Currents, May 2015

5.07.2015

Drink: I had my first Moscow Mule, and I think I prefer a Dark & Stormy.

Project: Okay, I broke through the this-isn't-going-anywhere wall on ancestry.com and it. is. addictive. It's so weird that I'm having a hell of a time tracking down photos for certain older relatives, when so many of us living now are photographed, tagged, and selfie'd on an almost daily (or hourly) basis. Our descendants will know more than they ever wanted to about us. :)

TV Shows: I want to post each season 3 Inside Amy Schumer skit on every media platform I participate in. Also I watched The Jinx long after everyone else did and all I wanted to do was talk about it for like 72 hours. And I'm enjoying Daredevil more than I thought I would!

Movie: Saw the second Avengers movie and it had its moments, but overall there were certain major-y plot things I didn't care for at all. I've also been watching documentaries on things like Eastern European dating sites (basically mail-order brides) and sex trafficking. Because, you know, I need more reasons to feel hopeless about humanity (and misogynist straight men in general).

Food: I'm in a serious, long-term relationship with Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala. 

Celebrity Crush: Charlie Cox's everything.

Book: When I saw that All The Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer prize, it actually made me less excited to read it, as the last winner I tried bored me to tears. But I was compelled from page one! Anthony Doerr managed to write a WWII historical fiction novel that actually made me interested to start learning more about WWII--something I haven't endeavored since high school.

Indulgence: It's May, which means my favorite cupcake is available: lime cake and tequila butter cream frosting (margarita!).

Fashion: On a search for the best convertible backpack/cross-body handbag for traveling. 

Thankfulness: This week my friend Jonathan took me to my SECOND opera (he also took me to my first) as a present for my birthday. It was Mozart's The Magic Flute!

Music: Do any of you who've been to Italy have good 'Italy' music? Like for background listening or for driving in the car? I'm already making a playlist for me and the fam. 

WishlistThis crazy-fabulous coat that I'm pretty sure I would not feel bold enough to wear outside my home. But man would it look killer in my closet.

Reminder: "Don't ever put your happiness in someone else's hands. They'll drop it. They'll drop it every time." - One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak

#160: The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

5.01.2015

The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding (1968)

Favorite Tracks: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" and "Let Me Come On Home" and "The Glory of Love" and "The Huckle-Buck" and "Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out)" and "Ole Man Trouble"

Thoughts: When I was younger my family visited San Francisco a few times and stayed at my great aunt Bernice's house in Berkley. Here's a (well, technically two) picture of her from 1906(ish):



Those trips to the Bay area have a very specific vibe/mood attached to them that is steeped in 1960s music like "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" by Scott McKenzie and of course, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of Bay" by Otis Redding. Eating bread bowls of clam chowder, watching sun-bathing sea lions, and of course riding the BART! I get a warm nostalgic feeling listening to Oldies anyway, but particularly ones associated with childhood memories.

I loved the horns and tambourine in "Let Me Come On Home" and "The Glory of Love" was a fun rendition of that song I've never heard before. The whole album was a joy to listen to, an obvious classic.

Is This Better Than Every Picture Tells A Story?: Just as good!

Currents, April 2015

4.07.2015



Project: I saw that some friends are using ancestry.com, so I'm giving it a free trial but so far haven't learned anything new. I might be doing it wrong?

Movie: I recently re-watched Shirley Valentine which got me (even more) excited for travels this summer.

Food: I'm on a quest to find the best tzatziki sauce within a 10 mile radius. I've already found the best hummus I've ever had.

Drink: I'm trying to limit the amount of diet pop I drink. Like only for special occasions, like eating pizza or Asian food. 

Celebrity Crush: With Poldark (see below) Aidan Turner is back on top. 

Obsession: I wish I didn't care that Zayn left One Direction, I WISH I DIDN'T CARE.

Book: Still Alice by Lisa Genova (and then plan to watch the movie).

Thankfulness: Stevie has a best friend, her name is Luna, and seeing her interact joyfully with another dog makes me so happy. Here's a shot of them from this weekend:

Fashion: Trying to find the most comfortable walking sandals that are disguised as high fashion sandals and don't look orthopedic.

TV show: I'm hooked on another period romance, this time with one of my all-time favorites: Aidan Turner in Poldark. It's not the best written period drama I've ever seen but the music and cinematography are beautiful. Though I've got to say I'm wary of recommending period romances without having read the books first because, you know, sometimes you think you're watching a sexy Scottish time-traveling romance and then the leading man goes and beats our feminist heroine with his belt for disobeying him. Outlander, ladies and gentlemen! Good for only 8 episodes, and about a third of a book.

Music: I've been listening to this song on repeat since I heard it on Scandal.

Wishlist: I gotta say, I would never have a use for it but this cockatoo pitcher speaks to me.

Reminder"Remember everything is right until it’s wrong. You’ll know when it’s wrong." - Ernest Hemingway, Garden of Eden

#161: OK Computer by Radiohead

3.26.2015

OK Computer by Radiohead (1997)

Favorite Tracks: "Let Down" and "No Surprises" and "The Tourist"

Thoughts: (Pre-Listening) Well, to be honest no one should care what I think about this album because Radiohead has long-been revered as one of the most beloved bands by picky music-lovers and I'm over here on the verge of tears because Zayn has left One Direction. I mean, I think we all knew it was just a matter of time. Part of me thought Harry would be the first to go, but he's just too sweet. Not that Zayn isn't sweet, I just see him being more independent. And he's so gorgeous and talented that it makes sense to do his own thing. Being in a boy band must be grating, no matter how wonderful your band mates. Still, part of me wishes they all could have decided together to disband, but the other part of me is glad that the other four are staying together? It's a complex grief.

