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Ten Things Tuesday – August 9

9 Aug

How have my music tastes changed from 2 years ago? Well, let’s find out. The top ten bands/musicians I want to see in concert:

1. Florence and the Machine. Probably my new favorite out of all the music I’ve discovered recently. It’s way more dance-worthy than what I normally listen to, but still manages to feel indie and ethereal. Florence Welch’s voice is just otherworldly. There’s nothing I can even compare it to off the top of my head. I can’t even imagine what her live show would be like. I’d be willing to find out. 

2. Mumford and Sons. I never thought I would like bluegrass so much, but I do. Granted, they’re not strictly bluegrass, but kind of a rock infusion that I really enjoy. I think I could listen to them on repeat for days. Oh, wait, I have. I have a feeling that they have an incredible live energy that you can’t find at many other shows.

3. Coldplay. I’ve wanted to see them live for years, but haven’t ever had the chance. I’ve been waiting for quite a while for them to come out with a new CD and subsequent tour, because I wanted to give it as a graduation present to a friend, but I’ve had to wait so long for that to happen! I don’t care what anyone says, I still want to see them.

4. Ben Folds. I had the chance to see him in Nashville my senior year of high school, but my mom wouldn’t let me go. My boyfriend at the time was going, several of my close friends were going. But I wasn’t allowed to, no matter how much pleading I did. Ben Folds is one of those artists that I always kind of forget about, but when I rediscover him, I get obsessed for weeks on end. He’s truly one of my all-time favorites.

5. Josh Groban. I’m supposed to be seeing him right now, actually, but the concert got cancelled at the last minute due to food poisoning. I was really disappointed because I’ve wanted to see him for a long time. Cheesy, I know, but I really like his music. He’s got an incredbile voice – if you’ve never really paid attention to it, you should give him another listen. He’s good studying music. Besides being a little on the mature side of the music spectrum, he’s wickedly funny and loves geeky things. This makes him adorable and entertaining.

6. Flogging Molly. Really, what could possibly match the energy of an Irish rock band? Nothing. I love, love, love them. I want to get liquored up and dance around like crazy with lots of Irishmen.

7. The Avett Brothers. Another country/bluegrass-esque band that I didn’t think I’d like. It’s funny, I don’t like mainstream country music, but them I love. There’s something about that indie vibe and raw musicality that just seems so much more authentic. I know a girl who’s seen them 6 or 7 times already, and she says they’re amazing.

8. Michael Buble. A couple of my friends saw him a few years ago and loved it. He’s along the Josh Groban lines for me – a bit on the mature/adult side of music, but still entertaining. He has great style, though, in his jazzy and swinging attitude. Much like Frank Sinatra, but not quite as badass.

9. Jamie Cullum. I once heard him describe his own shows as the beauty of a jazz performance with the energy and vibe of a rock show. If you can’t tell, I like this combination very much. He should probbly be higher up on this list, if only for his version of Not While I”m Around.

10. Jack Johnson. So mellow, so cool, so lovely. I’d love to hear him play out on the beach – that’s the only appropriate venue, no?

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Ten Things Tuesday – July 26

26 Jul

In honor of the re-release of 90’s Nickelodeon shows, I’m counting down my top ten favorite shows:

10. Talespin. I always loved Baloo in The Jungle Book, so when he took to the air in his own show, I loved it. He was sort of accident prone, but still very cool.

9. Guts. When this show was on the air, my mom didn’t like us to watch it because of the name. I have no idea why. That didn’t stop us, though. I really wanted the chance to climb that Crag, but alas, I’ve never been the sporty type. I watched this show like I was watching the Olympics. There’s only one question: Do You Have It?

8. Clarissa Explains It All. She was a hipster before hipsters were hipsters. And she had a pet alligator named Elvis.

7. Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? What I wouldn’t give to be a Gumshoe, solving geographical problems for the Chief. That crafty Carmen…she sure knew how to hide. I was always impressed that she was able to steal historical landmarks so often without getting caught. I’m pretty sure I owe much of my knowledge of geography to this show.

6. Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. I don’t know why I loved this show so much. Something about rodents solving crimes and foiling their nemesis, Fat Cat, was just awesome. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I love cheese almost as much as Monty. I’m pretty sure I even have the theme song on my iTunes…

5. Kenan and Kel. An entire show based on two kids implementing get-rich-quick schemes. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. Also successful in spiking sales of orange soda.

4. Doug. We loved the theme song. We loved Doug’s funny preppy style. We loved his crush on Patty. We loved Quailman. We loved that his dog was named Porkchop. And you better believe we loved The Beets.

3. Salute Your Shorts. You know this show is the only reason you ever went to sleep-away camp. And you know you still know the entire theme song…

(Sidenote, how could you not love a show with a character named Donkey Lips?)

