I’m Not a Religious Person

Here I sit, watching Disney’s Hercules, procrastinating just a few more hours before I actually accomplish any schoolwork I really have to do, and I realize how much religion plays a part in the world. Not just back during the time of Greek Mythology, and very religious people are harder and harder to come by, these days, but religion does still seem to mean a lot to some people.

Exhibit A (and really the only exhibit): the new pope. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that much hooplah.

So here’s the opinion, from a Catholic:

There’s science. I like science. A lot. And I believe in it much more than I believe in a  spirit floating in the clouds granting wishes.

The purpose of religion (for the most part) is to teach you how to be a good person. I like to think I’m a good person, with or without a God that I have to answer to when I die.

If there really is a God, as long as you’re a good person, you should be sent to heaven, right?

No, I’m not a religious person, and I seldom go to church, but I find it’s helpful to believe in times of weakness. When you’re really down and when you really feel alone, it helps to know that you at least have God on your side, as cheesy as it sounds.

I like to think of the way that I view religion as a sort of selective-belief. I figure, as long as you’re a good person, shouldn’t that be enough in any religion?

Music Friday #1

Happy Friday! This is the first installment of something I’m hoping to keep going for a while. I’m hoping you’ll know what it is by the title, so I’m not going to bother explaining it. Here goes.

Only the Good Die Young is my first selection because I feel like it will get me in the least amount of trouble from my readers. Next week I’ll be posting about a lesser-known artist, but for right now I figure I’d point out a true classic.

From a musician’s point of view, this might not be the most difficult song or the most impressive – most songs on the radio tend to be a combination of just four or five of the simplest chords. Aside from that, though, any musician can tell you that music isn’t about the complexity of the music. The point of music is the feeling, and this song undeniably gives you the feeling you want to just get up and dance.

No, it’s not the best message in the lyrics, but I do like some particular lines. (For example: ‘I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun’). I’m not going to lie, I don’t care what the message of the song is; if it’s by Billy Joel, it’s pretty awesome.

Not only is Billy Joel just an incredibly gifted singer/songwriter/musician, he is actually a great performer. Not that I’ve ever seen him live; I have seen videos and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone who was born to perform as much as good old Billy.

So that’s it for this week, have a nice weekend!

Music Friday #2

Here it is, it’s a thing now. No turning back. Also, I’m posting this one really late on account of I actually had something to do with my life today.

I planned on just plugging one song per post on Fridays, but I have this whole artist that I want to draw attention to because he’s awesome, like REALLY awesome. He posts music on youtube and he has a lot of talent in songwriting and singing. His name is BriBry, I don’t think he’s ever put up a song that I didn’t like, but here are links to some of my favorites.

Staying Together is a song with particular lyrics in this one that I seem to have fallen in love with. No, I lied, I fell in love with all of the lyrics from this one. My favorite part is “I want to stay in this paradise, quoting you lyrics every night and not telling you which ones that I wrote myself.” It kind of has this beat you just want to move to, and it’s a little different than my other favorites from BriBry, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Sum Me Up is one song that any mess of a person (cough cough, me) can relate to, and also tall people. This is the song that pulled me to BriBry’s music and I actually went so far as learning how to play it on guitar. I must sing it at least once a week.

The Ross Song is a touching one. It’s about his friend who died of cancer. All of the profits BriBry makes from his youtube channel go to The Ross Foundation for obvious reasons. This is one of those songs you can relate to if you’ve ever lost a loved one. Although the vocals aren’t my favorite in this song, I think the guitar is beautiful and the lyrics are so meaningful.

Adventure Time has got to be my favorite. I think the vocal quality is great, the lyrics are great, the guitar is great, and the video is great. It’s one of those songs that makes you forget just about every word in your vocabulary besides the word great. I don’t know why.

Old Enough is one that I’ve recently come to love. I just. . . it’s just awesome. The line “I found the world yesterday, and found I’m on a dot on a map” just reeled me in. Then the line “I know in a few months I’ll take back this song and praise the new one that I love” just. . . ugh. Then the bit about the ‘schizophrenic kid,’ this song just got me, and I’ve listened to it about nine million times.

Can we take a moment just to realize how high BriBry’s range can go? Okay, realized it? Good, now for the last one.

Child was one of BriBry’s songs where I had the first two lines memorized before he even posted the video. I was in love with it before I heard the whole thing because he had put the intro to the song as the outro to the video for Old Enough, and I just think it’s an adorable song.

Trust Me. . . You Don’t Want to Know

Really, you don’t. But I’m going to tell you anyway because that’s the whole premise of blogging, so strap in!