Anyway, OK Computer.

We heard Kid A back at #420 in 2011, and I was not a fan. But OK Computer is supposed to be their more popular work, and I'm already a big fan of one of the songs, "No Surprises." I discovered it in the lamest of ways, through a TV show. The season 6 opener of House MD features the song as we watch a montage of House in the asylum. It aired before my first surgery and I ended up listening to this song a ton between my first surgery and last hospitalization. Now obviously the only real correlation between House and I were the fact we were in hospital beds not feeling well, but at the time I related strongly to the constant pill swallowing, isolation from the outside world, and boring routine.























Anyway, the moral of the story is that I have a real attachment to "No Surprises" but who knows how I'll feel about the rest of the album.

(Post-Listening) I liked the first half of the last third of "Paranoid Android" and it turns out I did know another song, of course from a movie: "Exit Music (For A Film)" in Romeo + Juliet (2006). The lyrics of "Climbing Up the Walls" were indecipherable (on purpose, I imagine) and "The Tourist" was kind of nice.

Is This Better Than Every Picture Tells A Story?: Nah.

Norse Feline

3.25.2015

My dear friends Lee and Johanna are having a baby this summer, and so I wanted to make them something for their nursery. Lee and Johanna share my love of cats, and come from Nordic heritage (of which I am ever envious) so when I came across this print on Etsy, the inspiration was instant. So I used it as a base for the pattern and then went from there!

As per usual, I didn't choose the design until a week before the shower, so there were many a late night and Gilmore Girls viewing (I'm rewatching for the adorably funny Gilmore Guys podcast) and my thumb and pointer fingertips are still sore but I got it done in time! Well, barely. I didn't even have a chance to photograph it in the frame before wrapping it. But here it is before it went in the frame:









I was able to get a pic of it in the frame with its new owners! (They're also holding the cat hand puppet and book I gave them as well. There's a cat in the book, so you can tell the theme I was working with.)







Congratulations, Lee and Johanna! Can't wait to meet your little one so I can shower them with more cat gifts. ;)

 (this last photo was taken by a co-worker, not me)

#197-#162: Personal Favorites

3.18.2015


I wanted to post a music video from Every Picture Tells A Story, but sadly not enough good videos exist of Rod singing those songs from the 70s. Pity! So I went with Linda's cover of Little Feat's "Willin'" because if you haven't listened to it yet you really, really, really should, and fortunately for us there's loads of quality videos of her concerts in the 70s.

I haven't done a 'best of' since TWO-THOUSAND-TWELVE. What happened? Sadly, I've only covered 35 albums since then! Ridiculous. My apologies to any of you who actually read my reviews!

So, top ten of #197 - #162.

1. Every Picture Tells A Story by Rod Stewart
2. Fleetwood Mac by Fleetwood Mac
3. Exodus by Bob Marley & The Wailers / Natty Dread by Bob Marley & The Wailers (I couldn't choose!)
4. Heart Like A Wheel by Linda Ronstadt
5. Close To You by The Carpenters
6. Transformer by Lou Reed
7. My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello 
8. Desire by Bob Dylan
9. Buffalo Springfield Again by Buffalo Springfield 
10. Highway to Hell by AC/DC 

Runners-up: Desire by Bob Dylan and 1999 by Prince

#237 - #198
#271 - #238
#306 - #272
#337 - #307
#370 - #338
#401 - #371
#432 - #402
#462 - #433
#500 - #463

Happy listening!

#162: 1999 by Prince

1999 by Prince (1982)

Favorite Tracks: "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" and "Let's Pretend We're Married" and "D.M.S.R." and "Automatic" and "Lady Cab Driver" (weird sex chant notwithstanding)

Thoughts: PA-RIIIIIIIIIIIIIINSE! Prince. There's only been one Prince album so far, Dirty Mind back at #202. 1999 is Prince's 5th album, and it's followed by none other than Purple Rain. I confess growing up I actually thought the song "1999" was written in the 90s...it wasn't until it was actually 1999 that I learned otherwise. And man, what a song. Let's get into it!

So if I gotta die I'm gonna listen to my body tonight. Leave it to Prince to make a protest against nuclear proliferation into an infectious dance anthem. And he follows it up with the incomparable "Little Red Corvette." Prince is one of those artists whose explicitly sexual lyrics still don't keep me from singing his songs along with my dad. Well, not all of his songs. The ones allowed on the radio.

This is my first time hearing "Delirious" and I liked it, but synthesizer (?) beat got old quickly for me. I did enjoy "Let's Pretend We're Married" more--had me singing along before it was over. "All the Critics Love U in New York" was about 3 minutes longer than I would have liked, but the spoken flight attendant innuendo interlude in "International Lover" was awesome (and hilarious). Made me think of "Take Off With Us."

Is This Better Than Every Picture Tells A Story?: The album starts out SO strong, but got a bit tiresome for me in the latter half. Still SO GOOD.