for me, music isn’t just to be listened to, it’s to be felt. it puts you in a mood. maybe a day drinking kind of mood, or a stroll in the snow mood or simply a thankful mood. here is a carefully curated bunch of playlists to put you in the right frame of mind while you mix turkey with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. don’t you want to just plug and play? hopefully, i made it a little easier for you Thanksgiving today.
first is my playlist on spotify. (if you are still using itunes, shame on you) click here for the playlist. i made it just for you, so listen and love.
didn’t just put together one playlist for you – but, like, a million. there has to be something in here you will like!
has a wide range of tastes that mesh together seamlessly – good for a food coma, they say. and, i must add, very creative song list for thanksgiving. listen here. i love “sweet potato” by celia and “making pies” by patty griffin and ‘mashed potato time” by dee dee sharp. cute.
click here for some joni mitchell, beastie boys and fats waller. beautiful. just like pumpkin pie mixed with stuffing and a touch of green bean casserole.
a friend introduced me to this incredible facebook page you have to “like” instantly. it is the most unique facebook page i’ve ever encountered. and that is saying a lot. you have to have a little bit of an artsy point of view to get it. it’s called HUMANS OF NEW YORK. it’s actually a blog that you can find here.
snapping pictures, getting a blurb and moving on. these are amazing and really make you realize how small you are and how big and beautiful the world is. watch his story:
here is a sample of what comes into my feed:
when i think of flannel, i typically think of plaid. and i think of…
ah, eddie vedder. hand’s down, my generation has the best music ever. but that is not what this post is about. it’s all about flannel + plaid. two things that have fall written all over them. tell me you don’t have a big ole flannel shirt with the arms rolled up that captures all the outdoorsy smells of bonfires, grilling, wet leaves and still holds out the chill in the air perfectly?
here are some items that are also trying to get into the plaid and/or flannel state of mind:
like this fantastic iphone cover by jake spade, a smashing bowtie by the kozie canine, a vintage poncho from freepeople that is no longer available but they have loads of hippie fantastic clothes, these flannel scrunchy boots i’m coveting and a plaid flannel infinity scarf that is sure to brighten up any old black winter coat.
how about some more? you can’t talk flannel without talking plaid and vice versa. quite honestly, i’m even thinking they are one in the same which they most certainly are not. something can be plaid or it can be flannel but most flannels are plaid. sigh. this sure beats thinking about all the work i have to do.
here is a website, you’re sure to dig. i love the name of it. toast. already without looking, you are going to be able to tell that it is crunchy, warm, buttery and scrumptious. go ahead and peek. i’ll give you a glimpse.
i guess everyone has their idea of someone they’d like to emulate. maybe a mother or father. a mentor. a rich tycoon. maybe it’s a well-curated mish mosh of personalities.
the past week i haven’t been able to get ROF’s and my friend louie out of our mind. he passed away this week – way too early.
we met louie through some very close friends of ours. his restaurant soon became our meeting place. after long days, before big parties, when wives were traveling or husbands worked late. the meeting place. unassuming – in fact almost obscure – louie’s didn’t have any windows but the minute you walked in, you felt at ease. the best pizza, best salmon and ceasar salad like no other – Louie’s in east dallas was the place to be. louie, the co-owner and bartender was always there to greet us, shake our hand and stop and talk to us for a while. he kept the place open late for us and always made us laugh. his trademark voice was scratchy, multi-toned and riddled with midwestern sarcasm. he wasn’t the overly friendly, cheesy type that grinned from ear to ear 24/7 kind of person (thank God!) he worked hard and had hard core conversations with all the folks at the bar that had an opinion.
when i moved to michigan, i came back to dallas and of course, went to louie’s. louie was asking me about michigan and he left a voice message for ROF who was not there. so i have the friendly “heyyyy robert…” message in my phone.
after reading all the wonderful articles on louie, i started to really think about what it was about him i liked. i realized that those attributes he has are ones i really want. when i think about my career and where i want to go and do in the future, i think about louie and louie’s, the restaurant. making people feel welcome and happy, serving good food and good drinks, working with family and making the people you work with family. what more in the world would you want?
