more book artwork

cute & something I've never seen before.
click here.

p.s. sorry for the
bookmark delay. I've decided to print out the pics you all sent in and hand-collage them so they'll be a tad more personal :) you'll get one sooner or later, promise!

p.s.s. happy weekend, friends!

p.s.s.s. there was a phase in my life when I was really into the recorder.and when I really could play this song. and when I really would play it all the time. and when my parents regretted ever bringing me into the world.
watch this video and you'll get a little taste of what 5th grade sounded like in the Thompson household. (also, I had a perm, so my hair looked kinda like that guys)

I'm in the market for a fresh pair of TOMS...

...but I'm a horrible decision maker.

should I go for a cool design & fun colors? (I'm leaning this way)

or stick with a traditional pair that's more practical?

please help me.

I can't think of a single thing

I'd rather be doing than making paper airplanes with Murphy right now.


I'm not sure if I can think of anything more precious, more biblical, or more a picture of what heaven's going to be like than community.

Funny, the way it sort of sneaks up on you. It doesn't always make itself known until you leave it for awhile, or you come back and are suddenly enveloped by it, or you have a rare slow moment in life when you become momentarily aware that you are loved by some really awesome people.

That's exactly how I would define it - community is a group of people commissioned by the Lord to love one another and to pursue something together. And you know what I adore most about that definition? The commissioned by the Lord part, the part that is supernatural, bigger than ourselves. We don't often get to choose the communities we end up in. Sure, you can pick one church over another, one city to live in over a different one, but even then - it seems you never quite know who is going to be placed in your life or what kind of purpose you'll chase after together.

The idea of community as a union of people living life together for a common purpose is not new by any means. In Genesis, God grants Noah and his family the responsibility of creating a fresh community on earth following the flood. In Ezra, God stirs the hearts of entire community groups to go to Jerusalem and rebuild His temple. In Acts, we see the development of an organized church, a community of people living lives of faith together. All throughout the New Testament, Jesus binds together a community of disciples as he heals people, gets to know them, breaks bread with them, loves them. In Revelation, we see a community of heavenly creatures, spending eternity together with the common purpose of praising God continuously.

What a treasure, that we are not meant to live alone, or even accomplish things alone, but that we are given these crazy, unexpected, wonderful things to do with our lives as we run forward together.

Perhaps one of the things that makes me ache the most for this world (or at least what I've seen in this country) is our idea that we don't need one another, that we should take care of ourselves. And yet, the more I get to know Christ, the more I am led to believe that this isn't how God intends for our lives to work. It seems to me that God desires to bless us by pushing us forward to unity, by working through our relationships, by stirring us to encourage one another and give up our things and our stubborn ideas and our lives even for the sake of loving. Sure, God could do whatever kind of work He wants in us all by Himself, but wouldn't we miss out on some awesome blessings if we refused community?

In his book, The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne talks about a new "spiritual economy" based on community. He says "the reality [of the divine] is realized only when we allow ourselves to be dependent on God and live in radical interdependence with one another." And it makes sense. Jesus depended on the hospitality of the communities he spent time with. He depended on his friends not only for fellowship, but for basic necessities. It makes me wonder...what implications does our world's inability to embrace a need for community have for the impoverished? Would life on earth look differently if we worked harder for unity? What needs would be met if we loved, genuinely, sacrificially loved the people in our communities because we knew and believed that God has commissioned us to do so?

I'm eager with an imagination that sees the world in a light of unity. What if we pray - pray big, enormous prayers, that communities would love one another well and care for one another, and that they would explode in size and in number? Maybe kids wouldn't starve to death so often. Maybe families wouldn't be broken so frequently. Maybe women would be reminded of their worth. Maybe people would have roofs over their heads. Maybe it starts with me and you, never giving up the chance to love or to be loved by the people we find ourselves running through life with.

