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My mom, sister and I have been going to Matchbox Twenty/Rob Thomas concerts since 2003.

Yes, when we did the math we sat there aghast at how fast time flies and also that we might be stalkers. Regardless, we have spent a lot of our lives enjoying Rob Thomas and his various bands, though it had been a while – way too long – since we’d seen him last. I’m not exactly sure how my mom discovered him, but I’m thinking she just liked him on the radio or something and then before we knew it, there was a shrine of photos and newspaper clippings of him next to our computer. I’m…I’m not joking.

And by the way, he always has the BEST openers. Going to his concerts, I’ve seen Train, Maroon 5 before they were popular (*pushes up hipster glasses*), Sara Barielles and now Plain White T’s and probably soon-to-be-popular, Vinyl Station. So yes, what I’m already saying is that a Rob Thomas concert is worth the money so go see him.

Anyway, the actual trip. We went to Akron since the concert was at the Akron Civil Theater, which was particularly fun because of all the Cleveland Cavs and Lebron and Akron hype that was going on at the time.

The Civil Theater is BEAUTIFUL. Like, I’ve been to a lot of theaters from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to even New York City, and this is one of the most beautiful theaters I’ve ever seen. I mean LOOK. Actually, this is where I saw the Sleeping Beauty ballet right when I suddenly was mononucleosed. That was my first time there, and even with my swollen lymph nodes and unabled-to-breath-ness, I was still like “holy shit this theater is gorgeous.”

So after we got settled in our seats with our beer/Mike’s Hard Lemonade/KitKat, the show started!

Vinyl Station was the opening act. They’re a soft rock band, pretty similar to Matchbox Twenty actually. Their music ranges to mellow to upbeat rock, and they’re very good at both. Apparently the more fun rocking, upbeat music is from the new album they were promoting. My sister got a signed CD of their first album and we listened to it in the car. It’s really, really good chilling out music. Also, they were adorable and seemed very humbled to be there, which is always refreshing.

-Next up were the Plain White T’s, who you probably know as the ones who sing Hey There, Delilah since it was on the radio every second of forever. We missed like, 2 of their songs because four drunk idiots took 10 minutes to order 4 drinks from the bar I mean HONESTLY HURRY UP THE BAND IS PLAYING JUST SAY WHAT YOU WANT, GIVE THEM THE MONEY AND WALK AWAY HOW HARD IS IT GAHH. Fortunately they played quite a few songs, and we got to sit happily drinking our alcohol while singing along to Hey There Delilah and my personal favorite, Rhythm of Love. And look, I’ll be honest, a lot of times at concerts, if it’s a song I love, I can’t help but get teary eyed. I don’t know, music and emotions, man. Rhythm of Love was like that for me. SO GOOD.

-Then Rob Thomas came outtt *flails.* And let me just say, he looks, sounds, and acts exactly the same as he did in 2003. Vampire-Rob performed a lot of songs from his latest album, Something To Be, but also some fantastic stuff from his new album apparently is coming out this summer at some point, that I will definitely buy/get on Spotify.

His shows are always very well done, with a fantastic band and his wonderful stage presence. He always seems so cool and relaxed and genuinely happy to be up there. He’s so comfortable talking to the honest that kind of feels like he’s only talking to you, that you kind of forget that you’re in a hall filled with 1,500 other people. Except when drunk idiots stand up right in front of you without any self awareness that, um, there are people behind them. What I’m saying is, if you see his concert in a theater, you may want to try and get tickets in the front row of any section for a slightly more enjoyable experience. But either way, you should be good.

But even the drunken idiots were just a tiny fraction of the rest of the concert experience, which was great. I really hope we don’t wait too long until we see him again.

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This isn’t going to be long because I’m not going to lie, I was never a huge Jurassic Park fan. I mean, of course I’ve seen the first one, and apparently I’ve seen the second and third one, according to my sister. I have no memory of this. [Clearly I was bestowed the gift of Forgetting Spoilers as a child.] But I do know that I enjoyed it thoroughly and honestly who doesn’t love dinosaurs because whoever it is, they just need to learn to enjoy life a little more, is all I’m saying.

But, when our group went to the Thursday showing at 7:30 and it was sold out, then the 8:00 showing was also packed, I can’t say I’m too surprised by the fact that Jurassic World just set the all time weekend box office record. And I’m pretty happy, because I very much enjoyed it.

