Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blog-Linkity Goodness 5.28.09

A few interesting things I've run across today.

1. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive shuts SEC coaches up with an in-your-face talkin'-to.

2. This inspired me. I'm going home to check my dresser drawers now. You never know where you'll find 10 million dollars just laying around.

3. This is ludicrous. San Diego must not focus on the Bill of Rights much in high school U.S. history and government classes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Time I Walked 2.5 Miles To Feed A Dog

Today, I took an ambitious leap in my physical fitness. 

Let's start with the facts:

1. I am dog-sitting for former neighbors. Yellow lab named Spalding. Sports fans? Yes. 
2. The house is across the street from the house that I used to live it in Windsor Boulevard (not really a boulevard, but whatevs.)
3. Windsor Boulevard is approximately 2.5 miles away from the house that I now live in on Woodvale Lane (technically, it actually is a lane).

Around 5 p.m. today, my brain literally detached from my body and told my body that it would by "good fun" to run (ahem...slash walk) over to feed Spalding rather than drive over. I mean it's a two-minute drive for crying out loud. How bad could it be? Plus, Mom is about ready to strangle me if I don't start exercising again.

So, I laced up the Nikes and made sure the iPod was updated and set out on my 2.5 mile adventure. My only fear was that I would get stuck in the rain. Luckily, the rain held off until I made it back safely inside my house.

I headed out of the house around 5:30 p.m. and I began my journey.

But not without the motivation of Justin Timberlake and Sir Mix-a-lot.

Because y'all, when JT is telling you that you are bringing sexy back for four minutes straight, you start to believe it. Because when you are sweating like a beast, you need that kind of encouragement.

And Sir Mix-a-lot? All that talk about big butts is motivation enough.

The first mountain to climb was crossing Greensprings "Highway" which is a main thoroughfare where we are here in this little nook of Birmingham. It flows straight into UAB's University Drive and runs parallel to Interstate 65. Spalding's house is in a neighborhood on the other side of this busy street. 

About halfway through, I was ready to give up and pass out on the side of the street (seriously, I'm THAT out of shape). Then, just as God opened the sky and blessed His son, He made it so Dave Barnes started playing on my iPod and I immediately got an extra pep in my step. Somehow, Dave singing "Miles To Go" was just enough motivation I needed to get up that monster of a hill. And then Breaking Benjamin's "Dance With The Devil" came on, and I really felt like I was um, dancing with the devil. (Ok, enough puns.)

I made it to Spalding's house and instead of jumping up and showing how happy he was to see me like he usually does, he completely avoided me. I don't know whatever it could have been. (Um, probably that I smelled like Samford's football locker room.)

So after about 15 minutes of rest, I headed back out and made my way back. I thought the walk -- ahem, I mean run, cough, cough -- would be the worst part. I mean, there are some wicked hills on the way back. However, I underestimated myself and the way back seemed to go by quicker than the journey there had been. 

I did have the help of T-Pain, Chris Brown, Ice Cube and of course Justin Timberlake and Dave Barnes.

On the home stretch, I had to cross a bridge to get back to Greensprings. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I stood there for a good three minutes contemplating whether or not to throw myself over the side into the water. It just looked so cold and refreshing. But I refrained.

An hour and a half later, I made it back to Woodvale Lane in one piece after crossing Greensprings without getting hit. So I celebrated like only I knew how. I turned on Akon's "I'm So Paid. Only Hollie will get this because only she knows that what this song represents is motivation enough to work out every. single. day.

And then I did Soulja Boy's Crank That dance.

Now, I have got to go figure out what that awful smell is in this house. I can't imagine what it could be.

Blog-Linkity Goodness 5.27.09

Nothing much worth talking about today but I have several things/links I wanted to share with you all.

As always, numbered for easy reading:

1. Head football coaches fighting like school girls over the good-looking quarterback. I have to say, Steve Spurrier is becoming more and more one of my favorite college football coaches. I LOATHED the guy when he was at Florida and absolutely love it when we beat them in '99 in Starkville, but I've grown to respect the man after finding out what an advocate he is for Title IX and women's sports (he makes his players go to all women's sporting events) and ballsyness to call out a fellow coach for making stupid moves professionally.

2. This post by C Jane absolutely slayed me today because I too struggle with transitions. Especially when they involve alarm clocks.

3. I love love love reading Angie's blog because she's such an amazing writer. She could write the phonebook and it would be a masterpiece just because she puts her whole heart and soul into what she writes about. God has definitely given her the gift of writing and story to tell and she does so all for the glory of His name. It's amazing. She wrote today about the cyclone that hit Kolkata (yes, I spell that right. It's the new spelling.), and I ask you to read her post because it's so personal and then join in praying for those affected by this natural disaster.

