When It Rains, It Pours: April [pre-move]

8 May

Since I didn’t have time to update throughout April, I’ll save some time here by making a bulleted list.  I’ll try to remember everything, but things got pretty hectic!

-At the end of March, we started looking for apartments.  In another state.  Real Estate agents are apparently flakes, hardly reading correspondence or answering/returning phone calls.  We also immediately saw that not many understood out-of-state moves = No, we cannot come view it tomorrow!  This was going to be more difficult then we anticipated.

-We also learned that securing an apartment before starting to pay rent wasn’t a thing.  We wanted to have pro-rated rent mid-April, the agents wanted us to start a lease 4-1-15.  Which wasn’t going to work since our Spokane lease wasn’t up until 4-30-15, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent on two places at once.  How do people usually manage this?

-To further complicate the matter, I had committed to house-sitting until May 2nd.  This meant we either HAD to sign a new lease that started May 1st in Salt Lake City (SLC from here on out) or pay month-to-month at our current apartment.  Mo-Mo increased our current rent from from $480 to $610/mo.  On top of moving expenses and deposits–that was not going to work.

-In addition, it seems SLC is anti-pets.  We could hardly find ANYthing that accepted 2 cats.  And those that would, were about $100 higher in rent (and mostly more then that), charged a minimum of $300 extra deposit (on top of $300 security deposit), AND charged monthly pet rent.  This was going to be expensive–and I didn’t have a job so I didn’t know how much money I had to budget. . .

-Needless to say, we are scrambling around on the internet, looking for suitable places, e-mailing (to no avail), and calling–without a SINGLE return phone call.  WTF?!  Is this a real estate “thing” or just a SLC thing?!  Either way, it was super-annoying, not to mention bad business practice.

-Cool gets legit-stressed, but then goes full-on manic.  Not awesome timing.  She decides she has to visit her family, 6 hours away, right when we’re trying to find housing.  I was going to go, but I work on Saturday, and didn’t want to leave my co-worker friend alone to do everything.  So Cool and I were initially going to visit Tacoma Sun-Tues.  BUT Cool also realized she had NO time off work.  None.  And she only gets weekends off.  So she planned to make the visit without me.

-To compound the situation, the Friday Cool was going to leave (after her work shift was over at midnight) for the other side of the state, she calls me.  It was 9PM.  Good news:  She was able to transfer within the company she’s been working for into a job in Salt Lake City!  Cool got a job!  Bad news:  She had to start work April 23rd (in 14 days counting that night).  Worse news:  We had no housing, she still intended to leave for the weekend, and in order for me to give 2 weeks notice at my job, I’d have to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.  STRESS!

-After we had a deadline looming, things got really insane.  I had to turn in my notice at work, secure housing, start packing (and getting rid of things), and making reservations for moving trucks, hotels, flights, etc. . .  Despite this being 2015, the internet wasn’t super helpful in finding an apartment OR changing my address.  I had to make a zillion phone calls–and you know how I despise that.  Forget about details like cleaning the old apartment or trying to get a job in SLC–that stuff would have to wait.

-We found 1 viable housing-option (above our price range).  But the landlord was a doofus.  We Cool (because this kind of crap makes me belligerent, and that would accomplish nothing, plus, I was doing EVERYthing else) had to call like 6 times before we got any response.  Then we had to wait.  Then, things didn’t work right.  My full 2 weeks notice were closing at work, and we still had only the promise of housing–no lease, no deposit. . .  This is terrifying to me.  What would happen if it fell through?

-Meanwhile, I was frantically packing and trying to get rid of things.  What to do with the huge, old treadmill?  How were we going to get the 37″ TV down the stairs, and where would we put it?  You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to put it in boxes and move it!  Even though this is a small bullet point, this stuff really consumed the majority of my time.  It was a lot of thinking, planning, lifting, and packing.

-Nothing was easy.  What size rental truck should I get?  I got a 10′ in Missouri and had to leave half my stuff at the storage unit.  It sucked terribly, got rained on so it was unsalvageable, and the storage management were pissed so they took all the money I had paid ahead as a “cleaning/trash fee.”  I did NOT want that scene again.  So I fretted, measured, and deliberated, before deciding on a 16′.  It was big, but they’re all bigger then what I’m used to.  The 12′ and 16′ were the same price, gas efficiency, and width.  The only difference was the 4′ of additional length–and after 12′ what’s an extra 4’?

-We also had to decide how we would logistically move 2 cars, 2 cats, a moving truck of stuff, and ourselves to 10.5 hours away.  While still getting Cool to work in SLC on April 23rd and me to my house-sitting job in Spokane April 27th-May 2nd.

-We decided to drive the Penske full of stuff and HHR with the cats to SLC.  Then, Cool would start work while I unpacked the stuff at the new apartment.  Then, I would fly back (rental car was only $20 cheaper and took 6 more hours) to Spokane.  While in Spokane, I would clean the entire old apartment by myself before the lease was up, then continue on to my house-sitting job, before driving (a 2nd 10.5 hours) my car back to SLC.  At least we had a plan.

I think I probably forgot some things, but you get the gist:  April was busy, busy, busy, costly, and stressful.  In the next installment I’ll talk about the actual moving process.

BAD Blogger!

7 May

I just moved.  Moving is crazy.  This is my excuse for such a long post-drought.  This is my timeline for past moves so I can tell the stories of this last month:

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And it’s not like I haven’t done it (moved) before, on the contrary I have moved so much it portrays a wanderlust or flakiness that doesn’t really fit my true personality.

Polson- enteranceWhen I was 4, my parents and I moved away from all of our extended family in Montana, to Nevada for job opportunities.  Montana is beautiful, but you “can’t eat the scenery.”

