Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

It is finally here.  I'm sure everyone has been on the edge of his/her seat in anticipation for this legendary post of which I spoke last week.  I probably was being a little loose with the language because I'm not certain this post will be worth the wait, my dear friends.  However, if poorly written and hastily thrown together blog work is of interest to you, read on!  I do give one fair warning - some of these clips are extremely long and perhaps will only be enjoyed by Grandparents.  These clips will include the Rated: GP warning in the description.

What Do The Skog Girls Like to Do?

Long time readers of The Skog Blog will know the correct answer to this question is Party All the Time but I will also accept, Just Wanna Have Fun.  Both Toots and P celebrated birthdays this week.

The Artist Formerly Known as Toots

Toots turned two this week and I am contemplating a change of spelling for her name, at least for this year, 2oots.  Pretty edgy stuff, I know.  I will give it a test run this week and see how it feels.

When 2oots had her first birthday we waited until too late to do the presents/cake so we did not end up with very good footage of her devouring her first cake, etc.  We tried to do a little better this year and feel like we succeeded.

After a quick bath she got to open up her presents. The first clip is a quick one for those with short attention spans but the second clip is Rated GP.

The Greatest Week of P's Life
P's itinerary for the week was as follows:

Mon - Dance
Tues - Toots' Birthday
Wed - Her Birthday
Thurs - Cousin Max's Birthday Party at Chuck E Cheese
Fri - Annoy parents and whine because she had no parties to attend. Also play with new toys.
Sat - Soccer, Baby Shower and Her Birthday Party with her neighborhood friends.

If only we could all have such an awesome week.

A few weeks ago out of the blue P informed Wheels that she wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday.  We pressed forward with the plan but deep down thought she might just wuss out.  Sure enough the day came, the plan was carried out and P was a real trooper.  There were a few tears involved but nothing that 3 suckers couldn't promptly resolve.  Afterwards she said she was glad that she had done it but might not have if she knew it would hurt so bad.  The clip below is rated NGP for No Grandparents because they might think Wheels and I are child abusers.  Just remember this was her idea, not ours. 

The trip to the Piercing Pagoda was followed by a shopping spree at the fine fashion retailers Old Navy and Target for some 5T clothes and then we finished up with a Wendy's Kids Meal.  After another quick bath P was able to blow out the candles on her birthday cookie and open her presents.  Her birthday presents clip is rated GP.

On Saturday P had some of her neighborhood friends over for a Pajama Party.  While the kids did not sleepover we still played the usual slumber party games including Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle.  Other highlights included the kids decorating pillow cases and playing 'Put the Glasses on Pablo.'  I swear the Pablo game was just a variation of the children's classic donkey game rather than some sort of Watcher in the Woods creepy time warp game but you wouldn't know this from the footage Wheels took while I was feeding Lil' J her lunch.

Here is proof that the game wasn't sinister like a horrific Disney film. Nice effort by Millie.

At What Age Do We Have to Breakout the Tabasco?

You wouldn't know it from this post but Wheels and I do have another child.  Lil' J is a thumbsucker and I'm not sure at what point in her life it will stop being so, but right now it is adorable. 

I Never Thought I Could Feel So Free

I need a haircut bad.  Like really, really bad.  Those of you who have known me since I was little remember that I usually had very short hair.  However, my barber, Ed, retired several years ago and since then I have only had one or two decent haircuts so now I just let my hair grow and grow until Wheels or myself has had enough and then Wheels shaves it all off and I start the cycle again.  This week Wheels compared my hair to that of The Greatest American Hero and believe it or not, I don't think she meant it as a compliment.

Vomit or X?

I nearly forgot about the return of everyone's favorite game show. 

The correct answer was puke.  We had another bout of 2oots' car sickness when Wheels headed down south to attend a baby shower for our friend, Summer.  Once again on 12300 South in Draper 2oots lost control of her stomach and the picture above is what didn't get on herself or stay in her carseat.  Good times for Wheels.  She then went back for round two while Wheels sat in traffic after dropping off P for her soccer game.  I apologize but apparently if you live further south than 9000 South in Sandy you will have to come visit the Skog home rather than have us visit yours.

Wednesday Night Playlist - Elliott Smith Edition

Six years since Elliott Smith passed away.  Here is a nice playlist of his songs to enjoy today. I may or may not be wearing an Elliott t-shirt underneath my dress shirt today at work. I have problems.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

This coming week might be the busiest week in our short Skog history.  For P, it will definitely be the greatest week of her life.  Because of this I offer an abbreviated week in review because next week's will be legendary.

