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Me

9-30-10

Listening to: Mexican music?!?…that’s all Dan

I just finished my last driving shift for the day and am currently in Alabama. We already passed through Louisiana and Mississippi and were on our way to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s currently 11:11pm and Dan, my boyfriend, is driver of the hour. If you haven’t guessed already, today marked the start of my road trip home and the end of my two-month internship with HM Magazine.

The past few days have been a storm of emotions. Tuesday morning started out by me royally messing up my neck in an awkward neck turn stretch that involved cracking noises in my head. Painful? Yes. I still can’t turn my head to the right or look up without it hurting; I ended up having to buy a neck brace! Sounds ridiculous, I know. But let me tell you, this is more then just a pulled muscle. Now I’ll stop griping and move on with the rest of my day- I finished up the last of my tasks with the magazine, sent some e-mails, wrote one last album review and had a photo shoot with Doug.  It was a good day of wrapping things up.

In the evening Dan and I went to the bible study group I have been going to while here. I knew I had an emotional night of goodbyes ahead. Everyone in that group has significantly impacted and affected my experience here. I am so blessed to have been welcomed into all of their lives with such genuine love and hospitality.   Some of the friendships that God has blessed me with while here I pray will still grow deeper even when I’m back in PA. In Church the past few weeks the pastor has been preaching “the vision” series. It is a series designed around the idea of what makes a church. Church is ministering to God, ministering to believers, and ministering to the world. All three aspects are needed to BE THE CHURCH. Together and as individuals we are the church. The missional community group I was apart of aka my bible study, were a perfect example of what ministering to believers looks like. Not only did they pour into my life but I believe God was able to use me in theirs as well. Tuesday night we were discussing the sermon and while telling the group how much I valued them, the water works started. I’m an emotional person so it did not come as a surprise. I do plan to visit and see them again; it’s just never fun to say “ See you later” (I hate goodbyes).

Yesterday, Wednesday, I edited through the last of my images from my shoot with Doug then ran some day before leaving errands. In the evening Tornado came over and we made FAJITAS. It was a delicious last supper. We made everything from scratch including the salsa and pico de gallo. It was a great time as always talking with Tornado and sharing stories, needless to say yet another emotional farewell. 

These past two months have been a landmark experience in my life and have created irreplaceable memories. They also have bridged the way to opportunities that I would have possibly never encountered otherwise. I look forward to whatever God has planned next for me.

 9-27-10

Listening to: Josh White

It has been a very busy past few days, a lot to fit in before I head back to PA. I guess I’ll just start where I left off last. Thursday evening I met up with Brett from Tidewater at Spider House Café to do a photo shoot. Our meeting time got pushed back due to his class schedule so we barely had any light to work with. I was a little bummed since natural light is pretty much the only way I like to shoot. We were still able to make it work though and he was great company. I haven’t had a chance to look through, let alone, edit the images yet but I’m excited to see how they turned out. After the shoot I met up with some friends for the Dave Barns show at Stubbs. I hadn’t listened to him other then one song before going to see him. One he started playing I fell in love instantly. His songs are beautiful and his stories in between songs had me cracking up to the point of crying! I didn’t get a chance to eat anything before the show, so my good friend Jenn offered to bring me a turkey sandwich. I was figuring I would be able to catch up with her before heading in the venue but this was not the case. I got there before her and ran into another friend who was standing in front of the stage. Once Jenn arrived she gave me a stage-side-brown-paper bag-old-school lunch complete with a Capri sun and fruit stick. It was awesome. I felt like I was back in Middle school-so nostalgic.

Friday I woke up and left to get Dan at the airport. The anticipation was over and I finally got to see him. It’s so great having him around.  I’m glad I have the chance to show him around Austin and introduce him to my friends. We spent Friday going to all my favorite spots in the city like Spider House café and South Congress St.

Saturday we met up with some friends and went climbing at the Green Belt. It felt so good climbing again! That was only my second time climbing outside. It’s so different from climbing in the gym. In the afternoon we checked out the Old Pecan St. Festival in 6th St. There were a lot of artist and vendors; really neat. In the evening we had dinner with my friends and a going away party. I’m going to miss them all so much!!!!!!!

Sunday Dan and I went to church then to eat at the Magnolia café. So Good! In the evening I had two shows lined up to go to. Texas in July and Fly Leaf. Texas in July was supposed to go on at 8 at the Dirty Dog so I figured I’d be in the clear to go to both. That was not the case.  They didn’t end up going on until closer to 10:30! I had to run over to Stubbs for Fly Leaf around 8:45 to shoot the first three songs then head back to the Dirty Dog, since I was told the wrong set time and had no clue when they would be playing, to catch Texas in July.  The night still ended up being a great time.

