amo.says

my life in my words


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She’s Amazing

Pull up a saddle and lemme learn ya’ somethin’ gewd.

I figure now’s as good a time as any to let y’all know somethin’

Lately, I’ve really been missing home. 

It’s a thing. :-/

There’s just something about the hooplah of the heavy fall holiday season that makes me think about snuggling on the couch with my family, drinking hot apple cider and eating pumpkin pie and watching A Nightmare Before Christmas. In fact, my menu plan for next week involves some Hatch Green Chile sauce from one of my favorite hometown Tex-Mex eateries—Chuy’s! And still another one involves pico . . . but not just any pico . . . no—family style pico! Yep, I sent a request out to my Auntie O to hook me up with the recipe our family uses to make Pico De Gallo so that I can heap it on top of my Taco Salads next week. I just really miss those family get-togethers that are chock full of laughs, inappropriate comments, and loads of Tex-Mex and BBQ comfort foods.

Thankfully, I’ve got friends in low places who just so happen to love me and show it in some incredible ways! Speaking of, ladies and gents, please meet my gorgeous friend, SHEAH!

Sheah and I met when we both attended Master’s Commission. She was in Metroplex MC and I was in MC Austin. Our two MC programs would spend a LOT of time working together and hanging out, and Sheah was just one of those people I adored from the start! She is super sweet and snarky and knows how to help you turn that frown upside down faster’n you can wrassle a hog! But seriously—she’s a gem! Even as I’ve been on this health journey, she’s been such an encouraging inspiration to me. I mean, c’mon . . . just look at her go!

Photo by Joshua David Photography | http://joshuadcurtis.com

BEAST MODE! 

 

Photo by Joshua David Photography | http://joshuadcurtis.com

We have many things in common, but the one we’re gonna talk about today is our mutual love for the great state of Texas. Yes, my friends, even though I live here, I still claim Texas. It’s a thing. I’m pretty sure it will always be a thing. There is so much truth to the statement:

You can take the girl outta Texas,
but you can’t take the Texas outta the girl

Why what ever could this beeeeeee??

A while back, I saw something fun on Pinterest and I mentioned that I wanted to order one. Sheah informed me that it was available at H.E.B. I realized I’d have to wait until next summer when I go back to visit Texas to get it, so I told her that and she asked for my address. Then, last night, much to my surprise, I got a package in the mail! I wasn’t sure what it was because I had recently ordered so many things online that I lost track of what was coming when. So you can just imagine how giddy I got when I opened up my prize box to find these Texas treasures:

 

TEXAS BLINGGGGGG!!! 😉

 

Y’all, she sent me some serious loot!!
I LOVE my Texas Goodie Box!! 😀

In the box was a Texas shaped cutting board—just like the one I had re-pinned and longed for from a distance on Pinterest! Not only did she send me the cutting board I so dearly wanted, she also sent some extra goodies!

 

The postcard reads: Amanda— Hope this Texas hug finds you well—get to choppin’ some veggies on this thing! ♥ Love much — Sheah

I love my bonus I Heart TX Oven Mitt and UT Refrigerator Calendar

Yeeeee hawwww!!

I definitely got the biggest Texas hug and it still has me feeling warm and fuzzy! 

It feels great to have a little more of my hometown stealin’ the show in my kitchen! 😉

 

I am so thankful for incredible friends like Sheah! She reminds me what it is to be

Caring

Compassionate

Giving

Properly Improper

Beautiful Inside and Out

A Dreamer

Someone Who Lives “Outside of the Box”

A Down-Home-Texas Girl

Fun-Loving

and just plain TOUGH! 😉

 

 

THANKS, SHEAH!!

Oh yeah and uh, since it’s football season and all,

\m/   HOOK ‘EM!   \m/

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Life’s a Happy Song

The Birthday fun continues! Alright, so I’m pretty sure last night was the conclusion of my Birthday celebration. My best friend, Heather, took me out to dinner and a movie at our favorite theater—Cinebarre. Cinebarre combines dinner and a movie for you by setting up little bars in front of your seat. You write down your order on a sheet of paper on that bar and stand it up for the waiter to come grab your order and they will bring your food to your seat so that you can eat dinner while you enjoy the movie. Every time I go, it makes me think of all the fun times I had watching movies at the Alamo Draft House back in Austin, which is essentially the same thing with a different name.

After work, I met up with Heather and we grabbed some coffee and gabbed about our upcoming holiday plans and just got caught up on what was going on in each of our lives, which was the perfect kick-off to the evening! Now, when we go see a movie together, we HAVE to fun it up a bit. Since we were going to see The Muppets, we decided to dress up like muppets! She dressed as the Swedish Chef and I dressed up as Miss Piggy!

Please bear in mind that I wasn't able to get a blonde wig and that the pig nose I bought at the store was actually a boar nose. So I looked extra ridiculous, which is kinda perfect.

