Friday, June 29, 2007

Sara Groves and Social Justice

A new Infuze mag interview with Sara Groves on her upcoming album.

Is she Derek Webb for the soccer moms? I'm intrigued. I don't own any of her albums (yet) but I've always loved her songs that I've heard and might want to get this upcoming release since it seems like she might deal with something a bit deeper than the usual CCM fare.

One Reason I Want Jacob to Play with Wooden Toys

This sobering article on ever-present plastics has been making the blogosphere rounds, so I don't quite remember where I saw it first. To me, it was most striking to think that all the plastic ever made still exists! And it's in so many products we use daily...

I did notice today that Target prints "10 Ways to Re-use Your Target Bag" on their plastic shopping bags. Did I just not see that before? Has anyone else seen it on Target bags? Reusing the plastic bags is a very small step, but one of many I think we all need to be making.

[Edit to add:] Does anyone take their own reusable bag(s) to the grocery store (kristen?)? How do you handle big trips?

For another small step, here are some online resources I've found for quality wooden and/or cloth toys:
  • Stump Pond Toys

  • Haba

  • Natural Pod

  • Lark

  • Melissa & Doug

  • Until Kara

  • Please share any more sites like this you might have found or ways that you avoid using plastic!

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Jane Austen Frenzy: For better or worse?

    This article at Salon chronicles the continued interest surrounding all things Jane. I'd like to think that for me, it was really never about the clothes or the perceived romance, though maybe it was when I was 12 and first read P&P. I always enjoyed the satire. And only through Peter Leithart did I discover something deeper to her tales. I wonder what he has to say about the recent flurry of books and movies co-opting dear Jane?

    For some quality reading inspired by the female British bard, check out this blog by the author of A Walk with Jane: Following Austen, Finding Grace. I'm looking forward to the release date!

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    At the (Home) Theater

    Brief thoughts on recent DVD rentals:

    Man of the Year:
    The premise was a pretty good one: Robin Williams plays a popular comedian/tv host who runs for President on an anti-status quo platform -- and wins! But the execution was lacking. The previews presented it as a straight-forward comedy, but the film also has a somewhat darker conspiracy-laden subplot dealing with election fraud. As a result, there are some jarring juxtapositions. Plus, there are plenty of places were Robin Williams just wasn't that funny -- and definitely not as funny as John Stewart (one of the real-life models for Williams' fictional candidate). Nevertheless, it was moderately entertaining.

    Die Another Day:
    The last of the Brosnan Bond films. A few months back we rented Casino Royale, the most recent entry for the series, and the contrast is quite stark. Die Another Day was somewhat enjoyable, but at times the trademark action sequences, innuendoes and gizmos were so over the top that the film almost became a parody of the Bond franchise instead of an installment. Definitely glad the series has been "re-booted."

    A film about crossword puzzles? How enjoyable could that be? Very, actually. The main arc of this documentary features the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and several of its key competitors (in all their quirky glory). Interspersed throughout the "action" are segments with Will Shortz, crossword editor for The New York Times and founder of the tournament, as well as other crossword puzzlemakers. Some of the best parts, though, are interviews with notable fans of the Times puzzle, including John Stewart, the Indigo Girls, Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. The film weaves all of these elements together with great success, and the end result is quite enjoyable. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys documentaries. (Fun fact: one of the competitors was a college student, and he was definitely wearing a Trogdor t-shirt in several scenes. Very cool!)

    The Queen:
    Set during the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, this film focuses on the conflicting reactions to the tragedy offered by the Royal Family and the newly-elected Tony Blair. I though Helen Mirren deserved the Academy Award she received for her portrayal of Elizabeth II, and the film was very well-made. I don't know how factually accurate it was, but I was intrigued by the film's portrayal of the clash between tradition (the Monarchy) and innovation (Blair's modernizing platform) that surfaced after Diana's death. Recommended.

    Friday, June 22, 2007 Book Sale

    This is cool.

    For two days next week (June 27-28), Desiring God (John Piper's ministry) is offering all books in the online store for $5 each. There are some great titles here.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Adventures in Babywearing

    Today has been one of those "Mr. Fussy" days, when I can't quite figure out what's wrong with our baby boy, but it's not hunger, or a poopy diaper, or a need to burp, or lack of sleep. Possibly tummy issues?

