Thursday, June 28, 2012

i'm a bad influence :p

(not really)

The day after my littles high school graduation I took Meagan to get her belly button pierced. This is something she had been wanting for a long time but couldn't do because of cheer. Though I no longer have it, I also got mine pierced, back when I was 16. Pretty standard.

She got really nervous leading up to the actual procedure, and poor Meagan is so tiny that the piercer actually had a hard time getting everything in to position which I am sure was not helping. She took it like a champ though and now has a little pierced belly button.

Think about it this way parental units: at least it is not her tongue (I got a lot of flack for that one at the time), or gauged ears like mine.

[[ my little getting her belly button pierced. ]]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the used (6/11)

To continue on with recapping our weekend of concerts...
Monday 6/11 me, Pat, Tony, and Megan went to see The Used at The Roseland in downtown Portland. This was my very first time seeing them live and it was better than expected!! 18 year old me would have been so pumped!

Unfortunately this concert happened to take place on one of the busiest days of my life sandwiched between attending my little sisters high school graduation and working until 4am at her grad night. In fact, the concert actually began while her ceremony was just getting started. Right after Meagan's name was called (thank goodness our last name starts with a B) me and Pat had to take off early and haul ass to the show. Same venue, two nights, two bands. We made it in amazingly good time through a series of green lights and some moderate speeding... We got inside and upstairs right when the second opening band was finishing up, so we only had to wait about twenty minutes before they came on. Perfection... very stressful... but it ended up working out great. 

I am definitely not as enamored (to say the least) with The Used's new material as I was with their older albums, so I was really nervous that I missed my window for seeing them and that this show would end up being an hour of the new. Luckily, I was wrong! Although they did end up playing a lot of new material, it was actually the better of the bunch and really high energy in concert. I was super excited when they played "Buried Myself Alive", "Listening", and "A Box of Sharp Objects" especially since they incorporated a "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana) intro into that last one. Pretty sweet. We actually made it down on the floor for this one as well and ended up crowd surfing a giant cigarette... yes... true story. Little did I know that Portland was the very last stop on their tour, so they decided to end it off by filming a music video for one of their new songs "Put Me Out" at our show. That was definitely a first for me. Perhaps I will show up for a split second on film, who knows. 

[[ the used performing in portland oregon. ]]

Basically it was a really fun show and I was sad that I had to take off immediately after it to work grad night because I definitely had a "concert high" after. Despite their new sound not always being to my liking they definitely performed and I will see them again 100% if I get the chance. 

((( here is the setlist if you are curious. )))

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

thrice (sunday 6/10)

Two weeks ago me and Pat had a weekend of concerts.
Our first show was Thrice on Sunday night at the Roseland downtown, which was followed by a "secret" acoustic set played on the streets in Portland for the fairly small group of us who were tipped off to the event.

We got to the Roseland pretty late, so the first opening band was just finishing up when we walked in. I have to say, I think that out of all of the concerts I have gone to, this one was the oldest crowd I have seen, so the 21+ balcony area was packed. We had to wait in line just to get up there, but did score a pretty solid spot in the corner with a decent view of the stage minus that center bar you will see in all of the pictures. By the time Thrice was coming on I was super pumped to see what they were going to play, especially since there was that whole online poll thing for song selection. Overall it was a decent show, though not quite what I was expecting. It was pretty mellow... and they did end up playing mostly newer stuff, which caught me a bit by surprise. I assumed that most people would have wanted to hear some of their older, more heavier songs, but the polls were not in my favor. They did get a couple in, including Silhouette, which is one of my favorites and one that I got to see back in 2003 at Warped Tour, so I was pretty pumped about that. Though we never did end up making our way to the floor, and I know Pat was sad that they didn't play a few things he wanted to hear. (Here is the setlist if you are curious).

[[ pat, tony, and me ready for the show! ]]

[[ pictures from the show in the roseland. ]]

After the show we were outside talking and heard rumor about a "secret show" to be played acoustically by lead singer Dustin Kensrue. We were told to walk over to the tour buses where someone came out and told us to make our way to the park up the street, so we obliged. We were soon moved to a new location, a parking lot across the street, because the cops broke up the park gathering. We were asked to sit on the ground and be quiet and on our best behavior so that it wouldn't be broken up again. About half an hour later Dustin was standing a few rows in front of us singing some of his solo songs. This was pretty sweet and I got some good video with Pat's phone. After the short set he offered to meet with people for autographs and pictures, which was also badass. I didn't bother with an autograph since I have one of the whole band from back in the day, but we definitely capitalized on a handshake and new picture. I think it was really cool that he actually took the time to meet with everyone who was waiting before turning in for the night.

[[ the acoustic set. us with dustin. ]]

Here is a little preview of the acoustic set via YouTube (posted by nathanosu). This is from the show we were at just a few feet to the left of where we were sitting. You probably can't tell from the video, but everyone was singing along softly, it was a pretty crazy feeling to be so close to it all.

((( he has video of the other two songs played as well if you want to check those out on YouTube. 1 / 2 )))

Monday, June 25, 2012

california adventure :: sneak peak

Me and Pat are back from our California Adventures, but since I will be gone Friday thus making this a short week, I think it would be better to take care of some unfinished posts I had started before we went on our little vacay. I will get going on the California posts next week and they will probably end up spilling in to the following week (or two), in which case I will have even more events to catch up on! This is a busy summer for sure, and there are still many things planned for future dates, including this weekend.

If you have been following my Instagram you have probably already seen these pictures, but here is a little sneak peak of the same ones I posted during our trip to give you an idea of what our daily activities entailed. Do not be surprised if you see these images pop up on their corresponding posts as well.

[[ instagram photos: plane. lunch. pool. breakfast. lounging. joshua tree national park. the good stuff. sushi dinner. disney. tea party. strong. drive. sf. cousins. go giants. ashland. ]] 

Friday, June 15, 2012

california adventure

Alright, it is finally Friday, so I can announce our upcoming adventures to you!

Me and Pat will be leaving tomorrow morning for a nine day California vacation. Though it is a little closer than NYC this year, we are still super excited! We will be flying to La Quinta (Palm Springs) where we will sit by the pool and soak up the sun for the first four days of our trip. One of my goals is to get over by Joshua Tree National Park to take some pictures. I love the desert, and mini photo shoots. Next we will be driving over to Anaheim to do the whole Disneyland thing because we are definitely not grown ups yet, and thought it would be fun/silly. After that we will head up the coastline to visit some of my family in San Jose before spending our final day in San Francisco with two of my favoritest cousins. (We might even take in a Giants game). The last day will be a lot of driving until we are finally back home. So, our vacation is part relaxing poolside with a margarita in hand, part amusement park, part exploring the city, and part road trip adventure. I do wish we had a few more days because I wouldn't mind spending some more time in SF, but I suppose we can't play hooky from work forever.

[[ pictures from la quinta a few years ago. ]]

Almost forgot to add this...
Here is roughly what me and Pat will be doing Wednesday and Thursday. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

little sisters graduation

After my lengthy Weekend Adventures post yesterday, this one was quite a bit easier. Here are a couple of the best pictures we took at graduation. :)

[[ sister, sister. ]]

[[ getting ready to go. our grandparents. weirdos. meg & mom. pat & meagan. our favorite little guy. meg & jenna being silly. sisters! me & leah. after graduation, nic and the little littles. ]]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

weekend adventures 59

Sorry for the silence Monday & Tues, I was still in Portland with mi familia having a jam packed weekend. And, Oh. My. God. Let me tell you, this weekend was insane. So much running around I don't even know how I stayed awake for it all... Details from both concerts will be in their own posts, as well as the bulk of Meagan's Graduation pictures, if you are wondering. I have a ton of pictures...

Me and Pat drove up to Portland in the late afternoon to spend the weekend with my familia. We went with all the kids to pick up my Grandparents from the airport. These were my Dad's parents who I had not seen since I was 18 or 19. Right when my Grandma saw me she gave me a big hug and said "Jennifer, it has been too damn long." Next we headed downtown to Irving Street Kitchen for some fried chicken and delicious dinner family style. The food was great, as always, and it was awesome to be catching up with my Grandparents, plus, Leah was in town, so all around good things. After dinner me, Pat, and Leah went to the Rogue Public House right up the street so that he could get the Rose Festival Ale for his collection, and then ended the night at North 45 for a drink before bedtime.

[[ irving street kitchen. thank you letter. pat & sleepy j. bottles. ]]

This whole day was complete and utter chaos... We spent all morning/afternoon prepping food for Meagan's Grad Party which was in the evening. So. Much. Food. When we were finally finished there was an overwhelming amount of friends, family, and children in our not so gigantic house. Though it was nice visiting with everyone, I was kind of relieved when it was time for me and Pat to head out to the Thrice show downtown.

