Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Skip!!!

Today my dear friend Skip turned 30 freakin years old. In celebration of this momentous day, Robbie and I whipped together a little video to show how much we lurve him.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My First Year in Dallas

Howdy! Hope ya’ll had a very happy Labor Day! This is my second Labor Day Weekend in Dallas, which means I’ve officially made it a year in Texas! Still a little shocked I survived this long, especially with the ever looming fear of contracting West Nile from the pesky, murderous mosquitoes you’ve probably seen on the news.  It’s kind of turned into a problem and I’ve taken extra precautions this summer by wearing nothing but turtlenecks, cargo pants, and mosquito nets fashioned into a Burka for when I go on my evening runs. I don’t mess around. I mean people are dying and I’d like to think my immune system is stronger than that of a 95-year-old man but let’s be real, we all have our off days.

Despite the fact that this recent holiday usually implies that people should take a break from working I have done quite the opposite. This weekend was moving time so I have had my hands full convincing strangers on Craigslist that they should buy my cheap Ikea furniture, boxing up my belongings, and spraying 409 on everything in sight.  I am pretty excited about my new place because not only do I finally have access to a pool and exercise facility, but for the first time ever I have a washer and dryer that doesn’t require quarters to start a cycle ! It really is the little things in life.

 Looking back this has been quite the year in Texas. I really don’t think I had very high expectations when I moved south last July with my friend Robbie (also known as Vobbie when I talk in my second language of Svedish) but I must say Dallas has had it’s unexpected surprises and it’s provided me with a host of new opportunities and experiences. Some of the top highlights would have to be:

1.     I finally got my first job as a Graphic Designer, which alone made the move worth it. At age 26 I was really starting to stress about how this whole career thing was going to get started but I feel like I’ve learned a lot this year and that I’m finally catching my stride as a designer.

2.     I ran my first marathon!

3.     After years of devoted television watching I finally met the talented, beautiful and New York Times best selling author Lauren Conrad. I’m talking about LC of Laguna Beach and The Hills and yes, meeting her was definitely on my “unwritten” bucket list. Where my fascination and love with her stems from I’ll never know. What I do know is I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life than during the meet and greet at Barnes and Noble to promote her new book “The Fame Game”.  I swear every teenage girl in the Dallas/Fort Worth area was there and I was a one out of five guys, three of which were boyfriends who were simply there to document the whole thing. Luckily I had my office BFF Marlee to provide moral support, take pictures, and she may have packed a few smelling salts in the likelihood that I passed out in front of Lauren. Fortunately I kept it together despite the fact that girls were literally in tears at the thought of talking to her and I was being asked questions such as “what are you going to say to her!?!?!” or “will it be weird if I tell her she’s perfect, because I think she is!?!?” When my turn came to approach the book signing table I literally had an out of body experience. I completely forgot my monologue that I had rehearsed and I had such bad cotton mouth that I could barely squeak out a hello. Even though things didn’t go as planned and I was reduced to acting like every other school girl in the room, Lauren was the sweetest and hopefully at the next signing I’ll be able to keep more cool, calm, and collected. 

4.     I joined my first softball league! My friends Bart and Jason somehow convinced Robbie and I to join their team, Taddy’s Terriers, despite the fact that all games were held on Sunday morning, which can be a bit rough for an A-List socialite like myself.  Not that I was worried at all about my talent because I used to be a pretty big deal in the Walla Walla Valley Farm League. Granted it was over 15 years ago but age is just a number. After my coach made the mistake of thinking I was cut out for the outfield he put me on 2nd base for the remainder of the season and I must say it was a much better fit. Turns out my hand eye coordination with fly balls ain’t what it was in 3rd grade. But the end of the season I was voted the distinguished and sought after title of Most Improved. By now I’m used to accolades and critics choice awards and obviously I saw myself more as the Team MVP but beggars can’t be choosers. Robbie got Best Defensive and although you can’t count on him to throw a ball to first and have it be in the general vicinity of the 1st baseman he sure knows how to hit a home run.

