Monthly Archives: July 2012

99 Red Balloons: Hot Air Balloon Festival

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Happy Olympics, everyone!!
I hope you all got a chance to watch the opening ceremony, which was uhh… interesting, to say the least. I can’t decide if my favorite was the Queen jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond, or the giant ass (100ft tall) Lord Voldemort during the dream/nightmare skit. Regardless, it was a typical dose of London weirdness and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really had a chance to watch the sports yet — well, besides right now; I watched a USA female Olympian win gold for Skeet Shooting and now I’m watching some Badminton and Soccer. I thought that the Equestrian event for Dressage was today at 10:00am but of course I neglected to realize that was London time, so I missed it unfortunately. Does anyone know if its possible to watch passed events on the Olympic website? I know you can watch it live but that doesn’t really do me much good if the event already happened. BALLS.

So, last Sunday (7/22), Sarah and I went to the South County Balloon Festival, which was fun but kind of a fail. You see, they only launch the hot air balloons at dawn and dusk, and we were so not willing to arrive in Kingston at 6:00am. No thank you. Instead, we figured we would make the launch at dusk. We got to the festival (which was more like a carnival) at noon, stayed for a solid chunk of time to witness fun events and just lamp in the sun (it was beautiful out) and then I had to go home for dinner. The hot air balloons were to be launched at 7:00pm and there was supposed to be tethered balloon rides and they were supposed to stay up in the air for a while. Of course, with my family never running on time, we were a little late and got to the field at 7:30… there were no cars in the lot and the whole festival was already packed up! After swearing and being extremely upset, I was kind of confused as to why the whole place was already shut down. After checking the website though, they stated that hot air balloons can’t get launched in anything more than a light breeze, and today happened to be especially windy. So unfortunately, we never got to see the actual hot air balloons, but hey.. it comes around every year. Regardless, it was a lot of fun, and I have some videos and pictures to share from that day! Hope you like =)

^There were a few ginormous kites at the festival, and here’s a video of my personal favorite. It’s so awesome how the wind makes it look like it’s creepily moving. I dig.

^THIS WAS AWESOME. I’ve never been in a hot air balloon (I feel like I’m part of the majority on that one), so this is the closest I’ve ever been to enjoying the sheer size and awesomeness of a hot air balloon. They just had this set up at the festival; it was a giant hot air balloon with a huge fan powering it… so so cool.

^Haha, “The Cannon Lady”. I must say, it was an awful lot of hype for a not so cool trick. Yes, I understand it is a pretty big feat to get shot out of a cannon and land on a net, but they talked it up a bit too much for my liking. Either way it was a site to see, whether or not it was solely for comedic effect.

Hokay, and below you will see the few pictures I took at the festival. I’ve gotten pretty into instagram lately, so the majority of the pictures I took were with my phone and uploaded onto my account (xoxgirouxox if you’re interested), hence why there’s only about five here. The guy who had all the animals was pretty hilarious, and being an animal lover I didn’t want to leave the tent. They also had a Fennec fox, which are one of my favorite animals… needless to say, I fell in love and wanted to release her from her iron prison. Poor baby =/

Aside

I’m not very good at poetry; I kind of detest the structure and form that comes with the territory. I don’t know though, for some reason I had an urge to spit out some poetry – my emotions are coiled pretty tight for some reason – so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s not happy (but c’mon, what poetry is?), so don’t expect rainbows and butterflies. I’m sure everyone can relate, though (unless you’re Mother Theresa), so read it for what it’s worth.

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If you’re the one with all the muscle, why am I pulling all this weight?
I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with the dirty emotion of hate

It builds and I suppress it
It boils and I douse it
It lurks and creeps in corners
So I lock it in the closet
But for how long will it stay dormant?
Forever? For the moment?

The feeling drives me crazy
I want it gone; I want it out
No one benefits
No one wins
I hate hate, beyond the shadow of a doubt

A deadly fire blazing within
Igniting my heart and soul
Burning, destroying
Flames consuming who I am

Watery tears can’t calm it
Cutting off oxygen only makes it worse

Things that would eradicate a fire
Only fuel hatred
Why?
How does one overcome an intangible thing?

