Thursday, April 26, 2012

Post-Coachella Listmaking

Over the course of the weekend at Coachella, we saw over 20 shows, whether catching a few minutes here and there (and a few minutes was enough for Justice, who were unremittingly rubbish, and also for Noel Gallagher, as we heard the utterly lovely Half the World Away, but not much of the other stuff in which I have no interest although, alas, we did hear Don't Look Back in Anger, which I truly loathe). 
  1. DJ Shadow (just unbelievable: the tunes were amazing, he played Six Days and Organ Donor - albeit the version on Pre-Emptive Strike, rather than Endtroducing... - and he mixed in Passin' Me By by The Pharcyde.  Also, the visuals were stunning - he was in a spinning ball, for the love of Ray J).
  2. Pulp (highlights:  Underwear, I Spy, Common People - although, as Dr. TOH says, even he could be the frontman for a song like that, it's so perfect)
  3. Metronomy (actually, probably up there as my favourite of the weekend - everything was utterly perfect, so dancey and fun for a 2pm slot in the blazing sun, with probably the best crowd we were in all festival.  Hard to pick a favourite, but Radio Ladio was ace, as was The Bay and The Look)
  4. Santigold (so much fun, she told the crowd off for taking photos rather than enjoying themselves, so I would have loved her even if she hadn't done Hold The Line or been generally great.  Also for Enrique, the dancer, who loved it more than anyone else.
  5. The Weeknd (for the last three tunes, basically, which were phenomenal, and also High for This, although the volume was problematic)
  6. Tuneyards (I can't face the capitalization but she was ace)
  7. The Rapture (would have been higher if we'd caught more of the gig, but what we saw was fantastic, particularly as we caught House of Jealous Lovers, How Deep Is Your Love?, and Get Myself Into It)
  8. Radiohead (utterly beautiful, but I was tired and it wasn't convincing any non-converts - but Exit Music (for a Film) was gorgeous, Karma Police was great, as was 15 Steps, although I was sad to miss out on Lucky, which the first Coachella weekend got, but at least they mixed up the sets)
  9. SBTRKT (mucho bopping, Pharoahs was great, although shame no Jessie Ware or Living Like I Do, given that Sampha was there - what a waste)
  10. (Joint) Flying Lotus (noodly and great) and Girl Talk (highly silly but everyone was dancing away, it was ace).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mulling It Over

We just got back from several days in California, including a jaunt to Coachella, the music festival in the middle of the desert.  We danced in the sun with the surrounding mountains framing the revelry.  I've got many mind grapes to develop regarding the performances and, possibly more significantly in my mind, the festival-goers and how we view and listen to concerts.  But mostly, for the next couple of days in my mind I'll be reliving the fun and bemoaning the temperature drop from the trip back east.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monthly Challenge: Still Foolish

I have completed two weeks of the 100 Push Ups challenge I set myself on April 1.

Everything hurts today. But that's probably a combo of quite a lot of walking round Storm King on Saturday - a lovely art sculpture park up the western bank of the Hudson, near West Point and opposite Beacon on the eastern bank - two football matches yesterday (in which I - shamefully - lost my temper quite badly, having been much calmer of late, picked up nasty scrapes my elbow and shoulder from being knocked over and more than a few bruises from being kicked), and then did my push ups for Week 2, Day 3 after a corona and many, many fried pickles. Unsurprisingly, doing over 50 push ups (eek!) was hard with all that batter and creamy dressing - so good - in my belly. And then I went boxing this morning.

So I'm more than a little achy and tired. And for various reasons I'm not going to be able to go for the rest of the week, so somehow decided going tomorrow as well would be the best way to get my two lessons in this week. Foolish indeed.

Monday, April 02, 2012


This morning I had a meeting at Planned Parenthood. Just the administrative offices, not a health centre. So I went there not really thinking about security measures, but the offices have to be thorough about who comes in and out of the building. The door is not open to the public, but you have to be buzzed in; you then have to be booked in, give photo ID, and be accompanied by a PP employee - you don't get to just wander up on your own. The ugliness that forces these measures stands in strange contrast to the mission statements on the walls that discuss the importance of women's lives, autonomy, and strength. I probably wouldn't have blogged about it, but then I saw this piece of news on Jezebel -about a (fortunately) rubbish attempt at bombing a clinic in Wisconsin - and the links between the measures and the need for them became much clearer. And it reminded me how brave providers are when all they should have to worry about is their patients.

And made me more determined about the Bowlathon that raises money for women who cannot afford to pay for their abortions. We've entered a team and anything anyone can give would be great. So that's that.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Monthly Challenge: April's Fool

Although I have this year's big resolutions - of which I'm only really maintaining the something green every day and the not drinking two nights a week (mostly thanks to having to get out of the house by 6.45am for boxing) - I've decided to try out a monthly challenge to see if I can form some healthy habits just by trying something for a month. So after the success of No Drinking in February, in March I resolved to remove my make up and actually wash my face properly every night. And other than one night, I managed that. Although it's not in great shape, I do think my skin has benefitted somewhat from this regime change. Hopefully I will, for the most part, keep it up.

April's challenge is a little different. I'm going to complete at least four weeks of the One Hundred Push Ups challenge - if nothing else, watching Michelle Obama kick Ellen's arse at push ups made me realise why her arms are so amazing. I've started this challenge numerous times, never really getting beyond the first four or so sessions. But now it's a monthly challenge, hopefully I'll fare a little better. I'm also trying to rope in other people so I have some accountability, as well as posting it here. So I've just taken the initial test and first serious workout will be tomorrow. Eek!