Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speaking of dystopia...

With the Cicada Invasion going on here in Nashville, I'm honestly a bit surprised we aren't facing an apocalypse. Check out my friend Laurel's blog, in which she (with great humor) talks about the disgusting critters and why they are making us all crazy. I would write my own post, but I fear I would copy hers completely, because I couldn't have described it better.

[Oh, herro there. I am going to swarm at your head and make you squeal like a little girl now, ok?]

Well, folks, unless we are all horribly mistaken about faith and such, and there are just a few obscure folks who have it right and haven't been reported missing yet, the Rapture didn't happen. And while the jokes were funny, I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one to have it on my mind all weekend, thinking, "But... what if?" I enjoyed Jon Acuff's point in the linked blog post that everyone thought Moses was nuts, too.

Sunny with a chance of Rapture via
Regardless, I couldn't help but feel a bit saddened on Sunday while reading the news, and hearing stories like this about a man who so believed it was The End, that he spent his life savings on billboards and marketing, with the intention of spreading the Word to others to repent while there was still time. While I don't think scare tactics and fire and brimstone is always a good method, and I think these folks were showing the world yet another loony face of Christianity... I also keep thinking how let down this man must have thought in those moments. Did he think he was left behind? That God had abandoned him? Obviously he felt confident this was happening. I just feel bad for him. Surely we all know how it feels to adamantly attest to something, to believe you're right whole-heartedly, and then that horrible feeling that comes when you find out you're wrong? I can't imagine how I would feel if one of my steadfast beliefs about God and Jesus didn't come to fruition, and all the atheists were pointing and laughing, saying "Told ya!" Am I crazy for my my sympathy?

But... LIFE goes on. It'll happen one day, folks. I, for one, am glad for a bit more time to enjoy here. And while I didn't quite succeed in my Pre-Rapture To-Do List (due to some technical difficulties and general mood swings, I wasn't the happiest of campers for most of Friday), I think some of my points can be adopted for everyday thought. Live like you're dying. Yep. Plus, in a classic cause of "Ooopsie!", they're now pointing to October 21st. Oh, goodie.

So here is something you should entertain yourself with while we're all still here... 

I first wrote about The Hunger Games a little over a year ago, and now they're making a movie. I highly anticipate this to become household name stuff, because it's really just that good. And much, much smarter than a lot of book-to-movie plots out there that garner huge fan followings. But we'll see. And while I was very skeptical about casting so far, I'm excited about this:

Jennifer Lawrence makes for a pretty good Katniss, yes? We'll see what they do with Dude from The Kids Are All Right as Peeta and Miley's Ex as Gale. Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson have signed on as well for the parts of Effie Trinket and Haymitch, with Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. And Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. (!!!!!) These decisions actually make me happy. I'm trying to lose my anal-retentiveness when it comes to books-to-movies. Or else I'll always be bitter. And let's face it, bitter doesn't look good on me. Check out a pretty cool slideshow of the cast so far here.

And if you haven't read them yet and like smart, entertaining, futuristic, and thought-provoking dystopian fiction with a hint of romance and lots of action... read them now. Actually, if you don't think you like that kind of fiction, read them now anyway. I promise you won't be disappointed. After sharing the plot with Sister, even SHE is interested in reading them. That should tell you something.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hey, Hey The End is Coming

Surely you've heard that the Rapture is scheduled for Saturday? Well now you know. According to this group of crazies the folks at Family Radio,  headed up by Harold Camping, it's coming. So be ready. Sound the trumpets, yall.

I first heard word of this when billboards popped up in Green  Hills months ago, but I'd mostly forgotten until the past few weeks, when Post-Rapture Looting Parties began popping up on my newsfeed. Which give me quite a chuckle. Plus, I'm having flashbacks of Girard Middle School, 1994, when ole Harold's camp speculated The End was near. I actually had a few friends whose church held an all-night vigil, and being the mean 11-year-olds we were, we gave them a hard time when they showed up to school the next day unraptured.

