Wednesday, May 29, 2013

the paperback Bible

When I was a child at Bellevue United Methodist Church, I along with other knee-high kids my age were given a King James Version Bible.  Lot's of thees and thous and saith untos in there for a little kid.  It was around 1970 that someone gave me a strange looking Bible called Good News For Modern Man.  It was the first paperback Bible I'd ever laid my eyes on.  I didn't see any thees and thous and saith untos in that version.  It did read a little easier for a young boy.

Good News For Modern Man seemed to be everywhere back in the day.  This Bible was illustrated with simple line art by Annie Vallotton (think of stick figures with robes).  I'm not knocking the art, it's what inspired me to drawing simple cartoon characters in the margins of my Bible.  I'd often draw a simple piece of line art which was a way that I would make a note of a verse. 

I read from that Bible for several years.  When I got into my early teens I was given The Living Bible and soon purchased and stuck with the New American Standard Bible for decades after that.  About five years ago my wife bought me a Message Bible.  I didn't read from it much because I have a terrible tendency to accidentally rip out entire pages.  I don't buy Bibles with thin tissue-like pages for that reason.  I only buy Bibles made like text books.  I gave my Message to Gina and went to my local Christian bookstore to see if they had a Message with regular page.  It was a no-go.

I guess I don't have to have scripture paraphrased.  Over the years I found myself enjoying reading from the King James Version.  Even though I've had various versions of the Bible, I've read KJV all along.  I don't mind the thees, thous and saith untos.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the tin man

I stated in the previous post that I enjoyed watching the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation.  I like both series equally for different reasons.  The original series had great stories with underlying messages.  Creator Gene Roddenberry's intention for his Wagon Train in space concept for social commentary much like Rod Serling used The Twilight Zone.

The only weakness of the original series is that most of the characters were two dimensional.  Captain James T. Kirk was an action man.  Spock was the one who stood out as the most interesting character of the entire lot.    Spock was half-Vulcan and half-human.  He served aboard the Enterprise as first officer and science officer.  There was more depth to the Spock character over the rest of the crew.  He was a fellow who was dealing with where he came from and who he is.  Though he seemed to always have it together, he was always suppressing his human side.  Kirk was always trying to pull it out of him.  The rest of the crew where who they were, but Spock's character was always in transition.

A couple of decades past and The Next Generation came along introducing us to a cast that the viewer got to know better.  All the officers had a story and a past.  All had personal stories and conflicts. This crew were given more depth by the writers.

I always liked Data (played by Brent Spiner).  Data was an android that served as second officer and chief operations officer aboard the Enterprise.  Unlike Spock, Data was always trying to emulate humanity so perchance he could not just understand it, but acquire it.  Where Spock was a logical detached adult. Data was logical, but with a childlike curiosity.    Both Spock and Data share similarities, but the primary difference is that Spock suppressed the very thing that Data sought. Spock was never in search of Spock, but Data was always searching for a humanness.

Gene Roddenburry told Brent Spiner at the onset of The Next Generation that Data was to evolve over the course of the series, to become more and more human-like.  Spiner said that he used Robbie the Robot from FORBIDDEN PLANET as a role model for the Data character.  Excellent choice because Roddenberry was inspired by the old sci-fi classic for Star Trek.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Warped Speed Mr. Sulu

I don't consider myself a Trekkie, but I have never missed a Star Trek movie.  I might start though. I watched the original show back in the day when it first aired and plenty of times in the space time television rerun continuum.  Back in the eighties Gina and I would go see the movies when we were dating.  We also watched The Next Generation when we were dating and into our marriage.  I didn't like Deep Space Nine ( or Voyager.  We'd go see the Star Trek movies though.  I'm not a Trekkie, nor have I ever wanted to put on set of pointed ears or dress like a Borg and attend a Trekkie Convention.  I just like the show.

Tonight Gina and I had a night alone so we decided to go see Star Trek: Into Darkness.  The new cast is great.  They did a wonderful job of finding actors that could fill the original cast's boots.  I have no problem believing it's Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty.  They do a really good job playing those old familiar characters.

