21% off at Piczzle

Our giveaway of a piczzle puzzle has now ended, but the great folks over at piczzle have given me a 21% off discount code for any of you who may want to purchase a picture puzzle.  Mothers Day is right around the corner – this would be a great idea if you are not sure what to get Mom!

Coupon Code: ConcertKatie21

21% discount on all prices valid until Wednesday May 2nd 23:59

Book Review: Dollhouse Volume 1

I never watched the series Dollhouse whenever it was on TV, but it was one of my brother’s favorite shows so when I saw the comic book available I figured I would check it out.  It is a bit longer than I had expected, 162 pages, but considering it is “Volume 1” I should have realized it would be a bit on the long side!

Unfortunately, once again, the Nook Tablet failed on making it a good quality read.  It also didn’t look that hot when I tried to read it on my computer either (I figured if I could actually read all the bubbles without problems then might as well try it on the computer) I am not sure if the technology is not there yet for graphic novels or if the version that was uploaded by Dark Horse Comics was just not HQ enough to expand the pages and make it more readable.  The magazines that I order through the Nook store seem to look fine and pages get bigger and quality is not lost.

I really like the idea of continuing a TV series in to a comic book, I know that a couple of shows I used to watch have been considered for this and now that I’ve read Dollhouse, I think I’d like to see that happen for my other shows too.  Especially if the series writers write the book as well, that way it is almost the same as watching an episode! (I know Pushing Daisies was one of the books being considered for this, I’m not sure if it ever went through with it or what the progress is with it!)

Dollhouse Volume 1 definitely has a lot of action in it, and it is probably so much more cost effective to have these things illustrated  than actually have to have a set made and everything demolished.  I also thought it was cool how at the end it had various sketches that were submitted to the actors and actresses for approval and different variant covers by different arists.  It was interesting to see all the different styles of each of the artists, but how they were all similar enough to work for the series.

You can check out a preview of this book at Dark Horse Comic’s website: http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/18-400/Dollhouse-Volume-1-Epitaphs-TPB

I received a free e-copy of this book from Dark Horse Comics through NetGalley in order to write this review.

About the Book

The Rossum Corporation’s Dollhouse technology has gone viral with a synchronized phone call that wiped the minds of everyone it reached, turning them into mindless killers. Those who avoided the call–including show favorites Echo, Alpha, Mag, Zone, and Griff–must try to survive in the sudden apocalypse and be wary of Rossum’s expansive technological reach. This is only the beginning! Collects the complete miniseries.

* Created by Joss Whedon!

* Written by series writers Andrew Chambliss, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon!

* Fan-favorite show continues in comics!

Book Review: How To Ruin Your Life by 30

How to Ruin Your Life by 30 is a book by Steve Farrar.  It started out as an 18 minute speech, but was then turned into a book.  (And while the book is short at only 130 pages, it took a bit longer than 18 minutes to read).  I was interested in reading this book because I will be turning 30 in just a few short years and wanted to make sure that I was not on the track to ruining my life.  I didn’t think I was, but some confirmation would be nice.

The book covers Nine Surprisingly everyday mistakes you might be making right now.  Most of these are religious based so if you are not overly religious, this may not be the book for you.

Some of the ways you can ruin your life are by – Getting off to a Bad Start, Neglect you gifts and strengths when choosing a vocation, Stop learning and Isolating yourself. (And there are a few more but I of course don’t want to give EVERYTHING away! If you want to know the rest you’ll have to check out the book yourself!)

And it turns out that it looks like I am NOT on the track to ruin my life by the time I am 30. What a relief.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this book from the publishers through NetGalley.

About The Book

We all have an internal alarm clock that goes off when we’re about to make a bad decision… Some of us spend our 20’s hitting the snooze button.

By taking a look at 9 common, everyday mistakes, which most of us have an opportunity to make on a regular basis, Steve Farrar speaks with wisdom and wit in this short book that serves as a wake up call we should all take.

From starting our 20’s on the wrong foot to neglecting our own gifts and strengths, and from isolating ourselves from real community to ignoring God’s purpose for our lives, How to Ruin Your Life by 30 will help navigate these treacherous waters we call adulthood.

No matter where you are at: preparing for, recovering from, or in the midst of your 20’s… this short book will help.

