Thursday, February 26, 2009


A few months ago my friend Seth called and asked me if I wanted to drop kind of a silly amount of money on tickets to a Boston Pops show hosted by Chris Botti that was being taped for a PBS special. Since I've got no mouths to feed but my own, I said yes on the spot and we ended up having one of those wonderful evenings where you know you are in the very best place on the planet. We got all dressed up which as you know I looove and then the show was straight up spectacular. Chris Botti-trumpeter extraordinaire-was a charming host for the evening and he brought along a whole host of great guests. Sting sang "Shape of My Heart" with Josh Groban, Stephen Tyler sang "Smile" in snakeskin pants, Katherine McPhee made me wonder why exactly she didn't win American Idol, and my future boyfriend John Mayer covered Frank Sinatra. I still feel dreamy when I think about it all.

Well the PBS special premiers Saturday night and I know it will be going right into Mr. Tivo at my house. You should probably watch it too if you like things are that totally awesome. Check out this little clip. And inside scoop-they sang this through three times that night. The second time for a better camera angle and the third because Mr. Groban flubbed the lyrics. Even so, these guys were mesmorizing.

And yes, I'll get a little thrill when they say "filmed at Symphony Hall in Boston by WGBH" and hey! I was totally there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We've been talking about taking new family photos since we've added a sister-in-law and two nephews since the last round. My brother figured we could save the effort with a little photoshopping.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A common thread in the stories of super successful people seems to be their willingness to admit how often failure played a part in their rise to the top. I have always read those stories with a twinge of "really?", because my own fear of failure has been a fairly constant companion through my 32 years. It's hard to believe you would want to go around admitting to epic fails.

Enter the Boston Experiment of 08. This week marks my one year anniversary here and folks, these last 12 months have kind of knocked the wind out of me. Eighteen months ago I was asking the heavens for an opportunity to grow and may I say that the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is freakishly true.

I don't want to get into a ton of boring details about this last year. Suffice it to say that I haven't loved my job and I realized pretty much the moment I landed here that oh yeah, I moved back to the West Coast for about nine million still valid reasons so what on earth have I done???

So oops. First I was mad at God for sending me here because that is a whole bunch easier then blaming myself for own decisions. Then I was mad at myself for being so stupid. Then I was mad at both of us and hoping maybe this was all some nasty dream. And then I decided to grow the hell up, take some responsibility, and figure out what I need to learn.

I am beginning to understand something that will probably be my soapbox for the next few years and that is that life is so much more like a puzzle then it is a road race. And when I look at things that way, a failure or a mistake is one hundred percent less scary. If you fall down in a race, that's it, you are probably going to lose. In a puzzle, it's cool that the pieces are all different and they don't all fit in the same place. Sometimes things you try don't work out, or the boys you like don't like you back, or you don't get something you feel like you really deserve, or someone else's life looks way cooler then yours on their blog. But if I'm looking at things like a puzzle then oh well, I get another piece or try the fit somewhere else. It changes everything. Falling down doesn't mean I can't ever catch up. And the even more beautiful thing-it frees all of us up to just be ourselves and not worry about who is the "winner".

Which is not the same as saying we should all be content to float along and not try our best. If anything it's the opposite. Instead of spending all my time looking around to see where everyone else is on the track and freaking out if I get passed or need to tie my shoe, I can concentrate on being awesome at the stuff that actually matters to me. It's slowly dawning on me that my fear of failing at things had probably kept me from progressing in some areas. But the puzzle theory applies everywhere-to jobs, to talents, to dating, to relationships. Less winning maybe, but way more satisfying figuring out where things fit.

So there it is, one of the things I probably should have figured out years and years ago but am just getting to now. But you know what? That's OK. It became apparent pretty much the day I left for college that getting older didn't automatically mean you got any wiser. Learning as you go is completely by choice.

Monday, February 16, 2009


No matter how secure you feel in your non-marital status, Valentine's Day can be a little tricky. I decided a long time ago that the last thing I ever ever wanted to do was end up on some sad sack calorie-fest girl's night out that devolves into boy bashing and wallowing in self-pity. I usually like to go to the gym or out for a nice run on the beach in my California days.

But this year the big day was on a Saturday and thus, the day that usually reminds me how much I really do love my single life. So I slept in, waaaaay in, bought good fresh produce at Whole Foods, got a mani-pedi, treated myself to a new Jo Malone fragrance, sat in a coffee shop and read the paper while enjoying some hot chocolate, then came home and took a long hot shower before my roommate and I hit dinner and a movie with two delightful gentlemen friends. We talked about the state of the world and ate chicken wings and then checked out one of the nominees for Best Foreign Film where I got to listen to my beloved French for two hours. I'd say single in Boston doesn't look half bad.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Maybe it's all those issues of Real Simple finally catching up to me but I've decided it's time to rid my life/closet/computer/boxes of the heaps of clutter I've managed to accumulate over the years.

I'm still not feeling awesome today so I took the opportunity of a lazy Sunday afternoon to comb my iTunes for stuff I don't really listen to. And I think I just figured out why I have WAY TOO MUCH CRAP.

I absolutely hate to miss out on things. It's why I was always the last one to sleep at a slumber party or why my 1:00 classes in college often got missed if more then two people were going to lunch somewhere-I just never want to hear later about something super fun. As an adult with a job and responsibilities I have had to learn that sometimes you do have to say no and just drool over the photos on Facebook later.

Well apparently my need to experience everything has displaced itself into my complete inability to let go of any piece of music that comes into my hands. My iTunes is full to the brim with stuff I have never listened to and stuff that I guarantee I WILL never listen to. But if someone gave it to me, or I downloaded it from some music blog or it's by an artist whose other work I like, I just cannot take the chance that I might be missing out on some fantastic tune if I don't hang onto it. Forget that I am constantly looking for new stuff and it's highly unlikely that I will eventually give a fair shot to "the best of 2005" I downloaded years ago from a now defunct mp3 blog. In my head, any song I delete was probably a hidden gem I have now completely missed. What if I delete something and the memory attached to it is lost forever too?

Today's discovery went a long way to explain why I have 2100 messages in my gmail inbox, 3 bins of pants I haven't worn in three years under my bed and the pay stubs from 2002 that I finally shredded a few weeks ago.

So today I was ruthless. One play in four years? Gone. No clue who the artist is and where I got it? Gone. Tired of it? Gone. The reality is that I am constantly seeking out new music-whether new to the world or new to me-and if it really was a mistake to get rid of all those tracks by some italian pop group my friend gave me over iChat at 2:00 in the morning four years ago well, that is just a chance that this girl is willing to take. I'm secretly hoping that once I master throwing out old, unneeded pieces of the past, I can do that in my brain as well.

Next stop-the closet. I'm totally on a mission!

p.s. Here is a song I had sort of forgotten about that I ran across during my ransacking that I will never throw away ever.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birth Day

For the last few years I have lots of really eventful Februarys. Cross country moves, mission homecomings (me) and farewells (sister), Olympic Games, job changes (more on this!). In 2000 I got a double whammy-returned from my mission and this happened.

Transplants are amazing and I know I totally take it for granted that my Dad got one and we haven't had to give it much of a second thought. But I'm extremely thankful for the family that made the decision to donate that saved my pops. It's so clear nine years later that there were unfinished things in my dad's life that he needed to be around to fix. I'm incredibly grateful we got that second chance. Hard to come by those do-overs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Have you ever had a dream that you aren't in? I had one last night. Stanley from The Office was in my dream but I wasn't. It was weird. I've been under the weather this week and so I have that "watching my body from afar" feeling you get when you are sick. I can't get a coherent thought together and thus, the blog has been a little sparse.

Enter my friend Chloe! She agreed to a song battle and I'm very excited to hear what she comes up with. She's made me some fabulous mixes over the last few years so you should be excited too.

Mary J. Blige people, she doesn't want any more drama and neither do I. This is a classic "cut through the bull I just want to find someone real" kind of love song that a girl can really get into this Valentine's Day season. This song came out when I was an awkward teen and it still makes me wish I had a high school stomp to go to on Saturday night.

Now check out Chloe's pick and leave your vote in the comments!

*there is a weird intro to this video. you need to let it play for about 10 seconds before the song starts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Show Time

Five of my favorite shows. In no particular order.

1. U2 at Rice-Eccles stadium, May 1997
Like all good mormon kids I loooooved U2 growing up. They hadn't played a show in Utah for something like 10 years and so when the Pop Tour was announced, we all sort of went insane. I was in college in Southern Utah and a bunch of my friend went to the show in Vegas. But Kelli and I wanted to see them in Salt Lake so we paid kind of a grip of money for a couple of students and made the trip. The show was pure perfection. I ran into about a million old friends, the crowd was wound up beyond reason and hearing "With or Without You" live was even better then all those times it played at a high school dance and for the first 30 seconds you really thought your crush boy might ask you to dance.

