Moving Day!

Yesterday I moved into a real apartment for the first time, with my friends Sicily and Laura Kate! Well, I’m not really moved yet. I have to live on campus for another two weeks until my Residential Life job is over. But Sicily and Laura moved in, and I moved a couple things! Yeah, like… almost eight things!

We rounded off yesterday with a delicious party at Drew’s house, complete with pizza. We had a miniature poetry slam in honor of our friend Rebekah, who is going to Missouri for a month, and we watched The Rocketeer. 

And today, I’m going back to the new apartment to move more stuff around. I think I’ll take my stereo so we have music to work to; perhaps some Switchfoot, or Needtobreathe. Austin got me into the Christian music scene– I hadn’t had any idea there were so many good Christian bands– and now I can’t get enough. Really original, artful, powerful music that also reflects the deepest feelings of my heart? Yes please.

I’ll leave you with this song by Needtobreathe. I love the bluegrass sound of this band.



(The fun parts of) being a grown-up

Well, we’re back from Denver, and Sicily went back to Gila Bend today, her tiny hometown.

But she won’t be gone for long (hopefully)! Sicily, Laura  and I applied for an apartment yesterday. I’M SO EXCITED. Even though I’ve been on my own for four years now, I’ve never had an apartment. Sicily and I have been living in the dormitories. We’re basically roommates, although technically the only time we’ve lived in the same room is from March to May of this year. We’ll be sharing a room in the new apartment too.

I just got my first car, and now I’m going to have my first apartment. I’m starting to feel like a grown-up.

Here is a beautiful song about growing up. It has nothing to do with my life story, but it is awfully pretty: “Once I Was”, by Ricky Ian Gordon.

Big things, small things, and us in between

“Turn the radio down, ’cause you know it sounds better when all of us sing.” (While We’re Up, “Graduation.”)

This morning Janna, Sicily, Sarah and I met Janna’s boyfriend Jacob in Colorado Springs to see the Garden of the Gods. 

It’s a park filled with these humongous red rocks, just sticking up out of the ground in a grandiose fashion. The scale of the place really does make it feel mythical, as though it belonged to the Greek gods and somehow fell to earth .If there are wonders like this on Earth, imagine what heaven will be like, to be with God forever. It reminds me of the way CS Lewis portrays the new Narnia in The Last Battle. It’s a world where the scale of everything is simply awe-inspiring.

On the other end of the size spectrum, we had problems with a spool of thread today. Sicily is making a teddy bear and she lost her red thread between the car and Janna’s apartment, and we could not find it. We tore apart the apartment and the car, and finally gave up and decided to get more thread from target. We all trooped down to the car and opened the doors- and then Sicily spotted it on the roof of the car next to Janna’s.

What an odd place to find what you’re looking for!

Perhaps the funnest part of the day, however, was going to get candy from Target. More precisely, the drive back from Target. We drove through the beautiful fields and neighborhoods in the area with the radio blasting and all of us singing along. The air blowing through the open windows smelled like rain, and the sun was setting behind the Rockies. Music and friends make a beautiful world more beautiful.


Baseball is the stuff of legend.

“The fundamental truth: a baseball game is nothing but a great slow contraption for getting you to pay attention to the cadence of a summer day.”
― Michael ChabonSummerland

I’m not much for sports in general, but I do enjoy baseball. Baseball seems kind of magical to me. My perception probably comes mostly from the afore-quoted novel, Summerland. In the book, it’s a magical sport that means everything, but is still the stuff of joy; it never takes on so much meaning that it ceases to be plain fun.

Janna, Sicily, Sarah and I had front seats to a professional game today, Rockies vs. Athletics. Here’s a picture or two:

I won’t pretend to know much about the sport, but there’s one thing I do love: the musical traditions. Sports people and music people sometimes don’t understand each other (I do know a few people who are both), but the worlds collide in unexpected and interesting ways. Even at football games, chanting in rhythm is part of the culture. But at baseball games, Americans stand up and sing at the seventh inning stretch. “Take me out to the ball game….”

Even more interesting is the tradition of the baseball organist. In 1941 the Chicago Cubs brought an organ onto the field as a one-day-only gimmick, but it caught on so well that they kept it. As of 2005, half of major league ballparks used live organists rather than pre-recorded organ music. Even with the modern addition of  ‘canned’ music at baseball games, organ remains strongly associated with baseball. The worlds of music and sports are actually inseparable after all.

Synthesizers (and fajitas!)

This morning our friend Sarah arrived in town! We spent most of the day shopping and watching movies, and incidentally, I was introduced to the concept of dubstep.The speakers in Janna’s car are very run down and partially destroyed, and so bass comes out sounding like poppy static. We turned the bass all the way down in her car to reduce the distortion, which meant that when a dubstep song happened to come on the radio there wasn’t really anything to listen to. It’s a very heavily synthesized kind of music.

Synthesizer is an interesting element in modern pop music; I think it has the potential to make music sonically interesting, even if it’s not musically interesting. It introduces novel and unexpected sounds into the musical landscape, even though it isn’t typically innovative in terms of harmony, melody or rhythm. I’m not sure if I like dubstep, but it is a good example of a genre heavily influenced by and reliant on synthetic sound.

On a completely unrelated note, our friend Sarah is an excellent cook, and she made us fajitas. Here are some mouth-watering pictures:


Music from the mountains to the streets

“I look out the window; the birds are composing.” (Jon Foreman, “Your Love is Strong.”)

Yesterday Janna, Sicily and I drove to the mountains to stay with Janna’s grandparents in their cabin. We walked around the lake in the little mountain town and got some ice cream, followed by delicious homemade tacos, compliments of her grandma. Their house is the most beautiful place.

This morning I awoke at 5:22 to the sound of birds composing. One thing I love about being in quiet, unpeopled places is that it’s easier to remember that you have a Creator. The forest and the mountains are a testament to His glory. And so are his creatures. This morning we saw two foxes, coming to beg for hot dogs, and a doe. We also went and saw some buffalo at a farm nearby.

After having eggs and a gluten-free pancake (my birthday cake!) we drove through Black Hawk, where Janna grew up, and to the Pearl st. Mall in Boulder. Boulder is a wonderful hippie town. We tried on some goofy hats:

And we saw several street musicians. I love street musicians. There’s something very pleasant about walking outdoors in some public place, with live music floating about. We heard a drum ensemble, a flute, a clarinet, and even someone playing piano. The Denver mall also has these outdoor pianos, and even though it must be tough on the pianos, it’s really a lovely idea.

Music is everywhere!

Movement II of Denver Adventures

Today Janna, Sicily and I went to church, got some coffee, and drove around in Janna’s Big Green Monster of a car.

Janna by her monstrous ford explorer!

We also watched The King’s Speech. That movie is amazing. His final speech at the end is underscored by the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony, which is very moving. I was reminded of how a part of my musical self often starves during the summer due to classical music withdrawals. Over the summer I don’t sing in choir, opera season is over, there are few concerts in general and I don’t have to listen to any classical recordings for my classes. Now that I know how much I love classical music (apparently it took me a four-year degree to fully realize this) I should listen to more classical recordings. Anyway, here’s the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh, for your listening pleasure.

After The King’s Speech, we took a beautiful walk through the Coloradan suburbs. Colorado is a seriously beautiful state. The whole place smells like a pine air freshener.

After our walk we went to Janna’s family’s house to eat dinner. We had shish-kabobs, corn on the cob, and cut up strawberries, kiwi and watermelon. Their yard and house are gorgeous, her family is awesome, and we ended the evening with s’mores- the perfect ending to a great day.