Friday, January 31, 2014

Get Funky! Dance Friday

Right before I left LA, one of my best adventure buddies and I went to the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.  It was an epic lineup and a perfect way to say goodbye to the city that never stops shining.  However, the best thing that came out of that night was my new music-crush on Trombone Shorty.  He wasn't even the headliner and he definitely stole the show.

Last concert in LA, with my best Adventure Buddy, Melissa
Last week I tried to see him in Boston but the show was sold out.  (Side note, Melissa - pictured above - did get to see him again in LA - pictured below - just a few days after his sold out show in Boston.)

Melissa sent me this pic of T-Shorty in LA last week.
 Maybe someday I will get to see this New Orleans native at the NOLA Jazz Fest.  And then I will propose to him sing and dance all night long.

Yeah, that's how LA rolls.  Hollywood sign in the
background if you squint and/or zoom.
This is a full concert so you can have a blast on your Friday night or listen a little at a time over the next few days.  Just remember, he's mine.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

ALA Award Eve!

Tomorrow morning at 8 am, the American Library Association with once again publicly stream the announcement of their award ceremony.  Among the list of awards are the highly revered Newbery Award for literature and the Caldecott Award for illustrations.  The entire list of awards can be found on the website.

I've been a little outside of the loop this year and have only caught a bit of the buzz.  I picked up a book last week and read it because it was on a lot of lists as a potential winner. 

It has been a busy year and I have had some readjusting to a new schedule.  The toughest part for me was the 1 hour subway commute each way.  The fall left me tired but I have started to embrace the silver lining of my new schedule.  Since the new year, I have been reading more than I have ever read during a school year!  Not just kid's books, but real grown up books.  Wanna know what they are?  Great!  (I'm assuming since you are reading my blog you already have an interest.)  I highly recommend them all.  Also, I seem to be going through books faster than I can get new books on my list so if you have any recommendations, send them my way!

Children's Books
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
A quiet little story about a second grade boy.  We learn about his mom, dad, teacher and sister in this sweet book.  This is the book many have mentioned as a potential winner for the Newbery.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Linda Sue Park explores the world of the Lost Boys in Sudan.  She weaves the story of Nya with that of Salva, both children alive at different time periods in Sudan's history.  A Long Walk to Water is partially based on the true story of Salva Dat, a Lost Boy who now lives in Rochester, NY.

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Gilly Hopkins is in the foster system and knows just the right things to do and say to get herself moved from home to home.  She wants to find her real mother and convince her to take her back.  Lots of controversy has surrounded this book as Gilly proves herself to be a real anti-hero.  However, the reader get a glimpse into real emotions and for that, the drama is worth it.

Mary Poppins by P.L. Tavers
I was prompted to read this after hearing some controversy over the movie that just came out.  (Read a really interesting commentary here.) What I found was a different story than the Disney movie, no surprise there, but lovely in a whole new way.  I still love the movie, but this Mary Poppins was a bit snarky and I loved it!!

Grown Up Books

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Drown by Junot Diaz

Currently reading: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dance Friday

I need to dance.  It's been a day. Ups, downs, highs, lows.  I'm exhausted and I have a long night of work ahead of me so there won't be dancing for me.
My general thoughts on the world tonight.

But for you all, you should dance.  Today's video is brought to you via my little brother, who is winning in the field of supplying me with lots of stuff for this blog.  Thanks da' man!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Little Pixie Dust

I was on track to be a complete train wreck...
although I still find great joy in a beer and a cigar.
Is that too cute?  Dammit...
About a year ago my friend introduced me to the idea of the manic-pixy-dream-girl.  Do you know what that is?  It's that ideal cute girl who randomly dances in public places, plays in the rain, and sometimes wears adorable dresses with flowers on them.  I know you know what I mean.  Think Natalie Portman in Garden State, Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, Zooey Deschanel in, well, anything. The "idea" I was introduced to is that these girls are used as vehicles to get men to realize their true dreams in life and are therefore not real women, rather they are stock characters in quirky movies.
Honestly, when my friend told me about this I was downright upset.  I like to have fun.  I like to randomly dance. I like to wear adorable dresses and play in the rain.  So I wondered if I had just become one of those stock characters in life.  Around that time I also decided I should maybe try to date people.  Yup, downhill baby.  Is this really how people see me??  Am I really so disposable that I help weary and downtrodden men find their own inner joy and then watch as they scamper off to date a girl who isn't quite so dance-y?  An ex of mine assures me I am not so clichè.  He says I just have pixie-girl tendencies.  So then I was thinking, how many of those pixie girls... wait, never mind.  I got nothing.

