Weekends and Grilled Cheeses

My weekend was pretty low key.

My whole family went out for dinner on Saturday evening for my mom’s birthday.  Unfortunately we forgot it was also St. Patrick’s Day, so the restaurant was super packed and loud.  We had a good time anyway.  It was nice being able to celebrate another anniversary of her 29th birthday.  I hope she has at least 50 more.

Today was extra relaxing.  The weather was perfect, so me, my girl, and some friends hung out at the park for a while.  We just sat around on a blanket and looked at the clouds.  I’m not sure if I ever done that before, actually.  It was glorious.  Hopefully we’ll be able to do this again before the humidity hits.  Doubtful.

Now for the real reason I’m writing, THE GRILLED CHEESE.

I’m not going to say it was life changing.  I wouldn’t go as far to say that some sort of paradigm shift took place, but I will say that something deep with in me changed when I took my first bite of my Cream Cheese and Jalepeno Grilled Cheese.  I will never be the same, and I can’t wait until my next experience, but this time with bacon.  Yes, BACON.

We also made a Guacamole and Bacon Grilled Cheeses which were almost as good.  I think I might need to invest in some extra husky pants because this guy has a new hobby, and it is eating gourmet grilled cheeses.

I leave you with the recipes and a picture.

Guacamole and Bacon Grilled Cheese.

Cream Cheese and Jalepeno Grilled Cheese.

Happy Monday.

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In my headphones

Artist: Dave Barnes

Song/Album: Stories to Tell

Date Released: March 13, 2012

Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Pop

How I heard about Dave: It was sometime in 2005 when I was avoiding writing a paper for Dr. Ruff. I was surfing this cool new site called Myspace. I ran across his site and have been listening ever since.

What I like: I was in a bad mood when I heard these tracks the first time, and only liked a couple of them. Upon getting plenty of sleep and adjusting my attitude, I’ve decided that I actually like every track. It’s a cd I can listen to all the way through with out skipping around.  His songwriting is just getting better, and I’m digging the more poppy sound for the most part.  I’m sure all of the songs will be a lot of fun to listen to live, too.

What I don’t like: The track “Mine to Love” has that cheesy Christian Pop vibe to it. It was actually the first track released on iTunes, so I’ve been able to warm up to it.  It doesn’t bother me anymore, but it’s still not my favorite.

Tracks to look out for: White Flag, Love Will Be Enough For Us, Seventeen, Stories to Tell, and Warm Heart in a Cold World

Here’s my favorite track from the album. If you like what you hear, head over to itunes, amazon, or spotify.

 

Peeing my pants and other memories in the field

There’s this field about 2 minutes from my house.  I’ve never been good at measuring things, but I’d say it’s about 3 or 4 acres.  I was driving passed it today like I do a couple times a week when a million memories flooded my mind.

In this field, I played on my first soccer team after my family moved to Tennessee.  We were the Gray Wolves and we were awesome.

I continued to play soccer there until I was too old for the rec league.

In that same field, a few years later I peed my pants.

You see I went to 8th grade and high school right across the street from it.  In the afternoons on really pretty days, our teachers would let us go outside for the last few minutes of the school day.  On this particular day, all 8 of the 8th graders decided to play soccer.  This usually didn’t happen. The big guy and resident wrestling fan in the class, Danny, almost always sat in the shade while the rest of us ran around like crazy.  But not on this day.  This day it was a real 4 on 4 match up.  Danny played goalie on my team, I think.  And surprisingly, he was pretty good.  Towards the end of the match, Ashley, who I had a bit of a crush on and who always liked to talk about her soccer skillz tried to score a goal on Danny.  She dribbled in, set up the shot, and instead of making the easy pass between Danny’s legs, stepped right on top of the ball.  The ball went one way, and Ashley’s leg flew off of it like she’d stepped on a spring.  This, of course, caused her to lose her balance and fall flat on her back.

