Saturday, February 26, 2011

The One Where We Got a Little Work Done

Keeping my head above water has been a little difficult lately. And not just because it is pouring rain out there again. But busy is good, especially when I am working for awesome things, like weddings and music and such.

I have a few more hours of work ahead of me tonight… but I wanted to take a few minutes out to update over here, and I wanted to post this song that I recorded with Garry over the weekend. It is called “My Soul Hungered,” written by Steven K. Jones and Kurt Bestor. It is a beautiful song and it was so fun to record.

I really can’t thank Garry enough for doing this project with me, and hopefully many more to come. He is so talented at writing and he has a great ear for editing as well. I have never been able to write a song with anyone before, let alone ten of them. That is a miracle to me, and it is a miracle to me that he is taking so much of the workload of this giant project. Probably most importantly, he makes everything fun. I can’t even tell you how awesome he is.

In the next couple of weeks there will be a new song up on YouTube that we worked on this week. I can’t wait! In the meantime, here is “My Soul Hungered.” Once again I am having issues with uploading songs, so I had to use a new playlist generator. The playlist was ugly and clunky, and naturally I want it to be beautiful and elegant and it bugs me when it is not.... so I came up with this alternative. Hopefully it works well. In order to do it I had to do a crash course in iMovie, and I am definitely no expert. For some reason it is quieter than it should be. So turn up the volume and enjoy. Or, you can check it out over at our Archangel Records Facebook page. The Facebook video player is much better than the Blogger video player. Oh, and if you haven’t “liked us” yet over on Facebook, please do!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Dystopian One

I know, I know. I said I would post “in a couple of days”… and here we are a couple of weeks out. I am going to play a little catch-up with a post or two. First of all, I promised a post about Dystopia. It is not, in fact, the medical term for blurry vision. It is actually a genre of literature that happens to be one of my favorites.

Dystopia is, in literature, an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Some examples would be Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury or Brave New World by Huxley, or one of my favorites: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Recently it seems like dystopia has found young adult lit, and my favorites are the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (love love love), and a new favorite, Matched by Ally Condie. Runners up would probably be the Pretties and Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, and the Maze Runner by James Dashner.

And I had to throw this final photo in here. The last Marine left alive. World in chaos. No, just kidding. It is Ethan of course, and I told him that I could work a picture of him into my dystopian post. I don’t think he believed me, but BAM. If you have any more suggestions for great dystopian books, you can let me know. I am a sucker for a good post-apocalyptic storyline. If it has zombies, so much the better.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The One That is Not About Dystopia

Doesn’t that sound just like a disease? Or at the very least some sort of eye disorder? It isn’t. And no, I’m not writing about it today. I’m just gathering my thoughts to talk about it later this week. For today, I posted elsewhere. So please, don’t comment here... I mean, what could you possibly have to say? Go read my A-Z post over there and leave me some comment love. I get lonely. In case you missed the two perfectly obvious links, CLICK HERE NOW.

If you are late tuning in and have no idea what I am talking about, I am currently hard at work on a project to produce a new CD of Christmas music for this year, and the “It’s Never Too Early” blog is where I vent, brag and contradict (Garry co-authors that blog from the “He Said” perspective). It is fun and doesn’t really have a lot to do with Christmas, so go read. You can tune in later in the week for some dystopia.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The One With Facebook 101

Welcome, class, to Facebook 101. Please note that the prerequisites for this class are a) an IQ of 50+, b) aged 13+ and c) a modicum of common sense. I see a lot of hands raised. I know what you all want to ask, and the answer is NO. I will not waive one or more of the prerequisites. I have put low-to-mediocre standards out there, and we are going to stick to them.

Here are the points we will be covering today in Facebook 101. Feel free to take notes. Everything will be on the test.

1. To Facebook or Not to Facebook. I go back and forth on this one myself. I swing between enjoying staying connected with friends and family… even those who live far away… and feeling that small-town sting of everyone knowing my business. I waffle between hoping no one notices me and wishing someone would write something nice on my wall. I try to weigh the value of social networking as a way to promote my music, vs. the time-consuming nature of Facebook. It is really a love (like)/hate thing for me. If you love Facebook so much that you can’t seem to go an hour of the day without checking it, then please skip to #10 and follow the directions there.

2. Friends. If you think your kids are excited to be your Facebook friends, they are probably not. If in fact you believe that anyone is truly excited to see your friend request, they are probably not. If you think that being someone’s Facebook friend means that you are close in real life, you are probably not. If you think that Facebook is real life, please skip ahead to #10 and follow the directions carefully.

