7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 178)

June 29, 2012 | 48 comments

— 1 —

Welcome to my blog, otherwise known as your oasis of chatter about everything except politics. So pull up a chair, grab a glass of your favorite beverage, and let my highly inappropriate levels of apathy about all things involving the American political system give you one thing to read that does not involve any recent Supreme Court decisions! (I suppose I should clarify my use of the term “apathy”: It’s not that I don’t care about what’s going on in that arena, it’s that I don’t care to talk about it. So many other people cover that kind of thing so much better than I could, that I think it’s best for everyone if I stick to writing about scorpions and God.)

— 2 —

I’ve been a frequent guest on the Morning Air show on Relevant Radio recently, and so I’ve developed a nice little routine for doing those interviews. I schedule them for when my husband can be here to watch the kids, and then I lock myself in the garage, which has become my makeshift studio. This had all been working out well, until the other day, when one of these high-of-109-degrees-oh-my-gosh-I-think-the-car-is-melting heat waves swept through the area.

An unknown member of our household got a little overzealous with the thermostat in response to the obscene outdoor temperatures, and the inside of our house briefly ended up so cold that I had to put on a sweatshirt. I forgot to take it off before the Morning Air producer called, and thus ended up stepping into our garage, a.k.a. THE SWELTERING INFERNO OF DOOM, wearing a bulky covering that was designed to keep one comfortable on a snowmobiling expedition.

I felt certain that I would accidentally hang up the phone if I tried to take it off. I considered going back inside, but could hear that the kids had begun screaming over their breakfast cereal (none of us are morning people around here), and so I had to do the entire 20-minute interview in the garage, with the sweatshirt on. Luckily Sean Herriott is a master interviewer, and managed to cover my slack when I started fading in and out of consciousness. Then when I stumbled back in from the garage, gasping, panting, covered in sweat, my eyes glassy as I barely clung to life, my startled husband asked, “What on earth did they interview you about?!”

— 3 —

I spent half an afternoon watching Youtube covers of that song Somebody That I Used to Know the other day. (Which sounds kind of weird, until I explain that I’m writing about that song for the Register on Monday, so it was research. I was looking specifically at covers since I thought that my editor might prefer that I go ahead and not post a video that begins by panning over a naked dude’s body.) Anyway, from this exercise I learned two things: 1) This song really lends itself to covers. It’s amazing how each artist’s unique personality comes through when he or she sings it. And 2) if you want to have a popular Youtube video, record yourself singing this song. Practically everyone who covers it gets hundreds of thousands of views, which tells you something about how much Gotye’s tune resonates with everyone.

I feel like I should put my “research” (cough-cough) to good use, so here are my favorite covers of Somebody That I Used to Know (in order of preference):

  1. By Pentatonix
  2. By Ingrid Michaelson
  3. By Christina Grimmie
  4. By Rita Ora
  5. Lip synched by two kids in a car (not exactly a cover, but there’s something surprisingly hypnotic about this video)

— 4 —

Let me just highlight that first video there, in case anyone didn’t click on it. Can you believe there’s not a single instrument in this recording?

I am so, so amazed that the human voice can do this. Every time I watch something like this I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that people who have musical talents share them with the rest of us — if it weren’t for y’all, there would be no music, since people like me could certainly never do anything like that!

— 5 —

I kept our schedule pretty clear this summer — few trips, few activities, no camps, etc. — and I’m so glad I did. There will probably be other years when we’re up for a more active summer, but we really needed to just chill for a while this time around. One of the biggest blessings that has come of it is that we’ve adopted a Thursday morning ritual of going to my dad and grandfather’s house for brunch. My dad is recently retired so he cooks up a feast of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, we all eat, and then the kids play in the spacious yard with my dad while I hang out with my grandfather. He and I have had so many good conversations lately; some of the stories he has to tell about the old days (he was born in 1914!) are fascinating. I love having this long, lazy summer to spend as much time there as possible. I know that one day I’ll look back on this time and treasure these memories.

— 6 —

Guess what: I actually made a meal that I pinned on Pinterest! (Thanks to Sarah for her inspiration with the brilliant-but-now-defunct Pinning It Down meme!) Behold:

"Melt a stick of butter in the pan. Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried italian seasoning. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 min."

It turned out exactly like the picture, and was delicious. Now I’m inspired to try another one. I think this one might be next up. Anyone else have any good Pinterest meal recommendations?

— 7 —

I’m off to the kitchen, where I’m cooking this mouth-watering Busy Day Brisket recipe with cole slaw and baked potatoes for a friend who’s joining us for dinner tonight. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



  1. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    I had not heard the Ingrid Michaelson cover, but now it’s my favorite. Merci!

  2. Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife

    I have had some good cooking adventures lately too! Yay creativity and Pinterest!

  3. priest's wife

    the shrimp looks really yummy- I think I will try it!

    you actually might find my ‘not supreme court’ post soothing…(and silly)

    • Carrie

      YES! watch this one. it’s my favorite somebody that i used to know cover. I was going to comment and post this same link. =) it’s lots of people playing one guitar. awesome.

  4. Sarah @ Basic Ingredients

    That video is amazing!!! I can’t believe people can do that either! So talented. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    That is so awesome about the breakfasts with your dad and grandfather. So often we overschedule our lives and miss the good, slow bits.

    That shrimp (I’m using fish) lemon and butter dish is on our menu for tonight!!

  6. Kathleen Basi

    #2–the things we do to prevent ourselves from looking like we don’t have it all together! LOL

  7. Tim in Cleveland

    I always preferred the Elliott Smith version of Somebody That I Used To Know… but it seems like it’s an entirely different song.


  8. Judy Dudich

    Since shrimp is one of my favorite blessings on earth, I MUST try this! One question: Did you parboil them at all. By “fresh” shrimp; I assume you mean “uncooked”, too?

    I’m with you on musical talent. I think it’s like “beauty”. When we find ourselves in its presence; we are being given a glimpse of the mysterious perfect and creative powers of GOD; and, that’s why it’s so overwhelming and unfathomable! Thanks for sharing the video!

  9. Catherine

    Totally unrelated, but we’re moving this summer (we want to get out of the NYC area) and so my husband’s been applying to jobs all over the country.

    My only criteria was that we have to live below the mason-dixon and not “that place where the conversion diary woman lives with all the scorpions”

    Yeah, so. . . I’m 1 for 2. . . moving to Austin in 4 weeks!

  10. Katie@NFP and Me

    Those covers were fantastic! I’m torn between the Ingrid Michealson one and the acapella one.

    Also, I’m with you I love the acapella beatboxing stuff. Have you ever watched The Sing Off? It’s an American Idol type show but only for acapella groups. It is awesome. My school has an acapella group and one of the first years is such a good beatboxer it’s unbelievable! Anyways, just wanted to share the acapella love! 🙂

  11. Gillian

    Shrimp look great 🙂

    Love that Gotye song, it’s one of the songs my husband really lieks that doesn’t drive me crazy. I thought the kids in the carwas pretty neat and I loved ingrid’s too. Just wondering if you ever saw this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M

    It’s actually the first time I heard the song, but I’m still impressed, the guitar is the only instrument they use 🙂

  12. sarah

    Wow- that video was impressive.

    I love the description of the time you are spending w/ your father and grandfather. It sounds like such a great time for a family. Multi-generational hang out time… that’s so cool and so rare these days. You are so right that those memories will be treasured.

    Yum… the meal looks delicious!

  13. Jeanne G.

    I can’t watch YouTube videos at work, but I can say that my favorite cover of the Gotye song is by Walk Off The Earth, where five people play the same guitar. Amazing!

    And I’m with you on #1. I care deeply about politics, but I just don’t want to talk about it (much… I’ll break the rules from time to time).

  14. natalie

    If you enjoy those stories from your Dad and Grandfather then I suggest you take a voice recorder and get the stories on tape. You can type of the stories later and then have a nice memoir for your family. It’s great if the kids could ask questions about their lives (or yours) growing up since kids love to hear about when their parents were young.

  15. Jay

    Hubby & I enjoyed watching Pentatonix on Sing Off. They were the winners of season 3 and really good!

  16. Lisa Schmidt

    #4 – So often acapella groups are all male. What a lovely addition with that female voice. Certainly adds a layer of interest.

    There’s a box of shrimp in my freezer that just found its final calling!

    Here’s a beef & spinach (could sub chicken/pork) recipe that I often use for ‘Martha Meal’ occasions (new moms/baby, hospitalizations, good for priests, too!). I am often asked for the recipe: http://pinterest.com/pin/267119821618615403/

  17. Melissa Spence

    Your #2 made me laugh so hard! We’re here in the Austin area too, so I know exactly what day you’re talking about. I too thought my car was going to melt in my garage!

    I loved the group Pentatonix on the show “The Sing-Off” amazing talent on that show and they deserved to win. So glad you posted that music video, it was awesome!

    Wow how special you still have time with your 98 year old grandfather! What a treasure.

  18. Leanne Shawler

    Another Sing-Off fan here, eagerly awaiting the Pentatonix album. (Are they still albums now they are not on vinyl or really CD any more?) Anywho, can you believe that those three in the middle — had either just graduated from high school and/or were in first year of college? Yup. They are awesomely amazing.

    I’ve not heard the original song though!

  19. Kelly

    1. LOVE Pentatonix. I want to be them.
    2. Love Pinterest, but haven’t tried any of the recipes yet.
    3. Wish I could have a lazy summer, but alas, I’m still in school :/
    4. Loved your garage story. Sorry you got so sweaty.
    5. In the spirit of full disclosure, I felt I HAD to wrote about politics today, something I only rarely do. So my attached blog post is not a 7 Quick Takes. Sorry. I hate to be a rule-breaker.

  20. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I love listening to you on Relevant Radio. I am going to enjoy it even more now as I picture you sweating in your garage. Thanks for the hilarious visual!

  21. Jocelyne

    Did you hear the Mike Dawes guitar cover of that song? Ah-MAY-zing.

  22. nicole

    The black gentleman in Pentatonix is from North Texas. He also has played with the band Gungor. He was with them when we saw them play in Dallas last fall. Amazing talent on the cello, as well as beat-boxing. Look up Gungor on YouTube and you’ll find a video with him in it. Such a talented young man, as is the rest of the group.

  23. SusanE

    Regarding #1: My concern with “political” things grows out of my love for God! Jesus modeled compassion for others, esspecially the least, and he said, “Follow me.” The Church’s call to faithful citizenship compells me to be informed and to be involved. That said, sometimes speaking out is not the appropriate response.

  24. Andrea

    Ha! That interview story is hilarious. I do not miss Texas heat… I still have nightmares about my skin melting off. 😉

  25. Liesl

    Yes, please keep writing about scorpions!!

    I love a capella groups. We had a few at my college and I’d go to all the concerts. So good.

  26. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Ho. Lee. COW. That cover is incredible. Totally blown away. Love.

  27. Lindsay @ Lindsay Loves

    I’m so glad you linked to that Ingrid Michaelson cover. I avoid reading YouTube comments as a general rule, but I’m amused and saddened that so many viewers don’t know she’s a professional musician. Her “Winter Song” with Sara Bareilles is one of my favorite songs ever.

    If you like extreme music, check out this video of five people covering that song on a guitar. That’s A guitar—five people, one guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=d9NF2edxy-M

  28. Sarah

    Ahhhh yes. If it wasn’t for all the Pinterest legal scares, we’d still be up and running with Pinning it Down! You could, of course, link up your next Pinterest recipe in our Making it Count link-up. Same idea, new name. 🙂 Your dish looks melty good!

  29. giarose

    Thanks, Jen. I’m sure your other 6 items were interesting but I’m stuck over here at youtube listening to Pentatonix. Haven’t listened to the other versions and can’t say I have ever heard the original but I am fascinated by this a capella group.

  30. Kayla @ The Alluring World

    I loved that video! 2 weeks in a row of awesome youtube videos. Nice!

    I’ve had a couple of successes off Pinterest. I’m glad the shrimp recipe worked for you. Would you say shrimp is an acquired taste?

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Hmm. Good question. I’ve always liked it so it’s hard for me to say!

  31. Catholic Nomad Girl

    “Then when I stumbled back in from the garage, gasping, panting, covered in sweat, my eyes glassy as I barely clung to life, my startled husband asked, ‘What on earth did they interview you about?!'”

    That is brilliant! LOL 🙂

  32. Jen G

    Here are some recipes from Pinterest that I’ve tried and loved:

    Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup: http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/02/roasted-cauliflower-and-aged-white.html

    This sauce makes awesome fish, beef or chicken tacos! http://soupaddict.com/2009/06/wickedly-good-fish-taco-sauce/

    One of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted, Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake:

  33. Cat W.

    I absolutely LOVE Pentatonix, so I’m so glad you featured their video! I’m really bummed that the Sing Off (the TV a capella competition that they won last year) won’t be returning this year 🙁 They found a truly great group this past year.

  34. Lara

    I hate technology. Sorry for the double post.

  35. Jamie

    Is it weird that I’m actually still not tired of that song…yet?

    I read your post when you first wrote it, but I just saw a video and immediately thought of your “research” for your NCR post (I wish I had a better excuse for my “research” some days…he he). I think you’ll appreciate it…it’s about a few guys who secretly aren’t tired of the song yet, either:

    (While I’m commenting—I’m mostly just a lurker—thanks for your blog and sharing all of your adventures with the world. I’m not married and I don’t have kids, but my personality seems eerily similar to yours. Reading your blog is a great reminder to me that having a family of my own won’t actually fix anything with me, it will just somewhat change the things that I worry/freak out about internally. Jesus and I still have a lot to work on. As much as that may not sound like you’re helpful at all to me, I think you might understand how wonderful commiseration is!)

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