STEVE FARRAR (California State, Western Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary) is the founder and chairman of Men’s Leadership Ministries and a speaker for these and other conferences and events around the country, including Promise Keepers. Steve is the author of King Me, How to Ruin Your Life by Forty, Point Man, and God Built. The Farrars have three grown children and currently reside in suburban Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit www.stevefarrar.com.

Free Music: Cody Simpson

Cody Simpson released a FREE mixtape last night called “Angels and Gentlemen” which contains 6 tracks.  Cody is an Australian teen pop artist who can be seen this summer in the US on tour with Big Time Rush.  The EP is a mix of some covers that he recorded.  You can either download the songs to your computer through Tracks.by (you’ll need a facebook account) or you can listen to them all for free right on facebook.  All the details can be found at: http://angelsandgentlemen.com/


1. Angels (intro)
2. Feel So Close (Calvin Harris Cover)
3. Beautiful People (Chris Brown Cover)
4. Ya Da One (Rihanna Re-imagination)
5. Interlude
6. Evenings In London (Drake Re-imagination)
7. What You Want (The Weekend Re-imagination)
8. Better Together (Jack Johnson Cover)
9. Gentlemen (Outro)




Canaan Smith & Love and Theft at the Music Lounge

Recently, lucky winners were treated to a “double header” of country music acts at the Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge.  Canaan Smith and Love and Theft.  I had seen both before – Canaan opened up for David Cook and Gavin Degraw and Love and Theft opened for Tim McGraw when we left early after being caught in a downpour!

I don’t remember being too wow’ed with Canaan the last time I saw him, but I did enjoy him in the more intimate setting. And that fact that he is really, really cute didn’t hurt either.  He did 3 songs – Crazy for Me, We Got Us (his current single) and End of Tonight.  If you’d like to find out more about him, head to his website www.canaansmith.com if you sign up for his mailing list you will get a free song (although it is not one of the 3 he sang).

Next up was Love and Theft.  I am pretty sure I did like them last time I saw them but was a bit too preoccupied with the down pour we were sitting in to enjoy them fully.  Fortunately this time we were inside and although there was a threat of rain, we’d be safe!  I did not catch the title of the first song they did (If I remember correctly it was about girls driving trucks), but they said that it will be on their album which is coming out this summer.  They also did Runaway and their current single Angel Eyes.

Both artists talked about how they co wrote with each other their first singles. (Runaway and We Got Us)

After they performed we got to meet them! Somehow I ended up pretty much first to meet them. I’m fairly certain all 3 of the guys are nuts, but I mean that in the best way possible.  Canaan started a conversation w/ me about my shoes and Stephen told Eric to “write Nice Nikes from me on that autograph” so Eric did. haha.

It’s always so much fun at the Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge.

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Geeky Gifts

Looking for Geeky Gifts for that special someone? Check out Geek Alerts. They offer the best information on the latest cool gadgets and quirky gizmoes and where you can find them!  I’ve been called a Geek once or twice and it must be true because I love the gifts that are mentioned on this site! My birthday is in July… if you’re looking for any ideas… might I point you in the direction of LEGO Lord of The Rings, a Hunger Games Katniss Barbie or a Mixtape Memory Stick. (awesome!)  All these items are featured on the site as well as links on where to buy them and their prices.  No need to search various websites for gifts, Geeky Gifts does all that work for you and puts everything in one convienant place – their website!

You can easily find the topic you are looking for – they have it broken down to All, Gadgets, Design, Toys, Style, Food, Book and Deals!  This is my new one stop shop for all things geek news and shopping!

In addition to keeping you up to date on all things geek, they also provide a variety of coupon codes for online stores.  (Check them all out in the right side bar on their site! So many sites I visit and buy from frequently are listed.)  

Sometimes the most basic geek gift you need is printer ink!   Whenever you need printer ink, make sure you stop by GeekAlerts.com to look for the latest Inkgrabber coupon code coupons and promotion codes. Ingrabber.com offers affordable supplies and Geek Alerts make it even more affordable with the discount codes that they provide their readers!  Inkgrabber has a 30 day guaratee on their products – 100% price match guarantee and 100% satisfaction guarantee.

This post is a paid advertisement. All thoughts and opinions on the website are my own and I only promote websites that I think would be a good match for my reader and that I persnally use.

Idol Top 6

Wednesday night’s theme was Queen / Contestant’s Choice. But first we were treated to a medley by the Top 6 and the remaining members of Queen!   Queen is definitely not easy to replicate so it will be interesting to see how they do this week!