I grew up in small-town Nevada, going to the same Kidron's NV pics 050school for 13 years.  Which is good and bad.  I have well-established roots, and I always knew everyone and all my teachers, and everything.  BUT everyone always knows you and your business too, so good luck trying to live down embarrassing moments, changing/growing, or keeping anything on the D.L.

RenoI went to the same college everyone goes to my first year, which required a short move to Reno (an hour away) but tried to branch out instead of staying with my same ‘ol click as most of my small-town counterparts did.

I wanted more opportunities and was chasing my veterinary dreams so I took a HUGE leap and transferred to mid-Missouri, site-unseen, my sophomore year.  That move was big-time, but I was still somewhat protected by the insular world of college:Mizzou quad  I moved right into dorms and worked for campus dining services.  When housing, jobs, and school all line up–moves are substantially less stress.  And emotionally, I had already been away from loved ones before (moving from MT at 4) so I wasn’t lost or lonely.  Plus, school and work kept me so busy, who had time to miss anything?!  The move from Nevada to Missouri required a 30 hour drive.  I made that drive with my mom carrying a few dorm essentials.  I made that 30 hour drive with Douche, in a U-Haul.  I’ve made that 30 hour round trip by myself and a car-load of essentials and a dog.  I made the return trip by myself and 2 cats.  I HATE that drive.

265173_2208001644072_1368379309_32588356_2533618_nThen, my Saint George acceptance pulled me out of Missouri–which I really liked the 6 years I was there.  I had to make that 30 hour drive once more, with my dad, in a U-Haul.  Never again!  I’m not sure anything else aside from vet school would have compelled me to ever leave the midwest.  But veterinary school was calling, so I temporarily visited my parents and dropped off my cats that summer.  Nevada was just a brief visit.

Except Saint George fell through a week before matriculation.  Suddenly, I had nowhere to go, but obviously I wasn’t going to live with my parents–that was never the plan.  I had to choose where to go–and not being based on any acceptance, it could be anywhere that had a vet school.  I didn’t really know, and my parents dictated that I decide immediately.

I had been watching a lot of Frasier, wanted to try out a more liberal and city environment, and Frasier saturation increasedliked Washington’s veterinary program.  So to Seattle I (blindly) went.  Driving a car-load of essentials the 15 hours by myself.  I lived with my great aunt, which I always saw as a temporary transitional set-up while I looked for my own place.  I had previously gotten along famously with my college roommate, so I wasn’t discouraged Seattle housing prices negated living alone like I had in Missouri.

bedroom darkI moved to 12th Avenue, and soon saw what real-life roommates mean.  I needed out of that place ASAP because it was ridiculous!  Around this same time, I met Cool.  We hit it off, and sometimes I stayed at her shared housing situation, which was WORSE then my 12th Ave scene.  I don’t think I ever completed a full sleep cycle in Seattle.  I was always tired, always grumpy.  It made me HATE the city.  I needed my own space, without crazy roommate scenarios.  I needed a reasonable housing cost.

So we moved 6 hours across Washington to Spokane (with cats in Cool’s car and me driving a U-Haul).  And it was so much better!Fremont Fest 114  We could afford our own apartment without roommates!  Vet school didn’t happen for me, and the job market in Eastern Washington is horrible.  There was nothing there for us–Spokane wasn’t home.  We needed out, but Western Washington is out of our price range.

So I wanted to show you, I’ve moved.  I have left those emotional connections and everyone I know.  I’ve moved out of state.  I’ve had to find housing from a distance.  I’ve known the expenses.  Which brings us to 2015 and my latest move.

Moving is Expensive

8 Apr

I have 10 days to pack everything.  And take care of the rest of the moving logistics.  Things are moving fast and furious!!!  Because I don’t have time right now for a legit post, here are some moving quotes I had to research.  There has been a LOT of research as of late.  Maybe this can save someone the trouble of having to go through this internet and phone stuff to get bits and pieces of info slowly.

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Uhaul (4d & 851 mi)
3rd Ave P/U

15′ (only $8 more then 10′) uhaul:
Sat 4/17-4/22 (p/u sat vs sun didn’t change price) = $70 insurance => $470

?round trip & req specific P/U & D/O time = $19.95 + 0.59/mile (4 hr only???)

————————-

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Budget (4d & unlimited miles; must reserve specific P/U & D/O times)
1-800-455-1332 6:30AM – 12:00AM CST
division P/U
must D/O by 10:30AM or additional $70/d fee
-no insurance offered in internet OR phone quote.  Which is really annoying and negates price-comparison.  Also, if you call you will get a very heavy dialected speaker.

16′ = $296.12
10′ = $341.20
[insurance has to be $6-$55 to beat Pensky price]

round trip (10′) = $19.99/d (4/19-4/23) + $0.59/mi (720 x 2) = ($79.96 + $849.60) => $929.56

——————————

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Penske (Sat-4/22–can extend dates by 3d if done ahead of time; unlimited milage)
closed Sun
$88 for insurance

12′ = $396 (about $484 w/insurance)
16′ = $306 ($403 w/insurance)

round trip (4/18-4/23) & req specific P/U & D/O time = $166.60 + $0.70/mi (about 720 miles 1 way) = $1174.60

Penske w/Triple A dic (Sat-4/22) = $366.28

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Because of my Triple A membership, it makes most sense for me to go through Penske.  And hopefully we can fit everything we need inside, drive the thing, and not get really effed in fuel costs.

March Goal Accountability

1 Apr

1.  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+.  Though if I’m really tired and sore, I accomplish it with quarter mile breaks.  Example:  Run 0.25mi then wash dishes, run to .5mi and set out clothes for the day, run to .75mi and push back my cuticles, then finish out the mile.  So they’re not long breaks, but the mile isn’t continuous.  I consider it intervals, and it’s OK (and still perfectly legit).

