The Saint John’s

I am completely in love with the Saint John’s. They apparently are working on a full-length album, but at the moment have released four songs from a live recording. They are all amazingly beautiful with wonderful melodies and harmonies. Their song Your Head and Your Heart has gotten some radio play at least among NPR Music stations, though the sort of music they play is certainly riding a wave of popularity right now so I won’t be surprised if they eventually get some commercial radio play as well. I would definitely keep your eyes and ears on this band. You can actually download the four songs from their live recording from their website now, so get thee there and make your ears happy.


I used to love How I Met Your Mother. Now it is sadly a show I watch more out habit than enjoyment. It’s not to say that there aren’t some bright spots here or there, but for the most part this show is long past its prime. The characters have become overly broad and often contradictory to what we know about them from earlier seasons. I was really hoping this season would be their last one. We could find out who the mother was and all move on with our lives. Unfortunately there is going to be one more season that I will feel compelled to watch. At least I don’t hate this show as much as I hated House by the end of its run.

Despite all of its failings in the past several seasons every once in awhile the show will pull out something like the end tag of last night’s show which reminds me why I loved it in the first place. This is what’s making me happy today.

Mother Nature’s Last Laugh

I’m trying really hard to think about something that’s making me happy this morning because really I’m just bitter. Remember a few weeks ago when I was laughing and laughing because we got a “snow day” that turned out to be just rain? Well turns out karma sucks. It is now officially spring and we have a lovely little snow storm going on. Contrary to their usual habit of hyping up snow storms that then turn into nothing, our fine weather folks here in Maryland once again failed completely at their jobs and totally underplayed this one. We already have about 4 inches of snow in the city and it’s still snowing. Thanks to the crap weather forecast not only are we not closed today, but we didn’t even get a delayed opening. Normally for this much snow we would definitely be closed. So it’s Monday morning, which by definition sucks, it’s snowing IN SPRING (have I mentioned how much I hate winter and how annoyed I am that it won’t go away this year), and I’m at work when I would normally be getting a snow day.

And now I am breathing out and letting all of that go. I have a nice warm place to be. The view out my window is quite lovely. I have short work week anyway thanks to Easter break coming up. One of the perks of working for Catholic universities is getting Good Friday and Easter Monday off. I also had a lovely relaxing weekend. Oftentimes I jam my weekend full of activities, but this weekend just had some nice downtime.

Friday night we wandered over to the gathering of food trucks in our neighborhood and grabbed dinner. Then we came home and finished off the final three episodes of House of Cards on Netflix streaming.

Saturday morning/afternoon we were invited over for brunch by our friends Pete and Sarah. It was nice to hang out with them and their 19 month old little guy and eat some yummy food. Actually there’s nothing more happy making than the fact that Sarah is now in remission from cancer and they are at a point where they can host a brunch with friends. You can check out Sarah’s blog Balder than Baby in which recounts her experiences navigating cancer while having a new baby.

Saturday night because I am wild and crazy I watched a little basketball and read a book about the history of American copyright and public domain and literary piracy. I commented that I am a complete dork for reading this for fun on a Saturday night. My husband responded that the book did sound like a fun read. This my friends is why we are married.

Sunday I did a little cleaning in prep for visitors next weekend. I went ahead and got both of our guest rooms in order since they won’t be used before then and that saves me from having to clean them at the end of the week with the rest of the house. I watched some more basketball and a documentary about Chely Wright and read some more of my book. All in all a relaxing day.


New glasses

Sometime late last fall in either October or November (I can’t remember now) I dropped my glasses on my tile bathroom floor and they busted just a little bit at one of the hinges. They weren’t so broken that I could no longer wear them, but they were broken enough that they were annoying to wear. The stem on the left side of the glasses no longer fit snuggly against my face so any time I leaned over they would dangle off my face. Trust me you have no idea how much you lean over until your glasses are constantly hanging off your face every time you do.

Despite the annoyingness of wearing them I kept putting off replacing them because I had just been to the eye doctor shortly before breaking them and knew I didn’t really need an upgraded prescription in them, and glasses are insanely expensive to replace if you’re doing it right. Since I wear my glasses essentially all the time I don’t like to cheap out. Plus my eyesight is horrible so I always have to pay for the super expensive lenses so that I don’t look like I’m wearing Coke bottle glasses.