Jessica – Bohemian Rhapsody – Another good performance but I still don’t feel anything with her performances. She doesn’t put any personality in her song, or something. There is something missing for me with her performances.

Skylar – The Show Must Go On – Love Skylar. Another great performance from her. And comments from my dad: “She puts her heart and soul into every song”

Joshua – Crazy Little Thing Called Loved – Can you expect anything less than amazing from Joshua? Love love love him!

Elise – I Want It All – Queen is right up her ally. She really excels with the classic rock songs

Phillip – Fat Bottomed Girls – Great performance from Phillip. Nice to see im without the guitar and not looking as awkward as usual.

Hollie – Save Me – She’s really only a step up from Jessica. Another good singer but nothing that I can really get into.

Jessica – Dance With My Father – Robot. Robot. Not a fan.

Skylar – Tattoos on the Town – another great performance from Skylar.

Joshua – Ready For Love – I’m not sure what to say about him anymore. He’s just so good. (And yes, I typed this out before Randy and JLo said basically the same thing…)

Elise – Bold As Love – I… am not sure about this song for her. (And I did know this song because John Mayer covers it. But my parents did not know it…)

Phillip – The Stone – This was on the cheat set list as The ___ – ____ ____ Band.  Figured it would be Dave Matthews Band and be done by Phillip because – hello, duh? What could be more obvious?  (And didn’t JLo say something in his first song about how it DIDNT sound Dave Matthews?)  But it was really weird performance and  I didn’t much like it.

Hollie – The Climb – I’m glad they addressed her weird accent 😉 This song is my karaoke jam, so I’m not sure I can really take it seriously.  Hollie did well with it, but I’m not sure it’ll keep her out of the bottom 3.  Although, Bottom 3 is half of them… so…

My pick for bottom 3: Elise, Hollie, Jessica

Going Home: Jessica

Well, first up was Elise and Jessica and we find out that it is Jessica in the Top 3 and Elise in the Bottom 3.  Once again, my picks are a fail.  Good thing I’m not betting on them.

Then it was time for my favorite from last season – STEFANO!

Then between Joshua and Hollie, Hollie was in the Bottom 3.  So I got 2/3 right but of course the one I get wrong is the one I thought would go home.

Then we had to suffer through some Katy Perry…

We find out that of Skylar and Phillip, Skylar is in the bottom but then two seconds later she is safe.

Elise ends up leaving the competition. 🙁

Book Review: Grounders

Grounders is A Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey of Baseball, History, and Mentoring by Tom Slone.  I thought this was a great book. It combined 2 things – baseball and life lessons.  It is amazing the number of things that kids can learn just by going to a few ball games.

Tom decided to take his 3 grandsons, their friends and a couple other kids on a once in a lifetime trip over the summer to several baseball games. They got to check out quite a few ballparks as well as learn some history along the way. They got to check out Philadelphia, the NY Stock Exchange, among other spots.

The interesting thing was that Tom paid for everything – but made a deal with everyone on his trip (adults included) in order to receive their stipend each day ($10 on game days, $15 on non game days) they would have to write in their journal each day about what they did.  They were also equipped with a camera for the trip.  Excerpts of some of the journals were included in the book.  I loved this idea – I am always the one keeping a journal on trips and while the people I am with might think I’m nuts for running back to the computer (or pad of paper) each night to keep track of what we did that day – it is the only way I can remember nearly everything from the trip and going back and reading those entries takes me right back to the moment. (I even have a tendency to write down what we ATE each day, haha).

While this book might seem to be about baseball, and to a certain extent, it is, it really has so much more than that packed into the short 160 pages.  All the things the guys on this trip learned are included and it really helps put things in to perspective. Baseball may be “just a game” but the lessons you can learn by playing it or even taking a summer trip to go to several games around the United States are priceless.

I wish I had a grandfather who could take me on such an exciting trip!  It’s like summer school, without anyone actually noticing that they are learning.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publiser through NetGalley in order to write this review.

About the Book

An alarming number of boys in this country have no older male figure in their lives – no father, uncle, older brother, or role model from church, school, or the community. The number will inevitably grow exponentially as these young men without fathers will, in all likelihood, become absentee fathers themselves. The pattern is so pervasive, and the problem and its consequences so overwhelming, that few choose to engage it. Among these few, one stands out: Tom Slone. Tom’s approach mirrors the actions that have brought him success in business and philanthropy. Simple, direct, persistent…one boy at a time.

