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Last night I had a dream that we went to Disneyland, went on all the rides, and didn’t have to wait in line! (8)

I didn’t actually have a dream like that. Those are lyrics from an Ataris song I used to be obsessed with around the year 2003.

Any time I feel like reminiscing, I turn to the songs I listened to back around 2001-2004. Those were the years I started branching out from the status quo, stopped listening to the radio, and started listening mostly to indie rock, pop-punk, and emo. I loved it!!!

Those were the days I would stay up all night talking to people on an old school blogging site called Melodramatic.com and thought I was so rad because I had x’s and “emo” in my username before it was trendy. We would talk about all the angsty things going on in our lives, all the broken hearts we had, and the parties we went to. Oh the drama… How young and stupid and unaware we all were.

Then I grew up and the website starting breaking and being down more than it was up and there were these new sites called myspace and Facebook. They were different and encouraged you to actually know the people on the site instead of just making random friends with people across the inter webs. So that happened and the awesome music talk stopped and I started actually paying for music since it became illegal to download it…illegally.

But my love for music never waned. It grew as the number of candles on my birthday cakes did. I couldn’t get enough. I needed to explore more than what they were forced to play on the radio. I started going to more and more concerts and discovered new bands through that venue as well as finding new friends with new and interesting music to listen to.

As the years have passed, I’ve never stopped loving music and discovering new artists. My tastes have become much more eclectic and diversified. But no matter how much my musical tastes grow, the bands I listened to from 2001-2004 will always hold a special place in my heart!

Peace, love, and chocolate chai tea lattes,
xxJenn

PS Please leave me a comment and let me know of any bands you think are awesome!

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I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea! Or…I got brave and posted a cover on YouTube (27)

Man oh man do I have the travel bug right now!  I blame the #STARTexp and #SS peeps.  They all live all around the world and that makes me want to visit all of them!  People say a lot of stuff about how horrible facebook can be but, honestly, I’ve found more community in that group than I have in some other areas of my life.  They’re a great group of super supportive people who only wan to be uplifting, encouraging, compassionate, silly, and sarcastic with one another.  It’s loads of fun! 

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But I’m soooo bummed that I can’t travel to see them all.  I already have a friend who lives in Atlanta who I want to visit so there’s the whole “I want to go to Atlanta” bit.  Then, there’s the allure of the white sand beaches and the crystal clear water of Florida that makes me wanna fly there and visit real bad!  Seriously, I would go to Florida tomorrow if I had $700 for my plane ticket and transportation money and money to stay in a hostel.  Hint hint…my birthday is coming up soon after all.  Want to fund a trip to Florida for me? 

 

And then there’s Nashville, TN!!!!  Oh to be in the land of soooo much amazing music and talented musicians and rich culture.  Not to mention the whole Start Conference going on this weekend.  But I wouldn’t even care if I couldn’t go…I just want to be in that city!!!  Granted, my musical talent is no where near the caliber of all those musicians but I would love to try and hang with them and catch some concerts.

 

And Colorado…oh how you tempt me with all your beauty.  Portland, OR is always going to be my go-to city to visit because I love oh so much!!!!  And hello…I would get to meet Genevieve West there and see Xavier and get some more tattoos!  Dude…Portland is me just without the beach (which I would miss like I miss now but obviously I got used to being so far away).  

 

And, as boring as it may seem, I really want to visit the midwest.  I’d like to go back to Dayton, OH and see where I lived for a year.  That year held so much pain and so many trials but I really want to see the good in it and not just remember all the pain.

 

I want to go to Texas so I can visit my original #STARTexp partner, Sarah!  She’s awesome and I want to get to know her in real life.  

 

There’s  a million other places I would like to visit (Thailand, Belfast, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, South Africa, etc) but I’ll have to be content with just going to San Francisco in less than a month.  I am really looking forward to going.  I can’t wait to see my BFF Bethany and, hopefully getting to meet a few STARTers.  

