May 30, 2014

Lisa: who says mermaids can't dance?

I dare you not to smile during this performance. Here's to being awesome and hilarious instead of perfect!

November 15, 2010

Sarah: Swell Season

You know that movie, Once? Every song that the featured band, Swell Season, writes sounds so personal and intimate, you have to pay attention. Their NPR Tiny Desk Concert is no exception:

Thanks to Momsyth for telling me about these mini concerts behind someone's desk in the NPR offices. And thanks to Lisa for telling me about their music video for Low Rising:

And now I feel like falling in and then out of love.

August 08, 2010

Lisa: One on One

Since I was trying out No-Spend Month back in June, I wanted to come up with a birthday gift for Angie that I could make myself, using mostly materials I already had on hand. One passing reference to Hall & Oates later, an idea was born.

Here's the finished product: A throw pillow proudly featuring the head of Daryl Hall on one side and John Oates on the other.

Here's the inspiration image I started with, showing our boys in all their '80s glory.

I tried to convince Sarah she needs a pillow with Horatio on one side and Grissom on the other, but she just said she hated me. Confusing. Anyway, more info on the process after the jump!

What I bought for this project:

needle punch tool (really too small for regular yarn)
Build-a-Bear faux leather Harley Davidson jacket
green lipcord trim (from JoAnn's but not online)
tiny iron (which I am taking back because it was crap and wouldn't get hot enough to transfer anything)

What I had on hand:

off-white cotton duck
printable iron-on transfer paper

poly batting
plain white toddler-size t-shirt
puffy paint
two colors of brown yarn
needle & thread
fabric glue
embroidery hoop (borrowed from Sarah)

Order of operations:

1. I traced the shape of the hair/mustache areas on the back of the fabric, and started needle punching according to the instructions included in the needle package. I adjusted my technique a bit to compensate for working with yarn that was clearly much too large for the type of needle I had. (There was more yanking the yarn through the needle and holding it in place in the fabric than there should have been.) After all the yarn loops were in, I drizzled fabric glue over the back side of those areas to anchor everything in place.

2. I splatter-painted Oates' t-shirt, and tracked down a mini leather jacket to cannibalize for Hall. I cut them apart, strategically placed things as best I could, and sewed them in place. The idea was to use three-dimensional materials to emulate a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object, and it was as confusing as it sounds. I wanted to use the real neck trim, zippers, placket, etc., whenever possible.

3. After throwing out the idea of sewing with actual human skin I tried to iron the skin-area transfers directly to the spaces between the hair and clothing, and failed miserably. I had saved the iron-ons for last because I knew from washing Nora's pillowcase that the surface of the transfers can crack and scuff if they're messed with too much. This left me with some very tiny areas to try to press bits of transfer into (Sorry about your ear, Hall. It's not happening.). I thought a miniature iron was the answer, but it didn't get hot enough. My final solution was to iron the face and hand transfers onto another piece of smooth cotton fabric, and then to sew that fabric into place on the pillow sides. The look isn't as seamless as I wanted, but I think it works.

4. Once the pillow sides were done, I pinned the lipcord trim to one of the sides and sewed it in place with a zipper foot. (You might want to check out a tutorial like this one for more step-by-step help.) Then I pinned the two halves of the pillow together, right sides together, and sewed around the edges again, catching the lip part of the lip cord between them. I left a bit open for turning, flipped the whole apparatus right side out, and stuffed it with batting. Use small chunks of batting for a smoother pillow. Then I hand-stitched the opening. Voila!

February 05, 2010

Lisa: Voices Photos

I got to use my trusty photo printer for another Christmas gift--framed photos for the girls in Voices, the a cappella singing group I joined in the fall.

First, I made Sarah come to one of my concerts, with the express purpose of taking a workable photo. She performed admirably. Next, I got rid of red-eye and flash-related clothing transparency in Photoshop (very advanced for me).

I printed the photos and put them in a bunch of RIBBA frames I found at IKEA, and finished them off with a raffia bow. Easy peasy--and I think it definitely counts as homemade.

January 13, 2010

Sarah: In Which Sarah Changes Her Mind

Sarah: So. Lady GaGa was named the Creative Director for the Polaroid brand.
Lisa: HA. That? is unfortunate.
S: Yeah.
L: But also possibly genius.
S: I am feeling very torn. On one hand, she's kind of done brilliant marketing for herself. And is creative in her ways of being insane and ridiculous. Also, I want Polaroid to survive, so maybe latching on to someone new is a way to do that.
S: But on the other hand, THAT IS A POSITION THAT REQUIRES ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. And she is not an expert on Polaroid, or creative direction, or photography trends.
L: Yeah, I do wonder if she has some secret photographic expertise. Or if it's all about her shock value.
On the other hand, not enough judgement to say "maybe I should put on pants today."
S: I wonder if she would wear pants to the office. Or if she'd come to a board meeting in a death mask with hair that bleeds onto a golden onesie.
L: Actually, I am coming around. I think that might be exactly what Polaroid needs.
L: Just like that movie with the Duffs! Maybe they figure they're dying anyway, so let's try something completely different! Can't get worse!
S: But she hasn't proven that she has staying power. Ugh.
L: Hee. Sorry.
S: I'm not sure about this.
L: Is Mallory going to kill someone?
S: I texted Mallory to tell her and SHE DIDN'T RESPOND.
L: Hee. Do we need to intercede before she actually tries to kill LaGaGa?
S: Lady GaGa also hit the Polaroid stand to announce her appointment as “creative director” and “inventor of specialty products” with the company.
Wearing a black see-through dress and a blonde sunhat made entirely out of her own hair, she described herself as a “Polaroid girl” and said she was “outraged” when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
[quoted from here]
Okay, now she's sort of seduced me with word "inventor" and her hairhat.
L: INVENTOR OF SPECIALTY PRODUCTS? How can i get that job somewhere???
S: I know, right?
“The Haus of Gaga has been developing prototypes in the vein of fashion/technology/photography innovation - blending the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film with the digital era,” she said.
“I am so excited to extend myself behind the scenes as a designer, and to as my father puts it - finally have a real job.”

NOW I'M CHARMED. DAMMIT. I am so easily seduced by pop culture.
L: Also, the Haus of GaGa
S: I know. She's ridiculous. Yet I want to be in that Haus.

January 10, 2010

Lisa: two great tastes

This summer's video re-creation project: Beyonce's If I Were a Boy character and Steven Seagal (:Lawman) are partners. Let me know if you want in on this incredibleness now.

October 08, 2009

Lisa: Craft Lake City review

I find it's most helpful to review an event two months after it happens, so that everyone who might once have cared has already forgotten about it. That's why I'm telling you now how much I loved Craft Lake City!

The craft booths were everything I wished the disappointing shopping at Swiss Days and Peach Days would be. Instead of seeing the same vinyl cutouts and magnet boards at every booth, there were tons of alternative and/or slightly subversive crafts, and fun and unusual fabrics galore.

Here are photos of my (reasonably priced) booty:

Get the flash player here:

1. A skirt for Nora for next summer, from Noelle O Designs.

2. A horse finger puppet from Nifty Kidstuff, which has the cutest details--like a bright green lining to match the bridle.

3. My mom shopped Nifty Kidstuff too, and found Nora a doll that she can practice fasteners on. Nora named her Betsy Buttons, after this book. (Seriously, this girl makes so many cute things. How much do I want this little fabric sewing machine for Nora?)

4. Grandma also bought Nora some cute hair ties with fabric-covered buttons, but unfortunately they didn't have any maker-identifying packaging.

5. I had a hard time tracking down these ribbon-covered hair clips online (they're just marked 'am'), but I think the buttons covered with Japanese fabrics are darling, and they inspired me to make my own ribbon clips.

6. This little yellow papier-mache bird was an impulse buy at Beehive Bazaar, and I love having him on my mantel.

I also loved the fascinators and headbands from Its The Little Things, but I didn't have enough cash to buy one at Craft Lake City. Instead, I grabbed one of her cards and bought a hat for Jillian's funeral on Etsy later.

The family rockabilly band that was so cute was Mad Max and the Wild Ones.

Here's more of Nora enjoying them:

Get the flash player here:

Anyway, I hope that Craft Lake City becomes an annual event, and that they have even more awesome booths next year. If I had one suggestion to offer, it would be to the crafters whose great wares were for sale: make sure your packaging is branded, and list your website right on it if you have one. That way, the love can keep going long after the festival is done.

September 17, 2009

Lisa: Tool of the Week

I'm probably going to sound really stupid on this one, but I don't care. This simple cable was enough of a revelation for me that I want to share it with any other idiots who might be in need.

What I'm talking about is a cable that has a headphone-style audio jack on one end, and RCA-style audio plugs (you know the kind, they're the red/white components of the standard red/yellow/white TV cables) on the other end. Something like this.

I have no idea where we got this handy-dandy cable, since I just found it in our cord box at a very opportune moment. It must have come free with something we bought in the past, because I had no idea it even existed until I was holding it in my hand, realizing it would be the perfect solution to our current problem.

Two ways I've used this cord in the last two weeks:

1) When we hook the laptop up to the TV to watch movies on the bigger screen, the Apple mini-DVI-to-video setup only sends the video signal to the TV (not the audio). In the past, I've had to unplug the speakers from our desktop computer, lug them up from downstairs and set them up on top of the TV cabinet, since the laptop's internal speakers aren't loud enough. This new cable allows me to feed the audio right into the TV as well, using the TV's built-in speakers that are controlled by the TV remote.

2) When Sarah and I were rehearsing a few days ago, we wanted to sing along with a background track that I have as an mp3 on my laptop and iPod. Since I don't have speakers for my iPod, and again the laptop speakers were too soft, I just plugged the iPod into the TV and used the internal TV speakers instead.

So. What seemingly obvious/inexpensive thing has made a huge difference in YOUR life lately?

September 14, 2009

Lisa: Chocolate Blues

While I was on tour with the Tab Choir, I visited a tiny yarn shop in Independence, Missouri. I bought a skein of pretty yarn as a souvenir, with the idea of knitting something for Nora when I got back home.

One skein isn't really a whole lot of yarn to work with, but it was just the right amount for one of the adorable hats from this book. I finished it off with pompoms made out of some of my leftover Ribby Cardi yarn for a little contrast.

Get the flash player here:

I know, making a winter hat in July seems incongruous, and the photos of it on my sundress-clad daughter look ridiculous, but this was a quick and fun little project that got me kind of excited about knitting again. Maybe someday I'll even sew the zipper into my otherwise-totally-finished Ribby Cardi!

August 14, 2009

Lisa: got my hair did

Twitter and Facebook are good times and everything, but I must admit they have contributed to the lack of posts around here. Luckily, I felt the following Facebook interaction deserved a little pictorial embellishment.

Lisa: New haircut: might be awesome, might be Three's Company.

Sarah: HA! I can't wait to see it. [Sarah knows that Three's Company also means Janette from SYTYCD, whose haircut I HATE.]

Angie: Might be Indigo Girls?

Lisa: Might be Kristen Stewart playing Joan Jett.

Dear readers, I will let you decide for yourselves.

June 15, 2009

Lisa: Total Eclipse of the Heart

Found via Dita Von Teese, who knows something funny when she sees it.

April 16, 2009

Lisa: Ur jus jellus!

