Despite all the stress and drama around this place lately, there are some good things going on. The leaves are changing colors, there’s a chill in the air, I have some fun new boots. December magazines are coming out, full of gift guides and pretty things and recipes containing things like peppermint and cinnamon and cranberries.
But the best thing? Oh, the best thing comes along every Wednesday night. Which is a little bit confusing, I know, because the best thing is called FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
Oh, you guys. YOU GUYS. I won’t spoil anything for you non Directv people, I promise. But we are three episodes into the season and I have cried my eyes out multiple times. This show is intense. You just care so much about the characters. You want them to succeed. You want to protect them from the bad things you can see coming that they are missing completely. It’s kind of like working with teenagers in real life.
I don’t know if you can be overly attached to a tv show. I’m sure you can. Maybe we have some kind of serious problem that we would address if only we weren’t so busy cheering on the East Dillon Lions.
It’s still pretty sad around this place, y’all. We’ve gotten a little more used to the quiet, to the empty house, to the lack of dog hair on every available surface. But sometimes we are watching football and Aaron is getting all worked up and yelling at the TV and I say, “Miles, will you please tell him to keep it down?” without even thinking about it.
Here’s something else that sucks about a house with no Miles in it: we have to clean up after ourselves. I did not realize how much we counted on that dog to eat all the food we drop around here. It’s so annoying when you throw an almost empty bag of chips at the trash, miss, and then have to sweep it up.
I miss him. A lot.
~ TWO ~
I don’t think I’ve written about this yet, but it’s been a pretty big deal around here so I guess I should make mention. Aaron has been fairly jobless since mid-July. He ended his relationship with the band and has been working to piece together some new management and consulting clients. Things are coming along slowly, and it can get really frustrating and scary, but WOW are we in a good place. When push came to shove we chose sanity over safety. And I know that was the right decision. And when we have to sell our house and live in a box on the street I will still believe that.
~ THREE ~
Did you guys watch Freaks and Geeks when it was on? We’ve been watching the reruns on IFC and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my favoritest shows ever. I love Sam Weir so much. I think there are only a few episodes left and it makes me so sad.
~ FOUR ~
I have a bit of a shoulder situation. We were at a friend’s house last week, eating and playing games and hanging out. It was midnight-ish when we decided to go jump on the trampoline. We jumped for a few minutes, then laid around and talked for a long time, then jumped again. I was standing in the middle of the trampoline when my friend decided to try to do a flip. Or so I thought when I took a big step backwards to get out of her way. Turns out I was on the edge and I took a big step backwards right over the springs and fell three feet onto the wet grass. Super graceful and not embarrassing at all, right? Right.
Now my right shoulder is sore and twingy and achy and I can’t really raise my arm up. I am awesome at life.
~ FIVE ~
Yesterday afternoon at the bookstore I bought four gift bibles and a David Sedaris book. I got up to the checkout and the guy said he was pretty sure I was the first person to buy that particular combination of items.
~ SIX ~
I did my first Sunday morning big church baptisms this morning. OH MY GOSH it stresses me out so much. It is such a joy to be a part of those kids’ lives and get to participate in such a big day with them. It is. But I get super angsty and anxious about doing real serious church business on stage in front of everyone. I don’t feel like I’m good at it. I can do relationships and small groups and games and serious discussions. And I can get on stage and do announcements like nobody’s business. But when I have to do something with more depth to it I panic. I truly thought I was going to have some kind of breakdown this morning.
It went fine, of course. Not great. It helps that I deal with kids, so no one thinks twice when one of them forgets to take his shoes off until the last minute and then they sit on stage for the whole service. I just can’t do eloquent and meaningful and professional very well.
~ SEVEN ~
I made it though thirty years of life without knowing about the amazingness of Swedish Fish. How is that possible?
I am completely in love with my DVR. Have I mentioned that lately? There are many, many household items I would sacrifice if it meant I got to keep the DVR. It is amazing.
My job includes a fair amount of ‘busy work’… I am my own assistant, and I do a lot of data management and related tasks both for the youth group and for the church at large. Because I work from home a couple of days a week, I like to have some stuff logged on the DVR to watch while I work. The nature of those logged shows changes with the seasons. Sometimes it’s sitcom reruns, sometimes it’s late night talk shows, sometimes it’s bad MTV reality. Don’t judge me.
