Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Music

I was actually pretty happy with what came out this year. Last year was almost a total waste with regards to good music, so it was great to have a few of my favorite bands put out albums this year. Aaron and I also made it to more concerts this year than usual. We were able to see Brand New, The Swell Season, Switchfoot and Mae (on their final tour). We also went to the Conan O'Brien tour, which was hilariously fantastic!

My top 5 releases of 2010:

Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
This album brings me all the way back to their first one, I Am the Movie. Catchy as hell and Justin's hair is epic as always.
"Her Words Destroyed My Planet"

Punchline - Delightfully Pleased
These guys went through some line up changes, but the newest album is upbeat and makes me so damn happy! Check out Roller Coaster Smoke and see if you can figure out what the song's about.

Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
This album makes up for the last one being sub par. Classic Alkaline Trio.
"This Addiction"

Jimmy Eat World - Invented
I'd love to see these guys live soon. My favorite off the album is "Littlething."
"My Best Theory"

Mae - (e)vening
It makes me sad that this is their last album, but it's worth it. The band completely reunited for this one and dare I say it has that magic of Destination:Beautiful.
"I Just Needed You to Know"

Albums I'm looking forward to in 2011: Blink-182, Cake, New Found Glory, Panic at the Disco,Death Cab for Cutie, and Bayside. Aaron is also excited about the new Aquabats and Me First and the Gimmes Gimmes coming out.

To end things like I did last year, here's a video montage of 2010's Billboard hits. Too much Ke$ha, but still fun.

Life in 2010

I know, lazy blogger, right? But I'm going to make up for it today, with this year in review of our lives and an epic music post coming up. 2010 was great in that there weren't any major life changes or problems (knock on wood, I still have 6 hrs left for something to happen.)

January - We got this little bugger:

And the next few months were consumed with house-training, obedience classes and watching my puffy little girl grow big.

February - Scout went to Estes Park for the first time.

And learned that she loved tennis balls. Please excuse Aaron's sneeze at the end.

March - Somebody managed to graduate from obedience school, albeit at the bottom of her class.

And with all the snow that didn't go away, we watched a lot of this:

April - We were able to hit up Arizona to visit some friends and swung by Las Vegas too.

May - We made it on a few hikes.

I also switched jobs, from being responsible for junk mail to government public health statistics. I am happier everyday at this job and it feels incredibly rewarding. Also, the commute across the city instead of down to Longmont ain't half bad!

June - What a beautiful start to summer! I started a garden again and we had tons of our plants blooming.

We also made a quick trip to the IKEA in Salt Lake City to buy furniture.

July - Scout loved hitting up the pond at the dog park. Moxie barely dipped her toes. At least it made for only one stinky wet dog on the ride home.

August - This was the biggest concert month, with Swell Season and Switchfoot having fantastic shows.

I also started reaping the rewards of the garden.

My brother finally got a break from his Navy training to come out and we had a really nice time visiting. Made it to a Rockies game too.

September - We made a quick trip over to Grand Junction to see my sister, her fiance and our grandparents.

We attended Aaron's grandmother's 88th birthday party, an event that is significant in Japanese culture. I learned how to can and made homemade plum jelly and spaghetti sauce (okay, Aaron made the sauce, but I did the packing and canning...) Also made it to a Broncos game and big surprise, it was one they lost :(

October - Not really a whole lot this month. We did go see Mae's final tour, but the pictures from my phone are terrible. So instead, here's something I found funny in Oct.

November - HAWAII!!! This vacation was everything we needed.

December - I participated in the craft sale at work and actually made some money!

There were multitudes of Christmas festivities, from decorating gingerbread houses to embarrassing the dogs.

And look how big my puffy bear was at the end of the year! Sigh, where does the time go?

We're looking forward to more trips and house projects in 2011!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Take a Look, It's in a Book

I was super lucky this week and got my Christmas present early, mainly so I could use it on our upcoming trip to Hawaii. I am now the proud owner of a Barnes & Noble Nook, so now I can read on the beach while sunning! And I can take a ton of books around with me everywhere! Now that I’ve played with it for a few days, I’m totally sold. There are so many free books available on the website, including classics, some good murder mysteries and Outlander #1.

Reasons I chose a Nook over the Kindle:

- Uses epub files, so I can find more free books and texts online (, googlebooks, etc). Pretty easy to load my own documents to read, including pdfs. This is especially nice now that I work in public health and read many scientific papers.

- Because of the epub files, it has compatibility with library ebook loans. This was the biggest selling point, as I borrow from the library constantly. I’m pretty sure my late fees pay for at least one librarian’s monthly salary.

- Expandable memory. Very simple to pop in an SD card.

- Android operating system. This is the bomb diggity! I already love my android phone.

