Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let the good times roll...

Seriously. We had a luncheon at work catered by Bro's Cajun Cuisine, which my dad said at Christmas was the most authentic Cajun food he's had since leaving Louisiana. It's good stuff. (Guy Fieri featured it in "Diners, Drives, and Dives." Anyway, we're talking jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo... and I only ate three pieces of King Cake. Only three? Yes, it's that good. (And they were tiny pieces.)

SO much for my low-carb diet today!

Anyway, I hope you all are enjoying your day, wherever you are and whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or the Lenten Season. Head on over to the Uncontainable Truth, where I talk about the "reason for the season" and my plans for Lent.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dead Man's Bones

Watch this.


There are so many things going on here I'd like to point out.

  1. Badass drums/piano rise and fall with creepy lyrics reminding me of something that would be playing in the background of an Edgar Allan Poe story.
  2. A choir (all songs with a choir get bonus points)
  3. A choir consisting of adorable children in Halloween costumes
  4. The ending with the boy hitting the cymbal with his pirate's sword?
  5. That voice. Love that voice. Oh, and that voice belongs to Ryan Gosling, who I'll admit I do enjoy as an actor and person in general. I won't state the obvious and say that he's nice to look at, too. Oh wait, I just did. 
Am I the only person who didn't know until today that he has a legitimate band? Check out the Dead Man's Bone's  YouTube page here for more. 

I also love this one. 

Edit: After further investigation, I am totally buying their 2009 album. 

Apparently the project was formed from a mutual obsession with monster music, ghost stories, and Disney's Haunted Mansion ride. According to Amazon, "Also incorporated into the project was foley such as tin foil for rain, creaking doors, paper ripping for thunder, foot steps, screaming, crying, waves, werewolf howling, boat noises, crickets, etc....Dead Man’s Bones finished their record with the L.A.’s Silverlake Conservatory Childrens Choir..."

Seriously. This was meant to be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cupid Valentino

I don't have many thoughts about Valentine's Day, to tell you the truth. Perhaps it is because for the past 10 years or so, I've either been single or dating someone long-distance, so it hasn't been significant for me. I'm usually one to pick up a shift (it should come as no surprise that the big VDay is a good night to work in the restaurant business). But today is special!

Today you can see my name in print (well, virtual print) as part of my friend Christen's e-book, God's Love For Me, at the Uncontainable Truth. You can download a copy by checking out the post here

I enjoyed getting cheesy and writing about the beach (one of my "God Places") in a short essay called "If it's the Beaches." (Title inspired by my favorite love song, below.) I'm very excited about this and looking forward to reading all of the other contributors' stories. I hope you enjoy!

So on this Valentine's Day, whether you're single or taken, bitter or hopeful, any or all of these things, I personally hope above all else that you realize.... don't get too caught up in it. I've been reminded too much recently by losing loved ones too early that you should tell the people you love that you love them every day. You should buy them cards and candies, show affection. Say I'm sorry. All of those things. So let today be a happy reminder of that. 

And on a lighter note, here are some good things I've come across:

My friend Boeskool's hilarious and quite poignant list of Five Ways to Really Love Somebody. Good stuff.

ThoughtCatalog's Happy Valentine's Day to my Best Friend. I really wish I'd written this one, because I can't convey how much it describes the relationships between myself and my closest girlfriends.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Update

If I could describe 2012 in one word, so far it would be challenging. But not in a bad way.

I shared earlier that I started a new job, and I'm delighted to report I am not in any way bored. In fact, I'm busier than ever, and I've been able to truly push myself and learn more than I ever have, professionally speaking. I've also been given more responsibility (and visibility, as in, making presentations and the like) than I'm used to. In other words - I'm busy. And I'm enjoying it. And at the age of 29, after 10 years of being out of high school with two degrees and 7ish years of professional experience on my resume, I finally feel like I'm in a big girl job and fully living up to my (professional) potential. Which is really a fun thing.

In addition, someone pointed out that every year I say this is the year I get healthy. And it's true. I've been saying so since I was about 15 or so. That adds up to a whole lot of un-follow-through. But this year IS different! Fit by 30 is the motto. So far, I've given up all sodas (I could write an Ode to Diet Coke, but I won't bore you with that). I only drink water and tea or coffee. I've also been seeing a personal trainer and going to boot camp classes. My trainer Terry and I had a special bonding moment last week in which I had to pause to puke mid-workout. That was fun. But I realized I had never truly pushed my body hard enough to get there before, so it was a good feeling. Afterward.

