Friday, March 29, 2013

Reading (or Listening to) Lately

I am a huge fan of the Multnomah County Library system; however, some new and in demand books take forever to get, even after placing a hold on them.  Understandably so, seeing as there are a lot of people who use the library's hold system, but still.  So when I knew I wanted to read "Gone Girl," I placed a hold on both the normal hard copy as well as the audio book on CDs to listen to in the car.  The audio book was available about a month before the hard copy, so I've been listening to it on my daily commute.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

While this book is well written, and was entertaining to listen to, it reminded me that I don't really like the mystery genre.  I'm hesitant to say too much to prevent spoiling it for people who haven't read it yet, but the people are messed up.  There are a lot of plot twists, so much so that I think it would have been better for me to have read it, instead of listening to it in the car, because I would often hit some plot twist just as I pulled up in front of my house, and would have to sit there to get to a decent stopping point.  I felt like it was worth the read if only to be able to join the conversation, but I found it kind of disturbing and discouraging.

Where'd You Go Bernadette - Maria Semple

I really enjoyed this book.  It is written in a very interesting style, as a compilation of "primary" sources, with explanation/narration between, so I had a lot of fun thinking through the events and piecing together the story.    It's an easy read and really funny.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MIKA - Lola

While I haven't been as excited by her blog recently, Kelly Framel of The Glamouri posted a playlist the other day, and there's some good stuff there, including this song, "Lola."

MIKA is a British singer-songwriter.  His third album "The Origin of Love" came out in the US back in October 2012.  He is currently touring in the US.

The video below is the studio version, but there's a decent video of him performing it live here.

Album cover via.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amos Lee - Some Days Are Diamonds

I have been a big Amos Lee fan for a long time now.  I've seen him in concert multiple times, including the Oregon Zoo and a bunch of different venues in S.F. from college.  He does an amazing Michael McDonald impression sometimes, and he just generally has great banter between songs.  He just recorded a cover of John Denver's "Some Days Are Diamonds" for the forthcoming "The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver," out April 2nd.

Other artists contributing to The Music Is You include Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. Pre-order now at Amazon and iTunes.

Here are some of my other favorite Amos Lee songs.  I generally like his earlier stuff better (Amos Lee, Supply and Demand, and Last Days at the Lodge) and haven't been as wowed by his more recent releases.


Street Corner Preacher:

Album cover via.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Not to get overly personal in this space, but my grandpa just passed away a few days ago after battling Alzheimer's, and today's my birthday, and both of those things together are enough that I just don't have a blog post in me this week.  I'll be back in this space once I have something to share.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive through this tough time for me and my family.  

{Birthday/Consolation/Book Club Flowers}

{Picture of my grandpa Sonny and me at his wedding in 1990}

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emeli Sande - Next to Me

This song is super repetitive but catchy.

She actually just finished up a tour in the US, and is now headed out on tour through Europe.

Image via.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Steph's salad

My lovely friend Steph had a similar salad the other day at Higgins, a really excellent restaurant here in Portland.  We recreated it for dinner the other night, along with some Shepherd's Pie, but I foolishly forgot to take a picture.  It was so good though that I made it again the other night, with some substitutions (namely romaine instead of cabbage, because I was craving it).

Sometimes I forget how depressing winter can be, and barring a trip to find some sunshine, eating citrus fruit is a great way to bring some brightness into your life, which I was reminded of after reading this.

Also, this is amazing - The Various Varieties of Vegetables.

Steph's Salad
one head of napa cabbage, washed and chopped (or romaine)
2 citrus fruits, supremed (video here) (grapefruit, orange, blood orange)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup slivered almonds
one avocado, diced
Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Toss to coat with vinaigrette.  You can also supreme the citrus over your salad bowl to take advantage of the citrus juice.

Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
juice of one lemon (and zest if you want it really lemony)
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
splash of white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and taste for more salt/pepper/acid/oil.

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