Baby shower playlist

Hello Kitty DJ

In about 5 weeks, it’s my baby’s due date. It’s finally the home stretch! I can hardly believe it. Except, I can because pregnancy is long and although I may never feel totally ready for the baby, I’m ready enough.

I still haven’t said anything on here about my baby’s name or sex, but I might as well tell you now. It’s no secret. I was just trying to decide when and how to tell people.

Paul and I found out at the last ultrasound that we’re having a baby girl. We’re naming her Margaret Esme Rosales. Margaret is after my Aunt Peggy (her birth name was Margaret), who died earlier this year. We’re calling her Maggie for short. Esme is a middle name I found after looking through a lot of baby name lists online. It means beloved in French, which makes it perfect.

To celebrate Maggie, my family and Paul’s family threw us a baby shower. My mom, two sisters, his sister, and my mom all did an amazing job. It was so sweet.

The theme was Peter Rabbit. I wanted that theme because I have fond memories of my dad telling me the Peter Rabbit story by heart and when I worked at an early childcare center in the infant room I would read a story board book version to the babies.

For my part, I wanted to make a short playlist for the party. My family parties don’t usually have music. I’m not sure why exactly but that’s just how I grew up. Maybe it helped us talk to each other more than otherwise. I like music for parties though, so I made a baby shower playlist for the quieter parts of the party.

The thing is, I totally forgot to play it! Not until the guests had left did I remember that I forgot about the playlist. I had even just been listening to it and editing it that morning.

This playlist is a mix of songs from my childhood that my dad used to play, songs I listed to as I grew older, and newer family-friendly songs that compliment the rest.

It’s hard for me to pick my favorite songs on the playlist. A few are my favorite songs of all time. Others are songs by my favorite artist, although not my favorite by that artist. The standout songs are Chelsea Morning, At the Zoo, Who’s My Pretty Baby, and Home.

What do you think of this playlist? What are your favorite family and kid-friendly songs?

If I’m being honest, I have played some songs with unfit lyrics for Maggie while she’s been in the womb. She kicks the most while hip hop or rock and roll are playing, particularly Missy Elliott. She also has a favorite song off her dad’s new album that he’s been working on. (You can listen to some of his music here.)

Image via untitledba on Tumblr.

Chill time

playlist chill time

A playlist for when you need to chill out, think about things that don’t really matter and attempt to feel like a cloud.

  1. Nanao Tavito – What Are You Waiting For? What You Waiting For? できたて
  2. thewonderwheel — Corp Accounts 11
  3. Mr Little Jeans — Rescue Song (The Naked & Famous Alt. Remix)
  4. Cosmo’s Midnight — Cosmo’s Midnight – Walk With Me (feat. KUČKA)
  5. Tom Misch — Sunshine
  6. Tkay Maidza — Brontosaurus (ft. Badcop)
  7. Sameblod — Forever
  8. Diablo Pablo — You’ve Gotta Realize
  9. CarlaMorrison — Hoy yo quiero [Previously Unreleased]
  10. Gold Panda — Clarke’s Dream
  11. tashakimiyaki — This Time Tomorrow
  12. Swirlies — Wrong Tube
  13. Saint Marie Records — Sway – Fall

This playlist includes two artists I know in real life, my boyfriend (The Wonder Wheel) and his dad (Diablo Pablo). Be sure to give their tracks a good listen.

Summer 2015 Favorites

Summer 2015 favorites

Favorite movie: Out of all the movies I saw this summer online, on DVD and in person, Ant Man would have to be my favorite. The cast made it good for me. I’m not usually a fan of action movies in general. But if it’s got hotties who are awesome actors like Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena and Bobby Cannavale, then I’ll watch it and love it. Side note: Ant Man was actually the only movie I saw in theaters. I enjoyed the others from home because I’m a homebody.