I have a question:

do you smiley?

because I do. ALL the freaking time.
Here is a typical e-mail slash text message from me:

"hey :) (SMILEY) I hope you're doing great!!! :) (triple exclamation mark plus smiley) can't wait to see you soon! :) (that's THREE, count them- THREE smileys in one little tiny message)

Is this a problem? Are smileys making me seem silly and annoyingly cheerful? I'm trying to make sure people know that I'm being sincere....but it's possible that I'm just being obnoxious. I'm just not sure what is the proper etiquette with emoticons these days.

Because here's the thing- not only do I smiley...I also winky-face. You know, when I'm trying to be funny or sarcastic. I'll say "blah blah blah witty comment ;)". According to a conversation I recently had with my hometown small group, the winky-face is not only uncool, it's dangerous. Apparently sending the winky-face to boys is "flirting" with them. Not good. I winky-face boys all the time, I'm pretty sure. Now it seems that I have the reputation of being excessively perky AND a hussy. Great.

Here's another thing. Texting. Is it alright to use text-lingo, like "C U l8r"? I don't...I'm always pretty formal when I text for whatever reason, using appropriate punctuation and all. But what is the "cool" way to text? Is "LOL" officially nerdy now? (Side note- my friend Abby's mom would always write LOL after everything she sent to Abby. Like, "Hope you're having a nice day! LOL" or "Can you pick up milk on your way home? LOL." After confronting her mom about it, Abby's mother said, "Wait, doesn't that just mean "lots of love"? Parents + texting = hilarity) How many "haha"'s does one need to get the point across? Is it alright to use "Baha" if something is extraordinarily funny, or "tehehe" if something is only kinda funny, like enough for a giggle, or "mwahah" if you are doing an evil laugh, or is that just weird? How do you freaking make a joke WITHOUT the winky face and ensure that people know you're kidding but also that you aren't trying to pick them up???

Oh, what a complicated life...

on the process of the thing

Here's how it works for me. First I have to fall in love with one line. Just a few words, just enough for me to sink down into. This line will come from God-knows-where when I am least expecting it. Maybe when I'm driving in my car and blasting that new Eminem song I'm ashamed to admit I like, or maybe when I'm foaming milk for an extra dry cappuccino, or maybe when I'm in a hurry to leave the house and have no time for an inconvenient little poem. But it will come, and then I'm stuck with it.

So then I have the line. The rest of the day is spent in it's company. I play it again and again and again in my mind like a record until I know it inside and out. I hold it up to myself like a dress and wonder what types of accessories go along with it. I hum it inside my brain like repeating a mantra. I imagine it swimming free in the ocean at sunset. I imagine it stuck in the house all day. I let it eat dinner with me. I take it for a walk around old town. I let it wear me like a costume so I can see the world from it's eyes.

Next come the late hours of night (or, more accurately, the wee hours of the morning). Being a borderline insomniac means that the best time to sort through love affairs is when the rest of the world is snuggled in bed and my mind is still up and buzzing with light. This part, where the poem actually forms, is traditionally romantic. If that one line is my soul mate, the verses and the format and the rhyme scheme and the beat are like the wedding day and the honeymoon and the house and the kids. When you love someone, it's the someone who matters, and everything else is just part of a sweet-package deal. It's the same with a poem. It's really that one line that holds the magic spark....all the details fall in place around it. It's kind of like building a home, really.

...and there you have it. That's how I write my poems. Funny- seems that I will either faithfully adore a poem forever, or dramatically scorn the day I ever met it and pretend we never had a fling; and I'll admit, it always seems rather unpredictable as to which route I'll adopt on any given day.

Below you'll find a short creation from the early hours of this morning. I wonder...can you find the line that pursued me all day?

Under covers of dim yellow and after
several minutes on the porch, I realized
that I was holding my breath

but letting it go hurt.
It's easy to imagine the pink-ness of my
lungs stretching fingers, aching for you

back in my life, you to make it easier
to live again in places
with microwaves and fast internet.

sun drips down with the rain
from the ferns as I feel myself
leaking out love. small puddles.

all night I watched the dark ceiling -
your eyes and their deep blackness
and because you are too young

and they should be shining.

