Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Wouldn't it be simpler to use just one word?

It would certainly make more sense." "Nonsense." "Ridiculous." "Fantastic." "Absurd." "Bosh." They chorused, then continued. "We're not interested in making sense. Its not our job. Besides, one word is as good as another- so why not use them all?" -Norton Juster in The Phantom Tollbooth, pg. 40

This morning while at work, I was making that face where you seal your lips. You know, it puffs out your cheeks and your lips and it looks really funny? I then realized that if I filled my mouth with marbles, it would make my face do that... And make my mouth feel weird. I started thinking about what it would feel like to have little balls of cold glass (because marbles are always cold) shoved in between my gums and lips...

Then I moved on to what it would be like to have your lips sewn shut and to never be able to breathe out of them. Like, you would try, but your lips would just puff up and the air would get trapped. You'd never be able to blow out birthday candles, or sigh, or inhale sharply.

I didn't say anything to my co-workers, because I thought maybe these were not normal thoughts and I need to have my job, but when I got home I google image searched "mouth full of marbles". Apparently I'm not the only one who wonders about such things.

Also, I asked hannaHRose, and she said she wondered the same thing.

Not only was I suffering from childish instincts of wanting to put everything in my mouth today, I also rediscovered Schoolhouse Rock. My family had all the VHS movies- English, Math, Science, etc. I still remember most of the songs, and have been listening to them obsessively on youtube.

Schoolhouse Rock taught me several valuable lessons. Interplanet Janet taught me the order of the planets as they rotate around the sun; Where the Money Goes taught me why paying bills is important ("If I don't pay the mortgage/They'd take the house/And then where would we get our mail?); Three is a Magic Number taught me that having babies is magic (ok, not really the lesson the song intended, but that's what I got out of it); and Interjections! taught me about the correct use of exclamation points.

There are a lot of things in my childhood that got passed off as entertainment that are lessons I still remember; Schoolhouse Rock, of course, but Monopoly, Scrabble, and Boggle all taught me math and vocabulary skills, as well as bartering and how to argue my point. (And, often, how to lose.)

We had a video game that was supposed to teach me how to get along with my brother... However, all I learned from that one was how to hurt him without my Mom being able to tell.

I think that some of those things must've driven my parents nuts, but they were able to see the long-term value...

I hereby vow to not disallow my kids from watching or participating in something simply because I don't like it.

Also, I may use them as an excuse to watch Schoolhouse Rock and Lizzie McGuire again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

For some, pleasure is a fever they can't shake.

For others, it's a disease they cannot seem to catch. -Terri Guillemets

On Saturday, hannaHRose, Sarah and I went to an EleventySeven concert. Personally, I think EleventySeven is one of the best things ever... The music isn't your run of the mill "rock" band, and their lyrics crack me up. (They have a song making fun of Edward Cullen/Twilight, one about being an Evil Genius, one about how someone's life cannot be summed up on myspace, etc.)

One of my favorite things about EleventySeven, however, is that they cannot be put in a box. hannaHRose describes them as "pop punk teenie bopper music". Sarah and I had never seen them live before, and she warned us to expect a bunch of 14 year old girls swooning over the lead singer.

Apparently most of their fans have grown up with them, because a lot of the "crowd" (which wasn't really a crowd, but more of a gathering) was around our age.

As the opening bands played, and then as EleventySeven started their set, I began to notice something.

Everyone was so serious. Very few people seemed to be outwardly enjoying the experience. You know, bands would be trying to get people to clap along or jump or whatever, and people were standing there like dead things with legs.

(I should admit that I do not tend to participate in the jumping... There's something about being a pogo stick in the middle of a big group of people that doesn't appeal to me.)

But here's what I can't figure out: why wasn't anyone seeming to have fun?

I can see only two reasons to look miserable at a show:
a.) You honestly don't enjoy the music... In which case, why are you there?
or b.) You are taking yourself too seriously to look "like a fool".

Now, we weren't the most enthusiastic of fans (I mean, I enjoy EleventySeven, but this wasn't a Demon Hunter show...), but other than a 15 year old girl who was swooning at Matt's feet, we were the most animated bunch there.

A few years ago, I hated anything that made me look mildly out of place. Standard wardrobe: blue jeans (not too light or too dark, mind you), sneakers, a plain colored t-shirt, and a ponytail. I used the same words as everyone else (forget about the larger vocabulary I had... I wanted to make sure everyone knew that I was just like them). And I was a closet Christian.

I don't know if it's because I'm closer to God, if it's because I'm more comfortable in my own skin then I've ever been, or if it's because I'm living in a place where everyone is a little zany or off the map (I was amused to have been planning this all day only to come home and find that Kanz had written about her individuality), but I can't stand being the same anymore.

My weekend plans involve going to Asheville with Kanz wearing an apron and possibly hot pink rubber gloves... And I'm actually quite excited.

The point of being a Christian is to be set apart, called to something bigger than the rest of the world. This may not mean looking different appearance wise for everyone... But our actions and words should be telling the story of a different lifestyle and internal dialogue.

Besides... Painting the world a rainbow is more fun than slapping on various shades of beige. Even if it is the most appropriate outfit in the office.