My Virtual 3 X 5, pictures pending

Let’s see… In the words of John Mayer, I need to “catch you up on places I’ve been…”

#1 I had an amazing road trip to Chattanooga, TN for some spelunking (yes, I went caving 160 feet below the surface of the earth. It was mind-boggling), and then to Lexington, KY for the CIY discipleship conference. This was way more laid back and intimate than CIY Summer Conference. They even incorporated a pared-down version of Lectio Divina, which I always appreciate. We took about a gazillion group pictures, even one at the Kissimmee Hess gas station on our way out of Kissimmee/St. Cloud (so silly).

Caving was amazing, even though I did get stuck at the one pass known as the Colonoscopy, shortly after clawing my way through the tunnel known as the Birth Canal, this 30 foot long crawl-on-your stomach endeavor that made me want to rethink my female right to bear children. Thanks to Erin and Matt and everybody else who pulled me out of that hole. I felt like Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in the hole trying to eat honey, except sadly, there was no tasty treat waiting for me when I got loose.

Our guide also had us turn off our spelunking lamps at one point, so we got to experience total darkness. It was also extra specially scary when he told us it only takes 2 weeks of sitting in complete darkness before we would go completely blind. Apparently your eyes—as a muscle that needs to work to avoid atrophy—well keep dilating and then lock with no light to work them, and any exposure to light after 2 weeks of darkness will simply burn your retina, rendering you completely blind. Ack. We definitely wanted to turn on our lights on immediately after that, especially with Josh describing to us the movie the Descent, this creepy movie about Gollum-like creatures slaughtering foolish young people who venture into dark caves without a guide. (Never, ever do that, people. Ever).

But by far the best part was reaching the glorious cabin, after a long, winding, nausea-inducing drive up the scary dark mountain. We rented this incredible cabin for the night that had a full screened deck, king sized beds, a hot tub, a full kitchen, two fireplaces (even though one of them didn’t work) and a pool table.

More than that though, it was awesome just to hang out with good friends and be on an adventure together, good conversations, hours of playing phase 10, navigating together through a scary, dark, dusty cave, cramming in the van, even spontaneously producing an independent short film known as The Battle of Pigeon Forge while waiting for our dinner at Logan’s Steakhouse (see facebook for more details).

All in all, this will rank as one of the most memorable weekends I’ve ever had…

#2 The OaKs had our CD release party this past weekend, and despite the rain and tornado warnings we had an amazing turnout! I will post more pictures from the concert at a later blog. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Picture taken by Michael Kilayko

#3 I went to Relevant Magazines’ 5th anniversary party on Saturday night at Relevant Headquarters. Baron von Bear played, followed by Seabird and Pigeon John. It was an animal-themed concert, apparently. Baron von Bear was great, fun show… Lots of variety (they have a trombone, a melodica, harmonica, even a cow bell!) and their harmonies and upbeat tempos definitely sound Beatles-influenced. I hopefully will be making it to their CD release on May 10th. Kentucky band Seabird was amazing, and I’m glad we stuck around to watch them. It’s piano-driven rock, definitely more mainstream sounding in the vein of The Fray and Jon McLaughlin with a bit of British-Coldplay-esque thrown in there. The lead singer has a really amazing vocal, which was the draw for me.

#4 I went to Megacon and got a sweet Serenity poster and other fun stuff, including an autographed pic of Michael Shanks, who plays Daniel Jackson on Stargate: SG-1. This wasn’t as cool or fun or laidback as FX—there were way too many anime things there for my taste—also there was no Captain Mal this time, but it seriously was crazy to see all these people dressed up. There are a lot of people living in a fantasy world out there, I can tell you that much. Bizarre.

But I’m getting ready to head to Austin, TX for SXSW with the OaKs! I will try to blog from there, and keep you up-to-date in real time-ish. Incidentally, I am pumped about seeing Anathallo and Van Morrison, both scheduled to play this upcoming week. woot!

‘Til then, my peeps, keep it real…

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