The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Saturday, July 23, 2005


"The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever seperate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too."

Frederick Buechner

I was re-reading a little bit of Phillip Yancy's What's So Amazing About Grace (Visual Edition) tonight. It's a great book if you every have a chance to buy it.

The idea of grace has been on my mind most of today and I don't really know why. I wish I had some great knowledge and wisdom about grace. But I don't. I still struggle with it, both accepting it and giving it.

But I'm trying.

It's funny, in this Paul Thorn painting, the idea of grace seems so hard.

Somehow, Frederick Buechner makes it sound so easy.

That's the rub of grace. It's always so hard and so easy.

The Official soundtrack of The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

Well, I was trying to think of something a bit on the different to do for my blog. And somehow, probably through a swift shot to the head by a blunt instrument, I decided that what my blog needed was a soundtrack. Since a lawyer would probably write a nasty letter full of lawyering mumbo jumbo and f' bombs to me if I sent out copies of this soundtrack to all my faithful readers, I decided to make an IMIX on ITUNES. The Soundtrack of The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane is located on your local ITUNES music store.

I designed this soundtrack thinking about all music that sticks in my crawl when I am reading and writing. This isn't the only music that I listen to. But it some of the stuff that really inspires me to waste too much gasoline driving around and thinking about anything and everything.

I hope you will enjoy it.

The Playlist:
(This was my original order, but somehow it got mixed up on ITUNES because it alphabetized everything)

1. Clem Snide's "Moment in the Sun" -- On the top of my blog, you will see the opening lines of this song. It was the theme song to "Ed" for a few years. It just kinda got stuck in my head and won't rattle out.

2. Keane's "Everybody's Changing" -- There is a great radio station in Harrison, AR (go figure) that seems to play this song every time I am traveling in the area. I like the fact that the melody is uptempo, but the lyrics are still dark.

3. Nickel Creek's "This Side" -- You gots to love a little mandolin action. Great pop song with non-traditional pop instrumentation.

4. Paul Thorn's "Downtown Babylon" -- If you have ever been away from home, this is what it feels like. Paul Thorn is an amazing singer/songwriter whose only musical classification is "different, but great."

5. Better Than Ezra's "This Time of Year" -- When the air gets crisp, there is nothing like turning this song up and watching the impending Autumn.

6. Athlete's "Wires" -- This song is hypnotic by a great new British band that could be the bastard children of Radiohead and Coldplay.

7. Beck's "Girl" -- Beck creates a strange summer anthem.

8. Sufjan Stevens' "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" -- Maybe the most odd song on the most odd album of the year. Stevens creates an album about the state of Illinois that creates these weird little songs about the weird little things of the Land of Lincoln.

9. Snow Patrol's "Grazed Knees" -- When I listen to this song I wish I could have an internal monologue like Zack Braff.

10. Jaime Cullum's "High and Dry" -- I didn't think you could make Radiohead any more mellow than it is, but this version some how makes me think of a cold day and a warm cup of coffee.

11. Elton John's "My Father's Gun" -- I have been listening to this song a lot since I heard it on an Elizabethtown clip. I mean is there anything more ironic that a gay piano player from England singing about joining the confederate army?

12. Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous" -- I always hear the term angelic voice. This is the voice of a fallen angel that somehow found it's way into a trailer park.

13. The Polyphonic Spree's "Light and Day/Reach For the Sun" -- These people are so damn happy that you can't help but sing along to this silly, genius song. If Woodstock would have had a church choir, it would have been this group.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Held Hostage--The Owensboro Syndrome

(I know I have posted a lot today, but I wanted to end the day on a funny note, because the last two posts were kind of dark and/or somber...)

Do you ever look back at your life and think one of two questions:

What in the world were we thinking?

How in the hell did we not get arrested?

I actually think of both of these questions whenever I think of my old high school buddies Werner and Zack. Both of whom, I have sadly lost touch with.

But one night we were over at a friend's house hanging out with a bunch of people. Everyone was milling around and being very uninteresting. No one wanted to really do anything at all except talk about how boring of a place Owensboro was and trying to get out of town a.s.a.p.

Well, I guess Werner, Zack and I had grown tired of listening to everyone complain about how there isn't anything fun to do. We decided that we were gonna make our own fun.

We loaded up in Werner's big grey beast of a truck, complete with CB and megaphone. Werner fired up his truck, put on his hoopty hat (a large felt pointed hat with red and white rope around the brim that he picked up in Germany), and laughed his maniacal laugh that meant we were about to find some fun.

Little did we know.

Grab that duct tape there on the floorboard, Lafe!

I did as he asked.

Now wrap it around Zack's wrists.

Once again, I did as he told.

Now put it over his mouth too!

I looked at Zack. We both smiled, shrugged our shoulders and went along.

We were driving down the main street (Frederica Street) in Owensboro around 11 o'clock. He said that he was going to stop at a stoplight. He laid out all the details.

So Werner stopped at the stoplight next to the Don Moore Autoplaza. Zack popped open the door, flew down on the pavement, got up and started running towards another car. I ran out of the cab of the pick-up, grabbed Zack by the neck and threw him in the bed of the pick-up. The people in the Buick LeSabre in total shock. I yelled at Werner to go and pounded the side of the truck in staged enthusiasm. Werner screeched the tires and took off for the highway exit, Zack and I almost to the point of hysterical peeing.

We went back down Frederica Street a couple more times. So that each of us could have a turn at being the hostage. I remember the time I was the hostage, a couple of guys in a truck behind us starting hooting, hollering and honking their horn.

I look back on that now, laugh and think--
I sure do miss those guys...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

This Tide

(I found this photo on It seemed to fit well with this poem for some reason.)