Diet-wise, I've become addicted to adding spinach or kale to my smoothies, and I try to have a serving of greens with every meal, as well as good fats. I think I've ingested more almond butter and avocado than ever in my life, and fewer bad carbs. I'm sure there's an official name for it, but I call it the "Whole Foods Diet." Basically eating as little as possible of things that have been processed in any way and sticking to fresh meat and veggies, fruits and fats. Water and tea (and coffee). I've been doing a lot of cooking and preparing my own meals. Waking up earlier to cook breakfast, eating salads and no take out, all that jazz.

You see? So perhaps you will be impressed and not judge me when I tell you what else has been taking up my time:

Yep. Buffy the freaking Vampire Slayer. As in, Sarah Michelle Gellar in the 90s. Not to mention Seth Green before he was Kenny on Can't Hardly Wait and Alyson Hannigan pre-American Pie and HIMYM. And David Boreanaz pre-Bones as her current (as of Season 3) love interest, Angel. Breaking my heart, people. You don't understand the shame I feel when I realize I'm on episode 45, and that means that (with 45-minute episodes), I've spent almost a work week watching Buffy battles truly the most ridiculous vampires and monsters I've ever seen. But I love it. It appeals to the side of me that loves the teen angst, has a special place in my heart for the 90s, and appreciates good, hokey monsters and film. I will not apologize.

I've also been reading this:

Hipster Christianity is a very interesting book by Brett McCracken in which he discusses the Church (as in, the Universal Church)'s need to be cool, and whether or not that is a good thing. He's talking beyond the emergence of rock bands and "community groups" instead of Sunday School, but the idea of changing or slacking in principles to appeal to the masses. I'm not far into it, but I'm intrigued so far. Living here in Nashville, as someone supremely uncool among the hipsters he speaks of, leads me to fully understand from the getgo what he's talking about. And I have a feeling I'm going to have some arguments. But we'll see in due time.

"Hey - I met you... and you are not cool."

AND I've already gotten to mark something off of my 2012 bucket list after seeing Ryan Adams play a solo gig at the Palace Theater in Louisville. DRA didn't allow any filming, nor did he allow phones to be out at all for texting or calling, so I don't have any footage to share, but I will say this: the man is BACK. And he sounds better than ever. Seems that marriage has been good for him, as he was undoubtedly more laid-back, rolling with the punches (and song requests), and making up songs on the spot about black metal cats. Just Ryan, a guitar, and a harmonica. And I will say that not being distracted by a sea of cell phones, as well as my exhausting need to document while at a concert that often leads me to miss whole songs while trying to troubleshoot my camera, changed my entire viewing experience (thanks, Ryan).

Elizabethtown, KY
Plus, I got to experience a true moment of happiness listening to the Elizabethtown soundtrack while driving through Kentucky. It was one of those moments when the sun is shining, you're sitting in the car with a best friend and singing your hearts out to the soundtrack of your favorite movie (something that bonded you with this person to begin with), and you don't have a care in the world. Those moments really happen, people. They aren't just for movie montages.

This business is no joke (from the soundtrack):

Celebrate the differences, I celebrate the songs you sing...

Perhaps when my brain and body slow down from the whirlwind of 2012, I'll have something insightful to say. But for now, at least I can offer an excuse for my lack of blogging.

Oh, How He Loves Us So...

Gods love for me ebook

In just a few days, my friends Christen and Raleigh over at The Uncontainable Truth will be releasing a Valentine's Day e-book: God's Love for Me.

It'll be a free download, and guess what... yours truly is a contributor! Read on here, where Christen talks about her inspiration for the book, mainly how often we overlook that the greatest love story in our lives is the one between God and the World (ie, all of us), and a call for focus on remembering that and paying attention to all the ways He loves us. As I've said before, I tend to be an "all about ME" person, so this was especially poignant for my life.

(Speaking of poignant, here's some David Crowder Band for you:)

I hope you all are doing well and enjoying your 2012 so far!