7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 174)

June 1, 2012 | 49 comments

— 1 —

I’m getting ready for a quick trip to Columbus, OH, for a taping of the EWTN show The Journey Home. I’m a longtime fan of Marcus Grodi, the show’s host, and am looking forward to meeting Producer Scott Scholten as well. I’m honored and excited to be part of the program.

I do wish, though, that I could beam myself there a la Star Trek. I overbooked myself with travel this Spring, and am very ready to stay home for a long and unbroken stretch. I have no other travel scheduled until the CNMC in Dallas (which is in August, and you need to be planning to attend). Between now and then, there is about to be some Olympian chilling happening over here.

— 2 —

Because I am both vain and nerdy, I put way too much analysis into what to wear on television; I consider the camera angle, the lighting, the background colors, etc. The Journey Home studio poses a particular challenge. As you can see from Dr. Kevin Vost’s appearance, there’s a cornflower blue wall in the background, and then a gold-framed painting with red and black tones in it. This is very confusing to someone who is fashion illiterate in the first place. Would red clash too much with the blue wall? Would blue clash with the red in the painting? White is out because camera lights make it look like you’re glowing, and black is out because on TV screens it makes you look like a blob. Anyway, combine these woes with a heaping dose of I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR and a dash of extra-dramatic Nothing Looks Good on Me Anyway™, and there is going to be a serious wardrobe crisis in this house by the end of the day.

— 3 —

Important note to self: If you take a bunch of pictures of yourself with your smartphone in the process of finding something to wear, remember to delete them before travel!!!!!!!

— 4 —

Pardon me for that interruption. You see, this is a lesson I have learned more than once, always the hard way. As you may have experienced, travel often presents opportunities for sharing pictures of the kids. You get in a conversation about family with the person next to you on the plane, you meet new friends at the event and they ask about the kids, and next thing you know it’s time to pull out the phone and scroll through a few shots.

This is all fine for most people. But combine it with that vain/nerdy thing I talked about in #2, and what happens is that before I travel for any kind of event where I am contractually obliged not to look like a slob, I take a bunch of pictures to check my outfits. Then, I’ll break out the phone during some social event, saying, “Oh, just yesterday I got the cutest shot of all the kids playing in the yard!”, but instead of a precious family moment, it’s a shot of me taking a picture of myself in the mirror. “Heh-heh. It’s right here somewhere…” I say as I scroll past it. To another self-portrait. And other one. And another one. Long story short, I give up before I find the pictures of the kids, and my acquaintances start backing away slowly from the insane woman who just showed everyone an entire series of pictures she took of herself in the mirror.

— 5 —

Over at the Register I’m talking about how I am incredibly lazy and yet have learned to kind of like exercise (the post will be up around 5 AM Central), which prompts me to ask: What is your favorite workout music? I need some good new high-energy songs.

— 6 —

Oh gosh. I had written up a list of my favorite workout songs for that last take…then I Googled them so I could link to iTunes or Youtube videos. And, uhh…let’s just say that I’ll be skipping my own recommendations for this round, and have learned a few things from this experience:

  • There is a strong correlation between fabulous dance remixes and graphic homoerotic album artwork.
  • Some people who create music with great beats also really hate the Catholic Church.
  • I am perhaps not as discerning as I should be about the music I listen to while I jog.

Thus, in lieu of my real recommendations, I am going to lie and tell you that I listen only to Gregorian Chant when I run.

— 7 —

My Journey Home episode will air at something-something time, on something date. I’m kind of overwhelmed and can’t look up that email right now. I’ll update you when I can find it. Meanwhile, you can look forward to likely live-tweeted panic attacks on Twitter when I’m flying on Sunday and Monday.

Have a great weekend!



  1. nancyo

    You came *this* close to a thematic “7 Quick Takes” this week. All you needed was to say that you needed the jogging music for the trip and you’d be set. See? It’s not that hard!

  2. Rhonda

    What? You listen to something besides Gregorian Chant? 😀

  3. Douglas

    Favorite workout music: Secret South by 16 Horsepower

  4. Helen

    I LOVE The Journey Home! I had been wondering when you’d be on it!

    • rosee

      I second that — I was also wondering when you’d be on the Journey Home. Love that show. Best wishes and blessings for your appearance.

      Let me not tell you of the traumatic itunes and cd overhaul I went through a couple of years ago, looking for “good values” music in my own collection. I used to listen to garage bands, punk and lots of groove artists. Alas, the overhaul is still incomplete….

