Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Lianne La Havas

I stumbled across Lianne Le Havas, an English singer-songwriter, a while ago on La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows. She just came out with a beautiful new single, and it's fantastic. Her voice is absolutely incredible:

Watch the official video for 'Lost & Found' by Lianne La Havas, directed by Colin Solal Cardo.
'Lost & Found' out now on iTunes:

PS: Does anyone else think her hair is amazing? Because I definitely do.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday's Short Film: Red Moon

This film is a bit on the ridiculous side, but as someone who studies Russia, it never fails to make me laugh. Light-hearted and full of Soviet kitsch :)      (And the set design is pretty great!)
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Chronicling the life and times of famed Soviet submarine commander, and hapless werewolf, Captain Alexei Ovechkin.
2010 Official Selection 2011 Atlanta Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, and 2012 Oxford Film Festival.
Directed by Jimmy Marble
Written by Doug Sacrison and Jimmy Marble
Based on the One Act Play by Doug Sacrison

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Take the final or hug a cactus? It's be a tough call...

It's finals season, so things are a bit crazy around here. Technically, final exams don't start until next week, but since I'm in a major where I usually write papers instead of taking exams, this week is probably the busiest one of the year for me. Thus, I will most likely be M.I.A. for the next week (my biggest term paper is due next Tuesday). So I apologize if it's a bit quiet around here. I'll be back next week for sure with lots of lovely things for you!

PS: I do have a few posts I should be able to get up in the next few days, so it shouldn't completely be a ghost town around here.

Photo taken by Kara Haberstock, March 2012, all rights reserved

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Musings: I'm a Feminist (and you should be too)

I Found Marx
Marx and Me
(Feminism and socialism don't have to go together, but it seems like the reaction to both in this country are about the same)
[Disclaimer: This post is about the core of feminism and about my interpretation of feminism. It may not completely follow feminist social theory, and some of my interpretation may differ from others' interpretations. And that's okay.]

I am a feminist. You should be too.

Feminism has unfortunately been slandered, twisted, and mis-defined in our culture. Quick, what comes to mind when you think of the word "feminist"? Our cultural narrative of feminism goes something like this: Feminists are militant. Feminists are angry. Feminists are butch. Feminists hate men. Feminists want to emasculate men. Feminists are against families. Feminists want to subjugate men. Feminists are overly sensitive. Feminists are going to destroy the fabric of our society. Feminists have no morals. Feminists are nefarious and scary. Feminists hate babies. Feminists are whiny and entitled... The list goes on.

But this is a lie. There may be some feminists who fit some of these definitions, but applying this definition to feminism would be like saying that socialists are mass murderers because Stalin happened to espouse this ideology. (*Note: Socialists are not mass murderers. Also, while I'm at it, socialism and communism are not the same thing, just to clear that up.*)

So what is feminism? According to Merriam-Webster (my favorite dictionary), feminism is defined as, (1)  "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and (2) "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests." See, nothing really scary there. One of my favorite basic definitions, taken from Caitlin Moran's book How to Be a Woman, states that "Vagina + Equal Rights = Feminist." To put it simply, if you believe that men and women have the right to be treated equally, you are a feminist.

The original title for this post was going to be "Accidental Feminism," stemming from my own journey in feminism. But I quickly realized that this title would be wildly inaccurate. Feminism was not an "accident" in my life, in fact, it's very natural. I was raised by two wonderful parents who encouraged me and supported me. They told me I was smart and beautiful and strong and capable. They taught me that I deserved to be treated well and taken seriously. They instilled in me that my identity and my value does not come from any other human being, but from God. And God created both men and women in his image and he does not play favorites. My mother is a stay-at-home mom, by choice, for many reasons. But that does not mean she is in any way inferior to my father. They are partners, and that is very clear in the marriage. So why wouldn't I be a feminist? Since I was tiny I have been encouraged to stand up for myself, to create goals, to work hard to achieve those goals by all sorts of people in my life- parents, teachers, mentors, friends. I have been taught that I am loved and valued and that my worth has nothing to do with my gender. Because worth should have nothing to do with gender. That's why I'm a feminist.

