Friday, January 29, 2010

Going "Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey"

As previously mentioned, I love the band Phoenix HARD. They are pretty much my favorite thing in the world right now. If you ask me "Hey want a cookie or want to listen to Phoenix?" I would pick listening to Phoenix. Now, cheese...that's a different story, but I digress.

These fine young Frenchman came and played in my backyard last night over at The Joint. The show was a-maz-ing which was not at all shocking. They put just enough variety into the songs that it made you feel like you were at a live show and not just listening to the c.d. in your car, although the sound quality was that good. Their energy was non-stop and we danced. And then we danced. And then we danced some more.

Then we got on stage. Hey, if the opportunity presents itself...I'm there. How many times in my life will I get to look out at a crowd of a few thousand with their hands thrown in the air, having the times of their lives? Three or four, if I'm lucky!

And like most shows I go to at The Joint, it was also like a mini high school reunion and that just made it that much more the better. Surrounded by a number of my favorite people, listening to my favorite band...this, my friends, is the good life.

And I toast to you a good life all weekend long :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wall Art

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by creative people. I am also lucky that I have no problem taking complete advantage of said people. I am especially lucky that one of these people is my best friend, Lobo, and she knows it's not really like that.

I got some wall art for Christmas from Etsy. When I saw it on the site I was like LOVE LOVE LOVE. I'd had a vinyl chandelier from Urban in my old place and it really adds so much to a room that you can't paint. And as a renter, this is my predicament. The solution? Said wall art and a Lobo.

When the art showed up, it was in about 20 different pieces, each individual flower needed to be placed, pealed and tuned to the wall. I immediately felt overwhelmed. Basically, I was presented with having to create a mural. Usually, how art hanging goes in my place is pretty random and I've been lucky enough to have it all work out so far but this, this project needed a professional.

So after a lovely dinner at In-N-Out, Lobo came back to my place to help me with the task at hand. She immediately picks up paper and starts making a mock-up on my wall and the flowers. She draws three options, we decide on one and start working away. It's amazing to me that she can look at 20 different loose pieces, visualize it and create something magical. Her mind works in a different way and I love witnessing it. 1/2 the things she was suggesting about the shape and how it was all going to come together, I responded with "want a cookie?"

Now, I know what this looks like but really, I helped, too. I just had to document the process at the same time to share with all of you. Those vinyls were quite the pain in our asses. We started by positioning them with tape on the wall, then peeling off the back, sticking it to the wall, going over it with multiple items (credit card, knife, books, etc.) until they stuck and then peeled off the top layer. Doesn't sound too difficult, right? Oh, except for the fact that I choose FLOWERS with INDIVIDUAL PETALS. But, a short 90 minutes later and we were done.

It really brought the room to LIFE and is like my own little garden now. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

So thank you, THANK YOU, thank you to my And More, Lobo, for lending her incredible talents to my living room for a Wednesday evening. I can't wait to buy you a drink or five ('cause we need an excuse for that...) for all of your help. Or play games all night. Your pick :)

Friday, January 22, 2010


As previously noted, Vegas actually experienced some weather this week. The air feels crisp and clean and the sky continues to change brilliantly on an hourly basis. Here is a shot from this morning on my drive to Sbux/work. It looks just heavenly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Biggest Little City in the World

It's been raining in Vegas for the past four days. I love the rain but mostly because we never get it. So day four rolls in with the storm and I start having flashbacks.

Dark, gloomy, not much to do....


For those of you who do not know, I lived in Reno, NV for an entire four months of my life. I was straight outta high school and Linzi and I decided to head north. We were looking for adventures of college stories and dorm rooms but what we got was, well, Reno.

Now, I am not going to blame it on all Reno. Linzi and I went up there TOGETHER. As BESTIES. We got a room together in the New Dorm which had our very own bathroom so we wern't even forced into the situation to have to make friends in the facilities. We had 300 square feet all. to. ourselves. What did we do in such a tiny, tiny room? Oh, let's see...we ATE (can we say Freshman 22?), ate A LOT of Domino's pizza and I love that, at the time, we weighed between 100-115 pounds and the two of us would polish off an entire order of Cheesybread, a large cheese pizza and Cinnastix. Every Thursday if not Tuesday and Friday, too. There was the Awful Awful in the little Nugget, too, which had a CRAZY delicious grilled cheese (catching a theme here? I didn't name my blog after nothing). Oh and the ice cream vending machine that would always give me the wrong order and Linzi would end up eating my rejects until I finally got that Strawberry Shortcake Popsicle I was waiting for. Ok so that covers the eating part. What else did we do? Oh, yes, take shots of Captain Morgan Parrot Bay out of Dixie cups that Linzi's mom had sent to us (not for the rum, I would imagine).

