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Book Review: Girl Logic

I can’t say I’m a fan of Iliza, or at least I wasn’t before reading this book (Our family regularly watched Last Comic Standing) but I find her a lot more tolerable after reading her book.  It’s not an autobiography but it’s a lot of great advice and stories about being a girl and dealing with what she refers to as “Girl Logic”.  The forward is also written by Mayim Bialik and you can’t go wrong with Blossom. (Or Amy Farrah Fowler)

There is some behind the scenes on dealing with the aftermath of Last Comic Standing, whether or not she thinks she is famous, stories of guys she has dated and was a quick and really fun read.

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

About the Book

From breakout stand-up comedian Iliza Shlesinger comes a subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman’s approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.

“Girl Logic” is Iliza’s term for the way women obsess over details and situations that men don’t necessarily even notice. She describes is as a characteristically female way of thinking that appears to be contradictory and circuitous but is actually a complicated and highly evolved way of looking at the world. When confronted with critical decisions about dating, sex, work, even getting dressed in the morning, Iliza argues that women will by nature consider every repercussion of every option before making a move toward what they really want. And that kind of holistic thinking can actually give women an advantage in what is still a male world.

In Iliza’s own words: “Understanding Girl Logic is a way of embracing both our aspirations and our contradictions. GL is the desire to be strong and vulnerable. It’s wanting to be curvy, but rail thin at the same time. It’s striving to kick ass in a man’s world while still being loved by the women around you.

“This book is also for me, because apparently expounding on a stage for two hours a night wasn’t enough. (Trust me, if I could start a cult I would, but I hate the idea of deliberately dying in a group.)”

Book Review: Bad Reputation

Bad Reputation is the story of Hockey Bad Boy Chase and his best friend Cassie. The two are best friends – only friends.  Although it seems like both might want more but are afraid to tell each other.  When Cassie gets a HUGE work opportunity to give a keynote address in Vegas, she is nervous but asks Chase to tag along.  Things get a little wild after a night out of drinking when Cassie tells Chase that they should get married.  Chase goes along with it but the next morning neither of them can remember anything of what happened.  The two end up sharing a kiss and for anyone who witnessed it, it was clearly more than a “just friends” kiss.  They end up drunk again and sleeping together all night long. (It took 50% of the book to get to this action – but totally WORTH THE WAIT) Of course, this is also the night before Cassie’s big keynote address and you guessed it – she slept through it.

Will Cassie lose her job? Who will remember that first night in Vegas first – and will they tell each other? Will they get the marriage absolved? Once they return from Vegas will they go back to being just friends and what happens in vegas stays in vegas? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out.

Usually I read baseball, not hockey, but the dude on the cover was H-O-T – which usually means the book is going to be a flop but other than being somewhat predictable (the best friends end up together) it was really an enjoyable read.

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

About the Book

Meet the most wanted players in sports . . . one ridiculously hot alpha male at a time.

Chase: With a nickname like “Sin,” it’s no wonder they call me the bad boy of hockey. Opponents curse me. Fans scream my name—in the arena and in other, much more private places. Penalties or not, I’m not afraid to dish out a little pain. But pleasure? That’s my weakness. And no one knows it better than my best friend, Cassie Desrosiers. I’d have to be blind not to notice her rocking body and teasing grin. So when she invites me along on a trip to Vegas, my curiosity isn’t the only thing that’s aroused.

Cassie: Chase Barrett is a world-class A-hole. As his best friend, I’m allowed to call him on his BS. Who else is going to do it? Certainly not the puck bunnies swooning at every flex of his biceps. Everyone knows that Chase is the love-’em-and-leave-’em type. There’s no such thing as commitment for the king of casual hookups. So why should I care? Maybe because all work and no play makes me a sexually frustrated girl. It’s time to put the hockey stud at my beck and call to good use . . . but after a week in Vegas with Chase, I might never want to go back to the real world.

Book Review: Her Book Boyfriend

Her Book Boyfriend is about Mace, a high schooler who can’t seem to land a boyfriend.  It may be because most people seem to think she is an item with her best friend, Cam.  She loves reading romance novels so she decides to make a list of things to try to land a boyfriend and therefore prom date by doing some of the things the characters in her favorite author’s books have done in order to land their significant others.

