28 April 2008


I was never very into Mondays. I think mostly it was the going to bed part. Or perhaps the waking up part. Maybe it was both.

Anyway, after high school, I never really had the whole "Monday" experience. Through college all the way up to a year ago, I never had a full-time, Mon-Fri, 9a-5p job. Usually I had retail or some night-shift type of work; most of the time it was part-time.

Even as a substitute teacher Mondays were still blah (and scary, but that's the substituting part).

Now, I have the full effect. And I'm thankful for it. Though Mondays come, weekend aftershock sleepiness lingers, and yearning to go home persists, I am very thankful for the blessing of order God's placed in my life. You see, the job I have received could not have been coincidence. It could not have come at a better, more appropriate, more beneficial time.

Beyond the portals of time, God carefully but masterfully orchestrated the specific series of events in which He would provide for me exactly what I needed to be a fruitful, productive, and important part of His overall plan.

25 April 2008

Writer's Block

After a few successful, sequential days of creative energy and free forming flow of ideas and thoughts, I am now in writer's block. I mean, if you can actually be "in" writer's block.

You know, as if "Writer's Block" was an address somewhere in the middle of the city.

2851 Writer's Block, Anytown, USA.

Anyway...that's where I am now.

22 April 2008

Cars: Trial & Error

Trial and Error is the key to figuring out cars.

Well, it is for me. For some reason, my initial Y-chromosome did not come equipped with the typically built-in automobile compatibility gene that tends to be attached somewhere in the main centromere of the gender-linked allele.

So, learning stuff about cars for me has come as a trial-and-error process. Of course, my own disinterest in really learning about cars coupled with the lack of an appropriately conducive environment have added to my ignorance.

By this process, I have learned the following:
  • A car can be totaled on a cloudless, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon by hitting a tree at 35mph.
  • Animals tend to hit vehicles rather than get hit.
  • Buying a vehicle from a grocery store parking lot (even if it is run by the car lot across the street) is not a good idea...especially when you can only drive an automatic...and the car you're buying on impulse is a standard.
  • Headlamp fluid is not an actual requirement for driving.
  • The brackets holding the exhaust system to the car will rust and fall off, with no direct effect on the exhaust system.
  • Water in the headlight casing causes the lightbulb to blow frequently; thus, I learned how to change the lightbulb with ease.
  • When the engine sounds like the gears are rubbing together without lubrication and you are a couple thousand miles over the 3,000-mile suggested oil change limit, you are probably out of oil.

And I'm still learning.

21 April 2008

(2) If I Were King of the Forest...

...rodential discrimination would be eliminated for good. No longer would moles, voles, rats, and mice be forced to pay for parking, whilst the felines and canines get first dibs on the tree bus.

20 April 2008

Kanawha Players: The Crucible

The Kanawha Players' production of The Crucible at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre last night was easily one of the best performances I've seen in Charleston, WV.

As the last production of the current season before the grand opening of KP's new theatre on Beauregard Street, The Crucible featured many veteran community performers along with elementary, high school, and college students.

I had never read the entire Arthur Miller play, but had seen enough interpretations of the basic story outline in TV shows and movies to understand the crux of the story: a group of young girls condemn adult women with whom they find disfavour as witches during the Salem Witch Trials of the 15th Century. The dramatized version on a live stage proved to be unsettling and unnerving--the author's and director's intent.

Artistic Director Deborah Haught and Technical Director Greg Morris (with whom I was privileged to have shared a stage before) did wonders with what proved to be a phenomenal cast of actors and technical crew. The set was very well designed, complete with a fireplace descending from the rafters, rising and setting environmental sunlight in the backdrop, and quick on-and-off stage props.

I was mesmerized and locked into the story, acting, and production of this play from Kevin Pauley's emotional beginning (a No Pants Player) to the nail-biting end.

19 April 2008

Dream: Cell Phone Hack & Soap Opera

It was a cold, icy, dark evening. Coming home from some escapade (but not an ice-capade), I was wedged between the driver and the other passenger: two men I knew that I knew, but could not identify. We slid the pickup semi-carefully down the slippery slope that was supposed to be a road between the bungalow on the right and the ice-glazed pond on the left. We got out, shaken, and went inside the warmth of the small house.

