Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bobby McFerrin and the Cherry Coke

I few weeks ago I had to write copy for the Bobby McFerrin concert.  My initial thought was, " who wants to see the 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' guy sing".  Because I was not familiar with his body of work, I set out to do some research.  Guys, did you know that he has 10 Grammy awards?  This guy is amazing.  He is the original beat boxer.  He can do things with his voice that should not be possible. 

In my infinite wisdom, I thought this would be a great concert for the kids.  In the future, if I mention that I am taking my seven year old son to a 2 hour music event that does not include cartoon characters, please slap me.  Certainly I am not in my right mind and need you to give me a reality check.  He did pretty well for the first hour because I had threatened him to within an inch of his life.  We were in Row G and I told him that the musicians would be able to see him. 

I was so happy when Bobby (since we were so close to the stage, I feel that I forged a bond with him and he wouldn't mind me calling him Bobby) decided on the spur of the moment to sing "Blackbird" which is one of my favorite songs. At the end of the song he made a noise that sounded like birds flying, but Ryan heard it much differently.  In the whisper that carries over every other sound, Ryan said, "Did he really just fart while he is on stage?!?!?!"  As if I needed to be reminded that Ryan sees the world in a whole different light, a few songs later Bobby sang "Joshua Lost the Battle of Jericho".  About halfway through the song, Ryan tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, "Why is he singing about Cherry Coke?  He must really like it."

This whole concert was amazing.   Bobby and his band looked like they were genuinely having a great time though at some points I thought it might have been chemically enhanced. I am still not all that familiar with his work, but when the album drops on May 14th, I think I may have to own it

As a side note, this post is in no way sponsored by Bobby McFerrin or anyone else for that matter.  I just really like him now. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Elie Wiesel

Earlier this week I had the privilege to see Elie Wiesel speak.  I didn't really know that much about him, but figured it would be a once in a lifetime chance to see a Nobel Peace Prize winner speak.  I knew he survived the Holocaust, and that was enough for me.  I had few expectations, but I was overwhelmed with the life lessons he shared.  These are the big three that stuck with me. 

Hope.  Each person's definition of hope is different, but hope is essential for survival.  When he was in a concentration camp, his definition was a bigger piece of bread or thicker soup.  Without that hope, he would have given up.  Now his hope is much bigger, but still just as important. 

Wasted opportunity.  During the Holocaust, millions of children were killed.  When arriving at the camps, if you were not big or strong enough to work, you were the first to be eliminated.  (That just gave me chills to type.)  Surely at least one of those kids could have become a great leader, or find a cure to disease.  Our world would be a much different place if not for the decimation of a whole generation.  This has truly saddened me since I heard his speech.  I had been able to wrap my head around this when the Holocaust was a concept. I had never allowed myself to think of these people as individuals who were just living their life like I do every day, until one day they weren't.  Just one more example of how life can change in a moment. 

We must all bear witness.  It is all of our responsibility to see what is going on around us.  It is not okay to just live and let live like I have been.  We must take an active part in being the change we would like to see in the world.  We all know that this should never happen again, but it continues to happen in various places around the world.  We must think outside of ourselves and do something.  At this point, I am not sure what that is, but we, as people of privilege, are responsible for helping those that can't help themselves. 

Needless to say, I am still absorbing what I heard and learned.  I have been called to action.  I am not sure what or when that action will be, but it will happen.  Right now, my action is to share Elie's message with others so they will also hear the call.  For now, that will have to be enough. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

10,000, the red marker and a few other things.

It  is time to celebrate.  While I was busy trying to get my life together, I reached 10,000 hits on this website.  I haven't decided if I should be100%  happy about this or not.  It seems that I have as many visitors when I blog regularly as when I don't.  It really is the little blog that could.  Since they have recently announced that they are creating a sequel to Finding Nemo, it makes me want to say, "just keep reading, just keep reading...".  Thanks to those of you that keep coming back. 

Car conversation with Colin on the way home from guitar lessons....
Colin:  I think I need glasses.  I am having a hard time reading the white board in science.
Me:  Is it just science?
Colin:  Yes, just science, and now that I think about it, it is just red. 
Me:  It is just red, and just in science?  Do you sit far away from the board?
Colin:  I sit in the middle of the room.  It seems like the red is not as dark as the other colors.
Me:  Do you think that your teacher needs a new red dry erase marker?
Colin:  hmmm, you might be right. 

I was talking to my new co-worker as he was looking at his calendar.  He said, "hey, did you know that Christmas falls on December 25th this year?"  He said it like this should be ground breaking news.  I was waiting for him to say something else, and when he didn't I mentioned that it falls on the 25th every year.  He said, "hmmm, you have a good point."  (He gave me permission to write this.)

I am really sad that Roger Ebert died .  When I was graduating from high school there was nothing that I wanted to do besides be a movie critic.  I loved movies, I loved writing, what could be better.  The practical side of me said that I needed to prepare for a job that would set me up for a career that would let me live in a lifestyle that I would enjoy so I went into business and got a degree in marketing.  I thought it would be a long time before Gene Siskle or Roger Ebert would leave and create a job opening, so I went in a different direction. 

Also sad about Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funacello.  Each are influential women in their own way, just polar opposite ways. 

Finally, the same co-worker who told me about Christmas also sent me the following e-mail:  (for those of you who are my Facebook friends, excuse the repetition.)  Come to my orifice, I have some yummy pretzels.  I had to reply, "No Thanks!!!"