- Lending system. I can lend out certain titles to friends for two weeks. They don’t have to have a Nook, they can just have the free Nook app on their phone or pc!

- Replaceable battery. I can get another one from and change it myself without sending the unit in.

- Better design look in my opinion. I like sleek and uncluttered. Which goes along with…

- No external keyboard. I’m a klutz and would probably be accidentally pushing buttons all the time.

Just to be fair, things the Kindle still has an advantage over Nook:

- Slightly lighter

- Can read doc and html files, but it's pretty easy to turn doc files into pdf, so maybe this is moot.

- Slightly longer battery life due to no touchscreen

- Some say page turning is faster, I haven’t notice the Nook being too slow.

All in all, I'm incredibly happy with my new toy. For anyone else who is an avid book reader, I definitely recommend it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Math Make Brain Hurt

This is absolutely the truth.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why Couldn't This Have Been My Wedding Photo?

Seriously, where do I sign up for exchanging vows next to the raptors?

Funny Wedding Photos - In Sickness, Health, and Jurassic Park
see more Wedinator

Friday, July 2, 2010

Product of the Generation

Were you born sometime in the 80s? Then let me introduce you to I'm Remembering! You can join me in nodding and saying "Yes! I loved this!" For example, who can forget TGIF television? And that entity which was Cody, dude!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Insanity

This weekend, Aaron and I embarked upon an epic adventure. We fell in love with the IKEA in AZ back in April and found some furniture we really liked. Not being super patient people, we didn't want to wait for the new one in Denver to be finished. The plan was to fly into Salt Lake City Friday night, get up early Sat morning, pick up a U-haul truck and spend the day shopping. Our flight out was delayed two and half hours thanks the the micro bursts around the airport. We made it into SLC and stayed at the Radisson Hotel near the airport (which is incredibly nice for the price, $65 for the night!) The next morning, getting the truck proved to be more difficult that thought, as the truck wasn't at the place where I reserved it. The is par for the course for U-Haul, but we had let the cab go already. They wouldn't consider bringing the truck over to where we were or help us get to the other location. Had to call the cab company again and spend another $25, have cabs always been so expensive?

Regardless, everything afterward went smoothly.

We bought furniture, lots and lots of furniture.

A new dining set:

New dressers (Aaron has a matching one)

We also got two sitting chairs for my office and the bedroom, which I'll post pics of once they're put together. The drive back over I-80 was horribly boring, especially since we decided to do it all in one day. Upside was finding an amazing restaurant in Rawlins, WY, which we had almost given up on. If you happen to be wandering that area, try Aspen House Restaurant.

Also, here's a silly picture of Scout, just because! She's cleaning out the puppy chow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Monday Music Confession

I cannot for the life of me get this song out of my head. I've listened to it 3 times already today. This man is crazy, but he hit on something here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This Land is Your Land

I've been looking at a lot of maps for work and it recently hit me how differently laid out the East side of the United States is from the West. Just look how the counties are laid out. It's like the pilgrims, revolutionaries, and founding fathers were OCD about getting everyone into nice arranged counties. But by the time we owned the land in the West, they gave up and let counties be created willy nilly. So we ended up with some counties out here being larger than some states are back East (I'm looking at you Rhode Island and New Jersey).

(You can click on this to get a bigger version.)

It's so hard to realize that we're not nearly as densely populated either. I go to Denver or Boulder and think about how crowded it is, but they've got nothing on NYC, Philadelphia or Boston. This is even more evident when you look at a map of the US at night.

Crazy, huh? We're so empty comparatively speaking!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where's My Beret and Megaphone?

I really think I missed my true calling. Being a statistician is fun and all, but part of me will always wish I had gone into directing music videos.


No really, I'm not kidding.

My interest started back when my parents bought a video camera to record our school performances. It more often was used to record my sister lip syncing to Matchbox 20 or a documentary of our cat's adventures in the front yard. Then I took a directing class in undergrad to fulfill my Theater minor and was told by the teacher that he would have put me right into the directing program if they hadn't cut it the year before. And my four year stint at the record store cemented my love of mixing music with visuals.

I hate that music videos are no longer a majority of the programming on MTV or VH1 (who am I kidding, it's not even the minority). I used to TiVo Nocturnal State to watch during normal hours, but that even got cut last month. So I have to go online to watch them. And critique them to no end, cause that's the best part!

I'm really in awe of some music videos and how well they translate the feel of a song. See Brand New's "Jesus" for an awesome example.

Others, however, are so craptastic, I have to call them out on it. Lately, Katy Perry's "California Gurls" has been playing all over the radio and I had to watch the video (quit laughing, it's so horribly catchy...), because I had all these preconceived notions of what it should look like. To my utter shock, the video is terrible! It's so cliche, but rollerblading along a boardwalk would have been ten times better. What does Snoop Dogg playing Candyland have to do with California?

