Of Monsters and Men Concert in Review

Last night I went with some friends to the sold out Of Monsters and Men show.  I was assuming you’d want to know some highlights.

First of all, the weather was “beautiful” for December and we were able to successfully leave our coats in the car without turning into icicles on the walk from the parking ramp to First Ave.

Secondly, Kari found us awesome spots to stand!  We had a great view and were removed from the crowdes.   So awesome that (a) my student teacher’s parents stood behind us and (b) another girl really wanted to stand with us.  She tried to dance me out of my spot, but I held strong.  Whether she was bumping into my arm on repeat, crouching down low and nearly nuzzling her head on my shoulder while flailing her arms out in front of her, or melodramatically basically hugging this pillar that was in her way to peek around it to see the show.  I mostly wanted to tell her that perhaps she shouldn’t have chosen to stand behind the cement pillar and then she wouldn’t be having these issues.

Another highlight is when the band said they wanted our help singing a particular song.  None of the words seemed familiar.  I thought perhaps I just had misunderstood their icelandic accents on the song, but I soon figured out that of course the sing-a-long is to the one song that my iTunes refuses to play for me.  I definitely recognized the first 10 seconds that my CD plays before just stopping.  Then the next 4 minutes seemed like a brand new song.  I am choosing to think that they wanted to take time to teach me this song, rather than feel like a lame fan who doesn’t actually know the music of the band she went to see in concert.  Oh irony that this would be the song they encouraged crowd participation…

It was a super fun night – Of Monsters and Men is adorable and they put on a good show.

Plus, Old-Lady-Work-Night-Win: we were all home by 10pm.  That is the silver lining of seeing a band that only has one album out.  The sad part is it is over all too soon…


Spring is Here

Springtime is here.

You might be thinking, “Laura, have you been outside?  Have you looked at a calendar?  Springtime has clearly been here for a while now.  Way to be late to the warm weather party.”

To which I will say, “Yes, but until now, I had not seen a four-year-old climb a flowering tree; I had not seen the MN Twins play baseball; and I had not made a spring mix CD for my ears to enjoy in the car while I drive.  This is what makes spring.”

To which you will say, “Oh.  You are right.  I’m sorry for even questioning you.  Are the Twins any better this year?”

and I will say, “Well, not so far. That is why I am leaving the country come summer… so I don’t have to watch another season like last season.”

To which you will say, “What music is on your spring playlist?  Maybe I want to make a spring cd and I’m looking for some inspiration for a few more songs for it,” or if you are my sister you will say, “Where is a copy of the playlist you promised to share with me?”  And to both of you, I say, “Here you go!” 

This week’s recommendations for your life

My fav shows of the fall: 

  • Modern Family (seriously – SO hilarious.  If you are not on the Modern Family train, you are missing out big time)
  • Community (Ok, I might not actually watch it promptly, but I do watch it
  • Parks & Rec (I was a skeptic after that first season train wreck, but this summer I was convinced to give it another go – and season 2 and onward is HILARIOUS)
  • I want to like New Girl, because Zooey D is awesome, but I’m struggling.
  • Pan Am – combines 3 of my favorite things: travelling, that which is vintage, and espionage.  What is not to love?
  • Up All Night – Christina Applegate and Will Arnett.  After the first episode, I wanted to like it, but wasn’t sure.  But Christina and Will are hilarious, so it has pulled itself together.  And there was a slow clap this week.  I am in.

I watch these all on Hulu.  I can’t be bothered to watch TV without the aid of my roommate.  I don’t actually know what channel any of these shows are on.  And knowing the network doesn’t help me.  I need a little guide like they give you at hotels for what channel you can find each network on.  It is a good thing Hulu has my back.  And by “I watch all of these on Hulu” I mean “I watch Modern Family on Hulu and then sometimes remember to watch the others as well”.  I am not exactly a diehard TV viewer.  But sometimes I try.

Music that says, “fall” to me:
  • Mumford and Sons – always amazing. Regardless of the time of year, but especially in the fall.
  • Farewell Milwaukee – I’d like Molly to take this group’s name to heart, but until that happens, I will listen to their music and enjoy it.  You should too.
  • Benjamin Francis Leftwich – I first listened to his music approximately 11 minutes ago and decided I must immediately tell you about it.  It is that good.  Benny lives next door to Bon Iver.  Not literally, but in the sense that their music is from the same neighborhood.

