Music

The Friday Five: Things on my Mind

1.Watch. This otter doing sit-ups.

2. Inspiration. “When you believe something is hard, the universe demonstrates the difficulty. When you believe something is easy, the universe demonstrates the ease.” ― Esther Abraham Hicks (via Swiss Miss)

3. Music. Have you listened to Madonna’s Madame X album yet? I can’t believe she’s 60! I’m so impressed by her artistry.

4. Food. Last weekend, I went to Langdon Hall’s first BBQ of its 2019 summer BBQ series. Five chefs created mini menus, and guests feasted for hours. It was heaven! I posted a few photos on my Instagram feed if you’d like to see some mouth-watering food.

5. The ION in Kitchener-Waterloo. The ION, Kitchener-Waterloo’s light rail, is making its official debut today. The city is offering free rides from June 21st until July 1st to celebrate the launch (here’s the map). The ION has been in development since 2011, so it’s nice to finally see the launch day arrive. I last wrote about the ION in April 2017 when there was an open house to share info with the public about the ION light rail system in our region. This weekend, I may just ride it from my local stop to Conestoga mall in Waterloo or the market in Kitchener.

Things on My Mind

Here’s a bit of a review of what’s been on my mind lately, including music, movie, and book recommendations.

1. THE Book. For so many months – and a couple of years, too – my friend/colleague/co-author/mentor and I have called it The Book. Now, The Book has been published, and I am so thrilled. So so so thrilled! Mastering Academic Writing has been one of my most fun and rewarding writing projects thus far, and to have had fun, shared laughs, brainstormed over so many meals with a good friend made the experience that much more positive and memorable. Copies of our book arrived from our publisher, Sage, over the holiday break, and it made for quite a happy mail day!

The book is intended for upper year undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors who are looking for a great writing resource and guide. Now, it’s not a boring academic textbook (if you ask me!); we took an informal, approachable tone as we offered instruction, examples, and notes about academic writing. It’s affordable, too! If you’d like to know more, let me know. The book is available at Sage and Amazon.

Don’t be surprised if you see it pop up again on White Cabana.

2. Music. For the last month or so, I’ve been listening to French radio (89.9 FM – CBC – Ici musique – in Waterloo) and French tunes on Spotify. It’s not only been a needed change from my usual pop/rap/top40 tunes, but also I can brush up on my French listening and comprehension skills (in preparation for my February vacance Ă  Paris!). On Spotify, I’ve had Lisa LeBlanc (Dump the guy ASAP is a hit) and Mackjoffat (Music Face is my current fave, but it’s in English) on repeat.

3. Blogosphere. Remember the good ol’ days of blogging? When people read blogs daily? When bloggers wrote daily? Before Instagram took over everyone’s phones? Before bloggers applied rose-coloured tints over every darn photo? Yeah, me too. I had brunch with Melissa over the break, and we chatted about how things have changed and the approaches we observe from afar from influencers, vloggers, bloggers, and more.

I have barely changed my approach to blogging even though I know the blogging world around me has changed. I blog every day unless I’m on a break. I read blogs daily, too. I like to read about people’s real lives, their Pinterest and DIY fails and successes, and what they do in the spare time. I continuously learn from others, and I’m inspired by a lot of what I see on my daily blog visits. Who’s with me on this?

4. Movies and Netflix. Oh my goodness. I have watched so much Netflix. Too much, in my opinion, but such is life. I guess I’m in post-book, post-MBA relaxation mode. I don’t love being a couch potato, but I didn’t argue with myself about it over the holidays.

So what did I watch? Just about every cheesy Christmas movie set in Belgravia, Genovia, anyotherovia. I don’t recommend any of them unless you’re embracing a cheesy couch potato lifestyle.

I also watched Birdbox. I was scared at first, then I wasn’t. It was okay. I didn’t love it, but it is worth watching on Netflix. And I also watched Theory of Everything. I really enjoyed it.