If Miss Perry would like to fix this atrocity, I'll be available to help out. First thing we'll be getting rid of is the blue wig.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity"

Please go visit Simon at Four of Them to read Pre-Thoughts on Toy Story 3: A Rant. I am so ridiculously excited for this movie and can't wait. My family didn't go to many movies growing up, but they made sure we were in the theater for the first one. I was in high school when the second one came out and didn't miss it. I know kids today will love it too, but it's amazing to have something from my childhood come back to relevance so strongly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Basic Cable Boys

This is from Conan O'Brien's show in NY. We got to see him in Denver last month and had a blast, but I can only imagine the fun that went on at this show!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whooooo are yoooouu? Who who, who who?

Even though my commute is much shorter these days, I still have plenty of time to listen to the morning radio stations. On one this morning, they were discussing women changing their last names when getting married. This came about because one of the hosts will be on The Marriage Ref tonight with her husband regarding this issue. The show had her husband explaining why he was upset she still hadn’t changed her last name after 4 years and it basically boiled down to “It’s tradition and she should do it.” Very few things get me in an uproar, but this is one of them. Why in this day in age are we still thinking that women have to change their name?

The “tradition” that is so often referred to came about back when women were property of men. When the woman married, proprietorship changed hands from her father to the new husband, hence the maiden to married last name. Times have changed, women can vote and work and yet some still expect a woman to take her husband’s name immediately upon marriage.

Some points that were brought up this morning were good ones, I’ll admit to that. One was that if the parents have different last names and decide to have children, it can make it hard for the whole family. I know this first hand. Those of you who know me, know that my mother did not change her last name when she married my dad. Thus, my siblings and I had hyphenated last names, Mom’sLastName-Dad’sLastName. Not only was that long enough as it was, but my mom’s last name is a ridiculously long German name that no one on Earth can pronounce correctly unless you’re part of my family. So growing up, I was that kid whose name substitute teachers fumbled with at attendance. And most of the time, I went by my dad’s shorter last name, purely for brevity. Also, official school forms had to be redone many time because people would fill them out automatically assuming we all had the same last name. Or others just thought my parents weren’t married. This, frankly, wasn’t that big of an issue because I grew up in Boulder, land of the Hippies. I did like the attention that was brought on by having such a unique name, but nonetheless, there are some challenges to having parents with different last names.

However, there were some opinions on the show that just angered me. We also got a lot of mail at the house that was addressed to Dad Mom’sLastName, but luckily it didn’t upset him since it was usually just junk mail. The morning show host’s husband did mention being called Mr. Wife’sLastName on occasion, but that it bothered him terribly. If it’s so annoying to be Mr. Wife’sLastName, why is it any better for her to be Mrs. Husband’sLastName? I don’t understand why the woman is expected to just roll over and accept a whole new identity because it’s not normal for a man to do likewise. I would think that if a guy was stuck with something like Smith or Jones, they’d be happy to switch over to their wife’s last name. Someone called in and said “If you really loved your husband, you would do this for him.” Umm, I’m pretty sure she proved that by marrying him.

Here’s where I’m like M. Night Shamalayan and throw in the twist (or where you call me a hypocrite). I took Aaron’s last name when we got married. *GASP* Even though I got to a point where I was proud of having a name like no one else, it still got rather tiresome filling it out on documents. So when I was looking at my options and saw keeping my 13 letter maiden name or changing it to only 8 letters, it wasn’t too hard of a choice. And my first name is still very unique (see above: HippyLand) so I still get “Ohh, what an interesting name!” If we do decide to have children, there won’t be the confusion that I grew up with. Finally, Aaron’s family is a semi-traditional Japanese one, so I knew it was important to him. But my main point is that I had a choice! I’d like to think Aaron would love me just as much if I still had my maiden name. Wouldn’t you Aaron? (please say yes, don’t make me look stupid now…)

It’s refreshing to see some women not falling victim to the idea that changing names is just something they have to do. I have plenty of friends, who did decide to change, but they moved their maiden name into the middle. That way, they still hold onto that previous identity. I would have done that except the Social Security office computer might have exploded from entering 5 long names at once! I’ve also heard of the husband and wife creating a new family name out of both their names and I love this idea. Why not add a new surname into the world? A woman should be allowed to choose what she wants to do with her name and not be judged one way or another for it. Isn’t that right, Ms. Phoebe PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

A New Beginning

I'm starting a new adventure today! Last Friday was my last day commuting down the interstate to a job where I was responsible for filling people's mailboxes with junk mail. Today, I actually work in the same town I live in and do something for the public good. I'm really looking forward to this change and am excited for what the future brings!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Music to My Ears

I was tagged by Meaghan of Wild Celtic and highly encourage you to check out her blog. I love her thoughts on movies, entertainment and life. When one of her recent posts was about music, I couldn't resist playing along!

