Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Discoveries


The other day there was a post on one of the news sites that I read (I don’t remember which one sadly) that had a question about recommendations for bands that were cool. I love posts like this because it gives me fodder for finding new bands and new music. The full list is pretty extensive and I haven’t been through more than two of the bands yet (and not even through much of their music). I put the list in it’s entirety below (at the end of the post) so you can peruse as you wish, but I’m only going to discuss two of the bands on the list in this post. There are most likely duplicates as it is the conglomeration of a few lists that were in comments to the original post I read.

The first band is one called Florence and the Machine. I really like a couple of their songs. The lead singer’s voice reminds me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it.

I love the beginning to this song. Her a’capella little ditty is awesome. Her voice is fantastic. In some of the other songs below you can notice what can only be called “imperfections,” but I think that’s part of what makes her voice so great. She has a raw quality to her voice that I really like in this song.

The video for this one makes complete sense to me. The song is kind of “out there” in some way that is kind of hard to describe. I like the power behind the chorus and the melody is great on this one. I like how it goes into the slow part near the middle too. Her voice is really displayed well. Her range is great, and then they hit you with the full backup again. Awesome.

I’ll be honest, this video is kind of weird, but I think with a band named Florence and the Machine, that can be expected. It was actually after listening to this song again that I finally realized who she sounds like to me.

It reminds me of this lead singer a bit.

The Cranberries were a little underappreciated by the harder core music lovers. Their material wasn’t mind blowing or anything like that, but they put together some really great riffs and her voice is pretty impressive.
There’s also a little bit of
mixed in. Her voice is hot. In a similar way to how Donna Lewis’ voice is hot in “I Love You Always Forever.” Hot.
Back to Florence and the Machine.
I really like the Beyonce version of this song, and yet I think I might like this version a little more. The first couple times I heard it, it really bothered me when her voice would “crack” on certain parts, and then I started to really like that about it. The song is really good for her type of voice where she has a lot of emotion behind it, and that emotion comes through as the raw quality.


This really isn’t a “video” per se. Yes, it’s on YouTube, but someone just basically took a picture and put the music with it. This one just has a catchy tune, at the same as showcasing her voice.
Florence and the Machine is a band that I think my wife would like. She hasn’t heard them much yet because I found them while the family was on vacation without me. The only solace I could find when I came home at night to a home with only one small dog to keep me company was music. I would then proceed to cry myself to sleep clutching her pillow to my chest; all the while inhaling the fleeting scent of her perfume. 
Now, a band which is very different from Florence and the Machine. It’s a duo that is hard to compare to anything else really. They are a group called Ratatat (be careful when you look them up, there is a rap group called Ratatat as well). There are actually a bunch more Ratatat songs that I like, but I didn’t want to make this post that long. Let me know if you are interested in my full playlist.

Sadly this is not the official video for this song, just something someone made up for some college class. This songs seems outside my normal “like” region because it’s pretty repetitive, but I really like the “wildcat” noise for some reason. Probably something along the similar lines as to why I like the gunshot noise from MIA’s Paper Planes song.


This also is not the “official” video for the song, but I liked it. Ratatat really doesn’t shout out anything. They just lay down a nice groove with some good guitar to go over the top. That is basically the gist of their music. I find it’s really good program to. It doesn’t get in the way of the thought process, but also has a few moments that surprise you and bring you back to different levels of thought.

The “organ” in this one is really great over the “hip hop” beat, and then when the guitar comes in, it’s perfected. I love the beat to this song and they slow groove it has going. It hits the little interlude in the middle with the high pitched “bell” sound and provides a nice break from the heavier groove. They like to play with rhythm a little too where they take the normal rhythm they have been doing for a little while and then change it up ever so slightly.

For some reason this one reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite. I am not sure why though. The organ at the beginning is what really does it I think. The “chorus” of this song is awesome, I love that part.

This video is weird. That is all.

This video is awesome not only because of the music, but because it looks like they basically just took some scenes from “The Brave Little Toaster” and put the music to it (I’m pretty sure this is not an official video). Just another great groove to this song.

This one is probably my favorite Ratatat song (at least until I listen to them again and find another one that I enjoy more that day). I have been really liking Ratatat recently. As I said, I think they are great to program to, which is what I spend most of my days doing.

I may or may not pick more bands from the list below to blog about. It depends on if any of them catch my fancy enough, or if I even get through any of them before I find something else to write about.