And in the theatre, I opted to watch The Favorite. It was interesting. Funny but quirky but not too quirky. Great acting, costumes, and set design. Plus, if you’re a fan of Emma Stone, you’re going to enjoy her performance. The movie had the audience laughing. I recommend it.

I also went to see Mary Queen of Scots, and it was excellent. I learned a lot, really enjoyed the acting, and, of course, the costumes were amazing.

5. Books. I’m still listening to Haruki Murakami audiobooks. I love that they’re all set in Japan. I started a collection of his short stories. This is the first time I’ve read (or listened to) a collection of short stories. I like that they’re quick, but I don’t like that there’s no time to develop plot and characters. I also can barely remember any story that I’ve listened to. There was one set in a hotel, there was one about a teenage romance…see, the details escape me! There are too many stories to remember! But do I still enjoy his writing? Yes.

Personal: 6 Things on Mind

1. Books. I finished another Haruki Murakami novel a couple of weeks ago. It was called Dance Dance Dance, and it was great. I also finished The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham. I’m now onto another Somerset Maugham – Of Human Bondage – and I think it’s going to take me a while to get through as it’s quite long. I’m just about to start Nudge by Richard Thaler to break up the line-up of British and Japanese literature.

2. Christmas Market. It’s Christkindle Market in Kitchener this weekend. It’s a great time to be outdoors, take in the Christmas crafts, and munch on traditional German food (and mulled wine, too)!

3. Holiday dresses. I love that so many bloggers are sharing round-ups of lovely holiday dresses. But why oh why are so many of them $1000+? I’m on the look out for more affordable options. Are you interested in a posts of (affordable) holiday outfits?

4. T&T Supermarket. Oh my goodness. The T&T supermarket (focused on Asian foods and products) opened up in Waterloo yesterday. A friend and I went after work, and we couldn’t believe the chaos. The parking situation was a mess. And there was a massive line up to get in. We were surprised. Needless to say, we had no desire to wait in line for groceries, so we left. I’ll check it out in a few weeks. Has anyone been? Do you have a T&T in your city? Do you like it?

5. End of term. The term is over. My class is done. I have final papers to mark this weekend. My students worked hard, and I look forward to seeing how they translated their ideas into their final writing task.

6. Music. I recently heard Lisa LeBlanc on the radio, and I’m hooked. Lisa is a 27 year old singer songwriter from Montreal. I’ve had her new bilingual album – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen – on repeat for weeks.

Personal : 7 Things on My Mind

These seven things have been on my mind lately.

1. Slippery Stairs

I had tears in my eyes from laughing so much from watching slippery stairs videos.

2. Starfish Baby

This video of a baby starfish made me laugh, too.

3. Food & Drink Magazine

LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine – holiday edition – really gets me in the spirit. The recipes look just too good! I don’t yet know what I want to try making, but it’ll be something!

4. Pine Sol

Do you take the advice of your favourite bloggers? I do. And if Erica Cook of Moth Design puts her stamp of approval on something, I especially take note. She has discussed cleaning on her blog in the past, and most recently, she sang the praises of Pine-Sol. So what did I do? I added a jug on Pine Sol to my shopping cart the last time I was at the grocery store. For the first time in my life, I bought Pine Sol.

Now, I normally mop my floors with hot water and white vinegar. This has worked out well in my opinion, but I’m always happy to try something new. So I bought the purple Pine Sol and gave it a try. I was pleased. The scent was pleasant, and my floors looked clean. I also took Erica’s suggestion and put a little bit of Pine Sol down all of my sink drains, and I feel like this small effort makes a difference for my pipes” overall cleanliness.

5. Nashville

I’m going to Nashville soon. I have barely done any travel research! Any recommendations? As per usual, my go-to spot for a guide was Design*Sponge. I just love the city guides that Grace and her team review and post. (Side note – Did you know I wrote one for the Waterloo region?)

6. Barre Workouts

A friend and I recently signed up for barre workout classes. These sessions really prove to me that I’m not a delicate ballerina. Ha ha. They’ve been fun so far, and it’s been nice to have something new to do (as if I needed anything new in my life right now!?).

7. Taylor Swift

Am I too old to listen – and enjoy – Taylor Swift’s music? Nope. Don’t think so. I have had  Reputation on repeat.

Music: What I’ve Been Listening To Lately

I’ve had a few people on repeat over on my Spotify account in the last few months. Care to listen?

Leon Bridges

leon-bridges

Leon Bridges

Coming Home

Better Man

***

Ray La Montagne

Part One – Hey, No Pressure

***

George Ezra

Budapest

Happy musical Monday, dear readers!

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Two for Tuesday: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

I’m excited about today’s twosome. It’s all about Gwen Stefani today because I’m going to see her in concert! Woohoo! I’ve been a fan of Gwen Stefani since the days of No Doubt, and I’m really looking forward to swinging along (really poorly) with her in Tampa soon enough.

I’ll be wearing my Gwen Stefani (via L.A.M.B.) x Le Sportsac purse for nostalgia. I was so excited to buy this purse at Century21 in downtown Manhattan on one of my very first trips there years and years ago. I wore this purse so darn much, and I was in love with the L.A.M.B. purse charm attached. Good memories with this one.

Gwen-Stefani-Lamb-LeSportsac

And here’s Gwen. My sister almost convinced me to bleach my hair blond like Gwen one year. Almost. I was never courageous enough.

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via Gwen Stefani

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Music: Stars in White at the 2014 Grammy Awards

So, what was the highlight of the Grammy’s for you? I watched most of it and I was not only entertained by the show, but I laughed pretty hard at the comments coming through my Twitter feed. Gosh, people are so quick to judge!

Many of the stars last night stuck to classic black and white. People like Beyoncé, Madonna, and Daft Punk changed from black to white outfits as the night progressed. In case you missed the show, here are some of the white highlights:

56th GRAMMY Awards - Press Room

Beyoncé (image via Global Grind) & Beyoncé in black

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Daft Punk (image via Billboard) & Daft Punk in black

Madonna-white-grammys-2014

Madonna (image via Grammy.com) & Madonna in black

kendrick-lamar-imagine-dragons-4-grammys-2014-show-650-430

Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons

Steven-Tyler-Grammy-awards-2014

Steven Tyler

Is it just me or is it hard to believe that Lorde is only 17 years old and Pharrell Williams is 40?!

Music: Wrestlers by Hot Chip

I’ve had Wrestlers by Hot Chip on repeat for much of this week.

I don’t even know anything about wrestling. But I like the song and I like the matching black & white video. (And I guess I also kind of feel like I’ve been in a wrestling match with my dissertation this month! Ha!)

What have you been listening to these days?

Music: Au Palais

Hello Monday! I’m getting energized this morning with a little music from Canadian-born, London-based, electro pop band Au Palais. The band, made of up of duo Elise and David, has recently released their video for Tender Mercy and it is just full of white – yay!

Au Palais will be at SXSW later on this week so if you’re in Austin, Texas be sure to check out the performance. You can also follow the band on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Thanks to Mark C. for introducing me to Au Palais.

The Friday Five: Music

Three months ago, my family and I lost someone very dear to us. My Zia Rose passed away after a 3 year fight with breast cancer and our worlds have forever been changed. While each of us celebrates her life each day, it is still very hard to come to terms with her death. Personally, I love looking at pictures and videos of her. Being with my uncle and cousins also makes me feel happy because I know she would want us to continue to laugh, sing, and gossip with one another as often as possible.

