30 April 2012

Music Mondays

Former Shins members Marty Crandall and Neal Langford have a new band called Sad Baby Wolf, which is about the cutest name ever, in a sad baby wolf sort of way. That, and they made a Neutral Milk Hotel song sound happy, which is funny because until I'd heard this version, I thought Jeff Mangum's version was "happy" so...there you go.

Look for their self titled EP sometime soon.

26 April 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Witnessing moments of growth

Road meditation

Lovingkindness practice (in Buddhist terms) is based on cultivating loving kindness towards yourself, then your loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally all sentient beings. It is something I struggle with only when I am conscious of it. I would be happy to struggle with this daily, but it is regardless immensely gratifying to witness a moment of growth, and it was only with therapy and sporadic lovingkindness practice that I have even been able to identify these moments. It could be that you are fighting with your significant other, and the fight and the anger could carry over for days. Then, in a moment of clarity, you might realize what separate issue you were fighting about all along. The anger dissipates, and eventually recedes, and you two are left closer than ever. Or it could be that a family member surprises you by catching a habit that they would like to stop participating in before they are helped. Either way, it's a brief and beautiful reminder that no matter who we are, we can still grow.


I adopted a new pup a few weeks ago. His name is Snausages O'Houllihan, and he's smart as a whip and really great at agility training. He's a corgi.

Oh. And he's a Nintendog—trapped in my Nintendo DS. I watch videos of real dogs doing real training, and I'm all, "My nintendog totally does that. Whiffed it. Geez. Dogs." We also recently moved into a country home. It was a good move, lots of birds and nature and stuff, very relaxing.

On other fronts: oh my god my husband needs to get me a dog. Or professional help.

23 April 2012

Music Monday

Gotye — Somebody That I Used To Know

J: People on the Internet were saying this video was really weird.

And as a graphic designer, I responded "Weird? This is beautiful." It reminded me of Stefan Sagmeister. Also, it's a really great song! Reminds me a little bit of Sting.

19 April 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Texts from Dog
These hilarious conversations between an owner and his pit bull are priceless. You can see all of them here at Text from Dog's tumblr. Some of them are kind of vulgar, so be warned.

<---This Guy

Nothing to brighten up the day like an Anchorman reference!

16 April 2012

Music Mondays

Garbage—Blood for Poppies

Here is the video for the latest single from Garbage, invoking the likes of Salvador Dalí and Georges Méliès in a grainy black and white that really contrasts with the catchy pop song that Shirley Manson is singing. I am torn as to whether or not this is really a good thing. I don't understand what Surrealism has to do with this song, and I am so over people misusing vintage medium to needlessly demonstrate how edgy they are, or involve their own art with art that already invokes pretty strong feelings (this from the woman with a large collection of vintage Polaroid cameras that listens to vinyl just because). Also, I am loving the vintage dress Manson is wearing at the beginning of the video. LOVING. Spoiler alert, there's a little bit of Un Chien Andalou in there, so if watching eyeballs being sliced open is not your thing, maybe only watch the first 3/4 of the video.

I knew Garbage was on tour to promote their new album, Not Your Kind of People (dropping 5/15), but I had no idea when it was dropping, or what their sound would be like these days. On the other hand, I really like this song, and I really like Garbage. At 15, Garbage was my first live concert, ever. My friends and I drove all the way out to New Mexico to see them, and I loved every minute of it, bought a bright orange T-shirt that was three times too big (they were out of Smalls), and listened almost exclusively to the two CDs of theirs that I owned on repeat for about six months afterwards.

I thought I'd include this song, not just because I like it a lot, and am strongly considering getting this whole album, but for nostalgia alone.

13 April 2012

What To Do About Poo

Recently, I've had the pleasure of dealing with neighbors who think that their backyard is a great place to let dog feces do what it does best: bake in the sun, melt in the rain, and basically smell up the whole joint. My bike gets parked at a prime spot inside the radius of poop smell, and it's been fantastic thinking about how this summer is going to be when we try to barbecue while the smell gets worse because we weren't proactive about it.

