Thursday, September 22, 2011

Night Owl

For the remainder of September and all of October, I will be working the overnight shift at work. I start this Friday. I have Wednesday and Thursday off this week so I am trying to get a head start on staying up all night and sleeping during the day. Last night, I stayed up until about 5:30 am before I gave in and went to bed. Tonight, my goal is 7am which is only a little over three hours from now but it seems like an eternity.

While everyone I know sleeps, I am scouring the internet for things to keep my mind occupied to help fight the call of my pillow. I have plenty of TV shows that I could watch but I tend to doze off while watching TV, so that's out of the question. Reading also makes me sleepy. I feel like over the past few hours, I've seen every inch of the internet. The only hope is my the 1000+ unread items in my Google Reader feed, but as much as I usually love reading my favorite blogs, they just don't seem that interesting at four in the morning. So in an attempt to eat up some time before I can drift into blissful sleep, I'm writing a blog post.

I've had Pandora blaring from my headphones all night. I haven't been using Pandora very much recently because I wasn't happy with it's variety but I decided to go back to it tonight. To my surprise, it has been completely redesigned. After hours of listening, I can say that it is much faster than old Pandora and the variety has been good. Unfortunately, my chosen method of scrobbling to,, no longer works with new Pandora, but I was able to find a Firefox plugin to take care of that. The ads are still annoying, but seem to be fewer and farther between than before. As you can see below, I have only two stations, one of which is The Shins Radio. Surprised? You really shouldn't be.

While listening to Pandora tonight, I was reminded about the band We Were Promised Jet Packs, who I've come across before but had forgotten about. I'll end this post with one of their songs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long Time Gone

Too say it's been awhile since my last post would be an understatement. I last updated this blog in July. Up until tonight, I had decided that I would just abandon the blog and never return again. Then tonight, I returned. I read through some of my posts and have decided that I would give it another go. The design has been updated using simple template because that weird owl pattern was starting to creep me out.

At the moment, my plan is to keep up with this but I make no guarantees. To get back into the swing of things, here's a song by a band I've been enjoying recently.

"Morning Thought" by Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Week of July 3rd

The words "folk music" have always had a negative connotation for me. There is something inherently uncool about folk music, which is why I have a hard time admitting how much I like some of it. There are a bunch of bands I listen to that are all acoustic guitars, pianos, banjos, and beards. One of my most recent folksy finds is Boy & Bear. I've only heard a few of their songs because, as far as I can tell, that's all they've released any music in the U.S. so far. What I have heard, I've really liked.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ikea Hackers

If you've ever shopped at Ikea, you know that most of their products have a distinct Ikea-y feel. It's hard to argue with their prices but if you shop there too often, your home may start to look like a page from their catalog. That's why I love Ikea Hackers. This is a blog dedicated to ingenious ways people have hacked Ikea products to fit their needs or style. I have found so many ideas that I want to implement in my apartment.

This is an idea that I need to implement sooner rather than later, a place to hide the kitty litter box. Right now I have a huge, ugly covered litter box in my bathroom. It's my least favorite part of having cats. I would love to replace it with something a little more sleek and discreet.
(found here)
I also love this idea for a non-ugly magnet board.
There are tons of ideas for bathroom vanities. This isn't something I could do in my apartment but they are still my favorite hacks I've found on the site.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop: Gingiber

One of my favorite Etsy shops, Gingiber is having a sale on a lot of her older prints to make room for newer stuff. For only $10, I was able to pick up this Cardinal print that I've been drooling over for a while. I can't wait to hang it on my wall.

(Cardinal Print)
I really like the unique style of these prints. The prints are described as nursery art but most of them will work in any room of the home.

(Quilted Fox Print)

(Pathwork Deer Print)
(Paper Crane Print)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Week of June 26th

I have a hard time pronouncing the word rural. It always comes out roowal or rulal or rrrrrrrral. This makes it difficult to tell people about the band The Rural Alberta Advantage. Even though I can't say their name, I like them a lot. I first heard them last fall and they've quickly become one of my most listened to bands on A lot of their music is influenced by growing up in Alberta including an incredible song about a tornado that hit Edmonton, Canada in 1987. That song is below, including a couple of my other favorites.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I hope you don't mind if I vent a little bit. I figure if I can't vent on my weird design/music/miscellaneous blog, where can I vent? Quick side note: I spelled miscellaneous right on the first try with no spell check! This is worth noting because spell check is used more frequently that punctuation when writing this blog. I did not spell punctuation correctly.

