Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bob and Chuck

Some of you are going to be like, "Why is she posting this on her blog? TMI!" But this isn't the sort of thing that I can keep under wraps; you're going to be able to tell what happened, and then I'll have all of these incredibly awkward social interactions where you want to ask, but don't ask, because it's Just Not Done, but you'll be whispering hot and heavy behind my back, "Did she have some work done?", so I'd prefer in typical Charlotte style to just put it all out there.

Bob and Chuck are about to hit the highway. (Yes, folks, my breasts are so enormous that I gave them names.) They take up so much room in space that I felt as though they deserved titles. So, Bob and Chuck were named somewhere in high school and it just stuck. (They were also called The Twins or The Girls until I actually had girl twins and then the nicknames felt a little creepy.)

Many of you know that right before Lillian came around I'd contemplated having Bob and Chuck reduced, but before surgery was approved and scheduled, I found out I was pregnant for the fourth time. Since I wanted to breastfeed Baby No. 4 too, I skipped out on surgery. But now, six years post Lilly, I've been rolling it around in my mind again.

And with that synopsis, I'm having surgery on July 12th. I wonder what it'll feel like to walk around without the equivalent of a toddler sitting on my chest or being able to actually purchase a bra that didn't come from a specialty catalogue or not having a panic attack because I don't think that Bob and Chuck will fit in the booth that the waiter is taking us to. Can't wait to find out! And now you can publicly acknowledge right to my face that yes, I DID lose a lot of weight all of a sudden like. Now, isn't that a relief?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I know that this moves me into a whole new category of geek, but I don't care. The Wonder Twins looked at our large, dry erase marker calendar on the kitchen wall and saw that on June 30th it says "Eclipse 11:00" and on July 2 it says "Eclipse 11:30". They wanted to know what was up--was I trying to decide which day to go, were they going to go with me one of those days? What's up, Mom?

Um, no.

I'm going twice. On purpose. (and probably a third time with my Mother if I'm being totally honest)

I've already purchased tickets for the day it opens, because I simply cannot wait another second, and to go Friday with my girlfriends who are also Twihards. (aka Dorks. You know who you are.) How excited am I? I had to re-read the book (for the fifth or sixth time) to get ready to go see the film. (Hey. I know I have a problem. Chill.)

I can't wait to see werewolves and vampires and Bella and Edward and Jacob! I can't wait for snow and chase scenes and camping! I can't wait for jealous love triangles and smooching and more Cullens! I'M SO EXCITED!!!! (Is it just me or is the room spinning?)

To quote Heidi Klum, this is one of those deals where you are either In or you are Out. There is no real middle ground. Either you get it or you don't. It's like Banana Laffy Taffy. No one "sort of" likes it. In fact, there is quite a list of things that fall into either You Are Into It or You Are Not Into It with no gray areas.

  • Roller coasters
  • Harry Potter
  • Sushi
  • Tom Cruise
  • Monogramming
  • Men who wear pink
  • Napoleon Dynamite and Raising Arizona
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Scary movies
  • Okra
  • Camouflage
  • Jesus Christ
So, don't hate on me because you don't get it. :-) No one rains on my Twilight Saga Parade! WHOOT!

Friday, June 25, 2010

For the Love of Okra

So, for those of you who are out of the loop, my mother lives with us. She had a medical situation two years ago that rendered her unable to live on her own anymore. Now, she's almost fully back to normal (a relative term for anyone who actually knows my family members), but we've decided it's best for her to stay here since lymphoma is a slippery little booger and can strike back suddenly.

My mother is a Worker. She has to be productive and needs multiple projects going to be a happy little bee. (Must be where I get it from.) We had some septic work and fill line work done behind the house in early spring, and the men from church who were working on that deal let all of that dug up yard over the poopy patch, aka greatest fertilizer ever, sit there one day too long for my mother. She stared and stared at that fertile ground and simply HAD to plant something in the bare area.

But being my mother, instead of marking it off and making rows, she just flung seed everywhere. Well, that may be a little exaggeration, she did fling the okra in one spot and the cucumber and watermelon and peppers in another, but basically, I've got this random growth of vegetables in the middle of my back yard. It's classic Mother.