5.     I survived my first twister!

6.     I’m fairly certain I’m on a reality show and no one told me/failed to have me sign a consent form.  Literally everywhere I turn I see a cast member from  A-List Dallas and Dallas Most Eligible. The person I see the most is Matt Nordgren from Most Eligible and I’ve run into him buying jeans at the gap, watching a charity fashion show, and most recently at a Tuesday night worship service for young professionals. We of course haven’t talked but I assume it’s because the producers are trying to start of feud between us. Last week I went for a run on Katy Trail and ran by Glenn Pakulak from Most Eligible and I debated talking to him about the whole thing but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t mic’d  and there didn’t seem to be any cameras in sight so I didn’t see the point of having the conversation. Bravo recently confirmed that Courtney is going to have her own show soon and I’m expecting a letter from producers begging me to be her sassy male friend. I”ll consider it, but I may need to call LC to get her blessing before making any final decisions.

But most of all, thank you to all the wonderful folks I've met during my year here. It wouldn't have been half as fun with you :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Today I had a "me party". An entire day where I was free from work and social obligations and got to do whatever the hell I wanted. Well…for the most part.  I’d been needing some introvert time and seeing as the roommate was peacin’ out for the weekend I decided to take full advantage of my Saturday.

First off I stopped by my local library and got a card. I really should have done this long ago because I could have been saving a small fortune from the money NOT spent on Redbox and iTunes downloads. I was a little bummed because my main goal of going to the library was to come out with some Dusty Springfield music, who has become my recent pop obsession, and the book “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” My tiny neighborhood library had neither but they are being ordered and should be here soon. I can hardly wait. I did come out with the Joni Mitchel album Blue so it was not a total bust.

After that I was itching for a good ol’ thrift store run. The two years prior to moving to Dallas I went through an unhealthy addiction to thrift stores. While I was in AmeriCorps I am fairly certain I visited every salvation army between Michigan and Louisiana. Damn I had some good finds back then. I really just love the challenge of looking through tons of shit to find an inexpensive diamond in the rough, be it vintage t-shirt or fun vinyl from the 60’s. Today I went to a St. Vincet de Paul and I can’t say that I was that thrilled by the selection I saw there but I did find a great framed daisy cross hatch from the 70’s that’s gonna go great with my duvet cover and strangely the green frame matches my dresser perfectly. And all home d├ęcor was 30% off so I spent a total of 2 bucks. Hollerback girl.

I decided I needed to take some time out of my day to be productive so I ended up going to work and doing stuff that we graphic designers do. I won’t bore you with the details but it ended up being time well spent. As a reward to myself for being diligent and productive on a weekend I decided it was time to see me some Katy Perry: Part of Me in 3D. And considering the fact that my newfound friend Matt Jarrell is the only person I’ve met who was equally excited about seeing the movie as I was, I figured I was best off seeing it alone. Plus, I kind of have a weird thing where I really enjoy seeing a movie alone in theatres despite being told by most people that it is awkward and a form of social suicide.

Ever since “I Kissed a Girl” was the free iTunes song of the week I’ve been a big fan of Katy Perry. I’ll admit, I assumed that she was going to be just another one hit wonder but she has certainly proved me and a lot of people wrong. Since 2008 I have bought both her cd’s, seen her in concert, lost sleep on nights before one of her music video’s premiere’s on Vevo, and  learned how to play “Thinking of You” on my guitar. You can see now why I was super pumped for the documentary to hit theatres. Sadly I don’t think it’s been as much of a success as people were thinking it would be. I can verify this because for the first half hour I was the only living soul in the theatre….which was kinda great/awkward all at the same time. But I am here to say that the film is good and worth the 10 bucks! The thing that really comes across in new movie and the thing I appreciate most about Katy is she’s very different from a lot of other pop singers out there these days because she kind of seems like the only normal one. Gaga? Anything but normal. Britney? Heavily medicated. Christina? Diva. Rhianna? Hot Mess.  The main premise of Part of Me was to show the kind of work that goes into making a world tour and to show what it took for her to get to this point in her career. It as pretty crazy to see how far she’s come. I know when I saw her in concert back in 2009 it was at a small venue in Seattle where I think she had two costume changes at the most and played all her songs on guitar. It was awesome by the way but these days her shows are played out in huge arenas with extravagant sets, costume changes, and cannons of whipped cream. 