Back to the venting. I happen to drive a ridiculously long way to get to my job every day and I work very strange hours. Usually, I leave work at 11:30 pm but sometimes, I am there until as late as 1:00 am. One of the few benefits of working this strange schedule is that I miss traffic. Traffic is, without question, the worst part of living in the DC area. A trip that should take fifteen minutes will, more often than not, take forty five minutes. If I worked the same hours that most normal people work, my already long commute, would take twice as long. The ability to zip up and down I-95 without sitting in a mind numbing parking lot is the best thing about my schedule.

I work near Tyson's Corner and there are about 7 different ways that I can get home. The fastest is to take 123 to 495, (The Capital Beltway, or as I like to call it, Satan's Thoroughfare), to I-95 South, to home. This stretch of road has been undergoing some major road work recently and by recently I mean the past 20 years. The current road work is focused on 495 right around Tyson's Corner. To avoid causing major delays and inconveniencing drivers (I need a font just for sarcasm) the road work has been mainly done after midnight. I am well aware of this road work. I have seen the signs and orange cones. The problem wasThe local news channel has warned me that I can expect intermittent closures of 495 after midnight for up to 45 minutes. After midnight is in bold type because it is relevant to this story. On the weeknights when I work past midnight, I simply take another route to avoid the hassle. Usually there is no road work on Friday or Saturday nights so I will take my normal route. Up until about two weeks ago, I've experienced only a few minor hiccups in my normally smooth drive home.

At some point within the past couple of weeks, the people doing the road work, or at least organizing it, have lost their minds. My first indication of this was when I was getting onto 495 from 123. I was on the on ramp when I realized that there was a line of orange traffic cylinders (the big ones that tell me they mean business) stretching horizontally across two lanes of the highway, reducing three lanes to one, just after my on ramp lane ended. This was not a gradual lane closure that gives drivers time to merge into the one open lane. This was a wall. There must have been some warning to drivers already on the highway because they were already in the left lane speeding by at 70 miles an hour. I had about 100 yards to make my way across the two empty lanes and into the 70 mile an hour lane without plowing into the orange cylinder wall or getting creamed by a car in the open lane. I must say it was thrilling, just like a roller coaster, only deadlier.

Then, this past Friday, a night when there should have been no road work, I got onto 495 and instead of a wall of orange cylinders, there was a wall of stopped cars. It was after midnight so this was partially my fault for not checking the traffic before leaving work but I had become accustomed to there being no road work on Friday nights. I spent the next 2 hours inching along a mile stretch of highway, learning all there was to know about my new smart phone. I don't condone using your phone while driving but I am totally ok with it while parked, which I was. I finally got past the road work at about 2:30 in the morning and walked into my door at 3 am. The worst part of this is that if I had taken the road from work that spits me onto 495 just a couple of miles south of my usual route, I would have missed all the traffic.

The following night, I left work at 11:30. Before midnight and there is the promise that road work will occur after midnight. Still, I was careful to check the traffic map before heading down my normal route. Google Maps showed green lines going in every direction. It wasn't until ten minutes to midnight, when I was parked on 495 listening to the heavy bass of the car parked next to me, watching the endless line of break lights flickering in front of me, that Google Maps showed a bright red line indicating heavy traffic and a little blue dot indicating my location on 495. I have been angry with the Virginia Department of Transportation countless times but never with Google Maps. This was a first.

So on Monday night, I took a different route. I entered 495 further past where I normally would and was glad I did because the highway was empty. This means that the road was closed in the same place it had been both Friday and Saturday nights. I breathed a sigh of relief and drove happily south on 495 and then exited to take southbound I-95. I was halfway home when I saw the break lights. Road work, that I was not expecting, was set up and 4 lanes merged into one. It took about 15 minutes to get through and then I was on my way again. I breathed another sigh of relief. Then, about 10 minutes from home, more break lights, more orange cones, more lane closures, more road work. I sat for 45 minutes behind a van built in 1972 with horrible exhaust fumes. I was so close to home. My apartment is very close to the highway. I can sometimes hear the traffic from the highway from my patio. From where I was sitting that night, stuck on the highway, I could the lights from the neighborhood next to mine. I wanted to scream.