Today was filled with review writing, weed killing, photo editing, book correcting and other office related task. I felt like a snail. Everything I did was taking forever because I was so tired. Doug and I went for a run in the afternoon. The weather was perfect today. Best conditions since I’ve been here. I had Ramen for both of my meals and Tornado brought over some yummy chocolate cookies Healthy huh?

I feel like I’m in the absent state of mind mode right now so I need to shut down my creative factory before it blows a fuse and call it a night.

9-23-10

Listening to: The random selection of songs streaming from Doug’s office… I’m digging it.

Today I was starting and tying up ends on a couple different projects. It was a good day. I am about to go to do a photo shoot with Tidewater which I’m pretty excited for. I got turned on to their music since being here and was pleased to find out Brett, who alone makes up the band, lives right next door in Waco. Worked out perfect; I’m praying i get a lot of good images.

Tomorrow DAN ARRIVES!!!

“There are always two people in every picture:  the photographer and the viewer.”  -Ansel Adams

9-21-10

11:11pm

Listening to: Damien Jurado

The Smashing Pumpkins last night were AMAZING! It was such a great show and an awesome time to spend with friends. They played a variety of old and new songs including my favorite “Today.”

I spent today working on finding and uploading images/logos to go with the Cornerstone Festival Post Doug put on the site yesterday. There are some seriously great organizations and companies that have such great concepts and are making it work. Some of my favorites are Enthos and BrokenCircleRecords. The small business factor in most of them is very inspiring. It’s amazing to see what can happen when you’re out to glorify God, and allow him to use your talent, rather then using your talents, from Him, for your own glory. I also worked on the ad I’m helping design for a festival. I felt good about it but it’s looking like the whole thing needs redone. That was a raincloud on my day, but its ok tonight’s bible study was my DOUBLE RAINBOW.

I LOVE my bible study group. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have shared my time here with. I have been significantly impacted and blessed by all of them. I already know I’m going to be an emotion mess when I have to say good bye. It’s assuring to know God has something new in store for me- now I just need to wait patiently for that to be revealed.

“If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.”

-Oswald Chambers

9-20-10

Listening to: SMASHING PUMPKINS

I’m so excited! Tonight I am going to see the SMASHING PUMPKINS with some good friends of mine. One of my last winding down, memory making, moments I get to share with them.

Today has been, what I would consider, a productive day at the office. I spent a good amount of time  designing the AD for a music festival and just recently jumped into the task of condensing and sorting through the news bullets for this upcoming issue.

This past weekend was nice and relaxing. I got to spend time with friends and edit through my most recent batch of images. I am really happy with how a lot of my Diana images came out. In case you’re asking yourself, “What’s a Diana image?” it’s the name of the Lomography camera I use to take medium format pictures using 120 film, I LOVE IT! Film is great!

MeganValerie Photography

MeganValerie Photography

Check out more here.

Well that’s all for now. I’ll be sure to update about the concert tomorrow!

9-16-10

Listening to: Insomniac Folklore

Three times now Adobe InDesign has closed me out of the program while working on Doug’s Dads book. The project has been quit the undertaking, and these temporary shut downs are not making it go any faster. It consumed the second half of my Tuesday and pretty much all of my time today (Thursday). Now that I have gotten a hang of the changes I’m making it’s been moving along a little better. ¾ down the last quarter will hopefully be finished tomorrow; can’t wait to see it in print.

The few breaks that I have taken from working on the book I used to: eat, run, and continue in the Romans bible study Doug and I are doing. In our Bible study today we covered Chapter 4. It was about God’s promises to Abraham and his faithfulness. There is so much to learn in the book of Romans. It is a lot to digest. Each time I read through it, God reveals something new, and I learn more. It’s awesome how the Bible is a new experience each time you dive in.

Doug, Biscuit, and I all went for a run together today. I’m glad Doug asked me to join him or else I probably wouldn’t have gone today. It’s rather entertaining running with a dog. Biscuit would run ahead, and then turn around and run back, and then run a head…he repeated this cycle the whole time. He also made frequent stops to “mark his territory”.

Last night, after spending the afternoon in Austin, I went to see Balmorhea at Mohawks. It was beautiful hearing them play live. Their performance was captivating. I love the use of the strings and all the swells and dips each song holds.

I am about to get ready to leave now to see Derek Webb. I am looking forward to it. Doug and a lot of people form my Bible study group are going. Needless to say, it will be a good crowd to couple an anticipated great performance.

9-13-10

Listening to: Efterklang

HM Ranch Breaking News: Douglass the donkey escapes the property, only to return home hours later after fraternizing with local female horses.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before in previous entries, there is a Donkey named Douglas that lives here at the HM ranch. Around lunch time today, Tornado came over bearing lunch and some of her delicious sweets. She also kindly informed Doug and I there was a Donkey wondering up her drive way that looked remarkably like Douglass. Doug, on his way out to mow the lawn, took a peek around to see if it was in fact his truly. After not seeing Douglass, the three of us ventured over to Tornados house and attempted to lure Douglass back to the ranch. Too infatuated by Tornados horses, Douglass kicked away in the opposite direction while heehawing at us. Defeated, we headed back to the ranch to continue the work we left behind.

