Last evening, Mumford and Sons performed a sold-out concert in Pittsburgh. It was my first time seeing them live, and needless to say, they were spectacular. Rolling Stone was 150+ percent justified in their decision to recently name them one of the "50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now."
During last night's three-song encore (the last two songs being "Babel" and "The Cave"), Mumford brought out The Vaccines for this never-before-performed cover. Clue: It was written by some fellow-UKers! ;) Enjoy!
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 55TH BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE ARTIST OF ALL TIME, MY HERO, MY INSPIRATION, MY FRIEND: MICHAEL JACKSON!
Check out these "Top 10 Moments" that ABC compiled to celebrate this special day. This
is also well worth a click.
When I have children of my own, I know I'm going to want to share with them all the books and stories that have come to mean so much to me: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (and, frankly, every story ever written by Oscar Wilde), Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway, The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Swim Team by Miranda July, Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle, Sea Oak by George Saunders, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and, of course, the entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
A quick glance at the above list demonstrates that these books/stories wouldn't necessarily resonate with a toddler (I mean, unless he/she was a G-E-N-I-U-S!). Therefore, someday I'll need to be on the hunt for children's books--books with charming photos, books with a good message, books that would help get my little kiddo interested in the beauty of the written word.
Wouldn't you know: I think I've found my first one! It's called "Henry Hikes to Fitchburg" by D.B. Johnson. This author must, like me, be a huge Walden fan. "Henry Hikes to Fitchburg" is a gorgeously illustrated book that details how Henry the bear and his friend take two very different paths to get to the same destination. While his friend stops at just about every corner to earn money, Henry takes the Walden-esque approach by taking in all of his surroundings, enjoying the beauty of nature, and not letting money dangle like a carrot in front of his nose all the time. Today, Brainpickings.org highlights the incredible approach Johnson takes with his debut children's book. You can read the story here, and see photos from the book itself. Talk about cute!
*Cue applause for D.B. Johnson now*
Take a few minutes out of your day to watch this. I think you'll be inspired.
Brainpickings.org is one of my favorite websites. Here is a small collection of their posts regarding Oscar Wilde, my favorite writer.
Click here to read Oscar Wilde's definitions of art.
Click here to read a sampling of Oscar Wilde's love letters to Bosie Douglas, the boy who "ruined his life."
Click here to learn what made Oscar Wilde the 20th century's first "pop celebrity."
Prepare to be fascinated.
Our summer ended while I was in the shower,
Bent over, scrubbing my legs, thinking about how
Just last evening I watched you sit on the patio, tearing
Charcoal-grilled chicken meat off the thigh. But that
Was yesterday. It is night, now, and summer is ending,
Or wait--has ended, or maybe you’re right--our Indian summer
Is just around the river bend, on its way over the mountains,
Getting ready to enter our hot lungs that make us exhale
Differently, now, tonight, yesterday, today, whenever, forever--
Because we experienced this sacred summer, together.
Well, not yet, at least.
Apparently a Canadian dentist is in possession of one of Lennon's molars, which he purchased at an auction some years ago for around $30,000.
The tooth apparently has gone on an epic journey since Lennon gave it to a housekeeper back in the 1960s. The housekeeper was to dispose of it. That didn't happen (should we really be that surprised?). And now, decades later, his tooth is making headlines and this dentist is convinced that we can introduce a cloned John Lennon to the 21st century. Ummm, would that mean that he would join Paul McCartney on his "Out There" tour? Just asking...
To read the Rolling Stone story, click here!
Got my new issue of Rolling Stone in the mail today.
Began reading it. Got to page 10.
Fact: I am a huge MGMT fan. Thought "Oracular Spectacular" and "Congratulations" were great. (Besides, who could not be a fan after hearing this song?)
It's no surprise that their "very catchy, way-lysergic new single" is awesome. And the video? The video? The video! You have to watch!
Yup. You're welcome.
P.S. New issue of Rolling Stone is fantastic. Pick up a copy if don't already subscribe! :)
The big glass bottle wasn't even mine. I didn't even know it existed until Chris slapped a price sticker on it and placed it amongst the other items scattered throughout our lawn. But I liked it--its pronounced roundness, scuff marks, small neck, mini handle. It wasn't even mine, I know that, but I was devastated when some scruffy-looking stranger picked it up, handed my boyfriend one dollar, and walked away carrying it lazily by that mini handle that I liked so damn much.
Yard sale day. One of the worst days of my summer.
And to think that it was all my idea in the first place.
"Chris, why don't we get rid of all our stuff in the basement?" I asked a week before our big sale--the sale that we advertised online and in our local newspaper.
Boom. A week later and there we were, sitting on our back porch, inviting people to swing by and basically steal our shit like untamed monkeys.
'Cause that's what a yard sale basically is--a place where people can invade your lawn and carry away with them the things that used to mean something to you.
"How come none of this stuff means anything to me anymore?" I asked Chris.
We sold my sister's old basketball for 50 cents.
"Catch," Sarah says, throwing the basketball with all her might toward her older sister.