4. Have you heard about this craziness?!?! Supposedly, the New York Times is reporting that Kris Allen won American Idol through the efforts of cheaters associated with AT&T. Read the article for all the details and see for yourself. At this point, I can't even comment on this because I am 1) flabbergasted and 2) laughing too hard. Seriously. I'm going to quote Anna Little on this (and plug the Hoodrat Stuff blog. Go read it. Very information and entertaining. Hilarious. All of it.):

"First of all, didn’t Ryan Seacrest say that about 1 million votes separated the two contestants on the final night? SO, if this incident helped to change the outcome (not the numbers, but the OUTCOME… which is what MATTERS) of American Idol… considering that “power texting” helps you send 10 texts at once… that means (do the math)… about 100,000 people would have had to have been given these AT&T phones and taught how to “power text” to make Kris the winner instead of Adam. Do I think that AT&T gave out 100,000 free phones to 100,000 people between 2 AI-watching parties in Arkansas? Think not. Get a life, Lambert fans. Kris is the American Idol. Go home and paint your fingernails black. Sell your sob story someplace else."

Well said, AGL. Well said.

5. If you don't know Stuff Christians Like, get to know it. It's one of the best blogs I read on a daily basis. Jon Acuff (whom I found out is a Samford grad. Woot! Woot!) is one of the best writers. His mix of sarcasm, passion for the ministry of the Lord and just plain ol' life experience makes for good entertainment and thought-provoking posts each and everyday. Sometimes his posts are just funny, sometimes they are serious. And sometimes, like today, they start out funny and end on an amazing I-never-thought-of-it-that-way kind of note. Today's post is a must-read. It's all about wishing being a Christian meant having a pain-free life. In fact, the title kind goes like that. And read it. You won't regret it. And when you do, come back and tell me that you don't regret it and I'll tell you, "I told you so." Because I like doing that.

6. Big Mama's post today had me rolling on the floor laughing. Or as my webby-texty friends like to say "ROTFL". Anyway, read it. I only hope to one day have kids with the same imagination as these kids. In fact, I don't doubt they will, given my sister's and my ability to throw together an all-out Christmas production complete with painted props and spotlight at a moment's notice.

7. And last but not least, I leave you with a video. Because there's nothing better than watching six minutes and 15 seconds of pure hilarity supplied by college baseball players in a five-hour rain delay. This is why God makes it rain. Well this, and to grow the earth and all.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Better Than I

So, life throws us curve balls every once in while. Well, okay. More often than we'd like it too.

There was a time in my life, a time in which I'm probably still in the halfway-in/halfway-out portion, maybe now more than halfway out, let's say about 80 percent out, but there was a time in which I was being throw a slow curve ball, over and over and over again.

I kept swinging. And striking out. I wasn't seeing the ball clearly.

The older I've gotten, the more experienced I've gotten, the better I've been able to handle that pitch. (This baseball analogy is not a good analogy for me considering that I've never played the sport in my life on the account that I'm freaked out by such a small, hard object flying at my body. It looks like it would hurt. Right?)

Anyhoo.

See, I've been struggling with this thought. This thought that I wish that I could go back and change the way I did some things. Actually, I wish that I could go back and change one big thing.

(I'm about to spill all my guts onto this here blog. This is one of my cathartic moments. Bear with me. Don't judge.)

See, I had this guy, once upon a time. I thought he was Prince Charming. Turns out he was just charming. Loved him to death. Still do. He's great kid. Just don't love him to death they way I thought I did. You know, back then. 

This guy became my identity. I threw off all I knew of finding my identity in Christ, and found my identity in this kid. Because he was all I knew. I found my happiness in him and that happiness is what made me...well, me. 

I isolated myself from friends and quit trying to make new ones because well, he was the only friend that I would ever need. For as long as we both shall live. You get where I'm going.

Turns out he didn't think the same way as I did. Or at least he said he did, got scared, realized what that actually meant and that he didn't actually feel that wawy, and got out quick. We broke up, and he got all the friends. My high school friends. They were all boys. So it's natural. 

From then on, I had no clue. I turned to the Word but I wasn't seeing it clearly. Curve ball, remember? That tricky little thing.

I started trying to make myself into what I thought he wanted. What I thought all the guys wanted. But it totally wasn't me and I found myself wanting. Still unhappy. Still alone. Still unfulfilled.

I eventually made new friends. Friends that I make time for now. Even if I have to travel three, four, five hours to visit. Friends whose weddings I've stood in. Friends who I know I can call for anything. Anytime. Anywhere.

But there's one Friend whom I had completely abandoned. A Friend whom I knew was still there yet I kept at arms length. Just in case things got really bad. 

My Father. My Savior. My Lord, Jesus Christ.

It took my Friend picking me up, taking me out of that yucky situation, and transplanting me into a new situation, with new surroundings, new friends and a new life, to realize what I had been missing. To realize where I could find my fulfillment.

In Him.

In three short years, my life has been completely turned upside down. I'm 25, about to be 26, and still single. I haven't had a boyfriend in four years and I'm still alive. I still battle with God often over this whole singleness thing but God wins. He always does. He's a rockstar. 

I look back over that time and think about what a crap hole I was in. (Sorry, Mom. It's the only way to describe it.) But I also look back over that time, and in the times I think about how much I would like to go back and change it, I quickly snap out of it and realize that I don't want to because that is what got me here.

I am more passionate about my God and my purpose in life (to make disciples of all nations) than I have ever been before. Wanna know why? Because before, I had NO CLUE. I was more worried about pleasing others around me and fulfilling my life with the things that others around me could give me, than the amazing blessings that my Father rains down on me day after day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't see the glory of the Lord revealed to me in at least one way. Why? Because I'm looking for it. I'm seeing it better.

See, God's grace is like a pair of these. (Baseball analogy continued. Sorry, folks. It's all I know.) These little babies (contact lenses, for those of you who didn't click over) are tinted contact lenses that "provide excellent visual performance benefits for athletes and recreational wearers that help eliminate image distortion and improve field of vision".

Basically, a baseball player can pop these bad boys in and immediately see the ball better. The laces pop out allowing the batter to see the ball rather than what's surrounding it, thus enabling him to get more hits. He focuses on the ball. Not the background.

God is my ball. (This is where my analogy goes down the toilet.) In baseball, it's all about focusing on the ball. See the ball. Watch the ball. Good eye. Keep your eye on the ball. If you keep your eye on the ball, you'll accomplish what you need to accomplish.

So if I keep my eye on the ball (God), I'm sure to win every game, right? (Proverbs 4:25, Philippians 3:14, 4:13) I keep my eye on the ball and everything else fades into the background (image distortion and field of vision?). Whenever I think I can't do it, that's where God, through his grace, steps in and just does it for me. (Pinch hitter. Analogy taken too far? Okay, I'll stop.) 

So, basically, to bring this all back to the bible. I had a Job moment. (If you don't know Job, get a bible, turn to the middle, right before the Psalms and start reading. It's great.) I basically had everything I knew stripped from me. Everything I found my identity in. 

But God remained faithful. He continued to show up, even when I wasn't paying attention. He knew all along that that road would lead me to this place. He knew better.

And this place is so much better than anything I could have ever imagined. Probably not better than Heaven, but I can't imagine what that will be like, so I'm just going to leave it at that. 

There was a song sung today in church that I really wish I had written, because it truly was speaking my heart. I've included the lyrics below for you to ponder. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I have to remember that God ALWAYS knows Better Than I.

I thought I did what's right
I thought I had the answer
I thought I chose the surest road
But that road brought me here
So I put up a fight
And told You how to help me
And just when I had given up
The truth is coming clear, for...

You know...Better Than I
You know...the way
I've let go...the need to know why
'Cause You know Better Than I

If this has been a test
I cannot see the reason
But maybe knowing, I don't know
Is part of getting thru
I try to do what's best
Find faith has made it easy
To see the best thing I can do
Is put my faith in You, for...

I saw one cloud, and thought it was the sky
I saw a bird and thought that I could follow
But it was You who tought them to fly
If I let You reach me...
Will You teach me? For...

You know...Better Than I
You know...the way
I've let go...the need to know why
I'll take what answers You supply
'Cause You know Better Than I 

Surprise!

We had a surprise party for my mom's birthday on Saturday. Her birthday was actually Sunday, but we started the "par-tay" early. She was shocked and everyone else was excited as you can see from the picture below.


All her buds from church (DMBC) and school (Forest Hill) plus her sister Judy and like-sister Janet were here to celebrate. She was so excited and so surprised. It was a great day!

After the party ended, we headed down to Florence to Anna and Ross's house to grill hamburgers, which was the only thing that Mom wanted for her birthday this year. She got lots of other great gifts but that was her one request. So fun was had by all, and William showed off his b-ball skillz for the fam. His new name is Baby Shaq. The kid can ball.


And what would be a family post on this blog without a close up of the preciousness that is my nephew. He loves his Aunt KK. Which he can say now. Well, sort of. It kinda comes out as "tay-tay" but it's close enough. He loves to give out kisses. We just have to keep him away from the girls at daycare. The kid has already got "game". 
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I"m too tired to even attempt a title for this post

(Disclaimer: This disclaimer was written at 2:45 a.m. after realizing that I wish I had the last five hours of my life back. This post started as one thing at 7 p.m. and slowly became something else at 2:45 a.m. Please forgive me.)

You know, after last night's recap of the American Idol finale, I had to follow up tonight with the results show. Because I have a good feeling. And this is going to be interesting. I'm just going to fly by the seat of my pants and type out my thoughts on the show as I watch. This could (will) prove to be a "hot mess", as one of my high school friends used to say. But at least you get a glimpse inside what is my A.D.D. ridden mind. So...

Here we go...

(What is with the white clothing?)

Randy looks like one-fourth of a barbershop quartet.

I never really realized how big a vocabulary Paula had, but it still holds true that she really has no idea what she is talking about AND has an innate ability to make up words on the spot. I admire that, as a fellow word maker-uper. See?

(Hello, American Idol tech people, can we get it together? The microphone business is distracting.)

(And who the heck is the Cindy Crawford wanna-be in Arkansas?)

(Carly Smithson! Love. Her.)

I can't tell you how much it excites me to see Jasmine back up there on that stage. Or how happy it makes me to watch Scott dance. It just makes me smile. 

(I never realized how much Justin Guarini and Corbin Blue look alike. Seriously, it's uncanny.)

Awards? Really? Just tell us who won. Or let us just see David Cook again. That song completely broke my heart for him. What a tough thing to do but what a way to honor his brother. 

