January 28, 2011

Mixtape Masters: Good Cause Edition

Today I don't have a mix. It's just one song. And one cause.

First, lets start with the song. It's just one of those songs that gets in my head and won't let go. I have to play it over and over. Also, bonus! Lazerbeak is part of Doomtree, a Minneapolis hip-hop collective. Yay for more local, and I wasn't even looking for local music when I found this song.

Speaking of... I found this song via A Paler Shade of White when she posted THIS video.

Paper Antler, a (way cute) wedding photog couple, is doing Fifty Nifty. 50 weeks to photograph 50 weddings in 50 states. They will donate $1,000 from each wedding to total $50,000. This cash will go to She Dances, an anti human trafficking organization.

What a great cause and a great couple! I really just want to give them huge hugs and empty out my bank account for them. Someday I will be completely loaded and donate to everyone I can.... in the meantime, I'll give a little bit and hope that it does indeed go a long way.

If any of you know anyone getting married in any state in the US, pass this on! Their portfolio looks pretty amazing - so sweet pictures and helping out a good cause! I think they only have a few weddings booked...so help them out!

Peace, darlings

Check out the other Mixtape Masters on these blogs!

January 27, 2011

Baby, you creepin' me out!

I've never been the one to oh and ahh and go crazy over babies or little children. In fact, they kinda creep me out! I have no idea what to do at them. So generally I just stare at them, and they stare back at me and we have a creepy staring party.

To illustrate what this would look like from the baby's perspective, here is a creepy picture of me:
This was after a few hours sleep.  Give me a break.

Don't go thinking I'm a baby hater, though! It's just that I've never had any experience with a baby or with many small children. They are foreign territory to me. Crazy unknown little versions of people who speak in a totally different language, make weird faces, and require things that I have no idea how to provide. Because of this, babies = intimidating.

I mean, imagine you were all of a sudden face to face with something totally unknown to you. Perhaps, say, a weird little baby thing like this:

Would you just run in there to hug and coddle that crazy eyed thing? Would you instantly want one for yourself? Because I'm sure that thing wants to eat your face right now, so you should at least be a little careful on your approach.

Anyway, enough rambling. Lesson here is that babies kinda scare me. I have no idea what to do with them and am not interested in making one any time soon. BUT! Wanna hear a fun story?

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I held a baby! A real human one! Not a sloth one! (that is what the face eater above is in case you were wondering.) Sure, one time when I was little they propped me up on a couch with pillows and then sat a baby on me, but this time was all arms and all me!

It was scary at first. I didn't expect her to be this moving, wriggling little thing, but after she settled in she mostly just stared at me and made weird baby faces (which I then made back at her). We had a nice time together, no one got dropped, and in the end...I maybe kind of liked it. I mean, normally babies are cute and all, but this little one has something special going on. I think her parents went to the best baby store and got the cutest model that genes can buy. Way too cute.

I told Brett about my baby expedition and he was very proud of me. But my family is, under any circumstance, to hear of this! It would only fuel their baby lust for my poor uterus! Just because I liked one, doesn't mean I want one.

So for now, I'm going to keep my enjoyment of that little baby to myself....and the interwebs... whoops...

January 26, 2011

They Who Shall Not Be Named

Me so angry!
Me might hulk out and thunder through work hallways, making much smash!*
Hulk smash all the way to Washington, leaving debris of fear and hate behind!

HULK SMASH! via **
*deep breath*

I would like to be an informed citizen who can take part in politics, have informed opinions, and vote based on those opinions, but I really can't take politics anymore. It makes me want to hulk. And cry. And just hide myself in a hole.

Part of it is because of a few key characters who keep popping up and who should really just go away. (One of them, I'm sad to say, is a representative from Minnesota. I'm sorry, nation.) These people are the Hiltons of politics. Not famous for doing anything worthwhile but famous for being sensational and generally crazy. The media can't get enough of them and apparently neither can we.

To that end, I've decided to be done with them. I will not give them any energy. I will not talk about them. I will actively NOT talk about them. They deserve nothing from me. I'm going to go and brush my shoulder off. Get that dirt of my shoulders!

This morning on the bus, a colleague wanted to talk about our sad, sad representative who gave the Tea Party response to the State of the Union last night. I told him, "I don't want to talk about her. She is not worth my time. How is work going for you?" NEXT!

It made me feel relieved. Way more relieved than if we had spent the next 10 minutes bitching about how we can't believe she was reelected, thinking of running for president, is such an idiot, etc. I just brushed her off, and will continue to do so with all the others Who Shall Not Be Named. Just brush them off and hope the country does the same.

So please. Don't give them your energy anymore. Maybe if we all ignore them enough, they will stop throwing their temper tantrums and go take their naps.

Phew! I feel better and less hulkish already!

Peace, love and understanding,

* totally unrelated to anything...check out FeministHulk. AMAZING.
** also totally unrelated. It was way too hard to find a normal, not sexy version of she hulk. I find that to be awkward.
*** Also, I'm going to keep on supporting public radio for an informed citizenry. Even if all federal funding is cut, I am hopeful that we will all come through and support them.

