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Showing posts from February, 2009

15 albums: dreams of the colorblind

getting back to my list of my 15 favorite albums, here is perhaps the most obscure of all. but just because it is obscure doesn't mean it isn't awesome. trust me. it's awesome. i first heard this album on casette tape when a guy named rob hanak with some connection to wheaton college gave me a dubbed copy in high school. i fell in love right from the first notes of 'blue sky morning .' i wore that tape out. so i researched and researched until i found a company out of illinois that was selling the cd. i bought it. i believe i have purchased at least 10 copies of this album since then, as gifts. when i was in college, i became an evangelist for the folky duo, telling everyone i knew about them, and lending cd's like a library. but it paid off, because soon grove city college became a sort of haven of harrod and funck fans, so the concert committee, which i was a part of, decided to try and bring them to campus. and they came! i invited everyone i knew, and th

happy 8th birthday, max!

happy birthday to our beloved dog, max milinovich. if you've never met him, you should know that he's a english bulldog, a huge steeler fan, and an avid drooler. he suffers from narcolepsy. he weighs in at about 60 pounds, and can pack a pretty mean punch if you are standing between him and something that resembles food. other than that, though, he is a wimp to the greatest degree. he is scared of cats and squirrels. he just prefers to be left alone. and sleep. today he turns 8, which is actually a pretty good lifetime for a bulldog, who are particularly prone to several different health issues (not that we haven't had our fair share of those with him). in the 7 years we've had him, he has definitely become an adored part of our family. as he is a frequent reader on the blog, please feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments section.

connected by ashes

i had a great ecumenical moment yesterday. i just hope that the pope isn't mad at me about it. i might have just landed myself on the vatican's "10 most wanted" list. let me tell you what happened. yesterday afternoon, after a noontime ash wednesday service, i headed over to new brunswick to visit a teenager in the hospital. as he was in tutoring when i got there, i ended up spending a good bit of time with his mother and aunt. i realized that they would all like to experience the imposition of ashes for the beginning of their own lenten journeys, so i headed down to the chapel to see if the hospital had ashes. before i left the room they told me that the tvs in the rooms have a channel that shows the chapel, so i told them to look for me and i would make faces at them. unfortunately, when i found the chapel, someone was in there praying fervently, so i tried to wave and make faces as discreetly as possible. but there were no ashes there. so i got direction

ash wednesday: 2009

"ash wednesday, 2009" mixed media collage on book board gregory a. milinovich i hope you have a truly blessed ash wednesday today; one in which you tangibly touch your own brokenness and mortality as you begin this paschal journey towards wholeness and eternal life. grace and peace to you. greg.

thoughts at the beginning of lent

i am currently in the process of facilitating a tuesday night discussion group based on the tv's the simpsons , a show which i absolutely love. each week we watch an episode and then discuss it in terms of what it has to say to us, as well as what it might be saying about us. in the episode we watched last week one scene finds bart and lisa in their sunday school class. the teacher is describing just how awful hell will be, and then tells them the children that there is really only one way to avoid eternal damnation, and that is to abide by the ten commandments, which she says are, "ten simple rules that are easy to follow." part of our discussion centered around this teacher's dismissive denial of the reality of the difficulty of living a disciplined, obedient life. in reality it is hard to follow the law sometimes, and perhaps even harder to follow Christ's law of loving God and others. there are, of course, times when it comes easier than others, but o

15 albums: a rush of blood to the head

- next on my list is an album by coldplay , their 2002 album a rush of blood to the head. this is much more mainstream than anything on my list so far, so many of you have heard of this, i hope. in fact, some of you are probably thinking that i've gone and 'sold out' or something, picking an album as pop-oriented as this one, but i just can't help it. ever since i first heard coldplay, on mtv of all places, singing 'yellow,' i was mesmerized. there is just something about this british band that lures me in everytime. shannon and i saw them in concert this fall and i wrote about it here. so, if you are a coldplay hater, sorry. but i am most certainly not. in spite of their mass appeal, i am a fan. - interestingly enough, this album doesn't even contain any of my top three favorite coldplay songs ("fix you," "yellow" and "viva la vida," in that order), but it is the album that i first got my hands on and the one that initiated

the music

"the music" paper collage gregory a. milinovich here's a collage i made yesterday. i've had the idea for it bouncing around in my head for awhile, but used my day off yesterday as a chance to finally nail it down. i love it when i have time on a day off to collage. it is so rewarding for me. hope you have a great friday. peace.