Sarah documented the majority of our Britney experience (and I'm sure she'll share many unflattering photos here), but I thought you might like a little preview:

If you don't recognize immediately that those shirts are made according to the tutorial featurette on the Crossroads DVD, then that is why I am here. TO OPEN YOUR EYES.

February 23, 2009

Lisa: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Given Angie's idea of different angles for each day and my current penchant for Photo Booth, I thought I'd try out Movie Mondays. Sarah's not as jazzed about the idea, but I'm hoping I can win her over.

Here's today's offering--I think you'll agree that what I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm. If you've seen me dancing, you know this already.

January 29, 2009

Sarah: Music Video

This is pretty, I think.

via i like nice things

January 20, 2009

Lisa: no means no

Dear Walgreens cashier,

Please do not expose my one-year-old daughter to the sight of your plush caveman singing Do It Like They Do on the Discovery Channel. Similarly, hide away your mechanical puppy holding a valentine heart and offering an inappropriately sexual R&B message. In fact, maybe stay away from the animatronics altogether. She's saying "no" for a reason.


Common Sense

November 21, 2008

Sarah: Last Chance!

As a reminder, today is the final day to sign up for this year's Ornament Swap. Follow the link for instructions on how to sign up.

If you're here in Salt Lake City, it's also the last day to see Lisa in The Music Man. Lisa and the rest of the cast have done a great job. Congratulations, Lisa! The play starts tonight at seven. See you there!

November 19, 2008

Lisa: last one!

I think I mentioned before that one of the costumes I get to wear in the Music Man is a ridiculous sailor-collared "athletic" outfit. I snuck mine home after rehearsal last night to alter it to fit a bit better. If you think that shirt looks baggy and shapeless now, you should have seen it before.

If you have never been in a play before, you might be blown away (as I was) by the level of characterization that even the most minor characters get. Not only is the newlywed Mrs. Squires (that's me) ridiculously in love, but she also married into money, and likes to show it off by wearing a million different expensive (and slightly insane) outfits. Anyway, the point is that I thought Mrs. Squires would add a little extra something to her gym uniform, so I borrowed a big Gerbera daisy clip for my hair from Sarah's collection.

Here's my final costume in action (pre-alteration). You can't see them in the photos, but those black bloomers are worn over opaque white tights and high-top Converse All Stars. Sexxaaay!

There's still time to change your mind and come see the show! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

November 17, 2008

Sarah: If you get a squeeze back, that's fancy cookin'

On Saturday, Mallory, Marci, and I went to see Lisa in the local production of Music Man.

The production was pretty good, and the lead character did a very nice job. The costumes, as I'm sure you know by now, were great and Lisa's enormous hats are AWESOME.

We were very excited to be there.

And Marci even got a photo with the Music Man. Except that we were too shy to ask him for a photo (well, too shy because we were obviously too RIDICULOUS), so she snuck behind him for the picture, a la Lloyd Dobbler.

Great job Lisa and the rest of the cast! There are three performances remaining, so you still have time to soak it all in.

November 14, 2008

Lisa: in the best Delsarte tradition

I told you! I get to wear a ridiculously decorated faux toga. Bonus: I decorated it while watching the season finale of Mad Men with Sarah. Now, every time I put it on, I think of Don Draper. Unfortunately, every time I put the toga on, I am also reminded that my hair will never be as awesome as Joan Holloway's.

In action:


We open tonight! I hope I see you there.

November 12, 2008

Lisa: I don't know how I can ever wait to see

Sorry if I've been a bit one-note, but practicing three days a week has sort of kept the play at the forefront of my mind. Anyway, we open this weekend, so it will all be over soon enough.

The shirt is from Steve & Barry's, and I made the skirt myself using this pattern. The humongous, tulle-topped hat is my favorite of the ones I made. It's not so great for tight backstage quarters, but there's a certain satisfaction in forcing your stage husband to bend down and peer under the brim in order to sing into your face.

[Edited to add a shot of the hat in action. It is fully three heads wide.]

November 09, 2008

Lisa: "Wow. That's really...bright."

As with the last ensemble, the outfit was provided for me, but I decorated the hat myself. (Good thing I've had lots of practice.) The blue tulle around the hat hangs down in front to form a veil around my face.

So, yeah. When you get to the church, I'll be the one in the pulsing, radioactive ball of blue.

[Edited to add a shot of this costume in action.]

November 08, 2008

Lisa: You've Got Trouble

What goes with a blue-and-shocking pink gown with padded-out hips? A hat featuring lovebirds in a love nest, of course.

You know you want to be there.

November 06, 2008

Lisa: prop

This is but a preview of some of the costume-related entries to come. So many hot-glue burns, so much tulle, so much unbridled joy. Nora is going to have the best dress-up box ever.

November 02, 2008

Lisa: Today!

Sometimes you take stock of your life and realize all you do after 10 pm is lie on the couch playing Apollo Justice. Then you email your friends in a panic until they agree to get pretty and go out on the town with you. You choose the Tavernacle, of course, since there's something to watch besides each other AND it involves loud singing. Somehow your camera phone makes its way out of your purse, becomes self-aware, and posts the evidence of your debauchery on the internet. There, there, it's OK--Apollo Justice will be waiting on the couch for you tomorrow night.

Luckily my phone happened to catch a rare appearance of Mallory's WOW face.

And these are my new lacy stockings, which Mallory showed to the table next to us by pulling my leg up perpendicular to the floor.

And this account simply wouldn't be complete without a shot of Sarah's fiance and one of the piano guy with the hair getting his butt grabbed by an extremely inebriated woman of a certain age.

August 18, 2008

Lisa: This is going to be awesome.

I can see the resemblance:

ETA: A few costumes I might have to look forward to.

July 29, 2008

Lisa: wait for it...

I have so much to tell you, Internet! I've been...

  • Riding my bike in a parade

  • Falling in love with the Osmonds

  • Watching Nora take her first unassisted steps

  • Visiting an old friend and her brand new baby in the hospital
  • and so much more, really. Unfortunately, I should be spending my at-home computer time getting caught up on the accounting work I've been putting off. The only new content I have to offer is this ridiculous picture, made here. (Thanks for getting me through that last few minutes of the workday, angry chicken! How did you know I was looking for a way to more widely distribute photos of myself?)

    See you next week!

    July 23, 2008

    Lisa: Feisty

    Last Thursday, Sarah and I saw Feist at Deer Valley. She was AWESOME. I already thought her voice was unusual and cool, but it's even more unbelievable live. Plus, she kept teasing the Deer Valley crowd about their lawn chairs and their roasted red pepper caviar hummus with quail's eggs, which was good times. She also had a pair of amazing shadow artists performing behind her, projecting images onto the back wall of the stage--it was worth the hour's wait for dusk after the opening band.

    As the icing on the cake, we ran into Andrea and her friend and made them come sit with us, and Dave and Angie even stopped by on their way to the fancy seats.

    The only thing that could have made the night better is if Blake and Nora could have been there. Oh, well. I'll leave you with a message from Sarah:

    Peace, bitches!

    [Edited to add: I just noticed that the girl over Sarah's shoulder in that first picture is reading Twilight. Awesome.]

    July 01, 2008

    Sarah: Here to Help

    Mallory asked for help on her blog entry.

    M: QUICK. Give me a lyric that has to do with either penises or being smelly.
    S: HA HA HA. "Feel a little poke comin through, on you..."
    M: Umm less boner-y.
    S: You want penis song lyrics that are "less boner-y." I just need to point that out.

    June 19, 2008

    Lisa: I said who do you think you are

    I went to the hair salon on Tuesday.

    Stylist: "What's that paper? Aw! Did someone bring a picture?"
    Lisa: "Um. Maybe. No making fun!"
    S: "Let's see it! What do you want?"
    L: (Hangs head in shame, unfolds printed-out Word document and thrusts it at the stylist.) "Pob me."
    S: "Hee. All you had to say was 'Posh Spice.' Wow, you even cut and pasted these in here and everything! You're serious!"
    L: (Laughs uneasily.)

    I think it turned out OK, though.

    Sorry about the mirrors--it's surprisingly difficult to photograph the back of your own head.

    May 25, 2008

    Sarah: Amsterdam you!

    Lest you think I'm spending all of my time smoking doobies in the red-light district while in Amsterdam, I thought I'd check in to update. Yesterday was one of my favorite days thusfar. Sixteen of us from our class rode bikes out of Amsterdam and through the smaller towns that border the jetties. The weather was beautiful with the sun shining (oops, I forgot sunscreen!) and a breeze blowing. I fell in love with Holland. I'm a fool for a country that not only has such beautiful scenery, but an affection for wooden shoes. By the time we returned to the hotel, we'd ridden about 18 miles and had the sore butts to prove it.
    Last night Feist was in town, but her show was sold out. I was seriously bummed until I discovered (just now! Just this second!) that she's performing in Park City, Utah on July 17th. Dear friends, I am freaking out. I didn't see where I could purchase tickets online. If someone would buy a ticket for me (and themself! Let's all go!), I would love that person forever. And pay them back as soon as I get back into town. Or, you know, it could be a birthday gift.

    Before my trip to Europe, I did not have:
    A farmer tan highlighting the outline of a shoe strap, watch band, and short sleeve shirt.
    A shirt featuring a female-afro-sillouette. Which everyone should own. And which three of us do own.
    A wacky pillow cover.
    A well worn map of Amsterdam.
    A constant, nagging need for poffertjes.

    Besides imagining what shenanigans my dad probably fears I am getting in to, I am thinking about:
    Yesterday was my little brother Jeff's birthday. He's in New Jersey, no doubt charming the crap out of people like he charms the crap out of me. I chatted with some new friends about Jeff the other day, and about how he attended such an amazing university after high school. I'm so proud of Jeff, for his incredible kindness, his cheerful friendliness, his superior intellect and how quick he is to love and forgive. Jeff, I wish I could grow up to be as great as you.

    May 14, 2008

    Lisa: quirky

    Jessica of How About Orange posted six of her "unremarkable quirks", and I felt inspired to do the same.

    1. The sound of a spoon clonking around the inside of a glass blender jar is one of the nicest sounds I have ever heard. It's at least 30% of the reason I make blended frozen drinks.

    2. I really like stalking. And spying. And covertly collecting information on people of interest. Not in a creepy way, of course. But, you? Yeah, you with the hair? I have Googled you.

    3. Figure skating (singles, pairs, ice dancing, whatever--give me a spangly costume featuring illusion netting and someone swooping around effortlessly balanced on two tiny blades, and I'm sold) is the only sport I really enjoy watching on TV. Are there community ed skating classes for old people? Do you want to sign up with me?

    4. Serial killers fascinate me. If I start looking things up in the Crime Library, I get sucked in for hours. I don't let myself read much true crime, because I'm afraid it would become a habit--and there are probably more uplifting (and better written) things I could fill my mind with. Maybe four years old was too young to start listening to Sweeney, I jest, you can never be too young for Sweeney Todd.

    5. I love typing, and when I get going, I can type almost as fast as I can talk. It's like talking with my fingers, and for some reason that's a little thrilling. Maybe in another life I'll get a job as a court stenographer--but I'd want to do the voices when I read back the transcripts, and I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon.

    6. I have written and published on the internet a three-chapter piece of fan-fiction. It may or may not be romantic in nature and was recognized as a featured story on the site. I am simultaneously proud and ashamed. Try to find it at your own risk.

