Monday, December 31, 2007

Good to Great in 2008!

Its time for an end of the year recap/New Year kick-off blog.

My resolutions in 2007:
1) Be more adventurous. I think I am slowly getting better at taking risks, although there are definitely a couple instances that I totally wussed out on. Then again, I have a few things in the works that are rather adventurous; for one thing, I am going to be the Adventure Programs Coordinator at camp this summer. Being in a position of authority will be a challenge.

2/3) Be a peacemaker and pursue reconciliation. Well, these have been a big challenge. I think I've made strides toward living in a way that promotes environmental and social peace. The reconciliation part is interesting... there are some relationships I'm rebuilding and others that are aren't going so well.

I'm still revising my resolutions for this year, but here's what I have so far:

1) Be Present. I've been reading some stuff lately that talks about contemplative life; this is a fancy way of talking about living in a way that you are fully present to God and those you interact with. Its about keeping your heart and mind in one place. I'm bad at this, but someone recently told me that I bring a presence of peace and joy to others ("What?" said I!) So, I'm hoping to build on that foundation and learn to live in that peace and joy without getting sucked into worries about the future. Whether I'm praying or talking to someone, I have such a hard time just experiencing that relationship because I'm always thinking about work or school or other random worries.

2) Visit at least 3 new cities. I want to spend at least a day each in 2 cities that I've never visited. I also want to get as many stamps as I can in my National Parks Service passport.

3) Finish at least three of the projects I've started: socks for my mom, socks for me, wine charms, my scrapbook from South Africa, scrapbook from Wisconsin trip, Christmas stockings for my cousins.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

My So-Called Quarterlife

MSCL + Blogs + 20-somethings = quarterlife

Today I heard an interview with Marshall Herskovitz, the creator of thirtysomething and Once and Again, and the producer of My So-Called Life. He talked about how when MSCL came out in 1994 teenagers (particularly teenage girls) were basically invisible to the people programming TV. The show got canceled after one season (to the dismay of many), and apparently Herskovitz went to the network. He told them that it would be an act of TV Altruism to keep the show on the air; the ratings were low, but they were giving a voice to a group that was basically voiceless at the time. Almost immediately after the show was canceled studios realized that teenagers were a powerful and untapped market (Herskovitz credits the success of Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet for this change).

Well, Herskovitz has a new show, about 20-somethings, called quarterlife. The show is being hailed as the first network-quality show to be made exclusively for the internet (although it is airing on NBC in February). Currently you can watch 8-minute episodes at the website, which of course features a social networking feature. The show is about a 25-year-old blogger and aspiring writer. Check it out! I just watched the first episode, and it was pretty good.

I have often connected My So-Called Life and other such art with the development of blogging movement. You may recall that I blame books like The Catcher in the Rye, shows like MSCL, and the Self-esteem Ed movement for my generation's passionate desire to have our own unique voices heard. I'm special! I'm unique! Listen to me! Make a TV show about my attempts to blog and be a writer!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

90's Nostalgia

I watched the pilot of My So-Called Life on the other day. I love that show! They are streaming episodes for free - there are 2 up now!!! Watching MSCL threw me into a bit of nostalgia for the egocentric teen culture of the 90's. This is the decade transformed the impulse to watch people and gossip into reality tv (oh, The Real World.) This is also the decade that pushed self-esteem to the point that we all ended up thinking that we deserve our own show/book/movie narrated in first person (hence, the popularity of the blog).

Meanwhile, I am noticing that several 90's bands are trying to make a come-back. The Spice Girls??? Being promoted by Victoria's Secret??? How did that happen? Also Salt n Peppa apparently have a reality show, and Boys II Men have a new cd out.

We were playing charades in youth group last night, and one kid had to act out Free Willy. He said he had never seen it, but I asked him if he knew at least what it was about, and he said yes. He was imitating what I thought was a whale, but no one was getting it so I told him to do a sounds like, thinking he would point to his knee for "free." But instead he kept coughing. I was totally confused. As it turns out, he thought the movie was about a dolphin. The confusion happened because the movie came out the year he was born.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm famous

I was recently part of a group that was interviewed for the UM Connection, the newspaper of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. The article is about the young leadership crisis in the church.

Check it out.

They misquoted me, though. I did not mean that the ordination process is too slow (although in some cases it might be), but that it isn't changing quickly enough to meet the current ministry needs. Oh well. That's why I blog. I generally quote myself correctly. :-)

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