Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kelly Clarkson Is Stronger

Yesterday my favorite female artist, Kelly Clarkson, released her brand new single,"Mr. Know It All" during a live webcast on her website KellyClarkson.com.  When she had previously released the lyrics to the single I was sort of up in the air as to how I was going to like it overall once I'd heard it.  Even the title sort of threw me.  That seems to be the trend though with the last two records... weird first single names.

Upon my first listen, all I could think about was "this is how she sounds live!"  Her records don't typically showcase her voice very well unless it's a live track (Beautiful Disaster off of Breakaway) or from My December (the fan favorite album).  While I don't think that "Mr.Know It All" is a crazy awesome song, it's good.  Good not great. 

The best is yet to come and I feel confident in this by one thing that Kelly herself mentioned during the Q&A following the single debut.  Kelly proclaimed that her "live" voice was really captured with this entire album.  Don't get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE her last record, All I Ever Wanted, but it didn't do Kelly's voice justice.  It's like you could tell she has pipes but you didn't hear the rawness that you hear when she performs live.  With her new album that releases October 25, 2011, we're sure to hear what all of us hardcore fans have been dying for for the longest time. 

Kelly penned half of the upcoming record which also makes us fans very happy since most of us have a really strong interest in her songwriting abilities.  I personally think that Kelly knows best but is often pushed around and pulled in a million different directions with what to do regarding her albums.  Her live shows are quite a different story.  She gets to perform what she wants primarily and throws in a lot of amazing covers that just knock your socks off.  Kelly has the BEST BAND in the industry.  Easily.  Throw them all together and they put on one heck of a show.  The upcoming tour should start sometime in January of 2012 which makes this girl very happy since I'll have an abundance of vacation days to use. 

Anyway... if you want to go listen to the new single just head to KellyClarkson.com and look for it on iTunes on September 5th!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Five Minute Blog

I have to go back to work in five minutes but until then I'll write about random crap really quickly.

For Christmas, Matt and I gave out pictures of us to our family.  They turned out really well and I'm pleased with them.  Will post them soon.  Promise.  Pinky promise.

I started watching a few new shows on t.v.  One would be The Big Bang Theory.  Simply hilarious!  I am in love with Sheldon even though if I knew him in real life I may punch him in the crotch at times.  I also started watching Brothers and Sisters.  It's good for the most part albeit a little boring.  Sally Field and one of her sons on the show, Justin, have great scenes together that pretty much steals the whole episode.  I also have watched the first few episodes of Mad Men.  I'm totally in love and can't wait to watch more!

My New Years resolution has been going SO well so far!  I've decided to promise myself to cook more.  No matter how complex something may seem or how time it may take, I'm trying it.  It's been SO fun so far and I've made lots of yummy things.  To think... I've been married for 3 1/2 years and have barely learned to make anything new.  Crappy wife, yes.  I know.  But, I'm getting better!  I'm actually thinking of starting a blog to talk about my cooking adventures and share my recipes.  Thoughts?

Okay, that's about it for my five minute blog.  More later!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ellie Update!

The little princess, Ellie is becoming more comfortable with her new home and new owners.  Matt and I try and take her on daily walks.  We miss a few days here and there but most of the time we are good about it.  Some days are better than others.  The last walk we took her on was just painful.  She was so stubborn and kept pulling on her leash.  She hasn't done that in a few weeks.  The other day she kept trying to jump and grab the strings on Matt's shorts during the walk. 

What she is excelling in is her indoor manners and basic training.  While she still likes to chew on things she shouldn't, she is learning her commands quickly.  Just a few nights ago we found out how to teach your dog to "drop it" when playing.  I found the website "Dog Star Daily" and they have GREAT articles on training with treats.  Ellie used to retrieve the toy but not give it back to us.  Now, we can say "drop it" and she does it without much fuss.  Within 5 minutes she had that down pat so we started working on "down."  That one has proved to be a bit trickier but the more we work with her the faster she'll respond.  Luckily, Matt taught her "sit" weeks ago when we started walking her so she does that without getting a treat. 

The next thing I would like Ellie to learn is to "leave it."  Similar to "drop it" but more difficult in my opinion because that means she has to stop paying attention to something that she clearly desires.  Matt and I would be able to use this command when Vinnie is around so she'll leave him alone.

