20 December 2007
18 December 2007
17 December 2007
13 December 2007
Here's my review of the music, the spoken word and the show that was not onstage:
Just What a Band Aught to Be
I was really excited to see VHS or Beta. They'd been recommended to me a while back but I never took the time to check them out. They were perfect. Loved the music. They sounded great. They looked great. They even broke down their own set which is very cool. The only thing that disappointed me about their set was that it was too short (but that's the lot you get when you're the opener to the opener). I came home, downloaded "Bring on the Comets" and haven't stopped listening to it since. Highly, highly recommended. They're pretty much my new favorite band.
If you've never heard Against Me, you'll probably understand exactly what kind of band they are when I tell you that my vocal chords hurt after listening to them... and not because I was screaming, but because the lead singer screamed every lyric of their entire set and there was some serious moshing going on. They were really entertaining to watch and the music was pretty good. And man, their drummer killed me! He so did not look the part. I was fully expecting him to break out in some charlie brown dancing right on stage.
Imagine with me now... Against Me onstage. A bunch of punk teens and early 20-somethings all dressed in black, moshing, fist pumping, screaming right along with the lead singer.
Enter Fred & Barney.
At first glance you ask yourself what Fred is doing at a show like this. He's most likely in his early 40s, in town for a convention and taking advantage of the weeks liberation from the wife and kids. He must have come straight from the convention center because he's still wearing a suit, though he's attempting to fit in by taking off his tie and unbuttoning the top few buttons of his white shirt.
Barney is in his late 30s and is a Vegas veteran. This isn't his first time here on business and he's exactly what you'd expect to see at the hottest night club or walking down the strip accompanied by his hired help. He's sporting designer jeans, a button up shirt (cut on the biased, no doubt) and white, croc leather elf shoes and a $300 haircut (that looks exactly like a $20 haircut). In his head he's the hottest thing on the block and he's trying hard to make sure everyone else knows it. In short... he's a tool.
Now, I have no problem with guys of this demographic being at a show like this. I do however have a problem with them being. in. the. mosh. pit. People? Can I just tell how embarrassed I was for these two? They stuck out like a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah. It was hilarious. The best part was Fred trying to high-five the mosh pit locals only to be met by blank stares. Classic!
So, ok, can we just talk for a moment about what is and is not age appropriate? This has been on my mind as I'm now in the very late august of my 20s and a new decade is knocking... no, banging on my door.
At a show like this I believe there is proper physical placement for each age group. The younger you are the closer you may be to the stage with absolutely no elbow room. Take a step back for every year older you get and gain some breathing room. It's a simple formula. Let's stick to it. The formula may change for each musical genre but there is indeed an age appropriate location for everyone in attendance. So, where was I? Left of center, mid-way back.
You're not paid to talk, buddy. Now shut up and sing!
The headlining band for the evening was Angels & Airwaves. I knew a few of their songs before going to the show so I was looking forward to seeing what they'd be about live. Umm... You know when you leave a show liking a band less than when you came? Yep, that'd be my experience here.
First of all, I didn't know until I got there that the lead singer is Tom DeLonge (ok, color me ignorant), formerly of Blink 182. Did I forget to tell you that I hated Blink? Did I also forget to tell you that I really hated Tom DeLonge?
Well during the opening few songs of their set I was fascinated! This didn't look like that guy from that other band. It was almost impossible to take your eyes off of him. Amazing moves. Incredible stage presence. He seemed like a different person and I was well pleased... until he started talking.
There is an appropriate amount of verbal interaction a performer should have with his/her audience but this was way too far over the line. His 10 minute long stories had me snoozing not to mention the F-this, F-that, F-in F-er. I mean, come on. That's just offensive. To top it all off the vocal levels were way off. Couldn't even hear him singing. I was so ready for that show to be over. OK, it really wasn't so bad. They had a lot of potential to be awesome. Had the vocal levels been balanced and not so much talky, talky, I would have loved seeing them live. Sadly disappointed.
