Starry Spangles

Every once in a while, you just need to remind yourself who sings the Star Spangled Banner the best. So that’s why you go to Youtube and watch 4-5 different videos, comparing one with the next. Right? Doesn’t everybody do that? Yeah that’s what I thought, you liars.

Because we all do this so often, the following list might seem redundant, but when have I ever let redundancy stop me? (Mostly always.)

First, we have a couple country music representations. Everybody knows that country folks are the most patriotic people, so it makes sense that they would have representation on this list.

Faith Hill: Faith gives us a straightforward, solid vocal performance with a few personal touches at the end. As you watch, she leaves you with no questions about where your national loyalties lie.

Dixie Chicks: My top Strengthsfinder trait is Harmony, so how could I not like this? I remember there was some controversy when they sang this because they performed it in a different key or something, but come on folks, you can’t deny talent and obvious bluegrass talent.

Jennifer Hudson: With pre-singing body language suggesting nerves, her vocals commanded that mic like few others could ever do. I’m just glad her pipes didn’t bring down the stands.

Josh Groban: The male representative. He’s Josh Groban, do I need to say anything else?

Kelly Clarkson: If you ask me, Kelly has the strongest voice of any American Idol winner. What was great about this performance though, is she put the song above herself by keeping vocal gymnastics to a minimum. Instead, she drew us into the song by her performance. The children’s choir was a nice touch.

Best performance of all time Whitney Houston: Was she even trying? She looked as if she might have just been lounging around her living room singing to her golden retriever. But she sounded incredible. Maybe that’s what you would call effortless?

Runners-up to this list: Glee Cast, Carrie Underwood, and Beyonce.


My heart will go on

My last post was about how I got food poisoning this weekend. Well last night, I started having some pretty bad chest pains before I went to bed, and they lasted all the way through the night. I got up once during the night and knew I had to go see a doctor today. So, that’s what I did, and for a second day in a row I had to miss school.

And to think, just last week I had been mentally patting myself on the back for not missing a single day of school (due to illness) since I started last year. Jinx!

Anyway, today at the hospital I took lots of tests, including a treadmill test and, something I hate more than barfing, a blood test. In order to not faint in my chair, I awkwardly hummed “Red” by Taylor Swift for about 2 minutes as the lady drew my blood. I think she was pretty excited about getting to stab a squeamish bule’s arm. She kept making a big deal about how cold my hands were, and I wanted to scream, “Dang right they are cold, you sick vampire lady! Leave my blood alone!”

After the test results were in, the doctor told me I have mitral valve prolapse, which I kinda knew already from high school. However, I didn’t really realize that the chest pain I sometimes get, along with the frequent fatigue and light-headedness were caused by this heart condition. It was a relief to find out that’s why I feel the way I do so often.

The doctor also told me my bad chest pains were a result of the food poisoning mixed with my heart condition. Sometimes getting sick and stressed causes increased chest pain. The good thing, which you may have read in the article I linked above, is that this condition is most often harmless.

So ladies and gentlemen:

Bad salad

On Saturday night, Brady, Jeff and I made dinner and watched a movie. I’m pretty sure it’s the salad’s fault, but the next day Brady and I were really sick. It was so bad that we had to stay home from school today (Monday).

It has been one of the more unpleasant times over here, and definitely the most I have been affected by food before. Yesterday I barely ate anything because I felt like I might throw up all day, and you may or may not know that throwing up is something that I absolutely try to avoid at all costs.

Just thinking about it makes me want to barf.

Last year my Aunt Eloise told me that if I get sick from food, I should go on the BRAT diet, where each letter represents a food that is safe to eat. I was pretty sure that the B stood for bread, the R for rice, the A for apples, but I couldn’t remember what the T stood for. These are the possibilities I came up with:

  • Tabasco
  • Tarragon
  • Tilapia
  • Talcum powder
  • Tickle-me-Elmo

Is it just me, or are there not very many foods that start with T?

Well I just Googled BRAT diet, and apparently I was pretty far off. It actually stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

Oh well, I’ll try again next time.


Brady and I got back from the year 9 camping trip today and I don’t know about him, but I am exhausted (actually I do know about him and he is tired, too). I will write a post about it later, but right now I will summarize it with a brief, one sentence statement:

Too much fun in the sun that led to a really burnt neck and the ground was really hard and the students were really loud and the food was not too bad and I finally shot a paintball gun and man did it rain.

On a separate note, you should really read Anika’s recent post called ‘Usher.’ It describes the random greetings we used in an attempt to entertain ourselves during a school service that we had to usher for.


Since I have moved over here, I have discovered many things about myself and have generally gotten to know myself better. One specific area is my hanger issue.

What is hanger?

Hanger is a combination of hunger and anger, with the former causing the latter. When I finally realized the correlation between my internal bitterness and my hunger, it was a great revelation. This happened when I was getting angry at the mall and I was craving chocolate, and after I ate some I was jolly as all get out. Soon after, I realized that any type of food made me significantly more pleasant to be around.

Today I was severely hangered because I missed my morning oatmeal while I was at the bank, then I got back to school just as my back-to-back classes were starting. This meant 7.5 hours of activity with no food. Now, however, I have eaten lunch, consumed my chocolate milk, and might be mistaken for the Easter Bunny (assuming the he/she is nice and huggable.)

And while we are on this topic, I dedicate the following meme (which I stole from my friend Karly) to anyone who has been affected by my hanger, especially my students today (even though they deserved it).

My mo

Yesterday I walked upstairs to talk to some of my former students. I don’t see them very often anymore, so many of them were shocked to see my mustache.

Some were horrified and said I needed “to shave it off immediately.” Some let me know that it really “doesn’t suit me at all.” Some said they like it and I am now “a gentleman.”

But my favorite stache comment from yesterday was from a student who, as if he was reciting an age-old proverb, paused and said:

“Sir, everything is better with a mustache.”

Then he walked away.

Cuz I’m dreamin

The other day I had a revelation.

Where do I start…

I have written about Taylor dreams before, so we are well aware of how great they are. I also mentioned the very first Taylor dream I had, where she carried me in her arms through a meadow. It happened about 3 or 4 years ago, and I can still see it clearly in my mind today.

Well last week, I saw it on tv.

How, you ask? Well it seems Taylor shared that very first dream with me, because she created a song about it (with B.O.B.). In the music video, she found the exact same meadow we were in, and she is seen looking for me in the meadow (go to 1:28 in the music video).

And the LYRICS!

“I wish I were strong enough to lift not one, but both of us.”

Shut up! She is talking about the part where she carried me through the meadow! And boys and girls, just to let you know, she is strong enough, because she carried me for like 100 meters.