Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vocal Point's biggest (silent) stalker

I haven't been this obsessed with a singing group since the '90s when it was still cool to like 'N Sync. My obsession with Vocal Point began a few years before I started college and increased steadily until I found out they would be singing on the Sing-Off on national television--then my obsession was elevated to freak status. It wasn't really their ascension to fame that got me all excited, but rather that the rest of the world would be able to see why I love this group so much.

I went to their semi-annual Covey Center concert last night and enjoyed every millisecond of it. It did dawn on me, however, that I've become a bit of a Vocal Point stalker. Not one of the annoying/creepy ones that drives by their homes every night or gushes all over the place when I see one of them at my grocery store, but rather the one who faithfully watches every episode of the Sing-Off, who attends their concerts regularly, who has 83 of their songs on her iPod, and who knows which ones are single, which ones are engaged, and which ones are married. During the trivia section of the concert last night, I knew the answer to all of the questions (except for "What is the collective weight of Vocal Point?" though I'm pretty sure they weigh more than 300 pounds . . . )

So even though I've seen everything the current group has to offer, I still can't get enough of them. Acapella is quickly becoming my favorite genre of music, and this group is just so darn fun to watch and listen to. I've never seen a group perform with so much energy and enthusiasm, and sound so freakin' good while they're doing it. It's probably a lot more fun for single girls to watch them though because we can fantasize about marrying one of them some day (and yes, I've picked out which one I want, though I've got two backups just in case it doesn't work out). I certainly seemed to enjoy watching them more than the two married girls I was sitting in between last night. No one else had any trouble holding back sighs, squeaks, and exclamations of awe.

But what really makes Vocal Point awesome, though, is the heart they put into their spiritual songs. Their ridiculous songs like "The Telephone Opera" and "Super Mario" are tons of fun and watching their live performances make me grin so hard my face hurts, but it's songs like "Nearer My God to Thee" and "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" that touch my heart and speak directly to my soul, filling me with indescribable joy and peace that only good music can bring. More than one of their songs have been my beacon of hope when nothing else in life seemed to make sense.

So, yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm in love with Vocal Point, and I doubt this love affair will end any time soon. I think those 9 hot and talented guys will forever have a place in my heart. Speaking of love, this is what the soundtrack of my life would be using only Vocal Point songs . . .

Opening credits: Stick Shifts and Safety Belts (from Standing Room Only album). I'm off to a good start already--this guy doesn't want to be separated by bucket seats and seat belts.

Waking up: Meowing Off (from Mouthing Off). If this song were my alarm that woke me up every morning, I'm pretty sure my alarm clock would be broken by the end of the week.

Average day: THX Deep Note/20th Century Fox Fanfare (from Nonstop). Oh yeah--my life is so epic that it requires its own theme song.

First date: Praise to the Man (from Nonstop). Apparently the date was a hit.

Falling in love: Home (Michael Buble version from Nonstop). Oh, how cute; we're missing one another from a distance.

Fight scene: It Had Better Be Tonight (from Back in Blue). If I'm smart, I'll kiss the guy before he moves on to someone else.

Breaking up: Summertime (from Grand Slam). Crap. I don't remember what this song's about. Apparently, though, I annoyed the guy one too many times with my games, and we both spent a miserable summertime apart.

Getting back together: She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (from Grand Slam). By the end of the summer, though, the guy's friends/spies are telling him that I clearly haven't moved on because it's obvious that I'm still hung up on him. Why didn't I just give him that one little kiss?

Secret love: Carry On My Wayward Son (from Mouthing Off). Yikes. Maybe that's why I didn't kiss him.

Life's okay: Footloose (from the Sing-Off). Ah, who cares about past mistakes. Let's just dance and pretend everything is okay.

Mental breakdown: Remember When It Rained (from Back in Blue). Of course, pretending something doesn't exist never works because there's always something there to remind you about that time it rained.

Driving: Thank You (from Standing Room Only). Apparently I was grateful for the reminder, though.

Learning a Lesson: You Really Got Me (from the Sing-Off). I go back to the guy, and he says, "You really got me--I thought you were gone for good. That'll teach me not to doubt us."

Deep thought: Primarily Vocal Point (from Standing Room Only). That's when we realize that everything we really need to know we already learned--in Primary.

Flashback: A Pedir Su Mano (from Grand Slam). Have I mentioned that I only speak English?

Partying: I'm Yours (from Back in Blue). Oh man, if Ben Murphy sang this to me, I'd be a goner.

Happy dance: 12 Days of Christmas (from Standing Room Only). It has been decided that we will get married 12 days before Christmas. That definitely calls for a happy dance.

Regretting: Never Say Never (from the Sing-Off). 'Nuff said.

Long night alone: The Way You Look Tonight (from the Sing-Off). Um, if I ever had to part from a guy who sings this the way Jake sings it, then, yes, it would be a very long night alone.

Death scene (why does this have to be a tragic loves story? I refuse to cooperate, I tell you!: Ain't too Proud to Beg (from the Sing-Off). If my guy were about to jump off a cliff, I wouldn't be too proud to beg him not to. Crisis averted.

