Friday, March 26, 2010

Words_Spring Break 2010

My beloved SpringBreak2010 is coming to a close. One of these days I will actually go on that St. Thomas cruise I pine over every week in my weekly TravelZoo e-mail but for now with the few pennies I can rub together, I instead plant myself in the company of dear friends, priceless laughs, and anything that will warrant the phrase "best story ever."

Wednesday night, Ashleigh and I accompanied some of her friends to a Sister Hazel concert in Raleigh. (Band that sings: "It's hard to say what it is I say to you or that which I can't say to you; it's always you, it might be you, to go to you, it's hard for youuuuu.")

We grabbed a pretty sweet view from the balcony which included stools for each of us. Later we realized we had wandered into the VIP section (so that's what that velvet rope was for...) and instead of kicking us out, they simply moved the rope from behind us to in front of us. Clever security.

Halfway through the show I started to hear an unreasonable amount of rustling behind me. I casually looked behind me and did a double take to see the guy who was standing behind us earlier now stuck in the trashcan, arms flailing like he's learning to swim for the first time, and his long legs draped over completely helpless. Being the good citizen I am, I did not get up to offer assistance. I instead leaned over to Ashleigh's friend Linsy who was sitting next to me and said, "Oh my gosh, there's a guy stuck in the trashcan behind you." Cue hysterical laughter--so much so that I soon found my head resting on poor Linsy's shoulder after knowing her for an hour and a half. I think she was okay with it.

The poor guy FINALLY managed to get himself out of that hole (literally and figuratively) after a good 30-second struggle, grabbed his beer, and did the smartest thing a guy could do. He left. And never returned. Seriously, one of the best things I've ever seen at a show.

Some other memorable SB2010 moments:

Ashleigh and I learned that Derek Webb wrote a song that includes a word that "rhymes with 'sit'" as noted by a Christian music critic. He also warned readers that the word "d**m" was used. I didn't know "d**m" was spelled this way.

Enjoyed a free $40 meal at The Busy Bee Cafe thanks to the kindness (and lust) of a stranger. Ashleigh suggested I should have made out with the guy as a token of appreciation. Her words of assurance: "Robbe won't mind," to which I responded: "Well knowing how Robbe is about doing anything for free food, if he was here, I'm pretty sure he would offer to make out with the guy."

Drove through Duke University and pointed out all the intelligent people on campus which sounded like this: "Look at that smart person walking across the street." "Look at those smart people walking from the gym." We SO could have gone to Duke.

* these lyrics may not be accurate; this is how I hear the song in my head. Read real lyrics (they're almost the same)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Words_What I learned from Women's Retreat 2010

1. More than 5 women in a room always leads to crying.

2. My life and my problems are significantly small and I have much to be thankful for.

3. There are so many great older women who are not only wonderful people but also valuable resources for guidance and friendship.

4. I never thought I would stay up past midnight stamping and making cards, but I did, thanks to Stephanie's convincing argument: "you should make one."

5. Going on retreats is kind of like going back to high school. You have to worry about who you're going to sit with at dinner and who you'll hang out with for free time. It's stupid but true.

6. I love how the older ladies out-partied me and stayed up until who knows when on a Saturday night.

7. I love how there was a simultaneous DAR Convention (daughters of the American Revolution) going on at the hotel we stayed at which means everywhere I went, there was someone in a 17th century period costume looking very serious and decorated.

8. Guess who was at the retreat? The woman who sat next to me in church and scratched off a stack of lottery tickets (see previous blog).

9. Honestly, I wish the retreat would have been a day or two longer. I felt like I was just getting comfortable and connecting with people so it was sad to have it end so soon. (Words I never thought I'd say)

10. The 70 degree weather the whole time didn't hurt either. :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Words_Woes From the Back Row

Church etiquette has reached a new low.

I usually sit in the very back row at church ("hos in the back row"- Raych Arles) and when you choose to do this, you are making yourself vulnerable to the best and worst of distraction. You see everyone coming in or going out of the five church entrances, you notice when other people are noticing distractions, when people are sleeping, when there's a problem with the sound, and sometimes you even notice when things are going on behind you.

I've seen people text (guilty), take swigs of "water" bottles (seriously I do think it is water), and make grocery lists. What I have not seen, which I did today, was the woman next to me take out a stack of lottery scratch off tickets and go to town on probably 10 of them. This wouldn't have been a distraction at all if she wasn't wearing a silver Tiffanys charm bracelet on her writing hand which clinked together incessantly every time she finished one, wiped off the residual scratched-off silver, and then placed it in her purse (which by the way was striped and had a feather boa lining--eesh). If this is where sitting in the back row is headed, I shouldn't be surprised to soon find people working on a stack of Christmas cards or perhaps even skype-ing from a mini laptop.

If you see this woman, tell her she's WANTED for distraction code 09384 clause 7 and she is not allowed to sit by me ever again. And most importantly, if she wins anything from those lottery tickets, I feel I should receive 10%. But by "I", I mean "God."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not My Words_Jim Gaffigan Tweet

This is the best thing I've read in a long time...

On Tuesday 9th March 2010, @JimGaffigan said:

This is the day I was given the most important gift of all, Jeannie.
Calling Jeannie my wife feels a little like referring to Shakespeare as some English guy. She is the true unsung hero of my success, personally and professionally. Forget that “Woman behind the man” crap. Jeannie and I are one in everything. Jeannie is not just my writing partner, acting coach and spiritual leader. She is not just the smartest sexiest woman I’ve encountered. She is my best friend who I happen to crave with every ounce of my existence. She is there to pick me up when I am down and forgive me when even I was disgusted by my own selfishness and narcissism. I wonder at her beauty and caretaking I witness in our eldest daughter. In her passion and charm bursting out of our son. I get lost in her cuteness and sweetness beaming from our nine-month-old. I even received a glimpse to last a lifetime of Jeannie’s elegance in our baby Maria Lourdes we lost shortly after her birth. Forget that “Luckiest man on earth” crap. That guy obviously never met Jeannie. Happy Jeannie Day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Words_Ode to Direction

Oh, direction. You're so elusive...or are you? Perhaps you've been here all along, sitting quietly like a well behaved timid child, exhaling excruciatingly softly to prevent drawing any attention to yourself. You're too polite, direction. Or perhaps I'm too bubbled and isolated and consumed in myself that I can't recognize something right in front of me. Maybe it's true that we only see what we want to see. I'm glad I finally noticed you, that we've locked eyes and exchanged acknowledgments. I might have heard you mutter "It's about time" under your breath but I can't be too sure. And before I put the cart before the horse, I need to cultivate what exists behind you, direction. I need to nurture it and gain some momentum because without it, I'll fall flat on my face. So let's work together. You and me, my first loves, youthful fearlessness, and the belief that through the highest heights and the deepest trenches, we can find fulfillment and contentment in the life of our heads, hearts and hands, working feverishly to uncover the truth inside us that has been there all along.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Words, Photos, Video_Recaps & Teasers

One Fish,
Two Fish
Recently, Robbey and I ventured to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I recommend that everyone who has a heartbeat to do this stat. So much beauty in such funny looking creatures. A teaser to the right, but you can see the full extent of our adventures here.

Commence Swooning
On Friday, Misie, the Raych Arles, and I were privileged to see the talented, the humble, the adorable Sondre Lerche. Here's proof. And thanks to Misie for winning tickets to the historical afternoon show. More proof below:

Sondre Lerche "Airport Taxi Reception" snippet

One Month...
Until I see the Roberto again. If you're in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina, you could see him before I do (I hate you). Check out his tour sched here.

Show me the Shows
On the calendar
David Bazan 3/21 @ Ottobar, Baltimore
The Temper Trap and Florence and the Machine 4/6 @ 930 Club

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Words_What's love got to do with it?

I'm going to be really honest here and say that I don't really know what it means to love God, truly I don't. I have read about people who have loved God and who have said things and behaved in ways that testify to their level of commitment and love, but this fails to resonate with me to the point where I am called to action. I know that in the Bible it talks a lot about characteristics of someone who loves God. These being someone who loves his law, is obedient, who loves what God loves, who shares in His joys and His sadness, who loses everything for the sake of His name, purpose, and meaning. And again, I can't say that I've ever really loved his law and commands. Honestly, they kind of suck in that inconvenient, all hassle-no reward kind of way. You feel mechanical instead of passionate; legalistic instead of free; inconvenienced instead of opportunistic. Yet, even in this bewildered, unknown state, I know that I have a great respect and sense of fear towards God. It's ingrained in me; I cannot separate myself from Him.

In recent events, God really tested me and didn't put to rest something he really wanted me to hear and know and understand and feel, so much to the point of it affecting not just me but crucial innocent bystanders. And in these moments I was severely humbled and I feel oddly grateful that God spoke to me so directly; his voice and intentions could not have been clearer. I've never really had a moment like that in recent past where God has been so adamantly clear about something. I want so much to remember the initial prompting and what that felt like and how that unfolded into this personalized direct hit so I don't miss it in the future.

So after much prayer and seeking forgiveness and putting aside my selfishness for God's interest instead of my own, grace really unfolded and spread itself thick where it wasn't expected. And I can't credit anything else except the Holy Spirit who really spoke truth into my life while using again, unexpected characters around me. I feel a great peace doing the right thing, doing what I know is in God's best interest. And whether or not I "love" Him more or not after this, I can't really say, I don't feel any different in the love department. But what I do know is that the joy and peace I feel as a result of being obedient is a good start to understanding what the love is all about. It's something that I feel is not just a one time thing but is setting the stage for a heavy transition. This is where I'm headed; this is where I'm going; and it feels really good and humbling and terrifying and difficult but I don't want to turn back. It's not worth it and I can only hope and pray that I continue to seek His interests above anyone else, even those closest to me, because in the end, they're not the ones judging me, He is.