I went Reel Big Fish concert a couple weeks ago featuring Starpool, The Maxies, Skapeche Mode, and Stupid Flanders at the Observatory. I didn’t get chance to share any photos. Better late than never.
After watching The Maxies on the main stage with gem, I switched rooms to watch Stupid Flanders. That’s also where I ran into my friend, Amit.
gem left Stupid Flanders to be sure to catch all of Suburban Legends. I missed the first half of the first song or so by the time I got over there. It was packed, and we were separated.
After Suburban Legends’ set, I switched back to the Constellation Room for Skapeche Mode. Can you guess that they do Depeche Mode covers?
I got nice and close! Skapeche Mode has great energy, and I love fun 80s tunes. Plus, they’re pretty friendly! I actually ran into Bryan, the trumpet player, at SDCC.
gem managed to find me at this point even though we couldn’t text. Signal was so bad that our text messages were actually lagging by 20 minutes or so.
After their set, gem and I chatted with Bryan briefly, and I got this photo with Skapeche Mode’s singer. Note the David Bowie homage.
Last was Reel Big Fish. By that time, I just wasn’t feeling it too much anymore. Plus, there was a lot of weed around us, so we left after a couple songs. We did, however, run into Brian Klemm, guitarist for Suburban Legends. I think this is the happiest I’ve ever seen gem. Plus, when I asked Klemm about the band since this is their last tour, he confirmed that they’re not breaking up and should still be playing locally. Awesome!
Last week was the opening reception of Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s & 1970s. My friend Kristine has been working at the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch Photo Collection Department as an archivist for the Rolland J. Curtis Photo Archive. Curtis was the Field Deputy to Billy G. Mills and Tom Bradley, who were two of the first three African-American councilman on the LA city council in the ’60s. Kristine sorted through thousands of photographs and was the curator. How cool is that? You can read more about her project on her blog, Film Is Memory.
Look, her name’s on the poster!
gem and Kristine!
I had to show her fiancé, Justin, some love too. Here’s gem and Justin as well. gem wanted to get a photo at the podium. She’s a thinker, that one.
I didn’t realize the mic was hot, and when I chuckled, it amplified it. I don’t think anyone noticed luckily.
gem also took this of me through some furniture.
After the opening reception, during which I managed to stuff my face full of cookies and miniature cinnamon buns, we had some dinner at Chego, a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant in LA. I got a tasty kimchi spam bowl. Rather than show you that, I’m going to show a low-quality photo of the “Ooey Gooey Fries” – very unhealthy, I’m sure.
After dinner, we took some photos with Pooh and got some ice cream. Funny how my lips were inches away from Justin’s face in the photo I posted above, but when taking a photo with this disgusting public Pooh Bear, I accidentally touched my lips to him. Ugh. Pooh looks a bit bashful, don’t you think?
Christmas is a time for giving, and this year I gave a few homemade gifts. I thought I’d share some here!
This is a Christmas card I gave. Yes, there was writing too, but I’m not sharing any.
Here’s another one. I was pretty happy with it.
One last card. These took hours each on average. I suppose I’m slow.
This chubby little bunny was made for gem. I had to learn how to hand sew to make this. It was slow at first but got faster as I learned different stitches.
The side angle lets you see his little tail.
She liked him! I’m really happy with how the bunny turned out. I think he’s pretty adorable, and he’s quite cuddly too.
This is a cute photo. I like the bow tie. It’s attached with a safety pin rather than being sewed on so that it can be moved to become a ribbon on the ear instead!
Anela likes alpacas – particularly stuffed alpacas in costumes.
I made this alpaca and then decided to put it in a belly dance costume.
Anela recognized it right away, which definitely made me happy!
It was based off one of the belly dance costumes that she’s worn. Plus I added a bell because… well… I like bells.
Evyerthing I made was well-received, and I had a ton of fun making them. It was strange when I finally finished; I didn’t know what to do with my free time. I spent countless nights in December working until 6 in the morning. Most of my free time the entire month was spent working. I decided to watch Parks and Recreation while working and got through three and a half seasons. I might be slow, and I might not be the most skilled, but I’m diligent!
I thought it might be fun to look at what I listened to in 2015. I use Last.fm, which tracks music you listened to by linking to Spotify, using a Chrome extension for YouTube, and getting play counts from iTunes. You can find me on Last.fm here if you’re interested. This is Make a New Dance Up by Hey Ocean! at the top. It makes me happy; It’s very upbeat, and it really does make me want to dance. Sometimes I listen to it when I’m about to go dancing.
Here are my top artists played in this last year. What a good-sounding bunch.
My top artists aren’t a surprise. However, I guess I should admit that I think all 214 plays of The Orion Experience came from a single song. Wow.
Here are some more interesting notes. Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox is tracked under two different names.
Combined, they’d beat Suburban Legends for the most played artist.
I don’t own any music by Taylor Swift, and her music is on Spotify. All of her plays are from YouTube. While I already liked a few of her older songs without really knowing who sang them, her recent rise in my listening habits can be attributed to Anela playing the music videos in Daniel’s apartment. Kat DeLuna and Priyanka Chopra are also from her.
