There is some reality tv I like. I mean, I enjoy Survivor and The Amazing Race a lot. While I was in college I used to watch The Real World all the time. It wasn’t “clean” then, but what little I’ve noticed of it lately it’s gotten much worse. And of course there are the shows where someone falls in love or gets a new house or wins a million dollars.
And then there are shows like The Hills and Laguna Beach which are more like docu-dramas with “real” people involved. Those have become really popular on MTV and have lots of teen/college drama with relationships. Never seen it myself. But it gets lots of viewers.
Well Endemol USA, the minds behind shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Deal or No Deal, and Fear Factor are putting together a reality tv show based in Oxford/Ole Miss called “Mississippi Co-Eds”. I guess the nation’s #2 Party School combined with small town southern charm made Ole Miss their choice. I can only imagine the drama that can be found in the daily lives of six Ole Miss Students. Supposedly several networks are interested, but no decision has been made as to who gets the show.
Auditions are already happening. Now I wonder if I’ll try to go eat around The Square and see a camera crew following some girl with big glasses into Rooster’s or Proud Larry’s? Part of me thinks it could be cool to have such a show here. But part of me thinks it could be a disaster.
09/26/2008 / Blake / Comments Off on History Starts Now :: The Oxford Presidential Debate
So after all the drama and hype and setup, the question now is if the debate will happen at all.
Two days ago I was sitting at my desk and my good friend Twitter told me that the crew from the Clarion Ledger was reporting that John McCain was suspending his campaign to go to Washington D.C. and try to fix the current financial crisis. He was proposing to postpone the debate.
Now I know this sent ripples through out the country in regards to political strategies and who’s playing what role in the drama that is a presidential election. But here in Oxford, it was the proverbial turd in the punchbowl. Within minutes of hearing it Pat and I sent out a few messages to friends here locally. It was already spreading. And Oxford was freaking out.
There had been so much prep put into this weekend. And now it was on the verge of not happening at all. But as the time crept along, it seemed that all parties involved (except John McCain) were proceeding as if nothing was expected to change. Barak Obama even made a speech saying that this might be the most important time to have a debate so that the American people can see what sort of many they’re putting in the White House.
So today, the day of the debate, it seems that things are still expected to happen at 8pm tonight. We’ll see. But there are TONS of media trucks and crews and reporters all over downtown Oxford. Lots of concerts and speeches and rallies and brown nosing to occur.
And just maybe, we’ll have the next POTUS here in town in a matter of hours.
Right now I’m in High Point Coffee near the square. Doing some reading. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claibourne. It’s not that crowded in here. But the people who have a computer out, 3 of the 4 are Macbooks. Impressive. Strong wifi signal from someone’s Belkin router too.
On the tv is silent but showing news about remembering 9.11 with public officials talking over the hot spots. And also hurricane Ike is barreling across the gulf. I tried something new. The hot chai energy tea. Said to ener’chaize’ you. The barista said if I didn’t like it I could go back with the old stuff. I traded my cup in for the old. I know that I’m supposed to drink coffee. That’s what everyone else does, right? But I went w/ the Chai instead.
Oxford is gearing up for the Prez Debate in about 2 weeks. Still pretty amazing that an event of that magnitude is coming to small town Mississippi. But Oxford is unique. I told Bev yesterday, “Is it strange that Clinton is larger than Oxford, and it has a weekly paper. Yet Oxford has a paper that comes out every week day?” She just replied, “lots more happening in Oxford.” And she’s right.
Pat and I were talking yesterday about Oxford. How for Mississippi it’s unique. I mean, in such a huge way, it IS Mississippi. But then it’s a lot of other stuff too. The university brings a lot of diversity, there is a political hotbed here even before and beyond the debate this month. We were trying to decide if Oxford was probably the most cosmopolitan city in the state. I’d guess it might be. You could argue for Hattiesburg or maybe the Gulfport/Biloxi area.
But Oxford has stereotypes of the “Ole Miss brand“. And there are lots of reasons why that stereotype is there. LOTS! But there are lots more types of people here than just frat boys, sorority girls, and lawyers. There are plenty of rednecks, blue collar workers, soccer moms, a varied “artsy” crowd, lots of people who wear vintage clothes, tight jeans and thick framed glasses. There are minorities and internationals. There are people on many sides of the political and moral spectrum. There is a music scene here that if it isn’t vibrant [and many would argue that it is] it’s consistent And God wants them all to taste of His love and grace…and see that He is good.
