Thursday, July 30, 2009

You know me, like a novel or a book!

"Books not only furnish a room, to paraphrase the title of an Anthony Powell novel, but also accessorize our outfits. They help brand our identities. At the rate technology is progressing, however, we may eventually be traipsing around culturally nude in an urban rain forest, androids seamlessly integrated with our devices."

- Vanity Fair, "What's A Culture Snob to Do?" August 2009

thanks, Claire.

The Diving Horse

Go to 1:08 for the horse diving video

I took some girls out for dinner tonight, part of a family that is quite close to the youth group I work with. One of the middle ones, about to go into sixth grade, is completely horse crazy. I never fully went through that stage, as any dreams about having a pony in the front yard were squelched by looking at our rickety yellow picket fence. The conversation invariably turns to horses whenever she's around. On our way out of Longhorn Steakhouse, we passed by a photo of a woman diving off of a platform on a horse. I'd never seen anything so melancholy and beautiful and frightening. The sixth grader calmly informed me that horse diving actually happens and is a legitimate sport. She looked at me with disappointment: "You've seen 'Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken,' right?" No...
Apparently a horse diver (I found out that the sport is quite rare and mostly for side-show acts) (wiki: diving horse) becomes blind but still continues to participate by memorizing how the horse sounds as it approaches, leaps on its back and falls off a platform into a pool. It sounds utterly terrifying.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. how did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love - a great love =- though maybe for the saints there was joy in the love of God. He didn't aspire to that, though; he didn't even believe in God. Certainly not! So, if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still the joy would be worth the pain - if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice - and he suspected there was - a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths."

- A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanAuken

Saturday, July 25, 2009

hipster bingo

My old roommate Rachel and I went to the Pitchfork music festival in Chicago this past weekend. It was hipsterville, USA, up there. "Hipster," as defined by urbandictionary (it's a really long definition) includes never wanting to be called a hipster: "Drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon. Often. Complains. Always denies being a hipster. Hates the word." I think I'm a hipster. Well, if they'll take me. I think Rachel is a hipster too but she denies it.

Another definition of hipster:
You, for reading ironic, pseudo-intellectual dictionary entries on the word "hipster".
"These dictionary entries on hipsters are so comical! I'm going to email this link to 800 of my closest acquaintances, head to Value Village, grab a chai and then play kickball in a headband and short-shorts."
Anyways, on to the point of the post. Pitchfork was perfect hunting grounds for hipsters: obscure bands, Chicago (has its own hipster districts too! And here, I thought they only came from Brooklyn or Williamsburg! - which is actually where many of the bands from Pitchfork came from), and lots of ethnic food booths.

So Rachel and I sat down in the grass (hipster points) and wrote out a board for hipster bingo: ironic tshirt, vest, fedora, keds, ironic tattoo (a large smiling tooth on the forearm?!), plugs, vintage camera, men in tight jorts, smoking a joint (actual visual, not just smelling it), contraband alcohol, sweat head band, ironic use of American flag print, fu manchu, high socks, full beard, scrunchie, sports jersey, calculator watch, cloves, ironic animal shirt, monochrome tattoo (not black), oversized glasses, ethnic print, Ray Ban Wayfarers

But, alas, hipster bingo didn't turn out to be as fun as we thought it would be. It was kind of too easy. Everyone looked the same. Going into Pitchfork, I was expecting the creative outfits I see on Facehunter but everyone was in jorts, a plaid shirt, and wayfarers. Everyone.

So Rachel and I made up another version of Bingo which was way more fun: "WTF are you doing here?" Bingo.
- an ethnic minority, Hollister, new running shoes, spaghetti straps, greek lettters, a polo, cargo shorts, big leather mall purse, backwards hat, capris on a girl, wire frame glasses, gauchos, a new university shirt, camouflage, vera bradley, baggy jeans, a costume, high heels, gray hair, visible muscles, children, a fake tan, butterfly tattoo, no shirt, North Face

Way more fun.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Melody - Kate Earl


I didn't know this happened: Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is a document created by and agreed to by clerical representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, as a result of extensive ecumenical dialogue, ostensibly resolving the conflict over the nature of justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation.