Favorite TV show: Okay, so I watch a lot of TV. I watch too much TV really. I’m trying to cut back and focus on living life. Some shows I watched this summer include East Los High, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Switched at Birth.I’m a sucker for teenage soap operas. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say I most enjoyed Switched at Birth. I like getting to know the characters and the different dynamics involved. In case you’re wondering, I’m pretty sure I’m a combination of Kathryn and Bay, but more Kathryn than Bay.

Favorite podcast: I listened to five episodes of The Lively Show in one day and I’m sure I’ll listen to more soon. In fact, I started this post last night and had written four in that last sentence, but now I’m up to five. I’m listening to one of the episodes right now. I enjoyed hearing entrepreneur Jess Lively talk with Gretchen Rubin, Caroline Rector, Becky Murphy, Joy Cho and Jessie Artigue.

Favorite music: I like all the music I’ve heard from Courtney Barnett so far. The music is pleasing and the lyrics are beautiful, relatable poetry. They’re even a little silly. My favorite song of hers is Pedestrian at Best.

This blog post was inspired by Diana of the our.city.lights blog who does similar posts, as well as The Lively Show and all the YouTubers who do monthly favorites.

24 before 24: Watch Titanic

Titanic poster.jpg

The first time I watched Titanic, it was 1997 and I was six years old.

I was not allowed to see the whole thing.  I saw most of it though. I was either kicked out of the family room or just dismissed myself for the “Draw me like one of your French girls” scene. Honestly, I found what I did see of it a little boring at the time, but I’ve always thought that I should watch it again later since it’s held in such high esteem.

So I did. And it was terrible.

If you feel differently, please let me know why. I just do not see the appeal.

I went into a bit of a rant about it last night to my mom. Man, I wish I would have gotten that on video. I’m not sure if I could repeat it on cue. So, I’ll just try in writing.

First off, the couple only knows each other for two days and they’re terribly in love. That’s the part I just can’t relate to. I get that Rose didn’t want to be with her fiance and that Jack was a nice guy. But it’s a little ridiculous when Jack says things, “I know you.” Kid, no you don’t.

Jack isn’t so bad though. He’s kind of cute and he’s sure of himself. It’s Rose who is a little annoying. Even as an old lady, she’s a little selfish. I mean think about it. She’s recollecting her time on the Titanic while on this boat with a crew who is looking for a very specific, expensive necklace. I get that it was sentimental for her, but it seems so rude when she drops the necklace to the bottom of the ocean without telling anyone she had it with her.

In the scene when Rose and Jack are running away from Rose’s fiancé Cal while he is firing gunshots at them, they run down the ship instead of across. Watching that felt like watching a horror movie. “Don’t go in there! Just run the other way. It’s not that hard. If you down, there will be water. Idiots.”

jack rose titanic

The one character I actually liked would have to be Molly Brown. I love her wit and dry humor. It turns out that she’s based on a person who lived, whereas Jack and Rose are not. Margaret “Molly” Brown was an activist who worked for labor rights, women’s rights, education and literacy, in addition to being a world traveler. She also ran for Senate twice.

Maggie awards the capitain

Sorry, guys. I’m a cynic when it comes to love sometimes, even though I am happily in love myself. I’ve just never understood the head over heels love at first sight kind of love because I’ve never had that. Perhaps that isn’t fair.

Funnily enough, I brought up the fact that I had watched all of Titanic on Netflix recently, along with my sentiments, while my boyfriend, his sister and her boyfriend and I were eating dinner together. Paul’s sister said something about how Paul thinks quite the opposite.

While I was six when the movie was out, he was 10. Apparently Paul saw the whole movie and loved it. Like my brother who is a few years older and I’m sure other boys at the time, he became very interested in the Titanic itself. Paul built a model of Titanic and learned to draw it. He’s sure he could still draw it from memory because he has done it so many times.

