cultivating joy

I have the mean reds. Stupid, ugly mean reds. I want to punch them in the face.

So, to counter this feeling, I’m going to pull together a short list of things which don’t deserve to be punched in the face.

Like this (fairly old) article about The Welcome Wagon. And The Welcome Wagon in general. I hadn’t heard their music until I volunteered to sing with them this spring, and I didn’t expect to love them so much. As individuals, they lacked any pretense, and they cared for people so earnestly. I love that, during rehearsal, we were encouraged to sing loud even if we don’t know what we’re doing – that, quite honestly, singing off-key might improve the sound. That grace-enriched playfulness strikes me every time I listen to their album.

Puppy cam. Y’all, I don’t even know how they are so cute. Sometimes I just watch them breathe.

Robot Handwriting. Totally random. Consistently hilarious. I (barely) know the guy behind it, and somehow that makes it more awesome.

A new mix, which has helped me get acquainted with Yacht and Yelle. And the realization that this song from The Civil Wars is so much sweeter than I’d assumed:

I’ve Got This Friend
Joy Williams and John Paul White

I’ve got this friend, I don’t think you know him
He’s not much for words, he’s hidden his heart away
Oh, I’ve got this friend, a loveless romantic
All that he really wants is someone to want him back

Oh, if the right one came
If the right one came along
Oh, if the right one came along

I’ve got this friend, I don’t think you know her
She sings a simple song that sounds a lot like his
I’ve got this friend holding onto her heart
Like it’s a little secret, like it’s all she’s got to give

Oh, if the right one came
If the right one came along
Oh, if the right one came along

It’d be such a shame if they never meet
She sounds lovely, he sounds right out of a dream
If only, if only, if only

(I’m not going to lie. I hope that my friends are scheming on my behalf in this way.)

This preview from Jon Acuff’s new book, which was such a successful tease that I had no choice but to preorder a copy.

And finally, a photo. Taken yesterday, after I’d gone through a huge box of french vocabulary flash cards and pulled out all the words that 1) might be useful to remember while we’re traveling or 2) represent my hopes for the trip.

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