6.25.2015

The Song Remembers When

The older I get, the sadder I am when I think about how many people have come and gone in my thirty-six years of life. In the moment, a person can mean EVERYTHING to you and you can't imagine not having them around. But we all grow, move, change, break up, and drift apart. It doesn't mean they weren't important, it just happens. I don't agree with the idea that only "true" friends stick around either. Sometimes life just gets in the way. And of course, relationships with exes are nearly impossible to continue. I try not to dwell on my past, but music has a funny way of flooding you with memories about people, places, and time periods, and it can get emotional! As soon as the last note ends of a song I haven't heard in years, I have a warm fuzzy feeling and immediately want to pick up the phone and catch up with the person it reminded me of. Or, you know, be less crazy and just stalk them on Facebook. Here are some of those songs for me.

My college roommate
This gave him the idea to hand out "Hi! My name is ___" name tags to everyone at our house parties. We were dorks.


Babysitting my cousins in Colorado
Batman Forever was the most anticipated movie of the summer of '95 and this song played everywhere.



A super intense crush
A month of flirting ended in a one night stand. I was devastated. (It didn't happen in the '80s; I always listen to Madonna.) 


Being pregnant with Nolan
NKOTB made a comeback and I listened to their album constantly while getting ready for my first born.



High School Band
We played this song at the end of every pep assembly, football, and basketball game as the crowd exited. Go BHS!


Coming home from the bars with a car full of friends
Jacob was usually our DD and hated when we sang the lyrics, "Four o'clock in the fucking morning" at the top of our lungs.



A boy whose heart I broke
We were in love and he treated me like a princess, but I had a hard time committing. We were off and on for two years.



Driving around at midnight with a car full of high school friends
I rolled with some bad boys back then. This song will always remind me our late night shenanigans.


My college co-workers
We all loved to hate this song that came on at TJ Maxx, but still sang it with dramatic passion.



My high school BFF
She seriously injured her knee while we "moshed" to this in my bedroom. I had to carry her books to class for months!



Another college roommate
She would obsess over a song and play it over and over for a month, which is why this is my least favorite Brit song.



Being completely sh*tfaced
I was high and drunk and lying in my own puke and realized it said "another dimension...," which freaked me out. Ha!



Living in Florida
This was my favorite song in '92 and still always reminds me of the six months we lived in Palm Bay.


A school trip to Portland/secret admirer
I annoyingly sang this on the bus and someone bought the CD single and left it on my seat after our stop at the mall.



College parties
Who didn't blast this jam when it came out?!



Cruising in my friend's truck
She was the first of us to get her own car and we bumped this all the time. (I was reminded when I watched this!)


A boy I loved
I knew we were doomed from the start, but something made me continue trying to keep him in my life.


Family vacation in Vegas
We weren't old enough to get into a club or gamble, but this played everywhere we went that week.



A friend with benefits
We had a lot of fun, but he wasn't into labels or commitment, or me, after a short time. I still love this cheesy song.



A childhood friend
We met when he was five, and our friendship was off and on, but we finally became besties as teenagers.


Drunk dancing in the living room with my girls
One of them actually thought she might be pregnant and this was...therapeutic? We were idiots.



A college bestie
He constantly made fun of me for loving this song, but then knew every word when I played it in my car.



My first love
I vividly remember waking up one day, realizing I was really, seriously, crazy in love. This song came on that morning
and I played it on repeat while getting ready for school. I felt like I finally understood what all the fuss was about.




Do any of these songs bring up memories for you?
What are the tunes that make you nostalgic?

6.19.2015

Summer Bucket List

Summer officially begins on Sunday and I'm so happy we have tons fun stuff on the calendar this season. Jacob and I are doing a little road trip in a few weeks and in August we're all going to the ocean for a weekend. We have friends and family coming to visit in July and August. I'll definitely be going to a few Mariners games and I have tickets to see One Direction and Taylor Swift in concert. Nolan and Milo are taking karate on weekday mornings, they'll continue with swimming lessons on weekday evenings, and they both start soccer in August. Nolan is also going to a week-long rocket building day camp and we'll celebrate his 7th birthday with a Pokemon party. Other than that, the world is our oyster. I asked the boys to write a list of fun things they want to do this summer and here's what they came up with.


Aquarium
Bake treats
Bounce houses
Build a fort
Camping
Chemistry experiments
Children’s museum
Day hike
Farmer’s market
Fly a kite
Make ice cream
Picnic
Ride the foot ferry
Ride the trolley
Swimming at the lake
Wash the car

That all sounds doable! I have a few ideas up my sleeve too.

