Saturday, October 5, 2013

They're back.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I neglected to post much about Mechanical Bull, the KOL's first album post Caleb's notorious public breakdown on stage.  This is not because I wasn't all over the news, or due to a lack of enthusiasm.  Rather, I blame the constant cycle of Frances audiobooks playing in my car.  My little guy will tolerate almost nothing on my musical end but Jack Johnson.  Not bad taste, at least.  There is hope for him still.    Anyway, it took a while for me to get through the album, but I am finally here to say it's solid.  I wouldn't say it's my favorite of all KOL time, but it's definitely good, and I can recognize their older stuff in the sound, which is nice.  It makes me think they were taking things really seriously when they went about recording it.

The song above, performed in a very tame fashion for a lackluster Letterman crowd is one of my favorites from the album.  I decided to include it in lieu of "Supersoaker," the first single, just because I like it so much.  Do not judge by the crowd or mood of the video, by the way.  I know this is going to be awesome in concert, when the Kings officially kick off a tour.  For now, I've relentlessly started to stalk their blog for tour news, which I expect after they finish the festival circuit.  This weekend they're headlining Austin City Limits, a fact I was reminded of only after my BFF Rose sent me an excited text to say she had them in her very sights, at an extremely hip Austin restaurant.  I was overwhelmed with jealousy, of course, but mostly happy to hear her positive report.  No behaviors to feel bad about.

Finally, I'm including a link to this most awesome musical q & a with Caleb Followill (obviously my favorite).  I was ridiculously charmed by it. Mentions of "The Grundy County Auction" right in there with Keith Sweat and The Bodyguard soundtrack? As if I didn't love the band enough already...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

thursday night

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I wanted to get my act together and write a nice little blog post today, especially because I had a delicious dinner tonight that was particularly inspiring.  However, by the time I managed to get my little guy to bed, it was almost nine, and all I wanted to do was eat a bowl of ice cream and casually debate on which of my FAVORITE SHOWS I would put on first.  Thursdays are the best.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

what we're reading now

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Those of you who actually tune in to my blog every once in a while might have wondered what has happened to my beloved installments about our favorite books-of-the-time.  It is actually not due to my apathetic and sporadic blogging history that has prevented me from a new post.  Rather, it is that we are in a "new stage" of reading, wherein my little guy eschews any new titles and only gravitates towards what he knows.  Just today, when I tried to begin one of the adorable books that is part of, ironically, a book-buying spree on my part that does not at all match up with A's interests, he took it gently from my hands, walked a few feet away, and set it on the floor.  "No Sophie's Squash," he said firmly.
P.S. Go immediately and check out Sophie's Squash.  It is about an adorable little girl named Sophie and her pet squash Bernice.  How can you not be charmed?! 

Anyway, for the most part, as I've said, we've been in a reading "rut" (in my mind), going through the same fifteen books or so, over and over.  It's not the most fun stage, but the important thing is that we're reading.  Here are a few in the current reading list.

Otis.  There are a few books in this series about an adventurous and kind red tractor, who befriends everyone on his farm and manages to save them from precarious situations.  Despite his brave nature, Otis is secretly just as afraid or lonely as his fellow farm dwellers, which makes the stories all the more appealing.

Max's Chocolate Chicken.  So far, there are only two Max and Ruby books that captivate A, and thankfully, this is one of them (the other favorite is Max Counts His Chickens, an Easter-themed number book and not part of the more traditional series).  It happens to be one of my favorite Max books, so I don't mind reading it over and over again.  I don't think that A quite understands Max's sneakiness yet, but I certainly enjoy it.

Banter.  If you've read about what books we enjoy, you have probably guessed that we (or I) have quite an affection for books with a farm setting.  It doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that I grew up on a ranch, which is not a farm but obviously shares some qualities, but more that I like the simple familiarity that comes with learning to recognize the most beloved domestic animals.  This title is written by Denise Fleming, who composes beautiful watercolor illustrations and tends to focus on conceptual writing.  My little guy really responds to concept books, as I've written about before, and this one is no exception.  It's about a search for goose, and each page reveals a different animal accompanied with its matching sound: "Hens in the henhouse, cluck, cluck, cluck...".

Hippopposites. I wanted A to have a few books that would focus on the concept of opposites, and this title stood out to me immediately.  At first, I thought it was one of those purchases that appealed to parents more, because it's a stylish book with a clean, modern design.  No messy splashes of color or busy illustrations.  For whatever reason, A took to it right away, and now lugs it around calling it "heavy", which he learned from the book, I might add.

Guys, this last one is something I'd like to refer to as "The Book that Shall Not Be Named" (though obviously you can see the title).    I fully confess that I'm a snob when it comes to books, the ones I read and even more so when it comes to children's books.  If it's got a TV character in it or was mass produced for a bin at Target I'm probably going to avoid it.  I'm not proud of my prejudice, but to be fair, there is a reason why classics remain classics and some children's authors stand out far above others (I'm looking at you, Kevin Henkes and Helen Lester!) .  I figure that I might as well be reading the best books available to my child.  As tends to happen with kids, we can't always choose what they love.  Thus, while this little book might not be the caliber of Blueberries for Sal, I must muster up enthusiasm about it for A's sake.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

browsing history

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
My little collection of links is a bit paltry today...I blame the late hour.  Most of what's circulating the past few days is related to Breaking Bad, so the post is appropriately themed.

Love, LOVE these clever, Breaking Bad themed ghost illustrations from Doogie Horner.

On a related note, here is a faux opinion piece on Gray Matter technologies.

For super-obsessed Breaking Bad fans,  Entertainment Weekly ranks all the episodes, worst to best.  *Now including the finale.

First teaser trailer for Divergent.  I have to say, I'm not currently sold on Shailene Woodley.  She comes across as a little "soft", for lack of a better word.  Those of you who have read the book know that Tris isn't a particularly tough character at the start, so maybe it's appropriate.  Perhaps I need to reread and refresh.

Stephen King's Reddit AMA.  I've gotten into a few of his books this summer, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. There is more to SK than cheap thrills, in case you didn't know.  He is unquestionably a respected author with a solid history and reputation, who has consistently delivered over the years, with only a few misses.  Most recently, I had grown to respect his columns and entertainment op-ed's on music, television, and books, despite not really having any familiarity with his work.  Now it's hard for me to move on from one of his books to something else.