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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm the KING of the world...

An ode to my enternal love for Titanic. Oh, how I love that movie.

Okay, anyway, in a very music blog-y sort of way, I've done a play on the title of my post according to the subject of the post. Anyway, the reason I'm in a music blog-y type of mood, is because, I have finally discovered how to stream songs on here, and, believe it or not, it's not that hard. Strangely enough, I had such an epiphany in the car ride coming home from the beach. But that's aside from the point.

You're probably wondering where I get the whole king thing from and where I tie it all up in a nice bow with the music blog-y thing.

Well, cease to wonder.

Just today (yesterday by the time I finish this. For some reason, blog posts take me significant hours to post, which is why I should never have a blog) I finished my second summer reading book, King Leopold's Ghost.

[Cue the "aha!"s]

While a slightly (okay, incredibly) boring read, I originally thought that it would read like a textbook, but in some weird way, it really doesn't. It's not as painless a read as the things that are more up my ally (Entertainment Weekly, for example), but not everything can be, right? Occassionally, you have to endure the 306-page history lesson. And I bet a good portion of those who read this have never even heard of the subject on which this book is based.

Ever heard of the Congo in Africa (Zaire, today, I guess)?

Okay, good.

Ever heard of Belgium in West Europe.

Okay, I'd hope so.

Ever heard of King Leopold II, cousin of Queen Victoria of England?

Okay, that's a bit tougher.

Ever heard of the mass killings inflicted upon native Africans at the turn of the 20th Century in King Leopold's own personal colony, the Congo Free State, due to forced labor, especially when it came to gathering ivory and rubber?

Yeah, didn't think so. (But kudos to you if you have. You already know the basis of the book. Now go out and read it!)

Ever heard of rubber being tapped from vines, like maple syrup is tapped from trees?
Yeah, me neither! Who knew?!

Anyway, the auther, Adam Hochschild, has a strange way of turning the whole ordeal into the resemblance of an actual book, by creating all these characters, and actually making a story out of them.
It's an okay book, I'll admit, and I recommend it to those who a) want to learn more on the subject, b) like world history, or c) want to take a nap, as reading this book led me into some wonderful naps.

The only problem I had with this book was the constant jumping in time. First it would be 1904, and he would go back to something that happened in 1890, and then he'd cite an example from 1907, and all the while, I'd just be like, "Okay." Actually, it was more of an "Okayyyyy???"

Anyway, I now have just one more book to read, Jane Eyre, which is like twice the size of this, but really the only "real" book, with dialogue. (Oh, how I long for dialogue right now.) But I've heard that it's "boredom on ice." Awesome!

So on to the more fun portion of this post: the music part. As I mentioned before, I finally taught myself how to stream songs, so now I can include some nice tunes for your listening pleasure! Yay!

In keeping with the "king" theme and also with the music blog theme, here is a nice king-inspired tune....

Now onto what I hope will become a weekly feature. It's basically just the few songs that I have on continued replay. This week, there a few, which include:

[MP3] Hummingbird - Wilco. Off of the album, A Ghost is Born, this is a lovely song with quite a few hooks. Sounds like it came straight from You've Got Mail. I think it's the lead singer's voice, but who knows. Maybe it's just me.
[MP3] 1234 - Feist. It's a shame that I had to be lowered to the level of finding out about this song via VH1's "You Oughta Know" feature. Like, am I seriously that out of the loop? Perhaps it is the summer heat. Anyway, this is a fun, little tune, off of Feist's most recent album, The Reminder. that I like to think of a hopscotch song. You can check out the music video here.
[MP3] Australia (Peter Bjorn & John Remix) - The Shins. Usually, I'm not that fond of remixes, but this one is just so great, that perhaps I'll have to reform my opinion on the subject. It's not too weird, as remixes can sometimes get. And it's not too techno, like it should be played in an Abercrombie & Fitch store. Really, it's just a neat variation on the song from The Shins' latest album, Wincing the Night Away. Check it out.

And there you have it.

Happy listening, everyone!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

travel journal (not). I had the best of plans, but forgot one small detail. to quote from my July 23 journal entry:
I carefully planned, researched, (obsessed a bit?!) a travel journal for this trip. And realized we don't really "travel" while we're here. More like we drive a long way to stay. We read and play games and swim and ride bikes and cook and take walks and watch movies. Which are wonderful opportunities to take pictures and make memories, but not so much for an ephemera-based "journal".
I did have a very good time collaging four travel glossies and the very few bits of ephemera I managed to collect getting coffee and shopping. And then I added some coloring and watercolor with the stamp sets I'd intended for the journal, thinking they might make a good motif for a Beach Trip 2007 photo album.