From the get go, as soon as I saw there was a male/female best friend lead and a girl who was looking for Mr Right I knew how this one was going to end. But I am glad I stayed along for the ride because how they get there is a bit of a roller coaster ride and I am happy I stuck it out and followed the whole story.

And now I know that this technique probably isn’t one that I should be trying any time soon to try and land myself my own book boyfriend… (It’s just too bad I don’t have any male BFF hanging around…)

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

About the book

Book Review: Surviving the Dick Clique

As someone who has been in a male dominated work environment for over 10 years, I wasn’t sure if this book was going to be of any assistance to me – it might have contained a whole bunch of things I already knew or learned (probably the hard way) but I did end up enjoying it and the tips that are given throughout on how to deal with different situations that may come up.  The corporate world is a bit different than the world that I have been working in, but dudes are dudes.

This would be a great gift to any female who will be graduating and joining the work force soon, as so many occupations seem to (still) be male dominated.

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

About the book

This book is a guide for women who rise through the corporate ranks and find themselves side by side with men facing unchartered gender challenges. It is based on the mistakes I made , lessons I learned and rules for the following generations. It is raw, relatable and honest. It has colorful language, self-depracating humor and realistic rules for women. I expect it will make men and women uncomfortable and open up a dialogue. I review my 20 years in the medical device industry and reveal my most poignant experiences and lessons. It is all about my involvement with men, and observing how they function in a corporate setting. The book opens with the definition of the dick clique and the activities that they engage in. It is followed by chapters such as attending strip joints, being bullied, being disrespected, engaging in self doubt, protecting your female brand, finding female allies, and becoming a dick. The book ends with finding solutions. What can we do to make this better for women and disband the dick clique

 

Book Review: Discover Baby Animals

Kids book, very easy to read. Pictures of all the baby animals as well as a sentence about them. Only about 30 pages.  Some of the animals may be a bit advances for a younger reader (marmoset?) but I loved all the monkeys that were included. Cute, cute, cute!

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

About the Book

 

Book Review: Stone Painting for Kids

A cool project for kids is painting stones! This book has a lot of ideas and all the information you need in order to get started – with preparing your stones and what supplies you will need.  There are various techniques featured and different pictures of ideas that you can use for your own stones or to give you ideas to come up with something creative on your own.  For added fun, you can even add googly eyes!  Or paint several different rocks that can create a larger object or animal when they are all placed together!

Stone painting seems to have gotten to be very popular lately and this book is sure to give you some great ideas! I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This follow-up to the bestselling Art of Stone Painting offers a kid-friendly version of an engaging activity that helps promote creativity. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for simple projects, accompanied by full-color photographs. Her introduction explains how to find and choose stones, which kinds of materials and tools are safe for kids to use, how to set up a workspace, simple techniques, and other helpful tips.
A splendid variety of patterns begins with illustrations of basic shapes and designs for human figures and faces, animals, numbers and letters, and natural motifs—flowers, trees, and stars. Other activities include painting stones for games such as tic-tac-toe, chess, and dominoes. Kids will learn lettering techniques for writing names and words on pebbles and how to design holiday-themed decorations. They’ll also discover how to assemble multiple stones for picture-making and story-telling.

 

Year In Review 2017

Most expensive show:

Most expensive with VIP was John Mayer – $695
Most expensive to GET TO was the Australia / New Zealand run
Most expensive non VIP was NKOTB at Fenway

Least (not free) expensive show:
$25 for Hanson’s Acoustic Storytellers show was the cheapest.

Free shows:
Bon Jovi, O-Town, Kesha, Rick Astley, Lauren Alaina, Andy Grammer, Hanson (x15), The Script

# artists seen: 107
# unique artists seen: 40
# shows seen in CT: 21
# of shows out of state: 41 [15 in a different country]

Show farthest away: Hanson in Australia / New Zealand
Closest show: Stephen Kellogg, Parachute and/or Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele at Fairfield Theater venues. All very close coming from work!
$$ spent on tickets: $4949
Miles traveled: 65,029

Top 6 shows of the year?

