I've Been...

I've been listening to these albums:

I wish I could say amazing things about Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, but I couldn't handle the overuse of her baby voice on this album. Her shtick is getting old. The only songs I really enjoy are Brooklyn Baby, West Coast, and Money Power Glory. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is such a great soundtrack, both the movie version and this Broadway version with Neil Patrick Harris. It's all pretty great, but my favorite songs are The Origin of Love, Sugar Daddy, Angry Inch, and Exquisite Corpse. Slow Dancing is an EP by Betty Who and I love all five songs, especially Lovin' Start. The Aussie sounds similar to Katy Perry and it's just plain fun pop music. 

I've been watching this music video:

Just One of the Guys by Jenny Lewis is my summer jam. I was so excited to see the awesome video last week starring Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, and my favorite, Brie Larson. It's kind of hilarious! 

I've been reading these books:

I was really looking forward to The Wes Anderson Collection. The pictures were beautiful and tidbits of information were fun, but Wes didn't really talk about anything. The interviewer was also a suck up. I didn't love it. Melissa Explains It All was a pretty fun Hollywood memoir. She gossiped a little more than other celebrities, so I love her for that, but her stories weren't all that interesting. She definitely seems normal for a child star, but that's probably because she's a B List actor. Five Days At Memorial was hard to read and not just because of the content (a compilation of stories about the people at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina). I enjoyed the beginning, but there were too many subjects and stories, way too much detail, and it was very drawn out. I got bored. I wasn't in love with the first book, so I wasn't expecting to love Hollow City either. It was slow moving with not much of a plot, but the main character was more likable and the ending picked up a bit to save me from totally disliking the story. To All The Boys I Loved Before was really cute and sweet, about a teenage girl who writes letters to her crushes, but never sends them. Somehow they get out and instead of totally embarrassing her, they help her come out of her shell. I couldn't put it down and can't wait for the next book in the series. If I Stay was quick and easy to read and definitely sad, but not heart-wrenching like other reviews have made it seem. I'm very excited to see the movie though. I just hope the "play me like an instrument" part isn't in it. That was awkward. We Were Liars had the worst writing style I've read in a long time. I almost gave up on it because it was so annoying. I'm glad I stuck with it though. It's a quick read and I loved the story and ending. Hard Choices was a beast to get through. It took me almost three weeks to read and that was with a bit of skimming. I'm a long time fan of HRC, but unless you're seriously invested in politics, it's a lot to take in. Apple Tree Yard is about a scientist that has a sudden affair with a total stranger, which spirals out of control. The story moves back and forth through time, covering her previous life, the affair, and the trial. It's very well written and it kept me interested the entire time. 

I've been TiVoing these new shows:

The Sixties is a ten-part documentary series on CNN and is much more serious than I anticipated, but I really, really love it. Topics include television, civil rights, the assassination of JFK, the British invasion, the Vietnam war, etc. I thought I knew a lot about history, but I don't think I've ever seen so much footage before. Those were some crappy, crappy times. Undateable is a classic multi-camera sitcom. It's not hilarious, but every once in a while there's a laugh out loud moment. I really love all the characters, I just hate the laugh track. I hope it gets renewed! Ladies of London is my summer guilty pleasure. It's basically like Real Housewives, but in my favorite city in the world, with characters from the UK and the US, so there's a bit of a culture clash. Leah Remini: It's All Relative is pretty cute. I've always been a fan of hers and her family members are just as weird and funny as she is. It even touches a little bit on her exit from Scientology, which I find fascinating. 

I've been catching up on these old shows:

Ja'mie: Private School Girl was so bad and so hilarious. I felt terrible watching it, but laughed out loud so many times. Chris Lilley is amazing and you can't help but fall in love with the absolute garbage of a character he created. I think I want to rewatch it already! I've been meaning to start Louie for years. I recorded the latest season while watching the prior episodes on Netflix, so now I'm all caught up. It's dry and dark and the jokes take longer to get to than a sitcom, but it's pretty great. Some episodes are straight up funny, others are heartwarming, and some are just plain weird or uncomfortable. Jacob and I are watching Sherlock together, which means it'll take us three months to watch ten measly episodes. Jacob loves it. I like it just fine. It's fun and quick with amazing writing, acting and direction, I'm just not a detective show kind of person. And although I think Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are super talented actors and nice, funny guys, I'm not attracted to either of them, which apparently makes me a freak.

