America’s Year in Review (2013) – The Music Video

Happy New Year!  I hope and pray that you all have a blessed, exciting, and adventurous 2014!  With twins on the way, I think I’m in for an interesting, wonderful, and tiring year!

A lot of important things happened in the United States in 2013.  Thus, I wrote a song about them.  My wife, my Chihuahua, and I then made a music video about some of those memorable moments.

2013 Year in Review - Music Video

Thanks for watching, for sharing, and for being YOU!  Enjoy!

Life’s Toughest Decision

This week I’ve written about one of my heroes, what it means to be a man, the purpose of life, and identity issues.  Thus, I thought I’d keep up the trend of serious posts.

It’s time to talk about heaven.

It’s time to talk about Britney Spears.

My ladies:

Life's Toughest Decision

Theologians, scholars, and Presidents have all debated the important topic of which Britney song is best.  Well, President Obama, I have the answers you’ve been looking for.  Here’s the official list of the best Britney songs:

#5:  “Baby One More Time” – You will always remember and cherish your first love.  This song and, more importantly, this video were the greatest inventions of the 20th Century (computers, televisions, and slap bracelets are overrated).  Tragically, this song came out fifteen years ago.  That makes me very sad and a little depressed.  I miss TRL, Ricky Martin, $1/gallon gas, and not being in my 30s.

My classy high school notebook:

Britney1a

#4:  “Piece of Me” – Britney kind of hit rock bottom in the mid-2000s.  That happens when the love of your life marries another woman.  However, she finally moved on from me and now Britney is back on top of the music world.  This song was her comeback anthem.  For that reason, if you are facing an obstacle in your life, you should listen to this song.  A lot.  If you’re not facing an obstacle in your life, you should still listen to this song.  A lot.

#3 – “Selfish” – I’m guessing that only those who are a bit too obsessed with Britney are familiar with this song.  Well, that’s a shame.  IT’S SO GOOD.  However, I love it for another reason too.  Within the confines of our homes, we all do weird stuff that we (hopefully) don’t do in public.  Well, when this song is played in our house, I change the lyrics to “Shellfish” and sing everything from our dog’s perspective.  I have no idea why, but it’s a family tradition.  Sometimes I feel sorry for our kids.

Britney2

#2 – “Toxic” – This was the peak of Britneymania (for me and the rest of the world).  THIS SONG ALSO WON A GRAMMY AWARD!  That proves to me that nothing is impossible.  That prestigious award and the music video for “Toxic” also confirms my long-held belief that Britney Spears is the greatest artist of our generation and probably the greatest in history (Michelangelo and Mozart are a close second and third).

#1 – Nope, it’s not “Dear Diary” or “E-Mail My Heart.”  Those songs are a little too deep for me.  Rather, it’s “Break the Ice.”  Again, this is a random choice.  However, I’m a history nerd and there’s a lot of history between me and this song.

In February 2009, I was still paying a lot of money to go to law school, we didn’t have much cash in savings, and the financial crisis was being mean to the entire world.  Plus, my future job was in limbo. Thus, we had to live frugally.  For Valentine’s Day, instead of jewelry or a spa day, I gave Amanda the (free) gift of dance.

Specifically, I put together an entire choreographed dance routine to this song and busted out a surprise performance on Valentine’s Day.  For two straight weeks, after Amanda went to bed, I’d go into our living room and practice my midnight dance moves.  On February 14, 2009, this once-in-a-lifetime (thankfully) performance went down.  There is a video.  However, it will not be posted here because (1) I can’t find it on our old computer and (2) it’s kinda creepy.  Alas, I’ve listened to “Break the Ice” more than any other song ever written.  Thus, it is Britney’s greatest.

THE performance (and our messy apartment):

britdance

TGIF!  Have a blessed weekend! Thanks for reading.  Yo.

Don’t be Mean

Fat.  Stupid.  Crazy.  Ugly.  Annoying.  Weird.

Those are powerful words.  Words that tear people down, words that destroy hope, and words that leave a smoldering trail of painful memories.  Sadly, I imagine all of us have identified with at least one of those words or something similar.

I sure have.

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  I had to buy “husky” clothes.  Kids laughed at me for being overweight.  Pull-up day in gym class was my annual nightmare.  I hated anything involving the beach or swimming pools.  A “funny” remark by a friend in college about my weight still cuts me today.  Ten years later.

Those kinds of memories are not easily forgotten.  Even though I lost a lot of weight five years ago, it is still a constant struggle.  Every single day.

Tragically, despite the condemning power of words like “fat” and “stupid,” we sure do use them a lot.  Whether we’re talking about celebrities, random people on the street, and, sadly, even our friends, hurtful words are way too common in our vocabularies.

We should change that.

Being mean and judging people sucks.  Not only are you ripping through someone else’s emotions, but you are also missing out on all the beautiful things that person has to offer.  If all you see is a “loser,” you won’t notice the gifts, talents, and abilities he or she has been blessed with.  Gifts, talents, and abilities that can bless you if you give that “loser” a chance.

For example, one of the most important heroes of history, Miley Cyrus, is stunningly talented.  She’s accomplished more in a few years than 99.99% of humanity ever will.  Sadly, I don’t think anyone on this planet has received more criticism during the past month than Miley Cyrus.  Not Congress.  Not Assad in Syria.  MILEY RAY CYRUS.  Yep, she shaved her head (kinda). Yep, she wears some skimpy outfits (or no outfits at all). Yep, she got kinda freaky at the VMAs. Yep, her new video is a little strange.

Don't be MeanOh well.  She’s human, and weird, just like the rest of us.  I thank God I’m not judged completely by my craziest and most unflattering moments.  Other than Tom, we all have our flaws.  Even some of history’s greatest legends had some screwups:  Moses killed a dude, Elvis was hooked on drugs, Martin Luther King had an affair, and Britney Spears made a song called “E-Mail My Heart.”  We’d miss out on all sorts of awesomeness if we only judged those heroes by their faults.

So please give Miley a chance, y’all.  A lot of people have called her some terrible things and labelled her an “idiot,” a “slut,” or much worse in recent weeks.  Yep, she has some issues, just like everyone else, but she straight up made the best song of 2013.

“Wrecking Ball”

I listen to this song at least ten times a day and I’m not even ashamed of it.  If you’ve written off Miley because of some of her antics, you’re missing out on a masterpiece that would make Mozart jealous.

So please don’t rob yourself of life’s riches.  Don’t be mean.  At least that’s what Taylor Swift told me.  And Jesus.