Saturday, November 6, 2010

This will be in your head all day

We found this video a while back and showed in during a sermon series on who God is. The entire youth group - us included- had this song in our heads for days. The band, Gungor, is worth checking out. A while back they decided that they no longer were going to write music with the intention of being popular or making it big. They just wrote music for the sake of music - and it shows.

White Man - Michael Gungor Band from Brandon Goodwin on Vimeo.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Can't stop listening to Caro Emerald

I found this artist a month or so ago and absolutely love her!  She is a Dutch jazz singer with a fun, funky style. She is big in the Netherlands and Europe - not sure when she'll break out here in the US.  Hope you enjoy!

CARO EMERALD BACK IT UP from Casper Boermans on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Warnings for Bloggers from E.B. White

It has been unusually hot in San Diego this past week, and with the excuse of avoiding the heat of my home, I ventured to a local bookstore to "enjoy the air-conditioning." Needless to say, it only took ten or so minutes before I had found a book that needed to come home with me. For some time I had been searching for a compilation of essays by E.B. White, the author of the beloved children's books Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Besides these works in children's literature, White has been heralded as one of the premier essayists of the twentieth-century.

As I was reading, I was struck with some of the similarities between the essayist of White's time and our modern day 'bloggers.' Now, I am not saying that many (or any for that matter) bloggers are of the same literary level as Woolf, Owell or White - but some similarities do seem to appear.

The excerpts bellow are all from White's own forward to his collection of essays Essays by E.B. White, published by HarperPerennial, 1992. When reading, it is not a far stretch to replace the 'essayist' with the 'blogger.'

The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new "attempt," differs form the last and takes him into new country. This delights him. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.

I think some people find the essay the last resort of the egoist, a much too self-conscious and self-serving form for their taste; they feel that it is presumptuous of a writer to assume that his little excursions or his small observations will interest the reader. There is some justice in their complaint. I have always been aware that I am by nature self-absorbed and egoistical; to write of myself to the extent I have done indicates a too great attention to my own life, not enough to the lives of others.

Too, true. A blogger must first believe that someone, anyone, even a stranger, is interested in their day-to-day happenings and random thoughts. If you are not self-centered enough to believe that someone is out in cyberspace waiting and even excited to read your musings, you wouldn't have a blog in the first place!

Read on, however, for a warning to all you over-eager bloggers.

I tend still to fall back on the essay form (or lack of form) when an idea strikes me, but I am not fooled about the place of the essay in the twentieth-century American letters - it stands a short distance down the line. The essayist, unlike the novelist, the poet, and the playwright, must be content in his self-imposed role of second-class citizen. A writer who has his sights trained on the Nobel Prize or other earthly triumphs had best write a novel, a poem, or a play, and leave the essayist to ramble about, content with living a free life and enjoying the satisfactions of a somewhat undisciplined existence.

Ah, the pin that will pop our narcissistic bubble - our words are quickly forgotten, our thoughts read and disposed, each entry lasting only long enough to be checked off of someone's google reader list.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun Retro Posters

I've stumbled across these posters and thought they were well worth sharing with you. These are all public safety and health posters that were part of FDR's WPA (Works Progress Administration) started to help give work to unemployed artists as well as getting "important" messages like these out to the public - some of the posters from this era are really great. There is a whole line of travel posters highlighting the different states and national parks. If you have a few minutes to spare sometime just look up "WPA posters" you'll love what you find - there are even sites that sell remakes of these old posters, I think some could be really fun decoration.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ScuttleButton Time

I have found a fun little diversion on a NPR blog (I know, I know, here I go again with NPR) the blog is called Political Junkie.

So here is the fun part, every week Political Junkie has a contest called ScuttleButton Time. The point of ScuttleButton is to find a message hidden in the political buttons posted on the left - you take on word or concept from each button and add them together to make a saying/quote/idea.

For example, the ScuttleButton game to the left:

You add John + Ann + Cate + "+" + 8 = Jon and Kate Plus Eight, the TLC tv show.

Some of the entries are song titles, political figures, current events or just randomness. I have fun with it every week and thought I would pass along the enjoyment to you.

Just for fun, here is another ScuttleButton quiz below, let me know if you can figure it out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Prisoner of the Heart

I have never heard a story quite like the one I am about to share with you. It is a story about the bonds between a daughter and her mother, about the devastating consequences of our actions on those we love, and peoples desperate need for love and relationships.

I came across this incredibly sad, but moving story on the radio yesterday while Vince and I were driving. The story came from the radio show This American Life, and was entitled "Going Big." The premise of the weeks show, was stories of people who took incredible steps and drastic measures to solve problems that they faced. The last of the three stories on the broadcast is the story that I want to retell, it was about a daughter who desperately wanted to be reunited with her mother, no matter the cost.

The story starts with an argument, and a woman had brought a gun along with her and in the course of the disagreement she shot and killed the person she was fighting with. She goes on trial and is sentenced to life in prison in California. The woman had a daughter, and seven years after she is convicted, the girl is able to save up the money to go visit her mother in prison and while she is there she decides that she can't continue without her mother around.

The girl is in her 20's by now, and when she gets home she has determined to do whatever it takes to get into prison. Finally after a year of trying, she is arrested for stealing and she confesses to the crime along with crimes that she made up on the spot to ensure a conviction. Long story short, she ends up in prison with her mother.

The mother is overwhelmed by the chance to be with her daughter again, but devastated that her daughter is in prison - and there because of her. The two women are able to be cell mates, and spend every possible waking moment over the next year with one another. They both said that it was undoubtable the most meaningful moments in their relationship, and both discovered a love and connection that hadn't been there before because of the business and demands of regular life. The daughter was released a year later, while her mother continues to serve the rest of her life sentence. How sad that these women were never able to have a meaningful relationship until they were placed in such desperate circumstances, I am saddened to think what their life could have been like if not for the choices that they had made.

You need to listen to the story yourself - the sadness of these two lives, and the desperation in their voices as share their story is heartbreaking. What an incredible illustration of humanities need for love and relationship.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Music You Should Be Listening To

I was listening to NPR (if I had a dollar for every story that started that way) and found an interview with an up and coming artist named Zee Avi. She has the most wonderful happy sound, with unique lyrics of her own creation - I was a fan after I heard a song where she successfully rhymes "Kierkegaard" with "broke my heart."

Just take a quick listen and I can almost guarantee that you will want to buy her album. It will definitely be my next purchase!

NPR had a great interview with her on All Things Considered, you can read more about her and listen to her interview here.