Relient K

Weekend Coffee Share: Late Night Live Music & Early Mornings at the Library

If we were having coffee, we would most likely be in a car cruising down the interstate clutching cardboard Starbucks to-go cups.  I’d be tired and not super coherent–not that it matters due to the fact that the music would be blasting.  (Why I’m in this state will become clear later in the post.)

It’s been a busy week.  Well, the first of what will be many busy weeks.  When I’m not working my day job, I’m helping out at my family’s apple orchard.  We’re on the verge of peak apple season, which means that crowds are coming and no one in the house gets any rest.  I don’t have a single day off in the next month.  I’ve managed to squeeze in fun activities with friends here and there, which doesn’t do much for my overall energy levels, but completely worth it.

If we were having coffee, you would know that I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival last weekend with a friend.  We got there early afternoon, just in time to watch jousting.  Most of the day was spent wandering the festival people-watching and admiring costumes.  (I would totally dress up, but it’s not my friend’s thing.)  At the end of the day, my friend and I agreed that the best part of the day was the free Woodchuck’s Hard Cider tasting–which we enjoyed so much that we went again later in the afternoon. I’m currently listening to A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin on audio book, so the era is fresh in my mind.  A large part of me felt like I had walked straight into a book and I was sad to leave at the end of the day.

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Jousting at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had the chance to see two of my favorite bands from high school last night.  Relient K and Switchfoot are currently touring together and when a friend offered me her spare ticket, I jumped at the opportunity.  Both bands released fantastic new albums this summer and I’ve been listening to them on repeat over the past week to prepare.

Getting to the show was a bit rough–I worked until six and then had to drive an hour and a half into the cities to the venue.  The show started at seven, but even though I got there half an hour late, it hadn’t started yet.  The venue was small enough that everywhere has a good view.  My friend had gotten standing spots right in front near the stage, so I had to push myself through the tight crowd to get there (which was absolute hell for an introvert like me, but totally worth it.)  “They knew you were coming late and waited for you,” my friend told me.  I’m so glad they did!

When the bands took the stage, I was immediately transported back to my middle school/high school years.  I’ll refrain from raving too much, but each band put on fantastic performances.  I’ve seen Relient K before, but it was my first time seeing Switchfoot live.  I’ve wanted to see them for a long time and they didn’t disappoint!  I was blown away at how genuine Jon Foreman (the lead singer) was–you could easily see it wasn’t just a performance or a job, but the chance to meet and interact with people.  He walked among the crowd a few times (I was ten feet from him at one point!) and it was evident that he genuinely cared about every person–which is rare in a performer.  All in all, both bands were phenomenal and I would pay to see them again in a heartbeat.

I ran into several friends from high school at the concert as well!  I happened to be standing within an arms distance of one, so I said hello between sets.  I knew the other would be there, so she joined us in front for Switchfoot’s set.  There’s nothing like former  boy bands that have now evolved into rock bands to bring people together.

After the show, I slept on a friend’s couch in the cities.  I had to be at work at 8:30 AM, so I got up at six, rolled out of my sleeping bag, and into my car.  As a result I am tired and relatively incoherent–although I was able to fool my library patrons by pretending to be a functioning human being.  (The mocha I downed on my way here helped.)

If we were having coffee, I would now pass things over to you.  How is your week?  Anything interesting/boring/new/routine/exciting happen?  I’d love to hear about it!

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster

Top Ten Songs That Tell Stories

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is an audio freebie.  It was difficult for me to narrow down my focus–should I do favorite albums?  Favorite podcasts?  Something more themed?

In the end, I decided to center this week’s list around songs that tell stories.  I know that almost every song tells a story in some way.  I could EASILY write a paragraph about each song and why I love it–about the characters, the plot, the writing… but I’m going to let the songs speak for themselves.  Hope you enjoy!

