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Friday, March 26, 2010

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”-Plato

My current go-to playlist....it's titled "relaxxx"...


1. New York to California- Mat Kearney
2. Colors- Amos Lee
3. City of Black and White- Mat Kearney
4. She is Love- Parachute
5. Sleeping to Dream- Jason Mraz
6. Can't Let Go- Landon Pigg
7. Heavenly Day- Patty Griffin
8. Jealousy- Cary Brothers
9. If You Were Here- Cary Brothers
10. Know That I Would- Right the Stars
11. Ain't No Reason-Brett Dennen
12. Sea Breeze- Tyrone Wells
13. Let it Be Me- Ray LaMontagne
14. On A Night Like This- Dave Barnes
15. Caroline- John Butler Trio
16. Arms of a Woman- Amos Lee
17. Groovin' Slowly- John Butler Trio
18. Bottom of the Barrel- Amos Lee
19. On Her Way- Shelly Fraley
20. You and Me- Dave Matthews Band
21. Over You- Matt Wertz
22. To Be Alone With You- Sufjan Stevens
23. Wedding Dress- Matt Nathanson
24. Swing Life Away- Rise Against
25. Empty- Ray LaMontagne

Boy Oh Boy Can I Relate-Part 2

Well last week when I posted the picture of the kids where one face-planted, I titled it "Boy Oh Boy Can I Relate." I meant that very metaphorically. I was envisioning a general epic fail while everyone else is having a great time. Seemed like a perfect picture. Little did I know I was actually warning myself about my own future. I went to church on the following Sunday. Having borrowed a belt and received some fashion help along with a great and long nights sleep, I thought I was looking rather cute. It was a wonderful church service and then we decided to go to Willy's for lunch. Although we eat there frequently, it is not typically an "after church lunch" place. However, for whatever reason, everyone seemed to have the same unusual after church mexican craving. At this point, the "just woke up and Willy's is all I can stomach" crowd has also made their way to the Beechwood shopping center. All this to say, Willy's was crowded. We sat in a booth and I was on the inside. Having forgotten to get a straw I asked the person on the outside if I could get out. She stood waiting for me to return before sitting down. Because I didn't want her to have to wait long, I hurried. As I rounded the corner, I stepped over a little puddle and thought to myself, "man, it would really stink to slip on that." Apparently I was so concentrated on not stepping in that spot that I failed to realize there was more water ahead. The very next step i took, (as in, I'm still finishing the thought of how unfortunate it would be to slip in that last puddle) was into a bit of a slippery spot. Down I went.

I fell forward (even more like the little kid) right into our table. Luckily we were sitting at the first table so I didn't fall into strangers. Broke my straw, but decided not to go get another one, squashed my finger rather painfully, and acquired a large strawberry on my left knee that I'm still nursing.

Any slight bit of confidence I had gained earlier was no where to be found. I have no idea how many people noticed my grand fall, nor do I care to know. But I do hope that they got a good laugh about it. I certainly did.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"How Stupid Are You?"



If you happened to attend Crossroads tonight then you heard Eric give a brief run-down of this experience. But his short, PG version did not do it justice. So here is my best attempt to explain one of the most ridiculous things I have ever witnessed...

Background- I went to NYC on spring break with Campus Crusade for Christ. We stayed in a hostel. In Harlem. It was fabulous. Seriously. We used public transportation. Obviously our group of 40 could not fit on one MTA bus with all of our luggage so we split into three groups to head back to the airport for our return flight. I was in the third group. Luckily, we left the hostel six hours before our flight. Apparently Hace was expecting a bus fight. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


Picture it. March 2010. The M60 bus from Harlem to Queens. Approximately ten southerners with ample amounts of luggage pile onto a New York City bus. (I love the Golden Girls-but I'm sure that will be in many later blogs.) About four stops along, things start to get a bit crowded. A slightly older lady in the aisle is somewhat slow in maneuvering around the luggage to make room for people boarding. In a seat near the front sits a middle aged lady, let's call her 'Shaquanda' for simplicity sake (The perm-type hair in the above picture belongs to her). All of a sudden, Shaquanda (who may very well be an extremely wonderful lady who was just having an off day) begins yelling very angrily at the bus passengers for not making room on the bus quickly enough to satisfy her (note: Shaquanda was already on the bus and even had a seat-she was not struggling to "get behind the yellow line"). In confusion, a majority of the bus fell silent, making each word Shaquanda said very audible.
ex. "This is * public transportation. What on earth* is taking so long to make room. There is * plenty of * room toward the back. Hurry the * up and get to the * back of the bus so other people can get on."
She was a bit more colorful and rambled a bit more but I'll just let you fill in the blanks. Just in front of Shaquanda sat 23 year old "Katiana Ramirez" (again just for simplicity sake; I was never formally introduced to her and did not catch her real name). Politely, Katiana (in the above picture, she has the bun) turns to Shaquanda to explain that there is a lot of luggage on the bus and a speedy run to the back of the bus more difficult than usual. Katiana says that there is no need to yell even though boarding is taking a bit longer than usual. Undoubtedly due to the terrible day she must have been having, Shaquanda did not respond well to the explanation from Katiana.
"I wasn't *** talkin to you. I don give a * what you have to say. They need to hurry the * up." -again in a very harsh and loud yell.
Katiana, having reached the end of her extremely long line of patience, begins to raise her voice as well. This is when things begin to get heated. The bus is again moving and is fully loaded. There is, however, only one conversation occurring. I do not recall the exact exchange but here are a few quotes that have stuck in my mind. (this is not necessarily in order. all yelling. feel free to add accents where you feel compelled. i will leave out several words that were frequently repeated so spice it up yourself-i assure you, you won't over exaggerate it)
"Respect your * elders"- S
"I'm supposed to respect my elders? Well you are supposed to be setting a good example for me. Don't see you doin that"- K
"You are stupid."-S
"I'm stupid? I was just trying to tell you to calm the * down!" -K
"I wasn't talkin to you! I never said a word to you! I don't give a * what you have to say!"- S
"No you are stupid. You started arguing with me for no reason."-K
"You are stupid. You are still arguing with me."-S
"Stupid is as stupid does." -S (yes, Forrest Gump was quoted in the dispute)
"I know I'm stupid. But how stupid are you??"-S
"How stupid am I? How stupid are YOU??"- K
"I know I'm uneducated, but how stupid are you??"-S