I have sat in traffic on many, many occasions but I believe 2am traffic is the worst by far. All I can say is, to the Virginia Department of Transportation, keep up the good work!

Monday, June 27, 2011


My favorite color is green which is not a very popular color when it comes to home decorating. Whenever I see a room using just the right shade of green, I save the image for future inspiration. Right now, I live an apartment but when I have my own home, I can promise one of the rooms will be very, very green.
(found here)
(found here)
(found here)
(found here)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop: KitschyKitschyCool

I don't remember when I came across this Etsy shop but KitschyKitschyCool is one of my favorite sources for inexpensive art prints. These prints have a vintage feel and I love the muted colors. It was hard to pick my favorite few to share here.
(Sunset Village)
(Red and Blue and Mod Monogram)
(Victorian Bicycle)
(Retro Fish)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do it Yourself Lighting

I have been on the hunt for a couple of glass lamps to put on my bedside tables. I would love to have 2 matching Phantom Lamps from CB2, but unfortunately, they are no longer available. Even when they were available, they were $99 a piece, which is well out of my price range.
(CB2 Phantom Lamp)
Isn't it beautiful? Since the Phantom Lamp is not an option, I have been looking for alternatives, which lead me to a search on Pinterest for DIY Lamps and DIY Lighting. The search resulted in some very cool ideas and some very strange ideas for lighting throughout the home which I thought I'd share here. The best option for lamps similar to the Phantom Lamp was this project from I could use glass vases of any shape or size and make two lamps.
(found here)

The rest of the lighting ideas are for pendants and chandeliers including one made from coffee filters and one from ping pong balls. Some of these are more practical than others but I like them all, particularly the first photo.

(found here)
(found here)
(found here)
(found here)
(ping pong ball lamp found here)
(found here)

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Week of June 19th

Have I mentioned before that I am a huge Shins fan? I'm not sure if I have. Maybe once or twice? If not, I am a huge Shins fan. I really, really love them. It has been four years since their last album, Wincing the Night Away, and I have been waiting patiently for new stuff from them while James Mercer has done side projects. Then this past March, at a benefit concert, James Mercer mentioned that they working on a new record and played one of the new songs. My reaction was "SQUEEEEEEE!" Since then, I have been searching for any details I can find about the new album but there hasn't been a lot. Then, last week, it was announced that they would be headlining the Popped! Music Festival in Philadelphia in September. Another "SQUEEEEEE!" I don't plan on making the trip to Philly for the Festival because it's pretty expensive and there are only a few other bands playing that I'm interested in so I hope that this is an indication that the album will be out by then and that they will be going on tour. Needless to say, I am so very excited for both of these things.

This is the new song that James Mercer played. It's a slow one, which is fine by me. I look forward to hearing the rest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Something to Write About

More than once over the past couple of weeks, I've thought "I should probably write a blog post." The problem is I haven't been very inspired lately. Before I had a blog, I constantly had ideas of what I would write about if I had one. Now that I do, I can't seem to find anything I want to write about. That being said, I am determined to write more and keep up with this blog. Starting now.

It's been an eventful couple of weeks since my last blog post. I got a new phone (kind of), a new kitten, and I turned thirty. All of these things are significant in their own way and I thought I'd write a little about each of them.

I happen to be a smart phone nerd. I like to keep up with the newest, fastest, shiniest phones available by reading tech blogs. I mentioned recently that the Palm Pre I've used and loved for the past two years was dying and a couple of weeks ago, it became unusable. It kept freezing and wouldn't charge. I had hoped to get the next version of that same phone, the HP Pre3, since I'm partial to Webos, but it is not yet available. Jason had a phone upgrade available that he was not planning on using anytime soon so I used his upgrade to get a temporary phone to hold me over until the phone I want is available. The temporary phone is an HTC Evo which was on sale for half price at Best Buy. When I get a new phone, Jason will take over the Evo. At first, I found the Android operating system clunky and frustrating but after using it for a while, I like it quite a bit. I miss the intuitive user interface of Webos but what Android makes up for it's lack of elegance with function and available applications. I have just about given up on getting the Pre3 because I like Android enough and it's looking less and less likely that Sprint will carry it anytime soon. Now I just have to decide on which Android phone I want.