Just as an FYI, Maynard Ferguson’s MF Horn 1-6 are available on CD at Maynard Ferguson's Website.

The Full List:

Florence and the Machine
Jamie T
Bloc Party
The XX
LCD Soundsystem
Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys
Does it Offend You, Yeah?
The Avalanches
Amadou & Mariam
The Go! Team
My Morning Jacket
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Flying Lotus
The Gaslamp Killer
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Grizzly Bear
Two Door Cinema Club
TV on the Radio
Tame Impala
Philadelphia Grand Jury
Hot Chip
Fleet Foxes
Death From Above 1979
Crystal Castles
The National
The Temper Trap
Vampire Weekend
Passion Pit
Black Keys
Sufjan Stevens
The Shins
Sleigh Bells
Manchester Orchestra
Nada Surf
All The Saints
Andrew Bird
Animal Collective
Band Of Horses
Bishop Allen
Bon Iver
Build to Spill
Bomb the Bass
Choir of Young Believers
Citizen Cope
Cold war Kids
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Dan Deacon
David Holmes
David Vandervelde
Dinosaur Jr
Dirty Projectors
Drive-By Truckers
Echo And The Bunnymen
Elliot Brood
El Ten Eleven
Fujiya & Miyagi
Gil Scott-Heron
Grand Archives
Head Like A Kite
Helio Sequence
Point Juncture, WA
In Ear Park
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Jose Gonzalez
Junior Boys
Massive Attack
Mates of State
Matt &Kim
Memory Tapes
Mike Snow
Minus the Bear
Noah And The Whale
Ra Ra Riot
The Dandy Warhols
The Dead Weather
The Decemberists
The Drums
The Dutchess and the Duke
The Evens
The Hold Steady
The Horrors
The Maldives
The Muslims
The National
The Roots
The Raconteurs
The Touch Alliance
The Wrens
The XX
The Breeders
The Cute lepers
The Kooks
The Notwist
The Saturday Knights
These New Puritans
Tom Waits
Modest Mouse,
The White Stripes,
Minus the Bear,
The Decemberists,
Wolf Parade,
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs,
The Shins,
The Killers,
Los Campesinos!,
The Libertines,
Animal Collective,
The Knife/Fever Ray,
The Flaming Lips,
The Arcade Fire,
The Faint,
Death Cab for Cutie,
Cold War Kids,
Brendan Benson,
Broken Social Scene,
Bon Iver, Battles,
Andrew Bird
The Postal Service,
The Raconteurs,
Broken Bells,
The Dead Weather
Broken Social Scene

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My life has changed

Guess what today was.


Suddenly structure has been introduced to our lives. I haven't had a place I had to be at a certain time everyday in six years.
Sure, we have our daily routines but nobody's going to be bustin' my chops if we eat lunch at 1:00 instead of 12:30. There have been three years of getting her to preschool on time but that was only twice a week. Now Its up to me to fetch her buddy and deliver them to school on time Monday through Friday.
Luckily I don't have to go for pick up too. How would I manage two time sensitive responsibilities everyday?
Anyway, it's not about me, it's about her right? So let's go over her outfit.
I took her to Old Navy yesterday to pick out a first day outfit. I wanted to make something but we just got home from a month long vacation so, consumerism it was.
I was not thrilled with the idea of a character t-shirt but I've been trying to nurture within her, a love for Wonder Woman in the hopes of winning her cooperation in some Halloween amazonian awesomeness. In that sense, her t-shirt selection was a raging success. Then again, as of bed time tonight she was vacillating between Gypsy and Flower fairy. Both of which would be repeats. But that's another story for another day.
The pants she chose solely for their awesome belt which you can't see here.
We also got her lunch box from Old Navy. I had planned on making one to match her elephant back pack, which is seeing another year of use, but that plan hit a bit of a snaffoo. See, Zizza wasn't interested in the elephant shaped lunch box I had planned. She wanted a rectangular one with a pocket and appliquéd elephant on the front and I wasn't up for busting out a lined, piped, zippered, insulated thing like that yesterday afternoon. Just didn't have it in me. Yes, the stuffed elephant with a zipper down it's back an a compartment in it's tummy for a snack really would be less work than a more traditional design. Sometimes life is crazy like that.

