Ok, I’ve been getting a little serious lately. I need to get in touch with my not-so-serious side. So here’s a grab bag post of less serious stuff.
The Christmas Cantata
It’s that time of year where church choir directors start looking at new Christmas music. Every year, my choir presents a Christmas Cantata
cantata – a medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.
Ours usually last around 30 minutes. They tell a story with narration and songs with a particular Christmasy focus. I’ve selected one in record time! For the last 3 (4?) years we’ve been doing cantatas buy Pepper Choplin. His music is outstanding, and we’ve hit a home run every time. But it is time for a change. I picked something entirely different and I’ve hired 5 or so musicians to join us and that’s all I’ll say. I predict that it might be the most uplifting cantata we have ever offered, and most importantly, it will be a wonderful moment of worship. We start work on it at the end of August. Yes! It really takes that long for us to prepare it for December!
The Elder Wand
Many of you know that I returned from Harry Potter World in Orlando with a souvenir wand. It’s modeled after a wand in the Harry Potter movies. I won’t say who’s wand because that is a spoiler, but most of you already know. It’s not a toy, but it’s not not a toy. It’s on display at my desk and when I need to think or relax for awhile, I fiddle with it. There’s something about it that I really like. I use it to point at my screen and imagine that I can do things on my computer with it (not successful so far). I also imagine that I can extract thoughts to a pensieve (dish where you can put your thoughts like in Harry Potter) when I’m working through an issue.
I know that this is silly. Perhaps if someone caught me with it, they might think that I am immature in some way. And maybe I am! But it somehow makes my day a little better. And I think I know why. This wand represents one of the greatest vacations that I’ve ever taken my family on, and that makes me feel good.
The Evan’s Theatre in Norman is helping my love life! Jenn and I can now afford to go on a date every week if we like. It costs $6 or so to get in and $13 or so to get drinks and snacks. You really can’t beat a $20 date. I keep an entertainment budget and it comes straight out of that, so it’s built right in. We just need to make it happen. Friday nights seem to work.
Last week we caught The Jungle Book. I don’t think it was Jenn’s first choice, but she knew how much I wanted to see it. I got a super duper deluxe Freetos chili pie. So good. And she got the loaded nachos. The movie was very good. It was visually stunning, and there were elements of the animated version woven in, such as a few songs. With actors like Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, and Christopher Walken, it’s hard to go wrong! Funny, thrilling, and moving.
The place is special to me. In the 80s I played arcade games while I waited with my friends, went with my youth group from church to see stuff, and took Jennifer on dates there in high school. It is full of good feelings for me.
OKC Gay Pride Parade
I know I’ve already written a whole post on this, but I just gotta say that I feel very nurtured by that event. Those few hours represent to me the best of what humanity is. Other animals have their way of showing some sort of affection and devotion, but human love may go beyond that. Yes, it’s made complicated but our intellects, traditions, and faiths, but at this event, I felt that it was very pure. I thought it would be very political, but there was a striking absence of politics.
And it’s something you can feel. In the presence of pure love and acceptance, it is hard not to feel it. It triggers something in our limbic systems and then we feel it. And when we feel it, we spread it. And when there are 30,000 people exploding with it, it is overwhelming in the best possible way. I feel very blessed by it even as I’m writing this.
Something to Sink My Teeth Into
I’ve been mildly unhappy at work for quite awhile because I have so little to do, and none of it has been challenging, but this week I was given a tasty morsel. I get to rewrite the interface between one of our systems and the new requisition system. I do not know how complicated it will be or how much work it will be, but it’s something to do! Bring it on!
A Tasty Independence Day Treat
Most years, my family attends a cookout and pool party at friends of my parents from my old church whom I’ve known for 30 years. It’s nice to catch up with folks and eat some yummy burgers and dogs. When it’s time, we carpool out to the Lloyd Noble arena and park our cars on the hot cement. We set up chairs and prepare for the fireworks show. And though I love the fireworks, my favorite part is the treat. Every year, the couple who hosts the party make scratch lemon ice cream. When I say lemon ice cream, I don’t mean sherbet or sorbet. I’m talking ice cream with lemons and lemon juice in it. The lemon slices freeze and soak up the sugar. It’s uncommonly delicious! You may say, well then why don’t you learn how to make it? To which I say, then it wouldn’t be so special!
I’m sure I’ll find something serious to write about soon enough, but it’s good to mix it up! Have a happy day!