I finally bit the bullet the other week and walked up the street to my optometrist’s office to pick out some new glasses because I was starting to go slightly insane wearing my old ones. I picked up the new ones this past Saturday and life is once again good again. Here are my new glasses with their case, which I only point out because if you look closely you can see that they match. My frames are Vera Bradley frames and apparently this is a thing with Vera Bradley glasses. I couldn’t care less. I pretty much never use the cases I have for my glasses anyway, but the woman working at the office informed me of this fact as a huge selling point for these particular frames telling me a lot of people buy Vera Bradley frames just for the matching case. I am about as far away from being the kind of person that would do that as possible, but now I’m amused by it.

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And here I am actually wearing my new glasses. Not the best picture ever, but this is what you get when you try and take pictures of yourself using Photo Booth on your Mac. Trust me this is the best of a lot of really awful ones. Photo on 2013-03-21 at 10.12 #2

I Made This Playlist Happen

Yesterday, WXPN, The University of Pennsylvania radio station, which I listen to all the time streaming at work posted on their Facebook page soliciting people to submit the songs they never get tired of listening to for their 5 at 5 segment. As I was looking through people’s suggestions I thought this would make a really fantastic Spotify playlist. I mentioned that on Twitter and whoever was manning the Twitterfeed at WXPN agreed and said they were going to make it happen. Cut to a few hours later and they had a Spotify playlist seeded with about 50 or so of the suggestions people gave and then put the link of up on their Facebook, Twitter, and website asking people to continue to contribute to it. Only a handful of people have added additional songs at this point, but the whole thing makes me furiously happy. If I get time I might go back through and add some more of the suggestions people made in Facebook to the playlist. As it is now, it’s a great mix of old and new favorites plus a few songs I had never heard before but am already in love with like Rory Sullivan’s “Out of Here”.

In case you were wondering my contribution to the playlist was Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. I love that song to the very core of my soul. Feel free to add your own suggestion to the playlist if you’re on Spotify (you should join if you’re not) or add your suggestion in the comments and I’ll add it for you.


The Return of Natalie Maines

Natalie Maines, former lead singer of the now defunct Dixie Chicks is making a musical comeback after 7 years. Her forthcoming album entitled Mother is due out May 7. The album is a solo rock album mostly composed of cover songs. The first single off the album is a cover of Eddie Vedder’s “Without You”. I have no idea what the rest of the album sounds like, but this song still has quite a bit of country rock feel to me that doesn’t seem to be a huge departure from what the Dixie Chicks were doing especially in their later albums. Of course that’s probably what you get when you’re covering a song off a ukelele album. Based on the list of tracks I’m guessing that many of the songs will have a folk/country rock feeling to them. I am not complaining because I like that style of music. I read or heard somewhere that Natalie Maines said she would never go back to country music after everything that happened with the Dixie Chicks, and yes most likely this new music isn’t likely to get played on country radio, but it’s not that big of a departure from country as I was imagining when I heard that. Whether rock or country or some influence of both I’m happy to have Natalie Maines back on the musical scene.

And speaking of the ill-fated end of the Dixie Chicks, this America is why we can’t have nice things. I will never, ever understand the crazy mindset of people who boycotted them and sent death threats etc. because Natalie Maines expressed her disagreement with George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. One of the things that you crazy “patriot” people should be loving about this country is the fact that we have the right to free speech, which means people are allowed to say things you disagree with. Whatever moving back into a happy place.

I also happened to hear today the fantastic Dixie Chicks song “Not Ready to Make Nice”, which is off their final album Taking the Long Way. Though I am not happy with the way things ended for the Dixie Chicks or the fact that they ended at all, this album composed of songs mostly inspired by everything that happened is wonderful and probably my favorite of all the Dixie Chicks albums. That time also led to the great documentary Shut Up and Sing, which you should really watch if you haven’t already.

Today’s Delightful Video Brought to You By Billy Joel

It’s a gloomy, rainy morning here in Baltimore and based on my Twitterfeed everyone is in a bad mood this morning. So here is something to cheer you up. A delightful little video in which Billy Joel is doing a Q & A concert at Vanderbilt University and well you should just watch what happens. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.