What’s Making Me Happy This Week 11/27/12

I’ve been trying to do one of these posts every other week, so here’s the third “in a row”!
Maybe I’ll get some format, but for now it remains random…

Things that were great about Thanksgiving week –

  • Getting a haircut!  Always feels great!

    Cheers

    Cheers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Choir – getting ready for some upcoming gigs!
  • FOUR days in a row without work!
  • Playing “Headbandz” with the kids – so many laughs!
  • Flying kites on Thanksgiving morning – amazing weather!
  • Watching the “Cheers” Thanksgiving episode – hilarious!
  • NOT shopping on Black Friday because I was working – still loving my great colleagues!
  • Working four short shifts (i.e. 8 hours v. 12 hours!) in these two weeks!
  • Getting my tree up effortlessly!

 

 

Things that I look forward to this week –

Cover of "Life of Pi"

  • Seeing “Life of Pi” on Thursday with a couple of book-lovin’ fools like me (although neither has read the book)!
  • Thursday off – and probably car shopping!
  • A short day of work on Friday and then a weekend off!
  • The Christmas Radio Show gigs in Winona and our annual concert with the Winona Brass Band on Sunday!
  • Organizing my Christmas list and starting to make purchases!
  • It will be December! Yay!  Because, why not?

 

 

 

Things that I will never tire of:

  • The movie “Once” – I just re-watched it tonight for the first time since I’ve seen the Broadway show twice, and it’s still just soooooooo good.  Such a nice story with great music and the lovely Glen.  Ah.

    Glen Hansard

    Glen Hansard (Photo credit: Irish Philadelphia Photo Essays)

Bruuuuuuuce!

Bruce Springsteen, girls' night out, November 2012

These girls are ready to rock!

I woke up this morning thinking of the Bruce Springsteen concert, which was one week ago tonight!

We bought our tickets in August, so it has been something we have been anticipating for quite some time.
(Anticipation of great things is so awesome!)

We began our adventure at the House of Coates Bar where we had delicious burgers –

Best burgers in Minnesota?

Best burgers in Minnesota? In 2008!

and sat in a booth that was either too hot or too cold!

House of Coates Bar booth

A dive bar experience with delicious burgers and inconsistent heat!

We had tickets on the Club Level, so it was a quieter atmosphere.  Our seats were in the last row so we didn’t have to worry about standing and dancing in front of people who chose to sit during the concert.
(Really, who sits during a Bruce concert??? Evidently people in the Club Level!).  

Bruce didn’t disappoint.  He was on stage for 185 minutes.  He never left.  Not for a minute.

Bruce Springsteen

Walking amid the crowd – early in the show and late in the show!

Dancing in the Dark

Dancing in the Dark – Bruce brought a Veteran on stage for a dance! (Sidenote: According to Google, Bruce wears Wrangler Jeans! And he wears them well!)

Bruce Springsteen crowd surfing

He even crowd surfed! (This is pre-surfing)

Bruce Springsteen 2012 st. paul high energy end of show

This is at the end of the show – and he is full of energy!

And he appeared more energized at the end of the show than at the beginning!  

American Land Bruce Springsteen the end

The Finale – American Land is such a fun song!

He is an amazing performer and I hope that I get to see him a few more times!  I think next time, I want to be “down there,” in that crowd of people dancing and singing along.  I hope I can do that before I get too old.
Although, you could see on the big screen, that some of them were not spring chickens!  

I’ve been thinking about Bruce, because I feel like I’m a “come-lately” fan.
But I used to listen to his music a lot in the late 80s, and I had forgotten that until I went to his concert for the first time in 2009
He is an amazing song writer and his songs tell stories.
I remember listening to his Live album (3 cassettes, given to my brother for Christmas), listening to the stories of Johnny 99, Reason to Believe, Cadillac Ranch, Nebraska… all stories beautifully (and often tragically) told.
Good stuff for a moody teenager to listen to (now and then)!

So I’m not really a “come-lately” but I have been a “Tramp” for many years!

I think as I get older, I can appreciate more and am in awe of his passion for music and for people.

Here is a World Premiere of Devils and Dust from that night, a compilation of songs from the night and the setlist for
Monday, November 12, 2012 at the Xcel Center in St. Paul, MN!  Woot!