$1 movie at the theater
Alki Beach
Arcade
Fair
Library story time and activities
Museum of Flight
Petting zoo
Point No Point
Root beer floats
Splash park
Tacoma Rainiers game
Touch a Truck

It's going to be a fun few months! I probably won't be documenting much of it though. I want to go and do and live and play and spend as little time as possible on the computer. We've only been home for about four hours each day all week and it's only the fourth day of summer break! I'm not shutting down or announcing a big blog break, but I'm feeling sort of weird about social media lately, so things will be sporadic for a while. I still love Instagram though, so keep up with me there!

But first, tell me what's on your summer bucket list!

6.15.2015

I've Been...

I've been listening to these albums:



Even with all the albums I've bought since Wilder Mind came out, I can't stop listening to it. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Mumford & Sons' new sounds, but it's pretty great. My favorite tracks are The Wolf, Just Smoke, Snake Eyes, Broad Shouldered Beasts, Cold Arms... Oh, who am I kidding, I love it all! I was a big fan of Ryan Cabrera when he first came out but didn't like his last few albums. His latest EP, Wake Up Beautiful, is a lot like that older stuff. Brandon Flowers' second solo attempt is a lot better than his first one. It's upbeat and fun and my favorite songs from The Desired Effect are Can't Deny My Love, Still Want You, and Untangled Love. I'm not super into EDM, but after loving I Want You To Know, I had to check out Zedd's True Colors. Besides that single, I also enjoy Beautiful Now, Daisy, and Transmission. Peace is the Mission has some really great tracks on it and then some I don't care about at all. I really like Lean On, Powerful, Light It Up, and All My Love. I never paid attention to Jason Derulo before. I liked Wiggle and Talk Dirty to Me just fine, but he wasn't on my radar until Want To Want Me became my jam! Half of this album is great and perfect for summer, but the other half is crap. I'm into Cheyenne, Painkiller, Love Me Down, and Trade Hearts. 

I've been watching these music videos:









Pretty Girls is pretty stupid song and video, but I can't stop watching it. I really, really need someone to teach Britney how to lip-sync. NO ONE sticks their tongue out like that when they sing or talk. I wish Ariana and Miley would release a studio version of Don't Dream It's Over. It's so pretty! They both mumble when they sing, but their voices go great together and Ariana makes singing look so effortless. Paris Hilton is back! Ok, maybe she was never really here, but I was a huge fan of her album. I really like High Off My Love and hope it's a glimpse into a new album from her. The video for She's Not Me is a peek into some of Jenny's various acting gigs. There are spoofs of The Golden Girls, Troop Beverly Hills, The Wizard, and Pleasantville, and it has a fun cast to go with it. 

I've been reading these books:

I've been reviewing everything I read while linking up with Steph and Jana each month. Check out the books I read in May right here. I can't believe the year isn't halfway over yet and I've already finished 61 books! What. A. Nerd.


I've been watching these new shows:


I've only seen four episodes of Grace and Frankie, but I like what I see. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are legends and real life BFFs so it's fun to watch them work together again. The rest of the cast is really great too. Wayward Pines is so odd and I like it! The cast is incredible (Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis, Juliette Lewis, etc.) and it feels like a little like Twilight Zone or Twin Peaks. That might get frustrating for me later, but so far I'm into it. 

I've been catching up on this old show:


I finished watching Community just in time for the final episode to air. I liked it a lot, but didn't fall totally in love it. The characters were so great and the writing was funny and witty, but some episodes were too much for me. I don't think I'm nerdy enough to appreciate them. I thought the finale was perfect and may have shed a few tears for a cast I've only known for four months.

I've been deleting these shows:


I only watched two episodes each of of these shows and gave up. I'm just not in the mood for something so heavy this summer. Aquarius sounded like it was going to be great. I was looking forward to learning more about Charles Manson and I love watching things set in the '60s, but it was cheesy and David Duchovny's character was too weird. I liked the first episode of The Whispers, but the second one was so focused on the adults and their relationships, it didn't hold my attention. There's a lot going on in this show: aliens (or whatever the strange entity is), marital drama, murderous kids, a federal data breach, a missing military pilot. And it's all being revealed slowly to keep the audience guessing. I just wasn't into it.