My wife enjoyed the movie, but I felt J.J. Abrams screwed the pooch on this one.  Here's what I think in a nutshell.  In this movie, which is supposed to predate the original Star Trek's five year mission, Spock was a frigid unemotional half Vulcan / half human being who took decades to finally get in touch with his human side.  From the 60's until the 80's, Spock finally came to a place where he warmed up and admitted his friendship toward Jim and Bones.

Well, this movie pretty much has Spock going through his Vulcan to his touchy-feely human transformation in the span of an hour and a half.  I like it the old way, the process of time in which this Vulcan finally transformed over time.  If Into Darkness was to be the precursor to the original Star Trek, it just doesn't work.  I liked the 2009 movie better than this one.

This movie is weak on story, but full of the kind of action you'd expect for a Star Trek movie.  Frankly, I'm kind of tired of the U.S.S. Enterprise being destroyed at the end of almost every movie.  It's getting pretty predictable these days.   Also, why do the producers feel like they've got to stick Leonard Nemoy in every movie?  I enjoyed him showing up in the Next Generation episodes, but sheesh, the story really didn't need him and the guy keeps popping into every freaking sequel.

The makers of this new Star Trek served up a big budget can of rehash.  I didn't mind seeing a younger Khan in this installment.  I like the actor that played young Khan, but it goes back to the writing.   I just wish they would've done something different with the story-line   Into Darkness started out alright, but began nose diving in warp speed once the mission got underway.  The ending was just so predictable and corny.  Since the creators put so much time, money and effort into it, why couldn't they deliver something more creative?  It was the death scene.  Why did they try to feed that to us again?  It wasn't as moving or touching as Spock's death scene in The Wrath of Khan.  It was a role reversal, but the same freaking death scene.

I'd just as soon had purchased tickets to see The Wrath of Khan again tonight rather than waste my money on this one.  In Star Trek: Into Darkness, the Starship Enterprise and her crew boldly went where they had gone before.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yesterday's Sunday

For some reason I woke up this morning with this song from Sunday mornings past playing in my head.  My dad was more into Inspirational Music, but for some reason Gospel Music would be coming from my dad's radio next to his bed every Sunday morning.  The program he listened to always started with the Blackwood Brothers song 'Give the World a Smile'.  It was an upbeat song, but year after year Sunday after Sunday I grew weary of it.   It was this very song that ingrained within me a distaste for Gospel Music.

I found the song on YouTube and just played it again.  It's been at least three decades since I last heard it.  I am no longer weary of it.  It's still not pleasing to my ears, but It made me think of Sunday mornings of long ago.  The song made me remember that radio on which my dad would listen to music and preachers.  The song made me think of dad...those days when he was in the next room getting ready for church any given Sunday morning.  I wish I could walk across the hall and say good morning to him.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

learning the game

I didn't date much.  Unlike my Gina, I didn't date for the sake of dating.  I was always looking for that someone, and I wasn't interested in just dating anyone.  To me, dating wasn't fun.  To me back then, dating was the initial awkward and nerve racking 'accept me or reject' me part.  I was always looking forward to getting past the awkwardness and self-conscious trial era...and get into the actual relationship.  I didn't want a date, I wanted a girlfriend.

One of the big downsides to dating when your young is that you're young.  Immaturity comes with youth and lessons learned are learned the hard way.  We blindly and carelessly hurt one another because we simply didn't know what to do because of the ignorance of our youth.

My first love, I didn't want to let go of my first love.  I didn't understand why she wanted to drop the relationship and so I thought I could make her change her mind.  I thought I had done something wrong and figured that I could change who I was so she would stay.  Learning to let go was my first bitter lesson.

"If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours.  And if they don't, they never were."
-Kahlil Gibran

I made sure that after I learned that lesson in the most embarrassing and heart breaking way - to hold all following relationships loosely.  No matter how strongly I felt toward another, I would try to be sensitive enough and love them enough to know when to let go.  There were wonderful girlfriends to follow the first, but I always found myself having to release them.  There was always pain, but it's not as bad when you willingly and lovingly let go.  There was a sad longing, there was always pain, but there was also a peace that I did the right thing.  God's grace was always there.

"The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost."
-G.K. Chesterton

God made us with a free will.  He made us so we didn't HAVE to love him, because he wants us to return to him and love him FREELY.  Having made us in such a way, we each must learn to respect each other's choice when searching for our mate.

I didn't find my love until I was 25.  The first date wasn't awkward, but so very easy.  Gina and I got along from the start.  She was a great date.  From dating to relationship to commitment, it was a natural procession.  We grew into this love and  both committed to hold onto it.  Very early on I experienced a time of having to let go of her - and finally - I had found someone who returned to me and will always mine.

I will always be hers as well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

having served time

Emma Sansom High School
I ran across this picture of my old high school online tonight.  It brings back a lot of memories.  Most people have great memories of their high school years.  I just wanted out.  My wife had wonderful memories of the school she went to.   I can't relate to her good experience, nor can she my negative ones.

I had no interest in band or sports.  I ducked out of pep rallies and only went to one home game out of curiosity.  I didn't care to go back.  I never went to a school dance or a prom.   I just couldn't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to go to school function when school wasn't in session.

I developed only a handful of relationships among my peers.  I was in survival mode during my junior high and high school years.  I tried to fly under the radar when in class.   I counted the hours down until the end of each day.  The best part of any given school day was the moment I could walk out the door.

Most of my free time during my high school years were spent with the gang at Christian Brothers Coffee House (aka: FREE House).  I looked forward to hanging out at the coffeehouse on Saturday nights.  It was the only place I was in my element.  When I was at the coffeehouse ~ public school was a million miles away.

I had a teacher tell me in my senior year that most of my other teachers thought that I was illiterate.  This teacher had been around me and had taken interest in me.  He knew that I was an ardent reader.  I read all the time.  I enjoyed delving into scripture, books on theology and non-fiction about Christians like Andrew Murray and Corrie Ten Boom.  I'm pretty sure I read everything Corrie ever wrote.  I was an avid fan (and still today) of C.S. Lewis.  My brother introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien's world too.

At home, if  I wasn't reading, I was learning to play guitar.  I wanted to write songs, and I picked up my brother's Yamaha FG-180 and started learning chords.  I was ever learning when I was away from school.  I had a pretty good time off campus.
I didn't attend graduation.  To me, public education was serving time.  I just wanted the jailer to pull out those keys of his, unlock and swing open those drab green doors.  I liked my classmates, but I didn't seem to share the same fondness of that school experience.  I got through school by the skin of my teeth.  There was little that I could say that I accomplished.  While they were all tossing their mortarboards into the sky, I was heading for the county line.

Public school was a hard experience for me.  It was even harder when labels were attached.  I know I'm a peculiar fellow.  Through the years I've had plenty of labels attached to my back that I couldn't see ~ crueler than a 'kick me' sign.   There was one label my 6th grade teacher gave me ~ she told me I was "stupid".  That wounded me for years.  I was at an age to believe that when grown-ups say something (especially a teacher) it must be true.  I took it to heart and the curse got ingrained in my mind.  
I guess I allowed that label to clip my wings and taint my entire experience with schooling.  
Confidence is a terrible thing to lose.  It's hard to find in the dark.

Lost confidence is never easy to regain ~ there's always a challenge and a struggle.

NOTE: Not all posts here at Boomerville,USA are upbeat.  Forgive me if I got a little dark on this one.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

bell bottom blues

It was about 1975 that I gratefully got my older brother's hand-me-down old bell bottom blue jeans.  I was a skinny kid then and those hip hugging denims looked pretty darn good.  Long before I got them, Brook had sewn on a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band patch on the rear right-cheek pocket.  You just couldn't get any cooler than that.

Brook's pants were worn out when I got them.  I had salvaged them from the garbage pale and asked mom to sew on some patches for me.  It wasn't long before mother started turning my mending requests down. My jeans kept requiring more and more mending.  I had to learn how to sew on my own patches.  Mother tried to buy me new blue jeans and I always opted to wear my one pair of old jeans.