Speaking of Vinnie, with Ellie playing in a more controlled way now he is totally into her.  Matt told me that yesterday Vinnie jumped down off of the dining room chair when Ellie was fetching a toy and began playing with her.  Once she noticed she ran toward him excitedly which prompted Vinnie to go, "oh crap!"  He sort of hopped away and back to the safety of the chair.  He just doesn't know how to play with her yet.  Eventually he'll understand and I have GREAT faith that they will get along perfectly. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Vinnie!

Today is the day that we celebrate our cat's birthday!  Vinnie is 1 year old! 

We took Vinnie in right before Thanksgiving last year and has been the most wonderful addition to our family.  He's our "first born" and is the apple of my eye.  When we first got him, I didn't want him.  I didn't like cats and said I never would.  Somehow though, he worked his way into my heart.  We have a really special bond.  I love how he purrs all the time and how he has the biggest personality.

We got him a new crinkle sack to play with and a birthday card that we'll give to him tonight after I get home from work.  Lately he has taken a strong interest in the packaging and box that my bottled water comes in.  We call it his "water bed" and feel bad taking it away from him since he loves laying on it.  Now that we have the crinkle sack we'll take away the water bed.  : )

Here is to many more years with our amazing Vinnie.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lasagna Obsession

This weekend I made my family a lasagna as well as one for Matt and I.  I use this recipe that my sister-in-law, Tammi, has used forever.  It's basically the only lasagna that I like.  A few years ago for Christmas Tammi gave all of us girls a hand made cook book of all of her favorite and best recipes.  I knew that the lasagna was going to be the first one I would attempt to make.

Since I first tried it and succeeded I've made it a handful of times and get more comfortable with it every time I do it now.  It's the easiest and simplest recipe for lasagna I've ever seen.  It doesn't require a lot of fancy spices or odd named vegetables.  I'm not much of a cook so keeping stuff simple is right up my alley. 

The recipe calls for three basic cheeses, parmesan (like Kraft shredded parmesan), mozzerella (whatever you do don't buy the imitation mozzerella... I learned the hard way), and ricotta.  Mix 'em all together and that's your cheese layer.  For the sauce, skip the whole making your own deal and just buy your favorite from the store.  I suggest Wal-Mart's generic brand Green Pepper and Mushroom.  I HATE mushrooms but you can't even tell there are mushrooms in the sauce.  It simply is the richest and thickest sauce that is inexpensive.  As for the noodles I never use the no-boil ones.  I think they don't bake well in the oven.  I take the time to boil my lasagna noodles.  Beyond that it's just layering all of those things.  No fancy spices and no vegetables.  You can use real ground beef (or chuck or whatever you meat people call it) or vegetarian ground beef substitute. 

If anyone is interested in the exact recipe let me know and I'll post it. 

In other news, we take Ellie to the groomers tomorrow for the first time so wish us luck!  She also went all night last night without going outside to go potty.  She slept really well and didn't wake up barking at me to take her out.  So proud of her! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Wrap-Up


It's time to talk about things just randomly on my mind lately.  It's not Friday so I can't say "Four For Friday."  Dangit.

Guilty Pleasure Television

What can I say?  I'm a t.v. junky.  Get me hooked on a show and you best not interrupt me until the commercials come on.  Right now I find myself looking forward to specific shows every week.  It usually makes my night to see a great episode. 

A new season of "Weeds" just started back up and got off to a good start.  I'm going to miss Alanis though if this is really going to be the end of her.  On Tuesdays I watch "19 Kids and Counting" featuring the awesome Duggar family.  Right after that it's time to indulge in seeing teenagers try and be good parents on "Teen Mom."  Watching Farrah virtually let her daughter play with matches all while allowing herself to get scammed out of $3,000 is television gold.  Catelynn and Tyler 4 Ever.  <3

Wednesdays I watch "The Real World" which makes me yell at Ryan through my television.  I feel like there is also something on Thursdays that I watch and I just can't remember what it is.  Help me out if you know.

Musica

This weekend I saw my favorite band Rooney open for my old favorite band, Hanson.  Funny how things work out, huh?  Anyhoo, both ROCKED and I had such a great time in Chicago that I almost cried driving home. 

