amo.says

my life in my words


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How Sweet It Is


I got to go to the Cake Wrecks “World” Tour (book signing event) at Third Place Books yesterday!

For those who have never heard of Cake Wrecks, basically:

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate – you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it’s simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I’m not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

You can check them out online HERE.

I had SO much fun at the event. I got there early to grab some grub, especially since I heard there was a BBQ joint inside the Commons area. And if you know me, and by now I hope you do, you KNOW how impossible it is for me to resist BBQ. Come on now, I may have moved to Seattle, but you can’t rob this Texas girl of her BBQ, unless of course your BBQ joint also sells shrimp and tilapia (but that’s another blog post). And though I haven’t found any good TX style BBQ yet, I’m not afraid to eat some of that yummy goodness that is BBQ. The place I went to last night, Burney Brothers BBQ, was almost Bill Miller’s quality. Not quite. It was just kinda okay. I’ve YET to find BBQ up here that can compare to Rudy’s . . . or Pok-E-Jos . . . or well, let’s face it, other ones that are better than Bill Millers. Don’t get me wrong, I still got love for Bill Millers, but given the choice, Rudy’s wins, hands down.

I could write an entire blog about TX BBQ . . . but we’ll save it. There’s sweeter things at hand . . . CAKE WRECKS! So I get done eating and head into the bookstore area and buy my Cake Wrecks book ๐Ÿ˜€ And I start reading it and I’m just laughing out loud so hard. That book is awesome! If you have a B&N or other bookstore near you, make sure you check out the book! It’s by Jen Yates.

The Q&A session was quick, but Jen and John DID get to share some of their favorites and they were some of my faves too. Then when they were done, we were instructed to get in one line and then as we passed through each station, we could go to another line. The three stations were: Book Signing, Free Cake, and the Cupcake Judging Competition. To celebrate the book signing, Jen posted a cupcake contest where people could bring in a cupcake that resembled another cake wreck from her blog. I actually got to stand in front of a lady in line whose son won one of the prizes for his “wreckplica.” It was fun being surrounded by fellow CW fans. And I must admit, I was mildly jealous of a chick who was waiting in line, cause her husband was proudly sporting a HAPPY FALKERSATHERHOOD cake wrecks shirt. I thought to myself, “Oh I hope my husband wears one of those someday.” We shall see . . .

So here are some pics from the event:

In front of Third Place Books. I stopped in to eat dinner at a BBQ joint inside. The service was crappy. The food was “meh.” But the excitement of going to the event kept me happy ๐Ÿ˜€

Got my book! It’s hilarious! Lots of new content that isn’t posted on the site. If you don’t buy the book yourself, at least look through it at the bookstore. You’ll get some good laughs ๐Ÿ˜€
This chick was introducing Jen and her husband John. She was reading from a sheet of paper. It was unrehearsed and dry. But I guess it was okay cause Jen and John totally livened things up when they took the stage.

They’re explaining some of their favorites and doing some Q&A. Even jet-lagged they’re so fun and witty ๐Ÿ˜€

The cake that started it all . . .

One of Jen’s favorites- a groom’s cake. it’s not photoshopped. it’s cake photo paper. why THAT pic? the world may never know.

A Cake Wrecks fan favoriteโ€” Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys! Seriously, who makes these things? Oh, Costco. That’s who.

Jen judging the cupcake wreckplicas that fans brought. This was just some of them ๐Ÿ˜€

Cupcake Wreckplicas! So funny!

I love the Wreckplica of the baby coming out of the flowery cake

2 bakeries joined together to provide cake for all the event attendees. it’s my first time ever having cake with cardamom in it. One had cardamom, the other was a mint chocolate chip cake. they were both YUM!

Jen signing my book ๐Ÿ˜€

Me and Jen photo op! She’s so SWEET and witty! I read cake wrecks every morning and her humor just adds to my day! ๐Ÿ˜€
Cupcake Wreckplica of the Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys!! ๐Ÿ˜€

My fave Cupcake Wreckplica! the Original post told about a mom who ordered a Transformers cake for her son. But she said instead of having Optimus Prime on there, she wanted Bumblebee instead. The cake she got had the Transformers logo and colors . . . and this bumblebee on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ guess they’ve never seen the movie. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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Bearing Witness


Last night was fun- I got to go see David Bazan play a show Live, in-store at Easy Street Records. I just gotta say, I’m so GRATEFUL that I grew up in the ATX and went to McCallum H.S. Growing up in the Live Music Capitol of the world and going to the Fine Arts Academy in the AISD really taught me a LOT about appreciating music and theater and all the other arts that are out there. I just love being able to have a connection to music and how it speaks and having the ability to connect with others through music. One of my FAVORITE things about going to live shows is meeting cool new friends who share my love for music! Another bonus is seeing other people in the crowd respond to the music . . . seeing them bob their heads, shake their hips, throw up their rock fist and all that other fun stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€

Getting to see David Bazan was really cool too. For those who don’t know, David Bazan used to head up a band called Pedro The Lion.

Following the demise of Christian indie rockers Pedro the Lion, the project’s brain trust, David Bazan, pursued a solo career that’s so far culminated in the Fewer Moving Parts EP and now Curse Your Branches, his debut full-length as a solo artist. The changes between this work and his former band are many. The moral parables that were central to his previous band have been replaced with frank lyrics about Bazan’s struggle with alcoholism and his newfound agnosticism. Musically, Pedro the Lion’s simple but sturdy guitars have been replaced with sterilizing studio tinkering, resulting, at times, in too many ideas at once. For post-Christians 30somethings looking for mediocre indie pop and heart-on-sleeve theologizing, this is a doozy of an album. (by Josiah Hughes for Exclaim!)


There’s been a lot of controversy around David Bazan in the Christian sphere, mainly because he was a Christian music artist back in the day, but is now leaning more towards agnosticism. I think it’s a silly controversy. I think that people should do their research, be informed, and realize that even though he is not in the Christian music scene anymore, it doesn’t discredit him as an artist or as a person just because he has real questions to real issues. It doesn’t make him any less of a person and it doesn’t mean that he should just be ignored. His questions should not be ignored, but should be answered by each person personally. Questions should be askedโ€”of ourselves and of others. I think that we should respect the journey of faith.

I love that I have friends and people in my life who believe different things than me. It helps me grab a hold of what I REALLY believe and why. And not just about religion, but about society, and human behavior, and government, and pop culture. I think that the fact that our current culture has brought the lines of religion into EVERYTHING they say and do proves that there is a genuine need for answers . . . we’re ALL searching for answers. We all have to KNOW what’s real and what’s right and what’s truth. We just do. And I’m really glad that I spent most of my childhood growing up with a more agnostic approach to life. Because I feel like it’s made my journey of faith more meaningful. It’s made my personal relationships more meaningful. It helps bring me perspective to different situations I’m faced with in life. I’ve had my questions. I’ve found my answers. I’ve searched out what I believe and why, and it means so much more to me because of that.

As a person who leans more towards the creative side, I write a lot of things. I write songs. I write screenplays. I write blog entries. I write letters. I think of crazy things ALL the time. And every time I do, I come under a microscope. Sometimes it’s my OWN microscope- I am TRULY my worst critic. Other times it comes from microscopes that my friends look at me through and sometimes it’s the microscope of leaders and mentors past, and other times it’s everyday people I meet on the street. But no matter who it is, the microscopes are all the same. It’s the microscope that points out where you went wrong, where you could have done better, and where you should be, in the grand scheme of what each person’s view of “success” is.