Hours later… what do we hear? That same familiar heehaw and Douglass, the prodigal donkey, standing outside the driveway gate. I crept, slowly along the fence making way to the gate door without alarming Douglass. I locked him in then Doug coaxed Douglass back into his designated area with donkey-appetizing feed. It was a time of celebration. Douglass had returned! I ran and got my camera to capture the reunion of Doug and Douglass.

The day continued on with lots of work that at this point has become a blended blur. I worked until about ten and Doug is STILL working-12:20pm! Amazing! From about 6:30pm until 9:30pm we had a meeting that I was thankful to be apart of. It was another really helpful learning experience.

I decided to wind the long day down with a late night run. For some reason when I run here at night I am able to physically endure a much longer distance; probably because I am blind to the actual distance in front of me, and the heat is much more bearable. The starry sky was breathtaking as usual.

Only TEN more days until I see Dan!

9-10-10

Currently Watching: Community

Lesson of the day: When chapstick is left in a hot car DO NOT attempt to use it, it will EXPLODE all over the place.

Office work of the day: Adjusted all the margins on Doug’s Dads book. Still have a lot of work to do on it. Most of the lay out needs to be changed, I hope I am able to get it finished early next week.

Activity of the day: Went to an acoustic set by Anberlin at Waterloo Records with Doug and his family. It was a great performance, the place was packed. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Afterwards I went to dinner with Doug’s family. They are so great! I really enjoyed talking with Charlotta. Now I’m wrapping my night up with a few more episodes of community…it’s hard to pull myself away.

Random Fact of the day: There is a Lust Control sticker vandal at the HM ranch *Cough* Doug. My car got stickafied!!

9-9-10

Currently watching: Community

Okay seriously this show is hilarious! Why have I never watched it before? Thank you Doug for introducing me!

Today I posted a lot of news, added my skillet pictures with the review of the show I posted a week ago, interviewed Aaron  from The Almost for the pod cast, started researching/ writing my article on Indie bands to look out for, and did other random office tasks. Tornado stopped by in the afternoon with some lunch and dessert. I finally got to try her Ooie-gooey-coffee-cake. It was really good. I’m praying I can get more things completed tomorrow.

Thought of the day: Time goes by WAY to fast, I feel like there is always something I should be doing and I’m never getting enough done.

skillet

9-8-10

Listening To: Fist Full of Mercy

It has been raining for the past 48 hours. Driving to and from San Antonio last night to see Flatfoot 56 at the White Rabbit was one of the scariest driving experiences of my life. The Rain sloshed over my car as if it was completely submerged in a pool of water. It was blinding, gripping-the-wheel-white-knuckles blinding. I prayed the whole way there and back and praise God I made it safely.

Once at the show I was enjoying taking in my surroundings and just observing people. Fact: I like to people watch. After a little while, Second to None took the stage. At this point people were still arriving so the spectators were sparse. Following them, Flatfoot 56 brought the place to life with an energizing dynamic performance. They performed a variety of songs off of their old and new albums. They ended with “Amazing Grace” and had everyone place their arms around the people next to them. It was an awesome way of creating a community and bringing the crowd together. After their performance I debated leaving since I had a long drive ahead. I ended up deciding to stay so that I could see Street Dogs. The extra couple hours were worth it. Street Dogs have a passionate group of followers. In the end the lead vocalist crowd surfed all the way back to the sound booth. It was pretty rad.

Today I watched Amish Grace, a movie I am reviewing for the issue. I also posted news, tried to get my email to start working (unsuccessfully), posted a review of the flatfoot show, and did office work such as labeling packages that need to be mailed. I wasn’t feeling well at all the first half of the day so that was no good.

Tonight I went to a play with one of my friends. It was a small sixty or so seat theater, cozy and quaint. The play was pretty funny and entertaining. Afterwards we got pizza at The Parlor across the street. Delicious! Yet another Austin City experience to add to the list.

9-6-10

Listening To: Flatfoot 56

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterwards there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” – Hebrews 12:11

Hebrews 12:11, a key verse that stood out to me in the sermon on discipline this past Sunday at the Austin Stone. The message was a follow up to the recently completed three week series on temptation.  The Sermon is available online in a podcast. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Earlier in the weekend, I finished up my articles for the Nov/Dec issue then drove to Dallas for the skillet and Creed concert. It was an amazing show! Skillet rocked everyone’s faces off, and performed some of my favorites such as “Last Night” and “Comatose.” I was able to shoot during the first three songs of their set. I got some good images but am not aloud to post them until I get approval from Skillets PR. I did however post my review of the show, minus images, on the site, you can check that out!