A couch was turned backward against the wall, with only one seat-length sticking out in front of the opening toward the kitchen. I turned to look outside and saw that the winter was melting quickly to summer, so I removed my thick coat. The family was all gathered inside for some kind of unspoken celebration.

My two fellow truck passengers, though having entered the house with me, had disappeared. Although I knew that everyone in the house was family in some way or another, I only recognized my cousin Mark. That is, until I saw my girlfriend seated on the couch.

I plopped down on the couch next to her and snuggled close. Suddenly, I heard an operator speaking on my cell phone. I opened it and heard her mention something like "Press 2 for flight delays nearby....Press 3 for...." On the display of the phone was some unusually formatted number that someone had dialed: "# 598 XA". 20 minutes had already elapsed on this strange call. Then, the display changed and I could tell someone was typing text on it. Someone had hacked into my cell phone somehow! As the display was showing the word "BATTERIES" being typed, I quickly opened the back cover and removed the battery, throwing it over my shoulder.

The ordeal averted, I turned back to my girlfriend. Just then, Bill Murray (not that Bill) from WSAZ News Channel 3 came in with his camera crew. "I need to practice some soap opera shots. Who in here is ready to try out for the soap opera?"

Everyone shuffled around as I stood up, removed my glasses in a melodramatic, soap-opera-like fashion, and said, "Not me." I then stared waiting for the commercial break to begin in the traditional fashion. Bill Murray went to walk around the couch.

Then, I woke up.

18 April 2008

(1) If I Were King of the Forest...

...I would finally put an end to all squirrely table games. Gambling addiction is a threat to the livelihood and security of squirrels and their families. As King of the Forest, I would eradicate this part of the problem, helping the Sciurids overcome.

17 April 2008

Bitten by the Theatre Bug

It comes around once in a while. I get to take part in a theatrical performance, either as audience member or cast member. Then, it happens. My mind becomes a high-octane engine driving many of my thoughts speedily to memories of acting, dreams of directing, ideas of producing, notions of writing theatre.

It is triggered easily. This current, sudden paroxysm was brought about by the opportunity to see Pride & Prejudice in Cleveland with Rebecka last weekend. The layout of and classic theatrical elements within Cleveland Playhouse's Bolton Theatre was so exciting. My hopes of one day building a theatre were much renewed with great fervor!

This was only the first time I had ever been able to attend a play with professional AEA actors (some of whom have been on TV and the big screen.) Even though much of the community theatre I have grown up attending (as well as a few of the collegiate and secondary school plays I have seen) have been quite enjoyable and many well done, seeing professional actors on stage was enlightening and inspiring!

The best part of all this is that Rebecka enjoys going to the theatre, too! So, we get to see another play this coming weekend: The Crucible. It's great to have someone to enjoy it with! Yay, Rebecka!

16 April 2008

Dad's Birthday

Today is my dad's 68th birthday. Fortunately for my father, he has gotten to spend about 18 years now in the presence of the One whom he preached about, sang for, and loved. In the amount of time it takes a human to grow from infancy to the legal age to vote in the US, my father has lived a small part of the one eternal day with God.

And that's how I choose to look at it.

Sure, I could continuously be downhearted about the fact that, for that same amount of time, I have been without my father. I could bemoan and question God about the fairness of an 8-year-old losing one of his parents (and then to lose my mother not long thereafter.)

And I know of countless people who do question...who are continually depressed...who are in somewhat of a similar situation.

In celebration of another anniversary of my father's birth, I give thanks to God for His provision and omniscience. I am ever grateful and in awe of the many unique qualities of God I have been able to experience first-hand as a result of the events in my life. The seemingly frayed threads of what was momentarily trying and impossible to understand has been woven into a tapestry expressing how God is in control of everything.

Relevant Scripture:

1 Corinthians 13:11, 12

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

15 April 2008

Lead My Rips: Spoonerisms

I have a tendency to speak in spoonerisms. Sometimes I do it for fun (which leads to it becoming habit). Sometimes (the way it's supposed to happen) it's accidental. Either way, the end result is humorous.

I can't quite remember if this habit came about by my own tendency to get my tongue tied around my eye teeth (so I can't see what I'm saying) and the resulting mishmash was enjoyable enough to repeat for fun. More likely, however, I caught it from my friend Denzil who speaks the language on purpose just for fun.

So, whether I bop the drall on the swords I way for pun or on furpose, I stust mill believe that the end fesult is runny.

