Archives for April 2009

Compassion Goes To India

Every once in awhile I’ll go through a phase where I look at my blog and think Yep. I’m done. Time to shut ‘er down. Don’t get me wrong – I love the “writing” and the reading and the interacting with all the internets; most of the time it’s about seventy two different kinds of fun for me. But every once in awhile, for whatever reason, I just feel like I’m done. Like it’s been a good run, but it’s over.

But then there’s Compassion. And what Compassion is doing on the web is nothing short of remarkable. Their work is impacting the lives of families all over the world as they release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. And more often than not, when I want to turn off the blawg, Compassion is the thing that keeps me going. Being a tiny little part of the work that they do has been one of the greatest privileges of my whole life. No kidding.

This morning the latest group of Compassion bloggers is leaving for Calcutta (Kolkata), India, and I think it would be a mighty fine thing indeed if we would commit to praying for them. Pray that they would have peace about being away from their families. Pray that they will sleep well (my experience was that it’s very, very difficult to make the mental wheels stop spinning when you climb in the bed every night). Pray that God will give them the words they need to express what’s on their heart. And pray that their readers will be responsive to those words, that they would be willing to step out and release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

If you’re not familiar with the work Compassion does, you can check out the Compassion website for more info. You can also read about Compassion’s earlier blogger trips to Uganda and the Dominican Republic.

It’ll be bloggy bidness as usual around here during the India trip, but that bloggy bidness will be peppered with lots of reminders to read about what’s happening in Kolkata. I cannot begin to imagine what our sweet bloggy friends are going to experience over there – but I know it will change them forever.

And more importantly, I know it will change the lives of hundreds of children.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

I’m Just A 44 Year-Old Guy With A Paper Route

Given all the funny in last week’s episode of The Office (“SPIN MOVE!”), tonight’s episode has some mighty big shoes to fill. Will The Michael Scott Paper Company get some new clients? Will Dunder-Mifflin beg Michael & Co. to come back? Will Al Capella get any $9,000 gigs (with a merch table, no less)?

I can’t wait to find out.

1. “Ever since I’ve gotten clean there’s something about fresh, morning air that just really makes me sick.”

2. “We think it says Alleluia Church of Scranton in Korean.”

3. “I don’t want to have said that. But I think it’s important that you know it.”

4. “Charles, I got your memo! Thank you!”

“Been there. Done that.”

5. “David Wallace! Hello we’ve been expecting you, David Wallace!”

6. “Come along, afterthought.”

7. “When a child gets behind the wheel of a car and runs into a tree, you don’t blame the child. You blame the 30 year-old woman who got in the passenger seat and said, ‘Drive, kid. I trust you.'”

8. “I say we fill Michael’s office with bees.”

9. “Aw, man – if only Michael had children. Then we could really apply the pressure.”

10. “See you upstairs, you titans of industry.”

“Well, we’re not only tight ends, we’re also quarterbacks.”

11. “Well, well, well – how the turn tables…”

12. “I’ll see your situation and raise you a situation.”

13. “How about $60,000?”

14. “OH – WE ARE SO. RICH.”

15. “One. Case of the Beet Bandit. Missing beets from all over the farm.”

16. “Wouldn’t you rather have a fishing pole than a fish?”

“I’d rather have $60,000.”

17. “I want my old job back. I want my old parking space back. I want a Sebring. And I want Charles gone.”

18. “Our balls are in your court.”

19. “That’s what I’m TALKIN’ ABOUT!”

20. Michael propping that foot up on Jim’s desk – PRICELESS.

Did y’all love it as much as I did?

Several Things

– I have been working like crazy to catch up on all the TV I missed when I was in Nashville. It is a grueling task, but I am committed. Right now I’m taking a little break because I thought I’d better get something to drink. Because I find that when watching excessive amounts of television, it’s always wise to stay well-hydrated. It helps with the leg cramps.

– This next sentence will only make sense to you if you’re watching “24,” and if you’re not watching “24” feel free to skip to the next thing, but I just need to say this: Y’all, I cannot believe that Tony Almeda. THE NERVE.

– I do have a picture of Amy Grant from the ASCAP dinner, but I haven’t gotten it uploaded yet. The picture doesn’t show off her hair in its full glory, but it will definitely give you the general idea. Also: I did not take the picture because I was too afraid to talk to her. However, we did make eye contact very briefly and I smiled. THAT WAS THE BEST I COULD DO, Y’ALL.

– And speaking of the ASCAP Awards, I have another post or two that I’ll put up sometime very soon when the DVR is no longer demanding so much of my attention.

– Earlier this afternoon I was talking to Annie, and she told me that she and her family were about to go eat at a restaurant that serves fried green beans as an appetizer.

“Well,” I replied, “I’m going to need to hear more about this.”

