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!

B-U-S-T-E-D

I love all the old “throwback” pictures posted on Thursdays.  Although it’s not as exciting as awkward high school photos, I’m going to start bringing back old blog posts I wrote on some Thursdays.  In other words, I didn’t have time to write a new blog post last night.  The below was a post named “B-U-S-T-E-D” that I wrote in December 2009.  A lot has changed since then, so please don’t judge me.

Here we go...

Throwback -  B-U-S-T-E-D

“I suppose it had to happen eventually.  I’m usually a pretty conservative guy, but have grown increasingly liberal since making the move to Arlington.  Nope, I’m not talking politics.  I’m talking about dancing in my apartment.

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve always been a big fan of the bedroom dance floor.  I will never forget one bitterly painful 9th grade morning when I could barely move my right arm because I had air guitared myself silly while listening to It’s All About the Benjamins” (the rock remix, duh) twenty times straight the night before.  (I had an accomplice, but I’ll keep his name secret. For now.)

Amanda and I still have the occasional dance party when an old school rap song comes across the iTunes playlist.  Or, in her case, when the newest Miley hit starts playing. Okay, who am I kidding?  I obviously have no qualms about getting down to a Miley or Britney tune, as well as all the cheesy boy band songs that clutter our playlists. Although these mini-parties used to go down in a room with closed blinds, our view from Pentagon City is too beautiful for closed shades.  But no one is actually going to be creepily looking into our 8th floor apartment, right?

Wrong.

While getting dressed before going out to dinner last Friday, I had the music blaring in our apartment.  And then it happened: the annoyingly catchy song, “I’ve Got a Feeling,” started playing.  Look, I’m no Black Eyed Peas fan, but it’s impossible not to dance to that song.  At a minimum, you have to bob your head a little.  And so, as I put away some freshly-cleaned clothes, I started to dance around our bedroom.

While breaking it down in true white dude style, I looked out the window and saw a guy staring right at me.  Heart.  Attack.  Sort of like when you get caught looking at someone and you suspiciously jerk your eyes away all too quickly, when our eyes met, I hit the floor.  In retrospect, I wish I could have made it look like I was just aggressively stretching to help play it off.  Nope.  I would have loved to know what he thought as he saw a grown man dancing around his apartment.  Alone.

Whatever he thought, he must have really enjoyed it, because he kept staring.  I snuck into the living room, hid behind a lamp, and looked out the window.  His eyes were still lurking in my direction.  I turned off the lights and went back to the bedroom to get a better view.  He was still staring.  It felt like two snipers dueling it out, as they repeatedly shot, moved, and sought new cover.  Or at least I did.  He just kept creepily staring into our apartment.  I was REALLY hoping he wasn’t counting floors and apartments to figure out where I lived.  I figured I should just play it cool and so I sat at the computer and pretended to do some work as I scoped him out with my peripheral vision.  He ducked out of view every few minutes, but he kept coming back.  And he kept staring.

And then I closed our blinds.  For the next five days.”

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. XII) – Wrecking Ball

It was a typical Saturday here in DC yesterday. We went to a slamming church breakfast, I did a little work, and then we tore up some sick BBQ at Hill Country with a few special friends.

Oh, and I made a video between consuming all those calories. A Miley Cyrus rap video.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. XII) - Wrecking Ball

Our two singers got sick over the weekend and couldn’t make it. However, our dynamic trio still had a great time rocking out to the best song of 2013.

PS – You can find more Awkward White Guy Rap videos here, including another famous Miley jam.

PPS – Thanks to Capital City Church for letting us use the church office to film these silly videos.

PPPS – Thanks to Paul A. for letting us use his snazzy camera to film these silly videos.

PPPPS – Thanks to the amazing band, The Unlikely Hero, for letting us use their guitarist (David) to film these silly videos. You should check them out. For reals.

PPPPPS – Bye.

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.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. V) – Miley Cyrus

If you think I’m loud, obnoxious, and annoying, it’s not my fault.  Blame Lamar.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. 5) - Miley Cyrus

Before I met Lamar at Tallwood High School in 1998 (How was that 15 years ago?!?), I was a quiet dude who just wanted to watch “Beverly Hills 90210” all day (just like all the other fifteen year old guys).  For better or for worse, Lamar encouraged me to get involved at school, to always be a little weird, and to come out of my shell.

Awkward White Guy Raps (Vol. 5) - Miley Cyrus

Thanks, Lamar.

We were out of touch for nearly a decade, but Backstreet’s back and we just made a “rap” video.  There was no planning and no practice, so please don’t hate.

And stop hatin’ on Miley!

Here are all the earlier white boy jams:

Biggie

Dr. Dre and Snoop

Eminem

Taylor Swift