Now, I first claimed that title of feminist in high school. Specifically, a friend and I joked about being closet "feminazis"* because of the reinterpretation of Cinderella we wrote in rhyming iambic pentameter for a high school English class (*Note: please do not use this term. It can be very hurtful, for a number of reasons, and it promotes fallacies and inaccuracies about feminism). Part of this movement towards feminism was incredibly healthy- I finally broke the notion in my head that I would truly be happy when I had a boyfriend. I finally realized that I did not need a man to define me, that being single is a gift, and that I could be happy and complete and fulfilled even if I remained single for the rest of my days. But unfortunately with this I went to far in the other way. I became a man-basher. I viewed men as stupid, hurtful, and oppressive. I have had my difficulties in relations with the opposite gender in the past, and this pushed me to push back in full-force. Men objectified and oppressed women; so as a woman, I had the right to denigrate and disparage them. Men had hurt me; I had the right to hurt them back. I could take pleasure in humiliating them with my superior intellect- they deserved it. I was bitter and angry, and in that often ugly, in my dealings towards guys. It took some really good guy friends and an honest gut-check to make me realize that what I was doing was wrong and I needed to change.

Man-bashing is not feminism. Feminism does not seek to subjugate men. That would be sexism. Two wrongs don't make a right-- attacking men because they have possessed the traditionally privileged gender role is not the right answer here. Feminism seeks to raise women up to the place they deserve- equal footing, equal worth, equal compensation. We need to be attacking the system that puts men and women on unequal footing. (On a related note: gender equality does not mean "sameness." In my book at least, men and women are different. We often process things differently, we often operate differently, and we often perceive the world differently. People of both genders have their strengths and weaknesses. We are different, but that doesn't mean we can't be equal partners.)

Being feminist does not mean burning your bra (though you can if you want to). Being feminist does not mean that you can't ever get married. Being feminist does not mean refusing to walk through a door that the man in front of you kindly held open for you. Being feminist does mean that you must only use gender neutral pronouns. Being feminist does not mean you have to be a abortion advocate. Being feminist means that you work towards men and women having equal opportunities in the political realm, in the economic realm, and in the social realm. It means fighting demeaning stereotypes in our culture. It mean supporting women's education. It means standing up against cases of sexism. It means recognizing that women are intelligent and capable and strong and deserve to be treated as such. It means creating spaces for them to safely express their opinions. It means not blaming the victim.

We live in a historically patriarchal (and often still patriarchal) society. Our society is not yet achieved gender equality. Which means that we need to actively work towards that. Hence, feminism. If you are a woman, feminism should come pretty naturally. After all, I don't think most of us want to be treated as if we are inferior. And for men, you should be feminist too. Because you are also intelligent and strong and capable, so you don't need to feel threatened by strong, intelligent, capable women. You don't need a system that oppresses women. You are better than that. So let's aim for a partnership on equal footing, okay?

I am a feminist, and I would like for you to join me.

Want to know more? These are a few of the works that inspired this post:
Caitlin Moran's fantastic funny book
This wonderful post from APW
This video (and the other five "Tropes vs. Women" videos)

PS: What about feminism and faith?

As a Christian, I've honestly struggled with this. Because there have definitely been times when what I have seen in the church seems to conflict with the idea of gender equality and strong, independent women. But I think it comes back down to the partners concept. Men and women, in partnership, are supposed to reflect the image of God. And Jesus was a big supporter of women in a culture that definitely devalued them. Yes, there are verses in the Bible that call for wives to submit to their husbands, as the church submits to the authority of Christ. But those verses are usually followed up with a command that husbands love their wives as Christ loved the church. And in case you're not familiar, Christ died a horrific, gruesome death for the church. Christ loved the church to the point of the ultimate self-sacrifice. So clearly, the sacrifice cuts both ways. I haven't entirely figured out what exactly a feminist Christian marriage looks like. But I am sure, that though men and women may play different parts and have different strengths, they can be (and should be) equal partners. After all, that's what most healthy marriages I can think of look like. Honestly, like I said in an earlier post, my first solution to this dilemma was to just postpone even thinking about marriage. But now that I can't really do that anymore, I'll let you know what I figure out as I go.

