Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blurred Lines?

Confession.  I heard this song and thought it was just about the best thing since sliced bread.  Then I kept listening to it, over and over and over.  Suddenly I was learning the words. Wait, the words!  What was I singing?  Hold up.

I'm a music person first.  A song catches me with the beat, not the words.  And man is this song catchy.  Why do those have to be the words?!  Why can't I just enjoy a fun summer song.  Can people make music that isn't so demeaning?  I would never in a million years let my daughter listen to this, so why am I?

And don't get me started on that video.  I mean, what is that?!  Aren't these guys all married?  Are their wives really happy that they are cavorting with naked ladies for no reason.  Ugh, I just can't.  What's worse, I read that it was directed by a woman.  Really?!

So as much as it pains me to do it, when Blurred Lines comes on the radio I shall be switching stations henceforth.

Dear JT, I'm not too happy about your boobies video either.  At least yours can be characterized as artistic, so I'm going to let it pass.  Please don't do it again though.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christian Men Don't Date

Ok, ok, that's a very broad statement.  What I should say is, in my experience, the Christian men I have encountered don't seem to be too overly concerned with dating.  Sure, some of them do and to them, I say kudos!  Well, as long as you're not a serial dater.  I don't see many of those though.  Most of the guys who actually ask girls out eventually find one and get married.  Weird how that works out.

This is a continuing discussion among my single lady friends.  Actually, it's not much of a discussion anymore.  We've pretty much tired of the topic and just approach it with an "it is what it is" mentality.  But I can't seem to get it out of my head lately.  The more at peace with it I become, the more infuriated I get.  I was never one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding and had it all mapped out.  I was always focused on school and career goals.  And that's not to say I had blinders on, I just wasn't all wrapped up in the husband chase during the college years.  But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be sitting here at 33 still single without a prospect in sight (on a side note, I keep thinking I'm 34, but that's a whole different story).

"But what are you doing about it?" is often the refrain I hear from those who are married.  No, I'm not in bars trolling for guys.  I'm not at the gym on the lookout.  I don't pass by cute strangers and strike up a conversation.  You know where I go?  Church.  Yep, church.  Why you ask?  Because the Bible tells me I'm not supposed to be unequally yoked.  It also tells me I'm supposed to be submissive to my (future) husband, and let's be honest.  Being on the prowl from the get-go doesn't bode well for my submissiveness, now does it?  No, I'm supposed to wait for the gentleman to ask me out.  He's supposed to pursue.  He's supposed to lead.  Our courtship should be the model of our marriage.  But here's the problem.  Christian men aren't dating.

I see them.  They're there.  They exist.  I know them.  They are my friends.  But evidently we Christian ladies actually in the church just aren't appealing to them.  Maybe this is a bigger problem because I choose to live in LA and every other girl out here is drop dead gorgeous actress wannabe and my guy friends are under some false delusion that they deserve that type of woman regardless of whether she is a Christian or not.  While this doesn't help the situation, I don't really think it's the culprit.  I think this is happening in churches across the country.  These men are in a suspended state of adolescence and don't seem to want the responsibility of a family.  And for some reason, the church is just turning a blind eye to it.

I know what you're thinking.  Terri, find ways to meet more guys!  I hear you.  But I also work a 9 to 10 hour day and commute about 45 minutes each way, so the weekdays are out.  I joined a men's softball league and am having a blast, but there doesn't seem to be anything there.  I'm on e-harmony.  I even joined Christian Mingle.  The next step is to leave my small church plant and go to a bigger church where the odds might be better.  Except they won't because my friends have done just that and the result is the same.  No one is getting asked out.

Instead, we get together on Monday nights to watch The Bachelor and laugh at it (but secretly long for that same pursuit in our lives) and plan how long until we can afford to buy a house in the hills together and finally embrace our spinster destiny...while the church doesn't seem to notice or care.

ADDENDUM: The boy said I should update this because, well, he asked me out.  I still stand by the original thoughts though.  As one of my friends jokingly stated (and lucky for me) "evidently he didn't get the memo."

Friday, July 5, 2013

I promised something more saccharin for my next post...

This is a note my niece gave me a couple of months ago...

I cracked up when I read it.  Evidently a friend of hers was a flower girl in a wedding, and she desperately wants to be one, too.  I'm not certain why she thinks cute boys are at the "haircut place."  Her haircut place must be a bit different than my haircut place.  ;)

This is all funny and lighthearted, but it leads me to my next post...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's on my mind?

Hello blogosphere.  I haven't posted in a year.  There should be a lot on my mind, right?  Wrong!  I feel like nothing has been on my brain much the last year, that's why I haven't posted anything.  Or maybe it's just that I felt the need to interact with real live people.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I was just addicted to my iPhone and sick of my desktop.  And now I've got a shiny new laptop, so watch out.  I may actually post a couple of times this year...or not.

