Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

I don't really have anything to blog and I've thought about doing this for a few weeks. I'm not asking for comments on this or anything, but this is a passage from a book called Pathways to Peace. This book was left in my office...not specifically for me, but randomly on the shelf. I've read all of the sections in it many many times. Needless to say, it's a short book. In light of yesterday's shooting at the National Holocaust Museum, I found this selection very poignant:

The Talmud includes The Torah and is the primary and most ancient sacred text for Jews today. Its readings on Jewish life and beliefs were compiled over centuries and codified around 350 CE.

When man appears before the Throne of Judgment, the first question he is asked is not, "Have you believe in God," or "Have you prayed and performed ritual acts," but "Have you dealt honorably, faithfully in all your dealings with your fellowman?"

(Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Commercial Grade

Yesterday, my wife and I were part of another I-Cubs Concessions extravaganza. It was fun and busy. I couldn't believe how slowly time went, though and, as before, my legs and feet hurt A LOT after the game.

But, this post isn't about all that!

I wanted to talk about commercials. Yes, they are always in the way when you are watching your favorite TV show and they always seem to be on the radio during the morning drive to work instead of music.

Commercials, just by nature, are quite annoying. But, oh, how important they are! Commercials are what let us know that we need to run out and get a large Coke in the middle of "American Idol" and that our air conditioner isn't running correctly during the nightly viewing of "King of Queens."

The local commercials, like the air conditioning one, are always the best. Not because they are well made or that they have a useful message, but because, at least here in Des Moines, they all have the same male vocalist singing their terrible theme song. But, those terrible theme songs are so darn catchy.

Who can forget: "We obey the rules to live by...Golden Rule, plumbing, heating and cooling." Or everyone's favorite: "Savor the TASTE and dining exPERience, Cosi Cucina." There is also the Thrasher Service theme song and the Anchored Walls song. All of which are sung, presumably, by the same guy.

I can still remember, well, part of a theme song from local Kansas City TV growing up: "Call ' seven', anytime night or day." Okay, so I don't remember all of the telephone numbers, but I know the melody and it sticks in the brain. I can even see the little white repair men and black bird on the navy blue screen. I wonder if that is still a commercial today? It's a classic, so I'm sure it is.

A commercial that I particularly like on TV right now is one for Arby's. Two men, one dressed as a baker and the other as a mariachi guitar player, are running towards each other in a field. The message isn't the funny part to me, but the choice of song: "Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I found thee..." Which, as anyone knows, is a song featured in the classic funny movie "Young Frankenstein", which is one of my favorites! Therefore, I have a connection to the commercial and it makes me want a new Arby's Flatbread Mexican...thingy.

There is a humorous commercial on the radio that always makes me think of my's a parody of the drug commercial "I learned it by watching you." Except, this is a commercial for Burger King in which the Whopper Jr. is looking at old ads of the regular Whopper (his dad) from the closet. The ads say that the original Whopper was sold for "less than a buck" at one time, so why can't the Whopper Jr. do the same. The dialogue from the father saying, "How can you think that you can sell yourself for a buck, Whopper Jr.?" and the tag line being "I learned it by watching you."

Commercials are annoying and, as I said, usually in the way, but I'm sure you can list a few of your favorites off the top of your head and I'm even more sure you have jingles going around in your brain at certain times during the day.

Hey, if commercials weren't so popular or important, we probably wouldn't have TV shows dedicated to them at the end of ever year...counting down the best commercials of the year. We probably wouldn't go to a Super Bowl party "just for the game." And we certainly wouldn't know that we need a ketchup dripping, mayonnaise spurting quadruple thick burger from Hardee's (or Carl's Jr. for you non-Midwesterners) at 10:30 at night.

Question: What is your favorite commercial of all time?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lazy Summer Days

When did summer become as busy as the "school year"? I would like to know! I was completely busy during...let's call it the programming year, and now that it's over, I find myself even busier now that it's summer.

Last summer I had just started my job and it seemed that I was very bored a lot at church. I didn't seem to have that much to do. I wish for those days! I don't mind being busy. It means my mind is active and, for the most part, I'm alert.

I took last week off from blogging because I had so much to do. So, for you followers, here's a quick recap of last week's happenings:

1. Hello Dolly! is still going. It still irritates me, but if I stick it out, perhaps in the future I can have a larger roll in the production, not that being repetiteur is small potatoes, but I would really like to get into directing sometime.

2. Meatless Monday was only halfsies last Monday. I was meat-filled for lunch because of time constraint and meatless for dinner. Today isn't looking so good either. BUT, after posting about it, I did get some nice comments and did look into the reason for Meatless Monday more. It makes sense to save some cows and greenhouse gasses.

3. I've had meetings out the wazzoo. Is that how you spell wazzoo? Is that even a word? Well, anyway...wazzoo or not, I've had a lot of them. I have a lot of them this week too. In fact, I have 3 today. One of which is the annual meeting for a choir that I briefly accompanied for this year. They are going to talk about disbanding because of lack of dollars. I'm kind of hoping they will. This may sound malicious, but I'm going to try to start a community chorus of my own and it would be great if I could get these people too. So...malicious...yes.

4. Church yesterday was okay. The service was pretty basic. The congregation was quite noisy at the beginning of the service. I'm not sure what that was about, but they were so noisy, it was to the point you couldn't hear the pastor over the sound system!

5. Movies: we rented "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and another movie, that at the moment I can't remember, so obviously it wasn't memorable. Miss Pettigrew was a great movie and I would recommend it to anyone. There is nudity, so perhaps not children...but all in all the movie was very good.

6. Youth choir update...still only had two kids. One of them was different than the first week, but still only two. This makes me frustrated...but, two is better than none and this week I've been promised that I will have at least 4 if not 5 or 6. So, we stay positive and keep moving forward. As Dory says is "Finding Nemo" - "just keep swimming...swimming...swimming."

Well, I think that's the recap for the week. When I put it on the screen it doesn't seem like that much, but I guess when I have something going on every night it seems like a lot, especially if I'm missing SYTYCD.

I hope you have lazier summer days than this and get your fill of food, movies and tv. See you later!

Question: What's been keeping you busy this summer?