My friend Ed got me hooked on a new band called Gold Motel.  The lead singer, Greta, once sang lead for The Hush Sound.  I never listened to them but I sure do love Greta's voice.  If you're interested in checking them out I suggest the songs "Summer House" and "Stealing The Moonlight." 


Meryl Streep

t is now my goal to see all of her major films by the end of the year.  I recently fell in love with her after seeing "It's Complicated" in the theaters twice.  So far I've seen "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Sophie's Choice."  I highly recommend them both.  Not sure what my next pick will be but let's just say I'm glad I've seen "Mamma Mia" already so I won't have to watch it again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Favorite Band

One day back in 2002/2003 I was cleaning my room and had Vh1 on for some background noise.  Through my speakers came the most wicked crazy spectacluar sound I'd ever heard.  I turned around and sat down on my bed to watch what would become my favorite band... Rooney.  Their style was something so familiar yet so fresh and new to me.  It was like they knew exactly what I had been looking for in music.  They were able to give my ears something that had been missing.  "Blueside" changed my view on modern day rock bands. 

All through high school Rooney remained "my" band.  I got so many other people listening to them and hooked on their signature California sound.  Not once did I get to see them live in high school due to A- being young or B- lack of them touring close enough to my area.  Ironically enough in the summer of 2006 after I graduated they toured with my favorite singer of all time, Kelly Clarkson.  The tour was seriously MEANT for me.  What were the chances of Kelly picking my favorite band to tour with her?  So weird.  Anyways, I got to meet the guys after the show and was really impressed with how sweet they were.  Very normal and down to earth.  It was clear that after seeing them perform so well live that I needed to see them again and again to get my fill. 

I've kept myself somewhat involved in Rooney's "online" community over the years.  I like to keep updated on what's going on.  I saw them again live in 2008 in Detroit and then later that summer in Jackson.  Around came last December and I traveled to Chicago and then to Detroit the following day.  Drove back home in an honest to God BLIZZARD and almost died.  Legit.  Still I can't seem to get enough and I absolutely adore listening to them. 

The band just released their 3rd album back in June called "Eureka."  While all of the albums bring something a little bit different to the table I find myself in love with this one the most.  I feel like the guys got to do what they really wanted to with this album.  It's something that they can be proud of 100%.  Rooney is constantly touring and working on spreading their music.

Even after 3 albums, loads of touring, a number one single in Germany, and a loyal following, the band still hasn't hit it big.

My husband said to me the other day, "Why isn't Rooney on the radio?  Why aren't they huge?  They are such a great band!"  Of course I totally agree with him and I do think that there is a rhyme or reason as to why Rooney isn't more mainstream. 

To me Rooney's sound isn't like anything else.  While this is easily my favorite thing about them, it's not what Top 40 radio stations look for.  Lately it seems that the more a band sounds like another band the more popular they are. It's sad really but that's the way it is right now.

I also have to think about what FANS want.  As a fan of not just Rooney but of other musical acts, I think I have a good idea of what different types of fans look for.  Some fans want to meet their favorite band while still keeping the slight illusion that they are "untouchable."  Others already know how completely normal they are and admire their musicianship.  Having a good assortment of merchandise on hand at shows is always a must.  Obviously, this can all be done with sufficient touring.  Luckily, this is something that Rooney is great with.

Keeping up with an online community is a great way for a band to stay in touch with their fans and really listen to what they are saying.  Fans like to be heard.  It's as simple as that.  I think Rooney really needs to work on this aspect.  Maybe a little more activity here would help them reconnect.  In my opinion, all of the guys needs to do this.  Not just one or two of them. If the guys would post more on their forum, make more YouTube videos, be active on MySpace and Facebook, then I could see fans really getting involved.

I'm starting to think that the bottom line is simply giving a shit.  Are the guys in the band for their own personal purposes and not for fans at all?  Are they really working on gaining a larger fan base so they can expand?  It absolutely does not matter to me because I'm going to love and support them 100% no matter what.  I don't care if they are soley in the band for the sake of meeting women or to see the country.  I just want to hear their music and feel connected in some way. 

Maybe Rooney doesn't want to become a huge rock band.  That's always a possibility and is totally fine by me since I prefer small venues.  Haha.  But seriously, if they are content with the success that they have achieved then kudos to them.  They accomplished all that they were looking for.  If they are happy at the end of the day then that is what matters.