It bounces on the hot pavement and I run after it in my flip-flops.
"Run faster, Ash, o'else you're not gonna catch it!"
My seven-year-old laughter parades into my mother's ears as she leans against the door that leads into our one-car, one-truck garage. She looks young and beautiful. For a moment, I think I can somehow see my childhood reflected in her two front teeth.
"Here, Sarah," I say, throwing the basketball over my head, "next time try not to make me run after it like that."
"Will you take $1 for this disco ball?"
Suddenly I hear Janet Jackson's "All for You" playing in my childhood bedroom, where I used to plug in that very disco ball and dance like crazy in front of my small wooden-framed mirror. In addition to this disco ball and one awesome strobe light (also for sale at our yard sale), I had a blacklight that made all the stickers I plastered below it glow a bright neon green. The disco ball was there, disco balling around, when my sister walked in on me dancing like a mad woman, pretending that I was Janet Jackson (minus one exposed breast) live in concert.
I watched Chris work the lawn; he was a natural salesman, but his price slashing was getting to be a bit outrageous. Older customers waddling in to our yard with their canes wanted to pay half price for already cheap items ("Instead of 50 cents, I'll give you a dime for this!") and Chris accepted every offer.
There went my pack of old guitar picks. A pair of Chuck Taylor's. A purse. A wallet. An old kerosene lamp that I probably could've done something funky with, thanks to the invention of Pinterest. And what did we make on all of these items? A lousy $4.
"Chris, I feel like I'm better off keeping all of this stuff."
He looked at me with his you've-got-to-be-kidding eyes. Then I got self-conscious because the last thing I wanted was for my boyfriend to think that I was being materialistic.
"I'm not materialistic, Chris . . . I'm just saying . . ."
A couple in a green Ford Escort jumped out of their car and started perusing our items, hands behind their backs, walking so slowly around the tables that it was driving me crazy. Man, they were taking their grand old time. Meanwhile, I was secretly hoping that they wouldn't find anything they wanted to buy, that they would just jump right back into that green Ford Escort so Chris and I could start carrying all of our stuff back down to the basement.
"This penguin fountain . . . this is a real nice fountain."
I can't believe I sold that cute little penguin fountain for $3. I bet my mom paid approximately $25 for it a few years ago. Poor mom. She poured so much money into my penguin collection. And what did I spend my Saturday doing? Giving it all away. And it's not that I don't like penguins anymore; I love penguins! I'll always love penguins.
And I especially loved that penguin fountain. I kept it in my bedroom. It hung on my wall, to the right of my bed, and I turned it on at night because the sound of the running water helped me fall asleep.
I wondered if we could cancel our yard sale. Run around the neighborhood and take down all our signs stapled to the staple-covered telephone poles. Call the newspaper's advertising department and tell them that we wanted our money back. Box up my penguin collection and strobe light and walk up to the playground to see if that old woman was there and if so, would she let me buy back Sarah's basketball?
I couldn't help thinking that all my items for sale had feelings, and they couldn't help feeling betrayed by me--just like Radio, Lampy, Blanky, and Kirby from one of my favorite childhood movies, The Brave Little Toaster.
At 3 p.m., I started boxing up all my stuff.
"Chris, I promise I'll find a place for this stuff in the basement . . . and I promise it won't take up too much room."
"Oh. Well I was planning to just donate all this stuff to Goodwill."
To Goodwill? What good was that?
We spent the next hour packing Chris's car with boxes full of all the unsold items that used to mean something to us. All the things that we treasured, at one time or another. All of the items that I wanted to keep without worrying that Chris would think less of me.
My entire penguin collection is now lining the shelves at our local Goodwill. I don't have the heart to go in there. I'll probably avoid the place for months.
"Just think: now all of these things can mean something to other people," Chris said, wiping his hands on his denim jeans before putting his sweaty arm around me.
Fellow mammals rejoice: one of our own is no longer suffering from a terrible case of mistaken identity.
How would you feel if someone always thought that you were, well, someone else? Poor olinguito; that's exactly what has happened to this species. And now a whole bunch of humans are suffering from embarrassment--or at least I am on their behalf because this animal is so.darn.cute. How can we humans redeem ourselves?
See? So.darn.cute. How did we not know that it was an olinguito? Based on its cuteness alone, we should have known for years. Seriously, I don't know how we are going to apologize to these guys. Should we track down all of 'em and give 'em a lifetime supply of fruit? Should we phone Bob Barker and tell him that we got our pets spayed and neutered, thank you very much, but what about the olinguito?!
If I could, I'd adopt an olinguito, and I would put a sign on my front porch. A big sign. A big, big sign that would read: An OLINGUITO named QUITO lives here! Say it with me now: OLINGUITO!
As for now, I see no adoption options for this furry creature, no matter how much I Google "super cute olinguito adoptions, pretty please!" And hey, you've got to admit that Quito would be a great name for my pet olinguito (just had to bold, underline and italicize the correct name in case any of them are reading!).
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .