Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rest in Peace, Backpack

So today I'm sitting in my Intro to Theatre class and we have the dean of the Fine Arts and Communications college lecturing us on visual techniques. To be honest, I usually don't take notes on guest speakers but I am going to have to write a paper on what he was talking about so naturally, I was intending to take notes.

Here's the thing. I've had this black, Jansport backpack since 9th grade. It's done well. Only one of the zippers on the top pocket was currently working, but it still functioned. There was also this...rough spot, if you the zipper track that you had to be sensitive to. Nevertheless, it still functioned. So today when I go to take my notebook out of my back pack, the zipper hits the rough spot and falls right off of the backpack, and I'm holding it in my hand. Great. So now I don't have a backpack that closes and I have to go to my Physical Science Lab right after this.

So the class ends and I carry my backpack to the bookstore to buy a new one. I lost count of how many times people asked me why I was holding my backpack on that very short walk. I told the story the first couple times but then it turned into "it broke." On the bright side, people noticed me. I've always thought I was a repulsive, frighteningly ugly and awkward human being that any random individual would avoid like the plague. I start carrying my back pack in front of me and suddenly I'm a celebrity. I get to the bookstore and it takes me nearly ten minutes to finally find a backpack that isn't over $70. Seriously. I find one, a Jansport, much like my old one, for $40 and put all of my stuff into it. When I go to check out, the cashier asks me why there is stuff in I had committed a crime. Long story short...I had to tell the story...and I was ten minutes late to my lab.

Moral of the story....none. Old stuff does you no good. Backpacks aren't really sentimental either. So you know what, don't rest in peace backpack. I hope you rot with the rest of the fast food in that garbage can I threw you in. Thanks for nothing. Oh, and thank YOU. Thank you for reading this and for allowing me to waste some of your time while you could be doing your Physical Science homework, finding a cure to aids, feeding hungry children, discrediting Kanye West, or picking the Halloween colored M&M's out of a bag for that bowl that sits in your entry way. I've hopefully wasted your precious time in the same manner that my backpack wasted mine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brooke White

I've been a fan of this gal (yes I use gal) ever since she got her kick start on that one platform that has a love-hate relationship with the music industry. If you don't know what platform I'm talking about, don't worry about it.

Brooke is one of those artists that is behind a couple generations or so. She likes to cover songs by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Carole King and The Beatles. Her original material also takes many hints from the likes of such acts. Some people dismiss this as "not current" but I embrace it. There is sincerity, an innocence, and an organic feel to Brooke's music that makes it so very easy to listen to and also, very relatable. It's hard to skip her songs whilst I shuffle on my iPod.

Brooke is also a gracious and effervescently humble individual. I've had the pleasure of meeting her three times. She recognized me, by name, the second and third times. She conversed and interacted with me as if I were a casual acquaintance of hers. And it wasn't just me, she treats everyone that comes to support her this way. She's not the type to sign whatever you hand her, take a picture with you, and then shout "next!" She treats you the same way she'd treat someone her best friend just introduced her to. That is so worthy of praise, she's got mine.

My third draw to Brooke is probably the most critical for me. It's her faith. If this is going to offend anyone, sorry. It is MY blog after all. Brooke is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it isn't very hard to tell. She doesn't throw her beliefs around or preach to anyone, she just quietly goes about living her life devoted to her faith. Whether it was that first time on  national television where she said she'd never seen an R-rated movie or the little hints she gives in her "twitter parties" there's no denying her religion. She's been courageous in pursuing her career in this field, even when the vast majority of it does not support her belief system. In fact, she's taken somewhat of a lead role in her career by starting her own record label instead of signing her soul away (to some degree) by signing a record contract. She's an inspiration to the rest of us that strive to be our best in this ever-changing and increasingly difficult world.

Here's a recent example:
*Warning: Chelsea asks a racy question. It is, however, quickly dismissed.*

I'll admit, I'm a Chelsea Lately fan. However, I was nervous when I heard that Brooke would be making an appearance on her show. Chelsea tends to rip her guests down and often times, she has them there to jab and poke fun at in order to entertain her audience. She definitely makes her attempts with Brooke, but Brooke is fearless and handles every question with ease and class.

I look forward to everything Brooke does and it's a pleasure to support her. She's true to herself both morally and artistically and for that, I have nothing but respect.

Get Brooke's album High Hopes & Hearbreak on iTunes

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In my dreams, my fingers are made of butter... biological father is George Washington...

...just kidding! Just kidding!

I have no reason to post these, other than the fact that they make me laugh hysterically. Expect regular Kristen sketches on my blog.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Benton Paul

I love music. I've been meaning to share some music on my blog for quite some time but I can never decide exactly how I've wanted to post it. Well, now I've figured it out. Every week (well actually, probably whenever I feel like it) I will spotlight an artist. I'll tell you what I like about them as both people and artists and why I respect them.

So for this week I've chosen Benton Paul
My first encounter with Benton was back on March 27th at the E-Center. He was the opening act for another artist (who I WILL blog about later, be patient guys) and I had no idea who he was. Immediately, I enjoyed his sound. He had an easy-going personality that carried right over into his music. What really caught my attention though was when he started playing his song "Look for the Light." The month of March was full of ups and downs for me and at this concert, I was kind of at a down. But then he started playing that beautiful, relaxing melody and these lyrics came out of his mouth:
I don't know all the pain
That you've been through
I don't claim to understand
All I know is that it's killing you
And if you just can't handle it
One more day

There is sun on the horizon
A candle in a cave
A little bit of color on the next page
There is always something better
When you look for the light on a dark day

There are those
Who struggle all their life
Only to find just another hill to climb
You got more than you can realize
So open your eyes
And find that light

This was a moment for me. Yeah, lyrics can look cheesy by themselves but I can't even explain how perfect they were and are. It was as if that song was written for me at that moment and the comfort I needed came from where I least expected it. I don't know too much about Benton Paul personally, but from what I've seen, he is a very gracious individual. He professes that "music fuels life; life fuels music." That alone gets him my respect. Another little tidbit that has really struck me is his song "Paris." The song is partly in French and talks about finding a place where you belong. The song reminds me of a similar experience I had in another foreign city, Tokyo, Japan. I already liked the song, but this little quote from the LDS church news made me like it ten-fold:

Asked why soccer matches, Elder Benton Paul of Highland, Utah, explained that part of their mission is to strengthen the members' efforts in missionary work. "What's the point of baptizing them if they fall away?" he asked. "Our goal is to get them integrated into the ward or branch. Football is a great way of integrating members and friends of the Church."

Yes, Benton served his mission in Paris, France. As if the song weren't great enough already.

I was able to attend Benton's latest concert on September 27 at the Murray Theater and it was quite the experience; he was as good as ever. I plan to follow Benton's career and I do plan on it flourishing quite a bit. However, I think he's at the perfect place already. He's doing exactly what he wants as an artist, he's reaching a significant audience that truly admires him for the right reasons and he's got a perfect hold of who he is and what he wants to communicate. Hats off Benton.

Get Benton's album Grey on iTunes