03 October 2011

Hope For Tomorrow: Korea's Got Talent

Follow your dreams.
That's why they have been given to you.

Let no one tell you
that your quest is selfish.
Don't bring others down...
...but don't hesitate to lift yourself up.
To raise your head and look toward the sky.

You are not stuck in your past.
You are free in your present.

Move on to your future.
Bring your lessons from the past.
Bring your dreams from the now.

You can do this.
Whatever it is.
That's why you are here.

Stay Classy,

20 September 2011

Love Conquers Hate

This day, September 20, 2011, marks a great victory for LOVE in the war against hate.  We've come a very long way and this is fantastic news for all of us.  ALL OF US.  We mustn't let this blind us to the fact that we've still got a long way to go.  From moment to moment, we each get a new chance to fight for what is good.  For what is right.  

May we always remember to love first.

 Love     God.  
Love Each Other.
Love Ourselves.
Love Equality.

Stay classy*,

*And don't rest on your laurels because the United States of America just got classier.

07 September 2011

The Critical Corner: Why God Why?: I can't even think of a title....

Welcome back to the long-neglected "WHY, GOD, WHY?" segment of NftLS.  There are so many things to say about what's going on here...but I'm not saying them right now for a few reasons.

1.  I'm tired.
2.  I don't have time.
3.  Normal people...wait...goofy people like me too...PEOPLE KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS. Words from me right now aren't really necessary.
4.  I have words to say though, shocker, and maybe I'll say them later when I'm less tired and have more time.

Prepare yourself.

Stay classy*,

*Steps toward classiness:
1.  Don't dress your 3-year-old daughter like a hooker...and then defend your stupidity.
2.  Repeat.

17 August 2011

LTVlog_05: My Fake Contact Sheet

LTVlog_04: Standup, and Red Bull, and Matt...OH MY!

Sorry guys.  Just realized as I was finishing up the most recent LTVlog that I forgot to put up the last one.  I seriously doubt and hope that your lives were not ruined by this oversight of mine.

Without further it is.

Stay Classy,

02 August 2011

Kiwanis Club Commercial

I just now realized that I never put up the new commercial that I'm in on my blog.  I put it on Facebook and Twitter...but sometimes I'm a goof and I forget that I have this blog too.  I'm working on that.  HaHa.

Without further ado.  Do more...with Kiwanis.

HaHa, okay.  Well, in going to youtube to get this video, I found that someone really doesn't like the commercial.  They're entitled to their opinion, of course.  No doubt about that.  But it should be noted that I officially gave their negative opinion a "thumbs down" on youtube.  Take that you Debbie Downer!

23 March 2011

myTunes: Soldier by Hanson

First, I would like to make an announcement:  If you're already laughing at can just click your little back button and back off.  Hanson is awesome.  They always have been.  And until they get abducted by aliens and are altered in such a way that they are no longer themselves in any way, shape, or form...they will always continue to be awesome.

If you weren't already aware of their'll get no judgement from me.  I am not here to judge you but to educate you.  Ignorance isn't always the fault of the individual.  (But if you have read this far already, you no longer have any excuse for any further naivete on your part, at least when it comes to the subject of Hanson and their awesomeness.)

I will even grant you may have heard Hanson before (who hasn't?  Except for those people that have been living under rocks that are being exploited by the new Geiko commercial) and thought that you didn't like them.  A poor life choice?  I'm gonna go with "probably yes."  But we all make those every once in a while.  I, myself, had salt and vinegar potato chips and Sour Patch Kids for breakfast.  Yes...I do have a fault or two...but I try to keep them under wraps for the most part so as not to alarm the lot of you.  (It should be noted that I was too weak to cook anything and those two regrettable items were out on the coffee table.  So at least I have an excuse for eating them...buying them?  No.)

Anyway, here's your chance to understand the truth: Hanson is great.  I would go into all of the reasons...but I honestly haven't the time to do so right now.  So if you're going to sit around and be a pouting doubting Thomas, then you can just go listen to the JoBros and live in the darkness of musical unawareness.

