Listening to: Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill
Great Read: Paste Magazine's Evolution of the Hipster. So funny. My favorite quote in the comments was, "I don't make enough money to pretend to be poor."
Someday my goal with this blog is to make it more topical. And to make each post shorter (and therefore more frequent). Someday is not today so please excuse me while I toss out some topics that aren't really related:
My brother does this to me from time to time.
Like when I told him I thought Robert Pattinson (everybody's favorite sparkleVamp) would so get the part of Jeff Buckley if they ever did a biopic. My brother gave me the look. He said, "You dishonor me." And he turned his face away. (Chase says if there is any justice in the world the part will go to James Franco.) There are two other times in particular when Chase says "You dishonor me.": 1.) when I say, "I'm full. I can't eat anymore." And 2.) when we listen to my iPod.
My brother has very cool taste in music. He has never been one to care what other people think of him, or like things just because someone else does but somehow, when it comes to the muzak, his taste swings cool. He likes random indie bands before they ever hit it big, or end up on a soundtrack. He can talk about why he likes an artist's early work more than later work. He likes great lyrics. He likes great guitar work. The other day when we were listening to his iPod, Ben Gibbard came on. Followed by Led Zepplin. Followed by something from Requiem. Followed by a musician called The Tallest Man on Earth (I think?). His selection is random but it's always good. Some of my favorite songs are songs I never would have heard if he hadn't tipped me off to them.
And yet. I hope my brother doesn't read this post because I got an iTunes card today, and I dishonored him. Big time.
I just downloaded the Mylie Cyrus song "Party in the USA" because I think it will be fun on my treadmill mix. I am positive Chase will not approve of Mylie. But he won't be surprised. Scattered throughout my iTunes library, there are songs that make him dry heave. We'll be driving somewhere, listening to my iPod, talking about various kinds of things like politics and people we know, when all the sudden ... my uncoolness will begin streaming through the speakers.
Like the Judds will start singing "Mama He's Crazy." (And I make this worse because sometimes when I hear the word me in a song I'll replace it with the word Steve. "Mama He's Crazy" is a good Steve song The best is "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night.)
Or Ariel will start singing, "Part of your World."
Or, and this is so bad but I believe confession is good for the soul: Ricky Martin will sing "Shake your bon bon." ("I feel a bad connection with your bah-deh!") I always try to skip past that one real quick, or just laugh and say, "that must have been, like, a free download that accidentally downloaded itself onto my iPod. Or something."
Chase isn't going to be a fan of "Party in the USA."
Secondus: I've been watching a new show called Chef Academy. Seen it? It comes on Bravo at a really bizarre time but it's also On Demand if you need something to do this weekend. Chef Novelli, a Frenchman who won all sorts of snazzy culinary awards, starts an academy in America with nine students. The show follows their misadventures as they work to become better chefs. Sounds very basic. It is. But it hooks me.
I'm not sure what it is about this show - maybe the chef, maybe the really awesome personalities they picked to be on there - but it is seriously hilarious. My favorite moment so far was when Chef Novelli was trying to make juice in a fancy juicer. The machine stops working and he screams, "All these Mickey Mouse companies making juicers and selling them to desperate people like me!" Then he crams it in a garbage can very dramatically. He is so very funny (and he seems like a really good teacher). The students make me laugh too. It's worth watching just to see how they play off each other. Anyway, in honor of Chef Novelli, I have a recipe to share! (One that would likely get me kicked out of his culinary school, but still.)
At the Ornament Exchange Party, Jessie (age 11) and her mom brought these amazing pretzels I think somebody (Jessica?) mentioned in the comments a week or so back. Only, in the comments, I underestimated the goodness. I will never do that again. The recipe is as follows:
Cast of Characters: A bag of pretzels. A bag of Hershey Kisses. A bag of peanut butter M&M's.
1. Preheat your oven to 325. That's what I did when I tried last night, but I bet you could go a little bit lower and still be okay.
2. Lay out your pretzels on a cookie sheet.
3. Place one Hershey Kiss on each pretzel. Like so:
Looks like a bunch of cute little sorting hats, no?**
Originally, I had these pretzels turned all different directions because my friend Sarah reads this blog and she's somewhat OCD and I thought it would be funny. Funny in an evil way. It makes me smile to think of her looking at the picture and flailing her arms about wildly because the pretzels weren't facing the same direction. But I decided to be nice and crank them back around, mostly because I really want Sarah to watch the holiday classic "Smoky Mountain Christmas" with me. You can only abuse your friends so much before they stop watching corny movies with you.
4. When the oven is preheated turn it off.
5. Put the pretzel/kisses into the oven for 3 minutes.
6. Pull them out and immediately start smooshing a peanut butter m&m into the center of each Hersey Kiss. The kiss will still be pointy, but it will smoosh easy (I really hope that sentence isn't one blogger decides to lift for my blog description). The smooshing is weirdly fun (or that sentence). Once you finish, the fantasta-pretzels will look bright and colorful like this:
7. My mom thinks they taste great just like that, all melty and what not. But I think they taste better when the chocolate blob has had time to cool. If you like chocolate covered pretzels, or just need a quick and easy treat to take with you for a movie night with your friends, give these a try. They went fast here. We kept passing them around and getting bigger handfulls. (Hence the reason I'm downloading new songs for my treadmill mix today.)
Thirdly. My other iTunes purchase just came on - a piece from Edward Scissorhands the Musical. Did you know that movie was a musical? Is it weird that I really like that movie? I've been listening to the soundtrack while I work on a new project.
Even though music inspires everything I write, I can't actually listen to music with lyrics while I'm writing. I listen to lyrical stuff when I'm taking breaks, when I'm driving around thinking about my project, and when I'm thinking about character development. But when I write, if I hear a song I like, I start singing along with it. Then I start to trip through a scene. So. For this new project ("That"?) I wanted instrumental music that was wintry and whimsical.*** Edward Scissorhands is a good match. Now that I've downloaded that, I would love some suggestions for some new songs.
So here's my request for you - tell me five songs you think I absolutely must have in my iTunes library. I'm always looking for new music. Or just old music I forgot I liked. And as you can see, my taste is pretty varied. I like artsy/lyrical. I like country. I like rock. I like Top 40 stuff. I like indie stuff. I like worship (as long as it's not a song with one lyric repeated sixty-seven times). I'm down for some new Christmas music too. So you're bound to hit on a few songs I'll go crazy over :) And if you're in the mood to confess, let me know the song (or songs) you're slightly embarrassed to have on your iPod. I can't wait to hear what you're listening to. (Disclaimer: I do not like rap music. Unless I am the one rapping.)
Fourth. My dad's birthday was yesterday. In addition to being the sweetest, kindest, most hilarious guy ever, my dad is also a fan of the blog. *waves to the padre* Love you, dad :)
Hope you're having a good week so far! I'll be back later to talk about some fine young regency bucks.
* Speaks before she's spoken to. Scratches her nose. Something like that.
** Have you seen the Deathly Hallows footage on the new DVD?! I cannot wait!
*** I posted that question on Facebook recently. "Anybody know of some whimsical wintry instrumental music I can listen to?" And most people left great answers. But my friend Bethany only left a link. Remember: wintry, whimsical. And Bethany sends this. I love my friends. I truly do.