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Anti-Bucket List 2016

 

The “Anti-Bucket List” is an idea I got from Holly at travelingfan.net that I’ve been doing for the past few years – things you did that year that you thought you wouldn’t do.  This year was tough for me and I’m sure there are things I am missing, but here it is.

antibucketlist2016

 

2015 Anti Bucket List
2014 Anti Bucket List
2013 Anti Bucket List 

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Scrapbook Saturday: Tulsa Pt 1

Part one of the yearly pilgrimage to Tulsa, OK for Hanson Day Weekend.

more »

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Review: Decluttr

decluttr

Recently I was looking to get rid of some books and decided I would try out decluttr, as I had heard it was a pretty good site.  In order to have free shipping to send the items to the site, you had to submit 30 items, so I ended up going through my CDs as well to hit 30.  I ended up getting $13 for all my effort and it was completely not worth it.  If you are in dire need of cash and have a TON of free time to sort through all your things and scan barcodes, it may be worth it.  But for all the hours I put into it, to only end up with $13 (sometimes just $0.05 for a CD) I would have been better off putting in little effort, throwing everything into trash bags and dropping it off at a place like GoodWill.

After packaging everything and sending it in – they ended up not even paying me for one of the CDs because it was a “promotional” CD and unable to resale.  Did they send the CD back to me? Nope. They kept it.  Whether they tossed it since it couldn’t be sold or decided to sell it (or do whatever it is they do with them) instead, I don’t know, but that was pretty annoying.  I guess I should have realized it was a promo CD myself but it wasn’t obviously labeled as one.

In the future I think I will just donate to GoodWill, less effort and a tax write off.

 

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Gilmore Girls : A Year In The Life

I only started watching Gilmore Girls this summer.  I’m not sure why I never really watched it when it was on originally, I guess it clashed with something else I had watched at the time.  After all the hype about it coming back and a few friends talking about how obsessed with the show they are, I decided to give it a watch so from May through July I binged staying up as late as I possibly could to fit in as many episodes as I possibly could each night.  I jumped from Team Dean to Team Jess, but never really was Team Logan.  Then I found myself counting down the days until the 4 super episodes were released on NETFLIX.

The rest of this post will contain spoilers from the A Year In The Life episodes. Stop reading now if you haven’t already watched and don’t want to be spoiled.

Black Friday I headed down to PA to hang out with one of my friends who has been into Gilmore Girls from the start.  We watched Winter and Spring in the afternoon, Summer that evening and Fall the following afternoon.  Before starting we decided we did NOT want to know what the last 4 words were until they were said – which of course prompted her husband to look them up and we had hoped they would provide closure while still leaving things open for more episodes. Her husband told us that it would, but I’m not sure I feel any closure after watching.

I am still Team Jess.  I am still never Team Logan and I think that now I am on team I Hate Rory.  For most of the old series I was blaming Logan for everything but after watching these episodes I came to the conclusion that Rory is just a terrible person.  She has a boyfriend she can’t even remember (wtf was that about?) she is having an affair with an engaged man (and I was surprised Lorelei didn’t seem to care when she flipped out over the whole sleeping with a married Dean situation) and as someone who went to college next door to Yale for journalism (albeit as a minor) she failed at that as well.  If she loves writing and is such a great writer (debatable) why not start a blog? It is 2016. Everyone has a blog. I started mine so I wouldn’t forget how to write.  Rory easily could have made one about anything and see if any ideas she had on the blog could have been expanded upon for a full article at a major publication.  But she is at her core a spoiled white girl  and freaking lazy.  (And when you are trying to write an article on why people wait in line… and find a line that isn’t even a line but people are waiting on it… you don’t ask them why they are standing in a line not even knowing what it is for? HELLO!)

Anyway – the last 4 words were super frustrating and at first we thought that it was totally opening it up for another season but then we started working out what ended up being the “full circle” theory – Logan is the father and Logan is her Christopher.  Rich boy, can’t get him to settle down… and Jess is her Luke.  Will swoop in to make sure that she and the baby are taken care of.  I think that I am ok with whatever happens.  I’m Team Jess so I’ve made myself believe what I just wrote is what happened and I’m happy with that.  If more episodes show up, I’ll watch… but hopefully if that does happen the storyline will be what I want and I kind of doubt that now.