    Anyway, on Monday we had the same predicatment, where Jacob did not want to be put down anywhere. He just wanted to be held. Which is fine, I love to hold my baby...but not for three hours. Enter the hotsling.

    I've had this pouch for a few months now and love it-- I wear him on quick trips to the store or around the house. And it worked on Monday to help me at least have a hand or two free to move about while still keeping him calm. I can do many things one-handed, but laundry is not one of them. While I would never cook with Jacob in the hotsling, I can do almost anything else.

    Well, today when I pulled out my cream-colored pouch out of the diaper bag to try to console my extremely fussy son (read: crying, yelling, unconsolable son), he instantly SMILED and LAUGHED. He is only three months old and he recognizes it as a source of comfort! That is so cool! I tried to document this phenomenon in the mirror, but our results were not stellar. You can see, though, he's definitely happy! So happy, in fact, that he is currently asleep in the hotsling as I type.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    P.S. I look exceptionally happy because he is finally smiling again!

    P.P.S. I'm thinking of dyeing this pouch. Summer makes me yearn for color, although I was thinking a camel/dark khaki so it would complement almost any outfit. What color should I choose?

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Speaking of Baptism

    I enjoyed Peter Leithart's post on "What Baptism Confers."

    Appropriate for Father's Day

    Here's Team Redd, along with our pastor, at Jacob's baptism yesterday.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Andrew Osenga -- Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1

    Music fans! If you haven't already checked it out, Andrew Osenga's Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1 is available for free download. As Osenga explains:
    This is an acoustic EP I recorded in the early Summer of 2007. All the songs are written from ideas submitted by fans and supporters of my music. The download contains the six MP3’s and a PDF “virtual booklet” with the lyrics, credits and all sorts of other information.
    It's a pretty neat idea and remarkably well-executed. Seriously, check it out. Remember: it's free. (Although, if you download and enjoy the EP, do consider sending Andy a few bucks via PayPal.)

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Too bad Steve Irwin is no longer with us ...

    8-foot alligator surfaces in Chattahoochee

    (For those not familiar with the area, the portion of the river mentioned in the story is in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area and is within the metro Atlanta area.)

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    More Than Meets the Eye

    I don't know if the new Transformers movie will be any good (but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!), but Mute Math has recorded a cool version of the theme song for the soundtrack. Check it out on their MySpace page.

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    R2D2's Feline Fetish

    I haven't had a cat in a long time, but this site just cracks me up. And maybe it's because I'm tired, but I laughed out loud when I saw this photo today!

    HT to Barb, who also linked to this article that explains the phenomenon. I had no idea.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    goodbye, old friends

    Shameless self-promotion time!

    We've been meaning to do this for a while... We're finally selling off our duplicate CD's and others we've mysteriously acquired (poor, sad, compact discs, languishing in a box for all those years!).

    All are in GREAT condition, and are mostly indie Christian artists, plus some random ones. And I mean random. I'm putting up about 5-10 CDs for sale a week. You'll never know what you'll find!

    Check out our auctions here.

    P.S. If anyone has done this sort of thing before, and has some tips, I'd be glad to hear them. I have almost no idea what I'm doing. What's a good starting price? How much is too much for shipping? What would you pay for these if you didn't already have them? Thanks!

    Share in the Blame

    I am so excited about the new Caedmon's Call record! Today they released a song from the record and you, too, can listen to it here. Yay for Derek and Danielle singing together again! Overdressed is going to rock our faces off!

    On Cemeteries

    Every June, we attend a reunion at an old family cemetery. This year--this Sunday in fact--I plan to take a walk through the gravestones and remember my friend Courtney's post on cemeteries. I do long for another season of discipline.

    On a related note, I've often discussed how cemeteries used to be planted around churches for a specific purpose. Every time you went to worship, you would be reminded of the eventuality of death, the communion of the saints, and the hope and glory of the resurrection, all in the short walk to the church steps. That's almost a gospel proclamation in itself!

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    The Heavenly Pattern of Worship

    Great article from the OPC magazine about the patterns of worship recorded throughout Scripture, and the implications for Christian worship today.

    (H/T to Barb)

    Ten Piggy Little Toes

    Yesterday, Jacob found his feet.