Closing credits: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Medley (from Standing Room Only). After the honeymoon phase is over and we've emerged from our non-human (a.k.a. newlywed) status, we start to wonder what's up with our families.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The way my brain works on Fridays

It is extremely difficult for me to be productive on Friday afternoons. Today, I blocked out my entire afternoon to write the copy for one little project, but I am not much further along now than I was two hours ago. I simply cannot focus on the task at hand, no matter how hard I try. I often find myself staring off into space, with no idea how long I've been sitting there or how I managed to lose my train of thought again. I swear there's a little demon that lives inside my brain just so it can flip the off switch on Fridays (and sometimes Tuesdays).

Allow me to illustrate.

Task at hand: Write 40 words on eEligibility.

Thought process: Even sissies can write 40 words. Except, I don't actually know what eEligibility is. I should probably Google it. Oh look, I left my Facebook tab open--I wonder if anything exciting is going on. My desk is really dusty. I should probably clean it. Or maybe the maintenance guys do that. With all the construction going on around here though, keeping stuff clean at this point isn't really that important. Oh wait, I'm supposed to be learning about eEligibility. I should probably just ask Eric, but then I would have to go find him. I wonder if it will snow at the football game tomorrow. I should check and see what time it's at. And while I'm there I'll check out the basketball schedule. eEligibility is important for some reason. . . . *Stares at wall for an uncharted amount of time and then suddenly jerks back into reality* I was totally making progress a while ago--how come I stopped working? eEligibility . . . intense staring match with wall . . . maybe I should write 40 words about something else, like, the claims center! I know what that is! Holy cow, it's 3:30 already and I haven't done anything! Claims center. I will think about nothing but the claims center. Pause . . . pause . . . pause . . . my ChartLogic pen is stupid. Maybe I should flip it around and do that cool wobbly thing. I think I left my pencil on my TV. I need to buy a DVD cleaner--how do those work, anyway?--so I can watch movies not on my laptop, but I have to wait till tomorrow because I'm going to the Vocal Point concert tonight, but I can't think about that too much because then I'll get all mad again that Vocal Point was voted off the Sing-Off and now I have no legitimate excuse to skip FHE. *Writes two words* Man, I need a break. I haven't made a trip to the drinking fountain for awhile. I'll go get a drink and then come back and get some real work done. What am I supposed to be working on, again?

You see, my intentions are always good. It's the results that leave much to be desired.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 reasons why the NBA lockout sucks

  1. No Jimmer.
  2. No Jimmer.
  3. No Jimmer.
  4. No Jimmer
  5. No Jimmer.
  6. No Jimmer.
  7. No Jimmer.
  8. No Jimmer.
  9. No Jimmer.
  10. No Jimmer.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Coupon Lady

I am the absolute worst at picking the fast check-out line at the grocery store. Usually, I have fewer than 15 items, which allows me to whiz through the line without putting a damper on my mood, but today I wasn't so lucky. I rejoiced last week when I discovered I didn't need to replenish my milk and bread supply for the week, but I paid for it today when I had to buy twice as many groceries and take my place in the horribly long lines of Walmart.

Today I thought I had picked a good line for once; there were only two customers in front of me, one of whom was already paying. What I failed to notice, however, was that I had just parked behind every hurried shopper's worst nightmare.

The Coupon Lady.

Not quite ready to lose my spot, I got on my tippie toes and stretched my neck to its fullest capacity in an attempt to furtively analyze the lines adjacent to me; as far as I could tell, every line had at least two or three customers.

So I decided to risk it; I stayed behind the Coupon Lady as she unloaded her alarmingly full cart.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, don't stop to think--just get into another line.

Because I clearly made the wrong decision.

Hidden in the recesses of Coupon Lady's hoodie was a massive pile of coupons big enough to keep a wet campfire going for three days. She then proceeded to count out all 237 of her cans and make sure each one got to use its special coupon. She jotted down notes on how much each type of processed food cost. Then she moved on to the 42 boxes of frozen pizzas, the three turkeys, the cans of ice-cream and soda, and the other tiny items like yogurt that fell through the cracks of her 700 pounds of food.

All this time I was having an intense debate with myself: should I move? should I stay put? I compromised by staying put and plastering an immensely annoyed look on my face. At least three people got in line behind me and then left to find another line while I stayed there, trying not to lash out violently every time Coupon Lady stopped Bag Boy so that she could rifle through her stupid coupons.

I almost cried for joy when the last yogurt made it to the check-out strip thing (the name of which escapes me at the moment), but then she started double-checking all of her coupons and casually glancing through her tree for that last coupon that would undoubtedly save her three cents.

Then I got my lucky break; the empty lane next to me opened up, and I shot over there before anyone else had a chance to move. By the time I was finally rolling my cart out of that cursed place, Coupon Lady was still checking out, but by now word had gotten out that a religiously fanatic coupon lady was proselyting on aisle 16, so everyone steered clear of her.