Speaking of Bon Iver – check it out – Tiffany is using his old Scattergories sheet for our game!  That is the bonus of hanging out at his cousin’s house I guess. 

  • I think it is time to make my fall mix for the car.  I will be researching my favorite SYTYCD songs for it.  When I perused their song choices this summer I decided to hold off on making my annual mix until fall, because the songs I loved were too melancholy for summer.
  • Soon enough though, I can just break out the Amy Grant Christmas CDs.  Classic.
I am really enjoying these mints.  But be warned, if you accidentally eat a couple, a lot too many mints, your mouth will be very cold.  Very very cold.  And you will feel sad.  Or at least your mouth will feel sad.  Well, mostly just cold.

And my final (and most important) recommendation for the day is these Trader Joe’s pumpkin pancakes.  So delicious.  Please go eat some right now.  I loved it so much.  It was my first good experience in the kitchen in years.  Or at least in two weeks.  More on that later.  But seriously, go hit up Trader Joe’s for some fall goodness.  You will regret it if you don’t.  I guarantee it.Oh, and I almost forgot.  Final recommendation for real this time. In the realm of movies, I would totally recommend Moneyball to you.  I had plans to see it with a group of people this week, and then I accidentally saw it over the weekend.  Oops!  🙂  It was really good!  And about baseball.  And there is even a scene when the Twins win, so that brought back some happy, and distant memories.  I was hoping it would fill me up with hope for our 2012 season, but it did not.  I did get to see it with my friend Sky and all of our senior citizen friends though, so that was special.  The film makes some good use of silence, and at one point I was eating an apple and felt my apple crunching was a bit excessively loud.  Then I decided none of the elderly could hear it anyway, so it was fine.  The end.

Harp + Ocean Waves. It must be rest time.

After seven years of teaching kindergarten, I have a few thoughts about rest time.  Today I want to share my thoughts on the rest time music that I play for my children.  I don’t claim it is high quality music.  I don’t really like to spend a lot of money on it, so some of it is from the Dollar Tree 🙂  You know you are only getting the best when you buy things there!   If I am going to have to listen to this peaceful music each day, I need some variety so I don’t lose my mind.

There are the generic classical music CDs I have with sleep inducing titles, such as “Peaceful” and “Serenity.”  I will not let any music aficionados listen to these CDs, but it at least brings some variety into our lives for the right price ($1). Plus, BONUS – if you pick the right disc, you might get to hear a song called “Whispers in the Dark” played on the panpipe and blended with the gentle sounds of birds and a mountain stream.  Win! 

The CD Soothing Sleep is harp with ocean waves.  It was a dollar, so I bought it, but then I realized the cover could bring about questionable giggles by the children.  So I try to be as stealth as possible when putting this CD in. 

This summer though, I had the best find ever.  I really enjoy the lullaby CDs that are renditions of your favorite artists – it makes the music more tolerable.  Lullaby versions of the Beatles?  Coldplay?  yes and yes.  But this summer, I came across a Taylor Swift lullaby CD on clearance.  CLEARANCE?   Yes, you are probably as shocked as I was.  Naturally I scooped it up into my cart and we listened to it for the first time yesterday.  The jury is out whether it is horrible or amazing.  But I can tell you this: the cover of it is beyond fantastic.  Yes, it is a foal with T. Swift’s hair.  Best thing I’ve seen all day. 

So next time you think a kindergarten teacher has the easy life with rest time built into her day, remember two things: 

  1. The kids rest, not the teacher, so really it isn’t that awesome.
  2. Feel free to feel bad for the teacher who is forced to listened to rest time music every day.  Thank goodness for things like ponies with long blonde curly hair to ease the pain.

As a little bonus, here is a photo of me after I accidentally clicked the “capture” button on photobooth, even though I was done snapping pics of CD covers.  I don’t know why I panicked – it is my computer – I could have just deleted it… 🙂 but instead, I cringed and shielded my face.