Now, were getting to the good part of her outfit. See the necklace? I spotted it about two years ago and thought it would be a perfect good luck present for a girl starting kindergarten. Lucky for me, it is still available.
It was waiting in the mail when we got home Sunday evening. I let her open it right away, she smiled then I asked her if she'd like to put it on. "No, thanks" she said and ran outside. I was rather deflated at the time, but she put it on the next morning and has been wearing it steadily since. Huzzah!

The hankie; Yeah, so sister's got a bit of a nose picking problem. This morning I asked her if it would help to have a hankie that she could use instead of picking if the urge struck. She said it would, so we settled on a design and chose fabrics. Then we were nearly late because I couldn't find my appliqué webbing in the black hole of the sewing room.
She reported at the end of the day that she'd neither picked her nose, nor made use of the hankie but she'd like to continue carrying one in case she got to feeling picky in the future.
I was happy to hear that hankie number one was appreciated but still clean and ready to go for tomorrow so I wouldn't wind up either washing or sewing last minute hankies tomorrow morning.

The two girls were not at all excited to be going to school, as you can see.

This here is what Ziz was running for. She's been absolutely beside herself in anticipation of the seesaws. As soon as a spot opened up, she was on it.
She sat bewildered for a breath or two with nobody on the other side to teeter her totter, and then this curly headed boy jumped on and away they went.

He was a good seesaw buddy too. Girlfriend was flying.

When it was time to go in, she hopped off and learned the importance of seesaw communication. Both parties were unharmed but quite surprised at the result of her sudden dismount.

She wandered into the classroom without a backward glance...

and a few hours later she was home. Happy and tired, just enough energy to tell me about her day and make a phone call. She managed to share a thing or two about school with the Mr. but she didn't work up the gusto to return her grandma's call until after dinner.

Enzo and I were busy while she was gone. We grocery shopped and then made up a special treat for her to come home to. She appreciated the gesture even if the peanut butter M&M brownies were a little on the goopey side.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

home again, home again, jiggity jig.

We've survived another epic summer Utah trip. We made the drive home today in a square eleven hours, which might be a record. Especially considering that it included (as nearly all road trips do) vomiting.

Enzo was the culprit today. He blew chunks twice. Once in the car mid-string cheese and then again while we were stopped at a Jacob's Lake campsite for lunch. We thought the string cheese incident was gagging related, besides our children are known for random upchucking incidents so I didn't hesitate to present him with a roast beef sandwich as soon as he was seated at the picnic table. Luckily, the bench was far enough from the table top that he missed it.

We arrived home no worse for the wear, unloaded the car, tried out the new trampoline situation in the back yard,
watered withering plants, and wrastled pukey Enzo into the tub. Then, in a quiet moment I snuck into my closet to greet my clothes
"I'm home ladies" I said. "And I've brought you some new playmates. I've no doubt you'll all get along famously with the fuchsia suede pumps, but go easy on the Vibram Five fingers, will you girls? I know they're a little odd and quite a bit more outdoorsy than any of the rest of you but I'm sure you'll all get along in the end if you give them a chance." Then I slipped back out unpacked the kid's things, shuttled the next child through the bath, did a load of barf wash, scavenged a bit of dinner, read some Winnie the Pooh to my freshly clean babies, tucked one in bed (while the Mr did tucked the other) and now I am here. Telling you all about it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tony's Grove

It's 10:54 mountain starndard time. I'm sitting in a hotel bed, my family sleeping all around me and I am tired. Tired with a capitol R. tiRed!
My legs are aching under my blankets and I've got my trusty "yogurt toes" working hard at relieving those aches.
We've been famiy reunioning this weekend. It's a good wear you out, beat you down way to spend a weekend. The wearing out and the beating down all happen with a smile on the face, I enjoy every minute but the wearing and the beating happen just the same.
We went hiking today. I'm not going to go into the details now because as I said, my family is all sleeping, I have been worn and beaten out and down, I'm tiRed and my legs ache. It's time I joined my family in slumber, but I couldn't let the day slip by with out saving a little piece to share so here's what I'm sharing:
After driving up the canyon to the hiking destination there was no way around it. I had to pee. The facilities available were as follows.

