Hi blog. It’s me. Maybe you don’t remember me. Life got busy. I got a job and that has been my main focus. Not that my life was particularly exciting before, but there definitely hasn’t been much to write home about of late. I am enjoying the job though. A lot.
So I’ll try to write more. I promise.
It’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve actually gone to see a show. I guess you can say Noisette counts because I saw the Dodos and Pillowfight, and I guess I saw a few other bands perform over the last few months, but they’ve all been part of some festival or other event. To actually go see a band or someone else perform? Embarrassingly, that might be when I took my mom to see Michael Buble. And before that, the New Pornographers in 2010. Inconceivable! This is a dry spell I’m glad to be ending.
In any case, learning about JJAMZ was a semi-random journey of chance. I’ve been a huge fan of bands like Phantom Planet, Rilo Kiley, The Like, Maroon 5 (when they wrote Songs About Jane), etc. ever since late high school. Seeing each of these bands either split up or, in the case of Maroon 5, slowly degenerate in quality over the years, has been a depressing process. Thus, when I learned that there was a band that sounded like a mix of these bands, I was excited. For whatever reason, I didn’t continue to look into the band until my friend, by chance, sent me an article about the band, whereupon I learned that this band sounded like a blend of some of my favorite bands of my younger years because it was made up of members of those bands. Needless to say, I bought the album almost immediately. The timing was perfect because they happened to be kicking off their tour in SF on Labor Day. Hurrah!
I’ve wanted to post here more often, but I’ve been kind of a loss of things to write about lately. I guess there are a lot of reasons for that, but I’m hoping to change it. I will be writing about seeing JJAMZ tonight, who were a lot of fun, but I will do it when it’s not past midnight because I have pictures to upload. I actually set out just now to write a post about coming to terms with being a hipster, but it was one of those entries that sounded a lot better in my head.
In all honesty, my life has been fairly routine the last few weeks. Been watching a lot of Breaking Bad in an attempt to try to finish the show before what I thought was going to be the series finale yesterday. About halfway through season three at the moment. Been trying to get myself into a routine at the gym. Been watching a lot of soccer. Been having a lot of game nights. Work. Nothing particularly exciting, which has hampered my creativity.
Also haven’t been doing much that would require the use of my new camera. Have some fun photos that I’ve been meaning to post from the first few weeks I had it, but I just haven’t gotten around to that. I will. I’ll write more. I’ll take the camera out more. Yup.
When I started this blog, I set out to write primarily about food and music. Several years passed, the interests that inspired me tended to change, and, well, I started writing about anything I felt like writing about. Leave it to Noise Pop to create an event that brings me back to my focus. Noisette, which was held at Public Works in San Francisco last Saturday, was an event dedicated to sampling food prepared by some of the city’s finest chefs while listening to great music. Really, who could ask for more? For the price of the regular admission, you were given a punch card to sample nine dishes, all while listening to music or drinking to your heart’s content.
Unfortunately, my arrival to San Francisco was slightly delayed so my partner in crime and I did not make it to the event until about an hour into the event. For the food, this wasn’t a problem as the plates were being served throughout the event. We did miss the first performance, however.
I’ve been M.I.A. lately. I did get a new toy last week. I’m absolutely loving it.
The camera. Not Bruce.
I grew up in the Silicon Valley. I often take the area for granted. It’s not hard when we’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from San Francisco. Sometimes, however, I tend to take a step back and realize that, despite all of the hate that people of the Bay Area pour down on the South Bay, it can be a lot of fun.A couple of weeks ago, I went to a festival in Downtown San Jose. The SubZero Festival, which was in its 5th year, took place on June 1. It’s a celebration of subculture. Part of the event was part of what’s apparently a monthly art walk. There was also live music, beer tasting, and a lot of food trucks.
Euro Cup 2012 kicked off yesterday. For those of you who do not follow soccer (or are not swamped with it in Europe), it’s the international European tournament that happens every four years. It’s like the World Cup if you take out the rest of the world. I’ve been incredibly excited about it and have been counting down the days for the past month. It’s kind of a big deal. Because I had to do responsible adult things, I really only watched fifteen minutes of one of yesterday’s matches because it was playing at the sandwich shop I was eating lunch at. Now, however, I am currently writing to you while watching the Denmark-Netherlands game and plan to go out and cheer for Germany in a pub downtown.
The European Cup has a special place in my heart. Sure, I was in Italy when they won the 2006 World Cup, but it wasn’t until we were backpacking through Europe in 2008 that I finally got it. I don’t know what clicked. Perhaps there was something in the unspoken camaraderie we felt with a Dutch bartender in a bar in Amsterdam where we were the only other people cheering for Italy when they played Spain. Or, perhaps there was something infectious about being crammed into a packed subway car of ecstatic German fans in Berlin after Germany had beaten Turkey.