So here's the deal, when I was home at my parents' house for part of Spring Break, I grabbed some of my old CDs to put them back into my iTunes library (after having lost my music).  When doing a Google Image search for the album art for 3 Car Garage, the album cover did not show up until the sixth page of results.  This is a sad day.  It's kind of a rare record, I know.  But still.  It was the first CD I ever bought myself (my first CD ever was Abbey Road).  It's a great CD.  The world needs to know about it.

Soldier has always been one of my favorite songs from 3 Car Garage and from all of Hanson's songs in general.  The brothers wrote and composed the song (as they did with all of the songs on 3 Car Garage) and it is just sublime.  3 Car Garage was made from 1995-1996, starting two years before their first major label album release, Middle of Nowhere.  The video that I have for you is not the original recording of the song but a revisitation of the song from a recording of their Albertane Tour, so it's naturally in a different key because they had aged.

There you have it.  Awesome.  Now, back to being productive (and not eating chips and candy).

Stay Classy,

16 March 2011

Flicks I've Picked: Simon Birch

Last night I had the unbelievable privilege of watching an absolute gem of a movie: Mark Steven Johnson's Simon Birch.  Honestly, I do not know how I have not seen this movie until now.  It is unbelievable.  It's going on my wishlist right now.  Be right back.  Alright I'm back.  It's officially on the list.  Now, back to business.

Simon Birch is the inspiring and miraculous story of a small boy guessed it...Simon Birch.  (I haven't read anything about this...but my keen skills of deduction are leading me to believe that the boy's name was most likely the inspiration for the name of the movie.  I skills are just...daunting for you all, right?)

Anyway, Simon, though smaller than the 3rd grade turtledove from the Christmas pageant, is actually not  a boy at all, but an inquisitive and eloquent twelve-year-old.  Now...I haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I'm "pretty sure" that the story isn' should I say this...possible.

I'm not knocking Benjamin Button, in fact, I'm going to go put in a request for it on the library website right now.  Be right back.  Okay, no that didn't work...but I will watch it someday.  Here's the point that I'm trying to make, despite the fact that I cannot back it up with fact or experience.

Where Benjamin Button is fantastical, Simon Birch is fantastic.

Both Simon Birch (the fictional character) and  Ian Michael Smith (the actor playing said fictional character) have Morquio Syndrome.  According to Wikipedia, the following are all symptoms of this condition:

  • Abnormal heart development
  • Abnormal skeletal development
  • Hyper mobile joints
  • Large fingers
  • Knock-knees
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Bell shaped chest (ribs flared)
  • Compression of spinal cord
  • Enlarged heart
  • Dwarfism
Patients with Morquio's syndrome appear healthy at birth. They often present with spinal deformity, there is growth retardation or genu valgus in the second or third year of life.
  • Short stature (flat vertebrae cause a short trunk), short neck
  • Moderate kyphosis or scoliosis
  • Mild pectus carinatum (pigeon chest)
  • Cervical spine: odontoid hypoplasia, atlanto-axial instability; may be associated with myelopathy with gradual loss of walking ability
  • Joint laxity, mild dysostosis multiplex, dysplastic hips, large unstable knees, large elbows and wrists, and flat feet
  • The combined abnormalities usually result in a duck-waddling gait
  • Mid-face hypoplasia and mandibular protrusion
  • Thin teeth enamel
  • Corneal clouding
  • Mild hepatosplenomegaly

Even with his condition, Simon Birch believes almost unwaveringly that God has a specific purpose for him in this life.  The world's chiding does nothing but fuel Simon's belief that God will act through him specifically...that he is an instrument of the Lord.  While many might think of him having a purpose or a mission in spite of his challenges, Simon's message to the world is that he has these challenges for this purpose and this mission.  The film, based on John Irving's novel entitled A Prayer for Owen Meany, follows both Simon's search for his divine purpose and his best friend Joe's (Joseph Mazello) search for his biologic father.

