May 16, 2016

SH2: Music

So, one of the things I miss most from being in college is being exposed to my friends music tastes. I would have not ever listened to Guster had I not had a roommate who loved them. Same with working from home and not with co-workers. I had a coworker who introduced me to a lot of music like Thirteen Senses on our trips out to lunch.

Here in DFW there is a local station, 91.7 KXT, which I call the weirdo station. It's a mash of odd, popular, alternative, older music, and local new bands just getting their start. So they will play the Cure, then Radiohead, followed by some reggae and then a top 40 song. So my current tastes are cobbled together from my husband, this odd station and whatever else happens to come through.

What does that result in? Well it's kind of a mess. But my iTunes has always been a bit odd.
Anyway you can find my 2015 playlist as well as a work in progress 2016 list on my Spotify page, if you have one too. The last random band I really got into is called Valise from here in Dallas.

Please share if you are currently in love with a band or have a song you just can't stop listening to!
Now to find some tunes and get to work.

May 9, 2016

SH1: Good Books

So I know I'm on haitus, but I have a feeling I might want to pop on here and say something over the break, as is the case today. I've read two really good books these last few weeks and I want to make sure you all know to get on it!

We have an Audible account, and have had it for a long time. As of right now we have over 200 titles in our audio library. With the app on my phone, it is perfect for listening to while driving or cleaning, or anything that only requires half a brain to do. (Never drive with half a brain, kids, it's unsafe.) Bottom line, I really love having the account and if you don't have an one you can sign up and try any full first book for free.

Anyway on to the books:

1. The Martian by Andy Weir
Ok look, I gotta be honest, I dislike Matt Damon. Like really. And no, I did not see the film. I'm an art person, which does not usually mean I would also like science things, however lately I am super into Astronomy and science. I did take Astronomy in college and loved it and was pretty good at the subject too. I have seen every episode of Crash Course Astronomy, watch every SciShow and now subscribe to Phil Plait's blog.

But here's the cool thing, even if you don't like all that science, this book is pretty darn amazing. Unlike Contact, which I read when I was 13, it walks you though the science in ways that are pretty approachable. The whole book sounds pretty darn accurate and you can feel the amount of research that went into the book, without need to strictly understand everything perfectly. The main character, Mark Watney, is just so dang likeable too. His personality alone makes the book compelling. It's funny and smart and tense all at the same time. It's so good, I might actually watch the movie, even with Matt Damon.

2. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This is kind of off in the other direction from the Martian, being that it is about centuries old tech, that being bookmaking, typography and codes. I picked this one up after someone mentioned it in a video on youtube. I had no real idea what kind of book this would be when I listened to the audio sample, but I really liked the narrator and the main character seemed to tick all my boxes. Snarky, young, does design work, good sense of humor, curiosity. I had a vague idea that it could involve the supernatural and I still feel like it kind of does.

I guess you could describe this book like an exploration of the world of books, scholars and paper vs the world of tech geeks, programmers and Google. Plus as someone who really enjoyed a series of bad novels based around dragons (The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen) as a kid too and someone who still plays D&D, the references in the book were great. It's got a weird old store, a weirder old owner, a mystery, a cult, artists, a little romance and more. It's a good sign when I finish a book that I want merchandise related to it to exist. Unfortunately I haven't found any yet.

Other audio books that are fantastic to listen to:
The Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale is an absolute must.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, read by Martin Jarvis, is my go to book to relisten to when I don't have something new. Probably my favorite book.
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher read by James Marsters (of Buffy fame) is also just a super fun series.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, also read by Jim Dale, which I have now relistened to about 5 times... each time it gets better, more lovely and more sad.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, fun fact, he reads all his audiobooks so I recommend them all.

Obviously I could go on, but that list alone is something like 26 books, which should be more than enough to carry you though a yearly subscription should you decide to join us. Which you should.

May 2, 2016

Summer Haitus

It's gonna get real here for a minute. I'm swamped, both mentally and work wise.

As some of you may know, I took a part time contacting job in September, in addition to my full time graphic design job, to create the yearbook for the high school my husband works at. As the yearbook program has dwindled in both time and student aid, the deadlines have all passed and it is now down to crunch time with me making it a solo effort. What time I don't spend on my day job gets spent on the yearbook. And what time is leftover goes to keeping the household from exploding in dog hair and dirty laundry or dishes.

As such, I haven't picked up a hook for more than an hour over the last few weeks. My buffer of posts has run out. I hate to say it, but sometimes you just need to take a step back in order to move forward.
Crochet is for sure taking a back seat again here.

I hope to be able to pick this blog back up in August or so, but for now I need to let posting every monday go. My apologies. In the meantime, keep up with my pictures on Flicker or Instagram if you like.

Thanks for reading.