I love these pages (which are part of my ongoing journal, currently a moleskine sketch, that's friendly to collages and watercolors). And am looking forward to creating two "real" travel journals on our 2008 spring break trips (I'm fortunate to get two - one with each daughter!)


beach trip 2007.

...sadly, now history. but we had a wonderful time! decided not to post a blow-by-blow of photos and daily activities. because I realized early into the week that we don't really do much (how had I forgotten that?!). instead, a mosaic of my favorites (you can see the whole set here) along with a few of the best memories:

*Sara and Paula giggling in the back seat watching The O.C. Season 4 (trip down) and Friends Season 2 (trip home)
*time to read Harry Potter #7 nearly without interruption (I'm not so obsessed I'd lose sleep or miss a meal to keep reading)
*riding bikes on 30-A and to Rosemary Beach
*six days in a row running nearly 25 miles in my new running shoes
*sunsets and photo ops
*no schedule, so plenty of time for relaxing and reading (see the new Goodreads button on the sidebar - updated with what I read and quick ratings/reviews)
*Southern Living Idea House with Karen (we biked there)
*ground-level condo perfect for pool access and sunrises reflected in the water
*first one up (by 6 am to catch Marc's daily call)
*catching up with Karen
*Phase 10 (with a new twist where you get a personally-determined phase) and zilch! after dinner
*fruit and cheese plates for lunch with a glass of ice cold sauvignon blanc
*Rosemary Beach - so different from Seaside - close by, plenty to do, but needs a bookstore
*Zoo Gallery for Sorrelli earrings and a new t-shirt
*Apres Beach at Fonville Press to listen to Lindsey Battle (next year, we'll plan to be hungry - the tapas looked delicious!)
*learning I can knit socks (#1 nearly done since Karen drove!)
*welcome home dinner and fun with Marc

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Friday, July 20, 2007

on vacation.

travel journal book - check.
ipod update - check.
camera download - check.
sock tutorials - check (and check and check and check...)
packing - tomorrow morning.
ready to go!
(see you back here on July 29)
*thank you Beaches of South Walton for the photo.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

travel journal.

...the bar is very high. check out this, and this. and with what I have in my stash, I've got this:

I think all I'm missing is the book. Which I plan to find at Michael's tomorrow (or B&N, or - boy I hope it doesn't come to this, because it will be way out of my way! - Blicks).

And if it looks like a completely random pile of stuff, know that it's not. This pile reflects over an hour of culling through my stash (love that I have stash...but afraid some of it might never see the light of day/scrapbook/journal :-( and deciding to throw caution to the wind and bring pencils - both watercolor and the and regular prismacolors. Maybe because I decided to bring stamps that completely invite coloring. Or maybe because I really like to color! I would also like to find some white pocket envelopes to hold the ephemera I just can't fit onto the page. And if all else fails, regular mailing envelopes will suffice, but I'm hoping to get something a bit "cooler".

at the very least, I know I can make some totally awesome collages! the pile of stuff includes everything I've ever used to collage in my regular journal. and I got a new kind of glue - tried it out and I think it's going to work great. have to figure out the rest of my 2 cubic foot allotment...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

spill it.

I was completely uninspired about posting anything today. Couldn't get any good pictures because it's been raining (and Sara still hasn't decided to pose). So I decided to catch up with a few of my favorite blogs, and ran across this post. What fun! So I grabbed my camera and headed out to the deck (yes, in the rain, but natural light is still the best for photos!) to "spill it" - the contents of my bag - currently a light tan coach bag (have loved coach for years and am lucky to own a few).
the bag closed:

and open:

and dumped out on the table:

contents include my wallet, camera bag (camera used for the photo!), cellphone (which I love and completely depend upon to lead a normal life), nail file, gum, ipod earphones (oops, left the ipod in the car), keys, moleskine notebook and favorite pen, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm (only the gloss gets regular use, but I like to be prepared), empty eyeglass case (usually full, but glasses on my head for the pics) and nail polish (huh?! - have no idea why since my nails are the short, natural kind....)

honestly, not as embarrassing as it would've been a few months ago! Like many of the bloggers who commented on that original post, I find my bag contents are very much driven by which bag I'm carrying and I change out every three months or so. The 3-months ago bag was bigger! I do usually take a bigger bag away on trips - for the beach next week, I'm planning to take my java blue bucket tote - will subtract the nail polish :-) and add my journal, maybe a book, maybe a magazine, and will still have room left over to add tourist maps, small purchases (postcards, earrings?), other stuff for our adventures. I'm trying hard not to repeat the habit I had last year - my bag was so heavy that it made the seatbelt light go off when I left it in the passenger seat by itself. That's embarrassing! And imagine pretty bad for my back, too, to be carting it around. wasn't that more fun than looking at wet leaves?


