Monday, April 27, 2009

In Memory Of

I've never really written an obituary before but I guess I had to at some point.

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of my beloved television. It didn't have a name, though I would like to have named him. I imagined it was a him. I would name him Stevie the TV, but that name has been taken. In looking at him now, I imagine his name was Bruce.
We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Bruce. He died doing what he loved...watching Golden Girls. It's true. And my television was straight but he loved the Golden Girls, debunking the idea that you have to be less-than-straight to enjoy older women being bad.
It's fitting really. Yesterday, Bea Arthur passed away as well. I think that watching the Girls last night was just too much for Bruce's little heart to take.
When I found him this morning, he looked so pleasant, so comfortable. He knew. He knew it was time to move on. Things are changing in his room all around him. Different people have come into his room as of late. His neighbor on the other side of the wall will be moving out soon. He's been trying to cope with that for a while now.
He lived a full life. He used to be in the living room until he partied too hard playing Guitar Hero and he lost some of his hearing. His eyes have not been perfect for a long time and his remote has had a few surgeries to repair old age problems. But he had been through a lot. He had seen all that a PS2, a Gamecube, and a Wii have to offer. He's seen every episode of FRIENDS, Will and Grace, Frasier, Sex and the City, Heroes, and Everybody Loves Raymond. He recently began watching the Cosby Show, showing that old age hadn't cramped his style.
So, in conclusion. Bruce watched the church services most every Sunday. He always predicted the American Idol about two seconds before the satellite models could. He was always content with being a regular cable set. He brought me images of joy and of sadness. He sat by me when I couldn't sleep and I just needed someone to talk to. He was there when I felt alone and he was always there if I needed to entertain. He was a good friend and I will miss him.
So I raise a glass to Bruce.
See you on the other side.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thou shalt not stomp

How much do I love the Pussycat Dolls fight? Man. I love it.
Recap. The past few singles say that they are the Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Sherzingalinger (however you spell that). So then at their show Friday night opening for Britney, one of the girls, Melody, shouts out, "I just want to thank my family for supporting me, even though I'm not featured!" She then goes on to say how she and Ashley Roberts are examples of how you can do anything and (then she gets all teary) don't let ANYONE stomp on you.
Amazing.
I love it.
See, this is why. THAT'S actually gossip worthy. That is something tangible that's happening here. We are witnessing the caving in of a pop group. And thanks to youtube, we've got front row seats. They are fighting, they are publicly backstabbing, it's awesome. The Hills is crap when there is so much real drama out there to watch.
And here's the deal. When I saw the Dolls, I loved them. They were great. Nicole is great, though not my favorite. My favorite being the girl that puts her leg over her head. She's the best and you know it. As far as I'm concerned, I just want to watch her dance on one leg for an hour and a half.
Give the people what they want! Which is more drama. Which is what they are giving us. Which is why I'm so happy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1-0

I turn on ABC 15 minutes before Housewives started. I got all caught up today on my Housewives and I am able to watch the episode live when it airs. So I'm all excited.
Extreme Home Makeover is on.
Fine.
I'm crying.
I don't even know the sob story! I don't know what's going on! But there are children crying and a mother crying. I piece together that a father and son have died. I'm sobbing. Everyone is crying.
College scholarship for the kids.
$100,000.
Forget about the fact that it won't even pay for one of them to go all the way through school. Forget that because I'm crying.
What is going on?! I'm not even invested!
Thus the power of television is exerted once again.

Television -1 Ryan's Ability to Keep it Together -0

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chanticleer!

I know what fate feels like.
I just experienced it.
Naysayers beware. I am now a believer.

I'm getting caught up on Gossip Girl. Life is good.
I'm all caught up now. Things are great. I am talking to my roommate about the concert I attended earlier today and the DVR is just sitting there. You know on a DVR when it sits for too long and it clicks off of whatever its on and just goes to the the television? Well, it does that and clicks over to the TV. No big deal.
Except it is a big deal. The station it was on was the 90s music station and the song that had just started was "Unbreak my Heart." One of my two favorite songs. If you follow my blog at all you would know that. Feel bad if you didn't know. Feel bad.
So there it is. Fate. Fate made the DVR switch off just when it did and Fate made my favorite song be playing, allowing me to have a moment in which I threw my arms out like Jesus and verbally declared, "I believe in fate! I just experienced it!"
It was exhilarating. Just like in Rock-a-Doodle when all the little animated animals chant. Chanticleer! Chanticleer! Chanticleer! Or when Mary Martin wants us all to chant for Tinkerbelle? Or is it clap for Tink? All I remember is "I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!" I'm not sure where that's from but I know it's from some incarnation of Peter Pan. But you get the picture. It's thrilling.
So here I am. A believer in fate.
Now Moon River is playing. If that won't warm your heart, you are made of stone. Or ash. And you probably don't believe in make-believe anymore which makes my whole Peter Pan thing foreign to you. But that's fine. I don't write for people like you. I write for people who still have a firm grip on the reality of make-believe. Which has much to do with Rock-a-Doodle and the dumb boy/cat that goes from being a live action person to an animated kitty who's a slave to fashion and back to being a live action person again. The reality of make-believe. Think about it.

