1. Living near the beach. We have recently discovered that living where we do means that going to the beach is totally not a production. We can go on a whim, hang out for 45 minutes, and still have the rest of the day to attend to laundry and preaching duties. I would be embarrassed to admit how many times I've been to the beach in the last three weeks.
2. The new Dixie Chicks album, Taking the Long Way. A whole lot. It's fabulous. I've always been pretty borderline about the DCs. Always seem to have three or four good songs and a lot of filler. This one has more of an alt.country flava, plus great social commentary.
3. Paste. Again. The 100 Greatest Living Songwriters issue is out. Over the Rhine is in the 70s, along with Ron Sexsmith. And the list isn't just some insider Paste thing; 50 musicians and critics voted. I'm miffed that The Innocence Mission got the shaft, though. Travesty! And I'd bump Neil Young ahead of Bob Dylan for the top spot.
4. Preaching. Can you believe it? After a long slump, I thoroughly enjoyed preaching last Sunday, even if I didn't think the sermon was all that great.
5. Jacarandas, bougainvillea, hydrangeas. It's blooming gorgeous down here.
6. "Tubular." It's the velveeta of slang.