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Showing posts from September, 2012

saturday song: of monsters and men "king and lionheart"

hello, saturday. 
hello, friends. 
nice to see all of you here on this glorious autumnal offering of a day.

today i offer you a song without particular relevance to the day or season, except that it is by a band who has been filling my speakers quite a bit recently.  even with releases by the avett brothers and mumford and sons, i keep coming back to this icelandic band, of monsters and men.  so here's a video of them performing one of their songs, "king and lionheart" live in a studio.  enjoy.


sold! "a study in contrast"

"a study in contrast" paper collage on gameboard panel found papers, vintage stamps, glue april, 2001 gregory a. milinovich SOLD!!!  don't forget that i have several other collages for sale here.

quin's first haircut

just thought i'd share a few photos from quinton's first haircut a couple of weeks ago.  as you can see, he was really good, and it turned out really cute, although it did make him look older, which mommy didn't particularly care for.  hope your day is full of as much joy as the kid in this picture.  hey, why not?

album review: mumford and sons - "babel"

i once found a garnet.  my dad is an amateur geologist and avid rockhound, and sometimes family vacations involved me tagging along and digging up rocks and cracking them in half and so forth.  usually i just found things that looked like abraham lincoln eating a carrot, or whatever else my imagination could conjure up.  to me, everything just looked like grey-brown repetition.  except that one time i saw a glint of something shiny and colorful.  turns out it was garnet.  it was a euphoric feeling.  it was pretty awesome to see this raw gem in the middle of a mindlessly mundane landscape. 

if i had come across that same garnet in the hall of science at the natural history museum, it probably wouldn't have even gotten a second glance from me. 

context means everything. 

and so it is with this new mumford and sons album, their second.  i first heard their first album when i found it being almost given away by an online retailer.  for a few measly bucks, i thought i'd try som…

well, that stunk

-well, that stunk.
sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear rips you apart limb from limb and sits and laughs at you while you flop around in pain.  yankees lose.  steelers lose.  (and worst of all) ravens win.  it was a fail the size of janikowski's gut. 

-thank goodness my life doesn't revolve around sports.  after the game, i turned off the tv, and cuddled with my kids on the couch, before reading them bedtime stories.  nothing like a little perspective to help take the edge off. 

-did you know that aardvark means earth-pig?

-hahaha....i just had a political paragraph here, and then after i carefully wrote the whole thing, i deleted it because i knew that it would bring people out of the woodwork who would start shouting at me.  i just can't bring myself to do it.  even though i care very much, i just can't bring myself to participate in the online political discourse.  it is an arena in which i am unfit to participate. 

-i will, however, comment on th…

saturday song: no second chances

oh man.  this is sort of embarrassing for me.  today i'm going old school and offering a glimpse into the life of 15 year old greg.

i'm in a retrospective mood anyway.  two days ago i was thinking about this cassette tape that my parents constantly played in our volkswagen vanagon, and i was just remembering how my sisters and i had memorized every word, every inflection, and every stroke of the synthesizer.  i looked it up, but couldn't find it available for purchase anywhere, except for a $30 lp version, which i don't really want.  so i found him on the web, emailed him, and told him about how important his tape was to me as a kid.  so he sent me the mp3 files directly.  how cool is that?!?  i've been listening to them constantly, and it's amazing how much of the words, inflections and keyboard parts i completely remember. 

that album (alan robertson's "i don't want to go back") came out on starsong in 1984.  i was 8. 

fast forward to 1991…

a candy rant

last week i sent an open letter to retailers everywhere, ranting about the utter stupidity of BOGO sales, and since some of you really enjoyed it, i thought i would go ahead and rant some more.  this week i turn my ire towards the candy industry. 

what's your favorite candy bar?  not just any candy, but an actual candy bar, usually covered in some kind of chocolate and substantial enough to sink your cavity-laden teeth into.  it's a question that gets asked often around here for some reason, probably because it is difficult to answer, and the response is often a moving target.  this week i like twix, but last week i was saying mounds or caramello.  we just can't settle on one favorite, so we keep having the conversation. 