[[ meagan's grad party and awards. ]]

I am not going to go in to the details of either concert until I can give each their own post, but I will put in a little visual preview in the meantime. I took a ton of pictures both nights. I will say that Thrice night consisted of not only their main concert set, but also a secret little show in a random parking lot. More details to come when I get a chance.

After the show, and secret show, me, Pat, Megan, and Tony headed to Montage (our favorite) for some super late dinner and a night cap. We closed the place down bellies full of macaroni and some sweet 90's Mariah Carey jams which were playing at the restaurant. Me and Megan may or may not have been singing to each other... and whoever else happened to be listening. I love that place. I got the best leftover wrap job this time too... its a squirrel!

[[ the roseland. me/megan. bathroom stall artwork. thrice teaser. montage leftovers. ]]

monday (busiest day of all time)
After getting home super late and sleeping on my parents living room floor (for lack of beds/couches) I was a little tired in the morning and hesitant to get up right away. However I had made an appointment for me and my sisters to get mani/pedis at 10, so alas, up I went. My family decided to go to Helvetia Tavern for lunch, which is right up the street from my dads place and has really yummy burgers. I had a their home made garden burger, and it was delicious. Then it was back home where we all got ready before sitting in traffic for an hour along Germantown road. Finally we arrived at UofP for Meagan's graduation. We were early this time so that there was time to take pictures, which we did, a lot. We were definitely one of the loudest groups in attendance as well, it was awkwsome (awkward+awesome). We cheered like idiots when Meagan walked out to take her seat, when they recognized seniors who won state competitions this year, and when she walked on stage to get her diploma, I think people got the point. We love our little and are very proud of her. (Did I already brag about her winning the Marques Nettles Memorial Scholorship as well? I was definitely not that much of a bad ass in high school).

[[ lunch at helvetia tavern. ]]

[[ graduation teaser. ]]
((( more images from graduation to follow tomorrow )))

Unfortunately right after Meagan was done me and Pat had to take off early and haul ass to make it to The Used show downtown at The Roseland. Same venue, two nights, two bands. We made it in amazingly good time through a series of green lights and some moderate speeding... Again, I will save the details of this show for its own post when I get the chance.

[[ the used teaser. ]]

After the show was over (amazing by the way), and I was all nice and gross/tired from being down on the floor, I had to run to the car and head for Grad Night, which I had volunteered to work at for the second time. Although the venue this year was in Vancouver Washington (right above Portland), I somehow managed to navigate my way there successfully and quickly. Thanks iPhone. I was singing directions the whole way so I wouldn't forget... haha, maybe this is my new tactic. "Exit 8, exit 28..." True story.

I was really worried about being late, but as it turns out I got there right after the rest of my siblings who were also helping out. After quickly changing my clothes, for the fourth time mind you, we set up the equipment and started doing airbrush tattoos. There were a ton of kids, including this one guy who came back to my station at least a dozen times. I was seriously glad to have help this year. Four hours later, we were wrapping it up (around 4am). I definitely was not as exhausted last year as I was this time, though of course last year I did not have a concert in between. I was sooo happy when we were finally done, but it was fun to be able to see my little and some of her friends having fun throughout the night.

This time when we left I made sure to have a passenger to keep me company/awake during the drive home. This proved fairly successful because unlike last year I did manage to park against the curb/sidewalk, not completely on top of it in my mostly asleep state. I was not only thankful to be home, but also that I could sleep in Meagan's room this time on a bed since there were less guests at the house. I don't even know what time we got to bed, sometime around 5am. In fact, the newspaper man handed us our newspaper as we were walking inside from our cars because he was already out delivering them.

After sleeping in as long as I possibly could I went out with my dad and little sister for a while. I don't even know how I spent my whole day in Portland, I was so tired and delirious. Eventually I brought myself to set out on the long drive home, so I said my goodbyes to everyone and headed out. It felt glorious to sleep in my own actual bed.

Told you last weekend was a lot of business. Phew. Normally I would have split this in to two, but it is a short week for me and I already have too much stuff I am putting off as it is!

Friday, June 8, 2012

thrice / the used

((( First of all, this weekend is going to be INSANE. Prepare for some lengthy adventures to take over my posting next week, although note that I will be MIA Monday, and possibly Tuesday for little sisters graduation. )))

When I was 18, there were few things I enjoyed more than some Thrice or The Used blasting through my headphones and a sketchbook in my hand. (Circa "The Artist in The Ambulance" and "In Love and Death"). In fact, on me and Pat's very first date we listened to The Used's first two albums and sang along at the top of our lungs to "Sound Effects and Over Dramatics", so these two bands definitely bring back some memories.