  5. jen

    You listen to something other than Gregorian chant when you jog? I am shocked, shocked, SHOCKED!

    Having gotten my snark out, I’m a fan of “Wonder” by Natalie Merchant, “God’s Not Dead” by the Newsboys, “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits, “I Would Walk 500 Miles” by the Proclaimers, “Good Morning” by Mandisa, and “Let the Waters Rise” by MIKESCHAIR. Can you tell that I listen to a lot of KLOVE?

  6. Benedicte

    I can’t wait to see your episode of the Journey Home! About the music thing, it’s definitely something that someone is going to have to talk about…why is it that nearly every catchy tune has something in it, in some shape or form, that offends what we Catholics believe in?

  7. Jen G

    I’ve really gotten addicted to Latin music for exercise since I’ve been doing Zumba workouts!

    Looking forward to seeing you on The Journey Home. It’s one of my favorite programs.

  8. Liesl

    Have a fun time in Columbus!!!!! That’s where I was born and lived until about 2.5 years ago! It’s a good place 🙂

    And workout music, yes! I’ve tried to start listening to more Christian music – No Greater Love by Matt Maher is a good, pump up song that I like to work out to. Also, they’re not Christian, but I find Yellowcard’s music to be decent content-wise and great for summer jams and running around!

  9. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Jen, I love “That’s Not My Name” by The Ting Tings. I have no idea if they like the Catholic Church or not…I rarely listen to lyrics. I really should start doing that…


  10. Kathleen Basi

    #6 made me laugh. I shake my head about this all the time!

  11. Colleen Martin

    I listen to such dirty music when I run because it has the best beats and I don’t pay attention to the words until that same song comes on in the radio and I have my 5 kids in the car and my mom ears kick in and I quickly change the station. What a hypocrite I am!!!

    Also, funny side note….my husband was listening to the Catholic radio station and you were being interviewed (I can’t remember the program) and when he came home he said “Hey, I was just listening to your friend on the radio!” Ummmm, does it count that we’re friends if only I know about it? 🙂

  12. Ann

    Tobymac “Extreme Days” is good work-out music, Jen. Have a great trip!

  13. Barbara

    I hope you will read my quick takes just because I link to some even BETTER blogs!

  14. Christine the Soccer Mom

    First, YAY about Journey Home! I’ll have to be sure to actually watch it live on Monday night!

    Second, I have a playlist of workout and cool-down songs that I have to wear earbuds for because I can’t let the girls hear it. I’m a bit ashamed of some of the albums I have *cough prince cough* that I can sing every word to. And my cool-down list includes Justin Timberlake’s “Sexyback” which is FAR dirtier than I thought when I downloaded the “clean” version. (Heck, I should’ve just gone for broke and downloaded the cussin’ one, since I still can’t play it in front of the girls.) At 4:02, it’s exactly the right amount of time to cool down if I actually have done a Couch-to-5K workout. (Which I haven’t in a while.)

  15. John Henry

    Workout music? My current mix has Hey Now Now by Michael Franti, Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo, Livin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi, and a bunch of Michael Jackson and Johnny Clegg.

    • John Henry

      Oh, and some Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. (Carnaval is a good one to start with, for workout music.) Because nothing gets energy levels up like Argentine ska.

  16. Judy Dudich

    As for your #2 dilemma.
    She can rescue you!

  17. Thomas

    Really looking forward toy your episode on The Journey Home.

  18. Trena

    Thank you for the good morning laughs!

  19. Marcy

    Workout music: I second “God’s not dead” by Newsboys and also suggest “Ignition” by Toby Mac.

  20. Margaret

    Fellow inappropriate-music-listener-while-running person over here. I second what everyone says about the beat — though my current running mix runs the gamut from Queen to Fleet Foxes to Outkast. It’s weird, but it works for me. (Oh, and Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” might be the best running song of all time.) Cover your ears, kids!

  21. JC

    “I do wish, though, that I could beam myself there a la Star Trek. I overbooked myself with travel this Spring, and am very ready to stay home for a long and unbroken stretch.”

    Yes, but is it metaphysically possible? If your body is entirely deconstructed, turned into bits of information, transmitted some distance, and then reconstructed, is it still really you at the end? I guess I identify most with Dr McCoy on that one.

