Tag Archives: Blogging

Do Me A Favor

When I was in high school I was a deist. I believed in some sort of divine entity, but didn’t think he had a whole lot to do with humanity any more. There were a few reasons for this. The first was that I couldn’t understand why, if God supposedly loved humanity, he would allow so much pain and suffering. The second was that I was looking for a miracle; I was looking for the pillar of flames, and I wasn’t seeing the smaller miracles that happen all the time. The third was that I had been taught God’s wrath without being taught God’s love, and even though I prayed occasionally, I had no idea that one could have a personal relationship with him. The fourth reason was that, put simply, I was too scared to be an atheist.

In my high school, on the coolness scale, spirituality worked something like this: atheism was cool, agnosticism was weak, and religion; particularly Christianity was boring or a joke at best, and at worst, insensitive and exclusive. The fact of the matter was, I grew up Catholic. I wanted to be a rebel, so my deism might have also been a part of that. I was too scared to be an atheist, and the picture I had in my head of what God was like was too clear for me to be an agnostic. So I was a deist, even though I didn’t have a word for it at the time.

One of my close friends in middle school was an atheist, and one of my best friends now is an atheist. Honestly, I think that must take a lot of courage. The idea of dying without a God or an afterlife doesn’t scare me. In fact, death doesn’t scare me at all. If there were no afterlife, one would just go to sleep, and that would be that. If there is an afterlife, it’s just an added bonus. No, what scares me is the idea of living without a God. I know what it’s like. I’ve done it, and at least in my experience, it was awful. I was lonely and scared, and I felt very small all the time. True, these feelings, in part, just come with being a teenager, but they also come, in part, just with being human. Sometimes I still do feel small and helpless, but I also know that the most powerful being in the universe is looking out for me, and it’s okay that I’m small. I don’t have to completely fend for myself all the time.

It must be sort of like how my bird thinks about me. Without me taking care of him, he probably wouldn’t last very long, but he knows I love him, and if he wants something, a lot of the time I’ll give it to him. I’m nice to him, and we love each other. On the flip side, I don’t need him to survive, but I bought him because I wanted someone who would love me and who would be excited to see me in the morning. He is a pain in the neck, and sometimes I have to give him a time-out, but then I let him out and we make friends, and he gets to be my little co-pilot when I’m beating my dad at video games.

Quite frankly, I don’t know how I would get through the day sometimes without knowing that God is taking care of me. Does that mean that every single thing I do is going to work out perfectly? No, of course not. This is not a perfect world. What it means is that I’m not alone in my experiences. It means that, while I don’t have a set, definite road, I have a destination, and God knows how to get me there. That destination might be in this life or the next, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m living, and I’m working, and I’m playing, and I’m trying to make this world a little more like what God intended for it.

I get that a lot of this doesn’t make sense if you don’t believe in God in the first place. I get that, for various reasons, people are angry with God. I can’t tell you what to think, but I can tell you that it’s okay to be angry with God, and it’s okay not to understand him. Just do me a favor and talk to him. Being mad at God forever or refusing to believe forever is like being angry at, or ignoring a friend forever. Just do me a favor and talk to him.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

A Good Place To Start: Review Of Christians In Crisis Website

It is difficult to say exactly what “accurate” news really is. The truth of the matter is, however, that without doing more research than most of us have time for, we’re never getting the whole story. Furthermore, every news station on TV, and every newspaper has its priorities and its politics. To survive they have to cover what is most important and most interesting to the average consumer. News, like anything else, is a commercial product. In general, it seems that domestic issues get far more coverage than international ones, especially when international issues are religious in nature, and particularly violent. The coverage of the war on ISIS, and their brutal persecution of Christians in the Middle East has all but died out, and is only really mentioned again when an American reporter gets tragically involved.

However, this is an ongoing problem. Radical Islam and their oppressive ideals are currently taking over in Iraq and Syria, but the media is very quiet on the issue. Christianity is the largest religion in the world, seconded by Islam. However, in many parts of the world, it is a clear minority. The International Christian Concern released an article on December 11th explaining how Hindu radicals in parts of rural India are going into villages and forcibly converting Christians to Hinduism and their churches into temples. This is clearly a bigger issue than the media is letting on.

