Friday, February 28, 2014


Why do we cling so strongly to tradition?  The answer is, in a way, obvious.  That's what we've always done.  But there's something deeper there.

We follow tradition because our very selves are molded by others.  And we automatically know that we are not as experienced as others.  So we follow their example, go with the flow.  We create memories that become our real reason for doing tradition.  And stupid traditions that we don't even like?  I can't explain every case, but it's because we hold on to things.  We're afraid that if we let go of something significant in our past, we'll let go of a part of ourselves.  Not to mention the fact that we are attracted to rules.  Humans talk about freedom, but we really can't get along without making some rules.  There is no such thing as absolute freedom.  We are always accountable to ourselves and God. 

And perhaps tradition is one of the rules we make for ourselves, to anchor us down.  Something to hold on to so that we don't get lost in the world.  Of course, traditions aren't the only ways to do that, but they are one of the best.

Whatever happens, we will always create traditions.  They may be family traditions, they may be little rituals you do to decrease your sense of loneliness.  But we are drawn to rules, and a tradition is a rule that some never tire of.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Braces and the Deterioration of Music


So, as the title suggests, I now have braces.  They don't hurt that much, which is surprising, but they feel weird.  Hopefully I won't have any problems.


Now it's time to approach my favorite decaying subject: music.  Has anyone noticed how horrible it's been getting?  Let's go by genre.


Ever heard of country/rap?  IT SHOULDN'T EXIST!  But it does.  And that's weird.  But the country/rap we hear is absolutely meaningless.  Sure it can be fun hearing a big Southern accent rush those words, but most of us would like to hear some real music.  Get your genres straight.  Would you like a laugh?  Listen to "Drink to that all Night" by Jerrod Niemann.  If you are afraid that this will influence you to like c/r, don't worry.  I don't think that's possible with the song.  But not only is it country/rap that's giving country a negative feeling.  It's just that the songs nowadays have absolutely no meaning.   There are pretty much two subjects for country: hot women and party/drinking.  Of course there are a few detours on that like Blake Shelton's "Boys 'round Here".  But that's just because that's an even worse song.  What irritates me so much is that a lot of the new songs start off with really cool tunes.  But then they throw it all away to concentrate on stupid lyrics.  NO meaning, and they're putting so many special effects in.  Country used to be so strong because it depended most of all on the voice.  I'm not saying there aren't good songs out there today; just saying there are very few.  Take the Eli Young Band, for instance.  I love so much of their music.  Interesting tunes, varied meanings, and a great voice.  But their most recent song is "Drunk Last Night."  I'm very disappointed with them, reverting to a drinking song.  But let's continue.


I list bluegrass after country only because country was the most demanding.  I much prefer bluegrass.   The issues?   Well, there aren't that many.  Bluegrass has always had its flaws, and they make it what it is.  If its flaws stay consistent, hopefully the good parts will, too.  But some flaws are coming to the surface now.  That includes a country deficit, lack of meaning.  Or rather, overused meaning.  I'm not talking about the murder or cheating songs--those are varied so much in bluegrass, and they are classic.  But some of the guys overuse songs about home.  Let me just say, bluegrass is a great genre for songs about home.  But the way they are written and sung should be original.   Another problem, though, is a lot of songs are getting out of the bluegrass genre.  I mean, have you heard "Wagon Wheel" by the Old Crow Medicine Show?  I mean, it was so horrible that Darius Rucker took it!  There are some really good bluegrass songs that are new, but I hope bluegrass artists remember that bluegrass is a time-honored tradition, and the old feel is something special that they produce.  Original but traditional.  That's key.


Some of the stupidest songs ever come from pop.  Sometimes the auto-tuning is so bad you can't even understand the words.  But there are others that you wish you couldn't understand.  An example?  Oh, sure.  "What Does the Fox Say."  Seriously?  What does this mean?  And why does it belong in music?  One of my favorite songs is "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.  That song took off really well.  And you know why?  The people were looking for something.  Something different.  Something that fills the hole most pop dug in their hearts.  We love our music.  People have been singing since Bible times.  So we will always be searching for new songs.  We may listen to a song nonstop for an entire day.  The next day we want a new song.  It's just natural for humans, but there should be so many songs that we're not able to listen to a single good song a day.  We should have to juggle between fifteen or more.  Sadly this is not the case.  Pop is the most listened-to genre, and it kind of makes you wonder what people are feeling.  I don't think pop can make a come-back to being stations people want their kids listening to unless someone starts working really hard, and even then it'll take a few more people and a few years.  I look forward to a new age, but i doubt it will happen.

The End

So, have I depressed you yet?  Are you feeling horrible for liking some of the songs I listed?  One thing you should remember is that there is good music out there, in all three of those genres and more.  You probably know that already, but I hope this makes you realize some things you didn't.  If you want me to post a playlist of good music sometime, just comment and ask and submit some songs if you have any.  Thank you for reading.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Some Concerns

Impending Doom

I am getting braces this Thursday.  Oh, dear.

I know it's necessary, and that I'll be happy that I got them.  I'm happy that I'm getting them instead of having mouth surgery later on down the road.  But I'm still nervous.  And I don't suppose anything will take that away until I'm sitting in the big chair.

I'm always calmer once the situation has already begun.  I can't change anything.  Why worry?  In truth, I am much less scared than I would have been a year ago.  I know that the orthodontists know what they're doing (at least I hope so!) and I don't know what else to do.  All the same, it is rather disconcerting that what I predicted years ago shall come to pass this week.  I wrote this a few years back:

The Orthodontist's Prophecy

I predict that her teeth shall be shackled with shafts of iron, and a color of her own choosing.  And the appearance shall be of one who is imprisoned.  She shall follow in the path of her eldest sister.  And great pain shall be inflicted upon her.  She shall fast a day, and bear the pain as she watches TV.  And the pain shall end, but she shall bear the burden for two years.  Then it shall end and she shall be gone from my sight forevermore.  And her teeth shall be straight.

It's strange.  And kind of sad.  But I guess it's my fault, for not taking better care of my teeth.  But there is no longer time for regrets--bring on Thursday!


Leadership; it's kind of scary.  Whenever I think about future positions of leadership I'll have to take, I get a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I know what I would have to do.  I would have to control.  I would have to let them know that I know what I'm doing and I mean what I say.  But more than that, I would have to earn their trust and respect.  Which would mean opening up.  And I'm not good about opening up.

The trouble would be finding the balance between transparency and self control.  But I think I could manage.  I could tell the troubles I had been through and how I overcame them.  I could let them know that whatever they wanted to tell me, I would listen, with the utmost respect.  I would have to be set apart but kind to those apart from me.  I would have to be a role model.  If I did something quite obviously wrong, though, I would have to do the hard thing and apologize.

I would have to deal with the concerns, the questions, and I couldn't complain.  If I had several choices, I might have to ignore the nice choice and go for the wise one.  I would have to punish people I liked because they did something wrong.  I would have to ignore their complaints if they got whiny and out of hand, and deal with the results wisely.

But most of all, I would have to be a friend and someone they could count on.  And I would let them know that the greatest pleasure was working with them.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Deep Thoughts

A Confusing Confusion

It happened yesterday when we were sitting at the table, eating the little candy hearts we got for St. Valentines Day.  William said:  "Hey, this one says LOL!"

Being the kind, concerned sister I am, I immediately asked him if he knew what that meant.

"Yeah," he said.  "It means 'Hahaha, you're so funny.'"  He was serious.  And it was seriously funny to the rest of us.  We laughed and laughed, like we were monkeys who had just stolen a traveler's bananas.  I have no idea how he managed to get that out of it, but he somehow did.  Weird.

Bananas and Monkeys

Have you ever thought about why monkeys like bananas?  I suppose it's just how God made them, but why do we always stereotype monkeys as eating bananas?  An artist paints a monkey, looks at the monkey's hands, and says:  "Hmm.  There's something missing.  Something yellow and curved.  I've got it!  A banana."

But aside from that, banana is a funny word.

Banana Song 

This is the song that the monkeys sing!
When it comes to them the banana is king!

Isn't that fun?  

Singalongs and Monkeys

And that brings to mind another question:  Do monkeys have singalongs?  I'm inclined to say not, but in that song I put "This is the song that the monkeys sing!"  But maybe they just sing by themselves and try not to let the other monkeys hear them.  Maybe they fly into a panic when they realized their neighbors just heard them.  And maybe they all hear each other all the time but think that no one can hear them when they sing.

*snicker* "Stupid neighbor thinks I can't hear him.  I can hear him but he can't hear me!  Tee hee."

What a sad community, filled with mistaken monkeys, and badly-fated bananas.