There’s a new song by Paramore on their upcoming album, BRAND NEW EYES called PLAYING GOD. You can hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/v/H9UKpzI5qc4&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1
And it’s actually one of my favorite songs from their upcoming album. Because it’s so open and real and honest. Her lyrics . . . >

If God’s the game that you’re playing
Well, we must get more acquainted
Because it has to be so lonely
To be the only one who’s holy

It’s just my humble opinion
But it’s one that I believe in
You don’t deserve a point of view
If the only thing you see is you

You don’t have to believe me
But the way I, way I see it
Next time you point a finger
I might have to bend it back
Or break it, break it off
Next time you point a finger
I’ll point you to the mirror

. . . really points it out. Everyone is a critic. Everyone has an opinion. Some are valid, but most are just white noise. The song is about a riff she had with someone in her life who had been playing the “holier than thou” card and it really got to her and caused some serious issues for her as an artist.

I only hope that as I continue to express myself in art, in life and in love, I will constantly look in the mirror, and allow others to point me to the mirror as well. And that I would be able to call this journey of life my own, but allow others to be amazing landmarks along the way. ๐Ÿ˜€


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Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

For some odd reason I’ve been listening to a lot of oldies lately. It’s CARAAAAYYYZAYYY!

Did i mention I’m drinking coffee right now? Things might get a lil’ crasey up in this blogizzle. <—see? it starts.

So i’ve decided that when I go back home to visit my friends and fam in the ATX, my first stop will be Chick Fil A, and my second stop will be HEB to pick up a bottle of honey. Because ever since I moved to Seattle, the majority of coffee shops have honey at the condiment bar. And so one day I tried the honey with my coffee, instead of sugar, and i gotta admit . . . I’M IN LOVE!!

If I could marry a condiment, honey would be my HONEY. I just add a bit to my java (does anyone even call it that anymore?) and let the good times roll! ๐Ÿ˜€ Try it! NOW! DO IT!

okay. i seriously need to be slapped in the face with a piece of pizza. Seriously. Heck, I might just walk on over to Pagliacci’s and get a slice of Prosciutto and Fig pizza and slap MYSELF in the fizzzzace!

So i’ve decided that social networking has become my best friend and my worst enemy. So it’s like a frenemy. Mainly because I’m such a jerk when it comes to people updating their statuses with misspellings and grammatically incorrect sentences. I know. I know. I’m a b.hole ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But seriously . . . I worry that some people got gypped on a good education. for instance:

> if you still wearing airforce1’s.. srry, its jus not lookie anymore
-um. i’m sorry . . . if you still wearing? and uh, what exactly does it mean to not be ‘lookie anymore?’ And don’t tell me you’re srrry. That means nothing to me.

> I am proud of having juicy lips!!! That’s sexxxc
– well hmmm. i guess it would just take too much effort to take off the triple x’s and spell it right. Oh and PS: it DOESN’T end with a “C”

Gosh. I’m a jerk. Don’t worry folks. One day, I will get over myself. Or maybe I’ll go grammatically insane and join the club of 3rd graders living in adult bodies.

PS: give yourself 90 cool points if you checked this post for grammar and spelling. I would if I were you.


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Surfin’ USA

Loved tonight’s episode of Glee! Watching the football team dance to Single Ladies was so funny!

And there was a good amount of drama and humor sprinkled throughout. However, before the show came on, I decided to flip through the channels. Here’s what I came across . . .

I watched UNWRAPPED on The Food Network tonight

I gotta admit . . . I can never look at sweets the same way again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They showed some of the melting pots and holding bins for the additives and other things used in the process of making some famous sweets and it was SO gross looking. Seeing a guy pull a ladel full of goo out of a goo crustified vat is so unappetizing. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Then I flipped the channel and came across a TV show called, “I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS PREGNANT.”

And it had this girl who didn’t know she was pregnant (obviously) who went to the bathroom and out popped the kiddo into the toilet and she left it in there cause she was freaking out. I have NO idea how crazy things like this happen. I mean, in all of my reasoning, you would KNOW that you were pregnant, but I guess not. Man. I just don’t know. I mean, it OBVIOUSLY happens often, or they couldn’t make a show about it. But man. just. wow. That is SO bizarre.