I find a lot of articles online about ways to deal with neighbors. They all say the same things in the end, though literally zero of them are about what to do when your neighbor won't pick up their own dog's shit in their own yard (what are we—in Texas?), but this is how I've been dealing with it.

Talk to your neighbors. In my case, I tried to talk to them a few times, but I am a sissy and the opportunity never presented itself. Eventually I left a (nice) note. No threats, no nastiness, just what I would have said face to face if we were ever outside at the same time: the poop smells pretty bad, and it's been getting worse lately. We want to enjoy our backyard, since it's one of the reasons we moved into this place, and we understand that it can be difficult to be on top of this, but we'd really appreciate it. Simple and to the point (not passive aggressive) and not anonymous; I signed my name and let them know which unit I was in.

Report it to the city (or HOA, if that applies). No one can be less surprised than I that my note tactic didn't work, and I didn't want to leave any more because as nice as it was, more notes could be considered harassment. Once I left the note, I realized that it was silly and pointless, since now I couldn't really talk to them about it. Besides, I pay taxes so that the local government bodies responsible can take care of crap like this for me (pun intended). Since a government official has gone over there, the problem has diminished greatly, and by that I mean I haven't seen a single poop stay on the premises for more than two days, and I call that a win, even if my neighbors don't like me (I could have gone over with wine/brownies/flowers, but I'm not that person. I don't like them, either, but I'd rather be the person calling the city than the person letting feces fester in my (and my pet's) environment). The only important thing I learned by doing this step was the next step:

Call Animal Control. We aren't there yet. Are there still steaming piles of poop out there occasionally? Sure. Do the neighbors know I am the one who sicced the City of Somerville on them? Unfortunately, I'm positive they do. On the other hand, I have this tidbit in my back pocket—animal control is a separate entity from who I contacted through the city's website (Somerville in my case, but you can always check your local ordinances), and they can issue fines. This could be your first step if you really hate your neighbors.

I meditate. I try practicing lovingkindness...but at the end of the day, I am literally dealing with shit here. City anonymity is so frustrating that it takes it to a whole new level when your neighbors who are less than thirty feet away from you are doing things they wouldn't do under a microscope. And that's why these local government offices are in place, right?

12 April 2012

Things I Love Thursday

This is what I want our living room to look like someday. Looks like we'll need a bigger couch.

09 April 2012

Music Mondays

This is more like Regina Spektor revisited since this track was included in her 2002 album Songs, but has been re-recorded for What We Saw from the Cheap Seats. It's snappier and poppier, and generally just fabulous.

This album drops May 29th.

06 April 2012

Smoothie of the Week

Smoothie shots / Turmix variációk
via macskafarok

After yoga on Wednesday, I was a hungry, hungry hippo. We have been on a kick of trying to get rid of things in our fridge, and feel like we're constantly keeping up with best by dates. Using some of the things that were about to kick the bucket, I came up with this (and it was delicious):

1 cup soymilk
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup packed fresh spinach
1 cup frozen strawberries


05 April 2012

Things I Love Thursday

J and I went to a birthday party last weekend and as a gift, I asked J to prepare a meme for the occasion.

There were also animated gifs.

03 April 2012

Project 365 Update: March

I really thought that March would be my month. I started out strong—I even had a theme that emerged after the second day (round things), that was easier said than done, although I did it for a whole week! Plus two days!

There are a lot of orange squares, though...sad. And a lot of those photos are iphone photos. Sad times two.

Anyway, my favorite photo this month? I'm going to cheat a little bit. See the telescope that was taken on March 10th? We went to Salem to visit the Peabody Essex Museum, and that photo was my favorite that fit the "round things" theme. My actual favorite photo this month is a tie between this one:

Cool Guys

and this one:

02 April 2012

Music Mondays

The Drums – “Days (Mates Of State Remix)”

You can take a listen to the song over at Stereogum, and download a copy for yourself.