Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Crazy Ever After" - The Rescues

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kindle Lovin'

My parents got me a Kindle for Christmas, and I'm pretty psyched. I really do love actual books, and I'll still buy and read them, but man - I love knowing that I'm always less than a minute away from being able to download pretty much any book I want to read.

My idea is that if I read a book on my Kindle that I just absolutely love, I will then buy that book in the hard copy form and add it to my bookshelf.

Almost every classic is either free or less than a dollar, which is awesome.

The other plus? It keeps me from skipping to the end of the book to find out what happens. I know. I'm so, so bad about that.

Book #36: The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I love it when I discover a brand new series (well, brand new to me, anyway) that I can get all obsessed with. I think this is going to be one.

Thursday Next, the heroine of the book, is a SpecOps LiteraTech agent in an alternative London in 1985, where time travel is possible and literature is able to literally come to life. Next discovers that her arch-nemesis, Acheron Hades, has kidnapped Jane Eyre, and if he succeeds with his plans, he'll disastrously change the book forever. The only solution, of course, is to enter the book herself and stop the villain.

I can't wait to read the next book, since Miss Havisham from Great Expectations makes an appearance.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Book #35: Full Dark, No Stars

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Another gem from my favorite author - all "short" (not that short - sort of novellas) stories, each one of them pretty bleak and sinister. But oh, so good.

Nobody can suck you into an atmosphere and plot like King can.

Book #34: Mini Shopaholic

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella


I literally can't believe I'm saying this, but I did not like this book. I have loved every single Shopaholic book, but this one was. So. Tedious.

Nothing new - Becky once again is shopping like crazy (in "secret"), and lying to her friends and family in order to achieve some desired outcome. Blah, blah, blah. I just found myself getting frustrated and annoyed, especially now that they've thrown a kid into the mix (who is spoiled rotten).

There were a few entertaining moments, but on the whole, I was really disappointed. I'm not saying I won't read any more of the series, but I do hope Kinsella does a better job on her next Shopaholic venture.

Book #33: The Fall

The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan


This is the second book in The Strain trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While the first book dealt with the vampire virus slowly taking over New York City, this book fleshes out the fast spread and takeover of the entire United States.

I won't be surprised when they announce the movie release of these books, since they read like blockbuster films already.

Book #32: The Last Time I Was Me

The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb


I liked this story - a successful career-woman suffers a humiliating public breakdown of epic proportions and then runs to a small town in Oregon to recover (and attend anger management classes). She then meets and falls in love with the man running for governor of the state. Yep. Very likely. But an entertaining story.

My biggest gripe with this book is the sarcasm and quick-fire wit of the main character. While at first it was entertaining, it quickly became campy and unbelievable. Her sarcastic comebacks make her almost unlikable and you find yourself sympathizing with the enemy. Also, everything works out just too well and cleanly for everyone involved. Real life never works like that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Light My Fire" by Hans Zimmer ("The Holiday" Soundtrack)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self Realization #5

I like to use parentheses. (A lot.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas Slay

I was discussing Thanksgiving fun with one of my students, Akiyah, on Monday afternoon. She's seven.

I asked her what her favorite food was at Thanksgiving, and she said "I like the turkey." I told her to guess what my favorite Thanksgiving food is* and she said "...Chicken salad?"

Hm. Nooooo...

Then we started talking about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I said "You know, the Santa Claus at the end of the parade? Well, he's the real Santa Claus!"

She looked completely astonished. "What?" she sputtered.

I nodded. "Yep. My parents told me that it's really his only public appearance during the year." (They really did tell me this.)

For some reason, she just looked horrified. "You mean...it's the real Santa?"

This was not the reaction I had expected, and I said "Yeah, the real Santa."

She drew in a long, shaky breath and said "So...he doesn't spray pepper spray in everyone's eyes?"

...What?

"Pepper spray?" I asked.

She nodded solemnly. "Yes. My daddy told me that if I try to stay up to see Santa on Christmas Eve, and he catches me, he'll spray pepper spray in my eyes. That's what he does to kids who try to sneak around and see him."

Oh my Lord. I didn't know what to say to that. I just sat there for a minute and said "Well...he doesn't spray pepper spray at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

She whispered "Ok," but I'm pretty sure she wasn't convinced.

Well. That's one way to keep your kids in bed on Christmas Eve.

I wonder if her dad also told her that the Easter Bunny carries a machete, and the Tooth Fairy wields an AK-47...

*For the record, it's the dressing. The best part of dinner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Red Bow

In "Sleepless in Seattle," Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell talk about how they both teared up during a refrigerator commercial ("...the big red bow!"). I've always laughed at that scene, but never identified. I've never cried at a commercial.

Until now.



How cool does the dude with the guitar look and how appropriate was their choice of song for him?

And how does that woman who's mimicking the violin during "At Last" get that high? How, Mariah Carey?

But the little girl crying at the end just gets me, and I can't help but happy cry.

It's my big red bow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"I Feel It All" - Feist

Book #31: The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly


This is the best book I've read this year.

I know I've said that before, but this really is the best book I've read in 2010. I kept stopping while I was reading it and saying out loud "This is the best book!"

The story centers around David, a little boy living in England during World War II, whose mother has just died. He's extremely depressed, and turns to the books his mother loved for comfort. Before long, he realizes that he can literally hear the books speaking to him - calling him. Suddenly, David is catapulted into a fantasy world, battling for his life and the lives of those he loves.

I can't begin to convey the magic of this book. It so reminded me of a grown-up version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which is honestly my favorite story ever written). The closest I can get to categorizing it is if The Chronicles of Narnia and "Willow" got together and made a new story.

It's a dark fairy tale, to be sure - Connolly isn't afraid to kill off likeable characters, and some of the scenes are downright spooky (The Crooked Man gave me the heebie jeebies like no other evil character ever has). But oh, it's just such a lovely, lovely story.

This may sound silly, but when I reached the end of the book, I actually teared up. It was just so perfect that it made me cry.

