Friday, August 13, 2010

a dream fulfilled

This week...this week...I can't even say it. Just look.

See those two people standing right of the walkway on the bottom, one in a blue shirt, one in a red?

Those, America, are my parents, and they're holding a sign up for me.

I was greeted from the OF webcam. This is truly one of my finest moments.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reasons I hate today:

--this CRAZY mom came to visit, and due to a slight miscommunication, flipped out, and complained to the VP about one of our employees, which resulted in me having to leave a meeting to calm her down and apologize, only to have her lecture me.

2--my boss (I know you're out theric) is in KC, but none of us knew that, so we've been lying to people all day about him being in later. I mean, I'll put it on the calendar for you--just tell me.

3--after three requests (threequests), I was told by telecommunications that they don't have time to send me the new employees' long distance codes right now. Hold please...isn't that your job?

4--I had to sit through an hour long "safety training" from campus public safety that included jokes about Holocaust survivors and phrases like "Anyone here ever heard of Virginia Tech?" and "Do you think Public Safety will be there for you if there's a shooter on campus? Probably not," to which I respond, in order: "Yes. I have heard of Virginia Tech. You asking it in that manner is not funny and mildly offensive," and "I cannot believe you are paid."

5--someone called to let us know that someone he referred to the Naz will NOT be applying because her paid-by-Admissions student tour guide told her we "weren't really religious here" here and advised students to "sneak out and drink margaritas in OB." This 100% did not happen. I mean, there is literally 0% of a chance that this could possibly happen.

6--I opened up a pack of Gobstoppers, and they weren't as good as I remembered them being when I was a kid.

7--our Marketing, who is very generally on the ball, is OFF the ball today, and has sent me three proofs with big time problems. I get that the copywriter is on mom-ternity leave, but that doesn't mean that you can just get away with not writing new copy, or not having someone look over the copy.

7--I just realized that I actually lost the first speeding ticket I've ever received (last month) and have no idea what to do about that.

8--I now have to stay lateRRRR than I was already going to, because I took 8 minutes to write this.

But it was worth it, as this and the cupcake that Debi brought me were the best parts of the whole day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oh yeah...just because I only had one post in July.

I felt like I needed to post four times in one day because I only posted once in the whole month of July...mostly because I was gone for most of it.

Here's what I've been meaning to say: I am SO MAD when I hear a great new song by a band I actually really like, then find out it's from the damn Twilight soundtrack.


I feel like bands and musicians and whoever picks that music for the soundtrack is betraying being awesome by being at all connected to Twilight. And don't try to tell me it's be being a music snob--sell out to any other movie. Score The Squeakuel, for goodness sake. Just not Twilight.

Shan Diego

It's official...I have now lived in San Diego longer than I've lived anywhere else. This is a big deal, because I'm of the (correct) opinion that you can't say that you're from somewhere until you've lived there for the majority of your life.


Shan Diego for life (my new tattoo in's so beautiful).

If I could marry a girl...

...which I now can, in my home state (more on that soon) of California, it would be this girl. But I'd also have to be gay, which I'm not. But if I were...if I were...look out.