Queen Latifa. A onesie? Really? I love you.  But really? 

Okay, Casey, don't hate me but I just loved the performance by COUNTRY artist Keith Urban and Kris Allen. Loved it. 

Bikini girl, get off my television with your fake boobs!

Danny Gokey! Ok, I'm not really a Lionel Richey fan but I love love loved this performance. Probably because Danny was performing with him. Oh, my and Reuben. Oh, Reuben. I had high hopes for you. 

For the love of all that breathes, what the heckfire is Adam Lambert wearing?!?! And he's singing "Beth". 

KISS totally scares but I get sucked into their performances because they are totally just out there. But, I've got to admit. Adam totally fits in. You know, with the tongue and makeup and all. 

My goodness. All the fire. And oh. my. word. I just saw the shoes. 

Dear Jesus help me. I just saw a Harry Potter trailer. It looks good.

I love Santana. And Matt Giraud. (Matt, will you marry me?) And I love the song "Smooth".

Megan Joy. I mute you.

Oh, Tatiana. This show wouldn't be complete without you. 

(This is when I leave my house to go spend five hours at Regions Park watching two teams play baseball whom I care nothing about -- Alabama and South Carolina. I went because I wanted to go watch college baseball. I would've got to see LSU play earlier but my seat buddy bailed on me and I was not about to go hang out with a bunch of Cajuns by myself. Although, I love Cajuns. All of them. Anyway, Hollie asked me to go so I went. I went it as a neutral party, and after I was de-friended for about 20 minutes by Hollie for saying "get over the wall ball" when I South Carolina player hit an amazing home run take the lead, I quickly shut my mouth again. Around the 1 a.m. mark, I basically started cheering for whoever was on the field, and whoever was the cutest. Because y'all, 11 innings later and four hours of my life wasted away, Alabama lost, 9-5 and it's 2:41 a.m. and I'm just now getting back home. No fear though. My trusty friends informed me by flooding my inbox with text messages with the news that Kris with a K won the American Idol crown. Praise Jesus. Let's go to sleep.)

Amen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If Adam Doesn't Win AI, That New Show Glee Would Be A Good Fallback

Since it was the finale, and I missed my little Macbook all day, I thought, what a better way to bond with the Macbook than to recap some AI.

Round One

Adam, "Mad World" -- People, he's just too theatrical. Yes, the kid can sing but I'm putting myself in a concert-goer's shoes right now. From what I've seen of Adam this season, his forte' is the slow "theater-type" ballads, in my opinion. So, I'm thinking that a concert of his would have a lot of that in it. Except, that gets a little boring. He got a little boring in this first piece. Praise Jesus, he kept his tongue in his mouth, but I have to admit, I was bored to tears. I'm thinking to enjoy a song of his at one of his concerts there's got to be a whole lot going on behind him to keep my attention.

Randy looks fly tonight.

Kara is such an Adam lover. Yuck.

Paula, shut it. We want to know what you thought about the song.

Simon just said what I was thinking. "A little bit over-theatrical."

Kris, "Ain't No Sunshine" -- This makes me so happy. I love a boy with a musical instrument. THIS, folks, is why Kris (with a K) should be (will be) the next American Idol. When an artist utilizes their talent on an instrument, it brings the performance to a whole new level. You can totally see the passion and love of the art come out of Kris when he is playing that piano or strumming that guitar, something Adam Lambert never has had on this show. When compared to Kris, Adam's passion looks downright phony. Kris Allen has a way of making you feel everything about a song. He connects with his audience in such a special and intimate way. Plus, this is one of my favorite songs ever, so he gets bonus points from Katie for this.

I loved it when he did this song on Motown night and I loved it now. His voice is so pure and I just don't see how you can't love this kid.

Kara just redeemed herself for me with this statement: "I agree with Randy. If you can't feel a Kris Allen performance and he doesn't move you, there's something wrong with you."

Simon Says...round one goes to Kris.

Round Two

Adam, "Change Is Gonna Come" -- I'm sorry, but I don't think this can every top Syesha Mercado's version of this. I think it would've been better without all the yelling. It was good song and it actually fit him but it was still a little theatrical to me. I guess that's what you get with Adam Lambert though. But I'm a little afraid after this performance. It was good.

Iconic, Paula? Really? 

Kris, "What's Goin' On" -- The instruments again. This time a guitar. Look at that. An artist who can do more than just stand there and sing and stick their tongue out. (Bitter, much?)

What's with Simon Fuller picking socially conscious songs for the contestants? Agenda, anyone?

I'll take "three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye" any day over seeing someone's tongue eject out of their mouth every time they sing. Ahem.

Simon Says...round two goes to Adam.

Round Three

Adam, "No Boundaries" -- He hasn't even finished the first verse and I already don't like it. This song was written for Kris. Adam's voice is too harsh for this song. It's the truth. And the passion just isn't there. It's not sincere. I think it's hard for someone who's grown up in the theater to really emote a song sincerely because all you know is acting. That's the unfortunate thing about Adam because he really is talented. Just the wrong kind of talent for this show. 

Pitchy. Very pitchy. And Adam knows it. He struggled a little. 