One thing that is really interesting about Katy’s life is the fact that she was raised Pentecostal in a very conservative Christian home. I can totally relate. Not the Pentacostal part because I would say we leaned more Baptist but there were things she would say that totally resonated with  my upbringing. Luckily for me I was still permitted to watch “The Smurfs” and eat my Aunt Carol's “Deviled Eggs”, although I wasn't allowed to browse through my latest issue of National Geographic until my parents had torn out the pictures of naked tribal women...let me tell ya it made reading articles about Aborigines in the Outback very confusing and challenging. Another thing Katy and I were both limited to was listening only to only Christian music. Now don't get me wrong, I loved me some DcTalk and Michael W. Smith but a little Michael Jackson or Madonna here and there would have been a nice change of pace. One time in 5th grade my friend Tim came over and brought a Limp Bizkit cd with him and he insisted we should listen to it. Right away I was intrigued because the cover had a sticker that said Parental Warning. I had no idea what that meant but I knew it couldn't be good. Pretty sure I locked my bedroom door, popped the cd into my boom box, and played it just loud enough so we could barely make out the lyrics because I was worried Mama Sesser would barge in with a fresh plate of cookies at any this day I've never felt so rebellious/terrified in my entire life. Obviously Katy has taken aspects of her life in a different direction than the one it seems her parents had in mind. That’s something I can also relate to and it was great to see that despite differing opinions, at the end of the day her parents are still very supportive and loving of their their little girl.

Going into it, I knew Katy Perry: Part of Me wasn’t going to measure up to the masterpiece that is “Britney: For the Record” but it was still very well done and fun to watch. I would say that having this sort of film made was a bit premature. Mainly because her career took off hardly 4 years ago and she only has two albums. That and there really hasn’t been that much tabloid drama in her life aside from her recent divorce which is what a majority of Americans hope to see in these sorts of things. Still I think it shows the importance of having dreams and working your butt off to achieve them. It also showed just how much talent Katy does posses as an actress, songwriter, and singer. So if you missed her California Dreams Tour and are wanting a taste of the Candyland empire she’s built and the road she took to get there, you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rob, Heather, and Jess take Manhattan

This is a sad, sad, day in my life. My East Coast vacation has come to a close. Too soon. Far too soon! It was a glorious 4 day adventure that I got to spend with two of my all-time favorite travel companions – Jess Miller and Heather Swanson. We’ve shared many a West Coast excursion together, including our Idaho Chrismtas Holiday of 2005, the Disneyland  Roadtrip in 2006 and the great Sisters, Oregon adventure of 2008. After a four-year hiatus, we figured it was time to spread our wings and take a jab at the east side of the country. Jess has been living in Hartford, Connecticut for the past 3 years and now that she is one month away from returning to her Pacific Northwest roots, Heather and I figured it was time to make the journey.

I touched down in Hartford early Thursday afternoon and we filled the day with the best that Hartford had to offer. Jess and Heather had been busy filling their time as they waited for my arrival by frequenting nearby museums where they would enter and chat it up with old men who claimed to be besties with Igor know? The guy who invented the helicopter?? Don't worry, I'd never heard of him either. Jess and Heather never made it very far into the museums however, because they weren't willing to pay money for a chance to view an assortment of old radios at the "Vintage Radio and Communications Museum" that Jess claimed looked like they had been dumped off by an old man who had cleaned out his attic.  I had never been to Connecticut so I was chomping at the bit to learn more about the local history of the area. The biggest surprise came when one of Jess’s coworkers informed us that Hartford was the home of Mark Twain and that we could take a tour of his old bachelor pad! This was news to Jess but I wasn’t that surprised, seeing as she only frequents places that have the word Cupcake, Whole Foods, and American Girl plastered on the outside of the building.  As fast as you could say Samuel Clemens, we were all piled into her car with Justin Bieber's smash hit "Boyfriend" cranked up full blast and on our way to see to see the crown jewel of Hartford tourism.  We were only a mile down the road when I happened to glance out the window to my right only to see an old tattered, white, picket fence. At that moment the wheels started turnin, the light bulb turned on and over the sound of Bieber's angelic voice I screamed “Do you think this is the fence that Tom Finn painted in the book!??!?!!” Jess and Heather of course shook their heads and rolled their eyes and set the record straight that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn were two separate fictional characters. Turns out in the heat of exciting discoveries I become borderline dyslexic. Same thing happened in LA when I saw Matthew Fox but instead yelled, "Look, it's Matthew Broderick!!"