The Churches acknowledged that the excommunications relating to the doctrine of justification set forth by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent do not apply to the teachings of the Lutheran churches set forth in the text; likewise, the churches acknowledged that the condemnations set forth in the Lutheran Confessions do not apply to the Catholic teachings on justification set forth in the document. Confessional Lutherans, such as the International Lutheran Council and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, reject the Declaration.

On July 18, 2006, members of the World Methodist Council, meeting in Seoul, South Korea, voted unanimously to adopt this document as well.

wiki article: Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

- So the Catholic church is cool with Justification by Faith alone, since 1999. And said sorry for all that excommunication business that happened after the Reformation. This is good to know...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FYI: Guitar Chords

Accuse me not of arrogance,
If having walked with nature
And offered, as far as frailty would allow,
My heart a daily sacrifice to truth
I now affirm of nature and of truth that their divinity
Revolts offended at the ways of men.

- William Wordsworth
"My taste was for things old and shabby and unpopular, and I regarded with skepticism whatever was acclaimed as the spirit of the age."
- John Buchan

How can you like the character of the statement so much yet disagree with it so much as well?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tiny Vipers

Coldplay 'Fix You' on Vh1 Storytellers

Willow Pattern

If I got a large arm tattoo, I think I would want some form of this Willow Pattern.
The story is basically a Chinese Romeo & Juliet story, with the girl setting the house on fire in which her and her man were hiding. The gods had pity on them and turned them into doves.

Here's a pic of a girl who got this tattoo on her back: (here)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Flaming Lips at Pitchfork

FYI: The Nine Muses

Calliope was the muse of epic poetry.

Clio was the muse of history.

Erato was the muse of love poetry.

Euterpe was the muse of music.

Melpomene was the muse of tragedy.

Polyhymnia was the muse of sacred poetry.

Terpsichore was the muse of dance.

Thalia was the muse of comedy.

Urania was the muse of astronomy.

Sufjan Stevens' - The BQE

THE BQE- A Film By Sufjan Stevens from Asthmatic Kitty on Vimeo.

Monday, July 20, 2009


" that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face. Boughton and I have talked about that, too. It has something to do with incarnation. You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can't help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant."

- from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

I have begun to read I and Thou by Martin Buber (Google Books), which was the book that the ballsy people at L'Abri read. It's difficult to work through, so I am simply skipping sentences that confuse me and hoping to grasp the general concept before my attention wears out. I think I am reading 8 books right now. It keeps my mind buzzing.

Jules Aarons

When Allie and I went to Boston for the Harvard-Yale football game, we toured around Boston and visited the State House (which is right in front of where the Boston Massacre took place. Down in the basement was a small showing of photography by Boston portrait photographer Jules Aarons. His photographs are awesome, but I can't find too many on the internet. Here's a few:

'Standard Operating Procedue' trailer

I heard about this on This American Life episode 'The Fall Guy'

'We Are Wizards' trailer

I heard about this on the 'To the best of our knowledge' episode 'The We Generation'

we feel fine

"I need to be in some backwoods redneck town in order to feel beautiful"

"I wouldn't hide it if society didn't make me feel like I had to"

"I feel so much of my dad alive in me that there isn't even room for me"

I want to work for this guy: Clay Shirky

I've begun listening to To the Best of Our Knowledge, a podcast from Public Radio International. The first episode I listened to was called The We Generation and featured Clay Shirky from NYU.

From his bio: "In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Shirky is an adjunct professor in NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology -- how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. His current course, Social Weather, examines the cues we use to understand group dynamics in online spaces and the possible ways of improving user interaction by redesigning our social software to better reflect the emergent properties of groups."

Wow. Could you get more interesting?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hugh Latimer: Burned at the stake in Oxford in 1555: Latimer – “Be of good comfort master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out.”

