Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tune Tuesday - perfectly on pitch

I wasn't sure where to take this post this week.  There have been so many new discoveries the last week or so - from Ben Rector to an ongoing overplay of The Lumineers to a discovery for me for the first time really of Of Monsters and Men to many loud renditions of Adele songs in the shower.  I decided instead though to go a completely different direction but one that is just as relevant.  Those other songs/groups can wait.

People have pushed and pushed and pushed for me to watch the movie Pitch Perfect.  I saw the previews at a movie one time and thought it looked good but I hadn't gotten it to the top of my viewing list yet.  Finally, Jen gave me her copy and my nephew and I watched it together.  Then I watched it again in California (because I MIGHT have brought Jen's copy with me.  It seemed too much like a KT/Erin movie).  Then I bought the soundtrack.  And then I listened to the soundtrack (twice) on my sunny So Cal run last Wednesday.  It was one of the best runs I've had in a long time.  My hips were sore after but it was 100% worth it.

This is a version of her doing it live on Letterman.  Also, totally worth watching.

And one final one to give you a taste of what the group songs are like (in case you haven't seen the movie).  This one got me a long ways on my run.  I was booking it. Keep in mind there are only voices here. No instruments.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tune Tuesday - where in the world is KT

Sorry about the lame video.  This was the best I could find.  Hope you are having as much fun as I am.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valenf'ingtine's Day

I've always hated the 14th of February.  Oh I've had good Valentine's Days don't get me wrong, filled with romance and gestures I wish would have been expressed other days of the year as well but was grateful for in the dull drums of winter, but even as a kid it really only led to stress.  Who WANTED to make a Valentine for everyone in their class?  There were kids who frankly smelled funny.  But it was expected so I did it.  I made a mailbox and dutifully filled my classmates' mailboxes with a Valentine that meant nothing to me.  I'm pretty good at telling people how I feel about them and not being afraid of that.  I always have been.  I don't generally need a heart with "I Like You" stamped on it to do the heavy lifting for me.

One year I went to traffic court and a funeral both on Valentine's Day.  I thought that was pretty fitting actually.  There were a number of years I hosted a SAD (Singles Awareness Day) party in Seattle.  That was a fun tradition and gave me a reason to look forward to the holiday for a different reason.  I just, like many other people of my generation, feel like the sentiments expressed on Valentine's Day shouldn't be saved for only February 14th.  Why aren't we better at doing it year round?

I got a text message from a dear friend yesterday.  He was upset because a girl who he cares deeply for emailed him to let him know she had gotten engaged.  He was struggling with feeling like he was happy for her and SHOULD be happy for her but that he was also pissed off.  He made the choice to not pursue a relationship with her but it still hurt.  A lot.  Days like February 14th just make that pain that much more acute in a way that feels unnecessary to me. 

I have plans for Valentine's Day this year but they aren't "Valentine's Day" plans.  I purposely and specifically have chosen to not celebrate the holiday - although I will enjoy a very thoughtful gift from Phinney Girl that is a Valentine's Day specific gift.  If SHF and I were still together my desire would have been to do something very "everyday", similar to what I'm planning to do tomorrow.  The offers I had on the table were nice but came with a bit too much expectation.  I've discovered holidays of all types do that - raise expectations which then generally fail to be met.  Yes, I know I'm sounding bitter but really I'm not, I just don't want the calendar to tell me when I have to love someone.  I love people pretty thoroughly year round. 

I believe that is better than a day when society tells me my love should be at its strongest.

Besides - who wants the gifts that are "expected" on Valentine's Day?  Roses die, chocolates rot your teeth and bust your diet.  Give me a surprise card a day that isn't February 14th and I'm happy.
Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast and the taste is... fleeting. So, you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. And if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.
One final and unrelated note - I'm gong to be doing a lot of travel in the next 6 weeks so if I seem a little absent here I apologize and I'll do my best to catch up as I can.  I'm going to visit 6 states between this Saturday and the end of March - 6 states in 6 weeks.  Phew.  I'm tired just thinking about it.

But think of the adventures you'll get to read about.  I'm doing this for you.  Really.  You can thank me for my sacrifice by sending chocolates. haha

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tune Tuesday - If only I were a rock star

I went to the traveling Broadway show Rock of Ages on Saturday night.  It was a really fun show.  In fact, it is the first time since seeing Fame in London that I was on my feet dancing and singing along at the end.  I went into the show thinking I don't really like 80's music but seeing Rock of Ages reminded me that actually there is some great 80s music out there that I just have forgotten or failed to appreciate.  A lot of the songs are pretty timeless and the lyrics actually stand the test of time and relate to my life.  Here's some samples of some of the better ones that were in the show.  See if you get in the mood for a little throw back tune Tuesday.

I want Joan Jett's pants. 

This video is from when videos actually had a point other than sweaty bodies mauling each other.  The song itself starts at about 2 minutes but the intro is entertaining.  80's fashion, I tell ya.

There are so many I would love to put on here but I think I'll end with one more.  You can't talk about 80's music without Poison.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The pursuit of me and puzzle pieces

Hang in there.  This one might seem a bit scattered because there are a lot of pieces that have to come together to explain what's going on but they will come together.  I promise.

One of the things that I've been bothered by since SHF and I broke up is the fact that I thought I had seen the direction my life was heading and it was so suddenly changed.  It's made me struggle a bit with trusting God's vision for me.  People have said over and over that God only wants what's good for us.  I can say without a doubt that in my head I know this is true but my heart has been lagging.  If God wants what's good why is it that many times, when I set my sights on something that seems good to me, it is taken away?  I know the church answer/response is that I can't see the ways that it isn't good or that another way is better and again while I know that is true in my head, my heart knowledge is lagging a little bit right now. 