January 21, 2011

Mixtape Masters: Best of the Midwest: Mixed Up

Happy Friday, world!

For my mix today, I have one more Best of the Midwest for you! Yay! And again, all these artists are from Minnesota (and all but one are from Minneapolis), represent! We may be a frozen tundra at the moment, but apparently that does not muffle the musical muses of these melody makers!

The mix today doesn't have too much rhyme or reason. It's just a hodgepodge of what was left on my list of current, sweet, local artists. I know there are more out there, so maybe I'll have to do some work to round up another BotM batch. I could also include those beyond the 'current' category. After all, Minnesota does lay claim to some pretty decently recognized names (ahem! Prince...B. Dylan...)

But today, this is what you get! Hope you like it!


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If you like that first song from Solid Gold, I highly recommend checking out their Bodies of Water album. It's awesome through and through and is on my go to CD list!

Check out the other Mixtape Masters on these blogs!

January 20, 2011

What's your deal, Winter!?

For all of your who are not lucky enough to live in the Midwest, let me give you a little glimpse into what winter looks like here.

When I say winter... I also mean large chunks of fall and spring. Because winter in Minnesota starts in the fall and waits till spring has long since officially started to release its grips. We don't comply with anything as trivial as dates on the calendar! Especially this year. We were in full on winter mode before winter even hit!

We dug ourselves out, but these bikes were long since doomed!

Lets not get ahead of ourselves, though.

Fall starts of beautifully. The colors, the brisk air. Lack of mosquitoes. Everyone rushing to get the last use out of the grill, the boat, the cabin on the lake, etc. It's quite a wonderful time in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! The temp continues to drop and drop. It's time to break out the hats and gloves and start eying up that winter coat. The temp drops a bit more, and at this point I am sure I will die if it drops anymore! But then it does. And I persist.

It is now too cold outside to do anything fun outside. Everything looks dead and dirty. And anticipation builds for winter to finally hit. People will say things like, "I wish it could just get here already and stop teasing!" Sure enough, one day we'll wake up to our reward: the first snowfall!

Each and every year it happens and each and ever year it's magical! I wake up feeling like a kid again, shaking Brett awake and insisting that he run to the window THIS moment! IT SNOWED! It's like a rebirth of the world. The dead, brown world is now replaced with a glittery, pristine version!

A winter window on the porch with some morning sun.

With snow accumulation, we enter the winter wonderland stag of fun things to do and high spirits! Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, winter hikes, ice skating on the lakes and ponds, expanding your freezer space to your porch or back steps*, nights spent under pounds of blankets, cuddling, sledding, chucking snowballs at the poor unsuspecting, helping your neighbor dig out their car, passing people on the sidewalk with only eyes and red noses showing and giving that nod that says, "Yes, I concur that it is f-ing cold! But I see you and feel better that we are in this together!"

Oh, we can't forget the holidays! Winter means Christmas and New Years and time off from work and parties and friends and family and treats and presents and lots of booze drinking and not caring that you've put on a few extra pounds because its hidden behind that cute new chunky sweater anyway! It is such a unique time of year that really can be described as magical.

Enjoying some cross country skiing out on a frozen lake.

That part of the year is past, though. Now, we cold weather folks have hit the hardest part of the year: the bitter months of January and February. Winter has settled in and the glitter of the season has faded. Now, all we are left with is this:

I'm pretty sure the entire state of Minnesota lets out a collective groan as we realize there are still two more months of this! Not two more months until spring. It's two more months until a glimmer of spring. Even though the stores are now switching their racks to "spring" merchandise, it's just to tease us. These next two months are all a mind game. Trying to still get outside and enjoy life, not letting the cold shut you in and dampen your spirits.

Some happy helmet heads, keeping winter spirits high!

2009 Polar Bear Plunge.  One more to put into the "life experience" category!

Oh, Minnesota! You are so crazy! Yet I love you still. I really do. The change of seasons, of activities, of scenery, of wardrobe, etc. is kinda fun. And even though I think I'm going to die every year when the first solid cold hits, I don't. Then, when the temperature starts to rise at the end of it, a mere 30 degrees seems balmy! We are all a chipper, cheery bunch as we run outside with long sleeve shirts on exclaiming that spring has arrived!

We made it!

Yes, just keep that in mind, self. Winter will subside. I will survive. And someday, my shorts will come out of hiding again!

For a few months at least... then we'll repeat it all over again. *sigh*

* and possibly having to thaw out your beer because you forgot it out there for too long! but being able to keep all those holiday leftover because "don't worry! we'll just put it out back!"

January 19, 2011

What does blogging mean to you?

via here

It's been radio silence over here for a while now.  I keep meaning to write but have only managed a few Mixtape Masters and fluff posts.  On one hand I think I may be having a midlife crisis (weeeee!), but on the other...I really just don't know what to do about this blog or what blogging now means to me.

Why do I want to write?  What do I want to write about?  Who am I writing for?