Soundcheck:

Devils And Dust

Concert:

1. I’m A Rocker
2. Hungry Heart
3. No Surrender
4. Night
5. Loose Ends
6. Something In The Night
7. STOLEN CAR*
8. We Take Care Of Our Own
9. Wrecking Ball
10. Death to My Hometown
11. My City of Ruins
12. The E Street Shuffle
13. Pay Me My Money Down
14. DEVILS AND DUST*
15. Youngstown
16. Murder Incorporated
17. She’s The One
18. Shackled and Drawn
19. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
20. The Rising
21. Badlands
22. Land of Hope and Dreams

Encore:

23. Jungleland
24. Born to Run
25. Dancing In The Dark
26. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
27. American Land

http://www.backstreets.com/setlists.html to read more about the tour.
Our concert was a special event according to the Bruce experts!

Well, that’s enough about Bruuuuce!  Unless you want to tell me about your experiences!

On Podcasts

In June 2011 I blogged about the Podcasts I Have Loved, which I reblogged on 11/13.  There are some changes in what I listen to currently, and the method in which I listen!  So I thought I’d do a quick update.

  • I still listen to The Satellite Sisters weekly podcast of whoever they can gather on a Sunday afternoon.  You can read more about my relationship with the Sisters (if you don’t know already!) by reading my previous blog about podcasts, but suffice it to say that I cried when I learned that on the day they were moving their father with advanced Alzheimer’s to a skilled nursing facility in Dallas to be near sister Julie, they brought their mother Edna to the emergency room in Pasadena and she learned that she has advanced lung cancer.  And I cried again when I listened to their most recent post in which they talk about the emotional journey they are now facing, which looked so different a month ago.  They are amazing Sisters and I encourage you to look for their book (published in 2001) if you want to know more about them!
  • I also listen to The Chaos Chronicles by sister Lian, the youngest Satellite Sister.  It has gone down in my priority list because she started posting a lot about the college application process, as she has a son who is a senior this year, and I find that pretty irrelevant to my life right now.  If you are in that stage, go ahead and listen to her advice as she navigates that world!
  • I still listen to Filmspotting, although Matty Ballgame is no longer a co-host.  It’s good and interesting reviews of current and past movies with some silliness thrown in.

    Filmspotting

    Filmspotting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I listen to

  • Spilled Milk,
  • the Moth, Wait,
  • and Wait, Don’t Tell Me! – and I have added a few more to the mix.

My method of listening changed when I discovered the Stitcher app for the iPadand Android phones.  Stitcher is a way to subscribe to the podcasts or radio shows that you want to listen to and they are delivered as they are published.  I don’t have to worry about connecting to iTunes and downloading the podcasts to my devices, they just arrive automatically, if I’m subscribed and online.  So I have added a few to my planned and purposeful listening.  🙂  And it syncs between devices so I can put headphones on and walk with my phone while listening to the Culture Gabfest (as I just did) and it will remember where I left off and resume next time I turn on the app on the iPad.

Image representing Stitcher as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Currently I listen to all of the above, as well as

  • NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour (probably my current favorite!),
  • Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 (very fun!),
  • The Splendid Table,
  • Slate’s Culture Gabfest,
  • The Dinner Party,
  • Michael Feldman‘s Whad’ya Know?,
  • TED Radio Hour Podcast,
  • New York City History by the Bowery Boys,
  • Here’s the Thing (Alec Baldwin),
  • Mike and Tom Eat Snacks (NEVER SAFE FOR WORK!)
  • and Fresh Air.

With Stitcher you can prioritize the list and it will just continue working its way down as you have it on.  So there are some that I don’t get to weekly or maybe even monthly, but it’s ok because those that I really want to hear are at the top of the list.  I really love it when I turn on the Stitcher app and it tells me how many hours I have listened since I subscribed.  It’s pretty amazing.  It also gives you ideas of other things you may like to listen to, so I just today added another to the list.  I’ll let you know what I think of it!

People always ask how I have time to do all this listening, but I think that having an iPad makes it simple.  And I have a tendency to forget that I have a TV and won’t turn it on for days.  Instead, I carry the iPad from room to room and listen while I iron (I did that today!), clean, wash dishes, blog (!), or while I’m getting ready for the day!  So the hours that I am home and alone, I am usually listening to things that I want to listen to.  Sometimes it’s music, but most often it’s podcasts!

