The First Weekend of Fall

How is it fall already? It’s one of my favorite seasons. I basically love all seasons except for winter.

This weekend flew by.  I went to sleep fairly early on Saturday night and Sunday night. On Saturday night, I think I was knocked out before ten.  Question – when did I become such an old lady? I think the answer is I always have been an old lady, deep down inside. I’m just embracing it now.

Thank you to everyone who left kind messages about Apollo. He’s doing great!  I was so worried on Friday that I ended up calling the Petsmart pet hospital twice (the second time after a coworker told me about the time his parents’ cat didn’t wake up from anesthesia after being spayed, which was JUST WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR).  After the longest afternoon ever, I went to pick up my pup.  I felt such elation when the nurse walked out holding him.  He looked confused, a little sleepy, and ridiculously adorable while wearing his E-collar.  He was sad when I was driving him home, but he perked right up when I brought him into my apartment.  The take-home pamphlet said that he would likely be sleepy – not my pup.  He played all evening with the new koala toy and bone that I’d bought as a “welcome home” treat for him. He’s back to his old stubborn, curious self, though he’s noticeably calmer and slightly more attentive.  I call it meth puppy-lite.

Fall always puts me in a nesting mood. I really want to try some crafty projects.  I’m in a baking mood, too. I made gingerbread and banana pancakes on Saturday morning with a mix I’d bought from a yummy cafe here in town.  On Friday night, I made my first banana bread from scratch. It tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself.  I want to focus on making breads.  Breads are fun to make and relatively easy, too.  I love baking cookies, but they can be a lot of work.  There is a jalapeno cheese bread that I got from HEB yesterday that tasted AMAZING, so maybe that is something I can try next.

I’m also really missing my Mandy.  For the past two years, I’ve flown to see her in Philly.  I love Texas, but there’s nothing like the East Coast in the fall.  I miss my family, I miss Philly, and I want to go to New York again so badly.  I was really fortunate to have been able to go to NYC the past two years.  I probably will not go this year (pup has been quite a bit of money), but I find myself feeling nostalgic for Mandy and our big-city adventures so much.

I was slated to see some shows this month, but plans were changed. I was supposed to see Fiona Apple on Thursday night, but she got herself arrested. It’s ok; I wasn’t too upset because I was able to spend time with a friend instead. I look forward to the rescheduled show.  I was supposed to see the Chili Peppers this Saturday, but my parents don’t want to go.  It’s too much driving for me to do by myself in one day, and I’d rather spend time with family instead.  I’m seeing them at ACL anyway, so it’s not a big deal if I miss this show.

Plus, it gives Anthony more time to shave his porn stache.

Weekend Retrospective

-I had a good, very constructive performance review.

-I did not attend my high school reunion. It was a decision I grappled with but ultimately decided that, based off the feedback in the Facebook group, the only people attending would be the popular crowd I never associated with.  Pictures I saw of the event seem like it was sparsely attended, and my inside source confirms that it was indeed rather lame. I’m glad I didn’t fork over the money and attend.  I realized that the only reason to show up to the reunion would be to show everyone, “Hey! I’m not an introverted nerd anymore!” But…I am an introverted nerd. I spent my Saturday night on the couch with a book and the TV on. And you know what? I was quite happy with that.  The only real difference between me now and me then is I actually put effort into my outfits, and I kind of know how to put makeup on.

-I had a Nutella milkshake this weekend. Italians are genetically wired to be obsessed with Nutella.  It was enormously tasty…but so rich that I couldn’t finish it.

-I bought a really great creative writing book. I can’t wait to get it started.

-I did some shopping (I have decided that Emma Stone is perfection and I must emulate her style as much as possible). I was waiting outside a dressing room when I spied a couple going into an adjacent dressing room.  I then proceeded to hear a series of photos being snapped. Uhhh…do I want to know what they were taking pictures of? No.

