Is Lauren Daigle dead? No– it’s just her new music video

My sister sent me a link to Lauren Daigle’s new music video for “Rescue” and I’m so glad she did. Thanks, Edin. I’ve loved the song for a long while now, ever since I created my own little lyric video for the track.

In Lauren’s official video, which is pretty much as good as mine šŸ˜‰ she is performing her song in Heaven. As I watched, I thought, “Oh Lord, Lauren’s done gone up to glory to shoot this video. Look at the backdrops, all that’s missing are streets of gold. Didn’t get the permit, I guess.”

“Dear Lord, take care of our sister Lauren, she came up there to do a thing with her song and a video and the crew and the crafts service and send her back when you can. Amen.”

Wait, wait… Lauren’s supposed to be in a city near my this coming fall? But… but… how can she be down here if she’s up there? Huh, that WASN’T Heaven? Well, then where on God’s green earth are theseĀ stunning, and I mean, STUNNING, locations?

I’ve been to a handful of amazing places in my lifetime (like here and here… and that yummyĀ IndianĀ RestaurantĀ on Nolensville Pike) and I’ve seen beautiful things, but as I watched this video, this is the first time I can ever remember actually becoming short of breath from what I was seeing. This is NOT the first time I’ve been short of breath this year, though, thanks again to the meal AND leftovers from that deliciousĀ IndianĀ RestaurantĀ on Nolensville Pike. Cascading snow-covered mountains, streams through snow landscapes, rocky almost lava-like ground that goes on for days. Words truly can’t do the video justice, so why am I even trying?Ā 

But if you’re like me, you have questions. Mainly, where is this place in theĀ video?Ā 

Here’s what I dug up.

According to an article on People’s website, the video was filmed on Knik Glacier in Alaska. And I thought Tennessee was God’s country! Dang you, Alaska, you beautiful rascal.

The video was directed by John Gray, who you might recognize from other stuff he’s done. Right? I’m sure he’s done other stuff.

Ok, back to Alaska… this Knik Glacier is one we can enjoy too, it’s not just for the famous people. A group called Knik Glacier Tours will… well, they’ll take you and your son on a tour of the glacier. Not just your son, anyone you bring, really. And yes, I provided a link to their tour page but I’m not getting any kind of commission unless they happen to see this post and feel like Venmo’ing me some funds šŸ™‚ @BenWilder615

PS. that Venmo thing goes for you too, delightfulĀ IndianĀ RestaurantĀ on Nolensville Pike. šŸ™‚

You can also see lots of wildlife there at the glacier. Bears, wolverines, sheep, goats. But the goats can’t be as adorable as these.

Later folks,
Out of the Wilderness

 

 

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To Be Yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just another random Tuesday till I found out the Duck Dynasty family recently finished an ā€œI Am Secondā€ video… awesome! If you havenā€™t scrolled through the folks that have already recorded one, you might be surprised just like I was. Josh Hamilton. Tommy Bowden. Josh Turner. Jason Castro. Trevor Bayne. Bethany Hamilton. So many more heart-wrenching yet uplifting stories of hope. Pretty cool.

iamsecondrobertsons

Then I came across Christine Petric. Sheā€™s Korean so I canā€™t relate to that part of her story, but my Vietnamese niece can. Itā€™s about growing up around mostly non-Asians. As I listened to Christineā€™s story, my heart beat faster. I know one day my cute little niece will wonder why sheā€™s “different.” She was adopted in 2006 (for more on that, click here), so sheā€™s about 7 now and last summer, my sister said she started asking questions about her skin color. Itā€™s only a matter of time till a rush of emotions come over her and man, I would do anything to keep it from making her feel bad about herself! I believe with my whole heart that my sister and her husband saved a little girl from a life of hurt, struggle, and missed potential. But how do you make a child understand that yes, they are different, and isnā€™t it beautiful?! Of course, itā€™s all about perspective, too. She only notices the difference because sheā€™s in Ohio and not Hanoi. Maybe that’s the topic of another post. But anyway, I know Avaā€™s going to continue with her curiosity about being different, but I hope she discovers quickly that so many people spend their whole life trying to stand out. Trying to separate themselves from the crowd. But her? Sheā€™s already there! God created her to be where she is now, and itā€™s just awesome. Actually, I canā€™t wait to find out how different sheā€™s going to be!