So much glaring

I had an encounter.
An experience.
I witnessed a tragedy.
Freshmen softball players who scratch themselves like they're men.
Talking like valley girls about Under Armor and do the Arsenio Hall whoop when they get excited...or turned on. Probably. I don't know.
They're a rare breed. An untapped people group that needs further study. Like the crap that lives at the bottom of the ocean...or the elderly.
I was sitting there, staring...no...glaring...because I couldn't understand it. You know, I hate stereotypes. I do. I hate them. But it's sorta painful when the stereotype slaps you in the face.
So I sit there and glare. Upset.
Upset because of the scratching. Upset because of the whooping. Upset because of the over-sized, white rimmed glasses that didn't fit on their faces. Upset because of the rough man-claps that happened when they got their food. But most of all, because of the whooping. And the scratching. Yeah. Mostly the scratching.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Truth for today

So the tale of today is a doozie. I wish I could sugar coat this one and say that I am going to embellish what happened, but I can't say that. I won't. I will tell you the truth because that's all I know.
I'm at work. It's the day after Easter and no one is around. I wish I was still asleep. Nothing is going on. Then a random guy with a small suitcase comes in the store. He's got a shaved head (except for the rat tail on the back). But it's not really a rat tail. It is about 4 inches tall and stretches around the entire back side of his head. The hair is about 6 inches long and curly. Right. Picture it.

So he's talking to himself from the time he walks in the door to the time he finally leaves. He said something about wanting a shirt with a pocket on it and that he would pay 25 dollars for a shirt with a pocket on it. Okay. So he's passionate. Whatever.
He's slowly bringing things to the counter, one at a time, and making a pile. Fine. Granted, he's talking to himself as he's doing it, and when it is finally time for him to pay for this items (a key chain, a plastic cup, a car decal, a hat, an 2 candy bars) he stops talking to himself and starts talking to me.
"I love the way Baylor does Easter."
Good start.
"Yeah. I just love the way they do Easter here. I mean, it could be better though."
I agree with him verbally.
"You know those remote control cars?"
...uh.
"You know. The ones from the commercials?"
...sure.
"Yeah. Easter should be at night. Not during the day. And you can paint the eggs glow-in-the-dark and put them on top of the remote control cars. Then, rather than hiding the eggs, you chase them."
...uh-huh.
"It's so much better than playing Quarters. If your car gets caught, then you have to down a pint. See, Baylor can do it so much better there in the center."
The center he was referring to was the very center of campus, meaning he thought that Beer-Remote-Controlled-Easter-Cars would be a school sponsored event. Baylor. The pentacle of Baptist education in America. Right.
He says he's a "Baylor Boy" and grew up in Waco, where he never had any problems with rent or leases here. But when he moved to Austin, he broke his lease and all of the sudden, Social Security is after him and he is back in Waco and has nothing. So it's Austin's fault that he stopped paying his rent.
But my favorite part of the whole thing was his take on Thanksgiving.

"You know, Thanksgiving is on the 24th of every year."
...Uh-huh. (It's not. But at this point it was best to just agree and try to pick up the pieces of my shattered psyche)
"It would just be so great if they could build a giant turkey in the center of campus. Baylor students are ingenious. You know? How they build a plane? They could build a turkey and put something really goofy inside of it. You know, so students can laugh and experience the joy of the Lord."

I'm not even going to comment. Everything you have read is factual. Not a single word of it is made up. That's been my day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pontius Pilate and the saints.

I've seen some bizarre things recently. Billy Bob being the top of my list from last night until just now. (Side note: The Billy Bob interview is genius. That's a bizarre clip that will be run for decades. How stoned do you have to be to be like that. I want to shake the guy's hand that interviewed him. No. I want to buy him Starbucks. He's from Canada. He could probably use some.)
Back on track. Preface: I love Orlando. I love the city. I love the parks. I love the weather.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to move there and live there. I don't really anymore but I wouldn't mind going there on a semi-regular basis. AND - I love amusement parks. I used to go to Six Flags once a week during the summers. I love it. I love Disney. I love Universal. Love it all.
But the other amusement park in Orlando...did you know there was another amusement park in Orlando? There is. It's The Holyland Experience. Read it again. The. Holyland. Experience. Right. It's a Biblical amusement park.
You know what? Fine. Fine. Have a Biblical amusement park. Have plays about David. Have a giant special effects spectacle of the Red Sea splitting. Have a giant ark with real animals in it. All of which are okay. (You know they're not but for the sake of the following argument, they kinda have to be.)
But to have the crucifixion played out daily? With a big "He's Alive" ending? All while you sit in the shade, drink your strawberry lemonade and...well, do whatever. The person on the Newsweek website couldn't pinpoint what people did. Actually, she said that people don't know what to do. They don't know whether they should enjoy it or cry or sit silently or clap. Why would they feel that way? Glad you asked. Because this is the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
AND!!!!! It only cost 17 million dollars to make this park. Right. Because with that money, we couldn't focus our energy on making positive films that don't suck completely, or turning Christian television into something worth watching, or, I don't know, remodeling the TBN studios to make it look like they weren't just designed by Donald Trump while on a coke binge with Sigfried and Roy!
But I digress. There are many fun things you can do while enjoying your stay in Jeruselem.
Take your picture in Jerusalem. With the empty tomb. With a person in a Lion of Judah costume. Take your picture with Jesus. Right. I said it. You can take your picture with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords...or at least His stand in. I'm not trying to be mean or offensive or sacrilegious. None of those things. But seriously.
First off. Calm down. I am a Christian. I am proud to say that. I know what I believe. I am firm in what I believe. If you don't believe that way, that's alright. I don't judge you for it. Especially after this video. Why would you want to believe in something that replays the most brutal death in history...of your Savior...on a daily basis...for entertainment. Second, I have been to the Passion plays and I have seen the Passion of the Christ. Both meant to elicit a certain emotion. I've been in Easter musicals. But again, they happen once a year and for a very specific purpose. But this? WHAT?!

