Monday, November 27, 2006

The Invisible Children

I just recently started researching UNICEF. Do you know about them?

The United Nations Children’s Fund

Here is an excerpt from their website:

We believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We believe that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity.

We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

For someone who has a heart for children, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of UNICEF’s website. They are huge. One thing that I downloaded from them that I am hoping to read is a 150 page report that they produce every year called “The State of the World’s Children”. I need to print it out but it is not an easy thing to print out 150 page reports. That’s some serious paper. Anyway, the theme for the 2006 report is “Excluded and Invisible” and here is the opening paragraph of the report…

Millions of children make their way through life impoverished, abandoned, uneducated, malnourished, discriminated against, neglected and vulnerable. For them, life is a daily struggle to survive. Whether they live in urban centres or rural outposts, they risk missing out on their childhood – excluded from essential services such as hospitals and schools, lacking the protection of family and community, often at risk of exploitation and abuse. For these children, childhood as a time to grow, learn, play and feel safe is, in effect, meaningless.

[Curt’s heart breaks]

[He composes himself and continues Blog post]

When I began about a year or so ago trying to identify what really frustrates me about this world, children who have no chance, who are abused and who have no one to stand up for them kept coming to my mind. I really started praying about how God might use me to join Him in what He is currently doing all over this world to help these kids. And please don’t think that by me potentially moving I believe that those kids only exist outside the U.S.

Kids in need are everywhere and they always will be. Even on Ralph McGill Blvd where I live. I just feel that the kids who need ME the most might be somewhere else.

It was also an interesting thing when I checked the “Happy Childhood” box in my Life History Inventory workbook and thought about all of kids in this world who can’t check that box. Maybe they can’t even check the “I HAD a childhood” box. Happy or not.

I mean…I might have had difficulty connecting with my parents but at least I HAVE parents. And those parents even took me to Cracker Barrel on Turkey Day.

Millions of children in this world don’t even have parents to NOT connect to.
And they certainly don’t have a Cracker Barrel.

Anyway, the UNICEF report is extremely rich with info and mostly deals with social issues that I can’t quite wrap my head around yet but it is very interesting to see Bolivia’s status as being South America’s poorest country validated in the stats.

All I am saying is that I am getting to a place in my life where I want to spend everyday of my life actively working on a problem that really frustrates me. I want the least amount of regret possible when I get the old “Game Over” screen. I want to be able to look up at my ceiling at night and know that I am exactly where God wants and needs me to be, doing exactly what He created me to do.

Don’t get me wrong T…I love your condo.

I think I just need a new ceiling.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Here’s to you…

…Mr. Multimodal Life History Inventory.

You know…I really believe that self evaluation on a certain level is a very healthy thing. But self evaluation to the level of the Multimodal Life History Inventory is just down right crazy.

As part of this whole missionary candidacy process I have to complete a few psychological assessments. The rather weighty packet was delivered in the mail about a week ago.

So step one is a 14 page workbook called the Multimodal Life History Inventory.

Some sample life history that I have to inventory...

State in your own words the nature of your main problems
Give an impression of the atmosphere of the home you grew up in
Describe your mom’s/dad’s personality and your relationship with each
Did you feel loved and respected by your parents?
If you could have two wishes, what would they be?
List your five main fears
Describe your image of a completely “safe” place
What do you consider to be your craziest thought or idea (I don’t think taking the Multimodal Life History Inventory counts…)
One of the ways people hurt me is x
My best friend thinks I am x

Good, I get to skip the whole spouse section (Just fyi...there is no “lack of spouse” section)

This thing is intense. AND after I complete the Multimodal Life History Inventory I have to sit down and complete 4-5 hours worth of other psychological tests. The roommate has to monitor me from the other room. After I complete all tests, I mail them in to the psychologist, we have a 50-60 minute phone chat and then he passes the results onto the missionary society.

I think they are just trying to make sure that I am not an axe murderer. And as overwhelming as this life history inventory appears, it is actually kinda helpful.

Right off the bat I was able to confirm with pretty strong clarity that I never really connected with my family, especially my parents, I hate criticism and I don’t really take care of my body that well (ie eat well and exercise regularly)

So in honor of Thanksgiving let’s all raise a glass…

...Here's to you Mr. Multimodal Life History Inventory.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I do

I attended a wedding this past Saturday for one of the guys in my small group from church. I haven’t attended too many weddings in recent memory but every time I do I always catch myself longing to be in a relationship. I also catch myself trying to locate a single girl at the wedding who is ALSO longing to be in a relationship. Don't hate.

Just had a thought…if I’m a dude and weddings make me want to be in a relationship, what do the single girls feel at weddings? It’s probably not that generic. I’m sure both guys and gals feel differently at weddings because we are all so different.

Anyway, being married would certainly be cool. I know I don’t have a right to get married. I mean…I don’t think God owes me a wife for some reason.

But if He chooses to bless me with marriage that would still be sweet.