Isaac Hanson’s solo show at BTTI
Hanson’s acoustic storytellers
NKOTB at Fenway
John Mayer in Boston
Hanson in Sydney
Kris Allen Christmas

Total number of shows in 2017? 62

First show of the year?
Hanson in Jamaica

First show with actual tickets:
Bon Jovi

Last show of the year?
Stephen Kellogg

Most surprising show?
Kesha!

Most disappointing?
Freestyle 90s… show #499.

Farthest traveled?
To Australia / New Zealand.

States attended shows in?
(and countries) Australia, Canada, CT, IL, Jamaica, MA, MD, MI, New Zealand, NY, OK, VA

Venue most visited?
American Garden Theater @ EPCOT – 9x.

Band seen the most?
Hanson – 37 times

Best new discovery?
Marie Miller

Bands seen this year that also broke up this year?
None that I know of

Friends made at shows?
Many!

Band members met?
Hanson, O-Town, Stephen Kellogg, Lauren Alaina, Dalton Rapattoni, John Mayer

Best souvenir from a show?
John Mayer VIP laminate. It looks like a guitar pick.

Longest time in line?
Hanson in Chicago, I think. Or maybe one of the Aussie shows.

Shows seen from the barricade [front row]–
O-Town on the boat.. ish.  Hanson Sydney Members Only Event, And a couple of side front rows – Stephen Kellogg, Parachute,

Most shows in one month?
January – 5
February – 4
March – 3
April – 3
May – 4
June – 9
July – 4
August – 2
September – 5
October – 10
November – 7
December  –  4

Once again, October wins!

Most shows in one week? Hanson 9x at Disney, Hanson in Australia

Biggest crowd? NKOTB at Fenway, I think.

Any drunk encounters? Oh, probably. But none that really stand out now. Which I am glad. I never can seem to remember any once I’m looking back.

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Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele

Last year Tyler and Kate’s tour was in December at the Wolf’s Den.  This year it was at one of my favorite little venues, The Fairfield Theater.  I had seen Tyler there before but Kate had never played there before but really liked the “vibe”.  Throughout the show Kate kept using the word and mentioned how it was driving her husband crazy but she just couldn’t come up with a better word when she wanted to use it.  The setlist for this show was short, but there was a lot of chatting/bantering/joking going around between songs.  The two had just gotten back from a tour in Australia and were talking about how the Australians say everything so differently and some of the slang words that they had picked up while they were there.  For this set they alternate between Tyler songs and Kate songs and then throw in a few fun duets as well. They ended their set with their take on “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and I am pretty sure it was a role reversal.  This show was a ton of fun and I hope they continue to come through Connecticut if they continue to tour together (or even separately) because they are always so much fun to see live!  It’s crazy to think that I first saw Tyler back in 2004! Wow!

 

Hanson Chicago – Finally It’s Christmas Tour

Hanson in Chicago was another crazy weekend. Once again I had a super crazy early flight after a concert the night before.  I got into Chicago around 8am, met up with my friends who were already there for the Friday show the night before and we did all sorts of sight seeing like going to Macy’s windows, The Bean, Millenium Park’s Christmas Tree, Target, and an insane crazy insane Christmas Market that had more people in an area than I ever wanted to be with so we did not stick around very long.  We also decorated stockings that we were going to hang from the VIP box we had purchased. It was a crazy plan and one that we just hoped would work out. That evening we went to Lou Malnati’s for some deep dish pizza which even though I am not a pizza fan I had to try and I have to say I was impressed.  Maybe the problem is I need to trade in my New Haven style pizza for some Chicago style.

The morning of the show we didn’t need to bother waiting in line since we had the box, so we went to the Hancock building and did “TILT” Now, my biggest fear is falling so leaning 45 degrees out of a window of the 90-something-ish floor of a building was a major challenge for me (especially when I have little to no upper body strength and had to try and hold my self up as well) but I did it. Do, Go, Be, right?  Then we went to Navy Pier and rode the ferris wheel.  After the first go-around we were like “Once, that’s it? Rip off!” By the time we actually went around a 3rd time we were pretty happy with it letting us off then, but it was a fun way to see the city.

