Tuesday, January 30, 2007

David Letterman

So I forgot something that I missed that was even worse than missing Idiotarod. While I was gone, 3.5 of my friends appeared on David Letterman, playing my favorite song of 2006. Total sadness. Thanks for the link, Tyler... sorry for making it seem like "idiots" and shopping carts are cooler than seeing you sing and play guitar on national television. Because they so are not.

Watch this. Do it now. Twice.

Home

Woke up around 3:30 this morning, finished packing, drove to the San Francisco airport, returned Hamesh (my rental car), then began the long trek home to NYC.

Here is where I sat:


Those pointy things on the horizon... that is lower Manhattan. Aaagh... beautiful!


I got in around 5:30 p.m, at which point I had to acquire my car from a parking lot in New Jersey, where my gracious friends had agreed to store it while I was gone for the month. Thank you, Fosses!

Marcy picked me up at the airport. Her finger has healed. We reminisced about good times in Colorado, then she took me to see my favorite non-family kids: Katie, Ben, and Ali. I promise: when they're not making faces, they look like a JCrew ad.



Driving from NJ into the City, I took this lovely, shaky (consider it artsy) photo of the Holland Tunnel. It was only afterward that I remembered that it's illegal to take photos of the tunnels and bridges of NYC (no thanks to the terrorists). Oops!



I found a parking spot without too much trouble, and finally got home at 9pm. Later in the evening, I went for a very, very late Reunion Dinner at Steak Frites. Good times!

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Here are my Photo-A-Day shots from yesterday and today.

01.28.07
I know you want to live vicariously through my photos, but it made me sick. I wish I could handle this stuff (Palo Alto, CA).


01.29.07
My bed. Four weeks of mail. Took two hours to open. But I felt very loved. Especially by people who want to give me credit cards. Hah! (NYC)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Missed it by that much...

It's my last night of this leg of the tour. 4 weeks out, 2.5 days at home, then nearly 3 more weeks out on the road.

Of all the amazing things I missed while I was gone, I am the most sad about missing the Idiotarod 2007. Next year, if at all possible, I will have my little cart, and 4 of my friends, and we will trek across Brooklyn together in strange, matching outfits.

The Cosbys


The Idiot A-Rods








The Noids

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nielsen Ratings

Nathan and I were discussing TV ratings, now that he works in TV, and I was telling him that I'd never met anyone who grew up in a Nielsen home. He said he hadn't either.

So I decided to blog about it. Did you grow up in a Nielsen home? Do you know someone who did? Did you have to journal your TV activity or did you use the tracking box/device?

Tell me more... because, frankly, I'm not sure I believe you even exist.

Tired

I'm beat, and my melatonin is starting to kick in, so I hope I don't fall asleep mid-blog. I'm lying in bed with my laptop on my abdomen (my mom hates all other words that refer to the "mid-section" so I will refrain from using them), and there's a good chance I might not make much sense either, so excuse me if that occurs. I'd go back and edit, but I am getting up in less than 6 hours to play some songs for the wonderful people at Highway Community Church.

Here are some photo-a-day fun items. Enjoy.

01.24.07
This first photo shows a similar scene to the one I see now. It's my room near Portland, where I stayed for 4 days. I was watching Seinfeld just before I fell asleep. (Tualatin, OR)


01.25.07
This is my favorite part of Portland. The Nob Hill District. It reminds me of Hillsboro Village in Nashville, Greenwich Village in NYC, and the inside of my heart.


01.26.07
Today I left Portland to start the 12-hour drive to the Bay Area for my Saturday and Sunday shows. I stopped for the night in Redding, CA. I got there around 10pm and decided to catch that new movie, "Catch & Release" (i liked it). After I left the theater, my car was the only one in the lot. Sometimes it's weird to travel alone.


01.27.07
Painting on the wall at tonight's venue. I so almost bought it. I go home to NYC in 30 hours after being gone for 4 weeks. I'm there for 2.5 days before leaving again for nearly 3 weeks. So yeah, this painting speaks to me. :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Q / A - Part 1

I get a lot of emails about the book, so I’ve decided to start posting some of the questions and answers here – paraphrased and anonymous when the sender requests it. In some cases, as in this one below, I’ve combined multiple emails into one. Send your questions to: tlc@taraleighcobble.com

Q:
I read your book in about 2 days and I have been losing my mind since I finished it. The chapter “Faking Love” really got me – the part where one of your friends from the church approached you and told you she knew that everything in the Bible was true, but she just didn’t care. When I read that it really took my breath away because I’ve been feeling that way lately, and I don’t want to. Can you offer any advice?