Lately I’ve been on a Masterpiece Classic kick. Particularly, Emma. And, oh, you guys. It is just perfect. The only film version of Emma Woodhouse I’ve ever seen is Gwyneth Paltrow (and, you know, Alicia Silverstone). This one (played by Romola Garai) has a much different feel… she’s confident and strong and I just love her. I am completely thrilled with the entire thing. Also, I wish we still had balls with choreographed group partner dances that everyone just knew. Also also, Dumbledore.
The other habit I get into is recording movies off of the Independent Film Channel. But that doesn’t work out so well as I am not a big movie fan. I like some movies, and the ones I love I really love. But I’m not really a movie watcher. I get bored. And I usually record a bunch of movies, let them sit for ages, and delete them to make room for something truly important, like America’s Best Dance Crew. And yet, somehow, I’ve accidentally watched two Woody Allen movies in the last several days. First it was Annie Hall, which I really enjoyed, mostly because of Diane Keaton. (Has anyone ever noticed how much Katie Holmes looks like a young Diane Keaton?) Then I watched Hannah and Her Sisters, which I didn’t realize was Woody Allen, but was also a good one. I didn’t even know I liked Woody Allen movies.
There are several more movies waiting for me that will probably never be watched, and I’m sure I will give up on Masterpiece Classic for a while once Emma ends. But for now, my DVR compulsions are serving me well.
I have never been much of a Bruce Springsteen fan. He wasn’t a big player in the music of my childhood, and I don’t really connect to his working man Jersey persona. I don’t think those things are the problem, though.
I didn’t watch a lot about Sesame Street from when I was a kid. I think I was more of a Mr. Rogers kind of girl. But I do have a very clear memory of the Muppets singing a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”. They had changed the title to “Born to Add”, and the verses were about adding one trashcan to two to get three trashcans, then one policeman to three to get four policemen. Groundbreaking stuff.
My parents weren’t big Springsteen fans, so I don’t think I knew the song outside of it’s math-centric version. And now, anytime I hear Bruce Springsteen’s voice, I see a Muppet and hear the addition lyrics. Which is pretty awesome. But it makes it really difficult for me to take him seriously.
~ TWO ~
Remedy Drive has a song on an Olympics commercial! Aaron knew it was a possibility, but we didn’t know for sure that it was happening until last night when it aired during Saturday Night Live and his phone started blowing up.
So if you see a Budweiser-sponsored ad for the Olympics, probably airing during late night TV, pay special attention. The very first shot is four beers clinking, and the lyrics are “Hope’s not giving up.” SO AWESOME.
~ THREE ~
We live two blocks from an elementary school. It has a great playground and park area behind it that we have sadly underutilized. But yesterday, on the first nice-ish day we’ve had in ten thousand years, Aaron and I decided it was time to play basketball. OH MY GOSH. It was so much fun. We played all the games and drills we could remember from our high school days – Knockout, Horse, layup and free throw and three-pointer drills. It completely wiped me out but was awesomely fun. We will definitely be back.
~ FOUR ~
Are you guys on the Avett Brothers bandwagon? I have known for a while that it was my kind of thing, but for whatever reason just never took the plunge. Then we had a week full of grey rainy days and I needed new music that was also moody and mellow-ish. Something with feeling. ENTER AVETT BROTHERS. I am now completely obsessed with them. They are just a perfect little band. I love their voices, love their lyrics, love their sound.
They were on Austin City Limits last night. After it was over I rewound it and immediately watched the show again. They are fantastic.
~ FIVE ~
Let’s talk about Parks and Recreation. It is easily my favorite Thursday night show. It has been exponentially more funny than The Office and 30 Rock this season.
We love us some Tom Haverford in this house, so when we saw that Aziz Ansari was doing a comedy special, we immediately set the DVR. That is one funny kid. This clip is from Jimmy Kimmel, but it’s pretty much exactly the way he told the story on the show. It makes me hurt from laughing. Also, slightly dirty. Just FYI.