I mean, I don’t think it was a cinematic masterpiece, and I doubt that anyone would argue that it is. There were a lot of meta-nods in this movie that seemed a bit ham-fisted, like “The original Jurassic Park didn’t need CG animated-oops I mean, genetically enhanced dinosaurs to sell movie-oops I mean park tickets.”

But I think we can all agree, we just want to see dinosaurs wreck shit. I want to see that giant shark-monster destroy a great white like it’s a KitKat. I want to see the Indomidous Rex or whateverthehell wreak havoc on the island and [spoiler alert] fist fight with a t-rex. (As my fiancé said, “arms are cheating!!”) I don’t really mind that it was just a spectacle without much plot or character development, because to be honest, that’s not why I went to see Jurassic World. I wanted to see dinosaurs wreck shit.

 

I will never *not* root for a motorcyle-riding-Chris-Pratt-lead raptor army.

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Well, started to, anyway.

I still have a lot of things I want to do to make it prettier, but it’s definitely an improvement from where it was. Before, I was just kind of lazy and like “eh, logo there, pinkish color cuz it’s cool I guess, and boom, done.”

But I basically changed my whole brand to have more of a bright, summery feel because those are the colors I’m drawn to most. I like fun and vibrant things (pay no mind to the Hannibal post directly below this) and wanted to express that. I really try not to take myself seriously, so anything playful is A-OK by me. Like robots and dragons.

So I actually spent time making a header with my little creature illustrations. I had a dinosaur up there, but I replaced him with a dragon because fantasy is the love of my life, and a dragon represents that much better. I still love Mr. Dino, and I need a place for him. Maybe the footer?

I want to figure out a “post header” situation. All of my posts have headers with abstract photos, but I’m not convinced I like them, especially now with the new look. I think something a little more “brand appropriate” needs to be working, as soon as…you know, I think of what that is.

I definitely want to reorganize the navigation, and maybe later throw some of my social media up there if I care to. Also, possibly posting a photo of me in the “about me” section that I wrote up in 2 seconds.

So, a lot needs to be done still but I’m so, SO much happier with the way it looks now. If you have any thoughts or opinions, please don’t be shy!

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They Sixthed-Sensed us.

[Obvious spoiler warnings are obvious.]

First of all, Adam and I laughed (“laughed”) at the fact that we debated watching the last episode of the last season before this season. I mean, what with EVERYONE DYING (as far as I know) I could barely handle it at the time, I was forced to watch it twice with this episode … if we had watched it three times I’m not sure I’d be much better off emotionally than Will at this point.

And, I’m not going to lie. I feel dumb. I obviously knew that Will lived, and I was very happy to see that Abigail was alive too. But she kept mentioning wanting to go back with Hannibal and I was like “WHY, ABIGAIL. YOU NEED TO TELL ME WILL WHY.” Oh, it’s because you’re dead and you’re a figment of Will’s imagination and he’s projecting his Hannibal-enforced manipulation of being lured to him onto you. Okay, that makes sense. In the worst of ways.

 

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ALSO I CAN’T DEAL WITH THAT ANIMATED NIGHTMARE STAG HUMAN FUCKING THING. How is this on NBC? I mean, at first when the person-heart started to unfold – do you see the kind of shit this show makes me write – I was horrified, but then it turned into this weird spindly stag creature walking towards Will and…is it wrong I laughed? And does it make it better that the laugh was more of a horrified “what is this life right now” than it was “lol this brings me joy :D”?

I ain’t posting a picture mostly because I don’t really want to go back and see it at all, but here’s a…cute version of it.

Glad to see that even young sexy Hannibal was somehow able to assemble Broadway-worthy murder-sets into random places without getting caught. Truly, a longtime savant of murder and terror. Maybe this Italian guy will hurry up and catch Hannibal before any other murders take place! (lol)

On a related note, I will never go into any catacombs ever ever ever. I’m not even claustrophobic, nor am I really afraid of dark or underground places. However, the combination of those things make me unhappy. But the worst is all of those things plus the likelihood of getting lost, which is very likely for me because I do that above ground in daylight with GPS often enough. Also, I’ve read some creepy ass real stories about people dying from getting lost in catacombs and I want no part of it.

 

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Bonus comment from AV Club: “I have to imagine the only reason that stag scene made it onto broadcast television is because whoever was reviewing this episode for Standards and Practices ran the fuck out of the room the moment the amputated corpse heart started unfolding.”