It's quite possibly impossible for me to tell you all whether I laughed more than I cried or if it was the other way around.  I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this movie...nothing at all.  Would I recommend that you watch this movie?  No.  I would demand that you watch this movie.  It is 114 minutes of tears and laughter, doubt and faith, intolerance and acceptance,  and hypocrisy and devotion.  It is a brilliantly told story that needs to be heard by all.

Bottom line?  Just watch it.

Stay classy, everyone.  I'll leave you with a few words from Simon:  "Faith is not in a floor plan."


09 March 2011

Genevieve - a Photo Timeline

This will be short as I am getting ready to perform Troilus and Cressida this afternoon.  I'm so excited.  Anyway, here's the deal, I always get these e-mails from the humane society, checking up on if I'm taking care of my dog (not in a bad way [I think it's great...if you're going to get a dog, you sure as you know where better take care of it] but by giving me coupons to take care of her for, beds, flea stuff...etc..

It's funny because, before I adopted Genevieve, her name was not as awesome.  Each e-mail refers to her using her name from the shelter.  Today's e-mail was titled thusly:

"Keep Grape protected from Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworm"

Yes...her name was Grape.  She and all of her siblings had seemingly fallen victim to being given names found in a fruit basket or the produce aisle.  Things have changed, and I don't think she remembers those days too often anymore.  (While I do joke about the name thing, I must say that the shelter is awesome and does wonderful work.)

Anyway, here's the point.  In said e-mails, they always include a picture of "Grape" from her brief time as a shelter resident.  I just had to share. she was when I met her.

The Dog formerly known as Grape (i.e. Genevieve).
I think this was the day Genevieve came home with me.

Genevieve with her pal Nelson.
Genevieve (I know...shocker) on the patio.

Somebody was eyeing my dinner....
Yeah...we're awesome.

Genevieve awkwardly sitting in front of the vacuum.

Genevieve, proudly being the focal point of
the first photo taken on my iPhone.

Okay that's all for now.  This was way more time consuming than I thought it would be...and I couldn't find some of the pictures I wanted.  My mom has them, so I'll hopefully put them on sometime soon.

Stay Classy (and come see Troilus and Cressida if you're at Butler!  LH 328, 3:50 pm.  TODAY!


26 February 2011

myTunes: Vintage by Break of Reality

This post is mostly for Kristen...but it also applies to anyone with awesome taste in music.  Love you, Sis.

20 February 2011

Flicks I've Picked: The Last Exorcism

This is the second installment of Flicks I've Picked.  As you have probably surmised already by reading the title, the flick that I picked this time was Daniel Stamm's The Last Exorcism.  (Just so you know, that website is way scarier than the movie itself...but the website is rather scary, as far as websites go.)

The film is set up like a documentary, following the "final exorcism" of Reverend Cotton Marcus (played by Patrick Fabian), a scammer/preacher, who has been faking exorcisms for money.  This documentary is meant to expose exorcism as the sham that Cotton believes it to be.  When Cotton arrives at the Sweetzer farm to meet with the tragically possessed Nell Sweetzer (played by Ashley Bell) however, he is unexpectedly faced with something that he has never encountered: The possibility that this young woman may actually be possessed by Satan.

The resultant questions are these:

  • Is Nell possessed?
  • If so, what is a phony exorcist going to do about it?
  • If not...what exactly is going on?!
I don't want to give anything away here, in case you're planning on watching the film (which I will get to in a minute), but suffice it to say that one or more of those questions may remain unanswered.  (They certainly did for least after one initial viewing.)

Speaking of "one initial viewing," will I watch this again?  The answer is yes, I will.  Why?  Because much like Winter's Bone, something in the end of the movie all but demands that I watch it again, to search for clues and answers that I may have missed.  To me, if I did miss them (which I'm sure I probably did), then that warrants a second viewing.  Why?  Because I care...I care enough about the people in the film that I want to know what actually happened...what didn't happen...and why.  If I didn't miss anything...then I may be frustrated by a second viewing, feeling that I've wasted my time on a DVD with nothing but loose ends and the mother of all abrupt, confusing, and possibly pointless endings.