In light of that, a blog has been created that specifically focuses international religious relations for people who are invested in it. Christians In Crisis is a small, nonprofit organization that compiles information and news found from internet and print sources specifically about the persecuted Church throughout the world. They do not ask for or accept donations, but point potential donors in the direction of organizations that do. Their main goal is to provide information and incentive to help. They are constantly updating the site and do not simply focus on one area. On December 12, they posted five stories focusing on current events in various Middle Eastern countries as well as one article focusing on Christian missionaries in China.
The link to that particular article is here: Article

This article explains that the Chinese Government seems to be cracking down on Christian missionaries from around the world due to their humanitarian efforts to aid North Korean refugees to that country. Several individuals that were specifically mentioned in the article have been accused and deported for allegedly stealing and illegally sharing state secrets. One theory is that:

“While there’s no concrete evidence for such a claim, the deportations do seem to be part of a larger trend toward nationalization of domestic institutions, particularly Christian churches.”

Furthermore:

“A number of Christian aid groups in the area have ceased operations.”

The article suggests that this increase in deportations is a way for the Communist party to maintain power over an increasingly Christian population.

This is very helpful information for the western Church to know. If the Church is in fact one cohesive organization, then it is important to know what is happening in all areas of the world, and it is the responsibility of those who can help to actually do something if they can. Knowing the truth about these things is the first step toward making change. obviously change is difficult, and there is more involved than religion, such as politics, diplomacy and other cultural concerns. However, Christians In Crisis is a very helpful website and an excellent place to start for those who want to know more.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

How May I Serve You?

I’ve noticed a trend happening lately. I don’t know exactly when it started, but for a while now, I’ve been much more willing to mention God and talk about spiritual issues in my posts. People have been interested in my blog from the start, and I’ve never been wanting for followers. That’s gratifying, and I appreciate it. However, I’ve recently noticed that the audience of my blog has narrowed quite a bit. I haven’t lost any followers, but when I gain new ones or even just have people pass by, the overwhelming majority of them tend to be Christians; many stronger and wiser than I am.

In some sense, this is a good thing. I’ve found my niche, and that tends to be something writers strive for. In fact, when I started my blog, I was hoping to find my niche. It took a lot of trial and error, but I got here. Now that I am here, though, I’m not so sure I want it.

I want to be interesting to people who don’t think like me and don’t believe what I do. I want to make Christianity interesting to people who aren’t Christians. I want to move beyond religion and connect with people on a universal, human level.

I realize that as I grow in faith I get a little farther away from some people. Some people strongly disagree with Christianity and religion in general, in part because of our history, and in part because of some of the things the Church continues to do. Some people think we’re all just crazy. I get that. If you had asked me in high school what I thought of Christianity, I would have said it’s old fashioned and ridiculous. In brief, my thoughts on it now are that if one is cruel to others or does anything out of spite or hate, then one is not Christian. They are only using that label. However, that is a topic for another post.

It isn’t fear or allegiance to a certain church or even tradition that drives me. What drives me is the innate knowledge of my salvation, and the overwhelming desire to make music. Those two things do make me want to try and bring people to Jesus. However, I know from experience that spiritual issues need to be between individuals and God. I’m here to help if people want it, but otherwise I’m just here to make noise and lead by example if I can.

I am interested in worldly things. I’m invested in making noise for peace. I care about those who are less fortunate than I am. I want to know more about the Earth and the people and creatures that inhabit it. We can’t live in two different worlds. The spiritual and the earthly are inseparable. That’s why I can’t not talk about God. I honestly try not to sometimes, and I simply can’t avoid it. My intention was never to turn people away or to gain specifically Christian readers. I would like to gain more readers who are not Christian. I’m just not sure how to do that.

So that’s where I’m at now.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Thank You

I’ve recently made it up to almost 180 followers. I really do want to say thank you all for following me, because half the time I feel like I have absolutely nothing important to say; half the time I feel like a pretentious poop face when I talk about “important” things; and half the time I’m just an idiot student/musician trying to promote myself and/or “save the world.”

I’ve said it before, but most of the time I probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Most of the time, I’m probably wrong about something. It’s absolutely a thrill to find that people agree with me or are at least interested in what I have to say sometimes, so thanks.

I started this blog nearly three years ago almost on a whim. I’ve talked about a million different things, thrown out really stupid and/or random ideas, and I’ve changed, and it’s changed a lot. I’ve been terribly controversial, and incredibly boring, and for some reason people read this stuff.

I really do appreciate it, so thanks for reading, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for coming back!

Katie

Release

Hey everyone!

I have one more super exciting, musical thing to tell you!

First of all, I want to thank those of you who checked out my YouTube videos. However, that was just a taste of my sneaky shenanigans of doing!

And yes, my grammar commits suicide when I’m excited.

