12 Days of Seasonal Songs to Soothe Your Soul (Day 10)

Houston’s Christmas Music Station has started playing their regular rotation again as of yesterday, but with holiday songs still sprinkled in. So here’s another Christmas song from me, too!

Jonathan Coulton is, frankly, an inspiration. He decided he wanted to make his career in music and so wrote a song a week, then posted it, built a following, and transitioned from his old job (that he apparently didn’t love) to a career in music. That kind of creative stamina is something I wish I could even imagine on a practical level, to say nothing of achieve. (To be clear, there’s a lot about my “day job” I like and wouldn’t want to give up. But the ability to create so much is just astounding to me, and feels therefore aspirational.) I also find his quirky, clever sense of humor really satisfying.

This song was from one of his Thing A Week albums. Enjoy!

Monday Earworm: The Holderness Family

Today’s earworm is a hilarious song by The Holderness Family, who have a very entertaining channel on YouTube. It was recommended to me this weekend by my friend Sarah Warburton while we were having writing sprints. (Yes, actual writing also happened.)

If you haven’t checked out Sarah’s books, do yourself a favor and grab one today. They’re AMAZING. She writes crime, mystery, and psychological thrillers: exciting and well-paced with gripping characters and compelling plots. Click on the link to Sarah’s website to order her books Once Two Sisters and You Can Never Tell, or get them at literally any bookstore.

And in the meantime, enjoy this giggle.

Too Much, Frankly

School starting normally feels like drinking from the proverbial firehose, but last week and this week are something extra special. So, no earworm tonight. I’m sorry, but you’ll get one next week (I assume). Instead, please enjoy the following video, which is part 5 in one of my favorite series ever. (If you haven’t seen the first four parts, please do that. I’m sure you can find them in the links around the video I’m posting here.)

Rock on, Julie Nolke, you’re amazing.

In other news, if you’re a Sonic Chihuahua subscriber/reader/fan and haven’t received your August issue yet, hold tight. The last of them are going into the mail tomorrow morning, including all the ones going to Canada and the UK. I had to get more postage, which meant going to the post office after school today. (Fortunately I think I got enough for September’s issue, too.) Cheers!  

Why, Yes, Virginia, Adulthood IS A Myth!

Believe it or not — and if you know me, this won’t be a stretch for you to believe — I am still working through the requested reviews from my Books I Read in 2020 list! Seriously, thank you to everyone who requested those reviews. I appreciate your engagement so much, and I’ve had fun revisiting so many of the titles I read last year.

At this point, I’ve finished almost all of the requests, either as blog posts or as book chat videos I was doing for a while with my friend Kara. And I now have three books left to tell you about. Allow me to knock one of those off the list today while the next chapter of the new novel I’m writing incubates in my subconscious…

 

 

If you type “adulthood is overrated” into a Google search bar, you will get umpteen kajillion sites with articles or products or other content declaiming this travesty against our youthful expectations. Normale.

Adulthood Is A Myth, a compendium of comics by Sarah Anderson about the travails of becoming an adult, takes this pseudo-despair about growing up into “real life” one step sideways. Her comics are amusing and well drawn; they dive deep into the maelstrom of emotions that is the proverbial Human Condition with just the right levels of snark, angst, and immense relatability.

It would be easy to dismiss Anderson’s collection as a lot of comics about millennials not being able to get their shit together, but it would be wrong and ageist to do that. The fact is, adulthood is not a state of being that comes with a manual, despite the proliferation of self-help books related to the subject. Most of the time we observe the world around us and the generations that came before us to find answers, and our life trajectories are shaped by world events. And thanks largely to technology (which has changed not only the metaphorical size of our world but also our ability to view and interact with it), 21st-century young adults have a really different row to hoe from all of us who came before them. Frankly, Gen Z is basically a generation of cyborgs — and as a parent of kids in Gen Z, I mean that in the most loving and practical way.

The comics in Anderson’s collection aren’t really about that, though, which is one reason this book has such wide appeal. It’s about human interaction and daily, practical functioning and the challenging emotions so many of us experience regardless of age or time of life. Moreover, she does it all with a wryness that will make you feel maybe just slightly superior (in a non-snotty way) if you’re generally competent at adulting, and make you feel absolutely seen and heard and understood and even maybe cared for if for you, like for most of us, managing this American life is challenging sometimes.

I really enjoyed this book and will admit I gobbled it up in about an hour, cover to cover.

I’m also not squeamish about telling you that I did it late on a Saturday afternoon, with a basket of laundry next to me, sitting on the floor at the top of the stairs where I had gotten distracted by seeing the book on top of a pile next to Han’s desk and decided it was the right time for me to stop and read a book even though I was literally in the middle of doing a household chore.

(And if that doesn’t give you some context of where my head was or why this book hits all the right notes, I’m not sure anything will.)

Be well!

Monday Earworm: Jonathan Coulton

Today’s my dear husband’s birthday, and in honor of such, I’m using his favorite Jonathan Coulton song for my earworm. And it really does have a catchy chorus. Aaron first introduced me to Coulton’s work with “Code Monkey” years ago, and now I’m a big fan as well. So much of his music is ridiculously funny (such as this earworm) as well as nerdy, so you know we’re going to be big fans in this house. You’ve heard Coulton’s work on this blog before, too, particularly in the form of his Christmas album, a collaboration with John Roderick; some of those songs often show up in 12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck.

I’m also a fan of Coulton’s because he wrote a new song every week for quite a long time and posted them online. “Skullcrusher Mountain” is one of those songs. If I’m not mistaken, this project (called “Thing A Week”) allowed him to transition from a job in IT to being a full-time musician, and let’s be frank, that kind of creativity, persistence, and dedication are just inspiring.

Have a great week, everyone!

12 Days of Seasonal Earworms You Need Right Now (Day 5)

Okay, I get it. Not everyone loves the holidays. Not everyone enjoys hanging out with their family. In fact, some people cannot even with the holidays because they’ve successfully managed to more or less escape the pandemonium and strife of the families they came from, and having to go back during the holidays is stressful.

Friends, I see you — and your relative nightmare. This mildly inappropriate earworm is for you.

12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, 2014 Edition (Day 9)

I have another parody for you to help get through today’s hectic silliness if you are, like me, handling last-minute stuff. You might have seen it already, but it’s always worth another couple of minutes out of your day. So get yourself a cup of Earl Gray, hot, and click on this video.

Let it snow? Make it so!