Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Sounds That Shaped My Year: My Favorite Albums of 2013

In no particular order...

The National | Trouble Will Find Me | 4AD Records

                     Kurt Vile | Wakin' on a Pretty Daze | Matador

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push the Sky Away | Bad Seeds Ltd.

Cass McCombs | Big Wheel and Others | Domino 

Julia Holter | Loud City Song | Domino 

Mutual Benefit | Love's Crushing Diamond | Other Music

 Yo La Tengo | Fade | Matador

Bill Callahan | Dream River | Drag City

Sam Amidon | Bright Sunny South | Nonesuch Records

Foxygen | We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic | Jagjaguwar

Darkside | Psychic | Matador / Other People

Julian Lynch | Lines |  Underwater Peoples

Mikal Cronin | MCII | Merge 

Steve Gunn | Time Off | Paradise of Bachelors

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Ipoh!

Hark! We spent a memorable Christmas at the Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat in Ipoh, Malaysia.

To be tucked between tree-encrsuted, limestone karst cliffs on such a special day was a real treat.

Hot springs, steam caves, bromeliads galore, crystals, massage treatments, warm pools, flesh-munching fishies, foot reflexology paths, tea/biscuits, oh my!

In a well-manicured jungle, even the beasts are tame.

Poinsettias, resplendent and crimson.

Lovers, languid and cheerful.

Dinner back in old town Ipoh - a colonial throwback town nestled between verdant hills and raised on riches pulled from tin mines and felled forests.

A Chinese Malaysian feast to remember:

Bean sprouts plump and righteous...

... cinnamon encrusted bean curd...

....kway teow noodles in an egg-drop soup...

... and Hokkien mee noodles.

We tucked in heartily.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Much love,
Nellie, Gavin, & Developing Mouselet


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weekends At the Edge of Adulthood

We had a busy week!  Between bake-sale preparation at our home.....

.... and Teachers' Day celebrations...

Nice suit Gav! 

... it was time to get away for a weekend.

We were lucky enough to get a free night stay at a splendid coastal resort in windswept Ho Tram (about 45 km up the coast from Vung Tau) and took full advantage of our time there.  Talk about a room with a view!

Many a beach walk was taken.

Always right behind my trusty leader...

Found something!

Trash grazing... we found enough wayward flip-flops to keep Vietnam's children flopping for generations to come.

And counted at least half a dozen different tropical fruits.  Offerings at the beach to ancestors of times past.

Tidepools in the early morning.

Then pool side in the afternoon.

Endless smiles for endless summers.

We shall return to the edge of the East Sea as soon as possible.