Friday, October 23, 2009

five kinds of happy.

Currently Listening To: Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
Last night was stressy because: Kevin and Jen were in the bad group on Top Chef! They're both okay, but I was sweating. Press on, Kevin! Press on!

On this, the most Friday of all Fridays (?) let us discuss five different kids of happy:

Happy1: Confetti tossing is in order for Sarah of sarahwithachance.
Not only is Sarah a friend of the blog, which makes her cool by default, but she also just secured an awesome agent for her novel! Just in case you aren't really into the business part of writing (and if you're not a writer I don't blame you for not being into it), I'll state the obvious: finding the right agent is a huge deal. Great agents are an asset. They help writers shape careers. They keep you from doing this (start at 4:40) when you can't make the sucky part of your manuscript better. They build relationships with editors so they know exactly where your book will be a good fit (once all the head-kicking has passed). They handle all the business aspects of your writing. And, for me at least, it's always a great day when I know somebody besides my mom, my dad, and my dog like what I write. Finding an agent is a gigantic piece of the publishing puzzle snapped in place. Not an easy edge piece either. One of those pesky middle pieces you lose under the couch.

Where was I? Sarah! Go fistbump Sarah and take a look at her blog. Discovering a new writer before she hits it big is more fun to me than saying you listened to Kings of Leon before everybody else did.* Or saying you liked Muse before Twilight fans discovered Muse. Stumbling onto a writer blog and thinking, "This girl is going to put out some freaking amazing books," is such a cool feeling. Then in a few years, when your friends start reading her stuff, you can brush off your shoulders and be like, "Yeah I know her already."

Congratulations Sarah! You break out those Twizzlers and do the dance of joy! I can't wait to read your novel.

Happy2: My bff Sarah and I went to see Kelly Clarkson in concert and it was So. Stinking. Fun.
First, we met up with Sarah's sisters at Rafferty's where we proceeded to order every fried thing they had on the menu. This is something I've been excited to blog btw: I tried fried pickles! And ... they were sort of delightful. Granted, I was hungry. But little fried pickles slices are weirdly tasty. If you ever get to try them you should. For years people told me to try 1.) fried pickles and 2.) calamari. I tried calamari once and I didn't like it. At all. The texture was exactly what I thought it would be. But I'm a biased source b/c I'm not crazy about seafood in general. The fried pickles though? Worth trying.

Then we went to the concert** and danced and sang along with all the songs. I tried to take pictures but they turned out fuzzy, so Sarah sent me her pics. Kelly looked super cute. She has great hair, don't you think? And it drives me crazy how she can dance all night ... let me back up. First, it drives me crazy that she dances so hard and never stops to suck wind. It reminded me of how out of shape I am, and how many fried pickles I ate, and that's not cool. Second, she can toss her hair around all night and it never stops looking great. Inconceivable! The concert was so good. Truly, this girl can sing. Some singers aren't as good live but Kelly is even better. Her voice is so gorgeous. She was very high-energy, very sweet (almost dorky sweet ... which always makes me happy). She did a cover of an Alanis Morisette song I've never heard, but can't wait to download.

In fact, Kelly (we're on a first name basis, me and Kel) kept talking about how much she loved other people's music. She said covering other people's songs was one of her favorite things. I like it when artist's are like that. I think every aspect of society, even (sadly) the arts
community, is encouraged to be critical. To an extent, this is good. In high school, for example, you learn to be a critical reader so you can think about themes, deeper meanings, the rhythm of language, and all that fun stuff. But I think reality TV and the anonymity of the interweb have pushed people past criticism as art into criticism as mostly venomous spew. Which is always funny to me anyway. I've mentioned before how I think art is subjective. I can hate a book that you love and we're both equally right. I don't think art is something that can be measured in the static way critics try to measure it. That's not to say I don't appreciate critics. I do, I just think sometimes it's an excuse for people to be mean and act superior and snobby. So. It always makes me happy to see artists leaning toward the positive, talking up other artists, talking about all the different art they like.

Where was I?

Kelly Clarkson! She was great. Sarah got us some great seats too. Not only could we see the stage (which is rare if you happen to be a shorty like me) but we had a great view for people watching. We saw:

- An entire crowd full of girls screaming, "I do not hook up." Over. And over. And over. It made me teary almost.
- A couple making out to a song ... about getting dumped. Then they started making out again ... when Kelly sang the song about her parents divorce. Not every slow song is meant for making out, people.
- A big group of guys all attending together, singing all the words, dancing through the whole concert. Made me so happy.
- A little boy in snappy gloves and a black hat, singing along with the music, doing cute little dance moves.
- A Dippin' Dots stand. Is Dippin Dots still the ice cream of the future, or has the future arrived?

Deep, deep thoughts on the blog today.

On the way home, we listened to Kelly and Reba duet on "Fancy." Both my best friends and I think Reba is Queen of the World. Or maybe Dolly Parton is Queen of the World but Reba would be in her court. I've seen Kelly Clarkson twice in concert. Both times I've hoped Reba would walk out on stage and start singing. So far, no Reba. But I'm still hoping! When we listened to the song "Fancy," brought back a happy memory.

Happy3: Fancy singing telegrams.
Several years ago, when I worked in student ministry at a church (I know. I know.), I decided to go on a missions trip with two other people (they were both college students). Thus, we were trying to raise money. In a stroke of unparalleled genius, we decided to deliver singing telegrams. I have no clue why this ever sounded like a good idea, but it did. At first, I thought about printing off a few select songs people could chose from. Then I thought, nah. People won't get too crazy with this.

Lesson learned: Never underestimate people and their ability to get their crazy on.

