Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sorry, I'm Not Home Right Now...

The other day, I walked through a spider web as I left my house and headed to my car. I dropped my purse and started flailing my arms around and squealing; there's just no way you can attempt to free yourself from the grips of a virtually invisible web of death while keeping your grace and dignity intact. And it wasn't a peaceful, beautiful web inviting you in to admire the sparkling dew drops it caught that morning. No. It was sinister, attacked me.

The worst part was that I couldn't find the spider afterward. I hope it didn't end up in my hair. Or my car. Or my purse. Hopefully it's not in my room now...making a web above my bed...

Oh, I hate spiders...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ti penso ogni giorno

The allure of Italy is holding my heart captive. As the date of my summer trip fast approaches, I daily find myself dreaming about and preparing for my vacation. I've noticed that when I have something like a trip to look forward to, everyday stuff seems a little more bearable in the meantime. Yesterday, for instance, I had crazy back pain, had to get my blood drawn, and capped my day with a four-hour history class. But you know what? “It’s cool…I’m going to Italy!” That heightened sense of anticipation makes Life so much more enjoyable.

I love thinking about what to pack and wear. I love making lists (first in my head, and then typed out) and buying cute little travel-sized items of things I really don’t need. I dream about all the paintings I’m going to cry over and the statues I’ll say hello to, the ancient walls of buildings I’m going to touch, and the dirt in the Coliseum and the Forum that I’m going to rub between my hands. I think about the weather—are the morning hours going to be cool as we sip our daily cappuccinos? Is the day’s heat going to linger into the dark evenings as we stroll through the ancient stone streets? What are all the interesting things I’m going to see and ridiculous things I will laugh at and delicious things I will eat and strange scents I will smell? No matter what I’ve planned, how much I research, or what kind of lists or itineraries I make…I’ll just have to experience Italy’s mystery, variety, newness, history, and amore when I get there.

June 20th…please come soon.

But not too soon. Dreaming is fun, too…

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watson's Drugstore

Check out my latest article in the April issue of The O.C. Gazette, about the history of Watson’s Drugstore and Soda Fountain in Orange. Research for this assignment included lunch with a girlfriend at the counter, noshing on fries and burgers and sharing an Oreo milkshake. Such hard work...

I love the atmosphere of this place. It's such an escape. If you have not been to Watson's, you have not fully actualized life. It’s so fun and delicious.

For all things awesome in Orange County, check out The O.C. Gazette.

Monday, April 4, 2011

God Loves Lady Gaga

A week ago, I saw Lady Gaga in concert with some of my best girlfriends. We got all dressed up in wigs and glitter and were excited for a fun night at the Staples Center in L.A. The show was amazing--Lady Gaga is quite an entertainer. She's extremely talented (in my opinion) and the production was incredible. But it wasn't the yummy dinner or the show or the awesome fake eyelashes or even my wonderful friends that I liked most about the night. I liked that the show, that Lady Gaga, got me thinking...

This concert was a worship experience. The power that music has to move you and create an intense emotional experience is undeniable. That's why music is such a powerful way that Christians connect with the heart of God. I noticed a similar connection at this concert. Lady Gaga said things from the stage like, "Jesus loves everyone," "love yourself," "be who you are," and "you were born this way." And many of her fans just drank up her words and used them to validate their identities and lifestyles. Fans dressed up exactly like her--they wanted to be her. "Paws up!" she would demand, and hands went up...the crowd did whatever she told them.

The interesting thing is that many of the things she said were true...almost. Yeah, be yourself, but how do you know who you are if you don't know who your creator is? Yes, Jesus loves everyone and accepts everyone, but he does not approve of everything that we do. Lady Gaga's message seemed innocent enough, but the danger under the sequined, interesting package that it's wrapped in is that it's more confusing than it is clear. And to talk about Jesus while you're covered in fake blood, dropping eff bombs, and gyrating with your backup dancers is creating a context that, no matter what you say, mocks him.

During the show (which, again, I did enjoy), I asked God to help me sort out my thoughts on things. And I don't know if this next thought came from him, or from me, but right after asking that, the next thought that popped into my head was "God loves her."

God loves Lady Gaga. He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for her sins. Mocking Christ is her way of dealing with pain in her life that she doesn't know what to do with. We make fun of the things that we're secretly uncomfortale with, after all; mocking is a way of coping. I haven't done any research on this woman, but I am convinced that she is afraid of, or has been hurt by, the church or something/someone associated with it. People are afraid of her weird antics, frightening costumes, and bloody performances, but I think calling her demon-possessed or the anti-Christ (yep, I've heard these things) is giving her too much credit! Really, I think they are afraid of the affluence and influence that she has that allow her to proclaim her messages of distorted truth. It's her platform of power that they're afraid of. If we looked a little closer, I think we would see a misguided and misled girl trying to make a difference in this world in a way that she knows how, and trying to feel significant and loved. She's a wounded, lost little 25-year-old girl. And weren't we all lost at one point? Isn't that why we all need the grace and wisdom and hope of Christ?

God loves Lady Gaga...his heart breaks for her. And it sounds weird to say, but mine kind of does, too.