So, in conclusion:
Angels & Airwaves- stick to the ipod
Against Me- Worth seeing as an opener
VHS or Beta- go buy every song they've ever recorded and see them live every chance you get.
All in all- I'm down with the live shows. They're keeping me young- which feels totally age appropriate to me right now.
12 December 2007
The SYTYCD posse (minus J who saw the show in CA)
Kameron & Lacey dancing the infamous Mia Michaels contemporary number.
OK Ladies. Here he is! NEIL!
It took me a while to figure out what this was a picture of. Can you guess? It's Neil. Doing a back flip. Very high. In the air. HELLO! This is from the disco number with Sara.
More Neil acrobatics. This time with Sabra doing the Mandy Moore contemporary to Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics.
Pasha being... Pasha. And Dominic in the background mimicking with a red handkerchief. We got pretty lucky the night we saw the show. It was the LAST stop on the tour so not only did we get to see the Top 10, we got to see the Top 14 (including the 4 alternates who subbed during the tour for those who were injured, etc) and every single number that involved said alternates. So, that meant 3 solid hours of SYTYCD magic! It was heaven. And since it was the last tour the group was a little silly and doing some hilarious stuff. They were having such a great time together!
Another example of the groups last night of the tour antics. Had this moment not been totally hilarious (like, make you cry hilarious) I would have been pretty upset that they ruined one of my fav dances. This was the Shane Sparks hip-hop piece with Sabra and Dominic. However, half way through the dance out walks Hok dressed as a full on TRANNY and steppin in on Sabras part. So, ridiculously hilarious!
And this is the part where I was kind of crying (and also, not the only time I was kind of crying during the night. I mean come on! It was magical!) This was the Mia Michaels contemporary piece with Neil and Lacey. It was so beautiful how the whole cast came out dressed in white carried the daisies for the stage. Beautiful! Also... I may or may not have audibly gasped when they eluded that Mia Michaels herself was there to explain the piece. I really, honestly thought she was going to physically be there, so I was sad (and a little embarrassed about the gasp) when I realized that they meant she'd be talking about the number via pre-recorded video. Alas, still moving.
This one is especially for the ladies again- can you see Neil's abs?? Yeah?? Yeah?? Oh yeah!
The whole cast at the end of the show. So, my tour observations were thus: Danny- not as annoying as he used to be. I could actually tolerate him. Lauren- still totally hate her (and I mean hate with fiery indignation). Jaime- psycho and totally annoying. Seriously. Everyone else- LOVE!! The group numbers were so much better live than they were on the show! It was such a fantastic night. There were only one or two dances that I wish they would have done (including the sara/pasha suspender dance). I was so happy that they did all my favorites. SO HAPPY!
Sometimes I forget that I'm not Grace Kelly. I think the silliness of the sytycd cast wore off on my because this happened during intermission:
And don't worry that I totally bought a tour t-shirt and I totally wore it to the Angels & Airwaves / Against Me / VHS or BETA concert that I went to last night. Not even a tiny bit ashamed. (Also, don't worry that I came home and made a bitchin' spreadsheet detailing every episode of sytycd- the songs, performers, styles and choreographers... nope, not obsessed at all...)
05 December 2007
2. I started running more consistently (again) and upping my mileage slowly (again). I'm doing 3-milers pretty easily this week which is pretty good for me especially since a few weeks ago (after not really running for the last 5 months) I was dying after just 2 miles. However, I've got a steep climb this month in order to get ready for the 1/2 marathon in January. I'd forgotten how much of mental game running really is. I know I need to push my limits more but when I'm going around that track for the 16th time (seriously, the track at my gym is a dizzying 5-1/2 laps per mile... yet better than running outside in the cold and dark) it's pretty easy to justify 3 miles as 'good enough' for the day.
