Friday, November 14, 2008

Speak it, Maya

In my poetic wanderings tonight, I happened upon something that really made me stop and reconsider an author I'd had little interest in prior today. Maya Angelou- a fantastic writer, as it happens, wrote some simple words that brought a light to my day.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"

I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I was just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

It makes me think about talking to people here, trying to share what I believe- even when its hard for them to see why some kids that go to church and do the bit down here can live as though Christ is no part of their life. A lot of these people think christians are playing some kind of better-than-you card, or that we think we are superior. I guess if I could say something outright to anybody here, it would just be that I want them to have the chance to feel the way I have felt with God in my life. I believe there are times when things happen that I could never bear alone. And sometimes I wasn't completely alone- I had my family, sometimes a friend- but when its a dark and quiet night, and all the company a troubled mind has is the troubled thoughts that haunt them and God, I know which I will come back to.

As difficult as it is to bring up, I now look back on a very dark time in my life when people ask that hard question: why do you believe in God? I'll never forget it- two years ago this winter season, when my alienation during school was at its worst. I got sick. I wouldn't know it- honestly, I felt somewhat numb to many things at the time, let alone the physical pains that ailed me- and left my room to find my mom. It wasn't smart to go downstairs, but I went down the first flight, flicking on a light as I headed toward the basement. I thought I heard a stir at the bottom when I turned the corner to the last set of steps, and called mom's name. Then, my legs seemed to vanish beneath me, and the warm electric light disappeared.

I remember hurt, everywhere at once- shriekingly painful, but foggy and far-off, even as it ached throughout my being, even though I couldn't make sense of any limbs or the ground beneath. I could hear Mom's voice, but the words seemed just as muddled, and my own response could not be made.

But worse than anything was the blackness. That sheer darkness that blanketed my senses and my soul. Beyond all the strange sensations of unconsciousness, I wondered if I had died; if this is what it felt like, being eternally seperated from everything that mattered. Away from God.
In the reawakening that occured shortly after, I had time to contemplate my experience- and rethink the life I'd begun to consider so worthless and unimportant.

Then again, I've been on the other side of the table as well. Feeling a golden light and warmth when I was submerged in the baptismal waters of Lake Padden, lasting what felt like minutes in what was only seconds.
Knowing, when Calvin Moehn died, how that little boy was safe. Even now, he was not just flickered out of existence; a soul gone like a candle blown out by one gust of wind.
Finding my supposedly-lost necklace of the cross after a day of sharp doubt and wondering if I was ever supposed to be in Texas at all, before collapsing into tears beside my bed, thanking God for speaking to me when I needed him the very most.

I cannot truly relay to the people I have come to love here how His presence in my life has inexorably changed it. But if Maya Angelou said anything, its that we do not boast, but we live our lives with him in focus. And for that ability, I pray frequently.
So thank you, God, for another year. I know I need not wonder how I survived a fall down a flight of stairs headfirst.

10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,

11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.

12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.

You caught me.

Oh, our poor, poor celebrities

This is not sarcasm- I am truly starting to feel bad for the guy. As we speak, the Twilight cast (or parts of it) is visiting Hot Topic stores in malls across America for signings, meet/greets, the usual in what has been unofficially dubbed the "tour of terror". But nobody guessed exactly how crazy this would get: proven, as every mall thus far has had to call in police enforcement, helicopters- everything short of the national guard. A quick glimpse at the madness, via a press release from Hot Topic's own admin staff:
"On Monday at 6AM at the San Francisco event, the fans became disorderly and stormed the mall entrance. Mall security, numerous police, fire officials and our team from HT stepped in to calm the crowd and create a safe environment for the fans."

Notice: they leave out the helicopters. ;^D

And FYI- I haven't found my iPod yet. Gar.

And poor Rpattz, the man who cannot take this much longer. I think the fangirls may be driving him mad. A few instances:

"Five minutes in, he's trying to talk but no one can hear him. And then, six minutes in, someone throws him a scarf (which his enforcers quickly confiscate). It's not even Hufflepuff colors. I don't even know. The only thing he said that I was able to make out was "What?"

"One fan who got at least 10 seconds sported a neck tattoo inspired by the book Twilight: an apple with the word lamb next to it.

'Oh, [expletive], is that real?' asked the astonished actor after Alena Marsh displayed it."

"But every single time, I get so nervous, and kind of cold sweats, and everything. Every single time. I started crying in Italy. Like, completely involuntarily. [...] Like, do you know when you have the wrong reaction to something? It was really embarrassing. I didn’t even know I was. Kristen, I think, turned around to me. And she’s like, 'Are you crying?' I just found out there’s a whole pile of stuff. So. Yeah. I started crying when people are screaming at me. I really didn’t think that would happen." - Robert Pattinson, following his involuntary *tear,tearing* at SanFran: the Disaster.

