Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 00 - Music 2005-2009

I'm back with part two recap of shows I saw from 2005-2009. When I started to write this, I realized, crap, I'm not going to see many artists but I'm seeing the artists I really really like now. I mostly find out about bands through or friends.  When the Sasquatch Festival announced their 2005 line-up, it had many of the artists I had fell in love with on the line-up and it was my first chance to finally see Wilco.

2005  - Sasquatch Festival - The Gorge
Finally a chance to see Wilco along with The Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Bloc Party, Jem, Pixies, Kanye West and Ray Lamontagne. The Pixies were the headling band. It was scorching hot – over 100 degrees but we survived. The bad thing about this festival, the SOUND WAS AWFUL. No one sounded good. I felt like a million miles away from the bands. I remember getting up and leaving during Kanye West. I had NO idea who he was. Bloc Party played before Wilco and they booed Wilco.

I remember Jeff Tweedy coming out in a suit (it was 100 degrees) and saying something about “thanks for the warm welcome.” Their set was riddled with sound problems and later I saw on YouTube Glen Kotche saying he will never play that festival or the Gorge again. I was not ready to give up on a live Wilco show, I told my husband. We were both disappointed and hope the band wouldn't break up because we knew they could put on an amazing show.

The show steelers were the Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="My husband, the gorilla"]My husband, the gorilla[/caption]

2006 The Flaming Lips/Beck/Ween Les Schwab

When the summer line-up was announced and were pulling two of my favorite artists from the Sasquatch Festival - Beck and The Flaming Lips, I was ecstatic! My husband immediately went out and found a gorilla costume to rent and we tagged along with some friends. Imagine rolling down the road in a convertible Mustang with a man in a gorilla suit. Pretty wild. Anyway, the show was amazing. There were santas and animals bouncing around on stage and of course, the crazy balloon action in the crowd. They played the stand-bys and I didn't want to the show to end of until they played "war pigs" by black sabbath. What a downer to end the show on.

I can not remember but I think Beck played the next night or maybe the night before the Flaming Lips. Anyway, this was the tour with the puppet show which was really cool and trippy. This was a way different more energized show than the one in the years past on the "Sea Change" tour.

A couple months later, we went to see Ween at LSA. Ween is one of my favorite bands that I don't listen to much anymore. I think I need to change that. I sat in the VIP beer garden with Kina while our husbands went off to get into the crowd. This was my first Ween show and I didn't know what to expect. I had a chance to see them in 1999 but I can't remember why I didn't go. The show was pretty mellow until the sun went down where it got all sorts of crazy.

2007 - Arcade Fire Arlen Snitzer Portland Oregon

The Arcade Fire was so amazing at the Sasquatch Festival (minus the horrible sound) that while having a weekend away in Portland, we got tickets to see them perform with Electrolane. The energy this group puts out in their songs is amazing. We were on the balcony and it was shaking up there so much we thought the balcony would come crashing down! Ooops.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Wilco amps at Edgefield show"]Wilco amps at Edgefield show[/caption]

2007 - Wilco, Edgefield Portland Oregon

Have you ever been to Edgefield? Its an adult amusement park -- a brewery, distillery and winery all in one. In the spring when I found out Wilco would be indeed playing Edgefield I reserved our room before we got the tickets. We showed up at 2 p.m. and Wilco was doing the sound check. We sat on the side porch of the building and listened, later to find out we COULD HAVE WENT INTO THE SOUND CHECK. Lame. I had one too many drinks before the show but I do remember it as we were only feet from the stage. This was the first time I yelled Breedlove and I did say something in my drunken stupor about if I get pregnant that night I'm naming my son Jeff or Glenn. Wilco didn't disappoint. They made up for the poor show at the Sasquatch Festival and that night played a show with Minus 5 in the bar on the Edgefield property. Too bad I had passed out from too much Black Rabbit Red. I felt horrible the next day but it was worth it.