I Think She Might Be Poopy

This clip of Toots drags on a little too long but wait it out or fast forward to the 1:20 mark because her response to Wheels asking her for a kiss is fantastic.

Lil' J Smiling Update

P couldn't quite get the Little Rockstar to crack up like a few weeks ago but her smiling face should make even the grumpiest Dad crack a smile.  I think I'll have this video playing on a loop on my desktop.

KG Presents: Diners, Drive Ins and Dives

Wheels and I did not have TV service for most of this year but it recently was turned back on by DirecTV and we only have the 'Kids and Family' Package which gives us the locals, the Nicks, the Disneys, and a whole lot of political, religious, and politically religious channels.  Gone are the days of ESPN, TNT, E! or any other that is good to kill some time.  While surfing the channels desperately seeking some sort of entertainment, I realized that we did have the Food Network and lately I've become quite fond of Iron Chef America and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  I have always fancied myself to be a decent cook and a better than average Grill man but now I am believing that I missed my calling and I really should be a chef.  After watching these shows I have started doing most of the cooking around the house and throwing in all kinds of spices and seasonings into my soups and creations. 

This week's effort was a 2 lb London Broil grilled after being marinated in Ginger Ale, Apple Juice, Vegetable Oil, Soy Sauce, and an assortment of powders and seasonings.  Turned out not too shabby if I do say so myself.  Toots Fieri gave it a thumbs up as well and said it was worth the drive.

It Was The Best Night Ever

It only took living in our home for 2.5 years but we finally had a non-family neighbor over for dinner and games.  Wheels and I are a very friendly bunch as you can tell.  The lucky victims, err, neighbors were Skye and Coach ET and their boys.  I created this video to express how great the evening was.  One thing we did learn is that we have a piss poor selection of games.  Perhaps having 10 variations of Trivial Pursuit isn't the best thing.  Also, Rock Band kept freezing due to a faulty XBox but Skye and ET were troopers and we are glad to have them as our friends, that is if they aren't too frightened by us.

I Only Speak the Truth

How I Met Your Mother is much funnier and more enjoyable than The Office these days.  The More Than Words inspired parody above is better than anything The Office has had for a few seasons.  Sad but true.  Thank goodness that 30 Rock returns this week.  Hopefully we can squeeze it into our busy schedule.  Until next week...

Friday, October 9, 2009

News and Whimsy


Marcy Playground will be in concert next Wed, October 14th in SLC. 


Awhile ago I posted the link to Jimmy Fallon's effort to reunite the cast from Saved By the Bell.  Over the summer they did reunite for People magazine but they left out Screech and Mr. Belding.  I can't believe they didn't invite Belding, he brought so much to the table.

Speaking of Jimmy Fallon, this week he had 'Yacht Rock Night' and seeing Christopher Cross perform Sailing with the Roots might be one of the greatest things of my lifetime.  Cross sounds fantastic.

Wheels saw this clip of the Cactus Cuties, a singing group consisting of 5 girls that can't be older than 8, on Facebook this week and wouldn't stop talking about it.  Pretty impressive I will admit.

My nephew Calvin loves making Star Wars movie with his action figures and now I read that Star Wars Geeks are recreating the film 15 seconds at a time.  Your move, Calvin.

I have seen this Dating Montage video all over the net this week and everyone swears it is real.  It's either the world's greatest hoax or another reason why you have to love the 80's.

Last, what would New Music Week be without some new tunes.  Here is a new song from the forthcoming Vampire Weekend album.  The only thing that sucks about this track is that it teases us and we have to wait until January for the rest of the album.  It's going to be a long, cold winter.  Enjoy your Horchata, both the tasty rice based milky beverage and this catchy little tune.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oldies But Goodies

My apologies on the delay.  We have had a couple of crazy nights.  Tonight we don't have the usual classic albums, instead we have some new albums from Old Friends of the Skog Blog.  Be prepared to rekindle the flames with a middle school band, debunk a one hit wonder theory, discuss the state of the pop music union and even share the formula for world peace.

Living Colour - The Chair in the Doorway

When I heard the boys were getting the band back together I was a little worried.  Living Colour was one of the greatest bands of my youth and I was skeptical as to whether or not they could regain some of the old glory.  I'm pleased to say that although there are a few stinkers and not all of the tracks are fantastic it's great to have these guys back in our lives.  Sadly (or not sadly, perhaps) they left the Body Glove suits behind this go around but they brought the rock and funk as usual.  I doubt this album is going to create any new converts but old fans will enjoy Young Man, Behind the Sun, Hard Times and Bless Those (Little Annie's Prayer.) 