    April 16, 2008

    Sarah: Resplendent Responses

    A conversation between Blake and his friend, centered around Plato (I think) takes a delightfully nerdy turn:
    Blake: ... well one theory is that the universe is converging on another universe.
    Friend: What's the Star Trek theory?
    B: There are only four galaxies in Star Trek.*
    F: Wait, but...
    B: Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, Gamma Quadrant, Delta Quadrant

    My response to Mallory's question was alarmingly quick:
    Mallory: If you were to make a funny music video, what song would you base it on?
    Sarah: Baby, When the Lights Go Out by the very underappreciated band 5ive. Or was it overrated? I can never remember.

    *Note to Blake: I hope we are planning to go to this. I'm a fool for J.J. Abrams

    Edited to add: I may have just spent the last several minutes contemplating whether 5ive really worked as a word, since you aren't really pronouncing it "Five-ive" but accepting the implied use of the number 5 as an "F" sound. Then I imagined forming a four-person tough girl band called 4ce, because the pronunciation would clearer, though the spelling would be at least, if not more, contrived. Stop looking at me like that. I'm going home.

    April 11, 2008

    Sarah: Things that make me

    Shoulders of people that have been cropped out of pictures.
    Feist's performance in Amsterdam being sold out.
    Accidentally dumping 1/4 of a pineapple onto the gravel when I get out of my car at the office.
    The woman in my class who talks over everyone, breathlessly drowning out fellow students and the professor (!) so that she can loudly give her pedestrian interpretation of the text.
    The guy in another class who says the most offensive remarks possible in my Children's Literature class, most recently during a discussion of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. To explain would bore you, but I may have uttered "Oh my gosh, STOP TALKING." under my breath. Two classmates heard me. Oops. At least they nodded in agreement and laughed?
    At long last, Ben Folds is returning to Utah. I will be there. So will Ben Lee. You should come!
    Eventually someone is going to notice that I spend the majority of one of my classes gazing at the back of a certain young man's head. It's a sickness.
    Flo Rida's reign of terror.

    February 27, 2008

    Sarah: Fat Bottomed Girls will be riding today

    To: Dave
    From: Sarah
    Subject: Poser

    So you know how we talked about Mika and how he only has the one good song, which is only good because it sounds vaguely like Queen? Did you know that he has a song called "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)"? Is he just continuing to ride on Queen's coattails? I cannot stand for this. Plus, "Fat Bottomed Girls" is just so much better.

    To: Sarah
    From: Dave
    Subject: Re: Poser

    We will not stand for the Queen-apery of this lesser facsimile. Is he so bereft of his own musical ideas that he must traipse on the beloved legacy of dear departed Freddie Mercury, wot? Fie no.

    Yours in indignation,

    February 22, 2008

    Lisa: afternoon delight

    Sarah: Note to self: stop saying "afternoon delight." It is weird and unfunny to everyone but you.
    Lisa: Afternoon delight=creepy. THEY ARE HAVING SEX.
    Sarah: So you think sex is creepy?
    Lisa: That song is creepy. Surely you cannot argue with that.
    Sarah: I know what I know. I have disassociated the song from the phrase. Now I just use it willy-nilly, though, which is frowned upon.
    Lisa: Well, of course it is. Because you are conjuring up pictures of adults home in the afternoon, having sex.
    Sarah: Adults? Why is it worse with adults?
    Lisa: Hee. I don't know, but it is. Because...they should be at work? Teenagers are expected to sneak home in the afternoons and be having sex. The adults are just being lazy! BESIDES THE PHRASE AFTERNOON DELIGHT IS JUST GROSS. It's like a dessert name, but then you realize what they're talking about! Sunny Delight. Turkish delight. Old men saying young girls are "a delight." When is the word delight ever used besides in those situations?
    Sarah: Looks like it IS a dessert:

    February 20, 2008

    Sarah: Sensing Spring

    Seeing: A peacock that had escaped from its enclosure, by the side of the road. Two rabbits on campus. Unfortunately, this is the best photo that I got, since it was dark when I got out of class.

    Can you see them? Hi little bunnies!
    Feeling: The sun on my arms. Finally, I am starting to think that I might be warm again, someday soon.
    Tasting: Lemonade. It's edible summer.
    Hearing: Ryan Adams playing in my car. It's alt-country/rock and I am loving it.
    Smelling: Fresh air as I drive with the windows down.

    February 06, 2008

    Sarah: Sing, Sing a Song, Sing it Loud, Sing it Strong!

    Our friend Jeremy wrote a song about us to the tune of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Lisa declared it "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius." I would have to agree. Thanks, Jeremy!

    I want to be where the Andersons are,
    I want to see Buffy the Vampire Slaaaayer,
    Walking around with that guy. What's his name again?
    Oh DBo!
    Running a 'thon, you get way too far.
    Leggings are required if you want to look stupid!
    Strollers are filled with uh.... What's her name again?
    Up where they biff.
    Up where they pun.
    Up where they eat Crown Burger 'til one.
    Oh Scrabble pee.
    Wish I could be...part of their world!

    Edited to add another verse by Jeremy!

    What would I give if I could live out of IKEA?
    What would I pay to give today a Dundie to Pam?
    Bet'cha in Flor. they don't implore
    for a "zombie outbreak" idea
    They're bright young women, sick of gymin'
    Ready to tan!

    And I'm ready to know how to make record bowls
    Exclaim "Viola!" while I read Imogene's Antlers
    What's a segue and why does it - what's the word?
    get pronounced all crazy?

    When will I learn?
    Wouldn't I love, love to explore Spring City in gloves?
    *sigh* I decree,
    Wish I could be...part of their world!

    November 13, 2007

    Sarah: Music Suggestions

    A friend of mine asked me for some music suggestions several days ago, and I didn't have many at the tip of my brain. After some consideration, I came up with a short list. This is by no means complete, but I like these bands and you should too.

    Feist: You already know that I love Feist. She makes me dance and sing along and then, before I realize it, there's a puddle of blood at my feet because she has made my heart crack open.
    Spoon: They're fun. You should ask Andrea about them. She'll tell you how great they are.
    The Shins: I first was introduced to the Shins when I watched Garden State. They were smart but calming and the music drew you in, wanting to hear more. We saw them perform a great set at Bumbershoot and that performance made me officially love them.
    Devotchka: Gypsy rock. Who knew it could be so incredibly awesome?
    Ben Folds: Ben and I have been together for a long time. If you ever need a 'Best Of' Ben mix cd, just give me a call. I'd love to spread the joy.
    The Streets: When I listen to the Streets when I drive, I zip past the other cars, swaying and bobbing my head back and forth, comforted by the fact that my music is better than whatever fake-punk abomination is playing on their radios.
    Lily Allen: I like her.
    Ben Lee: I've said enough already about Ben Lee, but he's cute, and he loves life, and will make you feel optimistic and in love with the world.
    Justin Timberlake: Justin makes the girls dance in the car. Marci has a tiny Justin game piece from a board game that she sometimes sets on the table when we go out to dinner. Dining with a tiny Justin is an experience everyone should share.

    November 10, 2007

    Sarah: In Love with Possibility

    Keeping with tradition (see 1 and 2), Marci, Mallory, and I went to a Ben Lee concert on Friday night. Unfortunately, Lisa was unable to join us this year, but Mal and I were glad that Marci was able to experience Ben, sans gold suit and Rooney fans, in a small intimate venue like we did for the first time two years ago. Ben was charming and happy, per usual, and we had a great time.

    The keyboardist played with Ben on his last two tours also. Maybe they're best buddies. We love it, regardless. The girls appreciate loyalty.

    Cary Brothers, possibly best known for his song on the Garden State soundtrack, opened for Mr. Ben with a great set. He was also funny and charming, recommending tv shows to the crowd and just being generally personable and nice.

    Like in concerts past, everyone else on the tour joined Ben for one of his last songs.

    A Ben Lee tour is a happy tour.

    October 27, 2007

    Sarah: Decisions

    Having to decide between Celine Dion's "Life After Love" and Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder"? Too difficult to choose which is the lesser of the two evils. I choose my Kelly Clarkson cd.

    October 11, 2007

    Sarah: Don't Run Away, It's Only Me

    As the season for gremlins and goblins approaches:

    Jeremy: I don't know any Halloween songs. We could write a Zombie Halloween carol.
    Sarah: Lol. This is why I adore you. I just sing "Dead Man's Party" a lot, because that song makes me smile.
    J: Because of my willingness to write zombie halloween carols?
    S: Yes.
    J: My legs have fallen off again and please before it rains,
    Help me put them back on so that we can eat more brains.
    lovely brains
    creamy brains
    Am I insane?
    I love these brains
    I'm a fancy comso Zomb, I love to travel Europe
    but before I check my bags I have a little bell hop
    Brains, lovely brains, creamy brains
    pick out the veins
    I love these brains
    The Bev Hills Dead are picky yes. And no they won't drink Ale unless accompanied with brains with PHDs from Yale

    September 28, 2007

    Lisa: maybe if i just put a picture of myself next to the doorbell, that will scare them off

    When I read Mindy's rant about door-to-door salespeople, I remembered how I felt when we first moved in to our neighborhood. I'm not normally a fan of door signs, and the 'no soliciting' signs you can buy are pretty hideous. On Gabrielle's recommendation, I took advantage of a trip to Color Me Mine with the girls to make my own. The colors are a little off in this picture, but here's the result:

    Anyway, it works like a charm on everyone who knows what "soliciting" means.

    In other Perschon-family reading, I tried the Celebrity Morph that Charles posted about, but after the site tried to match my face with Dave Navarro, Lance Bass, and Robert DeNiro, I gave up. Sarah, you don't still think you're the mannish one, do you?

    September 04, 2007

    Sarah: Bumbershoot Weekend

    We returned from our roadtrip to Seattle last night and I write to you now after too few hours of sleep, extensive spider vacuuming upon my return, and two very confused legs (walking all day? or sitting in a car all day? They are having an identity crisis). Complete sentences overwhelm me at the moment, so I present to you the Roadtrip Breakdown Countdown:

    25 semi-trucks we convinced to honk their horns.
    24 hours of driving, approximately, leading to ridiculous car-photos like this:

    23 rd floor of the hotel is where we stayed!
    22 free swag items. Lip gloss, pins, postcards, and a bag, among others. Marci and I love us some swag.
    21 mix tapes enjoyed on the trip. No seriously, we listened to so many. It rocked.
    20 or so concert posters that I wanted to buy from the poster show, FlatStock, including some by a Travis, from Utah! Go Utah!
    19 hate units that I now have for Mallory, who DREW A MOUSTACHE ON MY FACE while I slept in the car.
    18 people behind the line cut-off we were to see Michael Ian Black perform. Repeated cries of "BUT I MADE A SHIRT!" from Mallory did little to soften the hearts of the event coordinators.
    17 times I probably yapped about how adorable The Shins are.
    16 marbles you could fit in Mallory's mouth as it gapped open in awe at the Seattle Art Museum. Don't get mad, Mallory. You drew a moustache on my face, and I owe you.
    15 times I've coveted my aunt's house since Marci and I went to see it.
    14 billion booths of crafty goodness in the ReadyMade Indie Fair section of Bumbershoot. Okay, maybe a few less than that.
    13 is an unlucky number.
    12 food items Marci and I wanted to eat at the festival (we put the "fun" in "funnel cake", after all), but didn't, because our gyros filled us up.
    11 on a scale of one to ten, how jealous you should be that we went to Seattle and, more specifically, to Bumbershoot.
    10 bottles and/or cups of Diet Coke consumed.
    9 o'clock, unfortunately, when DeVotchka was playing at Bumbershoot. Also the time when we were all passed out at the hotel. We wanted to see you, DeVotchka! So please, return to Utah soon!
    8 Tully and/or Starbucks coffee shops on the average Seattle city block.
    7 people that recognized Mallory and Mikey's ho-made Stella shirts. I taught her how to make freezer paper stencils, and they turned out great.
    6 people that may or may not have been members of the Wu Tang Clan that we saw in the hotel lobby. Oh, and we saw John Legend. And Michael Ian Black. And some tasty professional soccer players.
    5 lottery tickets I purchased in Idaho. I didn't win. Bummer.
    4 people in the car.
    3 mommies that Mikey had to tolerate on the trip. Well actually according to Mikey, it was...
    2 mommies and
    1 transgender uncle. Which is so totally rude. I hate you Mikey.
    0 words that Mallory and Mikey said to Michael Ian Black when we shared an elevator with him. ZERO!!

