Monthly Archives: July 2010

I love the internet!!!  I found my new music this week from Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl fame.  She has been posting a Friday Mixtape for the last few months as she strives to reach her Life List goal of listening to 1000 new songs (she’s up to 362!).  Most of the artists she highlights are people I’ve never heard of before, some I like, some are interesting but not quite my cup of tea.  I was therefore a bit surprised to see Eddie Vedder highlighted today.

I clicked through to the video and discovered that Eddie sings the soundtrack to “Into the Wild”.  Now, Into the Wild is a book that I’ve had on my to-be-read shelf for about 2 years.  I haven’t read the book yet, and haven’t seen the movie, although after reading the description on iTunes for the soundtrack, and watching the first video clip below, I now know the story line.

I absolutely love this music, and I have the feeling the book will jump to the top of the stack to be read.  I usually like to read the book before watching the movie.   After listening to this music I’m dying to watch the movie and see how it interrelates.  Therefore – I foresee some reading in my future this weekend!

Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun (Into the Wild soundtrack)

Eddie Vedder – Society (Into the Wild soundtrack


I’m creating an iTunes playlist of my 101 favorite songs….

This is very different from my other favorites I’ve posted here.  I think I first saw this concert video at my parents house.  My daughter fell in love with it and watched it over and over again.  The absolutely stunning backdrop of Slane Castle just adds to the beauty of the whole thing.  I wish the youtube video was a little better, but if you want to see the entire concert, Amazon sells it here.  After many years of research, my mom’s family tracked our ancestry back to Ireland, and then tracked that branch of the family tree forward to the current generation.  Two years ago, my mom and uncle went to visit some of our distant cousins there.  It turns out two of them were at this concert.   We haven’t found them in the crowd shots yet, but my daughter keeps looking!

We were able to see them in concert during a trip to Florida last year.  The universe brought everything in line to allow my brother and his girlfriend, the kids and I, our mom & dad, and Aunt & Uncle to all be at my parents house in Florida at the same time Celtic Women had a concert in Tampa.  We drove up for the concert, and with the exception of my son, everyone really enjoyed it.  Their voices are amazing!

Celtic Woman: Caledonia


I love the Fourth of July, it’s one of my favorite holidays.  We have a family tradition of heading to my aunt’s house (formerly Grandma’s) to walk to the parade route, have dinner, then watch the fireworks.  She has one of the best lawns in town to watch them.

She always invites a bunch of people who all bring some kind of food to munch on.  This year, she made homemade gumbo which was awesome.  Her friend Jamie brought a sweet onion pie that was to die for … seriously amazing!

The weather was perfect this year (last year was foggy and cold – fireworks bombed big time).  The video below was shot from my Aunt’s front deck – filmed by Eric Davis.  It’s best to view it from YouTube directly – HD and full screen.  Beautiful!

Here’s a random assortment of pictures, in hindsight, I didn’t take nearly enough!

1. My baby boy, who’s not so much a baby anymore (daughter decided to watch the parade with friends across the street).  2. It’s not often you see a snow groomer at a Fourth of July parade.  3. Beautiful float from my favorite farmer’s market. 4. And a very sleepy puppy!


Wow!  It’s Friday already – where did the week go??

I’m scrambling a bit trying to find some new music for this week.  I’m still obsessed with Mumford & Sons from last week.  Add to that the recent downloads of Jack Johnson and Jakob Dylan and I find I’ve been listening to a lot of already posted New Music this week.

All that being said, I’m choosing something a little different this week.  I’ve heard this song before (actually I own it already), but I haven’t seen the video before – so it’s kind of a New Video Friday instead.

Michael Tolcher: Speed Feels Better

During my YouTube searching, I found this video – which is pretty darn cool.   If you click through to YouTube to watch it, the uploader says this was a “private little show for my 21st b-day back in 2006.”  Can you say totally jealous?   I haven’t heard this song by him before, but I’m trying to track it down for my library.  Love it!  (hey what do you know – it is a New Music Friday!!)

Michael Tolcher: Give Me Your Hand

Update: I found it – it’s available on iTunes on his See You Soon – EP – released August 05, 2008


I am an iPhone fangirl, no doubt about it.  I’ve had a 3G phone for almost two years now and use it constantly.   All that being said, this post is not about how the iPhone is better than your particular mobile phone.  The items I think are fantastic about the iPhone may be available on other phones as well … so no comments about why the iPhone isn’t all that, and the HTC is so much better!