Marcy Playground - Leaving Wonderland in a Fit of Rage

When asked about Marcy Playground most people either respond with, "Who?  Marcy what?" or "Isn't that the stupid band who sings that Sex and Candy song?" which has been featured on every one hit wonder of the 90's VH1 countdown and still gets played daily on X96's 90's at noon.   Little do they know that the band is far from a one hit wonder and has been putting out solid albums for over a decade now.  Leaving Wonderland is their fourth album and is their most mature and solid effort to date.  Gone are the slacker pop songs about fictional cartoon characters and in their place are songs about real relationships, happy times, sad times and addiction.  Try Memphis, Thank You and the heartbreaking tale of a wasted life, Down the Drain.

Brendan Benson - My Old Familiar Friend

Regular readers of the Skog Blog should recognize Brendan Benson from a previous post where I documented my man love for him and whined about the current state of pop music.  I won't go on and on about him again but Friend is just another gold star to place on his already stellar resume.  The album opens with A Whole Let Better which is as good as it gets for power pop.  This guy needs to teach lessons as once again not a bad track to be found.  Go Nowhere is also fanfriggintastic.

Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio

Sondre was one of the original New Music Monday features back when the Skog Blog was in its infancy.  Unlike KG, Lerche continues to grow up and blow us away with his ability to write pop songs that would make Burt Bacharach jealous.  Most people would kill to write one catchy pop song and this guy has been writing albums and scoring movie soundtracks loaded with great songs since his teenage years.  Not to mention he does this in a second language rather than his native Norwegian.  I think if everyone listened to a Sondre album daily the world would be a much happier place.  No more wars, no more strife - spread the word.  Recommend songs = all of them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Music Monday

Summer Music Blowout / Fall Music Preview kicks off with two albums from earlier this year as well as three more recent discoveries.  Enjoy!

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

When I was looking at which albums I wanted to discuss this week I was shocked and disgusted with myself because the only mention of Phoenix on the Skog Blog was when I included one of their tracks in my hotly debated (at least by Brohammas) and controversial Chillout Island Beach Playlist back in May.  If you happened to also boycott their song because it wasn't reggae, here is your chance for redemption.  We could even call it our Redemption Song.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the fourth album from French wonderband, Phoenix and is loaded with dreamy pop nuggets that range from alternative to electronic to pop and back again.  If you like what you hear on Wolfgang then start with their third album and work backwards as Phoenix seems to get better with each effort.  Our pal, Vanwarmer, had the opportunity of seeing this band at the Austin City Limits Festival this past weekend and he said they are a 'do not miss' if they ever stop by your town.  Checkout Lisztomania, 1901, and Girlfriend.  For a review that actually provides some in depth analysis and substance - read the take of the Official Skog Blog Music Critic, Mr. Paul Shirley.

Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

Auerbach is the lead singer and guitarist for the blues rock band, The Black Keys.  You might not think that their music sounds familiar but I guarantee you have heard some of their tunes because they have been found on many tv shows, movies, commercials and even video games.  Some might call it selling out but it's what lesser known bands have to do these days to pay the bills since MTV is non existent and we all know that radio stations play crap.

Keep It Hid is basically just a more mellow (mellower?) Black Keys album, that focuses on the folky side of blues rather than the rocking.  Don't worry though, this album is not boring. Auerbach isn't afraid to drop a few fuzzy guitar riffs on us to keep it interesting.  Best song is probably, Trouble Weighs A Ton, which wouldn't seem out of place on the O' Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.  Other standouts include, Real Desire, When the Night Comes, Mean Monsoon, and Goin' Home.

Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health

I honestly have no idea how or where I stumbled upon Harlem Shakes but man am I glad that I did.  I think we might have found our next Bob Dylan.  Now before you get all crazy put down your torches and let me explain.  I'm not saying that these guys are as good as Bob Dylan, I just mean that lead singer, Lexy Benaim, sings in a Dylanesque mumble that offsets the poppy sound of the band and gives it a distinct edge.  Usually I can say, "These guys are like X crossed with X with a little bit of X thrown in."  Other than the Dylan vocal comparisons I am at a loss.  Give them a listen and let me know if any good comparisons come to mind.  All I know is that KG likey.  The entire album is great but start with TFO and Niagra Falls.