2008 Wilco LSA Bend Oregon

I totally have an excuse for not seeing many shows in 2007/2008. I had my son in May 2008 so I knew that my travel would be limited this year. Have no fear, LSA announced the day my boss walked outat work that Wilco would be playing in my home town (what a great way to pick up an 8 month pregnant woman). Yay! Just needed a sitter. Two people tried to get us back stage but the band wasn't staying after the show and were headed to SF for some festival. BLAH. The show was magical. We were just feet from the stage. I was sober this time and even got to yell Breedlove.  I remember requesting "Summerteeth" on the website and being delighted it was played. There wasn't too much Jeff Tweedy witty banter but he did make a comment that Bend's weather was amazing and he wouldn't give a plug for Breedlove guitars.

2009 Wilco Britt Pavillion Jacksonville OR

I have a blog post about this show so I'll let you read what I said then about this amazing show. I don't think anything could ever top how amazing this show was ...
We left Lil B with his aunt to spend the day and night. This was hard and damn it, Wilco is a band I would leave my child with his aunt so I could enjoy. We also hired a Britt Sitter (someone you pay $20 to stand in line for you so you can be one of the 150 ppl they allow to sit in the front) to stand in position until we arrived. After a game of shuffleboard in which Ryan and I killed my husband and Ethan, we headed up the hill to the Britt Pavilion. In 4th position was our faithful sitter -- there was no way we would not get front row. We listened to the sound check, Brian tell his "Pearl Jam story" and game of quoting "Anchorman" while waiting 90 mins for the gate to open. In preparation for the hot Southern Oregon climate, I drank a lot of water and had to find the bathroom. On my way back, I spotted the emo looking dude from Wilco (Pat Sansone, at the time I couldn't remember his name) walking down the road. I wanted to stop him and get a photo but I was alone so I told him "have a great show" and he said thanks. A little starstuck, I went back to my #5 position (Ethan had #4, Brian had #6) and waited.

The Britt folks take care of their members. They lined us up outside the venue and prepped us so we could run and grab our spots. We ran and grabbed front and center!!!! The cool thing is the stage is only raised a foot above the ground which meant we were pretty much gonna be eye-level with Wilco!!! More waiting, through the open act and then the prep for Wilco and then, they entered the stage. I said to Brian "um, Jeff Tweedy isn't very tall" and there were many exchanges about his Breedlove Guitars (which Brian plays and are made in Bend).

Words can't explain how cool it was to experience the show from front and center. The songs were amazing as Wilco knows how to put on a show. Twice, Jeff Tweedy was inches from me, within reach. The first time Jeff Tweedy came down during Spiders (kidsmoke) and had the kid RIGHT NEXT TO ME play his guitar. I was a little awestruck that a guitar playing legend was with in INCHES of me. After the show, he came up to the kid, STILL RIGHT NEXT TO ME, and handed him the guitar pick. The kid is one of the many Britt Sitters you can hire. He was #3 in line with us (I was #5) and was really excited for the show. One last thing, this show was so awesome that it knocked the Radiohead show I saw at Red Rocks in 2001 out of the #2 spot.

My friend Ethan, who went with us, asked me the other day "Are you sure your favorite band isn't Wilco?" If U2's album this year would have been good, I don't think I'd be into Wilco so much right now and my husband agrees as he's seen me even more fanatical over U2 and Radiohead.  BUT the next show will probably put me over the edge on the fanatical side as now we're flying to see a member of Wilco ...

2009 Son Volt Domino Room Bend OR

I'm not a Son Volt fan as you can read the whole post here. I went to this show really without an open mind but I ended up enjoying it though everyone around me was talking about the Tweedy/Farrar rivalry. I was a little mad about this because how rude is that to the artist preforming? Pretty fitting that just a few weeks later, I'm seeing his rival's live solo show. Anyway, Son Volt's sent went like this ... a few slow songs and then a rocking song. A few slow songs and then a rocking song.  This almost inspired an Ignite presentation on the Monsters of Alt Country Rock but I'm pretty sure everyone in Bend is sicking of hearing me talk about it.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Jeff Tweedy solo show"]Jeff Tweedy solo show[/caption]

2009 Jeff Tweedy Orpheum Theatre Phoenix AZ

I'm not going to say much about this show as I have a whole post coming soon. I'm letting this show marinate and I'm thinking about it. A Jeff Tweedy solo is not to be compared with Wilco. You sit down. He makes it feel intimate (even with 2000 people around). And it's almost a comedy show.  Now, I had heard this and but never experienced it. Jeff Tweedy doesn't tour much as a solo act and when he does, it's only for one or two shows. Lucky for us, his sister lives in Phoenix and he decided to do a show while visiting. I definitely have more to say so stay tuned.

