Listening To: On Love by Jennifer Knapp
Simple Perfection: "Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom's cause. As I walk from earth into eternity ..." - Brooke Fraser, from the song Hosanna
As I type, the sky gets darker. Crazy foreboding times! I feel like I'm writing a storm. :) As you probably know by now, I'm wild about rainy days. A friend of mine likes to tease that I'm far more emo than I like to admit because 1.) I love dark, rainy weather (as long as I am not driving in it ... and as long as my family isn't driving in it) and 2.)I like angsty singer/songwriter music and 3.) because I like to wear black. It's not that I don't vary clothing colors -- I do. I just like black most of all. I think black looks pretty and contrasty against pale skin. (See? So emo.). So this dark rainy day? Is weirdly lifting my mood.
I've decided to change the order of my next two posts. I'd planned on writing about the simple (but awesome) way my mom taught me to study the Bible back in High School. But I want to work on that post just a smidge longer. So today I'm talking about some random topics courtesy of Kristin ...
Kristin, alias Miss Vintage Girl, sent the cutest blog award this direction. I adore Kristin's blog ... this girl is way too talented for her own good. "Crafty" doesn't even begin to describe the bags and wallets and cell phone covers and iPod covers (etc. etc. etc.) I've seen on her site. Her work is lovely. She has an eye for gorgeous fabric and knows how to pair colors and textures and designs. Her style is the best kind of vintage; the kind that pulls from other iconic time periods but still looks original and modern. She's a classy girl with a classy blog that you'll love (if you don't already read it). Thanks for the sweet award, Miss Kristin! :)
(How adorable is the girl holding the flowers?! I want to hug her.) The rules for this award state that I tell you ten random things about myself. And then, if I didn't feel like being a rebel rule-breaker, I would tag ten lucky people. Instead, I'll just extend the offer to play along if you feel like it! :)
1. I'm extremely anxious to read Matched by Ally Condie. When I first read about this book a couple of months ago, I mass emailed my bookloving friends the textual equivalent of jumpy claps. The blurb from Ally's blog says Matched is a dystopian love story, about a society where people pick 1.) who you fall in love with, 2.) what you do with your life and 3.) how long you live. Cassia, the sassy protag in this novel, is okay with that. And when her bff Xavier's face flashes up on the matching screen, she's still okay with that. ... but just before the screen goes dark, she sees the face of a boy named Ky. And even though the Society tells her it was just a fluke, and Xavier is "The One", and go on your way now and enjoy the rest of your determined-by-someone-else-existence ... Cassia can't stop wondering what if.
And, as you know, wondering what if tends to open the door for all manner of dangerous and wonderful adventures :) I'm smitten with the plot already. Doomed love stories? Please. They're like my kryptonite. As if the book couldn't get more appealing, I noticed that it was edited by Julie Strauss-Gabel. She's edited so many books I adore. I typically find a thank-you to Julie Strauss-Gabel at the end of books that are poetic and fast-moving and impossible to forget. (Is it lame that I always read the thank-you section in a book?)
Other things that excite me about this book: 1.) It sounds just a little bit like The Giver, which ranks in my top 10 favorite books of all time. Matched sounds wholly original, but I think it will have that same thread of urgency running through it. The setting sounds a bit reminiscent of The Giver too. Can you see it a little bit? 2.) The cover is complete gorgeousness. When covers skew artsy and metaphorical like this one? Gah! In the words of Rachel Zoe: I die. And 3.) I've read Ally's blog for awhile now and she seems genuinely nice. It wouldn't matter if she wasn't, of course. I'm sure there are jerks who write beautiful books. An author's personality isn't a factor in whether or not I buy a book (I take that back ... if an author comes off like a pompous jerk, I definitely wouldn't buy the book).