Photo taken by Kelly on Kara Haberstock's Camera, July 2011, all rights reserved

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Emmy the Great

Emmy the Great has a lovely voice, which is perfectly showcased in her song "Paper Forest." This song by Emmy the Great is so hauntingly beautiful. I've been listening to it again and again...

The second single from Emmy The Great's second album 'Virtue'.
Released Sep 19th 2011. Directed by Lucy Needs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guess What?

Texas Love by PoppyandPinecone

I'm going to Texas this summer!

I've been offered a fellowship at the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of North Texas for Civil Conflict Management and Peace Science this summer. Basically, I'll have the opportunity to do graduate-level conflict research. And I'm so excited!

I'll be working away for most of the summer, but I might get a few opportunities to go exploring...does anyone know anything fun to do in Denton, Texas?

Thursday's Short Films: Imaginative Travel

Spring is always the time when a case of wanderlust sets in for me. So I loved these imaginative little films about amazing cities around the world.

What if Kiev was tiny?

Created by Efim Graboy & Daria Turetski Music: Adam Burns / Jez Burns - May Flowers
Наш блог:

Or if Buenos Aires was an amusement park? 
Directed by Fernando Livschitz

Doesn't this make you want to run off and book the first plane ticket you can find? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: The Desert in Spring

Tucson really is a pretty place in the springtime. It's not as green as a lot of places, and it's still a desert and quite brown, but there are so many lovely, strange plants that explode with vibrant flowers and colors and a few lonely plants that do deck themselves in green. And in someways, the backdrop of brown makes that life all the more noticeable:

Bursting to life
Pop of Pink

All photos taken by Kara Haberstock at Tucson Botanical Gardens, March 2012, all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Living with Lewis: Patriotism

Continuing Chaos in Libya, Summer 2011, photo via MSNBC

As someone who studies ethnic conflict, I love Lewis' thoughts on patriotism and its use as a tool to motivate action and sacrifice on behalf of one's country:
"For a long time yet, or perhaps forever, nations will live in danger. Rulers must somehow nerve their subjects to defend them or at least to prepare for their defence. Where the sentiment of patriotism has been destroyed this can be done only by presenting every international conflict in a purely ethical light. If people will spend neither sweat nor blood for 'their country' they must be made to feel that they are sending them for justice, or civilisation, or humanity. This is a step down, not up. Patriotic sentiment did not of course need to disregard ethics. Good men needed to be convinced that their country's cause was just; but it was still their country's cause, not the cause of justice as such. The difference seems to me important. I may without self-righteousness or hypocrisy think it just to defend my house by force against a burglar; but if I start pretending that I blacked his eye purely on moral ground- wholly indifferent to the fact that the house in question was mine- I become insufferable. The pretence that when England's cause is just we are on England's side- as some neutral Don Quixote might be- for that reason alone, is equally spurious. And nonsense draws evil after it. If our country's cause is the cause of God, wars must be wars of annihilation. A false transcendence is given to things which are very much of this world" (29).
Lewis hits right at the heart of so many modern conflicts: they become in our minds and our media a war of good against evil. And we, of course, support the side of the good. But conflict cannot be reduced down to this binary. For even if some on the other side could really be called evil, those beneath them, those they have drafted, those they have deceived, those they have pressed into service....they are not evil. And war is a dirty, destructive, terrifying, appalling beast. It might be pitched as a fight of good and evil at first, but by the end, it will be nothing but darkness. And few truly take up arms for wholesome motives anyway. Most conflicts the US has entered in the past decades have been pitched as humanitarian or liberation ventures, but these supposed motives of freedom and justice are driven by a far more pragmatic, profitable, and amoral (or even immoral) motive underneath, and the destruction caused perhaps outweighs whatever freedom or justice is accomplished anyways. High moral concepts are cold consolation to a mother whose son never came home.

So the heart of the message is this: be careful. It is easy to get caught up in the noble myth of war. Patriotism is not in itself wrong by any stretch of the imagination. Lewis writes (citing Chesterton), "A man's reasons for not wanting his country to be ruled by foreigners are very like his reasons for not wanting his house to be burned down; because he 'could not even begin' to enumerate all the things he would miss" (23). Love of home is natural and healthy and creates sometimes even a healthy respect for others: "How can I love my home without coming to realise that other men, no less rightly, love theirs?" (24). I would agree with Lewis though that is important to differentiate this love for our homes and our way of life from a feeling of superiority and that our cause is the cause of God because then we are entering a very dangerous realm where mythic wars quickly turn into infernos that indiscriminately destroy all life.

For more on the myth of war and the dangers therein, I highly recommend Chris Hedges' book, War is a Force that Give Us Meaning. It's a heavy, but incredible, read.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Song for Sunday: Sucre

Sucre is a brand new band that just released their debut album- and I can't stop listening to it! I love the mix of instruments and voices and all the talent that was clearly behind this. Check out the opening track from their album, A Minor Bird:

Live video of Sucré performing "Hiding Out" from the debut album A Minor Bird - which is available now:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Links

Dirty Water by Mae Chevrette. Buy it on Etsy here

It's Friday!!! I am so glad this week has ended. Final projects are still looming up ahead, but I am looking forward to having a little time to relax and have some fun over the weekend. Do you have any fun weekend plans? Some friends and I are having a clothing swap, so I'm looking forward to cleaning out my closet AND getting some new clothes (for free!).
But before I shut down the computer, I gathered up some lovely links for you. Enjoy!

This is one of my new favorite ways to do my hair (note: my hair is pretty long)

I really want to try printing some pictures like this

Isn't this map-print skirt cool?

Did you know that you can make your own homemade ricotta? I really want to try now!

This bikini would be a lovely replacement for my poor worn-out swim suit. But since I don't have that kind of money, maybe I'll just going with this one...

Elsie Larson, of A Beautiful Mess, is married to a talented musician in the band Sucre. Check out their new album in this post of hers. (I love it!)

This print by Mae Chevrette is going to hang in my house someday. The colors are spectacular!

Someday I will go to Morocco myself. Until then, I'm enjoying these beautiful photos from Not Without Salt

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday's Short Film: The Old Man and the Sea

The artistry in this amazed me. Those of you who are fans of Ernest Hemingway will appreciate this creative capture of the essence of the book. I was captivated from beginning to end:

Ein Stop-Motion-Film, inspiriert von Ernest Hemingway's Kurzgeschichte “the old man and the sea“. Semesterarbeit zu „Bild und Kommunikation“, Prof. Dr. Reiner Nachtwey, FH-Düsseldorf Zeichnung // Hagen Reiling Kamera, Animation // Marcel Schindler Musik // Awolnation: Sail

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: Spring Succulents

Lace Aloe

I have a few more pictures from Tucson Botanical Gardens for you to enjoy. My boyfriend was patient enough to wait around for me to take dozens of photos of the wonderful succulent garden. I couldn't help it- they're so cool! I hope you enjoy these lovely little plants as much as I do:

Flower in Miniature
Cactus Flowers
Almost Fuzzy

PS: Did you know that cacti are a type of succulent? Apparently, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. (Fun fact for the day!)