1. Open up your iTunes, music player, spin the CD, whatever, hit shuffle and tell us what is the first song to play...

Runaway by Mae

2. Name your top 5 favorite bands/musicians of all time

Brand New, Fall Out Boy, Mae, Eve 6, Unwritten Law ( I wrote about them all here!)

3. What was your first CD to own? (8 track, Record, CD, MP3 for the newbies)

This is slightly embarrassing, but it was the Men in Black soundtrack.

4. Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

Just mine, has to be 311 and Blink-182. If I also count Aaron's, we add in Alkaline Trio, Social D and Cake.

5. What was the last song you listened to?

Tangled Up by New Found Glory

6. What song would you say sums you up?

Aside by The Weakerthans I could listen to this song over and over and over and over (I think you get it)

7. What’s your favorite local band or band that originated from your hometown?

Five Iron Frenzy

8. What's the greatest concert you've ever been to?

Oof, tough one. Probably seeing Incubus at the Budweiser Events Center, such a more intimate show than I was used to with them. And Mae at the Aggie. Also, my first Warped Tour. I know I couldn't limit it to one...

9. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

Jesse Lacey from Brand New. I'd love to get into his head.

10. What was the greatest decade for music?

I think I'm too young to answer that one :)

11. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Hands down, Garden State.

12. What’s the most awful CD/record/etc. you’ve ever bought?

You remember Chumbawumba? Of course you do! I'm sure I'm not the only one who owned that crap.

13. What's your favorite band t-shirt or poster?

I love my Punchline 37 jersey and Blink-182 poster from the First Date video:

14. Rolling Stones or The Beatles??

Beatles if I'm forced to.

15. What is the one song you would most like played at your funeral? Your birthday? While on a romantic date?

Hmm, for my funeral I'd picked Jesus by Brand New. I'd have to go with a classic, Happy Birthday by New Kids on the Block for my birthday. My friends and I would get this played on the loudspeaker at school for each of our birthdays, even when we were in high school. Cheesy, but hilarious! And for a romantic date, I'll say Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton.

I'm going to tag Amy, Teresa, Erin, Angie and Keri. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unplugging - One Week Later

I made it. Last Saturday, I was able to go the entire 24 hours without looking at my phone, checking email or even watching TV. The only thing technology related I did was go watch Alice in Wonderland with Aaron (we had already planned on it, so I didn't want to tell him no!) It was nice and sort of set me up for the week in stepping away from the computer more than usual.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I think the Universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe that I spend way too much time in front of the computer or with my phone in front of my face. Amy over at Good Karma wrote this a little over a week ago, then I open up my email to find this in my inbox today. I think this best sums it up:
“There’s clearly a social problem when we’re interacting more with digital interfaces than our fellow human beings. Rich, engaging conversations are harder to come by than they were a few years ago.”
- Dan Rollman, President of

So I've decided to take tomorrow off from technology. I'll answer my phone if family is calling, but that's it. It's also going to be the perfect day for it, as we've got a spring storm coming down here in the Rockies. I'll check back in on Monday to let you all know how I've done. If anyone else decides to participate, I'd love to hear how it worked for you too!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why the Internet Will Fail (from 1995)

Ah, how naive we were back then.

Why the Internet Will Fail (from 1995)

It really is amazing how things have changed in just my lifetime. I remember getting to play on computers for the first time back in elementary school and thinking Oregon Trail and Cactus Factory were the best. Then we were introduced to THE INTERNET in middle school where I took a whole class on how to use email and we used Pine, you remember Pine? You could send a message to your friend across the room that said "Hi, it's Kallie. I can see you. Ha ha ha!" (Ironically enough, these conversations still occur on Facebook.) High school became the place for looking up resources for school reports online, no more stuffy library texts. Later, I took a whole college class online, where I never even met the teacher! I now own a smart phone that can access the interweb from any place I want. And if the internet had failed, I would have never met Aaron. Impressive to say the least and I'm glad this writer got it wrong.

For fun, check out what I remember to be the first real website I visited. It's still up! Kill Barney!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New Addition

Life has been crazy lately and it's all thanks to this little girl!

We added Scout to our family a few weeks ago. She doing wonderfully and has already become fast friends with Moxie.

We like to call her panda-pig since she looks like a panda and snorts/grunts/whines like a pig.

We're really looking forward to getting out and having fun with the two pups this summer!