Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Musical Monday

I ran across this article the other day and after all these years, I know what happened to Gregg Alexander! Who, you say?

This guy:


You know, right?! That song is still so good, isn't it? A one-hit wonder (though I loved that record).

Well, now he's nominated for an Oscar. I had no idea that's he's just been busy writing songs for years now, and turns out, he's written a few of my guilty pleasure Britpop favorites. Like this one from Ronan Keating.


And he wrote Game of Love for Santana and Michelle Branch, and Inner Smile by Texas and Murder on the Dance Floor for Sophie Ellis-Bexter and more! It make so much sense when I go back and hear those tracks, and I am so excited by this fact!

I finally watched Begin Again this weekend. I'd been meaning to see it in theaters, but missed it along the way. I knew I'd like it, since John Carney directed Once (my favorite, favorite, I have no words to talk about how much I love Glen and Marketa and this sweet, simple film). There are many similar elements to both films, and while I have mixed feelings about Adam Levine acting and Keira singing, but I think it all came together quite nicely. I really enjoyed this film and its songs, thanks to Mr New Radicals.

And what pangs I had for New York City! I really hope one day that I can be in a long term relationship with that city. I don't want to marry it and be there forever, but the week-long flings I've had with it aren't enough. Maybe one day, one day, I can live there for a bit and get it out of my system. I should've done it ten years ago, but that desire hasn't gone away.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

January is Flying By....

My no-clothes-buying January seems to be going by rather quickly. I figured it'd be tough to not shop, but at this rate, it'll be a breeze. I guess I cheated a little tiny bit, but I make the rules, right? I did buy a space heater, and I am loving it. 

After my vertigo weekend (which I blame partially on dancing for a bit at The Moose with Trevor), I stayed in and took it easy. No work on Monday and Tuesday, though Holly came over Monday night and helped me walk over to Cafe Trio for some dinner. She also graciously took out my garbage. I have good friends. As long as I kept my head looking forward, I was okay for dinner. It had been days since I had eaten real food, and that spaghetti and gigantic meatball was so good.  

I attempted to go into work on Wednesday and Thursday, though I had a cloudy head and couldn't concentrate. Is that what smoking weed is like? I left early both days to go nap. Meghan came over Thursday night after helping Holly with wedding stuff, and we had Hires burgers and sweets from Gourmanside, and then came home to make a dance playlist for Holly's wedding. 


The true test of vertigo recovery - would I be able to dance at the wedding? Meghan and I got the party started and I didn't fall over, so I took that as a great sign. Holly and Brandon are the sweetest, and I will definitely be crashing their place in NYC once they get settled in.


The other best part of this wedding - seeing some of the best ladies from my Phoenix days. I feel like I just started to get to know them as I was moving to LA, but I'm glad we have these occasional reunions. It's just so nice.

 The wedding was at the Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park, and this flower idea turned out so well.

The happy couple and me, with laser beams through our faces.

Gold sequin tableclothes, awesome.

Phoenix friend Eric is in Utah now, he came up to complete the reunion.

Meghan and I rocked that playlist and got people onto the dance floor. Young and old were getting their groove on.

The next morning the Phoenix ladies hit up the Belgian Waffle for some breakfast. Interesting crowd, decent food, wonderful company.



 My hair was gross that day, I tried a sock bun. I guess it worked? After breakfast we saw The Imitation Game, which I thought was excellent.

Sunday was Stake Conference, the first one I've attended since I moved here. I have a small stake, and I kinda like that.

Monday after work I hopped back onto the treadmill to see how much it'd hurt after not training for a couple weeks. Ugh. I struggled. This Ragnar Relay in February is going to be tough. I hurried after that run to City Creek to meet Celisse for dinner. It'd been over a month since I'd seen her, and we had a lot to talk about. Then we hit some stores, cause she is a great shopper. I found some $100 sunglasses that I ended up paying $6 for. My favorite pair broke recently, this was a stellar sale, so I broke my no shopping rule. Then I went into J Crew and saw I sweater I'd been thinking about for weeks. It was also on stellar sale, and with 1 left in my size, it was a sign. I bought it, too, and people like it. Good buy.