All photos taken by Kara Haberstock, March 2012, all rights reserved

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday's Music: James Vincent McMorrow

I took the day off yesterday because of Easter, but I thought I'd still round up a little music for you to start your week with. "We Don't Eat" by James Vincent McMorrow is one of the most beautiful songs ever in my book. I love the rhythm (and greatly admire the skill it takes to keep up a rhythm like that). Enjoy:

Download album on iTunes:
James Vincent McMorrow - We Don't Eat

Mondays Musings: Why Marriage Scares the $%#& out of Me

Daybreak in the Grand Canyon
It's a feeling somewhat akin to looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon and imagining jumping off

I do apologize for the slight vulgarity. But, honestly, that's my general sentiment when I think about marriage. It's absolutely terrifying. I know it's wonderful and incredibly rewarding and worth it and all of those things. But thinking about it often ignites this feeling in the pit of my stomach that just feels like pure terror. I've had issues with marriage for a while actually. My solution to my problems with marriage, though, was to simply put it off and declare that I wasn't getting married till I was 26 or so and had my life figured out. Realization: I don't think there will ever be a point when I have my life figured out. So it's time to get to the bottom of this: Why does marriage feel so utterly terrifying?

First, I love being single. I love the freedom it provides to be spontaneous and do crazy things. I can make plans without consulting anyone. I'm not really tied down to anything. I can travel wherever and whenever I want (within reason). My prospects after college are wide open: grad school, work, moving overseas... I don't need to know where I'm going. And if things don't go well, I'm the only one I have to worry about. There's much less responsibility, less risk, and more flexibility. I have control over my own life, and no one has to pay for my choices but me. Control is a big part of it actually. I have a generalized anxiety disorder, and I cope with that by controlling my surroundings and managing risk. My mantra when making decisions is "it's not permanent." If I move somewhere and hate it, I can move again. If I start studying something and find it's not that interesting, I can change fields. If I don't like my school, I can transfer. If I hate my job, I can find a new one. Now all of the things do take some time and coordination. I might be stuck with something I don't like for a few years. But overall, it's not permanent.

But marriage is permanent, at least for me. Divorce isn't an option. I'm choosing to commit to someone for the rest of my life. For better or for worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer. And it's a commitment I take very seriously and that I'm not going to back down on. I am committing to love and care for and support my partner to the best of my abilities for as long as we both live. And that is very very scary. (Honestly, if I didn't find that slightly terrifying, I might be worried I wasn't taking this seriously enough.)

Marriage is also terrifying because of the expectations that come with it, expectations that I'm not sure I can meet, or don't really want to meet. I've talked about my fear of disappointing people before, and on the topic of marriage, this fear gets amplified to the nth degree. I'm afraid that my boyfriend secretly has expectations of his future wife that he hasn't told me, or maybe doesn't even realize himself, that won't come out until we tie the knot, and then we'll be in trouble. I'm afraid of expectations concerning marriage in my circles of faith. Does being married mean that I have to give up on all my career plans? Do I have to stay home and clean the house and raise children? Do I have to give up on my intellectual pursuits?

One of the reasons why I planned to be single for a while in the first place was because of my career choices. I've felt called to a career in research and political analysis, particularly regarding Chechnya. I've found what I love in writing my thesis and studying and writing policy papers. And I want to keep doing this, to pursue a career in this. But there's something in me that fears that in this culture, I can't do this as a married woman. Single women are the ones who can be independent and a little crazy and pursue big goals and dreams and careers. If I get married now, I can't do that any more. Getting married, especially as a woman, means that I am going to be at the mercy of my husband's decisions and that I can say goodbye to my independent life where I can choose to do things that I want to do and pursue my dreams. Getting married means giving up all these things that I hold so dear, it means sacrificing all of my goals and plans and dreams, it means giving up the opportunities to use the gifts and talents I've been given. 

Marriage feels a little bit like the death of who I am and what I love about my life and my identity. It also feels a bit like a betrayal. I've run in rather feminist circles with female friends who are all for women being successful, strong, and independent. We're going to have careers and go places and change the world. We're smart and talented: we can take care of ourselves. Does getting married mean I'm a sell-out?

