Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 48: Kepi for Kids

Kepi is a true rock 'n roll genius. He has consistently churned out well-crafted and catchy-as-can-be pop punk songs for more than two decades now, both as a solo artist and as a member of various bands (the most notable being, Groovie Ghoulies). This time around he is rocking for the kids. However, to no one's surprise really, nothing has changed. Thematically the lyrics are geared more towards kids, but the majority of Kepi's songs are already very kid friendly, so really this album doesn't sound a whole lot different than anything else he's done. All of the songs are tons of fun, with several stand out tracks including, "Dee Dee Taught Me How to Count," referencing Dee Dee Ramone's familiar "1-2-3-4" shout before nearly every live Ramones song; "A Little Bit Weird," which assures us all that being weird is "something to be celebrated, and not to be feared"; and "Days That End in 'Y'," which is one of the sweetest love songs you'll ever hear. Also included are two reworked, classic Groovie Ghoulies' songs ("Let's Go to the Moon" and "The Beast with Five Hands") and a lullaby ("Moonbeam"). A two-part anthem about life in Kepiland bookends the album. As is typical with any Kepi production, there isn't a single bad song on the album, even "Nuts for Nuts!", which seems like it should be annoying, has it's charm - probably solely because it's a Kepi song. Whether you have kids or not, I'm certain that you'll find this album enjoyable. In fact, as far as I can tell, it's guaranteed to get you dancing and hitting the replay button again and again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekly Unrecommendations, Week 47: Procrastination

I'm pretty great at procrastinating and probably won't be making any serious adjustments to that any time soon, however I realize that procrastinating means that I will have to put off doing what I want to do now in order to do something that I should have done earlier. If I would have done that other thing earlier, then I would be able to do the thing that I want to do now right now instead of having to do the thing that I should have done earlier. It also means that I may have to rush through the thing that I should have done earlier in order to get it done on time, which could result in a job poorly done. If I had not waited so long to do the thing I should have done earlier and instead had taken my time with it making sure it was done right and done well, I probably would have ended up with better results. These and many other things are the conundrums involved with procrastinating. So, it is recommended that you don't procrastinate. Or do. Because I know you will just like I will regardless of how regrettable of a thing it continually is. As things are, there is too much to do anyway, so things will keep piling up. Some of those things will have to be put off, while other things will get done. Eventually we may, or may not, get around to getting everything done. Either way, there will always be more to do.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekly Unrecommendations, Week 46: Skipping a Week

When writing weekly recommendations on your blog, it is unrecommended that you skip a week. The reason for this is that you have committed yourself to writing a recommendation every week, and so people will expect you to stick to that. In fact, they may even be sitting there at their computer anxiously waiting for you to come through with something. They have been looking forward to it all week, counting on something great from you. If you don't come through, their whole week might be thrown off, especially if you've been so consistent for so long. They may then begin to question their faith in humanity and, perhaps, their whole existence altogether. You wouldn't want to disappoint them, right? So, get it together, man, come up with something and come up with it quick. Be reliable. People are counting on you.
Okay, so, maybe those people need to relax. You're not perfect. You can't always be the person people expect you to be. They have to understand that you are human, and that you may occasionally have a bad week or have more important things to do. They should accept that fact and just get over it if, by some unfortunate chance, you don't have anything to offer them. There are more important things in life. Perhaps they just need to step away from the screen for a while and go find something more meaningful to pursue.
Still, I don't want to disappoint anyone by not having anything to offer, so I will recommend this to anyone who lives in the Boise, Idaho area or for anyone who might be passing through in the next 6 weeks or so: Winter Garden aGlow at Idaho Botanical Garden. It's a holiday celebration full of lights, friends, fun, and festivities. It's become a staple in these parts, and while I haven't yet had the chance to attend, I know firsthand what goes into creating it because I've played a small part in putting it together this year. So, if you're in the area, make it a priority to check it out. Happy Holiday Season, everyone!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 45: Watering Your Plants

I have talked to many people who claim to have a black thumb. They tell me that they can’t manage to keep any plants alive. Every plant entrusted to their care ends up dying, and they can’t figure out why. However, the reality is that they probably either just forgot to water their plants or they watered them too much. This is because most plants require very little care to keep alive, but all plants need water, some more than others. This does not constitute a black thumb, it just means that a little more vigilance is required.
I understand this issue though, because as a self-proclaimed plant nerd and an experienced plant caretaker, even I forget to water my plants sometimes, which occasionally results in a dead plant. In fact, I recently almost killed one of my favorite plants. It’s a tiny sundew (Drosera spp.) in a little pot – a carnivorous plant that my boss gave to me. I’m not sure how many days I went without watering it, but luckily I noticed, just in time, that it was looking a bit droopy. So, I drenched it with distilled water (the kind of water that carnivorous plants require) and hoped that I wasn’t too late and that it would recover. To my pleasant surprise, it sprung back and is doing just fine.
So, if you’re one of those who considers yourself a black thumb, I would recommend improved vigilance about watering your plants – not too much and not too little (this is species dependent of course, but really not that difficult to master). And if you’re like me and just forget to water your plants once in a while because life gets in the way sometimes, consider this a reminder to go water your plants. They’re nice things to have around, and it’s sad to see them go, especially when it’s due to something as simple as keeping them properly hydrated.