Epic Fail Blog (The ‘You Ruined Christmas’ Story)

This is a RE-POST of a blog written 2 years ago. Over the weekends, I will normally re-post something in preparation for my weekly posts. This is one of my favorite stories of all times because almost every couple has experienced something like this. If you’ve read it, get reacquainted with the story and if this is time number 1, enjoy!

Chase

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I am an impulsive shopper. I think about something I want, save my money for it, then buy it. Where’d I get my shoppin’ habits from? Well…I got it from my mama (Thanks Will.I.Am). So, apparently there’s a rule where you shouldn’t by anything during Christmas because someone may by it for you. I didn’t know that until a few years ago. You see…it was when everyone was getting DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). You could tape shows, pause live TV…have control! And I really wanted one because a friend of mine would brag about his all the time. So I waited. Checked prices. Held off. All the stuff wise shoppers are supposed to do.th me, babe.

That Christmas season, Becca and I went to visit her Dad (Don) and Stepmom (Carol) in a town close to Sarnia. It was just before Christmas…maybe a week or two before. And it was during that visit, I decided “I want to by that DVR. Right now.” So I went online and began to scan Future Shop for the best prices. My in-laws have two computers sitting beside each other side by side, so while I was on one looking at prices, Becca was on the other, quietly playing solitaire (I think…).

Finally, I found one I wanted. Don and I got in the car and drove to Future Shop where I decided I wanted one from Best Buy instead. I went back on the computer to look and found the one on the Best Buy site I wanted. It was perfect! Then the UN-THINK-ABLE happened. Becca screamed, cried and ran for the bathroom. And then I realized: SHE. ALREADY. BOUGHT IT. FOR ME. I ran to the washroom door (sooo 80s movie-ish) and said, ‘You got it….? AWE-SOME! It’s still a surprise! I love it” And Becca’s response was classically delivered through tears and rage:

“YOU (sob) RUINED (whimper, sniff, sob) CHRISTMAS (WAIL!!)!!”

She said some other stuff too…and…well…some things should remain between husband and wife, ya? EXACTLY…:)

Best “worst” Christmas memory ever! Husbands, don’t buy nothing for yourself before Christmas. Unless it’s furniture or stuff for your kids, it’s not worth it. Trust me!

Merry Christmas everyone! 

P.S. I remember telling this story a year later to our high school students during a service and mid way through the story, Becca (from the BACK of the chapel, if you know APC) threw her shoe at me. Some wounds take a long time to heal…

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New addition: A few years later, I’ve greatly improved in what I buy and when I shop, especially at Christmas. Now we buy one gift for the both of us. Last year it was a waffle maker. The days of “I need” aren’t over but they have subsided tremondously. I think.

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If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

The LeBron Lessons (Learned Leadership, Spurned Sports fan)

I am not a LeBron James fan. Never have been. Thought he and Melo should have got co-Rookie of the Year awards (Bron had more assists but Melo had more boards AND took his team to the playoffs).

I think ‘Bron is an amazing athlete, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t drink the Kool-Aid like so many did and do. I’ve been a Laker fan since my dad showed me a basketball so naturally, I’m on Team KB24 (which probably plays into my disdain) but I notice when others are great (which is hard to think about someone like a Celtic getting my vote…but if you’re good, you’re good.) and that being said, LeBron IS great. I just don’t have to like that (unless I have him on my fantasy team, like a friend of mine does…).

ANYHOW…since June of this summer, Bron has been the subject of blogs, newspapers, NBA.com, Barbara Walters 10 most fascinating people and even a nominee for Time magazine’s person of the year (along with the miners from Chile, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. People who ACTUALLY did stuff this year. Let that sink in…). While I’m not ‘hating’, I have learned some things while casually hoping for his team to fall apart (not as a mean person but as a fan of basketball who wants to see the C’s vs. the Show one mo’ time in June ’11).

1 – Your Legacy is ALWAYS being formed: There’s no going around it. Each day you’re building the case on whether or not you moved good things forward or backwards. There’s no pause button.

