thursday 13

Courtesy of Steph, this week: Thirteen favorite musical scenes from movies that aren’t musicals.

1. Almost Famous:

2. Magnolia:

3. High Fidelity:

4. The Return of the King:

5. Master and Commander:

6. 10 Things I Hate About You:

7. Pulp Fiction:

8. I can’t find a good video of it, but “Twist and Shout” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

9. Up–and what makes this is the music:

10. This is probably cheating, since the movie’s all about music, but from Sister Act 2:

11. Philadelphia:

12. Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

13. Love Actually:

BONUS TV show clip:

mix tape monday

This one’s been sitting around my iTunes for a while: Songs about the end of the world. Eschatological songs, for all you theology nerds.

1. Johnny Cash, “The Man Comes Around”
2. Plumb, “Late Great Planet Earth”
3. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, “Soon and Very Soon”
4. Andrew Osenga, “After the Last Tear Falls”
5. Patty Griffin, “We Shall All Be Reunited”
6. St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir, “Lux Aeterna”
7. Matthew Smith, “Lo He Comes”
8. Blind Boys of Alabama, “Atom Bomb”
9. Christian Kane, “LA Song”
10. Bruce Springsteen & the Sessions Band, “When the Saints Go Marching In”
11. Thad Cockerell, “Great Rejoicing”
12. Derek Webb, “This Too Shall Be Made Right”
13. Jars of Clay, “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”
14. Sacred Harp Singers, “I’m Going Home”


Tonight at church the sermon was about Peter, and how Jesus gave him a new name, not because of what he was, but because of what he would become. And the pastor asked, “What name would you want to be given by God? What would you want Him to call you?”

My own name, Amanda, is Latin for “worthy of love” or “beloved”, which is kind of ironic, since that is the one thing I have struggled with the most as a Christian–knowing that I don’t have to earn God’s love, or be afraid of receiving love from other people, because in Christ I am already fully beloved. Since I’ve been in DC He’s kind of forced me to confront this head on, which has been really difficult, but it’s so good. It’s so good. My heart is so full that it aches.

Teacher Dave has been plugging this song to me lately, and it’s been a favorite of mine for a while now, and I think it’s rather relevant:

What about you? What kind of name would you want to be called by God?

ooh, this is good.

From N.T. Wright’s Simply Christian:

The arts are not the pretty but irrelevant bits around the border of reality. They are highways into the center of a reality which cannot be glimpsed, let alone grasped, any other way. The present world is good, but broken and in any case incomplete; art of all kinds enables us to understand that paradox in its many dimensions. But the present world is also designed for something which has not yet happened. It is like a violin waiting to be played: beautiful to look at, graceful to hold–and yet if you’d never heard one in the hands of a musician, you wouldn’t believe the new dimensions of beauty yet to be revealed. Perhaps art can show something of that, can glimpse the future possibilities pregnant within the present time. It is like a chalice: again, beautiful to look at, pleasing to hold, but waiting to be filled with the wine which, itself full of sacramental possibilities, gives the chalice its fullest meaning. Perhaps art can help us to look beyond the immediate beauty with all its puzzles, and to glimpse the new creation which makes sense not only of beauty but of the world as a whole, and ourselves within it. Perhaps.

weirdnesses of the day…

* One of my coworkers, who used to be a Marine, told me how to choke someone more efficiently (it involves putting your arm bones right against the other person’s jugular veins).

* These crazy street preachers right by the metro station who were ranting about how women shouldn’t have short hair. I was rather tempted to punch them, to say the least.

* The random dude dancing to the music in his earbuds IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INTERSECTION. FOR SEVERAL MINUTES.

* Overheard over the PA system: “[Guy’s name I can’t remember], stop hugging people and return to the studio.”

thursday 13

It’s back! It’s kinda late, but it’s back! This week: If you can remember, the last 13 movies you’ve seen. I am a giant nerd and keep a list, so, in reverse chronological order–

1. The American (which was awful, by the way)
2. The Iron Giant
3. 9
4. Wings of Desire
5. Inception
6. Where The Wild Things Are
7. Toy Story 3
8. Wit
9. Tender Mercies
10. Shutter Island
11. Crazy Heart
12. Much Ado About Nothing
13. Avatar

why i love living in cities…

or, what I saw on the way home from work this evening:

* Old Chinese guy, on his stoop, smoking a cigarette and dancing to really bad old country music

* Young woman, letting the little kid next to her play with her iPod. (It ended badly, since his sister wanted to see, too, and…well, you know how that goes.)

* Two guys sitting across from one another–one young, black, track jacket and sneakers; the other middle-aged, white, suit and tie–both participating in the very human activity of nodding off on the bus.

what we carry

(For some reason whenever I come to a new city these days I end up writing a poem about its public transit system. This is the result of an observation I made while on the metro this morning.)

This is a city that carries its life around in bags–

Backpacks and messengers full of data, education;
Purses and totes containing whatever small necessary mysteries
A woman knows she may or may not need that day;
Satchels of gym clothes, cast-off uniforms, ties,
Work hours folded up or crumpled into a small package.

We carry books, newspapers foisted on us by
Bright stands or men in orange vests,
Music piped straight into our skulls,
Chewing gum, pens,
Planners, to-do lists,
Worries, hopes, dreams, tasks, prayers.

And we hold close to our chests
Or to our sides
All the stuff
That gets us through
Just one more day.

“the river runs to the sea…”

I am now in DC. Excellent things from the past couple days:

* My roommate is not crazy. In fact, she is super-nice and even drove across town to pick me up at the airport. I think we’re going to get along well; we’re still in the trying-to-figure-each-other-out phase, but it’s nice. She’s introduced me to some folks from her church, and I think I’m visiting with her on Sunday. So, yeah.

* The NPR office is in the middle of what used to be a super-sketchy part of town, but they built a bunch of condos and restaurants and a convention center there now and it’s actually gotten quite gentrified, for better or for worse. But people aren’t afraid to walk to the metro station down the street by themselves, at least, and there are some good shops around there.

* I randomly ran into my friend Sara from college while at the metro station Monday night. I haven’t seen her in person since our mutual friend’s wedding last year; she’s in town for another week before she has to go back to grad school, so it was pretty serendipitous.

* The metro that I ride every day to work goes over the Potomac and I get to watch the river run to the Atlantic. It’s lined by forest and houses, and every once in a while you can see a boat go by.

* My office has a robot that rips CDs. Enough said. 🙂

* Oh, some of you will appreciate this: My office is also right across the street from the offices for Blackboard. Yes, that Blackboard.

I think it’s going to be a good time. It’s a beautiful city, and I’m getting kind of familiar with it, but I’m looking forward to getting to know people even more. Here’s to that.