On to turning (gulp)thirty. My birthday was last week and I was surprised with how depressing I found it to turn thirty. When I was younger, I always saw thirty as the point when you become officially all grown up. I know that it's still relatively young but to me it always seemed so OLD! To make matters worse, about a week before my birthday, I found a short, frizzy, gray hair sticking straight up from the top of my head. I nearly fainted. I can handle being thirty but I am quite sure I can't handle gray hair. Even at the ripe, old age of (gulp) thirty, I AM TOO YOUNG FOR GRAY HAIR! I know that you're not supposed to but I plucked that gray hair faster than you can blink an eye. Now, whenever I'm in front of a mirror, I search obsessively for more of them. I just know the stress of it is causing more gray hairs to sprout daily.

The last recent change in my life is the kitten that Jason brought home. I have always considered myself a dog person and never really cared for cats. We have two dogs, Ollie and Dublin, and they are awesome. I had no interest in cats but about a year ago, Jason's brother's cat had kittens and we took one home and named her Tiny. Now we've added another kitten, which we've decided to name Boone. I wanted to name him Linus, after Ben Linus on LOST, but Jason didn't like that. So we settled on Boone, another character from lost. That makes four animals in our little, two bedroom apartment. It's a bit of a zoo and I'm pretty sure our neighbors think we're crazy. Tiny can be kind of a jerk at times but this new kitten is snuggly and sweet. He is also ridiculously cute. No matter how cute he is, he will be the last animal we adopt. Any more and we will officially be those weird people on the corner with all the animals. We may already be those people.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Week of June 5th

Yeasayer- "Swallowing the Decibels" I had decided that I did not like Yeasayer after hearing them a few times on Pandora about a year ago. They are described as experimental, psychedelic, and electronic, which to me, usually just means weird. And they are weird. The music is not immediately beautiful or catchy. It is filled with synthesizers and drums and, occasionally, thumb cymbals and sitars. When I first heard them, I didn't like them at all. Maybe I didn't give them enough of a chance or my tastes have changed since then, but I now like them quite a bit. The song "O.N.E," which I've shared here before, is what got me to give them a second chance. I can't say I love all of their songs, but they have several that I do like a lot. They may be eccentric but at least they're not boring. They recently released the song, "Swallowing the Decibels," which didn't make it onto their last album. I can't imagine why because I think it's become one of my favorites.

Peter Bjorn and John- "Eyes" I still occasionally buy entire albums. Every month, Amazon sells 100 albums for five bucks and every month, I find two or three albums on the list that I want. One of the albums for sale this month is Peter Bjorn and John's newest, Gimme Some, which I've heard bits and pieces of and liked. This is nothing ground breaking, just good, energetic, indie rock. So far, I've only listened to the entire album once. Here's my initial favorite, "Eyes."

Beat the Heat

Today, while sitting in traffic on I-95 in 93 degree heat, my mind started to wander to the subject of swimming pools. I day dreamed that instead of driving to my itty bitty apartment, I was heading to my dream house with a beautiful, refreshing pool in the back yard. I understand pools are a lot of work but, on a day like today, it would be worth it. Of course, the pool in my dream house's back yard will have to be unique and stylish like one of these. I especially love the pool from the first and second photo.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Week of May 29th

Maybe it's the warm weather, the sunshine, or the holiday weekend, but this week I've been in the mood for upbeat and happy. We're planning a day trip to the beach tomorrow and this is what will be blaring out of my headphones while I re-apply sun block for the sixteenth time.

The Submarines- "Shoelaces" 

Generationals- "Green Leaf"

Of Monsters and Men- "Little Talk"

Workspace Inspiration

I started a new job recently which allows me to, occasionally, work from home. The problem is that I don't have a decent workspace to work in. So, I've been collecting inspiration photos for a small work areas. I like the idea of having a little corner with shelves, storage, and art work. Here are some of the photos I've accrued.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I'm Listening To; Week of May 22nd

For this week's music post, I thought I'd share a couple of the songs that I've listened to heavily the past week or so. This will probably be the normal format for the weekly music post because I don't have an entire new album to write about that often. Normally, there are 2 to 3 songs that are getting heavy play on the old mp3 player. Below are the stand outs from this past week.

