Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

 It's officially the last day of 2011 and as I get ready to ring in the New Year, I decided to take a minute and reflect over the past year on the things that I have done and see what stands out. What I realized in doing this, is that while I did not get a big raise, go on an exotic vacation or become the rich woman I dream of being, I did do some pretty great things. In fact, 2011 was a pretty stellar year and it was not until thinking about it that I realized it. So, here is my list of things that I did and that happened to me during the past year that stand out most. And as I look at the year ahead, I am incredibly excited to see what it holds.
  • I interviewed Paul Rudd, one of my favorite celebrities, on the red carpet at Sundance. I also interviewed the exquisite Zooey Deschanel. 
  •  I discovered MMA and begin working out with fighters, ordered my own pair of pink boxing gloves and learned how to not hit like a girl, even if I still kind of hit like a girl.
  •  I went to New York, Las Vegas, California and Virginia
  • I camped along the beaches of California, saw a bobcat that hung out by our tent every morning and got ENGAGED to the man of my dreams
  • I was asked to be a runway model for two different local fashion shows
  • I got to be on the radio twice with U92's awesome Program Director, Kevin Cruise
  • I ran a, seriously, I actually ran a 5k!
  •  My beautiful niece Brielle was born and I became an aunt for the third time
  • I got to be a bridesmaid and sing at my best friend's wedding, see my other best friend of 19 years and meet her beautiful daughter
  • I interviewed "Twilight" star, Jackson Rathbone and wrote a kick-ass article afterwards
  • I lost 12 pounds!! 
  • I stood below the feet of Conor Oberst as he played right in front of me and sang nearly all of my favorite songs. 
  • I went to Lava Hot Springs
  •  Daveed and I set a date for our wedding

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's the Little Things...

My holiday weekend was pretty amazing because I got to spend time with family AND I got to relax and sleep in. Daveed used to think that on the rare days that I slept in, that I was doing it to avoid cleaning the house because I would sleep until 1 p.m., or 2 p.m. and yes, even 3 p.m. While his theory seems completely logical, it is far from the truth. I love to sleep and well, these days, I don't get to very often. So, over the weekend, while I wanted to go see movies like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "My Week with Marilyn," I let myself do what I do best: sleep.

When I wasn't being completely lazy, I was hanging out with mine and Daveed's families. After two and a half years with him, I realized that family gatherings are getting much more comfortable. I guess being engaged and having a house together will do that. My family treats him like he is one of their own and my five-year-old nephew, who is quite possessive of me, finally realized (with a little bit of coaxing from me), that it is okay to like Daveed because he is going to be his uncle. Once my nephew registered that, he was much more accepting.

Christmas with family was comfortable and nice. My sister-in-law made delicious food and gave me such an awesome gift: a Victoria's Secret PINK brand zip-up Dallas Cowboys hoodie. It was love at first sight. 
We spent Christmas Eve with Daveed's family around a warm fire. We had good conversation and a great gift exchange.

The next morning it was just us and our pets and it was really nice. We spoiled each other but didn't go all out. It was more about showing our love and being thankful for each other. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it's true.
And well, sometimes, love really is all you need. That, sleep and a great pair of boots. ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the Kardashians

I have been a long time fan of Kim Kardashian and for the most part, I was pretty proud of it. I like that Kim represents girls with big bootys and I enjoyed watching the “Kardashian” shows, but lately, I have found myself less and less impressed by the beautiful sisters. Especially, Kim.

My descent into a lack of appreciation for Kim Kardashian happened over the summer when I went to Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette party. I read in a magazine on the flight over that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries would be there that exact same weekend for their bachelorette/bachelor parties. Not only that, but they would be staying at The Venetian and the Palazzo. I was excited because my friends and I too were staying at The Venetian.

As fate would have it, my girlfriends and I happened to be at Tao nightclub the same night as Kim Kardashian. She arrived later in the evening, closer to midnight and she had with her Khloe, Kourtney, Kris Jenner and a few other friends. The club went from chaos to mayhem and it was all because everyone wanted to get a glimpse of the Kardashian clan. I did too. And so, I stood up on the couch in the VIP booth I was in, looked over the stage with the bathtub and two nearly naked women in it, and saw Kim Kardashian, with a sash and a crown sitting down watching her sisters dance.

