Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christian Music Crisis

I heart music. I heart music big time. I like all kinds of music and it makes me especially warm and fuzzy when I have the perfect music to suit my mood at any given time. Rage Against the Machine when I am angry, Beyonce when I am feeling sassy, Raffi when I am feeling nostolgic, 50 Cent when I am feeling gansta. You get the point. There are also times when I want to feel uplifted and spiritual. It is those times when I turn to our local christian rock station: 98.5 KTIS or "The God Station" as I like to call it.

I have to be very honest and say that I can only handle that station in very small doses. I am very dissatisfied with the variety of music they play on that station. Seriously, all the songs sound pretty much the same but maybe with a different rearrangement of the words: Jesus, love, praise, forever and blessed. I feel like I am listening to the "Lite Rock" station that just drank some Jesus juice. All the songs they play on that station basically refer to the same imagery of strong mountains (that god made, of course), birds flying free and walking (as in walking the path toward, with or beside God).

I was driving home the other day and decided I needed my small dose of God tunes, so I flipped on the God Station. What I heard disturbed me to my very core. I heard a man belting out the following words: "Jeeeesuuuuus, I am so in love with youuuuuuuu....." Ummmmm, huh? My face twisted into what can only be described as a contortion of pure dumbfoundedness. Did I hear that right? Then he did it again: "Jeeeeesuuuuus, I am so in love with youuuuuu...." Yep. Heard that right the first time. Now, I love God as much as the next person but this was bordering on creepy. Actually, scratch that. This brought the meaning of creepy to a whole new level. I think I understand the sentiment that this song is trying to get across but the execution was waaaaaaaaaaay of the mark. I am sorry, but if God is supposed to be our "heavenly father," then I want nothing to do with the gay, incestuous relationship this dude is droning on about. Freaky.

I was pondering these things as I was listening to this horrible song when a flash back of a South Park episode came to mind. It was the one where Cartman decided to start a christian rock band. His formula for composing christian songs is hilarious. Please refer to the video below:

I can not help but note the truth in this video. The creepy song I mentioned above could have easily been written as "Baaaaabyyyyy, I am so in love with youuuuuu..." Maybe someone did actually just switch the word "baby" for "Jesus" and called it a christian song. Weird. If that was the case, then I need to quit my job and start writing christian music for a living because I am sure I could come up with some really good stuff. My first album would be as follows:

1. Hit Me Jesus One More Time (to the tune of Brittany Spears song)
2. All That She Wants..Is Another Jesus (Ace of Base song)
3. Born To Be My Jesus (Bon Jovi)
4. Jesus, You Can Drive My Car (The Beatles)
5. I Got You, Jesus (Sonny and Cher)
6. Jesus Got Back (Sir Mix A-Lot)
7. Jesus Can I Hold You Tonight (Tracy Chapman)
8. Keep On Rockin' Me, Jesus (Steve Miller Band)
9. Jesus, Come Back (Rod Stewart - Think the Swiffer commericals)
10. Jesus, Don't Forget My Number (Milli Vanilli)

To be fair, there is actually a descent amount of good christian music out there. For some reason, they just choose to mostly play the crappy stuff on the radio. Just because I want to get my God music on, doesn't mean I want to be bored to tears. And I DEFINITELY don't want to feel so creeped out that I need to take a shower. (See the bottom of this blog for a list of Stefany approved christian songs).
For your listening pleasure, the following video is a compilation of christian songs by Cartman's band, "Faith + 1." Enjoy and be inspired!

Stefany Approved Christian Songs: (Just a small list, there are many more!)
* Home - PFR
* Awaken - Natalie Grant
* More Than It Seems - Kutless
* Rebirthing - Skillet
* God of This City - Chris Tomlin
* You Led Me - Barlow Girl
* Enough - Barlow Girl
* Famous Last Words - Jars of Clay
* Pretty much anything by Rich Mullins, he's old-school cool!

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Irish Luck

Irish people are thought to be lucky, right? Well, historically speaking, this is not the case. Read any history book and you will quickly realize that the Irish have a pretty shitty track record when it comes to luck. As Irish luck would have it, I am Irish and this Saint Patrick's my luck collided head on with stupidity and the results were pretty humiliating.

