Monday, May 24, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Friends in Knox Vegas

I was in K-Town this last long weekend to go to my friend Lauren's wedding and to celebrate my one and only niece's birthday. Being around all my friends there, laughing with them, crying with them, dicussing serious and spiritual things, discussing silly and transient things- all of these experienced reminded me of how much I love them and how rare the depth and bredth of the friendships I have really are.

So here's to you, dear friends. The top 10 reasons I love you...

10. A sizeable chunk of my Knoxville friends have known me for 5, 10, 15, even 18 years. This means that when I am too full of myself or preening about my awesomeness a little too much, there is someone there who remembers the time I bit it in the mud playing soccer in Wellness. Hard to have too much swagger around anyone who knew you through puberty.
 9. They make time for me when I come. They drive me around, let me spend the night, change their routines and schedules to make sure that they get to see me. Makes me feel like a special snowflake.
 8. Their sense of humor is almost as weird as mine. I have to be A Professional so much of the time now- I miss laughing at random and hilarious things! Where else but Knoxville can I find as many people who would rank Twister as one of their favorite comedies? They keep my bantering skills sharp and quick.
 7. If I needed anything- money, a place to stay, advice, someone to drop everything and come to DC- I know that I have about 7 different people who would be there, no questions asked. Wow. How many people are lucky enough to say that?
 6. They put up with me when I'm distant, crabby, judgmental, smug, know-it-allish, and tired. I am all of these things more often than I would like, so their patience is appreciated and necessary for sustainable relationships. Though, let's be honest, sometimes you provoke my distance, crabbiness, judgment, smugness, know-it-allness, and fatigue. That's why this is a give and take situation.
 5. They are not afraid to tell me like it is. And they receive me dishing it right back.
 4. They still think that Knoxville has a rush hour. It reminds me how simply life can be...
 3. We can switch from a discussion of politics and literature to an ancedote about the weird kid that they pass every day on the way to chem lab to what the best movie that Patrick Swayze every made was to what God is doing in our lives without missing a beat.
 2. I have as much fun with them today as I did when I was 8, 13, 18, and 22.
 1. So many of them love me as unconditionally as is probably possible. I have an embarassment of riches when it comes to my friends, and my relationship with each one of them is something I take very seriously. To whom much is given, much is required.

I'm still coming off the high of seeing all you wonderful people! And what's even more amazing is that I am building relationships with people here in DC that could very well be just as deep, just as fun, and just as permanent.

I keep saying it, but man, am I one lucky girl.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Entering the Wilderness

Life has been pretty hectic since I returned from my self-imposed spring break. There's been lots of work, lots of socializing... and lots of engaging with things that I want to ignore. I don't want to deal with my problems, with the ugly roots that keep me from fully enjoying life. But that's exactly what I've been called to do in this season. It's not fun- especially when you feel like such a mess at work- but it's also joyful because I know I'm being obedient, I know that I'm doing what I've been asked to do.
It's all a little vague, I know. But I don't want to disrespect my family by getting into more details. Suffice it to say, there's a lot going on with me right now, things that my family is not ready to process, and so I need to respect God's timing, not mine.
I am entering the wilderness and I know I will be met there. I am expectant and hopeful, so that makes me excited in a way. But I am not naive enough to think that I will be feeling very happy for the next little bit. It's going to be a little lonely and a little long.
But praise the Lord that He has given me community here and in Knoxville! When I think about the people  who love me and care about me, it makes me feel overwhelmed with how gracious they are to me! So as I walk through this time, thank you for bearing with me, for dealing with my emotional dumps on you after a long day at work, for asking me how I am, for praying for me, for reminding me of all the things I'm fighting to enjoy fully.
And sorry for the vague, emo post. I will try to perk things up for next time :).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Piano Woman

Hoping to reclaim more regular posting this month! I'll ease into it with this week's playlist...

I've been reveling in my love of the piano and my envy of those who can play it well. So here's a salute to some songs that show it at its best.

"I Love the Piano" - Judy Garland: This is an Irving Berlin vaudeville standard that lyrically and musically celebrates the eponymous instrument. The cover I'm referring to appears in the movie, Easter Parade, and Judy seriously belts it out. Really fun to sing along with- stands the test of time, as well, in the sense that it's as fun and toe-tapping as it was when it was 'modern music.'

"Tiny Dancer" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - Elton John: EJ is my favorite pianist in rock music. These songs have amazing and unexpected lyrics and ones that, even if they seems a little foreign at times in the story they are telling, manage to be relatable on a fundamental level. I also like the slightly dreamy, theatrical quality in his work. Plus, definitely belters. You can count that I will be crooning along with this on a road trip.

"I'll Stand By You" - The Pretenders: An unexpected song if you are familiar with the rest of this band's catalogue. However, this is a song where the piano adds a raw undertone of sincerity and emotion that supports and elevates the already stellar lyrical content. This is a song of unswerving devotion, the kind we all hope for. I've always thought this would make a good wedding song, because it's basically saying,  When the shit goes down, you're going to be okay because you won't be alone- I'm not going anywhere.  I also love the way that the piano strikes the notes so crisply in the hook.

"Let It Be" - The Beatles: I unashamedly air-piano/air-organ to this song. One theme I'm noticing in thinking about why I like these piano ballads is that the instrument is taking superb lyrics to the next level. Definitely true of this song. The organ also makes the whole thing seem almost like a hymn, which underscores the message of the song. Not sure if I philosophically agree with that message, but it is poignant and sincere.

"You Picked Me" - A Fine Frenzy: Here's a slightly more traditional ballad with a twist. The piano in this case rollicks along with the words (I feel like I'm driving down the road on a sunny day, for some reason, when this music comes on) and paints a jubilant picture of what falling in love feels like. It's also a novel and sweet metaphor of the beloved reveling the adoration of the lover.