This book definitely goes on my favorites shelf - it's the kind of book I hope to pass down to my children and grandchildren.

Book #30: Death in Holy Orders

Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James

When I was in high school, I devoured Agatha Christie books. My favorite was And Then There Were None - it's such a classic (and classy) British mystery.

P.D. James reminds me of a slightly - I say slightly, because the lady turned 90 this year - more modern Agatha Christie. There aren't any huge thrills in this story, and the culprit was fairly easy to figure out, but it was satisfying. I'll be reading some more James soon.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book #29: Everyday Absurdities



Everyday Absurdities by Tyler Stanton

This video pretty much sums the humor of this book up. It's basically random vignettes of pet peeves, mostly all of which I completely identify and agree with.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Here We Go" by Joshua Radin

Sorry this is a long intro - it's the only usable video of this song that I could find. But doesn't he remind you of Dermot Mulroney (from "My Best Friend's Wedding")?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"The Absence of Your Company" by Kim Richey

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Self Realization #4

I really don't like Marie Osmond. At all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's a Twista! A Twista!

Yesterday, everyone at work was sent home early because tornados were predicted. Honestly, I wasn't concerned (tornado warnings seem to occur as often as it rains here) - in fact, I was kind of psyched that I now had an entire afternoon and evening all to myself.

Everything was cool until about 4:00, when Ashleigh called to tell me she had seen a wall cloud on her way home from work (she got sent home early, too). She was telling me about it when all of a sudden she paused and turned up her radio. I heard the weather-guy practically yelling "It's moving at 86 miles per hour! There's rotation! There's rotation! It's heading down Drake...heading down Airport!"

I live off Airport.

Ashleigh yelled "It's right where you are!"

I said "Ok, going," hung up the phone, turned the tv up full blast so I could hear it from downstairs, grabbed Gilbert, and hoofed it into the stairwell below my apartment. Gilbert was not happy.

About 30 seconds after I sat down in the stairwell, everything went dark outside and rain began coming down in sheets. I could see the trees bending and straining and I thought "Um...this could be bad. This could be really...bad." Gilbert even stopped squirming, and I swear, he looked up at me as if to say "Oooook...I am not liking this. At. All."

It didn't help my state of mind to know that the apartment complex I live in was completely decimated 21 years ago...by a tornado.

Just when I started to inwardly panic just a little bit and had decided that I might have to break down the door of the first floor apartment to my left so I could huddle in their bathtub, it all stopped. The sun came out. To quote one of my favorite movies, "The Neverending Story," it was "like The Nothing never was."

I have to say - I'm still a little shaken up. You never think that it could literally happen to you, but it hit me yesterday that that's what everyone thinks. They're probably thinking that right before they die, be it in a car accident, freak fall, or even a tornado.

So. I'm going to be a little better prepared next time. I'm heading somewhere with a basement.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Disheartening

Yesterday, I asked a student who has taken more than a year of piano from me to tell me what a certain note was in her music. I tapped her song with my pencil and said "Ok, Akiyah - if this note before it is a D, what do you think this note is?"

Her answer?

"'O'?"

I paused. "No...we don't have 'O's' in music, do we? Try again."

She thought really hard. "I have it. It's an 'L'."

Maybe I should rethink my vocation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book #28: Gods in Alabama

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

When Arelene Fleet leaves Possett, Alabama, she promises God three things:

1)She will never fornicate again.

2)She will never tell a lie.

3)She will never, ever go back to Alabama.

She vows she'll do all these things, if God will keep His end of the deal - never let anyone find Jim Beverly's body.

Nine years later, a girl from Arlene's past shows up on her doorstep in Chicago and the deal is off. Arlene is forced to return to Alabama and her dysfunctional family in order to keep her huge secret.

I normally don't read Southern authors (being from the South, I feel I pretty much know all I need to know about good old Southern customs, thank you very much), but this book wasn't all "y'all" this and "cain't" that. It was a good mystery, and now I want to read more of Jackson's work. My only gripe is that I don't know any people close to my age named Arlene, Clarice, Jim, Rose Mae, or Ray. Not all Southerners choose their children's names from Gone with the Wind.

Book #27: Shopaholic and Baby

Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

Sigh. I just love these books. No deep thinking required, and they never, ever fail to make me laugh out loud.

In this installment, Becky is pregnant with her and Luke's first child, and of course, she manages to mess up a bunch of stuff, and of course, it all turns out alright in the end. As predictable as this series is, I get super excited when a new book is published.

Book #26: Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

When I was in seventh grade, my so-called best friend wrote me a long letter telling me that she no longer wanted to be my friend. Her reason? I wasn't cool enough. She had found someone cooler. And that was that. Afterwards, she proceeded to make middle school unbearable for me - making fun of me in front of everybody else, spreading rumors about me, etc..*

This book tells the story of Addie and Valerie, best friends since third grade. When they're both in high school, Valerie betrays Addie in a monumental way and they part ways, seemingly forever. 18 years later, Valerie shows up on Addie's door, begging for help. She's convinced she's killed one of their classmates.

The story that follows is an amazing tale of forgiveness and friendship re-born. I don't know if I could have moved past the high school betrayal, but I'd like to think I could. In keeping with Weiner's other books (Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, etc.), the protagonists are likeable and believable.

*This girl came to see me a few years ago. She had fallen on extremely hard times, and all the rage melted away from me when I realized that she was just a pitiful person looking for forgiveness. I also realized that who we are in middle school is, nine times out of ten, nowhere near the person we turn out to be as an adult. Thank God. I wore stone-washed jeans and pink glasses.

Book #25: My Name Is Memory

My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares

*Maybe I should retitle my blog "That's What She Read," because I realize that I'm posting a zillion book-related posts today, but I have a backlog because I've been extremely lazy with my posting duties. Sorry.*

I never read the Traveling Pants series, so this is the first book I've read by Brashares. The premise of the story is that reincarnation is a fact (which of course I don't hold with, but it made for a really cool story), and most people have absolutely no memories of their former lives. There are a very few people in the world who do, and the main character of the book, Daniel, is one of them. Every life, he finds and falls in love with the same girl - Sophia. Unfortunately, Sophia never remembers her past life with Daniel, and he has to make her fall in love with him all over again. Sophia always vows that she will try to remember, but she never does.

