Tag Archives: music

july takes the cake

okay, so far i’ve had a pretty exceptional 2012. besides a few minor snafoos (snafus? spell check isn’t getting that, but that can’t possibly be right…), i really can’t complain. it has been a remarkable and busy year.

but july definitely takes the cake. not only for how busy, but for how wonderful it was. so many high emotion things happened. so many things that make me thankful for being alive, for being well, for living in the moment. congratulations, july. august, you have a tough act to follow.

  • 80/35. one of the best music festivals, right in downtown des moines. my favorite band, the avett brothers, were playing the main stage on friday. it was absolutely wonderful- seriously one of the best concerts i have attended.

    i had two day tickets, but gave away my second one because…
  • i won a contest. that doesn’t sound like much in itself, but i wrote a short summary for a pennzoil contest about why i love my car. it had to be 250 characters or less, and the winning submission won 2 VIP tickets to a pre-show, acoustic set with country legend tim mcgraw. even though my submission didn’t have the most votes, the judges liked it the best and my best friend mallory and i got two free tickets to the kenny chesney/tim mcgraw ‘brothers of the sun’ concert in minneapolis. even better? two backstage tickets to see tim mcgraw, in which we scored front and center seating (standing).

  • fourth of july. had a low key night, hung out with evan and the family. ate sweet corn. delicious, iowa sweet corn. you haven’t lived until you’ve had iowa sweet corn. and you won’t die happy until you do.
  • i went to denver (with Ms. Jessica) to see a good friend of ours. we had all known each other from way back when we used to work together at a church camp. i will expand on my trip to colorado, but, heck, what an awesome and well needed vacation.
  • evan and i had our first “real” fight- well, not really a fight, i guess, but a realization that we might not make it as a couple. through that time we addressed issues, concerns, joys, and i believe we will come out stronger because of it. and even if we don’t, i can’t say i would want to take it back even if i could. i know i gained invaluable life lessons from him and i’d like to say that our time together has made me a better person and helped shape who i am today.
  • RAGBRAI – or “The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,” went through my hometown. For those of you not from this fine state, RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. It’s mostly a big party on a bike, but it is the oldest, largest, and longest bicycle touring event in the world. Even American biking legend Lance Armstrong has ridden in RAGBRAI.
  • friends moving galore. 😦 it seems like everyone is in a transitional phase right now. alex has moved to portland. meredith is moving out to colorado springs. marsha is on her way back to holland… everything is up in the air. i’m not complaining, it’s just an observation.
  • ugh work. when is work NOT busy? so much has been accomplished so far this year. i’m looking forward to the rest of this year and seeing what the future with kemin holds.

callin’ baton rouge… i mean… nashville.

did i ever tell you about that time i went to nashville?

yeehaw. 🙂

back in the winter of 2010 a friend of mine mailed me two tickets to a garth brooks concert  because he was unable to attend.

now, that may not mean anything to you (because you’re crazy), but here’s the thing. garth brooks is a country legend. he doesn’t go on tour anymore, and when he did his tickets sold for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for hundreds and hundreds of sold out shows. nowdays he sometimes performs out in las vegas, but it is always an acoustic show, not the flaired and full-banded awesomeness.

so… i had to go. and krista, my most spontaneous, country-loving, ass-kickin’ friend had to come with. the show was in nashville, tennessee. we were located in des moines, iowa. google maps told us it’d be 11.5 hours… fine. it’ll probably be closer to 10. we could make it there in a day.

we left des moines on saturday morning around 5am. the plan was we would alternate driving and sleeping (if needed), and then get ready to get our shitkickers and cowboy hats out for when we arrived in nashville.

(the happiest i’ll ever look at 5am)
(for the record- in honor of the trip to nashville,  i ran these photos through the instagram “nashville” filter. you’re welcome.) 

we finally got to nashville in the late afternoon. we got checked into our hotel, played around with our sleep number mattresses (i don’t think they worked, what a load), and then listened to some garth brooks while we got ready to check out the scene.

cheap barbecue dinners and live music pouring out of every bar… nashville is booming at night. krista and i weaved in and out bars full of country singers trying to make it until we finally landed at the honeyhole of downtown nashville. a karaoke bar.

karaoke? one of my favorite things ever. karaoke + cowboys + $2 tallboys of busch light? heaven.

the night was great. we posed with a bunch of elvis statues (a lot of them around the city), got hit on by a gay cowboy who claims he is straight (denial), and got a cd from “rising star” that we never listened to. we never got up and sang, but we sat back, drank our beers, and soaked in the atmosphere.

