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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Not only is it a good crime drama with great characters and actors, it’s got fantastic music. I’m not the only one who thinks so.

This link is mostly for my reference.

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Spouse and I: 3, basement: 1

We’ve gotten almost everything in the basement completely done. The records pwned us by being too numerous for our shelf but other than that, we’re pretty good. I’m pleased with the albums because, as a novice LP-packer, I was really really concerned they were going to break on the cross country trip. They did not and I couldn’t be happier about it. My dad’s record collection is made of win.

Today we made another trip to Denver, as our houseguests both needed to be dropped at the airport (albeit a couple of hours apart). Both have landed safely in their respective home states and, after running a few errands, Spouse and I headed home. We got sidetracked at the largest Whole Foods I have ever seen in my life.

Once we got home we walked Piper. She was very excited to see us because I think she’d just about written us off as dead. I’m not sure canine object permanence lasts more than 10 hours. She is currently sprawled on the love seat, Spouse is ensconced on the couch, and here sit I in my old recliner. We get to relax, having put the shelves together, unpacked albums, stored excess dishes, and walking. I also sorted through a metric asston of photographs that I’ve been keeping forever. I found my K-12 photo sheet, a detention form from 8th grade, and a bunch of photos that my high school friends who have recently friended me on facebook may or may not be happy to see.

The daily Leadville photo will have to wait because the camera is upstairs and I’m going to sit right here and drink cocoa until I get drowsy.

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The realtor was showing my house this afternoon, which meant I had to leave. So I made my way to the Barnes and Noble, to partake of their speedy (and free) wireless. During my drive, Carly called to tell me about her new potential facebook status – which was not safe for work and a commentary on the idiot drivers who were making her trip to Ann Arbor more hazardous. Carly and I have a lot of things in common, including the occasional fit of road rage. One of our more important shared characteristics is a loathing of Christmas music.

I spent every Christmas season, from junior high through college, working retail during the holidays. Some places were great (book stores) other places were not (sporting goods store). At the sporting goods store, they played the SAME LOOP of holiday music throughout the day, EVERY DAY, beginning the day after Thanksgiving. As a result, songs like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree make me want to bludgeon people with a golf club, or brain them with free weights. Most of the holiday ‘classics’ have been ruined for me – or had been – for years. In the last year or so my holiday spirit has begun to recover.

It used to be that I would only tolerate holiday music the day before, day of, and day after Christmas. Now I can listen to music a week or so beforehand! Progress, I tell you!

The exception, of course, is Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano because it is 1) the best Christmas song ever 2) Christmas music you can dance to and 3) included on almost NO ONE’s retail holiday music loop.

After commiserating about the terrible drivers, we started talking about holiday music. Apparently there’s some Christmas shoe song that I haven’t heard? From Carly’s reaction, it’s a good thing I haven’t heard it. At any rate, it inspired me to make a mix of holiday music for people who do not like holiday music. It will include some classics, some classics with a twist, and new holiday favorites (Stoned Soul Christmas, My First Christmas (As a Woman), and She’s a Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas). And Feliz Navidad. It will be called WTF H$liday Mix.

I’m kind of excited about the project and when I get it done, I’ll upload it to imeem.

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It took me nearly an hour to shovel my driveway this morning, brought to you in conjunction with the township school closing (my barometer to cancel yoga class) and my newfound inability to sleep in. I haven’t shoveled that much snow since a few years ago when Spouse threw out his back just in time to get 13 inches of snow. This was only about 6 inches of snow but it was HEAVY and WET. Ick. The snow is supposed to continue throughout the day.

The local U is reluctant to cancel classes under any circumstances, but they closed campus until noon which says something about the condition of the roads.

I am inordinately excited about the new Britney Spears album which comes out tomorrow. Her last album, Blackout, was fantastic and quickly became one of my favorite workout listens. I’ve got a certain amount of sympathy for Britney having to live out all her big mistakes in the public eye. If the stuff I’d been doing between the ages of 19 and 24 (I got married at 25) had been televised, I’m pretty sure my family would never have recovered. That said, I know she doesn’t have the greatest voice. But Blackout was so grabby that it was one of my favorite album purchases that year. I’m looking forward to Circus being more of the same. I think Shane and I are making the trek to Best Buy together. Where I am a fan, Shane is a superfan.