2. Ben Harper at Deer Valley, August 2000
You were probably at this show. EVERYONE was at this show. I went with my friend Tom who scored tickets after I was lazy and didn't get them before the show sold out. It had rained all day and I was afraid the show would get cancelled. We drove to Park City anyway that evening as the rain kept falling. It rained through dinner. And the opening act. Then Harper came on stage and the clouds parted and he played a completely amazing and dry set. And yup, the rain started up again when it was over.

3. Iron and Wine in Providence RI, June 2005
Sometimes it's a struggle to find even one person who wants to go to the shows I'm excited about. So I went pretty much out of my mind with joy when seven of us drove down from Boston to see Iron and Wine play in a little club in Providence. There was a moment during "Fever Dream" that was so sweet and peaceful and safe that it still gives me little chills when I think about it.

4. The Postal Service in San Diego, May 2003
My friend Keith and I managed to tickets to the very first show of the very first Postal Service tour. I almost missed it because of a delayed flight home from a business trip but we made it in the nick of time and had a glorious evening. Keith and I could have had fun together in a cardboard box and the encore was this

so seriously, what was not to love?

5. Ryan Adams in New York, September 2004
Mr. Adams is a constant presence in my top five favorite artists but I had yet to see him live that fall. Randomly, I was going to be in New York for a work event, my friend Brooke needed to be there to catch a plane, and her friend had two extra tickets to a sold out show. The stars seemed perfectly aligned. And despite reports that he could be fussy at shows, he played a nice long set full of things I was dying to hear. And then Brooke and I ate ridiculously rich desserts at Cafe Mozart and stayed out way too late. Which is exactly what you should do in New York City.

Monday, February 09, 2009


The queen of the battle is Emily. The vote was pretty resounding-she beat me 13-3.

I still think k-os is a band worth checking out. This song might have fared better against Em's selection.

And in honor of Emily's win...we listened to Kid Cudi quite a bit over the holidays and every time this track came on I would say, "he's not really saying 'embrace the martian' is he? I must be hearing it wrong"


Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It's time for another music battle. This time with my sister THE CLIFF. If you weren't around last time-I pick a song, she picks a song, you listen to both and then tell us your vote for best song in the comments section.

My friend Matt and I were playing that game one day where you sit in front of someone's iTunes and they they scroll through recent purchases and excitedly tell you what they are loving right now. If you have never done it, do. It's awesome. And you might get a song that sticks in your gut like this one did to me.

Now go check out Emily's pick and rock the vote.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Well I guess that stupid groundhog saw his shadow today and we are getting six more weeks of winter. Every morning I have to stop myself from playing the useless "why o why o why o did I ever leave the beach house?" game. It's hard though because seriously, remember how this was my life?

However, I have A LOT to be grateful for these days and I have been diligently trying to keep track of such things as part of my quest to make 2009 a productive and happy year. Here are a few things I was thinking about today.

1. I'm really lucky to have a mother who will still pick up the phone even when she knows the grown daughter on the other side is probably going to dissolve into tears early in the conversation. My mom has been incredibly patient and supportive throughout a rather lengthy rough patch and if she is getting tired of being there for me, she is doing a helluva job of keeping it to herself.

2. I am grateful for social networking. I know lots of people think it's a waste of time or they don't really want to reconnect with people they sat in front of in high school history classes but I love it. One day over Christmas I was enjoying sushi and great conversation with long lost friends from college I reconnected with via Facebook and I just kept thinking how wonderful it is to know these people again as adults. It's so easy to remember people as the half-formed stereotypes we all were when we were younger but it's been so worth the time to dig a little deeper.

3. In the time since Morgan was born I'm even more in love with technology. I love that my mother knows how to upload videos to YouTube so I can watch him wake up from a nap. I love getting random photo texts of the little guy's ridiculously cute smile. I hope I don't always live a million miles from pretty much everyone I love but until then, all these little tools keep me feeling like maybe they are all just around the corner.

4. I am thankful for photos. I can lose hours of my life sifting through my iphoto or the actual physical photo boxes in my closet. I always think that I have this incredible memory and that I remember everything. Going through photos usually proves that theory so terribly wrong and I end up getting to rediscover awesomeness I would have completely forgotten.

5. Lastly, I'm happy to be an American. I got home from my mission to Switzerland 9 years ago this week (OMG I AM SO OLD!!!) and even though living in Europe was a dream come true, I was so deliriously happy to land in the United States again. I was thinking that again last week when I got back from Spain. I cannot overstate how much I enjoy Barcelona-beautiful city, wonderful people, delicious food-but yeah, I'm a red white and blue girl and happy to be!!