the living room recommends

Because I haven’t done one in a really long time, and because I have some good stuff to recommend…

Believe the hype on this one. Robots? Check. Adorable robots? Check. Love and adventure and fidelity? Check. A lovely reminder to live life while it’s right in front of you? Yes, please. Pixar has raised the standards of storytelling for this one. (Oh, and here is a very interesting interview with the director about faith, art, and storytelling.)

In the Heights
I haven’t actually seen the play, but I have the soundtrack, and if the CD is any indication, this is a gorgeous piece of art, boys and girls. It’s a musical with a strong sense of place; the vocalists are all stellar; Lin-Manuel Miranda is a great, great songwriter (and rapper, to boot). Standout tracks (in my mind) on the soundtrack: “96,000”, “Blackout”, “It Won’t Be Long Now”, “Sunrise” (which made me cry on the way home from work today with its utter beauty), “Carnaval Del Barrio”, and “Alabanza”. Besides, what other musical has a promo like this:

So You Think You Can Dance
I spent a good chunk of Saturday watching clips of this show on YouTube. Here’s an example of why.

mix tape monday

This week: Female vocalists.

1. Judy Garland – Get Happy
2. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
3. The Cardigans – Lovefool
4. No Doubt – Hey Baby
5. Chasing Furies – Thicker
6. Marketa Irglova – If You Want Me
7. Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris – Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby
8. Caedmon’s Call – The Innocents’ Corner
9. Anna Nalick – Breathe (2 AM)
10. Peggy Lee – Fever
11. Evan Rachel Wood – If I Fell
12. Sandra McCracken – Gypsy Flat Road
13. Waterdeep – Northern
14. Patty Griffin – Rowing Song
15. Over the Rhine – Professional Daydreamer
16. Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek

run time – exactly one hour

thursday 13’s here, thursday 13’s here…

This week: 13 movie quotes, pt. 2.

1. “I AM A GOLDEN GOD!!!” —Almost Famous

2. “Whoa, horsie…” “…My name’s Phillip.” —The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

3. “N-Y-one-five-two. One hundred and fifty-two. He’s… one hundred and fifty-two years old. He’s had one hundred and fifty-two moles removed, so now he’s got one hundred and fifty-two pock marks on his face.”
“The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.”
“One hundred and fifty-two people who think he looks like a Clark BAR.” —You’ve Got Mail

4. “A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.”–Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

5. “What’s the Czech for ‘Do you love him?'”–Once

6. “Do you believe in reincarnation?”
“Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting.”
“Yeah, right. Well, most people, you know, a lot of people talk about past lives and things like that, you know? And even if they don’t believe it in some specific way, you know, people have some kind of notion of an eternal soul, right?”
“OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there’s, like, two million people on the planet. Now there’s between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? ‘Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the Earth’s time. You know, so at best we’re like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking… I mean, is that why we’re so scattered? You know, is that why we’re all so specialized?”
“I don’t know. Wait a minute, I’m not sure… I don’t…”
“Yeah, hang on, hang on. It’s a, it’s a totally scattered thought. It… which is kind of why it makes sense.”–Before Sunrise

7. “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.” “I know.”–Before Sunset

8. “In that moment, I knew success, not greatness, was the only god the world served.” —Elizabethtown

9. “It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” —Crash

10. “I think if people see this footage they’ll say, ‘Oh my God, that’s horrible,’ and then go on eating their dinners.”–Hotel Rwanda

11. “You should’ve gone to China, you know, ’cause I hear they give away babies like free iPods. You know, they pretty much just put them in those t-shirt guns and shoot them out at sporting events.” —Juno

12. “Well, Stephen, the bird’s flightless?”
“It’s not going anywhere.”–Master and Commander

13. “First, I’ll turn him into a flea. Then I’ll put that flea into a box, then I’ll put that box inside another box, and I’ll mail it to myself, and when it comes, I’ll SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!”–The Emperor’s New Groove