It was my first time seeing Creed, an old, familiar band. I use to listen to Creed all the time in middle school. Being at the show and recalling all the words to the songs brought me back to that time in my life. It was amazing how the songs drew feeling and thoughts from me that had been tucked far, far away. I love the association music has with events, memories, people, and moments in time. The drive back to the ranch was long and I didn’t get back until close to 3am. It was well worth it. I couldn’t have spent Friday night any better way.

The rest of the weekend went good hanging out with friends and experiencing more of Austin. I visited Mt. Burnell, which has an amazing view of the city skyline, and went bouldering outside for the first time on Saturday. Let me tell you, it is so different bouldering outside then it is in the gym. The first rout I worked I got to the top with one move left and fell straight down. Not a pleasant feeling. The crash pad was right beneath me but my feet managed to land on the ground  absorbing all the shock of the fall in my feet and back. I’m still hurting from it but it was a great experience.

Today I experienced South Austin and ate at the Magnolia Café. That area has officially become my favorite part of the city. I’m excited to go back and explore all the boutiques and places to eat. There is also an organization located there called Adopt a Pet. They take Animals that are about to be put down and care for them until they are adopted into a good home. My friend and I took one of the little guys for a walk today. Cant wait to go back and visit them again.

9-2-10

Listening to: (just enjoying silence)

Day 2 of reading a Proverb a day for the month of September was good.  It’s always so impacting reading through that book. There is so much to learn from it, it makes sense to just take it one chapter at a time so that everything can be digested. I am also reading through the book of Revelations right now. There is a lot in there that is hard for me to get my head around. The visual descriptions are amazing, but I want to get beyond the visual into a deeper understanding of it. I think I need a reference book or something to help.

In the office today I transcribed my Your Memorial interview, filed subscriptions, packaged the CDs that get sent to the randomly selected trivia E-news winners, Videoed Doug for our Kick Starter page, and wrote my Your Memorial piece. There were other random office tasks mixed in there but none significant enough to mention.

Last thought of the night…I need to go to the store soon. I’m down to PB, tuna, expired milk, and cereal I’m not a fan of (and needs milk to be eaten), not to mention my last bottle of water is diminishing as I write this. Yep, I think that warrants a trip to Wal-mart.

9-1-10

Listening to: Damien Jurado

Yesterday I had my interview with Eric, from the Future of Forestry. It was really inspiring talking to him. It was awesome to hear his passion for music and God. Writing the article came easy because I had a lot to work with. He was open and great at describing things. Talking with him was the highlight of my day. Before I came to HM one of the things that I expressed to my friends and family was how excited I would be if I could write something on FOF. It’s awesome to see that desire come to be a reality.

Today I transcribed the FOF interview, created an ad for the e-news giveaway, wrote the FOF article, and interviewed Your Memorial. My interview with Your memorial went well. I talked with Blake, lead vocals, and Willy, guitars, in a three way phone conference call. They were really cool guys.

Tonight I went for a run. It’s been a little while so it felt good. While running, I was listening to FOF. Right as I was rounding a bend, Colors in Array was streaming into my ears; I looked up to be completely blown away by these vertical rays of color light streaming from the point in which the sun was setting. It was such an awesome moment. I love it when God uses nature as a visual presence. Once I got back, I edited through some images that I had taken in the beginning of the week. I’m really happy with how a lot of them came out. I plan to post them on my website this weekend…here is a sneak peek.

Cotton fields

Antique Shop

Time to read then off to dream land.

The Future of Forestry

By  C.S Lewis

How will the legend of the age of trees
Feel, when the last tree falls in England?
When the concrete spreads and the town conquers
The country’s heart; when contraceptive
Tarmac’s laid where farm has faded,
Tramline flows where slept a hamlet,
And shop-fronts, blazing without a stop from
Dover to Wrath, have glazed us over?
Simplest tales will then bewilder
The questioning children, “What was a chestnut?
Say what it means to climb a Beanstalk,
Tell me, grandfather, what an elm is.
What was Autumn? They never taught us.”
Then, told by teachers how once from mould
Came growing creatures of lower nature
Able to live and die, though neither
Beast nor man, and around them wreathing
Excellent clothing, breathing sunlight –
Half understanding, their ill-acquainted
Fancy will tint their wonder-paintings
Trees as men walking, wood-romances
Of goblins stalking in silky green,
Of milk-sheen froth upon the lace of hawthorn’s
Collar, pallor in the face of birchgirl.
So shall a homeless time, though dimly
Catch from afar (for soul is watchfull)
A sight of tree-delighted Eden.

8-30-10

Listening to: Farewell Flight

Wow… I can’t believe I have been here for a whole month already. It seems like a lot has happened over the past four weeks. For now I will just talk about what has happened over the past few days.

Going back to Friday, which now seems like forever ago, I finished up writing my article on Emery and started planning for my interviews with Future of Forestry and Your Memorial. The writing deadline is coming up at the end of this week so I’m really anxious to get those interviews set up. Friday night I watched Shutter Island with some friends- that movie is a big question mark to me. I was so confused in the end. What was real?!?!?

