Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest DJ Project

My radio station, KCRW, does Guest DJ projects with awesome people like David Cross and John Hodgman. These awesome people also happen to be famous, which is something I am not. KCRW will  probably never ask me to do a guest DJ project, because they just don't get how super cool my set would be. But I've been thinking a lot lately about what exactly this super cool guest set would sound like. Of the eleventy-billion songs I love, which five would I include? How would I narrow it down?

In the unlikely event KCRW ever asks normals like me for guest DJ sets, I'm going to be prepared. Here's what it would be today:

1. Tiny Dancer — Elton John

A no-brainer. The first time I heard this song was when I went to see Almost Famous in Provo with my Dad and brother, Cliff. You know the scene where everyone in the tour bus — Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup and Patrick Fugit — is singing along? My dad was singing along, too, with tears in his eyes. It's hard to listen to this song without getting warm fuzzies.

2. Matilda — Alt J

I'm jonesing for this band pretty hard right now. Every song on the album is a masterpiece, but this one stabs me in the heart.

3. Angels/Losing/Sleep — Our Lady Peace

This one has kind of a cheesy back story. I remember hearing it for the first time in Rob's Avalon on the way to the Avalon on our first date. He was singing along. It took me about that long to fall in love with him.

4. You Were Never There — Diego Garcia

Dynamically, this song is almost perfect. When it comes on the iPod, I always turn to Rob and say, "What are we waiting for? Let's make this music career of ours happen." Plus, I love the image of southern rain.

5. Quiet Dog — Mos Def

Doesn't matter what time it is or whether I'm wearing a bra. This song makes me dance-y.

Did I mention I guest-posted?

I guess between moving and thesis-ing and stuff, I forgot to mention that I guest posted for my amazing friend, Jen, while she was on maternity leave.

You can read it, if you wanna.

OK, bye. Love you.

A post about my new 7-Eleven

I have a new 7-Eleven.

You may have guessed that this is because we moved.

We moved because we were stepping on Fritz or each other wherever we went in our teeny-tiny, adorable little travel-size apartment.

We moved to an apartment that's a little bit bigger, but it feels like a damn castle compared to what we used to have. It's a little less adorable, but I could do a cartweel in it without breaking a limb, if that gives you any idea. It has an outside porch area that Fritz can run around on without looking like Clifford the Big Shaggy Terrier. Muuuch better for fetch purposes.

We did not move because we were tired of living across the street from the dog park and reservoir. We were not tired of that. Or because we were sick of being within walking distance from all the best shops and restaurants in Silverlake. We moved because no matter how much milk and Miracle Gro we fed our apartment over there, it just refused to sprout a second bedroom*. Failure to thrive.

So now we live in a bigger place on the west edge of Silverlake. Literally. The edge. I mapped it and our street is the border. We are hanging on to hipness by a thread. (Is Silverlake still hip? Last I checked it was in Forbes, which means it's hip for rich white dudes, which also means it's not hip.) You won't see too many yuppies pushing $1000 baby strollers around here. More likely, you'll see homeless people pushing Home Depot shopping carts up to Vons. We thought the neighborhood might be sketchy at first, but so far the scariest thing we've seen is a vicious slap fight between two grown men in denim cut-offs and flippy-floppies, so ... yeah. That happened.

I have a new 7-Eleven. It doesn't have my guys. They don't know my name yet. I don't understand their organization practices. It smells funny. The morning crew does not seem to understand my before noon Diet Coke consumption yet. But the parking lot is bigger and they have those airheads that are two airhead flavors in one big bar, which is easily the best thing that ever happened to the Universe.

What I'm saying is, there's hope.

*Our need for a second bedroom has nothing to with procreation. Babies are gross.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mormon-y goodness for your earballs!

Attention all Mormon and Mo-Curious friends!

One of my favorite Mormon-y things is in danger of going the way of polygamy (that is: being discontinued), and I need your help keeping it around (unlike polygamy, which I'm fine without, please and thank you).

It's a podcast. Do you listen to podcasts? You should! They're better than radio because you can pause and rewind them. Also, you can listen to them whenever you want. Also: subscriptions. All I'm saying is podcasts are the best. And the best podcast is "Engaging Gospel Doctrine" from Mormon Stories Sunday School.


I have to admit, even (and maybe especially) when I was teaching sunday school at my church, I felt like it was lacking. If I was bored as the teacher, how were my class members not nodding off and sliding out of their chairs on the floor into puddles of disengaged goo? Then, when I got released from my calling (volunteer position) of teaching, I found that I really missed preparing lessons for church (surprise!), and I was eager to find a way to be more engaged in the topics.

Bam! Mormon Stories Sunday School.

Jared Anderson teaches. He's a mega-brilliant PhD Candidate in Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill (though he lives in UT now) and his brain is gigantic. He does about 45 minutes of "lesson"from the manual, and then about 45 minutes of discussion with other wicked smart volunteers who call in from around the globe. He also includes links to resources and his own lesson notes. It's riveting, I tell you. I listen to it in my car on my way to everywhere.

You know how, when you're a Mormon, you're supposed to read the scriptures every day? You know how that's really hard? And you know how there are only so many scriptures, and you've read them all like a billion times by now, and sometimes you just can't stomach the idea of cracking them open one more time and pretending to be into it? Well, this is where Engaging Gospel Doctrine comes in especially handy. My grad school friends know that I'm obsessed with the cultural study of religion, but I must admit that my spiritual interest had drastically waned until recently. Since I've been listening to the podcast, I've been intellectually stimulated, spiritually nourished, and re-energized about studying religious things in a spiritual way.

If any of this sounds good to you, please check out Mormon Stories Sunday School. Start with this one, maybe. Or start with the most recent one. I don't care. Then maybe donate, if you can. Because without donations, this podcast will go away. And if this podcast goes I away, I will ...  I just ... I really like this podcast.