Thursday, April 30, 2009

David Sedaris

"I love things made out of animals. It's just so funny to think of someone saying, 'I need a letter opener. I guess I'll have to kill a deer.'"
— David Sedaris

David Sedaris, author of Naked, Holidays on Ice, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, did a reading at the Modesto Junior College last Saturday night and I was lucky enough to attend. For those of you who have not yet read a David Sedaris book, his books are hilarious. To be honest, I have never read one of his books and only bought a book of his because I knew he would be signing them. I have always listened to David Sedaris on CD. He has such a great voice and such a way of reading his work that I continually buy his books on CDs or get them from the library. The first time I ever heard him was in my brothers car. Bryan was listening to his book Holidays on Ice , a book I recommend for those of you who have not read any works by David Sedaris, and I laughed so hard I cried. My favorite story in that book is entitled "Six to Eight Black Men."
Anyhow, the reading was amazing and by the end of the night my face hurt from laughing so much. I think the best part was that after we got out of the theater David Sedaris came out and signed books.

I found out after this picture was taken that no pictures were allowed to be taken of David Sedaris. Opps! Anyhow, David is the one sitting down by the elevator doors. After what felt like an eternity, Wes and I got to meet David Sedaris and have him sign our books. This turned out to be an interesting meeting and one I will never forget. He first asked Wes if he was a Leo and he did a little growl and pawed at him with his right hand. When Wes said that he was not a Leo, but that his mom was, David asked Wes if he had recently had sex with his mother. David then went on to ask me if I had a sister and a brother. When I told him I did, he asked me if I could forgive them if they had sex with each other. And that, in a nutshell, was my encounter with David Sedaris.

Here is what David Sedaris wrote and drew in my book. I call his drawing the Abe Lincoln turtle.

Here is what David Sedaris wrote and drew in Wes' book. David Sedaris told me that if I had a cat it would look like his drawing...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week

It's Dark in Here
By: Shel Silverstein

I am writing these poems
From inside a lion,
And it's rather dark in here.
So please excuse the handwriting
Which may not be too clear.
But this afternoon by the lion's cage
I'm afraid I got too near.
And I'm writing these lines
From inside a lion,
And it's rather dark in here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Little Town Tea's Book Corner

I read Sue Monk Kidd's The Mermaid Chair over the summer while I was in Santa Cruz. It was just one of those books you can't put down and you find yourself reading all night while you tell yourself "just one more chapter." This story takes place on Egret Island, a fiction island that Sue Monk Kidd places off the coast of South Carolina. The main character, Jessie Sullivan, is a married middle aged woman who must go to the island to take care of her troubled mother for a few months. Her mother's house, the house she grew up in, is next door to a monastery. While staying with her mother, Jessie begins to question her relationship with her husband as she starts falling in love with one of the monks next door. Jessie also begins to learn about the mermaid chair, a shrine at the monastery that the brothers have dedicated to a saint that was once a mermaid, and she begins to learn a secret about her father that her mother has hid for many years. It is the vibrant characters and the twist and turns, that Sue Monk Kidd so perfectly executes, that keep you always wanting more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Town Tea's Quote of the Week

"If you're looking for sympathy you'll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary."
- David Sedaris

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog is one of the most fantastic things I have seen. It is a 43 minute musical that was made for internet distribution. It stars Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, and Nathan Fillion. Neil Patrick Harris plays a super villain named Dr. Horrible, while Nathan Fillion plays a superhero named Captain Hammer. Both men are infatuated with Felicia Day, who plays Penny. It is very funny and the music is fantastic. I provided a video below with my favorite song performed during Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. If you have not seen Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog you need to either visit hulu or YouTube now. Both sites have the full musical in three parts.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Best Soundtracks

So, since high school I decided to buy soundtracks instead of CDs by a single band or artist, for the most part that is, so that I could hear an array of music by an array of musicians for the same price as buying a CD in which I would just hear one band or artist. Since I am a major movie lover, I would make an extra effort to listen to the music and decide whether or not the soundtrack was worthy of my purchase. Anyhow, after years of buying mostly soundtracks I decided to let you in on my top three favorite soundtracks, because you, my blogger friends, are just that cool.