For now I’ll just spend my time working on Chilton Running Club races and trying to figure out their insane clues before each race.

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Florida Pictures!

Since I am lazy and don’t feel like uploading my Hanson photos again… here are links to *every* hanson photo I took the entire trip to FL on my Hanson site, Hansonstage:

http://blog.hansonstage.com/2016/11/02/photos-epcot-night-1/

http://blog.hansonstage.com/2016/11/02/photos-epcot-night-2-halloween/

http://blog.hansonstage.com/2016/11/02/photos-epcot-beer-seminar/

http://blog.hansonstage.com/2016/11/02/photos-epcot-night-3/

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Try It Tuesday: Multi Color HTV!

I’ve done HTV (heat transfer vinyl) using only one color to make myself and others a few shirts, but for my trip to Disney for Halloween I decided it was time to move on to 2+ colors on a shirt!  My friend decided she wanted the witch hat and I opted to go for sorcerer mickey. (Both with a Hanson symbol, for good measure)  When I went to purchase the vinyl I realized that I could use GLITTER vinyl.  At first I was just going to use it for the stars on the mickey hat, but then decided, what the heck, let’s glitter all of  BOTH hats.  It looks amazing in person.   It wasn’t much different than just doing one color but you do have to be careful because it is not recommended to do glitter vinyl layered on top of glitter vinyl.  I had the shapes cut out of the sorcerer’s hat to make sure that the moon and stars would not be a problem.

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Music Monday: Hanson Play EP

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-11-00-39-am

Do You Believe In Love
Freak Out
Man On Top
Joyful Noise
Feeling Alive

 Last Monday Hanson released their latest EP, Play, a digital only release exclusive to Hanson.net. I had heard 4/5 songs in May in Tulsa and helped record parts of the songs, so I was very excited to hear the finished versions. If you had asked me weeks ago which song I thought would be my favorite I’d have hands down said “Do you Believe in Love”, I fell in love with it when Zac was working on it in a stream and was so excited when they started playing it in Tulsa, though it evolved from a simple piano ballad to a queen and the darkness inspired up tempo track.

After having listened to the EP on repeat several times now, I think Do You Believe In Love is #3 for me, maybe even #4 of 5!

Feeling Alive quickly became my favorite. It gave me goosebumps on a clip from the studio Zac had posted on hnet and continues to give me goosebumps even after multiple (and I do mean multiple) listens.

I also really love Freak Out and if they don’t use it to open a show in Jamaica (or even Disney!) I will be very disappointed. It is just the perfect let’s get things started and get you pumped song.

And Joyful noise is a great track as well. I enjoyed it in Tulsa and enjoy it finished even more. This EP is kind of a favorite, everything else tied for second-ish and then…

Man On Top. For whatever reason this song has not stood out to me. It’s not terrible but it just hasn’t grabbed me. It also sounds a lot like an old Hanson song to me (Look At You?)

Overall though I am super pumped for this new EP and if you ever have thought about maybe checking out what Hanson is up to musically, now would be the time to do it. This EP is available exclusively on Hanson.net and you do not need to be a (paid) member to purchase but will need to set up an account for their store to buy it.

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Top 15 Hanson Members Only Songs

As I mentioned before – Hanson is having us choose their top songs for reasons as yet unknown. (And whether or not we’ll ever know remains to be seen)  First they asked us to choose our Top 25 from (most) of their studio albums and B-sides.  The next survey was asking us to pick a Top 15 from their Members Only content.

For those of you who may not be Hanson fans – each year they release a CD of  about 5 tracks to current members of their fanclub that year as a thank you for being members.  In addition to these EPs they also listed some songs from EPs that were available to the public as well, though perhaps not as widely available as studio albums.

I took the same approach to this list as I did with the album lists – sorted them into “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe” and hoped I’d land somewhere near 15 with my “Yes” pile.  After the first go through I had 20 in my Yes column so I ended up having to remove 5 instead of adding some like I needed to do in the Studio list.

Looking back at the list, I’m not sure now (a couple weeks later) how I came to this conclusion and I might have a different list if you asked me to do it again now. I admittedly do not listen to the Members Only stuff as much as the rest – not because it’s not as good but typically I have the CD in my car after the Members Only Event and release and listen to it a bit too much for the following few weeks/months and then never really bother with them again. (And then lyrics to them end up being the trivia at BTTI and I do terribly or they end up playing them live at BTTI and I struggle to sing along – I really need to start making a playlist in November/December of them to prep me!)