    August 21, 2007

    Lisa: Through Any Window

    Jenna Fischer is such a babe. Read about her experience shooting the video on her MySpace. And the video is directed by the nerdy guy from Lane's band!

    August 08, 2007

    Sarah: The Gift of Siblings

    A conversation in text messages with my brother Dave*:

    D: Every time I hear the song The Way You Love Me by Faith Hill, I think of you.
    S: Now that's just rude.
    D: Hee. You know the first line of the song? "If I could grant you just one wish, I wish you could see the way you kiss." It's like your poem! About giving the world a gift!**
    S: Hee. I hate you so much right now.
    D: I always think she's going to say "If I could give you just one wish, I'd make it so you wouldn't biff."
    S: Shut. Up.
    D: How could you not think of that rhyme? About "I wish you could see the way you kiss"? Oh yeah, because it's RETARDED. Personally, I'd rather not biff than see myself kiss. Gross.
    S: Hee. Finally, someone appreciates the quality of my gift. Took you long enough.
    D: Hee hee. Someday, people will remember you for having the courage to dream of a world without biffing.

    *Not to be confused with the Dave that has been frequenting our comments as of late. They're different Daves. I only clarify because there has been some confusion among readers.
    **Backstory about my poem can be found here.

    July 20, 2007

    Sarah: Listen to Feist

    When I told my brother how much Feist was rocking my world, he said it best when he responded "I know. She owns me."

    I love her.

    July 05, 2007

    Sarah: Perhaps this is my tarot cards' fault.

    As if it knew that I was busy at work and needed some peace and quiet, my brain's music-player has been singing JoJo's "Leave" all morning.
    Except for a brief respite, when my brain changed tracks to Akon. But instead of singing the lyrics as written by the artist, I was instructed to "Shake your body like a Necromancer".

    When college english courses and pop music collide, people.

    March 28, 2007

    Lisa: dental hygiene is so hot right now

    Sometimes the Fergie-bot says some stuff that the kids out in the suburbs can't understand. This time, the confusion-causing lyric was found in Glamorous:

    Livin' my life
    In the fast lane
    And I wont change
    By the Glamorous, oh the flossy flossy

    Investigation was obviously called for. After verifying that the lyric is indeed "flossy flossy," I checked the sometimes helpful (but always offensive!) Urban Dictionary. There were two helpful definitions that actually predated the song:

    1. Extremely flashy or showy.
    2. Someone who is hot, sexy, or banging.

    Yahoo! Answers also chipped in with:

    3. Ornate or showy in a flashy, often almost vulgar way.

    Now I'm wondering if Jennifer Lopez wasn't just talking about dental floss when she said "if I wanna floss I got my own." Thoughts?

    On an eerily related note, Sarah bought me a toothbrush that plays Let's Get it Started by broadcasting sound waves through my teeth and directly INTO MY BRAIN. That's what the package says, anyway. It's awesome--now I in the mornings I shake my thang AND brush for a full two minutes!

    November 24, 2006

    Lisa: two hearts that beat as one

    Since Sarah and I are pretty much the same person, we've been sending each other text messages as mental notes to ourselves. Here's what we wanted to remember tonight:

  • Add Fame and Rocky Horror Picture Show to the Netflix queue.

  • Marci says: "I had a dream that I was engaged to Usher and Justin Timberlake saved me from him."

  • Set up TiVo season passes for Nocturnal State and Making the Video.

  • Sunglasses at Night is somehow related to Dead Man's Party. Possible vampire connection?

  • Send Sarah an email with some sweet YouTube videos.
  • November 12, 2006

    Lisa: a week in pictures

    I had a hard week this week, but the best girlfriends in the world kept me busy and helped me through it.

    Tuesday, I voted (here I am at my polling location)...

    and then Sarah and Marci met me at Crown Burger before Nip/Tuck. Mallory couldn't join us because she was listening to Pete's concession speech.

    Sarah was concentrating very hard on drafting our proposed changes to Crown Burger's wikipedia entry. I'll let you know when we post them BECAUSE IT WILL BE AWESOME.

    Wednesday, Molly and I started watching Firefly.

    Thursday, we ate at The Pie and Marci treated us to Pride and Prejudice at Pioneer Theater,

    where I wore my new shoes...

    and we were told we had no class by these fine denim-clad people.

    Friday, we went to the Ben Lee concert at Saltair, where we heard Under the Influence of Giants,

    Rooney (otherwise known as the band from The O.C. fronted by the guy from Princess Diaries),

    and Ben himself, who was adorable and awesome and wearing a suit made of gold glitter.

    I hope Sarah talks more about the concert, because (Mallory's hate of Rooney notwithstanding) it was really fun.

    Saturday was wallow day. I met Sarah at her apartment with egg burritos and we watched music videos and assorted mindless MTV programming pretty much all day. Mallory and Marci joined us after dinner for Newsies. It probably goes without saying, but we sang along. Loudly.

    Thanks so much, ladies, for being there when I needed you. You are fun and funny and smart and beautiful, and you make life bearable.

    November 01, 2006

    Sarah: Kevin is the fatherly figure

    The comments in a recent entry apparently brought up painful memories for Mallory.

    S: Yeah, um. Unfortunately? You got served. By DAVID. hee
    M: Let it be known, I'm not talking to either of your siblings.
    S: Dave said "haha, I looked at her fanpage. It is AWESOME. Dude, I still always think of Mallory as the girl with the backstreet boys fanpage..." I just love that Dave thinks of you as the girl with the BSB webpage.
    M: I dont! I have respect for dave's taste in music I don't want him to think im some teeny-bopper talentless pop music listener
    S: I know. You aren't.
    S: Wow.
    M: I'm so ashamed. I could never go into politics.
    S: You'd have to come clean about your fan page.
    M: That would be my dirty past.
    [I told Dave about this issue.
    D: "What do you have to say for yourself, Miss Qualls? Did you? Or did you not? Make... THIS... WEBPAGE"
    M: People'd be all "Don't vote for Romney because he's a mormon and he'd take his orders from the prophet before the people. Don't vote for Qualls because she'd do whatever Nick Carter tells her to do."
    S: Seriously, you'd have to hope that Lisa, Marci, and I were supportive or we'd rat you out.
    M: So, just wondering: When you, Lisa and I first became friends, when you went home and talked to Dave were you like "so last night we were hanging out with our friend Mallory, YOU KNOW THE GIRL WHO LOVES BSB, and shes all 'I like the internet' SHE LOVES BSB AND HAS A FANPAGE"?
    S: lol. NO.
    M: Because I think the first time i ever met Dave was at that Nintendo party, so really SHOULDN'T HE THINK Oh Mallory The Girl who likes Nintendo?
    S: I think it just came up sort of early on? I honestly don't know.
    M: or Oh Mallory The girl who likes Jimmy Eat world (I went to that concert that week)
    S: I don't think we found out about your dirty little secret for a while.
    M: Yeah i keep that one pretty close. YOU ALL KEEP SECRETS SO WELL. Hee. I see now that I can't ever trust you again.
    S: We are only telling the INTERNET about your site which is on the INTERNET ALREADY. DAMN! You have SUCH problems.
    S: We LOVE it.

    Because Mallory was so upset, I asked Dave to explain why he associated her so closely with her BSB-loving past.

    D: I think it's just that that was one of the first things i ever knew about Mallory, so what I've learned about her since has always been with that in the back of my mind. I've always seen her through that lens, if you will.
    S: I see. That's like with Mallory, the first thing she learned about Mark was that he loved Radiohead.
    D: Yes. Although, that's probably an accurate portrayal of who he is.
    S: So now when she sees him she's all, "Hey! It's that blond-guy-that-is-Dave's-roommate-that-loves-Radiohead" and Lisa and I are all "um. Mark?"
    D: Exactly.
    S: Dave, Mallory is very disturbed. She thinks that when I first met her I'd just go home and be all "so today Mallory, YOU KNOW, THE GIRL WITH THE BSB FANPAGE, said something funny..."
    D: I can't remember how you told me... was it something like that?
    S: Hee. I hate you. She's going to break up with me, and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT.
    D: She won't break up with you.
    S: I wouldn't be so sure, Dave. Women can be so fickle.
    D: It's true, they are fickle. But not Mallory. She is so sweet and childlike. With her undying love of Nick Carter.

    October 03, 2006

    Sarah: I'm just glad she didn't say anything about my best friend Britney.

    Mallory has opinions on music. It is, after all, her life.

    Mallory: I hate The Killers. The Killers should try and kill the B-52's and there should be a huge explosion and lots of death.
    Sarah: ...
    M: .. hi.

    We talk about MySpace, boys, and the lack thereof.

    M: When The Killers kill the B-52's, Angels from Angels and Airwaves should be their guardian angels, and die too.
    S: HA!

    We talk about the campaign Mallory is working on. We also talk about school.

    M: Ugh. The Killers should fight the B-52's in the Sound Garden. And they should be fighting over a Chemical Romance. With the guardian Angels in Airwaves nearby.
    S: I love you so much.

    More time passes.

    M: I dunno how, but Depeche Mode should somehow be killed by The Killers too.

    September 28, 2006

    Lisa: Just too white and nerdy

    Blake braved the wilds of the Internet today to forward me this Weird Al video. His sacrifice was not in vain.

    It's funny because it's true. And the Donny cameo doesn't hurt, either.

    September 27, 2006

    Sarah: Musing

    Last night I went to the Muse concert at Saltair with my brother Dave. Lisa couldn't go because she had to work, so I promised to give a very detailed account. Here we go. After I yelled during the car ride that we were late, lost, etc. (Dave was very patient and indulgent) we arrived at the venue to find a line that wrapped through the parking lot of people waiting to get inside. Here's Dave waiting in line.

    This is what Saltair looks like:

    Not quite as cool as in its heyday, but still a sort of interesting looking venue.

    After waiting in line for a while, we met up with Michelle and then got inside. The opening band hadn't started, so we took some pictures.

    The inside is basically one big rectangular room with a stage at one end and restrooms on the other. There are stairs on either side of the room that lead up to an upper level. On one side is the SaltSlick, a bar where some people went to get alcohol, others just for a better view. The other side was the VIP area, but that? is just lame. We stayed on the main floor. Dave and I ran into Mallory and her brother Mikey, but I forgot to take a picture. Believe me, they were both beautiful beyond all reason. They chilled out in the back of the hall, but Dave, Michelle, and I were just about exactly in the middle. Mallory and I texted sporadically throughout the night.