Now, these are in no particular order. These three soundtracks are all so different that it is difficult to rate them. But they are all great and always seem to fit my mood in some way or another. Among these awesome soundtracks is Juno. I think what I love best about this soundtrack was that the majority of music was from artists and bands I have never heard of before. It is best described as a unique soundtrack full of music that will make you feel "hip" in the indie world.

The soundtrack for Garden State proved to be my favorite CD during high school. It is a beautiful mix of music that is guaranteed to make you feel better. For me, this is the best CD for getting over a difficult breakup. Colin Hay's song "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" especially helped me get through difficult breakups during high school.

Amelie is my all time favorite french film, plus it has a fantastic soundtrack. The music on this soundtrack is very inspiring and I find it the perfect music to listen to while I am writing. As I have written in a previous blog, this soundtrack is also my favorite to listen to as I am running in the early morning. So, if you are looking for some great music, pick up one or all of these wonderful soundtracks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Making Fiends

So, you lovers of Little Town Tea, I hope I am not boring you with my YouTube clips that I find interesting and want to share, because here is another one. Today's posting is about a show called Making fiends. By clicking on the highlighted words you will be linked to the website that first showed this wonderfully dark and humorous series of shorts. I found this fantastic website that has Making Fiends episodes, as well as other different shorts about things like muffins and really frightening bunnies, my freshman year of college. Ever since I have been in love with the website and all the amazing things that have come from Amy Winfrey, the creator of Making Fiends. For your viewing pleasure, I provided the first episode of this show below. If you find it enjoyable, go visit the website and see the rest of the hilarious episodes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week

Theme for English B
Langston Hughes

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Town Tea's Book Corner

The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta
is the first California book ever written. It was written by a Native American named Yellow Bird, also known as John Rollin Ridge. He is also considered the first Native American novelist. I read this book for my Multicultural California Literature course. It is quite an interesting read. It is about Joaquin Murieta, whose name is spelled a number of ways, and his life as a criminal. Joaquin Murieta and his gang are well known for being feared throughout California during the late 1840s and early 1850s. This book is interesting because of the approach Yellow Bird takes. He sympathizes with Joaquin while making some of the members of his gang into villains. Yellow Bird also makes some derogatory remarks about some of the Native American tribes in California, which is interesting since Yellow Bird is Cherokee. Although it might not be the most historically accurate book and does display some prejudices, it is interesting to read the first book written in California and the first book written by a Native American.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Little Town Tea's Quote of the Week

"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."
- John Lennon

Monday, April 20, 2009

The New Hair Cut

Thank you Lover of Little Town Tea for all your helpful advice while I was contemplating my spring haircut. Sorry that I have not put pictures up sooner. I finally got out today with a camera. My boyfriend and I had a photo shoot of me in my cap and gown for graduation pictures, so please excuse the large lumpy graduation gown in some of the photographs. So that you all can view this much belated post, Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week, Little Town Tea's Book Corner, and Little Town Tea's Quote of the Week will all be pushed back a day. So, without further ado, here is the before haircut...

...and here is the after haircut

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

One of my latest movies sent by netflix was The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio. It is one of those movies that has been on my list for months, but has just kept moving around due to new releases and different television series that I am so addicted to I cannot bear having a movie in between disks. Finally, I decided that this was a movie that I needed to watch because even the preview made me weepy, so I decided to watch this instead of The L Word, which, by the way, is an excellent series. Anyhow, I watched this movie Thursday night before I went home for Spring break and it was fantastic. This film is based on a book that is based on a true story. This film is about a mother during the 50s and early 60s who supports her ten children by entering different contests. Her husband, a former singer who lost his beautiful singing voice due to a terrible car accident, is an alcoholic and spends the majority of the money he manages to make as a machinist on booze. To keep her family of twelve afloat, the mother writes jingles and does other entries for contests by submitting her entries under her children's names. All of this really happened and when Terry, one of the middle children, grew up she wrote a book about it. At the end of the film they show all of the real ten children grown up. This film is guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. I provided the preview below. Give it a watch.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Although I am a 22 year old college student, I love getting up early. I wake up between 4:30-5:00 in the morning. After brushing my teeth, I make my bed and begin stretching for my morning run. After my run, I take a shower, eat breakfast, and begin my day before most people are even opening their eyes. I love being awake at a time most people aren't. I am most aware of my quite surroundings when I am running. As I run past my apartment building, all the windows are dark and even the ducks are sound asleep. It is such a peaceful time of day. By nine or ten o'clock I have finished most of the tasks I have set aside for the day. By this time I go to class, if I have class for that day. If I don't have class, I spend the rest of the day doing things for myself, such as writing on my blog, reading a book, watching a movie, working on George and Paul, or taking a nice afternoon nap. To me, being an early riser is bliss.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nick Piteria is a Wonder