(And Adam quit sucking up. She didn't give YOU that song. She gave Idol that song.)

Kris, "No Boundaries" -- Ok, so this is a hard song to sing. This was a little pitchy for Kris as well but I still think it was written for him. A soft rocker. It was like the key was too high. And Randy just said what I was thinking again. The song fit his voice. 

Tonight he showed that he can change it up. He can play the piano one song, the guitar the next, and then with no instrument the next. That's what American Idol's do. 

Katie Says...the title goes to ....Kris!

Now I have six more minutes to vote. Gotta use my time wisely. 

Take it away, Carrie Underwood! (I hope Kyle Nichols is watching.)

P.S. Did anyone see Glee after American Idol? If Adam doesn't win AI, which I'm praying he doesn't, I'm sure he's be a shoe-in for this show. However, I'm a sucker for a good musical comedy. 

P.P.S. This Glee show is totally a TV documentary of Attache. Except Attache would be the group that scared the living daylights out of the glee club with their rendition of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab".

Friday, May 15, 2009

Never Say (Think) Never

My name is Katie, and I am not a country music fan. 

There are artists that I like (i.e. Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum) and songs I like (recently, Jason Aldean's "She's Country"), but I am not, by any means, a full-blown country music fan.

I respect the art. I mean, how can you not? Country music has just about the most widespread, eclectic and most loyal fan base in all of music.

Seriously.

However, I love love love concerts. Live music. Big or small venue. Rap, rock, jazz, blues, pop, inspirational...even country. I love live music. It's the best way to take it all in.

So, needless to say, it's hard to ruin a concert for me (I sat in the 100-degree weather, sweat-drenched to see Dave Matthews, remember?). I don't think that I've ever been to a bad concert. I just love live music that much.

So I say all that to say this: I think that I've said at least once in my life (and I know I've thought it about a million times), I will never ever go to a country music concert.

Friends, never say never.

Tonight, I wrote history. I went to my first country music concert, after much arm-twisting from Hollie earlier today. It was one of those spontaneous decisions. Last minute. And I wore my best hippie outfit in an effort not to "fit in". It's the rebel in me.

I don't have a history of being spontaneous. I like to know what, where and when things are going to happen. But God's been working on me a little bit in that area. Okay, a lot bit. And if it takes a country concert to test that out, I'm okay with it. And well, if nothing else, I'll get a good blog post out of it.

Tonight (Thursday night), Kenny Chesney and his Sun City Summer Tour was at probably one of my most favorite outdoor venues -- the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Oak Mountain. 

Why did I go? Two words - Lady Antebellum. 

They opened. I heart them. Their harmonies are like water for a thirsty soul. I can't get enough.

Miranda Lambert was there too. She was in between Lady Antebellum and Kenny (as Hollie would say. They are on a first name basis). And I was surprised at how much I liked her. I mean, I watched her on Nashville Star the first season it was on. (Yes, I watched that show. It's a talent show, isn't it? I watch all talent shows.) I rooted for her. Loved her. She's precious. And man, can she sing. I just can't listen to her talk. COUUUUUUntry. But y'all, she inspired me to the my pretty blue guitar out and actually learn how to play it. 

Kenny Chesney wasn't that bad either. I can see why he has been Entertainer of the Year for however many years in a row. (But, we can't forget that Carrie Underwood broke that streak this year. And PTL! She's precious. And great. And talented. And the most successful American Idol.). 

Anyway, he's a great entertainer. The guy sings effortlessly. I'm serious. No effort whatsoever. He sweats like a beast (so did Miranda but who can blame them, it was blazin' up there), but he works that stage and the crowd like a professional. And I guess that's fitting since he is, in fact, a professional. It's probably why he's loaded. 

I had deja vu, though. Deja vu at a Kenny Chesney concert. It was a little disturbing. 

What other things did I find disturbing/annoying about this night?

Glad you asked.

I'll list for easy reading.

1. I found myself singing along to these songs. It was a wicked serious outer-body experience. I don't listen to the country music stations in Birmingham so I'm astounded by the fact that I knew so many of the lyrics to so many of these songs. I guess I've been to one too many baseball games. Because you know we've talked about the link between baseball/softball and country music.

2. The confederate soldier (I'm sure) sitting behind us that thought it was great to "rebel yell" in our ears every 15 minutes. Yes, I timed it. He had that rebel yell down to an art. And I almost had my fist in his face down to an art too. But I refrained considering his blood alcohol level was probably higher than his I.Q. 

3. The couple in front of us. Probably no older than 22. There is only one thing more gross to me that an intoxicated couple turning to each other and singing every song to each other while looking longingly into their beloved's eyes. And that one thing is when that same couple breaks into full on make-out mode. I can't handle it. I don't do PDA. It makes me uncomfortable. The couple in front of us started at the opposite end of the row. (Hollie and I were in seats 1 and 2.) The couple made their way, somehow, all the way down the row until they were in front of us towards the end, blocking our view with their, um, expression of their undying love. Good thing my leg seizures weren't acting up tonight, or one swift kick would have sent them both (considering they were attached to each other so solidly) flying down the stairs. And out of my line of sight.

