Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Being in love with someone...

Is like tying a brick around your neck and jumping into a pool.

Listening to:  My own songs in my head.
Things Going on Today:  Tristan's party, a thunderstorm.
Blessings:  Chips and Salsa, thunderstorms
Lessons Learned:  Don't hold parties.  Our work schedule needs to be changed.  There exists a T-shirt company in the world called "Woot."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Addition

I am adding a new addition to my signature on each of my posts.  I will call it "Things Learned" and basically it's an opportunity for me to acknowledge some of the things I learned that day.

I am beginning to understand myself more than ever.  And I'm beginning to realize what I truly value in life.  One of my biggest priorities, I've noticed, is gaining knowledge.  I always want to be learning something, so that one day I may be a genius.  And not just a genius in one thing; I want to know everything about everything.  I think this is a pretty righteous goal because I see God as the ultimate supergenius.  God knows EVERYTHING.  And I think his vast knowledge on every possible subject in the universe translates into ultimate power and control.  Ultimate wisdom.  Ultimate happiness.  So I think gaining knowledge on earth helps you become more like God.

I always knew I loved learning.  I have said over and over again that if I had the chance, I would go to school for the rest of my life.  Listen to lectures, take notes, read books, write papers, study stuff.  I feel like I learn best in a college environment, where people ask questions, discuss things, experiment.  But after talking to a friend of mine the other day at a ward picnic and I am beginning to realize that there are many ways to learn.  Sometimes you need to listen.  Sometimes you need to experience.  Sometimes you need to read.  Sometimes you need to think.  Sometimes you need to talk. I hope that, as a music teacher, I can continuously be learning from my students. Bottom line: It doesn't matter how you learn, the goal is to always be learning something.  So this is a chance for me, hopefully, to become more like God by pointing out the small moments in my life where I learned something... maybe even unexpectedly.

So here we go...

Listening to:  Lady Gaga interview on a Japanese Television Show
Things Going on Today:  Institute.  Mowed with a '48.  Went to Smith's with Alicia.
Blessings:  Ink bottles that open.  Sealing wax sold at BYU bookstore.  Cute institute teachers.
Things Learned:  I have a big mouth.  Laman and Lemuel had a lot of "lightswitch" spiritual experiences (see Elder Bednar's Talk from last conference...) but didn't learn anything from them.  I will be out of money by the year 2012.


The answer, my dear dear friends, is


The answer, my dear dear friends, is


The answer, my dear dear friends, is

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Have you ever...

Felt alone when surrounded by friends?

Listening to: Beyonce
Things Going on Today: Lots of visits; new bishopric
Blessings: Blankets, music, and nice notes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Death of a Legend

Saxophonist Clarence Clemons has died after complications of a stroke from earlier in the week.  He appeared on Lady Gaga's THE EDGE OF GLORY music video just days before his death.  He was 69 years old.

Along with his recent work with Gaga, Clemons has been a part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.  Here's some clips to remember him by...

Listening to: Born to Run (see above)
Things Going On Today: Called my father for Father's day, ate at Uncles house, big father's day tie exchange with the Elders Quorum, filled in for RS president Alicia because she had to work.
Blessings: Toilets.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Edge of Glory Update

So there are some more things I should say about the EOG music video.  I received a lot more information about why it is the way it is...

The video was supposed to be directed by Joseph Kahn, the same guy who directed Gaga's "Eh Eh" video back in 2009.  However, due to a creative dispute, Kahn walked out on the project just a few days before it was due to be shot, and just a few more days before the video was supposed to be released.  All of the costumes, choreography, and concepts that had been planned were now shot, and Gaga needed to improvise.  She didn't even have choreographer Laurianne Gibson on her side for this one, so the Haus took charge and they created a video that took only one day to produce and record.  It was all very spur-of-the-moment, and Gaga was pretty much on her own for the directing process.

With that in mind, I completely understand why the video seemed unprepared and simple.  My opinion of the video still hasn't changed.  It still looks terrible.  But now we understand why.  

Listening to:  Broken by Seether featuring Amy Lee
Things Going on Today:  Nate and Amoray's wedding reception, Manti pageant.
Blessings:  A good nap, crayons, and wedding dresses.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's been a while.

Remember how I said at the end of the last post that the Edge of Glory video would leave me with similar feelings of wonder and appreciation for Lady Gaga's artistry and work?
Well... it didn't.

I was not turned off by any inappropriate sexual behavior or nudity, nor was I offended by the blatant statements about gay rights or "blasphemous religious imagery."

To put it shortly....  I was BORED.

Yes, I said it.  Something Lady Gaga did BORED me.

This video is probably one of the greatest Gaga will ever write.  It's an anthem about a lot of things... love, death, victory.  But the video shows none of this symbolism, this energy, this LIFE.  I can sum up the vid in five words:
Gaga Dancing on Street Corner.

And that is it.

Not joking.  There are no back-up dancers, no special effects or symbolic imagery... not even a real COSTUME CHANGE!!  Okay, so there's a sax-player, just sitting and watching Gaga gyrate on the steps.  But this movie had no action, no real climax.  I went in watching the video expecting fireworks.  When it began, I got chills because I THOUGHT it could only get better.  But it didn't.  It stayed exactly the same for the whole video.  Her dance moves were even repeated a few times within the five-minute song.  I kept expecting SOMETHING to happen.  Maybe at the end some of her background dancers would come out and they'd all dance in the streets together.  Nope.  Maybe the lighting will change once the saxophone starts. Nope.  Maybe she'll jump out the window into another dimension or something.  Nope.  Maybe she'll strip naked.  NOPE.  NOTHING.  Nothing but stupid dancing on a stupid staircase.  No climax, no "moment of truth."  Seriously, no "edge of glory."  I am confused.

I think Lady Gaga was TRYING to sum up her feelings about her humble beginnings on the New York West Side, and while that's great and all, there really should have been more to it than what I saw.  Gaga's into schmultz, glamor, shock value, MEANING.  I felt like this whole video was really slapped together with little thought and interest in what the song was REALLY about.  I have yet to hear her comment on it, but I wouldn't be surprised if people completely forgot it existed the first five minutes after watching it.  It is in no way memorable or revolutionary.

When I watch a music video, I ask myself this question:  Would I watch it again?  If the answer is yes, I dub it "good."  Not only did I answer "no" to that question in regards to this Gaga video, but I actually said to myself:  "Not only will I never watch this video again, I almost regret wasting five minutes of my life to watch it!!"

Don't take my word for it. Watch it yourself!

I'm sure my feelings will be a lot less intense in a few hours.  But right now I am very disappointed and almost frustrated by how unexciting that vid was!!

Listening to:  The Edge of Glory.  (I still like the song!!)
Things Going On Today:  No school.  Amoray goes through the temple.  I practice a song for sacrament meeting.
Blessings:  Leather gloves, coloring books, and crying.