Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So then that happened...

Just when I was getting in the blogging spirit again... my laptop died. It is supposedly fixed... but due to lightning speed shipping on behalf of Dell and FedEx, it's at my mom's house where I expected to be when it arrive (you know, 4 days from now). Seriously... it took less than 12 hours to go from Houston to Syracuse... I'm not sure you could fly that fast.

Between Christmas and The Rock Boat... I can't promise any posts soon, but I'll try (assuming my laptop is indeed fixed).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tuned In

Quite a few weeks ago I had a great weekend where I saw one of my favorite bands, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, twice and spent a lot of time in the car listening to music and podcasts. The whole weekend seemed to be about people recalling music that influenced them when they were younger; cue blog inspiration.

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers performed a special two-set Halloween show in Rochester where they paid homage to Pearl Jam before coming back out for a normal set. While playing music from Ten, Stephen told stories about listening to the music of Pearl Jam and specific songs from the album during his younger years. On the trek home the next day I listened to an episode of NPRs: All Songs Considered, titled: “Tunes That Got You Through Your Teens”. The episode was inspired by a dad who wrote to the ASC folks to ask for music he could give his daughter on her 13th birthday to help get her through the tumultuous teen years. It was an episode filled with great music and great stories that had special meaning to people. I had a lot of time in the car to think about the music that got me through my teen years and where music has taken me since.

Growing up my first musical influence, as you might expect, were my parents. They played me a lot of music from bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beetles, John Denver, Journey, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, and many more. Later, in my early teen years my music was mostly influenced by my friends and whatever was playing on MTV and pop radio, you know back when MTV played music.

It wasn’t until I was around 15 or 16 that I started to branch out and discover music for myself. For me it was the combination of Napster and lyric websites that spun my independent taste in music. I would spend hours just looking up lyrics from bands and songs I’d never heard of and if the lyrics caught my eye, I’d download the song and wait 4 hours to see if I liked it. How did I stumble across Vertical Horizon? I have no idea, but their lyrics did something for me and to this day they are one of my favorite bands.

“Always trying to make love out of care
The perfect recipe but something wasn't there.”
–Sunrays and Saturdays

(Come on, those lyrics just scream out to at teenager with a broken heart.)

My second big musical evolution happened  when I was in college and I went to a concert that changed my interest in music for life. I had just come from a rugby game, I was dirty, smelly, probably a little drunk, tired and sore. We grabbed our spots near the front to watch the opening act – The Gabe Dixon Band and they blew me away.  To this day, I can’t tell you who the main act was (either Guster or Ben Folds). The Gabe Dixon Band had it all for me, great lyrics, great live music and great stage performance. I bummed $5 from one of my friends (Thanks Renee) and bought their short EP and discovered that sometimes great music can’t be found in the record store or from Napster and that a great live performance will make me a fan for life. 

In the past three years since finishing up my Master's and getting a full time job, I've had the free time and income to support my music addiction hobby. I've gone to well over 50 concerts, traveled thousands of miles and have seen music everywhere from a small coffee shop in Albany with 15 other people, to a crowded outdoor amphitheater with 25,000 people, to the main deck of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with 2000 music fans. Hey, we all have our addictions hobbies. 

Is music a big part of your life? How did you catch the music bug? What catches your interest?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gratuitous apology

So.... it's been awhile. Thanks for not deleting me from your blog reader, I'll try to be better about posting on the regular.

I'm working on a blog post at the moment...well... at this moment I'm writing this let's procrastinate on a real blog post by writing an "I"m sorry for not updating" post. But I swear, I'll get back to my other post right after this!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Recovery Day

Yesterday and today I've definitely been in recovery mode after the Warrior Dash! It was a busy weekend and a busy blog day... see look! Thanks to All Over Albany and many others who posted a link to my blog!

Look at that traffic!

Monday, Miss Mary chose our Scavenger Photo Hunt topic of the day: "half". I thought about it for most of the day, contemplated skipping today but figured blogging is a habit that needs to be formed. I don't always want to be super literal with my posts so today I'm going with a book I'm halfway through!!

Oh black and white photos, I love you so.

+10 blogging points if you can guess what book it is! :)
Here, I'll give you a hint.
Yeah, totally not helpful, I know...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Warrior Weekend

Saturday was the Warrior Dash Northeast held in Windham, NY! It's advertised as the "craziest frickin' day of your life." I've had a few crazy days during my years and this would definitely be in the Top 5! I met up with my friends Kate and Jessica and together we carpooled to the race. When we pulled up I quickly realized I should have upped my expectations for the day; costumes galore, crowds of people oh and a race that goes up the ski slope with 13 obstacles!

Race area.