So this raps up the decade of shows I attended. In 2010, I've already purchased U2 (June!!)  and Wilco (February) tickets. If Wilco plays this summer, we probably won't go unless it's in Bend. I'm holding out for Radiohead to play this and maybe the Flaming Lips! They definitely won't come to Bend to play so we'd have to travel. There are definitely bands I'm interested in seeing like the Avett Brothers and Phoenix but traveling is going to be out of the question for a while until the little one can attend concerts and enjoy them (maybe when he's 10?)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Did you even have to guess?

Guess what I checked off my bucket list? I mean, did you even have to guess? Here are a few gems from the show ...

Full post to come --It's more for me than you so you don't have to read it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Best of 00 - Music 2000-2004

When I go to concerts, it’s go big or go home. After thinking about it, I’ve hardly seen shows in either of the places I have lived – Bend or Omaha. I’ve been known to fly across country to see a band play (U2) or drive eight hours (Radiohead).  I just don’t spend my money on any band or artist. It’s a carefully thought out process. So here goes the great shows of the past decade … and no, you won’t be surprised by who I have went to see.

2000 - Phish: Alpine Valley Amphitheatre
Phish shows are an experience like no other (unless you went to Dead shows). The pre-party is all the rage. You have to get there hours before to enjoy the moment. Full on shakedown streets, people peddling everything from shrooms to veggie burritos and then the unofficial Phish shirts and tape trading.  The show opened with “Punch you in the Eye” and I only remember this because a few years later Phish released this show live. I often listen to it to get into the Phish vibe mood.

2001 - Radiohead at Red Rocks with The Beta Band
Readers of my old blog know the tale of this show. Shannon gets a new car. Shannon’s boyfriend of the moment gets tickets to Radiohead (I think we were in the first 10 rows. I can't find the ticket stub ANYWHERE). We drive to 8 hours. The show rocks. I end up with a THE famous rainbow sweater scored from a thrift in Golden, Colorado. Boyfriend of the moment spills a Diet Pepsi all over the front seat in my new car. (said BOM was not too happy with my account of this). This show ranked for a while as the second best show I've seen ever (it is now #3). Radiohead is amazing live and seeing opening act Beta Band was just icing on the cake as I loved them a ton at the time (remember the famous line from High Fidelity about the Beta Band?). PLUS it was at Red Rocks.

2002 U2 Elevation Tour – KC/San Jose
How was it the last time I saw MY FAVORITE BAND EVER in 2002? Sheesh that seems so long ago. I thought I blogged about this on the old blog but I guess I didn’t. I flew to San Fran and tagged along with some friends to see U2. U2 is a band who goes big or goes home (hey, just like me) when it comes to shows. Unfortunately, U2 plays the same scripted show every night so when I saw them later in the year in KC with my cousin Bob, I was a little disappointed. I did, however score a press pass (yay for working at an internet company) and got to be in the press pit for the U2 show. That photo of Bono, shot by yours truly (!!!!). The embarrassing thing, my camera was way smaller that everyone elses photo. I was so close to Bono, I could have touched him but I refrained. I was supposed to see U2 in 2004 BUT a snowstorm over the pass forced me to sell my tickets. I’m happy to report I’ll be in attendance at U2’s show this summer in Seattle.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="448" caption="Flaming Lips at LSA"]Flaming Lips at LSA[/caption]