I've been deleting these shows:

Murder In The First looked promising, mostly because of Taye Diggs, but after two episodes I couldn't get into it. It was very slow and depressing. Curiosity got the best of me and I checked out the first episode of Girl Meets World. It was cute, but super cheesy and the kids were annoying. I'm obviously not their target demographic though. A few moms I know say they love watching it with their tweens. My Beverly Hills, 90210-loving heart had to check out Mystery Girls. It's so, so bad though. Again, I'm not in the correct age range, but I think it's terrible regardless. The sets are too bright, Tori, Jennie, and their stereotypical gay friend all over-act, and the story lines are really stupid. I loved the new format and judges in this season of Last Comic Standing, but now that they are into the challenges, I'm bored. No one comedian really stands out for me so I gave it up.

I've been seeing these movies:

I loved X-Men: Days of Future Past. I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. Don't kill me here, but Jennifer Lawrence didn't impress me much. I LOVED Evan Peters as Quicksilver though. His little part made the whole movie for me. X-Men movies are my favorite of all the comic book based movie franchises. I reviewed The Fault in Our Stars and Million Dollar Arm here. I had low expectations for 22 Jump Street. I didn't think I'd like the first, but really, really enjoyed it and was afraid that they wouldn't be able to recreate it for a sequel. I was wrong. It was hilarious! Partly because all they did was make fun of the fact that it was a sequel. I'd see any of those Jump Streets they showed during the credits too! Jersey Boys was alright. It was slow with weird angles and I feel like the end of each scene was like a soap opera, focused on the character's facial expression a little too long. It didn't really get good until Pecci and Guirdio showed up, about thirty minutes in. However, it was very similar to the musical, with the characters breaking the fourth wall, so that complaint by critics needs to be thrown out the window. Nolan is all about How to Train Your Dragon right now. He watched a few specials on Netflix, then the first season of Dragons, so he was ready for the sequel. I thought it was great, probably my favorite kid movie we've seen so far. He loved it too, though he got scared at one point and sad at another. I had to hold back tears more than once! It had heart and action.

And I've been renting these ones:

I watched Adult World because I love the cast, but this dark comedy wasn't comedic at all. It was slow and predictable and not Emma's best performance. I thought Walk of Shame looked so stupid when I first saw the trailer, but I was in the mood for something mindless and I've always loved Elizabeth Banks so I gave it a shot. It really was dumb with unbelievable hi-jinx, but it entertained me, in a stupid way. I thought R.I.P.D. had a chance, but it was super cheesy. It felt like a rip-off of Men In Black. It's not even worth watching for Ryan Reynolds. With such a great cast in Someone Marry Barry, I was hopeful, but it was terrible and incredibly unfunny. 

What have you been up to?

Cheers & Jeers: At Home

I don't really know how to organize my thoughts on things at home, so here are some cheers and jeers for you. 

Cheers to summertime! We've been hitting up parks, kid museums, and beaches. We've gone out for a ton of froyo and have also been buying treats from the ice cream truck. We've been spending time at the lake and have made s'mores, popcorn, and popsicles. We've been playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles and have been getting dirty with our water table, sand table, sprinkler, and blow up pool in the backyard. We've completed our summer reading program and the boys have done a few day camps at the YMCA, on top of their usual swimming lessons. We have plans to go bowling and mini golfing and also want to visit the splash park and planetarium. We also have a weekend at the ocean coming up. We're having tons of fun and I'm completely exhausted every day, but in a good way. I've been so tired at night that I'm not really reading or watching much TV. This is also why I've been a terrible blogger.

Cheers to road trippin'! We decided to visit my brother while he's working in San Diego this fall and Jacob insists on a road trip. It will definitely save a lot of money, but holy crap, that's a lot of driving with our two monsters. We're staying in a hotel one night each way, which means ten hours of driving per day. Because we'll have to take like 85 potty breaks I'm sure it'll be more like fourteen hours. I'm excited though! I've been to San Diego about ten times (and lived there when I was in kindergarten), but it'll be a whole new experience with our kids in tow. We'll have tons of fun at SeaWorld, Legoland, the zoo, the beach, the museums at Balboa, the pool at my brother's house, etc. I'm also excited to see some California friends!

