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 . . . :)

Wade In The Water

As part of my carpe diem'd week last month my friend Kendra and I went to the beach at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland. We swam in the Chesapeake and worked on our tans . . . or in my case, burn. Oops. It was decent weather after the streak of 100's we'd had, but I tell you what, I've never walked on sand as hot as that. The water was perfect though! We bobbed around for an hour or so in the water, hung out on the beach until we decided we were sufficiently dry, grabbed a gelati and headed to our hotel. Why a hotel? I'll get to that in a second. First, our view:

We needed a room so we could shower before going to a concert! I'll wait a minute while you recover from your shock . . .

Greg Holden and Katie Costello performed at Night Cat in Easton, MD, about 45 minutes or so from Annapolis. Like I could miss that! And since I had the time (and so did Kendra) we decided to make an event of it. My friend Julie joined us after the beach to go to the show.

Unfortunately we got there close to on time. I say unfortunate because the opener was terrible. I've seen several bad openers and this among the worst. Every time she finished a song she would kick up her heel, tilt her head to the side, and giggle. Her lyrics were beyond cheesy, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if she wrote them in junior high. Her last song had some potential . . . then again, maybe I thought it was decent because it meant her set was over.

Contrast her with the beautiful and brilliant Katie Costello. This woman is incredibly talented. Not only does she know how to craft a song but she also has such charming stage presence that you can't help but love her.

I met Katie for the first time at Night Cat back in March when we saw Ian Axel and Greg Holden. Then later that month when I went to L.A. and San Diego I heard her perform a few songs at the Greg/Ian shows I was at. It was fun to finally see her play an entire set. She has an EP coming out later this year and a full length album next year. Can't wait!

Then came Greg. I shudder to think what would be missing from my musical life had this man not gone on tour with Ingrid Michaelson last fall. ;)

Something was up with the amp so Greg did his entire set unplugged. I loved it! And this was a great venue for that kind of performance.
What a great show! The only thing that could have possibly made the night better would have been if Ian were in the line up. Of course, I'd probably say that about any concert I go to . . .

I recorded a couple of the songs from that night. I forgot my Flip camera so the quality isn't too great. And I can only get three minutes of video at a time, so there's a bit of a break in the song. Worth it though.

There was a five year old in the audience so this is the "edited" version of one of his newer songs.

I put in a request as soon as I found out Greg was coming back to Easton. It's one of my favorites and I'd never heard live (probably because he doesn't play it live anymore). I honestly didn't think it'd happen, but I got lucky. Good thing I remembered how it started. That would have been embarrassing.

And just in case you need a little dose of Katie Costello, here's a video of one of her new songs.