Why: Enjoyment?  Affirmation?*  Prospects of becoming rich and famous?  The first two definitely have something to do with it.  I'd also like to write more just to better hone my writing.  Also, come on, can't deny that we all love to talk about ourselves!  Hence the 'navel gazing' post tag that is probably going to get way too much use.

What:  I realized that I don't really share too much in blog land.  I write and blab, but I'm generally not good at sharing about my life.  I dunno why, but I should definitely share more about who I am and what I'm doing, yes?

Who am I writing for?  This was a big one for me to think about.  After switching blogs, my readership dropped dramatically.  Which is cool and all.  Just because people wanted to hear about my wedding biz doesn't mean they are interested in hearing me blab about my really average life biz.  But it definitely took away any of the accountability I felt to write for those followers, ya know?  I realized I had to be writing for myself first and foremost and that if I did that sincerely it would follow the whole Field O' Dreams mentality.

I'm going to continue writing and developing whatever voice I decide to be mine.  I need to be more conscious of my writing and take it more seriously.  No more "oh shit!  I gotta post!" followed by digital diarrhea.  Or at least less of that, yes?  Because sometimes the digital spew is all there is!

So, blog land.  What makes you write?  And what keeps you writing?  Who are you writing for?

Thanks and I'll see you around,

*While writing Me, Myself, and Bride and talking all about weddings, it was great to get affirmation.  To feel like its ok to be a bit crazy when planning a wedding and that I was not alone.  That sort of feedback is huge!  I will always be fond of wedding blogs because of it and always have warm fuzzies for fellow wedding blogger.

**Also, apologies for just one of way too many "omg, I promise to be a better blogger" posts.

January 14, 2011

Mixtape Masters: Best of the Midwest: MN Hip-Hop

A few editions ago, I featured some Best of the Midwest. It was so much fun realizing the extent of great music we have in the Twin Cities (and beyond) that I decided to do a few more Best of the Midwest.

This week it's the Hip-Hop edition and it really isn't "Midwest" so much as just "Minneapolis". I'm sure there are some other great artists coming out of the Midwest, but these are the ones I know. Mostly it's due to our radio station, 89.3 The Current. It's one of our three public radio stations (news, classical, and the current).  They focus on local music as well as other indie/alt/misc. music, and it's my main station.  No yelling, crazy noises, weird talk show crap, whatever... just sweet music with normal people!  If we ever move out of state, I'm totally going to be streaming it online.  (And if you are looking for something cool to listen to where they don't yell at you, check it out!)

Anyway, enough of my plug for public radio, on to the music!  This mix features artists from Rhymesayers Entertainment, a local label.  Hope you like it!

Ciao, babers!

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(If you want to hear that P.O.S. song in a normal, not-live version, check it out!  It's one of my faves.)

Check out the other Mixtape Masters on these blogs!

January 7, 2011

Mixtape Masters: Dancey Pantsey

Um, yeah, so I'm a little slow.  I meant to post this playlist last week for some New Years dance party action, but...whoops!  Better late than never, right?

I put together this list trying to find some of my favorite dance songs that are still good as background music.  Upbeat, happy, danceable... or just jamming in your office on Friday. (hi!  that's me!)

Hope you like it!

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  • Wallpaper, I Got Soul, I'm So Wasted - These guys are a blast! They opened at a show and totally had me smiling the whole time! (minus some douchey lyrics...but thats pretty typical)
  • Passion Pit, Little Secrets - So happy they came back with more good tunes after Sleepyhead! I thought they were gonna be a primo one hit wonder.
  • MGMT, Time to Pretend -  Whats a good electro dance mix without MGMT!
  • Justice, D.A.N.C.E. - I forget about this song and keep rediscovering it every fews months.  Still good!
  • Phantogram, Mouthful of Diamonds - Just came across this one recently and am digging it.

Check out the other Mixtape Masters on these blogs!

January 3, 2011

Thanks, 2010! It's been fun!

Normally I'm not too retrospective, even around the New Years. I acknowledge the last year, say my farewells, and then look forward to the upcoming year. This New Years has been a little different, though. Because this time last year, I was fresh meat newly engaged!

Oh how long ago that seems!

It feels like looking back on a stranger when I remember the rolling emotions, excitement from family and friends, and pure possibilities of what were to come. I was full of confidence, creativity and conviction. I knew so little of what to expect and was so unprepared for the pressures to come.  So many changes happened, the wedding turned out vastly different than I first envisioned but all was well in the end.

I gotta say, I still get moments where I feel this big rush of relief to be done with the wedding and on to married life.  Our relationship feels so calm and comfortable now and we're able to focus our combined energies to bigger and better things.

This New Years has me thinking back to my past, newly engaged self and sending out good vibes to all those newly engaged couples about to enter the circus of wedding planning.  I don't envy them what they are about to go through... but I do hope they gain as much as they can in their crazy, stressful, fun, crazy, intense, creative, and crazy journey.

Thanks, 2010!  We had some great trips, lots of new work experiences, fun with friends, learned I could exercise consistently, got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, and came out the better for it all.