Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Little What... What

I love Napster credits. Below is my most recent investments (as illustrated via

Wordle: Napster Credits

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Egads, You're Right

Sabrina, you're right. And because I love you, I'm going to give you some excuses for why I've been absent from le blog. (In order that I think of them, not in order of importance.)

1. School. Specifically, The School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University (Indianapolis). I'm two semesters in and just started volunteering at a PreK-8 parochial school on our city's north side that had to cut their media specialist for budgetary reasons; I'm cataloging books, developing a collection development plan (which I'm a little surprised they didn't have already), and then will commence the task of weeding (which hasn't been done in about 20 years).

2. Podcasts. Not mine, mind you. Rather, I am listening obsessively to a podcast called The Enthusiasticast, in which they enthusiastically recommend (roughly) one book each week. These two Canuks have saucy mouths, strong opinions, and magic recommendations (not necessarily in that order). Seriously. It is a rare occasion that I don't add their recommendations to my "To Be Read" list. I came in late to the party, so I've been listening a lot to get through the backlog and get up to date. Books that I've added to my list based on their recommendation(s):

That's quite a list, no? That's what I like--the recommendations are broad and fun to listen to. (Not wholly unlike the Books on the Nightstand podcast that put me onto The Enthusiasticast.) I'm not interested in taking their recommendation to read WAR by Sebastian Junger, but I put Restrepo (the documentary complement) on the top of my Netflix queue--a coveted spot.

[Note: Those links are to the books on GoodReads... not to their podcast-ed recommendations. You'll have to go to the linked mainpage for the Podcast and do the legwork to track down each individual title. Or just take my word for it, and add them to your list too.]

3. Church. For some time (over a year) I've been working with our Middle School and High School students at First Baptist--teaching on Sunday mornings and serving as the girls' small group leader/mentor on Wednesday nights--and loving it. This summer we took a sweet trip to Creation Fest (in Pennsylvania) and had a rock-your-face-off awesome time. Since then I've been trying to step up and keep the kids "high on life." This means doing an extra weekly small group with just the girls to talk about "stuff" and I'm planning an "Impact Retreat" out to Philadelphia for next month. The investment is SO worth it.

4. Football. My nephew is in the throws of High School Football--he's an outside line backer--so every Friday night (Varsity) and Saturday morning (JV) is blocked out for watching him play. I can't say that it's time wasted. I love high school football. A lot. Perhaps too much? Impossible.

So that's me. What have you been up to?

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Impossible, I Tell You

There a literally SCADS of movies in the world. How do you decided what to watch?

If you're going to the movie theatre, you've got to plunk down cold, hard cash. And time. Both are finite resources. Therefore, the movie needs to be worth the investment.

If you're watching at home, perhaps via Netflix, the money would be invested (regardless); however, the time is still a factor. Sure, you're more likely to stop a bad movie on DVD than you would be to walk out of a theatre... but there are more time issues at stake. Like that next movie in the queue means that the one after it won't be there for (at a minimum) three days.

You're delaying another movie for the potential of this movie.

It's all very philosophical, you see.

So thus my conundrum when I'm trying to decide about the value of moving Remember Me up in my Netflix queue. I read many of the member reviews and, although they say the writing is a tad heavy-handed and the ending is a "twist", they pretty much all say the acting is worth it. Hmm, sounds good, right?

But then I read the critics' reviews and they're, how should I say this?, NOT good. For example, Manohla Dargis of the NY Times writes, "In 'Remember Me,' love means never having to say you're sorry, particularly to the audience." Ouch. (Read the full review here. It's kind of funny.)

But then I think: Paid critics are, well, paid to watch movies [or read books, or listen to music, or... you get the point] and, while we all think we'd like to have that gig for a while, I don't think the feeling would last. Imagine the scenario that, as part of your job, you have to watch the new Karate Kid movie. And try and come up with some semi-intelligent thoughts on it. I couldn't do it. So, I'm not entirely sure that professional critics are watching a movie the same way I would.