3. Posting Etiquette. Type your post into the box that says “Write Something” or if you wish to post to your own wall, in the “What’s On Your Mind?” box. Now, before, clicking on “Share,” read your post carefully. Have you mentioned bodily functions of any kind? Did you reveal the medical status of one or more family members? Did you write how relieved you are to finally be rid of a detested spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancĂ©e? Does your post detail feelings of love or physical longing for another Facebook user, regardless of marital status? OKAY. Before you hit that SHARE button, look at your Friends list. Does your friends list include your husband? Wife? Children? Parents? Siblings? People from work? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Fiancee? Church associates? School friends? Childhood sweethearts? Yes, I thought so. Now, STOP what you are doing, look me in the eyes and listen carefully to what I am telling you: ALL OF THESE PEOPLE will be able to read the post you have just written. ALL OF THEM. It will show up on their news feeds and in some cases on their profiles. Do you understand what I am telling you? Good. If you find what I am telling you to be in some way incomprehensible, then please for the love of all that is holy, immediately skip to #10 and follow the directions included there.

4. Photos. Facebook allows you to post photos. They don’t really know what photos you are posting, so it is really up to you. But inappropriate or offensive photos can be reported, and will be removed by the Facebook gods. If your buddy gets really drunk and you think it would be funny to post photos of him less than fully dressed, I will report you. Particularly if you are a close friend or family member. If you believe that there is nothing in this world more beautiful than childbirth, please feel free to make yourself a scrapbook. If you post childbirth photos that include (but are not limited to) any body parts normally hidden in a public setting, internal organs such as a placenta or any other female reproductive organs, or excessive amounts of blood that came from incisions or female parts, I will report you. You should thank me. If for some reason this seems unfair to you, please refer to #10 and follow the directions.

5. Profile pictures. I know you think you know what I am going to say here… truth in reporting and all that… put up a photo that really looks like you… nothing from before 1980, etc. etc. You would be wrong. I actually prefer to look at appealing profile pictures. So put your best foot forward. Maybe literally… if your most attractive feature is your feet, then let’s see that pedicure. If you looked better in 1970, bring it on. Photoshop if you must. Please refer to Awkward Family Photos and if your photo resembles any of the photos there, please skip to #10 and follow the directions there.

6. Privacy. As part of our class time today, please proceed to the Privacy Settings section of your Account info. Now jack them up to maximum. You will thank me for this. No more friend requests from someone named Yasmine who is “interested in other women” and whose profile pic is her… well, you get the picture. Yasmine, if you are reading this, please proceed to #10 and follow the directions found there.

7. Quizzes. You know who you are: Stop taking quizzes. You are wasting your life away. The Facebook gods do not really know how tall you are going to be, or how many children you will have, or which Twilight character you most resembled in a previous life. These are designed to rob you of your time and your dignity. If you have plenty of the former, and none of the latter, then just start watching daytime TV or tip cows or really anything else besides taking these inane and often sexually inappropriate quizzes. If you really can’t stop yourself, I understand. Please proceed immediately to #10 and follow the directions there.

8. Farmville. Yoville, Mafia Wars, etc. STOP, look into my eyes, and listen to what I am telling you. These things are not real. You have lost your grip on reality. You are dehydrated, your kids are wandering around in three-day-old diapers and your house looks like a set from Hoarders. There is no 12-step program for this. With all the compassion I can muster, I am telling you: Skip to #10 and follow the directions. If this does not immediately solve your problem, then reach behind the computer, and unplug it from the wall. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Do you know where you are? Deep breaths.

9. Homework. Your homework today is to go home and watch “The Social Network.” If, after watching it, you think that Mark Zuckerberg was a nice young man who invented Facebook so you could keep in touch with your kids... then you missed the point entirely, and you should now proceed to #10 and follow the directions. (Disclaimer: The Social Network is rated PG-13 and to the best of my recollection had girls dancing in their underwear and drug use and an occasional swear word so I am not recommending it to anyone of a tender age or sensibilities or anyone remotely Mormon that might think I am a bad person for even suggesting it. Thank you for your understanding.)

10. To deactivate your Facebook, select “Deactivate” under Account Settings. Do this now.

Thank you for your kind attention during class today. I hope it has been fun and informative. If you still Facebook, then be so kind as to click on this button and go “Like” my Archangel Records” page. I am in desperate need of the validation that I get from having fans. And if you want to send me a friend request, please feel free. I am shockingly undiscriminating.

Archangel Records

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The One Where Garry Talks About Disney Princesses

Yes, Garry? Do enlighten us. I know... so embarrassing, right? Haha! But seriously, go check out the latest post on my He Said, She Said blog. He does talk about a Disney princess, and it is one of my favorites (I won’t say who... you have to go look), AND one of the most romantic movie scenes of all time is on there, AND Jon McLaughlin. Yummy. So go, go, go. Leave a comment over there, too. Oh, and while you’re at it, be a FOLLOWER if you haven’t already. I know the blog has the word Christmas in it, but it is not all about Christmas, and we update it every single week, and it is FUN! Be a joiner.