Friday, December 31, 2010

All or Nothing

I got home late Wednesday afternoon after a wonderful Christmas visit to Utah. I had all these plans for how I would use the rest of my time off. Continue the never ending process of cleaning and organizing my room, read, do laundry, get a little crafty, clean and organize Matthew's room, hang out with friends, make a day trip to NYC before New Year's eve, and catch up on my blog. I thought I'd start out blogging since there's tons to catch up on. I turned on my computer but the internet wouldn't work. I turned on the tv, the cable was out too. I called Verizon and while the customer service guy was one of the best I'd ever come in contact with, we could not fix the problem over the phone. He said the soonest they could get someone to the house would be in 3 days. My blogging dreams were crushed. I could have moved on to other things on the list, but no. Instead I've been doing a whole lot of nothing . . . well, not exactly nothing.

I discovered what all the hype surrounding Angry Birds was about. I played so much yesterday that when I would close my eyes all I could see were birds and pigs.

I watched a lot of Scrubs and by a lot I mean the last 8 episodes of season two and all of season three. It's probably a good thing I don't own season four. Yet. :)

Matthew got a pop-shot basketball game for Christmas. I've been perfecting my game so I'll be ready to take him on when they get back from vacation.

I also made it to the gym, walking there and back so I felt better about my lazy day, went late night grocery shopping, visited with a friend, picked another friend up from the airport, and stuffed invitations for my boss. I have eaten delicious Thai food for every meal, gone to Target, and am currently sitting at Barnes and Noble enjoying the free wi-fi before I go see if they have season four of Scrubs. :)

See, not nothing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Single Ladies: The Garden State Pt. 2

Why go to New Jersey you ask? To see these awesome people of course:
Ian Axel, Allie Moss, and Lauren Zettler

If you're really really, really lucky, Chad Vaccarino will be there and he'll sing with Ian. Poolside.

You could hear new songs, like You'll Be Okay.

Ian might do a cover of Greg Holden's Are We Wasted. Not a song you're likely to ever hear him perform live ever again. Solo at least. (he, he, he)

Then if the stars have completely aligned, Allie will join Ian and Chad in singing Shorty Don't Wait.

If you want, sit by the pool and discuss the future of Ian's career, the similarities between your belief systems, aliens, and tips on moving to NYC. If Ian and/or Chad happen to mention going to lunch next time you're in NYC, you will know they don't think you're completely crazy.

-The look on someone's face when you completely and utterly surprise them is still among my favorite things ever.
-Allie Moss' mom makes delicious food, including homemade marshmallows.
-If you see an artist 3 times at 3 different house shows in 3 different states, all in one month, she might greet you with a kiss on the cheek.

Post-game analysis:
-Bring a sweater in case you get the opportunity to experience your first dose of fall weather.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Single Ladies: The Garden State Pt. 1

Get in the car and drive to New Jersey. That's right, New Jersey. It helps if it's the weekend after Labor Day. Still warm and less crowded. Also, bring your soul twin.

Stay in a slightly creepy, yet charming, old hotel with the slowest elevator on the planet.

Opt for an ocean-side room.

Do awesome things that I will post about tomorrow . . . ;)

The next morning take a stroll down the boardwalk. People watch, it's awesome.

When you see signs that tell you there's an Oysterfest in the area, follow them.

If you've never eaten oysters, try them. After all, you are at Oysterfest.

When you've taken part of enough of the festivities, stock up on kettle corn and start the somewhat long drive home.

-Oysters are slimy, even when fried. The buffalo sauce and blue cheese do help though.
-Not all of Jersey is bad, in fact some of it is magical.
-Sometimes hotels only give you shampoo and lotion, no conditioner. Lame, I know.
-Lotion is not a good substitute for conditioner. Check bottle before using.

Post-Game Analysis:
-Bring blankets, sometimes the AC in your hotel room only has 2 settings: perma-freeze and off.
-Go with the peanut butter balls instead of the chocolate covered cheesecake-on-a-stick.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Single Ladies: Handsome AND Talented

Go to concerts for bands you've never really heard of as well as for the bands you absolutely love. Enjoy the show, rock out if and when it's appropriate. However if you want to make the most of your experience, you should probably stick around after and meet the rather attractive rock stars. For example:

Mikel Jollett from The Airborne Toxic Event.