As ordered and organized as I am as a human being, my mother is the polar opposite. She's also Martha Stewart Lite (half the skills with twice the drive). It makes for an interesting home life. I come home to things like a garden in the dead center of my back yard (in between the play house and the trampoline. Naturally.) Or all of my closets reorganized (if anyone stumbles across my sleeping bags or ponchos when they are visiting, that'd be great).

Mother has gone to her sister's house for the week and she left me A List of Things to Accomplish including "cut the okra or it will stop producing". Hmm. Quite the conundrum, since one has to assume that I actually want the okra to keep producing, thereby making it where I have to cut it. The fact that I've gone out there in the heat and cut that blasted okra every morning and watered it every evening is a testimony to how much I actually love my mother, not how much I love okra. It's the same reason she cleans out my closets, I guess. Ahhh...the things we do for love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Last Day of Universal 2010.

We had another amazing day! This morning we slept a little later and headed right to Islands of Adventure. We started in the Dr. Seuss area, which was really amazing. Visually as good as anything Disney has (which hasn't totally been the case thus far). Loved the Cat in the Hat ride, and the tram that took us in the air over the land. Lovely.

We ate at Mythos for lunch. It was incredibly overrated. In fact, it stank. We had this strange tex mex pizza appetizer (and left half of it on the plate). Steve had fish tacos, which had some sort of watermelon salsa on them (again, odd). I had this Vietnamese wrap called a Fire and Ice Wrap. It came in a rice paper wrap thing, but it had the strangest consistency. Like latex gloves. Really gross. And it smelled odd. I ended up eating the chicken and bean sprouts out of the center and leaving the rest. I couldn't bring myself to put it in my mouth. Ick. So, this was the only bad meal we had on the entire trip. Pretty good odds.

The only bummer was that Harry Potter opens tomorrow when we leave instead of today. :-( We got to view most of the land, which was awe inspiring even from afar. Based on the foot traffic difference from Wednesday to today, I'd say we are getting out of Dodge at the right time. It's going to be crazy in here tomorrow. Hogsmeade and the castle open. I wish I'd gotten up close and personal. Harry Potter also shut down two rides since they are re-appropriating them. The Fire and Ice Dragons are becoming the Dragon Challenge, so we didn't get on that coaster, but we rode almost everything else!

Speaking of rides, the big funny of the day happened at The Hulk. They have these demo seats so that you can make sure that the bar or lap belt or whatever will fit over your particular body type. Anyone who has ever laid eyes on me would understand in great detail why I would need to do a seat check based on my bra size alone, and on The Hulk, the restraining bar comes down directly over your chest.

So, I walked up to the teenage male attendant working the tester seats and said, "I want to see if the girls are going to fit on this ride." He smiled and said, "Sure enough, ma'am, just bring them over and we'll see if they fit." I grinned, understanding that he thought I was referring to actual children, and I did the only thing I could do. I picked up a boob in each hand and sat down in the seat. He did a double take and busted out laughing. I didn't know for sure that you could actually make an African American blush, but you evidently can. Sufficed to say, The Girls fit without incident, and we were off and running!

Let's see...Spider Man was a favorite. It's a 3-D coaster experience. The Hulk coaster was awesome. Steve disagreed. He said that he may or may not be able to reproduce again after riding it. I told him no worries since I don't want anymore shorties, and then asked if he'd take me riding again. (no) :-) We also liked some of the shows. We missed most of the water rides since it started storming in the afternoon, and we had to go back to the hotel for a nap (sleep is never a reason for disappointment). It was a good day.

Tonight, we were lazy and ate in the hotel. This was one of the best meals of the entire trip, and the most inexpensive. (figures) We had an antipasta plate (salami, pepperoni, calamata and feta olives, mozzarella, tomatoes, en salat. YUMMY! We also had a pizza with fresh sliced tomato and mozzarella made on site. It was fabulous. Spicy and cheesy. It was so big we ate half, then gave the other half to a family sitting next to us. Then, to top that off, we split caramel gelatto with fudge sauce, caramel, and pecans. Hallelujah. Amen.