I assume you are confused at this point. What was the disagreement about? Why did it continue? What was either side defending/trying to prove/ arguing for? All very valid questions. I have no answers for you. But this continued for nearly ten minutes before the bus driver came over the loud speaker saying that if the yelling did not cease he would discontinue the bus route and everyone would have to get off. Shaquanda and Katiana paused just long enough to take a breath and then continued to fight about who was more stupid.
Another few minutes of intriguing yelling occurs until the bus stops. The driver gets off in order to get the police. Shortly, four police are standing in the doorway of the bus (K and S have ceased fire at this point-I'm not sure who they decided was dumber though.) The police question (in the form of yelling) who the fighting is between. Silence. More threats from the popo about making everyone get off. All but two fingers on the bus point to Shaquanda and Katiana.
"GET OFF THE BUS"-popo
no movement. (Katiana has placed headphones on has begun to cry)
Rather quickly the other passengers join in the popos efforts of telling our two new friends to get off the bus. Some late to work, others trying to catch flights...I'll let you run wild with what they were saying.
Katiana stands but refuses to get off the bus alone, insisting that she did not start it and has no intentions of getting in trouble alone. Shaquanda is silent and motionless. More yelling. After more than ten minutes the police decide to leave and bus resumes its route.
Less than two minutes later, the bus stops. Right in the middle of the bridge from Harlem to Queens. The bus driver claims "brake failure." So we wait for a tow truck. With one tow truck in front, one behind, and a police car on each side, we are escorted off the bridge. To quote Eric, "we felt sort of like the Yankees." (note: we were not connected to either tow truck. there was no problem with the breaks. Confused again? yeah, me too.)
When we reach the end of the bridge, six (from what i could see, could have been more) lanes of traffic merged together. The bus stops. Literally, in the middle of six lanes of traffic (see picture above for a glimpse at half the lanes of traffic) and everyone is told to get off and wait for the next bus. After quite some time, the replacement bus arrives and thirty minutes later we make it to the airport with mere hours to spare.
Next year we are getting charter buses to transport us to and from the airport.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome to the bright light..



One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
no place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahh

New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York


Flying to NYC tomorrow for spring break!

Jealous.




I WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO BE THIS LITTLE GUY RIGHT NOW.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sequoyah Prep School



This is my absolute favorite band ever. Love them. So great. Check them out...

listen to Sequoyah Prep School...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good Thoughts for the Day

In high school, my best friend received this email titled "Good Thoughts for the Day". She kept it at the top of her inbox (although I haven't seen her email lately, I'm certain it's still there) and from time to time we would open it and reread the list. A few of them are kind of dumb but most of them fill me with joy and bring a smile to my face. Aren't life's simple pleasures grand?



> Think about them one at a time BEFORE going
> on to the next one...
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> 1. Falling in love.
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> 2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
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> 3. A hot shower.
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> 4. No lines at the supermarket
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> 5. A special glance.
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> 6. Getting mail
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> 7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
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> 8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
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> 9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
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> 10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
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> 11. Chocolate milkshake.. (or vanilla or strawberry!)
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> 12. A bubble bath.
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> 13. Giggling.
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> 14. A good conversation.
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> 15. The beach.
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> 16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
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> 17. Laughing at yourself.
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> 19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
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> 20. Running through sprinklers.
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> 21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
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> 22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
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> 23 Laughing at an inside joke.
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> 24. Friends.
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> 25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
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> 26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
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> 27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
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> 28 . Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
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> 29. Playing with a new puppy.
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> 30. Having someone play with your hair.
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> 31. Sweet dreams.
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> 32. Hot chocolate.
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> 33. Road trips with friends.
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> 34. Swinging on swings.
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> 35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
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> 36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
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> 37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
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> 38. Holding hands with someone you care about.
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> 39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things never change.
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> 40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
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> 41. Watching the sunrise.
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> 42. Knowing that somebody misses you.
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> 43. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Keep Your Fork

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?"came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say.
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!"
"So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?"
Then, I want you to tell them:
"Keep your fork....The best is yet to come".
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.
He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.
She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand.
Over and over, the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died.
He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.
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In my family I'm known as "the sugar pig." AKA I reallllyyyy realllyy love sweets. So when I received this email a while back, I pretty much fell in love with it. I think it's safe to say that most people have experienced the cute old lady leaning over to you at dinner and saying "keep your fork" with a wink, or you can at least imagine the scene. Any time I've heard those words my whole being lights up and I'm overwhelmed with excitement. And what a wonderful way to think about my future. The magnificence that I view dessert with can not even begin to compare to the magnificence of eternity with Christ. And that is an amazing, amazing thought.