ANYWAY… as of late last night, or early this morning, my album is available on iTunes to purchase. I’m actually a little annoyed with myself, but all day I’ve been shamelessly antagonizing the masses to go and get it. However, I would really appreciate it if you guys would at least go check out the demos. You can easily find it on iTunes just by searching “Replace These Empty Spaces,” or “Katie Rose Curtis,” but here’s a link anyway.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one/id919649617?i=919649629&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

There will also be a “stage two” of my release since it’s only available for digital download right now. However, this will be happening in the spring or summer since I’m currently very busy with school.

I just want to thank you all again for taking an interest in my blog and my music. It really means a lot.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Stop Telling Us We’re Inspirational!

I remember reading a post by a mother a while ago, talking about her disabled child. Basically her post was saying that it annoys her when people say her child is “amazing” because they can do interesting, “normal” things despite their disability. At the time I think I agreed with it because it was well written, etc, but I didn’t really think much about it.

Last night I read a poem by a 16 year old girl who was paralyzed from the chest down. The person who posted it explained how she got paralyzed, etc, and then said how amazing it was that she managed to live a happy, fairly normal life despite her disability.

I have decided that this kind of thinking irks me. I don’t often think about it too much, but I do sometimes get comments about how inspirational I am for doing seemingly standard things. In fact, my dad sometimes gives me the “you’re amazing” talk. Don’t get me wrong, I do think I’m amazing and wonderful, but it’s certainly not because I can manage to be happy. I just like myself.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I’ve been disabled since I was born. I have Muscular Dystrophy, which makes my muscles week, and for some reason I can’t extend my arms or legs all the way. I also have epilepsy, which is mostly taken care of by my medication, but I still get symptoms occasionally. I have pretty terrible eyesight, too. Quite frankly, none of this has ever bothered me too much. I mean, it’s inconvenient in some respects, but I have far more important things to worry about.

I’m not special because I can write coherently or read stories, or critically analyze movies. I’m not special because I’m good at racing games. I’m not special because I’ll get up and sing in front of people. I’m not special because I learned to play guitar upside-down. I’m not special because I’m going to college. I’m certainly not special because I can manage to be happy. I choose to be happy. There’s nothing particularly different or amazing about that. It’s not that hard. Anyone can choose to be happy. It just makes life easier.

Saying that “people like me” are special because we can manage to be happy and functional is actually a bit insulting. It implies that we should pity ourselves and let the world run our lives for us because we have the right to. I have no interest in doing that. I sometimes pity myself. It’s true, but it’s certainly not because I can’t walk. Sometimes I wonder why I haven’t ever been able to get a date and why it’s so difficult to get gigs as a newbie musician. Then I stop worrying about it and move on because worrying solves nothing. And yes, I do complain about some of that stuff on this blog. This is where I do my worrying about it.

We’re just people. Maybe we look a little different and our bodies or our minds work differently, but at our core we’re no different than anyone else. I met a man this past semester who had no arms and no legs. He seemed very nice and I didn’t get to talk to him very much, and it only occurred to me after our conversation had ended that he was somehow driving his wheelchair with no arms or legs. I asked his sister about it because she is a classmate of mine, and she said because he lost his limbs when he was young, he was able to develop muscles in his elbows that most of us don’t use. I thought it was cool because I learned something new. It’s a testament to how adaptable humans in general are. This man was not inspirational to me, however, because he wasn’t trying to be. I liked him because he was friendly and interesting. He was just a normal person to me because I expected him to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad some people can find “people like me” inspirational. They would be wrong, but it doesn’t cause them too much harm. What I would ask is that they keep it to themselves. Be our friends. ask us about what we’re interested in. Argue with us about philosophy. Treat us like you would treat anyone else. Just stop telling us how amazing it is that we’re happy.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Super Happy Obsession Type Things

I looked at my music page on Facebook a minute ago, and realized that I am now up to 70 “likes.” Of course a large percentage of these people are close friends and family, but you know what? 29 of them are people I don’t even know, which is super cool! Since a lot of you guys who follow my blog are interested in my musical shenanigans, I thought I’d ask a favor: if you’re on Facebook, would you mind going to my music page and hitting the “like” button? You can totally ignore anything I say, but sometimes I post pictures or YouTube videos or random happy things that you might be interested in.

Here is the link:
Katie Rose Curtis Music

In other news…

I played an open mic on Friday (Valentine’s Day), and I met a very nice young man by the name of Nate. We got talking during intermission, and we’ve decided that we’re going to do a musical duo! Last night Nate came to my recording session and put a viola track on my song “Passenger,” which can be heard (without the viola, unfortunately) here:

We’ve actually done quite a lot of work on it since I’ve uploaded this video, but at least you’ll be able to get a sense of the song.

