Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Off the Blogs

Why yes, I AM very shiny!
Thanks for noticing.



6:00 pm (ish): Meet my new driver friend (whose name I still can't pronounce) in front of my hotel. Call Steph to get the address for Buckhead Christian Church. Driver enters info into his GPS, which apparently works way better than Google maps, because Google maps sure didn't help Steph get to Buckhead very well.

6:30 pm: Arrive at Buckhead.

So, I don't really get Atlanta. Buckhead is not downtown Atlanta, but it sure feels like it should be downtown. I suppose it's like Houston in a way, in that we have lots of places that have tall buildings. But in Houston, the only place that really "feels" like downtown to me is downtown Houston. But I digress...

I suppose I should have mentioned on my previous post that I spent a fair amount of time at North Point shoving a paper doll in the hands of random people and then asking them to pose for a picture. If you attended Catalyst One Day, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Oh yeah...I remember her now. Boy, was that chick annoying!" Thanks. It's a gift, really. Anyhoo, when I arrived at Buckhead Church, I continued to take pictures of people posing with Zeke. I also met a couple of people who also have blogs, and it's cool to put a face with a name, like Ben Arment and Nick Carnes. I was early, and basically sat around waiting for Steph. I also had the opportunity to meet Jon Acuff's mother-in-law and his wife Jenny (who is stunning, btw). I did not get a chance to meet Jon's dad, but boy, do they look alike!

It was starting to get crowded, and the band was rehearsing so no one was allowed in yet. Pete Wilson was nice enough to put Steph's giant booty (bag) between 2 seats in the front row, thereby saving our seats. I enjoy asking popular pastors from large churches to do little errands for me. It's just one more thing that makes me so very endearing. Not unlike when I asked Brad Lomenick, who is the Executive Director of Catalyst to pose for a picture with Zeke. When he asked me what it was for, I said, "Don't worry about that, just pose for the picture already!" Yeah. People dig me. Oh, where was I? Oh, yeah. They start letting people in. Steph is no longer lost, but now cannot find a parking space. Which is weird, because they have at LEAST 10 parking spaces designated for an event that has about 150 attendees. Go figure.

Steph finally arrives. We exchange hugs and settle into our seats. Pete Wilson introduces Aaron Keyes and friends, then we are lead in some praise and worship songs. I am lamenting the fact that Aaron Keyes has better hair than me, and wondering if he uses a flat iron or does he just have a really good stylist. He is also a big fan of the book of Psalms, which is cool, cuz me too. He also quotes a scripture about breast feeding and mentions that he has 4 kids and his wife is breastfeeding. Now I'm thinking, "Okay, let's move on." At one point during all of this, Steph accuses me of interfering with the Holy Spirit just because I suggested that she randomly shout out, "JESUS!" during this time. She was definitely interfering with my spiritual gift of sarcasm. But I've prayed about it, and I've forgiven her ungrateful heart. There is barely enough room on the front row to hold Steph, me, and our combined sarcasm.

Pete Wilson gets back up, introduces Ann Jackson, Carlos Whittaker and Jon Acuff, during which time the three of them are awkwardly trying to set up 4 stools on a very small stage. Jon is sitting on the end with his stool butting up to a mic stand. Rather than moving the mic stand off the stage, he settles for sitting VERY CLOSE to Carlos Whittaker. I thought I was the only one who notices this, but clearly, this does not escape Jon's attention. Which is just one more reason why that guy cracks me up.

Ann, Carlos and Jon proceed to "Go First". What this means is that they shared some very personal, potentially embarrassing situations that they have struggled with in their lives. (Did I mention that Jon's parents and in-laws were sitting in the audience?) When they finish speaking, Pete asks them a couple of questions and then opens it up to the audience. So how many people do you think raised their hand? Yes. You are correct. Approximately none. Well, I'm chock full-o-questions, and fear of making a fool of myself has never really been a big deterrent for me in the past. So, after three famous bloggers bare their souls to a crowd of strangers, I ask the following questions to Pete Wilson courtesy of my friend Helen of Random Musings:

What makes a blog comment worthy to you?
How many blogs do you check out per day?
What have I got that Helen hasn't got?
Why do you never comment on her blog?
Why do you make your wife freeze by keeping the thermostat too low?
Buy her a snuggie already!
If you and Jon Acuff had a fight with fists tied behind your backs, who would win?