The Dodos - Time to Die

The Dodos call their music psychedelic folk and it has the layered harmonies of similar bands like The Shins or Rogue Wave.  Don't let The Shins comparison scare you away (Flanksteak) this band will also change your life just as Natalie Portman promised Zach Braff in Garden State.  The first album of theirs that I ever heard, Visiter, never quite took a hold of me like Time to Die has done.  If Fables or The Strums don't hook you then I'll be shocked.  Vanwarmer also saw these guys at Austin City Limits and called and texted me several times to thank me for the tip.  Great, great stuff.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Have I saved the best for last tonight?  Quite possibly.  I saw Jetpacks open for Skog Blog favorite, Frightened Rabbit, a few weeks ago and I have barely stopped listening to this album since.  Like their friends in Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks hail from Scotland and sing heavily accented anthems that make you want to raise your fist in the air and sing along at the top of your lungs.  Their sound reminds me of a young U2 circa Gloria, back when Bono sang with a passion that didn't seem at all forced.  If the bass groove of the opening track It's Thunder and It's Lightning doesn't pull you in or the passionate vocals of Adam Thompson once it hits the chorus, then move along because I may or may not want to be your friend anymore.  This album is a lock for the end of the year Skog Blog Top 12 Countdown and is a contender for the top spot.  It's that good.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Skog Family Weeks in Review

Hello, We are The Skog Family, Nice to Meet You

At the end of the last Skog Family Week in Review, I left you with rainbows and promises of a better tomorrow and then dropped off the face of the Earth.  Well, we are back and what didn't kill us only made us stronger.  Once again we had the pleasure of riding the WHEEL!  OF!  SICKNESS!  I have racked my brain and tried to determine why we continue to get sick and then I remembered seeing Herms out in the cul-de-sac a few weeks ago.  Thanks for nothing, pal.

Snot + New Teeth = 0 Sleep.  I have posted pictures in the past trying to describe what it is like to share a bed with Toots.  This week I finally provide some audio.

I'm a maniac, maniac, on the floor! sound bite

Lil' J Gets a Job

Newsflash!  The economy is not doing well and we have all had to tighten up our belts and pinch some pennies.  This week we sunk to a new low when we sent Lil' J out to panhandle on the street.  You have to admit that she is the most adorable street rat since Abu.

By the way, best of luck getting that song out of your head for the rest of the day.  You are welcome.

Bedtime for Toots

I gave you audio above and now here is some video.  I blame this stubborn behavior on Wheels because she definitely didn't get it from her Taurus father.

P Goes Back to School

It's that time of year again when kids go to school so here are the obligatory First Day of School Fashion Show pictures.

P - Future Ice Skating Queen?

The Skog Family is nothing if not original.  KG only likes obscure, crappy music and there was no way we were sending P to do the usual tap dancing so we settled on Ice Skating.  Here is P, super excited to hit the ice and smiling at her mother while looking through the eyes of love.

Fine, I lied but I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to make an Ice Castles joke.  I apologize to my sisters if the above clip made them cry.  I know the only thing that made them cry harder than Ice Castles when I was growing up was the made for tv movie about Karen Carpenter.  Anyway, here is P describing what she learned at dance.

The Single Skog Ladies

There is a new 'happy' TV show that reignited the love of the Beyonce song Single Ladies in the Skog home.  I also saw recently that this song has started a craze of people uploading their kids on youtube performing this song.  The girls will listen to this song on repeat for hours and in fact I'm pretty sure they did this week.  Skye, you better put Kire on notice that the three most eligible girls in the neighborhood already are demanding diamonds and he needs to start saving up now.

1, 2, 3, Ah ah ahh

The school pictures above might have startled a few of you.  No, Toots isn't starting school because as you can see she is a prodigy and will be skipping directly to the first grade. 

Go Skog Girls, Go Skog Girls

Wheels' parents are in town and on Sunday they brought Anaiya and Trinity up to play while the adults tried to enjoy conference.  As I was listening to the Lord's Servants, my ears were drawn to the faint screams and laughter coming from the basement where an impromptu dance circle had broken out.  Nice work, ladies.

Go Go Black Princesses Update

P and Millie's soccer careers have really taken off.  They have won some games and even scored a few  goals.  Of course we don't have any evidence of these events so you'll have to take my word for it.  The skills are very evident in the clips below.

Skog Blog Scheduling Notice

If you made it this far then kudos to you.  My music updates have been sorely lacking as of late so this week is going to be the end of Summer Blowout/Fall Music Preview.  If you thought this post was long and pointless you ain't seen nothing yet.  Consider yourself warned.