"I want you to know me"

The prophet Hosea delivers God's message of persistent love to an unfaithful Israel. The 14 chapters of this book of the bible are heartbreaking - not just because of Israel's rebellion against the Lord, not just because they do not know what they are missing, or what blessings they have already been given, or because they are seeking life elsewhere. What brought a sharp pain to my chest and tears to my eyes today was realizing the pain of a Father who aches for His people.

He is heartbroken for us.

The beginning of Hosea tells the story of Gomer, the prostitute God tells Hosea to marry (anyone who's read Redeeming Love should be well versed in this passage). It's an incredible look at the way the Father loves. He loves when we are sinful (which we are, always), when we refuse to acknowledge Him (which we do, daily), and when we don't deserve it (which we don't, ever). He loves us even though we hurt Him, again and again and again. His love is tender and persistent. Perhaps my favorite part of this story comes in 2:14, when God says "But then I will win her back once again, I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there."

Do you realize that the Lord is chasing you into the desert? Do you understand what that means? Do you know that in this instant, you are being pursued by the most intimate, incredible, VICTORIOUS, everlasting love? Can you fathom that? Can you soak that up and be alright with it? I can't. I can't get over that. I can't get my fill of that knowledge and I can't stop tears of gratitude when I recognize that truth. Even in my weakest, ugliest moments - no, especially in my weakest, ugliest moments, the Lord loves me and is winning me back.

There are no words to describe the joy of that.

And there are no words to describe how much I ache when I realize that I am Israel, every single day.

How often my life is characterized by a turning away. It's so easy - to look for love where the world says to find it, to put joy in what I own, to think about my appearance rather than my soul, to fill up on hate and anger and my warped ideas of justice.
It's so easy to break the heart of the one who loves me the most.

Later on in Hosea, God says "I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings" (6:6)
Such a simple request, and yet, I struggle. I cannot even count the number of times I've gone to Him this summer in tearful prayer, asking "Lord, show me how to love these people in poverty, show me how to love my friends in high school, show me how to love my family, show me how to love other people." And do you know what the Lord's answer has been? -
"No. Let me first show you how to love me."

Like Israel, I'm in the learning process. I'm discovering what it means to faithfully and fully love the God who created me. In Hosea, God pleads with Israel to repent and turn to Him. He offers us the same thing - He asks us to stop loving the things of this world and to start loving Him. And this is not a selfish thing for Him to request. He is inviting us into the most intimate relationship through which we are filled with life given out of supreme love.

This isn't something that should become stale or old news or unremarkable. It is truly the most magnificent fact of truth in the universe - that you and I are adored beyond measure by God. I hope it brings me to my knees again and again and again. I hope I never stop asking how to accept it and how to love Him back. It's not easy....actually, I think the more accurate way to put it would be to say that it is easy, but in my human brokenness I expect it to be impossible and complex. Almost daily, I want to throw my hands up and say, "God, what do you want me to do here?"

And every time I do, my soul hears this simple reminder, this sweet, whispered reply-

"I want you to know me."

insomnia again

can't sleep. but at least it gives me time to listen to good music. and since it's too late to do anything super productive, I figured the best I could do was make another blog playlist. (this is the last one for a long long time, promise!)

these songs are incredible. I know I say that a lot, but this time, I REALLY REALLY mean it. Surriously. listen to all of them. do not skip any. you will regret it. this playlist is a chill, soaks-into-your-skin, makes you smile and lean your head back and say "mmmm" kind of playlist. so if you want to just relax and enjoy some truly worthy tunes, take a peek at these. I wouldn't steer you wrong :)

nighty night. or, good morning.

OK, just a few more:
I Can See Your Tracks - Laura Veirs
Falling - Florence and the Machine
Forever & Always (Piano Version) - Taylor Swift

have you ever

walked past a parked car and decided to check yourself out in the window, but then looked in and realized that there was someone sitting in the car, and then they look at you and you look at them and just kind of wave stupidly and walk away as quickly as possible?

...yeah, me either.

I don't understand how people write like this...

...but then again, I guess that's why he's poet laureate.

by W. S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

is there any greater joy

than making (or receiving!) a mix CD? Of course not. And since I cannot practically burn you all CDs and give them out to you with little personalized notes of why I think you would like each song (as much as I would love to, seriously), here's a little sneak peak at what it would sort of be like if I could.

Track#1) Kasey Chambers - Not Pretty Enough
I love her voice. (Some call it country, but I won't, because I don't like country, remember?) She's from Australia and just has this sort of spunky attitude to her songs. Check out Lost & Found if you get the chance.

Track #2) Gavin DeGraw - Chariot
This was the song of my summer about two years ago. But I still adore it. I'm learning it on piano right now and it's all sorts of fun.

Track #3) David Gray - Babylon
Oh goodness, it really doesn't get better than this. and FINALLY, David Gray is coming to concert in Maryland later this year. (With Ray LaMontagne, none the less!) My life is so complete.

Track #4) Mumford & Songs - Little Lion Man
Seems like everyone and their mom loves this band this summer. And I'm jumping on the "band" wagon (oh geez, I'm so pun-ny)

Track #5) The Streets - Love you More
Really the only reason I like The Streets is that when I listen to them, I feel compelled to try to rap along to their songs in a British accent. And that's just funny.

Track #6) Enrique Iglesias - I like It (Feat. Pitbull)
First of all, anything with Pitbull is great just because it makes me want to dance. Secondly, I blame Nicaragua for making me Enrique-obsessed. I was not like this before...I think it's just the fact that he is Latino-y that I've been swooning for him recently. Thirdly, I do not endorse these lyrics. Finally, Cassandra & Arley, this one is for you guys.

Track #7) Brand New - Mix Tape
OK, this song was my JAM in high school. It's about as emo as I'll go. But I've been feeling a tad self-conscious about it lately...I blasted it in my car for my Younglife team the other day, and I thought we were going to have this great moment. But I think they just thought I was weird. Whatevs, I will always want to scream this while I drive.

Track #8) The Decemberists - Angels and Angles
I. LOVE. THIS. SONG. so peaceful. please listen to it.

Track #9) Shontelle - Impossible
If you need a new sing-into-your-hairbrush-at-the-top-of-your-lungs song (my favorite type), here it is

Track #10) Big Tree- Whale Song
(This band got their start at Sarah Lawrence. I have been really digging their sound lately)

Track #11) Tristan Prettyman feat. Jason Mraz - Shy That Way
Their voices sound so lovely together.

Bonus track! - Jason Mraz - Little You and I
He wrote this song for his cat. True story. The dude is cool.

Bonus bonus track! (I'm in a Jason mood) - Jason Mraz - Sleeping to Dream About You
This is potentially my favorite song of his.

a gorgeous time to fall over a suitcase

there are mornings when you cannot stir the milk into your coffee because you are too in love to do anything but love. there are nights when you cannot close your eyes because you are too broken to do anything but hurt. there are people who will fill you up, people you want to hold every second of everyday, want to tell a joke to, want to play your favorite song for, want to sit shoulder to shoulder with. there are people who make you question what you're doing. there are moments that will shake you up until you feel yourself draining out into a puddle at your feet. there are smiles that will make you ache with joy. there is heartbreak. there is the best day of your life. there are a million stupid words you shouldn't have let escape. there are a thousand things you should have said. there are surprise notes under your pillow. there are places you'll go to and never leave. there are places that will always feel like home. there are prayers answered. there are big fat miracles. there are big fat disappointments. there are changes of scenery. there are scratched out lines in your notebook and hours of frustration. there is the loveliest thing you'll ever write. there is your most embarrassing moment. there are things you need to learn. there are things you need to unlearn. there is the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen. there is an unexpected arm around your back when you cry. there are camera flashes for favorite pictures. there is a leap of faith. there are big mistakes. there is an abundance of grace. there is your family. there are scars on your skin. there are goodbyes. there is the kingdom of God. there is heaven and hell. there are congratulations. there are hands shaking. there is the thing that makes you laugh the loudest. there is a question and an answer. there are tough decisions. there are easy ones.
there is your life - a fumbled mess of expectation, a beckoning surprise. and it's gorgeous with its timing.

it really is.

those flames, they will not touch you

I want to throw this over my shoulders and wear it as a coat.
I want this to be a river I can float on and soak right up into my skin.
I want to inhale this and breathe it out in prayer every single day.

In short, this song is fantastic.

dear gchat, I love you

If you have a gmail account and I'm on your contact list, you know that this is true. I'm on gchat a bit excessively. But it's soooo fun! It's basically AIM but cooler, so I can talk to people online and not feel like I'm in middle school and still swooning for Justin Timberlake (because I'm TOTALLY not....yeah, definitely not).

So in honor of my beloved gchat, I thought I'd post a few lines from some of my favorite gchats. This is all sorts of random, but just a few chats I remembered thinking were hilarious at the time:

E-BOSS (ellen b): oh my gosh i miss you
you're just so cool. you're like a ginny stevens

M-LO (matt logan): when you type slash instead of / it makes me think you are going to use a knife and cut something
me: good. i like to be unnecessarily ambiguous

FARAH: i know u have work to do....but i thought this random fact was semi exciting.... i was was watching a tv show today and i saw ur bedspread from last yr!!
me: YAYY!!!
what tv show??
FARAH: something on mtv about a gross man(maybe a rapper?) finding love with a bunch of gross/trashy girls
but one of them had your cute bed spread
me: ewww sad. my bedspread is not for trashy girls

me: i can't believe you made ellen cry
Doogie: yeah. I'm not scared to make a girl cry

me: we should make all our friends change their statuses to what they like better: puppies or kittens
Kendall: YES

Taylor: did you see jake's dancing when they were on the street? heinous.
it was so hilarious
Taylor: I had to look away,
me: me too. i was embarrassed
Taylor: it was so bad, it made me uncomfortable.
me: i'm glad gia is gone though...she was nice, but it just made sense
Taylor: yeah, she was nice, but there was no chemistry.
me: truth
Taylor: vienna's going to win though.
me: ugh i hope not
Taylor: I'm going to be so mad
(talking about the bachelor...and guess what ended up happening. we knew it was a bad call)

Ellen Picker: dude i napped from like three to six today
and im still exhausted (typical)

me: i'm going to forward you an email i just sent my team because its funny and its about squirrels
Kendall: awesome. maybe i'll reply to it since your team never responds

me: let's just drop out of school and do that [we were talking about becoming professional old people]
Lauren: please?
me: there could be competitions
like on ESPN
Lauren: haha
what would the competitions be?
like who can eat the most tapeoca pudding?
me: hahah ohh good one
who can stay sleeping with the loudest televisions on
Lauren: haha
me: who gives the worst halloween candy
and of course, bingo competitions
Lauren: of course
who can tell the longest story?
me: ohh good one.
Lauren: ESPNold

me: MATT! LOGAN! HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doogie: hey emily (this is when we were video chatting in the san salvador airport without sound)
how about I say something funny (he makes a weird face)
me: STOP (I laugh uncontrollably)
everyone is looking at me now
Doogie: hahahahahaha this is hilarious
me: hahahahahahahah i know
Doogie: this was my ulterior motive the whole time
me: i figured that.
some el salvadorians looked at me weird

Ginny: you are creeping me out right now (What I do all day, ere'day)

Maria: guys im going to the movies tonight in spanish
Eric: ive definitely never talked to people in two different continents at the same time
Kendall Serpe : it was so fun when i went maria!
Eric: we represent one half of the civilized world
Maria: yay! im excited, no idea what im seeing though
Eric: thats a big statement
me: spanish is the bomb
(notice how we ignored everything Eric said)

Kirsten: i have a whole lot of work that I don't want to do. i just want to read harry potter...

me: WHATTT??.......?!?!
Kendall: i got invited to a dinner with my fav chem prof!
me: hahahaha YAYYYY. i thought it was gonna be like you won the lotto....but that is exciting too...