2. All That. The kid version of SNL. I’m talking original cast, here, of course. And you know what? It’s still funny, all these years later. I’ve often thought that perhaps it wasn’t as awesome as we thought it was back in the 90’s, but it really, really is. I mean, it did give the world this phrase…

1. Legends of the Hidden Temple. Is there really any doubt that this is #1? It’s only the greatest game show in history. Admit it – those temple guards scared the ever-loving poop out of you, and you screamed at the TV every time someone couldn’t put together the silver monkey. I mean, really. It’s three pieces.

PS, I was a green monkey for Halloween several years ago. Stick Stickly was my date.

Honorable mentions go to: The Secret World of Alex Mack, Tiny Toon Adventures, Double Dare, and Goof Troop.

(Not Quite) Ten Things Tuesday – July 12

12 Jul

I’m breaking tradition a bit today. Instead of a list of ten things, it’s only seven. And in keeping with this week’s Harry Potter theme, I thought I’d list all the books in the order that they are my favorite. If asked, I can rattle off this list like I’m reciting a phone number: 3761542. 

1. Prisoner of Azkaban (3). I can’t even begin to explain how much I love PoA. It might have something to do with the fact that I have a very fond spot for Remus Lupin, or that I so want to get my hands on the Marauder’s Map. Whatever the reason, this book has always, always been my favorite since it came out. The fascinating concept of time-travel and the unbelievable revelations about Harry’s past and his family make this the absolute best of the series. Even if there were seven more books written, I think PoA would always be #1 in my heart.  

2. Deathly Hallows (4). There’s probably more than one of you that would disagree with me about putting DH so high on a list of favorite HP books. I’ve heard many a person describe the book as “bad fanfiction.” And while, stylistically, it isn’t the best, it’s not meant to be like any other book. Harry and his friends are older now, considered adults in the wizard world. I missed Hogwarts, of course, but there are bigger things to deal with now. The school makes a triumphant return in the end, of course, but, as we all know, it isn’t the main setting of the finale. The safest place for Harry is on the run, looking for the things that will ultimately bring down Voldemort. So why do I love this book so much? I love the Tale of the Three Brothers. I love the complexity of the Horcrux treasure hunt. I love that, in Harry absence, underground rebellion has taken firm hold under the leadership of Neville Longbottom. I love that we finally understand the dichotomy of Snape’s nature. And I love that it ends just as it should.

3. Half-Blood Prince (6). The first time I read HBP, I didn’t like it so much. I think I just read through it too quickly and missed so much of what was actually in it. Maybe it had something to do with the misunderstood and loathsome actions of Severus Snape. A few summers ago, when I went back and read all seven books in a row for the first time, I fell in love with HBP for the first time, the second time around. There isn’t as much action in this one, of course, but the backstory behind Voldemort (and some of Snape, as well), makes this one of the most heartbreaking and fascinating chapters in the series. I cannot say enough good things about HBP. I don’t know how I didn’t see it all before, but I’m glad that I finally realized what I was missing.

4. Sorcerer’s Stone (1). One of my favorite things about our introduction to the wizarding world is that we see it alongside Harry for the first time. Growing up in a Muggle home, he discovers the wonders of Hogwarts and his new life with us. It just seems that much more magical, to see it all for the first time, and you can’t see it all for the first time except in SS. This book, more than any other, was impressive for the creativity of the magic invented (transfigured chess sets, the Mirror of Erised, a cloak of invisibility, Quidditch).

5. Order of the Phoenix (5). Phoenix stands at this point in the list because of Dolores Umbridge, the single-most evil, vicious character I have ever read within the pages of a book. Yes, even more than Voldemort, I think. While Voldemort is the embodiment of evil and hatred, Umbridge is a special kind of mean: the kind that will kill you with that sticky-sweet, well-meaning, all-controlling power. I have never, ever in my life hated anyone so much (until I met the dean of students at my college, who is Umbridge in the flesh). In addition, the teenage moodiness that was so prevalent in this book got to be a little much at times. Granted, that’s normal for 15-year-olds, especially ones who have witnessed terrible things recently. I did appreciate learning more about the Order and Harry’s parents and friends in the old days, but the death of a beloved character makes this an emotional installment.

6. Goblet of Fire (4). GoF is kind of like the middle child, forgotten and left out. Which is funny because it’s right in the middle of the series, too. While the Triwizard Tournament and the saga of Barty Crouch/Mad Eye Moody are epic and fascinating, and despite the fact that Voldemort finally regains his body and power in this book, to me, it was sort of just a blip on the radar, waiting to get us to year 5.

