Monday, April 12, 2010

Blog Vacation

I'm taking a bit of a blog vacation, but I'll be back at the end of the month. Here's what I'm planning to read while I'm away from the computer. A little eclectic, but that's how I like it. :)

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
One Crazy Summer 


The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Lions of al-Rassan

No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

Friday, April 9, 2010

Grab Bag Friday Movie Vault: The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

The Bachelor and the Bobby SoxerIt's been a while since I've dipped into the Grab Bag Friday Movie Vault, but since it looks to be a nice, rainy weekend here in Maine, I think it's time to pull out a good old 1940s screwball comedy.

I thought I'd seen just about every Cary Grant movie there is, but Kevin and I stumbled across The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer a couple years ago and laughed our heads off. The movie, written by Sidney Sheldon (creator of the TV series I Dream of Jeannie) won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay back in 1947 and I can certainly see why. It's a riot.

Cary Grant plays a bachelor who lectures about art and is something of a playboy. Through a series of barely plausible events (but who cares!), Grant finds himself obligated to date a love-struck high school girl (Shirley Temple) for a week until her infatuation with him wears off. The fabulous Myrna Loy plays Ms. Temple's protective older sister, a judge who is watching Grant's every move. Let the hilarity begin.

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer is a silly, very funny movie that definitely stands the test of time, if you ask me. It's got all kinds of great physical comedy, and Cary Grant is at his comic best. The more Shirley Temple's character tries to act sophisticated and worldly, the more he puts on a gooney, adolescent front. Like in this clip, for instance, where he meets her parents:

You Remind Me of a Man...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

She & Him: In the Sun

Hooray, the new She & Him album is out!

To celebrate, here's a fun High School Musical/Grease-esque video of In the Sun. Now, tell can that moody M. Ward not fall for a charming, hula-hooping school girl like Zooey Deschanel? Enjoy!

She & Him - In The Sun from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Monday, April 5, 2010

John Crossingham: Learn to Speak Music

I came across John Crossingham's Learn to Speak Music: A Guide to Creating, Performing, and Promoting Your Songs in the children's section of the library a few weeks ago, and of course I had to pick it up. For any kid who's ever wanted to write a song, start a band, record music, or play a gig...this is a book worth checking out!

John Crossingham is a member of the band, Broken Social Scene, and he starts out his book with three fundamentals every kid should know:
  • Music isn't complex
  • Music is whatever you want it to be
  • You already know how to make music
Then he takes you through every single step you need to know to create and perform that music...from songwriting basics, to chosing an instrument, to promoting a gig. He's got great ideas for how to be considerate of family and neighbors (choose your practice times and location wisely, use blankets to soundproof your practice room) and even how to be a musician if you don't have enough money for a new instrument (borrow an instrument from school, buy something used, start with drumsticks, sing).

I like how each chapter includes a playlist of songs that illustrate what the chapter is talking about. You can use the playlists to do a quick search on YouTube or Lala and listen to songs by Fiest, Arcade Fire, Beethoven, John Coltrane to learn more about the songwriting and performing tips outlined in the book.

I like that there's a ton of great information in Learn to Speak Music but I love that John Crossingham always keeps the most important rule front and center: PLAY BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Grab Bag Friday: All Natural Easter Eggs

I've randomly come across two articles in the last day about how to make your own natural dyes for Easter eggs. I haven't quite decided yet if this sounds like a super-fun experiment or a disaster waiting to happen. At any rate, it's very tempting. If you want to try it at home, here's an article that tells you how:

Dye Easter Eggs in Nature's Hues

And here are some of the things you can use for dye:

  • Onion skins (marbleized oranges and yellows)
  • Shredded red cabbage (midnight blue and teal)
  • Beet root (brown with a purple cast)
  • Spinach (pale green)
  • Carrots (yellow with olive overtones)
  • Grape juice (deep lavender)
  • Blueberries (frozen is fine...deep blue)
  • Raspberries (frozen is fine...light fuchsia)
  • Blackberries (frozen is fine...plum)
  • Coffee (milk-chocolate brown)
  • Cinnamon (subdued mahogany)
  • Paprika (light orange)
  • Turmeric (vivid gold)
Have fun!