Henry The VIII, I Am - Hermans Hermits

luther on marriage: to read later

09.13 Martin Luther. The Estate of Marriage, 1522. (Translated by Walther I. Brandt).

yeah yeah, I know Luther was a flaming anti-semite but I'm kind of partial to Lutherans and I like how earthy Luther is. I'd like to hear what he has to say on marriage between a monk and a nun.

this is the house the pope built

Giovanni Paolo Panini

this is the basilica that the church built with the indulgences that got Martin Luther's shorts in a bunch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quelqu’un M’a Dit

"What I’ve always loved most about this song more than anything is its origin story. It goes like this: Carla Bruni and Leos Carax were lovers. After Bruni left the forlorn romantic filmmaker, Carax heard a rumor at a party that his former lover still held a flame for him. He went home at once and wrote her a letter that began with “Quelquun m’a dit,” (i.e. somebody told me.) Somebody told me there might be some small possibility that you still love me – some sliver of a hope. While the epistle didn’t move Ms. Bruni enough to return to LC – it compelled her to put a melody to the words and “Quelquun M’a Dit” was born. Leos Carax is still credited with the lyrics. I don’t know how your readers feel about Lovers on the Bridge or Boy Meets Girl but any chance I have to funnel Carax some royalties – count me in. Dude has been on hiatus for a long time and it’s not like "Tokyo!" is going to put a whole lot of pate on the table [ed. Marc, watch for Carax's "Merde," his segment, it's awesome!]"

Marc Webb telling the story behind Carla Bruni's song “Quelquun M’a Dit

Quelquun ma dit - Carla Bruni

how interesting!

"You, Joe, and Zooey are all about the same age — and this film feels very generation specific. Did you see it that way?
I'll stop short of saying it's all about this moment, but there are a lot of things about this generation that inform it. Cinematically, romantic comedies are born of a different era, when America was wrapping up the frontier era: If you're not happy in one place, you go find your fortune someplace else, so there's this happily-ever-after thing. I think nowadays you can't escape, so you're forced to have more nuanced, lasting relationships with people. I think people are more comfortable now with not having a happily ever "

...and I want to be friends and have long conversations with Marc Webb:
"I was a little hesitant to answer your request given the tone of some of your editor's posts. Then again I think skepticism can be a virtue – so here I am. Incidentally, I do think there are things more dangerous than “twee.” Cynicism for example. It’s fair to say we engage in pop culture to be enlightened, moved or to share some common experience. And when culture makers like musicians, filmmakers, artists, or bloggers become loyal to a form rather than a feeling –that is to say when they don’t actually believe what they’re creating – it becomes cynical. That can throw the experience off. Maybe that’s what your invectives are hinting at. The work stops being culture and starts being something else – propaganda maybe? I’m not sure. But it’s a worthy topic for discussion and I hope it continues in a manner that invites engagement."
Director Marc Webb, from The Playlist

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

huguenot cross

keeping secrets

I am quite one-sided in my opinon on secrets. Too one-sided, in fact. I sometimes get in trouble for freely discussing the goings-on the lives of my friends and acquaintances. I have been able to get it through my thick skull that some secrets simply are not mine to tell – traumatic stories of abuse, anything that makes people cry, etc.

However, I have a harder time not talking about general human instances of trouble or struggle. These seem normal to me and I expect for everyone to assume that certain bad things are happening with everyone. Everyone has family issues, everyone struggles with their faith in God.

But I still get embarrassed when people talk about my love life. But I still feel like this should be out in the open, to a certain extent. Being seen as a fool is part of life.

A friend at L’Abri told me that the best thing for us would be for our sins to be covered on the evening news every day.

I was raised by two members of a generation and of a culture that treasured secrecy, the value of appearance, and a certain level of politeness and propriety. I have reacted by thinking that most of those things are silly and distracting.

What’s the balance to this?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

i'm all alone on a bicycle for two

Black Hole - She & Him

mmm hmm

Groaning the Blues - Otis Rush


i just spent a week with my "extended family" - the fellowship gathering, 6-7 families that have been vacationing together for 33 years. it all started with some of the dads going to seminary together at princeton in the 70s and then interning in DC. but that's not the point of this post.

I am the youngest member of generation 2 - the children of the couples who interned together in the 70s in DC. being with the rest of my generation is educational, mostly because i'm looking at my future. there were babies everywhere.

it started me thinking about what i want to do with my kids. i don't usually like many human beings under age 13. i'm told that will change when it's my own kids.
here are my thoughts, gathered from watching parents make mistakes as well as good decisions with my friends, myself, and youth group kids.