1.) Cleopatra by The Lumineers

2.) Josh McBride by The Head and the Heart Continue reading

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Weekend Coffee Share: Camping & Old Books

If we were having coffee, I would first tell you that I’ve been pretty absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks and that I have missed you.  Things have been pretty busy in Amelia land–I’ve barely opened my laptop in the past few weeks.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I went camping last weekend with my friend, Maddie.  We spent two nights camping on the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.  Well, I say camping… we actually stayed in my great-uncle’s secluded cabin in the woods.  We had a roof over our heads, but it was fairly primitive.  We cooked over a fire, had to walk for water, use a biffy, and there were no other residences in sight.  It was an introvert’s paradise! Continue reading


The Drunkenness of Things Being Various

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to camp in Northern Minnesota.  A friend and I stayed in my uncle’s self-built rustic cabin in the woods a few miles from Lake Superior.  We had a wonderful time going on hikes, sitting by the lakeshore, exploring waterfalls, discussing morality in Game of Thrones, and reading poetry aloud at the campfire.

It was a peaceful weekend.  I felt all the clutter in my life fade away.  The sounds of daily life fade in comparison to the rush of a waterfall.  Alone time in nature, for me, is soul detox.

In my quiet moments, I reflected a great deal on how complex the human experience is–how beautifully multifaceted we all are.  I wrote in the margins of my sketchbook:   “Personhood is a complicated, beautiful thing–what an adventure it is to live inside myself.  There are so many corners, so many contradictions–How can I be so many people at once?” Continue reading


Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

1.) The Office (American Version)

Every few years, I’m drawn back to this show.  It never ceases to be funny–I recently rewatched the “Diversity Day” episode from the first season and, despite the fact that I’ve seen the episode at least four times, was rolling on the floor laughing.  This show is just so funny–the characters are enjoyable, maddening, and consistent.  Also, Jim and Pam will forever be my ultimate TV OTP.


2.) Downton Abbey

Yes, the show was at it’s best in it’s first two seasons.  Yes, I’m one of the troopers who held out until the very end.  This show is everything I love about British period dramas–it addresses and explores historical social issues with a healthy dose of romance.  Plus, it’s just so pretty.  The sets, the costumes, everything is lavish and gorgeous.  One thing I also enjoy is that it fully develops almost every single character–using subtleties to show, not tell.  And then there’s Maggie Smith, who is one of the show’s gems. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: Things Are About to Get Busy

If we were having coffee, I’d start out by saying that it’s good to be back!  I missed out on last week’s coffee share on account of being out of town.  How have things been since we last spoke?

It’s strange to think that summer is over.  As it always does, it went by so quickly!  I’m glad, though.  September is here and with it comes cool mornings and golden sunsets.  Sweater weather is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. Continue reading


Top Ten Assigned Reads

In honor of the kiddos and college students hitting the books once more, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a list of the best books I read during my school days.  This was a toughie–being an English major, I could easily make a list as long as my arm.  I was always the weird kid who liked what the teachers made us read.  So while this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s a smattering of books from high school and college that I loved.

  1. Dracula by Brahm Stoker
  2. Coming Up for Air by George Orwell
  3. Idyls of the King by Tennyson
  4. As You Like It by William Shakespeare
  5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  7. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  8. The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
  9. Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
  10. The Hidden Hand by E.D.E.N. Southworth

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted at The Broke and the Bookish

Weekend Coffee Share: Training Wheels

If we were having coffee, we’d be cross-legged on the carpet wearing sweatshirts, sweaters, or flannels–take your pick!  The past few days have been rainy and cool.  It’s a welcome relief from the usual August heat and humidity.  Summers in Minnesota are so short.  I feel like I should be soaking in the sunshine and enjoying the chance to wear shorts.  Really, though, all I want is fall to come.  I’m ready for flannels, sweaters, leggings, scarves, and boots again.  I’m ready for crisp mornings and the smell of falling leaves.

In the meantime, the cool mornings have helped me be really productive.  I’ve been able to complete several of the small, around-the-house tasks I’ve been putting off for weeks. Continue reading


Top Ten Books in Worlds Not Our Own

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is to generate a list of books that take place on X.  I decided that X would be worlds that are not Earth.  Here we go…

  1. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  3. Symphony of Ages trilogy by Elizabeth Haydon
  4. Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  5. Green Rider series by Kristen Britain
  6. Evermen Saga by James Maxwell
  7. The Silmarilion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis*
  9. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin**
  10. Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey

Continue reading