Yesterday was my Dad’s first day at a new job, and he. . . well. . . he came home to an argument when we really intended for him to come home to a nice, home-cooked meal. That didn’t really go as planned.

Katie, what was this argument about, you ask? Oh, you know. The usual, ALIENS.

There’s really no doubt in my family that aliens exist in some form, somewhere.The way we look at it is: we hardly know enough about our own solar system; and there are so many more solar systems, so many galaxies, so many stars in this universe, and we don’t even know if it ends with this universe, so with all of that matter and all of those planets and stars, who are we to say that earth is the only planet to harbor life?

Right, so aliens exist, end of story. That’s not the argument. The argument is, let’s say they discover life on earth (assuming they’re more than just a single-celled organism floating on a rock, of course) before we discover life on the planet they’re from (although I find this highly unlikely, but hypothetically), what would they do?

My brother says they would ‘observe’ our planet long enough to conclude that we are violent people (by intercepting things like holocaust documentaries and other documentaries on war and things of the sort) and then they would attack us.

I disagree. I think it would go a little more like this (remember, throughout this argument, he was yelling and me and I was yelling right back at him, we get that heated): they would discover life on earth. I would assume that they were doing it for all the same reasons we are looking for life in the universe; curiosity, research, maybe resources. If they tried to ‘observe’ our planet, they would first have to get close enough, and I’m not sure if they would be able to do that without our realizing it. My mom made the point that everything we broadcast is out in space; but if they had radio technology, which they should to be taking on space travel, we would know they’re there just as well as they would know about us. Knowing world leaders and anti-war activists today, you would assume the world leaders would team up and probably want to go about this with peace. I mean, nobody wants a full-on war until there is no other option.

If it did, in the end, come to a war, I have no doubt that aliens would kill us. I mean, they had the advances in technology enough to get them to our planet and discover our planet’s life. It might not occur to them to put weapons on their ship, as I don’t think it occurred to us when we went to the moon; we were too busy with the issue of actually getting to the moon. The same with the Mars curiosity rover. However, if it did occur to them, we would be done for.

Alright , that’s all I’ve got for today, but I’d really like to know what you think in the comments, so go ahead with that. I’d really like to hear what other people are thinking, aliens are by far my favorite topic.

No You’re Not Hallucinating . . . I Know It’s Friday

As most of you know, or probably know by now, Monday is my blogging day. Just generally, Mondays. It’s my thing. However, I’ve been toying with the idea of possibly adding in Friday. But not as just a blogging day, no no no.

I was thinking Friday could be a musical blogging day. Like, I’d post songs and talk about why they’re awesome or why they suck; just generally why they deserved a post on my blog.

I know a lot of you know, especially if you’ve read my “The Nerd Behind the Blog” page, that I am very into music. I thought maybe it would be a fun little experiment.

Anyway, the point of this post it to get your opinion. So I’d really like comments. No, seriously, comment. I need feedback. If I don’t get at least three comments telling me they want this on Fridays, then I won’t do it. If I get more comments saying they don’t want this, then I won’t do it. It all depends on comments, though. So don’t just ‘like’, don’t just read. Actually comment. I know you guys have a hard time with that, but it would REALLY be helpful with this one.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got, because, you know, it’s not Monday. I’ll see you guys on a day that makes more sense (Monday).

Time of My Life

I’m on a bit of a high right now, so I thought I’d write a little something, especially knowing what my last post was. Here goes:

Godspell. . . every actor needs one. I don’t care if you don’t get a part after you audition, get together ten friends and freaking PUT ONE ON! It’s a lot of work and a lot of rehearsal, but when it’s done, it is by far the most gratifying show I have ever put on. That feeling of nailing a song on stage and hearing the audience applaud, especially the songs in Godspell.

I mean, I don’t care that I got a crappy part and I don’t care that everyone probably forgot about me once they left; the building of the community throughout the play, the jokes, the heartfelt part, the heartbreaking ending. You can’t be a part of Godspell and not love it. I don’t think it’s possible. It’s far too much fun.

If you’ve never seen it, GO SEE IT! Rent it on DVD, find a local theater group who is putting it on; I don’t care, just give it a chance. You don’t have to be Christian or even religious. I know atheists who LOVE it; and they’re a part of the crew.

It’s just such a relaxed, fun musical. My cast in particular is especially fabulous and fantastic. It’s a cast of about 68 people (the traditional cast is ten people, but our director doesn’t like to cut people, which explains why everyone except Jesus and Judas got crappy parts) and every last one of them are amazing. As a whole, we just throw all of our energy in the audiences faces.

