Media Fix


I have seen many Facebook feeds of friends and acquaintances declaring various forms of media fasts.  I’m all for it. Looking back over the past year, I seem to have put myself on a media diet.  Maybe the fast and furious no longer hold my attention.  Maybe it all feels monotonous.  I have gone a month and half on 3 separate occasions where I have paid for Netflix DVD service while the 2 unwatched selections gather dust next to my T.V.  My DVR is filled to the brim with kid stuf – Top Gear and Phineus and Ferb – but my personal list has shrunk dramatically.

That said, I must confess that media is often just as big of a fix for me as it is a hinderance.  One of my favorite self-mending techniques is making a “house cleaning playlist” and sing my heart out all day long w/out noticing that I have my hands in a toilet or that I’m sneezing every 10 seconds from the dust.

This can’t just be any old song – it’s gotta make me move and sing.  And if it tempts me to cry, it better be tears of redemption or connection or understanding.  Artists that often show up on such lists: The Haad and the Heart, Uncle Lucius, Of Monsters and Men, Boy & Bear, The Avett Brothers, Brett Dennen, The Guggenheim Grotto, WALK THE MOON,  U2, Counting Crows, Colin Hay, Griffin House, David Wilcox, Little Big Town, Jason Spooner, Modest Mouse, Cake, Bob Schneider, alt-J,The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Brandi Carlile, The Shins, Sarah Jarosz.  Just typing those names makes me want to vacuum!

Yep, I’m into the music. Listening, creating, playing, collaborating.  My life’s passion, for better or worse.  But if you really want a media-mend, you gotta go for the films. Just try watching these movies without being moved and/or cheered.  I’m going to try for 30 here – whatever comes to mind first.  I’d love to see what movies my readers would add.

The Princess Bride (Wuv, twu wuv)


Finding Nemo

The Breakfast Club

Independence Day (U!S!A!)

Sense and Sensibility

Groundhog Day (Every young mother should watch this once a year.)

Babette’s Feast (subtitled, not dubbed!)

Love Actually

Star Wars Episode 6 (Ewoks – come on.)


Napoleon Dynamite

Sixteen Candles

Chariots of Fire

About a Boy (OK, there’s a Hugh Grant thing going on here)

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Best in Show

When Harry Met Sally



My Fair Lady



Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

School of Rock


Hot Fuzz

Forest Gump

Guardians of the Galaxy


Parent Trap (original please)

Roman Holiday

Sweet Home Alabama  (if you live south of Virginia)

Pride & Prejudice

Apollo 13 (They get home every time I watch it.)

OK, 35.  That’s pretty good for off the top of my head. Seriously, if you are blue, just watch one every 2 or 3 days and see if it doesn’t lift things just a bit.  I feel a little lift just writing about it.

What’s on your list? Give me 5 off the top of your head – GO!

Playlist, Bookshelf, and In the Queue

Songs at the top of my list this week:

Black Sun – Death Cab for Cutie – They continue to amaze.

Lonely Daze – Kate Tempest – A true poet.

Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes – Raising their own bar.

The Labyrinth Song – Asaf Avidan – New to me this week.

River – Ibeyi – Twins make it twice as nice.

False Hope – Laura Marling – Love her voice, gets under my skin.


I’m slowly digesting The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison. Insightful does not do this writing justice.  It is bold, razor-sharp, and downright jarring sometimes. This is NOT a Max Lucado book – do some investigating before you pick it up. Here is a taste. “I keep thinking I’ll communicate my pain most effectively by expressing my desire for the things that might dissolve it.”

FullSizeRender (7)

When I have a little quiet morning space, I read a chapter of Frederick Buechner’s Secrets in the Dark.  “Power, success, happiness, as the world knows them, are his who will fight for them hard enough; but peace, love, joy are only from God.” That has been bouncing around in my head this week. I’m also about to start his novel, Son of Laughter – his story based on the Jacob narratives from the Old Testament. I have a feeling I’m in for a treat.

In the Queue (I’m a little behind) – Boyhood and Begin Again. I’m also slowly making my way through Doctor Who so I can better keep up with my 15 year old son. Almost through season 3 and pleasantly surprised.

What about your lists?  I would love to know what has your attention and why. I need to read something that is entertaining, preferable fiction and not full of sorrow. Recommendations?