Friday, August 26, 2005

I Hate Improvement, I Love Improving.

Lately, with the addition of Clay to our team, we’ve gone in a different direction with the style of music we’re playing. Much of what we do is the same, but we’ve been adding some rich, urban black gospel to our rep., mainly because that’s what Clay is really, really good at.

Here’s the problem: I’m a whiter-than-white rock and roll keyboard player. I’ve got soul inside me, but getting it out and onto the keys is not always easy. Playing this genre of gospel for ME is like asking a hip-hop dancer to do ballet (can you tell I’ve been watching “So You Think You Can Dance?”). If I’m going to have the job I have, I need to be a pro at my instrument, but lately I haven’t felt like one. I’ve felt like a no-good hack pianist for the jazz band at Kennedy Middle School in Wabash, IN. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! So, the solution was simple: I had to start practicing. I don’t like practicing. I hate practicing. I never practice. I had to make the decision that being a “PRO” meant being a pro at every style, at any time. So yesterday, I sat at the piano for the better part of a day and worked on 8 measures of music. That’s about 15 seconds of music for you non-music peeps. Did I enjoy it? Not a chance. Am I better today than I was yesterday? A ton.

Next week will surely bring another song that needs work, and feeding off of my success from this week, I’ll spend the time necessary to ‘get it right’ again. I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe.

A quote worth quoting: “You play the way you practice”

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Just In From Vegas

We just arrived home from Las Vegas. We spent two nights and two days in the city of blinding lights, celebrating our anniversary.
Don't worry, we're still Wesleyans. No dancing, gambling, drinking, dirty shows or whatever else you may be thinking. Just two glorious days in the lazy river at the Monte Carlo, or as it was called this week, the "Monte Garlow!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Another Thing That Lacks EDGE...

I don't need to know how many kids you have, how tall they are, what their names are, how many pets you have in your house, much less what breed they are, and what you call them.
Congratulations, you have a big family. We can tell THAT by the size of your vehicle.

I apologize if you're a friend, relation, acquaintance, or fan and you have posted your family on your car. I haven't seen ALL vehicles with this kind of advertisement, and yours could be way edgy and I just didn't know it. Ten years from now, I may have that same thing going on with my car. Maybe the kids love it and the parents have to give in. Maybe when the sixth graders are getting dropped off at school, they get made fun of if Mrs. Soccer Mom isn't with it. Maybe the times have changed and it's no longer un-cool to get dropped off right at the front door in front of everybody. Maybe it's NOW un-cool to get dropped off three blocks from school WITHOUT a white family tree on the back of your SUV.
I don't know. Maybe the times have changed and it's not mom and dad's fault.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Office Space

Not many people get to work in an environment with people they really, really like. I DO, and it's great! We have recently added two new members to our team (worship and arts) here at Skyline, thus completing the "dream team." I thought I'd introduce them:

Clay Davis came from Ohio and is our front man/choir guru/ vocal leader/ productions guy(Christmas shows). He, his wife, and two boys joined us in Feburary of this year. Killer pipes, but more importantly, a killer worship leader. Plus, our family's have become very close over the last 6 months. Good times on and off the job.

Nick Benoit is the latest addition. He's been here a couple of months now as our "visual/ video/ creative whatever else" PRO. The good news is that his wife has finally joined him. Last week she finished her job up in N. Carolina, and moved on out here. Nick amazes me with every cut. Many of you know Nick from IWU.

For those who don't know, I take care of the band/instrumentalist, the administrative stuff, and the planning and production of the weekend services. That's my job. This is our team. Thought you'd want to meet them

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Drive-In...

Twice in the last week I've been to the Drive In Movie Extraviganza. Ok, "Extravaganza" was not part of the name of the place, but it was extra-something: Special... Fun... Fellowshipable... Scarry... Dirty... Grose... I don't know. Maybe "Innersting" would be the correct term?

The first night was Friday Night. The place was jammed. EVERYBODY in San Diego wanted to see the Duke brothers ride again. I guess a few people wanted to see how Jessica Simson's "acting" skills were coming, but I'm pretty sure most people were there to see The General Lee.

Only at the drive in can you find just about every kind of person out there. The drive in is not a respector of age, weight, race, social-economics, religion, or political party. On one side of our completey normal, domestically neutral clan were the Desert Turkeys... who brought their own sofa. Ok. That's cool. Except, did I mention it had a lift kit on it. Yeah, it was hoisted 4 feet in the air by giant springs. On the other side of us was the sawed-off Volkswagen bus with the surfer and his girl in the way-back. closer to us was another couple who decided to see who could hold the most liquer during one movie. Then slightly ahead of us was the slumber party. Awe, wasn't that cute. The little girls running back and forth from their car to the snack bar as many times as possible before the previews began. One girl was very good at that... well... the snack bar part, not so much the running part.

On to Last night. Somehow I convinced 3 responsable adults, one child, and two infants that a 12:40AM movie was not too late. My insomnia will bring the world down.

This night was different. I pulled up to the ticket window to pay, and the pot-head attendent looked at me for a minute, the said, "What's up?" I replied, ", I'd like to see a movie?" Yes, I said it in question form.

We got in there, and I instantly spoted one of the 3 other cars as being the "make-out" car. It was a ford excape, and the (teen) couple was making there bed in the back of the SUV (facing the screen). It just so happened that my vehicle was facing the rear of theirs. The movie was over and I really had no choice but to hop in my car as quick as possible, and turn on my brights :) Yeah, he was scramblin quick to put his pants back on. Whatever he was doing was way wrong, Grandma, but catching him was so right!
We got home at 3AM. We are tired today, but we'll never forget last night!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Symphony of Toys

Just click on the picture above to PLAY!
Click HERE to access my film page!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Friends Don't Let Friends Hike and Blog?

I started combing through some blogs today. I started at one friend’s site, then jumped from his to another, then another, and so on. I came across a ton of old friends. It was great to see what everyone’s doing with their lives, but…

Somewhere along the way, when the little elves were creating “BLOG”, one of the elves decided to create a secret code that appears on the computer screen. It flashes really, really fast in order to brainwash people who are singing up for blog. The code, when de-coded properly reads this:

In order to have an effective blog, you must…

1) Learn to hike.

2) Hike all the time.

3) Have really deep thoughts while you’re hiking.

4) Quit your job and forget anything you’ve ever learned about responsibility and taking care of yourself and your family and hike ALL THE TIME.

5) Post pictures of your irresponsible ways for the whole world to see, as if it’s something to be proud of.

6) Not blog unless you can write about…
a) Where you hiked
b) What you thought about when you were hiking
c) A deep though that you had while planning your hike
d) Where you’re going to hike next

7) Realize that the best pictures you can post on your blog are of YOU with your shirt off standing on a rock along the trail that YOU were hiking on. Bandanas are a plus!

8) Pretend to do the above mentioned items at all cost in order to keep the integrity of your blog, even if you have no idea how to walk, much less, hike.