Friday Faves: The Not Amy Edition

29 Jul

Greetings, Backseat Writers, Readers, Lurkers, etc.  I hijacked Backseat Writer this week. Amy is around… somewhere. No, I didn’t put a Petrificus Totalus curse on her and stuff her under an invisibility cloak… she just needed a break and kindly asked me to fill in for her this week. I hope I can do her lovely blog justice!

So, I guess you’re wondering who this Not-Amy impostor is, right? My name is Jen, and I blog about music and books and art and stuff at Divinest Sense. I’ve been a lurker/admirer of BSW for a while, but not so long ago, Amy and I connected over blog comments and Twitter and found out that 1) we both read each other’s blogs and 2) we have an insane number of things in common, mostly of the books, music, and Harry Potter geeky variety.

Other stuff you need to know:

1)  My day job is Audio Ninja for Z88.3 FM, a Christian music radio station in Orlando, FL. It almost seems unfair to call it a day job… usually, that’s how you describe something that you do for a pay check while deferring your “dream job.” I’m truly grateful for a fun, interesting, and rewarding 9-5.

2)  Audio ninja = I do all kinds of programming stuff to make the radio sound cool. And various other things. I am not on the air, except for the occasional snarky comment as “Producer Jen” on our sub-stations The Rock and YHot.

3)  I’m a contributing writer for JesusFreakHideout.com, as well as a blogger and a wannabe poet.

4)  Loves: Coffee, books, going to concerts, my cats, plaid Chucks, deserted beaches, wordplay, Mexican food, colorful eyeshadow, handmade jewelry, indie record stores and used book shops, superhero movies, a wide range of music, my Macbook and Apple stuff in general, office supplies, spiral notebooks, and Twitter.

And now that this is out of the way, I present my Friday Faves!

*  So… music. Music is pretty much my favorite. I work with it, write about it, never leave home without my iPod, and spend an inordinate number of hours listening to it week in and week out. I have a few pre-release albums that are getting a lot of play in my car lately, one of them being the new Downhere. Um, wow. I never listened to a full album by these guys before, but their forthcoming record On the Altar of Love has been winning me over for the past month. Here’s a little teaser review I wrote for JFH.

*  One of the the other great things about Downhere is that they’re signed with Centricity Music. And the folks at Centricity are awesome, committed to putting great art out in the world… and hilarious. A month or two ago, they started a series of web videos called Centricity U, in which Prof. Mays hDRP (aka: John Mays, VP of A&R) teaches their artists all about the magic of radio. (Okay, occasionally these videos drift into the weird world of radio humor, but somebody please tell me you don’t have to be a radio geek to appreciate it.)   Here’s Episode 2, featuring Downhere (while we’re on the subject) These videos crack me up every time. But again… probably radio geek humor. Be sure to watch all the way to the end. “Honorary means Very. Special.”

*  Speaking of music, here’s a little video from one of my favorite websites in the cyber-universe, The Rabbit Room. It’s one of the few blogs I visit daily (so much I got a little twitchy when they were down for a redesign a few months ago. at least it’s a fairly healthy addiction). Anyway, besides their excellent essays and strong, smart web community, they also have a fine roster of musicians including the likes of Andrew Peterson, Jason Gray, Ben Shive, and the delightful Melanie Penn. I bought her album a while back, and it’s a charming collection of sweet and summery pop tunes. Her new music video “Ordinary Day” just debuted and it’s… well… magical! Give it a watch below, and you’ll see what I mean.

*  Another long-standing favorite: quirky handmade jewelry! I am not so girly, but I do geek out over the stuff at ShanaLogic.com. And this week they launched a Necklace-of-the-Month Club!

Oh, if only I could justify the price… basically, for $140 they send you a beautiful handmade necklace a month. What? It’s actually a pretty great deal when you do the math, though I’m sure I can find more… um… practical things to do with that money. But aren’t these samples fantastic?

I do adore and recommend ShanaLogic heartily. Their pieces are artistic and high-quality, the customer service rocks, and you can feel good knowing you supported independent art by shopping there. Everybody wins.

*  Do you like comics? Who doesn’t? I am proud to admit I have more than a little geek in me, even though I don’t indulge it nearly enough. (I have been to a couple of comic conventions though. It’s a fun and fascinating world.) My sister Sherri is just about the coolest geek I know and an artist, and I’m really proud to say she’s about to be published for the first time. W00t!  She’s on board for an upcoming project called Womanthology, a massive collection of comic art and stories by an all female cast of creators, both professionals and newcomers alike. She’s drawing a four-page fantasy story for the anthology. The coolest part is that it’s completely funded by donations through Kickstarter, and all profits from the book will go to charity. I’m so stoked for her! Here’s a great interview with Renae De Liz, the artist behind it all, and the story of the Womanthology project.

*  I never really did get into the Royal Wedding and such, but I do have a thing for all things British! I especially love the accents… sometimes I wish I could pack my bags and move across the pond for whatever length of time it would take to acquire one. (I’m sure I’m not the only one.) If you’ve also ever dreamed of spending a fortnight or more in the UK, you might want to study this list of 50 Annoying Americanisms as polled by the BBC. Some I agree with… others are just hilarious. I especially love the wit in some of these e-mails, like #35 from Nerina in London:  “‘Reach out to’ when the correct word is ‘ask.’ For example: ‘I will reach out to Kevin and let you know if that timing is convenient.’ Reach out? Is Kevin stuck in quicksand? Is he teetering on the edge of a cliff? Can’t we just ask him?”  As Nerina might actually say… “Brilliant!”

