Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's a good week for new music.

Also out with new music this week is one of my new favorites-- singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. (Remember that song that used to always play when the blog opened-- the one about buying everybody nice sweaters and teaching them how to dance...) Click audio in the box below and you can listen to each track in her new album, Everybody.

She's coming to Seattle on October 12, just a few weeks after I land and hopefully not too soon for me to make some concert-goer friends ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song(s) of the Day: Ellipse, Imogen Heap

Today is your lucky day! Today I have not one, not two, but THIRTEEN new songs for you...

Ellipse is the new album by Imogen Heap (you probably recognize her as one half on the British electronica duo, Frou Frou, who gave us the 2002 hit, "Let Go") and I can't stop listening to it!

I hope y'all will enjoy too!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SOTD: Caedmon's Call, "Table for Two"

Being single is rough sometimes.

It's not that I'm not content with who I am and where I am in life. No, I really do believe that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now---if I were in a relationship, how could I even consider packing up my life and moving to a city I'd never laid eyes on before? But when I think about the future, I don't see it as a one-woman show. Though I'm having great adventures now, I'm starting to get tired of going it alone. Soon, I think I'll want to adventure with someone else.

And sometimes I worry if I'm missing my chance. In all my time growing and discovering myself, am I closing myself off to my chance of having a husband and a family? I read this article today about Christians and the resurgence of young marriage and it stressed me out. I can't be past my prime already, can I? My parents got married at 24. I have a lot of friends who are married already and plenty more who are on their way. Is it slim pickins from here on out? I guess it's a good thing I'm allergic to cats..

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I had dinner with old friends tonight, and, as can be predicted when girlfriends get together for the first time in a while, the conversation soon turned to the old standby-- boys. One of the girls is in a relationship. One just ended one. One wishes she was in one. One is not sure if she's in one or not. As we went around the table expounding on our relationship statuses, there seemed to be only one constant-- uncertainty.

Someday, we'll probably all look back on our twenties and just laugh about how silly and confused we once were and how the answers were right there in front of us all along and we didn't even know it. But today, the future is terrifying and hazy and close but so distant at the same time.

And I think this song gets that.

We made speculation
On the who's and the when's of our futures
And how everyone's lonely
But still we just couldn't complain

And how we just hate being alone
Could I have missed my only chance
And now I'm just wasting my time
By looking around

But you know I know better
I'm not gonna worry 'bout nothing
Cause if the birds and the flowers survive
Then I'll make it okay
I'm given a chance and a rock
see which one breaks a window
See which one keeps me up all night and into the day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SOTD: Matt Kearney, "Closer to Love"

Instead of the traditional SOTD format, I'm doing a little soul-searching today...

In the past few years, I've realized that a big part of growing up is learning to deal with the inevitable pain of this world. The things I cried about in my sheltered youth seem so trivial compared to the hurts I know now. In high school, I was such a perfectionist that a B- on a test would wreck me completely-- I distinctly remember bawling in the bathroom one morning because I wasn't selected to be on the Senior Class Council. Now, those tears just seem silly in light of real suffering brought on by death, addiction, abuse, disease. The list goes on.

This weekend I saw three of my best friends from college. While the weekend was a welcome break from the monotony of my recent life, it was not without its share of sorrow. On Saturday afternoon, I sat in my bed and sobbed to one friend about some of the things that have been going on in my life. On Sunday, I held another friend's hand as she sat in the front seat of my car and wept about the things going on in her life.

Later that afternoon I remarked that the deeper my friendships grow, the more tears we seem to shed together.

That, I'm learning, is the very nature of love. Our culture perpetuates this myth that love is a wonderful, euphoric feeling. The truth is, when we allow ourselves to really care about another person-- friend, spouse, family member, whoever--sooner or later we're going to get hurt. It's not that everyone we love is going to hurt us, but everyone we love is going to hurt. And if we really love them-- their pain will become our pain, too.