(this man is not famous. but he gave us his cd and asked to take a photo with us.  i wish i was lying.)

the next day we went out to do some more sight seeing and went to the country music hall of fame. we dressed the part (cowboy boots, western tops, cowboy hats) and strolled around the different floors. it was an incredible place, i don’t think you even need to like country music to appreciate all that was there. tributes to the late and great, interactive kiosks, artifacts, and photos everywhere you turned. and a bear.


that night, before the concert, we went to the wildhorse saloon, which was supposed to be pretty famous and well-known. there was a musician playing (go figure) and we sat and drank and ate at the bar because there wasn’t any open seating.

i really liked the restaurant, it was cheesy in all the right ways. fake horses doing human things, stereotypical country interior… big ass margaritas. yeah, i think those were my favorite thing. krista and i ate, we drank (a lot… but we walked, so it’s okay), we played some shuffleboard. and i won. and i only say that because when you play shuffleboard against krista, you rarely ever win.

and then we went to see garth brooks.

and he didn’t disappoint. fog machines, flashing lights… he came up from under the stage, cowboy hat tipped over his eyes, singing “rodeo.”  he sang all of his hits, he took crowd requests, he told stories. trisha yearwood (his wife) also performed and sang the song that was my favorite country song growing up “she’s in love with the boy.” there was this annoyingly hilarious couple in front of us that made out and danced the whole time. it was wonderful (to laugh at) and repulsive at the same time.

(ugh, that couple. for real.)

i’ve been to a lot of concerts in my day. and this one was easily in the top 10, probably top 5.

if you haven’t heard garth brooks, i highly suggest you check him out. country music isn’t for everyone, but even many non-country loving friends agree that he’s pretty good musically. these are my top 10 favorite songs by him– although if you ask someone else they might have a different list entirely.

1) standing outside the fire
2) she’s every woman
3) every now and then
4) callin’ baton rouge
5) the dance
6) i’ve got friends in low places
7)  much too young (to feel this damn old)
8)  rodeo
9) to make you feel my love
10) wrapped up in you

mo money… mo problems

i don’t make a lot of money.

…but i don’t make a little amount of money either.

the weird thing about me, and i’ll be the first to admit it, is that i like paying bills. i find it soothing- like the money i’ve collected has a purpose. i pay the mortgage, student loans, car payment… and then i assess.

my problem comes after the assessment. i simply do not know what to do with my extra cash. i want to spend it. and usually on stupid things.

now, before we dive into this, do not judge too harshly. i’m not just frivolously throwing around my money (so back off, mooommm). i have a 401k set up through my work and i also contribute 6% of my earnings to it. i donate money every month to my sponsor child in Sri Lanka (his name is Nandakumar and he draws me awesome photos), and i am in the process of setting up a roth ira. i pay more than required on all my loans per month, and my credit score is better than average.

some people i know, my parents included, do not own credit cards because they don’t want any loans. i think that’s completely understandable and very smart. live within your means, don’t make extravagant purchases you can’t afford. work to be come debt free.

but the one thing i simply cannot comprehend, however, is not living now because you are afraid you do not have the cash. people want to save up for retirement, and i get that. they work to pay off student loans, house loans, work to becoming debt free. they want the security, they want to know that they will have the money to do fun things when they get older.

but what about fun things now? i would rather go and test limits, to experience life while i’m in the prime of it. before i have children or any major responsibility that is holding me back from doing exactly what i want, when i want to do it. not that those responsibilities are bad. but they are life changing.

and i am a person who craves instant gratification.

and these are the things i am wanting most right now:

1) a new tattoo. it’s been years since i got a tattoo. i have an appointment scheduled for february 9th- i plan on getting my side tattoo expanded up past my ribs. and then screaming and crying a lot at the pain.

2) little martin guitar. i’ve recently started taking guitar lessons, but i’m not really improving. (granted…i’m not really practicing either, but i digress.) i have really small hands, making it difficult and frustrating to play certain chords. originally i didn’t want to get a smaller guitar because i thought they might look silly. but i’m not delusional. i’m not going to be a famous musician someday. i want to play for my own enjoyment. so i will buy a guitar that i can maneuver. and then i will play.

3) vacation. i am going to belgium for work in april. while that is not the most exciting news ever (though it’s close), what makes it even better is that evan is coming with me. we are taking a few extra days ahead of time to see the country- evan says that he thinks belgium is his “dreamland.” he imagines a lot of biking and beautiful country scenery. i imagine beer and chocolate. i think it’ll be a win-win situation.

a little sumthin-sumthin about me

i wrote this on Facebook a couple of years ago when those “top 25 things (i want you to know) about me (because i’m that egotistical)” notes came about. while i was looking over it today i realized a lot of it is still applicable and can be used as a little bit of insight… well, about me.

the new comments are written in red.

