Monday, December 31, 2012

January Mix: Party for One

For the past 10 years, I've celebrated the new year in style. We watched fireworks from our perch up in the hills. We had grand bottle rocket battles leaving us with burned fingers and singed hair. We drank sparkling cider. We danced our hearts out. We cruised the valley hopping from party to party.

But that's not how I want it to be this year. 

This time, it will be just me and the stars.

If you're feeling the same way, than this is the mix for you...

Best wishes for 2013

1. Boats And Trains - Stornoway
2. I Belong In Your Arms - Chairlift
3. Antmusic - Adam & The Ants
4. One - Ratatat
5. Yet Again - Grizzly Bear
6. What Have I Done - Anna Ternheim
7. Fiya - Tune-Yards
8. Land Of The Bloody Unknown - The Middle East
9. July Flame - Laura Veirs
10. Sewee Sewee - Mountain Man
12. Dark Parts - Perfume Genius
13. Magic - Nick Drake
14. Reason To Believe (Tim Hardin cover) - Billy Bragg
15. Auld Lang Syne - Andrew Bird

1. "...stop me from drifting / it's too late to be traveling"
3. Such a crush on these fellows
7. "in bloom at the end of the world"
8. Thanks Jade!
12. "the love you feel is stronger"
13. ...
14. Tricked ya. If you click the link, it's actually Karen Dalton singing. Her version is the best, but I couldn't find it in time. You can buy me this song if you want.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "The Emperor" - Matthew Rohrer

She sends me a text
she's coming home
the train emerges
from underground

I light the fire under
the pot, I pour her
a glass of wine
I fold a napkin under
a little fork

the wind blows the rain
into the windows
the emperor himself
is not this happy

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Mix #2: Holy Night

Here's some Christmas music fit for your Sabbath. I'm singing "The Angel Gabriel" at Relief Society today. My room mates told me it sounded like I was from the shire while I practiced it. I love those medieval melodies at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Mix #1: Fruitcake

Hey guys! For the next few day, I have some mixes to get you into the holiday spirit. This first mix, "Fruitcake," has some of my favorite weird, witty, and winsome Christmas songs. Hope you like it!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I though how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed by head:
'There is no peace on earth,' I said
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'

Then paled the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Music for your Midweek: La iaia

I just discovered Catalan music...

...and it is rocking my world in a BIG way.

I can hardly handle it. SO GOOD. And I went into a frenzy last night adding any and every catalan song to a spotify playlist and I got so anxious I actually gave myself a headache. That's how I feel about music, guys. Too much. Too much feeling.

Catalan is a magic language. I can kind of understand it since I studied spanish, but it's odd. A mix between a language of the future and a language of the past. I can't tell where it fits. I'll understand a whole sentence, and then be completely stumped by the next verse. 

This song I'm going to share with you is a perfect example of that. Gobbldigook, and then a rousing chorus of "twist and shout". I hope you love it.

Also, when I get my head on straight, I'll make a proper Catalan playlist, and put the link on this post. If you add me as a friend on Spotify, you can find more international playlists. They are stored under the file "Not English" (creative, I know). There is some really great stuff in there if I may say so myself. 

After that LENGTHY introduction, here is La iaia! I know nothing about them, except that I love them:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peace on earth, goodwill to men

Here's to hoping we can find the peace we need this Sunday:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kid Krismas

Everyone has memories of the movies they'd watch or the music they'd listen to during Christmas time. I did some searching on YouTube for some shows that we used to watch when we were little. We would record them off of the TV onto VHS, and watch them over and over. Some of those shows maintained their charm while others... not so much. 

We would watch this ALL the time. I don't have the same stamina now as I had then. Do you remember this part? 

2. "Garfield Christmas Special"
After the Claymation one, we watched the Garfield Christmas Special. For some reason, we used to think that 16:15-17:00 was reeeeeeeaaally funny. I have no idea why.

3. "Disney Christmas Sing-a-long: Twelve Days of Christmas"
Oh man. This video has some great songs on it. Here is part 1, part 2part 3, and part 4.

4. "Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger Christmas: Alpha's Magical Christmas"
So bad it' It's just really, really bad. Please, just watch the first 5 minutes, and you will know what I mean.

5. "Mickey's Christmas Carol"
Disney has since blocked the video. Try to find it if you can! So charming.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "You Begin" - Margaret Atwood

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye
that is a fish, blue flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
this is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.

The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.
It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Music for your Midweek: Punch Brothers pt. 2

I saw Punch Brothers Friday night, and I'm still floating on a blissful musical high. I want to watch them play all day long, all the time! Honestly, they were incredible. Each of them are so talented.