A few years ago my brother was showing me some videos he had come across that were entertaining. Today's video is one of them. This man, Nick Piteria, is a wonder of a singer. I chose this video out of all of the ones he has put online because it best demonstrates his vocal ranges. For this song, "A Whole New World," he sings both the male and female parts. If you were blind folded you would not know that it was the same person. Enjoy this unbelievable video.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brought to You by Trader Joe's

For those of you who haven't noticed, I am a huge Trader Joe's fan. I love their products and I love their prices. So, in recognition of this amazing grocery store, I am committing an entire post to some of my favorite Trader Joe products.

These sponges are the best. Not only are they bright and colorful, they have the perfect amount of "scratchiness" to them so that they can get off all the food, but not damage your dishware. Another fabulous thing about these sponges is that they never get that awful musty smell that regular sponges can get. These are best if used, in my opinion, with Trader Joe's lavender dish soap.

If you are looking for some good wine that doesn't make your pockets jingle any less, go to Trader Joe's and get some Charles Shaw wine. This wine, that has been renamed "Two Buck Chuck," is both delicious and inexpensive. It literally is two bucks. Some of the reds I have not been too thrilled with, but I have been happy with all the white wines I have tried.

Going green? Why not pick up one of the most fabulous grocery bags on the market? I bought one of these fantastic bags last year and use it all the time. Not only does it have amazing art work, it keeps your food colder. I must say, I love Trader Joe's.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week

A Poison Tree
By: William Blake

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole.
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Little Town Tea's Book Corner

Leslie Silko's Gardens in the Dunes is my favorite Native American novel. It is a beautiful and tragic story that follows two sisters who are separated when they are forced into different away schools. I used this novel, along with three other novels, to write my final paper in my senior seminar class that dealt only with Native American literature. As I wrote in my paper, Sister Salt, the older of the sisters, is thought too old to be sent to the same school as her sister, Indigo; “the authorities judged Sister Salt to be too much older than the others to send away to Indian boarding school. There was hope the little ones might be educated away from their blankets. [. . .] Chances were she’d be a troublemaker and might urge the younger students to attempt escape” (67). Realizing that the older the person was the harder it would be to melt away their Native American identity, the authorities separated the two sisters, with neither having any knowledge about the other. While Indigo is taken away to a standard boarding school, Sister Salt is shipped away to somewhere that is loosely referred to as “a school.”
This book continues to follow each sister in her separate life and adventure. Leslie Silko, a Native American herself, does a fantastic job demonstrating the life a Native American girl on her own and what she would have to deal with at the time the story is set. It is an eye opening book with a story anyone would enjoy. I highly recommended picking up Silko's Gardens in the Dunes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Little Town Tea's Quote of the Week

"I'll not confer with sorrow
Till tomorrow;
But Joy shall have her way
This very day."
- T. B. Aldrich

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Little Town Tea Lovers!