We need perspective.

Picture it. Little Nathan goes to The Holyland Experience and takes pictures with the soldiers and the cool buildings. Then. He starts shouting. "Mommy! Mommy! Look! It's Jesus!" He runs over and hugs the man. Mommy whips out her SLR and takes hi-def pictures of Nathan posing with Jesus. What a great day at the park. Cut to that kid thinking he took pictures with Jesus and the Lion of Judah. Can you see it?
He's in Sunday School.
"I met him once."
"I know Nathan, He's come into all of our hearts."
"No really. I met Him."
"Where did you meet Jesus? Were you in your parents' bedroom? Did you meet him here at church?"
"No. I met Him in Orlando across the street from the Incredible Hulk ride at Universal."
There's no possible way that child will turn out normal. Might as well turn the college fund into his Christian counseling payment plan. But not before you stop by the gift shop to pick up something to remembrance your trip with. How about a Jesus figurine? Or something Jewish? Right. Did I forget to say that? It's being billed as a place for both Jews and Christians. Because we all know how the Jews feel about the crucifixion. Logic will tell you that there is a line when Christianity and Judism split and I call that line Moses. While I don't pretend to be a scholar on such things, pretty sure that Pontius Pilate and the saints aren't represented in one of the menorah candles.
I'm so offended if you can't tell. I'm so offended. I have no idea how I will sleep tonight. It's Easter weekend and I know that's why the video is on Newsweek's website. I know that. I know that's why the article on the fall of Christianity in America is a cover story. I know that. I'm not dumb to that. But I also know that this "amusement park" could quite possibly be the cradle of idiocy. Lara Croft looked for something similar and it was guarded by trees that ate people. Sadly, there are no trees to keep people from going into this TBN owned and operated park.

(I take a pause.)

As the video ends...
Two people...
a man and a woman...
both very large and very happy say:
"Better than Disney."
"Amen. Amen." says the obnoxious woman.

SPLAT! My head explodes.

I've a...got a hotel room...

So I've been downtown today at this journalism conference and things are alright now but it was pretty touch-and-go earlier. Let me walk you through it.
Got to the hotel, went and competed in some competitions. Great. Then? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Which is nice because I never have time to just do nothing. But I couldn't really do nothing because there were plenty of somethings that needed to occur. But I digress.
Six hours later I find the internet. Six hours. That's a long time to wait for internet if you are looking for it. If you don't think about it, then it's not so bad. But it was bad then. Bad.
But I did spend the middle part of today walking around downtown Dallas which really was the thrill of my day. Not the 600 dollar hotel room I didn't have to pay for. No. The walking, alone, around downtown, smelling cigarette smoke, exhaust from trucks and hearing honking horns and profanities from hobos. It was like a symphony. You know that scene in August Rush when he hears all the sounds and creates his symphony out of it? Right. I know that feelings. Granted, I am not going to create any sort of music out of today. No no. If anything, I really need to spend quality alone time with my iPod. That's what I really need to do.
But do you know the worst part about this? Not the middle of the day aloneness. Not the fact that I don't know the people I am with. Not that I spent the afternoon doing homework in a hotel room instead of other activities that hotel rooms are really meant for. No. The real sadness is that tonight, I will be unable to watch my shows.
Feel me. Feel my pain.
I'm going to have to wind down without the aid of Dorothy and Sophia. Without Monica and Chandler. Without Jack and Karen. Without Niles and Daphne. Without Theo and Rudy. Without Kathy and her peesh. I'm going to have to go to bed alone...with my thoughts. Has there ever been anything more terrifying?
Seriously, its so much easier to just fall asleep watching a show than to have to lay there and let your mind wander. Just think of all of the perverse and utterly atrocious places my mind could go. I'm scared to close my eyes.
Though I did see a girl today that was composed entirely of hair and that was pretty entertaining.