~ SIX ~
I know I say this all the time, but I really really really love my job. Church politics and staff stress and personal issues aside, it is outside the scope of my comprehension that I get to do what I do every day. This weekend I got to hang out with college girls who I’ve known since they were in junior high, and with junior highers who say awesome things like “Make peace, don’t, like, not make peace” and who bring their Harry Potter sorting hat pillowcases to class so we can split up into the appropriate teams. Amazing.
~ SEVEN ~
Greek starts back up tomorrow! I love my teeny-bopper TV shows.
Happy New Year’s Eve, friends! What are you doing tonight? Got big plans? We bailed on all party plans and are instead grilling fajitas and drinking both the champagne of beers and actual champagne. Should be a good time. I made guacamole.
Was 2009 good to you? Does anyone else feel like it was about three seconds long? We had a pretty good one. A lot happened. Lots of stress. Lots of fun. Lots of taco salads from Baja Burrito.
I was trying to decide what kind of post to write on the last day of the year – introspective? Celebratory? Thought-provoking? (Ha!) I had a whole mess of stuff I wanted to mention, so I decided to go with the old standby. The list.
Things I Loved In 2009
Twitter. Are you twittering? You should be twittering. It is the best, even though I’m pretty sure it’s to blame for my weak posting action this year. All the little thoughts I would usually try to stretch into an actual cohesive post are instead dumped into twitter where all my random friends can see them. Do they care? I don’t know. But I enjoy reading their little thoughts a lot. Also, Amazon mp3.
Service projects with the kids. After a rough start, 2009 kicked into high gear for GPYG at MFuge. They spent the week working hard and serving people, and came back with a strong sense of purpose that it didn’t have to end there. Based on that, we started a program called Second Saturday, where we take the second Saturday of each month and use it to serve the community. This fall we packed thousands of food boxes, served food and washed mountains of dishes in a soup kitchen, helped 300 needy families find gifts for their kids and wrapped gifts for the angel tree. I am so proud that the spirit of service has become one of the defining characteristics of our group, and I can’t wait to see where they take it in 2010.
Switchfoot’s Hello Hurricane. I mentioned this one yesterday in our best songs of 2009 list, but I want to make sure I am getting my feelings across here. THIS RECORD IS AMAZING. Easily the best Switchfoot record. It has a great mix of rock songs (like real actual rock songs, not the Christian music lite-rock version) and mellow ones, and lyrically they completely knock it out of the park. I could, and have, listen to it over and over and over again. I love it so much.
Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani. I read this way back in January, and it stuck with me all year. I don’t do a lot of rereading (says the girl who read all of the Harry Potter books this year, AGAIN), but I think this one might be an annual read for me.
Glee. The most fun TV show there is. I love Puck, I love Sue, I love Mr. Shue. But most of all, I love the way they portray the kids. It’s fantastical, sure, and you have to suspend pretty much all of your disbelief. But the kids nail it. You really care about them. And the singing is awesome. Plus, it’s influence brought us the Sing-off, and that brought me the Beelzebubs. And they are awesome. (Watch this. And this. And this.)
My Blackberry. Don’t judge me, y’all. This stupid little thing changed my life. I had a smartphone before, but it totally sucked. The Blackberry doesn’t freeze up on me, the battery lasts forever, my church email pushes through onto it and it has GPS. I know you think your iphone is cooler, and you’re probably right. But my Blackberry keeps me from getting lost, keeps me from being chained to my computer and NEVER DIES.
The Youth Room. 2008 ended up being kind of a tough one for my GPYG-ers. We lost our meeting space last August and worked really hard to hold ourselves together until we built our building, only to end up with no youth space then, either. At the end of the summer I talked the board into letting us take over part of the church office building so the kids could have ownership over something. It’s not ideal, but it’s ours. We took a boring brown conference room and youthed it up good, and now we have a space that is ours for the first time ever. It’s too small, it doesn’t have heat and if the weather is bad we are crammed in there tight, but our name is on the door. And that is good.
My girlfriends. This is kind of a new one for me. I’ve always had friends, and my job comes with kind of a built-in social circle. But I’ve never been that great at letting people in. This year was different, though. I had a lot going on, and I needed to talk about it. So I did. I let my walls down and really talked to my friends. And they talked to me. And we assured each other that the things we were saying weren’t crazy, and that we weren’t horrible people even though we really felt like we were, and that we could get through it and it was okay if we had to have the same conversation a million times. I would have gone crazy this year without them.
This year was a mixed bag for me, but overall, I think it was a success. The good outweighed the bad, and I am thankful.
(Sorry for the lack of capital letters in this list. I typed them in correctly, but they came out lowercase and I don’t know how to fix it. I promise I have better typing etiquette than that.)
We watch Saturday Night Live approximately… never. I am up on it, generally, and I’ll try to catch parts of it if I care about the host of the band, but I’ve never really enjoyed it enough to sit and watch whole episodes.
Last night, though, we found ourselves hanging out at home, so we turned it on. And it was fine. Nothing amazing. (Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s opening monologue/song was pretty impressive.) It was just on as background noise, really, while we messed around getting ready for Sunday morning.
But then. The digital short came on.
I’m sure that this sketch isn’t really that funny. It’s too long and it gets obnoxious and gross toward the end. Please know that I know those things. But also, please know that I laughed so hard when Kenan Thompson came on screen that I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
Good news, folks. Friday Night Lights is back in my life.
If you have ever read this blog before, you know how much I love this show. I have gone on and on and on.
I wish I could tell you that I’ve gotten a grip. Gained a little perspective. Come to realize that the Taylors and Buddy Garrity and TIM RIGGINS are not real people who live in Dillon, Texas. But I would be lying.
(Ohhhh, girls. Tim Riggins.)
This show is great at making the characters feel like real people. And they are great at teenagers. They nail the attitudes and personalities of these small-town Texas kids. They actually act like kids, not the mini-twentysomethings you find on so many teencentric shows. And while a few of them are really really ridiculously good looking (*cough*TimRiggins*cough*), most of them are pretty normal. Like people you know.
People you know who make you cry every week. It doesn’t really feel like fall until Coach Taylor is yelling at some kids one second and then helping then make Big Life Decisions the next.
In the past couple of weeks we have scored tickets to both WICKED and Counting Crows at the Ryman. WICKED! Counting Crows at the Ryman! Are you kidding me? I am dying of excitement and the shows aren’t for months.
~ TWO ~
Remedy Drive’s song, “All Along”, is still number one at radio. That’s FIVE WEEKS straight. This is very exciting.
~ THREE ~
We had a junior high girls sleepover on Friday night at the church. That is my most favorite group. (Don’t tell the other kids.) They are just so much fun, I can’t even stand it. We did a video scavenger hunt (one group got a cop to draw a chalk line around a girl in front of a crowded movie theater), played the wii, made up stories and flamingoed the senior pastor’s house. It was a good night.
~ FOUR ~
I have been rereading the Harry Potter books over the past several weeks. Have you read Harry Potter? You should read Harry Potter. Aaron came in the other day and said that, for having read something ten thousand times, I was concentrating awfully hard. I had to explain to him that it was because I didn’t want to miss anything. That they are so awesome that you are completely engaged and enamored with that world every time. That I would move to Hogwarts if I could. I don’t think he gets it.
~ FIVE ~
So You Think You Can Dance is back on! Happy day! I am not kidding when I say it’s the best show on TV. I love everything about it. I didn’t even know I loved dance until I started watching it; now I am the kind of person who will sit all day watching an America’s Best Dance Crew marathon. It’s just so joyful and fun. LOVE.
~ SIX ~
This afternoon Aaron went to play disc golf with some of the youth group boys. I decided to check out some open houses in the neighborhood, because I really love our neighborhood and also because I am nosy. I was standing in the kitchen of one house when I heard a familiar voice. I came around the corner to find DON AND LORI CHAFFER of Waterdeep in the living room. Waterdeep! My favorite favorite! It was very exciting. We run into people we love every now and then in town, but I am always to scared to look like an idiot so I don’t say anything. But this time I did! I am so impressed with myself. I stopped Lori in the driveway as we were walking out and introduced myself and told her I am a big fan of them and I would be mad at myself if I didn’t say anything. Then we had a conversation about the neighborhood (they just moved to Nashville) and soon we will be BFFs. Get pumped.
~ SEVEN ~
I love this commercial. I want to hire that guy to be my personal driver. And we will just drive around singing Biz Markie songs all day long.
I love fluffy movies. If a movie is set in high school, or involves some kind of dance contest, or, well, Ethan Embry, it is pretty much automatically on my top ten list. Action? Intrigue? Deep political impact and social commentary? No. I need a good party scene.
So when I saw the trailer for Post Grad, I knew it was meant for me. Yes, it looks fluffy, and yes, it involves a girl trying to make it in the big city. Check and check.
But! It gets even more awesome. The actors in this movie have real names. I don’t care what they are. Because this movie? Stars Rory Gilmore and Matt Saracen. Rory and Matt! It is perfect.
I don’t know if their characters in the movie are meant to be together. But their TV characters would be a great couple.
This got me thinking. What fictional characters from my favorite TV shows would make good couples? I present you with my favorites.
1. Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) + Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights)
This is a match made in heaven, y’all. Rory is smart, bookish, a little shy, thoughtful. Matt is smart, artsy, polite, funny, and lives with and takes care of his sick grandmother. They could ride around together in the back of Landry’s car and talk about their plans to see the world. Perfection.
I always hated how Dylan got a free pass in the whole Dylan/Brenda/Kelly love triangle when he was obviously the instigator. Ms. Waldorf would not let him get away with that business. Plus, she would look great in his car.
3. Ted Moseby (How I Met Your Mother) + Izzie Stevens (Grey’s Anatomy)
I am torn on this one. I don’t really like Izzie very much. Well, until she got cancer. Is that awful? I don’t care. She has become so much better lately. To be honest, though, I don’t love Ted either. He’s kind of whiny and his friends are way funnier than he is. But. They are both super romantic and dream of the big house and the perfect wedding and the 2.5 kids. So let’s get them together. They can be an annoying couple and have annoying kids and we will all avoid them when we pass them on the street.
4. Kelly Kapoor (The Office) + Cappie (Greek)
I know you are probably not watching Greek on ABC Family. You are definitely missing out. Kelly and Cappie have the same thing going – kind of silly, lots of partying, a softer more serious side hiding underneath that shallow exterior. And Cappie could totally beat Jim at ping pong.
5. Tim Gunn (Project Runway) + Kenneth Parcell (30 Rock)
Alright. This one is a stretch. First of all Tim Gunn is not a character, he is a real person, and I believe he is the same in real life as he is on Project Runway and don’t try to tell me differently. And I don’t think Kenneth is gay. HOWEVER. How awesome a couple would they be? So awesome. So happy and smiley and well-dressed. And imagine the stir they would cause when Kenneth took Tim to his reunion at Kentucky Mountain Bible College.
Here’s the Post Grad trailer. Get pumped. Matt Saracen!
THREE THINGS THAT HAPPENED WHILE I WAS WATCHING TV THIS AFTERNOON WHILE UPDATING STUDENT INFORMATION AND EATING MY FORTIETH CLEMENTINE OF THE DAY
1. For ages, I’ve had this scene in my head where and old lady goes to a house and walks quickly through all the rooms while the family follows her around hoping she will approve. I have never figured out what it was from. I thought it was some kind of Jane Austen-y big old house and ball gowns kind of scenario, but I just couldn’t place it.
But then! Today! I caught the last 15 minutes of the episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory goes to the carnival with Jess and they end up hanging out with Dean and his annoying little sister. Right before she leaves for the carnival? Her great-grandmother comes over to inspect her and Lorelai’s house. She walks quickly through all the rooms and they follow her around hoping she will approve. THANK YOU BABY JESUS AND THE GODS OF DAYTIME TELEVISION.
2. During the course of one episode of 90210 – which, yes, I am still watching, and yes, it is the worst show ever produced and put on for people to put in their brains – the following things happened to the characters: accusation of statutory rape, admission of murder and incest, a hook up in a freezer in an abandoned house, the aiding and abetting of a kidnapper, a drunk hit-and-run accident and, oh yeah, the mysterious return of Dylan McKay. It was very intense.
3. I lowered myself to the level of watching an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. A few minutes in, I realized something horrifying – I HAVE ALREADY SEEN THIS EPISODE.