Monday, February 27, 2012

Family Matters

In keeping with my usual theme, I'm way behind on this entry! A few weeks ago, I was gearing up for a nice, relaxing, "alone" weekend at my apartment, but I got a call from my mama asking if I'd be up for a couple visitors. Never one to turn down an opportunity to see people, I said yes and welcomed my mom and my Aunt Becky with open arms! :) They timed it out so they'd arrive when I got done with work, so that was nice. We had a pretty lowkey Friday night, and as usual, we spent a little time at Scotty's Pizza across the road. Such an interesting establishment! On Saturday, we did a little bit of shopping at TJ Maxx (found a few goodies, including the shirt I'm wearing in the photos below), and on our way back, I made a comment about there being this bar that I always drive by and am curious about called Off The Clock. I'm not one to go out on my own too often, so I've never stopped, but we happened to be coming up on it (hence why I brought it up), and in a split second moment, we whipped the car in to check it out. 100% worth the stop. I don't know why I was always curious about it, I never even got that good of a look at it driving by, but man, what a neat place! Not to mention that the people who worked there were incredibly friendly. We had lunch there on Saturday, went home and relaxed for awhile, ate dinner at a place called Beer Belly's, and then ended up back there to end our night! And then on Sunday, when we walked to Scotty's to get pizza for lunch and were informed they don't serve food until 4:00 on Sundays, we ended up going back to Off The Clock for lunch. Ha! Same bartender from the day before too, wow! She was so nice. Becky got brunch while mom and I shared pizza. And get this with the brunch. Whatever you order, it also comes with unlimited biscuits and gravy, breakfast potatoes, AND donut holes. Not just one of those things. ALL of those things. In addition to what you order. Say what?! So much food. And so delicious! Anyway, that basically sums up our weekend. Not like it comes as a surprise, but the three of us had a wonderful time and I'm so glad they came to visit. They'll be down again in a couple weeks for a concert, so I'm sure I'm in for some more fun! I included a few pictures from the weekend below, ones I know Aunt Becky would approve of. ;) A great weekend, and I'll do my best to add a few more posts in the near future about what else I've been up to lately. On the go as usual, but I appreciate you faithful followers! Until next time...

A nice one!

Charlie's Angels? :)

Sisters! (Love this one!)

Me and mama at Beer Belly's!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

American Idol Update!

First of all, I'm sorry for being so MIA lately. Here's the thing... One, I've been really busy, and two, I don't feel like I have that many exciting things to report as of late. ;) Anyway, as you may or may not recall, it wasn't too long ago that I did an entry about a fellow UW-L alum, Reed Grimm, who was in the audition previews for American Idol. Well, it's been a little while since that post, and since there's probably a decent chance that most of you don't follow the show like I do, I thought I'd give you a little bit of an update. Basically, he's ROCKIN' it! He obviously made it to Hollywood week, and once there, he made it through his solo round (see video below) and two group rounds. They really seem to LOVE him. And as you'll see in the video, he originally planned to sing his solo acapella, and with less than an hour before his performance, he was told he couldn't sing without the band. After a minor panic, he pulled it together and put on a pretty cool performance. At this point in time, he's in the Top 42 (out of hundreds of thousands of hopefuls). This week, they perform solo again, and the judges will narrow it down to the Top 24, at which point they perform for America and WE get to vote. Not gonna lie, I think he's got an amazing shot at making it into the top 24. I don't know how far he'll make it, but I'm just so excited for him and hope people respond well to him! If you're interested, you can also check out this article on UW-L's website. Naturally, the school and everyone who went there is proud to have an alum repping us so well!

Lastly, IF you watch, I thought I'd let you know that I'm also a big, big fan of a contestant named Heejun Han. I've included his audition video below too. Skip to 1:15 if you just want to hear him sing. Love his voice, love that song, love everything about him. He's a bit awkward, yet hilarious, and he doesn't have a clue how good he is. I encourage you to search videos of him on YouTube. His Idol clips have been pretty awesome. He's been a HUGE part of the show up to this point, and I have no doubt in my mind that he'll be in the Top 24 given how much screen time they've devoted to him. I think he belongs there. I can tell you at least one person who agrees: L. He love, Love, LOVES Heejun. Almost too much. ;) Interestingly, L watched an episode of Idol simply to see Reed's audition (he doesn't normally watch), and now he's hooked and even claimed he'll vote too. Wow! I was equally impressed and am excited to see how this season plays out. I'll be rooting for both of them! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Drake Hall

This is a bit of a random post, but it hits close to home for me, so I wanted to write a little something about it. As you may or may not know, when I went to UW-L, I lived in a dorm my freshman year. While I moaned and groaned about being in the one female-only dorm at the time (a dorm that no longer exists), I do have to credit my on-campus living experience for introducing me to one of my best friends in this world, Shawna. We were randomly assigned as roommates and ended up living together for nearly 4 years. For that, I am incredibly thankful. Anyway, because I had such a positive experience living on-campus, it made me incredibly sad to learn about a recent fire in one of the dorms on UW-L's campus. It took place in the basement of Drake Hall, and while no one was hurt (thank goodness), I had a really hard time looking at images of the damage. If you have time, watch the video, but otherwise the images are just below that.

Initially, students were told they could move back into the dorm relatively quickly, but after the damage was assessed, officials said the students had to live elsewhere for the entire semester. Talk about a total nightmare for the residence life folks on campus. Anyway, I think you'll understand why people can't move back once you see the pictures. The fire was contained, but the damage was far-reaching. Selfishly, I keep thinking about how upsetting and frustrating that would've been if it happened while I lived in a dorm. All your stuff is packed into a tiny room, and then you have limited time to get it out before the building's closed for the rest of the school year. Your "home" is essentially gone. Did I hate my tiny room at times? Hell yes. But was it my "home" in La Crosse? Absolutely. No one wants to lose their home, no matter how big or small it is. So, I guess I just wanted to say that I feel terrible for the people who've been dealing with this, and also that I'm proud of everyone at UW-L for handling a terribly unfortunate situation with such thoughtfulness and professionalism. In times of prosper, I'm proud to call UW-L my university, but in times like this, I'm even prouder. Go Eagles. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Year Ago...

If you're anything like me, you've probably been both excited and freaked out by how nice the weather has been lately. Excited because it's amazing, but freaked out because you fear it's only a matter of time before we get hammered with some sort of winter blast that we've seemed to escape so far. If you're not thinking it, you should be, because it is WAY too early for it to stay this nice. I'm convinced of that fact. As I've been sitting around thinking about all this, I had a horrendous flashback (a flashback that occurs relatively often), to the blizzard in Milwaukee last year. Take a look at my post from exactly one year ago. Remember that unbelievable blizzard? Yeah, "I" remember that unbelievable blizzard... I seriously still get chills and want to cry when I think about how much that absolutely sucked. And when I think about that, I fear that I will experience something similar again this year. We have had very little snow this winter (yet again), and it just seems too good to be true! Well, good for ME. Maybe not for those who might want to go snowmobiling. ;) Anyway, not much else to say on the topic, but I was talking with some people at work today about the fact that the blizzard was exactly a year ago today, and how different that is from the upper 40-degree temps we've had this week. My, how things can change from year to year!