Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lumberjanes, Issue 1 Review

I was excited to take the girls to Titan Comics last weekend to buy some buttons from the new machine.  The buttons feature Atlanta artists, many who participate in Free Art Friday Atlanta.  The buttons were the big draw for the girls, but I also wanted to pick up a copy of Lumberjanes for them.

I had happened upon the Tumblr of Noelle Stevenson when searching for illustrators one day and saw her post on her new comic.  I liked the concept, a bunch of girls at camp who go on mysterious adventures.  I figured it would be a great one for the girls to enjoy.  I have a tendency to get overly excited about anything that is female-centric that places girls in powerful roles.

Although the art is fun and solid, the story itself was disappointing.  It felt like we missed the first issue or that there was a prequel that we should have already read.  The characters weren't clearly defined and the story was a little convoluted.  I didn't mind the oddness or quirkiness of the story, including the multiple-eyed wolves or the ominous chant of "Holy Kitten," but I did think it was sad that I only could name one character in the comic after reading it.  That one character was the reluctant cabin counselor, Jen, who made a brief appearance at the end, but that appearance revolved around her being called the wrong name by the camp director (which is the only reason I knew her name).

I'm apprehensive to give the comic another try since it didn't really resonate with the girls.  Maybe I had set my expectations too high, but I don't think it delivered on being the right comic for them.  The next batch of buttons will be released in a couple of weeks, so we'll see if issue #2 works better.

Lumberjanes #1, with Atlanta Artist Buttons

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Free Amazon MP3 from Shazam

For Android users in the United States, Shazam and Amazon MP3 will give you a credit for an MP3 purchase when you tag a song.

A few tips:

- Update your Shazam app to the latest version. I didn't see the credit option until I updated mine.

- You can get the credit from a previous tag.  Just click My Tags and then click on one of the songs. 


- Once you click to claim the credit it will provide you with $1.29 in MP3 credits on your Amazon account.  You do not have to purchase the song you tagged.

The promotion is valid through July 31, 2014.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

There's nothing like realizing at 11:00 on the night of Easter's Eve that you don't have grass for your Easter baskets.  Luckily,  we had leftover crepe streamers from a previous birthday party that I trimmed up to put in the basket.  Not perfect,  but it works (and is recyclable).

Hope everybody has a great Easter!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Songs of 2013

For me, 2013 was a great year for songs that told stories.  The lyrics in many of my favorite songs were like little micro novellas full of great descriptions and emotions.

2013 Video Playlist:

Mission Bells - Matt Nathanson
Like the end of a Hitchcock movie, a little dark and a lot confusing

We've all had the dream that someone died and sometimes that nightmare mashes us realize how horrible it would be to lose someone.

Chocolate - The 1975

I have to be honest, I had to look up these lyrics since I've never really understood most of them beyond "dressed in black head to toe" and "never gonna quit it". After checking then out, the song is quite different than what I thought, but still a good listen.

Forest Whitaker - Bad Books
I bought a bird that repeats what I say, but 'I'm lonely' is all that he's heard

I always wonder, does Forest Whitaker spell his first name with 2 R's and are there 2 T's in his last name?

From a Window Seat - Dawes
They are pointing out the exits, but it looks more like a prayer or an ancient dance they'd bloodline reaches through

I'm that guy on the airplane that gets in his seat and immediately puts on his headphones to block out the odd world around me.  It is fascinating to imagine the lives of the lady who brought a jam-packed IKEA bag as her carry-on and the loud elderly guy in the front.

Harlem - New Politics
When it gets loud, I turn it up

How can you resist cranking up the volume on you radio when this song comes on?  I'm like Pavlov's dog every time I hear this song.

Pompeii - Bastille
And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we loved

From the opening chant until he fading end, this song grabs you and takes you on a journey. 

Wake Me Up - Aviici
All this time I was finding myself and I didn't know I was lost

Another one that got played a few too many times.  I liked the folksy bluegrass song with the electronic remix.

The War Within - Churchill
Give up the ghost, don't keep it in

Slow intro that built into a song that did a great job with the male and female lead vocals to deliver a message about moving on and moving forward.

Unbelievers - Vampire Weekend
I'm not excited, but should I be?  Is this the fate that half of the world has planned for me

There was a lot to choose from in Vampire Weekend's newest album, but this one is the one that stuck with me the midst.