Yeah, you heard me.  The mother of all abrupt, confusing, and possibly pointless endings.  When I run into something that steals that accomplishment away from TLE, I'll be sure to let you know.

What's good about this movie?

The way that it was made is absolutely fascinating and captivating.  Stamm's direction seems to have been trying to get as close to reality as possible...without actual reality.  The creepy farmhouse that much of the movie takes place in is a real creepy farmhouse...not to be confused with its distant cousin, the fake creepy farmhouse.  Additionally, most of the actors (aside from Fabian and Bell) played characters with the same first name, in order to keep them from escaping too far.  They weren't looking for actors acting...they were looking for people experiencing.  And that comes across absolutely brilliantly in the film.

What's even more brilliant about the film is Ashley Bell, a relative newcomer to the filmmaking scene.  Her performance is so lavishly layered and creepily crisp (please take note of that awesome alliteration) that even if I didn't want to watch the film again to try to piece the puzzle together...I might just watch it again for her performance.  Little trivia tidbit here for you, according to IMDB, "Bell did all the bends and contortions of her body on her own.  No special effects were used - she has hyper-mobility."  That statement will mean very little until you see the film...or at the very least the film's trailer.

What's that you said?  Trailer? it is...but be forewarned.  Not only is the trailer (like the website) way scarier than the movie itself...but the trailer is my opinion...terrifying.  So if you think that you might be frightened by the trailer...then by all means, DO NOT WATCH IT.  If you do and you get scared, I totally warned you.

So yeah, that's the gist of it.  If you're looking to be scared out of your wits (which I wasn't) then you may be let down by TLE.  If you're like me and you can appreciate a film, even with its shortcomings *COUGH-ENDING-COUGH*, for the unique way that it was made, and a cornucopia of stunning performances (not just Bell), then TLE may be worth your time.

If you've seen it, or see it after reading this, let me know what you think.

Stay Classy,

17 February 2011

myTunes: Sons and Daughters by The Decemberists

The winds are blowing like crazy outside and I love it.  There's just something about the wind...the idea that the air that I breathe and that gives me life takes on a life of its own.  There's a natural strength to it.  Oftentimes it is a subtle strength, but on nights like tonight, it's a force to be reckoned with.  I think that we all have that inside of us.  Anyway, I just think it's awesome.  It actually has nothing to do with this post (well, I guess now it does, but whatever).

I really don't have anything to say other than those airy thoughts (pun intended).  It's just that I finished watching Tuesday's episode of Glee a little while ago and the final song from that episode got me to thinking about what my favorite songs on the planet are.  I'm thinking I want to integrate that into my blog somehow, but I'm not sure how yet, and I don't care to take the effort to even think about that right now.  Just wanted to share this song.  I took my brother to see The Decemberists for a graduation gift last summer.  Not this past summer, but LAST summer, you know?  I guess that doesn't really matter to you.  Oh well.

This has always been one of my favorite songs of theirs and one of my favorite songs, period.  When they closed the show with this song, I'm not going to lie, I cried.  Just so simply beautiful and beautifully simple.  No complexity.  Just hopes and dreams and the belief that we can make them so.

When we arrive
Sons & daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

These currents pull us 'cross the border
Steady your boats
Arms to shoulder
'till tides will pull
our hull aground
Making this cold harbour now home

Take up your arm
Sons and daughters
We will arise from the bunkers
By land, by sea, by dirigible
We'll leave our tracks untraceable now

When we arrive
Sons and daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon now
(We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon now)

When we arrive
Sons and daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
(Sons and daughters)
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon
(We'll make our homes on the water)
We'll make our homes on the water
(When we build our walls of aluminum)
(We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon)

Here all the bombs they fade away (x20)

That's all for now.  Just wanted to share that awesomeness with you guys.

Okay, now I think that I may be adding this as a section entitled myTunes.  We'll see.  I'm accruing a lot of sections these days, it seems to me.


06 February 2011

Flicks I've Picked: Winter's Bone

Recently I came to realize that I really don't have a hobby.  For those of you that are saying: "What?!  How could this be?  For I distinctly remember reading this very post about you getting a new hobby.  I believed you.  You lied.  I'm done following your blog.  You suck at life."