consult your physician

i seriously need to get off my duff and get some physical exercise. at least that was what i was thinking yesterday, in a moment of weakness. so i found out that our comcast on demand has some exercise programs that you can try. having heard some good things about it, i thought i'd try bob's biggest loser workout. all i can say about that is that with every step i take today, my legs are calling out unspeakable curses on bob and his 'jumping lunges.' i want to throw dumbells at my tv and overly dramatic words at bob. exercise. blech. - as i started the workout yesterday, i noticed that it started off with these words: "please consult your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program." - as i began lunging my way into sore-muscle-hell, i was thinking about how that warning is like the warning on the side of the cigarette package. i know that it is there in case you've got some pre-existing condition that would make exercise dangerous, but

15 albums: time out

so i've been getting some complaints that many of my readers haven't heard of most of my 15 albums. deal with it. if you want to read about what everyone is listening to, check out the home of teen magazine , or rolling stone (teen magazine for adults). but if you want to know what moves me , then keep reading. and, i promise, there will be at least a couple more that you've heard of. today's album (5th on the list) is the dave brubeck quartet's time out . considered by many jazz aficionados as a bit too accessible, or pop, this album is nonetheless nothing short of a work of amazing art. designed as an experiment with different time signatures (hence the name), and reluctantly released by columbia records, the record had fantastic popular success, with the song "take five" rising to number 5 on the pop music charts. regardless if you look down your nose at this or not, this album has become an important part of the history of jazz. for me, personally,

here's a bit of presidential trivia for your president's day "day after." -- two and a half years ago, it was reported that when george w. bush traveled to austria, a special portable toilet was flown in with him for his use while in that country. apparently, the secret service was concerned that if president bush were to use the public plumbing, someone might tap into the system and steal his poo, which might help them discern top secret information about the president's health. so the president performed his private payment in a personal potty, from which the poo/pee was collected and sent back to the u.s. for proper - and covert - disposal. -- the secret service had good reason for their poop protection. the flushed feces of other world leaders has been secretly siphoned before, in an effort to determine the real health situations of those leaders. one can never be too careful, i guess. still, would you want to be the security guard on detail for w.'

15 albums: good dog bad dog

this is another album that i fell in love with in college. i had never heard of the cincinnati-based band over the rhine until my friend nate introduced them to me right around the time that this album first came out. the first time i heard it, i knew i was in love. my heart pounded a little faster and i got a bit clammy. it was like the curtain had been pulled back a little and i was seeing something that had previously been hidden. songs like poughkeepsie and latter days spoke deeply to me. and not just the first time. thirteen or fourteen years later i am still moved by this music. still in awe of her voice. still affected by the poetry. i have become an avid follower of otr, having seen them in concert now at least 10 times and owning all their albums. but this one, good dog bad dog, is sort of my first love when it comes to this band. enjoy the song below.

four loves

thanks to my friend greg for getting this to me.... "the love for equals is a human thing---of friend for friend, brother for brother. it is to love what is loving and lovely. the world smiles. - the love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing---the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. this is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. - the love for the more fortunate is a rare thing---to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. the world is always bewildered by its saints. - and then there is the love for the enemy---love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. the tortured's love for the torturer. this is God's love. it conquers the world." -frederick buechner, the magnificent defeat

happy valentine's day, 2009

here's what jack told shannon today: "mommy, i love you more than a t-rex loves to eat meat. which is like a stegosaurus." that's a whole lotta love. have a great valentine's day. hope its full of lots of love.

jack's valentines

here are some of jack's scooby doo valentines, which he will give to his friends tomorrow at school. i mean, i know its not a big deal, he's only four years old. but hey, its a big deal! he's only four years old! and he wrote his name himself on all those valentines! and put on the scooby stickers. just thought i'd share this precious moment from toddler-hood. happy valentine's day.