A:
I've been thinking about your email ever since you sent it... I keep praying for you and hoping to hear from you again. I know that I should've replied sooner, but I didn't really know what to say, honestly. I'm sure it must be incredibly difficult to be in the position you're in (assuming that nothing has changed). You asked if I had any thoughts on the matter, and I have a lot, so I’ll try to work them into something coherent:

I had another friend who, when she read about Emily, told me that she felt the same way. Her response was to really ask God to show her that He loved her and to open her eyes to be able to see it. I think a lot of people who feel that way probably have no idea how God feels about them -- something has made that part of their heart seal over to where they feel like they're just moving robotically through life, never really experiencing it anymore.

You may or may not feel this way -- I have no idea. But with my other friend, when she asked God to make her feel His love for her and to help her see it, something began to open. It wasn't that everything became easier for her automatically... in fact, I know that some things got tougher and she faced some opposition... but I think God's love started to pry things open in her heart again, little by little, until she could actually FEEL again.

And honestly, I think Satan's biggest tool in dragging people away from God is getting them so bruised and beaten up that they don't want to feel or they don't know how to anymore. Sin will bruise us, people will hurt us... life is abrasive. But if you can get to a place where you're open to God's love, then I think He will show it to you. And when you feel it again, I think it will unlock something inside of you.

Maybe none of this is helpful at all... I don't know. But I really hope you'll write me back… I'll keep praying for you.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Heads Up

It's baa-aaack.

The return of George Michael

I read a little too much weird news online. But sometimes, as in October, I come across something that makes it all worth it.

You've probably heard about or seen the Aleksey Vayner video resume already, especially after it made its way onto the Today Show. But just in case you haven't, here it is:



Now that's all well and good. But what's even better is when Arrested Development's Michael Cera (who played a character named George Michael) spoofs it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Portland is Awesome.

This might legitimately be my 4th favorite city in America (NYC, Nashville, Houston, _____). Who knew? I’m in town to play at Rolling Hills. Great people! And last night I audited a class at Imago Dei which provided some great thoughts on art and the Gospel. It sounds pretentious, I know, but it wasn’t.

Today, my friend Courtney and I went to the Nob Hill District, which reminded me a lot of the West Village, if it were in Brooklyn. I was shocked by the amount of street parking, the affordability of well, everything, when compared to NYC. I’d expect that from nowheresville, but not from an actual city. And there’s no sales tax!

I picked up a few cool, cheap things at a boutique called 3 Monkeys, then we split a sandwich and salad at Papa Haydn. I was sad when we had to leave to come home, so maybe I’ll spend the day there tomorrow.

Here are some pictures that I’ve been meaning to put up for my Photo-A-Day, including the 3 that have been missing from earlier this month. Sorry for the delay!

01.06.07
Kristianna on her wedding day. (Boulder, CO)


01.07.07
Jared and Kristianna at the post-wedding day brunch. (Thornton, CO)


01.08.07
This is Kristianna’s cousin Ali. She’s 4. She wanted to do a photoshoot. (Thornton, CO)


And now for the more recent photos:

01.19.07

This is what I drank today between Grants Pass, OR, and Seattle, WA. That’s 4 liters, folks. I’ll drink anything, but when I have a choice, Fiji is my favorite. (Seattle, WA)


01.20.07
Ginny has a waterfront apartment outside of Seattle. These are her very patriotic canoes. (Renton, WA)


01.21.07
Aaron asked me to autograph his tortilla chip, then he promised to eat it much slower than all the others. (Kent, WA)


01.22.07
The Petersons have a pretty stellar view. Just beyond Lake Meridian, you can see Mt. Rainier sandwiched between the clouds. (Kent, WA)


01.23.07
Today I arrived at Rolling Hills Community Church, a giant church outside Portland. I parked in Zechariah. (Tualatin, OR)


I also want to be sure to show you this picture that my friend Lindsay took on her last trip to Barnes & Noble. Those two green books just to the right of the Great Marriage and Good Life books (nice placement, if I do say so myself) is MY BOOK, Here’s to Hindsight: Letters to My Former Self. You should buy it.