To these disgruntled readers I have only this to say:  I did not lie intentionally...and I did the whole money tracking thing for a while...but it didn't really stick.  I'm not closing any doors here, but it's just not something that was a really fun use of my "extra time."  There's always tomorrow.

Anyway, I love watching movies.  Absolutely love it.  I love watching great movies.  I love watching terrible movies.  Just love it.  (But if I'm watching a terrible has to be on purpose...due to it's terribleness.)  I love to watch movies for one specific actor especially with Brocklee so that we can shout the following at the TV:

"Ghost of Idina Menzel!  RISE UP FROM THE RUBBLE!  We are so friggin tired of naked Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell!"

Anyway...I've decided to be more intentional about the movies I watch.  The first of these was the one for today's post.


Welcome to the new section (among the ever-growing collection of sections) of News From the Liminal State.  This new section is all about movies and is entitled...

[Trumpet Fanfare a la Tim Hardy]

Flicks I've Picked

I feel as if that's a safe name.  It covers all movies that I'll watch...because I will have picked (chosen) to watch them...but doesn't necessarily mean that I would pick to watch them again.

But most importantly, It rhymes.

Last night, I watched Debra Granik's Winter's Bone.  Winter's Bone is not only nominated for the Best Motion Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Writing (Screenplay based on material previously produced or published) Oscars...but it has also already won three times as many film festival awards than Jon and Kate have had kids.  (They had 8 kids right?  I'd assume so from the title of that show...but I never watched it.)  Anyway, that's a lot of awards.

Winter's Bone is the story of 17-year-old Ree Dolly (which I have typed as Dee Rolly two times here and then deleted), a young girl in charge of and responsible for way more than she should be.  Left behind by her meth chef of a father, Ree's every move is made to support, care for, and protect her two younger siblings and her mute mother (driven crazy by husband Jessup's crank cooking).

The movie is essentially Ree's search for her father, the search being spurred on by the fact that, if he misses his upcoming court date, the Dollys' house and possessions will be taken.

Ree wants desperately to find her father...but there are many who are hell-bent against her search.  Jennifer Lawrence (Ree) and John Hawkes (Ree's uncle, Teardrop) definitely win my admiration for their expert usage of subtlety.  The whole movie (except for some moments) is quite subtle actually.  It's an anxious when you look at your older dog and you can't tell if he's breathing or not.  It's like waiting for the tiniest inhale or exhale to ensure that he's alive and just sleeping soundly.

If you plan on watching it, do so with subtitles.  The overall subtlety of the movie can make it extremely hard to hear sometimes.  Also know that the movie is disturbing.  I wasn't as disturbed as I thought I would be, given some of the reviews that I read, but the library's DVD skipped an entire scene...and I could tell from the scene after it (and a crying actress in the arms of the director offset after the filming of the scene) that it was the disturbing scene that everyone was talking about.  I got the gist of it from the special features and the tiny snippets that I saw as the DVD was skipping.  Just be forewarned.  The scene is at like 49 minutes.

Anyway, would I recommend it?  Yes, to some.  It is not a movie for everyone.  It is not a family friendly movie (it's rated R for a reason).  Why would I recommend it?  I think that if you want to watch's an important story to watch.  It's an important reality to understand.  Also, I plan on watching it again.  There's a line at the end of the movie...that I will not share with you, of course...that pretty much demands me to watch it again.

It's not as suspenseful as I was anticipating it to be...but there was an added level of creepiness due to the fact that Forsyth, Missouri looks freakishly like my hometown of Bristol, Indiana.  Other than the hills of Forsyth (and the cave from a deleted scene shown in the DVD's special features) I felt as if I was back in Bristol.  And don't get me wrong...if/when you see this movie, you may think that this statement is a negative.  It's not.  I love where I come from.  I love the people.  I love the place.  Love it all.  It was just eerie seeing a story like this take place in a place sort of similar to my hometown (except people never make meth in Northern Indiana...oh wait).

My honorable mention for this movie goes to Lauren Sweetser who plays the role of Gail, Ree's best friend.  Her performance is, for lack of a better word, beautiful.  There's a very natural quality to this woman's work.  From the look of her resume on IMDB, she is a newcomer to the scene, which may be a part of her tangible uniqueness.  I hope with everything that I have that she will continue on in the field and hold on to that freshness.

Also unbelievably amazing (but I don't have the time to really write about them) are the filming, soundtrack, and the general way that that the film was made.  If you watch this on DVD and you don't watch "Making Of Winter's Bone" in the special are missing out more than you know, seriously.

That's all for now, guys.

Stay Classy,

04 February 2011

Thoughts and Prayers for Today

This morning, after doing my Bible Study, I stopped by my friend Becky's blog.  It was a beautiful follow-up to this morning's readings.  So thanks for that, Becky.

Things have been a bit ca-ray-zay here lately, so I've fallen off of the blog-reading-wagon.  When I was on ol' B-Dizzle's blog I gravitated towards another post of her's from January.

I don't know what it is that drew me to that particular post.  Could it have been the title?

If You Read Only One Post of Mine, Make it this One

Nah.  Doesn't really grab you does it?  Don't you just kind of get the feeling that you could read it...or not...?

Okay, no.  I didn't get that feeling.  So I read it.  It has reopened my eyes to a tragic reality that must return to my daily prayers and consciousness.  I've known about this, but have known about a lot of things, and in my prayers, sometimes specificity takes a backseat to me saying "Listen God, we all pretty much just need you down here on Earth, and badly, so thanks for anything that you can do."

Becky's blog post that day was about the atrocious reality of human trafficking.  It really hit me.  I followed links from her post and found another blog to follow.  That blog is called  Also an organization to look into called Tiny Hands International.

Okay, if I keep going on like this I'm just going to end up posting all the same links that Becky if you haven't already, please read that post of hers and check out those links (some are on my page but more are on hers).

Anyway, I found something on that I felt compelled to share here on my blog.  It's a video.  And all I ask of you is that if you have two minutes and fifty-three seconds to spare, please watch it, consider it, and pray.  Please.  Pray.

I couldn't say it any better than Becky did:

"Praying is never just 'the least' we can do...  It's the most we can do..."

Today, and from now on, I am making a conscious choice and effort to pray for those who are enslaved by the terrors of human trafficking and for the young people, teenagers (and others) of our world who are, many of them, suffering (frequently in silence).

Stay Classy...but above all, stay in prayer,

03 February 2011

Hope For Tomorrow: Peace, Cooperation, and Understanding

This is the first post in what I hope will become a huge series of posts that show a hope for the world of tomorrow.  I ran into this article and video and had to share.  Unfortunately, the video is showing up awkwardly in my blog...but I've spent enough time trying to fix it (without success) and I just need to move on with my life.  So please click and watch in the blog, or go to the following link:

My hope is that our world will begin to realize what those in Teaneck, New Jersey so beautifully display:  ALL PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE.

Stay Classy,

30 January 2011

An IPA Poem for Kristen

I am in Voice for the Actor 3 with Diane Timmerman right now.  I am so beyond glad for this, because it's been a while since I've had a performance class with Diane (my favorite) and this semester I have two.

(Okay, speaking of Diane, she's the one shooting at Gene Hackman with a machine gun in this clip. heard me right.)

Anyway, first what we're doing is learning the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  Then we will use that knowledge that we have acquired in order to master the art of dialects.  My first dialect will be Received Pronunciation (or RP), which is basically proper English.  My second dialect will be Irish.  Then I shall have a third, but I don't know what that one will be yet.

Anyway, in this class, as we are learning our phonemes, we are going through a workbook called Bringing Speech to Life: A Companion Workbook to Louis Colaianni's The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.

This evening, on page 30, I was prompted to:

"Write a short poem using / I / and / i / words."

And so I did.