Wow, I didn’t know where this entry was going. But it’s where we ended up. So I’m going to go back to my tea and my book. I’m going to watch the people walk by on the sidewalk. And I’m going to listen for that still small voice of God…
Yesterday was a big day for us at The Orchard. Probably our biggest service ever. We had over 150 folks there when you count the children and teachers for their classes. There was such an energy in the room.
Services start at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. And at about 10:20ish, it looked to be a normal Sunday morning. Summers have been a little slow for us in a few ways, while at the same time adding quite a few new couples and families. And even when Pat finally shooed everyone into the worship room at 10:33 it still seemed like a regular Sunday. But there was a little more energy to the room. But as Matthew began to welcome people and started the first song, people kept coming into the room. And then more. And more and more.
We were having to continually take chairs off the racks and set them up in the back. And then we ran out of room in the back and had to set them up along the side. It was packed. Part of it was that school started for Ole Miss today, so there were a lot of college students back in town who had been Orchard attenders. And part of it was new college students checking us out for the first time.
There also were a few friends from my old youth group who drove up from Mississippi State to spend the morning with us too. And…I was the one preaching that morning. It was more teaching about why we value Small Groups at The Orchard, and why we see Biblical precedents for them too. We launch SGroups next week and wanted to hit them good. But I was pretty confident about the morning.
So all in all, it was a great morning. And lunch afterward was good to catch up with some old friends. The video above is dark. I know. But I tried to use my Macbook to capture some quick video. It was still plugged into a few cords and cables. So it’s shakey too.
But we fell that big things are on the way for The Orchard. Be in prayer for us.
Seven years ago yesterday we became the proud parents of a little girl. She’s shaped our lives in so many ways. And tonight we celebrated SEVEN YEARS!
After supper last night we went out for some dessert at Holli’s Sweet Tooth and then a walk around The Square. It was a great evening for a walk, and the girls had a good time [except when sitting with WF.] Watch the video below.
The last four days have been sorta crazy. But now I’m sitting in a dark room under a ceiling fan at peace.
Thursday: Talk to utility companies. Get things switched over. Get a big cashiers’ check from the bank. Do a final walk through. Buy a gift certificate for our realtor to a local restaurant. Buy a house. Unload a few things at my new house. Walk around it and realize that I finally have a house in Oxford. Go back to New Albany to watch the season finale of LOST.
Friday: The Wife leaves New Albany to go buy paint and start painting the new house. My stepmom and I load a horse trailer and flatbed trailer to the gills. My mother in law comes to help by talking on the cell phone for hours. Drive to Oxford and unload everything. The Wife has painted the great room already. Drive the trailers back for more the next day. Sleep well.
Saturday: Load up two big flatbed trailers again. Most everything fits. I have lots of help on Saturday. Drive to Oxford. Stuff everything in the garage. Meet neighbors. Put the mattresses on the floor and go to sleep.
Sunday: Drive 10 minutes to church instead of 40. Go eat lunch with friends (since I now don’t have to drive 40 minutes back home). Then come home to paint and arrange furniture. Rain comes. I like my street. More painting. Family supper at the table for the first time in this house (leftover “moving food”.) Tired. I lay in my backyard looking up at the stars for a few minutes. That was nice. Time for bed. Will only have to drive 10 min to work tomorrow.
Here’s a quick video of the house for you (RSS readers might need to go to my site to watch):
When I getting ready to move here I wondered where the free wireless internet spots were here in town. I’m still ferreting some of them out, but I couldn’t find a list of them anywhere on the internet. So I started asking around and doing some of my own investigation. I’ll make a list of place I know there is free wifi. I’ll update it as more are discovered:
Bottletree Bakery: Just off The Square. (map) A really eclectic, snazzy bakery with good breakfast and lunch. It was actually featured on The Food Network and Oprah because of their pies.
Proud Larry’s: South Lamar (map). You may have to ask them for access, but they’re cool about it.
Now please double check me on these. Sometimes I’ve found a signal, but then turns out you have to pay to surf (like McDonalds). But I may have missed some or have been mistaken about a couple. If there is a correction or addition that needs to be made, leave a comment!