If I talk, will you listen –
Even if it’s what you don’t want to hear?

Words, words, words
Eventually they stack so high
Becoming meaningless
An avalanche, a lie

Whispers morph into screams
Spewing venom that I don’t mean
Twisting up my tongue;
A deadly snake
Is this what it feels like to be young?

But we aren’t.

Gone are the days of pasta necklaces
When we could color the sky green and the grass blue
Where boo-boos were cured with a kiss and ‘I love you’

We traded in our Pokemon cards for plastic credit
Our crayons for a keyboard
Suddenly, we can’t fit through our playhouse door
But somehow, the world doesn’t seem so daunting anymore

Life is just a giant balancing act
A giant see-saw for adults
It gives you shit, it gives you warmth
You learn from love and grow from hate

Such Is Life: Some Poetry Pour Toi

Paintin’ Waves As They Danced, Upon The Sand

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Cruddy weather today, folks. But it turns out I have an unexpected day off, so I’m milking this weather and being lazy allll day today. Chyeah. So far I’ve watched about 3 episodes of NatGeo concerning lions – they’re so intense, and it really makes me want to go to the Serengeti.

Anyway, I’m taking advantage of having nothing to do and thus getting caught up on my blog. Oh! I started a new column at Dig Boston too, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m still doing the Coffeehouse Chronicles of course, but this new column is focusing on unique hobbies. I did the first installment about hula hooping (read it here) and it’s gotten a good about of likes on the website, which makes me feel pretty satisfied. Now, I’m working on ideas for what I want to do for the rest of them. I’m hoping I can score an interview with some guy who runs some group involving Battlebots. If y’all have any ideas for fun hobbies I should cover, feel free to share.

I digress. I finally gathered up all the business cards I scooped from the Wickford Art Festival, and since I promised I would share all the info with you guys, here they are! I strongly encourage that you check out their work, I only collected the awesome ones, and not to toot my own horn or anything… but I think I have pretty good taste when it comes to art. So yeah, enjoy!

Note: I’m going to put the names with websites and a blurb below, then in the previous post you will find a gallery with a picture of the artists business cards, and a picture of their work. For the time being, I’m going to upload about half. There’s a shitton of cards I collected, and I frankly just don’t feel like doing them all right now. o_O

April Quast: “April Quast is an emerging artist from Glastonbury, CT that seeks to share her passion for color, movement dance and yoga with the world.”

Mark Dirrigl: This guy makes these super cool mini guitars made out of household products, as well as some pretty fresh paintings.

Melanie LaMountain: “They range from portraying idyllic scenery in traditional composition to the abstract and surreal, from the classic portrait to the interpretive self-portrait. My work as a freelance photographer has been in the area of  fine art, environmental portraiture, event, product and wedding photography. ”

Erik Olsen: This guy is an artist and does metal sculptures.

Dick & Judy Beaupre: “We create animals, birds, reptiles and tropical plants out of various parts of palm trees. Each of our actual pieces is an original work of art. The base is created using the boot ends of palm fronds (branches), mostly from Queen Palms. Each piece is crafted by cutting and assembling the shapes, then hand-painting each one.”

Adam W. Latham: “He has also scanned slides of his older work and has experimented with manipulating Polaroid images by hand. Adam is a landscape architect and owner of The Howland & Higgins Company located in Rehoboth, MA.”

Tracy Lizotte: “All the ideas for my artwork come from the day to day life around me. I am utterly inspired by children, animals, and color and patterns found in nature. Everything I paint has a story behind it, some quite funny.”

John & Carolyn Burr: “Reverse-acrylic..the work begins with a clear acrylic sheet. The acrylic paint is put on one side, knowing that what is laid down will be seen from the other side. The final painting is then varnished on the back to protect the painting. The painting is then turned over for the completed image.”

Randy Colbath: “Randy Colbath is a Maine born sculptor who utilizes found and salvaged wood as well as stone and metal in his work. He derives inspiration from the unique properties of each piece of wood he approaches, forming its imperfections and quirks into prominent features of his completed pieces.”

Caryn King: “Paintings of animals from farms to fields”

Christian Rubeck: “In 1985 an elective Sculpture class in college ignited a fire in me.  After that introduction, Interior Design seemed dull and mundane enough to prompt a Major change.  The first “found objects” were pulled from Richmond, Virginia’s alleys, mainly because they were easily accessible and more importantly, free.  One of my first pieces titled “Love seat” started with a discarded restaurant booth.”

Kim Ellery: Self-employed artist from my home town of East Greenwich.

Katie Wilson: “Her mixed media paintings have an abstract quality which is partly achieved by her bold brushwork that retains a certain softness and through the collage lending itself to make abstract passages in the paintings. Katie’s choice of palette tends to give her work an atmospheric and serene feel. Her work has been described as solemn, wistful and haunting.”

The Goods: Wickford Art Festival

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Stand Up, Wake Up: Electric Forest VIDS!

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Good Evening, Brethren!

This is going to be a post chock full of videos, so I hope your eyeballs are ready for it. Since it’s now nearing the end of the dreaded Monday, I’m sure some of you aren’t quite bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Sooooo, here’s a video so you can listen to the melodic voices of the guys from The String Cheese Incident (who happen to be AMAZING) to hopefully aid you in the winding down process. So sit back, pour a nice glass of wine, and enjoy the videos laid out before you.

Hokayy. This is where I wanted to show off all my electronic booty from Electric Forest aka all the videos I took. Before I get to that though, I’m going to give the names of all the concerts we went to. All of them were grade A awesomeness, so I suggest you take a listen to at least one song from each band. If you want some specific song titles, don’t hesitate to ask – I love spreading the love of music. So yeah, here goes:

Thursday, June 28th: Borgore; Wolfgang Gartner; EOTO; Quixotic; Beats Antique
Friday, June 29th: Morning Teleportation; The Infamous Stringdusters; Virtual Boy; Paper Diamond; Zeds Dead; Datsik; Thievery Corporation; Steve Aoki
Saturday, June 30th: Fruit Bats; Zoogma; Santigold; The String Cheese Incident; TBA – which was a Grizmatic plus Big Gigantic collaboration (so I heard; unfortunately I was a bit too buzzed and too far from the stage to actually know what was going on, but whatever it was it sounded good)
Sunday, July 1st: Elephant Revival; Papadosio; Nobody Beats The Drum; Gramatik; MiMoSA; The String Cheese Incident; Bassnectar; Big Gigantic

Well that’s that. Clearly we had concerts coming out the ying-yang, which is exactly how I like it. Unfortunately, we missed a few big name bands that I wanted to see on Saturday, but life goes on.

Aaaaand now, without further ado, I present to you… the videos from the Foooooorest! Enjoy =) I’ll type up a little something after each video, so peep that if you want an explanation.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the guy who is DJ-ing here. The reason I videoed is mostly because this was the first place we ventured into during our first trip to The Sherwood Forest; I was just really excited. Also, that guy is playing a freaking solar powered stage!!! Beyond awesome. My Vermont side of me swoons at that. The bar itself had a menagerie of gizmos and gadgets, and note that we were perched above ground in a hammock — Electric Forest, oh how I love you.

I don’t really think an explanation is needed here… The Forest + Anything = Awesome. Hence why my voice seems to go up about 12 octaves.

The Forest Stage! I don’t know the name of this guy, either. Failing… I know. Cool though, huh?

Borgore performing at the Ranch Arena on the first day. The song that starts out is “somebody to love”. Killin’ it.

So many people love their glow-in-the-dark LED gadgets. And let’s by real… WHATS NOT TO LOVE?! I think that it is Wolfgang Gartner playing, but don’t quote me on that – so much good music… sometimes it tended to blend together, and there isn’t a long enough music clip for me to pick up on what it is. Woopsie.

Quixotic… quite the experience…

Next up, Beats Antique. I kid you not when I say that this trio is far beyond amazing. To be honest, I had known very little about these guys pre-Forest, and barely knew about the tunes they threw down. But let’s be real, I idolize Zoe (if I could belly dance half as good as her I would be satisfied with life), and the music far surpassed my expectations. If you ever get the chance to see these guys live, DO IT. You won’t regret it.

