Friday, June 28, 2013

Daughter - Get Lucky

I think this just might be the song of the summer, or at least one of them, and I like this cover even more than the Daft Punk original. I still listen to the radio (when I happen to be in a car) and it's pretty much the only song I haven't gotten tired of out of the ones that get played over and over again (it's a never ending radio loop!). Listening to the radio also makes me nostalgic for the 90s. 

The first heatwave of the summer has arrived! I ate almost half a tub of Dreyer's triple chocolate peanut butter ice cream and I'm pretty sure it was worth every bite. Maybe. Probably. I think. 

Things that are good to do during a heatwave:

1. Go swimming (especially awesome if you know how to swim...I am not a highly skilled swimmer so I just splash around and then search for the nearest parasol)

2. Get a parasol and enjoy using it. There is nothing better than instant shade. I don't understand why parasols aren't hugely popular in California. I guess it has to do with the popularity of tanning.

3. Drink even more water than usual. Hydration should never be taken for granted. Sweet drinks just make me more thirsty so bring on the water, preferably with cute little ice cubes :-)

4. Yoga. Warm muscles are extra stretchy so you'll instantly become extra flexible ;-)

5. Drink more water after doing yoga.

6. Go to the nearest supermarket and spend some time in the frozen section. Try not to buy a tub of ice cream and then proceed to eat half of it. Unless you really really want to. 

7. Try not to move too much because that produces more body heat.

8. Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Magic Man - Paris

More happy music for sunny summer. 

I live on top of a (very large) hill/mountain and most of the time the sky is blue. Then, when driving down it sometimes changes, like today when the car suddenly became engulfed in thick clouds and mysterious ocean mists. Perhaps this supermoon that's been happening is having a super effect on the tides and creating super mist. 

Wimbledon, which happens to be my most favorite tennis tournament, is happening right now. Whenever it's on and I see the players in their crisp white tennis sportswear, running around on the pretty green courts I really want to eat strawberries and cream. Although I recently heard that you're not supposed to eat them (the strawberries, not the players) while watching but only afterwards. Which doesn't exactly make any sense. That would take all the fun out of eating something delicious while watching other people exert themselves ;-) Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens now that Federer and Nadal are already out of the competition!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Natasha Khan and TOY - The Bride

This is a fairly recent track that I've become obsessed with. I was listening to the first Bat for Lashes album last night and, wow, her voice has developed and become so powerful since that first outing. I don't think she would have been able to sing like this seven years ago, but now she seems capable of breaking tablefuls of champagne glasses with her voice alone.

I'm really tempted to go and buy a bunch of CDs, like in the good old days...but since everything is now digital and my closet is bursting with CDs it doesn't seem like the best idea. There's so much good stuff being released right now, but it's all snippets and singles here and there instead of the experience of sitting down and listening from the very first song to the last. Grumble grumble, I am old. 

In other news, the sky is blue, I saw more than three hummingbirds this morning (and lost count after that), and it feels like ice cream weather!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vampire Weekend - Step

This song is incredibly infectious. I think I can still listen to it dozens of times without getting sick of it. Maybe. We'll see.

Yesterday evening there was a small outdoor music festival near where I live...on the streets style. I went out for dinner and ate crab cakes al fresco (yay, summer!) and then walked around to see all the different performances. There were many people doing the very same thing and it was lovely to just wander around, enjoying the summer vibes and spending the evening in such a fun atmosphere, with lots of interestingly dressed people of all ages.
My favorite performance was by a band of recent high school graduates who incorporated saxophones, tableaus, and choreography into their performance, which made for a unique and highly entertaining show. Oh, they also had matching outfits. Who says kids these days are apathetic...these guys were so energetic and enthusiastic that they drew audience members like, um, moths to a flame.

It takes so much dedication, discipline, and drive (yay, alliteration!) to become proficient at playing a musical instrument. I'm still arguably slaving away at the guitar but I don't think anyone except for myself and maybe my mother would enjoy these little performances. Oh well. In my case, it's more for enjoyment than to present art to an actual audience. 

