Thursday, April 30, 2009

For the Sake of Maintaining a Pattern

I've noticed that in February, when I started this blog, I only posted twice. In March, I posted four times. So far this month, I have only posted seven times. It would bug the crap out of me if I didn't post eight, due to the math pattern being created (the number of posts are doubling each month, if you didn't catch on). So, here I am, writing my eighth and final post of April. What better reason to write than for mathematical purposes? Next month, it'll have to be 16 if I want to keep this up. I'm going to have to find some more interesting stuff to write about. Hmm, I'm sensing some OCD tendencies.

This past weekend was a success. Tigerfest was just as I had expected-- that afternoon, as the elevator doors parted for me to step on and make my way to the field where the festivities were occurring, a large pile of pink-orange vomit lay on the floor (and thoughtfully splattered on the walls), nearly causing me to hurl like the undoubtedly intoxicated student before me had done. Instead, I held it in and was perfectly willing to wait for the other elevator.

Seeing as the temperature had surpassed the expected high and made its way into the 90s, I decided maybe it wasn't the best day for donning new dresses. Some friends and I played Frisbee and afterwards headed up the street for Slurpees. We ended up not making it to the festivities till later in the day. Right before the All-American Rejects were supposed to take the stage (and after only one hot dog), they kicked everyone out, thanks to the approaching storm. It seemed like the show might not go on. It was a mob as everyone left the field at once. I tend to hate people in large groups anyway, so this was extra bad. When some random dude grabbed my ass, I lamely shoved him with one hand and kept walking. Tigerfest had quickly taken a turn for the worse.
But, within an hour or so, the storm had passed and everyone was allowed back. The All-American Rejects' set was shortened, but fun nonetheless. There was a nice energy among the crowd, if only because everyone was glad their seven bucks had been worth it.

The next day, I went with Jessica and Justine to see Gavin DeGraw for what was, if I counted correctly, my sixth Gavin show. He played at an intimate venue called the Birchmere just outside of D.C. Honeyhoney, a guy-girl duo from California, opened for Gavin, and they were excellent. She sang lead and alternated between the banjo and violin while he played guitar and the bass drum. Gavin and his new, extremely talented band did not fail to deliver. He played old songs, new songs, and the hits, of course. What he also did that was so great was that he changed up a lot of his songs. Instead of playing "I Don't Want to Be" the same exact way for the millionth time, he gave it a twist, changing the instrumentation. He gave a Bob Marley twist to one of the songs from his last album, and gave the 21-year-old guitarist some nice extended solo time. It was the best Gavin show I've been to yet, and whew baby, they've all been great. More importantly, I finally got to wear one of the dresses.

Now, it's off to pretending to do work and leaving my fresh laundry to wrinkle in the bag. Maybe tomorrow, when it's May, I can get a head start on part one of 16 for the month. Inspire me.

Currently Listening To: "Maneater" - Nelly Furtado

Friday, April 24, 2009

Towson Gets Its Drunk On

Tomorrow is Tigerfest, which is the coolest (or only cool) thing Towson University does all year. This means that I have to go.

Tigerfest takes place on a large field outside of the university union and consists of live music, food, and-- you guessed it-- drinking, drunk college students. Yaaaay.

I'm sort of excited. But mainly because there's a high of 86 tomorrow, and I'll finally get to wear one of those summer dresses I bought way back over spring break. Really, though, 86 degrees is hot. Combine sweating all over your new dress, not legally being allowed to participate in the beer garden, and your feet occasionally getting stepped on by drunk 'fest-goers, and that can make for just a so-so time.

Still, I'm just glad to have off work for the weekend and have two nights in a row of live music. (I'm going to see Gavin DeGraw on Sunday, too.) The All-American Rejects are the headliners for tomorrow, and while I don't love them, I don't particularly dislike them either. At least I'll be able to sing along to a couple of songs.

I'm thinking that in order to ensure a fun time I will, a) apply sunblock, and b) make regular trips back here to the dorm to maintain a slightly-tipsy state of being (and also to separate myself from the retardation that will surely be taking place).

Pray I find a parking spot and that no one slashes my tires "as a joke."

Currently Listening To: "All Fall Down" - OneRepublic

Friday, April 17, 2009

Support... Like a Bra!

Fools & Horses is a kickass Baltimore band whose sound-- if it needed to be defined-- could be defined as alternative rock/pop/awesome. I found out about them back in 2006 after they won a contest to open for Bon Jovi in Washington D.C. I, of course, attended this particular show with my dad, not ever having heard of Fools & Horses before.

