Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Public Singing

I wrote this for a friend for her church's blog: http://humblewalkchurch.org/2010/06/28/guest-blog-from-sean-johnson/. I hope you enjoy!


A few years back, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was the first grandchild on my side of the family and every member of my family rejoiced. Truly rejoiced.
An interesting thing happens when a child enters into the equation–nothing is the same.
My sister, whose voice fell silent during family caroling many years before my niece’s birth, is now singing lullabys in front of my family. My brother-in-law, whose singing was inaudible even during hymns on Sundays, is vibrant and energetic as he sings, “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” with my nieces. For some reason, children bring out this need to sing publicly.
But public singing isn’t only for parents, when sports teams score a goal, a song plays on the PA and the crowd starts cheering and singing along with the music. When we feel joy, we need to share it with those
around us. For some reason, song is the way we choose to share our emotions.
After the 9/11 tragedies, congress stood on the steps of the Capitol singing. Amid one of the greatest tragedies America has seen, our leaders took time out of their day to sing. When a leader dies or is killed, from Jerry Garcia to the Kennedys, and Mother Theresa to Martin Luther King, Jr. their followers gather together and sing songs of mourning.
We are social beings that express emotion in song. Whether we are singing about the joy of a baby, the loss of a leader, we have a fundamental need to express this song. We lose the self-consciousness of every day life and just let out our emotions…as part of something larger than we are.
Isn’t it great when we lose ourselves and become part of something greater? I completely recommend it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

House (Buying?)

B and I are attempting to buy a house... in Richfield. It's our first time and I'm really excited.
Today we brought my dad along for the ride and realized that there is a LOT of work related to this house. And again, I ask myself, "Why are buying a house instead of just renting?"
While I don't know why we shouldn't just rent, I do know that it will be nice to have a building to myself. To not listen to conversations in the hallway, to not worry about the movie I'm watching going to long into the night, or being too loud, or not having a good dishwasher, etc. Soon we'll be able to BUY a dishwasher and BUY a range and SPEND lots of money on everything.
I'm excited and nervous. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Of In-Laws, Wives, and Polygamy

Yes, you read that correctly, I wrote polygamy. I have a guilty pleasure, HBO's Big Love. It is fascinating!

When my family went to Florida last January, the place we stayed had HBO and every night they showed Big Love while I went to bed. I was intrigued.The show is about a sectarian Mormon family that believes in polygamy. Bill Henrickson, the protagonist, has three wives, each completely different from the next. When I got home from Florida, I immediately put in to get the DVD's from the library. B and I just finished the first season.

In one of the episodes, all of Bill's mothers came to stay with the family. Talk about nightmare in-laws! No one has it worse than a wife (or wives) who have 7 different women telling them that they are doing everything wrong. Oy!

This is actually my second round with a season of Big Love. Last Lent, I decided to not watch broadcast television and borrowed the second season (yes, I know that I watched them out of order, I HAD to). During that time, I actually had nightmares about being married to three women. It was AWFUL!

Even with nightmares, the show is an interesting, albeit fictional, account of the life, theology, and mindset of polygamists. I completely recommend this show to anyone for entertainment and for a look into a lifestyle different, probably, from yours.

Monday, June 07, 2010

"Tour de Cure" Bike ride to cure diabetes

Saturday, B and I rode 45 miles for the American Diabetes Associations "Tour de Cure." We raised nearly $1000 for diabetes research and treatment, but that was not without a cost... it rained. All. Day.
It was a beautiful day, before 7am, but from 7-4 it was gross. I was not happy. In fact, I was grouchy, plain and simple. I marked the last 10-15 miles of the trail and started grouchy. Whoever invented Spray Chalk should be drug out into the street and shot. It doesn't work. At least not well. Yes, I wrote spray chalk, it comes in an aerosol can and is great in concept, but neither I, nor the 8 other people marking the routes had consistent luck with it.
I was supposed to ride 62 miles, but I had so much trouble marking the trail that I didn't get done until after that ride began. Plus, as I wrote before, I was grouchy. However, it gave me the opportunity to ride for 45 miles with B. She liked that and my grouchiness subsided (eventually).
Anyway, you might be wondering how we amassed such a pile of donations. To that end, I will let you know that we have the best friends in the whole world! B suggested that we host a couple of Spaghetti Dinners, one at our apartment complex's party room, the other at our church home. Between the two, and many online donors, we got that much. B's still a little short of her goal, if you care to donate, feel free to do so at: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/beckyj I'm not fishing for donations, but if this is on your list of important causes, please donate.
On that note, on of the larger donors was a friend from High School who I haven't seen for a dozen years and our only contact since then has been via facebook. Thanks, D! And Thank you all for a great ride!