Looks nice eh? It get's better.
Upon sitting I discovered that there was a healthy updraft. I'm not going to pretend it didn't wierd me out at first. That's not the kind of draft my bum is generally subjected to. After a minute though, I decided it was actually kind of nice. A cool breeze should always be welcome on a warm day should it not? Ofcourse there was the issue of odor. A breeze up and out of such a facility can't be considered sweet, but it was perfectly manageable with use of techniques such as breath holding and intermittent mouth breathing.
All in all today's was the best latrine experience I've ever had.
Now, if that endorsement doesn't have folks flocking to hike Tony's Grove, I don't know what will.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keep it cool

Wanna know what's hard? Getting five kids who range in age from six years to nine months to sit still and allow you to document their wearing of adorable matching outfits.
See? Only four kids!

This one was having none of it. I had to chase him down and trap him against the wall on order to get this one blurry shot. Actually there were 2 blurry shots but I chose this one because in the other one you can see my hand holding him there.

I've had this Popsicle print waiting since February 2009. I saw it the summer before, finally bought it and then couldn't decide what to do with it.

This year I had a plan. I was going to do the oliver+s birthday party dress with green trim. I got to thinking though, wouldn't it be fun to get the boy in on the twin-pop clothing action too? The fabric with it's pink pops was just a little too girly to use for Enzo so I had to come up with some other popsicle for him to wear.

After deciding on a twin-pop stenciled t-shirt I started mulling over ideas for a message to go with the image and Hey-ya! I got an idea!
I liked the idea so well that I thought of my friend Blanche who has a healthy appreciation for a message T and who had a baby a while back that I had yet to make anything for. Her kids would be needing some popsicle clothes too. There was no way around it.
So, I scrapped the dress idea in favor of the brother-sister matchy T-shirt plan and used the fabric that started it all for skirts to compliment the sister shirts.

Now I should mention, when I tried painting the popsicles on my own they looked nothing near that good. Not even like popsicles really. Lucky for me I have a talented friend who rescued my failing endeavor. She did a good job, huh?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Back in the day my roomies and I were way into the Golden Girls. We watched it every day or more, and we each had a Golden Persona.
I was Rose, Annie was Dorothy (to her dismay) and Kristi was Blanche. There were only the three of us that semester so we didn't have a Sophia.
In addition to Golden Girls, there's a thing called a Golden Birthday. When the age you're turning matches your birth-date that is your golden birthday (also called a magic birthday) I had mine when I was six. At the time I didn't know it was any more Golden or magical than any other birthday so I missed out on the whole institution.
This year Zizza's bestie had her golden birthday. She knew it was a special one and had a golden party planned for herself months in advance. She and Ziz discussed the Golden state of this birthday regularly during all of those months and Zizza decided the best gift of all would be a golden swimsuit, so I began searching the internets for gold swimsuit lycra. I found a lot of lovely gold dance wear lycras, but all of them noted that they were, under no circumstances, suitable for use as swimwear.
Finally I found it; swimmable golden lycra. In my excitement at cornering my quarry I called Ziz to the computer to see the lovely gold I was ordering. Her response was to point to the yellow next to it and state she'd rather use that.
After some discussion, reminders about the concept of the golden suit for the golden birthday and so on, she still wanted to give yellow and since she was the official giver, that is what we did.
I made the gift suit first, so Bestie could wear it to her Golden pool party and be the special Golden birthday girl, then I made a matching suit for Zizza during the following week because if there's anything I know it's the joy of having twinner clothes with your friends. (Blanche and I used to dress alike all the time)
Zizza had lots of ideas on how the suits should look, but in the end she liked my original a-symmetrical ruffled swim dress idea the most.
The skirt floats up and gets in the way once it hits the water.
On the pool deck though, it's golden. Even though it's yellow.

And the girls know the joy of matching outfits.

Friday, July 9, 2010

All I can ask

So guess what. I'm running a 5k in the morning.

It's been a long time friends.
Sure I've jogged the odd mile here or there during the past year. Once I even went a whole mile and a half.

My training for this race consisted of me dashing out with my sister last night for a run through what used to be grandpa's hay field. I have no idea how far or how fast we ran, but it was something!

