Archive for November 2010
let me start off by saying there’s not many things i would say i hate: traffic, rain, being misunderstood, lack of consideration. it’s a pretty short list, but this is up there.
for instance, my parents are a prime example. we’ll be at a restaurant and they’ll ask, “what do you want to order?” i’ll answer, and then they’ll say, “no, don’t get that, get this.” really? ok, then. why’d you ask me if you were going to order for me anyways? to me, this is like asking a prisoner, “would you like to be free?” “yes” “well, too bad! cause i already decided that you’re gonna stay in jail.”
for the thanksgiving break, i’ve spent about 4 days at home with my family, so needless to say, this has happened countless times in those short few days. here’s one of many such conversations:
sister: would you like to say bye to mom now or later?
me: i’ll go later when i’m about to leave
sister: why don’t you just go now?
me: ok, then. let’s go now then.
so the question is, why did she ask me if she wasn’t going to give me a choice?
does anyone else out there feel me? when asked about it, her defense was, “i asked just to be nice.” my response is, wouldn’t it be even nicer if you asked a question and actually meant it? it’s actually kinda mean to ask for a decision that you’ve already made for that person.
i have my own personal thing about questions. i’ll only ask a question when i need/want to know the answer. i don’t ask filler questions. i ask because i genuinely want to know. when i ask how you’re doing, i really mean it. none of this, i ask just to be nice kind of stuff. i ask questions because i want to know the answer. i think this is the original intent of question asking. you ask because you want to gain information. you don’t ask just to hear someone talk and then answer the question yourself (well, maybe professors do that, but technically they’re gaining information about how well they’re teaching or how knowledgeable the class is).
let’s ask better questions.
saturday morning. no school morning. cartoon morning. the rays of light peeking through the blinds creep across my bed and prod my eyes open. i had never been one to sleep in. 7:00am was sleeping in for me. i rub the sleep from my eyes and roll off the bed in search of cinnamon toast crunch and bugs bunny. i creep down the stairs as to not wake my sister who had learned the art of sleeping in and had never taught me. one hand on the banister and the other holding the wall as i make my way down the creaky stairs. i make it to the bottom and on my way to the promise land of sugar and milk i hear a sound that stops me and makes me forget what i was on the quest for.
the sound was faint at first, like the tv was on a couple rooms over. then i realize it’s a voice. then i realize the voice is singing. it’s my grandmother. like a siren’s song it draws me in. i see her sitting on the other set of stairs, eyes closed, rocking back and forth. she was singing a hymn in korean. i could mimic the words but couldn’t understand what they meant. week after week this is how i woke up on saturdays. there was a set of hymns she would sing – her favorites.
when she was in the hospital after she had suffered a stroke, my family rushed to see her. not knowing what we would see when we arrived, we were all very afraid even though we wouldn’t admit it. we opened the door to her room and the reality of her mortality hit us hard. she seemed weak. this woman who had traveled the world in her old age. this woman who worked so hard all of her life. this woman who raised me. this woman who now lay in a hospital bed with iv’s and tubes in her nose. other people from church joined us there as well. we prayed over her. and then we sang a hymn at the request of my dad. one of the familiar ones i had heard her sing so many saturdays ago. her favorite one. i saw through my own tears that each of my family members broke down and cried as the hymn went on, knowing that this song is exactly what she would want to sing if she could.
it wasn’t until after she died that i figured out the words of one of the hymns she used to sing when i was 6. the words that i could mimic so well but had no meaning for me. i realized she had been singing of Jesus’ blood shed for us all these years.
although i’m not a huge fan of hymns, there’s so many things they have taught me: deep theological truths about grace, sacramental theology, faith, or laments. but i think most of all i’ve learned that hymns can connect believers together, across generations, across languages, across illnesses, and across death.