2 – How you finish a job will dictate how people talk about you forever: If I’m in a church and KILL IT with a huge group, miracles and the like, but have a moral failure, people will only remember the failure. Bron had seven great years in Cleveland but no one remembers that now, except for TNT who needs footage to add to the drama of a game or numbers to show His significance to Ohio. Most of us, especially hearybroken Cavs fans and pure fans of the game, remember The Decision, South Beach, the chalk powder and where we are now. Cleveland won’t remember the good times…only that they got ‘Maury’d’ (new verb, y’all!) on national television. And hell hath no fury like a sports fan scorned (hence the unfortunate chants of A__ ____in front of kids). Run n’ tell that.

3 – If you’re a leader, you can’t shift blame: If you get the ball and miss the shot, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Ownership is scares today (that’s why I’m not a fan of politics) and when you say things like ‘I spoil people with my play’, it’s an indication that you can’t deal with your own failures, at least to me. I did this once early in 2010 and decided I’ll never do it again. If I mess up, then I mess up.

4 – If you have to move, do it the right way: Shout outs to Roy Halladay for a full-page thanking TO for the love. Don’t just leave your APT and not tell your renter that you moved. Don’t just dramatically quit your job. If you can’t volunteer, don’t just NOT show up. Give your two weeks. Let them prepare. Do it right. How you leave says more about your maturity than you think. To his credit, Bron did say in his Heat/Cavs beat down post-game interview My intentions were on point. Maybe the execution just was a little off.” Hey, it’s a start.

5 – Nothing in life comes easy: Anything in life you really want, you gotta work hard for it. All three ‘superstars’ guarantee is high expectation, tougher judging and a sweeter victory when it’s earned. Sometimes you gotta suffer for year and take in real heartbreak (see the ’86 Red Sox) before finally taking it all (’04 Sox). I guess that why people in Miami have to Fan Up.

6 – Don’t talk about yourself in the 3rd person: Chase can’t stand that when people be like that. Chase thinks it should stop. Chase be feelin’ like it’s boastful. Chase believes Chase made his point. All Chase all day, yo!

7 – Choose your close friends wisely: Your friends may love you. They may even be really smart. But it doesn’t mean that every decision they make with you is the BEST one. They may actually be unintentionally hurtful in the long run (See Job and his three amigos in 42:7). They may say what you wanna hear. They may say what THEY wanna hear. Get people around you who will be honest with you when you mess it up but who do it in a way that reminds you that you’re loved.

and lastly, Redemption is STILL nigh: It’s been 6 months (June to Now), 20 games. The Heat may still win the chip this year (Oh GOD, that would kill me. But it’s still possible…anything is posssiiiibbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllllllleeeeaaaa!). And if not this year (there’s still the Champs, the C’s and the Spurs in the running), then NEXT year (pending the strike). But that’s not what I mean. LeBron can still fix his image, fix himself and be as great as we know he will be. No one is beyond making the right decisions, even after major failures…no one.  If Kobe could do it, entertainment-wise from ’05 to now…(5 years….), then anyone can. It’s work, time and earning trust from everyone. It’s realizing that people are booing you and deciding to either be the Pistons from the 80s who couldn’t care less OR anyone else.

The problem is, if you don’t think you’re ever wrong, then to you, you’re fine and this blog is a waste. And that’s the biggest Epic Fail of them all.

And that’s it. No more hating on LeBron. It’s actually really old now. Hate takes a LOT of work.

…Unless they win the chip…oh man, I already feel my heart dying.

P.S. Here’s a funny tidbit. On the Miami Heat, there is a dude named Joel Anthony. He’s their center. Signed a 3 year, 18 mil contract this summer. And we were on the same ball team together. In high school. A Private Christian School of 270 people. I was our leading scorer at 17. And he’s in the NBA today. Funny how life works (says Chase as he cries in the fetal position.). What up Joel, holla at your boy, way to rep MTL and make that gwap!

Proud Nerd Status

I’m a bookworm. I have been since high school.