Apparently this restaurant takes whole, cooked green beans, batters them, and then slaps them in a deep fryer until they’re golden and crispy.

I don’t know when I’ve ever been more intrigued by a fried food that I’ve not yet experienced.

So Annie told me she’d send me a picture from the restaurant, and as my mama would say, IT CAME THROUGH ON THE EMAIL just a few minutes ago.

photo1

Have y’all ever heard of such?

American Idol, Top 7 (Again)

Don’t even get me started about how glad I am to have Matt Giraud back again this week, and on top of that, I am THRILLED that we’re gonna get to hear some disco tonight. Why? Because I LOVE ME SOME 70s MUSIC. As along as it’s not “MacArthur Park” because, well, I just don’t get it.

Lil Rounds – “I’m Every Woman” – This song is a little tired as far as AI goes, I think – somebody sings it EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And once again, Lil didn’t really do anything to make this song her own. She just did sort of a fancy karaoke version, and it didn’t really blow me away. It was a’ight, but I’m not sure it was enough. However, she did seem MUCH more comfortable, and that was nice to see.

Kris Allen – “She Works Hard For The Money” – Oh my word – he totally put a Dave Barnes-ian / Matt Wertz-ian / Marc Broussard-ian groove on that song, and it was AWESOME. I loved the acoustic feel (RIGHT UP MY MUSICAL ALLEY, IT WAS), and I have to say that was one of my top five AI moments ever. Loved it SO MUCH. Good grief he’s talented.

Danny Gokey – “September” – This has nothing to do with Danny’s performance, but Earth Wind & Fire is one of those bands that just makes me HAPPY. Anyway. This song is totally Danny’s comfort zone – big vocal, lots of funky, and I liked how he interacted with the background singers. HOWEVER, as strong as his vocals were, he didn’t show as much originality as Kris. I don’t think that’s going to hurt him ONE IOTA in this competition, mind you, because he can flat-out sing – and I thought this was a really fun performance.

Allison Iraheta – “Hot Stuff” – I’m sorry, but when she sings lyrics that are way too mature for her, she loses me from the get-go. I don’t know if that’s fair entirely fair to her or not, but there’s just something that makes me uncomfortable about a 16 year-old girl singing those lyrics. Plus, I thought the arrangement was way too slow and as a result it felt like she never picked up any momentum. I just wish she’d done something a little peppier and a little more age-appropriate. KC & the Sunshine Band, maybe?

Adam Lambert – “If I Can’t Have You” – This was actually my favorite performance of Adam’s, and admittedly I have not been his biggest fan because I feel like he screams a lot. Tonight he didn’t scream as much, and I really liked the way he ended the song. I also liked that it was way more controlled than, say, what he did last week. So I say well done.

Matt Giraud – “Stayin’ Alive” – At first I thought that Matt singing this song was a really bad decision, but then he started singing and I decided it might be a good call after all. I loved the R&B spin he put on it, and I liked the arrangement. I still like Matt the very best when he’s sitting behind the piano, but his vocals were way better this week than last. However, he wasn’t as original as Kris and Adam, and this week, I think he needed to be. Don’t know if it’ll be enough to keep him in this thing for another week or not.

Anoop Desai – “Dim All The Lights” – I really liked the first part of this song when he did his Anoop-ish ballad-y thing – but when the tempo of the song got a little faster, it started to feel a little outdated to me. So while he was smart to highlight his strengths at the beginning of the song, he reminded us of his weaknesses in the last part of the song. This one’s a toss-up.

So for me the best of the night was Kris Allen – hands down. And I think anyone whose name isn’t Kris, Danny or Adam could potentially be in danger when they eliminate two people tomorrow night. It’s not that the other four aren’t good, but tonight, they weren’t nearly as strong.

What did y’all think?

If you’d like to add your own AI post to the Mr. Linky, please leave the permalink to your specific post and not your general blog URL.

ASCAP Christian Music Awards – Part Two

So remember yesterday how I told you that last year at the ASCAP Awards I was really, big-time, super chicken about meeting Louie Giglio and when I finally talked to him it was like I turned into a spastic cannon and I couldn’t make the words stop shooting out of my mouth?

Remember that?

Well, yesterday when I walked in to the place where they were having the awards, Sister’s co-worker Dan (he is ASCAP’s Christian music guy, and he is also hilarious) said that he thought it might be fun for me to sit at a table with some of the guests instead of sitting in the back of the room and hiding behind a computer. I told him NO, NO, BEHIND THE COMPUTER IS FINE, THANK YOU, and he said, “Well, the point of this whole night is fun, and I want you to have fun!”

Dan had apparently forgotten that my usual brand of fun is a bucket of chicken from Popeye’s (all white, extra spicy), a 12-pack of ice-cold diet Coke and an all-day marathon of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

Anyway, Dan went on to say that the whole dinner thing would be an absolute blast and oh, by the way, I was going to be sitting at a table with, among other people, Shelley and Louie Giglio.