Anyway, the wedding this weekend got me thinking about other things/situations that make we want to be in a relationship. Here are a few…

Wedding Receptions
First Dances at Wedding Receptions
Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays
10 minutes before Midnight on New Years Eve
Country Music
Sunday Afternoons
Between 6 – 8 p.m. during the week after work
Road Trips/Traveling
Game Days
House sitting
Going to the theatre
Laguna Beach Season Finale

Anybody with me on this?

Friday, November 17, 2006

What a difference a window makes

So the Woodruff Arts Center is going through some major renovations right now. The administrative staff for the Arts Center, Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony will all be moving up to the same floor. Welcome to cubeland. But the renovation is going to take about five months so this weekend the Alliance administration is moving across the street to a temporary office space for the duration of the renovation.

So for the first time in my working life I will have….
yes, you guessed it…a window.

Sham on.

I can’t wait until Monday. I have those Christmas Eve butterflies and I seriously think I might have trouble sleeping on Sunday night. I am going to wake my parents up at 4 a.m. on Monday and tell them it is time to go and open my new office.

Ok. That’s probably taking it a little too far. But it’s funny how an office with a window gets me just as excited these days as finding the Millennium Falcon under the tree did in those days.

Anywho, the whole natural light thing will be such a welcome change. After the “just staring out the window” phase wears off, I am really hoping our new digs affect all our moods in a positive way. The packing process has also reminded me how great it feels to just throw things away sometimes.

I stopped by the space today to get a sneak preview. And I can see it already. I am going to be so spoiled and I am not going to want to leave.

Movin’ on up like George and Weezy…

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dare You to Move

So tonight I saw Switchfoot in concert at The Roxy in Buckhead. Great live show. I don’t go to many concerts these days but they put on a solid show. I really like their sound.

Various Switchfoot songs have had an impact on me over the last year or so and one song in particular.

I’ll never forget riding in a bus through the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia when this tune came on my ipod. I was watching all the faces in the crowd on the streets and listening to the lyrics. It kinda brought the whole mission trip thing into a whole new light for me. It was one of the first moments on the trip when I genuinely thought…“You know? I could really see myself living here.”

And by observing those faces in the crowd I truly felt like I had been welcomed to the planet.

WARNING: Lyrics Ahead

Dare You to Move
Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistence
The tension is here
Between who you are and you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

Sunday, November 12, 2006


So I bought my plane ticket to Pennsylvania this past week and I am set to attend the Crossroads conference with the South American Missionary Society in January.

Two months and counting.

After attending this conference which consists of education and various interviews/consultations I will be notified if I am selected as an official missionary candidate with SAMS. At that point, if I accept the invitation, I will hit the road and write letters to tell my story and try to raise funds. I will also finalize my area of placement/length of stay.

Once I raise the proper funds, get all the medical stuff taken care of (physical/immunizations) and get the final clearance from SAMS I can leave for my first “tour of duty”.

Lots of questions will be answered at the conference and after my time with SAMS in January I should have a good idea as to whether or not SAMS is the right fit for me.

SAMS mailed me their missionary handbook which I am studying before attending the conference. I have been glancing through the handbook and joking with Warren that two sections keep jumping off the page at me…

Under no circumstances will the Society pay any ransom for the release of a SAMS missionary, or anyone being held hostage who is in any way related to the Society.


No one may leave for overseas service without having a current will. Copies of important documents must be left with the next of kin.

Pretty standard stuff I’m sure. But it’s still weird to see it in writing. Maybe I could do a video will. That would be cool.

Good thing my bro is a lawyer so he can help me with that will.

And good thing my mom is not reading this.

Friday, November 10, 2006


New Blog links alert in the “Blogs, Blogs, Blogs” section. JBurns is a very cool and extremely funny kat in my small group from church who just recently started a Blog. Happy Blogging Bro.

And my friend Yer, the girl who taught me all my dance moves AND gave me my love for thrift store shopping, is getting PAID now by Citysearch NYC to Blog about Fashion. You rock girl and I miss you. Thanks for not making ME pay for all that fashion advice…

Meanwhile in other Blog news…

I just spent two very looooooong days in Pasadena by way of LA. Several meetings, a 2 hour and 40 minute musical and a 3 hour time change in two days has made for one tired Curt. I still haven’t fully recovered yet and I should be in bed but I need my Blog fix.

It was a very brief trip to the City of Angels and it was nice to finally see exit signs for and glimpses of all the places that I heard those west coast rappers rap about…Crenshaw Blvd, Inglewood, etc…I wanted to go to Compton but we just didn’t have time.

And it was cool to see the actual Hollywood sign up on the hill too…you know the place where Dr. Evil had his lair in Goldmember? That was delightful.

Pasadena kinda felt like what I think stepping into a TV show would feel like.

Sister Act is a work in progress but it is a very entertaining and fun new musical that I think will definitely have a strong response here in the ATL. Mission accomplished on that front.

