Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nashville and Back

This past weekend i was able to go explore the great wonderland of Nashville. I traveled with my buddy Mallory and her roommate Magen and let me say it was the trip of a life time. The time on the road was filled with cotton candy, naps, stolen computers, and more naps. We got into Nash-town about 5:30 and were welcomed by the infamous Max Corwin. Oh how i love this Kid. We had such a great visit with Max and his friends. Sleeping on the floor of his door room was remarkably comfortable and fun. I bumped into my best friend Grant Watson while we were on the campus of Belmont. Grant's family was in town so i got to see his Brother Brad too.  Meeting Brad's new wife in person was quite awesome. I knew she was beautiful from pictures and stuff but meeting her made me realize how lucky Brad is. She is so sweet.  I also got to meet the wonderful Gretchen, Grant's girlfriend. She was so nice and hopefully someday we'll get to visit longer. All that to say i miss those Watsons and it was way good to see them. 

We had brunch at a place known as pancake pantry. This place is so popular that an hour long line (or longer) forms outside its doors screaming with people longing for the ambrosia that is Pancake Pantry's Pancakes. Max and i got the regular buttermilk pancakes along with some stinkin' good hasbrowns. Mal, much like the kid inside her, got the chocolate chip pancakes, which were delicious and wonderful. Supposedly many celebrities frequent the Pancake Pantry But we did not spot any there.

Inside Nashville's Centennial Park resides an exact replica of Greece's Parthenon.  After brunch and a few clothing shops we found ourselves in this huge park. The building looked kinda dinky from far away but as you approach it it becomes quite intimidating. Lunch that day was quite nice. There is a place called San Antonio Taco Company and we made a few stops there on our short trip to Nash-vegas. Upon entering you fill out an order form which notes what kind of food you want, how you want each made and how many you want. Then they make it. Then you eat it. And then wash it down with sweet tea. Quite good. 

A highlight for me was after almost buying some sun catchers in the mall parking lot when we went to catch some desert at The Cheesecake Factory. As we were walking 
up i saw some guy that i recognized. And it hit me that he was an actor. Standing at the entrance to the place surrounded by girls was James Marsden. He plays Cyclops from X-Men, and is also in the Hit Musical Hairspray among other movies. As the women told James how great he was and how many times they've seen each of his movies we went inside and ordered some cheesecake. It was a great last night in Nashville spent with two great friends that I'm glad I've gotten to know over this past summer. 

So we left for home after church on Sunday. The trip was full of laughter and sleeping and music and maybe a speeding ticket but i won't tell you who got it. Nashville was definitely worth the 20 plus hours on the road. Can't wait to go back some day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

waves waves waves ep

So i am about to release my first ep album. And as official as that sounds it should be a pretty humble release. But all humility aside i'm very excited about putting these songs on a cd and letting you guys hear it. I'm calling it waves waves waves. It was a title i came up with in highschool during the ebb and flow of post-pubescent semesters and figuring out what becoming a man was. I love God but i felt/feel like my zeal comes in waves. I'm passionate and then get inside crests and troughs of instant self gratification. All that to say this is a peak into the past few years for me, although it will only be three or so songs. So i guess this is kinda the Bar-Mitzva of myself. A little rites of passage if you will. It will be here soon. Check out one of the tracks on my new myspace music page.

Love you guys.- Mark Apel

Thursday, October 2, 2008

True Love Weights

So Autumn is supposedly here and the weather in Denton has been very enjoyable lately. Fall is setting in and girls nation wide are putting theirs clothes back on. It is a very very good thing. 

Of late I have been thinking about this ring that sits around my finger. I have had it since about 9th grade when my church did a series called "true love waits". My brother and I did it together and Mom let us go to James Avery to pick out a ring for the ceremony the following sabbath. My brother got one that had the Christian fish on it and mine had the words "the Lord is my Shepherd" engraved into the side. This ring was and has been a great reminder especially in those high school days that sex was out of the question until i found my wife and we got married. (which at this point the old ring gets thrown aside). 

Lately I have been looking at this ring. I sometimes want to take it off. Or maybe a small group of humans, elves, hobbits and dwarves will help me return it to the evil place it was smelted from. If I'm ever going to meet someone i have to take this thing off. Everyone i meet for the first time asks if I am married. (i think this has to do with the fact that I am becoming manlier and have a decent amount of facial scruff) I see an attractive girl look at me and I know she is thinking, "Oh I bet he goes home to his lovely wife each night. He has a kid on the way and is getting his masters to become a teacher in the local high school." Oh contrare! Each night i arrive home to three guys. I have no kids, our sink is always full of dishes, no smell in the house reminds me anything of a woman, and the ring on my finger is no covenant with a woman, but with God. Maybe i will get my masters and go on to teach high school English. ( just an idea Ive been throwing around. )

The other Sunday while sitting through a sermon at church, Pastor said that we should not tire of doing good. Galatians 9 says that we shall reap a harvest at the proper time if we do not give up. I had noticed that all the things i do and don't do because of the gospel of Christ had become burdens to me. That morning was a moment to remember why I'm doing what i am doing and not doing what i am not doing. Its not because my religion is hell and won't let me have fun. Its because the Lord calls me to be different and to wait. Especially for marriage. I just know the wait is going to make the marriage day such a harvest for both my spouse and I. 

So maybe in ten years I will consider marriage. Until then i will be fighting the good fight as best as i can. Failing. Succeeding. Failing. Succeeding. And in due time God will provide. 

[Side Note: I miss many people. I miss home. New Caney has never been something i have just pined about, but lately i miss seeing the pillars of Roman Forest, and garish red of the Tobacco barn, and blur of blue as I pass RC Race Track. But i shall be home soon if i have anything to do with it. (Marcus Vick, i miss you man. Ginny Miller, i can't wait to see you someday soon. Atom Hammons, what are you up to?)]

All that to say: Life is good. Challenging but Strengthening. Intrusive but Humbling. Burdensome but Sanctifying.

All Glory and Honor to Christ Jesus.