Blogging: Good For The Nerves

I’m been watching the State / Ole Miss baseball game tonight on the SEC Network, but right now Ole Miss has two men on base with only one out, and the whole situation makes me so nervous that I had to turn the game off for a little bit. I’ll follow on Twitter, of course, because knowledge is power and all that, but I needed a quick break from the stats and the tension between pitches and the possibility of a perfectly hit ball.

Okay. Twitter tells me that the inning is over without any runs.

I can breathe and also watch the game again.

Also, I realize this behavior is not at all normal.

SO. HOW ARE Y’ALL?

We’ve been soaking up this last stretch of springtime here in Birmingham. Sister and Barry came to visit last weekend, which means they got to attend their very first lacrosse game. Sister and I made the rounds to our favorite stores – Steinmart, Home Goods, Nordstrom Rack – and then we got to watch State beat LSU Saturday night (State won Friday night, too, but we only saw the very end of that game). I spoke at the mother/daughter luncheon for my school’s senior girls (to my credit, I didn’t just stand in front of everybody and weep openly for 20 minutes, but there were a couple of times when I thought I might), and then Sunday afternoon we got to just hang out here at the house and gear up for a busy week.

Last night was the final lacrosse game of the season for Alex’s team, and I have to say that we all enjoyed the fire out of his first season. He learned a lot, the families were so fun, and the kids had a blast. So yay, lacrosse. We are fans.

All righty. There are three things I wanted to be sure to pass along today. Wait. There are actually five. So five things. Yes. Here they are.

1) I think I mentioned on the most recent podcast that I tripped and skinned my knee when I was in Starkville weekend before last. And let me tell you: I was not kidding. I really did a number on it, and it was super sore last Sunday and Monday. WELL. Sunday night I remembered that the girls who own Made on Acorn Hill had sent me a box full of homemade soaps and salves (y’all know how I love me an herbal-scented salve), and I remembered from the note they sent that one of their products was actually a first aid salve. It’s called Mama’s Kiss, and y’all, I cannot say enough good things about it. I have faithfully used it on my knee twice – sometimes three times – a day, and it has worked wonders. It’s moisturizing, it’s soothing, it smells fantastic, and it’s all natural. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. My knee is so much better, and the salve was so great at taking the sting out during those first few days. Just FYI if you’re stocking up for summertime boo-boos.

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2) Wright Thompson’s feature story about Tiger Woods is outstanding: deep, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. It’s not really about golf at all; it’s much more about the dynamics between a father and his son – and how that son deals with grief after his father passes away.

3) I first heard Psalm Songs, Vol. 1 a couple of months ago, and I liked it so much that I gave away my CD (seriously – someone commented on it, and I told them to take the CD since I had the songs downloaded on my computer). This is music that begs to be shared; it’s an assortment of Psalms set to music of all styles, and you will sing along and sway and clap. It’s for all ages – really fun for young kids as well as grown-ups – and perfect if you like great music with an even greater purpose. If you’ve ever listened to Act of Congress, you’ll recognize Adam Wright’s vocals and arrangements (he is crazy talented). Really beautiful music.

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4) And finally, here are two delicious gluten-free, low-ish calorie snacks for your enjoyment:

BOOMCHICKAPOP. Kettle Corn (not too salty, not too sweet)

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and

5) Whisps (which I just discovered at Costco)

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Enjoy, y’all – and have a great Wednesday!

p.s. The Dogs won 2-0. I’d like to thank this blog post for getting my nerves through the game. :-)

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Some Of My Favorites: Hamilton Edition

So if you’ve listened to the latest podcast, you’ve heard me talk about Hamilton, and I’ll be the first to admit that my love for it is maybe just a smidge obsessive. It’s also unlikely; I don’t know much at all about hip hop music, I’m not typically a fan of musicals, and I think the last time I listened to a soundtrack over and over was back in the late 80s / early 90s when David Foster wrote lots of love songs.

Earlier today someone (hi, Heather!) asked me (on Twitter) what my favorite Hamilton articles are, and oh my goodness – there are so many. I’ve read / watched an obnoxious amount about US history, about the show, about the actors, and about the creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

There’s no way I can list everything, of course, but if you want a little Hamilton primer, maybe this is a good place to start. There may be some language in these clips, just as there’s some language in the show’s lyrics. In that sense I guess the musical isn’t all that different from a PG-13 movie, but if you’re planning on listening to the soundtrack, just consider yourself warned. It’s certainly not for young kids, and I’d hate for anyone to expect Mary Poppins and then find themselves in the middle of a story about love and war and power and greed and infidelity and heartbreak (and so much more).

And just FYI – this is the book that started it all.

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All righty. Clips and articles for your enjoyment.

1) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first performance of “Alexander Hamilton” at the White House in 2009 – before he knew he was going to write the musical.

2) The cast of the musical performing the same song at the White House about a month ago; they start singing around the 9:00 mark.

3) The New York Times review of Hamilton

4) The cast talks history in Rapping a RevolutionThe New York Times.

5) Charlie Rose interviews Lin-Manuel Miranda about his childhood, writing / researching Hamilton, and the history behind the show.

6) Charlie Rose talks with Lin-Manuel Miranda in “Hamilton: The Backstage Tour.”

(apparently I enjoy Charlie Rose’s interviews)

7) Daveed Diggs plays Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the show, and I love listening to him on the soundtrack. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed “Founding Father: Hamilton Star Daveed Diggs on Being in the Room Where It Happens” so much. He’s super talented.

8) The three men who have played King George in the show did a lip sync of “The Schuyler Sisters,” a song that introduces a couple of women who had an enormous impact on Alexander Hamilton’s life. This video makes me smile.

9) Lin-Manuel Miranda talks to Stephen Colbert (there’s a little language).

10) The Marine Band plays “What’d I Miss?” – a song that Daveed Diggs sings as Thomas Jefferson. He doesn’t sing it here (except for a line at the end), but there’s something about the setting that makes me smile.

I could go on, but I won’t. :-)

Have a great weekend, y’all!

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What I’ve Read & What I’m Reading

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So Here Are Some Things

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