After setting the record straight on Tom Finn, we made it up to Mark’s home only to find the tours had ended for the day. However, we did get to look around the outside of the house which was pretty amazing and I was quickly regretting my decision not to pack my white pant suit and Great Illustrated Classic copy of Tom Sawyer. Mark spared no expense on his lavish dwelling place but it wasn’t at all what I had imagined the home of Twain to look like. For one thing, I had always imaged there would be huge white pillars and assumed it was somewhere in the deep south. It was pretty cool just hanging out on his front porch where he most likely spent many a night puffing on cigars and thinking up memorable quotes that people like me would eat up and somehow work into every school research paper imaginable. Harford was just full of historical surprises and one being that Harriet Beecher Stowe was Mark’s next door neighbor. Pretty sure their neighborhood book club would have blown Oprah's out of the water!  I can’t say I’ve read a single word of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, however I am a big fan of the creative interpretation of the story in Roger’s and Hammerstein’s “The King and I”. Big fan. Huge. Even in spite of the fact that the Simon character gave me nightmares as a small child.

The next day began the part of the trip I was looking the most forward to…..the journey to New York City. I had only been once and it was on a family vacation in 2004 so I was excited to experience the city as a young adult. After a two and a half hour bus ride and a hard lesson learned regarding the importance of sitting down when attempting to pee on a bus, we arrived at what a fellow passenger called "the heart beat of America".  Our first stop was Washington Union Square where were we going to start a guided walking tour. We got there with time to spare so the three of us decided to go hunt down some grub. We had just left the park when Heather mentioned that the area looked a lot like the neighborhood where the TV show "Will and Grace" was set. Literally within 5 seconds of her saying this I am looking ahead and notice two men walking towards us and one of them bears a striking resemblance to Eric McCormack who played Will on the show. Serendipity!!!  Before you know it, we were walking right past Eric McCormick and I am freaking the frick out and kicking myself for not having my my iphone out so that i could Instagram the crap out of this moment in time. So while I'm  envisioning what sort of filter I would have used for my first celebrity sighting (Nashville and Toaster are my go-to's) I am assuming Jess and Heather are making the same discovery. Turns out they were not. Turns out Katniss could have been riding by on a chariot with her dress on fire without them noticing. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I was there. Once Eric and his friend had passed by I grabbed Heather and Jess and asked them if they saw Will (who by the way is incredibly handsome in real life and had quite the tan going…..oh, and I really want his jacket). As usual, no one believed me although just to be safe Jess took off sprinting (one would have thought Bon Jovi had been sighted) back towards the park where she did indeed verify my claim. We were pretty tempted to follow him and ask him if he knew where Debra Messing was filming SMASH but turns out Eric McCormack  is quite the speed walker and we decided it was better to save our strength for the walking tour.