Saturday I went climbing for my first time since being here. It felt so incredibly good to get back on the wall. There was a route I was working on for awhile and couldn’t get. I’m determined to send it next time I’m there.

Sunday after being asleep for only FOUR HOURS I got up to get ready to go to UBC church in Waco. Tornado surprised me with a delicious breakfast taco before heading out. She is such a sweet heart. Once we found the church we hit up the nearby Starbucks and got enough caffeine to make it through the service. The Church is one of the most unique churches I have been in. It has a real artsy look and atmosphere. The lighting in the sanctuary is dark and there are two huge antique looking chandeliers hanging from each side. I had expected the church that David Crowder attends to be a mega church. This was not the case. There was probably between 500-800 people. The service started with “couch talk” where different leaders and administrators within the church talked about where the church came from and where it’s going. It’s a very community/service based church. It was neat to hear Crowder explain how the church first started out. The worship was amazing, as expected, led by David Crowder. Afterwards Tornado and I talked with Crowder and she gave him a loaf of freshly-baked-that-morning-banana-bread.

In the afternoon I took a nap then ended up going to the 7pm service at the Stone. It was the end of a three part series the pastor was doing on temptation. I really enjoyed it. Following going to church I went to Mohawks to see Farewell Flight. They are a local band from back home so it only made sense that I go see them while here. They put on a great show; I’m excited for their new album to come out. The headliners of the tour were Dignan, a band I had never heard of before but was impressed by.

Today I sent out more emails trying to set up my needed interviews then went around shooting. It felt so good to just go out and take pictures. It was hot but worth it. I ended up chatting with a gentleman outside of the antique store in downtown Taylor about photography for almost half an hour. I love those kind of moments.

8-25-10

Listening to: The Black Keys

My attention span was at an all time low today… maybe it was the caffeine or just the itch to be active, but I could not sit still longer then fifteen minuets at a time. The first task I embarked on for the day was transcribing the interview that I had with Emery at the Forty Fest. After some periodic breaks I was able to finish. It felt good to get that done; now I will be able to get started on writing the article. For the rest of the afternoon I did some office work, finished up a CD review, and continued in reading the book I’m reviewing. I hope to have that finished and reviewed tomorrow.

In the evening I met up with a friend at Rudy’s and had Texas BBQ for the first time. I got the brisquit, a meat I had never heard of until now. It was pretty good. Now I can knock that off my list of things to do while in Texas; can’t wait to see what next.

8-24-10

“Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.

-Henri Cartier-Bresson

Josh's Shoes

Josh on Keys

RED

Emery

The Wedding

Brian "Head" Welch

Check out more images at my site MeganValerie

8-23-10

Listening to: Tidewater

This past weekend was Forty Fest at the Texas motor speedway and my first time visiting the city of Dallas. Friday night after a day of work and preparation in the office, Brittany and I headed to Bianca’s (the intern before us) to spend the night before the long anticipated day. We got there late and Bianca had Project Runway on, I’m pretty much a huge fan of that show so it was nice to catch an episode.

Early Saturday morning we hit up some much needed Starbucks and headed to the Festival. The first band to take the stage was Don’t Wake Aislin. I was truly impressed by the sound and presence these guys, and lovely leading lady, flooded the crowd with. Deena, the lead vocals of the band, rocked a bird caged- rose covered- romantic-style mic that complemented the total look of her stage presence. They started the day and line up with an awesome vibe.

Following Don’t Wake Aislin was Runaway City, Waverly, and The Letter Black. Taking breaks from the heat in-between the sets was a must. There was a Media/Artist tent that was set up not to far from the stage that had air pumping into it. It was a good getaway when things got too hot. It had a great atmosphere too. Everyone was pretty laid back and friendly, met a lot of cool people. That’s also where we did our “behind the scenes” interviews.

After lunch, at 1:30pm, The Wedding took the stage. The start of their performance was creative and entertaining the energy flowed throughout the set. Halfway through I had to leave to interview Emery for the feature ill be writing on them for the Nov/Dec issue. I met the guys in the media tent sitting around one of the tables. I pulled up the chair and the interview began. They didn’t have much information to offer on their new album because it is still in the ground work stages. After I finished my last question we went outside and I took a few pictures of them. I’m really happy with how the one came out. I hope we will be able to couple it with the article.

In the afternoon Project 86, Pillar, and Emery took the stage. Project 86 represented the Mocha Club organization that they are affiliated with and encouraged people to be apart of helping with needs in Africa by making a small commitment to something big and life changing. I am already a Mocha Club member so I was really excited to hear about the bands involvement. The organization is based on the idea of giving up a mocha or latte once a month ($7.00) to help those in need.