09 April 2008

Hearing Pitch: Nature or Nurture

Can you hear the difference between a low note and a high note?

I'm not asking that you be able to discern between an Ab and a G just by listening. I mean, if I hummed at my normal speaking pitch (around middle C), then at my preferred singing pitch (C below middle C), could you tell that the first was higher?

When substituting middle school music for the millenia (9 weeks) I did, I engaged the students in a pre-recorded exercise where all they had to do is listen to a CD playing a series of two tones and circle "Higher" or "Lower" on their papers to indicate whether the second note was higher or lower than the first. Not a hard task, I thought. In fact, most of the examples played the difference between the high end of the piano and the low end of the piano; the exceptions stayed within five steps of each other in pitch.

The test results? Not so good. Could it have been disengagement in the activity? Yes: they were middle-schoolers. But, for an easy grade and an easy activity, most of the students will let the short assignment take over their boredom for the few minutes.

Anyway, there were some with near-accurate results, some with nowhere-accurate results.

Which brings me to my question (in a roundabout way):

Are you born with an innate ability to hear pitch differences, is it a learned action, or is it a matter of both? For me, I remember harmonizing with motors when I was really little...five or so. I, however, come from a musical family.

By contrast, I have known people with a very unmusical family and with very little musical enrichment who could not hear the difference between a harp and a trombone. And no amount of teaching them resulted in anything.

Then, I know of one girl who could not hear pitch at all, but after much training ended up being the soprano section leader in my concert choir.

I would really like to know whether pitch differentiation is genetic or learned. I figure, like most topics of similar discussion, it is a matter of both. It would make for a good case study, if it hasn't been done already. (If you know of a related case study, let me know.)

08 April 2008

Peas in a Pod

"...like two peas in a pod." Where did this cliche come from?

It's supposed to reflect closeness between two people.

"Those two are like two peas in a pod."


"That couple of individuals coexist comfortably together as if they were a pair of adjacent seeds within the confines of the pod of a blooming Pisum sativum plant."

However, in most cases, pea pods (at least those most likely to be picked in harvest) consist of at least three peas...usually more. So, why is the phrase constricted to just a pair? A pair of peas in a pod reflects immaturity or incomplete growth.

Shouldn't it rather be a phrase for groups of about four people who are closely knit?

What is it about those two peas that stand out from the rest of the pod? One of them is certainly situated in the middle of two. Does that pea more closely associate with the one on its right than with the one on its left? What about the poor pea on the end?

I often wonder how sayings like this originate.

I also wonder if there are any cans of peas in the pantry...I'm hungry.

03 April 2008


Greetings and welcome to the LeviSamJuno blog. I think for the time being I shall just be the eponymous LeviSamJuno until I see a reason to be a person...or something like that. I actually tried to begin a blog before under a previous pseudonym, which is still available. In fact, most of what you will read here is just a repeat of what I had on the previous one, albeit over a year later. Let's see if it sticks this time.

The purpose for this blog is to discuss, deliberate, or otherwise deluge the interweb with any random or potentially pointless pondering that precipitates from my phalanges. (*sigh* I can already see that my affinity for alliteration will be a common occurrence.)My interests are eclectic and somewhat broad in scope. I like many things but have very strong feelings about how they should be done or presented. As such, I felt it necessary to vent my thoughts through the growing medium of the blog (or, "web log" as technophobes with whom I identify like to call it.)

Some things you will probably read about here in the near future may include such topics as: Southern Gospel, Contemporary Christian music, Christian Apologetics, Theology, Biology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Theatre, Playwriting, Acting, Singing, Dancing, Middle School Students, Teaching, Higher Education Degrees, Secondary Education, Post-secondary Education, Posthumous Education, Chemistry, Physics, West Virginia, the Contiguous United States, Television, Movies, Cheese, and much more.

But, wait: if you order now, you'll get this great set of ....oh, wait: never mind. Some kind of infomercial tangent.

Moving on...

So, I hope you enjoy reading what I anticipate writing, which I might enjoy upon reading it myself, but more than likely will be disappointed.

But, you'll get a good laugh at my expense. ("Look at that blog," you'll say, "Nonsensical yammer." "He doesn't have anything important to add to society," your friend will retort. "I agree!" I will reply, then run and hide behind the dumpster as the two of you search for the disembodied voice.)