Again, dropping the Beats Antique. Sarah and I were lucky enough to weasel our way up to front row, bitches — it was fantabulous. For those of you who aren’t regular festival/concert goers … there is sort of a science to working your way up to the front. People can be brutal, too, but don’t let that discourage you. Being the front row is beyond amazing though if the band is good, and totally worth the bumps and bruises you pick up along the way. Especially for Beats Antique; I was beyond happy that we were able to be in the front for the majority of the concert. It’s an art form, folks.

Hahaha, this hodgepodge of individuals absolutely killed me. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the “band”; but I do remember the slogan they ran around saying “[insert band name here]! Saturday at noon!” So yeah, they obviously performed Saturday at noon, but when Sarah and I looked at the program to find them they weren’t listed. Bummer. Regardless, they were a riot to stumble upon, and I’m thankful that whack jobs are still out there instilling laughter in the hearts of many.

Best hopscotch ever in the history of my world. Seriously, though. I thoroughly congratulated the girl who was working on this; it takes an awesome individual to create such a magnificent hopscotch in the dark, in the middle of the forest. What impressed me even more though was the fact that festival go-ers 1) were more than willing (and excited) to partake in the fun and 2) not a single person attempted to destroy it. Now, unfortunately there are some assholes out there who just seek to destroy, but no one in the Forest dared to commit such a heinous crime. I love the forest! Also, my apologies for the bird noises I made throughout this video. The forest brought the inner animal out; I don’t hate it.

Now, for Santigold. During the middle of the concert, the singer brought up an absurd amount of audience members to dance on stage. I must admit, I was a little bit jealous. Who doesn’t like being allowed to dance on stage with a celebrity in front of adoring fans? Not I sir, not I. However, I was not the biggest fan on the heat so I took to the shade and watched in comfort, instead. You win some, you lose some.

Oh, ho ho. This guy is pure gold. I tried to do my best with slyly recording him, hence the random panoramic view of the festie go-ers. In all seriousness though, this man is amazing — and not only does he have a set of wings, but some balls of steel to boot I would say. It takes an unique individual to dress up like that. Now, if only he were rocking glitter….

Last but certainly not least, I leave you with the beyond amazing Bassnectar. Boy, do I have a musical crush on this man. Not only does he kill it musically, but he knows how to read a crowd and completely take us for a while ride. I’ve seen him 6 times now (Bonnaroo 2010, Burlington 4/20/11, Bonnaroo 2011, Camp Bisco 2011, Burlington 4/17/12, Electric Forest 2012), and each time I just love him so much more! Seriously, I don’t think this guy can put on a bad show. If you ever have the chance to see him, do not pass it up. You will then live a life of regret and I will be thoroughly disappointed. Wahwah.

So I’m hoping that your eyes haven’t been burned out or anything from all the videos. I read the other day that every hour of television you watch shortens your life by 22 minutes. Now, for the sake of our generation, I really hope that isn’t true. Granted, I don’t watch that much tv (I have a life, plus reading and music is by far superior), but I still have a good chunk of my life gone if that fact holds any truth. eek.

Over and out, peeps. xo

A Video To Tide You Over

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Bonjour!

So I have a very long post with a shitton of videos in the process of being made, but the cleaning ladies just got to my house… so I unfortunately have to bounce out for a little bit to let them do their thing and go take my car to its semi-annual check-up. However, I don’t want to leave you guys hanging 100%, so here’s a video for yah =) Enjoy and stay tuned for the big kahuna!

Aside

As I promised y’all yesterday, here is the link to the third installment of The Coffeehouse Chronicles. This time around I wrote on Render Coffee (which was fantastic and eco-friendly, three cheers!), so read up, little ones.

I started working on the fourth one — I feel the need to make up for the fact that I was away on vacation for two weeks and didn’t get to tickle my taste buds — but I had to write something else before that. I just finished that though, so after I stuff my face with food I’ll be back with my nose to the grindstone.Soooo, maybe there will be a fourth one ready to read soon enough.