Emery rocked my world, as always. I was singing along word-by-word the whole time I was shooting. Josh, the keyboardist, is charismatic and high energy. I love his presence and unique performance style. No one can swing a mike or scream quit like him.

The time had finally come for Brian “Head” Welch to take the stage. I had been anticipating his performance since I use to be a fan of Korn. The performance was way more then I could have expected. When Brian spoke in-between songs, his love for God and desire to share that with everyone was so evident. He dedicated one of his songs to Chi Cheng of the Deaftones, and asked for prayers and support for him. It was beautiful.

9:45pm, when my exhaustion was at a peak, Red came out and rocked the last hour and half of the festival. Mid- performance “Imma Be” boomed through the speakers and transitioned into other hip hope beats that the drummer solo jammed along to. Mind-blowingly good! What a way to end the day.

Once we got back to Biancas I CRASHED I was exhausted.

Sunday Morning Britt and I got up and went to a huge mall in Dallas then checked out a cute café called the Crooked Tree, recommended by Brandon (Don’t Wake Aislin). That night we got ALL YOU CAN EAT sushi at Gui followed by a driving tour of Dallas with Brandon. There is actually a building there that can be lowered and raised from the ground. Genius!

The drive back to the ranch went by quick, lots of good conversation with Brittany.

Today I worked on Doug’s dad’s book more and edited through all my photos from the Forty Fest. I’m pretty happy with what I got I’ll be posting them tomorrow.

8-17-10

Listening to: Mute Math

“My Heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”

1 Samuel 2:1-2

I just got back from the Bible study I have been going to on Tuesday nights. Tonight we talked about Samuel and Eli. We discussed the passage where the Lord speaks to Samuel in the middle of the night. There was a lot of history and applicable lessons that we were able to reflect on. It was a good time of fellowship.

During the day I worked more on laying out that book I was working on yesterday, and I started thinking of questions for my interview with Emery. I want to have a vision and direction for the article so that I don’t go into the interview aimlessly. I’m praying for continual creativity and fresh ideas.

My loves here:

Tiger

Tiger (and his brother spot not pictured here)

Hope

Hope

8-16-10

Listening to: Ian McIntosh

Its 12:24am, I’m staring at the blank screen, completely blank on what to say…. It’s been a long day …. Mondays always seem to be the longest. I usually reach my mental exhaustion point by say…8pm? It amazes me when I see Doug pushing through into the late night hours such as these. His dedication and passion for this magazine is so inspiring.

In the morning, I wrote up a review of the Mat Kearney show I went to on Saturday night and posted pictures on the website. Also, Brittany and I contacted artists about possible interviews at the Forty Fest this weekend. We got a few definite confirmations already so that was encouraging. I’m excited to prepare for and go to that event; it has a really nice line up.

Most of the mid-afternoon into the evening I worked on laying out the book that Doug’s dad wrote.  It was a huge learning process for me, considering it was my first time using the In-Design program. When I finally got a hang of it, the time went by faster.

Once it was time to call it a day/night I went to give my car a much needed cleaning. Let me just say, I love car washes! The drive through kind to be specific… The soap and water covering the car creates some seriously awesome colors and textures. Plus I had the company of my boyfriend, Dan, via the Knocking App; it was the best 4 minuets of my day.

To me… it’s the simple things in life that mean the most.

8-14-10

Listening to: Mat Kearney

I just killed the most GINORMOUS spider I have ever seen in my life. I was returning my cereal bowl to the kitchen, after a late night snack, and happened to glance over to the counter being illuminated by a night light. Completely still and motionless, the disgusting creature sat unaware of my existence until… POW I smacked him (?) head on with a pan! Some might be thinking- that’s not fair! why not just capture him and set him free? Violence is not the answer….i assure anyone reading this; at the moment it seemed to be my only logical option. I will now suffer from spider paranoia for the rest of the night… which could lead to spider dreams… which in turn will mean restless sleep then ultimately an exhausting day tomorrow…

Anyway before the cereal spider incident, I had just gotten back from an awesome day in Austin. Early on I met up with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen since 8th grade. Once we started talking it seemed impossible to tell we had been apart for so long. We walked all over town, stopped in U.O, and ate at Spider House café (Spider-how suiting).I was hot and sticky so my fresh factor had gone down considerably, the good time was well worth it.

For the rest of the afternoon I spent a significant amount of time in The Book People store and Waterloo Records. They have become two of my favorite shops here.

In the evening i headed over to the Central Presbyterian Church where Mat Kearney (click here for photos)  was going to be playing. I found a spot in a pew two rows back next to two girls that, after some good conversation, I decided were complete sweet hearts. The Atmosphere was intimate and the stage was warmly lit with a red glow. First to take the stage was Jane Carrey. I was blown away by the beauty of her voice right from the start. Jane sang a number of songs that featured themes of relationships and break-ups, she also threw in a delightfully good rendition of the classic “Blackbird” song by the Beatles.