It must have been almost a year ago when I sat in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen and we talked about White Cabana. While Zia Rose cheered my efforts she also wondered why I hadn’t posted anything music related. Come on Jo, she said. I tried to tell her that, although I like listening to music, remembering song titles and lyrics and compiling play lists is not my forte. Before I could get another word in, she was spouting off a list of song titles with the word white in them. She was so excited and gave herself a pat on the back for coming up with such a genius post idea. She made us all laugh.

I meant to write this post soon after that visit but I never did. Today’s the day for music.

White Wedding – Billy Idol

White Room – Cream

A White Sportcoat – Marty Robbins

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues

This post is dedicated to Zia Rose and Zio Nick.

Many thanks to my friend Joel who helped me compile this list of songs. I hope Zia Rose would approve. I know she would sing!

Music: The Rose

Long before YouTube was ever invented, Zia Rose, my aunt, recorded her version of Bette Midler’s The Rose on a cassette tape. I must have first heard her sing it when I was around 9 or 10 years old. It was so beautiful and it gave me chills. I remember that the cassette got passed around between different families so we could all have a chance to listen to it and I remember full family discussions about “the tape”. When I was learning to play the piano the sheet music for The Rose somehow wound up in our house and I always thought about it as Zia Rose’s song.

I am so extremely sad to share that Zia Rose passed away early this morning and while I’m not ready to write about it, I am happy to share this memory. I can hear her singing and I hope I never stop.

Some say love it is a river
that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed

Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
and you it’s only seed

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed
that with the sun’s love
in the spring
becomes the rose

Today, I would love it if you could read these lyrics or listen to Bette Midler’s version. When I eventually get a hold of the tape (surely it’s my turn) I will convert it do a digital file and upload it for everyone to hear.

Oh Happy Day!

Exactly one year ago today I welcomed Johanne as White Cabana’s first contributor. She has brought interesting products and witty commentary to the pages of this blog ever since. She’s been my blogging coach since day one (here and at Fashion in Motion) and I am absolutely grateful and thankful to call her a friend too.

I wish I could have written a song in her honor today but she’s the musician out of this bunch so it’s best to leave the singing (and ukulele playing) up to her.

ukulele, Amazon

Happy one year Johanne!

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers

I wrote about Olena & the Autumn Lovers (here) as soon as I bought their newest album. Since then, I’ve seen them perform and have been amazed by this band’s never-ending talent.

The music – a bit folk, a bit country, a bit Polish – has got me hooked (especially the song Odessa). And I just love the artwork that is all over the Olenka & the Autumn Lovers newest album and website.

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers

Beautiful collaboration: Olenka & the Autumn Lovers

I bought a new CD yesterday. Olenka & the Autumn Lovers. I have listened to it several times already and I think I’ve decided that my favourite songs are: Odessa, Lark and Louise of Littleville. Have a listen to it here.

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers

I don’t know much about music but I know what I like. I can’t identify all the instruments but I like what I hear. According to the band’s bio, Olenka and the Autumn Lovers has a sound that mingles a strong Eastern European influence with elements of North American country and folk. It’s been compared to Cat Power, Tom Waits and Arcade Fire. I’m sold!

But it gets better – not only are Olenka’s lyrics and the music amazing but I love violinist Sara Froese’s black and white line drawings. Simply beautiful.

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers: And then we sing

Teamwork: Lyrics by Olenka Krakus, Artwork by Sara Froese

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers have just finished their fall tour and have recently been shortlisted for the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards (Best Vocals). If you like how they sound, vote for them here! And you can keep tabs on future show dates here.

p.s. Dear Olenka: People were talking about you on the bus. How’s that for song lyrics?

Photos by Jordana.

Arcade Fire & Chris Milk: The Wilderness Downtown

Well – it seems like it’s all about music these days on White Cabana! Chris Milk’s interactive film, The Wilderness Downtown, featuring Arcade Fire‘s We Used to Wait, seems to be making the rounds online and it’s just too cool not to share. Try it out here!

The Wilderness Downtown: An interactive film

What do you think?

Image courtesy of Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown.