Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brand new day...

The end of the Winter Olympics. The event that I looked forward to for so long is over, taking with it 91 hours of my life. 91. A new record. During the summer Olympics it was 70. This time, somehow, even with classes going on at the same time, it was 91.
But you know what? I don't regret a single hour of that. I consider it time well spent. I am an American. And I love the Olympics. This is my Superbowl and it lasts for 2 weeks. Two really great weeks.
But I will say that it is pretty nice that they are over. I feel the compulsion to watch it no matter what, it's like I can't turn the games off. But now, I don't have the option of watching it anymore. I have all kinds of free time now to do all kinds of things.
New things maybe?
I've done some new things recently and really enjoyed it. Not that my life is an exercise in routine anyways, but it was refreshing to try something new. Now, I have to tell you that these new things aren't exactly what everyone else thinks I should do. Kinda like when Rachel put on the cheerleader outfit to impress Joshua? Josh-ua. No one thought that was a good idea but apart from her bum lip, it worked out alright for her.
Moral of the story. Try new things. They're not all bad. Do things that make you feel good. You won't regret it. The Olympics are unlike anything else on television. And the fact that Joan's husband from Mad Men and Dexter's wife are both on Desperate Housewives right now, is the merging of three of my favorite things. It's the beginning of that great new day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What happened?

What happened to Christian music? What has happened?
I found myself driving around tonight and nothing was on the regular radio station so I had it on the Christian station. I never listen to this station. Why? It all sounds the same. So I don't listen to it.
Having said that, I was listening to it tonight. And I was struck how every song sounded exactly the same. Guitar, piano, more guitar, singer, more guitar, maybe some strings, more guitar. Nothing that at all resembles anything on regular radio. Sure, there are alternative bands out there that do the guitar songs, but the songs that are the most popular songs in the world? There's nothing like that on Christian radio.
I even heard a song by a guy named Brandon Heath and as much as I kinda liked the song, I realized that I would like it so much more if an R&B singer was singing it because it would fit better with a different singer and genre. So I started thinking about some of the folks that made Christian music accessible to a real audience and not just to red staters. Where have Stacie Orrico and Rachael Lampa gone? Where are they? What about Joy Williams? Three females who were different and interesting. Gone. What about Nicole C. Mullen? Remember when she was relevant? When did she cave and start doing what everyone else is doing? There used to be exciting things happening in music there and now everyone wants a praise and worship album.
Question. Would GaGa have reached as many people with her music if it sounded like a praise and worship track? Would Britney? What about Justin? No. They wouldn't have. They do things that are different and have the followings to prove it.
Even with artists like Mandisa, Toby Mac and Skillet, they are having to follow the conventions put before them because the radio stations won't play what is actually relevant to today's society. Deitrick Haddon, Mary Mary, Damita, Virtue and Trinitee 5:7 are never on the radio, though the music they are making sounds like music you would hear on the regular radio.
Perhaps that's the reason they can't get played. Because they sound too similar and red staters are afraid of that. Maybe they consider that being "of this world."
Natalie Grant is one of the best vocalists in America and if she were allowed to make a creative album like Christina Aguilera, maybe people would be able to see that and then would hear the message she is singing about. But for now, we will just stick to guitars because that's what Jesus would do apparently.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Special sauce

Have you seen the McDonalds commercial that started airing during the Olympics opening ceremony? You know, the one with the girl and the guy who sings like Usher? They are singing about the new sauce for the Chicken McNuggets.
Right.
An R&B song about McNuggets...because that makes sense.
They are singing to each other like they are in some sort of music video and that they actually are infatuated with each other...except they are singing about sauce.
I don't know that I have ever had a sauce that made me want to sing an R&B song. I mean, the Boom Boom sauce at Chuy's is pretty incredible, but I don't think I would ever sing a song about it. I remember the first time I had it, it made me have an exclamation. Yes. I exclaimed loudly how great it was. But I didn't burst into song.
I have burst into song many times before though. But never really because I was so ecstatic about something. Especially not sauce from a fast food place. But maybe someday? I like the Polynesian sauce from Chick-fil-a. Again, not song worthy though.
I like to burst into song in public places for no reason. No sauce necessary. Why can't that be in a commercial? While we're on the subject, why can't the Santa truck commercials come back? Those were the best commercials of all time. Who didn't love the Santa trucks commercials? I mean, the sad little kid sits there, then a whole long line of Santa trucks come through, the music swells, all the twinkle lights turn on everywhere, the kid is happy and everyone gets a Coke for Christmas. Now THAT is reason to sing.
So take note McDonalds. Take note. Your sauce does not trump Santa trucks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Think deeply

It's when you sit alone and allow yourself the freedom to actually think that you open yourself up to really find out who you are. I'm getting caught up on last week's episode of Lost before the new episode airs tonight and it's full of these moments where the solemn music is playing and the character is sitting deep in thought.
So I am sitting deep in thought as I watch Locke be deep in thought. What about? Wouldn't you like to know. There's this whole alternate reality storyline happening on the show this season and as much as it's a head trip, sometimes I feel like we have that going on in real life too.
I know that I've made many a comparison to television having some sort of implication to real life, and so many times I'm not really being serious. But sometimes, there is just giant chasm inbetween what we have going on inside our hearts and what we have going on in the world we surround ourselves with. I don't even really mean some sort of huge internal life crisis or anything, I just think that we have certain things that we keep locked up in our hearts. We don't really want those things to be swirling around us because, as I've learned from being a Communications major, once you release it into the swarm of the public, you can't control it anymore. Especially now.
But I actually like sitting here, being like Locke, and thinking deeply. Except I'm not doing it with solemn music. Really, I like having the time to be able to do that. It's been so long since I've been able to. I encourage you to do so as well. Just don't be like Locke in other regards. Not the best role model.

White February 23


I've spent 26 years in Texas and in all that time, I can remember when it snowed because it happens that infrequently. But this year, I feel like it has snowed every other week in Texas, not to mention the fact that we actually had a white Christmas.
Speaking of White Christmas, I don't get it. I don't get that movie.

I don't really understand why it's such a big deal and why it is considered the most classic Christmas movie of all time. The beginning and the end are about Christmas but the rest of the film has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. At least in It's A Wonderful Life it's all within the context of Christmas. In A Christmas Story, the whole thing is one big Christmas nightmare. But White Christmas, not so much. But people love it. I just don't get it. It's kinda like people who like VH1 reality shows. I just don't get it.
But here it is, snow outside. It's been falling since I woke up and is still falling in a steady stream. It's hard to leave the window for fear that it will stop while I'm not looking. I'm 5 apparently. But I'm a 5 year old that doesn't get White Christmas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm upset

I'm upset. Actually, I'm upset about a great many things right now, but somewhere in the list are these things that I found at a Mardel's store recently. Here's the deal, I care deeply about spiritual things and I don't mind when something has a scripture verse or inspirational thought written on it. That's fine. But when fanaticism takes over and people lose their sense of judgment or practicality, then I start to get a little snippy and bitter. Yes. I said it. Snippy and bitter.

Exhibit A: The Sampson muscle suit for toddlers. This way, young boys can aspire to be big and strong like Sampson was. I can see it, the little toddler, playing with his young girl friend. She pretends to cut off his hair, he falls down to the ground because his "strength is gone." But somewhere between that and him knocking down the pillars, killing the bad guys AND HIMSELF, does the little boy act out the part when his eyes are gouged out and he's forced into slavery?

Exhibit B: Praise Ponies. I'm not making this up. Those are not your regular pony dolls. Those dolls are special. Because there was something inherently evil about the little My Little Pony minions that wreak havoc on our childhoods so we needed to create conservative-conscious ponies that wouldn't destroy young girls' minds. Who knows. First, My Little Pony. What's next? Street corners? The red light district? Public urination? It's a good thing we have Praise Ponies.

Exhibit C: Because of the unimaginable success of Praise Ponies, someone set their sights on the tween psyche and created God's Girls. Just imagine that they are Bratz dolls after their youth camp conversions. They are the perfect representations of what a Godly girl should be, tiny waisted, heavily make-uped individuals in fashions from a few years ago.