"Wake and Be Fine" by Okkervil River: This band is new to me. They released an album recently and I've given it a listen. To be honest, I am not completely sold on rest of the album. I don't hate it at all but am not head over heels. I will give it more listens because I love this one song so much. Maybe the rest will grow on me. Also, the singer has a good beard going on, which is something I appreciate. I prefer my musicians bearded.

"Calgary" by Bon Iver: Seriously, Bon Iver is so, so good. He's releasing a new album next month and "Calgary" is the first song I've heard from it. I can't wait to hear the rest. And, unless he's shaved, he also has a great beard. No video has been made for this one yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Perfectly Small Kitchen

I have seen this photo several times across the internet and I think it's incredible. It's proof that a kitchen doesn't have to be huge to be amazing. The colors are serene, the light fixtures are modern, and the floors are dreamy. All that being said, when I see a kitchen with beautiful white cabinets and counters, I always picture them covered with spaghetti splotches.
(via thesweetestoccasion)

Friday, May 20, 2011

I saw this photo today on Design Sponge and had to share it. There is so much I love about this room, the windows, the paint job, the quilt, the light, and that perfect gray sofa. When I decorate my dream living room, it will have the perfect, gray, modern sofa just like the one in this photo. I'm not crazy about the rug in this room but everything else is great. This is the perfect mix of old (the windows and quilt) and new (that wonderfully modern sofa)
(via DesignSponge)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I'm Listening To: The Antlers- Burst Apart

One thing I've learned since starting this blog is that, although I may not be all that good at it, I really love writing about music. Since I've completed the 30 Day Song Challenge, I want to continue writing about music, so I am going to do a, hopefully weekly, post about the music that is currently getting the most play on my mp3 player.

This week it's The Antlers new album, Burst Apart. I mentioned their last album, Hospice, during the song challenge. Hospice is an album that affected me in a way no other has. The story told on that album is so painful and the lyrics are so sorrowful that I cried the first time I heard it from start to finish. It was gut-wrenching. I thought it was incredible but I wouldn't describe it as an enjoyable experience. The songs from that album are often skipped when I'm listening to my mp3 player on shuffle. This is not because I don't love them. It's just that I am not usually in the mood for such dark music and a lot of the songs leave me feeling emotionally drained. 

The Antlers new album, Burst Apart, while still deeply emotional at times, feels much lighter and is easier to listen to than Hospice.  I agree with people that have said it is clearly influenced by Radiohead but I don't think that's a bad thing. The music is at times atmospheric and Peter Silberman sings in falsetto frequently which are both characteristics that remind me of Radiohead. While the album does have an upbeat feel, it can't be described as happy. There is still that gloom and heartbreak that the band does so well.  It still has it's rip your heart out moments, especially the song "Putting the Dog to Sleep." The album has been out for a little over a week and I've listened to it several times already and the more I listen, the more I like it. My current favorites are "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out," "No Widows," and the before mentioned "Putting the Dog to Sleep."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Keith Morrison, I Love You

If you have spent any time on YouTube, you may have come across a video like this. Some teenage girl creates a photo montage of their favorite male celebrity while a cute love song plays. Often, they've included little sayings or quotes in between the photos to express their undying devotion to that celebrity. These types of videos typically feature some dreamy heart throb actor, like Robert Pattinson or the one that plays the werewolf.

My normal reaction when I come across one of these videos is to quickly stop playback, click away from the page, and consider what incorrect choice I might have made to bring me to that particular web page. Today, however, I came across such a video that caused a very different reaction.

I was watching the news with Jason's sister, Juli, and we got into a conversation about news correspondents. I brought up Keith Morrison and tried to describe the apparent glee he has while interviewing people, regardless of how horrific their story is. She was not familiar so I pulled out my laptop and searched his name in YouTube. That is how I came across the video below.

I realize that this video was probably made to make fun of all the other videos of this type but, deep down, I hope that it is actually sincere. I hope there is some girl with a crush on Keith Morrison that is so intense, she just had to create this video and share her love with the world. Whatever the case may be, I am glad that this video was created. The choice of music is brilliant.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 30 - Looking Over the Past 30 Days, a Song I Would Replace

"We Will Become Silhouettes" by The Shins (The Postal Service cover)-I've looked over the past 30 days of the challenge and if I would change one of my selections, it would Day 07- Favorite Cover Song. Somehow, I managed to go the whole challenge without using more than one song by The Shins which is notable considering that I could have done nothing but Shins songs.

