I Am Back, Baby Dolls!

*twists key, bell above the door rings upon opening, flips lights on, turns around sign that reads, “Yes, We’re OPEN!”*

Let’s be honest, shall we?

We all knew The Diner would re-open.

And there’s a part of me that wants this to be GRAND. You know, I wanted to have a fresh layout…I envision a cleaner template, with some ransom-note letters on a brick wall to say “The McKinney Diner” and space on the left side to have movie posters of the movies I’ve screened and book covers of the books I’ve read. Add some links that inspire and provoke. Get rid of some links. Maybe even update the probation list as it was meant to be (one month of non-blogging gets you on probation, one year of non-blogging gets you erased). Really spruce the place up some, ya know?

And part of that would involve me telling you that the time off afforded me a whole bunch of fresh ideas and topics and creative endeavors to share with you all. Really get the conversation going today and every day for a while, ya know?

But, while we’re being honest, I didn’t miss being gone. I didn’t get around to that stuff because I kinda enjoyed the break.

It was kind of nice not being a slave to this place. I didn’t miss the rigors of daily writing for a public forum. Those energies did result in some creative endeavors–everything from the discipline of haikus to free-flowing slam poetry to a few good ideas for a novel (of all things, right? I don’t write fiction, but I’ve got a GREAT first line/chapter and a pretty darn good ending in mind so maybe I’ll start)–which was somewhat enjoyable.

But there are still some things rattling around in my brain that I want to write about here that I can’t write about here (and, to whoever identified themselves as “Sam” in the last entry’s comments, if you think avoiding slander and keeping myself from getting sued or avoiding deeply hurting others or unnecessarily causing strife is being “thin skinned,” well, ummm, I’d invite you to start your own blog, put a photo on it, identify yourself and your family, and let ‘er rip, man. Then I’ll call you “thin skinned” when you complain after you get sued/fired/hurt others, eh?). That is a frustrating reality.

But today, coming here feels like coming back to the office from vacation. It ain’t all bad being back, but it ain’t as good as the vacation spot.

So, here’s the deal, patrons:

I have zero intention of doing this every day. I won’t let it become an obligation again. No way. That took all the fun out of it.

I only intend to write when I feel like it. So, don’t worry if I hit 5 days a week or 3 days a week or 15 days in a row. Just roll with it, okay? As the owner, I can come in when I feel like it. So, I will.

And, for the next two or three days, I’ve got some things I think matter and will be good discussion starters. Hint: I read a book about why young people drop out of churches. It’s provocative reading, and I’d enjoy chatting with you folks about it. Starting tomorrow, that’s where we’ll go.

But, in the meantime, let me say how nice you’ve all been. It’s been peculiar standing in my normal place between services at church and having you come up and tell me that you never comment, but read every day. Or told me how much you really do miss The Diner. Or begging me to start back up. Or even said how this little unofficial place makes you feel more connected to our church. I even got stopped in the grocery store by a nice lady who doesn’t go to my church who asked me if I was the pastor that “wrote for The McKinney Diner” and asked if I’d start back early. We may be a small little community and we might get on each other’s nerves every now and again, but at the end of the day, it’s our little community, isn’t it? So, thanks for letting me be a small part of your routine.

And, since we don’t want to dive into deep controversy on my first day back (that’d be like getting on the interstate without using the on-ramp), I’ll leave you with a quote that made me laugh out loud from the latest edition of Rolling Stone for your review and consideration:

“The best way to understand the financial crisis is to understand the meltdown at AIG. AIG is what happens when short, bald managers of otherwise boring financial bureaucracies start seeing Brad Pitt in the mirror.”–Matt Taibbi, in “The Big Takeover: How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.”

Have at it, patrons.

And welcome back.