My musical tastes were shaped early on by piano lessons, church songs, free subscriptions to BMG music, and my buddies' basement bands.

Although I've branched out since then and found my own faves, occasionally I find myself returning to my roots.

This morning's commute to class was one example as I played into my Tuesday mood and listened to the effortless lyric poetry of Chris Rice (no, he's not related to Damien.)

Smellin' Coffee, anyone?

What beauty he captures, what simple joys he finds in life. If more of us could tap that joy, we'd all be a little better off.

I'll be honest. It feels like some analysts are grasping at straws when it comes to a solution for the print media revenue problem.

Disclaimer: I do NOT believe the government should subsidize newspapers... or any other media organization.

But in a business with a sinking future, it's hard not to be tempted, or at least intrigued, by ideas like these.

Tell me what you think. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

I write about coffee, or mention it in some way, an awful lot. My apologies go out to those of you who actually read this blog and get sick of hearing about my caffeine addiction.

This time, though, it represents something larger in my life.

Last night I was writing a research paper for my Mass Media Law class about invasion of privacy and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that supported or denied an individual’s claim to the right of seclusion.

Papers with heavy topics like those always get me thinking and searching. I dislike the initial research process to some extent, but I enjoy analyzing and dissecting what I’ve found after it’s all gathered.

And last night I discovered a continuous, seven-step motif running through my late-night paper sessions. I call it “the coffee motif.”


1. Procrastination
2. Writer’s block
3. Reluctant digging in
4. Inspiration
5. Success
6. Insomnia
7. “Morning after” caffeine overdoses

Can anyone else relate to this process? If so, I’d encourage you to embrace the motif instead of fleeing from it. You might lose some sleep, but you might also find your best ideas come to you in the wake of an exhausting project you didn’t particularly enjoy.

The reason? You’ll experience a sense of completion having done something you didn’t want to do, and then you get to treat yourself with some much-deserved “me time.” For me, that “me time” lasted from approximately 2 to 3 a.m. this morning.

I snuck into my bedroom, careful not to wake my two snoring roommates, and slipped out with my journal, returning to my “big comfy couch” to write. (Side note: Did any of you watch this show on PBS when you were a kid?)

I wrote about the things I found to be grateful for this week. Even in the midst of hectic weeks of working 30-40 hours plus 15 credits and multiple class projects, I find there are always things that happen to make me say, “Praise God."

This week, three things topped my list.

1. Tuesday night I roamed around downtown GR with my roommate Emma looking for a coffee shop (surprise!) at which to do our homework. Our favorite, The Bitter End, was full, so we ended up at The Pavilion for an hour and left when we found ourselves in the middle of an increasingly awkward conversation two of the other customers decided to start in our space. We left with very little homework done, but a good story to pass on to Amanda once we got home.

2. Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed my Herald office time with my fellow editor, David Duhon. Throughout this year he has become a close friend to me as we edit and design pages together several days a week. We find ourselves talking about politics (yesterday our topic was the flaws of the two-party system); music (yesterday: Elton John, the Beatles, blues progressions, and indie Christian alternative band En Gedi); ministry (Mission Year in Atlanta and Urban Transformation here in inner city GR); family, our job, and relationships. By the end of a couple hours, we usually find ourselves back at square one, not really having solved any of the world’s problems, but at least thankful for the process. Everyone needs a friend like David.

3. While I was in the office with David, my sister Marissa called to ask if we could hang out after she finished staffing WCSG’s Spring Sharathon (she is a web content manager at Cornerstone’s radio station). I initially deflected because I figured it would be a crazy night finishing my paper, but after about two hours of frustrating library time I called her up and asked for a break spent in her refreshing presence. So we went out to dinner at Noodles & Co. and caught up on each other’s lives over pasta fresco and Jones soda. How wonderful it is to realize that some things are more important than carefully laid plans.

Here comes the end of my post (finally, you say.) If you’ve made it this far, congrats to you. I’d like to leave you with one last thought.

If you don’t drink coffee, that’s fine. Not everyone has the stomach for it. But I would encourage you to find your “coffee motif” in life and pursue it wholeheartedly.

As the saying goes, sometimes the best things in life aren’t things.
I check my e-mail accounts, news feeds, and blog rolls every morning/afternoon.

Press co-workers often e-mail AP stories to the rest of the newsroom, especially the wire editor as she sorts through looking for national news for briefs or wire pages.

Today she sent an analysis about the future of print media revenue, specifically recapping a forum held at the National Press Club to discuss the business model print outlets have used in the past.

The problem, the industry leaders said, is not the decline in readership. It's the revenue shift (as the economy tanks, businesses cut advertising first) and the readership styles that are changing.

We're not "news consumers" like we were in the past. We're "news users," according to Alberto Ibarguen, the president and CEO of Knight Foundation, who was present at the forum.

His best quote by far?

"We should think about news as a utility," he said. "You pay the light bill, you pay the cable bill. Maybe you pay a news bill. I don't know. But we ought to have all of these things on the table and stop trying to figure out, 'How do we get back to 1970?'"

It's not about returning to the way things used to be. It's about stepping forward to provide MY generation, YOUR generation, with the news in the way we want to digest it.

The million dollar question, though, is can we still dish that news with the same depth and integrity it had in the 1970s, if MY generation is the generation who expects it for free?

Notice Suzanne Geha's flustered pause when Gaydou said the economy "had an impact on [The Press] just like it has on your station and everybody else in town."

Seriously. Who hasn't felt the pinch? That's not denying the tight spot newspapers are in; it's just common sense.
I wanted to share this song. It touched my heart when I heard it on the radio the other night. I've heard it before, but this time it was different. I think I felt like it was the song I've always wanted to have sung to me.

"Making Memories of Us"
By Keith Urban

I'm gonna be here for you baby
And I'll be a man of my own word
Speak the language in a voice that you have never heard
I wanna sleep with you forever
And I wanna die in your arms
In a cabin by a meadow where the wild bees swarm

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us

I wanna honor your mother
And I wanna learn from your paw
I wanna steal your attention like a bad outlaw
And I wanna stand out in a crowd for you
A man among men
I wanna make your world better than it's ever been


We'll follow the rainbow
Wherever the four winds blow
And there'll be a new day
Comin' your way

I'm gonna be here for you from now on
This you know somehow
You've been stretched to the limits but it's alright now
And I'm gonna make you a promise
If there's life after this
I'm gonna be there to meet you with a warm, wet kiss
Mmm hummm

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust makin' memories of us
And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll win your trust makin memories of us
Ohhhhhhhh Oh Baby Mmmmmmm

And if you want, you can listen to the song.