2.  Read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.

N/A.  This may not be a thing at all.  See waitlist post.

2a.  keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class. All semester.

N/A.  Ditto to the above.

3.  Collect a minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

C+.  I added one already and know what the next will say.  I just haven’t physically written it down yet.  Maybe after my nap. . .

3a.  listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

F+.  My sleep has been terrible, but I’ve been thinking about school/work/moving logistics/my life plan.  I have intended to distract myself with gratitude, but make it through 1-2 things before either worrying or sleeping (rarely) more.

3b.  I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

D-.  I haven’t been UNappreciative per say, just distracted.

3c.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

C.  I could be doing a TON worse considering the stressful circumstances of the moment.  I am not falling apart, and I’m not overwhelmed with stress (yet).  I could be doing better in this area though.

4.  Dental health. Floss daily

C.  When I’m tired (on work days) this slides.  I’ll get better in 3 weeks–when I am done with swing shift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4a.  brush twice daily for an adequate time

A+.  This has been happening.

4b.  find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

N/A, but now that I may not have to pay for tuition, I’m considering getting Care Credit again once we’re in Salt Lake City.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.

A-.  Other then buying books at our 2nd favorite Spokompton establishment, I didn’t spend one extra penny this month.  And it was fairly unintentional.  That will work out well for the move.

1a.  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

F-.  I’ll start once we stabilize after the move.

1b.  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month

F-.  CL sucks!  And I posted items on 3 other sites and haven’t gotten any hits.  So it may be donation time :-(

1bi.  have one yard sale.

N/A.  I’m considering an open apartment before we move–maybe invite co-workers to look at stuff.  Or maybe I’ll donate everything and just have a sale at my parents’ this summer.

1c.  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU

N/A.

1ci.  go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

N/A.

#2: All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

N/A.

2a.  read the journals (minimum of average of 1/wk)

D.  I had been reading my journals, but once I was waitlisted and my whole career choice was thrown into turmoil I stopped.  I’m not sure what my next step will be after I move.

SLC 38

#3: Cool.  Defined as:

3a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

3b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).

3c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

F.  Cool has been fairly stable this month.  She did display some normal Mommy issues, which makes me crazy, and was super-stressed and frenzied over the move (before I was).  But I’ve been irritable too.  I we need to remember to be a team and be closer to Cool in times of great stress (such as waitlist and moving).

#4: Make a menu

F+.  Because every once in awhile I think of something the day (or hour) before we eat it.

4a.  do a grocery list

D-.  I gave up on a planned grocery day (before the move, anyway) so this is almost non-existent too.

4b.  grocery shop 1x/wk

F——.  I don’t think I’ve gone at all.  Once I get off this swing shift I’ll make this a routine.

4c.  cook 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

F———–.  How many minuses could I put?!

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

D+.  I really wasn’t stressed about the move until Cool ramped me up.  And finding an apartment site-unseen, out-of-state, with 2 cats, and on a budget (prior to employment) is awful.  Is there anything worse for stress levels???

5a.  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

B-.  I’ve been plugging along at this.  I think this is the best aspect of the move, because it’s mostly within our control.

5b. Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

-I’ll take more time with this in April.  As it is, I’m really focusing in on moving logistics, not blogging right now.

The Dreaded Wait-List

30 Mar

Well, I’ve been here before.  I’m on the all too familiar borderline.  First, 3rd grade math, the cusp between B+ and A-, then vet school (so many times), and now this Audiology program.  The uncertainty, the waiting, decreased financial aid opportunities. . .

I knew I shouldn’t have put all of my eggs in one basket.  Again.  But I felt that I didn’t have another (good) choice:  1)  I wanted to live in the same place as Cool and both kitties (without roommates),  2)  Afford the rent (WITHOUT ROOMMATES = read Seattle-housing blogs), 3)  Have job opportunities for Cool, 4)  move only 1 more time after this big move, and of course 4)  go to a place with said AuD program.  Boulder, Colorado was too expensive to live and Greeley didn’t have employment.  Seattle and Portland’s cost of living is too high (and commute terrible).  Idaho has no jobs, and the program required an additional move halfway through–3 hours away.  There was no housing (other then student = no Cool, no kitties) in Logan Utah.  Every other school was a really, really far, expensive, move.  I only applied to Salt Lake City, because that’s the only place that was going to work.

I tried the best I could and wouldn’t change anything about my application.  I always, always felt that I was destined for greatness.  Something bigger, something impressive.  But even doing EVERYthing differently this time (vs. vet school attempts) the results are much the same.  And it makes me doubt everything.  Am I supposed to just have a j-o-b?  Go to work doing nothing meaningful or spectacular and focus elsewhere on my life?  I always thought it was a career and making a difference that was my path–but this gives me so much doubt.

Wait-list is a helpless position.  I have to wait.  Wait while someone else determines my future.  This time I will follow up with a letter of enthusiasm (which I have sent).  Saying they are my first choice, I’ve done this and that new thing, and the program is a good fit because. . .  I’ll follow this through to the end.

But it was supposed to be MY turn.  And I can’t help but feel sorry for myself, that I may have just wasted 2 more years and thousands of dollars (and a LOT of headache) at Riverpoint getting nowhere.  I may be back at square one–again.  What now?

2013 New Albums

24 Mar

Yes, 2013.  I just want you to know I’ve been working on this all the time (save for Brandi Carlile’s new CD listens) since January.  And I had listened on and off since mid 2013.  The songs were all very long durations.  The albums included a lot of song.  2013 was no small feat!  But finally FINALLY!  I HAVE FINISHED.  Yes, all-caps is necessary.  And yes, this is 3-10-2015.  From good singles, to made the list, to least to most starred songs here’s the list:

freq inside cochlea

Worth mentioning (1 song made my list):

“Sacrilege” Yeah Yeahs

“It Should be Easy” Will-i-am (Brittany Spears).  It has the electric sound of The Flaming Lips, the electric-pop singing of Cher, and the dancey beats of Justin Timberlake.

