Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My blog is moving!

Hey, 5 people who read this blog (Thanks, mom)

I'm moving this blog to rileyhall.net

It's got a fun, new look. See you there.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Gaither's are my New Kids on the Block

Much like most 70-year-olds, I love southern gospel music. Seriously, some of the best conversations I've had with the blue-haired have been about southern gospel music. I see no shame in it either. There's no shame in having blue hair either. (You rock it, Ethel. Wha what!) I mean, you'll never hear tighter harmonies than in southern gospel music. But give it a chance. Here...watch this. It's the Gaither Vocal Band. My favorite gospel group singing my favorite song.

Ok, yeah, the set is a little TBNey, but come on. Pretty good, huh?

A friend of mine got some friends and I tickets to the see the Gaither's in Ontario last weekend. I couldn't sleep the night before I was so excited. THEN, while we were driving up there he said that we were meeting one of the guys in the band for dinner.


Was my childhood dream of meeting a living, breathing Gaither going to come true!?

I tried to stay calm and said, "That's cool." While inside I had just wet my pants.

We drove to the arena and around back to the tour busses and standing on the curb waiting for us was the Gaither baritone and funny man, Mark Lowry. I've listened to this guy since I was a kid. This guy is one of the funniest people I've ever met. Such a fun dinner.

I won't go into huge detail about the night but we got incredible seats, backstage passes, and got to hang out with the Gaither's after the concert. It was a super special night for me.

Ok, so here's a little-known fact about me. Growing up I wanted to be a christian recording artist. Yeah, like a singer who sings songs about God like Carman or Michael W. Smith or Michael English. Michael English has always been my all-time favorite christian singer. So, yeah, I wanted to be a christian singer. If I went home and looked hard enough I could probably find the list I made when I was 12 years old listing the Dove awards (aka God's Grammy's) I wanted to win and at what age I wanted to win them. Someone once told me that if I wrote down my goals they were more likely to happen, which is a heaping load of crap given my empty Dove award shelf and unmaterialized marriage to Carrie Underwood.


Ok, back to the story.

So I got to meet Mark Lowry AND Michael English that night. They were both in the video above.

Ok, so one last video. Thank your stars that I only included 2 videos because I whittled it down to these 2 from about 50.

If you want to get a feeling for a what Gaither's concert is like watch the whole video, but if you just want to hear one of the most incredible a'cappella start playing this at 3:14.

So as I'm moving to Laguna Woods in my 40s, you better believe I'll be jamming out to my Gaither's.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


From time to time I like to write about the things I am swooning over. These 3 things will make your life better. Guaranteed.

This American Life
I've developed an unhealthy addiction to This American Life. I get it any way I can. The podcast...Netflix...from the shady dealer behind Staples on Aliso Creek Road. I can't get enough. This American Life is primarily a weekly hour-long radio program produced by Chicago Public Radio and hosted by Ira Glass. It's also a series on Current TV. But I watch it on Netflix. I can't speak highly enough about this show (radio and TV). It's up there with Buffalo Wild Wings and southern gospel music. Each week's show loosely centers on a particular theme. The theme is expanded upon in several first-person narrative "acts." The stories range from following a Marxist, former-Mormom "Jesus"-model and his internal conflict with posing as "Jesus" for a local artist to a troupe of people living in an old folks home writing, acting and producing an independent movie. It's brilliant!

Hercules Hooks
My mom introduced me to these. They're totally a "As Seen on TV" product but it's got the Billy Mays, God rest his soul, stamp of approval. These little wire hooks will hold anything. You could hang a bear or a car hood on these things. Not that you would ever need to hang a car hood on your wall, but a bear you might want to sometime if you were like a hunter or something or if you wanted to take "Pin the Tail On" to the next level. I hung some mirrors and a picture with them. They make a tiny hole in the wall and you don't need a hammer or anything. They're the coolest.

Mocc Socks - They are socks that you can't see. I have unusually sweaty feet so I'm not a sockless kinda guy. But the cool kids don't wear socks, so instead of having swampy feet I found these. Mocc Socks are basically really short socks. I mean, I could probably make these myself, but what fun is that. I'd rather pay $30 for 5 pairs and know I'm supporting a fellow swampy-footed business.

The runners up...
Mach 3 razors
Bandera restaurant in Corona del Mar
Trader Joe's Gummy Tummies
Mathis Brothers furniture