Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going to Tulsa

Thanksgiving is next week and I am so excited! This year is the first year that I will not be spending with my Gramma Charlotte and my Dad's side of the family. Instead, my family and I are driving to Tulsa to celebrate with my mom!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Gramma and my Dad's side of the family and I really enjoy spending holidays with them, but I have really missed my mom at the holidays. It's been a few years since I've gotten to eat her Thanksgiving dinner, so that is really exciting too! We're having turkey (duh), mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, broccoli and rice casserole (IT'S SO FREAKING GOOD!!!!!), Rhodes hot rolls.... and whatever else we decide to throw together. Last year I decided to make sweet potatoes to take to my Gramma's along with my broccoli cheese, so I may do that again this year too.

While we're in Tulsa, I have big plans to try to find an Asian market so that I can buy some Thai tea. We don't have a Thai restaurant here in my town and I really freaking love Thai tea, so if I ever want to drink any, I'm going to have to make my own. So, if any of you guys have made it before and have any tips or suggestions, please let me know. So far, I'm just going by what the internet says and getting the tea, steeping it in water and adding sugar and condensed milk to it. If that's wrong or if you know a better way to make it, I'd love to hear it.

Also, we're going to let my mom babysit the girls while we go see Harry Potter!! Typically, we try to hit up the midnight showings of these types of movies, but Jason works nights and doesn't get home in time to get there. Plus we have to think about who on earth would watch our kids at that time of night! So for now, we're going to wait. I would much rather watch the movie a week after it's come out in a less packed, stadium seated theater than trying to elbow my way into a seat that is just the plain old boring movie theater. Yes, we have to wait, and it's going to kill me - especially with all my online friends going to see it.... NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!!! - but I think I will make it.

Anyway, that's it for now. Sorry if this post has been more like a diary entry than an actual blog post... Just trying to get some thoughts out there. I'll be back with something more interesting next week, hopefully! Until then, enjoy your weekend, and if I'm not back before - Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Awakening

As I posted last week, I went to a concert last Monday night. I had a great time listening to the music and this past week I've been thinking a lot about how much I've strayed from music. All my life, music has been a huge part of my existence. Growing up, my dad played harmonica and percussion in several bands, most notably a band called the Zen Okies. I wish I could find a picture of their tee-shirts for you guys; they were so cool. It was the Oklahoma flag, but instead of the circular crest in the middle, it was a yin yang. Neat, huh?

Anyway, as a kid, my dad would always drag me and my mom (probably less "dragging" on the part of my mom) around to various gigs and festivals. Every year we would go camping for a weekend in Winfield, Kansas for the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival. I'd find ways to enjoy the shows and the festivals, and despite the boredom that came with being forced to listen to genres of music I wasn't particularly into at the time, the love of music has always been deep set in my blood.

As a teenager, part of how I defined myself and those I hung around was by music. Honestly, I kind of became a bit of a music snob, which is something I'm still trying to shake.

When I was 19, I bought my first guitar: a Martin Backpacker.

Isn't she pretty??
For those who might wonder, yes, this is a real guitar. It's been called many various things, like a ukelele for example, but all of them are wrong. It's a guitar. It has a slimmed down body and it is short 5 frets, but it is a guitar. And I love it. It was perfect to learn on. The fretboard is slightly slimmer than that of a regular, full bodied acoustic guitar and it's really easy to maneuver.

I spent hours upon hours upon HOURS fiddling around on this thing, learning to play. My friends who played guitar at the time all told me that I was learning at an incredibly fast pace and for someone who had played for such a short time, I was rather good. I was still a novice, but I was a good novice.

Then I got pregnant with Gracie. I gained almost 100 pounds during my pregnancy with her. I went from a tiny 114 lbs to a whopping 194 lbs (I say whopping for me. Because in comparison to 114, that IS whopping.) And let me tell you something: it is near impossible to play guitar around a ginormous, pregnant belly.

After having Gracie, I spent my time doing what most new mothers do: being a mom. I had already gotten out of the habit of practicing regularly and I didn't pick up my guitar very much in the first year of Gracie's life. And then I spent the second year of her life chasing her. Because that's what you do when your kid starts walking and running. I didn't set aside much time to play guitar, and over the past 5 years I've continued to pass over my guitar except in times of extreme boredom or random bursts of creative energy.

But hanging out at that concert last week, listening to the beautiful sounds that came out from the ukelele and the guitar on stage, these one person shows that were performed in front of me, my musical senses have been awakened. I've been spending more time practicing, and although I can say that I've got 8 years of playing guitar under my belt, I'm still only a novice. But I'm practicing, and I'm working hard. I don't ever intend on trying to become famous, but perhaps one day I'll be playing my guitar in front of someone and that sense of wonder that comes from the love of music will be awakened in them too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Julia Nunes and Ben Kweller

So. I went to a concert last night. The first one in a long time. Thinking back, the last concert I went to was in '06 -- my ex-roommate Sara bought Jason and I tickets to see Tool as a wedding gift. What a cool present, right?

Anyway, one of my best friends, Sandra, her boyfriend, Richard, and I took off for Norman, Oklahoma yesterday to celebrate Sandra's birthday with Julia Nunes and Ben Kweller at the first show of their tour. It was a freaking blast.

I love, love, LOVE Julia Nunes. I found her on YouTube about 6 months ago or so and have been obsessed ever since. To be 100% honest, before I heard about this tour, I had no idea who Ben Kweller was. I'm pretty sure I had heard a song or two of his, but not enough to recognize the name.

The show was amazing. Julia was so funny and charming and she sounded awesome. I was incredibly impressed with Ben Kweller's set too. I checked out a few of his songs on YouTube beforehand, but not a lot and I was incredibly surprised by what I heard last night. I am definitely going to be buying some of his stuff.

Anyway - this whole thing was supposed to be a photoblog, as I'm not really great at reviewing concerts. So here are some pics! Enjoy!

Sandra and I

Me, Sandra and Richard

The venue was really cool - small, intimate, and one wall devoted to large photos of cats.

Julia Nunes!!

Isn't she adorable?

Ben was awesome!