Saturday, January 26, 2008

Miss America 2008

My dirty little secret is I like watching beauty pageants. I think the thrill for me is watching people do what they are good at. And the fact that they have been wearing some slammin' shoes really helps. Anyways, I haven't watched a Miss America Pageant for a while, mainly because I just lost interest. It didn't have any relevance to me anymore. Pretty but fake girls. Barbies: good to play with, impossible to be.

But something new happened. My new favorite TV channel, TLC, gave the Miss America competition a makeover. I watched almost all of the episodes and I had my favorites. Miss Utah, Jill Stevens, won my heart right from the beginning. She is Sargent in the National Guard and I must admit I was rooting for her because she was the tomboy. I connected with her. She wasn't sappy girly girl, which I am not. She is extremely pretty, but she's tough. That's what I think America is all about. Pretty enough to capture your attention but tough enough to come in and take over your country if we need to.

Another one of my favorites was Miss Florida, Kylie Jean Williams. She told a heartbreaking story of being disfigured in an explosion. She had spent most of her life hiding her scars. During one of the competition, she had to go without make-up that hid her scars. She got cool points for me because I think society makes beauty a standard of goodness, and there is no hope for people who don't have it. So they end up hiding. But they are still beautiful none less. But not Miss Florida. She embraced her flaws.

Based on these two contestants, I decided to forgo writing my paper that is due Monday to watch the pageant. And at this point, almost halfway through the show, I wish I would have written my paper instead. I am really disappointed in the pageant. Why, you ask? Even though lots of smack was talked about revamping the pageant, it's still the same thing. Both my favorites were eliminated in the first two rounds. There were several contestants who moved on that were completely uneventful. They were pretty, but plain. No character. Barbies.

All in all, it was an educational experience. I do have a new favorite, Miss Washington, who was just eliminated. Yeah, it's all the same. But the coolest part of the whole show was was when Miss Utah was elemniated. The rest of the contestants dropped and gave her a pushup salute. Way cool. God bless America.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Great Escape

Sometimes, not very often, I want to escape my life. Not my outer life, my husband, my children, ministry and friends, but my inner life. My thought life. Sometimes I just want to take my brains out of my head for a few hours and be free from the pressure in there. And I don't mean sinus pressure (although, that would be nice, too.)

It's a lot of pressure being me. Most people don't know that because I keep my inside life to myself. It's hard work cataloging my thoughts, feelings, concerns and all the other random junk that runs through my mind. I think a major factor to my pressure is that I'm a passionate person. My passions sometimes consume me and it doesn't help that I'm completely aggressive. I try to be more passive, but it just doesn't work out.

I have an internal image of what I'm supposed to be and it changes from year to year. And my real life isn't even in the neighborhood of that. There are some very brief similarities of my inner life in my outer life, but not many. I want to be a better person. I want to change the world. I want to impact people for the good. But I end up here, just blogging.

So if I could escape myself, I would be someone who thought less. I would be someone who didn't care about how she looked more. I would be someone who was content, but not passive. I would be someone who could feel, but not drown in emotion. I would be someone who relaxed and threw all my responsibilities to the wind and watched them swirl in the air before I caught them all before they hit the ground. I would be someone who ate more gourmet food and drank more water. I would be someone who liked to snuggle and be snuggled. I would be someone who wasn't compulsive about buying CDs and someone who liked folding laundry. I would be someone who said yes without feeling guilty. I would be someone who was sure. I would be someone who can kiss each passing moment goodbye and embrace each new one like a long lost friend. I would an airhead who laughed at things that weren't funny. I would be someone who got pedicures and went swimming. I would be someone who wasn't me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Clearing my mind before bed...

Sometimes I journal before I go to bed. Most times it's not because I have some profound thing to record or that I had an incredible day. It's because I need to clear my head.

If my thought life was a car, it would be a hot rod, which goes hundreds of miles an hour. My mind is always working, which contributes, I suspect, to my extremely active dream life. (I dream almost every night.) All those miles add up. I'm sure my mental odometer has turned over three of four times in a night. I even talk fast because so much I want to say in one moment.

