20 reasons I was single in my 20s, plus a few more

During my senior year of high school, I started compiling a list of things I’d love to have in a mate. The list started with broad characteristics that were must-haves. Things like Christian, patient, good listener, thoughtful. Had the list stopped there, that would’ve been great. It’s smart to have some sort of criteria when seeking a friend for the end of the world. More specifically, a best friend to spend the rest of my life with. But the list didn’t end there. It went on. And on. And on. A total of 45 things I wrote down that defined who it was I was looking for. No prob. No prob? Yeah right… no wonder I’ve been single for so long!

I don’t think there’s ever been a woman on earth that could measure up to that list.

I might as well have created her from a computer, like these guys did. But Kelly LeBrock aside, this “perfect girl” isn’t out there. A girl I was dating years ago surmised that (and this is as we were breaking up) I’m looking for someone just like me. Mostly because of how and when it was presented, I became defensive. But she was right. Now comparing her comments to the list from high school, I’m about to blow your mind, so make sure you’re sitting down for this.

The list isn’t who I was looking for, the list is who I wanted to be.

Booya. Mic drop. You’ve been served. Insert any other overused phrase here. Even as I sit here typing I’m looking at this decades-old list and it’s blowing my mind. All these things I wrote down are either characteristics I already have, or ones I’m striving towards. If there were a girl out there that had all these qualities, I don’t think I’d fall in love with her. I think I’d be super jealous of her!

Then it makes sense that what I’m looking for in a mate now, now that I’m in my 30s and so much wiser and so much more mature, are much less specific. Less specific and not about me!

I look forward to finding this person. That is, if God’s ideas for me include a woman that can put up with a guy who made a list in high school of 45 things about her that’s really about him but at least he didn’t try to make her on a computer but maybe that was only because he didn’t know how because he was more into playing sports than computer programming.

-Out of the Wilderness

It Must Be That Time of the Month

I seem to be suffering from monthly “man stuff” today, but it’s definitely from unnatural causes—ahem, fantasy football. It’s funny and slightly disturbing that the start of the week can be so negatively affected by something this trivial—ahem, losing at fantasy football. Like, if I won this week’s matchup, all would be right in the world; I have a good job, good friends, two fun dogs, a couple of dates lined up, and an exciting week ahead. But when I lose, it’s just icing on the cake wreck; the world is falling apart, my job is difficult, my friends are lame, my dogs disobey and so do my dates, and this week’s outlook is boring with a chance of heavy disappointment. All because I didn’t start Dwayne Bowe and now—ahem, I’ve lost 4 games in a row.

This “man stuff” stinks sometimes. Period.

my life is just like this cake.

Why I Like Tim Tebow and the Little Drummer Boy

Tebow after whipping Florida State in 2009

Tim Tebow is not someone I should like. Before he was the poster-boy for media scrutiny, before he donned a Denver Broncos jersey as their quarterback, before he and his mom appeared in a Super Bowl commercial, he was a Florida Gator. And where I come from, it’s great to be a Gator hater. I’ll even avoid picking up NFL players who went to Florida (or University of Miami for that matter) on my fantasy football team.

Just like country singer Blake Shelton, I listen to Christmas music year-round so a few days ago “Little Drummer Boy” queued up in my iTunes. The song lyrics are about a young boy approaching the baby Jesus. He doesn’t have any gifts to bring him, the newborn King. So what he gives is the only thing he has: the ability to play drums.

“Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
on my drum?”

The story goes on with Mary approving his request so the drummer boy played his best for Jesus. At the end of the day, isn’t that all Tim Tebow is doing? He puts on his pads. He laces up his shoes. Then he goes out and plays his best for Jesus. I can support a guy like that, Gator or not.

Then He smiled at me, me and my drum.

Four Days of Vacation: A Thanksgiving Story

I drove down to Florida Wednesday afternoon to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I’ve realized over the past few years that usually my “vacations” are always fun, but more exhausting than my “real life.” This trip was no exception. Here’s my family.

At first I was worried about traffic because the day before Thanksgiving is busy on the roads and highways. You know it’s true. Just outside of Nashville was bumper to bumper on Interstate 65 heading south. That cleared up rather quickly and it was smooth sailing all the way to Birmingham, Alabama. I made it through the city fast enough, but then all I saw were long lines of red lights. Makes me thankful I have a Droid with Google navigation. I avoided 90% of the traffic by splitting off to a side road.Saved me at least 30 minutes. From there on, traffic was smooth, though there were more cars than usual. I can’t say enough about 5-hour energy drinks. I’m the exception to the rule that soda or coffee or cold air or music will help you stay awake. But the 5-hour energy drinks? Work every time. On this trip I brought 2 DVDs with me so I could listen to them through the car stereo. The first was “Fast Five.” Lots of action, I couldn’t follow the plot (probably because I was busy, you know, driving), but all in all a good movie. The 2nd movie was “Trespass” featuring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. For a movie I had never heard of, it was pretty good. Much easier to follow along with because there wasn’t a terribly high amount of locations or details. It didn’t do well in the theaters, probably because there was practically no promotion for it. Those 2 movies, along with the 5-hour energy drink made the trip easy, even with the heavier traffic.

The trip took 8 hours and 15 minutes, which was not what I was expecting given that it’s the day before Thanksgiving. I thought it would take over 9 hours. When I got to my parents house, there were a few people still awake. After a little bit of visiting, we all went to bed.