So of course, though I may waiver in my feelings of literal translation of teh Bible, I do tend to believe that when God says we don't know when The Day is coming, no one knows. And especially not Harold. But they're standing firm, and "back up" their claims. You can check their site out here, or watch the video below:

Now, of course I take the idea of the Rapture and the End of the World seriously. I don't mock the idea in general, and like my pastor Pete Wilson says in his blog entry on the topic, I feel bad to poke fun at other believers, for surely they think they're doing a good thing here. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather laugh.

But I can't help but think that if The End were near, what have I crossed from the Bucket List I wrote back in 2008? Not much, I'm afraid. Actually, not one thing from it. Wow. If anything, I've added to it. I did finish my Masters and move, though not to what I'd described as a "thriving metropolis." And I got to ride on a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Getting closer and closer to that tattoo (if only I'd put "a nose ring or tattoo" instead). Otherwise... I'm slacking. I think it's time to regroup.

But if I DO have only two days left, or maybe around 30 hours, if we're talking midnight on May 20th, here's what I want to accomplish:
  1. No frowning. I will smile and enjoy my last days, even for the 8 hours I'm slaving in front of a computer and the 8 hours I'll spend waitressing tonight. 
  2. Make sure all of my loved ones know I love and appreciate them. 
  3. Be thankful for all of the things I've been blessed with in this life so far and not dwell on all the things I believe my life lacks.
  4. Do some laughing. Like the pee-in-your-pants kind of laughing.
  5. Probably do some post-laughter laundry. 
  6. Spend some time in prayer. And quality time, too. Not "nodding off to sleep and actually falling asleep in the middle of it as an afterthought before I go to sleep" prayer. 
  7. Revelry. I'm going to rejoice, dammit. Good thing I'm headed to Birmingham tomorrow to be among 95% of my most bestest of friends to celebrate Lizzie and Kerry's engagement. 
  8. Make a playlist of all of the End of the World songs. 
  9. Since #18 of my original list will be hard to accomplish in a day, perhaps I'll grab one of my friends or even a random and make out with him a bit. And he better be one hell of a kisser.
I'll leave you with my favorite End of the World song, or at least the first one that popped into my head and now won't leave it, from Nashville band Luna Halo:

But really, let's just all be nice to each other during these End of Days. Conor Oberst says it best in LNSO:
 To love and to be loved... Let's just hope that is enough.

(PS: I sure do hope God has a sense of humor.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do these things. Yes, now.

1. Check out my latest post on The Uncontainable Truth, in which I introduce Christen and Raleigh's readers to Mumford and Sons, and discuss my love of the F Bomb. Not really. But kinda.

2. Go see Bridesmaids. It's just really so funny. So, so funny. Here's a clip from one of my favorite scenes.

Kristen Wiig is my hero. Seriously. She's hilarious and I want to completely copy her hairstyle and wardrobe from the entire film. But for real, go get a good laugh in before the Rapture comes Saturday and mass hysteria hits. You won't regret it. Unless you're easily offended and put off by dirty words. If you couldn't handle The Hangover, stay at home and be boring.

3. Check out the Fleet Foxes's new album, Helplessness Blues. Never heard of the Fleet Foxes? Listen to the tunes below from a few videos I took Friday night at their show at the Ryman, as well as some other favorites. I've loved them since coming upon their first album several years ago. Their sound is hard to describe... almost ethereal, really. Four-part all-male harmonies backed by serious jams. Makes me want to grow a beard and hang out in the mountains. (It's no surprise they hail from Portland.) These boys make truly beautiful music together, folks. And their live show was fantastic. There were six band members on stage and probably 20 instruments they handed off and switched between, many times in the middle of songs. I'm not talking about different guitars... I saw two flutes, a stand-up base, fiddle, mandolin, three pianos/keys, maracas, and so many others. My friends and I left in awe and completely impressed. And we weren't the only ones... the Ryman crowd was out of control, hooting and hollering and going on much longer and more loudly than the usual post-show-and-in-between-song cheering. The boys were obviously overwhelmed by the reception, as lead singer Robin Pecknold kept stopping to say "Wow, I just... wow," thanking the crowd for the best night of their tour yet. And a few band members brought out their cameras to take a picture from the stage. It was truly... awesome. Check 'em out. I recommend both albums for laid-back Summer-and-Fall Porch Music.

You're welcome.