Friday, May 20, 2011

song in my heart. paint in my hair.

Listening To: Better by Regina Spektor

Happy Friday beauties (& beastlies)!

How've you been? Having a good week? A surprise cold-front swept through Tennessee this week. Weirdo that I am, I've been living it up. Breaking out the knee-boots in May is like a dream come true. I love most things about living in the South but the heat has always been my #1 least favorite thing. I dread summer. I think I might be allergic to warm weather. I have pale, pale mutant skin. My kind were meant to live in stormy, cool, rainy climates. Or maybe underground or something. Alas, we're back in the 90's this weekend. Yay, sweat. *sarcasm*

Next week, I'll be writing about the Royal Wedding. I figure now that we're three weeks past that shindig, it's high time I pen my very astute thoughts on the event. Today's post will be more confetti-style. More housekeeping type stuff. Mostly, I want to talk about books, bluegrass music, and hedgehogs. (The usual fare, really.) Gettest thou comfy!

* First, I am absolutely flipping out to see Paperdoll listed as a resource at Magnify. Magnify is a ministry for young women (college and career-age) based in London, England. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I left my heart in London several years ago. I have every intention of going back to find it someday, of course. I'm rather fond of that city and the savvy types who live there.

Seeing Paperdoll on the site of such an incredible outreach has absolutely made my week. Magnify has a few different things going on: a magazine, an online community, and - someday soon - an actual event. The whole ministry is very intentional about encouraging women to root their identity in Christ and to fearlessly use their talents and gifts to make a positive impact on the world. I love that.

Here's the main page for Magnify. And here's a fun clip of Magnify founder, Ruth Awogbade, sharing about her faith and how it's changed from her teen years to now. I can relate to so much of what she's saying. Especially when she talks about realizing Christianity isn't about rules and regulations and so on; that it is not limiting but liberating. That's a sweet realization. I don't know that I understood the freedom I have in following him, or what a joy that can be, until the past few years. It's not that I saw Jesus as limiting. I loved Him dearly. But sometimes I think there was a disconnect for me from what He taught, and how He lived, and how I thought I was supposed to live.

I love Grace's story too. And I love the way her story is told via this film. Kudos to you photographers and filmmakers out there who know how to shoot a story like this in such a way that people feel part of it. I'm way honored to see my book on Magnify.

(Have I mentioned that
Paperdoll has been out for two years now? Crazy times! We'll do a giveaway soon. Party it up and what not. :)

* I heard Chris Thile and Michael Daves play in Knoxville this week. Those guys are so talented. And wowzers was that crowd on fire! It got a little rowdy over at The Square Room. The venue (on that particular night) was standing room only, which seems to make people extra-likely to holler and stomp and so on. I'm all for the hollering and stomping.

And yet. You might recall that, despite disguising myself as an accidentally-sometimes-semi-hip thhh ... thhhh ... thhhh ...

* deep breath * ...

... 29 + 1 year old ... I happen to have the back of a very old woman. And standing still, in the same spot, for two hours has the potential to leave me looking like Quasimodo. Hawt. It's the weirdest thing - I do cardio most days, and I do fine. But sometimes standing still for extended periods of time reduces me to rubble. I had to sit out a few songs during the concert, and finding a corner in which to sit and chill was not so easy. In fact, I almost sat against a wet painting. Luckily, my bffSarah was there to pull me away from the wall before the abstract whatever-it-was became a permanent part of my shirt. Catastrophe averted. It got me to thinking though. My back has always caused random, but necessary, life-modification. Nothing major, but sometimes I have to sit things out, or find a different way to do something, and so on.

Eons ago, when I was a senior in High School, we went to Disney World for our class trip. I had totally planned, and was fine with, sitting by myself from time to time while my friends hopped on rides I couldn't ride. I carry books with me at all times, thus I rarely feel lonely, or like I'm missing out ;) And yet, without fail, one (or more) of my friends would always hang back with me. Mostly it was Sarah hanging out with me. She's awesome that way. My friends have done stuff like that since we were kids. They hang back, but they never act like they're missing anything when they do. I'm a blessed girl.

But back to the concert! :)

Even though Chris Thile has proven himself highly capable of putting out great solo work, I'm always interested in who he'll align with next. His stuff with Michael Daves makes for a particularly interesting duo. The pairing isn't surprising, necessarily. But they seem to be a great fit. They have great stage chemistry. They're both wicked-talented musicians. And their vocals are almost oddly complimentary. Chris Thile has a breezy-folk kind of voice. Michael Daves has a more classic bluegrass pitch; almost a wail. Put em' together and the outcome is classic, but still distinctive.