All of these fears have been rushing around in my head for the last weeks and months. And they are completely justified. Marriage is terrifying, and it should be terrifying. It is an enormous decision, and not one to be rushed into lightly. Though at first I feared I was over-exaggerating in some of my fears, as I've reflected further, I think I'm spot on in a lot of my analyses.  Marriage is like death. It's the death of my single, selfish self, my self that is not accountable to another. When I commit to marrying someone, I am committing to love them. And love is not self-seeking. Love is self-sacrificing. It means sacrificing my desires daily. Not in the martyr/doormat way, but in a conscious, every day seeking of my partner's best. If I decide to get married, I am going to have to make hard decisions.

One of my most frequent "what if" scenarios has concerned our future plans. What if he gets into a medical school on the West Coast and I get into my dream school on the East Coast? What would we choose?  But I realized when considering this, that if I really love him, the choice wouldn't actually be that hard. Medicine is such a huge and defining passion for him that denying him that opportunity would crush him and so much of what I love about him. Why would I want to take away what he is most passionate about? Loving him means accepting this and being willing to sacrifice.  This doesn't mean that I have to give up on any aspirations and goals that I have. He knows what I am passionate about and what makes me tick, and love works both ways. We will figure out a way to make it work. It may require some delays, some postponing, some finagling of schedules. But if we're both trying to seek the other's best, I would hope we could figure something out.

A week or so ago, I was talking this over with a friend, and she helped me see it this way: if this dilemma between marriage and career is as binary as I first made it out to be, then by choosing one option, I am choosing to give up the other. I don't want to get married because I don't want to give up my career opportunities. But this relationship I'm in has to go somewhere, so if I choose the career track (in the binary option world), I am forfeiting this relationship I have. And honestly, I don't want that either, even though at times it seems much more socially acceptable. When did we decide that career success is more valuable than a healthy, supportive relationship?

I'm hoping for a middle road. There should be some way that I can get married and still research and write and analyze conflicts. I will probably have to give up some of my ambitions, but I'm okay with that. I don't think my pipedream ambitions are worth the cost of losing this awesome relationship I have. And from what I've heard and seen, marriage can even be a boost to some of those pipedreams. It isn't all loss and sacrifice- I'd be gaining a partner too. 

All in all, I still have a ways to go before I'm ready to get married. My boyfriend and I have things to work out and address. There are a lot of things to take into account before jumping into this. As much as love is self-sacrificing, whenever I do get married, my partner and I are going to have a lot of selfish moments when we are quite self-seeking and not loving. And that needs to be worked on and some contingency plans for handling that probably need to be put into place. And I'm sure there's other issues I haven't even though of yet. Like I said before, marriage is an enormous decision and not one to be taken lightly.  But at the end of this long post, here's where I'm at. I think I'm slightly more okay with marriage and the thought of getting married. I still have a ways to go, but that's why they have things like counseling and wise older people to consult with. I'm definitely not getting married tomorrow. But I don't have to wait till I'm 26 or so and have my life figured out. (Because again, there's no way I'm going to have my life figured out by then.) So...we'll see where things go and pray lots. Whatever happens, I do know this: I have a God who loves me perfectly and seeks my best always. So I think I'll be okay. 

Photo taken by Kara Haberstock, March 2009, all rights reserved

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Links

Tucson's forecast from Hello Weather
It's Friday!!! The week is over. I just got out of my third stats exam, which went really well, so I'm feeling pretty good. My little sister is making a college visit to Pepperdine this weekend. (She's graduating! I feel old!) Check out the campus in Malibu. She could be right on the beach!
And this weekend is Easter. I'm looking forward to celebrating with my church and spending some time with my family on Sunday. What are you up to this weekend?
Oh, and I gathered up some lovely links for you:

This is probably one of the most beautiful weather sites ever

Decorate your outlets with adorable stickers!