So journaling has become my parachute that slows my hot rod mind down. It's a release of thoughts and a settling of my mind. Sometimes it works like a charm and I'm off to sleep. Sometimes, it dredges up other thoughts, which means another hour awake.

I love the fact the blogging is so much like journaling. It allows me to exhale on paper...or keyboard. As I'm winding down this totally random post, here are some totally random thoughts.

  • My son is on crutches because he sprained his ankle. Problem is he is a huge klutz. That means I'm going to have to drive him to the bus stop. I hope I don't have to go the school and be a black parent.

  • I wrote "I saw her first" in Greek

  • I'm really overwhelmed with my life, but it's almost 11pm. Sleepiness does strange things to the mind

  • I want to eat some ice cream, but since it IS 11pm and I can't fit my size 6 jeans anymore, I'll pass

  • I love God and I know He loves me. He is the coolest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Making sense

I watch the news often. Having children who catch the school bus, I have to check the weather daily. I watch the evening news and I'll love reading Yahoo! News. With all the intake of news, I started noticing a pattern.

I first noticed it when Obama and Huckabee won Iowa. It was interesting to watch all the commentators scrambling to explain how this happened when these two candidates weren't expected to win. Lots of pollsters, university professors, and political analyst were all spinning their logic on the outcome.

Then today, I read a story on 2 church fires in the south. In the lead of the article, the reported said that the two arsonist dabbled in Satanism. It was like it was they were trying to explain why someone would burn a church. To me, if the two only dabbled in Satanism, that doesn't warrant mentioning it. That could be completely insignificant. They may have dabbled in drugs, too, but no one mentioned that. But Satanism is now listed as a reason people burn down churches, when the problem could actually be something else.

We get a lot of explanations with the news, which is actually isn't their job. We watch the news for facts, but if we looked closely, we see that only a very small part of the news is actually fact. So much of it is opinion and statements that cannot be proven. If I hear one more person talk about who going to win the 2008 Presidential Campaign, I'm going to scream because at this point, no one knows but God.

I must admit I can see why we get some many explanations in the news. It's because it's what we want. We want the movies with a happy ending where everything is all wrapped up in a neat tidy box. We want to know why. It's so much a part of our diets, it should be put on the food pyramid, right between the grains and meats.

Now, isn't it more interesting that God doesn't give us the whys all the time? We are asked to live by faith, which sometimes means having no explanation at all, when we thrive on knowing why. God challenges us to go beyond our understanding when understanding has been elevated to such a high degree in our culture.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Officially Old

I've never felt my age. I usually think of myself 7 years younger than I am. But every now and then, something happens that reminds me of my 7 year miscalculation. Something about being surrounding by screaming teens...

On Saturday night, I went to a Christian rock club. It was the first time I've heard a rock band live. As a matter of fact, I was reluctant convert to Christian rock. Too much screaming. But once I was introduced to Thousand Foot Krutch, P.O.D and David Crowder Band, I joined my fellow rockers.

So back to this concert. My fellow rocker, Linda, and I were pretty excited about the trip. We decided before we left that we were going to do some major headbanging. But to our surprise, we were the oldest people there other than the organizers. I was old enough to be someone one's mother. As a matter of fact, my oldest child, Jaz, is the same age as most of the teens there. The concert was a place called The 7:30 Club in Mitchellville, MD. And it's obviously a place for teens. But...I really didn't care if I was the oldest person there. I was excited about seeing Seventh Day Slumber.

Anyways, it didn't take me long to figure out I was old. I barely made it through the first rock band's set. They were called Manic Drive and they were from Canada (I found out that night that Canadians, Catholics and Lutherans rock the party). Anyways, they were so loud that I had to tear up pieces of napkins and stuff them in my ears. That helped but I felt really old because the other little 13 year olds were bouncing around with no earplugs.

But the cake topper for my "I'm old" revelation came this morning, when I tried to get out of bed. Apparently, headbanging is not good for the muscles in the back of your neck. I am hurting and stiff. Someone pass me the Geritol, a heating pad and put me to bed.