Friday, September 23, 2011
Happy Friday, everyone! The weekend has gotten off to a bit of a sad start for fans of '80s/early '90s R&B. Singer Vesta Williams was found dead last night in her hotel. I realize most of you had likely never heard of her; she never 'crossed over' to the pop charts, but was well known to lovers of soul and R&B. If you take a look at the videos, you'll see why.
What's sad for me is that, even though I liked her back then, I'd completely forgotten about Vesta until I heard the news today. She had been so completely out of the spotlight for the past 18 or so years, that her music got tucked away among all my other childhood memories and buried. I suppose it bothers me because it's so sad that she's gone so soon. Well, now.
Need some Friday cheering up on a gray day? Look no further:
* Want to create online music play lists and share music with friends? Spotify has you covered.
* Want some good advice and inspiration? Here you go.
* Another spot for cute photos and tips.
* I want all of her art on my walls right now.
* A little bit of fashion.
* A lot more fashion for the curvier lady or anyone who needs some color in their fashion editorials.
Enjoy a blissful weekend, lovelies!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Unless you've been under a mossy rock for the past week and a half, you know we've been getting new fall TV shows. Yay! I've been watching as many as possible and hopefully by the end of next month I'll have a few new faves that I can look forward to each week.
Here's what I've seen so far:
Ringer: I cannot tell you how intriguing it was to find out that Buffy herself was coming back to TV. I missed the second episode, but plan to catch up online. I found this story of identical twins with screwy back stories interestingly twisty and something I can see myself getting into.
Up All Night: Normally a show about new parents probably wouldn't appeal to me. But, the average show about the newly parented doesn't generally star the likes of Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, does it? I have to admit that I was hoping the show would be funnier than it's ended up being so far. But! I will keep watching for a few weeks to see if it amps up the laughs.
Free Agents: I wasn't planning on watching this one, but decided to give it a shot anyway. Again, not outrageously funny so far, but everyone is so likeable I find it hard to turn away during an episode. It's pleasant and just amusing enough, so, for now, it stays on my radar.
The Secret Circle: Oh, Jesus. We've got another teen supernatural show on our hands, folks. I never got into Vampire Diaries, but I've seen enough of it to know that The Secret Circle looks and feels just like it. It wasn't horrible, but one viewing is positively all I need.
2 Broke Girls: This one was another nice comedy that didn't knock me out laughing. If you've seen the previews you know the girls in question are a sassy brunette and a stuck up blonde. But the thing I really liked about it (and PT...and HUBS) was that the blonde is actually smart, industrious and rather tough. We all thought for sure she'd be dumb and so rich-bitchy that she'd begrudge her waitressing gig and hardly work. I'm so glad to have a sitcom surprise me! That's enough reason to keep giving this one a try for a while.
New Girl: Now, here's a comedy that really did it for me. I'm willing to put aside the improbability of someone as cute as Zooey Deschanel not being able to get a guy, because she and everyone around her brought the funny. If you haven't seen this one you should check it out.
The X Factor: Wow. Just...Wow. As soon as this singing competition went off for the night I wished it was still on. It was that compelling and entertaining. And? Simon didn't piss me off once last night. Fabulous!
Revenge: Oh, my. We're still trying the glittery night-time soap, are we? I must say, I either hated or couldn't have given less of a shit about any of these characters. I also don't know how they could possibly keep things going for more than a season. I wish Everwood was still on.
I'm looking forward to about six more new shows, airing through October 30, plus I'm watching all my returning faves (P&R!) and looking into other new shows. Is there anything better than curling up on the couch with a warm piece of pie and a good TV show? Is there?
What new fall shows have you liked so far? What are you still looking forward to?
All photos, here
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In five short years I've gone from being slightly terrified of even the fluffiest four-legged creatures to loving cats like my life depended on it. And, in that time, I've gotten pretty skilled at capturing the little buggers on camera. I figured I'd share some quick tips on how I get my most interesting shots.
