4/9/14

The Post About The Popcast Amazon Giveaway

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In August of last year, Knox McCoy and I launched a podcast called The Popcast. Thirty-three episodes later, we're still going strong. The fact that people listen is celebrity gravy. It's also a bit overwhelming since I'm not always confident about the difference between Judy Garland and Natalie Wood or how to pronounce the word "totalitarianism."

But we all know on the Internet that a lack of knowledge doesn't have to be an obstacle.

See YouTube.

Here's a sample of our recent episode topics:

  • Episode: Controversy surrounding Noah, the response to the How I Met Your Mother series finale and feelings on this past season of The Walking Dead.
  • Episode: The idea of casting beyond race, musical superlatives and the dark side of Girl Scout cookies.
  • Episode: Ill-fated TV romances in light of The Mindy Project's return, celebs who escaped the life to become productive citizens and favorite LOST plane theories.
  • Episode: The musical and cinematic career of Mandy Moore versus her contemporaries, the Oscars and Andrew Garfield's alleged villainy.

Never miss an episode of The Popcast by Subscribing via iTunes.

If you need more encouragement to become codependent on us, my podcast partner Knox is hosting a little giveaway.

He and his fantastic wife, Ashley, are birthing their third child on April 16. We want you to guess the gender and the weight.

Simply follow the instructions from Rafflecopter below. The winner who comes closest to guessing the gender AND weight of the McCoy tiebreaker baby will snag a $50 gift card to Amazon and one random winner will get a $25 Amazon gift card. Bonus entries for following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3/19/14

The Post About More Than Raising Awareness

Last month, people across the Internet drew a red X on their hands to shine a light on the continued existence of slavery across the globe. A good thing.

As someone who's worked in nonprofits for a long time, I know the value of those events considered "friendraisers." We always need folks in the know about the causes we care about. 

However, the next steps are the meat of the matter to agents of change. Finding ways to prompt people to care in word AND deed. Nicole wrote about those who never make it past the red X in this thought provoking post about slacktivism. 

Sex trafficking — the forced prostitution of women and girls — is a billion-dollar industry. It's not just in brothels in Taiwanese back alleys (my initial vision of it.) It's happening in America. It's happening in Birmingham.

That brings me to my friend and blogger, Rachel Callahan, who's decided to go beyond the red X.

Rachel is putting hands and feet to her support of this cause by launching Picture Birmingham, a site to sell her images of the Magic City and other great places with all proceeds going to support The WellHouse. The WellHouse is a faith-based organization offering immediate shelter and transitional housing to women who have been trafficked, are prostituting, or otherwise sexually exploited.

And the photographs are stupid good.

My first order from the site was this set of notecards. Gorgeous.


I wanted to do more than just spend all my stay-at-home-Jamie money so I contributed one photo of my own of this snazzy city. 


This was a particularly dark time in my life because I ran my first 5K at Sloss Furnaces. I won't be doing that again.

You can snag a print or canvas of my photo and dozens more at Picture Birmingham and go beyond the red X. Also consider liking PB on Facebook or following Rachel on Twitter.

RABBIT BONUS: If you use the code "rabbits" at Picture Birmingham, then you get 11% off any purchase through March 31. 

Disclaimer: I don't get any kickback for this post, except Rachel's kids might like me more than they do now. 

{images: Picture Birmingham and Jamie}

3/6/14

The Post About Waiting Not So Patiently

Do you write a to-do list each day or week?

As an ADD survivor, I've never been that ambitious. I tend to have lists that focus on the next hour. And there's bargaining even in that short bullet list. "Jamie, if you reply to email for 45 minutes then you can watch 15 minutes of cat videos."

Since I'm still a Stay-At-Home-Jamie, my life looks different. Being unemployed has added all these hours to my day. Some are spent being productive doing freelance work or volunteering or spending time with neglected family and friends.

But some of those hours are spent very aware of feelings I've ignored. The loudest is anxiety.

While I was working full-time, I just plowed ahead through long work weeks trying to be more than my job description required. I'm a recovering people-pleaser who struggles with "no" and generally nods in agreement and then competes to be the best, fastest, and most. But all the "yes" often lands people pleasers somewhere between mediocre and burned out.  

The end of almost every day of the past every year has been spent racking my brain for the task I forgot or the person I overlooked or the project that needs one last moment of attention.

That anxiety lingers even now, almost three months later. I have to remind myself, often out loud, that I don't have a job. There's nowhere to be. There's no schedule. This immediately births a more paralyzing stress - I must find a job. I must talk to people who can help me find a job. I must learn to answer questions people ask about me finding a job.

Job, job, job.

God prompted this storyline, so I've been waiting on Him to wrap up the cliffhanger. Waiting not-so-patiently.

This past week, the patience had been more difficult to access. Of course, God sent me messages in response.

I stumbled on this quote:
"Most times, the waiting really isn’t about the waiting, it’s about becoming." Lindsee Eddy

Then I stumbled on this passage in Isaiah:
Why would you ever complain or whine, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me?”
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.

And no surprise, God text messaged me through a friend on Tuesday who didn't know how toxic my anxiety was becoming:
"Last night I was in my kitchen asking God like why oh why are you making her wait??? Come on now!? (I was a little ticked, lol!) and I clearly heard him say, 'I'm not making her wait. I'm letting her rest. This is my holy rest, my gift!' A season of rest is right and fitting. It's his gift to you, preparing you for his next."