At the beginning of this current life, Daniel once again finds Sophia (now named Lucy) living in Virginia, and finds that she does have some memories of their past lives and love. He is ecstatic, but soon realizes that they have a shared enemy from their past - someone else who remembers all of his lives, and has sworn revenge upon both Daniel and Sophia.

Drama ensues.

I really did like this book, but when I reached the end I realized that Brashares hadn't resolved at least 40% of the plot. I was supremely annoyed until I read that this is going to be part of a trilogy. I can handle that.

The story got a little too syrupy lovey-dovey at some points, but all in all, I really did like it.

Book #24: Going Home

Going Home by Harriet Evans


Yep. Another Harriet Evans gem.

This story starts at Christmas (my very favorite holiday), and a girl going home for the holiday weekend. Unlike other Evans books, Going Home really fleshes out the dynamics of an entire family and the idea that maybe the old saying "home is a nice place to visit" isn't entirely true - maybe you really can go home again.

After I had finished reading this book, I wanted to go spend a few days at my parents' house and sleep in my old room. Unfortunately, it has since been converted into a computer/John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot shrine (I'm so not kidding), so I had to settle with calling my parents and having a good chat.

Book #23: The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Sometimes I wish I could be like some of the other great bloggers that I follow and read really "deep" books, but honestly - I prefer a good novel over most anything else.

Erik Larson writes nonfiction as if it was fiction. I get totally caught up in the real-life characters, and have to restrain myself from Wikipedia-ing the actual events so I don't spoil the rest of the book. The Devil in the White City focuses on the story of how the amazing Chicago's World Fair came about and ties it to America's first real documented serial killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes (and man, oh man - he makes Ted Bundy look like a pansy). I was hooked from the first chapter.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Andy Stanley, a Gatorade Bottle, and My Dad

This past weekend, I attended the Catalyst conference in Atlanta. Catalyst is a Christian leadership conference (have I ever mentioned that I work at a church?) headed up by my married-man preacher crush, Andy Stanley, and it truly is one of my very favorite events of the year. Most of the time I attend with some fellow ministers and church employees, but this year, everyone except me ended up backing out at the last minute.

No biggie. But I am a single lady (whoop whoop, Beyonce), and it IS Atlanta, so I wasn't all that keen on going there by myself. Which is where my bright idea happened:

I asked my Dad (who pastors a church in Alabama) to come with me.

I picked him up at my parents' house on Wednesday night, and we drove the two hours to Atlanta together. I have to hand it to him - he let me sing along to Imogen Heap, Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, and William Fitzsimmons (ok, and maybe lots of "Glee" songs...) all the way there and didn't leave my car supremely depressed.

We got to our hotel around 11 PM Georgia time, and checked in to our hotel room. Yep. One room. We had decided to save some money and stay in one room. Ok. Let it be said that I haven't shared a hotel room with either one of my parents since about tenth grade, but I wasn't that worried. I chose the bed by the a/c since Dad gets a sore throat pretty easily. He got me to watch an episode of "NCIS" (not too bad) and I forced him to watch some "LA Ink." He at least pretended to not be horrified when a he-she arrived at High Voltage asking for a full-back tattoo of a stripper (at which point he looked at me with concern and said "Amanda...you wouldn't...ever do THAT, would you...?" I just gave him a withering "do-you-know-me-at-ALL?" look).

We turned off the lights at about 1 AM, and Dad immediately fell asleep. At first, he was doing this little cute "puff puff" of air breathing, and I thought "Well, that's not so bad." While he was puffing away, I realized that I could clearly hear the tinkling lobby music from downstairs. I had just realized that they were playing a bar piano version of "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" when Dad's puffing turned into a death rattle snore. There was no buildup. Just full on potential death noises.

I actually sat up to look at him just to make sure that he wasn't swallowing his tongue or something. But, no. He even had a slight smile on his face.

I finally drifted off to sleep around 5 AM, just in time for the alarm to wake me up at 5:45. By that point, Dad sat up, stretched like a Folgers coffee commercial star, and went to shave. I, on the other hand, when it was my turn, moved like a zombie.

The first day of the conference was completely amazing. The music was great, the speakers were fantastic, and I got choked up about a zillion times. Afterwards, Dad and I went to dinner and had a really wonderful conversation about church, God, loving God, loving other people, books, etc. It's always wonderful to realize that you actually like your parents - not just because they're your parents, but because they're truly likable and interesting people.

I slept like a rock the second night, snoring or no snoring, and we headed back for the second day of the conference. We ended up sitting by a girl with a Gatorade bottle.

Ok. I've mentioned several times that I can't stand to hear people eating loudly. It drives me nuts. I've also mentioned that my dad and I share a frustration with people who distract us at the movies, etc. After she downed her Gatorade, this chick just kept squeezing her bottle.

Pop. Pop. POP. Crack. Swoosh. Pop. Pop. CRACK!

No one else seemed to notice. I was starting to feel panicked, because I could not concentrate on T.D. Jakes at all. All I could hear was the bottle. My dad was actually sitting right next to her, and I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. He was rocking back and forth just slightly, which meant he definitely heard it.

Suddenly, he leaned over to the girl and said in his kindest, pastoral tone "Honey? Could you stop that? It's completely irritating."

Part of me was relieved he'd finally gotten her to stop, but part of me wanted to sink through the floor. Oh, well. Like daughter, like father. (However, she got her revenge - about a minute later, she began to methodically rip the label off the bottle, all the while giving my dad the Stink Eye.)

Both Dad and I left the conference totally rejuvenated and ready to write bestselling Christian books and/or praise and worship music. We'll see. I'm definitely going again next year, and I hope my dad goes with me. He's a great conference buddy.

I'll just make sure to bring earplugs next time.

Book #22: A Hopeless Romantic

A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans

I think it's safe to say I'm a total Harriet Evans convert. I've been devouring all her books (all except The Love of Her Life, which I found a bit treacly), and I think she's a fabulous writer. She has a great knack for writing characters that behave and speak like actual people - complete with stutters and random trains of thought.

This story centers on a girl who has a habit of falling in love way too fast and always with the wrong guy. After a disastrous end to a relationship, she decides to swear men off completely and, in her words, become Mrs. Danvers from her favorite book, Rebecca - solid, dependable, and...boring. When she actually meets Mr. Right, she's too scared that he'll end up being just like all of her former boyfriends, that she risks losing him altogether.

This is a perfect vacation read (or doctor's waiting room, cafe, etc.).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book #21: The Perfect Fit

The Perfect Fit by Louise Kean

I tried to like this book, but I just couldn't.

The story centers around Sunny Weston, a girl who has lost 98 pounds and can't adjust to being thin. The book had a promising start: Sunny sees a man kidnap a toddler from a Starbucks and because she is in much better shape than she ever has been, is able to chase him down and retrieve the little boy. At the same time, a man named Cagney James also sees the attempted kidnap and saves Sunny from being attacked by the kidnapper. Cagney and Sunny seem to hate each other at first, but then (you guessed it) they fall in love.

My biggest problem with this story is that I just didn't like Sunny or Cagney. Sunny is whiney and so insecure that you get tired of her easily. Cagney stays in a foul mood the entire book, up until the very last chapter. We're suddenly supposed to believe that oh, wait - he is a great guy after all, even after he's made fun of Sunny's former weight and admitted that he really only likes blondes.

Not my kind of book.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book #20: Twenties Girl

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

It's been a decidedly awful week. I needed to read something light and fun, and this was perfect. I'm pretty sure I'm overly emotional right now, but I actually teared up a few times towards the end of the book. It sort of made me wish I had a cool, flapper ghost haunting me - especially if she could give me great vintage hair and makeup tricks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Going, Going, Gone" by Stars

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book #19: Drood

Drood by Dan Simmons


My dad has every single version of "A Christmas Carol" movie that has ever been made. Every Christmas, we pile onto the couch and watch at least three of them (including the best one of them all - "A Muppet Christmas Carol"). Needless to say, I was raised with a healthy love of all things Charles Dickens.

This book was right up my alley. It is a fictionalized account of the last five years of Dickens's life, beginning with the real-life near-fatal train accident he was involved in that haunted Dickens for the remainder of his life, and the character he "invented" (or did he?) named Edwin Drood - an Egyptian not-quite-human spectre.

The narrator of this perfectly Gothic novel is none other than Dickens's friend (and not-so-secret frienemy) Wilkie Collins, the famous author of "The Woman in White" and "Moonstone".


From the beginning, Collins is deeply unlikable - pretentious, boorish, and jealous of everything Dickens has achieved. He's also a serious opium addict, and you find yourself wondering "...did that actually happen, or is he on a drug trip right now?" But oh, he's so, so completely devious and nasty that you are sucked into his logic. You sort of root for him while at the same time wishing someone would just punch him in his pudgy face. I have no idea if the actual Wilkie Collins was such a documented creep, but I think I'll always think of him with a little bit of fond bitterness now.

The book is long (about 800 pages), but so worth the read. I completely got lost in the mystery (I won't ruin it for you guys). It makes me want to go read "Great Expectations" again, since I feel like I sort of personally know Charles Dickens now. We're tight.

Although I'm pretty sure Charles Dickens would never write the above sentence. Ever.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WK

"WK" stands for "Weird Kid."

It’s not that I don’t like children. I do. But I have a working theory about certain children, and it’s this: the weird kids always manage to find me. You know the ones I’m talking about, and let’s face it, there are tons of them out there. But let’s talk about the three most popular versions.

Weird Kid Type 1: The silent, creepy variety. They lurk behind their parents with large zombie eyes and pale skin (always pale skin). Their parents are always desperate to prove to you that their kid is not in fact a WK, but in their efforts to prove otherwise, they do the exact opposite. They’re always begging the child to "answer Ms. So-and-So’s question..." and "Don't be rude, honey...say thank you." Meanwhile, creepy kid just continues to stare at you with unbridled horror, as if they’re expecting you to drag them into a van full of candy with razorblades tucked inside the wrappers. Creepy kids never speak, but you can always imagine a late-night horror movie scene involving a stormy night, a pair of scissors, them standing over their parents’ beds, and a children’s choir singing off-key Latin phrases with tons of reverb.

Weird Kid Type 2: This Kid Will Be in Jail in Ten Years variety. This is the most popular version, in my opinion. This is the child who is running through the grocery store, laughing hysterically while methodically knocking items off of shelves and hitting and/or biting either a younger sibling or an innocent passerby. There is always a weary parent dragging behind this kid, saying "Please. Don’t. Stop. Please. Don’t. Stop." I bet they say that in their sleep. If the parent actually does manage to catch his/her kid, the kid immediately begins to scream "NOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!" This scream is usually followed by the sound of something breaking or someone else crying (usually the mother, out of frustration). And then they’re off again.

Weird Kid Type 3: Just...weird. As in, "Hi, my name is Arthur, and I have memorized an entire volume of the encyclopedia. The 'R' volume. What do you want to know about rodents? I know everything about rodents. I don’t really like rodents, but I know how long they sleep, and what they eat, and I know how many baby rodents are probably living in your cabinets. And I know about real estate, too. It was in the 'R' volume too, you know. Real estate. I might go into real estate. I bet I can tell you how much your house is worth. Ask me. Go on. Ask me." Their mother is constantly smiling weakly at you, patting Arthur’s head while he insists that you paid too much money for your house. After he trots off to build an entire futuristic village with his Legos, she’ll say in a proud, exhausted, and hushed tone, "Arthur’s just so smart. He’s in the gifted class, you know. He’s usually up by 4 AM, and so, you know. I get up then, too. So we’re learning how all the creatures in ‘Lord of the Rings’ could be made from modeling clay. And he’s such a perfectionist. I once called Gandalf 'Giddalf' by mistake, and Arthur went into his room for about eight hours. He only came out when I told him I had made his favorite meal - Lucky Charms with only the pink marshmallows. He’s just so smart. And. Yes. So...he’s just so gifted!"