After a heinous day of work, I collected my belongings and began the 1 block speed walk to my car. I approached my car and began digging around in my purse for my keys. Nope, not in there. I began digging around in my work bag. Not there either. I dug around in my coat pockets, purse and bag for the second time only to come up key-less. I had not choice but to go back to work and look there. Slightly miffed, I headed back to work where I proceeded to tear our break room apart, dumped out my purse and bag only to find nothing once again.

Thinking that I am the kind of person to be stupid enough to leave my keys in my car, I decided to go out and look. Since I need my key fab to lock the door, I figured the car would be unlocked and I could simply open the door, get my keys and get the hell out of there. I made the long trip back to my car and tried my door. Nope. Locked and no keys in sight.

At this point, I was getting super pissed. I marched back over to work and made my way to the security office. They informed me that no one had turned in any lost keys. They took me over to the lost and found (which was closed for the day), unlocked it and let me look around. No keys there either. I was ready to cry. The security office must have seen the look on my face and took pity on me. He offered to call one of the security cars to drive me back over to the ramp and use a special unlockie thingie to open my car and let me look around inside, just in case they somehow might be in there. Gratefully, I accepted.

When we arrived at my car the, security officer went to work on opening my car door. Once it was successfully opened, I thanked him profusely and approached my car. I bent down inside my car to begin looking for my keys when I noticed something dangling down from my pants pocket. Somethings silvery and shiny. Yep. They were my keys.

I could feel a wave of sheer humiliation wash over me and my cheeks burned with redness. I didn't know what to do so I just kept pretending to be looking for my keys. Suddenly, it came to me. With my head down by the foot of the passenger side and ass up in the air, I swiftly removed the keys from my pocket and backed out of the car. I spun around and plastered a relieved smile on my face as I dangled the keys from my first finger and thumb. "Found them!" I cried. "They were on the floor of the passenger side!"

With the satisfied smile of a male savior to a maiden in distress, the officer nodded and said, "Good!" I smiled back and said, "Thank you so much, you saved the day!" As he pulled away, I sunk down into the driver seat of my car and willed myself to disappear. I opened my eyes a few moments later and was disappointed to find that I still existed. I had no choice but to get on with life and go home.

I think I realized why Irish people drink so much beer. We need it to survive moments like these, especially when our luck is peppered with sheer stupidity. The beer makes it all somehow easier to swallow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singing the Praises of Simon

 The handsome man I married - my Simon!

OK. If you have a weak stomach or are easily nauseated, I recommend that you grab yourself a barf bucket, a bottle of 7-Up and a roll of tums because it is about to get sappy sweet in here quick. Ready? OK, lets continue...

Never did I imagine that on that balmy October evening as I walked into Plum's Bar, I was about to meet my future husband. I can't even say that there was a magical, cosmical, fairy dust-sprinkled explosion between us on that first meeting. We got along well, had things in common and conversation flowed freely between us. I liked him but never would have guessed that I'd be taking his last name in less than a year's time.

Now, six months into our marriage, I can not imagine what life would be like with out him. He has become my very best friend, my partner in crime and biggest cheerleader. This relationship, this marriage and partnership is what I have always imagined a relationship should be. I know that no matter what I look like, smell like or what kind of mood I am in, Simon has my back and I have his. We face the world together and we are each others safe, soft place to land. I have never had that until now and it feels damn good!

There are days when I am an epic turbo bitch. Days when my personal struggles are overwhelming and it causes me to skate around like a demon on wheels. I take it out on him and treat him unfairly. What amazes me is his undying patients with me. He can look past my banshee screeching and see the heart of the problem. Not only that but he genuinely understands me and what he doesn't understand, he tries like hell to figure it out. He knows me so well for the relatively short time we have been together. He has an intimate knowledge and understanding my inner workings that most people can't seem to figure out. He gets me and most importantly, accepts me for who I am. Warts, defects and all.

It amazes me sometimes how perceptive he is. He is extremely tuned into me and I can try everything in the world to hide what is going on with me but he can always tell when something isn't right. He gently (sometimes by beating it out of me with a two-by-four) encourages me to talk to him and tell him what is on my mind. He wants me to tell him how I am feeling, what I am thinking and how he can help me. He is so incredibly supportive. I know that I can count on him for ANYTHING! That is so huge for me. He makes me a priority and is there for me without question.