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So, uh, it’s been a bit crazy in the media consumption + social aspects of my life.

I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the stuff I want to write about and accomplish with this blog, so instead of doing any of it, let me just make a list of all the things I’m not doing right now.

1) The Wire, Season 1

I’m going chronologically here. We finished season 1 of The Wire like, a month ago. Fortunately, I have my write up already done, I just need to make the graphics for it. Also-fortunately, The Wire has been out for like, 15 years, so me waiting a few days isn’t the end of the world. The Wire stuff may be the last things I post, when I (eventually, please God,) am all caught up here.

2) Jurassic World

Went and saw Jurassic world, and holy dinosaurs. I know that I just watched a movie on why it’s bad to have dinosaurs, but I want dinosaurs. Because dinosaurs.

3) Hannibal

Hannibal episode was Thursday night, but I didn’t watch it until Friday because of Cleveland Sportsball was on. But when we did watch it, we screamed at the TV. A lot. I know I said I’ll try not to feel obligated to write reviews of it, but damn…I want to.

4) The Wire, Season 2

Finished Season 2 on Saturday morning, I have so much I need to say about this season but I just need to remember “dreams.” You will find out what this means eventually.

5) 1984

Since I never read this in high school and hear it referenced every day, I decided to finally read this classic. I finished it up on Friday night and it’s been on my mind every day since. Sidenote, any book recommendations?

6) Rob Thomas Concert

Saturday, I took a trip up to my sister’s place, so she, my mom and I could go to a Rob Thomas concert (woooo!) Good times were had and hopefully I get around to talking about it.

8) Meeting with an old friend

After coming home Sunday from my sisters, I visited an old friend. I want to talk about it.

9) Bonus: Um…I’m revamping the website. Yes I chose a terrible time to do this, but I did not plan on finishing 4/5 things I was doing in 2 days. Fortunately, most of the harder stuff is done so it should be revamped very soon. And, like I said, a lot of my write ups are done too so… fingers crossed I won’t fall too far behind. *hyperventilates*

In conclusion, I may have to post twice a day if I can until I get caught up on everything. I’m going to try to write as much of it as I can at once, hopefully everything, so I can just pop in some graphics and bing bang boom I’ll be caught up. (lol, we’ll see how that goes.)

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I found out this morning that Christopher Lee passed away at age 93. I turned to my coworker and said “Do you like Lord of the Rings?” He responded, “Yeah, I love it!” I tactfully replied “Christopher Lee just died.” Probably not the best way to break the news but I needed to tell someone immediately.

I didn’t read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings until the summer of 2012 when I was 23. It actually didn’t get my interest right away, but I forced myself through it and found myself completely obsessed by the time I finished the books. I wanted to finish them before The Hobbit movie came out, and it has been one of my favorite book and film series to date. I’m sure you know, as I reference it all the time.

That was my first encounter with Christopher Lee. He couldn’t have been more perfect for the role with that booming voice and immense screen presence. And the more I found myself delving into Lord of the Rings knowledge, the more enamored I became of him.

CHRISTOPHER LEE as the Wizard Saruman the White in the fantasy adventure “THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

Christopher Lee led a hugely impressive life. He was massively intelligent and could speak 5 languages fluently. He was the only actor of Peter Jackson’s trilogy to have met J.R.R. Tolkien himself. He released a heavy metal Christmas album in 2014. Don’t believe me? I’m not being sarcastic this time. He’s also an opera singer. Oh and also he was a member of the Special Air Service, one of the first elite special forces in modern warfare.

“When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would I was explaining to him what he should do”… “And he says, ‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ And I said, ‘Um, no.’ And he says ‘Well, I have, and I know what to do.'”

-From Peter Jackson’s Commentary of Two Towers

Yeah, this guy is renowned for being awesome. Seeing his picture on my Twitter news feed made me very sad that the world lost such a great and impressive man, but he led a very full life and we’re fortunate to have had him as part of our lives, especially as an awesomely evil wizard.

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Header portrait credited to Sven Jacobsen.

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Because damn do they work out every part of their body while riding horses.

Me and my fiancé took a trip up to Jefferson, Ohio to a place named Ashley Moores Stables. It’s basically a ranch that you can stay at, ride some horses, have a bonfire, and you’re only a half hour away from Lake Erie. The place is run by Marie and Tod who were as hospitable as can be, and LIVE THE COOLEST LIVES EVER.

