Thanks for nothing!

I came up with the perfect birthday gift for David, the man who is impossible to buy for: NOTHING.

Now, this isn’t as stingy – nor as easy – as it sounds.  The nothing I gave him took a great deal of time and effort, and I am incredibly proud of myself.

There is, right now, nothing on the floor of our bedroom except furniture and Bonesy’s dog bed. Nothing on the hope chest at the foot of our bed. Nothing on the bed itself, nothing on the little desk by the window.  Nothing.

It was not just a matter of tidying up and putting things back where they belong. I had piles of things that were lying around because they did not belong anywhere. Piles that, you know, I was in the midst of “processing,” never mind the fact that some of them had been shuffled from surface to surface for years. Piles that I have known, for as long as they have been there, drive David crazy.  Frankly, the piles have driven me crazy, too. I spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, and every minute I lie there I have had to stare at those piles. It’s been incredibly depressing.

But no longer! I have schlepped every last non-essential thing that was visible in my bedroom down to Qui– to a secret location that may or may not rhyme with “Finland’s Broom” but which I am certain is not currently in use. I figure I can bring things upstairs one at a time between now and December (by which time the location will need to be cleared), and decide if I want to find homes for them or let them go. Either way, neither David nor I will have to live with a cluttered master bedroom for one more second.

Hooray! Happy birthday, David! Good job, me!

Movie of the Week: When Harry Met Sally 

Quinland and I have been celebrating the glory that is When Harry Met Sally this week, through texts, phone calls, and Snapchat. It’s been awesome. Yesterday I got a text from him that just said, “If you need a root canal, Sheldon’s your man.” I was right there with him: “But humpin’ and pumpin’ is not Sheldon’s strong suit.”

We passed favorite quotes back and forth:

“Call the cops! It’s already out there!”

“You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.”

“Six years later you find yourself singing ‘Surrey with a Fringe on Top’ in front of Ira!”

“What they could do to make it easier is combine the two. You know, Mr. Kline died yesterday, leaving behind a wife, two children, and a spacious three bedroom apartment with a wood burning fireplace.”

Then, of course, there is this scene, which has so many lines that kill me in it:

It’s such a good movie. Nora Ephron is a genius comic writer, I think all the principal actors are hilarious in their parts, and even the smallest lines crack me up. If you have not had a chance to see it, you should. More than once, in fact. It’s only then that you pick up on all the subtle things, and pretty soon, you’ll think that virtually every line is perfect.

You look like a normal person but actually you are the angel of death.

New music from Hudson Taylor!

It has been a long while since I’ve written about my favorite Irish brothers, Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor, and far too long (over two years!) since their debut album was released.

But the wait is over for us all! The lads have just released an incredibly catchy new single, “Feel It Again.” The production is more slick (a full band! horns!), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I love love love stripped-down Hudson Taylor (shout-out to the original “Hideaway” video), but a few of the songs on Singing For Strangers may have been a bit under-done, even for me.

In addition, though I’ve loved Harry and Alfie’s gorgeous voices and beautiful music for four years now, I’ve felt that they had their fair share of songs with a clunky or cringe-worthy lyric.  As would be expected now that they are not just kids anymore, “Feel It Again” impresses me as a more mature work, lyrically. (There may be a few too many “la la la’s” for some folks, but I’m one who protested the cutting of “And I don’t want to let you go” lines from eight to six in the official “Chasing Rubies” single, so I’m fine with it.) I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

I suppose I shouldn’t refer to Hudson Taylor as just Harry and Alfie anymore, really; they have a full band of very talented folks playing with them, and each of them should get credit as well. Let’s see: we have Tadgh Walsh-Peelo on guitar and his brother Oisín on keyboards; Jonny Colgan on drums and  – hey! Is that or is that not Ronan Sherlock on bass?! Is there anything your man hasn’t played? – and little sister Holly Hudson-Taylor on tambourine and backing vocals. (Yep, I’m enough of a Hudson Taylor fangirl to try to keep up with who’s in the band. I even get it right sometimes. Go ahead and judge me.)

Left to right: Oisin, Jonny, Ronan, Harry, Holly, Alfie, Tadgh. Photo via

On to the good stuff: Here’s Hudson Taylor playing “Feel It Again” live on late-night Irish television. Enjoy!