some years back (i have no idea when - this is a rant not a research paper) candy bar companies thought it would be a great idea to make smaller versions of the candy bars, presumably to cut down on the calories and fat and so forth that people are eati…

we be talkin' like ol' salts

ahoy mateys!  today be national talk like a pirate day, so here at agent ahhrrrrrrrrrnge records, we be shiverin' the timbers and makin' the skullywags walk the plank. 

and don't you landlubber lads and lassies be leavin' any scallywaggin' comments, either, or you'll find yourself looking right at the business end of me blade, savvy? 

tune back in tommorow for national "talk like a white suburban who likes to pretend he lives in the ghetto" day.

caption me - babyface

you know when that overly excited photographer tries to get your baby to smile?  here's what the baby is really feeling and thinking.  how about you provide the text?  c'mon, give us a caption....

steelers land in the win column, 1-1

the steelers came out for the home opener yesterday and looked fine, but couldn't finish drives, ending with field goals on their first two possessions, while letting the jets move the ball with way too much ease.  but after the dust settled a bit, it was clear who the best team on the field was, as the steelers dominated the second half.  i thought the refs were awful in this game, calling way too many penalties and just generally being terrible.  that made the game hard to watch at points, as it seemed like we were having lengthy ref conferences after nearly every play.  ridiculous.  other than that, though, i was pleased with the second half of that football game, and it was good to see the steelers shut down sanchez even with polamalu and harrison out.  we've got the raiders next week, and then a bye week.  is it too much to ask that we have some solid health going into week 5? 




also occuring yesterday:  ravens lose!  cowboys lose!  patriots lose!  raiders lose!  browns …

saturday song: live and die

it's time for a saturday song.  and since i just purchased the avett brothers new album this week - and love it - i thought i'd share one of the songs.  this one is the lead single from the album.  i understand that one of the guys in the band is dealing with the reality of a daughter with a brain tumor, which has apparently led the band to ask some deeper questions about mortality and life and death.  this song features their signature banjo-playing and excellent song-writing, and will make you sing along in no time.  great stuff.  enjoy. 


an open letter to retailers

dear madams and sirs of the retail industry,

let me begin by saying how much i appreciate you and the services you render.  when i feel the sudden need to make a purchase at the modern day marketplace, you are always there for me.  there used to be a day when i had to wait until you opened your doors, but now you have brought your stores right into my living room.  whether i need some soap shaped like bacon, something to stretch my shoes, or a goatee-saver, you never fail to deliver with just the thing i need.  i salute you.

but i wanted to write to you today just to clarify something.  recently you've taught me a new word, which i must admit, i love: BOGO (i'm pretty sure you have to write it in all caps, which annoys me, but i digress). 



yes, you've been luring me to your stores and websites with an amazing deal that seems almost too good to be true, but then when i make any attempt to take advantage of that deal as you've advertised, it seems to be retracted at the…

new collage: hospitality

"hospitality" mixed media collage (found papers, wallpaper paste, metal, acrylic paint) on canvas september 2012 gregory a. milinovich
i was recently asked by a friend if i would make a donation of a collage to a fundraising auction for a great organization he is a part of.  the organization is called family promise, and provides housing for folks when a need arises, often through a network of churches and other host sites, in the absence of more traditional homeless shelters, or when those shelters have no vacancies.  it used to be called interfaith hospitality network, and i have been involved with them in the past, so i figured i would be happy to donate a collage to the fundraising effort in hunterdon county, nj.  in fact, i thought i'd do even better than that.  why not use the organization's purpose and mission as an inspiration for making a new collage, specifically for this event?  so that's what i did.  i call it hospitality, and based it largely on the…

rally day

as i wrote about last week, sunday was a big day in our church.  we were celebrating rally day, putting a bit of a new twist on an old tradition of getting back to sunday school after the summer.  rally day was something that hadn't been a part of the practice here for a long time, but we felt it was a great way to kickoff a sunday school program that we had poured a great deal of energy and time into planning for the fall. 

we had high hopes for this beginning, but we weren't sure what to expect.  i had preached a sermon series called "the school of faith" leading up to rally day ,as a way of emphasizing the biblical call to continued learning and growing in knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  we promoted on the radio and the newspaper and in our neighborhood.  we made phone calls and put up a big sign at the church.  and then we prayed. 

and we were blessed.  we had over 60 people in our sunday school on sunday, with new people joining every class, and, what&…