Why My Favorite Shows Have Always Been Cancelled

1. Teenagers only cared about what happened between Angela and Jordan Catalano, but there was all this other “parent” stuff which turned the kids off. Meanwhile, the parents were mildly intrigued, but the teenage scenes were far too angsty and/or bewildering. Essentially, they were alienating half of the audience part of the time and the other half the remainder of the time.

Problem: the show aimed at two targets and missed both.
Solution: It could’ve survived in a 30-minute slot, edited down to the teenage scenes.


2. Everyone heard about how funny the Bluth family was, but they didn’t hear about it until halfway through the first season, which was far too late to get in on the cumulative jokes. To fully enjoy the show, you have to start at Season 1, Episode 1, and go in exact order.

Problem: the show outsmarted itself.
Solution: It could’ve survived if they’d run Season 1 over again before starting Season 2.


3. Kim Catrall.

Problem: Kim Catrall.
Solution: Clone her (although I'm not sure this is a good idea. In fact, I'm certain it's not.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

I'm in room 211 at some hotel in Grants Pass, OR. The town motto is "It's the climate!" although I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.



According to the guy at the desk, Grants Pass has twice as many coffee shops per capita as the national average -- 1 shop for every 900 people, instead of 1:1,800. I've already checked, though: no real Starbucks.

This is the first time I've had reliable internet in nearly a decade, so I'm going to catch up on my Photo-A-Day. I'm missing 3 right now (Jan 6-8), but I'm going to add those later. I promise.

Come along on tour with me. I like to call this tour the So Cold Right Now Tour. You might remember that my summer tour with Josh Wilson was the So Hot Right Now Tour, wherein every single place we played exceeded 100-degree temperatures. Well, on this tour, I get to see things like Snow in L.A. and 26-degree temperatures in Phoenix. I've decided that my next tour is going to be called the So Rich Right Now Tour.

01.09.07
My friend Marcy almost cut her finger off, but at least she got a sticker.


01.10.07
Driving through Albuquerque (en route to Phoenix from Denver)


01.11.07
And then I hit Arizona...


01.12.07
...where I ran into my old friend Shannon at a show! We had lots of coffee afterward.


01.13.07
I woke up to this on Saturday morning in Gilbert, AZ. My friend Romi said that this guy does this every weekend. You can't quite see it, but there's a full bar setup in his garage.


01.14.07
This was backstage at the church I played at in Redlands, CA. I thought that blue wine was unusual.


01.15.07
Laguna Beach, CA. World's Narrowest Church.


01.16.07
When I was a kid, I didn't ask for puppies or kittens. No no, I begged my parents for a palm tree. We lived in Tennessee. They spent many years trying to explain why I couldn't just shine a lamp on one to keep it alive.


01.17.07
At Diedrich's Coffee in Laguna, my phone rang. It was my friend Benom, who lives in Florida. I was about to place my order, so I silenced my phone. He called again. I silenced it again. Then I heard my name. He was standing behind me. What are the chances?!?!


01.18.07
Driving from LA to Grants Pass, I saw this sign in northern California. They sure are proud of their bathrooms.


Some additional photos:

While I did start to develop some strong feelings for Amir during our 2,200 miles together...


...it was Hamesh that won me over.


(And no, I'm not sure why the rental car companies like to give me blue cars exclusively.)

Hello, San Francisco, nice to see you, but I must be on my way!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Books so far...

One of my new year’s resolutions was to read one book per week, and I also intend to write short reviews of each book. I’m starting with Revolution in World Missions because I finished reading it at the beginning of the year.

My two main reasons for reading books are information and enjoyment, so I’m rating them on two 5-point scales, one for each category. There are certain books that, while I might love reading them, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone else. On the other hand, some books are about as much fun to read as swimming through mud, but have been a great deal of help to me. I hope this point-system is coherent.

Revolution in World Missions
K.P. Yohannan
Information: 5
Enjoyment: 4
Total: 9

I have a feeling that at the end of the year, this will still be the book that I suggest reading more than any other. It changed the way I view my life, and I believe that it will change the way you view yours. At least a dozen times every day, I think about this book and the things I learned from it. Summarizing it would be a disservice.