I've been seeing these movies:



While We're Young was pretty funny, and as a boring mom in her mid-30s, I have to admit that I related quite a bit. I don't really like Ben Stiller but he and the rest of the cast were great. Adult Beginners had such potential with such a funny cast, but it was just alright. I didn't hate it, but it didn't stand out for me. Welcome To Me was sad and charming at the same time. There was just enough comedy to prevent it from being super depressing. I liked the whole cast, but Kristen Wiig did an especially good job with her character. Mad Max: Fury Road was insane! It was non-stop, intense action and I had high blood pressure the entire time. Though it's a violent action movie, it was so beautifully done and I loved every single second of it. I was delighted by Pitch Perfect 2. I'm always wary of sequels, and though the plot was cliche, I laughed a ton and had a good time. San Andreas was so incredibly cheesy, the entire cast overacted like crazy, and I rolled my eyes constantly. But I was also thoroughly entertained by the non-stop action, so it won me over. Entourage was basically a really long episode of the show. The plot was basic and the guys haven't changed, but if you liked the show, you'll probably enjoy the movie. Everyone from the series made an appearance and there were about a hundred cameos, which were fun to point out. I thought Haley Joel Osment was a strange casting choice and Ronda Rousey was a terrible actress. Jurassic World could never be Jurassic Park to me (I've never even wanted to see The Lost World or III), so even though I was excited about it, I didn't have high expectations. I didn't fall in love with any of the characters (besides Owen Grady and those smoldering stares of his) and it was silly at times, but the special effects were perfect, it had great comic relief, and crazy dinosaur battles. Our audience cheered and clapped after one big scene, which was hilarious. I also loved the nods to the original movie. What else could you ask for in a movie about dinosaurs? Go see it on the big screen!

And I've been renting these ones:



Big Eyes was really good. The cast was awesome, the story was infuriating, and I loved the sets, hair, and costumes. Accidental Love is a movie David O. Russell made in 2008 with an all-star cast, but production problems and then David's own exit from the film delayed it's finals scenes and release. It's really quirky and kind of terrible, but I had to watch it to see what the fuss was about. No wonder he didn't want his name on it. Cake is amazing!! It's heartbreaking and Jennifer Aniston was so good! I forgot about her dramatic acting chops since she's put out so many crappy comedies lately. I felt physical pain while watching her. It's a must see! I really liked About Alex. I love movies that are set in one location or over one day or weekend and I want to hang out with this troubled group of friends. Camp X-Ray was gripping. I turned it on and sat down with a stack of magazines, but I didn't touch them the entire time. Kristen Stewart usually bugs me, but surprised me here, and Peyman Moadi stole the show. I don't even know what to say about Lost River. Ryan Gosling is a twisted storyteller. I thought it was shot really well, but that's about the only positive thing I have to say about it. Fifty Shades of Grey was pretty terrible, as I expected it to be. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have zero chemistry unless they're naked and besides the sex scenes, the movie was slow and boring. The Duff was cute. It was predictable and clearly meant for teenagers, but Mae Whitman was great in it. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was dull. 

What have you been up to?

6.11.2015

Summer Movies

Jacob and I are going to Jurassic World as soon as he gets off work tomorrow and I cannot wait! It's definitely the movie I was most looking forward to this year. Summer officially starts next weekend and there are tons of blockbusters coming out. Unfortunately I'm not that excited for many of them. Check out what I do want to see this summer.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This looks so great. Pass the tissue!!!



Live From New York!
I love SNL and can't wait to see some behind the scenes stuff.



The Wolfpack
I'm so intrigued by this documentary about kids that were home-schooled and locked away from society.



Infinitely Polar Bear
I love Mark Ruffalo. This looks touching.



The Overnight
I love this cast so much! It looks really funny.



Trainwreck
I love everything about Amy Schumer. This could be really great.



The End of the Tour
I can't wait to see this! Great cast.



Dark Places
I have a feeling Flynn book-to-movie adaptations are going to be favorites of mine.



The Gift
Creepy!



We Are Your Friends
This doesn't look like a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it's Zac.



The Visit
I'm always down to see an M. Night Shyamalan movie.



Black Mass
I watched a documentary about Whitey Bulger recently, so I'm definitely interested in this.



Pawn Sacrifice
This looks more fascinating than your typical Bobby Fisher movie.



Everest
This trailer is intense and gives me high blood pressure! I can't wait to see it!



Also playing this summer: Dope, Inside Out, Eden, Ted 2, Max, A Little Chaos, Batkid Begins, Big Game, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, The Gallows, Minions, Selfless, Tangerine, Ant-Man, Mr. Holmes, Irrational Man, Paper Towns, Pixels, Southpaw, American Heist, Vacation, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, A LEGO Brickumentary, Fantastic Four, Ricki and the Flash, Cop Car, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Straight Outta Compton, Mistress America, Masterminds, American Ultra, Hitman: Agent 47, Sinister 2, She's Funny That Way, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, Regression, War Room, No Escape, A Walk in the Woods, Jane Got a Gun, Kitchen Sink, The Transporter Refueled, Triple 9, The Perfect Guy, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Sicario

What are you excited to see?