1) I have started doing one of these stupid notes five times. I always ended up closing the window because I didn’t want to be “that girl.”

2) Yes, I have seen Office Space. You are not that original by making fun of my last name. (my last name is Lundberg, so i get a lot of “mmmm, didja get that memo”s or “hey peter, what’s happening?”s.)

3) I love making lists. I think I got the idea off of High Fidelity, and I’m obsessive compulsive enough that it stuck. I probably have a top 5 of most things I care about.

4) Ridiculous songs are my kryptonite. So is bad karaoke. Some examples of these songs are “Hurt So Good,” “Sign, Sealed, Delivered,” and “Hungry Eyes.”

5) I love to travel. I know it’s not that interesting of a fact– I’m just putting it out there.

6) When I was a child I used to think my parents were bears dressed in people suits and they took the suits off after I went to bed. I tried to sneak downstairs multiple times to catch them in their natural “bear” state. (um, no… i’m not embarrassed about this at all.  …not…at…all…)

7) The next car I get will be a Mini Cooper. A yellow one. With black racing stripes. (boomshackalacka. wasn’t lying.)

8 ) I want to be a mutant so bad that it hurts. I would say when I’m in a car and just thinking, 70% of the thoughts are about my superhuman abilities. The other 30% is divided among current events, to dos, and food.

9) Rachel Tell forced me to eat cherry tomatoes as a child when we were playing Boxcar Children because “Boxcar children eat what they can get!” I feel this was a very traumatic event that tainted my taste buds and feelings towards a certain vegetable. I couldn’t eat tomatoes until last summer.

10) I can play piano, guitar, bass, and percussion instruments. I can play none of them well.

11) My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I feel very blessed by them, in the truest sense of the word.

12) I love it when my guy friends have a girlfriend/wife because it alleviates any pressure or misconceptions about the relationship we have. I also get upset when people question my friendship with guys– if I wanted it be more, the intention would’ve been known. Given that, I fully believe Tim Maybee and I will be married if we are ever single at the same time. 😉 (*sigh* Tim Maybee is now married [and not to me], so that one is nullified. i guess i will keep Evan around.)

13) I want a dog. I’d like to teach it to play dead and make an “arooo” sound when he falls over.

14) Ellen Page and I would be friends in real life, I am almost positive about this. Sarah Silverman could hang out with us too. Taylor Swift is not invited. (Scarlett Johansen is not invited either.)

15) Sometimes I forget I am Asian. Is that weird?

16) I honestly love my job. I feel that is weird to say, especially being 22 years old and at my first job out in the real world. (i’m 25.5 now, if that gives you any indication of how long ago this was written.)

17) If you use the wrong their/they’re/there or your/you’re I will automatically lose respect for you. It’s nothing personal… but get some brains.

18) I think that sometimes I come across as arrogant, which is never my intention. Most of the time I am being sarcastic. The other part of the time I am being deadpan. The other part, I’m just stating facts… I am, in fact, awesome.

19) I like to quote movies, music, etc. If people can pick it out of a conversation, it is obvious they have good taste.

20) Being a Christian is more than going to church. I am a very spiritual person, but I don’t see the necessity of flaunting it in a pompous fashion or berating someone for not believing the same thing as me. It’s love, not judgment, that’s going to change the world.

21) I love to read and usually end up finishing a book in a day or two. I should probably slow down so I can enjoy the process, but it’s too difficult for me.

22) Games like hide-and-seek make me nervous. I feel if I was in a horror movie and a killer was chasing me I would jump out from wherever I was hiding because I couldn’t handle the suspense.

23) Meeting new people is a rush to me. I love making new friends. Having said that, there are a handful of people I would do anything for. I love and respect them, and they have shaped who I have become. You know who you are.

24) I’m not really “bad” at anything, but I’m not good at much either. I am pleasantly mediocre at most everything I do.

25) I ran out of interesting things about me. If you feel I should add something, please put it in the comment below. (i’ll add one now, for the sake of argument. even though i highly enjoy “city living,” i am a pure country hick at heart. i love country music, riding four wheelers through the woods, and drinking crappy busch light beer i can get at the hometown bar for 1.50 a can. most of my friends hunt and have deer heads mounted on their walls. we had the largest graduating class while i was in high school, with a grand total of 53 kids.)