If I Loved You - Delta Rae
It ain't here, no, and it just breaks my heart.

It's not you, it's me. A painful place to be fit both sides in this song. Fire the record, I prefer the last note in the Lindsey Buckingham version.

The Ceiling - Wild Feathers
I did what I did and I didn't mean anything
Twangy and interesting. The end of this song almost seems out of place, but takes on a contemplative tone of what should have been.

A Note to Self - Parenthetical Girls
Rounds of applause and self-sabotage

This is the quirkiest song on the list.  The line above, along with the lead singer's interesting voice and rollicking drum beats are why it made it on my favorites.  Odd and interesting (and the video is even odder).

Running for Cover - Ivan and Alyosha
If I could be a wiser man to rest my head and trust the plan and fighting like a child to get my way

Simple and understated,  but powerful song.

Talk a Walk - Passion Pit
I watch my little children, play some board game in the kitchen and I sit and pray they never feel my strife.

This wins for anthemic song of the year, out-funning fun.  The lyrics conjure up some vivid scenes and cause me to envision an immigrant in the 1900's and a nuclear family in the 50's.  Tense yet joyful.

San Francisco - The Mowgli's
I've been in love with love

The do-do-do's and screamy refrain make this a definite best song choice.  Another good mood song.

Sink or Swim - Lewis Watson
Don't let doubt ever have its way
This song seems fragile, like you have to handle it carefully so that it won't break.  

The Mother We Share - CHVRCHES
The way is long, but you can make it easy on me

The echoing intro/refrain and electronic beats make this one a winner.

Doin' It Right - Daft Punk featuring Panda Bear
If you lose your way tonight that's how you know the magic's right

Yes, I liked 'Get Lucky' but this one made the list.  It's got a slow jam feel that gets stuck in my head.

Royals - Lorde
But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom

Yes, it's been overplayed, but I still haven't gotten tired of this song.  The teen from New Zealand sang about a fictional place that rap songs and pop culture make many people wish for.

Best Day of My Life - American Authors
All the possibilities, no limits just epiphanies

Dreamy imagery of bouncing through the clouds and dancing with monsters.  This was guaranteed to put me in a good mood and a best bet for the Monday morning commute.

Honorable Mention:
Sirens - Pearl Jam
I didn't like the new Pearl Jam album at first, but this song really grew in me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

RedBox Bait and Switch

This week, I made a quick trip to the RedBox kiosk to find a DVD for the girls and ended up with the strangest, so-bad-it's-just-bad movies, Doggie B.

I'll be honest, I didn't read the RedBox ad description closely.  I saw the dogs dressed as DJ's and assumed it was another talking dogs movie, with the dogs playing rappers. The storyline I made up in my head was much better than the reality.

There were more odd elements than I can name, but I'll try to share a few. There was a veterinarian assistant with a bad Jamaican accent that drove a car covered with markers, cheese curl sculptures, wigs that looked like the rejects from Capitol City scenes on Hunger Games, doggie steroids that can turn humans into dogs, a former member of the Go-Go's, and it goes on and on...

In case you want to check it out yourself, here a link to the trailer:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pringles Free Song Download

You can get two song downloads from Pringles through November 30th (or while supplies last).

There is additional small print:
- you have to mail in a paper form
- you have to also send in your original receipt
- the songs are from the "sponsor designated provider"
- it could take 90 days to receive your codes

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chick-Fil-A's Overabundant Salad

After avoiding the new salads at Chick-Fil-A since they replaced my favorite Southwest salad, I tried the Market Grill Salad today. 

In addition to the customary lettuce and chicken, the salad also had blue cheese crumbles, apples, blueberries, and strawberries.  Not stoppng there, CFA also added toppers of roasted nuts and granola mix. It was almost like I was heading to summer camp and my mom had packed a little bit of everything since she didn't want me to be hungry and didn't know what I wanted.

It was an odd eating experience. I couldn't bring myself to use the recommended zesty apple cider dressing nor could I mix all that stuff together.  I basically took the approach of a 2-year old kid and ate everything separately. Apples, strawberries, blueberries, then the chicken, cheese, and lettuce, followed by the packages of nuts and granola as a weird dessert.

When I did slip up and mix the multitude of ingredients together, they really didn't complement or blend well with each other.  Maybe it was because I didn't go with the recommended dressing, but I don't think I'll be trying this one again.