7. Chamber of Secrets (2). It’s not that I dislike CoS, I just like it the least of all the books. Maybe it was all the creepy snakes and spiders all the time. Maybe it was the traditional sophomore slump. Whatever the case, it’s just not my favorite in the series. Of course, it is important to the whole story, otherwise it wouldn’t have been included (think: Horcruxes). But in the grand scheme of things, it ranks at the bottom of my list.

So there you have it. A concise, and hopefully clear, summation of my feelings about each book. Although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words exactly what I feel about Harry Potter, this is at least a small attempt. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to my movie-watching.

Ten Things Tuesday – July 5

5 Jul

Ten things I would do if I won the lottery:

1. Pay for school. This includes both my outstanding student loans and the ones that are inevitably coming up. Between college and grad school, I feel like I’m going to be paying off these degrees for the next 30 years. And being in a generous mood, I’d also pay for my brother’s school.

2. Pay off any debt or bills that my parents have. We don’t discuss their finances – just the ones relating to me – so I don’t know what that situation is. But I can imagine that a lottery win would not hurt that bank account.

3. Buy an awesome closet. And by this I mean both kickass clothes and precise, Ikea-worthy organization. Something like this:

4. Get a different car. Mine works just fine, but it’s almost 20 years old now. The air doesn’t work the best (and with global warming on the rise, summers aren’t fun), one of the windows doesn’t always cooperate, and I have to constantly keep track of the water level in the engine. I wouldn’t want anything fancy, just something that is a little nicer and newer than what I have now. Oh, and something that at least has a CD player. I know that technology is now outdated, but I’m still stuck with just a tape player.

5. Fund Full Moon projects. Pranks are fun, but not always cheap. I’d set up some kind of account for them to ensure a bright future full of fun. And beer.

6. Take an extended trip around the world. You know, take off a couple of years and just see the whole world. At the very least, I’d take my mom to Australia, where she’s always wanted to go. 

7. Donate money to worthy causes. Like Project Have Hope and The Harry Potter Alliance.

8. Buy a beach house. As much as I love living in the mountains, I’d also like to have a small beach house somewhere, because I love the ocean.

9. Create a concert ticket fund for everyone I want to see perform live. Look for that list in a few weeks.

10. Invest and save. I’m a big spender, for sure, so of course I want to make sure some of the money is there for the future. Can’t go crazy buying everything in sight, can you?

Ten Things Tuesday – June 28

28 Jun

Geek Week edition. 10 geeky things I love:

1. The smell of books new and old. If I had to classify myself as any type of geek, it would be a book geek. I love reading, and the smell of books is always enticing, no matter their age.

2. Shark Week. I mean, really, who doesn’t like to watch shows about the most ruthless, misunderstood killers on the planet? I love Shark Week – it’s by far the best week of the year on Discovery Channel. And speaking of Discovery…

3. The Discovery Channel. I’d pick to watch this over almost anything. Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters. I love it all.

4. Nathan Fillion. I won’t go over it again, because I’m pretty sure this is the third straight week he’s appeared on my blog in some way or another. He’s a major geek, and I love him even more for that.

5. Boys with glasses. Nothing gets geekier or cuter than that.

6. Grammar. It shouldn’t be a geeky thing to love, but rather something we all strive to do well. It has sadly taken some hits, what with emails, texts, and other forms of mass communication. Give me a well-written sentence, and I swoon.

7. Being left-handed. It’s a gift, like being a member of an exclusive club. You just don’t get it unless you’re a member.

8. Science fiction. Maybe this should be higher up on the list than it is, but here it is, anyway. I’m not talking aliens or superheroes so much as time travel, fantasy worlds, and futuristic dystopian societies. Although I do enjoy a bit of space travel now and then. It’s a broad category for me, including things like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, V For Vendetta, Firefly, Lost…you get the idea. I know I shouldn’t, but I tend to group all those things into one very broad category, even though they probably shouldn’t be. And because it was the only way I could get away with mentioning all those things without creating an entirely separate list made up only of them.

9. 42. The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

10. Zombies. They’re having their moment now, like the overdone phenomenon of vampires. I don’t know much about zombies or surviving the zombie apocalypse, but I do enjoy good zombie humor when I see it.

Ten Things Tuesday – June 21

21 Jun

Remember last week, when I rounded up my current man crushes? Well, today we’re doing the girl crush version (PS, see last year’s picks!):

1. Emma Watson
I can’t tell you how much I wish I had her life. She’s gorgeous and talented and smart and British. I love, love, love her. She seems so much older than 21. I’m even jealous of her cute pixie haircut. I’m not brave enough for that, but she most definitely is.

