Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This past weekends adventure started when my friend Sara and I were looking at tour dates for our most recent favorite artist: Ian Axel. We knew of an upcoming show in the area on March 12th with Greg Holden but we also noticed a show coming up with his good friends Chad Vaccarino and Mike Cambell (they're in the video for This Is The New Year and Chad sings on the track). It was in Albany, not terribly close to DC, but it was on a Saturday, a day neither of us had to work . . . We google mapped it. Six hours and 24 minutes from my door to the door of Bread and Jam Cafe. Then Sara mentioned we could stay with her sister in Connecticut . . . 2 hours from Bread and Jam. Without further discussion the decision had been made and we never looked back . . . until we were sitting in the car at the gas station. Sara looked at me and said something to the effect of "you know we're crazy right? We don't have to do this." I agreed, but at the risk of our mental health we started our journey.

It was a beautiful drive, despite the fact that we're still in the middle winter. I guess there are reasons to be thankful for the snow . . . There's a handy little feature on GPS that will calculate a route avoiding tolls. Because we chose that option we got to drive through some cute little towns as well as some big cities. If you're going to be in the car that long, it's nice to be surrounded by so much beauty, be in great company, and have an awesome concert to look forward to.

Turns out the show was just outside Albany in a place called Cahoes. We planned on walking around a bit then grabbing some food at the venue before the show. Turns out there's not much to the town, so after a short walk up and down the street we went to the venue and made ourselves at home. We had nice chat with the owner of the Bread and Jam Cafe. He's a former musician who was able to have a band, tour, etc and then decided to settle down with his family and live part 2 of his dream: to have a music venue. If I ever am fortunate to own my own venue, I want it to have the same kind of feel as Bread and Jam. It was so cozy and they had yummy food. The stage was surrounded by comfy couches and chairs, behind those were diner-esk tables and chairs. The walls were lined with bookshelves and covered in original artwork. If it didn't take so long to get there, I would visit this place all the time!

When the Ian, Chad and Mike arrived someone must have told them we'd made a trek to get there because when they came over to where we were sitting (on a comfy red couch right in front of the stage) they asked us about it. We admitted to our craziness and explained that we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear them all play together. They seemed a little surprised, but in a good way.

Ian was up first and played a fantastic set, including a song he wrote for his sister that we'd never heard before. Then when Chad and Mike were up, he plopped down on the couch next to me to enjoy their set. I had listened to the songs on Chad's myspace and a few on youtube, enough to know that I'd like it, but I wasn't prepared to love what I heard as much as I did. These guys are just starting out-they have a mailing list and are putting their stuff up on youtube. Recordings can't come soon enough! Unfortunately it'll probably be a while. At least we have the internet!

After the show we stuck around and were able to chat with them until it was time to pack up. I love when the opportunity presents itself to tell an artist what their music does for me. Most of the time there's a few minutes to say hi, great show, and can I get a picture? Nothing terribly personal. I don't feel the need to to tell most artist how I feel, but there are a select few that I'd really like to share that with. These guys are on the list, and I feel like in part, that was able to happen Saturday night. I guess I can equate it to needing to say thank you to someone who has done something to make your life better.

Okay, on to the pictures! (It's about time, I know. Congratulations if you've made it this far).

Ian Axel. Jump on the bandwagon now, this guy is going to go far!

Ian and Chad rocking This Is The New Year.

Chad and Mike doing their thing. Anyone want to come to NYC on April 8th with me? Seriously. If you do, let me know! :)

This just makes me happy. These guys honestly could not have been nicer. I can't wait to see them again!

The whole trip would have been worth it just to hear This Is The New Year and Shorty Don't Wait. Being completely blown away by the rest of their stuff was just icing on the cake! Here's the video I took of Shorty Don't Wait. I realize it's blurry and that Chad's head is cut off (not on purpose). Sorry. But the sound quality is great, so listen up! :)

To hear more of Ian's music, click here.
To hear more from Chad and Mike click here and here.

Monday, February 22, 2010


In case you were wondering, I've had enough winter for a while. Don't get me wrong, there was fun to be had during the "snowpocalypse" of 2010, but I'd be okay if I didn't feel like I was in Rexburg anymore. The weather has been in the high 30's to mid 40's, so I'm thinking the end is in sight. We may even be able to see brown grass before April! Here are some pictures of our 7 day snowed-in adventure:

I tried to get pictures similar to the ones I took of the last snow storm as to compare the difference, but I waited a little too long. These are pictures after a little melting . . .

Ingy and a friend sliding down 4.5 foot snow mounds.

Matty and a friend working on one of 3 snow forts.

Me and Ingy embracing the all the snow we got. Ingrid more so than me. ;)

We spent most of our time indoors playing wii, watching movies, doing puzzles, dressing up like princesses, making art projects and building intense lego structures that took 2 days. At one point I showed the kids the "Photo Booth" on my computer. Whenever I had my computer out they'd ask to take pictures:

Sometimes it's hard to get us all in . . .

The Ingrid mask.

Matt's pose of choice.

This is me as an albino Avatar.

This once cracks me up! The kids always ask for this setting, I think it's their favorite.

Ingrid all decked out and dancing at the ball.

It wasn't enough for Ingrid to dress up, she wanted me to put on my princess dress and go to the ball with her. We had a good time. She even helped me do my make-up.

Enough of the winter fun, let's get on to playing at the park and swimming!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All You Need Is Love

Hold the phone, I think I found a Dharma engagement ring. I bet Ben was saving it for someone special . . . ;)

I found this a while back and have been meaning to post it. Seems like an appropriate time to do it!

Get me back, get me back to New York . . .

Last fall I found a great deal on bus tickets to New York, the only thing was they had to be used by January 31st. I had talked with friends about going for so long and it just never happened, so I figured I bought tickets with a deadline I just might get there. In October January seems like plenty of time. Note, I waited to use them until the last possible weekend. But I Used them! Friday night my good friend Sara and I boarded a bus and were on our way to the big apple. My first time, mind you. And I fell in love. New York now runs through my blood and I cannot wait to get back!

We got there pretty late and made it to our hotel in time to finalize our plans for the weekend. It wasn't easy to nail down what we wanted to do because there was just so much. Sara and I looking for a little inspiration. We found it in Ian Axel's This Is The New Year.

We found even more inspiration when we synched the video on our computers. And don't worry, this wasn't the last time this happened. If you haven't checked Ian out yet, you can do it here.

Saturday morning we got up and went to breakfast and Time Square while waiting for 2 other friends to arrive.
My first visit to Time Square. It was so cold that hardly anyone was there! Well, comparatively.

We ended up going to the American Folk Art Museum. So amazing. And of course I didn't get any pictures of us there, so just imagine it. :) It was so cold that we ended up wandering around the city and going into any stores we thought looked fun. Here are some of the places we went:

Project Runway anyone? :)

Kendra, Natalie, Sara, and me in front of Radio City Music Hall.

Sara and me freezing out butts off in front of Rockerfeller Plaza.

"If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it! Wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh o!"

We paid a little visit to FAO Schwarz to see the BIG piano. Sorry about the sideways pic. It doesn't look that way in my picture file, but this is how it comes up on blogger. Eh.

More fun at FAO Schwarz. Guess what I'm wearing on my head. Ten points to whoever gets it right!

Finally we made it to Serendipity for dinner before making the concert rounds.
Sara, Kendra, Natalie, and me at Serendipity. Everything we got there was delicious! Tip: if you ever eat there you can pretty much share everything on the menu. The portions are huge! Good thing our hotel came equipped with a kitchen.

Okay, so I made an exception to my no sugar in 2010 rule for 2 minutes. Long enough to take a sip of frozen hot chocolate through a straw and get this picture. Boy was it delicious. My spoon may have found it's way into the bowl too. But only one time. Let's just say it was a very good thing I was sick and making sure I didn't share my germs!

Sara and I waiting for Adam Crossley. And hating the opening act. Seriously, they make the list of top 3 worst openers I've seen!

Concert #1: Adam Crossley. Love him. No really, I do. He only has one song available on itunes, but you can stream a good portion of his album here.

Concert #2: Rosi Golan at Rockwood Music Hall. Check her out here.

Second Time Square visit. Lots more people this time, but still not near as many as I was expecting. I guess that's what happens when it's 15 degrees outside.

Sunday morning we got up, packed our things and headed to Greenwich Village to wander around. I loved New York before coming here, but this is where New York became a part of me. I. Love. This. Place. I would die to live in Greenwich Village one day. And who knows, it could totally happen . . .

Washington Square!

From Greenwich Village we headed over to Canal Street to do some shopping. Crazy/fun experience. While we were waiting for the other girls to make some purchases, Sara introduced me to bubble tea. (Apparently I'm a fan of links today).

Doesn't it look delicious?! Trust me, it's better than we make it look. And really I had almond milk with "bubbles"-SO good!

After this we headed back to the hotel to pick up our stuff and send Natalie and Kendra back on their way home. Our bus left a little later, but we were exhausted, so we spent some quality time at Starbucks before going back to Penn Station to board our bus.

On this trip Sara and I made a goal to visit New York in every season this year and at Christmas. Don't worry that I already have a ticket for April. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stand Out

Is it wrong that this is one of my favorite songs to work out to?

I rediscovered my love for it last night and now I am sore. Good sore though. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Tonight is the beginning of the end.

You know something is blog-worthy when you willingly post horrid pictures of yourself. Just keep in mind I was sick and the temperature was about 15 degrees. ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

What I Done

I've been sick for almost a week now and it's really not my favorite thing. It probably didn't help anything that I spent the weekend in FREEZING cold New York going, going, and going (more on that to come). I figured today I'd take it easy in attempts to recover. So, after work this morning I came downstairs to lay down for a few minutes and woke up 2 hours later. I had about 30 minutes before I needed to pick up Ingrid, so I did a few things in my room and got dressed. The quickest route to the van was through the snow. Luckily there was already a little footprint for me to step in. As I put my foot out I thought to myself, that's funny those aren't the shoes I wanted to wear. I stepped back and looked down. This is what I saw:

I'm going to blame it on the sickness.

P.S. I realize that neither of these shoes were an appropriate choice for the weather. But really, how often is that a factor in my life? :)