I have to admit that at first it was pretty cool. But then, it was just ridiculous. Hours went by and the club was still at a near standstill. People were falling over each other trying to watch what the Kardashians were going to do next. And it was really not that interesting because they didn’t do much, other than get treated like royalty, and laugh amongst each other like there was no one else around them.

I guess that is what reality TV is like. But, as I looked at other bride-to-be’s standing around, watching Kim and not even enjoying their own celebrations, I realized that I did not want to be a part of the “Kardashian” experience anymore. It was too much. We were all staring and watching them like they were animals at a zoo. Only, they were really beautiful zoo animals making bank on spending the evening at Tao.

By the end of the night, I swore off watching their shows and I have stuck to it.

My best friend who was there to have her bachelorette party is still married, which is more than I can say for Kim.

I understand the fascination with them, but I don’t want to be involved in it anymore. When my fun has to stop because a Kardashian walks in then it’s time to not put so much stock into someone else’s life and enjoy my own a little more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bob Schneider

We are working on our next issue and I am not going to post anything from it until it comes out in print next week but the assignment has me reflecting on some of my experiences over the past year. I remembered my experience interviewing Austin-based singer/songwriter Bob Schneider and laughed out loud.
The hunky musician was not super thrilled to talk to me when I first called because he was in the middle of practice. But as soon as we started talking he warmed up and quickly became one of my all time favorite interviews. That is saying a lot because I have been interviewing national touring bands for over eight years.
Schneider was soooo funny and had me laughing to the point of tears. He made fun of his own awkwardness on stage because he was doing a solo tour when we talked. He told me that he tends to get nervous when he is up there by himself and starts overcompensating on stage by talking too much and ends up going too far with his subject matter. For example, he told me about ending up talking about having sex with his dead grandmother. Sounds awful, but it was so funny. Turns out that even successful, award-winning musicians are human too.
There's more to come but for now, read my article on the interview. Then check out his music.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zooey Deschanel: Those Eyes Are Even More Intense in Person

I read online today that Zooey Deschanel has earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy. This nomination comes as a result of her role as Jess in Fox's "New Girl."
Daveed and I absolutely love the show and we both kind of relate to the character that Deschanel plays. Daveed especially relates to it because he too is a teacher.
Every time I watch the show I can't help but think about my experience with Zooey Deschanel during Sundance 2011. That sounds much more interesting than what really happened...I would like to say that she and I hung out and chatted over cocktails, talking about celebrity crushes and our favorite bands. Really, I was standing behind the rope on the red carpet, waiting for her to stop in front of me so I could quickly ask her a question before she moved on. Deschanel was there to promote the movie, "Our idiot Brother," starring Paul Rudd.
When she did stop in front of me I asked her about her band, She and Him. And I can't really recall what else I asked or what she said. All I can remember are those insanely blue eyes. They are more intense in person than you can imagine, trust me. I think they burned a permanent spot in my brain.
Aside from her gorgeous eyes, Deschanel is a pretty great actress and I am excited that she received this nomination. Congrats to Zooey. I hope we meet again. And this time, I will prepare myself for the "Zooey Deschanel intensity" and maybe I will be able to remember what we talk about.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'Twilight: Breaking Dawn' Red Carpet in Salt Lake

On Friday, November 11, I had the opportunity to attend a red carpet event at the Rail Event Center. This wasn't just any red carpet event, it was one of only five that happened in cities around the U.S., featuring actors from the "Twilight" series and a showcasing of three out of 19 bands on the "Breaking Dawn part 1" soundtrack.

Salt Lake City was lucky enough to be a part of the "Breaking Dawn" music event. Well, maybe lucky isn't the right word. It would make sense being that since Stephenie Meyer graduated from BYU and we are just a hop, skip and jump away from L.A., where the world premier of "Breaking Dawn," was happening a mere three days later. Nonetheless, I still think we were lucky.

