Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the quest to become more white

I gave my sister-in-law the book Stuff White People Like for christmas, named after the wonderful blog. In the back of the book they have a quiz with 150 things that white people like and the reader is to go through them, checking off which ones they like. I scored a 75%. Pretty white. However, my whiteness quotient would have increased more had I known what some of the things are. Therefore, since I seem to appreciate most white things (I know that I shouldn't be happy about this, but I'm a lover and hater of all sub-cultures equally) I am going to look up the white stuff I've never heard of and hopefully love them too.

noam chomsky
michel gondry
michael chabon - the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay
jay mcinerney - bright lights, big city
neutral milk hotel
joanna newsom
mos def
the utne reader

now, i've heard of mos def and have seen most of michel gondry's films, but i obviously don't have enough working knowledge of them to declare, "i'm white and i like them." So, this will be my project until I go back to Graduate School (#81 on the list).

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Best Picture Ever

The Best Picture Ever
Originally uploaded by maryfd
this is me and my manatee friend in the florida keys. it swam into the docking area near where we were staying. my mom told me to jump in and touch it so i did. it felt like the bottom of a boat, all slimy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kodachrome / Mabellene [Live Album Version] - Simon & Garfunkel

I gave my mom this CD for christmas and it's been playing on repeat at my parents house all christmas day. bright eyes did a version that i found on some music site. he said that they sing it a lot on the bus on tour. i hope to see connor oberst in concert before he OD's.


garance dore


Garance Dore

out shopping with sharon last week, i found some glitter pants like this at express. i haven't shopped at express since high school and forgot that they are very good for ridiculous club (as in, dance) wear. unfortunately the pants were $50. i'm going to the florida keys with my family in two days and will hopefully hit up the same thrift store across the street that i bought my other ridiculous glitter items at. wish me luck.

Couleurs d'usine by Pierre Béarn

Métro boulet bistrots mégots dodo zéro

(translation: "Subway work bars (cigarette) butts sleep nothing")

check out this fashion blog: Garance Dore

merry christmas!

from Kanye

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Free music: Justin Timberlake & T.I. - "If I"

download here

Boyz-N-the-Hood - Eazy-e

I seem to remember another version of this song and learning the lyrics when I was in 6th grade (even though I had never heard the song). I did the same thing in 4th grade to Oasis' 'Wonderwall' - even though I had never heard the song. What a poser.

Anyways, didn't some white kid 90s band do a cover of this? Offspring?

Boyz-N-The Hood - Dynamite Hack

Thanks, Mondo

Viva la Lily

Womanizer (Britney Spears Cover) - Lily Allen

I love Lily. She has a new album in February. I think one of the songs off it it is on her myspace.

all i want for Christmas is: 'The Invention of Air'

read Boing Boing's write-up of it here.

"Johnson uses the life of [Joseph] Priestly to illuminate a theory of history that holds that great people are neither an inevitable product of their times, nor luminous, supernatural geniuses -- rather, they are the product of an ecosystem of influences, technologies, climate, and energy (literally -- the story of stored energy in coal, saltpetre, and plant-bound carbon are vital to the story). He pulls this off deftly, with a series of insightful, beautifully realized anaecdotes from the life of Priestly and his contemporaries -- his allies and his many enemies -- that make the idea of history being shaped by webs and networks seem absolutely true."


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

all I want for christmas is: the unisex circle scarf

American Apparel

I know the American Apparel stuff is crap quality but they have pretty innovative styles and you have to hand it to them for that. 

Look at all the cool stuff you can do!!

This girl reminds me of my old roommate Rachel and how she used to dress.  I miss her.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brooklyn (We Go Hard) (CLEAN) - Jay-Z Ft. Santogold

things worth discussing: 
 - the background sound sounds eerily familiar.  I can't place it (not the bass, but the flute-ish sound).
 - Jay-Z's sudden caribbean accent (eg. thang = ting?)
 - meaning of this lyric: "mama never had an abortion but papa sorta did, I still managed to live"

thanks to (red)wire for this.

* okay, i remember what the background music reminds me of: Madonna's 'Hung Up' which samples ABBA's 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme' - am I right?

** also, read Ailsa's comment.  Smart girl.  


gotten from Jeff

Word of the Day

you have no idea what I had to go through to get this word.  I remembered loving this word and find a few choice opportunities to use it and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was.  I had to call my mom, get our New Yorker subscription number, log in under my Dad's email...etc.  Just to track down this article on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour from the July 10, 2006 issue.  Well, here it is, our word of the day:

uxoriousOverly devoted or submissive to one's wife

What a great word.  It's up there on my favorites list with nepotism.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"The window's open now and the winter settles in
We'll call it Christmas when the adverts begin"

-- Damien Rice "The Animals Were Gone"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cutting and Self-Injury

This is all becoming a little bit clearer to me now...