Once Jane was finished, before Mat could take the stage, a swarm of people filled the area in-between the pews and stage. Mat then came out and started the set… by the second song he announced his lack of a band was because he wanted to do a more intimate acoustic tour; he then proceeded to pull out a suitcase that looked straight form the 70’s to use as his percussion. It was classic! In-between and during songs Mat created a dialog that was not only personable but highly entertaining. The music and performance completely captivated me. I enjoyed every second of it. At the end of his encore song Mat finished up amidst the fans in the middle of the isle. He sure knows how to make an exit. If I ever get the opportunity, I would definitely see him again.

8-13-10

Listening to: Guster

Since I spent a large majority of my day transcribing Dougs’ Interview with Ryan of Guster, I figured it was perfectly fitting to listen to their Ganging Up On The Sun album this evening. I really am a fan. That interview reminded me to revisit their music I had sadly forgotten about. With all this new music around I have strayed from the familiar. It’s ok though, I’m really enjoying the new artists that are now on my radar.

That said, today I worked on the Guster transcription, summed up some Hard News for the Heavens Metal Issue, and got a good critique from Doug of my album reviews. I appreciate his feed back a lot and am learning a great deal even from the little things. Like for instance, when Doug is working on something in Photoshop, that he thinks Brittany and I could learn from, he shows us some basic techniques that  go a long way.

This evening has been relaxed. I’ve just been reading, writing, and listening to music… pure bliss. I think bed time is creeping up, I’m pretty drained.

“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Mark 14:38

8-12-10

Listening to: Joseph Arthur

Today consisted of brainstorming, brainstorming, and….some more brainstorming. We wanted to have a set idea of what the November/December issue is going to look like so that we can head full force into creating it. There are certain obvious choices of who will be featured in the issue (Underoath and ABR) but many more decisions still need to be ironed out. Amazed at the prefect timing of a new release by one of my favorite bands, I will most likely be covering the feature on Emery. I’m excited to hear what’s been going on with them, as well as what the new album will sound like. They will be at the Forty Fest next weekend. I cant wait!

Meteor shower tonight!

8-11-10

Listening to: David Gray

When decay and demolition tear things from existence, the emptiness provides space for a resurrection of something new. Just as there are physical up rooting of tangible things, there are also internal construction zones set up within the core of everyone’s existence. I for one, currently have all the yellow signs and caution cones lining the roads that map my internal course. God is doing things in me that are beyond what I can see or understand, but I know are necessary.  Let me explain…

Over the Past week and a half that I have been here, a lot of emotional barricades inside of me have been torn down leaving me open and vulnerable. I feel that God has brought me here not only for the amazing experience of working with the magazine I have loved for years, but also to do some cleaning up of internal issues I was not able to see or face before.

Last night I went to a small group from Austin Stone, the church I attended on Sunday. It was a true blessing being around a group of people that were so warm and welcoming. I felt comfortable right away, and was drawn into the presence of God. Unlike earlier in the week when God was making himself know through the solitude, God chose to reveal himself through a group that so genuinely welcomed me in. God is good, consistent, and always a beautiful mystery.

As for the Magazine, today I worked on getting some of the pages from this issue that just went to print, ready to be uploaded online. We also had our first editorial meeting; we brainstormed and discussed who and what should go into this next issue. I’m excited to see what happens… Let the process begin!

8-7-10

Listening to: The Swell Season

“Hey, Hey, Hey, the night is waiting for you. Take a picture of the silver moon. Oh, Oh, Oh, she will be shinning for you on your journey home. Better be gone so find your pocket watch and all of your hope now the hour is long before I try to say too much. Fair thee well ‘cause we can tell nothing but courage will do and it will be alright.”

Future Of Forestry “Set Your Sails”

This was just one of the many FOF songs that shuffled through my iPod while going for my run yesterday. It blew my mind how relatable it felt at that moment. Running, for me, is a time that I not only get away from my surroundings but also focus entirely on laying all my thoughts, joys, and concerns before God. It has become essential in my transition here.

Earlier in the day I finished working on that Ad I was struggling with, and wrote another album review. I wrapped up the work day by starting the book I will be reviewing  for this next issue. I like it so far. It breaks down the book of John into an in-depth, detailed analysis of its content. It also discusses what we can draw from it today. It takes concentration to follow but I think I will end up learning a lot from it.

By mid-afternoon I ended up taking a nap. I couldn’t help but pass out since my sleep has been less than adequate during the nights here. With a renewed energy I was able to get together with Tornado in the evening. She showed me around H.E.B, the grocery store she works at, and pointed out all the good deals I will have to take advantage of. We ended up renting The Time Travelers Wife, from red box. Let me just say- anyone that’s an emotional romantic, such as myself, will find themselves shedding a few tears at the end.

