Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two Stories Online

I added two links to the left for new stories that have been posted at CTI's music page: David Crowder Band and Needtobreathe. Rad.

New L.A. Info

The current plan...

I'm leaving Nashville December 31, going to Atlanta to spend New Year's with some friends and to pick up my friend Leslie who will be making the road trip cross country with me. We'll leave January 1 and arrive in L.A. Friday, Jan. 4. Classes start Monday, Jan. 7. I move into my apartment on Jan. 15. I'll be staying with my friend Shelby who is living out there right now (she's there til early March) until the apartment opens up.

It's a 6-month lease, so the earliest I would leave L.A. is July 15. But I might decide to stay through the summer and maybe even fall to get my on campus requirement done and out of the way. I'm really playing it by ear at this point.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Own Little 160 Square Feet

Today I secured a lease for an apartment on the campus of Fuller. It's getting closer to official that I'm moving to Pasadena in January.

For a comparable price to a 900-square foot home in Old Hickory, TN, one can rent a 160-square foot single/studio apartment in Pasadena....

Take a look!

The amenities include a personal balcony, which my little house in Old Hickory does not have. It is only one block from campus and has a parking garage - and most importantly, a Starbucks just a few blocks away!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Heart NY

I went to New York City November 8-11 with my church on an outreach trip. We did get some time for sight-seeing, too.

Times Square

We took a tour of NBC Studios including Conan O'Brien's set and the Saturday Night Live set. At the end of the tour, they let two volunteers be part of a newscast - I was the newscaster and discovered a new career!

Here are the skaters at Rockefeller Center:

Later on we went to the Empire State Building.

Friday morning some of us got up and went down to the Today Show. I even got on the show - right over Matt Lauer's shoulder.

Here is the tree arriving at Rockefeller Center during the Today Show:

That afternoon we visited Ground Zero.

Friday night and Saturday was our ministry time. Saturday we went to Brooklyn to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a church. Found this canopy along a street. Saturday night I got to drive the 15-passenger van with our team - and found a new career, cabbie in Manhattan!

The Manhattan skyline

The tree is now up at Rockefeller Center!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Phantom

I had probably one of the best Halloweens ever last night. Which isn't hard because I have never really celebrated Halloween so I don't have that many to base it on. But I really did have one of the best Halloweens ever last night.

I went with my friends Shelby, Shelley and Joe (Joe got the tickets from his boss) to the 1925 Original Silent Film Classic Phantom of the Opera with Live Concert Organ at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center downtown.

It was totally rad! They showed the silent movie while the organist accompanied in an improv style. The crowd was encouraged to participate with cheers and boos and hisses...though we think many didn't know the story at the beginning cuz they were hissing for the wrong people. They eventually caught on.

The organist had a really great sense of humor. One of the highlights was during the scene when Carlotta was singing (even though the Opera Ghost told her not to), the organist was playing "I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story." So you see her acting and seeing on stage at the Paris Opera House and imagining her singing "I Feel Pretty"...very humorous.

It made me want to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000. OK, I need to log on to Netflik....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sorry, Beth

Here's the link to the BarlowGirl story at

Stories coming on...
Shane & Shane
David Crowder Band
Thousand Foot Krutch (perhaps)
Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana (still working hard to get that interview)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two New Stories Online

Check out stories on Third Day and new artist Jake Smith at CTI's

Third Day here:

Jake Smith here:

In Honor of Elijah Dunaway

Right now friends are gathered at a church in Hermitage, Tenn., to celebrate the life and to support the family of Elijah Dunaway. I wish I could be across town with them, but alas the office keeps me busy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Elijah just turned five on July 10 and, in His knowledge and wisdom, God allowed him to leave earth on July 20.

Elijah was a sweet boy. He loved the movie Cars like quite a few 3, 4, and 5-year-olds that I know do. A cowboy at heart? I got to paint his room, oh, a year or so ago, with the words “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play.” I believe the introduction his parents gave him to Jesus allows him to be His presence now, and perhaps to Elijah it looks cowboy-ish, where he sees something like “home on the range.”

It’s hard to understand or comprehend the death of a child. Though I’ve not had children of my own, I have enough important, dearly loved children around me to sympathize and grieve with Elijah’s family and friends. And the loss is sad and painful for me in relation to my friend Jeannette, Elijah’s mom. Loss hurts. Death hurts. The empty place left hurts.