C.S. Lewis put it best in his book The Four Loves:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

I take great comfort in the knowledge that God's love is no exception to this rule. If we feel empathy for the hurts of our loved ones, how much greater is his empathy for us? If we weep when we are rejected, how many more tears does he shed over our indifference to him? God knows what pain feels like because he's been there. Jesus lived a life devoid of sin, but he did not live a life devoid of suffering. In his lifetime he saw friends die and was betrayed and ditched by the people who claimed to love him the most. And in his death, he suffered the ultimate rejection--already abandoned by his disciples, Jesus saw God, his father and creator, turn his back on him.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. --Hebrews 4:15-16

I also have faith that our tears are not shed in vain, just as Jesus' suffering on the cross was not in vain. God will make good on his promise to redeem the sorrows of this world.

On this point, I'll leave you with Dostoevsky, whose words are far more eloquent than mine.

I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the important and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SOTD: Oren Lavie, "Her Morning Elegance"

Why it's song of the day:

I should have gotten a job this summer. But after a year working in what may have been the absolute worst work environment in the history of not-for-profit theatre, I got home in late June and was just too burned out and bitter to look for any kind of work right away. And then we went to the mountains. And then I babysat a few times. And then I went to Indiana for a few days. And now here it is, the second week in August (at least I think it is, I honestly couldn't tell you the day-- I've stopped counting those) and I am still in my pajamas at 2:30 in the afternoon, contemplating the fact that I may be at a potential risk for bed sores.

But this video makes staying in bed all day look glamorous-- adventurous, even. So I am going to wallow in my laziness for one more day... or week.. or month.. ah, who's counting.

Why you should love it:

Pretty song. Pretty video. The usual maxim applies: what's not to love?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SOTD: Ray LaMontagne, "Crazy"

Why it's song of the day

Other than a few babysitting jobs here and there-- I really have had nothing to do this summer. And let's face it, I already overthink everything-- this much extra time on my hands is no help. I've abandoned my hopes for productivity and have become a lazy waste of space. With still a month left before I make the big move, I'm checking craigslist like 25 times a day, reading too many Facebook updates, and, frankly, losing my mind.

Why you should love it:

A good cover song is hard to find. Case in point: Madonna's atrocious disco-pop take on Don Mclean's classic, "American Pie." But this one breaks the mold. Completely revamping Gnarls Barkley's 2006 chart topper, LaMontagne's signature rasp turns a pop hit into a blues anthem. And a damn sexy one at that.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Big Move: An Update

So. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few months... Here's a little tidbit: I'm moving to Seattle.

3,200 miles across the country. That's no small hike, y'all.

In April, when I decided to take this internship, one of my main thoughts was, "moving across the country will teach me to get out of my comfort zone and trust God in ways I've never had to before."

Oh, brother.

Let me let you in on a little secret. Praying for trust is a little like praying for humility. The end result is good, but the process hurts like hell.

In the past week I have had at least one minor breakdown every single day. Here's what I've learned already: moving to a city you have never visited is terrifying. Trying to find housing in a city you know nothing about is a downright nightmare.

I've talked to enough people to know that the best living situation for me is going to be a room in Lower Queen Anne-- a neighborhood within walking distance from the theatre. Unfortunately, parking in Queen Anne, especially Lower Queen Anne, can be a little difficult, so I need to find a place that has parking included in the price. I also don't want to furnish anything but a bedroom, so that leaves out most studio or one bedroom places. And... did I mention I'm going to be living off of an 800 a month stipend (and hopefully some extra change from a part-time job). Sounds impossible, right?

It pretty much is.

But I serve a God who does impossible things for those who have faith.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance obeyed and went, even though he didn't know where he was going." (Hebrews 11:8)

So I'm following Abraham's lead on this one and trusting (or at least trying to trust) God to provide for me, even though I have no idea how he will do it. It's really scary, and I know that not everything will turn out the way I expect it to, but I believe that his plan is perfect and that he will provide for me.

No matter what happens, I'm holding onto the promise of 1 Thessalonians 4:24--"The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."


Of course, your prayers are always appreciated... and if any of you hear of open rooms in lower Queen Anne... do let me know ;)