I continued marathon Monday - PJ and I went to Urban Lounge for Zola Jesus. I don't know a lot of her stuff, but she put on a great show, and I loved her outfit.

I've been watching Arrested Development a bit lately, maybe inspired by Lucille Two's vertigo. This happened, and I laughed.

Goal for this week - finish my 2014 Favorites Top 50 list. This was a good reminder from Katie.

Tuesday I had the Young Women over to my house, and we had a cozy evening of games and hot chocolate. Wednesday was book club. I finally finished All The Light We Cannot See, after our December book club date got moved. Only three people came, so it was more chatty about life than chatty about the book, but I'm always glad to go. I'm hoping to read more books this year, and I just got a stack out yesterday as inspiration. Goodreads had a goal setting for how many books to read this year - I said 12, one a month is good, yeah? Then some of my friends are planning to read 100. Umm...

Thursday night I attended a Midsingles Religion Class that is starting for the semester. Another goal is to be more social and meet new people, and maybe this is one way to help. I love seeing old friends here, but I've found it difficult to meet new ones. Maybe I don't need new ones, but mixing it up is always good. The instructor is really great as well. He and his wife spoke briefly at a fireside last week, where I also saw Tad Callister. They all took a more academic approach to their messages and lessons, which I'm really appreciating lately.

This weekend was Velour's 9th anniversary, which meant that all my LA band friends were here to play. Haleigh flew in Friday, so I picked her up at the airport and we had a good catch up and dinner on the way to the show. I'm so glad I had the most wonderful roommate in LA. Meeting online didn't lead me astray.

I was stoked to finally see Sego play. They've got some rad sounds going on.

TMTF is always good.

This girl is so great.

After a couple hours of chatting late into the night with the gang at Velour, Marcello rode home with me and crashed my guest room that night. I got up to go to boot camp, but the time had been moved up and I missed it. Grrrr. Guess that just means I can eat croissants earlier. I still hadn't tried Tulie across the street, and I needed some pastries.

It was a really nice day, so we walked up to Gilgal to see all those strange sculptures.

We chatted Oscar films, and I had to laugh over this Benedict Cumberbatch text. His name is so ridiculous.
Today was the first day I've been to 9am church and surprisingly I didn't hate it. I went to bed at a decent hour, so that helped, but that might not always be the case. I taught the lesson in YW's today, which went okay. This is the first time I've had a teaching calling, so it's been interesting. After church I went down to see Haleigh and Brandon again and catch some NFL playoffs. I'm not super into the NFL, but it turned out to be a great game. Go Seahawks! Saw a beautiful sunset on the way home, and I'll call this a great week. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stuff I Did in August in SLC

A laundry list of things that went on during August when I wasn't traveling to San Diego and Nashville.

Grandma got a smart phone and joined Instagram. I blame Tanner for helping her. Our Williams Family Cousins group had some activity to talk about.

I went to Provo's Rooftop Concert Series to see Dave and Davey - CSWS.

I think it was Nathan? We  made a night of Oh Mai and a movie and gelato. But I have no recollection what film we saw. What was out this summer? Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy? Yes, that was it, because I just looked at Nathan's FB status from then, and he always rants about the movies he sees (film professor of sorts). He said - "saw the thing with the TREE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE 'COONIVERSE*..." on that day.


Celisse and her coworker (blanking on her name) and I made a brunch of it back at Ruth's Diner up in the canyon. Delicious biscuits.


Back to the Twilight Series to see Local Natives. I do love that band. They sounded so good. I met up with PJ there and we grabbed some Rye afterwards. Thank goodness for a new late night place in SLC.

The next night Melanie and I really wanted to see Ray Lamontagne at Red Butte, but it was way sold out. We decided to hike to the hilltop above the garden to see if we could get a decent sound. About 75 other people had the same idea.


We ended up walking right behind the venue - there's Ray on the phone! We waved. We could see a little and hear a little. I had to leave early to pick someone up from the airport. I think my brother?