In the aftermath of what can only be described at sheer pandemonium across our nation, not only has New Moon gone "into production" and Eclipse begun the scriptwriting process, but the Twilight Soundtrack currently tops the Pop charts, and millions like myself steel ourselves for the imminent midnight release. This has spawned much hilarious commentary.

Some comment/quotes from fellow Twat/Twi/Notlighters:

sithwitch13: He's like a lobster in a tank or something, and you just want to rescue him from all the drooling people with their noses pressed to the glass and release him in a bay somewhere so he can have a fighting chance on his own.

msmanna: If the lobster were smart enough to know what was coming, and was hammering on the glass with its little nippers while screaming, "OH MY GOD, THEY'RE GOING TO BOIL ME AND EAT MY FLESH WITH MELTED BUTTER!"

kijikun: Hot Topic employees aren't even allowed to talk about what happened in SF or any thing else that is happening. I was talking to two of the girls working at Hot Topic yesterday before the Panic at the Disco signing (a very orderly affair, I must say) and the manager came over and was like "yeah we aren't allowed to talk about it. Corp said. So you need to drop it, now."

lyrangalia: I can just see the Hot Topic higher-ups sitting in a room with their heads in their hands while one of them shouts at the front of the room:
"You do not talk about Twilight.
You DO NOT talk about Twilight.
If someone says "sparkle" or goes crazy, cries, the signing is over.
Only 10 customers to a signing.
One signing at a time.
No glitter, no biting.
Signings will go on as long as RPattz doesn't cry.
If this is your first Twilight Event, you HAVE to work security."

From a fake online news site:
"A recent event in San Francisco was particularly disappointing, as only 3,000 fans showed up and all they did was shove each other and possibly give one girl a bloody nose," said Summit VP of marketing Lucas Ledbetter. "If you want a movie targeted at teen girls to be a hit, you need riots of at least 10,000 people and a few dozen of them ending up in the hospital. Our real goal was to to see one or two deaths."

Ledbetter said his company has also been disappointed that fewer than 80% of opening weekend tickets have been sold so far online and that the movie wasn't able to score a coveted spot on the cover of The Economist magazine."

And FYI- I haven't found my iPod yet. Gar.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


That would be the current soundtrack for my life.

The setup: its opening night. I'm excited, nervous, and a little bit queasy, so I listen to my iPod in the hallway outside the auditorium with this girl who just moved from West Virginia. A short time later, its warmups: and crew is reminding us in the most anxiety-inducing manner possible. Thinking frantically, I lean in through the doorway, set said iPod atop a filing cabinet beside a small black binder, and pop into the black box for warmups.
Show goes great. I go home.
iPod stays.
And at approximately eleven 'o clock last night, I realize this.

But hey, easy job- I just pop into the room tomorrow morning, whisk away my mp3 player, and head off to biology.
Problem #1: iPod is not there.
Problem #2: No one seems to know if an iPod has been found.
Problem #3: I've searched my house, every inch of the theater facility, the car, the garage, the lawn: any place that little device could possibly be. Nothing.

So, as I sit here sobbing to myself, I face the revelation that my iPod has been stolen.

Plainly, I was being an idiot bringing the thing in the first place, but I thought "hey, everyone else does it, why not me?". Even an upperclassmen left his overnight the day before, picked it up the next day, and all's well that ends well.
Furthermore, I should have found a better place. Skipped warmups, gone to the dressing room, found my bag and shoved it to the very bottom, but there again: I thought it would be safe! Why oh why did I ever put an ounce of trust or faith in the human race?

Of these facts I am certain: there was most likely no janitorial presence that night. It was there during the time when we all entered the classroom after the show. It was on top of the filing cabinet, never moved by me. I have witnesses to prove each fact. But this brings to light an all the more painful piece of data: the thief ("fur", in latin: we're studying crime vocabulary this week!) is one of the cast or crew. One of these people that circles up for a group prayer each night before curtain, one that I link arms with each and every time, now knows they have taken something that belongs to me. And thus far, they have shown no remorse.

Its hilarious- the kids of the south have something of a reputation, for the most part. Like being born in the bible belt gives you automatic virtue and morals. For some, that may be true.

But when I stop and think about it, there are people everywhere that will do this without a second thought. And while I personally am going to the vice principal's office tomorrow morning to initiate the investigation process, I know there are some people that would never dare.
Why does this happen?

So excuse me while I beat myself up for being a retard in the highest degree. I have an iPod to find, and I will not get a night of restful sleep until I do.