Beck with the Flaming Lips – Lawrence, KS
Finally, a show I actually blogged about! I don’t have to rely on my memory here. I didn’t know I was going to this show until the day of the show. It was sold out and my “friend” (not BOM anymore, but the person who spilled Diet Pepsi in my car) called to say he was taking me to this show (after much begging on my part). (side note: this is same said “friend” who claims and takes credit to have gotten me into Wilco, which is totally untrue as I bought AM/Being There when they came out (1995/96). It’s more like he played Wilco all the time and I just started to like them a bit more than I did before. This is also the person who I was supposed to go to the Omaha Wilco show and well, we got in a fight and I didn’t go as the show which was sold out and he had the tickets. And you’ll never guess what happened next – he had an encounter with JEFF TWEEDY.) OK, back to Beck/Flaming Lips. Here is an account of the show from my old blog:
“Our seats were good and it was nice to sit down most of the time and relax and enjoy the show. “friend” warned me that the flaming lips were crazy and that beck would be really mellow. I wasn't prepared for the flaming lips. They came out with people dressed in animal costumes who were holding up flash lights. Then there were four disco balls going at the same time and the band was shooting the smoke machine out into the crowd. There was also a video screen, shooting various images. i couldn't keep up but it was awesome. Beck came on and he played acoustic for a while until the flaming lips came up as his back up band so beck wasn't depressing, he actually danced all over. I did cry during "lost cause." it was more upbeat than usual but i still did shed a tear. that song is so sad. ugh.”

This is when I formed a love for the Flaming Lips and the main reason why they are my 4th favorite band (2nd favorite American band). They put on an amazing show and their songs are so different from anything out there.

I think I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers this year but I didn’t go by choice. The ticket was free and I just went along. I also saw John Mayer at the Qwest Center in Omaha. I actually didn't want to go to this show but I did go and I did enjoy it. John Mayer IS nice to look at.

I moved to Bend this year. I saw Michael Franti at COCC. It was a good show. Again, the ticket was free and I didn’t know too many people and I needed to get out. I was supposed to see Radiohead that summer but they cancelled all of their shows. I saw the legendary Pixies this year. It was my first concert LSA as a Bend resident. We mostly hung out in the beer garden. I believe the Decemberists opened and I was pissed because I missed it!

OK, 2005 - 2009 is coming up. It includes some of my top shows ever and a lot of Wilco (U2, Radiohead weren't touring much at this time).

Christmas croup

Would you know it ... my kid has been pretty healthy this fall and Tuesday I go to pick him up at daycare to find out he woke up from his long afternoon nap with a cough and a 102 degree fever. Sheesh. The last time Lil B had the croup was on his birthday. Poor little guy. What a great way to start your 19 month of life.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Christmas Croup just plain sucks"]Christmas Croup just plain sucks[/caption]

Around 6 p.m., after the ibuprofen kicked in, the barking seal cough and weezing began. My husband got Lil B in his snowsuit and took him for a jaunt around the neighborhood (cold air is good for the croup). I knew it would a long night. I almost was kicking myself for loaning some of my favorite movies to people because they would have been nice to watch at 2 a.m. when I was snuggling with a cranky toddler on the couch. On three hours of sleep, I went to work. I was lucky enough to get Lil B in early at the pediatrician so he could get the meds needed. When I came home from work, I crushed the pills and put them in pudding but he still didn't want to take them so I had to force the pudding down. NOT FUN. He spent the rest of the evening taking warm steamy showers, cold walks around the block and being really clingy. Around bedtime, he was feeling better.

This morning he woke up really clingy with no fever. I'm really really hoping it's not something else now. Let's hope all this crap goes away before the weekend.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday with toddler

Best of the 00s - Life changes

I toyed around with doing ten posts of each year this decade and then I started to outline the years and what happened and well, some was sorta on the depressing side so I scraped that idea and decided to focus on the most awesome moments of the 2000s in order to keep the post in a positive light. So, here goes with the life changes in this decade.

Bought my first house

In 2001, I bought my first house for a $83,000. To some, $83K for a house is a lot of money and well, people here in Oregon think that is pretty cheap. My Aksarben Dollhouse was 900 square feet, 2 bedrooms with three season porch. It was the perfect home for a single gal, was close to the road biking trails (one summer I biked 800 miles on those trails and I had a rocking body to boot) and centrally located. I had many good and bad times in that house. Once a raccoon woke me up in the middle of the night. Good thing my boyfriend at the time was over and ejected it from my house. I spent months trying to find the perfect house and it was perfect, until I tried to sell it in 2005 (it took six months to sell after an offer fell through).