Here’s my list…

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 11.35.00 AM

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Hanson Top 25 Songs

Recently Hanson asked members of their fan club to choose their Top 25 songs from their albums (+ b-sides).  Since they didn’t include any of the members only tracks, this was a lot easier than I expected, but still not entirely too easy to put together.  I decided to “go with my gut” and put my list together as quickly as possible because I knew if I sat around debating any of the tracks, I’d never finish!

How I came to my concussions:

I put all the songs into an excel spreadsheet, and then quickly made a column next to them where I ranked them by “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe”.  Yes were definitely belonging in my Top 25, No definitely didn’t and maybe I could be swayed either way.

After my first run through, I ended up with 35 songs on my Yes/Maybe combined.

I then went through the Maybes and again ranked them Yes/No.  This landed me with a top 24! So close! So I went through the maybes that became No and grabbed on more to round out my list.

There has been some debate as to whether or not we should include MMMBop on our lists – but I felt that I had to.  Without it, who knows if we’d all be here, you know?  We also don’t know what the list is going to be used for – and I’d totally pick different songs if I was picking for a setlist base or if I was picking for songs I want to know more about how they were written or songs I am playing for someone who has never heard Hanson before or songs for a greatest hits… but I tried to combine a little of all of those lists because we weren’t given too much specific direction on what this list would be used for, if anything. (And then the guys went and posted in a newsletter they were surprised a couple weren’t in the running and I have a feeling that may end up skewing the results on people who voted after that newsletter…)  I’m not sure if they will ever let us see what the list ended up being – but I know there was no song on more than 58% of the lists at the time Leigh decided to share some stats with us on Hanson.net – and no song had no votes at all.  Very interesting!

And if you want to really torture yourself – I have the best of the rest up on Hansonstage which is the members only / random HNet tracks.  Voting for that ends in a couple of days and I still havent managed to pick my own top 25 yet!

Here’s what I ended up picking:

A Minute Without You
Already Home
And I Waited
Broken Angel
Cry/Cried
Dying To Be Alive
Fired Up
Give A Little
Hey
If Only
In The City
Juliet
Lost Without Each Other
Lost Without You
Mmmbop
Musical Ride
Runaway Run
Scream And Be Free
Smile
The Walk
Tonight
Weird
Where’s The Love
With You In Your Dreams
You Can’t Stop Us

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Book Review: Girl vs. Boy Band

girlboyband

Girl vs Boy Band is a new series and let me tell you that if you think you can get away with reading just this one and then moving on, you’d be mistaken. It does end with a bit of a cliffhanger. Or as I like to say, it didn’t end. (I mean, obviously it did, but no real closure.)

The book is about Lark, who moved from Nashville to California with her music executive Mom after her parents got divorced.  She is a song writer with severe stage fright.  Her Mom ends up signing the hot big up and coming boy band Abbey Road from London and they come to the US to live with Lark and her Mom.

The book sets up the relationships between Lark and the boyband members as well as a friendship between Lark and one of the boys at school who tries to get her to perform with him in the school talent show.

I really liked the book and all the characters and am looking forward to the rest of the series!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

For fans of Taylor Swift and One Direction comes a new tween series featuring an aspiring singer-songwriter and the boy band that could steal her spotlight.

Talented but painfully shy eighth-grader Lark secretly writes feisty, heartfelt songs about her life-about school, crushes on boys, not getting along with her mom, and missing her dad who lives in Nashville. But that secret becomes harder to keep when Lark’s mother, a music record executive at her own label, announces that British boy band Abbey Road will be coming to live with them while they make their first album!

Sharing her L.A. house with three noisy, mischievous rising stars isn’t as glamorous as expected, especially when things aren’t going smoothly with the band members. When one of them plagiarizes one of Lark’s songs and passes it off as his own, will Lark gain the courage to step into the spotlight herself?

Harmony Jones is the author of many novels for children and young adults. She splits her time between Connecticut and the Rhode Island coast, where she lives happily with her husband and their two incredibly spoiled golden retrievers. She is a lifelong fan of pop music, and even has a whole room in her house dedicated to her favorite group of all time – the Beatles!

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