The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, My Crazy Girlfriend, Hey Ocean!, It Boys!, Hailee Steinfeld, and Kerli all came from Spotify’s Discovery Weekly playlist that changes weekly and is customized to each user. It’s fantastic.
Colt Ford is all Crank It Up. I line danced to it at Atomic and had to go listen to it a thousand times (well, 156 times).
Suburban Legends and Half Past Two are two of my favorite ska bands and local to the area. They’re not new to my listening this year. Half Past Two is taking a break, and Suburban Legends just announced that their current tour is their last, so I’m mad at them! (I’m sorry; I’m not mad. I love you. Thanks for making my ears happy.) Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox and Regina Spektor are both favorites of mine for longer than 2015, and I actually saw the Postmodern Jukebox in early 2015.
I was introduced to Daniela Andrade by gem. At first, I mostly listened to her cover of Crazy, which is crazy good. She’s very talented.
Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy is actually the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. I don’t know what they have against the Oxford comma.
What can I say about Carly Rae Jepsen? I really, really, really, really, really like her. (Do you get it?!)
Here’s my all time top artists in 2015. Again, no surprise, but there is one caveat. My play counts in iTunes were also increased by gem, and she went completely crazy on Owl City for a while. That was the only album she listened to for far too long. I couldn’t stand them for a while. I like them again, but they wouldn’t be this high without her.
When I look at my list of all time top played artists, it makes me want to listen to some of them more. I need more Liz Phair and Vampire Weekend.
These are the songs I listened to the most in 2015. I can’t say much about them. Obviously I love all of them or I wouldn’t have listened to them so many times.
These are my top all time songs. Some of these are artists that made it on my top artists of 2015 list. Some, like Suburban Legends, already had a lot of plays from previous years and continued strong with me in 2015. Others, like The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, Colt Ford, It Boys!, and Hey Ocean! I only learned about this year and they already shot into my all time list. I knew of Taylor Swift, but Shake It Off was new to me. Again, Owl City has infiltrated the list thanks to all those dang plays from gem.
Less interesting, but for completion’s sake, here’s the top albums in 2015.
This is the top 20 list.
Here’s the all time top albums. Ugh, Owl City! You’re a fine band, but you make me angry that you’re so high.
And here’s the final list for all time top played albums.
This song didn’t make it on the list, but its album did at least. I want to share it anyways.
I wonder how these lists will change next year! I think it’s fun to look back at what I’ve been listening to!
Following tradition, I ended 2015 by attending the Ska Luau on the 30th and going to a New Year’s Eve party at the Carters’ on the 31st. It was a lot of fun!
gem and I were looking good at the Ska Luau. I need to work on evening my tan.
The two of us were rocking our Suburban Legends shirts! The Luau featured the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe, Karate in the Garage, Hooray for Our Side, Suburban Legends, and Starpool. What a sweet line up!
We ran into our friend Bryan who’s the trumpet player for Skapeche Mode and Failed to Victory. All the bands performed amazing sets. I’d never heard Karate in the Garage, so that was a treat. I’d only seen Hooray for Our Side once, and they gave a great performance. Suburban Legends and Starpool are two of my favorite bands, and they somehow always exceed expectations. I didn’t take many photos of Suburban Legends. There choreography is so awesome that still photos wouldn’t do them justice. However, I have some videos of them playing and dancing in the playlist at the top of this post.
Starpool came out in a bang of confetti!
Throw my hands up and shout! I love when they perform this. You can see T-bone Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa on stage too. My ears were ringing all day the next day.
I brought a lot of food to the New Year’s Eve party – brownies, lemon bars, and biscuit pizzas.
I told Henley that I had a gift for him in the car, and he was pretty excited. He was so adorable asking if it was time to open it yet. He needed some help getting it unwrapped!
He seemed pretty happy with his new Buzz Lightyear! As it turns out, he had really wanted one too. While I was undoing the ties to get Buzz out of the package, Henley repeatedly gave me hugs. He’s so cute.
We suggested he open gem’s gift while I got Buzz out of the box. gem gave him a jacket that looks like a polar bear, complete with bear ears of course. He’s wearing it in that photo, although he didn’t want the hood.
Dev’s dog, Happy, is totally a lap dog.
Here’s me and Dev! He’s one of my oldet friends. We met in 8th grade.
I guess Mike likes my brownies! Actually, he was wondering why Dev scooped them out of the pan with a spoon.
gem made cheesecake ice cream as gifts and left them in a freezer. I realized that Gracie and Jon forgot to take one, so we began discussing the ice cream. Somehow we realized we could heat up my homemade brownies and serve them with gem’s homemade cheesecake ice cream.
Super success! A picture doesn’t really do it justice, but trust me that it was delicious.
And that was my New Year’s Eve! Thanks to Alex, Darnell, Henley, gem, Devin, Lorena, Gracie, Jon, Mike, Dev, and a couple people who I didn’t really know (sorry, I forgot names after a day already) for a fantastic end to 2015!