A funny euphemism generator

These social media propaganda posters by Aaron Wood are awesome. Love the references to old Soviet propaganda. (PS: Check out the Aaron Wood's Etsy shop for even more posters)

Artist Adele Enersen took these amazingly imaginative photographs of her baby daughter's dreams

Hope Is Coming For Me
Hope is Coming for Me by Aliciana Bowers

And lastly, it is Good Friday, a day of both sorrow and incredible joy, immense sorrow and triumph. Christ came, suffered, and died for us, so that we might be reconciled to our Creator and have life.  It is a day of remembering pain and sacrifice, but also a day of incredible hope. Scripture reads:
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.  (Philippians 2:6-8)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) 
And Nicholas Wolterstorff (a favorite Christian philosopher of mine) puts it this way:
And great mystery: to redeem our brokenness and lovelessness the God who suffers with us did not strike some mighty blow of power but sent his beloved son to suffer like us, through his suffering to redeem us from suffering and evil. (Lament for a Son)
Today we remember that in death we have life.

PS: My church is having an Easter service in La Placita Park downtown on Sunday. You are welcome to join us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday's Short Film: The Drought

This award-winning film by Kevin Slack is the beautifully-shot and expertly-crafted story of an elderly New York umbrella salesman during a summer drought. Absolutely gripping and lovely:

The Drought - short film from Kevin Slack on Vimeo.
- 4.5 out of 5 Stars - ( 
- "Beautifully shot, it’s a moving piece that tugs at the heartstrings" -
- Official Selection: Capital City Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Rose City Shorts Festival

Director/Writer: Kevin Slack
Producers: Nicole Scarano, Kevin Slack & Allison Vanore
Editor: Chip Whitley
Director of Photography: John Paul Clark,
Director Website:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: Butterflies

Looking out
Butterflies in the Tucson Botanical Gardens greenhouse 
A few weekends ago, my boyfriend and I took a Saturday afternoon to explore Tucson Botanical Gardens (one of Tucson's hidden gems). The gardens are right in the middle of the city, but when you are wandering through them, it feels like you've escaped the city entirely. The butterfly exhibit in the garden greenhouse was fantastic- we had so much fun finding all the different sorts of lovely (and slightly strange) creatures in there. And, of course, I took some pictures:

Monarch wings
Butterflies are such lovely creatures

I think it's pretending to be a dinosaur. I did that when I was little too.

End of Beauty
This butterfly unfortunately had hit the end of its six-day lifespan, but it was still so lovely, even in death

In Flight
Butterflies in flight (note: these are the same ones as the pretend-dinosaur one)

Hello Earthlings
"Greetings Earthlings!"
This might have been my favorite one, just because of how weird it is.
I could definitely imagine it as an alien.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living with Lewis: Nature's Lessons

Wildflower Eclipse

"Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in otherways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one. I do not see how the 'fear' of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags. And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the 'love' of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed. . . Nature does not teach. A true philosophy may sometimes validate an experience of nature; an experience of nature cannot validate a philosophy. Nature will not verify any theological or metaphysical proposition (or not in the manner we are now considering); she will help to show what it means" (20).

In this way Lewis cautions us in the love of nature. Nature reflects the one who made it: "the created glory may be expected to give us hints of the uncreated" (20). But while we may see God's character reflected in that which is created, we cannot find him there. We cannot reach God solely through nature- we must turn from the created to the Creator. Nature can point us to God, but it cannot carry us to him. Enjoy the beauty of the created, but direct one's worship the one who made it.

Photo taken by Kara Haberstock, 2008, all rights reserved

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Song for Sunday: Zee Avi

Zee Avi, a beautiful Malaysian singer-songwriter, is perfect to listen to on a lazy Sunday. Here she performs her song "31 Days" for In the Open TV:

In the Open presents Zee Avi - 31 Days from In the Open on Vimeo.