This movie was nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and won eleven. So, it’s clear that it was appreciated by other people. I guess it just wasn’t for me, or my older sister Katie, who I watched it with. I can’t deny that I’ve loved other things the director and actors have done.

Now I can say I have seen all of one of the most iconic movies of my generation. Hurray!

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3

Midsomer Times

My boyfriend Paul is here today to share his latest Spotify playlist, Midsomer Times. Without further ado, I’ll let him take it away.

Midsommer spotify playlist

Here we are – the summertime homestretch.

Don’t be afraid to take a dip in the deep end. Put the final weeks of the season to good use. Take comfort in those relaxing moments sitting by the window, watching the sunset turn into a foggy night. Breathe in that crisp, freedom-enriched air on a walk down the street.

With that in mind, spend the next 42 minutes with the ever-so lush Devonte “Blood Orange” Hynes and Bradford Cox film scores, soft Mac Demarco, and the only Spotify-available production of Waldemar Schwartz.

Fourteen years later and Zero 7 still have it, while Neil Young gets in a box.

 


Follow @thewonderwheel for more music and fun animation!

P.S. You should be able to see the embeded Spotify playlist above, but if you can’t, click this link to open Midsomer Times in your Spotify player.

Go see Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians movie poster

Normally I’m not really into super hero movies, but a few weeks ago when my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to see Guardians of the Galaxy I said “Yes! Definitely! Chris Pratt is in it and it looks funny, so yeah.” Or something like that.

Although the movie doesn’t come out until August 1, we had the opportunity to see the movie. My boyfriend works for Yahoo, which has been promoting Guardians. He was invited to Disney Studios, along with other media people, to see the movie and bring a guest (me). There are perks of dating someone in media, my friends. Not all the time, but when they come they can be pretty special.

I’m really glad I gave this movie a chance. The thing is, it’s not really a super hero movie. Or at least it’s more than that.

In the words of writer James Gunn:

“…I don’t think of Guardians as a superhero movie. I think of it as a space epic. I guess they’re sorta superheroes… but I don’t 100 percent think of it as a superhero movie.

When I saw that on Tumblr last week, the phrase space epic instantly made me think of Star Wars. It’s a story of group that bands together for different reasons, but in they end they’re all on the side of good. It has action, drama, comedy and a bit of romance. All the makings of a good movie, if you ask me.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

We saw the movie in 3D, which I wasn’t expecting and don’t always like. I’ve seen a handful of movies in 3D and sometimes it’s seemed overdone to me. Too many elements were flying toward my face. Maybe that was around the time when the technology was new and Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a big deal. Thankfully, Guardians wasn’t like that.

The story was a little hard for me to follow. Maybe I just wasn’t trying hard enough, honestly, but keeping track of the bad guys was the toughest part. Still, the story had heart and that got to me. The characters had depth  and went through growth that felt genuine.

The movie has a stellar cast. I love Chris Pratt from his role as the loveable dope Andy on Parks and Recreation. In Guardians, he gets to play one of the smarter guys in the room and he’s still just as funny. Zoey Zaldana does a great job playing a complex character here. I think her character is actually the most nuanced of the lot of them and she plays it well. Surprisingly, I didn’t get annoyed by Bradley Cooper in this movie, but maybe that’s because he was lending the voice to a brilliant raccoon. Something about Bradley Cooper – or I guess just the characters he plays – normally bothers me, but not this time.

By the way, you can see the Yahoo Q and A with the stars and director of Guardians of the Galaxy here.

Whether you’re in it for Chris Pratt’s ripped abs (worth it) or the comic book story, you won’t soon forget this epic adventure. If you see it, let me know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below. I want know what you think.

P.S. Parents, in case you’re wondering, this movie is PG-13 and it seems safe for kids to me. It can be a bit scary for young kids, but I don’t think it would be bad. There was nothing sexual except for a joke that would go over their heads and no cursing that I remember.

Go see Chef

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I’ve been meaning to tell you for quite some time to get off your butt and..