While we were eating, we were serenaded by tenors tearing up some opera selections. They sang from a balcony that overlooked the piazza. It was really amazing.

So, this has been an incredible trip, however, I'm bad ready to come home. I want to see my babies, my mother, the dog, my own bed. It's been fun to be away and hear amazing preaching, vote on important issues, eat great food, ride big rides, swim, sun, etc., but I want to come home to my little house in the country surrounded by the best friends and family in the whole world! I AM SO BLESSED!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Universal Part One

We went to the convention until around lunchtime, then checked out and headed on. The best part of being a travel agent for my living is the TRAVEL! We booked a look-and-see (on our own dollars!) to come to Universal. I'm personally a Mouse Girl. We LOVE Disney World, and I'm a specialist in traveling to Disney (so, consider this entire post an infomercial). I adore everything about it. But we  haven't ever set foot in Universal, so I thought since Steve and I are down here alone sans shorties, we could check it out more thoroughly. (yeah, that's the ticket.)

This is the nicest hotel ever. The Peabody was spectacular. This is Double Plus Spectacular. We are staying in the Loew's Portofino, which is the Italian-themed hotel of three available on site at Universal (Hard Rock and the Polynesian Pacific Royal). The biggest perk to staying on site is the Express Ride feature. You show your room key and you're at the beginning of the line. And that is so awesome I don't know how to express it. We saw all of Universal Studios in five hours. There are two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We have seen Universal Studios, and we are going to Islands of Adventure tomorrow. :-) Super fast. You can purchase the express pass, but it's expensive if you aren't on site.

Everything is spiffy here. We rode in a water taxi from the hotel to the parks, which is number one. The transportation shut down when the lightening and thunder started, so we started walking back. We spotted some rickshaws (no, I'm not joking), and since the sweat was rolling off of both of us, we decide to pay the tip (no fee). I felt sort of bad up this one particular hill since this man was pulling like 500  lbs (close enough). I'm telling you that he's totally ready for the Iron Man completion tonight. No one does cardio like that guy. It was amazing.

Your kids need to be 10 years old before you purchase tickets to Universal. Everything we rode was on the NO list for the Shorties. No way. Too scary. I'd have Carter Johnson sleeping on top of me for the next six months. I think not. Today we did Jimmy Neutron and Terminator and Twister  and The Mummy (loved it!). Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a coaster girl. I love it! Today I met my match. The Rip Ride RockIt. How bad was it? One of the attendants who kept talking to me (Steve said he kept flirting with me, which can't be true unless he's into overweight mom-types), gave us free return passes to the ride (it's so new that you can't Express Pass it--everyone waits.) Well, he gave us express passes to ride again right away (yeah, okay, so maybe he was flirting a little). It was so terrifying that we gave the passes away, because I'm not getting back on that thing again. Never. Not in this lifetime. No way. Help yourself.

(because we always take this photo if there is a phone in the bathroom. Call it a Johnson Artistic Expression.) I'm sure there is more to come!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Four: So. Baptist Convention Under Siege

Tuesday. Big vote day. The Johnson's are in rare form. Now, if we could just find a microphone to yell the truth into, but no such luck.

The most important thing about June 15th is that today is the Wondertwins' day of birth. At 5:50 and 5:52 in the a.m. our married life expanded to include the two most amazing little girls. God has been so abundant in His blessings on our family that I don't know where to start. I'll sum up with this: Elise and Elaina are my precious, insane, smart, funny personal blessings from God. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRLS!

And in GCR, er, I mean, Convention News: Today the theme is "Love Loud". They keep playing what is supposed to be a heartbeat before every video clip, but it really sounds like tribal drums from the movie Jumanji. It's freaking me out. No joke, that movie scared me to death. I watched it before Shorties when The Husband was out of town for the weekend. Had to sleep with a light on. Every time they play the heartbeat I keep having flashbacks.