In other news, I think that learning to eat better is definitely doing a lot for me. I mean, I feel better, I breathe easier, but most of all, I’ve gained a stronger will to say no to some things that I used to just gorge on. For instance, I saw a commercial today for Olive Garden’s Never-Ending Pasta Bowl special, and seeing the food, grossed me out. I mean, I used to eat that stuff like it was going out of styleโ€”like have at least 2 refills with various sauces and pastas. But now, the thought of eating that much pasta in one setting makes me feel queasy. This is most likely a good thing. But there’s a part of me that worries that I’ll never be able to enjoy those “super fantastic tasty” foods again. But in the meantime, I’m thankful for being able to learn more about making wiser food choices. Baby steps, right?


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Locked In A Cage

Today I got to go visit the “BALLARD LOCKS.” Never heard of them? Here’s some info:

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks are a complex of locks that sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. They are known locally as the Ballard Locks after the neighborhood to their north.

The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:

* To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20โ€“22 feet above sea level (Puget Sound’s mean low tide).
* To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).
* To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.

So basically, the Locks are a series of locks and gates and such that allow boats to pass through from Lake Washington/Union into Puget Sound. Since the water level in Puget Sound is remarkably higher than that of the lakes, the Locks act as an elevator of sorts to get the boats from one body of water to the other. Also at the Locks is the Fish Ladder.

The fish ladder at the Chittenden locks is unusualโ€”materials published by the federal government say “unique”โ€”in being located where salt and fresh water meet. Normally, fish ladders are located entirely within fresh water.

When the Corps of Engineers first built the locks and dam, they changed the natural drainage route of Lake Washington. The locks and dam blocked all salmon runs out of the Cedar River watershed. (Pacific salmon are anadromous: they hatch in lakes, rivers, and streamsโ€”or, nowadays fish hatcheriesโ€”migrate to sea, and only at the end of their life return to fresh water to spawn.) To correct this problem, the Corps built a fish ladder as the locks were constructed to allow salmon to pass around the locks and dam.

The ladder was designed to use attraction water: fresh water flowing swiftly out the bottom of the fish ladder, in the direction opposite which anadromous fish migrate at the end of their lives. However, the attraction water from this first ladder was not effective. Instead, most salmon used the locks. This made them an easy target for predators; also, many were injured by hitting the walls and gates of the locks, or by hitting boat propellers.

The Corps rebuilt the fish ladder in 1976 by increasing the flow of attraction water and adding more weirs: most weirs are now one foot higher than the previous one. The old fish ladder had only 10 “steps”; the new one has 21, and a diffuser well mixes salt water in gradually through the last 10 weirs. As a part of the rebuilding, the Corps also added an underground chamber with a viewing gallery.

The fish approaching the ladder smell the attraction water, recognizing the scent of Lake Washington and its tributaries. They enter the ladder, and either jump over each of the 21 weirs or swim though tunnel-like openings. They exit the ladder into the fresh water of Salmon Bay. They continue following the waterway to the lake, river, or stream where they were born.

While I was there, I got to see a few salmon go through the fish ladder. I also got to see them jumping up out of the water wildly in Puget Sound once they got out of the ladder ๐Ÿ˜€ Guess they were happy to be in the Sound ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another part of the Locks area is a botanical garden, so I took a stroll through there as well ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are some pics from my time there today:

boats waiting to pass through the locks

Looking back to Salmon Bay from the Small Lock

The barrier between Salmon Bay and Puget Sound

The gate is opening to let the boats pass through!

The middle lock chamber is filling up with water to let the boat pass through with ease

Water is rising . . . almost time to pass through

And they’re at even level & pressure, safe to pass through!
———————

WATCHING COHO SALMON PASS THROUGH THE FISH LADDER!