Anyway, click the link I posted above and read some more articles on the site while you’re at it (if you want to giggle at the immaturity of some “professionals” I recommend you read the article by Emily on the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Honestly, the chick who played Janet really needs to get a life…).

Rock on, stars.

 

As Promised

Coffeehouse Chronicles: Debut!

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Sup, dawgs.

I’m at DIG right now, so I can’t really focus my attention here, but I thought I would post for you my first segment of the Coffeehouse Chronicles. They were running a bit behind at DIG, so my second segment made it to the website, but not the first. So really, you guys get the original/special treatment. If you like what you read, stay tuned! I’ll also post a link to the second article of the series, and the third installment will be hopefully posted by the end of the day; I’m starting it now. Woooo!
So yeah, here ’tis:

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COFFEEHOUSE CHRONICLES: BEANTOWN BREWS

Well, hello there.

I’m Azure;

a hot chocolate addict on the path to acquiring my taste buds to the ever popular coffee bean.

Over the recent months, I have been slowly training my mouth to accept the bitter taste of coffee… so far to no avail. However, I refuse to accept defeat and have devised a plan to force myself to drink the apparent life sustaining brew that so many swear by. Thus, I give you the Coffeehouse Chronicles.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lutMjeIIm-w

What exactly does this entail? Well, I have compiled a list of the coffee shops/cafés/whathaveyou in the South End of Boston, and I plan on tackling one (or more, if I’m ambitious) a week and reporting my experiences back here. Once I conquer the South End, I’ll start broadening my horizons throughout Boston.

It’s a win-win situation: I start appreciating coffee more, and you all get to reap the benefits of my adventures by reading whats what.

** Note: Just because an establishment has the name “café” in it, does not mean it is the type of place that serves breakfast and coffee. I just looked up the definition of café and came up with this:

noun, plural ca·fés  [-feyz; Fr. -fey]
1.a restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk.
2.a restaurant, usually small and unpretentious.
3.a barroom, cabaret, or nightclub.
4.coffee

So, in actuality, I guess a café can be an array of things.**

Example: Café that does not serve breakfast
Now, there’s a lot more variables than just yummy coffee in order for a coffeehouse to be stellar, so I’ll be talking about a multitude of factors I deem important: coffee, other drinks, atmosphere, service, price, food, cleanliness, originality, clientele and music (if applicable).

…. and without further ado, I would like to present the first contestant (not that this is a competition or anything, but…): Berkeley Perk Café.

Conveniently, Berkeley Perk Café is located at 69
Berkeley Street, which happens to be on the way
to the Dig office. I must say, it was a pretty
splendid way to start my morning. See the below
chart for rating, and even further down for
details.  o_O

  ——————-  Berkeley Perk Café
 Coffee  ***(*)
 Other Drinks Hot Chocolate **
 Atmosphere  ****
 Service  *****
 Price  $
 Food  ****
 Cleanliness  ****
 Originality  ***
 Clientele  College, Business, Family, Friend
My photography skills are lacking, but there are three drink menus: Hot, Iced and Frozen

There you have it, folks. Now, for a little explanation.
At first, I didn’t try the coffee — fail, I know — the hot chocolate was calling to me (it was okay, but a bit too milky for my taste. I prefer my hocho extra chocolatey, and this didn’t quite live up to my high standards), but eventually I went in for round two and slurped up a Café Au Lait (oohlay!). It was quite tasty, especially with the mountain of powdered cocoa and cinnamon I piled on. I also asked fellow costumers to rank the coffee from mud to liquid heaven, and the answers were in the high middle range. The people I asked also said it depended on what you ordered, and I was encouraged to try the lattes and the fairly diverse tea selection that Berkeley Perk had to offer.

The atmosphere was comfortable with seats ranging from big cozy armchairs to booths to the classic café tables.

The food and drinks also happen to be fairly cheap (in comparison to Starbucks at least), and my filling bagel sandwich was under $5. However, keep in mind: Berkeley Perk Café does not accept credit cards, cash only.

Nomnomnom

That about sums up Berkeley Perk Café. I recommend stopping in at least once, it’s most definitely worth it.