- - - - - 

Jeers to my hair. I made the mistake of going to a new stylist while mine was on maternity leave. I loved my cut when I left the salon, but the next day I realized he went to town with layers. It looked thin and stringy. Thankfully I was able to see my regular stylist two weeks later and she fixed it. And by fixed it, I mean she chopped it off so I no longer have any layers. I was kind of happy to do it though. I just can't really have long hair. My hair is very healthy, but every time I have surgery the anesthesia makes my hair fall out, which makes it tangle and thin. I guess the lob is where it's at.

Jeers to my body. I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. If you don't know this hell, it's when the flat band of connective tissue that runs along on the bottom of your foot becomes weak, swollen, inflamed, and even tears. I've been wearing my sexy night splint for about a month, but I'm still in pain all day long. As if that isn't bad enough, my left knee has been sore for weeks, without reason. I've never had a knee injury before and it is killing me! I got X-rays done last week and I'm finally going to see a orthopedist tomorrow. My doctor warned me that I'll probably need an injection in my foot. Whatever it takes to make it feel better, but I reeeally don't want to be told to wear a brace or get crutches! She said she's even heard of people needing a cast until it healed. Ugh!

Jeers to getting old. As if my body falling apart wasn't bad enough, I realized I graduated from high school 17 years ago. Two of my friends had parents pass away last month. I took this hearing test and could only hear the first two tones. The group of kindergartners I taught graduated from college this year. I Facebook stalked some and they are full on grown ups! Jacob and I are updating our wills. I wrote this post about music festivals. I wrote this post about the 2000s. Mary-Kate and Ashley are 28 years old and Friends has been off the air for ten years. I'm totally fine with being 35. My age has never really bothered me, but man, I feel really old and lame lately.

Jeers to Jacob's job. Not really. It's a great job and more than pays the bills, but he's been working Monday through Saturday since January. Two weeks ago he got bumped up to ten hour days instead of nine. I miss him. The kids miss him. The kids drive me crazy when I have them on my own for too long. He's also still working at his MMA gym and training for a triathlon. I feel bad for packing in family fun on Sunday (his only day off) because if I were him, I'd just want to sleep. He he tells me to bring it on though and never complains. He amazes me and I'm so grateful for him and don't feel like I do enough in return. I'm sure this thought runs through his mind a few times a week:

Honestly though, life is very good. I'm just grumpy about being in pain.
How are things at your house?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Have you ever seen Who Do You Think You Are? It's a genealogy docu-series that aired for two seasons on NBC then moved over to TLC. It's such a great show! Each episode follows a celebrity uncovering branches of their family tree. There is quite a bit of cheese, a lot of recap of previous scenes, and way too many plugs for ancestory.com, but I think each celebrity has shown genuine interest in their past and some authentic emotion. I cry every time, whether it's a happy or sad story. The new starts next week and will feature episodes about Cynthia Nixon, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rachel McAdams, Lauren Graham, Valerie Bertinelli, and Kelsey Grammer.

This show always has me thinking about my own family tree and my middle school cultural fair project. My mom and aunt helped uncover the history of my great-great-great uncle, Thomas S. Lippy. He came to Seattle in 1891 to work as the first physical education director for the YMCA. Some say he was responsible for bringing basketball to Seattle. He saw the game demonstrated at the Y’s training college in Massachusetts in 1891 and began teaching the game to members of the YMCA in February of 1893. Four months later, his athletic career ended at an exhibition in North Dakota, when he broke his kneecap into four pieces. He then served as the secretary of the Seattle YMCA for a year before quitting in 1896 to search for gold in the Klondike.

Reports say he made a fortune (about $85,000) and when he returned he used some of his funds to help build downtown Seattle’s YMCA. He served as the Y's board president from 1901 to 1930 and helped establish branches in Queen Anne, University District, Green Lake, West Seattle, and Fauntleroy. He donated land for Seattle General hospital and started the fund-raising effort for Seattle’s first swimming pool. He also provided Klondike miners a place to stay in his building (the Lippy Building) still located on First Avenue in Pioneer Square, which is now home to a Jimmy John's and a tattoo parlor. Fancy.