So here is a song for you. It's even a Christmas one!

and a couple others, just for kicks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just can't leave this place

I was set to end my term of service on January 25th, and dreading it. There were so many things to do: clean up my resume, apply for jobs, sell my contract...I was not excited. Plus, we were just starting to make some really positive changes at the South Franklin Community Center, and I felt like I was leaving at the worst time. When I started filling out my end-of-service paperwork, I saw that there was an option to extend service for less than a year. Perfect! My supervisor was excited to keep me for a bit longer, and it all turned out perfectly!

I get to stay here til May 3rd!

yeah boi.

They just can't get rid of me. 

We were in the news last week. Take a look!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Something for Sunday

A thousand half-loves
must be forsaken to take
one whole heart home.
- Rumi

Friday, December 7, 2012

December Mix: "It's Christmas"

Since I don't have my own computer anymore, I had to improvise this months mix a bit. Hope you don't mind!

Everyone has those special songs that they wait all year to listen to at Christmas time. There are the Bing Crosby classics and the flashy Mariah Carey ballads; but my Christmas just wouldn't be complete without this:

It's Christmas

This album has been a staple in my family since the year of it's release in 1989. My first Christmas memories are of listening to this cd and dancing around the kitchen with my mom and dad. Just look at that track list; it's stellar.

1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)John Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band
4. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade 
5. Step Into Christmas - Elton John 
6. Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens
7. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney 
10. Mistletoe & Wine - Cliff Richard
11. Walking in the Air - Aled Jones
12. A Spaceman Came TravellingChris DeBurgh
13. Stop the CavalryJona Lewie
14. Little Saint NickThe Beach Boys
17. The Christmas Song - Nat "King" Cole
18. White Christmas - Bing Crosby

Now you know. When I think "Christmas," I think "synthesizer".

For a REALLY odd christmas, I recommend tracks 9 and 12.
My brother Jeremy's favorite Christmas song is track 13.
And I'm quite partial to track 3.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "To be of use" - Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
Jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumble to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Music for your Midweek: Regina Spektor

I've never been a huge Regina Spektor fan (I know, I know!) but my mom found this cd at D.I. and she's starting to grow on me. (But really, don't you think that album cover is awful? I didn't listen to that cd for MONTHS just cause I hated the cover art. Finicky to a fault.)

Anyway. I've been listening to this song on repeat:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book of Mormon in 30 days... I did it!

I just finished reading my last chapter in the Book of Mormon! This is the fastest I ever read it! Now I admit, I had to listen to a lot of it on my iPod at double speed in order to get through in time. But I am in charge of my goals, so I get to decide what "counts" and I'm fine with it. haha. Going through the Book of Mormon quickly helped me understand it's teachings in a different way. Here are some things I noticed:

  1. Heavenly Father is sooooo patient with us. You read of people making the same mistakes over and over, falling into the same destructive cycles. But the Lord's hand is STILL outstretched to bring us back. It is such a mercy.
  2. The worst sinners are usually member of the church. It's always been like that, and always will be. And that's ok, as long as I'm trying to do what's right. One of the biggest challenges to my testimony as I was growing up and serving my mission came from seeing church members act contrary to what we believe. When I was in high school, I blamed the church for those inconsistencies. When I was on my mission, I realized that it was individuals using their agency, and I would feel very bitter and angry abou their choices. Now, I'm trying to step back, and keep myself from getting angry and too wrapped up in other peoples mistakes. Getting angry doesn't help anything get better, and it doesn't help me keep the spirit. We have thousands of instances of church members gone wrong in the Book of Mormon. I mean, some of the first stories we hear are about Nephi's struggles with Laman and Lemuel. It's oddly comforting that saints in all times have gone through the same trials and faced the same discouragement that I have.
  3. We must to love one another. We need to need each other. We have to have other peoples welfare at the forefront of our minds. Pride starts with the virtue of self-improvement that sneakily evolves into self-obsession. I hope that I don't get so caught up in my efforts to become "better"  that I forget others who may be in need, whether that is spiritual or temporal.
  4. The gospel is simple. We love God. We show that love by serving his children and keeping his commandments. Anything else is just fluff.
  5. God loves us. So much.
I've loved having this goal for the month. It's helped me maintain the spirit and have an eternal perspective. I think I'm going to pick one goal at the beginning of every month. For December, I've chosen to study the scriptures for a 30 minute minimum every day. Wish me luck!

To sign out, I want to leave you with this scripture: 

I know that this is true. Much love to you all!