BERKELEY PERK CAFE

69 BERKELEY ST.
SOUTH END
617.426.7375
MON-FRI 6:30AM – 5PM
SAT 7:30AM – 5 PM

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Well, there you have it. Like what you read? Click hurr for the second one.

Love, peace, and afrogrease. x_X

Holy Cannoli

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Good eveningg!
First off, I wanted to say how awesome it was (hence the title) to see how many people peeped my Electric Forest photos from my last post – it was something like 280 views in a day. Huzzah. That’s a shitton more than usual and I’m pretty souped about it. I think I gained another follower or so too, which is always a bonus. I like knowing there are eyeballs out there who like glancing over mah wordsz.

Today was my one day off until next Sunday. Boosauce. I must say; this whole working thing can be quite the drag sometimes… especially since two of my entire days are dedicated to free work. Internships are cool and all, but come on! We’re broke college students; we should at least be paid in large quantities of food or useful things like recorders or toothpaste. Roh well… c’est la vie.

On a very important side note: MY HULA HOOP CAME IN! It’s a biggie alright, but I’m pretty in love with it. We don’t quite see 100% eye-to-eye yet concerning the over-the-head trick, but the relationship is still young. I have faith. So yeah, here’s a picture of the beast (note: my newly dark hair… although in a raggedy state). The faded looking yellow tape glows in the dark, my name is on the side aaaand it has noise makers inside of it! All the bells and whistles. Eeee! Now I think I’ve begun a hula hopping addiction or something, because now I desperately want a LED one where I choose the colors and someone solders them together for me. I proposed the idea to the boyfriend and now he’d determined to teach me himself so I can do it myself. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to be a skilled solderer. If anyone has any tips, feel free to enlighten me!

Back on topic… my day off was pretty superb. This weekend was bumping in Rhode Island! This weekend (tomorrow as well) is the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival, where

The historic Newport waterfront will be filled with sails and sailors from 14 Tall Ships®. Climb aboard over a dozen majestic vessels from the era when tall ships ruled the seas.  This interactive, educational family-friendly event also features exhibits, food and family entertainment.

I personally have never been to this before… and I slap my own wrist for that wrongdoing. Thankfully though, I am from the Ocean State and a lot of life ahead of me, so there is still time. I didn’t waste the free day though! Max and I went to the Wickford Art Festival; another Rhode Island gem that has become increasingly more popular. The artists there were phenomenal, and I will have a ton of new artsy things to show you guys when I get some more free time. I swear, I could make a hat out of all the business cards I picked up today. You guys are going to love all the cool stuff. Unfortunately the festival was only this weekend, but you can live vicariously through me. It was a day like today though that made me a little bummed that I a) don’t have my own home to decorate and b) have no spending money because it all is being saved for Europe. Oh well — someday!

The other interesting thing I did today (there was a lot of napping and lamping involved, as well as a boat load of eating) was go to the movies with the boyfriend and see Ted. Now, I’m going to put the preview below in case someone is living under a rock (or is just too cool for television) but I must warn you: this is not an appropriate movie. It is raunchy beyond belief, but that just happens to be one of the branches of my humor, so I was cracking up the majority of the time. But yeah, so if you’re more of the ooshy-gooshy romantic type or don’t appreciate dirty humor, I would say refrain from watching the preview. If that’s up your alley, get your butt to the movies! It’s a riot, I promise you.

Well, I think I’ve just about run out of steam, folks. My laundry is successfully in the dryer, so my work clothes will be ready for tomorrow (oh joy, oh rapture), and my eyes are steadily closing on me with each passing moment. I realize that I have a lot of things I still need to blog about for y’all, so for my own sake, as well as for yours, I am jotting down a quick list of the things I plan on talking about the next time I have a few hours to myself… which is pretty much never…

~ Austria
~ Belgium
~ Electric Forest Videos / Line-up
~ Wickford Festival Artists
~ Game of Thrones (I finally finished the first book and am dying to blab on and on about it. Hopefully some of you have read the book and will be able to relate)
~ My new life’s plan. Stay tuned for this one. It’s intense… and just, yeah.

Night daaaahhhlings. Hope your weekend was bright and sunny just like the weather! Onward to a new week of summer.