My high school in Pierrefonds, Qc (MTL stand up!!) was built right near our public library and I spent HOURS there looking up encyclopedias, novels and more (in my school uniform. Classic blue sweater, white turtleneck and grey slacks). I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the week so my imagination was fed through pages and pages of history, poetry, fiction, biographies and how-to-beat-video-games books. I’ve always tried to keep a balanced diet when it comes to reading. This may not be you, but I don’t think it’s healthy to ONLY read spiritual books or ONLY leadership books or ONLY fiction books. It’s good to be well-read in various types of books, for a couple of reasons:

1 – It’s keeps you sharp: Once I’m done a fun book, I’m longing for something deeper. After that, something that stretches my thinking in regards to leadership or culture.
2 – Vocabulary: Different authors, different words, different paintings, different ideas, sentence structures, etc.
3 – Conversation: The more you read, the more likely you’ll be able to enter into various conversations about lots of topics. (it’s funny how the one who only reads one sort of books is lost when any other topic comes us.)
4 – An appreciation for the gift of writing.
5 – A nice book collection (I have MANY leather-bound books…my office smells of rich mahogany…)
6 – You get a deeper perspective on life.

So…that’s why I balance it out. Biographies to know people and how they got to where they are. History to teach us lessons of old. Fiction to help me dream, imagine, paint scenes and grow as a communicator. Leadership to be an effective servant-leader. Spiritual books and essays (and blogs) to fuel the fire in my heart to live a Eph 4:1 life. Sports books to enjoy the highs and lows of teamwork, winning & losing. And culture to have a better understanding of the world I live in, people groups, trends, fashion and what’s ‘next’.

Here’s what I’m currently dabbling through (with hopes of finishing them by new years)

  • The Me I Want to Be (John Ortberg) – A book I’m reading with some quality leaders at our church. It’s all about knowing God, knowing how He’s wired you and then taking that information to know Him more. It’s a real eye opener. (4/5th done)
  • Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (Reggie Joiner and Carey Niewwhof) – Reading with some of our junior high parents. I figure I want to learn how to be a great dad now and to learn with them is a joy. (3/5th)
  • Switch (Chip and Dan Heath) – Leadership book on leading people through change. Good insights so far and the cover is cool. (1/5th)
  • The Armageddon Factor (Marci McDonald) – A deep “secular” view of Christian Nationalism in Canada. Funny to see things like The Cry, Canada Christian College and Tyndale in here. It’s a page turner. Was recommended by my good friend Steffan Watson. (2/5th)
  • The Book of Basketball (Bill Simmons) – I read it in like 4 days (it’s 700+ pages) but he’s re-releasing it with corrections, new stories and more. And Kobe’s in it. It’s my fun read! (RE-READ)
  • and…Decision Points (the Dubya) – I still don’t know if this is chalked up to fiction or not…kidding. His life is so polarizing that not reading it would be criminal. PLUS, it’s reads like he talks…that’s a win-win! (Need to purchase and finish before Becca gets to it. She loves George. Wants to have him over for supper.)

And books I look forward to reading in 2011

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die like Children by Romeo Dallaire – Child soldiers is a travesty and something that burdens me greatly. I’d love to do something about it one day…
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and/or Roots by Alex Hailey
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha – Cause it’ll be awesome (sorry, it had to be said…)
Journey to The Ring by Phil Jackson – It’s all about the Lakers and winning. Nuff said.
Off-Road Discipleship by Earl Creps
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (I’m VERY excited for this one…don’t know why…)
The Living Church by John Stott
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (yes…the comedic actor writes and his book is getting great reviews) and a whole lot more…and The Help…(Becca and Karen Johnson loved it…)…and The History of SNL

P.S. You know what’s cool? Seeing my little girl pretend to read. The Kid will take her gabage patch doll, sit with her, pretend to drink tea and read to her Goodnight Moon. The nerd in her is alive and well!

SO….what are you reading? What do you look for in a good book? Where can you beef up/clean up your reading diet? What authors do you abhor/recommend and why?  What’s your FAVORITE book (not counting the Bible…). Mine’s a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. If you don’t like reading (which is completely cool), how to do you learn and grow?