This just so happened to be the funniest thing I had ever seen in all my 13 years.  I fell down overcome with laughter.  So did the rest of the class.  All 8 of us were laying on the ground laughing like we had been hit with a machine gun of the giggles.  I remember being beside myself with joy.  I also remember thinking, “Oh crap, I really need to pee.”  I tried to squeeze my bladder shut, but the laughter acted like a pot hole.  And I hit that pot hole going about 90 miles an hour.  Just enough pee left my body that it would be classified as peeing my pants.

I slowly got up, still laughing, and discreetly checked myself.  Yep, it definitely showed on my stiff, private school uniform khakis.  A small to medium wet spot broadcast my secret to the free world, and there was certainly no other explanation.  I quickly untucked my shirt to save myself from embarrassment, and got in line because it was time to head back to the classroom. As soon as we reached the air conditioned halls of the school, I was granted permission to go to the bathroom. I remember thinking the whole thing was almost funny enough to share with my classmates, but I kept my wet pants to myself upon returning to the classroom.

That field has so many stories just like this for me.  It’s where I ate a whole fudge pie on field day a couple of years later. It’s where I puked almost every day at soccer practice during my Sophomore year.  It’s were I tried to coach soccer myself and pretty much failed (my team had a lot of fun though).  It’s where I made some life long friends.  It’s were I will always remember having some of the best years of my life.

Here’s to hoping it doesn’t turn into a parking lot anytime soon.

Graffiti and Random Acts of Kindness

I found this in my journal about a week ago (the part under the picture). After all of the discussion of the #Kony2012 campaign, it keeps rolling over in my mind.

Is awareness enough? What role does advocacy play in my walk with Christ? What role does it play in the Church? How is knowing tied to action?

I’m pretty sure I wrote this entry with Exit Through the Gift Shop in mind. It’s a documentary that chronicles the rise and day to day of several famous graffiti artists. I saw the documentary a couple months earlier and it stuck in my head for some reason.

A piece by Banksy

Friday, March 4th, 2011
4:28pm
Bedroom, Parent’s house

I want to be in a face to face relationship with Jesus again. Over the past few months, I’ve begun to feel like the love I show for God is like graffiti art. I pick my wall and I make a plan. Then, when no one is looking I spray and stencil and tape and glue my love on that random wall. It says for a while but it’s either removed or painted over and my “art” is forever forgotten.

Most graffiti that I’ve seen is just some punks being rebels. But over the last 10 or 15 years there has been a group of people that have made it into a recognized art form. It’s something of the anti-art. It goes against all the classic art* I’ve seen–or what I think of as classic art–slow moving, intricate, and thoughtful. You know Mona Lisa and the David and all those painting of Madonna (she really has had a lot of work done, ZING!). The point is, this group of graffiti artists are changing the culture of art and the nature of graffiti.

In some ways, I feel like this is exactly what’s happening with my generation and Christ. Are we just going to be the random acts of kindness generation? There are a lot of people willing to do a small amount of work to bring some “good” in the world. We’ve got all of these ideas to save the world. We can do it by buying a pair of shoes. We can give up some things for lunch and send that money to Africa. We can give the homeless twitter accounts. But do we actually know the Christ? Do we know the man we claim we are doing this for? How does the long term play out with our short term goals? Are we just reinterpreting acts of service through the lens of our culture with out considering what we are actually doing?

I don’t want to be a graffiti artist anymore. I want to go back to the days of Michelangelo. I want a Da Vinci artistry in my relationship with Christ. I want him to stand before me as I create the art that is my life every day. I want him as my model. When the world sees my life’s work, I want everyone to see him in every piece. I want to spend face to face time with him as I create. I want to capture his peaceful eyes. I want them to see his humble spirit in my brush strokes. I want his serving heart to be the theme of every scene. All of these things take time to develop. It’s not something that can be spray painted on a brick wall in a few seconds while no one is looking. It takes a hammer and a chisel. It takes dedication and sweat. I want that.