The Yarn Harlot is coming to Atlanta - September 19. No details yet on where. I'll keep stalking the post for updates! need to get knitting!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Midsummer Night (at least by the time that I finish this thing)

Oh my! How the time has flown these past... 6 weeks?! Seems like I just did that blog post before I went off to camp (you know, the one that took me about 5 hours?), yet that day seems like it was forever ago. And it's also amazing how much has happened these past few weeks. It's crazy how the summer does that to you. Because during the school year, the only difference between, for example, late February, and mid-April, would be:
-Biology tests once a week, instead of once every two weeks.

Ha. Ha. Ha.
But I've definitely been up to a lot these past few weeks, and I hope that these things don't have some sort of word or character limit. I assume they don't, but I'll do my best not to ramble on and on in order to limit the yawns and sighs of boredom. Of course I already am rambling, so what's the point of stopping now?!

On the agenda:
-Camp Highlander: a brief recap of my three week stay up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, accompanied by photos (well, duh), of which there are just over 100(!).
-Summer Reading Update: Not much to tell there, but...
-Other news in SaraLand
-Obligatory (right word?) shuffle dance.

Ok, so first off: Camp Highlander. Ah, what an amazing three weeks, that, as always seemed to fly by. It's amazing to me how slowly 49 weeks go by considering that the three I spend at camp every summer are gone with a snap of the fingers.

Anyway, this year I was in Cabin 1, the oldest girls cabin (the journey has been long, folks. Eight years. From the youngest girls cabin, Cabin 16, to the top dogs). I had the best cabin that I can remember in a long time. All of the girls (there were eight of us, ten including the counselors) were incredibly nice and funny. I've never laughed so hard as I did for those 20 or so days.

Some high points:
-A three day overnight from the get-go. Opening day of the session was Sunday and Monday afternoon we set off for the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, about a two hour drive from CH. First, we went to a Cherokee reservation thing, which was pretty interesting. Almost too interesting for some girls. A sample conversation:

GIRL A: You know, I think it would have been cool to live back then. Like, you didn't have to worry about some stuff.
ME: Pshh.

Or something along those lines. Don't get me wrong, I find it interesting that they had a corn room and whatnot, but I would never want to live back then. Never.

From the Cherokee reservation we went to a lookout spot and took tons of pictures. Then it was off to the campsite, which was a public campsite, so that means running water and plumbing! Woo! We set up the tents (okay, we had ours set as the example), and ate, during which a total monsoon swept through the camp grounds. That's the thing about weather up there. One minute it's raining so hard you can barely hear anything (rain + tin roofs = no hearing), the next it's so hot, you wish it was raining so that it would get cooler and you could go inside.
Anyway, then we told some stories (some scary, some definitely not), laughed, etc.
The next day was the real "adventure day." First we went to Clingman's Dome, which is a mile or so walk up to a lookout tower thing that is the second highest point east of the Mississippi River. I'd seen it last year, so nothing too new there.

Then we had lunch and rested, for about an hour, and talked about... books, a conversation to which, believe it or not, I was actually able to contribute something of actual meaning. Go figure.

Then we walked and walked, and then walked up, way up, to Chimney Tops, a freakishly high point. Basically, if you fall, you die. I was actually never really too afraid of falling or anything, but still...

Then we went off to a watering hole that had freezing cold water, which, no matter what, is still cold even though you're hot and sweaty.
Later we went to Gatlinburg, an extremely touristy town, where people where fanny packs, and a resident's evening activity is limited to driving up and down the main street, blasting the latest rap music. All. Night. Long.

It's mostly souvenir-ish stores, but it's fine nonetheless. We danced with a folk/country/bluegrass/some genre of music along those lines band. That was awesome.

The next day we headed back to camp. Fun three-day.

-Counselor Hunt. Counselors hide. We try to find them. Okay, we didn't win, but we were definitely the most spirited, and the only cabin to dress alike (we missed Cabin Challenge, where every cabin dresses alike). And we didn't just go with "let's all wear blue shorts and white shirts. Oh, no. As you get older, the themes get more crazy and much more fun. Example: last year we dressed up for Cabin Challenge as ninjas. Coolest thing ever. Then for counselor hunt we dressed up as watermelons.

This year, we were the FBI. All black. Sunglasses (I'm kneeling in the photo, and I wore the star sunglasses because somebody had to). The works.

-Superhero and Villains Dance, thrown by Cabin 1. The first two Fridays are always "dance nights." One cabin sponsors/hosts the camp dance. There's always a theme, which range from "Black and White" to "80's" to "Hello My Name Is...," and ours was Superheros and Villains. Made up or real. The set up was long, but the payoff was awesome. Everything looked great. We even had two girls dangling on harnesses some 20 or so feet in the air as everyone arrived.

And what was I? Oh, I'm glad that you asked. I was... ROGO GIRL! I'm sure you've heard of her. Pink shorts, pink tights, pink converses. A white tank top with my own crest, which I designed and drew onto the shirt. Pretty awesome stuff.