My mother once told me that if I ever have kids, I'll probably end up with one of these versions. But see...I think that if I did, I'd just have to sit the kid down and say "Billy/Sally? Guess what? Mom has something to talk to you about. You're becoming a WK. And Mommy can't have that. So we're going to work on it."

Can you force a kid to be an NK? A normal kid? I think I might be able to. Because I can be a SA.

A Scary Adult.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Little Bit of Feel Good" by Jamie Lidell

Fourth Grade Fashion Critic

"Seriously - my dad shouldn't have a moustache anymore. Because he's 51.

But I'm telling you - he has the body of a 30-year-old.

He looks about 49."


- my piano student Ella Jane, 9 years old

Move over, Joan Rivers. Ella Jane's already practicing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Book #18: The Wedding Girl

The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham


Ok, I admit it - I'm a sucker for any Madeleine Wickham (whose pen name is Sophie Kinsella) novel. I love them all, no matter how cheesy they might be. They always offer a peek into what I feel like is the quintessential British life (although I may be totally, completely wrong).

This book centers around a girl named Milly who, when she was 18, married her gay American friend Alan so he could stay in the country. Ten years later, engaged to the son of a famous billionaire, she finds that her secret is definitely going to come out (no pun intended).

I'm not sure how she does it, but Wickham always manages to make the ditziest characters in the world (and almost all her female characters are pretty airhead-ish) extremely likable and hilarious.

Ah, chick lit - always meant to be read in the bathtub, while you're getting a pedicure, or eating something fattening.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book #17: The Strain

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan


I love a good vampire story - emphasis on the word good.

My mom actually gave this book to me after she read it (I get my love of all things spooky from her), and when I looked at the cover I realized that the co-author, Guillermo Del Toro, is the director of the fantastically creepy "Pan's Labryinth," and what is quite possibly the most terrifying movie I've ever seen, "The Devil's Backbone."

This book reads just like a blockbuster Hollywood movie, in the best way possible. In a twist on the classic vampire tale, in this plot, if a person is bitten by these vampires, they are actually infected with a virus that takes their bodies and minds over and then they in turn begin biting people, etc. Before you know it, the whole neighborhood, city, country, world...all infected. I was reminded of the Stephen King classic, The Stand, several times throughout a lot of the book.

I hope it becomes a movie. If it does, I'll wear a turtleneck to go see it. Got to protect the old neck, you know...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Overcome by the spirit...or whooping cough?

Last Sunday, our contemporary worship pastor, Jeremy, asked me to sing a song with him just before our lead pastor came to deliver the sermon. It was a very worshipful song - slow and meant to ready the congregation for the message.

Everything was going great until the second verse. When I swallowed the wrong way.

I immediately began to inwardly panic, because along with being slow and meaningful, this song has no breaks between verses and choruses. As in, no time to cough or clear my throat.

And I really had to cough - the big, hacking, "is she dying?" kind of coughing fit. My eyes started filling with tears, and I'm sure I flushed all over.

So instead of coughing, I started trying to sneak as many swallows in as possible to try and force my spasming windpipe to behave:

"Oh, to know (swallow) the joy (swallow) of Your risen life (swallow swallow) and to kn(swallow)ow You in (swallow) Your suff(swallow)ering..."

Yeah. Not my best effort. But I made it through the rest of the song without losing a lung on stage, and hobbled back to my seat with an aura of shame.

After the service, I pulled Jeremy aside and said "I am SO sorry. I got choked!" He looked me in the eyes with compassion, and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Amanda," he said solemnly, "I know. It's such an emotional song. I've gotten choked up on that song, too."

It took me a moment to catch his drift, but I barked out a laugh and said "No, no...CHOKED...not choked UP. I swallowed the wrong way!"

Jeremy was silent for a moment, and then he let out a huge hooting laugh. "I totally thought you had been 'overcome by the Spirit' or something!"

Nope. Just saliva.

On my way to Sunday School, no less than three people stopped to tell me how moved they were by my obvious emotional connection to the song.

I just nodded and said "Yes, it really does move you, doesn't it?"

I wonder if Chris Tomlin ever lies like that...

Yep. Probably not.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Double rainbow all the way!



I'm sure by now everybody's seen this.

The first time I watched it, I have to admit - I cried laughing. And the second time. And the third...

But I really wish I had a video of my friend Lea Anne watching this for the first time. She literally fell onto the floor laughing when he sputtered out "...What does this MEAN?"

So. Thank you, Double Rainbow Guy. All the way. Across the sky.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"War of My Life" by John Mayer

John Mayer may be a total jerk in reality, but you have to admit - he writes some pretty awesome music.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book #16: Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson


I love nonfiction books that read like novels, and this one does just that. Larson weaves in the story of the inventor of the wireless telegraph, Marconi, with the notorious and horrifying (yet strangely sympathetic) early twentieth century murderer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen and his lover, Ethel Le Neve. Crippen almost committed the perfect murder, but because wireless telegraphy had come along just years before, was captured as his "getaway" ship arrived in Quebec.

Larson also weaves in vignettes about notable events occurring at the same time (the publication of Peter Pan, the search for Jack the Ripper, etc.), making this book hard to put down.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Inked

I went to the beach with some friends this past weekend, and came home with this, my second tattoo:


I. Love. It.

Of course, now I actually have to do more writing, or I'm just living a lie. Right?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ghost Story

Ooh, this (spotted on Little Garden) gives me the shivers in the best way.

It's the perfect setting for a good Victorian-ish ghost story, don't you think?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Life in Technicolor" by Coldplay

Book #15: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon


As a music teacher, I have worked with several children with varying degrees of autism. Autism has always fascinated me - this inpenetrable wall inside a mind, that doesn't allow someone to communicate "normally."