my heart and prayers go out to louie’s wife, three kids, mom and brother. also to our good friends who loved louie so much and to casey, john, beth and all the folks at louie’s who i know are still working but without hearing that trademark scratchy riff of a voice we all came to know and love so much. the world has become a better place because of you, louie!
since this blog is called the appreciator, i have to write about my latest obsession – lorde, the 16 year old singer/songwriter from new zealand. i am absolutely blown away by her sound + lyrics. her debut album is amazing from top to bottom and i listen to it so loud driving to and from work that people have to think i’m a bit nuts. how in the hell-o can someone that young have such deep, creative lyrics?
now, if you are one of those people that just enjoys a good beat, then you probably won’t like this. but if you get into lyrics and oddity and unsymmetrical poetry – then you won’t be able to put this down like a never-ending delicious book. here are the lyrics to one of my favorite’s called ‘team’. i can already picture the lyrics sketched on a big white wall in my dream office space.
Wait ’til you’re announced
We’ve not yet lost all our graces
The hounds will stay in chains
Look upon your greatness
That you’ll send the call out
(Send the call out [15x])
Call all the ladies out
They’re in their finery
A hundred jewels on throats
A hundred jewels between teeth
Now bring my boys in
Their skin in craters like the moon
The moon we love like a brother, while he glows through the room
Dancin’ around the lies we tell
Dancin’ around big eyes as well
Even the comatose they don’t dance and tell
We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run free
Living in ruins of the palace within my dreams
And you know, we’re on each other’s team
I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air, so there
So all the cups got broke shards beneath our feet but it wasn’t my fault
And everyone’s competing for a love they won’t receive
‘Cause what this palace wants is release
I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air
I’m kinda older than I was when I revelled without a care
here is the song:
here’s a great video about her. watch this and then compare ( i had to briefly…) her to someone with the initials MC. who is the artist?
as many of you know, i travel a lot. there are people that travel more than me and less than me, but let’s just say, i’m on the road. when i am there are some companies and techniques that will make your travel life much easier.
we’re in chicago right now and on our first full day, have used UBER already 6 times. here is why you don’t want to be one of those tourists waving down a taxi in the middle of the street (so uncouth!) in any big city.
if you must drive, then don’t use any other company other than national rental car. they did not pay me for this post. but there is no better rental car company out there. gone are the days of waiting in line for what seems like HOURS while they endlessly punch buttons. it’s easy to get status with them. then you don’t need to do anything but make an easy on-line reservation, then by-pass the counter, pick a great car and get in it and drive off. easies experience hands down. shame on you for going anywhere else!
3. SECURITY LINE FUN
if you are going anywhere for 2 days or less, don’t bother checking your bag. it’s a waste of time when you go to the airport and when you leave. with hard core business travel, it really is a sign of weakness to check. here are my security line tips from someone that is very picky about how you go through the lane.
don’t be afraid of the best airlines out there. they are the way they are because they move fast, they are friendly and they don’t take any bs.
this is a little bit of a no-duh one, but YELP when traveling won’t lead you wrong. yes there are stupid people who leave stupid reviews. yes, you have to do some digging. but the bottom line is that crowd sourcing works. if the majority of people dig the restaurant, then go.
there – you’re prepared. now go!
last night ROF was at his first detroit red wings (pre-season) hockey game with our good friend curt who is in town just to see lil ole us. ROF is experiencing everything michigan and this, of course, was on the list. he had a blast, of course. but this meant i got to have a night to myself. an amy night…which i so appreciate.