-I’m pretty sure I saw a drug deal going down this weekend. And it’s not like I even SEEK OUT THESE THINGS.  I was just downtown, walking, minding my own business, when I saw a shady looking car parked at a stop sign.  A man was walking away from the car.  “Why is he holding so much money?” my brain naively asked.  It took awhile for the answer to sink in.

-Some douche in a Prius nearly hit me this morning. I was on a highway and passing a construction zone, so the two lanes were merging into one lane.  He was behind me but was trying to speed up in front of me (I was in the correct lane).  He was right beside me as the lanes were merging.  I tried not to freak out and drove on the non-existent shoulder as much as I could. I didn’t even want to look. I thought that a crash was inevitable.  Thankfully, he slowed down, while my heart went 300 mph.  As he passed me later, I gave him a patented Jenny Nasty Look. I hope he gets stuck in traffic for three hours with a full bladder.

-I had a really good reflective period this weekend.

But most importantly, out of all these things…

Boyfriend found out that I can hold my own in Halo.

MM-HMM.

Weekend Retrospective: Wait, What?

You ever have those weekends where you think, “Well, that was fun/crazy/awesome/WTF DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?”

It was one of those weekends.  I’ll leave it at that.

Conrad played this song at my request at his party yesterday. I love the shit out of this song.

I will talk about ACL a little now. I took the day off on Friday and went with my good buddy, Tap.  We took a very chill approach to ACL that day.  We just hung in the back of the crowds mostly and talked, talked, and talked.  It was quite enjoyable.  We saw Ha Ha Tonka (Mumford and Sons ripoff, and that is not a compliment at all), Brandi Carlisle, a little bit of Foster the People, and technically Sara Bareilles, though we were talking throughout that whole set. All I can remember from that show is she was like, “Yeah, fuck him!” a lot and did a cover of a Mumford and Sons song, which made me go, “WHY?!” We also caught a bit of Nas/Damien Marley.  At one point, we split up so Tap could see Big Boi and I could see Ray LaMontagne, who is divine.

Up until the day of the show, I had been convinced that I would see Coldplay, but I decided to see Kayne at the last minute. I figured I’d have multiple chances to see Coldplay. I was in the mood to dance, not clutch my heart during an earnest rendition of “The Scientist” (I fucking love that song, but you just have to be in the mood for it).

Kanye ended up putting on a pretty decent show.  He had his show separated into three acts.  He incorporated performance dancers and ballerinas into the performance. At the end, he was “free-styling” (basically repeating the same thing over and over), while a solo ballerina performed an improv dance on stage, which looked really cool.

As far as any crazy Kanye antics go, there weren’t really any.  He just stopped one song for some unknown reason (“LET’S START THIS SHIT OVER.”) Then at one point, he addressed the crowd and said that because of time constraints, he couldn’t say all that he wanted to say, but then mentioned something about not being a sheep to the media’s influence? I think? Something along those lines.  You know, the cliche things artists say to sound like they’re being subversive when they’re actually not.

Whatever, he played “Gold Digger” and this song, which made the show worth it for me:

Peace out, ACL 2011.

What I Did This Weekend

Drove to San Antonio, played the crap out of Tap’s new drum kit, made a parody of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” like everyone else already has, saw a David Ives play (All In the Timing) for free since Tap knew the director (it was hilarious), and wielded a machete.  Cautiously.  I also did some work and ran close to four miles.  It was a fairly productive weekend.

I also listened to Wasting Light about 10 times. I love every song on that album, but here are the ones that really affect me the most:

Oh God, it’s already 12:32. I need to sleep.

A Treatise On Why This Weekend Was Amazing

Yesterday morning I slept in and went for a run.  After another miserable Arctic front that dropped the temperatures below freezing last week, my brain went into ecstasy with the warmth and sunshine. I went for a good six mile run on my favorite running trail by the lake and felt stronger running than I had in a long time.  I used the run to decompress and to prepare for the night’s performance. At the end I did a fast sprint to the last 45 seconds of “All My Life” (if you ever want to feel like a badass while running, I highly recommend it).

Afterward, I had a makeup drum lesson to take. Tap and I had decided to play “Breed” at our performance, which is one of my favorites from Nirvana. I was freaking out because of the drum roll at the beginning, mainly.   I mean, look at how awesome the drum part is.  I knew there wasn’t any way I could learn the entire drum part in one day.  As long as I got the basic beat down, I could fake the rest. But you can’t fake a drum roll.  I had practiced my drums for a long time on Friday, after a tiring 10-hour day, and I kept tensing up. I decided to ask for Michael’s help because I didn’t want to fail in front of everyone.  At lessons, after practicing “Soliloquy” (Michael said I improved a “hell of a lot” since last Thursday – amazing what, you know, actual practice would do, right?), Michael taught me the beat to “Breed” and had me play along with it, drum roll and everything.

I messed up a lot but there was something empowering about getting the drum roll and hitting all the cymbal crashes. I felt something I hadn’t felt in playing drums – knowing I could play this made me feel amazing.  I was so pumped after lessons I could hardly sit still.  I made the drive to Tap’s place and we all practiced for about an hour.  I was very nervous, but as the night progressed, my attitude went from “BUT WHAT IF I MESS UP, OMG” to “FUCK, THIS ISN’T MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, WHO CARES IF I MESS UP.”  Before I knew it, it was 12:15 and we had started setting up.  Some drunk partygoers took advantage of the mic and started singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” My friend Shark, who was filming some of our songs, had this to say about it.

We performed “Regulate,” “Hot in Herre,” and “I Can’t Dance.”  Then it was time for “Breed.”

You can tell my nerves threatened to derail the drum roll at the very beginning but I got it back on track.  It was far from a flawless performance but since I was probably the only Dave Grohl fanatic in the room, I don’t think anyone else would know the intricacies of the beat and be like, “YEAH YOU SHOULD HAVE HIT THAT OTHER TOM.”  I did not have time to learn the chorus fills which is why they sound a little empty. I totally want to learn this song all the way through.

Afterward, we did “All Star,” which Shark song, and then “Bad Romance,” which I sang.  Then we closed with “Fuck You.” I had a smile on my face the entire time because I was so happy at how much fun it was and what a great job my friends were doing.  Afterward, several ladies came up to compliment me and say how badass it was to see a female drummer.  In between the amazing drum lesson and our first performance as a band, it was a turning point for me as a drummer.

To celebrate, I spent the rest of the night dancing with some old friends and new ones. Yes, “Teenage Dream” was on the playlist and yes, I did sing every word to it as I danced.  In the morning, Tap’s roommate Clint made us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits. Tap and I went to an outdoor shopping mall, and my brain went ecstatic again over the gorgeous weather.

And if this weekend could not have been more epic, this just happened:

I didn’t expect the video to be released so soon and about had a heart attack when I saw the link.  I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS SONG.  I love everything about it.  It’s very reminiscent of the first album, particularly “Weenie Beenie.” It’s a return to Dave’s hardcore punk roots.  They are not even attempting to be mainstream and I love it.  Love it love it love it.  The video is pretty amazing too. The retro feel is perfect for the song…Pat Smear is back with the band…and Lemmy’s in the video.  I hope the song will be available before my half-marathon next week. I want this on my playlist!

Ok. I should not be awake for someone who had four hours of sleep.  Night, you all.