I arrived at the Rail Event Center at 3 p.m. and waited outside until the musicians and actors began arriving. Being on the press side of the carpet, I felt pretty damn cool when I looked across the red carpet and saw hundreds of screaming fans pushing through each other, trying to get to a spot that would allow them just a glimpse of some of the people who play their beloved "Twilight" characters.

It seemed to take awhile for the actors to arrive, which came as no surprise to me, but being that it was November in Utah, it was getting pretty damn cold. I had the chance to interview two of the three musicians from the soundtrack who were playing later that night. I spoke with Lucy Schwartz and Aqualung, who collaborated on a song for the soundtrack.

Not too long after speaking briefly with the musicians, the fans began screaming with a newfound fierceness. And that's when the actors began unloading.

Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Charlie Bewley and Jackson Rathbone were the actors that stopped in Salt Lake. I was especially excited to talk to Jacksono Rathbone. The professional in me hates to admit it but I totally have a celebrity crush on him. Not so much as how he looks when he plays Jasper Hale in "Twilight," but his normal, dark, curly-haired, dimpled-smile-self. And to top it off, Rathbone is a musician as well. One that can play at last count, at least six instruments. Be still my heart.

I was pretty nervous to talk to Rathbone and when he stopped in front of me on the red carpet I kind of lost sight of what I was supposed to be saying. At least, in my head. Despite being a blubbery mess on the inside, I was on top of my game. I asked questions that made sense and allowed him to open up about his career. He talked about his music and that he plans to direct and produce over the next year. Jackson Rathbone is about as smooth and polished as a politician. He is articulate, looks you in the eye (which is pretty intimidating considering how they are this insane shade of bright green) and does not falter in his answers. The next thing I knew the red carpet interview with Rathbone was over and he was whisked away to do television interviews.

I was on a total adrenaline rush and it felt good. I knew that I would have more face time with Rathbone a little later on, when I would interview him more in-depth about his music career and his band, 100 Monkeys.

Later, when I did that interview, Rathbone and I were sitting down in a private room with his publicist, the PR rep for Summit Entertainment, and my best friend Steph, who was there working as my photographer.

The interview lasted a total of six minutes. He talked about being an actor and a musician, the difficulties of being an artist in this day and age and even quoted Bukowski. It was a wonderful interview but I realized that afterwards, my celebrity crush was a bit diminished. I still find Rathbone to be super attractive and enjoy his music, but, now I have a bit of insight into the person behind the celebrity. He seems like a really great one, but, you know, sometimes the fun of crushing on someone you have never met is the not knowing. You get to picture them to be exactly how you want. And now that I have met Jackson Rathbone, I realize that he is so talented, so intelligent and so attractive, that anyone who is in a relationship with him, would probably be trying to keep up with him all the time. And well, I kind of like the idea of someone trying to keep up with me instead.

Read the full music article here and check back for info on Nikki Reed and Charlie Bewley

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interviewing Mickey Avalon

Last week I did a phone interview with glam rapper Mickey Avalon and prior to the phoner, I was getting really excited over what I expected to be a dynamic interview.

When I got Avalon on the phone, I was kind of disappointed in how the interview went. I haven't seen him perform live, but in videos, Avalon takes an in-your-face kind of approach. He has been known to wear heels, feathered boas, makeup and dresses. He often performs without his shirt on showing off his "Thank You," tattoo right above his groin and in interviews, he says that particular tattoo is paying homage to all of the pretty women he has been with.

Avalon is not known to hold back in his music or in his performances. He says what he wants, when he wants and could care less what anyone thinks about it.

But when I talked to him, he was busy driving to Beverly Hills and was distracted by other people in the car and whatever else was going on around him. He seemed to have a hard time staying focused. I was hoping for a lot of energy and maybe some swearing and details on his rock n' roll lifestyle, which he uses as subject matter for his music. That didn't really happen though.

I was disappointed. However, our lack-luster interview made me that much more curious about seeing him perform live. He plays tonight in Salt Lake at In The Venue, and I have prior commitments otherwise I would be there.

I do have friends going though and I can't wait to hear what they say. I am hoping what Avalon lacks in conversation, he makes up for on the stage. Because despite my experience, I just cannot imagine him being boring.

Check out the article here.