don’t get me wrong, i love hanging with friends and especially with ROF. and beat him at cards every night (my blog, i can dream if i want) but i treasure my time. i’ve always had to have it. some people don’t know what to do with themselves when they are alone. i’m not one of those people. here is a short list of some things i like to do in my time:
play with photoshop
write blog posts
read one of a million books i downloaded
make fall soup and use my immersion blender
put in a woody allen dvd and half listen to it, rewind and replay
make the house smell good
punch carla bruni in pandora and turn it up
slow dance to french music with ruby
do my french lessons to get ready for paris
call my sister after 2 glasses of wine
call my mom after 3
make a collage of inspiring clippings
organize my purses
make playlists on spotify (made one for curt’s visit)
read, read, read
i snapped some photos of my house that i’ve kind of half-ass decorated for fall:
and made some awesome butternut squash soup and toasted oyster crackers. i’m addicted – ADDICTED – to this spice & tea exchange store in downtown birmingham. by the way, there is one in grapevine, texas too. You can find it here. for the person who likes to think they are all into cooking but really you just like watching a lot of barefoot contessa on the food network – this is the place for you! they have the best spice mixtures in the world.
my butternut squash soup was as easy as steaming butternut squash that i bought already cubed at the store (worth the extra $2), cooking some onions in butter, adding really good zingerman’s chicken broth, the squash, the autumn harvest spice mix which is a blend of maple syrup granules, cinnamon, sugar, garlic, onion, salt, allspice, ginger, cloves and melding all together. then add some low-fat cream cheese. go ahead. add the whole thing.
but then you get out the immersion blender, work it good and it turns out like this:
all, in all, very good. i also “made” some spiced up oyster crackers to go with it. it was supposed to have bacon salt and chardonnay salt from the tea and spice exchange, but they were out. so we made my own concoction of maple granules, hickory salt and worcester granules along with garlic, olive oil and lots of dillweed. love dillweed.
and now off to vinsetta with rof and curt and this wonderful, wonderful michigan weather!
hands down. this is coming from someone who works primarily with men – being in the car business. nothing against boys. they rock too. but there is something special about the breadth of responsibility and the depth of compassion that makes me in awe of my gender.
i had to get my old silver fillings replaced saturday morning at 9am. who the hell picks saturday morning at 9am to get drilled on? i guess i do. i was dreading it. i had only met ramona, the dental assistant and dr. doshi the dentist the week prior. this was dr. doshi’s office and instantly, you can tell it was going to be a different experience.
first of all, they take appointments 2 saturdays a month for those of us (all of us?) that work during the week. next, when you check in on facebook to her practice, you get a full size tube of extra whitening toothpaste (value $6!). next, you sit down on a gentle massaging chair and just about the time you notice that the chair is moving, you hear the sounds of lindsey stirling coming from the computer in the office playing pandora. unlike other experiences i’ve had, this isn’t one of those dentist offices that is run by hygienists and the dentist just makes an appearance, more like vice versa. ramona, a young, vibrant, full of life hygienist, born in romania and lived there until she was 15 now is married with 2 small boys. she makes sure you’re extra comfortable . dr. doshi is young as well and also has 2 small boys. she is originally from india. she takes digital pictures of your entire mouth and then shows you on a hd tv what your mouth looks like and what she is observing. you don’t have to just believe her like in the old days of dentistry.
now that you have the layout, here’s my point:
while i’m getting massaged in the chair, head back, pandora playing, laughing gas on high (morning!) dr. doshi and ramona go to work as a team on my teeth. everything’s normal at this point.
but then they start talking about their kids, recipes and questions ramona has for dr. doshi on her son playing football because her boys are just a couple years older. ramona respects the dr and is attentive to her needs as she drills endlessly and a steady stream of mist is spurting from my mouth. but you can tell that they are friends. ramona tells me that dr. doshi brings in the best samosas she’s ever had and then we launch into a full conversation about india. ramona wheels her chair around and punches some bollywood music. dr. doshi talks about the rich culture and many types of music of india. i’m smiling behind my glasses and pink pig snout laughing gas mask at the fun repertoire
this is when it hit me i wanted to write about these two. because this is business run and managed by a woman. attention to detail, attention to care and confident enough to bring her whole self into the office. you don’t have to be a woman to appreciate it either.
as i leave and ROF comes in, wondering what is going on because we’re all giggling. as she checks me out, ramona gives me a free whitening pen for referring ROF. she also gives me a piece of paper where she wrote down all the music i was asking about. nice difference. and nice pen considering on my end it wasn’t so much as a referral but killing 2 birds with 1 stone by making his appointment along with mine. sigh. i love it.