Wednesday, October 24, 2012

austin city limits [festival]

and now for some highlights from the actual festival:

- great shows on friday from first aid kit, tegan and sara, florence and the machine and the black keys
- banh mi's from the food court
- water filling stations and cooling fans
- purchasing an official acl koozie, fueling my new obsession for these objects
- being in an instagram rich environment
- chicken cones from the food court
- being well prepared for the rain on saturday
- purchasing a water proof blanket
- finding waldo
- random conversations with complete, but friendly, strangers
- jack white performing "seven nation army" on saturday night
- an amazing performance from the civil wars on sunday
- watching the avett brothers put on one of the best shows i've seen at acl
- chad smith from the red hot chili peppers playing drums for the avett brothers for a few songs
- reliving most of my childhood by rocking out to the the red hot chili peppers as they closed the festival
- hanging out with friends


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

austin [city] limits festival

this year found me traveling to the great city of austin a fifth time to attend the acl music festival.  what can i say, i love the music and i love the town.  my gracious austin host knows this, and thoughtfully plans out the weekend so we not only enjoy the festival, but also take in places and restaurants she's discovered the past year.  two very different sides of the same city. for that reason i've decided to split this annual post into two different ones; one focusing on the town, the other, the festival.  also, as i find myself ever glued to my iphone, i took way to many photos for just one post and needed to divide it up a bit.

some [city] highlights this year:

- having an influx of gluten free, organic, and vegan food items
- drinking kale smoothies
- walking 2nd street, and seeing a very well done pedestrian friendly street scape
- discovering new restaurants, including whip in and walton's fancy & staple
- live music everywhere, including the wine section of whole foods
- spending an evening at the highball, a retro style bowling alley/bar
- sitting in the studio of my favorite morning radio show, the bobby bones show
- chatting up and befriending bartenders, and having them give you the inside scoop on "the bats"
- great coffee every single morning
- spending time and catching up with great friends
- inside jokes

Monday, October 22, 2012

[first aid kit] for unexpected situations

music is a wonderful thing.  it brings people together; it connects them.  the divisions we sometimes find between each other can be reduced to nothing with just a few beautifully played notes.

the other week, my friends and i went to see "first aid kit".  if you've never listened to this band, do yourself a huge favor and you tube, google, or spotify them then sit back and enjoy.  the band is comprised of two swedish sister's whose harmonies are absolutely angelic.  if this isn't enough to entice you, their latest album was influenced heavily by american folk music paying homage to emmlyou harries, june carter, and johnny cash, with hints of simon and garfunkel throughout the album.

not only did the beautiful sounds of "first aid kit" fill the walls of the granada turning a random tuesday night into a memorable one, their music also accomplished that wonderful thing music can do; it connects people, or in the case of this particular night, reconnect people.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


it always feels amazing to accomplish a goal.  this summer, my goal was to run a 5k in a relatively decent time and without serious injury.  last week, i did.

this goal came about for several reasons.  first of all, as much as i try to deny it, the fact is i am getting older.  now being firmly on the first step on the 30's staircase, i decided i needed to take better care of my health.  around the time of my birthday, i found myself working out several times a week on the elliptical machine.  second reason, my friends.  i have no idea how it happened but my friends are all very fit, always running and playing soccer.  it didn't occur to me how out of shape i was until last june, when they all participated in a warrior dash.  looking at the course, i felt there was no way i could complete it and opted to stand on the sidelines and take pictures.  yelling and cheering for my friends as they jumped over fire and crawled through mud, i was a little sad.  i wished i could have been out there with them.  i wanted to have that anxious look they all had before the race, and i wanted to have that feeling of accomplishment they all had as they crossed the finish line.  by the end of june, i switched from the elliptical machine to running.  lastly if you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember my first attempt at a 5k several years ago.  if not get caught up here.  it was far from a good run, as my time was horrible and my legs hurt for three days. i was anxious to wipe that run from my record.  i continued running throughout the summer, and increased from doing just a mile to running 3.1 miles several times a week.

the other weekend, my friends and i participated in the rosstober run, which takes place in the beautiful college hill area of wichita.  we all kept pace with each other for the first half mile, but slowly started to set into our individual paces.  as nervous as i was, it was apparent my training had really helped.  it didn't feel nearly as long as the race five years ago, and i was pleased to see the people i was running next to seemed to be in good shape.

now i was never what you'd call the "athletic" type.  i spent most of high school in the dark room and theater, so there have been very few times in my life where i had to compete using just my athletic ability.  my time was 31:17, which is nothing to write home about, but as i crossed the finish line, the feeling of accomplishment was amazing, and was worth every minute of training.  also the free beer and bratwurst every runner received was an added bonus.

the really scary thing is how much i enjoyed it.  i plan to keep up with running, and would love to get my time under 30 minutes.  also being of german decent, i plan to look for more races offering beer and bratwurst, as it's the perfect carrot to dangle in front of me.

Monday, October 08, 2012

[chili] weather

i'm not sure if it's a "mid-west" thing, or if it was just my school, but when i was younger, chili and cinnamon roll day was by far the best lunch day on the calender.  hardly anyone brought their lunch and most of the trays were returned to the lunch lady completely cleaned, and it didn't stop at school.  throughout the fall, our little town would host large community chili dinners before football games. believe me, these events were where you wanted to be on a friday night, as it seemed the whole town would be there.

chili is just one of those meals.  a meal for a group. a meal to be enjoyed among friends, and really, it makes sense, you can't cook just a "little" chili.  the ingredients, preparation, and time needed to make a decent batch makes it worthy of a large group.  also, who wants to waste that wonderful room filling aroma on just a single nose.  a beautiful bouquet like that just beckons to be breathed in by a whole bevy of buddies.  in autumn, the scent of chili cooking is the perfume every home should be wearing.

secondly, chili in my mind signals the true start of fall.  a time when the temperature starts to drop, and you find yourself ditching the flip-flops and looking for a your favorite hoodie instead.  a time where the adventures of the spring and summer start to be stories told around the dinner table.

with all of these wonderful qualities chili possesses, it's no surprise wichita's downtown chili cook-off is one of my favorite days of the year.  the streets of downtown are filled with the sweet scent of chili cooking, and people venture out to enjoy one of the last weekends of perfect weather.  it has become a bit of a tradition amongst my friends to partake in this event, and this year was no different.  chili was sampled and enjoyed by all, and a few of us even entered the mr and miss chili pepper contest.  after sampling spoonful after spoonful of this september stew, it's also now a tradition to sit on our favorite patio and wash it all down with long island ice tea's.

good times, chili cook-offs.

Monday, October 01, 2012 you've been [here] before

last week a group of us traveled to lawrence to watch [the lumineers] perform.  the show was incredible and having that many friends around only made it better.  naturally i was going to blog about the show, but as i was reminiscing about the concert and uploading photos, it occurred to me, i had taken nearly identical pictures several years earlier when i attended my first lawrence concert.  finding my old ticket stub, i realized it was almost seven years to the day since then.  reading back over the blog i had written about that show, i had to chuckle at how similar the situation's were.  a road trip with friends, running a little late, great music, eating dinner on the sidewalk of mass street, and ending back at home around 2am.

on the surface a lot has changed in the seven years between these two shows.  people have come and gone into my life, experiences gained, memories made...lessons learned.  however looking at these photos side by side makes me wonder if not as much has changed as i think.  i've still got amazing friends who enjoy great music, always up for a road trip and apparently don't mind eating dinner on the sidewalk.

maybe it's true what they say, the more things [change] the more they remain the [same]...except technology. it was extremely more convenient taking these photos with my iphone instead of the 2 megapixel brick i lugged around back then.

also, for the lumineers show, we all opted to sit in the balcony instead of standing all packed in on the floor. this might be a sign of older age, but it really was more comfortable.