Still, when I see success raining down on genuinely kind people, the warm fuzzies attack and I'm convinced all is right with the world. Ally is holding a contest on her blog through May 31 to win an ARC of Matched. If you happen to win, and you decide to share it with me ... I'll bake you cookies. And if I win ... I'll gladly regift. However. As I happen to be the most unlucky girl who ever walked this big-blue planet, I'm assuming the winnings will pass us by, and I'll just have to wait until November to discuss this book :) Still! Let us not be swayed in our quest for an ARC! One ... Two ... Three ... Break! :)
2. I love musicals. When I went to London during college, I mostly camped out on the West End looking for cheap theater tickets. Now I get mailings from every city within a four hour radius that has a Broadway tour coming through. Stage musicals are my fave, but I like movie musicals too. One of my favorite movie musicals is Disney's One and Only Genuine Original Family Band. I thought I'd list it here because, much like Halloween is Grinch Night ... nobody seems to know what I'm talking about when I mention it. Not only is Family Band fun, full of music you'll be singing for days, but it has a really cool history lesson attached. And it's funny. And there's a sweet, cheesy love story. (Don't misunderstand: this movie isn't good because it's moving. It's good because it's a fun, corny musical.) I don't think my family likes it when I watch it though, because, at random/inappropriate times, like right after we say grace at dinner, I'll shout: "Stephen Grover Cleveland is the man this country needs!"
3. I'm jealous of writers who do great vlogs. I'm so bad in front of a camera; very self-conscious and awkward and unfunny. Cameras terrify me. But I almost tried to vlog this past weekend. I saw a banner near my brother's apartment advertising a fundraiser where a group of clowns would be passing out barbecue. And I thought ... this is something in need of video documentation! I ended up not channeling my inner Spielberg, but I thought I would let you know that I thought about it. Mostly, I just wanted you to have that visual of clowns, passing out barbecue, stuck in your mind all weekend. *evil laugh*
4. I'm reading an interesting book called A Sweet & Bitter Providence by John Piper. It's a short book, examining the story of Ruth and Boaz (one of my faves!!). I don't read John Piper at the rate some of my friends do. Piper gets to the point, usually in a terse way. He's smart with so much great stuff to say. I tend to sway toward more flowery writing styles. Still! I think this book is really good. He looks specifically at issues of sexuality and ethnocentrism in the book of Ruth, then makes great commentary on how society looks at those issues now (specifically how Christians look at those issues). This book is very well written and smart. And I'm learning so much. For example: did you know the Ruth and Boaz had an interracial marriage? Isn't that awesome?! I never realized that until I read this book.
5. I like to paint my nails funky colors. (Do you like how we transition from serious topics to pointless ones?) My nails are currently painted a color called "conquistadorable" - it's like the color of a raspberry popsicle. I'm obsessed with it. It's fun to see little flashes of pinkish-red while I type :) I'm also partial to a color called Mr. Right Now (that I discovered at Sephora) and a purplish-red called "manicurist of seville". I'm convinced one of my prouder achievements in life was the day I learned to paint my right hand without making a mess.
6. Some new songs I've downloaded recently include: Apologies by Grace Potter and the Nocturnes, The Curse by Josh Ritter, Heart That's Pounding by Sally Seltmann, Devil's Spoke by Laura Marling, and Not So Sure by Joe Pug. All are recommended. I also downloaded the entire Jennifer Knapp album and it is incredible. Not that I'm surprised, or anything.
7. Strawberries are my favorite food. If you've ever eaten a strawberry and thought ... meh ... I highly recommend trying them again now that they're in season. They're so delicious. Beyond strawberries, my favorite foods are all things that nest together in the tip-top of the food pyramid waiting to ravage my insides. Like chocolate chip cookies and tacos, etc.
8. Storms make me nervous. I like dark skies and heavy rain but I've been afraid of storms since I was a kid. My dog doesn't like them either. We mostly hide under the covers until they pass.
9. I prefer black ink to any other color. Unless I'm editing. If I'm editing, I go purple or pink.
10. I'm working through an amazing Bible Study by Beth Moore called Breaking Free. I just finished week three and, even though I'm only this far in, I don't have words yet to describe what it's doing to my heart. I'm overwhelmed. I hope, by the end, I'll be able to write a little bit more about the journey I've been on. To close one day's study, Beth asked that you turn to Job 38 and read the whole chapter aloud. I've loved this passage for a long time. And when I find passages like that, that mean something special to me, it sort of feels like finding a sweet old love letter that hits your heart the same way it did the first time you opened it. This week when I read Job 38, it made me teary. If you get some time alone, maybe find a little rainy corner of the world where you can be by yourself for awhile, I highly recommend reading Job 38. It's a perfect storm.
I would love to hear ten randoms from you in the comments! Happy weekending :)