Saturday, May 28, 2011

Taking it slow

Recent Happenings
Right now, I am:

Wishing I could be in two places at once.  

Practicing the art of slow, which is difficult because I have a tendency to rush.  Could possibly benefit from some buddhist reading.

Looking forward to meeting up with a friend for a drink and a movie.  It has been too long.

Needing a new couch, considering reupholstering the right used couch.  Our Ikea couch is ready to move on to the home of a deserving undergraduate moving into their first flat.

Scheming a little something for my mom's coming 60th birthday.  Shhhh!

Basking in the glory of a three day weekend.

Pining for summer, and the ocean, and that feeling I get when I'm there.  June should bring the heat.

Friday, May 27, 2011

8 albums to celebrate a three day weekend!

 Memorial Day Weekend... growing up in a resort town in Maine, Memorial Day Weekend symbolized the beginning of the season: tourists from all over New England, and from Southeast Canada, clogged the two lane turnpike with their station wagons piled high with tents, boogie-boards, and bikes.  As locals, we braced ourselves for long lines at the grocery store, inflated gas prices, and endless nights by the bonfire.

My Memorial Day Weekends have changed... being a young mom who works full-time, in the mono-seasonal Bay Area, there isn't necessarily the ceremonial hurrah! there once was.  My plans for the weekend include the usual--farmer's market, trips to the park, a hike with the wee one, some sewing, some cooking... and lots of music!  Here is a list of 8 records to kick off the holiday weekend:

1) Neutral Milk Hotel, On Avery Island [Vinyl]
NMH = everything that was right about the 90's.  Noise, harmony, bow-saws... love.  Jeff Mangum's genius, lyrically and musically, collaboratively with the Elephant 6 folks... I can't say enough about it.  I saw NMH at the Middle East in Boston back in '98 (or was it '99?).  Definitely one of my top 10 live rock shows ever.

2) David Bowie, Low
Anything David Bowie does is a-ok in my book, and anything Brian Eno is involved with ups the ante.  Take the post-Los Angeles Bowie, throw in a lost weekend (or, lost months) with Iggy Pop in a studio in a castle, add dreamy synth soundscapes, and you've got Low.  Yum.

3) Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle
More 90's bliss.  I challenge you to listen to Web in Front (the first track) and not fall in love.  Archers are doing a reunion tour this summer.  You should check them out.

4) The Covers Record
If I could sing, like, really sing, I would want to sound like Chan Marshall.  Her cover of "I've Found a Reason" (Velvet Underground) is especially lovely.

5) Built to Spill, Perfect from Now On [Vinyl]
Certainly one of the most widely-loved BTS albums.  Lovingly produced by Phil Ek.  More buzz-y indie rock goodness, and where the marriage of Doug Marsch and Brett Nettson as musical mates really fused.  The time-signature changes, especially on "Kicked it in the Sun," prove that this is the album where the indie darlings grew up.

6) The Beatles, Revolver (Remastered)
I think "Revolver" is my favorite Beatles album. 

7)Fleet Foxes
Any band with vocal harmonies that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young would covet, and a Breugel painting as an album cover, is worth checking out.  This album is nothing short of enchanting.  I recommend headphones and sunshine pairings.

8) Celebrate the New Dark Age
Perhaps my favorite album... ever?  I'm not sure. 

well, OK, let's do 9...
9) Joan Armatrading - Greatest Hits
No summer(y) day is complete without Joan.  The voice, the funk... the best, best, best of the early 80's sound.  "Cool Blue Stole My Heart."  That's my jam!  "Drop the Pilot."  Yeah!  I grew up dancing to Joan with my mom.  To this day, I love to crank this album when I vacuum.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

8 Books to celebrate World Vegetarian Week

Folks, we are at the end of World Vegetarian Week!  I was a lacto-ovo, fish-eating vegetarian from age 11 through 23. At 23, I began to eat ethically raised meat, prepared at home only. To this day, my family probably only eats meat 3 times a week, and mostly fish. When we do eat animals with legs, we choose "happy" animals - those who were vegetarian fed and on small local organic farms when possible. Eating ethically costs more - but it is so much better for the environment, your body, and it tastes better too!

Here is my list of 8 books to celebrate World Vegetarian Week (that I have read or cooked from - I'm sure there are more awesome veggie books out there - feel free to list them in "comments").

1) Diet for a Small Planet
The classic by Frances Moore Lappe. This is the original reason I went veggie at age 11 (well, that and finding stringy veins things in steak).

2) Vegetarian Planet
My college-days cooking bible.

3) Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement (P.S.)
The most widely-read Singer tome. Not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach).

4)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking
One word: YUM!

5) The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook: Whole Foods To Nourish Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women - And Their Families
I was lost when I was nursing... I didn't know how to eat properly. This easy, delicious recipes in this book saved me!

6) Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-Tasting, Down-Home Recipes
Another nursing life-saver, especially for those on an elimination diet.

7) Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
A book for your youngling about a vegetarian vampire bunny.

8) The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
Co-written by Philopher/Ethicist Peter Singer, *the* guru.