 

If you don’t know what the #STARTexp is, you should google it and look into how to get in on this awesome ride!  And read #allthebooks by Jon Acuff too!  It’s really changed my life and I can see a little bit more of what God has in store for me in the future.  I’ve gotten bolder and stronger in my faith and I feel God’s presence more than ever before.  

 

I love it and I love all of the my #SS friends!  Hopefully we will get to be 3D friends sometime soon!

 

xxJenn

 

PS  Here’s a link for the song I put on YouTube.  There isn’t a picture, it’s just black with audio because all I’m working with is an iPhone.  😉

 

Writer’s Block Always Comes When it’s Most Inconvenient (83.5)

You know how it is when you want something so bad that you know you’re just trying to hard and that’s why it’s not happening?

 

That’s happening to me now.  

 

At least I had fun taking selfies after I played guitar for an hour and a half!  The dogs are not impressed though.  I don’t think they’re big fans of guitar playing.  The big one (who’s ironically named Chico) tends to start barking at me when I play songs open and in the Key of D or G.  Go figure!

 

Photo bomb time!!!!

 

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My guitar and me

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My lovely Fender Acoustic!

 

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Foxy has threatened to knock me out with her rancid dog breath if I don’t go to bed and quit with the silly photos.

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Chico who was incorrectly named by his former owner. He is tired of all the silly pictures I’m taking. He just wants to sleep and be left alone already!

Face Punch! Punch Faces! -or- I’m part of a super secret revolution! (85)

So my bestie forwarded me an email about punching fear in the face and joining a revolution of people who are setting a goal and working towards achieving that goal, no matter how scary it might be or how crazy it may seem.

So naturally, I decided to face my biggest fear and challenge myself to write songs. Only three songs though since three doesn’t seem super intimidating to me. I can’t decide whether or not to just make them all worship songs or what kind of music I actually want to write. I know I want it to be of the indie folk-rock kinda scene-ish persuasion but we’ll see how it comes out.

Here’s the scariest part…once I’m done writing the songs, I’m going to play them for people! Eeeeeek!!! At least I have some poetry to kinda fall back on and work into songs. The hardest part so far seems to be coming up with strumming patterns that don’t sound like other songs I know. Maybe that’s why so many worship songs sound similar? We worship leaders get used to playing other people’s music and then write stuff that sounds the same-ish?

Idunno. But anyways I’ve now publicly announced to my partner and to everyone who reads my blog that this is my goal. So you might be able to expect some non professional sorta crummy demos to be posted in about a month and a half or so.

Now it’s time for bed. I feel like an old person. I got home after work and was so tired, I feel asleep before 9pm! Oops. Now I’m up and I need to try to sleep instead of staying up reading and watching Back to the Future.

Ciao!
xxJenn

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I Can Hear You Louder Than Ever! -or- Musicians Make the BEST Friends! (256)

Tonight, after work, was worship night band practice.  I feel like it went pretty well.  We went through the majority of the songs, had some dinner, recorded a song, made up some funny songs, and did some dancing.  Musicians really do make the best friends!  They won’t laugh at you for making up a weird song or singing a song for no reason other than wanting to.  They’re crazy, silly, artistic, and fun to be around.  

Oh and my particular worship band is filled with amazing people who are some of the most encouraging people I know.  They wouldn’t give up on me and they are convinced that I am amazing and need to say that I’m amazing.  I don’t think I’m amazing.  I try really hard though and put my heart into what I do so maybe they can see that and think that’s amazing?  I’m not really sure.  But I am in awe of them.  

I’m proud of Kyle aka Prince Charming for learning an amazing solo on his harmonica and for being so kind and encouraging and offering his house up for practices.  I’m so proud of Crystal for playing her guitar while leading worship and helping us with harmonies and just being a generally great person to be around.  I’m proud of Lindy for always encouraging me and giving me gentle constructive criticism to help me learn and grow.  Not to mention the fact that she has an amazing voice that I just love singing with.  I’m super proud of Jason for jumping in and helping out with the band but also for offering up his home so generously and giving me rides to his house from work.  He’s a totally understatedly awesome person.  I’m proud of Roni for playing with us but I’m super proud of her for being willing to sing a song with us this coming Sunday!!!! She sounds great and I know she’s going to be great.  And I’m super proud of Bruce for being willing to play rhythm on my acoustic guitar for a song and generously allowing me to play his awesome electric guitar.  Next up, he’ll be singing and so will Jason!  I can hope at least.

