Ok, so I know I’m like five years late to the Pandora party, but now that I’m here, I’m in love.
For the two of you left who don’t know (hi mom! hi dad!), it’s this internet thing that makes radio stations based on songs/artists you like. For example, I heart Ingrid Michaelson, so I made a station named, “Ingrid Michealson station” and now Pandora plays me songs either by her, or songs that are similar to hers. I also have an Audio Adrenaline station, a Sublime station and, of course, a Ke$sha station.
I’m diverse like that.
And, the best part of this particular internet thing is that there’s an app for that. On my Droid.
My new favorite habit is falling asleep while listening to my Ingrid Michealson station with head phones. I feel a little like a 12-year-old who just discovered that every song is actually about me and my life, and I just can’t suck in enough of it.
It’s kind of awesome.
And I’m really excited because it introduces me to new music. Like this song by Griffin House.
My favorite line is “You don’t need to change a thing about you babe. I’m telling you, from where I sit, you’re one of a kind.” It inspires me to use the word “babe” much more often.
Anyway, so ya, I love Pandora. And today I was going to go run errands and I was all “I LOVE PANDORA! So, I shall listen to it while I walk through Meijer.”
I’ve never been that person who has headphones on while I skim the sunglasses rack, (I kind of actually hate that person, because seriously, can you not move so I can get by. Oh, you can’t hear me asking you to move, can you? Dork). But then, I thought, what the hey, this could be fun.
That’s how addictions work. They start making it seem OK to do things that you once thought were totally out of your realm.
But I couldn’t even get to that point because just as I was going into Meijer, Pandora on my phone craped out and started telling me it was “having technical difficulties.”
So I had to walk around stupid Meijer listening to the pre-approved music on the overhead speakers.
How did I ever live that last 27.5 years of my life like that?
Being a youth group leader is basically like reaching into your chest, cutting through your ribs, grabbing a chunk of your beating heart, pulling it out and putting it on the table.
There are long hours, lots of praying, pleading, crying, coffee, and emotional stress.
Like, the one time, after I had that one youth group session where everything blew up in my face, and I went to my only parent volunteer and started crying and telling him that there were in fact kids out there who actually like me. Or that time when I put every ounce of my emotional energy into a session only to leave so drained that my roommate had to remind me that God was in fact, good. Or that other time when I saw a mouse in my office.
Then some days are so amazing that you wonder how heaven could be any better than this.
Days when a student runs over to sit by your in service. Or days when a parent tells the Christian Education committee that he thought your plan to start a high school group was like a boat with a lot of holes in it, but now, he’s really impressed. Or when a student posts on Facebook that the group is going well.
Those are the days that bring the good tears to my eyes. That make me think that maybe God knew what he was doing putting me here at this particular church. And I’m grateful, and happy, and blissful right now that things are finally falling into place.
I wanted to write that here, in this space, so that the next time I feel like crying the bad tears, I can come back and remember that being a youth group leader is actually the most awesome thing in the world.
I finally got through all five seasons of HBO’s “The Wire.” And real quick, before I tell everyone why you need to see that show by tomorrow, and how all other shows suck to me now, I need to tell you a funny story.
And, for you to understand the funny story, you need to know that journalists get a bunch of news off something called “the wire.”
So, the other month, I was texting my journalist friend (a HUGE wire fan) (his name is Tom Loewy) with a reference to the show, about how I couldn’t believe [name withheld to prevent a spoiler] died and he texted back, who? And then I was all, [name withheld to prevent a spoiler] died! I seriously cannot believe he [method of death withheld to prevent spoiler]! And he was like, wha? huh? So then I was like, ‘ON THE WIRE DUH!’ And he was like, “dude, I haven’t been on the wire today, can you just tell me who the heck you’re talking about???
Lol. It’s funny because he was so confused.
Or, maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, the show is awesome and I cannot watch anything else, except, (oddly) Glee, which I love in spite of the random bouts of choreography and classic rock. And really, wasn’t the episode about religion fantastic? I mean, Grilled Jesus was great.
But anyway, this isn’t about Glee, this is about The Wire, which has the best writing ever. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of like a novel, so the first season or so, I was all, ‘I don’t see what the big deal is and really, how in the name of Omar am I supposed to follow 67 main characters, many of whom already died?’
But I stuck with it. Mostly because Allan Speinwell told me to.
He’s written amazing reviews of the show (which you can find here) and over, and over, he kept telling me this was the best drama ever. So, I went through hour, by hour, by hour, and then, in season three, [second name withheld to avoid spoilers] was shot and killed and I was like HOLY HOLY BALTIMORE! THEY JUST KILLED [second name withheld to avoid spoilers]!!!!!
And I knew I was officially in real-life love with a TV show.
Season four was my favorite, if you’re wondering. It’s the one about the schools. I probably liked it because I write about schools at the newspaper I work for. Or maybe it was just because I like Bunny. (He’s main character 89).
But ya, anyway, I loved this show.
But now, I have to move on. I have to see what else is out there. So I got Dexter through Netflix. And everyone told me that Dexter was DA BOMB! BEST SHOW EVER, but well, it’s not. Because The Wire is. And the lame narration and one-dimensional characters (so far) stand out to me like a light in the middle of an alley because, well, like I’ve said, The Wire has ruined me for other TV.
I mean sure, sure, I’ll dabble into some Grey’s Anatomy if my roommate wants me to, and I might even get excited about the scene where April wins the trauma competition, but in my heart all I’m thinking about is that scene on The Wire where [Character 83] kills [Character 6] in a convenience store. And how AMAZING that scene was because [Character 6] and I had grown so close to each other and he had just seemed like the only character who would never get got.
It’s kind of like hockey really.
When I watch hockey, I just stare at the screen fantasizing about football. Even when the Blackhawks beat the world last year, I couldn’t get too into a game where I couldn’t follow the puck and all the players had long beards and half their teeth.
Football will always be the best game ever for me.
And when I think about it, I start to wonder if my friend Tom Loewy ruined me for other guys. Because he’s wonderful and attentive and smart and funny, and you don’t find guys like him every day. But I’m at a point where I have to move on and see what else is out there because he and I aren’t on a path to be anymore than friends right now.
Except, of course, all other guys pale in comparison.
But it’s all right, because I’d rather have my time with The Wire, and the Bears, and Tom Loewy and be slightly disappointed with everything else than to never know greatness at all.