2. Keri Russell
As mentioned, I’ve been watching Felicity lately. I can’t get over her delicate features and her hair. I even love it when it’s super-curly, and super-short. She’s just so pretty.

3. Stana Katic
Remember when I said I’m obsessed with Castle? Did you think I was kidding? Because I’m not.

4. Jennifer Lawrence
Still think she’s not up to playing Katniss?

5. Kate and Pippa
Yeah, I put them together as one pick, but I just couldn’t choose between them! Could you? They’re both so elegant and stylish. One of the things I like about them is that, while being super-famous, still look approachable. And they often shop at affordable stores.

6. Marion Cotillard
There’s so much depth to her eyes, it’s ridiculous. Every time I see her in a movie or in a picture she looks like she’s staring right into my soul. Call her the 21st century Mona Lisa.

7. Penelope Cruz
Girl can wear the heck out of a dress.

 

8. Hayley Atwell
I recently discovered her in Pillars of the Earth. Not only is she beautiful, but she can hold her own against a bunch of burly men. She’s no damsel in distress.

9. Emma Stone
She really blew it out of the water in Easy A. She’s fiesty and spicy, just like a redhead should be. Not to mention she has some fierce fashion sense. 

10. Eva Mendes
I’ll just let this speak for itself…

Ten Things Tuesday – June 14

14 Jun

A while ago, I did a list of the sexiest men alive, followed closely by the sexiest women. While I’d still keep the majority of these fine specimens of beauty on my list, I thought I’d do an updated version. After all, tastes change, new discoveries are made, and new favorites rotate in. Maybe it’s the summer heat, but I’m feeling rather lusty, what with this second of three “crush” lists. Keeping my everlasting affections for Paul McCartney, Mike Rowe, and John Krasinski to a minimum, here’s my current list of man crushes:

1. Nathan Fillion
I have been watching a ridiculous amount of him lately. I ordered the Castle DVDs and have been watching through all the episodes (which is a fantastic series, by the way). I’ve watched Firefly on Netflix, as well as the Serenity movie. I’ve seen Dr. Horrible. Not to mention the countless YouTube videos of him doing various things. I absolutely cannot get enough of him! He is, to use an oft-repeated phrase, ruggedly handsome. He’s smart, witty, charming, and just a genuinely nice guy. Combine that with the fact that he’s a bit of a dork – in a good way – and you’ve basically got the perfect man. This crush may have grown to an unhealthy level…

2. Anthony Bourdain
I’ve professed my love for him before, but I thought I’d add him here because he didn’t make the cut last time. Probably because I wasn’t really into his snarkiness or his cavalier attitude. But beyond all the punk and badass, he’s actually eloquent and really passionate about great food everywhere he goes. Had I been growing up in Jersey in the 70s, I probably would have harbored a secret, unrequited crush on this bad boy. Why are they so irresistible?

3. Leonardo DiCaprio
OK, so he’s popping up on the list for a second time. Maybe even in the same spot. Whatever, I don’t care. I recently re-watched Inception, and he’s earned his spot again. Remind me again why he’s never won an Oscar?

4. Chris O’Dowd
It’s probably his character from Bridesmaids that I have such a crush on. The Irish accent also doesn’t hurt, either. I just can’t get enough of those European men.

5. Johnny Depp
I’ve only recently come to appreciate the ridiculously talented Mr. Depp. Other girls picked up on his charm and his sexiness long before I did, but I’m glad that I finally came around. It used to just be the Jack Sparrow getup that did it for me, but now I find him all-around attractive. It’s probably how talented he is.

6. Scott Speedman
I’ve been watching all the episodes of Felicity lately with a friend, and the character of Ben is just too cute. He’s the brooding type, for sure. It’s a tough call between Noel and Ben, but the former I’d pick as just the good friend. I swoon a little every time Ben smiles…

7. Mark Salling
He might just be the finest thing since sliced bread. Bad comparison, but you get the idea, right? I would jump all over Noah Puckerman in a heartbeat, fully aware of the inevitable heartbreak I would suffer. I think it would be well worth it, though, because of how smokin’ hot he is. Shallow, I know, but I’d settle for just a few confidence-boosting hours.

8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Now there’s someone who grew up looking a little awkward but turned out a dapper gentleman. As I mentioned, I recently re-watched Inception. And 500 Days of Summer. And 10 Things I Hate About You. He is yummy.

 

9. Matthew Morrison
If the only proof you need is his version of the Thong Song, well, there you go.

10. Prince Harry
Call it a Royal Wedding Hangover if you will. Growing up I was always a William fan, but as they’ve gotten older, Harry has definitely become the more attractive of the two. Just as well, because he’s the one who’s still single. Excellent.

Stay tuned for next week’s follow-up…