…ninja and ninjer.
ahahaha!! i know this is old news, but that last scene cracks me up everytime.
so i had this moment that reminded me of that last scene. my girlfriend and i were eating dinner at this indian/pakistani place. i ordered a bunch of food and rice of course and waited to receive said deliciousness. the server comes and brings our food and says,
“ooh, i just realized…”
me: (thinking he forgot one of our dishes)
server: …you ordered plain rice.
server: but you didn’t order any curry.
me: (confused) yeah. i’m sorry, was i supposed to?
server: no no, i was just wondering what you were going to eat the rice with.
me: don’t worry, we’re asian. we always find something to eat it with.
server: me too.
what was funny was that my girlfriend and i ordered a couple chicken dishes. i realized that for us koreans (and most east asians), all we need is rice and some kind of meat or side dish and we’re set. for my indian friend, rice goes with curry. i think our chicken dishes were supposed to be eaten with naan (a flat bread-y type dish). for him, something was missing in our meal. for us, we had everything we needed. i thought: meat – check, rice – check. alright, good to go. for him he though: meat – check, naan – check, rice – check, curry – OH NO!!!! abort dinner!! abort dinner!!! they MUST be warned!!
to conclude the story, we destroyed our basmati rice using only our chicken. go ninjas!!
flags was released less than a month ago on october 12. being a huge brooke fraser fan, i downloaded it from itunes pretty soon after that. i listened to it first from one of my friends and then decided that it was download worthy.
if you don’t know brooke fraser, she’s the voice behind praise songs like hosanna and lead me to the cross (hillsong). gorgeous voice. if you still don’t know brooke fraser and/or don’t do praise songs at your church, keep reading. although she is a christian artist, her songs aren’t blatantly christian. some christians see that as selling out, others see it as being real. either way, you can’t deny she’s a great songwriter.
her music won’t get you amped, they’re mostly medium to slow-tempoed songs. musically, the songs are fairly simple. the instruments won’t wow you, the voices drive the songs. her soft, smooth voice is almost hypnotizing. her duet with aqualung on “who are we fooling” is eerily captivating. it almost sounds like something from the “once” soundtrack with glen hansard and marketa irglova. needless to say, this is my favorite song on the album which amazes me because there are no drums. i always thought i loved complex instrumentation in music. just a piano and some strings is all i needed to be wowed in this song.
the album starts off with a more upbeat “something in the water”. honestly, this song makes me a little uncomfortable because it reminds me of the crash test dummies song, “mmm mmm mmm mmm“. kinda freaks me out. otherwise i think it’d be a great song.
but brooke fraser switches it up musically as well with a caribbean influenced song, “jack kerouac”. it’s a fun, playful song with a catchy tag. her songs are generallly not going to be that catchy. that’s just how she is. her lyrics tend to not fit within the bars cleanly. she’ll add some extra syllables or a couple extra notes to the melody. her music doesn’t really follow a pattern throughout each song. she wants you to listen to the words rather than the melody.
myself, i prefer her last album, albertine. if you’re familiar with albertine, flags is a very different album. there are still many brooke fraser-isms in flags, but overall, i’d say if you really liked albertine, you might not be as attached to flags. albertine contained my favorite brooke fraser songs of all time: “c.s. lewis song” and “faithful”.
you can purchase flags from itunes for 9.99 for the regular version and 11.99 for the deluxe which comes with a bonus track and a music video. or you can download it from amazon for 7.99. also, if you’re in the atlanta area, she’ll be in concert at the variety playhouse on nov. 15 if tickets aren’t sold out by now.
i hate it how during a sporting event on tv the announcer will say something like, “amazing! this is the first time a game has gone into quadruple overtime since march of this year.” i mean, really? do you really have to say it like that? i mean, technically it is correct, but couldn’t you just say, “the last time this happened was in march”? does it have to be “the FIRST time since…”?
i mean, you could use that for anything then. this is my first blog post… since saturday. this is the first meal i’ve had… since breakfast. i mean, it just doesn’t do anything for me. you tell me it’s the first time when it actually IS the first time. i think sportscenter does that a lot: rajon rondo has averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists. this is the first time anyone has had these numbers… since chris paul did it last season. (i just made that last one up) or… lebron james is the first person to win back to back mvp awards since steve nash did a couple years ago. i mean, really?!? the first time since a couple years ago? what kind of first is that? that one’s actually a real stat. and i think i’ve heard them say that before.