what’s making me happy this week 02.21.14: angel olsen, floyd legs and swants

February 21, 2014

what's making me happy this week 02.21.14: angel olsen, floyd legs and swants

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photos:
1) my gym bag, my sanity
2) my aged pug, taken by my daughter, up close and personal
3) noritake mardi gras dinnerware, photo from the fox and th espoon esty store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thefoxandthespoon
4) making dinner, why yes i do have harvest gold kitchen counter tops…still…they’re starting to grow on me…no, no they’re not
5) love this, ann arbor alley in the snow, photo by courtney sacco: http://photos.mlive.com/8002564/gallery/photo_gallery_ann_arbor_during/index.html#/0

In addition to the tiny patch of blue sky I am craning my head to look at right now, and the bright blurr of a sun trying to burn it’s way through the gloomy gray cloud cover…there is much making me happy this week:

1) Exercise is making me happy…maybe not always while I’m doing it…but always afterward. Honest to god it keeps me sane. Particularly this winter. You know what’s great exercise if you can fit it into your schedule? Studio cycling/spinning. If you have the time, try out a few instructors to see whose music you like best, get there early enough to have the instructor help you adjust your bike. Select a bike in the back row so you can unself-consciously gear down when you need to and/or stand to pedal when your crotch goes numb (it gets better). Don’t worry about cycling shoes, but do bring a water bottle.

2) I heard so many great bands at the Ann Arbor Folk festival last month: Seth Walker, Justin Townes Earle, Pearl and the Beard, Iron and Wine, Neko Case (rocking some skin tight skeleton pants), Willie Nile (a cross between the Ramones and Bruce Springsteen, what?!) and Ann Arbor’s own Appleseed Collective.

But the band that really got under my skin…that I’m trying to decide if I love or just like, is Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Thao Nguyen is an incredibly talented musician, singer and songwriter. She plays all things stringed and more. In addition she is smart and original: I have not heard anything like her before.

Here is one of Thao’s songs I have been listening to this week: We the Common (for Valerie Bolden)

(Extra points for the split second appearance of Judge John Hodgeman and Ira Glass in this video.)

2. Angle Olsen’s warbly, true voice is making me happy this week. And she looks like my little sister Jen.
Listen to her here at her NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

3. Noritake Mardi Gras dinnerware makes me happy.
I am part of a Mid Century Modern facebook page where someone posted this week that she had found some Noritake Mardi Gras dinnerware at an estate sale. I had never heard of it, but the shape and pattern make me happy.

4. Some cool kids (University of Michigan design grads) are making me happy…They had a kickstarter to produce their “minimalist” Floyd Leg—table legs that can be easily attached to and removed from any kind of flat surface, such as repurposed doors. They were hoping for $18,000 to startup, but ended up with $250,000!

Why does this make me happy? Real people seeing their ideas realized…Design that marries form and function…

5. Goofy gals make me happy, particularly Katy and Katie and their Just the Tips youtube channel. Check out their, how to make swants video.

6. This 3 minute history of the bicycle video makes me happy for the visuals…design, color, light…

7. These photos of Ann Arbor in the snow by photographer Coutney Sacco. The photos were taken at night, and are lovely…and remind me that I should stop being such a baby about the dark and cold and should get outside with my good camera sometime…
http://photos.mlive.com/8002564/gallery/photo_gallery_ann_arbor_during/index.html#/0

8. Having time to cook dinner in the evenings makes me happy. This is a weird flip for me, as I used to hate making dinner and could relate, a little, to Marge Piercy’s poem, What’s That Smell in the Kitchen.

Haha. No, it was never that bad, but it was difficult to fit it in with everything else.

Now that I am not spending my weekends and evenings dragging children through science fair projects, or baking class valentine treats or attending school meetings (which, in truth, I miss,..a lot), I have much more time for making dinner. I always plan my week’s meals on Saturday or Sunday and often will prep the night before. The chore, and I do still think of it as a chore, is made tolerable, pleasant even, by a glass of wine and a podcast.

There has been more making me happy this week, like my son’s first official college visit yesterday and another one today. That makes me happy…but also a little sad…more on that another time.

Hope you are spotting patches of blue sky among the grey clouds where you live! Both literally and metaphorically! xoxo

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4 Responses to “what’s making me happy this week 02.21.14: angel olsen, floyd legs and swants”

  1. marlittl Says:

    Kate & Katie at great, the snow storm photos were gorgeous. Floyd legs are a great idea, going to keep those in mind for a desk


  2. I hear you re exercising..I hit my 5k mark next week on my running and the buzz is incredible! This weeks run is allegedly harder..and I literally cried with the satisfaction of completing it! xxxx


  3. Hooray for you! I hope that you are running in sunshine and warm weather!


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