We just got back from the gym, thank GOD. It has been too long. I think the key to a successful workout is good tunes. Today my sweating music was Marah's CD, Kids in Philly. This is only one of the numerous gifts my Cool Aunt Denise recently sent me in a big, brown box. I opened the box which held the lingering fragrance of incense. Inside were so many little wrapped packages I could hardly believe it! Here is the list of loot:
Holly Williams - The Ones We Never Knew
Jolie Holland - Escondida
Matthew Ryan - an indie CD (I forget the title right now........)
Por Vida - Various Artists, a tribute to the songs of Alejandro Escovedo
Broadcasts Vol. 12 - Various Artists, all live performances on 107.1 KGSR in Austin, TX
Marah - Kids in Philly
Viper Rum by Mary Karr
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
She also gave me a lovely red Asian journal. On each gift she stuck a Post-It note with a "caption." Not only did she spoil me rotten but does she know how to give gifts, or what?! Speaking of Alejandro, he used to visit Whole Earth Provisions Co. on Lamar in Austin, TX. I worked there when I lived in Round Rock, TX with my parents. Mr. Escovedo was a nice man but I remember him to seem shy; he usually had a few of his kids in tow. Jimmie Dale Gilmore would also visit the store and he seemed shy, too. I doubt these legendary Texan musicians are actually shy but more so kept to themselves as much as possible in public. One night the bass player of Alison Krauss and the Union Station (I forget his name, too.) came in to the store. I did not recognize him, though. He was wearing an Alison Krauss and the Union Station T-shirt and since I thought he was just some guy I said, "I like your T-shirt." He then acted really weird and freaked out which freaked me out since I am pretty shy with people I don't know and I was being brave! When I went home that night I was listening to an AKUS CD and recognized the bass player on the CD artwork. I then figured he freaked out because he thought I would bug him all night. If he only knew I rarely speak to "famous" folks he would have just said, "Thanks."
The Tsunami disaster. I thought 9/11 was traumatic and it was indeed. However, in light of the Tsunami tragedy I clearly see God's mercy on our country in light of the death count in each disaster. Please don't get me wrong. Whenever I remember 9/11 or see footage I become very somber. But I believe we must remember what John Piper stated at the Passion conference in Nashville, TN last Tuesday:
"The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure. Lament that he makes headlines only when man mocks his power, but no headlines for ten thousand days of wrath withheld. Let us rend our hearts that we love life more than we love Jesus Christ. Let us cast ourselves on the mercy of our Maker. He offers it through the death and resurrection of his Son."
I only want to add the exhortation for us all, especially the Church, to give tenfold to an organization that will truly give aid to the Tsunami victims. There are many to choose from but as I've mentioned before one is Peace Gospel Ministries. My good friend Christine just arrived in India today to visit Peace City, Pastor Samson, and his family. Here is Peace Gospel's web site:
John Piper's web site:
I just finished the book Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I meant to read it a long time ago but I feared the romance aspect would cause me to vomit. I was wrong. It was a very well-written book and fascinating as I compared the story to a book of Vermeer paintings. The author really did her homework. Now I am reading a biography of Vermeer and learning Dutch history as well. Why the heck did I not study art history and writing in college? I probably would have finished! All of that to say I think my favorite type of novel is historical fiction. The best one I've read so far is the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset. There are two translations but I prefer the "old language" translation. It was a challenging read but it fit the story's setting in medieval Norway. If you know of any great historical fiction books please inform me.