It doesn’t look like it sounds

So I’ve been conducting an experiment of sorts. This goes back, oh, I don’t know… a year and a half or so? It all started when I told the barista at Starbucks my name is “MJ” (in order to eliminate confusion), and at the end of the line they announced my drink and called me “Mojo.”

Yes. MO-JO.

It was at this point I realized even a simple name could be butchered by the “let me write your name on this cup” paradigm. Thus, my experiment was born.

First, the rules:

  1. I tell them my name is Marijke.
  2. If they ask me to spell it, I spell it.
  3. If they do not ask me to spell it, I do not spell it.
  4. (Pretty simple stuff here, people.)

And now, the results.

When they got it so close:

photo 4 (4)When they clearly think I am someone else:

photo 5 (1) photo 2 (5)

photo 4 (3)TWO Miranda’s? Golly.. Maybe I should enunciate.

When they majored in hooked on phonics:

photo 3 (1)photo 1 (3)

photo 3 (2) photo 1 (5)

When I spelled it for him and he STILL got it wrong:

photo 2 (4)

When the only appropriate response is, “Really?”:

photo 4 (2)photo 1 (4)

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (1) photo 5


Marijke. It’s like Mariah with a K. [It just doesn’t look like it sounds.]

First, some good news…

It’s a good week, folks. And not just because it’s Thanksgiving (although this has long been my favorite holiday). No, the reason this is such a good week is that this is the week my new single is finally done.

Oh, you didn’t know I’ve been working on a single?

I’ve been working on a single. (Yay!)

So you’re probably asking yourself, “When do I get to hear it?” The good news is, you can preview the song Here! On this blog! In the right hand navigation of the home page. I’ll have the song up for the next 48 hours, so listen to your heart’s content. Later this week I’ll submit the song for digital distribution, and as soon as it’s ready to buy online, I’ll let you know.

In the mean time, maybe check out my new face book page?

Happy listening!

A blog at 1:13 am you say?

Inexplicably: I’m here. I’m awake. I’m writing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately.
Mostly I consider sharing anecdotal evidence about how my name is super hard to spell (just ask the guys at starbucks), or how my position as an IT employee is ever increasingly cemented by the number of machines accumulating on my desk.
But I’ve also been making a concerted effort to write more music lately – trying to write a song every week (or every two…)

You’ll notice, (when you try songwriting), that it’s really rather difficult.
Lyrics, especially.
I find lyrics to be the hardest part of songwriting because they are the part that MATTER, aren’t they?  And even more challenging is writing a great  lyric, one that not only means something but is also cleverly and conceptually devised.

One way to do this is to practice, but the other sure fire way to get a great song lyric is to have something super awesome/scary/funny/traumatic/celebratory happen in your life.

If not, you’ll just have to read about events of the sort. [And practice.]

As such, in addition to writing, I’ve been reading a ton. And I thought it might be fun to share the books I’m reading right now:

    1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
      Let’s be honest, it was just embarrassing that I’ve never read anything by Lewis until now.  I haven’t completely finished this book, but I’m close. Of course it’s a classic, but I also really admire the way he can say SO MUCH with so few words.
    2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
      I first heard this author when she gave a Ted Talk on vulnerability. She writes the way she speaks, and it’s a little like you’re sitting on the couch in her living room, coffee cup in hand (by the way, I never sit on couches without a coffee cup in my hand). I’m impressed with what she calls “wholehearted living,” and I found the book to be an enjoyable and thought provoking read.
    3. Anything by Jennie Allen
      I am about 2/3 way through this book – and while I don’t LOVE the style it’s written in – I do love the way it’s causing me to consider the brevity of life on earth, the weight of eternity, and how I live my life while I’m here.
    4. Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan
      This is probably the book I’ve most been looking forward to reading – and I’ve just started. Into the preface, introduction, and first chapter, I love it already. He has a style of writing that is easy and peaceful. (You know those writers, the ones who were meant to really communicate through the written word?)  The concept is one I’m very interested in, (Being with Jesus every season of your soul), and it’s a book to savor, not to be rushed. I can already tell it will be difficult for me not to simply plow through.
    5. Love Does by Bob Goff
      Have yet to start this one, but it looks interesting. Donald Miller wrote about Bob in his book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and apparently, Bob is living the best story on the planet.


You can’t really see it, but underneath all those books is my journal. A big, black, boxy journal on which is printed this quote:


And it may or may not be true, but it’s certainly something to think about.

Happy weekend, friends.

You Know Where To Find Me

The world is filled with too much noise, I think.

Too many opinions, perceptions, activity – all vying for my attention.
(And there isn’t enough attention in the world for all that.)

I find I’m distracted, (and if I were truly honest, numb) more often than I care to think. Numb in the sense that I spend so much of my energy tuned into what is happening around me, how I’m perceived, what will happen in the future, my expectations, hopes, and disappointments… that it’s incredibly difficult to really stay connected to ‘me’.

To stay connected to RIGHT NOW.