Since I have decided not to be political or righteously angry about anything important this week, here are some more meaningless observations that I am allowed to be angry about:

1) We sat next to some men at lunch who are here in the hotel with a different convention. Pharmaceutical company, I think. Anyway, two of the three men had on "artfully distressed jeans". I've decided that I'm anti those in men's fashion. It's just stupid looking on a grown man. Grown men should have their jeans distressed by actual work and activity, not by an assembly line. You are a poseur. You just want us to THINK that you've done something physical. And that term "metro sexual" is stupid. You are a girlie man. Grrr.

2) We sometimes show pictures of women's feet being bound in China to explain how women have been abused by their own cultures. I want to put forth that shoes in current Western fashion are similar, and we probably need to have a meeting of the Sisterhood to discuss when high-heeled strappy sandals seemed like a good idea. Especially having walked in said shoes eight miles daily since the convention started. Someone help me. When I complained about having to put them back on this afternoon, The Husband said that he loved them. I asked if he liked them enough to carry me back from the civic center when I became lame for fashion's sake. (insert cricket sound effect here.) He wisely chose not to comment. (I'm not married to a dummy, you know.) Grrr.

3) The people in the room next to us are newlyweds. We hope. Have mercy. It's making me angry for a variety of complicated reasons. :-) Grrr.

4) A blond woman in the voting today turned to her husband during a particularly heated discussion on the convention voting floor and whispered, "So what is the Cooperative Program again, babe?" He laughed as his only response. Her blond girlfriend on the other side said, "I have no idea. Let's go look at the Lifeway booth." That was almost The Moment I Lost It. Ladies: You may be referred to as the weaker vessel in Scripture, but that has nothing to do with your mind. Case in point, it finally took a woman at the microphone on the floor to get a very important point clarified on an icky motion. If we fail to use the voice combined with the intelligence that God has given us, men will be right--we are collectively unfit to govern anything. Get your head out of the mall! Educate yourself about your spiritual life! Do not be content with the status quo! Down with The Man! (Whoops. Wrong speech.) Grrr.

Referring to my previous post point--women who don't want to look like the preacher's wife, see exhibits a and b. These women didn't get the sweater-set memo either. Bravo, Ladies.

Steve says he's proud how concerned I am about the important things, such as snake skin as a fashion statement. I'm pretty proud of myself too. :-) I didn't yell at anyone this week. Yea me! (Of course we head to Universal Studios tomorrow, so I'd better not celebrate just yet...) Grrr.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The F Word and Other Meaningless Observations

A long time ago, one of the Wonder Twins came flying up to me in a dead run, sweating, panicked, panting out of breath, "Momma. Carter just said the "f-word"." Oh, Lord.

I took a second, thinking to myself, where in the world did he hear that from, then I decided some follow up questions were in order. I leaned in and told her to calm down, then asked the Big Question, "So, what did he say exactly?" She looked left and right to make sure the coast was clear, leaned in close and whispered, "He said the word 'fat'. And I know we don't make personal observations like that." That is the f-word at Casa Johnson--Fat. :-) Which brings us to this point in the trip when I start debating cutting back.

I know that when we go out of town on vacation or on working trips, we aren't joking about the food. We eat and eat big time. We don't even let the church pay for half of our meals because we are going to eat where and what we want. Appetizers? Great. Dessert? Great. So, I plan to gain five pounds every time we leave Randolph. It's just part of the show. I'll take it off later, but whoa, this trip, we have seriously eaten like big dogs. (It's so bad that I am thinking about having water for dinner tonight after the Red Lobster at lunch. Erg.) I'm not going to be able to fit on any of the rides at Universal at the end of the week.

We cruised through the Lifeway Bookstore on our way from Point A to Point B. They had tons of neat things on sale, so I got the shorties T-shirts (and some other special things that I can't print here because they are keeping up with us via this blog). Anyone with shorties understands that you don't go home empty handed. (Negative points in the Perfect Mommy Contest.)

