Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sad Cat Diary

I felt like I have to post something, for crying out loud. I'm still trying my darnedest to get caught up on reviews and stuff, but in the meantime, enjoy this.

Sad Cat Diary

Your pal,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Really Long and Really Loud B-Day Post 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Here's what I've been listening to this year!

Where's the Girl - Terrence Mann

Safe and Sound - Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars

Fake It - Seether

Breath of Life - Florence + the Machine

Man In the Mirror - Michael Jackson

Carnival of Rust - Poets of the Fall

Set Fire to the Rain - Adele

Push - Matchbox Twenty

Renegade - Styx

Roadhouse Blues - the Doors

Send Me A Song - Lisa Kelly

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Hand of Sorrow - Within Temptation

The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You - Bryan Adams

Roxanne - the Police

Better Dig Two - the Band Perry

Tornado - Little Big Town

Happy listening! With luck, this is going to be a great year!

Your pal,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fave Phan Vids of the Year

There's a lot of abbreviations in that title...

Well, since tomorrow's mah birfday I'm doing something fun for Phantom Friday and throwing out my favorite fan-made videos I've seen this year. Enjoy!


Using clips from the 2004 movie, the 25th anniversary, the Aussie production of Love Never Dies, and the 1989 version with Robert Englund. Put together by the insanely talented emptyvoices on YouTube!

Happy - Liam Lynch

Something goofy that cracks me up every time.

Breath of Life - Florence + the Machine

Been obsessed with this song a LOT this year, and found some awesome videos  for it (emptyvoices did a Les Mis one! You gotta check it out!)

300 Phantoms

Video/audio mash-up for a couple movies starring...darn, what is that guy's name again? ;)

High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup

Another goofy yet catchy song, using clips from the 25th anniversary.

Threw It On the Ground

DarthxErik's vid making another appearance!

See you tomorrow! Bring cake, balloons, and bourbon! :D

Your pal,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Had to Share This 32

Eek! Only a few more days left!

The Raggle Taggle Gypsy - The Chieftains ft. Nickel Creek

Your pal,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Had to Share This 31

We had a blast at the baseball game tonight (minor leagues are so much better than the big-time, I don't care what anyone else says), and I'll try to get some pictures up along with a more detailed post tomorrow, but for now I got to watch a teeny bit more of The Breakfast Club this morning. One of these days, I'll get to watch the whole movie! In the meantime, I've had this song stuck in my head all day.

Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds

Your pal,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Reviews From an HBN (Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson)

Revisiting an old favorite. Let's see how it went!

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.


Wow, I still love that cover!

 I was in the fourth grade when I read this for the first time, and when I picked it up again for the first time in years I was worried I might not love it the same way anymore, that it would seem too "juvenile" as my taste in books evolved.

Not true. It's still every bit as good as it was the first time. Mattie wasn't an insufferable child (something I've noticed tends to be a bit more pronounced in other childhood faves I've reread as I grew older), the language wasn't dumbed down, and there was still the old terror and urgency that made it so appealing in the first place. And bonus points for nostalgia! The chapters are a lot shorter than I've gotten used to, but since this is aimed at younger readers it's only natural, and it made the action move a lot faster.

I still cry and cheer at all the same parts and have greater appreciation, dare I say more learned appreciation, for the extracts heading every chapter. They add a dose of realism that strikes home, giving a personal view of what it was really like that summer in Philadelphia, and it gave me chills. Heck, the whole book still gives me chills! Plague stories scare me as much as dystopia, and this one more so because it's based on historical FACT. The breakdown of social order, the widespread panic, the struggle to survive not just the fever itself but how it impacted everyday life...*shudders* I'm glad I wasn't there for all of that!

So you've got your main event, the big plot element, and now all you need is a good, strong character to drive things along? Gotcha covered. I cared about Mattie in the fourth grade, and I still care about her. She's smart and capable, she can fend for herself when she has to, and she's not some annoying brat that abounds in YA lit. She is still in some ways a child, but you could see she was beginning to grow up and mature, adapting to her circumstances as best she could. All in all, a good, strong character worthy of driving things along.