Changed careers

In 2002, after 9/11 -- the tech bubbled happened. I unfortunately worked for an online city magazine and in April 2002 they informed up that by January we would all be out of jobs. I had worked at Cox Interactive since 1998 (Cox Enterprises since 1997) and loved my co-workers. So, I started looking for a job in public relations which was a shift from being a content developer. I landed a job in July 2002 at the Nebraska Food Bank and I loved it.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="448" caption="Drake Park in the spring"]Drake Park in the spring[/caption]

Moved to Bend

I never intended to move to Bend, OR -- it just happened. I often hear folks say that it just happened and I can relate because it did just happened for me. I had visited my friend in 2000 and really dug the town. In 2003, I decided that after some experience under my belt in public relations/fundraising/marketing I would look into moving. Nothing was keeping me in Nebraska and I felt that it was time to spread my wings. My cousin lived in New York City but that was too big for me but I also liked Chicago as well. Minneapolis was also a contender but when I decided to visit Bend in 2003, I knew Oregon and I were destine to be good ole pals. My decision to move did shock my family and friends but in the end, I loaded up my Saturn and cat Zach in February 2004 and headed West on a two day drive to Bend, Oregon.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Arizona trip 2005"]Arizona trip 2005[/caption]

Met my husband and got married

If you were to tell me that I would move to Oregon and end up married 18 months later, I would laugh at you. I wasn't planning on getting married. After many failed relationships, I just gave up on it. I had heard about this "Slider" character from my friend Greg as they once were roommates and I'm pretty sure I talked to him on the phone when I called to chat it up with Greg. Then on July 4, 2003 this joker rides up on a tricycle.  That joker was my future husband, Brian.  We got to talking and he said he could help me find some job leads and gave me his email address to keep in touch. As the months went by emails turned into phone calls and with Brian moving to Omaha for a bit. In the end, it all worked out and we got married.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Sharing my Youtube addiction with Ben. "]Sharing my Youtube addiction with Ben. [/caption]

I had a baby -- didn't you know?

In October 2007, I woke up feeling awful. The room was spinning and I was horribly motion sick when we'd drive anywhere. I went out and bought a pregnancy test and sure enough, I was going to have a baby. At eight weeks, I had an ultrasound and got to hear "Lilbergers" heartbeat.  (ok, side note -- read that post -- the best things to happen to me in 2007 was a Wilco show at Edgefield and being knocked up. What low standards I have? I'm sure that year was full of amazing things. I did, however, yell to Jeff Tweedy when I was drunk "BREEDLOVE" and "IF I GET KNOCKED UP TONIGHT I'M EITHER NAMING MY KID JEFF OR GLENN"). Anyway, on January 17 we found out we were having a boy and on May 23, Lil B came three weeks early.  Life has definitely changed for the better as he's the cutest lil guy in the whole world.

OK, so there you have it for life changing events. Next up, my favorite concerts of the past decade.  But for now, enjoy this photo of Lil B and mommy.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="180" caption="two days old"]two days old[/caption]

Friday, December 18, 2009

The bucket list

When I was growing up, I always asked for practical items for gifts. Exercise equipment, new tires for my car, measuring cups for baking (a boyfriend was embarrassed to give me this, by the way – it wasn’t romantic but I didn’t make him a nice romantic cake).  I think my mom gave me a word processor the Christmas my freshman year of college because I didn’t like typing up my papers in the UNL’s computer labs. I always want practical. Frivolous is not my thing.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my husband about things I’d like to do before I die. If I could pick ten items, this would be the list (in no particular order):

  • Take a cruise in the Mediterranean

  • Watch the Macy’s parade LIVE in NYC on Thanksgiving day with my children

  • Attend a live solo Jeff Tweedy show

  • Climb South Sister

  • Have a drink with Bono

  • See a Flaming Lips show in Oklahoma

  • Attend a multi-day music festival (Austin City Limits and Pitchfork come to mind)

  • See all of the national parks

  • Travel Europe

  • Write a book

So what does my bucket list have to do with Christmas you might ask? As many know, it has been a tough year and we really haven’t done much for ourselves. Sure we went on some trips but mostly we’ve been trying to keep our family afloat while the future is in question – will my husband EVER find a job? The job market in Bend is tough right now so we’re patiently hoping, wishing, praying something happens soon.