I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to practice with and grow with as a leader and as a worship band.  It feels like we’re family.  🙂

There’s nothing else to really say at the moment.  I’ve been getting way too few hours of sleep lately and it’s starting to effect me.  I can’t wait to sleep in on Saturday.  Only one day left of work!!!  I’m hoping that Brandi, Bruce, Roni, and Lindy will all be able to get hired on at work.  I want all my friends surrounding me!  Hahaha and the Vineyard is slowly taking over my workplace.  Work was okay today but not great.  I was really tired and I was doing kind of boring work but, I did get to go to a meeting, and I get to work with great people so at least that makes up for not having an amazing day like I normally do.  Still, my worst day at my current job is still better than my best day at some of my prior jobs.  Gotta love that!

Time for bed now.  Crystal, if you’re reading this, my vocal warmups wouldn’t download.  I’m going to have to get them from you on a flash drive tomorrow.  😦  

 

Peace, love, and listen to Cold War Kids,

~Jenn

 

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I’m Not a Huge Fan of Sushi but I Love My Friends (257)

This morning I saw the most beautiful red sunrise ever. It was like the sky was on fire! One of the best parts of living in the desert is the sunrises and sunsets we get to see. It’s romantic in the classical sense but also in the sense that we get to see God’s beauty in His creation and fall in love with Him a little more. And I really do. You can’t help but be in awe of the beauty of creation and when I think about how much more beautiful God is than the lost beautiful sunrise and how He sees me as that beautiful, how can I not fall in love with God more!?

But anyways, today was a good day at work. It was long but busy for most of the day so that was great! My boss is so funny sometimes! He found this conspiracy theory website that had us cracking up for a while. It made the afternoon just more awesome than it already was. Lunch was even great! I like getting to eat lunch with Jason. It’s nice to have a friend to sit and scarf food down as quickly as possibly because we only get 30 minutes to eat. Not to mention that he’s funny. Lol.

After work was so great! Joel, Bruce, Jason I., Kelli, Brandi, Crystal, and I went to get sushi. I had a baked chicken roll and, surprisingly, it still tasted like sushi. I also had 4 cups of Soju Cocktail – very potent stuff that doesn’t taste strong. I didn’t get drunk but I definitely felt the alcohol. It was good to get out and have a good time with my friends. Especially since Joel was able to come with us and we hardly ever get to spend time with him.

After dinner, Bruce, Crystal, Brandi, and I went to Brandi’s and ended up listening to music, playing guitar, painting, and talking. It was wonderful. I love getting to play guitar! It’s so fun now that I’m a little more confident. And I got to share with crystal some of the accomplishments I’ve had at Acton Rehab. I’m seriously so proud of her for being so brave. She inspires me to be brave and bold. I’m going to be so sad when she leaves. But hopefully I’ll get to go to Australia in the fall for my birthday.

The night was filled with great conversation and learning new things about friends. I love getting to know new people and finding out all the little things they enjoy. I like finding common ground and interests and hidden talents. I’m so proud of my friends for being bold and in awe of their talents! I’m blessed to have such amazingly talented friends who inspire me and encourage me and are such a joy to be around.

Life is just really good right now and I want to embrace it and acknowledge it. Even though there are some bad days, they’re mostly good and I give all the credit to God for that. I don’t deserve these blessings but I’m thankful for them and thankful for my friends. They’re pretty amazeballs. Until tomorrow…

Peace, love, and chai tea lattes,
-Jenn

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Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful, but My Heated Blanket is Sooooo Delightful! (294)

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The weather has been generally frightful lately.  It’s been cold and windy and annoying.  But there have been a few random days that have brought some rain so that was nice.  The rain always makes me think of being in Belfast and the amazing people I met there and hope to always remain friends with.  Two in particular, although I think our bond was truly forged when they came to America and we got to spend a summer/fall together.  John and Hannah will always be my favorite inhabitants of the UK (I say UK since they now both live outside of Belfast).  

 

I have seriously neglected this blog and, trust me, it has haunted me daily.  I’ve been so tired/busy/stressed/happy/confused/worn down that I haven’t had time.  Every time I thought of taking a moment to write, I would fall asleep.  Exciting huh?  I’m going to try to make a better effort now though, especially since I’ll be going on vacation soon.

 

Here’s a recap of stuff that’s happened:

  • Saw Ives the Band again (Yippee!!!) and got to talking to them after the show.  They gave Brandi, Crystal, and me free tee shirts and thanked us for being so supportive.  There’s a slight possibility that they also might come play at my church in the future but that’s not something I can really talk about yet.
  • Got into a slight fender bender but the guy never called me back and never contacted my insurance so I’m guessing I’ll never hear about it again.  Whatevs.  It wasn’t in my car (I was driving Brandi’s) so that complicated things a bit.  Everyone was fine.  I was going 5 mph when it happened.  Stupid L.A.
  • I’ve been working at my job now for almost 2 months and I still love the people and the company.  I’m beginning to know a bit of what we do and things are starting to make more sense.  I still feel lost at times but I’m now able to ask more intelligent questions to help me understand a bit more.  That’s really what I need to do my job well – understanding of the total process.  Hopefully things will get even easier and I’ll have even more clarity over the next 6 weeks.
  • I’m moving out of my condo and into my mom’s house temporarily.  Sigh… I just didn’t have enough time to find a roommate and all the one bedroom apartments in non-life-threatening areas are too much for me to afford right now.  Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get some good raises in the next couple of months?  Or, more likely, maybe one of my friends or someone I know and like will want to rent an apartment with me.  Hopefully.  Otherwise, at this point, I might just end up being super poor and getting a one bedroom of my own.
  • I finished my weekly classes of VLI.  I’ve now just got two finals and some papers to write.  Yay!  I’ll probably end up getting my certificate in March after winter 2012 quarter is over.  I think next year I’m going to try and take classes to finish up my bachelors in English. We’ll see.

That’s about all that’s been going on.  I’ve been way too busy with ministry and studying and packing to really have a lot of fun.  My friend Crystal is back from Australia until the end of January so I plan on spending a lot of time with her.  Luckily, my company is pretty much shut down from 12/21/12 – 1/2/13 and my boss is letting me take time off through the 7th so I get a full two weeks off with no work!  Yay!  There will definitely be ice skating and movies and crocheting and reading and playing guitar involved.  

 

I’m going to Las Vegas for Christmas with my mom.  We’re meeting my brother there – he’s flying in from Montana for a few days.  I’m looking forward to hanging out with them.  I love my brother and love spending time with him.  We rarely get to see each other so it’s nice that the three of us will get to spend the holiday together.  We’re going to stay at the Mandalay Bay and see Jersey Boys.  That’s about all we have planned for now.  I plan on hitting the gym, relaxing in a bubble bath, reading a book, getting a massage/mani/pedi/facial aka spending too much money in a spa, and hopefully seeing some of the museums I have never seen in all my trips to Vegas.  

 

Now, since I’m exhausted, I’m going to go to sleep.  I’ve got many, many things to do tomorrow and I’m running on an average of 5 hours of sleep lately.  It’s not enough.  I’m definitely not 22 anymore – regardless of the fact that people tell me I still look 22.  I need my beauty sleep.  

 

Bon nuit mes amies!

 

~Jenn

 

I <3 Snow Patrol and hate being sick! (353-348)

Oh my word!  Snow Patrol never ceases to amaze me!  They are always so great in concert!  I just had to get that out of my system right away since I’ve been sick and haven’t been able to post anything in quite a while.  I guess that’s okay since I had the whole being sick excuse.