Preaching was interesting this afternoon and on into tonight. Everyone who takes the platform is pushing the GCR big time (Great Commission Resurgence--and I don't have time to go into all of it here). Steve's threatening to wear a button that says, "I am with the Party of NO." (Which would crack us both up.) We are all for the Great Commission and back everything in Scripture that says we are to go into ALL of the world and preach the gospel, but frankly I'm tired of hearing how the southern states are "hogging" all of the resources and "preventing" the spread of the gospel overseas. It is simply not the truth. Even our little church in the woods gave 34% of our entire budget to missions. 34 percent of every penny that came in went directly to missions! This is amazing! GO GOD! Seven southern states give 80% of the Cooperative Program monies which is our method of funding missions both in and out of state/nation, but we aren't "doing our part"? Um, okay.

And in lighter topics, I have also made the following meaningless observations:

1) Preacher's wives fall into two distinct categories: those who look like preacher's wives and those who are trying not to look like preacher's wives.  It's basically a fashion war between sweater sets and slacks with a pristine crease versus leopard prints, sequins, and wedge shoes.

2) Everywhere I look, people have toddlers in tow. I'm not completely sure, but I think making a toddler sit quietly through 12 hours of preaching in one day might be child abuse.

3) Specific note only to the FATHERS: Your wife is not a pack mule. She should not be carrying the diaper bag, the purchases, and juggling feeding a baby and pushing the stroller while you walk ahead five paces. If I see one more woman struggling to reign in three babies while her husband wanders around in oblivion like a goober, I'm going to whip Her out and let Her rip on someone. (And we all know who She is.) I'm on Red Alert here. Being a Man of God means that God has placed you in position of SERVANT leadership. Start with your WIFE, You JERK! (I feel better already.)
So, today, to recap, we've eaten too much food, bought too much stuff, watched too many goofy people being goofy, and listened to too much propaganda. I need to torque back a little.

Looking Like a Man of God

After two full days looking out of our hotel room onto the most amazing pool, I have announced that from 3:00-4:30 I'm taking a break and going to swim and sun. YEA! Then we'll go back over tonight to hear the big dogs preach from 6:00 to 10:00. It's like the perfect day outside too. Hot and sunny. They even have these cool little cabana things next to the pool so that The Husband doesn't burn to a crisp (although, I strongly suspect he'll keep his suit on and stay at the preaching rather than face the dreaded sunscreen).

Side note: we already knew this from past experience, but most people down here sitting in the preaching services are dressed incredibly casually. I'd guess that over 70% of these pastors serve in very traditional churches, but they'll be in worship service here wearing shorts. (They'd freak at their own churches if grown men were in Sunday services wearing shorts.) It's bizarre. They wouldn't go to church that way, but we're singing praise songs and hymns and hearing Bible-centered preaching from powerful men of God, which is Having Church by any standard, and you look around and Steve is one of five men (out of 5,000 so far in attendance) in a suit, and all of the other men in suits are on the stage preaching.

When I was packing for the trip, I asked him if he wanted to gear down this year and wear khaki's and golf shirts. He snorted and said, "Brother Stone would appear in our room a vision and shout me down for not looking like God's Man."

Have to back track here to explain. At Steve's ordination service his long-time Independent Baptist pastor, Rev. Huey Stone (also known as one of the Sons of Thunder for his powerful preaching style), brought the Word. Brother Stone, shouting and snorting and waving that leather KJV Bible as he pounded the pulpit, looked directly at Steve Johnson right between the eyes and proclaimed, "Don't you ever let me catch you down at the hospital visiting the sick wearing jogging britches! You put on a suit and look like a man of God! Bless God! Hallelujah!"

Needless to say, The Right Reverend Steve Johnson, caring not for the convention standard of shorts and T-Shirts, will be wearing suits to everything. Bless God. Hallelujah. You'd all be proud--I brought some dresses so that we'd match. I don't want Brother Stone coming to me in a vision either. Bless God. Hallelujah.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Preacher's Conference, Etc.