I’ve been considering these words lately, the ones that tell me “You can only live your own life.” And if that’s the case, (which, duh, of course it’s the case), I want to really live this life. So I’m separating myself from the noise a little bit…

And maybe in that, in the settling down and zeroing in, maybe I’ll find I actually have a little more to say.

Took this today on my run by the beach...
(My condolences to all of those who got snow today.)

If I find Ludo, I’ll let you know

Why is it so difficult to write?

Words, music….

Lately all my notebooks are brick walls.
Brick walls with nothing to say and no reflection.  Too slippery to hold my thoughts.

[I guess these particular brick walls are moss covered…]  

Maybe it’s a matter of becoming my own again. 
Maybe I’m trying to write for someone other than myself. 
Maybe there are seasons, and this is just one of “those” seasons.

Of course I’m just rambling now.
These words, they don’t mean anything.
They’re just a way for me to write myself out of a moss covered brick walled maze.

Old Me, You Make Me Laugh

Just when you thought there was nothing to blog about…
Wanting to write, you start browsing through old blog drafts, old ideas that were never published, looking for some inspiration.

And just when you thought you had nothing interesting to say, “old” you, the you from spring 2009, she throws you a bone.

Old me, you make me laugh.


You know that feeling you get when you finally realize that you are completely incapable of something? Defeat, yes. But also – elation. Because when you KNOW you can’t be something, it becomes something you can stop wanting to be.

Take me, for example.

I kind of used to want to be black.




The Choice to Be

Last week in my songwriting class, I heard a phrase that has stuck with me for the last 10 days… I don’t even remember the context of what was being said, but the simplicity of the statement found a home in me.

Writers Write
Runners Run

Some days, I don’t feel like a writer. I sit, I try, I mess around on the guitar… But after an hour I stand up, put my guitar back on its stand, and wonder…. What is it that I’m trying to do, exactly?

But I read those words, [Writers Write / Runners Run], and I know that being a writer is more than just a measurable result, a productive feeling or a paycheck.

Being a writer is a choice that requires action.

The comparison, contrasting writing with running, it means something to me now. It means something to me because in the last 6 months I became a runner. And it didn’t happen because I was born a runner. It didn’t happen because running is easy. I didn’t become a runner by magically showing up at the track one morning. I became a runner by choosing to run, over and over and over again.

And so I look at the words, written on a canvas and hanging on my wall.
And I remind myself of truth.

Whatever the goal, whatever the desire..
I can choose to do the thing that transforms me into who I want to be.

A Re-Post

I was reminded today of a little poem I wrote a few years back, reminded because I cut some chocolate Easter candy with a plastic knife. And I thought, in honor of work and Easter and chocolate and knives, it might be fun to do a little re-post of one of my favorite UAA memories.

[PS, I CANNOT believe this happened over 3 years ago. Wowza!]


I work in an office and I sit at a desk.
It’s a desk full of items and quite a bit of mess.
Sometimes I’ll find little trinkets or toys.
Something inevitably bound to bring joy.
They’ve been in my desk drawers for God knows how long,
Left there by workers who now are long gone.
Take today, case in point, when what did I find?
But a mini swiss army knife, like no other kind.
Enscribed with our logo, I showed Sal with glee.
A little confused she said, “what, here, have we?”
“It’s a swiss army knife, Sal. Are you that naieve?”
But she wasn’t listening, and a plan she did weave.
“I know what we’ll do with this knife,” said she.
“I’ve got an idea; it’s just what we need.”
“Remember that dark chocolate bunny you got?”
“It’s this knife we’ll use when it needs to be cut!”
So I know that this knife is the best kind of gift,
It’s a Swiss CRAZY knife to give our spirits a lift.

I Ran An Extra Mile Yesterday By Accident

Have I told you that I’m a runner now?

I’m a for-real, bona-fide, cute-outfit-wearing runner now. I can run 7 miles! Before January, I’d never run more than 3 miles in my life. So this is huge.

Not only that, but pretty soon I’ll be running 13.1 miles


[I know!]

The thing is, I’m not just running for my good health. I’m running with a team to support Compassion International. It’s a great organization that works with churches all over the world to help children living in poverty. I love what they do (and love getting letters from the girl I sponsor, Celine).

Would you consider supporting us?

[We are running a heck of a long way, after all.]

To find out more about Compassion or donate to our cause, click here. You’ll get more information about why we’re running – and it’s super easy to give.

Questions? Just ask! I’d love for you to be a part of this.

[And then maybe I’ll write a song about you and it will go something like this:

“Jenny gave to our cause.
She is really, really hot…”

See? That could be you! What more could you want in this life?
Support a great cause and get a song written after you…

Now that’s what I call bi-winning.

A Soliloquy On-Time

I have a problem.

It’s a time problem, really.
I have an on-time problem.

Just try to make me late, I dare you.

An impossibility.

Even when I try. (Yes, sometimes I try.)
Even when I think I will be late.
I’m still on-time.
Early even.

(Unless I’m going to work.)

In which case…
Well, let me put it this way..

Sometimes I work late.