15 albums: vitalogy

next on my list of the 15 best albums of my life , is pearl jam's vitalogy . you need to understand that i have this whole love/hate relationship with pearl jam that has been an ongoing affair ever since i first heard " alive " in high school. i love vedder's voice. i love the guitar work. i love the drums. i love the way i can so easily get lost. i love the aggression. i love the social conscience. however, i'm not a fan of the antagonism towards religion and the sometimes inflammatory political rhetoric. still, of all the ' grunge ' bands from seattle and the early '90's, pearl jam has proven to be the most enduring . while i like every album they've ever put out, vitalogy for me has the best collection of songs that i really love. plus, in a synergistic way, this album represents something more than just the sum of the songs. listening to the album (minus a couple of the tracks) is a spiritual experience for me. tracks like "not for

15 albums: illinoise

sufjan stevens' (pronounced soof-yawn) album come on feel the illinoise ! is next on my list. this album changed some things for me in terms of how i listen to and enjoy music, and not really in a way that i can describe. this music is pretty much anti-cool when it comes to instrumentation and production. to be very clear: this is the opposite of whatever your local "hot 99" fm radio station is playing. rather than phat beats, here you've got full orchestra. rather than sweet samples and sultry sexual innuendo, you've got sweeping string sections. his official site over at asthmatic kitty records says that he has "a preoccupation with epic concepts," and i would argue that this carries over into his music as well. the music feels huge. enormous. busy. if folk music is the sound of a troubadour, then sufjan's music is sound of the city, which is appropriate, since he currently resides in brooklyn. its complicated and complex, but not chaos. and its

caption contest: fierce dog

okay, dazzle me with your wit. write a caption for this photo.

15 albums: pink moon

let's get one thing straight. in general i hate those email lists where you are supposed to write 25 things about yourself and then send it to ten people who then do the same thing. actually, hate is too soft a word. if you get a big pot, start with 4 quarts of water, add a whole box of loathing, stir in a bunch of hate and despising, that's closer to what i meant to say. so, if you are on facebook, or you have an email account, and you get those "write 150 random things about yourself and send it to 300 other people or else your soul will deal with eternal suffering" kind of things, DO NOT SEND IT TO ME. because if you do, it will be lost in some digital wasteland somewhere. that being said, i was recently sent one that asked me to name my top 15 albums of all time: the ones that moved me and woke me up and caused me to remember a feeling i never even remembered feeling before. now, as i said above, i normally ignore these things, but since it had to do with music,

steelers coach on the importance of fatherhood

really busy today, but i wanted to share this little article about fatherhood written by none other than mike tomlin, coach of the pittsburgh steelers. its a great reminder of the importance of being a good father.

my two sons

i know with all of the steelers stuff lately, some of you have been missing pictures of the kids. here they are a couple of weeks ago before church. notice the hands in the pockets. who teaches them this stuff? and these are some fun i had with some pictures over at faceinhole . you can just put a picture of anyone into all these templates, and you can get some very funny results. this one is shrek and the wrestler below is cade. hope it makes you laugh as much as it made me laugh. have a great friday!

the end of a season

do you see what that is? a plain white box. yup. nothing special. nothing exciting. that's my family room right now. for the last several weeks its been alive with color (well, two colors, mostly: black and gold), and full of excitement. its been dotted with steelers banners, steelers blankets, steelers figures, steelers glasses, steelers silverware, steelers playing cards, even steelers cereal boxes. but today, as per my wife's instructions, i took it all down. now it is an empty canvas, a hollow grave-like reminder that football season is over. the barren walls mock me with their foot after foot of merchandise-less emptiness: "ha! football season is over! now you have to wait until next year to cover us again with hines and ben and troy and towels that are terrible." alright walls. i see how it is. you win for now. but i'll be back next year. still, the emptiness is much sweeter when your team was the one who didn't finish with a loss. oh, you didn'

jack's 4th birthday, part 2

this sunday was not only the superbowl, but also part 2 of jackson's birthday party, complete with a second shark cake made by shannon. here are a couple views of the cake itself. we let jack put the candles into the shark cake, and this is where they ended up. and the shark cake itself was red, as in bloody, and here you can see the birthday boy digging in. it is so great to be able to celebrate the big days in your children's lives with family who loves you. we are blessed indeed.

blessed to be a steelers fan

the pittsburgh steelers are the champions of the world. the superbowl winners. the holders of the shiny vince lombardi trophy. for the sixth time . this morning i feel emotional exhaustion. i feel elation. i feel shock. but most of all, i feel blessed. i mean, i am so darn blessed to be a pittsburgh steelers fan. do you realize that this franchise has won four championships in my lifetime?!? fifteen of the nfl's 32 teams have never won a superbowl. ever. and the steelers have won 6. when the steelers won superbowl XL in 2006, i tried to really soak it up and appreciate it because i figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. and now, three years later i find myself in the unbelievable position of enjoying it again. wow. i am a lucky fan. bob costas put it this way: "(the steelers are) the model franchise in all of american sports." "the steelers are like no other professional sports franchise, " says gene wojciechowski in his espn a