My  sw/ i /t  b/ I /g  s/ I /ster  and m/ i  /
Ch/ I /t-chat  when  w/ i /  are  fr/ i /
G/ I /v/ I /ng  advice v/ i /a  the  phone
Skype  dates  't/ I /l  w/ i /  don't  f/ i /l  alone
I've  got  Sw/ i /t  S/ I /ster's back
And sh/ i /'s got m/ i /.

Maybe not the most brilliant thing ever written, but it's a step up from my sentence that I wrote on page 29 that had to contain four or five words with / i /:

"One must eat one's peas or one's brain cells will freeze, so pass them to me, if you please."

(Too tired to put that last one in IPA.)

Speaking of being tired...I have Voice with Diane in the 9:00 AM...which means I have to get up at 6:00 AM to take care of Genevieve...which means I'm wrapping this blog up and going to bed.

Peace Guys,
Stay Classy,

P.S.  I love you, Sis.

23 January 2011

Thrilled Squared

I love the arts.
If you know me, you know this.
If you've ever read this blog, you probably know this too.
My life, my love, my hope, and my dreams are in the Lord.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to express my life, my love, my hopes, and my dreams through the arts.

When I was a kid, it was music.  There was a little fork in the road (but I've recently decided to strive towards blowing that fork into smithereens and getting back into music) and I've found myself in theatre, and am very happy here as well.

One thing that thrills me is to see amazing art, of all kinds, that pushes the boundaries.  Art that takes something that we know already and simultaneously respects and transforms the original.

Music thrills me.
Drama thrills me.  (Not social drama.  Can't stand that.)

This video was both of these thrills in one.  I feel it would be terribly inappropriate, after being so taken by this video, to not share it with all of you.  Please enjoy.

10 January 2011

Gross...Just Gross

On a note very different from my post earlier today...a commercial that I just saw has all but forced me to create the second post in the growing (it has doubled, just today) category of posts entitled The Critical Corner.  To see this category's first post, click here.

Anyway...I really have nothing clever or funny to say about this.  It's just disgusting.  I don't think it's funny.  You may think it's funny...and if you do...that's fine...but the fact is my world...frequently referred to by myself as "reality," this is not funny at all.  It's stupid...gross...and a poor excuse for an advertisement.  Gross, gross, gross.  (Note...there are three "grosses"...not four...because this does not deserve four.)

So there you are folks...

I just...there are really no words.

Stay classy...or at least classier than these guys.


I Dropped the Ball on Dropping my Nets

This morning, I already had a Bible Study related blog post planned out...but I've decided to drop that, at least for the time being, and just go with the flow.

So this morning...I was doing my Bible Study and found myself in Matthew 4.  While I was roaming around in good ol' chapter 4, I ran into that story that I know by heart, the one where Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John run into Jesus when they're out on the waves, doing their jobs...and at the simplest invitation from Jesus these dudes are like "Forget this gig...I'm going to go fish for people instead!"

In case anyone is unfamiliar with this story...or has read my paraphrased version and is left's the NLT version.

Matthew 4 
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

So that's the deal with the first disciples.  In the present...when we read this...or at least when I read this...I think: "well, duh!  It's Jesus!  I mean, yeah, they're leaving everything that they know, everything that they've worked for, and everyone that they love...but...IT'S JESUS!  Who would turn down a personal invitation from the Son of God?!"

Anyway, for those of you who know me...when I say something like..."I think," and then there's a quote following...there's a lot more to it, but seriously, who wants to read absolutely EVERYTHING that I think?  I know I don't.

Anyway...yes looking back, it seems obvious that the right thing for them to do is just drop their nets and go.

I apologize...this is a scattered blog post.

But it's not just about dropping our nets, now is it?  No.  There's more to it.  It's kind of like the "Bend and Snap" maneuver from Legally Blonde.  ( it's not really like that at all...but when you can tie in a really goofy movie...not to mention a really goofy movie that was turned into a guilty pleasure can you pass it up?) dropping our nets is like the "Bend and Snap" (oooh, I'm making another connection, prepare yourselves).  Ir's a process with steps.

1.  Drop your Nets.
2.  Take those newly empty/unoccupied hands and grab on to Jesus.

Side note...this is kind of where the next connection came from.  So when I was reading this passage, I thought of the following song.