A few weeks back, I got a check in the mail from the parental unit with the rule that I had to blow it on something frivolous and not save the money. It’s hard not to save money right now – we need to save it but I racked my brain.  Then the idea was presented to use it towards something on my bucket list. In order to not jinx it, I will make you all wait until said checking off the list happens but it’s pretty cool and frivolous. Stay tuned. Full report will come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Divorcing salt

As I have mentioned before, I’ve had some struggles with my blood pressure lately. After trying several medications, it turns out that I have anxiety issues and white coat hypertension. I’m anxious lately due to the lack of a second income in our family (this is not my husband’s fault, there just isn’t anything out there). Still, my blood pressure when I monitor it at home is showing pre-hypertension numbers which is probably because I’m a tad bit on the heavy side. The only ways to lower it in this circumstance would be to cut my sodium intake down to 2300 mg, exercise and do yoga/breathing exercises.

So, I started researching lowering my sodium intake and started tracking my eating on I was shocked to find out that my standby lunch staple, a Subway sandwich, contained at least 75% of my daily sodium intake.  Yikes! I also noticed that a lot of recipes from contained the calorie/fat information but not the sodium intake. I began to start studying labels big time. Nutella had a limited amount of sodium. A whole can of tomatoes – 500 mg of sodium. I found great websites with gourmet, full of flavor recipes and I pulled out my South Beach Diet cookbook. In order to lower my sodium, drastic changes were in store. I got a little depressed.

THEN I actually started watching my sodium last week. I started with eating a banana, orange and latte for breakfast. Lunch consisted of healthy leftovers or a low sodium lean cuisine . Snacks included an avocado/wasu crackers or granola type bar (though this week I discovered that my beloved Take 5 was only 180mg – ha! I can still have some sweets). The most important meal was dinner. I had to make dinner bearable for the toddler and husband as well as on the quick side. This week my husband has been pleasantly please by the new dishes we are trying. We even had broccoli mac and cheese and he lived as well as loved it.

I do allow myself one day to eat something off limits. I believe that allowing that can help me focus on the other times.

I must confess, I haven’t been to the gym in over two weeks. I told myself that after this week’s cold snap I would be back at it, trying to train for a triathlon (we should call that tryathlon) in July. And since I’m not a fan of yoga, I have looked into breathing exercises.

I do feel better since watching my sodium. Let’s see if it helps the waistline.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Year 2000 - Yes, I was a Phishead

[caption id="attachment_471" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Greatest jam band? Phish? Really?"]Greatest jam band? Phish? Really?[/caption]

It's probably pretty obvious to my readers that I have bad taste in music. So it should not come to a surprise to you that at the turn of the century, I was really into Phish. I don't even know how the whole Phish thing got started but one day I was this normal college student in Nebraska and the next day I was eating veggie burritos in Wisconsin on shakedown street. The funny thing -- no one in my family really knew that. They knew I liked Phish (they still think Phish is my favorite band -- which they never have been -- U2 holds that top spot). They knew that I might have went to a show but they didn't know about the driving to Minneapolis or heading to Wisconsin or the shows in Kansas City or the time I had tickets to five shows in a row. Many miles on my '95 Saturn coupe to see what Rolling Stone calls America's greatest jam band (doesn't that title go to the Grateful Dead?).

We declared last night "Rock Doc" night. I have a few rock docs in my DVD library and my husband said he'd never seen Phish's Bittersweet Motel doc about The Great Went shows in Maine, I humored him and took a ride back in my past. You see, I secretly find reasons to get in the car on Sunday to listen to 92/7FM's Jam in Your Ear because I might catch a Phish bootleg song. Every once and a while, I drag a Phish CD out and listen. I'm becoming my mother, listening to 8 Tracks from the 70s in the 90s except I only do this in my car and only subject myself to it. My husbands likes Phish. He also is a Dead fan too. Can you like both? This movie talks about that and actually shows the leader of the band dissing phan. What the? I forgot about that part.