Me, Jess, Kate and some Warriors in costume!
The race was 3.23 miles and there were around 13 obstacles, well I think we all agreed that the 14th obstacle was the first 1.5 miles of the race that went uphill. I brought my camera with me during the race (with Ziploc bag) to capture some of the race excitement!

The obstacles were listed as:

1. Knee High Hell - stepping through tires
2. Warrior Wall - haul yourself over two sets of 4-5 ft walls
3. Tunnels of Terror - down on your hands and knees, crawl on through
4. Black Forest - dash through the trees
5. Slithering Swamp - a deep (chest high), icy cold pond to swim through
6. Walk the Plank - walk the plank, over a gully
7. Rip Van Winkle Way - up and over a wooden bridge
8. Rio Run -  mud, mud, mud
9. Cargo Climb - up one cargo net, onto a platform, down the other side
10. Flagstone Stack - lots of rocks in the woods
11. Catskill Skid - aka slip - n - slide
12. Warrior Roast - leap over two sets of fire pits
13. Muddy Mayhem - crawl through the mud pit, watch out for the barbed wire

The long uphill at the start!

Tunnels of Terror

Cargo Climb

Catskill Skid

Muddy Mayhem

Well obstacles 8 and 10 I didn't exist per se but there were plenty up steep up hills and steep down hills to make up for it! And man those killed my legs (next year I'll be more prepared)! The last three were by far the most exciting and grouped together at the end. There was a bit of a backup at the slip-n-slide which gave us a chance to catch our breaths and get ready to jump over some fire and crawl through the mud. Thanks to Jess and Kate for encouraging me up that long and difficult uphill, I couldn't have done it without you girls!!

Near the top of the course

Warriors Post-race

We clean up well!

Other blog posts about the Dash:

Times Union The Runners Blog
One of my Warrior Dash partners, Kate

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quick post!

Sorry for the lack of post today, my brain has been preparing for this tomorrow.

Woods, fire, and mud oh my!


I'll post a recap over the weekend and catch up on the blogging that needs to be done! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Something Green

Today's photo challenge: something green.

With all the gardening I've been doing this summer (remind me to re-do that blog post over here) I've been blessed with lots of greenery despite the absolute lack of rain we've had this year.

Again, tonight was a busy one. In addition to my garden, some friends and I belong to the Red Oak Farm CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) or what I like to call it, a farm share. We paid the folks at Red Oak Farm in the Fall of 2009 and all summer long we've been given fresh, locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables. It's been delicious and fun to try new things. My friends and I get together to exchange veggies, have dinner and catch up. Tonight we had some yummy chili and it was perfect on a cool evening like tonight.

Onto the pictures...

Three variety of peppers from the garden:

Basil flowers close up:

Be sure to check out my fellow photo scavengers!

Megan's schenanigans
Kelly at Kohlarabi and Quince
Kate's - The Bumblings of KT Bee
Miss Mary Mc

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slightly less inspired...

So day two of the photo challenge: Doors / Doorways. And though it was my suggestion, the business of the day got away with me.

I stopped by the grocery store, came home, then took off on a 45 minute walk/run (mostly walk). The weather is so amazing these days! My knee has been bothering me so I wanted to make sure it would be okay for the weekend ahead, but a blog post about that is in the works. After that I made myself dinner, just something quick and easy, made a modified recipe for chili that includes chocolate (think mole sauce) and roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic for a yummy tomato sauce. My apartment smells amazing at the moment!

Chili and roasted tomatoes fresh from the oven

Here are a few door / doorway pics from earlier! Also introducing Harris my cat, but more about him later!

Oven door

Harris in the sliding glass doorway
Scoping out the neighborhood

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New blog, new challenge

I'm testing the waters of blogging over here at blogspot, thanks for bearing with me as I figure it all out.

Some of my friends and I have decided to start a daily photography scavenger hunt, the details are still in the works but I figured I'd go ahead and get started with Day 1. The task: take a picture of a school. I love photography and hope this challenge gets me behind the lens more often.

Today was an extreme errand day and I estimate I passed directly by 6 or 7 schools. I wasn't able to photograph them all of course but I got a few pictures. As a side note, you feel kind of creepy trying to take a picture of a school when there are crowds of people around. Tonight some schools were busy due to the fall sports season, others were busy due to the New York State Primary. I stopped by my polling place and snapped a few pics.


I voted in the NYS Democratic Primary. I'm unhappy with certain parts of the state of my State, therefore I participated in the civic process; I educated myself and cast a vote in hope to make a change. It was my first time voting in a primary and the first time voting with an electronic voting machine! It was a very simple process and there were plenty of instructions and staff to assist. Only two positions had multiple candidates therefore I only voted for two positions, Attorney General and Senate positions. I filled in two bubbles, slid my ballot into the machine and I was done! We'll see what the results are and who we'll be voting for come November!