't know. He should really write his name down so I can remember it.

NEW! The Submergent Church

The latest issue of the Door just came out this month, including a new article from yours truly entitled "NEW! The Submergent Church". It's all about a pastor who decides he needs to shake his church up, so they start having it... under water. A great idea if I do say so myself.
I discovered in a footnote to my story that someone over at the Christian Century wrote a satirical piece with practically the same name last year (called it the Submergent Church and everything). I knew nothing about it until last night when I got my copy of the magazine. I guess great minds think alike. Or something like that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Mariachi Band finds me Very Funny

We're at the airport. There's a mariachi band at my gate. I know they are a mariachi band by the fact that they have all their musical instruments with them in cases. Also, they have their big black hats with them, also in cases.

They keep laughing and pointing at me and occasionally making little Ay-yi-yi-yiiiiiiiiiiii sounds. One guy is pretending to play his trumpet. Another is laughing a lot.

Why is this? What have I done? Have I transgressed against mariachi culture? It is hard to say. I have included a survey at right so that you can help me discover what is happening.

Those Impetuous, Foolish, Love-stricken elephants

Her name is Savitri, a hard working circus elephant. When the wild bull elephant came near, he looked at the other elephants, but in the end he lured Savitri out into the wild... she broke her chains and fled with him into the forest, where witnesses saw them "frolicking near a pond." It was love...
But it's hard to take a city elephant and a wild jungle elephant and have a romance... it's hard for her to change her city ways and embrace the wild abandon of eating what you find. It was not meant to be, perhaps, she thinks. For he is wild and untameable and I am longing for a meal to be delivered by my keepers.
In the end of the story, our lady elephant returns home, wiser, perhaps, and now with armed guards in case her lover might try to "make out with her again." I assume it was supposed to be "make off with her" but I am happy with the current reading.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

3 AM conversation with my daughter

A: Daddy, I'm afraid of the big bad wolf and also monsters that aren't real because there are shadows in my room.

Me: Do you remember on the t.v. show 'Super Y' where they changed the words so that the big bad wolf became the big good wolf?

A: Daddy! Super Y is not real.

Me: Neither is the big bag wolf.



Yesterday I took Z to school. She was having a hard time emotionally and was throwing that occasional crying fit that gets under my skin. And I, in return, was not being the patient, calm father I should have been. Which means we were walking to school upset with each other, with me in a hurry to drop her off so I could get to work and her walking four feet behind me and doing her best to slow us down.

As we got closer to the school I saw a woman at the end of the block grab her son by the ears and lift him from the ground. By the time we reached them she had grabbed hold of his hands and he was struggling to get away from her. Z was frightened and took hold of my hand, and we hurried past to get Z into class. We took a few moments to make friends again. I held her for a while, and then prayed for her day and I dropped her off in class.

By the time I got back out the woman was gone, but there was a discarded backpack that appeared to be the boy's.

On my way to work I called the school and described what had happened. I ended up getting multiple calls from the school counselor as they searched out the family I described. Eventually they figured out who it was from my description, and called Child Protective Services. The CPS hasn't called me for a statement yet, but I suppose they will on Monday.

As I reflected on the events of the morning, I realized that this woman was acting out of anger at her son, and that the anger was probably not qualitatively different than what I had been feeling toward Z that same morning. I didn't hurt Z, of course, and I've never hit her or physically harmed her. I'm guessing that woman would say she didn't mean to hurt her son. But this is why Jesus equates anger with murder. Anger is the seed that grows into emotional, spiritual or physical violence. It's a sin with enormous ability to destroy or harm those around us.

I remember talking to someone once who said that anger was not a good reason to remove someone from ministry. You should only remove someone from a leadership position for illicit sex or embezzling or some other (his words) "obvious" sin. That's nonsense. Consistent, destructive anger is a disqualifier from ministry. Leaving someone with an anger problem in a position of leadership will result in a ministry characterized by hurt and broken people. And ignoring that problem because an individual is effective or gets thing done is a tragic mistake.

I am thankful that I don't have an "anger problem", but I could see in myself, yesterday, a tiny seed of anger that, if nurtured, could become something nasty and destructive. I've been reflecting on it and praying about it and repenting about it. I want to be a person of peace, a selfless person who doesn't get angry when things don't go his way. I know that's impossible apart from God's help and grace. So I'm asking for that.

P.S. Please, please don't hurt your kids. I can't tell you how disturbing it was to watch this woman swing her kid around by his ears. If you have an issue with anger that you have ever taken out on your kids, you need to get someone to come help you deal with that! Send me an e-mail and I'll help you find someone who specializes in helping families like yours get healthy again.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fist fights, cursing and assault rifles

Last night at about 11:45 we heard an eruption of shouting and cursing coming from outside. I grabbed my keys and ran toward the sounds, to discover a knot of about seven people in the midst of an enormous brawl... a fist-throwing, people-being-dragged-on-the-ground, cursing, screaming chaotic mess of a brawl.

I got on the phone to 911 and they said they were already on the way... I started yelling at everyone that the cops were on the way. You could hear the sirens and eventually the crowd split in two and separated. In the meantime, my neighbor had walked out onto his front lawn carrying a shotgun.

The first officer on the scene leapt from her car with her pistol drawn and said, "PUT THAT GUN DOWN! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" She must have put the call in that there was a man with a shotgun before getting out of the car because all the sirens in the world roared to life and headed for our neighborhood and soon there was a police officer with an assault rifle of some sort pointed at me and the others on the corner shouting EVERYONE GET ON YOUR FACES NOW!

I spent the next half hour or so on the pavement.

About eight cop cars were lined up the street. Multiple people were arrested. The police went around and interviewed everyone... they almost forgot me, actually. The officer told me I had been polite and quiet. Don't hear that very often, ha ha. Something about assault rifles makes me really polite.

I got home about one a.m. and filled in Krista and the family on our night's events. Turns out that this whole thing started because someone was driving drunk, clipped another car and then, when her friends heard people asking her for insurance, they got belligerent and started pushing people around.

The Clark County police were professional, courteous and pleasant to interact with (although I could have done without the rifle I understand the necessity). All in all, it was one of those moments that you'll always remember... "the time I went out to break up a brawl and then all the police in Washington showed up to take care of it". More police officers in this county have been killed answering domestic violence calls than anything else. Second highest cause of death: accidents while driving at high speeds to respond to calls like that one. At least, that's what the officer said.

Anyway, everyone's safe and there's one more story to put in the "Is Mikalatos making this stuff up?" file.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Leave Your Birthday Wish for Krista Here

It's Krista's birthday. You might like to leave her a nice note or birthday wishes. I was going to say you could post them here on this blog, but I'm sure she would prefer to get them on her own blog. So feel free to leave her a nice note here.