Nearly all the tracking is done for my album, but there’s still quite a bit of mixing to be done. It’s almost time to start planning for the CD release party, which I’m very excited about. I’m thinking about having it possibly in Portsmouth New Hampshire since a large percentage of my fans are Maineiacs. Then again, it could end up being anywhere between Portland and Boston.

In terms of actual work that still needs to be done, almost all of the songs are finished or close to finished, but they need a little extra help from Brian, who works at the studio and plays keys, or Nate on strings.

I’m really hoping at some point to have a music video made for my song “One,” which is essentially a love peace and harmony manifesto. I don’t really have any great ideas for it yet, but if I get it professionally done (which would be ideal) I’ll probably have to save up for a while first. Hopefully I’ll make a bit of money from the CD release and iTunes sales.

I also really need to look into copyrighting this stuff as soon as it’s finished.

Realistically, though, getting out and performing more will be the most difficult part of this whole package at first. I don’t drive, and I can’t have my parents drive me all over creation all the time. Hopefully that problem will be somewhat solved if Nate and I end up performing a lot together, but getting from point “A” to point “B” is less of a problem than having help with the restroom once I get to wherever it is I’m going.

Another concern is balancing my last year of college with making sure I get out there and perform as much as possible. Ideally I’d like to get signed to a label because that should be a help with expenses and could help solve the travel problem. I have a lot of research to be doing in the next few months, but it’s all very exciting.

Something that I always have to keep in mind is that I’m doing this project for God, and I’ve been praying that he leads me through it and leads me with it. I also hope he will use it to lead other people to him. A long time ago, when I was just learning to play guitar, I asked God to help me have success with music and in return I would use it to glorify him. That deal seems to be working out quite well, so I’m thankful for that.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

This Christmas

This Christmas was great. We had a bunch of peeps over for Christmas Eve and ate lots of junk food. My immediate family and I went to mass at 11:00, which was nice because we got home at midnight. The church wasn’t very full, but everyone was happy and we all sang loudly anyway. I actually really like Christmas hymns.

One of my dad’s friends and his family were over, and they had four little girls. They were actually fairly well behaved; meaning they left my brother and cousins and me alone for the most part. We played a lot of video games, most of which I was terrible at, but we had a good time anyway. I am laughably bad at Mario Cart Wii. My cousin Nick (Dinkens) and I had a Crash Team Racing Tournament, and we’re pretty evenly matched at that, so there were a lot of close races and a lot of screaming from the basement.

We opened presents from the extended family earlier on Christmas Eve and later on Christmas Day, but my brother and I usually open gifts from our parents after church. My favorite things were definitely from Mom and Dad. We got a new nest (giant bean bag chair) since I projectile vomited on the last one. I also got a new super warm, fuzzy hat, some whatchamacallits (candy bars) a lava lamp, a loom for making hats and my favorite, Raskolnikov (my new beta fish). I haven’t had a fish since high school, but I do like to keep them. My last fish was gold and he was named Napoleon. Raskolnikov is blue/purple with reddish fins. I’ve decided that little fish just need to have good names. I had thought about naming him Iago, but that dude was just too evil, and I’m not sure I’d want an Iago just hanging out in my bedroom. It’s bad karma… or something.

Anyway, my computer is currently broken, so I’m actually blogging from my phone. I’ve started making a fuzzy, blue hat and it’s slow going, so I’m going to get back to that. Happy Christmas everyone!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

121

Today I reached my 121st follower. I seriously want to thank all of you for taking an interest in what I have to say (including my whining). It’s nice to know that some of you are interested in the same things and deal with the same issues. As I’ve said, my blog doesn’t really have a specific focus. Instead I aim to explore life, faith and love in a way that engages the largest audience possible. We are all family as far as I’m concerned, so I think it’s important to deal with issues and ideas that concern everyone. I want to thank you again for reading.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

A Voice For Peace

Hey guys.

This is really important.

I’ve been watching the news lately and I’ve been praying because it seems like we’re super close to going to war with Syria. I really don’t think simply sending some missiles over there is a good idea, nor will it be the end of our interactions with that poor country. It will lead to war, undoubtedly. These kinds of attacks always do. I do not believe that war is a reasonable answer to our problems any longer. Our weapons have become too advanced and dangerous and going to war with Syria will only lead to conflicts with their allies; something we cannot afford.

This is a time when we must set aside our differences, our religious views and our political opinions and band together to fight for peace. We must sing, play and write our hearts out so that our voices may be heard. If this is truly the United States of America; a country governed by the people for the people, then we do have a say, and we can make a difference. No one is too small or quiet to make a difference. You can help simply by blogging or making flyers to hand out at your work or school. If you agree that we cannot send missiles over to Syria, please “like” and reblog this post.

Thanks,

Katie