When I was writing about my favorite cover song, I forgot about The Shins cover of "We Will Become Silhouettes" by The Postal Service. This is my favorite cover song by far. This is an upbeat, happy song about the end of the world. I love both versions of the song but I prefer The Shins version because they put their "shinny" take on it. Below are both versions.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yesterday, I had a little bit of free time, which is something that has been scarce lately. I also had a few ideas for blog posts. I planned to sit at my computer and write a few posts, including the probably not at all thrilling thrilling conclusion to my 30 Day Song Challenge. As you can see, this did not happen. The reason? Blogger was down ALL STINKING DAY. So instead, I surfed the web and logged some  Pinterest, Google Reader, Youtube, and StumbleUpon time. It was enjoyable but completely unproductive. Sure, I could have written the posts offline and posted them Blogger was back up and running, but that's not my style. Unfortunately, I won't have time to post anything in the next couple of days. I hope to finish the challenge and write a few post in a couple of days. Your patience is appreciated (I like to pretend I have thousands of readers when I actually have about 3.7.)

Until I can catch up, here is something I saw yesterday while surfing around. That lamp is calling my name.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 29 - A Song That Reminds My Why I Love Music

"14 Forever" by Stars - This song makes me think of all the music I love. The lyrics seem to describe a relationship between the band or singer and their fans. It reminds me of how a song can feel like it's written specifically for you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 28 - A Song By the Last Band You Saw in Concert

"The Stars Just Blink for Us" by Say Hi - I am playing catch up on the 30 day challenge which is why there's 2 posts today. I think today should actually be Day 29 but it's ok. I will just change the name to the 30 Day (or so) Song Challenge. I haven't followed any other rules of the challenge, why start now.

I used another song by Say Hi in an earlier post and mentioned that I saw them live recently. Strangely, I went to this show with the same person who took me to my first concert, my brother Ben. This is strange because, before the Say Hi show, I don't think I'd been to a show with Ben since we went to see No Doubt when I was 14 or 15.

The show itself was pretty good. It was in the back room of the Black Cat in DC which is very small. My sister-in-law told me before the show that they don't play fan favorites and, for the most part, stick with their most recent album. This turned out to be true and was a little disappointing because, while I enjoy the album released earlier this year, there are lots of songs from earlier albums that I would have loved to hear live. That being said, I still really enjoyed the show and would love to see them again some time. The opening band, Yellow Ostrich, was also quite good.

Here's one of my favorites that, unfortunately, they didn't play at the show. I really wish there was an actual video to post and not just cover art with song lyrics.

Day 27- A Song By the First Band I Saw In Concert

"Istanbul" by They Might Be Giants - Technically, I went to my first concert at three years old when my family went to see The Beach Boys on the National Mall. Since I have no memory of this, I am going with the first concert I can remember, They Might Be Giants. My brother, Ben, has been a TMBG fan for a long time and I remember borrowing his tape and listening to it over and over. When I was 13, he took my brother Kevin and I with a few of his friends to see them at Wolf Trap. I remember very little about the show but I do remember there was a guy wearing a Pink Freud shirt and Ben finding it amusing. I didn't get it at the time.

Below is the Tiny Toons video for "Istanbul" which I haven't watched since I was a kid. I really loved Tiny Toons and TMBG so this makes me very nostalgic.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 26 - A Song With a Great Video

"True Loves" by Hooray for Earth- I just heard this song and heard this video on and had to share it here. Dooce frequently features music on her blog and usually, the songs she features are gems. I had never heard of Hooray for Earth before reading her post about this song but I will now be grabbing their album when it comes out in June. Both the song and the video are incredible.

Hooray For Earth - True Loves from Dovecote Records on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

There's a recent trend I've noticed on Pinterest and other design sites, art prints with little sayings or slogans. I don't really care for this trend. Normally, the saying is over the top cutesy or inspirational, which isn't really my thing. They sort o remind me of the "Hang in There, Baby" cat poster. This trend seems to have spawned from the very popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" and "For Like Ever" posters. Even though, I am not a fan of this trend, I found a couple of exceptions. I would be happy to hang either of these on my wall.