In other music news, I’m loving John Legend’s new album. I’m a big fan of his music in my yoga classes because they’ve always got a good groove. Those are invariably the songs that get folks to dance.

Carly and I are supposed to make an outing to Australia today but I’m not sure that the snow won’t derail it. If nothing else, I can be on my couch with a blanket and book or (more likely) packing up the remainder of the office.

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With the holidays coming up, it makes sense to talk about low cost and environmentally friendly gifts. I know, “Magazines? What?” But magazines are usually (not always) $20 or less for a year’s subscription. AND they CAN be environmentaly friendly!

There are a few magazines that I read regularly. Not surprisingly, most of them are yoga magazines. They’ve all got good information and I’m the kind of person who wants to hang on to them. I’m also the kind of person who has great intentions about cutting out the articles or recipes that I want to keep (so I can get rid of the rest of the magazine) and never quite gets around to doing it.

Last year I discovered Zinio. com. It’s a fantastic website that offers magazines in digital content. You can choose to download them or read them from the Zinio website. Either way, they’re not stacking up in piles next to your end table. The best thing is that you can read them forever. If there’s an article you want, you can print it out. You only end up with the paper you want, rather than being stuck with a whole magazine to discard. 

I’m lazy. I know I’m lazy. And this site is brilliant for me. My two personal recs: Yoga Journal and Women’s Health.

Yoga Journal (which I also link in my sidebar) provides a lot of great information and insight from several different teachers. I don’t love all their advertising (a common complaint of people who aren’t fans) but I also only look at the advertising if I’m LOOKING for something. I skip all ads and go right to the articles I want. Having this in e-format is fantastic because you can print out the information about asanas, or their ‘master class’ and save what you like. It is not my favorite yoga magazine (see: Yoga + Joyful Living) but it’s a close second.

I didn’t get into Women’s Health until Spouse started reading Men’s Health. Men’s Health has great articles about fitness and diet with an upbeat and pro-health/anti-negative message. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Women’s Health does the same thing but is tailored to the specific concerns of women. It’s not just Men’s Health for Women. I love their recipes. Their articles are about lifestyle change and positive attitudes. You’ll be hard pressed to find a single negative word in each issue. And they’re full of REALLY PRACTICAL tips that you can actually use. In almost every issue there’s a 15-minute workout feature (or something like that) with an emphasis on correct form (a personal tweak of mine). It does a great job of covering everything – diet, health, beauty, fitness, sex, and relationships – and makes it feel like you’re talking to your best (smartest) girlfriends about it. It’s not gossipy, just educational. The recipes are great and you can also find workouts and workout playlists at their website (which is also awesome). Not only that, it manages to be ENTERTAINING. Loves it.

If you were only going to choose one of these magazines, I’d go with Women’s Health. Their most recent issue has quite a lot of yoga info in it and overall I think it translates better to general workouts.

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I return to regular posting and it’s on the weekend, right? But that’s not what my finally is all about. I finally got Zune 3.0 loaded onto my computer. I’ve got NO IDEA what the problem was, just that it was immensely frustrating. But last night when I tried the secondary download (first one still failed) it WORKED. Let me say to you now, games on Zune are LOVE.

I had a second gen iPod once upon a time, as well as a shuffle. The iPod treated me well but I ran out of space. Around the same time, Spouse ran out of being able to use iTunes. I was constantly having to tweak the settings for him and then, memorably, iTunes stopped playing the songs he had purchased. He went from frustrated to fury in pretty much no time flat and at that point swore off of DRM music. And when the time came to upgrade, it was 2nd gen Zune time.

I love the Zune. I know a lot of people bitch and say it’s not as sleek or userfriendly as the iPod, but I’m calling bullshit. Having used (and liked) both, I much prefer the Zune software to iTunes. It takes less time to load and is easier to manouever. It accomplishes the same goals (playlists, etc.). And my Zune is the whip. It’s got an enormous screen. It’s super easy to load video and pictures on to (perfect for trips to the hair salon without magazine clippings). The sound is great, the scroll button is slick, and I don’t have a single complaint.