    But yeah, a more rapid way of getting from point A to point B over a long distance would be nice. It’s the bi-annual frustration of my wife and I that our trips to see my parents have us landing in an airport which is 4 hours’ drive from their house, and that her parents live 10 hours away from us by car.

  22. Jeannine

    So thrilled you’re going to be on The Journey Home! My husband and I love that show, and could Marcus Grodi be any more kind and sincere and smart? You are so blessed to be meeting him!

    Have a great time…and I would go with navy.

  23. Barbara C.

    I don’t jog or anything, but the first thing that came to mind was ELO…especially “Shine a Little Love”. Then I started thinking ABBA and the Bee Gees and some Madonna (like “Music”). Or in a different direction maybe “Blister in the Sun”, “Punk Rock Girl”, “Seven Nation Army”, or “Pack Up” (Eliza Doolittle). Those songs pump me up and make me feel good.

  24. Kara

    A Facebook auction for the orphan Malcolm we all helped during lent is going all weekend on FB! Check out my quick takes!

  25. Amy@Diapeepees

    I never knew there was such a thing as the CNMC, looks intriguing, hope it’s going big places.
    I wouldn’t worry much about the show bkgd. for your outfits. Just work on the outfits. One challenge at a time. Email me if you want to double check your cell-phone photos with someone…I love fashion, if only I had somewhere to wear it. I’m so desperate I’ve been dressing up for my kids’ swimming lessons.
    And I purposely avoid trying to decipher music lyrics, because I think every band I’ve ever liked probably isn’t very into Theology of the Body.

  26. tanya

    I emailed the Journey Home a couple of years ago telling them to Get.You.On.The.Show. Yay!!

  27. Jackie

    You look good on TV and you dress very smart 🙂

  28. rebecca

    I only listen to music on the treadmill, because outside I am VERY unobservant! I created a pandora station for my treadmill runs and some good, mostly clean super high energy songs are:

    Cascada – Evacuate the dancefloor
    Gwen Stefani – What you waiting for, Rich girl
    Kanye west – Jesus walks
    Madonna – Hung up, Sorry (from Confessions on a dancefloor)
    Rihanna – Pon de replay

    AVOID: newer Rihanna, Kesha, Nicki Minaj, Gaga (duh)

  29. Kayla @ The Alluring World

    I think you’re the most popular introvert I *know*, what with all these media appearances!

  30. Ellen

    If you are going to Columbus, you must go to Jeni’s ice cream. They have several locations. Seriously, you will be amazed. http://www.jenis.com/

    Re: #6 — I’m guessing you’re referring to Gaga. Such great beats, such horrifying videos.

  31. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    Again, thank you for your honesty, which has again been a much-needed source of laughter for me today. You always have such wonderful stories, clothing woes, and interesting insights into daily life. I can so see you trying to show someone you just met pics of your kids and you scrolling through a bazillion self-portraits of what must seem to them like a worn out mommy who’s amusing herself by playing dress-up then taking pics of herself in the mirror. And now I need to go find something to wear the ordination I’m attending tomorrow:)

  32. Martha

    Yes, yes, avoid (listening to closely to the lyrics of) Lady Gaga, but she has great beats. I find myself dancing around the kitchen during ‘Bad Romance’ and the like. Yes, I know. But still. If you need high energy, she’s a pretty go-to gal. That and LMFAO. Party Rock is fun. Yes, I said it. Little Offspring thrown in there (You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid), and I’m a complete package of Catholic Homeschooling Mom Shock and Awe if you walk in on me during my elliptical workout.

    How about Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand? Or Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People?

    Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night (Taio Cruz?) is fun, too, especially b/c you can exchange their lyrics for your own quite easily, e.g. “Tonight’s the night! Let’s live it up! I got some diapers! Let’s change it up! Go make some dinner! Wipe up some milk! Go nurse that baby! Let’s take a… nap!” Good times. Or as Camp Patton would say, O to the M.

  33. Maria @ La Dolce Vita

    uhm … i don’t listen to gregorian chants when i work out, but i do listen to books on tape. is that strange?

    • Linebyline

      Not at all. I typically exercise to podcasts. (If you’ll grant me that there is some legitimate sense in which I can validly and honestly construct a sentence beginning with “I typically exercise…”) Gives me a chance to catch up on my podcast backlog, especially since I currently can’t listen in the car.

