Monday, August 31, 2015

Musical Monday - Stephan Bodzin

I saw a clip recently of Stephan Bodzin at a Boiler Room event, and I was hooked. I think I'd heard a bit of his stuff before, but had filed it away in one of those things I need to listen to more of, and I never got around to it.

His latest album is on repeat, and when he comes back to LA for a show, I will fly myself there for a night of dancing.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, USA!

Quick flashback to the Fourth of July....

The weekend started off right with afternoon brunch at the Original Pancake house with Celisse. I'd never been and I think I'd already eaten, but I devoured that thing below.

Friday night I drove south to partake in part of a weekend extravaganza, organized by Kyle and Melissa. They had a camping spot in Provo Canyon for Friday night. I didn't plan to stay and camp, but I went to make a foil dinner and s'mores. The drive in was several miles of dirt road. I don't think my poor little car likes that very much.




I reached the campground just before dark. Tons of people made the trek out.

I left the campground close to midnight and drove into Provo to see my LA friends who were up for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series. It was super late and nothing in Provo is open except for the Provo Hospital cafeteria. That's where the cool kids hang out! So that's where we went.

I managed to get a workout in Saturday morning, then Celisse and I went to a BBQ and swim party. All I have wanted this summer is a pool and a cold drink. Tougher to come by than you might think. I was overjoyed at this pool. .

I ate the remains of my foil dinner later that day. It was bombdiggity.

Yet another BBQ on the 4th of July evening. This guy came in style. Then the whole gang of us walked over to Sugarhouse Park, where I attempted to meet up with even more friends.





Late night Sonic run after fireworks. Half price mozzerella sticks on Saturdays! And they never give me enough marinara sauce, even when I order extra.

Carol was in town from DC on Sunday, so we met up at Parley's, aka the zoo ward. Pretty building though.

While she was in town, we had a meal, of course, and were joined by Jendar at Copper Onion. Other LA friends who were in town ended up there too. Reunions all around.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Take Me Outta Funky Town...

Update to the Garmin saga below....
-------------------------------

Eh...so I haven't had the best last few weeks.

Boy I was dating, the one mentioned is a recent previous post, broke up with me for a reason I still can't exactly decipher, after we spent a great day together and then he came and met my brother and his family and had dinner with us. Who does that? I was a bit blindsided.

I started an eBay store to get rid of some clothes that I've barely or never worn, and I've made a few sales. But after fees the eBay is taking, I don't even know if it's worth it. And so many trips to the post office! I always use the automated machine to mail my stuff, and I had several packages returned for insufficient postage. What? You weighed the thing and told me what to pay! And then sent it back for more funds. This isn't worth the hassle.

I keep turning down wrong streets while driving and not remembering where things are located. My mind is not sharp lately. That's so not like me.

Mom flew into town last Friday, and I was walking out the door to go pick her up when I decided to grab the broom and sweep the front porch quickly. And then I locked myself out of the house. No car keys. No house keys. At least I had a phone. And then I tried a credit card in the door and it opened much too easily. Always lock that deadbolt!

This article came out, and it sums up my experience pretty well, and it's pretty depressing. I don't know what to do or how anything is going to work out, other than start a convent full of ice cream and Netflix. I've got at least one girl friend on board.

I asked my brother if I could borrow his GPS for my upcoming European road trip, since it'd be a little less expensive than renting one every day, even with buying a new map. He sent it with my parents to Utah this weekend, however, he didn't include the connection cable for the computer. I went through my pile of cables and found one that would work. Then I downloaded the Garmin Express software that I seemed to need to manage the device and map updates. I couldn't get it to install on my computer. After multiple tries late last night, it finally installed. Then I plugged in the GPS with the cord I'd found and it wouldn't recognize. Fine - I installed some drivers. Still didn't work. A restart and a few tries later, device recognized. Hooray! I wouldn't have to send it back to Tanner and not use it, so I went to sleep thinking it would work just fine.