Pretty cool little piece of Seattle history!
Do you have any cool stories about your ancestors?

Music Festivals

Coachella, Ultra, Beale Street, Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, TomorrowWorld, CMA, Jazzfest, and Pitchford are just a few music festivals that happen around the country. Besides Bumbershoot, which takes place downtown Seattle over Labor Day weekend, the music festivals here in Washington are Summer Jam (a one-day rap and hip-hop festival) and Sasquatch (a three-day alternative music festival). These take place at the Gorge Amphitheater on the Columbia River. It's an amazing place with breathtaking views. Touring festivals like Watershed, Carnivores, and Paradiso will be stopping there this summer. Dave Matthews Band has done a few days every summer for as long as I can remember. Other bands with tour stops in the next few months are the Zac Brown Band, Aerosmith & Slash, Jack Johnson, and Bruno Mars. 

The Gorge is a three hour drive from Seattle. In college I made sure to gather a bunch of friends and check out at least one concert each summer out there. We went to the Warped Tour a few times and also saw Blink-182, my absolute favorite band at the time. It seriously is a cool place for a concert, but the highlight was the camping. There's a huge lot next to the amphitheater for car camping complete with "comfort stations" (porta-potties and sinks) and pay-per-use showers. We packed coolers full of food and hid our alcohol under the trunk. We did this because if security caught minors with alcohol during the car check, they made them pour it out on the spot. Luckily that never happened to us. We'd pay for our one night stay, follow the car in front of us, park on the grass, and pitch a tent right next to our car. We'd get out our little chairs and pregame with our alcohol hidden discreetly in water bottles. 

The problem with pregaming in the desert is that we were hot and dehydrated, but quenched our thirst with alcohol (and juice!) rather than water. We'd get wasted in half an hour, haphazardly apply SPF 80 all over our bodies, and head down the endless path to the amphitheater. Once down there, we'd try to regain consciousness energy by napping on the lawn or cooling off in the misting station during the opening acts. Honestly, it was pretty miserable and we always questioned our poor decision-making skills. The headliner typically started at dusk, so the temperature dropped, we'd get our second wind, and head down to the pit to watch them perform through an amazing sunset and into the night with light shows and pyrotechnics. After the encore, we'd participate in the mass exodus back to the campsite. It was like walking among zombies. Everyone was out of energy and hungover with tired feet, sunburns, and sore, scraped and bruised bodies. You know, standard mosh pit injuries.

Back at our car/campsite, we'd recharge for our third wind. We'd take baby wipe baths, reapply deodorant and makeup, eat a bunch of junk food, and start drinking again. It was so windy and so cold at night, we'd have to change our clothes for winter conditions. Well, if you consider a hoodie and flip-flops winter apparel. Midnight is when the fun really began. We'd roam through the rows of cars and do shots, dance, talk, and make out with total strangers. These random people instantly became our BFFs who we shared a very strong bond with. But that only lasted a few hours. This was 1999-2002, way before social media, so we didn't even bother trying to stay in touch with our new besties.

Around 2:00 am, when security started to enforce quiet time, we'd head back to our tent to pass out. We'd shiver all night long in our sleeping bags, afraid that the wind would toss around our puny tent. Once the sun came up at 5:30 am, we'd scarf down a Pop-Tart and guzzle water while throwing everything into the trunk of our car and be on the road by 6:00. Yes, your math is correct. We'd kinda, sorta sleep for about three hours. We'd spend the entire three-hour ride home listening to the bands we just saw and retelling stories of our crazy behavior the night before. Once we got home, we'd shower, sleep for fifteen hours, and vow to do it all again next summer.

Now? This sounds like my worst nightmare. I'm exhausted after a regular concert thirty minutes from my house that ends at 11:00. The next morning my ears are still ringing, my feet are sore, and I feel hungover even though I didn't drink anything. I'd never be able to handle a festival. If I ever do go to a concert out there again, I'll definitely be getting a hotel room for the night. Ugh, when did I get so old?

All images via Google. There's no way I'm sharing any of my pictures.
World. Class. Hot. Messes.