Day 25 - Something Slow, Soft, and Pretty

"Skinny Love" by Bon Iver- I haven't felt very well today. I'm a little under the weather and a little down in the dumps. If I were feeling well, I might post something happy and upbeat but I only seem to be in the mood for low-key, acoustic songs. That's where Bon Iver comes in. This music is perfect for my current mood. This morning, all I wanted to do was pull the covers back over my head, put in some headphones, and listen this album.

I should mention that I first hear Bon Iver on an episode of Chuck, which is a surprisingly good source to hear new music.

Day 24 - A Song For When Your Feeling Melodramatic

"The District Sleeps Alone" by The Postal Service - Even though this song has nothing to do with hockey, it feels appropriate in a melodramatic way. Maybe next year, Caps.

It's Only A Game

Tonight, I intended to catch up on the song challenge and maybe write another post about something or another but I am too depressed. The Washington Capitals season was ended tonight in a pathetic way. They were swept in the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They might as well not have shown up with the way they played.

I should start off by saying how ridiculous it is that I allow myself to get so wrapped up in a sports game. I realize that it is pointless to get emotionally invested in something that is, one, trivial in the scheme of things and, two, something that I have no control over. That being said, I do get emotionally invested. I watch the games. I learn about the players. I learn all I can about the game. I root for the team. I get excited when they win and I get down when they lose. And when they lose miserably in a game that ends their season, I get really down.

You might think that I would learn from my experiences as a fan of the Redskins. In recent years, I've come to expect that the Redskins will not do well. They haven't been very good in a long time and it would be a surprise if they ever had a season that ended in a playoff run. But when it comes to the Capitals, they are expected to do better. They are also expected to make the playoffs and make it far in the post season. In recent years, at the start of every season, there is real hope that they could make it the Stanley Cup Finals and maybe even win it all. So when they fall flat in the second round of the playoffs, without a single win, it is stunning and painful. This series against Tampa Bay was a huge disappointment. The team was barely recognizable. In each game, I kept hoping that they would wake up, show some intensity, and turn it around, but they seemed defeated from game one. I only saw a few glimpses of the team I know and love.

I don't know what's going to happen this off season. I have an idea or two, but I won't speculate. Right now, I feel like giving up on sports all together but I know that when the season starts, I will be right back, rooting for the team with high expectations. Hopefully, I will be able to write a very different post in a year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Room of the Day

I realize that I don't actually have a series called "Room of the Day" but maybe I should. I came across a photo of this room earlier and just had to share it. I love everything about this room, from the little orange elephant to that spectacular entertainment wall. It's the home of the writer of YellowBrickHome, a blog that was added to my Google Reader feed shortly after I first saw this photo.

Day 23 - A Song That References Another Song

"Gimme Sympathy" by Metric- I may be grasping with this day's theme but I had to find an excuse to write about this song. Also, when my version of the challenge becomes the internet sensation that it is destined to be, I think this will be one of the more challenging days.

I've had Metric on my mp3 player but only recently heard this song when Amazon offered it for free, which they are still doing. I love a band with a good female lead and Emily Haines is one of my favorites. Of course, the song being referenced is "Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles. Since I bashed "Hey Jude" earlier in the challenge, I'm glad to mention a Beatles song that I really love. I've included that below, too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

The last few days have been extremely busy for me at work and I have had very little time for anything else. As a result, I've neglected this blog and my other internet related activities. I thought I would have the chance to sit and write a post tonight while watching the Caps game tonight but it's only 3 minutes in and I realize that I won't be able to look away from my tv screen for the next couple of hours. It's game three of their series against Tampa Bay and we're down two games already. Hopefully, I will have the chance to catch up on the song challenge after the game but until then, I will be on the edge of my seat, biting my nails. Let's go CAPS!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 22 - The Last Song You Acquired Without Purchasing

"Civilian" by Wye Oak- No, I didn't steal it. Amazon often offers free downloads of what they call "up and coming" artists. Recently, this song was one of the songs they had for free. I don't know that I would have purchased the song but I like it enough to download it for free.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 21- The Last Song You Paid For

"O.N.E" by Yeasayer- I heard this song recently and had to have it. I know it's a little strange, but that's part of why I like it so much. The chorus is catchy and the last minute or so is great.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 20- Last Song Stuck In Your Head

"Walk Away" by Franz Ferdinand- I stole this idea from another thirty day song challenge. Apparently, there are 793(made up number) thirty day song challenges and now I'm creating my own franken-challenge so there will be 794.

