Andrew Osgena: The Morning

Andrew Osenga will be releasing his new album, The Morning in a couple of weeks and he has been sharing some sound clips from the album on his blog. I would encourage everyone to check them out:

New Beginning

House of Mirrors

Santa Barbara

After The Garden

So far, the album is shaping up to be my favorite post-Normals album that he has done so far. One of the cool things that Andy has done with this project is during the process of creating the album, he has posted sound clips and such for people who pre-ordered the album. Journaling is one thing, but actually hearing the progress is another. It definitely brings the listener closer to the artist in that the album feels more like a project instead of just a “single-date” release. The listener feels included in the creative process and feels a little sense of ownership in the project. But not that much. After all, we weren’t the ones up until the wee hours of the night perfecting the sound.

The album releases on May 16 and I’m looking forward to hearing and reviewing it.

Prominade, revisited

So, I did a little matchmaking this past weekend. One of our friend’s daughters needed a date for prom and I had a supply of college freshmen from my fraternity. We hand picked a guy and sent them off and from what I hear, they had a pretty good time.

Adriene and I went out for dinner on Saturday night and while we were out we saw several girls in flowing dresses and their dates being led by the hand adorned in tuxedos. All of it made me a little wistful and nostalgic, as I am wont to do. I went to prom four times, once while in high school and then three times in college. I’ve written about some of my past experiences here before. I have a lot of good memories from dances where I was with all my friends, all dressed up, laughing and cutting up. Dancing and going out to dinner. Even after twelve or thirteen years, I still have pretty vivid recall of it evenings. I always wonder about the people who mar their memories from bad choices at their high school dances. Even at my worst prom, I still have a lot to laugh about.

Something about that era stirs some strong feelings in me. Maybe it has to do with being at that point in life where you really don’t know what’s going to happen next. College is still on the horizon or just beginning and things like a job and family are so far in the future that you have no idea what’s going to happen. The potential seems boundless at that stage in life. It’s all very exciting.

Not that I have any idea what’s going to happen in my life next, either. There’s still a lot of uncharted territory for me to cover. And I like not having to worry if the girl wants to go on another date after the dance.

I broke down and bought Blue Like Jazz this weekend. We’ll see if I like it.

Pi Mile

Now that spring is in swing, it’s time for me to get back into the habit of running 5K races again. The races are a great way to keep me motivated to exercise and often they are a lot of fun with all sorts of cheesy themes, giveaways, t-shirts, and such.

This weekend was Georgia Tech’s race, Pi Mile, and this year I was joined by friends and another guest, my own wife! Adriene seems to have finally been bitten by the fitness bug and now she’s out there with me. She did incredible today and I can’t express how proud I am of her. But you don’t have to listen to me talk about it, check her blog and read her take on the morning

You can also view the pictures I took of Tech’s campus while there.

….and Adriene’s pictures of the race, too.

Now to plan for a race in May…

On Hearing Worthy Is The Lamb

Everyone knows the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s work Messiah The classical work, however, doesn’t end there. The third portion of Messiah is oft-forgotten and neglected, perhaps because it covers the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection when we will meet him in the air and Messiah is often associated with Christmas when people are focusing more on the anticipation, birth, and life of Christ.

This morning at church our choir and orchestra played the amazing final piece of the orartorio named “Worthy Is The Lamb” and I loved every second of it. The music and service reminded me today that as I am a lover of history, I often muse on the life of Christ and the crucifixion of Christ, but I have to be reminded that Christ also is alive and he reigns over all, even today. Christ is risen. Hallelujah.


For a quick weekend, we were able to sneak down to the Gulf coast to visit a friend. During the weekend, I was able to see first hand the damage that Katrina had done and it was stunning. I was glad to see it because the television images made it all so surreal. Even the airport where we arrived still had holes in the ceiling and the carpet had been totally removed (no doubt soaked and ruined by storm surge.) We drove down the coast of Mississippi were many buildings have already been demolished, so there’s nothing on the coast. No traffic. No houses. No nothing. Not even street signs are left. We passed a Waffle House where the roof and walls had been washed away, all that was left attached to the foundation was the stools bolted to the ground.

We also drove down into downtown New Orleans and around the Superdome. We saw where the refugees gathered when waters rose around the dome. I didn’t notice it at first, but underneath the freeway viaducts, rows and rows of abandoned cars, no doubt flooded, lined the ground underdeath. Cars after cars, I could believe how many there were. Where the levees broke, the waters had receeded, but the apartment complexes were totally abandoned. Whole buildings were fenced off and empty, giving parts of New Orleans the feel of a ghost town. I read today that the population was 600,000 in New Orleans before Katrina and currently it only numbers 140,000. Optimistic figures have it only doubling to 280,000 in the next five years.

It wasn’t all disaster this weekend. We saw a lot of reconstruction and a lot of rebuilding as people slowly begin to return the town to normalcy and it was encouraging. We did a little part in getting the economy back on its feet by frequenting some resturaunts and bars in the French Quarter. No, we weren’t building houses, but hey, it’s a little bit of help. Maybe we can return and do some work here or in Mississippi soon. One of the highlights of the weekend was going to the Strawberry Festival in the small town of Ponchatoula, Louisiana. The festival had all the requisite fair items, including carnival rides, food, music, and even a Strawberry festival queen. As I walked around the festival I wondered how many people their had been forced out of their houses, still had tarps on their roofs, or still were housing friends and family forced to move out. Nonetheless, it was good for everyone there to get out and enjoy a nice spring day. The storm has passed and daylight has returned.

Check my Flickr account to see some of my pictures from the weekend

The national media which covered the events on an overbearing twenty-four hour basis here have long since gone and moved on to other crises, but the untelevised fact is that recovery in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana from Katrina will take years. Many charitable organizations are still greatfully accepting donations for hurricane relief. I recommend reputable organizations like The Red Cross, The Christian Relief Fund and Samaritan’s Purse