I hope you all have a wonderful day hunting for brightly colored eggs among the dandelions and tulips that flourish in your grassy lawns.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Snail Mail

One of my favorite past times is writing letters. There is nothing like sitting down with a mug full of hot green tea, finding the right pen, rummaging through a box full of different stationary, picking the perfect one, and writing a letter. Unfortunately, I have difficulty putting the time aside for one of my favorite hobbies and only perform the task once in a blue moon, but when I begin writing I don't just write one letter. Last week I found myself in the mood to write. I turned on Joni Mitchell, made some tea, lighted a pumpkin spice scented candle and wrote three letters, including one with drawings and complete bios of my fictional pirate crew of the "Dirty Mermaid." Not only is writing letters enjoyable, it is so much more personal than receiving an e-mail or writing on someone's facebook wall. So, when you are listening to some good music and find your hand wanting to move and your mouth thirsting for the taste of tea, pick out the right pen, go through your box of collected stationary that you have picked up throughout the years, pick the right one, and write a letter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baby Ducks

Although I am cursed with terrible allergies that cause the roof of my mouth to itch, my eyes to water, and my nose to drip, I love this time of year because of the baby ducks that begin to appear all over campus. When I was just a young lass, my dad would buy me a baby duck or two every spring. There was nothing like cuddling up to the little yellow and black balls of fluff. They would follow me all around the house and we would be best friends. At one time we had over twenty full size ducks at my house. Seeing these little baby ducks in all of the ponds throughout my lovely campus reminds me of my childhood and my little ducklings that have since passed away. So, make sure you enjoy this time of year. Go grab a bag of bread, find a pond with little chirping baby ducks, and give them some bite size pieces of bread, even if there are glaring signs not to do so.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My 50th Post

I just realized that today's post is my 50th. I find that amazing. I feel like I just began this blog. I am so happy that I have been able to post as frequently as I have been. I usually have difficulty keeping up with something like this and taking the time to do it. I hope you are all enjoying reading this blog as much as I am enjoying posting on it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
By: Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little Town Tea's Book Corner

Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite authors. The books I most adore by this author are Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which was later adapted into a movie, and Can't Wait to Get to Heaven. Her books have a small town southern style that always makes me feel at home. Each and everyone of her characters are memorable and seem to just jump right out of the page. She takes her time to add all the little details that give the reader a perfect visual of the setting of the story and the characters who are in it. If you haven't read a Fannie Flag book you should go pick one up today. If I were you, I would start with Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. It is one of my favorite books and is perfect to snuggle up with on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Little Town Tea's Quote of the Week

"Happy is the man who sees
The stars shine through the cypress trees."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shadow Puppets and Beautiful Music

This is one of my favorite videos on YouTube. It is amazing what a person can do with just their hands and a projector. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Electric Kettle

A few weekends ago I went home and my brother and his wife gave me my belated birthday gift. As a tore through Bryan's perfectly placed yellow tissue paper, I found an electric kettle in the delightfully cheery bag. For those who have not heard of an electric kettle, an electric kettle is a new spin on the classic kettles that are placed on stoves and whistle when it is time to get hot water for tea, or other substances needing hot water. An electric kettle, as shown below, does not go on the stove, but instead is plugged into an electric socket and the water boils almost immediately. It really is quite amazing and something I think people should get, although I do suggest you keep your old stove kettle because there is nothing like a whistle to know your tea is done on a beautifully blustery day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good Friends, Good Fun

One thing I am going to miss about college will be going to a friend's houses late at night just to hang out with random people from all parts of my life. This is a glorious part of my life in which my friends are not tied down with spouses, children, and 9-5 jobs they always have to get up for in the morning. I know that this is a special time in my life where I am not tied down and can be with friends playing Foosball until 2a.m. on a Friday morning. Of course I will have to spend the next few days catching up on some much missed sleep while writing a paper and cramming for a test, but it sure is fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Some of My Favorite Things

Yes, you are seeing it right. These are blue potatoes. There is not food coloring or any other inorganic changes to make these potatoes blue. Not only are they beautiful to eat, they are very delicious. I found these fantastic little potatoes the last time I went to Trader Joes. I am a potato lover and found a bag filled with little potatoes of all different colors. I ate the red and white potatoes first, not being sure that the black colored potatoes were going to even be edible. After I baked my little black potatoes, I cut them open to find a blue, almost purple, color inside. I was a bit weary about eating something that matched the color of my exercise ball, but, as it turned out, it was the best potato I have ever eaten and the remainder of the little blue potatoes soon were in my stomach. Yum!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Little Town Tea's Poem of the Week

I, Too, Sing America
By: Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.