I can honestly say, if I could have made a bargain with God to switch places with Elijah, I would have. I’ve lived 31+ years and have enjoyed life, though there are still things I’d like to see happen, but to give my life so he could see more, I’d do it. Besides, there are days I can’t wait to leave this mess of a world behind me.

It’s likely many of the same thoughts and questions would be posed for Elijah and myself, “A life was cut short. There were many things to look forward to. Why would God take that life away?” Any life of someone you love is precious, no matter the age. But day after day, people of all ages, races, shapes and sizes face this loss, face death. Some have faces we know, others are faceless and nameless to us, but it happens nonetheless. Most of us will not know when the bell will toll for us. It was a surprise to us last week with Elijah.

It’s all in the perspective, yes? I have to look at a larger picture. I believe that nothing surprises God. He lives outside our time limitations and sees the beginning and the end. Though he gives us free will to make choices in the middle, he has a multi-generational plan working through the ages in between (Ps. 33:11) that will not be foiled by man’s plans (Ps. 33:10, Pro. 19:21). He knows the plans that he has for his children, and since ultimately He wins in the end, the plans he has for his children, followers of Christ, lead to good. Evil and suffering and loss and death in this world are necessary because without them, we wouldn’t know what good and peace and hope and life are.

Am I sad about Elijah? Does it seem unfair? For sure. Why was Elijah taken now? Why only five years? God only knows. But I trust Him. God knows each life’s timeline and we’re not exactly privy to that information. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross, at about 33 (less than two years away for me); why should my life’s timeline automatically be assumed to reach 80 or 90? Was Christ’s life cut short? Was He cut down in His prime? Was God surprised by that turn of events?

This loss still hurts because we live in a hurtful world with a space in each of us that longs for peace and eternity and fullness in God. We’ll only feel complete when we are fully satisfied in God, our Creator, in whose image we were created. When we are filled with Him, reflecting His image to the world, that’s the closest we are to knowing God and His presence and eternity – at least while we’re on this planet, in this lifetime.

I trust that God wouldn’t let anything happen beyond what I or Elijah’s family and friends could bear. I believe that Elijah is much better off now – trained in the knowledge of Christ thus far, he gains God’s presence in death. We take hope and find peace in that. And we realize once again how precious life is. But trusting that God has a bigger story unfolding in the world and we’re a part of it, some for longer, some for shorter spans of time, it means we need to each find our deepest satisfaction in Him as He works out His purpose for us now – each day taken with equal parts gladness and sobriety.

Romans 5:3-5, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Elijah, you will be missed, but Little Man, we’ll see you soon.

Elijah Grady Dunaway
Age 5 of Mt. Juliet, TN. July 20, 2007. Survived by parents, Keith and Jeannette Dunaway; sister, Grace Dunaway; brother, Josiah Dunaway; grandparents, Bill and Carylon Pentecost; great-grandmother, Cletha (T.T.) Triplett; 9 uncles and 8 aunts.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Real Quick...New Tattoo

The tattoo on my right wrist was needed a friend.

So I balanced it all out with a tattoo on my left wrist yesterday.

It's blurry; it was a camera phone.

REJOICE, as in Phil. 4:4, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice!" Also, as in Rom. 5:3, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." And endurance produces strength of character, and character strengthens our hope of salvation. And this hope won't lead to disappointment (vs 4-5). So, there is always reason to rejoice.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Handiwork Posted

A new feature I worked on for Christianity Today's music page has posted. It's on Third Day. Showing here:

Stories yet to come on Jake Smith, BarlowGirl, needtobreathe and Shane & Shane...busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Tattoo Process

My good friend Shelley went with me about 17 months ago when I got my (first) tattoo. She took pictures of the event on her camera phone and only now emailed them to me (life gets busy). Here's the event as it unfolded...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dogs Vs. Cats

I know that I always complain about the number of dogs in my neighborhood. I think I counted 16 dogs within a 150-foot radius of my house. Crazy. Ridiculous.

But lately I've been noticing a larger number of other furry creatures hanging around the block. Cats. Especially along the 600 block of Cleve Street, the next block down from my house.