...and the words really hit me.

If You say go, we will go
If You say wait, we will wait
If You say step out on the water
And they say it can't be done
We'll fix our eyes on You and we will come

Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid
Are good and true
If You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
We'll gaze into the flames and look for You

When I was younger...I did my own personal net dropping.  I had plans for my life.  My initial plans were I came up with new ones.  But then I felt Jesus telling me to drop those nets.  And I did.  I dropped my plans, grabbed onto Jesus, and basically told him that I was along for the ride and He could take me wherever He saw fit.

But then I found myself in Indianapolis.  And at times...more often than not...I was very unhappy.  I think that I frequently felt abandoned.  I wondered why, when I had given up my former plans to follow the plans that God had for me...when I moved 160 miles away from everyone that I knew and loved...I wondered why I wasn't getting it.  Why would God lead me away and then step out of the picture?  I had plans already...and knew how to achieve them.  These were not my plans...these were His plans...and how was I supposed to figure out what they were and how to fulfill them on my own?!

Ah yes...there is the key..."on my own."  I was playing the role of Eponine in my own life...(if you don't know Les Miserables...get the soundtrack from the library and listen to it...or youtube it I guess...but you should really hear the whole thing)...singing the song "On My Own" with every breath that I breathed and every step that I took.

I felt alone...but I was never alone.
I thought I was suffering for God...but in reality...I was suffering by my own hand.

I dropped my nets, grabbed onto Jesus, felt alone, and slowly but surely loosened my grip on the Lord.  It was, of course, not God who stepped was me.  I didn't gaze into the flames and look for the Lord...I saw the flames, remembered how "certain" things seemed for me before God lit His fire in my heart...and I felt as if I were alone in a burning house.

I have come to the conclusion that this is more like "Wash, Rinse, and Repeat."

1.  Drop your nets.
2.  Grap onto Jesus.
4.  Repeat.

Maybe it's inevitable that we will continue to pick up new nets along the way...but each net that we grab on to takes up space and time.  It's good to know though, that if we've dropped our nets before, we can always do it again.

I think that I always looked at my net dropping as the end of a story.

"Well here's what I wanted to do...but I gave it up for God...The End."

Pretty backwards.

It's a beginning...just like it was for the Disciples.

"I had plans.  Human plans.  Unenlightened plans.  Then I dropped them, as they were no longer needed, and followed Jesus Christ.  I dropped my nets...and I picked up my life."

That's all for now, guys.  Peace, Love and Happiness!


05 January 2011

"Noah and Friends" or "God and Loneliness"

Genesis 6:9, 17-18

9 This is the account of Noah and his family.  Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

17 "Look!  I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes.  Everything on earth will die.  18  But I will confirm my covenant with you.  So enter the boat - you and your wife and your sons and their wives.

I feel as if this passage can show us that loneliness, grief, and loss are very real feelings.

There is being alone...and then there is being lonely.

When God created Adam, the Lord saw that things were good, but there was still room for more goodness.  God then created Eve, a counterpart to Adam, with whom Adam could share life and creation.

Later, when God's creations took a turn for the worse, there was one blameless person in the whole world.  The Bible tells us that Noah was that person.  And yet, God saves not only him, but also his wife, their sons, and their sons' wives from the flood as well.

The Bible does not tell us that Noah's family is blameless.  But still they are saved.  Why is this?

Is this because God did not want Noah to be lonely?  I think yes.

But God has already created Adam and Eve "from scratch," if you will, could he not do the same for Noah and create for him a new wife?  I think yes.  I believe that God can do absolutely anything.

But that's not what God did.

God saved the blameless and the blameworthy.

Is this because God not only did not want loneliness for Noah, but also loss and grief?  Could be.

(I think that this also shows us that we needn't be perfect specimens to be saved by are Great Lord.)

I believe that God understands loneliness and does not want it for us.  If we believe in Him, trust in Him, follow Him, and allow ourselves to be fully, deeply, and unabashedly loved by our God, I believe that he will lead us to a place where loneliness does not exist.