Soon after grabbing a quick lunch, we met our tour guide under the Washington Arch. From first glance I had concerns. For one thing, we were the only people there for the tour, which is never a good sign. Secondly, our tour guide, Dennis, probably hadn’t showered in a few days.  Thirdly, he had a badge that looked like it had been made in Microsoft Paint. And lastly, it was a three hour tour...a three hour tour...anybody else seen Gilligan's Island? Yeah, didn't work out so well for them, did it!? All my worries were in vain because he turned out to be a hilarious and quite full of fun new york facts. The tour took us through the historical highlights and beautiful old homes of Greenwich Village which included:

  • The oldest tree in New York, which was used as a hangman’s tree back in the day.
  • The Triangle Building...which was a bit of a downer.
  •  The “Friends” home ( Jess was beside herself).
  • The apartment Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR lived in after the presidency because it was wheel chair accessible (fun fact: the ghost of her dog allegedly lives across the street where there used to be a dog run in the park…all dogs don’t go to heaven?
  • The restaurant where a young Norah Jones worked before getting her big break.
  • The hotel where the Mama’s and the Papa’s stayed when they wrote "California Dreamin"
  • The home of Washington Irving, Jr. who is best known for writing “Sleepy Hollow”
  • Bob Dylan’s old apartment the street where he shot the famous cover for "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan…Dennis felt it was necessary for Jess and I to recreate the famous album cover and I must say the resemblance is uncanny.

Our remaining 24 hours in the city went by like a true New York minute and we did our best to make the best of it. My dear friend Lyndsay from AmeriCorps met up with us and took us on a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun was going down which gave us some gorgeous views of the city. By this point in the day our feet felt like they were about to fall off but when you only make it to NYC once every 8 years you gotta keep on keepin on. After that my other friend from AmeriCorps, Janine, met up with us as we took in some Brooklyn and NYC nightlife. We had a very "Sex and the City" moment where we got into a bar based solely on the fact that Lyndsay knew the bartender. Yeah. We were sooo Carrie Bradshaw. Although, word to the weary and thirsty traveler...the price tag to my Long Island Iced Tea could have paid off this months electricity bill. Ah well. When in Rome!

For the short amount of time we had I feel like we took a fairly decent sized bite out of the Big Apple. Out of it all, what probably was the highlight of the trip for me was getting to see a Broadway show. Must be the choir nerd inside of me. We had decided to do the thing where you buy tickets the day of the show and Heather was pulling hard for Newsies but I had seen Christian Bales weak attempts at singing/dancing/jersey accents a few too many times so I was in no hurry to see the Broadway version. Luckily for me, the tickets for Newsies ended up being way out of my price range so we went with How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, starring the one and only Nick Jonas. We barely made it to the show before the curtian rose because Jess and Heather had somehow found the All American Girls store near Times Square and thus I was stuck on bench watching our luggage and making small talk with dads while they ran around reliving their childhood. Heather and I were out of breath and sweating once we finally entered the theatre and to our surprise the usher guided us to the first row of the theatre. Not too shabby! Pretty soon the lights went down and Nick Jonas sweat was dripping onto Heather and I as he climbed up a rope dressed as a window washer. It was rather ironic moment because Heather and I had paid good money ($15 bones) to see "The Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert" but this was the real deal!  I. WAS. IN. HEAVEN. The show turned out to be amazing and although I had my doubts about Nick’s acting chops  (let’s be real, he wasn’t about to win an Emmy for his work on the Disney Channel series "Jonas") he did a really great job and the cast had a lot of well known actors which was really cool....Jeff Bridges brother, Michael Urie from Ugly Betty, and Tammy Blanchard who played the young Judy Garland in the movie “Me and My Shadows”. I went into the show not really knowing much about it so it was great to have little expectations. The music was great.  The dancing made me want to enroll in Julliard. The costumes looked like something out of Mad Men (so hot these days). Michael Urie was HILARIOUS. And Rose Hemingway, who played Rosemary,was the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. After the show Heather and I waited backstage along with all the the other teenage girls and their mothers for a glimpse of Joe but despite the loud and incessant screams whenever the door opened he never showed. That's show business for ya. 

P.S. I just want to say thanks so much to Lyndsay, Stephon, and Janine for meeting up with me during my trip. It meant so much to see you guys after long two years! And Jess and Heather - thank you for never failing to fill my days with surprise and delight :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's a Twister!