Exhibit D: This is the saddest one of them all really. Here we have our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Barbie proportions, and more buff than Ken. There were also Mary and Mary Magdalene figures that were available so you can recreate the Easter story whenever you want. I know that this borders on sacrilegious, but that is actually how I feel about this stupid Barbie doll. Since when did we want to play make-believe with Jesus in the same way we did with our Power Rangers action figures, our Lego sets, or ninja assassins? However, who wouldn't want to be built like the Savior or thin like one of God's Girls? And those are toys. Insert looming eating disorder here. Thanks Mardels.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another opening

Look. No one was going to be able to out-do Beijing's opening ceremony. No way. Not ever. But Canada did exactly what it needed to do, something spectacular. The opening ceremonies are absolutely beautiful.
I mean, it doesn't really matter what the opening is like. We are in it for the Olympics. Really. We are. Is there a better television event? No. There's not. There is nothing in the world that unites us like the Olympics. Nothing. Not a single television event that can do what the Olympics do.
I know that I've blogged about it before and I won't bore you again with it, but the Olympics are, I think, my favorite event on the planet. It's like global team unity and there just isn't anything greater than that. You've got all of these athletes everywhere who are the absolute best at what they do, you get a show at the beginning and end that is the highest form of entertainment and technological achievement. Television viewers around the world are glued to their TVs, stories of unity and working together fill the airwaves and coat the internet. The Olympics represent everything that is good in the world.
Too sappy? Don't care.
And even thought Canada kinda dropped the ball on the ending of the ceremony and sadly, that is probably what people are going to remember about the ceremony, not the incredible elements that made up the 2 and a half hours preceding the botched ending. Spoken word? I mean for real. I think this would be the appropriate time to say "blame Canada."
But the spirit of the whole thing is still there. Even is Canada is once again shunned.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Detached

Last night, I found myself completely detached from something that I had been attached to for a very long time. It wasn't a conscious decision that I made or anything, it just happened. I wish I could explain why but at the core of my explanation would just be that I'm changing.
Growing older has something to do with it and my proximity to the subject at hand is also mutating to become a different thing.
I think we go through periods of rapid change in our lives. We have these windows in our existence when things just change so quickly that we don't realize it until we are in the middle of it. That's how I feel right now and I think I will feel that way for the foreseeable future as well because things aren't going to stop changing anytime soon. Granted, some of the changes are things that I have planned, but what's going on right now is kinda taking me on a ride.
But I think that's alright. I'm not upset that things are changing. If anything, I think it's great because it's about time. Kinda like when Rachel gets off the plane. It's like, FINALLY! ABOUT TIME! Some things just need to happen and in my overarching quest for truth, some things just need to happen.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The beep goes on

Here's one for you. I've been listening to the uni-tone beeping of the fire alarm next door for the past 8 hours. Sure, during the game, the sound was muffled, but now, it's all beeping all the time.
The guys who lived there moved out and there were some workers in there this morning working on the apartment. Now, the fire alarm is going crazy. Do I have the maintenance number? No. Have I even called the landlord at home at night and still nothing happened? Yes. So I am trying to muffle it out of my life. It's not working. I've even tried to break in. Didn't work.

Here's another one for you:

This bumper sticker was on the car next to mine. Riddle me this: Who exactly is this person proud to be seen in public with? I think it used to say God, but I'm not sure. So I started thinking about what I would fill in that blank with. Not so much because I can't find a name to put there. I have a handful that could go there. But wouldn't it be interesting to know who would put my name on their bumper sticker?
I'd like to believe that someone would.
And it is with that belief that I am going to try to go to bed. Of course there is the beeping that won't stop. I feel like I am Pheobe and my fire alarm won't stop, except it's not mine. I can't get to it to kill it. So I'm helpless.
And the beep goes on.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

But you're not a man, you're a chicken boo

There is, at this moment, a girl crying in my office. I don't know her, she's not on my staff, but she is sitting at my conference table, crying.
So a lady comes in and says that this girl needs to sit somewhere that's quiet and I tell her it's alright. So now, I'm sitting in a room of silence with only the sounds of this sniffling girl in my ears. Usually, if I was in here alone, I would be listening and singing along with Beyonce. B ain't here right now.
So I could insert myself into the situation. I could ask her what's wrong, I could ask her if she needs anything, I could tell her I am here for her...anything to validate my sense of humanity. But then I could be cracking the cone of silence. So rather than talking to her or giving her any assistance, I am blogging about it.
Anderson Cooper helped people in Haiti while he was there covering the devastation. But that was a little different. I mean, sure, he was there to cover what was going on but when people's lives are on the line, of course you are going to help them if you can. Of course you are. But since I don't really know what happened here and I've been told that silence needs to be upheld while she composes herself, I sit here. Honestly, I'm sitting here awkwardly. It's like this giant plush chicken in the room. You can't not notice that it's there, though you can live with it.
Now she's left. Moment over. Giant plush Chicken Boo gone.
Moving on.