1. The new Retina display is GORGEOUS!  I never thought my previous phone had a bad display, or was unclear or blurry, but the crisp sharpness of the new display is unbelievable.  This picture doesn’t even remotely do it justice, but the subject is pretty darn cute. 🙂

2.  Voice Control – I don’t know if this is new with the 4.0 or if it was new with the 3GS, all I know is I didn’t have the ability to do this before on the 3G (and if I did and just didn’t know about it, please don’t tell me – I would be devastated!).  I played around with this feature last night.  “Call Robyn” and the phone says back “call Robyn Rakoniewski” (and even pronounced it correctly …. almost), then asked me if I wanted to dial the home, mobile or work numbers and I said mobile, and it started the call.  I may have played with it a few too many times since Robyn’s no longer answering my calls (whoops!).  It also recognizes the music I have on the phone.  “Play songs by Jack Johnson” and sure enough, Jack Johnson music starts playing.  Pretty darn slick!

3. Multitasking – I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy this aspect of the 4.  It hit home last night as I was flipping back and forth between a safari webpage and my wordpress app.  Before, anytime I quit safari I would have to wait for the page to reload when I opened it up again.  Not anymore!  There’s also the ability to listen to Pandora while surfing the web, or working on a blog post etc. All very good.

4. Camera – There are a few items to the Camera that are pretty cool.  First, there’s now a flash so I can actually see pictures I take in low light situations!  Second, HD Video!!  I now have a video camera in my phone – no more porting around the Flip, or forgetting to bring the Flip, or forgetting I actually did bring it and have it in my purse but not realizing it, therefore no video.  I haven’t played around with it very much, but I imagine it will be a big hit with the kids.  The Facetime application is pretty intriguing.  It won’t be of a lot of use to me until more people I know get iPhone 4’s.  And it’s limited to wifi use only (not over cellular).

5. iOS4 – I love the upgrade to the operating system.  I downloaded iOS4 on my 3G phone so have been playing around with the Folders feature, and ability to sync multiple exchange accounts.  My google calendar is now available on the actual calendar!  I’m intruiged with the iBooks app, although I can’t see it replacing my Kindle app.  I have too many books on Kindle that are available in too many places, to limit myself to just reading on the iPhone.  Since I was on a 3G previously, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the multi tasking, or background wallpapers.

My old phone was also getting …. well… old.  It seemed very slow switching between applications.  There was a huge pause each time I opened Safari, or Tweetdeck, or Facebook, or just about anything.  That pause is gone on the new phone.  Everything seems to work much faster which makes me very happy!

I’m very pleased with my new phone.  I haven’t noticed the dreaded yellow dots that have been mentioned online.  I also haven’t noticed the bar drop issue when the phone is held a certain way (and I tried to make the bars drop).  That being said, I’ve had it for less than 24 hours so we’ll see how it all turns out.


I started a virtual vision board last month.  Continuing on the theme, and adding to the list, I give you the Vision Board (continued).

1. Mumford & Sons – my latest music obsession.  I really want to see them perform live.

2. Bonnaroo – another “new” discovery of mine (yes, I’ve been living in a cave).  Also where, through the help of the NPR Music app, I discovered Mumford & Sons.

3. Running – I really really want to get in shape.  My brother is an amazing runner (Boston Marathon under 3 hours!).  I don’t know that I will ever have the passion he has, but I would love to be able to run a 10k without dying! (and no … not me in the picture!)

4. Sunflowers – Isn’t this a beautiful picture?  (photo credit: Louise Gale)  After seeing it I immediately decided I want to grow something beautiful like this.  I planted Peonies earlier this summer that will hopefully present something beautiful next year.  (if I can manage to keep them alive!)

5. World Cup 2014 – after spending probably too much time watching World Cup the last few weeks, I find myself really wanting to experience it live.  Since it’s in Brazil in 2014, maybe I can add in a side trip to Machu Picchu to knock off another item on my vision board.  *fingers crossed USA qualifies!*

6. The world is full of people who will go their whole lives and not actually live one day. She did not intend on being one of them. – I love the phrase, the art, and the store it comes from.  By far one of my favorite stores – The Happy Woman Store.  The name just kind of says it all!


I’m making an iTunes playlist of my 101 favorite songs…

There’s a trend I’m noticing in my favorite songs – they’re all easy to sing along with.  They also tend to have a story to them.  I have an emotional connection to most of these songs.  Some remind me of past experiences, some make me hopeful, some make me happy, some make me sad, some make me want to get up and dance in the kitchen, but all of them make me feel something.  Which is the whole point I guess?

Death Cab For Cutie: I Will Follow You Into the Dark