Lord have mercy, this week in Dallas has just been a mad whirl (pun intended). Yes, siree Bob. If any of you people up North happened to turn on the television this past Tuesday you might have noticed that Dallas got hit with not one, not two, but twelve tornadoes. Yeah, and Dorothy Gale and Toto thought they had it bad with one...bunch of pansies. I am quickly learning that southern living isnt just for the faint heart. It ain't all sunny days, daisy dukes, and fried chicken! Shit gets real!

  It was a slow day at the office and we had just finished lunch when the news broke. A tornado had touched down somewhere south of Dallas. Now as usual, I failed to give mother nature enough credit and greatly underestimated the situation at hand. Kinda like the day that Dallas residents were warned not to leave their homes due to extremely high temperatures. Do you really think that stopped me from making a quick trip to In n Out Burger to pick up my #2 meal, during which time i sweated out every ounce of fluid my body had to offer? Of course not. And it was totally worth it. Then there was the time I was in LA during an earthquake which at first I mistook for a bout of Vertigo. Do you think I let a few cracks in the pavement and some swaying buildings ruin my sightseeing plans? Not this guy! Within 5 minutes I was underground and taking the next subway to Hollywood because this tourist had places to go and D-List celebrities to hunt down.

So everybody is starting to get serious about the whole situation by now I'm assuming people are making a big deal out of nothing. I mean come on. I've survived a hurricane in Florida when I was vacationing at Disney World and while the palm trees were swaying we just hung out indoors and watched "Lilo and Stitch" and "The Rookie" on repeat for 48 hours straight. No big deal right? (Did I mention  no amount of money could persuade me to watch either of those movies ever again?) Anyways, before I have enough time time to make a "there's no place like home" joke, the cities alarms are sounding, my co-worker Marlee is frantically scavenging the office in search of a pillow to shield her from falling debris, Larita and Sherlene are making a beeline for the back door to have one last smoke, golf ball sized hail is falling from the heavens,  and all 8 of us end up crammed into a tiny computer room watching the news as 18 wheelers are being hoisted hundreds of feet up into the air  like my beloved Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls.

By now I was fairly concerned. Especially once I took into consideration the fact that our office is located in strip mall that as of a week ago had become infested with termites. Therefore, there was no way in hell my office walls were gonna survive a hit from 150 mile an hour winds. At this point I did what every other person in my ruby slippers would have done. I called my roommate Robbie to tell him that if I died it was all his fault for conning me into moving to Dallas in the first place and that I cursed the day he was born! That felt good. After getting that off my chest,  a flood of thoughts and questions came running through my mind...does my insurance cover tornado collision or is that a completely separate thing I should have looked into 24 hours I have time to take a quick poop because who knows when I'll get to leave this room again...if I seek shelter in the nearby Mediterranean Restaurant I wonder what my chances of getting free pita and hummus are...should I call Mom or has Grandma already checked the Dallas weather today and told her my chances of survival aren't lookin too good...what should my last Facebook status update be.....definitely needs to be something witty because i wanna leave this world on a high note of LOL's and "Like" buttons.

After about an hour of keeping our eyes glued to the events unfolding before our eyes on the iPad screen and after being asked by several "concerned"friends to upload some cool and vintage Instagram pics from the eye of the storm, it became evident that we were probably going to be ok...which also meant we had to get back to work and be productive. Wah wah. It was all rather anticlimactic but I was thankful in the long run for no harm being done to myself and those around me. Even though the hail did leave some nasty dents in my car, I am counting my blessings that the Matrix stayed in the same parking spot I had put it in earlier that day. You just never know what the day will bring.

Friday, March 23, 2012

We Are Young

The Legacy of the Rob and Robbie show continues on. Here is our latest offering to the world in the form of a cover song to the bestie, Jess Miller. Sit back, relax, and let the sound of our angelic voices fill your cubicle.

Monday, February 13, 2012

And the Grammy goes to...