Today (Saturday) I decided to do some exploring in Austin. First stop on the agenda: Urban Outfitters. From the moment I stepped in the door, I had to exercise as much self-control that I could possibly muster, so that i wouldn’t do anything..irrational. I love practically everything in there. I filled out an application for employment; I’m praying I can get some part time work either there or Starbucks. Now I’m just relaxing at Caffe’ Medici, a cute coffee shop that was right down the street. Such a great find.

Sushi tonight is a must!

8-5-10

Listening to: The Sunns

What a long day it’s been. I Got up at 7:30am and have been working all the way until now, 9:30pm. Photoshop and this design ad project have been kicking my butt. I was working on other projects in the morning and wrote an album review for the band Ember. Other then that, and a few food breaks, I’ve been in a losing battle with this Ad. My brain is exhausted. I think having more knowledge of Photoshop before coming here really would have been handi. I normally work with Arcsoft. It’s pretty much the generic, free, version of Photoshop. Never realized how great the differences are until now.

Today was also our designated Bible study day for the week. I was really excited about this. What better why to start or break up a work day then to dive into the Word with those around you? It was a blessing to fellowship with Brittany and Doug. We decided to study through the book of Romans. Each Thursday we will read through a chapter in the book, then discuss what stood out to us and any questions we may have. The verse that stood out to me the most today was,

“They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

Romans 1:19

Gods’ beauty and presence is all around us. We just need to be willing to open our eyes.

8-4-10

Listening to: The Album Leaf

Monday morning, first day on the job, I started the day off with much needed coffee and a team meeting where Doug gave Brittany and I a rundown of the magazine. It was really exciting to hear about how the issues are made, all the way down to “page bleeds”, and the printing process. Biscuit, Doug’s dog, was here as well, he is really laid back and nice to have around.

My first assignment of the day was to finish transcribing the interview that Doug had with Nat from 3oh!3. It took me a bit of time, since every five minuets I would get stuck trying to figure out a mumbled word or incomplete sentence, but in the end it came out great. The interview was entertaining to listen to, I enjoyed learning from the type of questions that Doug was asking, and Matt’s answers to some of the “girl related” questions were pretty hilarious.

Once I was done with my work for the day, I waited for it to cool off outside then went for a run. Running these back country roads felt amazing. The sun was perfectly highlighting the corn stalks creating a golden luminance that shone from them. The grass was being blown and separated by the wind, allowing rays of sun to peak between the blades. It was absolutely beautiful!

Tuesday, I got the morning started with getting address confirmations from the radio stations we send and promote our magazine to. It took some research finding contact phone numbers and emails but I got responses pretty quickly, a perk of being associated with HM I guess. Later in the day, I started working on a design project for an ad we may run in HM and possibly AP. I hope that I will be able to make Dougs idea come to life; I’m excited to see how it turns out when I’m finished.

In the evening we went to Emo’s, a venue in Austin, to do a video interview with the Devil Wears Prada. How great is that? day two and already getting to go to a show.  I was super excited. Brittany and I got there a little before Doug and were able to pass out some postcards promoting the magazine to fans standing in the line.

The interview went really well, the guys were pretty funny and super nice. Afterwards Doug, Brittany, and I went to get something to eat and Starbucks. I am really enjoying getting to know the both of them. Couldn’t have asked for two better people to work with!

Back at the Venue, once the Devil Wears Prada took stage, there was an explosive energy that came from them and their fans. I can see why it was a two day sold out show. I’m Glad I got the chance to experience it.

TDWP

The interview, and some clips from the show will be online soon!

8-1-10

listening to: Receiving the Gohst

7:30 this morning I come to the end of my family vacation as I dropped my family off at the airport, and the beginning of a two month intern experience that I have been anticipating for sometime now was under way.  Driving up to the ranch I was nervous and excited. It was a really smooth trip getting here (minus all the bumpy back country roads that my car didn’t seem to fond of). Doug met me here to let me in and show me around. It was nice to finally meet him and put a visual to everything that had only existed in my mind days before. It gave me more peace about being in a new environment and transitioning into the next season of my life. After arriving I took time to settle in, unpack, listen to new music (from the massive selection here), and edited photos. Brittany, the other intern that will be working here at the same time as me, came by for awhile then headed back out to explore with her grandma. She seems like a really sweet girl and I’m excited to get to know her.

A few hours after she left, boredom began to set in so I decided to go to the only “entertainment” I knew of around here, Wal-mart. I picked up the eating essentials on a budget: tuna, crackers, cereal, and Mac-and-Cheese. When I got back to the ranch Tornado, a neighbor to the HM Ranch was here. She was nice and good company for the evening.

My Favorite part so far was walking outside where there was no light pollution, or distractions, only a vast blanket of stars flooding the sky with dancing light. Looking up at the multitudes of stars, staring in complete awe of the beauty and magnitude of God’s presence, I no longer felt alone. I’m excited to see what God has in store.

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.”

-Psalm 36:5-7