Though I have had the pleasure of seeing Thrice three times now, and successfully obtained their autographs at Warped Tour back in 2004 (oh yea), I have never had the chance to see The Used live. Until now...

They literally have not come through Portland since I was a Junior in high school, in fact, the closest they came (and the concert I am still mad at myself for not making the trip for) was Seattle for the Taste of Chaos Tour in 2005 when I was a Freshman at SOU. So when I saw a concert announcement for a show in Portland this Spring I jumped on it as a tribute to my 18 year old self. I am however seriously keeping my fingers crossed that they play a few things off of their first 2 or 3 albums, because past that I really stopped listening to their stuff regularly, not their best in my opinion. Bring on the "old" stuff!

Alright, now on to Thrice. Several months back Thrice announced that they were going to be doing one final tour throughout the U.S. and wanted their fans to vote on the set. They created an online poll through their website with a list of every single song they have ever made, so I of course voted... on a lot of songs, because lets face it, it was hard to narrow them down too much, there are so many good ones throughout their older albums. When the tickets came on sale I literally stayed up until midnight and bought four of them for me, Pat, Megan, and Tony so that we were sure to have them. Despite seeing them several times already, there was no way I was going to miss this.

So, this weekend along with everything else that is going on (and there is a lot), I will be going to two back to back concerts! Thrice on Sunday night, and The Used on Monday!!! Mix that in with a high school graduation and working my little sisters grad night and I have nostalgia to the max! Needless to say I am PUMPED!!!

Now, for a little playlist action if you please. Here is a sampling of a few of my favorite songs from each band. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

omg my baby sister is graduating ??!!??

When I was eight my little sister, and first sibling, was born. A lot has changed since then with my family dynamic, considering that I am now somewhere in the middle, and literally a "red headed step child". As much as I love my big crazy confusing family and all of my sisters, Meagan is still my only true sibling and I love her dearly.

Since she is my baby sister I can hardly even fathom that she is graduating high school this weekend! The same high school (mind you) that I graduated from eight years ago and remember fondly. It is hard for me to even believe that it has been that long for me. Half of my "best friends" I don't even keep in touch with anymore, but for a while there they were the most important thing in my life.

Of course what really weirds me out about the situation is that both Meagan and Jenna are going to college in California next year to join a Tumbling and Gymnastics Team. Though Jenna has been in college for a year (still weird), I can't believe it is Meagan's time as well. I mean, it was after all towards the end of Freshman year that I began talking to a certain someone whom I am now engaged to. Looking back we seemed so little, but at the time we felt so grown up. I wish both of my little sisters the best of luck next year, and to Meagan Paige, I really hope that you are MUCH more behaved than I was as a Freshman... for reals... like... seriously...

[[ little meeegan growing up (she might now like that one from 2007). ]]

And check this out... pictures of me and Meagan both playing Powderpuff Football our Senior years. Ha! 

[[ me and meagan, both 17. ]]

Love you mini me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

may :: photo challenge

I know my Midweek Inspiration posts have been suffering a bit lately, but it is just because I have so much other stuff going on as of late! They will get back on track eventually... although, maybe not until the end of the summer admittedly. Nothing wrong with having a few more personal adventures right?

Anyway, I have to get my Photo Challenge for May post done this week because next week I am completely full in terms of blog content, and then I will have a week off (you will see why later). So, without further adieu, here are my photos from the May challenge. Click here to view previous months.

[[ may photo challenge. ]]

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

chris & mandee's wedding

A few weeks ago me, Pat, and his family spent the day in Yachats Oregon celebrating the marriage of Pat's step brother Chris and his now wife Mandee. Since they were not hiring a photographer, I volunteered to take some wedding photos for the two of them (with the help of Pat and a tripod, since we were both in the wedding as well). The weather was primarily overcast, but there were a few shots where the sun peaked through slightly. Not too bad for the Oregon coast in May.

Below is a sneak peak of a few of the hundreds of images I have been editing for them over the past couple weeks. Please keep in mind, I am no wedding photographer... just doing a little favor (so be nice).

((( click on the images to view them larger.
open them in a new tab to view them much larger. )))

[[ chris & mandee. 5/19/2012. yachats, oregon. ]]