“Would You Rather?” is a game of choices. My high school history teacher used to ask us things like, “Would you rather remove your right arm with a cheese grater, or cut off your leg with a spoon?” How do you make choices like these?? Last night my pastor’s son preached at my church, and he opened his message with a short game of “Would You Rather?” His questions were not quite so life-changing as my history teacher’s, staying more on the track of normal life, with questions such as, “Would you rather own a dog or a cat?” Dog: “man’s best friend,” honest and loyal, vs. Cat: queen of the house, independent, resourceful.
You know, dog is considered to be man’s best friend, but I don’t particularly like dogs. They bark and whine and drool and lick you. I hate being licked. I prefer cats. Cats are more subtle, sure, they insist on being the queen, but I’m ok with that. I can deal with a co-ruler.
Dogs and cats are all fine and good. They’re good house pets, but the other day I found my true soul-mate. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, just like I always dreamed of, intelligent, spirited, and just all around wonderful. He is a horse. At the stables where he is kept he is known and feared for biting and kicking – at least while no one is riding him. But when I rode him, he was a perfect gentleman, giving me hardly any trouble at all. He was charming and responsive, the perfect man. I guess I don’t have to look any farther for my Prince Charming.
So you finally meet that girl you’ve been hearing so much about from your friend. Your friend introduces the two of you, helps the conversation get started, and then walks off to talk to someone else. What do you do?? I mean, you hardly even know this person, and just because you have a friend in common doesn’t mean you know what to talk about. Well, you try your best. You really are quite gallant in your attempts to ward off the inevitable, but such antics can only go on so long, and finally all conversation stops. An awkward silence ensues.
You know, I hate awkward moments like these. I do everything I possibly can to avoid them. But sometimes they’re simply unavoidable. What do you do then? I have friends who, when an awkward moment rears its ugly head will accentuate the situation by announcing, “Awk-wardddd!” But I have observed that instead of relieving the awkward tension of the moment, this announcement only serves to intensify the awkwardness felt by everyone included in the conversation. The best way I have found to alleviate awkwardness is to ignore it and pretend that the situation is not at all as awkward as you find it.
For the record, consider the word “awkward” to be very awkward in itself. I mean, just look at all those ‘a’s and the ‘wk’. It sounds like “squawk.” Maybe it should be “squawkward” instead of “awkward.”
Have you ever noticed what a big deal hair is in today’s society? Men worry about bald spots, going to great lengths to evade and, if circumstances require, hide them: lengths as great as plugs, hair tonic, and the horrendous comb-overs you might see on today’s fast-fading gentlemen. On the flip side, women are often equally fanatical about getting rid of hair, using processes such as shaving, tweezing, waxing, and laser hair removal, to name a few. What is this huge fascination with hair that our society seems to have?
It’s interesting to sit in the dining common on my college campus and watch the people stream by. You will see all sorts of hair. Variety begins with color, passes through cut, and doesn’t even begin to end with style. And with every cut, every style comes a look. Recently a very good friend of mine got a haircut. And she got it cut short. Very short. As in, shorter than my brother’s hair (as she pointed out to me). I was in a state of mild shock when I first saw it (she conveniently forgot to tell me about said haircut), but now that I have reconciled myself to the loss of her luscious locks I must admit that the cut is cute and stylish. What is it about a good haircut that revolutionizes a person’s look?
Short hair on women is chic and stylish in today’s trendy world, but there is just something about long hair that speaks femininity. As one who is endeavoring to grow her hair out from the all-too-frequent choppings of my past, I admire the women who are patient enough to keep their hair long and hope soon to join their ranks.
This summer while studying at a conservatory, my friends and I developed several phrases that could be used to encompass the whole range of emotion and expression. The sayings started small with a phrase my roommate says: “O my chicken!” Add in “stinkin’ fat” and some good old-fashioned soul, and the result is quite amusing: “O my even stinkin’ fat chicken-shaped rooster soul!!!” Now there’s a mouthful! Go ahead, read it again, say it out loud to get its flavor firmly entrenched in your taste buds. It’s rather comical to watch peoples’ expressions when I say it. Shock and surprise register first, then confusion, which is frequently followed by a request to repeat the phrase – usually much slower.
It amuses me how many different phrases people come up with to express their feelings. You might hear everything from “jinx” to “O my chicken!” to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” People are such inventive creatures. And personal idiosyncrasy is expressed in more than just words. You might notice when you watch friends, family, even complete strangers, that everyone eats, walks, sits, writes, etc. differently from anybody else. Even people who speak the same language pronounce words differently.
Each person is different from any other person you will ever meet. And while this may seem so incredibly obvious as to not need explanation, sometimes we need a little reminder. Anne Wilson Schaef says that “differences challenge assumptions.” So go out there: embrace differences, be challenged!
You know, some people don’t consider singers to be real musicians. They label us as undisciplined, unmusical, lazy, and the list goes on. I once heard a pianist complaining about his singer friends who were required to practice less than he as an instrumentalist had to, but they, lounging about doing absolutely nothing, still groaned that they had too much to do.
I will admit that some of what they say is true – of some of us. But what many of this opinion don’t know is that many singers work very hard at what they do. It saddens me that the lives of some of us ruin the reputations of us all. But I suppose that is how things work in all areas of life.
Do you realize how many tasks a singer juggles while he is performing? Just like an instrumentalist he has to sing the tune correctly, worry about tone production, battle stage fright, and work with his accompanist. But in addition to these hardly trivial tasks, the singer must sing words: he must sing them as if he means them (and this is made doubly hard if the language he is singing in is not his native tongue) and he must enunciate clearly enough that every person in his audience can understand him. The singer must also become the character that the piece calls for – he must be an actor as well as a singer.
But, as a singer, I suppose I’m a bit biased toward my kind. I find as I listen to different instruments and styles that the instrument that moves me most is the human voice. I wonder if this is simply because the voice is my instrument. But no one can deny that the human voice is different from anything else on earth. Humans alone have been created with the ability to communicate with words, and the voice stands alone among instruments in its ability to combine both music and words.
Violin, Piano, Oboe, Flute, Trumpet, Voice. All of these and more are instruments, all require musicians to be used to their utmost potential. And while I love voice and vocalists, I admire many instrumentalists for precisely the things they criticize singers for. I guess nobody’s perfect.
I am now officially a blogger. Never thought I’d see the day. I always thought of bloggers as weirdos who didn’t have a social life, who decided to make a life for themselves on the net. Boy, was I ever wrong!! Blogging, I now realize, is just another way to express one’s self in another medium to (potentially) more people.
Now me, I sometimes have troubles just operating my computer! (I’m just glad I have a PC, so if anything goes wrong I can simply restart it. Gotta love Windows!) And have you any idea how many projects and stories I’ve started only to leave them unfinished lying around somewhere just begging to be completed? So when I started thinking about starting a blog, my immediate thought was, “Me??? I mean, I’ll probably forget about it and never update it. And I’m not a good enough writer. No one will ever read it. Do I even know how to write a blog? What am I getting myself into??” So I ask your pardon in advance, dear Readers, if I bore you or (which may be the more likely of the two) if I fail to remember to update this site regularly. I send my thanks to anyone who stops by to read my little blog, and I hope you will find it enjoyable.