“Evolve or be Extinct” Wiley.  Who can say no to rap with an English accent?  You don’t hear this every day!

“Fault Lines”  Tom Petty.

“Tik Tik Boom” T.I. (feat. Britney Spears)

“Autobahn” Starfuckers.  It’s long (5:41), it’s electronic, it’s dancy–but it’s a rave-reminding dance fun-time.

“To Hell With You” Sleigh Bell

“Aint Your Right” Sky Ferreira.  It has a little bit of an 80s sound with electric backing and waif-like singing, but unlike the eighties–it has a feminist sentiment.

“Never Wanted Your Love” She & Him

“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke

“I’ve Got Soul” Hanson.  Was Hansen always this churchy?  I think the three guys probably were, but their sound used to have extremem pop influence.  This new album as a whole was more spiritually-oriented, but I liked their characteristic bounciness was still in “I’ve Got Soul.”

“Axis”  Pet Shop Boys

“Alligator” Paul McCartney

“Immortal” Kid Cudi

“Brave” Josh Groban.  An uplifting, catchy chorus, and obviously that resonant voice.

“State of the Art”  –robot toast remix, Jim James.  a low-key song at first, but warms to a dancable beat good for rockin’ or running.

“Vertigo”  Jason DeRulo feat. Jordan Sparks

“Get Lucky” Daft Punk, featuring everyone & their brother.  I couldn’t help but like this song, but I think the hyped Daft Punk was severely overrated in 2013.

“Water and a Flame” Celine Dion.  She sounds like a smoker and a lot more blues then the romantic style I’m used to.

“Monsters of Sunderland” British Sea Power

“A Light From Home” Bradley Joseph

“Put It In” Blue October

“I’m Not in Love”  10cc

DMB Chicago 2014

Buckcherry- Confessions.  Like Flaming Lips’ newest endeavor, I like this album mostly for the concept.  The songs are OK, and there might be a standout, but it’s not really a song-comparison kind of disc.  This one goes as a set, and must be judged as such.  I like that each song title is a seven deadly sins (mostly).  It’s a really cool idea and you should give the entire thing a listen.

Bret Michaels- Jammin’ With Friends.  Also a conceptually-driven album that has it’s strength in its collaborations.  He plays with a variety of other musicians, some famous, some more obscure.  The re-calibrated versions (covers) are good, and have Michaels’ own spin on them–some even for the better.

Blossom Music Center

–Made the List–

Kenny Chesney = 2 made the list.  I usually don’t love Kenny, and feel he’s waaaay overrated.  I did like the duets and island feel of Life on a Rock.  Even if it’s a Jimmy Buffet rip-off.

Eels = 2 songs made the list.  For some reason they remind me of “Spongebob Square Pants.”  The creepy, scratchy singing is cartoonish, but interesting.  It’s high energy, but almost villain music.

Jay Sean = 2 songs on the list.  I like the caribbean-island feel mixed with rap and R&B.  I also like that these songs don’t disparage anyone (especially women).

Trapt–3 made the list.  Their live sound is a little more edgy.

Stereophonics–4 made the list.

Hugh Laurie = 4 made the list.  This is one to watch!  I like the jazzy-blues feel, soulful singing, and instrumentation.  I hope there is a follow-up.

John Legend = 2 songs on the list.  Hero of the music industry.  Nuff said.

Franz Ferdinand = 2 songs on the list.  Just alright.  I was disappointed there were no beat changes, false-stars, or dancable songs like I remember in 2005(?).

R. Kelly = 2 songs on the list.  As expected it’s sexy, it’s R&B.  The album also features many other artists.

Pearl Jam = 3 songs made the list.  I have a hard time getting in tune with their slurry way of muddling through lyrics.

Lady Gaga = 3 on the list.  It’s fine.  Maybe I’m not her target audience.  It’s dance.  It’s pop.  It features catchy choruses.  I just don’t feel it.

Moby = 3 songs made the list.  This is more of a background album to study to then a forefront album to listen.  I like the mellowness, but said mellowness means no starred stand outs.

Iron and Wine = 3 on the list, none starred.  It’s OK.  Doesn’t make enough of a statement to say much more then this about it though.

Morgan Taylor Reid = 4 on the list.  It’s like a toned-down One Republic.  With a little The Fray sprinkled in.  I like the chill easy-listening, but nothing got me excited.

Panic!  At the Disco = 4 songs made the list.  I feel like Too. . .  [long of a title] is a fan-album.  The songs were ok, but there was no song that really hooked me in and spoke to me.  It’s fine and good to write entire albums for the die-hard fans, but I don’t think one catchy mass-appeal single would have killed them.

Sheryl Crow–4 songs, ugh.  Made the list, no favorites.  I HATE to say it, I really, really do.  Side-note] Sheryl Crow was one of the first 12 CDs I ever owned, the first album under heavy rotation, and the first poster of any musician to ever grace my bedroom wall.  I loved Tuesday. . .  Sang along with her self-titled album, and felt The Globe Sessions.  She is one artist that I’ve continuously appreciated.  So that’s why it hurts me to say with Feels Like Home, her country crossover album–she sold out.  I think this country is forced, and a way to play it safe in the ultra-competitive world of music.  As an (aging) female rock gal, I think she went to country where older women have more of a chance.  But it doesn’t really suit her and it’s contrived.  I always hoped to catch Sheryl Crow at a live show or festival before she’s ancient and washed up–I really hope I’m not too late. . .