Overall, that wasn't the greatest night ever. My dad and I thoroughly enjoyed Fools & Horses' set and vowed to check them out, but after Bon Jovi came on, this old, fat, should-be-in-the-mafia guy and his wife who were sitting behind me asked (told) me to sit down. This was not a Righteous Brothers concert. Sit down? I politely apologized and then informed them that I did not want to sit down because I was, well, at a ROCK concert. When I told them this, they proceeded to cuss me (a small, young, fragile girl) out. I stood up for myself (pun intended) and fired right back at them. There might've been an explicative or five on my end, but these people were downright abusive. Throughout the show, they kicked my chair and called my "boyfriend" (uh, my dad) an asshole. Maybe in the dark lighting I looked years beyond my age, and my dad, years before his own, but-- wow. Anyway, on top of these jerks ruining my concert experience, Jon Bon Jovi definitely had a cold (he gets terribly nasal when he's sick), and after the show, I went online only to find out that Heather Locklear filed divorce from Richie Sambora that day. (Richie probably found out not long before I and the rest of the world did. Poor guy didn't see it coming.)

But at least I was introduced to Fools & Horses. Which brings me back to the original point.

Fast forward a couple of years later, to almost a year ago. I was on Fools' Myspace and saw a widget thingy that said the band was looking for an intern. Guess who sent them an email? You can see where this is going. So anyway, now I do things for the band like promoting them on campus or via internet (this post is serving as a wonderful example), occasionally researching out-of-state venues or outlets, and selling merchandise at shows I can make it out to with a couple of other lovely F&H ladies. It's been a great almost-year. I've been to more shows than I can count and have met some awesome people along the way.

The boys went overseas to Asia toward the end of March to play for troops, their families and the locals. They have been blogging about the experience along the way and get back this week. Yeah, I wasn't very timely with that little tidbit, but it'll still make for an interesting read nonetheless. Sounds like they've been having a pretty neat time over there.

If you want to show some SUPPORT (finally tied in the title), you can help the guys score some free CD duplication services, recording time, a new guitar, and lots of Chipotle gift cards for the road, you can go here and make a pledge on their behalf to WTMD 89.7 FM, which is the best radio station I know. It's publicly supported and could really use the help. A minimum donation of $15 will also get YOU two free tickets to the Baltimore Band Bloc Party at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD on May 9th. Fools and many of the other competing bands will be performing at the show, and the winner of the pledge challenge will be announced there.

So do something USEFUL today and head on over to WTMD's site! I think I provided you with enough links. I appreciate it. The guys will appreciate it. I'll see you at the show.

Currently Listening To: "Wishin' and Hopin'" - Ani DeFranco (from the My Best Friend's Wedding soundtrack)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Online Orchestra

I watched a pretty cool video on YouTube today. I'd embed it here, but either YT or my computer wouldn't let me copy and paste the whole link. Anyway. It's called the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and it's basically a "mash-up" video of amateur and professional musicians from around the world coming together to create one whole orchestra. Thousands of people submitted videos of themselves playing whatever instrument it is they play. In February, viewers had the opportunity to vote for their favorite musicians while a panel of judges picked who got to be in the orchestra.

The winners were picked in March, and are performing together as one tonight at Carnegie Hall. But the video above includes many submissions, all put together to create one sound. I'm sure some expert editing, not only of the videos themselves but also of the pitches/tempos etc., was much needed to create such a uniform sound, but that doesn't make it any less cool.

The piece is by famous Chinese composer, Tan Dun, and is called "Internet Symphony, Eroica." Surely this is all some kind of PR ploy for YouTube, but we'll leave ulterior motives for another post. Too bad I didn't take out and dust off my crappy Jupiter clarinet, but I only just found out about this today. And probably wouldn't have actually done it. Yeah, no.

You can check out the YTSO here.

Currently Listening To: "I'm Too Sexy" - Right Said Fred

Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting to the Roots

What's this? A banner at the top of the page? Have I become a real, committed blogger now that I've taken the time to combine a picture of myself with a completely unrelated picture of a tree and a less-than-clever (but here to stay) title?

Oh, wow. The pressure's on now.

The more I look at it, the more I realize how stupid it looks and the less impressed I am with my creation. But hey, I'm not about to throw down any amount of money for some photo editing program just so I can design banners and occasionally make my skin look flawless for a new Facebook default. (My current picture with guitar god Richie Sambora will never come down, anyway.)

Of course, if anyone's willing to direct me to a free downloadable Photoshop-like program, please do. Better yet, if someone would like to design a banner for me, by all means-- do! It could be a competition of sorts. Winner gets, um, their name out there. Out there to the (now 3!) people that read this. Ride on my coattails to recognition and fame! In the meantime, I'll pretend it doesn't matter that a leafless Arizona tree has nothing to do with me or my blog.