    The opening band was The Like, a group that Dave described as "exactly like the Bangles. But not as good." They are a girl group, though, and you have to respect girls that rock. Or try to rock.

    Text from Mallory: Is this the first band?
    Text from Sarah: The first we've seen.
    M: Muse better be next or I might punch a face in. Special
    S: Lol. We agree. Special

    After The Like's set, I started to get picture happy. And the crowd started to push towards the stage, so we got a little closer. Check out how close we are and see Muse take the stage after the jump!

    I took pictures of Dave and Michelle to show how close we were.


    The guy behind Michelle was a little disturbed, so I showed Tiny Sideburns the picture I'd taken to show it was of Michelle, and not him. Thus began my concert-friend-making.

    I took this picture under the premise of showing how close I was to Dave, but mostly to show you, dear reader, that there was a guy near us that looked like my high school boyfriend. A Band Member lookalike! In a ridiculous hat/earwarmer!

    I've never seen someone at a concert look so apathetic. This dude was practically falling asleep. We'll call him Drowsy McLumpyBored.

    I thought I was going to have to make out with this guy because he was completely pressed up against me. Surprisingly, after I just turned towards him and took a picture, he backed off.

    Dave and I asked if we could take this picture. Dave took the picture, and I'm chatting with the subject. We call him Wormhole Guy, because we kept seeing him pushing past us towards the stage. But we never saw him go towards the back. The only solution? There was a wormhole. As a bonus, you get a better look at Not-Band-Member's hat.

    We made friends with the two guys standing behind us, mostly because I was worried that people would feel left out if I didn't take their picture. That was probably illogical.

    Meet Ammon and Ben.

    While the stagehands were setting up for Muse, the crowd would scream everytime a someone walked onstage.

    Yay sound guy!

    Text from Sarah: There's a couple that keeps watching me. I think I might take their picture just to bug them.
    Text from Mallory: Lol punch them in the face.
    S: Definitly.

    While we waited, Dave and Michelle surfed the internet on Dave's phone.

    Michelle declared her own myspace her favorite myspace.

    Right before Muse took the stage, A tall guy stood right in front of Dave. So unfortunately, this was what he saw.

    or, if he stretched his neck he might see...

    No, he didn't know we were taking pictures of his immaculately sculpted hair.

    Then Muse took the stage! Yay! They were loud and rockin, and there was much screaming, singing, and booty-shaking by me. Much hopping up and down by others. I think we were at the perfect place in the crowd because we were not at the back, but we weren't in the jump-y, moshy part of the crowd either.

    Muse began playing "Butterflies and Hurricanes"
    Text from Sarah: It's ur favorite! I'll punch some people for u.
    Text from Mallory: Your number has been called.

    Dave took a picture with his phone and emailed it to Lisa.

    Ammon kept offering to hold my camera up higher for pictures (he was tall).
    Text from Michelle: He likes you i think.

    Muse played "Supermassive Black Hole"
    Text from Sarah: I so totally commented on ur myspace about this song.
    Text from Mallory: Hee I just told Mikey that. Just shoved someone.
    S: Good work! I think I'm being flirted with.
    M: Is he tall? Because I didn't get the memo stating that you had to be at least six feet to attend...
    S: Lol. Yeah, he got the memo. It's like the opposite of Dave's band's fan base.
    Mallory and I have joked that all of Dave's fans seem very short. They have a concert this Friday, so you can check that out, if you'd like. In contrast, Muse's concert was full of people over six feet tall. Weird.
    Today on MSN Messenger, Dave illustrated the phenomenon:

    Apparently ghosts like Muse, because there were a lot of orbs in this photo...

    Or perhaps they're just hanging out in Saltair because of the curse.

    That picture was taken during "Knights of Cydonia". The chorus lyrics were projected up on the screens in time with the music.

    I have a few more pictures from cell phones en route to my computer.

    I'm working on a video clip, which would be the first video in Two Loose Teeth Blogging History. Right now the file is too large, so I'll see what I can do.

    I couldn't leave the concert without acquiring some fabulous booty. I had planned on purchasing the shirt from their site, but it wasn't for sale at the concert. Instead, I got this red shirt. The giant circle isn't on the shirt. Just a little ghost that followed me home.

    It was fun! Hurrah! Lisa, I so wish you could have been there!

    September 25, 2006

    Sarah: I'll be your love suicide

    Lisa sent me my favorite text of the week (and it's only Monday!):

    The ladies who work at McDonalds are totally discussing if the lyrics to 'i'll be' are "crying shoulder" or "crying soldier."

    Now, I didn't know anyone had thought about this song since my senior year of high school (see also: Lighthouse's "Hanging By a Moment"), but I was surprised how right "crying soldier" sounded when you keep singing the lyric that way. How many other people thought this song was more military than it actually was? Apparently a lot. At least the McD ladies were smart enough to not think Edwin McCain had earnestly vowed to be your Captain Aphid and your better wetter holder.

    The more I thought about this song (class was boring today, sorry), I kept thinking that "I'll Be" was in a movie. It turns out that I was right. But I've never seen that movie! It is, however, in my Netflix Queue... I know. I'm a little ashamed. Not ashamed enough to take it off, though. Besides, people seem to love the soundtrack for this movie. And I trust pink_suga and missy_prissy13 explicitly.

    Back to the mistaken lyric, have you ever wondered what has been written about crying soldiers? Well, this poem, for one. The google image search was mostly sad.

    In conclusion, bad poetry and cheesey teen movie soundtracks? Good. Trying to make fun of crying soldiers? Bad. Soldiers are good. I am pro-soldier. They do a job I couldn't do.

    I leave you with my favorite mondegreen: Dress it up with the droppings of a lamb.

    September 17, 2006

    Lisa: somehow it's weirder than the accordion

    That, my friends, is photographic evidence that Dave's band has added a saxophone as part of their new song, Kimono and a Fan. I think I'm getting acid flashbacks to my days as a jazz band groupie. Good song, though.

    Canadians Among Us played at Kilby Court last night before Maritime (who were awesome, check them out).

    August 21, 2006


    I know everyone already knows about


    but seriously. Where else can you find the Osmonds completely rocking out, Mormon-style (thanks, Heather!)? Or the worst music video ever? Or D-Bo dancing on Angel? And all on the same website?

    Thanks, YouTube, for improving my quality of life.

    June 14, 2006

    Sarah: Canadians Among Us

    A few weeks ago, my brother, Dave, performed with his band, Canadians Among Us in Bountiful.

    They rocked.

    Hey, stop making fun of my photography. Blurry is the new clear.

    You know what was awesome about the performance? That would be the fact that they have an accordion player. And that accordion player is my brother.

    Attending the concert were Mark, Jessie, Andrea, myself, and my younger brother, affectionately called Young Jeffrey.

    Mark is known for his stoicism. And possibly for his habit of wearing sunglasses indoors? I assume he did so to shield himself from the brilliance that was the musical performance.

    There was a veritable smorgaasborg of emotion.

    Jeff found something hilarious...

    While Andrea expressed... anger? pain? a jealous rage? Your guess is as good as mine. Andrea is like a book written in a dead language... So much to be learned, if only I could understand.

    Meanwhile, Jessie and I admired our shoes (I'm at the bottom of the photo, she's on the right). Hers are from Aldo, mine are from Target. My shoes may be more casual, but I was still taller than her.

    If you're wondering about the band's name, the best explanation I got from Dave was as follows: "Well, have you noticed that all of the really cool bands are from Canada? We're trying to be cool by association. Or something like that."
    So there you go. The inaugural performance of CanAmUs, as the kids are calling them. It was fun. And when they perform again, you should come. I'll bring drinks.

    April 24, 2006

    Sarah: You Got the Best of Me.

    I pulled up to a stoplight, the silence of my broken radio leaving me to listen to the sounds around my car. I heard the thumping bass from the approaching burgundy El Dorado. The low riding car looked tough, masculine... in a word, gangsta. As the vehicle pulled up next to me at the light, I could hear the melody of the song over the idling engine and car-shaking bass beat.

    It was Mariah Carey's Heartbreaker.


    March 17, 2006

    Lisa: You know, I'd feel your thigh, but I'm so full of decency

    Dear Beyonce and Company,

    Gluing a sparkly piece of jewelry to the top of your butt crack does not actually disguise the fact that said butt crack is visible. I think the solution you're looking for is taller pants.


    Contusion G. Mammalian

    February 07, 2006

    Lisa: Can you handle my truth?

    I have been needing a new flute bag for a while. Strangely enough considering how much I used to play, I have never had a real flute bag. I have used various backpacks, messenger bags, and tote bags to lug my instruments and music and stuff around, but I never wanted to spend the money for a real flute bag (one made for that purpose), and besides I hated the idea of carrying a huge flute bag AND my backpack for books and whatever else around campus. Also, the bags designed for that purpose are technically called gig bags, a term which I abhor. These days I don't need a backpack and textbooks, and something a bit more professional-looking is probably in order. Anyway, a flute bag must conform to a few specifications. It has to be big enough to fit a flute and piccolo and the necessary accessories, and black enough that it can remain under my chair during orchestra concerts--because woodwind players get to do that (Eat your hearts out, string players!).

    The whole point of this is that I have been keeping an eye out for potential flute bags each time I go shopping, especially at Target. A few days ago I found this bag, meant to be sort of an oversized hobo shoulder bag. It was only $14.99, so I was willing to overlook the sheer stupidity of the bag's handle.

    Trust me, this picture from the Target website looks much better than the bag actually looks in person. The handle is so short that you can't even get it out of the way when you want to unzip the bag--it just sort of blocks the bag opening. I know the sides of the bag are supposed to come up and form part of the handle, but it just wasn't working out. Something in the design process had gone amiss. I decided to get the bag anyway, and just replace the handle. How hard could this be?

    I cut off the old handle (seen here in all its ridiculous shortness)...

    ...and first tried braiding some leather-ish vinyl strips ($7) I found at JoAnn's into a handle. That was much too wimpy, and the braid wouldn't lay flat and look right. I decided webbing was my best bet. After some false starts at fabric stores and online, one of Dave's bandmates suggested REI, which sells climbing rope and webbing by the foot. I chose a 2" tubular nylon webbing. They cut four feet for me with their hot cutter (sealing the ends so they wouldn't fray), and charged me only $2.50. I got some snaps and a snap-setting tool at the fabric store ($8) and put the whole thing together. Easy peasy!

    Here's the finished product:

    I added a few buttons for extra cuteness power. In this picture, my flute is inside the bag, so you can see that there's plenty of room. At the broadcast on Sunday, I just tucked the handle under the bag. Success! As usual, the hardest part of this project was finding the right supplies at different craft and fabric stores.

    January 26, 2006

    Lisa: There's so many things I need to know

    Utah is kind of a weird place. I'm sure this isn't news to anyone. I guess I should say that the culture of the predominant religion is what is weird. Not bad, just a little odd. The church places a big emphasis on youth programs, including what they call "seminary" (taking a Sunday School class as part of your high school schedule) and a sort of sleep-away camp called "Especially For Youth." Seminary teachers and the EFY counselors and speakers are placed in the awkward position of entertaining teenagers and teaching gospel principles at the same time. Let's just say that sometimes they resort to...interesting techniques to get kids to pay attention.