We survived Day Two of our Big Johnson Adventure. We ate at the B-Line Diner downstairs and had really yummy brunch. I did get my Eggs Benedict (which were PERFECT), so all was well with the world. :-) Steve ate low country grits with grilled shrimp and tasso gravy (for b'fast). And I kid you not, they brought us dessert after the meal. Chocolate passion fruit mousse. Amazing. I'm thinking about forming a committee to set a resolution on the convention floor demanding dessert be served after ever meal. It should be a right.

After eating, we rode the trolley down the entire strip and saw tons of interesting things. I'm pretty sure that we are the only two people left in America without tattoos. I'm serious. Everyone we saw had ink. Oh, until we got close to the convention center, then we played the game "Spot the Baptist Pastor", which was disappointingly easy this year, since they were (mostly) the people without tattoos (senior pastors, not counting the youth pastors).
We got off of the trolley on the hottest day of the season with a heat index of 110 (and I can assure you that figure is completely accurate--see post titled "The Johnson Factor".) We enjoyed the outlet mall, although what we really enjoyed was the air conditioning in the stores. I bought a pair of earrings. Mostly, we just wandered around sweating. How bad was it? We both showered again before going to the convention.

And tonight? The preaching was inspiring and fabulous! Steve Gains, Rabi Zacharias (an apologist and one of the greatest minds of our time), and Tony Evans. Really made some strong points, and after sitting through four hours of worship and preaching, that's pretty high praise. Tomorrow morning we are splitting up--I'm headed to the pastor's wives session while Steve will stay in the main sessions for the preacher's conference. Consider this your big head's up. I come close to a Sister Sunshine moment every year, because someone inevitably says something stupid and I can't keep my tongue still. Start praying now!

Eggs Benedict Before

Eggs Benedict After

Dessert for breakfast. Bravo, Peabody. Bravo.

So. Baptist Convention 2010 Day Two--A Lesson in The Johnson Factor

My favorite things about staying out of town in a hotel: light-blocking drapes, cool air conditioning, perfect mattress with tons of pillows, and no Shorties crawling in with me at midnight, 3:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. Sleeping late may actually be my favorite activity. (Or inactivity, as the case may be.) Once we realize we are going out of town, I can't wait to see the sights, eat great food, laugh a lot, and then blissfully sleep late in the comfortable, cool, dark, quiet room.

Today, because we are Johnsons, we woke to the sounds of construction at 9:00 a.m. (And anyone who says 9:00 a.m. IS sleeping late--wrong. 9:00 a.m. is only sleeping late to amateurs, not connoisseurs of sleep. You expose your ignorance.) Evidently, The Peabody is remodeling and adding on all of these new, fabulous amenities (which also explains the amazing room rate we received). Good thing we were already awake when the drilling and sanding started right above us or I'd have had a complete come apart.

This is what is known as The Johnson Factor. It's like traveling with the Grizwold family on a continuum (although in our Grizwold experience, I play the role of Clark and Steve is Ellen--we even call our Yukon the Family Truckster). This sort of stuff only happens to us, or I should say that this stuff always happens to us. It's a given. I'm used to it after 16 years, and my children have never known anything but The Johnson Factor, so they don't even flinch when it happens. It's a testimony to endurance and patience and going with the flow. (God must be teaching us some really awesome lessons.)

And to top this off, based on the conversations I've already had, I'm pretty sure that I'm wearing an extra large version of my "Please Share the Completely Inappropriate Details of Your Personal Life with Me" sign in hot pink neon over my head this week. These two things combined, The Factor and My Sign, increase the drama exponentially. It really ought to be studied by a university.

We are about to go downstairs for brunch (another one of my favorite things ever--serve Eggs Benedict and I'm all yours.) If The Johnson Factor holds true, they will be out when we arrive. Then we are going to ride the trolley system to the shopping area (which will be broken down or will break down with us on it) and see what's happening until the preacher's conference starts this afternoon (where we won't be able to find any seats and when we do sit down, it will be next to someone who ate an entire raw onion for lunch and wants to discuss his prostate with me, and when I excuse myself to go use the restroom I will choose the stall with no toilet paper. You get the idea.)