*whistles a little tune*

(starting music: Andrew Osenga – Of the Father’s Love Begotten)

1. I was reading Genesis the other day, and in the ESV 15:6 is rendered “And he [Abraham] believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” Now, in that second clause, who is the subject and who is the object? Paul obviously interprets God as counting Abraham’s faith as righteousness, and I’m definitely not disagreeing (Paul being an apostle and inspired by the Holy Spirit and all…), but does the sentence allow for Abraham seeing that this promise, even though it hasn’t been fulfilled, is the righteousness of God at work? Or is that even allowed for in the grammar and wording at all? In the Hebrew, is it pretty obvious who is doing what, or is that ambiguity there, too? Someone elaborate on this, please.

2. I’ve been thinking about it some more, and…I think I might vote for McCain in the fall, if only because he’s been less caught in the hype machine (his wife’s plagiarism of cookie recipes notwithstanding, heh). I am curious to see specifically where he stands on the issues, and why, and what kind of leadership he’d show, and what kind of people he’d pick. And I mean what kind–are they going to be people of character, or people who are out to get votes? After reading this article, I think I’m more concerned about virtue than politics, since virtue naturally defines one’s politics, anyway. So, we’ll see.

3. Here’s an interesting prayer I’ve been praying lately: Lord, help me to order my desires rightly. It feels like all that Plato and Aquinas I read in college finally clicked or something, but it’s a good prayer to pray anyway, I think. Get my priorities straight. Quit making things into idols. Love God above all else.

4. Things I’m glad about:
*You guys like the new layout (I do, too).
*I don’t have to work on Friday! Hurrah.
*God is good indeed, even when I’m full of myself, or I want to punch someone in the face, or when I don’t pray…actually, He’s especially good in those times. I’m still trying to learn this, but I think it’s sinking in more and more, and that’s such a good thing. Can I get a witness?
*I’m knitting a shawl for Afghans For Afghans so they can give it to a new mom…I’m kind of excited about it, actually. Pictures to come, maybe.

mix tape monday

This week: Good songs for a Sunday morning.

1. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Airline to Heaven
2. Talib Kweli – Get By
3. U2 – Miracle Drug
4. Ben Folds – Not the Same
5. The Choir – Monkey Board
6. Foy Vance – Shed a Little Light
7. Waterdeep – Good Good End
8. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – When Your Mind’s Made Up
9. Counting Crows – Le Ballet D’Or
10. David Eugene Edwards – The Good Hand
11. Iron & Wine – Boy With a Coin
12. Lori Chaffer – Bough Will Break
13. Evan Rachel Wood – Blackbird
14. Jars of Clay – Love Song for a Savior
15. Bruce Springsteen – My City of Ruins
16. Charlie Hall – Nothing But the Blood
17. Hennegar-Union Street Sacred Harp Convention – Antioch

thursday 13

This week: 13 major events from the 20th and 21st centuries that you remember, and where you were.

1. The Oklahoma City bombings…
2. OJ Simpson’s trial…
3. Waco/David Koresh…
4. The Columbine shootings. For all of those, I have vague memories of coming home, and my mom would be watching them on TV.
5. The first Gulf War–one of my earliest memories is watching footage of it on the TV in my parents’ bedroom while my folks were getting ready for something. Can’t remember what. I was really young, like, 5 or 6, when it happened.
6. The space shuttle explosion in 2002–I remember exactly where I was: In the emergency room, getting treated for a third-degree burn to my left thigh from boiling water. (Long story, except to say my dad was to blame, on accident.) All that was on the TV in the waiting room was coverage of this.
7. 9/11–I was on my way to Spanish class, when the school secretary comes through the halls, telling anyone she can find, “Someone’s bombed the World Trade Center.” We all thought it was a rumor until our teacher came in on the phone, sobbing…until we all packed into a room and watched both towers fall on a crappy TV…until they sent us home early and we were all wondering which city would be next…
8. For some reason, I remember watching the opening to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. *shrug*
9. The 2002 World Cup–during one of the games, the power went out because it was raining really, really hard, and I remember being really annoyed because it was during that World Cup that I discovered my love of soccer.
10. Katrina. Don’t remember where I was when I heard, but I remember all the aftermath, everyone coming to Houston, and I remember almost passing out when I went to go give blood.
11. Rita–I was overseas and worried sick about my family, until they called and said, yeah, we’re fine.
12. The 2004 elections–I got my absentee ballot late in the mail at school, and was really annoyed as a result that I didn’t get to vote. Up until then, we’d all been watching the debates and keeping up with the news, and I remember a lot of people being really annoyed for weeks afterwards. (Baylor is more liberal than you’d expect.)
13. JFK, Jr.’s death…I remember watching a special about him on MSNBC.

