Monday, July 28, 2008

On Music, and What's More, My Favorite Songs of All Time

I've been thinking of music frequently lately. This is, in part, due to the fact that we're planning for "real church worship services" (please read all sarcasm into that phrase, as I do not in any way think that a real church is just about the worship on Sunday morning) that will begin in the fall. A big part of all that planning is the music-- what style, what tempo, what musicians, what key...

The other reason that I've been thinking about music is that I've been taking the time to clean out and organize my iTunes, and I'm once again amazed at the random cacophony that is my musical library. Abba is next to Ani DiFranco is next to Chris Tomlin, and there are still dozens of CD's waiting in queue to be imported. I like it that way.

Music is important to me. More than any other art form, music touches me, makes me cry, reminds me of specific moments in time. I will, I will cry during worship songs in church (and I'll try to hide it for a little while, then I'll give up and just let the tears roll down my face, so be prepared. And thanks in advance for the Kleenex). I'll listen to the same song 3 times in a row when a specific lyrical phrase or turn of the piano catches my ear. I'll make Steve and the kids listen to it, too, and then feel a twinge of disappointment when they don't get it. I'm one of those unfortunate people who are just musical enough to realize they aren't musical enough.

What's my point, you rightly ask? I've been taking a lot of walks this week, and as I walk, I've been trying to put together a list of my top 5 (maybe 10) favorite songs of all time. It's a struggle. I'm not even requiring of myself that I put them in any kind of chronological order (that would be too much commitment for a promiscuous music lover such as I). I simply want to give credit where credit is due: "Joe Musician, you touched my life." I can't seem to narrow it down, though. Too many songs have touched me, made me cry, sung me through a breakup or a breakdown or a breakthrough. But I'm working on it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Afternoon and It's All Good

I'm thrilled. The kiddos have started watching the DVR'd episodes of So You Think You Can Dance with me. The perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, I think.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You Delivered Again, NYC

A perfect summer evening...
Thanks again, New York, for making my citylove a two-way street (because unrequited love is never any fun).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This is why it's good to leave and return

I'd forgotten how much I sweat here.
What I mean is -- how much I would sweat if I weren't a lady, because we all know ladies don't sweat. Going from a cool, air conditioned apartment to the humid, 90 degree temps outside to the humid 110 degree temps in the subway station to the mildly air conditioned subway cars and back again... well, it seems to break some internal body temp regulation. And, like I said, if I weren't a lady, I might just start to have some sort of strange, sweaty hot flash experience.

I'd forgotten how much I appreciate the beautiful eccentricities of New Yorkers.
When I sat down on the subway and pulled out my pink ipod, the man next to me pulled out his pink ipod and said, "Nice pink ipod." I smiled and glanced down. We were also wearing matching toe nail polish (red).

I'd forgotten how great it is to discover new places to meet friends, like the very chill Bohemian Beer Gardens in Astoria, where we were last night. (I'm gonna miss you, Joe and Kristen. Portland doesn't know how lucky it is.)

I know I say this often... but, my friends, I love this city in big way. When I leave and return, my love is absolutely affirmed. I'm not being naive; this place presents its sweat and dog pee smells and crazy expensive cost of living and all its other multiple challenges upfront and clearly. Yet, I love.

And the city loves me too, I know it. As a little welcome back gift to me, I found $40 on the sidewalk today. Thanks, New York, I love you, too.

PS- I did ask all the people around me if they had dropped the cash, and I received plenty of strange looks, but no takers...

PPS - I recently downloaded Justin Nozuka's album, Holly, and am blown away. I highly recommend a listen.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Down on the Farm

What a joy it was today to visit the Kuperus Farm...
to gaze out upon the rolling fields,
to drink iced tea out of Mason jars,
to breathe in the scent of hay,

to have a chicken hop on my shoulder.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July Potato Salad

I find it a bit irksome that, when mixing up a bit of potato salad for this afternoon, I saw a small piece of potato fly out of the bowl, and I could not for the life of me locate its final resting place.

I suspect it may be stuck to the back of my shirt.

What? I was mixing vigorously.

So please, if you happen to spy a little bit of something on my tshirt or perhaps in my hair later today, kindly pull me aside and let me know. We're all in this together.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Roadtrip Playlists

This Sunday morning, the kiddos and I are hopping in the (rental) car, rolling down the windows, turning up the tunes, and heading for the homeland. 12 blissful? hours later, we should be rolling in to Michigan for two weeks of cousins, cookouts, and chaos.

Always important in preparing for a roadtrip is creating mixtapes. Mixtapes must set the proper ambiance, and the best mixtapes will walk the fine line between soothing the savage "Are we there yet?" beast and energizing the "I've been staring at the road for far too long" doldrums. This time around, the kids each made their own mix.

Chloe's Mix
Don't Tell Me - Madonna
If I was a Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani
Let's Get it Started - Black Eyed Peas
Hey Ya - Ludacris
No Air - Jordin Sparks
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
Breakin' Up - Rilo Kiley
Jungle Gym - Jack Johnson
Through to Sunrise - Girlyman

Jonathan's Mix
YMCA - The Village People
Celebration - Cool and the Gang
You're the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
Upside Down - Jack Johnson
The 3 R's - Schoolhouse Rocks
Diner - Martin Sexton
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash