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10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Catalyst

By | blogs, boys, dating, friends, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, memories, milestones, photography, resolutions, school, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | No Comments

Photo Feb 28, 9 43 02 PM
{the photo that always made me want to be a photographer}

Post #8 is probably the most unexpected, but there was no way I could invite a bunch of friends to post on this blog without including Mikey Q. Those of you who know us would probably be super surprised to hear we’re still friends, and those of you who don’t would never understand. We don’t do very well at keeping in touch, and we haven’t seen each other in years. But the fact of the matter is that there are so many things that just are the way they are because of the many series of events that all sort of happened as a result of our ridiculous relationship between the years of 1998 and 2008 — this blog even existing probably being one of them.

Mike and his lovely wife Stephanie are expecting their third child in just a few days, and I’m so grateful he took a little time to write this for me when he’s got so much on his plate at the moment. If you Quargs ever make it back to the east coast, I’d love to meet the rest of you some day. =)

Let’s get this out of the way early… I’m the ex-boyfriend from high school and most of College. I met Lisa during a history project where we made a Lego video called “Events of 1969″. We covered the Mets winning the World Series, Woodstock, the moon landing and more. I have to admit that it was one of the most epic history projects ever, and it brought Lisa into my life. Despite the roller coaster relationship we have had over the past 15 years, we owe each other a lot.

Admittedly, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write in a blog post about a girl I used to know so well, but have hardly spoken to in roughly seven years. My first thought was, “Why the hell does Lisa want me to write anything about her or her blog when there are many people who are surely more qualified than I am to speak about the last few years?” So I pondered…

What hit me was that we are still friends. We share a common bond from a period of life that was so fragile, so turbulent, so exciting, so frustrating, and so instrumental in who we are today that it’s not that weird for me to comment here. This was a lot of heavy stuff for a Wednesday evening. So I started typing…

Lisa asked me what my favorite blog post was. I have been so busy with my own ridiculously fast-paced life, I had really slacked off on reading it. Honestly, I lost a little interest when she started to blog heavily about fashion. The ironic part is that if it weren’t for her, I’d still be wearing green corduroys and flannel shirts. Lisa’s incredible sense of style helped me to transform my wardrobe from grungy teenager to respectable adult, and I still remember some of her rules today. She is bold and creative, and I know she has started more than a few trends with the people around her.

I figured I would go back and look for a good post that brought back happy memories. So I went to her page and did a search for “ex-boyfriend”. Some of the posts were good, but I was shocked that the 2008 resolutions post and updates showed up ELEVEN times in the results. Clearly this was a sign that I should focus on that post.

The best part is that the mention of me is a simple one. “Don’t call my ex-boyfriend.” While I cannot remember the details of why I deserved this, I am sure that I did. Thankfully, my deserved excommunication only lasted until February 18th and we were friends again by April 19th. I won’t say that this is my favorite post, but I will call it the most telling. We have both vowed not to speak to the other again, but obviously we have failed. I think we are finally at a point where we have accepted failure and realized that friendship is a much better arrangement.

Lisa and I have been unable to shake each other (despite a thousand attempts) through some of the happiest and most miserable periods of our lives. We are who we are today because of many of the lessons and experiences we have shared. Wall High, Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, Florida, The Bahamas, New Orleans, New York City, and many other places hold memories for us. Her family is full of fantastic people who deserve the best life has to offer. They accepted me despite my flaws and I have absolute respect for them. I really look up to her parents, and I owe them for helping me through many tough times, as well. At the end of the day, we wanted different things out of life. That being said, the kind of connection we had at such critical points in our lives creates a bond that lasts forever. Lisa is an incredible woman. Her happiness means a lot to me even across the tremendous distance between us.

My favorite part of her blog is that I get to share in some of that happiness and it gives me comfort to know that her commitment to being awesome has only gotten stronger!

{April 19, 2008}

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


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. =)


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


(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.


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. =)

P1010018 (2)

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. =)



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. =)