Me, circa 2006, not far from above leafless tree. Excuse the assumed pose.

Currently Listening To: "This is Not the End" - The Bravery

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Time for Cassie

Spring hasn't sprung, but it is springing, and that makes me happy. Ever since the winter solstice on December 21st, I've been watching the sun stay out later and later. Hardly noticeable for the first month or so, but suddenly one day you realize it's 5 p.m. and it's not pitch black outside! Right now, it's 7:15 p.m. on what was a slightly overcast April day, and the sun is still hanging onto the sky. How lovely.

And even though Maryland has had some back-and-forthness in terms of sunny, warm spring weather, there seems to be some promise. Granted, there's been a fair amount of rain and disappointingly chilly days, but today sure was nice. High of 65, light breeze, and the sun finally pushing through toward the late afternoon. Okay, where has my sarcasm gone?! See what this promise of happiness and joy does to my entertainment value? I better draw the curtains if I want to be a real writer one day.

It's just hard to feel stressed out or snarky when you know pretty soon people will be breaking out the shorts and retiring the campus uniform of North Face jackets, Ugg boots, and Leggings. (You'd think "Leggings" was actually a brand name, too, as I have implied with the capitalization of the "l," based on the way the girls here wear them-- leggings do not substitute for pants!!! Okay, must end the parentheses.) But, really. There's something so liberating about not lugging around the puffy winter coat you've been trying to retire for weeks.

The sun seems to officially be setting over the trees, which all have a hint of green about them. The sky is a purple-blue-pinkish color. Ahh, soakin' it in.

Of course, after this post, I can surely expect a torrential downpour and a high of 30 tomorrow.

Spring flowers!

Currently Listening To: "Enid" - Barenaked Ladies

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fatty, Fatty 2x4

Tonight, I had bread for dinner. French toast first, because there was truly nothing else I wanted, and then a regular piece of buttered toast for a nice, balanced sweet-n-salty meal. Nothing else. Just some bread, syrup and butter. Who does that? I keep wondering why I feel so icky, and then I become paranoid thinking I have mono (I share a bathroom with a currently mono-infested friend... help me), but then I keep realizing no, I just had an entire day's worth of carbs in one sitting.

I need to get out of here. I so crave balanced meals. What dining hall serves breakfast all weekend long only to serve "Breakfast at Dinner!" the very next week night? Maybe I would've gotten something else, but the turd-like home fries didn't look so great, either.

On the subject of food and disgusting amounts of it, I was at a Lee's Ice Cream/Fractured Prune Sunday morning, and the One-Pound Milkshake was brought to my attention. Maybe I'm not one to judge (I was in the process of eating my third donut), but, would anyone else agree that, well... that's really gross? Doesn't that make your stomach churn just thinking about it?

Before finishing up at the dining hall, I grabbed a banana for breakfast tomorrow. Sadly, the selection included only misshapen, dented nanners. Why bother?

Currently Watching: House

Thursday, April 2, 2009

For Every Mood

Everyone has that one album or song that they listen to when they're feeling particularly down, mellow, or kickass. I have so many songs (and moods, apparently) like that that I've got 19 different playlists programmed on my iPod. Clearly, I quite enjoy making playlists. Usually, the inspiration to create a new one strikes either when I've just listened to a really good song and want to listen to others like it, or when I've got four chapters to read for P.R. class and would rather mess around on iTunes instead.

Often times, I like to listen to an album in its entirety-- whether I'm in the car, on the treadmill, lying in bed, whatever. That's why they were made. For the songs to be enjoyed in sequence. But when I'm sitting at my computer, doing work or otherwise, I usually tend to put all 4,000 of my songs on shuffle and see what comes up. A lot of times, I'll skip about 20 songs before coming to one I want to hear. Funny how you can turn on the shuffle feature with the intent of hearing something different for once, but end up skipping all that crap until you find the bands you really love.

But playlists are great because they include only the songs you know you love. And if you put enough songs on the playlist and put it on shuffle, it's even better, 'cause while you still don't know what exactly you're going to get next, you know you're already in the mood for it. For instance-- some of my playlist titles are "Acoustic Greatness," "'90s Mix," "Head Bangin' Car Songs," and "Singalong Mix." I've even got a mix dedicated to songs with names in the title. I straight-forwardly called it "Songs With Names." I get pretty bored sometimes.

I think I'll make the twentieth playlist "My Life Soundtrack." So if you ever see me walking on campus with my earphones in and an inspired look about me, that's probably what I'm listening to. Either that, or my "Inspirational Mix."

Currently Listening To: "Love Songs" mix