Booze It And Lose It

In 2006 I spent 2 weeks in Hanoi, Vietnam,Ā the capital of a Socialist country. The biggest surprise was how free it felt there. When I returned to the U.S., I soon became turned off by the amount of rules and regulations we live with each and every day. My friend said it best, “We’re not free, we’re just free-er than most.” We may not be “free-er than most” for very long because if something’s happening, there’s a law that prohibits or protects it. I don’t blame the government, though. The problem lies within the people. If it’s possible for a nation to live by 10 laws (Israel back in Biblical days), then why couldn’t the United States? How did this overabundance of laws happen? It’s directly proportional to our morals. As morality decreases, rules increase. Just look at a few laws about motor vehicle operation.
I was recently on the interstate and saw a sign that said “booze it and lose it,” meaning you will lose your license if you’re caught driving drunk. If I were in charge of that sign, I’d have it say “booze it and you may ruins someone’s life for a long, long time. I sorta hope it’s your own and not some innocent person’s.” Then I’d have another sign that says, “stop reading this sign and pay attention to the road.” Am I the only one that thinks we have way too many signs in this country? For instance, this one:

Oh, really? Is that what I should do in case of a flood?

If we ask questions like, “Why shouldn’t I drink alcohol and drive? Why shouldn’t I text and drive? Why should I wear my seat belt?” The most common answer to all these questions is, “Because if I do these things, I’ll get a ticket.” Speeding down the highway at 90 mph, we’re more worried about getting caught than the physical damage we could do. We secretly text while we’re driving so the cops don’t see. The real danger is not the police, it’s the divided attention. The unfocused driver. The compromised awareness. Just like driving under the influence of alcohol. Groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) would tell you that getting a ticket should be the least of your concerns. Yet our warnings are about what we’ll lose if we’re caught. Unfortunately, we’re influenced more by warnings that affect our wallets or our perceived freedom.

ā€œThere is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.ā€ -Walter Cronkite

If we can somehow live with basic morals (treating our neighbors the way we want to be treated, for instance), the government would be less involved in our lives. On a side note, this may be why a lot of people in America have a problem with religion. It often seems like another set of rules to obey and when the government already has a lengthy list of requirements, religion is the last thing a person wants. And I’m serious about the signs.

This Was Not A Date

It finished with a 20 minute ride home shortly after midnight and the scent from tulips riding shotgun filling up the cab of my car. I don’t even remember if I turned on the radio, but I have a crystal clear memory of looking up to the dark starry sky hanging over Interstate 24 and laughing, asking God, “Did you just see that!?” I’m assuming he was aware that not long before my rhetorical yet not-so-rhetorical question I was sitting in a random restaurant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Where is Smyrna, I’m sure you’re dying to know. Drive Southeast from Nashville on I-24, exit 66B and you’re there. It’s a developing little town with stores and structures that are all less than 5 or 10 years old. To call it a suburb of Nashville is still an upgrade, but it’s not a bad little place, and not far away from the downtown entertainment of Music City. There’s a Buffalo Wild Wings off of Sam Ridley Parkway, and that’s where I sat for at least 30 minutes waiting to give my credit card to Christy, the waitress. She brought the checks by and yes, they were separate checks. This night did not begin as a date and it sure as hell never became one. I’m a gentleman, but you’ll know when I take you on a date. There won’t be any doubt. Christy failed to circle back around to pick up our forms of payment. The most difficult 30 minutes I’ve ever suffered through, and I survived Hurricane Andrew, the worst hurricane to hit the States up to that time. If I could go back and lay in the hallway with a mattress on top of me, desperately holding on to Belle’s collar, I would. Well, I would if it meant I could time travel away from Buffalo’s sitting across from “Freckles of Fury.” On the exterior, she was very attractive. A petite Asian girl with a great smile. But at this point, while we were waiting for Christy to return, it had probably been an hour or so since Fury smiled. I take that back, she smiled quite a bit in her conversations with people dining nearby. Her friendliness, in fact, was the first and last straw that compelled me to ask Christy for the checks.