Further compounding my confusion: the review from Robert Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The fact is, 'Remember Me' is a well-made movie. I cared about the characters. I felt for them."

I also read this post from a book publishing insider (former editorial intern, turned published author) that talks about how paid reviews shouldn't necessarily be trusted because there were mitigating factors in the review. Like, oh, I don't know, COMPENSATION and/or FREE GIFTS.

So, all that to say, how do you decide which movies are worth your precious time and money?

[Image Source; Important Note: Those are not my movies.]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Music Madness

I've got about $13 left on an iTunes gift card, but no inspiration for more music to purchase. I thought I'd post a screen shot of my recent purchases and seek your advice... tell me what else I should buy that'll complement this playlist.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Loving What You're Living

The topic du jour (or more aptly, it would seem, the topic du MY LIFE) is job satisfaction (or more aptly, it would see, life satisfaction). This seems to be popping up all over the place in my subconscious these days.

For example, I went on a little road trip (that was mega, mega fun) with a friend from college (who is actually more of a friend now than when we were at school... a definite shame that we missed out on so many good times). Anyhoodle, while we were tripping along, we were discussing the state of our lives--love lives to be specific, or lack of love lives to be brutally honest. We philosophized and sympathized and the thing I came away with was that this season of singleness in my life (which has been the cornerstone of my knowledgeable existence) is not, in fact, bad. I haven't (necessarily) done anything wrong, I'm not being punished, it's not as if I'm not deserving of a masculine mate. Rather, it's a chance to reflect on me--on Heather--on the wholeness of who I am and what really constitutes my identity. Not that I am just the other (much prettier) half of a couple, but that I am complete by myself because I have an intellect, emotions and will.

To get a little personal on you: I see my identity as being a co-heir with Christ. That's all I need. To pine for a "soul mate" (which isn't something that I even think philosophically exists) is just degrading to the sacrifice of Jesus.

So I was reminded of that.

And then I had a (virtual-ish) friend send an email to a group of people, talking about dissatisfaction with his job. Generalized frustration at the whole ball of wax that makes up his life. And there were responses sent by many in the group, promises of lifting him up in prayer (which I don't necessarily think were empty). But I sent him an email asking him why he was doing a job that he didn't like, and was not using his special "gifts" in another line of work.

And I ask myself that all the time.

How does one keep a balance on both honoring God by using unique attributes/gifts/talents, while also being content in every season, regardless of circumstance? Is it wrong to take a promotion or seek a different line of work? How do you make these decisions (not between good and bad, but between good and something else good)?

Being someone who doesn't believe in a specific will (blame it on the book Decision-Making in the Will of God), it gets to be tricky for me. If I'm within the moral will of God, how are these decisions made?

Then, another subconscious sign: Sabro's blog has a picture to the side that says, "Love What You Live." (Or something like that.) And it brings it up again. Do I love what I do? Do I do what I love?

What tips/tricks/advice do you have for balancing contentment and going for your dreams? Have you read any books or articles that were particularly inspiring? Do you have someone in your life who keeps you grounded while spurring you on to new heights? (If so, have you thanked them lately?)

I'll get us started: Perilous Pursuits by Joe Stowell was a fantastic book (that I need to read again). It went a long way toward getting me off the track of making decisions based on what I felt others wanted me to do. This was an important first step. (But I definitely need to re-read.) Now give me your suggestions in the comments.

[Image Source]

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Insanity Persists

I just spent $42 purchasing pre-order tickets to this Friday's opening debut of Twilight Saga: New Moon. I actually spent so much (one ticket to the matinee, and three tickets to the evening showing) that Fandango gave me a prompt that was (essentially), "Are you REALLY sure you want to spend that much money on frigging New Moon?"

Please feel free to speculate about my mental health in the comments.

(And don't allow this photo of the underage Taylor Lautner to influence your assessment. Cause, really, guys, he's just a kid... in the body of a man.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009