And then the room was suddenly filled with so much irony that it flipped over and started to spin and everything went black and I fainted.

Now. Before I go even one step further with this little tale, I want to be clear that I really don’t put people on pedestals (except I probably do put Amy’s hair on a pedestal. And Christy Nockels’. I think it’s because THEIR HAIR BELONGS THERE). My issue at pretty much any large social gathering is that I stink at small talk, and I haaaaaaaaaate situations where people might feel like they’re forced to talk to me. You compound the forced conversation with the fact I’m at an awards dinner and at some point in the evening I’ve got to explain to the other people what in the sam hill I’m doing there since I don’t sing or write music or, you know, work in the music industry, and that means that I have to tell them that I have a blog, and inevitably people ask what I blog about, and usually the best answer I can think of is, “Um. I don’t know. Bacon? Cheese? The Bachelor? My hair?”

It all just reeks of awkward.

So.

After Dan told me about The Table I went downstairs to change clothes and tried to figure out how I was going to make small talk and Twitter and take pictures and blog and whathaveyou while trying to be a polite dinner companion. The more I thought about it the more nervous I got and I am not even kidding when I tell you that I got so worked up that I started digging through my bag to see if I could find anything remotely resembling a nerve pill because MAMA WAS FEELING A LITTLE ANXIOUS.

When I walked back upstairs I looked at my phone and saw that I’d missed a call from our friend Travis, so I called him back and told him that I was dealing with a tricky situation because Dan had put me at a table with Louie Giglio and Some Other People and I was a nervous wreck and had gotten myself completely worked up and what, what should I do, WHAT?

Travis told me that MAYBE I SHOULD PRAY (point well taken) and then: “Oh, it’ll be fine.”

“But you know how I ramble when I’m nervous. I’m terrified of an awkward silence and I just talk and talk and talk and talk to fill up all the empty conversational spaces.”

“Well, that’s true,” he said. “You’d better watch it or you’ll just talk and talk and then it might get quiet and then before you know it you’ll start saying LAMININ LAMININ LAMININ LAMININ LAMININ and you won’t be able to stop.”

“EXACTLY.”

“Just please don’t say ‘laminin‘ over and over.”

“I won’t. I WON’T.”

LAMININ LAMININ LAMININ LAMININ.”

As it turned out, I was totally safe dinner-wise, because Sister, Dan and I decided that it really might come across as rude if I was sitting at a table and pretty much typing or texting the entire time. So instead I stood in a doorway to the side of the stage, and it was delightful because in addition to being able to take pictures and run back and forth to the computer, I was able to look at Amy Grant’s hair almost the entire time.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but her hair is spectacular.

The awards really were a ton of fun – I love being in settings like that where people are super-supportive and appreciative of each other – and I even got to talk to a couple of sweet bloggy friends who were there, too (hey, Liz! hey, Amy!). I had the best time.

Once everything was over I started gathering up all my stuff, and I was just about to leave when I noticed Sister talking to someone who was holding a bunch of awards. And when I moved a little closer, I realized she was talking to none other than Louie Giglio. So I did what you would absolutely expect me to do: I took their picture.

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After the picture we said our goodbyes, and y’all, as Louie was walking away something came over me and it was like I couldn’t help myself and my mouth opened up and this is what shot out of it:

“LAMININ!”

And in that moment I felt like a complete goober, but I also felt like I’d had a bit of a victory because I didn’t say the word over and over – I only said it one time. Just once!

But do you know what’s even better? After I said it, Louie Giglio turned around, grinned and fired right back:

“LAMININ!”

And that is the story of how the laminin made my whole night.

Well, the laminin and, you know, Amy’s hair.

ASCAP Christian Music Awards – Part One

Okay – this ASCAP Christian Music shindig just got up and running, but I have some very, very important information to share with all you girls who are children of the 80s and early 90s:

AMY GRANT IS HERE.

And she looks fabulous.

I am trying so hard to get a picture on the sly – you can’t even imagine. But I’m trying to keep a respectful distance because, like I just told Sister, if I get too close to her I am likely to start serenading her with every single song from “The Collection.” As it stands I can’t get “In A Little While” out of my head, so I’m afeared that if I get too close to her I’m going to break out my monotone version of “Stay For Awhile.” It is sure to send her running for the closest exit.

Also, Sister just handed me a menu card so I could tell you about salad course: roasted tomato tart (I thought it was a biscuit, but I’m from Mississippi so that figures) with caramelized burgundy onions, goat cheese parfait (I thought it was mozzarella because my palate is very sophisticated) and baby greens in basil oil.

deliciousness

I could eat nine of them.

In case you were wondering.