*The extent of my art education was Intro to Art. Sorry if I offended any artists out there. I’m sure graffiti artists are just modern day impressionists. Heck, if I know.

Listen Up

Artist: Andrew Belle

Song/Album: The Daylight

Date Released: February 28, 2012

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

How I heard it: I can’t remember how I found Andrew Belle. I’ve been listening to him since 2010. I think I found his stuff through the magic of social media. Facebook or Twitter. One of his artist friends tweeting about him probably. This is his newest release, and I like it a lot.

What I like: He has a interesting way of pronouncing his words, but not in a bad way. It keeps things fresh. Also, his music is understated.

What I don’t like: Sometimes it sounds like he is singing with a stuffy nose.

On being an introvert

I’ve read a couple of books and taken some personality test (this and this) in the past year or two.  I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’ve always known that I’m an introvert, but these last six months or so have really shown me just how introverted I am.  They’ve also helped me realize that I don’t have a problem, I simply have a different way of dealing with life on the day to day.

The best way I can explain my introversion is this:

As I go through out my day, I take mental notes.  I write them on mental pieces of paper and store them on my mental desk in my mental office. I take notes on voice intonation. I take notes on facial expressions.  I take notes on the intuitive things I feel when I’m having a conversation. Rarely a minute goes by when I haven’t been taking notes.

Clearly, I am a basket case. No arguments here.

This is all fine as long as I’ve had time to go back and file the notes.  I will be ok as long as I am diligent and give myself a couple of quiet moments every night.  In these moments, I appear to be vegging out on tv or music, but really I’m just working in my mental office.  However, most of the time I don’t set aside the right amount of time and I end up having huge stacks to file.  This is when things get tricky.

Inevitably, someone or something will come a long like a huge fan.  Something like a big test at school, or someone asking me what I’m going to do when I graduate.  It will blow my stacks of notes swirling around me like I am in one of those money tunnels at the fair.  You know, the ones where you step inside and feel winds as strong as hurricanes while you try to grab as many dollar bills as possible.  Yeah, that’s what it feels like.  Then I have a huge mess to clean up as I continue to take notes.  This is when things get ugly. It looks like this: file, scribble notes, file,  scribble notes. Even if the wind machine is turned off, I still have a huge mess on my hands.

Eventually, I just have to completely stop.  I have to kick everyone out of my mental office.  I have to sit with the papers.  I have to organize them.  Then I have to file them.  All of them.  This can take some time.  Like a week or two when it’s at its worst.  Finally, when I’m ready I’ll go back into life full steam.  I’ll scribble down detail after detail.  Mental note after mental note.  I’ll try to find time to file, but it will all happen again. It always does.

And to me, that is what if feel like to be an introvert.

One more time.

Here’s the thing.

I said I was going to start blogging again in November.  Then, I didn’t.

And I have a legitamite excuse for not following through.  You see, all of my writing efforts went toward school.  I decided to write a children’s folktale book for my senior project.  I ended up writing about 15 stories in all.  Only 12 made it into the final draft, but it was quite the task.

I got an A on the project, but the stories still need a little a lot of work.  I plan on finishing editing them myself during my Spring Break.  Then, I’m going to send them the way of some one who is really good at grammar.  And after that?  Who knows maybe I’ll look into sending them to a for real editor or maybe try this new Apple publishing thing.

In my absence of blogging, I have still been thinking about blogging.  Actually, I’ve still been writing blogs.  You’ll probably get to read 2 or 3 of those sooner or later.  I don’t want to get a head of myself, but I may even try making a blog feature.  Something super exciting, like the song I’m playing a million times that week or maybe a really amazing, effect saturated, Instagram photo of the week.  The possibilities are endless.  You should really put on your seat belts because these blog features are going to get your blood pumping. Or not.

Here’s to following through.