Dancing in Rented Pants

25 09 2006

This weekend was a VERY busy one, and the central focus of all that busy’ness was the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Luke Lucas (her name is Jackie and she is way more beautiful than Luke could ever hope to be). As a member of the wedding party I was required to rent a tuxedo, and any man that has rented a tuxedo can tell you just about how much fun that is. First of all every item of clothing has a barcode on it, and I don’t mean like a price tag, I mean the “mark of the beast” kind of barcode that reminds you that for the next 8 hours that you wear these clothes you are not in charge of your own fashion/comfort destiny. I have to say that undershirt, shirt, tie, vest (full vest, not the fake “clip on” vests), and a jacket in the late September pre-rain humidity in the sunlight doesn’t create what I like to call an “Ideal Nick Climate”. But then again I wasn’t doing this for me, I was doing it for my friend Luke. There were plenty of good stories from the weekend anything from the Bachelor Party (what happens in ‘the Gump’, isn’t exciting, but stays in ‘the Gump’ none-the-less), toasts that include the phrase “I hate to see him go like this, I mean it’s like he’s dying” (referencing the Groom to be of course), and being told by the Groom’s mother that I am “going to hell” (please see above statement about Bachelor Party). These stories and many more made for a great weekend, and I wish the Lucas’ nothing but happiness all the days of their lives. Cheers.

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9-11-01…What I Was Doing

11 09 2006

You always hear older adults talk about where they were when Kennedy was shot, or maybe your grandparents talk about where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I have two of those stories so far in my life, one of which I’ll share today (the other is when the Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986); September 11, 2001.

I woke up on the morning of the 11th around 6:45 a.m. (living in my apartment on Zelda Road at the time) with a rather large headache. After trying to block out the light and the pain, without the effort of getting up to take some Tylenol, I eventually fell back asleep. About an hour later I woke up with no improvement in my brain pain and decided at that point I wasn’t going to work that day. I dozed back off, and woke up again around 8:25 a.m. and turned on the TV while laying in bed. The shock of what I saw unfold before me for those hours that morning is a feeling I won’t forget. It is a lot like the feeling you have during a bad dream that once you wake up you have to take a minute to realize it wasn’t actually real. After watching in disbelief for what seemed like minutes, was actually about 3 hours, I went up to First UMC in Cloverdale where Darrell and Pat (and Lane may have been there as well) were watching it in the attic, we all basically just sat there for a long time not saying anything and at the same time not really sure if there was anything to be said.

I remember the church (at this time I worked at Dalraida UMC) put together an “open sanctuary” for most of tha week if anyone wanted to stop in to pray or be with other Christians, and the church as constantly busy most of that week. I remember thinking, even in the midst of that terrible time, how I was disappointed that all these people would show up at church together (as well they should have…that’s not the disappointing part) when something bad happens, but when life is good, or just normal they don’t really care whether they are there or not. Later I felt guilty for being critical of people in such a time, but maybe that was just my emotions surfacing and how I chose to cope.

Seeing the footage now still evokes some of the most vivid memories of my life, and I’m sure years from now I will be the “older adult” talking about where I was when…





Let Us Gather To Worship

9 09 2006

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As the “fall” is upon us in the south, we come into the season that brings people into a true state of worship. College football season is here! As I watched the Auburn Tigers in their season opener last week and then again today as they extended their record to 2-0 I reflected on just how much importance people (in the south in particular) put on football. At Starbucks this morning Laura and I placed our drink orders and the lady behind the counter asked us for our names to put on the cups, but then paused and said”or maybe it would be better if I put War Eagle on his and Roll Tide on hers” (because we both happened to be wearing the hats of the teams we cheer for. In case you were curious how that turned out my cup ended up saying “Vin” and Laura’s said “Dora”… seriously?!?!?!

Youth Building

Over the summer we have renovated some of the youth space at the church and in the process we repainted the room ‘Island Orange’ (as per the paint sample from Lowe’s), on the day of the open house to invite the church at large to come over and check out all the work we had been doing I spent the ENTIRE morning defending the color choice in light of College Football. It didn’t matter that we have a logo for our youth ministry (Oasis Youth Ministry) on the wall that went with the color scheme. It was an entire morning of

comments like “Why didn’t you paint half the room crimson?” “You would do something like this you Auburn fan” “You should have painted the top half blue and it would have looked better”, and “Go Vols!”. It really bothered me that on a day when we were showing off a space that was improved to further the youth ministry of a church that all most people could focus on was whether or not the room was painted the color of their favorite team.

I have a friend here in town who is a wedding coordinator and they are currently in their “slow season” where they don’t have near the amount of weddings as they typically would, and why is that…why, college football of course! People won’t have their wedding on a day when there is a football game because they are afraid people will watch or go to the game instead, and the sad part is they are probably right.