Oh, I could go on forever about everything else at camp that happened, but I'd actually be going on forever, so let's just leave it at this: It was one of the best summers I can remember. And I really hope that I can be a CIT next year and become staff.

Okay, Camp Highlander, check! Now onto Summer Reading update. Sunday night I finished my first (of three) books, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster. All in all, it was a pretty boring read, but there's no doubt that this guy has a serious passion for literature (not just novels, but plays, poems, stories, and even movies). And that he knows his stuff. There are just over 25 chapters, and each deals with a certain concept in literature.

Examples of chapter titles include:
-If She Come Up, It's Baptism (Deals with the concept that if a character falls into a body of water, and comes out of that body of water, he or she is reborn.)
-Flights of Fancy (Deals with the use of flight in literature, and the "pretty straightforward" concept that "flight is freedom.")
-When in Doubt, It's From Shakespeare... (Deals with the concept that an array of writers borrow plot devices, quotes, and even work titles [think The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner or Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes] are from Shakespeare's many works.)
-It's Never Just Heart Disease... (Deals with heart disease in literature and what it symbolizes: a character's broken heart.)

And the list goes on. But seriously, this guy draws upon practically everything that he's ever read and makes crazy, how did you seriously know that?-type inferences and conclusions about literature. That said, I still found it kind of boring, but I would recommend it to people who really love reading, because it will make them better readers.

And so now I am on King Leopold's Ghost. I just began it today. I am only on the prologue. It's not too bad yet. Keyword: yet.

Other news in SaraLand:
-I've started a workout/tennis program in order to better prepare myself to make the Varsity Team this spring. Maybe if I make the Varsity team, they will learn how to spell my name correctly. You can tell that I'm still bitter over that, can't you? Ah, I kid, I kid. If I had a nickel for everytime someone spelled my name "Sarah," I... would have a lot of nickels.
-I've made it my own personal summer project (in addition to summer reading, mom) to acquire every song that, to my knowledge, was ever played on The O.C. And folks, this is hard stuff. I have 84 songs in my "new for oc" playlist on iTunes, and a few in my "buy for oc" playlist, so I already have 300+ O.C. songs. But I still have a long way to go. Because, seriously, have you ever heard of First Com? Yeah, neither has iTunes. But Alex Patsavas (music coordinator for The O.C.) has, and she insists on using their tracks for a lot for the holiday episodes.

