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events

10 Years Later

By | birthdays, blogs, events, friends, lj, memories, milestones, ruling at life, technological enigmas, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 3 Comments

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In case you didn’t notice all the celebrating going on around here, this blog turned 10 years old today. Ten years ago to this very day, I spent about three hours configuring my first LiveJournal, wrote a pretty short, pretty pointless post, and rushed out the door to a party.

Then all of this happened. Plus some other stuff.

And here we are, a decade later. At first when I thought about the fact that I’ve been blogging for almost a third of my life, I was surprised. I’m kind of the most noncommittal person I know. But then I remembered that I started writing in my first diary on December 25, 1987 at the age of six. Really, the only difference was that I didn’t have internet access yet.

I used to carry around these little notebooks in my purse. I would write down funny things that occurred throughout the day and refer back to them later when I was ready to type out a post. Then along came MySpace and Facebook to start draining me of all my good ideas long before I could get around to blogging them.

As the internet, social networking and blogging grew up around me, I thought maybe I could make money off my site if I blogged about more products or material objects that people could buy. I was interested in clothes and photography, so I started a second blog to write about style and fashion. I tried focusing on a topic, growing my readership, and “writing for my audience,” but I felt so materialistic and fake. Plus, keeping up with a second blog was like having a split personality. Lots of times I felt like I couldn’t live up to the persona I created on the second blog, but other times I felt completely the opposite — as though that blog wasn’t really living up to me. So, I merged all my favorite posts over to this blog, shut the second one down, and proceeded to have an eight-month-long identity crisis about the name and subject matter. =)

It’s kind of incredible that after 10 years of doing it, I’m not a better, more “successful” blogger. I don’t have thousands of followers, millions of comments or any idea how to monetize this site. That used to bother me. I thought, “People must think I’m really stupid to just write in a blog for no reason.”

But the thing is, I’ve realized I don’t care about any of those things or what anyone else thinks. I’ve always loved my blog for exactly what it is — a random collection of thoughts and anecdotes I don’t mind sharing with the world. Concentrating on one topic is so not my strong suit. Clothes, food and vacations are not what defines me as a person. And as for my audience…no offense, but I don’t really care what you want to read. Because there’s no one on this earth that loves to read this blog more than I do. And if I could only read one blog for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Over and over again. I assume that if you come here, you want to read whatever I write, and I’m the best at writing when I’m writing whatever I want.

That being said, it also turns out having other people write my blog posts isn’t such a bad idea either. I had these grand plans about choosing my 10 favorite posts and sharing them with you, but then I realized I’m way too narcissistic to pick just 10 favorites. So, I delegated that task to some of my favorite friends/loyal readers. I’m getting better at that — delegating. =)

I’m so grateful for all of my guest bloggers over the last 10 days. All your posts made me feel like I was hosting the best party in the world, where my blog was the guest of honor and all my favorite people were in attendance. And since most of you are either expecting newborns, scattered around the country, or way behind on your Christmas shopping, having you all right here was the perfect alternative to celebrating in real life. Cheers to you, my friends. Your words are worth a thousand pictures in this case, and here’s hoping we’ll all be sitting around re-reading them for the next 10 years.

So, there you have it. Ten years, 722 published posts, 1,684 comments, and I have no idea how many views because there was no way to track that until 2010. Coming up next: the usual Year in Review, Final Resolution Update of 2013 and next year’s list. Oh, and whatever the f- else I feel like posting. =)

I hope you’ll stick around, but I’ll still be here writing either way.

Peace out.

Lisa

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: working_sy accomplished
And I’m singin’ along to: She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Little Cousins

By | concerts, conversations, events, fabio the hamster, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, las vegas, links, little cousins, lj, memories, milestones, music, ruling at life, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 4 Comments

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Guest post #2 comes to you from two of the four infamous little cousins. There are actually a lot more little cousins in my family, but I’d bet money this blog wouldn’t exist right now if I hadn’t spent three months living with these cousins in Vegas back in 2004. They were a constant source of entertainment and my inspiration to write every single day while I was out there. Sometimes I posted three times a day just because they made me laugh so hard.

Courtney: Shortly after moving out to Las Vegas, NV my siblings and I were informed that our cousin Lisa was going to be moving in with us for a while.

Kristin: I will always remember when my mom told us that Lisa was moving in with us. We could hardly wait for her to arrive, and all of us kids thought we were so cool, having our big cousin as a houseguest. We were all CRAZY excited, but we didn’t know how awesome it would be. Just the prospect of having our older cousin living with us was cool enough. Like the nerds Courtney and I were, we ran around the block bragging to our neighbors/friends that Lisa was moving in.

Courtney: My little sister’s room was quickly transformed into sleepover central when the bunk beds were put in along with a sweet TV with TiVo, (and, of course, Fabio the hamster).

Kristin: One of the best nights Lisa told us that she had a surprise for us and that she was taking us out for the night. After finding out we would be leaving soon, Court and I scrambled to figure out what to wear.

Courtney: My mom dressed me up in an outfit I would absolutely regret wearing later that night. Let me paint you a picture, I was wearing jeans a black t-shirt with a purple sparkly oversized cardigan. I looked like a Grandma.

Lisa: Oh, you don’t have to paint a picture. Here you go. =)

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Kristin: Lisa did our hair and makeup, and then we were off. Lisa brought us into the House of Blues restaurant, where we ate delicious food and had some killer Banana Pudding for dessert.

Courtney: As we were finishing up dinner, she surprised us with tickets to the Simple Plan/MxPx concert.

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Kristin: It was the best night EVER! When Lisa surprised us with the tickets, and we FREAKED OUT. It was the coolest thing, and we were OBSESSED with Simple Plan.

Courtney: We had been obsessing over Simple Plan for months. Obsessing includes buying trucker hats, patches for the hats, buying posters, buying wrist bands, and blasting music in the car.

Kristin: It’s true. We were OBSESSED with Simple Plan. It was an amazing show, but Courtney passed out for the last band, MXPX. We laughed so hard, because it was so loud, and so exciting, but Court was sound asleep.

Courtney: I didn’t fall asleep for the entire last band! After shrieking and screaming lyrics while Simple Plan performed, it was time for MXPX to take the stage, and it turned out I couldn’t hang. MXPX, quite literally the loudest band ever, were awesome, but I found my mind and body had different things in mind. I wanted to dance and yell, but my body decided that falling asleep during a concert was a better idea—and that was just sad. While I never actually fell asleep, I remember sitting back on the seat for one song because I was so tired.

Kristin: Whatever, Court.

Courtney: Upon arriving home, we proudly told our parents that we were partially deaf from the loudness of the concert, and then proceeded to fall asleep while Lisa wrote a blog entry about our excursion.

Kristin: All in all it was probably the coolest thing we’d ever done while living in Vegas.

Courtney: It was my first real concert and Simple Plan was definitely some of the best performers I’ve seen live.

Kristin: There were a ton of other perks that accompanied Lisa living with us. Courtney, Ellie, and I convinced my mom for a few weeks that Fridays were OPTIONAL school days, so instead of school we went to the Fashion Show Mall.

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Courtney: We would tell her, “Friday this week is optional! I swear we’re watching movies in every class!”

Kristin: Lisa drove us around Vegas while we screamed the words to countless Sugarcult and Simple Plan songs.

Courtney: There really was nothing like screaming “Stuck in America” by Sugarcult to the guards at the gate in our neighborhood.

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Kristin: Looking back now, that was most likely TOTALLLY embarrassing for you L, BUT IT WAS AWESOME for us.

Lisa: Not as embarrassing as the day you idiots started ripping the security stickers off the CDs at Barnes & Noble and throwing them through the detector to set the alarms off. Or the day you wouldn’t stop going up the down escalator at the mall and then I had to take you to Build-A-Bear

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Kristin: Lisa drove us to the movies, she took us out to eat, and she took us to SKYZONE! Wall-to-wall trampolines, you can’t find anything much more awesome than that. We would look forward to Lisa taking us there all week. And once again we thought we were so cool every time Lisa took us out somewhere.

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Courtney: We wouldn’t have done half of the stuff we did if she didn’t live with us. We would have never discovered the trampoline place, or have gone to the concert, or play American Idol by the pool with heels on. It would have been dull without her there.

Kristin: Samantha’s room was the THE PLACE to be in our house, because that’s where Lisa was.

Lisa: The craziest things happened in that room. I mean, what are we doing here? Am I singing into the TiVo remote?

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Kristin: She showed us the ways of TiVo, and introduced us to “America Dreams”, as well as countless bands and songs we’d never heard before.

Courtney: The best nights were when “American Dreams” would be on and all of us girls would be glued to the TV for the hour it was on, or when Simple Plan would debut their new videos on MTV and we would watch them over and over again. It absolutely amazed us that Lisa could rewind live TV — we never had TiVo before.

Kristin: We also watched and giggled as she posted on her LiveJournal every night. The stories on the blog about Vegas never get old. Fabio the hamster is a classic, and it still cracks me up every time.

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(Here is a picture of Fabio the hamster, a brief mention of him potentially being in imminent danger, a long post about him being in imminent danger, and a short post about him being in imminent danger.)

Lisa: You know what else was embarrassing? The fact that I drove around with that stupid tumbleweed in the rear window of the Malibu the entire time I lived there.