The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Information: 2
Enjoyment: 5
Total: 7

I tend to steer clear of modern novels, but I really loved this one. It has that “Oprah’s Book Club” feel to it—emotionally bold and laced with the effects of racism. It actually made me cry, which is rare for books.

Myths, Lies, & Downright Stupidity: Why Everything You Know Is Wrong
John Stossel
Information: 4
Enjoyment: 4
Total: 8

This book reads like a 20/20 report, which makes it flow quickly and easily. And the subtitle isn’t too far off: I believed errant information about most of the topics he discussed.

Coming Out
Danielle Steel
Information: 0
Enjoyment: 2
Total: 2

Disclaimer: I only read it because it was there and I had a few hours to spare. This was my first (and likely my last) DS book. I can tolerate a cheese-novel if I actually learn something, but this one taught me nothing. The story of twin daughters preparing for their debutant ball, it bored me and prompted my cynical side to emerge.

The Mighty & the Almighty
Madeleine Albright
Information: 4
Enjoyment: 4
Total: 8

I didn’t expect to like this book. She surprised me with facts and history, instead of the barrage of opinions that I anticipated. Good for anyone interested in learning more about foreign policy and the history of America’s involvement in foreign affairs.

P.S. I'm still taking pictures, I just need to stop and upload them. I don't have much internet access here and am currently leeching, so forgive me for the delay!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Iditahuh?

I can't believe I'm missing this:
The Carts of Brooklyn Iditarod.



But I'm glad I"m missing this:
The Mysterious Gassy Smell

FYI for those reading the article above (the one about gas) -- there is an occasional hint of maple syrup that wafts through the air of NYC. Its locations are unpredictable and it knows no schedule. The origin of the Maple Syrup Smell has yet to be determined. And as far as I know, the same goes for the gassy smell.

Apparently this new smell is so bad that local news crews have attempted to capture it on video.

Pod-vending

01.05.07
iPod Vending Machine in the Georgia World Congress Center

Passion

Thanks in great part to the urging of my friend Bastyr (not his real name), I decided to volunteer at Passion '07.

25,000 people (22k college students plus volunteers and staff) gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center and Philips Arena in Atlanta, for a four-day conference.

Here are some pictures from the conference, serving as my Photo A Day for the 3 days I was there.

01.02.07
VOLUNTEER BREAK ROOM


01.03.07
PHILIPS ARENA


01.04.07
MIDNIGHT WORSHIP
(Candles are being lit one-by-one by all the 25k people)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

'007 NYE in NYC

Resolutions:

1. Do Photo-A-Day.
2. Run in some kind of race type thing.
3. Europe. Tour there.
4. Get 200 kids sponsored through Gospel For Asia (email me!).
5. Read at least one book per week.

Okay, so I seem to be slacking a bit on the #1, but I'm going to try to catch up soon. And hopefully, even when I seem to be missing a day, I'm really still taking the pictures but just haven't had the chance to post them yet. Hopefully.

I feel the need to backpedal a bit first and show you pictures from my New Years Eve. Mmkay? Sweet. Glad we're on the same page.

So I started the day off with brunch with Kimberly. I usually have Sunday brunch with Kimberly, Jessye, and Adi, but Jessye and Adi were out of town. So Kimberly and I scurried off to Danal.



Later that night, Danger and I made the rounds at a few parties. Here we are at the Compound Party, with Steph and Robbie being all dancer-hot.



Steph and Robbie playing cards. It gets pretty ugly.



Then there was a scuffle. Let's just say that August and I won, and the wall lost.



Robbie has a variety of faces. I apparently only have one. You'll see this one a lot. It's supposed to denote "WHOA! I'm having a GREAT time!"



We all moved up to the roof to watch the fireworks dance across the NYC sky. Lovely!



And now off to Party #2... Williamsburg, here we come! I will even go to BKLYN to hang out with ERIN!



We rang in the new year about 15 times. No lie.
But all we had were 7-year old glasses.



Yay! Here's that face again!!



Rhiannon inspired me to try to a few new faces.



A very Danger-ous New Year's Eve...



Rick and Mike arrived around 2:17 a.m., just in time for us to ring in the new year again!



But I'm going to have to revert to this as the Photo-A-Day for 01.01.07, since it's starts the year off on the right foot:

01.01.07
HAPPY NEW YEAR!