My Bucket of Likes: July

I'm stealing this idea from a friend who posts about different things she's enjoying each month. Who knows if I'll be able to keep up, but I liked the idea so much that I decided to enlighten you on things that I've been enjoying throughout the different months. 

First things first, if you've visited my Book Review section, you'll know that I've been on a stampede through the "Fables" comic series. Having famous fairy tale characters (and other famous characters from childhood stories) with a new lease on life makes for some entertaining reading. Some of the best characters in this series just so happen to be Boy Blue (yes, the one who blows his horn), Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf. Bill Willingham who created the series has done a phenomenal job of being adventurous, suspenseful, serious and funny all in just a few panels. It's like a television series on paper. There's giant story arcs, little story arcs and "one shots." Just when you get comfortable, Willingham pulls the carpet from under you. You want to get mad at him, but you realize that he's got a grand idea as he weaves his story magic.

As far as hilarity goes, I just finished watching the entire first season of "Hot in Cleveland" and I'm in love with that show. I enjoy eccentric characters. This show is full of them. The lines are great, there's a bunch of snark, Betty White gets to say inappropriate things, what's not to love? There are very few sitcoms out there that make me laugh hysterically, and with each episode of "Cleveland," I've found myself doing that. I look forward in catching up on season two. 

A while ago I discovered a website called Aviary. It is an online design tool, much like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Since I cannot afford either, which both cost about $700 each (or more), I have turned to Aviary because I want to become stronger in my ability to use a design program. Creating an Aviary account is free. Using the program is free. Not only can you edit photography, but Aviary offers 8 different tools. Two of those tools allow you to create music and make recordings. I've always wanted to learn programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, but I've never wanted to take the time to do the work. For some reason, Aviary spoke to me because it's web-based and readily available at any computer with Internet. Since the program is fairly foreign to me, I purchased a "how-to" book that comes full of different projects to learn how to use Aviary to it's fullest. After that, I'll conquer the world.

I've been a fan of Gavin Degraw since the beginning. I've even been lucky enough to see him in concert. A white boy with soul? Sure thang. I haven't received his last two albums fully. They're good, but they didn't hit me like the first album did, you know, the one where he has the leaf on the cover? That album is still one of my favorites. I downloaded his latest single "Not Over You" and it's on repeat. It probably doesn't hurt that Ryan Tedder (of  OneRepublic fame) co-wrote the song -- I'm a huge fan of Tedder. So, when two people I admire musically co-create, of course it's going to be greatness. 

That's what's in my bucket for the month of July. We'll see what comes around during August, and I'll tell you one thing -- the heat is not going to go into my bucket of likes.