When I heard about this week's Ten on Tuesday topic from Carole, a certain song from a certain musical popped into my head. I'll spare you the ear worm, though, and get right down to business with a few of my favorite things, random style.
(And in case that ear worm snuck in anyhow, lets counter it with this fun performance.)
1 - Favorite Time to Wake Up- 7:00 am. Left to my own devices, I almost always wake up at 7:00 am. I doesn't always work out that way, though. (Because life.)
Okay. So, technically, I live in Portage, Michigan. (That's where I pay taxes. And my kids attended the Most Excellent Portage schools.) But I'm only two blocks from the Portage/Kalamazoo border, and I've always more closely identified with Kalamazoo. So I consider my community . . . Kalamazoo.
(Our meager skyline.)
Ten interesting things about Kalamazoo . . .
1 - Home of Bell's Brewery and The Eccentric Cafe. (Need I say more?) - And, really, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are many top-quality breweries in town. Enough that Kalamazoo has it's own Beer Week in January every year.
3 - Kalamazoo has an interesting past . . . as the home of both Checker Cab and Gibson guitar. (Althoughboth companies are gone now, their legacies still show up in unique and interesting ways throughout the city.)
4 - Kalamazoo is located right on I-94, putting it in easy driving range of both Detroit and Chicago. In fact, Kalamazoo is located pretty much half-way between the two cities, making day-trips easy.
5 - There are several Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Kalamazoo. (Two separate neighborhoods. One is quite close to mine - we've been to a party in one of those homes. The other is a bit out of town, but still in the area.)
6 - The 90s band The Verve Pipe is from Kalamazoo. (Even though the video clip I'm using says "from East Lansing." It was really Kalamazoo. They just went to school in East Lansing.) Someone else you may recognize - Derek Jeter - is also from Kalamazoo. He played baseball at Kalamazoo Central High School, and still does a lot of charitable work with kids in the community.
7 - Kalamazoo is a relatively small town (4th largest city in Michigan) -- but we sure have a lot of top-notch arts and cultural organizations and opportunities. (Theatre, music, visual arts.) It's also a sort of literary hotspot -- many writers live and write here, including Jaimy Gordon, who won the National Book Award in 2010 for her novel LordofMisrule.
8 -- Kalamazoo is also very science-based. Formerly the home of Upjohn Pharmaceuticals (all but gutted now, thanks to layers of mergers and eventual decimation by Pfizer) (sorry; just gonna say it), the community still values science and science education. (Really -- there might be more scary smart science nerds here, per capita, than anywhere else in the world.)
9 - Kalamazoo has an INCREDIBLE farmer's market. The community has totally embraced the farm-to-table concept, and supports "locavore" restaurants, grocery stores, a year-round food co-op, and this amazing farmer's market. (The photo above only shows about a quarter of the market.)
10 - And . . . we've got peregrine falcons! Tom's office window faces the building where the falcons hang out. He can watch them fly! (And once, he watched himself turn on the light in his office on the "falcon cam.")
I love living in Kalamazoo -- it's a pretty cool place. What do YOU like about your community?
Join the fun and read all the other Ten on Tuesday posts here.
"I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, fuck that - I want to be superhuman." ----- David Bowie
Like many of you, I was shocked and sad yesterday . . . when I turned on my computer and learned that David Bowie had died. He was such a vibrant part of the music and culture of my growing-up years, and I feel so very grateful to have "come of age" in the time of David Bowie. (While my parents didn't "get" the Beatles . . . they REALLY didn't "get" David Bowie!)
This week, Carole has us talking about our Ten Favorite David Bowie Songs. I imagine the lists will be quite similar -- with a few surprises here and there.
Mine . . .
1 - SpaceOddity - GroundcontroltoMajorTom! When your husband's name is Tom . . . and he's a bit of a head-in-the-clouds scientist . . . Well. You just gotta love this one.
2 - Changes - This song was my introduction to David Bowie -- back in 7th grade. I loved it then; I love it now.
3 - ZiggyStardust - In 8th grade I knew all the words to this one -- which I sang at the top of my lungs with my swim team pals. (And you know which lyrics we sang the loudest, don't you?)
4 - SuffragetteCity - Another big favorite among my swim team pals! Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!
5 - YoungAmericans - David Bowie's YoungAmericans album defined my junior year in high school. I can remember driving "the strip" on Friday nights with my friends, singing this song. Loudly. And with David Bowie-worthy theatrics.
6 - Fame - Oh, yes. (See Young Americans, above.)
7 - GoldenYears - This song came out slightly later in my junior year of high school. I remember we loved the distinctive beat. (David Bowie was very intertwined with my high school years.)
8 - UnderPressure - Okay. So, technically, this is a Queen song (and, truth be told, I've always thought of it as a Queen song), but I'm including it anyway. I always loved this one - and it has the double-bonus of reminding me of Brian's high school hockey games -- because it was a staple of the hockey arena soundtrack during tense moments.
9 - ModernLove - Okay. So I kind of loved the 80s. This one reminds me of Tom's grad school years and early M-TV.
10 - Let'sDance - Put on your red shoes and dance the blues! Oh, yeah baby.
NowZiggyplayedguitar. . .
