Music Mondays: “Romantic Works”

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d kick off the Music Monday series by reviewing one of my favorite albums…”Romantic Works” by British musician Keaton Henson.

keaton henson

I was a big fan of Keaton’s first two albums (Side rant: Am I the only one who doesn’t like when articles refer to people by their last names only?  I know that’s technically “professional” to do, but whenever I read articles with multiple people, I’m always scrolling back up to see who is who.  For me, the first name is the memorable description, not the last.  I’m alone here?  Okey-dokey.  Moving on.)–“Dear…” and “Birthdays”.  “Romantic Works” is the only one of the three that is instrumental.  If you are the type of person who inexplicably doesn’t enjoy instrumental music, please do not read on; I don’t want to torture you :-).

This cover perfectly sums up the album: sweet, soft, a little nostalgic, and a lot melancholic.
This cover perfectly sums up the album: sweet, soft, a little nostalgic, and a lot melancholic.

Keaton suffers terribly from stage fright, and has been honest about how it’s sometimes difficult to translate all of his emotion into lyrics.  This album represents, as he put it, “the in-between moments when I found it all too much to write a clever rhyme.”  Most writers have experienced that bubbling up of feeling that somehow doesn’t flow immediately into art.  I appreciate Keaton’s soft, delicate, fragile emotive voice, but I also appreciated hearing all the things he could not bring himself to say.

Keaton Henson singer-songwriter and artist

A large number of songs on the album feature cellist Reinoud “Ren” Ford.

Isn't he adorbs! He looks like the quiet guy you'd be paired up with in chemistry class that suddenly comes back for the high school reunion as a millionaire Cello God with miracle musical fingers.
Isn’t he adorbs! He looks like the quiet guy you’d be paired up with in chemistry class that suddenly comes back for the high school reunion as a millionaire Cello God with miracle musical fingers.

I had never heard of him before, but I loved the minimalist melancholic ethereal feel he added.  It almost felt like each song could serve as the backing songs for “Another Earth” trailers.  Haven’t seen that trailer?  It’s awesome.

Here it is.  You’re welcome.

My personal favorites on the album would probably be “Josella” and “Elevator Song“.  Buuuut I also love “Earnestly Yours“. And “Petrichor” is really awesome too.  But if I had to pick a song on this album to be the soundtrack to my life, I’d definitely pick “Josella”.  It makes me wish I was in love so I could slowly and heartrendingly fall out of it to this song.

keaton henson 3

I listen to most of my music on Spotify, but the album is also available for purchase here on Keaton’s website.

Listen to it, and tell me what you think!

Contemplatively,

Noelle

In Which Noelle Questions The Future

“Run towards the fear.”

He paused, waiting for it to sink in, waiting for the epiphany to wash over me, waiting for the light.  I smiled and offered up a few pleasantries about how profound it was, and we parted; veering off to our corners of the parking lot.

He was wrong.  It hadn’t sunk in for me, at least not yet.  Not until I was a few miles down the highway, speeding past the semis and pick-up trucks, that I realized.

I am unhappy.  And I have the power to make myself happy.

I know what the fear is.  It’s name is legion.  Fear of failing. Fear of being alone.  Fear of never being chosen. Fear of settling. Fear of never being fulfilled.  Fear of never accomplishing anything meaningful.  Fear of shame.  Fear of saying the wrong thing.  Fear of saying the right thing too late.  Fear of disappointing people I love.  Fear of disappointing myself.

I took a step towards the fear on Saturday.  I faced the fear of being alone, and it didn’t break me.  On the contrary, I feel stronger.  I know that there are so many amazing things ahead of me, and so many people out there in the world that I have yet to meet.

I have rarely felt so lost…or so hopeful.

Pensively,

Noelle

Greek Steak Salad French Bread with Soft Boiled Eggs & Feta

Hi everyone!

I know you all were anxiously awaiting the return of this blog after a year months of silence. So I have good news on that score…

We’re back. 🙂

And for REAL this time, not like we were before; halfheartedly, distractedly, one foot in the sea, one of the shore….I’m excited to see what lies ahead (ahem, regularity for one thing) and to see if there’s anyone out there who is following along with my and Shelle’s secret lives of intrigue (spoiler alert, there’s going to be lots of Netflix and pizza).

Today, I want to share one of my favorite recipies:

Behold, the most delicious salad on earth
Behold, the most delicious salad on earth

I discovered this recipe on a little traveled and remote part of the internet (I love you Buzzfeed!) and am now obsessed with it. It was created/posted by a blogger named Tiegan at halfbakedharvest. You can see her awesome blog . I don’t make it that often–steak is expensive!–but it is a treat I enjoy indulging in when I can.

Look at all that juicy medium rare beauty...
Look at all that juicy medium rare beauty…

This article comes with a recipe for it’s own salad dressing. It’s probably good, although I wouldn’t know….I’ve never made it lol. I took one look at the list of ingredients necessary and reached for the bottle of Caesar on my fridge door (#shortcutqueen).

I never really use any dressing–I read Nutrional Facts tab on a bottle of Ranch one day and had a heart attack–so a few dribbles would do. Especially for this salad, where the steak itself and the garlic butter spread on the toasted bread provide plenty of flavor.

Also, in terms of the salad itself, I am not an olive fan, so I left those out. Also, don’t really care for avocado or feta cheese, so I only add a little of both of those, but they are surprisingly good in this! (at least to me).

Anyway, here’s the link to the full –along with a host of other deliciousness!

Hungrily,

Noelle

In which Noelle asks the question, “Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?”

How To Get Back To Narnia?”

I was reading this article on Buzzfeed today and it took my breath away.  How could she know EXACTLY how I felt about my many treks through Narnia?  How could she know about my soulrending sadness 9/10s (approximately) of the way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

My one complaint about this article is that the author says she was disappointed when she found out that Aslan was the allegorical equivalent for Jesus.  She describes it as being a “dull solution”.  I find this troubling, not because I am a Christian and am offended by the thought of anyone not accepting a Christ-like figure in a children’s story (she, of course, is entitled to believe whatever she wishes), but by the word ‘solution’.  What does that mean?

Does she think Lewis had Christian tie-ins for every other character but Aslan and so fell reluctantly to the answer of Jesus?  That he was a last resort?  Or maybe she was tired of Christ-like representatives in stories and thought Lewis was was being lazy by using the handy dandy old standby.

I feel Ms. McArdle was approaching the character without taking into account how dear and important C.S. Lewis’ faith was to him.  He did not develop the character of Aslan, and then retroactively try to tie the story to that of Christianity.  I don’t know (and I unfortunately will never get the chance to ask Lewis in person) but I don’t know that he ever intended the character or the story to go any other way.  Saying that Jesus served as a ‘solution’ seems to trivialize everything, as if Voldemort were the ‘solution’ for the Harry Potter’s force of evil.  Is that really all he was?  He is integral to everything!  There is no story without him being carefully positioned on the opposite side of the moral chasm from our hero.

But maybe I’m being too picky.

At any rate, the article was wonderful!  Enjoy.

Wistfully,

Noelle

In Which Nobody Cares

Hey guys,

Ummm, yeah…we just thought we’d let everyone know that we’re still alive and well. Life is pretty crazy right now so we haven’t been able to put up a new post in awhile…but we promise that new fresh and honest posts are coming!

Thanks for reading this…whoever is reading this…if anyone is reading this. 🙂 We WUV you!

Noelle and Michelle

In Which Michelle Talks About Her Children (Say Whaa??)

It’s probably bizarre for some people my age – college, late teens – to think about their kids. To imagine what they’ll look like or act like or be good at or desire…

I think about my future children almost every day.

I pray for them…that they’ll love the Lord more than anything, pursue Him with all of their hearts, and serve him in any way they can.

That they won’t feel too much pain…I know they will experience hardships, but I hope that it is minimal and that they heal from anything that happens to them.

I hope that they have a passion, and that they pursue it whole heartedly. As cheesy and dramatic as it sounds, I have never had a talent in which I was confident. I’ve never felt ‘good’ at anything specifically. I hope with all my heart that they have that confidence that I never did.