You can just imagine how many laughs and smiles we got from people at the theater who happened to notice our fresh fashions. 😉

Okay, here’s a close up, just because I’m sure you could use the laugh:

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the movie, since I had only seen one trailer and had stayed away from a lot of the online reviews. I wanted to go in with a fresh approach to one of my childhood classics. I grew up watching The Muppet Show and Muppet Babies—Gonzo was my favorite! From the moment the first musical number started, I had a giant smile on my face and couldn’t help but sway from side-to-side. I loved that it was just a feel-good movie and didn’t take itself too seriously. It moved at a good pace and carried so many great messages in it. A couple of unexpected highlights for me were:

  • Dave Grohl’s cameo
  • Jim Parson’s cameo

No but seriously, the MOMENT that Jim Parsons came on the screen, I grabbed Heather, and whisper shouted, “SHELDONNNNNNNNN!!!!” I was having an ultimate fan-girl moment:

It was ridiculous. I was grabbing her arm and giggling and then after he went offscreen, I had a moment where I had to catch my breath because I was barely breathing through the freak-out. I was grabbing my heart and swooning and then Heather stretched out her hand to pretend to rewind the scene. IF ONLY. 🙂

Look, I know he’s gay, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he is so ridiculously adorably quirky and handsome. PS: If you know any straight guys that embody the wonder that is Jim Parsons, please send him my way. 🙂

Anyway, back to the movie . . .

I loved seeing all the modern-day celebs interacting with the muppets and the storyline was sweet. It reminded me what it was like to be a kid again and how important it is to fight for what you believe in. I walked away thinking about how I needed to get my nieces Muppet things for Christmas, as opposed to Hello Kitty or Bratz or whatever else is out there for them. I want them to be able to appreciate the simpler, sweeter, more wholesome things in life.

Since Heather is such a huge giver, she not only paid for my dinner and movie, she also blessed me with 2 other amazing gifts:

A converse tree ornament that is going on my tree when I set it up this Saturday!

A jar of her homemade lotion—lemon scented! This stuff is so wonderful! Every time I put it on, it reminds me of a lemon merengue pie and it just rejuvenates my senses and makes me smile.

I could not ask for a better end to all of my Birthday celebrations! I really am blessed to have such wonderful quality friends who share life and laughter with me.

And because I love it too much NOT to share, here’s a sparkly iced leaf we found on the way out to the car:

So sweet and special, much like my friendship with Heather!

Too-da-loooooooo!


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Teenage Dream

This past Sunday, I was able to participate in my first ever Glee Flash Mob!
It was such an incredible experience!

I got my Gaga Monster claws ready to go!

A few months ago, I got an e-mail about a Glee Flash Mob that would be happening and it included basic details and practice times. So my friend and I decided to do it together and just have a grand l’! We attended practices on the weekends at Century Ballroom and would also use the instructional video that had been posted online to practice at her house. Here is video footage of one of our run throughs at Century Ballroom. I’m in the front, right hand side, wearing jeans and my gray Soft Kitty shirt:

Thankfully, we had GREAT choreographers that made sure that we were focusing on not just nailing the moves, but having fun doing it as well. I had a great time at each practice because I was surrounded by other people who weren’t afraid to have a good time!

Bobby Bonsey, one of our great choreographers

I’ve done choreographed dances before, many times, but I don’t claim to have any particular dance skills. In fact, I went to the extra rehearsals because I NEEDED the help. It was just nice to see it all pay off!

Going Gaga | Photography by Jenni El Fattal

The day of the performance, we all gathered at Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle and practiced, signed photo release forms, and got our mob location maps. We performed our dance at 3 locations that day. The first one was in front of the Space Needle, the second was in Westlake Park downtown, and the third was on 10th Ave. between Pike and Pine back up in Capitol Hill. Part of the fun was going from location to location and finding places to blend in—it’s hard to “hide” a flash mob with that many people. Sometimes it seemed so blatantly obvious what was going on, at least to me. I was still riding high on the fun memories even after it was all said and done. I am so glad I got the chance to participate in something so wonderful. I highly recommend doing a flash mob to everyone!

Taking turns performing the dance in front of everyone at rehearsals

And now . . . the moment you’ve been waiting for . . .
(you HAVE been waiting for it, right?)
Here are some photos and videos from the actual performance!

(I am the one in the solid bright blue hoodie and bright salmon
colored shirt with black jeans and my hair half-up,
half-down on the right hand side)

Me in the Glee Flash Mob in Westlake Park

Photo by Jessica Keener

Here is the Official Video put together by One Degree Events, who made the event happen! Look for me at 5:24 into the video!

And here is another video of the performance at Westlake Park where you can see me at 4:25 into the video:

And one from our performance in front of the Space Needle. The person recording was not very . . . good. But you can catch me onscreen at 2:41 into the video:


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A Matter Of Time

Ladies and gentlemen . . . this is a Foo Fighters appreciation blog post!