    High School Boyfriend and EFY Devotee: "You know that Styx song, Crystal Ball?"
    Me: "..."
    HSB&EFYD: "Anyway, I have a tape of it. When you listen to it, substitute the words 'Book of Mormon' for 'Crystal Ball' in the chorus."
    Me: "Book of Mormon?"
    HSB&EFYD: "Yeah, it's awesome! It really fits."
    Me: "..."

    Fast-forward ten years. Whenever Crystal Ball (actually a rockin' song, by the way, so I'm glad I was introduced to it) comes on, Blake and I always yell out "Book of...MOR! MON!" over the chorus and laugh maniacally. Good times.

    January 03, 2006

    Sarah: Crafty, part 3

    You might say that I could have used my long weekend to clean my apartment. And you would have been right. But instead, I hung out with Blake and Lisa, had dinner with the fam, watched some dvds, trained for the marathon, and Jessie and I ran errands, had lunch with our friend Staci, and picked up some records. I spent the remainder of the evening making record bowls and boxes. I've decided to see how these items fare on our site. If you'd like to buy a bowl and/or box, leave a message in the comments. These will work on a first come, first serve basis. Any shipping costs will be arranged through myself and the buyer. Of you want only the box, they are $2 each. All boxes, unless otherwise noted, are 3 inches tall. Any box that is not spoken for will be included as a free gift with its corresponding record. Thanks, and I hope you like them!

    Big Bird Sings record bowl and matching box:

    I took a picture of this box and bowl from the side, but it mysteriously removed itself from my camera. I will post a side view tomorrow. Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Kenny Loggins is ALWAYS a classic:

    He looks a little like he just finished creating the universe, and is bestowing upon our humble planet a sun to warm the land, but that's ok with me. My confusion, however, was that I thought he was hardcore (well, as hardcore as songs like Danger Zone) until he had kids, at which point he made Return to Pooh Corner. This picture makes him look less Top Gun and more benevolent celestial being. Anyway. The best part of this box and bowl is the back of the box:

    I know. It's great. Oh, and as far as quality control, I noticed after taking this picture that the sides of the box were coming a little unglued. That situation has since been remedied. Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Next up is Saturday's Warrior. Let me start by saying that I've never listened to or watched this production, so I am not sure how it actually compares to Beowulf, Ramayana, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, or Dante's Divine Comedy. This is a fine specimen of LDS culture, and is a two-record set. As a result, I have one box and two bowls:

    These can be sold as a set, or separately. Bowls: $7/each, Box: $2.

    In keeping with the wacky religious enthusiasm theme, I found several awesome looking bands when searching for more information regarding the band Rockin' Horse, but not the band that made this record:

    They have a great looking album cover, and also dedicated this album to L. Ron Hubbard.

    The dedication is easily visible on the side of the box (which is 3 1/2 inches tall). Bowl: $7, Box: $2. With this item, I am offering the optional Scientology package, which will include the Rockin' Horse bowl and box, plus the TomKat pin featured on my previous post and a few other Scientology/celebrity-related pins. This package will be $11.

    I thought this box and bowl was a little punk-rock, a little classical.

    Mozart! Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Thanks for tuning in!

    Prices have been changed to more accurately represent fair, competitive prices. Thanks.

    December 23, 2005

    Lisa: Pre-training: Week 3, Day 3

    I snoozed my alarm for the first time on a running day this morning! Don't get me wrong, I am no stranger to the snooze button on regular days, but so far I have been good about hopping out of bed on training days when the alarm first rings. Maybe the fact that Sarah and I stayed up until 1:30 am watching Rounders after my concert had something to do with it. (Matt, call me!) Anyway, Sarah and I got to Tanner Park to meet Marci about 15 minutes late. The loop around the park is paved, and took us about seven minutes to walk all the way around at our "fast walking pace." Needless to say, it is not a big park. It was pretty dark, especially on the side of the loop furthest from the parking lots, and there were some muddy puddles to navigate around. I think it will be a good place for us to train once in a while, though, because it is so hilly. Also, if it weren't so dark I bet the view would be nice. The best news about this morning is that it was SO warm. I didn't need gloves or my coat! Not very Christmassy, but much better for early morning running.

    130.5 lbs, 29% body fat

    December 14, 2005

    Sarah: Biggie Smalls is the illest.

    Armando picked me up from work to go to lunch:

    Sarah: Hey, how's it going?
    A: My hump. Myhumpmyhumpmyhump.
    S: My lovely lady lumps.
    A: There is so much bad music on the radio these days.
    S: [Sarcastically] Sigh, It just hasn't been the same since Biggie died...
    A: [Wistfully] I know...

    December 09, 2005

    Lisa: Twinkletoes

    Ever since Dance Dance Revolution came out for the Playstation and XBox, I have been bugging Blake every time we pass a game store to go in and ask if they're coming out with a dance pad for the GameCube. Of course, the game store employees always responded with a flat "No." Obviously they are hardcore gamers who do not consider DDR worth their valuable time.

    Imagine my surprise when we were walking through the GameCube area at Best Buy last year, and there was a dance pad and a dance game just sitting right there on the shelf! It wasn't true DDR (it was a near-clone called MC Groovz Dance Craze), but it had to be mine. Honestly, the game was a bit disappointing, but I played it anyway, and I am excited to have the pad to use for the awesome Karaoke Revolution Party and as a second pad for the upcoming Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix.

    I soon became fascinated with the fact that the Mad Catz dance pad has almost all the buttons of a standard 'Cube controller, and functions like a controller during gameplay. I wondered if the dance pad could be used to play other, non-dancing games. Recently, Sarah and I took the only course of action we could imagine: we challenged the GameCube master, Blake, to a dance-off. Of course, Blake absolutely refuses to play MC Groovz on the dance pad, so we had to be careful in how we posed the scenario.

    Here was the setup:

    Challenge #1: In the two-player dance mode on MC Groovz, Sarah and I (on the dance pad) faced off against Blake (playing on a regular controller).

    Result: Sarah and I were strongly in the lead before Blake figured out how to perform some of the steps on the controller. For example, green arrows on the screen mean that you stomp on both of the indicated areas of the dance pad simultaneously. Since you can't move a joystick in two directions at once, Blake figured out (after some trial and error) that you have to move both the joystick and the c-stick, one for each foot. Once he figured these things out, he started closing in on our lead and we quickly moved on to Challenge #2.

    Challenge #2: In the two-player mode on Soul Calibur, Blake (on the dance pad) was pitted against Lisa and Sarah (alternately, using controllers). We thought we would have this one in the bag, because although Blake has mad Soul Calibur skillz, playing on the dance pad would surely be a tough handicap to overcome.

    Result: After an adjustment period of about three fights, Blake was using all kinds of combination moves and totally kicking our trash. He was hopping around on that dance pad like crazy, much how Pamie described Stee:

    We are all horrible at the dance mat. And by that I mean "stee is awesome in ways we can't understand because his feet are bigger than the squares he's supposed to hit, and we don't understand why he can dance on this thing like a small boy trained in acrobatics, but the rest of us lumber through the 'easy' mode, hoping we don't look like total tools, knowing full well that we do."

    Conclusion: You can take the controller away from the GameCube champion, but you can' he will totally slaughter you anyway. Also, I see now how Blake earned his high school nickname.

    December 02, 2005

    Sarah: I'm Superficial.

    Yesterday I applied for an editor position at The Superficial. Why? Because I read that site at least once a day, I want to be funny like them, and I'd love to be an editor. I don't know quite how the job would work, but I'm hoping that it's completely internet based. If that were the case, I could a) keep my current job (which I love), b) have an extra income from the part-time position that they are hiring for, c) have editorial experience, which I think is what I'd enjoy doing, and d) be considered funny, and possibly even have people other than my professors reading my work. So I'm hoping that I am seriously considered, but I know that the competition is tough, so I'm keeping my thoughts realistic.

    The application process was fairly simple: Give some basic contact information, list websites you frequently read, write a short bio, and submit three sample posts. My sample posts are below:

    While on tour together, Kelly Clarkson and Graham Colton found true love. I'm guessing this was not because of her fashion savvy.
    "They have both lived in Dallas 'so they have that Texas thing in common,' a source close to the singers tells PEOPLE. "They're both very spiritual and mature for their ages. They are in a committed relationship."
    One can practically bet money on a couple that has "that Texas thing" in common. Congratulations, Kelly. You've found what most of us can only dream of.
    (Inspired by this article)

    Matthew McConaughey is named the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. And by "sexiest" they mean "the most orange".
    (Inspired by this article)

    Charlize Theron says she's tired of being noticed for her good looks. I want to like her, and I often do, but when the article says "it's part of her job to hide her looks," I think of another starlet, Eva Longoria. When actresses lament the burden that is their beautiful faces, it just makes people hate them. Well, that, and when they're complete bitches.
    (Inspired by this article)

    August 29, 2005

    Lisa: Oh, Utah.

    This past weekend I went to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival for work. On Thursday I attended a workshop with Charlotte Blake Alston about using rhythm and music in storytelling. She played us a lot of examples of traditional African drumming and songs with polyrhythms. This is all fine. The problem was that the workshop attendees were largely the whitest, squarest, and yet most enthusiastic hippie librarians on the planet. Out of the 24 attendees, six wore Birkenstocks or Tevas, and eight others wore sandals. These fourteen individuals were flexing and wiggling their long, ashy, and (need I say it?) poorly-manicured toes wildly in only the barest approximation of the beat. Many others were also bobbing their heads in obvious enjoyment mingled with musical idiocy. I held still while still trying to look like I was having a good time, in an attempt to balance out the behavior of my fellow participants.

    August 27, 2005

    Lisa: This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse is Upon Us

    I just caught myself whistling the Spice Girls.

    March 14, 2005

    Lisa: Los Angeles - Last Leg

    Well, I'm finally going to finish telling about my trip to California with the Tabernacle Choir. I'm sure everyone cares even less than they did a month ago, but it's my online diary. SO THERE.

    Okay, so after breakfast on Saturday morning we all walked from the hotel to Disney Hall, via an elaborate system of walkways and escalators in various office buildings that kept us from having to walk up too many hills. Since the women in the choir and orchestra are required to wear skirts and nice shoes when on tour, this was greatly appreciated.

    Here's Disney Hall from the street corner:

    After a bunch of waiting around and then a rehearsal, we were supposed to head back to the hotel for lunch. Unfortunately, Jeannine and I spent too much time in the L.A. Phil gift shop, and had to bypass the hotel and buy lunch at the cafe at our next venue instead. Before we left Disney Hall, we got someone to take our picture. Here we are:

    Anyway, we headed over to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and ate in the courtyard.

    Here's the outside of the cathedral:

    After some more waiting around, we got to go inside and get set up.

    After our rehearsal, I had to get a closer look at the tapestries hanging along the cathedral walls. From where we were sitting at the front, it looked like the subjects were painted on the fabric, but it turns out that these incredibly detailed portraits are actually woven. Anyway, they are all of different Catholic saints. Here's a closeup of one of the panels:

    At the back of the cathedral there is a super tall panel depicting the baptism of Christ.

    I thought this one was especially interesting from a theological standpoint, because it depicts Christ being baptised by sprinkling. In the LDS church, we interpret the bible as saying Christ was baptized by immersion.