That evening was the Christmas show and everyone was tweeting the guys asking for Happy Christmas.  They hadn’t played it since that first show in Toronto but usually Chicago shows get something special so I was hoping that would be it.  No such luck, though 🙁  (And then they did it the 2 shows after. I missed 4 shows on this tour and they played it at 3/4 of those shows. Thanks guys, really.)  Our stockings worked out quite well and in the photo gallery you can see Taylor pointing them out.  The setlist for this show was pretty much the same as the rest, but during the encore the techs were putting towels over Taylor’s keyboard and some of Ike’s pedals.  What was that all about? What did it mean?  Well – there was SNOW! During Blue Christmas.  So even though the setlist was basically the same – each of the 4 shows I went to being a little bit different, and that is why I keep going to multiple shows on a tour.

After the show we hung around in hopes of getting photos with the guys, but unfortunately all we did was see them drive off 🙁 They ended up tweeting that they had an early flight out to Los Angeles and couldn’t stick around.  0-2 on bus attempts. At least it was not as cold as when we waited in Toronto!

Finally It’s Christmas
What Christmas Means To Me
Little Saint Nick
Rockin Around The Christmas Tree
Run Rudolph Run
Please Come Home For Christmas
At Christmas
Someday At Christmas
White Christmas (acapella)
Joy To The Mountain (acapella)
Peace On Earth
Christmas Time
Wonderful Christmas Time / Come On It’s Christmas
Merry Christmas Baby
Winter Wonderland
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
‘Til New Years Night
Everybody Knows The Claus

Encore:
Blue Christmas (With snow!)
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

 

 

Kris Allen Christmas Tour

Last year Kris Allen did a mini Christmas show at the mall, this year he went on a full fledged Christmas tour – complete with a Christmas Tree (Or Kris-mas tree?) on stage with him.  This show fell right in the middle of my mini Hanson tour and I chose to see Kris instead of see both Hanson shows in Chicago.  Turns out, despite getting little sleep after the show and making things all around exhausting for myself, I made the right choice.

Before the show I had VIP with a few others, he sang “River” we talked a bit about Thanksgiving and how Kris had gone vegetarian and thought he might have wanted some meet during Thanksgiving but was still able to avoid it due to all the yummy veggies that were around.  I asked if his kids were excited for Christmas and he said his daughter was still too young to understand it and his son seemed more excited about Halloween – he was Buzz Lightyear and was still running around in his costume even the night before Kris left for the tour – wings and all!  He also mentioned the setlist was almost entirely Christmas songs with the exception of 3 of his songs that he tried to rework to make more Christmasy (which he did a pretty great job with, I think).

Opening for the show was Marie Miller who was just a joy to watch and has an amazing voice. I really enjoyed her set and picked up her album after the show and got the chance to chat with her a bit… so look for a review of that CD coming at some point. (Although considering how late this post is and how I haven’t even started my Christmas CD reviews, it may be a while…)  Kris also joined her for a song called “Wasting Away”.

The highlight for me had to be “Please Come Home For Christmas” it was so, so, so good. (And Zac sings this on the Hanson tour so you know it had to have been for me to love a different version!!)  He started and ended the set with the same song – Somethin’ About Christmas Morning which I thought was a really nice touch and really made the set come full circle.  After one song somehow it came out that it was one of the girls in the audience’s birthdays… after more questioning Kris found out that it was not ACTUALLY her birthday that DAY but she was celebrating it by being at his show and then somehow it ended up with Kris making a joke about “Fake News” and then cracking himself up.  I probably just did an absolutely horrible job of describing it, but it was hilarious if you were there.

My other favorite moment was how during “Just Like Snow” he told a story about how they went to a cabin for Christmas one year and it doesn’t really snow in Arkansas and he woke up and there was a lot of snow and to him that was Christmas.  Then he went back into the song – AND IT STARTED SNOWING.  It was just the most perfect moment and I was in awe.

Something About Christmas Morning
Here Comes Santa Claus
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Baby It Ain’t Christmas Without You
Happy Birthday
Peace and Happiness
Monster / You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Jingle Bells (w/ Marie Miller)
O Holy Night
Holly Jolly Christmas
The Christmas Song
Winter Wonderland
If We Keep Doing Nothing / Joy To The World
Please Come Home For Christmas
Mommy, Is There More Than Just One Santa Claus?
Live Like We’re Dying
Baby Won’t You Wait Until the New Year
Just Like Snow
Silent Night
Something About Christmas Morning

 

These videos are not mine, but you can see a couple of my favorite moments…