9/11/12

last year, upon the tenth anniversary of 9/11, i wrote these words.  as i reread them this morning one year later, i feel compelled to share them again.  they represent the deepest desires of my heart not just concerning that fateful day and the narrative that has followed, but about life as a whole, and my (and your) part in it.  i hope you'll read these words, nod enthusiastically where you agree, and be challenged by them to move beyond your comfort level.  i know i am.  -greg.
"six years later" paper collage on cardboard panel 2007 gregory a. milinovich

tomorrow is, of course, the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks aimed at the united states and it's symbols of financial, military, and political power. while i may have nothing new to add to the conversation about this tragic event, i am nonetheless compelled to say something, as this story is one that will not let me go. each year i get out a file of news clippings and reread the stories, allowing myself…

tough week 1 loss, 0-1

well, it's good to have football back.  no, last night's game really didn't go the way i hoped, but, in all honesty, it didn't end up being much of a surprise to me, either.  i've been telling everyone that i was worried about the youth on our defense, and especially without harrison or clark last night, it was an obvious issue. 

what i hadn't worried about was the running game. looks like that may be an issue, too. 

and of course, the offensive line coming down with every ailment from short of west nile during the course of the game feels familiar.  hard to utilize all our speed and weapons on offense when your line is below average at best. 

so, it was tough to lose, especially to that waving, gesturing, drama king prima donna who couldn't have practiced much this offseason, what with his busy tv schedule.  however, it was a tough environment on opening day, going into denver against a very hyped-up broncos team and crowd.  the steelers showed some go…

is sunday school dead?

when one is a pastor and meets regularly with colleagues and other religious leaders across denominations and faiths, there are often a few common denominators that can be counted on with precise regularity.  the first, and perhaps most obvious, is that clergy are an odd lot.  i have tried to distance myself from this reality, but have had to come to terms with the fact that i can't possibly be the only normal one, and so I, too, must be a bit of an odd bird.  as much as this pains me, i at least feel good about the fact that i carve my own odd path into the jungle of the world, in a way that maybe no one else has ever quite done it before.  conclusion: i'm quirky and trailblazing, not odd and weird. 

but i digress.

another thing that seems to come up in many clergy conversations is this: sunday school is dying or already dead.  if i had a sunday school student for every time i heard that, i'd have a major classroom size problem.  the lament about the state of sunday sc…

most epic fantasy football draft ever

this is a story about fantasy football, but if you don't care about fantasy football, i urge you not to tune out quite yet, because this is really a story about victory against the odds, about one man's courage and integrity, and the power of the human spirit to overcome even the greatest obstacles. 

not really, but it sounds better that way.

i have played fantasy football for several years now.  each summer, as the days begin to shorten and school starts and you can begin to taste autumn in the mornings and evenings, someone always says to me, "you should play fantasy football with us in our league," and i remember how i felt about midway through the previous season, vowing never to play again, but somehow the magic of it all sucks me in and i find myself planning for my draft.  football just has that power over me. 

now, in case you don't know, fantasy football is really about individual statistics.  you draft a bunch of nfl players for your team, and you are…

knowledge

For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.                                      -proverbs 2:10 (NLT) yesterday in church we continued our sermon series on getting back to the "school of faith," and we focused on the concept of knowledge.  quite simply, if we don't keep studying the Bible and asking questions about our faith, we can't very well learn anything.  and if we don't learn and grow, change becomes nearly impossible, unless crisis and catastrophe make change for us.  one of the things we talked about was how diligent we can be when it comes to making sure we are up to date and knowledgeable about many things in our lives.  for example, when i was shopping for a new tv, i learned all the lingo, made sure i was well-versed in all the technologies and the pros and cons of all of them.  i studied the basics to gain an understanding so i could change my situation (no tv - ours was broken).  or, imagine this scenario:  what if you rece…

saturday song: virtuoso

happy september, which means we have already crossed the threshold into a technicolor land of football helmets, sweatshirts, pumpkins, apple butter, and a million other things i love.  in celebration of the beginning of football, and the attention i am sure to give to the steelers here at the blog, i thought i'd have a saturday song that connects with the steelers today.  here is troy the virtuoso, showing his "deep" side.  enjoy. 



oh, and in case you need a little pump-up for the season's kickoff this week, this should do the trick: