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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Books Read

I read (or in some cases listened to) 19 books in 2017.  That is a new record for me.  I generally read 6 or less books in a year.  It amazes me because I know that some of my friends over at 2peasrefugees read WAY more (many are over 100) but I just have to assume that most of the ones that have read that many books in a year either (a) read very, very fast and/or (b) do not work 60-70 hours a week outside of the home like I do.  I simply do not have time to read that many books, work full time (plus), maintain a home and some sort of a social life.

Anyway...I am very pleased with myself (although the perfectionist in me is a tad upset that it wasn't an even 20 books - maybe next year!)

I do a reading challenge each year over on Goodreads and my challenge this year was 6 books (which as you can see, I surpassed) - for 2018, I am taking a bold step (for me) and challenging myself to 12 books - which is an average of 1 a month.

I may even take on some of the Pop Sugar Reading Challenges.  We shall see.

Anyway...I did some Project Life layouts of all the books I read this year and thought I would share here (click on photos to enlarge)

Favorites for the year: A Man Called Ove and Wish Me Home.
Second Place Contender: Here's to Us





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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas is Hard

Christmas is hard when someone is missing

I have been Christmas shopping and I pass by the Old Spice - I always got my dad an Old Spice set every year.  Now, each and every time I pass the gift sets in the store, it is just a reminder that I won't be buying a gift for him this year.

I pass by the golf novelties or something I think my brother would really like and again, I am reminded that I have another gift that I don't need to buy anymore.

Christmas is joyous because we celebrate the birth of Christ but it is also very, very hard when it is another year without someone you love - someone that should be here with you.

I don't want to put up a tree or set out decorations, it is just a reminder that they aren't here and we are never going to celebrate Christmas together with them again.  It is hard.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gary Numan at The Masquerade

I love Gary Numan...I have since 1979 when I was given "The Pleasure Principle" album by my friend Susan.  Now most people will say "who?" and when I say he sings "Cars" - many people then know who I am talking about...but only my friend Susan and I know all his other songs.  His music is so electric and different than most artists.  While I like "Cars" - it is not my favorite song of his. 

My favorite is "I Die, You Die" followed by "Down in the Park"

Anyway...I never had a chance to see him back in the day.  I was thrilled when his new album "Savage" was released several months ago (it is fantastic!) and was even more excited when he announced he was coming to Atlanta!!  Finally, I would get to see him - LIVE!!

So, the day gets here and it is at The Masqerade which relocated to Underground Atlanta less than a month ago.  The Masquerade use to be 3 levels ... Hell (which was a dance floor), Purgatory (which was mostly a bar and sitting area and Heaven (which was where the musical acts performed).

Since the move, they are not 3 levels anymore but they still have 3 room with the same name and of course Gary Numan was performing in Heaven (I didn't get to see the other rooms since they are close to each other but all have separate entrances).

The new Heaven location is much bigger than the old one and they state it holds 1,000 people but I swear to you there were a lot more than 1,000 people at the show.

We arrived at 6:00 because the tickets said the show started at 7:30.  There was no mention of an opening act.  I thought that was early but I did what I was told.  Well..the doors opened at 7:30, and luckily Susan and I got right up at the stage (it is a Standing Room only venue - there are no seats anywhere, even at the bars).

After standing up for 3 hours, the opening act, "Me Not You" finally came on at 9:00 (trust me it is hard to stand in the same spot without moving for that long in a PACKED shoulder-to-shoulder venue...so we were more than ready for the show to get started.

We did not care for the opening act at all.  They were not what I would say "bad" but they were not "good' either.  Plus, at this point, no one cared anything about them, we were all getting tired, frustrated and hot and just wanted Gary to come on. 

Finally, he hits the stage at 10:00 pm (we have been there 4 hours by now and it was a Monday night) but it was worth the wait because as expected, he was incredible. 

I have no photos to show because there were just too many people and plus you were packed so tightly (when he came on, people pushed us even closer up and pushed in more on the sides) - that there was no way you could even get your camera/phone out of your pocket if you wanted to.  That is okay though - I didn't need photos - I just wanted to hear and see him.

I am so glad I finally got to see him!!

Here is what he sang......

Ghost Nation
Metal (loved, loved, loved hearing this live)
The Fall
Everything Comes Down to This
Bed of Thorns
Down in the Park (a favorite of mine)
Pray for the Pain You Serve
Here in the Black
Films
Mercy
Love Hurt Bleed
My Name Is Ruin
Cars
When the World Comes Apart
A Prayer for the Unborn

ENCORE 1
M.E.
Are Friends' Electric?

ENCORE 2
I Die: You Die

The two encores were my FAVORITES

I think Gary really enjoyed himself and the next day, he put this on Facebook..it is the first time I have seen him post something like this so I truly believe he was sincere.

Thank you Gary for coming to Atlanta !!!  I didn't like the venue but I loved you!

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Brian Setzer Orchestra


I have had the pleasure of seeing the Brian Setzer Orchestra every December for the past several years.  We are so lucky that he comes to our town every year.

Last night, they performed at the Woodruff Art Center, which is the home of the Atlanta Symphony, so you know the sound was amazing.  Of course it was very nicely decorated for the holidays.





Brian Setzer is one of the most amazing entertainers.  He just gives it his ALL - as does the entire orchestra.  I just can only imagine the hours and hours and hours of planning and rehearsal that goes into this show to make it all seem so flawless.

This year, before the show, we got to see some of his guitars up close and personal -very cool!!


 They started out with the classic Glen Miller hit, Pennsylvania 6 - 5000.


He sang a great mixture of Christmas songs, Stray Cats songs and other Rock-a-Billy hits!



The orchestra always takes a small break (union rules I believe) and he is left on stage alone to play/sing "The Christmas Song" and then he was joined on stage by the infamous bass player Johnny Hatton and Bernie Dresel on drums.  While I love the entire orchestra, this is one of my favorite parts of the show...He sang "Fishnet Stockings" and sat on the bass, stood on the bass, stood on the drums - it is just an incredible performance!





The show just leave you feeling high and puts you right into the Christmas spirit.  This year was extra special because he did a tribute to Glen Campbell by singing "Witchita Lineman" and Tom Petty by singing "Running Down a Dream"

If you ever, ever, ever have a chance to see him, trust me - DO IT!!!

Here is the set list:

Pennsylvania 6-5000
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Hoodoo Voodoo Doll
Stray Cat Strut
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (one of my FAVES)
Gene & Eddie
Angels We Have Heard on High
The Dirty Boogie
Jump, Jive an' Wail
Here Comes Santa Claus (complete with Santa Claus on stage, throwing out candy canes)
Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell Tribute)
Runnin' Down a Dream (Tom Petty Tribute)
The Christmas Song
Fishnet Stockings (another Fave)
Rock This Town

Encore:
The Nutcracker Suite - major highlight of the show!
Jingle Bells

This video is not from last night's show but I just have to share because it is so wonderful






I think he must have really enjoyed the energy of the audience last night because he posted this on Facebook after the show.


Thank you Mr. Setzer for the amazing show - you are one of a kind!!
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I have still be working away on my Virus Blanket - I recently went to the site where I received the pattern and I see the pattern is no longer free.  I am glad I got it when it was still free and I know I better hang on to it.  Although, I do believe that $4.25 (current price as of this blog post) is well worth the price for this.

I have completed 3 Caron Cakes and the size is now 48" x 48"  - I would like it to be about 60" x 60", which would be a nice size blanket.  But I only have 6 yarn cakes in this colorway (or maybe it is 7 - I can't recall but typically I purchase even numbers because I'm a little bit like Monk and like my numbers to come out even. 😃

So, however big I can make it with the number of yarn cakes I have will be the final size, which hopefully will be close to what I want.

Sorry for the wonky photo - the sides are even but the angle I took the photo doesn't make it seem that way.


Here is a little close up that shows the detail a little better.



Sadly, I think I am going to have to put it aside for a couple of weeks to finish up another project that I want to complete before Christmas (and that project needs blocking time because it is knitted) - I don't really want to set this aside but I think I will have to for now.  

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I haven't posted any work in progress (WIP) items lately because I just haven't had much time for crafting lately. 

Last week, however, I was out of town for the entire week helping my mom after she had surgery so I had some idle time on my hands and took along a project that I started back in August and then set aside as I got kind of busy.  It was fun picking this up again.

I am making this afghan with Caron Cakes in Rainbow Sprinkles.  The cakes of yarn are 383 yards and 7.1 oz.  After one complete cake, the afghan is 32" x 32", which is about the size of a baby blanket (so if you want to use Caron Cakes for an average baby blanket, one cake should be enough using this pattern - good to know)

Here is the progress so far.  I expect to work on it more this week since it is a holiday weekend.


I like how the yarn flows - it makes it look like I have changed colors on certain row, but I never did - this is just one continuous yarn cake.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

No Roots by Alice Merton

I heard this song on "The Spectrum" channel on Sirius XM this morning and I really liked it so thought I would share it here.  Hope you enjoy.


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Monday, October 23, 2017

A Day in North Georgia

Yesterday, my sister and I decided to ride up to North Georgia and spend the the nice Autumn Day enjoying the great outdoors.

We went to Fausett Sunflower Farm, Burt's Pumpkin Farm and Amicalola State Park.  We stopped for a BBQ dinner on the way home at Jim & Nick's BBQ

It was a great day!!































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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Adam Ant - Anthems Tour

So...back in March, I had to have surgery to remove a tumor from one of my parathyroid glands...as I was laying in the pre-op room, I was browsing my phone and saw that Adam Ant tickets were going on sale the following day (while I would be in the hospital recuperating).  Thank goodness for my wonderful sister, who KNOWS how much I love him....

She said, don't worry, I will take care of it and get us VIP tickets and she did.  So I have been waiting for months and months for September 23rd to get here and finally...it did!!

We were in the recently renovated Variety Playhouse - they did a fabulous job renovating this place.  They raised the stage so if you sit, you can see over the mosh pit.  I am short so I don't like standing in the pit because I can't see but we were on the 2nd row and our seats were FANTASTIC!

We were allowed to go in early (since we had VIP tickets).  He sang lots of old songs - all old songs - off his first 4 albums.  I was in pure heaven the entire time.

Set List:
Beat My Guest - I couldn't believe he opened with this - what a way to start the show
Vive Le Rock
Dog Eat Dog
Apollo 9
Friend or Foe
Antmusic
Room at the Top
Desparate But not Serious
Cartrouble (one of my faves)
Zerox
Young Parisians - another surprise - not sure I ever heard him sing this live
Prince Charming
Gotta Be a Sin
Puss 'n Boots
Can't Set Rules About Love - again - a surprise but great to hear
Christian D'or
Strip
Kings of the Wild Frontier
Greta X - I loved that he sang this - was not expecting that!!
B-Side Baby - another fave of mine
Stand & Deliver

Encore:
Goody Two Shoes (expected, of course)
Lady / Fall In - so happy!!
Red Scab
Physical (You're So)

Wow! Wow! Wow!
An amazing show - we danced the entire time and I loved that it was so up close and intimate.  He was interactive with the audience and looked and sounded amazing!!

These are some of the favorite photos I took at the show (click on the photo for a close up).























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