*  Since Pottermania is still alive and well at Backseat Writer and I am indeed a proud Floridian, I thought this was worth sharing as a dual favorite. Found via my friend Lindsay’s Tumblr… this is why Florida wins. (According to this handy infographic, I am a Hufflepuff. And “Go BadgerKnights!” is my new battle cry.)

*  Finally and on a serious note, good, thought-provoking, hope-stirring writing is my favorite. In the midst of my online travels and sometimes Twitter overload, I found this little gem of a post. I’ve never read this blog before, but Rachel Held Evans (a blogger I read often) tweeted a link to a post The Kingdom of God is Like…” from Sarcastic Lutheran. Beautiful words. Startling reminder.

“We mistakenly may think that the kingdom of God should follow our value system and also be powerful or impressive and shiny. But that’s not what Jesus brings.  He brings a kingdom ruled by the crucified one – populated by the unclean, and suffused with mercy rather than power. And it’s always found in the unexpected.”

So, how did I do? Should Amy never invite me to do this again? Will you come visit my blog? Are you a casual or obsessed music fan? Did you like the humor in the Centricity U video, or just think music people are weird now? How about Melanie Penn? Would you join a Necklace of the Month Club? Are you a comic geek at heart? Don’t you love British accents too? What words or phrases annoy you? What house/Florida university would you end up in? And what is the Kingdom of God like to you? Did I ask enough questions yet?

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4 Responses to “Friday Faves: The Not Amy Edition”

  1. Sarahthehobbit July 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM #

    Jenn-I think you did an incredible job! I hope Amy has you guest blog again!! The new DownHere album sounds great and those necklaces look awesome! I will have to stop by and check out your blog!

  2. Amy July 29, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

    Jen, Jen, Jen!!! You did such a fantastic job that no one is going to want me to come back. *sob* But she will be a familiar face around here, so don’t despair. In the meantime, y’all will just have to visit Jen at her blog.

    I’m going to answer ALL your questions…

    *You did an awesome job! 🙂 Anytime you want to guest post, you got it!

    *Amy should totally invite you to do this again!

    *You’re on my RSS Feed…so I visit your blog frequently. I love the bluish design.

    *Obsessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clearly obsessed.

    *I’ve always thought music people were weird, but the Centricity U video just confirms it. Loved it. I will subscribe to it on YouTube as soon as I am done answering all these questions.

    *I *LOVE* Melanie Penn and remember talking to you about her awesome video on Twitter! 🙂 She’s so cute and perky and fun!

    *No, I would not join the necklace of the month club. I like the necklaces though, especially the bird ones. $140 is a little much for me. I’m a clearance section kind of gal.

    *I am a Marvel Comics girl. I’m pretty sure that Stan Lee is my long-lost grandfather and that I should have a starring role in the next X-Men comic. I’m totes interested in Womanthology. I didn’t know that you had a sister, much less that she was an awesome comic artist.

    *I *ADORE* British accents, especially on ginger-headed twins or Prince Harry…or anyone British. Red hair is just a bonus.

    *I really hate “reach out to” as well. I think we should all use more British lingo in general like calling the restroom the “loo” or “water closet.” It would make for better diplomacy for our two nations, especially after the whole Revolutionary War thing. Plus, I love The Book Depsitory.

    *FSU, of course. Gryffindor, I mean, FSU is where all the action happens.

    *I always liked the description of God’s throne in Revelation 4. I think of beauty beyond imagination. As the Apostle John is trying to describe the throne he keeps saying, “It’s like this and it’s like that..” but words fall short.

    *Well, there were quite a few questions.

    Thanks for guest posting, Jen!

  3. Jen July 30, 2011 at 12:05 AM #

    Sarah: Thank you for the nice welcome! 🙂 we’re working on other collaboration ideas, so you haven’t seen the last of me.

    Amy: dang… That looks like a TON of questions now that you answered them all! Thanks for humoring me. 😉 and thanks again for inviting me to post! I won’t l add to all of them, but I do have a few things…

    1) music people are totally quirky and weird, and I love them. I’m so glad you enjoyed that. They desperately need to post a new episode, soon!

    2) marvel, woot! X-Men for the win. I do like batman though, but that’s pretty much the only time my allegiance sways…

    3) I meant to include links to my sister’s art blog. D’oh! It’s http://sherridrawsstuff.blogspot.com
    Oh, and then there’s sherridrawsponies.tumblr.com. She draw la a new My Little Pony a week. For reals.

    4) water closet! I love it. 😀

  4. Evangeline Denmark July 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM #

    Welcome Jen! I enjoyed your post and I like you because you like Amy and Amy is special to me. Make sense? =)

    You asked some great questions and I’ll answer a few, just for fun.
    Yes, I’ll visit your blog and I hope you’ll visit mine. http://www.breathenbreatheout.blogspot.com
    I’m a casual music fan. I think the necklace of the month club sounds cool but since my mother makes and sells handmade jewelry, I’m already hooked up in that regard. You can check her stuff out at http://www.donitakpaul.com/treasure/
    I love British accents and pretty much everything else about the island nation. In fact, thanks to Mumford & Sons I even think banjos are cool now–but only when played by a Brit. The same goes for football, IMO.
    I can’t stand the phrase “fixin’ to.”
    I would probably end up in HufflePuff because I always thought of them as the chunky kids and that’s me. Also, I’m not very brave so probably no Gryffindor for me unfortunately.

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