Actually, something has been on my mind that prompted my annual blogger login.  And that's this whole gay marriage debate.  I know, I know.  I've already posted about this before, you say.  And no, my views haven't changed.  I'm still anti-anti-gay marriage.  In case you're confused by that double negative, I'm not against gay marriage on a government level.  I just hate saying pro-gay marriage because Biblically I'm against it.  But that's a separate issue.

Here's what's annoying the crap out of me though.  Why do I have to agree with your lifestyle?  News flash - I DON'T!  And that doesn't make me a bad person.  And I don't think you're a bad person.  Quit projecting that hatred onto me just because I have a different opinion.  Quit telling me that my opinion is only ok if it aligns with what you've decided I should believe.  I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. It's not outdated.  I can't pick and choose what I believe from it.  It's all truth.  If you want to sit down and have a more detailed conversation about that and any questions you may have, then I'm game.  Let's do it.  I love talking about Jesus!  Let's just be civil with one another.  You have your beliefs.  I have my beliefs.  Why do we have to be enemies?  Calm down!!

And hey there, friend.  Guess what?  Remember, earlier, I said I was anti-anti-gay marriage?  That's right.  I'm one of those Christians who's kind of on your side.  Don't get confused, I'm not a liberal Christian.  Check back to that last paragraph in case you're confused.  I get flack from my Christian brethren for my position on the issue and I'm ok with that.  But I get ticked off when you attack them.  I get worked up when I read about lawsuits against them because they don't want to bake you a cake for your wedding.  What point are you making?  There are plenty of people out there who would be happy to help with your big day.  Go give them your business.  Leave those people that don't want to support your marriage alone.  Drop the lawsuits.  Walk away.  Be happy that you're succeeding in your fight for equal rights.  Surround yourself with those who support you.  Give your business to those who support you.  This isn't a discrimination issue and don't try to make it one.  I'm sure any of those business owners would be more than happy to make you a birthday cake.  They just don't want to support your marriage because it goes against their beliefs.  And why should that bother you?

So help me if you start attacking churches and pastors that refuse to perform your marriage ceremony...

Ok, rant over.  Go about your business everyone.  Maybe next post I'll talk about puppy dogs or something equally saccharine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Does anybody handwrite letters anymore?  I was just doing some spring cleaning and found some letters my grandma has written me over the years.

My grandma wrote me quite a few letters, and I'm sure she did it for all her grandchildren because that's just the kind of lady she was.  However, in my adolescence, I didn't see the value in keeping them, and unfortunately probably trashed quite a few of them.  Luckily, some of them struck my fancy, and I kept them.  I made a point of starting to keep them in college, and I am so thankful that I did.

My sweet sweet grandma has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home, so I haven't received a letter from her in many many years.  Unfortunately, neither have I been able to have a substantive conversation with her in a very long time either.  But this weekend, I read through all of those letters and could envision her sitting down at her desk or her kitchen table and putting pen to paper writing down her sweet and encouraging thoughts that always made me feel so loved.  On the one hand, it made me sad because I don't get to talk to her anymore, and I feel like I never really got to say goodbye to her as she has slowly slipped away.  But more so it made me thankful.  Thankful that God blessed me with such a lovely grandmother who cared enough to sit down and write me notes.  Thankful that I get the joy of opening them up every few years to be reminded of her love for me.

My pappaw carried on the tradition after grandma couldn't remember anymore.  His notes were limited to birthday cards, but I love them none-the-less.  Usually he was just updating me on the progress of his garden and grandma's health or who came over for dinner the night before, but I love that he cared enough to write more than just "Happy Birthday."  

In the days of email, we can stay more easily connected which is great.  But let's be honest, how many of us are going to browse through our inbox reading old emails?  It's so much more impersonal.  So my challenge to you is this.  Sit down and write someone an old-fashioned handwritten letter.  It may take a bit more time and would require you to purchase some actual stamps, but I promise you the person receiving the letter will be so happy to be on the receiving end of it.  And I'm betting they just might stick it in a drawer and find it in a few years and experience the same joy re-reading it and thinking back fondly of you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is funny?

A discussion this weekend got me thinking, what is funny?

My friend and I watched The Five Year Engagement and were perplexed because there were two scenes in particular that had us busting out laughing.  In fact, we were both brought to tears.  One involved a wedding toast by the sister of the bride who couldn't stop crying.  The other involved an argument between said sisters disguised in the voices of Elmo and Cookie Monster as it occurred in front of one sister's children.  Evidently we were the only ones that found those particular moments funny because you could've heard a pin drop were it not for our laughter.