In Grounders, Tom Slone shows how the simple act of taking a boy to a ballgame can still be the teaching moment it once was. Grounders is the story of a group of men and boys traveling to baseball games all over the country in the summer of 2005. The journey serves as context for Tom to share 33 lessons garnered from baseball, business, and life. Together they serve as a template for mentoring boys, managing employees, and changing lives…even your own.

Tom’s last lesson, #33, is “Surround yourself with good people.” In my experience with Tom, the secret to his success in all his endeavors has always been that he makes the people around him good. If you can’t go to a game with him, read his book and see how he does it. 

The Voice – Quarterfinals Part 2

Ahh the quarterfinals. Team Adam and Team CeeLo battled it out on Monday night.  With 2 being immediately eliminated by the judges at the end of the show.  America will put 1 through to the next round and the coaches will send one through on Tuesday night. Who will it be?

Jamar – It’s My Life – I thought that it was a great performance from Jamar. I’d love to see him through to the next round, but these teams this week are stacked so we’ll have to see how I feel at the end of the episode if I think he’ll make it through!

Katrina – Jar of Hearts – Another good performance… once again, will it be good enough? we’ll have to wait and see.

Mathai – I Am Like a Bird – I liked her in the beginning but I just did not like this performance from her.

James – Just The Way You Are – Aww great performance from James

Tony – Baby One More Time – OH. MY. GOD.  amazing. love love love it. Take that Christina!!!  Best of the freaking night, I can not get over it.

Cheesa – I Have Nothing – A big song for her to sing and I just didn’t like it…

Pip – Somewhere Only We Know – Another good performance! Pip is so cute.

Juliet – Cryin – Usually I think Juliet is pretty good, but she really got off to rough start on this one. I dont think it will be enough to send her home though

My pick to leave team Adam: Mathai
My Pick to leave team CeeLo: Cheesa

Adam’s pick to leave: Pip
CeeLo’s pick to leave: James

Ok well that picking didn’t go so well….

My picks to go through on Tuesday
Team Adam: Tony and Katrina
Team CeeLo: Juliet and Jamar

America’s choices to go through to the next round are Tony Lucca (yay!) and Jamar Rogers. While I figured Jamar would be through I thought that it would be Juliet that America chose. (Which I thought all the more when it was mentioned that Juliet and Tony had top songs on iTunes)

I wasn’t that into Katrina’s second performance, but I do still believe that it should be Mathai going home.  Adam seemed to agree with me and saved Katrina.

With Team CeeLo I am going to stick with my instinct from last night as well and say that Juliet will make it through and Cheesa will be going home.  And CeeLo agreed!

Book Review: Ticket Masters

When I saw Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped up for review on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it.  Dean Budnick and Josh Baron do a great job with explaining the history of how tickets were sold, how Ticketmaster has become a monopoly and all the other ticket agents that had popped up along the way.

The book is a bit long, but never boring, jam packed with loads of information.  It talks about all the different fan club sites out there (I think I’ve had accounts with pretty much all of them through the years) and how The Grateful Dead started it all by reserving half of the venue for their fans to buy directly from the band through the mail and how some venues gave them the back of the venue to sell versus the better seats.  It explains how VIP tickets have become more popular over the year… and how a show is never really “sold out”.

There is talk about scalping and how brokers get tickets, and the creation of StubHub and its various site names before becoming StubHub.

Obviously for someone like me, this was full of great information – some of which I already knew but most of which I didn’t.  How Hannah Montana’s tour created a huge riot with parents (I ended up with only 1 ticket to that show in stead of 2, ended up selling it on StubHub because I didn’t want to go alone!)

If you’ve ever bought a ticket to a show or are just interested in knowing how tour and ticketing work then I would definitely recommend you check out this book!   Now I want the job setting up VIP Experiences for tours! haha.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book
Your favorite band has just announced their nationwide tour. Should you pay to join their fan club and get in on the pre-sale? No, you decide to wait. But the on-sale date arrives, and the site is jammed. You can’t get on—and the concert is sold out in six minutes. What happened? What now?

Music journalists Dean Budnick and Josh Baron chronicle the behind-the-scenes history of the modern concert industry. Filled with entertaining rock-and-roll anecdotes about The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, and more—and charting the emergence of players like Ticketmaster, StubHub, Live Nation, and Outbox—Ticket Masters will transfix every concertgoer who wonders just where the price of admission really goes. This edition has an updated epilogue that covers recent industry developments.

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