As you know, I'm currently coaching a girls basketball team.  The league I coach for is through a number of churches in town and it includes a witnessing component.  That's one of reasons I like the program so much.  Not only do I not have parents of opposing teams screaming at me and poking fingers in my chest like I did on occasion when I coached Y ball but I also get to hopefully become a positive influence on the girls for their salvation.  That's pretty awesome. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that there might be some lessons being taught through Upward Basketball that are as important for me to learn as they are for the girls.  This hit me square in the chest last week.  I've had a really good week this week, feeling like I'm getting out from under my sadness, and I think a big part of it has to do with what happened at basketball practice a week ago.  When I told my friend Jen about what happened she put really good words around it.  She told me clearly God is pursuing me even when I'm hesitant to trust him.  It was a really powerful word for me to hear.  God's pursuit is different than man's pursuit.  God's pursuit isn't the man who is currently being TOO aggressive in trying to date me. (Back off a bit buddy.  You are nice and all but let's take it sllllooooowwwwllllyyyy - if at all.)  God's pursuit hasn't been quiet either.  It actually knocked the wind out of me last week.  It's persistent but it's not scary.

Let me fill you in on what happened.  First you have to know I love to put together puzzles.  I don't do it as often as I wish I could but it is one way I happily spend a lazy afternoon.  Next you have to know that our devotion at practice last week centered around the virtue of Hope.

Virtue: HOPE is believing that something good can come out of something bad.
When I first read the description of HOPE it pushed at that little part in the back of my mind that starts to pay attention when suddenly something is important.  It's the same place that was pushed on when SHF walked into the coffee shop on our first date and I realized he was attractive.  It's the same place that was pushed on when I was doing litigation when I realized there might be something going on with a client I needed to pay attention to.  It's a part of my brain that I never ignore because I know when it gets engaged something crucial and critical is happening.

The next thing that caught my attention and started to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck was the scripture verse and the "bottom line" the devotion was intended to teach the girls.
Scripture Verse: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (b) (NIV). 
Bottom line: Whatever happens, remember God has a bigger story.
At this point I was paying pretty close attention to what I was reading to the girls as well as their responses to what was being read.  I don't know how much they got out of the devotion but by the end I was doing all I could to fight back my tears.  Here is the lesson in it's entirety:
Anybody here like to work on puzzles?  When you work on a puzzle, what’s the first thing you do?  I would guess that at some point you take a long hard look at the picture on the front of the box. Then maybe you pull out all the edge pieces and lay them out to create the frame. Or maybe you like to wing it and just start throwing pieces together till something fits.
The truth is our lives are like big puzzles. Every day in our lives is a piece of a big puzzle. On good days, the piece seems to fit perfectly. After all, everyone loves a good day. But what about the bad days? What about the difficult situations? How do we make those pieces fit into our puzzles? If we could see the box lid or the full picture of our lives, we might choose to take out the pieces we don’t like – the hard stuff, the difficult days, the mistakes we’ll later regret. But we can’t see the picture on the box. We are only given one piece at a time.
And guess what? Did you know that God has a bigger story, too? In fact, his story is WAY bigger and WAY better than ours. We can be a part of it because of what he’s done for us. Because God sent his one and only Son to save us, we can have a relationship with God. And guess what else? God holds the puzzle box lid. He knows what the whole picture looks like. And when we believe and trust that God knows where every piece—good and bad—fits, it’s easier to believe that something good can come out of something bad. That’s what hope is and that’s what we will be talking about over the next few weeks.
So when you have a hard day, remember, God has a bigger story. He is in control and his story is bigger and better than anything we can imagine. Once we choose to trust him, we can have hope that things will get better.
After I finished talking through this with the girls and they asked questions and talked about things it brought up my assistant coach Grant really brought it home.  He stated that sometimes the really hard piece is the last piece we are able to fit into the puzzle.  He commented about how wonderful and satisfying it is to SNAP that last piece into place and sit back and see how even that really hard to place piece fit perfectly and to see the beautiful picture that was a mystery not long before.  It was all I could do to not burst into tears so I quickly had the girls bow their heads and I prayed with them and then rushed them back into the distraction (for me) of a scrimmage. 

I still don't see the big picture in my singleness at all.  I don't understand why on the first day I started thinking - hey, I'm doing ok.  This is great! - God put SHF's exwife's best friend in the same class (and same small group) as me and why he choose or allowed that to happen at my church which is one place that I don't worry about running into SHF.  Right now, that just seems mean.  But I also hope (there's that word again) that someday, as Grant stated, that final piece will pop into place and I'll see the whole picture God has been helping me to put together and I'll get it. I'll have the ahhh moment when the puzzle is finished and that portion of my life will make sense.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Tune Tuesday - Waking Up Sober (Miss Me)

As those of you who follow my blog know I often post songs that are hitting me "right there" on here.  Music has always been one of my most strong artistic outlets and it is honestly where a lot of my emotion is best expressed even if it is only to myself in the shower or the car, at the top of my lungs, until I'm either laughing or crying.

I am often asked outside of the blog world what I'm listening to and what music I have running through my head.  I thought it might be nice to just start making that part of my weekly postings.  Sometimes I'll explain why the song is hitting me, other times I'll just let you know it's the tune of the week.

This one is self explanatory and I hope it's true.