Fury confessed that she frequents this Buffalos often because in Smyrna, what else is there to do? So she’s made a few friends around the bar. I’m being completely genuine in applauding that behavior. Friends are fantastic people. But I realized I was the odd man out. I wasn’t anyone’s friend there… all to clear when I looked around. Everyone was cheering for Kentucky, Ohio State or North Carolina. Me? Florida State. Remember that commercial when the Dolphin fan jumps up and claps in a sea of Buffalo Bills fans? Now you get it. And this was more than basketball. As the veil was lifted, I saw the glances from her “friends,” accompanied with whispers, laughter, and a unanimous agreement that I was the worst thing since fanny packs (which are awesome, by the way). So there we sat, me slightly interested in Fury, and throwing up a final attempt to make a connection. Hoping for a buzzer beater, I asked her a few questions that, with any normal human, would lead to more conversation. However, each was shot down with a quick and thoughtless, “no.” Rejected like a bad jump shot. It was then I realized she was more interested in everyone else, and even more importantly, this chick was annoying. But I’m glad she has bar friends because those are the friendships that last. So I asked Christy for the checks.

My concern about the success of the night was slowly becoming more important, but only after it was raised to threat level orange (the highest of all threat levels). Like a stinky Vietnamese hotel bed sheet, the story unfolded. I can say that because I’ve been to Vietnam (don’t spend the night on the boats in Ha Long Bay, that’s all I’m saying). Fury and I were at our table for about an hour and a half, sharing a basket of cheesesticks, when frat guy turned professional d-bag approached and chatted quitely with Fury, on her outside shoulder away from me. Is this really happening? Is this 5 foot 4 guy really doing this? Questions answered as he walked away and Fury turns to me and says, “I’ll be right back.” She goes and chats at a table with frat-bag. Of course, I was so embarrassed and yet, boiling mad. Ten years ago, I would not have handled this well on the spot. But I’m much wiser now, so upon her return and attempt at an explanation, I calmly said, “You don’t have to explain anything to me.” I kept watching my Noles but inside I was Evander Holyfield and Shorty McDeuche was taking a beating like a punching bag. That was the first visible sign this night was not going well.

Up to that point I was doing pretty OK. Perhaps I should’ve been more decisive when she all but accused me of being a terrible dog owner. Perhaps I should’ve taken note when she kept responding “What?” when I offered a question. Perhaps I should’ve taken secret option 3 when she thought it odd that I ordered root beer. Oh, option 1 was stick around. Option 2 was leave. Secret option 3 was toss the drink in her face and say, “My root beer brings all the girls to the yard!” then stomp out. I chose option 1 and it was all down hill after that. In my defense, I put myself out there. I met up with aĀ girl and hoped for the dream. I didn’t know it would go the way it did. Success or failure is always on the table, and it’s impossible to know which will win. So that’s why, early in the evening, I jumped in my car and drove to Smyrna, stopping at a flower store on the way to pick up her favorites. Tulips.

click here for “This Is Not A Date: After the Final Tulip”
(further explanationĀ of this non-date.)

Tulips I gave to Piper to make up for being a bad owner.

Popular YouTube Videos

I’ve beenĀ posting videos online forĀ 4 years. To date, there areĀ 153 videos under the Driftwood145 label. I’ve listed the 12 most-viewed videos below and descriptions of each. Which is your favorite?

Boney M: Hooray! Hooray!
views: 3,425,401
I discoveredĀ Boney M inĀ 2006 when I was in Vietnam along with my sister and brother-in-law who were adopting a baby girl. We were in a taxi, the driver had a disc playing. The two songs I remember hearing were “Rasputin” (which is another great hit from Boney M) and “Hooray! Hooray!” Boney MĀ has been popular internationally since the 1970s and were produced by the same guy who later producedĀ Milli Vanilli.Ā This video gets views from all over the world, especially outside the United States. Here’s the monster international hit, “Hooray! Hooray!”

Boney M: Mary’s Boy Child
views: 543,994
Probably my favorite Christmas song of all time. This also could beĀ Boney M’sĀ most well-known hit simply because it’s played on radio stations around the world during the Christmas season.Ā The song, the video, both are great. I love this band from the 1970s. Here’s Boney M’s Christmas classic, “Mary’s Boy Child.”

Football Hit / Green Bay vs. Jacksonville
views: 194,403
This video was recorded in the 2007 NFL pre-season when the Green Bay Packers played against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Desmond Bishop (#55) laid a hit on Reggie Williams (#11) that popped his helmet off. Some say it was because of his dreads, others just admit it was a good hit. But also a good job holding onto the ball. This video proves pretty well that people like watching football hits.