Arcade Fire = 5 on the list.  I liked their other albums a lot, and they went on heavy rotation.  Reflektor is not only poor spelling, I didn’t get a feel for it in the same way.  It’s just OK, and that disappoints me.

Aaron Neville = 5 on the list.  I love his voice, so crooning and gentle.  The reworked classics sound nice too.  I don’t think they are starrable songs, because none are original.

Eric Clapton = 6 on the list.  Old Sock has a different sound from how I remember Clapton’s signature.  It’s country-blues, and it’s good.  There are no stand-outs, despite it’s easy listening.

The Dear Hunter = 6 on the list.  They sound like a softer Fall Out Boy.  It’s just ok, but there’s potential.

Kings of Leon = 7 on the list, none starred.  And not because I didn’t like Mechanical Bull, (random title) just because it’s kind of down-low music.  It’s good to study to or good chill party background.  I do think it’s as good as the last album though.

Gregory Allen Isakov = 8 on the list.  He’s a quiet, study song-writer, mello guy.  Not the kind of artist you star for catchy choruses.  More of a staying-power kind of vibe.

Nelly =  8 on the list.  I liked them enough to put on the list, but there are no new favorites here.  No club anthem or running song. . .  M.O. was good, not great.

DMB Australia

98 = 1 starred.  And 1 other song made the list.  It’s old school by now, but the starred song, “No Part of You” is ahh-mazing!

Nine Inch Nails = 1 starred and 1 more song on the list.  It sounds like dark computer electronica.  Really, it kind of bummed me out.  The sound is a little unfeeling.  But I guess it’s good. . .  I do like “Copy of a” for it’s catchy beat and a little more listener-friendly tone.

Vampire Weekend–3 on the list, 1 starred.  I like the fast music and frantic singing.

Natalie Maines =  1 starred, 3 on the list.  I thought she had a respectable solo effort.  Mother showed good potential.  And I liked her newfound seriousness.  But I don’t think showing her characteristic playfulness would hurt the next album.  I’d like to see more of a mix of both.

KT Tunstall = 3 on the list, 1 starred.  Invisible Empire is very different from KT’s other records in that it’s quiet and has an old-school country vibe.  Sure, it’s not as immediately catchy, but  don’t think that takes away from the quality.  The instrumentation is more nuanced and the vocals more thoughtful.  It’s a quiet album, but good.

Luke Bryan = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  Crash My Party certainly feels like you’re at a bonfire party.  Before I looked at the album title, I was going to write that.  Aptly titled.  I see a lot of potential here, but it’s a little superficial to be outstanding just yet.  With maturity, I think Bryan can be a key player.

Jake Bugg = 1 starred, 3 total on list.  It’s an interesting sound.  Hipster.  Across-the-pond.  (Soft?) punk.  He’s one to watch.

B.O.B = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  They have a more easy sound to them these days, and I liked the softer vibe.  BUT the starred song, is still a heavy-rock/rap tune that will help motivate me as I’m sprinting.

Dido = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  I usually don’t like Dido, but Girl Who Got Away was more jazzed up with a stronger percussion then before.  I also felt the lyrics were less meditative and more provocative in that she has feelings.

Lissie = 1 starred, 4 on the list.  What she lacks in superior singing ability, she makes up with passion.  There is something about her vocal quality that isn’t stellar (nasal-tone?  Crackle?) but I really didn’t even notice it til I was listening carefully in order to write this post.  I like her cheekiness and the fact she says important things.

Neko Case = 4 on the list, 1 starred.  I really like the mix of old-school country and hipster.  It’s sort of friendly and chill with just enough “you’re not in the scene” to remain cool.

Ciara =  1 starred, 4 on the list.  I liked the rapping in “I’m Out” but that may have been Nicki Minaj.

Everything Everything = 1 starred, 5 on the list.  Unapologetically superficial and clubster.  Listening makes me think of the gay-boys lip-syncing and choreographing moves for the club.  Arc is FUN, but don’t expect seriousness here.

Fall Out Boy = 1 starred, 5 on the list.  Save Rock & Roll makes me conger an outdoor rally trying to accomplish. . .  things.  The album seems motivational, with unifying cries, but for what, I’m not certain.  Maybe that’s not the point.  The point is to remind people that music is a driving force that still has the ability to MOVE people to action–of any kind.

Golgol Bordello = 1 starred, 6 total songs on the list.  This album is still good.  It’s still energetic.  Pura Vida Conspiracy is relatively quieter then their last album.  Which isn’t quiet at all, but it doesn’t make me want to spring like their past offerings.

Linkin Park = 1 starred, 6 made the list.  As one of my long-term favorites, Linkin Park rarely disappoints me.  Sadly, Recharged, did.  I didn’t like their new highly electronic sound that deviated from their passionate rock.  I get the impression this album is more of a filler between “real” albums. . .  Get back to your roots, Linkin Park.

Paramore = 1 starred, which I really like a lot, because it is different from most of the rest.  It’s a very serious tune–what can I say?  I like the heavy, substantial songs?  When I’m in the right mood, I like 6 songs off their self-titled album of 2013.  I have to say, they’re a little 80s-centric for my usual mood though.  It’s just too pseudo-punk, clappy, pop for my norm.  And for some reason I think the band (or maybe their core fans?) are a little too over the edge of hipster for us real, down-to-Earth-types.  But, in a light, dancy mood, I’m in!

DMB flower instruments

Everything, Everything-  I had 2 of their songs on my list and I would classify it as hipster bubble-gum gay.  The songs are in a falsetto for the most part (that gay) and it’s catchy (pop), but seems a little too cool for school (hipster).

