Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 35: Responding to Mail

I used to write letters. Actually, I still do, just not at the rate that I once did and not at the rate that I  would prefer. Embarrassingly enough, I have been letting my mail pile up for a long time now, and the duration I go without responding to letters I receive keeps getting longer and longer. I don't really want it to be this way, but for whatever reason, I just haven't made it a priority to respond in a timely manner to the letters I receive. It's disgraceful as far as I'm concerned. I'm not saying that everyone who receives letters should respond immediately - we all have our busy lives with plenty of other stuff going on - I'm just saying that I would like to do better at it. I greatly appreciate the mail that I receive from fellow zinesters and zine-interested folks, and I love the connections I've made with people all over the world. I consider my pen pals to be my good friends and confidants, and I really want to maintain the associations that I have with them. However, I have not been great at writing letters lately. Perhaps I've never really been great at it, but these days it's gotten worse. I intend to mend that though. I will do better. I am making it a point to. One day soon, I'm going to sit down and write responses to all the mail I've received over the past year or more that I have yet to respond to, and then (mark my words) I will keep up on it. I recommend that you do the same. The connections we make in life are of upmost importance, and it is imperative that we maintain these relationships. Our lives are enriched by our friendships (whether they develop in person or through the postal system), and in turn, our correspondence, communication, and attentiveness can enrich the lives of others. To get a letter, write a letter, and if you get a letter, write a letter back. To those who have written to me lately and are anxiously awaiting a reply, I promise you that a response is on it's way. And to those who haven't written to me in a while (or ever), I'd love to hear from you. I promise that it won't take me eons to write you back...not anymore anyway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 34: Cinder Block Bookshelf

This past week I built a bookshelf out of cinder blocks and some old boards. It's likely the most common, DIY bookshelf around...and certainly one of the least expensive bookshelf to boot...but it's also pretty classy as far as I'm concerned. Most importantly, it was about time I had gotten around to building it. I have been living in this apartment for almost 4 months now with nowhere to display my books. Finally, I have at least a few books on display. Eventually, I will need to make a second bookshelf in order accommodate the rest of them. That's not important though. The point of this recommendation is to say that if you are feeling the need to make your house appear more like that of a punk rocker  - or just some young kid, fresh out of his/her parent's house - build a cinder block bookshelf. Not only will you have a place to store and display your book collection, but you will feel super DIY and punk rock in the process...guaranteed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 33: Sleeping When You're Dead

Who needs sleep? Sleep is overrated and so old fashioned. You can sleep when you're dead. Life is meant for living, not sleeping right through it and then falling asleep...dead....forever. I also recommend laughing to keep from crying and laughing when things aren't funny.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 32: Zone 4 Magazine

Apparently this magazine has been around for a few years, but this year is the first I heard of it. It's about time, though (perfect timing, actually), because it's a great magazine all about living and gardening in the rocky mountains, and as it turns out, I just recently moved back to the "high country west." The name "Zone 4" refers to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone, but it is definitely not exclusive to the goings-on of things in Zone 4. Instead it covers all zones in the Rocky Mountains, which includes at least Zones 3-6. The creators of the magazine insist that by producing the magazine they are filling a niche and a need that was not being filled or met otherwise. Their intention was to create a magazine that "is written by experts for real people with real concerns who want to learn more about successful gardening, landscaping, and healthy local foods raised and grown in zone 4." As far as I'm concerned, they totally nailed it. The magazine is very well put together, includes a surplus of great information and entertainment, and is a friendly and useful resource to the high country gardener. A few examples of some articles and topics that are found in the summer 2012 issue of Zone 4 include: an interview with rock garden expert, Panyoti Kelaidis, information about the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, a Wyoming water-wise garden, vermiculture how-to, hosting a plant exchange, selection & application of manure, top plant picks for rocky mountain gardeners, rhubarb recipes, broccoli recipes, a penstemon profile, and so much more. If anything in that diverse list piques your interest, definitely check this out. It's a quality publication. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 31: The Promise Ring "Skips a Beat (Over You)"

Every once in a while I go through a strange phase during which I listen to lots of 90's emo music. I'm not sure why exactly, it's just the way of things, I guess. The Promise Ring is one of my favorite bands from this era/genre, which shouldn't come as any big surprise; aftera all, they were quite popular at the time. Anyone familair with the Promise Ring would certainly agree that as their career progressed, they got poppier, The epitome of their poppiness came with the album, Very Emergency, in which they seemed to abandon their emo-punk roots and embrace their indie-pop sensibilities...completely. The following video will demostrate that. It shows just how poppy they became before they mellowed out and disappeared. I like how different this song is from the rest of their stuff, and how great they were at being a pop band despite their roots. By the way, this is not an official video, it's just something random from you tube. But it's entertaining nonetheless, and I recommend it because it pretty much proves my point...