From Lori G. Plante's 
Bleeding to Ease the Pain: Cutting, Self-Injury, and the Adolescent Search for Self 

"Psychologist Scott Lines put it this way: ‘The skin becomes a battlefield as a demonstration of internal chaos.  The place where the self meets the world is a canvas or tabula rasa on which is displayed exactly how bad one feels inside.’"

"Historically, prior to the 1800s, Western cultures viewed self-injury as mortification of the flesh, a Christian concept practiced for religious atonement through suffering."

"Gruenbaum and Klerman followed suit in conceptualizing cutting as ‘self-prescribed treatment’ of distress.  Scar tissue ensued as a representation of healing, symbolizing an almost surgical removal of pain."

"Many comparisons can be drawn between the self-affliction of anorexia and bulimia with that of cutting, burning or otherwise damaging the body.  As stated by Cross, self-cutting and eating disorders are ‘attempts to own the body…thinness is self-sufficiency, bleeding emotional catharsis, bingeing is the assuaging of lonliness, and purign is the moral purification of the self.’  Further, ‘Body and slef constantly shift roles of victim and victimizer, master and slave.’"


Friday, December 12, 2008


Thornton Wilder:
"I didn't marry you because you were perfect.  I didn't even marry you because I loved you.  I married you because you gave me a promise.  That promise made up for your faults.  And the promise I gave you made up for mine.  Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage.  And when our children were growing up, it wasn't a house that protected them; and it wasn't our love that protected them - it was that promise."

I'm not sure I completely agree with the quote (unless the promise is grounded in Christ, allowing us to keep the promise).  But, I'm reading up for my Marriage and Family Counseling class and marriage is on the brain.  A book we had to read about singleness and dating (which will remain nameless because of the shameful ridiculousness of the title - I won't even have it posted on my blog) that basically said that to be sure to avoid selfishness in life we all need marriage.  I've never thought about needing marriage before.  Maybe I do need marriage.  

"Lovebug" Jonas Bros.

Lovebug - Jonas Brothers


David Sedaris does Billie Holiday

I heard this on the This American Life episode "Music Lessons"

David Sedaris is coming to the Fox in St. Louis sometime in February.  I knew I should go but I was still wavering on whether to spend the cash.  I don't know if he'll do this number at the show (probably not) but all I'm saying is that I will be in the audience when David Sedaris comes to town.  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

God Moves In a Mysterious Way by William Cowper, 1774

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

The Dread Report, part 2

Well, the dreads are coming along. I put absolutely no work into my hair, and I think it's all coming along quite nicely. They are noticable enough for people to see that there is something going on, but I wouldn't say that I have full-fledged anything. It's a hot mess.

The reason I wanted to write up an updated report was because of something interesting I have noticed in regards to how guys have been treating me since I started growing them. I would say there has been a 2/3 increase in the amount of guys who chat me up in public since the dreads started in late September. Having discussed this with my roommates and my mom, there have been a couple theories as to why:

Allie's theory #1: it's the sexy, just-got-out-of-bed look.
Allie's theory #2: it's edgy and rebellious looking, guys dig that.
Mom's theory: it's not the hair at all, but my skin is clearer and guys dig that.
My theory: I like the way I look with the dreads and that projects a positive attitude.

I think the truth resides more in Allie's theory #2 because a guy started chatting me up in the dairy section of Global Foods last night and I was just as awkward as I was pre-dreads.

oh, and i tried to comb-out a dread last week and it was totally unsuccessful and we basically had to cut it out.  oh no!
Posted by Picasa

Cant Take My Eyes Off You - Muse

sunday school & twitter

I'd love to do a sunday school lesson on Twitter. However, I feel like most of the time when people show videos like this the point is to laugh and shake our heads at how absurd and sad the rest of the world is. Instead I want to identify what is so human about things like Twitter and what people are wanting out of it - really wanting out of it. The idea of Twitter does sound kind of absurd and sad. As the video states, Twitter is there to fill the gaps between email and blog postings. The question of Twitter is "What are you doing?" Twitter exists, it says, to tell people who care about you what you are doing.  

I see now that Facebook ripped the idea of status updates from Twitter.  Status updates are strangely fascinating and addicting.  Lyrics from songs, cries for help, way-too-personal thoughts, complaints, everything is on there.  It's humanity flashing before your eyes - or, what part of humanity that we want to show our friends, family, and co-workers (the entertaining parts?).  

So maybe this would be a two-part lesson.  One part would be WHY we want things like Twitter to exist - why "What are you doing?" is such an important question to us (privacy?  mystery?).  The second part would be WHAT do these status updates say about humanity?  What is written about?  WHAT exactly are we doing?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


For my youth ministry class at seminary, I have to do a final project on a "problem" in youth ministry.  I think I am going to study cutting.  A few of the girls that I work with at my youth group do it and as far as I can tell, it serves the same purpose as alcohol abuse: numbing and escape.  

I don't know exactly where to go with this, but I want to use it as an opportunity to learn more about it and figure out what the hell is going on with our girls.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

flesh-out vs. flush-out

First of all, let me say that both of these sayings creep me out.  The act of "flushing out" or "fleshing out" and idea or object seems weird and gruesome.  But, I was strapped for a phrase in writing my semester paper for Spiritual and Ministry Formation and had to use fleshed out.  Shudder.

The kind people at Washington State University (via Google) explained the difference between the two phrases (there is one):

To “flesh out” an idea is to give it substance, as a sculptor adds clay flesh to a skeletal armature. To “flush out” a criminal is to drive him or her out into the open. The latter term is derived from bird-hunting, in which one flushes out a covey of quail. If you are trying to develop something further, use “flesh”; but if you are trying to reveal something hitherto concealed, use “flush.”

Vampires Playing Baseball

I finally saw 'Twilight' yesterday with a high school sophomore girl I know. This scene is my favorite but it is horribly bootlegged. Analysis: the acting was on par with a Lifetime movie, but I'm a sucker for any superhero-esque movie where the heroes take delight in their own awesomeness - like in this scene.  Oh, and Edward is hot only because of the way he smiles at Bella - it's like he understands her better than anyone else.  

I woke up to this song this morning on 89.1:

Our Love - Rhett Miller

I love this song, it's so smart.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Almost Famous

Lester Bangs: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong. 
William Miller: Well, it was fun. 
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool. 
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn't. 
Lester Bangs: That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter. 
William Miller: I can really see that now. 
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it, you got a big head start. 
William Miller: I'm glad you were home. 
Lester Bangs: I'm always home. I'm uncool. 
William Miller: Me too! 
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world if what we share with someone else when we're uncool. 
William Miller: I feel better. 
Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.

My friend DP gave his testimony in Krew sunday school this morning and used the quote, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world if what we share with someone else when we're uncool."  I'm giving my testimony next week (we're doing a series on personal stories), and I plan on using the same quote.  I've found so far in my life that I'm a sucker for cool things and being cool and so far it's just screwed me over.  Maybe my experience will change some people's minds.  

I've also found that the best decisions I've made have all been in the direction of being perceived as more dorky.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Richard Avedon

At Last - Beyonce

I have wanted to use Etta James' "At Last" as the first dance at my wedding. I love this song. It's a combination of so many great things. Beautiful sound, classic lyrics, longing, fulfillment. It's beautiful. Beyonce did good.

This is when I lean down and cup my hands and whisper to my heart in my chest, to where the Holy Spirit lives, "Hey, I'm reading about you."

"We need to appreciate far more than we have been wont to the close interdependence of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the operations of saving grace. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord and Christ is the Lord of the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:9; 11 Cor. 3:18; 1 Pet. 1:11). Christ dwells in us if his Spirit dwells in us, and he dwells in us by the Spirit. Union with Christ is a great mystery."
 - John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, Chapter IX “Union with Christ” (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1955), p. 161-173. 

Sometimes I wonder...

what happens to heretics

Sometimes I wonder if we have really exhausted the various heresies we could believe in.  There are so many heresies possible.  I'm in seminary, these are the things I think about.  First let's go over some of the classic heresies:

-gnosticism: Jesus was fully God but not fully human.  He probably didn't even have a body.  Matter and the material world is sinful and bad.
- marcionism: the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament.
- montanism: if you die a martyr, you go to heaven.  

But what about all the other heresies out there?  Surely we can be more creative.  

How about some heresies like:
- allieism: warm cornbread that your roommate makes you actually saves you.  the one loophole.
- dinosanctificationism: dinosaurs were also made in the image of God, but they ended up sinning more than we did so God destroyed them during Noah's flood.
- kieslichism: if you eat unicorn poop, you live forever.

why I'm not postmodern anymore:

Because I'm realizing how much it has influenced the way I do ministry with high school and middle school students.  One of the tenants of postmodernism is equality/egalitarianism.  The thought is that trouble starts when people think that they have more truth than others or think that they are better.  Because of this I have unconsciously acted like I was 17 when I was around high schoolers.  Sure, I'd give advice and 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't understand communion

...and so I am going to read books like this to figure it out.  The most helpful thought that I've learned so far is that we take communion now to look back to Christ's sacrifice the same way Jews in the Old Testament sacrificed animals to look forward to Christ's sacrifice.  

wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

middle school girls love Lady GaGa

Just Dance (Ft. Colby ODonis & Akon) - Lady GaGa

sometimes I have to choose not to download songs that i think are crappy and not play them at youth group. it's in their best interest.

a marriage of mediocrity

united in their over-ratedness

I've been thinking lately about what is like for Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin to be married to each other.  Neither talk about each other in interviews or appear much together in paparazzi pictures.  In fact, there is so little public interaction that the nasty tabloids have speculated about the health of their marriage.  But that's not what I'm talking about.  

