Other Things, Less Rock n' Roll

This is what I'm thinking today:

1) I just found several blogs of friends I haven't heard from in a long time. Turns out alot of people are pregnant right now. It's strange how growing up happens. You're in college, and some of your friends start to graduate, and you can't believe you're old enough to have friends with college degrees. Then you graduate and some of your friends are getting married, and you can't believe you're old enough to have friends who are married. Then you get married and some of your friends are having babies, and you don't have time to think about that because you got your wife pregnant two months after the wedding.

2) I am glad that Bethany and Bella are both healthy and happy. We had a Dr. visit Monday afternoon, and everybody is growing like they're supposed to. Monday was Bella's 24th week of existence. Right now she is jamming to some light classical faves.

3) I'm at a crossroads in life right now. I have before me two opportunities for work; both jobs would bring more money, but also some sacrifice.

I always remember getting out of college, and how some of my friends would be worried that there were no job offers, no direction they were headed, no idea what was going to happen. They would have to fully trust God to give them what they needed. I would always have two or three offers, but no idea which to choose. Obviously, I was way more blessed than them. That was sarcasm. I fully believe that both scenarios are of equal importance, especially when it comes to how our individual minds work, and how we trust God. See, He knows that I can live with the fact that I don't know what I'll be doing three months from now (and I don't, my schedule is completely empty). He also knows that I hate to make decisions. It's not that I'm lazy and don't want to think about stuff. I over-think it and get worried that I'll make a bad decision and screw up the rest of my life. Where my opportunity to trust comes in, is that I have to trust that God will show me the best option, and allow me to use the wisdom He's given me in the past, along with the current help of the Spirit.

Nevertheless, there will be a new chapter starting in my life within the next few weeks (as if the last few chapters haven't overlapped enough). Please pray with me that I can choose the option that allows me to provide for my family the best, furthers my career and abilities, stretches me beyond what I'm now capable of, and breathes life into my soul, rather than steal my joy.

4) Please buy this: John Sherrill - Join In the Song
John Sherrill is one of my best friends and mentors. Playing with him for the last 4 years has changed the way I think, the way I worship, and the way I tolerate Mexican food. I covet the faith that he and his family have.

5) Our neighbors upstairs have been especially loud the last two days. Why won't they just go to work or something.

6) I am going to go read to my daughter now. Maybe I'll post a "belly pic" soon so you can see how Bethany is progressing. It's amazing.


Here's What's Been's Happenin'

Hello my reader friends.

I'm home this week. That is unlike the past two weeks where I have been gone, and unlike the next four, during which I will be mostly out of town. Ah yes, I'm living the dream, bringing music to the people. Ok, not exactly. I'm playing youth camps in places such as Leakey, TX, and Disney, OK. Spiritually it's been a great summer so far, but the camp locales, living situations, and sound men have been lacking. That's to be expected, and we make the most of what we get, I guess. July should bring some higher quality production teams, which frees us all to play better and lead as we like to.

I saw a concert Sunday night. These guys (Styx):

And these guys (Boston):

I will admit openly that I know very little of these bands. I know who they are, and how important they are in the scheme of music history, but there are certainly other bands I am more familiar with. So, technically I was only going for two reasons. First, I wanted to hear Boston sing "More Than A Feeling," and two, I wanted to see one of my childhood heros, Michael Sweet, of Stryper sing "More Than A Feeling."

It was a great show, even though I spent the whole time acting like I was a fan. I was originally going to buy a last minute lawn seat and just sit back for the evening. But, on my way to the gates, I was stopped by a scalper. Normally I don't get involved in that kind of thing, but I decided to at least see what he had. He said he had really great tickets and would sell them for $60. I'm pretty sure I had $60 on me, but I told him I only had $20 and that I would just get a lawn seat or sit outside the pavilion and listen (where it's free). So he asked me again how much I had, and I said $20, so he sold me a 12th row ticket for $20. I was half-way expecting to get to the gate and be turned away for having a counterfeit ticket, but they let me in, and I made it down to the 12th row. There was another guy next to my seat who asked me how much I had paid. I figured he had also bought a ticket from this guy, but turns out he had sold the tickets to the guy in the first place. He was shocked I got the tickets for so cheap. Eventually another guy showed up and joined our "party." We clapped and yelled and they sang songs as loud as they could. I tried to pick up on the choruses of the songs quickly so I could act like I deserved to be that close to the stage.

Styx was amazing. They didn't do the only two songs I know of theirs, but they were a great stage show. After the intermission, Boston came out and rocked. Two or three songs in to their set, both guys that were with me just left, so I was enjoying the concert alone without these crazies bothering me.