Now, I'm going to be honest here.  I've always fancied myself a fan of intelligent humor (see Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, etc).  I don't get Two and a Half Men.  I don't get The Big Bang Theory.  I don't get Adam Sandler movies.  I don't get the Three Stooges.  Farting isn't funny.  Burping isn't funny.  Poop jokes aren't funny.  Basically, low brow is just not my kind of humor.  But is it fair to look down on it?  Because I do.

But really, what is funny?  It would be boring if we all found the same things funny.  I may like humor that makes you think a little.  You may like poop jokes.  Does that make me any better than you?  Well, obviously yes.  But I'll try my best to stop being a snob about it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Love LA

It's no secret.  I have a massive love affair with Los Angeles.  Sure she angers me and sometimes I hate her, but most of the time I'm head over heels in love.  I love the culture.  I love the people.  I love the neighborhoods.  I love the food.  I love the weather.

I stumbled across this love letter on a blog the other day and felt the urge to post it because it so accurately captures the awesomeness that is Los Angeles.

Copied from http://foodlatio.com/post/9960190970/los-angeles-i-love-you

You met her at a bar.
She was a perfect 10.
Actress. Model. Dancer. Whatever.

You’ve seen her in pictures, watched her on TV, and heard about her from friends but you always wondered. And now she is right in front of you, but there’s just one problem, she’s a raging bitch.

She rarely pays attention to you.
She makes you feel insignificant.
She hates your friends.
She hates your apartment.
She hates your car.
She is always looking over your shoulder at someone else.
She four squares everything.
She loves TMZ.

She makes it really hard to love her.

Her name is Los Angeles.

I am part of the rare breed of Native Los Angelenos, yes we do exist.  I grew up in the neighborhood of Atwater Village (you know that strip of land in between Intelligentsia and Armenia). After 27 years of living and growing up in this town I can say I hated it. I was sick of the traffic, $14 martinis, the Ed Hardy, the yogis, the vegans, the valley, everything. So I moved away. I moved to Connecticut for a glimpse of the countryside, the “better life”. I worked there for 2 years, paid super low rent, and spent weekends in New York. But about half way through that endeavor I realized I missed LA.

I missed the culture.
I missed the style.
I missed the 24 hour restaurants.
I missed the music.
I missed living in a place where “limited release” movies were actually released.
I missed the weather.

There was a period during winter in Connecticut when I didn’t see the sun for two weeks. I decided to get in my truck and drive south until I hit sunshine (it took 3 hours). While I met some amazing people in my time in the Northeast I knew it wasn’t for me.

And so I came back to California. I took an almost 40% pay cut to come back to the Angel City because I missed her.

I came back to her culture.
I came back to her fashion.
I came back to her culinary mecca.
I came back to her art.
I came back to her opportunities.

The movie industry films here because its 70 degrees and sunny every day so you can work year round. While other parts of the country have snow, heat waves, and humidity I rarely go a day without sandals on my feet. You can take your tornados and I’ll keep my earthquakes (we don’t even look up from our iphones for less than a 5.0). Each neighborhood has it’s own personality may it be from the hipsters in Silverlake, the key grips in the valley, the plastics in Beverly Hills, La Raza in Boyle heights, or the stoners in Venice. Sure there is ubiquitous traffic that everyone complains about but that’s only from people that don’t actually live here. People that live here accept that its part of the package deal and don’t complain about it. It would be like New Yorkers complaining about that weird smell in the subway or all the graffiti. Celebrities that constantly complain in interviews about how everyone here is “so fake” might want to re read their job description and then hang out with a different crowd. There are real people here and I have seen them in these streets that I know so well working as a Paramedic. I have rubbed elbows with them at In N’ Out, we have waited for our Grande soy sugar free vanilla lattes together, and I have cheered with them at the upper deck of Laker games. So don’t belittle my city celebrities, a city that has brought you so much.

Most tourists hate this town too but LA is like a fungus, it grows on you. There is no immediate visual pull like San Francisco, or history like Paris, or skyline like New York. There is no real town center like most any other city of the world. Think about it, what do you tell out of towners to do once they get here? I have no idea either. Besides Hollywood blvd. there is no Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, or Wrigley FIeld. When they ask you where to stay you say, “it depends”. When they ask you what to eat, “it depends”. Each neighborhood has a personality as does each cuisine and each person here. While we may not have many marquee attractions, what we do have is a bunch tiny pieces to the mosaic that makes up this great city.

Don’t get me wrong though, as with any relationship you sometimes hate each other. The parking, pretentious hostesses/bouncers, cupcakes, greenpeace volunteers, menus that tell you what’s NOT in your food (no preservatives, gluten-free, no dairy, flourless, etc.). Sure she may nag you, tell you to take out the trash, or ask you if you think these pants make her look fat but this is the place you, me, and that guy next to you in the Prius have chosen to live.

This is where I grew up and this is my town, and if you don’t like it get the fuck out, because traffic here is a bitch.

Los Angeles, I love you.

Eternally Yours,
Chris Backley