Today I decided to purchase the map. Of course Garmin needs me to make an account on their site. Fine. I pay for and download the map. Then it tells me I need a different program to get the map from my computer to the GPS, and not the one I had installed the day  before. What? I try to download the program and the extension isn't available on Chrome. Seriuosly? I had to go to old IE. Ick. I finally get the extension downloaded and installed. Then I plug in my device to make the transfer. And it won't recognize my device! At this point I'm hella mad cause I just spent $75 for a product I can't get refunded and now apparently can't use. I rummaged through my old electronics pile and finally found another cable that fit. It finally worked and I think the map transfer was successful. Bottom line - never try to borrow a Garmin and install a map on it. This is much more difficult than expected, and I think I'm fairly tech savvy.

Update: Though the map downloaded, it did not activate on the device. I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with Garmin. They show the map activated and unlocked, however it's not on the device. Apparently they have a technical issue with this specific map, and have a ticket open to fix it on their end. I got a refund. All this hassle for absolutely nothing. Ugh. Never again.

In the midst of all this, I'm really looking forward to fall coming (I know, a little early, and I'm scared of the season after, but bring the layers!), and a new start of a season, and this epic European road trip I'm about to take. I think it will do me some good. I'll come home to another birthday and I'm hoping to make it a great year, despite some crappy things still looming around. My dad gave me a blessing today before he left Utah and I've had a better outlook today. And if these things above are the only things I have to complain about, I'd say I've got it pretty easy.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Musical Monday - Chvrches

Chvrches is almost back with their next album, and I can't wait. And they're coming to SLC again - woo hoo!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bluebird Cafe at Sundance

After two trips to Nashville in the last year, I'm a little bit obsessed with that city. I'm so glad my friend Tara told me about the Bluebird Cafe summer series at Sundance, so that I could have another little piece of Nashville music right here!  She rounded up a dozen or so people and got us tickets to the first night.

We all drove down to Provo and stopped for dinner to celebrate Elisa's birthday. Then up to the mountains! The sun was already behind the cliffs, but the setting was so beautiful. We had to hike up a ridge and then back down into the amphitheater.









Okay, to the music! The writers featured that night were Nicolle Galyon, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne. I don't listen to a lot of country, but after going home and looking up the songs they sang, they have written ever major hit on country radio right now. Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, and on and on. It was great to hear their versions and compare to what's on the radio today.


They each took a turn introducing a song, telling some stories about it, and then playing their version. They were each such great storytellers and had all of us in stitches with laughter. It was perfect.

Also it's an interesting business - I remember driving around Nashville and seeing tons of banners for #1 songs, listing the names of the writers and not the actual singers. It's a cool thing. But also weird that sometimes other people get the big credit for singing it and these guys are all behind the scenes?



Something about the music made me really nostalgic for home. I came home and made a country playlist, and that's about all I listened to for the next two weeks. I bought tickets for the next show on Aug 21, so I'm excited to go back!

Carpenter Family Reunion

These are my great-grandparents (my dad's mom's parents) and I'm lucky enough to remember them a bit. Great-grandpa died when I was about 6, and great-grandma died when I was 15. They raised their family in southeastern AZ. 

They started a family reunion tradition, which is held (for as long as I can remember), every two years, with each of their 5 kids rotating turns on who plans it. 

Them and me. 

This is from a reunion up in the AZ mountains in the late 80s. My grandma, with all her siblings, is second from the left on the back row.

These scanned weird, but here's the rest of my Williams family. 

The tradition lived on this year, with all of us gathering in southern Utah near Zion National Park. I wasn't able to go the whole time, but Taylor, Courtney, Hallie and I loaded into the car on Friday after work and drove south. We pulled into Ponderosa Ranch right around sunset. 


We got there just in time for a bonfire and s'mores with the whole gang, then we went back to the Britt's house for some real food.