People get together for all sorts of reasons.  Chris and Gwen got married because Gwyneth was preggers with Apple.  Gwyneth said yes to Chris because he was the only English bloke ballsy enough to ask her out.  

But I'm more thinking about the level of their respective outputs of art.  I'm a fan of Coldplay.  I drove across Missouri to Kansas City to see them play.  I'm actually watching Coldplay (with Michael Stipe) on Austin City Limits right now.  "The Scientist" is one of my favorite songs of all time.  I will not, however, defend the level of Coldplay's lyrics.  They beat around the bush, they pretend to say something when they say nothing at all.  But...the music is great. 

 As for Gwyneth, the last standable movie she was in (in my opinion) was The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001!  Since then she has miraculously kept her respectablility as an actress while still producing mediocre performances in a range of crappy to awesome films.  

Therefore, my thesis statement:  Chris and Gwen are MFEO (made for each other) because they are both over-rated.  

Monday, December 1, 2008

Viva la Hova

Viva la Hova - a mash-up of Coldplay and Jay-Z (no particular albums, just random songs). Download it here.  From what I've listened to so far, the focus is on Jay-Z and Chris Martin comes in as a compressed high-pitched voice (think of the samples of female voices like in that Twista song) and the supposed Coldplay backbeats are hardly recognizable.  I prefer the Grey Album.  

I heard about this from my boy, Jeff.

flashbacks from middle school:

Turn your lights down low (album version) - Bob Marley ft Lauren Hill

In my eighth grade english class, we were studying poetry and had to write original poems.  I misunderstood the assignment, thinking that we were just supposed to turn in some poetry that we enjoyed.  I turned in Lauryn's lyrics:

Loving you is a like a song I replay
Every three minutes and thirty seconds of every day 
And every chorus was written for us to recite 
Every beautiful melody of devotion every night 
It's potion like this ocean that might carry me
In a wave of emotion to ask you to marry me
And every word, every second, and every third
Expresses the happiness more clearly than ever heard 
And when I play them, every chord is a poem
Telling the Lord how grateful I am cause I know him 
The harmonies possess, a sensation similar to your caress
If you asking then I'm telling you it's yes
Stand in love, take my hand in love, Jah bless 

Hey girl, I kind of want to be you: Janelle Monae

MySpace: Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae website
wiki: Janelle Monae

thanks to Claire for the vid.  

One Man Guy

One Man Guy - Rufus Wainwright

I was listening to this song on my fave radio station today, 89.1 The Wood, Lindenwood University's radio station. I've listened to this song before and I think owned it at one point (Napster probably).  I had always assumed that Rufus was talking about how monogamous he was, being openly gay.  But after listening closely there's another story.  If I ever gave a talk at Krew about selfishness or the necessity of depending on others I think I would use this song.  Rufus is so great.  

"I don't know why I'm a one man guy
Or why I'm a one man show
But these three cubic feet of bone and blood and meat are all I love and know"

"I'm gonna bathe and shave
And dress myself and eat solo every night
Unplug the phone, sleep alone
Stay way out of sight
Sure it's kind of lonely
Yeah it's sort of sick
Being your own one and only 
Is a dirty selfish trick"

how sad...

"When I listened back to the New Zealand conference I was like whoa this is pretty harsh. Sometimes I speak with no filter. I did not mean to be so harsh on the subject of Christianity being that I was a well known Christian. When I was at my Mom's funeral a fucking stranger came up to me and said, "I hope you've accepted Jesus as your saviour so you can see your Mother again!" My entire life, being an african american, Christianity was forced down my throat. Since I was a child, I would ask questions like, "so are little babies that can't speak yet going to hell also?" I one thousand percent believe in God, I believe in Karma, I believe in being a good person. I'm not trying to tell people what they should believe or not believe. To each is his own. I was in situations where someone constantly used Jesus to show me how baaaad a person I was or how not perfect or not Christ like I was. When I say I don't want to be Christ like I'm saying I'm fine with not being perfect. I'm fine with being a human being. I'm happy with just that." - Kanye 12.1.08