How To Get Photos Of Your Pets That Don't Suck
1) Timing is everything. If your pets are anything like mine, they can usually be found running around like crazy or sleeping. The easiest way to capture them? Totally abuse nap time. Keep your camera out, so you don't have to do a lot of digging that might wake them up when the time's right, and click away.
2) Being a stalker pays off. I'm almost positive that animals commit their most interesting acts of cuteness when we're not looking. The best way to combat that? Follow them around for an hour or two and see what happens. Did Toby jump into the window to sun himself? That's perfect portrait light. Is Mittens playing with her favorite toy? Awesome action shots await.
Turn on your camera's continuous shooting mode, so you can hold the shutter release down and take (nearly) unlimited shots back to back, assuring you don't miss a thing. A photo that shows your pet doing what they love to do will always make you happy.
3) Revel in the details. The best shots don't always show everything. Use your camera's macro setting, get in close and take shots of your pet's whiskers, paw pads, or any distinctive markings. Get extreme close-ups of his face, ears or nose. You will not be sorry.
4) Interactivity is nice. Don't be afraid to get playful with your pet while you're taking photos. Some of the best shots could come from their reactions to you or whatever toy you're using with them.
There! Now get out there and show Mittens what you've got!
Monday, September 19, 2011
I loved Bridesmaids. Your dress? Not quite so much.
But! I have heard that some cool-ass people won. Including Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Kyle Chandler and Margo Martindale. If you don't know who those people are...You should! They are awesome and/or on awesome shows. Check 'em out.
HUBS and I had another EXPANSION weekend, since we finally left the house early enough on Friday to go to the annual Forest Park Balloon Glow. We got stuck in horrendous pre-glow traffic the previous two years we tried to go. Last year we were actually in traffic four hours! By the time we got there it was clear there was no place to park and I had to turn frustratingly around and head home.
We were in the car by 4:30. Since most people weren't even off work yet, traffic was no problem and we even got to park right near the event. The actual glowing was amazing. I'd been twice before, in '98 and '99 I think, but I'd never been on the actual balloon field. I have to say, though, I do have some complaints about the evening. Let's make a list, shall we?
Things the Balloon Organizers Should Know That They Did Wrong
1) Remember how I said HUBS and I got there at 4:30? Well, the glowing doesn't start until about four hours later. I just knew there'd be entertainment for that huge amount of empty time. And yet, no. I mean, aside from the children's area with ponies, a climbing wall and bouncy house stuff, and a team of trampoliners. Seeing as how you have to get there ridiculously early to get in if you drive, next year there had damn well better be a few local bands, some belly dancers and fire eaters or something. Do you hear me?
2) HUBS had wanted to get Rally's before we headed in, but I was afraid any detour would land us in gridlock land, so I didn't stop until we hit the park. We ate at three different booths, spent around $40 and almost all the food was crap. One booth proclaimed to have Cajun delicacies, but their "jambalaya" consisted of half-cooked crunchy-ass white rice with some chicken and sausage chunks and a can of tomato paste. I had three or four bites before it started making me sick to my stomach because it was so nasty.
HUBS got their "crawfish etouffee" which looked so disgusting I could barely stand the sight of it. Being ever the trooper, HUBS finished both things because he was hungry and we'd paid actual, real money for them.
We then tried soft pretzels and cheese from Gus' Pretzels, a local place that's been around since 1920. I will never again, unless I've literally been starved for days, eat another Gus' pretzel.
You know the expression "What's up your butt?", well, I can now tell you that it's one of these pretzels. They were that hard, y'all! And cold. And the little cup of nacho cheese we got was cold, too. How the fuck does a business that's been around this long send out product like this to an event? All old, cold and hard as hell? Shame on you Gus! Shame!
We got burgers from a booth called Elvis' Place. They sucked, but at least the $7 funnel cake they made was rad. Jesus, Balloon People, make sure the highly expensive food is at least edible before you let these crazies in.
3) Last and not least, getting out of the park was a mess. Would it really be so difficult to have some cops around to direct traffic and the masses of walkers?
Phew! But, as with a lot of experiences that don't turn out much like you expect them to, at least now we know!
Now! Some music for your Monday night!