The next day Adam and I went up to the Tour of Utah at Snowbird. He was the lucky doctor that got to monitor the urine samples of some of the cyclists. Ha! We opted for the motorcycle up there. That's a great way to get in the mountain air.

Adam's friend was in charge of the hospitality tents, so we had a nice hookup with food and drink and a good view. Waiting for the cyclists to come into the end of the stage. They'd biked from Park City, up over a mountain and down, then back up this canyon to the end. Nuts. 


Later that evening we traded the bike for a car and went to see Ben Folds with the Utah Symphony at Deer Valley. Amazing show. Ben's a musical force.


Ben stopped doing Rock This B*tch for awhile, but it made an appearance tonight, with an orchestra, no less! I was so impressed and amazed. Seriously - so impressive.  Someone got a pretty good video of the whole process here. Basically Ben comes up with parts for different sections of the orchestra on the fly, those talented people pick it up immediately, then he puts it all together and it makes this amazing piece of music, all in about eight minutes. Mind. Blown.  Even a trumpet solo!

Also, I don't remember hearing the song Cologne much before, but he told the story and then played it. I was dying - those lyrics. Please, do yourself a favor and listen to the second verse. He cracks me up.

We had another Hallie birthday party with Courtney's family. More cake!




Max came around to help clean up.




I delved into online dating. Isn't it awesome?


PJ and I went to see Jenny Lewis. I want her to be my power animal - she is amazing. 

Celisse and I also found tickets to Wicked. Super sold out except for the expensive seats, but I finally found some that weren't too bad. Granted we were on almost the back row, but who cares? I'd seen it before. Still pretty great.


More Twilight Series. Future Islands! Yes, dude dances as crazy as everyone thinks. He's intense and his voice gets all sorts of scary. The look doesn't go with the moves, and I can't take my eyes away. 

Kim C met me there later for some Beck. Beck! So good - I'd never seen him before. His genius comes across right away. I was loving it. Sadly the crowds were so large and so obnoxious that I couldn't handle it. I met Kim towards the side for some food, and we left a little early. I was kinda sad about not seeing his full set, but the crowd was awful. I guess that's what happens when it's only five  bucks to get in, though I don't remember last year being as bad.

But Beck - so good.

After we left, Kim and I went to Rye (again) for late night dinner, and since they're hooked up to Urban Lounge next door, they usually pump the show through the speakers into the dining room. They warned us that night that a death metal band was playing, and they totally understood if we didn't want to eat there. They weren't playing the show through the audio system and still it was crazy loud. We braved it anyway. Kinda funny.

Ice cream sundae event at work that I ended up taking photos for. 

I bought an owl shirt and thought of Chantal.

I ended up at some work dinner with a major partner of ours who comes to town a few times a year. They took us to Log Haven up in Millcreek Canyon, which was pretty nice. Kind of awkward with a work dinner (I feel like I socialized much more with coworkers outside of work on the East coast, but not here), but the food was delicious and splurge-y and free. I'll take it. The venue is pretty gorgeous too.


One night I went with Adam to pick up a turtle for his nephew - we ventured to some lady's house to get it. Then we had tacos, except I don't remember eating much at Chunga's.

Another night Adam owed me dinner, and I made sure we went to Pago. It was very good.

Somewhere in here I went to Nashville, but that's a separate post.

Rob and Tashina got married - hooray! It's funny that I knew her in Phoenix and him in DC, and they met later and wound up together.  I wouldn't have put the two of them together, but they're an international power couple in the making.

Trevor had gone to high school with Rob (all these connections) and was neighbors with many of the guests, so he came in from LA to celebrate.

I snuck away from the reception for a minute to try Art City Donuts, which were going to be down the street. Delicious hot donuts are always a yes!

Taylor and Courtney came over too, since the donuts and reception were all in their town. Hallie got some donuts.

Doh - eyes closed!

That's better. And that's August in a nutshell.


Skop-meh and the good parts of Macedonia

We arrived back in Skopje after that early bus ride from Prizren, and while we had to check out of our Airbnb apartment that morning, we we...