Yesterday, I received two very special packages from France. Claire-lise has been extremely faithful in sending annual or bi-annual little boxes of books, make-up, and fanciful hairpieces (and the occasional fashion piece!) since we were roommates over five years ago. Our friendship while I was there, ironically, didn't really start deepening until the last few months or so that I was there, but since then, we seem to have managed to maintain and even strengthen it through emails, Skype and one great visit two years ago in Lille. Her boyfriend, Samuel, and her do not really speak English, but despite this Michael and him hit it off quite famously, though there were lots of requests for interpretation from CL and myself! We hope that they will visit us in the States someday, and of course we'd love to see them in their home again, too. Anyway, the packages! The first was a calendar of some old photography about Paris; all classic, black & white images that will be a joy to look at during 2012 and beyond. The second was truly a work of art. I honestly have no idea how the woman packed it so beautifully and it seemed to be intact...including the porcelain salt & pepper shakers! Just a few of the treasures: a travel-size, blood-red nail polish; a planner for 2012 which contains 52 recipes for cooking vegetables; a desk calendar block with "365 Useless Pieces of Information" - "for Michael to learn some words without it being too boring"; a book by an author that CL and I both really enjoy; and several other small things. The whole thing was sprinkled with miniature deer figures (as if from a play set) and large "sprinkles". I can't seem to bring myself to completely dismantle it quite yet. I may just spray it with schlack and mount it on the wall, for that matter!
Finally, this morning, I wish to share a music video with you. However, this is no ordinary music video, though it could easily catch on and become a radio hit. You won't find it littered with expletives, references to inappropriate conduct, or making money. Instead you will be blinded by the neon pajama suits and loafers, awed by the scenery as the band cliff jumps several hundred feet, and I guarantee you will have a big, silly smile on your face by the time Grandma is almost falling over in the 80's-themed party bus. "Power Happy!" is the latest single from Con Bro Chill, the wildly popular alter ego of Connor Martin, a young man that I grew up with. (If the link doesn't take you right to that video, you can find it on the right-hand column.) Connor's fanbase originates largely from the US lacrosse community and a huge collection of friends in Oregon. The energy, laughter, and joy of this video can also be found in his others; Come To My Party, Arena, and Respect Your Partner. The band includes his crazy-talented older brother, SAMM (aka Sam, whose music you can also find and purchase on iTunes), Ty, and Steve. Please watch this, as it may just turn an otherwise grey or snow-impeded day into one of the best of the week. Oh, and go pre-order the new album on iTunes! POWER HAPPY!!!