Tonight, rather than lamenting this pigeon-hole, I am embracing my inner pixie dream girlishness.  I am bringing you some golden nuggets that make me sappy, inspire me to do a little dance, and help me remember that, sometimes, if the worst thing about you is being too damn quirky, then that is not really a problem at all. (Do pixie girls swear like sailors?  If that's not adorable then I guess I have that going for me.)

Single Page Book Posters
This website sells all your favorite classics in the form of a poster, with the entire text on that one page...and they are beautiful.  I'm trying to decide which one I want. (Thanks, little brother, for the heads up!)

Kid President
He warms my heart, every single damn time.  This is his latest today.  My favorite line, that I truly, madly, deeply believe in, "...cuz we all mess up sometimes. The biggest mess-up - not forgiving other people's mess-ups."  Word KP.


All the Beautiful Bookstores
I will never get sick of reading about the most beautiful bookstores in the world.  This list wasn't on my radar with the others I have read over and over and I love it just as much.  I want to throw on an adorable dress and dance around these bookstores with little bluebirds flying around me.  Yup, I went there.

Celebrate your clichès people, there could be worse things. BESOS!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The More It Snows...

Tomorrow is my first official snow day back on the east coast.  I've had a pretty bad case of the winter blues the last couple of weeks, missing sunshine and 80 degree weather.  However, tomorrow's snow day has brought a big old grin to this sour face.  I plan on reading, reading, knitting, sleeping, and maybe some more reading.  Here's a little Winnie the Pooh for you.  A song to sing as you tromp through the snow.  (And something to make all my LA friends a tad bit jealous.)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wake Up and Boogie....Sidewalk Style

I recently discovered two fabulous things thanks to the magic of the interwebs.  The first is Soul Pancakes's Sidewalk Sessions.  They take bands, plop 'em down on a sidewalk somewhere, usually in LA, and then the band sings their heart out.  While perusing the selection of sidewalk jams, I also discovered Lake Street Dive.  Or should I say, rediscovered.  My friend Kristin told me about this phenomenal band a while ago but I didn't pay enough attention. I've been jamming to them on Spotify all week and I will not make the mistake of missing them when they come to Boston again.

I love being back in Boston...
but I am definitely missing THIS kind of winter.
Yes, that was me, in the winter, in LA, last year.

Today I bring you two videos from Lake Street Dive.  The first video is their Sidewalk Session via Soul Pancake and it is sure to get you moving this morning.  The second video happens to be them also singing on a sidewalk but with no affiliation to Soul Pancake. However, they ARE singing on a sidewalk in Boston so that is why I am including it.  The song isn't so dance-y but maybe a little more on the I-wanna-make-out-with-an-ex side.  Either way, well worth your consideration on this grey Saturday morning for those folks slowly uncurling from bed in Boston.  Folks in LA, well, listen to the first song and dance through your sunshine, goddamn you all. (LOVE YOU!)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happily Ever After in Neverland

Did you see this yet?  Adorable.  (Although 22 is a bit young...but still...)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Today Was a Good Day....DANCE!

No major breakthroughs, didn't win the lottery.  But today was a good day for all the little things that happened.  I wanted to play a video of Ice Cube's Today Was a Good Day but it is a little inappropriate for this venue so just go find that one on your own.

Got my beautification on in our Pre-K's
Beauty Salon.  Ready for Dance Friday!
Instead, I am going to play one of my favorite videos to get me dancing...and I happen to have a cameo!  This is also a plug for the fantastic musician, Kristin Andreaasen, who will be in Boston Monday and Tuesday.  You should go see her!  I will be there!

Happy Dance Friday folks, hope you had a good day!

Friday, January 3, 2014

DANCE FRIDAY! Dedicated to Maura

My friend Maura is one of my best dancing buddies.  The reason?  Because she can head out to a club with me and shake her tail feathers like nobody's business.  Then, she can throw on some heels and salsa her way through the city.  Oh, and she used to be an Irish step dancer.  See what I mean?  This girl can dance!
Maura and I gussied up for NYE 2013
Last night, a bunch of friends and I headed to our favorite local spot to have a snow storm party.  About two thirds of the way through the night, the music was switched up to just the stuff to get us dancing.  We begged Maura to bust out her Irish step, but alas, the place was only blessed with our attempts to try and step dance without her.

Another night out dancing with Maura and my lil' sis
Today's Dance Friday video is dedicated to Maura.  Hammerstep is an Irish step dance/hip hop crew based in Brooklyn.  All they need to do is bust out the salsa and then they will be *almost* as good as Maura.  Love you lady!