 

See Chef in theaters!

 

On the risk of over hyping it (Is that a phrase?), I feel that I must tell you to catch this movie while it’s still in theaters.

The cast is spectacular, the writing is amazing and the soundtrack rocks. It’s honest, sweet, funny, romantic and inspiring.

Centered around restaurant chef Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau, the movie takes us on a summer adventure. How perfect is that? In an attempt to get back his creative passion for cooking and make some extra cash after losing his restaurant job, Casper starts up a food truck. The journey ends up being a great bonding experience for him and his son Percy, played by Emjay Anthony.

Sofia Vergara, Jon Leguizamo, and Dustin Hoffman round out the all-star cast of this independent film. Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. play a role as well.

My boyfriend and I don’t always agree on movies, but we both loved this one. He said he had never laughed that much in a movie before and it had him smiling the whole time. It’s like food for the soul.

We saw it a few weeks ago and I haven’t stopped recommending it since.

Seriously, catch it on the big screen while you can!

BTW: I feel like I should mention that this post was in no way sponsored, although I would love to be sponsored to write movie reviews of sorts. Look for more film, TV and pop culture blog posts in the future.

Image: Open Road Films

Summer 2014 playlist

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Happy summer, everybody! I hope you all had a good time celebrating the start of the season.

I was at Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement park, with family on summer solstice. I hadn’t been there in almost 10 years. It was fun, but honestly, I can’t handle roller coasters quite like I used to. I guess I’m getting old.

I’m making plans for summer and hoping for some grand adventures. What have you got planned?

Summer makes me long for weekend trips up and down the California coast. I’m also hoping for a plane trip to visit relatives and plenty of beach days around my area.

This playlist was inspired by the KCRW summer concert series. It’s a great chance to experience live performances, DJ sets and community. Notice I said inspired and not sponsored.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here.

Falling asleep at a concert (or several)

Eagle Rock Community Cultural Center concert

I’m one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere if I’m tired enough. I guess that comes from being the youngest of four kids and being used to plenty of noise. I’ve fallen asleep in cars, buses, hospital waiting rooms, classrooms (of course) and this past summer I added concerts to the list.

After a long day of listening to bands outside during FYF, I had to curl up on a blanket and get some shut eye. I rested while My Bloody Valentine played, which I felt bad about because they’re one of my boyfriend’s favorite bands. Then I ended up losing my glasses. Karma, maybe? Hmm. No, that doesn’t make sense. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I just need to be more careful about setting down my glasses while napping.

Next up, I crashed during Outkast’s set at Coachella. That was the same situation as FYF. I was curled in a ball on a blanket at a big, long outdoor concert. I missed Usher’s guest performance, so that was a bit of a bummer.

More recently, I was mostly successful in staying awake at a Tycho show. Paul and I won tickets to the show from KCRW. Thanks favorite radio station! I appreciated it, honest. I just stayed up too late the night before and forgot that sometimes I just can’t hang. Same thing happened when we saw DIIV at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock. I was awake enough to get pictures of the last one at least. (See below.)

DIIV

Tomorrow night I’m going to see Panda Bear with my boyfriend in LA. I promise myself I won’t stay up late tonight and hopefully I won’t be tempted to get any shut eye during the show because I’ll definitely regret that later.

Tell me, have you fallen asleep anywhere weird?

Lykke Li: “Little Bit”

You know those songs that you get under your skin and make you feel like you just have to hear again and again. Those are my favorite kind.

I’ve got another one of those for you today. This song “Little Bit” by Sweden-born singer Lykke Li seems to come on at my office just about everyday, but I haven’t grown tired of it yet. It’s a catchy pop tune about falling in love, so of course it gets to me. I love love and can’t resist a decent love song.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think. The song is off LL’s debut album Youth Novels, which I have yet to listen to in it’s entirety.

Lykke Li – Little Bit from Lykke Li on Vimeo.