One day, Caitlyn's mom called and said: "George, from the bank, wants you guys to go sing 'Fancy' to Lyin' Willy."

Lyin' Willy was the owner and operator of a used car dealership downtown.

So we all have a special place in our hearts for Reba. She helped us go to Panama.***

Happy4: Halloween is coming!
Originally, my Halloween plans were to hand out candy to kids here in the neighborhood. And maybe find a cute costume at Target for Biscuit to wear on Halloween night so kids would go "awww" when they saw her. But. We're having a family bonding day on Halloween. Sadly, no costumes are involved. I'm still quite excited though. We're all traveling to see a play together and my dad says it will make me laugh so hard I wheeze. Then I will come back here and eat all the candy I had planned to give out to little kids. Maybe watch a movie with my dog, who will probably be grateful I didn't dress her like a little furry pirate. Do you guys have any fun Halloween plans?

Happy5: Your blogs.
They make my day. I've been away from the computer quite a bit this week, but I've been keeping up with your blogs via my reader. You guys are such great writers. So thoughtful, and funny, and open to the world around you. If you have a blog, please link it in the comments. I want to make sure I have it on my reader. And I want to make sure you can click around and read more fun blogs too. Thanks for making my day so fun.

I'm taking my favorite furry pirate outside now. Wish you were here to toss the tennis ball with us!

Happy weekending :)

* Though, sadly, I didn't. I don't really listen to them now either. I like the single they have out though! Am I missing out?
** We ate instead of watching the opening bands. I had never heard of them. When we got there, girls were running around in the lobby getting their pics made with a swoopy haired guy in skinny jeans. I think the band was called Parachute. Did we miss out?
*** My favorite line in Fancy is this: You know I mighta been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was-uh my name!


  1. mm, fried pickles are wonderful. I am glad you discovered them.

    For Halloween, we are having a party at my house. My roommates and I were going to do a joint costume, but all decided to go different directions: one as Pikachu, one as a scuba diver, and then they told me to go as a ballerina - which is funny if you know me. I tried to take Beginner Ballet last year (as an actual class) and I was so bad that the teacher never knew what to say to me. Seriously. I grew up playing every sport imaginable but never dancing so I have no grace and no coordination unless I am running. I was taking the class in order to LEARN coordination, but halfway through the semester my dad informed me that it is something you have to be born with.... anyway, being a ballerina is definitely NOT me which is why I think it will be funny.

    Enjoy playing with Biscuit! I miss having a dog around..

    P.S. Your blog just makes me happy :)

  2. Dude, yeah, you should've listened to Parachute! They've been touring with folks like Matt Nathanson (sp?), Jon McLaughlin (sp?) and Switchfoot. I've only heard a few songs, but I like em.

    The concert sounds so fun. Kelly does have great hair. I'm glad she seems to genuine. AND you were pretty skimpy with the singing telegram details. Give'em up.

  3. Thank you for the love and kind words, Natalie!! I would share my Twizzlers with you...and I don't share those with just anybody.

    I LOVE Kelly Clarkson. Seeing her in concert is on my list of 100 things to do! She does have really great hair. And I love watching interviews with her. She's just so frank and relatable. My favorite Idol winner, by far.

    You have to post pictures of your Halloween adventures! Have a great weekend! :)

  4. Next Thursday, I'm helping with trick-or-treating at the daycare I intern at (at the community college). We get to take all the kids around to different parts of the campus, and I'm really excited about seeing them dressed up all cute. =)
    And then on Halloween, our church is having a teen get-together thing that we have twice a month. We're all dressing up. I'm making a poodle skirt and going for the 50's look. Some of the other people are supposedly going to be Scooby-doo, Daphne, Shaggy, and Velma (but the only ones who I know will show up are Daphne and Velma). It should be interesting. =) We're having a bonfire, roasting marshmallows, and going on a hayride.

  5. Fried pickles are on my list of favorite things in the world.

    A friend of mine is dressing her dog up as Dorothy and it might be the cutest thing ever.

  6. First,
    On your subcomments, you said you didn't see the opening bands. I love Parachute!!! :) They are a good band. I forgot they were touring with Kelly. They are awesome. Don't know if you will like them, but their song "She is Love" makes me swoon :) here's a link so you can check it out: let me know what you think! My mom loves Kelly Clarkson. She bursts into loud, soulful singing when she hears her songs. Halloween plans are the same as your previous ones. Passing out candy to the cutest kids dressed up as Tinkerbell and a pumpkin! Love them ;) My mom wanted to dress my dogs up, but my dogs HATE wearing anything. They rip it up. So that was a no-go.
    One more thing. There is this restaurant in Missouri, called the Dixie Cafe. Everything they serve is fried and they have this combo platter thing that has fried mushrooms, cheese, pickles, chicken and fries. Lol. Lot's of yumminess. :) It is delicious.

    Have a good weekend!

  7. Are you the Natalie Lloyd who wrote "With a heart like a texas sunset" for Brio Magazine? If you are I was wondering if I cuold get a copy of that. I ripped that article out of the magazine (planning on keeping it until the day I died). I loaned it to a friend for her to read and she never returned it. Now she's off at college and I see little chance of ever seeing it again. I can't find it online anywhere and would really like to have another copy.
    Thank you so much.
    And if you're the wrong person I'm sorry for bothering you. :)

  8. I've seen Kelly twice, too.
    This last time was a strange juncture in my life to go (essentially alone) to a Kelly concert...but it was a great time. Anyways. Yes, it had significance, and yes, I will always find Kelly Clarkson endearing and awesome.

    So I keep your blog archives on my "to read when I need something interesting for inspiration or 'yep, I get that' moments" list. Which is why I keep putting up comments on really old posts. :)