So I don't have to rush or be anxious. I can rest. There's no task or person or project or job that matters more than now.

Focus on the becoming, not the waiting. Rinse and repeat.

What are you anxious about? Do you struggle in the waiting?  What's your "cat video reward" for accomplishing tasks?

2/28/14

The Post About The Rabbit Recommends: February 2014

Each week or so I post things of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.


1.Classic Movies in Miniature Style. As part of his graduation thesis, Murat Palta decided to blend traditional oriental motifs with contemporary western films. Pop culture art is a favorite. Particularly when it features such delights as Star Wars, Inception, and Kill Bill.

2. The Popcast. This month on our pop culture podcast, Knox and I tackled the Olympics, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, House of Cards, Jimmy Fallon, Pharrell, Valentine's Day, True Detective, The Oscars, Alec Baldwin, Canada, Seth Meyers, Boycotts, The Super Bowl and much more.

3. Rapper's Delight. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon debuted this month. Jimmy's wheelhouse is viral video content. Don't hesitate to check out his Lip Sync Battle with Paul Rudd or The History of Rap 5 with Justin Timberlake. My personal favorite is Brian Williams' Rapper's Delight.


4. Pixar Theory: Last summer, Jon Negroni wrote a great piece called A Grand Unified Theory of Pixar which hypothesized all the movies were connected in one cohesive timeline. It's a fascinating read. This month, Negroni put forth my favorite theory: Andy's Mom in Toy Story is Jessie's Previous Owner. Perfect.

5. Ellie Holcomb: I've always enjoyed the music of Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. Drew's wife (and one of the "neighbors") Ellie Holcomb released her first full-length solo album this month, As Sure As The Sun. It is special. Not only was it a Kickstarter baby, but it's good music. Each song is like a page torn from a journal of a person wrestling with God and faith and trust. It hit home.

6. Stormscapes. I live in "tornado alley" in a city full of trees so it's rare to see the beauty in storms. Last summer, Nicolaus Wegner camped out in South Dakota and Wyoming and captured thunderstorms and supercells at their fanciest.


7. My Life in Middlemarch. Rebecca Mead writes a book that's part memoir, part literary criticism and part Eliot biography. This exquisite novel made me fall in love with that high school required reading and believe it to be more than I recall.

8. Sean Lowe's I Am Second. I'm a fan of this particular Bachelor. His video and Annie Downs' take on it confirms why. 

9. The Americans. In the aforementioned Popcast, Knox has tried without fail to have me fall for this 1980s cold war spy drama on A&E. I finally caved when the first season went up on Amazon Prime. After a 4 day binge, I was completely hooked. The KGB is just a wallpaper for this tumultuous drama about a marriage in crisis. So good. Not suitable for all grandmothers.

10. This Old Man. Roger Angell wrote this frank piece for The New Yorker about living in your nineties. Here's just a sample of the goodness:
But I believe that everyone in the world wants to be with someone else tonight, together in the dark, with the sweet warmth of a hip or a foot or a bare expanse of shoulder within reach. Those of us who have lost that, whatever our age, never lose the longing: just look at our faces. If it returns, we seize upon it avidly, stunned and altered again.
11. Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events. A list that will make you furrow your brow. Includes: The first wagon train of the Oregon Trail heads out the same year the fax machine is invented.

My Favorite February Tweets



Note: I included this because each of those pairings is truly the most romantic. And I was proud I knew them all.





Linking up with the delightful Leigh Kramer to share what I loved in February.

What did you fancy last month?

2/27/14

The Post About Wishing for Jamie Golden's Life


2008 was a year of good decisions. I traveled to Mexico for the first time. I grew out my bangs. I reserved the user name "jamiegolden" on a beta email service called G-Mail.

I didn't anticipate it becoming my go-to email address since I was happy with the stable and secure "jgold15@netzero.net."

But alas, Netzero went the way of scrunchies and Clearly Canadian.

There I was, an early adopter of something valuable that would last. I took much pride in being "jamiegolden@gmail.com" and thought the other Jamies could stick it.

I won.

Until I received an email intended for one of those Jamies. Specifically, jamie.golden@gmail.com.

For the past two years, I've been receiving the occasional email for Jamie. Here's what I know about her:
  • Last year, she traded in her BMW for a new Audi. 
  • She spends large portions of her income at J. Crew, Madewell, and Zara.
  • Invitations to parties on rooftops on Lexington Avenue and weekends in the Hamptons are standard.
  • Her hair is specially designed by a "creative director" who charges $100 for a cut and style.
  • She's missioned to Germany and volunteers for a community justice organization.
But the best correspondence I've mistakenly received was a blind date inquiry. A gentleman reached out to Jamie upon suggestion from a mutual friend.

Do you want to guess?

Yep, you guessed correctly. He was a doctor who loved helping those in need and wanted to travel the world. Plus, his entire five paragraph email was grammatically correct.

I replied to that email just like Katherine Heigl would in a romantic comedy. I just knew it would lead to a meet-cute I would regale at parties and tell our baby as she fell asleep to night lights on the ceiling and essential oils on her feet.

But alas, he went the way of spam and junk mail. No reply.

Does East Coast Jamie get emails intended for me? Does she make bulleted lists of all the ways she envies my LinkedIn connections or Kia oil changes or invitations to pay my overdue book fines?

Probably not. But I do know tomorrow it's sunny and 59° here and she should hunker down for
20° and an ice storm.

I win.

What would your email reveal about your life?
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