The Invasion

We were invaded at Christmas:

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart on the Wii rocks, even more than it did on the Game Cube or the DS. Just sayin’.

It’s also the only game all four of us can play together, and one of the only two that I could play for hours if I let myself, the other one being Tempest on the Nuon, which is pretty much a one-player deal (and I don’t even have that one hooked up right now).

In the interests of full disclosure, this may be part of what’s happened to my motivation. Maybe.

Patchwork Times–Birthdays, Un-Decorating and Finishes

Since the New Year’s holiday, I’ve been trying to find my motivation. It seems to have gone on walkabout without me. I know this is what happens when I “take a break” from major projects, which is exactly why I don’t do it to often. I find it really difficult to get into the grove again, even after just a day or two of being away from work, whatever the “work” is at that moment. So I can’t say that I’ve been terribly constructive in the past week and a half, partly due to that absent motivation, but also partly due to normal “stuff,” like:

A birthday

LittleOne’s 12th Birthday celebration, and

Patches and XMAS

The Christmas take-down, despite the cats “helping”.

Finished quilt!

I did, however, finish up the last few quilts for The Book, and I mailed them to AQS yesterday.

WooHoo! Now that the manuscript is really finished, I can move on to some other related tasks: creating classes and workshops, programming the website that goes with the book, and programming my online shop so it can open by mid-May. Whew! Stage 2, comin’ up! Motivation, please come home…

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Holiday Music–Just a Bit Late

Holiday Spirits by Straight No Chaser
Holiday Spirits by Straight No Chaser (affiliate link)
I usually don’t rattle on about my musical selections, for the simple reason that most of what I listen to isn’t likely to appeal to the majority of you. Okay, so that’s a pretty broad assumption, but aside from the fact that this is not a music review blog, I like alternative and rock music like Nickelback, Theory of a Dead Man, Anberlin, Three Days Grace, and Breaking Benjamin, with occasional forays into pure popish goodness like Backstreet Boys and trips down memory lane with folks like Howard Jones, ABC, Thompson Twins, and Mr. Mister. If I’ve been wrong to keep all that musical goodness to myself, do let me know.

Yesterday though, I stumbled across something that completely blew me away and I think you might enjoy it too. Of course, for all I know, you already know all about it since the group has been on TV and touring the States this holiday season, and I’m usually the latecomer anyway. Thanks to iTunes, I found Straight No Chaser, listened to their 12 Days of Christmas song, and immediately had to download the entire Holiday Spirits CD. Within an hour, this CD claimed the top spot as my favorite holiday music, replacing my lifelong favorite, Andy Williams Christmas Deluxe. Now, a cappella is not something that’s normally on my playlist, but these guys are different. And their history is just fun and inspiring, considering they’ve rocketed from relative obscurity to the #1 spot on both Amazon and iTunes in just one holiday season.

Their rendition of 12 Days of Christmas is just plain hilarious, Carol of the Bells actually brought tears to my eyes and What Child is This (on the Bonus Track Version from iTunes) only missed the same response by a hair (those are my favorite Christmas carols, after all). I think the only song in the entire collection that didn’t strike a chord with me was Sweet Little Jesus Boy, but to be fair, I’ve never liked the song anyway. On the Bonus Track Version of the CD, there is also a cover of Africa, originally recorded by Toto years ago, and Straight No Chaser sings it beautifully. It’s a stroke of marketing genius to add it to their holiday album, to show that they’re not just about holiday music.

Two more things to say here: I hope they hurry with their next CD, which will be “an album designed for year-round listening pleasure,” and you should run, don’t walk, to the nearest music store to get this CD, despite the fact that the time for Christmas music has almost passed. It’s THAT good. Okay, one more thing: my CD player will probably sit on “Repeat” for quite a while, even well into January.

P.S. Quilt content coming soon, as soon as I recover from Christmas and the ongoing cat/surgery ordeal.