Ohh, Betsy!

Let the Wild Rumpus Start! October 28, 2009

Filed under: I'm a critic — Anna @ 9:59 pm

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Maurice Sendak’s legendary children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, was carefully crafted – words and illustrations bringing a story to life. Similarly, Karen O and the Kids’ original soundtrack for the recently released full-length movie is artfully crafted. Karen O is better known as the frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but makes a bold change as the composer for the soundtrack. Karen O has a range of talent making up the “kids” from actual children singing to various “grown-up” professional artists (see the line-up here).

At first listen, one wonders if this is really a children’s album. With the dreamy and stylish instrumentals and the almost-melancholy undertones, it is definitely a departure from traditional children’s music. The soundtrack seems to be a reflection of the emotions a child is sure to experience – joy, fear, love, excitement but not necessarily what is expected from a children’s album. The titles of the songs aptly represent the emotion that is sure to be elicited from listening – Hideaway is melancholy, Animal is wild, Worried Shoes is nervous. Interestingly, Rumpus is a hyper, crazy romp while Rumpus Reprise is the same thing only with adult supervision. Karen O can be credited with capturing the complexity of what seems to be something quite simple. Through her music she is able to bring to life emotions that a child would feel navigating the big world while in other songs the feeling of comfort from a loving parent is interwoven.

All is Love seems to be the standout with its appealing light-hearted sound. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it may not seem like a likely pick for your kids but if you listen carefully, you might just find yourself…and your child. You can find the album streaming here.

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Yes, please. October 26, 2009

Filed under: Good Stuff — Anna @ 11:25 pm

One thing I’ve learned about my child and toys is that he is completely content with small-ticket items. Don’t get me wrong, he loves his big-ticket items but I marvel at how happy he is with a 2-inch plastic whale. He seems to latch on to one toy at a time. One that just makes him feel incomplete when he leaves it at home. We took him trick-0r-treating at a local park last Saturday. They set up small stations throughout the woods sponsored by various organizations. Near the end of the path, he happened upon the ultimate treat. Brandon caught this picture which I thought was hysterical considering that he now worships this odd little toy – a shark head with a fish in its mouth. It’s as if the shark head was delivered like manna from the heavens.

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But I realized that I too get attached to new toys all the time. Well, maybe not toys but I have my fair share of favorite things that keep me happy. My latest?

Bounce Dryer Bar. If I had seen this in the grocery store, I highly doubt I would have purchased it. But, a friend gave me one and I L-O-V-E it. Basically, it’s a bar that sticks on the side of your dryer instead of using dryer sheets. It is supposed to between 2-4 months. I’m guessing mine will last at least four months.

Chex Mix Turtle Bars.  My, oh my. I really don’t care for granola bars too much. Blame it on the worm I found in one a few years ago. But these babies are my little indulgence.

So, what’s with my obsession with bars? Huh. Anyway…let’s move on to my favorite topic…entertainment.

Modern Family. The only trouble I have with this new show is that I can’t decide which character I love the most. The characters are so well-written and the actors are perfectly cast. It’s by far my favorite. (Yes, I like Glee just like the rest of the world but the truth be told, it kinda drags on sometimes.) You can watch all the episodes here.

Jim Gaffigan: King Baby. We got this DVD from Netflix because I heard that Jim Gaffigan is pretty funny. I literally thought I was going to have to turn it off because I was getting a headache from laughing so hard. I’m not much of a bacon fan, but after watching his show, I now love bacon if only for the principle of it all.

What is your latest?

 

The happy store October 22, 2009

Filed under: Seriously now — Anna @ 9:43 am

Well hello there. I still have a birthday hangover. This year was a great one. Much love was sent and gladly received. I’ve become like a camel when it comes to happy times – storing it up so that when I have down days, I have a little something to fall back on.

Last week came a little wave of bad news for people I love. Sad things happen. Difficult trials must be faced. Life is seriously one tough road. So maybe since I’ve stored up a bunch of love lately, I can spare a little to give to my friends in need.

If I may be so bold, when you’ve got some love stored up – make sure to share it. You may just find that you’re stock of happy will be doubled as a result.

 

How can you watch this and not smile? Impossible! October 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 2:55 pm

When I first saw this great video earlier in the summer, I loved it. It just made me smile.

What could top it? The Office.

I had doubts as to how the epic Jim and Pam wedding would play out. How could they make it funny, sweet and nutty all at the same time? I was happy to see that The Office pulled of the best wedding scene. Ever. (And I think I might have shed a little happy tear. Maybe.)

Now have yourself a happy day.

 

Puff, the aging dragon October 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 10:40 pm

The year I turned 30, I thought there would be some sort of dramatic transformation as if I would really feel old. Turns out, 30 was a breeze.

The year I turned 31 I noticed a dramatic change in my memory. I once had a darling roommate who would forget names all the time and I would give her a hard time. She’d mix up names and think the clothing store in the mall was called Hugh Grant. In my 31st year, karma struck back and I began to forget names ALL. THE. TIME.

Along with 32 came the gray hair. Certainly, 32 has not been the most stress-free year for me so maybe that added to the growing collection of gray invaders. But the grays came in force, unruly and unrepentant.

Each year, I get a new symptom.  I don’t always identify it until half the year is over but each year is clearly signified by another sign of getting older. I’m not bitter about it – I’m glad it’s coming one at a time (at least for now).

I’m turning 33 next week and I think I already know what this year will bring. Check out the bags under my eyes in this recent picture. What the…? Seriously? Granted, the lighting and angle  is not optimal but come on, that is some serious puffiness. So. My 33rd year is going to be puffy. The kind of puffy that even a really comfy pair of stretchy pants can’t help. Oy.

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Once bitten…or, um mitten October 6, 2009

Filed under: I'm a critic — Anna @ 8:11 am

I’ve made a reputation for myself for my…”critical dislike” of the Twilight Series Saga. Many know I have no love for the Twilight book. It was only the pressure of an upcoming book club meeting that got me to actually finish reading it. When I heard they were making a movie, I actually thought it would make for a better movie than a book because it just had to be better than the book. That was, until I saw the previews and I knew that I would have a hard time keeping a straight face throughout the movie. I ended up watching it and did have a hard time keeping a straight face. Let’s just say that I giggled a lot and not as in a “Edward is so cute” giggle. Though I must say I thought it did a respectable job keeping fans happy. But, since I’m not a fan, I shook my head at glimpses of the glittering vampire. So needless to say, there wasn’t anything really appealing to me about  books or the movie(s). I invite your dissenting opinions but be forewarned, I am firm in my beliefs against teenage vampire angst.

But out of all this car wreck of vampire hormones came one shiny ray of hope – the mittens that Bella wore in the movie. The 45  year-old woman  I overheard talking about how “hot” Jacob was in the upcoming sequel might argue, but the most beautiful thing in the Twilight series has to be these mittens. And after a Google search, I found that there were many people coveting those mittens too.

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I can proudly say that I now have in my possession, just in time for fall, a pair of those mittens courtesy of my talented friend Lacey.  We did a little craft swap. I made her a bag and she made me these mittens. I think I got the better end of the deal but I’m not complaining. Now, if only I can pry them away from G as he has adopted them as a sock puppet named Duncan.

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