    ANYWAY, after the rehearsal at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, we walked back down to the hotel to eat dinner and change into our concert clothes. Then it was walking back up to Disney Hall for a concert, walking from there to the cathedral for another concert, and then back to Disney Hall again for a third concert. After we walked back to the hotel for the last time, my feet hurt pretty badly because I was dumb and wore the pretty shoes instead of the sensible walking shoes.

    Which! Reminds me! Right before we went onstage for the last concert, the foot joint of my flute flew off and crashed on the cement floor backstage! One of the clarinet players grabbed his tools and fiddled with my flute until the low notes would come out again so that I could play the concert (thank you, Darin!), but I still have to get it fixed by a professional - and I should probably get the foot joint tightened a bit, too, so that doesn't happen again.

    So, that's the end. On Sunday we split up onto about six different flights and headed back to Salt Lake and cold weather. I drank three big Diet Cokes right before getting on the plane, which was REALLY smart. Anyway, a good time was generally had by all. I hope they ask me to go on tour with them again.

    Click here to go back to the beginning.

    February 12, 2005

    Lisa: Los Angeles, installment 2

    Our second day on tour, Friday, we had a bit of time before we had to get on the bus to head down to San Diego. My roommate and I decided to walk over to the Los Angeles Public Library, which was only a few blocks from our hotel.

    The gardens outside are full of symbolic statues, fountains, and other decorative elements, including stair risers with letters from different languages cut in brass, copper, and steel. When you enter the library, you can't see any books at all--just long hallways. It's the opposite of the new Main Library of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, which feels so open and modern. Of course, I had to check out the kids' section. Just outside the children's area is a huge, echoey rotunda with painted mosaics on the walls

    and ceiling, and a giant chandelier.

    The children's area itself feels old, full of dark wood paneling and shelves, with glass-fronted display cases.

    The story area

    and a reading nook next to it feel more modern,

    and sort of form a hallway into the ENORMOUS picture book room

    with a puppet theater at one end.

    On our way out of the library, we stopped at the gift shop. They had tons of cute things, and I ended up buying these finger puppets that I thought would be perfect for storytime.

    Anyway, the rest of the day involved driving to San Diego State University for a rehearsal, dinner, and a concert, and then driving back to L.A. I finished the only book I brought, Wind on the Moon, on the way down there, so I stopped at the University bookstore and picked up The Secret Life of Bees to read on the way back. I liked them both.

    One more day's adventures to tell. Seriously, it will be LIKE YOU WERE THERE.

    February 10, 2005

    Lisa: Los Angeles, installment 1

    As Sarah mentioned, I was out of town last weekend with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square on a tour to the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles.

    We arrived at the L.A. airport on Thursday afternoon, and a small group of us rented a car and drove around L.A. instead of riding a bus to the hotel and sitting around in the lobby until our rooms were ready. We are such rebels. Anyway, we ate at California Pizza Kitchen (hey, it's a chain, but it has California in its name!),

    walked around Venice Beach, and stopped for a bathroom break at the LDS temple.

    One of the ladies with us wanted to go to a double reed store to buy a new oboe, and while she was in there I got a photo of the Hollywood sign.

    Silly, I know, but I felt it lent a sense of closure to our unsuccessful quest last May. We finally made it to the Marriott for dinner, and then headed up to our rooms. This was the view outside our window!

    Tune in soon for the next REALLY EXCITING installment...

    January 27, 2005

    Lisa: I think we were in desperate need of some D-Bo

    1. D-Bo is apparently filming (or has already filmed) a movie with Nick Lachey called The Hard Easy. No, as far as I can tell it is not gay porn. The concept seems to be two groups of people who plan to rob the same jewelry store at the same time. D-Bo plays a stockbroker (!) who agrees to the robbery to recoup some losses, and Nick plays an accountant (!!) with a tough working-class background(?). Whatever. Anything not involving a satanic biker gang representing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a step up as far as I'm concerned. I hope they play up the fact that Nick looks like a cartoon version of D-Bo. Anyway, D-Bo looks pretty hot in the photos. See you at the video store.

    2. Speaking of I think I have mentioned before, I play with the Orchestra at Temple Square, the group that performs with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Every Sunday, the Choir broadcasts a little concert thingy with a feel-good message, called Music and the Spoken Word. Locally, this is a TV broadcast, but I think it's carried on radio stations in other places. Anyway, even if we don't have a special musical celebrity guest like Donny, there is often another famous person in the audience. If their people contact the orchestra's people and we know they're there, the conductor will often call the famous person up on stage after the broadcast, introduce him or her to the audience, let the person say a few words and then present them with a gift. In recent memory we have had Sir Anthony Hopkins and Marni Nixon (the lady who did the singing voices for Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, and the grandmother in Mulan). Anyway, I was thinking that (since he is likely to be in Utah visiting his in-laws sometime soon) D-Bo should totally come! That is the best chance I have of meeting him that I have thought of so far.

    3. I had a vague memory of some scandal surrounding the dubbing of Marni Nixon's voice in for Natalie Wood's on West Side Story. A little digging turned up this helpful info. (Scroll down to The Songs.)

    4. I heard part of an interview with Bowling for Soup on a local radio station this morning on my way to work. The DJ was talking to them about how a band's money situation works. I guess I didn't really realize that the studio gets paid back for making the videos and the record before the band gets anything, and then they have to pay for all their expenses out of the 75% of the profits that they get after that. BfS said that their bus costs $1000 per day, the drivers cost $200 per day, and staff salaries, etc. are all on top of that. Most of the merchandising revenue goes to making free stickers to pass out, etc. They said that the rule of thumb is that a band doesn't make any money until a record goes platinum. Go buy a CD from your favorite band!

    December 10, 2004

    Lisa: no turning back now

    I finished programming the Concert Black website yesterday and have been submitting it to search engines all morning. Scary! Anyway, check it out and see what you think.

    For the backstory on Concert Black, look here, here, here, and here.

    November 29, 2004

    Lisa: Basted in Blood

    Don't miss Basted in Blood (courtesy Defective Yeti) even though Thanksgiving is over. It might be Sarah Maclaughlan's finest moment.

    August 13, 2004

    Lisa: Educate yo' ass

    If you have the right sort of sense of humor (you know who you are), read this article from the New Yorker, which I found today via mimi smartypants. I have made a mental note to use the phrase "bust a potentially injurious move" in the near future, and I hope you will too.

    Further Reading:
    The latin translation of Baby's Got Back by Sir Mixalot may appeal to the same audience.

    July 22, 2004

    Lisa: Pretty drawings do not a website make

    My mom and I had another meeting with the designer for our Concert Black business last night. It was all kinds of serious, with fabric samples and a design board with pretty drawrings and everything. Evidence below (click the thumbnail for the bigger picture).

    So, the next step with the clothes is a few design changes (like making the skirts all long enough) and getting quotes from manufacturers.

    Unfortunately, the clothes part isn't my responsibility. Instead, I am supposed to be working on the website. Argh! E-commerce websites have so much STUFF involved that I don't know how to integrate. I need a tax calculator, shipping calculator, credit card verification/processing service, SSL on my web server, a web server, a digital ID/authentication certificate, and a really good looking and functional website. What do I have? None of the above. Help!

    Update: the website is live! Check it out here.

    June 19, 2004

    Sarah: This Surreal Life

    My brother recently burned a FABULOUS c.d. for me featuring Postal Service, Clem Snide, and Fiona Apple. Postal Service in particular has captured my attention because of their surreal and original sound. The other day, I was listening to them while driving, feeling like a removed observer of the world around me. I saw two older women sitting on a blanket in the grass with a picnic laid out around them, deep in conversation. A hipster boy defied his stereotype by walking with an 8 year old girl in mutually good-natured companionship. Everything seemed right and harmonious. Thank you, Postal Service.

    June 18, 2004

    Lisa: Well, we didn't have cable!

    OK, I know these quizzes are usually lame, but this one (based on 80s song lyrics) was actually really fun. I thought I was doing well until I saw my crap score.

    See if you can do better! (Via Going Jesus.)

    April 05, 2004

    Lisa: Happy Anniversaries all around

    I meant to write an entry commemorating the one-year anniversary of our first entry yesterday, but I was too busy watching the Manor House tapes I checked out from the library. Oh, and playing in front of millions of people. (If you actually try to download the huge video file at that link, I'm playing in the musical number that's right after the opening prayer [my first appearance is at 10 minutes and 30 seconds]. Look for the flutist on the far left.) So, playing at the LDS General Conference was a little crazy. Not only does the auditorium (which was packed) seat 21,000 people, but the program is broadcast all over the world and translated into 66 languages (including Hmoob). That's approximately seven seconds of (nameless) international fame for me! Anyway, it's been one year of blogging. Yay! Thanks to the two people who have commented--that'll keep us going for a while.

    Also, congrats on your anniversary today too, Mom and Dad! It's been 25 years since I brought you home from the hospital, and I think you may have even known each other for a while before that. Well, at least nine months.

    January 08, 2004

    Lisa: Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning

    I believed (and was responsible for perpetuating the misconception) that Major Tom was a real astronaut, and that the David Bowie and Peter Schilling songs described a real event until about two months ago. I was sure that the existence of two songs by different artists about the same story was inexplicable if the story wasn't true. I was wrong. Unfortunately, now that I have so rudely been "brought to earth" (Ha. Ha?), I find that I wish Major Tom had been real. Hey, it was a poignant and touching story, a la The Abyss! It was a trajedy that so gripped the world that songs were written about it!

    Sob. Moving on now.

    December 23, 2003

    Lisa: It's the thought that counts

    One of the other flutists in the Orchestra at Temple Square and I were interviewed (and photographed) for the Music and the Spoken Word website. I'm not sure how long our interview will be up; it looks like it's one installment of a "behind the scenes" series.

    I thought spotlighting us was a nice gesture, but unfortunately, they called me Julie Smith instead of Lisa Smith 3 of the 4 times my name was mentioned--talent agents (HA!) should avoid the confusion and just contact me here. Edited to add: They fixed my name! Now there is no real reason for this blog. Fate is a fickle friend.

    If you look at the picture, I'm the one on the right. Feel free to ignore the gaping rictus that has appeared on my usually demure face. Apparently, music MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!!!

    November 20, 2003

    Lisa: Nobody sings in the library

    If you have a second to watch a short video, and you really like books and/or musicals, you need to watch this.

    On the other hand, if you want to watch a music video, but hate musicals and books, and just have a general feeling of apathy toward everything, then this is for you.

    November 18, 2003

    Lisa: a heart too soon made glad

    When I posted my new "Listening To" CD yesterday, I remembered jamming to Weezer back in high school. Yeah, I fancied myself pretty hardcore. (HA!)

    On another not-very-hardcore note, I have often thought that Weezer's "No One Else" was a tribute to the Robert Browning poem "My Last Duchess." I know that seems farfetched, but they're smart guys. Rivers Cuomo did attend Harvard, right? It could happen.

    I say, read both and decide for yourself. At the very least, the two works share a similar (albeit jealous and misogynistic) sentiment.

