In which I go to see Weird Al (for the 5th time) and then see his bandmates

How many times can a person see Weird Al in concert? Not enough. This is my 5th time. We bought tickets for Katie and Christian as a Christmas present. 

The Vanity tour was fun, even though and because it was not highly produced like his other tours. This was just Al and the band playing what they wanted to play (not the parodies, except for Yoda/Saga Begins, and the medley near the end of the show) and sitting on stools and talking in between songs. I recognized all the deep cuts, and even sang along to a few of them. Al did a cover song during the encore, which pleased Jim to no end: Squeezebox by the Who. Jim is a huge Who fan and the comments Al made before playing it (I'm going to play it as God intended--with an accordion) made Jim smile. We had so much fun that Jim and I are going to see Weird Al when he performs in Clear Lake, Iowa in June. We'll take Matt since he wanted to go to the Utah show, but isn't able to go because we're bringing him home the week bef…

Booking books by a booker

In March, I saw on the Snapchat of my younger daughter a checklist for 36 books to read this year, It's does not contain titles, but subjects, such as "Book set in Summer," "NYT bestseller from 1990s," "Play or novella," or "book with blue cover." Seeking to expand my reading among other genres (I tend towards YA dystopian, sci-fi, or thrillers) I have set this list as one of my 2018 goals. I came upon this list in March, so I've lost 2 months, but I feel fairly confident that I can catch up. I've already read 5 from the list.

So far:
Self Help book: Declutter Your Mind  Meh. But I did like the encouragement to be more "in the moment" rather than always planning ahead and fretting about stuff that hasn't come up yet. It was also a reminder to pause and take deep breaths once in a while. I don't much care for self-help books, so I buzzed through this as fast as I could, just to check it off the list.

Childhood favorit…

Life of bread

I love bread, especially homemade bread. I also like taking as few steps as possible to make something. 5 minute, no-knead bread satisfies both checkpoints. I saw the recipe here and tried it out.

What I like about this particular recipe is that it is easy to follow and there are tips on what kind of pan to use, what to do if you want to use whole wheat flour (which I did), etc.

I made the dough yesterday, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then baked a little loaf this morning. It is so difficult not to eat the whole thing.

No kneading at all. My involvement was minimal. I flung the ingredients together and let the yeast do all the time consuming work. The only downside to this whole process was that I burned my hand putting the loaf in the oven. It's gonna leave a mark. I had a bag of frozen, chopped onions on my hand for quite a while today, and I can still smell it.

Carpet blogger

We bought paint to redecorate the tiniest bedroom in the house. While we were waiting for the paint to be mixed, Jim and I wandered over to the flooring section and Jim got caught up in looking at flooring options for the kitchen/dining room. The sales guy got Jim hooked on thinking he could do an install of click-together flooring planks over our existing vinyl. I guess I'm ok with it, heck, I'd love a new floor in the kitchen/dining area, but I am hesitant to just lay the new stuff over the old vinyl. I don't like that idea. I do think Jim could do the install himself, but it's probably harder than the sales guy made it out to be. Anyway, we got some samples which are currently lying on the floor in the dining room looking kind of too dark. But I plan on painting the cupboards white, so a darker floor will be ok.

What I was most interested in was new carpeting for the little bedroom. I took pictures of possibilities. I'm leaning towards a darker color for carpet …

Build a little birdhouse in your soul

Concerts in small venues are so much fun! Last night started off  a series of four events in the span of a month and a half or so that we've been looking forward to for a long time. We saw They Might Be Giants at First Avenue.

Jim and I started the evening with dinner at O'Donovan's across the street from First Ave. It's a cozy Irish pub (obviously). Jim had chicken pot pie and I had shepherd's pie (two days late for Pi day, sorry math). While we were eating, I spied a fellow thespian from "The Odd couple: female version," the guy who played Manolo. We chatted for a bit and he said he was going to the TMBG show also! We didn't see him during the concert, but it's interesting to discover that people you know have similar interests that you would not have guessed.

Jim and I thought the concert started at 8, which meant that doors would open at 7. We got in line, and it was cold out. Thank goodness I had my green coat with the faux fur collar so I wa…

Keeping kids busy

Last Friday and Saturday, Katie, Jackson, and Emma came over to hang out. To keep us all busy, I pulled out a few old favorites for activities. I need to add a few more activities to the rotation, but these (and reading books, except not The Monster at the End of this Book, which apparently Emma does not like one bit) were heartily enjoyed, at least for a few minutes.

In an orderly fashion

I'm going to watch all the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. It's a big job, but I've got to do it. I've already watched episodes 101 and 102. I had thought I had seen all the episodes that I own on DVD,  but alas, I was mistaken--I have no recollection of either episode. And I'm half way through ep 103, and I have no memory of that one either. So I'm setting about rectifying the situation, and the ONLY way to make sure I see every single episode is to watch them in order. The ones which have not been released on DVD (sadly, there are over a dozen of them) I will have to search for on youtube and hope they are there. If not, we move on, sad but firm in the achievement of the goal.

Others have done it, so will I.

The first season (and no, I'm not going to watch the KTMA episodes. They are mostly inaccessible and only super duper Mistie fanaticists consider them to be even remotely watchable) is kinda hard to get through. There are fewer jokes, …