How about YOU? What are your favorite David Bowie songs?
Join the fun. Read what other bloggers have to say here.
This week's Ten on Tuesday topic lends itself to further year-in-review reflection. Carole asks us about Ten Things That Make Us Feel Proud in 2015.
Effectively purging so much of my stuff . . . KonMari-style. It really does feel good to let go of so much stuff, and I am committed to living with less.
Taking a drawing class . . . and reviving my long-ignored artistic side. When I started out with my class (taken only so I'd have the prerequisite for other kinds of art classes), I had no idea how much fun I'd have!
Culling my yarn stash and organizing the remains on Ravelry. I never blogged about this, but it was a monumental undertaking all the same. (No worries. I still have plenty of yarn!)
Beginning a daily meditation practice. I've discovered that meditation really IS all it's cracked up to be!
Getting through some pretty serious sports injuries -- and changing up my whole fitness regimen. I used to run. Now I swim. I used to dance. Now I row. I fought it with a vengeance -- but the change has been really good for me.
Like many of you, over the last couple of weeks I have . . . Done All The Things.
Shopping, wrapping, shipping, baking, planning, partying, decorating. All The Things.
I don't know about you, but I'm pooped! (This photo is a picture of our living room . . . before our Solstice Celebration party on Sunday night . . . and before Jenny helped herself to most of those M&Ms.)
I'm looking forward to some Down Time . . . so I can . . .
Mostly just not feel like I should be/could be doing something . . . seasonal.
Knit. I haven't knit in several weeks, and I'm itching to stitch!
Read. My reading has slowed to a crawl lately, too.
Draw. I haven't picked up a pencil since my last art class ended before Thanksgiving.
See All The Movies. We've seen several lately, but so many good ones are coming out right now that it's been impossible to keep up!
Stitch. As in an Alabama Chanin project (that I think I'll be unwrapping soon).
Sew. I cut out an apron before Thanksgiving; it's still sitting on my sewing table.
Finish organizing my digital photos. It's a huge project, and I got a good start before the holiday crush, but lately? Not so much.
Put the finishing touches on my "new" bedroom and bathroom. It's all finished now -- but there are no pictures on the walls yet.
Think about my next home renovation project . . . which involves removing the wallpaper in my dining room.
How about YOU? What are you looking forward to doing . . . once the Holiday Rush is over?
Be sure to check out what everyone else has to say here.
We've all been there. You're on the way to a party. You need a hostess gift. QUICK! Or maybe just one more stocking stuffer. Or a gift for a co-worker on your way to work.
And you don't want to run to the mall. (And you certainly don't want to go to Target!)
What's your best option? Why . . . the grocery store, of course!
This week, Carole asks us for Ten Gifts You Can Pick Up at the Grocery Store:
Wine. We're lucky here in Michigan, because grocery stores sell wine and beer. And . . . wine makes a perfect last-minute, pick-it-up-on-the way gift. (You can even buy some curling ribbon and fancy-it-up a bit on the way.)
Lottery tickets. (My kids love getting scratch-off lottery tickets in their stockings.)
Coffee mugs and specialty coffees. (We have a Starbucks located in our favorite grocery store, which makes this really easy.)
Wine-related items like openers and stoppers. (Our wine department stocks these during the holidays.)
December is always a crazy month. That Christmas Machine just continues to roll, and "regular life" just kind of . . . enters a vortex or something.
Sometimes it's best to just sit back and take a breather; to think about those things you truly enjoy about the holiday season.
I love to decorate my house for the holidays. This year, I've KonMari'd my holiday stuff, and pared down my decor significantly. I'm really excited about this. It was time for a change -- and way past time to simplify.
I love twinkle lights and candles. It's so dark this time of year! I like to brighten things up with little lights everywhere.
I love to watch Christmas movies. My favorites are Love Actually and The Holiday -- and, of course, White Christmas.
I love to get Christmas cards in the mail -- and especially if they include a family photo and a little newsy update. It seems I get fewer cards every year, but I really treasure the ones I receive -- especially from those friends far away.
I love planning (and cooking) a special meal or two for holiday celebrations. At Thanksgiving, I make the same meal Every.Single.Year. (And my family likes it that way.) At Christmas, though, I like to pull out all the stops and make things that are really special.
I love listening to Christmas music. It kinda drives Tom nuts, though, so I mostly only listen to Christmas music when he's not around. (Unless it's the Messiah. He loves the Messiah.)
I love the smell of pine. We have a "real" tree, so the fresh smell comes along with the tree -- but I also enhance it a bit . . . with pine-scented candles.
I love the special events that happen only once a year: Parties and concerts and the Nutcracker ballet. (I also like getting a bit dressed up now and again -- and holiday parties allow me to wear some sparkle!)
I love seeing all the wrapped packages under the tree. When I was a little girl, seeing those packages made me giddy -- like . . . hardly able to breathe, I was so excited. A little of that feeling still spills over.
I love the memories that the holidays bring: Christmases of my childhood; Christmases Tom and I shared in our early years together; Christmases with my own children. Wonderful memories are woven through pretty much all the things I like BEST about the holidays.
How about YOU? What do you truly enjoy about the holiday season?
See what the Ten on Tuesday gang has to say over at Carole's!