I didn’t even mention my favorite part of it. You are given, every last one of you, the ability to be your kwirky, ridiculous, awkward self without people judging you. People can’t judge you, because it’s Godspell and that’s what it’s all about. You can’t be made fun of for playing a part; it’s called acting.

Have you ever been in a play or musical? If so, which one, and would you recommend seeing/trying out for a part in it? I WANT TO KNOW, SO DON’T JUST LIKE. COMMENT. DO IT! If you comment, I’ll . . . love you forever. Is that enough?

Not Going Back

I was never an extraordinary person. I don’t really mind. That’s what I was expecting throughout my life. That chubby kid who sat in the back in elementary school. That girl who got really tall a little to early. That ordinary girl with the ordinary straight, brown hair and the awkwardly pale skin.

I wasn’t expecting much when I went to school everyday. I wasn’t expecting people to come up to me, wanting to be my friends. I was completely content with the group of friends I had, my five close friends and a number of people who would occasionally chat with me when there was no better option.

I never wore make-up. At least, not regularly. It was a type of rebellion for me. Not teenage rebellion, raging out against overbearing parents who expected too much or not enough. I was too perfect of a daughter for that, with grades that were too perfect and interests that were far too mature for my age. It was a rebellion against a sibling. A sister to be exact.

I was constantly asked by my friends “Why do you hate her so much?” after saying something akin to “Can I come over today? My sister is watching us and I don’t want to be around her.” I could never bring myself to fully explain.

She was a bully, to put it bluntly. There were no physical punches, but my self-esteem definitely suffered from a few low blows. Too many comments about her disapproval of the clothes I wore or the way I laughed, not that she heard that very often. Sounds of joy rarely escaped me around her.

She was an older sister. She didn’t notice what effect she was having. She was expecting a lot. Not the sister who wore hand-me-down sweatshirts and t-shirts. Not the little sister that didn’t look like a barbie doll all the time. The little sister who had the perfect skin and the perfect body, the perfect hair and the perfect face; she wanted her little sister to have all of the things that she, herself, could not have. That was what she was expecting. There was no way that only I could be good enough. Nose in a book, simplistic, low maintenance;  never good enough.

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So she poked and she prodded, trying to encourage further beauty when, actually, just forcing me deeper into my shell, into my perfect little corner of the world where nothing hurt because nothing was there. There was no encouragement, there was only her forcing me further down into this exceedingly dark place until I found myself in my own, personal hell.

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Then, I kept hidden. Who could blame me? Every time I stepped out of my room I was criticized, sneered at, given some form of a disapproving look, and I couldn’t handle it. This wouldn’t do for my sister. No, no. Her little sister had to be sociable, she had to be surrounded by her coolest peers and she had to have the boys all over her, even if it meant not maintaining one shred of dignity or self-respect.

So why is she so unbearable? Why do I swear on my own life that as soon as it’s completely up to me, I’ll never let myself see her again? Isn’t it obvious that it’s a little hard for me to talk about. It’s even hard to write about it.

The past is full of extremely shameful things, but the past is over now, that’s why it’s called the past.

That was last year, when I wore one hoodie and a different t-shirt every day as a way to silently say “go ahead, you can say what you want. I won’t give you the satisfaction of changing me in any way.” Every day, I looked in the mirror and pointed out every flaw in my head. ‘You’re eye is a little lazy (it hardly is), you have a blemish on your forehead, you need to fix your hair, you need to lose weight.’ It was as if she had infested my brain and laid tiny little eggs so that the seeds of her would torment my subconscious when she wasn’t around to do it.

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I held off on the makeover until she left for college. She wouldn’t be able to credit herself in any way, not if I had anything to say about it.

She was gone, and I still had my brothers, and my friends, and things were finally looking up because there was one person eliminated from my life, if even for a little while. It was then that I began realizing that I was treating myself terribly. Being in such a dark place, it’s really hard to see any hint of light. It’s hard to go to school and let everyone see what is going on inside, so I put on a mask. The girl who was always smiling, everyone knew that. I never had much to be happy about, not the most popular or the prettiest, but I found a reason and pretended that nothing got to me.

This all stopped when she was gone. Shaking myself, I straightened myself out, I started treating myself better. I began losing weight and I started actually smiling again, and not because anyone was watching, but because I was genuinely happy. I began wearing small amounts of makeup, I got more clothes, took the pair of scissors out of my room, began eating well and more regularly, and I swore to myself that I was never going back. I guess the rest is an open ending.

From The Other Category to you, take care of yourself because life sucks. . . a lot, but I know you’re strong enough, and it’ll be over before you know it. Keep looking up. 🙂