you and me and all of the people

1. Okay, so it’s Wednesday night rather than Wednesday morning, but here’s a post anyway.

2. So, I read a lot of left-leaning websites, and so all the gay marriage in San Francisco news I read is obviously portrayed in a positive light. And I can tell all these men and women getting married are happy, getting to finally be together like “normal” people, but…at the same time, I know that in eternity they are going to suffer the consequences. I believe homosexuality isn’t so much the disease as the symptom; Paul lists it as the last thing in a whole string of hearts being hardened, the creature wanting the creature rather than the Creator. One of the challenges we have as the church: Loving gay and lesbian and transgendered people both with conviction and compassion, especially when they also confess Christ. Some sins aren’t easily thrown off, even when you know Jesus. Bring the controversy!

3. Okay, so, this is possibly the best acceptance speech for anything, ever:

4. Yes, I’ve been on this insane poetry kick lately, and I am perfectly okay with that (by the way, buy my stuff, see the post below, ahem *cough*). I am falling in love with the English language again. And things, I find, take on a different quality whenever they’re read out loud. This is how the ancients read; I wonder how our literature and how our reading experience as a whole would be different if we did the same. Not that I’m going to give up reading silently any time soon, mind you, but it’s a fun exercise.

5. I have to say it: I’m really glad it’s happening, but why is VH1 doing I Love the New Millennium when the decade’s not even over yet? Just saying.

music check.

Longer post to come in the morning, but since we haven’t done one in a while, here we go. You know the rules.

1. Robbie Seay Band – O Come Emmanuel
2. Stevie Wonder – Superstition
3. Waterdeep – Scared
4. 42nd Street Revival Cast – Dames
5. Andrew Osenga – wanted
6. Shane Barnard – Hosea
7. 100 Portraits and Waterdeep – You Are So Good to Me
8. Default – It Only Hurts
9. Jim Sturgess – Something
10. Iron & Wine – Boy With a Coin (*hand claps*)
11. The Katinas – One More Time (…yes. really.)
12. Max Lucado – Ancient of Days (…yes. really.)
13. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir – We Come Rejoicing (thank you, shuffle, for breaking out all my old Christian music)
14. Andrew Osenga – Vegas (better)
15. Bruce Springsteen – The Rising (also better)
16. Wayne Watson – Don’t You Remember (…fail.)
17. Andrew Osenga – you leave no shadow
18. One Nation Crew – Free
19. Shane Barnard – Psalm 145
20. Mandy Moore – All Good Things (surprisingly good)

mix tape monday

This week: Break-up songs.

1. 13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me
2. Kate Nash – Foundations
3. Nickel Creek – Somebody More Like You
4. Johnny Cash – Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart
5. Blink-182 – I Miss You
6. U2 – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
7. Counting Crows – You Can’t Count On Me
8. Derek Webb – Reputation
9. Zwan – Of a Broken Heart
10. Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
11. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – Lies
12. Plumb – Stranded
13. Caedmon’s Call – Love Is Different
14. The Normals – Heaven Heals
15. Foy Vance – First of July

run time: 57:34