Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LC & Beth

Being the pop culture fan and trashy tv lover I am, I was super excited to find out that Lauren Conrad from The Hills was coming to the Mall of America. And, because of this excitement, took the entire afternoon to go and see her. Here's the proof (please skip to the bottom of this post if you do not happen to share this guilty pleasure):

One of the best parts of the day was getting to hang out with my friend Beth! We got coffee, decided not to stand in the ridiculously long line to get Lauren to sign a book, did a little shopping and got to chat the whole time. It was wonderful. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

inspired by friends

The songs posted today have been inspired or shown to me by one of my friends. Word of mouth is definitely one of the best ways to learn about new music. Thankfully, I have really good friends who are also into new and interesting types of music, and we share finds all the time.

First, Travis! He is so wonderfully *tweeting* songs of the day, and this was one of them this week. His tweet to me: @janaetime my song of the day reminds of you! Hug/squeeze! :)
He is so wonderful. :)
Song: "Before I Knew" by Basia Bulat

Second is Meg - she has been loving St. Vincent since we were roommates, about 2.5 years ago, so whenever I need something fresh to listen to I would go to her myspace page and have a listen. Finally St. Vincent got a "big break" and appeared on the David Letterman Show this last Wednesday. (I also have a few songs by St. Vincent on the playlist I posted last week.)
Song: "Marrow" by St. Vincent

And finally, Hanna. She has inspired so many of my music choices over the last few years, and hopefully I have reciprocated. I love how easily our friendship is and I am so, so happy that I have been able to spend last summer and this summer as her roommate. This song is so simple, it's sweet.
Song: "Stick With Me Baby" by Robert Plant and Allison Kraus

Friday, June 26, 2009

i can't sleep...

really. I can't. I just stayed up and finished the book I started last weekend. It was a wonderful, light little story by the author of P.S. I Love You, Cecelia Ahern. It is named "Thanks for the Memories," set in Dublin and London, and pulled at my heartstrings and the memories of my time abroad. I think it was the perfect transition to get out of my "Twilight" funk. Has anyone else read the Twilight saga and then not known where to go from there? You never really want it to end - even though you may have, like me, mocked it endlessly and ruthlessly before you actually read it. Hmph. Hopefully now I am ready to take on a little bit more classic literature rather than fiction or chic lit. (I still am glad I read Twilight...)

Other things on my mind: This man quite literally was a staple in my childhood. I had a video of him and Oprah taking a tour of Neverland. At one point he got on stage and went step-by-step through how to moonwalk. My love for dancing was either born or entirely reinforced at that moment. I used to watch it over and over again...like most kids do with The Lion King or Pocahontas. (I was a Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast girl, too.) Nevertheless, it is a sad, sad day and, even though he had been acting quite strange these past few years, his music is brilliant. I hope you agree.

EDIT: I was wondering how old I was when the video was shot, and I found out it was in 1993; I was 5-6 years old when this particular infatuation (especially with the music and moves) began.
And this woman and that hair. Holy cow. I saw a small portion of the documentary that was released on her about 6 weeks ago, but now definitely must track it down and watch it in its entirety.I've been craving watermelon for weeks. I need to stop at a store and buy some, asap.And, I MISS THESE GIRLS. We are all reuniting in Massachusetts in August, thankfully. I don't know how much longer I could go without them (OR Mary Kate, who sadly isn't pictured.) Also, I had to explain one of the scariest/most dangerous nights of my life today, and, though it doesn't look like it here, the night this picture was taken was definitely at the top of the list. Fargo! More on that soon.

Good night! Xxxxxx. I miss London and the way they end texts with "X." sigh.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


We made some delicious homemade veggie pizza last week. But first, we made guacamole, and after we made strawberry shortcake - with partially homemade whipped topping. Sadly, I never snapped a photo of the guacamole, but I am positive that it will not be the last time we make it this summer so I will be sure to get a photo next time. The other two are on display today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We had a wonderful storm last week (and have had sporadic ones this week) and finally, Lake Georgia decided to actually hold some water. Lake Georgia happens to be what Hanna and I named the dip in the concrete that takes up a large chunk of the sidewalk in front of our house. (My friend V and I had named a similar, but larger area of the space in front of my childhood home River Georgia, so this is the scaled-down version.) Thankfully, it gathers a nice puddle of water after it pours for long enough. So, we obviously went out and played in the rain - one of my favorite activities. See last years pictures of this event here. :)

We got some wonderful looks from people walking by and running to get out of the rain. Joe pretended to splash a couple of well-dressed people who were most likely on a date. I put off a ton of work and spent time outside with my friends. We all helped to make a delicious dinner after we finished playing, drying off and changing into warmer clothes. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

hi from the hotel!

This weekend has been so fun - I will post more about it later. But, for now, my sister and mom are visiting! They are here until Tuesday, because K is going through orientation. We got settled, went to eat way too much food, and then took a nice walk around campus and the surrounding area. Then, we came back and K and I took a few quick photos after I prompted her with "wanna blog?"
Our conversation:
Me: See? My eyes are the same as yours...same shape and size, even.
K: But yours can get WAY bigger. Try to open them as wide as you can and I'll try to open mine as wide as I can.

Result: creepy photo below.Hope you all had a good Fathers Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Last summer, I was really intrigued by the meaning and message behind the song "Sweetest Girl." So, I was researching it and listening to it and happened upon this different version by Niia. Hanna and I listened to it so much, and randomly a couple nights ago, she played it again So, there you go. These are all different versions of popular songs, and in the case of the last one, it sets an entirely different mood than the original song. (The Hot in Herre music video is pretty odd...)

Sweetest Girl with Niia

Hot in Herre by Jenny Owen Youngs

Flashdance (What a Feeling) by Hollywood, Mon Amour, Yael Naim

Friday, June 19, 2009

why hello there.

I took a little walk through campus on Thursday and snapped this shot once I realized I couldn't get to West Bank from the Northrop side of East Bank so I would have to wait for a bus. Of course, I probably could have ventured a little further and walked but, honestly, it was incredibly muggy out! I forgot how humid summers get. I have been so used to being in the super cold confines of the office:
I have been slaving away (not literally...) at a really big project at work this week. I go through hundreds (thousands?) of pages of paper from previous studies, and need to correct or adjust a few things on almost every page. I then mark the page that I have corrected with a sticky note. I have gone through at least 15 packages of those little yellow sticky notes, and I am not even halfway done yet. It's not difficult work, it's just very tedious. I am a study aid, so it is legit that my signature is on all of the pages of this particular study. In other words, this next photo will probably be famous in a few years...ha! (probably not...)
They ARE really large binders, though. You have to at least agree with me on that one.

Not only have I been working away at my job, but I have also been doing a ton of work for my internship this week. Lots of scripting (I have the four podcasts I am going to do almost completely finished), lots of time meeting with my boss, LOADS of emailing (I have my own email address at Redwood now), and tons tons tons of research. I am really starting to get into a good working groove and we are finally seeing finished products of a few initial goals. I still have a ton left to accomplish before Monday and so much more before the end of the summer, though. I have my first workshop as the marketing and communications fellow on Wednesday, and we went over a lot of good information on what we should be presenting on. There will be 30-40 high-end wealth management advisors watching, so that's not nerve-wracking at all...I don't think there will be a break in work now until Independence Day, and we are already setting up appointments for the following weeks. I can only imagine the business connections I will be making in the next month and a half.
I leave you with a random picture of SD after a storm last Friday. I had the most miserable drive home last week. I thought it was going so well as I got out of the city in really good time, but then I was stalled almost entirely for about 2 hours. I seriously started reading a book. I called multiple people and freaked out. I made fun of the lady with the "SOCMNKY" license plate who also had 6 sock monkey stickers around her car, complete with an actual sock monkey in the back window way too much for my own good. I thanked my lucky stars that I had grabbed a water bottle and some M&Ms for the trip. And then, when I got through the stall and the construction that proceeded it, it started to downpour so I couldn't go very fast. Finally, when I got through all of that, I had to stop and I got splashed pretty good by a nice semi. Needless to say, by the time I made it home I never wanted to drive again, and my dad brought me a nice drink.

Thankfully, people are coming to see me this weekend! I am patiently awaiting a few friends by cleaning up a little bit and rewarding us all when they get here with a little ice cream. Yum. Hope your week was great and your weekend is starting off wonderfully!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ode to kayla.

My little sister graduated high school late May, and I promised her I would blog about it. BUT she STILL has not sent me pictures that I took of that day on her camera, so I can only blog the few pictures I have on my camera. (I asked nicely, Kayla, so sorry if you are disappointed with the few photos.)
Haha - one of my favorite moms ever came over to help clean and get things ready the day before.
Kayla walking in like she rules the world.
Her val speech. Val as in Valedictorian.
Her class! I <3 our small school.
Traditional grad hugging parents and walking out with them. :)

It was definitely a happy day! I got to see all sorts of family and friends and eat delicious food - some of it not at our place but at other graduates parties. Yum yum. A couple friends and I played bean bags in our backyard and I had SO much cake, it would probably be a sin in some countries. Such a good day.

On another note, I have been really busy with work and my internship this week, which explains the lapse in blogging. I have been doing some fun things, too, and my roommates and I have been cooking/baking so there are lots of things to share once I get a spare moment to put them all together. And! I get visitors this weekend! My cousin and a couple of her friends come tomorrow until Saturday night and then my mom and sister come Sunday until Tuesday for her orientation (yes! she is coming to my college!) It's going to be a good time with lots of stops at Sebastian Joe's for ice cream, if I have my way. :) I hope everyone is enjoying this summer day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

it's a quick playlist.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Nothing is in order, so if you can, feel free to shuffle. I was just putting together some songs I have been listening to lately or that I always enjoy. The goal was to make this into something that I could keep and eventually make a CD out of for my friend Chan. But, it won't even let me put it on Facebook as a wall post, so it is going to be hosted on here while I work on my technology skills. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

all i ever wanted: my girls

I'm a big fan of Kate Earl this week. You can listen to her 4-song EP "Introducing Kate Earl" for free at AOL right now. I'm not sure how long this link will last, but click here to listen.

"All I Ever Wanted" is probably my favorite and the only one not available on youtube. I found it on imeem, so hopefully this embed works. The others (Melody, Everlasting, Nobody) can be found on youtube.

All I Ever Wanted - Kate Earl

The second song of the day is "My Girls" by Animal Collective. The first time I heard it this week, a few of us were driving back into the city after a night outside. It is a wonderful driving song, so if you have the capabilities, download it, whatever, and drive while listening to it.

Congratulations go out to Chris and Emily, who are getting married today! I grew up and graduated high school with Chris, and he is the first person from my class to take the plunge. I am very excited to see everyone at the wedding and share in their special day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

lately, i've been...

scared, wet from water rides (haha!), becoming famous for my singing and dancing on stage at the "Shout!" concert, and having chills of fright/cold at Valleyfair with these wonderful people:

outside of the city for a night, on a really large, beautiful farm with so many other fabulous friends and SO much delicious food:

figuring out all sorts of surprises the Blackberry Curve has in store for its users.

reading, reading, reading, reading!

making really great progress on a large to-do list. :)

and, finally, charging my camera battery, so look out for better quality pictures than what my phone camera can take soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

wanna hang out? wanna watch some more infomercials?

I go home soooooooooon! The last time I was home, I was hanging out with a couple friends, watching a hilarious Will Ferrell SNL episode and then, to my complete enjoyment, watching an infomercial for a '70s compilation CD set, if I remember correctly. I can't wait for the next big round of fun. :)

These last few work days I have been busy focusing on my internship. After quite a few hours of research and brainstorming, podcasts are suddenly not so scary to me anymore and I am actually really excited to start producing them. The goal set for me is to have 4-6 scripted, filmed, edited, tagged, and RSS feed(ed) podcasts on the website by July 31. I am going to be working doubletime to fulfill this deadline, but hopefully it will all pay off in the end! One very cool part is that we are getting music specifically created for the podcasts and I will be working with high-end ($1000) software to produce them. I am still thinking of doing a little test run with Audacity (a free software to create your own podcasts) so I can have a small portion of background with sound editing software before playing with the big guys, so, if I make a test run, I will be sure to post it on here for inquiring minds.

In other news, I am really excited for these two movies to come out! I haven't been to an actual movie theatre in much too long. Summer is definitely the season to hang out with friends outside, but also to spend lazy Sunday afternoons at a movie. Right?

Away We Go - I am beginning to form a slight obsession with John Krasinski, possibly better known as Jim Halpert on The Office. (Thank you to Joe who let Ashley/me borrow his seasons!)