It’s not that we ever got particular close to the actual tournament. Astronomical hotel prices meant that the longest period we spent in Austria were the thirty minutes we had to wait to transfer trains between Slovenia and Italy. Our train did briefly stop in Vienna on the day of the final match between Germany and Spain. We were traveling from Munich to Budapest and in that time we watched as hundreds of excited German fans marched their way off the train carrying giant cartons of beer. Mia was a popular member of our party seeing as she developed her intense obsession with the German National Team on this trip.
We arrived in our hostel in Budapest shortly before the final match started. Being on more neutral grounds for the Spain v. Germany match-up meant that while there was a more even split in fan support, the crazy fever of our previous viewing experiences in Germany was sadly absent. Nevertheless, watching it in a park in the middle of Magaret Island with a number of locals and some other travelers made for a fantastic evening.
Which leads me to the other point of this post. One of the most interesting parts about traveling is getting a taste of cultures around the world. There are many ways to do this. For me, one way has been through soccer. Soccer is an international language. It’s a language so many people speak around the world. While I have yet to see a live game in Europe (Chris and I are planning for Russia 2018), watching it in local pubs and parks has colored my travel experiences. I’m not saying to fully embrace soccer when you travel. Don’t ignore it, but find a way to connect to the local culture while you’re there. It could be through food, theater, wine, or anything else. Just find something. Trust me, it’ll lead to a richer travel experience.
And for all you soccer fans out there, enjoy Euro 2012! I’m rooting for Italy and Germany. What about you?
I saw Snow White and the Huntsman on Monday. I’m not a big Kristen Stewart fan. Sure, I haven’t seen the Twilight films, but she was awful in Adventureland and forgettable in any other movie I’d seen her in. So, really, one might question why I would watch a film where she plays the hero. The movie did look interesting in a Lord of the Rings sort of way, however. My mom also really wanted to see it. Oh yeah, and Thor’s in it.
Among the previews for a Katy Perry movie and that strange Rock of Ages movie was the trailer for Les Miserables. Despite my previous misgivings about the film, I am so excited for this movie. I’ve seen the trailer countless times for now. It truly looks like it will be epic. Unfortunately, that was about the highlight of the movie night.
I spent a large part of my evening assembling my Euro Cup Fantasy Team. It’s an exhausting process. If my MLS experience was any indication, I’m sure that between now and June 8th, I am going to be changing this lineup as much as I possibly can when I still have unlimited transfers. We’ll see. But with this around the corner and the MLS season in full swing, I’m slowly starting to learn all of the games this fantasy sports business does with your head.
For a large part of my life, I’ve had a serious aversion to all things sports. Being half-Italian, soccer has always kind of been in my blood, but it wasn’t something I followed seriously until after World Cup 2006. Nor was it something I was at all fanatical about until the last few years. Something changed in the last few years and while I have no desire to turn to American football or any other similar sport, I now understand the painfully delightful thrill of being a sports fan.
The Avengers came out. I saw it at midnight and am still fan girling about it. I want to post about it and will, but I wanted to hold off until my fan girl fever dies down (or until I manage to see it a second time). In short, however, the movie was nothing less than amazing. Joss Whedon nailed the superhero movie, as I presumed he would. It’s a must see.
That’s not why I’m writing today. Today’s topic is what I like to refer to as “comfort music.” I’m sure others refer to it in the same manner. Like comfort food, these are the songs or musicians that will make you feel better no matter what’s going on in your life.This is the music that, for me at least, makes me step back reassess my situation, and think somewhat more clearly. I’m sure everyone has certain albums, artists, or songs that elicit this reaction.
For me, it’s not a matter of the tempo of the music, nor is it necessarily a matter of the quality of the music. For instance, as much as the music hipster in me pains to say it, NSync’s self-titled album just does it for me. I could be in the absolute worst mode, but I can’t help but smile if “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is playing somewhere. And even the most soothing music can still leave my ears ringing if I’m in some sort of a panic.
What I’ve realized is that the music that can be most effective at this is often most closely associated with some sort of nostalgic element. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia that elicits those feelings of comfort in the first place. Thus, a band like NSync still brightens my day. In the past week, I’ve been thinking about some of the music I’d consider comfort music. This list is in no particular order and it does not represent all of the artists who have this strange effect on me, but I thought I’d share a handful to give you a small glimpse into my mind.
And Happy Cinco de Mayo!