(By the way, if anyone has the following tracks by First Com, or knows where I can find them, I'd greatly appreciate it if you would let me know: "Hanukkah Lights," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Silent Night on the Praire," and "Silent Night.")
-In other O.C. news... wait, I cannot give more O.C. news, because, as horrid as this is coming from a devoted O.C. fan (okay, obsessed O.C. fan), I have not even finished the fourth season of the show, which came out in late May. LATE MAY, PEOPLE! But, never fear, I'm planning on wrapping it up on the car ride down to the beach this Saturday.
-I've just heard about the new Fall 2007 Keds campaign! Ah, yay! There are seriously some cute shoes in the collection. Check them out here.
Now onto the iPod shuffle. Because I don't feel like getting my own iPod, I'll just put our entire iTunes library (all 4,000+ songs), and see what happens.
No predicitons on this one. The odds aren't good enough, and everything is so unpredictable that every single song that comes up will probably file under "embarassing."
[Edit: Songs in parentheses are generally those on which I cannot comment, for any one of a number of reasons.]
Here we go:
1. (Una Notte A Napoli - Pink Martini.)
2. (Laura - Scissor Sisters. Can someone remind me why this is even on here? Does anyone listen to this? Anyone? Anyone?)
3. (Famine Pulse - Mars Volta. See above.)
4. (Dell'Amore Non Si Sa - Andrea Bocelli. Okay, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Will a good, familiar song ever show up?!?!?)
5. Because - The Beatles. Leave it up to The Beatles to answer my prayers. This is off of their Love album, a type of greatest hits compilation, but better, because everything is different, and reworked, and a really creative spin on just a regular old greatist hits collection. From this album, I recommend "Blackbird/Yesterday." Somehow, "Blackbird" segues pretty much flawlessly into "Yesterday." So much so that you don't even recognize the change in song.
6. (Il Mistero Dell 'Amore - Andrea Bocelli. I should have made this prediction: At least 20% Andrea Bocelli songs. Sheesh.)
7. (The Fallen Interlude - Blink 182. Katie must have forgotten about every Blink 182 and Green Day song on here when she deleted all of the punk music last year. This really needs to go.)
8. It's Because... We've Got Hair - Tunng. A beautiful song. From The O.C., episode 4-09, "The My Two Dads" (and no, that title doesn't make sense grammatically). The mix of female and male vocals in this song is the real hook of the song for me. And the nice beat that comes in about 40 seconds into the song.
9. Don't Ask Me Why - Billy Joel. This is from his 12 Gardens Live CD. Apparently Mr. Joel is fond of Spanish, because this song, quite randomly, begins with "uno, dos, tres, cuatro!" But I really do like Billy Joel. I went through a phase some months ago when I was really fond of "Allentown." But I liked Billy Joel way before that. In fact, my first mix CD (titled "Pop Mix," original I know) that I ever compiled included "Uptown Girl" on it. It also included "Mmm Bop" by Hanson. You can tell that my musical taste has since narrowed. And gotten better.
10. Albany Brownout - Francine. This is one of my newly acquired O.C. songs, and I've never listened to it all the way before, so that's all I can really say about it.
11. Caring Is Creepy - The Shins. Now this is beginning to feel like a shuffle dance of old. A little bit of The Shins, a little bit of some O.C. artists. Nice stuff. And I love this song.
12. (Lying - Peter Frampton. Please see Scissor Sisters - Laura.)
13. (I Know - Fiona Apple. What is this? In the words of Phoebe Buffay, "It's madness! MADNESS!")
14. (Moby Dick - Led Zeppelin. Quick trivia: Who wrote the work that this song is named after? Give yourself time to think about it, if necessary. You can find the answer here.)
15. A Fond Farewell - Elliott Smith. For a long time, I didn't like Elliott Smith, but leave it up to The O.C. to change that. Two of his songs, "Pretty (Ugly Before)" and "Twilight" were featured in season two episodes, and I really liked them, and I've really started to like him now. However, I've never heard this song before, and I cannot tell you anything about it. Except that I really love his voice.
16. Baby, I Love Your Way - Bob Marley. Let's jam.
17. Camisado - Panic! At the Disco. What can you do? This music is fun, the titles are strange. Like, for instance, "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines." Um, hello, but how do you ever expect that to get airplay? A DJ or VJ would run out of breath just saying the title. Come on, Panic! Be practical. And less wordy.
18. (Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Paul Simon. I like the chanting.)
19. Make This Go On Forever - Snow Patrol. For some reason, this song sounds oh so familiar. But I wouldn't be surprised. Snow Patrol is almost as ubiquitous as Sufjan Stevens or Modest Mouse, and okay, I have definitely heard this before. And I like it.
20. 12:51 - The Strokes. Okay. Um, I know nothing about this song, except that it's three tracks after "What Ever Happened?," a song that I really like. So there we go. This shuffle dance is so random that I'm having to resort to guessing as to whether I've heard this song before, and then deciding that I definitely have, to commenting on it in relation to another song, and then talking about the randomness of everything.
21. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage - Panic! At the Disco. There you go again, Panic! with the long names. I went through a phase just after my 14th birthday where I had this song on repeat. And I played it over and over and over again. So now I know every word. And I'm singing along. And it's funny that just this afternoon, I was thinking about this song, and its title, along with other long titles from various bands, because all of a sudden there are so many long song titles out there.

Here is a random example:
Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued - Fall Out Boy. Okay, then change the name of the song to something more appropriate. It's so unnecessarily long that it's not even funny, which I'm sure was the purpose of this title: humor. And of the title that you had to change, because your lawyer made you change so that you wouldn't get sued.

Fall Out Boy has other long song titles, but I feel as if this post is getting pretty long, so I will not waste more words with unnecessarily long titles.

22. (It's Not a Fashion Statement, It's a Death Wish - My Chemical Romance. Barf. This really needs to go. Maybe my own personal summer project should be tidying up our iTunes library, because it is in desparate need of a tidying up.)
23. King's Crossing - Elliott Smith. See other Elliot Smith song.
24. (Go Where Love Goes - Andrea Bocelli & Holly Stell.)
25. E Talking - Soulwax. This is one of the newly found O.C. songs. This is proof enough as to the difficulty of my summer project. I mean, have you ever heard of Soulwax. Me neither. Yet, someone else has.
26. Somebody Told Me - The Killers. Wow, this song seems so old, but I guess it's running on three or so years. This was the first single off The Killers' debut album, Hot Fuss. But this is a fun song, with fun lyrics.

(I'm skipping a Blink 182 song because it is truly, truly terrible. It's not even music. Literally.)