I kind of can't believe I'm going to do a 1/2 in a month from now. I never thought that would be something I could do this soon. But, now it actually feels within reach. I really thought a 1/2 marathon was the absolute most my body and mind could ever do. But, now that I'm actually going do it I feel like a full marathon is a conceivable goal. Pretty cool.
This week I mixed up my playlist a little. Normally I have a lot of upbeat, fast, loud songs that pump me up. But, I was getting sick of the same old songs on repeat so I made a new playlist of songs that I just plain like regardless of their tempo and volume. It actually made for a pretty relaxing run.
I'm also trying to figure out the correlation between what I eat and my energy level when I'm running. I've been trying to eat more healthfully lately but I'm having a hard time balancing all the food groups (or whatever I'm supposed to do with them). It just seems like some days on the track I can go around and around without getting tired, other days it's like I'm carrying around a ton of bricks and am winded after my first lap. And I can't yet figure out what I need to do to feel like I have endless energy. I guess I'm gonna have to get less lazy in the kitchen. Hmph.
3. It's Christmas time. I have to keep reminding myself.
I've been in Las Vegas for 7 years (whoa!) and have acclimatized to the heat and lack of cold. Yet, I've never really been able to get in the Christmas Spirit here. To me Christmas involves freezing cold weather, snow, pine trees, snow capped mountains, seeing your breath when you walk outside, christmas lights, cranking the heater, scraping the car windows, coats, boots, gloves, scarves, hot chocolate and wassail, etc. It does not involve sunny weather, palm trees, rolling down the car windows, flip-flops (or clip-clops), short sleeves, frozen yogurt, etc
I've got my house decorated, tree and all, but I still kinda feel like I'm just pretending that it's "the most wonderful time of the year". If only I could get some snow up in here!
30 November 2007
29 November 2007
In just 24 hours from now I will be in Reno preparing for the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE TOUR!!! AHHHH!!! Seriously, you do not even understand how excited I am about this!
In preps for tomorrow night I've been watching some of my fav performances. Enjoy! By the way, did I mention that we'll be sitting on THE FOURTH ROW?!! It's totally ok to be jealous of me right now.
28 November 2007
my best vegas girlfriend just got engaged.
she was the one who always had the cute bridal shower ideas when all our other friends got married. so now i'm a little panicked that she's left me in the dust to plan hers without her.
here's where you come in:
bridal shower ideas. i need some.
and let me clarify... there will be NO CHEESY GAMES! i need theme/scheme ideas- food, decorations, invitations, favors, etc.
the wedding will either be in late february or march. come on now... time's a tickin'!
26 November 2007
While I was at home for Thanksgiving I got to spend some time with 2 of my best friends, their husbands and kids. It was a pleasure that I know will be repeated in the years to come because those friendships will never be taken for granted. Now, that I'm back home I'm looking forward to spending time with my day-to-day friends, most of whom I've only known for a few months. And no matter the time of day or where I am in the world I can create and cultivate friendships with those I've never seen face to face.
While some are lasting and some are temporary, I've always counted myself blessed to have great friends in my life. I've often thought that if I had one wish for this world it wouldn't be the cliche wish for world peace. It would be that every single person have a friend. Because no joy and no sorrow is complete without a friend to multiply or divide it. So, here's cheers to you, dear friends!
"It is one of the blessings of old friends
that you can afford to be stupid with them"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"It is not so much our friends' help that
helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us"
i am NOT a cougar (at least in the alma mater way... otherwise, yes. yes i am a cougar) and most of my friends know that i have a history of cheering against them... mostly just to be annoying but also because the whole cougar-mania thing can be a little (read: a lot) over the top for someone who didn't attend the b.y.
my dad has had byu football season tickets for as long as i can remember and in my youth i spent many a saturday on the metal bleachers of Cougar (now Lavell Edwards) Stadium. however, my loyalties faded when i became an aggie (utah state! hey, aggies all the way! go aggies! go aggies! hey! hey! hey!*) and i could never bring myself to cheer for "that school down south that doesn't believe in agency"**.
but, "train up a child in the way [she] should go: and when [she] is old, [she] will not depart from it" (prov 22:6). on saturday i found myself cheering the cougars on to victory, jumping and screeming at "4th and 18", a moment that will go down in history. i don't know what happened but it felt so strange yet so natural. it's true. i never thought i'd say this but... go cougars!