After the third question, there was an audible hush in the room, as if to say, "Who in the hail is this person, and why is she asking those stupid questions?" But at that point, I was committed. I'm pretty sure Steph is slouching down in her seat in an attempt to become invisible - which totally didn't work. Pete very kindly saves the moment by saying, "In the interest of time, I'm only going to answer one of those questions." He answered the blog comment one, saying that if a comment seems to come from the heart, he often felt compelled to answer it. Of all the people sitting on the stage, Carlos Whittaker is the only one who has absolutely no idea who I am. I've never commented on Ann's blog, but she works for Pete, so she sort of knows who I am. I think his mouth was literally hanging open during that exchange.

After I broke the ice. Well...after I smashed through the ice with a high powered sledgehammer, a couple more folks asked questions. Here's one that I thought was kinda special: "What goes through your head right before you throw up?" Now, see...for me, that would be, "Gross. I'm about to throw up." But whatever...

The evening was not what I expected, but it was very cool. I was able to talk briefly with Carlos Whittaker and Jenny Acuff who were both very gracious. I also gave Carlos Whittaker a copy of a CD made when I was at another church and an autographed copy of a little book called "Making Your Mark: How to leave long, annoying comments on other people's blogs" by Wordy McTypealot personally autographed by yours truly. So, I'm pretty sure I made his month, if not his entire year.

Steph and I walked approximately 42 miles back to where she had parked. We then proceeded back to Alpharetta and back to my luxurious suite at the Comfort Inn where, instead of interfacing over the Internet, we were able to really get to know each other...NOT! We both had our laptops and were commenting on The Fellowship of the Traveling Smartypants blog, which is more of a geeky chat room than it is a blog.

Also, I had Cheetos for dinner.

I will now open up the floor for questions. Anyone? Anyone?

19 comments:

Helen said...

Thank you for asking my questions, even though I Pete ducked most of them. You were very kind to ask them for me. Thank you. Did someone really ask the vomit question? Because that is way stranger than any question I came up with, even though Rev. Wilson may now be frightened of me and comtemplating changing his URL address and not telling me. :-O Hopefully he realizes that we are pulling his leg.....really, really hard. Ha Ha! That's what he gets for liking you better than me. :-O Thanks for linking my blog.

Marni said...

I have a question. I'll pose this to you because it was posed to me and it's just so fascinating and random, I ask it of fascinating and random people.
True story: I spoke at a large charity event to raise awareness of a very worthy charitable organization. The floor was open for questions. I just spent 20 minutes talking about sick children and I get "Who did your lips?" My mind goes blank...what is this chick talking about? And what does she mean by "did"?

Turns out, she loves my lips (ousta!) and wanted to know my docs name. Thing is, sweet baby Jesus gave me these lips, not Dr. 90210. So I tell her that. I also wanted to add "Look at my butt. If I were having plastic surgery, do you think I'd start with my lips??"

So Kat, who did your lips?

♥ Kathy said...

I don't get Atlanta either and I don't think it's anything like Houston :o The first time we drove past the airport and UNDER the runway I was freaked out! lol BTW you look really nice in that picture..shiny or not :)

katdish said...

Helen,

Yeah, everyone was all serious and whatnot. It really put a damper on all the stupid questions I wanted to ask! And yes, someone did ask the vomit question, which made me feel better about asking my/your questions.

Marni,

(Ousta!) Alas, Sweet Baby Jesus also gave me my lips (and my sizable arse).

Kathy,

Thanks. I was wicked-tired in the picture.

Beth said...

If worship leaders and guys in a band always have such good hair...I might have missed my calling....time to take that spiritual gifts test again.

Really? Breast feeding? That's weird. I would have to punch Frank if he ever said something like that. That's why I always have to be on the platform WITH him.

Marni,

What a fabulous story. I have also spoke at charity events like this. I'm glad there was no question/answer time. Getting through my speech and trying to "mingle" afterward was torture enough.

Nick the Geek said...

Katdish,

It sounds as if your are lacking in the spiritual gift "instigator." This is something I pride myself in. I try to avoid trouble as much as possible, it seeks me out all on its own, so I find that if I think something would be funny it would be funnier if I could get someone else to do it.

Last year at Youth Convention we were waiting around while they got things rolling. It was a good long wait and I don't deal well with boredom so I convinced a couple youth to go up front and get the wave started. It took a few tries before we had about 80% involvement which was pretty awesome if you ask me.