I own two cats myself and generally prefer the feline to the canine. My cats are solely indoor kitties though. They think they're outside living the life when they get to sit on the open window sill.

But these neighborhood cats. I don't recall noticing such numbers in my almost five years calling Old Hickory home. The regulars include the orange cat, the black short-haired cat, the black long-haired cat and the gray cat. There are other random ones that wander in and out of the picture. Last night at 12:15 a.m., a very pretty calico cat had joined the gang.

In addition to their growing numbers, I've noticed their brazen attitudes. You can catch them lying along the side of the road by the curb, on top of cars, under cars and, my favorite, right in the middle of the road. And I don't mean curled up, sleeping. I mean, stretched out, full length, lounging. The orange cat is usually the one out in the road and he'll see you coming, sit up and stare at you like, "You comin' through here? You think so? Alright, come on, get by."

Where did all these cats come from? And seemingly overnight? And BOLD. It's like they're hardened street cats that have seen it all and then some. And not like I'm aiming for them or anything, since I like cats, but no matter how close you come, they don't move. It's their world and you better not disturb it.

Bizarre. Dogs rule the neighborhood by day. But the cats take over at night. We humans are just there...with food and water.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 4, 2007

Album review, story posted

My review of Hillsong United's All of the Above is posted on CCM's website:

So is a story I wrote on Candi Pearson-Shelton in May:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Pet Hedgehog

My nephews are in Africa and they have a new pet. They found a hedgehog (pictured below, not actual one) and the hedgehog found a home.

Its name has not been finalized yet but apparently "Bob" is a contender, alongside the popular "Fluffy." My sister says that "Fluffy" actually tickles their funny bone (uh, yeah, he's spiky, not fluffy). My younger nephew, 7-year-old Zack, the red head, has named previous pets after the first thing he sees, like "Tree" or "Bush." This time he was trying to come up with something more fierce sounding, but each possibility had about four names in it and just weren't working out. So, he landed on "Fluffy." Pretty fierce, eh?

Fluffy doesn't do much as far as pets go, apparently. When they take him out of his box, he just scurries to the nearest hiding place.

He's living in a microwave box still. My sister is looking to come up with cage ideas. He just goes in his box and they shake him out. The other night Fluffy went out to play American football with them.

He explores a bit but he spends most of his time hunkered down. My sister is looking for a fence-type of cage so they can put him outside at night. Then he can wander and eat and "use the restroom," and then they can bring him inside in the morning and put him in a nice little "house" to be cool and sleep the day away.

Learn more about the hedgehog here:

Friday, March 2, 2007

I can't resist...

I have to share a picture...the cutest boys in the world!

the boys

Man, I miss them!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pictures from the Oscars

OK, so here are a few pictures taken on Friday afternoon.

This is the corner of Hollywood & Highland, where the Red Carpet begins.

Corner of H&H

Red Carpet

This picture isn't great because it was real dim inside and my flash wasn't always working. But you see the red carpet (under white plastic) leading to the "Grand Staircase" into the Kodak.

Grand Staircase

Flip around from the staircase and you see this, the entryway from the outside Red Carpet to the inside.


The Red Carpet. This is along Hollywood Blvd leading to the Kodak. The close side is where the bleachers of fans are. The far side is media. Obviously, it's covered with clear tents and white plastic up until Sunday.

Red Carpet

Standing behind where media would be along the Red Carpet, looking down toward the Kodak.

red carpet and kodak

And since I didn't see him at the show, here are Johnny Depp's footprints from outside Grauman's Chinese.

Johnny Depp

Notes From the Oscars

How I ended up at the Show…
My friend Shelby from here in Nashville was working on the production team and had the chance to invite friends to be seat fillers for the show. So, I filled out the application and was chosen to be one.

I had to be in town to pick my ticket to the show up on Friday afternoon. I went in and showed my official letter of invitation and ID, and got my ticket (worth $350) and parking passes (for car or limo), official ABC Oscar poster and Oscar ball cap. Once I looked at that ticket and held in my hand, I realized… "I'm going to the Oscars!"