Today is a pretty happy day for me. It’s the street release date for the new Foo Fighters album, WASTING LIGHT! Having grown up adoring Foo Fighters, and considering that it’s been 4 years since their last album, the moment I found out they were releasing a new album, I fangirled like no other! I mean, this is the band that’s filled my life with My Hero, Everlong, Hey, Johnny Park, Next Year, Wheels, All My Life, and so many more great songs.

They’ve also recently put out a documentary called BACK AND FORTH, which is a very well-made behind the scenes of how Foo Fighters came to be. Now, I’ll be honest, I was watching it at like 1 am and I was already restless with anxiety to buy the album today. So with the tiredness, anxiety, and love of music combined, I couldn’t help but be extra emotional while watching the footage about Kurt Cobain’s death,  the hardships of being a band on tour, and all the sincerity and humility coming from Dave Grohl (one of my greatest rock and roll heroes). So through the majority of the documentary, I was shedding tears. Tearing up had clearly become my new hobby.

  • Tearing up about Pat Smear leaving the Foos
  • Tearing up about Taylor’s overdose
  • Tearing up about their Grammy win for THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE, which I totally remembered watching as it happened
  • Tearing up about them selling out 2 shows at Wembley and seeing the footage from Wembley
  • Tearing up over how proud I am of the hurdles they jumped to reach their successes

Just so many tears. So . . . bottom line, it was great. Also, I should not watch Rock Docs when I’m tired. 😉

While watching it, I told my friend:

Here’s the thing, with every Rock Doc I watch, it just makes me want to transport myself back to high school and be like, “Someone let me be in your band!!!!!”

These documentaries make me appreciate music, and musicians in all their artistry so much more! My respect for Dave, Pat, Chris, Taylor, and Nate (and William & Franz) has just increased so much after watching Back and Forth and seeing their journey behind the scenes. All that hard work and passion, and musical genius definitely pays off in WASTING LIGHT. One thing I have mad crazy respect for is the way it was recorded—in Dave’s garage studio using only analog equipment—a total nod to OG rock and roll! It’s also really cool that they brought in Krist Novoselic for one of the songs on the album. I was going to do a track listing review, but it would just be too long and I really think that overall, each song is wonderful and just adds to the artistry of the album as a whole.

Foo Fighters have been streaming their new album for a couple of weeks now, and I cannot stop listening to it! They are back in full force action with rock guns blazing! The killer crunching guitar riffs, the master crafted bass lines, Grohl’s voice, and the bumpin’ drum hits are more than amazing. So today after work, I’m going to take my happy feet over to Easy Street Records and pick up my copy of WASTING LIGHT!

My top 3 favorites off the new album are (in this order):
[Click on title to hear track via YouTube]

ARLANDRIA

WALK

and

BACK AND FORTH

and just for fun, since this IS a Foo Fighters appreciation blog post, here are two of my favorite older songs of theirs:

MY HERO

BEST OF YOU

. . . oh okay, one more . . .   😉

BIG ME

because let’s get real, how could you not love them after watching their cheesy shenanigans in BIG ME? 😉


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Sing

So much excitement is buzzing in my office today . . . literally! Our office windows are insulated with an extra layer of film to keep the cold out and apparently also to trap unwanted insects.

But seriously, if he gets out, I’m moving to a different office! :O

The other exciting thing buzzing around me today is the excitement of a new announcement from one of my all time favorite bands, JACK’S MANNEQUIN!

The lead singer of Jack’s (a common fan nickname for the band), Andrew McMahon is such an inspiration to me as a writer, as a lover of music, and as a human being in general. If you haven’t seen his documentary, DEAR JACK, I highly recommend it. But getting back to the news—they are going to be doing a headlining tour soon!! Also, Jack’s is going to be opening up for GUSTER at a show in Central Park in August!! Can you tell how BADLY I want to go?? I’m pretty sure tickets will sell out in the next couple of days, and I’m in no place to start thinking of flying out to that show, but man—it really makes me wish I had a teleporter. It’s just one more thing that makes me love NYC more!

Me & Andrew McMahon from Jack's Mannequin

I really hope they come to Seattle on their headlining tour. If they don’t, I may need to make another trip down to Cali to see them! I’m also obviously really excited for the new album! I’ve been watching videos of some of their new stuff floating around on YouTube (see below) and it just makes me fall even more in love with their music.

I will definitely be buzzing about this news for the rest of the year until I get to see them play! I just hope that bee finds its way back out (and NOT via my office) before then. 😉

One of the songs from Jack’s that I always catch myself singing is SWIM. It’s such an inspiration song and definitely an anthem for me. So I close this post with this beautiful music video for SWIM. 🙂