500 Days of Summer

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

my back up plan...

...if I don't get a job after I graduate.

Graduate school for unemployed college students
"Fewer college grads have jobs than at any other time in recent memory—a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual student survey said that 20 percent of 2009 college graduates who applied for a job actually have one. So, what should the unfortunate 80% do?

How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):
  • Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
  • Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery.
  • Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
  • Start, run and grow an online community.
  • Give a speech a week to local organizations.
  • Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
  • Learn a foreign language fluently.
  • Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
  • Self-publish a book.
  • Run a marathon.

Beats law school.

If you wake up every morning at 6, give up TV and treat this list like a job, you'll have no trouble accomplishing everything on it. Everything! When you do, what happens to your job prospects?"

Watch out, world.

(Taken from Seth Godin's blog, something I am following, on suggestion from my boss, to pick up marketing and PR tips, tools and tricks for my internship this summer. It's incredibly witty, smart and helpful if you are interested in this industry at all.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today, I'm listening to...

Beautiful melodies:

New (to my world) 90s rock:

Magic Numbers:(No embedding option, but if you do listen, the last half of the song is my favorite)

Muse: (everybody goes through stages...) :D

and tempo pushing music: (this is such an interesting video)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

art & songs.

I love Sabrina Ward Harrison. I hadn't checked out her website in awhile, but I did yesterday as I listened to a wonderful new (to me) song and thought I should share. Sabrina is one of my favorite artists, and my friend Ashley gave me one of her books, Spilling Open - The Art of Becoming Yourself, at the end of last summer. It is incredibly raw, more like a journal than an art book, and there is amazing inspiration to be taken from it. If you have a little time, just go to her homepage and then listen to this song I am embedding below. It truly was wonderful to look at her work while listening to this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (fyi there is no video for this song, just a picture.)Love Like A Sunset by Phoenix.

Also, a goal of mine for this summer is to do "Saturday Song" posts. A new song, or at least one that is new to me or that I cannot stop listening to, will be posted each Saturday. Maybe you will find something you like, and if not, at least I will be documenting the random shifts in music I go through. I'd never noticed how sporadic they can be until I started documenting them. AND I am always open to any new music that you might be into. Please share!

Here is one more song. First official times should always be twice as good, right?

Falling Down - Oasis

Friday, June 5, 2009

white houses text.

The Official White House Photostream on Flickr has made my morning.
President Barack Obama "meets" with speechwriter Cody Keenan, who dressed as a pirate for an Oval Office photo taken for use in the President's humorous speech to the White House Correspondents Association dinner May 9, 2009. "But as I said during the campaign, we can't just talk to our friends. As hard as it is, we also have to talk to our enemies, and I've begun to do exactly that," the President said in his speech. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)
President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Radishes and lettuce harvested from the White House Garden are prepared for the Congressional Spouses Luncheon May 17, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
I love that our nation's capital is eating fresh, local produce. Hanna would be proud.
First Lady Michelle Obama chats with students at the Ferebee-Hope Elementary school in Washington, D.C., after attending a meeting with Communities In Schools board members, May 13, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Her style is amazing. Click through the First Lady Michelle Obama set and you will see wonderful examples of how I hope to dress when I am working 40(+) hours a week.

My favorite text of this morning:

"I'm in a car aannddd...It's going fast aannddd I got my iPod blaring the words to Be Ok. Have a great day :)" --- from my sister (K).

and the rest of the texting convo:
"I love it!" - me (J)
"Haha..Mom and I are singing like crazy :) it's wonderful." - K
"She knows the songs I've given u?" - J
"I put them on her iPod so she can listen and learn :)" - K
"That is perfect. I love it." - J
"I like tricked her into knowing more music. We've been playing the iPod the whole way. I forgot how much I love road trips." - K
"I'm jealous that I'm at work right now and ur road tripping" - J
"I'm sorry I wish you were here too. It would be like the old days. Eye of the Tiger is playing and mom is singing like crazy. Gosh it's great." - K

And I'm sure it is. If you know my mom and sister, please mental-picture that last one and feel free to laugh out loud. I am. :) They are on a road trip to Rapid City to climb to the top of Crazy Horse tomorrow morning. And I definitely am a little jealous.