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Backstory: we wanted to go here last October for our 3 year anniversary, but I suddenly got some unfortunate stomach issues, and we didn’t think that me flopping around on a horse would make me feel much better. Unfortunately, by the time I got better, the weather turned to shit. Adam had already paid so I was nervous we lost out on a good opportunity, but they were absolutely wonderful in letting us postpone it until we were ready, even though it took us until June to plan it! Awesome people are awesome.

We actually completely lucked out because as you can see, the weather was perfect. We stayed in a refinished barn type place on their property that was kind of like a giant studio apartment with 4 beds, a pool table that I decided I hated because I’m not good at pool, a foozeball table (sp? I’ve literally never written that word before), a bunk bed and cot and oh yeah N64 WITH MARIO KART. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the inside because, as I’ve said many times before, I don’t know what I’m doing.

But now let’s talk about the good part: horses.

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Note: there are no horses in that photo. Anyway, as part of our stay, we opted in to get horse riding lessons. Marie has been working with horses for 38 years, owns 9 horses, and works as a trainer. So she knows what she’s doing. I had Sam, a beautiful Arabian horse who loved to eat everything so I called him Samwise, and Adam had Charisma, a brown and white spotted and also kind of stubborn girl.

I’ve only ridden a few times, but each time I have I only got a very brief lesson, after which the horse then follows a trail like it has a thousand times. But this time… no. We had a lesson that was over an hour long, where we learned to trot, canter, go through cones and barrels and all kinds of stuff I never thought I’d get to do. Marie was very patient but didn’t let us slack in the learning, which was great because we really felt like we got our money’s worth.

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After our lesson, we took about another hour to go through a beautiful trail where we got to ride through creeks, fields, forests, and along rivers. I’m not going to lie, I pretended I was in Middle Earth the whole time.

By the time we got back I (well, more specifically, my ass) was ready to get off the horse and stand like a human again. I was shocked at how many muscles were sore. I mean, hear me out: you squeeze your inner thighs to stay on the horse and to not slam your crotch over and over again while trotting, your abs and back are tight for the good posture, and your glutes are tight for balance or something, I guess. I don’t know. All I know is I got the best workout of all time. Thank you, Samwise.

That evening and the next day were pretty chill. We went to a winery and came back with tons of leftovers – omg that I still have in the fridge, oh happy day – and with 2 bottles of a delicious wine called Jester’s Blush that actually pairs with my leftovers – oh REALLY happy day. Then had a small bonfire with s’mores, and visited his family up at the lake.

I just found a point to this story and it’s going to get a little sappy, but bear with me: All of this happened in a little over 24 hours. It wasn’t very expensive, we didn’t have to call off work and we didn’t have to travel more than 1.5 hours away. Life is full of amazingly fun and beautiful things all around us and I think people tend to forget that. We, as in none of us, have a reason to stop exploring the world. We’re not too old, or too sick, or too busy. Anyone can take 5 minutes to just walk around the neighborhood and see what’s going on. In fact, that’s the reason we’re here, in my opinion: to explore each other and the beautiful world we live in.

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It’s happeningggggg *flails*

First of all – LOOK AT JENNIFER LAWRENCE in that thumbnail! She is so gorgeous it is redonk. Second, I did not know that Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones) OR  Mahershala Ali (Remy from House of Cards) was in this! I mean, these movies have a stellar cast anyway but now I’m extra excited!

Honestly, The Hunger Games may be one of the best series I’ve ever read, and I know this because I compare virtually everything to it – especially books. I know that’s giving it and Suzanne Collins incredibly high praise and a lot of people don’t agree, but I just loved everything about it. The prose came easy, the characters were all understandable, and the plot made sense. The world was very interesting and the whole time I was on the edge of my seat, thinking “oh God what’s going to happen now??” and wondering “how would I have done in this situation?” THAT is what I want in a book.

So far, I think they’ve done a fantastic job making them into movies. Typically I find that movies from books feel very rushed, but they made the screenplays work well on their own without having to sacrifice too much in the process, which I understand can be challenging. I always use Shawshank Redemption as an example: that was originally a novella at approximately 38,000 words, and it is considered one of the best movies of all time. All three Hunger Games books are around 100,000. So considering that, I think they’ve done a mighty fine job. Anyway, I’m basically reviewing it before I see it and I apologize for that but no really, I can not wait for this – can you!?

The Hunger Games – Mocking Jay Part II – In Theaters November 20, 2015

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HANNIBAL IS BACK. BONSOIR.