Let The Johnson Show begin!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So. Baptist Convention 2010 Day One

Today we arrived in Orlando for the So. Baptist Convention. They are expecting a record turn out this year, since we are so close to Mickey Mouse and considering all of the changes the convention is voting about. Steve and are I THRILLED that the church allows us to come to this very important event. It's a huge privilege and responsibility. We are huge believers in voting--so many people in this nation have sacrificed their lives, time, and bodies because of this very right to express ourselves freely, so we are here to VOTE!

The Husband and I travel fairly well together. We split the driving and stop a lot to look around. Our most serious discussions involve what kind of music we are going to listen to, so I get to choose when I'm driving, and he gets to choose when he's driving. He will always pick some of the craziest mess you have ever heard. (He'd say the same thing about  my choices.) How crazy? Local call in AM stations--like the kind of show hosted by Mrs. Betsy Mae Vale's Country Call In Prayer Hour where folks call in and sing through the phone and onto the radio. Old country stations playing stuff he's never even heard of before (and that's saying something since he knows all of the old crying-in-your-beer songs ever recorded.) Or bluegrass. Enough said.

Here's an example of what we find amusing on the road--this is a fast food mall on the side of the freeway. Have no idea why exactly, but this cracked us both up. We both took photos of it like a couple of good 'uns.

We also enjoy convention, because it is a time of rest and relaxation away from home and the kids. Going to see people preach instead of being the preacher is very enjoyable for The Husband, and I get something out of it too. We also do a little shopping and sleeping and eating (our favorite). It's just the best of all worlds. (The kids might not agree so much having been left at home, when they discover that I can actually look out of this hotel room and see the Disney World fireworks show.)
The other major perk in this sort of trip is the hotels available around the convention centers. this year we are staying in the Peabody Orlando. This hotel is the home of the famous ducks that march through the lobby  morning and evening. We ate in the hotel restaurant tonight. Seriously good. Steve and I are amateur foodies, so we make commentary that sounds exactly like what it is--we've been watching too much of the Food Network. Still, it's fun to decide how Gordon Ramsey would feel if he'd been served that particular bowl of lobster bisque.

Tomorrow we are going to check out local church services, swim, and have a nap before hitting the pastor's conference all tomorrow night--those fellows will start preaching at 5:00 and will tie it up around 11:00. That's some serious preaching time. I'm very excited! And with that, it's good night!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The School of Rock

The Little Flower, my 6-yr-old child, wanted to know if she could sing Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me" at church for talent night. When I nixed that, she thought for a second, rubbing her chin, percolating deep thoughts, and said, "Okay, so what about 'Telephone'?" Um, that’d also be a no. I suggested "Jesus Loves Me". Again, the pause for thinking time. "Well, that's a tricky one." (As opposed to a Lady Gaga song?)
This is what is known as Johnson Logic.

And, in truth, she could probably belt out either of those songs beginning to end as well as a wide variety of Justin Bieber tunes, Rhianna, Miley Cyrus, and the entire High School Musical catalogue. This is one of the signs of the end of civilization: Radio Disney. My tweens are addicted to a pop music wasteland. I tried to do a little alternative musical education as an extracurricular activity, sort of like a mini-experiment. Over the course of this experience, I was told the following choice bits that I meticulously saved in a journal so that I could remind myself that I tried to impart my musical prowess on my children, even if it was a categorical failure.

Actually Said (or interpreted) by Various Shorties:

a) Led Zepplin was old. Like, grandpa old. There is no way that this was ever cool. And if it was cool, it was only cool to you and all of the other old people.

b) The Cars have the stupidest name in rock music history. (Like the name “Bieber” doesn’t make everyone snicker?)

c) But why does that guy keep sticking out his tongue? Is it bleeding because he bit it? You’d smack me in the back of the head if I did that in public. Does his mom know that’s him or is that why he’s in disguise?

d) Just because they were an all-girl band doesn’t mean that they were a GOOD band, Mom. (insert eye roll here)

e) ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ sounds like a geeky song. Like computer nerds are singing it and recording it on their pc at the house. And if they played this, for like music class or something, we’d all laugh at them.