I wanted to wear them every day.  I could usually get away with wearing them two days at a time.  At the time I envisioned myself wearing those jeans forever.  I kept sewing patches on them.  Eventually you couldn't see the original jeans.  I was wearing patches upon patches upon patches.  Those jeans soon became to me to be a wearable work of art.

It wasn't long before I found if I put my old blue jeans in the wash basket, that they would mysteriously end up in the waste basket.  I was the one who took out the trash in those days, so I got in the habit of sifting through the garbage before I took the cans by the road.  If my pants weren't in my bedroom, they would be in the trash.  I had save my pants on an almost weekly basis.  I deliver them from oblivion ~ bring them inside to hand wash them in the bathtub.

Mother tried to buy me a new pair of jeans, but I didn't want new jeans.  I didn't want to break them in.  The new jeans didn't have patches.  Mother started trying to buy me those new pre-faded jeans.  I was happy with the pair that I had.  There was simply no way she was going to find a way to separate me from those jeans.

By that time most of the kids my age weren't wearing bell-bottoms.  I recall by 1976, teenagers where wearing a less flared cut.  By 1977, they were more into pistol-legged painter pants.  Izod shirts were in.  A lot of people were wearing polyester.  I hated polyester.  I wasn't wearing the kind of garb my peers were wearing.  I wore my
Bose or my Frodo Lives t-shirt with my beloved pair of blue jeans.  Grown-ups would make comments.  I'd get compliments from those kids who also wore faded and holy jeans.  It was obvious to them that my jeans came from another time, another era ~ the days of hippies.  Far out man.

Not long after high school, I grew up and grew out.  I tried to wear them, but they had become too small and uncomfortable.  I was literally busting out at the seams.  All of the kings horses, all the kings men, all the patches in the world could not keep me in.  At the same time I was growing out of those patched bell-bottom jeans, I had also grown out of my youth.  Eventually I had to say goodbye to both.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

looking back, sliding forward

I've written before about the Jesus Movement.  I remember what it started out as and what man made of it within the end of a decade.  I've written before about Jesus Music and how by the early eighties, the street level music turned from outward to the world to inward.  Jesus Music suddenly seemed to become Contemporary Christian Music (CCM);  how man took a movement and turned into to a profitable industry.  The passion seemed to be lost for the most part.  By the early eighties, young talented Jesus freaks became rock stars, heard not by the world, but as celebrities for Christians only.  I've talked about it.  I've written about it.  It wasn't all bad, but the movement, like a wave, rushed in to suddenly ebb.

In the late '70's Fred Field once told a small gathering of us (during a planning session for an  outdoor music festivals) where he saw where Jesus Music headed.  It was not good news and it did play out the way he foretold it.  Everything was going to be repackaged and given a glossy point of purchase display.  I was in my late teens at the time and I didn't like what Fred had said.  Jesus Music was going through a change, it was going mainstream, an industry to be made of it.  Maybe Fred wasn't getting and giving a prophetic word, maybe he was just relaying to his Alabama brothers and sisters here what he was already seeing happen in California.  
The Jesus Movement wave hit Alabama about three to five years after it hit California.  Often people in Alabama catch waves/trends a few years later...God has a reason for it.  Either way, he gave us the heads-up through Fred.

This weekend God winked at me.  He let me know that his movement forty years ago never ebbed or faltered...not one iota.  What I experienced throughout the seventies was only the moment the fire started...when God struck the match.  Man will do what man will do and man did.  God's purpose and plan will always continue in spite of man. 

This weekend I quietly realized that the Jesus Music didn't turn into CCM. Jesus Music did change back in 1980, but not the way I had interpreted.   The real Jesus Music turned upward.  Instead of music sung ABOUT God, the music transformed into singing TO God.   Worship and praise, music that God literally inhabits.  The music didn't die, God just picked up the tempo and enabled us to sing a higher octave.  God gave us a glimpse with the late Keith Greene.  He was there, leading people then in worship.  He was not wanting to be the CCM rock star - he was leading us toward the next stanza.

God gives us music.  God gives us voices to sing and hands and wind to play instruments.  We can fill our human vessels with anything we desire, but we were made to worship our Creator.  We were made to be inhabited by him and for his Spirit to inhabit our praise. Man will natually abuse and misuse the gifts given to him.  We have a free will after-all ... BUT we were created to worship.  Our voids were formed to be filled with His wholeness, with His holiness.