And this. We did a whole lotta this. One of us lying on our bed while the other was being SILLY.
We rearranged the room several times. One of those times including the bunk bed incident. Now, as an only child, all I ever wanted in my childhood was a brother and a bunk bed so you can imagine my JOY that I now had the opportunity to make that dream come true with Linzi as a stand-in for the brother part. "Do you want top or bottom?" "Top. Wait. No. Bottom. Wait. No. Top. But what if I fall off??" (these double stacked beds reached almost to our ceiling and I would guesstimate would be a 20 foot fall to the floor). "You're not going to fall off, Kate. That's ridiculous. People don't fall off of bunk beds." Rolls eyes.

So, there I am. First night up. N*Sync poster next to my head, cozy underneath my pink sheets with a zebra blanket to keep out that bitter Renoness. The giant alarm clock so I could actually read the numbers without putting on my glasses was glowing in the distance. I was sound asleep and then OMG OMG OMG I'm FALLING!!! You guys, I woke up with 2/3 of my body hanging off the edge as my body almost tumbled through infinity to the floor. LUCKILY, I saved myself. So, for the record, people DO fall out of bunk beds.

What did you guys do on the weekends? Pardon? You know, on the weekends, what did you guys do? Frat parties? Getting to know the city? Study groups? Oh, no, we flew home. What? Yes, we flew home to Vegas. Almost every weekend. Why? Boyfriends. How? Car accident settlement. I spent two weekends in Reno. Two weekends. And I'm pretty sure one of them was forced due to September 11th.

There were a lot of tears. You know love at age 18. I had finally nailed Stevie B. down. He was mine, all mine and I had to leave him? For COLLEGE? How AWFUL! But Linzi and I had a pact. We were going to stick it out the whole year. Give it some time to grow on us. Do it for our parents.

God DAMN it's cold. It's Ok, we'll get used to it. There is nothing to do. Wanna walk to the Circus Circus? Again? Sometimes, we would just hold each other. Now, I know how this sounds. But we had NO HUMAN CONTACT other than each other. So we would stand in our tiny room and just hug it out. HOMESICK. We were homesick, lovesick little girls. And one night, Linzi broke down and called her parents "I want to come home."

Oh. HELL. NO. Girl, you CANNOT leave me. There is no way I am staying without you! Within 5 minutes I was on the phone, BALLING to Pep, "Ma, I just can't. I can't. I'll DIE up here. Alone. All alone. I want to come home. Please. Please. Just let me come home." "You know you're going to have to get a job if you come back." "Yes, yes, of course." "Ok, call your father." And that day is the day that I broke my father's heart.

If I could go back and do it all differently, I would.

100%. I would have given it the whole year. I didn't really get a "college experience". Don't get me wrong, living out my early 20's in Vegas certainly got me a lot of experiences and everything happens for a reason but I would have stayed. I would have given that biggest littlest city in the world more of a chance. Given my college life more of a chance. I left one of the best journalism schools in the country, free rent (well parents paid), no job, an hour from Tahoe, four to San Fran to come back to....

Oh, right, my LIFE. Life that may have been a completely different life with that one decision. But, you know, this's a pretty good one.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I was driving to Downtown LV last night and almost crashed my car 15 + times trying to capture the pure MAGNIFICENCE that was the Vegas sky last night. About a year ago, I remember noticing that the sky above the MGM, when it was foggy, would turn bright green and made the sky look like the Wicked Witch of the West was coming for us all. The weather was just right for this to take form last night and THEN there was red added to the view and I immediately thought "OMG CityCenter is on fire!" Seriously. I thought CityCenter was burning. I have never seen a sky like this before. It was breathtaking. I was trying so desperately to capture the essence of it and then I remembered the QUADcamera (there is an app for that) and here is the magic.

Vegas Sky

Vegas Street

Thursday, January 14, 2010

United State of Pop.

Entertainment Weekly (aka: my bible) suggested this to me as a Top 10 for the Week and they were RIGHT ON.

I found this mash-up absolutely GENIUS and it is so interesting how simple pop music can be. Listen to how closely all the themes relate and so easily they meld into one (very enjoyable) piece.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Weekend of Sangria, Shoppin' and Singin'

My dearest Lisa Marie came in town this past weekend to visit for the first time in over a year. It was great to have her here and it was a non-stop giggle fest of a weekend.

She arrived late Friday so after Lauren and I had stuffed our faces at Brio at Town Square, we met Lisa at my place for some late-night cocktails and a catch-up session. Saturday morning, we rised and shined (well, maybe not so much on the shined part...) and headed to Red Rock for a hike with the pups. It was an absolutely beautifully clear day.

Gordon hearts Lauren's dog, Stink. I was so proud of my little guy since I was nervous about letting go of his leash, thinking he would take off for Mt. Charleston as soon as I let him loose but instead, he would just run to walk RIGHT NEXT TO Stink. Cutest thing ever.

The rest of Saturday was spent with Lisa and I shopping up a storm at H&M and then heading to Firefly at the Plaza for some tapas and sangria. I love that place so hard. I would eat there every single day if I could. Not to mention, for five of us, the bill was like $60 INCLUDING A PITCHER OF SANGRIA.

We then headed down the road to Don't Tell Mama (SHOCKING, I KNOW). Lisa had never experienced my happiest place on Earth and she fell just as hard as I did for it. Bianca was singing her big heart out for us as Dre kept the drinks flowin' and we kept the camera flashin' :)

Sunday was spent just as Sundays should be spent. Eating.

We had such a fabulous time and I feel very lucky to have gotten the chance to spend some quality time with my besties within the first few weeks of 2010. Now, where is that PY??

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello, 2010.

If you know me, you know that I take New Year's pretty freakin' seriously. Not nearly as seriously as June 7th but seriously enough that I had poor little Linzi freaking out on the drive back to her house NYE thinking we weren't going to make it in time. "I just cannot be in the car at midnight. I'll freak out without champagne."

Yeah, this is one of two days a year that I'll accept it if you call me high maintenance.

A few years ago, I decided that I liked being out of town to celebrate the New Year. Vegas is like the second destination for celebrating but as a local, it gets pretty overwhelming and you can't drive anywhere. So the past few years have been spent at cabins - Brianhead, Lauren's Mt. Charleston - so we kept with the theme this year and headed out to Denver (Pine, CO to be exact) to visit the Wicklers in their new house.
It was here that we toasted to 2010.

This photo just gets me every time because Lauren just happened to make another 2010 toast at the exact moment I was trying to capture the Wicklers' New Years kiss. Totally typical of us.

The trip was great. We spent the first day (NYE day) meeting Andy (cousin) and Michael (Linzi's brother) for lunch and then we headed to Bakers St. Pub for some mid-day beer and darts. By 7 p.m., the excitement of New Years had already gotten ahead of me and I was forced to drink water (HOW AWFUL!) to sober up before the big night. The evening consisted of a house party hosted by Linzi's family and then a champagne midnight toast (see Linzi, we totally made it back in time, everything is fine!) at the Wicklers followed by a few hours of Cranium and lots and lots of LOLs.

New Year's Day was spent RECOVERING with my good friends from JERSEY SHORE. I can't think of a better way to spend the first day of the year than watching The Situation and Pauly D fist pump and watching Snooki get punched out for the 15th time. That evening we headed to a Mexican restaurant for margaritas and dinner and then out to the Denver Botanic Gardens where for $1 you can purchase 3-D glasses that change all the lights into bells, snowflakes, snowmen, etc. This made for some GREAT photo ops.

Saturday brought something I never thought I would LIVE TO SEE THE DAY. You guys, this is a photo of Lauren and I on the way to the mountain to SNOWBOARD.

Say WHA?!? I know, I know. I was shocked too but what was NOT shocking was what a natural she is. After just two runs she's like "Sure, I'll go to the top." It took me like THREE years to get to that point and then she was riding her TOE EDGE. This girl just OWNS everything she puts her mind to. This is why she is AND MORE. But seriously, to be at Keystone with Andy, Linzi, Josh and Lauren...have I mentioned how awesome I think 2010 is?!?

Then it took us 5.5 hours to get back to the house from the mountain but we kept ourselves well entertained with a game or 65 of 'Would You Rather' (there is an app for that).

So far, so good. I'm totally feeling this whole TWENTY TEN thing. And with Lisa Marie arriving tonight for a Vegas's just going to keep getting better.