Surprises were big this week. We had lovely extended summer high temps, and numerous simple joy's turned the last seven days into a real treat.
Besides the glorious fact that my sunflowers finally decided to bloom (!), here's a sampling of things I found to soak up over the last week, and hey, I think you'll like it too.
Ellie Goulding - "In My City"
If memory, or perhaps blog history, proves correct, a couple years ago there was a feature published here filled with complaints about all the twenty-something female singers emerging from the U.K. at the same time.
While I will never recant my feelings about Jessie J, after the addicting, "Anything Can Happen" and, "I Need Your Love" got into my ears over the summer, I caved and have since given Ellie Goulding a fair chance.
While her live performances often present a voice that is still mostly screechy and less than desirable, all of that is forgiven once her actual recorded synth-pop tracks start streaming through my head phones.
Anyone trying to find more albums to keep you motivated, while trying to work or exercising, look no further than Goulding's 2012 album, Halcyon. Mostly I have to keep my need for dancing at a minimum while working, restricted to a lil' toe tapping or the coveted chair swivel move, but it proves difficult while cranking this album.
Gouldling doesn't completely limit herself to a dancey beat either. She can also be found beautifully crooning with a choir of voices on the haunting piano ballad, "I Know You Care".
Freebie Premium Channels
Guys, I'm stressed - as of this past weekend I have full access to the cable glory that is Showtime and HBO.
Being a constant worrier, finding somewhat unimportant things to be anxious about can take a lot of edge off the daily stresses of life and those issues outside our reach, like anxiety about the safety of people in Syria and how tons of molasses is pouring into the harbor in Hawaii and killing the wildlife.
For everyone's sake, let's take a break and all stress about finding the time for consuming top notch entertainment. Agreed?
Any TV fan can relate to this interminable question: what the heck do I catch up on first? Zillions of episodes magically cascading endlessly out in front of you, all set up as On Demand for your pleasure, has actually caused me to break out in a cool sweat.
Once the awe faded away, I was able to make a rational decision - start with the shows I'm only a couple seasons behind on and progress from there. Brand new series will just have to wait.
Being an avid follower of the The Big C for two seasons, I was stoked when season three began last year. Due to computer difficulties I gave up trying to find the episodes on the world wide web and decided to wait for legal viewing options.
That time has now come, and while the story falls a smidgen off course, guest stars like Susan Sarandon, Alison Janney, Hamish Linklater, and one of those Streep kids, is a reminder that wonderful actors playing unusual characters is what makes this show stellar. Entirely recommended to anyone looking for something new, if even just for the endlessly enjoyable relationship between brother and sister pair, Cathy (Laura Linney) and Sean (Sean Tolky).
Typical Washington weather is slowly creeping its way back in making for perfect guilt free television viewing. On stack next will be finishing up Homeland and Dexter.
(The first three seasons of The Big C are also available on dvd.)
How are they turning The Hobbit into three movies? That is the question perplexing my brain as I flip through the pages of the only Tolkein book I will (presumably) ever read.
Not to say this one is such rubbish that I would detest the others, it's just... I'm more of a one book kind of gal, not a trilogy - too much commitment.
Seriously though, 270 pages into three movies- how will they do it?
When the first movie came out earlier this year, I was half way stuck between believing I had read the tale of Bilbo Baggins in elementary school and, on the flip side, not remembering the plot at all. Three weeks ago I decided it was much better just to read it (re-read it?) and find out. Long story short, my memories were wrong - I never read this book, but I'm now glad that I did.
Besides the fact that many of the sections feel hurried along with a lack of much details, the story of one delightful hobbit dragged along by 13 dwarves on a trek to find a mountain full of treasure guarded by a dragon, turns into quite an exciting adventure. After watching the three Lord Of The Rings movies earlier this year, it was also quite tremendous to finally learn how exactly Bilbo ended up with "The Ring" in the first place.
This is definitely recommended to anyone looking for a quick read of classic, epic proportions.
There's two more movies coming out, so you better get reading.
Enjoy Sunday and the week to come everyone! I'll be cooking up my mass crop of tomatoes and making sauce all day, while cheering for the Seahawks, and freaking out about Walter White in the desert with creepy Todd. Good day indeed.