Shelby was working pretty much the whole time I was there, so I wandered around the Hollywood & Highland area by myself (no biggie). The corner of H&H is where the red carpet begins and works its way down to the Kodak Theatre. There's an open air, multi-level mall there and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, too. They close Hollywood Avenue down and the Red Carpet, the bleachers, tents, production and everything take over that part of the street by the Kodak. I snapped some pictures of what it all looks like and I'll get them posted soon.

The number of people just hanging out and taking pictures on Friday and Saturday was pretty interesting. On Saturday evening, they were running rehearsals with stand-ins for the arrivals of actors like Daniel Craig and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (the cameras had to rehearse, too).

Between Saturday and Sunday, they closed off the entire mall, streets, parking garages, etc. for security. It was a bit creepy to see secret service around so much with former VP Al Gore around.

On Sunday afternoon, I watched from the hotel room window as people filed down Highland Avenue with camp chairs and such to pitch a spot on the sidewalk to watch arrivals. They completely close off the roads around the area for security and traffic flow. Limos had to drive up the street to the Hollywood Bowl lot to wait for the show and/or Governor's Ball to finish before they came back to pick up their people. That's when I realized that the Oscars truly are Hollywood's biggest night.

As a ticketed seat filler, I arrived like everyone else attending the show…down the red carpet. After going through metal detectors, I came out to the red carpet with bleachers of fans on the right and all the media and cameras on the left. Only the "right" people go down the left-hand side of the rope. Academy folks told us to stroll down the red carpet to the theatre entrance. So, I did. I saw Ryan Seacrest and the Fox News media team with Bill McCuddy (I'm a Fox News junkie). As I rounded the corner to enter the theatre, there was Mary Hart, heading up to her booth.

I checked in with the Academy person inside the theatre at the end of the red carpet and waited on Cari and Nicole (two of Shelby's other friends who were seat fillers). Once everyone arrived, the Academy folks had us follow some dancers (the ones who did the special dances during the show) back out to the red carpet. We were carpet fillers at that point I guess, making the red carpet look more full of folks behind the dancers for the cameras. That's when we got a closer look at the media line and Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray frontman, now E! correspondent). We three girls were behind the two guys from the firm that counts ballots as they entered with the briefcases (you might see us on TV then).

As the seat fillers went back into the Kodak, they led us up to the cocktail party that starts as the red carpet opens. They had the arrivals showing on the monitors but we were also watching the other levels for people to come in. We enjoyed sushi, finger sandwiches, quiches and such catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Our first non-media celebrity was the B-level artist Ed Begley, Jr. How random, right? We rubbed elbows with Portia de Rossi (and Ellen's mom), Cameron Diaz, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen, Elizabeth Shue, Kirsten Dunst and Larry David (Seinfeld writer, Curb Your Enthusiasm) at the Cocktail Party.

From a distance, from one level of the theatre lobby to another, we saw Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Jennifer Hudson, Maggie Gyllenhall, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett.

My official ticketed seat filler seat was on the main level, behind the main orchestra seats, center section, row F, seat 14. It was behind the soundboards and cameras – slightly obstructed view, which was the point of me getting the ticket, but a good view nevertheless. The Kodak Theatre itself is smaller than it appears on TV.

I thought the show was great - more interesting in person even. I thought Ellen was a great host. The Dreamgirls segment was great. Jerry Seinfeld's bit was good. My favorite part (aside from Ellen's hosting) was the Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly song…great! During the commercial breaks, they had a DJ playing music. It was interesting to see how everything and everyone moved around during the break, and how quickly things settle down right before the show comes back on. It was fun to see things happen on the TV monitors while seeing it all from the backside at the same time. Very interesting.

You know how you feel bad for the winner that has his or her speech cut off by the music? It's even more uncomfortable when you're sitting in the theatre with them.

I don't think Larry David sat in his seat much at all…he seemed to be the social butterfly of the night [smile].

To end the night how could I forget Clive Owen, who was in front of me on the escalator going up to the hotel. Beautiful.All in all, a fun experience...can't wait to do it next year. :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol Fantasy Game

I'm going to take part in an American Idol Fantasy Game. Find it here:

It's a pretty fun read, whether you're playing or not.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Story Posted Online

Some new work of mine can be found online here:

It's a piece on punk rock band MxPx. Good times. Rock 'n' roll.