So the movement never stopped.  The movement never ebbed.  The movement was never hijacked or perverted by man and his manipulations.  Man can get caught up, sidetracked and lost along the way, but man cannot hijack a real move of God.

In no way was this a great revelation this weekend.  God just clarified this with me because He loves me and knew that it puzzled me down through the years.   More important things happened this weekend at the Living Sacrifice Worship Conference.  I just appreciate God caring enough to connect a few small dots for me.  It's obvious now as I look back at it. 

I'd like to thank Danny Daniels, Chris Lizotte, John and Marie Barnett for visiting the body here at Gadsden Vineyard Fellowship to lead us into worship, to help all of the worshipers here to go further up and further in.  You each taught us to be better worship leaders, better followers of his Spirit.  I can't write about what just happened this weekend because I'm still reeling from the worship and absorbing what God just did for me and the fellow members of spiritual kinfolk here.  Thank you again for coming and being a living sacrifice.  
 This was more than a mere 'event' for each of us here in Gadsden.  This is a moment in our church history that God used each of your seasoned saltiness to lead us, to release us into singing that higher octave. 

I'd also like to thank all those Jesus Freaks who were there when the fire started and carried the flame, those who made an impact and influenced my life and music: Keith Green, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Mark Heard, 
Fred Field, John Michael Talbot, Randy Matthews, Noel Paul Stookey, Malcolm Wild and Alwyn Wall.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

beemer remembered

Our 318i looked much like this one.  White with grey interior.
Not too long before Gina and I got married, she purchased a BMW 318i.  She wanted to step up from the Dodge Reliance she had nearly died in a few months before.  She wanted a car that she would feel safer driving.  We owned the car the first 8 to 10 years of our marriage.  It was a great little car, but it sure was expensive to get repaired.  The parts were always more expensive than my old Volvo station-wagon.

For some reason we had to keep replacing the window motors.  We also had trouble with the front driver's seat kept breaking.  We had them welded and re-welded and they kept coming undone.  They first broke on a trip from Kentucky to Alabama to Florida to Washington, DC.  My back was killing me that trip.  We purchased some second hand seats, but within a year both of those seats broke in the very same place.  It must have been a standard defect.

After ten years of good service, Gina and I decided to keep the Beemer instead of getting something newer. We had the engine worked on, repainted the car and put a new set of wheels on her.  About a month later a deer jumped in front of the car while Gina was driving down Green Valley Road one evening.  We sunk all that money into a car just to see it totaled.  Such is life.

Even though the car had it's flaws, it was a great ride.  We drove thousands and thousands of miles in her and we were sorry to see it go.  We had a kid by then, so we replaced it with a Dodge Grand Caravan.  Gina and I went from Yuppie to Utilitarian overnight. We ended up owning two Grand Caravans and drove them each for about a decade too.

Gina and I have owned a lot of cars down through the years.  We've been fortunate to have never owned a lemon.  The BMW was a good one.   The 318i had a classic appearance and  her lines and design still look contemporary all these years later.

When Gina and I were in our first six years of marriage, we had time to travel and we did. We drove many places in that BMW during our honeymoon years.  We rarely travel far these days.  When I think of all those trips, I think of exploring new towns, new places next to my lovely bride.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Holy crappy movie Batman!

My ten year old daughter was wanting to watch something on Netflix.  Kelsey likes superheros.  She likes for me to include various superhero characters in made-up bedtime stories.   I was kind of striking out on shows she hand not seen.  I asked her if she had ever seen the old Batman TV show or the Batman movie (1966) that I watched when I was a kid. "No sir."  Okay, here we go!

I was not sure she would enjoy the old Batman. The old Batman was kind of a square character, not the Dark Knight young folk are familiar with seeing today.  I didn't think Kelsey would appreciate the campy version of The Dynamic Duo of yesterday.