Phish reminds me of all the embarrassing things I did in my 20s. It's a good reminder that you need to have fun because someday you need to grow up and become an adult.

The last Phish show I attended was in 2000. They bounced on trampoline. Trey and Mike did their little dance. 2001 was played. Run Like an Antelope blared. My friend thought Phish actually wrote "Roses are Free." Umm, no -- that was Ween. Then my boyfriend and I broke up. And I moved on. I couldn't listen to Phish (even though I did the breaking up, it brought back all these memories I didn't want to re-live).

I can't believe it's been 10 years since I last saw Phish. In that time, they've broken up. Formed side projects. Got arrested for drugs and then re-grouped in 2009 for a reunion tour. I was tempted to head to the Gorge to see them but I only could go see one out of town show this summer and you all know who that was.

Because I'm really fit

This is not my video but it's hilarious if you know the story about behind the rivalry between Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar.

Crazy cyclocross action in Bend, Oregon

Average Saturday with a toddler

Easy pretzel turtles

[caption id="attachment_450" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pretzel turtles! YUM."]Pretzel turtles! YUM.[/caption]

One of my favorite things to do as a child around Christmas time was bake cookies with my mom. We would make gum drop cookies, easy fudge, pecan sandies and spritz cookies. Before she died, my mom bought me a spritz cookie maker but I tried and tried and I couldn't make those darn cookies! One of my traditions is making pecan sandies, though, I haven't made them yet this year. Maybe I will do that today?

I got invited to my first cookie exchange and I wanted to make something that was easy, yummy and fun to make. I went back and forth on what the heck to do and then Our Best Bites had a recipe for easy pretzel turtles. Salty and sweet! Yum! I had to prepare three dozen of something and I was done in 10 mins with cookie exchange cookie.

I think this will be a new tradition as the extras I had left over are now gone thanks to my husband, toddler and myself.


Easy Pretzel Turtles

courtesy of Our Best Bites

small pretzels
Rolo candies - one bag has about 55 candies
Pecan halves - or optionally peanuts, cashews, and m&m's
Optional: almond bark or white chocolate for drizzling

This is easy as can be! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet. I like to use parchment paper for easy handling, but you can also put them on foil, a silpat, or directly onto the cookie sheet.

Unwrap your Rolo candies and place one on top of each pretzel like a cute little hat.

Don't they look like they're just standing there waiting for an order? At least someone in my house stands at attention because heaven knows my children don't!

Place pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Any longer is probably too long. You just want the chocolate on the outside to look glossy and melty, but they should still hold their shape.

Remove pan from oven and take a pecan and gently press it right into the center of the chocolate candy.

This will be my next challenge as my husband loves egg nog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cyclocross: It's some crazy s$%#!

The National Cyclocross championships are taking place in Bend right now. It's fun to watch but wow, the injuries. Almost as bad as roller derby

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You need teeth to chew

I hate baby teeth. They keep my son up at night, crying with pain which means they are keeping me up at night and then tired at work the next day. Sure, it’s nice that my toddler has teeth so he can eat but he can’t eat when they have his mouth swollen and throbbing so he’s been eating a lot of yogurt, bananas and cold milk. When he’s hungry, he taken to whining by the frig and when I open it, grabbing yogurt. Poor little buddy.

Lil B’s teeth definitely take after my side of the family – full of gaps. I ask him to “show me his teeth” and he opens up and says “AHHHHH” as loud as he can. I try to see how things are looking but he won’t let me touch! His favorite activity, brushing his teeth, has become a chore because who wants to brush your mouth when it hurts?

Lil B has been living on ibuprofen for about two days now. He’s crabby, clingy and plain ole tired. He is now back to taking two naps a day. I will be so happy when this set of canines come in but then he’s in for the ultimate pain – 2 year molars soon enough. I’ll be happy when they’re all in and he’s back to being a happy camper.