f) But why did you go somewhere to buy the record when you could just download it from the computer on your MP3?

g) So, you are telling me, for real, that your first concert was Duran Duran? Um, I’m not sure that I’d actually tell people that. Like people out in public and stuff.

h) Look at these photos of Mom in high school, Carter! Mom was like all, emo and goth and stuff. It’s freaking me out. Like what’s happening to Miley Cyrus. Same thing.

i) If this song was so cool why aren’t they still playing it. No, not on the oldies station; that doesn’t count.

j) I don’t think that ‘getting jiggy with it’ means what you think it means.

k) What is Elton John again? Like he keeps singing rock songs and then with the piano. I keep forgetting where he fits in. Elaina, that’s because he doesn’t fit in.

l) I’m really trying to figure this out. The lead singer for Yaz is a woman who sounds like a man and looks like a woman. The lead singer for the Culture Club is a man who sounds like a man sometimes and a woman sometimes and looks like a woman but his name is Boy George. You mean they aren’t the same person? Are you sure? I think they are the same person and don’t want anyone to know so they could have like another career as a girl then a boy who looks like a girl. They sound like the same person to me too. That means Mom is wrong. (as if)

m) What is a Violent Femme?

n) I am absolutely for sure positive that The Cure is not the best band ever. (Why not?) Because the best band ever is The Jonas Brothers and “the best” by definition means only one and that is NOT The Cure. Yeah, she’s right, and that might be a dumber name than The Cars. Yeah.

o) Could we please listen to some bluegrass? Just anything else? The Ramones make my head hurt like I’m getting hit with a hammer right in my forehead. And what does ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’ mean anyways? Don’t worry, Carter, none of these songs make any sense, so stop trying to figure it out. You can’t.

p) So this Prince guy is singing up high like that because why? Is he also a girl dressed like a man in those other bands? What do you mean he’s black? So, he’s a black girl? Is he pretending to be black or really black? And see, he IS dressed like a girl. I told you.

q) What’s a virgin? Hey. Wait a minute…I think that Lady Gaga maybe stole this song from that woman…

r) I think this song is sort of dirty, Mom. I mean, ‘Great Balls of Fire’. Can they say that on the radio?

s) Well, some of their songs are good like that one about best friends and that funny opera one and everything, but I’m not sure it’s nice to talk about fat girls or killing people or blood on your face. And that whole one about the bragging...We Are the Champions…It’s just not very polite. Yeah, I don’t think they should play that at sports.

t) But it’s just loud guitar. There’s no song. Just that guy screaming and loud guitar. And again with the name thing. Slash? Like we believe that is his real name. Well, remember there was one guy named The Edge. Who do these people think they are fooling? Why don’t they have regular names like Justin? Yeah, or P-Diddy?

u) Back in Black. So, are they goth? Or maybe it means they only date goth girls. I dunno. It’s hard figuring all of this out. And they have a lead SCREAMER, not singer. (loud giggling)

v) (Whispers in the back of the family truckster.) Oh, no. She’s listening to it again. Don’t you DARE say you like it or we’ll have to listen to it all the way to Grandbear’s house, because I personally cannot take The Best of ABBA for 45 minutes. Everyone shut up or she’ll sing! Oh, no, we’re only up to Dancing Queen, what is that, like track five? Shut up!

w) Muddy Waters. Yeah. Right. That’s not his real name either. Does anyone use their real name? Taylor Swift. Justin Bieber. At least in his song he’s singing, “I’m a Man”, so he’s definitely a man. So he SAYS. I want to see what he’s wearing to be sure.

x) Norah Jones. Hey, I think I’ve actually heard of her. This is like grocery store music. Like old music. Again. No, not again, it’s ALL been old music. You can’t dance to this. Harsh whisper to rear: SHUT UP or she’ll put the disco in, You Stupid Head!

y) Nuh-uh, she can’t be the Queen of Soul, because that’s me.

z) Can we please listen to Radio Disney now? Please?

Next, we’ll try movies and see if I fare any better.