“Oh, I’m At a Crossroads With Myself…”

This weekend was a pretty good one. My parents came up to visit yesterday, which is always fun.  This morning Pat and I woke up at 5:30 to drive out to Cedar Creek for Warrior Dash.  This was my first race in years…since 2004.  We did the race with Tap. Conrad was on-hand to support us, take pictures and video, hold our keys, and other de facto “dad” activities. The race was a 5K and was a lot of fun.  They have different obstacles for you to complete along the way, like climbing up things or crawling through wire.  The first mile kind of sucked because my stomach was killing me, but luckily I’ve been running long enough to know that those pains just sort of work themselves out after awhile.  Sure enough, I was doing better after the second or third obstacle and was feeling great.  My favorite obstacles were the water-related ones.  We had to wade through this creek and it was awesome because there were random sinkholes in the creek, so you would fall in deeper after every couple of steps.

The very last obstacle had us crawling in the mud pit.  The only daunting obstacle, I’d say, was jumping over two rows of fire. That’s right, fire.  It didn’t look very intimidating from the pictures but the fire was about knee-height.  Plus I’d heard horror stories of people falling in and flesh falling from them.  So I put on a D: face to motivate myself and did it.  Patrick and I crossed the finish line together.  We were VERY muddy at the end.  I had a great time hanging with my brother and best friends…don’t quite know what I’d do without them.

After my family left this afternoon, my spirits needed a little lifting, so I went to drink some delicious peppermint hot cocoa at Barnes and Noble and read a book. I also did a little shopping and found some cheap music.  I bought 52nd Street, Is This It? and Grace.  My dad listened to the 52nd Street album a lot when I was in high school, and it was the first time that I realized that Billy Joel has some amazing songs outside of the ones you hear on the radio all the time.  Is This It? reminds me of when I was seventeen and just discovering music.  I remember the Strokes performed on Saturday Night Live that year and my parents were less than impressed with the performance, saying, “…you like these guys?”  Whatever, the CD is catchy as hell.

And Grace.  I have loved Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” for years now.  I had listened to the CD a couple of years ago and I thought it wasn’t bad, but nothing that I had to run out and buy.  Patrick recently took me up on my recommendation to listen to “Hallelujah” and quickly became obsessed with Jeff Buckley and his album.  Since Patrick was listening to it, I decided to give it one more try (we influence each other on music a lot.  I got him into Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, and introduced him to Metallica a longtime ago…he got me into Foo Fighters and more metal).  Oh my goodness. I don’t know if I needed to mature to appreciate this album or if my taste has improved or what, but it is amazing. And I know that’s so cliche for me to say because it seems like every music fan is all “OMG JEFF BUCKLEY IS AMAZING” but it’s so true.  There aren’t many artists who I can say make me nearly teary because the music is so beautiful, but this CD makes me feel that way (actually, um, I can’t think of any others.)  It’s so angsty and hauntingly gorgeous.  Love it, love it, love it.

Speaking of amazing songs:

I heard this song about two months ago and was obsessed at first listen.  I haven’t heard any other of Band of Horses’ music but if their stuff is anything like this song, then I’m sold. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve listened to this song on repeat. Fucking love it.

My cousin Amanda sent me a very funny text today…I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I’ve seen her and my relatives. As terrified as I am of flying, I look at planes flying and wish I were on one to my next adventure.   The thought of living in NYC with my cousin and friend sounds more appealing every day.

How I Spent My Weekend

This is what I did on Saturday night:

My brother bought me tickets and we drove to San Antonio to see the show. I like metal but I’m not as into thrash metal as my brother is.  But I figured it would a good experience, and now I can say that I’ve seen all of the “Big 4” (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax) in concert.  The concert was fun, though I have to admit I was pretty exhausted by the time Slayer went up there.  Listening to four hours of that music gets pretty intense, let me tell you.  I felt bad for the guy in front of me, because he was with this needy chick who kept on hugging him and sitting down during the show.  He was devoted to her but you could tell he wanted to rock out instead of tending to her.

Then today I hung out with some friends who live in the city before driving my brother back home.  Then we watched DEXTER.  I was so pumped for Dexter to return.  The first half of the episode was alright because it was just dealing with all the drama from last season’s finale but it got going by the end of the second half.

Just 5 more days to go until there’s another weekend.