Plus if someone got all bent out of shape because of the whole deal I just deny any involvement. Sorry kids you are going under this bus. It didn't come to that though because we helped entertain a restless crowd while they fixed some problem.

Word Verification: horat
Borat's wife ... I'm not touching this one.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I'm very glad I emptied my bladder before I started reading this, because I couldn't hold it together. What a trip! Oh, to have been a fly on the wall....

sherri said...

Shiny or not I think you're beautiful, but I think you look completely different in every photo I see!

Going somewhere with you sounds like being with one of my friends from school who I always ended up getting separated from and into some big TROUBLE with!

Marni- I love your comment about your butt!

Nick- horat? No kids here to throw under the bus.

katdish said...

I think we should start a virtual church. It would be the most obnoxious church ever.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

In response to your question, I see absolutely no one wondering if I am over 5'10". In fact, there are no posts even called 'How tall is Matt at The Church of No People?' that I can see.

*Stalker*

Incidentally, your picture makes you look quite tall, but I usually assume that most people are taller than me. If I am sitting and see someone standing, I usually think they are taller than I am because I sit short (all legs).

But I'm usually not shorter than them after all. I'm 6'1."

Koffijah said...

Koffijah should have been there!!!

katdish said...

Koffijah definitely should have been there. (Not that I would have a clue who you were.) I suppose I would just look for someone who looked really smart.

mandy said...

First time on your blog and you're stinking funny!!!

yes, Atlanta is it's own issue... The city goes on and on and on sprawling over North Georgia until everyone this side of Macon says their from Atlanta.

I don't get it.

Houston is the same, 'cept it has one distinct downtown.
Boston is the same, 'cept for that one distinct downtown as well.
On second thought - maybe they're not the same as the Atl at all...

It must be a metro thing.

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Katdish, I don't have any questions at all. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the things I learned about you at the event.... ;)

Marni, because you used an obscure Veggie Tales reference (and even spelled it "right"), I now pink puffy heart you.

Beth, Aaron was using the breastfeeding story to illustrate some deep spiritual truth about hunger for God, but Katdish and I both got a little distracted (imagine that!) by it. By the time she was urging me to shout "JESUS!" I was really considering it.

A virtual church would be cool. Hey! We could call it The Church of Odd People! Matt, are you sensing a call?

I need more of you calm types the next time I hang around Katdish. She and I talked about how putting two crazy people together means that there' nobody to be the audience. I guess I blinked first, so I defaulted to my quiet, sensible self and let her entertain me. Helen, Candace, if I hang with you, will you clap for me?

Matt, Kat's pic made her look tall because Jon really is as short as he says. AND she was wearing ankle-twister boots. OH! and we were standing on the sloped area of the room. She totally elbowed her way to the highest spot. I think she's about my height (5'6").

I don't know why you guys have such a problem with Atlanta. You just need my solution: Spend your time at least 45 minutes outside of the city, and you're golden.
And Buckhead is the devil.

WV: poking.
Really. And I can't think of any definition that doesn't contain a double entendre. (which probably says a lot about me)

Nick the Geek said...

Steph,

Who are these calmer types you are referring to? Had I been there when Katdish suggested you shout out Jesus I would have not only convinced you to do it I would have gone and found a few more "volunteers" in random places to assist by also yelling or holding up hastily made John 3:16 signs (or just 316 because I'm too ADD to write all that on a sign and we all know what 316 is).

I willingly admit that I am sarcastic and an instigator and highly competitive. All of these things multiply each other like combining already dangerous medications. There are people who would never be able to show their face in Atlanta again while I somehow got praised for my good behavior. It is terrible but so enjoyable. Oh the stories I could tell.

Stacy from Louisville said...

The entire time you were typing this did you breathe more than once? Cause it seems like you could use some air about now.

(You are a piece of work, my dear)

katdish said...

Stacy - How did you know that? You are quite perceptive! I wish you could have been there.

Helen said...

Steph, I will clap for you anytime. I am clapping right now.

Nick, I on the other hand would need to print Gospel of John 3:16 so no one would acccidently think I meant 1 John 3:16, or 2 John 3:16, then I would realize after I did all that even if they did think I meant those, that wouldn't be so bad. I might even make new signs featuring them....

pete wilson said...

It was great to finally meet you. I'll run errands for you anytime. :)