27. Girl - Beck. This is a great, summery song. In fact, it's not "my summer girl" but "my sun-eyed girl," which is so much better. The music video for this song is really cool, too. You can see it here. This song was also on The O.C., in 2-15, "The Mallpisode."
28. Army - Ben Folds Five. Wow, I haven't listened to Ben Folds in a while, but this is a really great song. It's even better on his live CD, Ben Folds Live. This is what he does with the trumpets and the saxophones. It sounds really cool when it all comes together.
29. (Live and Let Die - Guns N' Roses.)
30. Paperback Writer - The Beatles. I feel like I've heard this song before.
31. (Piove - Lorenzo Jovanotti. Totally not in English.)
32. (Confessions of a Futon-Revolutionist - The Weakerthans. Oh my goodness.)
33. (Mother and Child Reunion - Paul Simon.)
34. Fortunate Fool - Jack Johnson. I do like some of Jack Johnson's songs. Mostly the ones that I've heard. Oh, I have heard this one before, I think. I wish he would have some stuff that's a bit more up-tempo, though.
35. (A Thing Going On - JJ Cole.)
36. (Baby, What a Big Surprise - Chicago.)
37. What I Got - Sublime. Huh, it's funny that I was about to put this song in parentheses, but I've actually heard this song before, although I never listen to Sublime.
38. Hit Rock Bottom - Dandy Warhols. This is another instance in which I can only comment on this song in relation to another by the same artist. Dandy Warhols have actually had a few of their songs played on The O.C. ("We Used to Be Friends," most famously, which plays in 1-12, "The Secret"), and it surprises me that an entire one of their albums is in our library, because, well, it's not like anyone ever listens to this entire album.
39. (Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman) - Led Zeppelin.)
40. Fruit Tree - Nick Drake. I love two of Nick Drake's songs, "Pink Moon" and "Northern Sky." I just really like his voice. This song, in my opinion, is not as good as the others just mentioned.

That does it for this shuffle. A new spin on the old ways. Or something like that.

As for music that I'm really liking right now:

-Heretics - Andrew Bird. This was a very popular song on music blogs that I read a few months ago, and I finally got it just a week or so ago, and am totally in love with it. There's so many hooks in it, it's crazy. A song that you can't get out of your head, but that doesn't really bother you (well, it doesn't bother me).
-You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb - Spoon. This is off Spoon's new album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Yes, that is the title of the album. Anyway, I've been in love with Spoon ever since I heard their single "The Way We Get By" on The O.C. Mix 1. They've been sending out awesome tunes ever since.
-Save Me - Jude. I discovered this song as I was making my way back through all of The O.C.'s tunes. It played in 4-01, "The Avengers," and I really liked it then, but I had just mistaken it for another song.
-Send Me on My Way - Rusted Root. I'd always recognized this song as "the one that plays at the end of Matilda." People were talking about it at camp, and when I arrived back home, I got it. Wonderful song.
-Beretta - Manishevitz. Another song that I finally found as I made my rounds on all of The O.C. songs. Wonderful song. It plays in 3-01, "The Aftermath."
-Good Day - Luce. This is a song that I'm planning on purchasing on iTunes. It has such a fun, summery feeling. I absoulutely love it! (And I found it when going back through all of The O.C. songs. Well, duh.)

Have a wonderful rest of the summer, everyone!


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Monday, July 16, 2007

no internet.

...yep - completed my follow-up from yesterday's beach planning session. And the reservation desk shows "no record of an internet connection" at our unit. So - we'll have a nice long blog break (thank goodness we're back on Saturday so I can somewhat catch up on Sunday!) and lots of time for other activities, like
*reading the 7th Harry Potter book and the rest of my beach reading pile
*playing phase 10, zilch and yahtzee
*running (bought my much-needed new shoes today)
*bike riding
*being "there" for those good conversations that are likely to come up with 5 girls sharing a condo at the beach
*cooking (or more likely cleaning up)
*knitting! bought yarn for two more pairs of socks - oh no! - but only after I finished glove #1 - woo hoo!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

2 cubic feet.

...yep, that's the personal allotment for the beach trip. since we're taking Karen's car. didn't even bother to do the comparison of the passat to the corolla, but the mercedes would've allowed a bit more room. maybe next year?!

Wonderful brunch at Karen's - a new strata with red peppers and summer-y fruit salad (sorry, no pictures!) - and a few notes on the trip, thanks to Sara!

Love how we've made subtle changes and adaptations since our first trip in 1999 - wow!

Key points for this year:
*everyone gets two cubic feet of trunk space - that needs to accommodate everything (beach towels, bath stuff, clothes, books!!!, cameras, cords, ...)
*everyone owns one dinner
*iPods for music - will be an education for all of us
*separate space allocated for stamping/creating, dvd's, games, one beach blanket (hopefully we'll have a few sunsets beachside) and "the box" (which holds all the staples we can't bring ourselves to buy and knives :-)
*we may not even have a computer (that's my to-do, to find out if there's internet) so this could mean a long blog break and maybe some challenges with sharing photos
*8:30 am planned departure from our house - early afternoon arrival at the beach - likely means lunch out (Bud&Alley's?) before we can get into the condo

Let's hope Sara gets more comfortable with the camera before next week!


