Monthly Archives: September 2009

Shoes – Present Tense

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Shoes – Present Tense – My song posts have been just that – a note about a certain song that is a much loved by me. In the case of the band Shoes, I can’t pick a favorite song, so I’ll pick a favorite album. Present Tense is a wonderful piece of pop music. Released in 1979, it was a treasure trove of catchy tunes & fun to sing along to lyrics. Its four videos were in heavy rotation during the very early days of MTV (I know, they used to actually show videos, like all the time.) The band consisted of Jeff and John Murphy, Gary Klebe & Skip Meyer. The first 3 shared lead vocal duties – like the Beatles, pretty much, if you wrote it, you sang it. Their voices worked really well together and they created lovely harmonies.

This album is the only LP of mine that saw continuous play from the early 80’s until about 2001, when I discovered the band had a website – (*links updated 2/20/14) ShoesWire.com. I sent a mail, verifying it was an active site and nearly had a heart attack when the e-mail I received in response was actually from Jeff Murphy. Over the course of a few weeks, I ordered every CD available and acquainted myself with the wonder that is Shoes. I even got to see them live when they performed at the International Pop Overthrow in Chicago in 2003. It took 22 years from the time I discovered them before seeing them in concert and it was very worth the wait.

Jeff has actually written a book about the making of Present Tense. It’s filled with great pictures and interesting things about how sounds were created and why things were recorded the way they were. You can also order anything from their entire catalog. Their music is available at iTunes as well.

Sit back and spend a few minutes in pop music nirvana –

In My Arms Again – sung by Jeff Murphy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXh2yB8jizU

Too Late – sung by Gary Klebe – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Opz_drg1O8

Cruel You – sung by John Murphy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxe-ZXrgRqY

Tomorrow Night – sung by Jeff Murphy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9DfyEiw6yM

Ant Music by Adam Ant

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Ant Music by Adam Ant / Adam & the Ants – I’m a sucker for music that can be classified as “happy”. This song totally fits that description. The tune is wonderful, the lyrics fun to sing along with and the band is great. Oh, and Adam was amazingly awesome to look upon. How many of us wanted to wear the clothes he and the band did? I would have killed for the vintage military jackets he had. Written about disco, this song still fits in so well, 29 (!!!) years after it came out. “So unplug the jukebox and do us all a favor. That music’s lost its taste so try another flavor. Ant Music.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPjfD8ulnpw

The Seahorses – Blinded by the Sun

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The Seahorses – Blinded by the Sun – I lived in England for a year – ’96-’97. I discovered the Seahorses then. Formed by John Squire of Stone Roses fame, the voice of lead singer Chris Helme is what drew me in. I’ve always had a penchant for an English band where the singer sounds English when they sing and Chris totally fit the bill. I was also a fan of Stone Roses so appreciated John’s guitar playing. Do It Yourself is the only album that the group put out but it is wonderful. Catchy tunes, great lyrics. This song is sort of melancholy in a snarky way. “From now until forever let’s have less of getting clever with me.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv3J4HTThpQ

Pieces by Hoobastank

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Pieces by Hoobastank – This song just makes me want to jump up and down. Have I mentioned that I’m 40 and about as close to a soccer mom as you can get without actually having a child who plays soccer? I can’t help myself, I become a spring every time I see them perform this in concert. It’s also on my Walking Playlist and I’m able to up my speed on the treadmill as soon as I hear the opening. I love the effects pedal that Dan Estrin uses at the beginning. I wish there was a way to type the sound he makes… “Suffocating, sinking further almost every day. Barely treading water, knowing I will not give up, I will not give up. I will not give up.”

(FYI – there was no official video for this song but found a nicely edited one set to Anime.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzhoHInZjh8

I love watching his feet at concerts. How weird is that? He keeps them very busy.

I love watching his feet at concerts. How weird is that?

The Only One I Know by Charlatans UK

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The Only One I Know by Charlatans UK – I grew up listening to classic rock so the first time I heard this song, I knew The Charlatans had sampled Deep Purple’s Hush. I can remember calling my radio station (95 WYNF) and having a discussion with the DJ about this. (I was working a graveyard shift at the time so this had to be a 2:00 in the morning call.) I love this song, more than 17 years later. It would totally fit on my current alterna-rock station….”Everyone has been burned before, everybody knows the pain.”