——————-

Our guide who was telling us about the salmon that pass through



The Fish Ladder

Map of the area

Public Art Sculptures near the Fish Ladder ๐Ÿ˜€
——————

At the Botanical Gardens:




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Ticket To Ride

I had a blast hanging out with the Jones clan last night! We had a wonderful dinner, followed by homemade ice cream and cookies! And since I’m such a sucker for board games, we got to play a new one that they had called TICKET TO RIDE ๐Ÿ˜€


I LOVE that game! It’s got a great blend of strategy and chance without being such a “that game takes FOR-EVER!” feel. It’s definitely one I want to add to my collection! Oh, and they have a pinball machine in their house! I haven’t played pinball since I was a kid, but man, now I remember why we would spend HOURS playing pinball at Tilt (video arcade) in Northcross Mall as a kid! I also discovered that Cindy’s husband, Evan, always has a song in his head and is willing to share it out loud in the moment, which i DO TOO! ๐Ÿ˜€ Nice to know I’m not alone in my funny habits. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I always love spending time with the Jones family . . . they know how to have fun, and I can always count on fun scenic routes whenever me and Cindy are driving around ๐Ÿ˜‰ I seriously LOVE all the moments I get to share with them!

Here are some pictures from our evening:

Julianna playing with Photo Booth

She’s such a clown ๐Ÿ˜‰

Homemade Ice Cream!!!!

I tried to convince him to let me win . . . alas . . . HE WON! ๐Ÿ˜€

Making train routes all over Europe

I’m saving up to make a big line of trains!

Strategizing

I heart pinball ๐Ÿ˜€


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Life On Mars

Currently I’m at my desk eating some Chicken Pot Pie Soup and some Sugar Free Jell-O Pudding . . . but my pudding is a bit too thick and it’s kinda creeping me out. Don’t get me wrong, I ate it . . . I’m just a little worried as to why it’s so thick and not Pudding-y (is that a word? well it is now.)

So one of my guilty pleasures lately is GLEE! I am such a SUCKER for musicals. I just. Am. This morning I was walking to work, blasting DON’T STOP BELIEVING in the iPeezy. You know, why don’t you take a minute, listen to it (below) and then you can imagine JUST how peppy I was this morning ๐Ÿ˜€


I mean, c’mon. Cory Monteith is REASON ENOUGH to love watching that video a million times!

Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wrote two new songs last night! One called REPRIMAND, and one called MAYDAY.
I heart them ๐Ÿ˜€

Maybe one day when me and Cory Monteith are married we can sing it together. Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tonight I get to go hang out with Cindy J. and I’m SO excited!

And then tomorrow the game plan is to grab some mexican food at Taqueria Guaymas, which Jodi tells me is AMAZING mexican food . . . and you know me, ALWAYS on the hunt for good mexican food. Thus far, Seattle has let me down. But we shall see ๐Ÿ˜€ Then after that, I’m gonna go check out the Ballard Locks. A co-worker of mine says that this weekend is prime time to see the salmon swim up the fish ladder. I will take pics, but let’s get real, without my digital camera, they’re not gonna be AS great. But really, whaddaya do.

Oh, and for those who don’t know, someone stole my camera. But since it was stolen from my room, I’m 99.9% sure that it was either one of my housemates, their boyfriends, or a lawn gnome. And since I don’t just have an extra 200 bones laying around to blow on a new digi cam, the good ‘ol cellyphone cam.

In other news, (literally), SNL’s Saturday Weekend Update is back! And don’t get me wrong, I love Seth Meyers. But let’s get real, Amy Poehler MAKES Weekend Update. Just sayin’.

I’m also really excited about Fall TV shows premiering! Watching BONES tonight on hulu. Watched The Office this morning and laughed so hard! Glee has not disappointed yet. And Lie To Me is next week! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also just bought my tickets to see Justin Nozuka and Sam Bradley in concert in December! I’m excited!

Welp, that’s really all the random stuff I got going on lately ๐Ÿ˜€