Bottom line is, it's a tough feat to write a book for young readers that adults can enjoy as well, but I think Ms. Anderson scored with this one.

Your humble book nerd,

Had to Share This 30

A two-fer today!

Footloose - Kenny Loggins

Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

It's almost time! One week to go!

Your pal,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Had to Share This 29

I was going to save all the music for this year's birthday post, but I'm starting my own little party early and posting whatever I feel like blaring from now until the big day. Here we go!

International Harvester - Craig Morgan

Your pal,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Reviews From an HBN (The Pirouettes That Angels Spin - Michelle Rodriguez)

Overdue in arriving, but here at last! (The review, that is...)

Book two of the Angel and Demon Chronicles

Ashland, a heavenly angel, desperately loves Poe... But secrets from Poe’s past rip them apart and Poe is forced to Earth to live among mortals. Dancing becomes her new life, but it isn't enough. Carrying her secrets and facing unbearable choices, Poe takes her own life. Devastated and grieving, Ashland discovers a way to travel back through time to be with Poe once more. Will he be able to survive on Earth and can he stop history from repeating itself to save the woman he loves?


This is a story of first love, and the entire book has the sweet, playful vibe of young romance (with a little bit of everlasting love to up the ante). I barely stopped smiling the entire time I read it, and that's no joke.

In The Devil's Galley, Ms. Rodriguez created an eerie, Inferno-esque picture of Hell, but in Pirouettes we get a Heaven that really does seem like paradise. Complete with angel bars! Yet it contrasts strongly with our hero Ashland's yearning for his true love, and it contrasts with good effect. What could better demonstrate his love for her than to show how even Heaven was unbearable without her? His devotion to her and his sense of humor won me over fast (not to mention a heartfelt, drunk-as-a-skunk solo performance in the aforementioned bar), and I developed quite the crush on him, to be honest. He had the boy next door charm about him, and while he might be an angel, he is no insufferable choir boy.

As for Poe herself, it hurt bad enough to see her alone and despairing on Earth, much less without Ash's memories of how wild and happy she was in Heaven. Poor girl! If I could change just one thing just a tiny bit (gasp!) I would want to know more of the old Poe. There were so many memories of her spirited ways, and that was rare enough when she was a mortal. But don't let me steer you wrong, she had no problem giving Ash the what-for when he screwed up, and she fit right in with Foster and Julian.

Foster and Julian! I LOVED them! Man, I wish I had friends like that, who stir up all kinds of crazy trouble and still have your back when you're going through hell (in some cases, literally). It's hard to say who I grew more attached to, Foster because of his humor and his roguish attitude, or Jules because he was shy and sweet but still had a rebellious streak running through him.

I was genuinely surprised at the ending, wondering how it could possibly end well (I mean it! I was worried!), but as with The Devil's Galley the solution was so simple I really didn't see it coming. As Sherlock Holmes said, there is nothing more elusive than an obvious fact, and it made a perfect ending to a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I can't wait for the next in the series!

Your humble book nerd,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Artist of the Month - June 2013

Eek! Blame a busted computer for the silence over here...gotta warn you, things are going to be very sporadic for the foreseeable future, so don't hold your breath for posts. And I'm a little late with this one, but I had to put up an artist for June. I just had to.

*drum roll*

Bob Dylan

I'm not in the mood for any background info this time, so I'll just leave it at this: Ol' Bob has been doing his thing since the sixties, his album Blonde on Blonde officially put Nashville, TN on the map as a recording giant, he's one hell of a songwriter that plays a mean guitar and harmonica (at the same time!), and he can't sing to save his life. But he's still one of my favorites.

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Mr. Tambourine Man

Maggie's Farm

Just Like A Woman

Girl From the North Country (with Johnny Cash)

Happy listening! See you next time!

Your pal,