What I’m Loving, March 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. Here’s a random smattering of things I’ve been enjoying lately.

  • American Idol with my kids. Everybody knows American Idol is a long-in-the-tooth franchise: the ratings are slipping, the contestants are less talented, the format stale. But my kids love this show. It’s so much fun watching them develop their own personal “favorites” and root them on now that the competition has really started. We haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, so we don’t even know who is advancing to the Top 13 (or whatever it is). But it’s fun to have something like this to watch and talk about together as a family.
  • White Sox baseball. No, I haven’t forsaken my beloved Cardinals. This year, Joshua will be playing on the White Sox in Madison’s 7U 14-team league. Actually, I’m going to brag a little here. This year, every player in Joshua’s age bracket had to try out with fielding drills, batting practice and timed running exercises. The coaches were all assembled on the side with their clipboards and stopwatches. I know, ridiculous, right? But our little guy caught the eye of at least one coach who selected Joshua as a “lottery pick” — meaning he was one of the top players drafted in the entire league. We’ll see if he can live up to his draft day billing, but I can assure you that Dad will do everything in his power to keep him humble. And we’re all at least a little overjoyed that he wasn’t drafted by that “other” Chicago team. Not sure what we would’ve done if that had happened.
  • David Crowder Band’s “Give Us Rest”. The year has been pretty bare thus far with regard to new music. But DCB has released a swan song disk that is on par with anything they’ve put out in the past. At 34 tracks, there’s plenty to chew on. But it’s the thematic approach that’s most compelling. DCB takes a long hard look at life, death, and the promises of God that permeate them both. From the opening line (“Give us rest / We’re all worn thin from all of this”), the band sounds both haggard and hopeful, battle scarred yet full of anticipation for what God has in store. Musically, DCB has always defied easy categorization and this final entry into their canon is no different: electronica, alt rock, bluegrass, rock opera…they all make an appearance here. But it’s the declaration of hope amid life’s realities that stays with you after listening to this album.
  • Stephen King’s “The Stand”. I’m not a big fiction reader. Mainly because I find most fiction to be poorly written and really boring. Nonfiction is just so much more compelling. That being said, I’ll occasionally find a piece of fiction that grabs me. (Like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”, my favorite piece of fiction.) I’d heard the producers of LOST rave about King’s “The Stand” for years and I decided to tackle it. All 900+ pages. I have to say, it was a bit slow-going in the beginning, but at the 150 page mark, the book just took off. I absolutely loved this work, despite my aversion to most of King’s work. His post-apocalyptic dark gospel just drew me in. And I’m convinced Josh Holloway would make a great Stu Redman. A great read.
  • Working out with Sunny. My wife is absolutely sold out to the idea of working out and eating properly. As a result, I’m spending more time at the gym than I ever have in my life. And it’s all for the best, too. Last April, I tipped the scales at a hefty 210 lbs. Thanks to the gym and a great calorie-counting app on my phone, I’ve dropped 27 lbs. Best of all, I’ve kept the weight off and I feel better than I have in years. It’s fun to hit the treadmill and the elliptical machine with Sunny. I love having her as a workout partner!
  • March sports. I think this is my favorite time of year: March Madness bracketology, spring training games in full swing, and my annual fantasy baseball drafts. Lots of fun.
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