*congrats to my aggies who won their second game this weekend, thus upping their record to an impressive 2-10. i am proud.
**(almost) direct quote from one of my institute teachers at usu. best thing i ever heard.
***claim to fame: i totally know (read: met once) austin collie. we'd call him a family friend. every play in our play book would be "give it to austin!"
21 November 2007
20 November 2007
i've had my current church calling for the past 2-1/2 years (i know, tell me about it!) and i still have no idea what i'm doing. in anything else in life i'd think 2-1/2 years is plenty of time to figure things out. but in this case, i'm totally fine not knowing what i'm doing because it's not really my call. it's the Lord's. this is His business and the only thing i need to know is what He wants me to do. so, i pray. hard. everyday i ask Him to guide me to do whatever it is that He needs me to do that day. this is what i've learned: it works (at least in this instance... i still have yet to figure out how prayer, faith & the Lord's will for my life all work but that's a different post for a different day *sigh*).
it wasn't the first time it's happened, but sunday i had 2 separate moments at church where i knew what was coming out of my mouth wasn't coming from my brain. those words were the Lord's and i was extremely humbled and grateful that i was able be an instrument for Him to bless others (i hope).
as i was leaving church i joked to one of my favorite sisters that she needs to start praying for me. at this she replied, with a straight face and a serious tone, "i pray for you every day. and every time i go to the temple i put your name on the prayer roll." to which i replied, "....." i was speechless. i finally uttered a "thank you" which seemed entirely not enough for what i felt. even now, after having time to process it, i still can't even put into words how much i appreciate those prayers- hers and others- and why. especially why. it means everything.
i certainly don't serve in my calling for laud and honor. in fact, some might say it's a thankless job. that's not true. there are plenty of sweet rewards for what i get to do. but i'm not going to lie. it does feel good when people tell me i'm doing a good job. i know i'm not the best at what i do and certainly there are many others who could be doing a much better job than i'm doing. but the thanks, encouragement and especially the prayers i do get are sweet rewards that help me remember to do my best. and that's all the Lord has asked me to do. my best. not some one else's best.
through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service, we can succeed in our sacred callings
~thomas s monson
i have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that i had no where else to go
15 November 2007
14 November 2007
12 November 2007
i know you did.
sorry i was gone so long... ok, not that sorry. i just spent 10 days here:
01 November 2007
I'm not even kidding, it was like, the best ever!
2 house parties, vampire cupcakes, apple bobbing, pinatas, costume contest, mad dancing, tons of photo taking. This is why I LOVE this holiday.
I'd post photos but I'm way too tired. So you can check them all out here.
But just so you know what I was:
OK, no one else really figured it out either.
See, Ms Geography was a modern Dorthy and I was the modern Wicked Witch. Get it? Totally brill if you ask me.
Also... I forgot to wish everyone a happy nevada day earlier. Hope it was as good for you as it was for me.
31 October 2007
30 October 2007
29 October 2007
2 Nephi 7
"...O House of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? ...For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded... And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth. For the Lord God will help me. "
He is all powerful, indeed. It's our job to just trust him.
28 October 2007
1- when i find a song that i love i have absolutely no problem listening to it on repeat for 12+ straight hours until i'm sick of it. i get a kick out of looking at my most played list on itunes and seeing which song i've endured the longest. oddly enough, i never know all the lyrics even though i always sing along. my brain only memorizes the notes, the instruments, the music, but never the words.
2- i am very aware of my physical imperfections, shortcomings, etc and like most people feel self conscious in most social situations, yet i have a (healthy?) streak of vanity wherein I have no problem admitting when i think i look great. i also love looking at photos of myself (probably because i know i'm photogenic and look better in photos than in real life).