Of Montreal = 2 starred, on the list.  This hipster, English sound reminds me of listening to a Juno movie.  It’s too cool for school.  But I like it–even if I’m not in the club.

James Blunt = 2 starred, 2 songs on the list.  Though he always reminds me of Douche, Moon Landing deviates from his past sound enough to take a new place in my mind.  The 2 songs I liked had his characteristic voice, but a new feel.

Sarah Brightman = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  It’s relaxed and easy-going.  Kind of like a more instrumental, less new-agey Enya.

Robin Thicke = 2 starred, 2 on list.

Demi Lovato = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  I really liked her independence and anger on Demi.  It’s still dancy, but she has something to say.  Can’t wait for the next album.

Frightened Rabbit = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  It’s a low-key listen, and that’s OK.

The Saturdays = 2 starred, and 3 on the list.  It’s very poppy, and a little eighties-electronic, but I think they have some potential.

Sara Bareilles = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  Same great singing and emotion, less anger.

Justin Bieber = 4 on the list, 2 starred.  Yes, the kid is a major-douche.  BUT I did like a few songs from Believe Acoustic.  I like the concept of making a filler-album acoustic.  Also, it’s got a nice, laid-back vibe that I enjoy and could study to.  Again, I acknowledge this dude is a tool-bag in real life.

Gary Allen = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  The songs have drinkin’, lovin’, and love lost as every good country album should.  It’s melancholy though–a sort of recovery album.  I look forward to a brighter version in the future.

Britney Spears = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  It’s very clubby.  Very dancy.  Some of the songs are unemotional as a result, but there’s one sentimental lyrically-driven song here.  Britney Jean is solid, but not a top contender.

Backstreet Boys = 2 starred, 5 on the list.  They’re baaacccck!  And not quite relevant in today’s market, especially given their humongous popularity in the late 1990s, but there’s still a little something there.  I am a fan of the highly polished slick studio magic, but the singing and ballads seem a little forced and phony this time around. . .

Cold War Kids = 2 starred, 5 on the list.  Seattle or not–I don’t think I’m a big fan.  I find the singing a little whiny and tedious and get this off-putting emo-hipster vibe that I can’t tolerate.  Tuxedos is quiet, without a radio-friendly stand-out, but if you like this kind of thing, you might feel it more than I do. . .

Twenty-One Pilots–6 on the list, 2 starred.  I get a gay-vibe and superficial dancey beats.

Arctic Monkeys = 2 starred, 7 songs.  Some might be disappointed, because the sound is very different from the first album.  It has more of a. . .  beat?  It’s more uptempo?  Something like that.

Sean Kingston = 2 starred, 7 made the list.  Has a fun sound.  I like the island influenced rap.

Elton John = 2 starred, 17 on the list.  Sir Elton John is always one of my favorites and The Diving Board is no exception.  Though the tracks aren’t star-material for the most part, the album as a whole is really great.  The songs work together to tell a story.  It’s a thoughtful and mature album, saturated with instrumentals.  I like the cover art and concept, and the meloncholy sound is great for concurrent reading or reflection.  It’s heavy on piano, which is a great reemergence of his skills.  There’s a definite sadness/blues feel to the 17 songs (entire album?) that I placed on my list.  And I feel like I’m sitting in a deep South, smoky bar while I listen.

John Mayer = 2 starred.  I like John.  Always have.  He was my 2nd concert ever, and I’m completely out of the celeb-gossip loop so I don’t know of any of his D-bag ways.  Anyway, with this album, which I added 10 songs to my list from, he’s gone country *insert Taylor Swift joke here* and I think it suits him.  I think the last album was deeper, more heartfelt, and more sincere, but this one is moving–in a cross-over type of way.  And there are shades of the last introspective tunes in songs like, “Waitin’ on the Day.”  I can see the John is trying to project a more adult, mature version of himself, but I’m not jaded by the marketing, it’s still John’s low-key voice and mellow strummings.

J.T. = 2 starred.  And an amazing 11 songs made my list.  But he kind of made me annoyed.  After such a long hiatus, I was expecting greatness that matched his last effort.  And I found the first CD of 20/20 just. . .  Meh.  There was no “Sexy Back,” that’s for sure.  And I felt it was–too much–that his songs were ALL so lengthy.  Like, Justin, who do you think you are?!  When he put out a part 2, I was so over it.  I felt like he thought the first CD would be more popular, then he thought–oops try again.  So instead of the 11 songs being awesome and wonderful, the whole marketing skeme mostly annoys me.  And the songs need to be snipped in half–or shorter.

fish bowl 2

Ra Ra Riot = 3 starred and 4 on the list.  They are heavy with the gay-sounding pop and pleads “I wanna be your toy…”  I like the upbeat, dancy tunes and hope to hear more in coming years.

Brad Paisley = 3 starred, 4 songs on the list.  I admit, I liked “Celebrity” a ton, but I never liked Brad Paisley as a person/lyrically.  I think thought he was sexist.  The words in his songs just rubbed me the wrong way.  Wheelhouse has a slightly different tone to it though–are you kidding me a song about a survivor of domestic abuse getting revenge?  Alright!  I can stand behind that.  I’m still undecided if Paisley is a chauvinist, but I can give him the benefit of the doubt for this album.

Daughtry = 3 starred, 5 on the list.  Baptized is a little stronger of a statement then the last album, and I like the feeling that jumps out of both the lyrics and the instrumentation.  It’s harder, but still meaningful.  I approve.

Barenakid Ladies = 3 starred, 5 on the list.  Like the other albums, Grinning Streak has a playful, fast-lyric thing going on.  This makes it catchy, and it also lends to a jingle-type sound.  I don’t mind, but it’ll never go on heavy rotation because of that.