What do you listen to?  Any recommendations?  Have you listened to any of the above based on my ravings?  🙂

And oldie but a goodie! I will update it with the new podcasts I listen to later in the week!

WalkieTalkieBookClub

Sarah asked me to post about some of my favorite podcasts and I love to oblige requests!  🙂

I don’t know when I started listening to podcasts – probably sometime after the purchase of my first iPod in 2005.  As I blogged about before, I am an avid audiobook listener and so listening to the radio is not how I like to pass my time in the car.  I am not opposed to music – maybe sometime I’ll blog about my music listening habits – but I am purposeful about what I listen to and the radio can be too random and unsatisfying.

Probably the very first podcast I ever listened to was The Satellite Sisters.  I used to try to listen to their radio show whenever I was in range (which wasn’t often at all – a few times a year?) and I loved their book and blog…

View original post 940 more words

11/11 What’s Making me Happy This Week

The things that make me different are the thin...

The things that make me different are the things that make me – me. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

  • Symmetry in dates – 11/11 and 11/11/12!
  • A weekend off!
  • Sunshiny weather on my day off Thursday – and being out and about during the daylight!  Durn daylight savings time!
  • Wearing capris in November – one more warm burst for a bit!
  • Poetry reading with the girls – from Shel Silverstein to to e.e. cummings to Japanese Haikus.
  • Poetry written by the girls!  Funny haikus!
    Haikus

  • A surprise party, even if it wasn’t a surprise in the end! It was still a good party!
  • Being with family
  • Watching the boys at the Metrodome tonight – fun to see them win!
  • A good book that makes me want to carry it around and read at every spare moment!
  • Having fun things to look forward to this week – Springsteen and book club!!
E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings (Photo credit: o admirador secreto)

Friday Film Footnotes

With the string of overnight shifts that I did last week and the self-indulgent behavior that I allow when on that shift, I attempted to clear some of the recordings off my DVR.  I worked two overnights, had two nights off, and worked two more.  I attempted to maintain the “stay up all night” schedule.  It was kind of fun to put on my jammies and sit on the couch and catch up on movies and eat popcorn!

 

Here is what I watched:

 

Sam Rockwell - Moon

Sam Rockwell – Moon (Photo credit: markhillary)

Moon (taped from Starz) – Creepy! Sam Rockwell plays the sole employee on a lunar base mining fuel for Earth.  He has a 3 year contract and begins to think it is too long to be away from his family and starts hallucinating after he has an accident on the equipment.  Poor guy!

 

Last Song (taped from Starz) – Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear. Predictable but I still cried.  Dang it.  Miley is pretty awful but I love Greg Kinnear.

 

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger(taped from Starz) – Typical Woody Allen movie. Characters not plot. A woman consults a  fake psychic after her husband leaves her (for a prostitute turned wife) and her daughter falls in love with her boss and out of love with her novelist husband, who falls in love with the beautiful muse across the alley!  Ah.  Life is complicated in Woody World.

Cover of "Born Romantic"

Cover of Born Romantic

Born Romantic(taped from Starz) – Craig Ferguson stars in this little thing about 3 guys looking for love in and around a salsa club in London.  Interesting characters, but not a big recommendation from me.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Craig Ferguson movie?

 

Cover of "When Harry Met Sally"

Cover of When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (from my stash of DVDs) – Have been in the mood to rewatch this for months and finally got around to it!  For some reason the TV in my bedroom is only showing black and white right now, so it felt a little more retro than the 80s-90s!  I really gotta figure out where the cords should be hooked up…

 

That’s it!  Nothing in the theatres for a while (since Argo).  Would like to see Cloud Atlas soon, so we’ll see!  Then the holiday blockbusters will start appearing… gotta make time for them!

 

Hope you have a great weekened!

 

It’s almost over…

facebook and politics

Facebook posts

Tomorrow morning we will know the outcome.   (Hopefully. Remember that one time when it dragged on and on?)

I’m not a big news watcher but I try hard to find impartial news sources to read my news, and if I can’t find impartial I read from all sides.  I’m going to be glad when it’s over so that I can unhide those facebook friends who constantly barrage their statuses with political news (all sides) and I hope for a return to civility.

Other things I hope will go away when the election is over:

There’s more I’m sure.

What about you? What are you looking forward to putting behind you?

voted vote

Yes I did.