Back to the song. Franz Ferdinand makes songs that get stuck in my head. It never fails that when I hear one of their songs, I am singing it hours later. "Walk Away" is no exception. I heard this earlier today and it replaying in my head now. Why don't you walk away, why don't you walk away, why don't you walk away.... all day long.

Small Cool

One of my favorite home websites, Apartment Therapy has an annual contest they call their Small Cool contest. Contestants submit photos of their small homes, some as small as 350 sq ft, and readers vote on their favorites. It's always a good source of inspiration for decorating small spaces. Our apartment is small, not teeny tiny, but the living room ia awkwardly shaped so I am on the hunt for ideas on how to decorate it so that it will be functional and good looking. Below are some of my favorite rooms from this years contest.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 19 - A Song With Both Male and Female Vocals

"1957" by Milo Greene- I happen to have a lot of music from bands that have both male and female singers, Arcade Fire, The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Naked and Famous. It's something that I really enjoy in music. This is a song I've only recently heard and know very little about the band. They don't have any albums available for purchase and I can't find too many more songs by them, so I am assuming they are pretty new. Based on this song alone, I am looking forward to finding out more about them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Electronis Are Stupid

I told you last week of my car window problem which was, thankful, pretty painless to get fixed. Well that was just one of the many things I own that decided to quit working last week. Out of nowhere, my wireless router suddenly stopped routing wirelessly (not a word). Also, my smart phone is starting to show it's old age and has a number of irritating problems.

The most painful of my electronic problems is my beloved Playstation 3. I understand that there is a major issue with the Playstation Network affecting millions of PS3 users going on right now. I knew nothing about that until seeing it on the news because my PS3 will not turn on. I use my PS3 for a number of things. I watch movies via Netflix. It streams music and plays it over my tv speakers. It's my dvd player and, last but not least, it supports my video game addiction. If it was up to me, I would get rid of Directv and rely only on the entertainment provided by the internet and my PS3. With Netflix, Hulu, and Call of Duty, why pay for satellite tv. Early last week, while I was playing a very competitive game of Capture the Flag on Call of Duty, it froze. So I turned it off, let it rest for a while, and tried to turn it back on. It seemed normal at first. I could hear it's fan start up, I heard the little beep that it always makes, and it's light turned green. Then it beeped 3 times and the light changed a color I had never seen it before, yellow. Then the light turned red, which indicates that it was turned off. I tried again and more of the same.

So I searched the internet for an explanation and, more importantly, a resolution. I was surprised to learn that there is a name for this unfortunate issue, "The Yellow Light of Death." I thought, "Well, that's ominous." Apparently, this is something that happens to PS3's when they are at the end of their life cycle and there's not a whole lot that can be done to fix it. I saw Youtube videos showing people opening their PS3's up and using heat guns on the mother board, which I'm not exactly comfortable doing. I also saw people using a hairdryer on the system's vents for an extended period of time and then sticking the system in their freezer, which seems like a not so good idea to me. My other options are to send it Sony, pay them a bunch of money, and they fix it or send a refurbished device or buy a new one for a bunch more money. I have also considered giving up Call of Duty (eep!) and buying a much less expensive device to stream Netflix, like a Roku Box or a dvd player with internet capabilities. None of these options are very appealing. For now, until I make a decision, my PS3 is a giant, expensive brick.

Day 18 - Something Completely Different

"The Human Condition" by Jhameel- When I was doing my new song finding experiment the other day, this is one of the songs I came across. I've listened to it a few more times since then and think it should have been the song I wrote about in that post. It's unusual but very cool and another great example of why I love The Hype Machine. The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Artsy Band Posters

Art and music, two great tastes that taste great together. My dream home will be filled with a lot of art and I'm sure a good portion of that will be artsy band posters. These posters are colorful, interesting, and if they're for a band you love, meaningful. I've saved a bunch of band posters to my Pinterest account and I thought I'd share a few of them here. I was able to find some really incredible Arcade Fire posters.

 I couldn't find the source for this one, eep!