Mandolin and guitar and two male voices—it’s such a good sound. It was important for us was to get that brother duet thing, but with this Lower East Side punk energy. One of the most enjoyable things about this experience was to underline the slightly delinquent side of bluegrass.” - Chris Thile (from here)

Daves' style is so classic, in fact, that his screamy singing made me miss my grandpa. My brother leaned over and said the same thing to me at one point; about how much my Papaw would have loved that show. He liked old, traditional bluegrass like Bill Monroe and Flat and Scruggs and Ralph Stanley. I never hear those songs without thinking of him.

I love bluegrass music because of the sound, and the lyrics (the delivery too - even though I lean more toward a folk-style vocal than the traditional twang). But sometimes I wonder if I just like that kind of music because I feel close to my Papaw again when I hear it. Regardless, I'm grateful. Grateful I have music to attach to such good memories. Grateful I got to hear such amazing musicians play. Both men seemed so genuinely surprised, and excited, and a little bit bashful by how into it everybody was. I love that. So glad they're both brave enough to share their gift.

I woke up the next morning with a song in my heart. And paint in my hair. That's a good way to be.

You can check the tour dates for Chris Thile and Michael Daves here. Their new album, Sleep With One Eye Open, came out last week. If you want to try a song and see if you like their style, my download suggestion is "Bury Me Beneath the Willow." That one is my favorite.

(Programming Note: you might recall that Chris Thile is my major-bigtime celebrity crush. You'll be happy to know that I managed to make it through the entire concert without throwing myself at the stage. It took some effort.)

* For my birthday, The Rogue Accountant got us tickets to see Steve Martin play. STEVE MARTIN. I've been freaking out over this since the beginning of the year. That concert happens this week. I'll update you on how fabulous it is. My bro is seriously awesome.

* And, finally, I'm on Pinterest now. If you're there too, pop over and say hello :). I don't get on there very often, and I'm not as faithful with the pinning as some people are. I mostly use Pinterst as an inspiration board. Also, I pin outfits I want to try and duplicate (ha :). I'm actually very intentional about not spending much time on there. Pinning stuff that inspires me is fun. But I don't want to get too caught up in pin-mode. I think that could easily lead to always thinking about, and obsessing over, stuff I don't have. Maybe that would never be an issue, but I can see how a site like that could foster that sort of response in me. (Note: I do not think this is an issue for most pinthusiasts, but I can see how it might be for me.) I think Pinterest is the niftiest idea though. So holler if you're over there!

I would love to hear how your weekend is shaping up. Congrats again to all you gorgeous graduates! :)


  1. I need to go research Chris Thile and Michael Daves' music now. :) I'm the girl who used to laugh at bluegrass- mostly at the whiney vocals. But now I'm a little startled to discover that I love the sound of that type music, and while I prefer a folk-type voice, I sometimes don't even mind the traditional vocal style. :) I went on a bluegrass/folk (I'm terrible at describing music) craze a few weeks ago on iTunes (the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, the Wailin' Jennys, Alison Krauss & Union Station, a song from "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?", etc).

    P.S. Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my blog. It made my day! :)


  2. I feel you with the Tennessee/southern weather. Summer sucks. If only humidity weren't a factor...sigh.

    Also, you've just inspired me to check out Chris Thile & Michael Daves. Bluegrass & folksy music = totally my thing (though I'm definitely with you on preferring the folk-style vocals), so thanks for the recommendation! :)

  3. Oh I'm obsessed with Pinterest! I read about it on a blog a while ago and didn't think much of it. But within five minutes of pinning, I was hooked. :)

    And those baby hedgehog pics are precious! And speaking of pictures, you look absolutely beautiful in your blogger picture :)

  4. STEVE MARTIN??!!!! I'm so JEALOUS!!!!!
    (And love the hedgehog. That is so cute it hurts.)

  5. I feel you on bluegrass music completely. I'm so jealous that you're going to see Steve Martin! It didn't work out for me to go when he was in town but maybe next time. Or I'll just live vicariously through you.

    (Also, love that Regina Spektor song!)

  6. Smile. I love this post! And, I can't wait to read what you have to say about the royal wedding! I have been waiting for you to blog about it for a while. I always love reading what you have to say. I, for one, thought it was absolutely magical!

  7. Ohmygoodness is that hedgehog adorable! :) And Pinterest is fun, though I'm on it all that often either.

  8. The hedgehog is soo cute! Does he/she have a name??

    Graduating next Friday!! So excited!


  9. that hedgehog is so cute. i love your pinterest profile thingy it's very clever. can't wait to read all about the royal wedding and congrats on paperdoll! my weekend has been crazy, dance recital is next week, it's a pretty big deal so rehearsal yesterday and today and last night pirates 4. i'm tired, but having fun.

  10. The baby hedgehog is so cute! I love going on pinterest-there's amazing stuff but it's all creative :)