This tide
is strong
I have underestimated it again

all I taste is salt
all I see is blur
my lungs are on fire

I can't swim very well and I know this
the panic doesn't let me forget it

so I paddle and flail
as fast and hard
but I am not getting anywhere
just further

I don't notice the sinking at first
but I soak it up
then drop
towards that dark bottom
beneath my weak kicks

For the briefest of moments
I get some air

I realize the decision, now

I decide to fight
give it my all
determined not to drown
This time

Wearing Off

I was talking with a friend of mine last week about the trip to Mexico a month ago. She asked me if the feeling had worn off. And I knew exactly what she meant. I knew that feeling becuase it wore off a long time ago. Though I tried my best, seemingly in vain, to keep that feeling of Mexico in my heart, it vanished after only a few weeks back. Sure the first day was rough, really rough. I felt the tug of Mexico and the way I felt down there. But with each day, and after every Oaxaca Journal entry, I felt the trip slippig away from me slowly, piece by piece. Kinda like after a shot of novacane, you keep testing your cheeks to see if they have regained any feeling at all. After a bit of time, the feeling starts to return and the nerves wake up out of their stupor. You always get back full feeling and don't even realize.

She told me that the feeling hadn't worn off for her. And I was glad. I wish I could say the same.

A More Simple Time

This was the wallpaper on my laptop for almost a year. I think I left it on there because of the sheer magnitude of stupidity that this picture represents.

But every time I see this picture, I smile.

I hope it has made you smile.

For the record, this would have been the best reality show ever. Hasselhof, Coleman, and K.I.T.T. driving around the country getting into all kinds of trouble.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

That VBS Feeling

There was one summer when I was a kid that my mom sent my sister and I to almost every Vacation Bible School in town. My dad was always working and my mom had to go to work for half days during the summer. So she dropped us off at the one of the churches in town to experience the splendor that is having sung "Father Abraham" so many times that I was in my mid-twenties before I got that song out of my head.

It was really weird because for the most part we didn't know any of the other kids. My mom might have had a friend who was a member of the church and looked in on us. I was alone with my Bible, trying to figure out how to get by.

The funny thing was that the first few weeks were pretty fun. There were cookies and Kool-aid. Lots of kickball games that now hail in the sport pantheon somewhere between game 6 of the 1975 World Series and Professional Bull Riding.

But after a while, I realized that pretty much every church was using the exact same curriculum. It didn't matter which denomination. The Non-denominationals read the same stories as the Baptists. Everyone seemed so different to me, but everyone colored the same story of Jesus walking on the water.

During the latter parts of the summer, I could pretty much answer any and all the questions. I knew the stories. I knew the crafts. In fact, I think if I would have had a few more summers like that, I might have become the Michelangelo of pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks.

And every single VBS started the same. The pledge to the American Flag, the Christian Flag and the Bible. I don't think I have ever heard those last two pledges since those VBS days. Wonder where they went?

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Make Shift Pool Incident

When you are in high school, you always think that your ideas are brilliant. You wonder why no one has ever thought of that idea before. And somewhere between the design stage and the experiment stage, you realize why no one has ever had that idea before.

So one hot summer day, my friends Aaron, Jarrod, and I had a great idea. We were going to go across the river and go to the Reo Holiday Drive-in Movie Theater. But since it was so hot, and my 1983 Chevy Silverado didn't have an air-conditioner, we wondered how we could try and stay cool.

I am not sure who was the first one to say, hey why don't we build a huge pool in the back of my truck, but we all agreed that it sounded brilliant.

So we dug up an old plastic tarp from my garage. We laid it in the back of my truck and tied it down as best we could. There weren't any holes so we thought we had it made it the shade.

We put a hose in the back, turned on the water and waited about an hour for the back of the pick-up to fill-up. I am sure my dad probably came out and shook his head a few times, but I can't be sure.

It was around 8 o'clock when we decided to take off. I had to go get some gas before we left for Reo. So I stopped at the neighborhood gas station. The guy working came out and looked at our pool. I remember him saying, that's the craziest damn thing that he had ever seen. Somehow that made us feel good.

So I took it slow. I drove down the main drag of Owensboro. Creeping down the street and everyone looking at us. We just waved to everyone that looked at us. The one thing that we didn't count on was starting and stopping.

We almost made it to the bridge when a stoplight turned red. I hit the brakes pretty hard.

Water crashed against the back of the cab of the truck.

We looked back just in time to see the waves of the pool going crashing out the back, over the tailgate, and onto the hood of a Honda Accord, whose driver was pretty pissed.

When we got to the drive-in, we were disappointed that the only thing playing was a Pauly Shore movie and the fact that there might have been an inch of lukewarm water in the back of the pick-up.

and this is the Fresh Prince's new defintion of summer madness

I know Drew thinks I overthink my blog sometimes, and it would not be the first time that anyone, especially Drew, would say that I overthink something.

But if I don't have a theme, I don't write as much. I get sidetracked. I don't keep at it.

So I have been thinking about summertime. It is funny how the humid air takes so much out of you. It slows your thinking down to almost a halt. Where all you can think of is the sweat pouring off you and the memories of the past. These are days when the conversations are about the rain we need and everyone needs a vacation.

So I have been thinking about past summer memories, and wanting to document them before they are gone, forgotten in the next season's brisk autumn air.

The Jungle Room

Elvis was sitting in the passenger seat
next to me
her hair blowing in the wind
that has cooled off sometime
between the hot and humid day

She talked about the uncertainty
of her life
how busy it is
all her anxiety

I wanted to tell her that
everything would be fine
and work out
but I didn't
who am I
to say that

So I just keep driving
feeling the coolness and silence
on the hair of my arms
catching quick peeks of beauty and smiles

These aren't really good sunglasses, she says
and she takes them off
puts them back on the dashboard

Yeah, I say, I know