      I figure if I wanted exercise *music*, I’d dig into my collection of stuff downloaded from incompetech.com. Kevin MacLeod composes a lot of music for short film scores and the like, and gives it away for free. It’s all tagged by mood/feel, and there’s one called “driving” that would be perfect for exercise music.

  34. Dwija {House Unseen}

    I guess instead of trying to get my post up as *early* as possible, I should be shooting for as *late* as possible. Now that I’m in the triple digits 2 weeks in a row, it’s the only reasonable goal.


    One of my most favorite running songs is Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’. Actually, probably one of my most favorite songs of all time…aaaaaaaaaaaand now you know how big of a dork I am. You’re welcome!

  35. Maria

    Looking forward to Journey Home! One of my favorite shows.

    Love listening to Light Up the Sky by the Afters, Walking on the Stars by Group 1 Crew, You Are More by Tenth Avenue North, Christ is Risen by Matt Maher,and Alive Again by Matt Maher.

    Have fun in Ohio!

  36. Tom

    Well, I had a book written and then the entered the wrong captcha code and it was all deleted. Grrr. So, short version: very excited to see you on the Journey Home! I hope Mr. Grodi also has you on his Deep in Scripture podcast–I think he’s been having TJH guests do that fairly regularly. That show, your blog and a few others, have been really helpful as I’ve dipped a toe in the Tiber. (Ah, who am I kidding–after almost 6 years of investigation, I’m in up to my neck at this point! Might finally start RCIA this year, though my wife is none too thrilled. <–understatement).

    Keep up the great work!

  37. Bella

    I’m sure many will love the show The Journey Home. I personally think it’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing this. What’s the best workout song for you?


  38. Lauren

    RE: workout songs

    My oldest daughter and I were recently discussing how it seems to be possible to determine whether a particular song has inappropriate subject matter based on the beat or the type of electronic effects used or whatever. And it’s soooo true! Why can’t there be throbbing, frenetic techno or hip hop songs about eating cupcakes or rock climbing or something?

  39. Ceci

    *Full Disclosure* I don’t censor my workout music…quite honestly I don’t know that I’ve ever even given much thought to it. Surely this is a reflection on my sorry self, rather than a statement of clean playlists (um. I just checked, they definitely are not.) The amount of irritation/pain/anger that exercise (or the looming expectation of said muscle movement) generates demands deep and loud rap/hip-hop/dance beats. Christian music, however pleasant for some, would only further my homicidal/suicidal exercise rage. And surely, God is against KILLING right? So, my basic list has a few favorites always in heavy rotation (Children’s Story-Slick Rick, Poison-BelBivDevoe, Que Onda Guero-Beck.) and the usual suspects: Tupac, Biggie, DMX, MJ, T.I., etc… Love me some old school hip-hop (Slick Rick, Rakim, MC Lyte, Run DMC) of which usually only contains references to gang violence, police or drugs, so safer than the graphic rhymes we’re stuck with today. Also, for my fantastic tip: should you not speak either Spanish or French (my homeschooling mother gave us the gift of Latin) I’d load up a playlist of Reggaeton and French Rap (MC Solaar, NTM, Booba). Sick beats and BONUS! You can’t understand a word they are saying.

  40. Potamiaena

    Catholic rapper named Righteous B–“Bounce Bounce Drop Drop”
    Dan Lord–Great peppy tunes on his website!

    I’m 54–so i like the disco tunes! I put all my disco on a playlist called “Clean Da House”:

    Brick House-the Commodores
    You Sexy Thing- Hot Chocolate
    Get Down Tonight-KC & The Sunshine Band
    Best of My Love-The Emotions
    Got to Give it Up-Kim Waters
    Boogie Shoes-KC again
    Play That Funky Music-Wild Cherry
    Firecracker-Mass Production
    I Love the Nightlife-Alicia Bridges

  41. Veronica Mitchell

    My favorite workout music is Tobymac’s Diverse City album.

    And if I haven’t missed you already, you should call me when you’re in Ohio.

  42. Thallia

    I just love these links and the post itself so much! Anyway, thank you for sharing this post for us..Keep it up!

  43. Brianna

    Your posts always make me laugh! I have had the SAME problem on my camera with the “What I Wore Wednesday” linkup posts I used to do. Don’t pay any attention to the million headless shots of me in front of the mirror…:)

    I think you could wear gray, yellow (though it can be tricky), red, or blue. I also think this is too late because you’ve already left and possibly have already taped it. I’m sure you looked great! Can’t wait to watch!

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