This book centers around a young boy with autism, and what he does when he finds his neighbor's dog has been murdered. The way that Haddon is able to draw out this character and make the reader understand that even though because he is autistic and can't verbalize feelings like others, he still feels them.

One reviewer said that it reminded him of The Catcher in the Rye, and I have to agree - what starts out as a simple story fleshes out into a beautiful tale of love and human experience.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book #14: I Remember You

I Remember You by Harriet Evans


There are some books that tap me on the shoulder and say "Remember me? I'm the reason you like to read."

This is one of those books.

I have always loved anything set in Europe, particularly England. I'm also a big sucker for plots that center on lost love that's found again. This book has both.

Harriet Evans reminds me of a less cheesy Sophie Kinsella (sorry, Sophie - I still love you). In fact, this novel has inspired me to spend at least a month in Europe in the future. As soon as I can afford it. Before I'm 40, anyway. I think a ten-year plan is doable.

And maybe I could snag a cute guy with a British accent...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It just doesn't get better than this...

The last time I saw Imogen Heap in concert, she announced that this DVD was about to be released, and her website just released this trailer:



It comes out in August. I'm so excited, I can barely stand it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Middle Schoolers: A Love Letter

Dear middle schoolers at Target,

You make me violent when you are running through stores in unsupervised gangs.

I can hear your hysterical laughter coming at me while I'm trying to concentrate on which coffee creamer I want. I see you making your way from the feminine products aisle. I realize that it's completely hilarious that women have periods. If you even see the word "incontinence" printed on anything, you will yell it repeatedly to your four other friends who are busy testing every lotion on display the next aisle over.

While I'm busy hauling cat litter into my shopping cart, you are piggy backing each other from the toilet paper aisle to the baked goods aisle. One of your group, who obviously suffers from severe voice im-modulation, since she's about twenty decibels louder than the Sixpence None the Richer song being piped over the speakers, is squealing "And...ohmigosh, she actually. Said. That. To me. And like...whatever. I don't care. I don't care."

I apologize for giving you the stink eye when we all ended up in the checkout line together and you managed to step on my toe while simultaneously cutting in front of me.

I'm sorry that I called you "stupid crazy kids" under my breath, but loud enough for you to hear me and look at me in that "who is this crazy middle aged woman?" way.

But mostly, I'd like to thank you for making me so, so happy that I don't have children right now. Seriously. I've never been so grateful to drive home in my car. Alone. And to walk into my apartment and silence.

But if you step on my toe again, we will throw down.

And I will win.

Sincerely,
Amanda

Monday, July 5, 2010

Eggcitement

I like to cook. I really do. I'm pretty sure that my friends think that I can't, because I rarely do it. But honestly - it just seems like such a waste of time most of the time. I live alone, and making a huge meal for just me (since Gilbert has no interest in what I eat unless it involves the Whiskas Temptations logo. Of course, that makes it sound like I occasionally eat Whiskas Temptations, which I don't. You know what I mean) can be kind of depressing. 3/4ths of the meal always ends up in tupperware in the fridge, and then by the time I remember I have the leftovers, I don't trust the looks of them.

So. If I heat up some soup in the microwave once or twice a week, I feel pretty good about my culinary skills.

I do, however, subscribe to this newsletter. I've never actually attempted to make any of the delicious looking recipes that Deb sends out, because they appear to be really, really...tough. Zucchini and Ricotta Galette (I don't even know what "galette" is. Seriously.). Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade. Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta, and Mint. I think that an attempt at any of these admittedly scrumptious sounding dishes would leave me covered in whatever harissa is, and most likely - crying.

But today I tried something. I tried this recipe. And I'm in love.

It's super easy. All I really needed was a toaster and a skillet. I substituted cream cheese for the goat cheese, and used sourdough bread. I followed Deb's instructions to the letter, and I can't believe how delicious it is. I seriously felt like I was eating it at some fancy schmancy French cafe, instead of curled up in my recliner, watching reruns of "The Golden Girls."

I ate it for breakfast, and I'm already thinking about making it again for lunch. It was that good.

So...bonjour.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Neverland

Wouldn't it be great if this was an actual place somewhere?


It reminds me of Peter Pan, which is my very favorite childhood fairytale.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Self Realization #2

One of the real reasons I don't volunteer for summer church mission trips?

Because they always occur outside.

Where it's hot.

And sticky.

And I hate being hot.

I know, I know. That's a terrible thing to admit. But it's the truth.

If we could get a mission trip up and head to Alaska or Antarctica, I'm so down with that.

Book #13: Evil at Heart

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain


This is the creepiest of the three Archie Sheridan vs. serial killer Gretchen Lowell mysteries. I read it in two sittings (that whole having to work thing interrupted me), and it definitely gave me the heebie jeebies in the best way possible.

Book #12: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


Oh. My. Dad.


This book is unbelievable.

Every time I've gone into Barnes and Noble for the past three months, this book has been sitting on no less than four displays. Every time I got an email from Amazon.com, this was one of their recommendations for me. So I finally caved and picked up a copy.

I started reading it on Saturday, and literally couldn't put it down. I didn't turn the tv on all weekend. I read it while I cooked. I read it while I ate. I got annoyed that I had to actually go anywhere at all, because I just wanted to find out what happened next.

Yep. It's that good.

The whole time I was reading this edge-of-your-seat (or bed or lazy boy, if you're like me) thriller set in Sweden, I kept thinking "I hope there's a movie coming. Because this would be a great movie." So I checked Netflix, and there's already a Swedish version (which looks really good, actually - it's already in my queue), and a big-screen "American" version is set to be released in the next year or so starring Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Daniel Craig ("James Bond"). Good casting calls, I think.

But now, part of me is worried that they'll change the fantastic movie I've created in my head. I'm attached to my imagined characters and scenery now.

I can't wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.

Book #11: Blink

Blink by Malcom Gladwell


This book fascinated me. Gladwell explores the idea that our gut instincts are (usually) dead-on, but because most of us don't know how to interpret our feelings, we end up over-analyzing and making mistakes in judgement. A fully executed blink lasts around two seconds, and according to Gladwell, this is the amount of time it takes to truly get a first impression of someone or something.

I heard Gladwell speak at a conference last year, and his lecture was mesmerizing. His writing is much the same. He doesn't use so much scientific jargon that you can't easily understand his point, and he uses interesting subjects to illustrate his points.

The power of the subconscious truly is amazing - how many times have we met someone and thought "Hmmm...I really don't like that guy/girl," but can't put a finger on why? Or been in a situation and suddenly realized that it wasn't a good one? Blink attempts to answer just how we intuitively know these things, and gives some ideas on how to hone that intuition so we can use it to our best ability.

I have to admit...I felt a little smarter after I read this book. And slightly psychic.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"From Western Woods to Beaversdam" - "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" soundtrack

This song makes me want to read the books and watch the movies again. They're both magical.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Focus on the mouth!



Ok, let's be real. Is there really anything funnier than Animal?

Not much, I'd say.

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Do You Sleep?" by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories

This was the very first CD I ever got - my dad bought it for me for Christmas in 1994. I knew every word to every song. And I still do.

And I'd still kill for a pair of those glasses. So brainy cute.

Monday, June 21, 2010

...And then the bottom fell out.

On Saturday, Holly Jo and I decided to engage in our yearly summer ritual: The Yard Sale.

Holly Jo's friend Allison had arranged for us to set up on the main stretch of road about 20 minutes from Holly Jo's house, and so we arrived at about 6:30 AM and got to work.

And it was hot. Really, really, hot. Sauna hot. Miserably hot.

And then, at about 12, a cloud rolled in. Just a small one. We all looked at each other, and Holly Jo said "I'm sure it will just pass by." After all, the weather report didn't predict rain. So we just waited.

Then it started to drizzle. Holly Jo and I covered up our books, but left everything else sitting out. We were laughing, and I even snapped the picture above. If you look carefully, you can see a few drips of water coming off the shade tent we were under.

And then suddenly, all of heaven opened up and a tsunami dropped down on us. Seriously. I have never been outside in rain like that.

For a while, we scrambled around, trying to save things - grabbing armfuls of clothing, picture frames, and slip-sliding to our cars. And then the wind picked up and started knocking things over - clothes racks, tables, etc.

At that point, Allison, Holly Jo, and I all looked at each other - water dripping off our faces, our hands shielding our eyes, our tshirts suctioned to our bodies - and we started to laugh. If so many people hadn't been passing by us (no doubt thinking "what idiotic girls"), I think we would have just played in the rain for a while. I did, however, reenact a few inspirational photo poses - you know, arms outstretched, face towards the sky, eyes closed. If someone had snapped a picture, I think I could have made it onto a Lifeway poster...

Needless to say, the yard sale was over, and the drive back home was a little squishy.

But I'd do it again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't need those bra straps?


That's right. Put those unwanted bra straps to good use and use them to make your own Croc slingbacks.

(I snapped this picture all incognito with my phone while I was in the concession stand line at the movies this weekend.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Born Yesterday

Well, ok. Let's get technical here - actually born two days (since I meant to post this yesterday)

...and 30 years ago.


Yikes. I keep saying it out loud when I'm by myself. "I am 30 years old. I am...30...years old." And no matter how I slice it, it feels weird.

However, according to my friend Lea Anne, if 40 is the new 30, then 30 is the new 20. Or maybe even 15. So I'm actually underage again. Which is cool.

I did have a fantastic birthday week, though.

I kicked it off by going to see my very favorite in the whole wide world singer, Imogen Heap (who is in her early thirties, single, and fabulous, thank you very much) with Ashleigh in Nashville. So much fun.

My sweet coworkers took me to lunch on Thursday, and even sang an almost (unintentionally) sacred hymn type setting of "Happy Birthday to You!" to me.

Lea Anne and I spent an entire day at the outdoor mall and browsed through my home-away-from-home, Anthropologie, until we'd seen every item. Then we met up with some more girls from work for dessert at The Melting Pot. (Melted chocolate? Yes, please.)

I spent Saturday, the day before my birthday, doing exactly what I wanted to do, which included a movie (by myself, with whatever candy I wanted), a couple of hours browsing Barnes and Noble, a couple of hours reading, repainting my closet doors a buttery yellow, and watching my favorite movie, "The Holiday," while eating ice cream.

On Sunday, I got asked out - not by my current crush, Cute Church Guy, but still. As Sue Sylvester would say "Not really my type, but I like that attitude."

I drove to my sister's house to hang out for a while, and then my parents came over and we went to her church, where my entire family sang some good old Southern gospel. On the way to my sister's church, Cute Church Guy called me to wish me happy birthday. Day made, thank you.

After church, my family took me out to dinner and brought out a chocolate cake (see picture above).

Along with the abundance of Facebook happy birthday wishes, I feel like a very loved girl.

And I'm ready to dive into this decade. Who knows what's in store? It's kind of exciting.

And on that note, here's my theme song for this year (and probably many to come). I first heard this song on the finale of "Felicity" (dear departed, wonderful gem of a show), and I immediately ordered the CD.

Best line (well, verse):

"I've spent a long time as myself, or the self I used to be. He was one in a long line of people imitating me...So just forget the things I used to say - chances are good that I don't feel that way anymore. It's hard to keep track, but there's no going back, since I was born yesterday..."

"Born Yesterday" by Mike Schmid

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maybe the sweetest thing ever.

Oh, this made me cry happy tears.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soooooomeday (sing that)...





spotted on Ruffled


So I probably should stop looking at bridal posts since I'm nowhere near a wedding myself, but if, as my grandmother would say, I had my 'druthers, THIS is the exact wedding dress and look I'd go for.


And while I'm dreaming, I'd also like this bride's complexion, hair, eye color, and figure.