As I stood in line to vote on Tuesday, I got to watch my Yes We Can video. I buy my mp3s from Amazon (who has everything from current music to the karaoke versions of current music – as evidenced by having to buy some for the recent nuptials) and I don’t have to worry about it not playing on my software. It works in Media Player, Zune, and (if I chose) iTunes. When I finally uninstalled iTunes I felt a huge relief (and my laptop sped up considerably). I also completely heart that I can sync my Zune wirelessly and now (should I choose) I can purchase music from the Zune store over that wireless connection right from my Zune. Love it.

I’ve also crafted a few of my yoga playlists using the quicklist function (adds current song to a temp playlist) on the Zune and that works out pretty great for me.

Packing is skipping along. Today I donated around 300 books to the local public library. I’ve got about another 75 to take to the V.A. hospital. We’ve also sorted out the clothes to be donated to the local battered women’s shelter and have something along the line of 50 t-shirts, 10 pairs of pants, 10 pairs of shoes, several pairs of jeans, several sweatshirts, and some dress clothes for women. We’ve got about one more closet to raid and then I just have to parcel out which things I’m keeping and which other things I’ll donate.

Being able to drop things off has been a relief. Every pound of stuff we give away makes me feel that much lighter. I’m also very happy to be able to support the local library and women’s shelter. The shelter takes first dibs on the clothes and then sells things they aren’t using and the proceeds support the shelter. The library has a donated-book sale each year and uses the proceeds accordingly. The V.A. hospital will make the books available to their patients (including hospice patients who live-in long term) as well as the vets that they travel to treat.

Still to be done: finish boxing the last of the books we’re keeping. Finish washing clothes, sort and pack. Pack bedding. Pack CDs and cases that are remaining. Ideally we’ll get a fair chunk of that done tomorrow and then Thanksgiving weekend will simply be wrapping up loose ends.

Right now though – to couch.

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I made this mix a week or so ago and have been listening to it kind of nonstop on my Zune. Fair warning – I just pulled it up on the lab computer on campus (killing time before Micro lab) so I haven’t actually heard it. I’m hoping all those songs are the originals. It’s also missing Woman! Man! by Gomez, so when I get home maybe I’ll upload it.

Related to that, it was awesome to see Adele on SNL last week. I really love her album and I would not have picked it up if it weren’t on eMusic.com

I’ve got to say that as far as websites/apps that I’ve used the most in the last year, imeem and eMusic are right up there. Imeem lets you find out if you like something before you buy it. Emusic lets you pick up loads of music for way cheap and has a metric asston of awesome indie artists. If you like Hem, eMusic is Hem heaven. ;)

Micro midterm was meh. I’m not thrilled with my performance, but I guess I’ll wait to get the final results before getting overly worked up about it.

I am still way tired – ostensibly left over from the weekend. I’ve got to pick up my costume today (alterations done) and my bra for the wedding (ditto). My major plan after that is paying bills and sorting/boxing books. I live a life of wild excitement, I’m telling you.

Last night was the Bandwagon Book Club. I always enjoy the discussion there, though I sometimes feel conspicuous with my English degree. Last night it meant an explanation of Gothic literature. It’s weird because I’m in a group of mostly retired teachers and I’m also the youngest person by at least 10 years. This month’s book was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I really enjoyed it and thought she did a great job of incorporating the Gothic style and themes, but making it a more modern and interesting story. I’d recommend it (gave it 4 out of 5 stars).

If you’re looking for something fantastic, read Infidel by Ayan Hirsi Ali or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseini.

TV Notes:

Heroes- WTF? I mean, really? WTF.

Sarah Connor Chronicles (Terminator) – Getting wicked awesome. Also, Brian Austin Green has NEVER been this hot. Not ever. I dig that the kid playing John is able to convey a lot of emotion with a minimum of dialogue. I also like that Sarah is starting to see things unravel. Love.

Chuck – I started watching this season after having caught a couple of episodes last season. This show is great. Funny and slapstick spy show with heart. I cracked up at several points.

Yoga notes:

If you don’t normally read The Yoga Journal, I’d recommend picking up this month’s issue. They’ve got a great article on Warrior I as described by people from various yoga disciplines (Kripalu, Anusara, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, et cetera). I love it because it highlights that everyone teaches things in slightly different ways to accomplish different things (I tend to go with the Viniyoga approach to Warrior I). It also shows that just because someone is describing one variation, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Most importantly – EVERY VERSION talks about safe knee position. I’m a stickler for knees.

My class schedule is changing slightly and I’m excited about it. Life is about to get wicked hectic, though.

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