The next morning we hung out around the ranch - it's a great place to have this kind of large gathering. Lots of activities and variety in types of accomodation (basic campground to luxury cabins and in between). Everyone was checking out of their place that day, so we got booted from the rooms a little early and had to figure out where to hang out inside since it was hot.

I though I'd be bunking it, but I didn't. Glad I took my air mattress.

Free breakfast. It was meh.

I slept up in the loft instead.

She constantly requests the games on my iPad.




Ryan came out of hibernation for once.


It was so fun to see my grandma with her sister. They're such good friends and live apart, and don't get to see each other enough. They told some funny stories about growing up and just giggled like little girls the whole time. It was especially touching, since a couple weeks later, my great aunt Corene passed away. My grandma is the only Carpenter sibling left now.

I really appreciate this tradition and hope it goes on for years to come, in some way or another. I'm glad for my heritage. I come from good people. And I like that I feel closer to them through these gatherings.



The Williams Family Cousins who were there.

The gun lovers.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Musical Monday - Foals

I love this band. I love the new stuff I'm hearing. I can't wait for the fourth record to come out at the end of this month.

Go rock out and make yourself dizzy swirling around this video.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

More Utah Summer!

Summer is flying by. I keep telling people that summer is basically over and let's get ready for a scary winter, but others keep telling me to be more optimistic. It was 90+ degrees today. But fall is coming!!

In June I took public transportation for the first time in Utah! I convinced Abe to come north to Ogden Twilight with me, which had such a great lineup. Better than the original SLC series. I loved that they included the train ticket in the cost of the concert ticket.

The show started super early with my friends The Moth & the Flame opening, so we tried to hop an early train after work. I met Abe at the downtown station, which was full of some characters. No one ever checked our ticket, but someone sure did tell us to put our feet down.


I'd only been to Ogden once. It's got a nice downtown.

TMTF started playing at 6pm, right in the heat of the day. The train had a lot of stops and some delays on the way up, so we really didn't see too much.

Abe had gotten VIP tickets somehow. We really didn't know what that meant until we got there, but we had backstage tent access with a free catered dinner and drinks, then access to a shaded seated area to watch the bands. Score!


Hamilton Leithauser playing second. I don't know a lot of his stuff, but I enjoyed the set. Also, supergroup band - people from Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend and some other major indie band I dig. 


Finally, my favorite - Other Lives, who I'd just seen in NYC. They're so good.



We had a bit of time to kill after the show before the train home, so we walked through Ogden and over to the new temple.



I didn't get back to my car til midnight, and then I had to rush over to the ER at a hospital because my friend was walking downtown earlier that evening and a drunk driver jumped the curb and hit her and another friend. They were a bit banged up with some bruises, but they're luckily alive and have mostly made full recoveries.

I checked out this book to prepare for my trip. It's coming up so soon! I should finish reading it.


Adam and Dana got married! I've known Adam for years and worried a bit that it wouldn't happen for him. Not because he's not a great guy - he is, but he's been so busy with work and doctoring and picky about his very little free time, so...hooray! And Dana is amazing. I'm happy for the two of them. I went to the temple on Friday night for their sealing.


Saturday was their reception at the Natural History Museum. I hadn't been there either, so it was fun to look around a great setting.




Summer! Nature!

Lacey and I took a Saturday and went out to Jordanelle State Park. I just needed to be around some water.





Snow cones and car washes after some water fun.



Mom and Dad mailed me some blueberries from the farm! First time I think they've done that since the farm's inception. I still have some in my freezer, waiting for me to make fried pies. They are so tasty, and when I see blueberries at the grocery store, I scoff at their inferiority.



Hallie is going to be a big sister in November. We're all excited for the new addition. More bows!

My friend, Miles, is running for SLC City Council. There was a debate at the library, which I attended. Pretty good turnout, and the best thing about it was the live Twitter feed on that screen behind the candidates, and the witty, snarky tweets from the audience. I had some good laughs.

I love SLC.

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