3- i have whatever the opposite of a foot fetish is. i think feet are so disgusting and get a little freaked out if people get their feet too close to me or (heaven forbid!) touch me with their feet. ironically, i give a great foot massage. my feet are fine though. i don't hate my feet. what's weird though is that i cross my toes. more often than not i have my big toe crossed over my second toe or vica versa and do it with both feet. i have the long finger-like toes that can pick stuff up which is why i can cross them.
4- i served an LDS mission in the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission. i guessed that's where i'd go so it wasn't a surprise to me when i opened my call (which i received on my 24th birthday). i never served in Mada though i was lucky enough to go there the last 2 days of my mission. after a 2 month visa wait in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission (i was in Fayetteville, Arkansas and loved it) i served, french speaking, on the 2 "outer" islands- La Reunion & Mauritius- that were part of the mission. i absolutely loved it! the islands were gorgeous, the missionaries were the cream of the crop and the cultures and people were amazing. i came home with a love for the indian (dot, not feather) culture, especially the food, thanks to my time in Mauritius. i love that i got to serve french speaking because i'd studied french all through jr high and high school and have always been a bit of a francophile. i'm still homesick for the Mascareign Islands!
5- i studied piano from the age of 5 until the time i left for college. i was required to practice 2 hours a day, went to various competitions every spring (i even won a concerto competition) and had several personal recitals. i wasn't always so dedicated to my practicing and my mom was always on my case about it (and still is to this day... seriously, this evening on the phone she asked if i had been practicing the piano). my greatest strength has always been sight reading. even though i've lost a lot of my technique i can still pick up almost any piece of music and play it. i even taught piano all through high school. my biggest regret (said La Belle Dame Sans Regrets...) is that i didn't continue on with my piano studies through college (i didn't realized i could get my engineering degree and still study the piano... one track mind). but one day i will go back and study piano pedagogy and combine my love for music and teaching (which was learned later in life) and have my own piano studio.
6- i am a serious night owl (2am 'lights out' is not uncommon for me). i hate going to sleep at night. but i love sleeping. waking up in the morning is the worst part of the day.
26 October 2007
25 October 2007
what's the word that ends in -uous that means i wanna do something sneaky & silly? all i can think is 'promiscuous' but that's not it. or maybe it is.
23 October 2007
I'm not too proud to admit that I'm one of those single girls who wishes she was married with children. Bring it on. I know one day I'll be living the dream but in the interim I have to get my kid-hunger fix even if it means sacrificing a bit of my social life. So saturday night I volunteered to babysit Baver, 12mo (seriously, I've never seen a kid who drools more that him). I really like this kid so I was excited to spend a night with him. PT couldn't understand why I'd rather spend a weekend night with Baver than go out with my friends. Well, to be honest, my social life isn't that exciting.
Anyway... let's get to the point. Like all babies do, Baver had a breakdown when his mom walked out the door. I tried to distract him with the monkey toy that he seemed to love 5 minutes earlier but that didn't work so I took him to the piano, set him on my lap and started to play. I thought he might play along with me but instead he stopped crying, listened and watched, then fell asleep in my arms as I was playing. Maybe one of the most precious moments of my entire life! I just wanted to hit pause and stay in that moment for as long as I could.
It was one of those perfect moments where I held perfection and innocence in my arms. It was God's whispering reminder that this is what I'm preparing for. If I use this time wisely everything I do between now and motherhood could and should better equip me to love, protect and teach the spirits God will entrust to my care (not only the children but the husband as well).
It is no wonder the Lord counsels us to "becometh as a child". At that moment I could feel how pure and guiless Baver is. He put his trust in me to care for him and make everything safe and good for the time we were together. Likewise, all I have to do is put my trust in my Heavenly Father that he will make everything ok and just as it should be in my life. So, why do I have such a hard time believing that is true sometimes?