Skillet = 3 starred and 7 made the list.  They are like a non-douchy Creed.  It’s hard-rock, but with an uplifting vibe.  I can tell they’re not posers like the afore-mentioned band, in it for the money.  They sing with authenticity and feeling.

Avril Lavigne = 3 starred, 9 on the list.  Her self-titled album has little to no substance, but that’s what we like about Lavigne, right?  She’s a mindless edgy-pop guilty pleasure.

dmb stage

Bon Jovi = starred, 4 on the list.  What about Now is more subtle, more thoughtful, but no less cool then any previous album.  There is a hopeful tone that I really like and though its less hard-rock, there are still catchy riffs and riveting choruses.  And “Because We Can” is probably my all-time favorite song of 2013.  It’s upbeat, yet sentimental, introspective, yet energetic and motivating.

Darius Rutger = 4 starred, 4 on the list.  I felt a lot of emotion in True Believers, and thought it was a nice mix between country and contemporary soft-rock.

New Kids. . . = 4 starred.  Out of 4 songs that made the cut.  They’re back!  And surprisingly, they are not totally washed up.  I liked the broken heart song, the dance party song, and I thought they were still surprisingly relevant.

Bad Religion = 4 starred, 6 on the list.  It’s heavy punkish-rock.  The songs jam out, and are super-short (unlike almost every other 2013 album).  I like the catchiness and harmonies, but wish each song was slightly longer. . .

Saliva = 4 starred, 9 made the list.  Saliva wasn’t as whiny!  Thank goodness they’ve matured a little, because I have always liked their hard-rock sound.

stage close up

Top Ten:  Tim McGraw-6 made the list, 5 starred.  There’s a real energy on this album.  It’s upbeat and well-thought.  The songs are catchy and have main-steam appeal without being contrived, formulaic, and sell-out.

#9:  Miley Cyrus = 5 starred, 13 on the list.  She’s a horrible human being (from what the media tells me) but the gal can sing.  And her sound is a deeper, different range than I’m used to hearing.

#8:  Gabriella Cilmi = 6 starred, 12 on the list.  My vote for Best New Artist.  Think Macy Gray with a thinner, more blues Southern vibe.  The Sting is solid, and she’s one to watch.

#7:  Avett Brothers = 6 starred, 13 on the list.  OK, last year I was mad they skewed my listening stats b/c I had investigated them as DMB’s Gorge opener.  And I hadn’t liked a lot of their library because they tend to scream a lot.  This year’s Magpie and the Dandilion has a nice album title, and I purposely added 13 songs to my list.  It’s more of a quiet, sweet, introspective sound this time around, a little love-lost.  I liked the seriousness the band has found.

#6:  Eminem = 1 super-starred (“Rap God”), several starred, 17 songs made the list.  The Marshall Mathers LP2 capitalizes on past fame and on current connections.  It’s heavy on featured artists and samples.  Em, has still got it though.  His raps are solid, hitting the right note between fun, catchy, and seriously making you question social issues.  I’m still a fan, even though he’s so controversial as an artist.

#5 of 2013:  Robbie Williams = 6 starred, 7 songs made the list.  He was smart to jump into the ring with Michael Buble who was the sole artist reaping the rewards of the vortex of swing/big-band.  What ever you call it, when ‘ol blue eyes was gone, so was a genre.  And Micheal Buble has certainly reaped many rewards for instilling new life into it.  Robbie Williams, I think, saw the success and left pop/electric to put out his best album to date-Swings Both Ways.  Good business decision, and surprisingly well backed up by the talent.  And a duet with Micheal Buble?  Sign me up!  He’s always a pleasant listen and one of my faves.

#4 of 2013:  Dropkick Murphys = 7 starred, 10 made the list.  They sound like a drunken Irish brawl band, high energy, lots of fight in their lyrics.  Signed and Sealed in Blood is in my top 5 for 2013, and I would get their next album in a heartbeat.

#3 of 2013:  Cher = 8 starred, 13 songs on the list.  Yes, she’s still got it.  Washed up?  Not at ALL!  Closer to the Truth is relevant, fun/clubby, yet mature and well-thought.  Her voice is clear and hopeful.  Listening to the album made me motivated to. . .  I don’t know what, but do more then dance.

#2 of 2013:  Rod Stewart = 7 starred, 8 made the list.  Rod Stewart shows that despite age, he KNOWS how to make a hit record.  Yes, the themes are slightly different–love for family, and gaining maturity.  Instead of sexy or superficial–it’s substancial and hopeful.  I’d dare to say that Time is Rod’s best album yet.  I really liked the instrumental backgrounds, the catchy hooks, and the more introspective lyrics.  I super-like most of the songs, but especially fell in love with, “Can’t Stop Me Now,” an autobiographical call to action.

#1 of 2013:  Michael Buble = 12 made the list.  Obviously, and of course.  All starred, 1 super-starred (“It’s a Beautiful Day”).  Aside from thinking Buble is genius for filling an abandoned genre, I think his music is universally pleasing.  He has a pleasant, crooning voice and a real likability within his albums.  Like his past records, I think To Be Loved appeals to a wide audience, including staple covers, duets, love songs, and even a bitter break up anthem–my afore-mentioned super-starred.  Come ’em coming Micheal I (and all the Vegas gagsta wannabes, and of course the cougars) can’t get enough!