Simon is one of the funniest people I know. His sense of humor is one of the many things I treasure about him. He is silly, goofy and willingly shares that part of himself with me. We love to make up little songs that we sing to each other or our cats. We have secret little words and phrases for each other that only we know the meaning of.  He is affectionate, loving and generous with both. He tells me he loves me thousands of times a day and I feel so comfortable, safe and at home in his arms. Simon is creative and smart. He is loyal and very good to others. He is kind, thoughtful and a great friend. How the hell did I manage to land this guy? It must have been the drugs I slipped into his drink the night we met.

It is so weird, but I love him even more now than I did when I married him. That love grows deeper and more expansive everyday. Its like the roots of a tree, spreading and deepening, giving us a stronger base to grow from. I am really looking forward to the life we are building together. We have had bumps in the road and there are certainly more to come but I know that we will face them together as a united front. I am excited to what the future holds for us. I am even warming up to the idea of having children. I am to the point were I can picture holding a baby without having to breathe into a paper bag. I know he is going to make a fantastic dad. Simon means the world to me and I love him with every cell in my body!

So there you have it, wasn't so bad now, was it? Wipe the vomit from your chin, its all over now. Thanks for reading my rant of love.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TILT #8 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

*Girl Scout Cookies
*My Therapist, Kate
*My husbands undying patients with me
*Diet Sunkist Sparkling Lemonade
*Indoor Plumbing
*The show "Must Love Cats" on Animal Planet

*Half Price Books Store
*Good Smelling Candles

Friday, March 4, 2011

Resolution Recharge

Like most people on the planet, one of my new years resolutions was to go to the gym more. This resolution involved quitting my old gym (which was too far away) and joining a new gym that is about a mile from my house. At the start of the year, Simon and I scooted on over to the local Anytime Fitness. We were greeted in the small lobby by a beefy dude we soon learned was the manager named "Dave."

Dave gave us the grand tour. The first stop was the cardio equipment. I was delighted to learn that each treadmill and elliptical machine has a cable-connected television set attached to it! This was incredible. I no longer had to choose between doing cardio and watching E! Next, we made our way through the lifting machines to the area I like to call the "Pick up and put down heavy stuff, Grrrr" area. AKA, free weights. I shuttered as I remembered a horrific experience from my early twenties. I was at the campus gym, pumping some major iron when I spied a serious hottie. In an attempt to strike up casual conversation, I asked the guy if he would mind handing me the 8 pound dildo. Dildo, dumbbell. Same diff, right? Thus, my iron pumping days were brought to a quick end and I was never able to look at a rack of free weights the same way again.

Dave finished up the tour by sitting us down in his office to discuss our "fitness goals." A wave of panic washed over me as my mind tried to put together a string of words that sounded somewhat coherent. I have always hated this question. How do you make "I don't wanna be a chub tub" sound less stupid? I wiped a bead of cold sweat off my brow and was about to say, "I'd like to work on my gym fitness by coming to the gym and working out. Yah. Fitness." But before I could open my mouth, Dave said, "What about you, Stefany. Are you looking to stay in shape?" I felt a small drop of pee come out as I tried to conceal my glee. He thinks I am IN shape?? OMG, IN shape?

Normally beefcake is not my snack of choice, but I nearly leaped over the desk and made out with that dude right then and there. Dave had no idea what would have happened to him if my husband had not been sitting right next to me. I would have likely devoured him like chocolate covered Power Bar.

I was able to maintain my composure long enough to sign the contract and get to the car. "Did you hear that? Dave thought I was IN SHAPE!" I was nearly bursting with euphoria. The only way I could have been any happier is if Dave had told me I should consider eating a cupcake. "I am going there everyday." I said. I felt motivated, excited and firmly committed to being in shape.

Two months later, it is now March and I am able to report have been to the gym a total of one time. Yep, one time. But before you judge me, you should know that I have been very busy. I have had lots of naps to take, movies to watch and books to read. My life is not easy, people. I guess cable TV and blatant flattery are not enough to get my ass to the gym on a somewhat regular basis. What I need is a resolution recharge. Maybe it would help if they actually replaced the rack of dumbbells with dildos.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TILT #7 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

*Super cold milk
*The sight of melting snow
*My collection of rings from my travels
*Snuggling up to my husband when he is wearing his soft robe
*Dove chocolate, especially the caramel filled ones
*Dinners with my mother-in-law
*Pictures of baby animals
*Baby animals in real life
*Invisible anti-perspirant/deoderant
*Fresh, cripsy apples