Support whatever hobbies they're into.
Have a huge family tree on the wall with pictures.
Apologize and ask forgiveness from them.
Save up money to send them to really good schools.
Go to garage sales for their clothes and toys.
Give them toys that help them do other things and are not goals in themselves - like a rebounder, balls, boxes, wheely carts
Let them argue with you and explain why you decide to do things.
If you fight with your husband in front of them, resolve the fight in front of them.
Practice hospitality in front of them, to their friends and to those in need in the church.
Everyone does chores.
Kids cook meals when they're able and interested.
Pray continuously.
Let them get summer jobs. Or better yet, volunteer to take care of old people in the church.
Make them drive really crappy cars.
Ask other people's advice about raising my kids.
Expose your kids to a wide range of music.
Expose your kids to a wide range of ideas and talk about them.
Expose your kids to a wide range of people - and talk about it.
Send your kids to a non-Christian school.
Let your kids do whatever they want with their hair and talk through the consequences.
Listen non-judgmentally.
Try to do cloth diapers.
Just blend up your own food and feed it to your baby.
Read widely yourself.
If we have a TV, only let them watch movies and public access tv and don't have a tv be the center of any room
Walk around in your underwear and use the right anatomy words.
Have a garden with a compost pile.

one extremely frightening thing that happened last week was that a member of generation 3, close to one year old, would sometimes (i witnessed this twice) get so angry and upset that she would stop breathing while walking towards her mother. her little face would turn purple and she would PASS OUT. her mom would hold her and laugh and blow in her face until she woke up. wtf.

late addition

taken by my cell phone, held by carrie, in the smithsonian in DC from spring break. viva colbert.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

three of my friends are hitchhiking to africa for their documentary 'Give a Damn?' - follow them on twitter here:

from the sartorialist

lisa, a friend of mine whom i was with this week, said that falling in love is seeing someone how God sees them - beautiful and tragic.

try it on

"I feel sometimes as if I were a child who opens its eyes on the world once and sees amazing things it will never know any names for and then has to close his eyes again. I know this is all mere apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it. And I can't believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the whole world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don't imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely and I think piety forbids me to try."

- from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

two of my friends at L'Abri read this book obsessively while I was there in 2006 so I decided to give it as a gift to my mom for her birthday last month. I have adopted the habit of giving gifts that I would want to receive myself and it has worked out quite well so far.

Marilynne Robinson wrote her first novel in her 40s and her second novel, Gilead, won a Pulitzer. The novel is about a preacher in his 70s who is dying and writing a letter to his 7 year old son about the story of his life. I want to write down a new quote every other page. It's very somber and poetic. I love it, but it makes me very unsociable.

I was talking to my mom yesterday about my life plans and stopped to ask her what she actually thought about them. She said that she felt more comfortable with this current plan (moving to London in a year and a half) than she has been with my other life plans (moving to south america to be a missionary, moving to DC to work for a think tank, getting another masters at SLU in american studies, or at iowa state in journalism...etc.). She said that she feels like she's outside the dressing room waiting while I try on these different plans, seeing which one fits.

I do the same thing with books. Reading Twilight makes me giddy and indulgent in my moodiness. Reading The Catcher in the Rye in high school was the most frightening experience I've had of this kind. I literally thought I was going crazy. I still haven't finished it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

from etsy

these look awesome. i love the idea of bizarre vases. i enjoy going to TJ Maxx because of the truly strange things they have in the housewares section. I have a large glass apple lantern that serves absolutly no practical purpose - but it's cool looking. i was there this past week and reluctantly passed over a vase that was composed of 10 or so faces in white. one day my house will be filled with strange and beautiful things. mostly from garage sales, kind church people, and tj maxx.

i also love succulents. they are so interesting looking. i much prefer interesting beauty to pretty beauty. i just recently killed my pearl cactus that i have had since mid 2007. RIP

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a-mazing. this is THE show in my house now and we usually have the high schoolers over after krew to watch it on wednesday nights. but i was busy going on motorcycle rides and helping to plan rice-wrestling nights to stay over. what a great dance.