Thursday:
Thanksgiving day. First I went to the dog park with my 2 dogs, my parents dog, 2 of my nieces, and my brother-in-law. We spent about 2 hours in the park, first letting the dogs run around in the fenced-in area, then taking them out on a trail for about 30 minutes.

Our big lunch was scheduled for early afternoon, so once we got back, it was almost time to eat. The meal was very good. My favorite this year was the cornbread stuffing with turkey gravy poured over it. Then we watched NFL football for the rest of the day. AT 1145 that night we went to Target to take advantage of their black Friday deals. Mistake. Remember how I was excited that I avoided the long lines of traffic on the highway? There was no avoiding long lines at 1230am in Target. I made it to bed by 130am.

Friday:
Went to play disc with my dad and brother-in-law. We didn’t have legitimate discs, so we used ultimate Frisbee discs. Not nearly as effective as discs made for golf. On the second throw of the first hole, my Frisbee hit a tree and shattered into 3 pieces. My dad and I shared his Frisbee and we finished 14 over. My brother in law finished 5 over. A disappointing result for me personally, but it was fun to play. On the way home, we stopped by Play It Again Sports and picked up a black Friday deal on disc golf discs… Saturday, it’s on! Later Friday afternoon, I recorded the cutest video of all time. Check it out here:


Friday night we celebrated my oldest sister’s 40th birthday. To surprise her, my parents set up a dinner at the restaurant inside the Florida State football stadium. Needless to say, my sister was completely shocked and giddy. A stretch H2 Hummer brought us there. So this is how it feels to be a famous person. The birthday party was awesome, had great food, great speeches, and my sister had a great time. We had the limo till 930pm so we rode around town then ended up back home about 945pm (not sure how much that extra 15 minutes cost, but oh well! P-Diddy wouldn’t complain, so I won’t either).

Saturday:
Another round of disc golf, this time with legitimate discs. Muuuuuuch more effective and resulted in more fun for all 3 of us. My brother-in-law won again, finishing at… oh I don’t remember, but he won. We got back to the house in time for the OSU/Michigan game. My sister and I drove quickly over to my 100-year old grandmother’s house to visit with her for a little while.


We couldn’t stay long because my sister and her family were leaving town that afternoon. When we got back to my parents house, we saw OSU lose, then watched Alabama beat Auburn. My sis and her family left and I took my dogs to the dog park one more time. Then at 7pm, game time. FSU vs. UF and the Noles won with ease. A good end to a good weekend, if you ask me.

Sunday:
130am, I’m in the car on the way back to Nashville. The 2 movies I got for this trip were “Hall Pass” and “Rango.” I couldn’t even make it half way through Rango, so I can’t recommend it. Hall Pass was ok, a little more raunchy than I expected. I laughed a few times, but only because I really like Owen Wilson. I’ll say this, the movie helped me stay awake, but would I rent it again from Red Box? No. I made it back to Nashville in time to go to church that morning then catch the afternoon NFL games. I took a fantastic nap and the dogs behaved quite well, even though they were cooped up inside because of a cold and rainy day.

Monday:
Back to work with some of my favorite people!

Here’s one of my beagles chasing a rabbit… enjoy!

Hummingbirds, Dancing, and Game Shows

This summer has blown by faster than a hummingbird’s eyelid. Actually, that kind of sounds like the name of a race horse…

“…coming around the outside and moving into 1st place ahead of ‘My Other Mustang Is A Car,’ it’s ‘Hummingbird’s Eyelid.’ I tell you what, folks, ‘Hummingbird’s Eyelid’ is as fast as a Tennessee summer.”

See what I mean? Even the horse announcer guy agrees this summer has gone by fast. Evenso, I’ve had time for the typical summer activities- the beach, weddings, and travel. I was hired to shoot video for two weddings, here’s a glimpse at both.


I have a new travel companion now, a beagle/blue heeler/lab mix named Asia. She’s a handful, with a personality quite the opposite of my first puppy, Piper. It’s fun to watch the two dogs play together, although I’m still relatively new as a dog owner, so I wonder if it’s playing at all. I see their teeth a lot. Piper has giant ears. Asia has icy blue eyes. I hope they become best friends.

For the first 7 months of the year, a friend of mine used the spare bedroom in my house until the house he bought as a short sale was renovated enough for him to live in it. Having a roommate again after living alone for 5 years was interesting. I knew it would be tough, but he was a great roommate and gave me room and time to adjust back to “roommate life.” I’m happy for my friend and his new house. I like having my space back but I will neither confirm nor deny that I, again, walk around in my underwear.

A long time ago in Tallahassee, Florida a friend of mine introduced me to contra dancing. I wouldn’t go at first, because let’s be honest, would you? After giving it a try, though, it was a lot of fun. When I moved to Nashville, I found where the contra dance was and went a few times. It wasn’t the same so I stopped going. Well, this summer I picked it back up again and it’s a lot of fun. Not the normal crowd I hang with, but that’s part of why I like it.

About a month ago I tied a hummingbird feeder outside my kitchen window. It’s fascinating to watch the birds extract the juice from the feeder. They’ve become a favorite of mine as of late.

I’m excited about how this year will finish. I’m looking forward to college football, NFL football, more dates, and playing with my two dogs. When Asia gets old enough, I’m hoping to become a regular at the dog park near my house. We’re probably still a month away from that.

A friend of mine keeps reminding me that I should try out for “Wipeout” so I’ll do that soon. Whether I win or not, I’d try to race as fast as ‘Hummingbird’s Eyelid.’