Oh man. One of my favorite television events of the season has “at last” (R.I.P. Etta) come and so quickly has gone. As usual, there was an artist who went around snatchin’ up all the awards. Last year Beyonce had everybody putting a ring on it as well as putting a check next to her name on the nominee ballot, and this year it was Adele’s turn. It would appear there were no hanging chads in this Grammy race and thank goodness cuz home girl deserved every award she was nominated for. I’d go as far to say that she should have won even the awards she wasn’t nominated for…Best R & B album, Best Rock Performance, Best Spoken get the idea. I’m a fan. Who knew that a free Starbucks iTunes song of the week called Chasing Pavements back in 2008 would end with this only 4 years later? Crazy.  I will say though, I was a little it disappointed when she only performed one song. Definitely had my fingers crossed for some sort of Glee inspired mash up, but seeing as she just recovered from throat surgery it’s probably best to take things slow. All I know is I was praying for the tears to start falling when she got record of the year and they most certainly did. Plus, I think I’ve developed the biggest friend crush ever when she blurted out in-between sniffles that she had snot running down her nose.

Now as for the rest of the artists this evening….

Ok Taylor Swift. You know how much I love you. I’ve bought all your albums and have all the lyrics memorized. But seriously, if your jaw drops to the ground one more time, whether or not you get a standing ovation or a Grammy, I’m gonna give you some more tears for your guitar. Frankly, nobody including myself is buying your fake show of astonishment upon receiving any form of recognition at this point. You’re good. People love you. You already have more Grammy’s than you have bedazzled pink guitars so let's stop acting like it's breaking news.

Chris Brown. DAMN YOU!! I try so hard not to like you after what you did to my girl Rhianna, but then you keep coming out with awesome dance moves and catchy pop tunes that keep weaseling their way into my affections.

Jennifer Hudson. You nailed the Whitney Houston tribute, although I wouldn’t have minded if you had thrown in a little “Million Dollar Bill” to perk up the depressing white elephant in the room. But let’s get down to brass tacks. You obviously have one of the best voices in the biz and you almost have me convinced to join weight watchers.  But as I discussed with Skip, when your best song from both your albums is “Spotlight” I think it’s time to surround yourself with some new songwriters/producers. I’m praying you are currently chatting it up with the silver fox that helped Adele write “Rolling in the Deep” because he is exactly what you need.

Nicki Minaj. WHAT. WERE . YOU. THINKING???? Your performance left me feeling like I needed to go to confessional. And who the hell is Roman???

Gaga. I’m incredibly impressed by the self-control you conveyed by only making one outfit change during the entire night. I really didn’t think you had it in you.

Katy Perry. Love the new song. I will obviously be buying it….after I get that tax return. But for the love of Whitney Houston… STEP AWAY FROM THE HAIR CRIMPER AND BLUE HAIR DYE.

Beach Boys/Beach Boy cover bands. Aside from all things Adele, you were the highlight of the show for me. Loved every minute of that nostalgic trip through my musical past, even if the guy from Foster the People was super awkward and kinda pitchy. I was left wishing you had all been there when I saw you perform at that Indian Casino somewhere outside of Yakima, Washington. Things are obviously looking up for you because there really wasn’t anywhere to go but up as I sat between my parents in bleachers while 50 year old couples got tipsy and awkwardly danced around to “Surfer Girl”.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year in Austin