But seriously. Beautiful. And check out those gorgeous vintage teal shoes!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mm-hm.

"Murray Chilton died. That makes one less person I'm not speaking to."

-Parker Posey in "You've Got Mail"




I completely identify with that line today. It's been one of those weeks.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Suicide Blonde" by The Weepies

Friday, June 4, 2010

Time Machine "Glee"

I didn't hate high school - in fact, I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. I had good friends, a super-duper crush on an unavailable and much-more-popular-than-me guy, and semi-good hair (except for one disastrous haircut in 11th grade, referenced below). But there are a few moments I wish I'd handled with some more flair.

Which brings me to "Glee." I really, really love this show, along with about 99% of America. I think it's because a huge part of me wishes there was a time machine that would catapult me back to high school and enable me to re-live pivotal moments. And when I did re-live those moments, I would approach them with either Sue Sylvester or Rachel Berry in mind.

Cases in point:

Super-duper crush (or SDC) isn't as into me as I'm into him.

Real Amanda circa 1998: Pines from afar. Never reveals true feelings to SDC, but writes lots of Fiona Apple-esque songs and terrible poetry equating her love for him to a dagger tattoo. Yep. A dagger. Tattoo.

Time Machine Amanda as Rachel Berry: Would sing an elaborately staged version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at SDC. Seriously at him. As in, standing right in front of him, looking ticked off and longing, all at the same time.

Mean Girl of the Century (you know who you are) makes fun of me in front of entire class.

Real Amanda circa 1994: Loses all ability to fire back a really good comeback. Just stands open-mouthed, fists clenched, and lets MGotC continue to behave like Paris Hilton.

Time Machine Amanda as Sye Sylvester: Would get close enough to MGotC to hug her, and then whisper in her ear "I am about to vomit down your back."


I really like to sing - really love it - but am embarrassed to sing anything other than Point of Grace-type songs (in church, with sister and mother) for fear of mockery.

Real Amanda circa 1996: Finally works up courage to sing a Jewel song for contemporary music class, despite having just received an awful Celine Dion mullet haircut. Looks uncomfortable for entire song, although does manage to glance a little bit too much at SDC while singing "you were meant for me...and I was meant for yoooooou..."

Time Machine Amanda as Rachel Berry and Sue Sylvester: Would walk up to SDC and say "You sunk my battleship, _________. You sunk it hard." Would then grab SDC's hand and force him to duet with me on "Don't Stop Believing." Magical band would materialize behind us, along with professional dancers. Also, I would have gorgeous flowing locks reaching my butt, which I would swish sexily and confidently while I belted out "living just to FIND EMOTION!"

Yeah. A time machine. It could happen. We have the iPad now, after all. Time travel can't be that far away. And when it happens - I'm so, so prepared.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If I were King of the Forest...

I really love it when I get out of the shower and realize that I left all of my hair styling products at my parents' house over Memorial Day weekend.

[Insert sarcasm here.]

I now resemble a scary mash-up of The Cowardly Lion and Richard Simmons.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Everybody Learns from Disaster" by Dashboard Confessional

"We stayed in the sun too long...suffered a terrible burn..."

Seems appropriate for the weather here lately.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Self Realization

I'm just not all that comfortable with people who are really, super comfortable with their own bare feet.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ah, hydrangeas....

Ashleigh gave me these hydrangeas from her garden, and my home office is brighter already.

Now if only Gilbert doesn't decide that I put them out as his personal salad...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book #10: Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

"Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl" by N.D. Wilson


I almost didn't make it past the first chapter of this book. I started reading it and thought "Whoa. What a pretentious writer." I mean, the guy says "ergo" on page 5. Ergo.

But I'm so, so glad I kept reading.

This is the best book I've read this year (and maybe in a few years). Wilson writes about God's creation, our world, in prose that might as well be poetry. It's so rare that an author is able to convey exactly what he means using common vernacular, but this one is successful.

I hardly ever cry reading a book, but there were several passages in this book that made me tear up. I even called Ashleigh on Friday afternoon to read some passages aloud, because they moved me so much.

I can't do justice to this book by just raving about it, so I'll include my two favorite passages here, and let that suffice:

"Jean-Paul Sartre, in his play No Exit: Hell is other people.

A writer for Wired modified that slightly: Hell is other people's music.

...I know little, but I know this: When you have died and your leaves have been raked, when you have looked on the face of God and had your final conversation, exchanging words others may never know, you will be where you want to be. If you cannot let go of yourself, if you cling to the filth that you've loved for so long, stroking the cherished scabs that line your soul - hates and bitternesses that you cannot lay down, an imagined mirror picturing a glorious self - then He will push you away. You will be sent out into the darkness, far from His presence. You will not like the darkness, but the other option seems worse. You couldn't bear to be without those scabs.

You will be in good company, wandering with preachers, priests, and kings, and every lofty human unable to live without themselves. Many 'righteous' will crowd into that corner with you, people who cannot imagine themselves as anything other than good, who cannot bend to a God who will not bend to them.

Other people. And their music."

****************************************************************************

"Our Maker waits. He would have a conversation. What words will we have?

We need only one, the One who spoke us.

We will hear the angels sing. We will be the sheep. We will be made new and find ourselves standing in a garden. We will be handed bodies and shovels and joy.

No tree will be prohibited.

Blister your hands. Tend to the ants. Push the shadows back. Sing. Make a garden of the world.

We will laugh and carve FINIS on the earth. We will carve it on the moon. We will look to the Voice, to the Singer, the Painter, the Poet, the One born in a barn, the One with holes in His hands and oceans in His eyes, and on that day we will know -

The story has begun.

And we will rake the leaves."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week



"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens

I like the honesty in this song. Sometimes we don't understand why God allows pain to occur in our lives, but it doesn't mean we don't trust Him and that we don't keep praying.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I knew I liked this guy.



Compelling stuff. I've loved U2 for a long time (their lyrics are amazing), but I genuinely like the man behind the music, too.

Also, check out this hilarious blog post on whether U2 is a Christian band or not if you have some time.