Category Archives: Music

Barton Hollow

If you have yet to see this video or hear the fantastic new album from The Civil Wars, you are really missing out.  These two are the real deal.

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A Year In Review

I’m terrible with resolutions, so I’m not making any this year.  Instead, I’m reflecting on a year of ups and downs, focusing more on the ups, however big or small they were.

My parents have continued to lovingly welcome me to live in their home, rent-free.  They’re pretty awesome.

I was able to celebrate my Baba’s 80th birthday with her:

I reunited with my dear former apartment-mates, Meggie, Amy, and Casey  in Chicago.  Through the wonders of technology, we were joined by Whitney in Bulgaria, via Skype.

I’ve been able to spend more time with dear friends, like Megan & Valerie.

I celebrated the weddings of many special people this past year, including:

Tom & Christine Chiaccio

Ben & Kerrie Taylor

Steve & Cortney Conn

Zach & Janelle Taylor

I’ve rejoiced with loved ones who have brought new life into the world.  Welcome to the babies!!!



Baby Theresa, whom I do not yet have a picture!  Babies yet to arrive are Baby Oakleaf and Baby Constantino, and I’m excited for them all.

I’ve become a member of a church plant that has given me a huge family to be a part of, and they bless me immensely.

I’ve met a world of bloggers who are artists, cooks, writers, and thinkers, and they continue to inspire and delight me each day.  Basically, 2010 was about reconnecting with people.  People can be the worst part of your day, but they are also what makes life most beautiful.

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A Small Measure of Peace

My dear cousin, Samantha, is one of my greatest encouragers when it comes to my paintings.  However, she is a poor college student and cannot afford to buy one.  She just turned 21, so I thought that perhaps a small painting might be nice for her.  This piece is based on Han Zimmer’s composition “A Small Measure of Peace” from The Last Samurai.

Now, Sam spent some time in India doing mission work, and it affected her in a huge way.  Because of that, I added an element of henna tattoo designs onto the background.  You see them when the light hits it just right:

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Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that began as a holy feast day and has turned into an excuse for anyone and everyone to drink beer until unconscious.  That’s how Americans observe it, anyway; I’m told that much of Ireland still celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day the way it was intended.  Americans have really latched onto this holiday.  I mean, for crying out loud, Chicago does this:

Anyway, if nothing else, this holiday is a great excuse to celebrate the wonderful culture of beautiful Ireland.  Here in the Fort, we are fortunate to have an amazing Irish pub, which throws a block party each year on St. Patrick’s Day.  I love JK O’Donnell’s because they serve traditional Irish pub fare and have traditional Irish ales on tap.  Soccer games are shown on TV screens.  All the furniture inside was shipped over from Ireland.  Even the bartender is from Dublin. The atmosphere is amazing.

If you prefer to stay home, might I recommend a viewing of Waking Ned Devine, my personal favorite film about Ireland.  It is charming and amusing, incorporating Irish culture with beautiful scenery, Celtic music, and the small towns and villages one often associates with much of the country.

If music is more your thing, check out the High Kings – they are awesome.  Some others I enjoy are Lisa HanniganEnya, and Moya Brennan.  There’s also the overplayed U2, though their sound is rather un-Irish, and the popular Damien Rice.

Oh, and don’t forget Riverdance!  May the road ever rise to meet you…

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Life can overwhelm and swallow you whole.  That’s why we have things like art and music, to help us feel and express ourselves.  My favorite types of songs are those that invoke some strong emotion from deep inside.  Sometimes, though, I just need to hear something that is sunshine and light and makes me feel hopeful.  L’Amoureuse is one of those pieces.

I love the beautiful simplicity of this lovely song by Carla Bruni.  I love the artistic, whimsical music video.  I really love the television show, Chuck, one of many reasons being that this song was featured at the end of the last episode, Chuck Vs. First Class.  Here’s hoping it lifts your spirits:

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Just Hear Those…

Christmas carols.  Some of our local radio stations began playing only Christmas music before people had even purchased a Thanksgiving turkey.  Why?!

About half of the Christmas songs played drive me nuts:  Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Sleigh Ride, Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas (if the song doesn’t make you shoot yourself first), Blue Christmas (really?!), O Christmas Tree (“how lovely are your branches”?!  weird!).  Who wrote those anyway?!

Look, I have nothing against Christmas music.  I adore Christmas and even have some favorite carols:  O Come, O Come Emanuel, Silent Night, White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (really, one of the saddest songs ever).  However, enough with stores selling Christmas un-necessaries before Halloween, and enough with radio stations blasting Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

Christmas is in December, where it belongs, as do the carols.  Let’s show some love to the other holidays already.

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