I couldn't find the old television show Netflix, but the Batman movie was available.  She LOVED it!  I think she enjoyed the old Batman just as much as I did when I was her age.  It is a terrible movie to endure as an adult.  I did enjoy watching her get into it.

She chuckled when she first beheld The Penguin's giant penguin secret-submarine.  She laughed at Batman trying to run this way and that with a bomb that was about to explode.  She giggled to see Cat Woman grooming herself and making noises like a real kitty.  She thought the Batcopter, the Batboat and the Batmobile were awesome.  I must admit, I think the original Batmobile is still pretty awesome too.

She wants to see more and I guess I'll have to run to the store some bat-time and find her a few bat-seasons of the television show.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Charles Woods

"I consider myself an ordinary man greatly blessed by God."
                               -Charles Woods

Monday, May 6, 2013

wearing the white hat

I grew up in a day when the good guys wore the white hats.  The good guy then, always won out over the bad guy with the black hat.  Every episode of a television Western, good always triumphed over evil...until the sixties came along.

I did not grow up to look at the world as grey.  I was not taught to have a grey worldview.  I was taught that there was a right and that there was a wrong.  I was taught to do the right thing and not do the wrong thing.  I was taught not to steal.  I was taught not to hate.  I was taught The Golden Rule.  
I wanted to defend the helpless.  I wanted to stand for what what's true and just.  I wanted to be a good example.  I wanted to emulate the actions of the white hat wearing roll models I once knew.  I grew up wanting to be the good guy too.  It was that boy's desire to become a good man.

Not too far along the trail I realized that I was a flawed individual.  I  realized I needed help to be good.  I realized I needed Jesus.  There have been times of selfishness and fear...that  I should have been made to wear the black hat.  But Jesus isn't like that.  I can still pursue the high trails neath the blanket of his righteousness.  It is not by our own goodness that we are saved.  It's by our faith and his grace.

"I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
-Isaiah 61:10

What I see around me is what has always been stated in scripture.  The world is fallen, the world is black.  We are salt.  We are light.  The world hates us.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."
-John 15: 18-19

“The Christian has a great advantage over other men, not by being less fallen than they nor less doomed to live in a fallen world, but by knowing that he IS a fallen man in a fallen world.”
-C.S. Lewis

The world calls good evil and evil good. The world puts darkness for light and light for darkness.  The world replaces bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  The older I get, the darker this place seems to be to me. The world would have us be quiet, passive and above all ~ tolerant.

"Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions."
-G.K. Chesterton

We live in a post-modern world, a society that is detached and rejects
 moral absolutes, detached from the true source of goodness.  We know that morality isn't a matter of individual choice.  We must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that we each may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)

The world would like to define for us what is 'the right thing to do'.  The world says that the the voices of my youth, the roll models of my youth, even my parents were wrong.  The world would like to define for us 'what Jesus would have us do'.  The world will twist scripture just like the devil does.  There is no coincidence that they sound so much alike.

As the good guys, as Christians, we are not to hate men.  It is after all that which is evil that destroys man.  I can love man, but hate the cancer that eats away at him.  We are to abhor that which is evil and cling to what s good.  All that is holy, all that is true, all that is good and all that is right ~ will never change.  Our compass is in good working order, and our course is true.

I guess the greatest things that have changed since coming into this world is that the darkness seems all the more stark, society all the more polarized.  I don't see few true good guys on the screen anymore.  The good guys don't wear hats.  The good guys have no code.  The good guys in real life are vilified and targeted by the world.  Jesus is the ultimate good guy, and he was crucified for being good.   No matter how the world mistreats the good guys...we must take up that cross.  We must be the good guy for our times.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

bonnie rates

What has she ever recorded that I didn't like?  
My wife and I have an understanding about her.  Gina knows how I feels about dat Bonnie lass who can play a mean bottleneck style slide blues guitar.  And YES I think she's a fine looking woman too.   I overlook Gina's infatuation with old crusty Tommy Lee Jones and she overlooks my hankering for Bonnie Raitt.  I've heard Bonnie play all kinds of different music.  Her roots are in the blues, but her talent transcends genres.  She's won many accolades for her pop stuff.  She's good at it, but she's really hot when she straps on that electric and plays the blues.