Now, I don’t particularly plan on reviewing every episode. Mostly because I don’t want to be held accountable. Partly because I watch a lot of shows and then I’d feel obligated to do that for every show, then I’d get overwhelmed, and stop writing everything forever. Also, partly because some episodes of shows are just boring to write about, and again, I don’t want to feel obligated.

I’m proud to say I’ve loved this show since episode one. Before I saw it, I thought, “There is no way NBC is going to make a show about Hannibal Lecter work.” I couldn’t have been more wrong, because now my thoughts are consistently along the lines of “How is this an NBC show?!” Mad props to NBC, is what I’m saying.

I’ve never seen a show like this. Hannibal has a style that is unlike anything on television, helped by the fact that each shot is always exceptionally gorgeous. I mean, I’m talking off the charts beautiful cinematography. If there has ever been a show that can truly be called a work of art, it’s Hannibal. And how appropriate that is, because I’m sure Hannibal himself wouldn’t settle for anything else. I mean, look at this:

 

 

 

 

LOOK AT IT, I SAY.

As for the episode, Hannibal is a manipulative SOB and we all know this. I don’t want to pretend to know how to get inside his head, because a) I’m scared of inside his head and b) I’m probably wrong. I mean, I missed half of this episode because I was too busy staring at both Mads Mikkelson and Gillian Anderson. But in this episode, we seem to be in Bedelia’s head: Hannibal’s current manipulation victim. And in the head of someone whose mind has been touched by Hannibal, we see that it’s a beautiful, disturbing and awful world to live in. Bedelia has always had a cool sense of calm about her, but here we can see that even when she looks like a flawless marble statue with fabulous hats, she is living in terror.

This is a fantastic start to the new season, and I really hope it truly is an “Antipasto” – an appetizer of what’s to come.

Favorite line possibly ever: “It’s only cannibalism if we are equals.” Dayum son.

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As I’m sure you are aware, I get obsessed with a wide array of things.

And it usually varies from week to week, though sometimes my obsessions can last from months to years, and new things come and go all the time. In fact, I’m a little jealous of my fiance who’s hyper focused and can, you know, get things done sometimes. But what I want to do is express some of my favorite things in sets of 3, so that’s what this Favorit3s series will be.ew that rhymed.

I’m currently obsessed with blogging. Shocking, I know. So instead of just rambling on about why I enjoy it and why it’s great for everybody and a super fun hobby, I’m going to do some good and talk about my favorite blogs that you might enjoy as well.

 

The Bloggess

One of the most popular blogs of all time, and for good reason. I had actually heard of her a long time ago, but really began delving into her posts in the past week. Basically she’s a New York Times Bestselling author who has a biting sense of humor so fast that every sentence is it’s own joke. She talks a lot about her patient but often very confused husband, her adorable daughter, and her obsession with bad taxidermy and hilarious antique shops. But then she’ll talk about more poignant subjects, like her struggles with anxiety and social disorders and the general hassle of life. Every post she makes is gold and I look forward to seeing a new headline.

 

Cleolinda

Possibly the first “blog” I ever became obsessed with, I found her back in 2009 when she (much to her chagrin) found her niche and even a bit of fame when she began dissecting and hilariously waxing philosophic about the entire Twilight craze. It is really hard for me to laugh at words as opposed to visual things, but her recaps are one of the few literary things that make me laugh so much it brings tears to my eyes. My personal favorite was when she recapped Varney the Vampire. She also discusses her struggles with bipolar disorder, wherein during her manic phases she will hand-write 5,000 words in 2 hours, but her depressive phases will make it impossible for her to work at all. She hangs around more on Twitter these days, but she updates every so often with Hannibal recaps. I try to get everyone to read any of her recaps. No but really Varney is hilarious. 

 

To Play To Work

Okay I’m not going to lie, I found this site today. But from what I can see, I love everything about it. I am a huge design nerd and this website…is so much prettier than mine. It makes me feel like I invited my beautiful Pinterest friend over to my barn for some beans and hotdogs and she brings a Vanilla Creme Brule as a housewarming gift. It’s seperated into two sections: work and play. You can get advice about your work life – so promotions, business meetings, expanding business –  or your play life – fashion, health, traveling, and tons of other things. It’s written by 3 girls with, apparently, some guest bloggers here in there. I look forward to visiting this place more, if not only for the beautiful design and images. Now excuse me while I plan on revamping this shack.