Getting back to the point, street performances are most definitely a brilliant idea and should happen as much as possible. Although I did feel sorry for the older ladies who walked past with their hands tightly clamped to their ears. But still, live music is gooood!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Miike Snow - Paddling Out

So I've somehow gotten addicted to the show Castle and occasionally watch several episodes in a row while drinking tea and imagining life as a writer, living in a fabulous apartment in New York. One of the main characters, Richard Castle, is a successful mystery novel author and his apartment is magnificent - spacious, open-concept, contemporary but still cozy and inviting. And that's not the only positive feature of the show. Castle himself is charming and brings humor and warmth to a genre that's usually stark and depressing. I don't think there's any other crime-y series that I would look forward to watching, eek. His partner in (solving) crime is Kate Beckett, tough and relentless in carrying out her duty in the pursuit of justice, da da daaaa! Beckett's co-workers, and Castle's daughter and mother are also delightful and often hilarious characters. His mother is an actress in flamboyant clothing and I want her least the scarves. In general, I enjoy author-related stuff, even if it's a bit silly. Seeing the portrayal of people's imaginations creating something out of nothing, using words to bring magic into the world, thinking a little bit differently, and finding inspiration in seemingly insignificant fascinating and makes me want to write more myself. Now I'm just rambling. So, to conclude, have you SEEN Castle's fireplace? Magnificent.

Monday, June 17, 2013

She & Him - I Could've Been Your Girl

It's a cool and cozy evening, the lights are dim, and I can't help but romanticize the past, when people gathered around the fireside and created their own entertainment instead of falling asleep in front of their TVs. Yes, I generalize. But to a certain extent I think this is really true - lack of transportation forced people to invest in their local communities and lack of technology meant that instead of looking up to celebrities, people had to rely on their own creativity to express themselves, entertain each other, and enjoy life. 

Everyone is creative in their own way, but now it seems as though this has to be validated by winning a reality show or being featured on some sort of screen, or else that creativity is rendered worthless. I'm sure there are lots of people hanging out and playing guitar for each other and such, but I imagine there are a lot more who prefer to go to concerts by "professional" musicians than listen to their friend in the living room. 

To me, it seems natural to want to dance, sing, express yourself, connect with others, feel alive...these things shouldn't be a privilege. When I think of all the people who try, who sing and paint and write and make themselves vulnerable in the desire to articulate who they are and to be part of the world, only to be silenced, criticized, or simply left really is heartbreaking. But I think it happens to most of us at some point or another. I guess the next step is to keep trying, and to value your own creative voice even if you don't happen to be Beyonce or Renoir. Plus, it's always better to sing/dance/write/paint/create little sculptures out of yogurt containers than to watch Master Chef. Or you could always just do both at the same time. Preferably with your friends, by the fireside :-)

Friday, June 14, 2013


On the topic of productivity, I've come to the conclusion that when I exercise regularly, I become more productive in other areas as well, such as studying/writing and such. This isn't exactly groundbreaking, but still kind of neat. I've always been the type of person who either goes for the extreme (ex. must eat ALL the chocolate!) or nothing at all (ex. like zero exercise, eek!), so finding balance can be tricky sometimes. I like having momentum and feeling that life is dynamic, always moving, not just stagnant and dull. Movement and creative expression really help to produce that feeling and make me feel inspired and energetic, as well as balanced.

So, lately I've been on a roll and I hope to keep that energy flowing. It's so easy to get bogged down by internal self-created stress and stop doing the very things that make us feel centered, happy, and strong. It requires much more effort to get up and take action, to create something, to push yourself than it does to lie on the couch with a box of cookies and a season of Castle. Dynamism is probably the better way to go (most of the time).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reading: 'The Small Bachelor' by P.G.Wodehouse

How have I not read any P.G.Wodehouse before now? Not only has he written almost 100 books and invented famous characters such as Jeeves, but his writing is pretty much the funniest, wittiest, British-y-est, um, ever! Seriously. He's been referenced in so many books that I've read that I finally decided to demystify this gentleman's text by picking up a copy of The Small Bachelor and I haven't been able to put it down very much since making that most excellent decision. 

The story takes place in New York during Prohibition but the emphasis isn't so much on plot as it is on creating brilliant characters who make you smile and even laugh and feel kind of good about the world, while still retaining your dignity. I've never laughed while reading in a coffee shop before, but this book caused me to do so multiple times. Some of the characters fall in love, rather quickly, and the way Wodehouse draws their emotions, actions, earnestness, mannerisms, etc. is just brilliant and completely delightful. Smart, witty, and comical in a warm-hearted way.

Basically, I can't wait to read the rest of his books!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Young Galaxy - New Summer

This song is so beautiful I can't even say anything about it. Um, epic gorgeousness.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Grand Resort - Night is Dark

Last night I went to a barbeque, shockingly it was my first one this year, and was quickly reminded of how awesome BBQs are. Especially when done on a patio with a view of the lovely lovely ocean. Really, there aren't many things better than being surrounded by good friends, with delicious food in the middle, some cold drinks, music, and a view. Nice nice.

Today clouds have moved in so the sky is completely white, as if it hasn't woken up just yet. But that's okay, because it's warm, cozy, and perfect for drinking tea ;-)