In other Lil B news, last night he looked at the tv during Dora and exclaimed “MONKEY!!!” “Boo Boo” after this book that was recently given to us. It was so cute but hasn't happened since.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't try this at a Motorhead concert

My husband shot this video while we were front row June 30, 2009 at the Wilco show in Jacksonville, OR. He caught the best Tweedy monologue of the night on video.

I don't wanna pick sides. I'm Switzerland.

bono jeff thom copy

If there were three people you could meet … who would they be? Without any question, I would rattle off Bono, Jeff Tweedy and Thom Yorke. If you would ask my co-workers what gets me animated it would be stretched logos, LOST and Wilco. Wilco is not my favorite band. Wilco is my third favorite band. (By my “who would I like to meet” list, you can probably figure out who the two favorite bands would be).

[caption id="attachment_402" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="The Grandfathers of Alt Country Rock - Jay and Jeff"]The Grandfathers of Country Rock - Jay and Jeff[/caption]

I am not an expert in music. I try not to follow the rules. I still don’t know if Lady Gaga is a band or woman. But there was one rule bestowed upon me in 1996 – you have to choose sides, Wilco or Son Volt. I really didn’t want to choose and honestly, I wasn’t a big Uncle Tupelo fan. I believe my brother was but I thought they had a neat sound and who doesn’t like a banjo. But Uncle Tupelo are the pioneers of progressive sounds – the godfathers of alternative country rock. One time my dad was driving in the car with me and Uncle Tupelo was playing – “who is this? That’s an interesting sound.” Godfathers of Alt Country Rock dad. My dad likes Willie, Waylon and the boys. He liked Uncle Tupelo.

(Uncle Tupelo breaks up in 1994. Two bands are formed - Jay Farrar forms Son Volt. Jeff Tweedy and the rest of Uncle Tupelo form Wilco)

So back in 1996, I was working in television. My co-worker was playing Son Volt while we were waiting for the 10 p.m. news to get going. “Uncle Tupelo?” No, Son Volt. “What the?  Sounds like Uncle Tupelo.” No, it’s Son Volt. “Wow, Jay doesn’t diversify.” This opened a WHOLE can of worms. How you have to pick sides. You can’t like Jay and Jeff. It’s just wrong. You pick one.

[caption id="attachment_403" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Is that God shining down on Jeff Tweedy? No, just light from the hallway"]Is that God shining down on Jeff Tweedy? No, just light from the hallway[/caption]

I picked Jeff.

Years later, I was dating a guy who was really really into Wilco. (In fact, he looked like Jeff Tweedy. I believe he went as Jeff Tweedy, the pain killer years (aka Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) for Halloween once.  Ideally you would think that would be a perfect match but that was when Kid A and Amnesiac came out and well, I was really into Radiohead then. My music tastes go along the lines of who has a good album and who is a touring. Wilco is always touring. U2’s last album wasn’t very good and Radiohead is off building their next masterpiece. You can see why a gal like me is a little Wilco-centric. They are always playing a show. That’s why they’re the biggest touring band you’ll never hear on the radio. Their sound is unique. So unique, it will never make Top 40 radio. Where was I – I posed the Jeff/Jay question – and well, he totally agreed. You can’t like both. You pick sides.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago. My friend tells me Son Volt is coming to Bend. Now I’m the one saying you can’t like Son Volt and Wilco. It’s just wrong. You pick sides. Who have I become? This is the gal who doesn’t have music rules. Screw it. I like the new Son Volt songs but I just can’t bring myself to buy the album. I feel this allegiance to all things Wilco. I feel as if I’m betraying Jeff Tweedy. But in all honesty, would he even care? Really? If I meet him ever, the first question I will ask “are you ok that I listen to Son Volt?” He would probably say something brilliant that translates to “I really don’t care. Go forth and listen to Son Volt.”

So, I will just believe I have his blessing.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Third row -- Edgefield. I was the girl yelling "BREEDLOVE""]Third row -- Edgefield. I was the girl yelling BREEDLOVE[/caption]