Or Noah Harmon, also from The Airborne Toxic Event.

Andrew Belle is super nice and will blow your mind with his talent.

Chatting with Joshua Radin post show is always must. Duh.

-Waiting until the crowd dies down to talk to an artist can be the best idea you've ever had or it can mean not meeting the artist at all. It's a gamble, so go with your gut.
- Paying 50 bucks to hear Joshua Radin play 2 songs from a 30 minute set is totally worth it.
-If I weren't already secure in my beliefs, I'd probably opt to become Jewish because of the magical experiences I've had at the Sixth and I Synagogue.

Post-game analysis:
-When going to a show, take the route you think is best, even in Garmin tells you to go another way. Otherwise it could end up taking you almost 2 hours to make a 20 minute drive. (Josh was still worth it).
-Bring a working sharpie.
-Think, then speak.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Single Ladies: Good Old PA

Decide at midnight to go to Pennsylvania with your soul twin. Leave by 7am. Drive around, take in the beauty, then go to Hershey.

-Hershey really does smell like chocolate.
-Chocolate Peanut Butter milkshakes must be the nectar of the gods.

Post-game analysis (what I would do to make the trip even better next time):
-Take more pictures!!!
-See what movies are playing at the drive-in so you can plan that into your trip if you'd like.
-Bring a lawyer who loves to fish so he can go fishing in a magical stream while you read a book and wait for your soul twin to be done with a bridal shower. Eat dinner at Texas Roadhouse with said lawyer and soul twin.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Single Ladies: Introduction

I can count on one hand the number of weekends I've spent at home over the past 4 months. It seems life has been one fun adventure after the next. Sometimes I wonder how long this can possibly last or if this is actually the new "normal" for my life. Either way, I feel extremely blessed for the opportunities that have been presented to me and for the friends that I've been able to share these good times with.

I was sitting outside eating a more than delicious meal in Park Slope this summer when the friend I was with made an observation. She said, "If you have to be single, this is how to do it!" This is something that's stuck with me ever since and seems appropriate more these days than ever. I was discussing this attitude (I guess you could call it) with another friend and he told me to watch a particular clip from the TV show Brothers and Sisters where Sally Fields' character is giving advice on a call-in radio show. She said, "You have to give up the life you've planned to find the life that's waiting for you." I am definitely not living the life I thought I would be at 29, but the life that I am living sure is amazing!! At least to me. :)

Now you might be asking what the point in telling you all that is? Well, it's because is the theme of my next several posts is going to be "if you have to be single, this is how to do it." Check back over the next week to see what I've been doing instead of blogging! ;)

P.S. I put a new playlist up of songs I've been loving lately. It's right over here ------------------>

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday I'm in Love

Reasons I love New York City #274: It's pretty much a guarantee that you will witness something awesome, random, hilarious, strange, or disturbing every time you get on the subway.

Unfortunately I was not on the B train this day, I did however, see a Mariachi band on the N train last Monday. Their accordion had flames and everything! ;)

This would fall under the awesome category . . .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ready To Start

Last week Ingrid went shopping with her mom and came home with a present for me.

Later that night she asked if I'd written in my notebook yet. I said no, but promised that I would. I've been thinking lately about how I need to make a better effort to write in a physical journal, and by better effort I mean any effort at all. I have gone on so many fun adventures and had awesome things happen to me and I want to have a record of them. Ingrid must have psychic abilities or something because that little gesture was the perfect thing to get me going. The very next day Ingrid asked again about me writing in my notebook and I was happy to tell her I had. She then told me that she "picked out this very beautiful notebook because your other one was getting so filled up." How cute is that?

Last night as I was writing in my "very beautiful notebook" the entry included in the words Twitter, Garmen, and Craigslist. I started to laugh as I imagined some future person picking up my journal and trying to figure out what on earth I was talking about. Perhaps we should consider making glossaries as a companion to our journals. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Give A Little Bit

Remember this guy?

