The Gamits
This is a punk/alternative band whose members grew up near my house in Denver.

The first time I saw them was in Boulder at the Fox Theater with Fenix Tx.

Locally famous for songs like Last of the Mullets (youtube - pops to new window) and How to Escape (pops/youtube), I really thought they had the chops to make it to the big show.  Alas, Denver being Denver at the time, and with a plethora of punk style groups such as Blink182 and Green Day already dominating the scene, it was not to be.

They broke up in 2005 to pursue other musical avenues.  To my delight however, I found out they recently reunited and put out a new album.  So I ran out and bought it and it's been rotated on my iPod the last couple of days.

I kindly submit for your listening enjoyment a song off the new album, with a neat little interactive puzzle video to go along with it.

note:  If you solve the puzzle, you get a link to download the song for free.

Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly submit This Shell by The Gamits for your listening enjoyment.

I hope you like it!


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Hi!  New to the group, invited by Adam, this is my first post.

I just finished reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

This is one of the better books I've read so far this year. 

The story revolves around an 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, whose academic achievement in Science and curious nature lead her on a whimsical and sometimes dangerous tour through her 1950s English home and surround, searching for clues that will bring a solution to the mystery surrounding a death in her garden.

I love reading detective stories and The Sweetness delivers quite well using an unlikely detective.  The writer, Alan Bradley, does a wonderful job describing the world that surrounds Flavia. 

As an 11-year-old, Flavia is written with a mental prowess of someone much older, but with the maturity level that makes the book a fun read.  At times I found myself laughing out loud at some of her antics and wit. 

As much as I thought this would be a young adult type of book, the style, language, and grammar quickly made me realize that:

1.  This book was written for adults.
2.  I am really lacking in the grammar department.

This is written to be a series, with the second book, The Weed that String's the Hangman's Bag recently added to my Library wish list.

All in all The Sweetness as a joy to read.  Sometimes it had me running to the dictionary too much, but that is more a fault of mine than that of the book.  If you like detective novels, and like science, this book is a must read.



Book Review - Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life - Ian K Smith
Comm - thumbs up
I first heard of Dr. Smith while watching Celebrity Fit Club. He was the staff doctor. I knew he'd written about weight loss (obviously) so when I saw that he'd written a book about happiness, I was intrigued. (If personal happiness is a subject that interests you, I also highly recommend "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.)

Those of you on my flist are well aware that I can be a negative person and when bad things happen or don't go as planned, I tend to blame myself instead of looking objectively at the situation. One of the things the book does well is illustrate the benefits of being optimistic.

It also discusses the benefits of helping others, finding something you care about and pursuing it, and not giving up your dreams.

One part I found funny was that how some people rarely take even an hour a day to do things for themselves. When I'm not at work, I pretty much do what I want.

It also has 'happiness questions' at the end of each chapter for you to utilize the ideas and concepts presented in the chapter.

Long story short, I liked the book and if you're unhappy or just want to be happier, you might like it too.

So I have a weird, dumb question. Does anyone have any ideas for sites which allow you to put together playlists that you can share with other people? I was going to make a list of songs I've enjoyed during 2010 (but not necessarily from that year), but while I normally put together a bunch of songs, upload them, and share, it seems like for all the effort not that many people download them. So it'd probably be easier to just have a place where I can say "Listen to my bizarre collection of world, hip-hop, and butt rock and COWER!"

My sister's boyfriend linked to a playlist made through Grooveshark, and I've tried that but for some reason the uploader hated me. I figured I'd ask before I try again; maybe there are some other sites like it around somewhere.

Oh, and have a sample:

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the title of the book is a pun, how can you not love that
I just got done with this last night so now is a good time to talk about it.  Full disclosure: I love zombies

also I thought it would be appropriate since it's a book about zombies AND blogging, so. 

From Amazon:

"Urban fantasist Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue) picks up a new pen name for this gripping, thrilling, and brutal depiction of a postapocalyptic 2039. Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies, and Ryman's daughter is killed. As the bloggers wield the newfound power of new media, they tangle with the CDC, a scheming vice presidential candidate, and mysterious conspirators who want more than the Oval Office. Shunning misogynistic horror tropes in favor of genuine drama and pure creepiness, McGuire has crafted a masterpiece of suspense with engaging, appealing characters who conduct a soul-shredding examination of what's true and what's reported."

Honestly, the style of her writing is kind of weird and distracting at first -- it's in first-person (from Georgia's perspective) and it feels for a while like she's trying TOO hard to be flippant and hip.  But I got over that really quickly and the narrative style grows on you.  

probably the coolest thing about it, though, is how she explores what culture is like about 30+ years after a zombie virus is released and zombies are still a threat.  Humanity has just kind of absorbed it and it's become a part of everyday life, but everything still has changed.  the way she describes it is fascinating.  For example, the virus (Kellis-Amberlee virus) can only reanimate mammals of 40+ pounds, so there's a law that some people are pushing to make it illegal to own pets that are 40+ pounds.  And of course there are fringe fanatics who want to kill off all large wild animals.  Stuff like that.  The way she describes it is fear v. terror -- fear is when you think, "I shouldn't stick my hand in that there alligator's mouth."  Terror is when you think, "I never want to go to Florida because there are alligators there." 

I like the way she brings in blogging, too -- when Kellis-Amberlee first starting reanimating the dead, the news media kind of laughed it off and it was only independent bloggers who helped people realize what was going on, so now blogging is a huge deal.

also, I'm no biologist, but that aspect of her books is fascinating, too -- how the virus formed, how it works, etc.  the politics interested me a little less, but it was still interesting, I guess.  her political characters felt really one-dimensional compared to everyone else, though.

anyway, for all zombie fans who happen to blog, this is definitely recommended.



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