...saturday...staying close to home, a little bit of knitting (hope to post soon about finishing the fingerless gloves), enjoying the mail, and a lovely dinner out with our good friends Tom & Vicki at Bistro VG.

postcards from salzburg, vienna and dublin:
chocolate raspberry martini for dessert:


Saturday, July 14, 2007


I found this website on some of my blog-reading this past week. And I'm totally fired up about it! But it seems to work the best if you have "friends" awww...don't most things? to share reviews and recommendations with.

Please check this out and if you'd like to be my goodreads friend, setup an account (it's all free!) and invite me!


a beautiful life milestone.

Marc and I were invited to Charlie Loudermilk's 80th birthday party. Thursday night - dinner at the Atlanta History Center followed by dessert and the Charlie Daniels Band in concert at the Roxy. Such a lovely party. So cool to see how many different people were there to celebrate. Young, old (some very old!), famous, not-so-famous, family, friends, business associates. Charlie has had a very full life and we were glad to share the milestone birthday with him.

And how cool is it to have the Roxy lights wish him a happy birthday!

{just for fun, I googled Charlie+Loudermilk to find something to link above - since some folks who read this might not know who he is. We know him as the CEO of Aaron Rents - the company that Marc works for - try it - you'll get a better idea of his "full life"!}


bad luck-good luck.

...happened to me yesterday, on friday the 13th, on the way to work:

the cars definitely took the bulk of the damage. all three cars involved left the scene on tow trucks, and all three people were fine. today, I'm sore - especially my right wrist and arm - I'm guessing from gripping the steering wheel. what happened - a tire blew out on the car driving to my left - so that car swerved into me, my car spun and hit the car driving to the right of me. when it was over, my car was on the shoulder/right lane facing the highway. had my first experience with the new city of Sandy Springs - two policemen, fire engines (not needed), ambulance (not needed - nothing they can do for a bad case of "I'm afraid to drive on Georgia 400") and even the HERO guys - who were able to get my car off the highway.

Marc thinks the car is totalled. We should know more later next week. In the meantime, I spent two hours at Sky yesterday letting those guys work their magic on Katie's car. And they did a good job. It looks shiny and clean. And I'm sure staying in the garage will help, too!

I originally titled this post "bad luck", but on reflection, sure, it was bad to get into an accident in the first place, but surely "good luck" that I was driving a car that could withstand all that and leave me unhurt, good luck that I had a husband close by enough to come pick me up and let me completely break down in his hug on the side of the sideway, good luck that we had a car sitting in the driveway needing to be driven, good luck that I have a wonderful boss who called me twice yesterday to check on me, good luck that several of the guys who work with me also called to check, good luck to have an appointment scheduled with Jo at Spa Sydell for more TLC, get the idea...

So I'll spend today staying close to Sara and generally resting. Means I cancelled Anna Griffin at Impressive Ideas, but maybe we'll get crafty here instead.

Friday, July 13, 2007

three things.

Kal has tagged everyone who reads her blog to write three things we like about ourselves:

1. I am a morning person. I love that I get up early and have time to enjoy my day before it turns to afternoon.

2. I am curious - I love to learn about new things. (If not tightly controlled, this also becomes one of the things that I don't like about myself - that I spread myself too thin, trying to do too many things)

3. I have short, curly hair. This was definitely not a good thing for me when I was younger. But 40 years later, I've grown into it. And it gives me more time for favorite thing #2.

and more mandevilla love - happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I got a pretty decent start on the gloves this past weekend. "Decent" in that it went fast, looks good (I think, anyway!) and shows off the new blooms on mandevilla. This is knitting on #6 needles. The sock yarn I bought is on #4 needles. The sock yarn I loved is on #1 or #2 needles. If you don't knit - the needle size getting smaller means the stitches get smaller. So more stitches to get the same amount of finished product. More stitches = more time = could get tedious. But Lydia has cast on a sock...can't wait to see how it goes!

In other news - I found a new blog this morning. A link from the Yarn Harlot's comments. {this is how I can spend up to an hour each day reading blogs...I check out the comments and then check out the blogs of the people who comment - I usually end up with at least one "fresh" idea, so the hour is well-spent, I think!} I spent 45+ minutes - felt really rushed - checking it out. Laughing out loud (Marc was puzzled). Wow - this guy is really knitting, humor, cartoons! and life, generally. He skipped right past my "blog postings maybe" (duh, of course I have to share this!) and "trial run" (trial? after that much laughter?!) folders - straight into the daily reads. Now I need to leave him a comment so he doesn't think I'm lurking :-)

And other news - Katie has connected with ms. treats & treasures for her upcoming trip to Amsterdam. They might have coffee together. I totally heart the internet!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

more cartes postales.

