Weekly Roundup: Music-a-Leigh

It’s been a good music week, but these are some of my standouts this week.

Adorable – Against Perfection (1993)
Such an overlooked band. I actually prefer ‘Fake’ to ‘Against Perfection’, but only by a thread. I thank a brief college boyfriend, Patrick, for sharing this band with me. Shoegazey, lots of crunchy guitars, poetic lyrics. I rock out unabashedly to ‘Homeboy’ every single time I hear it. Love. “I’m tripping into the back of my mind. And your words like angels crash inside. And a word and a movement and a touch. And a word and a movement and it’s all too much. It’s all too much.” They did get a re-

Radiohead – Tkol Rmx 1234567 (2011)
I’m still soaking this in, but I am enjoying it. My question most often with remixes, especially of Radiohead songs, is why mess with perfection? 🙂

Nana Grizol – Love it Love It (2008)
Often an album I reach to when driving, I found that tonight it helped me get pumped for tackling the clean-up of my craft room. Theo is such a songsmith. I love this record and the follow-up, Ruth. If you don’t have these albums, you are cheating yourself out of some awesome rocking out. At the Elephant 6 Holiday show a few years back, he completely stole the show. He even blew Jeff Mangum out of the water. Really!

The Montgolfier Brothers – The World Is Flat (2002)
I don’t know what tipped off my brain to do so, but this week, I suddenly had the title track of this album stuck in there and I just had to put on the album. My friend Michael put this song on a mix cd years back and I remember listening to it on my drive from Alexandria, VA to Chicago. Roger Quigley’s voice is absolutely one of a kind and this album really holds up even 10 years later. Dreamy.

2012 Week 4: Chaos reigns my craft room!

This week I saw some of the best people Chicago has to offer and celebrated the births of three awesome friends. In addition, the Wii Fit told Z and I that we each have lost 5 lbs. since we started the first week in January. A grand week it was.

Rhymes with Twee - Tilda and Maude

My go-to card and gift buying place in Chicago is Paper Doll. Owner Stacy’s house pug Maude is my favorite store animal of all time. She has gone blind and is mostly deaf, but she still knows it’s me when I go in. She’s the only dog that Tilda is sometimes okay with. Tilda was kind of a jerk to Maude on this day, so this shot was the result of many treats and much coaxing. Speaking of shops I love: I am sad to say goodbye to my other go-to shop, Renegade Handmade, which is closing this week. They were the first Chicago store to stock Rhymes with Twee goods and always gave me that proverbial pat on the back when I went in. Such lovely shop ladies (and the occasional dude) that I will miss seeing so often. Now I’ll have to settle for seeing them briefly at RCFs or randomly around the ‘hood.

Since I’ve been doing well with most of my resolutions, I finally felt ready to tackle my craft room, which has remained incomplete since we moved in last April. Most of today was spent pulling it apart and moving things around, organizing papers and thinking up a game plan for completing it. Once it’s actually in order, I feel like I’ll be able to get back to a creative state.

This was a slow week for media consumption for me, but I finally finished my second book of the year, You Had Me At Woof, which LCB recommended to me and I loved. I started reading Hack and so far, so good.

Films watched 4th week of the year:

Funky Forest: The First Contact
Eames: The Architect & The Painter*
Norwegian Wood


Three of these are worth watching, but Hereafter mostly felt like a waste of time. If you enjoy absurdity, then you should see Funky Forest, which I’d rank pretty high up there. I was let down a bit by Norwegian Wood. I enjoyed watching it, but it had been years since I had read the novel. Murakami is one of my all-time favorite authors, but that novel was not one of my favorites. I believe I’ll have to re-read it to see how different it was from the film. I felt it was pretty different, but my pal Kirstie said it remained true. The score was great though (cough, cough, jonnygreenwood).

Weekly Roundup: 5 Chicagbloggers


This MAN CAVE sign made me think of my friend Mark (pictured on the left, after a screening of The Room at the Music Box) and that inspired me to write about five Chicago friends I know and love who blog right here from Chicago. Their blogs are smart, funny, and fun to read!

Ali & Dolan: Daily Dolan Geiman
Desiree: Manoy y Metal
Donovan: The Intangible Blog
Mark: Man Up Chicago
Paige: Paige Worthy

Square Credit Card Reader 3D Printed Hinged Case Keychain by C Westbrook Designs


Selling at craft fairs with a Square is awesome, but I was always misplacing the darned thing. Christina Westbrook (C Westbrook Designs) of San Francisco made my life a lot easier. I bought one of these as a necklace last year in pink and it’s much easier to find now when I need it. The keychain design is new and equally handy. I meant to sing the praises of this product earlier, but I had dropped the blog ball. Hats off to you!

Hip to hold Square:
C Westbrook Designs

2012 Week 3: Let’s eat some greenery

This was my dinner tonight. I love salads, but I do not eat enough of them and that is going to change. I actually don’t usually even put salad dressing on salads, but I did because we just bought some dressing today. Since we started working out on the Wii Fit, I’ve realized that I need to track my food in some way that I am held accountable for it. My pal LCB told me about an app I had not heard about called Lose It!, so I downloaded it tonight. More things to keep track of = go!