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I LOVE college football, and I LOVE cheering for the Auburn Tigers, but I also realize that you have to put this all in perspective. Yes on Saturdays I like to wear my team colors, and watch the game with friends and yell at the television, but it certainly doesn’t dictate the general comings and goings of life like it does for so many. So as you gather together with thousands of your fellow “worshippers” at stadiums across the country I hope you will keep it all in the right place in the grand scheme of priorities in your life.

Now may the grace and peace of the quarterback sneak be with you now and as you cross the first down line. Amen!





Rock and Roll All Night (But Not Past 11 p.m.)

6 09 2006

So here now I bring you my personal review of the last night’s triple billing of Eliot Morris, Goo Goo Dolls, and The Counting Crows.*Note: The opinions expressed on this page are solely that of the author, they in no way reflect the opinions of Mrs. The Author, First United Methodist Church, The Methodist Church at large, the state of Alabama, or the General Motors Company.

Eliot Morris

Upon Jonathan’s recommendation I tried to pay some extra attention to Eliot’s performance. A Birmingham native, Morris’s set was very tight, and sounded very good, he had a solid voice and his songs were catchy. On the downside, they mostly sounded the same, and his voice was VERY similar to Adam Duritz’s (which is probably why he is touring with them). They were good, but overall I can’t really pick out one song that stood out.
Goo Goo Dolls

The best way I can describe my feelings towards the Goo’s portion of the show is this: it’s like being offered a ride in an H2 Limo from Montgomery to Disney World. After the first 10 minutes you’ve had all your fun in the limo and you’ve still got 10 hours before you get to Disney world. The Goo Goo Doll’s played every song you would have hoped they would and they sounded good (with the exception of bass player Robby Takac-vocally he’s like Phyllis Diller with a mouth full of M&M’s). While hearing many of the songs that have been out for so long, “Name” & “Iris” to name two, my friend Matt Gorum summed it up best “It’s like being 14 again only with beer” (keep in mind Matt is 6 years my junior).

The Counting Crows

This is why we came folks. It was great. Very chill and laid back (which in my increasing years I appreciate more and more). One of the great things in my opinion about the Crows is that vocally and musically they sound great, but they don’t sound just like the CD’s…I mean if that’s what I wanted to hear I would have stayed home and listened to the disc for free. They change up the styles of their songs not only to keep it interesting for themselves but to put on a show that you can’t get on your own. The highlights for me were “Hangin’ Around”, (which welcomed Eliot Morris and his band back onstage to join in), “Anna Begins”, “Colorblind” which is an incredible song in it’s own right, and “Holiday in Spain” probably in my top three of all time Crows songs. The show was good, and the thing I’ve noticed about Adam Duritz is that even though time has not been kind (he’s starting to have a bit of a Jerry Garcia thing happening to him) he’s still the performer and vocalist he’s always been (actually vocally he’s matured a lot over the years). I enjoyed my time, and only wished they could have played longer for there were quite a few songs they didn’t get to that would have been great to hear live (maybe that’s a tease though for their live album “Amsterdam” that is coming out soon) “Mrs. Potters Lullaby”, “Einstein on the Beach”, “American Girls”, “Angels of the Silences”, and “Rain King” to name a few.

A Few Random Concert Notes:

-It’s been long enough since I’ve been to a major concert (Jubilee CityFest definitely doesn’t count) that I was thoroughly impressed with the stage shows of both Goo Goo Dolls and The Counting Crows. I LOVED the video screens spread across the stage rotating images and such as the music dictates.

-To the gentlemen that looked like he belonged at a Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert, and never stopped dancing (a strange mix of swing dancing and hip hop sway) even when there was no music on….Rock on Brother!

-Yes the girlfriends of shirtless skinheads will get in fistfights a few rows up behind you, and yes the police do like to get involved.

-Pot smoking at concerts will never die, I think it could be the Brookly Tabernacle Choir performing somewhere and your nose will get the wafting tickle that smells of wet skunk and oregano.

-MY 9th and 10th grade daughters (God willing one day) WILL NOT, and I REPEAT WILL NOT, be dropped off at concerts dressed like Laguna Beach/The O.C. cruising around with cigarettes and the one boy that’s 21 years old buying drinks and bringing them up to the seats for everyone.

-Yes, the 9th and 10th grade O.C. girls did get drunk, throw up, and then fall down the stairs in the stiletto heels they wore to the concert.

-Last time I was at a concert at Oak Mountain people were not allowed to bring in cameras so we didn’t and therefore don’t have any pictures to share, but sure enough everyone else in the whole place had them, so we lost out on that. Sorry!