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Kristin: I must say though, that the most memorable thing that happened while Lisa lived with us was the dildo incident.

Lisa: Nothing is more embarrassing than the fact we are suddenly discussing a dildo on the front page of my blog right now.

Kristin: I am confident in saying that it was the FUNNIEST moment of my life. I went to college in 2008 and one night we were telling funny stories, and of course, I told the dildo story. I wanted to tell it just right, so I got onto Lisa’s blog and read it from there. Everyone lost it. I could hardly read it though the tears I was laughing so hard. It was just so ridicules. Dinner screeched to a halt when our neighbor, Shelli, came busting through our front door and started shouting for my parents. Everyone though Samantha and Amy must have died or done something terribly wrong, but it turned out that they were outside on their motor scooters with a giant dildo in their hands. Lisa and I decided to stay and eat, but the laughter and screams of outrage from my dad clued us in. We both just sat there laughing while listening to all the yelling.

Courtney: I love that Lisa blogged while we were out in Las Vegas because every time I get bored I’ll click on one of the many Fabio stories, or other memories from Vegas and smile. It was one of my favorite places to live and I love reading about all of the crazy and silly things we did.

Lisa: Here I am blogging in Vegas. Can’t say much has changed. I sit on the couch now. =)

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Kristin: Looking back through Lisa’s blog is like reliving Vegas and all the adventures she took us on. And half the time the stories were so crazy that no one believes them until we steer them toward her blog. That year in Vegas was the most fun out of them all, and I’m not just saying that. It really was, and I miss it!!!! Everyone stay tuned for the crazy stories to come when we get the old group back together and party in Vegas!! (WE HAVE TO DO THIS.)

Lisa: Oh, that is definitely happening. If only so I can document the entire experience right here. Thank you guys so much for this. You two, Sam and Franky are the best cousins a girl could ask for, and I miss you! I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks. =)

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{2012}

Finale

By | concerts, events, fourth wave, hot lead singers of bands, music, norfolk, videos | No Comments

It’s been almost ten years since my brother introduced me to Streetlight Manifesto, which has been hands down one of my favorite bands ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to see them in concert at least five times in NJ, Virginia and Maryland since 2004, two or three of those with my brother. Saturday night, I saw Tomas Kalnoky and his Streetlight cohorts for possibly the last time all together — or at least the last time in a long time — since they’re going on an indefinite hiatus when they finish up this tour.

Unfortunately, Stephen missed this go around because he’s out to sea, so while I don’t normally take the time to record videos of concerts with my phone, I did this time, so I could share some of them with him when he gets back.

The concert was amazing, but bittersweet because, let’s face it, whether they’re blaring their original songs, rocking TK’s old Catch-22 material, or covering Paul Simon tunes, they’re such ridiculously talented musicians. But who knows — maybe now there’s hope that BOTAR will someday release their second album, and in the meantime, I’ll be indulging in Toh Kay‘s toned down, acoustic versions of some of his best work — those are more my speed these days anyway. =)

Everybody Loves a Good Wedding

By | events, lifestyle, partying like a rock star, summer | One Comment

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Great people, great weather, great food, and great music. What more could you ask for? Great cigars, great lighting, great friends, and great dancing, I suppose. And maybe just one guest with a real camera. #cellphonesareoverrated =) Congrats again to Kailey & JJ, and thanks for inviting me to your beautiful wedding!

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Virginia International Tattoo

By | events, music, norfolk | No Comments

2010 VIT Finale C.Nate Kennison

Yesterday afternoon, a co-worker offered us last-minute VIP tickets to the Virginia International Tattoo — an event I’ve been wanting to attend for years. This particular tattoo has nothing to do with permanent ink markings, but everything to do with massed pipes and drums, military bands, and many other talented singers, dancers and performers from around the world. As part of the Virginia Arts Festival, the 2013 Virginia International Tattoo — comprised for more than 900 members from six different nations — will grace the Norfolk Scope with performances through Sunday.

Having spent many an autumn night in my lifetime marching with the band on a high school football field, as well as a solid week in college documenting and photographing the cadet drill team for a feature article, I have the utmost appreciation for the show I saw last night. My favorite numbers included the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band performing “In the Mood” fronted by the OzScot Australia Dance Team; the French Paratroopers Band executing some very snazzy dance moves as they played a tango; and the Band and Drill Team of His Majesty The King’s Guard impeccably marching and twirling their rifles in perfect time. I also really enjoyed all of the bagpipes and, of course, the ridiculously amazing massed band finale.

If you’re in the area this weekend, and you’re looking for something to do, the Virginia International Tattoo has shows tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. =)

Enjoy the weekend!

Virginia International Tattoo 2011, c. David Polston 101

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All images courtesy of Virginia International Tattoo.