At this point my plans to make an extravagant meal (the ingredients of which I had painstakingly sought out today) had turned into plans to heat up some beef fajitas for dinner. That plan was further reinforced when I had to traverse through 15 miles of parking lot from where I parked my car to my apartment, loaded down with my purse, two gallons of milk, and nine shopping bags. At this point I was too ornery, too starving, and too tired to put forth any more non-required effort.

Add the horrible Coupon Lady to yet another reason why you should not shop hungry. It probably doesn't help to shop when you're powered on only two measly hours of sleep, either.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Polar opposites of awesome

I am pretty much a walking contradiction. However, that's my prerogative as long as I remain a woman.

In my last post, I elaborated upon my delight at finding myself in need of a sick day. I have never had so much fun being sick in my life. I was sick enough to force myself to slow down, but not sick enough to have to be hospitalized. And I'm telling you, it's a good position to be in . . . as long as you can get away with pretty much putting your life on hold for awhile, which, I totally can.

I still went to work four days that week, but I'll be the first to say that the work I did wasn't up to my usual standard, and every minute outside the office was spent honing my skills as the new veg queen of the week. This is the first time in my life that that was acceptable; it was completely in my power to cater to my every sickly want and need. If that meant taking two naps in one day, so be it; if it meant finishing an entire crochet project in a week, that works too; if it meant possibly skipping out on relief society, well, it is what it is; and keeping up with exercise, piano, social interaction, and all that other stuff that is completely good for me was completely out of the question.

Call me crazy, but I loved how many things being sick got me out of doing.

This week, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. I decided on Sunday that starting Monday morning, I was going to be as healthy as a horse and as productive as an awesome person.

And for once in my life, the world accommodated my request. Aside from some lingering congestion, I was completely healthy again (never in my life have I recovered from a cold so quickly; there is something to be said for getting plenty of rest to spur speedy recovery), and I have been awesome this week; I worked out and practice my piano every day, I did a lot of cleaning and laundry, I ate nutritious meals (and even managed to avoid the grocery store this week; score!), I caught up with my roommate a bit, and I've had the most productive week at work that I've ever had.

The aligning of these two polar opposites of awesome--abject laziness and feverish productiveness--might have something to do with why I've been so completely happy lately. I used to think that to achieve this kind of giddy, unexplainable happiness you had to be in love, but obviously that isn't true, seeing as I have no prospects and have still found myself smiling for no reason at random moments.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Long-awaited sick day

I've always been intrigued by the concept of paid vacation and sick days. Since I turned 16 and started working, I've only called in sick once (and that was my very first week at Domino's), and taking vacation days, while fun, always left me wondering how I was going to make up for the money I didn't make that week.

So naturally, I couldn't wait until I had a real job that would pay me to go on vacation and pay me to be sick. I loved the concept that you wouldn't always have to work for your pay, and that jobs with benefits would take into account that you need a day off every now and then and would pay you to do so.

It was quite exciting the first time I got a holiday off (Memorial Day) and still got a full paycheck. It was even more awesome when I played in DC for a week and still had a normal paycheck waiting for me when I got back.

Now all I needed was a sick day, and my life would be complete.

The only problem with that, though, is that technically you have to be sick to call in sick. I haven't been sick (beyond allergies, headaches, and other non-contagious stuff) since my sophomore year in college, which, shockingly enough, was four years ago. I was starting to feel invincible, and it felt pretty good to be confident in my ability to not ever get sick, even when those around me were coughing and sniffling.

Well, I guess I bragged about that a little too much, because come Halloween night, I started to feel a bit woozy. I don't know why, but this made me a little bit giddy. By the next day, I knew that this cold was for real, and I left work a little early to stock up on cold medicine, orange juice, soup, tissues, and hot cocoa mix. I was ready to experience my first paid sick day ever and it was going to rock.

Unfortunately, the next day, Wednesday, was packed with to-dos, and I wasn't about to skip out on one of my busy days (those are my favorite, by the way). So I went to work, and soon understood why people complain about being sick; it really sucks keeping up with your normal routine when your body isn't 100 percent.

Not about to repeat that experience again, I decided my best course of action for today would be to . . . stay home and sleep all day. I like to be lazy, and I finally had an excuse to milk it for all it was worth without the productive shoulder angel making me feel guilty; because really, it's hard work being sick. Simply making a trip to the bathroom or heating something up in the microwave is enough to make you a little dizzy and somewhat exhausted, so it can be argued that you did work hard enough to deserve watching that second movie.

So my sick day consisted of watching daytime television, taking naps, reading my book, and crocheting. (Although I had to watch my movie on my laptop because my darn DVD player won't play anything but Boy Meets World at the moment; that show is just too awesome to live down, and now that I'm done watching all the episodes I guess my DVD player is protesting.)

In short, my first paid sick day was supremely awesome. Even with the mountain of tissues I've gone through, the fact that my head still feels like it's trapped in a bubble, and the medicine that is doing its best to make me feel weird, it was all worth it because it allowed me to truly feed my laziness and enjoy it more than I have in a long time.

Sadly, though, I'm bringing this brief reprieve to a crashing halt tomorrow, because I have too much work to do to justify taking tomorrow off too. I'll probably hate being sick 12 hours from now, but I must admit that for today, it's been kind of awesome.