I wanted to call Chick-fil-A and ask them to hurry up and expand there western markets. I’m seriously addicted. You don’t really know sometimes how addicted you are to something until you physically CAN’T have that thing.

And why didn’t somebody warn me about all the Asian and Latina girls in California??? Geez. I was totally not expecting to have to deal with those weaknesses on this trip.

And then there was the Southern brunette girl weakness on the return trip on MARTA when I had a nice conversation with a girl from Baton Rouge by way of LSU who is in town for three days for a teachers’ conference. I had serious butterflies when this girl walked up. I haven’t felt those in a while but it was nice. It’s nice to know that the chemistry and magnetism stuff still exists out there in the streets.

I think we should all be reminded of that feeling every so often.

Thanks God for reminding me how butterflies feel and thanks for getting me back home safely.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I’ve got to pack and go to bed. I’m up at 5 a.m. to head to the airport to catch a flight to LAX. Long day tomorrow of meetings and seeing Sister Act – The Musical at Pasadena Playhouse.

I’m playing the “sleep” mix on ye olde ipod as soon as I hit my seat.
(Thanks for the tip T)
Back late on Wednesday night and back at work on Thursday morning.

I’ll give The Terminator your best.

I’ll be back.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One of those moments

I can’t NOT blog about this.
This is one of those x moments I wrote about the other day.

So yesterday I took my five year old niece Carolyn to see Disney’s Aladdin at the Alliance. My parents hung out in the lobby with my six month old nephew while Carolyn and I bought a Sprite to share and went in to see the one hour show.

It was great. We really do have an amazing children’s theatre. And my date and I shared a few cute moments that I just have to mention.

The first moment was when she leaned over to me and whispered that she had finally decided what she wanted to be when she grew up. Oh man. This is priceless. This is just one of those moments that you hope for. A great uncle moment for me. When I asked her what she wanted to be she told me she wanted to be someone who wrote the words that appear in books. Oh, I writer I said. That’s wonderful. She said that she was just working on writing sentences now but we both agreed that one day those sentences would probably turn into stories.

It was just a great reminder of the dreams we have when we are young. We all had some dream of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Mine was to be a professional soccer player. It’s just unfortunate how culture and life in general have a way of taking us down other paths than what we had hoped for when WE were five years old.

I am going to remind her of that writer thing when she is older.

The second moment happened when I asked her if she had seen the movie Aladdin alot. She said that of course she had seen the movie alot, duh. I asked her if she had ever seen it LIVE ON STAGE and she said no, but she said that TV is better.

TV is better?

Being someone who promotes live theatre for a living I couldn’t resist this opportunity…Why do you think TV is better I asked. TV moves quicker, it’s faster she said. You don’t have to wait.

You don’t have to wait.

Wow. I think that speaks volumes about that box we watch. I am not saying that we shouldn’t watch the box at all, I’m just saying that maybe we should turn it off once in a while and see what happens.

Well, we laughed and laughed and enjoyed the show and when it was over I asked her… So, do you STILL think TV is better? She shook her head no.

Sweet…score one for live theatre.

But then she said…TV is still ok though.

Of course…I said.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Six kids. Two months. One chaperone.

Just a quick plug for a new Blog that we have at the Alliance Theatre. For our upcoming holiday production of A Christmas Carol we thought a Scrooge Blog would be too obvious so we decided to have our child chaperone track his experience over the next two months of making sure the six kids we have in the show (including Tiny Tim) get to the stage for their cues.

It should make for some very interesting and funny stories.
Check it out HERE if you get a chance over the next two months.

Rehearsal for the show just started this past Friday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dude, where's my Curt?

I have found myself thinking this thought lately…

“I might not be here for X next year.”

A few things that have been “X” recently:
My Birthday or anybody’s birthday for that matter
Opening Day of Georgia Football
Any special event for my nieces or nephew
Thanksgiving Dinner with the family
The noises Warren makes (He has actually belched three times WHILE I am sitting here writing this post)

I think the “I might not be here for X next year” thought is turning into the “I just might not BE here next year” thought.

Yeah, if I move I should be able to come back once a year to visit family and friends but for the most part I will be what we like to call “out of pocket”. (Only electronic hugs, not real ones)

It’s a funny feeling to think about having long-distance relationships with your family and friends. And it will be interesting to see how my relationships change and grow if I move. I know the close friendships I have will remain strong.

But I wonder about family.

I have not been very close to my family through the years, especially my parents. Although I have always been physically close to them (never more than 40 miles or so) I have never been that emotionally close to them.

But that has really been changing over the last year and a half. I finally feel like I am making some progress with my family relationships and here I go and possibly leave the country.

Sometimes I think…Is it possible to grow closer emotionally to my family by moving physically farther away from them?

Still, I have this strange feeling inside that if I do move over 3,000 physical miles away from my family that yes, I will somehow grow closer to them in emotional miles.