Remember, Remember

How have I never heard this poem before?  My brother and my aunt have their birthday on the Fifth of November, so it’s a day that has been celebrated in my household as long as I have been around.  So how have I never heard this poem until this year?  One of the benefits of the internet?  Is it because I’m not English that I’ve never heard it before?  Is it because I now follow a lot of British folk on Twitter that I heard it finally this year?

Anyway, its in reference to Guy Fawkes, a traitor who was publicly and horrifically executed for his treason in 1605.  Yearly they burn effigies of him to remember the biggest traitor in their history.  I’ve heard of Guy Fawkes day and now I will forever put the two together.

A 1606 etching by Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Vissc...

A 1606 etching by Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher, depicting Fawkes’s execution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The version as reproduced from the Tower of London archive

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
’twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

Film Friday Footnotes

So far this fall I have seen some great movies, in the theatre and at home!  Here’s a quick roundup:

Trouble with the Curve (with Kristine for her birthday) –  Grumpy old Clint Eastwood, successful and driven Amy Adams, the lovable friend John Goodman and the cuter-than-cute Justin Timberlake.  There’s just something about baseball movies and this one was lots of fun.  Poor Clint has failing eyes, which are pretty important to his job as a baseball scout (for the Braves I think).  Loyal friendships, strained father-daughter relationship, flirty flirty romance, baseball uniforms.  Good stuff.

Cover of "Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Co...

Cover via Amazon

Pitch Perfect (with Troy in NYC!) – The perfect movie to kick off Broadway Birthday week in NYC!  It was hilarious (“I set fires to feel joy.”) and energetic and simply A-ca-wonderful!  I wanted to see it again in the theatre but with so many other good movies to see, I will wait to purchase it!  It was produced by Elizabeth Banks and her husband and she has such a fun role in the movie.  Just great stuff.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (alone before working overnight on a free movie day) – I read this book in the 90s when it came out and it was good.  The movie is very good, as well.  A lonely freshman is “mentored” by a couple of seniors and feels relief in friendships.  The movie is funny and fun but also delicately handles mental illness.

Argo (Friday night with the grownups) – Suspenseful; so suspenseful and tense.  I was squirming in my seat but loved it.  Ben Affleck is getting cuter by the minute and not shirtless for long enough, John Goodman is still a lovable goof of a friend, and Alan Arkin appears (as always) that he’s up for anything.  Well done, Ben!

And at home via Netflix or Direct TV on Demand:

Bernie – Jack Black plays the lovable funeral director that his hometown does not want to convict of murder, even though he did it.  No one blames him because the woman who dies was really a hateful person (Shirley McLaine).  It was “meh” and interestingly enough based on a real person.

Blue Like Jazz – Based on the book of the same name by Donald Miller, a story (semi-autobiographical) of a young man who becomes disillusioned with church and goes off to a small liberal college in the NW as a rebellious gesture.  He tries to figure out himself and what he believes.  It was fine.  I didn’t finish the book probably for the same reason that the movie didn’t have zing.

Sleepwalk with Me – You can still see this in “select theatres” throughout the United States, just not a “theatre near me.”  But I was excited to learn that it was available On-Demand to rent!  Yay!  So I watched it tonight and it was so good.  I heard of the movie because I listen to This American Life and The Moth Story Hour and I think that Mike Birbiglia is very entertaining and funny to listen to.  He wrote this movie (semi-autobiographical) about the start of a stand-up comedy career and the stall of a long-term relationship and the dangerous sleep disorder woven into the mix. Quirky and smart, it was definitely the best thing I’ve seen at home in a while.  It would have been fun to see it on the big screen, but it is one of those films that probably won’t make it to our screens.

Movies to look forward to this fall/holiday season:

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conf...

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conference for the film Coriolanus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Cloud Atlas – Hear it’s the fastest 3 hour movie ever made!
  • Chasing Mavericks – maybe.  Gerard Butler, you know.
  • Anna Karenina – I read the books so I know what happens (ha) and can’t wait for this new adaptation
  • Life of Pi – I read this book – twice – and loved it. Hope the movie is amazing, too!
  • Hyde Park on Hudson – maybe. May be a renter.
  • Playing for Keeps – Gerard Butler. That’s all.
  • This is 40. – Judd Apatow movie with Paul Rudd.  Nice.
  • The Impossible – maybe. About the tsunami. Looks hard to watch.
  • Les Miserables – looks amazing!