His name is Greg Holden. I first saw him was a year ago when he opened for Ingrid Michaelson and it blew me away. The last time I saw Greg was a week ago and again, I was blown away. The thing that makes this note worthy is that it was the 8th time I've seen him live and every time I am more impressed than the last. I guarantee I wasn't the only person in the room having that experience. To me this speaks volumes of Greg's incredible talent as an artist.

Greg is an independent musician, meaning he doesn't have a record label backing him. He does this so he can put out the music he makes how he feels it should be heard. This also means that he has to come up with his own funding. Kickstarter is a really cool way for musicians and others to raise money to fund their creativity. From what I understand, an artist sets a goal for how much money they need to raise and takes it to Kickstarter. They launch a campaign and ask their fans to donate to the cause, offering various rewards for their generosity. If an artist reaches their goal, the campaign will be funded. If they don't, everyone who donated keeps their money and the artist goes back to the drawing board. You can read more about the ins and outs here, it's actually pretty interesting.

Greg raised the $20,000 he was looking for in the first 2 weeks of the project so he will get the money when the deadline comes around. It costs a whole lot more than $20,000 to make an album so the more money he can raise, the better. There are only 4 days left to donate and any amount will help. If you're already a fan, check out the awesome rewards and donate here (*hint, if you're going to buy the album you should donate and get it for "free"). If you've never listened to Greg's music then you've been missing out and that needs to change. Now. Let me help. :)

This is a song of his last EP. If I were to make a soundtrack for my life this would, without a doubt, make the cut.

This is one of his unreleased songs called Are We Wasted. Easily one of my favorites.

If I went to a Greg Holden concert and he came out, played Bar on A once, then walked off the stage it would be a show worth seeing. This song is the fan favorite. I'm pretty sure it's shouted out as a request at every show and has always ends his set. In my opinion it's a perfect song. I say this as a person who doesn't drink, so you know it must be good!! :)

Hopefully I've convinced you help Greg out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Drive Me Crazy

You know what I hate? Mosquitos. I've always hated them, but never as much as I do at this very moment!! I have a grand total of 44 bites from these little buggers on my body (that I've counted). That would be 8 on my chest, 9 on my face, 17 on one of my upper legs, and 10 others on fingers or legs. I swear it's like a chain reaction, as soon as one of them starts itching all the rest follow suit. AHHHHH!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can't Complain

Nantucket this year has been a little different than the past two trips, but great none the less! Seeing as the trip is just about over I thought I'd start coving some of the highlights . . . Our first night we were here we went and saw the Boston Pops play at Jetties Beach. It was a whole lot of awesome.

Just thinking about this gives me chills! Hearing such amazing talent in such a beautiful setting is truly magical.

There were SO many people there! And quite the variety We joined a bunch of the Knutson's friends and picnicked close to the shore so the kids could play. Ingy waded in the water at first, but eventually gave in to the temptation. Luckily we brought a dry set of clothing!

My delicious sandwich from Something Natural. If you ever visit Nantucket, you're going to want to check them out.

Boats were lined up in the water watching the concert.

The night ended with some of the most incredible fireworks I have ever seen. What a great way to kick off ACK 2010!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Next up in our site-seeing adventure: Charm City! I've been to Baltimore a few times but haven't been able to wander around the city, and as I'm sure I've mentioned before, that's how I prefer to see a city.

The National Aquarium and Torsk aka a submarine.

The U.S.S. Constellation, the last Civil War vessel still afloat.

Rafal and me in front of The Constellation.

City buildings.

It really was a lucky weekend for us. First we see the President, then we arrive in Baltimore only to discover that there is a Japan-amation convention in town. Hours of laughs and entertainment! Pictures cannot do things like this justice. Hundreds and hundreds of hard core fans were dressed from head to toe in costume. In 90 degree weather no less!

Edgar Allen Poe's grave. This was kind of a cool place to visit, lots of old graves and such. We also went and saw his home, though we risked our lives to do so. Let's just say it isn't in the nicest part of town. Never go there alone or at night.

Now on to the main event of the weekend: The Swell Season concert!
Market Irglova and Glen Hansard. You may recognize them from the movie Once . . . their song, Falling Slowly won an Oscar for best original song back in '07. It was a magical moment for sure.

The Swell Season performing Gold. This is the second time I've seen these guys perform and I would see them a million more times. Too bad they're going on hiatus after this tour . . .

Passion for music runs through this man's veins. I don't think it's possible for him to give a sub-par performance. He's awe-inspiring to say the least.

Rafal and me post concert in front of the venue, Rams Head Live. Confession: I did not take this picture, Rafal did. And actually several pics from the last post I got from him. I need to work on my self-picture taking skills where backgrounds are concerned. ;)

Some guy put together clips from the show. Watch the whole thing if you'd like, but at least check out 10:16 on. So incredible. These people are amazing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Tourist

I've lived in DC now for 2 years and I still have so much I need to see. Luckily friends come to visit and I get to play tourist. My friend Rafal came out about a month ago and we hit up Old Town Alexandria, DC, and Baltimore. It really was so much fun!

We ate lunch at one of my very favorite restaurants, Vermillion. Then we wandered down to the waterfront and through some of the neighborhoods.

I saw The White House on my first visit to DC, but hadn't discovered my talent for self-portraits yet. I went inside at Christmastime in '08 but it was so stinking cold we didn't take any pictures. Finally I have documentation.

Protesting in DC is pretty common. I now have a cause I can really get behind! :)

We had to go move the van to another parking spot and while we were on our way we noticed road blocks being set up. Whenever there are road blocks, it's a guarantee that a crowd will form in hopes of finding out what all the fuss is about. This is exactly what happened.
The suburbans kept on coming. Several men in black suits jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the Spy Museum. This alone would have been noteworthy in my book.

Then we looked up and saw snipers on the roof. You don't have snipers on the roof for just anyone . . .

I'm sure one of these folks got a picture of the President. We however did not. Apparently he, Michelle, and Sasha were visiting the Spy Museum after it had closed. I tell you what, it's not everyday you just happen to see the President as you're walking around DC. It was kind pretty exciting.

After dinner we headed over to The Mall and wandered around.
We saw the Capitol.

The Washington Monument.

See, we really were there. :)

And our last stop was the Lincoln Memorial.

A piece of advice for all those planning a visit to the nation's capital, see the monuments at night. There's just something about seeing them after hours that you don't get during the day. And in the summer that includes the heat.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday I'm In Love

Do you know what this is a picture of?

The happiest place on earth.

There's no place quite like the temple. Life just makes more sense after going inside. Things are put into perspective and you can't help but feel love for all the people and every good thing in your life.

If you have no idea I'm talking about, you can go here and get more info. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sigh No More

Current musical obsession:
A friend of mine gave me this album a couple weeks ago and I've listened to it at least 20 times. When I love something I can't really get enough of it. Which makes keeping track of my most played songs each year that much more fun. Anyway, this very album is on sale on Amazon for only five bucks! Five bucks my friends! You may wanna look into that. ;)

And just in case you need a little preview of their sound:

Monday, August 9, 2010


Confession time: I love puzzles. A lot. My Grandparents gave me a 1000 piece puzzle for Christmas of stamps from all 50 states. I'd been waiting for just the right time to bust it out and finally decided my week off in July would be it.

I got all set up on a table we have in the basement. I sifted through the pieces and found the edges. When the edge was nearing completion I realized the puzzle was going to be too big for the table. Oops. I brought out the table from the playroom and put it between the couch and the TV. Probably a more comfortable set up anyway.

A thousand pieces didn't seem like too much. I was wrong. Especially for a puzzle that would be darn near impossible to do without the box.

I wasn't home for a good portion of the week, but whenever I was I'd work on it. I caught up on a few TV shows and even got in a some movies. Slowly but surely I made progress.

Then one day it was finished!

Me and my "masterpiece" before I took it down.

I'm probably more proud of this than I should be . . . :)