Friday, May 27, 2011

Tired Post of Tiredness

Right now I am sitting at the front desk of main hall. I volunteer at the front desk here at school during the summer. And today it is super boring and I am falling asleep. So I decided to write a post cause I thought it might be funny as I will either wake up or write silly thing as I fall asleep. So I will not pressthe delete button. If I write it it stays.

I'm just scared that I will sit here and be super tired and write something offensive or embarrassing. Not that either of those things would be weird for me. I feel like I'm always offensive. It makes me feel more tired just thinking about it for some reaseon.

But being offensive can be fun. its why so many tv shows are popular today. If you are offensive you win. Which often means losing in real life. Sad truth
but a truth nonetheless.

And I just got woken up by someone. So I am packing up and going home to take a nap. See ya.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Funeral

Olivia Streeter Reed passed away on May 8th, 2011. What was she doing during the weeks before her passing? Why planning her funeral of course! But first, the story:

I was asked to sing at a funeral last Saturday. I did not know the deceased, but I had met one of her children before, who has several children of her own now. I said yes, as I believe in sharing my talents, and because I like to do my part to help bring some happiness to those who mourn.
The funeral was held at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Glasgow VA. Just help you put this into perspective, Glasgow has a population of 1,046 (down 94 people according to the 2000 census). Their only retail store is the Glasgow Wal-Mart (which is actually a Dollar General. But they honestly call it the Glasgow Wal-Mart). The church was across the street from an apartment complex that I am 99% sure was at one time a small elementary school (it even had little covered breezeways. No way it wasn't a school once). In short, it is a tiny, and beautiful place.

The funeral service was lovely. There were hymns sung, prayers said, scriptures read, and remembrances given. And during the one remembrance, I learned about Ms. Reed's funeral planning. There was to be a reception after the funeral. She decided what food would be there, secured the venue, and made sure directions from Glasgow to Lexington were printed. AFTER the funeral I was approached by the husband of Ms. Reed's daughter, and he offered me an envelope with my name on it. I thanked him, but assured him that I needed no payment, because I was glad to do this for the family. He offered it to me again, this time saying, "Oh, this isn't form me. It is from Ms. Reed. She had this all planned out. The money was all set apart from her estate before she passed." I accepted the envelope and thanked him.

Now, I didn't know Ms. Reed, but apparently she knew who I was. And she had even planned me to sing at her funeral (I didn't actually get the call to sing until Monday, the day after she had passed, so someone took her instructions VERY seriously). I decided then and there that I was very sad that I did NOT know Ms. Reed, and that I await meeting her in the future. But I digress.

On the drive home, I thought about how well she had planned this. How she had picked the hymns. She had picked the songs that I was to sing. She had secured her favorite pastor from Northern Virginia to officiate in the service. It was all figured out and letter perfect. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do the same thing. So here is the plan for when I die:

First of all, no one is to wear black. Its dreary. Everyone will wear white preferably. It will say such on the invitation. My family will sit in the front near the casket, which will be open so everyone can see my beautiful red hair (which I will still have thank you very much.) The opening prayer will be given by a member of my family. My current bishop will officiate. He will welcome everyone and thank them for coming to celebrate my life. The word "funeral" will not be used at all during the service.

I then want Samuel Barber's Sure on this Shining Night sung by my sister Taerra. For some reason I kept picturing her singing it. Apparently I will die young (No older than 40), naturally of something tragic, and she will most likely be in her vocal prime, so it will be epic. I then want my best friend (TBA, but I think I know who it is now. I do not foresee things diminishing between us, mostly because I am too selfish to let go) to tell two or three stories about me. Nothing touching. Just funny stuff. Then that person will sing the song of their choice. Other people may be included if desired. Something light, but heartfelt. I trust this person. Don't screw it up.

Then a small choir (most likely my family) will sing Homeward Bound by Marta Keen. Then my Bishop will read my personal testimony which will be prepared beforehand. Then a slightly larger choir (probably still my family, lets be honest) will sing Pilgrim's Hymn by Stephen Paulus. Then the Bishop will announce a moment of silence where people can cry and blubber all they wish. This is to get it all out of their system.

To help shock the congregation from their emotional torpor, the choir will then sing Bach's Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden. It will be accompanied by the Organ and may be sung in English if desired. They should not be afraid to be as loud as they would like. Following the number, any of my siblings who would wish to do so may share a story or two or three about me from childhood. It should be a funny thing. Be nice guys. The bathroom curtain story is off-limits.

Then the bishop will say some final words. It should be about how I am now with Heavenly Father and QUITE happy, thank you very much, so everyone should quit sniffling and get on with their lives. The choir will then sing How lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Brahms. Then a closing prayer.

Here is where we come to the alternate endings:

Ending #1 - My body is taken to the cemetery for a quick burial. My family just needs to say goodbye and put my body in the ground, cause IMMEDIATELY after the service there will be a reception. With LOTS of good food. I dont really care what. It just has to be yummy. And there needs to be Cheesecake for dessert. Several kinds.

Ending #2 - This is necessary. Because if things go as I REALLY want them, I will actually still be alive at my funeral. Either I will be in the last stages of the terrible disease that, although it has destroyed my body, has still left me with my cheerful and delightful attitude, or the horrible accident that damaged me beyond repair (most likely because I was saving a small baby from some inexplicable horror which then befell me in my heroism) is taking its final toll. SO, after the service which I rather enjoyed, there will be a reception, as outlined above. The only difference is, there will then be a roast. The roast is ONLY ok if I am still alive and there. If I am in a coma, no roast. There will be jokes and laughing. We will then go home and remember the wonderful evening. When I really die people will call each other and let each other know. No Facebook, no email, no texts. Phone calls or personal visits only.

While I was a bit jokey, this is actually how I would like things to go. I think it will be nice and It fits me.

And I planned it so you had BETTER do it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Most of My Friends Have Grandchildren

Some people (namely my friend Kyle) make fun of me because I am friends with old people (and I very loosely classify old people as anyone over 40). In high school I was in the band, and on trips I was more likely to hang out and talk with the parents on the trip than with the students my age. And its true. I do. I love grown ups. Why? I shall explain.

#1) THEY LOVE ME! It's true. I'm not sure why, but they just do. Maybe I'm an old soul and they can relate. Maybe they see me and say "Dang that kid is crazy. We better watch after him for his own good." and so they keep close. Whatever the reason, they love being around me. And they are fun, so I love being around them.

#2) They know stuff. They always have something to say that invariably makes my life easier. I think its so cool to hear some of the experiences they have had. They have generally lived through SOMETHING cool, even it is was just the 70's.

#3) They are nice and do awesome things for me! Just last night I was in a concert with some of these "old people" (they really aren't old at all, but again, the whole over 40 thing) and we had a little party afterward. A few of them were asking about my plans for when I graduated and while talking it came up that I needed to get some recordings done, and Dennis (husband of one of the women I sing with) offered to do the recordings. FOR FREE. Because he has the equipment. And then Bill McCorkle, a disgustingly talented man, offered to play for my senior recital (he studied in France with Nadia Boulanger, who studied with Gabriel Faure. Kind of a big deal). What he actually said was, "Well, I shouldn't say this, because I am already overbooked, but I want to play for you. And only because it IS you." Needless to say, I felt special. :)

See the benefits people? Old people kind of rock. Like, a lot. So go a head and poke fun at the fact that I have friends two (and even three) times my age. I'll laugh as I drive away in the nice new car one of them buys me.

Hint, hint...