Monday, June 30, 2008

Rob Gordon List #1: "5 Great Discoveries of the Week"

I decided to focus on High Fidelity style top 5 lists this week, hence the "Rob Gordon" reference. I'm sure you've all read the book or seen the movie. If not, enjoy the list anyway.

1. The free podcasts available on iTunes. I can't believe I'm so late to the game on this one, but I LOVE it. I just discovered that you can subscribe to a wide range of podcasts for free, ranging from news to sports to music to book reviews. It's GREAT! I have to diverge from my top-five list to list the four podcasts to which I'm currently subscribed. I highly recommend all four:
  • NPR: The Bryant Park Project (News) - Our NPR stations in Atlanta do not air this program, so I can get my daily dose of news, music and book reviews while at work via this podcast.
  • NPR: All Songs Considered (Music) - A great rundown of new music.
  • KEXP: Music that Matters (Music) - Excellent college station from the University of Washington. The podcast programs range from 30 mins to an hour & a half.
  • KEXP: Song of the Day (Music) - Great exposure to new artists/songs.
2. Acai smoothie packs from the Dekalb Farmers Market. Empty 2 packets into a glass, slice up a half a banana and layer on top, and then top it off with some Oat & Soy Granola. An excellent breakfast, and full of superfoods/antioxidants. Yum.

3. The new Fleet Foxes album. I'm behind on my new music, took a little advice from my pal at Living In Misery and checked it out. I'm's perfect for the lazy summer I wish I was having.

4. The new H & M superstore in Atlanta. Well, this isn't a new discovery, since I've been to the H&M's in New York before. However, it's a new addition to Atlanta, and I walked out of there with a bag full of goodies for not much dough.

5. Water jogging as an excellent cardio alternative. I started doing my whole cardio routine in the pool at my YMCA, and I am loving it. I jog laps, freestyle a few laps, backstroke a few, and kickboard a few. It's a great, full-body workout & it feels more like playtime than working out on an elliptical or treadmill. Currently, I'm combining the pool workout with a circuit training routine that kicks my behind. I'll keep you posted on how well it all works. Goal = Getting Buff.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blogga, please...

Well, I got some blog love from my pal over at Living In Misery, so I felt obliged to update the blog. (Couldn't possibly disappoint the people he re-directed to me, could I?)

I've neglected the blog somewhat, recently, because I've been smokin' busy. It seems everyone I'm related to or with whom I'm friends is either: having a major birthday, getting married, passing away, or bribing me with deep-sea fishing trips and beer. Anything to keep me away from the computer, I guess. We can call it "3 weddings, a funeral, a birthday party and a beach" kind of summer.

First, my grandfather passed away in early-June. I haven't gathered the courage to take the time to write about my trip back to eastern Kentucky for the funeral, and I'm not sure I have it yet tonight. Let's just say that nine years has passed since the last time I went home ("home" as in, "where I'm really from" not "home = where my parents live & where I last resided") to Whitesburg, KY, and it was quite an emotional trip for me. Hopefully, sometime soon, I'll be able to write up something on that trip, the funeral, and my father's eulogy because it really WAS something special.

The next week and weekend was spent preparing for my grandma's big 80th birthday bash here in Atlanta. My grandmother on my mom's side is a VERY special person in my life...after all, she's let me live with her 4 times since moving to Atlanta -- and TWO of those times she let Tyler live there, too! -- so this was a big deal to me. I helped my mom and my mother's various siblings prepare for the big to-do, even doing all of the flowers for the event. Here's a sample of my handiwork:

Pretty nice, huh? Just kidding. It was a lot of work to do all of the arrangements, but it was the least I could do for my Grandma who has done so much for me.

The next weekend was spent preparing Tyler and his sister's boyfriend, Adam, for the Muddy Buddy race they signed up for. It's a 5-mile bike/run race complete with obstacles that probably deserves a post all of its own due to the pictures, alone. However, I'll just give one here to whet your appetite:

I'm such a proud wife. (Tyler's on the right, by the way.) I mean, seriously, how can you NOT be proud of a man wearing women's shorty-shorts, a child's t-shirt, tube socks and all covered in mud? After all, they came in 19th in their age bracket. I'm beaming!

That brings us to this weekend, which brings us to the first of the "3 weddings" series (now that we've already discussed the one funeral and one 'b-day bash.'). Our good friend, Laura, is getting hitched to a pretty cool guy, and we're happily attending the ceremony. Later in July, we will attend wedding #2 -- that of Tyler's co-worker Troy -- where we will, most likely, know not a soul in the room. Then in September, we'll head to NYC for one of T's best-friend's wedding. We're pretty stoked about that trip, not just for the wedding (because the girl he's marrying is AWESOME), but also because it gives us an excuse for a mini-vacation back to New York.

And that finally leads us to the "fishing and beer" lure I referred to in the beginning of the post. We'll spend the holiday weekend in Savannah with our friends, Phillip and Jonathan. (I can't even begin to explain how nice it is to have friends with parents that live in such a wonderful place.) I learned this week that their dad has arranged for a deep-sea fishing trip for us on Saturday. Can I TELL you how EXCITED I AM??!?! I'm psyched beyond belief. I'm not sure why.....I don't think I've been so excited about something like this in a while. Does that make me weird? I'm not sure. All I know for sure is that I am GOING to catch some Amberjack and am going to have my picture taken with my catch like this chick (minus the big boobs).

I hope I didn't disappoint anyone sent over from como's site at LIM. I realize I didn't mention either Obama or Superchunk, so I apologize. Perhaps next time. For the time being, I urge you to go listen to an old Donovan record if you want some lo-key rock and activism.

Later at ya later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This one goes out to Nick Turkas

"He sounds just like COOKIE MONSTER!" -Nick Turkas, age ??

I'm pretty sure this is the oddest press conference I've ever seen, but then again it's perfectly fitting for Tom Waits.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More evidence that coffee is good for you

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee, I find this article which explains again why and how coffee is beneficial (er, necessary) to productivity. It goes into detail how to optimize your caffeine uptake...."maximize your mocha mojo," maybe?

It turns out sugar can help:
The beneficial effects of caffeine may be most pronounced in conjunction with sugar. For example, one factor analytic study has shown caffeine-glucose cocktails provide benefits to cognition not seen with either alone.

I no longer sugar my coffee (Just cream please!), and I've eliminated most of those frilly, Starbucks concoctions.

However, this revelation may explain how I aced my way through some finals in college. My "cocktail of choice" was a Double Mocha and a Coke. I would head to Radio Cafe with study materials in hand and order both from one of my darling friends/baristas (usually my fellas: Dehass, Harnetty or Purslow), and alternate between the two sugar-laden beverages. The combo provided the rocket fuel needed to pore through Tillich's Dynamics of Faith or the chronological history of Mozart's works.

The added sugar-jolt from Coca-Cola helped the caffeine from both beverages surge to the corners of my brain to provide the extra space needed in which to cram information....a "brain lube," I suppose. Anyhow, it works. I've tried it, and I've seen the A+ on a Skrade Ethics 401 final, no less. All fueled by sugar and caffeine.

And if I wasn't prone to hand tremors now (due to my whacko nervous system), I could employ this technique at work & probably increase my production by about 500%. Oh well, I suppose I'll stick with my regular joe and resign myself to the regular 78% productivity level.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In Memoriam....Frank Corrello 1920-2008

"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist." - Saint Francis of Assisi

(more details of my grandfather's passing to come)