...mail was good yesterday - 2 letters and 3 postcards for me, 1 postcard for sara and an email for marc - my cartes postales:

and yesterday evening was busy, so I saved everything to read and savor over coffee this morning. totally love how katie's words evoke her voice - I can hear her talking as I read the letters. but there was something just a bit sad about these letters (she later reminded me - in a much-welcomed phone call - that she's turning in the letters for a grade in her Language/Culture/Communication class - I wonder just a bit how much is real and how much is "for the teacher"?) any event, the main message in my e-mail to her this morning is "you're 20 - you can go back if you want - I'm confident you'll be able to make that happen."

and in a follow-up email to my mom this evening the message is "well...I know I wouldn't be able to make many follow-on trips to europe...and shoot, I can't have more babies either" ...and I wonder - when did those "opportunities" become lost dreams or did I simply abandon them with full realization?

later - after much reflection - including a very "happy" journal posting before I let myself become so reflective :-) I am very much ok with my choices...and with the not-choices I've been handed. totally love the life I'm living now. and totally ok with never going to europe again...unless katie, or sara, or someone else?, wants me to accompany them on the adventure. because I am 100+% ok with where I am right now.

and that is a very wonderful place to be at "nearly" 45...I'm blessed...and lucky.


Monday, July 9, 2007

a delightfully relaxing Saturday.

...potato sausage...trip to the Polish deli (yes, Leesburg has its own genuine Polish deli!)...cookbook ideas...mushroom soup...zilch! pretty much sums up our Saturday in Leesburg.

I knew I should've taken pictures but I didn't - Saturday brunch was lovely - potato sausage, eggs, blueberry muffins, fruit salad, mimomas - all enjoyed (well, except for the mimosas that started earlier!) just after 11:00 a.m. - a most civilized time for Sara to be up and about :-) and the sausage was so good that Mother suggested a trip to the Polish deli and I said yes, and then Sara said yes, and then Daddy, and soon enough all four of us were headed out. They bought the last two packages of potato sausage (and Mother assured the delightful owner she'd call ahead the next time she comes for it) and a tongue (which I wouldn't even look at - I think Sara caught a scary glimpse, but hey, I warned her). I bought spinach pierogi (can't wait to cook them for Sara - love love!), kielbasa, and hot and mild italian sausage. The sausage was really great - so fresh - love the opportunity to get a really "homemade" taste since there's no way I can see us tackling that in our kitchen!

We spent some time in the afternoon brainstorming about the family cookbook. We took some notes and Sara and I have committed to a prototype page to get feedback. Stay tuned!

Then we started the true piece de resistance of the weekend. Mushroom soup inspired by a wonderful meal that Mother and Daddy shared with Karin and Jim on their last riverboat cruise (Queen of the West? in the fall of 2005?) The first tricky part was getting the big-crowd size recipe cut down to feed a reasonable number. Like 12 :-) Mother had that part under control. Several days before we left Roswell, I had instructions to purchase 12 oz each of shitake and oyster mushrooms. Mission accomplished - sort of - the shitake were gorgeous that morning - I picked up nearly one pound of loose, organic mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms - not so sure - they were pre-packaged in 3.5 oz packages and it was hard to tell how I found three that looked ok. I should've trusted Harry's - they were perfect!

I added some sherry to my trunk and Mother got the button mushrooms, roux, celery and onion. Oh, and mushroom soup base - thank you Harry's from a few months ago! So we started cooking....onions, celery, three kinds of mushrooms - all chopped - in to "sweat" in the pot with the sherry:

then soup base and water:

and a lot more simmering, then the roux and the cream - starting to look like soup:

a few snips of chives - and yummy!

We enjoyed the soup with a good shrimp and lettuce salad - recipe from my cousin's mother-in-law that I've had for years and was glad to finally try!

What can you possibly do to follow-up a meal like that? of course if you've spent any time at all with my parents, the answer is either "Phase 10" or "zilch". Hint - we finished the two-night's long game of Phase 10 the night before. So yes, the correct answer is "zilch"! Sara hadn't played in a while and had to re-learn. Good thing she's a quick study. Daddy won the first game...while keeping score. Sara won the second game...while keeping score. (are you seeing a pattern here?!) I won the third game...while keeping score. And Mother completely zilched - yes, nada points! - on every turn...while keeping score. Go figure!

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

mount dora.

finding on sale? a wine tasting at 10:30 am...pretty good, so I bought a bottle of $7.50 merlot (yes, merlot!)...stampin station only slightly disappointing - not nearly as many stamps as I'd hoped, but some cute paper and embellishments...many boutiques, a beautiful photo spot and a nice shopkeeper who took our picture...lunch at the Palm Tree Grille - yummy fried calamari...more yarn...a hot ride home just before the rain poured all - delightful!