So when it comes to “favorites,” I’m generally like a child—whatever I love now is my CAN’T-GET-ENOUGH-EVER-FAVORITE!!!! thing. However, there have been some favorites that have been unwaveringly on my list for so long that they’ve built up enough credibility to be considered Actual Favorites, as opposed to Now Favorites.
I know…complicated. I wouldn’t say that I’m high maintenance…just unusual maintenance.
But those Actual Favorites are things that I have, from moment one, loved, and have never NOT loved. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is one, the color black is another—I’m pretty sure nothing will ever top these Actual Favorites. And as far as music is concerned, Imogen Heap is, unquestionably, an Actual Favorite. Since I was first introduced to her (small, totally unprofessional shout out to my mix-tape friend, Britton Dennis), I have LOVED her. I immediately purchased anything that she’d ever released, and have kept up with any and everything she puts out there, including several really weird compilations and movie soundtracks. Seeing her live has been a life’s goal since I learned she existed in the early 2000s, so when I saw her on the Coachella 2010 roster, I almost died. Not really, but you get it. And after seeing her there and hearing she was coming to San Diego, I did die. Again…you get it…but it’s not really right to talk about her without extreme hyperbole.
Some words on the venue: Humphrey’s is an outdoor, seating-only venue. I generally prefer stand-as-close-to-the-stage-as-possible scenes, but somehow, it worked. The venue is beautiful—right on the Bay, extremely well-kempt (is that redundant?), and, especially for an outdoor venue in the middle of a community, has excellent sound quality. I would go there again any day. They also have a nice, grassy, behind-the-seats area that’s perfect for dancing like a crazy person when your favorite song is played, at least until security (very nicely) asks you to sit back down (another unprofessional shout out to my friend Mary Rath, who didn’t let me crazily dance alone).
Some words on the set list: here’s something I haven’t seen before—Imogen (do you like how I refer to her on a first name basis, like we’re friends?) let her fans pick the set list by voting on her website. Everything I voted for was played in her more-than-20-song set. Thanks, Imogen. And the list included songs from her new album, some old favorites, and even a song from her former collaboration, Frou Frou. But that fact alone set the tone for the whole show, which was even more personal and intimate than many smaller shows I’ve been to.
Some words on how personal and intimate it was: Before her even started her set, she personally introduced her opening acts. In addition to her set list being fan-shaped and representative of her whole career, she took time to connect the audience to each song. We learned about “Bad Body Double” being inspired by a look in the mirror. She split up the audience and had us sing her background vocals in “Just For Now.” She even called out to the audience for a musical phrase (which, weirdly enough, turned out to be, in true 70s porn style, “bow chick a bow wow”. And I thought I had the most Mai Tais...just kidding.), around which she shaped a just-for-us-in-San-Diego song, that she actually released on her website, which you can purchase to benefit the San Diego Zoo. She was extremely audience-friendly, and interactive, and when it’s just one person on stage, it makes it even more meaningful.
Some words on the quality of performance: Unreal. Amazing. Memorable. Beautiful. The best. There aren’t enough words.
Some words on the music: She played every one of my most-playeds, which was amazing for me. She played them alone, which was amazing for the world. She rocks so many instruments (keytar!), so many weird things (including the tree, which made an appearance at Coachella, and something that, were I more musically trained, I would know, but looked like a plastic snake that she just swung around and that sounded like a loud hum), and loops them all so well…I could’ve been listening to a studio track. But it was live, which made it all the more (I’ll say it again) amazing.
One thing that was annoying: all those people yelling “Play Hide and Seek!!!!” It’s not like she’s NOT going to play Hide and Seek. Come on. Give her a moment to get to it.
Some words on how I feel about Imogen Heap: I LOVE HER. I want to be friends with her. I feel like we’d get along really well, and could maybe share cute tops and appetizers at restaurants. Also, her music is inspired, and being in the presence of her creating it life was something I will never forget. If I ever quit my 9-5, I’m taking a year to follow her everywhere (on tour…not in a creepy way. Or was the appetizer thing already too much?).

Steve Earle's wife

...but don't tell her I called her that.

As a lifelong, self proclaimed “Country Music Disliker” (couldn’t go as far as to say “hater”…I mean, who doesn’t love Garth Brooks a little bit?), I have generally avoided the genre. There are no country stations on my car presets, I haven’t ever been to a country concert, and I can’t remember the last full country music album I purchased (when was The Hits: Garth Brooks released??). But Allison Moorer showed me what I was missing by ruling out anything with “country” in the genre field on iTunes.
I mean, she didn’t actually call me up and say “Be more open minded, ass!”, but she may as well have.
Allison Moorer’s newest album, Crows, may be classified as “country,” but I’m classifying it as “amazing.” I’m typically a music first, lyrics later person, and it’s easy to fall in love with this album on sound alone. Other reviews have called Moorer’s style “haunting,” and I can’t, despite my time in the thesaurus, come up with a more appropriate word to describe the feel of the album. Crows has a haunted, almost afflicted feel to it—when you listen, you feel like you need to listen harder, or more intently somehow, to be sure you can take it all in. Her sound is full and at times, pleasantly complex. This is an excellent nighttime road trip album, but wouldn’t be the best “listen to in your cubical” album. The melodies take some unexpected turns, which keep you interested, and listening to it at any muted volume isn’t going to do it justice.
But although she won me over with the music, her lyrics aren’t to be ignored. Moorer is tricky—for example, “Broken Girl” has a free, happy, summer sound, but the lyrics are serious business. “Storms gather in her head sometimes/all the sun is pushed aside/by the clouds that creep into her mind… ”…Moorer communicates (beautifully) the struggle of a tormented girl who does her best to seem peppy and upbeat.
The album has many of these moments where you feel like you’ve uncovered a little secret. “Should I be Concerned” sounds just bluesy enough that it could be a number one single from Alicia Keys. “When You Wake Up Feeling Bad” has the makings of an excellent sing-along-in-the car song, and has those lyrics that will make every listener think “Mmhmm…I know that feeling,” (or something like that…I may be the only one who actually thinks in terms of “Mmhmm” and “Nuh uh”.) I’m hesitant to even name a favorite, as each track has “favorite” potential—even “The Stars and I,” which has a little more twang than I’m generally comfortable with.
So overall, thank you, Allison Moorer, for showing me that “country” is more than twang, boots and leaving your lover down in Texas. I thoroughly enjoyed this album—several tracks are already making their way up my Top 25 Most Played playlist. It’s a must have!