Lost Error
views: 133,270
If you don’t watch Lost, this video will be lost on you. Here, Charlie is in the Looking Glass Station, held as a prisoner not long before he died. Charlie gets punched in the face. No blood on the face. Then he has blood on his face, then later, the blood is gone again. Small mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Here is the Lost error…

Bike Wreck
views: 93,314
The title pretty much explains itself. Except the bicycle rider does a matrix style exit off the bike, thus avoiding a collision with the mailbox. The video has been picked up by America’s Funniest Home Videos and has aired on that show a few times. Check it out!

Taylor Swift Star-Spangled Banner
views: 72,781
Taylor performed the National Anthem on a Thanksgiving NFL game featuring the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions. It was November 23, 2006, quite early in Taylor’s career. Surprisingly, this is probably the most controversial video on my YouTube page. Comments range from calling the performance amazing to blasting Taylor as a terrible singer and ruining the song. What is your take?

Zac Brown Band perform “Free” on Late Night with David Letterman
views: 77,050
“Free” was released on April 12, 2010 on the album “The Foundation.”

Surprise Marriage Proposal
views: 59,310
I was working at Kanakuk Kamps in Lampe, Missouri in 2000. One of the staff members was about to take a day off to spend it with his girlfriend. She came to the front office to meet him there. From there, they were going to walk to the car. Once they left the office, the guy faked an ankle injury. His girlfriend went to the office to get the first aid kit. Little did she know the ring he would offer her was in the first aid kit! So she brings it out to him. He talks about how much he loves her, etc etc etc. Then he switches knees, pulls out the ring, and shocks her by asking her to marry him. Once she says yes, you can hear the campers cheering in the background (some with bottle rockets). Very creative way to propose!

Play Beyonce Clown off, Keyboard Cat
views: 39,680
Not much can be said about this one. Two videos were already on YouTube. I combined them. Here it is:

The glory days at Florida State
views: 17,121
This team featured Chris Weinke, Anquan Boldin, and a few other star athletes. The NC State Wolfpack featured the quarterback, Phillip Rivers. He was a cheap player back then, as you can see in the video. Can you tell I’m not a fan of Phillip Rivers?

Marching Chiefs… Florida State Band
views: 14,781
This performance was from the night before the 2007 Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. There is no band like the Marching Chiefs. Here’s their performance of “Seminole Uprising.”

Vietnam Karaoke
views: 11,221
I went to Vietnam in 2006 with my sister and her husband. They were adopting a little girl and I tagged along to videotape the process. More videos can be seen on my YouTube page about the whole adoption process, meanwhile, though, check out the experience I had singing karaoke one night in Vietnam. They do it different there, it’s not in front of a bunch of people you don’t know. We got our own private room with a television and a couple of couches. So then we sang songs in front of each other in the little room. And yes, the last song on this video is “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. Enjoy!

They Call Him Flipper

InĀ California,Ā St. Teresa, or the East coast of Viet Nam, itĀ really doesn’t matter, I love the beach! There’s an exciting and mysterious attraction to the ocean, the sand and all the creatures in the deep. Here in middle Tennessee, many folks will offer upĀ a lake as an acceptable alternative, but to that I’ll shout, “Exhibit A!” Here’s theĀ Exhibit A: when’s the last time there was breaking news about a lake creature found thousands of feet deep? Exhibit B: when have you seen photos of exotic locations on the coast of Tennessee? Never! Exhibit B Attachment 1: Tennessee doesn’t have a coast. Exhibit B Attachment 2: even if Tennessee had a coast, you’d have to drive through legions of University of Tennessee fans, with their car flags and door magnets just to get there. Slam #1: I can think of fifteen things I rather do than talk about the University of Tennessee. And ten more rather than the SEC! (that was Slam #2)

The beach is a much happier thought, and much more mysterious, thus Exhibit C: ocean explorers are finding new species every few months. Side Note 1: the funny thing is the species have been there all along, we just haven’t been able to get to where they are. As technology advances, so does discovery. Segue 1: Personal discovery.

I go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico a couple of times a year with my dad. Honestly, I only enjoy the actual fishing part of it when I catch fish. Most of what I enjoy is the unknown. Boating two hours away from the shore will put you right in the middle of the wild. I’ve seen sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, man-o-wars, manatees, crocodiles, and my all-time favorite… porpoises. Side note 2: Growing up in the states united in the EastĀ compelled meĀ to fall in love with three things: seafood, the sun, and the Miami Dolphins.

Segue 2: the Miami Dolphins were named after the mammal in which I intend to elaborate on. Dolphins are very similar to porpoises and I’m not going to school you on the differences. In North Florida, we called them porpoises. Proposal 1: In all I’ve seen of ocean life, these creatures are the only ones that choose fun. On a large ocean liner, they’ll swim speedily at the bow. Behind a large troller they’ll dart in and out of the wake. Or off in the distance, they’ll jump high into a flip. Years ago I had the rare privilege of watching a porpoise swim upside down underneath a small watercraft I was on. It was amazing, amazing!Ā I still remember the color of the belly and how excited I was to witness this.

Ā 

Look at a porpoise in the face and you’ll swear they’re smiling.

Proposal 2: It’s as if all the other creatures of the sea act out of survival instinct, while the porpoise looks for ways to be happy. Analogy 1: Sea creatures are like the cart rides at Disney World. They turn a little to the left and right, but they’re locked on a track to go one direction. Instinct is the big honkin’ metal bar underneath the cart that keeps it on track. The carts, or fish, are slave to it. The porpoise? The porpoise is a Volkswagon Beatle named Herbie. They are free to go anywhere and do anything, and sometimes, they even go bananas! That was Corny Reference 1. But it’s true. Porpoises have instinct, but no metal bar. I like to think that they’re aware of our happiness with them andĀ that’s why they jump out of the water, swim upside down underneath our boats, and help Sandy and Bud catch a group of criminals… because we like them and they like us.

Boney M in Viet Nam

I was sitting in the front passenger seat of a green taxi cab in Hanoi, Vietnam.Ā  I felt pretty good about this taxi for two reasons…

1. There was a plastic box over the meter tracking our distance and cost. This meant the driver was less likely to dishonestly tamper with the meter, deceiving us into paying more. My sister and her husband were in the back, holding their new daughter Ava (click here for her adoption video)Ā who was born less than a year earlier in central Vietnam. The plastic guard put me at ease, but that wasn’t all that contributed to the happy good feeling.

2. The music playing on the car stereo. This particularly catchy song playing over the speakers had such a vintage, timeless feel. The lyrics were fantasticly odd, too,Ā with lines about “a man in Russia long ago.” I couldn’t figure whether the song was a new hit by a band like the Scissor Sisters, or a 30-year-old classic. I later found out the song was called “Rasputin” and guess what, it was from the 1970s. I became the biggest fan of the group responsible for “Rasputin,” they’re name was Boney M. Who?

That’s right, I said it, Boney M. Click here to find their best songs, from Amazon: Greatest Hits

The more you say it the less you’ll feel weird saying it, I promise.

I researched Boney M (say it again!), Boney M, and discovered more of their famed history. Why hadn’t I heard them in the States? They must’ve been more popular in countries outside North America, however, they are closely linked to a well-known U.S. band from the late 1980s. They’re connection to this U.S. band is Frank Farian, Boney M’s creator andĀ producer, whoĀ later producedĀ the lip-sync kings we all know as Milli Vanilli. SomeĀ Milli VanilliĀ hits include, “Blame It on the Rain” and “Girl, You Know It’s True.”

Vietnam produced for me a niece and a new appreciation for the international stars of Boney M. Soon after returning to the U.S. from my two-week-long adventure in Vietnam, I found out a Christmas song is credited to Boney M, as well. The song called “Mary’s Boy Child/ Oh My Lord” continues to be a very popular holiday song to this day. Boney M’s hits include “Hooray! Hooray!,” “Rasputin,” “Rivers of Babylon,” “Ma Baker,” “Brown GirlĀ in theĀ Ring”Ā and “Daddy Cool.”

Even in 2011, Boney M is a popular band around the world, their songs being introduced to younger generations through avenues like YouTube and iTunes. Just type in Boney M on YouTube and you’ll see they are just as popular as Celine Dion’s hit “My Heart Will Go On” (Ok, that’s another story for another posting!). It just goes to show that good music is good music, no matter what decade it is, what continent you’re on, or what color your taxi cab is.