    November 05, 2003

    Sarah: Letter to Enya

    Dear Enya,
    Congratulations on your record sales and soothing chanting music. I have one small qualm with your lyrics. In some of your songs, like "Only Time" for example, you use a "dead" language of your own invention. What are your qualifications, I wonder, for a dead language? If a language must simply not exist in the current vernacular, then yours is perfectly legitimate. If, however, it had to exist as common language at some point in time, then your language does not fit this description. Personally, I am unsettled by the idea of individuals inventing languages and passing them off as those lost with the dying of some civilization. Although soothed by your music, should your fans continue to be duped in this way? I believe the time has come to liberate them from the cages of mistaken information and tell them this dirty secret. It is not a language at all, but peaceful noises. This language holds meaning only to you. Your fans will forgive you, and your career will not take a tragic turn. In fact, this could be a positive move for you. Perhaps sceptics like myself will appreciate your honesty and listen to your music for what it is, instead of despising it for what it is not. I trust you will make the right decision. Good luck in the future.

    October 22, 2003

    Guest Blogger: David Anderson

    An Open Letter to Brian McKnight, Singer-Songwriter of "Back at One"

    Dear Mr. McKnight,

    Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this letter. I am sure that with all of your autograph-signing and frolicking in your solid-gold swimming pool, that you have precious few moments to read letters from people such as myself, so I will therefore be brief.

    I am writing in regards to your hit song, "Back at One," for which you made millions and millions of dollars. Now, I would never quibble with your lyric intent--as a contented fan says on the website, "Brian Mchknight's Back At One, in my opinion, is one the top five albums of the nineties [sic.]." But I was hoping that you would clarify the meaning of the chorus for me, as I have yet to completely decipher it. It appears that the chorus, at least, follows the standard format of a counting song, in that each line begins with the counted number (one, two, three, four) followed by the step that the narrator intends to follow next.

    The first line, "One, you're like a dream come true," I understand to be a simile in which your narrator asserts a kind of metaphysical rightness in regards to his object of affection. And the second line, "Two, just want to be with you" continues this list of feelings that she inspires in the narrator. By the third line, "Three, Girl it's plain to see, that you're the only one for me," you have clearly established this pattern--the listener now has the expectation that each number will correspond to a reason, if you will, that the narrator's girl is the only one for him. Now, line four is where I get hung up. In it, you sing. "Four, repeat steps one through three /Make you fall in love with me." It seems here that you are treating lines one through three as if they were steps that one could follow. But if you remember, step one was, "One, you're like a dream come true," which seems to be more a statement of fact then a step which one could follow, indeed, a step that, if followed, would make the girl fall in love with the narrator. Lines two and three only further the confusion. How could one repeat the step "Just want to be with you," or even "Girl it's plain to see, that you're the only one for me?"

    I'm sure you can imagine my concern upon hearing this in your song. If I, for example, had a girl that I felt was the only one for me, and wished to emulate your narrator's methods in an effort to make said girl fall in love with me, then where would I begin? "Repeat steps one through three," your narrator mockingly tells me, as I vainly attempt to carry out step one, "you're like a dream come true." Certainly you would admit that no girl has ever been made to fall in love with a person for simply "wanting to be with you."

    Thank you for your time--if you have any suggestions on how I can resolve this dilemma, I would appreciate it greatly if you could let me know.

    A Concerned Listener

    September 15, 2003

    Lisa: Concert Black

    My mom and I have been talking about starting a small business. It's getting pretty serious--more so than my usual genius ideas--because we're talking about getting a small business loan and I've registered a domain name and everything.

    Here's the concept. Almost all orchestras and symphonies require their female musicians to wear formal, all-black ensembles, usually skirts, that are long-sleeved and ankle-length. If you have shopped for this type of outfit before (as I have on countless occasions), you would know that it does not exist. If it's formal enough and long enough, the sleeves are guaranteed to be too short, etc. "But I'm sure there's an online clothing retailer that caters to musicians," you might say. You would be wrong. The only similar-concept site that I have found after countless hours of searching has only ugly clothes with short sleeves.

    We've decided to sell separates, a la David's Bridal bridesmaid outfits. Separates are the easiest way to fit varying body types and allow for customized looks that give an overall uniform effect. There are a few caveats for formalwear that is used as an everyday uniform, though:

  • Items should be comfortable; you have to be able to sit down, bend arms, breathe, etc. All of the materials should be stretchy or flowy. Also, people don't like to buy new orchestra clothes just because they gained five pounds. Plus, a waistband that is comfortable standing up is not always good when sitting down.
  • Let's face it, musicians playing strenuous music under hot stage lights sweat. Items should be machine washable if possible! Packable (for tours) is even better.
  • Items should be flattering and look professional. Bunchy waistbands become worse when sitting down. Tops that are too long make hips look wider. Tops that are too short show bare skin or underwear when sitting. Bra straps should never be in danger of showing.

    Anyway, I've been working on the website, and my mom's been working on how to produce these customized skirts and tops. I'll post more info as we get closer.

    I have no doubts that a business of this kind could be successful. There is a huge market that is not being satisfied. But...this is kind of scary!

    Update: the website is live! Check it out here.

  • September 14, 2003

    Sarah: Holla!

    ...As in the relaxed pronunciation of "holler." My friend and I have decided to work this word into our working vocabulary. I am struck by the meaninglessness of this word in the raps of supastars like Ja Rule and Jay-Z. Speaking of Ja Rule, I find it difficult to understand why that man is now rich and famous. Perhaps I am perpetuating his recognizability, but I am going to venture a criticism. As far as I can see, Ja Rule can't sing. At all. Nor is he a particularly innovative rapper. Some people in the entertainment business can get by on good looks, but I do not find Ja Rule to fit into this category. He's one third of the size of most rappers (with the exception of Eminem) and has a small head with an even smaller mustache. This doesn't look like meticulously groomed facial hair, but more like he couldn't grow any more. Okay, I think I've reached a meanness level that I usually avoid. I shall retract most of my statements, but maintain that Ja Rule should just let Ashanti do the singing on their duets. Perhaps he can insert a "holla!" between verses.

    September 05, 2003

    Lisa: Percussion...Strings...Winds....Words

    Sarah: I've had the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid stuck in my head all morning.
    Lisa: Hee. Now I'm going to have it in MY head. Thanks a lot.
    Sarah: “This one longing to be thinner, this one wants to get the girl, and do I help them??”
    Sarah: “Yes indeed!”
    Lisa: hee
    Lisa: “If you want to cross the bridge, my friend, you have to pay the toll!”
    Sarah: hee
    Lisa: “(Flotsam, Jetsam, now i've got her, boys! THE BOSS IS ON A ROOOOOLLLLL!)”
    Lisa: “those
    Lisa: POOR
    Lisa: UN
    Lisa: FOR
    Lisa: TUNATE
    Sarah: No one can shimmy like Ursula.
    Lisa: truh

    September 02, 2003

    Guest Blogger: David Anderson


    there were two hours until the concert began. marilyn manson sat astride his dressing-room stool, staring blankly at his reflection in the mirror. he'd already finished his white foundation, and was beginning to outline the black circles of eyeliner around his eyes.

    he remembered how at sixteen, when he'd first borrowed his sister's eyeliner, his mother had cried. she hadn't yelled, hadn't told him to take it off, had only looked at him dejectedly before burying her face into her hands, sobbing. forget her, marilyn thought. this is who i am. i don't have to conform to her hypocritical idea of what i should be.

    but as he finished the last black ring and lifted the lipstick to his face, he thought, this is the hardest part. he thought of how his mother used to tell her friends proudly how little marilyn was the best science student in the whole sixth-grade class, how he was going to grow up to be a doctor just like his father. that was before his father had left his mother.

    the days were a blur now, of orgies and shattered hotel rooms and screaming fans and drugs.

    he finished the lipstick and smacked his lips together, as a single tear rolled down his cheek, tracing a crooked path through the white powder on his face.

    July 10, 2003

    Lisa: This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse is Upon Us

    Despite being amused by The Shizzolator, I vowed never to watch Doggy Fizzle Televizzle. However, last night I found myself watching it and laughing out loud. What's next--listening to Kid Rock?

    "Hatorade! Because all that hatin' leaves you parched! Now in extra strength for catty bitches!"

    May 19, 2003

    Sarah: Pop Diva

    This morning, while drying my hair using one of those new-fangled ion blow dryers, I thought about Blake, frequently telling me "don't shoot ions at your head!" I went into an extensive fantastic internal dialog, in which I was the writer of the smash hit "Ions on My Mind." It must be Monday.

    May 13, 2003

    Lisa: Tiny Happy Song

    I am currently writing new lyrics to "Yes, We Have No Bananas!". Here's what I have so far:
    YES, we have a domain name!!! We got our domain name toDAY!!!

    Quietly going back to work now.

    May 07, 2003

    Sarah: And now for something (almost) completely different

    Background information: I've been in several quartets that play for weddings, receptions, and other functions for private parties and major companies. These quartets have had many attractive young girls in them. Hey! My quartet is also for hire if you are in the Salt Lake City or Logan, UT!! Just email me!

    Rant: At almost every event that I play at, SOMEONE will come up to us and ask us if we know any Metallica or Boston or some other band. What IS that? Dude, you're not the first person to say that, and we're a freaking string quartet! We could play a polka or a waltz or even a tango, but we don't play rock music! UGH! I shouldn't be so grouchy, and I should just get used to these sorts of questions, but I just want it to stop!

    Conclusion: We would love for you to listen and enjoy, but if you're GOING to make a suggestion, make it a feasible one. And if you are going to flirt, just ask us for our numbers. End of whining.

    May 06, 2003

    Sarah: This is just a tribute

    Have you ever noticed those "String Quartet Tribute to..." c.d.s at the store, mixed in with the albums of your favorite artists? I know there is such a c.d. for Radiohead, and I'm pretty sure there is also one for Rage Against the Machine. How am I supposed to feel about this? As a classical musician, I feel that I should have strong emotions towards this bridge between genres. But I'm just not sure. I don't really get the concept. I mean, true fans of classical music will recognize that quartet arrangements of Karma Police are not on the same level as Shostakovich and Brahms. However, when you're in the mood for Rage, are you going to listen to something that, to the untrained ear, sounds like elevator muzak? That doesn't seem likely, somehow. I also wonder if there is a single quartet that specializes in these recordings? Are they looked down upon by their contemporaries? The main question that I send out to the void is: What is the purpose of these "tribute" c.d.s?

    April 06, 2003

    Sarah: Ben Folds - Rockin... MY WORLD!

    Ben Folds' first solo album, Rockin the Suburbs, is quite excellent. A long time Ben Folds Five fan, my world was shattered when I heard that the band broke up. Ben was able to raise the spirits of many when he released a solo c.d., featuring himself on almost all instruments. Ben Folds is an amazing musician, particularly on the piano. I find it especially cool that he didn't begin training on the piano until he reached college. When you hear his acrobatic playing on Rockin the Suburbs and on Ben Folds Five albums, you too will be amazed. The new c.d. (actually now over a year old) features a variety of songs, from upbeat tempos to depressing lyrics. For hard core fans, be sure to note "Fred Jones Part Two," a continuation of the horribly sad life of Fred Jones, previously featured on BFF's album Whatever and Ever Amen in "Cigarette." Another tidbit, Ben's wife joins him on "Still Fighting It." Another note about Ben's wife, the last song on the c.d., "The Luckiest" is a song written by Ben for her. For this reason, along with his talent and sense of humor, I want Ben for my own.
    But my unhealthy obsession with Ben Folds is not the point of this blog. Check him out. He will not disappoint you. If anyone has questions about other Ben Folds Five albums, I would be happy to answer them. I love them all, in their own way.