Bushman Ukulele Competition: Round 3

A young More Ovilteen, Please (roughly 7ish years ago) and their logo

Mike loves music. He loves listening to it, playing it and recording it. In our years together he’s been involved in several bands: School Bus Politics – which started out as live talent for one of their member’s brother’s bar mitzvah, Kicked Off Edison – a band I’m pretty sure all of us would like to pretend never happened, The Hyrax – an amalgamation of metal and pop coming together to make a genre affectionately called Party Rock, and the longest running of them all: More Ovilteen, Please – an emo comedy duo that performs predominately on ukuleles.

While the band has seemingly ditched their emo roots and regular shows, they still are rocking out on the uks whenever they get together. For the past three years, that’s mostly been to prepare for the Bushman Ukulele contest.

Their first video was of one of their original songs: “Level 35 of Unhappiness: Jim’s Song”

Their second video actually won a 9th place honorable mention during last year’s competition, it was a cover of Toto’s “Africa”

This year they just released their newest entry into the competition, a cover of Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” – bonus dear blog followers, there are a few interior shots of our house as it was over the summer πŸ™‚

These are voted competitions, allegedly all you need to do is sign up for Bushman’s online newsletter and you’ll be given access to vote. I say allegedly because I’ve yet to successfully vote. Ever. But in case you want to give it a try, here’s their website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my husband’s talents as much as I do!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I noticed the first signs of the upcoming season yesterday morning on the way to the train station.

Living in the Chicagoland area can have its weather-related trials and tribulations for sure, but the reward and light at the end of the tunnel is the one season we all seem to hold near and dear to our hearts: fall. It’s not oppressively hot, blustery and cold, or disappointingly damp – it’s colorful, crisp and all around glorious.

Also with fall comes a slew of birthdays, and when I say slew, I mean 10 in between October 11 and November 1st alone. Add on top of that my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) and I’m in the mood for entertaining and outings, football games and cross country meets, long walks and brisk runs. With all the time outdoors and with friends & family, the months of September, October and November always seem to speed past with wild abandon leaving me running to catch up come the month of December as the end of year holidays approach.

This may be why I’m in full holiday mindset right now juggling fall decorating, holiday cards and guest lists – in hopes that the milestones of the season don’t creep up on me this year. I don’t know how I made it through last year in one piece with wedding planning added into the mix. I remember sacrificing Halloween in order to have a quiet weekend with which to get things done.

In addition to getting Mike and I ready for the holidays – it’s time to get Studio255‘s holiday line designed and ready to sell.

While Christmas now seems like it’s a week away, I have to keep reminding myself that we just hit morning temperatures in the 40s and I’ve still got several weeks left to craft, shop, cook and celebrate.

The Home Warranty

When Mike and I were purchasing our house, we didn’t ask for much from the homeowner, well, aside from many thousands off the list price. We didn’t ask for any furniture or speedy move-outs – those things weren’t important to us. The only thing that we asked for was a home warranty. Truth be told, neither of us knew what one was prior to the home buying process. Our realtor Jan suggested it – and since it was only asking the seller to shell out an additional $450, we figured why not. Home warranties cover the appliances in the home, typically for a span of one year. Naive, I thought that we’d never actually use it, it would just be like a little extra insurance for a year.

The way ours works is that for every service call we require, we pay $100. If the bill is less than that, we get a refund, if it’s more than that or a whole new appliance has to be purchased – we don’t owe anything over that initial $100.

Well as it would turn out, we haven’t even owned our house for 5 months yet and we’ve already used the warranty twice! You may recall the first call was for the oven. The second call was last week – for the air conditioner. Right before, what I’m going to assume was our last big push into the upper 80’s low 90’s, Mike and I noticed our house was cooled to a chilly 83 degrees, even though the AC was set at 76! I changed the air filter, hoping that would solve the problem. But no dice. The house was still not a place that we could go to beat the heat. Of course it was Labor Day weekend, so we wouldn’t be able to make the call for help until Tuesday. And of course now that it’s fixed – the temperatures aren’t nearly as oppressive, in fact, it’s not even on currently. At least now we know that we should be good to go when things heat back up next summer.

Whatever was wrong had something to do with a capacitor and the exterior air conditioning unit. Even though the grand total would have only been $123 for us without the warranty, one of our friends confided in us that they too had had AC problems this summer… to the tune of over $1000! I was silly to think that things don’t go wrong all that often during homeownership, I’m just glad that I wasn’t silly enough to forgo asking for that warranty. And now I plan to research to find out if I can extend this warranty in anyway.