Followed the Waves by Melissa Auf der Maur

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Followed the Waves by Melissa Auf der Maur – The beginning of this song just makes me wish I could play drums. Not terribly helpful that I have this on my “walking” playlist. No air drums allowed while on the treadmill at the gym or walking to school. What an amazing bass player and what a great voice! I tinkered with the bass while in high school. Should have practiced more. “My heart lies, my heart lies to you.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4LObO91WTA

You bust slug!

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So, I’m 40 and  I don’t know how I have avoided it this long but I’ve never seen a slug until this morning. I know they’re garden pests (and that Hagrid has to buy Flesh Eating Slug repellent for the gardens at Hogwarts) but I was so entranced by this guy that I had to take a couple of pictures.

Using Macro Mode, I actually had to lay on the front walk and took a couple to get face to face. (I’m assuming this is its face.)

 

Big guy, about 5" long

Big guy, about 5" long

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville.

(The title of this post comes from Harry Potter and  The Goblet of Fire. Harry, Ron and Hermione are walking around the Quidditch Cup camp site and a little boy has put an engorgement charm on a slug that his mother then steps upon. He proceeds to shout “You bust slug! You bust slug!” This concludes your random HP trivia for the day.)

Thrift Shop finds…

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For the past several months, I’ve been hitting the thrifts quite frequently. Unfortunately for me, it’s been to make donations. For a woman who used to shop a circuit of stores 3 days a week, it’s been a sad, sad thing. My previous habit had been in support of my eBay store, where I sell LeSportsac bags, homegoods and vintage kitsch. I also liked to find fun stuff for the house as well.

Due to our move, the eBay store will focus primarily on LeSportsac bags with some new homegoods thrown in for good measure. This is partly due to storage space at the new house but also has to do with the fact that I will be rejoining the work force in the near future. With full time employment as well as two shops on Etsy, I really don’t have time to run a fully stocked eBay store and keep up with the changes they make every other day. This is in part why I have been making so many thrift shop runs – donations of outgrown kid stuff, old eBay stock, stuff that we simply had no more use for.

So, yesterday I was making a donation of stuff to a shop in Maryland. This was a combination of things that moved from my mother’s house and things Steve used in the apartment where he lived for the 9 months we were still in Georgia. I dropped off the boxes and bags, got my receipt and proceeded to maneuver the car through the parking lot, fully intending to drive home. “No, go in”, said a voice in my head.

I quickly agreed with the voice (it’s always better to not argue with the voices in your head) and pulled into a parking spot. Walked into the front door and noticed the display cabinets of glass and tchotchkes to my right. I proceeded over. Through my years of being on eBay, I have learned an appreciation for glassware and dinnerware from the Depression through the 70’s. Ahhhhhhhhh, the joy of seeing glassware that I recognized.

There’s some Anchor Hocking Wexford and some Indiana Glass Whitehall (trying so hard to be Fostoria American). Most of what I saw was utilitarian in style, until I turned my head to what was obviously the feature cabinet.  A small glass vase had me joyous. I knew it was Seneca Driftwood in yellow. I asked to see it and it was perfect and blemish free and priced at $4.90. Not a color I’m really fond of but I have a thing for this pattern, as well as Morgantown’s Crinkle and Bryce’s El Rancho so knew I had to buy it.

Seneca Driftwood Flowerlite vase in Buttercup Yellow

Seneca Driftwood Flowerlite vase in Buttercup Yellow

Then my eyes scanned the dinnerware. Aqua blue starbursts on cream caught my eye. A large set with plates, cups, saucers and bowls sat on the lowest shelf. I asked to see the butter dish. Unmarked, as was the saucer and cup. The dinner plate was finally handed over – Royal China Celeste. Awesome. A lovely Mid-Century Modern set, waiting to be used and loved again. I asked the price – $19.90. SOLD.

A full set for 6, it has 8 of the bowls and small plates.

A full set for 6, it has 8 of the bowls and small plates.