This past weekend was a very exciting one, for many reasons. Obviously it meant the end of 2011 and the dawning of what the Mayan’s are calling our last year on earth…but more importantly I finally got to visit one of the coolest cities ever. You may have heard of the place they call the capital of Texas, the land of the hipsters, the 3rd fastest growing city in America, the Seattle of Texas, the live music capital of the world, the New Jerusalem and as of 3 days ago; the place where I want to grow old with my partner in crime and raise our hipster babies. Yes, I am speaking of the one and only, Austin. Ever since I crossed the Texas border last July people have done nothing but talk up this place. They told me I would love it and that I probably wouldn’t want to leave once i bathed in its glory. I was a little concerned that it had all been so built up in my mind that it would lead to nothing but disappointment. Turns out there was no need to fret. It was all that jazz and more. It’s probably a good thing I put off visiting this long because had this happened before getting my current job, I probably would have sneaked out of my apartment in the dead of  night before the next month's rent was due and never looked back. Sorry, Robbie. Too put it in simple terms, if Seattle and Portland ever hooked up and made a baby, it would be Austin.  After five months of living in Dallas with no water, mountains, or trees in sight, it was quite the sight for sore eyes to see a large river running through the middle of downtown and rolling green hills off in the distance. It brought a tear to these brown eyes. Who woulda thought this place would exist in Texas of all places!? It all made me feel right at home, especially the fact that the place is swarming with hipsters whom by now have gone nearly extinct in Dallas. Not that I am a hipster by any means. For one thing i don't chain smoke, I shower at least once a day, I haven't composted in years, and I've never bought anything from Whole Foods aside from a giftcard. Not to say we hipsters have nothing in common. I do love me some cutoffs on a summer day, rockin' the vintage T and Ray-Banz with Fleet Foxes playing gently in the background. More than anything, a hipster sighting leaves me feeling that I'm not so far away from my beloved Pacific Northwest. I'm sure Tamara was probably a little sick of me shrieking and pointing whenever a  hipster on a bike, with a beard, an ugly sweater, a PBR, or a cuorderoy pair of TOMS passed by, but I just couldn't help it! What can I say? It's like comin home.

Me and my Tamara loaded up the Mustang and left for Dallas on Friday after work and headed south to join up with some of her old El Paso friends. From that moment on the good times just kept on a rollin like the nearby Colorado River. Our first order of business was to head to Hotel Vegas because our friend had seen a poster that advertised "Free Beer" for the night. They had me at the word free and it almost was to good to be true! This must be the promised land! Come to find out this so called "Free Beer" was the name of the band performing that night. Sneaky bastards. I'll give them this; an A plus for their marketing strategy. After getting over the false advertisement, we went around taking in the local nightlife which was loads of fun. It involved a lot of dancing and bar hopping and at one point we ended up at a place where the dance floor was on top of an aquarium that used to have live sharks swimming around. Sadly some snitch from PETA found a dead shark in the back dumpster and shut down that operation real quickly. They can be so dramatic sometimes.

Morning soon came and the best part of waking up was the local Austin delicacy known as gingerbread pancakes which were hands down the best pancakes I've ever put in my mouth....and that's sayin' something. They were prepared by our generous hostess Natalie who also makes a mean mole' and who's apartment I now refer to as my timeshare, because God as my witness, I'll be back. The rest of the day was spent doing the things that  real Austinites do such as: browsing the shelves of vintage clothing shops, soaking up the 70 degree weather, dining on organic foods, making a quick stop at American Apparell, and applying an instagram filter to every picture on my camera roll. By the 30th instagram photo upload my fingers and legs were exhausted so we decided nap time was necessary if we wanted to stay awake late enough for the countdown of the ball dropping.

After getting ourselves all dolled up in our New Year's Eve attire and bougin' it up on public transportation, we made our grand entrance to a bar called Shangri-La via a high-speed pedicab ride. The pedicab ride alone was quite an adventure in and of itself and we were happy to be alive after being completely rear-ended by the pedicab that was following us with two of our other friends. Luckily no one, including the driver was injured although I have a feeling there were some choice words between the two drivers after we exited the vehicle because the guy totally dented the back of our pedicab and left it with some strange new squeaky noises. The theme at the bar for the night was sock hop which was really fun and different and let's just say my purely coincidental outfit choice of a clip on bow-tie and suspenders fit right in. Midnight came and went and my new year was ushered in by the sound of the 50's, surrounded by friends both old and new and I even managed to nab a New Year's kiss and possibly the tastiest quesadilla I'd ever tasted. Who could ask for more?

In an effort to prove to me that there are musical options I would enjoy that aren't found on VH1 Top 20 countdown, the 3 hour drive to and from Austin was spent expanding my current itunes library. Here are a few of the songs that are by no means new to the scene, but they are new to me and I hope they bring as much joy to your ears as they did mine. Happy New Year everyone :)