6.09.2015

What I Read In May

Jacob has been really busy training for his MMA fight (coming up in ten days. Eeek!) so I've had a lot of time alone lately. I've been watching tons of movies, clearing out my TiVo, and reading, reading, reading. I seem to be finishing a book every two days! Here are the ones I read in May.  


Cutting Teeth This book takes place over one weekend as the families of an NYC playgroup spend time together at a shabby beach house on Long Island. It's told from multiple perspectives (six, I think) and it was hard for me to keep all the women, partners, and children's names straight for a while. Almost none of the crazy characters are likable and the situations are ridiculous, but I enjoyed the insane story for what it was. 


What If? You might know Randall Munroe from his comics on xkcdThis book of hypothetical questions came from reader submissions, and though it was a little over my head (I'm an idiot when it comes to math and science), it was pretty fun to read. Some questions were: How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? How high can a human throw something? Would the common cold be wiped out if everyone stayed away from each other for a couple of weeks? If you called a random person and said 'Bless you,' what are the chances they just sneezed? See? These are absurd! But the answers were completely scientific, the drawings contributed to my understanding, and it was an amusing read. 



The Good Luck of Right Now After his mother dies, 38-year old Bartholomew finds a form letter from Richard Gere among her things and decides to write to him to cope with his grief. While working out his issues he meets other quirky/troubled misfits and finds his place in the world. It was well written, with a lot of heart, but I didn't really connect with any of the characters. It may have been just a little too odd for me. 



Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One I judged this book by it's title and thought it would be about being a real man this day in age. He's very outspoken about being a feminist and completely against gender roles and stereotypes, so I was looking forward to hearing more. Unfortunately this is just a memoir. It was well written and I finished it quickly, but there wasn't much to his life story. He's a stand up guy despite his upbringing and takes Hollywood with a grain of salt, which I love about him. 



My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays Davy Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine. You know, where they publish notes, lists, drawings, and photos that have been thrown away or littered onto the streets. The magazine turned into books and he has toured the country to promote them. Along the way, he searched for love, but wound up with a broken heart every time. I thought the essays were funny, quick and thoughtful, even if some felt exaggerated. It made me want to be friends with him. 


The First Bad Man Uhhhh, I don't even know where to begin. I liked the plot: Cheryl, a 40-something single woman has to take in, Clee, her bosses' 21-year-old daughter who is nothing like her. The beginning of the book starts off fine then things get unusual and I almost stopped reading it about ten times. Cheryl and Clee start physically beating each other up, Cheryl sees a strange therapist, and her best male friend, whom she's in love with, wants her permission to start dating an underage girl. It's even weirder than I'm describing. Parts of it don't make any sense, others are unpleasant to read, and the characters are gross. The last third of the book returned to a more normal vibe and I finished it, but it still left me baffled. 


Luckiest Girl Alive Ani has a glamorous job and the perfect finance in NYC, but something from her high school life prevents her from being truly happy. First of all, I wish people would stop comparing books to Gone Girl. Though this was a good story, it doesn't come close to Flynn's book. I do agree that it's a page-turner and I couldn't wait to figure out what was going on. The end was a little bit of a let down for me, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly. It's going to be made into a movie, which I'm sure will be a fun ride. 


My Heart and Other Black Holes This is the third book in five months I've read about teenagers wanting to kill themselves. It's so depressing! Aysel finds Roman online and they vow to help each other follow through with their suicides. Then they fall in love and Aysel has second thoughts. I thought the author did a great job describing what depression feels like and I enjoyed both characters, but I felt the love story was rushed and unrealistic. 


Every Day "A" wakes up every morning in the body of another person and lives that way just for one day. When A inhabits the body of Justin, meets his girlfriend Rhiannon and falls in love, A tries to figure out a way to be with her forever. I thought the concept of this book was totally original, I really liked how open and honest A was, and it was a quick read. 



Six Earlier Days This short companion to Every Day detailed six random days in the life of A before Rhianna entered the picture. It doesn't give any more information about how or why A's life is this way, but I didn't mind. I liked the glimpse into the lives of a few more bodies. 


Crank Hopkins based this book about a teenager addicted to meth, on the life of her own daughter, which kinda broke my heart. The entire book is written in free verse form which annoyed me at first, but ended up being a breeze to read. I've worked with meth addicts before, so to read about how innocently it can all start was powerful and sad, although this particular story was a little cliche.  


Glass I had a harder time feeling sympathetic for Kristina in the sequel to Crank, but think it's a great cautionary tale for teens. Her life is an absolute mess and she's not a nice person, which is the direct result of addiction. I felt this story was even more cliched than the first one which is why I didn't rate it as high.

 I also read these three books I received from NetGalley. Check out my reviews right here.






I can't wait to see what you read!

Life According to Steph