4. I can tell that college definitely culturized me. And according to Bethany, my new superhero name should be "Super Nose". I can smell Malibu Rum from a mile away and can pick out the stench of marijuana from anything. (This comes from high school. They didn't bring the "dogs" to our school once a month for nothing.)

5. I almost killed a cowboy on the way out. Hollie and I were in the car and I'm trying to get in line to get out of the parking lot. (By the way, I am the master of finding good parking spaces. I sweet-talked the parking attendant to let us in a full lot because we "swore we saw at least three parking spaces open" in that lot. Needless to say, I found a really close, and legal, spot and I have officially surpassed the legal limit on parentheses.) We were rockin' out to the iPod, I'm sure to T-Pain or Pit Bull, when all of a sudden there is a cowboy humping my car. Yes, folks, pelvic thrusts on the car. Poor Sally. She's still scarred. However, I gave Mr. Cowboy the death stare from hell and he backed away slowly, with fear and trembling. 

However, all in all, I'd say it was good night. I will never say never again but I can without a doubt say that I am not a whole-hearted country fan either. 

I just can't embrace the redneck inside of me yet. 

I don't know if I want to.

(Pics to come. Hollie has them on her camera. So yes, this night was documented.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angels, Demons and Danny Gokey

First things first, Danny Gokey will always be MY American Idol Season 8. That is, unless Kris "with a K" Allen wins. Because y'all, his version of "Heartless" last night? So good, I downloaded the video.

And I'm downloading Danny's version of "You Are So Beautiful" as I type because oh. my. word. The goodness of it all. (Actually, I didn't download it because Hollie, the greatest person in the world, just downloaded it and shared it with me. Thanks Hollie!) I loved the gospel-esque take he put on it and the passion in which he sang it. Last night. And tonight.

And yes, I cried like a baby when they showed his video after he was voted off (even though Hollie should be credited with about 75 percent of Danny Gokey's votes). God has been glorified through this journey of his and I will most definitely be buying his first album. Even if it's country. Mark my words.

Now, we all have to go vote for Kris next week so that that crazy kid Adam doesn't win. I'm sorry but he's not an American Idol. Yes, he's talented and, yes, he's unique, but unique gets old really quickly. See how everybody though Taylor Hicks was so great (myself included) and unique and everything. You see where he ended up. On a national Broadway tour. In between albums. That haven't gone platinum like Carrie Underwood and Daughtry.

I'm just sayin'...

And if you didn't see the precious piece of work from Rwanda perform on AI tonight, you missed something special. This is Noah, and he learned this song in English in one week. This is a bootleg video from YouTube so it's just someone recording it from the TV but you still get to see the thing.



I love that song. It takes me back to high school.

Lastly, I got to see Angels and Demons tonight. For free. Yeah. That's how I roll. Ha. Kidding.

No, it wasn't a date. I seriously saw it for free. And yes, you're right. It doesn't come out until Friday. There was a preview tonight in Birmingham, like I'm sure there were in a lot of places around the country. But y'all, it was good. Real good.

I'm a sucker for get a clue, find a clue, find another clue and that leads to a crazy ending movies. And that's what this was. Plus, I love me some Tom Hanks. He's just precious. Even when he's playing an unbeliever.

But really. On the Walden Movie-ometer (Dad knows what this means), I really would give it a 8.26. I've been told that the book is so much better and trust me, I will be reading the book soon. Just as soon as I finish Marley and Me. And The DaVinci Code. See, I have this thing about watching book movies before I read them. I don't know.

Anyway, there were some very interesting points in the movie. I think my favorite quote was at the end when the cardinal said, "Religion is flawed because we are flawed." That's such a profound statement. Everyone expects Christianity to be the perfect religion with no holes in it, but the fact of the matter is, if Christianity were perfect, there would be no such thing as faith, and grace, and mercy. The only part of Christianity that is perfect is the One it was named after. I think it was Louie Giglio that said, "The was only one person in the world that got Christianity right. And they named it after him."

Be cautioned, though, if you do go see this movie, that there are some gruesome parts. As there were in The DaVinci Code.

So, to quote Tom from one of my favorite movies, "That's all I have to say about that."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Few Things

1. Varvis Varnado is coming back to Mississippi State, and I couldn't be more excited. Except that I knew all along that the kid wasn't going to enter the draft. Have you seen this kid? Despite his talent, he need to eat a bacon cheeseburger or two, or 50, before he can physically handle the NBA.

I'm even more excited about the fact that he will have the chance to break Shaq's SEC block record, and even more, the national block record next year. Because well all know how much I love when people break records. Oh, wait. You don't? Well, I love it. Absolutely love it. I just love when athletes are able to put all they have into making a name for themselves. If I were an athlete, I definitely think I would be a record-seeker.

Anyhoo.

I think Mississippi State basketball is going to be incredible next year. I just hope outside circumstances and NCAA violations can keep their distance. For such a talented group of kids, I hope that they can have a successful season full of wins and championships and no bad news.

2. Miss California USA is still Miss California USA. PTL. And let's move on. I feel so bad for this girl. Not because she had half-naked pictures strewn across the endless abyss of electronic and print media. Because the Lord knows that is one of my least favorite things in the world. Racey photos. Nothing good comes from it. Bad news bears.

