Favorite You Tube Series
Husbands (seasons 1 & 2) – An entertaining web TV series written by Jane Espenson and Brad Bell about a baseball player and an actor who get so excited that gay marriage is legal that they get married during a drunken night in Vegas, though they’ve only been dating for 6 weeks. They don’t want to set a bad example so they decide to make their marriage work– for the cause. Espenson wrote for Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Dollhouse, etc. There are tons of fun cameos by actors from various Whedon projects (including Joss himself in season 2), plus a few actors from other shows too. Each season is only 25-30 minutes.
The Lizzie Bennett Diaries – In Hank Green’s charming modernized version of Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie Bennett is a vlogger who tells us about her marriage-crazy mother and her life with her sisters in short weekly You Tube videos.
Favorite Movies (Total Watched – 18)
Hunger Games (2012)
Marvel’s Avengers (2012)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Favorite Music Albums (Total Listened To – 26)
Greg Evain – All Better Now (2012)
Ellie Goulding – Halcyon (2012)
Lana Del Rey– Born to Die (2012)
Anna Nalick – Wreck of the Day (2005)
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (2012)
Favorite TV Shows (Total Shows Watched – 36)
Alphas (season 1)
(The) Big Bang Theory
(The) Good Wife
Parks and Recreation
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Year Published: 2006
Rating: 4 stars
Ages: 14 and up
Format: Listened to audiobook on mp3 player from Audible.com
A twelve-year-old girl in World War II Germany starts her life as a book thief when she arrives at the home of her new foster parents in a suburb of Munich. This is a lovely tale about regular life and how it exists even during war. I had heard a lot of enthusiastic reviews about how this book would blow my mind. I think it's easy for a story to get overpraised once it's been out for a while. While the story didn't blow my mind — like it seemed to do for some of my friends and family — I still enjoyed this sweet story a lot.
Ani Di Franco, Which Side Are You On? (4 stars)  – Ani Di Franco's new album combines of all things I liked about her previous albums with an added maturity and wisdom. The title song, "Which Side Are You On?" is a rousing battle cry to inspire the regular people trying to defend ourselves in the class war and culture war the right has been waging on the 99% for the past 30 years. Her quieter songs like, "Promiscuity", are full of sage advice about why sex and relationships are good and what they have to teach you. Like her previous albums, this one comforted me, entertained me, and inspired me.
Title: Fantasy Baseball
Author: Alan Gratz
Published: March 2011
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Ages: 8 and up
Format: Read eBook on Kindle for Droid Phone
Alex Metcalf doesn't know how he ended up on a bus full of almost forgotten storybook characters who have formed a baseball team. Here in storybook world, characters whose stories are no longer read vanish forever. Dorothy, the girl from The Wizard of Oz, is the team's captain. She's desperate for her team to win the championship because the prize is a wish granted to everyone on the winning team. Dorothy wants to wish that all her teammates will be remembered by children so that they continue to live.
Alex is delighted to find that he's fantastic at playing baseball, even though he's just a kid. Then his team informs him that he's probably not a really boy, but instead he's a lark– the daydream of some kid who dreams of being a fabulous player. Alex is determined to show the team that he's a real boy, not a lark. Like Dorothy, he wants to bring the team to victory. Then if he turns out to be a lark, he can wish he's real. Unfortunately, he insults the Big Bad Wolf at the first game, and now he's not sure he's even going to make it to the end of the tournament.
Fantasy Baseball is a unique story with lots of action. It would make a fun read for kids who like both baseball and creating their own imaginary world. The story would also make a good classroom or family read aloud. It's not necessary to know the older storybook characters to enjoy the story. Though reading about the other characters did make me interested in checking out some of the older children's classics.
Rihanna, Talk That Talk,  (4 stars) – I first heard Rihanna's new album, Talk That Talk, when I danced to, "Where Have You Been", in Jazz dance class. Her new album is more fun than her last, though it's pretty explicit, not the kind of album you can play while you're carpooling kids around. The fun danceable songs about sex and pretty ballads on love make Talk That Talk another excellent guilty-pleasure Rihanna album. Favorite songs: Where Have You Been, Drunk on Love, Roc Me Out, Farewell, and Cockiness.
Title: Tuesdays at the Castle
Author: Jessica Day George
Date Published: October 2011
Rating: 4 out 5
Ages: 8 years and up
Format: Read eBook on Nook for Droid Phone
Every Tuesday Castle Glower adds new rooms to itself. For generations the castle has behaved like a living person, making life easier or harder for the inhabitants based on how much it liked them. It has even picked each new ruler. Eleven-year-old Princess Celie — the youngest daughter of the current king– is one of the castle's favorites. She understands the castle best. It's her connection to Castle Glower, and her detailed atlas, that helps her family survive the castle's big crisis.
This is a fun tale with lots of tension and excitement. It would make a good bedtime or classroom read aloud.
Florence & The Machine, Ceremonials (4 stars) – I like this album even better than the group's last popular album. The songs are still filled with lots of dramatic over-the-top vocals, but this time I liked the lyrics better. Favorite Songs: Shake It Out, All This and Heaven Too
Misfits (3.5 stars) – The third season is now available each Monday on Hulu. Since actor Robert Sheehan decided to leave the show to pursue a movie career, the most charismatic of the young offenders, Nathan, is gone. While Nathan was the funniest character, he was never that important to the plot. His replacement is just okay, but so far the episodes revolving the rest of the characters are quite good. Their new powers help them explore interesting new aspects of themselves as they grow and change, plus there's a lot of fun entertainment in them. My favorite part is how one of the character's new power is playfully used as catch-phrase in each episode. There are eight episodes in season 3 and Hulu is currently on episode 5. There's also a 10-minute clip on Hulu's Misfits Page called, "Vegas Baby!", that gives Nathan an amusing send off.