 

This pattern is on the Suburbia design. I love the shape of the bowls.

This pattern is on the Suburbia design. I love the shape of the bowls.

 

A lovely mark to see. It dates the set to the 50's through early 60's.

A lovely mark to see. It dates the set to the 50's through early 60's.

Went to checkout with the vase & tag from the set. $16 and change was the total. I never argue with a lower price. As I left the store, I saw the sign that said 33% off Monday. It really did pay to to listen to the voice in my head.

Dangerously Delicious Pies

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Dangerously Delicious Pies. Their name says it all. This pie shop, located in Baltimore, MD, was featured on Food Network’s Road Tested with the Neelys.  After viewing the episode last September, and knowing that we had a move to the DC area in our immediate future, I told my husband that we would be going there the first time we hit Charm City. Boy, was it worth the wait. They have pies – lots of them. Sweet pies – Mixed Berry, Sweet Potato, Apple, Apple Crumb, Peach, Lemon Meringue plus many more. They have savory pies as well – Steak Mushroom Onion and Gruyere, Steak Chili and Pork Barbecue to name a few.

Gotta love a pie shop with a logo like this.

Gotta love a pie shop with a logo like this.

Under their sweet option is Pecan Pie, which, when dressed up with Swiss Chocolate and Caramel becomes this insane yumminess called Mobtown Brown. OMG, this pie is so freakin’ awesome. It’s rich, with an almost bread pudding like texture with big pecans and then melty chocolately caramel ooey gooey goodness. Beyond tasty. I’ve eaten half a slice and don’t think I could force myself to eat another bite.

Mobtown Brown Pie

Mobtown Brown Pie

I got a sampler box with 2 slices of this, mixed berry, peach, apple and apple crumb. I think I have my next 6, well, 5 now, meals all figured out.

Any of these sound good to you, they ship all over the country. Very worthwhile purchase!

**More recently, this shop was featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes lives in Baltimore and talked about their Baltimore Bomb Pie.**

The joy of finishing rooms once moved in.

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I’ve been in the new house in Maryland for a week and a half. We’ve unpacked 95% of the boxes and rooms that only a few days looked deserted are now ready to live in. It’s been fun placing furniture and getting antiques from my grandparents to cohabitate with pieces from Rooms to Go and IKEA.
 
The dining room is finished. Finally put up the new light fixture, thereby allowing me to put the table in place. The furniture is a mishmash of styles – Mission style table and chairs, country buffet, vintage corner piece, Mahogany nesting tables plus two liquor cabinets – one Oriental themed and one Arts & Crafts – at least I think it’s A&C. Coupled with the Mid-Century Modern dinnerware, it’s a happy schizophrenic place that will see alot of entertaining.
Mish mash decor Dining Room.

Mish mash decor Dining Room.

Arts & Crafts Liquor Cabinet

Arts & Crafts Liquor Cabinet

Oriental themed Liquor Cabinet

Oriental themed Liquor Cabinet

 
The living room is half IKEA (love Billys and Bennos) in birch with basic comfy furniture and some antiques thrown in for good measure. There’s the bench that my grandmother made a needlework cover for – I have pics from the mid 1930’s of my mother and her sisters sitting on it. There are also some small vintage tables here and there.
IKEA meets Rooms to Go.

IKEA meets Rooms to Go.

Vintage Bench and IKEA chair style dog bed.

Vintage Bench and IKEA chair style dog bed.

The family room, which I used to call the Bat Cave, thanks to the dark brown paneling and wall to wall brick fireplace, is now a lovely light room with IKEA Ektorp pieces covered in black and some big sturdy slate topped tables. I still have to put down the laminate floor in there. We’re living with the vintage vinyl parquet ick right now. The fireplace is currently gas, which was so horribly done that we’re not making that wall a focal point until we get someone out here to take all the piping away. Right now, we just pretend it doesn’t exist, except as a wall with alot of brick.

Former Bat Cave is now Family Room.

Former Bat Cave is now Family Room.

 It’s nice to know that since the end of April, we’ve taken an empty mess of a shell and have made it a home. It’s been alot of work but we’re nearing the finish line.