BUT I feel bad that this whole shebang started with her answering an OPINION question. A little advice, Mr. Perez Hilton, don't ask an OPINION question if you can't handle the OPINIONATED answer. Check the Bill of Rights. Number one. You know, that one that talks about free speech and gives you the right to have your little website (I hesitate to even link it. Samford has it blocked. Ha.) and say whatever you want on it? Yeah, that one. It's a two way street, honey.

To Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, keep on keepin' on. Just don't pose naked anymore. K?

3. Is anyone else tired of hearing about Roger Clemens, A-Rod and steriods? Can we invoke a rule that says that the media can say, "Hey, so-and-so has allegedly used steriods. Tests will be run. We'll letcha know when we know something," and move on about it. Why do we have to give it all the attention that we do. It's like a big soap opera for men. The Juiced and the Talentless. Let's move on!

4. And last but definitely not least, I want to summon prayers for the Freeman family. I don't know this family personally but, of course, I've been reading their blog for quite a while now. Sweet Kayleigh Anne went on to be with the Lord last night at around 9:45 p.m., a little over a month away from her first birthday. Kayleigh "was born three months early on June 23, 2008, from seven IUGR and Preeeclampsia...a fragile 10 1/2 inches long and weighed 1 pound 1 ounce." She reached 11 pounds last month and has endured seven surgeries and countless other medical procedures.

If you go to their blog, you can see what a beautiful little girl she was and how immensely loved she was by her mom, dad, brother and sister, and not to mention a whole cyber family around the world. Through this "bloggy thing", God has used Kayleigh and her amazing faithful parents to display his glory throughout the world. Through incredible miracles and deep sorrow, this family has shown what true faith in a Heaven Father looks like.

"She is now in the presence of our Lord, her broken body made new, surrounded in the comforting arms of those we've loved who greeted her in the glorious Heaven we know...May Kayleigh's story continue to teach us about faith and the miracles our Lord can create when we all pray together as a whole. May Kayleigh's story continue to give us hope in our own personal journeys and give us the strength to never give up the fight. May Kayleigh's story continue to fill our hearts with love so that we may hold each other tight and support those in need...Please pray that we will have strength to get through this difficult time and we will grow in our faith so much more for having experienced the work of God through Kayleigh."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Post #2 (Mother's Day Edition)

Four of the most wonderful women in my life are the greatest mothers I've ever known. They all have made me the woman I am today and have impacted my life in indescribable ways.

Grandma (Dad's mom) has always satisfied my love for food. Always. She's one of the most amazing cooks I know and literally fed my hunger for black olives every Sunday for countless years.

Dearmom (Mom's mom) always brought a smile to my face. Whether she was correcting your grammar, reminding you not to "gaffaw" in public, cheering on the Bulldogs or telling stories about Willie (her husband), I always enjoyed visiting with her. 

My sister was my greatest enemy until she moved away to college. (Laugh, laugh. Snicker, snicker.) But if I have to be honest, she always been the one person that I wanted to be like. However, she also taught me that being yourself is the best person to be. She's my second mother, of course, and was never afraid to tell me that a boy that I was dating was "not the one" so I didn't need to waste my time.

But oh, Libby, my mother. The one who gave birth to me. I can't even describe my love for this woman. But I'll try. I've compiled a list of my most favorite things about my mother and I hope it gives you just a glimpse of how amazing she is.

(If this post seems jumbled and not concentrated, it's because it is. I'm typing while watching the Celtics/Magic game.)

- Her passion for the Mississippi State Bulldogs is unparalleled. I can always count on my mom to call after the last shot of a basketball game, or after the first timeout. I, seriously, talk to her about sports more than I do with my dad, the one who played.

- I LOVE LOVE LOVE listening to her sing. I can't remember a day in my life that I've been down and hearing my mom sing hasn't brought a smile to my face. And it makes me so proud when people talk about how beautiful her voice is.

- Her nonchalant reminders.

- Her smile and her laugh.

- Her massive but close circle of friends.

- The way people talk about her, whether it be her personality or her talent.

- The way she sees someone she knows everywhere she goes.

- Her humility.

- Her compassion for her students.

- The way her students love her. Past and presents. I love meeting people she taught when she first started teaching and hearing them talk about how much she impacted their lives. There are countless people out there in whom she instilled a love for music who would have never had that if not for her.

- The way she would take students home when she worked at Siwell and Forest Hill. 

- The way she loves my Daddy. And the way she shows it.

- How she cared for Dearmom, sacrificially and unconditionally.

- The bond she has with her siblings.

- The way she is just more than my mother. She's my friend.

- The way she taught me to love my God. 

I'm sure there is more to add but I know this list is getting long. 

Long post, short. Mom, you're incredible. I thank God everyday for picking me to be in your family. Happy Mother's Day!

(This is where the picture of me and my mom would go but I have no pictures of the family on the Macbook yet. My apologies.)

Sunday's Post #1 (Samford Baseball Edition)

So today is not only Mother's Day, it's my Blogoversary. I just realized this. I'm throwing a party right now. Or I would be. If only my city-wide search for cookie cake had been successful today. Because everyone knows that no party is a real party without cookie cake. It's just a fact of life.

Anyway, that's a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother day.

This day has had enough action of it's own.

Today was the very last baseball game of the year and oh my word, at the emotional bittersweetness of this day. And y'all, this was the last sporting event on our campus until August 28, 2009.

It's a fact that I didn't go to a lot of baseball games when I was in college. I did in high school, especially my sophomore year because I dated the center fielder. Anywho. But I definitely think that I attended more baseball games my last year in Starkville (grad school year) than I did in my four years put together in undergrad.

And it is a fact that I've attended more Samford baseball games this year than I have in the last two years combined. But it's also a fact that one of my new bfries does marketing for baseball and I've gotten to know several of the players really well also. Precious kids. So obviously I wanted to go cheer my new little bros on. And it also helps that I got to work on my tan in the meantime.

Anyway, so today was Senior Day and oh, how I'm going to miss three out of the five of those kids. (No hard feelings against the other two. I just don't know them that well.)

Although we were there for nine hours, and we got beat 16-3, and lost our chances of making the tournament (and all them are right now saying please stop talking about this), it was a fun day overall and a great way to end the season.

We were in a rain delay for about four hours. At noon, the monsoons came and forced us to put the game on hold for about two hours. We all left to go eat lunch and returned to, well, more rain. As always, boys will be boys. They all returned with play clothes in hand and after a quick change, the slipping and sliding on the tarp commenced, as documented below.


No one players were hurt in the process of fun-having.

Anyway, so after the rains stop and the sun came out, play commenced and we got our hineys handed to us on a silver platter. 

But the game ended with my favorite player, our best closer, batting. If you know nothing about baseball, pitchers don't bat. It's just never a good thing. The coach decided to let him go bat and he ran the count full...and then struck out. But that is a moment that that kid will never forget and I am so thankful that our coach let it happen. 

I don't know what I'm going to do for the next four months with no sporting events to cover or plan for or score or attend. I know I've done this for the past few years, but this year is different somehow.

I've become more invested in the lives of these kids and it's hard to see them go. This year has had it's ups and downs. Major downs. Downs that have made me question why I am doing what I'm doing. But so many times in the last few months, God has shown me why. And today was one of those times. 

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TV Land

So, my family is hounding me about not blogging lately. First, it came from my sister and tonight, my dad asked me if I was giving it up. No. I'm not giving it up. I promise. I've definitely had some good, deep posts I've wanted to share but just haven't had the time or the energy to get them out of my head lately.

And frankly, my brain has been too fried lately to even think about trying to sit down and write out coherent sentences and paragraphs about what is going on in my head.

So, tonight, to appease those who have been craving more from this blog, I give you:

My thoughts on TV lately.

First, I will start with LOST because well, it's fresh on the brain. I just finished watching it and I even recorded it (on the VCR because I haven't invested in DVR yet but that's soon to change because y'all, So You Think You Can Dance starts on May 21 and that's a Thursday and Thursday is bible study night). Anyway, I recorded so that I could watch American Idol in its entirety because oh my gosh, No Doubt and Daughtry. On the same show. And so that I could fast forward through the commercials and rewind the parts that just needed to be viewed again.

Sooo...

Here are my thoughts. In bullet form:

  • I think the hydrogen bomb has something to do with the hatch and Desmond and all the number punching.
  • Did anyone else notice that Richard was with John Locke and Ben and "the others" on the beach AND with Jack, Sayid and Farraday's mother AT THE SAME TIME? What the holy hey?!?
  • And was it just me or did "the tunnels" look just like the place where Ben summoned "the beast" and was attacked by his daughter? (And yes, I'm making air quotes while typing the actual quotation marks because it's just that pertinent.)
  • Y'all, Jack loves some Kate. And I loved it when he said, "I love you back." Does that ring a bell? Didn't he say that on a scam one time a couple of seasons ago?
  • I had a fifth point but my A.D.D kicked in and I got sidetracked.
Onto American Idol...

Oh my goodness, how fun it was to see No Doubt back together again. I remember driving to cheerleading lessons with Lindsey Johnson and Brandi Dossett (sometimes) out at TumbleCheer (I think that's what it was called) sitting in the back of Mrs. Johnson's car singing "I'm Just A Girl" and "Spiderwebs". Love it.

Also, Paula's little performance wasn't that bad either until she started crawling around at the top of the stage. It kind of gave me a glimpse of what Britney Spears would be like a about 15 years. That's a compliment.

Please, oh Lord, I pray that Adam doesn't make it to the finals. I knew that Chris would move on because well, he's precious and he's totally got the girl vote. And Hollie single-handedly saved Danny with her 147 votes last night. Looks like hard work really does pay off. I'm sad to see Allyson go. I cried a little. But I'm happy that Chris and Danny are still there. They are my pick for final two. In a perfect world. With no Adam.

And finally, did y'all see this?

It's the promo for a brand spankin' new show on ABC called Flash Forward. It's like so new that it hasn't really even been picked up yet. But it looks, oh so good! Here's the description.

Chew on that for a bit.

That's all she wrote, folks.

Until we met again...