And YES!  I did it.  I finished the listen and finished typing the list!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Long Journey Home [UU AuD Interview Part V]

23 Mar

This may be the most drawn-out series I’ve ever blogged.  I anticipate a renewed enthusiasm and follow-through on posting once I resume a normal sleep schedule.  I have just 5 more weeks of this swing-shift that kills my motivation and productivity.  And though I’ll need a (summer) job, I would be very hesitant to accept a swing or night shift position.  Especially for paltry minimum wage.

cityscape 6

Anyway, here is the story of our long, long travels back home.  It started Saturday around 7:30PM and doesn’t end until 3:30 PM Sunday.  I may never take a Greyhound again:

-it snowed–more like a wintry mix and within a half hour, there were trucks sanding the interstate highway.  I couldn’t believe it!  Even after inches of accumulation, Spokompton is slow to plow, and may never clear/sand certain roads (ours).  Leaving a snowy, muchy, icy, slick mess for weeks.  What a treat timely snow removal procedures will be!

-We got the rental car to the airport without incident.  Thank goodness.  I was still very nervous because it was a rental, the weather wasn’t perfect, we were lost, and the people of Utah drive like F@#%ing idiots.

-At the airport, we found the rapid transit pick up point, and purchased a $2.50 (for 3 hours) ticket via kiosk.  It was very simple.  What was not simple was deciding which of the colored routes we needed to follow, where the transfers might be, and where we should get off the Trax.  This is always a nerve-wracking experience when you’re unfamiliar with the city, and have never ridden their public systems.  And like all anxious passengers we got off too soon.  Then we walked in a kind of sketchy area back to a prior stop.  Which I guess we could have waited for the next Trax going the opposite direction, but we were anxious and that’s what we did.  But we calmed down at the prior stop, waited for the next Trax, and reentered.  Then we got off 2 stops later.

-This took us to the stadium where the Jazz NBA team plays.  And a game was getting out so loud fansarena dressed in Mardi Gras colors were everywhere.  I would have loved to go to a game.  BUT I had tried to purchase a single-ticket game for the Gonzaga men’s team–and they had season ticket-holders only–for more then $100.  So I figured NBA would be worse, and maybe we could win tickets on the radio or something for a special occasion. . .  We had to wait 20 minutes for a different colored line to take us to the bus station, because maybe people of Utah don’t know the rule, or maybe all the fans were drunk–but everyone pushed ON to our Trax line before we were allowed to disembark.  And our next line was just leaving.  Had they followed the rule of letting people unload first we would have made it without any wait at all. . .

-When we reached the bus station, we looked up the cost of Jazz tickets.  They range from a hundredbear down to $3.00 (depending on the seats)!!!  I was instantly disappointed, because we could have gone to Friday’s game or Saturday’s and that would have been awesome!  As it was the next home games were before we move, then October.  Damn!  Lesson learned–don’t assume.  And who does Gonzaga think they are?!

-Our dufus Cheesecake Factory waiter had not packed forks or napkins for our to-go cheesecakes.  Instead of eating them in the bus station at 10PM, we had to wait until we could get forks.  And so we did more waiting (on super-uncomfortable wood chairs) with other strange and trashy people.

-At one point, Cool had to go to the bathroom, so she left her backpack on her chair immediately next to me.  And I put my suitcase on the floor immediately in front of her chair.  This did not stop a hispanic family of 6(?) from crowding right on the rest of the row, standing in front of Cool’s chair (and me).  So when Cool came back there was no room, and I physically moved one of their suitcases from in front of Cool’s chair.  They totally tried to steal our chairs–while I was in one and obviously saving another.  PS-sure, there weren’t an overabundance of chairs, but at that time, there were 3 different groupings that were totally empty.  Why they didn’t sit in those, I can’t be sure.  I was SUPER-annoyed about it though, and let it show all over my face.  I mean Jesus–get out of our grill.  Unnecessary!

Sunday

-The forks were procured at 4:30AM.  It was slightly melty by that time, but still delicious.  And why was our waiter so incompetent when the restaurant had been it’s emptiest of all the days we were there?!

-Then, more driving, more waiting, more stops occurred.  I actually slept because this time, every passenger was solo.  So it was fairly silent.  I was exhausted and bored.  So I was able to doze much of the time.

-Cool was trying to be saucy and tease me.  She opened her mouth in a smile, then a huge stream of saliva (gleet/gleek)  arched up and landed on her jacket sleeve surprising us both.  Her eyes went from sassy to surprised and it was a large stream with rainbow trajectory.  She looked like some cartoon sea creature purposely spitting–except she and I were both shocked.  The bus was still nearly silent, but I fell into a fit of giggles that I couldn’t control.  I just kept picturing her face and the spit-fountain!  I got really giggly, and really had to fight to eventually pull myself together.  I just kept picturing her accidently doing that.

-We finally got off the bus at 3PM, and boy did it feel good to be moving out in fresh air.

-Our sad, sad cats thought we had moved.  Choco-Luv didn’t act ferrell as usual, just dramatically lovethankful we hadn’t left forever–poor thing.  Goose gave us the cold-shoulder to punish our offense, but eventually became snuggly.  We’ll never leave for 5 days again, as it was too long for the poor buddies.

Aftermath:

-I’m constantly hungry after overindulging to such an extent.  It’s like terrible-bad, hunger that’s persistent and without reason.  I must have stretched my stomach big-time, and the shrinking process is not fun at all.

-I also noticed WA is cloudy.  Which is obvious, and I notice a grey, cloudy day almost every morning, but I forgot just how dark and depressing that is.  I’ll be happy to move somewhere with more blue sky.

309379_2466606222942_1185891124_33037847_1831945920_n

-Coming back to Spokompton was a little depressing.  I just know our standard of living and quality of life in Utah will be a little better.  And I’ll get a new schedule, which seems really exciting.  So being back here in a swing-shift job, cheap apartment, bad neighborhoods, was sad.  And made me disappointed and impatient to leave again.  But as of now (mid-March, OK end of March almost a month later) as I write this, it’s all soon coming to a close.  The time for logistic concerns is fast-approaching so I’ll be distracted by that too.  It’s good, we’re good.  We are excited to move.

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