I was content to finish the evening alone, until a few songs later, an older, slightly inebriated woman came and stood next to me. I guess one of the guys had passed off his ticket to her on his way out. She would proceed to grab my shoulder and shake me, saying "AREN'T YOU JUST SO EXCITED!?!?!?!?" Cue the fake smile and "Oh yeah, this is awesome!"

Later she started pouring baby powder on the people in the row behind us. Not sure what that was about, but she got some on my shirt, and then started trying to rub it off. Awkward, but a nice gesture, I guess? A few times, I had to pretend to sing into her fist, which she held up to my mouth like a microphone. Refer, now, to the fact that I knew ONE song that was performed that night.

Eventually I was saved as a similarly intoxicated man joined her (taking my seat, of course), and they began dancing like people should only dance when no one is around. I'm pretty sure they had just met. By their second song together, they were making out, and continued a cycle of making out, awkward drunk dancing, and spinning in the isles until the usher sent them back to their seat.

So, I left after the set was over, and listened to the encore as I walked back to my car. It was a great night, very good concert, and all around interesting experience. I would recommend seeing this tour if it's coming to your area. Ok, I've done enough procrastination, it's time to work. Let's talk again soon.


Celebrity Alert ... Take Heed

We saw this guy on the plane coming home from Las Vegas. It's Mickey Jones. I don't know if he lives in Houston officially, but I know he's from here. He is an actor on tons of sitcoms and movies, and used to play drums with alot of people, including Bob Dylan, Trini Lopez, and Johnny Rivers (Maybelline, Secret Agent Man), and The First Edition, who played with Kenny Rogers. If I would've known that I would've slipped him a demo tape. I just thought he was Pete from K & B construction.

Set my soul on fire

I just woke up a few hours ago. I'm pretty sure I basically slept for 14 hours. We had a pretty busy, draining vacation in Las Vegas this weekend. My older brother got married (again) Saturday evening.

If you don't know my family's background, we lived in Las Vegas for 11 years. I consider it "where I grew up," and "home," even though I haven't lived there in exactly 9 years. I love going back, because there's a great balance for me between being a tourist, and going home. I know enough about downtown to know what I want to see and how to get there, but with everything changing so much, each experience feels new, and there's plenty I've never seen. More than the Strip, though, I enjoy heading into the residential parts of town, where tourists don't go. It's a really great town to live in. This weekend the weather was perfect. It felt like southern California to me, high 80s to mid 90s, LOW HUMIDITY. Here's some of the pictures I took. If you need more, I'm sure they'll all be posted on Facebook in the next few days.

Let's start with our amazing view at our first hotel....

My nieces getting manicures and pedicures (their hands were still drying)

Me and Bethany on The Strip in Jody's Mustang convertible

Go team? I hope the photographer's view of this was somewhat convincing.

Flower girls and ring bearer.

Beautiful house where the wedding was held

All the Smith Sisters-in-law

Forget the lights, this is what I miss about Las Vegas (The mountains, not the guardrails).

Our suite at the Venetian. It's how we roll.

Very similar to a picture from our honeymoon

A perfect 12th

The wedding was really great. It had its typical "Cory" moments, if you know him you know what I mean. The rest of the family spent the time chasing his daughters around, keeping them out of the pool. It was a little strange being at my brother's wedding and not knowing anyone there except my immediate family. But, I'm glad Cory has that kind of support in Las Vegas. Some day I'm going to have a chance to get to know his new wife. The only other time I had met her was the day before my wedding, and I'm not sure we said more than two sentences to each other. This time, it was her wedding, and we talked probably the same amount as before. She seems like a great person, very good for Cory.

The rest of the trip was slightly less stressful. On Sunday, Cory, Hannah, Jody, Victoria, Hope, and Grace all left Las Vegas, leaving my parents and Bethy and me. After sharing our bed with a 5-year-old the night before, we decided to splurge a bit and spent a night at the Venetian hotel. We were completely exhausted, but had a nice dinner at Grand Lux then walked along the "Grand Canal." The next day we had lunch with an old friend of mine, and I came down with something ending the day feeling horrible. We saw "Phantom" with my parents, which was amazing. We had bought tickets in the next to last row, which was what we could afford, but as soon as we sat down the usher asked us to follow him. I was thinking we'd be moved up a few rows, but he kept walking us down closer to the stage. He sat us in the 10th row, middle section. Bethany and I were just a few feet away from the chandelier when it fell. It was the perfect way to end our trip, until I stayed up almost all night with a fever. I survived the flight home and had lunch with my parents. Once Bethy and I finally got back home, I crashed on the couch. And, I must say I LOVE our bed. I haven't slept that well in a while.

That's our trip. Now real life is here, phone calls and emails to return, people to deal with. I hate it. But it must be done.