Today Zachary and I took Tilda to meet Woodrow and Storm, furry canine children of Ed and Heidi. Tilda is not awesome (read: barkolympics) with other dogs and we were trying to fix that. It did not turn out as well as we were hoping, but it could have turned out worse. We’re going to keep at it though. Heidi is a new awesome friend and has an amazing blog that you should add to your blogroll: Hands Occupied.

Films watched 3rd week of the year:

Mr. Death*
Fright Night (2011)
The Naked Kiss


I enjoyed every one of these movies, but I think the winner this week was Cronos. Though it was essentially yet another a vampire story, it was absolutely one of a kind. It is shocking to know that Guillermo del Toro was a fledgling film director when he made this. If you haven’t seen it, you might want to do that.

Weekly resolution:
Buy more blank onesies to print on and re-print bean baby onesies.
Come up with a new craft idea and create it.
Finish reading book #2 this year.

2012 Week 2: Hedgehodgepodge

So far so good with the resolutions. I’m holding steady and I’m finding that I have a bit more energy and I want to eat better since we started working out with the Wii Fit Plus. Here’s to keeping the La De Blog resolution!

Letters to Santa - BeanElf.org

I neglected to mention in my last post one thing that ruled about 2011. My friend Rhea told me about the USPS Letters to Santa program. I organized a trip with co-workers to go to the USPS and pick out some Letters to Santa to answer. They had done the trip the year before and I had done something similar with my old job but for a shelter, so I wanted to continue the tradition of giving back. What happens is that the USPS chooses letters from needy children and families (determined by factors including zip codes, what the letters ask for, etc.) and participating locations have boxes of the letters for “elves” to pick from and answer. I chose two letters; one for Zachary and I to answer and one for friends and I to answer. Pictured above is the pile of gifts that friends and I purchased to answer our letter. If a USPS branch near you is participating and you’d like to do something special over the holidays, I highly suggest that you be an elf next Christmas season. The site gives a lot more information about it. It was so much fun to pull together all the gifts, but it was a lot of work. In 2012, I’m going to buy generic type stuff like crayons, coloring books, games, etc. early when I see them on sale.

One of my favorite purchases of 2011 was from my neighbor mikinora at the Madison Glitter Craftacular. This is what I bought: spike earrings. I think they look like little hedgehogs all balled up. I rarely wear earrings, but the times I’ve worn these, I’ve received a ton of compliments.

Weekly Roundup: 5 Favorite Midwest makers

Hang art from your neck
Cursive Design

Illustrations full of whimsy

Hammered wire for wearing
Mano Y Metal

Cute coats for canines
Mad Dog Cookies

Vegan accessories that stand the test of time
Miss Alison

Films watched 2nd week of the year:

Margin Call
Attack the Block
Sorry, Thanks
The Parking Lot Movie*
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
The Art of Getting By
The Queen


Attack the Block was my favorite film of the week and I didn’t even think I would like it. Street kids in England fight glow-in-the-dark toothed aliens. Pretty great, actually. I am doing a challenge on Goodreads in the fiftyfiveme group here. I know that seeing 50 new to me films will be no problem, but finding the time to read 50 new books…we’ll see about that one. I just started Book 2 at the end of Week 2.

Books finished 2nd week of the year:

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

by Mindy Kaling

Sorry to Tina Fey, but I LOLed so many more times at this book. Mindy is definitely the kind of person I am friends with. I love that she is totally a nerd, but enjoys pop culture. I bought Joni Mitchell’s Blue while reading this book.

2011, we hardly knew ye.

Tilda, in the Sonic the Hedgedog costume I made her

I did not blog once in 2011. That was an EPIC fail. 2012 is going to change all that. Things that happened of note: We lost Hermione last January. We lost Z’s paternal grandma last February. Z and I celebrated 5 years together in April. We moved into a new apartment that we are so happy with in April. I got a fulfilling new job that I am very passionate about in June. I biked to work a good amount. I successfully grew my first container garden over the summer. In October, Z and I adopted a dog and named her Tilda, as in Tilda Swinton. I made some excellent new friends, became closer with my old ones, and patched up a couple friendships that had fallen apart. I also sold at a heap of great craft fairs this year and met some awesome new artists and customers!

Some Rhymes with Twee items made in 2011:

Rhymes with Twee – make making your living framed prints.
Bean Hoodie

I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions, but something this year made me want to make some.

  • Update the La De Blog at least once a week.
  • Get fit with Wii Fit.
  • Watch at least one documentary a week.
  • Stop buying so much stuff not “Made in the USA.”

I have amazing people in my life who make and create things. They are often my inspiration for creating new things of my own. I want to blog because sitting down once a week and doing a round-up of these things will help me create more.

Zachary and I got a Wii and Wii Fit Plus for Christmas and we’ve both set the goal to work out at least 30 minutes every day on it, except for Saturday which is our day of rest. I am fat. I don’t mind being fat, but a few health problems have come along with the weight, which made me want to lose a bit.

I got some really thoughtful Christmas presents, but I have become much more conscious of where thing were made than I used to be. As cute as they were, many of the items were made in China. This bummed me out and it made me want to try harder myself to purchase things made here in the USA. I know that my difficulty will be finding good quality but not bank-breaking articles of clothing, but I am going to try.

Films watched  1st week of the year:

Trees Lounge
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never*
The Lottery*
The Hudsucker Proxy
Another Earth
The Future


This week, I highly recommend Dive and Another Earth. Both were low budget but highly thought-provoking.