That they will live with abandon and joy, without fear of those around them…fear of rejection or labels or even hatred.

I firmly believe that I was put on this earth to be a mother. I don’t know when it will happen, but God has given me a peace about this that is unmistakable. So I pray that I will be good. I pray that I will be patient and loving and firm…that I will have the wisdom to know what to say and that they won’t hesitate to come to me when they need me. That they will know just how much I love them…how much I’ve always loved them.

Yes crazy, I know. But crazy is me in a nutshell.

In Which Noelle and Michelle Live Blog Through Revolution Episode 3…Or At Least That Was The Plan

 REVOLUTION: EPISODE 3

Michelle: Hey there guys!

So, Noelle and I have long been avid readers of live blogs, where bloggers will go through tv shows, writing their own thoughts and recaps on the different episodes, often with hilarious results. So we decided to take a crack at it.
Noelle: NBC has premiered a new show called Revolution!  *insert clever ‘power button’ for ‘O’* The premise is interesting–at some point in the future, all electrical power on the earth is lost; everything from lights to phones to batteries is no longer operational.  All forms of government have fallen, militias have sprung up, and a new, cruder, (and crueler) form of government is now in place.
LAST TIME ON REVOLUTION: *takes deep breath*
The main character, Charlie, (short for Charlotte, but having a boy’s name is supposed to make her look tough and brave!  Ooh rah!) is looking for her brother, Danny, who was captured by the Monroe militia, (the only form of government left in the country formerly known as America) headed by creepily handsome Captain Tom Neville, who was really after her father, because they believed he had an idea as to how to get the power back on, due to a mysterious phone call made to his brother Miles seconds before the power cut off; Miles being accompanied by a strange blonde man who early on in the episode is revealed to be *gasp* MONROE himself!) but was accidentally killed in a Mel Gibson’s The Patriot style standoff in which the brave, stupid, and asthmatic son tries to defend his father and ends up getting him shot. (exhale)  Right  before he dies, with his last dramatic breaths, he tells his blue doe eyed daughter (who has managed to produce not even one good fake tear for her father’s demise) to go to Chicago and find Miles.  Whaa? you ask? GOOD QUESTION.  Fortunately, Charlie knows exactly where Chicago is, because she’s been stealing and hiding 15 year old perfectly preserved postcards with pictures of Chicago landmarks on them, which serve as proverbial breadcrumbs to help her find her way across this barren and highwayless nation to a city that she has never been to. Logical?  Maybe not.  But hey!  This is TV!
Michelle: So Charlie sets off to find her kidnapped brother (which is exactly what the militia was hoping she’d do), accompanied by her late father’s best friend (and former Google executive), Aaron, and British girlfriend, Maggie. While traveling, they bump into a smooth talking, handsome and muscular loner who goes by the name Nate. I assume Charlie has not encountered her fair share of handsome men because she immediately trusts him to join them, despite Maggie’s adamant counsel to leave homeboy in the dust. They find Miles in a bar and eventually convince him to join them.  In a sudden and completely unforeseen twist, the handsome stranger Nate turns out to be militia! (As you can tell this show is completely unpredictable.)
Noelle: Somewhere far away, Danny  manages to escape and is found by a strange woman who *gasp* has access to electricity! Neville however tracks him down and recaptures him.  A man named Randall comes to the woman’s house after they leave and kills her (so there goes that thread of story…?)
Miles and Charlie leave Aaron and Maggie and go to find Miles’ friend Nora, who has voluntarily been made a slave.  It is discovered that she is part of a rebel sector who is trying to bring back the United States.  Miles gives her the stink eye and warns her that she’ll be killed if her subtle tattoo of the US flag on her back is seen.  She scoffs (with a speech).
And the big reveal at the end of the episode?  Charlie and Danny’s mama is ALIVE!  And working for Monroe! Dun dun duuuun!

Michelle: So, this post was supposed to be a quick catch up on the first two episodes before live blogging the third, but it’s kind of long, and we never actually got to it…….so um, tune in next time for what we actually promised you! 🙂 At least you’re all caught up now!
Let us know what you think! Have you gotten into Revolution? What other shows are you obsessed with?