Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Snuggie Snob, Twilight Fan

I am sitting here on our couch, laptop on lap, feet up, dryer running, comfy as can be with my NEW SNUGGIE. That's right! HusbandPastorPriest Jack got me the best Valentine's Day gift ever: a Snuggie with complimentary book light. He even got the right color to match our living room decor.

We don't have a photo of me and the Snug yet, so this will be the visual:

I washed and dried it, and then it shed, literally, all over the house. But after I vacuumed all the fuzz, it was perfect. I can highly recommend it. I haven't tried out the book light yet, but it did come with batteries, so that's always a good sign.

Sorry for the delay between posts. I am working at the school this week and have started the Twilight series. I won't say much other than I am sorry for ever scoffing and judging. And for making fun of my late-twenties friends who have read it! I am hooked, a fan, and it's been a great conversation starter for the juniors and seniors this week!

And now I have my Snuggie and book light to make the books even more wonderful!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Music Supervison and Quality Melody Control

So Emily and I sit down for a movie, American Splendor, last Thursday night, and while the opening credits were rolling, a graphic appeared that read, "Musical Supervison by..." Now this was interesting because the previous credit on the screen was "Music by..." Have I missed this job before in other films? It's always noteworthy to see who the best boy is, or who was responsible for the key grip, whatever that is. I've always paid attention to who does the music for a movie. Is it going to be James Horner? Mark Isham?, or best case scenario, T-Bone Burnett? Who is this musical supervisor and why does the "Music by..." musician need supervision? Evidently the musical supervisor for American Splendor earned his keep, because the jazz tunes throughout the film were classic numbers (i.e., "My Favorite Things" by Coltrane) and contributed to the plot in a meaningful way.

Can't you just see the rivalry on the set of American Splendor between the lead musician and the musical supervisor? The musical supervisor has the right to throw artistic penalty flags on the lead musician's score at any point of his own choosing. He hasn't been asked to write the music; it's not his job. All the music supervisor is asked to do is make sure the music isn't deplorable. And it's probably a safe bet that he goes about his work of quality melody control with exceptional smugness.

Smug as music supervisors are sure to be (whoever they are), the thought occurred to me watching this movie: why is it that film sets are the only places that ensure quality control for music? In an economic downturn we need to create jobs ASAP and I see no reason why we should not create music supervision positions for offices, restaurants, and shops around this country. We're surrounded by cheesy tunes everywhere we go, but it could be so much different. Companies are in compliance with environmental standards; why not musical standards too?

Just think how your life would be different if you had a roving Music Supervisor at your office. The co-worker who habitually plays the Aaron Neville station on Pandora.com too loud would no longer be able to infect your office with this noise pollution. With a roving Music Supervisor, you don't have to broach that awkward conversation, even though an intervention is obviously needed. There's help for your colleague...and everyone else in earshot. The Supervisor would saunter in the offender's office and say, "what you really want when you click play on Aaron Neville is not Aaron Neville. You want a good vocalist with a melodic hook in a bright chorus." Acceptable substitutions are numerous: Frank Sinatra, Al Green, and Amos Lee to name a few. Think of the lift around the office when Al Green takes over from Aaron Neville. It's a whole new world, Aaron.

When you start to think about it, the musical upgrades are endless. Too much Nickleback in your life, even though it's beyond your control? A good music supervisor could put in The Killers' Hot Fuss album and everything's better. Tired of hearing Matchbox 20 everywhere you go? A huge serving of Coldplay with a side of old school Counting Crows is like a tall Americano on a rainy day--instant energy.

So there's my argument for our country's need for music supervisors. It shouldn't be a job for Tinseltown only. Quality melody control should be available to every shopper in Kroger's produce section who feels the onset of sudden depression simply because gloomy violins are hovering like a dark cloud. And then maybe I wouldn't rush through the produce section grabbing vegetables like a madman. Maybe I could linger and enjoy some U2, David Gray, or Harry Connick, Jr. To quote the Irish band above, and a thought that's probably bounced around your head before, all I'm asking is, "how long, how long must we sing this song?"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I love the AMiA

I decided to change the look because the cute green background was getting a little hard to see.

With that said, we had an incredible, fun, holy and wholly time at the AMiA winter conference. It wasn't like the feeling you get in high school when you are on senior high retreat, but it was just very encouraging and exciting to see the growth of the movement of which we are a part. Since last year we missed most of everything because of our flight delays, it was extra special to see the "opening ceremony" this year. And especially because HubPriestPastor Jack is ordained and could participate. All the clergy processed in to "Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise" and it was very powerful. I really enjoyed that because I love the tradition of robes and stoles and colors and vestments.

Here are a few highlights from the past week:

1. We arrived in Greensboro a day and a half early, so we had some time to hang out. We drove to Winston-Salem to hang out with my campus minister from college, Kevin Teasley. It's been several years since I've seen him, and Jack had never met him, so it was great to see him. I felt like we could've hung out with him all day.

2. The opening worship service and seeing all the priests and bishops from all over the world. Well, Africa and Southeast Asia.

3. Eating lunch with some sweet women; I found out later they were bishops' and archbishops' wives. One woman in particular was so friendly and told me how much she loved sandwiches. Later, I found out her husband had started the movement that is now the Anglican Mission. Yeah, she likes turkey.

4. Margaret Feinberg. She is inadvertently helping me figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

5. Being with people from our church family while out of town. Most of the staff from church went, along with another clergy wife and another couple. There is something about sharing meals and seeing each other in a giant meeting room in another town that brings you closer in your own town.

6. My name tag at the conference. It said name, town, blah blah, but mine was special. It had a bright pink attached to it that said "CLERGY SPOUSE." At first I was embarrassed by it, but after a few hours, I realized I was growing rather attached. Once people saw the bright pink tag, they would give me knowing looks, or sympathetic looks, or would come up to me to talk because THEY had a bright pink tag as well. It also got me into the special hospitality room for spouses. We had a huge fruit tray, couches, servants waving fans, goblets of refreshing beverages. Oh wait. We did have fruit trays and couches, along with fresh flowers and African archbishops wives. It was such a nice thing the AMiA had done. A nice way to feel appreciated.

7. The clergy wives luncheon. It happens every Friday at the conference. I loved it this year because I sat at a great table and my new friend from lunch the previous day, Cynthia Tay, spoke. Her talk was so moving and encouraging that I teared up several times and ended up getting the recording of it.

8. Hanging out with Cousin Patrick. He is so funny.

9. As We Forgive. Sadly, it was in the worst time slot of the week. It was AMAZING. Filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson has made a documentary on reconciliation in Rwanda. It's about life after the genocide, focusing on two significant stories. I woke up at 2:30 this morning, or, as Chris Cairns says, "I slammed back into my body," thinking of ways I could get this message out to my own little world. If you want to talk about the amazing-ness of this documentary, please talk to me!

There were some speakers that really rocked Jack, Patrick, and Chris' worlds, and I am really glad for that. Mark Russell, to name one.

I think that is all. The Office after the Super Bowl has finally come on, so duty calls.