Missy has joined
Nathan has joined
Kendall: did ya'll like me email?
Missy: um, BEAUTIFUL
Nathan: i didnt agree to this group chat
Kendall: too bad
Nathan: dont they have to ask permission or something?
Emily has joined
Emily: hi team!
Missy: EMILY?!
Nathan has left

me: how far away is TN?
Hannah: 7 hours and 48 minutes from wartown
me: ahh can i come visit????
(then later)
Hannah: someday in your college life will you visit me
me: ahhh that would be SO fab. i do hope so.
perchances next year
Hannah: you can make perchances plural?
me: nope did that on accident
kinda like it though
Hannah: i'm a fan

RJ: why do you hate so hard :(
you are crushing my soul :(
and killing my dreams :(
if only if only emily would like my kind of music :(
that is what is going on inside me right now :(
i actually cried a little on the inside when I read your blog post :( (about hating country music)
me: RJ, I hope we can still be friends. i am trying my hardest to like country
RJ: i dont want to hear it
me: except that i'm not really

EBOSS: we watched new moon tonight
it was my first time seeing it!
me: it is sooooo good so good so good soooo goooooooooood!!!
(Apparently I really like Twilight)

we live in a beautiful world...

...yeah we do, yeah we do.

[pictures from National Geographic Daily]
from top to bottom: Tanzania, Soul Nebula (outer space), Oklahoma, Mexico, Italy, India, Iceland, Germany, China, Canada, Arizona

June 5, late afternoon, Ometepe

It was my favorite type of sun - heavy, close enough to touch, lazily preparing to snuggle up into the sky and throw on a sunset robe before the night. We didn't make it to Santa Domingo beach until around that time in the late afternoon. It was a bunch of sleepy bodies ambling through the sand, finding a good spot for a nap or a comfy chair to read in. We were tired from the early morning, the long micro ride, the ferry out to Ometepe island, the bumpy taxi, the big meal we ate at the restaurant a few steps away from the spot we chose for lounging. The afternoon was the type you want to catch and keep; I went for a walk to get to know it a little better.

Maybe only a few minutes out, once I was beyond the sound of my friends chatting and the music from the restaurant and the sight of beach chairs, they found me. Out from a trail to my right, six horses entered the beach. The sound of them came first, actually. I heard their hoofs softly hitting the sand, the air exhaling from their noses, the snorting noise as they lifted their necks to smell the breeze. And then, to see see them was a miracle. It was like Majesty just trotted out in front of me. Most other horses I'd seen on my trip were sad, with ribs poking out and hair covered in knots, their eyes looking lost. But these horses, they were beautiful. They had shiny coats and walked in a pattern, synchronized steps. Two walked in front of me and four behind, and I was totally enclosed by them and their quietness. I watched, stuck in the most frozen type of stillness and awe, as they walked slowly to the lake. At the same time, they lowered their necks and drank. How could something be so together the way their movements were? These wild beasts, all together. Maybe biology. Or maybe magic.

And when they were full with lake water, they turned one by one. They walked around me, oblivious to my presence and my eyes wide. And what they did next made me laugh right there in my frozen-ness, right there where no one was around to hear or see. They dropped slowly to their knees and laid their backs on the sand. And then, all at the same time, they started rolling around, throwing their legs into the air. It looked like little kids rolling down a hill, or someone scratching their back, or just a picture of pure joy. And one by one, they finished rolling on the warm beach and walked back to the trail. They made a straight line, all in order, and the sound of them vanished. I was left with my stillness. Quiet.

It was a full surprise and gift, that moment.

Today, it strikes me as funny, how you can miss a moment with your body. In the depths of my stomach I feel antsy for it sometimes. It makes me think that I must have turned my back that afternoon. Maybe a horse dove into the water and dissolved into glitter and became the sunlight sparkle on the top of the lake when I wasn't looking. And then, when I was taking a swim after they left me there on the beach, all the little pieces of glitter dissolved right into my pores. And now some work of magic is going on deep in my soul, like in hidden-away places there is a horse running along a beach on an island in Nicaragua, and I will never be able to separate it from myself.

But it's another realization too...'s when I reach out of my dreams and stop my alarm. It's when I turn the engine off in my Saab and the radio dies. It's when I close the front door after coming home. The silence - that's the familiar thing that does it. It's the silence that wraps me up inside itself; it's the very thing that makes me feel missing. Where is the next step of your life when you come to the understanding that silence itself is a mirror?

There are times when my heart starts racing as I'm walking in a store or down the narrow streets of my town, and I wonder when someone will see that I'm not who I am. I think about the glitter inside my pores and what it's done to me. People might get wise eventually. "Look, right there!" they'll say and point. "Why, isn't that a horse walking down the sidewalk?"

"a moment like a poem"

In a few weeks, I'll be here:
at 6th and I synagogue in Washington, jamming out to him:

eeeeeeeeeeeeeek I am SO EXCITED. This show is going to be awesome. I saw Mat Kearney a few years ago opening for Train, and he was incredible. I can only imagine that this venue will be super amazing. If you're free July 27th, click right here and order yourself some tickets. I've been craving a good show, so I'm ecstatic to have one to look forward to :)

p.s. just realized that since it is America's birthday, I should also recommend this song. It's one of my favorites actually.

a book by its cover

Ever thought about how unrealistic the saying, "don't judge a book by its cover" is? In an ideal world, maybe it would work. But it just doesn't fly in the present-day (actually, probably never has, ever). You dress up nicely for an interview because you know your desired employer is going to make a judgment call based on your appearance. You put a little (ok, maybe a lot of) extra effort into your outfit if you're going on a first date. You instantly, without being able to stop your thoughts, place people into socio-economic class, personality type, profession, etc., when you pass them on the street. I'm not saying it's a good thing. It's awful and I wish I could stop myself from making snap judgments so frequently. But the truth is, it exists. In fact, it might be one of the most obvious signs that we live in a really broken, imperfect world. It is entirely too much of a habit of ours to settle for the surface instead of the depths.

The same is true for literature, it seems. Although here, it's an entirely different story (haha, get it? story?). I also find myself making judgments on books based on what I immediately see. As an English major and avid reader, I would like to be able to say that a cover makes no difference, and that I only pick my books according to what I can ascertain of its literary worth, but alas, I would be lying. I'm drawn in by a pretty design, and I bet you are as well.

Here's the thing though: it doesn't really seem like a shame in this case. Book covers are fascinating, actually. It's become this whole new canvas for art, and I love that. People make careers out of designing sweet things to wrap arms around the literature we adore. It's like icing on the cake, really. Good book (hopefully) as well as good art? I'll take it.

I got to thinking all of this after reading Zoe's new blog this morning. She linked this great portfolio of a designer named Ben Wiseman. Check it out if you're interested in seeing some cool cover designs. It definitely proves that there is literal worth in that old saying, at least.

p.s. on a fairly related note, thanks sending book pics for my project! Keep 'em comin'!! :)

annoying personality traits. Taylor Lautner's biceps.

So I have this bad habit (actually, I have several of them. The highlights include singing along to every song on the radio regardless of whether I have passengers or not, snorting when I laugh, and mooching off of people's plates at restaurants). I always always always talk during movies. I don't know how to stop. Do you have a friend who will ask a billion annoying questions, or squeal at kissing scenes, or yell "WATCH OUT!" or "I can't believe it!" during every intense/surprising part of a film? Well, that's me. I'm so truly sorry.

Today I saw Eclipse, the latest Twilight movie, with Ellen and Ginny. It was sooooo good (and when I say "so good", I really mean awful, but Taylor Lautner was in it and shirtless 75% of the time). Even though I've read the books and knew what was going to happen, I still found myself turning to my friends and going "Wait, what's going on!?" or "OMG, did you see that?" or "Why does Bella look stoned all the time? or "Emily Lautner sounds really good, doesn't it?"

What is that? Why do I have this compulsive need to ruin everyone's movie experience? It's so bizarre. Please tell me that I'm not the only obnoxious one with this habit out there.

Anyway, in terms of the movie, I would say it's the best in the saga so far (which doesn't say much, as the acting is still pretty bad. I mean, come on girl-who-plays Bella, you could smile occasionally, I think. I will never understand why anyone thinks you are the least bit desirable). But you should probably see it. It's good entertainment at least. And maybe you'll even get lucky and sit next to someone like me who will squeal in your ear the whole time.