 

Back to Snow Patrol.  I always fall in love with Gary’s voice every time I hear him.  The way he talks, the way he moves, the faces he makes, and the obvious fun he has when on stage all comes together with the fun the other band members have performing – especially Paul – I just can’t get enough!  They are some of the best performers I’ve ever seen, and I’m kind of a concert junky!  

 

So, my awesome Snow Patrol Saturday started with me, Brandi, and Dustin leaving town at 3:45am.  We ran through McDonalds for coffee and food and hit the road.  We arrived in Santa Barbara around 6am, drove around until we found the venue, pulled into the parking lot and saw a tour bus!  We then saw the police cruiser also in the parking lot and decided to park in the neighborhood and take a nap.  We napped until 9am and then decided to stake our place in line.  Brandi and I ended up being the first two people in line!!!!  Unfortunately, Dustin was sick (with what I ended up getting) and slept in the car for a few more hours.  We made friends with the next two girls (Michelle and her friend) to join us in line and grabbed some food with them after the line started getting longer (around 11:30am) and we had woken Dustin up to hold our place in line.  Dustin ended up ditching us around 1:30pm and it ended up being just me and Brandi in line the rest of the day.  There was a girl there from Korea who was really cool and a woman named Jill from Canada who spoke like she knew the band like they were good friends.  

 

There  was also another girl who Brandi and I saw at the last SP concert at the Palladium and thought she was kinda loud and annoying but she actually ended up being really cool!  As the time neared for us to enter the gates and make our way up the MOST HORRIBLE HILL EVER, she generously offered to help save places at the rail so all of us who waited for all day in line would be up front and not people who were just pushy and persistent.  I ended up talking to her about God and Thrice and concerts/music in general once we were all inside along with a lady behind me who looked no older than 32 but who was actually 40-something.  Gave me hope for my future concert going that I won’t look totally dumb at concerts in 11 years.  Turns out that, as hard as I try, I still make snap judgements about people that are totally unfair to them.  If I had remained ignorant and mean (in my head) towards this girl, I never would have gotten to talk to her about Snow Patrol and Thrice and Brand New and God.  It was a good, humbling reminder that I need to keep an open mind about all people and that concerts are a really awesome place to talk to people about God in a natural way without being pushy!!!  I really hope she ends up listening to The Modern Post (Thrice’s lead singer’s new worship music band).  Maybe this is the beginning of God working in her life?

 

Lissie opened for Snow Patrol.  She was amazing!  I didn’t think I’d like her based on what I had hear on Spotify.  Well, mostly it was the one song she had on Spotify where she talks about taking a drink of tequila before singing.  I had this bad impression in my head about her.  BUT she turned out to be really talented and her band was awesome.  Not quite up to par as far as performances go when comparing her to Snow Patrol…but there’s really no competition.  Snow Patrol is and probably always will be, the absolute best live band I will see.  I got to stand front rail, slightly to the right of center which worked out better than dead center because Gary tends to go to either side of the center up to the very edge of the stage to sing.  It’s awesome.  Only bummer…he didn’t go into the crowd.  But hey, I have something to look forward to next time, right?  LOL.  My next goal is to meet the band AND to see them at every California concert they play next time they’re on tour.

 

It was a tiring but very amazing day.  After the concert, Brandi and I met up with Dustin, Corrie, Matt, Taylor, David, Kelli, and Jason and went to dinner.  Brandi and I shared the most disgusting mac and cheese on the planet.  Taylor and David bought me an awesome blue hoodie for my birthday present.  Then Dustin, Brandi, and I drove home.  We got back around 3:30ish am and I woke up the next day with a massive headache (no, I did not drink at the concert) and sick.  

 

What an amazing first concert of the last 365 days of being in my twenties.  I truly felt like a young 29 for those 24 hours and full of life and adventure.  Now, here’s some photos from the concert.  I’ll post more if my other photos ever upload to Facebook.  

Cheers!

~Jenn

 

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