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Handmade gifts are the best, so check out the 10 Charleston artisans creating goods with a Southern accent I wrote about for USA Today 10Best and get your holiday shopping done!

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songs that take you places

Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdays

I’m still pumped after attending the San Diego Adventure and Travel Show with my friend, Ruth, this weekend. My head is spinning with ideas about places I want to go, experiences I want to have and stories I want to write.

So, since the theme of this week’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday is “Your Choice,” I kind of had to go with travel songs. [Read more…]

forbidden love: the rod stewart and santana concert edition

Twisted Mix-Tape TuesdaysRod Stewart & Santana








It’s been way too long since I played Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and this seemed like the perfect week to get back into it! [Read more…]

win tickets to see rod stewart and santana!

Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana

Summer, to me, has always been about concerts. This one looks like it will be all about Rod Stewart and Santana!

I remember, right before the summer of 1973, writing to our camp director to let him know about a concert coming up in Watkins Glen featuring the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead and The Band. It was a long shot because, really, who takes their campers to an outdoor festival like this one? I wrote a persuasive essay, a genre I had perfected in school that year, explaining that these were our musical heroes and it was only natural that we should take a field trip to see them. [Read more…]

win a copy of “american hustle – original motion picture soundtrack”

American Hustle CD

There’s a good chance American Hustle will be named Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards on Sunday and, although it’s not my favorite movie of the year, it is my favorite movie soundtrack. [Read more…]

“four dead in ohio:” a documentary by 14-year-old augie rice

One of the highlights of competing in Blogger Idol — other than, ahem, winning it! — was becoming friends with one of my fiercest competitors, Liesl Testwuide. And one of the highlights of meeting Liesl was being introduced to her son, Augie, a budding filmmaker whose short documentary, Four Dead in Ohio, moved me to tears. You can watch the 9 minute film in its entirety, above.

There’s no question that the subject matter will always be explosive but the fact that an eighth grader would gravitate to it and want to make sure the students who died aren’t forgotten gives me great hope for our future.

With the Oscars coming up on Sunday, it seemed an appropriate time to talk to this young filmmaker. [Read more…]

listen up! get motivated to stay fit with music and yurbuds® at best buy!

Yurbuds inspire

I can’t work out without music. Actually, I can’t do much of anything without music but exercise feels especially torturous without my iPod.

One of the reasons I’ve been able to stick to Jazzercise all these months and see real results is because of the amazing music they play during class. I guess this shouldn’t be surprising because studies have shown that music can increase the intensity and duration of a workout by as much as 15%. [Read more…]

“court and spark” turns 40: the event

Annie Ross

Joni Mitchell’s idol, Annie Ross, sings “Twisted” at “Court and Spark” Turns 40. 

As I wrote the other day, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s iconic Court and Spark. This album was so important to so many people that Louise Crawford, who runs Brooklyn Social Media, organized a very special event in her neighborhood to commemorate the occasion. It’s one of those times I wished I still lived in New York. [Read more…]

sheila weller on joni mitchell and the 40th anniversary of “court and spark”

Court and Spark

I vividly remember bringing home Joni Mitchell‘s Court and Spark, lying in my bed and listening to it on my record player, dreaming of love and heartbreak, and only getting up to turn over the album or put the needle back to the beginning.

So how can it be 40 years since that classic album was released?! [Read more…]

twisted mixtape tuesdays: american idols!

Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdays

This week’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday theme is Dealer’s Choice, so I chose “American Idols” because, well, I have an ulterior motive.

You see, this week is also the finale of Blogger Idol, and I’m hoping you’ll be inspired to take a few seconds and vote for me. There are just two of us left, and every vote means so much. You just have to click here, scroll down to the blue column that says “Vote for your favorite finale assignment,” click the little circle to the left of either one of my posts, “Amster-damn” or “Confessions of an Introverted Blogger,” and click “Vote.” Make sure you see the pop-up confirmation that says, “Thank you for voting.” You only get one vote per IP address so please use as many electronic devices as you have, and please ask everyone you know to vote, too. I can’t thank you enough!

Okay, on to business! Here are some of my favorites from American Idol. [Read more…]

might as well face it

Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdays

I love love songs. Not cheesy ones – although I admit some of those do make me cry, too – but ones that have so much emotion in them, you can totally feel the passion. [Read more…]