In other words. Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Zizza asked me if I was going to win the race. I told her all I want is to do my best. What I meant was I'm really just hoping I'll be able to drag myself through all 5 of the Ks without stopping. I'll let you know if I make it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eclipse: My thoughts

Ok, here's the deal. I like me some "Twilight" I sometimes feel ashamed to admit it, but it is what it is.
The thing I like about the books (mostly the first one) is how the story takes you straight back to the anything is possible, what if he likes me, heart fluttering suspense of high school romance and leaves you there, wrapped in a mind numbing romance cocoon.
Sometimes, a numb mind is bliss.
I watched the first movie on my portable DVD player last summer, sitting in bed at my mother in law's house after I'd tucked my kids into bed and gone out for a run. (maybe that detail was unnecessary but those were some good evenings and I like to relive the memory now and again)
I sat there all alone and, on more than one occasion stated aloud for the general benefit of the empty room around me "This is so lame."
I never bothered to see "New Moon" I've been told countless times how much improved it was by the new director and bigger budget but I remained uninterested.
Yesterday though, I was invited to go out with a group of friends, people I haven't seen in anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 years to see Eclipse.
Honestly, there aren't many movies I would have turned down in exchange for the company of all these friends, so after the four and a half hour drive that brought us from Saint George, I dropped the children and the luggage off at Grandma's house ("my grandma?" asked Enz who was suspicious after spending a few days at the home of a grandma not his own) and continued on to The Gateway in Salt Lake to see Eclipse.
Here is my review: Ginh

That noise sums up my general feeling for the film. I cringed a lot. Robert Pattinson is just so ...hairy. Also his teeth bug me. And maybe it's just me but a few fewer super close up kissing scenes would have been nice.
Oh, and does it bug anybody else how both Jacob and Edward sit in horribly uncomfortable, unnatural positions for extended periods of time?
For example, the tent scene, after Bella has fallen into warm blissful sleep and the two fellows are chatting Jacob is not quite propped up on his elbow, but holding his shoulder off the ground and his head upright as he addresses Edward. Then, in the meadow at the end when Edward and Bella are discussing wedding plans, she's siting there kind of slumpish, you know, the way she does, and he's facing her holding himself in half a sit-up while they chat.
Were these choices made on purpose to illustrate the non-humanness and super strength of the two suitors? That's what I told myself to get through the movie but if that was the intent I think it failed. The awkward positioning didn't cause me to marvel at their strength it just made me squirm in sympathy for the actors who had to carry it out.
That sums up my feelings for the film.
My apologies to those uninterested in this topic, I shan't bore you with it again. Not for a while anyway.


Hello lovely blog, what a start this trip has got off to!
Here's a whirlwind tour of our weekend in Santa Barbara, once I get this out of the way I'll be able to focus on important details like my favorite cupcake flavor so far (there have been 3 separate cupcake outings in as many days) how I lost my engagement ring, and my opinion of Eclipse the motion picture. Here we go.

Started out at a farmer's market,

where I regrettably failed to buy any jalapeño jelly. Darn.
Everything there was pretty

even the carrots.
There was a-LOT of walking involved. None on my children wanted to hold my hand. Their preferences were easy to spot.
Zizza got to drive Little Toot the water taxi. Enz drove too, but my camera was out of batteries by then.
We visited grandpa's boat.
Ahoy, girl face!
We walked some more.
The next day we spent the morning sans camera at the park and the weekly art walk. Then we headed to the beach.

Then back to the house to finish off the fruit from the previous day's exploits, clean up and head out.
We didn't get so far as the corner of the street before Enzo moaned miserably from the back seat, "I miss Grandpa. We can't leave Grandpa's house, Grandpa's house is our home!"
I count that leg of the trip a success.
More later.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fruit of my labor and a goodie giveaway


I’ve spent the past week holed up in my sewing room trying to complete the projects I spent the past two months procrastinating.

Since last Friday I have made 2 swimsuits, 2 dresses, 3 skirts, 2 sun visors and 2 carseat-travel lap-desk thingos. I also freezer paper stenciled 5 t-shirts, repaired these awesome shorts that fantastically still fit, and sewed patches on a scout shirt.

I plan on photographing all of these things individually and posting about them over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for some sewing posts.

Also, I made a giant double batch of cream cheese brownies. Mission “Use up the Cream Cheese before leaving town” is officially complete. or, almost complete. I still have to get the brownies out of the oven and subsequently the house. Say, maybe y’all could help me out with that!

If you’re close by and want in on the brownie action leave a comment and after a few hours I’ll choose a winner, or maybe two.

Now, I’ve got to fold the monster pile of laundry on my sofa so I’ll be able to pack things. Also, I’d like to clean my kitchen and I haven’t entirely given up on the idea of finishing one more dress. In other words, I’ve got to get to work.